Well here it is people my top ten list for 2008. Like I've said before it was a pretty good year for new quality releases. There are many that should have made the list but there was too much competition this year. As for the list itself, my first pick is the number one of the year, hands down. Albums 2 - 10 are not to be ranked in any particular order by myself. If any readers want to rank them they can be my guest. If anyone thinks my list left off someone, feel free to leave your choices in the comments. Well this is going to be a long one so I best get a move on.
#1 Nazareth - The Newz
After 40 years of rocking, Nazareth isn't content to sit back on their laurels and keep reissuing greatest hits packages like some bands do. Nazareth released their new album, The Newz, back in March and this is one fantastic slab of ear candy. The real newz is that this could possibly be the best Nazareth album ever released. I know what you're thinking, how could it possibly surpass the holy trinity of Razamanaz, Loud n' Proud and Hair of the Dog that are considered Nazareth's best albums. It's a massive hard rock/eclectic slab of Funk, Straight ahead Rock N Roll and with a couple ballads thrown in with their new release. Having been a Nazareth fan since 1974 I am happy as a pig in shit about "The Newz". The production is fantastic with just the right mix of instruments to vocals. The songs rock and rock extremely hard except for a few slower songs here and there. This needs to be heard because nothing even comes close this year.
A Day at the Beach
#2 Presidents of the United States of America - These are the Good Times People
A long title for probably the most overlooked album on this list. In fact most people might not even have realized that these guys were still together. The most infectiously fun, hook laden, and can't get those songs out of your head album on the list. In fact your favorite song on the album is liable to change everytime you listen to it. This is an album I would like to post up every single song so more people could discover it and enjoy it as much as I have. This album hasn't left my mp3 player since it's release in March. If you haven't heard it then you're really missing out on something here. Of course if you don't "get" these guys then the whole album may be lost unto you.
More Bad Times
#3 AC/DC - Black Ice
A lot of hype surrounded this album and for good reason. After an 8 year hiatus the boys sound like they never missed a beat. No messin' around with the formula that works for them. Where do Malcolm and Angus keep coming up with those monster riffs? Did they break new ground? Nope. Experimentation? Nope. Is it a great album? Hell Yes. It is what it is, an exquisitely crafted AC/DC album. Anything Goes may be the best tune since You Shook Me All Night Long but that's just me. No samples for this album as you should already own it and putting up a clip would be redundant.
#4 Great Big Sea - Fortune's Favour
Fortune's Favour is the 9th studio album released by Canadian folk rock band Great Big Sea which came out in June of this year. Thirteen years after releasing their debut album Great Big Sea’s first track, “Love Me Tonight,” from their new CD, sounds just as fresh as when the band first appeared on the music scene. This is a band that has never become complacent, and never taken for granted the careers that they have. The real treasure of Newfoundland and Labrador is its people, and out of that earthy, gregarious, and fun loving people, sprang a rock band called Great Big Sea, who continue to charm music fans throughout the United States and Canada, with their own special brand of folktales. Fortune’s Favour just adds to the growing legend, of this outstanding group. The second track, “Walk On The Moon,” serves as the inspiration to keep our dreams alive. It is a song about taking your best shot at pursuing your dreams. It is about not being afraid to walk through that door or out on that limb. At a time when America is experiencing the most significant economic crisis in my lifetime, Canada and the United States are at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, this is the song of hope that we all need to hear. The album is chock full of easy songs to sing along with, because they have contagious melodies and they are fun songs that celebrate life, and anyone who knows Newfies will tell you they know how to do that in fine style.
Walk on the Moon
Love Me Tonight
#5 Hayes Carll - Trouble in Mind
I have done several posts on this tremendously talented musician. I don't see the need to rehash again why this individual and this album are excellent. It just is. The 32-year-old Texan's songs blend some of the finest elements of folk, country and rock with brainy, quirky lyrics. For those who may have missed those posts check out the archive and I'll up another track right here.
Bad Liver and a Broken Heart
#6 Hank Williams III - Damn Right, Rebel Proud
I just covered this fine album not too long ago. It's a winner folks
Candidate for Suicide
#7 Tom Jones - 24 Hours
The Welshman refuses to age gracefully, and more power to him. His Art of Noise collaboration on Prince's "Kiss" showed the way in '88. On his 1994 album The Lead and How to Swing It, Jones teams with Trevor Horn, Flood, Youth, Teddy Riley, and Jeff Lynne.He reinvented himself again. In November the icon returned with his first album of new material to be released in the United States in over 15 years. "24 Hours" represents another milestone for Tom Jones; from interpreting a classic Bruce Springsteen track to writing and working alongside the likes of Bono and The Edge. On this album Jones returns to doing what he does best, switching between sweaty Sixties R&B workouts and breezy, free-and-easy swingers. In fact this album sounds like it could have been released in the sixties. The ballads, however, are amazing. The key ballad here is "The Road", a blue-eyed, melancholy Bacharach-style schmaltzer that pays tribute and apologizes to Linda, his long-suffering wife of over 50 years for his extramarital adventures: "I know I caused you pain/Left you shattered on the ground". Tom Jones proves once again that he is indeed, da man.
#8 Def Leppard - Songs from the Sparkle Lounge
This just may be their hardest rocking outing since Pyromania(ok Hysteria then). And the band is in top form. Joe sounds fantastic, as always. It's amazing that after all these years he hasn't lost his range. The guitar work from Phil and Vivian is great. There are some good, memorable riffs on nearly every track, which is something recent albums have been missing. The production value is great as well. This record has strong echos from their 80's past, while still being fresh for the times we know as of now. They prove that they can write and record great songs without their former legendary producer Mutt Lange. Good to have you back lads.
#9 Sparks - Exotic Creatures of the Deep
How can I even begin to describe the Mael brothers most recent brilliant outing. I can't. Like I've always said you either love Sparks or hate them. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground. On Exotic Creatures of the Deep they nailed it on ALL levels: lyrics, music, and vocals.
Lighten Up, Morrissey
I Cant Believe You Would Fall For All The Crap In This Song
#10 Nerf Herder - Nerf Herder IV
Chock full of pop culture references, witty and humourous lyrics abound and the music is great. I did a lengthy post about this album earlier in the year. Worth the purchase price for Garage Sale alone.
Honorable Mention Judas Priest - Nostradamus
You have to buy full albums to really get it. A superb concept album.
Wow there it is my top ten list. This is probably my last post of the year. I believe a holiday is due for all of us. If I chance to start again before the new year then so be it. If I don't I would like to extend the best holiday wishes to all my loyal readers out there, and remember not to be afraid to take that Walk on the Moon.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Well here it is people my top ten list for 2008. Like I've said before it was a pretty good year for new quality releases. There are many that should have made the list but there was too much competition this year. As for the list itself, my first pick is the number one of the year, hands down. Albums 2 - 10 are not to be ranked in any particular order by myself. If any readers want to rank them they can be my guest. If anyone thinks my list left off someone, feel free to leave your choices in the comments. Well this is going to be a long one so I best get a move on.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Christmas Turkey is a Christmas-themed album released in 1997 by the Canadian Comedy Music group The Arrogant Worms. For the uninformed, The Arrogant Worms are a Canadian musical comedy trio that parodies many musical genres. They are well known for their humorous on-stage banter in addition to their great music. When not spoofing a particular style of music, the Worms' material pokes fun at various aspects of daily life in Canada with songs like "Canada's Really Big", "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate", "Me Like Hockey", "We are the Beaver" and "Proud to Be Canadian". In fact you haven't lived untill you've heard We Are the Beaver. It's Awesome. The Worms are frequently mistakenly credited with performing "Eskimo" (often mistakenly titled "I'm the only Gay Eskimo" or "Gay Eskimo") by Corky and the Juice Pigs, "Cows with Guns" by Dana Lyons, or "The Toronto Song" and "The White House Burned (The War of 1812)" by Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie, along with various "Weird Al" songs and many other comedies and parodies by miscellaneous bands. Great change of pace Christmas album not to mention that the Worms kick ass eh.
