Sunday, June 30, 2013

Song Meaning: Nightrain by Guns N' Roses

ARTIST: GUNS N' ROSES | ALBUM: APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION | RELEASED: 1987
"Nightrain", after doing some Googling, is a cheap, but effective, alcohol GNR used to consume in their early days when money was not so commonplace. So the song is about drugs, and only drugs, just like Mr. Brownstone.

Song Meaning: We Take Care of Our Own by Bruce Springsteen

ARTIST: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN | ALBUM: WRECKING BALL | RELEASED: 2012
Basis for every Springsteen's song is the lifestyle and culture of the American society. That's all I can say about Bruce.

Song Meaning & Analysis: Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash

ARTIST: JOHNNY CASH | ALBUM: WITH HIS HOT AND BLUE GUITAR | RELEASED: 1955
Folsom Prison Blues was re-released in Cash's 1968 live album
Folsom Prison Blues was re-released in Cash's 1968 live album
Many considered to be his signature song, "Folsom Prison Blues" is from Johnny Cash's debut album, With His Hot and Blue Guitar. If you have spent any amount of time studying Johnny Cash ( I haven't :-), you'd have realized that Cash absolutely loves depicting the lives of poor, needy and disadvantaged, and this song, I believe,  lays the groundwork for his eventual songs showcasing these themes. One such song is Man in Black.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Early History of Cover Songs

The cover phenomena started in the 1950s. It was an attempt by the record companies to reach out to more people by a way of reproducing original songs such that those are more appealing to a particular demography. Thus, it was commonplace for a group of White artists to "cover" a song by Black artists. The motivation behind this approach by record companies was that the White never showed enough interest in Black artists, so they were given appealing songs by fellow White artists. However, during the process of producing cover songs, the original creator(s) ( black artists ) of the song didn't receive proper acknowledgement, or any financial compensations for that matter. This was clearly racist, but the US was racially divided in the 1950s so such move wasn't against the law. But what's more telling was that the cover phenomena was an example of record companies showcasing their financial greed.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Song Meaning: Give In To Me by Michael Jackson

ARTIST: MICHAEL JACKSON | ALBUM: DANGEROUS | RELEASED: 1993
7th single from MJ's Dangerous
Micheal Jackson is known as the King of Pop, but his actual title is King of Pop, Rock and Soul. Such title is attributed to him due to the fact that he's capable of mastering any genre of music. "Give In To Me" showcases the King of Pop's hard rock arsenal as he brings out some heavy artillery in making the song, namely Slash. The song shows a significant contrast from the rest of the songs on Dangerous album as highlighted by the distorted guitar. Slash's Les Paul is as distorted as it gets for a hard rock.

Mick Jagger of Rolling Stones Swipes Obama


Huffington Post has an article highlighting what Mick Jagger, the front man of Rolling Stones, think of the Obama Administration's latest efforts on tracking household phone class in the US. "I don't think President Obama is here, but I'm sure he's listening in," said the legend.

You can read the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/25/mick-jagger-obama-listening-dc-concert_n_3496585.html

Monday, June 24, 2013

Song Meaning: Enter Sandman by Metallica

ARTIST: METALLICA | ALBUM: METALLICA (BLACK ALBUM) | RELEASED: 1991
Enter Sandman is the first single from Black Album
Enter Sandman is the first single from Black Album
"Enter Sandman" is about a kid's nightmares. Unlike many previous singles by Metallica, this song refrain from demonic themes like death, drugs and demons, thus aiding it to become a mainstream hit. As a matter of fact, many critics attribute to this single, and the album, as the one that put Metallica on the "map." However, on the other hand, many hardcore thrash metal fans didn't like Metallica new curve ball. They criticized the band for being hypocritical for initially stand for anti-establishment, underground metal movement, but now changing course to embrace the MTV culture. Regardless of your point of view, as a rock n' roll fan, I believe that the Black Album contains good music, good riffs and cool themes. Songs like "Nothing Else Matters" and "Unforgiven" are far from being a thrash metal, but exposes Metallica's ability to explore new ground, and appeal to a new audience.

