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Old 02-27-2007, 10:14 PM   #41
distilledspirit
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Black Sabbath – Master of Reality


Released: July, 1971

The Sabs third release, Master of Reality, is certainly an album to go down in history as one of the greatest hard rock albums ever released. The riffs are amazing, the drumming is incredible, and the bass is booming and keeping up with the unstoppable force that is Black Sabbath. Ozzy Osbourne’s voice, although not the best, is one of my personal favorites and it definitely brings out the edginess and forcefulness of the album.

Sweet Leaf
This opening track is the perfect example of what I mean by “unstoppable force.” The riffs in this song are what prove Sabbath as one of the greatest bands of our time. The main riff is destructive yet catchy and it gives you that feeling that you’re listening to some kickass music. The title is easy to understand if you listen to the lyrics – it’s about marijuana. They get straight to the point and smash it in your face.

After Forever

This awesome song starts out with a synth and a very catchy riff that blasts into that old familiar Iommi sound. The vocals go right along with the timing of the riff and Tony does a great job on the solo. The bass is very nice as well as the drums. Geezer plays a very simplistic bass line, at times following Tony but it stands out and gives the song power. Bill Ward also adds to the power of this song with his great fills and awesome patterns.

Embryo
Embryo isn’t necessarily a solo or a “show-off” song. It merely adds an atmosphere to the album, like an interlude. Tony’s fingerpicked “classical-sounding” playing is dark but also makes you feel as if you were in medieval times, very cool.

Children of the Grave
Can you say metal? Good, because you just described this song. The fast chugging main riff gets your head banging the second it kicks in. The drums are awesome in this one, they sound a little peculiar, in my opinion, they have a “trash-cany” sound to them, which adds to the dark, madness of this song. This is definitely an inspirational song for the metal bands of today.

Orchid
This is another guitar interlude. It's not dark but it's more on the soft, beautiful side, which shows the versatility of the album. Very nice intonation on this one.

Lord of this World

Lord, this song is amazing! It starts out with the single guitar riff which stands as a good intro which then the main riff kicks in and lights a fire under your ass! This song is full of dynamics, just how everything is put together. The riff after the intro is a driving ongoing riff whereas the verse riff is more of a choppy delayed riff; it’s so amazing how Black Sabbath puts their songs together. Every bit counts, the bass is more of a booster to the guitar and one again used to infuse more power within it. The drums also serve a key part in this due to the different patterns and dynamics Bill Ward uses.

Into the Void

Dark, slow, distorted, horrifying and chugging is how I see this MASTERPIECE. If one song can be used to describe Black Sabbath it would be Into the Void. Frankly, I chose to review this album mainly because of this song. It adds power, versatility, better lyrics, speed control and just plain asskickin’ riffs to the arsenal of songs Sabbath has. In all, this song has nine riffs, each serving a major part. The song starts out at close to 60 bpm and then works up to about 78 and then finally to around 110. This is the definition of dynamics and speed control. I listened to this song maybe 100 times and what I mean by speed control is that whenever they change tempos, they’re dead on. Even when changing from 78 back to 60 they land it perfectly. Now I don’t know how many takes it took them to perfect this but they surely got the job done, and telling from their live performances they continue to do so. Tony Iommi defines himself as one of the most creative, influential and innovative guitar players ever JUST FROM THIS SONG! You can listen to any Sabbath song and come to that conclusion, but this song shows you everything: amazing riffs, awesome solos and tempo changes and overall atmosphere. Hey, you may not like this song as much as I do, but you have to admit the Sabs do a damn good job of proving themselves on this one.

Remember that this is all in good fun and entertainment, some people beg to differ that this is their best album. Some think Paranoid is, and it’s a great album nonetheless but in my opinion, if you’re looking for the best, here it is.
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Old 03-03-2007, 05:39 AM   #42
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Pink Floyd - The Wall (disc 1)



This is the best selling double LP ever released. The Wall is Pink Floyd's 9th studio album and features such classic songs as "Comfortably Numb" and "Another Brick in the Wall pt2". The concept for this album was sparked off at the last night of the Animals tour when Roger Waters spat in the face of a fan climbing the netting. Roger later regretted what he had done and wrote The Wall concept. The album is largely about the life of a rock star (Pink), during the live shows of this album a giant wall was built separating the audience from the band, and then knocked down at the end. It is quite possibly the most expensive stage show ever performed with none of the band's members making a profit, except Rick Wright, who was paid as a separate player for the band after being kicked out during the recording of the album. The Wall is largely autobiographical although has some elements of Syd Barrett's life also. Waters presented the album to the band along with his other album "The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking", the band then chose one as their next album.

1. In the Flesh? – 3:16

The album starts with a very quiet intro and then breaks out into a very loud distorted guitar piece, complete with bass organ and drums. The lyrics are well structured and vocals are good. This song is excellent and very hard rockish and ends with a crashing plane sound.

2. The Thin Ice – 2:27

This song is quieter (until the solo) and starts with a baby crying. David Gilmour sings at the start, strong vocals and lyrics; then Roger picks them up at the end to great effect. The main instrument in this song is the piano, then the solo comes in after Roger has finished. The solo is well composed like all Gilmour solos and fits the song very well.

3. Another Brick in the Wall (Part I) – 3:21

This has delayed guitar and bass to provide an eerie sound. I think this song is very good, great vocals and a deep meaning to the lyrics. The song is about Roger's dad dying in the war and therefore becoming a "Brick" in Roger's "Wall"

4. The Happiest Days of Our Lives
– 1:46

This song begins with a helicopter blade sound (with searchlights live) then "You, Yes You, STAND STILL LADDY". The bass comes in very strong and is either delayed or plucked several times on one note (probably delayed). The lyrics are great as are vocals, it is about school says and how teachers mistreated the pupils. A cream blends this into...

5. Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) – 4:00

This is the very well known song featuring the lines "Hey Teacher, Leave them kids alone" and "We don't need no...." A choir from Islington Green School was included in the recording of this song, according to wikipedia:
"Though the school received a lump sum payment of £1000, there was no contractual arrangement for royalties. Under 1996 UK copyright law, they became eligible, and after choir members were tracked down by royalties agent Peter Rowan of RBL Music, through the website Friends Reunited, they sued. Music industry professionals estimated that each student would be owed around £500."
The second verse and solo were Bob Ezrin's idea. If you have no idea what the song sounds like you've been living under a rock for the past 28 years Clean eectric guitar plays a dance-like tune (it's hard to desribe PF as "Dance-like" ). The solo is magical, definately some of Gilmours best work.

6. Mother – 5:32

This presents an interesting dialogue between Pink and his mother. Pink asks questions such as "Should I trust the government?" and "Should I buils a wall?"...Dave sing tha part of the mother and one of the most powerful verses in the album "Oooh Babe, of course mum'll help build the wall" (sung "of course momma's gonna help build the wall"). this then brings in the solo, also one of Dave's best IMO...it is simple yet very effective. Another verse and the song ends with "Mother did it need to be so high", highlighting Pink's regret.

7. Goodbye Blue Sky – 2:45

A lovely accoustic intro is played here, followed by some heavy bass to provide a sense of fear along with the comforting accoustic. This is a great song reflecting how the post war dream came to an end / never began. People couldn't move on and forget.

8. Empty Spaces – 2:10

Live and in the movie, this is lengthened to "What Shall We Do Now?"; although they are very similar, Empty Spaces has a flawless transition into "Young Lust" (I'm sure it can be acheived with WSWDN though). It begins with an eerie sounding guitar and develops into a heavy, slow song. There is a backwards message in this song which says "Congratulations you have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the Funny Farm, Chalfont". The song blends into...

9. Young Lust – 3:25 (Gilmour, Waters)

This song has a wonderfully simple, but effective riff. The lyrics are sound and Dave's vocals are great. As the name suggests this song is much about lust and such...A very nice song and has a great solo in the middle. It ends with a phone call, Pink calling his wife but a man is answering and hanging up.

10. One of My Turns – 3:35

This song starts off very quiet, with some conversation then Roger sings. Lyrically and vocally strong this song shows Pink's madness. In just one moment he goes from being peaceful to being violent. This song also features a very nice solo and a great turn of vocals.

11. Don't Leave Me Now – 4:16

This is Pink pleading with the girl he's just scared off by smashing things to come back. It is much more quiet and features piano, with some delayed guitar in the background. It does feature a very droning solo, but not in a boring way.

12. Another Brick in the Wall (Part III) – 1:14

This is Pink trying to break free. It features guitar on overdrive, some delayed bass and a steady drum beat. This son is very nice and usually followed by "The Last Few BRicks" live to allow time for the wall to be completed, this was a instrumental of the last section summarised.

13. Goodbye Cruel World – 0:48

A very quiet song, this finishes Pink's wall. It is a final farewell from Pink, and he is gone. At the very end of this song live, the wall was completed and the intermission took place.
_______________________
*All writing Credits Roger Waters, except where indicated
**I will rate the album in the next part
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Last edited by stonegolem13 : 03-12-2007 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 03-03-2007, 06:53 AM   #43
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Pink Floyd - The Wall (disc 2)



Credits:
Roger Waters — vocals, bass guitar, co-producer, synthesiser, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, sleeve design
David Gilmour — guitars, vocals, co-producer, sequencer; synthesiser, clavinet, percussion
Richard Wright — piano, organ, synthesiser, clavinet, bass pedals
Nick Mason — drums, percussion
(Put here so I'd have enough room on the other one)

1. Hey You – 4:40

This song has a very nice accoustic bit with outstanding lyrics and vocals. Hey You appears to be the start of Pink's want to get out of the wall. The song features a very heavy solo, (bass playing the main rythm) and lead going off into the main solo. this then goes back into the accoustic bit, now with a sound of flies buzzing or something.

2. Is There Anybody Out There? – 2:44

This starts very eerie with David Gilmour plugging his wah pedal backwards to re-create the squeals during Echoes. This is then replaced by a simple accoustic bit. It is a very melancholic song, dealing with Pink's isolation.

3. Nobody Home – 3:26

Piano plays a large part in this song, it is a great song. It begins with some clips off old TV shows and some shouting. The piano comes in, and so does Roger on vocals. Lyrically this song is very strong, but to quote Gilmour "It appears now to be a catalogue of people Roger blames for his own failings in life, a list of 'you ****ed me up this way, you ****ed me up that way'."

4. Vera – 1:35

I think this song is a bit too slow and pointless for the album, but reminiscent of later Roger's work such as The Final Cut. Although it does include some nice accoustic and bass.

5. Bring The Boys Back home – 1:32

This song is loud and features a choir and brass band, clearly about bringing the men back from the war. This ends with some assorted clips and the sentance "Is there anybody out there?"...this is then answered in...

6. Comfortably Numb – 6:24 (Gilmour, Waters)

...with the line "Hello/Is there anybody in there?". Comfortably Numb is a masterpiece and would be on live Floyd shows from that day onwards as well as solo shows. There are two solos in this song, and the second one fades out leaving you hungry for more. Lyrically and vocally this song is great, except live during the AMLoR and TDB tours when about four sang Roger's bit and managed to wreck it . Definately a...no the highlight of the album

7. The Show Must Go On – 2:36

Comparibly softy compared to CN, TSMGO features some acoustic, piano and light percussion. I like this song a lot and always find myself singing along to Gilmour's outstanding vocals.

