Sunday, May 31, 2009

What Is A Rock Musician

Some people would have you believe that rock and roll is all about the ascending of the musician to a higher plane, controlled by Good and Dark forces who have designed a path of enlightenment, just like the lady in stairway to heaven. But what the hell does it all mean? Do you drift away into a drug induced holiday like Iggy Pop or become a defiant anti-fascist punk band like the Plasmatics , pushing forward like a crazy wind that refuses to abate until all is cleansed, and blowing your car up in the process only to get the pulp beaten out of you by the Milwaukee Police somewhere between anarchy and madness.

What is Rock N Roll, and why does the bubblegum music that seems so pervasive, ala American Idol and some self anointed British bad boy judge dictate who the band of tomorrow should be, it's Paramount to telling you which political affiliation should be prescribed. Rock n Roll is not about some carefully gloved innuendo, packaged in cellophane and delivered by some guy in brown shorts, it's about the force that goes forward from all of us, like a pack of wild animals, mowing you down where you stand. It isn't safe and the idea of danger is imminent and it doesn't wear Prada, go ask grandpa.

A rock musician isn't a carefully contrived and ordained entity that is propelled to greatness through artificial infomercial like a package full of lies. A Rock musician is an animal that embodies the music they play, with such force that on occasion, his or her own inspiration will burn so intensely that it will blind you, and when it's over, you can only wish that it would never end.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Where To Find Free Music

Up to this point I've talked about much of the great music that exists and how it relates, but where do we find this music, legally. I'm all about doing things right, I don't like anyone ripping anybody else off. Remember children, these rock gods are making their living off of album sales and royalties, let's not deny them their paycheck. That said, if you're like me, you want stuff for free and you want it within a legal framework, so where do you start?

There are literally thousands of places where you can listen to new and old music, all you need to know is where to look. My favorite places for free music are music streaming radio stations that offer non-stop, non-commercial music for your listening pleasure, completely legal. Sites like are great places to start on your journey into new and old music, spanning many different genres that will literally blow your mind, and best of all they are completely free. I really like because these guys have got a lot of new Indie Music, presented by music lovers like you and me . Some of this music is out there, risky, old school, daring to shove it in your face I don't give a crap to the corporate pay cheque. Music man, it's all about sharing ideas and grooves that dare you to be brave and face life and Internet radio stations bring it to you.

Another great site that is also free and legal is, dude, you want to talk about the good guys here, they'll rock you for free no pay stubs or innuendos, legal shit and you will rock it, you will love it and it will be your own, hours of rock out madness. Whether you're looking for 50's 60's 70's 80's 90's 2000 30000 5000000, it's all there in a absolute package of rock you till you drop.

That's it children, the music that will keep you going and going and going and you will love it and it will love you and everyone is friends and love rules and shit is legal and everyone gets along kind of music that the world can cuddle up to. Rock out Man.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rock Band Collection

Which Rock Band is in your Collection? Do you have a Favorite Rock Band in your CD Collection or are your tastes a little more eclectic?

I don't know about you, but I'm not one of those 'I only listen to Classic Rock, Man' type of dudes. I mean, seriously, how one-dimensional do you need to be to be stuck on one genre of music? I'm not going to hate on you if you are stuck in a rock era, I realize that it's hard for people to move on, and as we get older we also tend to lose touch.

Now, that's not to say that I love all new rock bands out there, there are quite a few that I consider crap. There's music out there, man, that often leaves me shaking my head wondering 'How the hell did this crap reach the radio?'. I'm baffled by the music, but not by the marketing because I realize that a lot of rock bands were not created out there, in the real world, but inside a board room. These rock bands were specifically designed and targeted to a specific group of kids, usually kids from middle to upper middle class backgrounds, which is where the money is.

The problem when you create music for a certain group of people is that it is often watered down, tapered at the ends with the intention of maximum penetration into other demographics. Record producers aren't the cowboys of old, those dudes have either passed away or have themselves been swayed or frayed by the economic tyranny that seems to permeate our culture. That is why many of you classic rock lovers out there are a bit pissed off and refuse to listen to anything made after a certain era. I realize that some of you are justified in feeling this way, some rock bands are shit, but there are a lot of great rock bands out there, signed up on Indie Labels, who are rocking it old school.

It's a topic that no one can win, the type of Rock band collection that you create will always be based on your personal experience and debating personal preference is more of a task relegated to thought persuasion than it is to music appreciation. There's no doubt in my mind that the rock bands that kids are listening to today will be the classic rock of tomorrow and that's a scary proposition man.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What Makes A Music Rock Star?

What makes one music artist a Rock Star while another not? What is it about the essence of a musician that makes him or her seem larger than life, untouchable? Is it the level of fame? Is it the attitude? Is it the make-up and clothes? I think that it is all of these things, but I also think there is something deeper, something that lies underneath and is hard to grasp. In fact, when discussing the essence of a Rock Star, it's not a stretch to say that Rock Stars are like Gods. The embody a aura of the fantastical , to the point that the are no longer viewed as mortals.

But what is it about the Music Artist that makes them a Rock Star? Just naming a few that stand out, like John Lennon, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Robert Plant, these artists all had many common traits. For example, they all wore excessive clothing and attitudes too. When John Lennon strutted down the streets of New York City with his white suit and Yoko, man, you could see this guy a mile a way. You couldn't' miss the cool, hip I don't give a crap attitude. Same with Jagger, Bowie, Plant and others. But was the attitude enough? I mean, sure these guys could dress, but so could a bunch of other dudes.

All of the mentioned Rock Stars above had more than just the clothes and attitude, they had the music. We're not talking about one or two hits, but dozens if not hundreds of hits, that is quite frankly, mind boggling. All these Rock Gods were just machines when it came to writing and music. It was non stop for them and this dedication and effort was a bit part of their personality.

Take Jimmy Page, for example, although he wasn't a lead singer like the other Rock Stars I just mentioned, he was still a Rock God. He was Jimmy Page, for gawd sake, this guy just rocked. And he too held a common trait with the other guys, he wore great clothes, had attitude and was a hard worker.

I'll go as far as saying that, in order to be a true Rock Star, a true Rock God, you need more than just the clothes and the attitude, you need the hard work and perseverance. Take Iggy Pop, for example, here's a guy who had only a handful of hits, but there isn't one person who would doubt that he is a Rock Star.

So what makes a Rock Star? I think it's a combination of looks, attitude, style, fanaticism to succeed and that special something that is indescribable but lies just underneath, that aura of a Rock God.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My 15 All-Time Favorite Rock Drummers

On the Last Post I told you about Rock And Roll Guitar Solos. Today I'll talk about the Rock Drummer

The Rock Drummer has been a bit of an enigma. I consider him the blue collared worker of the band. He works the hardest, gets the least pay and is for the most part ignored by fans, groupies, and other band-mates.

Let's face it, while the Lead Guitarist and Vocalist are busy schmoozing it up, and basically hogging the limelight, the poor drummer is off to a corner somewhere getting drunk. No other film has made this more clear than Spinal Tap, that off-beat Mocumentary of Rock Gods vs Mortal Man. If you haven't seen the film, watch it, it is that good. One of the themes of the film was that of the exploding drummer. In essence, Spinal Tap (The Band) couldn't keep their drummer because he kept exploding. And that is pretty much the way drummers are viewed, they are integral and you can't have a band without one, but they are also generally ADD kids who have never grown up.

