Finally!! A week where there is a ton of music I want to hear. There are over 20 releases that I felt were worth mentioning, but I am sure there are a bunch more that I don’t have so let me know in the comments what I may have missed that you think the people should know. Frontiers Records has a big release day with at least 6 releases which honestly I think is way too many for a record company to release on the same day. I don’t feel it is fair to your artist to spread the support so thin and definitely not to the fans who can’t afford to buy all those albums at one time. I personally think you should re-think that strategy. Enough of that talk, my choices are highlighted in Blue. Tell me what you want to hear this week. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!
W.E.T. – Retransmission – (Frontiers Records): Now here is a band I think everyone should listen to this week. It has the great Robert Sall (Work of Art), Erik Martensson (Eclipse) and Jeff Scott Soto (Talisman) bringing you the name W.E.T. This is the band’s fourth and I think they keep getting better. What I thought would be only 1 album, now has a pretty decent catalog. I am a huge fan of Soto’s voice and even Martensson has a great voice. This is melodic rock at its finest.
The Dead Daisies – Holy Ground – (Universal): I really enjoyed this band with John Corabi as lead singer, but he is no longer there. Now they have a new singer who is none other than the Voice of Rock, Glenn Hughes, who I love. I am eager to listen to this to see what they got with Glenn at the helm. This album was supposed to come out right around when Covid hit if I’m not mistaken so I am glad to finally dive in.
Prior to the release of their next studio album, Kiss was asked to due a song for a movie. That movie was Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. Yes, one of cinema’s finest movies, I know. The song was a cover of “God Gave Rock And Roll To You” by the band Argent, but the lyrics were changed up so much, they added the “II” at the end to signify it was a little different than the original. So that meant, not only was Russ Ballard’s name on the credits, it now had Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and producer Bob Ezrin who the band was working with at the time for the new album. The single was released on August 22, 1991.
What was special about this song and release is that is the last Kiss single to feature Eric Carr. Eric wasn’t healthy enough to do the drums at the time, but he is featured in the background vocals. And luckily he was healthy enough to be in the video. Eric was extremely ill as he had been diagnosed with heart cancer. He had become so ill, he was no longer able to play, so the drum work on the song was handled by Eric Singer, who also did the drum work on the band’s next album, ‘Revenge’. Eric Carr made his last public appearance with the band shortly after the video at the MTV Musis Awards in September 1991. Shortly thereafter, Carr suffered an aneurysm then a brain hemorrhage and never regained consciousness. He later died on November 24, 1991 which was sadly, the same day Freddie Mercury of Queen had died and that overshadowed his death.
It is time for another album ranking and this time around we are exploring Diamond Dave himself, David Lee Roth. We will not be doing any Van Halen albums that will come later, we are focusing strictly on the David Lee Roth solo catalog. I am not even going to cover his debut E.P. ‘Crazy From the Heat’ as that is only 4 songs and only covers…boo hiss!
David had a very successful career after leaving Van Halen and then that career faded away. But he came out of the gate a little limp with ‘Crazy From the Heat’ although the album sold well and the video was played a lot for ‘California Girls’, but it was so campy and awful. Then his debut came out and thanks to Steve Vai, David Lee Roth did a better Van Halen album than Van Halen did with Sammy on 5150. That didn’t last forever and Dave kind of fell to the wayside, but so did Van Halen when Sammy left. But that is a story for another time.
Nowadays, He is still as crazy as ever and his mouth still runs amok which is just classic Dave. He has recently toured with Kiss on their Farewell Tour so he has never really fallen far from the spotlight. He’s always there on the cusp waiting for another 15 minutes. So I will give him that as we celebrate the man, the myth, the mouth..David Lee Roth
As usual, we will start with the worst and work are way to the best and save the best for last. I hope you enjoy.
In 2014, Kiss toured their 40th Anniversary World Tour and the opening act was none other than Def Leppard. Yeah! That is right. The 2 bands I have seen in concert the most were playing together in the same show. Wow!! My family and I had just moved to Charlotte, NC that year and my brother, my sister and her husband drove up to Charlotte to see them with me. That meant a lot that would come up and see us and go see a show. I would’ve driven down to Atlanta to see that show, but it was a weekday which meant work. My sow on July 19th, 2014 in Charlotte was a Saturday!!
If I am being honest about the show, Def Leppard was absolutely amazing. Probably the best show I have seen them do. They actually blew the doors off Kiss. Kiss has become a well organized, choreographed Las Vegas show and it felt forced. It did not have the excitement as did Def Leppard’s. There was an electricity type energy in the crowd for Leppard that was not there for Kiss. Don’t get me wrong, Kiss was still great and it was still an awesome time. I am also so glad my family came up to see it with me. I can’t find a stub, but I have a shirt and some pictures!! My pictures are pretty bad as my camera was an old iPhone that took shitty pictures.
For My Sunday Song #231, we kick off this 10 Set of Halestorm songs with “Mz. Hyde” off the band’s second album ‘The Strange Case of…” The song was the 5th single of this incredible album and went to #15 on the Rock Mainstream Chart. It helped push the album to #15 on the Billboard 200 album chart and brought the album to Gold status of over 500,000 copies sold. If you haven’t heard the album, prepare to have your head explode at its awesomeness!
