Song of the Day: Turn the Page (Metallica)


MetallicaTurnthePage

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

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


MetallicaOne

“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.

Song of the Day: Nothing Else Matters (by Metallica)


NothingElseMatters

For only the rare times when we get more than one “Song of the Day” posted in the same day. This time it’s for that special day we call Valentine’s Day. Resident editor of all things art and photography Dazzlin’ Erin posted earlier tonight a song that tells one and all to love the one we’re with. It’s a celebratory song.

To help close out 2013’s Valentine’s Day I’ve chosen a much more intimate ballad that speaks of the love that survives the trials and tribulations of distance and being far apart. The song is Metallica’s power ballad from their Black Album and has become one of their signature songs. “Nothing Else Matters” remains one of the more popular power ballads and, coming from the band’s pre-rock era which most younger listeners know them more nowadays, quite a lovely song from the kings of thrash.

I’ve chosen the live and symphony-backed version of the song conducted by the late Michael Kamen. Part of the set-list for their metal and symphony show, S&M, the song takes well to the addition of a 100-piece symphony orchestra that doesn’t just repeat the same notes, but adds so much more nuances to the song. This could be heard quite clearly when the song reaches the guitar-solo part. This time around we get the string section, especially the violins, giving voice to the emotional aspect of the song. It’s my favorite part of the song and can listen to it over and over.

Happy Valentine’s Day…til next year.

Nothing Else Matters

So close, no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
and nothing else matters

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
and nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
and nothing else matters

never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
but I know

So close, no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
and nothing else matters

never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
but I know

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us, something new
Open mind for a different view
and nothing else matters

never cared for what they say
never cared for games they play
never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
and I know

So close, no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
No, nothing else matters

Song of the Day: The Outlaw Torn (by Metallica and S.F. Symphony)


The latest entry in my “Song of the Day” feature is from one of my favorite bands ever, Metallica, and from one of their live albums: “The Outlaw Torn” feat. the S.F. Symphony Orchestra.

This song was part of their 6th album, Load, and was picked by classical composer Michael Kamen to become part of the set list for the band’s live collaboration with the S.F. Symphony Orchestra. One of these days I’ll review that live album with all its great entries and some so-so ones, but for now it’s all about “The Outlaw Torn” and how the band’s attempt at trying a hard rock sound instead of their original thrash metal beginnings ended up becoming pretty great once paired with a full symphony orchestra adding their own voices to the song.

Unlike some of the other songs picked for the S&M album (as this one was called Symphony & Metallica), this particular track benefited from the added melodies and arrangements that only ranks upon ranks of strings, brass and percussion sections an orchestra could bring to the table. The orchestra didn’t just mimic the very sound and notes the band was playing but added different layers of sounds and with this song one could hear those additions.

This version of “The Outlaw Torn” gets continuous play on my computer and iPhone that I know by memory just when certain sections of the orchestra comes in and just what sort instruments would be coming in. It’s that good.

The Outlaw Torn

And now I wait my whole lifetime
For you
And now I wait my whole lifetime
For you

I ride the dirt I ride the tide
For you
I search the outside search inside
For you

To take back what you left me
I know I’ll always burn to be
The one who seeks so I may find
And now I wait my whole lifetime

My whole lifetime
My whole lifetime
My whole lifetime
And I’m torn

So long I wait my whole lifetime
For you
So long I wait my whole lifetime
For you

The more I search the more my need
For you
The more I bless the more I bleed
For you

You make me smash the clock and feel
I’d rather die behind the wheel
Time was never on my side
So long I wait my whole lifetime

My whole lifetime
My whole lifetime
My whole lifetime
And I’m torn

HEAR ME
And if I close my mind in fear
Please pry it open

SEE ME
And if my face becomes sincere
Beware

HOLD ME
And when I start to come undone
Stitch me together

SEE ME
And when you see me strut
Remind me of what left this outlaw torn

HEAR ME
And if I close my mind in fear
Please pry it open

SEE ME
And if my face becomes sincere
Beware

HOLD ME
And when I start to come undone
Stitch me together

SEE ME
And when you see me strut
Remind me of what left this outlaw torn