Friday New Releases – June 30th

It is the last Friday of June and I have vacation time coming my way.  Not much coming out this week and thankfully that is the case as I won’t have time much over the next week to listen to anything.  The ones I am curious about are highlighted in Blue.  Hopefully you find something you like…if so, let me know.

  • 170x170bb-48  Stone Sour – Hydrograd – (Roadrunner Records):  Corey Taylor (from Slipnot) and crew are back with their sixth studio album.  Talk is this will be more of a straight up rock and roll record which I am not sure what that will mean, but we will see what their definition of a Rock & Roll record is.  Looking forward to giving it a spin.

  • 51u9Y6CGJ8L._AC_US218_  Don Barnes – Ride the Storm – (MelodicRock Records):  Don Barnes from .38 Special finally gets to release his solo album from 1989.  Thanks to MelodicRock Records (& Melodicrock.com).  I am eager to hear what we missed from so long ago.  Apparently the album was never released due to the label (A&M Records) being sold.  I don’t know if it got lost in the shuffle or it wasn’t good enough that the new company didn’t want to release it.  We will soon find out.

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Kiss – ‘The Originals’ (1976)

In my big box of vinyl there was one more special Kiss album.  You have already seen the “Flaming Youth” 45 Single and the special Summer Tour Edition album and you can revisit those anytime you would like.  Now I bring you the ‘The Originals’.

‘The Originals’, as noted on the album cover, are “the albums that touched off a Rock & Roll explosion.”  It was a special edition re-release of the albums ‘Kiss’, ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and “Dressed to Kill” in one package.  With the overwhelming success of the live album ‘Kiss Alive!’, Casablanca Records wanted to take advantage of that success and re-release the albums in one glorious package.

The album comes with a 16-page history booklet, a color Kiss Army sticker, and a sheet of six trading cards.  It looks something like this…

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“My First Time” with Whitesnake’s ‘Whitesnake’

Over the past couple weeks, I have dived deeply into Whitesnake’s early albums such as ‘Lovehunter’, ‘Ready an’ Willing’, ‘Come an’ Get It’ and “Saints & Sinners’.  And I actually picked up ‘Ready an’ Willing’ and ‘Come an’ Get It’ on vinyl last week. Those albums are so good and hate that I didn’t really know about them back in the day.  It got me thinking about the first album I bought from Whitesnake which was simply ‘Whitesnake’.

The album came out in 1987, my senior year of high school.  It quickly became one of my favorite albums of that year (behind ‘Hysteria’ by Def Leppard of course).  It was pure 80’s hair metal (or whatever label you want to give it) and pure magic.  The pounding drums, the guitar solos, the thumping bass, the synthesizers and that voice.  A combination that as a sure fire hit.  Which it was as the album actually went to #2 on the Billboard charts.

However, this album almost didn’t get made.  After 10 years of playing with little to no success, David Coverdale was ready to call it quits for Whitesnake.  The U.S. had pretty much ignored the band and the former Deep Purple singer had about had enough.  If it wasn’t for the record label, Geffen Records, Whitesnake as we know it, would be gone forever.

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My Sunday Song – “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash

My Sunday Song #45 is the great Johnny Cash Song “A Boy Named Sue”.  The song was first recorded during the live concert ‘At San Quentin’ and is one of my favorite Johnny Cash songs.  It tells such an amazing story about a boy seeking revenge against his deadbeat dad who left him and his mom and who named him Sue.

The song was Johnny’s biggest charting song on the Billboard Hot 100 where it reached #2.  It was also his only Top 10 song which is amazing.  Why didn’t he make it to #1, well a little known band named the Rolling Stones held that position with “Honky Tonk Woman”.

“A Boy Named Sue” is a song only Johnny Cash could sing and pull off.  I don’t think the song would have been as successful with any other singer…at least to me it wouldn’t have been.  The grittiness of Cash’s voice and the way he sort of spoke it instead of singing it was absolutely perfect.  It gave a life and a charm to the song all its own.

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Father’s Day – The Vinyl Gifts

I hate holidays…I don’t know why, but i just do.  Ok, I hate the ones where I have to buy gifts…I feel so much pressure.  The holidays I do like are the ones where I actually get gifts.  The old adage “it is better to give than to receive” is crap.  That person never received vinyl records as a gift obviously.

For Father’s Day this year, my wife and daughters gave me some nice gifts.  Not only did I receive some great cards and some candy, but I got some nice shirts for work as well.  Which I needed.  They also got me some really cool, crazy socks.  One was blue with some pineapples (don’t know why, but I love them) and the other was some gray socks with guitars on them (I understand that one and love them as well).

But what I loved most of all was some vinyl.  I love to go buy vinyl, but I generally only buy used records from the 70’s & 80’s and if I am lucky…early 90’s.  The brand new copies I generally don’t buy…too expensive.  So I always ask for those as gifts.

