• The Story of Rock n Roll

    by James Daubeney

NEWSFLASH !!! The Story Of Rock And Roll Radio Show can now be heard on Mix 93.8 FM every Thursday at Midnight until 2 am.

The Story of Rock and Roll is a hilarious, irreverent and fascinating trip to a different world, a world of Classic Rock and Heavy Metal where everything is about the music.  James Daubeney was born in the UK in 1966 and grew up in South Africa.  He lived through the glory days of 70’s Rock, the energy of Punk and the fun times of Hair Metal before it gave way to Grunge.  The book is a rollercoaster ride through these times as James takes us through the music, the bands he saw and the bands he played in.

A successful career in engineering and business never blunted his true passion for Rock and Roll and somehow he managed to balance it all.  This book is about music powered by electric guitars, growing up surrounded by it and all the interesting characters that were thereby associated.  James cares deeply about this amazing music and tells the story of his life against the backdrop of what was happening in the Rock ‘n’ Roll universe at the time.  The Story of Rock and Roll is one man’s perspective of the music and has the power to take you back so that you too can remember the good times and the songs that defined the era!

The Story of Rock and Roll

‘’Thoroughly enjoyed this trip down memory lane, and not just musically but also as a fantastic reminder of what life was like for those of us who were so blessedly fortunate to have been born in the 60s and 70s.’’
~ David Kaplan

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The Story of Rock and Roll eBook

Don't Take Our Word for It

Bloody brilliant, thank you James. Can’t wait for the next one.

Graeme Meiring

Raucous, roller coaster of a ride through a torrent of musical mania – in true South African rocka roller style! This book epitomises a little something in all us baby boomers, and even more so if you were born in the 60’s and in particular on the East Rand.  If you drenched yourself in 70’s rock, 80’s punk and metal – then this is an essential read.  Encompassing the typical rock and roll cocktail of booze, chicks, car crashes, national service, boarding school, blowing up shit – from the far East Rand through the jols in Hillbrow/ Joburg to a crazy train through Cape Town and back again, written with ripping wit and an astounding memory for the finite detail, colouring words into vivid imagery leaping from every page.

Scores an 11/10 on the VasOmeter

Marq Vas

What a journey down memory lane! Had some laughs and even some tears – it was a goose bump ride all the way.

Lorraine Beetge

James I am really impressed and I must say that it’s the best R 200 bucks I have spent in a while. Your passion has driven you, defined you. James Daubeney Metal kop, Rock professor. the man with a song in his heart and Rock and Roll in his soul. Pursue your dreams, be the best rocker you can be. Respect.

Derek Howarth

Eye wateringly funny and very, very authentic. Well done.

Mike Cathie

You have a great knack for storytelling. It’s a parallel universe for me, English country boy, private school meets hippies and LA new age. Amazing new world. And beneath it all a real discipline you hide so hard. Hey I might even get to like some metal. Gonna try. Good stuff dude.

Jon Foster- Pedley

Thanx for the fantastic story of R&R. Opened it this morning with coffee….closed it now (21h11 ed) and it feels like you have been here a week and we drank tons of beer… lol…tears of laughter every time someone ”smokes the crack pipe” and makes some brilliant decision….
Good job, really enjoyed it.

Pierre T

’What a fucking great read – Thank you I loved it.

Jacqui Arthur

THE TIMELINE

This website is designed for you to experience the songs and the artists that shaped my book The Story of Rock and Roll.  Ideally you should read it but you don’t have to, you can soak it all up from the site.  If these songs don’t make you feel good then you just don’t get Rock and Roll, or in the words of Billy Connolly “It’s not fucking for you”.  I haven’t necessarily chosen the highest quality video’s because that’s not what it is all about.  I want to get across the feeling of the times when I first heard these songs.  In the early days everything was analogue, it was transistor radio’s, vinyl records, one or two camera angles, lots of trippy hippy effects with lighting and some pretty terrible miming. The video’s included are all here for a reason, some of them should get you covered in goose bumps, some of them may get you putting your hands over your eyes saying  ”How did we think this shit was cool”.  Every now and again I will put in more than one clip to emphasise a point or show a contrast.  The songs are roughly chronological, some are out of place because I found them later and sometimes they fit in with a theme of what was going on in The Story of Rock and Roll at the time.  You can view it just going down the timeline or you can look at them a chapter at a time or you can just pick and choose a post of a song you like.  The Blog page is right up to date with anything and everything that I am thinking about musically Right Here, Right Now. What should really be doing is getting a beer, putting your feet up, plugging into  some decent speakers, turning it up and letting all this Rock and Roll wash over you in one big fat wave of happiness.

INTRO

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Alex’s Funeral, The Big Chill

This may seen out of place in the timeline but I start with it because in the Introduction to The Story of Rock and Roll I use it to explain just how powerful great music can be and how it can transport you from terrible lows to incredible highs.  It’s all about the big chords coming through all that fucking morbidity. When I saw this movie for the first time I got goose bumps , I still get them everytime The Stones fire up ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ which is exactly why this clip is so important.  Hilton Bennet who was a great mate and has a bit part in TSORR got me into this movie and I am forever grateful for that.   Read more >

1976

[RELEASED 1975]

Yesterdayshero

Yesterdays Hero, John Paul Young

John Paul Young released Yesterday’s Hero in 1975 and it blew my mind.  I heard it on my little transistor radio and used to wait all day to hear it again.  I was 9 at the time and in Chapter 1 of The Story of Rock and Roll covers it in detail.  This song more than anything else set me on the path of a lifetime of chasing down rock and roll.  Read more >

1973

[RELEASED 1976]

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Rock On, David Essex

David Essex had some big hits, he was sort of a teen idol but there was a lot more to him than that. My best friend Mike and I picked up on him on a soundtrack to the film That’ll Be the Day.  He went on to star in Silver Dream Racer and was on Jeff Wayne’s War of the World’s. Read more >

1976

[RELEASED 1973]

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Revolution, The Beatles

The Beatles were all characters, everyone had their favourite, they were recognisable even by silhouette.  As a kid I liked Paul the best but in later years I started to prefer John.  George was an early guitar hero of mine and yep, Ringo was a drummer, a fucking drummer.  My relationship with fucking drummers is well documented in The Story of Rock and Roll. Read more >

1976

[RELEASED 1970]

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Richard Cory, Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel were huge in our household, Mum took these records out at the Benoni Library and we would have two weeks to listen to it to death.  My best track was Richard Cory, once again in hindsight because it was a bit heavier than the rest of the album.   Read more >

1978

[RELEASED 1978]

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ZX Dan, Radio Rats

I explain the importance of the Radio Rats in Chapter 1.  They are unsung heroes in my view, they probably had more influence on the SA music scene than most bands.  A lot of bands in SA in the 70’s played covers.  I was too young to ever see them but they featured often in Music Maker in grainy black and white pictures in grimy Jo’burg pubs full of pissed students.  Other than Rabbitt who, image wise were more like teen idols for girls, the Radio Rats were the first SA band I became aware of.  Even more exciting for me as a 10 year old was that were an East Rand band which, with a bit of a stretch, made them hometown heroes for me.      Read more >

1978

[RELEASED 1978]

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Big Shot, Billy Joel

The first album I ever bought was 52nd Street which is a bit embarrassing considering the way my music taste was heading.  I loved the song ‘Big shot’ and it was enough to get me to part with cash and start a life time of me giving a shit load of money to record companies.    Read more >

1978

[RELEASED 1973]

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Rosalyn, David Bowie

‘Hey Rosalyn’ was track one on the album Pinups, the second album I ever bought.  This time I hit a home run and this was an album I could be proud of.  Pinups was quickly followed into my record collection by the incredible album The Man Who Sold the World.  I was blown away by the energy on Rosalyn, the guitars and drums all seemed very heavy at the time and then at the end there was this amazing guitar slide my Mick Ronson taking them straight into the opening saxophone of track 2 ‘Here Comes the Night’.  Read more >

1978

[RELEASED 1973]

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Roxanne, The Police

Such a special song, those opening Gm F6 Gm Dm7 chords, the bass line, a little laugh and then that unearthly high vocal.  The Police took the UK and then the world by storm.  Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1979]

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Someone's looking at you, Boomtown Rats

In the book I explain how I happened to find the Boomtown Rats when I was really shopping for the Police.  This was probably the most serendipitous moment of my life.  ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ was a huge hit for the Boomtown Rats but as far as I was concerned the best tracks were the rest of them.  There is no crap track on this album it is fucking perfection.  Read more >

1978

[RELEASED 1978]

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Davy's on the road again, Manfred Mann

There was something fantastic about this song.  I just loved that simple driving bass line.  I first heard it on the radio and it blew me away.  Manfred Mann was a South African so we claimed him as our own. He had a massive hit with “The Mighty Quinn” which was a Dylan song and then another with “Blinded By the Light’ which was a Springsteen Song.  Most people didn’t realise they were covers and when they eventually heard the original artist they thought they were kak compared to Manfred Mann’s versions.  Check out the hilarious bit of video on VH1 Songwriters series where Bruce explains how Manfred got the words wrong and sang ”douche” instead of ”deuce”.  Manfred’s version was so popular the pretty much everyone sings douche now.  Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1978]

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Street Fighting Man, The Rolling Stones

I got into The Stones a bit late because obviously when they first started making waves I was about 2 years old.  The Stones struck a chord with me because they were so much more, for want of a better word, dangerous than the Beatles.  They were rebels, antiheroes, bad guys and they appealed to me in a way that The Beatles didn’t.  Like Fender vs. Gibson, Martin vs. Taylor, BMW vs. Mercedes you pick sides in life and when it came to The Beatles vs. The Stones there was no contest in my mind, Stones for life.  Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1965]

