May 2023 Purchases – Vinyl, CDs & More

If you had a 2 Loud 2 Old Music Mug, I’d tell you to sit back, fill it up with whatever you like and prepare yourself for what is to come. This was an interesting month and some incredible finds…for cheap!! And I mean cheap!! But before we get to the cheap stuff, let’s discuss what first showed up on our doorstep for May…well, it was actually April but it was the day I posted the April Purchases wrap-up so it missed that post. That is the boxset for the Whitesnake album ‘Good To Be Bad”…titled “Still…Good To Be Bad”. Another impressive boxset…or is it?…review to come.

And there was an album that came out months ago on CD and digital, but the album just showed up in May. It is for the lead singer of one of my favorite bands Needtobreathe. It is Bear Rinehart’s second solo album under the name Wilder Woods. It is different then NTB which it should be since he is the voice of NTB. If it sounded like NTB, it would be a NTB album…

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Sons of Apollo – ‘MMXX’ (2020) – Album Review (the Jeff Scott Soto Series)

After playing over 80 shows together to support the debut album, Derek Sherinian, Mike Portnoy and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal joined up at Mike’s studio and started working on the new album. The three gelled and wrote the album in around 3 weeks. Of course, after that, the songs need lyrics and that is were lead singer Jeff Scott Soto comes in as he wrote all the lyrics for the album (with minor exceptions of help from Mr. Sherinian on some of the melodies). And the songs were ready to record. Writing and recording happened over 8 months and each member of the band, including bassist Billy Sheehan, able to work in their own studios for their parts.

The album was called MMXX which is 2020 in Roman Numerals and the time when it was released which was on January 17, 2020. The album’s sound changed a little from the last album which had a lot of sounds from the past as it had some Dream Theater elements as well as some classic rock. This time around, they went for a more modern sound and a much more polished feel which is why the cover with the band’s crest seems more polished. The prior songs were more mythical and now they are more futuristic. Is the change in a sound a good thing or is it a bad thing? I guess we need to go through the tracks and find out.

The opening song and first single (came out on November 15, 2019), “Goodbye Divinity”, brings the prog right out of the gate as it goes on for about 2 minutes before Soto gets his pipes in the mix. After that happens it becomes a solid rock song with ample time for each musician to show what they can do. With not just hints of Dream Theater’s sound, but obvious stamps that show their roots are front and center. Honestly, it is a good song, but not as strong as the opener “God of the Sun” from the debut in my opinion. The working title on this one was called “Blood Orchid” which was inspired by a riff by Derek that he did during one of his live solos (thanks wiki for that one).

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The 1002nd Album – S1E28. John T. Snow (Queensrÿche – Operation: Mindcrime)

I want to thanks Geoff Stephen of The 1002nd Album Podcast for having me on the show. Join Geoff and I as we talk though the album as well as discussing the impact of opening acts, unforced concept albums, and records that feel like movies. It was a lot of fun discussing one of my all time favorite albums and why it should be the 1002nd album on the The 1001 albums you should hear before you die.

Click on The 1002nd Album to hear…or click on the Youtube link below…

My Sunday Song – “Cigarette Daydreams” by Cage the Elephant

For My Sunday Song #362, we are covering the 2nd song in the Morgan’s Choice 10 song set. This time around we are talking about the song “Cigarette Daydreams” by Cage the Elephant. The song is off their 2013 album ‘Melophobia’ and was the 2nd song off that album to go #1. Released on as a single on August 26, 2014, it has sold over 3,000,000 copies of the single and has over 42 million views on Youtube. Pretty dang impressive. It was credited to the whole band, but it was mostly the singer Matt Schultz who wrote it. Matt thought about giving it to someone else to play because he didn’t think it was a Cage song, but his brother Brad said that why can’t they write any song and play it. It doesn’t have to be a so called “Cage the Elephant” song, they should just write and play what they want.

Matt was sitting around strumming his guitar when the melody came to him and then the words flowed. It was inspired by a personal experience he had and that experience helped write the song and it all came quick and easy. The experience is about isolating yourself from everyone. Even from those that could help you. They feel lost in life and that loneliness grows the more they isolate themselves from the world. It is a conversation on depression and we should be talking about it more. The thought is it is about his relationship with his first wife. Whoever it is about, it is a sad, melancholy tune that is so simple and so beautiful.

What I love about this song is the acoustic styling of the song reminds of my favorite Guster song “Do You Love Me”. It has that same rawness to it and quirkiness that speaks to me for some reason. The music is as sad as the lyrics, but it has such a pretty melody and a chorus that is a little upbeat and happier. Matt’s vocals are smooth, with a little whine to it that fits perfectly with the song and its lyrics. The keyboards add a nice flair to it and the rhythm section keeps the song moving and on point. A sweet, yet sad track that is nothing short of perfection.

