Out at one of my local haunts, Mad Jacks, I found a handful of 7″ singles and the first one up is from Joan Jett & the Blackhearts for their song “I Hate Myself For Loving You”. The song was released in June 1988 and is off her album “Up Your Alley”. The song was written by Joan Jett along with the great Desmond Child who also produced it as well. The song was a Top 10 hit for Joan Jett going all the way to #8 on the charts and help propel the album platinum status.
My version is the standard U.S. Edition with the B-Side being a live version of “Love is Pain”. The original song is off her album “I Love Rock & Roll”. Joan Jett wrote and produced this song. My copy isn’t special or rare, but I am trying to collect any decent 80’s rock picture sleeves so I had to have it.
At the May 2022 Record Show in Charlotte, I found a handful of singles and the one we are discussing today is from Queensryche for their single “Empire” from their 1990 album of the same name. The song was the first single and came out in September 1990. The song didn’t chart in the Top 40, but it did go to #22 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. It is the 2nd most played song by the band live…”Eyes of a Stranger” is #1. The song was written by Geoff Tate and Michael Wilton.
The version I have is the standard U.S. Version on 7″ Vinyl and the B-Side is “Scarborough Fair” which was not on the original album but added as a bonus track for latest re-issues of the album. “Empire” is said to be the radio edit of the album version but any changes is virtually unnoticeable.
The song is very political and talks about how much the government spends on law enforcement and how little that amount is compared to military and space exploration. The song itself is about the drug trafficking within the United States and all the related crimes that arise from it. The song believes that it will inevitably lead to the breakdown of civility in American society. I can’t say for sure if that is the case, but today it is still just as bad as it was in 1990 and Society does seem to be imploding at times. The gun violence is definitely on the rise.
The song opens with a massive guitar riff and a very heavy, metallic drum beat. The vibe is foreboding and urgent. Geoff Tate almost speaks the lyrics as he describing the events that result from drug trafficking. When he gets to the chorus his vocals soar and then with “Empire” it turns deep and sinister. Some of the echo effects on his vocals are added fro dramatic effect and are so cool. Musically, the boys give us an industrial sound that is as dark and sad as the lyrics yet it rocks out as the production quality is perfection. There is a break in the song where Geoff speaks out statistics backed by the band with a driving beat that builds and builds until we get to the solo that will blow your mind…okay maybe not, but it is superb. The song might be one of the best they have ever done and there are a quite a few great ones from them.
“Scarborough Fair” is an old traditional English Ballad that dates back generations. It was made famous in modern times thanks to Simon & Garfunkel. Queensryche recorded it back in 1986 and it ended up as the B-Side for “Empire”. Back in 1990, you wanted this single for the reason that this song had been previously unreleased at the time. The song is sad sounding and Geoff sings in a deep dark voice…which doesn’t feel natural. The song sounds sinister and evil with how they are playing. It does build and get a little heavier and Geoff actually hits some higher notes as well. It is a weird song for them and not a favorite of mine, but there is something cool about it.
And there you have it. Another 7″ Single from the collection. Don’t worry…there are more to come. Thanks for stopping by.
For the Record Store Day drop on June 18, 2002, Halestorm released an RSD Exclusive Cut-Shaped Picture Disc for their song “Back from the Dead”. The shape was pretty cool as it is a tombstone which definitely fits the title of the song. Only 2,800 were made and distributed and I was able to get one. The shaped disc is one of the attracting things about this release, but it is also the cover of The Who’s “Long Live Rock” which isn’t on any Halestorm album and at this point in time the only physical release of the song.
The vinyl is not a 45 RPM but is played at the standard 33 so don’t hit 45 like I did and listen to it super fast as if the Chipmunks were singing. Yes, I know it says 33 at the bottom of the vinyl, I didn’t read it and assumed it was a typical 45. But it was a fun way to hear the song.