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My Generation, The Who

I got into The Stones a bit late because obviously when they first started making waves I was about 2 years old.  The Stones struck a chord with me because they were so much, for want of a better word, dangerous than the Beatles.  They were rebels, antiheroes, bad guys and they appealed to me in a way that The Beatles didn’t.  Like Fender vs. Gibson, Martin vs. Taylor, BMW vs. Mercedes you pick sides in life and when it can to The Beatles vs. The Stones there was no contest in my mind, Stones for life.  Read more >

1979

{RELEASED 1979]

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Detroit Rock City, Kiss

The book details the importance of Kiss in my life.  They were the first band to turn my world upside down.  The importance of Kiss in The Story of Rock and Roll is immeasurable, without Kiss maybe none of this would have happened.  Detroit Rock City was the first song I ever heard by Kiss and nothing would ever be the same.  Read more>

1979

[RELEASED 1977]

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Working for the People, Rabbit

‘Working for the People’ was on the end of the Kiss Destroyer tape a friend gave me.  Like a doos I thought it was Kiss, the detail of that event is explained in The Story of Rock and Roll.  It is a fantastic song and gave me a great love for those single note driving bass lines. Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1978]

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Jamie's crying, Van Halen

Van Halen! Where showmanship meets talent in one giant supernova of brilliance.  For me Van Halen took everything to a new level.  They had the flash of Zeppelin without all the self indulgence.  You cannot listen to Van Halen and be in a shit mood.  Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1978]

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Beyond the Realms of Death, Judas Priest

Judas Priest will always be the band that I credit with being the fathers of Heavy Metal.  I love Sabbath and Zeppelin but to me no-one epitomised Metal like Priest. Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1975]

Death On Two Legs (by Kacio)

Death on Two Legs, Queen

I was listening to Queen II from around 1976 and it was just the most perfect album ever.  Freddie and Brian in particular were just so good on that album.  A Night at the Opera was released in 1975 but I took it to boarding school with me in 1979. ‘Death on Two Legs’ was Freddie in a rare venomous mood and probably the reason why Queen were lumped in as a heavy metal band.  Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1967]

heyjoe

Hey Joe, Jimi Hendrix

I was late into Hendrix as is hilariously detailed in The Story of Rock and Roll.  I didn’t even know who he was in 1979.  Once I found out I never looked back, to this day he is probably the most influential guitarist in the world.  Gone far, far too early, RIP James Marshall Hendrix Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1978]

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Open Invitation, Santana

I discovered Santana after a particularly hair raising uitkak from a matric while I was a new boy at Potch Boys High.  The hilarious detail can be found in Chapter 2 of TSORR.  This song was one that got played over and over on the school bus to and from various rugby matches we played against schools in Jo’burg. Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1977]

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Hanging Around, The Stranglers

The Stranglers were my favorite band for about 3 years and they took me down the Punk Rock path opening doors to the Pistols and the Clash.  All the detail can be found in the The Story of Rock and Roll and you will read why they were so special to music in general and me specifically.  Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1977]

Bat_out_of_Hell

Bat out of Hell, Meatloaf

Bat Out of Hell is a rock classic, it was just one of those special unique albums that artists occasionally pull out of themselves.  It was unlike anything else at the time or since.  Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1969]

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Rock n Roll, Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin are one of the most influential bands the world has ever seen.  Jimmy Page and Robert Plant set the standard by which future guitar heroes and frontmen respectively would be measured.  I loved Led Zep I, II and III they are simply brilliant.  I personally am not a big fan of 12 minute guitar or drum solo’s so I found some of the live stuff a bit tedious but nothing takes away from the power and majesty of Led Zep I or II at high volume.  Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1972]

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Mama weer all crazee now, Slade

Slade are highly underrated in my opinion, in their day they were seriously heavy when compared to most of the stuff on Top of the Pops.  Noddy Holders’ rough vocals were totally out of the normal and got me preferring guys like Bon Scott and James Burns who really belted it out to some of the more melodic vocalists around.  Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1975]

Bad Co SS

Feel Like Makin' Love, Bad Company

Out of the ashes of Free came Bad Company. Free had done well but in-fighting and the usual substance abuse issues that plagued most bands of this era caused Paul Rogers and Simon Kirke to walk away and from Bad Company in 1973. If ever a band had an excellent pedigree Bad Co was it, two ex members of Free, and ex Mott The Hoople guitarist and a bass guitarist who cut his teeth in King Crimson. This ‘super group’ was them signed to Led Zeppelin’s Swansong label and managed by the legendary Peter Grant. I first heard Bad Co in a dormitory called ”3- Up” at Potchefstroom High School for Boys back in 1979. You can read about Potch in The Story of Rock and Roll but in short for a 12 year old ‘new boy’ who’s job as a skivvy was to clean his matrics shoes, make his bed and tidy his locker these tasks were just an menial backdrop to what was really happening in my head while I did my chores in 3-Up every morning and evening. The 3 matrics who inhabited the dorm had a good collection of what would now be called 70’s Classic Rock and one of these albums was Straight Shooter by Bad Company . I was so impressed with this album that the owner even allowed me to hold the album cover and soak up the magnificent Hipgnosis artwork. The two tumbling dice were imprinted on my mind and until the next big thing came along they would play that album every day. It is one of the best examples of Classic rock you can ever hear.  Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1976]

rainbow

Stargazer, Rainbow

The Story of Rock and Roll details how important Rainbow was to me because of my friend Roger’s love for the band.  The fact was that for the first time I had someone who could really explain to me what was actually going on musically.  The first band that I first understood this way was Rainbow.  Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1973]

Ballroom_blitz

Ballroom Blitz, The Sweet

We used to listen to ‘Ballroom Blitz’, ‘Little Willy’ and ‘Wig Wam Bam’ when we kids on the MFP Sprinbok hits compilation albums.  These albums were made by SA session musicians and our folks used to buy them and play them at parties when we were kids.  Although the songs were well played they were mixed in with all the hits of the day by bands like ABBA *vomit*.  I only heard The Sweet when I got to high school and the real stuff was nothing like the shit served up on Springbok Hits.  Read more >

1980

[RELEASED 1973]

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Baby I Love Your Way, Peter Frampton

Peter Frampton got huge thanks to Frampton Comes Alive.  The album was everywhere and Frampton became famous for making his guitar talk.  I don’t think Frampton will ever be able to disassociate himself from the Talk box, he is almost synonymous with it.  When the album was released we used to listen to it all the time, rewinding the talking guitar bits over and over again, it was just very cool at the time. Read more >

1980

[RELEASED 1970]

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N.I.B., Black Sabbath

So much has been written and said about Sabbath, sometimes you gotta just shut the fuck up and listen to it again.  Read more >

1980

[RELEASED 1973]

bullfrongblues

Bullfrog Blues, Rory Gallagher

Hard drinking Irish guitar virtuoso, Rory Gallagher really just wanted to play his guitar.  He didn’t have time for stardom or all the rock star trivialities.  In my opinion his best stuff is on his live albums, he just seems to do the most amazing guitar work in his live sets.  Read more >

1980

[RELEASED 1973]

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All the Way From Memphis, Mott the Hoople

There are some bands that just never seem to ‘make it’ but then 10 years on all the bands that are really doing well credit that band with being one of their biggest influences.  Bands like Diamond Head, The New York Dolls, The Misfits, MC5, Iggy and the Stooges and this band, Mott the Hoople.  Ian Hunter is one of the most charismatic front men ever.  There is just something about him, his voice and his whole style, Mott should have been bigger than they were at the time.  Read more >

1979

[RELEASED 1971]

Aqualung

Aqualung, Jethro Tull

For many years I considered Jethro Tull’s Bursting Out Live to be the best live album I had ever heard.  Tull took musicianship and witty live banter to new levels of excellence and that album made me buy Aqualung which in its day was considered a heavy metal album.  Aqualung to this day is one of the finest albums ever made. Read more >

1980

[RELEASED 1976]

judasdreamer

Dreamer Deceiver, Judas Priest

Judas Priest are legends, in my view no-one put metal on the map the way Priest did and they kept it alive during the lean years.  With all that disco crap going on in the 70’s you could rely on Judas Priest to keep delivering album after album of blistering metal.  When British Steel was released it changed the way things were done by metal bands.  It was a monstrously good album and quickly scooped up new fans who had never heard of the band.  As with happened Metallica die hard pioneers like myself selfishly felt bitter sweet about a band we loved suddenly being on the radio and having to deal with arseholes talking about this ‘new band’.  The funny thing is they never sold out: the world just caught up and took a giant leap forward in terms of musical taste.  All Hail the Priest \m/ Read more >

1980

[RELEASED 1977]

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God save the Queen, Sex Pistols

”I started the album, volume up full and the opening chord to ‘Anarchy in The UK’ nearly made the welding crack on the burglar bars.  The Pistols were just brilliant, mainly only three chords but each chord was thick, crunchy and necessarily over-overdriven.  I was in heaven: ‘God Save the Queen’, ‘No Fun’, ‘Pretty Vacant’, ‘Silly Thing’.  I was just through the second listening of ‘God Save the Queen’ when in walked the Fascist Regime.  The Sex Pistols saved me I reckon because Dad was expecting a contrite teenage son who would be amenable to becoming a functioning member of society, but what he was faced with was a wall of blistering guitars at the kind of volume that Satan himself would probably appreciate.”  – The Story of Rock and Roll – James Daubeney Read more >

1980

[RELEASED 1977]