8. In The Flesh – 4:13

Like "In the Flesh?"...well exactly the same...almost. It features the same intro (without the soft bit) and slightly different lyrics. This shows that you don't always get what you expect. If you listened to the album for the first time you would think it is the same song as before, but it isn't. This raises some silly segrefgations between people such as colour, race or religion.

9. Run Like Hell – 4:19 (Gilmour, Waters)

Another song which would go on to become part of Floyd concerts from now on, Run Like Hell features a man-hunt as such. This song also features some clean delayed guitar and a steady drum rythm. It is a great song, lyrically excellent and vocally good. Roger sings all lyrics however live he was unable to sing all the lyrics in time so David helped.

10. Waiting for the Worms – 4:04

This is another good song, although softer than the previous ones. This has some great lyrics and vocals are brilliant. A strong bass line and constant drum rythm keep this song going. Then it changes and is similar to WWII nazi occupation "Turn on the showers and fire the ovens"...I love the heavy bass riff throughout the wall and the end of this song features it the most. It builds up until...

11. Stop – 0:30

Pink gets fed up and just wants to get on with it. This is a slow song sung by Waters with a nice piano piece. The lyrics lead into...

12. The Trial – 5:13 (Waters, Ezrin)

Begins with the sound of a judge entering a courtroom. In the movie the judge is portrayed as a giant ass (thank you Storm Thorgeson ). The judge calls for witnesses such as the teacher, Pink's wife and Pink's mother. In the movie she transforms into the wall. Long story short, the judge decides to "tear down the wall". Musically this is a very good song with choir and brass band. As the judge speaks the bass riff comes in again, it is very good lyrically and vocally (about 5 people played by just two). The song ends to the sound of the wall being torn down, "crash"

13. Outside the Wall – 1:41

This song is the same as the start as the beginning of "In the Flesh?", very quiet and with a nice tune played. Lyrically it is good, and vocally too, but it is quite dull.

I give this album a 9.5/10...excellent material to be heard by everybody, if you don't already have it, get it now!
___________________
*All writing Credits Roger Waters, except where indicated
**The album was originally written to be a triple-LP album, although Waters cut it down and left material out for the band's next release, The Final Cut.
*** A line from The Final Cut goes: "Dial the combination/Open the priest-hole/And if I'm in, I'll tell you what's behind the wall". A gunshot is played over "behind the wall" in the final version of the song, to sever its connection to the album The Wall. The complete lyrics are still written in the inside sleeve of the album. These lyrics can be heard sung (minus the shotgun) on the bootleg CD with the demos of The Final Cut.
**** At the end of the album Roger says "Isn't this where..." and at the start he says "...we came in?". This completed sentance "Isn't this where we came in?", shows how repetitive the concept is, everyone builds walls to protect themselves
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:05 AM   #44
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Pink Floyd - The Final Cut



"A requiem for the post war dream by Roger Waters performed by Pink Floyd"
That's what it says on the back, that's what it is. All the songs written by Roger, with very few Gilmour appearances at all on the whole album. This album was originally going to be disc 3 of The Wall but was left out. This is the last PF album to feature Roger, and was never performed live by the band. It is largely about Roger's father who died in WWII.
Roger Waters - lead vocals on all songs, bass guitar, synthesizer, tape effects, acoustic guitar
David Gilmour - guitars, lead vocals on "Not Now John", bass guitar
Nick Mason - drums, percussion, holophonic sound recordings

1. The Post War Dream - 3:00

Thhis begins very quietly with some swoosh sounds and some TV chatter fading into some organ. Then the lyrics begin. Lyrically the whole album is great, vocally you can hear Roger's tension throughout. This song is good though. Although very quiet, it picks up at the end before fading back down into...

2. Your Possible Pasts - 4:26

This is a great song lyrically again, and I think is good overall. The organ in the background is very good (organ is very prominent on this album). It also has some harder rock bits during the refrain. The vocals aren't really that good, but the lyrics make up for it. This song is one of the few that feature a solo.

3. One of the Few - 1:11

This features some nice acoustic guitar, but highly depressive. This is clearly very close to the Wall, as it features lyrics about teaching (ref. ABITW pt2). It is very short and not the best song on the album to say the least.

4. When the Tigers Broke Free - 3:16

This song was included as a bonus track, and is featured in The Wall movie. It has a choir in it and is clearly about Roger's father who was in the Royal Fusiliers. It is very sad, however it doesn't feature the tense vocals...so vocals are better in this song.

5. The Hero's Return - 2:43

This is a nice song, featuring a sound similar to ABITW pt 1. Lots of synthesizer here, the song is quite strong. This is one of the better songs on the album, lyrically anyway. At the end it has some acoustic guitar chords, rather nice.

6. The Gunners Dream - 5:18

I find this song touching lyrically. It has some great lyrics, and vocally it is good too. It features piano which is very good, it gradually raises in volume and is joined by string instruments. It is about a funeral, possibly about the parents of a boy who died in the war. A nice saxophone interval and then back into the lyrics which now describe an ideal world from Roger's perspective. The last part shows how Roger's life has been dominated by his father's death, and how he feels we should remember him.

7. Paranoid Eyes - 3:41

This song has a very nice piano rythm in it. It is very slow and soft compared to other songs on the album. Lyrically sound and vocally good, it is a quite nice song, though not one of the best.

8. Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert - 1:17

This song is quite nice, it features some excellent orchestra. It has similar appeal to that of Seamus in that it's a short song which is strange but good. It is a nice way to lead into...

9. The Fletcher Memorial Home - 4:12

The song is named after Roger's father (Fletcher). the vocals are very droning but it suits the song. Strings are used very effectively here. Lyrically a great song, this was featured on Echoes: The best of Pink Floyd, I think the only one from this album to do so. It features a very nice solo, one of Gilmours best I think.

10. Southampton Dock - 2:10

This song is nice. It features some good acoustic guitar. It is very good lyrically and the vocals aren't bad either so it is a nice song. It then picks up with piano and a different rythm. The last line leads us onto...

11. The Final Cut - 4:45

This or "Not Now John" is my favourite song off this album. It is wonderful lyrically, featuring this:
"If you negotiate the mine fields in the drive, and beat the dogs and cheat the cold electronic eyes, and if you make it past the shotgns in the hall"
Which I think is very good. This is another song to feature a solo, thank goodnesss, there defianately isn't enough of them in this album. This contains a connection to The Wall. It says "If I'm in I'll tell you what's behind the wall" except "what's behind the wall" is covered by a gunshot and shouting. It vocally contains quite a similar tone to that of Pink in The Wall.

12. Not Now John - 4:56

"F*ck all that we've gotta get on with these"...the only song to feature vocals by David Gilmour. I think he does really well, the song is much more guitar oriented than others on the album, which is why I like it so much. It does feature some vocals by Roger, but these are better than others. It features backing vocalists and an excellent guitar solo. This was released as a single but with the swear words covered by a louder recording which says "Stuff all that" instead. It sounds really funny, click on the link to the video at the bottom to see/hear it.

13. Two Suns in the Sunset - 5:23

Contrastingly quiet compared to the previous song, and including acoustic guitar reminiscent of that on other song on the album. It is a nice way to end the album, with a deep meaning. One sun is the sun, the other sun is a nuclear explosion...the song deals with the possibility of a nuclear war. It has a nice saxophone piece in it at the end. It has a louder, heavier part which is very good. As I said a very good song with which to end the album.
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I give this album an 8/10...not up to usual PF standards but great for its lyrical content (Needs more guitar!!!)
*-The Remastered version is the one which I have, it includes "When the Tigers Broke Free"
Wikipedia Article
Video <---four songs in a video on the official site, click "The Final Cut (a short film)" to begin
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Old 03-25-2007, 05:32 AM   #45
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Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse of Reason



It should be noted that at this point in PFs illustrious career, they were officially a 2 man band. No Roger, No Rick. The album was released in 1987, their first album not to feature Roger Waters. After Roger Waters had declared Pink Floyd ended in 1985, David Gilmour attempted to continue the band together with Nick Mason. A bitter dispute with Waters ensued, but Gilmour and Mason eventually settled out of court for the legal right to continue using the name Pink Floyd. It can be considered a Gilmour solo album just like The Final Cut can be considered a Waters solo album. It has been rumoured that some of the songs on A Momentary Lapse of Reason were David Gilmour's rejected contributions to The Final Cut. The album cover features a total of 700 hospital beds

CREDITS:
David Gilmour - Vocals, guitars, keyboards, sequencers
Nick Mason – Backing Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Drum Machine, Sound Effects
with
Richard Wright - Keyboards, additional backing vocals

1. Signs of Life - 4:24 (Gilmour, Ezrin)

The song begins quietly. It builds up with the sounds of water splashing, then the organ sound comes in. It is quite relaxing. Some talking in the background and the music begins in earnest. The organ has a nice tune on it and some string instruments come in (I think). The guitars start to build up some real atmosphere. It is a quite eerie song, but in a nice way.

2. Learning to Fly - 4:53 (Gilmour, Moore, Ezrin, Carin)

Guitars contribute to the main rythm to this song. With a nice drum beat too, some piano in this song also. Lyrically I like this song, and vocally (as with most David Gilmour songs) very good. It seems to be about David and Nick overcoming their fear of flying and actually learning to fly. I think this song is well composed and deserves a good deal of credit. There is a short interval in which Mason talks to an air traffic control tower in his private aircraft. This song incidentally holds the distinction of being the first song to be released worldwide as a CD-only single. It ends with a nice guitar bit. A very good song.

3. The Dogs of War - 6:05

This song is much better live and can be heard on the Delicate Sound of Thunder live CD. It does have a nice rythm and I think it is lyrically and vocally strong. David Gilmour is no Roger Waters when it comes to writing lyrics but he's good all the same. It does include a nice solo which includes more prominent instruments as the song was until this point mainly vocals. This is a good song, not the worst on the album.

4. One Slip - 5:10

I'm quite possibly the only person on UG not to consider this song as Pink Floyd rying to do techno...it is much more, emm, dancy than some songs but I think that lyrically it's very strong and i like the vocals in it. Rythmically it is good, but the drums are much too prominent and dancy...I'll agree with the rest of you people at that . I like the chorus a lot too. I think it's a nice song so ha

5. On the Turning Away - 5:42

This song is the best on the album. Live it comes into it's own and I'd rank it close to Comfortably Numb! It starts quietly with just David singing. The drums kick in and so does the organ and bass along with some acoustic. Lyrically and vocally I think this song is brilliant, the best on the album. It features two solos (like Comfortably Numb) a short one in the middle and a longer one at the end. I find myself singing along and the last solo is one of Gilmour's best. Overall a great song which is even better live.

