• Song Of The Day - 23 Nov 2008: Sorry

    20 Ene 2009, 6:53 de sablespecter

    Guns N' Roses / Sorry / Chinese Democracy (9) / Nov 2008

    So. At 'tis. We've been waiting 15 years for it (the album, not this review*), or else 17 if you want to exclude an album of cover songs (The Spaghetti Incident?, which I don't cuz I liked some of it). Still, either way, I kind of agree with the PR for this album that says things like, "The Most Anticipated Album of All Time!" And for some of us, it has been. That doesn't necessarily mean it's been worth a wait of 15 years. (If saying that twice in one paragraph doesn't make you feel old, consider that Appetite for Destruction was released almost a generation ago...)

    In an "April 1st" column written by Chuck Klosterman in 2006 which I have pointed to more than once in the past, he says, "There is really only one way for Chinese Democracy to avoid utter and absolute failure: It needs to be the greatest rock album ever made. (dramatic pause) Chinese Democracy is not the greatest rock album ever made." Even before listening to it, anyone and everyone knew there was absolutely no way it would be - could be - the greatest rock album ever made. Not even if this was a true GNR album - meaning with a complete original GNR lineup, not Axl and a cast of scores - could it be the greatest ever.

    I say it's been a wait of 15 years only "for some of us" because anyone who has been unable to wait could have heard most of the album in recent years via countless leaks, or at least tracks that were somewhat close to the final versions. One of the complaints I don't get at all is crabbing about how much of the album was the same as the contraband tracks that have been out there for a decade. You want it to be completely new stuff? Then don't listen to the leaks! I managed to remain master of my domain for the entire 15 years! So for me, it was 14 totally new tracks that I had never heard until I freed the disc from the jewel case.

    So, it's not the greatest album ever. Is it merely a great GNR album then? No, not that either, because it really isn't a GNR album. Not just because it has only AXL. Or Axl and Dizzy Reed if you want to count him, too. (I do, since he's stuck with Axl all this time and earned his stripes, and I liked his great work on the UYI albums.)

    No, it's also not a GNR album because it doesn't even sound like a GNR album. But I have no issue with Axl calling it that even if it is just him & Dizzy and a whole slew of other people. I figure he's been keeping the flame of the GNR madness and mystique going this long, it SHOULD be called a GNR album even if it doesn't sound like one.

    I also don't get people slagging on this album because of all kinds of other things that have nothing to do with the music, such as Axl's looks or his cornrows, or comparing it to Velvet Revolver or who knows what else. But then, I've always evaluated the music on the merits of...the music. So what does it sound like then?

    IMHO, I think it sounds great. By now, it shouldn't sound like Use Your Illusion III. Who the hell wants that? We have Appetite, it was one of the greatest hard rock albums ever, and there's no need to try and go anywhere near recreating that. All that was so "last century" and it's time to move on. So he did.

    Who knows exactly why Axl made the choices he did? I'm not even sure Axl himself knows. I myself would have liked to have heard some of Brian May's contributions, but what do I know? May not have fit**. On the other hand, some of these songs sound kind of like Axl STILL couldn't make up his mind after all this time about which pieces to use and decided, "Let's just use all of the guitar parts!"

    The vocals are everything I hoped they would be. I have never seen GNR live, either back in the day or in recent years, so I don't know whether he can still deliver live, but it all still sounds as wild and acidic and sarcastic and defiant as ever, and the lyrics are the scathing screeds he's so suited to writing and delivering.

    Here, for what they're worth by now †, are my thoughts on my favorite tracks from this album:
    Chinese Democracy: This album couldn't have opened any better! After a slow, full-minute build, one lone guitar - sounding like it's being hammered from on high, swirled in echo - announces that "it'!" A fine prelude to the shrieking entrance of the classic, unmistakable Axl voice full of spite and power. How ya like the stuttering, bubbling work of Buckethead on this? I like the bang on the final "out of...time!"
    Best lyric:
    "'Cause it would take a lot more hate than you /
    To end the fascination /
    Even with an iron fist /
    More than you got to rule the nation /
    When all I've got is precious time"
    (The album and this title track are certainly hitting all the right nerves!)

