Friday New Releases – June 18, 2021

Welcome to the next edition of the Friday New Releases. It was a great week as we were on vacation this week down on Amelia Island in Florida. It was so nice to get away for a little while and just relax. And to come back and be a new release day…even better. We have another strong week of releases so I hope you find something you like. My choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you want to hear this weekend and if I left anything off the list so everyone will know about it. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!

  • Caleb Johnson - Mountain Mojo Vol. 1  Caleb Johnson – Mountain Mojo, Vol. 1 – (Caleb Johnson): Caleb Johnson has one of the best voices in music…period. He has never really blown up the airwaves since his American Idol days, but there is no denying he is special. I look forward to every release and this one is no different. His voice is perfect for that old brand of Southern Rock & Roll and I hoping that is what is served up on this one. This one has the both Jason Bonham and Damon Johnson on it so this could be awesome.
  • 71ECew2EL7L._SS500_  Crobot – Rat Child E.P. – (Mascot Label Group): Do you like your rock hard and with a little funk…I thought so. Then check out Crobot and you won’t be disappointed. The only sad thing here is it is only an E.P. I am so ready for another full album. Come on boys, get on that!! In the meantime, be prepared to rock you ass off with this one.
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Kiss – ‘Monster’ (2012) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

It has only been three short years since ‘Sonic Boom’ and Kiss is ready to put out another album. Three years might seem like a long time, but lately in the Kiss World, it is a blip in the radar. The band has actually not had any drama during this time gap and things seem to be going smoothly which is not normal for these guys. The band is unchanged with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley still at the helm and Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer still the hired guns.

The band went back in the studio starting in April 2011 and didn’t finish the album until January 2012. And heck, then it wasn’t even released until October 9, 2012. The guys were in no rush obviously. Kiss wanted to get back to their roots on this one while keeping it sounding like what the band is today. To help accomplish that the band actually recorded the album using analog equipment and a 24 Track Tape and a Trident board. They were going at it old school…no digital. Did it help? Well the album went all the way to #3 on the Billboard Charts, so we will see.

But speaking of old school. There were no outside writers and no outside players (except one on piano, but we will get to that shortly). Tommy gets to sing again and so does Eric. This was a band album, just like ‘Sonic Boom’, and a band album is what the fans want. They started with around 20 songs and ended up with 12 on the vinyl & the CD (13 on iTunes). We are talking the 12 here since my copy is on vinyl. Let’s get started.

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Def Leppard – Interview Picture Disc – Limited Edition

I was out and about in Florida this pat Summer and while on vacation, I hit up a record a store in the city I as visiting. I mean, who doesn’t do that. While their, I found this picture disc of Def Leppard except it was an interview disc, and I don’t like to collect interview disc. For some strange reason, I still bought it. Last week, I talked about the Radio Promo Interview disc from Queensryche that was a vinyl with the answers from the band and the radio was sent the questions they should ask. That way the artist/band didn’t have to call in or even visit all radio stations. Plus, it made the radio station sound like they were asking the questions.

This type of disc is actually the whole interview and I don’t know if this is anything that was sent to radios or not. It might only be as simple as a bootlegger putting out product because this does not in any way, shape or form look like an official release. Reality is that these are a little pointless and not sure why you would collect these other than you are a completist for a band and need anything and everything with their name on it.

This disc original came in a cardboard sleeve where you could see the picture on one side and the back was actually a list of all the releases this company that made the vinyl actually had that you could buy. However, my copy does not have this cardboard sleeve and was only included in a clear plastic cover.

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Judas Priest – ‘Screaming for Vengeance’ (1982) – Album Review (The Complete Albums Collection Series)

For me, ‘Point of Entry’ was a little disappointing. The hard, heavy sound of the band was replaced with a more melodic album that was trying to repeat the success of ‘British Steel’, but failed. ‘Screaming for Vengeance” was the band’s answer back that they could still deliver heavy metal music and let me tell you they did just that. This time around, the band went off to Spain to record the album in Ibizia at Ibizia Sound Studios. If you are wondering why not record in England, well, due to tax issues in England, bands would find it better to not live in England all year long so this let them be out of the country for a spell (and probably why Halford had moved to Arizona years earlier). Okay, that was not really necessary information so let’s try and give you something better.

This album is a first for Priest. No, not the their first album silly. This is the first Priest album to feature a drummer who had played on more than two albums. That is right, Dave Holland was the first Judas Priest drummer to make it on three albums!! Wow!! Give yourself a hand boys, because for you, that is impressive. Dave would actually go on to play on four more albums plus a Live album. Congrats Mr. Holland. The drummer curse was now over. The band is still intact with Dave, Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing and Ian Hill.

During this album, Tom Allom was a task master. The label was putting pressure on the band to deliver and album that the American fans would appreciate. A hard hitting, true heavy metal album. The label felt the band was about to break in America and they wanted the bands to deliver the goods that would do that. And well, we will see if they do…here’s a hint…they do!!

