While at a record show here in Charlotte, one of the vendors had a Special Edition single of the Scorpions song “Rhythm of Love”. The single was a UK edition and it was a box set. On the cover it says it is a Special Boxed Set including record & Five Full Colour Cards. You know it isn’t a US release because color is spelled as “Colour”. The set was released in 1988 and I will say that my box is a little beat up and not in the greatest shape, but everything is there and I think it is still pretty cool.
As I said above, the set came with 5 full color pictures and what is cool is that they are double sided. On one side, you get a picture of each band member, up close and personal…
And then on the other side, you get the album pictures of their last 5 albums…
In my quest for picture sleeve 7″ Singles from my favorite artist in the 70/80/90’s, I found this one from Styx. It is the 7″ Single for the song “Mr. Roboto” from the album ‘Kilroy Was Here’, the album that basically killed the band for a short time anyway. This song was released on February 23, 1983 and went all the way to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and selling over 1,000,000 copies.
The album was a concept album which Styx was not unfamiliar with and they still do them today, but this one caused a riff in the band. Dennis DeYoung wanted to really focus on the theatrics and he loved doing the soft ballads, which was against the grain for what James Young and Tommy Shaw wanted to do. It led to a short break-up, if you want to call it that. Tommy left and eventually came back but Dennis was gone by then and still gone today. But this is all for another day, let us get to the song.
The song is about…well…let’s let Wikipedia explain it as they can do a better job than I can…
The song tells part of the story of Robert Orin Charles Kilroy (ROCK), in the rock opera Kilroy Was Here. The song is performed by Kilroy (as played by keyboardist Dennis DeYoung), a rock and roll performer who was placed in a futuristic prison for “rock and roll misfits” by the anti-rock-and-roll group the Majority for Musical Morality (MMM) and its founder Dr. Everett Righteous (played by guitarist James Young). The Roboto is a model of robot which does menial jobs in the prison. Kilroy escapes the prison by overpowering a Roboto prison guard and hiding inside its emptied-out metal shell. When Jonathan Chance (played by guitarist Tommy Shaw) finally meets Kilroy at the very end of the song, Kilroy unmasks and yells “I’m Kilroy! Kilroy!”, ending the song.
Soul SirkUS started originally as a project called PlanetUS which had Neal Schon, Deen Castronovo, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony. They demoed a couple songs, but it ended abruptly when Sammy and Michael returned to their small side gig called Van Halen. Neal and Deen wanted to continue so they needed a singer. Then in January 2004 at the NAMM Convention in Anaheim, California. Neal had heard of Jeff Scott Soto thanks to Andrew McNiece at Melodicrock.com who was good friends with Jeff and mentioned it to Neal. At the NAMM Convention, Neal and Jeff met and jammed and the relationship between the two was born.
They pulled in the great bass player Marco Mendoza and now the band was complete. They recorded 11 songs and changed the name from PlanetUS to Soul SirkUS. The name had to have the US in the name as Neal wanted to show this as a continuation of what he started with PlanetUS. The Soul Sirkus parts each start with an S to represent Neal Schon and Jeff Scott Soto. They spent time writing together, Neal on music and Soto on lyrics, but from what I gather, it was recorded in two days!! That is impressive. The album was complete and released on December 7, 2004. The cover was black which is different than the copy I have and I still need to get that copy.
While rehearsing for a tour, Deen Castronovo was exhausted and his health was not great after the long Journey tour that he and Neal just recently finished. Deen stepped away. But no one wanted the project to end so they recruited drummer Virgil Donati most notably from the band Planet X. The band didn’t want to go on the road as a band and support an album that not every member played on so they went back in the studio and had Virgil re-do all the drum parts. This gave them time to do a couple new songs as well. They re-released the album in March 2005 and this time the cover was a bright yellow and there were now 16 songs and not just the original 11 tracks.
For My Sunday Song #326, we will let Brent Smith dive in to the song “A Symptom of Being Human” by Shinedown. The song is off their brand new, 2022 album, ‘Planet Zero’. It is not a single (yet), but it is one of the songs that grabbed me the most when I heard the album. The album went to #5 on the Billboard Top 200, but #1 on pretty much every other rock chart on Billboard. I think this is one of the standout tracks.
