Kiss Funko Pop! Rocks Figures

My youngest daughter loves her Funko Pop! Figures and was thrilled when I got my own set of the Def Leppard Funko Pop! Set. She also knows I am a huge Kiss fan and so for Christmas this past year, she searched out and found all 4 of the Kiss Funko Pop! Rocks Figures. I was thrilled and happy to get this set and to come from her makes it extra special.

This set is the 2nd Kiss set in the Funko Pop! Rocks series as they are numbered #121-124. The first set in their series was #04 to #07 and they looked a lot different than this set. And it is much more expensive, so maybe some day down the road I will find that, but for now I am going to enjoy this special set.

This set doesn’t go by the band member’s actual names as that would be tough to choose who you are basing the make-up and the costume on and possibly give credit to past members and Kiss doesn’t want to do that. Instead, they are based on the Kiss characters each rock star is playing.

THE DEMON:

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You Picked It! – King Crimson – ‘In The Court of the Crimson King’ (1969) – Album Review

Alright…You Picked It! And this one was probably the closest one yet. Last week was a nail biter of a finish on which album one, this time around, it wasn’t even close. The winner was King Crimson’s ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ which I had never heard before. The votes were as follows:

  1. King Crimson – ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ – 13 votes
  2. AC/DC – ‘For Those About to Rock’ – 4 votes
  3. The Cult – ‘Electric’ – 2 votes
  4. Rob Zombie – ‘The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy’ – 1 vote
  5. David Lanz – ‘Cristofori’s Dream – 1 Vote

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

King Crimson – ‘In The Court of the Crimson King’ (1969):

King Crimson’s debut album, ‘In The Court of the Crimson King’, is said to be a very influential album and the first ever Prog Rock album, so that made it a little intimidating for me to review like all the classic albums I have reviewed. It is a little scary to tackle as you hope you hear what everyone else hears, but sometimes you don’t. Now, I will be honest and let you now I am not a huge Prog Rock fan. Most albums I have, a 6 minute song is probably the longest song on the album. Here it is the shortest song on the album. Also, the same is said that most of my albums have 10 or more songs, this one only has 5. Yes, welcome to the world of Prog Rock!!

King Crimson consisted of some amazing musicians, I will give them that. Take a look for yourself…

  • Greg Lake – Bass, Lead vocals (also in Emerson, Lake & Palmer)
  • Ian McDonald – Alto Saxophone and flute (also Foreigner)
  • Robert Fripp – Guitar (Brian Eno and David Bowie)
  • Michael Giles – Drums (Leo Sayer and many, many more)
  • Peter Sinfield – Lyrics (didn’t know that would make you a band member, but cool)

And I believe Robert Fripp along with Toyah Wilcox are making a name for themselves with their viral videos during the pandemic. You should check them out on the Tube of You.

The album is also known for the album cover of the up close and personal view of a man’s face with full shot of looking up his nostrils and the back of his throat. To me, it is an iconic cover and I’ve wanted it in my collection for years for that very fact. It was beautifully drawn by Barry Godber who sadly passed away only a few months after the albums release. This was the only album artwork he had ever done. What is cool is that Robert Fripp owns the original piece so it is in good hands.

Continue reading “You Picked It! – King Crimson – ‘In The Court of the Crimson King’ (1969) – Album Review”

My Sunday Song – “God’s Top Ten” by INXS

For My Sunday Song #243, we are going to discuss the song “God’s Top Ten” by the band INXS. The song is off their 2005 album ‘Switch’ which features their new singer J. D. Fortune who the band hired off the TV contest show they did called “Rockstar: INXS” where they set out to hire a new lead singer. The song was released as a single, but didn’t chart in the US. It did go to #88 in Canada and 18 in Poland…cool.

The song was written by keyboardist, Andrew Farriss, who wrote the song to honor Michael Hutchence who died about 8 years earlier. It is a tribute to Michael, his partner Paula Yates (who died 3 years after Michael) and their daughter Tiger Lily. They have said the song is really a gift to Tiger Lily. The verses seem to speak to her saying that when you hear his songs on the radio, know that he is one of God’s Top 10 meaning he is one of the best singers out there and now God has him in his Top 10 list. I think the lyrics are sweet, touching and so personal. It is a beautiful gift to her as a reminder of how great he was and how much he loved her.

Musically, the song is a ballad played effortlessly and tenderly on keyboard with a nice bass groove and drum beat. The guitars are only an enhancement to the song. Nothing overpowers anything else, everyone plays in sweet harmony and bliss. The drumbeat at the beginning is the sound of a heartbeat. The song is a duet between Suzie McNeil, also from ‘Rockstar: INXS’ and J. D. Fortune. Her vocals are angelic and J. D.’s is as tender as the music. So much heart, so much love and so much passion comes through in their delivery. It might be the best song on the album and one of the best they’ve ever done.