The Beatles Invade America

There were number of events that facilitated Beatlemania in the US. Some of it may seem unrelated to music, which shouldn't be surprising given that The Beatles transcended way beyond just music. America was filled with optimism in the early 1960s. There was the civil rights movement, and "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King on August 28, 1963. Furthermore, John F. Kennedy's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention of 1960 was known as "A New Frontier," emphasizing his message of a hopeful future. Everything changed on Nov 22, 1963 when President Kennedy was shot dead! People attribute to this event as the day that American democracy got thrown into the back seat. Everybody was very shocked, and their sadness continued for weeks, even after those responsible were taken custody.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Song Meaning: Ride the Lightning by Metallica

ARTIST: METALLICA | ALBUM: RIDE THE LIGHTENING | RELEASED: 1984
Song Meaning: Ride the Lightening by Metallica
Metallica's second studio album
One of Metallica's greatest songs, "Ride the Lightning" perfectly culminates the talent of all four members of the band. Song is the title track of their second album, which is now regarded as one of heavy metal's greatest of all time. Cliff Burton's bass was a perfect; Lars was on fire on drums. Lyrics show some of James' best writing given that Metallica is still new to heavy metal scene. Kirk's solo is perfectly sets the gloomy atmosphere discussed in lyrics. Accordingly, the song has become a permanent fixture on Metallica's live setlist, and also my personal favorite :-)

Song Meaning: Paradise City by Guns N Roses

ARTIST: GUNS N ROSES | ALBUM: APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION | RELEASED: 1987
Song Meaning: Paradise City by Guns N Roses
"Paradise City" is a highpoint of Appetite for Destruction
"Paradise City" is a typical early-Guns N' Roses song consists of themes like sex, drugs, and having fun. Once the song was released as a single, it facilitated in propelling Appetite for Destruction to top charts around world.

Song Meaning: Sweet Child O Mind by Guns N' Roses

ARTIST: GUNS N' ROSES | ALBUM: APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION | RELEASED: 1987 
GNR's Appetite for Destruction was famous for many reasons: edgy lyrics, Axl's distorted hard rock voice, Slash's awesome riffs and solos, and overall good music. "Sweet Child" is the most successful single spawned out of the album because it encapsulates Guns N Roses at it's best. The song has its own place in hard rock, especially due to Slash's now-infamous riff. It is highly regarded as one of the best, not just in hard rock, but rock n' roll in general. The riff is also responsible for putting Slash on the lists of top 10 guitarists, which are usually populated with the likes of Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Hendrix. What's not to be overlook the input of other members. Duff McKaygen's bass was "so perfect that you could almost sing to it," as it was described by Billy Joe of Green Day when inducting GNR into Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. He's perfectly right, just as the riff begins, the bass starts and you could sing "she's got a smile that it seems to me..."

Friday, June 21, 2013

Song Meaning: King Nothing by Metallica

ARTIST: METALLICA | ALBUM: LOAD | RELEASED: 1997
I don't know much about Load but I think it's a good rock n' roll album. The album shows Metallica's departure from thrash metal roots of the 80s in favor of more commercially acceptable heavy metal, and "King Noting" emphasizes just that. As a rock n' roll fan I'm perfectly fine with that, as long as they create good music. I know some old school headbanggers like to label Metallica as "sellouts." And that's OK with me as well.

blogsrating.pw, kmzackblogger.com & flf-course.com visits to my rock n' roll blog

I've been getting some visits from blogsrating.pw & kmzackblogger.com lately. I was wondering has anyone else come across this problem. It certainly looks to me like a problem because blogsrating.pw is a weight-losing website, and has nothing to do with rock n' roll, nor does it have any links to my blog. I'm not sure about kmzackblogger.com.

Any help/tips are appreciated. Feel free to make a comment below.

