Hard Rock

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Hard rock, or heavy rock, is a genre of rock music which is tied in with heavy metal at several levels. The hard rock sound is typically characterized by heavily distorted guitars, potent riffage, and strong and solid drums which, along with the bass, constitute the rhythm section, while the vocals are often aggressive and draw primarily on expression, as hard rock vocalists often incorporate screams, wails, growls, raspiness and falsetto voice and other techniques that one rarely encounters in types of popular music outside of the rock music sphere. Hard rock is heavier, more aggressive and harsher than pop rock and many other types of rock music and is thus based on the same aesthetic as much heavy metal music is.

Hard rock emerged in the mid 1960s and early 1970s as musicians within various rock subgenres of that era (such as, for instance, blues rock, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, southern rock, boogie rock and garage rock among others) began experimenting with distortion, heaviness, intensity and aggression. The sound that such artists developed would eventually become the sound associated with heavy metal music in general, and the early hard rock sound is often considered identical to the proto-metal sound, and, at the time, the terms ‘hard rock’, ‘heavy rock’, and ‘heavy metal’ were synonymous.

As artists like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, and later Judas Priest, began to gradually move their music away from its blues roots and into darker territory, ‘heavy metal’ began to be used with reference to the type of music resulting from this darker and more intense type of rock music, while many other artists who contributed to the establishment of the proto-metal sound retained their blues influences, and also began incorporating other elements into their music, and by the 1980s, hard rock was generally considered more commercially oriented and more melodic than heavy metal music. The histories of hard rock and heavy metal remained intertwined, though, as many hard rock artists would often take their music into heavy metal territory and incorporate elements from various subtypes of heavy metal into their music, while heavy metal artists would continue to draw on influences from both contemporary and early hard rock. Also, many artists would experiment with both heavy metal music and hard rock, releasing albums and singles some of which fall under the hard rock rubric while others fall under the heavy metal rubric. In addition, several subgenres and movements in heavy metal have close associations with hard rock - for instance, many NWoBHM artists would extensively draw on hard rock (some even being more hard rock than heavy metal), while glam metal is often conflated with hard rock.

The term ‘hard rock’ is used in a number of different ways. Sometimes, it is used as an antonym of ‘soft rock’ which refers to pop rock, folk rock and other types of rock music which do not emphasize distorted guitars – this definition is very broad and includes any type of guitar-driven rock, not necessarily related to heavy metal music, including punk rock, grunge and even Brit pop. Another broad definition is the use of the term ‘hard rock’ with reference to heavy metal music in general, while a more specific use of the term is restricted to blues-based pentatonic rock music performed with intensity and heaviness on distorted guitars, thus excluding many artists who combine rock with elements from heavy metal. Another definition, which is the one that the MMA operates with, emphasizes the heaviness of hard rock compared to other types of rock music as well as its relation to metal, placing hard rock within the sphere of heavy metal music on the scale of heaviness and intensity underneath traditional heavy metal, but above other types of rock music. On this definition the ethos that characterizes heavy metal music in general, is applied to hard rock as well, thus largely excluding rock genres like punk rock and grunge rock (with exceptions, of course), as well as individual artists and releases whose sound cannot be said to bear any similarity to heavy metal music or to have any relation to heavy metal music at all. This definition cuts across rock music subgenres, and will thus include artists from, say, southern rock or AOR whose sound involves a considerable amount of heavy metal elements while excluding other southern rock or AOR artists that do not integrate heavy metal elements into their music.

Inclusive Hard Rock Genres

Heavy Psych Also known as Psychedelic Hard Rock or Hard Psych, heavy psych is a fusion genre between hard rock and psychedelic rock developed by acts such as Blue Cheer and Vanilla Fudge in the late 1960's. As such many early heavy psych acts can also be found under proto-metal on the MMA. Like with all hard rock on MMA, heavy psych acts are only included if they have been deemed to have a relevance to heavy metal music. Examples of later heavy psych acts include Blood Ceremony (whose work also leans into doom metal), Purson and Jess and the Ancient Ones.

Heavy Prog Also known as Progressive Hard Rock, heavy prog acts add a harder edge to their core progressive rock sound, which may or may not include metal elements as well, but are still primarily progressive rock artists. Like with all hard rock on MMA, heavy prog acts are only included if they have been deemed to have a relevance to heavy metal music, though as always this distinction need not apply to every release the artist has made. Examples of acts in the MMA database with heavy prog releases include Porcupine Tree, Arena and Touchstone.

