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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hard rock Music Reviews

BUCKETHEAD Pike 291 - Fogray

Album · 2021 · Heavy Alternative Rock
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siLLy puPPy
And although almost a week after Easter 2021, a new egg has hatch in the coop of the eccentric BUCKETHEAD who has taken on another weird trait of releasing his PIKE series out of numerical order with PIKE 291 - FOGRAY coming out before any sign of #s 290 and 291 not to mention that #s 285 and 286 are still missing from the cue. As with other album titles i have no idea what FOGRAY refers to as it’s probably some weird puzzle reference. This is the 3rd PIKE of 2021.

This standard 30-minute PIKE only features 2 tracks, the short less than 6-minute alternative rocker “Piston” which takes on that by now all too familiar style that BH has released on numerous PIKEs but doesn’t really add anything new to the mix. In other words it’s a throwaway track designed as a musical fluffer i guess.

The album is basically nothing more than the 24-minute title track that pretty much follows the opening tracks slightly faster than mid-tempo grooviness with rockin’ bass and drums and a few breakdowns for some guitar antics. There is a noticeable dark ambient atmosphere that sort of swirls around in the background while the chugga chug guitar parts create some nasty grungy sounds. The tones and timbres are quite well polished even if the music itself is fairly by the books. It’s yet another one of those familiar tracks that pretty much engages in a monotonous cyclical loop of grooves that adds a few guitar tricks here and there but doesn’t justify the playing time.

I’ve grown quite bored with most of BUCKETHEAD’s recent editions to the PIKE universe because as someone who has taken the time to listen to every single one of the near 300 installments, i have to say that dude has simply been recycling the same old tired ideas now for quite some time and clearly more interested in quantity over quality. Despite it though i still continue to check out every new PIKE because every once in a while the chicken lover pulls a diamond out of a hen’s arse and actually rocks my friggin world.

As for PIKE 291 - FOGRAY, this one is just one more instrumental reworking of countless tracks on numerous PIKEs from the past and although performed well and engineered perfectly i’ve long grown weary of this incessant cookie cutter approach. What happened to all that energetic passion from the early days? Dude doesn’t even crank out metal much any longer as this is nothing more than heavy alternative rock. Oh well. OK but certainly not a PIKE i will ever be revisiting for sure.

BOB CATLEY Middle Earth

Album · 2001 · Hard Rock
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Middle Earth is the third solo album by Bob Catley, the iconic lead singer of British classic hard rock legends Magnum. When Magnum temporarily disbanded in 1995, Catley started a solo career pairing up with Gary Hughes, the singer of another prominent British melodic hard rock band, Ten. The partnership between Hughes and Catley led to the release of Catley’s debut solo album, The Tower, in 1998, followed by Legends in 1999, and then Middle Earth in 2001. The lineup of Middle Earth is the same as that responsible for the recording of Legends. Joining Catley and Hughes is a sort of AOR/classic rock dream-team comprised of Ten’s guitarist and bassist Vinny Burns and Steve McKenna, and Dante’s Fox drummer Jon Cooksey. Meanwhile Hughes plays keyboards, provides backing vocals, and writes and produces all the nine songs of the album. Unsurprisingly given the musicians involved, the album inhabits musical territories halfway between Magnum and Ten. It’s a lush and classy brand of melodic hard rock, never aggressive or metallic yet with sufficient bombast and epicness to result appealing also to a fair share of metalheads.

The main attraction of the album is of course Catley’s voice that, like good wine, keeps getting better and better with age. At the time he recorded Middle Earth the singer was in his mid-fifties. Yet his flawless vocal delivery does not show any signs of decline. The elegance with which Catley manages to deliver his vocal lines is peerless and his velvet tone is ever-so endearing. Unfortunately, however, Catley is not given many great vocal melodies to sing on this album. While his previous two records (and particularly Legends) were brimming with fantastic vocal lines, sophisticated and catchy, making each song an irresistible earworm that refused to leave the listener’s head, most songs on Middle Earth feature fairly unremarkable vocal hooks. This is one of the main issues I have with this album, which I consider the least spectacular in the trio of albums released by the Catley-Hughes partnership.

The other issue I have with the album is that the lack of strong vocal melodies is complemented by a songwriting that relies heavily on hazy keyboard arrangements at the expense of guitars. Vinny Burns’s considerable talent is pretty much wasted on this album. He shines in a few solos on a handful of songs, but rhythmically he is noticeable by his absence here. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of interesting guitar riffs of the album. The opening track “The Wraith of the Rings” contains perhaps the only truly impressive guitar work of the whole record. Moreover, most of the times the guitars are buried so far down in the mix that you really have to make an effort to figure out what they are playing. The drums suffer from a similar treatment. The result is that many of the songs lack in substance, as they are saturated by swathes of shapeless keyboards without a strong rhythmical presence.

