Sunday, November 30, 2014

90's Alternative: Week In Review

This week we took a look at 90's Alternative Bands



Did you catch these featured artists?



Did you have a favorite artist or song featured this week? Check out the archives on the right to hear them again.

What songs/artists/genres do you look forward to seeing featured in future posts?

Stay tuned, and I hope you are having as much fun learning about these songs and artists as I am. Be sure to follow this blog so you don't miss out!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

90's Alternative: Toadies

Toadies are an alternative rock band from Fort Worth, Texas, best known for the song "Possum Kingdom." The band's classic lineup consisted of Vaden Todd Lewis on vocals/guitar, Mark Reznicek on drums, Lisa Umbarger on bass, and Darrel Herbert on guitar. It formed in 1989 and disbanded in 2001 after Umbarger left the group. The band reformed and released an album, No Deliverance in 2008. In 2010, they re-released the album Feeler with Kirtland Records (the album's original release had been denied by Interscope in 1997). The band's latest album, Play.Rock.Music, was released in July 2012.






"Possum Kingdom"'s origins lie in folklore from the band's native state of Texas. Possum Kingdom Lake is a lake in North Texas near Fort Worth. In the documentary "Dark Secrets: The Stories of Rubberneck", Lewis further elaborates that he intended "Possum Kingdom" to be a continuation of the story told in the song "I Burn". While he envisioned "I Burn" to be a story about cult members immolating themselves in order to ascend to a higher plane, "Possum Kingdom" was about one of the immolated people becoming "just smoke, and ...he goes to Possum Kingdom [Lake] and tries to find somebody to join him."


Friday, November 28, 2014

90's Alternative: Live

The best songs will always define certain time periods. You’ll hear the melodies and instantly be transported back to the moment when you first experienced them. You’ll see the same sights and feel the same feelings as a result. In other words, you’ll get that same sonic bliss.

Live’s catalog is filled with songs like those. Among those seminal tunes are mega hits such as “Lightning Crashes,” “I Alone,” “All Over You,” and “Lakini’s Juice”–which remained pillars of the nineties both musically and culturally. Who can forget seeing the music video for “Lighting Crashes” on MTV for the first time–or fiftieth for that matter? We’ve all sung along to “I Alone” at some point too. That’s just a fact.

Live is from York, Pennsylvania, and is composed of Chad Taylor (lead guitar), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass), Chad Gracey (drums), and Chris Shinn (vocals). Live's original lead singer Ed Kowalczyk left the band in November 2009.

When touring, Live have used additional musicians, most notably Ed's younger brother Adam Kowalczyk on rhythm guitar and backing vocals. British keyboard player Michael "Railo" Railton and guitarist Christopher Thorn of the band Blind Melon have also toured with Live.

On November 30, 2009, Chad Taylor revealed that what had initially been termed a "two-year hiatus" was more likely the end of the band, due to what he felt were inappropriate actions by Ed Kowalczyk, which have resulted in a lawsuit being filed against him by the other three band members. Kowalczyk alleged that he wrote most of the music for Live and a new publishing arrangement had been accepted by all members of the group in 2006.  In June 2011, Taylor revealed that he, Gracey and Dahlheimer were to reform Live without Kowalczyk, who confirmed that he would not work with the other three again. In March 2012, Chris Shinn, formerly of the band Unified Theory, replaced Kowalczyk as lead singer. The band's first album featuring Shinn, The Turn, was released on October 28th 2014.


Lead singer Ed Kowalczyk said, "I wrote 'Lightning Crashes' on an acoustic guitar in my brother's bedroom shortly before I had moved out of my parents' house and gotten my first place of my own." Kowalczyk says that the video for "Lightning Crashes" has caused misinterpretations of the song's intent.


"While the clip is shot in a home environment, I envisioned it taking place in a hospital, where all these simultaneous deaths and births are going on, one family mourning the loss of a woman while a screaming baby emerges from a young mother in another room. Nobody's dying in the act of childbirth, as some viewers think. What you're seeing is actually a happy ending based on a kind of transference of life"


"Lakini's Juice" was released as the first single from their 1997 album, Secret Samadhi. The song was not released as a single in the United States, but it reached #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay music chart, #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and #2 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks charts. The song reached #29 on the UK Singles Chart, the band's highest UK Singles Chart position.


