June 2020 Purchases – Vinyls & CDs

Welcome to the June Purchases wrap-up and what a month it was.  After not visiting an actual record store in 2 months due to the Covid Stay at Home Orders, I was out in force when the opened back up.  And this time it wasn’t just vinyl and CDs, there were a couple other surprises that were music related.  And then there were a stack of albums I picked up that I didn’t have to buy which is always cool.  Let’s get started.

First up was my trip to Repo Records and Noble Records as they were two of the first to open. I wanted to spend a little at both to show my support and I did just that.  First up was Repo. I was worried we would have to wear masks and gloves, but thankfully neither store required but we could if we wanted to do it.  Which I didn’t because we left the masks at home on the counter.  I didn’t really find anything at Repo’s until I stumbled across a brand new copy of Tesla’s Psychotic Supper.  It was new and sealed so no real deal on it, but it was cheaper than what Amazon was offering and since it is on a list of albums I want, I got it.

IMG_2121 Continue reading “June 2020 Purchases – Vinyls & CDs”

Friday New Releases – June 26, 2020

I can’t believe June is now over. When the Covid-19 stay at home orders started, the days creeped on by and first and then when we got in to a routine, they started flying and now we are over 3 months later and time seems to be going faster.  At least we aren’t on stay at home orders anymore.  Enough babble, we have to get to the main point of this post…the new releases that are out.  There are not a lot of choices today as Covid strikes again with several releases being moved til later (thank you Kansas and Neon Trees). I’m really only interested in one and curious in another.  There are in Blue.  Let me know what you want to hear or if I missed anything that should be noted.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!

  • 91IUojOZMmL._SX522_  Will Hoge – Tiny Little Movies – (Edlo Records / Thirty Tigers):  I discovered Will on his second album back in 2003 and was instantly blown away.  He has certainly grown since then and is one hell of a story teller.  His protest songs are amazing and the musicianship is outstanding as well.  Basically, he can do no wrong.  Any new music from him is welcomed with open ears!!  If you like country flavors with a little rock and folk, then grab this one now.  This ain’t your bro-country and thank God for that!!

  • 91LeZW7FD0L._SX522_  Grey Daze – Amends – (Loma Vista / Concord Records):  Chester Bennington is back from beyond.  This was a project of Chester and I believe it was his first band.  They were able to finish the album with Chester’s vocals and I have liked what I’ve heard so far.  He is missed!!

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – June 26, 2020”

The Original vs. The Cover – “It’s My Life”

For this episode of ‘The Original vs. The Cover”, we are discussing the song “It’s My Life” by the band Talk Talk and the cover by No Doubt.  Both were big hits for the respective bands with Talk Talk’s version going to #31 on the Billboard Charts while the No Doubt version went as high as #10 and garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal…they didn’t win.

“It’s My Life” came about due to Mark Hollis’ wanting to assert his independence from his record label and because he didn’t want to be swayed by the popular public opinion.  He wanted to do things his own way.  The song was his manifesto that it is his life and he will do what he wants to know, not what anyone tells him to do.  The song performed well enough in the states that it actually earned him enough freedom to do things his way going forward.  And I don’t remember them doing much else in the States after this.  How’d that work out for you Mark???

No Doubt was on a slight break as Gwen was recording here debut solo album, but they wanted to get some material out so they thought of putting out a greatest hits album.  They wanted to a new song on it, but didn’t want to take time to write a new song.  So they narrowed the prospects of 100’s of songs down to “It’s My Life” and the INXS song “Don’t Change”…we see which one won out or we wouldn’t be discussing this song right now would we.  Let’ get to the music.

TALK TALK

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Talk Talk’s song “It’s My Life” is a heavy synthesizer song as that is what type of music they played.  They were part of the New Wave of music that was going on in the early 80’s along with band’s like Duran Duran and other two name bands.  It is not a real happy, upbeat song.  It has a slow groove driven by a bass riff and electronic drum beats bathed in synth sounds including some synth horns. It is not meant to be a pure dance song as it is expressing a person’s independence.  It has a serious feel to the song, a warmth.

Mark Hollis doesn’t sing with gusto or scream out the lyrics, he sings with a darkness to his vocals.  His delivery is a little monotone at times and a little dreary, an almost dreamlike state as he spews his thoughts and feelings out about how this is his life and don’t you forget it.  It is an interesting delivery which evokes power and I think quite effective.

NO DOUBT

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No Doubt doesn’t change too much on the song.  The song still is a lot of electronic synths with just a more updated sound for the 21st Century.  It seems to be a little more uptempo.  The high pitched blips and beeps of the original are not here, but there is more cool electronic bass riff on occasion and the drum beats are so simple and yet just what the song needs.  They keep the darker feel to the song and it still has that serious vibe that they have something important to say.

Gwen’s vocal delivery is quite different, mainly as she is a woman, but she sings with a little more gusto, especially on the chorus.  She has an almost whiny, slight nasally sound to her vocals.  The is ‘no doubt’ that Gwen has the chops to turn the song in to a song that feels like it is No Doubt while being so true and honest to the original.

