“My First Time” with Whitesnake’s ‘Whitesnake’

Over the past couple weeks, I have dived deeply into Whitesnake’s early albums such as ‘Lovehunter’, ‘Ready an’ Willing’, ‘Come an’ Get It’ and “Saints & Sinners’.  And I actually picked up ‘Ready an’ Willing’ and ‘Come an’ Get It’ on vinyl last week. Those albums are so good and hate that I didn’t really know about them back in the day.  It got me thinking about the first album I bought from Whitesnake which was simply ‘Whitesnake’.

The album came out in 1987, my senior year of high school.  It quickly became one of my favorite albums of that year (behind ‘Hysteria’ by Def Leppard of course).  It was pure 80’s hair metal (or whatever label you want to give it) and pure magic.  The pounding drums, the guitar solos, the thumping bass, the synthesizers and that voice.  A combination that as a sure fire hit.  Which it was as the album actually went to #2 on the Billboard charts.

However, this album almost didn’t get made.  After 10 years of playing with little to no success, David Coverdale was ready to call it quits for Whitesnake.  The U.S. had pretty much ignored the band and the former Deep Purple singer had about had enough.  If it wasn’t for the record label, Geffen Records, Whitesnake as we know it, would be gone forever.

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My Sunday Song – “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash

My Sunday Song #45 is the great Johnny Cash Song “A Boy Named Sue”.  The song was first recorded during the live concert ‘At San Quentin’ and is one of my favorite Johnny Cash songs.  It tells such an amazing story about a boy seeking revenge against his deadbeat dad who left him and his mom and who named him Sue.

The song was Johnny’s biggest charting song on the Billboard Hot 100 where it reached #2.  It was also his only Top 10 song which is amazing.  Why didn’t he make it to #1, well a little known band named the Rolling Stones held that position with “Honky Tonk Woman”.

“A Boy Named Sue” is a song only Johnny Cash could sing and pull off.  I don’t think the song would have been as successful with any other singer…at least to me it wouldn’t have been.  The grittiness of Cash’s voice and the way he sort of spoke it instead of singing it was absolutely perfect.  It gave a life and a charm to the song all its own.

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Father’s Day – The Vinyl Gifts

I hate holidays…I don’t know why, but i just do.  Ok, I hate the ones where I have to buy gifts…I feel so much pressure.  The holidays I do like are the ones where I actually get gifts.  The old adage “it is better to give than to receive” is crap.  That person never received vinyl records as a gift obviously.

For Father’s Day this year, my wife and daughters gave me some nice gifts.  Not only did I receive some great cards and some candy, but I got some nice shirts for work as well.  Which I needed.  They also got me some really cool, crazy socks.  One was blue with some pineapples (don’t know why, but I love them) and the other was some gray socks with guitars on them (I understand that one and love them as well).

But what I loved most of all was some vinyl.  I love to go buy vinyl, but I generally only buy used records from the 70’s & 80’s and if I am lucky…early 90’s.  The brand new copies I generally don’t buy…too expensive.  So I always ask for those as gifts.

The first album I received was from one of the family’s favorite bands and that is Train.  It is the last great Train record called ‘California 37’.  The title track is one of my favorite Train songs and it is just a great album from beginning to end. My oldest daughter will probably steal this record from time to time.  Now why is that the last great Train record…well…I will save that for another time.

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The album sounds great and had a nice bonus with a CD copy of the album as well.

 

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Now, the next 3 albums were from a former favorite band of mine.  I say former because the amount of disappointment in the last 10 years has knocked them from the list of favorite bands.  However, I now have 3 albums of theirs that I just love.  One I have had a hard time finding on vinyl (I won’t shop online, I prefer walking through stores and flipping through racks).  The other 2 were never released on vinyl until recently.  They were on my wish list I keep so my kids and wife know what to get me and to my surprise, they got me all 3.

I wanted to post this last week, but had to wait as one of the albums didn’t come until a couple days ago.  The band is Bon Jovi.  The albums were New Jersey, Keep the Faith and These Days.

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They are all 2LP 180g editions and all sound great.  New Jersey and Keep the Faith open up and have a separate slot for each album where These Days just has the one cover.