But Sometimes, there are drummers who stand out and make their mark. Basically, these drummers destroy myths and through pure energy and charisma become an integral part of the band. I've Gone ahead and listed some of my favorite Rock/Metal Drummers, and as in previous posts, there is no order because they are all great to me.

1. John Bonham-Led Zeppelin: Legend Drummer, this guy could do everything, and his death also marked the death of Led Zeppelin.
2. Keith Moon-The Who: Legendary Power House drummer and mad man. Loved his booze and women, and a monster on stage.
3. Rick Allen (drummer) - Def Leppard - Any drummer that could play as good as this guy is tops in my books. He did it with one arm.
4. Phil Collins - Genesis - Phil Collins was both a lead singer and drummer, that's some raw talent, I don't care who you are.
5. Lars Ulrich - Metallica - Got a bad name in recent times as a corporate front man, but this guy is still one of the best drummers ever.
6. Alex Van Halen - Van Halen:
7. Nick Mason - Pink Floyd: A legend drummer
8. Neil Peart - Rush:
9. Igor Cavalera - Sepultura: - When it comes to timing and speed and new metal beats, can't be beat.
10. Paul Bostaph - Slayer: - Insane Speed.
11. Chad Smith - Red Hot Chilli Peppers:
12. David Silveria - Korn:
13. Topper Headon -The Clash:
14. Phil Rudd - AC/DC: -
15. Ringo Starr - The Beatles: Ringo needs to be on this list because he was one of the first, back-beat king.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rock And Roll Guitar Solos

There was a time when the Lead Guitarist was God, everyone admired and wanted to either be him or with him or her. There is just something iconic of a Lead Guitarist banging away at his guitar, it is the image of rock and roll. Although lead guitar solos are prevalent in every genre of music, including jazz and blues among others, we generally think about the Rock and Roll Lead Guitarist. The Rock and Roll guitarist's very sound, taking advantage of Harmony's and melody's bends and hammers, screeching a piercing note to the awe of the audience is what a rock and roll concert is all about. The lead guitarist is also a generally Type A personality, he stands out in front, often with his other type A friend the Vocalist and just rocks out. His solos are all about the dramatic effect of the performance, a singularly decided moment to either go nuts or stay controlled, either way he is decidedly the lone man with the gun. Whether he is banging out a wailing solo loud enough to pop a listener's ear drum with a distortion inspired solo or a more subtle harmonized, soothing riff, it's his right and domain.

The Lead Guitarist has always been somewhat of a front man, for example, it's not often that a bassist or drummer takes a leading role onstage, and often, the crowd tend to forget they exist. With the exclusion of say, Getty Lee from Rush or Flea from the Chilipeppers, Bassists, for example, are known for their support of the rock and roll melody. They don't generally stand out, and in fact, most bands don't want bassists to stand out too much. A poorly executed bass run can be just as bad as a poorly tuned stage band. Similarly, the Rock drummer is also a bit of lone man out, he sites in the back, often hidden by the drum rack and most people don't think twice of him. The drummer has one roll (pun intended) and that is to keep the rhythm and make sure that everyone is on the ball. Although a drummer is arguably the most important part of the band, his crusade is often a thankless one, and more often than not, the better he is the less he is noticed.

But you can't say that about a lead guitarist, in fact, his very presence is all about the show. A lead guitarist would be a failure if he didn't stand out and wow the audience with some great riffs, melodically and harmonically. The lead guitarist is probably one of the least essential parts of the band, I mean, the rhythm guitar does all the harmonizing, lead guitar just sits around for the most part and wailing in from time to time. And yet, he is essential to the energy of the music, his solos can bring positive or negative anticipations in the listener, her can make a listener happy, sad, angry, contemplative and so on.

If you think about Lead guitarists like Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour or Brian May, these guys made sense and became the energy of the band. But generally, a lead guitar solo is very very short, and often only as an alternative to a verse or chorus line, in fact, the lead guitarist is a virtual minimalist when it comes to over-all presence within a song. Solos can happen anywhere in a song, either at the beginning, middle or end, but generally you hear them after the first or second verse, and often in place of a chorus. Generally, Lead Guitar solos are played in place of a chorus which is generally where the emotion and power of a song is generally stored. But this isn't always the case, especially when you consider blues rock artists like Clapton who will play small guitar hooks and solos anywhere they feel like it. For these artists, a guitar solo has the same right as the vocalist and therefore can and should be played whenever the guitar feels that it's voice should be heard.

The Lead Guitar Solo is and will always be the heart and soul of a rock band, even though it's importance may have waned a little over the years, his roll is no less important than it was 30 or 40 years ago, and the audience will still admire him because he embodies the essence of rock and roll.

Monday, March 9, 2009

100 Best 80's Soft Rock Music Hits & 25 Best Heavy Metal Albums

On the last post I told you about 10 All time Best Guitar Solos
This week I would like to talk about 80's Music Hits.

For most people, the 80's music scene was comprised of big hair and androgyny. In fact, it ushered in a new age of glam rock. Anyone who was anyone, and even those who were not, seemed to embrace the glam metal attitudes of the early 70's glam rock persona's like The New York City Dolls, Iggy Pop and David Bowie. It was cool to look like the opposite sex and not surprising, many social issues from gay rights to feminism seemed to explode into pop culture. But it wasn't just the metal heads that were getting into spandex and accessories, everyone was. The whole music scene exploded with a creativity the likes we'll probably not see for a good long time. Neon-colored socks and scarves, and every color under the rainbow. People had big hair and big attitudes, men wore pink and women wore torn knitted pantyhose ala Madonna. It was the way things were, man, people wore their individuality with pride.

The 1980's music scene is possibly one of the strangest times in the evolution of rock music. These guys did everything, including Piano Accordion , it was insane. Much of the most tame bubblegum music, came from the 80's. On the other hand, the 1980's also saw the rise of some of the hardest rock and metal ever. These guys made Black Sabbath and Zeppelin look like librarians, they were over the top, big time. Names like Slayer, Voivod, Metallica, and even 70's greats like AC/DC and Motorhead and Van Halen were developing into hardrocking godlike icons.

All this was happening about the same time as bands like Wham, Boy George and Culture Club, Air Supply, Hall & Oates, Michael Jackson and other soft rock bands were taking the world by storm. It was as if the the metal bands were becoming more aggressive in order to distance themselves from music that would, even by today's standards seem weak.

Regardless of intent, the music of the 1980's was great because it made no apologies to anyone. You could lay on your bed listening Duran Duran on your Sony Walkman, or pump up the volume on your dad's stereo system, while listening to Anthrax. There was no need to apologize, and I'm sure some of you even moonlighted from mods or preps in the day and headbanging rockers and punks at night, all you needed were a cool leather jacket, boots and a black t-shirt with your favorite metal band on it.

The following is a list of some old faves of the 1980's. I'll divide them into soft rock and hard rock so as not to confuse. I'll also put the Heavy Metal albums instead of singles because as everyone knows, metal was meant to be enjoyed as an album. I'll start with the 100 Best 80's Soft Rock Music and progress to the 25 Best Heavy Metal Albums.

