Thursday, March 31, 2005

Generation X

Generation XIt warms my heart to see Billy Idol release a new album. Devil's Playground was released last Tuesday and the album cover is classic Idol. A little older and a little rough on the edges but Billy looks good. I haven't got it yet but plan on it as soon as I can find some money. Initial buzz that I've heard is that its purty good. But I digress, for this post is about Billy's first band, Generation X.

I was a fan of Generation X before the band split up in 1981 and Billy went on to big success as a solo artist. Although not as well as known as some of their peers (the Clash, the Sex Pistols, the Damned, etc.), U.K. punk rockers Generation X burst onto the scene at the same time as the others. Their music was punk with a touch of pop thrown into the mix. Formed in 1976, they released their debut album in 1978 simply titled Generation X. They took their name from a book that Billy's Mum had laying around the house. Generation X ouput was limited to three albums before they split. Bassist Tony James later showed up in Sigue Sigue Sputnik and we all know what became of Billy. Today's track is from the first album Generation X.

Wild Youth by Generation X

Cartoon of the Day

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Great Big Sea

Great Big Sea (GBS) is a Celtic, rock, and pop band from the Canadian province of Newfoundland. Taking a traditional, conservative genre like the revered Celtic music and turning it up on end is a bold step and personally I love this stuff. There is probably not many bands on earth that can take a group of people - whether large or small - and induce a frenzied state of foot-stomping, beer-guzzling and dancing as this band can. I am here to give them a little more exposure to our friends to the south. Enjoy!

Ordinary Day by Great Big Sea

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Blame Morissey

I fiddled with the idea of posting songs that had to do with current events and decided to stick with covering older stuff. Today I get to do both. In light of a news story that's getting way, way too much coverage in the states (does feeding tube ring a bell?),I'm gonna feature a Mojo Nixon song. This cut comes from the 1995 album Whereabouts Unknown. I featured Mojo before back in December when I posted the only Christmas song of the month. If anyone thinks that Mojo or myself is tasteless for posting this song then do what Mojo says in the song. Blame Morissey. Yeah, because it's a cover of a Smiths song from their 1987 album called Strangeways Here We Come.

Girlfriend in a Coma by Mojo Nixon

It's a humorous take on the song so don't get up in arms or anything. I'm not an insensitive idjit galoot as Mojo says. Anyways they should let the woman die with peace and dignity.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

April Wine

April Wine formed in late 1969 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but soon relocated to Montreal. "Fast Train," their first hit, appeared in 1971 and the next year brought the band's first Canadian number one single, "You Could Have Been a Lady."

I first came in contact with April Wine from their albums Live at the El Macambo and 1978's First Glance. Then in 1979 they released Harder...Faster which is the album that really sold me. The shit on there blew me away. Their biggest US hit came in 1981 with the song Just Between You and Me from the The Nature Of The Beast album. But that was just cheezy schmaltz. Everything prior to that album was pure rock n roll. I figure that they thought they had to have a snarky ballad to win over American audiences. And they did. I had the pleasure of seeing April Wine perform in a small club here in Victoria BC a couple years ago and I was wickedly surprised. Instead of a bunch of old farts who were just going thru the motions, they sounded excellent and their old stuff sounded better than ever and the new stuff they showcased had me searching for their new album Back to the Mansion the next day. I think Americans can only get this one as an import.

I always thought it was cool that as an American, I had "discovered" April Wine before they got big in the states. People would ask me who's that you're listening to, and I would say "oh that's April Wine a cool Canadian band," and then pretty soon they were listening to them. Now here I am living in Canada. Weird eh?

Today's cut comes from 1979's Harder...Faster and most of you have probably heard it if you've ever listened to classic rock radio .

I Like to Rock by April Wine

Friday, March 18, 2005

Dread Zeppelin

What do Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley and reggae music have in common. One would think nothing at all but there you have Dread Zeppelin. Channeling the musical spirits of Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley, and Bob Marley to create a unique novelty rock sound that is surprisingly good and is heartily endorsed by no less than Robert Plant himself. Led by one Tortelvis, a 300-pound Elvis impersonator, the lineup also included guitarists Jah Paul Jo and Carl Jah, bassist Butt-Boy, percussionist Ed Zeppelin, and drummer Fresh Cheese. Don't forget Charlie Haj (the man who hands Tortelvis his water and towels on stage). I think these guys were hanging out one night and after smoking some good weed they thought hey we should try this it sounds cool.