During the last Record Show I went to in May 2022 here is Charlotte, as usual, I found a handful of singles. First up to discuss is the 7″ Single for the David Lee Roth song “Just Like Paradise” off his 1988 album ‘Skyscraper’. The song was written by David and Brett Tuggle (keyboardist for his band) while produced by Mr. Steve Vai along with Dave. The single was released on December 30, 1987 and was the first single from the album. Dave’s success continued as it went to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and helped the album go Platinum.
Tuggle came up with the song after the ‘Eat ‘Em & Smile Tour’. He composed on the keyboard and he roughed out the drums. Vai added the guitar parts and then Tuggle took it to Dave who composed the lyrics before the band’s next rehearsal. The song is basically about the excitement and joy of young romance.
The song is pure fun. It is upbeat and has this whole Beach Boy surfer vibe to it. It is light and airy and David sings it only the way Dave knows how. Vai’s solo wasn’t overly involved. It was simple and kept to the song still having that fun, sunny vibe. If you are looking for a good time song, this would fit the bill.
The bottom line is with the heavy double kick drum from Gregg Bissonette, a great bass line and bass solo from Billy Sheehan and we also get a slick solo from Vai. It is solid rocker with a great rhythm section which might be the highlight. It does get a little deflated with the keyboard sound and would probably be better without it but I still like it. David does his sort of speak/sing vocals with a deeper tone this time around, however, it is still classic Dave. Easily could’ve fit on the debut album.
And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed it. Still a handful more to go. See you next time and thanks for stopping by.
At the most recent Record Show in Charlotte back in May, I found a few really cool items. One of them was a Limited Edition Cut-To-Shape Picture Disc for the song “Jet City Woman” by Queensryche. The song was off their 1990 album ‘Empire’ and was one of the best songs on the album. It was the 4th and final single from the album and was released in May 1991. The song was played a lot on MTV and reached #6 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock songs. However, this is not the official single. This was released in the UK in August 1991.
The song was written by Geoff Tate and Chris DeGarmo and the title was taken from their hometown of Seattle which is known as the Jet City. The woman part was Geoff’s first wife who was a flight attendant. The song tells the story about after being out on the road and the longing for the ones you love. The loneliness that is felt without them and you can’t stop thinking about them. You want to get home and be with them, but can’t.
The A-Side is “Jet City Woman” of course. The sound is very industrial at times and very metallic, but overall, still a pop-rock song. Very melodic and Geoff’s vocals are quite stellar. They are slickly produced and the production on the whole song is done very well. There are still progressive metal elements as well and I like the added airplane sound effects to go with the song title. It is very mature sound unlike most bands of the time. Queensryche always sounded like a smarter band then their peers and this goes a long way to proving it.
The B-Side of the single is the title track from ‘Empire’ and it is a live version. I believe it is from the 1991 Wisconsin Show where Operation: Livecrime was recorded. That show was done in May 1991 and released in September of the same year. Now, “Empire” was not on that release as the release was Operation: Mindcrime full album live only. This was one of the other songs played that night and was previously unreleased. Geoff and Chris together live is lethal and these guys slayed it. I miss those two together. I don’t have a video to show you that has the song live. I am really surprised by that I will admit.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this cool Shaped Picture Disc.
For Record Store Day, April 23, 2022, Night Ranger and Frontiers Records released an RSD “First Release” of two previously unreleased songs recorded during the recording sessions for their latest album ATBPO (And the Band Played On). That is right, two never before released tracks. Now that my friends, is a single worth picking up.
According to the back cover and the stickers on the vinyl, the A-Side is “Wasted Time” and the B-Side is called “Free”. However, that is not what you get. The A-Side of “Wasted Time” is actually the song “Free”. Which naturally means, the B-Side of “Free” is actually “Wasted Time”. Talk about a screw up. The Stickers are on the wrong sides. Oops. I find that pretty cool though, as I love little mistakes like that. The one thing that is not a mistake is the pretty Green Vinyl!! I like colored vinyl!
