Friday New Releases – November 16th

Wow! Another HUGE week of releases. There are a ton I am interested in and some I have bought already or will be very, very soon.  There is a wide range of artists covering Rock, Metal, Country, R&B, Pop, Showtunes, Christian, Alternative, Hip Hop and many more.  There has to be something you will be digging.  If not, let me know and let me if there is.  I love to know what people are in to and whether or not I am missing out on anything good.  My choices are highlighted in Blue.  Have a great weekend!!

  • 516Ip89wAfL._SS500  Needtobreathe – Acoustic Live, Vol. 1 – (Atlantic Records):  If you read my site, you know this is one of my favorite bands so it is no wonder this tops the list.  The vinyl is on order and I hope I get it on release day, but doubt it since it is from the NTB webstore and not Amazon.  Oh well!  The album is a collection of acoustic tracks from their acoustic tour last year.  All classic NTB tracks and these guys are fantastic live, so high expectations.

  • 51Gk2XlnhfL._AC_US436_QL65_  Chris Cornell – Chris Cornell (Deluxe) – (Universal Music):  This set looks S.W.E.E.T.!!  An extensive greatest hits compilation of his  Soundgarden, Audioslave and Solo work among some rare treats as well.  This is another must have in the physical form.  It is on the Christmas list and if I don’t get it, I will immediately buy on Amazon Christmas Day.

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a-ha – “Take On Me” – (The 45 Single)

How many times should a song be released as a single before it becomes a hit?  In a-ha’s case, the answer is twice.  a-ha released “Take on Me” twice before it became a big hit in 1985.

The first release was in 1984 and it was a decent hit in Norway from where the band was born, but it failed miserably in the UK and no one in the States had heard of it.  However, the record company still had faith in the song and the band. They brought in another producer, Alan Tarney, and he spiced things up a bit taking the song all the way to #1 in the US and #2 in the UK.

He took the song and turned it in to a New Wave, synthpop masterpiece.  His version was re-released in 1985 and is the version on the 45 Single that I am writing about.  The song is upbeat, synth music with some acoustic guitars, some drums and drum machines and is such a frantic pace that it gets you moving.  The tempo is like 100mph and a blast.

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There are two other things that are special about the song other than that catchy synthpop sound.  One is the voice of lead singer Morten Harket.  As the song progresses, Morten’s voice gets higher and higher until the climatic part of the song he hits this killer falsetto that just makes the song.  It is so high that only the dogs can hear it and wine glasses shatter.  He captures the emotion of the song and its plea for love.

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My Sunday Song – “Bellyache” by Billie Eilish

For My Sunday Song #117, I am going with a song my kids love that has grown on me immensely called “Bellyache” by Billie Eilish.  The song is from her 2017 album ‘Don’t Smile at Me’.  The song has done really well and has gone Gold in the States.  My kids are always listening to her, so naturally I end up hearing it quite often especially when we are all in the car together.

The song is very dark both lyrically and mood.  The singer has killed her lover and is a sure fire psychopath.  She has some regret that causes her stomach to hurt, but in the end she really doesn’t give a shit.  Should I worry that my kids like this song???

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Just look at these disturbing lyrics…

“Sitting all alone
Mouth full of gum
In the driveway
My friends aren’t far
In the back of my car
Lay their bodies

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Friday New Releases – November 9th

Wow!! The new releases are coming in droves. Another extensive list of releases this week just like last.  There has to be something for everyone as the artist here cover the gamut of genres.  There are a handful I am interested in streaming at least, not sure about buying…yet.  I will test the waters first.  Those are highlighted in Blue.  What do you see that you like?  Let me know and let me know what releases are missing from the list.  I hope you find something.  Have a great weekend!!

  • 71z5r6SxinL._SL1200_.jpg  Stephen Pearcy – View to a Thrill – (Frontiers Records):  The lead singer of Ratt (or some version of it) is back with another solo effort.  I am becoming very skeptical of this release with all the antics going on with him from the latest Ratt tour…not a pretty picture. The tracks I have heard so far are so, so…but after his last one was pretty decent, I will give this one a try.  We will see.