The Christmas Song Vincent the Christmas Virus
I've pretty much stayed completely away from Christmas songs this year. This will be my only post to feature any holiday music. But it has been a tradition here at Good Rockin' to post up my favorite Christmas song ever recorded every year. Before I do let me say that with the holidays descending upon us Good Rockin' Tonight will only have one or two more posts this year. The last post of this year will be my annual Top Ten of the year list which I am currently working on. Not sure when it will be up. Then homercat must take a holiday break and won't be back until the first week of 2009. Just a heads up eh. Now my favorite yuletide cheer.
It's Christmas Time by Mojo Nixon and the Toadliquors
Posted by homercat at 11:56 AM
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Every once in a while I am zapped out of my everyday humdrum doldrums and am reminded why I started this blog in the first place. Then I realize further that I should be posting here on a daily basis. I have been trying to get at least every other day, but sometimes I even miss that. After today who knows, I may be chucking out a lot more posts (after the holidays of course). Let me tell you a story of this morning.
This morning arrived early at 3:30 AM. Our island rarely gets snow or below freezing, but this morning we had both. So an early start was in order. After an excruciating comedy of errors in the wee morning hours homercat finally got to work. Our new guy was working the graveyard. He's been with us about six months now and he's a strapping young lad of 20. As usual he had his Ipod fired up as he was cleaning up our dashing little pub. He always has his Ipod glued into his ears. Recently he told me that since he's started working at the pub, he's heard every song on his Ipod and was looking for recommendations for music. Now he's no musical slouch and we've often had conversations about music. He even plays a little guitar. My last recommendation for him was Slade and he tried them out but didn't seem to fired up about them. This morning our conversation turned to music on my top 100 albums of all time. So he says to me, what album would you consider to be #1 on your list. Now that is a tall order. Usually I would pick out 10 albums and say that these 10 are the top 10 and I couldn't possibly put them in any order. I was pigeonholed and had to pick a number 1. So without any more hesitation I proceed to tell him that my pick for #1 would have to be London Calling by The Clash. A no brainer for me. In fact if I was told I could only listen to just 5 albums for the rest of my life, it would still be #1 on my list.
You know what he says next? "The Clash, who's that?" My jaw dropped to the floor. Here is a knowledgeable young man and he has never heard of the Clash. I was stunned beyond belief. Turns out that he has heard Should I Stay or should I Go but didn't know who sang it. So I told him London Calling was my pick for best album of all time and he'd never heard of it. I can't imagine not having that album in my life let alone not ever hearing it. For my money nothing else even comes close to the assault on auditory senses that London Calling provides. Not only is London Calling one of the best-written albums ever, it's one of the best-sounding albums as well. The first time I placed this album on the turntable, my mind was blown. From the menacing opening chords of the title track, I was mesmerized. Then comes the smokin' cover of Brand New Cadillac and I was done like dinner. By the time Death or Glory was playing, I knew this was the ultimate Clash song on the ultimate album. Most of the songs are so brilliant that it seems impossible that mere humans created them. The amazing conglomeration of political and social ideas is merely one of the marks of the genius of this album. Fascists, revolutions, gangsters, junkies, race riots, nuclear destruction, rude boys, suburban alienation, consumerism, and even Montgomery Clift mixed upon hard rock, punk, snarling vocals, rockabilly, jazz, ska, and reggae. Amazing. London Calling literally changed my life. Trust me on this one. If it hadn't I wouldn't have cried like a baby almost exactly six years ago on December 22, 2002 when Joe Strummer, a man I admired greatly, died suddenly at his home of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. Just ask Mrs. homercat. I was a mess that day.
I tend to stick to lesser known artists, oldies, out of print or the occasional new stuff. It never even occurred to me that I should write a post about The Clash. I mean doesn't everyone own this album? Apparently not. Maybe I should be writing more about what I call the biggies (the big artists). So that is how I was reminded of what prompted me to start this little old place 5 years ago. To expose a younger generation to the classics. As long as there are 20 year olds walking around this planet who have never heard of the Clash, then I suppose Good Rockin' Tonight will stay in business. Those of us who know music are obligated to expose and educate the younger generation so something like this never happens again. Even though most of you own this album (or should), it is my duty to cue up a couple tracks for the uninitiated. Rock in Peace Joe, 6 Years on: Never Forgotten, Always an Inspiration, Always Missed.
Death or Glory
The Clash - London Calling
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
In 1984 Sparks released their thirteenth album called Pulling Rabbits Out of a Hat. Coming off the heels of the commercially successful In Outer Space, in true critical fashion the album was dissed by critics. The album developed the light synthpop sound of In Outer Space but with a slightly darker lyrics revolving around Ron Maels favourite subject matter: relationships. Songs like the title track and "Everybody Move" have danceable grooves, and "Song That Sings Itself" and "Love Scenes" are surprisingly straight forward love songs. Honestly I don't know what some folks have against this album. I listen to this Sparks album more than any of their others. For some reason I am drawn to it and whenever I put it on it brings a smile to my face. Even though the songs may be simple and straight forward, they're catchy, danceable and extremely sing a longy. Very infectious. The Mael brothers trademark wit and cleverness are here in all their glory. Screw the critics, it's a great album.
Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat
Pretending To Be Drunk
Sparks - Pulling Rabbits Out of a Hat
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Wendy and Lisa is the self-titled 1987 debut album by Wendy and Lisa, formerly of Prince's band, The Revolution. Wendy Melvoin (vocals, guitar, bass guitar) and Lisa Coleman (vocals, keyboards) best known for their collaborations with Prince and the Revolution in the early-mid 1980s, began their career as a duo in 1986 when (go figure)became increasingly disillusioned with Prince's decision to expand the Revolution with non-musicians, such as Wally Safford and Gregory Allen Brooks, and Prince's increasing machismo that these new members brought with them. Unhappy and vocal about their feelings, they were eventually convinced to remain with the band and to go on tour that year with the "Hit and Run" shows. However, Prince felt spurned and by the end of the tour he had already decided he would dissolve The Revolution once the tour was complete. Hence, by October 1986, Coleman and Melvoin (along with Bobby Z.) were dismissed by Prince.
The lead single for their debut album, "Waterfall" received some airplay, and the music video was played on MTV and VH1. The album was a moderate success, but did not approach the sales figures of The Revolution. The sound was a continuation of the ethereal/dance/R&B fusion that had been the hallmark of their work with Prince; many Prince fans that were more fond of his funkier music did not follow the duo's work.