    Better: I like the bizzaro voice that opens this, though I hated it at first. This one wouldn't sound entirely out of place on UYI-I, though I find Buckethead's parts a bit distracting on this.
    Best lyric - and couldn't be sung better by anybody else, and better than the way Axl sings it:
    "I never wanted you to be so full of anger /
    I never wanted you to be somebody else /
    I never wanted you to be someone afraid to know themselves /
    I only wanted you to see things for yourself"

    There Was a Time: If you can get through the first two-and-a-half minutes of this, it's richly rewarding from that point on. It's really the guitar work that makes this track, though I could do with a little bit less bleeping-and-blooping from Buckethead at that one point. If there was one - and likely, at most only one - song on this album where Slash was meant to be, it's this one. But I'm sure I'll go to my grave still harboring a fantasy of hearing Axl and Slash do this one together.

    Sorry: This one is my favorite (thus its selection for the SotD...) Even - no, especially - the line "But I don't want to do it" sung in the "Mexican vampire accent" (see real Klosterman review via link below). And also the way he leans into "I'm not cavin' in" This song is the best example of how Axl could write such scathing passive-aggressive lyrics and deliver them with such venom, and the music is suitable in the way it's almost understated.
    Best lyric:
    "You've got all the answers /
    You know everything /
    Why nobody asked you /
    Is a mystery to me"

    Madagascar: How could "The Epic" not be in my Top 5 from the album? I'm sure plenty of people don't like the brass. Tough. I do. And I like the sampling. And I find it a happy coincidence that I realize I am finally publishing this, my own Chinese Democracy, in the night between MLK Day and Obama's inauguration. Though I may be very late and sometimes inexplicably absent, synchronicity still keeps working.
    Best lyric:
    "Oh, I... /
    Forgive them that tear down my soul /
    And bless them that they might grow old /
    And free them so that they may know /
    That it's never too late" verdict: I like it. A LOT. (71.4% RDF, with at least three infrared dots and maybe more in time.) I liked Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, but not all of the tracks from either of them, especially the first one. It took some time for me to like as many of them as I do now. But this album, I like a higher percentage of the tracks sooner. (This scored a higher RDF than the UYI albums, either combined or separately - we'll get to those when we get to the AotY Award for 1991.)

    Was it worth a 15-year wait? Well, maybe not. But it's not like I haven't had plenty of other music to serve as a soundtrack to all the other things I've had to do with my life the last 15 years, and now I'm happy to add this to it.

    Most of all: did it fulfill expectations? Did it even come near matching the impossible-to-match hype? No. But yet, it's actually not too far off. And you know what? If there was anyone‡ that could come near to matching impossible-to-match hype, especially after all this time, it's Axl.

    \m/ (ò_ó) \m/

    *For a whole variety of reasons/excuses that I have lamented apologetically elsewhere, I've been inconsistent with my SotD Journal going back to late summer, and then basically vanished the last two months since the most recent SotD entry. (Not for lack of desire, just a mixture of priorities and circumstances.) Well then, as I try to put myself back on track for 2009 leading up to the two-year anniversary of the SotD, consider this post/review my own Chinese Democracy (which some of you cheekily have!). It's no longer useful, because anyone who wanted to hear even the official disc has had two months to do so now, and untold amounts of reviews have been written elsewhere. But this is my take for the record, and besides, what other album would I possibly choose a song from for the SotD for November 23, 2008?

    **Actually, it's better Axl didn't include what he wanted to include, since it was very bizarre: "Brian's solo itself is a personal fave of mine and I really couldn't understand, as he's such a rock legend, why it wasn't openly appreciated more at the time...It's entirely constructed from edits based around one specific note Brian hit in a throwaway take." (?!?! Well, duh! Yeah, why wouldn't Brian appreciate that?!) See here...scroll down to the question on "Catcher N' the Rye"

    †This long delay in getting these thoughts posted up has proven beneficial in a way, because it's given me the time to read some of the other reviews that are out there. There's probably been more written about this album than any other for 2008, except for maybe Death Magnetic, and those two albums together probably generated more press/media/blogorrhea than everything else released last year, and certainly gave everyone more to chew on than any albums released in the last several. The only other album that has generated this much press recently was perhaps Radiohead's In Rainbows, and half of that was only interested in the "pay what you like" experiment, not the music itself. For reference then, here are those reviews which I found most interesting:

    Chuck Klosterman reviews Chinese Democracy: I eagerly anticipated Chuck's "real" review more than any other ever since reading that pre-review almost three years ago. If you only read one of these, and especially if you pooh-pooh my thoughts, at least read this one. It most accurately captures how I feel about this thing.