The song was written by Lzzy Hale and songwriter Scott Stevens who you might know as the lead singer of The Exies. Lzzy wanted to capture in a song the fact she has two totally different personalities. One is her personal life and the other is her stage life. They took the theme from the fantastic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. Lzzy was very shy when she was younger and yet she wanted to be a rock star. She created this “Mz. Hyde” personae to turn in to the rock star she wanted to be. I know a lot of people that their work personae and personal life personae are totally different so I believe a lot of people have this dichotomy in their lives.
Musically, hold on to everything as this song explodes out of the gate with an awesome drum opening from Arejay Hale that then rips into an electronica “Mz. Hyde” before Lzzy comes in like a monster with the verses and the chorus. It is an extremely uptempo rocker that has all the elements you want in a rock song. Powerful drums fro Arejay, rip roaring guitars from Joel Hottinger, thumping bass from Josh Smith and a powerhouse vocal performance from Lzzy. If this song doesn’t get you moving, I don’t know what will.
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 – Wig Wam – ‘Never Say Die’ – Their back!!
Never Heard Before – The Velvet Underground – ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’
Not My Normal Genre – Chris Stapleton ‘ Starting Over’
From My Collection – The Rolling Stones – ‘Tattoo You’
From My Collection – ZZ Top – ‘Eliminator’
Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in February, 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.
We are now only 2 weeks in to the New Releases and there is nothing I really care to hear this week. I know things are about to pick up and we are going to have a lot of new music to play. Can’t wait for that. Let me know what you want to hear or if there is anything I missed. Drop it down in the comments so everyone can read other artist new releases in case they want to go check it out. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!
Matthew Sweet – Catspaw – (Matthew Sweet / Omnivore)
It had been two years since the last studio album, ‘Crazy Nights’ and still the band wasn’t working on a new album. Gene Simmons was out producing bands on his record label and Paul Stanley decided that in early 1989, he was going to go out on a solo tour. People were freaking out as was this the end of Kiss. Paul’s solo band on the tour had two major Kiss connections. On guitar was Bob Kulick and on drums was future Kiss drummer Eric Singer who would take over after the death of Eric Carr. Paul even went so far as to sing and record the title song to the Wes Craven movie ‘Shocker’. Kiss in my eyes, seemed doomed.
But it wasn’t the end. In mid-1989, the band got back together and finally started working on the new album. They had a very small budget for this album so instead of going in and fully recording a new album, they grabbed a bunch of demos and re-worked or even overdubbed them to turn them in to the album we have here. ‘Hot in The Shade’ has a crazy number of songs with 15 and the album was about an hour long. This was the late 80’s when bands felt they needed to fill up the entire CD and as a result, we got a lot of bloated albums at that time. If you knocked a few songs off this album, it would be a lot better but still suck.
In my quest to get all the Kiss Tour Books in my collection, I have now come to my fifth in the Tour Book Series. This is one of two that came from the Kiss Alive / Worldwide Tour from 1996-1997. You might remember I already did one from that tour, but that was a special edition book during the 1997 part of the tour which included the Giant 1997 Poster Calendar and had a silver cover. It was a replica of the European Book. Plus, all the pictures were different. This is original Tour Book with the Black Cover.
I bought this book right at the beginning of the pandemic. A friend of my brothers was selling it and so he reached out to me and I said, yes, buy it for me (I did pay him back). I asked my brother to hold on to it and I would grab it the next time I was down in Atlanta which would’ve only been about a month or two after I bought. 9 months later and I still hadn’t gone down thanks to Covid. I finally asked him to mail it on up to me and he graciously did.
One of the interesting things about this book is that it was bought at the October 1, 1996 show at the Omni in Atlanta. How do I know, the ticket stub was still inside. That for me is cool to know which show it was purchased because I was actually at that show. I can’t believe I have a book from the actual show I attended. What are the odds of getting one 25 years later. Our ticket stubs are below.
Alright…You Picked It! It was the closest battle yet and here it is. The one you picked was The Beach Boys – “Pet Sounds”. The votes were as follows:
The Beach Boys – ‘Pet Sounds’ – 5 votes
Miley Cyrus – ‘Plastic Hearts’ – 4 votes
John Coltrane – ‘A Love Supreme’ – 3 votes
Rage Against the Machine – ‘Renegade’ – 2 votes
B-52’s – ‘Cosmic Thing’ – 2 Votes
Thanks to all for participating. The February choices will be up on Saturday!
THE BEACH BOYS – ‘PET SOUNDS’ (1966):
I will be honest, this is a daunting task to review an album that is so loved by critics and the world. It has been listed as one of the greatest albums of all time. No pressure at all to review this. When you start researching the album, there are pages upon pages of information and every aspect of the album and at times it is overwhelming. As a result, there is no way I am going to summarize any history and go in to much detail about the making of the album and all the nuances of it either. We are going to just dive on in to the music and what I felt overall about the album. Otherwise, this could easily hit 10,000 words or more and I am not up for that and neither are you.