After the disappointing results of the George Martin produced ‘One on One’, the band went back to their earlier Power Pop sound using producer Todd Rundgren. Now, hearing Rundgren was the producer made me think this might get just as experimental as the previous one, but surprisingly it doesn’t. It sticks to a sound of the band’s earlier albums like ‘In Color’ and ‘Heaven Tonight’. As we are now dead in the middle of the new wave movement that Cheap Trick influenced the bands in this genre greatly, it was a strange thing to have them go back in time with their sound and not push the sound further forward. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t sound like the 80’s at times because it does, it is just when they do they classic Cheap Trick sound, it really works well.
The band at the time was still Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Bun E. Carlos and newer member Jon Brant. And from what I’ve read, many members of the band feel this is one of their favorite albums. I can’t say I agree with that statement, but we will get to that in a minute.
The album was recorded back in December 1982 at Utopia Sound in Lake Hill, New York which I am guessing is Rundgren’s studio as he has an album called Utopia which I own. But the album didn’t actually see the light of day August 15, 1983 which to me is quite a long stretch between recording and releasing. That would be normal in today’s timeframe with delays on vinyl pressing, but back then turnaround time was much faster. Not sure why the delay. The album charted only as high as #61 and the two singles on the album didn’t break the Top 40 and in fact, not sure if they even charted at all. The album didn’t even go Gold. This was not turning out to be a very shining example of the who the band were.
For My Sunday Song #276, we are going to go after “Human Touch” by Rick Springfield. The song was from Rick’s 1983 album ‘Living in Oz’. The song wasn’t his biggest hit ever, but it did pretty well charting at #23 in the US giving him another Top 40 hit. Interestingly enough, the song charted at #23 in the UK and was his only Top 40 hit in the UK making him a one-hit wonder in the UK. That’s right, ‘Jessie’s Girl’ didn’t go Top 40 there.
The song was inspired by kids back in the early 80’s getting stuck in front of their computer games and forgetting how to communicate and interact with other people. That’s funny, I don’t think that has changed and now is worse with today’s phones. Rick noticed this and was reminded by how much we as human needed to communicate with each other, how much we needed to touch each other in some way. He took that thought and turned in to a love story and sexualized it a little, okay, a lot. I love how he talks about someone building up walls around themselves and the girl, Sally, calls them his prison cell. We all have those walls and only certain people can break through them, but to do that, you need to let them touch you in some way. It is pretty deep.
Musically, Rick actually recorded the song using a lot of computers which he found the contradiction to be quite funny and I agree. The song starts off with a couple of computer beeps and then a drum machine kicks in which is exactly what he says in the song that people are dancing to drum machines so why not put them in. It is basic pop and dance song and is very dated in its sound which I think now adds to its charm. Later in the song we get a saxophone which jazzes it up a little, but overall it is a very generic sounding song, but I think the meaning is way deeper and shows that Rick actually has a lot of depth in his writing. He was a man ahead of his time. He should probably redo this song today as sadly, it still applies but even more so with the pandemic and the lack of human touch for so long.
Hot off the Presses from the LeBrain Train and the host Mike Ladano
The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike, John & Harrison
Episode 89 – Top Five Replacement Singers
This Cinco-de-Listo episode was planned for October, but due to circumstances beyond our control, had to be rescheduled. So here we go!
The first time I posted this, I got so many comments about “Dio!”, “Dickinson!”, “Hagar!” and “Gillan!” that we decided on some ground rules. Those guys are already well known for what they did. They are like the Mount Rushmore of replacement singers. We don’t need to waste valuable space in our Top Five lists on the obvious ones. So these lists will be the other guys who deserve recognition. You can name dozens of favourites, but who would make your Top Five?
With those two guys, you know we will get a mix of the logical and the unpredictable! Don’t miss this one. Please like and share, and join the discussion live with your own lists. Your lists will go up on the screen for discussion! It’s gonna be fun, but the most fun can be had by watching live!
Welcome to December and its beginning to look a lot like Christmas. If you need some gift ideas, you might know some people that will want new music so here is the latest batch of new releases. If you are interested, I would take the Skid Row box set if you are thinking of getting me something. If not, I would still like the box set! HA!! Otherwise, there is nothing I am interested in this week. Take a look through and see what you may like and let me know what interests you or if we missed anything. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.
Skid Row – The Atlantic Years (1989-1996) Box Set – (BMG Rights): The collection includes seven 180-Gram Audiophile vinyl LPs, including the band’s multi-million selling, worldwide-charting first three studio albums, plus the B-Side Ourselves EP and the live EP, Subhuman Beings on Tour!!, which was previously only available on CD in Japan. It is now being made available globally and on vinyl for the first time ever. I want this but not sure I if it is worth it yet.
And all the rest…
U2 – Achtung Baby (30th Anniversary) – (Island Records / Universal)
Tom Morello – The Atlas Underground Flood – (Comandante / Mom+Pop)
Starting January 3rd, 2022, we will kick off the EPIC series covering one of my favorite singers, Jeff Scott Soto!! We will go through his entire career from where it all began in 1984 with Panther all the way to his latest solo album that came out this past October called ‘Duets’. Wait, I know it started with a band called Threshold in 1983 (not to be confused with the prog metal band years later), but I can’t find anything on that band or album so it is starting with Panther for this series as I have that album.
