Author Topic: LithoJazzoSphere Top "50" Albums - surprise #22 - way before lonestar...  (Read 7110 times)

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Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere Top "50" Albums - surprise #13: universal blood donors
« Reply #210 on: February 19, 2024, 07:02:49 PM »
Yeah, that's one of my favorite things in music, where a band I wrote off or only liked mildly comes back years later and becomes a high favorite.  There will be a few like that for me on the list for sure. 

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere Top "50" Albums - surprise #13: universal blood donors
« Reply #211 on: February 20, 2024, 12:58:43 PM »
Same
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Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere Top "50" Albums - surprise #13: universal blood donors
« Reply #212 on: February 20, 2024, 07:43:14 PM »
Crazy day, I'll try again tomorrow for the next batch. 

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere Top "50" Albums - surprise #13: universal blood donors
« Reply #213 on: February 24, 2024, 04:14:15 PM »
Been dealing with a stressful family situation and haven't had the time or energy to finish editing the next writeups.  Things might be stabilizing though, so I'll see how tomorrow or the next day look.

Offline ReaperKK

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere Top "50" Albums - surprise #13: universal blood donors
« Reply #214 on: February 24, 2024, 06:06:52 PM »
Take your time Litho!

Offline nick_z

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere Top "50" Albums - surprise #13: universal blood donors
« Reply #215 on: February 24, 2024, 06:38:46 PM »
Hope everything is ok, Litho!

Offline King Puppies and the Acid Guppies

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere Top "50" Albums - surprise #13: universal blood donors
« Reply #216 on: February 24, 2024, 11:33:24 PM »
Take care of you and yours first and foremost. We'll still be here when you have the time and energy to continue.  :heart
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Offline Indiscipline

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere Top "50" Albums - surprise #13: universal blood donors
« Reply #217 on: February 25, 2024, 02:07:52 AM »
Family first, Jazzo!

Offline Jamesman42

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere Top "50" Albums - surprise #13: universal blood donors
« Reply #218 on: February 25, 2024, 11:40:10 AM »
Don't feel rushed, man. Go at your speed. :)

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere Top "50" Albums - surprise #13: universal blood donors
« Reply #219 on: February 25, 2024, 11:50:33 AM »
Hope everything ends up fine, take your time.

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Chariots of Fire
« Reply #220 on: February 27, 2024, 11:21:20 AM »
Ok, things seem more stable for now, so let's try and get back on track.

---
Roots and Influences:

I - the Christian rock scene

So I don't talk about this directly much, though it's probably obvious from the breadcrumbs I drop from time to time, but I grew up in the church.  I've had a rather complicated relationship with it since then, but I still have some connections from there.  In those circles there is a lot of musical copycatting and unfortunate belief that if the message is right then the quality of the music doesn't matter, but there are also a lot of incredibly gifted musicians who are sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally siloed off from the rest of the musical world.  From time to time a few catch on that would be more familiar to DTF like Neal Morse, Theocracy, Sufjan Stevens and such.  I like to occasionally spotlight some of the more interesting other ones who receive less attention.  I've actually mentioned a few already in earlier writeups, and a handful of others will be sprinkled in from time to time with less ado, but it was a significant enough part of my early life that it deserves its own section. 

Jars of Clay - "Liquid"

Here we dip back into my father's collection, though at the time it was just the latest addition to it.  He's never generally been one to pay a lot of attention to new music coming out, but somehow the hype about this one came onto his radar, and thus onto mine.  To this day this is one of the best examples I've heard of an acoustic-driven rock album, and this is one of the most salient cuts from it.  The dual acoustic guitars, Dan Haseltine's excellent vocals, the Gregorian chant sample, the mandolin bookending the track, the brief chamber string arrangement - this is some of acoustic pop rock at its finest.  Adrian Belew's fingerprints are all over it, with his producing and arranging of it, as well as playing mandolin, cello, and bass on this song and another I'll mention next. 

