Riot

by Ritchie Kotzen

~ Virtuoso blues boogie groove ~

Richie Kotzen started out as a total shredder kid playing a thousand notes a minute without a lot of groove to him. In one of the Sonic Highways episodes, one of the guys out in Palm Springs described that style of play as “heavy metal typing” because it was very fast and very precise, but not a lot of love to it.

Richie’s career took a couple of odd turns along the way, from playing in Poison into forming the super group the Winery Dogs. But on this one, it’s definitely a groove old style blues boogie vein, and that intro is one of the coolest pieces of guitar music you might hear on this blog anywhere.

Walls Come Tumbling Down!

by The Style Council

~ Classic britpop from the Modfather ~

Paul Weller not being in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is, quite frankly, a crime. There’s no universe in which Laura Nyro belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ahead of Paul Weller. Quite frankly, there’s a dozen folks just off the top of my head that don’t belong in the Hall of Fame ahead of Paul Weller: Paul Butterfield, Donna Summer, Dire Straits, Biggie Smalls, Ringo Starr as a solo artist, and Frankie Lymon to start.

Paul Weller defined an entire generation of English music and influenced countless American acts up to an including Hall of Fame members Pearl Jam.

It’s really hard to fully encapsulate just how well his mix of strings, drums, vocal harmonies, and your traditional guitar-and-bass performances really shook up the musical world and continue to define that classic vocal-heavy, odd-instrumentation Britpop sound.

Shot In The Dark

by Ozzy Osbourne

~ Ozzy takes MTV ~

Ozzy had been on MTV before. His Speak of the Devil concert became one of the first weekend concerts, back when the MTV used to broadcast a concert each weekend. But his video for Shot in the Dark was one of his first that was not only a story-driven video, but the first time Ozzy found himself squaring off toe-to-toe in heavy rotation with folks like Michael Jackson and Wham.

Although it’s not a synth heavy tune (which was more common in the mid-80s among heavier bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest than you would expect) the mix is a little muddy and although the chorus lends itself well to a big sing-along, it’s definitely more on the pop side and less on the riff-driven hard rock side than we’re used to from Ozzy.