Tag Archives: Heavy Metal

Making Metal Out Of Rock – Hit Cover Songs & Originals

Making Rock Harder…and Better?

Metallica’s James Hetfield on stage with flying V guitar photo credit : unknown c. 1984

I’ve always wondered how rock bands feel when they’ve written what they believe to be a great song and later another band records it and has equal or greater success with the song. I guess it’s one thing if the original band is successful with the tune, makes money and has an appreciative fan base. The alternative of a band making music and toiling in relative obscurity with little to no exposure and then having another band come along and make a big hit out of your song does not sound appealing. The original writers receiving composing royalties may take some of the sting out of the situation.

When a heavy metal band covers a song and makes it their own, sometimes the original rock version languishes in obscurity. Years pass and more people are familiar with the cover version and think the cover version is better than the original. Whether that’s true or not is up to the listener.

7 Examples of Rock Songs Covered and Made Popular by Heavy Metal Bands.

We’ll start off with Peter Green and the extremely original British blues rock band Fleetwood Mac. This was before they became a huge pop hit machine after Green, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan left the band and Fleetwood Mac added Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham. The song is the enigmatic Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown) from 1970.

In 1979 Judas Priest put their indelible mark on Green Manalishi with dual guitars and Rob Halford’s soaring vocals. Just what is the Green Manalishi? Continue reading

Excepting Eddie Van Halen, The New York Times Continues To Ignore Rock Star Deaths

Bands Lose Key Members & The New York Times Neglects An Obituary

Steve Priest – The Sweet

Pete Way –  UFO

Paul Chapman UFO

Paul Chapman – UFO

The Grim Reaper has had a robust 2020 taking more than his normal share of victims.

Celebrities, especially rock n’ roll musicians who are all approaching the age of inevitable demise have been dying at an alarming pace.  But you would never know it if you rely on the New York Times for the obituaries.

Eddie Van Halen obituary placed below where the paper is folded in half NY Times October 7, 2020.

Mega-music stars are the exception and get some sort of recognition.

Eddie Van Halen was just too big to ignore. While the Times placed Van Halen on October 7th front page, it put him below the fold. Continue reading

Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson’s Memories of Producer Martin Birch

How Martin Birch Helped Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson

Iron Maiden 1982 (l-r) Clive Burr, engineer Nigel Green, Dave Murray, Martin Birch, Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris, Adrian Smith photo via The Walk of Fame

Martin Birch, the music producer who worked with more than a score of rock’s legendary groups died Sunday, August 9, 2020 at age 71. No cause of death was announced. He leaves behind his wife Vera and daughter Haley. Continue reading

“A French magazine printed my obituary. How did I die? I dunno, it was in French.” – Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister

20 Great Heavy Metal Quotes

Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead died in 2015, but supplied our headline quote a few years before his passing.

The man who spoke with Lemmy was Dave Ling. As a U.K. rock journalist, Ling has spent countless hours interviewing the greats of the heavy metal world. I strongly recommend his website.

Within Ling’s site there are hundreds of quotations from hard rock artists.

Here are 20 quotations that are funny, scathing and somewhat insightful.

“Lemmy came to me once and said ‘Alice, I have quit drinking,’ and he had a drink in his hand! I replied ‘That must be Coca-Cola?’, and he said ‘No, there’s a little whiskey in there’. His idea of not drinking was not drinking a bottle of whiskey each night. Maybe just five or six drinks.”
Alice Cooper in 2019

Rush’s Geddy Lee satisfying the fans masochistic urges

Do I have any theories on why our audience keeps coming back? Maybe it’s some kind of intense communal masochistic urge?”
Rush’s Geddy Lee.

“I’m sick to death of people saying we’ve made 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we’ve made 12 albums that sound exactly the same.”
AC/DC’s Angus Young.

“People keep asking why we don’t play ‘Sinner’ anymore. I tell them it’s because we’ve repented.”
KK Downing, Judas Priest.

“Sharon told me about a place where they teach you to drink properly. It was the Betty Ford Centre. I thought, ‘That’s it! I’ve been doing it wrong!’. So I walk in, expecting a demonstration of how to drink a Martini, and I say, ‘Hi Betty Ford, where’s the bar?’ This receptionist is like, ‘What?!'”
Ozzy Osbourne.

