The Ballad Of Ruby

Like I said yesterday I love how eclectic my songs seem to be when the shuffle button is utilised. From the more thrash orientated of things I’ve had Hellion, Children of Bodom followed by Deathwish. First song today is by Tyketto. A proper curve ball and I can’t get much further apart from yesterday to today’s offering. 

As stated earlier I don’t do bad songs (even the Nickelback songs I have are decent!*) so I have no problems with listening to this track (which incidentally was followed by Final Six by Slayer). I can’t really remember listening to this song before. Another ballad, obviously, from the band that kind of reminds me of The Black Crowes or bringing it more up to date The Temperance Movement. 

New York’s Tyketto were formed back in 1987 by Waysted vocalist Danny Vaughn, who is a stunning frontman. The Ballad of Ruby is from the bands third release Shine, so I’ve obviously got a cross section of their catalogue in my library, but it’s really only their debut Don’t Come Easy that I’m overly familiar with, and so are most other people who are simply “familiar” with the name. 

I’ve seen them twice now. It should have been three but their UK club dates last year were cancelled and I couldn’t make the rescheduled Liverpool show. The first time was a brief set in a rather large tent during Download 2010. The biggest crowd reaction was for Forever Young. It’s from the debut album and is one of those songs that you didn’t know you knew! 

Six years later they were in North Wales for Hard Rock Hell AOR. It was the same weekend that Hammerfest and AOR were held in union. Quite handy when I had my wife in tow so we didn’t have to suffer Cradle of Filth. It was the silver anniversary of the first album so they played it in full, just backwards, much like Metallica did on the European Black Album tour in 2012. As Danny Vaughn said, everyone would leave after the first song which is Forever Young. The same reason Metallica didn’t open with Enter Sandman? 

Right, I’m suffering with this stinking head cold and making too many mistakes here, I’ve had to write pretty much every other word twice as I just can’t type today. And I also have an Iron Maiden ticket for Saturday to try and sell. Who thought that would be so hard?

After 408 posts I appear to have come across a song that isn’t a standalone track on YouTube in some form. The link below should take you to the full album. Fast forward to about twenty two minutes if you’re interested. 

(* NOT delirium setting in. Honest) 

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In The Name Of God

I really enjoy loading as much music as I can onto my phone and just pressing shuffle to see where the ride takes me. It’s a pretty rare occurrence that I’ll grab a CD or start an album in its digital form and just play it from track one, unless it’s a new release or I’m preparing for a gig or something. 

I’ve got a fair few songs on my iPhone and I’d like to think the majority of them are okay songs at the very least, but once in a while something embarrassing might pop up and I have to reach for the advance button, depending on the company at the time. 

Fortunately this track isn’t in that dirty little secret category. It also once in a while throws up something unexpected that you just have to think “wow, I’ve not heard that in ages“. 

I’ve had the the albums Edge of Damnation and Demon Preacher by Brighton’s Deathwish in one format or another in my collection for as long as I can remember, going right back to my school days easily. But that’s about all I know about this band. 

Their Motörhead tinged thrash metal had something a bit different to the other British bands doing the rounds at the time. From the bands this island had to offer Deathwish probably had a sound closest to the German Teutonic artists. 

They seem to be a complete enigma to many, even from those old enough to remember them. Unless someone is trying to gain some retroactive scene points, they very rarely get mentioned in conversations with the likes of UK stalwarts Acid Reign, Xentrix, Onslaught, Sabbat or Re-Animator. Their second album was released in 1988 and I’m not sure when they chucked the towel in, so I might have missed the Deathwish boat completely, but I can’t recall ever seeing them in Kerrang!, Metal Hammer (when both magazines were good) when I was reading them from probably 1988 onwards. 

I hope Mr Glasper managed to get a few words out of them for his UK thrash metal book, as I’d be intrigued to know more about the band from the band themselves. If they’d been from the States I surmise that they’d be much more of a household name than they are today. 

