Scorpions – ‘Fly to the Rainbow’ (1974) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

After the debut album, ‘Lonesome Crow’, Michael Schenker was given an offer he couldn’t refuse. A chance to play guitar with the amazing band UFO. He was only kid so why not jump at the chance. They had asked Uli Jon Roth to join Scorpions after helping them finish out the tour, but Uli chose not to do it and instead stayed with the band he was also in called Dawn Road. Rudolf Schenker really wanted to work with Uli so he decided to break up the band and go join Dawn Road. Dawn Road already had Francis Buchholz (bass), Achim Kirschning (keyboards) and Jürgen Rosenthal (drums), but they amazingly found themselves needing a singer. Uli convinced Rudolf to invite Klaus Meine to come sing in the band…and he agreed.

Dawn Road had four members plus two old Scorpions members. Dawn Road basically outnumbered the Scorps. However, they decided to change the band name to Scorpions mainly because that name was more well known than Dawn Road and the Scorpions were back in business. They recorded the follow-up album ‘Fly to the Rainbow’ in April 1974 and on November 1, 1974, the album was released. The album ended up selling better than ‘Lonesome Crow’ and saw the band’s sound go from psychedelic rock to a more straight-forward hard rock sound…but not the 80’s rock sound yet…still some years off. One interesting thing to note is that 3 of the songs on the album were co-written by Michael Schenker which some how was part of the deal for him leaving the band.

The album cover is not quite what you’d expect from the Scorpions. The color scheme is not very metal and Uli Jon Roth has no idea what it means and I am guessing the band had no say in what it would be. The same design firm that did the debut album, which was great, did this one as well and I am not sure what drugs they were taking, but they had to be high as a freaking kite to come up with this nonsense. I do like the back cover with the band’s name on the guys ass..that’s kinda funny. My copy of the album is a standard U.S. release and nothing special so enough about that. Let’s get to the music.

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My Sunday Song – “She’s Tight” by Cheap Trick

For My Sunday Song #311, we are starting our Cheap Trick 10 song set. And first up is a personal favorite, “She’s Tight” off their 1982 album ‘One on One’ (which was their last good album for years). The song was written by Rick Nielsen and was the third single off the album. The song did okay, just missing out on the Top 40 as it landed at #45 on the Billboard Hot 100. That doesn’t mean it ain’t good, on the contrary…it is awesome.

The song is not very subtle. It is about a booty call, plain and simple. The singer gets the phone number off a bathroom wall, calls it and she’s ready for action. He heads over a gets a little action. It is pure sleaze and sometimes that is okay. As a young teenager when this came out, this was such a dirty song, and I loved it. And the darker side of it, I have read it is about a very young girl with the whole “She’s Tight” reference, but I don’t want to think that…I prefer the straight-up booty call.

I remember watching the video on MTV and every time I watched it, I couldn’t wait for them to show it again. The punk guitar riffs from Rick so simple was actually one of his best ever. Mix that punk stylings with the synths and you get a very modern pop/rock song that was very radio friendly. It sucks you in and won’t let go. The infectious groove and sound were magic in my book. So much fun and oh those intermittent female vocal…”hmmms”…were sexy as hell. Robin Zander can sing anything and sound great and he doesn’t disappoint here. Bun E. Carlos’ drum beat is crisp and sharp and a driving force behind the song. The band didn’t have Tom Petersson in the band any more at this point so Jon Brandt was the bass player for this song.

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Halestorm – “Back From the Dead” – RSD Exclusive Cut-Shaped Picture Disc (2022)

For the Record Store Day drop on June 18, 2002, Halestorm released an RSD Exclusive Cut-Shaped Picture Disc for their song “Back from the Dead”. The shape was pretty cool as it is a tombstone which definitely fits the title of the song. Only 2,800 were made and distributed and I was able to get one. The shaped disc is one of the attracting things about this release, but it is also the cover of The Who’s “Long Live Rock” which isn’t on any Halestorm album and at this point in time the only physical release of the song.

The vinyl is not a 45 RPM but is played at the standard 33 so don’t hit 45 like I did and listen to it super fast as if the Chipmunks were singing. Yes, I know it says 33 at the bottom of the vinyl, I didn’t read it and assumed it was a typical 45. But it was a fun way to hear the song.