THE VERDICT

This was a tough choice as I’m really not a fan of either song.  I don’t own any Talk Talk album and as far as No Doubt, once I heard “Hellagood” and “Hey Baby”, there was nothing from them that would be remotely as good.  But since I picked this song to discuss, I will pick a best song of the two. I am going to go with Mark Hollis’ version with his band Talk Talk.  The reason is the song meant something to them.  It was a manifesto.  They wanted to do things their way and not be force fed instructions from a label.  No Doubt already had that so the heart wasn’t there.  So Talk Talk and the Original win out this go round.

I am really interested in hearing what everyone else thinks of these two songs.  Let me know which version you like the best and why.  Feel free to leave a comment and talk about the song and tell me how right or wrong I am on this one.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

“It’s My Life”

Funny how I find myself in love with you
If I could buy my reasoning I’d pay to lose
One half won’t do
I’ve asked myself, how much do you
Commit yourself

It’s my life
Don’t you forget
It’s my life
It never ends (it never ends)

Funny how I blind myself, I never knew
If I was sometimes played upon, afraid to lose
I’d tell myself, what good do you do
Convince myself

It’s my life
Don’t you forget
It’s my life
It never ends (it never ends)

I’ve asked myself, how much do you
Commit yourself?

It’s my life
Don’t you forget
Caught in the crowd
It never ends

It’s my life
Don’t you forget
Caught in the crowd
It never ends

It’s my life
Don’t you forget
Caught in the crowd
It never ends
 
Written by Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene

Friday New Releases – June 19th, 2020

Welcome back, you made it through another week and you should be proud as who knows what the world threw at us this week as each week it seems to be something worse than the last.  But at least the world is giving us some new music and that makes it all better.  There are a handful of new music I am looking forward to getting and those are marked in Blue. Let me know what you are interested in, if anything, and tell me what I missed.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

  • 81Lc7IrBXqL._SX522_  Whitesnake – The ROCK Album (2020 Remix) – (Saltburn / Rhino):  In the first of 3 albums in a new series by Whitesnake, the Rock album is a bunch of remixes of old songs with one new one I believe.  The other two will be out later in the year and in to next year are The Love Album and The Blues Album.  I am glad the Rock starts it all off.  This will finish up my David Coverdale Review series nicely until the other albums come out that is.

  • download-12  Switchfoot – Covers E.P. – (Fantasy Records / Concord):  Ah, I love me some Switchfoot and although not an album of new material, we get a small collection of cover songs.  At least these aren’t your standard fare. You get a cover from Frank Ocean, The Chainsmokers, Vampire Weekend and more.  Should be interesting.

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – June 19th, 2020”

Train – ‘California 37’ – Album Review

With working at home during the Covid-19 lockdowns, I have pulled out a lot of my vinyl and gave it a spin.  This was one I hadn’t listened to in a couple years and when I did, I remembered that this was the last great album Train had done.  At this point, Train was down to only 3 members, Pat Monahan, Jimmy Stafford and Scott Underwood.  My wife and I had met them a couple years earlier on the ‘Save Me, San Francisco’ Tour and they were super nice and they are kind of “our” band.  They were anyway, now it is the Pat Monahan show as he is the only original member left, but that is another story for another day.

What we loved about the band is really the songs.  Lyrically, Pat is a master at slipping in pop culture references in to the lyrics and the band can write some hooks and pretty damn catchy choruses.  It is wonderful, pop music.  And this album, the band outdid themselves with all of the above.  They did bring in some outside writers, but Pat was still the driving force behind them as they are usually very personal songs to him.  He spent three years writing the album while on tour for the previous items and they all reflect pieces of his life in some way or fashion.

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The album is called “California 37” which is a State Highway in Northern San Francisco which the band seems to call home.  The road was often used to get to gigs and they even broke down on it and what band hasn’t done that on the way to a gig.  The album has this light, California vibe to it and it makes you feel good as you listen.  From the opening track, “This’ll Be My Year” you know you are in for a treat. The song travels through his years in life and is a bio of his life and completely filled with Pop Culture references so you can put the year’s in to perspective.  It is brilliant.  It has the classic line…”I stopped believing, although Journey told me don’t”. Continue reading “Train – ‘California 37’ – Album Review”

Friday New Releases – June 12th, 2020

Welcome to Friday…you made it!  Another week in the books and for your reward, here are a bunch of new releases for your listening pleasure. It is Frontier Records monthly release so there are at least 5 from that label alone.  You get a lot of rock this week and even a little Norah and who doesn’t want that.  My choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you are looking forward to hearing and what I may have missed.  Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!!

  • 91HPCtbfckL._SX522_  House of Lords – New World…New Eyes – (Frontiers Records):  I have been following House of Lords since their debut in 1988 thanks to Gene Simmons.  Gene produced their first album and now here we are 32 years and 12 albums later and they are still going strong.  Can’t wait to see what they have to offer…

  • 91KRsjJRpAL._SS500_  BPMD – American Made – (Napalm Records):  A heavy metal supergroup featuring from Overkill vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, Vio-lence and former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel, and two members of Metal Allegiance–bassist Mark Menghi and drummer Mike Portnoy.  Dang, not bad.  Portnoy has to be the busiest man in music history.  The number of albums and bands he is in is absolutely insane. The man can’t sit still.