6. Yet Another Movie/Round and Around - 7:28

this is really two songs, one song and an instrumental. Yet Another Movie begins the second side of the LP (if you have it). it begins with a"Spherical Sound" credited to Tom Jones, Ken Caillats and Sarah Bruce. The main song begins once this has finished. A nice drum rythm and guitar. Lyrically I feel this song is good but perhaps lacking slightly when it comes to vocals. A nice solo near the start and later an organ bit with I think someone blowing into some bottles with different levels of water in them . Another short solo, these solos are quite nice, well composed. This blends into Round and Around (which is a nice instrumental) via a guitar bit. It is basic but quite a nice way of introducing the next song.

7. A New Machine (pt1) - 1:46

I don't really like either of these parts, it seems to be David saying "look, I've played in this band for a good 19 years now so ". I don't like the effect on the vocals but I suppose without it the song would just be even stranger sounding. This blends into . . .

8. Terminal Frost - 6:17

. . . one of the best instrumnetals on the album....no the best instrumnetal. I really like this song, although I do hate the songs either side of it. It has some very nice guitar and piano. Along with the drum rythm this song is very good. At the start it is rather repetitive, but in a good way, and later it changes to a different tune. It has been rumored that id you play these threee songs in alignment with SOYCD pts1-5 they are very similar....(I don't think so). Thhis is a very nice song though, with a great saxophone piece. Pink Floyd trying to get back to the standard of Dark Side of the Moon...and coming quite close too

9. A New Machine (pt2) - 0:38

Again the same as the other part, slightly altered lyrics show that David intends to be the lead man of PF til the end. As I've said before, I don't like this song.

10. Sorrow - 8:46

This song is very heavy on the overdrive. A great guitar riff with the thingy where you tap the string with your nail to make it rise in pitch so it squeals (at least it does when played live). We call them pig squeals over here but maybe you Americans have some different name for it. I like this song, it is good lyrically and vocally, and has some outstanding music. This song and possibly many other on the album features a drum machine because according to David Gilmour:-
"On the Momentary Lapse of Reason album, Nick's belief in himself was pretty well gone...I think over the years he [Roger Waters] managed to convince Rick completely that he was useless and more or less convinced Nick of the same thing."
I like this song a lot, and consider it to be second best on the album.
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I give this album 8.5/10....it could do with some more input from other members but overall it's as good as The Final Cut
Wikipedia article
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Old 04-11-2007, 04:59 PM   #46
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Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon



The Dark Side of the Moon
Released March 24, 1973
Harvest/Capitol

Personnel:
David Gilmour — Vocals, Guitar, VCS 3 Synthesizer, Keyboards
Roger Waters — Bass Guitar, Vocals, VCS 3 Synthesizer, Tape Effects
Richard Wright — Keyboards, Vocals, VCS 3 Synthesizer
Nick Mason — Drums, Percussion, Tape Effects

with

Lesley Duncan — Vocals (background)
Doris Troy — Vocals (background)
Barry St. John — Vocals (background)
Liza Strike — Vocals (background)
Clare Torry — Vocals (on "The Great Gig in the Sky")
Dick Parry — Saxophone

Info:
On January 20th, 1972, Pink Floyd debuted a project that went under the working title of "Eclipse: A Piece for Assorted Lunatics." During this particular performance, the backing tracks to a new song called "Money" broke down, so the rest of the piece was abandoned. However, the Floyd continued to play it's new experimental suite throughout 1972, until they went into the studio to record their next album. The album, later re-titled "The Dark Side of the Moon," would become one of the most popular and successful albums of all time. Its feature innovative techniques used in recording instruments and sound effects, which would prove to be major contributors in the albums' phenomenal overall sound. To add to the atmosphere, Dark Side has a variety of sounds, ranging from maniacal laughter to chiming clocks and cash registers. According to Billboard.com, this monumental album has spent an astounding 1,500+ weeks on the Billboard 200 and Top Pop Catalog Album Charts. The album spent 724 weeks on The Billboard 200, including 591 consecutive weeks from 1976 to 1988.

Tracklisting:
1. Speak to Me
2. Breathe
3. On the Run
4. Time (Breathe Reprise)
5. The Great Gig in the Sky
6. Money
7. Us and Them
8. Any Colour You Like
9. Brain Damage
10. Eclipse

Speak to Me
"I've been mad for fucking years, absolutely years, been over the edge for yonks"

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the
most of us are...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."


The opening track serves as a precursor as to what's to come on this album. It opens with a simple heartbeat, created using Nick Mason's bass drum, and some spoken words, mentioned above. Sound effects taken from the rest of the album are mashed together, including clocks from Time, laughter from Brain Damage, cash registers from Money, helicopters from On the Run, and a final, culminating scream from The Great Gig in the Sky...

Breathe
"Breathe, breathe in the air"

We are introduced into The Dark Side of the Moon with a slow paced, laid back song. It features double tracked vocals and slide guitar, as well as a prominent bassline that adds greatly to the feel of the song. And I quote Roger Waters- "It's about trying to be true to one's path."

On the Run
"Live for today, gone tomorrow"

On the Run is a simple, yet complex instrumental. It is featured around a single synthesizer sequence, which is sped up to a high speed, to create the effect of traveling, and being always "on the run." It features various sound effects, including voices, laughter, and a large explosion, which gives way to the next track, Time. In the 1972 live performances, before the album's release, the song was originally called the Travel Section, and was more of an instrumental jam session.

Time
"Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way"


The explosion featured in the final moments of On the Run leads to the loud simultaneous chiming of various clocks and alarms. Alan Parsons recorded the clocks previously for a quadraphonic sound demonstration, recording each one separately. After the clocks subside, the band begins a long, drawn out intro featuring playful keyboards played over drawn out bass notes, as well as Nick Mason on his roto-toms. The way I look at it, the song is about how time passes quickly, and before you realize it, your life has passed you by. David Gilmour is all over this track, providing the vocals to the verses (with Rick Wright creating a change of pace in singing the choruses) and a long guitar solo, considered by many to be one of his best. After his solo and the final verse and chorus, Breathe Reprise, an extension of the opening song on the album, brings the song to a close.

The Great Gig in the Sky
"And I am not afraid of dying. Any time will do; I don't mind. Why should I be frightened of dying? There's no reason for it—you've gotta go sometime."

This is the only song that somewhat stands alone on Dark Side. It starts with some slow piano that is later joined by delayed lap steel guitars. The drums come in and we are introduced to the controlled shrieking of Clare Torry. This song was originally an instrumental titled "The Mortality Sequence." The Floyd had the song basically finished, yet they didn't know exactly what they should do with it, so they brought in Torry, who did a complete vocal improvisation over it. Torry initially apologized to the band, thinking that her vocals wouldn't be included on the final track, however the band was amazed by her performance, so they became to centerpiece of Great Gig. The song, although it has no lyrics, is about death, as shown in both it's current and previous title.

Money
"grab that cash with both hands and make a stash"

Money, one of Floyd's most famous songs starts off with the ever famous cash-register sound effects. It features a simple, yet effective and memorable bassline, and more of a gritty vocal delivery from Gilmour than we are used to. Dick Parry contributes in a huge way with a great sax solo in the song's abnormal time signature, which has been said to be 7/8, 7/4 and even 21/8 (by wikipedia), before giving way to a David Gilmour guitar solo. The song breaks down into a "dry" section before building up again to another screaming Gilmour solo. After the final verse and chorus, Gilmour does a call and response with his guitar and voice as the song fades into Us and Them.

Us and Them
"for want of the price of tea and a slice
the old man died"


Originally written for the Soundtrack to the Film "Zabriskie Point," The Violent Sequence was later reworked to form Us and Them. Dick Parry really adds a lot to this song, with two lengthy sax solos that really compliment the music's laid back feel quite well. I quote Roger Waters directly- "The first verse is about going to war, how in the front line we don't get much chance to communicate with one another, because someone else has decided that we shouldn't...The second verse is about civil liberties, racism and colour prejudice. The last verse is about passing a tramp in the street and not helping."

Any Colour You Like

Us and Them segues directly into the instrumental titled Any Colour You Like. The title was taken from technician Chris Adamson's phrase "You can have it any colour you like." It features a heavy use of synthesizers with a long tape echo, as well as a tremolo guitar which is accompanied by David Gilmour's scat vocals. Any Colour You Like, as Waters puts it, is a "grey-area" regarding the songs credits, being that it was very close to a group collaboration. Any Colour segues seamlessly into Brain Damage.

Brain Damage
"and if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon"


Brain Damage is the first time we hear Roger Waters' voice on Dark Side of the Moon. Another song that features prominent keyboards, Brain Damage also features a simple guitar riff written by Waters. It was referred to as "The Lunatic Song" during recording and according to Waters, "The lunatic was Syd, really. He was obviously in my mind." Supposedly, it was originally written during the Meddle days under the title (and it is still mistakenly called this to this day) The Dark Side of the Moon. The choruses feature some fantastic backing vocals from Lesley Duncan, Doris Troy, Barry St. John, and Liza Strike. After the second and final chorus, an instrumental outro gives way to a final, climactic segue into the last song on the album: Eclipse.

Eclipse
"and everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon..."


If there ever was such a thing, this song is truly a perfect ending to a perfect album. Cymbal crashes and swirling keyboards give way to Waters' vocals, which are later joined by Wright, Gilmour, and the aforementioned backup vocalists to bring this artistic masterpiece to a close. We are left with the familiar heartbeat first heard at the very beginning in Speak to Me, and Jerry Driscoll's spoken words- "There is no dark side of the moon really- matter of fact, it's all dark." About the meaning of Eclipse, Roger Waters says- "The lyric points back to what I was attempting to say at the beginning...There you are, that's all there is to it. What you experience is what it is."

Final Thoughts:
Dark Side of the Moon is truly a masterpiece. The production, the music, the lyrics...it is all phenomenal. This remains one of my favorite albums, and I highly recommend it to any music fan. And I leave you with one final thought...

"There is no dark side of the moon really- matter of fact, it's all dark."



Sources:
wikipedia
my knowledge
pinkfloyd-co.com
billboard.com
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:48 PM   #47
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Yes - Relayer



Relayer
Released December 13, 1974
Atlantic Records

Personnel:
Jon Anderson - vocals
Chris Squire - bass and vocals
Steve Howe - guitar and vocals
Patrick Moraz - keyboards
Alan White - drums

Info:
The year was 1974, and Yes was fresh off the release of their Tales From Topographic Oceans album, which received highly varied critical acclaim. Yes was without a keyboardist, because of Rick Wakeman's departure to resume a solo career after the release of Tales, and ended up settling on Patrick Moraz as a replacement, while they were in the process or recording their 7th studio album, titled Relayer. The album was later released in December of 1974, and featured three songs, yet the total running time was a little over 40 minutes. Though only three songs, Relayer features some of Yes' finest moments. It contains two of my favorite Yessongs, (Gates of Delirium and Sound Chaser) and remains what is considered by many serious Yesfans to be an underrated album. The musicianship throughout the album is fantastic, which is to be expected, and the lyrics are typical of Jon Anderson, however they do make a little more sense then some of his other lyrics. Now, on to the review...

