Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 1/19/17
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)
IRON MAIDEN – “2 Minutes To Midnight” (1984)
Back in 1984, I remember pumping my fist and banging my head as Iron Maiden played “2 Minutes To Midnight” on the Powerslave tour, never giving a thought to the meaning of the lyrics. It was the year that people were mostly talking about George Orwell’s famous work. And though the Cold War was still a threat, it certainly wasn’t top of mind. Nor was the Doomsday Clock (which is what this song is referencing).
As a teenager, there is a feeling of immortality, and concern over the events of the world took a back seat to typical high school life. It was easy to avoid current events back then, as you had to deliberately watch the news or read the papers. The ubiquity of social media and 24/7 news channels have made it impossible for the teens of today to enjoy such blissful ignorance.
The 9/11 attacks robbed citizens of the United States of our innocence, but once things settled down, it didn’t feel like time was running out on the Doomsday Clock. With a much different perspective today than 1984, it feels like “2 Minutes To Midnight” may be something that we reminisce about. Of course, this feeling only applies to those who believe in climate change and arguably the most dangerous group of world leaders in our lifetime. These days, when I listen to my favorite track off of Powerslave, it is not with my fist pumping or my head banging, just a sense that this song may be more relevant than many are willing to admit…
“As the madmen play on words and make us all dance their song to the tune of starving millions to make a better gun.”
JUDAS PRIEST – “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll” (1984)
It’s purely coincidental that my second selection also comes from 1984. Back in 1984, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden were among the biggest names in metal. Their music provided the soundtrack to the youth of many Gen Xers. Like Maiden, Priest wasn’t shy about writing thought-provoking lyrics that questioned power in the wrong hands.
Like “2 Minutes To Midnight,” “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll” was just a song that made you bang your head and pump your fists when it was played live on the Defenders Of The Faith tour. Fast forward to today, and the song’s lyrics take on an entirely different meaning.
Judas Priest had its share of government interference with the PMRC, but I never realized just how prophetic the lyrics to “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll” were at the time. Check them out as you listen to the song to see what I mean…
“If the man with the power can’t keep it under control, some heads are gonna roll.”
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
RAMMSTEIN – “Ich Tu Dir Weh” (2009)
Rammstein, in my opinion, is the best reason to learn German. These industrial metal giants from Germany made it big in the States with their single “Du Hast,” and has had quite the following since that time. “Ich Tu Dir Weh” comes from their 2009 album, Liebe ist fur alle da, and boasts the Rammstein signature heavy groove and Till Lindemann’s baritone vocals. When the band plays this song live, they use a ton of pyrotechnics. Interesting side note: the song was banned in Germany for its lyrical content. My German isn’t very good, but that’s not going to stop me from singing along when I see these guys in June.
SUPERJOINT RITUAL – “Fuck Your Enemy” (2002)
After Pantera’s disbanding, the remaining members of the iconic metal band formed their own projects. Dimebag Darrell and Vinny Abbott formed Damageplan. Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown formed Down. In between recording and touring with Down, Anselmo decided to continue with another project called Superjoint Ritual. Of all the side projects during this time, Superjoint was the only band that I felt captured the spirit of Pantera (even turned up a notch). Superjoint took Pantera’s groove and embellished it with hardcore punk, and sprinkled in a little death metal as well. The result was a heavy, fast and furious metal masterpiece. “Fuck Your Enemy” comes from the band’s first release, Use Once and Destroy. Give this song a listen. I dare you to not move along with the groove!
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
ALLEN LANDE – “Just A Dream” (2005)
Allen-Lande sees two consummate metal vocalists pairing up and singing brilliantly against each other to the backdrop of melodic metal. Russell Allen (Symphony X) and Jorn Lande (Jorn, ex-Masterplan) made their team debut in 2005 with The Battle, which included this favorite. The songs were co-written, produced, and performed together with Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, Starbreaker, Last Tribe), who would also contribute heavily to the collaboration’s next two albums, before being supplanted in 2013 by guitarist Timo Tolkki (ex-Stratovarius).
JORN – “Song For Ronnie James” (2010)
In 2010 the metal world mourned the loss of one of its superstars, Ronnie James Dio. There were numerous tributes to the legendary vocalist, but perhaps none so poignant as Norwegian vocalist Jorn Lande’s 2010 release, Dio. In addition to some excellent covers of Ronnie James’s work with Dio, Rainbow and Deep Purple, the album included this moving original.