No stone will be left unturned! Okay, that isn’t true as we are not going in to any compilations or tribute albums where he wasn’t the featured singer as this will only be albums that Jeff is the Lead Singer and not just appearing on one song as we would be here forever if that was the case. We will also have some great little bonus pieces with Singles and E.P.’s I happen to have in my collection and interesting one-off projects he has done. Heck, I even have a digital bootleg of when Jeff Scott Soto toured as the lead singer with Journey. And as you can see below, it is quite a collection…if I do say so myself…
There will be over 65 Posts in the Series, you read that right, 65!! And that is at least 65 because I am sure he will release 1 to 2 to maybe even 4 albums by the time I’m done. I expect this to take over a year to complete because this isn’t all I’m going to do. No, not at all. We will still finish up the series of Cheap Trick and Aerosmith that we are currently doing in 2022 and when those end I am sure new series will be added in as well. Quite possibly Bon Jovi, Scorpions, Van Halen, Ace Frehley, Poison or even Def Leppard. It won’t be all, just a couple of them, but I can’t decide which ones yet. But heck, I do already have an idea of which epic artist I want to tackle after Jeff, but that will be 2023 and it could be huge. We will announce it next year.
Aerosmith was a mess by this point in time. The drug use was out of control and during a show in Portland, Maine, Steven Tyler collapsed on stage. Even if that didn’t make matters worse, Steven was later in a really bad motorcycle accident that left him hospitalized for two months. It was a scary time and they needed a break. One way to do that was for the record label to release a greatest hits compilation which they did and on November 11, 1980, the ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation was released.
The album didn’t do that well as it only charted at #43. However, over the years it grew in popularity and has wound up being one of their biggest selling albums of all times with sales well over 11 million which would certify it as Diamond. Hell, I’ve bought it twice at least.
The track list was short at only 10 songs, but they are 10 great Aerosmith classics. While some songs are straight from the albums they were on, others have been edited. The album also included the Beatles cover of “Come Together” off the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Soundtrack. Now, they have reissued the album with a bunch more tracks, but we are sticking with the original track listing. Now, my version is the CD version of it for some reason as I could’ve sworn I had a vinyl of this, but apparently not.
Can you believe there is only one more month in the year? It has flown by so fast. And here we are again with another month end wrap-up of the purchases we have made here at 2 Loud 2 Old Music. It was a pretty decent month and another month where CDs outweighed the vinyl. There should’ve been a couple more vinyl in here, but with all the delays in vinyl pressing I have 3 that have been bought that will now not show up until 2022!! Thanks Adele!!!
First up this month are a couple that came in at the end of October after I had done my post. First is the John 5 & The Creatures release ‘Sinner’ and this one is signed. It is an awesome album and it will be interesting to see where this lands on our year-end countdown.
The other item that I received was another stellar box set from Whitesnake. This time around it is the 25th Anniversary of the album ‘Restless Heart’. It is full of demos, remixes and the always cool Evolutions disc that walks you through the evolution of the songs. Sadly, there was no live show added but that is being picky.
On my Summer vacation back in June, I found over 20 singles with the picture sleeve. I’ve been through a bunch of them so far and now we are tackling the Bon Jovi singles that I found. There were 5 Singles found and we kicked it off with the following:
Now it is time for another ‘New Jersey’ single with “Born to be My Baby”. This was the second single off the album and did pretty dang great going all the way to #3 on the Billboard Top 100 and it was one of 5 Top 10 Singles off this album…crazy!!! It was another track written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and of course, Desmond Child. There is no denying his impact with the band.
As you can see from above that the B-Side is “Love For Sale” also from the same album. However, that is WRONG!!! Ok, not really, that is truly the B-Side, but my copy is not normal. It is actually a promo that was sent out using the regular single cover. So, my copy has “Born to Be My Baby” on both sides. It even says on the single label, “Promotional Copy – Not For Sale” which I think is cool. Like some older promos that I have which has one side Stereo and one side Mono, this one is all Stereo and the same song on each side, no differences.
For My Sunday Song #275, we are going after the brutal song “3 Warning Shots” by Rick Springfield. This is another from the 2008 album ‘Venus in Overdrive’. The album went to #28 on the Billboard charts upon its release and I think was a very overlooked album by many as it had some great tracks including this one.
The song is about the murder of John Lennon and it is not what you’d expect. It is a letter to the man that killed Lennon and there is so much anger in this letter and it is really shocking (I’m not saying the killers name for a reason as he does deserve to be named). Rick is basically telling the guy, if I find you, I am going to basically kill you by shooting you 3 times in the head. I love how he tells the guy that Lucifer might have promised you you’d be legit, but everybody thinks your shit. It is not a song you would expect Rick Springfield to write, but it is awesome.
I love how the song opens with Rick’s son reading the news like an actual broadcast of Lennon’s death. Rick then sings with so much anger and to match that the music is a lot heavier. The drums pound with a veracity that amplifies that anger. The whole song is Rick calling out Lennon’s killer and the song wouldn’t be as impactful if the music didn’t match the intensity of the lyrics and Rick’s vocals. It all works perfectly. I remember hearing the song the first time and being taken back. I had to hit repeat and listen to it again and again. I think I listened to it 5 times in a row. It is one of my favorites of his, plus I love songs about Lennon for some reason.
Welcome to Black Friday and like almost every Friday, there is a ton of new music. Well, regular releases there are only a handful as it is a Holiday. However, this is also Black Friday RSD 2021! That means there are ton of vinyl releases available at your locally independent record store and that list is at the bottom. The normal Friday releases are below. There is really only one this week I am interested in hearing and that one is in Bold below. Let me know what you are interested in and what we may have missed. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope all my U.S. readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I did.
Smith/Kotzen – Better Days E.P. – (BMG Rights): Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden and Richie Kotzen of well, Richie Kotzen are back together again. Sadly, this time we only get an E.P. instead of a full album, but these two powerhouses are worth any little bit. I can’t wait to hear what they have in store for us.
And that is it for me this week. A couple of these I might try when I find the time. I hope you find a few you want to hear…
Black Label Society – Doom Crew Inc. – (Panworkz / Entertainment One)