KISS on My List!

On Eddie Trunk’s SiriusXM Volume show Trunk Nation, he revealed his Top 20 KISS songs and asked musicians to post theirs. I’m posting those below!

Here, I’m going to list my Top 20! Post yours in the comments or Tweet me @SonicRev!

Sonic Revelation’s KISS Top 20

20. I

19. Baby Driver

18. 2,000 Man

17. Goin’ Blind

16. I Was Made For Lovin’ You

15. Rocket Ride

14. God of Thunder

13. Two Timer

12. Firehouse

11. Take Me

10. Love Her All I Can

9. Love Gun

8. I Stole Your Love

7. Deuce

6. 100,000 Years

5. Parasite

4. Strutter

3. Shock Me

2. Detroit Rock City

1. I Want You

As promised, here the lists from Eddie and others!

Eddie Trunk:

John 5

20. 100,000 years

19. Take Me

18. Hard Luck Woman

17. Almost Human

16. Love Her All I Can

15. I Want You

14. Strange Ways

13. Shock Me

12. I Love it Loud

11. Do You Love Me?

10. Torpedo Girl

9. War Machine

8. Rocket Ride

7. Rock Bottom

6. Parasite

5. Mr. Speed

4. Detroit Rock City

3. Black Diamond (Alive!)

2. Deuce

1. Goin’ Blind

Tom Morello

20. War Machine

19. Heaven’s on Fire

18. Goin´ Blind

17. 100,000 Years (Alive!)

16. I Stole Your Love

15. Cold Gin (Alive!)

14. Calling Dr. Love

13. A World Without Heroes

12. Watchin’ You (Alive!)

11. C’mon and Love Me (Alive!)

10. Makin’ Love

9. Almost Human

8. Creatures of the Night

7. I Want You

6. Deuce (Alive!)

5. Love Gun

4. Rock and Roll All Nite (Alive!)

3. God of Thunder

2. Black Diamond (Alive!)

1. Detroit Rock City

Corey Taylor

20. Shout it out Loud

19. Deuce

18. Got to Choose

17. Creatures of the Night

16. God of Thunder

15. Black Diamond

14. Goin’ Blind

13. C´mon and Love Me

12. Parasite

11. Calling Dr. Love

10. Let Me Know

9. Sure Know Something

8. Watchin’ You

7. Let Me Go, Rock and Roll

6. Cold Gin

5. Shock Me

4. King of the Night Time World

3. 100,000 Years

2. She

1. Love Gun

Charlie Benante

20. Cold Gin

19. King of the Night Time World

18. Sweet Pain

17. All the Way

16. Nothin’ to Lose

15. See You in Your Dreams

14. Take Me

13. Watchin’ You (Alive!)

12. All American Man

11. Do You Love Me?

10. Room Service

9. Rock Bottom

8. I Stole Your Love

7. She

6. Got to Choose (Alive!)

5. Deuce (Alive!)

4. Calling Dr. Love (Double Platinum)

3. Detroit Rock City

2. Parasite (Alive!)

1. I Want You

Sebastian Bach

20. Anything for my Baby

19. She (Alive!)

18. Rocket Ride

17. Let Me Know

16. I Was Made for Lovin’ You

15. Naked City

14. Is That You?

13. Almost Human

12. Christine Sixteen

11. Deuce (Alive!)

10. God of Thunder

9. Flaming Youth

8. Rock Bottom

7. Strange Ways

6. Larger Than Life

5. All American Man

4. Love Her All I Can

3. All the Way

2. Calling Dr. Love

1. Take Me

Frank Bello (no order except for number 1)

Sweet Pain

Take Me

Cold Gin

Deuce

Goin’ Blind

Detroit Rock City

Makin’ Love

Rocket Ride

Ladies Room

Love Gun

Comin’ Home

100,000 Years

Black Diamond

Flaming Youth

Strutter

I Stole Your Love

Hard Luck Woman

Watchin’ You

Let Me Go, Rock and Roll

Number 1: Got to Choose

Chris Jericho (no order except for number 1)

Heaven’s On Fire

Who Wants to be Lonely

Unholy

Sure Know Something

Heart of Chrome

Turn on the Night

I Just Wanna

A Million to One

Hide Your Heart

Love Gun

Dirty Livin’

Parasite

Save Your Love

I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You

Room Service

Ladies Room (Alive II)

Makin’ Love (Alive II)

100,000 Years (Alive!)