    David Fricke: I know it's published in RS, but I would read Fricke's reviews if they were sent to me on a roll of toilet paper. He's my favorite rock critic. See for yourself why.

    Stephen Thomas Erlewine of allmusic: "Axl's intent is oddly simple: he sees GNR not as a gutter-rock band but as a pomp-rock vehicle for him to lash out against all those who don't trust him, whether it's failed friends, lapsed fans, ex-lovers, former managers, fired bandmates, or rock critics. Chinese Democracy is the best articulation of this megalomania as could be possible, so the only thing to quibble about is his execution, which occasionally is perplexing..."

    Death Magnetic may or not be the better of the two behemoth releases of 2008, and it certainly wins on a sales basis. (My review of DM is here, but you'll have to stay tuned for my AotY Award for 2008 to get my comparative take. It's a weird twist of the calendar that they're going head-to-head again *17* years later...)

    But even though everyone was demanding everything from Metallica, few were expecting much of anything for an entirely different reason than people were skeptical of Axl. With Metallica - especially after St. Anger and Some Kind of Monster - many figured Metallica couldn't deliver because they no longer had it in them to do what it took, while with Axl, I think many/most figured he DID have it in him and could, but for whatever reason, wouldn't. Mostly because he would never be able to get to exactly what he wanted and was incapable of getting it all out. Says Klosterman, "Sometimes it seems like Axl believes every single Guns N' Roses song needs to employ every single thing that Guns N' Roses has the capacity to do...It's as if Axl is desperately trying to get some unmakeable dream song from inside his skull onto the CD, and the result is an overstuffed maelstrom that makes all the punk dolts scoff. His ambition is noble, yet wildly unrealistic."

    Anyway, as disparate as the record may be, I don't hear/read of anyone complaining about its sound, and apparently the recording sessions went's just that there were so MANY of them.
  • Song Of The Day - 12 Dec 2008: Estranged (AotY 1991)

    25 Ene 2009, 7:24 de sablespecter

    Guns N' Roses / Estranged / Use Your Illusion II (11) / Sep 1991

    sablespecter's Album of the Year for 1991
    Use Your Illusion I: 62.5% RDF
    Use Your Illusion II: 71.4% RDF
    combined: 66.7% RDF

    A tie, but not exactly. It's just the way I choose to handle the fact that I never consider these two albums apart from one another even though they're not a true double album. But I bought them that way, listened to them that way during th entire autumn of 1991, and they're inextricably linked. The followup distillation Use Your Illusion album doesn't get it near enough correct either.

    I judge them on their combined RDF, but I provide the separate RDF for each so you can see how I score them in terms of quantity of tracks. That tells you I like an equivalent of 10 from each (actually 10 from I and 9+2 pink dots from II)* So II scores a higher RDF by virtue that it only has 14 total, but I also like it better qualitatively. There are five infrared dots on II and three from I, and I just like II better overall. Perhaps that's because I is made up of remade pre-Appetite leftovers? I think really it's more because II seems to have a darker mood to it, while I seems to be done with more of just a direct kiss-off mood. For whatever reason, fans apparently agreed, sending UYI-II to #1 and I to #2. These two albums got me through the stress of some pretty dicey days my senior year, and they still serve as a release valve to this day.

    While Metallica's black album had a month's head start on these, and I was anticipating it all summer, UYI came to dominate my playlist through the autumn and into 1992. And while there are many tours that I wished I could have been old enough or had the opportunity to attend (say, Led Zeppelin 1977), the Use Your Illusion Tour is the one tour that I could have attended** had I decided to do so, but didn't and have been kicking myself for ever since.

    You'll see that the combined RDF is equal to Metallica's second place effort, and both the UYI albums and the black album score a lower RDF than the other two that round out the Top 5. This is one of those instances where infrared dots, enthusiasm when new, and total lifetime plays trump just the direct calculated RDF.

    Rounding out the Top Five of 1991 (in order of preference, which happens to be ascending order of RDF):

    Metallica: Metallica (66.7% RDF)
    Like a lot of people, I thought this turned out to be a great rock album, but that's not what I wanted. First single Enter Sandman tipped us off that this was probably not going to be another great album, and I can remember the deflated first listen. A decidedly mixed moment: liked a lot of the songs objectively, but not as Metallica songs. This one took awhile to grow on me, unlike UYI which I liked immediately. But relativity can do a lot for an album within the context of an entire catalog. This sounded a lot better five and six years later in comparison to the two albums that followed it, and like a bona fide classic by the time St. Anger came out. However, in my rankings, it's now lost its position as "best album since Justice" in comparison to Death Magnetic. I still skip or change the channel every time I hear "Enter Sandman."

