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XS ROCK’s 20 Most Popular Articles Of 2020

# 1 How Beavis And Butthead Ruined Winger's Coolness At The Peak Of Their Popularity         # 2 Cinderella...Where Are They Now?         # 3 25 Great Hair Bands That Debuted In The 90s         # 4 Top 15 Christian Metal Bands Of The 80s         # 5 Rock Fans Should Prepare For The Cancellation Of A Lot Of Concerts As Coronavirus Spreads         # 6 25 Great Hard Rock Albums Of The 80’s That You Might Have Missed         # 7 Eddie Van Halen Doesn’t Owe Anyone An Explanation         # 8 Stryper Guitarist Oz Fox’s Wife Annie Lobert Caught Up In “Hookers For Jesus” Controversy Being Investigated By The DOJ         # 9 Former King Kobra Vocalist Marcie Free (Formerly Mark Free) Releases Rambling...

200+ Hard Rock And Metal Bands From The 80s That Are Worth Listening To (Part 5)

The 1980s saw heavy metal go mainstream and reach a large audience worldwide. The genre was split into sub-genres like Glam Metal, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, NWOBHM, Traditional Metal, and more. Regardless of which sub-genre you preferred, there was no doubt that heavy metal music absolutely ruled the 80s music scene. The metal scene during this time period was crowded with bands all vying for attention and radio/video airplay.  We've put together a huge list of over 200 (241 to be exact) of the best hard rock and metal bands from the 80s that you need to check out and hopefully give a listen to. This is our 5th and final installment in the series. If you prefer to see the entire list on one page in alphabetical order click HERE! Click here for Part 1,  here for Part 2, here for Part 3, here for Part 4, and here for...

Over 200 Metal Bands From The 80s That You Absolutely Must Hear

The 1980s saw heavy metal go mainstream and reach a large audience worldwide. The genre was split into sub-genres like Glam Metal, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, NWOBHM, Traditional Metal and more. Regardless of which sub-genre you preferred, there was no doubt that heavy metal music absolutely ruled the 80s music scene. The metal scene during this time period was crowded with bands all vying for attention and radio/video airplay.  We've put together a huge list of over 200 (241 to be exact) of the best hard rock and metal bands from the 80s that you need to check out and hopefully give a listen to. Here's The Entire List In Alphabetical Order: AC/DC After becoming a rock n’ roll sensation from Australia, AC/DC was on track to take the world by storm. However, tragedy struck as Bon Scott was found dead after reportedly choking on his own vomit, while unconscious,...

Rock Stars That We Lost In 2020

2020 was a tough year for a lot of reasons. None, more so than the loss of some of the greatest rock stars in the world. Check out the list below as we pay our respects to the rock stars that we lost in 2020:    Neil Peart (Rush) Joe Payne (Divine Heresy, Nile) Reed Mullin (Corrosion Of Conformity Teenage Time Killers) Andy Gill (Gang of Four) Josh Pappé (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, Gang Green) Ivan Král (Patti Smith Group) Lyle Mays (Pat Metheny Group) Ronald "Khalis" Bell (Kool & The Gang) David Roback (Mazzy Star) Mike Somerville (Head East) Jason Rainey (Sacred Reich) Kenny Rogers (Kenny Rogers and The First Edition) Bill Rieflin (King Crimson, R.E.M., Ministry) Lou "L.A." Kouvaris (Riot) Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne, Ivy) John Prine Steve Farmer (The Amboy Dukes) Matthew Seligman (The Soft Boys, Thompson Twins) Derek Jones (Falling in Reverse) Florian Schneider (Kraftwerk) Dave...

The Top 20 Classic Metal Albums Of 2020

2020 wasn't a great year by most standards. Live music venues shut down around the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This had a hugely negative effect on the music industry as a whole because many bands held off releasing new material until they can tour behind it and many had to work around unusual situations just to record or finish recording songs and albums. So it's no surprise that we have a few more box sets, live albums, and previously unreleased vault material. Despite all of the adversity, there have been some really incredible albums released in 2020 that absolutely deserve the attention of the metalhead community. Therefore we present to you XS ROCK's picks for the best 20 Classic Metal albums of 2020: 01 Black Swan - Shake the World (Frontiers) This new supergroup featuring Robin McAuley, Jeff Pilson, Reb Beach, and Mike Starr came out...

