Kiss – “God Gave Rock And Roll To You II” (1991) – 12″ Picture Disc (The Kiss Review Series)

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.

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Joey Scarbury – “Theme From The Greatest American Hero (Believe It or Not)” – 45 Single

Do you remember the TV series ‘The Greatest American Hero”? It ran from 1981-1983 and was about an ordinary guy named Ralph who was given a superhero suit from a group of aliens…you know the space aliens, not the illegal ones. The suit gave him super human abilities like a super hero. Of course, Ralph loses the instructions manual and has to figure things out on his own which is where all the fun begins. Ralph Hinkley was played by William Katt, Robert Culp played FBI Agent Bill Maxwell and Connie Selleca played Ralph’s girlfriend Pam Davidson. The first season of this show is basically an origins story and the origin stories are usually the best.

One of the really great things about the show was the theme song. Do you remember theme songs for TV shows? They don’t really do those much nowadays. This one was called “Theme From The Greatest American Hero” or better known as “Believe It or Not” as the other is just too long to say. It was written by TV theme songwriters Mike Post and Stephen Geyer, but performed by Joey Scarbury. The song appeared on Joey’s debut album which was called ‘America’s Greatest Hero’ so it doesn’t steal directly the shows name exactly.

As you can see, the back cover of the 45 sleeve is almost exactly the same as the front with the exception being the record label and producer information. I found this at an antique shop down in St. Augustine, Florida back in the Summer of 2020…yes, I travelled away from home during the pandemic. We rented a house near the beach with a pool so as to socially distance from everyone so there! When I saw this in the guys stack of 45’s, it was a no-brainer for me as I loved this show (first season at least) and I loved this song.

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Ace Frehley – “Space Truckin'” – 12″ Picture Disc (Record Store Day Release)

To celebrate the release of Ace Frehley’s new album, Origins, Vol. 2, Ace and his team decided to release a Record Store Day “First” for the Black Friday 2020 release day. This time around we got a limited edition 12″ Picture Disc for the song “Space Truckin'”. How exclusive, well there were only 2,100 released worldwide and I got one. Now, if you notice I said “Record Store Day First” which means all we got was an early copy of what will be released at a later time. So the 2,100 limited run is the one with the RSD Sticker I imagine.

There are two things that are really awesome about this release. First is the pictures on the disc. They are incredible Cartoon renderings of Ace and the band. Really great and cool artwork. Second, all the songs on the B-Side are “Space” related. I like how they kept to a theme.

SIDE A:

On Side A is strictly the song “Space Truckin'”. The song is a cover of the Deep Purple classic and Ace does what he doest best and makes the song his own. It has his signature guitar sound and he turns it up a notch and makes the song a fun, rocking track. He has an old friend from Brooklyn do the organ work to try and replicate the great John Lord. His name is Rob Sabino and he does a fantastic job. Matt Starr is on the drums and does a banging job and then Ace lays down a really cool solo. Is it as good as Purple’s version, oh no, but it doesn’t have to be. It just needs to sound like Ace and that is all you need and with his addition to the lyrics of “Hey Curly” it is fantastic. This version is the full album version.

SIDE B:

Side B has not 1 song, but four. All our space themed and you get the songs “Space Invader” (Radio Edit) from the ‘Space Invader’ Deluxe Edition album. Next is “Mission to Mars” from the album ‘Space Invader’ and then you get “Space Truckin'” again but this time it is the Radio Edit and it is about 1/2 the time of his album version. Nice to now have this version on vinyl. And lastly, you get the hilariously bizarre “The Return of Space Bear” from the album ‘Anomaly’ Deluxe Edition. You even get the Space Bear in the artwork above. This song is really an instrumental with Ace being…well Ace. Crazy, Silly, Demented Ace! He talks throughout the song and sounds so insane and wasted, it is quite comical. Worth a listen for that song alone.

I really love this disc and it is a great add to the collection. Getting the Radio edit of “Space Truckin'” was really what I wanted here and the picture disc itself looks quite stunning. A brilliant collector’s piece that will be loved and enjoyed forever.

Kiss – “Reason To Live” (1987) – 12″ Picture Disc (Bonus Edition) – (The Kiss Review Series)

The second bonus edition post for the ‘Crazy Nights’ album is this UK 12″ Picture Disc I have for the song “Reason to Live”. The picture disc has a band snapshot on the front in the box shape with the Kiss logo at the top. I will say that it is quite disappointing as the picture isn’t the whole disc. The back snapshot is much better with the full vinyl being taken in to use with a great live shot of the band with individual shots over the live shot. It is more of what I like in a picture disc.