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Friday New Releases – May 26, 2023

May is about over and Summer is upon us, but before we get to the Summer months, let’s have one more Friday New Release post. And there isn’t a ton, but there is a lot of metal if you like metal from Metal Church to Iced Earth and everything in between. The only one I’m interested in is Matchbox Twenty as I did like their last album so hoping for some more good stuff. Maybe the Simply Red album will get a stream as well. Other than that, I am good this week. Let me know what you want to hear this week. And let us know what we missed as well. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

  • 71ZjrRgDZwL._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  Matchbox Twenty – Where The Light Goes – (Atlantic Records)
  • 71SHUtUtMaL._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  Simply Red – Time – (Simply Red)
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Winger – ‘Pull’ (1993) – Album Review

By 1993, the music landscaped had completely changed for the 80’s glam metal scene. Gone were the bands I’d had grown up loving and replaced by Grunge, but that didn’t stop bands from putting out albums. In fact, for one band, Winger, it might have produced its best album to date. Beavis and Butthead might have made Winger a laughing stock, but us diehard fans, didn’t take stock in that farce. No, we continued to follow the band’s music and if we hadn’t we might’ve missed out on the band’s heaviest and most daring album.

The band was down to three members with Kip Winger, Rob Morgenstein and Reb Beach as keyboardist Paul Taylor had left the band. He wasn’t the only one to leave as producer Beau Hill was out as well. In his stead were Kip Winger himself along with the help of Mike Shipley who had recently worked on Def Leppard’s Adrenalize album. Released on May 18, 1993, ‘Pull” showcased a very mature Winger and a band that wasn’t going to be stopped creating and putting out their best material (even though this was their last album for years to follow).

The opening track, “Blind Revolution Mad”, starts off with an acoustic guitar with a very dark overtone. Kip was singing in richer, deeper tone that came across as eerie and meaner. The song keeps building slowly with each line and you feel an intensity that is about to be unleashed. The first chorus is ready to explode and the song goes full on gangbusters. It is bombastic, energizing and electric. The guitar riffs are shocking, the drums are destructive and when Kip lets loose, his energy is set forth upon the world. A brutal and glorious song.

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2 Loud 2 Old Music Proudly Presents – Merch!!! The Store is Now Open!!!

The wait is over!! You can now buy Merch for 2 Loud 2 Old Music!! I know…it is awesome news and a long time coming! Click on the link below and it will take you right to the storefront…

2 Loud 2 Old Music Store Front

The store is hosted by and I think there is a little something for everyone and what can you get? Let’s take a look and see…and before we get to the items offered, let me show you what some of this stuff ACTUALLY looks like since I have bought a few things myself…

The clothes…

Including the two shirts above, we also picked out a sweatshirt and hoodie. The logo on the t-shirts and sweatshirts will be slightly smaller on anything you order. This was a first run to check the size.

All other…

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Kiss – ‘Black Diamond: Lafayette Music Room, Memphis, TN April 18th, 1974 – FM Broadcast’ (Alternate Cover) – Album Review (The Bootleg Series)

If you are thinking, “John, you’ve reviewed this show before”. You would be right. I reviewed it about a 1 1/2 years ago. But this one is different…it has a different cover and from a different manufacturer. In my quest to get as many Kiss Bootleg’s I can, I found this one in a local record show, new and sealed. And cheap. This is actually an easy one to get if you are collecting Kiss Bootlegs. I think I paid $20 for it. When I saw it, I knew I had this show, but I really liked the cover and this one has clear vinyl. Otherwise, there is nothing really special about this one, no inserts, no picture sleeves and no surprised in the package like I have received in a lot of my bootlegs. This one is rather generic. For historical reasons though, it is pretty cool. The recording is an FM Broadcast from April 18, 1974 in Memphis, TN at the Lafayette Music Room and is one of the earliest recordings of the band.

Soundwise…well…let’s just say there is sound. This is a recording off a radio broadcast on to a tape. That tape was then copied, which was then copied, which was then copied, which was then copied and keep going for another dozen copies. There is a massive tape drag at several points during the show which slows the song down and it is quite noticeable. That proves that the source material was from an old tape that had been copied many times. Yes, the sound sucks at times and might be on the low end of some of my bootlegs, but I am still okay with it and because I collect them I will buy regardless.

If you look at the setlist, you will notice a few things stand out. One is they basically played the entire debut album with a few minor exceptions. Two, they play the song “She” which won’t come out until 2 albums later on ‘Dressed to Kill’. And Three, they play a song called “Acrobat” which is actually the basis for the song “Love Theme From Kiss” from the first album. This is two months after the debut album release, so it is strange they played the “Acrobat” version and not the album version.


