Kuni – ‘Lookin’ For Action’ (1988) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

After Jeff Scott Soto’s stint with Yngwie Malmsteen was over, Soto was able to land a gig with the Japanese guitar virtuoso, Kuni. The rest of the band included Mike Terrana on Drums, who played with Yngwie and Beau Nasty, as well as Douglas Taylor Baker on Bass, who also wound up playing with Beau Nasty. Behind the boards on this one is a name a lot of you should be familiar with due to the bands Vinnie Vincent Invasion and Slaughter. That is right, Dana Strum produced the album and I have to say the production work on here is fantastic.

The band was very popular in Japan and they even got to tour. One of the shows was recorded for TV so it makes wonder if there is a live album or bootleg of that show anywhere. I need to start looking for that.

The copy I have is actually a re-release from 2018 and has a couple live bonus tracks and who doesn’t love bonus tracks. All releases of this album are Japan only which means…yes…OBI strips and my copy is no different. You can see it a few pictures down. Also included is a fold out page that has an essay in Japanese and I have no idea what it says, but you see Vinnie Vincent’s name mentioned, Loudness, Yngwie and several other band names so I am guessing it is talking about the band members and where they came from plus tons of other great information that would be nice to read…if I read Japanese. The page also has the lyrics to the songs, in English, on both sides.

Continue reading “Kuni – ‘Lookin’ For Action’ (1988) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)”

Aerosmith – ‘Permanent Vacation’ (1987) – Album Review (The Aerosmith Collection Series)

The band was in trouble after ‘Done With Mirrors’. What was supposed to be their comeback album, flopped big time. The drugs were still a big problem. So the band had to make a huge change…and they did. They got sober! ‘Permanent Vacation’ is the first album the band has ever made that they were sober…no drugs, no drinking…clean and sober. And people reacted to that in a big way. Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer had a lot to prove and they couldn’t do it alone.

The studio that the first batch of help should come from a great producer. At the helm this time around was Bruce Fairbairn and his amazing engineering staff of Mike Fraser and Bob Rock which is one of the most impressive crew behind the boards every in music history. Heck, Bruce even played trumpet, cello and sang background vocals while Mike Fraser played something called a plunger mute. Huh??? Well, that is a trumpet with an attachment on the front that mutes the sound a little. I don’t see where Bob is credited with anything other than masterful engineering. The recorded at the very famous Little Mountain Studio in Vancouver, British Columbia. If you saw my interview with Paul Laine we talked about that studio a lot.

The second row of help came from some song doctors, however, this was one big area of contention with the band. They were forced to work with outside writers much in the way Cheap Trick had to with ‘Lap of Luxury’ that we discussed earlier this week. The biggest contribution came from Desmond Child who co-wrote 3 of the tracks, 2 of which were massive singles for the band. They also had help from Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams writing partner) and Holly Knight (Kiss and Cheap Trick).

Continue reading “Aerosmith – ‘Permanent Vacation’ (1987) – Album Review (The Aerosmith Collection Series)”

Def Leppard – ‘Hysteria U.S. Tour 1988’ – Tour Book

It has been awhile since we’ve gone through a Tour Book and this time around, we have a three set series on Def Leppard Tour Books. Only 3 because that is all I have at this time. And we are kicking it off with the band’s biggest tour, Hysteria. The Tour ran from 1987-1988 and I saw it 3 times. Yep, three times. Twice in Atlanta, one of which I won on a Radio call-in show, and once in Chattanooga, TN because we had to see them again.

Looking back, what was great about these shows is that I got to see Steve Clark play as he passed a few years later. The band was Joe Elliott, Rick Allen, Rick Savage, Steve Clark and Phil Collen and the album Hysteria was their biggest selling album of all time going Diamond with well over 12 million copies. It spawned an impressive 7 singles and they were the biggest band in the world at that time. They are still one of my favorite bands of all time and why I didn’t buy a tour book back then is beyond me…probably because I was a broke high school student…we will go with that. So, here is the book in all its glory…

The cover is above as the header and if you notice the triangle cut out. When you open it, you get to see the same concert shot wrapped by the Hysteria album cover.

Unlike a lot of Tour books, we don’t get an individual band member page talking about each member. Basically every page has all the members as it is a band…

This next page give us a little history on the band from the release of the ‘Hysteria’ album up to the 1988 leg of the tour. It is a nice long essay that is a must read.

More and more band shots…

This next one has a little flap on the right side…

And when folded out, changes the picture to this…

Now we are to the page where the band thanks the road crew. This time they take it a step further and give you pictures of the road crew which I think is an awesome touch!!

