Thursday, May 31, 2012

Greatest Rock albums of all times Part. 14


   One of the albums which became a major influence for the birth of Heavy Metal music is this one. (Together with Black Sabbath's and Led Zeppelın's first albums).
'Machine Head' was released on March 1972. It was the 6th studio album of Deep Purple, and by far the most successful.
Upon its release it went straight to No.1 on the album charts very fast in many countries, including UK, Australia,Germany and Canada.
In the UK charts it reached No.1 on the first week of its release, and stayed at the top 40 for 20 weeks. In the USA Billboard charts it reached No.7, and stayed at the top 200 for 118 weeks.
   'Machine Head' was recorded in Switzerland during the winter of 1971 while the band was staying at the Casino hotel there. One night a big fire burst and a part of the hotel was destroyed. Without this incident, probably one of the most and famous songs of Rock music wouldn't have been recorded. And that's no other than 'Smoke on the Water'.
Another interesting information about this record (confirmed by R.Blackmore) is that a part of the guitar solo in 'Highway Star' is inpired by the 18th century composer J.S Bach.
   This record contains 7 songs and almost all of them will become a 'must' in most Deep Purple concerts, and secure a place in almost every Deep Purple's 'Best of' in the years to come...
Take a look: Smoke on the Water, Highway Star, Lazy, Never Before, Space Truckin'...
   I have to admit that I was never a fan of Deep Purple, and specially in the period with Ian Gillan as the singer. (I always liked David Coverdale's voice more). But this record is a cornerstone for every rock discography!
If someone would ask me to suggest the 10 first records to buy in order to start a decent Rock collection, for sure 'Machine Head' would be one of them.

Other albums I recommed: (Feat. Ian Gillan): In Rock, Fireball
                                             (Feat. D. Coverdale): Burn, Stormbringer

Here you can see the song 'Lazy' performed live from the 1972 tour...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tales from the Progressive Oceans Part. 5

                         CAMEL: MIRAGE

   'Mirage' was released on the 1st of March 1974, and it was Camel's second album. The album includes only 5 songs  but 2 of them are over 9 minutes long. These two songs are also the best by far in this album. I'm reffering to the classics 'Lady Fantasy', and 'Nimrodel' which is in 3 parts, and it was inspired by The Lord of the Rings. (The full title is: Nimrodel/The Procession/The White Rider).
   The album was released in Deram records, which was a part of Decca. (Very big English record company in those years).
   When it was released it didn't make any significant success, didn't climb up in charts, but it was the album that made Camel known in the Prog-Rock scene. With the passing years it took its rightful place as a 'classic' and now it is considered as one of their best works.
   In the cover as you can see, it shows the very famous packet of Camel cigarettes, and that's in my opinion one of the reasons that this album is remembered by many non Prog-Rock fans. (This cover was made after a business arrangement between the band and the cigarette company).
In this album it is the first time that Andrew Latimer (guitars, vocals) plays the flute as well. You can hear it in the song 'Supertwister'.
   In my opinion, if someone wants to search Camel's music a little, this record must be the starting point.

 My Personal Rating: 7.5

In the following video you can watch an extended version (15 mins) of 'Lady Fantasy' live from 1976

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Concerning Greece...