Soft Rock - Bands & Singles

  1. Call Me - Blondie
  2. Fame - Irene Cara
  3. Little Jeannie - Elton John
  4. Do That To Me One More Time - Captain And Tennille
  5. Talking Heads - Burning Down the House
  6. David Bowie - China Girl
  7. Bryan Adams - Straight From the Heart
  8. Naked Eyes - Promises, Promises
  9. David Bowie - Modern Love
  10. Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
  11. Jessie's Girl - Rick Springfield
  12. The One That You Love - Air Supply
  13. Physical - Olivia Newton-John
  14. 9 To 5 - Dolly Parton
  15. Queen Of Hearts - Juice Newton
  16. Kiss On My List - Daryl Hall & John Oates
  17. Celebration - Kool & The Gang
  18. Rosanna - Toto
  19. Gloria - Laura Branigan
  20. Who Can It Be Now? - Men At Work
  21. Centerfold - The J. Geils Band
  22. Down Under - Men At Work
  23. Africa - Toto
  24. Maniac - Michael Sembello
  25. True - Spandau Ballet
  26. Total Eclipse Of The Heart - Bonnie Tyler
  27. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me - Culture Club
  28. Owner Of A Lonely Heart - Yes
  29. Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr.
  30. Talking In Your Sleep - The Romantics
  31. Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run) - Billy Ocean
  32. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - Wham!
  33. Let's Hear It For The Boy - Deniece Williams
  34. Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
  35. Hold Me Now - Thompson Twins
  36. What's Love Got To Do With It - Tina Turner
  37. Shout - Tears for Fears
  38. Miami Vice Theme - Jan Hammer
  39. We Built this City - Starship
  40. The Power of - Love Huey Lewis &the News
  41. Can't Fight this Feeling - REO Speedwagon
  42. Addicted to Love - Robert Palmer
  43. Danger Zone - Kenny Loggins
  44. Naked Eyes - Always Something There to Remind Me
  45. Talking Heads - Burning Down the House
  46. David Bowie - China Girl
  47. Bryan Adams - Straight From the Heart
  48. Naked Eyes - Promises, Promises
  49. David Bowie - Modern Love
  50. Hold Me Now - Thompson Twins
  51. What's Love Got To Do With It - Tina Turner
  52. Shout - Tears for Fears
  53. Miami Vice Theme - Jan Hammer
  54. We Built this City - Starship
  55. Duran Duran - Rio
  56. Big Country - In a Big Country
  57. ABC - The Look of Love
  58. Chris DeBurgh - Don't Pay The Ferryman
  59. Elvis Costello - Everyday I Write the Book
  60. Modern English - I Melt With You
  61. Take Me Home Tonight - Eddie Money
  62. Sara - Starship
  63. Venus - Bananarama
  64. Kyrie - Mr. Mister
  65. Miami Vice Theme - Jan Hammer
  66. We Built this City - Starship
  67. The Power of - Love Huey Lewis &the News
  68. Can't Fight this Feeling - REO Speedwagon
  69. Addicted to Love - Robert Palmer
  70. Danger Zone - Kenny Loggins
  71. Walk Like an Egyptian - Bangles
  72. Dexys Midnight Runners - Come on Eileen
  73. Police - Every Breath You Take
  74. David Bowie - Let's Dance
  75. Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson - Say, Say, Say
  76. Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
  77. Duran Duran - Hungry Like the Wolf
  78. Styx - Mr. Roboto
  79. Men Without Hats - Safety Dance
  80. Marvin Gaye - Sexual Healing
  81. Fixx - One Thing Leads to Another
  82. After the Fire - Der Kommissar
  83. Pat Benatar - Love is a Battlefield
  84. Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science
  85. Kajagoogoo - Too Shy
  86. Kinks - Come Dancing
  87. Prince - Little Red Corvette
  88. Naked Eyes - Always Something There to Remind Me
  89. Talking Heads - Burning Down the House
  90. David Bowie - China Girl
  91. Bryan Adams - Straight From the Heart
  92. Naked Eyes - Promises, Promises
  93. David Bowie - Modern Love
  94. Duran Duran - Rio
  95. Big Country - In a Big Country
  96. ABC - The Look of Love
  97. Chris DeBurgh - Don't Pay The Ferryman
  98. Elvis Costello - Everyday I Write the Book
  99. Modern English - I Melt With You
  100. Soft Cell - Tainted Love

Hard Rock - Bands & Albums

  1. Love at First Sting - Scorpions
  2. Ace of Spades - Motorhead
  3. Diary of a Madman - Ozzy Osbourne
  4. Venom - Black Metal
  5. Dr. Feelgood - Motley Crue
  6. Skid Row - Skid Row
  7. Balls to the Wall - Accept
  8. Heaven and Hell - Black Sabbath
  9. The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden
  10. Venom - Black Metal
  11. Dr. Feelgood - Motley Crue
  12. Mechanical Resonance - Tesla
  13. Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche
  14. Among The Living - Anthrax
  15. Under Lock and Key - Dokken
  16. Balls to the Wall - Accept
  17. Master of Puppets - Metallica
  18. Mechanical Resonance - Tesla
  19. Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche
  20. Among The Living - Anthrax
  21. Under Lock and Key - Dokken
  22. Reign in Blood - Slayer
  23. Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Megadeth
  24. Krokus - Headhunter
  25. Voivod - Nothingface
There you have it, a breakdown of the hard and soft rock/metal/whatever of the 1980's. It's all part of a cycle of things, I think. Soft and hard rock will always exist as long as people live on this planet, and no other time has shown us this than the 1980's.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

10 All time Best Guitar Solos

On the last post I told you about 50s 60s or 70s rock bands. Today I'll talk about guitar solos.

I realize that I may be opening up the Pandora's box on this one, after all, guitar solos are subjective correct? I mean, who am I to tell you what is and isn't the best when it comes to good ole rock n roll guitar solos. Many questions may arise, for example, 'Have I heard every song there is to hear? Of course not. That is why I'm laying it out for you up front, I don't want to upset the greater good that exists in your special place. The point is, alltime greatest guitar solos means absolutely nothing, nada, zilch. It is a completely personal and subjective preference on my part, and in no way is it intended to be the end all and say all of what is and isn't a great rock n roll solo. You are free to disagree or agree, I don't really care either way. Should you like what I'm putting out here? Of course you should, and you should accept it and love it, but once again, you can remain a contrarian and that's cool with me too, hell dude, whatever floats your boat is cool with me. Rock n Roll is so speculative, especially these days that everyone can have a legitimate viewpoint on what is good and what isn't. In fact, I could even support you if you told me that 'I love Nickleback man, they rock', More power to you if that is your thing, frankly I can't stand the band, I call them the Beavers (The animal on the back of a Canadian Nickel).

Ok, enough about me, let's talk about the 10 All time Best Guitar Solos. As you may know by now, I have a preference of 70's rock n roll music over other eras, so it will be no surprise to you that I have included most of the all time greatest Rock n Roll Guitar solos from the 70's, once again, it's all good. As is my customary thing, all of the solos are going to be randomly entered, so therefore, no one guitar solo takes precedence over another. Simply, they're all given equal weight. There's nothing better than seeing and hearing your favorite artist pluck away at a rocking Gibson or Ibanez guitars it's just cool dude.

As per popular request, my 10 All time Best Guitar Solos:

  1. Eruption by Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
  2. Stairway to Heaven by Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
  3. Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix
  4. Hotel California by Don Felder/Joe Walsh (The Eagles)
  5. Layla by Clapton/Allman (Derek and the Dominoes )
  6. Bohemian Rhapsody by Brian May (Queen)
  7. Wish You Were Here by David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)
  8. Sweet Child O' Mine by Slash (Guns n' Roses)
  9. One by Kirk Hammet (Metallica)
  10. Won't Get Fooled Again by Pete Townsend (The Who)
There you have it, my 10 All time Best Guitar Solos. There are so many more great guitar solos out there, but I would need a 100 or 1000 All time Best Guitar Solos for a list like that, so 10 will suffice for now.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

50's, 60,s or 70's Rock Bands

On the last post I told you about the all time greatest rock singles. Today I would like to talk to you about Rock Bands from the 50's, 60,s and 70's.