The Gates of Delirium
Relayer starts off with Yes' longest studio recorded song (excluding the reissued Revealing Science Of God), the 21 minute and 54 second masterpiece titled The Gates of Delirium. This song can be separated into three distinct parts, and is loosely based on Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. In my opinion, this is one of Yes' best songs, it is aggressive, entertaining, and musically impressive. It starts with a spacey atmosphere, accentuated by Steve Howe's improvisation and new Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz's melodies. The lengthy instrumental introduction is followed by a few nice acoustic guitar chords which then lead us into the first verse. Small instrumental breaks separate the different verses throughout and then starting around the 5 minute mark, the song strays away shortly, as we are treated to some interesting repeated Steve Howe riffs. The song takes another slight change of pace as vocals return, and the song continues to build towards it's second part. The instrumental parts grow a little more frantic, and around the 8 minute mark, the second part of the song begins, which supposedly represents a battle. Here Howe and Moraz take turns soloing while Chris Squire and Alan White hold down an impressive, solid rhythm section. At 10:21, Gates does a complete 180 and breaks down into a hectic bass driven jam. The chaos concludes with a huge climax at around 12:50, where Moraz takes the reigns, followed by Steve Howe on lap steel. The music dies down at around 15 minutes into the song, where the third part- Soon -begins, which represents the aftermath of the battle. Howe begins with distant lap steel melodies, which are joined by vocals not long after. This section finishes the song on a softer note, as it fades out, giving way to more musical insanity, in a little piece called "Sound Chaser"

Sound Chaser
Next we have one of my absolute favorite Yessongs. The only way I describe Sound Chaser is what I mentioned before- musical insanity. It starts with frantic keyboard riffs backed by Alan White's percussion, and later echoed by Chris Squire on bass. The drums add a lot to this chaotic feel in the intro, with odd rhythms and timing. The song is fast paced and is driven by a continuous main riff, played by both Steve Howe and Chris Squire. Howe plays some crazy lead fills during the verse, and around the 2:15 mark, the song breaks down into an instrumental section driven again by Howe and Squire. This leads to a cadenza where we are treated to one of my favorite Steve Howe solos at 3 minutes into the song. As the solo comes to a close, Howe makes use of volume swells, echoed by the bass guitar, which introduce more vocals and then the same frantic riffs that opened the song. This time however, Howe plays the riff on a lap steel guitar while Moraz freely improvises over the top. At 7:38, everything comes to a halt as overdubbed vocals shout the familiar main riff to the song, and seconds later, Moraz comes in with a screaming synthesizer solo. Moraz's solo is followed again by the main riff to the song, and with a little reprise of the vocal shouting, the song ends on one final riff.

To Be Over
To Be Over acts, atleast in my mind, as a sort of cool down run, following the two intense pieces of music which preceded it. It's intro features simple melodies played by various instruments, which include a sitar. At around 3:10 into the song, it features an instrumental break, where Howe plays what seems like country-inspired lap steel guitar. Howe brings back the electric with a more Howe-esque solo at around 3:50, which extends into a lengthy instrumental section, eventually joined by vocals, which continue for about a minute. At 6:40, Patrick Moraz plays a melodic keyboard solo, accompanied loosely by Howe's guitar. More vocals follow and the song's outro continues on with and fades out to the same riff that opened the song. In my opinion, this song doesn't compare to the two before it, but regardless, it is still a good piece of music.

Final Thoughts
Man was that review a pain to do. The music has so many radically different parts thrown together in three songs, and it is all so great. Definately one of my favorite Yesalbums, highly recommended to any Yesfan.
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Old 04-28-2007, 04:49 AM   #48
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A Saucerful of Secrets - Pink Floyd



I that ain't a trippy cover I don't know what is
OK, what to say about ASOS...this is the only non-compilation album to feature a 5 man Floyd. The band originally intended for Syd to carry on writing for them whilst Dave played live etc...unfortunately, Syd's condition worsened and so Dave became the lead guitarist. ASOS features Syd's last song with PF "Jugband Blues" and Roger's first song about the war and his father. Another Barrett song "Vegetable Man" was to be included in this album but the band considered that it wasn't good enough and so it was left out, and released as the B side of "Scream Thy Last Scream".

CREDITS:
Roger Waters – bass guitar, lead vocals
David Gilmour – lead guitar, lead vocals
Rick Wright – piano, organ, mellotron, vibraphone, lead vocals
Nick Mason – drums, percussion, vocals
Syd Barrett – rhythm guitar, lead guitar, lead vocals

1. Let There Be More Light – 5:38 (Waters)

This song has a very upbeat beginning, a simple riff played quite fast with organ and some cymbal (I'm not a drummer, i don't know which). This is then merged into the main riff which is slower. Vocals and lyrics are quite good on this song and overall it is a nice intro to the album. It ends with a nice guitar solo.

2. Remember a Day – 4:33 (Wright)

I'm not overly fond of the vocals on this song but lyrically it is good. It is a very relaxing song. It does have a nice sound musically as well, though in places can be a bit repetitive.

3. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun – 5:28 (Waters)

This is so different from other things the Floyd were doing at this time but it's a great song. A heavily prominent bass line is played almost constantly, shifting the pitch a few times. Lyrically this is an excellent song, and vocally Roger does a great job. Overall a nice song, one of the better ones on the album.

4. Corporal Clegg – 4:13 (Waters)

I like this song a lot. Perhaps I'm the only one who thinks so, but this song has a nice sound to it. Lyrically i think it is excellent, especially when coupled with the vocals which definately add something. For me this is the best song on the album, with a nice rythm. It features some kazoo playing (aka Clegghorn).

5. A Saucerful of Secrets – 11:57 (Waters, Wright, Gilmour, Mason)

The title track is somewhat disappointing in the studio, however when played live it comes to life and becomes excellent. The live version is for another review, but the studio version starts off quite similar. Some slide guitar from Gilmour with crashing cymbals. Later this is replaced with some gong from Waters as well as a nice drum pattern. Crazy piano by Rick is then replaced by a nice organ tune. They play that tune live as well, and it is very nice, relaxing. At the end there is a choir (replaced by some of Dave's singing live) which is quite nice.

6. See-Saw – 4:36 (Wright)

This is an all right song, but Rick was never the best at songwriting IMO. Lyrically it is a strong song, but the vocals leave a bit to be desired. the overall tune isn't the best either.

7. Jugband Blues – 3:00 (Barrett)

Syd's last song for the Floyd . Lyrically it is some of Syd's genius. Excellent vocals also contibute to a great song. The instruments are used well but there is very little of them, it's mostly just Syd singing. This song has some kazoo in it though and ends in a simple guitar pattern with Syd's singing. A sad way to end the album, but a nice way too.
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I give this album 7.5/10....worth getting with many great songs, though not as great as other PF material
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:49 PM   #49
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Rush- Snakes & Arrows



Released May 1st 2007, Snakes & Arrows is Rush’s eighteenth full length studio album and their first studio album in nearly five years, not counting 2004’s Feedback EP. The album is produced by former Foo Fighters producer, Nick Raskulinecz along with the members of the band themselves.

The production on Snakes & Arrows is significantly better than the rather poor production of Vapor Trails. The music itself is heavy rock with progressive elements. The album shows significant similarities to the band’s sound on both Feedback and early Rush records such as 2112 and Hemispheres. The record contains three instrumentals, the first new instrumentals since Test for Echo. The origin of the title, Peart says, comes from the lyrics for “Armor and Sword.” After Googling “Snakes and Arrows”, Peart discovered Leela, The Game of Knowledge. Leela was an old Hindu board game which was the precursor to the common children’s game, Snakes and Ladders. Ironically, the subtitle of this game was The Game of Snakes and Arrows. After discovering this, Peart and the other two band members agreed that this should be the final title of the album. The band also took the cover for that board game and used it as the cover for their album. Though I like the title, I do not particularly prefer the cover opposed to the other artwork made for the album.

Band: Geddy Lee (Bass Guitar, bass pedals, mellotron, keyboards, vocals)
Alex Lifeson (Electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, mandola, bouzouki)
Neil Peart (Percussion)

All song written by Lee, Lifeson, Peart

Track List:

1. Far Cry
Far Cry is the first single from Snakes & Arrows, charting at 22nd on the mainstream rock charts. It has been streaming on Rush’s website since March 12th. The song is extremely heavy from the start with repeated riffs showing prominence of Geddy’s bass. The song is well structured with a catchy chorus and several swift changes from riff to riff. The lyrics are damn good as well. This song does suffer from a lack of an Alex solo and the music is a tad repetitive. But overall, good start to the record and a nice choice for the first single.

2. Armor and Sword
Kicking off with Peart’s pulsing drums, the song quickly dissolves into simply an acoustic guitar and Geddy’s vocals. After the verse, the acoustic disappears and a heavy electric riff comes in for the chorus. This pattern continues throughout the song, with a synthesizer also aiding in places. Peart’s lyrics are particularly strong on this track. Lifeson has some small solo parts but they are buried too far in the mix in my opinion.

3. Workin’ Them Angels
Very similar to Moving Pictures era Rush in my opinion. The guitar clearly is prominent on this track with playing acoustics, electrics, and a mandolin. The lyrics on this track refer to Peart’s tendency to live on the edge. Once again, no guitar solo, but the song is way too strong to count that as a fault.

4. The Larger Bowl
This song is primarily acoustic with Geddy pleading over Lifeson during the verses and even the chorus. Peart’s drumming is particularly noticeable on this track, probably because of the acoustic guitars dominating instead of the electrics. Lifeson has an awesome solo on this track. Not too space-age sounding and not too long. The solo is perfect in length with perfect tone, bravo Alex.

5. Spindrift
This song starts out with an organ and Geddy’s voice is straight from 2112. Neil’s lyrics are a tad repetitive here but I like the general theme. Another Lifeson dominated track, acoustics and electric are both present on this track, with the electric being more dominant. Overall, this is a nice little tune.

6. The Main Monkey Business
Now to the first instrumental and it is rather long, clocking in at roughly six minutes and three seconds. This song flies out of the gate in a rather YYZ-ish manner. Geddy’s voice is heard here. But he sings tones rather than actual words, so the song still qualifies as an instrumental. Lifeson and Peart clash here for dominance as Peart pounds along and Lifeson delivers fierce riffs. Lifeson has a superb solo about half way through the track. His tone is much better here than it was on Feedback and I’m glad. Probably my favorite song on the album, an example of what a Rush track should sound like.

7. The Way the Wind Blows
This song starts off rather softly with Peart clacking his drums in a muted, military-like fashion. Then, Lifeson kicks in with some bluesy licks that are clearly the bastard sons of his licks on the self-titled album. Geddy comes in with the verse and the song descends into an acoustic breakdown with Geddy bashing Bush over acoustics. It seems as if every artist has at least one song bashing the USA’s current President and Rush is no exception. Alex continues the bluesy licks during his solo section; he then drops further back into the mix and continues the solo in signature Lifeson tone. Lifeson’s work on this song is easily my favorite work of his on the album. The blending of the acoustics, the electrics, and the meshing of tones are perfect on this song.