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You Picked It! – The Traveling Wilburys – ‘Traveling Wilbury’s Volume 1’ – Album Review

Alright…You Picked It! And this one was really, really close. It was a tie most of the way through between Weezer’s ‘Van Weezer’ and The Traveling Wilburys ‘Traveling Wilburys Volume 1’. The winner, barely, was The Traveling Wilburys ‘Traveling Wilburys Volume 1’ which is one in my collection. The votes were as follows:

  1. The Traveling Wilburys – ‘Traveling Wilburys Volume 1’ – 7 votes
  2. Weezer – ‘Van Weezer’ – 6 votes
  3. John Lennon – ‘The Plastic Ono Band’ – 4 votes
  4. Fugees – ‘The Score’ – 2 votes
  5. The Beatles – ‘Rubber Soul’ – 1 Vote

Thanks to all for participating. The July choices will be up on Saturday!

THE TRAVELING WILBURYS – ‘TRAVELING WILBURYS VOLUME 1’

In what could quite possibly be the greatest supergroup of all time, The Traveling Wilburys is made up of some of the most iconic singers/musicians in the business. In 1988, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Bob Dylan joined forces and became the alter egos of The Traveling Wilburys – Nelson Wilbury (George), Lefty Wilbury (Roy), Charlie T. Wilbury Jr. (Tom), Otis Wilbury (Jeff) and Lucky Wilbury (Bob). And the band came about because George Harrison needed a B-Side for his 1987 album, ‘Cloud Nine’ and he had asked them to help and one thing lead to another and here we are.

Their debut album came out on October 25, 1988 to massive critical acclaim and even garnered them a Grammy nomination. Selling over 3 million copies it is said that it revived the careers of Petty and Dylan, but really! I don’t know if that is true as they had never really gone away. Regardless, it was cool moment in music history.

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My Sunday Song – “Body Talk” by Ratt

For My Sunday Song #251, we are kicking off a 10 song set of Ratt songs. And to shake it up, I am going to pick one song from each release (they had 9) and soundtrack song not on any studio album. First up will be “Body Talk” off the band’s 1986 album ‘Dancing Undercover’. The song was released as a single in Japan only but it had a video on MTV in the US because it was used in the Eddie Murphy movie ‘Golden Child’ (Note, this is not the soundtrack song I mentioned earlier). I don’t believe the song charted, but it was in very heavy rotation on MTV which was all I was listening to any way at this point in my life.

The song is credited to Warren DeMartini, Stephen Pearcy and Juan Croucier as each had a part to play. Warren had the cool ass riff, Stephen who maybe came up with the title and Juan who really did all the heavy lifting. No one was able to do anything with the song and under a one day turnaround due date, Juan took the song and came up with all the vocal melodies and basically all the lyric as well. I guess he works well under pressure.

The song is about sex, what else, but it is that driving guitar riff by Warren that is killer. It is almost speed metal fast. Bobby Blotzer’s drum beat is super fast and the driving force behind the song. With the dynamic duo of Warren and Robbin Crosby on guitar you get some wonderful guitar work as well. Stephen’s raspy vocals sound great here. He is the emotion and the heart of the song as delivers the lyrics quick and effortlessly. The band captured some massive energy and gave one of their best performances captured on an album.

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Friday New Releases – June 11, 2021

IT IS FRIDAY!!!!! The biggest Friday for me in a long time. Man, there are some great stuff coming out this week and I am sure you will find something. There are over 35 releases on the list and I know it is way too much to listen to everything, but there are so many I want to hear. There are actually 3 albums I have on Pre-Order and they are the first three on my list. All my choices will be in Blue like normal. Make sure to tell me what you want to hear and what albums I may have missed. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful and enjoyable weekend. I know I will as I can feel the sandy beaches and ocean calling my name right now!!!

  • 91sZmAbkqZL._SS500_  Mammoth WVH – Mammoth WVH – (EX1 Records): First up this week is the debut album Wolfgang Van Halen. Yes, Eddie’s son is out with his one band and this is going to be awesome. Wolfgang is making his own path with this very modern rock album. And the guy can sing and play all the instruments too!! A major talent in the rock world that is ready to be unleashed. Hold on tight and grab on because this is going to blow you away!!! Can’t wait for the delivery guy to get here with my copy!!
  • 81jAyegbnJL._SX522_  Kiss – Off the Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 (Live) – (Universal / Simstan Music): Kiss!! Is there anything that needs to be said…well…yeah actually. Kiss is starting a series of albums called “Off the Soundboard” and is going to be bootleg type albums from concerts of the past and what a good one to start with. I can tell you if this becomes a regular thing, someone is going broke!!! And it will be worth it!! Yes, I bought this too!!
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Kiss – ‘Sonic Boom’ (2009) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

It has been 11 years since Kiss has released a studio album, and on October 6, 2009, we finally got what we had been waiting so long to hear. Now, the band gave us a lot of stuff in those 11 years. We did get greatest hits compilations, live albums, DVDs, solo projects, but we had been wanting a Kiss Studio album of all new songs. And the band finally delivered what we had been longing to hear for over a decade. This time in Kisstory, the band was Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley and current members of Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. And this album is the first in decades to feature all 4 members of the band playing on the album and writing all the songs. That is right, no outside influences in any way. This was so much of a band album that even Eric and Tommy both had a song to sing. This was just like the old Kiss from the 70’s.