    Pearl Jam: Ten (81.8% RDF)
    Confession: I bought it because everybody else was buying it! And took a lot of heat from fellow metalheads for having it. But on its own merits, I think it's their best work (though I haven't listened to the two most recent albums) and IMHO it's also easily the best album ever. I liked less of it at the time than I do now, and it has slowly risen in my playlist over the years.

    ØCorrosion of Conformity: Blind (84.6% RDF)
    Way late to this album, even after I began listening to COC. Perhaps because it's a transition album: enter Pepper Keenan and the beginnings of their change from punk/thrash crossover to . As such, it's an interesting mix. I should actually say "blend" because when you know that this was an album of transition from crossover punk to toner metal, you can actually hear a blending of the two, especially on those first three songs...killer. Keenan is one of my three favorite all-time vocalists and things got even better once he took over full lead vocal duties starting with the next album.

    Honorable Mentions (in roughly alphabetical order by band/artist name):
    Armored Saint: Symbol Of Salvation***
    Garth Brooks: Ropin' the Wind****
    ØEntombed: Clandestine
    Motörhead: 1916
    Nirvana: Nevermind
    Ozzy Osbourne: No More Tears
    Sepultura: Arise
    Skid Row: Slave to the Grind
    Tesla: Psychotic Supper
    U2: Achtung Baby

    Is your favorite album from 1991 on this list? Are there any others you would add?

    \m/ (ò_ó) \m/

    Ø: For the 1990s AotY Awards, albums which were discovered after the 1990s have been noted with an "Ø" This provides a perspective on how much thinner the album lists were at the time.

    *Technicality: In my recent review for Chinese Democracy I stated, "[Chinese Democracy] scored a higher RDF than the UYI albums, either combined or separately." That is an incorrect statement. I should have checked my work a bit closely when writing that review. I was thinking of nine songs on UYI-II with red dots but did not take into account the two songs which receive pink dots, which together count as one more. So in terms of the RDF, UYI-II scores an equivalent 10/16, and equals the 71.4% score of Chinese Democracy.

    **My best options were the sixth, seventh, and eighth shows of the tour: Toledo on 02 Jun 1991, and the two Cleveland dates (actually the now-defunct Richfield Coliseum) on June 4-5th. I elected not to go because these were the week right before finals of my college junior year, and I was unfortunate enough to have every final except the easy one scheduled for Monday! Though I had blown off school before for lesser shows, my junior year of engineering was the year I was finally forced to knuckle down...dammit.

    ***Since Blind wasn't discovered until after the 1990s, had I assigned the awards at the conclusion of 1991, Symbol of Salvaion would have slipped into the fifth slot with a 69.2% RDF. It's my favorite Armored Saint album and continues to get a lot of plays today.

    ****Fun fact: Ropin' the Wind was the #1 album for a single week between the four weeks that Metallica topped the charts and in turn being knocked off by Use Your Illusion II for two weeks, before it returned to knock off UYI-II and run at the top for another seven weeks.
  • Album Review - Guns 'n Roses - Chinese Democracy

    20 Ene 2009, 23:09 de CTolson

    Chinese Democracy
    Shackler's Revenge
    Street of Dreams
    If the World
    There was a time
    Catcher In The Rye
    Riad n' the bedouins
    This I Love

    The extremely long awaited album from Guns 'N Roses is finally upon us. I don't like to review an album until I feel I have given it enough playtime to make a unbiased/informed opinion. That being said, this album really blows.

    It has two (count them, TWO) songs that are decent. Not good, decent. I'll get to those in a second. I want to clarify why I despise this album so much. It seems after all these years, Axl forgot which genre of music he is in. Granted, Slash did put a bluesy-rock aura to the old albums, but all-in-all it was straight rock n' roll. I would even classify them as a hair band. That is what I expected and wanted from this album and I was epically disappointed. He is all over the map in this cut. Trying to sing blues, pop, I even heard a folksy song in there... What I loved about old-school GnR was the ballads likeEstranged, November Rain, and Don't Cry. He provided crap... Thanks Axl.

