Welcome to the final Friday of New Releases for November (and only 2 left for the year as the releases become very limited in late December). This week, well…there isn’t much. And there is nothing I am interested in getting or hearing which is great since I need to get working on my Year End Lists!! I feel I need to listen to the Joe Pesci one or he’ll put a hit out on me, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I guess I am living dangerously. Let me know if anything interests you or if I missed anything. Have a great weekend.
Pink Floyd – The Later Years: 1987-2019 – (Sony Music) – Digital version Only (everything else December 13th)
Joe Pesci – Pesci…Still Singing – (BMG Rights Mgmt)
Marillion – With Friends from the Orchestra – (EarMusic) – Digital version only (everything else December 13th)
Prong – Age of Defiance E.P. – (Steamhammer)
Blue October – Live from Manchester – (Up/Down-Brando Records) – why is the guy out front look like Negan?
The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin: Live at Red Rocks (feat. The Colorado Symphony & Andre de Ridder) – (Warner Records)
First off, November does not have the amount of Purchases as October had as October was an anomaly…which I actually bought the album “Anomaly” by Ace Frehley last month so it was a double anomaly, if that is possible. November was a more normal month of purchases. And I am thankful for that. I am thankful for a lot of things. Oh, and by the way…Happy Thanksgiving!!
I started off the month going back to Noble Records over in Matthews, NC. They have been open for two months and I have been twice. I think a regular monthly stop is what I should do and is what I am going to do. As usual with Noble (even on his Pop-Up stores), I always walk away with some fantastic stuff and this trip was no different. This time, I only walked away with 3 Vinyl and they are great stuff. They are all 80’s releases and actual 80’s vinyl, not re-issues. And there are NO TURKEYS in this bunch. (Sorry bad Thanksgiving joke!!!)
First up is the debut album from the band Twisted Sister. The album is ‘Under the Blade’ and it is the Italian release of the album by Secret Records. It is also the original mix of the album and not the re-mixed version Atlantic Records released which I didn’t realize when I bought so thank’s to Scott at HMO for that information.
The 2nd LP was the debut from the band Skid Row simply called Skid Row. You know this one. It has “Piece of Me”, “I Remember You”, “18 and Life” as well as “Youth Gone Wild”. It is a beast of a debut and it isn’t a first pressing, but it is the Columbia House Record Club version. Remember that, for just $.01 you get like a bajillion albums if you buy 500 within two years…something like that. It is mint shape and still has the plastic wrapper on it.
The last one from Noble is Europe’s ‘Final Countdown’ album. I am so sick of the song “Final Countdown”, that I had put off buying this one for years. Well, Noble had one in one of the best shapes I have seen and at a decent price. Also, still in the plastic wrapping. So, I finally bit the bullet and added to the collection. I am up to 5 vinyl releases for Europe and still a few more to go.
Next up is one I finally grabbed from my WishList on Amazon. I keep a list of albums I am looking to obtain and if the price ever gets right, I grab it. This one I grabbed because it is a new release and it fell below my $15 threshold. It actually wound up being only $14 for a 2LP set. It is not my favorite Billy Idol album which is why I was waiting to grab it at the right price. It is his latest Re-Mix album Re-Vitalized. I needed it to help complete my Billy Idol collection. Still need a few more though before I am done.
And then next up was a Record Show at the Fillmore here in Charlotte…at least I thought it was a record show. It turns out it was market for mostly vintage clothing and jewelry. Dang it! I saw it advertised by Hardy Boy Records and Comics who have a shop over in Mint Hill so I thought it was going to be this huge record show. Wrong. However, I wasn’t disappointed as I picked up a ton of stuff from the Hardy Boy’s booth as he never disappoints. If you are in or around Charlotte check out the shop at11237 Lawyers Rd in Mint Hill, NC.
Let’s start with the some Motley Crue. I found The Dirt still sealed for $16. I have avoided buying it because it is usually over $20 and I don’t like the new songs that much, but I figured for that price why not. I also found a 12″ Picture Disc of Helter Skelter with the poster…Really cool…
Next up is a classic Punk record I have been wanting for a while and finally found one in good shape at a good price. It is The Clash’s ‘London Calling’.
