Metallica 'Master of Puppets'

Metallica 'Master of Puppets'

First, Hi there! I'm Will. Longtime reader first time poster. I'm definitely not going to be able to compete with the likes of Aidan and the Kevster on the history of music and what inspired the particular artists they are writing about etc so I'm going to stick to a niche that hopefully some of you will appreciate and infrequently re-write the tag line for this site to "Mummy... it's hurting my ears".

Metallica's 'Master of Puppets' in fact needs no introduction suffice to say it's one of the greatest metal albums of all time. I was lucky enough to attend the 2006 Rock Am Ring festival in Germany when Metallica marked the 20th anniversary release of this legendary album and played, for the first time, every track, in full, one after the other. The instrumental track Orion, one of my all time favourites, had never before in their 25 year history been played live, in full, and it was one of the most memorable festival moments I've ever experienced.

The track I've attached is a live recording of that stunning virginal performance and begins with a short bass solo by Robert Trujillo, who replaced their former bassist Jason Newsted in February 2003. Incidentally and unfortunately Kirk Hammett's lead guitar wasn't working for the first part of his solo, so if you're not familiar with this track, don a pair of heavyweight headphones and seek out the original.

Rock on.

Sarah McLachlan - Mirrorball

Sarah McLachlan - Mirrorball

What a voice. I can't believe anyone could possibly sound this good in a live performance. Seriously, it's absolutely flawless. I've never listened to her stuff before so I have no idea how it compares to the studio work but it's probably worth a listen.

For the most part the music sits quite happily with it's little safe hat on. It's nice enough but there's nothing original/inspirational happening (aside from the vocals). It's girl music really - the crowd is full of screeching 15 year old girls soaking up their idol.

Stand out track would have to be Fear. It's one of the more downbeat ones but her voice really shines.

If I were a 15 year old girl I'm sure I'd worship this.

Little Stevie Wonder - 12 Year Old Genius

Little Stevie Wonder - 12 Year Old Genius

This was the album that made Stevie Wonder famous back in 1963. The opening song, Fingertips, was at #1 at the same time the album itself was, a first in history of the industry.

There's a good reason he'd already earned the title of genius at age 12. The first few songs see him playing different instruments; harmonica, bongos, drums included. I think Marvin Gaye plays the drums on the other songs - my guess is that the whole band consists of a star-studded Motown line-up.

My pick would have to be La La La La La, in which he plays the drums. It's the funkiest track on the album and his talent really shines through (how many kids have rhythm like that at 12?).

The last few tracks, while impressive, are a tad on the disturbing side (Don't You Know in particular). I always find there's something a bit strange about kids singing grown-up songs.

It's one of those albums everyone should hear - if for no other reason than the history lesson.

Midnight Oil - Oils On The Water

Midnight Oil - Oils On The Water

I watched a recent (political) interview with Peter Garrett the other day and it motivated me to listen to Midnight Oil again. Oils on the Water is currently the only album available through emusic so I figured I'd give it a shot. I didn't realise that it was a live album when I purchased it, luckily the recording is great.

Most of the material is unfamiliar to me but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I believe it's a recent reissue, with the original recording coming out before Beds are Burning and the like turned them into superstars. The Midnight Oil message is there loud and clear - forever challenging without being negative - it's nice.

All the tracks are massive rock master pieces. Oh, and the horns seriously kick ass.

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