My Sunday Song – “Blood on the Bricks” by Aldo Nova

For My Sunday Song #358, we are going to dive in to the title track of Aldo Nova’s 1991 comeback album ‘Blood on the Bricks’. The song kicks off the album and was the first single. It is also a collaboration between Aldo Nova and his long time friend Jon Bon Jovi. After Aldo helped Jon with his debut solo, Jon returned the favor and helped on this one. The song and the album were released on Jon’s own label Jambco Records which was part of Mercury Records.

The song is a dark view on inner city life. It is a sad commentary on the amount of crime in the big cities, the increase in gang violence, how unsafe life is there and a very unfavorable opinion of how the police handle it all. What is awful about this commentary is that 30 years later, it really isn’t any better and might be worse now. This song is really just as relevant today as it was back in 1991.

The drum barrage to kick it off gets the blood flowing. Then the guitars and bass coming roaring in and Aldo comes in with the vocals and there is a heck of a lot more energy as this song is a pure on rocker with heavy guitar, blistering riffs and a solo that will knock on your ass. The vocal deliver is a cross between Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” and Kiss’ “Hide Your Heart” as it is telling a story of a hard, rough life. Aldo does sound great, but it is the guitar’s that are the star here as Aldo rips and shreds all over the place with this one. The second star is Kenny Aronoff’s drumming as it is spectacular and the driving force to the song. A stellar comeback track for Aldo Nova!!

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Friday New Releases – April 28, 2023

How is we are already to the end of April…crazy. Well, things are starting to heat up here and definitely in the new releases. We get another Whitesnake Box Set and I am thrilled as Coverdale knows how to do these right. This one is on order and hopefully will arrive today. I’m also looking forward to Disciple and Colton Dixon who both are Christian artists just at each end of the spectrum…one metal, one pop. And that is it for me. What do you want to hear this week? Let me know what it is and what we may have missed even though we have around 45 release for you, we might’ve missed something. It happens. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

  • 91LDsOWcINL._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  Whitesnake – Still…Good to Be Bad (Super Deluxe Edition) – (Rhino Entertainment / Saltburn / Warner Music)
  • 816jwW6xMqL._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  Disciple – Skeleton Psalms – (BEC Recordings)
  • 71M6-Oxl-KL._AC_UL800_FMwebp_QL65_  Colton Dixon – Canvas – (Atlantic Records)

And all the rest….

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – April 28, 2023”

April 2023 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs & DVDs

Okay, grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relax as we are going to be here awhile as April turned in to a stellar month. And let’s just jump right in to this shall we. Before March even closed and after I wrote the March post on the purchases, this arrived in the mail…Needtobreathe’s Fan Club Exclusive vinyl autographed by the band. It is the 1st Edition from 2022 and took awhile to get here. And two weeks or so later. the 2nd Edition for 2023 arrived, autographed by the band. These are two of my favorite pieces now in my collection. As they are one of my favorite bands (after Kiss & Def Leppard of course).

And if that wasn’t enough with autographs, Jason Bieler released his latest album and I was able to grab on CD with his signature. I could’ve done vinyl, but I don’t have of his albums on vinyl so why start now. And this another great one. His stuff is so interesting and eclectic, Love it!!

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Mickey Ratt (feat. Stephen Pearcy) – ‘Ratt Era: The Best of’ (2020) – Album Review

In a time where the Ratt gang is battling on who owns what, who is suing who, it is no wonder Stephen Pearcy took it upon himself to re-record a bunch of Ratt classic songs. Why it is called Mickey Ratt is beyond me because most of these songs do not come from the Mickey Ratt era…some of them do though. Plus, he couldn’t call it straight up Ratt with all the lawsuits now could he.

The LP version is what I have which was released back in 2020. My copy has the pretty cool Pink LP and the album has 16 re-recorded Ratt songs with a little help from some of his friends including George Lynch and Tracii Guns. The cover is bad, the picture on the back is bad and the sound of the record is…well…not that bad. The early Ratt / Mickey Ratt songs sounded rough, raw and almost garage style, so these were recorded with that old sound and songs that dated back to the Mickey Ratt time frame, but recorded by Ratt sound like the old Mickey Ratt sound and not the polished production Ratt albums had. And I kind of dig that.

George Lynch plas on about 5 songs including the opener “Round And Round”. The song sounds good enough, but I hate to say this, George is no Warren DeMartini so I don’t like the guitar sound on the re-recording much at all. Sorry George, I’ve never really been a fan although you are superbly talented!! And the overall recording is no where near as good as the original…the same goes with most of these.

