Welcome to the first round of purchases for 2022. Yes, I know, it never seems to end…my wife and wallet keep telling me that, but I don’t listen…obviously. And this week was another stellar month and a few really good deals as well…at least I think so. The first set of purchases were from gift cards left over from Christmas that I hadn’t spent and it was tough to decide. First I went with a vinyl I had been wanting for awhile and finding an original vinyl pressing was going to be expense so I went withe re-issue from Music on Vinyl for Extreme!!
The other items I picked up on those gift cards were the studio albums I was missing for Robbie Williams…I figured no time better than to complete that collection so I did. There were four left and here they are… Now I just need to the rare stuff that I am missing…challenge accepted!!
For My Sunday Song #284, we are going to discuss the song from Jeff Scott Soto’s metal band called Soto. The song is called “The Fall” and was written by Jeff along with fellow TSO member Tony Dickinson. The album is ‘Inside the Vertigo’ and the song were released in 2015 and was originally intended to be a solo album, but since the album had a band vibe and the sound was so much heavier than anything he had done recently, he went with SOTO as a band.
“The Fall” is an angry song. Someone has hurt him badly and stabbed him in the back and he isn’t having it. He is fighting back and letting them know he has it out for them and he can’t wait for them to fall from the graces and fall flat on their face. It sounds like it was someone famous as the line “Fame and Fortune/Big Star Everywhere/One more big talk millionaire” leads me to believe that. I don’t know who it is and can’t find where he has said but I wonder if it is Neal Schon who dropped him from Journey and I don’t know if they talk anymore. But I am purely speculating and have no real clue. Purely a guess. It could be anyone.
Musically, the song is just as angry. It is some of the heaviest work Jeff has done. There is a very modern metal vibe with hints of Marilyn Manson in the guitar which is handled by Chris Feener and Tony Dickinson. Jeff’s vocals are as aggressive as the music. You can hear the anger and his screams are intense and powerful. If you need an album to wake you up, this one would do it. It is balls-to-the-wall aggression and when you are done you are ready to punch someone in the face!!
I was out a Record Show and I found a table that had a lot of Kiss memorabilia but nothing much I really wanted as I generally stick to the music. I did find something I didn’t realize existed and that was Kiss Blu-Ray Bootlegs. This guy was selling a lot of them. I came back to the table and looked again and decided, you know, I want to try it out. When he then offered that I could get two for $15, I jumped at the chance. $15 was worth the risk. So I grabbed one from the End of the Road tour and one from the MonsterTour as I saw at least the End of the Road Tour, just not that show.
So, first up we was the End of the Road Tour and it was filmed at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA on February 4th, 2020 just a month before COVID shut the whole touring scene down. Kiss was a full year in to the tour at this point and in fine form. Check out that review. This Bootleg is from the Monster Tour from the show on August 13, 2013 at the Charter Amphitheatre at Heritage Park in Simpsonville, SC.
I have to say the video quality is much better than I expected and even better than the other bootleg that I had. There wasn’t as much washout from the lights and the angles were even better. The shots from the front of the stage were perfectly clear and killer. The explosions were so freaking loud it was like you were there. The vocals on a couple songs were a little low at times, but overall everything was crystal clear. The problems with the show were not from the video. But for $7.50 a piece, pretty darn acceptable.
The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and John
Episode 96 – Picture Discs Show & Tell
Mike had so much fun showing off his 7″ singles collection a few weeks ago! When brainstorming for ideas to do this week, I suggested picture discs. Great idea! At least Mike thought so, and as a result, I will be joining Mike Ladano tonight for a guaranteed fun time, a show and tell show. We’ll be rediscovering what we own in picture disc form, since we buy so many records, We can’t remember them all. 10″, 12″, and shaped vinyl will be on deck for us tonight. And if we’re lucky, maybe we will see some Kiss and Def Leppard….
We will also be including etched discs from our collections.
If the 7″ singles show was any indication, then this will be a blast. Make sure you catch it live to participate!
