Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 2/9/17
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.
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)
APRIL WINE – “Just Between You And Me” (1981)
A number of my recent selections on Hard Rock Music Time Machine have been more politically charged. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I made the decision a few weeks ago to share some of the songs that take me back to a special time in my life. I had no idea that this would actually become a bittersweet moment when I made the selection. This week, April Wine bassist Steve Lang passed away at the age of 67. Despite the sadness, I still want this to be a positive memory.
Upon doing some research, I found that this beautiful love song was actually the first video played by a Canadian artist on August 1, 1981 (the day that MTV made its debut). While the band would enjoy some success it the U.S., this song and “Sign Of The Gypsy Queen” are the ones that resonated most with me because the videos were aired on MTV fairly often.
Like all songs, “Just Between You And Me” had its moment in the sun on MTV and then eventually faded. A decade after its release, the song once again had special meaning to me when it appeared on a compilation album called Heavy Metal Love. My girlfriend and I nearly wore out that CD, and this song was always one of the favorites.
It’s hard to believe that over 35 years have passed since I first heard this song. All these years later, it still hasn’t lost its appeal in the slightest. With an instantly recognizable, emotionally stirring riff and sweet, melodic vocals, this classic is a perfect song to reflect back upon as Valentine’s Day approaches.
FIREHOUSE – “Love Of A Lifetime” (1990)
The summer of ’91 was a happy time in life. Hair metal was nearing its demise, but none of us knew it at the time. It was the last summer that I can recall where rock music (at least in the mainstream) predominantly featured songs about love and other less serious matters. Sure, the hair might have been huge and the outfits kind of cartoonish in hindsight, but life was good and music like Firehouse’s “Love Of A Lifetime” contributed to the bliss of the times.
This incredible power ballad off of the band’s debut self-titled album ultimately became their biggest hit. And to think, it was almost left off of the album entirely.
Vocalist CJ Snare wrote “Love Of A Lifetime” from the perspective of finding the perfect love, but he had yet to find it himself. The song was written after a solo gig in a hotel lounge with only a keyboard and drum machine. Snare was hesitant to play it for the band after Jon Bon Jovi told him that it would ruin his career if he released it. It wasn’t until Epic Records told the band that they needed a strong power ballad for the album, and discussed bringing in outside writers that Snare shared it with the other members of Firehouse. The rest, as they say, is history.
“Love Of A Lifetime” is arguably one of the best power ballads ever written, and continues to be a fan favorite and wedding song for many rockers. If you’re looking for the perfect song to share with your Valentine, this very well may be it.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
FUGAZI – “Waiting Room” (1988)
After Minor Threat (founders of the straight-edge hardcore movement), Ian MacKaye continued his music with Fugazi. Similar to Minor Threat, Fugazi had a similar DIY work ethic with regards to production and record producing, while giving the middle finger to the music industry. In a way, Fugazi helped usher in the “alternative rock and metal” genre, being a huge influence to the songwriting styles of the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam. Over the years, MacKaye has been considered a “godfather” of punk/hardcore (similar to Henry Rollins). “Waiting Room” will always bring back high school memories for me.
NOFX – “The Idiots Are Taking Over” (2003)
Maybe it’s the current political climate that’s causing me to listen to a lot of old school punk rock lately. This genre of music preached anti-authoritarian, anti-government and anti-religion. It gave many modern metal bands their influences, while giving many young ones a sounding board for their frustrations and pessimism in their current lives. I am not sure what young ones do nowadays, but when I was a teen, I waved the punk flag proudly with songs like this one. “The Idiots Are Taking Over” (from The War on Errorism) is exactly what you think the song is about. This punk band from California rants about politics with anger and contempt…
“There’s no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated.”
Does this line ring a bell?
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
EDGUY – “The Piper Never Dies” (2004)
German power metal hit a peak in 2004 with Edguy’s Hellfire Club. The album opened with the majestic “Mysteria” (originally intended to also be the album title), before flowing into this epic masterpiece. The album continued on from there to pound out some of the band’s biggest hits that they still play live today.
RAGE – “Empty Hollow” (2010)
German power metal band Rage has been cranking out the riffs since 1984. Over their 30 plus years, they’ve gone through many lineup changes. One constant, however, has been Peter “Peavy” Wagner on vocals and bass. Here, on the band’s nineteenth studio album, Strings to a Web, he teams with guitarist Victor Smolski for a riveting lineup of songs. This one is the title track of a suite of songs within that album.