Some bands take time to develop a unique sound, but Queen sounded like Queen right from the beginning. “Keep Yourself Alive” was the opening track on their first album, and it contains all the requisite Queen elements: the heavy riffs & orchestrated guitars, the vocal harmonies, dramatic musical shifts and Freddie’s powerful voice. The band would go on to scale bigger heights, but the magic was there from the start. Let’s have a listen.

“Keep Yourself Alive” (Brian May) Copyright 1972 Queen Music Ltd

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Aqualung was the album that made Jethro Tull famous, and features 3 songs that became classic hits.  But the song at the heart of the album is “My God”, Ian Anderson’s very personal statement on religious institutions.  It’s the most instrumentally adventurous track on the album and features great guitar by Martin Barre and a flute workout from Anderson.

“My God” (Ian Anderson) Copyright 1971 Chrysalis Music, Ltd.

On this episode, we revisit the Destroyer album and take a look at the song “King Of The Night Time World” to see how it evolved from an obscure track by a short-lived LA band into a teenage anthem by larger-than-life rock legends.  We’ll listen to both versions and hear what changed & what remained.  Come live your secret dream!

“King Of The Nighttime World” (Kim Fowley/Mark Anthony/Paul Stanley/Bob Ezrin) Copyright 1976 Cafe Americana, Inc/Kiss Songs, Inc (ASCAP)/Bad Boy Music/Eighth Power Music/All By Myself Publishing Co Ltd. (BMI)

Why this song?  Simple: because Thin Lizzy was as good as a 4-piece rock band could be and this song has everything you want in a rockin’ song– a killer guitar riff, a singable chorus, a great hook for the lyrics, and a perfect performance.  Written by Bob Seger, Thin Lizzy took it to another level and added some of their special sauce to make this song their own.  I truly love this song!  Let me know your thoughts — write a review, leave a comment, share with your friends.

“Rosalie” (Bob Seger) Copyright 1972 Gear Publishing Co.

By the time Aerosmith recorded their 2nd album, they had refined their sound, improved their songwriting chops, and Steven Tyler had found his authentic voice.  “Seasons Of Wither” is one of the moodiest tracks Aerosmith ever committed to vinyl.  Still sounds every bit as great today.

“Seasons Of Wither” (Steven Tyler) Copyright 1977 Music Of Stage Three and Song & Dance

Forget talking about “women who rock”, Sass Jordan is one of the best rock vocalists out there, male OR female.  This Canadian singer & songwriter is not well known in the USA, which is a shame because she’s got a voice that’s unique, powerful and compelling.  This song is from her 1994 album, “Rats”, which is her hardest-rocking album (and, in my opinion, her best).  Check out this song, then go find more music by Sass Jordan.  And don’t forget to share & leave comments!

“Head” (Sass Jordan & Stevie Salas) Copyright 1994 WB Music Corp/Cat Sass Music/Green Lantern Music (ASCAP)/Songs Of Polygram International Inc. and Salidified Songs (BMI)

Who’s the greatest singer in rock history? You could make an argument that it’s Glenn Hughes. He’s played & recorded with Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Gary Moore, KLF… and released a collection of great solo albums. He’s an amazing hard rock vocalist & bass player, but my favorite stuff is when he’s getting funky– real funky. This track combines the funk with the hard rock – the best combo since Reese’s put peanut butter in their chocolate. (Do you have to be a certain age to get that reference?) Regardless, Crank It Up! 

“Crave” (Glenn Hughes) Copyright 2008 Ponce Songs (BMI)

Kiss was the band that turned a generation of kids — including me — into rock & roll obsessives.  Love ’em or hate ’em, Kiss became huge stars after the release of the “Destroyer” album in 1976.  This is one of my favorite songs on the album, and features some off-the-wall moments like circus instruments, odd time signatures and a mysterious guitar solo.  Your uniform is leather, your power is your age– set the world on fire, baby!

“Flaming Youth” (Ace Frehley/Paul Stanley/Gene Simmons/Bob Ezrin) Copyright 1976 Cafe Americana, Inc/Kiss Songs, Inc (ASCAP)/All By Myself Publishing Co Ltd. (BMI)