Roger Taylor, Still Riding The Wild Wind

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A big Happy 67th Birthday to Roger Taylor, the beat behind Queen. Roger Taylor, much like Phil Collins, is so much more than just a fantastic drummer. Roger is also an excellent singer and songwriter and a solid guitar player. Although he may have been the third vocalist in Queen his voice helped to shape the band’s unique and instantly recognizable vocal sound. He also proved to be Queen’s most prolific songwriter, outside of the band, releasing three albums with his band The Cross as well as five solo albums. At 67 years old Roger is still the driving beat behind Queen, now assisted live by his son Rufus. His most recent solo album Fun On Earth, released in 2013, proved that he still has the passion to create great modern times rock and roll. In honor of his birthday here is my top ten favorite Roger Taylor Queen songs.  Picking ten was fairly difficult, but trying to put them in order would prove to be even more so.  Here they are in chronological order, enjoy!

Tenement Funster – 1974
Drowse – 1976
Fight From The Inside – 1977
More Of That Jazz – 1978
Rock It (Prime Jive) – 1980
Action This Day – 1982
Radio Ga Ga – 1984
A Kind Of Magic – 1986
Ride The Wild Wind – 1991
These Are The Days of Our Lives – 1991

Michael Sweet’s One Sided War

Stryper’s lead singer Michael Sweet will soon have a new solo album out called One Sided War.  A music video featuring a new song called Bizarre was released today.

Stryper is one of my favorite bands and I am a huge fan of Michael Sweet’s solo career.  Anyone following Michael Sweet’s musical activity over the last few years know how incredibly prolific he has been. Utilizing all of his God given talent he has recently appeared on several albums with Stryper, released a solo record and recorded an album with guitarist George Lynch.   It is a great time to be a Stryper and Michael Sweet fan!

Unlike many of his contemporaries from the 80’s metal scene Michael Sweet still looks incredibly healthy and he sounds great.  The man continues to be an incredibly gifted singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer.  Stryper’s last two records, No More Hell To Pay and Fallen, are arguably their best to date.   Michael Sweet’s One Sided War is slated for release on August 26 and I am greatly looking forward to it.

He Will Rock You

Happy 69th Birthday to one of my favorite guitarists, Brian May.  What a great day to highlight my favorite Queen song, Brighton Rock. This blistering rock track is from the brilliant 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack. This was Queen’s third album, where they truly established their unique signature sound.  Brighton Rock is the opening track and it features Freddie Mercury doing his best Robert Plant and Brian May riffing like there’s no tomorrow.  The whole band is in fine form, but this is really Brian May’s guitar tour de force.  The extended instrumental break, followed by his unaccompanied guitar solo still sound fantastic after all these years.

 

Harrison Ford: A Long Time Ago

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A big Happy 74th Birthday to my favorite actor, Harrison Ford. He has had an amazing film career spanning five plus decades that is far from over. I have been a huge fan since 1977 when he appeared in a little film called Star Wars. I feel very fortunate to have witnessed his growth from Han Solo into arguably the biggest movie star in the world during the 1980’s and 90’s.

Throughout the bulk of his career it is apparent, based on the earnings of his many films, that fans prefer to see him playing an action hero. That being said, he has appeared in some criminally overlooked movies throughout his career. Movies such as The Mosquito Coast, Frantic, Regarding Henry, Hollywood Homicide, Firewall, Paranoia and The Age Of Adaline. They may not all be classics, but they showcase a different side of Harrison Ford. As great as he is in action oriented pictures he is just as capable in dramas and comedies. If you have not seen any of these lesser known films I would highly recommend them.

Below, in no particular order, are my ten favorite Harrison Ford movies.

Blade Runner (1982) – A timeless classic, a movie like no other. Whether you watch the version with the voiceover or without it’s still a great, iconic film.

The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – The greatest Star Wars movie, and Han Solo at his best.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – As great as Han Solo and Rick Deckard are, I believe that Indiana Jones is Harrison Ford’s greatest movie character.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) – Harrison Ford and Sean Connery are absolutely fantastic together, one of the great pairing in movie history.

Firewall (2006) – I know that I am in the minority, but I really love this movie, a throw back to the action movies of the 1980’s and 90’s. He may be grey, but he’s still the man. A tense action drama that builds to a satisfying conclusion.

Presumed Innocent (1990) – Far from a perfect movie, but a great cast and a phenomenal performance by Harrison Ford.

Regarding Henry (1991) – A big change of pace from the action hero audiences were used too, but his performance is emotional and heartwarming.

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (1984) – A bit darker than the other Indiana Jones movies, but this is prime time Indy.

The Fugitive (1993) – A roller coaster ride of action and drama from Mr. Ford.

The Mosquito Coast (1986) – What a shame that barely anyone saw this movie. He was nominated for an Oscar but failed to win. For me this is his best acting performance to date.

Tom Hanks, Happy Birthday

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Tom Hanks has had an incredible acting career. Today he turned 60 and he does not appear to be slowing down.   I am sure that he has many more great years and great movies ahead.  This being his 60th birthday it would seem like a good time to look back on his long movie career.  I must confess that I have not seen all of his movies.  I may be the only person in America who has not seen Forest Gump.  That being said here are my top 6 favorite Tom Hanks movies.

 

Cast Away (2000)
Road To Perdition (2002)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Splash (1984)
Big (1988)