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July 2023

Newsletter July 2023

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INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the eight edition of The Story of Rock and Roll newsletter.  This newsletter covers shows from S6E22 through to S6E26, they are all on the podcast sites.  Quick links to all things TSORR are at the end of the newsletter if you need them.

HIGHLIGHTS

There were a couple of highlights in June, the first being a worldwide exclusive for TSORR.  We got to play ‘Leviticus’ the brand-new track off Philistine’s debut album Seranim first.  I also interviewed band members Marq and Dean.  You can read more in the SA Music section.  We may also do a one-hour interview to discuss the making and meaning of the songs making up Seranim.  Let me know if that is something you want to hear. 

In other news, we started a new feature called Mystery Song.  Metal Jaco, a listener in the Western Cape sends me a track from a band I don’t know.  I play it on the show without having heard it and it’s a lot of fun.  The first Mystery Song was ‘Day of the Cloud’ by a band called Orbit Culture.  As things often do it went off the rails the very next week and my musical director Athol stepped in with a Brody Dalle track called ‘Don’t Mess With Me’.  Mystery Song fell apart after that, but we will do it every now and again if you like it.   

Finally, for those of you who missed it, you can hear the TSORR – Best of June 2023 Spotify Playlist here:  https://open.spotify.com/playlist/09LcE6IFRMROXd4dw6W6Ie

ULTIMATE CHALLENGE

Each week we look at four albums from a particular year, the idea is you are only allowed to choose one.  It is the old gun to the head problem.  In May we looked at 1971, 1994, 1982, 2009, and 2018.

1971 was a hell of a challenge, keeping it down to four albums was a problem in itself.  An example of the quality of albums released in 1971 can be seen by those left out which included Who’s Next, Hunky Dory, L.A. Woman, and Fireball.  Similarly, for 1994, I left out Superunknown, Dookie, Smash, Troublegum, and The Downward Spiral

1971

1971

1971: Look at Yourself (Uriah Heep), Aqualung (Jethro Tull), Black Dog (Led Zeppelin), Sweet Leaf (Black Sabbath).  Led Zeppelin were quite far ahead but in the end, Jethro Tull (also my pick) won the Ultimate Challenge. 

1994

1994:  Everything Zen (Bush), Addicted to Chaos (Megadeth), Davidian (Machine Head), Strength Beyond Strength (Pantera).  Megadeth were the clear winner.

1982

1982: Fast as a Shark (Accept), ‘There’s No-one Like You’ (Scorpions), Number of the Beast (Iron Maiden), and Devil’s Child (Judas Priest).  It wasn’t rigged, Priest took it from Maiden, by a single vote.   

2009

2009:  World Painted Blood (Slayer), Hard to See (Five Finger Death Punch), Haifisch (Rammstein), & Headcrusher (Megadeth).  This week was another tie between Rammstein and Megadeth

2018

2018:  Lover, Leaver (Greta Van Fleet), Do Not Disturb (Halestorm, Trampled Down Below (Black Label Society), and Firepower (Judas Priest).  In the end, it was Priest again.

THE IMMORTALS

The Immortals feature continues to highlight special songs of over seven minutes long that showcase what a band is capable of, and more importantly, what it is known for.  In no particular order, we listened to Frank Zappa’s ‘Titties and Beer’ off the Zappa Live in New York album, and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ off Who’s Next

Zappa Live in New York

On S6E24 we heard Neil Young’s masterpiece ‘Crime In The City’ off Freedom released in 1989 and then the following week it was the turn of New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) pioneers Iron Maiden and their track ‘Phantom of the Opera’.

The final Immortal’s track for the month of June came from W.A.S.P. off one of the finest concept albums ever released The Crimson Idol.  We took a listen to ‘Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in The New Morgue)’.  The song deals with the relationship between Johnathan the protagonist of the story and a ruthless record company executive

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NEW RELEASES & NEW DISCOVERIES

A lot of albums dropped this month.  Three albums that have played a big part of TSORR in previous months finally arrived in totality.  We had BuckcherryVol 10, Foo Fighter – So Here We Are, Extreme – Six, and Rival Sons – Darkfighter.  I struggled a bit with the Foo Fighters until I had some time alone and I could just turn up the volume and focus on it.  It is a stunning piece of work.  If you are a fan, make sure you give it some time, I believe it will come to be seen as some of their best work ever.  This article is a good one to read to orientate your mind to what you are listening to. 

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-65769192.amp

Buckcherry Vol 10
Extreme Six

New discoveries in June included a supergroup called Elegant Weapons (thanks to Mad Brad from Bulldogs Radio for finding that one).  This supergroup has Ritchie Faulkner (Judas Priest) on guitar together with vocalist Ronnie Romero (Rainbow), drummer Christopher Williams (Accept), and Dave Rimmer(Uriah Heep) on Bass. 