8. Hope
The second instrumental of the album, there is not much to say about this track. It is Lifeson on an acoustic switching from chord to chord and delivering some Middle Eastern licks. It is a nice song, but it is essentially filler.

9. Faithless
Faithless kicks off with a riff that repeats too often in my opinion. The song descends into an acoustic chorus with some cool organ fills. The lyrics are pretty good too, melancholy with obvious references to the loss of Peart’s wife and daughter. Lifeson’s solo on this track is buried in distortion but it reminds me a lot of his Limelight solo, starting off slowly, then speeding up to a fast run. Faithless is one of the weakest tracks on the album, in my opinion, but not bad by any stretch.

10. Bravest Face
The song starts off acoustically with Geddy singing over Lifeson’s nifty riffing. The electrics then come in and Geddy gets epic during the chorus. The pattern repeats itself. The lyrics here are not my favorite ever but they are sufficient. Lifeson delivers some blues licks here again, this time hidden behind Geddy’s singing.

11. Good News First
Lee’s voice is clearly sung through distortion on this track, the song itself recalls Vapor Trails. Peart has some nice fills on this track and his lyrics are strong as well. Lifeson plays both electrics and acoustics here and his solo section is sufficient for the song. The song doesn’t stand out particularly but its still a good track.

12. Malignant Narcissism
The third and final instrumental comes out of the gate fast and hard. With Lifeson shredding away, Peart slapping the skins behind him, and Geddy churning out the bottom. About halfway through, the song disintegrates into feedback, which feels very natural. Each band member then gets a small solo section and this is the only time Geddy gets to show off his bass skills with any type of solo. A little two minute burst that I can’t wait to hear live.

13. We Hold On
Even as this song is starting, I can tell that it is going to be a powerhouse. It feels like old Rush circa mid-Seventies. The band is focused and tight on this song, with great lyrics and excellent musicianship. Lifeson’s solo part is repetitive but it fits the song well. Geddy’s final wail, Peart’s drumming, and Lifeson’s end part signal a great ending to the record.

Overall, Rush comes into their own on this record. This is the sound of a band who just loves music. They are as tight and focused on this record as they have ever been before. Lifeson makes the most of his solo time and some of his tone on this record is the best I’ve ever heard from him. Peart is a steady rock both in the drumming and lyrics department. Geddy doesn’t try to go for the high vocals very often. He seems to know his age and realize that his voice can’t do those types of high wails anymore.

What can I say, Rush is Rush. They are consistently good in almost everything they do. There are songs on this record that are flashes of greatness and there is not a single track on the record that I did not like. In conclusion, all I can say is that I can’t wait to see them play these songs live.

Grade- 9.5/10

My review, do whatever you want with it BD.
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Last edited by Cptbeefheart : 05-02-2007 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 05-05-2007, 11:53 PM   #50
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Rush - Snakes & Arrows



It’s been nearly five long years since 2002’s Vapor Trails, and while there may have been a fair amount of touring and releases since then, the fact that it’s been five years since a new batch of Rush songs have been released is still far too long. Thankfully, five years of waiting is nothing for a release of this caliber. Rush have put out some of their best and most focused work here, and it shows. From beginning to end, Snakes and Arrows is a tour de force. This is probably the single album that Rush fans of all eras have been waiting for. The album that, along with Moving Pictures, everyone can agree on.

Snakes and Arrows begins with Far Cry, the single that from its opening precision hits, firmly announces “Rush”. The sound builds and culminates, the guitar crunches, the bass thumps and Peart is driving everything home.

Pariah dogs and wandering madmen/Barking at strangers and speaking in tongues

Geddy sings with obvious maturity in a comfortable range, staying away from uncomfortable falsetto squeals. And this is only the first song, which makes it hard to believe that any album can be as consistently brilliant, but somehow it balances out. While not every track is a shining beacon that deserves to be held in high regard, there is plenty of material on the disc to have it considered an exceptional achievement.

There’s no mistaking it, this is an album that only a band with 33 years and 17 albums of experience can make. Rush have always been a band that act their age while refusing to flat out compromise. Peart’s skills as a songwriter are as sharp as ever with wisdom to boot and the percussion chops to match. Geddy’s bass still clunks along with a tone and thud that ought to be patented and holds the unique property of complimenting his vocals instead of dominating them. Lifeson’s guitar can still crunch, drive, glisten, and at times he even allows it to sing (sometimes two or more at the same time). The complexity of the arrangements and dedication to detail are on the level with their ambition from their epics of yesteryear with a far more refined approach and accessible length and sound.

Snakes and Arrows is the strongest Rush has ever been both musically and lyrically; musically since Hemispheres and lyrically the best they’ve ever been. When the aggression of Vapor Trails is paired with lyrics this strong, the only word apt to describe it is “powerful”. This isn’t your dads Rush album, nor is it the Rush album that you might remember if you’re over forty. This is Rush on top of their game once again. A Rush that hasn’t been seen since ’89 at the earliest.

It’s true that there are multiple instrumental tracks, three to be exact, and they are all effective. Main Monkey Business as a piece of indulgence a la La Villa Strangiato, Hope as a great 12-String acoustic ditty kudos to Lifeson acting as a bridge between the albums two distinct vibes, and Malignant Narcissism as a short thoroughly enjoyable burst of energy. One of the best things about the instrumentals is that they all feel organic and flowing. They aren’t forced or contrived, and are all the better for it.

The tracks that stand out above the rest on Snakes and Arrows are Armor and Sword, Main Monkey Business, Bravest Face and We Hold On. There are no weak links in Snakes and Arrows, just perhaps links that don’t quite meet the standard set by these four tracks.

When it’s all said and done, Snakes and Arrows is a great listen and well worth the wait for Rush fans young and old, veteran and new. It may not be the best Rush album ever, but it’s certainly the best since Presto, and maybe even the best since Signals (but that might just be pushing it a bit).


Score - 4.5/5

Track List

Far Cry - 5:18
Armor and Sword - 6:36
Workin' Them Angels - 4:46
The Larger Bowl - 4:07
Spindrift - 5:23
The Main Monkey Business - 6:01
The Way the Wind Blows - 6:28
Hope - 2:02
Faithless - 5:31
Bravest Face - 5:11
Good News First - 4:51
Malignant Narcissism - 2:16
We Hold On - 4:12


Rush are...


Alex Lifeson
- Six string and six course acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, mandola, bouzoki.
Geddy Lee - Bass guitar and effects, mellotron, keyboards, vocals.
Neil Peart - Percussion and lyrics.


**Album released on May 1st, 2007.
Reviewed by "Maet", 5/1/07

Last edited by Maet : 05-05-2007 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:04 PM   #51
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David Bowie - The Man Who Sold the World



Released: November 4, 1970
Produced by: Tony Visconti

Personnel
David Bowie – vocals, guitar, Stylophone
Mick Ronson – guitar, vocals
Tony Visconti – bass, piano, guitar
Mick Woodmansey – drums, percussion
Ralph Mace – Moog synthesizer

Overview
David Bowie: a man of many styles. His albums (most notably those in the '70s) show a progressive transition through more musical genres than Spinal Tap's transition through drummers. Many look fondly upon Bowie as a wonderful glam rock icon, some see him as a funk & soul genius, and more still see him as (briefly) a catchy dance artist. 1970's "The Man Who Sold the World" shows Bowie in a style that he would really only stay in for that one album only, and it's as close to heavy metal as he's ever been. This is particularly striking as seen in 1970, when even the term heavy metal was in its infancy. But regardless of how you think it was Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple that paved the way toward conventional metal as we know it, Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World" was undoubtedly an eerie precursor to what the 1970s would bring. Haunting lyrical subject matter, intricate song arrangements, and a unique mix of hard-hitting rockers as well as horrifying ballads, all intertwine to make this an essential album in any Bowie or metal fan's collection (two styles that otherwise would not intersect).


Track-by-Track Analysis
1. The Width of a Circle - 8:05
The album starts out, innocently enough, with soft feedback, immediately followed by some calm acoustic guitar strumming. A second acoustic guitar coolly lays a harmony above the established line, and then the bass fills out the sound with yet more harmony. Once the drums come in, the song breaks out into a rocking, chugging guitar line. This is certainly not your average Bowie album. The lyrics tell the story of the main character oddly having an encounter with himself, in which the "himself" he's encountering is in fact a monster. These hints of insanity carry true throughout most of the album.
The song, albeit being eight minutes long, is in fact split into two distinct halves. The first half is harder rocking, with a sudden transition into the second half, with a haunting group of Bowie vocal overdubs eerily humming a wordless melody. The song picks up from here and the lyrics tell of the character having odd sex with either Satan or God, according to different interpretations.
His nebulous body swayed above
His tongue swollen with devil's love
The snake and I, a venom high
I said "Do it again, do it again"

The song ends eventually with an epic cadence, complete with a timpani line similar to that in Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra." Eight minutes into the album, Bowie has already vastly distanced himself from the album's predecessor, "Space Oddity."
2. All the Madmen - 5:38
Directly contrasting the mood of the opening track, "All the Madmen" opens with somber guitar. It soon becomes more complex, though, as an almost childlike recorder line enters and Bowie sings of how insane men have taken control of the world. Being sane himself but not wanting to appear unusual, he is forced to pretend to be mad and eventually finds comfort doing so. The song, like many on the album, is horrifyingly beautiful, wonderfully portraying a corrupt and hopeless world with metaphor and, occasionally, direct cynicism.
3. Black Country Rock - 3:32
An odd departure from the dark mood set by the initial two tracks, "Black Country Rock" transitions into a more rocking song that deals with light issues. The song's brief lyrics do little to add anything to the comparatively weak mood, and aside from a hilarious Tyrannosaurus Rex voice vibrato impression, the song is largely skippable.
4. After All - 3:51
An absolute masterpiece, "After All" sums up the album's dark mood better than any other track. Thought to have been inspired at least partially by the ideas of occultist Aleister Crowley, the song's lyrics reflect some of his teachings ("Live 'til your rebirth and do what you will"), as well as additional lines referencing the futility of life. The more startling and prevelant idea repeated throughout the song is how children have the fate to change the world, while the adults are lost, soulless zombies.
Additionally, the quiet song breaks into an evil carnival homage, with a twisted carousel-like waltz. On the whole, the song manages to nearly strike terror in the listener, despite its calm delivery. It truly is, as I said, a masterpiece.