200+ Hard Rock And Metal Bands From The 80s That Are Worth Listening To (Part 4)

The 1980s saw heavy metal go mainstream and reach a large audience worldwide. The genre was split into sub-genres like Glam Metal, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, NWOBHM, Traditional Metal, and more. Regardless of which sub-genre you preferred, there was no doubt that heavy metal music absolutely ruled the 80s music scene. The metal scene during this time period was crowded with bands all vying for attention and radio/video airplay.  We've put together a huge list of over 200 (241 to be exact) of the best hard rock and metal bands from the 80s that you need to check out and hopefully give a listen to. This is our 4th part in the series. If you prefer to see the entire list on one page in alphabetical order click HERE! Click here for Part 1,  here for Part 2, here for Part 3, here for Part 4, and here for Part...

Let’s All Calm Down And Let Wolfgang Van Halen Be Himself

Practically since the day guitar legend Edward Van Halen died, totally absurd rumors have been swirling about Van Halen reforming with Eddie's son Wolfgang Van Halen taking his place on guitar.  Let's all take a deep breath and think about this for a minute.  First of all, I am absolutely appalled, and I believe Eddie would have been too, that so many people jumped to conclusions and showed their anger towards a man who just lost his father. No empathy or sympathy, just "How dare he"!.  Let's make this perfectly clear, Van Halen as a band doesn't exist with Edward Van Halen, period.  Wolfgang has addressed all of those rumors as false and has unequivocally stated that he would never be taking his father's role in Van Halen. I understand that all of Van Halen's fans feel a sense of loss and hurt with Eddie's loss, but let's keep our...

Heavy Metal Music Video Vixen Tawny Kitaen (Pin-Up Gallery Included)

Tawny Kitaen was dating Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby and appeared as the album cover model on the band’s debut EP Ratt in 1983 and again on their debut studio album Out of the Cellar in 1984. She would later marry Whitesnake vocalist, David Coverdale and appeared in several of the band’s music videos.  She had a starring role in the movie Bachelor Party with Tom Hanks in 1984.  She also starred in the horror film Witchboard in 1986 and appeared in a variety of TV movies and feature films.     https://www.facebook.com/tawnykitaenofficial/ https://twitter.com/Tawny_Kitaen  

Can K.K.’s Priest Compare To Judas Priest?

Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing has started his own band called KK's Priest.  The band featuring Downing on guitars, AJ Mills on guitar, Tony Newton On bass, Les Binks on drums, and former Judas Priest vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens has recorded vocals for the new album.  As many of you might recall, K.K. Downing retired from Judas Priest in 2011 citing disagreements with the band without being too specific.  K.K. was replaced in Judas Priest with Richie Faulkner.  Glenn Tipton revealed that he had Parkinson's disease in 2018 and would step down from touring. Andy Sneap has filled in for Tipton ever since.  K.K. Downing expressed his disappointment with the members of Judas Priest for not contacting him and asking if he would return to fill in for Tipton. K.K. Downing and Tim Ripper Owens In The Studio Now, K.K. Downing has started his own band, with much if...

Would You Support A Version Of KISS That Features None Of The Original Members?

While KISS still has some dates to resume on their "End Of The Road" Tour, it appears that the end of KISS is near. Or is it? Paul Stanley and KISS manager have both hinted at the possibility of "KISS" the band continuing without Paul Stanley or Gene Simmons. Now,  Gene has always been the brains behind the commercialization of the KISS brand which would possibly benefit if the band were to continue.  So here's the real questions that need to be answered: (1) Would somewhere wear the identical makeup designs of the original members or would KISS become a second-generation version with all new members and makeup designs? Me personally, I could live with it a lot better if it was simply an all-new band rather than an ongoing tribute version. (2) Would Tommy Thayer andEric Singer remain in the new band or would they pass the torch to...

200+ Hard Rock And Metal Bands From The 80s That Are Worth Listening To (Part 3)

The 1980s saw heavy metal go mainstream and reach a large audience worldwide. The genre was split into sub-genres like Glam Metal, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, NWOBHM, Traditional Metal, and more. Regardless of which sub-genre you preferred, there was no doubt that heavy metal music absolutely ruled the 80s music scene. The metal scene during this time period was crowded with bands all vying for attention and radio/video airplay.  We've put together a huge list of over 200 (241 to be exact) of the best hard rock and metal bands from the 80s that you need to check out and hopefully give a listen to. This is our 3rd part in the series. If you prefer to see the entire list on one page in alphabetical order click HERE! Click here for Part 1,  here for Part 2, here for Part 3, here for Part 4, and here for Part...

