Decibel Geek Podcast

This week's episode was a long time coming as it's the result of a suggestion by one of our faithful listeners over a year ago. 

Dissecting and discussing the non Ozzy/Dio era of Black Sabbath was no easy task for Aaron and Chris as, quite honestly, it's a grouping of albums and songs that mostly went overlooked by them during their younger years. 

Joining them to discuss this lost period for the forefathers of heavy metal is Rob Kern from the From Out of Nowhere podcast. Rob is a self-proclaimed fanboy of the 1983 Born Again album and has strong feelings (positive and negative) about all of the material released after it by Tony Iommi & co.

Going in chronological order, we begin with the aforementioned Born Again album from 1983. The only Black Sabbath album to feature former Deep Purple single Ian Gillan, this album was widely panned by critics but has become a cult favorite over the years. Opinions differ drastically among the hosts as they share facts about the controversial album cover, the over-the-top vocals from Gillan, and how the tour for the album factored into a major plot point for This is Spinal Tap. Rob's choice track from this album is Zero the Hero; a popular one among many fans of this album.

1986 saw Tony Iommi itching to go solo but the material he was crafting was forced to bear the Sabbath moniker due to pressures from Warner Brothers Records. Billed as Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi, Seventh Star sported a much more commercial sound as well as new vocalist Glenn Hughes. 

The only track that partially broke through the public consciousness was 'No Stranger to Love' due to it's appearance on MTV. Rob's choice of album opener 'In for the Kill' is the closest thing that old-school Sabbath fans could sink their teeth in.

Following the recording of Seventh Star, a crazy amount of personnel issues crept up with band members playing musical chairs and issues on tour forcing Hughes out of the band and a short stint with future Badlands singer Ray Gillen. Enter Tony Martin.

Tony Martin brought his full-throated voice to Black Sabbath for 1987's The Eternal Idol. Your hosts share some interesting stories about Gillen's exit, Eric Singer's short tenure, and a strange story about the making of the album cover. 

While not a retro-sounding tune, Aaron's choice of 'Glory Ride' is definitely one of the brighter spots on an otherwise forgotten album.

Black Sabbath closed out the 1980's with Headless Cross. The album has been praised by Iommi; no small feat considering his dismissal of most material from these years. 

When we solicited suggestions of some of our listeners favorite material from this era, the title track from this album came up quite often; necessitating a quick spin of the song. 

The 1990's began on a strange note for Black Sabbath as they released the pseudo-concept album TYR

Featuring a number of songs relating to Norse mythology, the album has been bashed by many critics and largely ignored by fans. Chris makes a case for some redeeming qualities on the album as he spins the track 'Valhalla' featuring a huge guitar riff. 

1994's Cross Purposes featured some stronger songwriting for the band; some would say from a guitar legend. It's been rumored that the track 'Evil Eye' was originally written by Eddie Van Halen but his appearance was scrapped due to record company politics and re-recorded by Iommi. It remains to be cleared up. 

One thing that is clear is the strength of Aaron's choice of 'Cardinal Sin' as a track to show off the album's highlights.

We finish things off with 1995's Forbidden album. Produced by Ernie C. and featuring an appearance by rapper Ice-T on 'The Illusion of Power,' Forbidden is an album released at a strange time for a veteran band that had been through a lot. 

Some lively discussion of this album includes Rob's take on how comical the album cover appears; especially if you substitute flowers for a scythe. 

These Black Sabbath albums will never sit comfortably alongside Paranoid, Sabotage, or Mob Rules; but that doesn't mean they should be ignored. We hope that we shed a little light on what the band went through during these lean years when the vast majority of the music-buying public ignored them. If you dug some of what you heard on this week's show.....

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Direct download: Episode_77_-_The_Other_Sabbath.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:42pm EDT

After a heavy week of Dropping Names, we thought it would be a good idea to reflect on the past this week. Obviously, podcasting did not exist in the 1970's so please allow us to be silly this week as Decibel Geek presents Radio Revisited 1975!

What would the Decibel Geek podcast have sounded like if it were a radio show in 1975? We take you to an alternate universe this week and give you a sample of what it would have sounded like had Aaron & Chris been decked out in bell bottoms & platform shoes while spinning deep cuts from great classic rock and early metal bands from the eight-track era.

Starting things off on this rebroadcast from WDBG is a Aaron's choice of a track from an upcoming Australian band with an energetic guitarist and charismatic front man. AC/DC asks 'Can I Sit Next to You Girl?' from their T.N.T. album.

Up next is Chris' choice of Thin Lizzy covering (and improving) a great Bob Seger track in 'Rosalie from their awesome new album entitled Fighting.

This has been a big year for Alice Cooper as he steps into a solo career with Welcome to My Nightmare. Produced by Bob Ezrin and featuring new upstart guitarist Dick Wagner, Aaron's choice of album-close 'Escape' is a welcome addition to the airwaves.

We head into the first break with 'Anything for My Baby' from the band that's trying to steal Alice's shock rock throne; KISS. This track off their 'Dressed to Kill' album shows that there's more to this group of face-painted monsters than a flashy stage show.

Coming back to 2013 for a moment, we get a visit from friend of the show & co-host of the Dropping the Needle and Three Sides of the Coin shows, Mitch Lafon who is heading up an amazing crowd-funded benefit project designed to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of KISS. 'A World  With Heroes' features awesome cover songs spanning KISS' entire history performed by loads of Decibel Geek-approved artists. This project promises to be one (if not) the best KISS tribute album of all-time but it won't happen without your help! This is funded purely by your pledge and the money will go towards helping a cancer care hospice that has been a blessing for many families going through a very difficult time. Click HERE to see the artist roster and find out how you can help.