Then a couple really interesting pieces. First up is an album I already have called ‘Love at First Sting” by the Scorpions…I don’t have it with this cover though!! And for $6…sold!
Next is one that is a round album cover with a blue vinyl which is really strange because yellow and black would have made more sense for an album color since the album is Stryper’s ‘Yellow and Black Attack’.
And lastly is an album I have rarely seen it and it is usually north of $75. This one was $15 all because someone named Lori wrote her name on the album cover. Thanks Lori for saving me at least $60. It is Kiss – ‘Smashes, Thrashes & Hits’.
And that is it! Sorry, no CD purchases this month. Maybe next month!
Since I don’t post on Saturday, generally and tomorrow is a New Release Friday, I am doing my Purchase Summary today. Which means, if I grab anything tomorrow for Record Store Day Black Friday, it will be in the December Summary. I hope that is okay to have purchases from the wrong month included. Don’t sue me, I am giving you a disclaimer with plenty of advance notice.
Welcome back to Part 4 of the 6 Part series. We have already talked about the Box Set and its packaging in Part 1 and we have covered Disc 1 and Disc 2 in the set. For those, we got about 20 unreleased tracks between those two. Quite impressive. For Disc Three, we only get 3 unreleased tracks. Rather a big let down after the first two. As a result, I will also talk about the other songs on here to make it a fair representation.
Disc Three covers the years 1976-1982, which were some very rough years for the band. Coming off the fantastic Alive II album, the band released 4 solo albums, Dynasty, Unmasked, The Elder and Creatures of the Night. Creatures being the only album that was truly fantastic…one of their absolute best. The others were not so great. The solo albums were a mixed bag, Dynasty was too Disco, Unmasked was too Pop and I don’t know what the hell The Elder was (I like it better as I am older). Kiss lost a lot of fans during this era and probably for good reason.
Disc Three contains 19 songs covering all the album I mentioned above and then some. Like the albums from this time, the songs for me are a mixed bag as well. It starts off with “Detroit Rock City” and omits the opening intro which is a version I don’t have so I will gladly take it. The next song is “King of the Night Time World” off the Alive II album. This is the only live song off that album which to be honest, I am a little surprised. Instead, we get two of the studio tracks from that album which more than makes up for it as the songs are “Larger Than Life” and “Rocket Ride”, with “Rocket Ride” being one of my favorite Ace Frehley tracks. It rocks out quite nicely.
I was checking the site and I don’t think I have done an STP meme collection even though some of these look familiar. If I have, I apologize as I don’t even have it written in my catalog of all the posts I have done. But they seem so familiar. Anyway, here is a set of memes from around the net that celebrate the band that is Stone Temple Pilots. I hope you enjoy.
For this edition of The Original vs. The Cover, we are going to discuss the song “Alone” by the band i-Ten. What? You never heard of them. Honestly, neither had I, but you know their songs as bands from the 80’s covered a ton of their songs including bands like Honeymoon Suite, REO Speedwagon, Juice Newton and most notable they had success with songs such as “Like a Virgin”, “So Emotional”, “True Colors” and “Eternal Flame. They weren’t really a band, it was a writing duo of Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly who made up the band i-Ten. It was that success that Heart decided to cover their song “Alone”.
The song’s theme is simple. It is about a person who is in love with another and they are struggling to get them alone to tell them how they feel. It is possible it is an unrequited love, but he/she won’t know until they tell them how much they want them. We’ve all been there before.
I will admit, I never have heard this version before I decided to do this post. The song didn’t do very well for the band as their song and was put aside and basically forgotten. The song is a pure 80’s. It is a little dated in its sound today, but you can hear how good of a song it really is. It is surprising it didn’t do anything for them, but then again, they were not a well-known act and getting on the radio was difficult (or even MTV). Continue reading “The Original vs. The Cover – “Alone””→
For My Sunday Song #171, we are now going to spend the next 10 weeks talking about songs from another favorite band of mine, Collective Soul. And why not kick it off with the song that jump started the band to stardom…”Shine”. The song was the debut single of the band and their debut album ‘Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid’. The song came out in 1993 and was such a big hit for them as it went #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as winning a Billboard Award for Top Rock Track in 1994.