Sub-genre collaborators (+ child sub-genres (except Heavy Alternative Rock) & shared with Heavy Metal and Glam Metal):
  • 666sharon666 (Leader)


Biography written by Time Signature. The Inclusive Genre section written by adg211288.

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SHINING Animal

Album · 2018 · Heavy Alternative Rock
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siLLy puPPy
After “Blackjazz,” SHINING got increasingly more commercial by jettisoning its prog and jazz complexities after adopting a heavier extreme metal style with vocals but after that high note that caught the world’s avant-garde metal and prog communities by storm, this Norwegian band led by Jørgen Munkeby seemed to be going for a crossover appeal that would hopefully thrill alternative metalheads and hard rockers worldwide. By the time we get to the band’s eighth studio album ANIMAL everything progressive and jazz had been totally abandoned and even the metal was tamped down in order to make a watered down form of alternative heavy rock that sounded more like heavier versions of the Stone Temple Pilots or Foo Fighters than anything that came before.

ANIMAL was recorded by the same lineup as “International Blackjazz Society” except that it added bassist Ole Vistnes who replaced Tor Egil Kreken. Most surprisingly of all is that the famous saxophone squawking that had been one of the few common denominators starting with the early post-bop albums and through the experimental King Crimson inspired prog era had been completely dropped for the first time leaving a completely jazz-free album that was focused on the more commercial side of alternative and industrial rock. Gone too are Munkeby’s frenetic Marilyn Manson vocals (for the most part) and replaced by cleaner bad boy band style parts. It goes without saying that SHINING was not interested in pleasing prog and avant-garde crowds any longer and wanted to make some ca$H.

Some tracks like “Fight Song” sound a bit like if Soundgarden hooked up with Muse but ultimately comes off as a cheap imitation rather than something either original or interesting even as pop rock. The album features nine tracks and plays for 38 minutes while featuring one of the least diverse albums of the band’s career although there are a few slow numbers amongst the rather by the numbers hard-hitting alternative rock guitar riff fueled tunes. For anyone who thought that SHINING’s inspiration was limitless, ANIMAL will prove that even a once highly creative and fertile wellspring of ideas can suddenly dry up when hair brained ideas of commercial crossover potential creeps into the picture.

Who’s to say why Munkeby steered the band in this direction. There are many reasons artists go for a more commercial direction and some of them may be quite legit but when it comes to actual execution on ANIMAL, all i can is that this is a very hard one to sit through as it’s completely devoid of inspiration and about as canned as it gets. It reminds me of some of the prog bands of the late 70s that grasped for straws to see if they could fit in with the pop hits of the day but even Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s “Love Beach” sounds like a classic masterpiece in comparison to this limp biscuit. This is one to be avoided at all costs even if you happen to love commercial leaning alternative rock. This is just shamefully bad in about every possible way. Will Munkeby pull off another inventive move to revive SHINING’s sagging career? It’s anyone’s guess but if ANIMAL is any indication, SHINING’s moment has long expired.

VARIOUS ARTISTS (SOUNDTRACKS) Last Action Hero

Album · 1993 · Hard Rock
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Vim Fuego
Beef and Grizz were drunk again.

And when these two got drunk, everyone else knew all about it.

They weren’t nasty or violent drunks, no, quite the opposite. Grizz’s naturally friendly personality was amplified by the booze, so he became everyone’s best mate. Beef was a quiet guy, until he got a few drinks in him. Then, he was LOUD.

So, here’s the scene: we’re at a movie multiplex lining up for tickets for a late showing of the brand new Arnold Schwarzenegger movie “Last Action Hero”. We’d been out for a few drinks at a nightclub. It wasn’t a particularly classy nightclub – after all, it let us in, a bunch of bogans and farm boys – which thankfully played as much rock music as it did dance. The idea was to have a few beers, catch the movie, and then do a few laps around town, get a feed of KFC, do a few more laps, and then head for home.

Unfortunately, Beef and Grizz overdid it. They were boozed up and excited, like kids the night before Christmas. They were almost bouncing off the walls. They were shaking hands with strangers, introducing themselves, and asking if they liked AC/DC too. Y’see, Beef and Grizz couldn’t give a fuck about big Arnie’s new action-packed blockbuster. Shit, they would have been there if it was a weepy tearjerker or a documentary about echidnas.

