My Favorite Music

My Favorite Artists My Favorite Albums
Dream Theater D.C. Cooper's "D.C. Cooper"
Savatage Shadow Gallery's "Tyranny"
Asia Savatage's "Dead Winter Dead"
Boston Spock's Beard's  "The Kindness of Strangers"
Ten Extreme's "III Sides to Every Story"

1) Dream Theater
      Dream Theater has become the definitive 90's progressive metal band. Dream Theater was actually the first band of this genre that I became aware of. Their style has undergone a somewhat substantial change over the years. I suppose if I had to describe their sound I would say that it's kind of like Pink Floyd meets Journey meets Metallica meets Kansas.

Dream Theater Current Lineup

Dream Theater Discography

When dream and day unite When Dream and Day Unite (1989) Images and Words  Images and Words (1992)
Live at the Marquee Live at the Marquee (1993) Awake  Awake (1994 )
A Change of Seasons A Change Of Seasons (EP) (1995) Falling Into Infinity  Falling Into Infinity (1997)
Once in a Live time Once In A LIVE time (1998) Metropolis Pt2: Scenes From a Memory   Metropolis Pt 2: Scenes From a Memory (1999)
Live Scenes from New York Live Scenes from New York (2001) Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence  Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (2002)
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2) Savatage

      If I had to choose a single band to be my favorite , I definitely would say that my favorite band would be Savatage. Their style has evolved greatly over the years (all for the better). What started off as a pretty typical Black Sabbath / Judas Priest sort of metal band has transformed (under the direction of producer Paul O'Neill) to a more mature, symphonic, powerful, melodic, almost Broadway musical style band with tremendous talent and production. Some of what they do with vocal melodies and multi-part harmonies remind me of some of the Queen stuff I have heard, but the rest of their sound remains, for the most part, completely indefinable.

Savatage Current Lineup

Savatage Discography

Sirens Sirens (1983) The Dungeons Are Calling    The Dungeons Are Calling (1984)
Power of The Night Power Of The Night (1985) Fight for the Rock   Fight For The Rock (1986)
Hall of the Mountain King Hall Of The Mountain King (1987) Gutter Ballet   Gutter Ballet (1989)
Streets Streets (1991) Edge of Thorns   Edge Of Thorns (1993)
Handful of Rain Handful Of Rain (1994) Japan Live '94   Japan Live '94 (1998)
Dead Winter Dead Dead Winter Dead (1995) Final Bell   Final Bell (1995)
From The Gutter to The Stage From The Gutter To The Stage (1996) The Wake Of Magellan   The Wake Of Magellan (1997/1998)
Believe Believe (1998) Poests and Madman   Poets And Madmen (2001)
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3) Asis

       Asia is definitely one of the best '80s rock groups. The first lineup was John Wetton (King Crimson), Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), Steve Howe (Yes), and Geoff Downes (Buggles). Their first album brought them to the top of the charts. their second album also was successful. However, its follow-up, Astra, was a flop. The group disbanded in 1985, only to reunite in 1990 without John Wetton; John Payne took his place. After churning out a couple of new songs for a greatest-hits collection, the band hit the road, including two sold-out dates in front of 20,000 fans in Moscow, of all places. Thereafter, they toured sporadically and released the albums Aqua (in 1992), Aria (in 1994), Arena (in 1996) and Aura (2001).

Asia Current Lineup

Asia Discography

Asia Asia (1982) Alpha  Alpha (1983)
Astra Astra (1985) Now & Then  Now & Then (1990)
Live in Moscow Live in Moscow (1991) Aqua  Aqua (1992)
Aria Aria (1994) Arena  Arena (1996)
Aura Aura (2001)
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       I firstly came to know Boston through its third album ("Third Stage"). "Third Stage" has good singles like "Amanda", "We're ready" and others. That album was very impressive for me at that time. This album made me like Boston. Boston is the rock group behind one of the fastest-selling debut albums in history, The debut LP shot immediately to the top of the charts, and remained the best-selling pop debut effort in history before it was supplanted by Whitney Houston's first album in 1986. Tom Scholz is the leader of Boston. He writes and composes all of Boston's songs. In addition, Tom Scholz also found success as an inventor and businessman. In 1981, he formed Scholz Research & Design, Inc., a company founded to create high-tech music equipment. After first developing the Power Soak, a volume-control device, SR&D introduced the Rockman, an inexpensive, small guitar amplifier with headphones.