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White Riot, The Clash

The Clash’s third album London Calling was voted the best album of the 80’s and the 8th best album of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.  It went platinum and sold over 5 million copies.  The music was no longer Punk Rock, they were now a mainstream rock band and had commercial appeal.  Despite this their attitude never changed.  Joe Strummer (RIP) will forever be an iconic figure and he never let success go to his head.  For me it never got better than the debut album, loud aggressive guitar and angry vocals shouting out about what was wrong in society and the UK in particular.  If you want to get a feel for the times and the Winter of Discontent then just turn up ‘London’s Burning’, Career Opportunities”, White Riot’ & ‘I’m So Bored With the USA’.  You’ll feel it, if you don’t you are in a coma. Read more >

1980

[RELEASED 1980]

thejam

Going Underground, The Jam

Although classic songs like ‘Eton Rifles’ and ‘Going Underground’ are probably better examples of the Jam in full cry, ‘That’s Entertainment’ was the first track I actually heard.  Once again it was on Pop Shop, or Fast Forward as it became, that I first saw them.  I fell in love with the band but more importantly Paul Wellers lyrics.  He had a way of really getting the message across and he just got better and better at it. Read more >

1980

[RELEASED 1979]

suspectdevice

Suspect Device , Stiff Little Fingers

”When I heard Inflammable Material my brain once again exploded.  This album was twice as fast and twice as aggressive as any other punk album and Jake Burn’s voice was like a hot glass – he didn’t sing he shouted, and when he shouted he shouted about how pissed off he was about everything around him.”  The Story of Rock and Roll – James Daubeney Read more >

1981

[RELEASED 1981]

asylumkids_schoolboy

Schoolboy, The Asylum Kids

Along with Wild Youth and Dog Detachment the Asylum Kids were the SA punk bands that were just kicking it up at the time.  You could catch them at the various Varsity Rag days but I never had the pleasure of seeing them.  Once Robbie Robb left to form Tribe After Tribe I saw him a lot.   Read more >

1977

[RELEASED 1981]

ramones

Teenage Lobotomy, Ramones

I was very late into the Ramones and the details of how I got into them are covered in The Story of Rock and Roll.  There was just something about them that was amazing.  It wasn’t the musicianship, it wasn’t the lyrics, they just had a way of writing these buzz saw tunes that were irresistible.  Bands like the Pistols and the Clash may never have got the confidence to play if they hadn’t seen the Ramones just show everyone that you don’t have to be Richie Blackmore to be in a band, you can just rip it out without solo’s in under 2 minutes and people will love it.  Read more >

1981

[RELEASED 1978]

rattrap

Rat Trap, The Boomtown Rats

I have already discussed The Boomtown Rats so I’ll keep this short.  Rat Trap is a fantastic song which I had missed and found it by accident when I was given a tape with no information on it at High School.  One side had the Ramones and the other side had A Tonic For the Troop. Read more >

1981

[RELEASED 1979]

sundaypapers

Sunday Papers, Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson was a real oddity at the time, he was a classically trained musician who won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music.  His true love was jazz and classical so to suddenly become a pop star was strange.  Joe said that his album Look Sharp ”positively reeks of London 1978 -1979.”  I guess that is really what it was all about, a guy who just made some incredible songs at a time when people wanted to hear them.  Read more >

1982

[RELEASED 1978]

sultansofswing

Sultans of Swing, Dire Straits

In The Story of Rock and Roll I talk about Dire Straits a lot and in Chapter 4 it’s all about what a good album Making Movies was.  I switched out the songs here because So much of what Dire Straits started out to be got lost in the 80’s in the MTV years.  They were a band that just became too big despite the fact that they never wanted to be.    Read more >

1983

[RELEASED 1983]

motlyDontgoaway

Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)

I discovered Motley Crue in 1983, The Story of Rock and Roll details that experience and the disappointment I felt when I finally put an imported copy of Shout At The Devil onto my turn table for the first time.  The band were totally overhyped but their contribution to the whole Hair Metal L.A. scene is immeasurable.  Read more >

1983

[RELEASED 1980]

Ace_of_Spades_(song)

The Ace of Spades, Motorhead

Motorhead are and will always be an iconic band.  It’s all about Lemmy and that larger than life character that he was.  Lemmy knew everybody and they all knew him. In the hundreds of articles and stories I have read about him over the years it’s always the same, the guy was intelligent, straight talking, well mannered and possibly one of the greatest reprobates the world has ever seen all done in a totally unique one of a kind way.  I am sad he is gone but I am happy that he lived probably one of the best lives one could possibly wish for.  Lemmy won, the dude beat the system RIP.  Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

scorpians

Rock You Like a Hurricane, Scorpions

German metal is great, the Scorpions and Rammstein are sure to be the most successful bands the country has ever produced.  Scorpions managed what most metal bands strived for but only a handful succeed in doing i.e. becoming massive in the USA.  For UK or European bands the US is a vast untapped market that can take years of slog and hard work to break into.  The rise of hair metal and MTV in the 80’s gave the Scorpions the opportunity they needed and they grabbed it with both hands.  Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

risingsun

Far beyond the sun, Yngwie Malmsteen

”Yngwie Malmsteen was phenomenal.  He came out of obscurity from Stockholm after he sent a tape to Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records who was releasing all these incredible shred guitarists.  Guys such as Tony MacAlpine, Vinnie Moore, Paul Gilbert, Jason Bekker and Mary Friedman.  Malmsteen, however, was different and was totally original compared to these other guys.  He had his classical roots in stuff like Paganini and his rock roots in Richie Blackmore”. Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1982]

fastasashark

Fast as a Shark, Accept

“It started with a sort of Heidi hi ho lo la German folk intro which lasted about four bars before there is a massive sound of the needle scratching through that shit and a barrage of drums, guitars and the unearthly sound of Udo Dirkschneider screaming”.  The Story of Rock and Roll – James Daubeney   Read more >

1981

[RELEASED 1981]

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The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden

Discovering Iron Maiden is covered in detail in The Story of Rock and Roll.  When I first heard them Paul Di’Anno was on vocals and, as you should know, it was only when Bruce Dickenson left Samson to join Maiden and they released The Number of the Beast in 1982 that things really took off for the band.  The Di’Anno years are very special to me as I love finding bands before they become famous. I think Killers was one of the best albums I ever heard but most people only really got into Maiden after Bruce joined.  In terms of video we’ll stick with Bruce for this round though.  Read more >

1980

[RELEASED 1980]

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Crazy Train, Ozzy Osbourne

”Back at school for another term and there was serious shit going down.  Ozzy had been thrown out of Sabbath and had started his own band.  Sabbath were going to carry on but they were going to use Dio on vocals.  What the fuck?  We couldn’t imagine how it was going to sound.  No way Ozzy would be able to do it without Sabbath and vice versa.” The Story of Rock and Roll – James Daubeney  Read more >

1980

[RELEASED 1980]

Black_Sabbath_Heaven_and_Hell

Heaven and Hell, Black Sabbath

Ronnie James Dio (RIP) in Black Sabbath was amazing.  No-one could really imagine how it would sound and in many ways the line-up was written off before they started.  That all changed once the album came out and it is safe to say that Heaven and Hell is one of the all time classic rock albums.  Read more >

1981

[RELEASED 1981]

bringingontheheartache

Bringing on the Heartbreak, Def Leppard

There are better videos than this one, its about as ’80s cheesy as you can get but as I explain in The Story of Rock and Roll, there were other good uses for this song.  The fact of the matter is that the only two bands that came out of The New Wave of British Heavy Metal and had worldwide success were Iron Maiden and Def Leppard.  The Leps caught on like wildfire in the USA.  The albums that followed High and Dry in 1981 were all multi-platinum sellers. Read more >

1977

[RELEASED 1977]

Lights out

Lights Out, UFO

UFO are one of the most influential bands the Up has ever produced.  They really had it all, great songs, great front man, charismatic bass guitarist,  top class drummer and the awesome phenomenal guitar fire power of Michael Schenker.  What they didn’t have was the kind of management that they needed.  If they had a manager of the calibre of Peter Grant or Ron Smallwood, someone who could have held them together and looked after them they could have been a lot bigger and they really should have been a lot bigger.  If you love UFO I would recommend reading High Stakes and Dangerous Men: The UFO Story by Neil Daniels, its a great book and it details the problems they had with the booze and having a German in a British band.  the whole difference in work effort, the very British ‘lets go to the pub and we’ll do this track later’ attitude vs. the Teutonic perfection that Schenker required to get every solo right, they were like oil and water and ultimately the centre couldn’t hold.  By any measurement UFO wrote some of the classic rock anthems of all time and Strangers in The Night is widely regarded as one of the greatest live albums of all time.  My mate Roger and I used to spend hours listening to Obsession and I was so glad when it finally got remastered recently and they fixed that awful hi-hat in ‘Only You Can Rock Me’.  Listening to Schenker in UFO is something that everyone should do, he made more albums than I realised and as much as they missed him he was never as good as he was in UFO.  I wish people could just get the fuck along, music would be so much better for it.