“Mae West whispered to me, ‘Why don’t you come on back to my trailer?’ I said: ‘Because you’re 86 years old and I’m not even sure if you’re a woman or not’. But if I hadn’t have been married I would’ve gone. Definitely. Just for the experience.”
Alice Cooper.“

“Adding rap to rock music is a bit like taking the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen to a plastic surgeon, then asking him to give her a penis.”
Manowar’s Karl Logan. Continue reading

Why Def Leppard Doesn’t Want The Public To See This Video

The Original Def Leppard, LIVE In 1980 Perform Almost The Entire On Through The Night LP

Def Leppard Was Once A Heavy Metal Band: Then They Started Writing Pop

What Happened?

Their Main Hard Rock Songwriter & Guitarist Was Fired

Can We Forget About The Past?

Here is Pete Willis and the original Def Leppard performing almost in its entirety, one of the ten greatest debut rock albums of all-time.

UPDATE JULY 8. 2020 – No surprise, you will not see the video. For now it has been pulled by original poster – FresnoMediaRestoration. I wonder why??? Hmmmmm.

UPDATE JULY 21 – The video is back! (For now…)

When Def Leppard recorded their first major label album, they were a heavy metal band though they never called themselves that.

l-r Rick Savage, Joe Elliott, Pete Willis, Rick Allen & Steve Clark c 1980

It was 1980 and Def Leppard had just been signed to a deal with Mercury Records. They were signed on the basis of what three years of honing and craft perfection had wrought – On Through The Night. Previously in 1979, the band printed its own EP and sold an astounding 18,000 copies.

Within the music industry, in order for any band to get a record deal, the band must put forth only their best material. And that is what On Through The Night is. Eleven mostly blistering songs played at a frantic pace with songwriting that displays an ear for catchy and memorable songs.

Here’s the most incredible thing about this video performance of that first album — singer Joe Elliott is 21, guitarists Steve Clark & Pete Willis are 20, bass player Rick Savage is 19 and drummer Rick Allen is – are you kidding me? — 16!!!!

Continue reading

K.K. Downing Of Judas Priest Returns To The Stage Minus Judas Priest

Combine 3 Former Priest Members With Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson, And You’ve Come Up With A Band That Sounds Better Than The Current Judas Priest Line-Up

Judas Priest founding member, guitarist K.K. Downing retired from the band in 2011 due to concerns about conflict within the band, its management company and the quality of their live performances. Since then Downing has talked about reuniting with his former band, especially after Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton stepped down from touring in 2018 due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease.

But hard feelings remain between elements of the band and their management, with Downing so no reunification is foreseeable.

K.K. Downing, 2019

So what did Downing do a couple of weeks ago? He performed with a band that proved it can out-Priest, Judas Priest.

How do you accomplish that? Continue reading

Rock Your Baby To Sleep – Literally! Iron Maiden Songs Done As Lullabies

Iron Maiden Songs Performed As Lullabies

How do you take heavy metal music and turn them into lullabies?

Until the other day I wouldn’t have known.

Still, I’m quite aware, popular music can be given any type of rendition.

Once about 20 years ago at the venerable Strand bookstore, I heard classical music being played over their sound system. I wasn’t paying close attention to the song. But I started listening closer. It sounded familiar, yet I couldn’t distinguish exactly what was being played. After about two minutes it hit me – it was Metallica and the song Harvester of Sorrow! That was the first time I heard Apocalyptica, a classical group comprised of cellists and they had recorded entire albums covering Metallica.

So it was only a matter of time before someone came up with the bright idea of making lullabies out of heavy metal songs. Hence, I recently discovered Iron Maiden tunes done as lullabies. The question you might ask is, why?

Does it matter?

If you like Iron Maiden, this should put a smile on your face, The first song I heard was The Trooper.

I couldn’t help clicking the youtube links Continue reading

“Fast” Eddie Clarke Motörhead’s Greatest Guitarist

Some Highlights Of The Late, Great, “Fast” Eddie Clarke, Guitarist Of Motörhead

The “classic” Motorhead line-up on stage circa 1980 (l-r) Phil Taylor, Eddie Clarke & Lemmy Kilmister photo: Simon Fowler

When “Fast” Eddie Clarke (October 5, 1950 – January 10, 2018), guitarist with Motörhead from 1976-1982 died from pneumonia last week at the age of 67, it closed the book on what many consider Motörhead’s greatest line-up.