The song also caused problems for the band that were unexpected. First was the fact the song mentioned the word Heaven in the song and the chorus does come across as very church-like and almost sounding like a prayer. This caused people to think the band was a so called “Christian” band and let me tell you they are not. They are a genuine article rock band who happened to sing a song with heaven in the title. As Ed Roland likes to point out, Led Zeppelin had “heaven” in one of their songs and no one called them a Christian band. It did pigeoned-holed the band a little to be lumped in to Christian music.
The second problem was due to the song sounding like a Grunge song with its distorted guitar sounds and dark feel of the song. This was slab dab in the middle of that era and I can see why people thought they were a Grunge band as I even labeled them as that when I heard it. But when you really listen to the band, it is not all dark, sad, depressing music like Grunge (you know its true – Grunge is pretty damn depressing, not fun at all music). It is a solid rock album.
The week before Thanksgiving and the last big week of new releases. There will be more releases over the next three weeks, but not as big as this one (in numbers, not necessarily quality). There are a handful I will give a spin and they will be highlighted in Blue as usual. Let me know what interests you or what I might have missed. Now next Friday there are new releases, but it is also Record Store Day Black Friday, so hopefully some I can grab…until then.
Coldplay – Everyday Life – (Parlophone Records / Warner Music): I will admit, I hold hopes out that they will release something as good as ‘Parachute’ again. So, this will get a spin to see what they bring to the table this time. My hopes aren’t too high.
Beck – Hyperspace – (Fonograf Records / Capitol): Okay, it’s Beck…why would he not get a spin? His quirkiness is always welcome even if not always appreciated.
Welcome back to Part 3 of the 6 Part series. We have already talked about the Box Set and its packaging in Part 1 and we covered Disc 1 in Part 2 which covered the years 1966-1975. That set gave us 12 Unreleased tracks. This one has a lot, but not quite as many. For Disc Two, we get 8 previously unreleased tracks out of the 20 tracks on the disc. And it is those 8 tracks we will spend most of our time here today on. The rest will get covered when I actually do a Kiss series later down the road.
I am sure now you are wondering the what is the track listing for this disc if there are 20 songs and I am going to show you in pictorial form with this picture of the back of the CD case with Paul’s Starchild face covering the whole rear of cover.
The first four tracks on this are taking from the Alive! album which was released in 1975 and since they are previously released will skip over them and get to the three previously unreleased tracks that come up next.
First we get the song “Doncha Hesitate” which was written by Paul Stanley. The song was recorded as a demo and one of the few times the whole band would get together to record a demo. However, there are different stories on when it was recorded. Gene says it was recorded for ‘Dressed to Kill’ when they were trying to come up with more songs. Paul says it was written after ‘Alive!’ and before ‘Destroyer’ which are both after ‘Dressed to Kill’…so not sure who is write on this one. The song is great for a demo as it is very raw and rough around the edges, but it falls flat as an overall song which is probably why it was never used. I do like it though and always great to have unreleased tracks that were not used in any other song.
Next we get the demo of a song called “Mad Dog”. “Mad Dog” was recorded as a demo for the ‘Destroyer’ album along with numerous other songs that Gene had (some of which went on his solo album – not this one). As they were picking through songs, Bob Ezrin would pick pieces of the demos and they would end of making a new song. The riff from this song will sound familiar as it would become the riff in the song “Flaming Youth” on ‘Destroyer’. The song kinda sucks, but it has a great solo included and I love the song “Flaming You” so I actually dug this one a bit for that connection.
“God of Thunder” is a demo and the song was originally written and sung by Paul Stanley. This to me is one of the gems on this Disc because it is so cool to here how Paul envisioned the song. You can see why Bob Ezrin had Paul give it to Gene to sing because the theme, the sonics and the lyrics all scream Gene’s demon character. Paul’s version is a faster tempo and less eerie as the final version, but it is fun and a rocking song.