Read more >

1980

[RELEASED 1980]

acdc-back-in-black

Back in Black, ACDC

We thought ACDC were finished after Bon Scott died, no-one anticipated just how massive the band would become with Brian Johnson on vocals.  Back in Black is one of the top selling albums of all time.  36 years later is sounds as fresh as the day it came out.  Read more >

1982

[RELEASED 1982]

atlanticcity

Atlantic City, Bruce Springsteen

I put this song up and it all just came crashing back the way I remembered it. It’s amazing how 35 years later I can still feel exactly the same way I did the first time I ever heard Bruce sing Atlantic City.  What makes him so special is that anyone can play this song 3 chord song but no-one can play it like this.  Read more >

1982

[RELEASED 1982]

littlesteven

Undefeated, Little Steven

I may have fucked this up, when I found this video I was a bit taken aback to see the dude with the white Mohican playing guitar.  I was looking for the original video I saw in the mid 80’s where as I describe in my book how Clarence Clemens was riding around on  chopper with a white Mohican.  I couldn’t find it and now it looks like it was never Clarence in the first place.  Oh well that’s why we have this web site so people can fill in the blanks  Read more >

1982

[RELEASED 1972]

helpless

Helpless, Neil Young

Neil Young is a legend for me.  There are many who can’t stand him but I find him one of the most amazing artists ever.  Read more >

1982

[RELEASED 1970]

searching_for_sugarman

I Wonder, Rodriguez

There isn’t any good old footage of Rodriguez in his hey day that I could find.  The reason is pretty simple as I explain in the book, he never had a hey day because he never even knew he was a star.  Thankfully due to the efforts of Stephen Segerman he was rediscovered and not lost to the world.    Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

220px-billybraggbacktobasics

It Says Here, Billy Bragg

Not a lot of people I know even really know about Billy Bragg, I discovered him in about 1984 and was immediately hooked on his Brewing Up album.  Billy sings his songs of love, socialism and revolution without any drums or bass, just his electric guitar and his voice.  Its gritty and angry and you can probably learn more about England in one Billy Bragg album than you can in a whole textbook.    Read more >

1983

[RELEASED 1983]

quiet-riot

Cum On Feel the Noize, Quiet Riot

I got hold of Quiet Riot in early 1983 and it was the start of some golden years of metal.  Their cover of ‘Cum On Feel the Noize’ went straight to the top of the charts and the anthemic album opener ‘Metal Health’ with it’s cry of ”Bang Your Head” must have been played out of the windows of a couple of million cars in 1983.  It was a party band of note.   Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

autograph

Turn Up the Radio, Autograph

I got into this band while I was in Hornet, it was one of those songs that we were all trying to subliminally replicate.  Songs like this were suddenly all over the US charts and guitar solo’s were king. Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1982]

you_got_lucky_single

You Got Lucky, Tom Petty

Tom Petty had been around for a long time, His breakthrough album Damn the Torpedoes was released in 1979 and he was a great favourite at high school.  Tom Petty was one of the artists who really made some great video’s and the MTV explosion really benefitted him greatly. Read more >

1983

[RELEASED 1973]

bird

Free Bird, Lynryd Skynyrd

Skynyrd were really a 70’s band and the matrics at school were listening to them when I first went to Potch.  It was only after I finished school that I could actually afford to get some of these albums.  Len and I used to sit in his pub and have a whole lot of toots mixing in all the brand new 80’s stuff like Quiet Riot, Q5, Night Ranger and Autograph with timeless bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Journey and ZZ Top.  Read more >

1983

[RELEASED 1983]

gimme_all_your_lovin

Gimme All Your Lovin, ZZ Top

ZZ Top are probably the least likely band to suddenly become international superstars after being around since 1969 and not really getting anywhere.  While most bands were pretty much broken up or in the twilight of their careers the ”Little Ol’ Band from Texas” suddenly blew up like a supernova and sold 10 million copies of their album Eliminator. Read more >

1983

[RELEASED 1982]

john_cougar_hurts_so_good_cover

'Hurts So Good, John Cougar

John Cougar never wanted to be called John Cougar he wanted to be called by his real name John Mellencamp.  The record company didn’t want to hear fuck all about John Mellencamp so he was marketed as John Cougar.  It didn’t take long to hit the big time and as soon as his American Fool album went to No1 on the Billboard 200 he could pretty much call himself what he liked.  Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

220px-w-a-s-p-_i_wanna_be_somebody

I Wanna Be Somebody, W.A.S.P.

W.A.S.P. were designed to shock, their whole image was such that it was going to cause controversy.  The buzz saw blades and the blood and songs Like ‘Animal (F__k Like a Beast)’ were certainly going to get a reaction from organisations from the PMRC.  I am not a big fan of the video’s but the music was fantastic.  The debut album W.A.S.P. was one of the heaviest albums I had heard at the time.  Read more >

1988

[RELEASED 1987]

fallofrome

Fall of Rome, James Reyne

I heard the video for ‘fall of Rome’ when I walked past the TV when Pop Shop which became Fast Forward was on .  I’d stopped watching because they were playing so much crap but when I heard the opening chords of this track it was a ”ain’t there one damn song that can make me break down and cry” moments.  If you really want to feel the brilliance take a listen to his track ‘Ain’t it Always the Way’ and soak up the 2 or 3 minute guitar solo on the track, a perfect example of a ”Big Chill”  Read more >

1986

[RELEASED 1984]

jimmy-barnes

Working Class Man, Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes was another discovery thanks to the record reviews in Scope magazine.  Scope was the closet thing you could get to porn in apartheid South Africa, there were many people who were part of ‘the struggle’ in different ways and as school boys we ‘struggled’ to find pictures of chicks who didn’t have stars painted onto their nipples and we ‘struggled’ to get hear UK Punk Rock.  The Nat’s had the country in a death grip of Dutch Deformed suppression and Scope was one of the things that made life a bit more pleasant.  They had some really good album reviews and the second I read the review for Freight Train Heart by Jimmy Barnes I knew I had to get this album  Read more >

1986

[RELEASED 1980]

cold-chisel

Cheap Wine, Cold Chisel

Cold Chisel was Jimmy Barnes first band and I only got into them quite a few years later.  They were massive in Aussie and basically nowhere else which is why Jimmy needed a solo career later.  Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1983]

metallicajumpinthefire

Jump in the Fire, Metallica

I discuss the first time I heard Metallica in some detail in The Story of Rock and Roll.  The fact of the matter is that Metallica was exactly what I needed to find in the early to mid 80’s when Bon Jovi were riding high with Slippery When Wet and the biggest smash of the year was Europe’s The Final Countdown.  In the mid 80’s everybody was a metal head for a brief period and to those of us who grew up on this shit it was a bit annoying.  It really needed a shake-up and no-one shook it up better than Metallica, Exodus, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer.  Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

ironmaiden

Aces High, Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden were on a roll by 1984, Bruce Dickenson was firmly entrenched in the band and they had completed the mammoth World Slavery Tour which was one of the largest and most complex tours undertaken by any band ever.  By 1984 Iron Maiden were pretty much a household name.  Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

defenders-of-the-faith

Defenders of the faith, Judas Priest

Defenders of the Faith was an incredible album.  It raised the bar for all metal bands.  It was amazing then that after such a strong album they fiddled with the formula and took a huge hit from fans with the release of their next album Turbo.  Metalhead’s were clearly not keen on the Priest fiddling around with synthesisers.  Although it was still heavy, Turbo was was widely seen as Priest going soft.  In the passage of time Turbo is great but Defenders of the Faith set the record straight, very fucking straight.  Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

kiss

Animalize, Kiss

By the end of the ’70’s and into the 80’s Kiss had lost the plot.  They were still making an album a year which is amazing to think of now in a world where bands can take 5 to 10 years between albums.  Dynasty, Unmasked and Music from the Elder were to me all pretty crap.  In 1983 they did the unthinkable and removed the make-up.  At the same time they released Lick It Up which was a really good album and probably saved their careers.  Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

van_halen_-_1984

Panama, Van Halen

When Van Halen put out 1984 ‘Jump’ was a huge hit, to be honest I wasn’t impressed, I didn’t like the keyboards and it seemed to have swung too much Dave’s way where the showmanship was out of balance against the songs. Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

deep-purple

Perfect Strangers, Deep Purple

Deep Purple are one of the Classic UK Rock bands of all time.  They had it all, huge musical talent with Lord and Blackmore and a drummer who was up there with John Bonham and Keith Moon.  Ian Gillan helped set the standard by which metal vocalist would be measured for a long time.  With all the infighting and the various version of Purple, Mk I, Mk II, Mk III etc. it was great for what was widely considered to be the best line-up, the Mk II Machine Head / In Rock line up, to record again.  Perfect Strangers was a fantastic album. Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

the-price

The Price, Twisted Sister

Twisted Sister had to go to the UK to get discovered, for some reason although they were huge on the live circuit the record companies were not interested.  They looked more like the New York Dolls than anything else and while all the other bands at the time looked like pretty girls front man Dee Snider was a huge ugly mother fucker.  I reckon that Dee was the reason they were both loved and hated.  There was no middle ground with Dee Snider. Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

ratt

Round and Round, Ratt

All preening and poncy, Ratt epitomised the vanity and pomp of hair metal.  Bands like Ratt and Poison had so much make-up and spandex that the lines became blurred between the sexes.  Hair metal pulled chicks into metal like nothing before or since.  Bands like Bon Jovi became mega stars.  It had to all come crashing down.  Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

life_goes_on_poison

Life goes on, Poison

Poison’s debut album Look What the Cat Dragged In was released in 1986 and the band blazed a trial throughout the US. Poison typified the hair metal look and the best and worst of the genre. All these bands had off the scale good guitarists, one of the best in my opinion was Poison’s C.C. de Ville. Read more>

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

venom

Live 1985!, Venom

On the other side of things Venom were coming.  They released their debut album Welcome to Hell in 1981 and they really played the whole Satanic thing and took it to a new level.  Like the Ramones their influence on other bands compared to their own success is hugely disproportionate.  Everyone from Slayer to Metallica and then the whole Black Metal movement in Norway had some roots in Venom. Read more>

