Bear’s Favorite Songs

My dog, Bear, lays next to me every time I sit down to write posts for the site.  He is my faithful companion and it would feel weird writing anything if he wasn’t there.  Well, the other day Bear told me he wanted to contribute to the site.  At least that is what I thought he said because some times he stutters when he barks and I get things messed up.

Bears has compiled a list of his favorite songs.  I hope you enjoy them.

  • “Hair of the Dog” by Nazareth (1975): My mom was a bitch!!

  • “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin (1971):  Okay, I am brown dog (red merle actually), but still a bad ass song.

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  • “Diamond Dogs” by David Bowie (1974): Diamonds are a dog’s best friend too, especially around the collar.

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Billy Idol – ‘Billy Idol’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

Billy Idol was loving his time in New York and it showed in his writing as the album seemed to be inspired by what he was doing in the city.  After the mild success of his 1981 E.P., Don’t Stop, he and the band went to work on the debut album simply titled ‘Billy Idol’.  It is his album and he is the main focal point so why not call it ‘Billy Idol’.

Released in 1982, Billy was discovering who he was as an artist and what it was like to now be the main focal point.  His meeting of Steve Stevens seemed to be a match made in Heaven…well rock & roll heaven anyway.  Steven even contributed a couple writing credits on this release.  The two together would become one of the great teams in music.  You have McCartney & Lennon, Elton John & Bernie Taupin and now you have Idol & Stevens…okay, that is stretching it too far, but you know what I mean.

When the album was originally released in 1982, the album cover looked like this…

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I don’t have this cover, yet, but I will find it one day and get a hold of it.  I don’t like this one as much as the alternate cover I have.  It is a little too feminine compared to the toughness of the one I have with the black leather jacket (not that there is anything wrong with that).  The new cover fits the attitude and the snarl so much better.

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Tuesday’s Memes – The Doors

It is about time I got around to doing a Jim Morrison and The Door’s collection.  These might not be new or even remotely current, but they are still funny.  Sit back and I hope you enjoy the memes.

The Songs…

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Def Leppard – ‘Live at the Top’ (Bootleg) – Album Review

I have been looking for Def Leppard bootlegs since I got back in to collecting. I have found Kiss, Whitesnake, GNR, but hadn’t found a Leppard one until now.  The first thing that caught my attention was that cover.  Love it.  So bright, so detailed, just beautiful.  A lot of work went into that cover and I find that odd for a bootleg since most I find just slap a picture of the band on the cover that isn’t even from that era of the recording.

Well, they did that hear as well as the back cover is a picture of Joe Elliott from around 1987…which is when this was released.  The problem is that the recordings are not from that year.

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When was it recorded?  I am so glad you asked.

A1 to B1 recorded at the BBC’s Paris Theatre, London, England, 22nd August 1979.
B2 to B6 recorded at the Reading Festival, Reading, England, 24th August 1980.

“On Through the Night’ came out in March 1980, so the first side of this was recorded prior to that album coming out which all these songs are on.  Their first EP had come out in January 1979 which “Overture” and “Rocks Off” were from that one only at the time as they would be released on the debut as well.

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My Sunday Song – “A Million to One” by Kiss

For My Sunday Song #132, we continue the Kiss theme going with the song “A Million to One” from the 1983 album ‘Lick it Up’.  ‘Lick it Up’ is the first non-makeup era Kiss album and saw the band see a resurgence in popularity.  Taking the make-up off made them slightly relevant again.  “A Million to One” was never released as a single and is arguably the best song on the album…IMO!!

The song was written by Paul Stanley and Vinnie Vincent (who did not save Kiss) which tells the story of our hero of the song telling his ex-lover that there is basically no hope in hell she will find a love as great as his.  Paul’s cocky attitude in the lyrics and the vocals propel this into one of his greatest performances on a song.

Musically, the song hits on all cylinders as well.  The powerful sound coming from Eric’s drum gave this song an extra punch that you felt with each swing of the sticks.  Between ‘Creatures of the Night’ and ‘Lick it Up’, I don’t know if the drum sound from Kiss ever sounded better.  Not to be outshined, Vinnie’s guitar playing is masterful with great riffs and a great solo all along with the underrated rhythm guitar of Paul.

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Friday New Releases – February 22nd

The last week of February, the last week of new releases for the month and the Last in Line is all I am interested in hearing.  There are a handful of releases this week so hopefully there is something for you.  Mine is highlighted in blue as usual.  Let me know what you want to get or anything I might have missed.  Thanks and have a great weekend.

