As you know if you visit my site, one of my favorite bands is Needtobreathe. I have everything they have put out on vinyl and now I am going after everything they have released on CD (that they don’t have on vinyl). And the CDs I want the most are the exclusive fan club CDs they release each year.
If you join the Needtobreathe Insiders fan club (for $70 a year), you get a Live CD of tracks collected from the band’s live performances throughout their career (among other things such as a Needtobreathe Mug, a key chain and a free live track download ever month – that is 12 more songs or maybe the same tracks that will be on the CD, not sure yet on that). Needtobreathe actually records every show they put on so they have a ton of tunes to choose from. They have released 6 volumes and number 7 will be coming in December which I will get as I have now joined the club. I had never joined prior so getting my hands on these has not been easy as it is not cheap. I am looking for the right price and most of the time it is too high. I finally grabbed my first one at a price less than the membership fee which was Insiders LP Vol. 2 for $40 and 9 months later I got one even cheaper which was Vol. 5 and it was only $25. And then a couple days later got another for $27 which is this one Vol. 3. Sorry we aren’t going in order, but we are going in order of when I receive them.
You, my reader, are going to pick an album for me to review each month. It is really simple…first, I will give you 5 albums to choose from and second, you will tell me which one of those you would like to see reviewed on the site. See…simple!
There are a few simple rules I have put in to place in my selections. They are…
One has to be a new release (within the last month)
One has to be one I have never heard before (new releases don’t count for this one)
One has to be from a genre I don’t normally listen to at all or very often
And the last two are choices from my collection that I haven’t reviewed before
What are the 5 albums you ask? Funny you should ask because I have those right here…
New Release – The Struts – ‘Strange Days’
Never Heard Before – Patti Smith – ‘Horses”
Not My Normal Genre – Lauryn Hill – ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’
From My Collection – Prince & the Revolution – ‘Purple Rain’
From My Collection – The Police ‘Synchronicity’
Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in November, I will post a review of the album that gets the most votes. You have one week to decide and from there I will start listening to the album and do a review.
Each week comes faster and faster which I am thrilled only for the fact that each Friday is new release day for music. And we have another week of some great releases. There are a handful I wanted to grab hold of and listen and they are highlighted in Blue below. Let me know what you are wanting to hear and what I may have missed as there is always something good that usually gets by me and I want everyone to know what is out there. Thanks for stopping by and I do hope you have a great weekend. We will see you next Friday for the next batch of releases.
The Struts – Strange Days – (Interscope Records): The Struts are bringing us their 3rd studio album and this one has a few very special guests. Lead off single and title track, “Strange Days”, has Robbie Williams and then “I Hate How Much I Want You” has Joe Elliott and Phil Collen from Def Leppard. If that isn’t enough, “Wild Child” features Tom Morello and “Another Hit of Showmanship” has Albert Hammond, Jr. My only complaint is I haven’t seen where there is a vinyl available. Since I have the first two on vinyl, I would like this one as well.
Tommy Lee – Andro – (Better Noise Music): Motley Crue drummer, Tommy Lee, brings us a new solo album and this one seems to be hip hop…well…okay. I will give it a listen, but don’t expect much from this at all.
Kiss came off a very successful Australian Tour thanks to Unmasked and the song “Shandi” being huge hits in that country, but in the States, Kiss had floundered significantly. They were now basically a joke. Peter Criss was no longer in the band, their music was no longer rock and things looked pretty dire for them. Kiss started recording for a new album and this album was going to get back to the hard rock roots of the band, however, things started to change. The thought of hard rock album wasn’t enough. The band had to do something drastic, something big, something artistic. In comes producer Bob Ezrin.
