Rock and Roll Heroes - Blue Öyster Cult!
The American hard rock band Blue Oyster Cult had just as much part in the history of rocknroll as Black Sabbath and Deep Purple but they never reached the same status with fame and commercial success. BOC has influenced lots and lots of bands with their slightly progressive classic rock, most people recognize their 1976 hit "Don´t fear the reaper" but there is so much more to this band than one hit. Their classic line up of Eric Bloom, Donald Buck Dharma Roeser, Allen Lanier, Joe Bouchard and Albert Bouchard between 1972-1985 gave us plenty of ultra classic albums like "Secret treaties", "Tyranny and mutation", "Agents of fortune", "Spectres", "Cultösaurus erectus", "Fire of unknown origin" and "The revolution by night". Here you will superb songs such as Godzilla, Goin thru the motions, Veterans of psychic wars, Burnin for you and The Red and The Black. Amazing!
Although BOC never released one bad album with original music which is impressive, the band delivered a few less great albums but they were still good enough to have in your record collection. I see no reason why anyone would want to skip albums like "Blue Oyster Cult", "Mirrors", "Club Ninja", "Heaven forbid" and their last studio album "Curse of the hidden mirror". You will find plenty of solid BOC music on these albums, just listen to songs like "Pocket", "Harvest moon", "White flags", "Dr Music" and "Cities on flame".
The 1988 album "Imaginos" was a commercial failure for the band, it took like forever to record and critics didn´t like it. But let me tell you, this is one of their best albums. The songs might not be as classic as the 70´s era but BOC truly recorded some of their most pompous and greatest songs on "Imaginos", you´ll be sorry if you don´t check out this album. Or why not purchase the new Box set from Columbia Records that contains all their albums.
There isn´t exactly anything wrong with their 1994 album "Cult Classic" that features 14 re-recorded versions of BOC hits, Chuck Burgi and Jon Rogers replaced the Bouchard brothers on drums and bass. I just prefer the original versions than these new versions, the magic is gone here but if you want to hear other versions than the originals.......go for their 3 live albums instead : On your feet or on your knees, Some enchanted evening and Extra Terrestrial Live.
BOC truly belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
Rock and Roll heroes - John Wetton!
63 year old progrock hero John Wetton sure do play in the major league of progressive rock artists with his involvement in bands like King Crimson, U.K, Uriah Heep and ASIA.
He´s not only a great songwriter and a really strong singer, I also love his basswork, especially in King Crimson and U.K. The list of classic albums John is a part of comes here: King Crimson-Larks tongues in aspic, King Crimson-Red, King Crimson-Starless and bible black, U.K-U.K, U.K-Danger money, Uriah Heep-High and mighty, Uriah Heep-Return to fantasy, ASIA-ASIA, ASIA-Alpha, ASIA-Astra
Two albums from Mr.Wetton that are truly underrated and not recognized the way they deserve are his solo albums "Battle lines" (1994) and "Rock of faith" (2003). This is classy prog/AOR with a pompous touch and just as good as his classic stuff.
There are plenty of impressive releases with Wetton that might not be considered classics but the following albums are really good and should be in every fan´s collection such as the reunited ASIA-Omega, ASIA-Phoenix, ASIA-XXX, Wetton/Downes Icon, Wetton/Downes Icon-Rubicon, Wetton/Downes Icon 3 and Wishbone Ash-Number the brave.
All albums are released in the 21st century except Wishbone Ash which is from 1981.
It was really hard to pick out something less good from John Wetton but I do think his solo albums "Arkangel", "Caught in the crossfire" and "Sinister" doesn´t match his other work. They aren´t that bad but compared to ASIA or U.K, these albums are just shadows. Also worth knowing is that Wetton´s been in Roxy Music for a short time and has released a few albums with Phil Manzanera that I didn´t include here.
