Whitesnake – ‘Slide It In’: the Ultimate Special Edition – Album Review

The album that broke Whitesnake in the US finally gets its ‘Ultimate Special Edition release celebrating 35 years as the original UK album was released in 1984.  35 years is crazy to think about.  In those 35 years, this album only gets better.

This special edition consists of 6 CDs, 1 DVD, 1 Book, 1 Tour Program replica and 1 Album Cover Poster.  And it has over 100 tracks amongst all the discs.  Here is everything you get.

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Now of course that 100+ tracks is misleading and this set is truly for the ultimate fan.  Why?  Because the set repeats the songs a lot.  Because the set repeats the songs a lot.  Yes, I wrote that twice on purpose.

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Let me explain by jumping in to the album right away and we will talk about the first 3 discs as they go together.

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My Sunday Song – “Nowhere to Run” by Kiss

For My Sunday Song #135, we are going to discuss the song “Nowhere to Run” off the bands 1982 compilation called ‘Killers’.  After the doomed release of ‘The Elder’, Kiss immediately went into the studio and recorded 4 new songs to go with a greatest hits compilation because they knew that ‘The Elder’ was dead on arrival.  The four new songs were all fantastic.  This was my favorite of the bunch.

Out of the four new songs, this was the only one solely written by Paul Stanley.  For all the others, he had help.  Also interesting is the fact that Paul sang all four of the new songs, no Gene.  Although, he did play bass and Eric was on the drums.  And Ace tour it up on lead guitar, at least that is what I thought as a kid.  It was actually Bob Kulick who had originally auditioned for Kiss back in the day, but was beat out by Ace.  Now, he was lead guitarist (just not officially).

The song had an old Kiss sound and felt like they were going back to their roots, but it was the 80’s and the production was louder and bigger with Michael James Jackson at the board. It is a rocking track and Bob really does kill it on the solo and Eric’s drums are loud and powerful as he brought such a new life to the Kiss sound.  I love the little drum fill at the beginning with a little acoustic intro and it built up from there.  Paul sounded sensational and this was Kiss hitting on all cylinders.  After the disaster of ‘The Elder’, Kiss was back in good favor…at least in my book.

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Friday New Releases – March 15th

After last week’s big set of releases, we come to this week where there is really nothing much.  Only one that interests me and it is highlighted in Blue.  Which is good because I am still tearing through the Whitesnake Slide It In Box Set.  Let me know if there is something for you or if I missed anything.  Thanks and have a great weekend.

  • 7155y9fijdl._ss500_  Gary Hoey – Neon Highway Blues – (Mascot Label Group):  Since there is so little out this week, I am blue.  And when you are blue, you need the Blues so I will throw this one on.  Plus Gary can freaking play a mean ass guitar.  What else do you need!!!

And that is it for me…these are the rest…

  • 4170VyshMuL._AC_US436_QL65_  Greyson Chance – Portraits – (GCM)
  • 616x2u9njKL._AC_US436_QL65_  Jerry Garcia Band – Electric on the Eel (Live) – (Jerry Garcia Family LLC)
  • 91sz46CbwVL._AC_UL115_  Fallujah – Undying Light – (Nuclear Blast)
  • 71rgNUnV+9L._SX522_  Snarky Puppy – Immigrance – (Ground Up Music)

Gary Clark Jr. – “This Land” – Single Review

I have not done a single review in awhile, but not many songs have impacted me as much as this one in a long while. Gary Clark Jr. has a new album out called ‘This Land’ and the lead sing, “This Land”, is something that needs to be heard.

The song is about race relations in Trump country and Gary lays it all out with no holding back.  The song is powerful, angry and scary all at the same time.  It is scary because it is true.  It is scary because race relations are getting worse and not better.  We are in 2019, over 50 years after the death of Marin Luther King Jr., and still having the same conversations.  It is sad.

I see it in the news every day and when people get angry enough, you get great songs.  Great protest songs that are brutally honest, trying to shake things up, trying to get people talking, trying to make a difference.  That is why I want to highlight this amazing song.  Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable and needs to be stopped.  This Land is everyone’s land.  That is what this nation was built on and no one should be told to go back to their country.  This land is Mine, This Land is Yours, This Land is Everyone’s!!

The song opens with some menacing electronica sounds before Gary tears into with his blazing guitar.  It is rock, it is blues, it is wonderful.  The song itself, is inspired by Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” and Woodie even gets writing credits for the song.  The song has all the characteristics a great song needs…a good groove, a hook, an awesome guitar solo (oh that solo is something else) and lyrics that mean something.

Continue reading “Gary Clark Jr. – “This Land” – Single Review”

Billy Idol – ‘Rebel Yell’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

After the success of his self-titled debut album, Billy Idol, teamed back up with producer Keith Forsey and guitarist Steve Stevens.  And in late 1983, we were treated to his second album, ‘Rebel Yell’.  The collaboration with Steve Stevens grew immensely with this album.  On the first, Steve only had his hand in writing two songs.  On ‘Rebel Yell’, he contributed to all but one song that was only written by Idol.  The bond had grown so much, that Steve even made the back cover of the album.