We go through some songs from ‘Destroyer’ before we get to the next demo which is “Bad, Bad Lovin”. When you hear this one start up, you know it is the demo for the song that would become “Calling Dr. Love”. The verses are pure “Dr. Love”, but the chorus of “Bad, Bad Lovin” is so bad and doesn’t even fit with the feel and vibe of the verses. Re-working it become “Calling Dr. Love” was definitely the way to go. And cool that they put “Calling Dr. Love” as the next song on the album.
“Mr. Speed” is the demo of the song from ‘Rock & Roll Over’. It is not my favorite song to begin with and this does nothing to make up for that. This version has Bob Kulick on guitar and not Ace, but it is a demo so no big deal.
We are going to skip the next batch of songs as they have all been released on albums and we will go to the next unreleased track which is a Soundcheck recording of “I Want You”. It was recorded in August 1977 at the soundcheck at the Los Angeles forum. Being a soundcheck, it is loose and a freaking blast!. I love this song to begin with so any cool version I can get is fine by me. Another favorite of mine on this disc.
The next demo is of the Kiss Klassic “Love Gun”. Paul demoed this in New York with drummer Steve Korff of the band The Planets. Paul played the bass and guitar for the demo. That machine gun drum fill is the heart & soul of the song and was only replicated by Peter Criss as Paul came up with it. The demo was pretty complete and sounds really close to the final version so not much was tweaked on this one.
The last track is the Gene Simmons demo of a song called “Love is Blind”. It is one that was never recorded and it is Gene on all the instruments. And if you listen closely, you can here the click track in the background. It doesn’t sound anything like Kiss, but maybe would have fit on his solo album as it was so diverse. Gene felt it had more of an Eagles feel to it and I can hear that it in the overall sound. A really cool track to me.
And that is all the unreleased tracks. Another great disc and almost as good as the first one, but not quite. The 8 unreleased tracks are fantastic to have in the collection and I think this disc will get almost as much spin time as the first one. Overall, I will score this one a 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars. These first two discs were the majority of the Unreleased tracks from the set. There are only about 10 more over the next three discs so I am going to have to review those slightly different otherwise they will be short reviews. Until then. Enjoy!
Check it out and let me know what you think. If you want to go back and read Part 1, click on the link below:
A couple months after releasing ‘Lovehunter’ in October 1979, the band was back in the studio by December to start recording the follow-up, ‘Ready an’ Willing’. The band finished up recording in February under the hand of returning producer Martin Birch who has handled all the Snake albums up to this point.
By the time they were back in the studio, drummer Duck Dowle was out and former David Coverdale and Jon Lord bandmate, Ian Paice, was in the band. That now made 1/2 of the band as former Deep Purple members. And if I am not mistaken, the press played that up which didn’t quite sit well with a couple of the band members.
The album cover for this one was a much more toned-down cover after the controversy the band received for the naked woman straddling a snake (side note: one of my favorites). This was a simple black & white drawing of the band with the Whitesnake logo. Nothing fancy and quite bland. Now, that wasn’t the only controversy the band had. Their lyrics were blasted as well for their whole “cock rock” style and womanizing. And I am not sure this album would not help them in that matter. Oh well.
The inner album sleeve gave us the songs from each side along with the lyrics. It also included who had each solo on the songs which I love that fact. There was no winding snake from one side to the other, instead we get pictures of the band with Coverdale, Lord and Murray on the front and Marsden, Moody and Paice on the back.
The album was the first one to see any real success for the band. They reached #6 in the UK and actually finally charted in the US at #90 thanks in part to the first single which we will discuss shortly. The band was finally starting to break outside the UK which is what they wanted, but it would still be a few more years before they became one of the top acts in the world.
The band’s first single and first hit outside the UK was the song “Fool For Your Loving”. Yes, Whitesnake fans that came on board in the late 80’s know this song from the album ‘Slip of the Tongue’. However, this was the original and first release of the song which went to #13 in the UK and #53 in the US. The song was written by Marsden (who had the riffs and the verses), Moody (who wrote the bridge) and Coverdale (who did the lyrics). The funny thing about the song is that it was originally written for BB King, however, they soon realized the song was too good to pass up…and they were right.