I was really torn between including this track and "Flood", which has a delicious capoed open string chord progression, and a melancholically lovely string quartet arrangement in the middle again by Adrian Belew, so if you have an extra 5 minutes listen to that one as well, or maybe even the whole album, it should probably be a stealth honorable mention.  "Worlds Apart" in particular is a quite beautiful ballad.  And Ronn Huff (father of Dann and David, who we've discussed in earlier sections) is responsible for some of the string arrangements on other tracks - what a musical super-family. 

Petra - "Let Everything That Has Breath"

Easily one of the better of the bands that tended to evolve with the dominant rock sound of the day, I still retain special fondness for this era of their output.  Vocalist Greg X. Volz had a crazy amount of range, only hinted at here, but even more evident on a song like "Adonai" on Beat The System (and also featuring some of John Lawry's somewhat cheesy and dated yet endearing digital keyboard work).  Volz also has ties to another band which I could reveal as yet another surprise early top 60 album mention that some people would definitely be familiar with, but I'll just save the callback for then, unless someone happens to already know or is bored and wants to do some detective work. 

I also particularly love this track for earlier keyboardist John Slick's contributions, with tasty Hammond organ, and a delicious MemoryMoog synth solo in the middle.  After this in the late 80s/early 90s Petra had a different vocalist with a bit of a rougher edge and a somewhat harder-driving hard rock/AOR sound that could potentially appeal to some people here - check out "I Am On the Rock" on Beyond Belief if this piques your interest at all, as it also highlights some of guitarist Bob Hartman's fierier riffing and soloing, which is tamer on the selected track here. 

Whiteheart - "Let My People Go"

As much as I enjoy some of Petra's music, Whiteheart is really an even better group, who both still hold up quite well, and if they'd been in the secular market, probably would have been huge at the time.  I'm biased, but I'd argue they have Journey or higher level of talent, production, and songwriting, but arguably greater depth.  They were probably my favorite band until Dream Theater took over earlier-midway through high school.  The amount of musical firepower Whiteheart had over the years is ludicrous.  They had a dual lead vocal approach with Rick Florian handling the bulk of them, a true powerhouse tenor, and keyboardist Mark Gershmehl giving an exemplary contrasting baritone for certain songs.  Together and with the rest of band they had one of the more scintillating stacked vocal harmony sounds around as well.  I tried to split the difference a tad between their more rocking songs and their ballads with one that has a bit of both.  They had a very expansive and immersive hard rock/AOR sound that is rather proggy at times (somewhat Kansas-like in moments), and tying in with an earlier influence, especially on this album Highlands has some notable Celtic influences to connect things together (which I didn't even properly realize at the time). 

With even more callbacks, their original guitarist was the again aforementioned Dann Huff (clearly a central figure in my early music explorations), though their original vocalist and songwriting wasn't quite as reliable in those days.  Stellar future session guitarist Gordon Kennedy helmed the chair for a number of albums, but my favorite era of theirs had axeman Brian Wooten, who would go on more notably to work with Trace Adkins, but on these albums is very little country-flavored and much more of Trevor Rabin and Eric Johnson-inspired in launching crunchy riffs and kinetic, soaring solos.  Anthony Sallee's bass playing is really juicy here, as is Jon Knox's immaculately-recorded kit and effects cymbals.  Their prior rhythm section of Tommy Simms and Chris McHugh was also superb, and can be experienced best on "Let the Kingdom Come" from Freedom (which also has Mark on lead vocals and Gordon on guitar), if you're curious.  I might be crazy, but I hear some spiritual commonality in Gershmehl's playing with Kevin Moore's, though I doubt Moore would have heard of him. 

Tracks #28-#30:
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0T4IGrbCzG3ZV4128ZKOl5
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLISicXPLSax9twb8XnAQzmWSaoESqHpUc

Jars of Clay - "Liquid"
Petra - "Let Everything That Has Breath"
Whiteheart - "Let My People Go"

---

Tomorrow or the next day we have the next related surprise top 60 album reveal.  This one would be extremely difficult to figure out though. 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2024, 02:29:25 PM by LithoJazzoSphere »

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere Top "50" Albums - surprise #13: universal blood donors
« Reply #221 on: February 27, 2024, 11:49:40 AM »
I liked Jars of Clay a little back in the day, but never as much as other people I knew.