    The two songs I slightly enjoyed were Chinese Democracy (because it has been unfairly crammed into my brain from public radio) and This I Love (which was the ONLY song on the album that Axl wrote by himself. Strange.)

    There's really not much else to say about it. Don't buy it. If you want to hear the best of the album, buy 'This I Love' from iTunes for 99 cents.
  • Chinese Democracy: Guns n' Roses

    28 Nov 2008, 2:40 de ricmac

    After 14 or so years, Guns N' Roses finally released Chinese Democracy - Axl Rose's labor of love. I first listened to it on the MySpace page, launched a couple of days before the CD hit the record shops. I then bought the CD a day or two after it was released. The first 4-5 listens, I was pretty impressed. There are some very good songs on there - 'Better' and 'There Was a Time' two immediate favorites.

    A scan of the lyrics last night revealed a lot of emotional words from Axl, repetitive, not particularly poetic when reading the CD liner notes. But when you listen to the words at the same time as the music, they seem real and you can tell Axl is releasing a lot of pent up feeling - about an old girlfriend, band members, other nemisises - it's hard to tell. But he is raging against someone or something through the whole album, himself maybe.

    The opening song 'Chinese Democracy' is a strong opener. 'Shackler's Revenge' is so-so. The first great song IMHO is 'Better', which has some classic Axl wailing, bits of Smashing Pumpkins-like techno experimentation, and a slinky snaking guitar solo a la Slash. 'Street of Dreams' is a rocking ballard, with Axl bitterly bemoaning a lost love. This song highlights that Axl hasn't lost his ability to belt out a song with those unique and great tonsils of his. Axl Rose has one of the best and most distinctive voices in rock, and this song showcases that.

    'If the world' is another Axl wailer. 'There was a Time' is a straight out awesome song. The ending, with Axl screeching "I would do anything for yooooouu, there was a time" is sublime. That line probably sums up the lyrics on this album too - wistfully looks back at the past, very pure feelings, Axl thinks someone/something has debased that purity, he is bitter about it, but also he's trying to look forward and (14 years later, let's not forget!!) trying to get his life back on track. People give Axl a lot of shit for being a dictator, egomaniac and a bigot etc. But at heart this song makes you believe that his intentions were always pure, and that his non-compromising position on love, record-making, relationships, are worth it in the end. Whether they actually are or not is still open to debate.

    'Catcher in the Rye' is a good strong tune, with literary pretensions in the lyrics and some Slash guitar noodling at the end to wrap it up in a lively manner. 'Scraped' isn't the best song here, but it's ok. 'Riad n' The Bedouins' seems like a dig at his former bandmates - an angry song, not one of the better ones on the album. 'Sorry' is one of Axl's bitter songs.

    'I.R.S.' is a good rocker, with a classic Axl Wail and Slash-y guitar licks to close it out. 'Madagascar' features a number of Axl's custom "mwwwooooahs" and other moans and shivers. It's another bombastic rock ballard, with several layers of production in it (and Axl doing harmonies, another thing he does well on GnR records). What distinguishes it though is the media quotations from Martin Luther King and others - and the "what we have here is a failure to communicate" line from Civil War returns.

    'This I love' starts out with Axl at the piano, belting out a ballard a la Queen - or maybe more like Queen if they had done a Broadway show. It's a lovely tune though, and again nice guitar work when it comes in (I think it's Buckethead, but who knows as there are loads of guitarists credited on this album). Axl's romanticism and idealism is to the fore again, and sense of loss that this relationship slipped away.

    The last song, 'Prostitute', is a solid song to end the album.

    Overall, this is a good album by Guns n' Roses, Axl's version of it that is. Very centered on Axl obviously, and so the themes in it are all about his life, his lost loves, and his struggles over past 15 years or so. That's probably why the album ends up working, because it tells an interesting story about the life of one of modern rock's distinctive characters. Love him or not, Axl Rose finally delivered the album he's been wanting to put out for a decade and a half. For that reason, I think this is a record to be thankful for.

    p.s. now I'm going to go read other reviews. I've resisted the urge to read Rolling Stone et al, as I wanted this to be my unswayed opinion :-)
  • The madness continues

    18 Ago 2008, 13:16 de Hurrican3

    Found a great article:

    Chinese Democracy is everywhere and nowhere. It's finished and incomplete. The demos are final and the finals are demos. It's one album with four albums worth of material. Everyone has it, and nobody has it. It's the greatest Guns album ever, it's the worst Guns album ever. Welcome to the paranoid jungle baby, wake up, time to cry!