War Machine

Number 1: Black Diamond (Alive!)

Hope you enjoyed reading these lists! Check Eddie Trunk’s Twitter to see more fan lists he’s retweeting and post yours in the comments or Tweet me @SonicRev!

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Under the Influence: A Tribute to the Masters

On March 3rd 1986, Metallica released their third studio album: Master of Puppets, making today the 32nd anniversary of the album. Any metalhead can tell you the importance of this album with responses ranging from the newfound maturity of Metallica’s sound to the tragic significance of Cliff Burton’s bass playing. However, if you’re one of the few people left in the world who hasn’t even heard a snippet of Puppets, you don’t have to take my word for it.  Here are some statements that will convince you to spin and/or stream that record, even if you are many years late to the party.

Note: The quotes included in this blog are not originally from this website. I am linking the source material to give credit to the originator of any content that is not mine.

Lzzy Hale of Halestorm:

“…Hetfield is just a bad ass. I always felt that if I was a dude I would want to be James Hetfield because he is all that is man and he’s also one of the most amazing rhythm guitar players. Everybody talks about lead, but the rhythm is the meat and potatoes and without that base nobody can do anything on top. And he’s got a forearm of steel, I’m still trying to get that down.” Click here for the original article on Musicradar.com

M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold:

“If I was to play any song for anybody asking, ‘What is metal about?’ I’d just play ‘Master of Puppets.’ The progressions and the bridge are brilliant. How many times have people tried to rip off that bridge where the whole thing breaks down and you go into different keys and try to come back out, but no one can do it as good as that song does it. It’s metal/thrash songwriting 101 all over that thing, and it’s got enough diversity to where it keeps your interest, which is … It’s unbelievable. Unbelievable record. From front to back, it’s just brilliant.” Click here for the original article on Rollingstone.com

Matt Heafy of Trivium:

“…it was Hetfield who really brought me into metal. To see their live shows and see what a commanding presence he was, and to see how good of a guitar player he is. So, he got me into everything, then I bridged out from there.” Click here for the original article on Blabbermouth.net

And if hearing from these present-day metal and hard rock musicians isn’t enough to convince you, here are statements from The fathers of metal:

Tony Iommi:

“My son bought me your last album, and it’s one of first recordings I’ve received in a long time that I can praise without reservation. I listen to it in my car all the time.” (This is from a 1992 interview with both Hetfield and Iommi. It is most likely that Iommi is referring to the Black Album, which was released in 1991.) Click here for the original article on Guitarworld.com

Ozzy Osbourne:

“I took Metallica on tour with me after the release of Master of Puppets. The album was a milestone for the band and for heavy metal.” Click here for the original article on Rollingstone.com

There you have it. Words from musicians who began their careers after the 1986 release of Master of Puppets along with those who inspired Metallica to begin their career as metal musicians. These quotes are not only appropriate for the anniversary of Puppets but also show the power of influence. Whether you’re a musician, writer, artist, or athlete, you never know who is watching and taking notes. Whatever it is that keeps you going, keep it up! You might just fire up the next generation. 

 

Classical Classic Rock: Part Three

“Flight of Icarus” by Iron Maiden 

Original Story: In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a collection of poems focused on etiologies (or origins), we find the most popular retelling of the myth of Daedalus and Icarus. King Minos exiles Daedalus to the island of Crete and Daedalus plans to leave the island by taking the only path where Minos can’t stop him: the sky. He takes some feathers and arranges them so they mimic a bird’s wings and then binds them with wax (keep that detail in mind). As Daedalus and his son Icarus are preparing for flight, Daedalus gives a warning. Icarus is told that he should not fly too close to the water (drowning isn’t fun) and he should not get too close to the sun (getting scorched by the sun is also not fun). Basically,  Icarus needs to fly the middle course and everything will be fine. Daedalus then kisses his son and Ovid’s writing hints that this is the last time Icarus will embrace his father. Daedalus takes flight and Icarus follows. They are seen by some fishermen who think the flying figures in the sky are gods (how’s that for a fishing story to tell your buddies?) and Icarus begins to fly higher. The wax on Icarus’ wings melts and he falls into the sea. In a heart wrenching ending, Daedalus turns around, shouts for his son, and finally locks eyes with the feathers that have fallen in the waves. At the end of the story, we see the etiology (or origin) that Ovid explains: Daedalus buries the body of his son on an island that, from that point on, takes its name from Icarus: Icaria.