The song opens with some abrasive staccato guitar and features an orchestra towards the end. There is a constant dissonance running throughout the track. The previously unreleased B-side track "Supernatural" is a live recording, made at "The Academy" in New York City on November 19, 1994. The music video for the song was directed by Gavin Bowden.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

90's Alternative: Pearl Jam

Formed after the demise of Gossard and Ament’s previous band, Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam broke into the mainstream with its debut album, Ten, in 1991.
One of the key bands of the grunge movement in the early 1990s, over the course of the band’s career, its members became noted for their refusal to adhere to traditional music industry practices, including refusing to make music videos, giving interviews and engaging in a much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster. In 2006, Rolling Stone described the band as having “spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart their own fame.”


"Alive"
Guitarist Stone Gossard wrote the music for the song, which he titled "Dollar Short", in 1990 when he was still a member of Mother Love Bone. According to Gossard in an interview for Pearl Jam's VH1 Storytellers special, Mother Love Bone frontman Andrew Wood had even sung on it. After Wood died of a heroin overdose, Gossard and his bandmate Jeff Ament started playing with guitarist Mike McCready with the hope of starting a new band. "Dollar Short" was one of five tracks compiled onto a tape called Stone Gossard Demos '91 that Gossard, Ament, and McCready circulated in the hopes of finding a singer and drummer for the group.

Eddie Vedder
The tape made its way into the hands of vocalist Eddie Vedder, who was working as a security guard for a petroleum company in San Diego, California at the time. He listened to the tape shortly before going surfing, where lyrics came to him. "Alive" was the first song for which Vedder recorded vocals. Vedder mailed the tape back to Seattle. Upon hearing the tape, the band invited Vedder to come to Seattle and he was asked to join the band.

The band, then called Mookie Blaylock, recorded "Alive" during a demo session at London Bridge studio in January 1991. The version recorded during this session would later appear on the group's debut album, Ten, and on the promotional "Alive" EP. During album mixing sessions in England in June 1991, mixer Tim Palmer had McCready add to the song's outro solo. McCready recorded a number of attempts at the solo, and Palmer edited them into a composite version. The guitarist was unsatisfied with the result, so he made another attempt at the solo. "He had another go at it", Palmer recalled, "and got it right away. There was no piecing together to do; it was one take."


"Black"
Another song that was on the instrumental demo came under the title "E Ballad". Vedder wrote the lyrics for this piece while he was on his way to Seattle to meet the band. "Black" became one of Pearl Jam's best known songs and is a central emotional piece on the album Ten. Despite pressure from Epic Records, the band refused to make it into a single, feeling that it was too personal and the feeling of it would be lost by a video or a single release. Vedder stated that "fragile songs get crushed by the business. I don't want to be a part of it. I don't think the band wants to be part of it." Vedder personally called radio station managers to make sure Epic had not released the song as a single against his wishes. In spite of this, the song charted at number three on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and number 20 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart in 1993. The popularity of "Black" gained it everlasting rotation, putting it amongst Pearl Jam's most enduring songs.


"Even Flow"
The stark lyrics by Vedder for "Even Flow" describe the experience of being a homeless man. The subject sleeps "on a pillow made of concrete" and panhandles passersby for spare change. In addition to being illiterate, he may also be mentally ill, as he "looks insane" when he smiles and struggles to keep coherent thoughts ("Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies/Oh, he don't know, so he chases them away").

At Pearl Jam's March 28, 1994 concert at the Bayfront Amphitheater in Miami, Florida, Vedder introduced the song by saying, "I thought I'd throw in a bit of street education while you still have an open mind....Right across the street there's a little homeless community that lives under the bridge. You should just know that those people ain't all crazy and sometimes it's not their fault. This song is called 'Even Flow'."

Since its inception, the band’s line-up has included Stone Gossard (guitar), Jeff Ament (bass), Mike McCready (guitar), and Eddie Vedder (vocals). The band’s fifth and current drummer is Matt Cameron, of Soundgarden, who has been with the band since 1998.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

90's Alternative: Soundgarden

Soundgarden was one of the seminal bands in the creation of grunge, a style of alternative rock that developed in Seattle.
Soundgarden was the first grunge band to sign to a major label (A&M Records, in 1988), though the band did not achieve commercial success until they popularized the genre in the early 1990s with Seattle contemporaries Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains.