    After listening to Shackler's Revenge, a kick ass industrial rocker from nu-GNR, I feel bad for the virtuoso musicians behind it. Not because they haven't created arguably the only rock n roll worth discussing these days, but because the world will never judge them fairly. Every song off of Chinese Democracy is not judged as MUSIC, instead they are scrutinized like auditory elixirs that must succeed or else people (or even gods) will die. Even with so much at stake, Axl will save us.

    He won't save us from High School Musical 3 or Miley Cyrus, but he will save us from the most disillusioned side of ourselves - Nostalgia. Some people want the new Guns N Roses to sound like the old Guns N Roses. Why would Axl want to write the same songs again? It's not that he can't, it's just that he already did. He wanted to take the music forward and experiment with new techniques, sounds, structures...etc. When you listen to the leaks, it sounds like Axl and Co. have had a blast experimenting with the thing they love most - music. And in return, they have produced some damn good music and should be applauded for that. Even the severe wait and chaotic journey have made the experience of listening to new GNR music memorable and monumental. When's the last time music had so much attached to it?

    This album will be whatever you want it to be. To those of us that love GNR, it will be magical and mean more to us than any cavalier journalist could ever know. Love Axl or hate him, the man remains one of the most provocative and interesting figures of our time. Anything he creates will be talked about for an eternity. And much like Shackler, soon he will have his revenge.
  • Dr. Pepper will give free products to everyone IF...Chinese Democracy is released…

    26 Mar 2008, 16:00 de maplejet

    Dr. Pepper is imploring Axl Rose to put out his album that's been an astounding 17 years in the making. The creators of the curiously candy-like beverage have promised that if Rose releases Guns N' Roses' 'Chinese Democracy' at any point in 2008, everyone in America will receive a free can of Dr. Pepper.

    But free soda aside, the best part about the proposal might just be the way the company is not only relating to, but sympathizing with, the 46-year-old singer. "It took a little patience to perfect Dr Pepper's special mix of 23 ingredients that our fans have come to know and love," said Jaxie Alt, director of marketing for Dr. Pepper -- not even blinking at her nod to the band's 1989 hit 'Patience.' "So we completely understand and empathize with Axl's quest for perfection -- for something more than the average album." What's more? The "everyone" in their promise comes with a big, wickedly funny asterisk: According to the Dr., both Slash and Buckethead will be left off the gift list. Bet they didn't see that coming.

    Hahaha...this saga of Chinese Democracy keeps getting better. Just another reason for Mr. Axl Rose to get his butt off the couch and release his long awaited album...NOW.

    UPDATE: Axl Rose has finally given Geffen Records a copy of the album. If a release date is set, then it'll be time for some free Dr. Pepper.

    Related artists: Velvet RevolverSlash's SnakepitAC/DCMetallicaQueenLed ZeppelinStone Temple Pilots
  • Classic Rock: Designated Label -or- Acquired Status?

    7 Ene 2008, 21:27 de MetallicaACDC

    As I was listening to Airbourne last night, I began to think about whether or not they would be considered "classic rock". The biggest debate is whether calling a band "classic rock" is something you say based on the way their music sounds (a designated label) or based on their music standing the test of time over many decades (an acquired label).

    We all know the standard classic rock bands: Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix etc. Then you have the next generation of classic rock, mostly 70s bands like AC/DC, Van Halen, KISS, Aerosmith etc. that most people would agree are classic rock. Then you get kinda hazy with the 80s. Would you call Motley Crue classic rock? What about Guns N' Roses? Def Leppard?

    What about "classic metal" bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden? 80s metal like Metallica and Megadeth? Off-shoots like Pantera?

    What about the really old guys like Chuck Berry? Are he and Little Richard and Elvis Presley classic rock artists? After all, they are the oldest of the bunch.

    Can punk rock be "classic"? The Clash, Sex Pistols, Ramones... are they as timeless as all the others?

    What about 90s bands that went out of style fifteen years ago like Nirvana and Soundgarden? Then you have these 21st century bands who have that classic rock sound but who obviously haven't been around that long: Airbourne, Wolfmother, The Answer, Jet and psuedo-classic bands like The White Stripes. And of course parody bands that sound classic but in jest, like Metal Skool and Beatallica!