Bob had come off the success of doing a concept album with a band you might know name Pink Floyd. The album was ‘The Wall”. In January 81, the band had started recording at Ace in the Hole studio at Ace’s house and they were doing much harder, rock recordings. But when Bob came on board around March, talk started to change to maybe doing a concept album and Gene was immediately on board, Paul was somewhat, Eric was not thrilled about the direction, but he was thrilled about finally recording his first Kiss album. And Ace, well Ace wasn’t happy at all. Things with Ace would start to deteriorate even more. So much so while the album was being recorded in Toronto and New York, Ace stayed at this house in Connecticut and did his parts in his studio and mailed them out when he was done.
I love finding things I hadn’t seen before and 9 times out of 10 it is a bootleg and this one is no different. I really like to buy vinyl bootlegs the best, but I will grab a CD one when the price is right and I am in the mood and both those factors were in place for this find. The Bon Jovi bootleg, called ‘The Rock History’, is a 4 CD set and the price was only $9.99 and since it was used and the place had a special of buy 2 used get 1 for a $1, my daughter and I got to work. Plus, I get 10% off all purchases on top of anything else since I am a frequent customer. All in All, it probably ended up costing around $7.
As you can see, there are a lot of songs on here and though some repeats, there really isn’t that many duplications. I can’t find out much about this set on line, but I was able to determine a couple things. CD 1 and the first two songs on CD 2 are from a radio broadcast of a show Bon Jovi did at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan on December 31, 1988. The rest of CD 2 and all of CD 3 is from another Japanese show and radio broadcast from the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan on January 3, 1991. The final disc, CD 4, is a mixture of a couple interviews and various live performances that I don’t know where they are from.
I was out the weekend after Eddie Van Halen passed away casually digging for records with no intent of really looking for anything. I was still a little down from him passing and nothing makes me feel better than digging through stacks and stacks of records (my wife and kids, of course make me feel better as well). I digging through a small batch of 45’s and this was nonchalantly hiding in that batch. I pulled it out and the owner of the store said “that must of slipped through as I completely sold out of everything Van Halen this week”…no surprise.
The single is really cool as it is a gatefold housed in a clear PVC sleeve. It also includes a mini 4-panel poster with each panel being a member of the band, naturally. The single itself was the same single as the one issued in 1984 and strangely has “Little Dreamer” from the debut album as the B-Side.
Alright…You Picked It! And here it is. The one you picked was The 13th Floor Elevators – ‘The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators’. The votes were as follows:
The 13th Floor Elevators – ‘The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators’ – 5 votes
Led Zeppelin – ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ – 4 votes
Queen – ‘Innuendo’ – 3 votes
Miles Davis – ‘A Kind of Blue’ – 2 votes
Dokken – ‘The Lost Songs’ – 2 votes
Thanks to all for participating. The November choices will be up on Saturday!
The 13th Floor Elevators – ‘The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators’
I put this album up for selection as I’ve seen so many people say how much they love it and the band popped up in the ZZ Top Documentary so I figured it was time I gave it a listen…if it won. And it did, obviously or this discussion wouldn’t be happening. First I needed to know who the The 13th Floor Elevators were. They were a psychedlic, garage, acid rock band from around 1966-1969 basically and consisted of the following members…
Roky Erickson – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Stacy Sutherland – lead guitar
Tommy Hall – amplified jug…really???? Thats a thing??
John Ike Walton – drums
Benny Thurman and Ronnie Leatherman – bass
The album came out in 1966 and is believed to be the first album to ever mention the term psychedelic in a musical sense and when you listen to this album there is no doubt that the word fits perfectly. The album screams psych/60’s rock and that whole hippie movement except with more edge as the album does rock out at the same time.
October started out with a bang last week and no signs of slowing down this week either. This seems to be the week of some massive Deluxe Box Sets with Linking Park, Tears for Fears and John Lennon each issuing one. There is a also a wide variety of artists from metal, to rock, to pop, to classical crossover, to country, to gospel and on and on. I hope there is something for you. My choices are highlighted in Blue as usual. Let me know what you want to hear and what I may have missed. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!
Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory 20th Anniversary Edition – (Warner Records): 20 years, that seems crazy. One of my favorite Linkin Park albums so I am anxious to hear all the rarities and anything else they have never released. This looks massive and awesome.
