Welcome to my music blog. In these entries I will highlight a particular genre, time period, or artist and give you a week’s worth of listening as examples. You can go to Pandora, Spotify, or your favorite music site to listen to or download the music.
I wish I could say each list was the result of years of research, my own musical experience, and critical consensus of critics, but they aren’t. They are just things I find interesting. I listen to many types of music, but I tend to love to find overlooked bands/songs or bands that were big but that history has kind of forgotten.
There will be glaring omissions, egregious inclusions, and outright mistakes. If you agree or disagree, want to clue me into other possibilities, or explain some odd point of music history, please leave a comment. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the music.
I make no excuses for my love of late ‘70s hard rock. The feel good, have fun, music that glorified all the wrong things. I was in my formative years, and this music burrowed its way into my tender psyche and stayed, probably pushing out something that would have been useful. I also have a love for a few bands that I like to classify as Also-Rans, or Dead Ends. These are bands that built on what came before, but had little influence on what came after. They had hits, some even had bit hits, but for the most part they are forgotten by the masses, destined to play the Reservation Casino-State Fair circuit with a whatever surviving members are still alive and talking to each other.
I always liked UFO, a band that falls into this group perfectly (April Wine fits here for me also, but they are for a different day). A few years ago I made the connection between them and another band I liked, The Scorpions. Rudolf Schenker and Michael Schenker were both in the Scorpions at one time. Michael is the younger brother of Rudolf and joined his band for a short time in the early ‘70s. Michael left the band after a few years and joined UFO, leading a period of their best work. Michael had some drug and alcohol issues though and was booted from the band. He went back to the Scorpions and they released the Lovedrive album, the first one that had an impact in the US and lead to their next two big hit albums. Alas, by this time Michaels issues had gotten him booted from the Scorpions also. He put together MSG, Michael Schenker Group and released an album, one that captured some of the power that was UFO, but was a bit more accessible and better produced that UFO. Alas it wasn’t to last, as drugs and alcohol and personality issues dogged MSG. Interesting to note that both UFO and Scorpions were much, much bigger in Europe and Japan than they were in the us.
Note: In my opinion, the studio recordings of UFO or Michael Schenker Group just never captured the energy of live performances. Listen to the studio versions first, then find a live one to see what I mean. For extra credit listen to UFO’s Strangers in the Night. I think this is probably one of the best hard rock live albums every made, even with the uneven sound recording.
Monday – UFO: “Rock Bottom”, “Doctor Doctor”
Tuesday – UFO: “To Hot To Handle”, “Only You Can Rock Me”
Wednesday – Scorpions: “Loving you Sunday Morning”, “LoveDrive”
Thursday – Scorpions: “Big City Lights”, “Blackout”
Friday – Michael Schenker Group: “Are you ready to rock”, “Armed and Ready”
UFO: Live versions of “Lights Out”, and “Love to Love”