URBAN: "1995 - the year when former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page narrowly escaped being stabbed to death by a man who rushed the stage with a knife. Did it have anything to do with Page co-working with ex-Deep Purple and Whitesnake's Coverdale (the "worst" possible choice if you're a mad led Zep fan) or could it have been the result of listening one too many times to 'Stairway To Heaven'??? Surely not???
It's rather strange and morbid start to the year though and things would only get worse as Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee marries Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson. Piece of %¤%#, first he stole our first TV luvvv (Heather Locklear) and then every youngsters fave babe Pam (at the time).
"what ever happened to the 'Motorcycle Emptiness' hero? ."
Manic Street Preachers band member Richey James Edwards goes missing after leaving the London Embassy Hotel, UK. His car (a Vauxhall Cavalier) is found abandoned in a service station on the Bristol side of the Severn Bridge with evidence that he had been living in it. Although he was near a notorious suicide spot in the U.K., there is still no evidence to suggest he committed suicide. What ever happened to the 'Motorcycle Emptiness' hero? Nobody knows, he's still missing, but was officialy declared presumed deceased in November 2008. Edwards had problems throughout his career and life and when asked by a journalist in 1992 about the seriousness towards his art, Edwards responded by carving the words "4 Real" into his forearm with a razor blade.
"the final nail in the coffin for most rock fans.".
Like this wasn't enough in '95, Former Helloween drummer, Ingo Schwichtenberg, commits suicide by jumping under a subway train and Selena is killed by the president of her own fanclub (bummer).
Gee... it's a gloomy approach to a rather gloomy year in the history of hard rock and heavy metal. It's also the year when Bon Jovi died (R.I.P.), their absolutley horrible album, "These Days", certainly the final nail in the coffin for most rock fans. "This Ain't No Love Song" - the band loudly proclaimed, well, it's hardly a song for that matter.
Do we need cheering up or what? So, who can we get on the case? We need Perry Mason!!! Someone to put you in place, calling Perry Mason again!!! Indeed, the Prince of fookin' darkness strikes back with "Ozzmosis", Ozzy Osbourne's seventh solo studio album. Michael Wagener was initially chosen to produce the album, but instead the slick, modern-rock conscious production by Michael Beinhorn, would end up as the album's main and perhaps only flaw. Well, at least in my opinion since it's a rockin record and my personal #2 album of the year.
Journey reforms with Steve Perry in '95, but no new record until the following year. So what? Simply get the smashing "Eye Of The Storm" with the band Storm and you'll be just dandy and fine. It's actually a better record (and the overall #1 album of the year according to the staff @ RockUnited.com) and it featured a Perry soundalike (Kevin Chalfant ex-707) and original Journey keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie.
"Don't give up, don't give in - some days you know you just can't win. Don't give up, keep pushin' on, and let's hope it doesn't take too long - don't give up".
The opening Storm track, "Don't Give Up", surely one of the finest AOR moments of the nineties and the same goes for the entire album actually. The utter and complete definition of a wimpy power ballad, "To Have and To Hold", but what a fine song and message. You certainly can't say the same about Van Halen's "Amsterdam", but... the bhoyos done good and "Balance" is yet another hit record with singles such as the catchy "Can't Stop Lovin' You". It's sadly the fourth and final recording with the 'Van Hagar' line-up and also the last(?) effort worth having with the band.
"Rock N Roll Is Dead" - according to Lenny Kravitz' hit of the year and we're bound to agree with the man. Not a lot of great releases this year and thank God for the whole 'rock music internet revival' which will take place in merely a couple of years. Microsoft releases 'Windows 95' and the world open ups to millions of close-to "normal" users. Indeed, there's no longer need to be a computer geek to master the PC (well, you obviously still needed to geek to re-boot and fix the damn machine every other week).
"they would come up with another excellent effort in '95.".
Something completely different, Thunder!!! We never expected the U.K. band to deliver the goods again, but they would come up with another excellent effort in '95. "Behind Closed Doors" - just as good as their debut, my fave hard rock release of the year and the overall #2 album at RockUnited.
Deborah Dyer aka Skin brought us "clit-rock" and Skunk Anansie is a big hit of the year, they were voted Best New British Band by the readers of Kerrang! magazine. The Smashing Pumpkins came up with Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness
and Corgan described the album at the time to the music press as "The Wall for Generation X", a comparison with Pink Floyd's concept album(s). The Beatles release 'Free As A Bird', their first 'new' single in over twenty years and Oasis release their second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, it would eventually become the third best-selling album in the UK.