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Friday New Releases – June 23rd

Happy Friday!  I hope your Summer is going well.  This week has very few releases that are on my radar so not a lot to choose from.  There are a couple that will get a spin and maybe I can catch up on all the releases earlier in the month.  The ones I will listen to are highlighted in Blue…as usual.

  • 170x170bb-60  Imagine Dragons – Evolve – (Interscope):  The pop/rock band is back with their third studio release.  After breaking on to the scene in 2012 with “Radioactive, they hope to capture the magic yet again.  If “Believer” is any indication of what is to come, we should have another great release.

  • 170x170bb-33  King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Murder of the Universe – (Flightless Records):  King Gizzard returns with their 2nd album of 2017.  The first ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ was exceptional and can they repeat the magic so quickly?  We will see.  Plus, they intend to release 4 to 5 albums this year so they better get moving as we are almost half way through the year.  This album appears to be quite different from the last as it is broken up into 3 chapters to tell an overall story I am assuming. I will have to wait and hear I guess.  NOTE: Video has a warning that if you are susceptible to seizures, DO NOT watch the video.

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Bryan Adams – “Straight From the Heart” & “Cuts Like A Knife” – The 45 Single (1985)

For the next single that was in my box of vinyl, you get two for the price of one.  It is actually a re-issued single of two of Bryan Adams most popular songs from his ‘Cuts Like a Knife’ album.  A&M Records had a 45 single series called A&M Memories where they re-released singles of artists and both sides were previously released singles from the artist and from the same album.

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The original singles “Straight From the Heart” and “Cuts Like a Knife” were actually released in 1983 as separate singles.  The B-Side for “Straight From the Heart” was “One Good Reason” and the B-Side for “Cuts Like a Knife” was “Lonely Nights”.  This release of those singles was done only a couple years later in 1985. The concept of this A&M series was pretty smart as it gave the customer two hit songs for the price of one.

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Papa Roach – ‘Crooked Teeth’ – Album Review

‘Crooked Teeth’ is Papa Roach’s ninth studio album and with it they show no signs of slowing down.  The band sounds incredible and delivers another solid release.  Where bands like Linkin Park have completely changed their style, Papa Roach hasn’t changed their sound too dramatically.  And why should they as they do it so well.

Papa Roach still brings the rap in their songs, however, the album is more melodic and has a very modern rock sound.  With any rock album, it sounds best cranked up as loud as you can take it.  Like they did with their last album, ‘F.E.A.R.’, they have also added a couple of collaborations with some spectacular guests including Skylar Grey and Machine Gun Kelly.

The album opens with “Break the Fall” and gives you the rap lyrics you would expect and then cranks up the metal with the classic Papa Roach sound.  The album comes out of the gate swinging and doesn’t let up with the title track, “Crooked Teeth”.  The first single off the album is a scorcher that attacks you from all sides with the pounding drums and screaming vocals and powerful guitars.  You see that even after 24 years, the band has not lost a step.

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Happy Father’s Day – “I Miss You A Little” by John Michael Montgomery

To remember our Father’s we have lost, here is John Michael Montgomery’s “I Miss You A Little”.  My brother-in-law, Jimmy, lost his father 21 years ago and I remember his dad.  He was a great man.  This song means a lot to him and still brings a tear to his eye every time he hears it.  He sent me this song as he thought this would be a great song to honor his dad and now my dad on Father’s Day.

I lost my dad back in April and so this is the first Father’s Day without him.  It is harder than I thought it would be.  It is made easier as I am a Father and my wife and girls always make me feel special.  Spending the day with them will help me get through it although it doesn’t make me miss my Dad any less.

To all the Fathers out there and all the Fathers we have lost, Happy Father’s Day!

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My Sunday Song – “Not That Cool” by Will Hoge

My Sunday Song #44 is from one of my favorite artists, Will Hoge.  The song is called “Not That Cool” and is off his 2003 album, ‘Blackbird on a Lonely Wire’.  If you don’t know who Will Hoge is, you are missing out.  He is a singer/songwriter with a southern rock, alternative country and folk rock sound.  You have it to give him a listen.

“Not That Cool” was a song I heard on internet radio way back 2003.  It was one of those songs that immediately connected with me and I went out and bought the album.  Usually I have a 3 song rule before actually buying an album.  I have to like 3 songs on it before I spend the cash.  Buying “Blackbird on a Lonely Wire’ on only knowing ONE song is a strong indication on how much I loved this song.

Growing up, I was a pretty shy.  I didn’t have any smooth lines, I was average looking (still am) and I wasn’t cool (still ain’t cool).  I never would have had the courage to walk up to a beautiful girl in a bar and give her some line or even ask her out.  That wasn’t me.  That is exactly what the song is about.  The song could have been written about me!!  No joke!  That is why this song spoke to me and I connected with it so fast.  It was about ME!  How I ended up with such a beautiful wife is beyond me! I married so out of my league.

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