Lest you think this talented duo has faded into obscurity, that is far from the truth. They currently score all of the music for the NBC shows Crossing Jordan and Heroes. Their work on Heroes won the duo the 2007 Film & TV Music Award for Best Score for a Science Fiction Television Program. Most recently they did some work on Grace Jones new album Hurricane.
Wendy and Lisa
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Fully Completely is the third full-length album by Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip. It was released in October 1992, and was their first album to reach #1 on the RPM Top 100 albums chart. Hip fans are divided about which of their albums ranks as their best. Generally one of their first three albums is usually picked and this album is most likely cited as the best Hip album. It may also be their darkest album. A series of grisly, psychotic mood pieces that together produce an album of songs about bodies in the trunk, drowned hockey players, implied incest, doomed romance, and cold winds blowing over your private parts.
Lyrically the album alternates between pessimism and despair: "Locked in the Trunk of a Car" is written from the perspective of a serial killer, and "Courage," perhaps the album's most popular cut is inspired by a chapter in Hugh MacLennan's book The Watch That Ends the Night. It seems to detail the thoughts of a person who cannot decide whether or not to commit suicide. Other songs are inspired by real, mostly Canadian, events - "Fifty Mission Cap" tells the true story of Bill Barilko, a star player for the 'leafs who disappeared after scoring the winning goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Next time the team won a Cup was the year he was discovered. "Wheat Kings" is about David Milgaard, who was wrongfully convicted of murder in the 1960s. The title of "Pigeon Camera," amazingly enough, literally refers to pigeons with cameras attached to their legs that were used (mostly unsuccessfully) in the First World War as tools for aerial observation.
If you're not a fan or have no idea who the Tragically Hip are, this is probably the best place to start to get acquainted with their music. Gordon Downie's lyrical brilliance really takes center stage on this album. An essential album if you're serious about yer rock n roll.
At the Hundredth Meridian
Locked in the Trunk of a Car
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Fire up your way back machine and get those tartans ready because I feel another Bay City Rollers post coming on.
Once Upon a Star is the second UK album by the Scottish group Bay City Rollers. Released in 1975, the album featured a British #1 hit single, "Bye Bye Baby", and marked the first time the group performed its own music, rather than relying on session musicians. At the point "Bye Bye Baby" hit Number 1 in the U.K., the boys were hosts of their hit T.V. show "Shang-A-Lang," and "Rollermania" was in full swing. Due to pre-orders, this release hit Number 1 on the U.K. charts on the day of its release (also achieved by The Beatles and precious few others). Finally, the boys were allowed to play on all the songs, even on the album's surprisingly complex arrangements, which include such instruments as a mandolin, a violin, and even an accordion. Eric and Woody wrote seven of the 12 tunes. The production is more sophisticated than on "Rollin'" and this record establishes the group’s trademark sound. All in all, this release marks a major step forward and it may not win over listeners who dislike sugary pop music, it does show that the Bay City Rollers stood out from the rest of the teen idol pack because of their skills as writers and instrumentalists. An interesting note: the Rollers wouldn't make it big in North America until the next year when songs from the UK releases of Rollin' and Once Upon A Star were compiled to produce the group’s first American LP, Bay City Rollers. Homercat likes these guys.
Rock & Roll Honeymoon
Let's Go (A Huggin' and a Kissin' in the Moonlight)
Once Upon a Star
Friday, December 05, 2008
Since homercat runs a music blog he gets his fair share of unsolicited emails from a number of bands wanting me to check out their music and promote it on Good Rockin'. That's a good thing and I try to listen to all the submissions I get. Being mostly an "oldies" blog, I don't spend enough time showcasing the new music that people keep getting me to listen to. So the other day I got an email from Bob D’Haene asking me to check out his bands upcoming new album Vinyl. I took a gander and on first listen liked what I heard so D’Haene gets a spin on Good Rockin' Tonight.
D’Haene (pronounced: D’Hain) is an NYC based rock band formed in ’03. Their first record, “Brother man”, was released in ’05. It was met with great reviews, plenty of college radio airplay and a trip to the “First Annual James Brown Festival”. NPR listed them as one of their “Great Unknown Artists”.
Their follow up entitled vinyl will be released in early 2009.
Songwriter Bob D'Haene (vocals, rhythm & lead guitar) writes songs influenced by classic 70's soul, standard American blues and 90's alternative rock. Backing D'Haene and bringing his lyrics the weight they deserve are Riley McMahon (lead, rhythm guitars, lap steel), Rick Guetschow (bass), Sammy K (drums and percussion) along with Tim McCracken (Keyboard & Background Vox).
Upon first listen of Vinyl my first impression was hey there's some great riffs going on here. Which loosely translated means this is a rock n roll album. There is an impressive range of styles and influences going on here. When I listen to the range of this one and the quality of musicianship, it kinda makes me wonder how this band has slipped through the major label radar. I guess they're focusing on bands that sound like Coldplay. I asked the band which songs they would like to promote and they gave me a couple suggestions but also said they would be curious as to which one I would pick. So I'm going to go with my pick, which is my fave song. It's nice to work directly with these new artists as they want promotion and it eases my mind as I have permission to put up a track here today. Keep an eye out for Vinyl when it comes out. I think we're going to be hearing more about this band in the future.
Wouldn't You Like to Know by D'Haene
Thursday, December 04, 2008
In 1984, Jane Wiedlin was the first to leave the Go-Go's to pursue a solo career. She subsequently has four solo albums to her credit. I just love Jane Wiedlin. Even after all these years I still think she's just cute as a button. The Go Go's were okay, but I really liked her solo stuff a lot better. There's something about her voice that just slays me. Not only is she cute as a bug in a rug, she was also the most talented. Forget about Belinda's solo work, it doesn't hold up at all against Jane's. Tangled was her third solo album which was released in 1990. It contains a great collection of pop songs sung in an almost angelic voice.
In 19996 she formed the band froSTed and they released one album. The reason the "ST" in froSTed is capitalized is because Jane is a big Star Trek fan, and as a result she got a small one line role in the fourth ST movie, The Voyage Home. Other movie roles include Joan of Arc (with no spoken lines in English) in the time travel comedy Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and an ill-fated singing telegram girl in the cult comedy/mystery film Clue. Wiedlin also appeared as the bus station lady wearing a neck brace in Steve Balderson's 2005 surrealist crime drama Firecracker, a film Roger Ebert named on his list of the year's best films. Jane was ranked #76 on VH1's Greatest Women of Rock N Roll. She is a member of the fetish community. When she was on a celebrity version of "Jeopardy" (which she won), she wore leather bondage pants. One of the first songs she wrote as a Go-Go was called "Fun with Ropes".
The thing I don't get is that when Tangled came out the album received negative reviews from critics. One critic went as far to say that Jane "did not have much of a voice", and compared the album as bad compared to Go-Gos or Belinda Carlisle solo releases. He concluded the review by saying: "Between Wiedlin's weak singing and the consistently poor material, Tangled is a disc to avoid." Dude I have to disagree strongly and vehemently. I even wonder if that dude listened to it. I have listened to this disc hundreds of times and never tire of it and would rather listen to Janes solo stuff than the drivel Belinda Carlisle or even the Go Go's put out. Even without critical or commercial success, Tangled represents an artistic peak and is the most satisfying release by Jane Wiedlin as a solo artist. So poop on you Mr. music critic.