Apart from a couple of songs, I never really got into Petra, although our band at church we learned a couple of their songs.

Whiteheart was really good, although I don't remember this song in particular.  I will give it a listen.
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Offline billboy73

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Chariots of Fire
« Reply #222 on: February 28, 2024, 08:06:17 AM »
That first Jars of Clay record is so good, and it holds a special place for me.  It really is a pretty unique album.  Worlds Apart is such an amazing song, and Liquid is awesome too.  I dig most of their records, with If I Left the Zoo being my favorite.  I wish they would get together and make a new album.

Offline HOF

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Chariots of Fire
« Reply #223 on: February 28, 2024, 09:10:41 AM »
Yep, that Jars of Clay album is excellent, if a bit kind of low budget sounding. It’s very organic though and all great songs. They definitely stood out in that Christian music scene at the time.

I remember hearing some Whiteheart and Petra growing up, but not enough to really comment. Will try to check out those tracks.

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Chariots of Fire
« Reply #224 on: February 28, 2024, 12:27:07 PM »
I dig most of their records, with If I Left the Zoo being my favorite.

I need to dig back into the later ones again, the lion's share of my time went to the first two, with Much Afraid also being fantastic.  Also, the Crazy Times single/EP with the really cool "The Chair" (outstanding violin soloing all over it) and "Sleepers". 

Yep, that Jars of Clay album is excellent, if a bit kind of low budget sounding.

Interesting, I might just be too used to how it sounds at this point, and hadn't even really thought about it that way.  "Flood" and "Liquid" are the two they spent the most money on, but everything else sounds ok to me on a quick skim.  Maybe a few drum loops sound a bit thin on some songs, but it could also be an intentional choice, they were still more focused on being an acoustic band with supplemental instrumentation at that time. 

Offline HOF

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Chariots of Fire
« Reply #225 on: February 28, 2024, 12:48:42 PM »
I dig most of their records, with If I Left the Zoo being my favorite.

I need to dig back into the later ones again, the lion's share of my time went to the first two, with Much Afraid also being fantastic.  Also, the Crazy Times single/EP with the really cool "The Chair" (outstanding violin soloing all over it) and "Sleepers". 

Yep, that Jars of Clay album is excellent, if a bit kind of low budget sounding.

Interesting, I might just be too used to how it sounds at this point, and hadn't even really thought about it that way.  "Flood" and "Liquid" are the two they spent the most money on, but everything else sounds ok to me on a quick skim.  Maybe a few drum loops sound a bit thin on some songs, but it could also be an intentional choice, they were still more focused on being an acoustic band with supplemental instrumentation at that time.

I think everything besides Flood and Liquid (which Belew produced) was self-produced. They don’t sound bad at all, but there is a kind of home-made vibe to the album. It gives it its own charm that the next album kind of lacked even.

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Chariots of Fire
« Reply #226 on: February 28, 2024, 01:17:37 PM »
#53


Artist:  Bride
Album:  Oddities
Genre(s):  hard rock/alt metal/grunge
Release date:  1998
From:  US



Of all the albums to come, this is almost certainly going to be one of the most idiosyncratic to my own musical journey.  It's unlikely many have even heard of it - there's no particular reason to have.  And I have no idea how it will go over if anyone does take the time to check it out, it was never a widely discussed album online.  Some could find some of the lyrics a bit strange, potentially verging on preachy at times, but musically there is a goldmine here. 

Bride started as a classic heavy metal-styled band in the 80s, and would take on many different flavors over the coming years as the surrounding musical landscape shifted.  Their arguable consensus peak is likely Snakes in the Playground, which is a mixture of that sound with at the time a Guns N' Roses-esque approach, and "Rattlesnake" from that album is certainly worth hearing if that at all piques your interest.  But Oddities sees them at a later point with a sonic blend of that in more of an Alice In Chains-ish framework.  I can also detect the possible trace here and there of KoRn, though the overall result is far from nu-metal, unlike their following album Fist Full of Bees, which I remember being a complete misfire.  Oddities came out in my freshman year of high school, and it was one of the most critical pieces of my personal soundtrack to that year. 

This is not a particularly flashy release, again nodding more to AIC at this juncture, but I find the execution enthralling, presaging some sonic interests that wouldn't take root for a few more years.  Highlights abound, starting with drummer Jerry McBroom.  To this day the sound of his kit captured on this recording is still one of my absolute favorites, and his playing here is endlessly inventive, with an dexterous array of effects cymbals and roving toms scattered about.  Sample the vibe with "Under the Blood" opening up with a creative solo drum pattern.  Another standout, "Spirit" is heavy on the tribal tom grooves.  Bassist Lawrence Bishop shines when needed, with countless memorable moments, but perhaps most notably the walking line at 3:12 in "Tomorrow Makes No Sense", or opening "Day By Day" by himself with a simple but effective line. 

Guitarist Troy Thompson is hardly a gunslinger, but he has a fabulous tone from his semi-hollowbody, and crafts many atmospheric lines that pushed me into becoming more interested in guitar effects pedals and creating ambiance.  The opening sustained tremolo lines of a song like "God's Human Oddities" set me up for Opeth's version of them with a E-bow a few years later.  0:16 in "Day By Day" is also excellent for effects usage.  "Die a Little Bit Every Day" has some tasty melodic lines, including with a slide.  Even mostly simpler riffs like on "I Ain't Comin' Down" or "Die a Little Bit" propel the energy forward.  I tend to assume most of the guitar work is from Troy, but Tony Palacios contributes additional guitars, which would be in a bit more subdued mode for him, as I've enjoyed some of his more virtuosic work on other albums. 

I could have started with talking about vocalist Dale Thompson, but this time I saved him for last.  He has an incredibly distinct and versatile voice, shading each song with different amounts of color and nuance.  From time to time and especially more so in the early 90s he sounded like what I wish Axl Rose sounded like.  And when he wants to get intense, though he always stays more on the melodic side of screaming, he can conjure a bloodcurdling howl to match anyone.  Various moments in the rather dark "I Found God", or the ending of "Die a Little Bit Every Day" will attest to this.  There is quite a lot of space on this album for the individual members to shine, with the poignant "Restore Me" alternating between a calm but heart-rending solo vocal performance from Dale, with some light arpeggiations from Troy.  Those types of songs are so unadorned that not all artists can execute them well, but Bride can, with aplomb. 

If I had to pick a second favorite song, it's probably "Why Won't He Break", which I still have strong memories associated with from the spring break that year.  It has strong performances all around, including more of Troy's ping-ponging guitar lines in the verses, and some brilliant fills from Jerry.  "Closer To the Center of the Earth" also has a constantly vacillating energy, going seamlessly back and forth between beautiful mellower passages to heavier ones. 

(As a reference to the thread subtitle, from various related internet and file sharing searches in the early years, I was aware of a third of the Peaceville Three way earlier than I actually knew what they were about.) 

The whole album:
not on Spotify
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofvNdxvxfYY

Song highlight:  "Tomorrow Makes No Sense"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB8smyUX9KA

The album's magnum opus.  Building from a tritonal guitar double-stop to open the song, the chorus shifts into some unexpected chord movements, and the whole bridge section starting at 2:01 is glorious. 

Another flavor:  "God's Human Oddities"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RZCXq-2yhU

In action:  "Under the Blood"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhJiuTJUHL4

Blink and you'll miss it, but Dale's Yoda impersonation at the ending of the song is amusing, a brief moment of levity in a fairly dour album, though that's more often how I like it. 

---

The ongoing top 60 album highlights playlists:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1iz6CsS0htUVpMPhV28kkR
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLISicXPLSax_vL9waPRPoqhwURuIICm2T

---

I contemplated having a Christian hard rock/metal section to illustrate my taste gradually increasing in hardness and intensity at the time, but one section is probably good for now.  If you're curious and want more music to check out, I might have gone with Idle Cure's "Breakaway", Whitecross' "Attention Please", Holy Soldier's "Virtue & Vice", and Stryper's "The Way". 

I know the last few sections have been out of a lot of people's ranges for various reasons.  But in the next chapter we're back to some extremely familiar names. 
« Last Edit: February 28, 2024, 01:56:02 PM by LithoJazzoSphere »

Offline HOF

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Albums - surprise #53 - not My Dying...
« Reply #227 on: February 28, 2024, 01:44:58 PM »
Wait, *the* Jerry Gaskill played on this? Never heard of this band, but I’ll check some of it out.

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Albums - surprise #53 - not My Dying...
« Reply #228 on: February 28, 2024, 01:50:48 PM »
Wait, how did I do this?  I've momentarily totally confused myself.  :lol

It's not Jerry Gaskill, but Jerry McBroom.  I know they're separate people, but I think the reason I screwed that up is because Gaskill does have a specific connection to the previous section, which I'll be referencing when that time comes. 
« Last Edit: February 28, 2024, 02:02:22 PM by LithoJazzoSphere »

Offline TAC

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Chariots of Fire
« Reply #229 on: February 28, 2024, 01:55:41 PM »
  Their arguable consensus peak is likely Snakes in the Playground, which is a mixture of that sound with at the time a Guns N' Roses-esque approach, and "Rattlesnake" from that album is certainly worth hearing if that at all piques your interest. 

Wow, you ain't kidding.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums........or WTF.  ;D
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline HOF

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Albums - surprise #53 - not My Dying...
« Reply #230 on: February 28, 2024, 02:02:41 PM »
Wait, how did I do this?  I've momentarily totally confused myself.  :lol

It's not Jerry Gaskill, but Jerry McBroom.  I think the reason I screwed that up is because Gaskill does have a connection to the previous section, which I'll be referencing when that time comes.

Yeah, I know King’s X had a connection to Petra (did they play in one of the members’ solo projects or something like that)?

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Albums - surprise #53 - not My Dying...
« Reply #231 on: February 28, 2024, 02:06:15 PM »
Gaskill's Wikipedia:

"He was soon introduced to singer Greg X. Volz [formerly of Petra] who was putting a new band together and asked Gaskill to participate. They also asked bassist Doug Pinnick to move to Springfield and join the band. Pinnick accepted, but a month after his arrival, the project fell apart.

Gaskill was soon asked, along with Pinnick, to join the Phil Keaggy band (presumably through Keaggy's previous work with Volz) which they accepted. He went on a national tour with Keaggy for about a year. During the band's show in Springfield, Gaskill was asked by a member of the opening band if he would lend them his drums. That person happened to be Ty Tabor who was filling in for the drummer who had quit the band the night before."

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Chariots of Fire
« Reply #232 on: February 28, 2024, 02:29:10 PM »
  Their arguable consensus peak is likely Snakes in the Playground, which is a mixture of that sound with at the time a Guns N' Roses-esque approach, and "Rattlesnake" from that album is certainly worth hearing if that at all piques your interest. 

Wow, you ain't kidding.
Bride is an oddity (see what I did there? :neverusethis:). The band started out as a sort of mash up between Iron Maiden, Manowar, Manilla Road, then they turned into Guns N Roses/Poison, then went almost full Grunge after the whole Grunge movement was done.
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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Chariots of Fire
« Reply #233 on: February 28, 2024, 03:08:27 PM »
  Their arguable consensus peak is likely Snakes in the Playground, which is a mixture of that sound with at the time a Guns N' Roses-esque approach, and "Rattlesnake" from that album is certainly worth hearing if that at all piques your interest. 

Wow, you ain't kidding.
Bride is an oddity (see what I did there? :neverusethis:). The band started out as a sort of mash up between Iron Maiden, Manowar, Manilla Road, then they turned into Guns N Roses/Poison, then went almost full Grunge after the whole Grunge movement was done.


So Bride was basically late to every party?
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums........or WTF.  ;D
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Chariots of Fire
« Reply #234 on: February 28, 2024, 03:09:48 PM »
  Their arguable consensus peak is likely Snakes in the Playground, which is a mixture of that sound with at the time a Guns N' Roses-esque approach, and "Rattlesnake" from that album is certainly worth hearing if that at all piques your interest. 

Wow, you ain't kidding.
Bride is an oddity (see what I did there? :neverusethis:). The band started out as a sort of mash up between Iron Maiden, Manowar, Manilla Road, then they turned into Guns N Roses/Poison, then went almost full Grunge after the whole Grunge movement was done.


So Bride was basically late to every party?
:lol
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Hey Stadler, your PM inbox is full.
Derek Sherinian probably stands 10 feet away from the urinal, shoots from downtown, and announces loudly that he's making history.
Quote from: TAC, definitely not King
Thes sng is are sounds rally nece an I lyke tha sungar

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Albums - surprise #53 - not My Dying...
« Reply #235 on: February 28, 2024, 03:26:46 PM »
Honestly that was the whole raison d'etre of the industry, even more so than the secular market.

I don't notice any real Poison similarities, but admittedly my knowledge of them is shallow outside of a few hits. 

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Chariots of Fire
« Reply #236 on: February 29, 2024, 02:55:40 AM »
  Their arguable consensus peak is likely Snakes in the Playground, which is a mixture of that sound with at the time a Guns N' Roses-esque approach, and "Rattlesnake" from that album is certainly worth hearing if that at all piques your interest. 

Wow, you ain't kidding.
Bride is an oddity (see what I did there? :neverusethis:). The band started out as a sort of mash up between Iron Maiden, Manowar, Manilla Road, then they turned into Guns N Roses/Poison, then went almost full Grunge after the whole Grunge movement was done.


So Bride was basically late to every party?

Always the Bridesmaid, never the Bride.

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Albums - surprise #53 - not My Dying...
« Reply #237 on: February 29, 2024, 07:03:33 AM »
I decided to bite and give this a go. It's exactly what I expected, given your write up dude, and the influences are very evident.

It didn't really do much for me, but I'm sure if you heard this for the first time now, you'd react pretty much the same. It feels like one of those formative albums. It's funny, I was discussing Creed's Weathered in a group chat with friends this week, and this feels like it could be to you, what that album is to me.

I discovered Creed at about 18, and have so many good memories tied to that time. If I heard it for the first time now I wouldn't give it the chance it deserves, but at 18 my musical knowledge was very limited and that album just hit for me. The riffs are great, and I think they deserved all the popularity they received.

This was solid, but I just don't seek out new music in this style at all. But, I know full well, if I'd discovered something like this in my formative years, it could've been a huge deal for me. Music is a funny thing.

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Albums - surprise #53 - not My Dying...
« Reply #238 on: February 29, 2024, 07:27:20 AM »
I decided to bite and give this a go. It's exactly what I expected, given your write up dude, and the influences are very evident.

It didn't really do much for me, but I'm sure if you heard this for the first time now, you'd react pretty much the same. It feels like one of those formative albums. It's funny, I was discussing Creed's Weathered in a group chat with friends this week, and this feels like it could be to you, what that album is to me.

I discovered Creed at about 18, and have so many good memories tied to that time. If I heard it for the first time now I wouldn't give it the chance it deserves, but at 18 my musical knowledge was very limited and that album just hit for me. The riffs are great, and I think they deserved all the popularity they received.

This was solid, but I just don't seek out new music in this style at all. But, I know full well, if I'd discovered something like this in my formative years, it could've been a huge deal for me. Music is a funny thing.

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Offline HOF

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Albums - surprise #53 - not My Dying...
« Reply #239 on: February 29, 2024, 07:55:53 AM »
I only checked out the one track by Bride, and while there is a little bit of Layne Staley in the vocals maybe, I don't really hear grunge so much as maybe an amalgamation of the culmination of sifting through various musical styles throughout their career. That's kind of proggy in it's own way, even if it didn't totally grab me.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Albums - surprise #53 - not My Dying...
« Reply #240 on: February 29, 2024, 10:11:17 AM »
Don't know this one, but I will check it out.
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Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Albums - surprise #53 - not My Dying...
« Reply #241 on: February 29, 2024, 10:42:58 AM »
It didn't really do much for me, but I'm sure if you heard this for the first time now, you'd react pretty much the same. It feels like one of those formative albums. It's funny, I was discussing Creed's Weathered in a group chat with friends this week, and this feels like it could be to you, what that album is to me.

I discovered Creed at about 18, and have so many good memories tied to that time. If I heard it for the first time now I wouldn't give it the chance it deserves, but at 18 my musical knowledge was very limited and that album just hit for me. The riffs are great, and I think they deserved all the popularity they received.

Hah, what a coincidence.  My Own Prison actually came out a year before Oddities did, and it had become quite popular by then, so I had classmates recommending it to me.  I liked it, and an associated project might even make an appearance later on in this thread, but Creed as a whole didn't have quite the influence on me that some other artists did.  I heard someone mistake one of their songs for an artist coming up shortly though.  It was so strange to see in real time the opinion turn from Creed as this hot new band to the lamest band on the planet over the course of just a few years.  The hatred was always way overblown. 

I was a bit slower to pick up the alternative-related styles.  I had developed more of an affinity for 80s sounds at the time, which were seriously uncool at this point in time to the point of public derision, so I felt like a fish out of water.  Oddities managed to blend the 80s and 90s worlds for me a bit to transition into appreciating the better qualities of both eras. 

I only checked out the one track by Bride, and while there is a little bit of Layne Staley in the vocals maybe, I don't really hear grunge so much as maybe an amalgamation of the culmination of sifting through various musical styles throughout their career.

The previous album is heavier on the AIC influences.  I can hear it throughout Oddities as well, but I have a much more detailed map of it in my head than anyone here would, and it's a bit more subtle.  This is probably the most AIC-sounding track from the prior album. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5OIWz2akdQ

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Albums - surprise #53 - not My Dying...
« Reply #242 on: March 01, 2024, 11:59:41 AM »
Roots and Influences:

J - Hard rock/metal:

Edward & Alex Van Halen - "Respect the Wind"


May of 1996, I was in the theater with my parents watching Twister, which had just come out.  There were dashes of Van Halen throughout the film, with EVH's playing over the orchestral suite for the film segueing into excerpts of "Humans Being", another resplendent tune of theirs.  But it was the end credits that metaphorically left my jaw on the floor.  Eddie's command of nuance and timbre throughout this instrumental piece was truly spellbinding, and I had fading bits of it stuck in my head for weeks afterwards, until we could rent it some months later, whereupon I taped it on cassette and rewound it endlessly.  Along with Steve Stevens' "Top Gun Anthem" from a number of sections ago, this is the singular moment and piece that made me want to learn to play the guitar.  Guitarists older than me often point to "Eruption", but no, this is what I heard first.  The phrasing, the dynamics, leading to differences in gain and saturation, the volume swells, the subtle bends, how fluidly notes transition into harmonics, the whammy dips and raises, I know what I'm hearing now, but back then I did not - this might as well have come from outer space. 

The story of Ed and Alex swapping instruments via guitar and drums early on is well-known.  However, somewhat less known, or at least discussed, is that both had classical piano training.  Yet while EVH played keyboards a decent amount on VH albums, this track is one of the rare opportunities to hear Al's keyboard accompaniment.  I don't believe I've ever thought of it this way before, but it's actually not that distant from some of Yanni's work, to call back an earlier chapter in this thread.  Who knew that hard rock and new age work so well together?

I gradually got into their other music, always dazzled by Ed's sonic sorcery, though I've never fully connected with it as much as I'd like to because their vocalists never really resonated with me.  The closest is Van Halen III, possibly the most misunderstood and unfairly criticized album in rock history.  It would have gone over so much better as an EVH solo album, with Gary Cherone of Extreme guesting (who I would also get into a bit later on - Pornograffitti is a great album).  It has some of Eddie's best guitar work (which is really saying something given the historicity of what he did earlier), with "Fire in the Hole", "Once", and "Neworld/Without You" being personal highlights.  Of course, there are countless classic tunes everywhere else, particularly on the debut. 

Jimi Hendrix - "Fire"

My extended family was only mildly to moderately musical - a few of them played instruments or sang, but it wasn't really a dominating interest for them like it has been for me.  But one of the more musically-inclined was one of my older cousins, who was a guitarist in some obscure local rock and metal bands in the 80s and 90s.  He would often play some guitar at family gatherings, and at one point gave me a tape that had a bunch of songs from Hendrix's live Winterland box set.  This tune in particular really floored me, a killer quartet of Hendrix's riffing/soloing, vocals, Mitch Mitchell's rock-injected but jazz-fueled drumming, and Noel Redding's bass anchoring down everything.  I'm generally more of a studio music fan, and Jimi's done excellent work there as well, but he's one of those guys that really came alive on the stage, with harder-hitting, more ferocious interpretations in front of a crowd, and this one is no exception. 

Metallica - "Fuel"

So I've mentioned that I didn't listen to the radio much on my own until high school, but one of my sessions before then happened to find me capturing this song (plus "The Memory Remains"), and another that we'll get to in the next chapter.  I'd never really heard speed and power in music like this before.  The Load albums are legendarily divisive, and this song at this point is probably way overplayed in culture, sporting events and such - yet when I can tap into my early memories, this was a linchpin tune to push me into seeking heavier, faster, and harder music.  I don't need to introduce this board to them, most of you are already even much bigger fans than I am.  I burned out on them after overplaying their music as I increasingly got into their discography over the next few years, but Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets are still classic albums.  ...And Justice For All would be up there too if it didn't have such an anemic mix courtesy of Lars being petty towards Jason.  That I consider to be still one of the more underrated things about Reload in particular (and also Garage Inc.) - it has possibly their best guitar tones, and I love the punchiness of Lars' kick.  "Low Man's Lyric" has gained new life for me as well due to my increasing obsession with the hurdy gurdy in the past year. 

Tracks #31-#33:
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0T4IGrbCzG3ZV4128ZKOl5
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLISicXPLSax9twb8XnAQzmWSaoESqHpUc

Edward & Alex Van Halen - "Respect the Wind"
Jimi Hendrix - "Fire"
Metallica - "Fuel"
« Last Edit: March 01, 2024, 12:11:35 PM by LithoJazzoSphere »

Offline TAC

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Albums - surprise #53 - not My Dying...
« Reply #243 on: March 01, 2024, 12:24:19 PM »
Edward & Alex Van Halen - "Respect the Wind"
Jimi Hendrix - "Fire"
Metallica - "Fuel"

Interesting read there, Litho.
I had never heard Respect The Wind before. It's pretty nice. A couple of thoughts on this.
It was fine and all, but it really drives home the point just how unproductive Eddie was after VHIII. And I'm sorry, VH album or EVH solo album, it still blows. Just awful. You're no worse for wear, but jumping into VH with VHIII is...bad timing.


Fire is a great tune. It was very influential in my musical upbringing as well. Always on the radio when I was younger. Can't say I was ever crazy about Hendrix though, but Mitch Mitchell always blew me away. I had Are You Experienced? on 8-track but I've never bought anything by him on CD other than the MSG show a few years ago.


Fuel is a GREAT tune. That's a dreadful album though. Just dreadful. It's literally the only good song on it.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums........or WTF.  ;D
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Maximum Overdrive
« Reply #244 on: March 01, 2024, 12:31:17 PM »
VH the party rock band with Diamond Dave is the least interesting facet of them to me, I just prefer them in their more serious modalities.  I think I told this story in the VH countdown thread, but another of my limited and random radio sessions was happening to catch the live release of VHIII, which I taped, where they played the whole thing with band commentary in-between.  That was my first full album experience with them.  I think I'm going to be alone with HOF in my admiration for it unfortunately. 

Hendrix's guitar just has so much more firepower on the Winterland live version than the AYE studio one that was (and probably still is) a radio staple, though I love both.  The higher live tempo also suits it better.

I haven't listened to the entirety of Reload in quite a few years now, but "Prince Charming" I consider on a similar level to "Fuel".