1981

[RELEASED 1980]

saxon

747 Strangers in the Night, Saxon

Saxon are a British institution.  Along with iron Maiden they spearheaded the New Wave of British Heavy metal.  They never rose to the heights that Maiden have but then no-one has, so if you factor out Maiden then Saxon are probably the most successful NWOBHM band ever.  They were limited musically in a way that Maiden weren’t but if you take it for what it is i.e. Saxon being Saxon in the same way as ACDC are ACDC and Motorhead are Motorhead then you aren’t looking for ground breaking new adventurous ideas.  Saxon wrote anthems and to this day it doesn’t get much better than hearing 20 000 metal maniacs all shouting ”Denim and leather brought us all together” or ”We got Wheeeeeels, wheels of steel”  Long live biker anthems.  Read more >

1982

[RELEASED 1982]

headpins

Don't It Make Ya Feel, HeadPins

The Headpins formed in Canada and released two multiplatinum selling albums.  The impression that Darby Mills made on 16 year old school boys cannot be over stated.  We thought she was the best thing ever, Debbie Harry was hot but she sang pop songs, Darby was a proper rock singer, she had more firepower than Tony Stark in a Jericho missile demo.  Brian ‘Too Loud’ McLeod was great and made it for me.  If Darby was just hot and could sing she wouldn’t have been in my record collection but with McLeod in the band is was a proper heavy metal band.  Read more >

1983

[RELEASED 1983]

SONY DSC

Faithfully, Journey

Journey were huge in the US, they epitomised stadium rock.  They hit a golden era between 1978 and 1983 when they released, in quick succession, Infinity, Evolution, Departure, Escape and Frontiers.  With the eye catching futuristic scarab beetle artwork on all their albums and a continuous string of hits they were pretty much hated by the critics and loved by everyone else.  Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1982]

nightranger

Don't tell me you love me, Night Ranger

Night ranger had a huge hit with Sister Christian.  I wasn’t smitten though, it was a bit light for me at the time other than by the guitar solo.  Robin Gallagher played me albums before Midnight Madness and then I was completely blown away.  The twin guitar attack of Jeff Watson and Brad Gillis was one of the best around.  If you want to hear brilliant two hand tapping just listen to Night Ranger, masters of the art ! Read more >

1984

[RELEASED 1984]

queensryche

Take Hold of the Flame, Queensryche

Queensryche came out of Washington in the early 80’s and the release of their album The Warning heralded their arrival as a band to watch.  There was a lot going on  that album and I listened to it a lot but I just couldn’t quite connect in the way I really wanted to.  It was like I didn’t love it, except for ‘Take Hold of the Flame’ which was far away the best track.  They stumbled badly with Rage For Order and started dressing like pansies, the album was horrible.  Luckily for the world Geoff Tate went out one rainy night for smokes and saw a church on his way back.  Something made him go inside and once he sat down in those oppressive wooden pews he had an epiphany and the entire Operation Mindcrime album concept just popped into his brain.  It is not often I am grateful for the church 🙂  Read more >

1986

[RELEASED 1986]

davidleeroth

Yankee Rose, Dave lee Roth

Dave Lee Roth is a legend.  When I was growing up he was the first front man that I saw who was just larger than life.  Dave was the coolest, he dressed the best, he moved the best and he always had a killer chirp for the journalists.  The was a lot of criticism of his vocals and even the band didn’t rate him as a great singer.  I think he is just fucking fine.  Dave proved that even if he can’t sing as well as Sammy no-one cares, we just wanna hear Van fuckin’ Halen.  It was a sad day when they split up but then he went on to release Eat ’em and Smile so we got two great bands for the price of one.  Read more >

1986

[RELEASED 1986]

deadoralive

Wanted Dead or Alive, Bon Jovi

I don’t give Bon Jovi more than a passing mention in The Story of Rock and Roll and it’s not because I didn’t like them, it’s really because they just got so fucking huge that they lost relevance to me.  Once you have dewy eyed twenty year old chicks getting excited about ‘Heavy Metal’ because of Bon Jovi it was time to build a big fucking moat between me and Slippery When Wet.  First time I heard Bon Jovi was when they did ‘Runaway’ and then I got big into their 2nd album 7800 deg Fahrenheit, the track Tokyo Road was proper rock ‘n’roll in 1985. Read more >

1987

[RELEASED 1987]

dokken

Dream Warriors, Dokken

Dokken were a completely dysfunctional band, they could not get on at all.  They made some great music but I could always feel that lack of cohesion and the fact that they hated each other just held them back.  For me there was only really one reason to like Dokken and that was George Lynch’s guitaring.  I always wish George had been in another band but who knows maybe George is actually the problem.  Read more >

1987

[RELEASED 1987]

sweet-child-o-mine-sheet-music

Sweet Child O' Mine, Guns n'Roses

Guns ‘n’ Roses are well covered in The Story of Rock and Roll.  They were a phenomenon at a time when the word needed some heroes.  While grunge slayed hair metal it was Guns ‘n’ Roses and Pantera who kept the metal alive.  Appetite was a force of nature that couldn’t be contained, the planets aligned and that perfect chemistry between the classic line up could not be prevented from recording one of the probably 10 best albums of all time.  Despite themselves and their own efforts to sabotage their career with booze and drugs they were just too good and they burnt like a fucking supernova for 5 incredible years.  Read more >

1988

[RELEASED 1988]

cinderella

Don't Know What You Got (Until It's Gone), Cinderella

Cinderella were great at the time, they had some cool stuff but they didn’t really have the charisma of some of the other bands.  The one thing Cinderella did have was the voice of Tom Keifer.  He just has a certain tone when he starts to belt it out that gives me goose bumps.  He put out a great solo album The way Life Goes in 2013, check it out it is pretty good.  Read more >

1989

[RELEASED 1989]

love_song_tesla

Love Song, Tesla

Tesla were part of the hair metal scene just by virtue of being around at the time.  The Stranglers had the same problem with being considered punk and getting lumped in with the negative side of the movement.   To me Tesla were far better than most of the other bands around in the 80’s.  I have no doubt that if they had formed in 1970 they would have been as great and as successful as they were in the 80’s.  They were top class musicians and they wrote fantastic songs.  Their album Five Man Acoustic Jam predated the whole MTV Unplugged format and is one of the finest acoustic albums ever made.  Read more >

1989

[RELEASED 1989]

skid_row_-_i_remember_you

I Remember You, Skid Row

Skid Row were probably my favourite hair metal band.  They were a lot heavier than the other guys and the combination of the twin guitars of Scotty Moore and Dave ‘the Snake’ Sabo gave us some of the coolest, most emotional guitar solo’s ever.  And then there was Sebastian Bach, what can I say, a bit like Axl when it came to the spoilt petulant primadonna stakes but what a fucking voice.  He is without a doubt one of the best post Halford, Dio, Dickinson vocalists of all time.    Read more >

1990

[RELEASED 1990]

warrant

Uncle Tom's Cabin, Warrant

Warrant were the prototypical 80’s hair metal band.  They had it all – the look, all bright colours and make-up, the big hair and pretty faces and they certainly had the songs.  Through a combination of relentless touring and MTV saturation bombing they rose to great heights in the late 80’s and this culminated in the release of their wonderful second album Cherry Pie.  Unfortunately it was pretty much all downhill from there.  With the advent of grunge all the hair metal bands were dead in the water within 12 months and then tragically lead singer Jani Lane died of acute alcohol poisoning in 2011.   Read more >

1988

[RELEASED 1988]

caniplaywithmadness

Can I Play With Madness, Iron Maiden

The release of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son showed me that Maiden were not just going to churn out the same fucking album over and over again.  It was very different to what we were used to and it was awesome, in some parts it was even starting to sound a bit like Jethro Tull which was quite a departure from the albums before.  The evolution of sound was quite radical, so radical in fact that when it appeared they may have got cold feet and tried to get back to their more classic sound with No Prayer For the Dying, guitarist Adrian Smith decided it was time to leave.  His view was that Seventh Son was more in line with where they should be heading even if it wasn’t as successful commercially.   Read more >

1988

[RELEASED 1988]

judaspainkiller

Painkiller, Judas Priest

Priest released Ram It Down in 1988 at the same time as Maiden released Seventh Son.  I was over the moon about getting these two albums but the rest of the world seemed to receive them differently, almost with a resigned sense of boredom.  Something was happening and it wasn’t going to be pretty for Hair Metal bands.  Grunge was coming and only a new breed of Metal bands, Metallica, Pantera, Slayer, Megadeth and Sepultura would survive.  Thank fuck Priest saw the threat and reacted with the magnificent Painkiller.    Read more >

1988

[RELEASED 1988]

slayer

South of Heaven, Slayer

I confess that when I first heard Slayer I didn’t get it.  Reign In Blood was just too fast and too atonal, basically too shouty.  I wanted to like it but I like melody and harmony  and this just seemed like fast noise.  ‘Angel of Death’ is a metal masterpiece but at the time it was just too brutal for me, the subject matter was a bit nauseating.  I wanted to love Slayer but just was having a hard time finding a way in.  The way in was South of Heaven on high volume at the Irish Club in Hillbrow in 1988.   Read more >

1990

[RELEASED 1990]

megadeath

Hanger 18, Megadeth

Megadeth are pound for pound a better band than Metallica.  They have released consistently high quality albums for over 30 years.  In my opinion there has never been a bad Megadeth album.  Dave Mustaine is a true rock god, love him or hate him it cannot be denied that he is ‘Far Beyond Driven’ and his energy, determination and drive are an inspiration to us all.  Read more >