Her stuff is sadly all out of print.
Tangled - The Album
Monday, December 01, 2008
Oh mickey you're so fine. This here album is a definite slice of the eighties. Toni Basil's debut album, Word of Mouth, came out in 1982 and pop-music history was made. The music video for "Mickey" was one of the most popular of the early MTV video days. Word of Mouth is an eighties New Wave classic slice of vinyl, featuring enough songs and musical contributions from Devo, that it could almost be considered a lost Devo album (no surprise that Basil and Devo's Jerry Casale were an item at the time). Actually she has had quite an extraordinary career.
After high school, she became a go-go dancer and quickly moved into choreography, working on '60s television shows like Shindig and The T.A.M.I. Show; in 1964, she appeared with Annette Funicello in the film Pajama Party, which she also choreographed. In 1966, Basil released her first single, the Graham Gouldman-penned "28"; the B-side was her recording of the title song from avant-garde filmmaker Bruce Conner's Breakaway, in which she also appeared as a dancer. Basil's acting career soon hit a peak with her role in 1969's landmark Easy Rider as a New Orleans hooker; she went on to appear with Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces and Dennis Hopper in The Last Movie. During the '70s, she choreographed films like American Graffiti and The Rose, and also worked on David Bowie's 1974 concert tour.
In the late '70s, Basil formed her own urban-style dance troupe, the Lockers, and moved into music video directing as well, helming the groundbreaking Talking Heads clip for "Once in a Lifetime." In 1981, she signed to Chrysalis as a recording artist and cut her debut album, Word of Mouth. Back when MTV was new and worth watching, they actually showed videos all the time and Mickey received heavy rotation on the fledgling network. Yeah she was a cheerleader in high school and that's her actual cheerleading outfit from her high school days in the video.
As popular as this album was (#22 on the charts), it's a shame it has never been released on cd. You can kind of piece it together from different compilation albums. I would love to see this remastered and finally released on cd. If the only thing you're familiar with is Mickey, it's worth your while to check out some of the other tunes from the album which I feel are much better. Enjoy this blast from the past.
You Gotta Problem
The Best of Toni Basil: Mickey and Other Love Songs
Friday, November 28, 2008
The Blitz was Swedish metal meister's, Krokus, eighth studio album. It came out in 1984, a year after their most popular album, Headhunter. It pretty much picks up where Headhunter left off as far as style goes. Midnite Maniac may well be one of the best songs they ever recorded. With this song leading off the album I thought it was going to be a stunner album when it came out. Upon further listen, I felt the feel of this album was "we need a radio, MTV friendly Hit" type of album. Not that it's a bad album. There are several great tracks here, but their cover of Ballroom Blitz is actually painful to listen to. While listening to the album the first time it just felt like they were trying way to hard for that MTV hit and trying to emulate American hair bands. Which disappointed me at the time as Headhunter was a killer metal album. Thus it was the last Krokus album I ever bought. Digging it out all these years later and re listening to it, I've decided I actually like it quite a lot, yet Ballroom Blitz is still as unlistenable as it was back in the eighties. The rest of the album is a good listen and I still think Midnite Maniac kills.
Midnite ManiacOur Love
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Last year when I went to make my end of the year top 10 best albums of the year list, I found it almost difficult to fill up ten spots. There seemed to be a lack of quality albums last year. This year is a different story. Every time I turn around I listen to another candidate for 2008's top ten list. My latest exquisite listening joy ride comes from Hank Williams III and the album is called Damn Right, Rebel Proud.
There is no doubt that there is some talent running through those Williams boys DNA. Whether or not you're a fan of Senior, Junior, or III one has to admit that is one talented family. Being a rock n roller doesn't preclude me from listening to things on the country side. Folks my age are more familiar with Jr's music than we are with the original country rebel, Hank Williams himself. We know his legacy though. Through the latter part of the seventies and the eighties we listened to Hank Williams Jr (or Bocephus if you will), right alongside Aerosmith, Kiss and The Clash. Every party we ever had a Bocephus record would make an appearance, more than likely one of the songs with All My Rowdy Friends in the title. Even though country, Bocephus was more rock n roll than country. So homercat loves his Bocephus.
Enter the third generation Williams boy. Looking eerily almost like his grandfather, Hank III's music alternates between somewhat traditional country, and a more aggressive music that touches on punk rock and elements of various heavy metal styles. Luckily he’s seemed to have inherited his namesakes’ showmanship and their love of illicit substances to go with it. His previous album, Straight to Hell, became the first major-label Country album to bear a parental advisory warning. Damn Right, Rebel Proud is the fourth album released by Hank Williams III, which came out at the end of October. The album was released in two separate versions, one being a censored release for major retailers(most notably Wal-Mart), the other is uncensored. The subject matter is pretty much the same as it was on his previous albums: getting drunk, getting stoned, and the numerous faults of the commercial country music industry, with a couple of no account women thrown in for good measure.
Holy crap this is one fine kick in the ass album. You know exactly what lies in wait after hearing the first track of the album. The Grand Ole Opry (Ain't So Grand Any More) on which Williams takes the venerable country music institution to task for its hypocritical use of his grandfather's image and music for decades after they revoked his membership. I Wish I Knew is a broken-hearted lament that's a first-class tear in your beer-drinking weeper. Then there's P.F.F., the longest song on the album at over 10 minutes. The lyrics about “find[ing] a whore and fuck[ing] her until she’s black and blue” may not appeal to the more traditional of Williams’s fans, but damn if it ain't a catchy tune. It's actually two songs as the first part runs along at breakneck speed then after a brief, spoken-word interlude, Hank III performs the song again, this time in slow, country fashion.
So in a few simple words, if you just spilled whiskey on those hard to get AC/DC tickets, you’re angry, brokenhearted, under the influence of various substances, screwed over by both your woman and The Man, then this album would make a great soundtrack for your day. Highly recommend purchasing this one as soon as you can.
The Grand Ole Opry (Ain't So Grand Any More)
3 Shades of Black
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Homercat turned around and not only was it November but the 11th month is almost over and I'll be damned if Christmas isn't but a month away. What I almost missed is Good Rockin's birthday. It was 5 years ago this month when Good Rockin' Tonight was born. Rockin' just started out as a hobby from a cat with too much time on his hands. Unable to work so I wanted to share my love of music with anyone that wanted to stop by. Over this 5 years I have seen many a site come and go. Recently a lot of my fave places to visit on the web have been disappearing. Many places have become tired of the hassles that seem to go hand and hand with trying to promote music. If you are a music blogger then you know what I speak of. Luckily a lot of indie labels and artists aren't so anal about posting a track for some free publicity, which keeps my inbox full of music submissions. Even so, eventually I expect to get hit by the music police and this site will probably be forced to close it's doors. I hate what the record industry has become and in a way this site has been my statement to that effect. I have been sharing music with people for 40 years. From the time I was a kid, my friends and I shared our music with each other. I remember having an 8 track recorder and recording 45's and albums with it. This in no way ever affected my buying tendencies, quite the opposite as I usually would buy more. I have a massive collection that I have paid for and people ask me all time when they see it, do you actually listen to all this? The answer is yes. The only day I watch TV is on Saturdays where I watch the few select shows I have taped. Every other minute of every day is spent listening to music. Recent studies have also shown that people that share music tend to buy more music than the average joe. The record companies just don't get it. In fact they never have. So on even though Good Rockin' Tonight is celebrating 5 years of musical yumminess, I wanted to give a heads up to all of you in case this blog just disappears one day. I also want to thank those of you who stop by here on a semi regular basis.