There's always been a debate circling which era produced the best Rock n Roll, some say it's the 50's with rock greats like Elvis, or the hippie inspired 60's rock bands, some will go on and prop up the 70's hard rock bands and so on and so forth. When someone asks me which generation of Rock n Roll artists I think were the best, my answer is always the same, 'That depends on your frame of reference'.

Ok, I admit that answer is a bit aloof, and rightly so, on rare occasions I can get away with saying that one liner while my victim looks on, perplexed. I smile and pat myself on the back, feeling all full of myself for stunning another unsuspecting customer. But because I love talking about rock music I usually elaborate, 'That depends on your frame of reference. Every generation will embrace whichever music is popular at the time. And because it's all based on a frame of reference, you can never really support an argument that one generation of music tops another."

Although my explanation seems a little legalized, to me there's no other way. You can't reference an emotional state, as it relates to the music, if everyone has distinct personal likes and dislikes. No one can ever win an argument when it comes to talking about the unknown realm of feelings, unless that is, you've got none.

All of the above mumbo jumbo aside, for me, the 70's Rock bands were the best. Although I loved Rock n Roll of the 50's I always found the music a little too safe. I think the music back then was safe because there was an entire nation of up-tight conservatives who did not let the music evolve freely, so that if a rock artist wanted to get his or her music played, they ended up playing by the rules of the political mood at the time. That said, the 50's Rock n Roll artists were the ones who turned the lights on. They made it happen in a big way, laid the foundation for the next generations.

Moving on to the 60's Rock n Roll bands, I do love the music, have no doubt. But, I always felt that the artists of the 60's were still restrained by the political mood at the time. Whether it be the anti-war campaigns, or the constraints of a conservative American home life. For me, the 60's built on the foundation of the house of rock, but they were more involved in the frame of the house.

In my opinion, it wasn't until the 70's Rock bands came into the scene that rock n roll took that big leap forward into the unknown. With the foundation laid out by the 50's rock n roll pioneers, and the framework of the 60's inspired hippie scene, the 70's rock bands could no go ahead and add volume and texture to what had been created before them. The house of rock became a textured, multi-dimensional structure that you could see, touch and feel because it was finally standing on its own.

Below is a list of my all time favorite Rock n Roll bands that, in my opinion, were at their greatest in the 70's.

Led Zeppelin
Pink Floyd
The Eagles
Rolling Stones
Black Sabbath
Deep Purple
Van Halen
The Who
Lynyrd Skynyrd
The Doobie Brothers
Allman Brothers
Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Bad Company
Blue Oyster Cult
Fleetwood Mac
The Velvet Underground
The Clash

And the list goes on and on and on. But there you have it, in a nutshell, the bands that in my opinion changed the sound of Rock n Roll music forever, embracing their own brand of individuality. The 70's, in my opinion, is where the texture of rock n roll was formed and it was in the 70's rock bands that we owe for today's rock n roll sound.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

All Time Greatest Rock Singles

Last post I told you about rock covers. This post I will talk to you about All Time Greatest Rock Singles.

Although the idea of music singles has a very long history dating back to the gramophone record in the late 1800's, to me a rock single is still the good old 7 inch 45 rpm records that were introduced in 1949. These discs were just slightly larger than today's CD's but carried a lot less music, usually only 1 song on the A side and another on the Flip side. Unlike music today, where singles are immediately available for download online, back in the day you either purchased the complete album, the single or wait for it air on the radio. While I was growing up, there was always someone in the neighborhood who had purchased a 45 or the complete LP and we would all get together and play the tunes. There was no rushing, we didn't expect everything right away, and information overload didn't exist. There were fewer selections of music for us to choose from, and in this way, we enjoyed our rock singles all the more.

Fast forward 30 years and I now see a music industry that is saturated with globs of music, to the poing of overkill. Rock Singles don't really mean all that much anymore, often because the music that we listen to on the radio is mostly industry generated crap, but also because the idea of a single is irrelevent, all the music and bands seem to have amalgamated into one big genre that it's often difficult to tell who wrote what, and the fact that the music is all online, ready to be downloaded from Napster or I-tunes makes the picture even fuzzier.

I've put together a list of my favorite rock singles, these are all in alphabetic, not chronological and not based on my most favorite to my least favorite rock singles. They're just there, from top to bottom. When I put this list together I was worried that I would miss some important song, or group, and if I remember I'll add them later. Enjoy my rock singles selection.

