There is just so much wuss rock out there these days that I feel like I need a jolt of good old fashioned misogynistic, lustful, drunken, hard living rock to remind me that real rock does still exist. I mean, I often wonder whether or not these young kids even drink beer.
But you know who did drink beer? Van Halen. And they drank a lot if it my friend.
Formed in 1972, the band of Eddie and Alex Van Halen originally only hired David Lee Roth to save money as they were renting his sound system. Michael Anthony was brought in to replace their original drummer Mark Stone in 1974. By the mid seventies they were a fixture in the Los Angeles club scene where they impressed folks like Rodney Bingenheimer and Gene Simmons enough to get an demo made. In 1977 Warner Brothers was impressed enough to sign them to a deal and they released their self titled debut soon after. Their sound was a unique fusion of hard rock, heavy metal and party rock and the resulting sound was infectious. But as good as their first five albums were, the band’s sound truly hit its zenith with the release of 1984 in the year of it’s title.
1984 has an infectious amount of energy and no shortage of the kind catchy guitar licks that made Eddie Van Halen a household name. Alex’s crisp, massive drum’s kept a relentless beat throughout the album, and Anthony’s bass kept the rhythm flowing under David Lee Roth’s flamboyant vocals. You will be hard pressed to find an album this good that is this much fun at the same time, and the addition of synthesizer really helped evolve their sound into something that would become very 80′s friendly.
But 1984 also marked the end of what is known as the David Lee Roth era. Rising tensions over band image and direction would lead to Roth’s departure and the eventual rebirth of the band with Sammy Hagar at the microphone. But no matter who they had singing, or what changes the Van Halen brothers made to the line up, the band never quite regained that magic that they had with the original group. Apparently they came to the same conclusion because after many years Roth is back in as lead singer.
You got to give the people what they want, and what they want is David Lee Roth Van Halen…and the dream of another album that rocks as hard as 1984.
AOR posted this little mix the other day from Coyote, and after finally giving it the listen it deserved, I feel I can give it the AESO seal of approval and recommend it to all.
What really caught my ear was the vibe, Coyote makes one great selection after another and they all feel similar…yet different at the same time. There are some tracks on here you may never have heard of, and some that you might know a little( probably not,) but the overall listening experience is mellow, smooth and highly enjoyable. Like an impromptu wine party that starts around six and ends with you waking up on the floor the next morning wondering where your pants are. Here’s the set list:
judy tzuke….for you
michael franks….when blackbirds fly
lucio battisti….amarisi un po
gypsy kings…..trista pena
jonathan wilson….can we really party today?
the souther hillman furay band….border town
mink deville….spanish stroll
johhny bristol….woman woman
supertramp….child of vision
george accrue….rock your baby
jerry williams….easy on yourself
china crisis….king in a catholic stance
Personally, I went a little gaga for that Michael Fransk number in the beginning. What a tune!
The more you dig into Africa’s rich musical history, the more gold you eventually will find. This appears to be especially true when it comes to Nigeria which was home to more talent than most hemispheres. While Fela might get all the recognition, there are a lot of other guys out there that are no less deserving like Sir Victor Uwaifo. This collection, which chronicles his career in the seventies goes a long way to getting across that genius with some hand picked gems from the man.
Victor was truly a superstar and famous not only for his music, an offshoot of Highlife called Joromi, but also for his accomplishments in writing, sculpting, instrument invention and his former career as a wrestler. Not only that but he was also a Nigerian ambassador and was once the Commissioner of Culture! Born in Benin in 1941, Victor built his first guitar at the age of 12 and was awarded Africa’s first gold record for his hit song “Joromi” at the age of 18.
This masterful collection, from the always on point Soundway Records, covers Uwaifo’s Ekassa period in the early to mid seventies. He has just returned from his stint in the capital of Lagos and came hjome to start the new decade with a mixture of ancient Benini Obas music, highlife jazz and a little rock and soul to create something just as special as afro-beat, but on an entirely different tip. These were pretty rare recordings and most were unreleased until Soundway got their grubby little mitts on them, polished them up and reissued them here. Consider it a gift that they did because this music could make a suicide seem upbeat.
All this is well worth it for a guitar player who is also well known for being able to play with his feet and his tongue! Look out ladies!
And, I’m back. I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday, because I got an extra present for all of you.
Do you have any guilty pleasures of the musical variety? Of course you do. We all do. I may get somewhat snobbish about my Led Zeppelin collection, but part of me still pines for Def Leppard. Luckily DJ Neil Armstrong came along and made this mix full of nothing but guilty pleasures called “Music for When Nobody’s Looking.”
On a personal note, I have been desperately awaiting a new mix from Neil for some time because, as those of you who read this blog may have figured out, I simply love his dirty drawers. As far as I am concerned the man can do no wrong, and he has a real knack for mining my formative years for tunes that hit all the right spots, mixed with style and reverence. I discovered this mix last night, and immediately bought, downloaded and digested the entire thing within an hour.
Because I wouldn’t waste your time if the mix sucked.
It doesn’t, and here’s a little sample of what you’ll be getting:
And while I wish I could float you a free download, I can now honestly tell you that the $6.50 I spent via PayPal for the download was totally worth it. Check the set list:
Good Bad Music
1) introduction – guilty as charged
2) Say Say Say Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney
3) Everything She Wants – Wham
4) The Right Stuff – New Kids on the Block
5) Ladies Night – Kool & the Gang
6) The Rhythm of the Night – El Debarge
7) Give me the Night – George Benson
8) Stay with me Tonight – Jeffrey Osborne
9) Caribbean Queen – Billy Ocean
10) She’s Fresh – Kool & the Gang
11) Say It Isn’t So – Hall & Oates
12) Time – Culture Club
13) You Are – Lionel Richie
14) Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
The Kareoke Section
15) Eternal Flame – Bangles
16) I Can’t Fight this Feeling Anymore – REO Speedwagon
17) Keep on Loving You – REO Speedwagon
18) Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue
19) Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s
20) I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boy’s
21) LFO (Lyte Funkie Ones)- Summer Girls
22) I’ll Be Loving You Forever – New Kids on the Block
23) Faithfully – Journey
24) Against All Odds = Phil Collins
The Sleazy 80′s
25) Boom Boom (Let’s Go Back to My Room) – Paul Lekakis
26) We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off- Jermaine Stewart
27) He’s So Shy – Pointer Sisters
28) Heat of the Moment – Asia
29) Your Love – The Outfield
30) Easy Lover – Philip Bailey & Phil Collins
31) Private Eyes – Hall & Oates
32) Jesse’s Girl – Rick Springfield
33) Photograph – Def Leppard
34) You Give Love A Bad Name – Bon Jovi
The Pretty 80′s
35) Total Eclipse of the Heart – (The Dan Band / Bonnie Tyler )
36) Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
37) We Belong – Pat Benatar
HunkaBunkas, Club Abyss, Joey’s in Clifton…
38) Another Night – Real McCoy
39) This Is your Night – Amber
40) This Is the Rhythm of the Night – Corona
41) Rhythm Is A Dancer – Snap!
42) Where Do You Go – No Mercy
43) Better Off Alone – Alice DeeJay song
44) Blue (Da Ba Dee) – Eiffel 65
45) SandStorm – Darude
46) All Night Long – Lionel Richie
If this sounds like the kind of shit that would tickle your fancy, or maybe the fancy of an important audiophile in your life, then grab yourself a copy from Neil’s site HERE! Hard copy CD is $10, but digital download is only $6.50. That’s a fuckin bargain.