The album and set opens with “Deuce” and boy can you hear the tape drag on this one, pretty drastic. But you can still make out the song and hear Gene just fine as it is in the instruments where you have the issues. Nothing is real clear except the vocals. Towards the end of the song, it clears up and gets a little louder and that cowbell comes in nicely. “Strutter” is up next after a slight pause and you get more wobbly instruments and even a little on the vocals this time around. Paul sounds like he is singing the song so much slower. Again, you are buying this strictly for the historical value…that is what I keep telling myself anyway.

“Firehouse” sounds great and I happy with that version. It is an untouched, live version warts and all and it is quite enjoyable. Ace’s solo sounds good and you get a glimpse of the band doing what they do best with no real hiccups. The cool song on here is “She” as I said it hadn’t even been released yet on an album. The guitar opening on it sounds a little slower and I am guessing that is the tape drag as there is a lot of wobble. But vocally again, sounds good. Gene is menacing as ever and Paul on background duties. The coolest part is the instrumental break/guitar solo as it isn’t what we get later. This the reason to buy this release if you need one. And last up for Side 1 is the badass song “Nothin’ to Lose”. And by this time you are used to the wobble and so it starts sounding pretty decent (okay, decent enough). I love this song as you get both Gene and Peter on vocals (and Paul is heard pretty good on backing vocals). I love Peter’s gritty and raspy old school singing on this one. Always fun.


Side 2 kicks off with the Ace Frehley penned song “Cold Gin” (after the radio DJ does a station break), but with Gene on vocals as Ace wasn’t singing this early on in the band. Now, I did get to see Ace do this one this past Summer when he opened for Alice Cooper but that is another story. I really love this song but I will say this version seemed a little flat and not sure if that was the band or the recording itself. After a little tuning, we get Gene’s bass and some thumps until they become “100,000 Years”. Paul sounds fresh and youthful and can do some great ooh-yeahs back then.

Another favorite of mine to hear live is “Black Diamond” even with a DJ interrupting the opening notes for a station break. The tape is wobbly again as it sounds a little funky and messed up, but it is still “Black Diamond”. I love the slow opening and then the bombastic explosion for the rest of the song. Plus, the instrumental break and solo are always great. An all around fantastic song every time I hear it. The song ends the broadcast. Then the show announcer comes back and the band is tuning their instruments a little they go in to what is labeled as “Acrobat” but it cuts out the “Love Theme From Kiss” parts off and is just the band jamming. Peter has a little drum solo piece then the band kicks in and they jam out, all instrumentally and then they start singing only a little. There are very few lyrics and they sing “You’re much too young” a couple times and then they go back to jamming and we get a killer guitar solo piece as well. Then Paul says “Good Night” and it is all over. Fun track.

Despite the tape drag and the wobbly sound in out at times throughout, I still find this an enjoyable most especially for an early version of “She” and for the encore with “Acrobat”. It is also a cool historical piece to have anything live and uncut from 1974 with them really just getting going. All-in-all, it turned out to be an okay show as you get used to the sound issues and you enjoy it for what it is. I can’t give it too high of a score, but I will give it at least a 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars (but it should get more for the two songs I mentioned – maybe a 3.0 to 3.5…but that might be too generous).

The Bootleg Series:

