The last Friday of August and we go out with a little bang. Not a huge bang. September is going to be huge so get ready for the ton of new releases coming your way. There are a handful I am interested in this week and those will be highlighted in Blue as usual. Let me know what you want to hear or you are going to get. Leave me a comment because I always miss some good releases. I hope you have a great weekend and Happy Listening!!!
The Veer Union – Decade II: Rock & Acoustic – (Rock Shop Entertainment): This is a greatest hits package with a heavy side and a softer, acoustic side. I have enjoyed Crispin Earl’s vocals (and only original member) so I will give this one spin. I was hoping for new music, but this will do for now. I will admit, I do like the cover of “Numb” by Linkin Park. That might be worth it all by itself.
Alice Cooper – A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris (Live) – (earMusic): I am hoping to see Alice here in Charlotte in October and this will be a great way to prep for his live show. Alice’s last studio album ‘Paranormal” was absolutely FANTASTIC!! His band is also awesome and live, it is one helluva a show. Can’t wait!!
I don’t get to enough Live shows each year. I wish I could get to more, but when I do get to attend it is always worth the time and money. Seeing your favorite band is always the best thing ever. There is nothing like hearing your favorite songs live as they are always a little different than the studio album and a good band can make them even better. Thankfully Needtobreathe is a good band…hell…they are a great band.
If you follow my site, you know Def Leppard and Kiss are two of my favorites. Needtobreathe is right up there with them for me. I have every album on vinyl and I have now seen them live 3 times (which isn’t a lot, but I don’t usually see too many bands more than once).
Let’s get to the adventure of the show. My wife decided she would attend the show with me this time as my daughter doesn’t really know the band and she had no interest. My wife knows they are one of my favorite bands so she thought it would be a fun night and a good chance for us to have a date night…no kids!!! She even made a playlist on her phone so she could familiarize herself with the band.
I get home from work that night and I can see something is off with my wife when I get home. I asked her if she was okay and she lied and told me she was fine, but I knew something was off. I gave her the opportunity to back out and that I would either go alone or drag my oldest daughter. My wife toughed it out and went as she didn’t want to disappoint me. It turns out she felt she was getting a kidney stone and if you have had one you know how painful that is. I will let you know by the end of the night she was feeling fine and even started enjoying herself.
Welcome to Tuesday’s Memes. We are going to tackle the decade that is the 80’s because music was fun and not depressing like the 90’s (I will do the 90’s next…maybe). For those that grew up in the 80’s, I hope this brings back some memories. If you didn’t grow up in the 80’s, well…I am sorry for you!!
Dee Snider’s follow-up to his last solo album, ‘We Are the Ones’, was completely unexpected as Dee was done with making albums. That was until he was challenged to do a contemporary Metal record by Jamey Jasta, leader singer of the metal band Hatebreed.
And there were some serious metal musicians on board with this album, just look at the contributors…
Jamey Jasta – Hatebreed
Howard Jones – Killswitch Engage
Mark Morton – Lamb of God
Alissa White-Gluz – Arch Enemy
Joel Grind – Toxic Holocaust
Nick Bellmore – Toxic Holocaust
Charlie Bellmore – Kingdom of Sorrow
I like some metal music, but I am not really familiar with any of these bands, so I was a little apprehensive at first. These are all modern metal artists and I am stuck in the past. Plus, Dee only contributed vocals. He did not write any of the songs. That alone made me nervous, but it is Dee Snider so I gave it a shot.
The first single off the album was “Become the Storm”. It is a heavy song, but it was a little lame in my opinion. It was too contrived and sounded like they were trying too hard to sound and be metal. Thankfully, this might be the worst song on the album. The rest of the album is pretty fucking great.
For My Sunday Song #106, I bring you “Renegade” by the band Styx. The song was released in 1978 off the album ‘Pieces of Eight’. It did pretty well on the charts and reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song for me is much better than that.
The song is about an outlaw (or renegade) who has been arrested for his crimes and is about to be hanged for those said crimes according to the lyrics…”Hangman is comin’ down from the gallows and I don’t have very long”. The lyrics are basically a letter to the renegades mom telling her that he has been caught and is going to die.
There is a dark, ominous feel to the song especially in the opening verse which is just Tommy’s vocals and small kick drum in the first two lines and then a chorus of voices for the next two. It is so eerie that it is wonderful. And don’t forget the scream that kicks the song into overdrive. And damn, that opening line is so impactful…”Oh, Mama, I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law”.
