Tag Archives: NO DIRECTION HOME

Hear the new Cheap Trick Song For The Price of Your Email Address

It seems like only yesterday that I was complaining about the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame nominees. I was 100% convinced that classic rockers Cheap Trick were going to get shut-out their first time on the ballots…but I was wrong! Not that it really matters (to quote Freddie Mercury, “nothing really matters…”) but the band was able to get into the Hall of Fame. Rather than legitimizing the band, this move only serves to legitimize the Hall. Only slightly, of course.

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Anyway, the band has a new album coming out this year titled BANG ZOOM CRAZY HELLO, which is a really awful title but I’ll give the band a pass because they’re legends. The band has released a brand new song off this forthcoming album on their website. The song, which is titled “No Direction Home,” can be downloaded for the price of your email address. I would say that the song is free but as we all know, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. So, if you don’t mind getting emails from Cheap Trick, you can hear the brand new song.

Is it worth the potential spam? I think so. While “No Direction Home” is by no means the greatest Cheap Trick song of all time, it’s a pretty catchy little diddy. It’s a very Beatle-esque piece of power pop with a few ELO-like production flourishes. I really enjoyed the sugary-sweet melodies and the lyrical hook. It’s classic Cheap Trick, through and through. There’s a guitar lick that sounds very familiar to me, almost like something from an early Clapton song. I’ve been trying to work out which one for the past few days, but it has thus far eluded me. I will say that the absence of long-time drummer Bun E. Carlos is a bit of a bummer (what the hell happened there?) but I guess we can’t have everything, can we?

Anyway, if this song is any indication of the quality of the new album then we should all be really excited. Click here to download the new song.

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Crossfire Hurricane & Becoming A Better Stones Fan

I love documentaries.  I really love them.  I don’t think I’ve seen a bad documentary, per say.  I subscribe to the theory that at the very least, a documentary will tell or show you something you didn’t know, and thus it wasn’t a complete waste of time.  Some are better than others.  The Martin Scorsese film on Bob Dylan, for example, is a damn good documentary.  Recently, I sat down and watched HBO’s Rolling Stones documentary Crossfire Hurricane, which while not as good as Scorsese’s No Direction Home, was entertaining.

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And how could anything about the Rolling Stones not be entertaining? As far as legendary bands go, the Stones are tops when it comes to drugs, debauchery, death, and deceit.  All the makings of a compelling documentary, right?  Well Crossfire Hurricane covers all the major points in the band’s storied career, but doesn’t really dig in very deep.  Some of it felt rushed and major chapters in the band’s career are glossed over. It wasn’t until the credits started to roll (and I thought, “That’s it?”) that I saw what the problem was: the band were the producers.

So Crossfire Hurricane is really the whitewashed version of the Stones as told by the Stones. If you’re super-fan, you’re not going to necessarily gain any new insights, but the backstage/behind-the-scenes footage is worth seeing.  We see the Stones at the height of their success doing drugs and running around half (or totally) naked backstage.  It’s all very cheeky and fun.

I really wanted to recommend Crossfire Hurricane as THE Stones documentary to see…but it’s not.  The real story is what happened after the credits had rolled: the next morning, all I could think about were the tunes.  I fired up Spotify and started skipping around in the band’s massive back catalogue. And then a funny thing happened: I discovered my all-time favorite Stones song.

STICKY FINGERS, compliments of Andy Warhol.

STICKY FINGERS, compliments of Andy Warhol.

I was listening to STICKY FINGERS while doing my laundry, when I heard “Bitch.”  I’d of course heard it before, but I didn’t hear it until this week.  The cocky, self-assured Jagger vocals, the brilliant Keef guitar lick…it was your standard-issue Stones song until the horns kicked in.  Holy shit, the horns take “Bitch” from good to fantastic. It was like hearing “Satisfaction” for the first time: I was blown away.

Which got me thinking, if a great never-played-on-the-radio song like “Bitch” could hit me like a bolt of lightning—what other astoundingly great Stones songs am I missing out on? Suddenly being a more causal Stones fan doesn’t seem so cool.  There is only one course of action: I must listen to everything by the Stones to ensure that I’m not missing out on any other gems.

To be fair, “Bitch” was a B-side to “Brown Sugar” so it wasn’t cast off into complete obscurity, but with B-sides like this who knows what awesome deep-cuts I’m missing out on.  These are the problems of a true music-nerd.  There are too many great bands with too many great songs left undiscovered.  Whenever I find a blank spot on my musical map, I try to fill it in.  That a band like the Rolling Stones has so many blank spots on my map is embarrassing, to be sure.  So even though I’m pretty sure I could die a happy rock-enthusiast without hearing the entirety of the Rolling Stones 80’s output—I’m gonna listen to it all.  Just knowing the singles and key albums is good, but the odds ‘n sods/deep-cuts are what keep me going, both as a fan and as a human being.

That endless quest for my next favorite song, that’s the very essence of what DEFENDING AXL ROSE is all about.  In the coming days, weeks, and months, I’ll post more about my travels in the Stones back catalogue.

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