Billy Idol – ‘Revitalized’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

We are to the final studio album released in our Billy Idol Series which means we are really close to the end of the series which makes me a little sad as I have enjoyed doing this series.  The next album up for review is a  remix album of Billy’s hits called ‘Revitalized’ which was released in September 2018 and is 31 years after the release of his first remix album called ‘Vital Idol’.

Billy’s songs are brought into the 21st century with remixes coming from some of the best EDM artist of 2018 including Paul Oakenfold, Moby, The Crystal Method, CRAY and many more.  The original album has 11 tracks where the digital version gives you an additional 4 tracks for 15 songs total.

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I guess I will preface this by saying the album is full of hits songs and the remixes are all worth a listen, but nothing beats the original songs and actually nothing is better than Vital Idol.  These songs are good and give us a look at them in a new, modern light.  For fans it is fun and a must have for the collection; however, nothing groundbreaking here like Vital Idol was.

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Texas Hippie Coalition – ‘High in the Saddle’ – Album Review

What’s the old saying…”Things are bigger in Texas”.  That can’t be more true than Texas Hippie Coalition.  The music is bigger and so is the singer Big Dad Ritch!  No, I am not talking about his size (which is Big) but I am talking that voice. It is loud and menacing!

The band is back with their sixth album and first with their new label Entertainment One.  A “big” step up for the boys.  Their music is a soundtrack to Bar Fights and even for  Strip Club dances.  It is loud, gritty, dirty and downright nasty!  It is pure Texas Metal!!  From the opening salvo of “Moonshine” all the way to “Blue Lights On” they assault you with blistering guitars and head banging drums.

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Kiss – With Fire & Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

We are up to the fifth album in the Bootleg series and we are still on the albums I found in Paris back in April.  And since it is July 4th, I thought what is more American than July 4th…well KISS!!!

This was was from September 14, 1974 on the Hotter Than Hell Tour and it was recorded at The Victory Burlesque in Toronto, ON, Canada.  This was actually a warm-up show for the tour, one of two nights (not sure which one).  This was also about a month before the Hotter Than Hell album came out.

As usual, before we get into the music we will talk about the packaging and what was offered with this set.  First off, this was a single LP and not a double like all the others as this was only a 9 song set as you have to remember this was only 1974 and Kiss hadn’t been around very long with only 2 album to choose from at this point.  The packaging was quite simple.  The front (as seen above) is a very early shot of the band before all the glitz and glamour.  The back is a great shot of the band on stage (what show, I do not know for sure…we will assume this one, but I am sure it is not).

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The vinyl sleeve is a nice solid cardboard sleeve that is very sturdy and has more great pictures.

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Billy Idol – “BFI Live” – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

On November 25th, 2016, Black Friday or another Record Store Day, Billy Idol released a special edition 3 LP vinyl Live Album!!  The release were highlights from his 2014-2015 Kings & Queens of the Underground Tour.  I say it is highlights because the songs are from various different shows from around the world and not one full show.  I am sure he went and grabbed the best versions of each song.

The album was limited to only 2000 copies, each hand-numbered and exclusively on vinyl as the only physical release. The album is available digitally as well (which also comes with the Vinyl version.  It is a beautiful set and the sound is amazing.  Here’s the only problem.  I was unable to snag a copy during its initial release.  I am keeping a watchful eye on eBay and Discogs to find a reasonably priced one for sell and then I will grab it.  So, this review is really just a review of the digital release.

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BFI?  What does that stand for?  I think it is Billy “Fucking” Idol.  I also think BFI is the name of his label as well.  Whatever it stands for, BFI Live is fantastic.  The sound quality of each recording is crisp, clear and loud!  Was it cleaned up in the studio…probably, but who cares.  It is still live for the most part and that is all that matters.  It captures the essence fo a Billy performance and that is all you really want anyway.  Okay, I guess it is missing a little of the roughness that happens during live shows so that might be the only negative.

The release has 16 tracks from 10 different cities including Houston, Vienna, Munich, Atlanta and even Council Bluffs (wherever that is).  The setlist is greatest hits set live basically.  It is everything you would want to hear and expect to hear at a Billy show.

He does 3 songs off the latest album and they are “Postcards from the Past”, “Can’t Break Me Down” and “Save Me Now”.  Two of the first three songs are off the new album which is smart as people tend to go to the bathroom or get a beer (or both) when a song comes on they don’t really know.  When the show opens up, the crowd is so energized, that isn’t going to happen.