Rock and roll heroes - Gasolin´
I have lots of great childhood memories from the music of Danish band Gasolin´, I listened a lot to their live album "Live Sådan" in school and of course also their classic studio albums "Stakkels Jim" (1974), "Gasolin´ 5" (1975) and "Gor det noget" (1977). They were active between 1969-1978 and became one of the most successful bands from Denmark ever. The band worked with producer Roy Thomas Baker (Queen) on several albums and what can I say, the music is timeless.
Even though their first album isn´t significant with their typical sound where the band instead wrote a moody album, songs that stand out are "Langebro" and "Fra dag til dag". The self titled debut from 1971 does not contain any of their biggest hits but it´s a great album if you give it a chance. Underrated is the word here.
Other albums worth checking out if you want a taste of Gasolin´ are "Gasolin´ 2" (1972), "Gasolin´ 3" (1973) and "Efter endnu en dag" (1976) that are all good stuff. Here you will find nice tracks like "Fi-fi dong", "Rabalder", "Det var Inga, Katinka og smukke Charlie på sin Harley" and "This is my life".
Kim Larsen and Co of Gasolin´ did try to break it in England with 4 English albums but they weren´t any successful outside Denmark. 3 albums are identical with the Danish releases such as "The Last Jim" (Stakkels Jim), "What a lemon" (Gas 5) and "Gasolin´" (Gas 3). Only "Killing time" from 1978 featured new original songs. But I never really liked their English albums except for a few songs.
Rock and roll heroes - Extreme!
The funkrock machine Extreme had their peak in the early 90´s with the blockbuster hit "More than words", that ballad was not a suitable ambassador for this band´s sound which was much heavier and groove oriented. Their 3 first albums between 1989-1992 are true classics, heavily influenced by bands like Queen and Van Halen. Guitarist Nuno Bettencourt proved himself to be one of the greatest, just check out "Cupid´s dead" from Three Sides To Every Story. Stunning work!
Singer Gary Cherone is most known for his short time in Van Halen in 1998 but Cherone also released the awesome hard rock album Hurtsmile in 2011, a must for any fan of Extreme. Nuno Bettencourt teamed up with Janes Addiction singer Perry Farrell in Satellite Party and they released "Ultrapayloaded" in 2007 which was a commercial fiasco but the album is far from bad, perhaps it was just too smart for ordinary rock fans? I think it´s a super cool album and really underrated too.
Other solid albums worth checking out from the Extreme guys are the "Waiting for the punchline" album from 1995, Cherone´s side project Tribe of Judah - Exit Elvis (2002), Nuno Bettencourt´s shortlived band DramaGods-Love (2005) and Mourning Widows (1998).
Not everything from the members of this band is great though, please avoid Nuno´s experimental solo albums "Schizophonic" from 1997 and Population 1 from 2002 plus Extreme´s disappointing comeback album "Saudades de rock" (2008). These albums lack of good songs and serve better as a plate for a glass of beer.
Peter Gabriel is one of the true pioneers of progressive rock, always looking forward, finding new sounds, showing himself worthy of the highly praised Polar Prize Award in 2009. Starting his career in Genesis in the late 60´s and left the band in 1975, two years later Gabriel released his first solo album which featured the hit "Solisbury hill" and the following 4 albums up to "So" in 1986 are nothing but classics. It´s time Gabriel gets the same treatment in Britain as Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Elton John as Sir Peter Gabriel. Not many artists can line up legendary tracks like "Sledgehammer", "Here comes the flood", "In your eyes", "Don´t give up", "Shock the monkey" etc.
The 2002 album "Up" had even more depth and was perhaps a bit too difficult for the mainstream people but the true die hard fans loved it and I consider it one of his best albums although it didn´t score any big hits. It´s really an underrated album that deserves more attention. I gave it 4 stars at melodic.net and described it as 70 minutes of sheer joy. The Einstein of rock!
