You Pick It! – Which Album to Review in June?

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 – Halestorm – ‘Back from the Dead’

  Never Heard Before – Neil Young – ‘After the Gold Rush’

  Not My Normal Genre – Miranda Lambert – ‘Revolution’

  From My Collection – Boston – ‘Boston’

  From My Collection – Danger Danger – ‘Screw It!’

Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in June, 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 – May 13, 2022

Oh my!! It’s Friday the 13th! Nothing good happens on Friday the 13th…well…except for new releases and we have about 40 for you this week. I have to say though, for me, there isn’t much I’m really interested in. Three is one I’ll try just because of the people in it, but expectations are a little low. My choice is highlighted in Blue. Take a look through and see what you want to hear this week and let us know what they are (if there are more than one) otherwise just tell us which one. And let us know what we may have missed that came out and is not on the list. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

  • 81RRhAnC72L._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  Skills – Different Worlds – (Frontiers Records): The band is one of this Frontiers band that they piece together some great musicians. This was cool for awhile, but now it is getting old. However, this one still intrigues me for one member, guitarists Brad Gillis from Night Ranger. The rest of the band is Renan Zonta, vocalist for the Brazilian rock band Electric Mob, Billy Sheehan from Mr. Big & The Winery Dogs and David Huff from David and the Giants. We will see how it it…

And the rest of the field is as follows…

  • Kendrick Lamar – Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers – (Top Dawg Entertainment / Aftermath / Interscope Records)
  • 71qEtbeYlPL._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  The Chainsmokers – So Far So Good – (Disruptor Records / Columbia)
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – May 13, 2022”

Takara – ‘Eternal Faith’ (1993) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

The story of Jeff Scott Soto and Takara starts way back in 1985 when Jeff met Neal Grusky who is a founding member of Takara. They quickly became friends through their mutual love of music. Neal started Takara in 1987, but it wasn’t until November 1988 that Jeff really got involved. He agreed to help produce a set of demos for the band. When current lead sing, Mark Del Papa, couldn’t do the vocals due to drug issues, Jeff jumped in and sang on the demos as well. The demos were strictly to help the band find a lead singer. Now, where have we heard that before??? Oh yeah, Panther.

Jeff’s job was to produce and do the scratch vocals. They would bring in other singers to sing as well and Jeff would help produce and mix those. This went on for a number of years and they had done demos from 1987 to 1991. There was no intention to release these, it was strictly to get the band moving forward. Also, Jeff had never produced or mixed before so it was a trial by fire process.

Somehow, the tapes wound up with EMI/Toshiba in Japan and the label really liked them and showed interest in the band. But there was a catch…isn’t there always. They didn’t want to release an album with the other singers, they only liked Jeff’s versions and would only release it with Soto as the singer. Neal went back to his friend and Jeff being the good friend he was, agreed to let that happen as he didn’t want his friend to lose the label deal.

Continue reading “Takara – ‘Eternal Faith’ (1993) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)”

Aerosmith – ‘Music From Another Dimension’ (2012) – Album Review (The Aerosmith Collection Series)

Our last review from Aerosmith was a live album from 2005. We jump all the way to 2012 for our next review which is pretty big gap between albums. Don’t fret though as they did release a couple live albums and 3 greatest hits albums during that time and honestly, I don’t own any of them. Since this is the Aerosmith Collection Series, we will stick to what is actually in my collection so here we are.

The band had a ton of issues between 2005 and 2012. They entered the studio to record a new album back in 2007, 2008 or 2009 (take your pick based on interviews) and nothing came of it. They toured, but they were plagued with health issues from several members and lots of shows were canceled. Tyler wanted to do solo work and seem to have stepped away for a little while. While out, Tyler became addicted to painkillers as a result of his knee injury and had to go to rehab. The remaining members were ready to replace Tyler as the singer and started auditioning new singers. Yeah, that didn’t go over well as lawsuits were filed, punches thrown and all sorts of mayhem over the years.