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It is a high energy show and Billy and Steve Steven show no signs of slowing down.  The songs are kept pretty much to their original format with the exception of a few lyric changes such as “LA Woman” (the Doors cover) being changed to “Portland Woman” and Billy asking “Nashville to Dance” on “Dancing With Myself”.  Billy and the crowd seem to be having a wonderful time.

Steve Stevens sounds really great with his guitar work especially on Flesh for Fantasy and the one song I didn’t know when looking at the track listing. It was “Dementia” which turned out to be a wonderful Steve Stevens guitar solo.  I didn’t know guitar solos actually had names other than “Guitar Solo”. Seriously though, the song is actually off Steve’s solo album “Flamenco a Go-Go” from 2000.  Kinda nice Billy let him highlight one of his own songs.

The songs cover most of Billy’s career with even a song from his Generation X days, “Ready Steady Go” which Billy seems to love to still play and Steve adds a whole new magic to it with his playing.  You also get the story behind the song “Sweet Sixteen” which Billy tells with such enthusiasm.  Before that story, a woman screams “I Love You!!!” and immediately Billy responds back “I Love Me Too!  That makes two of us”…it was a very funny moment I am glad they left in.

And let’s talk about how he ends this album.  The album ends with 3 of his most iconic songs and I could imagine the crowd going nuts and loving everything about it.  He ends with “Rebel Yell”, “White Wedding” and “Mony, Mony”…what an amazing way to go out.

All-in-all, this is a hell of a live set and since Billy has only released one other live album (VH1 Storytellers), I will take what I can get.  I loved this set and I am eager to go out and find the physical copy after listening to this.  With 16 songs and 1 hour and 40 minutes of music…it is simply wonderful.  I will give this a 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars and only deducting because it is too clean…I mean I don’t think Billy misses too many notes and I don’t think that is possible (I have never seen him live so can’t say for sure).  If you are out and about and come across it (somehow), grab it.  You won’t be disappointed.

If you want to check out the other reviews I have done so far for the Billy Idol Series, click the links below:

  1. Generation X – ‘Generation X’
  2. Generation X – ‘Valley of the Dolls’
  3. Gen X – ‘Kiss Me Deadly’
  4. Generation X – ‘The BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 1978’
  5. Billy Idol – Don’t Stop E.P.
  6. Billy Idol – Billy Idol
  7. Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
  8. Billy Idol – Whiplash Smile
  9. Billy Idol – Vital Idol
  10. Billy Idol – Charmed Life
  11. Billy Idol – Cyberpunk
  12. Billy Idol – “Speed” (song from the Speed Soundtrack)
  13. Generation X – K.M.D. Sweet Revenge
  14. Billy Idol – VH1 Storytellers (Live)
  15. Billy Idol – Devil’s Playground
  16. Billy Idol – Happy Holidays
  17. Billy Idol – The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself
  18. Billy Idol – Kings & Queens of the Underground
  19. Billy Idol – BFI Live (#RSD 2019)
  20. Billy Idol – Revitalized
  21. Generation X – Your Generation (7″ Record Store Day Release)
  22. Billy Idol – The Albums Ranked From Worst to First

Up next will be Billy Idol’s ‘Revitalized’.

Collective Soul – ‘Blood’ – Album Review

25 Years!  Wow!  Collective Soul is celebrating 25 years together as a band and as luck would have it, we also get a new record to boot.  The band delivers their 10th Studio Album with ‘Blood’ and they prove there is still life in that blood running through their veins.

With the opening track, “Now’s the Time”, you get that classic Collective Soul guitar sound and Ed’s soaring vocals. The song is high energy and welcomes you to the party with open arms.  The heavy bass line from Will Turpin opens the next song “Over Me” which keeps the energy level pumped up to 10.  The band has a way with catchy riffs and choruses that are simple yet impactful.

“Crushed” is a song that would feel right at home on their 2000 album ‘Blender’.  It is a throwback, yet modern. Then comes “Right as Rain” which the band has been playing live for awhile now so it makes you feel right at home.

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Kiss – Return to Capital Center (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

We have another Kiss Bootleg to discuss in this series.  We are on #4 and this one is from the 1979 Dynasty Tour and took place in Largo, Maryland on July 8th, 1979 at the Capital Center.  This was a time in Kiss that is quite interesting as the band was imploding, basically.  Peter couldn’t play drums like he did just a short time earlier and Ace was shall we say, “high” on life.  This tour was supposed to be huge.  The costumes, the stage show and well, everything was to be bigger and better.  Well, it was far from it.

