Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The 10 best songs and albums of the year

Best songs of the year:

1. Cape Of Our Hero - Volbeat
2. What If - Degreed
3. Stay The Night - Imperial State Electric
4. Nothing Left But Tears - Buckcherry
5. Spectacular - The Answer
6. Chocolate -The 1975
7. Elevate - The Winery Dogs
8. By The Reins - Leogun
9. Paradise (What About Us) - Within Temptation
10. Woman Like That - Airbourne

Best albums of the year:

1. Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies - Volbeat
2. By The Reins - Leogun
3. We Don't Belong - Degreed
4. The 1975 - The 1975
5. Black Dog Barking - Airbourne
6. Confessions - Buckcherry
7. The Winery Dogs - The Winery Dogs
8. Reptile Brain Music - Imperial State Electric
9. Dregen - Dregen
10. Wrote A Song For Everyone - John Fogerty

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Metallica live on Antarctica (say whaat?)

Metallica recently played on Antarctica (the south pole), becoming the first band in history to play there. Also the first band to play on all seven continents. And the first band to do all this in one single year. Haha, what the hell?!

The concert on Antarctica was played on some kind of polar base for a small crowd made up of scientists and winners in some competition. A rather small crowd and the band in a kind of metal igloo placed outside. Must have been cold! At least, it's very very cool (pun intended).

Concert starts at about  0:10:15

1. Creeping Death
2. For Whom The Bell Tolls
3. Sad But True
4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
5. Master Of Puppets
6. One
7. Blackened
8. Nothing Else Matters
9. Enter Sandman
10. Seek And Destroy

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jay Smith - King Of Man (new album)

Jay Smith has released a new record, called King Of Man, the first under his own name since the debut in 2010. During the three year space Jay Smith worked with his band Von Benzo, that band is now on hold.

Jay Smith won the swedish Idol in 2010 and was probably the only real "sex, drugs & rocknroll" rocker I've ever seen win any competition like this. Could only in hardrock-crazy Sweden, I guess.

This new album is not exactly a 10/10, but it's the fact that Jay Smith is back that is the real event here. Even so, there are a couple of cool tracks: The Blues, Keeps Me Alive and Worries Won't Bring It Back is all great hard and bluesy songs. Keeps Me Alive even includes a Supertramp-esque saxophone solo!

1. The Blues
2. Women
3. Keeps Me Alive
4. King Of Man
5. Cowboys From Hell
6. Sanctuary
7. Keep Your Troubles At Bay
8. Ode To Death (Little Sister)
9. Tramp Of Love
10. Evil I Might Be
11. Worries Won't Bring It Back
12. Sanctuary Revisited

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The 10 best Led Zeppelin songs

Led Zeppelin was just made available on the music streamer Spotify. A short but effective announcement. Good news for both old fans and for other people that now get the chance to discover Zeppelin and their music. Enough said, here's the 10 best Led Zeppelin songs:

1. Rock And Roll
2. Immigrant Song
3. Stairway To Heaven
4. Whole Lotta Love
5. Communication Breakdown
6. Tangerine
7. Living Loving Maid
8. Heartbreaker
9. The Battle Of Evermore
10. Out On The Tiles

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The biggest rock bands in the world - a look at total album sales

I have always claimed that rock is the biggest, most important and persevering music genre in the world. This is also reflected in album sales from the industry, where the top lists is dominated by rock bands and pop artists. The difference is that the rock acts continue to draw crowds and make new fans over time, something that most pop artists can not manage. They are a product of popular culture with huge sales when they were sitting on the pop "throne" during a short period of their career whereby their albums sold ridiculously well. Rock bands are much more consistent and resilient to the ups and downs of popular culture. Out of the top 14 album artists of all time, we find seven rock bands on places 1-2-6-7-11-12-13.

250 million or more albums

1. The Beatles (UK)
2. Elvis Presley (US)
3. Michael Jackson (US)
4. Madonna (US)
5. Elton John (UK)
6. Led Zeppelin (UK)
7. Pink Floyd (UK)

200-249 million albums

8. Mariah Carey (US)
9. Celine Dion (CAN)
10. Whitney Houston (US)
11. AC/DC (AUS)
12. Queen (UK)
13. The Rolling Stones (UK)
14. ABBA (SWE)

