RSO (Richie Sambora & Orianthi) – Making History E.P. – Album Review

Richie Sambora and Orianthi are back with their second E.P. this year.  From what I understand, they have written 70 songs together and recorded 25.  They plan on releasing them as E.P.’s so that means with 2 down (5 songs each), we have 3 more to look forward to in 2018? I hope that is the case as I am up for that. Before we get to those, we have to review the 2nd E.P., ‘Making History’.

The first E.P. ‘Rise’ was not what I expected from these two at all.  With both being exceptional guitar players, I was looking for a guitar based album and they did not come close to that on the first one.  Thank God they redeemed themselves with this album.  They brought the guitars on ‘Making History’.

With the opening track and title track “Making History” you know that they are doing what we wanted them to do.  They are rocking out.  The guitars on this one are exceptional with an almost Def Leppardesque sound from around the “Euphoria” era at times.  The guitar solo is the best thing they have done so far and it is all what I asked for so why should I complain.  Of course I have one negative on the song.  The vocals aren’t the best.  I feel the production is lacking (Bob Rock is the producer which is surprising).  Richie and Orianthi don’t sound like they are singing together and I don’t know if it is the effects they put in her vocals, but something is missing with the chemistry and the mix with the two of them singing together.

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Whitesnake (Snake) – Still Of the Night Live in Battle Creek, Mich. July 26, 1987

On Black Friday, 16 members of my family went to Zoo Atlanta.  It was a great trip and some great times were had.  However, my mind was elsewhere.  I wanted to venture over to Criminal Records over in Little Five Points and check out this great Atlanta record store.  At 2pm, my daughter and I were going to leave are family behind and head over to the store.

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While at the Zoo, we missed the new Reptile house and we were planning on going back around to check it out before we left.  Well, being at the zoo with 16 people and a lot of those people are children, it was very slow going.  2pm started creeping up on us and I started to think, we weren’t going to make it to the reptile house and of course, we didn’t.  I was a little disappointed I didn’t get to see any of the “Snakes”.

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“My First Time” with Kiss – ‘Lick It Up’

We are now to the end of the “My First Time” series. I ended up skipping it in November as their were too many new albums to review, plus I just wasn’t in the mood,  That got me thinking.  I don’t like being tied down to a specific album or theme.  I want to review albums whenever I am in the mood to do it.  Doing this series, limited me a little so I figured I would do one more and then just start reviewing any album, any time…no theme.

I figured if it was going to be my last, it needed to be something special.  For me, that means Kiss!!  The “My First Time” series is about the FIRST album I bought from a band.  Believe it or not, that album is ‘Lick It Up’ by Kiss.  A couple of my brothers were huge fans and had all their albums, but I had never bought one.  That changed with the excitement of this release.

What was all the excitement about this album?  Well, I am glad you asked.  Kiss sales had been in the decline.  Even with the stellar album ‘Creatures of the Night’ (one of their best), Kiss needed to do something to shake things up.  So they did just that.  They removed the make-up.  It was such a big deal, MTV held a special for the band to reveal themselves without make-up.  They also introduced the video for their first single, “Lick It Up”.  Here is the MTV special reveal…

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Maroon 5 – Red Pill Blues – Album Review

Maroon 5 started off their career as a Pop/Rock/Funk band back in the very early 2000s and brought us the masterpiece debut album ‘Songs About Jane’.  15 year later the band is still going strong with the newest album called ‘Red Pill Blues’.  The resemblance between these two albums is relatively zero.  The Rock/Funk part of the band is non-existent and all you have is glorified POP!

Don’t get me wrong, there is some pop music I like.  However, there is something about pop music that irritates me and that is most songs on pop radio seem to think the actually have to be “featuring” a hip-hop artist or at least another artist.  Singers and bands today don’t seem to be able to do a song that is strictly their own.

Maroon 5 now believes in that theory whole-heartedly.  As a result, they have six songs, that is right 6!!!, on their new album that feature another artist.  They are as follows:

  1. “What Lovers Do (Feat. SZA)
  2. “Help Me Out (duet with Julia Michaels)”
  3. “Who I Am (Feat. Lunchmoney Lewis)”
  4. “Whiskey (Feat. A$AP Rocky)”
  5. ‘Don’t Wanna Know (Feat. Kendrick Lamar – yeah for like 10 seconds)”
  6. “Cold (Feat. Future)”

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Hollywood Undead – Five (V) – Album Review

Hollywood Undead brings us their fifth album simply titled Five or V.  The band is a fantastic mix of Hip Hop and Metal.  They don’t limit themselves to either genre as the album also mixes in some nice Pop and R&B sounds to bring a wide variety of styles and sounds in what might be there most infectious album.

The band members go by the monikers of Danny, Charlie Scene, J-Dog, Johnny 3 Tears and Funny Man.  They wear masks and the music is usually filled with anger and angst that is sure to draw you into a crazy, fun-filled ride.  This album does just that, but also is a departure from their previous efforts.

