Lighten Up Francis, Give Geddy a Break!!

Here is one of the lamest arguments in rock in roll.


Geddy Lee is often criticized as a singer because he doesn’t write his own lyrics. Critics ask, ‘How can he put his heart and soul into words that he didn’t write? Umm…Classical musicians/opera, jazz standards, great cover tunes in all genres…and of course actors too. How can anyone expect an actor to put emotion into his script if he/she didn’t write it?

Another sign of music critics who take themselves a bit too seriously.

Why Music Is Better Than Words

This is a pretty cool infographic on the use of words in Van Halen lyrics from ┬áthe ┬áDavid Lee Roth era. Yeah seems to have taken the top spot over Love and Baby. I think this is the appeal of Van Halen…high brow guitar work with party lyrics…a winning rock n roll combination.

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If it included Sammy Hagar tunes Yeah Love and Baby probably would’ve tripled…

It Was November 4, I Last Held Your Hand

As a musician, I am not one to pay close attention to lyrics. My brain is much more content following the shapes and construction of the musical patterns, although, I do think really great or really bad lyrics can make or break a song. For some reason, however, the opening lines of Queensryche’s song, “London,” have always stuck in my mind. They are generally benign, but, I never forget them.

“It was November 4, I Last Held Your Hand.”

See nothing special. Maybe it’s the way singer Geoff Tate phrased the words that etched them in my memory. That would make more sense that I picked up on the musical phrasing of the words. Funny thing is other than this line I have NO idea what the song is about!

Anyway, if you are looking for something new to put into your ears I recommend the first four Queensryche albums. The first is actually a self-titled EP followed by “The Warning,” “Rage For Order,” and their watermark, “Operation Mindcrime.” Expect a touch of the theatrical mixed with a heavy metal edge, well written progressive music and my favorite…great guitar playing. All members in the band were musically minded. You will find lots of operatic vocals, thumping but musical bass and drums and crisp creative guitar lines and solos. Some fans are drawn to their lyrics especially the concept album, “Operation Mindcrime.” It’s ironic that my friends used to analyze the lyrics and story behind the album and I barely know what it is about other than the music!

Hope you find something new to listen to in these four titles. If this sounds great but you are looking for something a little less edgy, try their 5th release, “Empire.” Great in its own right but more poppy, overproduced and a little forgettable over the years, their ‘Jump the Shark’ album, although many would disagree.