Continue reading “Mickey Ratt (feat. Stephen Pearcy) – ‘Ratt Era: The Best of’ (2020) – Album Review”

Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Retribution’ (2017) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

At this point in Jeff Scott Soto’s career, he had been signed with Frontiers Records for about 15 years now. This 2017 album, ‘Retribution'(which was released on November 10 of that year), was timed perfectly for his 15th Anniversary with the label. This is also his 6th solo album, the first dating back all the way to 1994’s ‘Love Parade’. As with a lot of his solo work, his good friend, Howie Simon, was back to help out and he did a lot. He co-wrote most of the songs, played on the most of them and co-produced the album with Jeff. Jeff brings in some help on drums with Edu Cominato who is Jeff’s drummer in his band SOTO. These three handle everything on the album on all songs, but two and we will talk about the players on those two songs when we get to them.

At times this album is as heavy as his SOTO band, but most of it is pretty standard melodic rock. And I say standard, because at this point in his catalog, I am not real thrilled with this solo albums. At first, I thought after spending around 15 months reviewing a Jeff Scott Soto album every single week, I was maybe getting burned out, but that is not the case. Reviewing the Sons of Apollo album was a lot of fun and so was the Joel Hoektra’s 13 album and all the recent W.E.T. albums. His music still excites me. But the solo stuff, especially this album, does not so much. I think it is the quality of the songs more than anything, but let’s dive in to those songs and find out why. I am apparently wrong in my thinking a vast majority of the reviews I read on this one praised it.

The album opens with a barrage of sound and then a dirty, gritty guitar riff. The title track, “Retribution”, is a on the heavier side closer to SOTO, but more melodic. The chorus is big, the guitars are powerful (listen to that solo), the drums are destructive and all leads to an explosive opening track.

Next up is “Inside/Outside” which is a pure melodic rock track. It has an ear catching opening like the title track, but toned down a little. The bass is heavy on this one, thumping hard and high in the mix. The song is a very radio-friendly track and has a really catchy chorus that will draw you in and you now it is Soto’s vocals that are the draw as they are powerful, smooth and they soar all at the same time.

Continue reading “Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Retribution’ (2017) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)”

My Sunday Song – “King of Deceit” by Aldo Nova

For My Sunday Song #357, we are talking about another recent release of Aldo’s called “King of Deceit” from his upcoming Rock Opera – ‘The Life & Times of Eddie Gage’. In 2022, he released a 10 song E.P. showcasing some of the 25 tracks on the over 2 hour Opera. This was one of the really cool songs on the album. The song and I believe instrument might have been played solely by Aldo Nova himself.

The album tells the story about a guy that sells his sole to the Devil to be a rock star and lyrically, this song is coming from the perspective of the Devil. The devil’s name is Ratl Ayida who was sent to Eddie (the rock star) by the CEO of the Deedalus Records, M.F. Stophalis, to corrupt him as felt Eddie would be his downfall. He is telling the Eddie not to trust him as he will lie to him and blind him from the truth. He will even cheat him since he is the “King of Deceit”. The singer is in such a bad place he is mesmerized by the trappings of the fame he could receive and he falls for the lies hook, line and sinker. He does tell Eddie that he will take it away as fast as he handed it to him, but the singer still goes along.

Musically, it is very dramatic with string orchestration and a beautiful, yet dark piano accompaniment. The song isn’t a rocker, it is a slower temple and the vocals are purposely almost sung in a spoken voice technique as he tells Eddie what is going to happen. The piano that is behind the vocals is so creepy and eerie as is all the music. It lets you know there is something evil going on with the story. I really loved it and can’t wait for the whole album to finally hit the shelves.

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Friday New Releases – April 21, 2023

Happy Friday and that statement is true because any day with new albums is a Happy Day!! We have around 35 new releases for you this week and a couple I’m interested in hearing, but won’t buy just yet. Through Fire and Texas Hippie Coalition will get my rock going this week. There are a bunch of Frontiers Records releases as they always do a bunch at one time and an MTV Unplugged for Twenty One Pilots might be interesting too. I hope there is something you like. Let me know what you want to hear this week and what we may have missed so everyone knows. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

  • 81k7qUonp-L._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  Through Fire – Devil’s Got You Dreamin’ – (Sumerian Records)
  • 91-BP2iu4NL._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  Texas Hippie Coalition – The Name Lives On – (MNRK Records)
  • 91Z9AfyAdBL._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  Twenty One Pilots – MTV Unplugged (Live) – (Fueled By Ramen)
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – April 21, 2023”

Whitesnake – ‘Best’ (1987) – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

I was out at a record show here in Charlotte and I love to go digging at them when they come around. You never know what you will find and this last trip was no different. If you’ve been on the site, you know I’m a huge David Coverdale fan and that of course means a Whitesnake fan as well. I love to find obscure Whitesnake stuff and I believe this fits the bill. I never knew this existed so of course I had to have it. It is a best of compilation out of Greece. It is on EMI, but this wasn’t compiled by the band, nope. I am sure this was done to capitalize on the success of their self-titled album or as some call it, “1987”. This was released only in Greece in 1987 and other than the band name and song titles, the notes on the back are written in Greek.