No, it wasn’t a movie star which had brought them here, but a song. Best friends since boyhood, Beef and Grizz were AC/DC superfans, and “Last Action Hero” featured “Big Gun”, the first new AC/DC song since 1990. That’s why they were excited. We managed to corral the boisterous denim-and-leather-clad toddlers into the theatre. The pair of them chanted “AC/DC, AC/DC, AC/DC!” through the previews. All the while, the relatively more sober members of the group were trying to shush them, made apologies to the Arnie fans sitting near us, and assured the grumpy usher that our slightly intoxicated friends wouldn’t disturb other patrons.

The lights dimmed. Beef and Grizz cheered, chanted “AC/DC!” one last time, and promptly fell asleep. Yep, the darkened theatre was too much for the boozed-filled bogan boys to resist. And luckily, they didn’t snore too loudly.

Last Action Hero is a noisy movie. There’s explosions, gunfire, and car chases. On top of that, it has a loud rocking soundtrack. When this movie was released in 1993, metal and rock was in somewhat of a flux. Grunge was the hot sound, and rock fans were discovering it was OK to widen their listening palettes. The last struggling remnants of the glam metal scene was hanging on by a fingernail, and only the Big Four were really surviving in the thrash world. AC/DC, of course, were immune to any vagaries of scene or taste. And that’s exactly what this soundtrack illustrates.

Let’s leave AC/DC for now. What else set the mood in this fabulously messy flop? Let’s look at the grunge first. Like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains was one of those bands with a foot squarely in both the metal and grunge camps. “What The Hell Have I?” has a killer metal riff, some Middle Eastern-ish flourishes, and downer grunge vocals. Not exactly happy music. AIC got two bites at the cherry here. Second track “A Little Bitter” has heavy effects on the vocals, which are still dreary, and the guitars are nowhere near as metal, but are still reasonably noisy, on and off. However, there’s an evil bassline snaking through the song.

Hailing from Seattle seemed to give Queensrÿche a special place in the musical consciousness at this time. While never really a hair metal band, they were seen to be related to that scene, but the double whammy of “Operation: Mindcrime” and “Empire” meant they were loved by both the 80s metal crowd not easily adjusting to the new trends and sounds and the slacker generation who usually seemed to like their music less sophisticated. “Real World” is an epic ballad, with heavy sounding orchestration from the late Michael Kamen.

Somehow, Tesla managed to score the title track here. And “Last Action Hero” shows why glam metal had to die. Lame gang vocal in the chorus? Check. Simplistic, unimaginative riffs? Check. Whiny vocalist? Check. Predictable, dull song structure? Check. Too much wanking from the lead guitarist? Bingo!

“Two Steps Behind” huh, Def Leppard? Two years behind, at least. This sort of sugary power ballad sold by the bucketload in the late 80s, but times changed. You guys started at the same time and in the same scene as Iron Maiden? Where did your fucking bollock go? Go and take a listen to Aerosmith. “Dream On” might have been 20 years old at this stage, but it rocks harder than you do. Steven Tyler still had a voice at that stage, and Joe Perry absolutely wails live.

“Angry Again” shows why Megadeth were still relevant while a lot of their thrash metal contemporaries were falling by the wayside. It takes the slowed-down, chugged-up style from the “Symphony For Destruction” album and applies it to a brand new killer of a riff, adds an ascending crescendo passage, throws in some tasty leads, and tops it off with Dave Mustaine’s snarling vocals. Yeah, Megadeth were still doing OK because they were still making fucking metal.

Anthrax weren’t doing quite so well. Their most recent album “Sound of White Noise” had confused people a bit. Some were upset at the change in vocalist, while others didn’t like the slight shift in musical direction. In the background, record labels were being fucking dicks. Despite all this, Anthrax spat out this fucking killer of a track. It’s tight, angry, and brutal. John Bush was really gelling with the band, and gives a confident performance here. This is easily the second best song on the soundtrack after “Big Gun”.

Fishbone was one of those funky metal conglomerates that was a bit hard to classify. Long time metal fans were a bit confused by them, but the new wave of rock and metal listeners weren’t too terribly bothered, just enjoying a good tune when they heard one. “Swim” is a big chunky freak out with psycho vocals flying in all sorts of directions, while the main riff just destroys all in it’s path.