A-SIDE:

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Friday New Releases – August 5, 2022

It is August, Summer is creeping to an end, but the heat is getting hotter…speaking of H.E.A.T. The only album I’m interested in is the new H.E.A.T. album. There are a bunch other releases so let me know what you want to hear first this week and if we missed anything. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend.

  • 91s3H1io7ZL._AC_UL640_FMwebp_QL65_  H.E.A.T. – Force Majeure – (earMusic / Edel Music & Entertainment): I really liked their last singer, Erik Gronwell, but he left and is now in Skid Row. Great a new singer…but wait. The new singer is their original singer Kenny Leckremo and he is pretty awesome as well. Finally a band changes a singer, I am not unhappy about it. Can’t wait to spin this one!!

And all the rest…

  • 91Wr4oPJf-L._AC_UY436_FMwebp_QL65_  Neil Young and Promises of the Real – Noise and Flowers (live) – (The Other Show Productions / Reprise Records)
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Lit – ‘Tastes Like Gold’ – Album Review

After the dismal 2017 release ‘These are the Days’, I had pretty much given up on the band. Heck, on my Album Ranks for Lit…it was the Worst!! That album went too far to the country slant which a lot of rock bands have tried and few, if any have succeeded. Just ask Bon Jovi how well it went. That was not what I wanted to hear. I don’t know if the band heard my complaints or not, but with their new album ‘Tastes Like Gold’, they are back to the Southern California Rock sound despite the fact they are now in Nashville. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t be happier to have that sound back. They sat down with a whole host of writers which I don’t always like, but they were able to pull together a consistent album that was sonically Lit. I’ll take that.

This album for me was my favorite Summer album this year. Musically and lyrically, the album feels light, breezy, sunny and puts me in a great mood with each and every listen. The album painted a picture of driving down the road with the top down and the radio cranking. The beach on one side and glorious palm trees swaying back and forth on the other. The smell of the ocean in the air tickling your senses and putting a smile on your face. Sit back, drink your margaritas (stop driving at this point) and enjoy the fun in the sun.

From the opening party anthem of “Yeah Yeah Yeah” you know you are in for a good time as it is old school Lit all the way. Next is “Mouth Shut” which sees No Doubt drummer Adrian Young join in on the fun. Adrian helped fill in on drums on tour back in 2009 after the death of their longtime drummer Allen Shellenberger. The song is more party fun talking about how you always tend to say the wrong thing. The chorus is catchy as hell and will have you singing along right out of the gate. “Do It Again” has a powerful chorus that feels dramatic and gives a more modern vibe mixed with the old Lit.

“Kicked off the Plane” is an autobiographical song about them getting kicked off a plane for being…well..for being lit!! And no, it wasn’t because they refused to wear a mask!! It reminds me a little of “My Own Worst Enemy” and I mean that in a good way as it shares the same energy. Then we get the tender ballad “Ok With That” and one of my favorite tracks on the album. It is heartfelt and somber but so beautiful at the same time. He seems to be resound to the fact if it is the end of the world, he’s okay with it. It is nice to see the softer side of Lit. The first half ends with “The Life That I Got” featuring American Authors. This is a pure pop song and when they hit the chorus I swear it is “Midnight Memories” by One Direction. I’m torn if I’m okay with that.

The back half kicks off with “Get Out of My Song” and it keeps the party going with a massive drum beat and goes in to that easily sing-song chorus that makes it feel familiar as it is so catchy. Then the title track, “Tastes Like Gold”, has slowed down verses then goes to the bombastic chorus layered with keyboards and goes back and forth making a little predictable. Then with “Here’s to Another” we get an over the top pop song with a ton more keyboards and more of those sunny vibes we’ve been enjoying but overall a rather generic track.