    So as you can see, calling a band "classic rock" isn't as simple as you'd think. We could sit here and debate all night about whether the 80s are "classic" and whether or not Sabbath and Zeppelin should be in the same division. But I've devised a few guidelines for what music I believe should and shouldn't be considered classic rock. (Feel free to add your own)

    If it was released before 1960, it's not classic rock. So all those 50s bands are out. Same goes for all the great bluesmen.

    If it was released after 1994, it's not classic rock. Pop-punk bands galore are all out. As well the majority of alternative rock bands.

    Punk is not classic. It's punk. I think most punk fans would agree with this. Punk is its own thing.

    The 80s are not classic... yet. Motley Crue and Guns N' Roses are a decade or so away from becoming true "classic rock" bands.

    If Eric Clapton is in the band, it's classic rock. Slowhand is the primo classic rock guitarist. And he's God, in case you hadn't heard.

    If you sound like a rock band from the 70s but you started after 2000, you are in vein of classic rock. Check back in thirty years and see if their music has aged well. If it has, it's classic baby!

    If the music never has guitar solos, it's not classic rock. The guitar solo is what sets classic rock apart from all other genres of rock (except metal). The guitar solo is what I always look forward to in a classic rock song.

    If the guitarist lists Yngwie Malmsteen as an influence, it's not classic rock. Simple as that.

    If you, your dad and your grandpa all know and love the band, it's classic rock. Classic rock is the only genre of rock that can currently span three generations of a family.

    Anything associated with Nirvana or Kurt Cobain is not classic rock. I like Kurt, but he killed classic rock.

    If the old, longhaired guy at the gas station says he likes the band on your shirt, chances are it's classic rock. This comes from personal experiences.

    If all of your CD's are decades older than you, it's classic rock. A special thanks to my folks!

    AOR is classic rock. Album-oriented rock has only ever been associated with classic rock (to my knowledge).

    If the artist is named after a city or state, it's most likely classic rock. Boston, Chicago, Kansas etc.

    If the band's name is Journey, it's not classic rock. OOOOHHH, buuurrnnn....

    If the band "lost their way in the 80s", chances are they were classic rock at one point. Rolling Stones, KISS, Aerosmith, Van Halen, AC/DC etc.

    If your manager at work scrunches his face up and says, "Aren't you too young for them?" when you mention the band, chances are they're classic rock. Again, personal experiences.

    Prog rock is not classic rock. Duh, that's why it's called prog rock.

    And finally...

    If the band started in '73, was torn in half by '83, had a reunion tour in '96, broke up in '98, had a farewell tour in '00, had another semi-reunion tour in '03 and are currently planning another tour in '08 along with constantly dispelling rumors of a new album because "it just wouldn't sound right", the band is definitely classic rock. *cough*KISS*cough

    I would say that "classic rock" is more of an acquired status. You don't just start a band a say "We are classic rock!" No, no, no, sir... you have to earn it over a long period of time. True classic rock is like fine wine; it only gets better with age.
  • Duff McKagan open to reuniting with Guns N'Roses

    23 Nov 2007, 22:25 de Gibson1976

    Velvet Revolver's bass guitarist Duff McKagan says he's open to hooking up with Guns 'N' Roses again and, of course, Axl Rose - as long as it's not too chaotic.

    And he intends seeing Australia on a Harley-Davidson when his band tours next month.

    Speaking to Qconfidential from a beachside bar in Maui where he ordered a cocktail during the interview, Duff said he and Slash had discussed a possible Guns 'N' Roses show.

    "It would be a lot of fun as long as it was on a fun level and say just 10 shows to huge crowds," Duff said.

    "But we're not really hanging around for a call or with our breath held."

    Duff's more immediate focus is Velvet Revolver's show on December at the Brisbane Convention Centre.

    The band has visas for their visit Down Under, unlike their tour of Japan which had to be cancelled because they were denied visas.


    Source :www.
  • Less Metal, More Blues

    19 Nov 2007, 16:53 de MetallicaACDC

    I'm beginning to notice a transformation in myself; I'm starting to listen to less heavy metal and more blues and blues-based rock and roll. Like today, I was at the music store and had my usual stack of ten CD's that I had to cut to two that I was going to purchase. I had everything from The Rolling Stones to Skid Row to Jimi Hendrix to Judas Priest. I ended up putting back all the metal CD's first, leaving me to choose from the Stones, Hendrix, The Guess Who and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble. I eventually bought the Stones' Exile on Main St. and an expansive greatest hits of Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble.

