We are at the end of the month already. March just flew by and the April Showers are about to be upon us. Before we get to that, we have another stack of new releases for you and we are close to 40 this week so hopefully you will find something to listen to this week. Me, not so much. Nothing really excites me this week so I will try and do catch up on other things I’ve missed so far this year. Let me know what you want to hear this week or what we may have missed. Thanks for stopping by each and ever week and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
The Who – The Who With Orchestra: Live at Wembley (feat. Isobell Griffiths Orchestra) – (UMR / Universal Music)
Last in Line – Jericho – (Orange Glow LLC / EarMusic)
The New Pornographers – Continue as a Guest – (Merge Records)
We are already at the end of March and can’t believe three months in to the year already as well. Time does fly. But it doesn’t fly fast enough that we can’t do a monthly summary of purchases here at 2 Loud 2 Old Music. And this month was another good one even though the vinyl purchases were down and overall purchases were down as well. I didn’t actually get out to a real record store this month so I will try and make up for that in April.
The month started off with Frontiers Records updating their $5 CD sale and adding a bunch more albums to the list. I, of course, took advantage of that sale. I was able to pick up albums from Inglorious, Night Ranger and Jorn as well as a live Blu-Ray from Dokken. All great stuff.
And then my wife and daughter wanted to go to 2nd & Charles as they had a book sale where you buy 5 books, you get 5 free…Sadly, there was not a CD sale at the time, but it didn’t stop me from picking up some great music while I was there. I did get 5 CDs, but since the next 5 weren’t free, I stuck with only my 5. I picked up some Metallica, Tesla, Halestorm, Aldo Nova (which I had already on vinyl) and the last great Queensryche album in my book, ‘Promised Land’.
The band’s 18th Studio album was a long time in the making. The work started back in 2011 as they were throwing around ideas for new projects to do. One of those ideas was to go through their old catalog and find unreleased songs. Songs that dated back their heyday. The found enough songs to fit 3 CDs and then those CDs were sent to the producers, Mikael Nord Andersson and Martin Hansen. From their the band kept narrowing down and I believe in 2012, the recorded demos of around 12 of those songs and had intentions of recordings 6 more to give them 18 to choose from. The goal was to end up with 12-15 tracks from the unreleased tracks to use for an album.
Well, one thing led to another and they also worked on new songs as well. All in all, by the time the album came out, between new tracks and old tracks, they actually ended up with 19 tracks that have been released for the album. The standard edition only had 12, which is what we have here with the Vinyl. However, the US Deluxe Edition actually has all 19 songs so no need getting the Japanese Edition for this one. That is a ton of songs to sit through which is why I am focusing on the vinyl edition and keeping it simple.
Jeff Scott Soto has been around for over 30 years now and he started out singing for some heavy bands like Yngwie Malmsteen and Axel Rudi Pell. Then he was more melodic with bands like Talisman, Eyes and W.E.T. and he evened funked things up with his solo albums on occasion, but he has always liked the heavy stuff. For his next project, it wasn’t another solo album, but instead it was a new metal band called SOTO. Hmmm…where did he come up with that name? Jeff has said this is a working band and not a side project and will be around for a long while and there is definitely a band. In SOTO are of course, Jeff, but you also get Jorge Salan on guitars, BJ on guitars and keys, David Z (Of ZO2) on bass and Edu Cominato on drums.
However, there are so many guests and extra musicians on this album, that I’m not sure you can really count this as a band album as the “band” isn’t on every song. Now, that doesn’t take away from anything on the album, I’m just saying I don’t really see this particular SOTO album as a band more of as a project. The album came out on January 30, 2015, but I don’t see a physical release of the album in the States so they only had digital. My copy of the album is actually from Mexico and is a digipack. No bonus or nothing extra, but I will take what I can get. Let’s jump right and get in to the meat of it all as the music is why we are here.
The first track is “Final Say” and it is written by Jeff Scott Soto and Adrenaline Mob member Mike Orlando who does all the instruments on this song (see, no band members but JSS). And like I said above, that doesn’t take away from the music as this song kicks some major ass. The guitars are heavy, the drums are thunderous and Soto is aggressive and lethal with the vocals. An explosive opening that tells you right away this is a heavier, darker JSS and I’m all for it.
For My Sunday Song #353, we are going to discuss the ballad “Always Be Mine” off Aldo Nova’s second album ‘Subject…Aldo Nova’…but I just call it ‘Subject’. The album was released on September 30, 1983 and was a very loose concept with a whole apocalyptic vision of the world. This was the 2nd single off the album but didn’t even make the Hot 100 in the U.S. which it should as this is one of the great ballads of the decade in my book. The album didn’t get a ton of press but it did eventually go Gold about 11 years after it’s release.
The song is about a breakup. A very hard break up of two people that still love each other, but they’ve played so many games, shed so many tears that it probably should be over. The guy in the song still loves her and in his heart, she’ll always be his. He is pleading with her to give it another shot, to stop the games, stop wearing the masks and just talk heart to heart and work things out. It is a little heartbreaking at times.
Musically, the song is beautifully done with Aldo on keyboards, guitars and vocals. Aldo likes to do a lot of the stuff himself. It starts off with an electronic drum beat that is followed by the keyboards…a lot of keyboards. But there is a tenderness to it all and the music has such great melody and the guitar playing…man Aldo can certainly play guitar. He is highly underrated. Aldo’s vocals pull at the heartstrings as he conveys all the love and pain the guy is feeling as he tries to win his girl back. The song sounds like the 80’s, but you know, it still works for me and is still as powerful today as it was when I first heard it back in 1983…40 years ago…damn…I’m getting old.
