Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 9/1/16
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).
Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs. On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
TWISTED SISTER – “Be Chrool To Your Scuel” (1985)
By 1985, my appreciation for hard rock and metal was undeniable. Many bands helped to shape the soundtrack of my youth, but being from Long Island, there was always a special place in my heart for local heroes, Twisted Sister. Like almost every fan of the genre, 1984’s Stay Hungry became a staple of my music collection.
The following year, Twisted Sister released Come Out And Play, an album that received considerably less fanfare and critical acclaim than Stay Hungry. I never understood why that was the case. Yes, it was not Stay Hungry, but then again, neither are most albums. It was a tough act to follow, but unlike many, I loved the album. To this day, it is still my favorite (vinyl) album cover of all-time. How can you not like Dee Snider popping up from a manhole cover?
My personal favorite from the album is a song called “Be Chrool To Your Scuel” (spelled that way intentionally). The song is simultaneously fun, uplifting and rebellious. The lyrics perfectly captured my feelings about going to school, in particular the ones that were sung by guest vocalist, Alice Cooper…
“Now there must be a better way to educate, ‘cause this way ain’t working like it should…Can’t the just invent a pill or frozen concentrate, that makes you smarter and tastes, mmmm, so good?”
My feelings about the song haven’t changed in over 30 years (nor have my feelings about the state of education in America).
RAMONES – “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” (1979)
This is always a tough time of year for school-aged children who have to get re-acclimated to the daily grind as the carefree days of summer come to an end. I empathize with their plight. Very little gave me solace about starting another school year, but then again, my school was far from being as cool as “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.”
This was the song that introduced me to the Ramones, but not in the way that I discovered most music back in the day. An older family friend was (and probably still is) a huge fan of the band. When we watched the movie Rock ‘n’ Roll High School together, it got me hooked on the Ramones’ raw, unapologetic sound. Although I love much of their work, “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” remains my favorite song by the band to this day.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
DEVILDRIVER – “End Of The Line” (2005)
Admittedly, I was never much of a Coal Chamber fan, but when Dez Fafara started Devildriver, I was intrigued. “End of the Line” is a single from their second album, The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand. It got me hooked immediately. It’s heavy, frantic and explodes into a great riff worthy enough to make me want to jump into the pit (even at my age). This is also a song that I have always loved drumming along to just for the sheer power of it.
TRIVIUM – “Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr” (2005)
Before their recent semi-commercial success, Trivium started off as a thrash/metalcore band. From their second album, Ascendancy, “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr” is a perfect example of the band’s old sound. Matt Heafy screams and growls like a death metal master as the band thrashes away with hair wind-milling and fists pumping. This song is still a favorite amongst the band and their fans, and is still played as an encore at their live shows.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
HOUSE OF LORDS – “Sweet September” (2009)
British melodic rockers House Of Lords have been putting out quality music for 30 years. Their 2009 album, Cartesian Dreams, was no exception, with James Christian layering the smooth vocals over Jimi Bell’s expressive guitar. The whole band shines on this heartfelt ballad, lingering on a bygone time linked to September.
ASIA – “Summer” (1995)
When John Wetton left ‘80s supergroup Asia, Geoff Downes invited the talented John Payne to become the new vocalist. Gradually there were other lineup changes, but from 1991-2006 Asia had a different sound and some great songs. One of them was this ode to the passing of summer, which the beginning of September always presages. In 2006, the original Asia lineup reunited, and John Payne would continue separately (with a new lineup) as Asia Featuring John Payne.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
HEAVEN’S GATE – “Touch The Light” (1990)
Taking the time machine back to 1990 with Heaven’s Gate, a classic metal band out of Germany that split up around 1999. “Touch the Light” has plenty of traditional metal traits, and may remind you of several bands from that era. I hear a lot of Iron Maiden influence (especially in the intro) and Judas Priest as well. This spirited track races with an up-tempo rhythm (Thorsten Müller on drums and Manni Jordan on bass) accompanied by the excellent vocal range of Thomas Rettke belting out the infectious chorus amid the great guitar work of Sascha Paeth and Bonny Bilski. Although split, a compilation called The Best For Sale was released a couple of years back. Check it out.
MCAULEY SHENCKER GROUP – “Love Is Not A Game” (1987)
A personal favorite from the Robin McAuley years of MSG is “Love Is Not A Game,” from the album, Perfect Timing. Great opening, memorable vocals and lyrics, with a hearty and classic hard rock rhythm indicative of the great music of the ‘80s. The quality of musicianship goes without saying. This album also had a particularly good production sound: clear, balanced and perfect for the combo of McAuley and Michael Schenker.