Summer has been heating up and so did the purchases for this month. This month had some serious quality for me and at the same time some quantity as well. And the month came in with a bang as all my Def Leppard albums I ordered finally made it in. When I say “all”, I mean the new one and all the formats I ordered. I’m starting to like it too!
And it kept on going with a huge sale at 2nd & Charles having a buy 5 CDs get 5 CDs free and I took advantage of that discount. My daughter joined me and picked up some DVDs and CDs as the sale applied to those as well. First batch is all Kiss!!
When we reviewed Takara’s ‘Eternal Faith’ album a few weeks back, we mentioned that Jeff Scott Soto said he wasn’t a member of Takara and did it as a favor. Well, a couple years later we are back with the second Takara album and who is singing? It is a Mr. Jeff Scott Soto, of course. After the band had such success in Japan with ‘Eternal Faith’, the Japanese record company wanted another album and would only do it with Jeff on vocals. Jeff didn’t want to let his good friend, Neal Grusky, down and be the reason his buddy lost his record contract, so Jeff being the man he is agreed to do vocal duties again as well as Produced, Engineered and Mixed the album. When Jeff says he’s going to help out, there is no half-assing it for him.
The band had more money to produce this record then the measly $2,500 for the last so we do get better production quality…plus Jeff was getting better at it. The biggest difference is that Jeff’s friend Greg Schutt was no longer on bass. Duties were handled by Carl DeMarco. There were two songs that the bass was done by Bob Daisley from Ozzy and Rainbow fame which is pretty cool, but Carl was the now official band member. On drums, we still had Robert Duda and Neal Grusky on guitar as expected. There are also some keyboard elements done by none other than Jeff’s then girlfriend Julie Greaux, of course!
The album was released on May 24, 1995 in Japan and went to #96 on their national charts, so not bad at all. The version I have is the Canadian Release from 1995 but the CD has 1993. That isn’t the only mistake the CD has as it also called the last song “Lonely Sade of Blue” omitting the “h” in Shade. Oops! Good quality control goes a long way. Let’s get to the music, shall we!
In 1986, one of the biggest movies was ‘Top Gun’ starring then upcoming & coming star Tom Cruise. The soundtrack was just as big thanks to Kenny Loggins’ song “Danger Zone” (which went to #2) and Berlin’s beautiful ballad “Take My Breath Away” (which went to #1). I also loved Cheap Trick’s “Mighty Wings” even though it didn’t chart. Another big song on the album was by Loverboy and the song “Heaven in Your Eyes”. It went all the to #12 so that is 3 Top 40 songs off the same soundtrack and a soundtrack that went to #1 and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Not too shaby. Sadly, today, soundtracks aren’t that popular and we don’t usually get them like they made back in the 80’s and 90’s.
“Heaven In Your Eyes’ was written originally by Mae Moore and John Dexter, however, when the song ended up the soundtrack both Mike Reno and Paul Dean were able to get credits added even though I am not sure how much they contributed. The song is not on any of the band’s studio albums but you can get it on their greatest hits package titled ‘Big Ones’ which is a great one to have in the collection if you see it out and about.
For Record Store Day on Black Friday, November 29, 2019, Cheap Trick was releasing a limited edition 7″ Single of a new song and limited to only 1,500 copies. It was a RSD First Release which means they were going to release it again sometime and wasn’t exclusive, but it didn’t stop me from picking it up. The funny thing is it said it was a new song off it’s latest album which actually didn’t come out until 18 months later, but I am okay with that as I love my 7″ Singles. The song was “Gimme Some Truth” which is a of course, not really a new song as it is a cover of the John Lennon classic. But I guess it is new to Cheap Trick.
The B-Side is a live version of a song that was truly on their latest album at the time which was their Christmas album called ‘Christmas Christmas’. The studio version is on the album and this is live which is cool as the song is the Wizzard cover of “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” written by Roy Wood. Well, Roy Wood is featured on this live version from the band. How cool is that!! And the packaging was great as I like the Uncle Sam on the cover and then on the back is the Cheap Trick logo morphed in to the Union Jack. Cheap Trick was always called the American Beatles and with covering a Lennon song, we get the British side of them as well.