Image result for icaria on a map

At the bottom of this post, I’m including a link to the full text of the poem, since it’s a short read. It even includes the original Latin text to the English for you ambitious types.

Iron Maiden’s Take: It’s not unusual for Iron Maiden to make historical or literary references in their songs, but one thing that is surprising about “Flight of Icarus” (from the 1983 album Piece of Mind)  is that Steve Harris, bassist and primary songwriter for Iron Maiden, did not write this song. It was all Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith. In their portrayal, we don’t find the same tender relationship that Ovid shows. Daedalus is actually TELLING Icarus to fly closer to the sun. We see this in the opening of the song and the chorus: “As the sun breaks, above the ground /An old man stands on the hill… / His eyes are ablaze / See the madman in his gaze / Fly, on your way, like an eagle, / Fly as high as the sun.” This is a stark difference from Ovid’s portrayal of a caring father who tells his son to keep the middle course and leads the way off the island of Crete. In the second verse, Icarus declares, “In the name of God my father I fly” and then takes off. As the song continues, Icarus realizes that his dad isn’t a faithful father: “Now he knows his father betrayed / Now his wings turn to ashes to ashes his grave.” That’s the end of the story and the song closes with the chorus.

As mentioned earlier, Iron Maiden isn’t afraid of including allusions in their songwriting, and in many cases, the lyrics are faithful to the original story. For instance, look at “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” from their 1984 release Powerslave. There are sections of lyrics that are taken verbatim from Samuel Coleridge’s poem of the same title. So what was the purpose of changing the story of Daedalus and Icarus? Maybe including a madman of a father fit more with the metal genre. It could be that having father and son working against each other just makes for a better story. Either way, all that matters is that the song is great, and if you haven’t heard it in awhile, scroll up to the top of the post and give it a listen.

Source: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=2879

Read the story here!

Classical Classic Rock: Part Two

“God of Thunder” by KISS

Original Story: While Paul Stanley never refers to a specific myth throughout his lyrics, he includes many elements of Greek mythology in Gene Simmons’s signature song.

In the very beginning of the song, Stanley writes: “Daughter of Aphrodite / Hear my words and take heed.” Aphrodite (Venus to the Romans) is the goddess of sexual love, making it appropriate for her to appear a KISS song. It is true that Aphrodite had daughters. There’s Beroe, daughter of Adonis and goddess of the city Beroe; Harmonia, daughter of Ares and goddess of Harmony; Adrestia, also a daughter of Ares and goddess of just revenge; Rhodos, daughter of Poseidon and goddess of Rhodes. Also, there’s a group of goddesses known as the CharitiesAglaea (“Splendor”), Euphrosyne (“Mirth”), and Thalia (“Good Cheer”). These are goddesses of charm, beauty and fertility and are said to be the daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite, although they have also been attributed to Zeus and Eurynome. It’s uncertain which goddess Stanley was writing about, and it is likely that he may have not even had one in mind.

Stanley also references the home of the Greek gods and goddesses: “I was born on Olympus / To my father a son.” To the Greeks, this was a very real place. Check out the map below to see its location: Image result for mt olympus greece on map

In Greek mythology, Mt. Olympus is the home of the gods, and in reality, it is the highest mountain in Greece.

The title of the song “God of Thunder” may seem like a god that Stanley created for his song, but, although Simmons might argue with this, the actual god of Thunder is Zeus. Here’s how the story goes: Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades are all brothers, and after the Olympians (Zeus’ generation) defeated the Titans (the generation before him), the three brothers drew lots to decide who would rule each part of the world. Zeus chose the sky, Poseidon chose the sea, and Hades, who drew last, got left with the underworld. However, there is no god of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Greek myth (unless you count Sisyphus, but that’s a different kind of rock) and Simmons would likely be ecstatic to claim that title.

KISS’S Take: Overall, KISS uses allusions and elements of Greek myth to create an atmosphere that aligns with Gene Simmons’s demon character. However, they do not seem concerned with being accurate or staying faithful to the original stories. The characters that the founding members of KISS created are rooted in elements of fantasy and the fact that Stanley included myth in his lyrics is simply playing into that factor. KISS lyrics are typically, if not always, indicative of fun and partying (yes, partying EVERY DAY), and it would be out of character for KISS to start taking themselves seriously by using deep allusions in their lyrics. At the top of this post, I chose to include a live performance, rather than the studio version. Personally, I prefer the tempo of their live version, and let’s be honest, if you’re going to listen to KISS, you might as well listen to them in 1977, in Detroit Rock City.