The cover art work is really bad, which is why I think it is really cool. Just Coverdale on the cover with a snake wrapping around it. That same snake is on the back as well. Not very original to say the least. The copy I have has a label that is different than what is on Discogs so I think I have a different variant. My label is the “Liberty” label, the one on discogs has the Whitesnake logo on top, no Liberty. I think that is pretty cool too. All around, I was quite pleased to pick this up and add it to the Whitesnake collection.

The songs only have one song from the new album, “Still of the Night”, and the rest are from the back catalog and it goes deep and wide. Honestly, it is an interesting track listing with the exception of “Day Tripper” which I hate Whitesnake’s version, but we will get to that. Production wise, it is okay. Nothing stellar. “Still of the Night” isn’t as impressive as on the CD which hurts it I believe. Otherwise, it is all fine. Glad to have a copy.


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Kiss – ‘Destroyer: 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition’ (2021) – Box Set Review (The Kiss Review Series)

With the album ‘Alive’ in 1975, Kiss finally broke through and were on their ways to be Rock Gods!! But their next album needed to make a statement. It needed to capture the band like none of their other albums had been able to do. Famed record producer, Bob Ezrin, was brought in to man the boards all based on the work he was doing with Alice Cooper. Kiss needed that same energy and success. And did Bob deliver? Oh hell yeah he did!! ‘Destroyer’ was released on March 15, 1976 and with songs like “Beth”, ‘Detroit Rock City” and “Shout it Out Loud”, Kiss was on top. They had made it! A now platinum selling artist, a massive touring act and they were starting to reach heights they only dreamed about. At first thought, the album was slow out of the gate until “Beth” was played on the radio…it was the B-Side to “Detroit Rock City” and then Bam!! Everything changed. To celebrate this pivotal album, Kiss delivered the 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition Box Set and it is jammed pack with goodness. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have been paying attention to other band’s box sets and now they know how to put one of these together and it is stellar…mostly.

It is jammed pack with 4 discs of music. A remastered edition of the main album; 2 CDs of demos, rarities, outtakes and remixes as well as 1 Live CDs chock full of goodness from the Paris show on May 22, 1976. And you also get a Blu-Ray Audio of the main album and I can’t wait to turn this baby on in surround sound and hear all that Bob put in to these songs. But that is not all, not by a long shot. The box set is packed with an 68-page book, posters, stickers, photo cards and all sorts of information about the band…don’t believe me, look at the sticker from the front of the box set…

So sit back and let’s go through the box set in detail with a lot of pictures to show you the beauty of this set.

Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Destroyer: 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition’ (2021) – Box Set Review (The Kiss Review Series)”

Sons of Apollo – ‘Psychotic Symphony’ (2017) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

The roots of Sons of Apollo stem back to the band Dream Theater as both Derek Sherinian and Mike Portnoy were once members. They both left Dream Theater (Sherinian fired in 1999 and Portnoy left in 2010) and eventually teamed back up for a short-lived instrumental project called PSMS with Billy Sheehan and Tony MacAlpine. Billy had played with Mike in the band The Winery Dogs. Eventually, Derek, Mike and Billy decided to make it a full time band (not a project) and they started Sons of Apollo. They needed a guitarist and Mike suggest Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal because why not, he’s fantastic. They also needed a singer and Mike suggested Jeff Scott Soto as his band had opened for The Winery Dogs and I am guessing Mike was impressed. The band was complete and ready to go.

The band recorded in only 10 days as their schedules were busy. They were produced by the dynamic duo called The Del Fuvio Brothers. What? You never heard of them…well…it is the nickname that both Derek and Mike had while in Dream Theater so they used that as the Producer name since they both produced the album. The band’s sound is a pinch of early Dream Theater and a dab of pure Classic Rock. Musically, the songs were written mostly by Portnoy and Sherinian with help from Bumblefoot and Billy. Soto handled most of the lyrics, but there was input Sherinian and Portnoy on a lot of the songs as well. It was a team effort (led by Derek & Mike).

The cover art work on the album was handled by Mike Portnoy. He had the vision. It was going to be two lions facing each other, but Derek suggested that his lion be an eagle and you can see it holding the keyboard while the lion is holding the drumsticks. There is a crown with a bunch of Bumblefoot and Billy’s headstocks form their guitar and bass behind it. I am not sure what part represents Soto. Is it the crown because he is the king of vocals or are the 3 spikes in the center actually pipes which would represent his vocal pipes? I don’t know, I’m making things up as I go along. The album title comes from the song “Lost in Oblivion” which has the line ‘Psychotic Symphony” in one of the verses. The album was released on October 20, 2017 to much critical acclaim and was a resounding success.

Continue reading “Sons of Apollo – ‘Psychotic Symphony’ (2017) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)”