UPDATE (07/07/2013):

Thanks for all the input you guys have provided. This particular post is increasing becoming one the most-read on my blog. It's very surprising given that my blog has nothing do with internet technicalities and such. But I guess it's pretty indicative of how widespread this spam bot problem is...

If any of you have come up with a solution, please feel free to let me know in the comments below. Until then happy blogging :-)

Cheers & have an awesome summer.

UPDATE (11/07/2013):

Just for everybody's reference, if you are one of the people who happen to be getting spam visits to your blog, do you mind leaving your location, i.e. city and country. For example, right now I'm in Toronto Canada. I want know if everybody from around the world getting spammed, or if it's just a North American problem.

I've recently come across two new spam sites: flf-course.com and t.co. I know for sure t.co is coming from Russia, and as for other one, I don't know its location.

UPDATE (17/07/2013):

I'd like to let you guys know that my blog has more than this page. It seems like people largely visit this particular page and then leave without checking out other articles. I've got some interesting articles on songs, musicians and bands. Here's a few:
 I hope you guys enjoy this blog as much I did creating it, even if you are not into rock n' roll. :-)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Song Meaning: Mr. Brownstone by Guns N' Roses

ARTIST: GUNS N' ROSES | ALBUM: APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION | RELEASED: 1987
"Mr Brownstone" is a highpoint of GNR's world renowned Appetite for Destruction album.The hard rock is about one thing and one thing only: drugs, drugs and more drugs. The lyrics depict a typical day in the life of the band members. For example, on a typical day back in the 80s, bassist Duff McKagan would consume a gallon of vodka! To put that in perspective, when I first had a "shot" of vodka, I had to run to the washroom, and projectile vomit soon insured. :-( Duff's lifestyle was not different from any of four other band members. Slash, for instance, was ALWAYS high. Steven Adler was fired from the group for being too alcoholic. Mr McKagan has written a book about his past "adventures" entitled It's So Easy. It's a very good read. I'd highly recommend you check it out, even if you aren't a Guns N Roses fan.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Song Meaning: Broken, Beat and Scarred by Metallica

ARTIST: METALLICA | ALBUM: DEATH MAGNETIC | RELEASED: 2008
"Broken Beat & Scarred" depicts an individual struggling with adversity. It's quite reminiscent to Metallica's old days on the road - 1980s. Nobody really gave them an inch - only dozen radio stations played their songs. Sometimes, according to Lars himself, couple of band members had to sleep in one bed because they simply didn't have the money to afford luxurious hotels. However, against all odds they crated good music, and slowly by surely, they build an empire now we refer to as Metallica.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Song Meaning: Rock N' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution by AC/DC

ARTIST: AC/DC | ALBUM: BLACK IN BLACK | RELEASED: 1980
The song is one of many highlights of AC/DC's best selling album, Black in Black. It perfectly coincide with rock n' roll themes: drugs, sex and rock n' roll itself. "Rock N' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" celebrates all the good aspects of, well, rock n' roll. It can be loud, but it sure ain't noise pollution. You have to undeniably agree with this if you listen to crap on the radio today.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The British Invasion: Early Days of The Beatles

The British Invasion: Early Days of the Beatles
John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, George Harrison :-)
The Beatles led the way on the British Invasion. They were the first of numerous classic rock bands that would eventually "invade" the US in 1960s. The Rolling Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin are few of the latter acts that followed the footsteps of the Fab Four. In doing so, they have influenced countless American rock n' roll bands and artists, like Aerosmith, Guns N' Roses, KISS, and Bruce Springsteen.