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Friday New Releases – April 9, 2021

Happy Friday, thankfully we made it through another week. How do I know that you made it? Well, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this right now would you. As your reward, we have a list of new albums coming out today and one I am really excited about and one I am interested in hearing for comparison purposes (I explain more later). My choices are highlighted in Blue. There are a ton of releases so hopefully there is something for you. Let me know what you’d like to hear and let me know what I might’ve missed so everyone can know. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

  • 71TI7x3BK4L._SX522_  Cheap Trick – In Another World – (BMG Rights Mgmt): Cheap Trick is still going strong and they are bringing us their 20th Studio Album. 20th!!! Wow!! That is incredible. After the amazing album ‘We’re All Alright!’, I am super excited to hear this follow-up. I am sure it will be great as they have really seemed to find a new groove and are putting out some solid stuff. This is why they might be one of the greatest American Bands of all time!! And because of that they will be the next band that gets a Series on this site. Now it won’t be for maybe 6 months, but it is coming!!! Get Ready!!!
  • 91r1uwFe1KL._SX522_  Taylor Swift – Fearless (Taylor’s Version) – (Republic Records): As you probably know, Taylor has had major legal issues with her former label and she doesn’t own the rights to here early studio albums. So to solve that problem, she is faithfully recreating each and every album. The first up is her second album, ‘Fearless’, and she is calling them ‘Taylor’s Version’. I have to say, I am interested to hear this and compare it to the original to see how she does. She’s not as young as she was, but she still has the voice, so let’s see.
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Eric Singer Project – ‘ESP’ (1999) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

It is time for us to do our shout-out to Eric Singer and one of his projects. Before Kiss, Eric had played with Black Sabbath and he even had his own band Badlands that released a stellar release in 1989. Then he joined Kiss with the Revenge album and stayed with the band up until the reunion tour in 1996. He would later play with numerous artist, but most notably the great Alice Cooper. However, I wanted to highlight one with a big Kiss connection because that is what I like to do. His side project the Eric Singer Project was a supergroup that had Eric on drums and vocals, Chuck Garric on bass and vocals, John Corabi and guitar, bass and vocals and the big Kiss connection is who was also in the band. It was Eric’s former Kiss co-hort, Bruce Kulick on guitar.

The band was a side group that played covers. They played some live shows and put out an album called ‘ESP’…Eric Singer Project. The one I see most Kiss collectors trying to grab up is this album so I figured this is the perfect album to do for Eric. I know, I probably should’ve done Badlands since this is all covers, but this had too big a Kiss connection to pass up. Plus, I love Corabi so it was a chance for me to hear him as well even if he isn’t singing all the time.

The track listing is pretty good with some not so common covers and there are a few that a typical cover songs. Here are the songs and the original band…

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Judas Priest – ‘Stained Class’ (1978) – Album Review (The Complete Albums Collection Series)

After finishing up the tour for ‘Sin After Sin’, the band didn’t rest for too long before they jumped right back in the studio. They were on a brutal schedule of album, tour, album, tour, etc… It can be exhausting. The band’s fourth album and second with Columbia records was recorded between October and November 1977. The album, ‘Stained Class’, was released on February 10, 1978 and would barely break the Billboard 200 Albums chart going to #173. But the album did go Gold selling over 500,000 copies, but reality is that album only went Gold after the success of the band in the early 80’s. Still Gold nonetheless.

The band saw something strange happen with this album. They got a new drummer which would now be the fourth drummer in four albums. That isn’t the strange part as their drummer turnover has been legendary. The strange part is new drummer, Les Binks, actually stayed on after the album was done and would go on to record two more albums with the band. That is a huge record for them and they should be so proud of themselves for not letting another drum go. And that wasn’t all. This is the ver first album that all 5 band members got writing credits on an album. Yes, Les got one credit and so did long time bassist, Ian Hill.

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Needtobreathe – ‘Insiders LP Vol. VII’ – Album Review

As you know if you visit my site, one of my favorite bands is Needtobreathe.  I have everything they have put out on vinyl and now I am going after everything they have released on CD (that they don’t have on vinyl).  And the CDs I want the most are the exclusive fan club CDs they release each year.

I had never joined prior to the 2020 year so getting my hands on these has not been easy as it is not cheap. I am looking for the right price and most of the time it is too high.   I finally grabbed my first one at a price less than the membership fee which was Insiders LP Vol. 2 for $40 and 9 months later I got one even cheaper which was Insiders, Vol. 5 and it was only $25. And then a couple days later got another for $27 which was Insiders Vol. 3. Sorry we aren’t going in order, but we are going in order of when I receive them. And I just joined the 2021 Insiders Club and this time I am getting a T-Shirt and you guessed it, A Mask!! The CD for Insiders Vol. 8 will be out by January 2022. For now, we are discussing Insiders, Vol. VII from 2020 which this time it did cost me the cost of the club because I got tired of tyring to find all these. I still need volumes 1, 4 and 6 if you have them and want to sell.