1990

[RELEASED 1990]

cowboysfromhell

Cowboys From Hell, Pantera

Nothing could compare with the power and aggression of Pantera.  When Cowboys From Hell came out in 1990 they literally saved metal.  Dime and Vinnie were still old school Van Halen style rocks stars but Phil was an anti-hero and arguably changed the whole metal frontman image from long haired good looking poser to brutal street fighter.  No more spandex or even leather, now it was baggy pants and lumberjack shirts or no shirt.  No-more long hair, now it was shaven heads and muscles.  His vocal style was totally different to the guys that had preceeded him and the lyrics were about hate rather than love.  Phil was not a happy guy and it shone through beautifully.  Read more >

1991

[RELEASED 1991]

enter_sandman

Enter Sandman, Metallica

All things must end and the Black album was the end of the Metallica that I discovered and love.  It was the beginning of a new commercial behemoth that, to me, would never again attain the heights that they did up until Cliff Burton’s tragic death.  I loved this album but when it went to No 1 on 5FM I knew that they were no longer going to be my favourite band.  I dig Metallica, I admire them for what they have achieved and I will never be one of the ”haters”.  I just had to come to terms with the reality that from now on it was a different beastie, a Q-Prime beastie that although ferocious was no longer wild.  Read more >

1991

[RELEASED 1991]

novemberrain

November Rain, Guns 'n' Roses

People, and rightly so, will hail Appetite For Destruction as one of the greatest Rock albums of all time.  Personally I enjoyed the Use Your Illusion twins even more.  Given what would happen to G ‘n’ R I am just so fucking grateful that they managed to get this amount of material out before it was too late.  Axl was starting to get his hooks into the song writing process and the slower stuff like ‘November Rain’ and ‘Estranged’ were just incredibly good.  I don’t think it would be inaccurate to say that of the 20 or so hours a week I spent studying in 1991 around half of them would have been spent with these two masterpieces playing in the background.   Read more >

1991

[RELEASED 1991]

road-to-nowhere

The Road to Nowhere, Ozzy Osbourne

Without a doubt one of the strongest albums Ozzy has ever made.  In my view largely as a result of Zakk Wylde.  Once again Ozzy managed to find the best guitarist around.  When Ozzy dumped jake E. lee I was a bit surprised.  Jake had done the heavy lifting as the guy who replaced the god that was Randy Rhoads and he had settled in or so I thought.  Zakk however was a revalation and once the released No More Tears it was clear that like with Randy they were writing great songs together.  Read more >

1991

[RELEASED 1991]

smells_like_teen_spirit

Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana

Nirvana were impossible to ignore, one day they just arrived on our radio’s.  It was like an alien spaceship had landed.  One day they were not there and the next they were and the world would have to deal with it.  With the release of Nevermind Nirvana took off like a rocket and unintentionally laid waste to pretty much everything else that was going on in the Rock and Metal world at the time.  Their impact and influence was huge.  Seemingly overnight Grunge was all the rage.  The last person who wanted all this attention was the junkie, nihilistic uber charismatic Kurt Cobain.  Once ‘Teen Spirit’ got airplay the genie was well and truly out the bottle.  Read more >

1991

[RELEASED 1991]

alive

Alive, Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam were great, more than any other band at the time they symbolised the whole Seattle vibe and the type of kids who couldn’t identify with spandex and make-up and just wanted to get back to a more down-to-earth sound and play music.  Just like Punk, Grunge became a whole genre that affected everything from fashion to films.  These genres never really last because the record companies get onto it and all their A&R people change overnight from wearing tight jeans and big hair to long shorts and lumberjack shirts.  They are fickle mother fuckers and once they find the next big thing there is blood in the water and a whole lot of bands who are not very good jump in.  The beauty of it is that the really good bands go on to become timeless classics.  Read more >

1991

[RELEASED 1991]

soundgarden

Rusty Cage, Sound Garden

Sound Garden put out some really good stuff, their sound started to morph into something other than grunge in the later albums and it started to become clear that Chris Cornell would have to do other stuff like solo albums and Audioslave.  Badmotorfinger was actually their 3rd album and they really started to hit their stride with Superunkown getting a No1 position on the Billboard Hot 200.  Superunknown is esential listening.  Read more >

1992

[RELEASED 1992]

rooster

Rooster, Alice in Chains

One of my favorite albums the Grunge years.  Dust is simply put an absolutely perfect album in space and time.  Just like Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard and Mike McCready, it would seem that Jerry Cantrell didn’t get the memo about no guitar solo’s in grunge.  Dirt is jam packed with awesome guitar solo’s and riffs.  Alice in Chains just got it all right and the songs are so strong they could never get better in my opinion: ‘Down in a Hole’, ‘Angry Chair’, ‘Rooster’ and the incredible ‘Godsmack’.  In the end when it came to Layne Staley the words ”And God’s name is smack for some” turned out to be as much for him as it was for Andy Wood.  Fucking tragic man 🙁   Read more >

1991

[RELEASED 1991]

oneu2

One, U2

If this seems a bit out of place here then bear with me because it was ahuge release in 1991 which was such a good year for music and I gave it huge airtime.  I am not a big fan of U2 generally, I read a review for their debut album Boy in Scope magazine in early 1981 and the reviewer raved and wrote about it in a way that made me believe this would be my next great discovery.  Sadly that was not the case and I remember being bitterly disappointed and trying harder to like it than I should have.  They have some absoluely amazing stuff so I tend to pull that out of the rest of the more ‘Unforgettable’ songs.  Achtung Baby however is different, it’s all good.  Read more >

1993

[RELEASED 1993]

circusofpower

Mama Tequila, Circus of Power

Circus of power was a Vas discovery, Vas and I were good mates and the details can all be found in The Story of Rock and Roll.  He played me a tape by this band and it immediately went into the tape deck in my car and stayed there for about 3 months.  That is probably a record.  Read more >

1993

[RELEASED 1993]

aerosmithcrazy

Crazy, Aerosmith

Aerosmith are one of the USA’s true great rock bands, they have seen it all and done it all.  I always kind of had them down in my head as the poor man’s Rolling Stones but that’s just me.  There is no denying the success that they have had.  After a lengthy patch of pretty crap albums and then a long break they shot back to stardom with the release of Permanent Vacation in 1987 which they followed up with the massively successful Pump and Get a Grip.  Read more >

1996

[RELEASED 1996]

refuse_resist

Refuse/Resist, Sepultura

Sepultura were awesome, like Machinehead they were building on that powerbase that had started with the success Pantera were having and they were one of a handful of really good bands that were also unsociably fucking heavy.  Sepultura’s Beneath The Remains was a land mark release but it was clearly built around an international sound and the Cavellera brothers childhood influences of Motorhead, Priest, Sabbath, Zeppelin etc., basically the influences everyone had.  It was only on the release of the absolutely brilliant Arise that they started to chart their own unique course.  They followed Arise with Chaos A.D. and then Roots.  Each album built on the one before and bought in new dimensions of sound and song writing.  Being a Brazilian band they had a whole treasure trove of indigenous cultural music to draw from and it was showcased on Roots which was released in 1996.  Unfortunately that was the same time Max left the band and I always felt they lost their way a bit after that.  Read more >

1994

[RELEASED 1994]

trigger-inside

Trigger Inside, Therapy?

Therapy? Released Troublegum in 1994 and it was a big album for them.  It had a lot of hooks but it was seriously aggressive and had a guitar sound that was fantastic.  I felt they lost their way after this and that really they were a one album wonder.  Whatever your views about that the fact remains that Troublegum is a classic album.  Read more >

1994

[RELEASED 1994]

live_lightning_crashes

Lightning Crashes, Live

Throwing Copper was a massive album.  Live seemed to come out of nowhere and then there was this amazing album which started with an opening track where the band went on Tilt and then just became an absolute masterwork of well written songs.  Read more >

1994

[RELEASED 1994]

nin

Closer, NIN

Trent razor and Nine Inch Nails almost signify the mid 90’s in my mind.  It was a strange period and it almost felt like everyone had run out of ideas.  It just seemed like the same shit being repeated but not as good.  NIN hit the scene and brought in this really technically competent use of computers, drum loops and production effects and mixed it with a huge dose of sick fuck misery.  For a while it just seemed that whatever Reznor touched would turn to gold and together with producer Flood it seemed like everyone wanted to work with them.  They were hugely influential and a whole raft of Industrial Metal bands hit their stride riding on the back of the success NIN were having. Read more >

1994

[RELEASED 1994]

lurveisstrong

Love is Strong, The Rolling Stones

The Stones were back in 1994 with a stunning new album Voodoo Lounge.  This was a real return to form and resulted in a massive worldwide tour.  I was fortunate enough to have tickets to see them at Ellis Park on 24 Feb 1995.  It was one of the best shows I have ever seen and there is nothing to beat a malevolent looking Mick Jagger in his top hat and shades swaying and strutting to Sympathy For The Devil.  When he sings ”Please allow me to introduce myself” the fucking place went nuts.  Being part of a crowd of 85 000 fans and witnessing that was and still is one of my favourite Rock and Roll memories.  Read more >

1994

[RELEASED 1994]

davidianmachinehead

Davidian, Machinehead

Machinehead were a serious kick up the arse for everyone.  This band were really heavy and the debut album Burn My Eyes was a monster.  I think Machinehead actually deserve a lot more success than they have had.  Pound for pound they are one of the best Metal bands around in the last 20 years.  It’s seriously heavy but still retains that riffing rock melody that stops it just becoming an atonal mess.  The bottom line is that the songs are good, very fucking good.   Read more >

