‪Apr 27th 1985 #ManillaRoad released the album “Open The Gates.”

Fun Fact:

‪The album was dedicated to Al Arnold.‬

Apr 28th 2015 #Raven released the album “ExtermiNation.”

Fun Fact:

Raven was formed in 1974 in Newcastle, England, by brothers John and Mark Gallagher, and Paul Bowden.

Apr 28th 1997 #Stratovarius released the album “Visions.”

Fun Fact:

The album reached number 4 on the Finnish albums chart and remained on that chart for 23 weeks.

Apr 28th 1998 #Incantation released the album “Diabolical Conquest.”

Fun Fact:

It was their only album to feature Daniel Corchado of The Chasm on vocals.

Apr 28th 1998 #Nile released the album “Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka.”

Fun Fact:

The title of the album is a reference to the H. P. Lovecraft story “The Outsider”.

Apr 28th 2003 #Enslaved released the album “Below the Lights.”

Fun Fact:

This would be the last album Enslaved recorded with Dirge Rep on drums (he also co-wrote two songs).

Apr 28th 2008 #Deicide released the album “Till Death Do Us Part.”

Fun Fact:

Initial copies of the album included a sew-on patch with an image of vocalist Glen Benton and the phrase “Glen Benton for President”.

Apr 28th 2009 #HeavenAndHell released their debut album “The Devil You Know.”

Fun Fact:

The album debuted at number 8 on the #Billboard charts.

Sadly, it was the last album Ronnie James Dio ever did.

Apr 28th 2014 #JudasPriest released the single “Redeemer Of Souls.”

Fun Fact:

It was the band’s first single with new guitarist Richie Faulkner.

Apr 28th 1986 #Metallica opened for #OzzyOsbourne at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.

Damage, Inc. Tour

Here’s the band playing “Creeping Death” from that night.

Apr 29th 1997 #WASP released the album “Kill.Fuck.Die.”

Fun Fact:

The album featured the return of guitarist Chris Holmes.

Apr 29th 2008 #Testament released album “The Formation Of Damnation.”

Fun Fact:

The album peaked at number 59 on the #Billboard charts.

It was the band’s only studio album recorded with drummer Paul Bostaph.

Apr 29th 1996 #MANOWAR released the album “Louder Than Hell.”

Fun Fact:

It was their first album to feature guitarist Karl Logan, as well as the return of drummer Scott Columbus.

Apr 29th 2002 #PrimalFear released the album “Black Sun.”

Fun Fact:

“Metal” Mike Chlasciak provides additional guitar on “Fear” and “Controlled”.

Apr 29th 1981 #VanHalen released the album “Fair Warning”

Fun Fact:

The album was listed by Esquire as one of the 75 Albums Every Man Should Own.

Apr 30th 1984 #MotleyCrue released the single “Too Young To Fall In Love.”

Fun Fact:

This tune appeared in the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice Cityon the fictional in-game radio station “V-Rock”.

Apr 30th 2013 #Amorphis released the album “Circle.”

Fun Fact:

The band chose a “peaceful place” in the countryside to record, which, Koivusaari felt, led to the distinctive atmosphere.

‪May 1st 1976 #IronMaiden played their first gig ever at St. Nicholas Hall in Poplar, London‬.

Fun Fact:

‪At the time the band featured Terry Rance (guitar), Ron Matthews (drums), Paul Day (vocals), Dave Sullivan (guitar) and Steve Harris (guitar)‬

May 1st 1990 #FlotsamAndJetsam released the album “When The Storm Comes Down.”

Fun Fact:

It was their last album with Troy Gregory on bass guitar, as he left in 1991 to join Prong.

May 1st 1985 #Avenger released their debut “Prayers Of Steel.”

Fun Fact:

It was the only album released from the band before they changed their name to Rage.

May 1st 1987 #HEATHEN released their debut album “Breaking The Silence.”

Fun Fact:

The band did a cover of the Sweet song “Set Me Free” for this album.

‪May 1st 1983 #LitaFord released her debut album “Out For Blood.”

Fun Fact:

‪The track “Die for Me Only (Black Widow)” is not to be confused for the track “Black Widow” from her 1991 album Dangerous Curves.‬

‪May 1st 1991 #Meshuggah released their debut album “Contradictions Collapse.”