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – June 12th, 2020”

Friday New Releases – June 5th

There was a big week last week and this week was much bigger than it wound up as a lot of releases were moved due to Covid-19.  What you do have is a limited selection and some cool stuff though I not much I want to check out. My choice is highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you are digging and what I might’ve missed as it does happen.  Thanks for stopping by and have a Great Weekend!!

  • 51LCcTjOqwL  The Sword – Conquest of Kingdoms – (Craft Recordings / Concord):  The Sword are bringing 2 releases in very close proximity.  First up is this compilation of live songs and some rare oddities.  The other is a greatest hits compilation coming on June 19th with more rare songs.  This release today is digital only, but the physical product will also be on the 19th.  Here is a Kiss cover of “She”.

And the rest…

  • 91As0DhMFKL._SX522_  Emery – White Line Fever – (BC Music)

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – June 5th”

Friday New Releases – May 29th

FINALLY!!  A Massive Week of new releases.  I mean this is the biggest week since this whole Corona outbreak started and thank goodness.  We need this!!  There a lot on my list this week…a whole lot.  They are highlighted in Blue as usual.  What interests you, what did I miss, what what what???  Please let me know.  I hope you have a great weekend and you know what I’ll be doing!!!  Thanks for stopping by.

  • 81Pgg8+JYdL._SS500_  Def Leppard – Hits Vegas (Live) – (Bludgeon Riffola Ltd):  Def Leppard has two out this week…that is right…TWO!!  You can also get it as one BluRay or DVD set that has both albums on CD and in Video format which I have the BluRay version coming to me.  This is the disc I am more excited about, the Vegas Residency Show as they tend to play a lot of DEEP DEEP CUTS and that is what the collector in me wants.

  • 81l398mT5qL._SS500_  Def Leppard – Hysteria at the O2 (Live) – Bludgeon Riffola Ltd):  Release #2 is for the London gig where they played the Hysteria album in its entirety which I already have from the Viva! Hysteria Vegas show years back, but the completist in me has to have this one too.

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – May 29th”

Friday New Releases – May 22nd

Finally!!  Yes, there are some albums I am actually excited about this week.  It has been awhile for me since the last week that anything I was anxiously awaiting. This week, I have two that will definitely get a spin first thing in the morning while I am sitting at home in my office like I have for the last two months…I can’t wait to sit in traffic and drive to work.  I never thought I would say that!!!  Anyhoo, my choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you are interested in hearing and what I may have missed.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!

  • 81DFJWo7xSL._AC_UL115_  Dennis DeYoung – 26 East, Vol. 1 – (Frontiers Records):  I couldn’t tell you the last time a Dennis DeYoung record got any press, but this one is making the rounds.  I have heard nothing but positive comments on this one so far, so it has really piqued my interest.  I have heard there is a strong Styx element and why wouldn’t there be as he was a huge part of that sound.  We will see.

  • 81iqT1T2gSL._AC_UL115_  One Desire – Midnight Empire – (Frontiers Records):  Okay, this one might the first one getting a spin this morning.  These two songs I have heard so far are a couple of the best I’ve heard this year. If you like some solid guitar driven, heavy melodic rock with a guy that can sing his heart out, this is the one for you to hear.  I think this is going to be the one to beat this year.

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – May 22nd”

The Original vs The Cover vs The Cover – “Tainted Love”

The Original Vs The Cover choice for this month is one that will tackle three separate artists on the song “Tainted Love”.  The original was performed by Gloria Jones way back in May of 1965 and was written in 1964 by Ed Cobb and arranged by Lincoln Mayorga.  The song was originally a B-Side for Gloria’s failed single “My Bad Boy’s Comin’ Home” so it never charted unlike the covers.

The song was about a girl that Ed was seeing and the whole relationship was plain toxic.  He wanted to take the song from the girls point of view which is why the song was offered to a lady to sing.  According to Ed, once he came up with the words “tainted love” the song basically wrote itself from that point forward.

The covers were both done by male vocalist thus changing up the point of view. The first cover is by New Wave 80’s band Soft Cell who went all the way to #1 in several countries and #8 on the US Billboard Hot 100.  Their version was released in 1981.  2o years we would see another successful version of the song this time done by Shock Rocker Marilyn Manson.  His version didn’t do as well, but charted through-out the world reaching # 1 in Portugal!!.  All three versions have something to offer so let’s see who has the best one.

GLORIA JONES

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The original version by Gloria Jones is an uptempo fun, Motown styled song.  The song is full of horns, guitars and drums as well as female backing vocals.  This was 1964 and the song sounds like it.  The Motown influence is front and center and Gloria’s vocals fit the song perfectly. There is a great upbeat tempo and the addition of the horns actually make it a fun sounding song which is why the song didn’t do well originally as it didn’t fit the lyrics. Continue reading “The Original vs The Cover vs The Cover – “Tainted Love””