Soundgarden achieved its biggest success with the 1994 album Superunknown, which debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and yielded the Grammy Award-winning singles "Black Hole Sun" and "Spoonman". In 1997, the band broke up due to internal strife over its creative direction. After several years working on projects and other bands, Soundgarden reunited in 2010 and their sixth studio album, King Animal, was released two years later.



"Black Hole Sun" was written by frontman Chris Cornell. Cornell said that he wrote the song in about 15 minutes. He used a Gretsch guitar to write the song, and commented, "I wrote the song thinking the band wouldn't like it—then it became the biggest hit of the summer." Cornell came up with the song while using a Leslie speaker. Guitarist Kim Thayil said that the Leslie speaker was perfect for the song as "it's very Beatlesque and has a distinctive sound. It ended up changing the song completely." The song was performed in drop D tuning. Drummer Matt Cameron called the song "a huge departure". Credit is due to Michael Beinhorn and Brendan O'Brien, producer and recording engineer, respectively.

"[Black Hole Sun] wasn't safe as milk, but it wasn't glass in someone's eye either. It was the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. Now it's the 'Dream On' of our set." ~Guitarist Kim Thayil
 "It's just sort of a surreal dreamscape, a weird, play-with-the-title kind of song ...lyrically it's probably the closest to me just playing with words for words' sake, of anything I've written ... It's funny because hits are usually sort of congruent, sort of an identifiable lyric idea, and that song pretty much had none. The chorus lyric is kind of beautiful and easy to remember. Other than that, I sure didn't have an understanding of it after I wrote it. I was just sucked in by the music and I was painting a picture with the lyrics. There was no real idea to get across ... No one seems to get this, but 'Black Hole Sun' is sad. But because the melody is really pretty, everyone thinks it's almost chipper, which is ridiculous." ~Chris Cornell, frontman for Soundgarden


"Spoonman" was originally written for the soundtrack to the 1992 film, Singles. At this time, Soundgarden, along with fellow alternative rock band Pearl Jam, was working on the soundtrack for the film. Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament had been put in charge of creating the name for a fictional band that would appear in the film. Before finally choosing Citizen Dick for its name, Ament had compiled a list of potential names which included the name "Spoonman". The name was inspired by Artis the Spoonman, a street performer from Santa Cruz, California and later Seattle, Washington, who plays music with a set of spoons. Soundgarden vocalist and songwriter Chris Cornell eventually used the names on the list to create songs for the film. "Spoonman" was among these, and an acoustic version was created from it. This early version of the song can be heard in the background during a scene of the film.

Rather than just leave the song on the film's soundtrack, Soundgarden began working on an electric version of "Spoonman". The song's inspiration, Artis the Spoonman, played a prominent role in the song itself. The final version of the song featured Artis the Spoonman playing his spoons as part of the song's bridge. Drummer Matt Cameron also plays pots and pans on the song. Bassist Ben Shepherd performs backing vocals on the song.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

90's Alternative: Smashing Pumpkins

Freak out
And give in
Doesn't matter what you believe in
Stay cool
And be somebody's fool this year
'cause they know
Who is righteous, what is bold
So I'm told

Who wants honey
As long as there's some money
Who wants that honey?

Hipsters unite
Come align for the big fight to rock for you
But beware
All those angels with their wings glued on
'cause deep down
We are frightened and we're scared
If you don't stare

Who wants honey
As long as there's some money
Who wants that honey?

Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out

Tell me all of your secrets
Cannot help but believe this is true
Tell me all of your secrets
I know, I know, I know
Should have listened when I was told

Who wants honey
As long as there is some money
Who wants that honey?

Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
~ Billy Corgan, "Cherub Rock" 

The Smashing Pumpkins are from Chicago, Illinois. Formed in 1988 by frontman Billy Corgan (lead vocals, lead guitar) and James Iha (rhythm guitar), the band included Jimmy Chamberlin (drums) and D'arcy Wretzky (bass guitar) in its original incarnation. It has undergone many line-up changes over the course of its existence, with Corgan and rhythm guitarist Jeff Schroeder currently being the only official core members as of 2014.

