I would like to submit some suggestions for metal that is not available on karaoke but should be.
I first would like to acknowledge SoundChoice's recent release of some prime stuff (Metallica's "Fade To Black", Motörhead's "Ace Of Spades"), as well as previuosly released gems that I was only recently made aware of (Accept's "Balls To The Wall", W.A.S.P's "I Wanna Be Somebody").
This is the kind of stuff I like to see- that timeless 80s metal... but there are still so many tunes that haven't quite made it yet, like Judas Priest's "Love Bites", not to mention countless titles from Scorpions, Ratt, and especially W.A.S.P.
However, these are names that are recognised, and I am sure that with enough prompting from the karaoke junkies everywhere, that more selections will appear from these and other metal artists.
So my post is to try and draw attention to some artists who have been around almost as long, but have not received the same attention as the aforementioned artists.
The first on my list is Savatage. Formed in 1981 by brothers Jon & Criss Oliva under the name Avatar, soon changing the name due to copyright problems, this band put out their first Savatage album "Sirens" in 1985, and have been revolutionizing metal ever since.
Their debut LP, soon followed by the EP "The Dungeons Are Calling" features chainsaw guitars, bulldozer bass, thunderous cannonfire drums, and raspy-shrill vocals. This results in some very powerful, in your face metal. Some ideal karaoke suggestions from these two relases would include; 01. Sirens 02. The Dungeons Are Calling 03. Midas Knight
1985 also saw the release of their next full length album, "Power Of The Night", followed by "Fight For The Rock" in 1986. Some fantastic work contained here. More catchy hooks and riffs make for perfect karaoke party tunes. If these tunes don't get the adrenaline pumping, nothing will; 01. Power Of The Night 02. Washed Out and these just offer a good steady rhythm; 03. Hard For love 04. Red Light Paradise not to mention the band's early attempts at the power ballads; 05. In The Dream 06. Crying For Love 07. Out On The Street 08. Day After Day (cover tune, unsure of orig. artist)
1987 marked the band's breakthrough on the metal scene with "Hall Of The Mountain King". This album still offers all the raw power of previous releases, but now begins to experiment with a little merging with classical sounds. The 5½ minute title track is introed with a 3 minute instrumental based on Edvard Grieg's "In The Hall Of The Mountain King". I would strongly recommend the following from this album for karaoke consideration; 01. Hall Of The Mountain King 02. White Witch 03. Strange Wings
1989's "Gutter Ballet" and 1991's "Streets: A Rock Opera" (a concept album) featured more progressive metal, with many songs being backed by a full orchestra. This resulted in some very moving compostions, invoking many different emotions. Ideal tracks for karaoke; 01. Gutter Ballet 02. When The Crowds Are Gone 03. Of Rage & War 04. Summer Rain 05. Mentally Yours 06. Jesus Saves 07. Tonight He Grins Again 08. Strange Reality 09. You're Alive / Sammy & Tex 10. St. Patrick's 11. Can You Hear Me Now 12. If I Go Away 13. Agony & Ecstasy 14. Ghost In The Ruins
Since 1993's "Edge Of Thorns", the band has maintained this progressive style of metal combining the crucial elements of bone-crunching guitar riffs, with beautiful piano and vocal melodies. Songs which have been so well received by anyone who hears them include; 01. Edge Of Thorns -very positive feedback!! 02. Degrees Of Sanity 03. Follow Me 04. All That I Bleed 05. Sleep 06. Conversation Piece
This album, however, would be the last that founding member Criss Oliva would play - he was killed by a drunk driver later the same year. He was only 30.
Jon felt the best tribute to his brother would be the continuation of his music.
The following releases, "Handful oF Rain"-1994, and "Dead Winter Dead"-1996 (a concept album based on the war in Sarajevo 1990), proved that Jon's choice was a good one. You almost do not notice any change in the brilliant songwriting and song structure that Criss had become so respected for. Tracks from these albums strongly recommended for karaoke; 01. Taunting Cobras 02. Nothing's Going On 03. The Answer You Seek (I Am) 04. Doesn't Matter Anyway -very well received!!