It's quite intriguing to explore the early days of the Beatles. Their roots to the rise lies in the ashes of the post World War II England. Unlike for the US at the time, WWII didn't end for England immediately following the last last shot fired. Their struggle continued in the following years to rebuild the nation. Though help was available in the recovery process, the "do-it-yourself" culture was very prominent during this time period. In fact, this has extended to music as well. The artist walked though all aspects of producing music: writing, adding music, producing, etc.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Song Meaning: All My Loving by The Beatles

ARTIST: THE BEATLES | ALBUM: WITH THE BEATLES | RELEASED: 1964
The song is generally considered to be The Beatles' first North American hit. It reached #1 in Canada, but only managed to top as high as #45 on US popular music chart. However, upon the re-release during The Beatles visit of the US, the single shot to the top of the charts. In fact, prior to prior to performing the song on Ed Sullivan's Show, Paul McCartney said, "when we first released this, it didn't do nothing. But now it's doing something."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Why The Who Destroyed Their Guitars and Drums

As a rock n' roll, there are many ways I can remember The Who by. There's the bowling guitar playing action, and other on stage antics by Pete Townshend. There was the stick-breaking drumming by Keith Moon. And, of course, The Who is known for burning, breaking and destroying their instruments at the end of shows.

Song Meaning & Analysis: It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll) by AC/DC

ARTIST: AC/DC | ALBUM: T.N.T. | RELEASED: 1975
This is one of my favorite AC/DC songs. The song is considered one of AC/DC's signature ones, along with "Back in Black", "Highway to Hell" and "You Shock Me All Night Long." Yes, they have a zillion classics! Speaking of which, just like any other single AC/DC released, this too became a staple on classic rock radio. A video was shot to promote the song on Australian TV( keep in mind that there was no MTV at the time in 1975 ).

Monday, June 10, 2013

Song Meaning & Analysis: Holiday by Green Day



Green Day's third single from American Idiot came in the middle of Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The theme of "Holiday," and that of the album as well, perfectly coincide with the antiwar movement started in the US. The also marked Green Day's return to their original punk rock roots.

The first verse of the song describes the neglected veterans retuning home for war6. It's well known that, although US spends nearly half of it's budget on military, little care is given for veterans. 

"Faith and Misery"9 of the second verse refers to the fact George Bush was a bible thumper - he's christian but not christian-like. Even to this day, the Republican party of the US likes to comes across as religious to pander to the church goers, and get votes, but are completely neglecting the fact that Jesus would've opposed blindly invading countries. I'm not 100% sure of my explanation here, so correct me if you think I'm wrong.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Song Meaning: Beat It by Michael Jackson

Artist: Micheal Jackson | Album: Thriller | Released: 1983


"Beat It" was the third single from Michael Jackson's best selling Thriller album. Much of the album's success can be attributed to this song as it was staple on classic rock and pop radio stations. It was also a highlight on MTV. As a matter of fact, the elements of the music video accompanied the song transcend generations! The red jacket, sun glasses, shining socks were iconic in the 1908s. There wasn't a person without a red jacket on the street. The song is also recognized as Jackson's second most successful single, after Billie Jean.

Few other interesting aspect of the song include the featuring of Eddie Van Halen's iconic guitar solo. It's now recognized as a classic. It looks like Eddie saved the best for Michael, not his own band! Moreover, the music video featured actual street gang members to add some "realism" the video. There was also the infamous reference by Ronald Reagen when Micheal visited the White House. President Reagen said, "just beat it," referring to his campaign against drinking and driving.

Metallica Plays Kill Em All Full Album at Orion


I wasn't at Orion yesterday. So Googled Metallica's Orion Fest to see what happened. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Metallica came out to a fake band name entitled DeHann, and played Kill Em' All in its entirety. Rolling Stone has a great article on this.

When I saw the photo of James and Kirk wearing sunglasses, I knew something was slightly off. Metallica was a heavy metal band, not a fashion show :-). It's unusual for them to play in the midday, as they almost always headlines shows at night.

Metal  Up Your DeHaa was written on the background of the stage, making an obvious old-school reference to Kill 'Em All. Also looking at the photo, it seems like James has sharpened his tattoos.