“Hold That Thought” is more of an acoustic track reminiscent of the previous album, ‘These are the Days’, so they haven’t totally abandoned that sound. It is almost a ballad with that pop and country influence mixed together. You have to remember, I didn’t like that previous album so not a favorite song of mine for this one. They quickly redeem themselves with the explosive “Out of It”. This modern pop-rocker sees a more serious side of the band as the song feels more dramatic and impactful. Not a party song, but I’ll take a more modern serious sounding Lit too! The band goes out with a bang with help on vocals from the super-talented Butch Walker as they cover The Cars song “Let’s Go” and they nail it. On keys is Jason Freese who help capture that Cars “magic”. It is pure nostalgia sounding and even has the handclaps. It is a spot-on rendition that is pure excitement and joy. It makes you miss The Cars and love Lit at the same time. Great way to go out.

It is nice to see Lit redeem themselves after their last catastrophe. It is a reminder of how fun they can be and how exciting their sound is when they go old school. The first half of the album is stronger then the back half, but that Cars cover is the best. This for me was my Summer album as I mentioned at the beginning. A total blast and a great reminder of everything I loved about Lit. It is all right here. Go sit by the pool and crank this baby!! My Overall Score is a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars.

Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Magic’ (1997) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

After the last album, ‘Black Moon Pyramid’, Axel Rudi Pell wanted to do a tour, but Jeff Scott Soto’s schedule wouldn’t allow it. He was fully committed to his other project Boogie Knights which was a 70’s funk, R&B tribute style band. The commitment was due to a very steady paycheck. As a result, Axel took a short break and then started working on his next album which became ‘Magic’. Jeff was still on board for vocals as he didn’t want to let his friend down. While performing 3-4 nights a week with Boogie Knights, Jeff would work on the vocals for the this album. It became utterly exhausting for him as his voice had no rest.

The keyboardist for Axel’s band was Julie Greaux up to this point, but she left the band mostly because she became Jeff’s ex-girlfriend. As a result, a friend of Axel’s was brought in named Christian Wolf to help out. Christian was still in the band Rage, but was able to do this album as well. The rest of the band, Jorg Michael and Volker Krawczak were still in tact. Axel wanted to a heavier album than the previous and I think he succeeded. The album ‘Magic’ was released on May 21, 1997. Again, Axel was wanting to tour, but Jeff wasn’t feeling it. Boogie Knights was too important at this time and when it got down to it, this wasn’t his favorite type of music to sing anyway. In fact, Jeff didn’t co-write any of the songs on this one. It was all Axel. After much discussion, he parted with Axel and moved on. He and Axel are still good friends today and nice to see there were no hard feelings between the two gentleman.

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David Lee Roth – “Just Like Paradise” – 7″ Single

During the last Record Show I went to in May 2022 here is Charlotte, as usual, I found a handful of singles. First up to discuss is the 7″ Single for the David Lee Roth song “Just Like Paradise” off his 1988 album ‘Skyscraper’. The song was written by David and Brett Tuggle (keyboardist for his band) while produced by Mr. Steve Vai along with Dave. The single was released on December 30, 1987 and was the first single from the album. Dave’s success continued as it went to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and helped the album go Platinum.

Tuggle came up with the song after the ‘Eat ‘Em & Smile Tour’. He composed on the keyboard and he roughed out the drums. Vai added the guitar parts and then Tuggle took it to Dave who composed the lyrics before the band’s next rehearsal. The song is basically about the excitement and joy of young romance.

A-SIDE:

The song is pure fun. It is upbeat and has this whole Beach Boy surfer vibe to it. It is light and airy and David sings it only the way Dave knows how. Vai’s solo wasn’t overly involved. It was simple and kept to the song still having that fun, sunny vibe. If you are looking for a good time song, this would fit the bill.

B-SIDE:

The bottom line is with the heavy double kick drum from Gregg Bissonette, a great bass line and bass solo from Billy Sheehan and we also get a slick solo from Vai. It is solid rocker with a great rhythm section which might be the highlight. It does get a little deflated with the keyboard sound and would probably be better without it but I still like it. David does his sort of speak/sing vocals with a deeper tone this time around, however, it is still classic Dave. Easily could’ve fit on the debut album.

And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed it. Still a handful more to go. See you next time and thanks for stopping by.