Dread played their debut live gig on January 8, 1989 (the 54th anniversary of Elvis' birth), the CA-based group performed reggae-influenced renditions of classic Led Zep anthems capped off by Presley-like vocals. By 1990 the group released their first album Un-led-ed which contained all zeppelin covers. Dread Zeppelin's second album, 5,000,000, followed in 1991 and contained zep songs and a few original compositions. Even after all these years of listening to these guys time after time, it's still funny. But even more amazing is the fact that this was ONE TIGHT BAND. Brilliant guitars, loud drums, and incredible production tells you these guys are a serious band. I may not win a lot of popularity contests for saying this, but, with the exception of "Nobody's Fault" I like their versions of the Zep songs better. Even Robert Plant said he thought their version of Your Time is Gonna Come was better than Led Zeppelins original version. Now that's high praise.

At first I couldn't decide between Black Dog or Stairway to Heaven for the featured mp3, but on further review I have decided on

Stairway to Heaven by Dread Zeppelin (6.08 mb)

Have a great weekend all.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Ugly, Hefty Guys Rock

For a short time in the mid 70's Canadian band Bachman Turner Overdrive invaded America. Yeah Takin' Care of Business was everywhere. The first BTO album I owned was Not Fragile. Damn that sucker was almost Heavy Metal.

During the 1960's Randy Bachman was a founding member of the Guess Who. Bachman had been slugging it out for 10 years by the time the band struck gold with #1 hits like "These Eyes", "Laughing" and "American Woman" and decided to leave the group while they were on top. He released a solo album in 1970, and then formed a band which was named Brave Belt. It was this band which transformed into BTO.

Bachman-Turner Overdrive was released in 1973 on Mercury Records and stayed in the charts for 68 weeks. After four tries, the only successful single from the record was "Blue Collar" which managed a reasonable position of #68 on Billboard's Hot 100..

By year end they managed to pull out another album from their creative rebirth with Bachman-Turner Overdrive II. The album was pushed all the way to Top-10 by the driving force of "Let It Ride" and the monster hit "Takin' Care of Business".

With the departure of Tim Bachman and addition of Blair Thornton on guitar, BTO's 1974 album Not Fragile gave the band the type of success that Randy Bachman had not seen since the Guess Who's' "American Woman" in 1969. The album rode the charts at #1 from the success of the worldwide number one single "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" and its seminal follow-up "Roll On Down The Highway". Subsequently, the world took a backward glance at BTO and their first two albums became certified gold in 1974.

I'll stop there because the song I'm featuring comes from the Not Fragile album. If the only BTO songs you're familiar with are Takin' Care of Business or Let it Ride, then you have to have this one.

Not Fragile by Bachman Turner Overdrive

Song starts with a chugging bass riff and then wham the guitars kick in and You instantly feel like headbangin'. Good Stuff. Remember to support the artists and buy some of their stuff eh.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Thin Lizzy

Despite a huge hit single in the mid-'70s ("The Boys Are Back in Town") and becoming a popular act with hard rock/heavy metal fans, Thin Lizzy are still underappreciated. Formed in the late '60s by Irish singer/songwriter/bassist Phil Lynott, Lizzy combined romanticized working-class sentiments with their ferocious, twin-lead guitar attack. As the band's creative force, Lynott was a more insightful and intelligent writer than many of his peers, preferring slice-of-life working-class dramas of love and hate influenced by Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and virtually all of the Irish literary tradition. Also, as a black man, Lynott was an oddity in the nearly all-white world of hard rock, and as such much of his work had a sense of alienation; he was the outsider, the romantic guy from the other side of the tracks, a self-styled poet of the lovelorn and downtrodden.

Lynott became a victim of his longtime abuse of heroin, cocaine, and alcohol, dying in 1986 at age 35. Since alternative rock bands of the mid-'90s borrowed numerous musical messages from their '70s forebears, the work of Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy will hopefully continue to be seen for the influential rock & roll it is.

Today's song comes off of the very successful 1976 album Jailbreak and is one of my favorite Thin Lizzy songs.

Cowboy Song by Thin Lizzy

Friday, March 11, 2005

Deep Purple

Forget about that funeral dirge riff from Smoke on the Water. Deep Purple is so much more than that song. Although the album from which that song came, Machine Head, is a classic album. Even today I cringe when I hear Smoke on the Water. Today's song goes back earlier than Smoke. From their debut album released in 1968, Shades of Deep Purple I give you a kick ass song called

Hush by Deep Purple

I love the dogs at the beginning and dig them keyboards. Now this song is a classic.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Blue Oyster Cult

The band that became Blue Oyster Cult was organized in 1967 at Stony Brook College on Long Island. By 1971, they changed their name to Blue Oyster Cult and released their self-titled debut album the following year. Three albums later, they released Agents of Fortune in 1976. The album contained the single “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” which was their first to break into the Billboard charts when it reached number 12 on Billboard’s Pop Singles chart. The first Cult song I ever heard appeared on this album and it's the one I'm featuring for download today. Oh and it's not that Reaper song.