The original intent here was to expose classic stuff to these younger generational types and get them to buy it. Stuff that never got radio play and especially out of print stuff. I didn't want some of my favorite tunes to be relegated to obscurity in an old fogies time capsule somewhere. Over time I also have tackled new artists that tickled my fancy, although that area is getting trickier to navigate now. In the scheme of the WWW my little place here is an obscure sidetrack compared to some of the music bloggers out there. One thing I am quite proud of was about 3 or 4 months ago, one of those heavy hitter blogs linked to my site because of a song that I had posted and called Rockin' one of the oddest mp3 blogs out there. Thank you, thank you. Homercat never wanted to be normal like everyone else. If I have an "odd" mp3 blog then so be it.
Since I am so odd and the original purpose here was to showcase older stuff, I think it would be great to have some old, obscure, odd novelty tunes served up for my 5th birthday. Enjoy.
Who Is It? by Carlton the Doorman
Junkfood Junkie by Larry Groce
Wildwood Weed by Jim Stafford
Disco Duck by Rick Dees
The Rodeo Song by Showdown Convoy by CW McCall
Alimony by Weird Al Yankovic
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Grace Jones recently came out with a new album called Hurricane and after listening to it, the homercat say he likey. Which made me want to revisit a classic album of hers from 1981. Nightclubbing.
For those that may not know Grace Jones is a Jamaican–American singer, supermodel and actress. Nightclubbing is her fifth studio album , released in 1981. Her first three albums brought her fame as a disco artist but with the eighties and new wave music breaking ground she turned her attention to this new format. I remember the first time I heard this album all the way through. The blend of RnB, Reggae, New Wave, Rock and Balladry was mind blowing. Little wonder the British music magazine NME named this the best album of the year when originally released.
The lead-off single for the album was Sting's "Demolition Man", originally written for Grace Jones but also included on The Police's album "Ghost in the Machine", later that same year. Let me tell you folks, her version of this song makes the Police version sound pathetic and lame. She sounds like she could chew you up and spit you out without missing a beat. It's a great song to just crank loud and let it roll. The title track is a cover of an Iggy Pop song, which was co-written by David Bowie. Nightclubbing also includes the hit single "Pull Up to the Bumper", co-written by Jones, which is yet another excellent tune. Grace's voice is really what sets her music apart from other artists. Her flat, oftentimes menacing voice pushes the music along. However, a surprise at the end of the cd, "I've Done It Again" shows that she really could sing. For whatever it's worht I consider this an essential album for any rock collector. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Grace Jones.
Pull Up to the Bumper
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Born to Rock/Built to Last!
So it says over at Sammy Hagar's website, redrocker.com. I'll be damned if it ain't true. The red rocker's newest studio album came out two days ago and it's chock full of gritty Hagarness. Cosmic Universal Fashion is Sammy's 11th studio album to date. Not to be confused with albums from his stints with Montrose, Van Halen, or the Waboritas.
Mrs. Homercat has said on many occasions that Hagar is the best rock n roll vocalist of all time. According to her, he has the kind of voice that sends shivers down your spine and gives you the chillbumps. I tend to agree with her on this one. Although I lean towards Daltrey and Zander as the best, I gotta say that Sammy may well be on his way to taking over the top spot in my book also. Think back to one of his earliest crunchers like Rock Candy(Montrose), or Van Halen's Seventh Seal which positively gives me the chills his voice is so good. Just listen to 24365 off his new album and you gotta go damn, that is one helluva classic rock n roll voice. In fact Sammy's in great form sounding better than ever. One could almost describe Hagar as a sort of modern-day hard rockin' Jimmy Buffet, and has definitely earned his place in rock n roll history as one of pop-hard-rock’s premier front men who not only has an ample, strong, belting vocal range with soulful melody and tone, but his duality as a formidable lead guitarist and monster guitar-riff-monger puts him in a league shared with few others in terms of versatility and overall right to rock.
I could go on and on about the career or the new album so just a couple more things before folks get tired of reading this. Cosmic Universal Fashion began when a friend gave Hagar a basic track recorded in Bhagdad by an Iraqi musician named Steven Lost. An online collaboration began between the two and thus the first track on the album was born. Guest musicians abound on the album, most notably Hagar side kick and former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony. Hagar and Anthony single handedly won the best sportsmanship of the year award in 2007 when Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They were nothing but gentlemen about being snubbed by their former Van Halen band mates when they weren’t invited to participate in the band’s reunion tour, and yet they were the band’s sole representatives at VH’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction. They handled both with good humor and professionalism even though they were both ex members and the current members couldn't be bothered to show up. Class Acts both.
Finally, before we get to the sample from this album, I'll say it's been a pretty good year for rock n roll. Last year I almost couldn't fill up my top ten albums of the year, and this year I've got multitudes of candidates. That being said Cosmic Universal Fashion will make that list, which also means someone else is getting bumped off that list, sorry Metallica, but you just got bested by the Red Rocker. 61 Years of age and over 35 years in the biz and Sammy Hagar is still kicking ass and taking names. Homercat highly recommends this album if you like balls to the wall rock n roll. You won't be disappointed. And this song kicks ass!
Loud by Sammy Hagar
Monday, November 10, 2008
Hilly Michaels is an American drummer and musician, best known9if at all) for playing drums with Sparks in the 70's and his two solo albums from the early 80's, Calling All Girls (1980) and Lumia (1981). Calling All Girls is one of the most overtly over-the-top power pop/new wave records of the era, a cult classic, if you could appreciate it for what it was -- musical junk food that wasn't going to break any new molds. The album was produced by Roy Thomas Baker, and it featured Hilly on guitar, drums and vocals. Hilly also wrote all the songs, including Shake It And Dance, which became a huge hit in both Australia and France and was featured on the soundtrack of the film Die Laughing. Another song from the album, the very Sparks-sounding Something On Your Mind appeared on the soundtrack to the movie Caddyshack. The album could be described as The Cars on speed (Cars keyboardist Greg Hawkes even puts in an appearance). A motley cast of musicians played on the album, including Liza Minelli, her stepsister Lorna Luft, actor-singer Ellen Foley, former bandmate "Saturday Night Live" guitarist G.E. Smith, Elton John guitarist Davey Johnstone and rocker Dan Hartman.
But it was the title song that drew all the attention, a big budget MTV style video to promote Hilly's single "Calling All Girls". It was a landmark, breakthrough video in the industry. Hilly Michaels' "Calling All Girls" video was all over MTV back in the days when MTV's programmers didn't have a lot to choose from and were occasionally forced to show decent material. Every power pop trick in the book is compacted into this three-minute song: the "Calling All Girls" chorus sounds like a police bulletin, the half a key jump for the final verse and chorus, police siren wailing at the end. A lost classic album that is so out of print. Another album on my wish list of reissues.