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Greta Van Fleet – From the Fires – Album Review

What were you doing when you were around 18-21 years old?  I am sure you weren’t taking the world by storm like the boys in Greta Van Fleet.  I can’t remember the last time a band was getting so much buzz from critics and from music fans alike.  Especially a Rock & Roll Band!!

They are being hailed as the second coming of Rock and are completely ripping off Led Zeppelin in the process…but in a very good way.  Their Zeppelin stylings are showcased  by the stunning “Highway Tunes” and equally amazing “Safari Song” and “Flower Power”.  The band has an old soul which shines on the Sam Cooke cover “A Change is Gonna Come” and the Fairport Convention cover “Meet on the Ledge”.

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Whitesnake – ’87 30th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition – Album Review

It is hard to believe it has been 30 years since the release of Whitesnake’s breakthrough album.  The album was simply titled ‘Whitesnake’, but has since become known as ’87.  Whitesnake decided to celebrate this album with an exceptional Super Deluxe Edition that was a must have for my collection.  Like Def Leppard did with Hysteria, Whitesnake has done the same with ’87.  They have packed it full of songs and collectibles that are a must for the real fans.

What all does it have?  Well, check it out…

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Whitesnake definitely has delivered on the goods.  And I have to say for me, it was a bargain.  I paid only $36 for all of this.  And it was worth every dime, especially one disc which was worth that price alone, but I will get to that later.

’87 – Remastered Original Album:

First up is the remastered version of the original album.  Funny enough, I did a review on this album about 4 months ago which was probably prior to me finding out about the Anniversary release.  So, as a result, I will not do a song-by-song review of the album because you can check that out by clicking on the following – Whitesnake Album Review!

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The CD came in a nice gatefold cardboard cover.  Actually all the CDs and the DVD came in the same type of packaging.  It is not the original jewel case which is okay, but would have been nice to have that plus the booklet.

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The second CD was a live show from Tokyo during the tour for the album.  The track listing mostly covers the ’87 album and ‘Slide it In’.  The track listing is as follows:

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The concert is great, but as these were hired hands after the band the created the album were fired, it is lacking the punch of what you hear on the album.  John Sykes, more specifically, is missing.  I am going to repeat what Deke said on his post for the album, that Adrian Vandenberg and Vivian Campbell are both great guitarists, but can’t muster the same feel as John Sykes did.  Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to have a live set from that era and if you release a special edition of an album, you must do just that.  It is still a great setlist and David does sound great, I just wanted to point out what was missing.

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’87 Evolutions:

If you remember earlier, I mentioned there was a disc that was worth the price of the set by itself.  This is the disc.  The third disc in the set is the demos.  The name of the disc is “Evolutions” and these songs are just that.  The songs each showcase the evolution of the song from beginning to almost the end (you have the end on the first disc).  The demos seamlessly blend different stages of the song into one long song.  It is truly an amazing way to present that songs and now is my standard of what I want when you release a demo.  It is brilliant.

The highlight of all these demos is John Sykes.  The guitar work throughout is incredible.  I especially love “Still of the Night” and “Crying in the Rain”.  It is riff after riff and not all of it ended up on the song.  I can’t for the life of me understand why he was fired because he and David Coverdale did some great things together.  Their personalities just didn’t mesh.

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’87 Versions:

The final CD in the set is my least favorite.  It is alternative remixes of the hit songs from the album.  Some are new mixes and some are the radio edits, but I like the album versions.  It is not a total loss because there is the 1987 Versions Japan Mini-Album that is worth having.

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The Videos (DVD):

The final disc in the set is a DVD featuring the classic music videos now in 5.1 Surround Sound.  The nice part of this piece was the put in a lot of behind the scenes footage between the songs which was a nice touch.  The videos themselves are really great and lets remember who the real star of these videos was…Tawny Kitaen.  She was definitely some great eye candy for a teenage boy.  In the credits for the videos, I did catch that Paula Abdul was the choreographer for one of the videos.

The disc also includes a 30 minute documentary on the making of the album.  The documentary is the plus hear as we get new interviews with David Coverdale, but sadly nothing new from John Sykes (Yes, I am going to keep bringing that up!).  Now David did speak very highly of his guitar and singing talent and never bad mouthed him…by name.  There were some interesting things that came out in the documentary, but I will only mention that Claudia Schiffer was originally cast in the role for the videos.  She wanted more money and the band said no.  The video director met Tawny, who was dating David at the time and immediately wanted her to be in the video.  I am glad he did.

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You also get a PurpleSnake Video Jam of “Here I Go Again” which contains a lot of tour footage which was cool to see and lastly some ’87 Tour Bootlegs of 2 songs and the band intros.  If they would have shown this entire show for the DVD that would have been awesome, but we will take what we can get.

