Turtles have lists as well - Part One

Even if they're giant flying turtles.  Everyone has lists of something, written down, in their mind, about all kinds of things.  So this turtle has decided to put some of them down, and transfer them to this happy group.  So, here is the first LIST. 

Music

Music has always been somewhat of a passion of mine even before my cousin from California visited me on the ranch in his meteor-burst panel van and introduced me to the world of cassettes and the Columbia Record House.  Granted, my tastes have slanted and changed over time, but I enjoy most forms of music and can tell good from bad even in genres I dislike.  Having spent over 11 years involved in the music industry in various ways I have collected a sizable catalog.  So without further rambling, here are the 12 albums I would want on an extended space voyage.  (I couldn't make the cut further than 12 I just couldn't and hated to have to cut some that aren't here)  Plus some other tidbits afterwards.  :P

12. Prince and the New Power Generation - (Prince symbol)     Back in the days of Prince going by his symbol, this little gem kind of summed himself up for the world.  The storyline in the background goes with the album well and the variety of the tracks is great.  Prince gets to show off his amazing guitar and songwriting abilities as he always does.

11. Queen - A Kind of Magic     It's not their best known, most popular or critical pick, but for me this is a terrific piece of work.  Basically the soundtrack to Highlander, (more on that in a later list) the songs follow the storyline well and of course feature one of the best male vocalists to ever grace a microphone as well as the harmonizing of the band itself.  Brian May has always been a master of knowing not just what to play, but also what not to.

10. Megadeth - Risk     Again not their most popular nor well received work, for me this is what Dave Mustaine was building to.  There are a weaker track or two, but the rest more than compensate.  Mustaine's (in)famous songwriting is at his finest exploring a wide variety as always, and for me he's always been the Lovecraft of songwriters.

9.  Collective Soul - Collective Soul     What can I say, this is a great album.  A variety of styles and energies help make this 1995 effort a classic.  I can't help it that every single time I here 'Where the River Flows' begin my mind adds The Roach's voice over the PA system "Now batting.....the catcher.....number 15.....Jeff.....Reeeeeeeed!!!"  Not that he was my favorite player or anything, but it just goes.  Regardless this is for me far and away the groups best work and is always a welcome listen.

8.  Scorpions - Blackout     Aaaahhhh, the memories this holds.  Aside from the fact this KICKS ASS, there are a ton of memories associated with this one for me.  Klaus is at his Teutonic belting best and as Matthias' first full work with the guys he shows off some amazing skills.  No, Scorps aren't going to win a Best Deepthinking Lyrics awards, and who cares, what they write and how they bring it together even in studio rocks.  Besides they are the godfathers of the metal ballad and do it better than anyone, especially back in the days before World Wide Live.

7.  Supertramp - Breakfast in America     How could I possibly leave this classic off?  I can't.  It's just that good and that strong.  Roger Hodgson is phenominal on this body of work that if I'm not mistaken had something like 7 top 10 singles.  There were a lot regardless and it doesn't matter, the band found the perfect mix of styles on this one.  A true classic.

6.  Pink Floyd - Wish you Were Here     The tribute to Syd Barrett is the Floyd album I have to choose.  The Wall was a close second but personally this one shows off Waters and Gilmour at their best.  Blending, melding, haunting, drifting, and a hundred other ings.  Shine on you Crazy Diamond, Welcome to the Machine, Have a Cigar, Wish you Were Here.  How exactly can you go wrong?  A MUST have.

5.  Def Leppard - High 'n Dry     Yeah yeah I know, High 'n Dry?  Can't help it, High 'n Dry introduced me to Leppard and it's a great album.  Rock radio still plays tunes off it, and even though it's the last album with Pete Willis who isn't half the guitar player his replacement Phil Collen is, this album was for me the epitome of the New Wave of British Metal.  Hysteria, Slang, and X are great Leppard albums (personally Pyromania is my least favorite) but High 'n Dry is the one I have to have.

4.  Dope - Life     Anger has a name, and his name is Edsel Dope.  Some of Dope's later stuff has better tracks, but as an album this is the one.  The writing is strong, the tracks go great from one to the next, and you simply can't find a better down and dirty lets fuck now album, you just can't.  Edsel's vocals are gritty at best, but that's what makes it all work with the attitude behind them.

3.  Type O Negative - October Rust     My favorite band comes in at three and although I keep thinking they should be higher I'm happy with this album here.  The kings of goth metal have it all here, from dreary or upbeat (well as upbeat as Peter Steele will ever get) this album has everything and more, as well as the only coversong written that I care for more than the original.  It doesn't get better than Type O and this album is Type O, fantastic stuff throughout.