Boston Current Lineup

Boston Discography

Boston Boston (1976) Don't Look Back  Don't look back (1978)
Third Stage Third Stage (1986) Walk On  Walk On (1994)
Greatest Hits Greatest Hits (1996)
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5) Ten

      Ten is cool melrodic-rock group. Ten turned into one of the biggest successes England has seen in recent years. However, Ten is not famous rock group in the U.S. The leader of Ten is the multi-talented Gary Hughes. He is great singer and songwriter. Even if Ten had good guitarist, Vinny Burns, he left from Ten last year. Ten's all albums have many great songs. Especially, its lastest album - "Far Beyond the World" - is the best album of Ten. I recommend "Scarlet and the Grey" and "Far Beyond the World" of "Far Beyond the World" album. There is no doubt that Ten are one of the most versatile bands in the scene now, and will continue on their great success and hopefully be the band to catapult AOR back into the spotlight.

TEN Current Lineup

TEN Discography

Ten Ten (1996) The Name of The Rose  The Name of The Rose (1996)
The Robe The Robe (1997) Never Say Goodbye  Never Say Goodbye (1998)
Spellbound Spellbound(1999) Babylon  Babylon (2000)
Far Beyond The World Far Beyond The World (2002)
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1) D.C. Cooper: "D.C. Cooper"
D.C Cooper Tracklist:
  1. Dream
  2. Easy Living
  3. Until The End
  4. The Angel Comes
  5. Within Yourself
  6. Three Generations
  7. Chained
  8. Freedom
  9. Take Me In
  10. Forgive Me
  11. Whisper
  12. The Union
This is D.C. Cooper's first solo album. After this album, he joined in melodic metal band, Silent Force
This album is composed of 12 songs. All songs are great. Last song, "The Union" is real masterpiece.
It is ironic that even though D.C. Cooper is american, he is almost unknown singer in the U.S and is popular in Japan and Europe.
DC Cooper is a very versatile artist, who has a lot of different ideas and is always looking for means to express himself. Therefore it was a logical step for him, to start planning his first solo album. It was only when he met guitar players, Alfred Koffler and Tore Ostby as suitable co-writers that his plans actually became a reality. Koffler, Ostby and Cooper are the team behind 10 of the 11 songs on the album. Together they perform twelve melodic metal masterpieces and also recorded a cover version of the Uriah Heep classic "Easy Living".

About D.C. Cooper
Fans of the melodic metal genre and powerful rock music are going to be delighted over this spectacular collaboration of members from Royal Hunt, Pink Cream 69, Conception and Vanden Plas. DC Cooper not only has an exceptional voice, but is also a great lyricist and songwriter.

In November 1994 DC decided to join the Danish band Royal Hunt and six weeks later he was on tour with them in Japan. With Japan being Royal Hunt's biggest market, it was a test for him to perform in front of the very dedicated Japanese audience. Needless to say that he won them over straight away. To date, DC has recorded two albums with Royal Hunt (Moving Target and Paradox) and the next album is scheduled for release in the spring of 1999.

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2) Shadow Gallery: "Tyranny"

Shadow Gallery

      ACT I

  1. Stiletto in the Sand
  2. War For Sale
  3. Out of Nowhere
  4. Mystery
  5. Hope For Us
  6. Victims
  7. Broken


  1. I Believe
  2. Roads Of Thunder
  3. Spoken Words
  4. New World Order
  5. Chased
  6. Ghost Of A Chance
  7. Christmas Day

"Tyranny" is an excellent concept album that echoes the progressive metal classic "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. The theme of the disc is one man's struggle over the course of a year to make sense of his place in life. The central character has to deal with corporate greed, war, lies, his father's death, and finding true love.