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60 Page Hardbound Book:

You also get a very nice hardbound book that contains rare photos and includes interviews with David Coverdale from various sources and quotes on reviews from various magazines.  David does talk about John Sykes and the firing of the band right after completion of the album.  He does really praise Sykes guitar playing and singing, he just can’t stand him personally.  It is a very nice book with a lot of great pictures.  Even my daughter looked at it and said “This is nice!”.

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The set also includes a lyric book with all the lyrics of the songs including some handwritten lyrics by David Coverdale himself.  It is a nice little plus to have in the collection.

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POSTER:

The last item in the set is a poster of the album cover and is actually my featured picture at the top of the post.

And that is the set!  It is sensational and another great piece in my collection.  It is actually the 4th time I have bought this album.  I had a cassette, a CD, I bought the vinyl this past year and now this.  Crazy how much I like this album.  This set might be a lot for a casual fan, but for a super fan, this is a must have in your collection.  Christmas is coming, so ask Santa for it or run out and get it now.  Of if you need it right now, you can get the digital album by clicking on the link below.

 

 

Adelitas Way – ‘Notorious’ – Album Review

The new album, ‘Notorious’, was released in October 2017 by The Vegas Syn/The Fuel Music. Adelitas Way is from Las Vegas and formed back in 2006. The band now consists of only  Rick DeJesus on lead vocals, Trevor “Tre” Stafford on drums and Andrew Cushing on bass.  Adelitas Way is an independent band and to get this album made they did a Pledgemusic campaign to help fund and after some time, we have this great straight-up rock & roll album.  How long did it take?  Well, the first single came out in September 2016 which is a little over a year before the album finally released.

The album is only 9 songs and at a little over 3 minutes for the average song, you are in and out in about 30 minutes.  Straight and to the point.  No filler, just a sonic blast of rock.  I would rather have an album of 9 great songs than an album of 14 songs with a bunch of filler.  After the slight disappoint I had with their last release, ‘Getaway’, ‘Notorious’ makes amends and proves they can still put out quality work.

The album opens with the title track and third single “Notorious” and comes screaming out of the gate with heavy drums and a wave of guitars.  It is a modern rock song that fully assaults your senses before going straight into the first single from the album “Ready for War (Pray for Peace)”. This rocker doesn’t slow things down and DeJesus sounds great and delivers a catchy, memorable chorus that will make a great song to hear live.  The crowd will be bouncing up and down with their hands in the air.  Andrew Cushing’s bass is also a standout as well as some great guitar work.

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Fozzy – ‘Judas’ – Album Review

It is hard to believe Fozzy has been together for close to 20 years.  I remember when they came on the scene and I wasn’t overly impressed.  It was more of a cover band and this WWE wrestler, Chris Jericho, was the lead singer.  Being a wrestler didn’t give him much street cred in my book.  But over time, the band moved from a cover band to a real rock & roll band.  Now with their seventh studio album, ‘Judas’, I think Fozzy have created their masterpiece.

The songs are guitar heavy, modern and so damn catchy.  I would describe it as Pop Metal for the fact it is so melodic and every song is radio friendly.  The opening track and title track, “Judas”, is the perfect first single.  If you like this song, the album is a slam dunk.  You than go into “Drinkin’ With Jesus” with its great guitar solo, “Painless”, which is almost a power ballad but has a little more punch and than straight into “Weight of My World” which is the catchiest damn song on the whole album. It is one of my favorite songs on the album despite it being a little repetitive…that repetitiveness  works!!

The next couple of songs “Wordsworth Way” and “Burn Me Out” don’t slow things down.  “Wordsworth Way” is such a great production and a great guitar solo even as brief as it is (it still a guitar solo – me like those).  “Burn Me Out” doesn’t offer up much for me.  It is a little forgettable.

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“My First Time” with Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘The Ultimate Sin”

It is hard to believe this is the 10th “My First Time” selection.  That means there only two more to go in the series before I call it quits.  My intention was one a month for a full year.  For the 10th selection, I have chosen the album that was ‘My First Time’ with Ozzy Osbourne.  That album was ‘The Ultimate Sin’.  It took up to his fourth solo release before I actually bought anything Ozzy Osbourne.

The album came out on February 22, 1986 and at the time was Ozzy’s most successful album.  It would go on to sell over 2 million copies and cemented me as a fan.  I had never been into Ozzy’s music prior (with the exception of “Crazy Train”), but there was something about this album I liked.  It felt more accessible to me.  The tunes were more melodic and not as hard as I imagined an Ozzy album to be.  It helped that the first single “Shot in the Dark” received massive airplay on MTV.

Ozzy is always known for having outstanding musicians on an album and this one was no different.  The guitarist at the time was none other than Jake E. Lee.  This would end up being his last album with Ozzy.  He would do some solo stuff and founded Badlands, but he would then disappear for years until his recent return with Red Dragon Cartel.  Most of the music on the album was written by Jake, but since he had been screwed out of writing credits on previous albums, he wouldn’t contribute anything else until he was assured credit.  Once a contract was in place, BOOM, we have a new Ozzy album.

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