Song of the Day: Turn the Page (Metallica)


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Through good times and bad I have always been a huge fan and follower of Metallica. Even as they foolishly went off track following the path Bob Rock set for them throughout most of the 1990’s through the disastrous St. Anger debacle as they tried to return to their earlier sound, I have always followed this band which made up the original Big 4 of thrash metal (Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth).

It was on their 1998 cover album, Garage Inc., that the band released one of their most popular songs. It wasn’t an original, but a cover of the classic Bob Seger hard rock song about the hard road and life of a musician. Seger’s “Turn the Page” is just one of those hard rock tunes that latches onto the listener and forces them to listen and understand. Most such songs tend to be quite pretentious with nothing much to say once the listener really pays attention. The same cannot be said about Seger’s song.

Metallica decided to cover this song for their Garage Inc. album which was all about them covering their own favorite hard rock and metal songs of the past. While Metallica kept the original’s tempo, they added their own heavier and harder edge to song that straddles the line between hard rock and heavy metal. Even James Hetfield’s alcohol and cigarette ravaged vocals lent a sense of the hard road and life the track sings about.

The biggest change from the Seger song to Metallica’s cover has to be the accompanying music video which still remains one of the most controversial in MTV’s music video history (well, when they still played music videos). Seger’s song was released in 1973 when the concept of music video was nonexistent. With Metallica’s cover it was almost a guarantee that it would get a music video and what a video it was and still is.

The video was directed by Jonas Akerlund who had made a name for himself directing some of the most creative and innovative music videos of the day. His take on the song switches from a musician’s hard road and life on the road to that of a single mother trying to make ends meet as an erotic dancer by day and a prostitute by night to provide for her young daughter. The video was banned from receiving any sort of airplay on MTV as it dealt and showed the disturbing side of such a life. The fact that the tamer version of the video (below) still couldn’t make it on the airwaves just showed how much more haunting and controversial the uncensored version turned out to be.

Turn the Page

On a long and lonesome highway,
East of Omaha
You can listen to the engines
Moanin’ out it’s one note song
You can think about the woman,
Or the girl you knew the night before
But your thoughts will soon be wanderin’,
The way they always do
When you’re ridin’ 16 hours,
And there’s nothin’ much to do
And you don’t feel much like ridin’,
You just wish the trip was through

(Chorus)

Here I am, on the road again,
There I am, up on the stage
There I go, playin’ star again,
There I go, turn the page

So you walk into this restaurant,
All strung out from the road
And you feel the eyes upon you,
As you’re shakin’ off the cold
You pretend it doesn’t bother you,
But you just want to explode
Yeah, most times you can’t hear ’em talk,
Other times you can

All the same old cliches,
Is it woman, is it man
And you always seem outnumbered,
You don’t dare make a stand
Make your stand

(Chorus)
Ah But here I am, on the road again,
There I am, up on the stage
Here I go, ah playin’ star again,
There I go, turn the page
Woah

Out there in the spotlight,
You’re a million miles away
Every ounce of energy,
You try and give away
As the sweat pours out your body,
Like the music that you play

Later in the evenin’,
As you lie awake in bed
With the echoes of the amplifiers,
Ringin’ in your head
You smoke the day’s last cigarette,
Rememberin’ what she said

What she said

Yeah, and here I am,
On the road again,
There I am, up on that stage
Here I go, playin’ star again,
There I go, turn the page
And there I go, turn that page

There I go, yeah, Here I go, yeah, yeah
There I go, yeah, Here I go, yeah
Here I go, There I go
And I’m gone

Song of the Day: Bohemian Rhapsody (by Queen)


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Who hasn’t heard and sung with Queen’s most iconic song ever. I know I can’t think of anyone that I know of.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” has become a staple of many best ever rock lists. It’s a song that’s been paid homage, imitated, parodied and copied by so many artists both music, tv, film and video games. This song has become synonymous with that most epic of all rock shows: arena rock. It’s an amalgamation of rock power ballad that bridges over to rock opera then into straight hard rock before circling back to a gradual softening of a coda.

One would think that all that wouldn’t mesh very well together, but with Freddie Mercury (arguably one of the greatest rock frontman) on vocals (who also wrote the lyrics), Brian May on lead guitar, John Deacon on bass and Roger Taylor on drums the song ends up not just great, but a gamechanger in how hard rock and heavy metal would be seen since it’s release.