If you are reading this, then you are a part of the community! The Keeps Me Alive guys were here first! Geoff from 1001 Albums, Scott our Heavy Metal Overlord, and LeBrain all came after. I consider James and Aaron to the founders of the community. Saturday February 5 at 7:00 PM, we will sit down and chat with Aaron and (for the first time ever) James about their history with music and writing about it. This show has been a long time coming! I have wanted to spotlight the KMA for a year and a half now. Next week will be a party, I promise you.
We will also have a 10 Year Anniversary of Record Store Tales and a 2 Year Anniversary of the LeBrain Train, both coming in March! If you would like to participate in either, drop us a line.
We end the first month of 2022 with our final Friday New Release post for January. And we go out with a bang as there are over 50 albums this month. I would say things are looking up. This week there are a couple I am really excited to hear and a couple that have me intrigued. I have highlighted those in Blue. Out of the over 50 albums, I am hoping there is something you will be interested in hearing so let me know which ones they are and also let me know what I may have missed. As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great weekend.
Steve Vai – Inviolate – (Favored Nations / Mascot Label Group): Steve Vai…what is there to say. He is a legend on the guitar and there are not many that can match his skill. With his albums though, it is hit or miss with me. I either love it or I am not sure what the hell is going on. As with all his albums, I will give it a spin and we will see which reaction we get.
Earthless – Night Parade of One Hundred Demons – (Nuclear Blast): Man, I can’t wait for this one. This Psychedelic Rock band that does mostly instrumentals is so much fun to listen to that I might be dropping the needle on this one first. There is so much going on you just get lost in the music.
After Jeff Scott Soto’s stint with Yngwie Malmsteen was over, Soto was able to land a gig with the Japanese guitar virtuoso, Kuni. The rest of the band included Mike Terrana on Drums, who played with Yngwie and Beau Nasty, as well as Douglas Taylor Baker on Bass, who also wound up playing with Beau Nasty. Behind the boards on this one is a name a lot of you should be familiar with due to the bands Vinnie Vincent Invasion and Slaughter. That is right, Dana Strum produced the album and I have to say the production work on here is fantastic.
The band was very popular in Japan and they even got to tour. One of the shows was recorded for TV so it makes wonder if there is a live album or bootleg of that show anywhere. I need to start looking for that.
The copy I have is actually a re-release from 2018 and has a couple live bonus tracks and who doesn’t love bonus tracks. All releases of this album are Japan only which means…yes…OBI strips and my copy is no different. You can see it a few pictures down. Also included is a fold out page that has an essay in Japanese and I have no idea what it says, but you see Vinnie Vincent’s name mentioned, Loudness, Yngwie and several other band names so I am guessing it is talking about the band members and where they came from plus tons of other great information that would be nice to read…if I read Japanese. The page also has the lyrics to the songs, in English, on both sides.
The band was in trouble after ‘Done With Mirrors’. What was supposed to be their comeback album, flopped big time. The drugs were still a big problem. So the band had to make a huge change…and they did. They got sober! ‘Permanent Vacation’ is the first album the band has ever made that they were sober…no drugs, no drinking…clean and sober. And people reacted to that in a big way. Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer had a lot to prove and they couldn’t do it alone.
The studio that the first batch of help should come from a great producer. At the helm this time around was Bruce Fairbairn and his amazing engineering staff of Mike Fraser and Bob Rock which is one of the most impressive crew behind the boards every in music history. Heck, Bruce even played trumpet, cello and sang background vocals while Mike Fraser played something called a plunger mute. Huh??? Well, that is a trumpet with an attachment on the front that mutes the sound a little. I don’t see where Bob is credited with anything other than masterful engineering. The recorded at the very famous Little Mountain Studio in Vancouver, British Columbia. If you saw my interview with Paul Laine we talked about that studio a lot.
The second row of help came from some song doctors, however, this was one big area of contention with the band. They were forced to work with outside writers much in the way Cheap Trick had to with ‘Lap of Luxury’ that we discussed earlier this week. The biggest contribution came from Desmond Child who co-wrote 3 of the tracks, 2 of which were massive singles for the band. They also had help from Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams writing partner) and Holly Knight (Kiss and Cheap Trick).