The 1992 album "Us" is solid and also the cornerstone for Gabriel´s "Secret world" tour that was recorded on tape and is available on DVD, the album didn´t reach the same success as the previous album "So" but ended up selling more than 2 million copies. The track "Digging the dirt" became a minor hit.
His latest album "New blood" features new re-recorded orchestral versions of selected tracks of Gabriel´s catalogue, also a good album worth checking out.
Gabriel hasn´t released any albums of low quality of hiw own music but the covers album "Scratch my back" where he´s doing quite new arranged versions of songs by artists like David Bowie, Neil Young, Radiohead, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, Talking Heads etc, aren´t that fun to listen to. The album is way too laid back and even if I do enjoy Gabriel´s vocal performance, the music don´t move me.
The Classics! No wonder Led Zeppelin became the #6 best selling artists in the world with albums like the ones above, this is without doubt a complete rock band that never was interested in doing the same album twice. The hit "Stairway to heaven" is perhaps the most popular rock song in the world along with Deep Purple´s "Smoke on the water" and Rolling Stones "Satisfaction". I would like to point out brilliant stuff like "Ramble on", "Friends", "The battle of evermore", "The song remains the same", "The Rover" and "Kashmir" of course.
Also the only album recorded in Polar Studios, Sweden.
More Rock and Roll heroes!
Black Sabbath http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2011/02/rock-and-roll-heroes-black-sabbath.html
Bon Jovi http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2012/01/rock-and-roll-heroes-bon-jovi.html
Cheap Trick http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/01/rock-and-roll-heroes-cheap-trick.html
Dave Grohl http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2011/09/rock-and-roll-heroes-dave-grohl.html
Deep Purple http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-deep-purple.html
Def Leppard http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/08/rock-and-roll-heroes-def-leppard.html
Fergie Frederiksen http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/09/rock-and-roll-heroes-fergie-frederiksen.html
Goo Goo Dolls http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2011/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-goo-goo-dolls.html
Graham Bonnet http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/08/rock-and-roll-heroes-graham-bonnet.html
Greg Giuffria http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2011/09/rock-and-roll-heroes-greg-giuffria.html
Harem Scarem http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-harem-scarem.html
Honeymoon Suite http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/08/rock-and-roll-heroes-honeymoon-suite.html
Iron Maiden http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-iron-maiden.html
Judas Priest http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-judas-priest.html
Kevin Chalfant http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/09/rock-and-roll-heroes-kevin-chalfant.html
Kings X http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/01/rock-and-roll-heroes-kings-x.html
Kip Winger http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-kip-winger.html
Love / Hate http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2011/11/rock-and-roll-heroes-love-hate.html
Mark Free http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/09/rock-and-roll-heroes-mark-free-aka.html
Mickey Thomas/Starship http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-mickey-thomas.html
Mike Slamer http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/11/rock-and-roll-heroes-mike-slamer.html
Mothers Finest http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2012/03/rock-and-roll-heroes-mothers-finest.html
Night Ranger http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/08/rock-and-roll-heroes-night-ranger.html
Pink Floyd http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-pink-floyd.html
Rich Ward http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2011/12/rock-and-roll-heroes-rich-ward.html
Rick Springfield http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-rick-springfield.html
Simple Minds http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2011/12/rock-and-roll-heroes-simple-minds.html
Thin Lizzy http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/01/rock-and-roll-heroes-thin-lizzy.html
Tears For Fears http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2011/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-tears-for-fears.html
Ted Nugent http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/09/rock-and-roll-heroes-ted-nugent.html
The Tubes http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2011/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-tubes.html
The Who http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-who.html
Trent Gardner http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2012/03/rock-and-roll-heroes-trent-gardner.html
Tommy Funderburk http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-tommy-funderburk.html
Uriah Heep http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2011/03/rock-and-roll-heroes-uriah-heep.html
Van Halen http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/01/rock-and-roll-heroes-van-halen.html
White Heart http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-white-heart.html
White Snake http://palaceofrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/rock-and-roll-heroes-whitesnake.html