Friday, April 19, 2013

FDF Volume 4 - Issue 301 - Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams are Made of This

Album – Sweet Dreams [Are Made of This]
Artist - Eurythmics
Key Players – Dave Stewart – guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, programming,backing vocals.
Annie Lennox – vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, flute
Produced By – Dave Stewart, Adam Williams, Robert Crash

Release Date – January 4, 1983

What caused me to blow off the dust? - When you do 300+ of these it sometimes is hard to find something you haven't done. Granted I've done a Lennox solo album, I never did look back at the duo that helped make a name for her. Here goes...

Overview – This was the second studio album from the British duo “Eurythmics”. The duo came together in 1980 and blended synthesizers and dance pop with new wave. The duo would release a debut but it wouldn't garner much attention. The hard work was slow to pay off and the duo suffered some health and mental issues but they'd be redeemed in early 1983 with the release of the single “Sweet Dreams [Are Made of This]”. With the help of MTV it would catapult them to worldwide success. Before the end of the year they'd release the album “Touch”. Although their breakthrough the album never went to #1 on the charts. In the US it peaked at 15, while New Zealand had it as high as #2. After releasing 8 studio albums in 8 years Stewart and Lennox split in 1990. See “Where are they now” for more info....

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The ten songs that made up this record start with “Love is a Stranger”. This was orginally the first single that didn't do much for the band, after the success of “Sweet Dreams” this was re-released. The keyboards at the start bounce off one another and then the powerful voice of Lennox is the next thing you hear. The percussion is electronic based and there are layer upon layer of keyboard lines. There is no real hook to the song, and not really a chorus in the classic “sing” along sense. The dubs on the vocals for Lennox add further layers, there is a lot going on here. In a way, you can see how this may have been a confusing lead off single, but it works. One of the more recognizable tracks from the band. Flute notes stream forth as a slow keyboard build climbs the intro of “I've Got an Angel”. The track is a darker feeling tune. Lennox sings in more of a monotone/baritone key and the backing band gets a work out with complex layers of sythesizer and percussion. “Wrap it Up” has the heavy 80's synthesizers intro. Lennox pushes it more vocally both in urgency and range. It feels busy at times, but it is the fist track you can hear Stewart strum the guitar. He doesn't go for the flash, but you can tell it is there. “I Could Give you [A Mirror] has layers of vocals over a more driving/deep synthesizer line. The “drums” never seem to break out of their robotic time signature. We are not really going anywhere new here to this point, but that changes late in the track as there are many layers of Lennox vocals. The music speeds up and the vocals just keep adding layers. “The Walk” balances a dark feel, but off sets it with some lighter keyboard lines. There is more of a horn section mid point of the song adding a solid change of pace and Lennox continues to sing in circles with many loops and overdubs. You finally hear some of Stewarts vocal work here, largely left ot a response on the chorus. There is not a lot to tell you about “Sweet Dreams [Are Made of This] that you don't already know. Their biggest and most widely known songs. It was a staple on MTV, you've seen heard get it..and love it. For all the right reasons. “Jennifer” is a slow song to get rolling,a stark contrast from the previous tune. Almost a lone keyboard plays with some heavy bass drum it is about as stripped down a song as you'd find on the record. It never seems to grow in tempo, or ourside of the layer it laid down from the start. Stewart gets a buzzy short solo near the end to change things up. “This Is The House” has more of a playful intro and then some slap bass comes over, then horns. The song has a solid funk feel as the bass line really “pops” and the vibe is infectious with the up tempo vocal delivery. “Somebody Told Me” goes back towards the slower, darker feel with the backing drum being a slow and plodding tempo. The keyboard repeats the same loop and it fails, at lesat to me, to get overly interesting. The record concludes with “This City Never Sleeps”. The tempo is slow and Lennox seems in no rush. Her vocals are strong and really stand out, it is just not a real lively track.

Where are they now? - The duo separated in 1990. Lennox released her solo debut in 1992 “Diva” in 1992 and then “Medusa” in 1995. Both sold well. Stewart also released solo records and worked as a producer. By 1999 the duo got back together and recorded the album “Peace” and even toured behind it. Although considered “active years” Lennox released yet another solo album “Bare” in June of 2003. She won an Academy Award for a song that appeared in Lord of the Rings. The duo would appear at benefits and release a best of collection. By 2007 Lennox was on to yet another solo release “Songs of Mass Destruction” and a best of followed in 2009. Lennox and Stewart (as late as September 2012) have both said they don't foresee any further Eurythmics projects in the future, but Stewart was quick to say “never say never”.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I never saw the band live, but would really like to see Lennox solo some time (or the band too)

FDF Overall Take – The album has aged pretty well. Sure there is some heavy keyboard, electronic drums and synthesizer, but that was what was on the airwaves at the time. Lennox voice is unmistakeable and begs to be listened to. Casual fans may find this a bit too dark at times, but if you have a full disc of the Eurythmics anywhere in your collection its probably this one.