Sources: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=3265
http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/AphroditeFamily.html

 

This Day in Rock History

April 8th 1975

If you were alive on this day, you must have had a devastating existence up to this point. You would have lived without hearing Tom Hamilton’s hypnotizing bass line in “Sweet Emotion.” And you wouldn’t have even thought of humming Brad Whitford’s and Joe Perry’s bluesy guitar riff after hearing a friend tell you to “Walk this Way.” You would have lived without Aerosmith’s Toys in the Attic.

Since this is Aerosmith’s third studio album, you (still working in the understanding that you’re hypothetically alive in the 1970s) would have at least had a chance to hear Aerosmith, even though their first album, the eponymous Aerosmith, achieved little commercial success. It is unimaginable today that an album with the Classic Rock staple, “Dream On” was once widely unknown. For their second album, Get Your Wings, Aerosmith brought in a new producer, Jack Douglas. He continued to produce their albums up until the 1979 album Night in the Ruts. Their second album was more successful than the first. Get Your Wings reached 74 on the Billboard charts in 1974, and when listening to this album in comparison to the first, one can tell that this album is closer to the signature Aerosmith sound known today. However, there was still room for Aerosmith to move up the charts and gain recognition.

Commercially, their third album was more successful than their previous two. Toys in the Attic peaked at number 11 on the Billboard charts in ’75. They also had success with their singles, “Sweet Emotion” and “Walk this Way.” In the Billboard Hot 100, “Sweet Emotion” reached 36 in 1975, and “Walk This Way” reached #10 in 1977, giving the world two classic guitar riffs to hum when inspiration strikes.  The album has grown in its success and influence since its initial release. It even led to their comeback in 1986 when Joe Perry and Steven Tyler collaborated with Run D.M.C in their cover of “Walk this Way.” According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the album has since sold 8 million copies, making it an 8x Platinum record. Today, the album is available in many different mediums than were initially available. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and dust off your old record player, break out your classic CD player, or even look into more popular mediums like Spotify or an eight-track player. 220px-Aerosmith_-_Toys_in_the_Attic

Classical Classic Rock: Part One

This is the first part of a series. I am compiling a list of Classic Rock songs that make reference to Greek and Roman mythology. Each of these entries will have two parts: I will explain the original story and then look at the songwriter’s take on that story, examining the ways he or she stays to true to the myth and the ways he or she deviates from the original story.

“Tales of Brave Ulysses” by Cream

Original Story: Ulysses, known to the Greeks as Odysseus, was the last soldier to come home from the Trojan War. He spent 10 years trying to get home (after spending 10 years fighting!). Homer’s Epic Poem, The Odyssey, gives the story of his journey home. It is truly an epic tale; Odysseus faces many obstacles on his way back, ranging from a Cyclops to a sea monster! One of the most popular obstacles he faces is the Sirens. In the poem, the Sirens have a song so beautiful that anyone who hears it wishes to stay with the Sirens and never leave. Odysseus wants to hear the song, so he has his crewmen tie him to the mast of their ship. This makes it possible for him to hear the song but impossible for him to leave. Meanwhile, his crew is rowing the ship, but their ears are plugged with beeswax so they can’t get distracted by the Sirens’ song.

 

Cream’s Take: Unlike Homer, Eric Clapton and Martin Sharp use the Roman name: Ulysses. The song mainly alludes to the Sirens, mythological beings that are typically depicted as women who are either part bird or part mermaid. The song gets it right in the references to the Sirens: “With the tales of brave Ulysses / How his naked ears were tortured /By the sirens sweetly singing.”  This line also sets up Clapton’s guitar solo, making one wonder if the Sirens’ song sounds nearly as beautiful as his guitar tone. However, the song also makes reference to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and sexual desire. In Homer’s poem, this goddess is only seen in a story that a bard tells; she has no direct interaction with Odysseus. Clapton and Sharp may have chosen to refer to her, since more people are familiar with Aphrodite than they are Circe or Calypso, the nymphs that Odysseus/Ulysses actually “interacted” with in the poem (*wink wink*). Interestingly enough, Aphrodite is the Greek name for the goddess, even though the title of the song refers to Odysseus’/Ulysses’ Roman name.

Source: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=1367