"no more British solidiers on the streets of Belfast."
In other news, no more British solidiers on the streets of Belfast. Oklahoma City bombing: 168 people are killed. There's a tank rampage in San Diego and a Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway. Members of the Aum Shinrikyo religious cult release sarin gas on 5 subway trains in Tokyo, killing 12 and injuring 5,510. The genocide continues in the former Republic of Yugoslavia and Waffen-SS Hauptsturmführer Erich Priebke is extradited from Argentina to Italy.
$1.4 billion??? Yup, The United Kingdom's oldest investment banking firm, Barings Bank, collapses after securities broker Nick Leeson loses $1.4 billion by speculating on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. American actress and Goddess Lana Turner dies, and so does Milan's all-time top scorer (210 league goals) Gunnar Nordahl (R.I.P.).
Oh do we have a good timing or what? Just as Finland has won the World Championship in Ice Hockey (and by beating our dear arch enemies Sweden in the final, no less), we're revisiting the year when Finland won its' first gold medal. The recession of the early nineties was winding down, and everything looked a lot better for us Finns that spring. Maybe I should have added "Den Gllder In" to the "selected songs"-list just because of the Hockey Fever of 1995 (and 2011 too).
Alan, Bandi, Kimmo, Martien, & yours truly, Urban of RockUnited.Com have once again been spending weeks, months, wading through a bunch of nasty looking artcovers and albums. Only this time it's the nineties and not like our first massive series of the eighties! Indeed, not an easy task, tracking back in space and time, especially since most of us are still mere kidz (early teens) at the early days of this era of grand and fantastic music. Check out the left-side border for our yearly write-up in 'black', and this is RockUnited's official 'Best-Of-Album Chart of 1991', calculated from the individual charts. No live-ones, EP's or compilations are included, merely studio albums. You can find them all and complain about our personal taste (or rather the complete lack of it) further down this page! This is merely our humble and tiny celebration of the 90's metal days or daze for that matter. Enjoy or not - this is the nineties: 1995.
THE ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: 1995
80. Cathedral - The Carnival Bizarre
79. Marilyn Manson - Smells Like Children
78. Heartland - III
77. Marcie Free - Tormented
76. Apes, Pigs & Spacemen - Transfusion
75. John Norum - Another Destination
74. Brazen Abbot - Live and Learn
73. Joey Tempest - A Place To Call Home
72. Queen - Made In Heaven
71. Foo Fighters - Foo Fighters
70. Bon Jovi - These Days
69. Anthrax - Stomp 442
68. Gunshy - Mayday
67. Faith No More - King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime
66. Galactic Cowboys - Machine Fish
65. The Jone's Bros - S/t
64. Tony Macalpine - Evolution
63. Harem Scarem - Voice of Reason
62. W.A.S.P. - Still Not Black Enough
61. Michael Sweet - Real
60. Black Sabbath - Forbidden
59. Silverchair - Frogstomp
58. Peo - Look What I've Started
57. Elegy - Lost
56. Ben Folds Five - S/T
55. Tattoo Rodeo - Skin
54. Fates Warning - Inside Out
53. FM - Dead Man's Shoes
52. John Waite - Temple Bar
51. Swedish Erotica - Blindman's Justice
50. Del Amitri - Twisted
49. Subway - Hold On To Your Dreams
48. AC/DC - Ballbreaker
47. Amaze Me - Amaze Me
46. Kingdom Come - Twilight Cruiser
45. Running Wild - Masquerade
44. Nelson - Because They Can
43. Kamelot - Eternity
42. Belladonna - Belladonna
41. Toto - Tambu
40. Marillion - Afraid of Sunlight
39. Fair Warning - Rainmaker
38. Blind Guardian - Imaginations From The Other Side
37. Saxon - Dogs Of War
36. Jeff Scott Soto - Love Parade
35. Uriah Heep - Sea Of Light
34. Bad Company - Company of Strangers
33. Rainbow - Stranger In Us All
32. Lawrence Gowan - The Good Catches Up
31. Firehouse - 3
30. The Gathering - Mandylion
29. The Wild hearts - P.H.U.Q
28. Tyketto - Shine
27. Shadow Gallery - Carved In Stone
26. Francis Dunnery - Tall Blonde Helicopter
25. Royal Hunt - Moving Target
24. Dream Theater - Change Of Seasons
23. Goo Goo Dolls - A Boy Named Goo
22. Joe Satriani - Joe Satriani
21. Meat Loaf - Welcome To The Neigborhood
20. Saga - Generation 13 "Generation 13" takes major concept approach with complex arrangements, prog, rock and even a couple of basic melodic melodies into their artsy-fartsy sound. The whole album concept and storyline by Jim Crichton were heavily inspired in part by the book "13 GEN Abort Retry Ignore Fail" by Neil Howe and Bill Strauss. As always professional work.