1994

[RELEASED 1994]

megadeth_atoutlemonde

A Tout Le Monde, Megadeth

I have nothing bad to say about Megadeth, they have consistently put out great music for the best part of 30 years.  Youthanasia, which was released in 1994 carried on where Rust in peace and Symphony of Destruction had left off.  These 3 are arguably Dave’s finest work and it is the second last album featuring what is widely regarded as their best line-up: Mustaine, Freidman, Ellefson, Menza. Read more >

1994

[RELEASED 1994]

alanis-morissette

Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette

Not my cup of tea but this song was a tour de force when it was released and was the catalyst for a whole lot of angry rocker type chicks.  Alanis was clearly far too talented to be held back, once she got into the public eye she became a big star very quickly. Read more >

1995

[RELEASED 1995]

whitezombie-astrocreep2000

Electric Head Pt1, White Zombie Astrocreep 2000

White Zombie wasn’t the sort of band I would normally like because it was a bit, for want of a better word ”dance-y”.  There was an undeniable power to it and once I got the album I really started to like it.  Another big draw card was Rob Zombie himself who turns out to be a very smart dude.  If you need proof watch the interviews with him on the brilliant DVD Metal: A Headbangers Journey.  Read more >

1995

[RELEASED 1995]

oasis_some_might_say_cover

Some might say, Oasis

Brit Rock became the new big hope for the UK in the mid 90’s.  Oasis basically tapped into that vein of sulky short haired rebellious UK youth and went for it.  Definitely Maybe was a great album but What’s the Story was massive and went on to sell over 22 million copies worldwide, it went Platinum all over the world and sold 4.8 million copies in the US alone.  Read more >

1997

[RELEASED 1997]

horizontaal

Horisontaal, Valiant Swart

Valiant Swart is a South African legend, I saw him so many times between 1996 and 2006 that I can’t count them.  We used to watch him at the big festivals like Wingerstok or Oppikoppie and he was always the highlight of the show.  Some of my best memories of him were the small intimate acoustic gigs where he would sit with an acoustic guitar, play his songs and tell the audience stories of dope smoking small town sheriffs in the Mississippi Delta, or playing with Mel Botha’s to Tannies with purple hair at the old age home.  He is brilliantly entertaining and simply just one of the nicest guys around.  Read more >

1997

[RELEASED 1997]

springboknudegirls

Baby Murdered Me, Springbok Nude Girls

The Nudies were the best band in the country by a mile for a few years.  We used to watch them at places like Mercury Live or the River Club and they were fantastic….. or they weren’t.  It just depended on what happened on the night.  Sometimes they would play the most obscure stuff that they had written but no-one knew, other times you would know the words to every song.  It was a strange mix of music because of the combinations of metal guitar with keyboards and trumpet.  Without doubt Adriaan Brand’s contribution to the band was massive.  Like all really unique and brilliant bands it was an incredible mix of talents and personalities.  When they were on form they were untouchable.  Read more >

2000

[RELEASED 2000]

seether_gasoline

Gasoline, Seether

Saron Gas came blasting out of Jo’burg in about May 1999 and it was quite obvious very quickly that they were way to big for South Africa.  They played probably their last gig under the name Saron Gas at the Whammy Bar and as documented in The Story of Rock and Roll I had a massive role in telling Shaun Morgan not to change their name from Saron Gas to Seether 🙂 Seether went on to be probably one of the most commercially successful bands the country has produced.   Read more >

2004

[RELEASED 2002]

mark-haze

Single, 12th Avenue

When I met 12th Avenue they were just a bunch of lighties playing at the Whammy bar and local bars in Tableview like Breakers and that pool bar that the Uninvited got shut down for being too loud in.  Without doubt 12th Avenue were all about Mark Haze and he is one of those supremely talented guys who is just born in the wrong country.  I used to watch them blast through classic rock covers better than the originals but it was their own stuff that really caught me.  In another place and another time Mark could have fronted any major rock band from Purple to Zeppelin to Priest he just has that golden rock voice.    Read more >

2008

[RELEASED 2004]

reconciliationday

Reconciliation day, Koos Kombuis

I first saw Koos at Wingerstok in about 1997, he played a blistering show with a full band and it was as energetic as it gets.  He ran around with an SA flag as a cape and  drank his bottle of Tassies.  He took us through a set of his own brand of South African protest music.  It was when he got close to the end of the show and had the whole field full of rabid, drunken students, drop-outs and miscellaneous hippies singing along to ‘Johnny is nie Dood Nie’ that I realised what genius we had up there on stage.   Read more >

2003

[RELEASED 1997]

piet

Goeie Nag Generaal, Piet Botha and Jackhammer

Another SA legend, Piet Botha had been around in SA music for a long time, I remember being with Metalmorphosis at an album launch party at Gates when Jackhammer played in about 1995 but they had already been going since 1984.  They were great at Gates but to be honest at the time with my head in some pretty brutal metal like Pantera, Carcass, Metallica, Slayer etc. his brand of US blues rock didn’t really stand out.  It was only about 5 years later after hearing him and talking to him in the Whammy Bar that I really got into what he was all about.    Piet is the real deal, a man who has a passion for the music he loves and chose the difficult path of a professional musician singing original music in South Africa.  To me he is our own version of Lemmy, a rock ‘n’ roll lifer who is respected by everyone and who tells it like it is.  Respect \m/   Read more >

2004

[RELEASED 2004]

fokof

Tevrede, Fokofpolisiekar

The most influential band in South Africa is how I would describe Fokofpolisiekar.  The impact they had on teenagers and specifically white Afrikaans teenagers is massive, as could be seen by the proliferation of copycat bands in the mid 2000’s .  This is well documented in the Story of Rock and Roll so I won’t go into it here but just know that you are listening to one of the finest bands the country has ever produced in terms of originality, perseverance and a fuck you we’ll do it our way attitude.    Read more >

2008

[RELEASED 2008]

safeashouses

Safe As Houses, Aking

This came a bit later chronologically, as explained in The Story of Rock and Roll once we got into SA music in a big way we never stopped listening to it again afterwards so anything coming out from Valiant onwards we would just snap up.  Aking arose from the remnants of Fokofpolisiekar when they decided to go in different directions.  We had Francois and Wynand in Van Coke Kartel, Hunter and Snake going to Aking and Johnny in ‘retirement’.  What Aking had which really made them stand out was the multi talented Laudo Liebenberg.  I watched him one night at Stones in Tableview when Francois VC was struggling a bit ( 🙂  Ja bru that Jägermeister is a bitch).  Laudo just took the whole thing on and finished the set almost singlehandedly.  He is very special one would have though that with Hunter in the band lyrics were sorted but it looked like he just took a backseat because Laudo’s own lyrics were just so incredibly good.  Read more >

2013

[RELEASED 2013]

moregloed

Moregloed, Van Coke Kartel

The other half of FPK started Van Coke Kartel and obviously I loved them from day one but I have to say that at the outset Aking were a more polished outfit with better songs.  In typical Francois fashion he just grafted and grafted and through sheer hard work and perseverance pulled VCK up to being one of the finest rock bands in the country.  Initially he was playing guitar which put him at a distinct disadvantage because he is one of the best front men I have ever seen and clearly he wasn’t the worlds best guitarist.  As a three piece it was even harder and I watched a very rough gig at The Doors in Edenvale where they really struggled to win the crowd over.  Once they got the world class Jedd Kossew on guitar the line-up clicked, the pressure on Francois to do all the guitaring dissipated and the songs got better and better.  Read more >

2002

[RELEASED 2002]

inflames

Pinball Map, In Flames

In Flames are known to me and my friends as ”Johnny’s Gift”, you’ll have to read The Story of Rock and Roll to find out why but when I heard these guys I went seriously nuts.  The earlier albums Whoracle and The Jester’s Race were so musically good and so interesting compared to all the Nu Metal coming out at the time that they became my new favourite band for a couple of years.  They were the first band doing Death metal vocal style that I really liked and it made me appreciate it a lot more.  Read more >

2004

[RELEASED 2002]

joe_bonamassa

Miss You, hate You, Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa is a phenomenal guitarist, he has almost single handily put the blues back on the map.  He has to one of the most prolific artists around today in terms of album releases.  You can pretty much guarantee that Joe will give you a new album every 12 to 18 months and he isn’t just rehashing the same old shit, they  are remarkably different given the genre that he is playing in.  Some will argue that there is a bit too much Bonamassa around these days he is everywhere, there is so much product out there, live shows, guest appearances etc., etc. that you could almost drown in it.  I won’t count myself amongst those who think that.  Read more >

1997

[RELEASED 1997]

Creed_My_Own_Prison

My Own Prison, Creed

Coming out in 1997 Creed got extremely popular very quickly.  They were clearly a cut above everyone else and it was really down to song writing.  When they broke up and turned into Alter Bridge with Myles Kennedy in the place of Scott Stapp they were still great but for my money Scott Stapp had something to add to the mix that Myles didn’t when it came to song writing.  I reckon that mark Tremonti wrote his best riffs in Creed and they were a really good band if you can get past the overly Christian themed lyrics.  Scott is a brilliant example of singing about one thing and then living completely contrary to what he was promoting.  Not the first time that staunch Christians have done this.  Read more >

1997

[RELEASED 1997]

Foo_Fighters_Monkey_Wrench_CD1

Monkey Wrench, The Foo Fighters

The Foo Fighters have become one of the greatest rock acts in the world.  They have a load of haters for some reason but to they have just improved with every album.  It is safe to say that when Nirvana died with Kurt no-one really gave the Foo’s any chance at all.  Dave was the drummer for the Foo’s and he was highly rated for that, now he was going to start his own band and instead of drumming he became guitarist and front man.  It is a testament to the sheer talent of the man that he could be in two of the most successful bands in the world in two completely different roles.  Read more >