So why did Kiss finally release a new studio album. In part, it was because Paul & Gene didn’t want ‘Psycho Circus’ to be the final Kiss studio album. They were upset that Ace and Peter wouldn’t show up to play on it and what was supposed to be a Kiss album was full of outside writers and players. Now, if you talk to Peter Criss, I believe his story would be more along the line of Gene and Paul didn’t want them playing on it so they paid them not to be on it. That might be partially true, but Ace and Peter were on it, sadly only the songs they sang on. If they didn’t want ‘Psycho Circus’ to be their last studio album, does that mean ‘Sonic Boom’ will be their last? We will have to wait and find out.

When the album was finished it was released exclusively by Wal-mart…yes…Wal-mart. You were not able to get this album from anywhere else if you lived in the U.S. and Canada. Now, they did sweeten the pot with this one as you got a 20-page booklet, the album, a CD of Kiss Klassics and a Bonus DVD of Kiss Live in Buenos Aires. All packaged in a nice cardboard digipack. It is actually quite a bang for the buck. But was it all worth it, let us find out.

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Queensryche – “Speak the Word” – 12″ Interview Disc

Have you ever seen Interview Disc out in the wild? I normally steer away from them as they were usually never of any interest. Over the last year, for some strange reason, I have come across two that wound up in my collection. The first was because it was a cool picture disc. The second was this one. I mistaken bought it without paying attention to what it really was. I thought it was a 12″ Single for the Queensryche song “Speak the Word”, but instead it was actually an interview disc.

From what I can gather, the purpose of interview discs were so radio stations around the country could have an interview with the band without the band actually having to go to each city to do an interview. It was all done for promotion. And I believe there are two types of interview disc. One is a disc that has all the answers from the band, but no questions. The questions are given to the radio station so the DJ can read the question and play the answer on the vinyl so it looks like the DJ is actually interviewing the band. That is what this disc is. The other disc is the whole interview with both answers and questions that the radio station can play the whole thing.

This interview disc is the one with only answers and I believe it is Chris DeGarmo, but I could be wrong. It was recorded on the road in Europe in 1988 while the band was touring in support of the amazing album ‘Operation: Mindcrime’. Both sides are the same answers so it didn’t matter what side the DJ played.

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Queen – ‘Flash Gordon’ (1980) – Album Review (The Studio Album Series)

Queen was never one to do things the standard, normal way. Nope, they thought outside the box constantly. Who am I kidding, they threw the freaking box into the recycle bin never to be seen or heard from again. In secret, Queen worked on an album that no one would expect from them. They did a movie soundtrack. Yes, Queen did the music for the movie Flash Gordon. They jumped in to right after finishing up the album, ‘The Game’ and before that tour sometime around February-March 1980. And after the tour, they quickly went back in and finished up the soundtrack around October-November 1980. The album would come out on December 8, 1980 to everyone’s surprise. Why did they keep it a secret? Because they didn’t want the news to overshadow the movie because let’s be honest, Queen doing a movie soundtrack would make some news for sure.

The movie Flash Gordon is a cult classic. Mainly because it is so bad, it is actually a little good. The acting is horrible, the sets are cheap, I mean it screams B-Movie. And like the movie, the soundtrack is just as campy. It is quirky at times, it rocks out at times and it is a little bit awful at times…just like the movie. Freddie had the bright idea of including some of the film’s dialogue in with the songs to help give the songs some context considering most of the songs were strictly instrumental pieces. That is right. Freddie only sings on 2 songs with minor vocals on 3 others. This is not your typical Queen album. You expect to hear Freddie…well..you don’t get many opportunities for that. Back to the dialogue. As hokey as it sounds, it actually does help having the dialogue. It helps make the album pure campy fun. Doesn’t mean I like it, but it has its moments.

The album kicks of with “Flash’s Theme” which is the only single off the album…however, this isn’t really the single version as that seems to be pieces from a couple songs on the album blended together. This is one of the few songs to include Freddie’s vocals and it has Brian May also doing vocals. John Deacon’s bass and Roger Taylor’s drumming are the driving beat to the song. It is one of the few songs that sounds like Queen especially when May’s guitar comes in. It is anthemic and over-the-top and bizarre. Next up is “In the Space Capsule (The Love Them)” which was written by Roger Taylor. It is feels like outerspace and atmospheric with the synths. There is some great drum beats by Taylor to give it a tribal feel. And the song sounds grand and regal. Overall, not bad for a movie score, but doesn’t sound anything like Queen.

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