Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 3/2/17
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)
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – “Californication” (1999)
There are only a handful of television shows that are just as good when you watch them the second time around. A recent rediscovery of the Showtime series Californication inspired me to share one of my favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers’ songs of all-time. Because the show was around for seven seasons, it sometimes feels like the song was written after the show, but the opposite is true.
Unlike many of the classic Red Hot Chili Peppers songs, the title track off of their 1999 release is not about their unique blend of funk and metal. In fact, the music on this song serves as more of a blank canvas on which Anthony Keidis paints a fascinating picture of life in California with thought-provoking lyrics. If you’re a fan of great lyrics, make sure to pay attention as you rediscover this Chili Pepper classic. Like the television series, the writing is simply brilliant.
MEAT LOAF – “California Dreamin” (2011)
Watching Californication may have sparked my interest in the state of California, but it is not the only thing that has me “California Dreamin” these days. Another brutal winter made up of gray skies and snow has certainly contributed to my wanderlust, as has the current political climate in the country. I can’t tell you how often the opening lines of the song have run through my mind during this long, cold winter…
“All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray. I’ve been for a walk, on a winter’s day. I’d be safe and warm, if I was in L.A. California dreamin, on such a winter’s day.”
Clearly, the original version of the song by The Mamas & The Papas is not a fit on Hard Rock Daddy, so I decided to share the next best thing, a very cool cover of the song.
To be honest, I didn’t even know that Meat Loaf had done a cover of this classic before this week. The song was featured on his 2011 album, Hell In A Handbasket. Like many Meat Loaf songs of recent years, “California Dreamin” features the vocals of Patty Russo. With so much time spent together, this is one of the best duos around, with an undeniable chemistry that helps brings songs to another level.
Although Meat Loaf’s cover of “California Dreamin” stays fairly true to the original, the heavier arrangement is enhanced by the guitar work of Paul Crook and Randy Flowers and the guest violin work of Ginny Luke. This song is a diversion from the sound that many are used to from Meat Loaf, but it’s a great listen just the same.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
CLUTCH – “Burning Beard” (2005)
Maybe it’s the excitement of seeing this tour in May, but the sounds and grooves of Clutch always bring me back. Once you listen to one song, you end up listening to the entire album. “Burning Beard” is one of my favorite songs off of Clutch’s seventh studio album, Robot Hive/Exodus. The lyrics are strangely intelligent, referencing subject matter from biblical mythology to science fiction. Jean-Paul Gaster’s syncopated drumming style compliments the guitar work of Tim Sult and bass guitar work of Dan Maines. One of the most underrated hard rock/metal bands, Clutch delivers every time. May can’t come soon enough.
THE SWORD – “Maiden, Mother & Crone” (2008)
Opening for Clutch on the upcoming tour is The Sword. These doom metal/hard rockers from Texas boast the feel and sounds of 1970s in the vein of Black Sabbath and Sleep. “Maiden, Mother & Crone” is from their second album, Gods of the Earth. It’s full of fat, heavy riffs and fantasy-driven lyrics. Bring back the bell bottoms and Marshall stacks because The Sword is coming to town!
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
LIZZY BORDEN – “Love Is A Crime” (1989)
Never has a story about a psychopathic stalker been so driving and melodic. California rockers Lizzy Borden got their start in the ‘80s and became part of the Los Angeles glam metal scene. The band’s breakthrough album came in 1987 with Visual Lies. This song, however, comes from their next album, 1989’s Master of Disguise. That album also enjoyed a fair amount of success, and has since become a cult classic. Even in later years, the band has often performed the entire album on tour.
LIZZY BORDEN – “Tomorrow Never Comes” (2007)
Lizzy Borden, like so many great metal bands, took a hit in the ‘90s as grunge began to dominate the music scene. They broke up, reunited, changed lineups, but were back on track when, in 2004, they tragically lost guitarist Alex Nelson in a car accident. They again had to regroup, and it would take a few years, but they eventually brought in guitarist Ira March and pulled off their second reunion with the 2007 album, Appointment With Death. With guest appearances from George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob), Dave Meniketti (Y&T), and Corey Beaulieu (Trivium), and with some amazing songs like this one, the album was a big success. The band plans to release a new album later this year.