Fun Fact:

‪The album was originally titled (All This Because of) Greed.‬

May 1st 1989 #Victory released the album “Culture Killed The Native.”

Fun Fact:

The band’s guitarist is Herman Frank, who also plays with Accept.

May 1st 1995 #Suffocation released the album “Pierced from Within.”

Fun Fact:

It was the band’s last album with guitarist Doug Cerrito and bassist Chris Richards, and the only with drummer Doug Bohn.

May 1st 1990 #HolyMoses released the album “World Chaos.”

Fun Fact:

They are well noted for being fronted by Sabina Classen and for being one of the first German thrash metal bands.

May 1st 1992 #Grave released the album “You’ll Never See.”

Fun Fact:

The band formed originally as Rising Power but changed their name to Grave in 1988.

‪May 1st 1991 #Unleashed released their debut album “Where No Life Dwells.”

Fun Fact:

‪Unleashed (along with Dismember, Entombed and Grave) is considered one of the “Big Four” of Swedish death metal.‬

May 2nd 2013 #JeffHanneman legendary guitarist and founding member of #Slayer passed away. #RIP #ThrashMetal

Fun Fact:

He had his own signature guitar, the ESP Jeff Hanneman Signature model.

‪May 3rd 1988 #Queensryche released the album “Operation: Mindcrime.”

Fun Fact:

The song “I Don’t Believe in Love” was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1990 in the category “Best Metal Performance“.

May 3rd 2019 #Ruthless release NEW album “Evil Within”

Fun Fact:

The band was formed in 1982 by vocalist Sammy DeJohn and guitarist Kenny McGee.

May 3rd 1985 #GrimReaper released the album “Fear No Evil”

Fun Fact:

The album peaked at number 111 on the #Billboard chart.

May 3, 1988

Poison released their second studio album, Open Up and Say….Ahh!, 31 years ago today. The album reached #2 on the U.S Billboard 200. It was the band’s most successful release and spawned four hit singles, “Nothin’ but a Good Time”, “Fallen Angel”, “Your Mama Don’t Dance” (a Loggins and Messina cover) and their only #1 single to date, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”. The original front cover of the album, which featured model Bambi, dressed as a luminous red demon with a protruding tongue, caused controversy among parental groups. The band apologized and changed the cover so that only the model’s eyes were visible. Open Up And Say Ahh was certified platinum in 1988 and 5x platinum in 1991 by the RIAA. It also has been certified 4x platinum in Canada and gold by the BPI.

May 3rd 2019 #AmonAmarth release NEW album “Berserker”

Fun Fact:

Their sound was described by music critics as emphasizing strong, triumphant riffage and bombastic songwriting” and was stated that the album “features some of their strongest material”

May 3rd 1976 #Aerosmith released the GREAT album “Rocks”

Fun Fact:

Aerosmith began indulging in the rick and roll lifestyle around the time “Rocks” was released but the hedonistic lifestyle proved to not hinder the band creatively.

May 3rd 1993 #Pestilence released the album “Spheres”

Fun Fact:

It was their final album before a 14-year hiatus from 1994 to 2008. On this album, the band experimented with a more progressive sound

May 3rd 1959 Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth singer with #Overkill was born!! #HappyBirthday #HeavyMetal

Fun Fact:

Bobby and bassist D.D. Verni have been the only constant members of Overkill.

‪May 4th 2017 #Prismind released their debut album “Disciples By Design”

Fun Fact:

‪The band is from Hamilton, Ontario and formed in 2013.‬

May 4, 1959 – The first Grammy Awards ceremony is held in Los Angeles with Mort Sahl as host. Domenico Modugno’s “Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)” wins Record of the Year. The Music from Peter Gunn wins Album of the Year.

May 4, 1951 – Born on this day, Bruce Day, Santana, (1970 US No.4 single ‘Black Magic Woman’, 1977 UK No.11 single ‘She’s Not There’), Pablo Cruise

May 4, 1972 Michael Ryan Pritchard, (Mike Durnt)American musician, bassist (Green Day), born in Berkeley, California

May 4, 2012 Adam Yauch, vocalist of The Beastie Boys dies of cancer.