The song was released as the second single from the album and was released on November 12, 1987. It was a minor hit for the band breaking the Top 40 in the UK hitting at #33 on the charts, but in the US, it only went to #64 despite the massive airplay it had on MTV. It was written by Paul Stanley and Desmond Child who had a knack at making hit songs.

I tried researching this disc and couldn’t find a whole lot about it other than it is UK pressing and they are fairly easy to buy so it isn’t too rare. Like with “Crazy, Crazy Nights” 12″ Single, there are 4 tracks of which 2 are from Crazy Nights and the other two are off older albums so you get a taste of what else by the band is out there. They songs don’t seem to be special mixes and seem to be album tracks, but it being a picture disc makes it all worth it.

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Kiss – “Tears Are Falling” (1985) – 7″ Single (Bonus Edition -The Kiss Review Series)

Whenever I have a single, a 12″ or anything remotely collectible musically, I like to highlight it at its place in time with the Kiss Review Series. Since we just did the album ‘Asylum, I thought it was time to pull out the 7″ Single for the one single from the album “Tears Are Falling”. There were two other promotional videos released and were on MTV, but nothing else to the radio. The song didn’t break the Top 40 hitting #51 on the Hot 100 Chart. It did go to #20 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks which is great, but not a radio darling.

It was an MTV darling as it was requested for months on MTV’s Dial Up MTV where the fans could request their favorite videos. It was eventually retired as MTV came up with a rule that a song could only be a few weeks old and not a few months so it was not played as frequently. But I saw it a lot and loved how extremely embarrassing those costumes were. Yes, even then you knew it was a little over the top.

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Def Leppard – “Let’s Get Rocked” – 12″ Picture Disc

On one of my recent trips to record shop, I scored a couple picture discs by one of my favorite bands, Def Leppard. The one we are going to talk about next is the 12″ Single Picture Disc for the song called “Let’s Get Rocked” off the band’s 1992 album ‘Adrenalize’. The first one we talked about last week was “Make Love Like A Man”. The store I bought this at is called Noble Records and is one of my favorite local record shops in Charlotte. Noble Records has a YouTube channel and he constantly posts videos of collections he has bought and what he will be putting out on the floor. When he has big collections purchased, they usually go out on a Saturday at 10am. I was watching the video and he quickly flipped past the two Def Leppard picture discs as I could tell he isn’t a fan…but I am. I knew immediately I had to have them.

I got up on Saturday, mask in hand and headed to the store. The store was packed and actually made me a little nervous. However, everyone was wearing masks and being polite. Although I am not 100% sure we were following perfect Covid social distancing protocol, I was willing to take the risk. I went in and told Dillion what I was looking to get and he told me where they were (if they were still there and someone didn’t already have them in hand. I went through that stack and lo and behold, they were still there. I grabbed them, paid for them and got out in maybe 5 minutes and immediately hand sanitized my hands. I was so excited to grow my Def Leppard collection a little more.

The single “Let’s Get Rocked” was the first single off the ‘Adrenalize’ album and did pretty good going to #15 on the Billboard charts. The song is a mindless fun track about a teenager disobeying their parents and yet it was filled with sexual innuendo after sexual innuendo. It isn’t my favorite track on the album, but it is still a good time track and they still play it in their live shows regularly. The most important thing about this song is the question is asks you at the very beginning…”Do You Want To Get Rocked?”. And the answer is always…YES!

This was one of the last songs written for the album as the band had finished riding the song “White Lightning” which is about the loss of bandmate Steve Clark. After coming off such a dark song, the band needed to cut loose and have some fun and as a result, we got this bundle of joy. Despite my tiring of the song, it is pretty great even if it is overly corny. The video is a CGI filled rocking good time and is the only video the band has ever done as a four piece. Steve had passed and Vivian hadn’t yet come completely in to the picture.

The B-Side on this are two tracks. First is “Only After Dark” which is a cover of a song written by Mick Ronson and Scott Richardson. The vinyl, however, only has Mick Ronson credited which is interesting. It is a glam rock song with a little new wave edge to it. It would later be released on the band’s album ‘Retro Active’.