We come back from the break with a heavy track by Ozzy Osbourne and his partners in Black Sabbath as they break out 'Hole in the Sky' from the awesome new album Sabotage. It's impossible to imagine this band without Ozzy. We're betting that doesn't change.

One of the hottest trios going today is ZZ Top from Texas. Chris' choice of 'Nasty Dogs & Funky Kings' from their Fandango! album shows you just why. 

We return from our second break with another great band emerging from the deep south. Lynyrd Skynyrd have blasted their way out of Florida and are quickly gaining a foothold in the worldwide rock arena. Aaron's choice of 'On the Hunt' from their new Nuthin' Fancy album is a prime example of the swagger with which these southern rockers carry themselves.

A band from overseas that is being sorely ignored in today's rock radio is the Welsh band Budgie. Their new album Bandolier from MCA Records is chock full of thick riffs and catchy melody lines. Chris shows off the album with the cut 'I Ain't No Mountain.'

Aaron finishes his picks off with a heartfelt dedication to an ex-girlfriend that left a mark on his heart as he spins 'Miss Misery' off the recently-released Nazareth album, Hair of the Dog. A truly anti-romantic number.

Closing out the show is Chris' pick from the first solo-album from former Amboy Dukes' guitarist Ted Nugent. An artist that prefers to let the music do the talking, 'Stormtrooping' providing a boot-stomping ending to this week's show.

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Thin Lizzy

Alice Cooper


Black Sabbath

ZZ Top

Lynyrd Skynyrd



Ted Nugent

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Direct download: Episode_76_-_Radio_Revisited_1975.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:36pm EDT

This week the Decibel Geek Podcast is here to kick ass and take names! Or is that drop names? Anyways there are many rock songs that have names in the title. Now I know that "Mandy" from Barry Manilow was the first thing to come to mind but that song fortunately didn't make Chris and AAron's playlist this time around. Instead they have chosen ten "Decibel Geek" approved tracks that are dropping names all over the place.

Up first the godfathers of metal, Black Sabbath kick off the show with "Johnny Blade" from the 1978 Never Say Die album. This was the last studio album with Ozzy and an album that Ozzy would later refer to as "the worst piece of work I have ever been involved in". I am sure the heavy drug and alcohol abuse might have been part of the problem.

Up next we have the band Johnny Rocket from Little Rock, Arkansas. AAron found this CD in a bin at Goodwill, and with a song entitled "Kiss, Clash and Johnny Cash" it certainly made this week's show. Three name drops in one song and gets our first KISS reference of the show!

From Chicago, Illinois the band Bad City pull out another Kiss reference with "Call Paul Stanley" from their 2010 debut album Welcome to the Wasteland. Paul Stanley actually endorsed the band, calling their album "an absolute knockout and the best album I've heard in ages. A killer, cohesive album of great rock and bombastic production that has been sorely missing. Every track is a winner and Bad City raises the bar out of most band's reach. It's really that good".

After starting off the show with Black Sabbath, we turn the tables and feature the Supersuckers (the self proclaimed greatest band in the world) and their song "OZZY" from their 1995 release, The Sacrilicious Sounds of the Supersuckers. Mixing a blend punk, grunge, country and rock these guys have recorded with Willie Nelson and opened for Motorhead and the Ramones.

1991 was the year that  Florida based band Saigon Kick released their debut album. This was the year that grunge was starting to get it's foothold and you can hear some of that sound creeping in to many of the bands of the time. Saigon Kick were one of those bands that seemed to straddle the rock/grunge fence and can be heard on the track "Suzy".

L.A. sleaze rockers Faster Pussycat get in on the action with "Mr. Lovedog" from 1992's Whipped album. Written as a eulogy for Andrew Wood, best known as lead singer of Mother Love Bone who had died of a heroin overdose in 1990. In retrospect, MLB's "Apple" album most likely would have been the first great Seattle Rock album of the 90's, and very likely that Andrew Wood would have been a bigger star that Kurt Cobain, and extremely likely none of us would have ever heard of Eddie Vedder.

The Bulletboys released their second album Freakshow in 1991. On that album was a killer funky cover of a Tom Waits song, "Hang On St. Christopher". The song made it to #22 on the US mainstream rock charts.

"Charlotte the Harlot" comes from the 1980 self titled debut album from Iron Maiden.

Written by Dave Murray and is said to be based on a true story. The Charlotte character would reoccur over the years in 3 more Maiden Tunes (22 Acacia Avenue, Hooks In You & From Here to Eternity), known to Maidenheads as the Charlotte Saga.Written by Dave Murray and is said to be based on a true story. The Charlotte character would reoccur over the years in 3 more Maiden Tunes (22 Acacia Avenue, Hooks In You & From Here to Eternity), known to Maidenheads as the Charlotte Saga.

After dropping the name of a Saint, Aerosmith are up next with a biblical name drop in the song "Adam's Apple". Off the 1975, Toys in the Attic album this track was written solely by Steven Tyler and produced by Jack Douglas.

Closing out all this name dropping is southern rock band Drive By Truckers and their song "Ronnie & Neil" From the 2001 album Southern Rock Opera, Ronnie and Neil is a song about the musical feud between Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young. "Rock stars today ain't half as real. Speaking their minds on how they feel. Let them guitars blast for Ronnie & Neil".

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Black Sabbath

Johnny Rocket

Bad City

The Supersuckers

Saigon Kick

Faster Pussycat



Drive By Truckers


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Direct download: Episode_75_-_Dropping_Names.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 1:43am EDT