Further down the list, in the interval 120 - 199 million albums, we find more rock bands. Out of 16 artists, 6 are rock bands:
  • The Eagles (US)
  • U2 (UK)
  • Aerosmith (US)
  • Genesis (UK)
  • Bruce Springsteen (US)
  • Dire Straits (UK)
In the interval 100 -119 million albums the amount of rock bands is virtually the same. Out of 30 artists there are 10 that I would consider to be rock bands:
  • KISS (US)
  • Metallica (US)
  • Rod Stewart (UK)
  • Bon Jovi (US)
  • Fleetwood Mac (UK)
  • Guns N' Roses (US)
  • Paul McCartney (UK)
  • Bryan Adams (CAN)
  • Def Leppard (UK)
  • The Who (UK)
Another interesting thing to notice is the amount of UK bands versus the amount of US bands. Out of the 23 rock bands listed here, 13 are from the UK and 8 are from the US. We also have AC/DC from Australia and Bryan Adams from Canada on the list! Out of the top seven rock bands there are five UK bands and only one US band! So one could say that the UK rock bands are the kings of album sales, and the biggest bands in the world.

Even so, the US have some of the more resilient rock bands with Aerosmith, Springsteen, Eagles, KISS, Metallica and Bon Jovi still touring and releasing new music to this day!

The UK bands tend to be more inactive, but they have a higher legendary status. Just think of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, Genesis, Dire Straits and Fleetwood Mac that no longer are active as bands… (Yes, Queen is touring under that name but without Freddie Mercury and Deacon I count them as inactive as a band just to make a point)

But still, my favorite band is from America. They have not sold the most albums. But they have more gold records than any other American band (meaning different albums certified gold). That is the sign of one of the most resilient bands of all time. That, and the fact that they have toured and released albums non-stop for over 40 years now. They have never been inactive on any level. Their work ethics are impressive. That has earned them the most loyal fan base in the world. One that I am proud to be a part of.

That band is KISS.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The 1975 - album and videos

The 1975 is one of the coolest new rock groups right now. And as many other cool bands throughout history they are from the UK. I first saw them on Conan O'Brien's show on tbs where they performed a live version of their first single Chocolate.

I really liked the song, added it to my Spotify playlist and sort of forgot about it. But the other day I realized; what about the full album? So I looked it up and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint!
From the funky starting track Chocolate all the way through 15 other tracks it's an album filled with cool songs. The sound is very modern and unlike anything I've heard from any other new band - a mix between rock, pop, 80's sound and modern electronic music. And an unusual vocal style to top it off!

To really hear that uber-cool 80's twist I suggest the track Heart Out which is one of my favorites. Some other great songs are The City, Talk! and of course Chocolate. The full album is called 'The 1975' so check these guys out!

Chocolate (live on Conan)

The City



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Degreed - We Don't Belong (new album)

Feel like I need to promote this band called Degreed because they are not nearly as famous as they should be, so here's a short introduction of the band. Degreed is a melodic hard rock band from Sweden, the music has keyboard elements and stylish classic rock vocals. The band was formed in 2005, debut album came out 2010 and the second album We Don't Belong was released earlier this year.

Their first album received a lot of good reviews, and songs like B.O.D, Arms of Misery and My Fall are melodic ear candy. And the second album is even better. The sound has evolved, it's a bit more modern. The vocals really impress me, and they should because the singer Robin Ericsson actually participated in the Swedish Idol program in 2008 and reached place 6.

Degreed continues the Swedish melodic hard rock tradition alongside bands like Europe, Treat and HEAT in outstanding fashion! Some  songs on the new album to prove my point? How about What If, Blind Hearted and Access Denied...

Track listing:
1. Black Cat
2. What If
3. In For The Ride
4. Inside Of Me
5. Follow Her Home
6. Blind Hearted
7. Here I Am
8. Access Denied
9. Coming Home
10. We Don't Belong

Music Video: What If

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Winery Dogs

The power-trio/supergroup The Winery Dogs released their self-titled debut album this year. The band is made up of Richie Kotzen (Mr Big) on vocals/guitar, Billy Sheehan (Mr Big) on bass and finally Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) on drums.

I first heard of the band from Paul Stanley, who mentioned the group in his Twitter feed. I looked them up and found this brilliant album. It's filled with superb musicianship with all members being very high-quality on their respective instruments. Both Sheehan and Portnoy are considered very competent musicians in the industry.

The sound is like a fun, less depressive Soundgarden (maybe due to the similar vocal style) and with an addition of catchy choruses.  Heavy, funky sound in the verses and more toward a straight arena-rock sound in the choruses. It's a combination that really works!

Best track: Elevate (what a chorus!!)

Track listing:
1. Elevate
2. Desire
3. We Are One
4. I'm No Angel
5. The Other Side
6. You Saved Me
7. Not Hopeless
8. One More Time
9. Damaged
10. Six Feet Deeper
11. Time Machine
12. The Dying
13. Regret

Desire (official video)