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I hadn’t listened to them in awhile and they haven’t lost anything over the years.  Still some of their best work.  Shame they don’t write ’em like these anymore.  Not a bad haul for Father’s Day.  Can’t wait for Birthday and Christmas now!!!

Friday New Releases – June 23rd

Happy Friday!  I hope your Summer is going well.  This week has very few releases that are on my radar so not a lot to choose from.  There are a couple that will get a spin and maybe I can catch up on all the releases earlier in the month.  The ones I will listen to are highlighted in Blue…as usual.

  • 170x170bb-60  Imagine Dragons – Evolve – (Interscope):  The pop/rock band is back with their third studio release.  After breaking on to the scene in 2012 with “Radioactive, they hope to capture the magic yet again.  If “Believer” is any indication of what is to come, we should have another great release.

  • 170x170bb-33  King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Murder of the Universe – (Flightless Records):  King Gizzard returns with their 2nd album of 2017.  The first ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ was exceptional and can they repeat the magic so quickly?  We will see.  Plus, they intend to release 4 to 5 albums this year so they better get moving as we are almost half way through the year.  This album appears to be quite different from the last as it is broken up into 3 chapters to tell an overall story I am assuming. I will have to wait and hear I guess.  NOTE: Video has a warning that if you are susceptible to seizures, DO NOT watch the video.

  • 170x170bb-29  311 – MOSAIC – (311 Band, LLC):  I have never been a huge 311 fan, but this could be a nice refreshing change from my normal listening pattern.  I might check this one out only because the song “Too Much To Think” sounds fun.

  • 170x170bb-45  Joe Bonamassa – Live at Carnegie Hall – An Acoustic Evening – (J&R Adventures)
  • 170x170bb  Radiohead – OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997-2017 – (XL Recordings)

Bryan Adams – “Straight From the Heart” & “Cuts Like A Knife” – The 45 Single (1985)

For the next single that was in my box of vinyl, you get two for the price of one.  It is actually a re-issued single of two of Bryan Adams most popular songs from his ‘Cuts Like a Knife’ album.  A&M Records had a 45 single series called A&M Memories where they re-released singles of artists and both sides were previously released singles from the artist and from the same album.

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The original singles “Straight From the Heart” and “Cuts Like a Knife” were actually released in 1983 as separate singles.  The B-Side for “Straight From the Heart” was “One Good Reason” and the B-Side for “Cuts Like a Knife” was “Lonely Nights”.  This release of those singles was done only a couple years later in 1985. The concept of this A&M series was pretty smart as it gave the customer two hit songs for the price of one.

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Papa Roach – ‘Crooked Teeth’ – Album Review

‘Crooked Teeth’ is Papa Roach’s ninth studio album and with it they show no signs of slowing down.  The band sounds incredible and delivers another solid release.  Where bands like Linkin Park have completely changed their style, Papa Roach hasn’t changed their sound too dramatically.  And why should they as they do it so well.

Papa Roach still brings the rap in their songs, however, the album is more melodic and has a very modern rock sound.  With any rock album, it sounds best cranked up as loud as you can take it.  Like they did with their last album, ‘F.E.A.R.’, they have also added a couple of collaborations with some spectacular guests including Skylar Grey and Machine Gun Kelly.

The album opens with “Break the Fall” and gives you the rap lyrics you would expect and then cranks up the metal with the classic Papa Roach sound.  The album comes out of the gate swinging and doesn’t let up with the title track, “Crooked Teeth”.  The first single off the album is a scorcher that attacks you from all sides with the pounding drums and screaming vocals and powerful guitars.  You see that even after 24 years, the band has not lost a step.

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Happy Father’s Day – “I Miss You A Little” by John Michael Montgomery

To remember our Father’s we have lost, here is John Michael Montgomery’s “I Miss You A Little”.  My brother-in-law, Jimmy, lost his father 21 years ago and I remember his dad.  He was a great man.  This song means a lot to him and still brings a tear to his eye every time he hears it.  He sent me this song as he thought this would be a great song to honor his dad and now my dad on Father’s Day.

I lost my dad back in April and so this is the first Father’s Day without him.  It is harder than I thought it would be.  It is made easier as I am a Father and my wife and girls always make me feel special.  Spending the day with them will help me get through it although it doesn’t make me miss my Dad any less.

To all the Fathers out there and all the Fathers we have lost, Happy Father’s Day!

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