It used to be quite common to hear metal fans say “I hate all rap except…” There were a number of bands which possibly came after that “except”. It could be Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Public Enemy, NWA, or these guys, Cypress Hill. There’s not really much in “Cock The Hammer” for a metal fan to feed off, but if you like your hip-hop slightly THC-flavoured, love a squirming bassline and don’t mind the vocals, this is a rocking tune.

Buckethead has always been something of a musical chameleon. The instrumental “Jack And The Ripper”, credited here with classical composer and conductor Michael Kamen. It’s a movie soundtrack, but it’s orchestrated with guitars instead of the more traditional instruments. There’s all kinds of six string wizardry in here.

And finally, the big one, “Big Gun”. Anyone who has seen “Last Action Hero” knows that the song finally plays in full at the closing credits. It’s near on the perfect AC/DC song. It has a driving beat (apparently the final song recorded with larger-than-life drummer Chris Slade), a great main riff, Angus’ leads absolutely rip, and the lyrics are clever, full of double- and triple-entendres. If you have never seen the music video, do yourself a favour and check it out – see Arnie dressed as Angus! And of course, the opening riff woke up our sleeping beauties. There was a “yay, AC/DC!” some fists in the air, and a bit of gratuitous headbanging. Never mind that the boys had missed almost the entire movie. They got their AC/DC fix!

There’s a bittersweet end to the tale of Beef and Grizz. A couple of years later, AC/DC finally came to town. We all got tickets, which were all general admission. I watched the whole magnificent, ridiculous spectacle from the relative comfort of a grandstand, along with my family. Not Beef and Grizz. They lined up hours before gates opened at the stadium, and rushed the stage. They found themselves a spot at the barrier in front of the stage, and wrapped their arms through it. This was still three or four hours before even the support act Shihad was due to play. And they stayed there. Other friends helped them out with things like food and drink, and a convenient bottle to piss in. They took a hell of a beating too. Later arrivals tried physically to move them from the spot, but they held firm. Grizz wasn’t exactly the most physically imposing guy you’d ever meet. Beef however, was a bit bigger (why do you think we called him Beef?) and most people chose not to mess with him, but they were up against skinheads and gang members. Despite being punched and continually crushed against the barrier, the pair gutsed it our for what was as close as they ever came to a religious experience.

The concert was in November. Beef (real name Craig) was killed in a farm accident in February.

He was laid to rest in his tight black jeans, leather jacket, and AC/DC t-shirt. At his funeral, his car was parked outside the church. As his coffin was carried out, the massive sound system in his car (it doubled the value of his old Holden Torana) blasted out a final song as farewell.

“Big Gun” by AC/DC.

AC/DC Power Up

Album · 2020 · Hard Rock
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UMUR
"Power Up" is the 16th internationally released full-length studio album by Australian hard/heavy rock act AC/DC. The album was released through Columbia Records/Sony Music Australia in November 2020. It´s the successor to "Rock Or Bust" from 2014 and almost miraculously features the same lineup who recorded the predecessor. The miracle consist of the fact that three out of the five members of the lineup have been out of the band at various points and for various reasons since the release of "Rock Or Bust (2014)", but they all returned for the recording of "Power Up". Bandleader and guitarist Angus Young dedicates the album to his brother and fellow AC/DC founder Malcolm Young who passed away in 2017. The material on "Power Up" is credited to both brothers and much of it is vault material Angus Young digged out and rearranged.

Stylistically there are next to no surprises on "Power Up", as AC/DC sound exactly how they have sounded since 1980 when Brian Johnson joined the band after original vocalist Bon Scott´s untimely death. Rusty raw vocals (and well placed backing vocals), sharp hard rocking blues based riffs, a solid rocking rhythm section, and blistering brilliant guitar solos. "Power Up" also features a powerful, raw, and hard rocking sound production (courtesy of producer Brendan O'Brien), so as usual it´s the quality and memorability of the songwriting which separate "Power Up" from other AC/DC albums. The last couple of releases have featured decent quality material and a couple of highlights, and the same can more or less be said about "Power Up", but to my ears AC/DC do sound a little more enganged on this album and there are some really strong tracks on the album like "Through the Mists of Time", "Demon Fire", and especially "Shot in the Dark". The latter even has the qualities to have a chance to become an AC/DC evergreen...only time will tell...