Before we get in to the music, we go through the packaging first and this set is delivered beautifully.  The set was done in 2018 and it was put together quite nicely.  Here is the first little nugget, it is a a little side card that bends around one end kind of like the OBI strips for Japanese releases.

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After that there is a large, album sized Disco Sticker included.  It is supposed to be in a Disco Ball style and is a little hard to see, but cool nonetheless.

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Billy Idol – ‘Kings & Queens of the Underground’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

After Billy’s last greatest hits album “Idolize Yourself”, things went quiet.  From 2010 – 2014, Billy worked on the next project.  Along that same timeframe, he was also working on a book that chronicle his life called “Dancing with MySelf”.  The album and book were both released in October 2014 and I guess you could say the album was a soundtrack to that new book.

For me, the album, called ‘King & Queens of the Underground’, should have been called ‘Postcards from the Past’ as the songs seem to have that retrospective feel and were snapshots of his life and career.  There is a lot of soul-searching going and it feels like a cathartic exercise in releasing his demons.  It was the perfect companion piece for the book.

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For the recording of the album, Billy worked mostly with Trevor Horn of the famed band, The Buggles.  Keith Forsey, who produced most of Billy’s album was not back for this one.  I don’t think there were any issues, I believe Billy was wanting to explore new ground.  Trevor brought Billy back to 80’s sound more so than the ‘Devil’s Playground’ did.  There were a little more synthesizers/keyboards than in the past and it was utilized perfectly.

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Def Leppard – The Collection, Volume Two – Album Review

After a year since the release of The Collection Volume 1, Def Leppard finally releases Volume 2.  And as I did with the first, I bought the Vinyl edition.  Volume 1 was sensational and if you want to check out that review, click on The Collection Volume 1.  As I normally do with these box sets, I focus mostly on the packaging and the bonus material as the main albums we all know and love or we wouldn’t be buying this set.  I want to know if we are getting a bang for our buck

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Look at all the albums and songs you are getting. There are 4 Studio albums and 4 albums of bonus material and there a total of 10 LPs in the set as 2 of the albums are double LPs.  It is heavy and chock of great tunes that will give you hours and hours of fun. I always save the sticker that is on the plastic wrapping and this time is no different.  Here is a summary of the box set.

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Kiss – ‘The Summer of Satan: The Devils Ride Out!’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

And now we are on the third Kiss Bootleg I picked up in Paris.  This one is a beauty.  It is called “Kiss – The Summer of Satan: The Devils Ride Out!”.  The package is fantastic on this release as you get a beautiful gatefold, some awesome pictures on the vinyl sleeves and some colorful vinyl.

The show is at the Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, NJ on July 10th, 1976.  It is a full soundboard recording (and I believe this show was videotaped as well and circulating).  You get 15 tracks plus 3 solos, so yes, a full show.  Before we get in to the music, as always, let’s go over the packaging.  You’ve seen the cover above, now take a look at the back cover.  It is a picture of the band on motorcycles.  I really cool shot!

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And It is a 2LP set and they did it right with a gatefold.  The full picture on the gatefold is a shot of the stage with all the band and the Kiss Logo!!  Okay, Peter is  little blurred by the smoke…lots of smoke.

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Billy Idol – ‘The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

I wasn’t going to do any greatest hits, but with this one I changed my mind.  Billy has only had a handful of official greatest hits packages and although they cover the hits, none are really that great.  So, I thought I would help your search and give you what I think might the best of the greatest hits albums he has released.

The one I think is the best is the 2008 release, ‘The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself’.  It isn’t that much different than the 2001 release simply titled ‘Greatest Hits’. In fact, there are 14 songs that are the same and almost the exact track list order.  With the “Greatest Hits’ package from 2001, you get a live version of “Rebel Yell” and the Simple Minds cover of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” which is a really good cover.  Those two are great to have, no doubt.  However, I do prefer the ‘Idolize Yourself’ version better.

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Why do I like this version better than the prior release?  There are actually 5 reasons.

First: It is the most current, so you get a song from “Devil’s Playground called “World Comin’ Down”.  The song is an uptempo rocker about the troubles in the world and the pressures you feel as a result.  It is a song that gets you moving and with Steve Stephen’s speedy guitar riffs and Brian Tichy’s heart-pounding drums you never catch your breath.

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