Disavowing the punk rock roots of many of their alt-rock contemporaries, the Pumpkins have a diverse, densely layered, and guitar-heavy sound, containing elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, dream pop, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, shoegazing, and electronica in later recordings. Corgan is the group's primary songwriter—his grand musical ambitions and cathartic lyrics have shaped the band's albums and songs, which have been described as "anguished, bruised reports from Billy Corgan's nightmare-land".

The Smashing Pumpkins broke into the musical mainstream with their second album, 1993's Siamese Dream. The group built its audience with extensive touring and their 1995 follow-up, the double album Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart. With 20 million albums sold in the United States alone, the Smashing Pumpkins was one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s. However, internal fighting, drug use, and diminishing record sales led to a 2000 break-up.

"Cherub Rock" was the first single from their second album, Siamese Dream, and was written by lead vocalist and guitarist Billy Corgan. It was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal at the Grammy Awards of 1994. "Cherub Rock" was one of the last songs written for the album, and the lyrics relate to Corgan's relationship with his perception of the indie rock community and larger media.

"Today" was released in September 1993 as the second single from Siamese Dream. The song was written by lead vocalist and guitarist Billy Corgan. The song, though seemingly upbeat, contains dark lyrics. Corgan wrote the song about a day in which he was having suicidal thoughts, exemplified by the reference to self-mutilation in the chorus. The contrast between the grim subject matter of the song and the soft instrumental part during the verses, coupled with use of irony in the lyrics, left many listeners unaware of the song's tale of depression and desperation. The song alternates between quiet, dreamy verses and loud choruses with layered, distorted guitar similar to the noisy guitar rock of My Bloody Valentine.

"1979" was released in 1996 as the second single from their third studio album, Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness, "1979" was written by frontman Billy Corgan, and features loops and samples that were uncharacteristic of previous Smashing Pumpkins songs. The song was written as a coming of age story by Corgan. In the year 1979, Corgan was 12 and this is what he considered his transition into adolescence.

In 2006, Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin reconvened to record a new Smashing Pumpkins album, Zeitgeist. The band toured with a rotating lineup of between five and nine musicians through much of 2007 and 2008 with new member Jeff Schroeder before Chamberlin left the band in early 2009. New drummer Mike Byrne and bassist Nicole Fiorentino solidified a new lineup with Corgan and Schroeder, toured through much of 2010 and 2011, and are currently recording the album Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, having released the album-within-an-album Oceania in 2012. Although Byrne and Fiorentino departed the band in early 2014, on March 25, 2014, Corgan announced the next two albums, Monuments To An Elegy to be released Dec 9, 2014, and Day for Night to be released in 2015.

Monday, November 24, 2014

90's Alternative: Blind Melon


 All I can say is that my life is pretty plain
I like watchin' the puddles gather rain


Blind Melon is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California by three musicians from Mississippi, active from 1990 to 1999 and 2006 onward. Best remembered for their 1993 single "No Rain", the group enjoyed critical and commercial success in the early 1990s with their neo-psychedelic take on alternative rock.

After releasing two charting albums on Capitol Records and touring extensively, the band was halted in 1995 by the fatal overdose of lead vocalist Shannon Hoon, going on hiatus until officially disbanding four years later and embarking upon new projects. In 2006, the remaining members reunited and recruited new vocalist Travis Warren from the band Cindysbeentrippin, producing a fourth album, For My Friends. Warren departed two years later, but again rejoined in 2010, allowing the group to return to performing and recording.

The music video for "No Rain", directed by Samuel Bayer, stars Heather DeLoach as the "Bee Girl" — a young tap dancer wearing a homemade bee costume and large glasses, modeled after the Blind Melon album's cover: a family picture of Georgia Graham, younger sister of drummer Glen Graham. The Bee Girl's story is intercut with footage of Blind Melon performing in a field against a clear blue sky.