In the space of a little over two years, Eddie Clarke, singer-bassist and founder Lemmy Kilmister and drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, all died.

The trio put out albums that are considered the high points of Motörhead’s career: Motörhead (1977), Bomber (1979), Overkill (1979), Ace of Spades (1980), No Sleep ’til Hammersmith (Live 1981) and Iron Fist (1982).

After being forced out or leaving Motörhead in 1982 (stories conflict on the departure), “Fast” Eddie formed Fastway with bassist Pete Way of UFO. Continue reading

AC/DC’s Malcolm Young Is Dead And So Is AC/DC

AC/DC Was Dead Long Before Founder Malcolm Young Died

Malcolm Young’s death does not end AC/DC.

The end unofficially came at the conclusion of the Black Ice tour in Bilbao Spain on June 28, 2010. That was the last show Malcolm Young performed with AC/DC.

In 2014 when Malcolm Young left the band because he was suffering from dementia, that more or less sealed the deal. Any song put out in the future by AC/DC would not be written by Malcolm Young.

Though there is a band called AC/DC and they are still recording and touring, the 2008 Black Ice album was the last that Malcolm Young had a hand in writing. Musically, that is what is important.

Guitar players are replaceable. Great songwriters are not.

As great as a rhythm guitar player he was, writing music is what Malcolm Young did best.

Not just writing amazing songs, but incredible memorable riffs and jaw dropping solos performed by his brother Angus. They are deceptively simple, yet undeniably catchy songs and riffs that changed rock n’ roll and influenced, and will continue to influence generations of musicians.

Proof? Listen to the magical 1977 AC/DC album Let There Be Rock.

As hard as it may be, ignore Bon Scott’s brilliant tongue in cheek lyrics and just listen to the main riff of every song.

How many rock albums have two memorable songs? Let There Be Rock has, “Go Down”, “Dog Eat Dog” ,”Let There Be Rock”, “Bad Boy Boogie”,  “Problem Child”, “Overdose”, “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be”, and “Whole Lotta Rosie”. Eight catchy songs, heard once – remembered forever.

Lead guitarist Angus Young, the only remaining original band member, has continued AC/DC.

I feel sorry for Angus Young. Angus certainly keeps AC/DC going not for the money, but  because honestly what else is there for him to do? An entertainer, a performer has a need to perform.

However without retired bassist Cliff Williams, the unceremoniously dispatched lead singer Brian Johnson and drummer Phil Rudd and the late rhythm guitarist and main songwriter Malcolm Young, this is not AC/DC.

This is like calling Paul McCartney and his recent 2017 touring band The Beatles. It’s not and McCartney knows better.

The touring AC/DC is is basically a juggernaut of explosions, lights,and sound. Even with the great Angus Young heading them up, AC/DC are truthfully now no better than an AC/DC tribute band.

How many post-1982 songs were in AC/DC’s live set list in 2016 with Axl Rose on lead vocals? Continue reading

It Can’t Happen Here. Can It?

Rainbow’s Apocalyptic Song 36 Years Later –

It’s Easy To Believe That Someone’s Gonna Light The Fuse

Hard rock band Rainbow’s lyrics, usually evoke the mystical or tongue in cheek double entendre imagery.

But one song, Can’t Happen Here from the album 1981 Difficult To Cure still resonates with issues that are as relevant today as the day the song was written in 1981.

With music by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and lyrics by bass player Roger Glover, Can’t Happen Here asks the ultimate question: Is it possible someone will push the button and bring on Armageddon?

The lyrics:

Can’t Happen Here
(Blackmore, Glover © 1981)

Contaminated fish and micro chips
Huge supertankers on Arabian trips
Oily propaganda from the leaders’ lips
All about the future
There’s people over here people over there
Everybody’s looking for a little more air
Crossing all the borders just to take their share
Heading for the future

And we’re so abused and we’re so confused
It’s easy to believe that someone’s gonna light the fuse

Can’t happen here, can’t happen here, all that you fear they’re telling you, can’t happen here

Supersonic planes for a holiday boom
Rio de Janeiro in an afternoon
There’s people out of work but there’s people on the moon
Looking for the future
Concrete racetracks nationwide
Juggernauts are carving up the countryside
Cars by the million on a one way ride
Using up the future Continue reading