Billy Idol – ‘Happy Holidays’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

A short time after Billy’s comeback release, ‘Devil’s Playground’, he thought (or somebody thought), we should release a Christmas Album.  I don’t know if it was because of the positive feedback for the Christmas song on the last album “Yellin’ at the Xmas Tree” or drugs, but they decided to do it.

Now, “Yellin’ at the Xmas Tree” is absolutely fantastic. It is a rocking Idol song and I love the twist on the song that it is not all happy and joyful at Christmas. Some people don’t have the stereotypical Yuletide joy.

This album is nothing like that.  It is Billy putting on his dinner jacket, pouring himself a drink and playing traditional Christmas songs in both a traditional or even a smoke-filled room jazz style.

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The album is full of songs you know and love (well, the original versions you love) and it even has two brand new songs written by Billy…oh joy!!  I know…you can feel my excitement.  I am sorry…I will be completely honest with you.  I HATE CHRISTMAS ALBUMS!!!  That isn’t entirely true.  If you want to do a compilation Christmas albums with different artists singing the best versions of Christmas songs…I am all for it.  If it s one Singer or one Band doing a whole entire 40 minute album of them doing Christmas Songs..,please count me out!!!

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Tuesday’s Memes – Rick Springfield

I am a big Rick Springfield fan so I need to do a meme collection of all things Rick Springfield.  The biggest problem with that is that 90% are of Jessie’s Girl.  Oh, the horror.  I gave it my best so if you don’t like “Jessie’s Girl” than this post is not for you and you can move on!  Alright, you have been warned.

Let’s Celebrate Ricky boy!!!

He is always confused with Bruce!!

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Jessie’s Girl…

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And lastly…

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And there you have it.  Have a great week!!

Aldo Nova – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Ever since the first time I heard the song “Fantasy” on MTV back in 1981, I have been a huge fan of Aldo Nova’s.  In fact, I finally got to meet him back during his “Blood on the Bricks” Tour back in 1991.  It was cool getting his autograph and the band’s which included current Bon Jovi guitarist, Phil X.

Aldo hails from Canada and has worked with Jon Bon Jovi on the debut album of Bon Jovi and his solo album from the movie ‘Young Guns’ which he wrote the guitar riff for “Blaze of Glory”.  He has also worked with Celine Dion where he has written for her as well as produced which garnered him a Grammy for Producing her album “Falling Into You”.  He has been busy.  However, we will only concentrate on his Solo work here for this post.

He has put out only 6 solo albums and there is talk of some new material coming and if so, I will be in line to buy it (okay, I will click away on my computer and have it delivered).  From his eponymous debut to Aldo Nova 2.0, we will go through and I will rank them from Worst to First.  I am sure people will disagree the order, but that is fine as this is only my opinion, you have your own.  I do hope you enjoy it nonetheless and maybe you discover something new and try him out.

THE WORST – NOVA’S DREAM (1997):

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My Sunday Song – “Everybody Wants Some” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #147, Van Halen’s song “Everybody Wants Some” will get the royal treatment this week.  The song is off the album “Women and Children First” and the second one I have done from that album (because it is that good).  The song was never a a single, but a B-Side to the song “And the Cradle Will Rock”.

The opening of the song is the tribal drum beat by Alex with Dave making some little noises in the background and Eddie comes in with that sinister riff.  The music sounds menacing and when they kick it in to full gear, it is a slammin’ rock song.  Eddie’s guitar playing on the solo has him two-handing the fretboard on his guitar and really breaking new ground as usual.  The driving force though is Alex with that drum beat throughout.  Really killer.

Lyrically, there isn’t much there.  It is a pure sex song and Dave’s talking vocal performance is the star here.  His vocals sound almost like he is ad-libbing the whole thing.  Just making it up as he goes along, but it works so well.  The first line on the second verse is “I Seen a Lotta People Lookin’ for a Moonbeam”, but seriously, can you understand one word of what he says…except for maybe moonbeam?  No, as I don’t think he knew what the hell he was saying.   The song ends with Dave going “Look, I’ll pay you for it, What the fuck”, but the “fuck” is not really audible with the way they phase it out the sound.

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Friday New Releases – June 7th

Welcome to June and the first Friday of releases.  There are a lot of releases this week so there should be a little something for everyone.  For me, there is a lot as well!  A lot of nothing.  There are a couple I find appealing and they will be highlighted in Blue.  One of which I have had for a month and be enjoying it a lot.  Hopefully there is something you like.  Let me know what interests you and if I missed anything.  Thanks and have a great weekend!

  • 81s-SBSe+vL._SS500_  Jonas Brothers – Happiness Begins – (Republic Records):  Yes, the Jonas Brothers are back!!  Okay, I am not really this excited, but my kids are going nuts!  I have a feeling that this will be blaring around the house and in the car for quite sometime to come!!  The first song released, “Sucker”, was quite catchy so let’s hope the rest of the album is as enjoyable otherwise this will be a painful period for me.

