Def Leppard – ‘Hysteria’ 30th Anniversary (Deluxe Edition) – Album Review

Thirty years ago on August 3rd, 1987, Def Leppard released their fourth studio album, ‘Hysteria’.  Little did they know this ground breaking album would go on to sell over 25 million records, produce 7 hit singles and go to #1 on the Billboard Charts.  The album was a labor of love for the band as it took several years to record and they struggled so much during this time.

There were so many setbacks during the recording of the album.  First, Robert John “Mutt” Lange turned down the producing job for the record after he had recorded “High & Dry” (my personal favorite) and “Pyromania” although he did help in the initial song writing for the record.  The band went through several producers during the recording including working with Jim Steinman of ‘Bat Out of Hell’ fame.  Their relationship did not go smoothly and he was later fired (they paid him a lot of money to get out of the contract so it must have gone badly). Later in the process, “Mutt” did come back and produce the final product and then history was made.

The second big obstacle was Rick Allen’s car accident that severed his arm.  Yes, the drummer of the band lost an arm.  With all respect to the band, they did not abandon Rick.  They stood by him and supported him until he was capable of playing the drums with one arm using an electronic drum set and a set of foot pedals to compensate for the lost arm.  It definitely was a trying time.  I won’t go into much more as you can watch the documentary included to learn more.

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Quiet Riot – ‘Road Rage’ – Album Review

Quiet Riot isn’t really Quiet Riot as there are absolutely ZERO original members in the band.  The closest thing they have is Frankie Banali who was in the band during their 80’s heyday. For starters, this is not a good thing.  Next, the album was supposed to be released back on April 21st with then lead singer Seann Nichols, however, Seann left the band (or fired) in March prior to its release.

So Quiet Riot needed a new lead singer.  They quickly added former American Idol alum, Jason Durbin to be the new singer.  They smartly decided to delay the album release and re-record it with their new lead singer.  All that is fine as James has released a couple good solo albums; however, his last one was a little subpar.  Despite that, I had a little bit of hope as I do like James Durbin.

Now here is something weird.  They went back in an actually re-wrote all the songs, but kept the same song titles probably because the artwork and design of the album was already done and Frontier Records didn’t want to spend anymore money.  My first question is how bad were the original songs that you had to completely re-write them. That definitely doesn’t bode well.

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Art of Anarchy – The Madness – Album Review

I have been sitting on this album for months now and I am finally getting around to do a review.  I will admit that I love listening to Scott Stapp sing.  I am a fan so this album really excited me.  After Scott Stapp’s last effort, his solo album ‘Proof of Life’, I had really high expectations for this new direction.  ‘Proof of Life’ as my favorite album of 2013.

Now Scott was back with a band and not a new solo effort.  I was hoping for me solo work or even Creed, but not so…a new band.  Well, who is this band Art of Anarchy?  Art of Anarchy is a rock band and this is actually their second album not their first.  Their first was with Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots fame; however, he died after the release of that album.  I will also admit, I had never heard of this band even with Scott Weiland as the lead singer.

The band pushed on and brought in Scott Stapp as the lead singer. I immediately thought these guys were nuts.  You are going from a person with addiction & mental health issues and ended up dying from that to another person that has suffered from addiction issues as well as mental health issues that are well documented.  I thought that they were either very brave or very stupid.  It turns out they were very brave (so far).

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“My First Time” with Ted Nugent’s ‘Cat Scratch Fever’

This month for “My First Time”, I am going to go back to the first Ted Nugent album I ever owned which was ‘Cat Scratch Fever’.  The album is Ted’s third solo album and was released May 13, 1977 just a hair over 40 years ago.  I was around 9 years old at the time.  No, I didn’t buy it then.  It wasn’t until some time in the 80’s when I finally picked it up.

The album has sold well over 3 million copies and peaked at #17 on the Billboard charts. Ted and company were riding high though not actually high as Ted is a staunch advocate against drugs and alcohol.