What is also great about this song is the music. Whether it is the guitar solo by James “JY” Young, the keyboards by Dennis DeYoung or John Panozzo’s drumming or a combination of all three, it just works. Normally when Tommy write’s a song, he does the guitar solo, but he let JY do it instead and I think that was a good choice so he could focus on the vocal delivery.
Happy Friday and welcome to another new release list. And like most of August, it is not an extensive list and there is nothing I am just dying to have or listen to, but I will listen to a few. I am hoping September comes and saves me from the lack of stellar releases this month. The ones I am kinda interested in are highlighted in Blue, as usual. Let me know if there is anything you are interested in or if there is something I miss. If there isn’t much from newer artist I am sorry as I only really list things that I actually know about or have actually heard about the artists. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.
Alice in Chains – Rainier Fog – (AIC Entertainment/BMG): The band’s sixth album and their third since the got back together after Layne’s death. I am not sure what to expect as I haven’t heard anything yet, but it will get a spin. And I think I heard that Chris DeGarmo appears on 1 song so I will want to hear that for sure.
Third Eye Blind – Thanks for Everything – (Mega Collider): Third Eye Blind is back with a new E.P. Although not a full album, I will take new music from them. I really loved their first few albums and hope we can get a return to form with this one. The title of the song below is interesting.
Winger is a band from the late 80’s and came in at the tail end of the hair metal movement. They saw much ridicule from Beavis & Butthead and I have to admit it was pretty funny. However, this band might have been poked fun on due to the cheesiness of their debut album (come on you know it was, but it was good too); the band was actually very, very talented. These guys…Kip Winger, Rob Morgenstein, Reb Beach & Paul Taylor were not hacks (and now John Roth). They were trained and talented musicians who chose to follow the crowd on their first album until they started really finding who they were as a band.
They were together from 1987 to 1994 and then took a break, a hiatus or whatever you want to call it. They each went their separate ways and joined other bands or did solo albums or did whatever the hell they wanted. The got back together briefly in 2001-2003, but didn’t release any albums. Then in 2006, they came back on the scene and have released 3 more albums for a grand total of only 6 albums. Those six are what we will rank here in the post.
The title of the list is Worst to First and for this band that is misleading because nothing is really bad. In fact, I like all of their albums, i just like some more than others. I would still recommend them to anyone. I will shut up now and get to the list. I hope you enjoy….
THE WORST – ‘Winger IV’ (2006):
Like I said above, THE WORST is actually pretty darn good so it is a little misleading. This album was their comeback album after a 13 year hiatus between albums. It is quite a departure from their first three albums from the 80’s & 90’s as it is a very modern rock album. There were some great songs including “M16”, “Four Leaf Clover” and “Blue Suede Shoes”.
Musicianship wise, it was spot on and there is no arguing their talent. The reason it is my least favorite of the bunch is the songs themselves. They lacked memorable choruses and were missing some sort of hook to capture my attention. For me that was the only thing lacking from the album. I still listen to it on occasion, but not as much as the others.
#5 – ‘Better Days Comin” (2014):
The band’s most recent release is “Better Days Comin'” and a step up from “IV”, but has a lot of the flaws of that release with a lot of the songs missing that hook; that thing to grab you and pull you in deep. I said a lot of the songs, but not all. There was one song in particular I think is awesome and that is “Midnight Driver of a Love Machine”. It truly rocks and couldn’t be a better way to kick off the album.
That wasn’t the only song worth having. You have the title track as well as “Rat Race” that will keep your attention. The overall album is a little uneven, but still got it. I like it also because it is both modern with a little throwback at times to earlier stuff. Definitely worth a listen.
#4 – ‘Winger’ (1988):
The debut album that put Kip and the boys on the map. Slap dab in the middle of the hair band era, Winger played the game like all the others and focused on looks over substance…at least on this one. If you think I am being mean, I am not. Songs like “Seventeen” and “Headed for a Heartbreak” are typical of the genre and that isn’t all bad. How 80’s was it, well Beau Hill was the producer and that should tell you all you need to know.
The album itself is hit or miss as the singles were great, but the album had a lot of filler and I did not like the cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”. This is only at #4 for its nostalgia than anything else. The sad thing is that the cheesy songs masked the fact that these guys are some of the most talented from that era.