And lastly is the Merch page and one last band photo…

Oh yeah, can’t forge the back cover…

And that is everything. I hope you enjoyed the walk through the book and we have two more Tour Books to go through over the next couple weeks. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Thanks for hanging around.

Here is a list of all the Tour Books we have reviewed over the years. Links are provided so you can go see some history.

Alice Cooper:

Kiss Tour Book Series:

Bon Jovi:

Rush:

Def Leppard:

  • Def Leppard – Hysteria U.S. Tour (1988)

Cheap Trick – ‘Lap of Luxury’ (1988) – Album Review (The Cheap Trick Collection Series)

By 1988, Cheap Trick’s popularity was dropping fast. Their last few albums didn’t really light the charts on fire and the record company you could say was quite unhappy. As a result, the record company forced the band to work with outside writers or song doctors. This was 1988 and all bands were now doing that. There was only one song on the album that was written solely by the band, all the others were co-writes by other people and some even entirely written by others.

But it wasn’t all bad news. The band was back to the four original members as Tom Petersson returns to the fold replacing Jon Brant on bass. As a result, the gang of Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Bun E. Carlos and Tom Petersson were back which made the world think of this as sort of a comeback album for the band. Now don’t think it was a comeback in forms of that 70’s Power Pop. Nope, it was more plain pop with this one, however, we did the see band hit the platinum status and garner their first ever #1 song.

Continue reading “Cheap Trick – ‘Lap of Luxury’ (1988) – Album Review (The Cheap Trick Collection Series)”

My Sunday Song – “New Position” by Soul Sirkus

For My Sunday Song #283, we are going to dissect the song “New Position” by Soul Sirkus which was a Jeff Scott Soto side project with Neal Schon (Journey), Marco Mendoza (The Dead Daisies) and Virgil Donati on drums. They had only one album called ‘World Play’ back in 2005. If you get the European edition of the release, there is a DVD with the video for the song as well. The song was technically a single, but I don’t know if it charting.

The song was written by Neal Schon and Jeff Scott Soto. It is seems to be about a woman and is full of sexual innuendos with the title alone. The singer has aching for this woman and so wants her and believes he can show her things that she may have forgotten about…hmmm…I wonder what that could be!! This isn’t rocket science lyrics, no sir. It is rock & roll baby!! Keep it simple, sexual and jamming…and they do just that.

Musically, the song opens with a machine gun barrage drum fills from Virgil showing he means business. Marco’s bass is slamming helping give us a fiery, groovetastic, good time song that will rock your ass off. Neal Schon’s guitar mastery is on full display as he lays down some killer riffs and don’t get me started on the solo. Man, he is killing it. Jeff Scott Soto is full of swagger and confidence as he delivers a stellar vocal full of harmonies and so much power. This album is a showcase of his talents and why Neal tapped him to lead Journey on tour, sadly, no album was ever done before Jeff was dismissed.

Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “New Position” by Soul Sirkus”

You Pick It! Which Album to Review in February?

You, my reader, are going to pick an album for me to review each month.  It is really simple…first, I will give you 5 albums to choose from and second, you will tell me which one of those you would like to see reviewed on the site.  See…simple! Now, if you want to cast more than one vote, comment on the Twitter and Facebook post and you could get up to 3 votes on your favorite pick.

There are a few simple rules I have put in to place in my selections.  They are…

  • One has to be a new release (within the last month)
  • One has to be one I have never heard before (new releases don’t count for this one)
  • One has to be from a genre I don’t normally listen to at all or very often
  • And the last two are choices from my collection that I haven’t reviewed before

What are the 5 albums you ask?  Funny you should ask because I have those right here…

  New Release – Skillet – ‘Dominion

  Never Heard Before – The Strokes – ‘This is It’

  Not My Normal Genre – Drive-By Truckers – ‘Decoration Day’

  From My Collection – Blue Oyster Cult – ‘Fire of Unknown Origin’

  From My Collection – Royal Blood – ‘How Did We Get So Dark?”

Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in February, I will post a review of the album that gets the most votes. You have one week to decide and from there I will start listening to the album and do a review.

Thanks for participating!!