Every hard rock and metal band worth their name would attempt to have their very own “Bohemian Rhapsody” to different degrees of success (I’ve always thought that the power metal bands like Blind Guardian have become successors in this endeavor). The song has become so ingrained in the general public’s pop DNA that just hearing a snippet of the song sans lyrics and people probably would know what song it was they just overheard.

Oh, it also has a killer guitar solo by Brian May which occurs after the ballad section and acts as a bridge into the operatic section of the track.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I’m easy come, easy go
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me, to me

Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he’s dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooo
Didn’t mean to make you cry
If I’m not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters

Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body’s aching all the time
Goodbye everybody – I’ve got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooo – (anyway the wind blows)
I don’t want to die
I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all

(guitar solo)

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning – very very frightening me
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo Figaro – magnifico

But I’m just a poor boy and nobody loves me
He’s just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come easy go – will you let me go
Bismillah! No – we will not let you go – let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go – let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go – let me go
Will not let you go – let me go (never)
Never let you go – let me go
Never let me go – ooo
No, no, no, no, no, no, no –
Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me
for me
for me

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die
Oh baby – can’t do this to me baby
Just gotta get out – just gotta get right outta here

Ooh yeah, ooh yeah
Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters – nothing really matters to me

Anyway the wind blows…

Great Guitar Solos Series

Song of the Day: We Are the Champions (by Queen)


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I’ve used this song twice to celebrate my San Francisco Giants winning the World Series in 2010 and 2012 (so shocked they won 2014 that I forgot to post it) that I thought it only fair to use it for the New England Patriots. They are the new champions of the NFL after their thrilling win over the Seattle Seahawks.

It was a game that had our own pantsukudasai56 on the verge of losing it (and he probably did but in a good way and not the bad one I was predicting). The New England Patriots have become like a sort of second NFL team for me because of two people: Tom Brady (local boy made good) and Bill Belichik (the Dark Lord himself). Yes, two people who have their equal share of admirers and haters (probably more of the latter).

These two have now cemented their 4th NFL championship through the modern salary-cap era, adversity (concocted and self-inflicted) and heartbreaking losses. Yet, as much as people would hate on Belichik deep down most would dump their coach if it meant they would have him instead. The same goes for his apprentice in Tom Brady.

So, controversies aside, congratulations to the New England Patriots for winning Super Bowl XLIX.

We Are the Champions

I’ve paid my dues
Time after time
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes I’ve made a few
I’ve had my shelves and kicked in my face
But I’ve come through

We are the champions my friend
And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers ‘cos We are the champions of the world

I’ve taken my bows
my curtain calls
You brought me fame and fortune
And everything that goes with it
I thank you all
But it’s been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge before
All human race
And I ain’t gonna lose

We are the champions my friend
And we’ll keep in fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers ‘cos
We are the champions of the world
We are the champions my friend
And we’ll keep in fighting till the end
Ooh, we are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers ‘cos
We are the champions

27 Days of Old School: #21 “One” (by Metallica)


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“Hold my breath as I wish for death
Oh please God, wake me”

Yeah, my taste in music see-sawed back and forth from one end of the spectrum to the other. Yesterday, I reminisced about one of the best R&B ballads from my time as a teenager in high school during the late 80’s. Today, I focus on one of the songs on metal end which remains (in my opinion) one of the best metal songs ever put out there.

“One” was the final single released from Metallica’s fourth album, …And Justice For All.

The song also had the distinction of being the first ever Metallica song which was accompanied by a music video shot for it. Metallica had avoided making music videos of their songs for years. Their success as a band never needed the assistance that MTV could provide. They saw it as a badge of honor that they’ve never made a music video, but that change in January 1989 when the single for “One” was released and a music video followed soon after.

A music video that combined elements from the 1971 anti-war film Johnny Got His Gun and the band playing inside a warehouse. It was an effective video that more than convinced many skeptics that when done properly a metal music video was possible. This wasn’t a video using garish colors, over-the-top imagery of hair metal music videos. It was a video that was just as heavy and through-provoking as the song it was made for.