Welcome to another Friday New Releases. We have a handful today, not as many as in week’s past, but they all can’t be fully loaded. This week I have a must have and it is on order but actually won’t arrive until May so streaming it will be. If you follow the site, you know I am a huge Needtobreathe fan and I love the vocal talents of lead singer Bear Rinehart. Bear has a side project / solo career with his project called Wilder Woods. This is their second album and I am looking forward to what he may have in store for me. I am sure I’ll check out Fall Out Boy and my kids might play that Luke Combs record so I’ll probably hear that one too. Let me know what you want to hear this week and what we may have missed. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!
Wilder Woods – Fever / Sky – (Dualtone Music Group)
Fall Out Boy – So Much (For) Stardust – (Fall Out Boy)
The Scorpions have really had a new life since their farewell tour. With a new album, ‘Comeblack’ which had them re-record old hits and some covers, the band was having a good time again. So, when MTV approached them about doing an MTV Unplugged, they jumped at the chance. They put a lot of work in to re-arranging the songs for an acoustic setting as you can tell from the “Making of Documentary” on the DVD on this release. The band actually didn’t really wanted to play their hits, but dig deep. With pushback coming from either the label or MTV (I forget which), they agreed to do some of their hits, but they also went deep and even brought in some new songs specifically for this set. The setlist is one of the highlights as we get old school Scorpions, 80’s heyday and even songs from today. It spans their career in what a good setlist should do.
The recorded 25 songs and performed at MTV’s first outdoor unplugged show and they couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful spot than high a top a mountain at the Lycabettus Theatre in Athens , Greece. It was recorded over 2 nights on September 11 and 12, 2013. The release came quick on November 29, 2013 and I think the U.S. got it later. Let’s get out the one bad thing about the US version. The US Version is only 1 CVD and not a full show. The DVD that comes with it has the full show, but the CD does not. I am not sure why the rest of the world had a 2 CD full show option and we didn’t, but it is what it is. So, I am reviewing the DVD, full show set.
The full band is there and front and center are Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker and Mathais Jabs. The other two guys are slightly behind them with James Kottak on drums and Pawel Maciwoda on bass. But they weren’t alone, wow! There is a lot of extra help on the stage including a string ensemble, an extra percussionist with Pitti Hecht and then Mikael Nord Andersson, Ola Hjelm, Ingo Powitzer and Martin Hansen all on guitar (plus Mathias & Rudolf). And that wasn’t all, you also got Hans Gardemar on piano and accordion plus several surprise guest vocalists. It is a full house and one hell of a party.
Discogs is dangerous. Let’s be honest about it. I am a huge fan of a few bands that I want to collect as much as I can. And Discogs lets me know what I am missing and I can buy off it as well which is even more dangerous. After a lot of work, I think I have one of everything listed on Discogs for Matt Nathanson with only a few minor exceptions. I have a total of 37 pieces in the collection. I say they are minor because 2 I’ve never ever seen for sale…ANY WHERE!! And the other isn’t even listed on Discogs yet and is related to Matt’s most expensive fan club which we’ll talk about later.
Matt came out with his first album in 1993 and it was a time when there was really only CDs and his first set of albums were only released on CDs and as a result that is what I had to collect which I did.
Back in December 2021 when I announced I was doing a Jeff Scott Soto Series, I got a lot of response on the picture of my collection. One such person contacted me on Facebook and offered to send me a hard back edition of a biography on Jeff Scott Soto, so I quickly thanked him and agreed. He quickly mailed out this glorious copy of the book. His name was Sundeep Pooni and that book has been a massive reference guide for my review series up to this point. So, a big thank you to Sundeep and his very generous gift!! From here on out in the review series, we are past the date of the book so none of the albums I’ll be reviewing from ere on out are in the book, so I am on my own.
Before we get to the next review, let’s go through this book. It was originally written by Ronny Hahn and it was written in German and only an electronic book. For the 30th Anniversary of Jeff’s career, it was released thanks to Frank Tunney who took the original book and added more chapters and re-organized the structure. It is now a hard back book and chock full of the details of his career that all hardcore fans love to know. The book is called “Authorized” so it has the blessing of the man himself and that is good enough for me.
The book starts off with the original foreward written by Ronny Zahn and then there is a great dedication to the late Marcel Jacobs who played with Jeff in several bands and was a very close personal friend. It was a terrible loss, but thankfully he left behind a great legacy of music. Afterwards you get a brief biography of Jeff’s very early life, but the rest of the book is all Jeff’s music career.
For My Sunday Song #352, we get the song “The Border” from his most recent release ‘Short Stories E.P.’ back in 2022. The E.P. is only 3 songs that tell stories that make you feel like you are in the movies or at least that was his goal. The opening track, like all the tracks, was solely written by Aldo and he performed all the instruments as well which is impressive when you hear it.
The lyrics paint a picture of two outlaws on steel horses with a guitar strapped to their backs. They appear to be on the run from the law as the speed down the road to get to the Rio Grande and escape to Mexico. There is a woman waiting on the other side of the Border and he can’t wait to sing her a song. I wonder if there is a deeper meaning behind the song. Sadly, Aldo lost his wife a few years back and I wonder if what he is being chased by is death and when he crosses over (the border), he will be with her again and can sing her the song he so wants for her to hear again. When looking at it with that frame of mine, it is a sad and beautiful track.
Musically, there is a whole Latin flavor with hints of Carlos Santana in the guitar tone. It is pretty fantastic sounding. Aldo’s vocals fit perfectly nestled in to the song and you can’t help but want to get up and move to those rhythmic beats as the bass and drums really settle in to a nice groove that causes the hips to sway back and forth. The guitar playing is top notch as Aldo wails away on the solo. This song quickly became a favorite of mine from him.