Calling All Girls
Shake it and Dance
Buy It...Oh wait you can't
I'm going to be away from home for a few days so my next post won't be coming for a few days. Just wanted to give a heads up in case someone thought I'd disappeared.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Originally released in 1980, this 2006 remastered and expanded release of All Shook Up with bonus tracks including the 4 song ep Found All the Parts previously unavailable on CD is astounding. High Priest of Rhythmic Noise was and is still one of my favorite Cheap Trick tunes and sounds amazingly awesome here. The remastering job is excellent (please, please remaster the rest of the catalog) All Shook Up was even quirkier than he previous, platinum-selling Dream Police. Many of its songs were less radio friendly and more experimental, and the cover art led many to question what the band was trying to accomplish. However, at the time, Cheap Trick was fighting for musical independence and took the opportunity on the heels of Dream Police to take their sound in a different direction. This album holds up great today and don't let the word experimental fool you because there are some balls to the wall rockers on this one. In fact if this was the first time you ever listened to this album right now, you would be rocked on your ass and say this is a 100 times better than the bullshit out there now. The bonus tracks on this reissue were all previously released. "Everything Works If You Let It" was on the soundtrack to Roadie, and the other four tracks were from the EP Found All The Parts.
Some interesting facts about this album that may interest someone. There were several homages to The Beatles on this album. "Stop This Game" opens and closes with a droning piano note similar to the one that ends "A Day in the Life." The bridge to "Baby Loves to Rock" features the line "Not in Russia!" with the sound of an airplane in the background, a subtle reference to "Back in the U.S.S.R." "World's Greatest Lover" has vocals reminiscent of John Lennon.
Since AC/DC is big right now you might be interested to know that Rick Nielsen wrote "Love Comes A-Tumblin' Down" for the then recently departed Bon Scott. Another AC/DC homage comes in the form of "World's Greatest Lover" which cops the intro to "Big Balls." Killer, killer album from my number 1 band of all time. Cheap Trick make Zeppelin sound like amateurs. Listen to these 2 tunes and try to imagine them being released in 1980 when in fact they sound better than anything out there today. Way ahead of the times eh. Wow, 2006 reissue already out of print. So sad, and should be against the law.
High Priest of Rhythmic Noise Baby Loves to Rock
Thursday, November 06, 2008
After the US election, the general consensus is that once again we have hope in the world. It seems natural then to revisit a classic album from 1977 with the same title, Hope.
Hope is the second album released by the Canadian group Klaatu, in September 1977. It is a concept album, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, about the sole survivor of an arrogant race of beings, who warns space travelers of hazards in the last days of his life. By the time this album came out, the rumour that Klaatu were actually the Beatles reformed had died down. Klaatu were just three talented Canadian boys. For more info about the whole Beatles comparison stuff inspire by their first album, you can check out my earlier post which goes into more detail about the whole phenomenon. It's quite fascinating.
The recording is rich in both musical content, as one of the most powerful combinations of rock and classical orchestral music to that date, and in production values, sounding like a modern recording, even though it was created in the late 1970s on a relatively small budget by a few people. Many fans and critics consider Hope to be the most creative of the Klaatu albums, and a high point of 1970s production standards. I've heard some say it has a slightly Pink Floydish feel to it. Not to mention the stunning artwork of the album. Which nowadays is becoming a thing of the past.
I resurrect Hope here for any first timers to hear or a blast from the past for any who may remember the whole phenom.
Hope by Klaatu The Loneliest of Creatures by Klaatu
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
It's almost over, finally. After an almost ludicrous amount of time and money spent on this year's American election, it's almost over. What has it been, almost 2 years and billions of dollars spent on this campaign? Mercy me I don't know what the 24 hour news networks are going to do when this election is over. I have a suggestion, Report the actual news eh. Say what you will about the great white north but when they have an election they don't fuck around. Election announced and 4 or 5 weeks later, boom it's over.
I don't want to start a political debate here, but one thing is clear. America can not stand 4 more years of the policies and corruption of the Bush regime. Whichever candidate wins, there must be drastic change. This next president is inheriting a shithole of a mess and is likely doomed to be a one termer because cleaning up Dubya's mess will be a gargantuan task that I don't think anyone can fix in a mere 4 years. At one time I greatly admired both candidates that are running for the office. Around 4 years or so ago one of them changed drastically and my admiration has turned to derision. Be that as it may, may the best man win and let's hope he can get America out of the shitter and restore it's reputation around the world. Let's hope the nightmare is almost over. So If Obama wins today, I have his winning song picked out. If McCain wins, I have his winning song picked out. I post them here now and I leave it to you to judge which one belongs to who. It's obvious I think.
Cool Change by Little River Band End of the World by Great Big Sea
Posted by homercat at 12:23 PM
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Being that it's the end of October it just wouldn't be right if I didn't post this classic. Mrs. homercat has never seen Rocky Horror in all it's glory at a midnight screening in a theater, so this Halloween we're thinking we're gonna do it. She's a Rocky Horror virgin. In the past homercat has won a couple contests dressed as Frank n Furter(with the fishnets, garters and such). If you think you've seen the film on video and that's that, then you are sorely mistaken. One of the most fun nights I ever had was at the show, winning the contest for best costume, doing the time warp and pointing out the virgins. You really haven't experienced a proper Halloween until you attend a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Really I feel sorry for people who have never been. Because it's a kick in the ass boatload of fun.
Besides that I would have to scratch my head in bewilderment if this album was not in everybody's music collection. Amazing. Just in case I'm putting up a couple tracks from the biggest cult movie of all time. It is the longest running theatrical release in film history. More than 30 years later it is still in limited release in theaters around the world. In December 2005, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington added The Rocky Horror Picture Show to the National Film Registry, a list that contains only 450 films. Lips, lips lips! Asshole!!!
Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me by Susan Sarandon Sweet Transvestite by Tim Curry
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The last few remaining days of October are upon us. Homercat is entering the homestretch of his month long salute to Halloweenish type tuneage. I wish I had more time in my schedule to have posted an entry every day but this cat's time is limited and I hope no one leaves Rockin' feeling dissatisfied. By the time the 31st gets here I know I'm going to hear it from someone for not posting this song or that one. Again I am but one cat. Today I'm going to just put up some of my fave tunes (like I haven't already). The usual horror mainstay artist may make a few more appearances here. I will save my last post of the month for those typical Halloween songs you tend to hear all day come the 31.
This first track is full of everything you would expect from a horror track. If any of you saw Rob Zombies first movie, then you will know what to expect from this track. It is a good and creepy one.
House of 1,000 Corpses by Rob Zombie
Love him or hate him, Marilyn Manson's take of the Eurhythmics Sweet Dreams has a really great eerie feel to it.
Sweet Dreams by Marilyn Manson
Because it's Alice and they are also deliciously creepy and a couple of my faves.
This House is Haunted by Alice Cooper Skeletons in the Closet by Alice Cooper
Every single chance I get to showcase something from the best album of this decade (so far) I do it. From Devil's Playground a great Idol tune.
Evil Eye by Billy Idol
There are some great moments in this song such as, Christina your mother's calling, you have to hear it to understand.