On this day, 4 May 1951, Mick Mars guitarist with Motley Crue was born!!!

According to an interview published in September 2009, Mars’ main stage guitars at that time were Fender Stratocasters with a single-coil pickup between neck and bridge humbucking pickups. He frequently used a Stratocaster pieced together from components of 1963, 1964 and 1965 models with J.M. Rolph pickups and a Floyd Rose vibrato.

This Week In Rock & Metal

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland

Jimi Hendrix was so much more than just a gifted guitarist. With his final studio album, 1968’s double disc opus Electric Ladyland, Hendrix exploded the boundaries of what was possible in a recording studio.

Assisted by ace engineer Eddie Kramer, Hendrix was able to utilize every aspect of the limited (though state of the art for the time) amount of tracks available, seemingly inventing sounds out of thin air and panning them left to right and surrounding the listener with a dense array of sonic textures.

Jimi had influences just like any other artist, but what set him apart was the fact that there was really no precedent for much of what he did in his short career. He had such a vivid musical imagination, and he found ways to make his visions come to life. Guitar effects pedals were invented from ideas he had and was able to communicate to the manufacturers.

In addition to all this innovative playing, the Experience also gathered some top notch guest stars, like Steve Winwood, Jack Casady, Chris Wood, Al Kooper, and Buddy Miles.

Jimi’s writing and singing always lived in the shadow of his playing, but he both wrote and sang some great stuff on Electric Ladyland. Voodoo Chile, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Gypsy Eyes, House Burning Down, Crosstown Traffic, 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be), Burning Of The Midnight Lamp, and Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) were all great pieces of work, but of course his iconic cover of Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower was the song that drew the most attention. It was so good that Dylan himself started performing Hendrix’s arrangement of it in his own concerts.

Electric Ladyland stands as a monumental achievement of the psychedelic ’60’s, and a testament to Jimi Hendrix’s lasting status as one of the greatest guitarists (and musicians) in history.

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

David Bowie: Hunky Dory

I have come to realize that David Bowie has one of the richest catalogues in all of music. I previously reviewed 3 of my favorites by the legend, and discovered that choosing just one more was not going to be easy, considering just how many monumental disks were remaining that deserve to be on this list. Hunky Dory (1971) made the cut because it contains my all-time favorite Bowie song (Life On Mars?), as well as Changes, Eight Line Poem, Andy Warhol, Quicksand, Song For Bob Dylan, and the utterly amazing Oh! You Pretty Things.

Hunky Dory has been acclaimed as one of David Bowie’s best works, and has made many lists of greatest albums of all time.

I could have just as easily chosen Young Americans, Diamond Dogs, Station To Station, Heroes, Let’s Dance, or even one of the later ones like Heathen or his final album, Blackstar. Honestly, it came down to Life On Mars? That is just such a perfect song.

Rick Wakeman’s piano, coupled with those randomly poetic images that are totally open to interpretation, and that absolutely glorious voice!

David Bowie was eloquent, stylish, fearless, elegant, and an innovator in many styles of music right up until the end. There will never be another like him.

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine

Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails made a fan of me with the arrival of 1989’s Pretty Hate Machine. Industrial music with heart and raw human emotion was Reznor’s particular form of genius, and Pretty Hate Machine functioned on multiple levels due to the strength of the songwriting.

Head Like A Hole was the breakout single, and it was full of rage, angst, and rebellion. The video gained NIN an instant cult of fanatical followers, and Reznor’s touring version of the band started building a legacy of revolutionary live performances. Other memorable songs included Terrible Lie, Sin, Sanctified, Down In It, That’s What I Get, Ringfinger, and the monumental Something I Can Never Have (my favorite Nails song).

Reznor was critical of the album’s production, and it is certainly nowhere near the level of sound that listeners would become accustomed to with subsequent NIN albums.

I always hoped Reznor would take the time to re-record Pretty Hate Machine with state of the art sound…the songs are good enough that it would have been a project worthy of salivating over!

