Kiss – ‘Sonic Boom’ (2009) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

It has been 11 years since Kiss has released a studio album, and on October 6, 2009, we finally got what we had been waiting so long to hear. Now, the band gave us a lot of stuff in those 11 years. We did get greatest hits compilations, live albums, DVDs, solo projects, but we had been wanting a Kiss Studio album of all new songs. And the band finally delivered what we had been longing to hear for over a decade. This time in Kisstory, the band was Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley and current members of Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. And this album is the first in decades to feature all 4 members of the band playing on the album and writing all the songs. That is right, no outside influences in any way. This was so much of a band album that even Eric and Tommy both had a song to sing. This was just like the old Kiss from the 70’s.

So why did Kiss finally release a new studio album. In part, it was because Paul & Gene didn’t want ‘Psycho Circus’ to be the final Kiss studio album. They were upset that Ace and Peter wouldn’t show up to play on it and what was supposed to be a Kiss album was full of outside writers and players. Now, if you talk to Peter Criss, I believe his story would be more along the line of Gene and Paul didn’t want them playing on it so they paid them not to be on it. That might be partially true, but Ace and Peter were on it, sadly only the songs they sang on. If they didn’t want ‘Psycho Circus’ to be their last studio album, does that mean ‘Sonic Boom’ will be their last? We will have to wait and find out.

When the album was finished it was released exclusively by Wal-mart…yes…Wal-mart. You were not able to get this album from anywhere else if you lived in the U.S. and Canada. Now, they did sweeten the pot with this one as you got a 20-page booklet, the album, a CD of Kiss Klassics and a Bonus DVD of Kiss Live in Buenos Aires. All packaged in a nice cardboard digipack. It is actually quite a bang for the buck. But was it all worth it, let us find out.

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Queensryche – “Speak the Word” – 12″ Interview Disc

Have you ever seen Interview Disc out in the wild? I normally steer away from them as they were usually never of any interest. Over the last year, for some strange reason, I have come across two that wound up in my collection. The first was because it was a cool picture disc. The second was this one. I mistaken bought it without paying attention to what it really was. I thought it was a 12″ Single for the Queensryche song “Speak the Word”, but instead it was actually an interview disc.

From what I can gather, the purpose of interview discs were so radio stations around the country could have an interview with the band without the band actually having to go to each city to do an interview. It was all done for promotion. And I believe there are two types of interview disc. One is a disc that has all the answers from the band, but no questions. The questions are given to the radio station so the DJ can read the question and play the answer on the vinyl so it looks like the DJ is actually interviewing the band. That is what this disc is. The other disc is the whole interview with both answers and questions that the radio station can play the whole thing.

This interview disc is the one with only answers and I believe it is Chris DeGarmo, but I could be wrong. It was recorded on the road in Europe in 1988 while the band was touring in support of the amazing album ‘Operation: Mindcrime’. Both sides are the same answers so it didn’t matter what side the DJ played.

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Queen – ‘Flash Gordon’ (1980) – Album Review (The Studio Album Series)

Queen was never one to do things the standard, normal way. Nope, they thought outside the box constantly. Who am I kidding, they threw the freaking box into the recycle bin never to be seen or heard from again. In secret, Queen worked on an album that no one would expect from them. They did a movie soundtrack. Yes, Queen did the music for the movie Flash Gordon. They jumped in to right after finishing up the album, ‘The Game’ and before that tour sometime around February-March 1980. And after the tour, they quickly went back in and finished up the soundtrack around October-November 1980. The album would come out on December 8, 1980 to everyone’s surprise. Why did they keep it a secret? Because they didn’t want the news to overshadow the movie because let’s be honest, Queen doing a movie soundtrack would make some news for sure.

The movie Flash Gordon is a cult classic. Mainly because it is so bad, it is actually a little good. The acting is horrible, the sets are cheap, I mean it screams B-Movie. And like the movie, the soundtrack is just as campy. It is quirky at times, it rocks out at times and it is a little bit awful at times…just like the movie. Freddie had the bright idea of including some of the film’s dialogue in with the songs to help give the songs some context considering most of the songs were strictly instrumental pieces. That is right. Freddie only sings on 2 songs with minor vocals on 3 others. This is not your typical Queen album. You expect to hear Freddie…well..you don’t get many opportunities for that. Back to the dialogue. As hokey as it sounds, it actually does help having the dialogue. It helps make the album pure campy fun. Doesn’t mean I like it, but it has its moments.

The album kicks of with “Flash’s Theme” which is the only single off the album…however, this isn’t really the single version as that seems to be pieces from a couple songs on the album blended together. This is one of the few songs to include Freddie’s vocals and it has Brian May also doing vocals. John Deacon’s bass and Roger Taylor’s drumming are the driving beat to the song. It is one of the few songs that sounds like Queen especially when May’s guitar comes in. It is anthemic and over-the-top and bizarre. Next up is “In the Space Capsule (The Love Them)” which was written by Roger Taylor. It is feels like outerspace and atmospheric with the synths. There is some great drum beats by Taylor to give it a tribal feel. And the song sounds grand and regal. Overall, not bad for a movie score, but doesn’t sound anything like Queen.

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‘Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith’ by Aerosmith & Stephen Davis – Book Review

I had signed up for the Amazon Prime Unlimited for Kindle books as I figured I would give it a try to see if I would read enough to make it worthwhile and I found this book was eligible so I gave it a shot as who doesn’t love Aerosmith. Ok, don’t tell me if you don’t as I don’t want to lose respect for you. The book is “Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith”. It was written by Stephen Davis with the help of the band including Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer. And let me tell you they are all brutally honest and they go in to some massive detail and lay it out all for the world to see.

The book starts at the beginning, I mean beginning of their music career not the band…way before that. They go through the details of how each got in to music and how the band got to meet. The beginning of the book does spend a ton of time about young Steven Tyler and eventually leads to the meeting of Joe Perry and the rest of the band. Let me tell you these boys were doing drugs before they met, while they met and every second of the day. This wasn’t a gradual decline after the band hit success, this was a problem long before that. They were heading down that spiral pretty damn early in life. They were broke, they struggled but it was always about the music. Music was their brotherly bond and they were brothers. They lived together and they fought just like brothers fight, but there was always that undeniable attraction that together they were unstoppable.

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My Sunday Song Special Edition: The Top 5 My Sunday Songs of All Time

Last week was the 250th Post of My Sunday Song which is amazing for me to think that I have been doing it for that long. that is almost 5 years of My Sunday Songs. To celebrate, I thought we would go through the Top 5 My Sunday Songs of All Time. That’s right, the Top 5 most viewed My Sunday Song Posts. And let me tell you, these are some great, great songs. No need to wait, let’s jump right in to it.

#5 – “Lips On You” by Maroon 5 – with over 1,180 views

My Sunday Song #88 is going to get downright sexy.  The song of choice this week is “Lips on You” by Maroon 5.  The song is off their most recent album ‘Red Pill Blues’ which was released back on November 3, 2017.

The song was co-written by Adam Levine with a slew of people including Kasher Hindlin, Jason Evigan and two people that are all over the charts right now, Julia Michaels and Charlie Puth.  With that many people involved, I would hope a good song would come out of that collaboration and let me tell you…it sure as hell did!!

This is probably my favorite song on the album.  The deep bass, the slower groove and the lyrics are all so damn hot.  When you throw in Adam’s voice, you have pure magic.  This is one song that should be played when you want to get busy and it will make your partner swoon and turn them in to jelly.  The lyrics will guide you through what you should do.  If this doesn’t do it, let me know and we will file a complaint with Maroon 5 and Charlie Puth.

Nowadays you don’t make mixtapes for anyone, you do a playlist and I actually did one for the wife that were songs that made me think of her and yes, this one was included.  That is all you need to know!!!

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Delivering the Lists: Judas Priest – Nigel Tufnel Top Ten…Remastered — mikeladano.com

If you missed the show last night, you can watch us as we Deliver The Goods on the Nigel Tufnel Top Ten Judas Priest albums. Some of the picks were Diamonds and some Rust, but all were Priest. Oh yeah, if you like graphs…you will not be disappointed as Geoff, the Graphing God…not to be confused with the Metal God, brought us all the graphing fun we could handle. Go check it out.

Three brilliant lists tonight, and a new level of graphic majesty from Geoff Stephen!  Am I ever glad we decided to “remaster” our Judas Priest top albums list from last year!  With the addition of John Snow and Geoff on graphs, we took it to the next level. Geoff also took his graphs to record […]

Delivering the Lists: Judas Priest – Nigel Tufnel Top Ten…Remastered — mikeladano.com

The Priest is Back! Nigel Tufnel Top Ten…Remastered — mikeladano.com

Come join the fun tonight on The LeBrain Train as we walk through the Nigel Tufnel Top Ten Judas Priest albums. Tonight at 7pm…details below. It will be a fun evening had by all!!

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and Friends Friday – Episode 68 – Nigel Tufnel Top Ten Judas Priest…Remastered “Judas Priest,” you ask?  “Didn’t you do Judas Priest last year already?” Yes we did, hence the “Remastered” Nigel Tufnel Top Ten.  The old show was on Facebook Live with just Harrison the […]

The Priest is Back! Nigel Tufnel Top Ten…Remastered — mikeladano.com

Friday New Releases – June 4, 2021

How are we already in June. This is crazy. Where does the time go? Thankfully, however, we have a bunch of new releases to help us enjoy the flying time ever more. There are bunch of releases this week covering many different genres so there should a little something for everyone. There are a bunch I want to hear, but nothing I am running out and buying because all my money is going in to next week’s new releases. As my close friend Barney says, “It will be LEGENDARY!!!” My choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you want to hear and what I may have missed so everyone can know. Thanks, as always, for stopping by and I hope you have an amazing weekend!

  • 81HVAbl9YeL._SS500_  Crowded House – Dreamers Are Waiting – (Lester Records / BMG): The boys are back. Neil Finn and gang are back with their first album in 11 years. I guess Neil’s short sting with Fleetwood Mac got his creative juices flowing. They have already been playing to huge sold out shows in New Zealand so hopefully sometime over the next year, they will make to the States. I didn’t Dream it Was Over and I’m glad it really isn’t…yes that was cheesy.
  • 81r0q6+WRBL._SX522_  Billy F. Gibbons – Hardware – (Concord Records): The ZZ Top frontman is back with another solo album. He has been pumping them out and I for one am glad he is. As much as new Top music would be great, this is the next best thing. It is exactly what you would expect from Billy. And Matt Sorum on drums
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Kiss – ‘Jigoku-Retsuden’ (2008) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

We are now 10 years past the last studio album, ‘Psycho Circus’, and Kiss has still yet to do another studio album. Instead, we basically get yet another greatest hits package. This one is different of course because it was actually a re-recording of Kiss Klassics, but this time the players are not just Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, but we now have those old hits recorded by Eric Singer on drums and Tommy Thayer on guitar. My first question is…WHY?? Do we really need to have studio versions of these great, amazing Kiss songs done by the new members. (rhetorical question)

I guess the people of Japan did because that is the only place this album was released. The title of the album is Jigoku-Retsuden which means something like “Legends from Hell” or “Hell’s Legends” in Japanese. Okay, that is pretty cool, but that is the only thing cool about this release. Okay, maybe the OBI strip is pretty cool as well. But that is it, I promise…alright, the cover is a little cool too…no more…stop!!

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Aldo Nova – “Blood On The Bricks” – 12″ Promotional Single

Another 12″ Single I picked up from Noble Records on that big Metal Collection he was selling was from Aldo Nova. You remember Aldo from his early 80’s song “Fantasy”. This was a Promotional 12″ Single for his fourth album ‘Blood on the Bricks’ that came out in 1991. It was for the first single, the title track “Blood on the Bricks”.

This particular single was the “Metal Radio Exclusive” red vinyl 12″ (in gatefold clear PVC sleeve with color insert) with three songs from the “Blood On The Bricks” album. It was promotional only and not for sale at the time..but now it is fair game because Noble had it for sale almost 30 years later. This was the album and Tour that I saw and got to meet Mr. Aldo Nova and his band and get autographs. They were all super nice.

The cool thing about this album for Aldo Nova is that it was produced and all of the songs were co-written with some guy named Jon Bon Jovi. You see, Jon and Aldo go way back as Aldo worked with Jon on his debut album that became the debut Bon Jovi album before Richie and the gang were a full band. Jon was returning the favor in what they hoped would be Aldo’s big comeback album…which didn’t really work out. Jon had signed Aldo to his Jambco record label.

The A-Side of this LP was “Blood on the Bricks” which was a straight-up rocker. It was uptempo with a hard driving, very catchy chorus. Even though Jon put his stamp on these songs, the guitar still sounds like Aldo’s tone and feel so he didn’t completely strip away that thank goodness. The song was all street tough and had that Jon Bon Jovi storytelling vibe. Like most of the album, it is a little overproduced, but hey, it still isn’t half bad.

The B-Side of this disc had 2 songs. First up was “Young Love” which was written by Aldo and Jon but also had the help of Bryan Adams writing partner Jim Vallance. This song was a little cheesy that was leaning between power ballad and pop song and seemed to be a leftover track that wasn’t good enough for a Bon Jovi album.

The last track is called “Modern World” which was soley written by Aldo and Jon. This is a tough, street fighting type song. It has a lot of edge and balls and has a really cool riff and groove to it with a whole tribal flair. You even get a shout out to Donald Trump, but this was way before his time as president. This was around the time he cheated on his then wife with Marla Maples. There are a lot of cultural references from the time which actually dates the song a little…okay a lot. But Aldo’s playing is sensational and he lays down a great solo in only the way Aldo can.

And there you have it. The 12″ Promotional Single for “Blood on the Bricks” by Aldo Nova. It is a nice piece to add to my ever growing Aldo Nova collection. I hope you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping by.