200+ Hard Rock And Metal Bands From The 80s That Are Worth Listening To (Part 2)

The 1980s saw heavy metal go mainstream and reach a large audience worldwide. The genre was split into sub-genres like Glam Metal, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, NWOBHM, Traditional Metal, and more. Regardless of which sub-genre you preferred, there was no doubt that heavy metal music absolutely ruled the 80s music scene. The metal scene during this time period was crowded with bands all vying for attention and radio/video airplay.  We've put together a huge list of over 200 (241 to be exact) of the best hard rock and metal bands from the 80s that you need to check out and hopefully give a listen to. This is our 2nd part in the series. If you prefer to see the entire list on one page in alphabetical order click HERE! Click here for Part 1,  here for Part 2, here for Part 3, here for Part 4, and here for Part...

200+ Hard Rock And Metal Bands From The 80s That Are Worth Listening To (Part 1)

The 1980s saw heavy metal go mainstream and reach a large audience worldwide. The genre was split into sub-genres like Glam Metal, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, NWOBHM, Traditional Metal, and more. Regardless of which sub-genre you preferred, there was no doubt that heavy metal music absolutely ruled the 80s music scene. The metal scene during this time period was crowded with bands all vying for attention and radio/video airplay.  We've put together a huge list of over 200 (241 to be exact) of the best hard rock and metal bands from the 80s that you need to check out and hopefully give a listen to. This is our 1st part of the series. If you prefer to see the entire list on one page in alphabetical order click HERE! Click here for Part 1,  here for Part 2, here for Part 3, here for Part 4, and here for Part...

Seriously…How Many People Thought At Least Some Of The Band Members In Poison Were Female At First?

Okay, let's talk about this for a minute.  I seriously can't be the only guy that thought at least one of the band members was a girl when this album first came out.  Back in August of 1986, Poison released their debut album called "Look What The Cat Dragged In".  All of the major rock magazines at the time had an ad, a full-page ad in some cases, featuring the announcement of the album. When I first saw the ad, I wrongfully assumed they were an all-girl band at first glance.  After doing a double-take, I still wasn't sure.  Maybe one or two of them are guys that are really made up? But I was pretty sure that at least one of them was female.  I was wrong on all counts. One of my friends actually began to question his own sexuality after he saw the album cover of "Look...

Five Finger Death Punch Is The Nickelback Of Metal

Anytime you write an article like this, you're going to get some salty comments about your opinion. And that's okay. I'd expect nothing less.  However, my opinion remains the same. And my opinion is that Five Finger Death Punch are one of the most generic "so-called" metal bands that you're going to hear.  I won't argue with their success. They have been able to sell a lot of albums to a lot of people...just like Nickelback has.  When Five Finger Death Punch first hit the scene, all I heard was that they're going to be the new Metallica for today's generation. Wrong! Not even close! Five Finger Death Punch sold out the minute they released their first album, at least it took Metallica a while before they did it.  Selling out to try to be a mainstream metal band doesn't equate to good music. The band members of FFDP are...

Another 25 Great Hard Rock Albums Of The 80’s That You Might Have Missed

One of XS ROCK's most popular articles has been our article on 25 Great Hard Rock Albums Of The ’80s That You Might Have Missed. So popular in fact, that we now present the second round of "Great Hard Rock Albums Of The '80s That You Might Have Missed   During the 80’s hard rock ruled the airwaves. Quiet Riot’s Metal Health became the first #1 metal album of all time. Soon after the scene exploded with bands like Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, Dokken, Ratt, Warrant, Poison, and many more. Unfortunately, for every success story, there were great bands that got overlooked, suffered from poor promotion, or simply imploded on their own. If you’re a true 80’s rock fan, you’ve probably heard at least some of these bands, and if you’re like me, you bought all of these albums. But for those of you who didn’t….here’s a list of...

