Saturday, 10 March 2012

Free Download Friday #124: Yes

I think most bands are defined by their vocalists. You can mess about with other band members as much as you like; but change the vocalist and you change the band. There are of course exceptions to this rule. For example, I think AC/DC pulled it off because their sound is essentially Angus and Malcolm Young; and arguably Blackmore and Lord defined Deep Purple so they could go through multiple vocalists and still sound like Purple.

But Yes without Jon Anderson? No! Not for me anyway. And I don't think I'm alone in this, for example, despite his son being in the line-up, Rick Wakeman described a recent incarnation of Yes as a "Tribute act"! :-) So I was in two minds about linking to this track: a free download of a live version of Owner Of A Lonely Heart. It is taken from In The Present: Live from Lyon and features Benoit David on vocals, Steve Howe on guitar, Oliver Wakeman on keyboards, Chris Squire on bass and Alan White on drums. So, a pretty strong set of musicians and most with many years of experience of playing in Yes... but with Benoit on vocals. Hmm!

Well, in the end (clearly) I decided to link to it. I like the track and, although M. David can't match Mr Anderson, this is a good version of a track I like very much.

But, I couldn't resist letting you hear this version too:

So what do you think? Good in it's own way or embarrassing tribute act?

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Free Download Friday #123: The Darkness

I've stated before that The Darkness seem to divide opinion, but while I would be forced to agree that their second album wasn't a patch on their debut album, even on an off day, The Darkness could teach any number of would be bands a thing or two about Rock!

the Darkness by uselessrebel
the Darkness, a photo byuselessrebel on Flickr.
So, I for one was glad to hear that the original lineup had got together again and were recording a new album. And even better, they have made a track from the new album available as a free download.

Just go the the Music page on the official Darkness website and download the track: Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now. Click the link, give them an email address and enjoy.

It's classic Darkness, and I love it. The track starts with sample (from Hawk The Slayer, trivia fans) that says: "I am no messenger, but I will give you a message..." according to the sample clip, the message is "death" but as far as The Darkness is concerned, the message is Rock and how to do it with style!

The track has driving guitars, a catchy chorus and Justin's power-falsetto. The lyrics are about young love, fixing bike chains and dodging parkies - I suspect there's a double entendre in their too but it's probably best not to look for it.

Great stuff! Anyone else glad to see The Darkness back on form?