Who is Needtobreathe you may ask and I will tell you. Needtobreathe is a rock band from South Carolina who mixes rock, folk, southern rock, country and whatever else they like all with a great message or story to tell. Currently the band is…

  • Bear Rinehart – lead vocals, guitar
  • Josh Lovelace – Hammond Organ, piano
  • Seth Bolt – bass, mandolin, percussion
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The Black Crowes – ‘Shake Your Money Maker’ (Super Deluxe Edition) – Album Review

Can you believe it has been 30 years since The Black Crowes debut album, ‘Shake Your Money Maker’? It is hard to fathom some times. The Black Crowes came on the scene with the release of the album on February 13, 1990. The album goes against the grain of the music at the time. The 80’s Glam Rock scene was still alive, but the Crowes went back to the Rock & Roll roots and gave us some dirty, bluesy rock & roll and laughed in the face of those glam rockers. That scene would die out soon enough when Nirvana would come on to the scene. The album went on to sell over 5 million copies from 5 singles and reaching #4 on the Billboard 200 Chart.

The Black Crowes hail from Marietta, GA, my hometown (different high school though – they went to rival Walton and I was at Osborne). These guys were all over the place and the talk of the town. It was so cool to see these hometown heroes explode on to the scene and hit it big time. Nothing cooler than local boys making it to the top.

This box set is a 30 year celebration of the album and let me tell you the boys did it right. The box set comes in…well…a box. It looks wooden even thought it is really a very sturdy cardboard shaped to look like wood. The back cover list the track listing and inside are is the picture of the album over some flyers and passes. The admission price of $0.96 for me is intriguing because the 96 is shaped like the local rock radio station called 96 Rock which tells me that show was a promoted by that awesome radio station. It brings back a lot of memories. The set I have is the Super Deluxe Edition and the vinyl one at that. See below to see what comes in the set.

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My Sunday Song – “The Stairs” by INXS

For My Sunday Song #242, we are going to tackle one of my favorite tracks by the band called “The Stairs” off the band’s 1990 album ‘X’. It was the final single off the album and didn’t chart, but there was something about it that I fell in love with. They did end up releasing a live version of the song as a single for their 1991 Live album ‘Live Baby Live’ album.

The song is one that Michael thought was the most ambitious song he had ever written. And he might be right. I find the song to be a sad commentary on life in the big city. The cities are filled with so many people and all these buildings, but no one is communicating. No one is building a relationship. They casually pass each other in “the stairs” of their buildings and don’t say a word. Cities need to have more town squares like the small towns have so people can meet up and talk, build that relationship and make life better. And what I find most troubling about this song is that it is even more true today. With Facebook, Twitter and all these other so called social sites, we still are not truly social or communicating. You’re posting for the world to see how you want to be seen not who you really are. You are not actually saying anything that builds people up or to even build a relationship you are hiding behind a mask so no one truly sees you. This song makes me sad, but in a beautiful way.

Musically, it is a ballad and actually has a slow instrumental piece in the first minute that builds and builds until Hutchence comes in with the vocals. You can hear it in his voice how much this song means to him as he sings with such a tenderness and with such heart. It is songs like this that made me appreciate his greatness. When I think of great frontmen for a band, Michael is always on my list. There is a sadness to the music that comes through and matches with the lyrics. As I said earlier, it is sad but beautiful.

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Friday New Releases – April 2, 2021

Yesterday was April Fool’s Day, but that is what today feels like since there isn’t much coming out this week. You do have the return of Demi Lovato and a new Shakey Grave album, but outside of that there isn’t much else. And for me, there really isn’t anything I want to hear so a good chance for me to catch up on all the stuff that came out in March. I would say my choices are highlighted in Blue, but there is only one so it is highlight in Blue. Let me know what you want to hear and what we may have missed because I am sure there are. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

  • 81kmeYVm5oL._SX522_  The Fratellis – Half Drunk Under a Full Moon – (Cooking Vinyl Ltd): The Fratellis are a personal favorite of mine so anytime I can get a new album, I’m thrilled. They are on their 6th Studio so between their studio albums and Jon Fratellis solo albums, they keep me happy. I love their garage rock style mixed with a post-punk feel. They sound vintage and I like it. Bring it on…
  • 81U5yxwj4CL._SS500_  Demi Lovato – Dancing With The Devil…The Art of Starting Over – (Island Records / UMG)
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