(Don't Fear) the Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult
(Sittin on) the Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding
(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock, Bill Haley and His Comets
A Day in the Life, The Beatles
Ain't It a Shame, Fats Domino
Alison, Elvis Costello
All Along the Watchtower, Jimi Hendrix
All Apologies, Nirvana
All Shook Up, Elvis Presley
Anarchy in the U.K., The Sex Pistols
Bad Moon Rising, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Band On The Run, Paul McCartney and Wings
Black Dog, Led Zeppelin
Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden
Blowin' in the Wind, Bob Dylan
Blue Suede Shoes, Carl Perkins
Blue Suede Shoes, Elvis Presley
Blueberry Hill, Fats Domino
Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
Born to Be Wild, Steppenwolf
Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen
Breakfast In America, Supertramp
Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison
Buddy Holly, Weezer
Bye Bye Love, The Everly Brothers
California Dreamin', The Mamas and The Papas
California Girls, The Beach Boys
Call Me, Blondie
Can't Help Falling in Love, Elvis Presley
Changes, David Bowie
Come As You Are, Nirvana
Come Together, The Beatles
Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd
Crazy, Patsy Cline
Creep, RadioHead
Crying, Roy Orbison
Dance to the Music, Sly and the Family Stone
Dancing in the Street, Martha and the Vandellas
Dirty Deeds, AC/DC
Do You Believe in Magic, The Lovin' Spoonful
Don't Be Cruel, Elvis Presley
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, The Animals
Don't Worry Baby, The Beach Boys
Dream On, Aerosmith
Dreamboat Annie, Heart
Eight Miles High, The Byrds
Eleanor Rigby, The Beatles
Enter Sandman, Metallica
Epic, Faith No More
Even Flow, Pearl Jam
Every Breath You Take, The Police
Fortunate Son, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Free Bird, Lynyrd Skynyrd
Free Fallin', Tom Petty
Georgia on My Mind, Ray Charles
Gimme Some Lovin', The Spencer Davis Group
Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac
God Save the Queen, The Sex Pistols
Good Golly, Miss Molly, Little Richard
Good Lovin', The Young Rascals
Good Riddance Time of Your Life, Green Day
Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John
Great Balls of Fire, Jerry Lee Lewis
Heart of Glass, Blondie
Heart of Gold, Neil Young
Heartbreak Hotel, Elvis Presley
Help!, The Beatles
Heroin, The Velvet Underground
Hey Joe, Jimi Hendrix
Hey Jude, The Beatles
Higher Ground, Stevie Wonder
Highway to Hell, AC/DC
Hot Fun in the Summertime,Sly and the Family Stone
Hotel California, The Eagles
Hound Dog, Elvis Presley
House of the Rising Sun, The Animals
How Soon Is Now?, The Smiths
I Can See for Miles, The Who
I Can't Explain, The Who
I Fought the Law, The Bobby Fuller Four
I Got You Babe, Sonny and Cher
I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Marvin Gaye
I Put a Spell on You, Screamin' Jay Hawkins
I Shot the Sheriff, Bob Marley and the Whailers
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, U2
I Walk the Line, Johnny Cash
I Wanna Be Sedated, The Ramones
I Want to Know What Love Is,Foreigner
I'm Eighteen, Alice Cooper
Imagine, John Lennon
Jailhouse Rock, Elvis Presley
Johnny B. Goode, Chuck Berry
Just My Imagination, The Temptations
Kashmir, Led Zeppelin
Kicks, Paul Revere and the Raiders
Knocking on Heaven's Door, Bob Dylan
La Bamba, Ritchie Valens
Layla, Derek and the Dominos
Lean On Me, Bill Withers
Let It Be, The Beatles
Let's Get It On, Marvin Gaye
Let's Stay Together, Al Green
Light My Fire, The Doors
Like a Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan
Little Red Corvette, Prince
Lola, The Kinks
London Calling, The Clash
Loser, Beck
Losing My Religion, R.E.M.
Love Shack, The B-52's
Love Will Tear Us Apart, Joy Division
Lust for Life, Iggy Pop
Mack the Knife, Bobby Darin
Maggie May, Rod Stewart
Man in the Box, Alice in Chains
Maybe I'm Amazed, Paul McCartney
Midnight Train to Georgia, Gladys Knight and the Pips
Miss You, The Rolling Stones
Money (That's What I Want), Barrett Strong
Moondance, Van Morrison
More Than a Feeling, Boston
Mr. Tambourine Man, Bob Dylan
Mustang Sally, Wilson Pickett
My Generation, The Who
My Girl, The Temptations
My Sweet Lord, George Harrison
New Year's Day, U2
No Woman, No Cry, Bob Marley and the Wailers
Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O'Connor
Oh Darling, Supertramp
Oh, Pretty Woman, Roy Orbison
Oh, What a Night, The Dells
Ohio, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
One Way or Another, Blondie
One, U2
Paint It, Black, The Rolling Stones
Papa Was a Rollin' Stone, The Temptations
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, James Brown
Paranoid Android, Radiohead
Paranoid, Black Sabbath
Peggy Sue, Buddy Holly
Penny Lane, The Beatles
Personality Crisis, New York Dolls
Piano Man, Billy Joel
Plush, Stone Temple Pilots
Purple Haze, Jimi Hendrix
Purple Rain, Prince
Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win), Fleetwood Mac
Rock & Roll Music, Chuck Berry
Rocket Man, Elton John
Roll Over Beethoven, Chuck Berry
Roxanne, The Police
Runaway, Del Shannon
Runnin' With The Devil, Van Halen
Satisfaction, The Rolling Stones
School's Out, Alice Cooper
Shattered, Rolling Stones
Sh-Boom, The Chords
She Sells Sanctuary, The Cult
She's Not There, The Zombies
Shine, Collective Soul
Should I Stay or Should I Go, The Clash
Sloop John B, The Beach Boys
Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana
Smoke on the Water, Deep Purple
Somebody to Love, Jefferson Airplane
Something, The Beatles
Son of a Preacher Man, Dusty Springfield
Spirit in the Sky, Norman Greenbaum
Stairway To Heaven, Led Zeppelin
Stand By Me, Ben E. King
Summer in the City, The Lovin' Spoonful
Sunshine of Your Love, Cream
Superstition, Stevie Wonder
Surrender, Cheap Trick
Suspicious Minds, Elvis Presley
Sweet Child O' Mine, Guns N' Roses
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Eurythmics
Sweet Emotion, Aerosmith
Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd
Sweet Jane, The Velvet Underground
Sympathy for the Devil, The Rolling Stones
That's All Right, Elvis Presley
The Boys Are Back in Town, Thin Lizzy
The Boys of Summer, Don Henley
The End, The Doors
The Great Pretender, The Platters
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The Band
The Thrill Is Gone, B.B. King
The Times They Are A-Changin', Bob Dylan
The Tracks of My Tears, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
The Weight, The Band
The Wind Cries Mary, Jimi Hendrix
There Goes My Baby, The Drifters
Tiny Dancer, Elton John
Unchained Melody, The Righteous Brothers
Under Pressure, Queen
Under the Boardwalk, The Drifters
Under The Bridge, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Up on the Roof, The Drifters
Us And Them, Pink Floyd
Waiting On A Friend, Rolling Stones
Walk on the Wild Side, Lou Reed
Watching The Wheels, John Lennon
We Gotta Get Out of This Place, The Animals
What's Going On, Marvin Gaye
When a Man Loves a Woman, Percy Sledge
While My Guitar Gently Weeps, The Beatles
White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane
White Room, Cream
Whiter Shade of Pale, Procol Harum
Who'll Stop the Rain,Creedence Clearwater Revival
Wild Horses, The Rolling Stones
Wild Thing, The Troggs
Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd
Wonderwall, Oasis
Won't Get Fooled Again, The Who
Woodstock, Crosby Stills And Nash
Would, Alice in Chains
Yesterday, The Beatles
You Can't Always Get What You Want, The Rolling Stones
You Really Got Me, The Kinks
Young Americans, David Bowie
Your Cheatin' Heart, Hank Williams
Your Song, Elton John
You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', The Righteous Brothers
Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rock Covers

Last post I told you about album collection wish list. On this post I will discuss Rock covers.

As I look at my rock collection I'm constantly reminded at how musicians inspire one another to make rock covers. I bet every single rock musician in my rock collection has had a rock idol who has been a source of inspiration in their quest for rock glory, most likely inspired through rock covers.

Often, people forget that musicians are people just like us who get inspired, often by the same music we do. This is most obvious when rock bands do a cover of another rock artist's song, this is the ultimate tribute that a band can pay another. The thing with cover songs is that there is rarely a musician who thinks that their version will be better than the original, it's not often about competition but about paying homage to the original artist. Occasionally though, something great happens and the cover song ends up sounding better than the original. This can often be a double edged sword for the artist doing the rock cover, because although the song itself may be a source of fame for the artist, it will also awaken the so-called music critics who tend to come out of the wood work specifically to trash the rock cover. As the saying goes, everyone's a critic.

The key to doing a rock cover and not awaken the dead is to cover a song that isn't well known, so that most people will think the artist doing the cover is also the writer. This may sound terrible, but it's just the way things work in the real world, and many bands have propelled their own music careers with rock covers.