It has been awhile since we’ve gone through a Tour Book and this time around, we have a three set series on Def Leppard Tour Books. Only 3 because that is all I have at this time. And we are kicking it off with the band’s biggest tour, Hysteria. The Tour ran from 1987-1988 and I saw it 3 times. Yep, three times. Twice in Atlanta, one of which I won on a Radio call-in show, and once in Chattanooga, TN because we had to see them again.
Looking back, what was great about these shows is that I got to see Steve Clark play as he passed a few years later. The band was Joe Elliott, Rick Allen, Rick Savage, Steve Clark and Phil Collen and the album Hysteria was their biggest selling album of all time going Diamond with well over 12 million copies. It spawned an impressive 7 singles and they were the biggest band in the world at that time. They are still one of my favorite bands of all time and why I didn’t buy a tour book back then is beyond me…probably because I was a broke high school student…we will go with that. So, here is the book in all its glory…
The cover is above as the header and if you notice the triangle cut out. When you open it, you get to see the same concert shot wrapped by the Hysteria album cover.
Unlike a lot of Tour books, we don’t get an individual band member page talking about each member. Basically every page has all the members as it is a band…
This next page give us a little history on the band from the release of the ‘Hysteria’ album up to the 1988 leg of the tour. It is a nice long essay that is a must read.
More and more band shots…
This next one has a little flap on the right side…
And when folded out, changes the picture to this…
Now we are to the page where the band thanks the road crew. This time they take it a step further and give you pictures of the road crew which I think is an awesome touch!!
And lastly is the Merch page and one last band photo…
Oh yeah, can’t forge the back cover…
And that is everything. I hope you enjoyed the walk through the book and we have two more Tour Books to go through over the next couple weeks. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Thanks for hanging around.
Here is a list of all the Tour Books we have reviewed over the years. Links are provided so you can go see some history.
By 1988, Cheap Trick’s popularity was dropping fast. Their last few albums didn’t really light the charts on fire and the record company you could say was quite unhappy. As a result, the record company forced the band to work with outside writers or song doctors. This was 1988 and all bands were now doing that. There was only one song on the album that was written solely by the band, all the others were co-writes by other people and some even entirely written by others.
But it wasn’t all bad news. The band was back to the four original members as Tom Petersson returns to the fold replacing Jon Brant on bass. As a result, the gang of Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Bun E. Carlos and Tom Petersson were back which made the world think of this as sort of a comeback album for the band. Now don’t think it was a comeback in forms of that 70’s Power Pop. Nope, it was more plain pop with this one, however, we did the see band hit the platinum status and garner their first ever #1 song.
For My Sunday Song #283, we are going to dissect the song “New Position” by Soul Sirkus which was a Jeff Scott Soto side project with Neal Schon (Journey), Marco Mendoza (The Dead Daisies) and Virgil Donati on drums. They had only one album called ‘World Play’ back in 2005. If you get the European edition of the release, there is a DVD with the video for the song as well. The song was technically a single, but I don’t know if it charting.
The song was written by Neal Schon and Jeff Scott Soto. It is seems to be about a woman and is full of sexual innuendos with the title alone. The singer has aching for this woman and so wants her and believes he can show her things that she may have forgotten about…hmmm…I wonder what that could be!! This isn’t rocket science lyrics, no sir. It is rock & roll baby!! Keep it simple, sexual and jamming…and they do just that.
Musically, the song opens with a machine gun barrage drum fills from Virgil showing he means business. Marco’s bass is slamming helping give us a fiery, groovetastic, good time song that will rock your ass off. Neal Schon’s guitar mastery is on full display as he lays down some killer riffs and don’t get me started on the solo. Man, he is killing it. Jeff Scott Soto is full of swagger and confidence as he delivers a stellar vocal full of harmonies and so much power. This album is a showcase of his talents and why Neal tapped him to lead Journey on tour, sadly, no album was ever done before Jeff was dismissed.