It opens on the girl's tap routine; the audience responds with laughter, and the girl runs off stage in tears. As the song plays, she wanders through a city, stopping to perform her dance for whoever will watch. Ultimately — at the point in the song where the word "escape" is repeated — she peeks through a gate, astonished, then runs through it to join a group of "bee people" of all shapes and sizes dancing joyfully in a green field.

“They told me Sam didn’t look at any other tapes,” she said. “I went in with my hair in braids and wearing those chunky glasses, because they said to look nerdy. My mom said we had to find some glasses before we went in, so we ran to a local mall right before the audition and bought them, and Sam liked them so much they’re the same ones I used in the video.” ~ Heather DeLoach, Bee Girl

Soup is the band's second album, released eight weeks before vocalist Shannon Hoon's fatal drug overdose, making it his final album with the band.

Thematically, the album is much darker than the band's multi-platinum debut. "2 X 4" is about Hoon's experience at a drug detox, the country-tinged "Skinned" is about serial killer Ed Gein, "Car Seat (God's Presents)" is about Susan Smith who killed her children by driving her car into a lake in Union, SC, and "St. Andrew's Fall" is about suicide by jumping from a 20-story building. When asked about "Mouthful of Cavities" the band's guitarist, Rogers Stevens, was quoted as saying, "It's probably about the convoluted nooks and crannies of Shannon's brain." It featured haunting harmonies between Shannon Hoon and female vocalist Jena Kraus. Alternatively, "New Life" is about the birth of Hoon's daughter Nico Blue, "Wilt" is about having bad breath, although in Captain Beefheart-esque lyrics, "Galaxie" is about Hoon's experience with his car, a 1964 Ford Galaxie, and "Lemonade" is a tongue-in-cheek song about a bar brawl.

Nico was their third album, released in 1996 by Capitol Records. The album was released after lead singer Shannon Hoon's cocaine overdose that resulted in his death in 1995. The album was named for his daughter, Nico Blue, and the proceeds arising from album sales were placed in a college trust for her. It features unreleased tracks, recordings started by Hoon and finished by the band, unreleased versions of previous songs ("No Rain" and "St. Andrew's Hall") and the cover songs "The Pusher" (Steppenwolf) and "John Sinclair" (John Lennon).

Live at the Palace is a live album recorded at The Palace in Hollywood on October 11, 1995. It is their fourth album featuring vocals from former Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon, recorded ten days before Hoon's passing.

For My Friends is the fifth album, released April 22, 2008, twelve years after Hoon's passing, and the first to feature new lead singer Travis Warren.

http://youtu.be/3qVPNONdF58


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Nov 16 - 22 Week In Review





This week we took a look at 80's Hair Bands

Did you catch these featured artists?




Did you have a favorite artist or song featured this week? Check out the archives on the right to hear them again.

What songs/artists/genres do you look forward to seeing featured in future posts?

This coming week I will be posting about Alternative Music from the 90's

Stay tuned, and I hope you learn as much about these songs and artists as I do. Be sure to follow this blog so you don't miss out!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

80's Hair Band: Cinderella

Cinderella was formed in Philadelphia in 1982 by singer-songwriter, keyboardist, and guitarist Tom Keifer and bassist Eric Brittingham. The initial lineup also included guitarist Michael Smerick and drummer Tony Destra. In 1985, Smerick and Destra left to form Britny Fox, another Philadelphia-based glam metal band that later relocated to Los Angeles. Cinderella got their big break when Jon Bon Jovi saw them perform at the Empire Rock Club in Philadelphia and recommended that his A&R rep Derek Shulman who knew of the band, to see them as well. In 1985, with a recording contract with Mercury/Polygram Records in the works, guitarist Jeff LaBar and drummer Jim Drnec joined the band.

During the recording of the band's debut album, Night Songs, studio session drummer Jody Cortez was brought in when producer Andy Johns found Drnec difficult to work with. While finishing the recording, Drnec was replaced by former London drummer Fred Coury, who joined in time to make the album's cover and play on upcoming tours. Night Songswas released on August 2, 1986 and eventually achieved triple platinum status, selling 50,000 copies per week at one point. The album reached #3 on the Billboard charts in February 1987.