2.  Hawkwind - Live Chronicles     I'm not a fan of live albums, they're like greatest hits only recorded poorly.  This one is the exception.  Building upon the incredible Chronicle of the Black Sword piece, this live work (with writing and vocal assistance by Michael Moorcock) is THE live album.  Captain Dave and the boys bring the story to life with the tracks from the studio work as well as blending other tracks in beautifully.  I saw Hawkwind live once and my only regret is I didn't see THIS tour, which as far as I know was in England only or possibly Aussieland as well.  It doesn't matter though, cause this double album transports you there and doesn't lose the technical touches that plague most live albums.

and finally 1.  Queensryche - Operation:mindcrime     Wow.  Even now I don't know how to put this one into words.  Wow.  Technically supreme, lyrically astounding, this is and will always be the best album ever for me.  Geoff Tate, Chris DeGarmo, Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, and Scott Rockenfield created the perfect story and the perfect music to set the story to.  Song blends into song, from anger to searching to confusion to loss to hopelessness for me this is what Beethoven or Wagner would have envied were they alive today.  I can't write what could convey this one, I'll just have to listen again now as I finish.  But it's as good as it gets for me.

Concerts

I've seen a lot, from horrid to fantastic from tiny rooms to stadiums, and missed some I wished I could have been to, but here are my favorite 4.

4.  Roger Waters - Radio KAOS tour     Yes I saw the Pink Floyd stadium tour 6 months later, and it paled in comparison.  I saw Pink Floyd when I saw Roger Waters that night.  Radio KAOS was one of the final cuts (hahaha pun) above but the live show was beyond belief.  The album was brought to life amazingly, and some Floyd works that fit into the program great.  When Wish you Were Here played I swear it brought tears to my eyes.  No opening act needed for this, it was an amazing night.

3.  Spinal Tap - Break Like the Wind tour     Two and a half hours of pure hilarity coinciding with the same amount of well played music.  They can play, no they aren't the best at it but they don't pretend to be and who cares?  I was third row stage right for this and from the moment David St Hubbins dropped from the ceiling it was incredible.  Having Derek Smalls swinging helplessly to and fro in front of his mic stand 10 feet from me and hearing his vocals only when he was close was reminicent of the pods.  And that was just the first song.  What a great night and what fun.

2.  Queensryche - Empire Tour     The Empire tour is when the Ryche played Operation:mindcrime from start to finish in the middle of the show.  As much as I already stated I like the album the concert matched it.  For a technical band one might think they wouldn't translate well live, but the opposite is true.  Somehow they manage to be as much so if not MORE proficient on stage and the show they gave was perfect for the album. 

1.  Scorpions - Love at First Sting tour     Like I said, I've seen a lot of concerts, but this one always remains my favorite.  The Jon Butcher Axis opened and that was my first introduction to them, of which I'm grateful for.  But when the stage dimmed, Hermann climbed into his place and waited with his arms rasied, the audience hushed for a split second, and then the four others popped up from the floor and BAM right into the first tune.  Scorpions like no other band have an energy that belongs on stage, and that night they were at their best.  They had the crowd feeding off them and likewise fed off the crowd.  From ballbusting to ballads to the Coast to Coast walk of Matthias Rudy and Francis they simply are the best live band ever.  Klaus hit everything and had the crowd screaming anytime he wanted.  Being deaf for 2 days afterwards was only another reminder of how good the show was. 

Guitarists

I'd feel like I'd have to go back later and list these 3 gentlemen if I didn't do it here, so here are my 3 favorite guitarists.

3.  Nuno Bettencourt     His band (Extreme) isn't one of the better known ones from the hairmetal days of the 80's, and what they are known for are a couple ballads that while good he didn't like much (to understate it).  Listening to any Extreme album without reading the liner notes you'd think there were 2 very good guitarists in the band.  Nope, just Nuno.  Technically phenominal he brings a style that is sassy, playful yet hard and rough when he wants to be.  What he wants to be is a great guitarist, and in my book he's long been there.

2.  Eric Johnson    The lesser known of G3 group, his solo stuff is incomparable.  Few guitartist can play softly while maintaining intensity (dynamics DOESN'T mean playing as loud as you can all the time Lars you tool) and bring you from there to dizzying heights without seemingly making an effort.  Somewhere in the jazz to rock vein while doing a variety of others, Johnson is a mezmerizing player who is horribly underrated and underappreciated. 

1.  Joe Satriani     This was honestly an easy choice.  As good as Nuno Eric and some others are, there's a quantum leap until you get to Satriani, he's just THAT good.  He plays like he was born with a guitar and obviously speaks with it.  His soul comes through the amplifiers/speakers and all one has to do is enjoy.  With a large library of work I feel remiss that one of his isn't on the above list (as I do with the other two) but I couldn't pick one.  There are lots of guitarists in the world, and every one of them will acknowledge Satriani as one of the best.  It's well deserved praise cause Joe is as good as it gets.

Until next time kiddies..........

 


5 Comments

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Nice lists.