I have gathered a list of rock covers that I think are great, and in many cases have helped the rock artist gain fame. You may be surprised how many rock greats existed almost elusively on the music of others. Does that mean that they did not have talent? Of course not, often, their version was much more popular than the original. For example, let's take Rock Great Eric Clapton as an example. Many of Clapton's greatest hits, the songs that people know him by, were written by other artists. Here's a list of well known Eric Clapton Hits:

After Midnight Eric Clapton (1970) written by J. J. Cale (1970)
Cocaine Eric Clapton (1977) written by J. J. Cale (1976)
I Shot the Sheriff Eric Clapton (1974) written by Bob Marley (1973)

But Clapton wasn't the only big name who made a lot of money doing Rock Covers, take Jimi Hendrix, for example:

Come On (let the good times roll) Jimi Hendrix (1968) written by Earl King (1960)
Hey Joe Jimi Hendrix (1966) written by Performed by The Leaves (1965) Written by Billy Roberts (1962)
All Along The Watchtower Jimi Hendrix (1968) written by Bob Dylan (1967)

Still not convinced? Let's take the kings of the Back beat, The Beatles. Early in their careers, the Beatles borrowed extensively from other artists, for example:

Dizzy Miss Lizzy Beatles (1965) written by Larry Williams (1958)
Honey Don't Beatles (1964) written by Carl Perkins (1956)
Long Tall Sally Beatles (1964) written by Little Richard (1956)
Please Mr. Postman Beatles (1963) written by The Marvelettes (1961)
Roll Over Beethoven Beatles (1963) written by Chuck Berry (1956)
Twist And Shout Beatles (1963) written by Top Notes (1961)
You Really Got A Hold On Me Beatles (1963) written by The Miracles (1963)

The Beatles were a virtual cover band early on, before they found their own musical paths. Most if not all Rock n Roll giants covered other people's music. Some bands became rock stars by covering other rock band's music, take for example the following:

Blinded By The Light Manfred Mann's Earth Band (1976) written by Bruce Springsteen (1973)
Black Magic Woman Santana (1970) written by Fleetwood Mac (1968)
Blueberry Hill Fats Domino (1956) written by Gene Autry (1941)
Cum On Feel The Noize Quiet Riot (1983) written by Slade (1973)
Drift Away Uncle Kracker (2003) written by Doby Gray (1973)
Hard To Handle Black Crows (1989) written by Otis Redding (1968)
If You Don't Know Me By Now Simply Red (1989) written by Harold Melvin & Blue Notes (1972)
Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood The Animals (1965) written by Nina Simone (1964)

And the list goes on and on and on. I'm sure that most people would not consider any of the bands that I've listed as mediocre. Lets face it, some of those mentioned above are considered the kings of rock n roll, but there they are, getting famous doing rock covers. So the next time you see a new band covering an old tune, give them some space and appreciate the fact that they are doing something that has been done from day one, good old rock covers.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Album Collection Wish List

On the last post I discussed Gregorian Monk Chants. On this post I will talk about Album Collection Wish Lists.

A couple of posts ago I described how I went about organizing my rock collection. More specifically, I organized my CD collection, but have not touched my Vinyl album collection. The main reason for this is that I have duplicates of many of my Vinyl LPs in CD, and also, my wish list for my album collection has always been to duplicate all of my albums in CD form. The problem is, to convert the album collection over to CD would require thousands of dollars, and I'm not about to spend that much money.

So that is a bit of a dilemma, let's face it, vinyl albums are much more fragile, prone to scratching and warping and therefore in need of replacement. My best option was to find some sort of software that I could use to convert all of the remaining vinyl from my rock collection into digital format on my PC. I've heard that this was possible to do but I'm not that technically inclined so the idea seemed difficult. I found an interesting tutorial on the net, and it seems easier than I had first thought. Basically, all you need to do is to connect stereo RCA or RCA to 1/8-inch cables from your stereo receiver to the back of your video card, and then using free software called Audacity recording your vinyl album to your computer should be snap.

Ok, I admit that I haven't yet given it a go and that's because I realized that the needle on my record player had mysteriously disappeared, so I'm unable to actually play any of my LPs at this moment. Not sure where the record needle went, but I must admit that I've neglected that old record player for years, I like the way digital CD's sound. Actually, I like the fact that there are no scratching and white noise on the CDs and that's the primary reason that I converted most of my album collection to CD in the first place. Yes, I admit, I'm guilty of ignoring some of the albums in my collection, but frankly I just have not been in the mood to listen to the Carpenters or Beethoven piano concertos in a while, yes yes, I know, you're probably thinking "dude this isn't rock n roll", but as I've mentioned before, my music tastes vary and I'm always curious of adding new musical sounds to my repertoire.

To make a long story short, I'm going to see if I can fix my record player and then convert the rest of the album collection to my computer. Don't know when I'll get this done, cause I'm a pretty lazy dude, but when I do then I'll let you know how it worked.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gregorian Monk Chants In My Rock Collection

On the last post I told you about how I organized my rock collection. Today we'll talk about Gregorian Monk Chants.

As I sit here looking at my rock collection, I often ask myself what it all means. My music collection is a representation of me, but why did I decide to purchase 'Gregorian Monk Chants' for example? Was it my desire to expand the wealth of my musical horizons? Or was it my wish to explore different genres of music so that I could extract and learn from these genres to expand my own repertoire of music playing? Or perhaps I really enjoy listening to 13th century Gregorian Monk Chants.

All of the above are plausible explanations why Gregorian Monk Chants ended up in my Rock Collection, but I'll put forward another reason why I believe I purchased it, Blind Sheepdom. It was hard for me to admit at first, that I was in fact herded like sheep into purchasing the Monk Chant Disk. That's not to say that I despise Monk Chants, in fact I think they're pretty cool and for those of you who like to explore your musical diversity, Gregorian Monk Chants offer a wealth of cool Harmonization techniques, but alas that is not the reason I purchased the disk.

I believe it was the early nineties, right after the Electronic/Contemporary Rock Group Enigma came out with their MCMXC a.D. in 1990. The songs on those albums, although tame by today's standards, caught on like wild fire, fueled by mainstream media's refusal to play Enigma's sexually inspired religious videos, MTV wanted nothing of it at the time. Did you know that Enigma's album was banned in several countries? Which I guess is a lesson to all you kids looking to make a splash on the music scene, get a half-decent album create a religious inspired sex-fest and get out your nets, because the money will fall from the sky.

Enigma's MCMXC a.D. CD seemed to inspire people, including the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo, I presume. Soon after that album, I noticed a plethora of religious inspired chant CD's bursting into the music scene, and people were loving it. This is a very good example of secondary/complimentary purchases where a demand is created for one product because of popularity of another, and something that the Music Industry has yet to figure out. I digress, back to the reason why Gregorian Monk Chants have made it to my Rock Collection. Beside the examples that I've outlined above, which are in fact valid, because I genuinely did get a lot out of that music, I admit that it wasn't the real reason I purchased it. I, like millions of other sheep, got caught up in the moment of the music, yes, shame on me. I got caught up in the movement, which is what music is all about. I can't stress this enough, don't be afraid to diversify and listen to new music, regardless of the genre. Do not assume for one moment that your favorite Rock n Roll Idols haven't done the same. Many great songs have come out of popular rock groups because of this, whether it be the Beatles fascination with Classical music, or Led Zeppelins country inspired ditty's, music becomes fresh and alive when people explore the boundaries of their own musical tastes.

Take it from me, the next time you see a new Music movement on the horizon, grab hold of it and make it your own. Embrace it and love it and let that new music take hold of you, regardless of your apprehensions and lack of familiarity, don't sit on a fence. You'll be glad that you have let a new form into your life, that is after all what Rock n Roll is all about, the creation of new ideas through the mixture of old ones. New music will truly enrich your music collection, much like the Gregorian Monk Chants did for my own Rock Collection.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Organize Your Rock Collection

On the last post I told you how today's music rocks. On this post we'll talk about how to organize your rock collection.

I've finally decided to re-organize my Rock n Roll collection chronologically. I decided on Chronology only because I like having access to certain musical eras, and for me it just makes sense, although organizing your Rock Collection Alphabetically makes sense too.

Before taking on the task of organizing, my CD collection was just a mess, with no specific method to my madness, individual bands mixed up all over the place. Elvis was schmoozing with STP and Led Zeppelin with Neil Young, it was a mess.