For My Sunday Song #305, we are discussing the opening track “Eat the Rich” off the 1993 Aerosmith album ‘Get a Grip’. “Eat the Rich” was the second single released on April 17, 1993. The song was written by Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the great Jim Vallance who has written for so many, most notably Bryan Adams. I don’t think the song did much as a single, but the album did go on to sell well over 9,000,000 copies worldwide.
The song was written as a dig against wealthy people who look down upon others with a disdain as if their wealth makes them so much better than everyone else. Funny thing is Aerosmith was quite wealthy at this time, but they didn’t come from money. They had very poor and humble beginnings as they were practically homeless at times. They knew where their money came from and were grateful.
The album kicks off with an “Intro” that should’ve been merged with the first track “Eat the Rich”. The “Intro” sees Steven Tyler rapping some rhymes along a some cool drumming. And then ends with a riff of “Walk This Way” before going straight in to “Eat the Rich” with some killer tribal drumming by Kramer with a ton of people doing log drumming. There were 6 people credited as log drummers…insane. The song is full of witty lyrics and Tyler just rips through them with ease. It is catchy as hell and the bass groove on this one is sensational along with Perry who slays it on the riffs and the solo. It is a brilliant opening track that gets the juices flowing. So take that Grey Poupon and shove it up your ass. Oh yeah, the song ends with a massive burp. Only fitting!
At the latest record show here in Charlotte, I found a handful of great 7″ Singles as there is always this one guy that has an amazing collection of them to sell. I always find a handful of pristine and cool ones to grab and this one is no different. This time I found one by a band I really enjoy called The Alarm. The song was “Presence of Love” off their 1987 album ‘Eye of the Hurricane’. It was the third and final single and just missed cracking the Top 40.
The song “Presence of Love” was written by Eddie McDonald and Mike Peters. The song seems to be about how when you are really in love, no matter how hard things are you can overcome anything. Now, is that love, the love of a woman or the love of God? He mentions all the levels of heaven so part of me feels there is a religious connotation to it all. What do you think?
My copy is awesome even it is the plain old U.S. version. First, I love the I.R.S. labels on the single itself. I find them to be really cool. Second, the B-Side is “My Land Your Land” which is a previously unreleased track recorded during the Hurricane Sessions.
The single “Presence of Love” is a ballad as every album back then had to have a ballad. Musically, it sounds a lot like The Police and their song “Every Breath You Take” or at least it has a lot of the elements of that song. Mike Peters is on vocals and his voice is so distinct. When he really gets in some of the lines, his voice sounds so smooth and angelic and then the rest of the verses, he has a nice grit to it. A great combination of styles to have.
The B-Side is “My Land Your Land” was written by Nigel Twist and David Sharp of The Alarm and David is actually on vocals. Honestly, I didn’t know anyone else sang other than Mike Peters so this was really interesting to hear. David’s vocals are respectable but don’t have that character of Mike but not many do. The song being written by the drummer and lead guitarist, you do get some great drumming as that is the driving force of the song. There is some great guitar picking throughout but no huge single guitar moment. The song is mid-tempo and plods along not real exciting and I see why it wasn’t on the album, but it actually makes for a spectacular B-Side as this is what I like to get as the B.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed the walk through the single “Presence of Love”. I still have a handful more of singles I haven’t been through so more to come. Have a great day and see you real soon.
With over 60 albums released today, you would think I would find something I had to buy. However, you’d be wrong. There are things I will eventually give a listen, but nothing I am running out to buy. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything good. There are a ton. And I am sure, as a result, you would find something in this batch of stellar releases. Let me know what you want to hear or what I may have missed. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!