Ghost Riders In The Sky

Fire & Ice in Manchester last night was another failure. I woke up yesterday for my first day back at work with a sore throat (not the band I hasten to add!). I’ve been expecting to come down with a bout of man flu all of last week with late nights and early morning along with some aeroplane recycled air. I’ve got four days to exorcise it from my body, I don’t really fancy sniffling and my throat hurting when I gulp my pints of Trooper over the weekend.  

Continuing with random iPod shuffling, today’s gold medal goes to a Finnish melodic death metal band who haven’t been featured in the blog since November 2015 and not long after I started this collection of inane ramblings. I almost spun on to the silver track, but I didn’t fancy listening to U2 either. 

I think I have four versions of this 1948 Stan Jones country and western song in my iTunes library, but today gave me the Children of Bodom version, which appeared as a bonus track on the Japanese release of the band’s 2008 album Blooddrunk, not their finest thirty seven minutes. 

I’ve never knowingly heard the original and it has been covered over fifty times in its almost seventy year history. I’m more familiar with versions by Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s on their country inspired album, a cover by Australian rockers Spiderbait that featured in the Ghost Rider film from 2007 and finally the Johnny Cash interpretation from his 1979 album Silver. 

Never released as a single, but on YouTube there are several live versions to pick from. Hopefully I’ve chosen a half decent video for your perusal. This version was filmed during their performance at the Tuska Festival last year. 

Screams In The Night


Due to the fact that besides a pair of Iron Maiden and Shinedown shows next weekend, gigs over the next two and a bit weeks are a bit patchy so rather than bore you to death with numerous Maiden tracks (which I wouldn’t mind) I’ll do some random tracks to keep the posts flowing. 

Having said that then the first track on the iPod after shuffle has been selected is Screams in the Night by American heavy metal band Hellion, identified by front woman Ann Bolyen’s unique love them or hate them vocals. How bizarre that I’ve got two different songs with the same title in three posts. 

This album (along with the Postcards from the Asylum EP) was another one doing the rounds at school in the late 80’s. I had the vinyl for a length of time but I don’t think I have it now. It was a time where I was listening to a lot of the female fronted acts at the time, Warlock, Vixen, Lita Ford, etc. With Hellion though I just couldn’t get into the odd vocal range. On reflection though and with thirty years of hindsight I don’t know why I didn’t get into a bit more considering I listened to an insanely massive amount of King Diamond at the time and later on Fear of God. 

Over the years I’ve revisited the band every once in a while and have grown to appreciate it more. The mention of Fear of God above is kind of prophetic as the late Dawn Crosby and Ann Boleyn have a very similar style and I never knew Ann replaced Dawn briefly in Detente circa 2008 for some European shows. 

Hellion had their issues with management and band members over the years and disappeared for large chunks of time. The newest material surfaced in the shape of the Karma’s a Bitch EP in 2014. 

Checking Setlist.fm I was surprised to see that one of the few listed UK dates happened to be a Shelley’s nightclub back in March of 1988. Shelley’s was a local venue to me which had quite an impressive list of bands through its doors, but a venue I never attended. Lee Aaron, GBH, Little Angels, Vow Wow and Godflesh are some of those who have graced the stage there. The last noted act to hit the venue was The Prodigy in 1991 when this area was quite a big deal in the early days of the rave and acid house explosion, apparently.  It closed down due to the unruly ravers behaviour and excessive drug use. And people say metal fans are trouble! 

I think I’ll revisit the full Hellion back catalogue next time I have some free time, but for now I’ll have to be content with the handful of tracks I have on my phone. 

Powerslave

This one is a bit of a cheat as the first song played through the iPod today, but what the hell. Today’s “random” track is Powerslave by the one and only Iron Maiden. I was part way through a Maiden playlist and this is where I left off last night.

As Metallica appear to be entrenched in the States and only playing odd stadium shows here and there, it appears seeing them live this year is uneconomical for me. Therefore 2016 has been christened the year of Maiden!

I can’t recall too many times in recent years where both bands have played close together in Europe. Maybe the last time was the last edition of the UK version of Sonisphere? I can’t recall both bands appearing at the same festival over here during the same weekend, besides the worst kept secret of the weekend when Metallica played a shortened “secret” set at Download 2003. Thankfully it means I can direct my time and effort at one major band a year. Hopefully 2017 will be the year of Metallica?

I get to see Maiden again twice this summer which pleases me, but I keep looking at the tour dates and think can I do any more? I did look into the Madrid date earlier today, but so far all its involved has been looking. It doesn’t feel like almost two months since we were in the snow and ice of Ontario.

As mentioned in the ramblings about Toronto, the new stuff worked really well in the set, but as someone with a penchant for the last three 80’s releases, Powerslave – the song – was the pinnacle of the set. It didn’t get any better than this. Close, but no cigar.

This live version is, I think (embarrassingly it’s been that long since I sat down and watched it) is from the Live After Death video, a bygone era when the band had more hair and a love for spandex, but three decades later they still bound around the stage with almost the same youthful exuberance. When the World Slavery tour passed through Stoke-on-Trent on September 26th 1984 I was only 11, needless to say I never saw them on this cycle. Actually it’d be another couple of years before I’d even know who Iron Maiden were.

I played the double vinyl to death and wore out the VHS cassette when I first had them. It’s a good job that CDs and DVDs are much more robust. The album only spanned five releases, but to me it was like a greatest hits release.

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction


I had to take my car into the garage today for some manufacturers recall. I never seem to be far away from some earphones, so on the relatively short walk in the cold to work I stuck the ear buds in and pressed shuffle. First song today turns out to be the oldest song featured in the blog so far –  (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction from The Rolling Stones.

The opening three note guitar riff from Keith Richards is absolutely iconic and I’d hazard a guess that most people will recognise it as a Stones song from the opening seconds.

The fuzz tone that runs throughout the songs duration could have sounded so different as Richards wanted that part to be performed on horns and that was just a mental note.

Heading back over half a century in time, the song it’s self at the time was deemed to be controversial due to its sexually suggestive lyrics and an attack on commercialism. I wonder what the same people would make of some of our modern pop songs? The song ended up being the bands first number one Stateside and their fourth in the UK.

I’ve never been a huge Stones fan, I just had more of a passing interest, but I have been listening to them for as long as I can remember. As a kid I liberated the twin cassette version of the bands Rolled Gold best of compilation from my dad and found a home for it in my fledgling musical collection. I’ve never had the opportunity to see the band live, something that I might need to look into sooner rather than later now that three quarters of the band are in their 70’s. Like U2 and some other bands, they are one I’d like to see more out of curiosity and to be able to  say I’ve seen once.

 

Finishing off with the car, the initial job was free but they did a visual inspection for me and found “several problems” that need addressing. I definitely won’t get any satisfaction at that garage if I have the work done there costing me almost £1,500!!

Outcast

I’m at a bit of a loose end this Sunday evening after a few hours of TV sport came to an end, so after pressing play on the iPod the title track of Kreator’s 1997 release Outcast is the first one to play on a random playlist.

Quite ironic for today as I’ve spent an hour or so looking at prices and flight times for a few European shows towards the back end of this year and even into February 2017. And those 2017 dates happened to be Kreator.

Outcast was released during the bands experimental decade and very few fans of the band that I know have many good words to say for the wilderness years of 1992 to 2000, but thrash metal was on a downward spiral at the time and even the household names of the genre were trying different things. Over the course of four albums the band tried to mix in industrial elements on the first couple and more gothic metal influences on the later. Violent Revolution released in 2001 saw the band return to their traditional thrash metal roots and they haven’t really looked back since.

Even though the albums from that near decade long period are derided Phobia, taken from this very album, has been in the bands live set on a regular basis and played over 550 times by the band in its almost twenty year life span.

There is no video for Outcast as it wasn’t released as a single and it’s only been played live half a dozen times or so since its release. Taken from the same album,  Leave This World Behind and Black Sunshine have had more airings live than Outcast.