Song Of The Day - 18th September 2008: Just Like Paradise

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Set 18 2008, 20:35

A / "Just Like Paradise" / [B-Side to Something's Going On] / Nov 2002

Artist: A
Original Album: Something's Going On
Track: Just Like Paradise

If you're wondering whether this has anything to do with David Lee Roth's Just Like Paradise you'd be right to do so as this is a cover. A recorded a faithful cover of Just Like Paradise as a b-side to the third single from their third album, and ended up using the track on their website for a long period of time. The cover was also used for a video collage of clips from the band's most succesful year that was released as a multimedia extra both on the cd single and on their Japan only live EP Rockin' Like Dokken, which, yes, is named after Dokken.

An initial list of A's influences can be plucked from the thanks section of the notes on their first album and includes but is not limited to: Geddy Lee, Elvis Presley, Nick Cave, Sex Pistols, 3 Colours Red, Eddie Van Halen, Sugar Ray, Faith No More and Brian Wilson. Not appearing in the thanks section of the album notes, but name-checked in the actual lyrics themselves are Van Halen (the band not the person), Iron Maiden and the Beegees. Particular note should be made of the references to Geddy Lee, Van Halen and Brian Wilson as these respective bands would be mentioned and revered again and again by the band throughout their career.

A's first two albums could be described as hard rock, but would probably be more accurately filed under punk/pop or pop rock. The chirpy vocals invite comparison to several of those referenced as influences, particularly on another b-side cover Yes' Owner of a Lonely Heart, another band with high vocals, and coincidentally (or was it planned) one whom I mentioned just days ago as being a probable big influence on another band. A's version of Owner of a Lonely Heart can be found as the b-side to Summer On The Underground if you can find it.

By no means would I describe A as a metal band, but the first hint of metal in their music emerged with the first single from their third album Nothing, which became a top 10 hit in the UK, peaking at #9 in the singles chart and seeing the band somewhat erroneously labeled as nu-metal, despite being one of maybe two tracks on the album that could even vaguely be considered as such.

Here's the video for their biggest hit:

As you can see, the basic concept for the video was to have lots of extras wearing the same clothes as the band members. Notice the slogan on Mark Chapman's (guitarist, not the same Mark Chapman who killed John Lennon) t-shirt - merchandise sales for a certain Don Dokken fronted metal band must have gone through the roof when they decided to film this video.

Don't be put off if that's not to your taste, a large number of people bought the album based on the sound of that track and were hugely disappointed that the rest of the album was a far cry from the almost nu-metal sound of Nothing.

As a comparison, here's the video for Something's Going On the single to which today's song is a b-side:
You'll undoubtedly noticed that neither Nothing or Something's Going On had a guitar solo, and regular readers will probably be thinking this doesn't sound like the sort of thing I spend most of my time listening to. I'm sure you will then be filled with doubt as to how the band intended to cover Dave Lee Roth's track (the original guitar was played by Steve Vai remember). Well, ponder no longer, for thanks to the wonders of youtube and the good people who used to be regular posters on the band's website I can present you with a rip of the multimedia track from both the Something's Going On cd single and the Rockin' Like Dokken Japanese exclusive live EP:


Having attracted a handful of new fans with the strong trio of singles from the Hi-Fi Serious album (Nothing, Starbucks and Something's Going On), it was clear that the fourth album would be make or break for the band. It's not clear whether it was the band's decision or the label's,but producer Terry Date (known for very metal sounding work with Overkill, Pantera and Soundgarden) was brought in, perhaps to try and mine the more metallic side of the band that provided them with the huge hit Nothing, the fourth album however was excessively delayed for various management buyout type reasons, as I understand, and Teen Dance Ordinance ended up passing under the radars of most young British rockers, surely in part due to changing tastes whch by 2005 had begun to tend toward the superficial indie Brit-pop we are drowning our airwaves in today. It's a terrible shame as TDO was and is a fantastic album with an increased number of guitar solos and a smattering of great riffs to backup the energetic vocals. The lead single from the album was named Rush Song after the band, though it had very little to do with them other than being awesome, but we've already established I'm a little biased. I suppose though, the brief solo does have a bit of a hint of Lifeson to it.

As I understand it, from my vague recollection of an explanation once posted on the web by singer Jason Perry himself, the lyrics to Rush Song describe a couple who are so in love with each other that in a rather Romeo and Juliet type way they decide they would like to die in that perfect moment so that there love can never fade away. Here's the rather cheesy video for your evaluation:

Ok, so your curiosity as to who this band are and why I listen to them should have something to dwell on and get over now. Thanks for reading and listening if you did. Thanks also to the guys from the old forum who uploaded the videos, it saves me the trouble of doing it. I know some of you guys from the forum are on last.fm, so there's a chance you could stumble across this, be sure to say 'hi' if you do.

Final note of interest related to Just Like Paradise regular readers may remember I picked Guns 'N Roses' Paradise City not long ago which I eventually conceded was to coincide with a free downloadable update to one of my favourite games this year: Burnout Paradise (see here for info on the game). Today was their second big update, which I'm greatly pleased with, so also a good reason to reference it again.

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  • GrantRS

    If you're looking at the artist page, the very first streamable track "What Will It Take" isn't actually theirs. Must be a different band with the same name. That might account for some 'All over the place'-ness, but I think it mostly comes down to the time it took them to find their own sound. The first three albums practically all sound like different bands, but with influences in common.

    Set 22 2008, 8:01
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