Cinderella's first tour was in 1986 with fellow glam metal rockers Poison, opening for Japanese heavy metal band Loudness. Further tours into 1987 were spent playing to large arena audiences: five months opening for former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth, and seven months with Bon Jovi, taking the opening slot for their Slippery When Wet tour. Later that year, the band went overseas, appearing in Japan, Scandinavia, and at the Monsters of Rock festivals in England and Germany.

The music video for "Shake Me", from their debut album starts off with a Cinderella-like girl  falling onto her bed, her two evil sisters enter the room and tell her the work isnt done so she has to stay home while they go to the Cinderella concert. Later it shows her at the concert rocking with the band while the two sisters are still trying to gain access to the concert. The video ends with the girl getting into a limo with the band.

The music video for "Nobody's Fool" continues the storyline from where the "Shake Me" video leaves off, following the Cinderella-like girl as she accompanies the band to their rehearsal space, with the wicked sisters in pursuit. As the band performs the song, the girl runs home for the stroke of midnight when her rocker outfit changes back to a plain dress. She later meets the band again for an autograph, and the video ends as a glint of recognition passes across Tom Keifer's face.

Cinderella's second album, Long Cold Winter, was released in 1988. It signified a shift towards blues-rock, though it could still be described as glam metal. A 254-show tour to support the album lasted over 14 months and included dates on the Moscow Music Peace Festival alongside other metal acts, such as Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, and Skid Row. The tour's stage show included Keifer being lowered to the stage while playing a white piano during their radio hit "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)".

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Doctor Is A Rock Star

I was recently diagnosed with endometrial cancer.  But this post isn't about me. It's about my oncologist. And  the band he is a part of. That's right. My doctor is a freakin' rock star! How cool is that?  Let me introduce you:

When I first learned my doctor was in a band, my immediate thoughts were "That's so Portland... So cliche". But then I discovered it wasn't just any old band. This band is a very special band.

N.E.D. or 'No Evidence of Disease', is a unique band of six gynecologic oncology surgeons from across the United States.  Created as a cover band to entertain their peers at a medical conference, they saw the potential to reach women in a powerful way - through music. What was started as a novelty meant to entertain, has turned into a powerful awareness movement to give a voice to women effected by gynecologic cancers. Just like any other band, they play gigs and tour the country, all the while promoting awareness of gynecological cancers.


 The Band members:
  • Guitar, Lead Vocals - John F. Boggess, M.D., North Carolina
  • Lead Vocals, Guitar - Joanie Hope, M.D., Alaska
  • Drums and Percussion - Nimesh P. Nagarsheth, M.D., New York & New Jersey
  • Bass Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals - William R. (Rusty) Robinson, M.D., Louisiana
  • Guitar - John T. Soper, M.D., North Carolina
  • Lead Guitar - William E. Winter, III, M.D., Oregon




N.E.D. or 'No Evidence of Disease', are the words every cancer patient wants to hear. The cornerstone of N.E.D.'s Mission is education and awareness. They have released two albums of original music, that have received critical acclaim. Their songs are designed to empower women, give them hope and to break the silence surrounding gynecologic cancers.

Go to www.nedtheband.com for full biography, news, and links to buy CD/donate to their cause.

I'm proud to say my doctor is a rock star!

80's Hair Band: Warrant

Warrant
At its core, Warrant is an American rock band through and through. Hitting it big in 1989, the Hollywood, CA based band rose through the ranks of the local Sunset Strip scene to the level of multiplatinum selling, chart-topping success. The band first came into the national spotlight with their debut album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. This album produced Radio and MTV chart toppers “Down Boys,” “Sometimes She Cries,” and the massive hit “Heaven” which reached #1 in Rolling Stone and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in a row. The single “Heaven” enjoyed Gold sales and the Album went Platinum in Canada as well, eventually selling over 3 million copies. The band toured the globe performing 262 shows in support of DRFSR and closed the year with a Platinum Home Video.

Warrant’s sophomore album Cherry Pie was released in September 1990. This album, which spawned the MTV & Radio hits “Cherry Pie,” “Uncle Tom's Cabin,” and “I Saw Red,” all reached the Top 10 in the United States and went on to sell 3 million copies, reaching Platinum sales in Canada and Australia. The band played 200 shows in support of Cherry Pie and finished the tour headlining sheds all over the USA and ended up being one of the top grossing tours of 1991. Over the course of their career, Warrant has sold over 10 million albums worldwide. The song “Cherry Pie” has taken on a pop culture life of its own, being featured in countless movies, TV shows, commercials and the hugely popular video game Guitar Hero II.