1997

[RELEASED 1997]

SOAD

Sugar, System of a Down

System of a Down are a very special band.  Sometimes there is a chemistry between band members that makes them unique, bands like Queen, Rammstein and Van Halen have their own sound and its these bands that really drive the music forward, they spawn imitators but they are totally original.  System are one of these bands.  When their eponymous debut was released it was a real ”what the fuck is this type album”, it was amazing,  For my money it will always be their finest album, it is so raw and politically charged.  These okes put Armenia on the rock and roll map. Read more >

1999

[RELEASED 1999]

Buckcherry_lit_up

Lit Up, Buckcherry

At the end of the 20th century there was a bit of a good time party rock is dead feel.  The Nu Metal thing was starting to happen and all that shit was great but some of it was really depressing and miserable, like it had a grunge hangover.  Out of seemingly nowhere I got to hear Buckcherry and all was right in the world again.  These guys were back onto the banging chicks snorting crack style of party music which seemed to have died with Van Halen, Guns ‘n’Roses and Motley Crue.   Read more >

2000

[RELEASED 2000]

220px-TheSickness

The Sickness, Disturbed

Metal had hit a bit of a low patch at the turn of the century, grunge killed off hair metal but then when grunge kind of ate itself there wasn’t really anything else to fill the gap.  The old guard classic bands would always be putting out great albums but there wasn’t anything new.  Then we got what was termed Nu Metal and it came from all directions and as with punk everyone got lumped in whether they fitted in the box or not, that is why bands as diverse as Korn, Limp Bizkit, P.O.D and Disturbed all got the tag.  Disturbed were really good, it was fucking heavy and obviously driven by Dave Draiman’s voice.  The Sickness is a land mark album and it has aged brilliantly. Read more >

2001

[RELEASED 2001]

Drowning-Pool-Bodies

Bodies, Drowning Pool

You could make a case for one hit wonder here.  Drowning Pool were good but they weren’t ever going to reach the heights that the ‘A’ level classic metal bands were at.  It was pretty clear to me that they were never going to be headlining or getting on the main stage too often at festivals like Download and Rock Im ring.  Put it this way if they were going to get on those stages then it was purely going to be as a result of this one, pile driving, poes heavy slice of perfect rock and roll.  Vocalist Dave Williams died of a heart disease about a year after the multi platinum album Sinner, which kicked off with this track, was released.  Although they made some good albums  I don’t think they were ever the same again.  Read more >

2001

[RELEASED 2001]

Slipknot-Iowa

Iowa, Slipknot

Suddenly the 21st century seemed to come alive and there was nothing like Slipknot to announce this metal renaissance.  I’ll be honest here and say that I didn’t get it initially, it didn’t have the melody and the whole horror mask thing just seemed a bit gimmicky to me.  In The Story of Rock and Roll I explain that the first time I heard Slayer I wasn’t a fan and it took the release of their South of Heaven album to make me realise I was missing something.  The same thing happened with Slipknot I only got it when I heard Vol 3 : (The Subliminal Verses).  After that I went back to Iowa and recognised them for the unstoppable force of nature that they were.  Who knew back in 2001 that this would be probably the biggest metal band in the world within 15 years.  Read more >

2001

[RELEASED 2001]

Feuerfrei_single

Feuer Frei, Rammstein

Rammstein will always be a big favourite of mine, they are just so different to everyone else.  Somehow they manage to make it really heavy but still have all these weedy keyboard fills in there.  Obviously it helps that you have a baritone Till Lindemann growling through everything in German but somehow it just seems extraordinarily heavy.  They are also very, very strange and the subject matter covers everything from all types of sex to cannibalism.  It is quite easy to get a bit uncomfortable when you are watching Rammstein video’s, a feeling of ”what the fuck is all this about”.   Add all the flamethrowers and pyrotechnics into the mix and you have a fantastic band that are amazing to watch and to listen to.  Read more >

2002

[RELEASED 2002]

Stone_sour_get_inside

Get Inside, Stone Sour

Slipknot burst onto the scene in the early 2000’s and were widely considered a gimmick band by many.  They managed to dispel this perception through hard work and endless live shows where their presence and showmanship moved them to another level.   In early 2001 the name Corey taylor was pretty much unknown.  Nowadays you can’t read a copy of Metal hammer without either and article about him or at least a few quotes.  He is probably the biggest rock star in metal today.  Having read a few of his books one can see that this is one energetic driven guy.  Too much is never enough, one would think that with Slipknot he’d have his hands full.  Obviously a workaholic Corey put his old pre-Slipknot band Stone Sour back togetrher again with his Slipknot pal James Root.  This debut album was hard hitting and really aggressive but without alll the masks and make-up and additional ‘showmanshit’ that went with being in Slipknot.  I have to say that in many ways I prefered Stone Sour t Slipknot and the second album Come What May is still to this day one of the best albums I have ever heard.  Read more >

2003

[RELEASED 2003]

Avenged_sevenfold_beast_and_the_harlot

Beast and the Harlot, Avenged Sevenfold

It’s weird how many haters this band have.  I keep thinking that the guys who hate them must just not understand guitar at all.  The twin leads of Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance are as good as any of the celebrated world class guitar partnerships Tipton + Downing, Murray + Smith, Gorham + Robertson, they really work well together.  It’s even more eye catching because Zacky is a lefty so the visual impact of them standing back to back shredding it out is amazing.  To get a really good idea of how great AX7 are watch the Live in the LBC video it is amazing.  I remember starting to watch and after about 3 min calling up to Tiya to come and watch this shit.  The two of us were instantly hooked and life long AX7 fans from then on.  I have seen them live at Rock Im Park and they were the best band there.  They really have moved into the upper echelons of metal and now rank right up there with the mega bands that headline stadiums.  there are no weak links in the band, M. Shadows is a great front man he’s got the power, he’s got the range and he’s got the look.  The sad part was the loss of their drummer Jimmy ”The Rev” Sullivan in Dec 2009 and that knocked them hard because they were a band of brothers from High School days in Huntington Beach and he was obviously a big part of what they do.  There have been a number of more than sufficient replacements but in the interviews you can see they miss the chemistry.  Just ask Jason Newsted how hard it is to replace a guy who was part of a band from day 1.  Read more >

2004

[RELEASED 2004]

Green_Day_-_American_Idiot_cover

American Idiot, Green Day

I got Dookie when it came out but it wasn’t really big with anyone else I was hanging with.  Green Day put out a couple of albums that were not as good and then they kinda disappeared.  In 2004 they released American Idiot and I bought it immediately without having even heard a track, some things you just know.  It was fucking phenomenal.  I went home and had a mini melt-up where I played it non-stop and almost got back to jumping on the bed with a tennis racquet days.  The family didn’t get it at all.  It’s always a damper when you think something is the best thing you have heard in years and everyone else doesn’t.  But a year later everybody was a Green Day befok.  Read more >

2004

[RELEASED 2004]

VelvetRevolver

Fall To Pieces, Velvet Revolver

Out of the collapse of Guns ‘n’ Roses briefly came Velvet Revolver.  With both Slash, Duff and Matt in the band they put out a surpisingly good debut album.  Replacing Axl was always going to be an impossible task but with the inclusion of Stone Temple Pilot Scott Weiland they had a pretty good thing going.  The second album Libertab was in my opinion awful but Contraband has become a classic rock album and contained some very good songs.  Read more >

2005

[RELEASED 2005]

arch_enemy_t_close

My Apocalypse, Arch Enemy

Arch Enemy are a really great band, the first thing that floored most people was the fact that the inhuman gutteral death vocal was actually being done by a female vocalist.  Angela Gossow reset the standard by which female metal vocalists would be measured in future.  I think that the guitarist is highly undrrated and if you listen to Arch Enemy you will hear some incredible melodic lead lines and riffs which set them apart from some of the other bands at the time where it really just all seemed to be growling in a monotonous dirge of downtuned guitars.  Michael Amott who had spent time in Carcass just seemed to find his feet in his new outfit.  The songs were defnitely a cut above your average death metal.  Read more >

2004

RELEASED 2004

Mastodon

The Mother Lode, Mastodon

I got into Mastodon in 2004 when they released their monstorpiece Leviathan. The album received critical acclaim with magazines like Kerrang and Metal Hammer punting it like cray. I was very impressed and it took a good number of listens to get it all in. A bit like Rush, Mastodon are the type of band that after the 100th listen you still find something new that you hadn’t noticed before. The arrangements are massively complex and you have a situation where the drummer, lead guitarist and bassist all do lead vocals at various points, a bit like Queen in that respect, but it gives a massive diversity to the songs. They also write in different combinations like Iron Maiden do so that also prevents anything sounding too derivative. I was fortunate enough to see them live in 2011 at Rock Im Park and they were easily one of the best 5 bands at that festival. I class Mastodon as a ‘special band’ which as defined in The Story Of Rock and Roll is one of those bands that have a unique chemistry and synergy and just don’t sound like anyone else. I can’t praise them highly enough, give them a listen you won’t be disappointed.  Read more >

2010

[RELEASED 2008]

The-Gaslight-Anthem-The-59-Sound

The '59 Sound, The Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem are an incredible band, I explain how I found them in The Story of Rock and Roll but if you haven’t checked them out they are one of the best bands I have heard in the last 20 years.  Sadly they seem to be on a hiatus at the moment or maybe even broken up but there are 5 incredible albums to fall back on.  This is way out in terms of chronology but it fits with where it is discussed in The Story of Rock and Roll.  Read more >