Organizing a Rock Collection isn't as simple as it first seems. First, I realized that my rock collection was never going to be in exact chronological order, because I wanted CD's of the same bands together. This meant that I needed to organize the hundreds of disks into their distinct bands first, organized those chronologically, until each and every band was organized, and then I needed to figure out how to put them all together. This really is a task in patience that only a Zen Master could appreciate.

If you are thinking about organizing your rock collection, here are a few tips that I learned through my own mistakes and frustration. First, do yourself a favor and make a list of all of the disks that you've got, and organize them on your computer first. Originally I surfed the web for a while looking for software that would help in organizing my CD collection and then gave up after finding no free software, I'm too cheap to spend money on software that I'll only use a few times.
After half/hour searching for software, I decided to do it manually. If you've got any suggestions on some sort of CD cataloging software, please let me know, I would love to hear about it.

Anyway, I finally got out my trusted Excel spreadsheet and started plugging away, typing each and every album that I had, and after the first hour I was pretty much ready to pull my hair out from the roots, what was I thinking? The worse part was knowing that I still needed to pull up all of each release date for every CD and this is no fun, man, absolutely no fun. My Rock Collection was becoming a mind numbing monster. But I persevered and I'm glad that I did.

After documenting every CD I owned, and organizing in on the spreadsheet, the rest was easy. It was just a matter of following the spreadsheet and putting things in order. Now I look at my Rock Collection and smile, I'm very proud of this, and best of all, everything is within easy grasp. I no longer have to fiddle around my vast CD Collection to find what I'm looking for. One thing I need to get is dividers like the ones you see in the image above, other than that it's perfect. I highly recommend that everyone organize their Rock Collection, you'll be glad you did.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rock Collection: Today's Music Rocks

On the last post I told you about Pink Floyd's album Atom Hear Mother. Today, I'll talk about how Today's Music Rocks.

When I look at my Rock Collection, I can't help but smile. There is just so much life stored on those CDs on the wall of my Rock Collection and it spans years and years of my life. I can trace different stages of my life, good times and bad, girlfriends and old friends on these disks. That's really what music means to me, the appreciation of life and how music fits in. It's this reason that I don't rank one album, or Music Artist or Genre above another. I think it's foolish to think that I've got the all the answers, and that the music that I enjoy is better than someone else's, it's not. My rock collection is my own and it represents who I am as a person.

Now that said, I had a friendly debate with a friend the other day. Like me, this friend loves Rock and Roll, probably more than I. As often happens with a couple of brews, we got on to reminiscing about the good ole days, listening to Zeppelin or the Stones and as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, Danny (My friend) said, "They don't make music like that anymore."

I agreed, they don't make music like that anymore, but of course that's not what he meant. He was obviously stating that the music of 20 -50 years ago has more value than today's music, and that is where I disagreed. My response was something like "I agree that the music was great, but there's a lot of good music today."

O.K. it's fair to say that neither of us won that argument, but my point is that we often get hooked into a stage in our lives where music meant the most to us, and then proceed to defend that music until our dying day. I personally think this is a wrong approach, because there is just as much great music today as there was 20 + years ago.

As I look at my rock collection and think about great bands like Queen, or Guns & Roses or The Beatles, I think that although these bands existed years apart, they still hooked me in. So I began to think about what it was about the CDs in my Rock Collection that made me a fan. Invariably it always came down to the melody. What I mean by this is that although a great guitar hook or Piano intro or solid drumming or bass runs are awesome, it still all comes down to the melody. And it's not always important what the artist is saying, they often said nothing and I still enjoyed the music. And it is in this way that music can remain appreciated and progressive.

The problem with a tune is that eventually, it becomes repeated and re-used, sampled, covered, copied to the point that music of old has now turned into new music that has somehow been repackaged and re-engineered. That said, I still believe that mass-marketed bubble-gum music aside, there are some great bands today that really are worth listening, whether it be songs by Incubus, Green Day, The Killers, Metric or the Chili Peppers and so on, or less known artists like Calexico, Muse or Annie etc. These bands have all got great music to offer and worth listening to.

The next time you take your Floyd, Zeppelin, Stones or AC/DC from your Rock Collection and put it in your CD Player, perhaps you should put that CD back and explore lesser known artists, you'll be surprised at how much good music there is out there.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Rock Collection: Old Floyd

On the last post I told you about the great albums in my rock collection. Today, we'll talk about Pink floyd's Atom Heart Mother.

The other day I dug deep into my Rock Collection and found a CD that I had not played in years, it's an old Pink Floyd album called Atom Heart Mother. Featuring the back side of a cow on the cover, with head turned, looking back at you, the CD promises to be different. Apparently, the image of the cow was photographed by Storm Thorgerson, same guy who designed the Dark Side Of The Moon Cover. Storm was inspired by Andy Warhol's famous "cow-wallpaper".

Atom Heart Mother was Pink Floyd's continued exploration of progressive rock and included many interesting tunes, to say the least. Included are some old favorites like "Breast Milky" and "Funky Dung". Like Dark Side Of The Moon, Atom Heart Mother was engineered by Legendary Rock musician/producer Alan Parsons, but unlike Dark Side Of The Moon, Atom Heart was less of a concept album than what appears to be a progressive rock exploration.

There have always been mixed reviews of this album, and except for the flip-side which features more digestible Floyd like Fat Old Sun and Summer 68, side A is a Brass and Choir orgy with what appears to be occasional Digital Cow flatulence (That's the best explanation that I can think of) and other rhythmic digressions.

Atom Heart Mother seems to be more closely related to the album Ummagumma, which was also very much a psychedelic musical exploration. Unlike Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother seemed to be barely keeping its head above the water. It definitely did not have that dark, morose feel that Ummagumma did. That said, it was an interesting musical direction for Pink Floyd to have taken, and I'm glad for albums like this, that although not great are as far from the carefully contrived and mass marketed/ predictable pop music that seems to have taken over the world. It sits proudly in my rock collection.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Rock Collection

In the last post on You Rock Collection, I told you a little about the history of Rock & Roll. Although I'm not a music history teacher, I felt that it was important to give you a little background on the History of Rock.

Today's post on You Rock Collection promises to be a little less educational, but just as serious. I wanted to tell you my all time favorite Rock and Roll albums. This is not an easy task because there are just so many great albums and rock bands past and present, where do you start? I'll start at the beginning.

Before I begin, I feel that it's important to lay down a few rules on my rock collection. Basically, to keep the list short, I will only choose one album per band. In this way, It will make the list easier to read and much smaller than it would be otherwise. The list is not in order and therefore no one album takes precedence over another, although we've all got our favorites and this is a personal thing. The list is not an end all and say all, and I'm sure I've missed many great bands, so feel free to remind me and I'll put it on the list. Lastly, some of the albums here stray a little from what we can classify as Rock, but I just couldn't resist. So here goes my Rock Collection.