Official site
Annie Lennox
Dave Stewart

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Love is a Stranger   live version from the reunion.

You can track it down pretty easy at places like

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, April 12, 2013

FDF Volume 3 Issue 300 - Ozzy Osbourne - Tribute

Album - Tribute
Artist – Ozzy Osbourne
Key Players – Tommy Aldridge – drums. Rudy Sarzo – bass. Ozzy Osbourne – vocals. Randy Rhoads – guitar. Bob Daisley played bass on “Goodbye to Romance” and “No Bones Movies”. Lee Kerslake played drums on “Goodbye to Romance” as well as “No Bones Movies”.

Produced By – Max Norman

Release Date – March 19, 1987

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I have been thinking about this collection as of late so I decided to check it out. I tend to NOT like to do best of's or live records because both are usually the artists more well know tunes. Never the less, decided to go with it.

Overview - The band was touring the US for the “Diary of a Madman” album when on March 19, 1982 Randy Rhodes boarded a small plane. The plane would crash killing all aboard.

The double live album was released 5 years after Randy's death.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The 13 live tracks start with the audience erupting as the band comes on the stage to Carmina Burana (theme from the Omen as its wildly know). Ozzy shouts “are you ready?” and “You are beautiful” as the climax of the opera ends and Aldrige smashes the gong and “I Don't Know” gets underway. Sarzo is right up there in the mix on the bass and Ozzy is in all his glory. Of course we need to pay attention to the fills from Rhoads...and there are a lot. He is clean and tight with this riffs and everyone is right with him. The live mix is good (the re-issue sounds particularly clean). As the band hits the bridge and Ozzy tells everyone to “stand up” they ease back some, but then it all comes back with Aldridge attacking the kit and Rhoads then launching into the guitar solo. The covers the fret board an awful lot and is very quick and clean. Sarzo is not buried in the mix which is nice and we all come back in with the gong crash. It speeds towards conclusion, a solid opener. The classic “Crazy Train” follows and they don't let up. Ozzy seems to struggle a little with the high notes, but the music is just so tight you don't care. It is easily one of the most recognizable guitar riffs ever. Sarzo gets the spotlight at the start of “Believer” before Rhoads screeches in on the guitar. Aldrige and Sarzo walk the bottom as Rhoads takes off, but not too far. The song is a bit slower than the two juggernaut opening tracks, but its still just as heavy and Rhoads is always on the attack. The sampled organ loop of “Mr.Crowley” brings a thunderous roar from the audience This is about as mellow as the band gets, but it is still pretty darn heavy. Rhoads has a perfect solo. It is perfect on every level, length, tone, speed and attack. Just top notch. Clean as hell too. Why, it is so good, he does a second one. Showing he is/was as big a name as the front man. Perhaps my favorite tune from Ozzy comes in “Flying High Again”. He is so happy to play it he tells the audience to “keep on smoking those joints!” It is a pretty straight forward rock attack, but there is something about it that is just perfect to me. “Revelation (Mother Earth)” is about as “rock ballad” as this collection allows. The bass guitars and drums don't want you to think that, but it is. “Steal Away (the Night)” comes right out of the gates. Ozzy pushes himself and Sarzo is right on task with Rhoads. This is a track for Aldridge as we get a 4+ minute drum solo segment. One of the most popular and controversial songs is next as “Suicide Solution” is performed. The band is tight and on task and it is a terrific version, but what stands out is the Rhoads solo. It is just him, nobody else besides a wild crowd. If you close your eyes you can just see a spot light on a guy, just going OFF on the guitar. It is a terrific hard rock solo that is probably one of the key reasons people site Rhoads as an influence. The band comes back in and the track heads towards a conclusion. The band heads towards the Sabbath part of the set with “Iron Man” leading the charge. It is a tight barring a few flashes from Rhoads it is just about spot on to the original. The band doesn't even slow down, other than for Ozzy to shout “This is  Children Of the Grave!” Aldridge gets on the ride cymbal and he continues to be the real back/driving force on the album. Sarzo is sort of buried in the mix, but when you are looking to showcase guitars, well you get it here and the end in particular, smokes. “Paranoid” is the last song of what is considered to be the same set. (Rumors have this as being May 11, 1981 from Cleveland Ohio). Rhoads plays the main bass riff on his guitar for this song. The band does a ferocious take on this and it rivals, dare one say, the original. Sarzo, and Aldrige go just as hard as a Bill Ward and and Geezer Butler. Rhoads is a bit more flashy that Iommi was, but its still a great version. “Goodbye to Romance” and “No Bone Movies” were recorded (again rumored to be from the first Blizzard of Ozz Tour October 2, 1980 from Southampton) with Daisley on bass and Kerslake on drums. “Goodbye” sounds as clean as a studio version. The constant scream/buzz from the audience is a little overwhelming, but you can get over it quickly enough. “No Bone..” is a bit more fun and satisfying and is a solid “final track” for the collection. Rhoads is solid as ever. “Dee” is culled from studio outtakes of Rhoads working on a classically inspired guitar piece he had written for his mother. Fans enjoy this version as it has Randy laughing and talking at times. A nice side of a loud guitar player showing his calm/quiet side.