    It's a subtle shift in taste that I've been aware of over the past few months. I haven't listened to Metallica in God knows how long (July, maybe?) and I've all but forgotten about bands like Pantera and Iced Earth. I wouldn't say I "dislike" metal now, it's more like I've become more drawn towards other things. I mean, if somebody put in Ride the Lightning or Defenders of the Faith I wouldn't protest. But given the choice, those albums would be pretty far down the pecking order.

    Instead, I'm starting to favor bands of the 60s and 70s, the blues-based rock and roll stuff. I've recently come to discover and love The Who and have struck up a renewed interest in the Stones (meaning that I'm looking farther into them than just my greatest hits CD, as evidenced by my purchase today). I'm also putting bands like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith through heavy rotation, finding songs that I used to just skip over are exactly what I've been looking for.

    The best reason I can come up with for my sudden favoritism towards the older rock and roll bands is one word: groove. Listening to songs like "Magic Bus", "Sweet Emotion", "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Cocaine", I get caught up in the groove of the songs. It's the way the simple drum patterns move the song along like a chugging motor and make you tap your foot; the way the bass lines make you want to get up and move; the way the rhythm guitar gives you a solid beat to follow; the way a fiery lead guitar rips through a solo that's drenched in the blues; the way a lead singer captivates your attention with soulful shrieks and whispers in the same song. I mean, I just don't get that vibe from metal.

    I hate to admit it, but I get more out of an Eric Clapton solo than I do, say, a Kirk Hammett solo. I'd rather listen to B.B. King play on the same two strings all night than listen to Iron Maiden's dualing guitars squeal away. And I'm not knocking metal guitarists; I still respect them as technical musicians and marvel at the sounds they are able to produce. But, I still like the blues stuff better.

    The "heaviest" bands I'm listening to right now would be bands like AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue and Van Halen. Those bands have elements of both metal and blues, but a lot of their songs have that groove that I like to hear. I find it very interesting to listen to blues-based rock with heavy distortion like those bands play; it has a very rough and deep sound.

    So again, I don't "hate" metal now, I just don't listen to it like I used to. Who knows, maybe someday I'll get tired of Mick Jagger's slurred vocals and AC/DC's basic song structure and turn back to the Metallica's and Megadeth's of the world. But until that happens, it's blues rock for life! \m/
  • Slash: The Autobiography

    13 Nov 2007, 2:06 de MetallicaACDC

    This is, of course, the autobiography written by ex-Guns N' Roses and current Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash. And just so you know, yes I have read the book in its entirety. If you are fan of The Dirt by Motley Crue (like me), then you will love Slash's autobiography. From stories of Axl ducking and rolling out of Slash's moving car to avoid conflict to the debauchery of Guns N' Roses living in a storage garage outside of L.A. with 50 other people, Slash puts it all out on the table for everyone to read. It provides great insight into the downfall of the original Guns N' Roses and Slash's life out of the spotlight.

    It has the same tone as The Dirt, with a rockstar who has survived the rockstar life and now looks back on it and wonders how he ever survived. Slash's stories about his excessive indulgence in drugs and alcohol have a similar ring to many of the stories you've heard before. But these stories are so much more unbelievable when a guy like Slash tells you first-hand what happened. It's actually quite sad to hear a guy like Slash (whom I respect so much) tell stories of such low moral and admit his wrong-doings. But it also raises my respect for him in a strange way. You can tell it wasn't easy for him to write this book.

    It's not all about dramatic rockstar sorrow, though. There are plenty of stories (some funny and some just plain strange) to be told, from the Guns hitching a ride with a demonic truck driver for two days straight to the story of how the guys were "inspired" to write the lyrics for 'Nightrain'. Every page has a memorable tale, whether it be about Slash trying to steal Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy album or Axl breaking beer bottles of the head over the heckler in the front row. Lotta good stuff.

    So Slash's biography is basically The Dirt for Guns N' Roses fans which, if you like reading rockstar biographies like I do, makes it worth buying. This isn't one of those books where some journalist writes a book about a band based on interviews the band members gave to magazines and what their "friends" say about them. This is Slash, telling the story of Guns N' Roses as fans have wanted to hear it for the longest time. Well worth the money and time to read it.

    Highly recommend to all fans of rock!