To make things worse there is a certain homogeneity in Hughes’ songwriting on this album that tends to blur the boundaries between its different tracks. I suspect this is partly intended given that Middle Earth is a concept album inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. However, I miss the variation and the dynamics that made the previous album Legends such an enthralling and exciting ride. In contrast, the musical journey here is a fairly sedated one and I really have to make an effort to remain focused, especially as the album enters its second-half.

It is not all gloom and doom, though. As I mentioned earlier, Catley’s classy vocal delivery remains a highlight. It is difficult to write completely unlistenable songs when you have such a superb interpreter as Catley behind the mic. Moreover, the album does feature a couple of strong tracks, especially in the first half, like opener “The Wraith of the Rings”, the three-parted epic “The Fields That I Recall” and the subdued mid-tempo “City Walls”. All considered, however, this was a pretty disappointing album for me, especially since it followed such a strong release like Legends.

[Also published on metal-archives.com]


Album · 1972 · Heavy Psych
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siLLy puPPy
Another one of the many short-lived bands that jumped into Germany’s Krautrock scene in the early 1970s was the Marburg based DSCHINN which originated in a response to the Beatles-mania that took over the world in the 1960s. Starting out as The Hurricanes, the smitten group of Bernd "Capo" Capito (lead guitar, vocals), Peter "Eddy" Lorenz (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Silvio Verfürth (bass, vocals), Athanasios "Jacky" Paltoglou (drums, percussion) and Uli Mund (drums, percussion) were successful in scoring live gigs all throughout Germany including the famous beat clubs such as the StarDust in Hamburg.

All of this touring caught the attention of a successful businessman who became one of the band’s biggest fans and proceeded to fund a few singles but under the condition that the band changed its name to Dischas under which three singles were released including the first one "Here What I Say/Come Back To Me" which actually made it into the top 10 on the Austrian singles charts. Unfortunately the band was unable to continue the momentum and changed its game plan altogether as the pop rock beat and mod styles of the 60s were quickly falling out of fashion.

The band not only changed its sound to a more progressive style of heavy psych but adopted the more mysterious moniker DSCHINN or in English, jinn or jinni which in the Koran and Muslim traditions is a spirit often capable of assuming human or animal form and exercising supernatural influence over human beings. Likewise the band developed a more sophisticated sound and although lumped into the early world of Krautrock was in fact a hard rock band with heavy psych influences from the late 1960s. The band released this one self-titled album in 1972 with a trippy Dali-esque album cover which featured nine vocal oriented tracks that featured heavy bluesy guitar riffs, beefy bass lines, intricate percussion sounds and even a harmonica part or two.

Unlike much of Germany’s Krautrock artists who were entering the twilight zone with freaky tripped out sounds designed for a trip to the cosmos and beyond, DSCHINN was much more down to earth and in reality sounded much more like an Anglo / American hard rock band of the same era with lyrics about freedom, love and other everyday affairs. The music wasn’t particularly complex and instead revolved around catchy blues based melodies. While the music itself was fairly average by the era’s standards, DSCHINN did stand out in the fact that it had two percussionists and delivered strong polypercussive grooves that adopted some of the ethnic influences of the Middle East somewhat in the vein of Agitation Free only in the context of bluesy hard rock.

Another immediate standout was the vocal style of Peter Lorenz which sort of sounded like a more exotic version of The Guess Who’s Burton Cummings only with a slight accent. The band itself seems to have picked up a few tips from bands like The Guess Who or Grandfunk Railroad and was clearly looking to the English speaking world for inspiration. This all but forgotten obscurity from Germany’s diverse Krautrock scene may not go down in history as the most essential of artifacts from the early 1970s but it is an interesting slice of heavy psych laced with period pop rock along with a few Krautish elements that remind me of Amon Düül II at times but these are just accents and only complement the staunch blues rock worship. Not a bad album at all but not extremely creative either.

GLENN HUGHES Building the Machine

Album · 2001 · Hard Rock
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It is always a pleasure to listen to new music by Glenn Hughes, “The Voice of Rock”. His performances with Trapeze and Deep Purple in the 1970s have granted him a place among the greats in the Rock Olympus. Since then, Hughes has worked on a myriad of collaborations and projects, as well as pursued a successful solo career, with thirteen full-length albums of original music to date. Building the Machine is his eight solo album and was released in 2001 on SPV. Together with Hughes, who also plays bass on the album, we find his long-time collaborators, guitarist JJ Marsh and drummer Gary Ferguson, as well as keyboardist Vince DiCola, who provides some tasteful Hammond on several tracks. There is also a score of illustrious guests, including Pat Travers (guitar and vocals on Rare Earth’s cover “I Just Want To Celebrate”), Bobby Kimball (Toto, providing backing vocals on a couple of songs), and jazz pianist John Beasley (on the light ballad “I Will Follow You”).