Continue reading “Aerosmith – ‘Music From Another Dimension’ (2012) – Album Review (The Aerosmith Collection Series)”

Dire Straits – “Money For Nothing” – 7″ Single

One of the most Iconic 80’s songs is Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” which was a staple on MTV as the song was about MTV. The song was the second single off their smash album ‘Brothers in Arm’. The song was released on June 24, 1985 and went all the way to #1 for three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. It also won Dire Straits a Grammy for Best Rock Performance. It features fellow 80’s icon, Sting, on the background vocals singing the famous line “I Want My MTV”. On a fun note, the song was the first video played on MTV Europe which aired on August 1, 1987.

The song was inspired by a visit to the appliance store by Mark Knopfler. He saw they had a wall of TV’s all on one station, MTV! Standing next to him was an employee and Mark says he actually said some of the lyrics. Mark apparently borrowed a sheet of paper and started writing the lyrics right there in the store. As a result, the song is about an appliance worker bitching about the guys on MTV and how easy they got it. He does real work, they don’t.

My copy is a standard U.S. version with what is called the Long Edit version of “Money For Nothing” which I find humorous as the Album version is over 8 minutes, yet the long edit version is 4:38. So why is it the long edit version, but the single edit version is 4:06. Okay then. The B-Side is the live version of the song “Love Over Gold”. I like the back of the single jacket as it actually lists the band’s North American Tour dates. I don’t know if that was a common thing, but none of my singles from other bands have done that.

Continue reading “Dire Straits – “Money For Nothing” – 7″ Single”

You Picked It! – David Bowie – ‘Blackstar’ (2016) – Album Review

Alright…You Picked It! And this one wasn’t even close. The winner had the first vote and got passed, but ended up winning in the end. The winner was David Bowie’s Blackstar which was his last album before he died and one I have never listened to in its entirety. Here are the results.

  1. David Bowie – ‘Blackstar’ – 9 votes
  2. Aldo Nova – ‘The Life & Times of Eddie Gage’ – 7 votes
  3. Steve Vai – ‘Passion & Warfare’ – 2 votes
  4. Journey – ‘Raised on Radio’ – 2 Vote
  5. Beyonce – ‘Lemonade’ – Sadly, 0 votes

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

DAVID BOWIE – ‘BLACKSTAR’:

When I saw this won, I was really worried about reviewing it because Bowie is very intimidating to me. Also, this was a well received album by the critics and fans as well as the fact he died two days after the release of the album which was released on January 8, 2016. David recorded this album in secret and surprised everyone with its release. He knew this was his last album and that makes it a really special album so I don’t want to hate it and bash his last efforts. Thankfully, that was not the case. It did take me a while to warm up to it, but after a couple spins I really started digging this album.

The album had a lot of experimental art rock elements, but the main thing I noticed was that it had a lot of Jazz elements as well and doing research I now know why. The band consisted a lot of New York local jazz musicians including saxophonist Donny McCaslin, pianist Jason Lindner, bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Mark Guiliana; guitarist Ben Monder joined the ensemble for the final sessions, while James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem contributed percussion.  The musicianship on this album is second to none and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment.

Continue reading “You Picked It! – David Bowie – ‘Blackstar’ (2016) – Album Review”

My Sunday Song – “Ripper” by Judas Priest

For My Sunday Song #298, we are talking “Ripper” by Judas Priest. The song is off their stellar 1976 album ‘Sad Wings of Destiny’. The song was released as the first single off the album and only released in the UK. I don’t have any chart information for it, sorry. The song was written solely by Glenn Tipton and what a great song.

“Ripper” is from the point of view of the legendary UK serial killer, Jack the Ripper…or if you like, Jack the Knife. The song speaks from Jack’s mind telling the world how deranged he was on basically telling you how and when he will kill you. It shows how much Jack enjoys what he is doing and has done and he smile while he does the deed. It is scary and twisted and a brilliant take on perspective.