   When I started this blog the main idea was to be about rock music only. But a bit later I thought of adding posts from time to time about some movies or Tv series, and a bit later added travels and a few books.
So far so good... I said to myself that I will not post here anything that has to do about politics, economics etc...
After all, there are many sites and blogs for that, and all of them are doing it much better than I would ever do.
   But sometimes reality hits you in the head, and makes you reconsider a few things. You might all know what's going on in my country Greece these last years. (The Greeks for sure do!). As for all of you who are from other coutries for sure you have heard every now and then some things. True or not it doesn't matter. The important thing is that you know. (Or so you think at least).
   Well, a few days ago I received a mail from a friend containing a link to YouTube. I watched it and it was a very interesting footage about Greece of course. Starting from that, I made a small research and I found hundreds of videos about similiar matters. I watched a great many of them, some were good some were pure rubbish. As a person I never believed in conspiracy theories, because most of them are not serious and in many cases plain stupid. BUT the whole situation that have started with Greece and slowly spreads to other countries as well, is not happening by itself. Some people are behind all this, and the point now is to prevent the worst to come. (If is not already here). As I said I'm not good in economics, I was never seriously interested in politics, but the whole thing that is happening in our days is impossible to be ignored. We all have read very bad things about the Greek people in these last months. That they are lazy, they only like drinking ouzo and sitting at cafeterias, and so on. Well, it is not like that! BUT even if it was, that doesn't explain by itself this terrible situation that this country is in right now.
   On the other hand, if you take a look at these videos and try to think a bit clearly, you may realise a few things. You may realise for example, that MAYBE there is a huge set up concerning some countries, for reasons that you will see, and they have started from Greece as an experiment because it was the easiest target. I really don't know anymore what is real and what pure lies from all these that I read and hear everyday.
    I don't try to do political analysis here, and this post is a small parenthesis in my blog. (Depends on the situations there will be maybe more small parenthesis every now and then).
I'm just putting here these videos because I found them interesting and rather serious...
Thank you, and I'm sorry if im getting out of the usual style of this blog...

Monday, May 28, 2012

1000+ pageviews...

This is a celebration post! :)
My small blog just reached 1000 pageviews in 56 days! (1001 a few minutes ago to be exact).
A very big thanks to all of you that are spending some of your time visiting my blog, commenting etc...
As I have said in a previous post, I will try to improve it in any way I can.

Concerning Videos...

Hello all! :)
All this time that I'm dealing with this blog I was trying to find a way to be able to post videos instead of links.
But I couldn't find a way to do it, therefore as you know already I was putting the links that lead to YouTube.
Well, not any more! With the big help from my friend in N.Ireland (whose blog I just mentioned in the post below) I am able to put now videos straight to my blog. And I'm happy! hahaha
So now I'm rearranging all the posts from day 1, and adding the videos instead of the links...
Thank you very much for the help Kudos! It was much appreciated! :)

Northern Ireland slide show...

Hello everybody!
A friend of mine which is from Northern Ireland made a very beautiful slide show about his country.
Because I liked it and I think he did a good job I'm putting the link here, so if you want go and take a look at the beauties of his country.
Other than that, he has a blog as well but it's more about his personal thoughts and ideas, rather than stuck in 2-3 subjects like mine. :P
I'm posting the link here, so you can visit it if you want... :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

GFreedom's Juke Box #1

   This is a new entry in the series of posts of this blog.
When I'm home most of the times there is music playing. Or in the background while I'm dealing with something, or when I'm sitting down to enjoy the songs I choose to listen.
So here's an idea that came to my mind last night. At the end of every week, I will choose the 5 most beloved songs I listened in the past days and I will put them here in a small list.
Not in order (like No.1 No.2 etc), but altogether. So you will be able to see what my 'juke box' is playing, and maybe take some ideas about things you don't know yet, or have forgotten through the years...
   I will be posting this 'Juke Box' list every Saturday.
So, this is my list of the 5 songs I really enjoyed this week...

Black Sabbath: Into the Void (Masters of Reality) (1971)
Crippled Black Phoenix: Fantastic Justice (I Vigilante) (2010)
Marillion: Grendel (single) (1982)
Madrugada: What's on your mind (Madrugada) (2008)
Cockney Rebel: Death Trip(The Human Menagerie) (1973)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tales from the Progressive Oceans Part.4