Warrant
Warrant's signature style of rock music is very catchy and yet very melodic and remains the band's signature sound today. In September 2008, Robert Mason replaced Jani Lane (RIP) as lead vocalist joining the other four original members, Jerry Dixon, Steven Sweet, Joey Allen and Erik Turner. Their current album Rockaholic (May ’11), released on Frontiers Records and produced by the Grammy winning Keith Olsen, has been highly regarded in reviews and embraced by fans peaking at #22 on the Billboard Hard Rock Albums chart.

Warrant has been headlining festivals, casinos and fairs all over the country in support of their latest CD Rockaholic. 125 + shows so far and counting. The band is fired up and tighter than every musically! These rockers can’t wait to play not only ALL the hits fans know & love, but also new tunes/videos like “Life's A Song,” & “Home.”

http://youtu.be/rrSdXtFJG20

Thursday, November 20, 2014

80's Hair Band: Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi is a hard rock band from Sayreville, New Jersey. Fronted by lead singer and namesake Jon Bon Jovi (born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.), the group originally achieved large-scale success in the 80s. Over the past 25 years, the band has sold over 120 million albums worldwide, 34 million of those sales being in the U.S. alone, making them one of the most successful modern groups of all time. They continue to have widely popular tours.

Bon Jovi
The group took influence from contemporary arena-ready hard rock bands such as Aerosmith and Deep Purple among others while also seeking a catchy, pop-oriented vibe focused on slick guitar and keyboard riffs, with Bon Jovi becoming a key part in what was to become ‘pop metal’ music. After releasing two moderately successful albums in 1984 and 1985, which resulted in the production of some popular singles, the band scored big with Slippery When Wet (1986) and New Jersey (1988). Those two albums sold a combined 19 million copies in the U.S. alone, charted eight Top Ten hits, and launched the band into global super-stardom.

Bon Jovi
"Runaway" was written in 1980 and originally recorded in 1981 for the so-called "Power Station Demos". The recordings were primarily done by an ensemble simply known as Jon Bongiovi & The Rest. Lead guitar on the original 1980s track was Bon Jovi's neighbour, Dave Sabo, who would later form the group Skid Row. One night after a show, Richie Sambora found Bon Jovi backstage and told him that he should be the guitarist. Bon Jovi wrote him off and did not think much of it but told him to learn the material and show up for rehearsal. Sambora was early and knew the material and Bon Jovi was impressed; in that moment, Sambora became the band's lead guitarist and Bon Jovi was born.

The track released in 1984 was recorded in 1982 by Jon Bon Jovi and a group of studio musicians known as "The All Star Review", which included Hugh McDonald (bass), Tim Pierce (guitar) and Roy Bittan (keyboards). The keyboard intro was written by Mick Seeley, then of John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones and later with Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes.

In 1983, local radio station WAPP 103.5FM "The Apple" had a contest, held in conjunction with St. John's University, to search for the best unsigned band. After the song won the contest, it became an instant hit in the summer of 1983.

Bon Jovi
Runaway was later released as the first song from their debut album Bon Jovi in 1984. It hit the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 at #39 in early 1984 and became the band's first Top 40 hit in US. In recent live performances, frontman and occasional rhythm guitarist Jon Bon Jovi has been known to do a short guitar solo near the end of the song instead of hitting the usual high notes at the end, something only done in the 1980s, although the live album One Wild Night: Live 1985-2001 features Jon Bon Jovi hitting the high notes at the end of the song.

After the band attained worldwide stardom in the mid-late 1980s, the band essentially disowned the material from their pre-stardom albums in their live sets in favor of more well known and accomplished material. Despite this fact however, "Runaway" is a song of which they have always been proud. For well over 20 years, it has been the only song from the bands' first two albums that has been performed live on a regular basis. A few others have been played live over the years, most notably during The Circle Tour in 2010, however they were extreme rarities when they appeared and were not regularly performed.

http://youtu.be/s86K-p089R8