My Classic Album with Mike Norris


Episode 33: 'Surfing With The Alien' with Sam Russell
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Hold on tight as Mike and guitarist extraordinaire Sam Russell celebrate Joe Satriani's 'Surfing With The Alien', the first fully instrumental album to be showcased on 'My Classic Album'. Without a single vocal or lyric on the album, Satriani is able to tell vivid stories and evoke strong emotion from every track on this album. Sam's discovery of this album from his music teacher in his early days of playing guitar comes full circle as he and Mike discover behind many of the great tracks on this album.

How is Joe Satriani influenced by the great composers of classical music?

Which song on the album has been nominated for a Grammy Award on three separate occasions?

What exactly is the pitch axis theory?

All these questions and more will be answered on the latest edition of 'My Classic Album'. PLUS: Mike gets in to his latest live music experience as he shares his thoughts from seeing southern rockers the Kentucky Headhunters in Newcastle!

Mike Norris
Episode 32: 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' with Elizabeth Everts
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'My Classic Album' celebrates California's favourite funk rock maestros Red Hot Chili Peppers today as Mike and special guest Elizabeth Everts sit down and chat about the band's 5th album 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik'.

Mike and Elizabeth break down a period that saw the band truly embrace their creativity and friendship in to an album that catapulted them in to rock's stratosphere!


What kind of supernatural experiences did the Chilis have in the Mansion, the haunted building that the band lived and recorded in at the suggestion of Rick Rubin?

Do songs such as 'Under The Bridge' and 'Breaking The Girl' foreshadow the future direction of the band?

Did Anthony Kiedis really date Sinead O'Connor?


These questions and more to be answered on the latest edition of 'My Classic Album'.

Mike Norris
Episode 31: 'Metallica' (The Black Album) with Calvin Lever

'My Classic Album' is "off to Never Never Land" as we celebrate 'Metallica', the self titled 1991 album that millions the world over know simply as The Black Album.

Mike is joined by Calvin Lever; rhythm guitarist of UK metal band Night Screamer. Mike and Calvin discuss the importance of The Black Album in their own lives while exploring how the personal lives of Metallica along with their relationship with producer Bob Rock led to one of the biggest selling albums in music history.


How did Chris Issak serve as an influence on the likes of 'Nothing Else Matters' and 'The Unforgiven'?


Which song's lyrics originally dealt with cot death?


What exactly is the Tent of Doom?


PLUS Mike plays a track from Night Screamer's debut album 'Dead of Night'. Plenty to get your teeth in to on this bumper edition of 'My Classic Album'. 

Mike Norris
Episode 30: 'Damn The Torpedoes' with Hannah Wicklund
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The supremely talented Hannah Wicklund joins Mike for the 30th episode of 'My Classic Album' to chat about 'Damn The Torpedoes', the breakthrough album from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers!

Together Mike and Hannah explore the unbelievable story behind the production of this incredible album including the unbelievable lengths Tom went to during a bitter dispute with the band's record label.


Which track on the album took over 100 takes to get right?

How does a particular lyric from 'Even The Losers' have a special significance for Hannah?

Why was 'Don't Do Me Like That' nearly given to the J Geils Band?


All these questions and more answered on this episode of 'My Classic Album'.

Mike Norris
Episode 29: 'Synchronicity' with Damon Johnson
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"Is that my mother on the phone?" No it's Damon Johnson! The Black Star Riders alum joins Mike to chat about 'Synchronicity', the final studio album by The Police!

While The Police were at each other's throats behind the scenes, they managed to release a seminal album that solidified their place as the biggest band on the planet bringing along millions of fans including Damon with them.


How was the album one meeting away from not happening?

Is 'Tea In The Sahara' or 'Murder by Numbers' the true ending of 'Synchronicity'? (CLUE: In what format do you own the album?)

What are Damon and Mike's thoughts on the utterly crazy 'Mother'?


PLUS: Mike shares his thoughts on his experience watching Sting perform inside Durham Cathedral in 2008 and reveals his opinions on Sting's latest studio album 'My Songs'.

All this and so much more on this episode of 'My Classic Album'.

Check out Damon’s official website at

Mike Norris
Episode 28: 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' with Savannah Pope
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'My Classic Album' takes a jump to the left as we celebrate a soundtrack for the first time in the podcast's history! American singer Savannah Pope joins Mike to chat about the soundtrack to the 1975 musical 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'. 

