Happy Halloween!! October was not a good month for me. It was mostly Tricks and few Treats! The tricks were that I was recovering from an appendectomy and after two weeks of that, I caught a virus and then a bacterial infection and was sick for 2 more weeks. My motivation is now at all time low and I have no desire to write or even buy as my energy level is completely wiped. I haven’t written much at all this past month and don’t know when I will get back in to a full time mode, if I ever do. It was hard enough to even put this simple post together, but I am trying.
This month might be my smallest number of purchases in quite some time, but doesn’t mean it doesn’t have what I think are some really sweet Treats! I did get to one record store during the month on the sole day in between recovery and illness where I felt good. It didn’t last that long because by the afternoon, it all went down hill. Noble Records was having their 3rd Anniversary Drop and what a drop it was. I picked up a Kiss Bootleg. More to come on this one down the road, but this is a 1981 reissue of a 1978 bootleg of Kiss My Axe 1978.
While there I picked two albums I had reviewed in my You Pick It Series that won for albums I had never heard before. I grabbed Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats and George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass which was the owners personal copy. It is so clean and even includes the poster!!
For My Sunday Song #323, we are talking about bullies with the song “Bully” by Shinedown. The song was the first single off their 2012 album ‘Amaryllis’. The single was released on January 3, 2012 and #3 on the Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs. It actually did break the Top 100 Charts landing at #94. The song did go Gold selling over 500,000 copies which isn’t bad. The song was written by Brent Smith, Zach Myers and Dave Bassett.
The song is about what you think it is about…Bullies!! It is definitely not condoning the actions of bullies, but instead telling people it is okay to stand-up for yourselves against bullies. Fight to survive against losing your self-respect and your dignity. Leave the bullies behind and they will become a faint memory. Brent’s father taught him to box so he would stand up to bullies…he has stated he got his butt kicked a few times, but he would stand up for himself.
The song is a pure rocker and an anthem for the underdog. Brent’s vocal deliver is more chant-like and then the chorus explodes in to a full on battle-cry to stand up for yourself. The guitar riffs are contagious and catchy as hell, there a ton of melodies. The guitar solo electrifying and then at the end of the song a chorus of kids with voices of angels join in and amplify the meaning to not back down. It is a powerful song with a powerful message.
In my further quest for owning all Matt Nathanson items listed on Discogs, I found another gem. This Promo CD is for “Room at the End of the World” by Matt Nathanson which is off his stellar 2011 album, ‘Modern Love’ and it was the 2nd single off the album. Although I don’t think the song charted, the album did debut at #17 on the Billboard charts. The fact that it didn’t chart is no surprise as Matt has never been a darling of public radio. His songs are way too good for radio as they are well crafted masterpieces and lyrical poems about life and he is pure talent unlike the bozos on radio. No, I am not biased…okay…yes I am. You got me!
The song was written by Matt Nathanson and Mark Weinberg. I believe the song is talking about being with the one you love and nothing can stop you. Even if the world was ending, you two would get a room and make the best of what was to come. I love how the song talks about how he was lost and had given up on love until he found “The One”. The One that makes him whole, The One that he will be with until the end of time, The One true love. There is line that says “one heart is never enough alone” and I don’t think it is saying you have to be with someone to be whole, I think it is saying that he never felt complete until he found her (or him). His lyrical phrasing is always so eloquent and so beautiful. He doesn’t sing a love song in the same cliched way other songs do.
Happy Friday. Halloween is just around the corner and we have some treats for you. No tricks! We have over 40 new releases coming your way for your listening pleasure as you continue to work on your scary, funny or sexy Halloween Costume. Don’t miss out!!! Let us know what you want to hear this week or what we may have missed. For me, only one I’ interested in hearing so should save some money this week. Thanks for stopping by and have a Hauntingly Great Weekend!!
Joe Lynn Turner – Belly of the Beast – (Mascot Label Group / Music Theories Recordings): Joe Lynn Turner is throwing all caution the wind, he is letting go of the wigs and letting loose the metal. I’m really excited about this one as he has one of the greatest rock voices out there and I can’t wait to see what he brings us this time around.
And then there is all the rest…
Foo Fighters – The Essential Foo Fighters – (Legacy Recordings)
Flying high from the release of their 9th Studio album, the band released their second single “Still Loving You” on July 3, 1984. The song went to #64 on the US Billboard Hot 100 Charts, but it didn’t chart in Germany. The Maxi Single I found for “Still Loving You” was a German only release and it was released to promote their German tour which ran from October 26th until December 3rd of 1984 as the dates of the tour are on the bottom of the back cover.