In my many trips to the local record stores, I stumbled across a new single by the band Ghost. It wasn’t a single for the new album, ‘Impera’, even though the song is on that album. It is actually the song that was written for the latest Halloween movie called “Halloween Kills” which was out in 2021. Tobias Forge was approached by the producer Ryan Turek if he’d be interested in writing a song for the movie. I doubt Tobias hesitated at all as he had a song already laying around that he thought would work and that was “Hunter’s Moon”.
I love how the song feels like it is coming from Jason’s perspective which makes it really eerie. The drumming on this is a highlight as the fills and pounding beat are really key to its creepiness along with Tobias’ haunting vocals. You can help but feel creeped out. The piercing electric guitar riffs are like stabbings to your heart. But the song also feels nostalgic which I know sounds weird. The song feels like it is Jason looking back over the years and how he has felt along in his thirst for killing people. The song is heavy yet it has a little romanticism to it as well. It is a really cool song, admit it.
If you remember the ‘American Pie’ films, you know how raunchy they were and a song that was linked to the film as sort of a theme song was the song “Laid” by the band James. The song was written by Tim Booth, Larry Gott and Jim Glennie, however, never appeared in the movies only in the first two films movie trailers. It wasn’t until the 2003 film, ‘American Pie: The Wedding’, that it appeared, but it wasn’t the James version of the song. Instead it was a cover by Matt Nathanson. I guess James wanted too much money for it and the film could only afford a cover version of that. And why not Matt as he has the chops to do a faithful rendition of the song.
The song is just as raunchy as the movies, but Matt stays true to the James version and really delivers a stellar performance. This is probably the first time I ever heard anything by Matt and now 20 years later, I am still collecting his stuff and a massive fan. And in my hunts for Matt Nathanson product, I found a Promo CD from Europe for the song and only that song. My copy was bought from Austria thanks to Discogs. There is another version out there that is the US Promo and it has the Soundtrack album cover as the cover of the Promo (and yes, I am on the hunt for it and will get it soon and when I do, I’ll update this post to show it). You can get the song on the ‘American Pie: The Wedding’ Soundtrack, but I don’t think it is on any studio album from Matt so you either get the promo or the movie soundtrack.
Happy Friday…I hope everyone is staying cool. Speaking of cool, we have a bunch of cool stuff for you this week. We don’t have as much as some weeks, but there are still over 30 releases this week. I have a few I am interested in hearing and some I’ll get to eventually and those will be bolded. Let me know what you want to hear this week or what we may have missed. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great weekend!
James Bay – Leap – (Mercury Records / Republic Records / UMG): James Bay is back and it has been awhile as it has been 4 years since his last one. He is a fantastic guitarists and his music leans between folk, pop, rock, Americana and whatever else he feels like playing. I am excited to get some new tunes.
Journey – Freedom – (Freedom JN / BMG): Speaking of being gone awhile, Journey hasn’t had a new album in 11 years…that’s right…11 years. It is about time. Can’t wait to hear Neal rip on guitar and Arnel sing his heart out (man what a voice he has). Even Dean Castronovo sings on one song so this should be a good listen. Can’t wait to hear it.
I’ve had this one in the collection for awhile and finally got the urge to write about it. It is from one of my favorite singers, Pat Benatar. The early 80’s saw her on a massive win streak. Everything she touched turn to gold including the lead single to her 1984 album ‘Tropico’ which is “We Belong”. The song did really well and went to #5 on the Billboard charts which tied the success of her massive hit “Love is a Battlefield”. The song was a success all across the world as well and even earning a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. She didn’t win as she was up against some other powerhouses such as Linda Rondstadt, Madonna, Tina Turner and Whitney Houston. Dang that is a pretty impressive category right there.
The song was written by Eric Lowen and Dan Navarro (his first cousin is Dave Navarro if you are interested in knowing that fact). The song was inspired by Dan as he was sitting around lamenting on an old flame. He wanted to get the point across that although there are more important than them, they however belong together. My copy of the single is a standard U.S. release so nothing special, but I like it.