   Many will disagree I guess with this entry here, but Marillion is one of my most favourite bands. Further than this, I really do believe that these 2 records are an excellent example of Prog-Rock, despite the fact that they were recorded in the 80's. The band originally was called 'Silmarillion' inspired from J.R.R Tolkien (like hundreds other bands), but they shortened their name to Marillion a bit later. At the start of their career they were lucky enough to gain the attention of Peter Hammill who helped them sign a contract with EMI.
   They released their first single in 1982, it was called 'Market square heroes'  and on B-side was the epic 17-minutes-long-'Grendel'. (Maybe the best song that Marillion ever recorded).
One year later 'Script for a Jester's Tear' was released. This record 'shouts' its Prog heritage even from the painting on the cover. The album contains 6 songs and all of them are top class!
The style here reminds a lot of Genesis (in the Peter Gabriel years), but the sound is more modern. The lyrics are astonishing on many occasions, and all of them are poems written by Fish. (their singer). This record is a musical tapestry filled with beautiful melodies, strong guitar riffs, and of course the strange poetic lyrics by Fish. Strangely, this album climbed at the UK album charts reaching at No.7, and stayed there for 31 weeks. Not bad for starters eh?
 According to Fish, 'Script for a Jester's Tear' is the first of a trilogy of albums that starts here, continues with 'Fugazi', and finishes with 'Misplaced Childhood'.
 If this album contained the song 'Grendel', I believe that it would have been one of the best records of Prog-Rock of all times! But later on, a remastered CD version was released, and this time 'Grendel' is there! (But this version is not the same like the original one).
  'Misplaced Childhood' was released in 1985 and is by far their most commercially successful album .
It includes the hit singles 'Kayleigh' (No.2 at the UK singles charts) and 'Lavender' (No.5).
This is a concept album and the lyrics (written again by Fish) are about his lost youth, his first love, alcohol and drug abuse among others.The album had a huge promotion from EMI and it climbed at No.1 in the UK album charts becoming a huge success. The problem that Marillion had (in my opinion), was that they were heavily promoted from 'Kerrang' magazine in those years. But 'Kerrang' was a Heavy Metal magazine. So many people (and me among them) that learned about Marillion from the song 'Kayleigh' when they were reading about Marillion in this magazine they thought 'ah that's another pop-metal band'. What a big mistake...
Well, 'Kayleigh' I believe is a song written only to become hit and nothing else. But the rest of the record is wonderful.
   I'm sure that all of you who are familiar with Marillion's early works knows very well what I'm talking about here.
 As for you who don't know them yet, eh I think it is time to pay some attention to them...

  My Personal Rating: 'Script for a Jester's Tear :8.5
                                      'Misplaced Childhood' : 8

And here you can watch 'Grendel' live at the Hammersmith Odeon from their very early days...


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Books: I Am OZZY

  This time I will not write about records, but I will present a book which I believe everyone should read at some time! And I don't mean only Black Sabbath fans, I mean everybody!
'I Am Ozzy' is the autobiography of John Michael Osbourne (or just Ozzy), and it is co-written by Ozzy himself and Chris Ayers. (It is widely known that Ozzy has a dyslexia problem).
   The book is 416 pages long, begins with his childhood,  then the Black Sabbath period, continuing with his solo career years, and it reaches up to 4-5 years back from now.
   Upon it's release it received very good critics and made massive sales everywhere.It was praised by its readers, and has a rating of 4.6/5 in amazon boostore.
And why? Because it is a very enjoyable book to read! It is written in a light style with lots of humour and describes many serious incidents from Ozzy's life in a very funny way. Especially until the end of Black Sabbath's era it is hillarious! Of course as you can easily understand the pages of the book are filled with alcohol and drugs of any kind. But again, all these are described in such a funny way that you will find yourself laughing like crazy on many occasions.
   I started reading this book mainly out of curiosity, but I have to say that at some point it was difficult to leave it aside and continue reading it the next day. So, I finished it in 3-4 days and I really really enjoyed it!
   For all these reasons I just mentioned, I decided to make a small presentation here, and I really hope that some of you will read it and find it nice and interesting like I did.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

One week in Athens...

