Turntables & Vinyl

Turntables & Vinyl.  Did you ever think they would come back in style?  I guess I must have thought so because I found a box  in a closet that was full of vinyl albums from the 70’s & 80’s.  However, I don’t own a turntable anymore.  What do I do?

Well, I went out and bought a turntable. My oldest daughter has been wanting a turntable as that is the new fad for kids her age, I guess.  That got me to thinking maybe I should get a turntable.  I didn’t want to spend too much as I didn’t know how much it would get used by her or by me.

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We were at the mall and I found this turntable at some trendy clothes store for young people (I was the oldest person in the store).  Don’t know if it is any good and honestly, don’t care.  It will be a fun experience I can share with my daughter and maybe teach her what real music sounds like.

We started shopping for albums afterwards and the first thing I noticed was…THE PRICE!!! HOLY CRAP!!  When did albums become so expensive.  $25, $35 and up to $50 for a freakin’ album.  Well, I guess my daughter won’t be getting one anytime soon.  She will have to listen to mine until I can take a 2nd mortgage out on the house to buy a new album. Luckily, the store had a limited selection so there was nothing either of us had to have right then.

We get back home and I run upstairs to grab the box of records.  We take it into my office along with the turntable.  I get the turntable plugged into the wall and into my stereo system and found the setup to be extremely easy.  Thank goodness as I wanted to put on some music.

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Next, I grabbed the box and opened it like I was a kid on Christmas.  I couldn’t wait to go through and see what all I had.  I knew what a lot of the albums were in the box, but not everything. What I did know for sure is that the first album to be played on the turntable was going to be Van Halen’s self titled debut from 1978.  I remembered that album was in the box along with several Kiss albums.

The Van Halen album sounded amazing!! And now as I am typing this post up, I am listening to Kiss Alive! and I have it cranked! (No one is home right now) Not a bad way to spend my afternoon.  Here is a list of albums that were in my box that I will definitely be putting on heavy rotation.

  • Van Halen – Van Halen
  • Kiss – Alive!
  • Kiss – The Originals (Special Edition with the first 3 albums)
  • Boston – Boston
  • Boston – Don’t Look Back
  • Eagles – Hotel California
  • Eagles – Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975
  • The Beatles – The Beatles / 1967-1970
  • Mother’s Finest – Mother’s Finest Live
  • ZZ Top – Tres Hombres
  • Billy Joel – Glass Houses
  • Black Sabbath – Mob Rules
  • Kiss – Unmasked
  • Kiss – Hotter than Hell
  • Billy Idol – Billy Idol
  • Loverboy – Lovin’ Every Minute of It
  • Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion
  • Styx – Caught in the Act Live
  • Def Leppard – On Through the Night
  • Grease – Soundtrack
  • Star Wars – Soundtrack

The biggest surprise included in the box was the first vinyl album I ever bought.  If you have read the “About” section of my blog, you know what that album was.  My mom ordered it for me off the TV from a commercial during the TBS reruns of “The Monkees” back in the 70’s.  It was simply called “The Monkees”.  I almost teared up (actually I teared up from all the dust in the box as it flared up my allergies).

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A lot of these albums I am sure were my brothers’ albums and I somehow ended up with them. I hope they aren’t too disappointed that they are not getting them back.  That is not true, they can have them back.  They just need to come to North Carolina from Georgia and pry them from my cold, dead hands.

Also discovered in the box were some of my wife’s childhood albums.  There were some old Disney albums (and I mean old) and then some from a few of her favorite teen idols.  There was Andy Gibb, Leif Garrett and her personal love, Shaun Cassidy.  When she looked at the album, I hadn’t seen that look in her eyes since WE first met.  I think I should be jealous.  I have a feeling she will be listening to those while I “Da Doo Ron Ron” off to work.

The next day, my daughter and I found a great little record store in Charlotte and we went and picked up a couple albums.  They had those expensive albums like what I mentioned above, but they also had used albums that were a lot cheaper.  Since I had the first two Boston albums on vinyl, I went ahead and picked up Boston’s Third Stage ($10) and my daughter picked up James Bay’s latest album for only $20 (which I still think is too much).

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I need to make a list of what albums I want because I walked around that store for almost an hour and couldn’t decide on anything but the Boston album.  Too many to choose!!!  My daughter, who takes hours to pick out a shirt had her album picked in 5 minutes.