So upon conclusion "Power Up" is not a revolution of AC/DC´s sound but it´s probably exactly what their fans expected from them and in that respect they deliver like they´ve always done. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

HOUSE OF LORDS New World - New Eyes

Album · 2020 · Hard Rock
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Kev Rowland
James Christian may have been fronting this band for more than 30 years, but neither he nor the rest of the guys are showing any sign whatsoever of slowing down. There have been a few different periods of the band since it was first pulled together by none other than Gregg Giuffria (Angel) and signed by Gene Simmons, but James has been a constant, and Jimi Bell (guitar) and drummer B.J. Zampa have been there since 2005 and this is also the second album featuring bassist Chris Tristram. They have looked outside the band to assist with the songwriting this time, as they wrote most of the numbers with Mark Spiro (Giant, Bad English, Cheap Trick etc.) as well as also collaborating with Tommy Denander, Chris Pelcer, and Richard Hymas.

With those names involved, and the band themselves on fire, then one knows exactly what this album is going to sound like, namely melodic hard rock which sounds as if it has come fresh out of the 70’s with loads of melody and into the 80’s with panache and hooks to die for. The production manages to keep the music just this side of bubblegum pop, the result being that here is a guilty pleasure as while this type of music was done for by the likes of grunge and all the extremes of metal which exploded in the 90’s, there cannot be many who will fail to just smile all the way through this release. We all know there is far more deep and meaningful music out there, and bands that really live it in a way we understand, but sometimes all you want is hard rock with passion, hooks, harmony vocals and melody, and these guys really know how to deliver just that. There may be too many “ooh’s” for some, but take it from me this is an incredibly enjoyable release, and at the end of it isn’t that what music is supposed to be all about? For 48 minutes this is an escape from the rather frightening world around us and we are transported to a place of lights and glamour, as if the darkness will never gather again.

LOBBY LOYDE Plays With George Guitar

Album · 1971 · Heavy Psych
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siLLy puPPy
Born John Baslington Lyde but better known by his stage name LOBBY LOYDE (1941-2007), this guitarist, songwriter and producer is perhaps one of Australia’s greatest under-appreciated musicians from the past having been left behind as a relic from the 1960s and 70s timeline when psychedelic blues rock ruled. LLOYD was born in the extreme western outpost of Longreach in Queensland, Australia but was raised in Brisbane with a musical family where he learned classical piano and violin but his passion was in the guitar where he excelled and in the 1960s played with a series of bands including Purple Hearts and Wild Cherries which both scored hit singles.

Perhaps LOYDE’s most prominent role was as a member of Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs which scored the #8 album “The Hoax Is Over” but lesser known is LOYDE’s solo efforts which showcased his fiery guitar playing and emphasized a unique picking style, a technique that has been referred to as “elastic.” Perhaps LOYDE could be considered the Australian version of Jimi Hendrix as his energetic performances exceeded expectations and has been cited as an influence from various musicians including Henry Rollins and Kurt Cobain. This solo debut album PLAYS WITH GEORGE GUITAR demonstrates LOYDE’s firm control of his instrument of choice with seven excellent tracks that resulted in some of the finest psychedelic blues rock of the entire era.

PLAYS WITH GEORGE GUITAR debuted in September 1971 on the Festival Records label. The album demonstrates LOYDE’s unleashed guitar virtuosity, excellent command of stellar songwriting and an impeccable knack for adding psychedelic influences from his 60s days that the album truly comes across as a veritable bridge between the heavy psych fueled moments of the late 60s along with the modernity of 70s hard rock technicalities. The album’s two monster tracks “Dream” and “Evolution” offer the full spectrum of powerful blues rock sensibilities laced with the full release of the kraken with extraordinary guitar virtuosity and psychedelic couplings. LOYDE’s greater career was kicked off by the release of this album and he became one of the most renowned figures of the entire 1970s Australian pub rock scene.

LOYDE had an uncanny ability to craft eccentric sounds in the context of blues rock. In many ways he sat parallel with Texas born Johnny Winter but his picking style offered more exotic textures along with the creative use of wah-wah pedals and other tricks and trinkets, LOBBY LOYDE truly mastered a unique sound that even to the modern day sounds fresh and somewhat exotic. In addition to the Hendrix inspired blues rock moments, LOYDE’s rowdy pub rock style would eventually lead him to participate in the band Coloured Balls often considered one of Australia’s premiere proto-punk bands of the early 70s which spawned future AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd. The energy level on PLAYS WITH GEORGE GUITAR is intense without sacrificing the blues rock underbelly and by offering a firm sense of tempos, tones and dynamics.

