Friday, March 21, 2008

FDF Vol 1 Issue 88: Bush - Sixteen Stone

Album - Sixteen Stone
Artist - Bush
Key Players - Robin Goodridge - drums. Nigel Pulsford - guitars. Dave Parsons - bass. Gavin Rossdale - lead vocals and guitar
Produced By - Clive Langer, Alan Winstanley and Bush

Release Date - December 6, 1994

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I am not even really sure, since to this day at least one of these songs is on your local radio or being played in some stadium. Ahh well, its been a bit since this one got the "front to back" listen so here goes.

- Having no fewer than five radio singles "Sixteen Stone" the debut from Bush catapulted the band to super stardom. Flashy lead singer Gavin Rossdale flashed his good looks right along with his guitar fills. The band would release the singles, get heavy radio and MTV Play as well as tour the world during this time. The band would release a few more records before disbanding but never really seeing the wide success they had initially gotten.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
- Opening with a trademark riff "Everything Zen" blends a small amount of pop metal and grunge, with the punch of a UK rock band. It all sounds sort of cliche but it is a pretty safe formula. Everything Zen was an early hit for the band and the guitar solos buzz and the bass and drums have the occasional break down for whispery vocals. You still hear this song on active rock radio stations (and elsewhere). "Swim" follows with a solo guitar before a second chimes over it. The simple bass and drum line lead up to the whispery vocals once more. During the chorus the song picks up a fair amount, but never really strays from the quiet loud formula. When "Bomb" opens up you think "oh this is another one of those songs I have heard' but unless you own the record there is a good chance you haven't or don't recall it. The intro is similar to those radio singles. We are three tracks in and the band has sort of grabbed on to quiet/loud thing just fine. Rossdale hasn't really gone over the top at the start of any track. All the chorus' to this point seem to open up fine, but it takes a little to get there. "Little Things" one of the five radio singles opens with big drums and guitar riffs before settling into the verse. A little flash off the guitar at the outset, but the bass and drums hold the verses together nice with some guitar over the top. As the verse swells to the chorus it speeds up some and there is a lot of urgency in voice and music. One of the bands biggest hits "Comedown" follows. You hear it still today (probably more than you even realize). The real shining moment of the song is the final verse/chorus where the band really seems to be in synch with one another and Rossdale bellows "This cloud..this cloud" as the band has their instrumental freak outs. This is probably one of the songs the band will always be remembered for. "Body" opens with a single guitar and is sort of a hidden gem tucked on to the cd. The ring of "Comedown" still in your ears you are launched pretty hard and fast into this track. Rossdale is the lone singer on the album, no member of the band helps and it seems to be fine. The guitar solo put down by Pulsford is the first real solo that stands out on the record. Most of the time leading up we are getting the dual riffs from the guitars to make a wall, not quite a solo each time. Now a stadium anthem like "rock and roll pt 2" by Gary Glitter you'd be hard pressed to take in any sporting event where the opening riff "Machinehead" is not heard. You've heard it, there are reasons I am sure it is used all over the US in stadiums. The macho sounding "Testosterone" follows the same rock formula we have found. Like "Body" the songs you don't hear so often are pretty strong. Sure, on some levels it is the same "sound" and feel track to track, but its got some big guitar riffs, some pounding drums and lyrics that are easy to figure out so you can sing along with them. At the end of the track Rossdale sort of has a scream break down but it fits with the flow of the track and record. The bass is punched up a little on the intro to "Monkey" but the guitar(s) per the norm take center stage. Rossdale has some vocal phase effect running. For the first time we sort of hear some harmonies on the chorus, but its more over dubs that actual harmonies. It gives a fuller sound to the chorus which is fine. The band really gets going towards the end, which is a strong lead in to the mellower, but far more well known "Glycerine". Like most of the big singles from this record it has been beaten in to our collective heads. Its not a bad song, but overplay hurt it. A solo guitar with a string section adds a nice touch. When the band would perform this live Rossdale would do this solo. It translates just fine to that setting. Early pressings of the cd like the one being listened to here are void of the track "Alien" which comes next. This is a long track for the band and starts off very quietly and slowly grows. Its a song continually grows with strong bass and drum work. Rossdale seems to push himself a lot vocally on the track and as the song grows one could close their eyes and see the lighters come out and wave back and forth.

Where are they now? - The band would change labels in the early part of 2001 and the subsequent release would fail with fans and the label. The band was dropped and just disbanded. Nigel Pulsford left the band to spend more time with his family. Robin Goodridge continues to perform as part of the band "Spear of Destiny". Gavin Rossdale would form a band called "Institute" that actually would get an opening slot on a U2 tour. Rossdale married No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani and the couple have children. Rossdale is rumored to have a solo album in the works.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- February 28, 1997 I caught the band live at the Paradise in Boston. This was really pre-explosion for the band. Sure the band was getting more well know with Everything Zen being played more and more on radio. The sold out show was ravenous for this new band. The band played the radio hit 4th in the set, confusing some. A guy came up to me later in the show and asked "Did I miss Everything Zen". I said if you "just got here, you sure did". I braved the elements once more and on August 19,1995 I caught the band for the second, and final time, at the Aud in Worcester MA. A much larger room and more fans of the mid nineties rock were there. An odd bill with Spiritualized opening the band was really getting in to their own. What stands out most of all is that mid set a ravenous fan in the balcony jumped down to the floor. It was 25 feet I'd say at least. The audience went mental for this. The show was fine but you could tell this band was not even at the crest of their popularity.

FDF Overall Take - In all honesty this is a decent record but its been so beaten into our collective heads because of the singles. Dust it off and check out the stuff you don't always hear, you might be surprised.

Gavin Rossdale Official page
Gavin on myspace
Spear of Destiny on myspace

Curious? Check out some music!

***MP3's have been removed 5/1/08***

Check the bonus download this week for the are 2 songs that were NOT played that night.

Both those are from "Sixteen Stone" which you can find everywhere including right

This weeks extra download

The Paradise, Boston Ma
February 28, 1995

mp3's have been removed..

Broken TV
Everything Zen
Janie Jones
Little Things
Revolution Blues

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 12:45 PM, Blogger B. said...

I listened to this cd all the time in high school!

At 4:30 PM, Blogger Travis Erwin said...

I used to really like that song Glycerin but this is a CD I never owned.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Ello said...

This is another CD I never bought but I liked the band. Luckily you have reminded me of them!


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