19. Yngwie Malmsteen - Magnum Opus The eighth studio album by the donut lovin' Swede, but surely not his ultimate album and "Magnum Opus" ??? Nontheless, it's powerful neo-classical, melodic heavy metal with many decent tunes and a couple of nuggets. Kikk-azz rhythm section (Barry Sparks and Shane Gaalaas) and the motion flows from track to track. The last of the great Yngwie's?
18. Frederiksen/Phillips - Frederiksen/Phillips Lovely project by former Toto and Trillion vocalist "Fergie" Frederiksen and bassist Ricky Phillips of The Baby's and Bad English. Add a dozen of AOR musicians and you'll expect this to be all fluff. Well, "Oh Diane" is a smashing AOR tune, but you'll actually find more of the "lite" blues arrangements and style on this record. Good schtuff.
17. Ayreon - The Final Experiment Regarded as one of the first "new" metal operas and the grand project of former Vengeance man, Arjen Anthony Lucassen. The concept - obviously the old Avalon story in a sci-fi setting, King Arthur's round table, Merlin the magician, etc, etc. The mixture of science fiction and medieval themes works nicely and it's a pompous affair.
16. Tour De Force - World On Fire After releasing a forgettable debut in 1993, the band's earlier demos were dusted off and released as their second album. "World On Fire" showcases a more melodic and AOR-styled band than the bland hard rock debut, and has deservedly become something of a cult AOR classic. The Japanese version with a cover of the Michael Bolton/Mark Mangold-penned gem "Tonight" is generally the preferred version. A reissue is in the works as I write this. 15. Takara - Taste Of Heaven Yngwie Malmsteen, Eyes, Talisman, vocalist: Jeff Scott Soto, the man behind the microphone and responsible of all the vocals on "Taste Of Heaven". It's hardly "his" band though Neal Grusky, the main songwriter and the man plays some powerful guitar, backed by the very solid time-keeping of drummer Robert Duda & bassist Gary Schutt. 14. Savatage - Dead Winter Dead The Savatage album of the year, "Dead Winter Dead", a massive concept album by the lads, dealing with a Serb boy and a Muslim girl who fall in love. The main story of the album, obviously focused on the former Republic of Yugoslavia War, which was on going at the time (the genocide of the nineties in Europe). Solid effort as always... 13. John Elefante - Windows Of Heaven The former Kansas and Mastedon man with his first and best solo album. However, do not expect this to be something similar to previous records as it's a rather laidback and mellow soft-rock album. It's hardly progressive or pomp rock, but at least it has some intricate and memorable melodies that are sadly lacking from his later efforts. 12. Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness Blimey, the twenty-eight-track album was released as a two-disc CD and triple LP. It features a wide array of styles, and led by the single "Bullet With Butterfly Wings", the record debuted at number one on the Billboard charts, the first and only such occurrence for the Smashing Pumpkins. "The Wall for Generation X", according to the band (Pink Floyd) 11. Van Halen - Balance 'The fourth and final Van Halen album featuring lead singer Sammy Hagar of Montrose and solo fame. It's also the final and last (?) VH album worthy of a place in your record collection. Originally, the title of the album was to be named 'Seventh Seal' (Bergman strikes again!), but I guess they needed some balance? Yet another #1 album in the states...