  • 71OGzJRYF7L._SX522_  Ida Mae – Chasing Lights – (Vow Road):  I came across Ida Mae when they opened for Greta Van Fleet on tour.  I picked up the album at the show around May 15th and have been playing it almost every day since.  It is fantastic. They are from England and have a heavy Blues influence to their music and songwriting.  It is quite different than what I normally listen to, but I can’t get enough of it.  Check it out.

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Ida Mae – ‘Chasing Lights’ – Album Review

Ida Mae came into my life thanks to going to see Greta Van Fleet in concert.  Ida Mae was the opening act and what an opening act they were!  Before the show, I was over by the Merch table and saw that they were selling the vinyl.  Without hearing the band, I took a chance and bought the vinyl.  It turns out that was a very wise decision.

The album, called ‘Chasing Lights’, hadn’t even been officially released yet.  I picked it up on May 15th and the album was set to be released tomorrow, June 7th.  This was one of the very few times I have ever been able to review an album prior to its release.  I had plenty of time to sit, absorb it and make a well-informed decision on the quality of this release.

Before I do that, let me tell you a little about Ida Mae.  The duo are a husband and wife team named Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean.  They hail from England, but currently reside in Nashville, TN (who doesn’t live there now if you are a musician).  Now, you might recognize their name if you know the band Kill It Kid who were a British Blues band that dissolved after three albums.

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Billy Idol – ‘Devil’s Playground’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

On March 22, 2005, Billy Idol returns to music with his first album of new material in over 12 years.  Way too long in my book.  While on tour prior to the album, Billy was approached by Sanctuary Records to record an album.  The trick was that they wanted it in the old Billy style and sound.

As a result, Billy, Steve Stevens and producer Keith Forsey re-teamed to record the album. Yep, the gang was back together and I couldn’t be more happy.  Along for the ride was Stephen McGrath on bass, Derek Sherinian on keyboards and Brian Tichy on drums.  Not a bad line-up.

Of course, Steve and Billy had some songs together.  However, it was only 3 songs for Steve.  Billy did most of his writing with drummer Brian Tichy who had 8 writing credits on the album.  Of course, Billy had to have a cover song and the album checks that bucket as well.  All was now in place.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Bruce Springsteen

I can’t believe that as  long as I have been putting together collections of memes from artists and bands, I haven’t done Bruce Springsteen.  That is a travesty.  Well I am going to correct that right here, right now!  So, sit back and I hope you enjoy this collection honoring and poking fun at The Boss!!

Enjoy!!

The Controversy…

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The Original Vs. The Cover – “Blinded By the Light”

For this edition of The Original Vs. The Cover, we are going to explore the Bruce Springsteen song “Blinded by the Light” which was later covered by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. For Bruce, it was his first single in the U.S. off his 1973 debut album, Greeting From Asbury Park, N.J.  And…it flopped!  Manfred Mann’s version was released in 1977 and went all the way to #1 and I believe it was Bruce’s first #1 song and his only. It took someone performing his song for him to get a #1 song…interesting considering how much he is acclaimed as being The Boss.

The song was very auto-biographical for Bruce.  There were a ton of references to friends, his youth experiences and even him getting sick.  The song came about because the record company felt he needed a single.  So, sitting in his bedroom with a rhyming dictionary, Bruce threw so many words together and came up with this beast.  He went nuts with the words and threw everything in, but I don’t see the kitchen sink.

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As I said, the song flopped in the U.S. and it was probably because it had so many words.  No person listening to the radio could remember all the words.  The chorus was catchy, no doubt, but it is a difficult song to get in to with the way it is presented.  Bruce vocals are done in a singing / speaking format rather than full on singing which is typical Bruce.

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My Sunday Song – “The Seventh Seal” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #146, we are going with the Sammy Hagar fronted tune “The Seventh Seal” off the band’s 1995 album ‘Balance’ which happens to be their tenth studio album.  The song was the first track on the album and the first single which only went to #36 on the Mainstream Rock Chart songs.  The song was strong enough that it was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.

“The Seventh Seal” song opens with some chanting monks from The Monks of Gyuto Tantric University and then turns into a straight-up rock song.  It is full of religious themes and has an almost mystical feel to it.  Eddie’s guitar sound is in full force and Alex’s drum sound is unmistakeable.  It is Van Halen coming out of the gate swinging.  I won’t say its his best solo, but it is still a great lead off track for the album.

The song was inspired by Eddie’s new found sobriety.  Through the help of his therapist, he was encouraged to look at where he was and who he was now that he was sober.  Maybe he was finding religion as there are a lot of religious overtones in the song. Maybe he was still struggling with sobriety and the song is a cry for help in getting through the battle’s he was facing.  The fact that he could feel again probably was hard to deal with and I am sure a tremendous challenge.

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