Where are they now? - As noted, Rhoads died in 1982 after a plane crash.
After Rhodes death Sarzo was soon to follow. He'd join up with Quiet Riot who would have large success and also work with Whitesnake. More recently Sarzo has joined up with Geoff Tate, the former front man for Queensryche, and is touring as the bass player for his band as they perform an anniversary tour. Tommy Aldrige worked with Sarzo as well, first in their project M.A.R.S. He was with Sarzo in Whitesnake as well and then worked with Motorhead and Ted Nugent. The most recent update on him is that he is re-joining Whitesnake. Ozzy continues to write and perform and has re-united with Black Sabbath. The band has a new album due in June of 2013.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I've seen Ozzy on two separate OzzFest occasions. The first was July 9, 1998 and the second was July 30, 2000. Both were at the Tweeter/Comcast/Great Woods in Mansfield MA. Ozzy played fun sets and it was wild to see a guy “that old” with “that much” energy. I'd see him again.

FDF Overall Take  - It is a time captule for sure.  Its all very well known songs and new and old fans should be pleased with the selections.  The sound has been cleared up.  I always recall the cassette tape version I had of there where the audience roar was one long constant drone on the songs.  We all know, that never happens at shows.  The cleaned up version is better, but any version will do.  Grab this one.

The official Ozzy site
Curious? Check out some MUSIC!
Crazy Train  
Suicide Solution    (with solo)

Pretty easy to find still, start with

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, April 05, 2013

FDF Volume 3 Issue 299 - Go West - Go West

Album – Go West
Artist – Go West
Key Players – Richard Drummie – keyboards, bass and vocals. Peter Cox – vocals, guitar, keyboards.

Produced By – Gary Stevenson

Release Date - 1985

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I heard one of the singles on satellite radio, twice in the same weekend. I guess it was meant to be?

Overview – Formed in 1982, London England band “Go West” had a publishing deal before they had a band. They'd record two songs that would be enough to get the recording contract they needed. Their debut album would crack the UK top 10 (8) and the US Top 100 (peaking at 60). The moderate success would afford them the ability to record follow ups. Although success on a grand scale seemed to elude them. By 1990 the band had a song on the Pretty Woman soundtrack (King of Wishful Thinking). They'd win an ASCAP award for it being one of the most played songs that year. By the early 90's the band had started doing things on their own terms and have slowly released solo to best of collections.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - “We Close Our Eyes”, a well know single opens the album. The electric drums open and the keyboards are right up on you, but have layers. Cox has a solid baritone voice and the bounce of the track is fun. There are a lot of keyboard fills and the chorus is accented nicely with Drummies harmonies. The hand claps and accents make it a perfect time capsule for 80's synth pop. “Don't Look Down” is another big single from the record. Again the drums feel very canned, but the keyboards are again bright. Alan Murphy provides two short guitar solos to mix things up. Drummie has some solid work with the bass on “Call Me”. The two sing a bit towards falsetto and are comfortable taking the vocal tandem. There is a longer keyboard break down with a mix between speakers for the vocals over the buzzy loop. Katie Humble offers some of the higher harmonies on the track. “Eye to Eye” is a little slower on the tempo, with a bit more of a soul feel to it. The keyboards and percussion are the dominate forces here. To add to the soul feel Mel Collins offers a saxophone solo towards the end and through the fade. We have dueling keyboards at the intro for “Haunted” The pace slows as Cox begins to sing. The guitars are here again, and Cox has even more to work with as Humble joins him. Murphy has a clean solo over the bass line from the keyboard. They all return for another run at the chorus and a final verse. “S.O.S” has a solid intro capturing all those classic 80's keyboard/synth moments. The drums and guitar try to keep up, but we are on marching band time here. No departure from what you'd hear otherwise. Gary Stevenson adds more guitar as Murphy solos again. “Goodbye Girl” is another slower track from the album. Cox pushing a little vocally but it all feels very dated. “Innocence” and “Missing Persons” wrap up the record, with the same style we've gotten used to. Not terrible, but really can't hold up to the first two songs.

Where are they now? - The duo are still active as “Go West”. They released a three part album of eps in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Cox took a break from Go West in 1997 and released a solo record and has since released a few more. In 2009 he took over lead vocal duties for Manfred Manns' Earth Band

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – Never saw them live.

FDF Overall Take – I'll admit I like the first two songs, always have. The rest of this sort of plays out like a time capsule though. Very much the “same” through out to these ears, and not overly interesting. The cd is easy to find for the cheap, but look for a best of that has the tune from Pretty Woman that so many folks seemed to like.

Go West fans on Facebook
Curious? Check out some MUSIC!


You can still grab the cd at places like amazon

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.