It is an intense, riff-roaring killer track. The opening guitars of Tipton and Downing stab at you from every angle with such ferocity. And that opening falsetto by Halford is that fatal cut that will slice through you like butter. Is it possible for someone to go so high without any help. That scream has to be mixed with a guitar to go where no man can possibly go, but he does. I like the galloping beat of the drums at certain points and Halford’s pacing on the delivery of the lyrics. It is a menacing, heart racing song and I can see why this was the single because it does make you sit up and take notice.

Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Ripper” by Judas Priest”

Matt Nathanson – ‘Slow, But Speeding’ E.P. – Album Review

In my endless search for music I don’t have by Matt Nathanson, I always get excited when I find something that I didn’t actually have and this is one of those items. In 2007, Matt released a promotional E.P. on CD called ‘Slow, But Speeding’ for his upcoming 2007 album ‘Some Mad Hope’. I have that album, so why is this E.P. worth getting if it is a promo of the album is something you might ask and I will tell you . There are 3 songs on here and they are all acoustic versions of the new songs on the albums. This one is not extremely rare to get and not overly pricey either which makes it even better. The songs were recorded at Play Records in San Francisco, CA and they are stripped down to their bare essence with just an acoustic guitar and Matt.

The first track is “Gone” as well as the songs on here are written by Matt Nathanson and Mark Weinberg. What I love about Matt is when he sings he really feels the songs. They feel personal to him and a part of him and that is even more prevalent when he does them acoustic. This one has Matt giving up on love after his most recent heartbreak. He is really aching and feels so lost and you can hear the heartache.

Continue reading “Matt Nathanson – ‘Slow, But Speeding’ E.P. – Album Review”

Friday New Releases – May 6, 2022

Welcome to May! Can you believe it? Time is flying. There are some really juicy releases this week and I am sure any one that follows this site will know what our #1 pick is this week and he is first on the list. But he isn’t the only one that we will be checking out and they are all highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you are interested in hearing and what we may have missed. Thank so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

  • 71FY5Zbr6gL._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  Jeff Scott Soto – Complicated – (Frontiers Records): His 3rd solo released in as many years and 9th overall and he might be the busiest man in the business. I think he is awesome, but I am biased as I just got to meet him a couple weeks ago and see him and Jason Bieler in concert (sorry, was I bragging…yes I was). Looking forward to dive in to this, but don’t expect a review until the end of the Jeff Scott Soto Series we are doing.
  • 81orzaFh6oL._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  Halestorm – Back From the Dead – (Atlantic Recording): Man, I have been waiting for a new album from Lzzy Hale and the gang and the have finally delivered. Are they one of the best newer bands out there, no doubt they are. Lzzy has one of the best rock vocals and when they deliver it, they deliver it hard and heavy!
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – May 6, 2022”

Cheap Trick – ‘The Epic Archive, Vol. 1 (1975-1979)’ (2015) – Album Review (The Cheap Trick Collection Series)

After the last studio album, 2009’s ‘The Latest’, Cheap Trick went a little quiet. The did release a a live album, ‘Sgt Pepper Live’ in 2009, but that album is not in my Collection and this is “The Collection Series” so it won’t get reviewed at this point. Then in 2010, Bun E. Carlos stopped touring and he ended up suing the band in 2013 as they weren’t allowing him to record or participate in anything with the band. The lawsuit was settled and the band continued on without Carlos as a 3-Piece. Of note, Rick Nielsen’s son, Dax, has filled in for Bun E. as the drummer. And in 2014, they did release a compilation album called ‘The 70’s’, but again, not in the collection.

So, what is in the Collection that can be reviewed next? I will tell you. We have ‘The Epic Archive, Vol. 1 through Vol. 3 to review that were all released in 2015. All three albums were released on November 27, 2015 digitally. There was no physical product at the time. That has since been corrected as they eventually did release these on vinyl for Record Store Day on three separate occasions. I was lucky enough to get all 3. We will start with ‘The Epic Archive, Vol. 1 (1975-1979) since that is the first one in the series.

Continue reading “Cheap Trick – ‘The Epic Archive, Vol. 1 (1975-1979)’ (2015) – Album Review (The Cheap Trick Collection Series)”