#3 – ‘Karma’ (2009):
‘Karma’ is by far the best of the second half of Winger’s career. The song is a blend of the band’s earliest albums, but mixed with a modern sound and songs that are actually intelligent and more what the band is capable to do. The songs are memorable, catchy and they have that hook that gets you moving.
Songs like “Deal with Devil”, “Stone Cold Killer’, “Pull Me Under” and “Come a Little Closer” are what keeps you playing this on repeat. Their are hints of Kip’s solo sound on a few songs and overall it is spectacular. When playing these back for this post, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this one. It has been on rotation for awhile now.
#2 – ‘Winger II’ (1990):
The sophomore slump didn’t happen with this one. They picked up where they left off, but with a significant difference than the first. They had some real songs on here and actually, I think I like all the songs. The songs like the original debut were “Can’t Get Enuff”, “Miles Away” and “Under One Condition”. They did love the ballads back then and Beau Hill was again at the helm.
Where the album shines though are the deep cuts. They finally had songs that made you think a little like “Rainbow in the Rose” and “In the Day We Will Never See”. The most bizarre song that even had Kip rapping a little was also one of the highlights for me called “Baptized By Fire”. All in all, a solid album from beginning to end.
#1 – ‘Pull’ (1993):
Yes, the best album by the band. If you disagree, I am sorry buy you are wrong…how does that feel because I am not sure (I am kidding!!!…no really how does it feel??) In a time when Hair bands were dead, thanks to the Grunge era, this album went pretty unnoticed which is sad because it is so great.
Why do I like it? Well, it was the heaviest album up to that time. It was more modern (for that time period anyway) and it was nothing like the first two. The whole album completely rocked and it made you even think at time (I tell you these guys are really smart).
The songs that really did it for me were “Blind Revolution Mad”, “Junkyard Dog”, “In for the Kill” and “In My Vein”. Then there was “Down Incognito” which might be one of my favorites if it wasn’t for “Who’s the One” which probably is my favorite. These two songs acoustic are great is well, but that is on another album (a Kip solo album).
And there you have it, the Winger albums in order of how I rank them for the worst to the best. Let me know what you think. Where did we differ and where did we agree. What is fun about these list is how differently each album impacts people. What I like, you might not, but we like the same band and that is all that matters really.
I hope you enjoyed. If you want to listen to any of them or buy them, just click below…
I have not done a good hip hop artist yet and I still haven’t since this one is on Kanye West! I am kidding…that was a joke…ok, not really! This collection was too easy to put together so you won’t get any fancy intro or diatribe about Kanye as the memes will speak for themselves.
Chris Daughtry and his band are back with their first album in 5 years. 5 years is a long time to be out of the public eye. Now before we get in to the review, I have a few questions to ask…
What is the difference between a Garbage Man or Sanitation Worker?
Custodian or Janitor?
Ghost or Spirit?
The answer is there isn’t really any difference. I mean there is, but it is so slight that people know what you mean with whichever one you say.
Now another question…What is the difference between “Daughtry”, “Leave This Town”, “Break the Spell”, “Baptized” and the new album “Cage to Rattle”?
The answer is the same as above…very little difference. All the albums sound the same. I mean they really do. It is like Chris took the playbook from Nickelback and Bon Jovi. He found a formula for his songs that worked and he has continually regurgitated that same song over and over again with different song titles.
For My Sunday Song #105, I am bringing to you “Edge of Seventeen” by the wonderful and talented Stevie Nicks. The song was released as a single in 1982 and appeared on her 1981 album ‘Bella Donna’. The song reached all the way to #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 just missing going Top Ten.
This is one of my favorite songs by Stevie and it is from a time where she could do no wrong whether it was her solo work or her work with Fleetwood Mac. She was everywhere. She didn’t have this beautiful, angelic vocals of the pop stars of that era. She was graced with a little gritty voice that is even better and is pure rock & roll. And if I had to pick my favorite female vocalists, she would be at or near the top.
The song is about death. It was written due to the death of two individuals. First one was John Lennon (heard in the lyric…”With their words of a poet / And a voice from a choir”) and the other death was her uncle. Her uncle was diagnosed with cancer and within weeks died and all those emotions she was feeling came out in the song.
What I also love about the song is the line “Just like the white winged dove” and then the chorus of “Whoo, Whoo, Whoo” which sounds like the bird is singing. The dove is symbolic of the spirit leaving the body and she flies away she sings. It is really a beautiful visual.