Scorpions – ‘Lonesome Crow’ (1972) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

Welcome to the start of the Scorpions Collection Series. We will be going through my entire Scorpions collection and only what is in my collection. I wont’ be covering anything that I don’t own on this series as I have all the studio albums. I even have some bonus stuff like promos, singles and whatever else I have found. We will start at the beginning and work all the way up to ‘Rock Believer’ which was released only a few months back. I hope you enjoy!

In 1965, Scorpions was born. Rudolf Schenker is the founding member and at the time he even handled the lead vocals. Scorpions have changed their style over the years, but back in 1965, they were more in to Beat Music. Thankfully for us that all changed by the time their first album came out in 1972. Other members at the time were Wolfgang Dziony on drums, Achim Kirchhoff on bass and Karl-Heinz Vollmer on lead guitar. Rudolf handled the rhythm guitar. Out of this original group, the only 2 to make it to the debut album were Rudolf and Wolfgang.

In 1968, they hired a new bass player after Achim had left and he was replaced with Lothar Heimberg. It wasn’t until 1969 when lead singer Klaus Meine showed up along with Rudolf’s little brother Michael Schenker on lead guitar. At the time of his joining the band Michael was only 14 years old. And when the debut album came out he was the ripe old age of 16 years old. Insane!! So now the line-up was complete.

Things started looking better when they entered and won a contest in which allowed them to record two songs with the CCA label to be used as a single, however, they were never released. The band did re-record those songs when they went in to record their debut ‘Lonesome Crow’ back in October 1971. The album was recorded in about 6 to 7 days. The album would be released in February 9, 1972 in West Germany and strangely as the soundtrack to an anti-drug movie called ‘Das Kalte Paradies’. The U.S. released would come in May 1973 over a year later.

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My Sunday Song – “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith

For My Sunday Song #310 and the final in the 10 Song Aerosmith set, we will discuss my all time favorite track, “Sweet Emotion”. The song is another off ‘Toys in the Attic’ and was the first single off the album. It kicks off side two of the album and actually went all the way to #36 just cracking the Billboard Top 40 song chart.

The song is supposedly about Joe Perry’s ex-wife and the riff she caused in the band. I guess she was the Yoko of the band as they did eventually part ways briefly with Joe Perry (he came back after his marriage ended). Steven blasts her for “Talking about things that nobody cares/ wearing things that nobody wears”. And how she was on the side of the stage just shaking her ass for Joe and he was soon eating form her hand. No, no tensions there! The song also is about the infighting in the band as not only were the wives getting in the way, but so were the drugs and egos.

Another Tom Hamilton and Steven Tyler penned track which explains that killer bass opening to the song. Damn Tom is on fire with this one. That bass line is so hauntingly cool and then throw in Perry on the Talk Box and you have a memorable, killer opening. And that vibraslap you hear in the opening, actually broke on their third take from what I’ve read. Tyler’s vocals are pristine and no one can deliver a lyric like him. Perry’s guitar playing is on fire just like the pants in the lyrics. Kramer lays down a great rat-tat-tat right before Perry’s solo and his fills throughout are over the top as he is playing on the twos and fours rather than than ones and threes of the beats which totally blew producer Jack Douglas away. The band shows a more sophisticated side to their writing and they deliver one of my all time favorite Aerosmith tracks. It is a freaking masterpiece.

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July 2022 Purchases – Vinyl, CD’s and 8-Tracks!!

We are moving through the year quite fast I believe as it is already the end of July. And it was a hot one, both temperature and purchases. Now, I do have a handful of vinyl, but as prices skyrocket, I am focusing on the albums that mean something to me or from bands that mean something to me so the purchases have slowed. CDs are cheaper and a lot easier to obtain so I seem to be buying way more of those these days. With minor exceptions, I have been laser focused on what I’m buying. Let’s go through the vinyl first. First up is the new album from Shinedown called ‘Planet Zero’. I have all their albums on vinyl as I am a big fan so why not get the new one…

Then it I picked up a couple holy grail type albums. First was one from Kiss that had only been issued for their very limited exclusive Kissteria box set. I didn’t think I’d every own one. Thanksfully, they re-issued it on vinyl and I snagged a copy. Not their best compilation, but one that was lacking in my vinyl collection so couldn’t be happier…My list of missing vinyl is now smaller.

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