Coaster's picture

I saw Michael McKean (Hubbins) with David L. Lander in their pre Lenny and Squiggy days when they were both with The Credibility Gap in L.A. in 1972. 

In 1966, I attended a benefit concert in a 2000 seat theater-in-the-round (The Valley Music Theater, now a church).  It was billed as a Peter Paul and Mary concert and indeed, they played their 45-minute set last.  Before them, the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield did several songs each. Before them, Hugh Masakella played  his hit "Grazing in the Grass."  Opening the concert that evening was a little-known band that had a single song which had just started climbing the charts.They were called "The Doors."  They played Break on Through (to the Other Side), their first hit, and another song, Light My Fire.

The concert cost us $3.20.  The  seats in the row just behind us cost $2.20. 

Some friends of ours from the same junior high that happened to be sitting in the row behind us asked us if they could trade seats with us for a couple of songs so they could experience what it was like sitting in the "expensive" seats.  

I used to work with a guy

gamerarocks's picture

who told lots of stories about seeing Hendrix and Joplin and Jefferson Airplane and the like in the Frisco area back in the late 60's for 25 cents a show at an old grocery store building.  He was one of those guys who told so many stories everyone thought he was full of manure and just played along, "yeah yeah Joe, keep talking."  Well we worked at a music distributorship and one day Jefferson Starship was scheduled to visit our place.  A few of us were sharing snickers about how far into the depths of the building Joe would hide in, but when the band walked in and looked around the gathered crew, Grace Slick spotted Joe and all but ran up to him to give him a hug calling him by name.  He had the last laugh but it was great in the end that he had seen the greats of the 60's in the 60's and the stories he shared were at the least based in fact.  

Impeach Jim Gibbons!

 

Being near to greatness

Coaster's picture

In 1973, we let a pretty young lady stay with us in a shared apartment. She supposedly was friends with Timothy B. Schmit of Poco and Eagles fame. One of my roommates drove her to the studio where Mr. Schimt happened to be working. She gave her name at the door. The assistant who answered the door disappeared and when she reappeared, said, "Timothy wants you to leave and to quit bothering him."

Wow. Be still my heart.

I've only been to 3 concerts in my life...

TMundo's picture

Nowadays the christian side of me is telling me no, and for what it's worth, I get into enough trouble just dealing with regular everyday temptation so, 'for me' going to a concert is a place where I'll end up getting high by the end of the night.  I vere was the kind of guy who frequented that many venues to begin with, I'm not sure why, I just didn't go to that many concerts.  But here they are...

BT -- BT is a techno producing american fellow who has a style similar to Moby.  He's branched out from doing progressive trance to doing alternative or modern rock as well, and even some rap music production.  He's done quite a few movie soundtracks to boot.  When I heard he would be in the area, I decided it was time to go to my first concert.  And so, me, and my girlfried and her sister went to check it out.  This guy had about 3 keyboards and a full band backing him up.  The keyboards were on bouncy springs so he could not only work the heck out of em, but also have them swing wildly back and forth woy-oi-oi-oi-oi-nggggg.  Pretty cool.  One of the guys brought out an electric cello at the beginning of the show, there were a few MC's for the rap songs, guitarists for the alternative and a drummer for some of the beats.  I don't remember if there was anyone scratching on the turntables but altogether it was a versatile show.

The other two concerts I went to were bothe Goerge Clinton.  One at a smoke filled venue (and by smoke filled I mean marijuana smoke) where all walks of life were around getting down to the funk.  I mean 60 year old white men, to black folks from back in the day, to young college kids.  It was something.  The smoke, I've never seen that much smoke at a public venue.  But then again I haven't been to that many.  At the time I wasn't smoking weed, but by the end of the night I wanted to.  The show was good, even an encore act of two guitarists playing in fur coats, he-he.

The second GC concert I visited was at an amphitheater situated in a parking lot near a bunch of large stores.  In broad daylight, these fellows brought out a large tank and begin filling balloons with nitrous oxide.  There was a no smoke policy inside the theater and they closed early.  Even statements from George about the rules going out the window didn't stop the lights from going on when they played, "Somethin' stank and I want some."  Wow, just for that one song the lights went on? These folks were well prepared to keep the nonsence at bay. Well, vat you do?

And so, my concert days seem to be over, I may consider a christian rock concert as those seem interesting.  But who knows.  I never really attened a lot of concerts though, I just used to pop in CD's and listen at my own convenience.

I've only seen one

gamerarocks's picture

band that falls into the christian rock vein, Stryper at Red Rocks in '87 I believe it was.  I was there to see the first of the 3 bands myself, TNT, and Loudness (Japan's gift to metal) was the midband.  If you want a recommendation, if Stryper reform stick with the studio work, cause the live show was abysmal.  Part may have been the soundboard, but they were WAY off, at least that night.

I've never seen George but I've heard his shows are good.

Impeach Jim Gibbons!

 

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