Joan Crawford by Blue Oyster Cult
Can't get enough of this Voltaire guy. Voltaire’s music has strong roots and connections to European folk as well as other influences such as the goth scene. However, many listeners find his music hard to classify. Although it has a sound reminiscent of European folk music, many people claim it to be darkwave. As an avid fan of Star Trek, Voltaire frequently attends science fiction conventions (such as I-CON and Dragon Con) and released a four track E.P. called Banned on Vulcan.
The Headless Waltz by Voltaire
Speaks for itself
A Nightmare on Elm Street Movie Theme
A Perennial favorite by the Q's all bad band.
A song that I never get tired of and is a great party song.
Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo
Classic Horror Flick
Hope everyone enjoys!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
The Evil Dead is a 1981 horror film written and directed by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell. The film was extremely controversial for its graphic violence and gore, being initially turned down by almost all U.S. distributors, until a European company picked it up. Because of its graphic violence, the original version of the movie was banned in several countries.
The movie spawned two sequels and the Evil Dead Trilogy has an intense cult following with fans clamoring for a fourth installment. If you haven't seen it or have no idea what these movies are about then I heartily recommend you run out and rent all three of the trilogy and make a night of it. Essentially you either get it or you don't. Personally I rate the trilogy at number 1 in the best horror flicks of all time, with Romero's Living Dead series coming in second.
Enter Evil Dead: The Musical which is a Canadian off-Broadway show based on the cult classic film series. With the approval of both Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, a musical version of the film was staged, enjoying a successful workshop in Toronto and performances at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal in 2004. The New York off-Broadway production started previews on October 2, 2006. The Official Opening Night performance was November 1, 2006 and it ran, performing 8 times per week at the New World Stages, until February 17, 2007. Toronto producers announced a new Toronto production of the show, starring Ryan Ward at the Diesel Playhouse which started May 1st 2007. The musical loosely follows the original incorporating elements of all three movies.
This is a show I would have given my left nut to see as Fans enjoyed the "splatter zone" -- the first three rows of the theater where patrons could count on a good blood-soaking. Ticket buyers in the Splatter Zone were advised to dress down. Hazards included gallons of stage blood and fake gore. (Ponchos were provided during the 15 minute intermission before Act Two).In fact, Toronto fans began wearing white t-shirts to take home later as bloody souvenirs which inspired the show's marketing team to start selling "I Survived the Splatter Zone" souvenirs. Fortunately, Evil Dead: The Musical has been been released on CD and it is freakin' awesome. This is a must have CD for Evil Dead fans. People unfamiliar with the movies probably wouldn't get any of the tunes but they're surprisingly good with some great humour thrown in. Here's a rough rip of the album and I strongly suggest you scoop the real album up if you can find it. Limited Time only.
1. Book of the Dead
2. Cabin in the Woods
3. Stupid Bitch
4. Housewares Employee
5. Evil Trees
6. It Won't Let Us Leave
7. Look Who's Evil Now
8. What the Fuck Was That?
9. Join Us
10. Good Old Reliable Jake (Intro)
11. Good Old Reliable Jake
12. Housewares Employee (Reprise)
13. Death is a Bitch
14. I'm Not A Killer
15. Evil Puns
16. Bit Part Demon
17. Good..Bad..I'm the Guy with the Gun
18. All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons
19. Ode to an Accidental Stabbing
21. Do the Necronomicon
22. It's Time
23. We Will Never Die
24. S Mart
25. Blew That Bitch Away
Copy and Paste this link into your browser to download
Friday, October 24, 2008
This may not be the creepfest some might be expecting from the homercat, but this is a lost classic from the 70's that I thought should be resurrected here. Nothing creepy here in the music, yet as in the original phantom, this is a sad tale. After all these years and before I thought to bring it here. Initial memories of the film are of Beef and his back-up act to the no-talent band The Juicy Fruits. Upon older person reflection, it is quite a sad story with a pretty decent 70's soundtrack before movie soundtracks were a staple of a film's success.
Phantom of the Paradise is a 1974 horror-thriller musical film written and directed by Brian De Palma. The story is a loosely adapted mixture of Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Faust. The film was marketed with the tagline "He sold his soul for rock n'roll", and then with "He's been maimed and framed, beaten, robbed and mutilated. But they still can't keep him from the woman he loves." Initially a box office failure and panned by some critics, it has since gained a huge cult following. The film was a box-office bomb the year of its initial showings. Curiously, the film's major market during its theatrical release was in Winnipeg, Canada where it stayed in local cinemas over four months continuously and over one year non-continuously until 1976. Relatedly, the soundtrack sold 20,000 copies in Winnipeg alone, and it got Gold status in Canada. (Yay! Canada)The film was later shown on area IMAX screens in the 90s. A 2006 fan-organized festival, dubbed 'Phantompalooza', reunited the original cast and featured a concert by Paul Williams in the very theatre where the film played during its original run.
It is quite the tragedy/musical/horror flick and the ending is enough to make a macho red neck cry. In fact, I forget how damn depressing this movie was. No it's not a "great" movie, but it is a lost classic in my opinion. Will the songs make you shiver with fear? Not likely, but they are a tribute to a genre I adore, the really bad b movie horror flick. This is a rare one folks. Get these and be the envy of all your nerd sci fi friends at the next comic con. (See story line after funny toon)
Goodbye, Eddie, Goodbye
Life at Last
Classic Horror Flick
The story follows a music composer and singer named Winslow Leach (played by William Finley), who works as a back-up act to the no-talent nostalgia band The Juicy Fruits, who are produced by Satanic record producer, 'Swan' (played by Paul Williams). Swan is deeply moved by Winslow's pop cantata, based on the story of "Faust" and, deeming Winslow's music as the perfect music to open ""The Paradise" - Swan's anticipated concert hall, has his right-hand man Philbin (George Memmoli) steal it.
When Winslow arrives at Swan's record label, Death Records, he is thrown out. When he sneaks into "Swanage", Swan's private mansion, to find out what's going on, he observes several women all singing his music. Winslow meets Phoenix, an aspiring singer (played by Jessica Harper), whom he deems perfect for his music, and the two quickly fall for one another. Winslow is told of Swan's plan to open the Paradise with Winslow's music. Thrown out again, when Winslow sneaks in once more, Swan orders his minions to beat up Winslow and frame him for drug dealing.
Winslow is given a life sentence in Sing-Sing Prison. In prison, Winslow's teeth are extracted due to an experimental prisioner program, funded by the Swan Foundation. His teeth are now replaced with shiny metal ones. Six months later, when Winslow hears on the radio, while assembling tiddleywinks games in the prison rehab center, that The Juicy Fruits, who he hates, have made an anticipated hit record of his music, with Swan's backing. Winslow goes berserk, punches out a guard, and escapes from prison in a delivery box driven off prison property. He breaks into the Death Records building and tears the place up. He then breaks into Swan's record factory, where he sets out to destroy a record press. When a guard catches him fiddling with the record press, Winslow slips and the record press catches his sleeve, tumbling Winslow head first into the record press, crushing his face. Bleeding profusely, and with his face now mutilated, a very disoriented Winslow makes his way to the edge of the East River and tumbles into the water. The newspaper reports that he was shot by a security guard at the factory and is now dead.