Unfortunately LOYDE’s legacy is largely unknown outside of his Aussie homeland and was a victim of the changing musical tides as the 70s ceded into the 80s however for anyone interested in extraordinarily crafted heavy psych fueled blues rock from the early 70s in the vein of Hendrix, Cream, Blue Cheer, Captain Beyond and Vanilla Fudge with interesting idiosyncratic guitar playing then you simply must check out this outstanding debut from one of Australia’s best kept secrets. This album simply doesn’t stop sizzling from the opening “Everybody Come Together” to the hootenanny from hell wizardry closer “Herreni.” A must for any serious seeker of the guitar masters of the early 70s.

hard rock movie reviews

KISS Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park

Movie · 1978 · Hard Rock
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Vim Fuego
KISS have long had a reputation for doing anything for a buck, and getting their name out in public. There are KISS coffins, er… sorry I mean KISS Kaskets, KISS cologne, KISS checkers, KISS Visa cards, and of course, the KISS comic books. Is it over-the-top tacky marketing of image over substance, or is it capitalism and market forces in action, and simply giving people what they want? With KISS, it’s an unclear mixture of both.

The Marvel Comics Super Special 1977 comic book saw Space Ace, the Demon, the Starchild, and the Catman battling villains Dr. Doom and Mephisto with their superpowers. The comic even has the band members’ blood mixed in with the ink. And so what does every comic book superhero want? A live action movie of course.

So the world got “Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park”, which first aired on the NBC network on 28 October 1978.

It’s like an overlong live action episode of Scooby Doo, but without the stoner humour. The plot is a bit convoluted. KISS are playing a series of shows at an amusement park. However the park is inhabited by a mad scientist who is supposedly developing animatronic robots for the park. But of course, he’s mad and therefore evil, so he’s creating robots of real people. He creates a Demon Gene robot which smashes up the park. While the band are busy performing, another robot is sent to steal their talismans, from which their superpowers come. And then it starts to get silly and confusing…

There’s more than half an hour of snoozefest before there’s any “acting” from the band themselves. None of the four had any acting experience, and the stilted delivery of their dialogue shows. Originally, all Space Ace was scripted to say was “Ack!” When the real Ace found out, he threatened to pull out unless he got some more lines. After demanding more lines, Frehley also didn’t show for filming some days, so his stunt double filled in. Peter Criss’ Catman lines were mostly feline puns, and his voice ended up being overdubbed anyway, as he didn’t turn up for looping (re-recording lines in post-production), and his broad accent. Gene’s Demon voice ended up either a demonic roar or a Satanic hiss.

Despite all the cheap and nasty sets, effects, and costuming, the fight scenes are actually pretty entertaining. There’s a kung fu fight after one of the concerts onstage and in the empty arena, and there’s a great slapstick/comic book-style brawl against various classic horror movie monster robots. And of course, there’s the climactic KISS robots vs KISS superheroes fight in front of a crowd going wild.

There’s concert footage interspersed through the movie. These parts offer sweet relief from the hammy acting. It was a real concert at a real theme park, set up especially to be filmed for the movie. After the real concert, the band also lip synched several tracks for filming. As you’d expect from KISS, the live performances are flamboyant and over-the-top. Perhaps a more traditional concert movie would have been a better idea?

So how did it all turn out? It was a fucking disaster of course! KISS hated it. For years, after, it was forbidden to mention the movie to anyone in the band. Gene Simmons compared it to “Plan 9 From Outer Space”, often considered the worst movie of all time.

Fans hated it. It got a worldwide release in theatres to a pretty tepid response. It was oddly popular in Australia, but this was probably because free tickets could be obtained by cutting 20 diamond shaped coupons from an ice confectionery cup called an "Icee" and pasting them onto a printed sheet.

KISS fans being what they are, eventually warmed to the movie. It slowly gained cult status, and was released on DVD as part of the “Kissology Volume Two: 1978-1991” box set. It’s one of those movies you see to say that you’ve seen it, but won’t remember well, and definitely won’t remember for the right reasons. The thought of a second viewing is a brand new horror show all of it’s own…

DEEP PURPLE The Video Singles

Movie · 1987 · Hard Rock
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martindavey87
Don’t get me wrong, I love Deep Purple, and I really enjoy the songs on offer here, but these videos are all pretty hilariously bland and uninteresting, and sure reflections of the times and music genre. Besides that, this DVD is barely half an hour long, and comes with no extras, and all these videos are available on YouTube. Not even some additional chit chat between the videos. So there’s really no point in owning this unless you’re an OCD collector like me, who needs to own everything. And even then, it only takes up space.