“A Symptom Of Being Human” is a very poignant song on the album and what it is referring to and what it is about is so important. In that chorus, we’re unpacking a lot in that chorus. So I would have to say with that song in particular, the lyric that says “Sometimes I’m in a room where I don’t belong and the house in on fire and there’s no alarm and the walls are melting too, how ‘bout you.” The house represents your mind, your thoughts and what’s going on, and sometimes in modern day what we’re all dealing with on a daily basis and how we’re trying to navigate this place, sometimes, you know, up top we just kind of question what’s going on up there and sometimes it takes a lot out of you. And “Symptom” is about understanding that, hey, it’s not just you, it’s all of us; it happens, things aren’t always going to be perfect all the time; but you’re not alone, we all feel like this from time to time; that’s why it’s called being human. So I would say that lyric hits me really, really hard. That song hits me really, really hard. Every single time I hear that song it does something to me still.
The song is an emotional, ballad in the sense it is a slowed tempo, acoustic and has an orchestration feel to it. It makes it more dramatic and the piano break at the end just adds a finishing touch that brings the feels. Brent’s vocals are smooth and emotive and his tone makes you stop and take notice. You absorb every word, every note and get lost in it. Every listen brings something new to focus on, whether it is the vocals, the piano, the drum beat and definitely the lyrics. A brilliant track.
You, my reader, are going to pick an album for me to review each month. It is really simple…first, I will give you 5 albums to choose from and second, you will tell me which one of those you would like to see reviewed on the site. See…simple! Now, if you want to cast more than one vote, comment on the Twitter and Facebook post and you could get up to 3 votes on your favorite pick.
There are no longer rules for my selections, maybe themes. I’m just picking albums in my collection and this time they are classics from the 70’s. What are the 5 albums you ask? Funny you should ask because I have them right here…
Alice Cooper – ‘Billion Dollar Babies’
Elton John – ‘Captain Fantastic’
Rolling Stones – ‘Sticky Fingers’
David Bowie – ‘Diamond Dogs’
Led Zeppelin – ‘Led Zeppelin II’
Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in December, I will post a review of the album that gets the most votes. You have one week to decide and from there I will start listening to the album and do a review.
Happy Friday and let me tell you I’m happy. My Kiss Creatures of the Night Box Set should be here this afternoon and I can’t wait as that is my big purchase for myself as I need everything Kiss!! But have my eye on that Queen The Miracle Box Set as well and might get that one too! We will see. Let me know what you are wanting this week or what we might have missed. Thanks as always for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!
The two I want….
Kiss – Creatures of the Night (40th Anniversary Edition) – (UMe / UMG)
Queen – The Miracle (Deluxe Edition or Collector’s Edition) – (Hollywood Records)
And all the rest…
Nickelback – Get Rollin’ – (Nickelback II Productions / BMG Rights Mgmt)
Disturbed – Divisive – (Reprise Records)
Michael Jackson – Thriller 40 – (Sony Music)
Dolly Parton – Diamonds & Rhinestones: The Greatest Hits Collection – (Sony Music)
It had been four years since the band’s last studio album ‘Love at First Sting’ in 1984. The band toured extensively for that record and then released a live record ‘World Wide Live’ celebrating that tour. Then the band toured again for the Live album and they were exhausted. They finally headed back in the studio in 1987 to start recording ‘Savage Amusement’ and worked on the new album through to early 1988. The band’s sound changed as they became way more polished and mature sounding thanks in large part to the success of Def Leppard. I would say the sound tried to mirror them to some degree.
The album saw the full band return with Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Mathias Jabs, Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell. The producer was the same as well with Dieter Dierks, however, this would wind up being his last Scorpions album. ‘The ‘Savage Amusement’ was released on April 16, 1988 and did really well going to #5 in the U.S. and going Platinum with over 1,000,000 copies sold. Sadly though, it was considered a disappointment.
How does Jeff Scott Soto end up doing Queen songs at Queen conventions? Well, he had always loved Queen and Freddie Mercury was a big influence on his life, but that is common with a lot of people. For Jeff, it all started back in 1999 when one fateful day he met Jacky Smith who was the head of the Queen Fan Club. That chance meeting led to Jeff getting to meet Brian May and a chance to jam with him and the SAS Band at the annual Freddie Mercury Birthday Party.