Junkyard are a band I used to play often in the Whammy Bar in Tableview.  For more on the Whammy Bar check outhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KECQBOW).  Junkyard had a great album called Sixes, Sevens, and Nines and this month I discovered they have a few more albums, one of which High Water featured on S6E23

My greatest discovery this month is an album called Butch Walker as…. Glenn, I am loving this album.  Butch Walker is a top producer, solo artist, and ex-member of the Marvelous 3.  This album is a tribute to the style of ‘70s piano heroes such as Elton John and Billy Joel.  It is the TSORR find of the year at this point in time. 

IT’S WHAT YOU SAY THAT COUNTS

One of the greatest things about growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s was having the lyric sheets printed out on the inside album sleeve.   Listening to the album while reading the lyrics was one of the most pleasurable activities I had growing up.  I think it gave me a much greater appreciation of the music.  Although many don’t bother to do it, I find that Googling the lyrics while listening to TSORR podcasts, or music in general, lets me focus better on the song.  Try it and you will find that the songs mean so much more.  Lyrics are such a wonderful part of Rock music, here are a few of the best ones featured in June.     

IN THE FLESH

So ya thought ya might like to go to the show
To feel the warm thrill of confusion, that space cadet glow
I got some bad news for you, sunshine
Pink isn’t well, he stayed back at the hotel
And they sent us along as a surrogate band
We’re gonna find out where you fans really stand       

Pink Floyd, 1979 (S6E23)  

CRIME IN THE CITY

The artist looked at the producer
The producer sat back
He said, What we have got here
Is a perfect track
But we don’t have a vocal
And we don’t have a song
If we could get
These things accomplished
Nothin’ else could go wrong.
So he balanced the ashtray
As he picked up the phone
And said, Send me a songwriter
Who’s drifted far from home
And make sure that he’s hungry
Make sure he’s alone
Send me a cheeseburger
And a new Rolling Stone.

Neil Young, 1989 (S6E24)

SOUTH AFRICAN SCENE

This was probably the month where we had the least interaction ever with SA artists and new SA Music.  Devo Oosthuizen who works closely with TSORR and sends us all the latest releases and info took a well-earned three-week vacation which left a bit of a gap in the local content.  The good news is he is back, and we have some awesome interviews and new releases lined up for July. 

As mentioned earlier TSORR had an exclusive to the first ever airing of the brand-new track from Philistine.  The track is called ‘Leviticus’ and I got to speak to both frontman Marq Vas and Guitarist Dean Smith about Leviticus and the release of the new album Seranim.  Both Marq and Dean are SA Metal legends, Dean was in Ragnarök, Brothering, Balance, and Odyssey.  Since leaving SA he has released plenty of music as Mouthful of Flies and Deangersmith.  Marq Vas was the face and voice of Metalmorphosis, a band that dominated the JHB metal scene in the mid to late ‘90s.  Here is the video of ‘Leviticus’. 

The album was expected to be released on 20th June but then was inexplicably banned.  It comes as a shock to be honest because as much as you would expect the guys who stormed South African Metal in bands such as Metalmorphosis, Odyssey, and Ragnarök not to be competing in the peace, love, and gospel market they are certainly not doing anything more controversial than Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Slayer, Kreator, or any of the thousands of Metal bands that can be found on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and everywhere else.  I got an update about the banning from Marq Vas on episode S6E24, check it out and keep an ear open for Dean Smith’s priceless chirp.  We gave their debut single ‘Blue Train’ another spin and settled back to wait for the problem to be solved. Hopefully, in July. 

CHEERS @#$%’s

The June shows discussed in this month’s newsletter can be heard on S6E22 – S6E26.  Feel free to drop me a message on The Story of Rock and Roll Facebook page or via email at thestoryofrockandroll1@gmail.com

For those of you who are new to TSORR here are the quick references to find The Story of Rock and Roll Radio Show:

THURSDAY’s Live on Rebel Rock Radio from 19h00 – 22h00 South African time.  www.rrr.cat

FRIDAY’s on Bulldogs Radio [6:00]-[7:00] PM catch TSORR Turbo https://bulldogs-radio.com/, respectively.  

PODCAST: The three-hour show is available as a podcast on most popular podcast sites, including Apple, Overcast, Castbox, and Google, or get it here at the host site https://www.buzzsprout.com/273305.

TSORR PLAYLIST:  For Spotify junkies, you can get TSORR Best of the Month playlists at https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6dfJz2DNDh6z5UswxTpmSZ

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/TSORR1/

WEBSITE:  https://thestoryofrockandroll.com/

Take care and keep rockin’. 

Cheers for now

James