5. Running Gun Blues - 3:11
Perhaps the most interesting song on the album, "Running Gun Blues" has an incredibly catchy and lighthearted musical section, while the lyrics tell the tale of, as the name suggests, gunning people down but ultimately feeling somewhat sorry for it. It's almost as if the character is demented or possessed, in a way. A rather funny harmonica line makes brief cameos throughout the song.
6. Saviour Machine - 4:25
Lyrically, "Saviour Machine" may be the strongest track on the album, touching with startling accuracy on the corruption of politics and religion. It tells the story of how, basically, a godlike machine was created and everyone began blindly believing in it. Annoyed with how easily manipulated the general public is, the machine decides to kill everyone. It's an overall chilling piece, with jagged, offbeat guitars and a downright scary synth line. Bowie's vocal performance is bleak and distant, and it's another standout track on the album.
7. She Shook Me Cold - 4:13
I stated how this album influenced many later heavy metal acts of the decade, and "She Shook Me Cold" undoubtedly demonstrates most strongly that very influence. Unbelievably epic guitar and bass lines combine with absolutely perfectly-paced drums to create a rather slow, heavy atmosphere. But the most interesting part of the track is Bowie's comparitively lower-pitched vocal performance, though he still manages to arouse an amazingly deep vocal sound. A very Black Sabbath-esque jam session is found in the middle of the song, something very unique for a Bowie tune. Lyrically, it's a typical sex-based rock song, but its innovation is instead found in its thundering instrumental sections.
8. The Man Who Sold the World - 3:55
Like "All the Madmen," the album's title track focuses heavily on insanity, with the song's basis being about encountering a person who supposedly does not exist. The brilliantly paradoxal opening verse lines immediately stand out:
We passed upon the stair, we spoke of was and when
Although I wasn't there, he said I was his friend

Musically, the song is tinged with an Arabic-like feel, making odd use of the Phrygian mode. It's one of the more catchy songs from the album, and you may be familiar with the Nirvana cover.
9. The Supermen - 3:38
An epic end to an epic album. The closing track starts with a massive drum intro, complete even with timpanis (which are found throughout the song). The song's lyrics, to fit the large feel, are about very powerful gods, the "Supermen" who constructed the universe. It's a phenomenally huge-sounding piece, and a very climactic end to the album.


Conclusionary Statement(s)
This masterpiece from 1970 was an incredibly important stepping stone toward the development of a lot of modern day metal, particularly that with sadder, more depressing themes. Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Cure, Gary Numan, John Foxx and Nine Inch Nails have all cited this album as an influence on them. At times it's eerily similar to the early Judas Priest albums that would come out just a few years later. Regardless of how many times Bowie has changed his style over the years, it's clear with "The Man Who Sold the World" that he can pull nearly anything off without becoming stale.

Special thanks to Wikipedia.org for some track & album information I used.
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:29 PM   #52
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Emerson, Lake and Palmer (self-titled)


Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) was perhaps the first progressive rock supergroup. Keith Emerson of The Nice, Greg Lake of King Crimson, and Carl Palmer of Atomic Rooster, combined to form a trio that would include unconventionally little guitar work. Emerson, a keyboard player, and Palmer, a drummer, were both top musicians on their respective instruments. Greg Lake was no slouch on bass, either, and had good singing abilities. Rumors of Hendrix being a possible member circulated in the British Press, and Jimi was supposedly interested in the idea. However, before the band could jam with Jimi, he died, so we can only imagine what would have happened.

As mentioned above, the sound of ELP is very keyboard-heavy; without a lot of guitar, Emerson was able to take the role of lead player. Their sound was heavily influenced by classical, and often included quotations from classical pieces. Jazz is often found as well, in Emerson’s improvisations and Palmer’s drumming. The songs also seem to occasionally show a bit of English-style music in the harmony, particularly in some of Lake’s compositions.

Extended soloing and classical-style compositions, as well as flamboyant stage shows (sometimes including cannons) really put the band out on a limb. Despite their large popularity in the ‘70s, they have had no shortage of detractors, as is evident from Blender giving them the dishonor of “Second Worse Band in Music History”. Generally sub-par lyrical content did not help much, but lyrics weren’t ELP’s strong point. Controlled, interesting soloing combined with good composition on their debut, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, to make for a strong first record.

The record came out in 1970, and reached number 18 on the Billboard 200. With a limited number of tracks, each one was allowed to come close to its full potential, although the lengthy solos might put some off. The development is rather impressive for a first album, and the sound from it would continue through much of the trio’s career.


Tracks

The Barbarian
(4:33) – A menacing distorted bass opens up the album. According to the very helpful Wikipedia, much of this fantastic track is based on Béla Bartók’s piece, “Allegro Barbaro” (which I haven’t had a chance to check out yet, but rest assured that I will). The awesome tone of the bass, combined with the excellent riff, fit the title of “Barbaric” perfectly. Eerie keyboards by Emerson complement the riffing well. As the bass hits a final note and fades out, the band launches into a fast paced, jazzy interlude. Emerson’s piano playing is good, but the sense of urgency is really brought by Palmer’s rapid-fire brush strokes. The band builds up energy, and eventually launches back into the distorted playing from the intro (punctuated by a somewhat cheesy gong hit). The frenzy builds to a crescendo, and the piece ends on a bang; an incredible opener.

Take a Pebble (12:33) – Sweeping, delicate chords from raked piano strings begin the second track of the album. Swirling cymbals and a delicate touch on the bass contribute to the calm mood, as Lake croons about love and memories. Emerson’s deft piano licks between lines are an appropriate response to the singing, and don’t overpower the vocals. The band picks up the tempo a bit while Emerson takes a piano solo, giving way at last to a solo acoustic guitar. The playing is light, and Celtic at times, but the first licks can go by unnoticed if you have the volume too low. The acoustic section comes to a close, and Emerson resumes soloing on his piano, with minimal accompaniment from the band at first. Emerson brings his soloing to a close with rapid arpeggios, and the band goes back to the original theme with Lake’s singing, though Palmer punctuates some hits with tympanis. In typical ELP fashion, a ballad that could have been played in three or four minutes was stretched to twelve and a half by lengthy soloing. The band’s dynamics and Emerson’s interesting note choices keep the soloing from descending into complete wankery, but the length alone might put off more than a few listeners.

Knife Edge (5:07) – This is another ELP rocker with heavy classical influence, drawing from Leoš Janáček and Bach for different excerpts. It can feel a bit ponderous at times, but there are some moments of excitement from the organ and Lake’s vocal delivery. Possibly the best moment is the Bach quote, taken from his first French Suite in Dm, as the groove gets a little nimbler. Palmer’s unconventional beat with some cowbell creates an interesting effect against the Bach.

The Three Fates: Clotho/Lachesis/Atropis
(7:44) – Keith Emerson is given a track to shine on (as if soloing on each the three previous tracks wasn’t enough). The piece is in three movements, each based on one of the Moirae (or Fates) of Greek mythology. Clotho was the youngest of the Fates, and she spun the threads of life for mortals and immortals. Her movement is an organ solo, beginning with an aggressive and powerful theme. A series of piano arpeggios begin the next movement; a piano solo for Lachesis. She was the Fate who measured out the length of each person’s thread of life. Her movement is a bit more ambiguous; not particularly happy or sad, but thoughtful and mysterious, at one point hinting at a funeral march. Emerson’s playing is fantastic, with sweeping scales and arpeggios, and careful use of dynamics. A brief organ interlude hints back to Clotho before the onset of the final movement, Atropos. The eldest of the Fates, she used her shears to finally cut the thread, and end each life. Her movement is a piano trio, with Palmer coming in on drums to add a strange, exotic groove to the pianos. It feels like a strange, almost tribal dance that ultimately descends into a pounding piano chord, and a distorted explosion.

Tank (6:52) – Palmer’s solo piece follows right on the heels of Emerson’s. The prospect of a seven-minute drum solo would get most rock fans ready for a nap, but the actual drum solo only lasts about two minutes. The remainder of the track consists of Palmer-composed material for the band, and it actually works quite well. The introduction is very staccato, with precise playing from Emerson’s harpsichord, and a good deal of snare from Palmer. Soon, bass and keyboard are playing unison lines in a call-and-response style with the drumming. The bass and harpsichord are pretty tight, although Lake doesn’t always seem to keep up with the fastest runs. Palmer launches into his drum solo, which begins with the obligatory “hit everything on your kit as fast as you can” section. Some interesting moments follow, however, with one-handed rolls and light cymbals. Thanks to the short length, it doesn’t get too old, and some swooshing effects on the cymbals lead right into a half-time jam with the band. Emerson takes the track out with a solo that has some interesting lines that go outside the harmony.

Lucky Man (4:36) – The big single from the record was thrown on at first to fill space (Paranoid, anyone?). Amazingly enough, “Lucky Man” was written by Greg Lake as a teenager, and as a single it went to number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100. The verses, with an acoustic guitar as the main backing instrument, tell of a rich man with many comforts. The chorus, “What a lucky man he was”, turns ironic as the man goes to war and dies, with his money unable to rescue him from his fate. A doubled guitar solo by Lake falls in the middle of the piece, and includes some simple but memorable ideas. After the final chorus, the tension builds up a bit, and Emerson launches into the outro solo (yes, that’s a solo in every song on the record, if you’re keeping track). The solo was improvised in one take, and according to Emerson it is below his usual standards, but it is still an excellent end to the record.


Thanks to wikipedia for a fair amount of the info.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:06 PM   #53
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The Who - Who's Next

Who's Next was supposed to be the biggest album, or rather, project, that rock n' roll had ever seen. As many may know, the follow-up to The Who's wonderful rock opera Tommy was originally named Lifehouse, and was to be a gigantic double album/movie about a futuristic dystopia where rock n' roll had vanished and one kid would save the world by playing rock music. Needless to say, the whole idea was too huge for even The Who to perform, and as nobody other than guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend understood the concept, the sheer stress of it all gave Townshend a nervous breakdown. Instead, The Who took some of the tracks from Lifehouse and one track written by bassist John Entwhistle and made Who's Next, which never changed the world but may have been all the better for it.

The album is widely regarded as the best Who album ever made, and while it might not be the best (Live at Leeds gives it a run for its money!) it easily stands as one of the most significant and endearing albums made by The Who, in 1971, or in rock n' roll as a whole. Other than The Beatles' Abbey Road, I can't think of an album that's had a bigger impact on me, musically or otherwise. It may not be perfect, and it doesn't have any catchy singles like "Substitute" or "Happy Jack", but artistically it is one of the Who's finest.

Band members:

Pete Townshend: Guitar, vocals, synthesizer, piano, primary songwriter, lead vocals on "Going Mobile" and "The Song Is Over".
John Entwhistle (The Ox): Bass guitar, brass instruments, vocals, piano, lead singer and songwriter of "My Wife"
Keith Moon: drums, percussion
Roger Daltrey: Lead vocals.

Produced by The Who and Glyn Johns

The first thing you'll notice in Who's Next (and the first thing you'll hear as well!) is the synthesizer. Although the synth had been used in records before Who's Next, no other band had used it so prominently in 1971. What would an epic like "Baba O'Riley"be without it's driving synth loop, making it sound like it came from some strange futuristic world? That song, by the way, has not only one of the most famous synth riffs of all time, but one of the most famous three-chord riffs of all time - when Pete's guitar comes in halfway through the song, you can really feel the adrenaline rush the song gives. And Roger Daltrey's interpretation of the lyrics are incredible: he seems to roar rather than sing the words. But just as the song appears to be over, a fiddle comes in and the song descends into a goofy country piece so completely different from the "Teenage Wasteland" anthem that started the song. It's one of The Who's greatest songs, and one of the best ways to start an album.