Smith & Myers – Volume 1 – (Atlantic Recordings): Brent Smith from Shinedown and musician Zach Myers have their first full length acoustic album. It has 5 new songs and 5 covers. As their previous work has been exceptional, I expect no difference here.
His name is George Peter John Criscuola, but you know him as Peter Criss thanks to a little band he was in called Kiss. On May 18, 1980, it was official that Peter Criss was fired from the band. According to Peter he quit, but Gene, Ace and Bill Aucoin all say he was fired. He did have one last duty before he left the band and that was film the music video for the song ‘Shandi’ off the ‘Unmasked’ album. When that video shoot was done, so was Peter. A sad day in Kisstory as the first of the original four had left the band. Kiss as we knew it had changed forever (or at least until 1996 when a Reunion Tour was announced)
Peter didn’t waste any time and put together a solo album so he could keep his name out there and try to make it as a solo artist now. So in just a few short months, on September 8, 1980, Peter released his second solo album called “Out of Control”. The Kiss Peter Criss solo album was the first. The album tanked and did not do well at all. I believe there are two reasons for that failure. First, Peter was on the same label as Kiss, Casablanca. Kiss had been with Casablanca since the beginning and you can bet your ass they were not going to let Peter’s album do well so I am sure they pulled some strings with their label to not push this album as hard as they push a Kiss album. I’m not saying this is true, but I’m saying it is a major possibility. Just ask John Sykes about his Blue Murder album which was on Geffen, the same label as his former band Whitesnake.
The second reason this album didn’t do well probably stems from his first solo album under the Kiss brand. That music was not rock, it was not Kiss, it was Lounge Rock as a fellow blogger described it. Think Rod Stewart without the songs or the talent and you have an idea. That scared off a lot of people and when the first single came out, it was pretty much more of the same.
The album cover was done by artist Todd Schorr, who took an idea from Peter and turned into this, let us say interesting, cover. The blonde chick on the lower left is based on Peter’s wife at the time, Debra Jensen. The picture is a jukebox exploding and records flying all over the place. The picture screams 70’s to me and feels dated so not a timeless cover.
Peter does write 9 of the 10 songs, one is a cover and 8 of those songs are co-written with his former Chelsea and Lips bandmate, Stan Penridge who also played guitar on the album. It surprised me that the two didn’t form their own band, but I understand them wanting to capitalize on Peter’s name since he was with Kiss. Alright, that is enough behind the music stuff, let us actually get to the music.
The first song, and first single, is “By Myself”. It is a ballad and a strange song to kick off the album. I guess he figured since his big Kiss hits were ballad let’s kick it off with one. The song is about him being solo…by myself…get it. It is cheesy, sappy and probably the worst song to open an album. However, it is Peter and it is the type of music he prefers it is just a bad opening track as it doesn’t suck you in, it puts you to sleep.
The next song, “In Trouble Again” is much better and kicks things up a notch. It is a more rocking tracking with a solid groove and Peter’s vocals fit nicely with this one as that gravely vocal works well. Plus there is a little cowbell, never have enough of that. The highlight is a nice guitar solo by Stan which makes the song rock out pretty good. The keyboards on it are a little much, but don’t detract a whole lot as it is still an enjoyable song.
“Where Will They Run” changes things up again as this one is more R&B and soul with a nice bass groove. Think Hall & Oates, but not quite as good. It is a little slower tempo and with nothing of note to mention, the song is kind of a sleeper track at least until George Young whips out the saxophone and the song then has one nice little moment.
Then with “I Found Love” we jump into the 80’s with a synthesizer keyboard overload. The song is about his finding love with his Playmate wife, Debra Jensen. It is a pure pop song and it is a little catchy and I kind of like it…a little…okay I like this one for some strange reason. I am sucker for 80’s synth pop I guess.