Side 1 was only the single “Still Loving You” from their latest album ‘Love at First Sting’. Side 2 was the song “No One Like You” from 1982’s ‘Blackout’ and “Always Somewhere” from their 1979 album ‘Lovedrive’. A good way to promote the back catalog. The songs are studio tracks and not remixes, but that’s okay because it is still a cool piece for me to have in the collection especially since was, as I said earlier, a German only release.
With Jeff Scott Soto on Frontiers records, it made total sense that if Talisman was to get back together and put out another album, Frontiers might be the home for them. And that is what happened. After the break-up of the Humanimal project, Jeff and Marcel Jacob felt it was time to put on the Talisman hat again. However, with the falling out with Pontus Norgren, a new guitarist was needed. That new guitarist was actually the old guitarist Fredrik Akesson which is a perfect fit for the band. Mr. Jamie Borger was back on drums and the new album of the old guard was ready to be recorded.
The band recorded the album in Italy (why not since that was where the label was located). It was recorded at Planet Studios in Acqui Terme, Italy. The album saw the release on May 12, 2003. It was this album that I discovered the band thanks to Melodicrock.com. Andrew McNeice was going on and on about this guy Jeff Scott Soto and Talisman. As a result, I checked it out and then things went nuts from there. After almost 20 years now of listening to Soto and Talisman, I now have over 70 albums in my collection that Soto performs on. It all started with ‘Cats & Dogs’ and Soto’s next solo album ‘Lost in Translation’ which we will review next. This was my entry point into the universe of Soto.
With a “Hey, Hey, Hey” and a Soto scream, the album is off and running with “Skin on Skin”. It is a little funky, a little bluesy and a lot of energy. A modern rock track with its foundation firmly rooted in the past. What a way to say…”We’re back!!!”. And then Jeff does his best James Brown with a “Good God, Yeah” to kick off “Break it Down”. With some heavy bass and then a slick riff, some great harmonies and we are off to the races. It has a great, memorable chorus, great production and more fantastic vocals from Soto. Plus, Akesson’s solo is pretty sweet and his playing is a highlight on this one for sure.
After a seven year absence with new material, Billy has popped back and in a big way. His last album was 2014’s King & Queen of the Underground (which absolutely stellar) and then in 2021, he released an E.P. called ‘The Roadside’ which has one of his best songs ever called “Bitter Taste”. Almost exactly one year later in 2022, Billy released another E.P. and this one was called “The Cage” and is another 4 song set. This leads me to think that Billy might not be up for doing a full album, but if he wants to put out 4 new songs every year and with the caliber of these songs, count me in.
Billy Idol and his longtime partner, Steve Stevens have crafted another batch of great songs with the help of famed producer, Butch Walker along with Tommy English and Zakk Cervini. In an interview recently, I heard Billy talk about the fact that he was happy he somehow survived his drug induced rock & roll lifestyle because it has all been worth it. That worth it he is talk about is his granddaughter. He has seem to have found a new appreciation for life and that is reflected in his music and writing and I’m starting to think Billy is a fine wine because he keeps getting better with age!
The opening track, “The Cage”, is basically about all the pent up energy everyone was feeling coming out of the Covid Lockdown. It felt like we were all in a cage and it was time to bust out. Written by Billy, Steven, Tommy and Joe Janiak. It is a high energy, punk rock song and Billy feels right at home on this track. If there is a Billy Idol sound…this is it and with Steve Stevens on guitar, there is no mistaken that sound. A perfect song to catch your attention and reel you in.
And if you think “The Cage” is the best song on the E.P., you’d be wrong. That belongs to the introspective “Running from the Ghost”. Lyrically, the song seems to be about Billy running from his demons all his life. He has seen some dark things in this life and his alcohol and drug addiction are a battle every day. The song starts off slow and then it explodes and the guitar work by Stevens is some of his best ever. That drum beat with it are powerful and engaging. It is a beast of a track and has such a mature and serious tone. You will be surprised by this one.
Then we get to “Rebel Like You” with its fun motorcycle revving at the start. The electronic drum beat comes blaring in and Billy sings with umph and you can feel that snarl. The song has Billy on stage looking out in the audience and sees another woman dressed like him, but I’m not sure that is the gist of the story. I think the song is a shout out to his grand daughter and that she is a rebel just like him. The lines…
Ain’t nobody gonna love you more Except your mommy and your daddy, maybe Looking like you’re on the go, go, go Guess I’ve got company
I think he just loves her so much he wants to show her the world. She has the wild spirit like he had and he loves her to death. That is what I think. I could be wrong…known to happen.
