Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 6/22/17
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.
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)
RUSH – “Limelight” (1981)
My introduction to Rush came back in 1981 with the release of Moving Pictures. More specifically, seeing the video for “Tom Sawyer” on MTV was my first exposure to the band that would become one of my favorites, and remains so to this day.
While any song off of one of the greatest albums of all-time would have been easy to feature, “Limelight” was chosen because of its cross-generational appeal. In fact, the song was chosen by my son, who is around the same age as I was when I discovered Rush. Like many in his generation, his method of song discovery isn’t from MTV, or listening to the radio for that matter.
Throughout his life, my son has been exposed to Rush (and numerous other rock artists) by riding in the car with me. His tastes are now his own, and they are not necessarily towards rock music, but there are certain songs that he still loves. Even though he heard “Limelight” several times before, what made him really fall in love with the song is experiencing it through the magic of cinema.
As he’s gotten older, I started turning him on to some of the comedy movies that I loved. One that became an instant favorite is I Love You, Man (starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel). “Limelight” was key to the storyline, so hearing it today brings back happy memories for him. It may not be the way that I envisioned him gravitating towards the music that has been a part of my life since I was his age, but in this case, the destination is more important than the journey.
MANFRED MANN – “Blinded By The Light” (1976)
Like “Limelight,” my son also chose “Blinded By The Light” to be featured this week, but for an entirely different reason. I can’t remember how old he was when this song went from something being played in the car to something that made him crack up whenever he heard it. No matter how old I get, I don’t think that there will ever be a time when lowbrow humor doesn’t make me laugh. The lyrics to “Blinded By The Light” are easy to misinterpret, specifically…“revved up like a DEUCE.” When my son started paying attention to the lyrics, he started laughing out loud because of what he thought was being said. To this day, it still brings a smile to both of our faces when it comes on the radio. This song has always been a personal favorite, but these days, it’s for an entirely different reason.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
METALLICA – “Fight Fire With Fire” (1984)
One of the biggest bands in the world, Metallica is recognizable by the masses (even those that aren’t fans of the metal genre). Longtime fans of the band are divided between the works of “old” Metallica and “new” Metallica. Although I respect and love the band that they have become, I admit that I prefer the band during a time when they were writing solid thrash tunes. “Fight Fire With Fire” was one of those tunes that immersed and cemented me into being a lifelong fan. From their sophomore album Ride The Lightning, the song rumbles like a speeding freight train as James Hetfield lays down the thrashy riff along with his growling vocals, Kirk Hammett’s flying fingers during his solos, Cliff Burton’s wild and thunderous bass grooves and Lars Ulrich’s double bass thrash beat. With songwriting like that, it was no wonder they became one of the Big 4 of thrash metal.
MEGADETH – “Wake Up Dead” (1986)
Around the same time that Metallica was cementing themselves as one of the best thrash bands in the world, Megadeth’s sophomore album Peace Sells But Who’s Buying was released. If I was on the fence about being a fan of thrash metal before then, “Wake Up Dead” pushed me over that fence and stomped on me for good measure. This song had so many memorable riffs, breaks, solos, heavy parts and awesome drum fills, that three minutes and forty seconds was just not enough to contain it all. The combination of Dave Mustaine’s sneering vocals and master guitar work was accented by Chris Poland’s guitar work, Dave Ellefson’s bass playing and Gar Samuelson’s drumming, making for one of the best thrash albums ever written.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
AT VANCE – “Die In Your Arms” (1999)
In 1998 Oliver Hartmann teamed up with guitar great Olaf Lenk to form the German power metal band At Vance. A year later they released their first album, No Escape, which included this hit highlighting Hartmann’s soaring vocals. He would go on to make three more albums with the band before leaving for other projects.
AVANTASIA – “I Don’t Believe In Your Love” (2008)
The supergroup Avantasia switches often among various lead singers. Here, on a song from their 2008 album The Scarecrow, Oliver Hartmann steals the show with some intense, accusatory vocals.
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