"Baba O'Riley" may be the best song on "Who's Next" (or at least the first half), but Pete Townshend apparently wasn't content to let the album rest on the laurels of that one song. Nearly every song is a classic, either because it's a heavy-hitting rocker, a delicate ballad, or a little bit of both. The following song, "Bargain", starts with another synthesizer riff, but a prettier and more delicate one. Then the band enters and suddenly the song becomes vintage Who: gigantic Pete Townshend power chords, insane Keith Moon drumming, and a driving bass courtesy of The Ox. Roger does another stellar vocal performance on this one: it's remarkable how he matured from a somewhat goofy singer on their early hits to an amazing rock singer on here. Pete Townshend sings and plays acoustic guitar on the bridge, as if to tell you this could be a sweet love song, but it isn't.

"Love Ain't For Keeping" is a sweet love song, and a country one at that! The weakest track on Who's Next, this song suffers because it just isn't memorable as the other songs. The guitar lines are plain, the bass and drums are too faint, and the songwriting is far from Pete's best. Also, Roger's huge vocals harm this track rather than help it - he seems to be trying to balance between a soft and loud voice, and this makes an already average track a bit weaker. If a lesser band wrote it, it would fit well, but on this album it sticks out like "Doctor Robert" did on Revolver. (I'd say "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", but I kind of like that track.)

"My Wife", sung and written by John Entwhistle, is a lot better. In The Ox's classic writing style, this tells the story of a crazy wife who tries to kill John, and John's escape plan. On an otherwise serious album, this song is genuinely goofy and gives the album a much-needed lighthearted tune. Also, the brass section is pretty damn cool. It's not the greatest song in the world, but it never tries to be either.

Then the album goes from laughter to sadness in "The Song Is Over". One of the most poignant songs Townshend ever wrote, the song switches from a beautiful piano ballad to an anthemic rocker and back again, as Pete and Roger trade lead vocal duties wonderfully. It may seem cheesy, but I can't help but feel triumphant when Roger sings "I sing my song to the wide open spaces, I sing my heart out to the infinite sea". In the same way, I can't help but feel defeated when Pete sings "The song is over, it's all behind me". At the very end, the song throws in another curveball: an excerpt from the Lifehouse song "Pure and Easy", which never made it onto the original Who's Next.

"Getting in Tune" is another piano ballad/anthem rocker, but never quite compares to "The Song Is Over". Perhaps the fact that it comes after a similar song hurts it a little bit. Either way, it's a heartfelt song (which almost sounds like it's about writing a song!), but not a brilliant one. However, the speedy guitar solo at the end helps out the song a lot, and gives it a bit of edge.

That leads into "Going Mobile", sung by Pete Townshend. It rocks - but not in the way you'd think. The song is driven by an acoustic guitar and Keith Moon's huge drumming, and is basically a carefree song about driving. Pete gives some snappy lyrics more suited to 1971 than sometime in the future, such as "Keep me groovin', just a hippie gypsy". And the wah-wah solo in the end adds a very fun touch.

But just like "My Wife segued into "The Song Is Over", this jokey song goes right into "Behind Blue Eyes", another great ballad. This tells the story of a "bad man" from a very sympathetic point of view, saying "My dreams are not as empty as my conscience seems to be". It's not easy to sympathize with a criminal, but the acoustic guitar and Roger Daltrey's soft vocals certainly help. And like "The Song Is Over", the middle section is a powerful rock number, with almost prayerful lyrics and a great drum part. It isn't as good as "The Song Is Over" in my personal opinion, but it is one of the better tracks on the album.

Finally, there is "Won't Get Fooled Again". Who's Next opened with an epic, and it ends the same way: the synthesizer riff is just as good as "Baba O'Riley", as are the intro power chords. This eight-minute monstrosity has some very engaging bass playing and drumming, and Pete is in top form here. The song itself is about rebellion and revolution, similar to "Revolution" by The Beatles and "Street Fighting Man" by the Stones. But like those two classics, "Won't Get Fooled Again" doesn't go straight for or against revolution, in fact, it seems more of a cautionary tale than anything else. Lines like "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" and "I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again", although delivered through Daltrey's trademark roar, don't seem gung-ho for anarchy and rebellion. More than anything else, though, this song is remembered for the minute when all of the instruments except the synth fade out, and the loop continues on and on until another huge Keith drum riff enters. And then Roger gives what might just be the most famous scream in rock n' roll music.

That ends the album. Is it perfect? No. Is it instantly accessible? No. But it is, artistically and emotionally, one of the best records The Who ever made. A five-star masterpiece. 10/10
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:06 PM   #54
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Tom Petty: Full Moon Fever (1989)


Full Moon Fever, Tom Petty's first solo album away from his ever popular Heartbreakers, is a record of many ups and downs. The album, sadly, gets by on its many hit singles and leaves too many medicore B-side worthy songs in the mix.

1. Free Fallin'
Free Fallin' could possibly be Petty's most well known single, in and out of the Heartbreakers. The acoustic guitar and California daydream-style lyrics give the song the power to become one of those timeless rock classics of our time. If you ask me, the song's outlived all my expectations since hearing it back in '89.

2. I Won't Back Down
I Won't Back Down is a completely different animal entirely. Gone are the upbeat, song-about-a-girl lyrics that populate "Free Fallin'". Possibly Petty's most optimistic song, IWBD combines his airy Rickenbacker tone with the driving drums and bass that characterize the production style of Jeff Lynne (Tom Petty, George Harrison, Traveling Wilburys). The chorus, however, I have always felt was a bit out of place - but the tempo change is played to nice effect when the chorus does rear its head.

3. Love Is A Long Road
Now we sink our teeth into the first weak tune on "Full Moon Fever." Petty's vocals sound strained and the cheesy lyrics do nothing for the song. The dated 1980s production on the overdriven guitar and synth-drenched rhythms make the song a frustration. The one highlight, however, is the screaming guitar solo by sideman Mike Campbell - but even that leaves much to be desired. LISLR should have been recorded in the acoustic-driven style of "Free Fallin'", or left off the record entirely.

4. A Face In The Crowd
The quiet harmonic, the minor chord paired with a slide, and the kicking drums all lead into Petty's most modern sounding song so far. AFITC sounds like what Petty's post-"Full Moon Fever" material would sound like (paticularly the album Into The Great Wide Open). The song is not spectacular or mediocre, so let's move on.

5. Runnin' Down A Dream
Finally some excitement! By far the best track on the album, "Runnin' Down A Dream" gives the listener a wake up call after the snooze of the previous two tracks. With simple chording and references to Del Shannon's "Runaway" how could Petty go wrong? I will rag him on one thing, however, and that is the drums. I never have cared deeply for Lynne's simple drum production, and I think that the drums could have been more inventive. Great track though, I highly recommend it.

6. Feel A Whole Lot Better
Does Tom Petty want to be Roger McGuinn? With his light Rickenbacker tones and head bopping rhythm, you can almost see McGuinn's square specs and famous fedora singing this tune on Ed Sullivan in the 60s. Byrds similarities aside, FAWLB is not a flawless track but it does give the album a sense of strength once again. It's a slow build, but the interest can peak for the listener again.

7. Yer So Bad
Why in the world would someone follow up a song like "Feel A Whole Lot Better" with the downright boring "Yer So Bad"? The lyrics are predictable, the guitar and drums pound out a lame progression of standard porportions, and the vocals feel tired. The only highlight would be the faint mandolin "chooka, chooka" that is barely audible in the chorus.

8. Depending On You
The intro sounds promising, and Petty's lyrics revisit that optimistic "I Won't Back Down" feel. The chorus gives the listener (and me) a sense of pleasure in the change of drumbeat! The four time punch of the snare pushes the song into a new place, but alas, the rhythm returns to that comfortable vein set out to drag the listener through a weak guitar solo. The harmony vocals, most likely by Jeff Lynne, Mike Campbell, and Benmont Tench, sound very Heartbreakers-esque and give the tune a classic feel. Definately worth a listen, but also worth a skip.

9. The Apartment Song
The shuffle feel of this song freshens up the album in ways that the past few songs could not. Easily the strongest song of the second half, "The Apartment Song" is pure rock n' roll fun - the kind of fun exhibited by teenage kids wailing on guitars in their parent's garages. An organic feeling falls upon the song when the first chorus hits, giving the record a sense of purity - something that's been missing in many of the overproduced songs. The final release when Petty lets out a bluesy pull on the words "I'm lonely tonight" make the song.

10. Alright For Now
"Alright For Now" should be on his more acoustic and softer "Wildflowers" album. It feels out of place on this record. That being said, the acoustic pattern picked out by Petty and Campbell swirl the listener up and make them forget the lyrics (kind of like "Sweet Black Angel" off the Stones' "Exile On Main St.") Whether or not its out of place, the song gives a sense of direction forward into Petty's subsequent solo outings.

11. A Mind With A Heart Of Its Own
Right after the mellow feel of "Alright For Now", "A Mind With A Heart Of Its Own" (kudos for the title) bangs out of the gate, truly a last kiss for the album. The stop-start transition from the first chorus into the second verse is a nice change. Petty, lyrically, reverts to Dylan-esque storytelling lyrics - complete with an array of wild and crazy characters. AMWAHOIO is pure rock n' roll fun, free of decadence and snobbery.

12. Zombie Zoo
The WORST track on the album. The intro sounds like something that belongs in the Scooby Doo theme song. Petty moans about some place called the "Zombie Zoo" to no effect. The rhythm is standard "Full Moon Fever" and the keyboard chimes in the background almost make be want to grab my CD player and chuck it into my neighbour's swimming pool. ZZ is pure pop garbage, showing that Petty can still write crappy, weak songs that ruin the end of a record. In my opinion, skip this tune and count "A Mind..." as the end of the album.

Overall: 7/10 - "Full Moon Fever" doesn't disappoint, but it does leave much to be desired.

Personnel:
Tom Petty – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, vocals,
Jeff Lynne (producer) – bass, electric guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Mike Campbell – bass, guitar, mandolin, keyboards, slide guitar
Phil Jones – percussion, drums
Benmont Tench – piano on "The Apartment Song"
Kelsey Campbell – sound effects, vocals
George Harrison – acoustic guitar and backing vocals on "I Won't Back Down"
Roy Orbison – backing vocals on "Zombie Zoo"
Jim Keltner – drums, maracas and tambourine on "Love Is a Long Road"
Howie Epstein – backing vocals on "I Won't Back Down" and "Love Is a Long Road"
Del Shannon – sound effects on "Hello CD Listeners"
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:47 PM   #55
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:21 PM   #56
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The Doors – L.A. Woman
Released – April 1971

Overview:

Released in 1971, L.A. Woman is the 6th and final studio album that The Doors recorded with singer and main songwriter, Jim Morrison. After critics slammed The Doors with their 1969 album, The Soft Parade, for including more ‘popish’ songs, then the blues work that fans of the band have come to expect, The Doors listened. A year later, following the troubles of infamous ‘Miami Incident’ in which Jim Morrison was later arrested for indecent exposure, The Doors returned to their roots with the release of Morrison Hotel, the album was a success. Songs like ‘Roadhouse Blues’ and ‘Ship of Fools’ showed that The Doors had not lost touch of their early roots that brought them success with their earlier albums. Morrison Hotel also foreshadowed what was yet to come in their next album, the aforementioned, L.A. Woman.

