I’m sure if Journey were to look into the future back in 1976 they certainly wouldn’t have pictured the massive success they had once Steve Perry joined the band for their 4th album “Infinity” in 1978. But there was a Journey before Steve Perry, formed out of the ashes of Santana by Gregg Rolie (vocals & keyboards) and Neal Schon (guitar) in 1973, they would release 3 albums before Perry was brought on board. I wanted to showcase the title track from their sophomore album “Look Into The Future”, this song has some amazing guitar work by Schon and vocals by Rolie and showed what they were capable of and it’s a shame most people don’t know this album along with the other 2 pre-Perry Journey albums, “Journey” (1975) & “Next” (1977). Enjoy!
I know that is quite the crazy comment, but just hear me out. I am not denying Ozzy as part of Sabbath was metal, but Ozzy solo, to me that is another question. I vividly remember he first time I heard a solo Ozzy song and thinking to myself this is Ozzy??? This is the crazy, out of control, metal madman that I had heard so much about?!?! The first song I heard was “I Don’t Know” from the classic, solo debut “Blizzard of Ozz”, and to me it just didn’t sound to me what I would have considered metal at all. I am not denying the greatness of that album or any of his other albums, but looking back on them and thinking about it I always think, is this really metal?
Clearly Ozzy’s stature as a metal icon came from his days in Sabbath, and like I said before, there is no denying that fact. I think after Ozzy left Sabbath and struck out on his own it was more the idea of Ozzy as a metal icon then the actual music itself, his behavior probably fueled this as well. “Blizzard of Ozz”, “Diary of A Madman” & “Bark At The Moon”, Ozzy’s first three solo albums I think are all classic hard rock albums, but not really metal. It feels like the more darker, heavier Ozzy came after he retired after the “No More Tears” album, and this “Prince of Darkness” persona started to really build up. His comeback album “Ozzmosis” I feel is one of his darker albums and was a manifestation of the legend of Ozzy and that he was the “Prince of Darkness”.
I know Ozzy as a great artist and singer has been tainted over the past few years, especially with his foray into reality tv, but Ozzy is and was an integral part of the evolution of metal and of music in general, even if I consider his solo output to not be metal.
In honor of the rumors that Richie Kotzen will be joining Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan to form a new power trio I wanted to highlight Richie Kotzen a little bit for those that have no idea who he is. Kotzen started out in the late 80’s as a shredder on the Shrapnel label, but as the 90’s came he morphed his sound into a more soul, funk & rock sound. He joined Posion and recorded their most underrated album “Native Tongue” and the went out to join Mr. Big afer Paul Gilbert left. Along the way he has release a multitude of solo albums, his most recent being 2011’s “24 Hours”. I’ve recently rediscovered this song “Special” from his 2004 album “Get Up” . I’m really hoping this collaboration happens and is successful and for Richie Kotzen to get the credit and recognition that he deserves.
I wanted to start this blog to talk about and share some thoughts about one of the things that has meant the most to me and has always been there for me no matter what, and that is music. My musical tastes tend to be all over the map and I like many different genres and different types of music, if it makes me feel something than it doesn’t really matter what the genre is. I tend to like a lot of metal and hard rock and music that tends to be quite over the top, quite the opposite of my personality, which may be why I was drawn to a lot of the music I listen to.
I can pinpoint 3 songs/bands/albums that were instrumental in the molding of my musical tastes today.
1. Meat Loaf- Bat Out Of Hell 2- I know people may see this and laugh, but I am serious when I say I loved this album when it came out and I listened to this album countless times. It was probably the first real rock album I bought. It was so over the top and I loved every minute of it. The combination of Meat Loaf’s voice and Jim Steinman’s songs was just magic to me. It was also the first time I really was exposed to longer songs, any song over 5 minutes to me at that young of an age was an eternity.
2. Child In Time- Deep Purple- When I first heard this song I was amazed, it had everything that I wanted to hear in a song. All 10 minutes and 18 seconds were perfection. The slow build up, the amazing vocals of Ian Gillan, the amazing instrumental section, just Ritchie Blackmore in general. I loved it all and I still do.
3. Estranged- Guns n’ Roses- This was another song that I felt had everything I wanted to hear. What really stood out to me was the awesome, powerful guitar solos from Slash all through out. To me this song was all about emotion. Slash’s guitar work combined with Axl’s lyrics and vocals. It was perfect and I would literally listen to this song for hour on end.
Combine the pure grandiose, over the top style of Bat Out Of Hell 2, with the powerhouse vocals and virtuosic playing in Child In Time, and the power and emotion in Estranged and you have a perfect description of the music I love and enjoy.
Throughout the blog I want to share my thoughts mostly on whatever songs, albums, artists or specific genres I am enjoying at the moment.