  • 51WFlCQ79xL._AC_US436_QL65_  Red Dragon Cartel – Patina – (Frontiers Record):  Jake E. Lee isback with Red Dragon Cartel’s 2nd album.  I get the impression this is a real band now and so the songs should be solid and consistent.  I am digging what I have heard and have higher expectations for this one over the last.  I can’t wait to crank this one up.

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Generation X – ‘Generation X’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

Welcome to first review in the Billy Idol Series.  I am going to do album reviews for all albums by the 80’s icon, Billy Idol.  We will start with his stint in the band Generation X from 1978 all the way up to his 2018 release ‘Vital Idol: Revitalized’ (assuming that is the latest release by the time I get to it).

I was going to wait until I got the debut album on vinyl to start the series, but I am not the most patient person and since I have the next 7 or so on vinyl already, I will go ahead and start now.  So, without further adieu, here is the first of many reviews…

Generation X

Back in 1976 at the tender age of 21, guitarist William Broad joined the band Chelsea after answering an ad for musicians.  Also answering that add were bass player Tony James and drummer John Towe.  They would join up with singer John O’Hara to form the band.  The band would tour and do mostly covers, but William and Tony became fast friends and felt they could do better so they grabbed John Towe and all left the band.

They would be the founding members of the band that would become known as Generation X.  Now, where did the name come from.  It wasn’t based on the fact that people born in this time were known as Gen Xers.  The name actually came from a book William’s mom was reading called Generation X which was book on popular youth culture from 1965 by British journalists Jane Deverson and Charles Hamblett.

This new band needed a guitarists so they hired 17 year old guitarist Bob “Derwood” Andrews from a band called Paradox.  That wasn’t the only change.  They needed a guitarist because William decided to drop the guitar and become the lead singer.

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Friday New Releases – November 2nd

Can you believe it is November already??  I find the years are flying by now and before this one is over, I will hit a major life milestone and I don’t know if I am ready for it.  But before that happens, we have new music to get through.  There is a lot here, but there isn’t at the same time.  Hopefully you will find something. Me, there is nothing I am really running out to get.  I will listen to some, but buying is a maybe to a No for most of this.  The things I might listen to sooner than later are highlighted in Blue.  Let me know what you are interested in hearing or what I might have missed this week.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

  • 51B1qRfpwJL._AC_US436_QL65_  The Afters – The Beginning & Everything After – (Fair Trade Services):  The Afters are a Christian pop/rock band.  I enjoy them a lot and this is just a greatest hits album so I thought I would feature it for those that don’t know anything about them, this would be a good place to start.  Here is the one new track on the album.

  • 81r3FVfNG3L._SX522_  Metallica – And Justice for All (Remastered) – (Blackened Recordings):  Do I really need to add anything to this release. If you have $180 laying around you can the complete deluxe box set of 6LPs, 11CDs and 4 DVDs as who doesn’t need the same songs repeated over and over and over in different mixes, live versions, etc…

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Friday New Releases – October 26th

Happy Friday and welcome to the last Friday of October.  Halloween is just around the corner, but sadly not much to scare up in the releases this week.  There a couple I might check out and if I get in the early Christmas spirit, maybe the William Shatner Christmas album will get a spin…but seriously doubt it.  My choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what interests you, if anything, and let me know what I am missing out on this week.  Thanks and have a great weekend.

  • 51cDoAXQKKL._AC_US436_QL65_  The Struts – Young&Dangerous – (Interscope):  It has been a couple years since the Struts debut and they felt like they might the next big thing.  But for me, the Jury is still out as they seem to be more of a novelty act than anything.  The lead singer is a little over the top now and seems to be trying too hard to be something he really isn’t.  I haven’t been overly excited of what I have heard so far, but I will give it a listen as they did interest me at one time.  Man, I am really selling this one aren’t I!!!