L.A. Woman was a continuation of Morrison Hotel in the sense that, the album was another call back to their roots, sticking with their roots and last album, L.A. Woman is by far, the best Doors record to date. The album had 3 singles and also took only a couple of months to finish. It is also noteworthy that most of the songs that The Doors recorded for the album were almost all live, which is similar to their first album, The Doors in which, little to no edits/overdubs were added to the album.


Band Members:

Jim Morrison – Lead Singer/Songwriter
Robby Krieger – Guitarist/Songwriter
Ray Manzarek – Organ/Bass/Keyboard
John Densmore –Percussion

Track Analysis:
Note: All songs written by Jim Morrison unless noted otherwise


1. The Changeling – 4:21

One of the better ‘unknown’ songs by The Doors, ‘The Changeling’ opens up L.A. Woman nicely featuring a rather catchy melody that both Manzarek and Krieger continue to play throughout the song. Krieger also adds a rare ‘wah-wah’ guitar tone to song as a nice transition between the verses and choruses.

Also, as a typical Morrison song, Jim makes it clear to end the song in style by screaming the chorus as he often does in a fair amount of his songs.

Score: 8/10

2. Love Her Madly – 3:20 (Krieger)

One of the three singles released off of L.A. Woman, ‘Lover Her Madly’ is a typical Robby Krieger song. Most of Robby’s songs often deal with the same subject of love, however, this isn’t a bad thing, and since Jim often is responsible for writing rather abstract lyrics, ‘Love Her Madly’ shows that Robby was influences by his own bandmate. These lyrics show that maturity:

All your love is gone
So sing a lonely song
Of a deep blue dream
Seven horses seem to be on the mark


‘Love Her Madly’ is one of the most popular songs on the album, being a single, the song frequently appears on classic rock radios and is still a popular song today. Inspiration wise, the lyrics make a lot of sense when taken into context with Robby’s personal life. At the time, Robby’s girlfriend had threatened to leave him numerous times and ‘Love Her Madly’ is written about Robby, by Robby about his girlfriend.

Score: 8/10

3. Been Down So Long – 4:42

The song rather explains itself, the lyrics written by Jim are a reaction the life that he had been living up to the point of the recording of L.A. Woman. This song in particular conveys The Doors as a blues band. Featuring typical ‘bluesy’ lyrics, the song also features a stellar bass line and two innovative guitar solos by Robby. Once again, near the end of the song, Jim yet again, screams the lyrics of the final verse to add emotion to the song, something that surely sends Goosebumps on your arms.

Score: 8/10

4. Cars Hiss By My Window – 4:12

Another song that shows the roots of The Doors again, yet, this song is quite different from the others on L.A. Woman. The song sounds like what Paul Rothchild, their former producer, claimed it to be, and that is ‘lounge music’. While it is my least favorite off of L.A. Woman, the song itself is very good.

Score: 7/10

5. L.A. Woman – 7:50

The song of the same album name, ‘L.A. Woman’ is the second single released off the album of the same name. This song is one of the few up-beat tempos songs off of L.A. Woman and if it weren’t for the final three songs on the album, I would say this is the best.

The song starts off with what sounds like a car driving off into the distance then a consistent bass line and drum beat, leading into Manzarek and Krieger. Krieger also adds very nice fills between the lines in the verses. Being nearly 8 minutes long, the song often changes tempos and melodies in the song to keep it exciting and interesting. A noteworthy part is about halfway through the song when Jim gives himself another nickname, ‘Mr. Mojo Risin’. Before he starts singing that verse, the song slows noticeably slows down and continues to speed up and up until they reach the earlier beat which leads to the climax of the song, Robby’s guitar solo.

The lyrics are simple, they generally refer to what Jim thought were the dying streets of L.A., mentioning various places around L.A., like the bars, or clubs.

Score: 9.5/10

6. L’America – 4:38

‘L’America’ is a special song of off L.A. Woman , it’s stars off with a rather odd guitar lead which maintains itself into a ‘mystical’ organ ‘sweep’, if you would, which then leads to Densmore. This song is rather simple for Densmore to play, however, his snare rolls make the song and definitely draw you into it.

Score: 8/10

7. Hyacinth House – 3:12

Another ‘unknown’ song off of L.A. Woman, ‘Hyacinth House’ was not a single, however, it certainly could have been. Jim also sings it rather low when compared to the other songs off of L.A. Woman. ‘Hyacinth House’ also appears to be quite a story about Jim himself if you look at the lyrics. While the song is actually about paranoia when the band were at Robby’s house, some of the lyrics hint otherwise:


Why did you throw the Jack of Hearts away?
Why did you throw the Jack of Hearts away?
It was the only card in the deck that I had left to play

Also, some fans generally think that Jim had thoughts of suicide when looking at the final lyrics:

And I'll say it again, I need a brand new friend, the end

Score: 8.5/10

8. Crawling King Snake – 5:01 (Tony Hollins, Bernard Besman, John Lee Hooker)

The last three songs off this album are something special, and ‘Crawling King Snake’ kicks them off well. This, however, is a rare cover by The Doors and is another one of their ‘root’ songs. Jim sings the lyrics in his own fasion, with a lot of passion and emotion to each lyric. The melody, specifically Robby’s guitar solo, are something different though. Almost like, short bursts of notes, they come out randomly when in context with the song.

Score: 9/10

9. The Wasp(Texas Radio & The Big Beat) – 4:16

By far the best song off this album lyrically, ‘The Wasp’ is not even sung by Jim. It’s almost an homage to his favorite beat poets as Jim speaks the lyrics in the song and only really sings the chorus in the song. However, the melody is not stiff though, Robby and John both worked on writing the music for it and did outstanding. A song about the old southern radio stations, the song creates a tone for the area that Jim talks about in the song.

Also, ‘The Wasp’ also has arguably one of Jims most famous lines in his songs. That is:

I'll tell you this
No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn

Score: 10/10

10. Riders On The Storm – 7:12

‘Riders On The Storm’ is the third and final single from L.A. Woman and is also arguably one of the most famous songs by The Doors. Featuring only 3 verses of lyrics, the song is extended by both piano and guitar solos by Ray and Robby, also, another solid bass line.

Throughout the entire song is a rain effect added to add mood to the song and satisfies such a task perfectly. ‘Riders’ starts off with the rain effects and slowly enters Ray on a piano with the melody and John holding a steady beat. Ray also has quite an innovated transition in the song the repeats itself only a couple of times.

After the first verse, enters Robby’s solo, and naturally, Robby fit the solo in with the song perfectly, and the tremolo tone added something different and unexpected. After the second verse, enters Ray’s piano solo with Robby adding some nice fills to compliment the solo. The solo ends with the aforementioned piano transition leading into a slowdown where all that is heard is the rain effect, which sounds amazing.

Shortly, the song picks back up and leads into the third and final verse. The outro to the song also is the perfect way to end the perfect album. Jim continues saying Riders on the storm and keeps saying until, very eerily, fades away. The song ends with the rain effect fading off.

Score: 10/10


Final Judge:

L.A. Woman is by far the best album The Doors released, it was also released only two months before lead man Jim Morrsion passed on in Paris, France. The album is structured perfectly, with the final song almost as an epitaph for Jim.

If you’re a Doors fan, or if you just like music, then L.A. Woman is a must hear.


Final Score: 9.5/10
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Last edited by Just Andrew : 07-27-2008 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:19 AM   #57
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The Velvet Underground-Velvet Underground

Overview
After the heavy avant-garde influence shown on The Velvet Underground and Nico and White Light/White Heat, the Velvet Underground's self-titled 3rd album sees the band making an about face, shedding the noisier aspects of their sound and replacing with a warmer, more accesible sound. Even when the avant-garde side shows up in "Murder Mystery", it is done in a much more subdued fashion then on their previous 2 albums. There are two possible reasons for this change. The first being that John Cale, the bass/organ/violin player that was the most experimental musician of the group, had left and was replaced by Doug Yule, a much more conventional musician. The second being that all their equipment was stolen. Whatever the reason, this means that the catchy pop songs that had once been hidden by slabs of heavy distortion and feedback are now at the forefront of the band's sound, and it confirmed to their small cult following at the time what had been hinted at in the previous 2 albums. That Lou Reed is a damn good songwriter.

Track by Track
1. Candy Says-This is a great way to open the album and one of my all-time favorite Velvets songs. This is a very mellow, understated song with Maureen Tucker playing brushes and a great vocal performance by Doug Yule.

2. What Goes On- This one is a rocker, but it is much more restrained then the rockers contained on the first two albums. Though it contains Tucker's trademark primal drumming, it eschews the noisy feedback and dischorant guitars of their previous rockers and instead contains a simple but great organ part that helps finish out the song.

3. Some Kinda Love- This is a very straightforward song that has Reed singing and riffing on the D chord while Tucker accompanies him with the bass drum and cowbell. This song definitely has bluesy undertones, and though it occasionaly it threatens to build, it never does.

4. Pale Blue Eyes- A very mellow ballad with a cool solo by Sterling Morrison (despite playing on the wrong scale). I've always liked this song.

5. Jesus- A very inspirational song with beautiful harmony vocals by Reed and Yule and a very understated backing.

6. Beginning to See the Light- A very upbeat song with an excellent vocal performance by Reed that sounds like he's having a lot of fun. The "How does it feel to be loved?" section at the end is really cool as well.

7. I'm Set Free- This song is driven by Morrison's 12-string guitar and Tucker's drumming as well as another excellent vocal performance by Reed. I have a feeling that Peter Buck listened to this album and this song in particular and used it as the basis for his guitar style.

8. That's The Story Of My Life- This song has a very playful, upbeat arrangement and a simple 4 line vocal. It's capped off by a great solo by Morrison.

9. Murder Mystery- This song shows that band hadn't completely left behind their avant-garde side, though it's a bit more restrained on this song. A 9 minute song that starts off alternating between 2 sections. One section contains an ascending guitar riff while two people talk simultaneously, one on each speaker. The other section is a verse type-thing with Tucker and Yule singing different things simultaneously. After about 7 minutes, it goes in to a little piano riff accompanied by 2 people saying seemingly random things that by the end becomes completely warped. This is by far the most polarizing song on the album. Some love it while others hate it. I personally fall into the former category, but what you think of it is for you to decide.

10. After Hours- A great album closer. It contains just an acoustic guitar and a vocal performance by Maureen Tucker that has a childlike innocence to it. A great way to end a great album.
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Old 08-01-2008, 02:32 PM   #58
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When I have the time, I'd like to review the Eagles' The Long Run.
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Old 08-01-2008, 02:51 PM   #59
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^^Sure. That album has my favorite Eagles song on it- In the City.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:35 PM   #60
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Would it be cool if I reviewed The Jimi Hendrix Eperience's "Axis: Bold As Love"
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