Friday New Releases – January 21, 2022

We have another big week of releases for you on our Friday New Release post. And let me tell you, there is a plethora of styles, genres and sounds which means there will be something for you. You have my word or I’ll give you your money back…now of course you didn’t pay any money to be here so there is nothing to pay you back, but you get what I mean. My choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you want to hear or what I may have missed. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

  • 71VAIUZH7cL._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  Kissin’ Dynamite – Not the End of the Road – (Napalm Records): This German band is now on their seventh album and I would say these guys are on to something as they keep getting better. Their 80’s stadium rock sound full of hooks and that anthem sound yet till sound modern. I can’t wait to hear what they have to offer this time around.
  • 81JkNZFtDAL._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  John Mellencamp – Strictly A One-Eyed Jack – (Republic Records): Can you believe this is his 25th album? Insane right. I hadn’t listened to him in awhile so now I think it is time to check him out again and see if there is still life left in this pirate.
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – January 21, 2022”

Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Marching Out’ (1985) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

In a little less than a year after the release of Yngwie’s debut album, he puts out another release and this time a few changes were made. First, this sounded more like a band album. Jeff Scott Soto was still on vocals but this time he was involved in much more of the song writing. He contributed writing on 4 of the tracks and sang on 8 of them. For that reason, this was a more collaborative, band like experience…at least in how the album felt. The other change were a couple line-up changes. They brought in keyboardist Jens Johansson’s brother, Anders, to play drums. They also made a change in bass by bringing in Marcel Jacobs who is key and crucial part to the whole Jeff Scott Soto Story.

Marcel Jacobs is vital to Jeff’s story as the two became fast friends and within a few short years, the two would start what I think is one of Jeff’s best bands ever, Talisman. They would go on to do a couple side projects together called Human Clay and Humanimal, but they would always come back to Talisman and ended up giving us 10 studio albums together and numerous live albums and compilations. Without Marcel coming in to Jeff’s life, would his story have gone the way it did…I don’t think it would have. Even though they didn’t get along at first as Marcel was a stuck up European snob and Jeff was a trashy American, they eventually found common ground and their paths were destined to be intertwined for years to come.

Continue reading “Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Marching Out’ (1985) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)”

David Bowie – “Blue Jean” (1984) – 45 Single

I found this one at Noble Records in Mathews, NC back when I found those two Quiet Riot 45’s reviewed the last two weeks. When I saw it was Bowie, what else would you do but grab it and buy it, no questions asked. The song is off Bowie’s 1984 album ‘Tonight’ which was the follow-up to the smash album ‘Let’s Dance’. The song was the first single off the album and went to #8 on the Billboard Charts and helping the album go to #11 on the charts and selling over 1 million copies. But after, ‘Let’s Dance’, it was considered a let down.

My copy of the album isn’t the standard release. It is the Jacksonville Pressing that was done on a translucent blue vinyl. It had the same B-Side of “Dancing with the Big Boys” which was also from the album. Otherwise, it isn’t a limited edition or anything just one with the cool blue color. I like Blue and being the song is “Blue Jean”, the color is an obvious choice!

Continue reading “David Bowie – “Blue Jean” (1984) – 45 Single”

Aerosmith – ‘Classics Live! II’ (1987) – Album Review (The Aerosmith Collection Series)

As we mentioned in the prior post on ‘Classics Live!’, the band Aerosmith had reunited with Brad Whitford and Joe Perry and went out on tour to celebrate the reunion. That tour was the Back in the Saddle Tour. The band had been on Columbia Records, but jumped ship and signed with Geffen Records in hopes of getting back in the good graces of the buying public. They planned out and released their comeback album ‘Done With Mirrors’ with little fanfare at least that was until they were on the Run DMC cover of their song “Walk This Way”. That combination of Hip Hop and Rock joining together and being celebrated so much on MTV brought them back in to the limelight.

This new found fame was great for Columbia Records because the bands new deal with Geffen still allowed Columbia to release material they owned of the band, which was a lot. Columbia took full advantage of this opportunity and the first release was a live compilation called ‘Classics Live!’ in April 1986. This time around in June 1987, a little over a year later, Columbia released ‘Classics Live! II’.

This time around the album is mostly one show which was the New Year’s Eve show at Orpheum Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts, December 31, 1984. It had all five original members back in action. There are two additional songs from other shows, but like the other songs, it is the full gang back together. Nice thing is there are no repeats songs from ‘Classics Live!’ and four of the song titles were not on ‘Live! Bootleg’. There are just 8 songs like before so it isn’t a full show. It is purely a money grab by Columbia, but as a collector, I don’t care. I’ll take it. Plus, it would be 11 years before we get another live album from the band which we will get to eventually.

Continue reading “Aerosmith – ‘Classics Live! II’ (1987) – Album Review (The Aerosmith Collection Series)”