  • 41t8Gq4R4-L._AC_US436_QL65_  Boy George & Culture Club – Life – (BMG):  Boy George is back and with Culture Club.  That alone is enough to sell this one.  I don’t know why, but this one interests me. I haven’t heard anything on it yet (not even the video posted below), but I want to hear it.  It will get a spin mainly out of curiosity.

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My Sunday Song – “Who Can It Be Now?” by Men At Work

For My Sunday Song #114, we will discuss the song “Who Can’t It Be Now” by Men at Work.  The song was off the Australian band’s debut album ‘Business as Usual’ and went all the way to #1 in the US Billboard chart thanks in large part to MTV.  MTV didn’t have a ton of videos around 1982 and this would was in constant rotation as a result.

The song is so recognizable when the first note of the Greg Ham’s saxophone kicks in.  The sax is the better than a guitar riff in this case.  Originally the saxophones was only played in the middle of the song, but the record producer felt it was such a great hook that it should be the main musical focus of the song.  And I would say he was correct.

The song was written by singer Colin Hay and was about a place he lived in St. Kilda, Victoria.  The apartment complex at the time was in a shady part of town and all these scary figures would be around.  Someone was selling drugs on his floor and would mistakenly knock on his door and that might have frightened him a little based on the lyrics in this song.

Men_at_work-Who_Can_It_Be_Now_(Australia)

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Friday New Releases – October 19th

Welcome to a HUGE Friday!!!  There releases are massive and numerous. What more could you ask for.  This is the first time in a very long time where I have 3 releases that are on order for the same day.  I am going to love the mail man this week.  The albums I am interested in are highlighted in Blue and the first 3 are the ones on order.  Let me know what you looking forward to hearing and which ones I might have missed.  Enjoy and have a great musical weekend!  I know I will!!!

  • 81PZVtcGBVL._SX522_  Greta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Man – (Republic Records):  These young lads are constantly getting compared to Led Zeppelin and you know what?  Who cares.  Zeppelin isn’t putting out any new music so I am going to enjoy this.  At least the young generation is still making Rock & Roll.  This is their first Full Length studio album and I get wait to unwrap the vinyl.

  • 51EQXYr3IZL._AC_US436_QL65_  Whitesnake – Unzipped – (Rhino Records):  5 CDs and 1 DVD of Whitesnake Unplugged.  20 years worth of music including Starkers in Tokyo and Starkers in Warsaw, Paris, Germany and so much music.  I can’t wait for this one either.  It is going to be non-stop music.

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Matt Nathanson – ‘Sings His Sad Heart’ – Album Review

Matt Nathanson is one of my all time favorite singers and songwriters, no doubt.  If I had to list my Top 10 Bands or Artists, Matt would be there along with Kiss and Def Leppard (if you follow me, you know I love those two bands so that is high praise).  Why do I love him and his music so much?  Well, this album is a shining example of why.

Speaking of the album, this album took a long journey.  No, not Matt writing and recording it.  A literal long journey.  The album was shipped Friday October 5th (the day of release) from Nashville, Tennessee.  It stated it would not be to me until Thursday, October 11th which I thought was strange as North Carolina is not that far from Tennessee (well not really far). When I looked up the tracking #, the package suddenly appeared in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Now I am not great on geography, but San Juan isn’t anywhere near North Carolina the last time I checked and doesn’t seem the normal traffic route for a package.  Needless to say, it din’t arrive by the 11th as stated.  The USPS finally corrected themselves and I did receive it on Saturday, October 13th. It could be worse, I might not have ever received it.

‘Sings His Sad Heart’ is exactly that.  An album of songs that are about “loss”.  Sounds depressing, right?  It is far from it.  Matt’s pop sensibility is second to none.  He can write an album chock full of catchy tunes that stay with you and never leave.  His mixture of that pop sound with folk and rock blends so nicely together that his music makes you feel like you have known the songs and the album your whole life.

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