  1. Kiss – ‘Accept No Imitations’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ASYLUM TOUR)
  2. Kiss – Look Wot You Dun to Me (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (CRAZY NIGHTS TOUR)
  3. Kiss – The Summer of Satan: The Devils Ride Out! (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DESTROYER TOUR)
  4. Kiss – Return to Capital Center (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DYNASTY TOUR)
  5. Kiss – With Fire & Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (HOTTER THAN HELL TOUR)
  6. Kiss – Northhampton PA March 19th, 1975 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DRESSED TO KILL TOUR)
  7. Kiss – The Hottest Show On Earth (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (THE HOTTEST SHOW ON EARTH TOUR 2010)
  8. Kiss – All the Way to the Ball Room (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (Australian Tour 1995)
  9. Kiss – Kiss of Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (The Rising Sun Tour 2006)
  10. Kiss – Agora Ballroom 1974: The Cleveland Broadcast plus Bonus Cuts (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (THE KISS TOUR)
  11. Kiss – Hotter Than Hell: Radio Broadcast 1976 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ROCK & ROLL OVER TOUR)
  12. Kiss – The Tickler (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (LICK IT UP TOUR 1983)
  13. Kiss – Barbarize (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ANIMALIZE WORLD TOUR 1984 – North American Tour)
  14. Kiss – They Only Come Out At Night (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ANIMALIZE WORLD TOUR 1984 – EUROPEAN TOUR)
  15. Wicked Lester and the Progeny Demo Sessions (Bootleg)
  16. Kiss – Black Diamond: Lafayette Music Room, Memphis, TN April 18th, 1974 – FM Broadcast
  17. Kiss – End of the Road: In Allentown 2020 (PPL Center, Allentown, PA, 4th February 2020) (End of the Road Tour) – Blu-Ray
  18. Kiss – ‘Monster Tour: Simpsonville 2013’ (Charter Amphitheatre at Heritage Park, Simpsonville, C – 13th August 2013) – Blu-Ray
  19. Wicked Lester – The Original Wicked Lester Sessions (Bootleg)
  20. Kiss – The Ritz on Fire (August 12, 1988, The Ritz, New York City. A radio broadcast – Crazy Nights Tour)
  21. Kiss – Kiss My Axe 1978: Live from the Los Angeles Forum in California, August 25, 1977 (Love Gun Tour)
  22. Kiss – Gods of Thunder: The Legendary Concert Broadcast – Sao Paulo, August 27, 1994′
  23. Kiss – Black Diamond: Lafayette Music Room, Memphis, TN April 18th, 1974 – FM Broadcast (Alternate Cover)

Sons of Apollo – ‘Live with the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony’ (2019) – Album Review (the Jeff Scott Soto Series)

This is not a side project, the band has made that clear and one way to prove that Sons of Apollo is a band is to tour and they did. But the show they decided to record wasn’t just a tour show, Nope! It was so much more. And it needed to be. They needed to capture the true essence of what this band is about and I have to say, I believe they did that and then some. They recorded the show back on September 22, 2018 at The Ancient Roman Amphitheater in Plovdiv Bulgaria and what a beautiful setting it is. Worthy of the Sons of the God Apollo. And the show couldn’t just be the band playing, Nope. It needed a little something extra so they brought in the Plovdiv Orchestra and a choir nicely named for this show as the Psychotic Symphony. This isn’t a band playing their songs with a symphony like so many bands, this is different, fresh and exciting.

You get it all packaged in a 3 CD set, that is right…3 CDs cover the whole entire show. Over 2 1/2 hours of rock & roll & prog bliss!! And if that isn’t enough, they throw in a DVD of the entire show as well. And the DVD is really where it is at in my book. Listening to the CD is great and you will enjoy the show, but when you watch it live and see these guys in action, Holy Shit!! These guys can play and they put on a master class of what musicianship really is. With Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, Mike Portnoy and drums, Derek Sherinian on Keyboards, Billy Sheehan on bass and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on guitar, these are some of the best in the field and they show you how it is done.

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My Sunday Song – “Bang Bang” By Nessa Barrett

For My Sunday Song #361, we are doing a different sort of 10 song set. Instead of 10 songs in a row from a band, I asked my daughter to pick 10 songs that she likes and I will listen to them and write about them giving my thoughts on them. It is a varied bunch of artists, some I wasn’t surprised she picked, some I was and some I wish she hadn’t, but I’ll do it anyway. First one up is actually one of my favorites that she picked. It is the song “Bang Bang” by singer Nessa Barrett. It was released as a single back in December 2022, but it isn’t on her latest album. It is a brand new song. Nessa is one of the few artists to come off of TikTok and actually land a record deal and there is a reason for it as she has a great voice and does some pretty interesting songs. There is another one she does called “I Hope UR Miserable Until UR Dead” that I think is totally awesome, but this one is great too.

The song is really dark. Nessa has a mental disorder called borderline personality rage and she really lets you know what goes on when that happens. The line “I’ve Got Intrusive Thoughts” is exactly what happens as when you are in that rage, the crazy things you want to do at that exact moment can be overwhelming. In the song, she wants to do some really bad things to her ex & his girlfriend like kill him first, cut the lines on his breaks and beat him with a crowbar, heck maybe even throw him off the roof of a building. All a little disturbing and all make a great song.

Musically, there is a lot of aggressiveness to it and a whole punk attitude. Heck the song is only a little over 2 minutes and it goes by in a frenzied flash. The electronic drum beats, the wicked basslines are heavy, quick, a little distorted and totally rocking. Nessa delivers the lyrics in a fast, deliberate fashion that seems eerie and yet and there is a little fun to her vocals as well. When she gets to the “I’ve Got Intrusive Thoughts” part, she speaks it which doubles down the evilness of the song and I will be honest, that is what is great about the song. That chorus is catchy as hell with the “la, la, la’s” and the “bang bang”, simple yet very effective.

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