When we got home and put the James Bay album on, the cheap record player we bought the day before wasn’t working properly.  It can’t seem to keep the appropriate speed and the song tends to slow down.  All the excitement from the first day fizzled out fast. I knew I should have just waited and bought a decent player right out of the gate. Sometimes I am too cheap.   So, I guess I do care if the record player is any good.

Well, I am researching a decent player now and can’t wait to get one.  Any recommendations?  I am anxious to listen to the whole set of albums from the box.

Memorial Day – Playlist

Memorial Day is a chance to honor our lost soldiers who served to protect us and make this country great.  If it wasn’t for their sacrifice, we would not have the freedoms we have today and not live in one of the greatest countries on Earth (despite our many problems).

Please remember why you have the day off from school & work.  It is not to grill out and hang out by the pool.  It is to remember those who have died and those families who had to sacrifice so much so you can grill out and hang out by the pool.

In honor of our lost soldiers, here is a playlist just for them.

“Brothers in Arms” by Dire Straits

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Friday New Releases – May 27th

It has been an incredibly busy week and I am looking forward to some new music.  Friday’s new releases have some good choices to try.  See if there is anything that excites you.  My top choices are highlighted in Blue.

  • 61E-SCkAK2L._AA160_  Paul Gilbert – I Can Destroy – (Pronghorn) – The former lead guitarist for Racer X and the Mr. Big lead guitarist releases his latest solo album I Can Destroy. The first 2 songs I have heard rock out hard and his guitar work is amazing.

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#TBT – Favorite albums of 2009

For Throwback Thursday, I am going to look back to the year 2009 and my favorite albums from that year.  These might not have been the most popular or the best selling albums, but they are what I enjoyed most that year.  So here are my favorites (in no particular order):

51znVwcqQQL._AC_US160_W.E.T. – W.E.T.: A perfect melodic rock album from members of Talisman, Eclipse and Work of Art. Great flow from beginning to end. Jeff Scott Soto is the lead singer and I have been a fan of all of JSS’ solo work and his work with Talisman and now with SOTO (see my artist profile on him here).  Highlights are “One Love”, “Brothers In Arms” & “Comes Down Like Rain”.

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Elevation Worship – Here as in Heaven – Album Spotlight

I am going to change things up a bit with something not Pop or Rock.  I am a fan of Christian music, mostly of the rock nature. I have never been much for worship music.  Of course, I have some from artists like Kutless, Chris Tomlin and Jeremy Camp.  It was just never my go to choice.

I have the great pleasure of living in Charlotte and not far from Elevation Church’s main campus in Blakeney.  It was there I  discovered Elevation Worship.  Ok, I didn’t discover them, I was introduced to their music. The energy they bring to each church service is amazing and I found them to be extremely talented musicians and singers.

Last year, they sold out Time Warner Arena here in Charlotte and recorded the live album “Here as in Heaven”.  I am quite bummed that my family  and I were not able to attend, but thankfully there is an album to enjoy.  The album came out in February of this year and I have enjoyed every minute of that album.

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Candlebox – Disappearing in Airports – Album Review – 91%

Candlebox was formed around 1990 and have been together off and on in some fashion for over 25 years.  I have to admit have never been a huge fan of them over that time.  Of course, I enjoyed their big hit “Far Behind” and I do have their greatest hits album. I never went and listened to any of their albums in full from beginning to end.

That has all changed.  When the album came out back in April 2016, I thought what the heck, I will give it a listen.  WOW!!!  This was not the album I was expecting at all.  I had to make sure I was actually listening to the correct band and album.  It was such a refreshingly, unexpected and incredible listening experience.

I know I am a little slow in getting a review out, but that is because I couldn’t stop listening long enough to actually write a review (and also because life gets in the way sometimes).  I finally feel it is time for me to let the world know that Disappearing in Airports is so worth listening to and a must have for any one remotely interested in Candlebox or any one reading this review.

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Def Leppard – Deep Dive Playlist

Def Leppard is my all time favorite band. I have everything they have ever put out musically for both albums and DVDs.  I have seen them in concert at least 6 times, but I hate I missed their Las Vegas Viva Hysteria show (have it on DVD though but not the same).

They have 2 Diamond Albums (sold more than 10 million copies) – Pyromania and Hysteria.  I don’t think there are many bands that can say they even have one.  Everyone loves their songs “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Photograph” and I certainly do as well.

However, the reason I am a fan is because their non-single songs.  They can be just as good or even better than their singles.  We are going to dive into their Deep Cuts and I will let you know what I find to be their best Non-Singles.  I hope you enjoy.

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