The last track is called “Miss Nobody” and it is an electronic, dance song. This one was produced by Butch Walker and co-written by Sam Hollander. It is a slick pop track about a down & out woman who still is kicking ass. It is not my favorite track on the album, but it has its merits as it is catchy and contagious and will get you moving. A little less on the guitars, but still feels like a Billy track.
Let’s get this out of the way quick…I love this E.P. and have been playing it non-stop and now these songs are old friends. That is two E.P.s in two years and both are amazing. I hope this continues because I could get spoiled. If you think Billy’s heyday is behind him, you’d be seriously incorrect. This is Billy at his best. My Overall Score is a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars. A must have!!
Now, if you want to check out the full reviews and the entire Billy Idol Series, click on any and all of the links below…
The band started recording their 9th studio album in Stommein, West Germany which is where producer, Dieter Dierks, studio was located. The album was recorded in 1983 and 1984 and finally saw its release on March 27, 1984. The line-up was intact with Klause Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Mathias Jabs, Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell.
However, some of the early recordings that took place were actually in Sweden and had former Rainbow members, Jimmy Bain on bass and Bobby Rondinell on drums. Jimmy Bain’s name was brought up by Herman and then later Herman got sick and Bobby stepped in. The band then left Sweden and did a two week tour in the States with the normal members of the band. After the tour it was determined that everyone felt great and they headed to Germany to record with the original members.
The album became Scorpions biggest selling album of all time going triple platinum with well over 3,000,000 copies sold in the U.S. alone. Thanks in large part to MTV and the smash song “Rock You Like a Hurricane” which is a staple at sporting events and a song I think everyone in the world knows. The album went to #6 on the Billboard 200 album chart, but it was really the constant rotation on MTV that got the U.S.’s attention. I know it got mine. They played all their videos and even the ones from Blackout which made a lot of people run out and get that album as well. “Love at First Sting” was the band’s pinnacle album. The smooth, high glossed rock was so well polished it gave off a platinum sheen. And in fact, it was one of the first fully digital metal albums ever made. They have reached the top…or had they?
For My Sunday Song #322, we are talking about “Monsters”…not real ones, but the ones in the mind. It is by the band Shinedown and off their 2018 album ‘Attention, Attention’. The song is their third single on the album and was released on March 1, 2019. It is yet another Platinum selling single and went to #7 on the US Rock Airplay chart and #10 US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs. Even Canada got in on the fun where it went to #34 on the Canada Rock charts. The song was written by Brent Smith and Eric Bass.
The song isn’t about physical, real life monsters although there are those. These monsters are in your mind. These are the demons you fight with everyday and if you are someone who has battled addiction or alcoholism and are now sober, those demons are picking at you everyday. Each day can be a battle and that one slip up can push you over the edge back on to the binging. Brent struggles with it everyday and that is what inspired the song.
Musically, the song is rather gut-wrenching like the lyrics. They are ominous and threatening and make you feel like the demons are pounding on the door wanting to get in. The music is so powerful at the chorus, a thundering explosion of struggle. The verses are tender and solemn and Barry Kerch’s cymbal work is so good and adds such a cool sound as if the demons were signaling their attack. Zach Myers guitar work is splendid with a killer solo while Eric Bass’ bass (I guess he was destined for that instrument) drives the rhythm. Brent’s vocals are powerful and you can feel every ounce of pain he is going through. A splendid song.
In my quest to own everything listed on Discogs for Matt Nathanson, I picked up the CD Promotional single for the song “Run”. It is off his 2011 album, ‘Modern Love’ and was released as a single, but only reached #53 on the Billboard Hot 100 which baffles me as it is probably my favorite song by him. Another cool thing about it is that the recording engineer on the album was my brother-in-law, Ryan; however, this was the one song he didn’t engineer. Bummer!
The song is not a country song even though Sugarland are on it. No! This is a sensual, oh so sexy, love song. The lyrics are dirty with lines like “You come in waves” and “Then Swallow me whole” as well as “And I watch it explode”. At the same time they are sexy with lines like “You pull me in close / And buckle my knees” and “You trace my lines / Stirring my soul”. And then they are heartwarming with a line like “I’m amazing when you’re beside me / I am so much more”. This song speaks to me and reminds me of my lovely bride and when I hear this song, I think of only her! Each and every time.
Now here is the problem. The song I think is more about an affair than love. The lyrics talk about running back to this person. The man says he knows that it’s wrong but he can’t help it and he always goes back to her. Personally, I ignore that part and think of it more as a passionate love affair with my wife. Either way, you can’t help but love the song.