White Album, The Beatles
Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys
Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan
London Calling, The Clash
The Sun Sessions, Elvis Presley
Are You Experienced?, The Jimi Hendrix Experience
In Utero, Nirvana
Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen
The Great Twenty-Eight, Chuck Berry
Live at the Apollo (1963), James Brown
Rumours, Fleetwood Mac
The Joshua Tree, U2
Who's Next, The Who
Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin
Ramones, Ramones
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, David Bowie
Hotel California, The Eagles
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, The Sex Pistols
The Doors, The Doors
The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd
The Band, The Band
Appetite for Destruction, Guns n' Roses
Moondance, Van Morrison
After the Gold Rush, Neil Young
Back in Black, AC/DC
Imagine, John Lennon
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John
20 Golden Greats, Buddy Holly
Green River, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Disraeli Gears, Cream
Paranoid, Black Sabbath
The Bends, Radiohead
Pretenders, The Pretenders
Closer, Joy Division
My Aim Is True, Elvis Costello
Ten, Pearl Jam
Buffalo Springfield Again, Buffalo Springfield
New York Dolls, New York Dolls
The Queen Is Dead, The Smiths
A Night at the Opera, Queen
Automatic for the People, R.E.M.
Some Girls,The Rolling Stones
Crosby Stills and Nash, Crosby Stills and Nash
The Cars, The Cars
Call Me, Al Green
Weezer (Blue Album), Weezer
Odelay, Beck
Avalon, Roxy Music
Nothing's Shocking, Jane's Addiction
BloodSugarSexMagik, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Rock Steady, No Doubt
Ghost in the Machine, The Police
Boys Don't Cry, The Cure
Superunknown, Soundgarden
Aqualung, Jethro Tull
Stop Making Sense, Talking Heads
Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits
Siamese Dream, The Smashing Pumpkins
Pyromania, Def Leppard
Elephant, The White Stripes
Eliminator, ZZ Top
Van Halen , Van Halen
Band on the Run, Wings
Fly Like an Eagle, Steve Miller Band
Destroyer, Kiss

I hope you enjoyed my Rock Collection. Feel free to tell me your favoriate album and i'll add it to the list.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rock And Roll History

My Rock collection contains a number of artists spanning different eras in Rock Music. While looking at my Rock Collection one day, I asked myself, 'How does this music all fit together?' and then I created this blog to try to understand it.

Although this blog isn't intended to be a historical lesson of Rock & Roll, I think it's important to summarize Rock and Roll in a historical context. After all, music is all about history, how it affects history and how history affects it.

Oddly enough, there is still debate on the origins of Rock & Roll and depending on who you speak with you may get a different response. It's generally accepted that Rock And Roll's roots come from an infusion of so-called black and white music. Specifically, Blues, Jazz, Boogie Woogie with Rockabilly, Western Swing, Bluegrass & Honky Tonk. Adding to the flavor of all these music genres we can also add Folk, Gospel and Big Band into the mix. The problem with the above idea is that it doesn't really tell us what the Eureka moment was that created Rock & Roll, or perhaps it's to vague and expectation. Also, since the above music genres are offspring of other music genres the true heart of Rock & Roll becomes a little less obvious. Since this isn't an attempt at locating the exact origins of Rock & Roll, and I'm not a music historian, I will add my own viewpoint on the history of Rock & Roll. For me, Rock as it was known back in the 195o's comes from the Blues and Country.

Digressing, it is important that the term Rock & Roll not be confused with the sound of Rock & Roll. The earliest recorded use of the term Rock & Roll can be heard on a spiritual recording "The Camp Meeting Jubilee", by an unnamed vocal "quartet, "We've been rocking and rolling in your arms / Rocking and rolling in your arms / In the arms of Moses". Clearly not Rock & Roll music as we understand it. Also, the term Rock and Roll has nautical origins and was apparently used by 'sailors to denote the side-to-side and forward-and-backward motion of ships on the ocean'.

That said, it is widely accepted that the first Rock & Roll album can be traced to Wynonie "Mr. Blues" Harris 1948 Rock & Blues cover of blues musician Roy James Brown's 1947 "Good Rocking Tonight".

Although Roy James Brown was a blues musician, he also influenced by music that was popular in his day, including music by Bing Crosby of all people.

The song "Good Rocking Tonight" had a profound impact on the King Elvis Presley who covered it in his 1954 Album, and Elvis added his own unique blend to the song, taking it fully into the spectrum of 'White Society'.

The point is that Rock & Roll is probably the first popular multi-racial music genre in the United States to become widely embraced and staking a lasting foothold in the musical landscape. This is very important because it shows that Rock & Roll was the music of the people, for the people. Like the socialist movement in Europe earlier in the century, Rock & Roll affected people in a revolutionary new way due to its non-exclusivity.

So, as I gaze at the led Zeppelins and Pink Floyd's and Beatles CDs on the shelf, I have grown to appreciate my Rock Collection outside of the music itself. To me this is so because the concept of Rock & Roll is a living journal of human growth and experience. It also shows us that music is a moving entity, not a motionless bog, but a raging river that gathers content from surprising sources. Rock & Roll stands out prominently because it embodies this essence and is less concerned with conformity than feeling. In this way, the name Rock & Roll, with it's nautical roots is a very appropriate name for this genre of music.

Lastly, this blog isn't law, meaning that if you object to the content or feel that the information needs to be updated let me know. After all, Rock & Roll is all about movement and not a stagnating energy. I hope you enjoyed the start to You Rock Collection.

Monday, January 5, 2009

You Rock Collection

This blog is dedicated to my love for rock music, it's a Rock Collection. It is by no means a professional opinion but a personal one, I love Rock & Roll. I am not a music critic, but a music lover and I provide my sincere opinions on music that feels good to me. This isn't a blog based on music appreciation either, in fact I am not going to give you any new insight that you have probably already figured out for yourself, but that doesn't mean that there aren't things that I can tell you that are meaningful, all exposed in You Rock Collection. This blog isn't about the history or music, hidden meanings of music, music throughout the world although I may add commentary on everyone of these topics mentioned.

In essence, this blog is a personal view of music. I intend to give you a little insight into which music I think is cool and which isn't, but this is just opinion and I'm sure there will always be people who disagree with me and that's cool too. After all, music affects each one of us in a special, unique way that is meaningful to each one of us. We cannot and should not expect that everyone feels the same about rock music as you or I do.

what I will be discussing is music that primarily ranges from the 60's music scene through progressive and glam rock of the 70's, punk and new wave music of the late 70's and 80's, hair-bands, glam-bands, metal, grunge, and everything Rock and Roll. Will I accomplish this massive undertaking, I don't really expect to, and that really isn't the point. You will find that my posts may jump a few years or a few decades and that's cool. You see, this isn't about giving you a concise insight into Rock, but a personal journey through my love for Rock and Roll.

So sit back and get comfortable, The Rock Collection Blog is now on the Air.

You Rock Collection Privacy Policy

I respect your privacy and I am committed to safeguarding your privacy while online at this site The following discloses how I gather and disseminate information for this Blog.

RSS Feeds and Email Updates

If a user wishes to subscribe to my RSS Feeds or Email Updates (powered by Feedburner), I ask for contact information such as name and email address. Users may opt-out of these communications at any time. Your personal information will never be sold or given to a third party. (You will never be spammed by me - ever)

Log Files and Stats

Like most blogging platforms I use log files, in this case Statcounter. This stores information such as internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring, exit and visited pages, platform used, date/time stamp, track user’s movement in the whole, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses etc. are not linked to personally identifiable information.


A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s computer tied to information about the user. This blog doesn't use cookies. However, some of my business partners use cookies on this site (for example - advertisers). I can't access or control these cookies once the advertisers have set them.


This Blog contains links to other sites. Please be aware that I am not responsible for the privacy practices of these other sites. I suggest my users to be aware of this when they leave this blog and to read the privacy statements of each and every site that collects personally identifiable information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Blog.


I use outside ad companies to display ads on this blog. These ads may contain cookies and are collected by the advertising companies and I do not have access to this information. I work with the following advertising companies: Google Adsense. Please check the advertisers websites for respective privacy policies.

  • Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on your site.
  • Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to your users based on their visit to your sites and other sites on the Internet.
  • Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Rose at This privacy policy updated February 2008