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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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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I recently read an article on Mike Tramp that said he was releasing a limited edition box set called “This and That” which would contain 5 CDs and 1 DVD of previously unreleased material as well as some new tracks. It sounds interesting and got me to thinking about his old band White Lion. And I immediately remembered ‘Pride’.
Little did I know at the time that ‘Pride’ was not their debut album. They actually had an album prior called ‘Fight to Survive’ that never amounted to anything. Since “My First Time” is supposed to be the first time I discover a band and it is not on their debut album, then ‘Pride’ worked.
‘Pride’ came out in 1987 slap dab in the middle of the Hair Band explosion. That means BIG HAIR!! Did White Lion have it…uh…YES…
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When Grunge came on the scene, I refused to listen. I was still a hard rock enthusiast and didn’t quite get this new style of music. I will admit that I never got the fascination with Nirvana, even to this day I don’t get it and I don’t think I ever will. I am sure I am in the minority. I didn’t care for Soundgarden or Pearl Jam either at the time, but have since found them both to be outstanding with Soundgarden now my favorite of the two. But there was one band out of the Big Four, that I found to be incredible. They were Stone Temple Pilots.
I didn’t jump on board with the first album although it started me leaning in their direction. It was ‘Purple’ that was “My First Time” experience with Stone Temple Pilots. When I heard the song “Vasoline”, I was hooked and there was no looking back. The late, great Scott Weiland was one of the greatest frontmen in Rock and the swagger and charisma he brought to the stage is unmatched by most singers.
The band might have been considered, Grunge, but to me it was more like the rock & roll I grew up loving. Yes, they had the Grunge elements, but the way these guys played just screamed Rock and that is probably why I connected with them more than the others. The band consisted of the following members:
- Scott Weiland – lead vocals
- Dean DeLeo – guitar
- Robert DeLeo – bass, backing vocals
- Eric Kretz – drums
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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.
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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Over the past couple weeks, I have dived deeply into Whitesnake’s early albums such as ‘Lovehunter’, ‘Ready an’ Willing’, ‘Come an’ Get It’ and “Saints & Sinners’. And I actually picked up ‘Ready an’ Willing’ and ‘Come an’ Get It’ on vinyl last week. Those albums are so good and hate that I didn’t really know about them back in the day. It got me thinking about the first album I bought from Whitesnake which was simply ‘Whitesnake’.
The album came out in 1987, my senior year of high school. It quickly became one of my favorite albums of that year (behind ‘Hysteria’ by Def Leppard of course). It was pure 80’s hair metal (or whatever label you want to give it) and pure magic. The pounding drums, the guitar solos, the thumping bass, the synthesizers and that voice. A combination that as a sure fire hit. Which it was as the album actually went to #2 on the Billboard charts.
However, this album almost didn’t get made. After 10 years of playing with little to no success, David Coverdale was ready to call it quits for Whitesnake. The U.S. had pretty much ignored the band and the former Deep Purple singer had about had enough. If it wasn’t for the record label, Geffen Records, Whitesnake as we know it, would be gone forever.
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Love It or Hate It, Journey went down a whole new path with the release of ‘Frontiers’. After the incredible success of the album, ‘Escape’, the ballad became King for Journey. Some feel it was the start of the downfall, others think it is the pinnacle of their success. I think it is a little of both.
With the success of ‘Escape’, Journey was catapulted into the stratosphere of popularity. They were one of the biggest bands in the world. Steve Perry had the most recognizable voices on the radio and probably one of the absolute best voices on the radio at the time…if not ever. The man could sing. But for some reason I still hadn’t bought a Journey album. When I heard their second single of their latest album, ‘Frontiers’, I finally bought my first Journey album. The single was for “Faithfully”.
There is so much to love about this album and there is so much to pick on the band for about this album. Let’s start with the picking on piece first as it is the most fun. Oh, where to begin…
Let’s start with the album cover…I picture of a futuristic, robotic looking head or maybe a futuristic, human head. Not sure I get it, but I know it has to do with the name of the album, ‘Frontiers’ as I think the band was saying they were reaching into a new frontier. The amazing artwork from the previous albums was no more. The whole continuity between all the other album covers was gone…and is sadly missed.
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The first cassette I remember having was a gift from a girl up the street named Rosemary. It was the album ‘H20’ by Hall & Oates. I no longer have the cassette, but when I was out this past year shopping for vinyl, I found the album and had to snatch it up.
Even today, this is one of my favorite albums. I was in the car with my girls the other day and my oldest daughter was flipping radio stations (which is constantly happening). This song was starting up on one station and I asked her to stop. I told her this was the very first cassette I ever had and she actually let the song “Maneater” play through. I think the girls actually enjoyed the song.
After that happened, I thought this would be a great album for the “My First Time” series. H2O was the band’s eleventh studio album and ended up being one of the biggest, if not the biggest, of their career. The album was released on October 4th, 1982 and went to #3 on the Billboard Album charts for 15 weeks. The album has sold around 4 million copies and has been certified double platinum. I know I have been the owner of at least 2 or 3 of those copies.
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My First Time is about the ‘first’ album I received or bought for a band and sadly, my first album for The Police was ironically their last. MTV had played their previous songs quite often and I loved “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” and “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”, but it wasn’t until “Synchronicity II” that I finally decided to actually buy one of their records.
I picked up the cassette for ‘Synchronicity’ back in 1983 and later I did pick up their entire collection on CD by buying their box set which had all their albums. I have since sold all the previous copies and when I was out vinyl shopping last year, I found ‘Synchronicity’ and snatched it up. It cost $8 which was about the same price I paid for the cassette back in the ’80’s.
The Police were not an ordinary pop rock band. For me, their lyrics were intelligent and not the bubble gum crap that was on the radio. The songs made you think and look deeper into what they were saying. At least they did for me. It was the first time I felt music could be smart.
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Pat Benatar had been around for almost 10 years by the time I got around to buying my first Pay Benatar album. I had seen her videos and heard a lot of songs on the radio, but I had never bought an album. That changed in 1988 with the release of one song…”All Fired Up”.
That was the song that did it for me. I heard that song and finally decided to go out and buy the CD. The album ‘Wide Awake in Dreamland” was My First Time with Pat Benatar.
Pat Benatar has one of the finest voices ever in Rock music, but for some reason I always hesitated buying her stuff. There is no one out there with her octave range or her talent. This album showed me that she was untouchable when it came to vocals. It was this album that caused me to go back and get her entire collection over the next few years.
I was out at the record store a month back and came across this album and had to have it on vinyl. The cool thing about the album I found was that it was a “Promotional Only” album and not supposed to be available for resale.
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