There are other fine tracks from the subsequent releases "Wake Of Magellan"; 01. Paragons Of Innocence and "Poets & Madmen"; 02. Drive but the songs that would probably go over the best, are the acoustic versions of previous songs originally released between 1985 and 1995.
These versions consist of either piano/vocal or acoustic guitar/vocal arrangements, and can be found on the remastered CDs, from "Power Of The Night" to "Edge Of Thorns". These acoustic versions include; 01. Sleep 02. All That I Bleed 03. Believe 04. If I Go Away plus songs that were not previously released for whatever reason; 05. Stay 06. Desirée
The last song listed, 'Desirée', is a must. Everyone who has heard this song falls in love with it instantly upon the first listen, as I did.
So concludes my submission for why Savatage should be included in the Sound Choice karaoke library.
Anyone who knows this band, and agrees with my little review, back me up, and submit YOUR favorite Savatage songs!
[This message has been edited by W T WASP (edited June 20, 2002).]
I respect everyone at Sound Choice for their willingness to try new stuff, but if they even considered a song with a three minute instrumental intro, I'd fly out to South Carolina and hit someone the head with a brick.
Posts: 1691 | From: USA | Registered: May 1999
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quote:Originally posted by l'opera voce: I respect everyone at Sound Choice for their willingness to try new stuff, but if they even considered a song with a three minute instrumental intro, I'd fly out to South Carolina and hit someone the head with a brick.
Well of course I am not suggesting they include the 3 minute intro... I was pitching the band's dexterity and creativeness.
Hell, there are some songs that have a 1 minute intro, and I'm up there thinkin' "Geez, I can run and take a leak and get another drink from the bar before I am cued to sing!"
But hey, it's all good.
I have no real issue with long-ish instrumental passages, as long the song is kept in its original arrangement as much as possible.
Agreed, Savatage is a great band that is not represented on karaoke. However, the band never had a bit hit, so it's not all that surprising. Although it is not unprecedented that SC puts out a track that is not all that "popular" re: the artist or the song choice from a particular artist, the company's MO is to record tracks that have somewhat broader appeal to a particular market (e.g, you'll see the more popular/airplay-oriented songs from the Scorpions, UFO, Dio, etc.). Accordingly, IMHO, the most obvious choice from them would be something that had a more commercial/ popular bent; I'd think the most likely choice would be the song "Edge of Thorns". I don't think many 'Tage fans would disagree or be disappointed with that choice.
P.S. - SC has resisted suggestions for recording tracks from Dream Theater and Yngwie Malmsteen thus far, so getting ONE Savatage track could be considered a big plus. (I'm not sure, but I think both of those bands have probably outsold Savatage).
[This message has been edited by dennybozz (edited June 23, 2002).]
Oh I agree with you, denny, except for the notion that the thing standing in Savatage's way of becoming CDG available is their lack of hits. Granted, they were nowhere near being chartbusters, but they still have a lot of staple material.
The real reason is, as you said yourself, is due to lack of exposure, via radio or other forms of media.
And I also agree, that "Edge Of Thorns" would be an EXCELLENT choice, as it is one of my top picks, expressly for the reason you cited; the potential for broad appeal to mixed crowds. That, and it's just an awesome tune!
All I know is, I did not realise what I liked till I heard it at karaoke (as I don't listen to the radio at all), meaning that I discovered a lot of cool stuff from different categories (metal, pop, country, etc) that I would have otherwise gone on unaware of, and thus be missing out on some good music. I feel the same thing could go for Savatage (and other bands lacking exposure), someone may really get into it, and before you know it, it could be a much-requested item?
Anyway, I tend to ramble on for long time, so I will wrap it up now.
Here's something that alot of you might not know: SAVATAGE is also the Trans-Siberian Orchestra playing those great rockin' christmas instrumentals. SAME BAND!!
It's a sad story about what happened to Chris Olivia, the original lead guitarist. He died in a car wreck by a drunk driver on the way home from a gig that was raising money for awareness against drunk driving.. How Ironic is that?!!