10. The Tea Party - The Edges Of Twilight Not to be confused with the Tea Party of yday nor the Pallin b.s. 'The Edges of Twilight' was recorded with an array of Indian and Middle-eastern instrumentation. "Sister Awake", defines what the band set out to do, combining three-piece rock compositions with music from the world. They're basically trying to do for a rock album what Peter Gabriel does to pop. Good. 9. Zeno - Zenology The self-titled debut album by Zeno Roth (the brother of Scorpions Uli Jon Roth) is a classic pompy AOR/Melodic hardrock release. "Zenology" is more in the vein of Fair Warning (there's a cover of Heat of Emotion) with a slightly more bluesy approach to several of the tracks. Great guitar playing as always by Zeno and the first thre tracks are mind-blowing!!! 8. C.I.T.A. - Act 1: Relapse Of Reason 'C.I.T.A.' aka Caught In The Act play melodic hardrock in the tradition of Bon Jovi with a slightly heavier edge. In fact, it's THE Bon Jovi record of the year (simply forget about zzzz.... 'These Days') if you're into upbeat and fun music. However, the band would not continue as they went on to become Guild Of Ages, a more "progressive" rock band. 7. Bad Habit - Revolution 'Another Night' - possible the best and certainly the most radio friendly and ultra catchy song and dance number by the Swedes. It's Scandi-Rock at its best? and most traditional way. Sing-a-long songs and hooky melodies with plenty of heartfelt moments and overall fluffy arrangements. The perfect remedy for your hunger for melodic hardrock in '95. 6. Ozzy Osbourne - Ozzmosis 'Who can we get on the case? We need Perry Mason!!! Someone to put you in place, calling Perry Mason again!!! Indeed, the Prince of Fookin' Darkness had us all shouting about some old geezer from the sixties??? Perry Mason, who? However, the album reached number 22 on the UK Albums Chart and number four on the American Billboard 200. Great! 5. Talisman - Life The Seal cover "Crazy" fits like a glove and it's yet another homerun by former Yngwie Malmsteen vocalist Jeff Scott Soto. Nontheless, Talisman started out as the band of his old mate, Marcel Jacob (also ex-Yngwie and briefly pre-Europe, Force). Excellent musicianship and quite 'groovy' songmaterial with everything from Soul to AOR influences. 4. Just If I - All One People Justify??? I dunno, it's actually a sort of super-group project featuring former Loverboy vocalist Mike Reno and Neal Schon of Journey, Bad English and Hardline fame (not to mention another dozen of great AOR musicians). For the most part, this is a ballad-heavy program, and not always the uptempo rock you would expect it to be. Nicely done though. 3. Skunk Anansie - Paranoid & Sunburnt Geez... what's that smell?? Skunk-rock? The name "Skunk Anansie" is taken from the West African folk tales of 'Anansi' the spider-man. Skin is one helluva vocalist and certainly the biggest female rock heroin at the time. "Selling Jesus" and "Little Baby Swastikkka", political protest songs with a message to the people. Kikk-azz rock band... 2. Thunder - Behind Closed Doors Just as good, if not better, than their 1990 debut, 'Back Street Symphony'. The former Terraplane lads: Danny Bowes (vocals), Luke Morley (guitar), Gary 'Harry' James (drums), are working behind closed doors and the result, excellent hard rock in the fine U.K. tradition. Number 5 on the U.K. album chart and there's hardly a filler in sight. 1. The Storm - Eye Of The Storm Their debut was darn good, but "The Eye Of The Storm", a completely different ballgame really. Vocalist Kevin Chelfant (ex-707) and original Journey keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie are going through all the stages of AOR - catchy, fluffy, wimpy, sexy, nasty - melodic hardrock at its best!!! [all album comment nonsense by: Urban]
INDIVIDUAL LISTS OF 1995 *Personal Stuff*
Albums Top 30:
1. Thunder - Behind Closed Doors
2. Ozzy Osbourne - Ozzmosis
3. Skunk Anansie - Paranoid And Sunburnt
4. Firehouse - 3
5. The Storm - Eye Of The Storm
6. Lawrence Gowan - The Good Catches Up
7. Frederiksen/Phillips - Frederiksen/Phillips
8. Yngwie Malmsteen - Magnum Opus
9. Blind Guardian - Imaginations From The...
10.Belladonna - Belladonna
11.Running Wild - Masquerade
12.AC/DC - Ballbreaker
13.John Waite - Temple Bar
14.The Tea Party - The Edges of Twilight
15.Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie And...
16.W.A.S.P. - Still Not Black Enough
17.Saga - Generation 13
18.Meat Loaf - Welcome To The Neigborhood
19.Ayreon - The Final Experiment
20.Faith No More - King For A Day, Fool For...