There are not many surprises in the eleven tracks of the album. The music of Building the Machine reflects the love for hard rock, blues, funk and soul that Hughes has always professed throughout his musical career. Be it original songs or covers (Rare Earth’s “I Just Want To Celebrate” and Deep Purple’s “Highball Shooter”), Glenn Hughes’ trademark voice and funky bass grooves are the force that drives the music. Unsurprisingly, his vocal performance is huge. His wails and cries add sparkle to the muscular hard rock of the opening duo “Can’t Stop the Flood” and “Inside”, which are probably the best pieces of the album. Elsewhere Hughes puts in more soulful performances, like on the moving ballads “Beyond the Numb” and “Big Sky”, both dedicated to two friends whom Hughes lost to the demons of alcohol and drugs. But it is in another ballad, “Feels Like Home”, that the album packs its strongest emotional punch. This song starts slowly with a delicate acoustic guitar part accompanying Hughes’ soulful vocals, before building into a powerful bluesy mid-tempo that brings the track to an engrossing ending. The funk and soul influences appear more strongly on “Don’t Let It Split Away”, which features some nice vocal harmonies between Hughes and Bobby Kimball (Toto), and on Rare Earth’s cover “I Just Want To Celebrate”. The other cover, Deep Purple’s “Highball Shooter”, sounds completely at ease among the remaining ten tracks of the album, almost as if time had stopped and we were still in 1973, rocking hard with the rest of Deep Purple.

Perhaps paradoxically, this is both the main strength and weakness of the album. On the one hand, it shows that Hughes still firmly possesses that hard rock mojo that made him famous in the 70s. His performance is as credible and as genuine as thirty years prior, which is great to see. However, at the same time, there is nothing on this album that you cannot find elsewhere in Hughes’ discography. There is also no track that particularly stands out, with the exception perhaps of the opener “Can’t Stop the Flood”. The other tracks are all of good quality, but there is nothing that really sparkles and makes your jaws drop, especially if compared with the rest of the man’s discography.

Building the Machine is nevertheless a pleasant album to listen to, especially if you are a fan of this kind of blues/fink-tinged hard rock. It features some excellent playing and a strong vocal performance by Hughes. It does not add nor subtract much from Hughes’ considerable career, it is more of the same. But when the quality is as high as this, it is really hard to complain.

AINIGMA Diluvium

Album · 1973 · Heavy Psych
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siLLy puPPy
Another one of those super ridiculously rare examples of Krautrock came from the one and only album DILUVIUM from the band AINIGMA. This band of three youngsters that consisted of Willi Klüter (organ, lead vocals), Wolfgang Netzer (guitar, bass, vocals) and Michael Klüter (drums) formed in the Bavarian border town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1972 and released its sole album as a private press the following year. Their hometown is best known as the venue where the 1936 Olympic games took place not too far from Innsbruck, Austria.

Having all been interested in music at an early age, this trio jumped on the exploding Krautrock bandwagon and crafted an album’s worth of fuzzy guitar driven heavy psych however while by 1973 when most bands in the scene had perfected their game and created some of the most mondo-bizarro space trips across the universe and back, AINIGMA retained a 1960s charm which made DILUVIUM sound more like a relic from 1968 rather than something that came out during the fully mature progressive rock scene of the early 1970s.

DILUVIUM featured five tracks including the near 18-minute title track. While lumped into the Krautrock world, AINIGMA sounded like a fuzzier version of Cream or Blue Cheer with strong melodic hooks driven by robust organ swells but what really sets the band apart was the buzzsaw guitar distortion, an attribute that made the second wave of black metal stand out in the early 1990s. This album is one of the earliest uses of such heavily distorted power chords fuzzing and buzzing out into oblivion. The tempos also bring the world of doom metal to mind as everything ranges from slow to mid-speed.

In fact if the pacifying organ melodies were removed from the equation, DILUVIUM could possible qualify as a lo-fi black metal demo if it were not for the weakest aspect of the entire album, namely Willi Klüter’s lackadaisical (clean) vocal style which gets the job done and aren’t really offensive but they don’t really rise above and beyond the call of duty either but then again, the vocal style also adds a bit of that classic Kraut detachment and softens the intensity of the organ solos, guitar fuzz and bass and drum bombast.

Often compared to the psychedelic bombast of Vanilla Fudge with a blues rock propensity in the vein of Frumpy and Atomic Rooster, AINIGMA wasn’t afraid to let loose and whip out some crazy drum solos, organ freak outs and progressive time signature deviations from time to time but for the most part, DILUVIUM is a rather straight forward melodic romp through some fo the most fuzzed out guitar rock with creepy organ sounds leading the way. Had the band stuck it out and continued and perhaps with a stronger vocalist, could’ve been more than just a historical relic relegated to the obscurity bin.

Although the original vinyl has been a pricey collectable in the decades since its initial release, the album has seen many reissues with three distinct album cover designs. DILUVIUM has also been released with bonus tracks in 2006 on CD courtesy of the outstanding label Garden of Delights label. This one is for those who love those DIY underground albums that were unadulterated by any record company whims and showcases a young band in a fiery passion. Unfortunately this album doesn’t really stand out in the crowded German scene from the early 1970s but is by no means a throwaway album. Except for the average limited vocal range of the Will Klüter, the music on this one is pretty damn good.

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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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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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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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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"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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