Friday, June 20, 2008

HappyHeadbanger online radio premiers!

Post #28
Hey there readers, tired of browsing through my endless babble of heavy metal in dull, boring silence? Well, now those days are over! To hear free, online radio, with a play-list modeled after my own suggestions, simply click the link at the bottom of this blog and click "play this station". You may need to create a free account with in order to hear the music, but at least now you can all bang your heads while you read.

I plan to continue to add all my suggested artists, albums, and songs to the play-list over the next few weeks. Keep listening as HappyHeadbanger Radio evolves! Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

1976: The Greatest Year in Rock!

Post #27
I'll admit I'm a bit biased about the year 1976 (being that it's the year I was born), but the more I consider the lasting power of much of the rock music that came out that year, I find it harder and harder to argue there was any other year that produced as many great rock songs. Whether you grew up in the 70's or discovered the music of that era as you tracked down the influential artists of many of today's rock bands, you may be surprised at how many essential rock songs were first heard in the year 1976.

Consider for a second a world of rock music without some of these songs; Hotel California (Eagles), Don't Fear the Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult), Detroit Rock City (Kiss), Hurricane (Dylan)... all from 1976. And there's more where those came from, not to mention several other great songs from the albums those songs came from.

I'll let this post serve as foreshadowing of an upcoming poll question. It's certain to be the toughest poll yet! So study-up on your music collection form '76- it'll help you decide which album to vote for next month...

Some notable releases from 1976 that might be included in the poll:
Eagles-Hotel California
Bob Dylan-Desire

And don't worry, there's more where those came from! Good luck and happy listening

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

KISS Unplugged-The KISS Reunion Captured Live!

Post #26 Poll Winner-Favorite 'Unplugged' album far as "Unplugged" albums go, I love how they almost always provide a thurough glimpse of a different side of an artist we don't usually see. When you add to this an unexpected reunion with former or original band members, it becomes even more special. With KISS' Unplugged album, you get both sides of this experience.

More than at any other point of their career, MTV Unplugged is a crossroads in KISS' history. It is a one-time performance where their past met their present, and re-routed their future. For much of the performance, it was a simple setlist performed by the KISS line-up that had been intact since '92, although many of the songs were old, rare tunes that were scarcely (if at all) performed live before. Then, just when the show seemed to be winding down, Paul announces that they "Have some members of the family here tonight... and I'm not talking about Mom & Dad."

For however many of the faithful followers of KISS who happened to be watching this performance, what happened next was the shock of any rock-music fan's life... Ace Frehley & Peter Criss, the original members of KISS, strolled onto the stage and finished the rest of the show along side Gene, Paul, Bruce Kulick, & Eric Singer.

This unique 6-member line-up performed the final four songs of the show and added a new twist to each one. I'll never forget seeing that show, and how it set the stage for the reunion of the original KISS, and their return to their trade-make make-up & stage show. It was only after the KISS reunion that I ever got to see them in concert, and I've managed to see them 3 times.

My picks for this one-of-a-kind Unplugged album...
-Comin' Home
-Goin' Blind
-Rock Bottom
-2,000 Man
-Nothin' to Lose (This one is really special. Taken from their 1st album, the original 4 members belt it out like never before!)
-Got to Choose (DVD only, or else you can find it on the KISS Box Set.)
-Beth (This arrangement & performance is the best recording of this classic ballad. Having 3 guitars to interpret parts of the song originally played by an orchestra brings the song to new heights)