For the last 30 plus years, Blue Oyster Cult has been following their own unique path. Their motto “On Tour Forever” still holds, as the band plays over 100 dates per year. The group has often collaborated with science fiction writers like Michael Moorcock and Eric Van Lustbader on writing songs and the band's logo is the ancient symbol of Cronos, the Titan god who ate his son the Grim Reaper.
Blue Oyster Cult has released more than 25 albums and has had their music appear in numerous films and video games. Current members include Eric Bloom (vocals), Buck Dharma (guitar), Allen Lanier (keyboards, guitar), Danny Miranda (bass) and Bobby Rondinelli (drums). Now for the tune.

Sinful Love by Blue Oyster Cult

Having seen them in concert numerous times, their live shows have always been a hundred times better than their studio albums. I especially recommend On Your Feet or on Your Knees a live album released in the early 70's and Extraterrestrial Live which came out in 1982. The BOC website also has 2 mp3's on this page for free download from their last live album released in 2002.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Promised Land by Elvis Presley

How in the world can one have an mp3 blog called Good Rockin' Tonight without throwing an Elvis song into the mix every once in a while. I was 15 when Elvis died and remember my Mom and sister just bawling their eyes out. I thought it was a little sad but nothing to get worked up about. Ten years later I was an Elvis freak, skinny Elvis, fat Elvis, It didn't matter. I just about crapped my drawers when his daughter married wacko Jacko, thank goodness that didn't last. I actually liked the cheesy jump suit Elvis. I think his voice is incredible and he's still da King. Today's cut is one of my favorite Elvis tuneage.

Promised Land by Elvis Presley

Monday, March 07, 2005

Bounce by Danko Jones

On April 19 Americans will be introduced to Canadian rock trio Danko Jones with the U.S. release of "We Sweat Blood," which originally surfaced in 2003, and is finally seeing the light of day in the states thanks to a recent deal with Razor & Tie Records. Included on the U.S. edition of the album are the bonus cuts "Lovercall" and "Sound of Love," both of which first appeared on the band's 2002 full-length, "Born a Lion." Unfortunately the best song has been left off the album. More about this later. With their debts to the swagger and mindset of 70's hard rock gods AC/DC and Thin Lizzy in full evidence, their albums have received rave reviews everywhere (but especially in Europe) and led to widespread touring outside of Canada. Danko Jones is responsible for one of the greatest rock songs I have ever heard. The first time I heard this song I thought Holy Crap this song kicks ass, which is why I find it weird they chose to include Lovercall on the US edition of the album and not the song of which I speak which is

Bounce by Danko Jones

I'm going to include a link here to a video for the song "I love livin' in the city" which is in quicktime format to give you an idea of their stage presence. Watch Video.

If these two songs float your boat, the Danko Jones website has many mp3's available for free download and you can pick up about 12 songs on this page.

Starting April 25 Jones will be starting their first US tour playing clubs so keep an eye out and you might catch these rockers in a small venue before they get huge.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Mötley Crüe Reborn

It's good to be the Crüe these days. When Mötley Crüe reunited and began touring earlier this year, few took notice. But after just nine dates into their North American tour, they started selling out their shows. Now, in what has been dubbed the first major tour of 2005, the band has added more than 50 dates. According to "This was a blockbuster tour that few saw ... coming."

Packed arenas have greeted Mötley Crüe in the first leg off the "Carnival of Sins" tour, and all shows in Canada have sold out. The Edmonton Sun reported that the tickets went so fast that the concert had to be moved to a larger venue. And the Crue's resurgence hasn't been limited to the stage. The cable-television station VH1 is airing a show called "The Fabulous Life of Motley Crue" that started yesterday, the same day the band rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Say What? Today they play a sold out show at Madison Square Garden in New York. Way to go guys! To be honest I would kill to get my hands on a couple Crüe tickets. I think there's a place for cheesy heavy metal and these guys rock that bill. I believe the sold out shows reflect the fact that sometimes people just want to rock out. I wanna see them when they hit Vancouver in July but I fear it will sell out before I can gain tickets. So I bet you thought I was going to be featuring a CRÜE song here. Well sort of. It is one of their songs but covered by someone else. The Donnas! The cut comes from their fourth album called Get Skintight. I think they were all of 19 years old when they recorded their fourth album. I like Mötley Crüe but The Donnas version of Too Fast for Love beats the hell out of the Crue's original. If after hearing this cut you feel the need to buy the CD then you can click on the pic or run on down to your local store and get it.

Welcome back boys!