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Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead or Alive

: music, June 25 2023

Not easy to write about childhood heroes, oh boy, where to start. How about the goosebumps on every play, or the avalanche of memories, or all the stupid things said and done, while "Wanted Dead or Alive" was basically the theme-song on the background. If I have to name one track, to describe the glorious 80s, that would be it. Bon Jovi hit a ton of popularity with the "Blaze of Glory", but I find WDoA much more fitting - both for the western style movies and the band itself. It was a love at first listen for me, and I will keep it close to my heart until the very last day.

It's all the same, only the names will change
Every day, it seems we're wastin' away
Another place where the faces are so cold
I'd drive all night just to get back home
I'm a cowboy
On a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted dead or alive
Wanted dead or alive
Starting a bit melancholic, the song describes the life of the band members and a parallel to the wild west gunslingers. So is the tone - a slow acoustic guitar, a memory for all the "country roads" and cowboys out there. Jon finds close similarities between both worlds - quick fame, girls, drinks, money, a little bit of envy and hate.
Sometimes I sleep, sometimes it's not for days
The people I meet always go their separate ways
Sometimes you tell the day by the bottle that you drink
And times when you're alone, well, all you do is think
I'm a cowboy
On a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted (wanted), dead or alive
Wanted (wanted), dead or alive
Oh, and I ride
#Yes, here you put the most epic guitar riff ever!#

I guess they felt very lonely on the road. But that was the day-to-day of a glam-rocker. Back then they earned respect by live-performances and concerts, involving non-stop travel. Never settle, never home - the price you pay. It was worth it. You achieve unique creativity under heavy circumstances. The second verse gazes into the endlessness, as the cowboy realizes his fate is to keep on "riding", forever. The "steel horse" allegory seamlessly connects the two worlds - the wild west past and the machine present.
And I walk these streets, a loaded six-string on my back
I play for keeps 'cause I might not make it back
I've been everywhere, still I'm standing tall
I've seen a million faces and I've rocked them all
'Cause I'm a cowboy
On a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted (wanted), dead or alive
Although the hardship, you never give up, accepting your fate and pressing on. You know it is not "might" but "for sure" not making it back, but that's alright - heroes don't make it old.
With "Wanted Dead or Alive" Bon Jovi hit the zenith of their hard-rock/glam-metal career and start slowly to (I would not say "descent") shift to a more country-rock, commercial sound. The song is written in 1986 as part of the "Slippery When Wet" - a massively successful masterpiece. There are 2 videos - the original one with a footage of the 86-87's band tour, and another one from 2001, which sounds so frail and slimy, I would rather erase it from my memory. I would give a special credit to Richie Sambora, not only for being a co-writer and amazing guitarist, but for the excellent back-vocals (and hat), without which "Wanted Dead or Alive" will just not be the same.

Motörhead - Brotherhood of Man

: music, February 05 2023

For exactly 40 years (1975-2015) the mighty band was ruling over the rock stage. Crew members insist their style is hard-rock, closer to punk, but you make your own judgment. If this is not as glorious and epic as heavy metal can be, I do not know what it is.
"Brotherhood of man" is the 7th and longest song from their last album - "The Wörld Is Yours" (2010). Sadly, 5 years later, the frontman, His Majesty Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister passed away, just one month after their drummer, Phil Taylor, died, which ultimately lead to the end of the band.
"Brotherhood of man" follows an even guitar pace, twisting the pitch in several moment, after the diabolical demigod addresses the humanity, pointing to the worldwide devastation.

Now your time has come a storm of iron in the sky
War and murder come again, lucky if you die.
No way to rescue destiny, scream and curse in vain
You will never be remembered, no one knows your name.
When the music changes then all is broken down
Mighty cities laid to ruin, burning to the ground.
Murder is become the law; you cannot make a stand
Chaos rules the world now mortal, brotherhood of man.
The slow rhythm reminds of a war march. Lemmy narrates more than sings, using particularly low, growling voice (even for his standards). Destructive, unstoppable, merciless troops advance through the black smoke and burned fields. Bombs fall from the skies, fires hit the horizon. There is no escape, death is here.
Slaughter, kill and fighting still and murdered where we stand
Our legacy is lunacy, brotherhood of man.
We are worse than animals, we hunger for the kill.
We put our faith in maniacs the triumph of the will
We kill for money, wealth and lust, for this we should be damned.
We are disease upon the world, brotherhood of man.

The demigod considers himself a human - part of the problem, responsible equally alongside his brothers. Mankind destroys itself, as blind people follow "lying prophets" and "maniacs" to their doom. The grim scenery implies native guilt, forcefully turns heads and eyes to the eternal strife within and destruction behind it.

Incubus - Nimble Bastard

: music, February 12 2022

The dynamic of the song reminds me of early 2000s H-Blockx-style groups - although rather more complex. Not just a plain beat for sure. We all needs some "fall down, get up, adjust the crown, move on" these days and the "Nimble Bastard" reached me (by accident) exactly in such moment.

When you land on your feet
You're a nimble bastard
And you don't skip a beat
Such a nimble bastard
Salt of the earth
Such a nimble bastard
Won't you show, lowly us
How do you see the stars from that far down?
So take some pride and a good example from all who recover from the unrecoverable.
The song debuted in April 2017 with the band's 8th album, plus a hilarious video with cats saving Incubus from secret-agent dogs. Apparently all members participated in the creation process and, as often happens, it was a spontaneous artwork - ultimate proof of how talent is capable of greatness! Wiki says even Skrillex added some sugar in. I admit, except some tracks here-and-there (Spawn), I do not listen to Incubus, but this one is just killing it!

Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song

: music, December 23 2021

The most amazing, smooth and charming voice of Nat King Cole is my Christmas choice this year. Like the one before, it is again a bit (actually a lot) sad - humanity is progressing backwards and we are living in the most dire times, of human history, after WW2.
The Christmas Song is written, almost like a joke, in the hot summer of 1945 by Robert Wells and Mel Tormé. It has numerous recordings and, according to one of the producing companies, is the most-performed Christmas song ever. It finds place in many albums. My favorite one is the namesake album from 1963 - an absolutely "must-have" for a nice, cozy December evening. The black-and-white video, you will find in youtube, again 1961, is a very high-quality one. Enjoy! ...and next year, I hope, we see if reindeers really know how to fly.

Although it's been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you

Jeff Beck - Live in the dark

: music, September 30 2021

A pure gem again. The world famous (not to the poor me, of course) guitarist, Jeff Beck, comes smashing in with hard rock-and-roll. I could not describe myself as melomane, but I have never heard of this guy. About his brilliant career, about his 7 Grammy awards and numeous nominations, no clue about his solo in Bon Jovi's "Blaze of Glory", or how he played in a band (The Yardbirds) with Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton...The people who know their stuff put this, almost 80 years old Legend, next to Jimmi Hendrix and the other 2 guitar Gods I already mentioned.
"Live in the dark" is part of his 15th album - "Loud Hailer". The song is ...just "wow!" - dynamic riffs, hard base, nice vocals (Rosie Bones), Autotuned though. The other album tracks are,...I do not want to say garbage, but at least light years away from this one. The lyrics are nothing to write home about - there is no hidden meaning, no metaphorical hints. Describing a life in darkness and how the protagonist is "OK" with that. Nothing remarkable, but sometimes it is just like that - a song does not necessarily have to be a "War and Peace" novel to feel good.