But I’m a collector, and I only paid 50p for this. So why not?

THE WHO Quadrophenia: Live In London

Movie · 2014 · Hard Rock
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rdtprog
I was not sure before purchasing this DVD, if I was going to enjoy a live show with the complete double album of "Quadrophenia", because it was a long time ago that I listen to this album and if I remember, I didn't enjoy all the songs. Many years later, I didn't change my mind about this, there are some really good songs, like the title track, "Dr. Jimmy", "The Rock" and "Love Reign Over Me". The other tracks are not bad for what they are, good rock songs, but not as good as some songs of their entire discography. Fortunately, the show has some of those songs as bonus performance, including "Baba O'Riley", "Who are You" and "Won't get Fooled Again"

There's a lot of projections on the screen of the band from the old days. Nice touch to have included John Entwistle with a solo of one of his performance in the song "5:15". Not only you can see him on the screen, but you can actually hear his solo. In fact, his solo sounds more alive than the bass sound of the actual player Pino Palladino, who is rarely captured by the cameras and low in the mix. Also, during "Bell Boy", Keith Moon is singing on the screen.Those projections of the old days performances are only present in the "Quadrophenia" album and not in the bonus songs at the end. We have many musicians on the stage including horn players, Simon Townsend who signs like Pete in "Dirty Jobs". Also two keyboardists, but it's mostly the piano that we hear during this show.

It is easy to rate this, can't be 2 stars because it's not only for collectors, and can't be 4 stars because, that is not a progressive rock show. So it's a good 3 stars, nothing more. But those who enjoy "Quadrophenia" will have a ball with this DVD!

DEF LEPPARD Classic Albums: Hysteria

Movie · 2002 · Hard Rock
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progshine
The worst episode of all Classic Albums series (and I watched 25 of them)!

What is great about the series is that they explain track by track about the albums and show these tracks on a studio enviroment stripping them down and showing us details. Not here.

Hysteria have 12 tracks, but according to this documentary the album have only 7 tracks, and half of it the only feature on the movie is some video or live footage of the song, sometimes the band says 3 words about it though.

As I said, this series is supposed to go deep into Classic albums in the history of music and tell their secrets and details, and most of times they do an excellent job. Not here.

Not to mention that Hysteria might have sold 12 million copies but this is not a classic album at all, just a popular one in 1987. And we know this story in Pop music, right?

RUSH Replay X 3

Movie · 2006 · Hard Rock
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AtomicCrimsonRush
"Replay X3" is a terrific box set of the 3 earlier Rush VHS concerts and it has been mastered to provide great picture though not all widescreen unfortunately. The sound is excellent without any noteable dropout unlike the VHS antiques. The packaging is excellent, booklets included and all original art prints on the seperate covers. There is also a bonus CD of Grace Under Pressure which is worthwhile.

DVD 1 is Exit...Stage Left, a 1 hour concert from the early years or Rushtory when they had long hair, and features a strong setlist with the likes of Limelight, Tom Sawyer, and a rare appearance of the brilliant Xanadu. The usual suspects are here such as the wonderful Red Barchetta and quintessential Freewill along with lighters in the air stalwart crowd pleaser Closer To The Heart. It is always great to see them having fun with the instrumental YYZ and a real treat is to hear the medley at the end with By-Tor And The Snow Dog, In The End, In The Mood and 2112 edited together masterfully. The VHS or DVD delivers what it promises, Rush in their hey day with great quality sound and editing. The band look young of course and jump around a lot more and there were no signs of chicken rotisseries or clothes dryers back then, but a heck of a lot of lighting and laser effects more than makes up for it. The concert also comes with a lot of interview footage and voice overs between songs, and some footage of the band backstage while the songs play and that is a treat compared to the usual straight concert footage. Too short but quite sweet. A real blast from the past that will please Rushaholics.

