• Album Reviews,  Blog

    Defending ELP’s Love Beach Album and Other Albums Made By Bands That Were Not Successful or the Bands That Made Them Don’t Like Them

    I am a fan of albums by bands/artists that for whatever reason were not successful.

    There are so many:  Aerosmith’s A Night in The Ruts and Rock In A Hard Place, Scorpions Eye II Eye, Black Sabbath Born Again,  Seventh Star and Forbidden, Deep Purple The Battle Rages On, KISS Music From The Elder.  Twisted Sister’s Love Is For Suckers. 

    There are sooooo many that were not successful and even the bands/artists that made them don’t even like them.  And even fans don’t like them.

    Another one is the Emerson Lake And Palmer (ELP) album called Love Beach.

    I’ll be honest:  I’ve known of ELP for years and knew some of their songs but I was not aware of most of their discography until recently, 2024.

    After hearing all of their studio albums and some of their live albums, I can say they were a phenomenal band.

    But I also knew that their Love Beach album has been panned by both the band and fans over the years.

    After hearing the album, I don’t understand the criticism at all.

    OK the album cover may have been and may still be a huge turn off.  They remind me of The Bee Gees’ look from that same period, which was the late 70s.  Now I’m not knocking that at all, but it’s just the truth.  And I actually like the cover so there.

    But if you listen to the album, it sounds like any other ELP album and that’s a great thing.  They did not turn into a Disco band or change their style all of a sudden to cater to radio.  If you are an ELP fan, there is NOTHING on this album you should not appreciate.

    I get that bands/artists pan albums they’ve made if they weren’t hits, but why would you pan one if you had fun making it?  Or if you didn’t have fun making it, why did you put it out?  Maybe that’s just the way it is.  You’ve made the album so you must release it.  Although I don’t think that’s the case because record companies have shelved many albums over the years.

    What I’m saying is that if you are a fan of any band, you should give each album a chance.  If you don’t like it, fair enough.  But just because the critics hate it, or your best friend hates it, doesn’t mean you will.  It may end up being your favorite album by them.

    Or so what if the album cover looks different.  There may be great music there but you won’t hear it because you’re turned off by the cover.

    Just give it a chance.  

    And for any ELP fans out there who read this or who are interested and aren’t even fans, check out their album Love Beach.  You may actually like it.

    And if you don’t like it, tell me why you don’t like it.  Is there something there I’m not hearing?

    Let me know.


  • Blog

    Is AI Going To Replace Everything?

    Another question I have is if AI (Artificial Intelligence) going to replace everything?

    It is becoming the new normal, and I don’t like that at all.

    CGI (Computer Generated Images) became popular decades ago, but I felt even with that, there was some reality to it.

    It was still created by someone.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but to me, AI is completely not real and is fake.

    I’ve seen some AI videos that look pretty well made, but I hate them because they are not real at all.

    Why on Earth would I want to watch a fake AI version of The Wizard Of Oz when I can just watch the real one made by real people?

    I don’t want to hear a fake Johnny Cash sing a Britney Spears song.  And I have heard it and hate it because it is not real.

    I’ve heard some crazy, vulgar songs sung in a manner like they are a Motown song.  Maybe they are funny to some, but they are not real and I hate them.

    Deceased sports anchor Al Michaels’ voice is apparently going to be used, AI style, for the Olympics.  Are you kidding me?  Leave him alone. 

    Will there be a sequel to It’s A Wonderful Life starring James Stewart and Donna Reed?

    This may sound fun, cute, and entertaining to some, but to me, it’s a disgrace and disrespectful.

    If AI is the future, I want NOTHING to do with it.

    Will it replace us?  The Terminator franchise predicted this 40 years ago and it may end up coming true.

    I don’t want to be here if/when that happens.

    So please, don’t expect me to jump on the AI train.  Because I NEVER will.

  • Blog

    Is Everyone Replaceable in a Band?

    Is everyone replaceable in a band?

    This is a question I have been contemplating for a long time.

    Especially in the past few years since the pandemic shut down the world of concert touring.

    Many bands have continued to do shows with fill-ins until the person they have replaced can return.  Whether it’s illness, some kind of emergency, whatever it is, it seems they are all replaceable.  Even if it’s just temporary or in some cases permanent.

    Here are a few examples of fill-ins:  Armored Saint singer John Bush has had some vocal issues on the last few tours, so for a few dates, he was replaced by Dangerous Toys singer Jason McMaster.

    Also, Jason McMaster has done the same thing for the band Accept, when their singer Mark Tornillo was having vocal issues.

    Lamb of God brought in guitarist Phil Demmel (Kerry King’s solo band, Machine Head, Vio-Lence) to fill in for both guitarist Willie Adler and bassist John Campbell on different occasions.

    Recently, I’ve seen the namesake of a band being substituted with someone else.  Singer Jack Russell of Jack Russell’s Great White has unfortunately had a lot of health issues, and trust me, I wish him well because I am a huge fan of his.  But for one show, and as of this writing two shows, his band have/are changing their name to Friends Of Jack and have singer Andrew Freeman (Last In Line and the other version of Great White for a few months a few years ago) filling in.

    Now, at least they have changed the band name for those shows and I love these guys, but still, nothing against anyone, but as a music fan, this is all very frustrating.  I’m sure it is for them too and they feel this is the best way to go about it, but as a fan I don’t like it.

    And one I just read is that singer Don Dokken of the namesake band Dokken may have to miss shows due to health issues.  It turns out it was just a rumor.  Don has since said that’s ridiculous and it is.

    I know that the pandemic screwed up a lot of things and especially screwed up the concert touring business.  So I’m sure no one wants to lose money anymore if they can avoid it.  I’m sure that’s always been the case, but as a fan, I think there comes a time when a band should postpone or cancel a show because the singer, for example, cannot do it.

    Can you imagine The Rolling Stones going on tour or even doing one show without singer Mick Jagger?  No way!!

    Or could you imagine a solo artist like Taylor Swift, for example, have a show go on without her?  I don’t think so.

    I know some bands have been able to replace everyone and continue on.  Foreigner and Molly Hatchet, for example, have continued to tour and make albums with no original or classic members.

    Even Black Sabbath mostly did it for years (guitarist Tony Iommi was the only permanent member) seemingly replacing members constantly.

    Lynyrd Skynyrd and Quiet Riot have done it as well as others.

    The big question is:  do fans accept it or not?

    And in the case of these fill-ins, do you go ahead and see the band, or do you demand a refund and hopefully get one?

    In the case of Black Sabbath and Molly Hatchet, I have accepted it.  Even Quiet Riot and Lynyrd Skynyrd, as well, because I see it as the music being carried on.  People want to hear the songs and the songs should be kept alive.

    But I also don’t think that everyone is replaceable.

    I would NEVER pay to see Dokken without Don Dokken or The Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger.

    Some of these I accept, and some I don’t.

    What do you think?  Do you care?  Would you see a band without any original members and not care as long as you hear those classic songs?  Would you see The Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger?  How much is acceptable or unacceptable?  You tell me.

  • Blog,  Movie Reviews

    Horizon: An American Saga Chapter One Movie Review

    Kevin Costner’s new movie, Horizon:  An American Saga Chapter One was released on June 28 of 2024.

    As the title suggests, it is definitely chapter one of a four part story.

    This movie involves frontiersman going west to settle on land, covering 160,000 acres.

    Of course, this is Indian land and the Indians don’t take too kindly on these people trying to settle down on their land.

    This movie involves several groups of people.  Frontiersman, Indians, Cavalry, outlaws, and many of their story lines mix together.

    It reminds me of the Centennial mini series I saw this year (review here) except it definitely focuses on a certain period of time (1859 in this movie).

    Costner, who stars/directed/co-wrote this movie, does not show up until much later in the movie.  He ends up getting involved in something that he had no idea would involve him, but it does.

    This is definitely a passion project for Costner.  He has said in interviews that he had an idea for this as far back as when he was going to do Dances With Wolves.  He is making these movies with his own money, so whether they are hits or not, he wants these stories out there.  Got to admire that.

    This movie has a very good cast.  Along with Costner, it stars Sam Worthington (Avatar movies, Terminator Salvation), Michael Rooker (Guardians Of The Galaxy 1 and 2, Tombstone, The 6th Day, Replicant, Cliffhanger, and so many more), Jeff Fahey, Luke Wilson, and even has a few Yellowstone co-stars (Danny Huston and Will Patton).

    That’s just some of the cast.

    Again, this is going to be an epic saga and this is just chapter one.  

    Costner in this movie set up a lot of the story line and characters that you will see in the later movies.

    I took my Dad to see this movie because, like me, he is a huge fan of westerns.

    It is three hours long, but it does not feel like three hours.

    We enjoyed it and look forward to chapter two in August and hopefully three and four next year.