Sneaking backstage into the Paradise, Winslow makes his way into the costume department, where he dons a black leather costume, a long, black cape (though later in the film he also wears a red one) and a silver, owl-like mask to cover his now scarred face, becoming The Phantom of the Paradise so he can terrorize Swan and his musicians. He plants a time bomb into a prop car, nearly killing the Juicy Fruits. Swan, seeing the Phantom on a security camera, realizes there is an intruder about.
The Phantom confronts Swan, who recognizes him as Winslow. Swan offers the composer the chance to have his music produced his way. Auditions are held, and the Phantom selects Phoenix. Later, in a secluded recording studio, Swan provides the Phantom with an electronic voice-box, enabling him to speak and sing (voice of Paul Williams). Swan asks the Phantom to rewrite his cantata for Phoenix. The Phantom reluctantly agrees, on the condition that Phoenix is the lead singer, and that Swan plays "what I write!". Swan promises, and the Phantom signs a contract in blood.
While the Phantom remains in the recording studio rewriting his cantata, Swan breaks the deal, telling Philbin that he resents Phoenix's "perfection": "You know how I abhor perfection in anyone but myself." Swan puts a pill-popping, gay male glam-rock prima donna named Beef (Gerrit Graham) in the lead of Winslow's "Faust", with Phoenix as a backup singer.
The Phantom completes "Faust". Swan then drugs him and steals the cantata, ordering his minions to seal the Phantom up inside the recording studio with a brick wall. However, when the Phantom awakens and realizes he's been betrayed, he manages to escape. The Phantom then confronts Beef, threatening to kill him if he performs. Beef tries to flee, but is stopped by Philbin, who suggests to Beef that it was all a drug-induced hallucination.
Onstage, the glam-rock band The Undeads (the former Juicy Fruits) sing of the perfect man, taking numerous body parts and "turning" them into Beef, dressed as a glitter-clad Frankenstein's Monster. As Beef performs, the Phantom, up in the rafters, strikes Beef with a lightning bolt-shaped neon sign, electrocuting him, to the great delight of the crowd. Horrified, Philbin orders Phoenix onstage as a replacement. Phoenix is an immediate sensation with the audience. Swan now realizes the potential of the situation.
In Phoenix's dressing room, Swan arrives and seduces Phoenix, telling her of her future stardom. As she leaves, she is nearly overwhelmed by the overzealous crowd, but is quickly carted away by the Phantom. On the roof, the Phantom tells Phoenix his true identity. He implores Phoenix to leave the Paradise so Swan won't destroy her like he's destroyed everything else. Phoenix doesn't believe him, however, and, afraid of the Phantom, flees.
At Swanage, Swan's private mansion, the Phantom, watching atop the roof, observes Swan and Phoenix locked in a tight embrace. Heartbroken, he commits suicide, stabbing himself through the heart with his own knife.
The Phantom awakens from death, however, to see Swan (who'd set up the entire "embrace" for Winslow's benefit) standing over him. Swan tells the Phantom that he cannot die because he is locked to the blood contract he'd signed earlier: The Phantom can't die until Swan himself has died. With that knowledge, the Phantom attempts to stab Swan through the heart, but Swan, unharmed, merely pulls the knife away and replies, "I'm under contract, too!"
Rolling Stone Magazine announces the upcoming wedding between Swan and Phoenix during Faust's finale. While everyone prepares, the Phantom sneaks into Swan's private taping room to watch the tape containing the blood contract. Watching the tape, the Phantom then learns that Swan made a pact with the devil years ago: Swan will remain youthful forever, unless the videotaped recording of his contract is destroyed. In turn, the tape reveals Winslow's contract with Swan, and a secret one Swan made with Phoenix when she was drugged. On a live security camera, the Phantom learns that Swan plans on having Phoenix assassinated, observing the hit man on the monitor. The Phantom destroys all the recordings, setting them on fire, and then heads off to the wedding between Phoenix and Swan.
The story ends with the Faust finale. Onstage, the wedding is in full swing. The Phantom manages to stop the assassin's bullet from hitting Phoenix, which ends up killing Philbin, who was officiating at the wedding. The Phantom swings down onto the stage and rips off Swan's mask, exposing Swan as a monster on live television. Swan's face is now hideous; melting due to the tapes being destroyed (burning, appropriately enough) and the deal between him and Satan being terminated. Realizing what's happening, Swan tries to strangle Phoenix, but the Phantom intervenes and stabs Swan through the heart. The moment he does, however, his own fatal wound opens, as he is now free of the contract. Swan, as he is dying, is carried around by the audience, who are excited to the point of hysteria, and Winslow, dying, removes his own mask, revealing his own disfigurement. Dying, and cheered on by the crowd, Winslow crawls on the floor towards Phoenix, who is in shock. Swan dies and so does Winslow, just as he holds out a hand to Phoenix. Phoenix finally recognizes the Phantom as Winslow. As Winslow collapses, the crying Phoenix rushes over to him and lays down next to him, heartbroken, and the film ends.
Homercat cries every time.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A couple of posts ago I was almost lynched because I didn't feature the "zombie" version of Partytime by 45 Grave. I had planned to in this post about this awesome movie. I just wanted to put this one up closer to Halloween. So by popular demand, songs from the soundtrack to The Return of the Living Dead.
The Return of the Living Dead is a zombie horror film that was released in 1985. The film was written and directed by Dan O'Bannon and starred Clu Gulager(awesome), James Karen(classic), Don Calfa(amazing), Thom Mathews(braiiiiiins) and Beverly Randolph. The film tells the story of how a group of teenage punks deal with the accidental release of a horde of blood thirsty zombies onto an unsuspecting town.
The film is also known for it's soundtrack features several noted deathrock, and punk rock bands of the era and it kicks ass.
Really what more do you need from possibly the best film of the 80's. I saw this film the week it came out and me and my buds sat thru it 3 times the day we went to see it. They didn't chase you out of the theaters back then. You just sat and waited for the next showing. After seeing it 3 times in a row that day we all decided it was one of the best movies we had ever seen.
When it came out on video , we used to hold parties based on this film. We had our own yell at the screen (Rocky Horror) moments. The whole dialogue and we would laugh our ass off and have a great time. The zombies in this movie differ from those in Night of the Living Dead movies. Return's interpretation of zombies have influenced cultural interpretations of zombies, particularly with regard to their hunger for brains and their constant vocalization of this hunger.
* They are fast and can run.
* They are as strong and intelligent as they were in their previous life, and they can also speak sometimes.
* They can form words despite their physical degradation.
* Instead of hunting humans for their flesh, they hunt for the humans' brains, stating that only their consumption eases the pain of being dead.
* It appears that injuries to their brains do not have any effect and the only way to fully destroy them is to cremate their bodies, although the ensuing smoke spreads the contagious gas.
How do you survive that?
One thing that helps is having a kick ass soundtrack. This one is the bomb.
If you have never seen this movie, then I highly recommend you run out and rent this sucker for Halloween . Homercat double guarantees you will love this movie.
Intro Song (Trioxin Mix) PartyTime (Zombie Version)by 45 Grave
Burn the Flame by Roky Erickson
Let Me Eat Your Brains (movie dialogue)
Classic Horror Flick