8 Goth Rock Bands That Made A Big Impact During The 1980’s

Recently, we published the article "10 Bands That Helped Form The Gothic Rock Movement" which you can read here.  Now, we're going to start to dig in a little deeper and take a look at some more bands that started, continued,  and helped Gothic rock evolve during the 1980's. The Lords Of The New Church In the late '70s and early '80s punk had seemed to reach it's a peak, as far as growing the genre at that time.  Several artists and bands from the punk scene transitioned to a more gothic rock sound. Stiv Bators, former vocalist for the Dead Boys moved into a goth-rock direction with The Lords Of The New Church.  The band was somewhat of a supergroup featuring Bators, Brian James (The Damned), Nick Turner (Barracudas) and Dave Tregunna (Sham 69).  The Lords Of The New Church heavily embraced the American Gothic style.  The band mostly...

10 Bands That Helped Start The Gothic Rock Movement

If you're a fan of Gothic Rock and you haven't heard all of these bands before, by all means, check them out.  These bands along with numerous others helped create a new sub-genre of rock music that still thrills fans and inspires new generations to this very day. Stay tuned for our upcoming second article that explores more of the genre's history and more recent artists that are carrying the torch. Joy Division Started in 1976, Joy Division is considered to be one of the first bands to help start the Gothic rock movement in a post-punk world.  Vocalist Ian Curtis' real-life problems influenced the band's direction until Curtis' untimely death by suicide.  Curtis was plagued with depression, a failing marriage, and often had seizures. Those seizures took their toll on the band as it often prevented Ian Curtis from performing and he even suffered seizures while on stage.  The...

20 Full Length Concerts To Watch While Quarantined

XS ROCK has recently discovered Spain's Resurrection Fest. They have provided a huge library of free full-length concerts on their youtube channel and we decided to share the video links with our readers. These are great concerts to watch for those stuck inside during the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis. Resurrection Fest is a music festival held in Vivero, Lugo, Spain. This festival, popularly known as "Resu", has been being celebrated annually since 2006 during summer with a program focused on the metal, rock, hardcore and punk scene. Since its birth, it managed to become one of the major festivals of Spain in its genre thanks to the specialization in extreme music. During the 11th edition during the summer of 2016, more than 80542 people attended the event with a socioeconomic impact of 10.2M euros in the region. Along with its history, more than 380 bands have visited the place, with bands...

Eddie Van Halen Doesn’t Owe Anyone An Explanation

For quite some time now, I’ve been seeing news posts from many different media sites that refer to various rumors about legendary rock guitarist, Eddie Van Halen.  Some are about his health and some are about the status and future of Van Halen as a band. I believe the main reasons that these rumors are so prevalent is actually quite simple. The first is that Eddie's fans truly care about him and hope that any rumors of ill health are simply not true.  So, naturally, they are all concerned about his welfare and post their thoughts to social media groups.  The second reason is that Eddie has remained virtually silent throughout this media feeding frenzy. There have been no direct responses, press releases or explanations to any of the rumors circulating about. ... Nor should there be! I've seen a large number of fans complain that he needs to issue...

The XS ROCK Best Rock Album Releases Of 2019 List

Hard Rock / Classic Metal   O1. Whitesnake - Flesh & Blood (Frontiers)           Review: It seems like it’s been an incredibly long wait for an album of new material from Whitesnake. While their last release 2015’s “The Purple Album” wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, it also felt more like a David Coverdale solo album, with David paying homage to his past with the almighty Deep Purple. Flash forward four years and Whitesnake has blasted back into action with an incredible new album called“Flesh & Blood”. When I heard the first single “Shut Up And Kiss Me”, I was intrigued. It was only after hearing “Trouble Is Your Middle Name” did I start to realize that not only is this album going to be something special, but after a full listening, it became apparent that this was going to rank among the band’s...

The XS ROCK Best Death/Black/Extreme Metal Album List For 2019

Best Death Metal / Extreme Metal/ Black Metal Albums Of 2019   01. Amon Amarth - Berserker (Metal Blade)           02. Cattle Decapitation - Death Atlas (Metal Blade)           03. Entrails - Rise Of The Reaper (Metal Blade)           04. Rotting Christ - Heretics           05. Children of Bodom - Hexed           06. Possessed - Revelations of Oblivion           07. Soilwork - Verkligheten           08. Gatecreeper - Deserted           09. Fleshgod Apocalypse - Veleno           10. Borknagar - True North (Century Media)           11. Infected Rain - Endorphin (Napalm)           12. Jinger - Macro (Napalm)          

The XS ROCK Best Hard Rock and Classic Metal Album Releases Of 2019 List

  O1. Whitesnake - Flesh & Blood (Frontiers)           Review: It seems like it’s been an incredibly long wait for an album of new material from Whitesnake. While their last release 2015’s “The Purple Album” wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, it also felt more like a David Coverdale solo album, with David paying homage to his past with the almighty Deep Purple. Flash forward four years and Whitesnake has blasted back into action with an incredible new album called“Flesh & Blood”. When I heard the first single “Shut Up And Kiss Me”, I was intrigued. It was only after hearing “Trouble Is Your Middle Name” did I start to realize that not only is this album going to be something special, but after a full listening, it became apparent that this was going to rank among the band’s classic albums like 1987’s “Whitesnake”...