  • 41zadeDZtqL._AC_US436_QL65_  Last in Line – II – (Frontiers Records):  The former Dio band consisting of Vinny Appice, Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard), Andrew Freeman and now Phil Soussan.  They aren’t playing Dio songs, but their own material.  I like Viv and Vinny so I will give it a try and see what they have to offer this time around.

  • 71fk405wvil._sx522_  Gary Clark Jr. – This Land – (Warner Brothers):  What an utter talent.  His blend of rock and blues has been hailed by Prince and even President Obama…so that should be enough to sway you to check him out.  Seriously, check him out.  You will not be disappointed.  And for this album…he has a lot to say!!!  Damn!! He needs to be heard!!

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Peter Tork (The Monkees) – R.I.P.

I am sitting here eating lunch and learned that Peter Tork of the Monkees died today, February 21, 2019.  Peter was 77 and passes almost 7 years to the day after Davy Jones (February 29, 2012).  I haven’t been doing memorials for passing artists lately as I saved that for my year end In Memoriam list, but I am going to make an exception.

Growing up, The Monkees were a big influence on me.  Their whimsical behavior and their music were a big part of my childhood.  I am sure it was that Beatles sound, but whatever it was, I loved it (They outsold the Beatles for a short time, by the way).

Peter was the lovable goofball bass player who might have been my favorite on the show as he always made me laugh.  Now, I didn’t see the shows live, but I did watch them religiously on the cable station TBS back in the 70’s.  The first album my parents bought for me was The Monkees Greatest Hits.  They ordered off one of those TV commercials because I am sure I hounded them until they did.  I still have that vinyl today and it plays beautifully.

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I am going to keep this short, but wanted to pay my respects to Peter Tork.  Thanks for the musical memories and the joy you brought me as a little kid.

John

Airbourne – Diamond Cuts Box Set – Album Review

This Australian heavy metal band is a full on rock band that is loud, obnoxious and freaking awesome.  If you like AC/DC, well here is the second coming of the band.  Where Greta Van Fleet get blasted for sounding like Zeppelin, no one seems to care that these guys sound like AC/DC.  Hell, they are doing AC/DC better than AC/DC right now.

If you don’t know about the band, know that Lemmy (Motorhead) was a huge fan of the band and even showed up in one of their music videos from their debut album.  That was enough for me to give this band a try and and I am so glad I did.  After Lemmy’s passing, the band paid tribute to Lemmy in their song “It’s All For Rock & Roll” and even had the airplane lighting rig Motorhead used on tour in the video.  It was pretty cool to see.

After the band’s fourth album, ‘Breakin’ Outta Hell’, they decided to put together a collection of B-Sides together for an album and released it as a Box Set that included their first 3 albums.  I received the Vinyl Edition as a Christmas gift from my girls and to top if off, the bought “Breakin’ Outta Hell’ on vinyl as well.  My Airbourne Vinyl collection was complete.

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The Original Vs. The Cover – “Nothing Compares 2 U”

Welcome to another edition of The Original Vs. The Cover.  This time we are going to compare the song “Nothing Compares 2 U” to the original and the best cover of the song.  The Original was performed by the band The Family and the Cover was famously performed by Sinead O’Connor.  The song was written by Prince and he did perform this song in 1984 or so and it was finally released in 2018 so I can’t count that as the original since it wasn’t released before The Family’s version.  Prince did release a version with Rosie Gaines in 1993 which was again after both versions

The Family? What?  You never heard of them?  Not surprising.  The band was a creation of Prince as another outlet for HIS music to be released.  He was very controlling and involved in every aspect other than singing and performing.  As a result, after they released 1 album, 2 singles (which this song was not one) and after only 1 show, the lead singer, Paul Peterson aka. St. Paul, quit.  He felt Prince was too controlling and he felt restricted.

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The Family’s version was never released as a single and you probably never heard this version before.  I hadn’t until I decided to do this song for the post.  I had trouble finding it and only found it on that Tube of You.

The is very stripped down.  It is mostly an organ playing with horns and keyboards.  No percussion whatsoever.  Paul Peterson’s vocals are really great and the backing vocals of Susannah Melvoin played nicely with Paul’s vocals. Paul had a haunting, painful feel to them which the song seems to have a lot of pain.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Gwen Stefani

I am going to do a collection of Gwen Stefani memes whether you like it or not.  With her stint in No Doubt, her Solo work, her fashion sense or the Voice, she has been around a long time and is still in the public eye even if not for the best of reasons.  So sit back and I hope you enjoy it…

The songs…

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