21.Foo Fighters - Foo Fighters
22.Joey Tempest - A Place To Call Home
23.Marillion - Afraid Of Sunlight
24.Bad Habit - Revolution
25.Van Halen - Balance
26.Talisman - Life
27.The Gathering - Mandylion
28.CITA - Relapse of Reason
29.Apes, Pigs & Spacemen - Transfusion
30.Marilyn Manson - Smells Like Children
Albums Top 20:
1. The Storm - Eye Of The Storm
2. Royal Hunt - Moving Target
3. Just If I - All One People
4. Talisman - Life
5. Zeno - Zenology
6. Takara - Taste Of Heaven
7. Bad Habit - Revolution
8. Tour de Force - World On Fire
9. Fair Warning - Rainmaker
10.Meat Loaf - Welcome To The Neighborhood
11.Van Halen - Balance
12.Subway - Hold On To Your Dreams
13.FM - Dead Man's Shoes
14.CITA - Relapse Of Reason
15.Peo - Look What I've Started
16.Thunder - Behind Closed Doors
17.Nelson - Because They Can
18.John Elefante - Windows Of Heaven
19.The Jone's Bros - S/t
20.Gunshy - Mayday
Albums Top 20:
1. Dream Theater - Change Of Seasons
2. Shadow Gallery - Carved In Stone
3. Savatage - Dead Winter Dead
4. Ayreon - The Final Experiment
5. Tea Party - The Edges of Twilight
6. Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and...
7. The Gathering - Mandylion
8. Joe Satriani - Joe Satriani
9. Saga - Generation 13
10.Kamelot - Eternity
11.Kingdom Come - Twilight Cruiser
12.Ozzy Osbourne - Ozzmosis
13.Fates Warning - Inside Out
14.Elegy - Lost
15.Black Sabbath - Forbidden
16.Harem Scarem - Voice of Reason
17.Marillion - Afraid of Sunlight
18.Yngwie Malmsteen - Magnum Opus
19.Galactic Cowboys - Machine Fish
20.Anthrax - Stomp 442
Albums Top 15:
1. Goo Goo Dolls - A Boy Named Goo
2. Francis Dunnery - Tall Blonde Helicopter
3. The Wild hearts - P.H.U.Q
4. Skunk Anansie - Paranoid & Sunburnt
5. The Storm - Eye Of The Storm
6. Rainbow - Stranger In Us All
7. Uriah Heep - Sea Of Light
8. Saxon - Dogs Of War
9. Alanis Morisette - Jagged Little Pill
10.Van Halen - Balance
1. The Storm - Eye of the Storm
2. Tyketto - Shine
3. John Elefante - Windows Of Heaven
4. C.I.T.A. - Act 1 Relapse Of Reason
5. Talisman - Life
6. Bad Company - Company of Strangers
7. Jeff Scott Soto - Love Parade
8. Just-If-I - All One People
9. Toto - Tambu
10.Bad Habit - Revolution
11.Amaze Me - Amaze Me
12.Swedish Erotica - Blindman's Justice
13.Tattoo Rodeo - Skin
14.Tour de Force - World on Fire
15.Michael Sweet - Real
16.Takara - Taste Of Heaven
17.Frederiksen/Phillips - Frederiksen/Phillips
18.Tony Macalpine - Evolution
19.Savatage - Dead Winter Dead
20.Bon Jovi - These Days
21.Queen - Made In Heaven
22.Joe Satriani - Joe Satriani
23.Brazen Abbot - Live and Learn
24.Nelson - Because They Can
25.John Norum - Another Destination
26.Marcie Free - Tormented
27.Heartland - III
28.Glenn Hughes - Feel
29.Eddie Money - Love and Money
30.Yngwie Malmsteen - Magnum Opus
SELECTED SONGS OF 1995:
The Storm - Don't Give Up
Frederiksen/Phillips - Oh Diane
Skunk Anansie - Selling Jesus
Thunder - River Of Pain
Ozzy Osbourne - Perry Mason
Bad Habit - Another Night
Michael Jackson - You Are Not Alone
AC/DC - Hard as a Rock
Firehouse - I Live My Life For You
Prince - Gold
Rainbow - Ariel
John Elefante - Hold Me In Your Arms
Smashing Pumpkins - Tonight Tonight
Van Halen - Can't Stop Loving You
Yngwie Malmsteen - The Only One
Talisman - All That Really Matters
Meat Loaf - I'd Lie For You (And That's The Truth)
Nelson - Won't Walk Away
Bon Jovi - These Days
Def Leppard - When Love And Hate Collide
Fair Warning - This Burning Heart
Royal Hunt - Far Away
Warrant - Ultraphopic
Zeno - Is It Love