Shadow Gallery's music is firmly in the progressive vein of Dream Theater, Rush, and Queensryche.
Vocalist Mike Baker is balanced by backing vocals from the band and outside contributors. James LaBrie (of Dream Theater), Laura Jager, and D.C. Cooper provide unique voices to different characters in the story. The dual guitar attack of Brendt Allman and Gary Wehrkamp gives the music heavy and dramatic flair. Bassist Carl Cadden-James provides most of the lyrics and vocal melodies. Keyboard player Chris Inges weaves the keys' textures in and out of the music. Drummer Joe Nevolo provides a solid backbeat throughout the disc. Carl Cadden-James and Gary Wehrkamp take the lead in producing "Tyranny", but the rest of the band gets collective credit for their efforts.

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3) Savatage: "Dead Winter Dead"

Dead Winter Dead       Tracklist:

  1. Overture (Instrumental)
  2. Sarajevo
  3. This Is The Time
  4. I Am
  5. Starlight
  6. Dosen't Matter Anyway
  1. This Isn't What We Meant
  2. Mozart And Madness (Instrumental)
  3. Memory (Dead Winter Dead Intro) (Instrumental)
  4. Dead Winter Dead
  5. One Child
  6. Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Instrumental)
  7. Not What You See

The concept of this album expresses the hardships of war in Bosnia and Serbia and describes the affects and reactions to these hardships from many different roles. It describes the emotional trauma involved with the loss of loved ones. I.e. parents losing children, children losing parents, and lovers losing each other.

The fighting is conducted in the town square and the story is told from the unbiased eyes of a gargoyle observing from the shadows. The gargoyle is a witness to the bloodshed, cruelty and torment that is taking place. Every night after the fighting subsides, an old homeless man comes out to the center of the town square and serenades both sides of the war with his incredible violin playing of pieces by Mozart, Bach and Beethoven.

Towards the end, the minstral is killed. Both sides realize that one of the few beautiful things left in their lives is gone. They begin to question their justification of the bloodshed.

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4) Spock's Beard: "The Kindness of Strangers"

The Kindness Of Starangers       Tracklist:

  1. The Good Don't Last
    - Introduction
    - The Good Don't Last
    - The Radiant Is
  2. In the Mouth of Madness
  3. Cakewalk On Easy Street
  4. June
  5. Strange World
  6. Harm's Way
  7. Flow
    - True Believer
    - A Constant Flow of Sound
    - Into the Source

Spock's Beard is the best progressive rock band making music today. This band makes prog sound fresh and fun with their modern production style and pop influence. "The Kindness of Strangers" is spock's beard's third album. "The Good Don't Last" is the best of their songs. It begins with an instrumental beginning that includes keys and cellos and Dave Meros' huge rickenbacker bass. Then it turns into the most incredibly well-played pop song ever, with themes repeated from the instrumental introduction. Neal Morse has a great voice and the harmonies are amazing. The ending of this song, called "The Radiant Is" is very very beautiful. "Flow" is the longest song of this album, but it is never boring song. This song is full of great melodies and playing. However, this group is not famous and popular in the U.S.

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5Extreme: "III Sides to Every Story"

Extreme       Tracklist:

  1. Warheads
  2. Rest in Peace
  3. Politicalamity
  4. Color Me Blind
  5. Cupid's Dead
  6. Peacemaker Die
  7. Seven Sundays
  1. Tragic Comic
  2. Our Father
  3. Stop the World
  4. God Isn't Dead?
  5. I Rise 'N Shine
  6. II Am I Ever Gonna Change
  7. III Who Cares?

The best Extreme album is full of tasty riffs, a great story line, and some emotional ballads. The guitar work of Nuno Bettencourt is showcased here, and one can see why he should be considered one of the best guitarist to come out of the 80s. The album is divided into three sections, the first being more funk influenced, the second being more straight up rock, and the third being the symphonic ballads. There are plenty of progressive elements here, that make this album more than just a typical 80s style rock album.

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Last updated: 23 October, 2002
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