Side 1 ends with “There’s Nothing Better”, which was written for Dynasty but not used obviously. It is another rocking track with some nice piano work. Very upbeat, but with horns and this pop feel to it, it would’ve need to be re-worked to be on a Kiss album. It is too chipper for Dynasty, the horns would have to go. Otherwise, not a bad song, not a great one, but not bad either. I mean it does have a guitar solo. One thing of note, with Peter being the drummer, you think the drums would’ve been more front and center, but they aren’t. He focused on the songs and the singing.
This side kicks off with the title track, “Out of Control”. This has Peter’s raspy vocals showing that he really is a decent rock singer, his material is usually the problem but not here. More piano and synths, as they are prevalent on most or all the songs. Peter does a good job on this one, I like his grit and probably one of the better songs on the album.
Then we get to “Words” and well, I should probably just leave it with that. It is a slowed down song that seems pretty lifeless and I don’t think bad is a strong enough term.
“You Better Run” is up next and we get a Pat Benatar cover song…wait…Pat’s is a cover song…ok. Well here we have a Young Rascals cover song. Peter keeps it rocking, for a song that seems to be about revenge, I don’t really hear the anger or urgency in wanting to get that revenge. It is lackluster at best and truly unbelievable. Plus, I can’t get Pat out of my head so I don’t think this is anywhere near as good as her version which to me is the most exceptional version of this song.
“My Life” is up next and plods along going nowhere. It falls flat and has way too much piano which is too loud in the mix and almost drowns out Peter’s vocals.
The album finally comes to an end with “Feel Like Letting Go” which is exactly how I feel after listening to Side 2. The song opens with a piano and I swear I was about to hear Elton John start singing, but sadly that was not the case. This is one of those songs that he is trying to make it sound bigger than it really is and for me misses the mark wildly. Now at the very end of this track is a hidden track called “As Time Goes By (intro)” and Peter sings the first two lines which are “You must remember this… a kiss is still a kiss…” which I am guessing is a little shout out to his former band.
By Myself – Delete
In Trouble Again – Keeper
Where Will They Run? – Delete
I Found Love – Keeper
There’s Nothing Better – Keeper(1/2 point)
Out of Control – Keeper
Words – Delete
You Better Run – Delete
My Life – Delete
Feel Like Letting Go – Delete
The Track Score is only 3 1/2 out of 10 for a Score of 35%. I would say it got better with every listen, which it did up until a point that it didn’t. I liked Side 1 better than Side 2, but the biggest problems were the songs. They weren’t that good. I think they tried to do too much and tried to make the songs bigger than they were or they could handle. It did have its moments, but I am not a big fan of this style especially in 1980 this would not have been on my radar. I will say I liked his Kiss solo album better. My overall score on this one is a 1.5 out of 5.0 Stars.
Next Up: Kiss – The Elder (1981)
Check out the rest of the series if you have time!!
Welcome to the next Tour Book in the Bon Jovi Tour Book collection…and I only own two so a small collection at the moment. I didn’t start out collecting Tour Books for Bon Jovi, nope. I was only going to collect the Kiss Tour Books. However, life has a funny way of changing things. While out walking around an antique mall, I found my first Tour Book from the New Jersey Tour. It was cheap, so I bought it. This next one, I was out for Record Store Day on August 29, 2020 and after picking out my RSD vinyl and while I was waiting to check out, I saw another Tour Book for Bon Jovi. The price was right and so there you have it. I now have two and now seem to have started a Bon Jovi collection as well.
This Bon Jovi Tour Book is from the Bon Jovi Live Tour in 2011 in support of their sixth greatest hits compilation which is probably 4 too many as how many do you really need. The tour went from February 9, 2011 until July 31, 2011 and was around 59 shows between North America and Europe. It was huge success as most of their tours are and it was interesting one in that Richie Sambora would miss part of it due to having to go to rehab for “exhaustion” and alcoholism. His replacement for part of the tour was Phil X who would end up replacing him in the long run a couple years later.
The band at the time was still the main four guys (Hugh McDonald was still not a full-time member).