Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/8/16
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)
THE WINERY DOGS – “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” (2013)
In 1975, Elvin Bishop had his biggest hit with “Fooled Around And Fell In Love.” Although Bishop has released 19 studio albums (dating back to 1969), it’s likely that many think of him as a one-hit wonder. The vocals on the original weren’t actually performed by Bishop, rather by Mickey Thomas (who would later go on to front Jefferson Starship).
As great as the original version of this song is, The Winery Dogs cover – from their album Unleashed in Japan 2013 (Live) – is even better. What makes this version so special is that the band basically stayed true to the original, while still making it unique and memorable because of their incredible chemistry and musicianship. The only “mistake” in this version is the lighthearted moment at the beginning where Richie Kotzen makes a self-deprecating joke about being old and starting to play the “wrong fuckin’ song.” But when The Winery Dogs start playing the “right” song, magic ensues.
Virtuosos tend to take themselves quite seriously, but The Winery Dogs bring an element of fun into their virtuosity. They are the only band that I can think of that blends the goofiness of a court jester with the command of a king.
“Fooled Around And Fell In Love” is a fairly straightforward song, which makes the elements that The Winery Dogs add into it that much more striking. In the original, you barely even notice that they have a bass player, but in this version, you can tell from the first bass note that Billy Sheehan is playing. He continues to hold down the song throughout, adding in tasteful (but impressive) fills in a natural way. Mike Portnoy’s drumming gives the song a sense of power and groove that is lacking in the original without ever going over the top. Kotzen shines with beautifully emotive vocals, giving the song more depth than the original. His rhythm guitar playing stays true to the original, but Kotzen shines when it comes to the lead before a break that showcases the precision of a band that feels like it’s been together for decades.
Elvin Bishop laid the foundation for the song back in the ’70s. Nearly 40 years later, The Winery Dogs built a castle on top of that foundation.
JOE COCKER – “With A Little Help From My Friends” (1969)
During a recent visit to The Museum at Bethel Woods (located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival), I watched a fascinating film that featured Joe Cocker’s incredible live performance of The Beatles’ classic, “With A Little Help From My Friends.”
With all due respect to The Fab Four, Cocker’s version of the song took it to another level. Whereas the original has a kind of happy-go-lucky feel, Cocker’s performance at the Woodstock Music Festival was an emotionally-charged, angst-ridden interpretation that connected with the hundreds of thousands of fans in attendance in a visceral way.
As you watch this video, you are transported back in time to an era in American history that was rife with tension brought on by the Vietnam War. It’s hard to improve upon a classic song by legendary artists, but Cocker did just that with this 1969 performance.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
GWAR – “Carry on Wayward Son” (2012)
Although this song was never released on any of GWAR’s albums, I have always enjoyed their rendition of Kansas’ “Carry on Wayward Son.” Despite the fact that GWAR trashes the band and the genre, they actually did a great job covering the song. From the sped up thrash main verse, to the slowed down evil sounding chorus, GWAR injects a humorous (yet fascinating) take on a classic rock tune.
LAMB OF GOD – “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For” (2004)
Maybe it’s the recent release of a new EP by Lamb of God, but taking a look back at their back catalog, I realized again what a great album Ashes of the Wake was, not only for its songwriting and musical composition, but also for its production. The album is recorded and mixed so cleanly that you can distinctly hear every note from each instrument and the vocals as well. This song has always been one of my favorites, mainly due to Chris Adler’s unique playing style and the sonic aggression of the music, including Randy Blythe’s screams during the choruses. “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For” is Lamb of God at their best.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
BOSTON – “Something About You” (1976)
In 1976, a Polaroid engineer out of M.I.T. took the rock world by storm. Guitarist/keyboardist/producer/songwriter Tom Scholz – with a trademark sound he had painstakingly perfected in his basement – created the classic rock band Boston and released one of the best-selling debut albums of all time. With Brad Delp on vocals, some other talented musicians, and a homemade sound studio, Boston created some of the most loved mainstays of rock radio. The biggest commercial hits from their first album were “More Than a Feeling,” “Peace of Mind” and “Long Time,” but this one stands together comfortably with those vaunted tracks.
BOSTON – “Surrender To Me” (1994)
By 1994, Tom Scholz was the only remaining original member of Boston. Regardless, the trademark sound and flawless production were still achieved, with some amazing new material. Brad Delp co-wrote the title song to the new album, Walk On, but otherwise his involvement had ended, yielding way to new vocalist Fran Cosmo. This song from that album is one that the band still plays in concert today.