That keep him in touch with the Queen family and in 2002, Jacky asked him to come to one of the Queen conventions. He made an appearance and actually jammed on a few songs during the convention. The feedback was so great, Jeff was brought back to do the North America convention as the first was in the UK. This led Jeff to be brought up on stage at an after party with Brian and Roger Taylor when they received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If that wasn’t enough, Jeff was asked to come back in 2003 and instead of a handful of songs, they wanted Jeff to perform an entire set of Queen songs. But not as a tribute act, as a real act and doing everything his way with his own band.
Jeff brought his solo band with him which was Gary Schutt, Howie Simon and Alex Papa. Now, Jeff was a massive Queen fan and knew all the songs, even the deep cuts. However, his band only knew the hits. This was the Queen Convention and “the Hits” aren’t enough. You need deep cuts. So, the band took a crash course in Queen and after several rehearsals, the band was ready to go. What we get here on a 2 CD set is the entire set they performed and it is massive. They played around 45 cuts (some in song melodies) and it was incredible. They released it on video and CD. I have the CD, but I need to get the video. Let’s get to it.
When I was out to Noble Records 3rd Anniversary Record Drop, I found some great pieces for the collection. One that I had been wanting is the 12″ Single for Billy Idol’s classic, “White Wedding”. And sure enough, he had it and I bought it. One of the most recognizable Billy Idol songs ever is from his debut 1982 self titled album. “White Wedding” is on that album but it is listed as “Part 1”. Which means there must be a “Part 2”. What is cool about this 1982 release is that it includes both Part 1 and Part 2 of the song “White Wedding”. Side 1 actually has both Part 1 & Part 2 together as one song at over 8 minutes in length. Side 2 is exclusively Part 2.
“White Wedding (part 1)” became a massive hit for Billy thanks to MTV. With few videos to play in the early days, this one got on heavy rotation. The song was written by Billy Idol and is a song that is not about a happy wedding. I have read different stories about what the song means. One, it is not actually about his sister. It is either about a “shotgun” wedding or about a woman he is in love with then she marries someone else.
It has that classic Steve Stevens opening riff and the bass line by Phil Feit is powerful and chugs along driving the song forward. Keith Forsey on drums is amazing as his fills are perfectly placed and the beats give the song a frantically charged feel to the song. Billy calmly sings at first with an almost eerie yet sinister tone. He gets more aggressive as the song goes and when it builds to a climax he starts screaming and his “woahs” are perfect. The song never made you look at weddings the same way again.
Alright…You Picked It! Apparently, people didn’t like the new format as the vote count was way down. I am getting back to what my site is about and that is what is in my collection which is why I changed things. I was tired of the other way and needed to change…so I did. Get used to this way because this is how it will be for the time being. The first vote getter in this month’s picks ended up the winner. Therefore the winner was Cinderella’s ‘Long Cold Winter’. Here are the results.
Cinderella – ‘Long Cold Winter’ – 5 votes
Winger – ‘Pull’ – 4 votes
White Lion – ‘Mane Attraction’ – 2 votes
Night Ranger – ‘Man in Motion’ – 2 votes
Poison – ‘Look What the Cat Dragged In’ – 1 Vote
Thanks to all for participating. The December choices will be up on Saturday! And the choices are all now from my collection and will have a loose theme of 70’s Classics!!!
CINDERELLA – ‘LONG COLD WINTER’ (1988):
Cinderella hit it big with their Glam Rock debut ‘Night Songs’ back in 1986 with a lot of thanks to Jon Bon Jovi who saw them play and helped them get a deal. Gene Simmons was interested first, but they weren’t interested in Gene. The debut album had them dressing all Glam in colorful outfits and I don’t think they were very fond of that whole concept. That became obvious with their second album when they went to a more all black and blue jean look and changed their sound to mostly blues rock. They wanted to distance themselves as much as they could from the Glam scene and I don’t think they did, but they at least sounded different. Fans of the debut, followed along with this one as well…I know I did.