Bill Haley, Blackboard Jungle and Birth of Rock N' Roll

Rock Around the Clock - the theme song of the movie
What is Rock N' Roll? The term was originally coined by Alan Freed, a disc jockey from Cleveland. The simplest definition of it is: a White guy singing like a Black guy. In other words, rock n' roll is White rhythm and blues.

It's widely known that the inception of rock n' roll is attributed to a person by the name of Bill Haley. His band, Bill Haley & His Comets performed Rock Around the Clock for the movie, Blackboard Jungle in 1955. The movie itself wasn't memorable, but the song was, although it was only heard in the background in opening and closing credits. Part of reason was that the  song was "new." It had a faster rhythm compared to the conventional blues, and a rebellious sound. Most importantly it was sung by a White guy. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Song Meaning & Analysis: War Pigs by Black Sabbath

War Pigs from Black Sabbath's Paranoid album
Black Sabbath is showcasing their antiwar philosophy in the song, "War Pigs." The title refers to personnel who wage and carries out wars, but largely keep their distance for getting their "hands dirty." Case in point, US government. The song fittingly came out in 1970 in Black Sabbath's Paranoid album while the Vietnam War was in full effect, thus adding more meaning to already in-depth lyrics.

This song, along with the title track, are highlights of Black Sabbath's first studio album. This song especially secures their unique place in the history of punk rock music as well as pioneering heavy metal. Today, the song is considered to be one of Black Sabbath's best works, as well as a significant milestone in the enduring history of hard rock and heavy metal.

Song Meaning: Unforgiven III by Metallica

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/53/Metallica_-_Death_Magnetic_cover.jpg
"Unforgiven III" appeared on Metallica's eighth studio album, Death Magnetic. This is my favorite of the Unforgiven trilogy for number of good reasons. First it's got a kick-ass solo, as is the case with all other songs from the album. Kirk Hammet was at his best, coming up with one wild solo followed by another. The lyrics resemble a well in-depth meaning, in that of relentless pursuit of materialism. I believe this song also showcases James Hetfield's best writing as well. I don't know what to say about Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo. I guess they all worked as a united band, and that, in fact, is reflected on the quality of album, in comparison Metallica's previous album, St. Anger.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Song Meaning: Highway to Hell by AC/DC

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/ac/Acdc_Highway_to_Hell.JPG/220px-Acdc_Highway_to_Hell.JPG
Highway to Hell  - title track of 5th album
The title track from AC/DC's fifth studio album marked the band's dominance on rock radio. Released in 1979, the song propelled the album to commercial success and mainstream recognition, especially in the US, when Rock N' Roll was the popular music.The album saw the front-man Bon Scott's final collaboration with the band. He passed away very next year. Let's hope Highway to Hell wasn't indicative of his fate afterlife.

The song has always been a fixture on AC/DC's live setlist, now performed by Brian Johnson.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Song Meaning: Amazing by Aerosmith

 
amazing is the fifth single from aerosmith get a grip album
Amazing is the 5th single from Aerosmith's Get a Grip
The blues-rock band of Boston released their 11th album, Get a Grip, in 1993 consisting of many hits. The album indicated a dramatic departure from their hard rock material in favor of more radio-friendly pop-rock. Nevertheless,I believe the album is a success, so is the underrated single, "Amazing."

The song was the 5th single from the album. Although it didn't have quite an impact as the previous ones, I believe this song deserves way more recognition, and quite frankly, more respect. Yes, this is one my favorite Aerosmith songs and I'm being bias. However, the indisputable  fact is, "Amazing" has in-depth lyrics, good rhythm, and great vocals by the front-man, Steve Tyler.

The song outlines a person reflect on his past adversities and triumphs. It is arguable that Tyler put forth some of his personal experiences into lyrics, such as the ugly breakups Aerosmith went through. Joe Perry, the lead guitarist, formed his own band called Joe Perry Project, and wrote the song, Let the Music Do the Talking. But Tyler and Perry eventually resolved their differences in the mid 80s. "There were times in my life / When I was going insane,"perfectly culminates such aforementioned experience.

Rock N' Roll Posts: