Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Best of Bad Boy

Although tracks from the United Artists' releases are missing in action, Best of Bad Boy contains cuts from their '80's releases of Private Party, Electric Eyes and Girl on the Run along with two new songs. This CD actually resurrects the band out from obscurity to a Midwestern must see act.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Electric Eyes

Continuing with another entry from Milwaukee's Bad Boy, this is their fourth studio release from 1984, Electric Eyes. With Xeno (original Cheap Trick vocalist) now at the helm, the melodies are more prominent than ever. Tunes like "Cheat on Me" and "Thunder and Lightning" became popular regional hits.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Private Party

Bad Boy's third album released in 1981 on their own Streetwise Records, shows the band moving forward. The album swaggers with confidence at every angle, complete with charging guitars, heavyhanded rhythms and a charismatic vocal approach that demands your immediate attention from the very first note. Private Party is the sound of a hungry band on fire and hellbent on making a powerful musical statement.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Band That Milwaukee Made Famous

A southeast Wisconsin local favorite, Bad Boy released their debut in 1977. Signed by the now defunct United Artists label, Bad Boy rapidly grew national interest opening up for acts like Cheap Trick. Blending sounds from Cheap Trick, BTO and KISS proves Bad Boy simply just can ROCK!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Coming Up for Air

"A legend in the making!" were the words spoken after a Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam concert I saw in 2009. Never before I've so much emotion and passion in one man's guitar work and the gruffy tenor of his just left me tingling. Back Door Slam's second effort shows the maturing of Knowles. Working with Peter Frampton, they somehow perfectly tie past and present together and bridging the generations.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Roll Away

Young blues guitar prodigy, Davy Knowles and his band burst into the scene in 2007 with an unbelievably great album , Roll Away. At a young tender age of 20, Knowles' crisply sizzling licks and gruff, wise, and pained-beyond-his-years vocals, captures great vibes and intensity while bringing fresh invention. A band with HUGE amounts of potential to be legends.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Bachman-Turner Overdrive was pretty much was at the end of their road at this point. Released in 1977. It was the last album that Randy Bachman would be a part of with BTO until the "reunion" in 1983. Everything flows nice enough, resulting in a consistent and easy-to-listen-to batch of songs; it's just that what's missing is the antagonism. Outside of a few standouts, it's all very B-grade non-offensive rock.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Best of BTO (So Far)

This album an effective summary of BTO's career, the perfect choice for anyone looking for just one album from the hard-rocking Canadians.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Head On

This is near the end of the story, BTO one of the group's last albums to feature Randy Bachman. Bachman's dominance of the group is apparent -- his face alone fills the front cover. His unhappiness is apparent,you can tell he's not including the group. By the time of next BTO album, was gone, and their hit-making days were behind them.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Four Wheel Drive

Like their previous album, Not Fragile, this album is made up of the band's lunch-pail rock & roll sound, combining ample amounts of factory-made blues to street-dirty guitar rock. Their heaviest, yet. Four Wheel Drive doesn't offer up any changes or surprises, and an expected eight tracks of guitar-based rock is truly what you get. Unfortunately for BTO, they would start to fall apart after this album.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Not Fragile

To the album's benefit, most of the material on Not Fragile are the band's much-liked rock anthems, ranging from the hyper-distorted title track, through the famous "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet." Indeed, for hard rock fanatics, it doesn't come much better than this on this album. Not Fragile is one of the finest arena rock albums of the era, featuring all the hallmarks of what makes a classic release in the genre.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bachman-Turner Overdrive II

Putting their minds to it and crafting hooky, radio-friendly music was something BTO was quite capable of. Keeping that gargle-with-Draino diesel sound down to a minimum, BTO belted out some seriously great tunes. "Takin' Care of Business" and "Let It Ride" climbed to the top of the charts providing the the break through the band needed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bachman-Turner Overdrive

A fusion of Lynyrd Skynyrd-style Southern/trucker rock and ZZ Top's anthemic arena rock, except it's from Canada... This self titled is a very consistent set with no hits and a focus on bottom-heavy sounds. Not heavy metal, more like molten metal, oozing and dripping without the high-energy ZZ Top and Led Zeppelin injected into their driving numbers. Kinda of reminds of blue collar rock.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Anthology brings together ten of this band's best songs in a short but concise collection of the Babys' hits. Although the songs are simply arranged and the lyrics are plain, there is still some music worth hearing among this set.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Broken Heart

The Baby's second album is collection of songs that are tight, catchy, and full of rock & roll conviction. Highlights include "Give Me Your Love," a steamy mid-tempo rocker that shows off Michael Corby's skill at the keyboards, and the title track, which balances its hard-hitting attack with catchy pop hooks to create an effective, guitar-driven slab of power pop.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Amar Caballero

Babe Ruth's sophomore effort, proves the band can step outside their comfort zone and take risks. Different genres and styles are featured here. If you can sink your teeth into music that has a rock edge tinged with classical and Latino leanings, all wrapped up in a thin coating of R&B, this album delivers the goods.

Monday, June 13, 2011

First Base

First Base was British hard rock group Babe Ruth's biggest success, both in terms of popular and critical acclaim. This LP defined an interesting junction between hard rock and progressive rock. The two driving forces behind this album were guitarist Alan Shacklock, who wrote most of the material, and vocalist Janita Haan, who came out as the perfect balance between Janis Joplin and Robert Plant. Highlights include the powerful rock number "Wells Fargo".

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sign in Please

Despite their long-haired, pretty-boy image and the occasional hot guitar solo, Autograph was one of the more mainstream hard rock bands associated with the L.A. metal scene. And though it spawned only one hit (the MTV favorite "Turn Up the Radio"), their 1984 debut, Sign in Please, is a solid collection of hook-heavy tunes.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


It's easy to assume that the Rage Against the Machine/Soundgarden supergroup has finally turned into an actual working band -- either that or the group is working hard to get to the end of their contract so they can go their separate ways. Here, the two are integrated fully into a distinctive sound, one that's tight and focused, one that's aggressive but not overly heavy. By putting emphasis on rhythm, Audioslave displays an overt funk and soul influence here, which is a surprise...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Out of Exile

Unlike the first record, Out of Exile sounds like the product of a genuine band, where all four members of the band contribute equally to achieve a distinctive, unified personality. It's still possible to hear elements of both Rage and Soundgarden here, but the two parts fuse relatively seamlessly, and there's a confidence to the band that stands in direct contrast to the halting, clumsy attack on the debut.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I've always been a Soundgarden fan, yet I wasn't never really was hip to the Rage Against the Machine. Out of curiosity, I got this album. Not bad, yet not the greatest music I ever heard. Former Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell sounds great and RATM's Tom Morello's guitar playing in sensational. So what's there not to like? Just couldn't put my finger on it...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


The group's only release for Columbia is a superb piece of Southern rock, timeless in its lyrical sensibilities, which are all voiced in a smoothly raspy manner by lead singer Ronnie Hammond. Barry Bailey's and J.R. Cobbs's guitars grind and crunch along, and Paul Goddard's and Roy Yeagers's bass and drums provide a rock-hard foundation to this celebration of Southern manhood. This may ARS's most hard rocking album yet! Sad to say, it was the last release from the band for a decade....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Champagne Jam

Champagne Jam is one of the group's strongest releases: a seamless marriage of Southern rock muscle and uptown blues dress. Standouts include the almost nouveau Confederate rocker "Large Time" and the peak bluesy pop blend of the title track. "Imaginary Lover" became a major hit for the band. Beyond the few best-of discs available, fans will definitely want to make this the first title they consider from the band's regular album catalog.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Rock and Roll Alternative

After five albums and four years of trying, Atlanta Rhythm Section finally gets a breakthrough. This time their mixture of country and rock finally found its audience, largely due to the single "So Into You". It was only fair: ARS had perfected a sound that was lighter and more accessible than the Allman Brothers/Lynyrd Skynyrd school of Southern rock, but no less accomplished, and A Rock and Roll Alternative was the embodiment of it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Like the Phoenix of the title of their 2008 album, Asia has risen from the ashes and made their first studio album with their original lineup in a quarter century. Taken from they left off on Alpha, Asia brings back the sonic sound and adds some complexity to their music-making this their best album since their debut.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Then & Now

Asia returns to the studio with Steve Lukather and other guitar players to put out a few new songs for the compilation, Then & Now. It becomes apparent Asia is becoming a revolving door of musicians. I had lost interest in them at this point.

Friday, June 3, 2011


John Wetton returns to the fold and Steve Howe leaves. Howe's replacement Mandy Meyer from Krokus brings a more of heavier approach to Asia. While it may be an attempt to revitalize a sinking band, the heavy metal meets the new wave version of prog rock fell with resounding thud...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

At Budokan Tokyo, Japan 12/6/1983

Perhaps one the first bootlegs into my collection. Recorded this one off of the MTV special "Asia in Asia" with a boom box stuck in front of the tube. Although a muddied recording, I remember the show quite well. Greg Lake (King Crimson, ELP) had filled in for the departed John Wetton on the bass and vocals. The ending result wasn't too shabby due to the similarities between Wetton and Lake. At that point, Asia was starting to fall apart at the seams.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Asia's sophomore album, Alpha. It focuses almost entirely on pop and pop-rock sounds and is almost devoid of progressive rock elements. Nothing on Alpha packs the sheer sonic force of the band's debut. Instead, much of the record is lightweight both lyrically and musically, leaning heavier on keyboard-laden ballads. Not the direction I'd wanted to see the band go, yet the album made platinum status.