   Well, as I have said before I had to visit my hometown Athens, in order to deal with many many small things I had to do.
Like renewing my passport, make my papers for the tax office, visit a few banks and arrange some things etc...
   But it was not only jobs I did there. I also had time to see my relatives, most of my friends, make some rounds, and in general blow some steam. I have to admit that it was very nice! I had some nice time with friends, I visited my old shop with the fantasy and board games, went out 2-3 nights and visited a friendly bar we used to go, had some drinks, and in general it was time well spent! hehehe Unfortunately when you are having good time the days are passing very fast, and that happened in my case. These 8 days passed really fast, and suddenly it was time to go again. But I'm not complaining.
   One of the things I did when I was there it was to watch an event/concert from the Greek Tribute band to Ronnie James Dio. To be honest I had no idea about them, and a friend convinced me to go together.
I have to say that I didn't expect it to be so nice. The band is called Rock n' Roll Children, and they are very good. After 2 days from this event it was R.J Dio's 2 years memorial since his death, and the guys made it really special. First of all, the money from the tickets went to a foundation for the kids with cancer. (They deserve a big Bravo here I think). Second of all, in order to make it special, they had invited many singers from other Greek bands to join, and finally they were about 20 singers in total there. So in every 1-2 songs it was a different singer on stage. Some were good, some not so good, BUT there were 2 of them that really made me chill. Sorry I can't remember the names, but the guy who was singing 'The sign of the southern cross' and the girl (yes you read it well) that sang 'Shame on the night' were the best voices by far that night!
As for the concert, it lasted no less than 4 hours! They were playing and playing, and in the end I wasn't able to remember any song that was worth mentioning and they didn't play. It was a really huge Best of from the whole Ronnie James Dio's career. Very good job guys, congratulations!
   There is no reason to make this post longer, so the only thing I want to add here is a very big thanks to all of you that you were there for me, tried to re-arrange your jobs and every days lives in order to be able to meet, and a big sorry to those I was not able to see enough or at all. Next time guys, I promise!
 The pictures are from my old shop with the games, and here you see our board games company in full! :)
 Thanks everybody! :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Small break is over...

Hello everyone!
I know that I promised to write every 2-3 days during my staying in Athens, but it was impossible to do so, and I'm sorry...
 Now I'm back and I will continue putting new posts everytime it is possible.
As a start I will write a post about the time I spend in Athens, and I will continue with the things that are left unfinished.
I need sometime to gather my thoughts and write this first post about Athens though...
The rest will follow as usual.
Thank you :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hello From Athens...

Hello to all of you!
It came a bit sudden, but right now i'm writting this post while I am at a friends computer in Athens.
I will post new stuff and news every 2-3 days, so be in touch.
Have a nice day everybody!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Tales from the Progressive Oceans Part. 3

   This is the second album by The Moody Blues which was released on November of 1967.
But it is the first album that is considered as Progressive Rock (because their first was more of R&B style), and it is also the first album which was released after the departure of Denny Laine (who later joined Paul Mc Cartney's 'Wings'). At the same time 2 very important members for the future of Moody Blues joined the band: Justin Hayward and John Lodge. These two will play a significant role, changing the band's sound as they will become the main composers and singers, and in general will be great influence for The Moody Blues in the years to come.
   This is a concept album, with a very simple but nice theme. An 'everyman's day' from dawn until night.
The musicians which are performing here are the 5 members of the band, together with the London Festival Orchestra. The contribution of the orchestra is very important to the whole record, but mostly in the transitions between the songs.
   The truth is, that this project was a very dangerous experiment at that time. (Don't forget that we are talking about 1967!). Their company (Deram), didn't want to release the record in the beginning, because they were afraid that the combination of Rock and Symphonic music would be a failure.
After many discussions between the band their manager and the company, they finally agreed to release the record. The album became a very big success, especially because of the songs 'Nights in White Satin' (Is there really anyone who haven't heard this song?), and 'Tuesday Afternoon'. But after its release the album was accused of being lenient to drug consumption because of some lyrics they thought that are not appropriate. For example, in the song 'Dawn (is a feeling)' the part that says: 'the smell of grass just makes you pass into a dream', but also parts of the lyrics in other songs as well.
Despite all these, the album made very good sales, it reached at No.3 at the USA charts, and it will continue selling in the following decades. It is the most famous and the best selling album by The Moody Blues, and is considered as a pioneer for Progressive Rock, and one of the best albums ever.
   My Personal Rating: 8

In the following video you can listen to the song 'Dawn (is a feeling)', that in my opinion is one of the best moments in this album...
Put it at a loud volume, close your eyes, and enjoy! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Greatest Rock albums of all times Part. 13