This version of the song is more bluesy and has a nice groove and not as rocking as the hair metal version, but that is okay. You have Bernie belting out a great solo that is so different than Vai’s version. Since I grew up with the ‘Slip of the Tongue’ version, this version feels like a demo to me and I am actually turn to which one I like more. This fits the sound of the band at this point in their career and the other fits that version of the band. Tough choice…I will let you decide.
The next track is “Sweet Talker” which was only released in the US as a single, but didn’t really do anything. This is another song with rather suggestive lyrics and would not stop the controversy on their womanizing lyrics. As a teenager, this would have been great. it is a fun rocking track and it has Jon Lord delivering something he does best…massive keyboard solos. And I don’t want to leave out the great slide guitar work of Micky Moody, always love his slide guitar. This to me is a classic sounding Whitesnake song and one of my favorites on the album…one of many.
The title track, “Ready an’ Willing”, has such a driving groove to it. The blues feel in David’s vocals and lyrics and the sonics of the song, make it a memorable song and why it was released as the 2nd single. Moody handled the solo which was short and perfect for the song. Although the single didn’t do that well, it is still a beast of a track on the album.
Then we get to “Carry the Load” and I have to say I am not real thrilled with this one. Too generic and falls very flat for me. This song feels more like one of David’s solo songs and could have been on ‘Northwinds’. It feels out of place here.
Another favorite on the album is the song ‘Blindman’ which is a re-work of the song from David’s first solo album called ‘Whitesnake’. In what could be David’s best performance to date as he brings so much more emotion and pain in his delivery, this song is the gem in a album full of them. It has a slow groove and is another blues track which has the band at its best. Bernie’s understated solo was what the song needed. It fit perfectly with the vibe. The song was great on the solo album, but taken to another level here.
First up on Side Two is “Ain’t’ Gonna Cry No More” has David singing along to the acoustic guitar before Jon Lord comes in with some soft sounding keyboards in what is starting out as a beautiful ballad. That is until Ian Paice brings it up a notch with his drums and it turns in to pure rock & roll beast with the help of Micky Moody on the solo. The album is quickly becoming my favorite of the Whitesnake albums so far with songs like this.
“Love Man” is a more traditional blues song with a foot stomping beat and some gritty slide guitar. It was what I know and love as blues. Lyrically, it is pure and utter cheese and David delivers it as such, however, I kinda like it. It grabs you and pulls you in whether you want to or not.
“Black and Blue” feels like you are at a honky tonk with the whole live, bar-band feel to it including some piano playing by Jon Lord. Adding the cheering bar crowd to the mix made it feel right at home in the bar. It is a fun, good time track.
And the album ends with “She’s a Woman”, which opens with Lord on the keyboards and then gets turned up a notch when the drums and guitar riffs kick in. Now the highlight is that Jon Lord turns in the best solo of the album. He goes to town and takes you on a magical keyboard journey. Although not the best song on the album, it highlights Lord and that is good enough for me.
Fool For Your Loving – Keeper
Sweet Talker – Keeper
Ready an’ Willing – Keeper
Carry Your Load – Delete
Blindman – Keeper
Ain’t Gonna Cry No More – Keeper
Love Man – Keeper
Black and Blue – Keeper
She’s a Woman – Keeper
The track is a wonderful 8 out of 9 tracks are keepers or 89%. The songs are the strongest yet of the Whitesnake albums so far. There are some Essential Whitesnake songs on here, more so than the others and this album gets better with every listen. The album was missing some dual guitar solos with Marsden and Moody which I think adds to the songs. The album was also lacking a Bernie Marsden lead vocal song…okay, it really isn’t missing that I guess. Overall, this is a killer album and I will rate it a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars. As much as I love it, there are some I like better but this is near the top.
Up next…Whitesnake – ‘Live…in the Heart of the City’.
With the release of R.E.M.’s 25th Anniversary Edition of ‘Monster’, let’s do a collection of Memes to celebrate the band. Now, there were Michael Stipe memes than R.E.M., but you can’t have one without the other, right! So, sit back and enjoy the world of R.E.M.