The second B-Side is a live version of “Too Late For Love” which was recorded at McNichols Arena, Denver, Colorado on 12 & 13 February 1988. Now, I am guessing by listing both dates that this song was pieced together from two performances of the song which seems very odd to me. However, the two dates are the dates they recorded the shows for their In Your Face, In the Round concert video so that makes more sense. If you know that video, you know this song. It is fantastic.

And there you have it, the second of the two Picture Discs I picked up at Noble Records. Really great finds and so happy to have them in my collection. Thanks for stopping by and hanging for a little while.

Def Leppard – “Make Love Like A Man” – 12″ Picture Disc

On one of my recent trips to record shop, I scored a couple picture discs by one of my favorite bands, Def Leppard. The one we are going to talk about first the 12″ Single Picture Disc for the song called “Make Love Like A Man” off the band’s 1992 album ‘Adrenalize’. The store I bought this at is called Noble Records and is one of my favorite local record shops in Charlotte. Noble Records has a YouTube channel and he constantly posts videos of collections he has bought and what he will be putting out on the floor. When he has big collections purchased, they usually go out on a Saturday at 10am. I was watching the video and he quickly flipped past the two Def Leppard picture discs as I could tell he isn’t a fan…but I am. I knew immediately I had to have them.

I got up on Saturday, mask in hand and headed to the store. The store was packed and actually made me a little nervous. However, everyone was wearing masks and being polite. Although I am not 100% sure we were following perfect Covid social distancing protocol, I was willing to take the risk. I went in and told Dillion what I was looking to get and he told me where they were (if they were still there and someone didn’t already have them in hand. I went through that stack and lo and behold, they were still there. I grabbed them, paid for them and got out in maybe 5 minutes and immediately hand sanitized my hands. I was so excited to grow my Def Leppard collection a little more.

Continue reading “Def Leppard – “Make Love Like A Man” – 12″ Picture Disc”

Van Halen – “Hot for Teacher” (The 45 Single)

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.

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Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” (1979) – 12″ & 7″ Singles (Bonus Edition) – (The Kiss Review Series)

As a Bonus Edition to The Kiss Review Series, we are going to look at a couple singles I have for the Song “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” off the band’s 1979 album, ‘Dynasty’. The song was a commercial success for the band reaching all the way to the #11 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 and one of only a handful of times they have broke the Top 40.

The music, however, was quite a departure for the band. The song was labeled as Disco and if you listen to it, it really was. The song was written by Paul Stanley, Vini Poncia and the great Desmond Child makes his first of many appears with the band (only one on this album). The story goes that Disco was really big at the time and the record company wanted the band to be a little more commercial. Paul thought any idiot could write a disco song and a bet was made and a few hours later, the song was written and the Paul proved his point. This song did have every trapping of a disco song, the tempo, the beat, the pop sound, the disco sound effects…I mean it was disco…but it was good and it was catchy and they still play it live today. Now on a side note, this is Gene’s least favorite song (and Peter and Ace hate it too).

I have two versions of the Single. I have the Radio Edit 45 Single with “Hard Times” as the B-Side and I have the 12″ Dance Mix with “Charisma as the B-Side. First we will talk about the 7” Single, which might be the Radio edit.

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The Alarm – “Sixty-Eight Guns” (45 Single)

In my quest of the finding cool things on vinyl, occasionally I pick up 7″ singles or 45’s of bands I like and while in Florida, I found this 45 Single from the band The Alarm.  Mike Peters and crew released their debut album, ‘Declaration’, in February 1984 and the single for “Sixty Eight Guns” well before the albums release in August of 1983. Due to the success, they put it on their debut album.  Now, the single I have is not that particular single. My single is a re-issue of the single done on February 14, 1984 for the official release of the album.  Where the original single had alternate version of “Sixty Eight Guns”, mine has a previously unreleased track called “Pavilion Steps”.

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The Alarm were a new wave, alternative rock band that liked to take on the “Establishment” and were not afraid to write politically charged songs.  Something other bands at the time were not doing.  “Sixty Eight Guns” was inspired by a book called A Glasgow Gang Observed by the Scottish author Patrick James that Mike Peters was reading about gangs in Glasgow around 1968 (thus the title).  The song is a battle cry for that gang mentality that you were invincible and ready to take on the world. Continue reading “The Alarm – “Sixty-Eight Guns” (45 Single)”