   Surrealisitc Pillow was released on February 1967, it was the second album by Jefferson Airplane, and is considered to be maybe the most important album in the American psychedelic scene ever since.
 It is also the first album that includes Grace Slick on vocals (before she was the singer in 'Great Society'), and Spencer Dryden on drums (who was nephew of Charlie Chaplin). This album was the first psychedelic record that became a blockbuster, and made San Fransisco's music scene famous in the whole world.
Because of the close friendship relations between Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead, there are rumors that Gerry Garcia (G.Dead's leader, guitarist and singer) was involved in the making of this album, but there is nothing official.
   Surrealistic Pillow reached at No.3 at the Billboard's USA charts, and two singles were released that became smashing hits. These are no others than 'Somebody to Love' and 'White Rabbit'. (But none is an actual Jefferson Airplane song).
And here's the story behind those songs:
At 1965 Grace Slick (ex-model) formed a rock group with her husband at that time Jerry Slick (drums) and his brother Darby Slick (guitar). A family group as you can see...
This band was named 'The Great Society'.
They lasted about a year or so, became a bit known at the San Fransisco area, mostly because they were the opening act for Jefferson Airplane concerts. Great Society released (officially) only one single. It was called 'Someone to Love'. Rings any bells? Upon the departure of Signe Toly Anderson from Jefferson Airplane (vocals), Grace Slick quit 'The Great Society' and became the singer of Jefferson Airplane, bringing the song 'Someone to Love' in the band (which changed to Somebody to Love), and one of her own compositions that was yet unreleased, and it was called 'White Rabbit'... (For the history, after the departure of Grace Slick, 'The Great Society were disbanded, and she was also divorced from her husband).
   Nevertheless these 2 songs became the absolute trade marks of Jefferson Airplane, and overshadowed all the other songs in this album. And that's a pity because there are many very beautiful songs here, like the opening track 'She has Funny cars', the wonderful 'Today', or the sad ballad 'Coming back to me' to name a few.
   Finishing this post I want to say that in my opinion Jefferson Airplane were the crown in the Psychedelic scene, and this album was its most precious jewel.

 Other records I recommend: Early Flight, After Bathing at Baxter's, Volunteers

 Here you can watch 'White Rabbit' from a TV show back then :

Friday, May 4, 2012

About the elections in Greece...

This post is concerning the Greek elections that will take place on the 6th of May.
I apologize in advance that I will write this post in the Greek language...
Anyway this post concerns mostly the people from Greece, and it will contain many words and phrases that I have no idea how to express in English. So I'm guessing it will be all  be Greek to you! :P
Thanks for the understanding...