Savannah explains why the music from 'Rocky Horror' has become such a huge part of her life and why the movie perfectly encapsulates the ethos of glam rock while influencing the fashion of punk that would follow just a few years later.


What nearly caused Meat Loaf to walk off the 'Rocky Horror' project altogether?

In what ways does Dr. Frank N Furter draw parallels to Ziggy Stardust?

Under what circumstances did Savannah meet Tim Curry?


All these questions and more will be answered on this special edition of 'My Classic Album'


PLUS the chance to hear 'Rock N' Roll No More', one of the standout tracks from Savannah's debut album 'Atlantis'


Check out Savannah’s website over at

Mike Norris
Episode 27: 'I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You' with Nell Bryden
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Singer-songwriter Nell Bryden joins Mike to chat about 'I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You', the breakthrough album by the legendary Aretha Franklin.

Nell traces her own emotional journey with the album and how it has become a huge influence on the way she produces her own music while together Mike and Nell recall the crazy story surrounding the production of 'I Never Loved A Man', and how sessions nearly didn't make it past day one!


How important was Jerry Wexler in helping Aretha find her sound on this album? 

Who was King Curtis, the man who was tasked with persuading Aretha to return to recording sessions?

As a self professed Sam Cooke fan, does Nell prefer Sam or Aretha's interpretation of 'A Change Is Gonna Come'?


All these questions and more answered on another edition of 'My Classic Album'.

For more info about Nell Bryden head over to

Mike Norris
Episode 26: 'Shout At The Devil' with Tim King
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Children of the Beast rejoice! SOiL's Tim King joins Mike to talk about his chosen classic album 'Shout At The Devil' by Mötley Crüe!

Tim's journey with the album started in the playground at 11 years old and from that moment his life changed forever. As for the Crüe, the controversy surrounding this album and the great songs on it proved the breakthrough towards a truly memorable career for the band which has recently been immortalised in Netflix movie 'The Dirt'.


What paranormal event caused Nikki Sixx to ditch original album name 'Shout WITH the Devil'?

Which of the songs on the album has the distinction of being part of the infamous Filthy Fifteen?

What is Tim's initiation to find a true Mötley Crüe fan?


These questions and more will be answered on this edition of 'My Classic Album'.


For more information on the show:

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Or on Twitter @mca_podcast 


Music Credits: 'This Is Rock' by Silvia Marchese

For all the latest on Tim and SOiL head over to

Mike Norris
Episode 25: 'Born To Run' with Will Black
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An album that truly encapsulates the definition of 'classic', Bruce Springsteen's 'Born To Run' gets the 'My Classic Album' treatment thanks to Canadian singer Will Black.

Will joins Mike to break down an album that Springsteen took over a year in the studio to perfect at a time when the stakes were at an all time high. 

What was Bruce's initial reaction to the final album upon first listening to it?

How important is the track order on 'Born To Run'?

Which members of the E Street Band link 'Born To Run' to Meat Loaf's 'Bat Out of Hell'?

PLUS Mike gives you the inside scoop on the return of Cleveland International Records and the compilation celebrating their history 'Cleveland Rocks'.

Buckle in for a jam packed episode of 'My Classic Album'.

Mike Norris
Episode 24: 'Appetite For Destruction' with Skunk Manhattan
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"Do you know where you are?"

American musician and producer Skunk Manhattan joins Mike to welcome you to the Jungle in this edition of 'My Classic Album' as we break down the must successful debut album of all time: 1987's 'Appetite For Destruction' by Guns N' Roses!

Mike and Skunk delve in to the true story of an album that has influenced them both heavily and began Skunk's own journey into music. Together they try to explain just what makes the classic GN'R line-up of Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler and this album so special.


How did Elton John's 'Your Song' influence one of the songs on the album?

What were the x-rated lyrics that Slash originally fought to be the chorus for 'Paradise City'?

After 23 episodes of 'My Classic Album' which track on 'Appetite For Destruction' holds the distinction of being Mike's favourite song of all time?


All these questions and more answered on this awesome edition of 'My Classic Album'.

Mike Norris
Episode 23: 'Crazy Nights' with Rob Wylde
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Midnite City frontman Rob Wylde returns to 'My Classic Album' as we relive the 'Crazy Nights' of 1987 with arguably KISS' most misunderstood album. Despite bombing in the US, 'Crazy Nights' became the highest charting album of KISS' career in the UK and together Mike and Rob explore why.

Where does Rob rank guitarist Bruce Kulick against KISS alumni such as Ace Frehley and Vinnie Vincent?

Which track originated on a Wendy O Williams solo album?

What makes 'Reason To Live' not only Rob's favourite track on the album but his favourite song of all time?

All this and so much more on the latest edition of 'My Classic Album'.

For more about Rob Wylde and Midnite City head over to

Mike Norris
Episode 22: 'Bleach' with Louise Distras
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Punk singer songwriter Louise Distras drops by 'My Classic Album' to chat with Mike about Nirvana's debut album 'Bleach'.

Thanks to a mix tape from a friend as a teenager, Louise was introduced to songs from 'Bleach'; songs which resonated strongly with her and inspired Louise to pick up a guitar for the first time.

 Why was 'About A Girl' deemed a risk to include on the album?

Does 'Negative Creep' have a thrash metal influence?

Which bonus track available on some editions of the album is actually a highlight of 'Bleach' for Louise?

All this and more on this edition of ‘My Classic Album’.

Find out more about Louise Distras at

Mike Norris
Episode 21: 'Holy Diver' with Blaze Bayley
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Mike is joined by former Iron Maiden front man Blaze Bayley who brings with him one of the most celebrated metal albums of all time in Dio's debut 'Holy Diver'. Hear Blaze's incredible story from his days of working in a hotel listening to 'Holy Diver' to touring the world as part of Iron Maiden with Ronnie James Dio in tow! Mike and Blaze also talk about the story of how Ronnie went from leaving Black Sabbath, to recording a debut with the likes of Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain and Vivian Campbell that would be remembered and beloved by metal fans for years to come.

How did Vinny Appice achieve the iconic drum sound on the album?

Who recorded Blaze's favourite cover version of 'Stand Up and Shout'?

Which song on 'Holy Diver' nearly didn't make the album as Ronnie James Dio was intent on destroying the tape? 

All this and more will be revealed on this episode of 'My Classic Album'.

For more about Blaze Bayley check out

Mike Norris
Episode 20: 'Sticky Fingers' with Dizzy Reed
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Legendary bands collide on 'My Classic Album' as Mike teams up with Guns N' Roses' Dizzy Reed to break down 'Sticky Fingers' by the Rolling Stones!

Together Mike and Dizzy dissect an album that saw the Stones begin the 1970's as the band they wanted to be armed with songs that would become as iconic as the band themselves.

 What kind of influence would new guitarist Mick Taylor have on the sound of the band?

Which songs on 'Sticky Fingers' were the first songs that Dizzy learnt to play on guitar?

Why does Dizzy not normally trust the opinions of professors on rock n' roll and who is the man to change his mind?

 All this and more on this huge edition of 'My Classic Album'.

For the latest on Guns N’ Roses go to

Mike Norris
Episode 19: 'Enema of the State' with Jerod McBrayer
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'My Classic Album' returns after a short break with an album that created the template for the pop-punk album genre for years to come.

Worth Taking's Jerod McBrayer joins Mike to talk about Blink-182's breakthrough album 'Enema of the State'. Together Mike and Jerod reminisce about an album that encapsulates the life of a teenage boy at the turn of the Millennium.

Which song on the album is named after Mark Hoppus' boat?

What are Jerod's thoughts regarding Tom DeLonge's theories around aliens and UFOs?

How many WWE references can we fit in to one interview?


All this and more on the latest edition of 'My Classic Album'.

Learn more about Jerod’s band Worth Taking at

Mike Norris
Episode 18: 'Dire Straits' with Quint Starkie
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Singer songwriter Quint Starkie joins Mike for the last episode of 'My Classic Album' in 2017! 

Dire Straits' self titled debut album is the subject of this month's podcast and together Mike and Quint explore just what made this album so special amongst a hugely punk orientated music scene in the late 1970s.

What are Quint's memories of hearing Dire Straits for the first time?

Why did Mark Knopfler initially have an issue with 'Sultans of Swing'?

How does a track like 'Lions' still resonate strongly in today's society?


PLUS Mike reviews 'Jupiter Calling', the latest album from the Corrs and reveals which classic album YOU chose as the My Classic Album of 2017.

All this and more on this edition of 'My Classic Album'.

For more information about Quint Starkie go to

Mike Norris
Episode 17: 'Sheer Heart Attack' with Greg Hart
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This month we venture deep into 'the Lap of the Gods' as the legendary Queen finally get the 'My Classic Album' treatment for their third album 'Sheer Heart Attack'.

Cats In Space guitarist Greg Hart joins Mike to discuss an album that both agree is the seminal album by Freddie Mercury and the gang. Together they discuss their mutual love of Queen and how the band's work on 'Sheer Heart Attack' would influence their output for years to come as well as how it has shaped the music of Cats In Space.

Was 'Stone Cold Crazy' a precursor to thrash metal?

Why should you NEVER put 'In The Lap of the Gods' on a shuffled playlist?

Did Roger Taylor unwittingly pioneer the sound of punk?

PLUS Mike reviews 'Judas', the latest album from hard rockers Fozzy. Not only that but we look back on the past year of 'My Classic Album' and invite YOU to vote for your Classic Album of the Year for 2017.

All this and more on this edition of 'My Classic Album'.

To hear more from Greg’s band Cats In Space go to

Mike Norris
Episode 16: 40 Years of 'Bat Out of Hell' with Jacqueline Dillon and Ellen Foley
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'My Classic Album' gets all revved up as Mike finally gets to talk about HIS classic album; the iconic 'Bat Out of Hell'.

On this special episode to celebrate 40 years of Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman's defining album, Mike is joined by Meat Loaf fan and Steinman confidante Jacqueline Dillon. Together Mike and Jacqueline go back to the very beginning of their own journeys with 'Bat' as well as discuss the album's eventful history from its roots in the musical 'Neverland' through to its phenomenal sales of 43 million copies! Not only that but as always all seven tracks on the album get the 'My Classic Album' treatment.


How did Jacqueline's love of 'Bat Out of Hell' lead to a long time association with Jim Steinman?

Which track on the album hides an Eagles influence in the backing vocals?

Why did a performance of 'For Crying Out Loud' play a pivotal role in the album's success?


Not only that but vocalist Ellen Foley who appeared on 'Paradise By The Dashboard Light' joins 'My Classic Album' to discuss her memories and thoughts about 'Bat Out of Hell' forty years on! Ellen and Mike also chat about Pandora's Box as well as Ellen's reunion with Meat Loaf on last year's 'Braver Than We Are'. This is a conversation not to be missed!

PLUS: Mike reads out your thoughts and memories on 'Bat Out of Hell' as well as revealing which song YOU voted as your favourite track on the album! 


So much to fit in on this bumper edition of 'My Classic Album'.

Learn more about Ellen Foley at

Mike Norris
Episode 15: 'Parallel Lines' with Big Boy Bloater
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This month Mike is 'Hanging on the Telephone' (or Skype to be more precise) with Big Boy Bloater as they break down Blondie's classic album 'Parallel Lines'.

Mike and Bloater look back at the impact that producer Mike Chapman had on the band in the studio and how that hard work translated into an album that changed everything.

What were Mike's initial thoughts of Blondie upon starting work on the album?

Which track on 'Parallel Lines' was called 'the tenderest new wave love song put to vinyl' by Rolling Stone?

Why did some Blondie fans have such a problem with 'Heart of Glass'?

PLUS Mike reviews 'Dark Matter', the first studio album in nearly ten years from singer songwriter Randy Newman.

All this and more on the latest edition of 'My Classic Album'

Learn more about Big Boy Bloater at

Mike Norris
Episode 14: 'Fulfillingness' First Finale' with Marc Danzeisen
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One of Stevie Wonder's most introspective albums gets the 'My Classic Album' treatment as Riverdogs drummer Marc Danzeisen drops in to chat with Mike about the Grammy Award winning 'Fulfillingness' First Finale'.

Marc reveals just how albums like 'Fulfillingness' First Finale' and 'Innervisions' kick started a love affair with R&B which endures to this day as Mike and Marc look in depth at an album bursting with guest appearances from the likes of Minnie Riperton and the Jackson 5.

What was the reaction from the American public to anti-Nixon single 'You Haven't Done Nothin''?

How did Stevie Wonder's horrific car crash in 1973 contribute to a more reflective and thoughtful album?

Which song on 'Fulfillingness' First Finale' did Mike initially find the least accessible only later for it to become one of his favourites on the whole album?

Plus Marc reveals all about the night he got to jam with the Motown legend himself!

All this and more on the latest episode of 'My Classic Album'.

Check out Marc’s band Riverdogs at

Mike Norris