Category: Hard Rock

Angel City “Face to Face”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#943 in the Series) is Angel City, Face to Face. When locating the epicenters of rock and roll, music fans instinctively fixate on New York, California, London, and (maybe) Manchester, England. Very few look down under to Australia. How could people overlook the home of AC/DC, Midnight Oil, The Saints, Triffids, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Hoodoo Gurus, The Church, and Birthday Party? For a nation of less that 23 million people, this is quite an impressive output of quality bands. For me, though, Angel City, also known as the Angels, ranks with any band from any place. Formed in 1974 in Adelaide, Angel City is a no frills kick you in...

Rival Sons “Great Western Valkrie”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#942 in the Series) is Rival Sons, Great Western Valkrie Great Western Valkyrie, the latest and certainly the greatest album from Los Angeles rockers Rival Sons just might be the best pure Rock record since Guns ‘n’ Roses scorched the Sunset Strip earth with Appetite for Destruction in 1984.  No need to adjust your ears, you heard correctly. This album is that damned good, and then some. The slow burn to album perfection started for Rival Sons in 2011 with the release of the consistent but not overly dramatic Pressure and Time, a record that did not quite reach the unwashed masses in large numbers, but did get the band on the...

Led Zeppelin ‘Presence’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#937 in the Series) is Led Zeppelin, Presence.  If you’ve been with us for a while you’ll notice some common themes that I referred to on a regular basis. One of the more popular ones is my tendency to be a big fan of a band’s album from a tour that I happened to see. I don’t know why this is true, because often those aren’t anywhere near the band’s best piece of work, but for some reason those albums consistently have always stuck with me longer. One of my early great live rock ‘n roll experiences was seeing Led Zeppelin at the Chicago Stadium on the Presence tour. Back then I...

Nina Hagen Band ‘Nina Hagen Band’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#913 in the Series) is the self-titled debut from Nina Hagen Band. There’s a great scene in Paul Rachman’s terrific documentary “American Hardcore” that discusses the differences between early punk and early hardcore.  While I don’t remember the specific verbiage, the gist of the thing is that early punks came up playing glam rock and turned to punk later in life, whereas early hardcore kids heard punk rock and picked up instruments; while they couldn’t play worth a damn, the primal energy of punk rock was a universal.  This attitude seems to be widely held, and time hasn’t been kind to “punks that could play”: the classic image of punk rock is fast,...

Spinal Tap ‘This is Spinal Tap’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#911 in the Series) is Spinal Tap, This is Spinal Tap Very, very rarely do I toss around words like ‘brilliant’ and ‘masterpiece.’  But I think they apply when describing the humor in the movie, This is Spinal Tap. For those of us that worked in the industry, This is Spinal Tap rang so true, so real, that it is almost scary to watch at times. Yet, the comedy still plays well enough that someone with just casual interest in music can still enjoy it. What also was brilliant was that the stars and writers of the movie also were responsible for creating the music. Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean played all the...

The Who ‘Live at Leeds’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#909 in the Series) is The Who, Live at Leeds.  The Who, Live at Leeds. Is this the motherload of all live albums? I do believe this, when you talk about the best live albums of all time, this is in the team picture.  And I’m just referring to the six song, original release of 1970. That’s it, six raw powerful wonderful rock and roll songs. It was The Who during a great period. This was the tour for Tommy.  They had finished their poppy earlier era and had entered into a rock and roll era with the original band that would last for about eight more years. The six songs on the...

Randy Hansen ‘Randy Hansen’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#908 in the series) is the self-titled debut from Randy Hansen. 1980 was a bit of a hazy year for me. Turning twenty-one will do that! Looking back, there are definitely many question marks. However, Randy Hansen’s debut that year was an exclamation point in my life for several reasons. I previously had heard of Hansen as yet another in an endless line of Jimi Hendrix impersonators. No offense, but… yawn. On a lark, I bought his debut, and continue to play it, 34 years later. Side note- you probably have already heard him- his guitar histrionics are on the Apocalypse Now soundtrack. Side one opens with the energetic “Champagne And Cocaine,”...

Alice Cooper ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’

Posted 30 Oct 2013 in Albums of 1975, Albums of the 70s, Hard Rock

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#885 in the Series) is Alice Cooper, Welcome to My Nightmare Part Psycho Circus, part Jerry Springer show, part Quentin Tarantino shock-fest, Alice Cooper’s Welcome to my Nightmare album and subsequent tour was, depending on your point of view, either ridiculous or brilliant. The ultimate answer is of course given the benefit of historical perspective, that the album is ridiculously brilliant. Released in 1975, the album was Alice Cooper’s first post band break-up outing and is by far the best solo record of his decades long career. Giving up the comfort of a consistent touring band and going to ax person by committee was certain to be a calculated risk. It was going...

Bachman – Turner Overdrive ‘Not Fragile’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive In 1971 the rock godz gave us Fragile by Yes…and three years later, they bestowed upon us the riff fest known as Not Fragile by BTO! There’s something to be said about what I call “big dumb rock records.”  They’re the riff-crazy tracks that make you grab for your air guitar whilst rocking your head back and forth…oh, and don’t forget the obligatory pain-ridden facial expressions a la Carlos Santana. We’ve all been there and I still go there today from time-to-time.  Anybody who’s been to a concert with me can attest to this fact.  It ain’t pretty…but it’s the rock abandon that...

Black Sabbath ’13’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#865 in the Series) is Black Sabbath, 13 Black Sabbath are not merely just one of the founding fathers of heavy metal music, they totally made it their own by making it incredibly doomy and gloomy while still staying true to its bluesy roots and even sounding very optimistic through the shadows. Their latest outing, 13, stays very true to that form and marks the triumphant studio return of original lead singer, Ozzy Osbourne, for the first time in 38 years. The band has had some really nice albums with various other singers, most notably the Ronnie James Dio years of the early ’80’s, but hardcore fans have always yearned for the...

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