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The duo of Billy and Steve was complete and you couldn’t have one without the other, at least for a long while anyway.  If you notice on the back cover, the songs are broken out into Sides 3 and Sides 4.  This was because the debut was 1 and 2, so these naturally would be 3 and 4, he would do this at least one more time for the next studio album.  I liked the concept.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Speakers & Amps

Welcome to another edition of Tuesday’s Memes.  This week we tackle speakers and amps.  Why?  Because they both should be turned up as loud as they can go.  If you listen to music, you know you need a good set of speakers.  You don’t need any shitty ear buds, but speakers that will wake up the neighbors.  And fo you guitar players out there, nothing better than a good Amp!! Turn it up to 11 and here we go…

Speakers…

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Nita Strauss – ‘Controlled Chaos’ (2018) – Album Review

I am a little behind on reviews, so excuse the lateness of this one.  I almost passed it over due to the lateness, but I felt this one needed to be done.  Nita Strauss’ ‘Controlled Chaos’ is nothing short of spectacular so I had to talk about it.

Instrumental albums are hard for me to write-up as I am not a guitarist (although learning) or a musician.  I mean how many times and how many ways can I say the guitar work is sensational.  Well, I will say it at least a few times.  Nita’s guitar work is sensational…she is a beast…she is one of the most exciting guitarists out there today.  Plus, you know she is one of the best if Alice Cooper has her in his band.  I saw them tour last year and she was quite phenomenal!

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And another way I can tell you it is great is the fact I actually bought a physical CD.  I normally stream new music and buy used vinyl and special edition box sets.  New releases only get bought, if they are beyond exceptional and well, this is just that.  So, I showed my support by actually spending my hard in dollars on her album.  People should do way more of that.

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My Sunday Song – “Naked City” by Kiss

For My Sunday Song #134, I am going to discuss “Naked City” off the underrated 1980 album ‘Unmasked’ by Kiss.  I say underrated now because I have grown to like this album now.  I didn’t appreciate it back in the day, but there were some great songs on this album, including this one.

First, the song was written by Gene Simmons, Vini Poncia, Bob Kulick and Pepe Castro.  The bass on the song is Gene and the rhythm guitar is Paul,  but that is it…no Ace & no Peter.  Drums are handled by Anton Fig and actually he did all the drums on the album even though Peter is credited.  Lead guitar on the song is former Kiss bandmate Bruce Kulick’s brother, Bob Kulick.  Bob actually auditioned for the lead guitar role back in the day, but Ace came in a beat him out…I guess the band never lost his number.

The song is more of a pop/rock song and doesn’t have the full edge of the classic Kiss tunes, but it is smoking when it comes to overall tone, groove and Gene’s vocals.  Even without all original members, it is still Kiss and it is still fantastic.  The song is about New York City (which a lot of their songs are about).  The song talks about the fact there are so many people in the city, so many lonely and lost people.  It is actually quite a sad, insightful and observant viewpoint of the city.

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Friday New Releases – March 8th

Finally!!  A fantastic week of releases.  There have  been some okay weeks, but this one has the most so far that I am interested in this year.  So, I am not going to ramble on and on…my choices are highlighted in Blue.  Let me know what you are interested in hearing or anything I might have missed.  Happy Friday!!

  • 61oj5jpg5pl._sx522_  Whitesnake – Slide It In (35th Anniversary Ultimate Special Edition) – (Rhino Records):  Whitesnake has a knack for delivering fantastic box sets, if you don’t believe me just check out the Unzipped and ’87 Box Sets I have reviewed.  This one seems even better.  6 Cds including the US & UK releases remastered, live shows and demos/remixes and whatever else they throw in.  Oh, and you get a DVD full of videos and interviews…No Brainer!! Ordered and will be at the house when I arrive home from work

  • 91kmjiflhzl._ac_sx200_sy200_  Tesla – Shock – (Universal Music):  Tesla has been going strong since the 80’s and this one brings us a little twist.  Producing the album is none other than Phil Collen from Def Leppard.  Teslas has opened for Lep many, many times and a bond has been formed.  Can’t wait to hear what Phil pulled out of the guys…I am sure it will be fantastic.

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Jon Fratelli – ‘Bright Night Flowers’ – Album Review

The voice of The Fratellis is back with his second solo album, ‘Bright Night Flowers’. If you are looking for that Fratellis fun, upbeat sound, that is not here.  What you get is the unique Jon Fratelli sound with a slowed down tempo and a hauntingly beautiful album.

For those melancholy evenings, this is the perfect album.  You get 9 songs played in a way that if the lights are down low and you are alone, it is the companion you were looking for.  It will take you, wraps its arms around you and wallow in your sadness…in a good way.

Filled with songs themed around love and heartbreak, this album is actually a breath of fresh air in Jon’s songwriting and such a wonderful change of pace from The Fratellis.  When a lead singer steps away from his band, this is how it is done.

Magical songs such as “Serenade in Vain”, the piano led “After a While” and the slightly country-tinged “Evangeline”, take you on a musical journey that you never want to leave.  I would score the album a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars.  The album is endearing and is easily an early favorite in my Top Albums of 2019.

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