DVD 2 is Grace Under Pressure, another of the earlier concert performances of Rush running for about an hour with a lot of songs from "Grace Under Pressure" of course and it is nice to hear these. It begins with a glorious opening with The Spirit Of Radio, and a noticeable glowing effect on the band especially the white shirts, as if Vaseline had been rubbed on the lens. This is the 80s and this effect was prominent on film clips of artists such as Nik Kershaw and Dire Straits or Duran Duran. It looks kind of weird on Rush as they were never pretty video boys. Unfortunately the fuzzy effect is prevalent throughout the recording, and it kind of annoys me, especially the way the bright lights phase over constantly. Lifeson wears a white sports jacket looking like the mad scientist of metal, Peart has a white T and red cap that he loses later, and Lee wears grey suit jacket and white T. The hair dos are 80s personified; Peart has a rat tail, Lee has a mullet and Lifeson has a Flock of Seagulls quiff. Oh well, it is what it is. The music is brilliant.

The Enemy Within is rarely heard live but sparked my memory and it's a great song. The Weapon is always fantastic, one of my favourites, and it begins with a Dracula character on screen telling people to put on their 3D glasses. Witch Hunt begins with a screening of a bunch of cultists burning books with torches. It is a great song from "Moving Pictures" recently heard in the Time Machine concerts. Lee's vocals are excellent throughout and the guitars are incredible. New World Man is another one rarely heard live recently and it is OK though not one of the better tracks from "Signals". Synths are heard here though no one seems to be playing them, so I suspect some recorded music was used. It was the age of the video clip and a clip is shown of some animation and a boy looking up to see a huge airship in the sky. Distant Early Warning follows and it is a great song from GUP, that has become a concert favourite. The clip shows the boy riding a missile and the laser light show follows.

Red Sector A is an awesome song and I loved hearing it on this DVD again, with one of the strongest melodies of the Rush catalogue. The laser show looks great here. The lyrics by Lee are terrific and when Lee sings "smoking gun" a massive explosion goes off causing the crowd to roar. The lyrics are actually based on family experience and is a homage to his mother and father that survived the holocaust. Though Lee re wrote the lyrics to have a broader perspective that it may apply to any holocaust like situation such as Rwanda. Closer To The Heart is always a crowd pleaser and the crowd know it well enough to drown out some of Lee's vocals. There were no mobile phones back then but plenty of lighters go up in the air.

The obligatory medley is here with a terrific merging of some classics, YYZ, Temples Of Syrinx, and Tom Sawyer. During YYZ the crowd are obsessed with air drumming throughout. Tom Sawyer features the Moving Pictures animation on the screen. It is nice to hear Lee be able to reach those high notes too in the chorus.

Vital Signs is one I have not seen live on other concerts till the "Moving Pictures" live concerts of recent years. When Lee takes off his jacket his white T glows like the rest of the band's halos. It is a weird effect really and perhaps the worse part of the DVD. It ends with Finding My Way and In The Mood, from the earliest album. it is a great crowd participation song with the crowd visible throughout, a guy even lights up a pipe at one stage. Overall, this is a great snippet of songs from the Rush 80s years, worth checking out for certain even if for nostalgia if nothing else.

DVD 3 is A Show Of Hands, a 90 minutes concert experience and as such way better than the previous DVDs available, namely "Exit Stage Left" and "Grace Under Pressure". It is excellent also due to the use of animations on the big screen and the overall setlist. The songs are from "Hold Your Fire" mostly and I believe they are better heard live than on that album so that is a drawcard of this particular DVD. It also has a very solid quality sound throughout and the band look great and have heaps of fun. From "Hold Your Fire" the songs appear, Mission, Prime Mover, Force Ten, and Turn The Page so there is a lot from their latest at the time.

Closer To The Heart is always present of course along with quintessential Tom Sawyer, and The Spirit of Radio. I always love to hear the magnificent Red Sector A and hard rocking Force Ten, and it was great to see them play Mission, another one rarely heard live on these DVDs.

Marathon, Territories and The Big Money from "Power Windows" are good rockers for the crowd to get into. The drum solo by Peart is terrific, with his vibes section and patented cymbal jazz splashes along with some incredible triplet work though his drums are still stationary in this era, and not as many.

The concert ends with a brilliant medley 2112, The Temples Of Syrinx, La Villa Strangiato and In The Mood. Overall a strong concert, one of the best live documents of the band and worth getting hold of above the rest.

The Grace Under Pressure Bonus CD, is a previously unreleased audio from the newly remastered Grace Under Pressure concert soundtrack and it is a fantastic Rush sound.

"Replay x3" is definitely worth getting as it houses 3 very good concerts of the early years and these are only available now with this set released in 2006.

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