"Oh I agree with you, denny, except for the notion that the thing standing in Savatage's way of becoming CDG available is their lack of hits. Granted, they were nowhere near being chartbusters, but they still have a lot of staple material." --------------------- WTW,
That's not really my position (I would LOVE to have an entire Savatage CDG), but after reading this board for about 2 years, I'd say it's a fair representation of SC's position on which bands and songs get recorded for CDGs. BC/Studio Manager can correct me if I'm wrong - but I've read MANY of his responses to inquiries about various bands/songs, and the things I noted seem to be the critical criteria.
Heck we still haven't gotten any new Faith No More, so I think we all know in our minds where Savatage is on Karaoke. Maybe one or two songs on a HB disc.
Posts: 1795 | From: Fall River, Ma | Registered: Feb 2001
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Yes, I too would love to see a Savatage CDG, but I am willing to settle for one or two tracks to appear anywhere.
In which case, of the 45 (give or take) songs I originally recommended, I would narrow my picks down to fifteen killer-must-haves, the top six marked with an asterisk (*):
01. Power Of The Night* - 5:10 w/ intro ; 4:00 w/o intro 02. Hard For Love - 3:55 03. In The Dream - 4:10 04. Hyde - 3:55 05. Hall Of The Mountain King - 8:45 w/ intro ; 5:30 w/o intro 05. Strange Wings - 3:45 06. Of Rage & War - 4:45 07. Gutter Ballet* - 6:15 08. Jesus Saves* - 5:05 w/ intro ; 4:00 w/o intro 09. Strange Reality - 4:55 10. Agony & Ecstasy - 3:30 11. Desirée* - 3:50 12. Edge Of Thorns* - 5:55 13. All That I Bleed - 4:40 14. Taunting Cobras - 3:20 15. Doesn't Matter Anyway* - 3:45
Total Time all tracks: - 69:45 (w/ intros) - 64:15 (w/o intros) Total Time tracks marked with (*) : - Power Of The Night, Jesus Saves, Doesn't Matter Anyway - 14:00 w/ intros ; 11:45 w/o intros - Gutter Ballet, Edge Of Thorns, Desirée - 16:00
Someone also said Dream Theater is being overlooked. Although a lot of their tunes would have to be cut down for time, they are also a brilliant band. I think a Savatage/DreamTheater CDG would go over well. All in favor, say "aye"!
[This message has been edited by W T WASP (edited June 26, 2002).]
WTW, I can see you really wanna see this happen, so try this approach.
A spot consists of 15 songs. BC/Studio Manager will tell you that you have to be able to make all 15 songs(you can not have less) fit on a 78 min cd(76 min for all the tracks, 2 min for session time). If you you can crunch some numbers, post it. The worst they'll say is no.
Thanks for the tip... I was aware of the 15 track set, but I was NOT aware that it was a firm number (no more, no less).
I was in fact thinking about including the track times, to help with the decision making, but I guess I felt I was giving information overload as it was (what with extensive wish lists, band history and discography, etc).
I will try what you have suggested and add the track times to my recent list (the 15 pick list). Thanks man.
[This message has been edited by W T WASP (edited June 26, 2002).]
I re-read your post, rj, and noticed you only cited the 15 track guidline as a minimum, but not necessarily a maximum.
Therefore, I push my luck further and become more of a pest by submitting 2 more tracks I overlooked before when choosing the 15.
They are: Conversation Piece - 4:10 Sleep - 3:50
This would bring the time totals up to: - 77:45 w/ intros - 72:15 w/o intros
Obviously, the 2 extra songs will not allow for inclusion of some songs' intros, OR, one song alltogether.
The intro for Hall Of The Mountain King is just an insrumental of about 3:15, and not necessary at all (especially at that chronostat!), so the exclusion of that intro alone would bring the previous running time of 77:45 down to 74:30.
So there it is. Enough tunes for a spotlight on Savatage, or two 3-of-a-kinds for inclusion on a mixed artist disc.
Thanks to everyone who has been supportive thus far, and to those who have tolerated my ongoing rambling about Savatage!