 Καλησπέρα σε ολα τα καλά (και μη) παιδιά!
 Ε ας γράψω και μια φορα στα Ελληνικά ε?
Είχα γράψει οτι αυτο το blog θα είναι κυριως για μουσική, για ταξίδια, και απο κει και περα ίσως κάποιες ταινίες, κάποιες σειρές, βιβλία κλπ.
   Δεν είμαι και ούτε σκοπεύω να γίνω άλλος ένας αναλυτής για αυτές τις εκλογές που έρχονται. Τα πράγματα έτσι και αλλιώς είναι τόσο μπερδεμένα, που είμαι ο λιγότερο κατάλληλος για να καταπιαστώ με αυτό το θέμα. Αλλά επειδή είναι ένα θέμα πολύ μεγάλης σημασίας, ιδιαίτερα στην συγκεκριμένη χρονική περίοδο, είπα να γράψω το κατιτις μου και εγω.
   Ισως να είναι η πρώτη φορά που δεν θα καταφέρω να ψηφίσω. Απ οσο θυμάμαι τουλάχιστον δεν πρέπει να έχω χάσει άλλη εκλογική αναμέτρηση. Και ειδικά στην συγκεκριμένη θα ήθελα να συμμετάσχω. Καλά, οχι οτι η μια ψήφος μου θα άλλαζε και τίποτα, αλλά για να μην αισθάνομαι εγω οτι στην πιο κρίσιμη στιγμή της Ελλάδας εγω ήμουν απών. Δυστυχώς δεν μπορώ να είμαι στην Αθήνα την συγκεκριμένη στιγμή. Απο την άλλη είχα επαναπαυθεί και πίστευα οτι θα μπορούσα να ψηφίσω εαν ήθελα στο Ελληνικό προξενείο στη Σμύρνη. (Όπως θα ήταν μάλλον λογικό).
   Για να μην τρέχω όμως τσάμπα στη Σμύρνη, φάω τη μέρα μου να βρω το προξενείο και τελικά φάω πόρτα, είπα να τηλεφωνήσω να μάθω τι παίζεται. (Πάλι καλά). Άρχισα λοιπόν να πάιρνω τηλέφωνο απο την τετάρτη. Αλλά σαν κάθε Ελληνική δημόσια υπηρεσία που σέβεται τον εαυτό της, (άσχετα με το τι είναι και που βρίσκεται), ήταν αδύνατον να πιάσω γραμμή! Πρέπει να πήρα συνολικά πάνω απο 50 φορές. (Και λίγες λέω μάλλον). Το τηλέφωνο σχεδόν πάντα έδειχνε να είναι κατειλημμένο και όποτε δεν ήταν, δεν το σηκωνε κανείς. Τελικά τα κατάφερα όμως! Σήμερα το μεσημέρι κατά τις 4.30 το σηκώσανε! Μίλησα με ένα υπάλληλο, και τον ρώτησα εαν μπορώ να ψηφίσω εκεί την Κυριακή. Αυτός πρέπει να έπαθε σοκ όπως κατάλαβα απ το ύφος του, και μου είπε 'μισό λεπτό κύριε να σας δώσω τον υπεύθυνο'. 'Μωρε μπράβο' σκέφτηκα. Έχουν και υπεύθυνο για τις εκλογές! Τελικά ο υπεύθυνος δεν ήταν και τόσο υπεύθυνος όπως φάνηκε, επειδή με πάσαρε σε άλλο "υπεύθυνο". Και τελικά ο δεύτερος 'υπεύθυνος" μου είπε οτι για να ψηφίσω πρέπει να παω στην Ελλάδα! Τι λες ρε φίλε! Αυτό δεν το ήξερα! Εσένα περίμενα να μου το πείς.
   Τέλος πάντων, όπως καταλαβαίνετε απο τα γραφόμενα δεν θα καταφέρω να ψηφίσω. Η αλήθεια είναι οτι όπως έχουν μπλεχτεί τα πράγματα πια, και να μπορείς να ψηφίσεις άντε να βρείς τι θα ψηφίσεις!
Τέλος πάντων.
   Εγω απο εδω που βρίσκομαι θέλω να ευχηθώ καλή ψήφο (η μήπως να πω καλό βόλι?) σε όλους σας, και ελπίζω να κυλήσουν όλα ομαλά, επειδή είναι περιέργες οι εποχές, και απο ολο αυτό το μπάχαλο που γίνεται, στο τέλος να βγεί έστω και λίγο κερδισμένη η Ελλαδίτσα.
   Δεν έχω κάτι αλλο να γράψω, (μην γίνω και γραφικός η βαρετός), παρά μόνο να αφιερώσω σε όλους τους Έλληνες το ακόλουθο τραγουδάκι, που παρ ολο που έχει γραφτει εδω και 30τόσα χρόνια πριν, ακούγεται ολόφρεσκο και είναι πάντα επίκαιρο σε τέτοιες περιπτώσεις. (Καλά, οχι οτι δεν το ξέρετε κι ολας. Μην τρελλαθούμε!)
 Απολαύστε το φίλοι μου!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spotlights on: ESPERS

When I listened to Espers for the first time I was completely taken in!
And when I found out later on that they were Americans, I was really very surprised! I mean I could bet my home over the fact that these guys are from England. (thank God I didn't) hehehe.
If you read a little bit about them, and listen to their music you will maybe understand why...
   Well, as I just wrote Espers are from the United States. (Philadelphia). They are an actual Folk-Rock band, and they are one of those bands that are a part of what is called 'British Folk-Rock revival'.
   They were formed as a trio at 2002, but later on they were expanded to a sextet. Their sound is a lot like the English Folk-Rock bands of the late '60's and early '70's, but from time to time you can understand also their psychedelic influences. (In my opinnion early Pink Floyd especially).
    Their music consists of very beautiful melodies, sad tunes, and soft vocals. It is actually the kind of music during which you close your eyes and dream... But in case you don't like them, if you close your eyes you'll propably fall asleep...:P
   Their self titled debut album was released on 2004, and it was followed by the album 'The Weed Tree' on 2005. (This album contains 6 cover versions from other artists, and 1 of their own). On 2006 they released their 3rd album titled 'Espers II'. (Probably because the Weed Tree was not containing original material). Their last record was released on 2009 and it was titled as 'Espers III'.
   I'm not sure if it is a good idea to recommend this band in general. The ones that know about British Folk-Rock, or the ones that like soft melodic tunes, I believe they will find this band at least interesting. But all of you who don't fall under these categories, probably you willfind them kind of boring...
  I'm putting here a couple videos, in order for you to be able to get an idea about Espers...
 On the first Video you can listen to the beautiful 'Meadow', and on the second one to a cover version of the song ' Flaming Telepaths', that was originally recorded by Blue Oyster Cult.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New gadget on the blog: The 'Followers' panel