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The original Ted Nugent band was back together after Meat Loaf was brought in for some of the songs on their last album ‘Free For All’.  However, this would be the last studio album with the original band as Rob Grange would leave before the next studio album ‘Weekend Warriors’.  The band consisted of the following members:

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Cher – “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” – The 45 Single

This might be the last 45 Single I had in my box of vinyl that is anywhere near worth mentioning.  It is Cher’s 1971 single for “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves”.  It is from her seventh album for which it is the title song.  It is also Cher’s first #1 song as a solo artists. “Believe” it or not, she has only had 4 #1 songs as a solo artist (not counting the Dance charts).

I don’t have the cover jacket for the album, only the 45 itself.  The cover is below…

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The song is about a girl who was born in a wagon and raised by her parents who were what people called Gypsies.  They earned money preaching and selling “their services” (if you know what I mean).  In their travels, they pick up young man the tender age of 21.  He ends up sleeping with the 16 year old girl and winds up pregnant.  The boy disappears and the girl ends up having her baby in a wagon and she ends up selling her services for money.  Her life went full circle.

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The Debut: Jet – ‘Get Born’

Welcome to the new series “The Debut”.  This monthly series will bring you some of my favorite debut albums by bands from across all the decades I have been alive.  It will cover rock and pop and who knows what else.  To begin with, the albums will be debut albums that I absolutely loved and I discovered when the album actually was released and not found years later.  I will get to those eventually.  So sit back and I hope you enjoy “The Debut”…

In 2003, one of the most unoriginal bands to come along and who stole their sound and style from such great bands as AC/DC, the Rolling Stones, Oasis and Iggy Pop brings us a collection of songs that show heart and at the same time are so catchy that you can’t help but take notice.

Brothers Nic & Chris Chester, Cameron Muncey and Mark Wilson are Jet.  An Australian band that found success overnight on their first album release called ‘Get Born’.  They recorded the album at Sunset Sound Studios in L.A. and it was produced by Dave Sardy (who had previously produced Marilyn Manson).

And something I didn’t know before writing this post was that the name of the album was taken from the Bourne Identity movie starring Matt Damon (‘Get Born’…I get it now…don’t know if I believe it, but I get it).  I also read the title comes from a line in Bob Dylan’s song “Subterranean Homesick Blues” which is more believable.

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – ‘Murder of the Universe’ – Album Review

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are on ambitious trek to release 5 albums in one year. ‘Murder of the Universe’ is the second one so far.  Their first, which I reviewed, was “Flying Microtonal Banana” and I found it to be a sensational record.  Go check out the review.  I also review their album “Nonagon Infinity” which was another great album.

This, their tenth album, is a concept album and the concept is so far out there, that I can’t eloquently explain it.  I will have to let someone else’s words do the work for me.  I do know the album is broken out into three separate chapters.  The first two chapters are narrated by Leah Senior and she has an almost godlike personae.  The final chapter is narrated by a Free Text to Speech at NaturalReaders.com.  It sounds like the typed the story into the website and it did the narration.  Very interesting.

Outside of that I can’t describe this album’s story.  I will leave it to Wikipedia to do that for me…

The first (chapter), The Tale of the Altered Beast explores themes of temptation, and tells a tale of a human who stumbles upon a mystical human/beast hybrid, dubbed the Altered Beast. The story starts from the perspective of the human being pursued, who slowly takes interest in the idea of being altered – as it is considered taboo in their society. The perspective then changes to the Altered Beast’s itself, who is filled with murderous intent to kill. The human encountered by the beast slowly gives into temptation into becoming altered once the beast confronts them, as they crave power. Accepting of their fate, the beast and human merge, creating a newly altered beast, who now craves even more for flesh. However, the beast suffers greatly from absorbing another conscience – it loses track of its identity and eventually dies of insanity, decaying into the earth.

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