Black Stone Cherry – Live From the Royal Albert Hall… Y’all – (Mascot Label Group)
Coheed & Cambria – Vaxis II: A Window of the Waking Mind – (Roadrunner Records / Elektra Records)
At the most recent record show here in Charlotte, I found a couple bootleg CDs that I snagged up for a real cheap $5 each. Gotta love that. The first one I grabbed was from the band Extreme. The bootleg was called ‘Hollywood Rock 1992’ which was recorded from the rock festival Hollywood Rock down in Rio de Janeiro Brazil on January 26, 1992. The CD says it was a Freddie Mercury Tribute, but the band only played one Queen cover so not much of a tribute.
What I love about Bootlegs are the errors. Yes, they have errors. The reason why is the people that make bootlegs don’t give a crap about editing and making things perfect and accurate. They only care about getting out product. The first major error is where it was made. The album was made in Italy…however, the back cover says it was made in Itary. I have been looking at a globe for about 10 hours now and I can’t find Itary anywhere on it. Then it is the song titles…”Pornograffitti” is spelled as “Pornographiti” and what should be a Nuno acoustic guitar solo actually says that he sold his acoustic guitar.
What makes it even better is that they spelled everything correctly on the actual CD, but they used the wrong words at times. One error on the CD is on “Suzi” they called it “Suzi (Wants Her All Day Want?)” and it should be (Wants Her All Day What?). Then for “Decadence Dance” there is a drum solo and they list it as Pat but Pat plays bass. Paul is on drums.
Axel Rudi Pell has had four solo albums so a live album was long over due. As a result, during two shows on February 4th & 5th of 1995, they were recorded so a live album could be released. They were recorded in Markthalle, Hamburg and Zeche, Bochum. There were three songs from the Markthalle show and five from Zeche. The band was of course Axel Rudi Pell on guitar, Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, Jorg Michael on drums, Volker Krawczak on bass and Julie Greaux on keyboards. It was the same band that recorded the previous album ‘Between the Walls’ for which they were now touring for that album, and it is a great, solid band.
1994 was an extremely busy year for Jeff Scott Soto and by the looks of it, 1995 was not going to be any different as we have 3 releases for this year and this being the first. For this album, Jeff felt the biggest fault was it was too short and he would’ve liked to have included a few more of the older tracks. With that being said, if that is the only fault, then we are in for a real treat. The show captures how much Jeff enjoyed working with Axel and it shows in his performance and everyone’s performance for that matter. The album came out around May 22, 1995 and is a great time capsule of a great period of Axel Rudi Pell.
The show kicks off with some riffing by Axel and then they go straight in to “Talk of The Guns” off their most recent album ‘Between the Walls’. Here is the song is sped up even faster and a lot heavier. It seems faster than speed metal here. The drums are pounding and relentless and Pell’s solo is pure Axel. Jeff does a great job keeping up with that pace and not losing his breath, but it was close.
For Night Ranger, how do you follow-up your biggest hit, “Sister Christian”. Well, you release another ballad and they did it this time with “When You Close Your Eyes” the third single off their 1983 album ‘Midnight Madness’. It was released on July 14, 1984 as a single and it didn’t do as well as “Sister Christian” as it only went to #14 on the Billboard Charts. Only..right! Most bands would kill for that. It did help continue to catapult the album to well over 1 million copes giving them their first and maybe only Platinum album.
The song was written by Jack Blades with the help of Alan Fitzgerald and Brad Gillis. The song came about from Jack noodling around on the piano and he sang the chorus and thought it was great. He had Alan and Brad help but he couldn’t finish it with all the distractions while recording the album. He flew home and sat around the pool and then was inspired by his ex-girlfriend and wondering if she ever still thought about him. That inspiration turned in to a big hit for the band.
My copy is a U.S. Pressing with the B-Side as “Why Does Love Have to Change” which is also off ‘Midnight Madness’. My copy is the Gloversville pressing as it has this little flower symbol in the runout. Plus it only has the Midnight Madness album cover on the back where later pressing have that plus Dawn Patrol. It is pretty good shape and plays great.