Hello everyone! :)
 If you have noticed already, I just added on the upper right of the screen a 'followers' panel.
What is this? It is an easy tool for the ones that like this blog to be able to visit it anytime without having to search for it every time, or typing adresses etc. If any of you has already got a blog of his/her own, you can put this blog in your reader's list, or otherwise just use the button there on the right.
 (If you want to become a follower of course...) Also if you like you can put a picture of yourself, your pet, your bike, or whatever you want, so it will not be an empty box.
Thank you in advance... :)

Greatest Rock albums of all time. Part. 12

                                     BLACK SABBATH: BLACK SABBATH (1970)

  Before I start writing this, I did a lot of thinking about how to approach this band and their albums.
  I wrote a couple of posts, and then I erased them, because when it comes to Black Sabbath it is really very difficult for me to be objective. I really tried hard to decide which records I should put in this post, and after many changes, I thought that my best option was to present only their first album. Because if I had to put a second one (as I had in mind at first), it seemed impossible for me to decide which one should be. In my opinion their first 5 albums are equally important and good. (The only exception maybe, would be the album Vol.4, because for me it is the 'weakest' in comparison to the other four).
  Black Sabbath's dark image (that would follow them forever), started here: On Friday the 13th of February 1970 with the release of their first self titled record. On the cover we see a picture of an old house which seems to be abandoned, and a pale figure dressed in black at the front. The whole cover is like a picture that was taken from a horror movie. (The house on this cover was a windmill, situated somewhere on Thames river). In the original version, the cover had a gatefold with an inverted black cross and a poem written on it.
   But let’s move on and take a closer look at the songs here:
   The album opens with the famous Black Sabbath. Rain falls, thunders strike, and the sound of the church bell ringing setting up a dark and gloomy atmosphere, before the heavy sound of guitar and bass hit you in the stomach like iron. Ozzy with his odd voice sings about 'a figure in black’ which points at him. (The lyrics of this song are based on a nightmare Geezer Butler had). One of the most “bizarre” songs ever recorded, which became a “must” in all their concerts during their long career.
 Next, comes the song N.I.B, in which the lyrics are written from the point of view of Lucifer. The song Behind the Wall of Sleep was inspired by the American writer H.P Lovecraft and his story with the same title. As for The Wizard, it was inspired from the wizard Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings books, written by J.R.R Tolkien. The songs Evil Woman and Warning are cover versions of some old Blues songs.
   According to Tonny Iommi, the band recorded the album in just one day. They went to the studio, played all the songs live, recorded them and left. The only 'luxury' they had, it was that Ozzy was singing from another booth.
  Upon its release, the reviews that Black Sabbath received, varied from bad to terrible! My opinion is that the critics and the media of the time were unable to handle such a record, because it was something they were listening to for the first time and they had no idea how to react to it.
Here’s a few examples: “It sounds like a very bad version of Cream”, or  “It is like Vanilla Fudge playing a tribute to Alister Crowley”. [Alister Crowley (1875-1947) was a very famous magician, occultist etc].
  That is exactly what I meant before, when I wrote  they didn't know how to handle this record. 
  Despite the bad critics, the album sales were not bad at all! It reached at No.8 at the U.K charts, and at No.23 at the USA charts.
   With the passing years, the critics started giving better and better reviews, until it gained its position as one of the most important and influential albums in the history of  Rock music. After all, let's not forget that Heavy Metal has its roots exactly on this record! (And the rest of  the Black Sabbath's albums that followed)...
  Nedless to say that this album is a "must have"!
Other Black Sabbath (incl. Ozzy) albums I recommend: Paranoid, Master of Reality, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage.