March 31, 2011

Here I Go Again

I have to admit something to you that I'm sure will cause you to point and laugh. I spent part of the day yesterday listening to the new Whitesnake album. Now, depending on your age or musical disposition, you have one or more questions including but not limited to:

- Whitewho?
- Those guys are still around? I thought they were dead.
- What are you, sixteen?
- Where can I get a copy?

All of those are very valid questions.

By the time I was sixteen, I was heavily into music. I'd moved out of the progressive rock genre (which, since all things are cyclical, I am very much into again) and into hard rock and metal. At the top of my list were bands like Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Queensryche and, yes, Whitesnake. My best friend Scott and I would take my car - an old Jeep Wagoneer with the fake wood crap on the sides - cruise the backroads of Virginia, smoking cigarettes with the windows rolled down and music blaring.

So in my defense, I have very fond memories of this music*.

But all that aside, the experience led me to think about other bands and musicians who were popular when I was growing up and where they are now, if anywhere at all. It seems to me like very few are enjoying any sort of success. Many are dead (half of Alice In Chains, Kurt Cobain, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Michael Jackson), many have dropped out of the public eye entirely, and a sizable portion are nothing more than nostalgia acts (Styx, 90% of the still-active hair metal bands) touring state fairs and hocking their latest minor label release. I'm not sure which of those fates is the saddest.

Which acts do you love that are still going strong? And which do you wish would make a return?

Also they were, once upon a time, a great band. Especially when they emerged from the shadows of Deep Purple for whom Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale had provided many a tasty vocal track, Whitesnake was a very good, very underrated blues-based rock band that made lesser-quality albums as their popularity grew.

Posted by Chris at March 31, 2011 6:58 AM

Iron Maiden is still going strong. Their last couple of albums have been as good as anything they put out in the 80s. I even saw them in concert a couple of years ago and they could still sell out Merriweather Post.

Speaking of Styx, I saw them in concert last summer. There isn't a single original member left in the band (if we properly count Tommy Shaw as not original). However, it was free tickets in the VIP section with an open bar, so I survived :)

Posted by: COD at March 31, 2011 8:17 AM

Good times...

I heard there is an Operation: Mindcrime II out. Any good? Also, how is the Whitesnake album?

Big parenting music win -- Angus likes "space music", so we now listen to Brian Eno at bedtime (at the moment it is Apollo Atmospheres).

Posted by: Scott at March 31, 2011 8:54 AM

The Church.
I've seen them in Annapolis twice in the last couple years and both shows were absolutely amazing.

Posted by: fauve at March 31, 2011 8:57 AM

I love Whitensake and all hair metal but for me, the on band that gets me the most nostalgic is Guns N Roses. But we all know how their (HIS) comeback album went...

Posted by: Claire at March 31, 2011 9:13 AM

I was always happy that the Eagles sound as good as they do after all this time.

I was also utterly blown away by Leonard Cohen's recent comeback tour. It's seriously one of the best concerts I've ever attended, and that's saying a lot. The guy is 75 and can still do a 3 hour concert full of so much ache it'll have you in tears. But maybe I'm just a beatnik at heart.

Posted by: Martin at March 31, 2011 9:25 AM

As I have commented on before here, Rush continues to be my all-time favourite band and I know how lucky I am that they are still together and still producing high quality music.

The band I keep waiting to get back together is Supertramp. I know they are technically touring this summer but for me Supertramp is not complete without Roger Hodgson (the singer for The Logical Song, Dreamer, Give a Little Bit etc). My wife and I have seen Roger solo about 6 times now. It is always an excellent concert. But even seeing him is an incomplete experience because he will not perform any of Rick Davies songs (like Crime of the Century). So my wish is that these two finally resolve their differences and get back together one more time.

Posted by: Mike at March 31, 2011 10:35 AM

You're so awesome, Chris.

"Here I Go Again" was the first song I heard on my radio app this morning. Viva la 1989/2011!

Acts that are still kicking that I love? Cheap Trick and Bon Jovi come straight to mind. Minor label bands: John Waite, Journey, Warrant. Journey bums me out, 'cause I'm not crazy about their new singer. The previous guy at least had his own sound. New Guy is just Perry 2.0. Meh. Plus they're pimping Wal Mart by not releasing their current album anywhere else. Warrant, I love them, they have parted ways with their original singer, who really was integral, but the guy they have now has a great voice and is easy on the eyes. I kinda like that they are kicking around small clubs, because it means I get right up front where I have to dodge the singer's pelvis, the band signs my 20 year old LP, and the roadies run up to us after the show to give us the set list, 'cause we were really rocking out. It's not all bad.

Posted by: Brooke at March 31, 2011 12:12 PM

I'll admit I rocked out to 'Here I go Again' on Monday in the car and loved it. (80s on 8 on xm) Even bragged about it to the husband that evening. And Styx is playing this summer in my small little town and I'm excited to hear them. REO Speedwagon was awesome when they were here a few years ago. I just don't get close enough to see them up close, just listened from the top of the hill. And rocked it out.

Posted by: Jody at March 31, 2011 12:15 PM

I'm a vintage Journey fan, and I have to say that I was shocked at how well the new kid can sing. Even more shocked that a new tour is underway!

But what can I say? I'm just a small town girl, living in a lonely world. I'd take the midnight train, but I'd have to find an overnight babysitter...

Posted by: Pirate T at March 31, 2011 12:43 PM

Bon Jovi is the first band that comes to mind. I loved them back in the day (saw them in concert) and love them now. I also like Fleetwood Mac and they made a comeback tour a couple of years ago that I was able to catch. I would love to see the Scorpions get back together!

So, Chris, how was the new Whitesnake "album"?

Posted by: Fabs at March 31, 2011 12:51 PM

funny I heard 'In the Still of the Night' on my way home today. I love that song. I cranked it up and sang it loud. I love Hair Nation on XM! lol. I was really happy years ago when Tesla got back together. They have a great sound. Frank Hannon is an awesome guitarist and I love how the sound so polished live. If you ever get the chance to see them live I highly recommend it. I also was crazy happy when Crue got back together. I still love them and love them live too. Other than those i think it would be awesome to see a Skid Row reunion (will never ever happen tho) and of course GNR. too bad both lead singers are nuts. (in a good way)

Posted by: steph d at March 31, 2011 6:35 PM

I was nuts for Cheap Trick back in the day. They are still going strong but it makes me kinda sad to see them no longer in their prime. And it makes me feel so freakin' old. Meh.


Posted by: laura at March 31, 2011 8:55 PM

Love me some Whitesnake! If you've ever heard Coverdale speak though, he missed his calling. He should be reading audio books for a living. Or at least providing directions on your Garmin!

Posted by: mmpotter at March 31, 2011 8:55 PM

Pearl Jam. They still don't suck. Not even a little.

I always wanted to see Chris Cornell lasso former members of Soundgarden back together. He's had a couple decent solo albums, sure, but man....I've never enjoyed hearing a dude scream the way I enjoyed Chris Cornell shrieking into a microphone. That was some good stuff.

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