How Many Of These Rock Stars Real Names Do You Know?

A large number of rock stars prefer to use a "Stage Name" rather than their birth name.  Interestingly enough, some are variants of their real names just changed slightly, while others are completely original creations.  While you may know some of these rock stars "Real Names", it's a good bet that you didn't know them all. So check out our list below and.....   See How Many Of These Rock Stars Real Names Do You Know?   "Nikki Sixx" (Real Name) Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna, Jr. Bass Player for Motley Crue "Vince Neil" (Real Name) Vincent Neil Wharton Lead Singer For Motley Crue "Mick Mars" (Real Name) Robert Alan Deal Guitarist For Motley Crue "Tommy Lee" (Real Name) Thomas Lee Bass Drummer For Motley Crue   "Gene Simmons" (Real Name) Gene Klein (born Chaim Witz) Vocals and Bass For KISS "Paul Stanley" (Real Name) Stanley Bert Eisen Vocals and Guitar...

Def Leppard’s Change In Sound: The Tale Of Two Leppards

Def Leppard is arguably one of the most successful bands to emerge from the 80’s hard rock and heavy metal scene.  The band found success early on, hitting the scene with their debut full-length album “On Through The Night” in 1980. Followed up, only one year later with “High N’ Dry”, the band was quickly gaining a large fan base and praise worldwide.  Def Leppard hit the big time with “Pyromania” in 1983 striking up huge record sales sparked by the enormously popular single “Photograph”.  Def Leppard was now a household name.    Everything seemed to be going the band’s way but tragedy was soon to strike the band and unfortunately, more than once. https://youtu.be/pTi1R_3dOuc Starting on December 31st, drummer Rick Allen’s Corvette veered off of the road and the accident caused Allen to lose his arm.  Most assumed his career was over with the band, but both Allen and the...

10 Bad Albums By 10 Great Hard Rock Bands

You wanted the best....you got the best! Now here are some of their worst albums These 10 artists are some of hard rocks' most famous bands.  Most have long careers with certified Gold and Platinum albums.  But even these artists have at least one album that they'd like to forget ever happened. Kiss-The Elder Kiss had been riding high since the '70s with one great album after another until things started to go lame with "Unmasked". While a lot of people thought it was the band's worst album, they soon realized that it wasn't when Kiss started circling the drain with the release of "Music From The Elder".  While the band may get creativity points for trying a concept album, that was about all they'd get when fans heard the album for the first time.  Unfortunately, it was just a bridge too far for not only Kiss fans but for...

The Good, The Bad And The Dirt On The Motley Crue Movie

On March 22nd, Netflix premiered "The Dirt", the biopic about the infamous and sordid details of lives of Motley Crue.  Having read the book, I was curious how they were going to fit everything into a two hour movie.  And the truth is, that they didn't.  Considering the long career and actually quite interesting stories of each band member, it was simply impossible to cover the entire book in this time span.  Having said that, the movie is a collection of the great highlights of the career of one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Before watching, I was most concerned with the choice of "Machine Gun Kelly", a notable performer in the rap world playing Tommy Lee didn't seem like a great fit.  My fears were soon alleviated, as I watched this guy transform into Tommy Lee right before my eyes.  While, the acting was good by...

Top 15 Christian Metal Bands Of The 80’s

01. Stryper-Stryper has to be at the top of this list. Not because I think they're the best, but because their contribution to Christian metal is the equivalent of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest in the non-christian metal world.  I never really got the goofy outfits that looked like bumble bees.  They are however quality musicians who brought Christian metal to the mainstream in the 1980's. Established in southern California in 1983, multi-platinum crossover Christian metal band, Stryper, continues to share their positive message and energetic stage presence with a passionate following throughout the world. Since the band’s inception over 30 years ago, the founding members have stayed true to their deepest convictions, turning from “the ways of the world” and following their hearts instead. “In the past 34 years, we’ve evolved into what we are now,” says vocalist and guitarist Michael Sweet. “This is what we always...

Disturbed’s New Album Is A Perfect Example Of Everything That’s Currently Wrong With Rock

So before I get into this article, let me say this....I'm well aware that I'm going to make some people mad with this article. That's fine.  I'm giving my opinion, for what it's worth....and you know what they say about opinions. Now, to get down to business.  Disturbed just released their new album "Evolution".  I was intrigued from the snippets that I had heard, especially with the song "Are You Ready".  After listening to this album, I can tell you that I was not ready for this.  Let's go back to Disturbed's debut album "The Sickness" for a moment.  David Draiman's vocal style was different, even unusual would be a good term to describe it.  The band had a nice, crushingly heavy sound and were favored to be the Nu-Metal heir apparent equivalent of Judas Priest. Fast forward to Evolution and what you find is completely different.  Now, I realize...

How Beavis & Butthead Ruined Winger’s Coolness At The Peak Of Their Popularity

From the late 80's into the early 90's Winger built momentum and became an overnight sensation, in part thanks to heavy rotation of their videos on MTV, which at that time, actually showed music videos. Winger's debut album went platinum in the U.S. After a successful first album, the band then released "In The Heart Of The Young" and once again the band received solid radio airplay and heavy video rotation on MTV. With the second album going platinum and touring with the likes of KISS, Scorpions, Extreme, Cinderella & more, the band was growing in popularity, even while glam metal was starting to lose it's hold on the charts. Ironically, MTV which had made Winger a household name, would also be the catalyst for ousting the band from the realm of coolness at the time.  Mike Judge's Beavis and Butthead animated cartoon was centered around two heavy metal loving...

25 Great Hair Bands That Debuted In The 90’s

During the 80's glam and melodic metal ruled the airwaves. For all of the bands that made it big, there were plenty of other talented bands that got lost in the shuffle. Many of them suffered from lack of promotion in a crowded market.  By the end of the 80's and into the early 90's the genre was beginning to be flooded with so many bands that it was hard to tell who was the flavor of the week.  By the early 90's bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden had completely changed the musical landscape.  The bands listed below were almost all victims of poor timing as they hit the scene just a little to late to be the next Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses or Ratt. However, that doesn't mean that they weren't great, and deserve to be heard. Many of these bands are underground favs for fans...

Is Rock And Rap Set To Merge Again?

Over the course of the last decade, album sales have fallen sharply for the rock and metal genres, while hip-hop and rap have exploded in sales and popularity.  The interesting thing about this is that a lot of the popular rap artists today have taken a rather non-traditional approach to create their music, much like how the early metal bands separated themselves from mainstream rock by incorporating new elements of sound. Rap and rock together is not a new thing.  Run DMC were probably the first band to bring the two together for a larger audience  in the early days of rap. They were followed up by the Beastie Boys who mixed metal music sounds with their unique flavor of rap. Other bands followed with Ice-T starting the controversial band Body Count. The mid to late 80's seemed to see the two genres go their separate ways again. But in...

In Defense Of Vinnie Vincent…

When I was a teenager, I longed to be a great rock guitarist. I took lessons. I studied and practiced for hours. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I did not have the talent level needed to achieve my dream of rock super stardom. Oh, sure I improved over time, but no amount of practice can give you talent for something. That's a completely different area and either you have it or you don't.   I was a huge heavy metal fan and collected every album that I could get my hands on and listened to them for hours. I wrote letters to people in the music industry that I looked up to. Most of the time I would never hear anything back from the artists that I had written to, or at best, I would receive a small black & white photo that had the autograph of the...

25 Great Hard Rock Albums Of The 80’s That You Might Have Missed

During the 80's hard rock ruled the airwaves. Quiet Riot's Metal Health became the first #1 metal album of all time. Soon after the scene exploded with bands like Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses, Dokken, Ratt, Warrant, Poison and many more. Unfortunately, for ever success story there were great bands that got overlooked, suffered from poor promotion or simply imploded on their own. If you're a true 80's rock fan, you've probably heard at least some of these bands, and if you're like me, you bought all of these albums. But for those of you who didn't....here's a list of some the greatest albums that you might have missed   Alcatrazz - No Parole From Rock N' Roll Notable for being the major-label debut of Swedish guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen,  Alcatrazz featured former Rainbow vocalist Graham Bonnet and was an impressive debut release. Unfortunately, Yngwie left the band after the...

Should AC/DC Continue On Without Brian Johnson?

So here's an interesting problem. AC/DC's last album was "Rock Or Bust", which was the the band's 17th studio album. As most of you know, during the tour, vocalist, Brian Johnson was told by doctors to immediately stop touring or risk permanent hearing loss. Left with cancelling the remainder of the tour or continuing on with a replacement vocalist, Angus Young chose the latter. After much speculation, Mr. Young selected what was probably the best possible choice to finish the concerts that were already booked. That vocalist was none other than Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose. Even though, the band had some backlash from fans who wanted to see AC/DC with Johnson, the response was split by many people. Personally, I think if Angus had chosen any other singer than Axl, most of the fans would have requested a refund for their tickets. Choosing a well known and famous...

Best & Worst Lead Singer Changes In Rock N’ Roll

The Most Successful Bands To Change Singers While many bands have tried, only a few have been really successful with switching lead singers after they become famous. Let's take a look of some of the best lead singer changes first.... Iron Maiden - Starting out with Paul Di'Anno, the band made a name for themselves and were poised for greatness. The band had a major label deal with EMI records in 1979. With Di'Anno at the helm the band recorded their debut album "Iron Maiden" and "Killers", but due to Di'Anno's self destructive behavior and extreme drug use, the band parted ways with him and hired then Samson vocalist, Bruce Dickinson. And the rest as they say....is history. Iron Maiden scored their first No. 1 UK hit with "The Number Of The Beast" and built one of the biggest followings worldwide with Dickinson. In 1993 Dickinson left Iron Maiden to...

Guitar Heroes

Guitar Heroes Part 1 Here'a list of outstanding guitarists who are known for both technique and showmanship. These artists have inspired generation after generation of guitar players. And will continue to inspire listeners for years to come. Jimi Hendrix: James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music" Hendrix played a variety of guitars throughout his career, but the instrument that became most associated with him was the Fender Stratocaster. He acquired his first Stratocaster in 1966, when a...

Rock Guitar Heroes Part 2

Rock Guitar Heroes Part 2 Most rock music fans are aware of the guitar heroes like Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page....but there are so many other fantastic guitar players that sort of fly under the radar. They are often well known to other guitar players and serious band fans, but not as well known as the guitarists listed above. If you're aware of these players already...then you'll probably agree and if you're not aware of these artists....do yourself a favor and check out their work. You'll be absolutely blown away.   George Lynch: George Lynch (born September 28, 1954) is an American hard rock guitarist and songwriter. Lynch is best known for his work with 80's metal band, Dokken, and his post-Dokken solo band, Lynch Mob. Lynch is considered to be one of the most influential and famous 80's metal guitarists. He is known for...

Heaven’s Edge: Heaven’s Edge (Retro Review)

Artist: Heaven's Edge Album: Heaven's Edge Genre: Hard Rock / Melodic Metal Label: CBS/Columbia Release Date: 1990 (Re-release Rock Candy Records 2012) Review: I will probably go to my grave thinking that if the debut album by Heaven's Edge had only been released a few years earlier, they would have been one of the biggest name is 80's hard rock.  Unfortunately, it wasn't released until 1990, just as grunge and alternative rock were becoming all the rage. The very day that I bought this album, I must have played it at least twenty times. It's really that good. And thanks to the shift in the musical climate at that time, it just wasn't given the great record label support that it deserved. This album is all killer and no filler. These carefully crafted songs were well written and balanced with a few ballads that didn't feel cheesy and full on rockers...

Kix: Midnite Dynamite (Retro Review)

Artist: Kix Album: Midnite Dynamite Genre: Hard Rock / Metal Label: Atlantic Records Release Date: August 6, 1985 Review: Today, I'm going way back to 1985 when Kix released their groundbreaking album "Midnite Dynamite". An album, that I can safely say has no filler and no bad songs anywhere on it. A virtual audio tour of every teenage boys hormonal thoughts about girls, sex and generally living life at a break neck speed. This was the soundtrack to my teenage years. Kix had released two albums prior to this, I noticed, I listened, but I wasn't overwhelmed. However, with the release of Midnite Dynamite, Kix found what would become their signature sound and in my opinion it's still the best release of their career. Hell, even the slow ballad like "Walkin' Away" resonated with me when my girlfriend broke up with me. My favorite tracks on here have to be...

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