As it is, Pretty Hate Machine established Reznor as a force to be reckoned with, and as a sort of antidote to much of the grunge explosion that would rule the music world in the following years. For myself personally, PanterA and NIN were a welcome respite from the Seattle sound (and I loved a lot of that stuff, too) in the ’90’s, so I will take a flawed production with the quality of songwriting that was present on Pretty Hate Machine.


Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

The Rolling Stones: Some Girls

Some Girls (1978) by The Rolling Stones was arguably the last truly great album the venerable British rock royalty ever released, but it was certainly an amazing piece of work. Some Girls was the first album featuring Ron Wood as a full member of the band, and although he doesn’t get all the credit for its success, his style certainly meshed perfectly with Keith Richards’ guitar work.

Mick Jagger actually contributed guitar to several songs and generally took charge of the recording and writing of much of the material.

New York City was a big influence for Jagger and appears in the lyrics of many songs as a virtual character in the music.

The musical climate in 1978 was full of both disco and punk, and both of these clashing styles found their way into the Stones vocabulary.

Miss You, in particular, had one of the most recognizable disco bass lines of all time and became the last number one hit for the band.

Shattered, When The Whip Comes Down, Respectable, Before They Make Me Run, and the wonderful Beast Of Burden were all standout tracks. For me personally, one of my favorites was the country song, Faraway Eyes, where Wood played some tasty pedal steel guitar and Jagger did his best impersonation of a Southern American country boy. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) proved that the Stones could pull off r & b, too…the old Temptations song was handled with class and passion by Mick and the lads.

All in all, at a time when they had been kind of written off by the rock press, The Rolling Stones stormed back and proved conclusively why they deserved the title of “The World’s Greatest Rock And Roll Band!”


Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Alice Cooper: Welcome To My Nightmare

Alice Cooper released his first solo album, Welcome To My Nightmare, in 1975. All his previous albums had been the Alice Cooper group. With Nightmare, the Coop had basically bought Lou Reed’s stellar backing band and enlisted the production wizardry of Bob Ezrin to create the fantastic concept of a boy/man named Steven and his nightmares.

Alice made a tv special based on the record and launched a massive tour in support of his new solo identity. I remember purchasing this album and spending considerable time investigating all the sonic possibilities within via a great set of headphones.

Horror movie legend Vincent Price performed a suitably creepy voice over for the song The Black Widow (that I have memorized still to this day).

Images abound in the songs, like the frozen lover in Cold Ethyl, the abused woman in Only Women Bleed, the spiders coming out to play in the bridge between Devil’s Food (with one of the heaviest riffs I had heard up to that time) and The Black Widow. Then, on side two, the cinematic trio of Years Ago, Steven, and The Awakening provided me with a mini-movie of the mind every time I listened to them.

The hard rocking Department Of Youth united all of us alienated teens, and the nearly punk energy of Escape brought the party to a satisfying close.

In 2011, Cooper even made a sequel, Welcome 2 My Nightmare (reminding me that I need to pick that up one of these days), another concept album that continues the story line, I believe. I have been an enormous fan of Alice Cooper since my very earliest days of being consumed by my lifelong obsession and love affair with rock music.

In July of this year I will be seeing him live for the 10th time. I am just as excited about this as I was the first time I saw him perform in 1978. Long live the Coop!


Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band: Night Moves

1976 was the United States Bicentennial, and Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band broke through on a national scale with Night Moves. I can’t think of a more American rock and roll song than Night Moves, so perhaps it was fitting that Seger made his biggest success to date with that amazing song.

I saw the band live just 2 months before NIght Moves came out and there was a palpable feeling in the air that Seger was done opening shows…he was already a star.

Night Moves came out and proved that feeling was no fluke. Apparently, this was the first album that the Silver Bullet Band appeared on. They rocked side one, and the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section handled most of side two.

The album as a whole featured Seger in fine voice; confident and full of swagger, and displaying a range of emotions from ballads for flat out rockers.

In addition to the legend making title song, other classics included Sunspot Baby, The Fire Down Below, Rock And Roll Never Forgets, Come To Poppa, and Mainstreet.

Bob Seger was no overnight sensation, either. The man had been around for a good long while paying his rock ‘n roll dues. Night Moves was his 9th studio album. Perseverance pays off…never give up on a dream!


Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind