Going through the Jeff Scott Soto Series, we have now been through every Talisman Studio album so I figured, let’s go ahead and rank them rather than wait until the end of the series. Talisman is a band started by the late Marcel Jacob. He recruited Jeff Scott Soto as they became friends while working with Yngwie Malmsteen. The original band also had Christopher Stahl on guitar, Mats Lindfors on guitar, Mats Olassaon on keyboard, and Peter Hermansson on drums. But for me, that isn’t the classic line-up. Nope. That would Marcel, Jeff and then Fredrik Akesson on guitar and Jamie Borger on drums. Heck, I even loved when Pontus Norgren replaced Fredrik on guitar. I mean, let’s be honest, all versions of the line-up were great. Who are we kidding.
The band started in 1989 and released their first album in 1990. They had moderate success in Europe but did best in Sweden. Not much noise at all here in the States as the music had changed too much for them to succeed. For a band that was together for around 20 years, we only got 7 albums which isn’t near enough in my opinion. They were really busy with side projects that seem to consume their time. Or maybe, Talisman was the side project. Whatever it was, I was always glad to hear new Talisman music. In 2009, Marcel Jacob passed away before they could start on an 8th album and that was the end of Talisman. I don’t suspect Jeff will resurrect it without Marcel and I don’t think he should.
With that, let is get to the ranking of their studio albums from the Worst (which really isn’t) to their Best (which really is)…
THE WORST – ‘LIFE’ (1995):
I do have some issues with this one as I thought the mix on my version was bad and that mostly comes with the uneven transitions between songs. It is very inconsistent. There are only a handful of standout tracks such as “Tears in the Sky”, “Crazy”, “Body”, “Soul 2 Soul” and “A Life”, but otherwise the rest of the album could be forgettable. It does have its moments though and is above average which is why My Overall Score is a 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars. I don’t know if it was for the fact they felt rushed or production, but the quality of the songs on this weren’t there. It could also be they didn’t perform this one live in the studio together which I find can hurt the vibes of the album. So, out of the 7 albums. This I would categorize as The Worst, but still an above average score.
We have Gene Simmons of Kiss and Jon Bon Jovi to thank for Tom Keifer and Cinderella. Gene tried to get them signed first, wasn’t successful though. Then Jon came in the picture and boom, a contract. Cinderella’s debut album came out in 1986 and wow was it over the top with the packaging of the band’s look and their sound. They fit right in to the Hair Metal style. Their next album in 1988 came out, ‘Long Cold Winter’, and they got as far away from that sound and look as they could. With their third album, that took it the extreme the other way. That lineup of Tom Keifer, Eric Brittingham, Jeff LaBar and Fred Coury were a house hold names for me.
After their third album, Tom suffered major throat problems with paralysis of his left vocal cord. This delayed their fourth and final album, ‘Still Climbing’ in 1994, With little to no fanfare, the band basically called it quits…well with at least album as we never received another one. It was until 2013 did we even get Tom Keifer’s first solo album. What a comeback it was. But then nothing for six years until the most current release in 2019 with ‘Rise’. It has been a long ride, and sadly only 6 albums so far. I hope we get more, if not from Cinderella, at least from the voice of the band, Tom Keifer.
Let us go ahead and rank the 6 albums we do have and I can’t wait to see what order you would place them. I hope you enjoy.
THE WORST: Tom Keifer: ‘The Way Life Goes’ (2013):
Ok, let’s get this out there in the open right away. There is no “Worst” Tom Keifer album. There is only Favorite to Least Favorite as he hasn’t really made a bad album. Out of all the albums he’s done, this is only the one I don’t play as often as the others, so it is my least favorite of the bunch. They are all favorites. What a welcome sight it was to finally get some new material for Tom after 20 years of nothing. It felt like a personal album and his writing and playing have matured and improved and aged perfectly like cheese, but no cheese here. All well crafted songs. They didn’t capture me as tightly as the other album which is the only reason this one is a the bottom, but it is far from being a bad album.
FireHouse was actually a band way back in 1984 when they were called White Heat. Well, that name was taken so they had to change their name and they came up with FireHouse. The band moved from Virginia to my current hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. And it was there in 1989 they were signed to Epic Records. And the next year, they delivered their monster self-titled debut album. The band was one of dozens of glam rock/hard rock bands coming out of the woodworks at that time, but the big difference is they saw some pretty dang good success.
The debut went 2X platinum and the follow-up, ‘Hold Your Fire’, in 1992 went Gold. That is pretty good for a genre that was dying a pretty quick death. They were one of the few bands that had success during this time. Even after the 80’s Rock/Glam Rock scene died, they were still killing it across Asia as they were a huge draw.
The band consisted of CJ Snare, Bill Leverty, Michael Foster and Perry Richardson. Perry is the only member no longer in the band, but don’t worry, he is with Stryper now and doing well. After over 30 years together as FireHouse, they are still going strong. Let’s go back and rank their albums from the Worst to the First. I hope you enjoy!
THE WORST – FULL CIRCLE (2011):
Full Circle is a re-recording of the band’s material from previous albums. It has some of their best song and sounds fantastic. The Original boys are back and thus the name of the album Full Circle. The only problem, bassist Perry Richardson was not back so all the original boys weren’t back. He is working with Stryper now, but wasn’t at this time. And the real big problem with this is…why? What is the point? There was nothing wrong with the original versions. If I want to hear these songs, I won’t be playing this.
In talking with Michael LeFevre over at 80sMetalMan after he did a Survivor post, we thought it would be fun to do an album ranking of all 8 of their albums. We wanted to see how we looked at each album. So, here is my list. Click on 80sMetalMan to go see his list.
Survivor…everyone knows them because of the Rocky movies whether it is “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky III or “Burning Heart” from Rocky IV, but the band was so much more than that. They were a great pop rock band / AOR or whatever you want to call them. The main three band members were vocalists Dave Bickler, keyboardist Jim Peterik and guitarist Frankie Sullivan (the only original member left in the band). They had other members but those were the three consistent members. After 4 albums, Dave left due to vocal issues and Jimi Jamison came in on vocals and took the band to a different level. The band sort of broke up after 1988’s ‘Too Hot To Sleep’, but Jimi Jamison still toured under the name which caused a lot of lawsuits. Dave came back in the fold from time to time and so did Jimi. After an 18 year break, they released their 8th album ‘Reach’ and that has been it ever since…mainly due to the passing of Jimi Jamison back in 2004. Maybe some day we will get more Survivor music, but for now, this is what we got. How do they rank? Check it out.
Welcome to the final post in the Cheap Trick Collection Series. We are going to rank all 20 of their studio albums from their worst to their absolute best. I am sure there will be some disagreement, but these are my choices and not necessarily yours so it is okay to disagree. I have spent the last 9/10 months going through every piece of Cheap Trick music in my collection and that gave us 37 posts so my choices are well documented and please check them all out if you have time.
We started back in 1977 with their debut and finished with their latest studio album, 2021’s ‘In Another World’. We didn’t hit everything in between because I missed a few live albums and a ton of greatest hits compilations, but it was still a pretty immersive catalog to go through. Cheap Trick’s core group was always Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos with changes here and there, but those are the original guys we all know and love.
Their Beatles influences, pop-punk style was all their own. You heard a Cheap Trick song, you basically knew it was a Cheap Trick song. Robin Zander’s vocals have never aged a bit and at times sounds even better today than 45 years ago. Rick’s crazy guitars weren’t to make up for the fact he can’t play because he sure as hell can as he filled every album with some great solos and killer riffs. Tom Petersson’s bassline was the driving force behind the rhythm section and with Bun E Carlos on drums, that rhythm section was pretty freakin’ tight. These four guys could produce a lot of sound and gave us a lot of great music. Let’s celebrate now with the Ranking from Worst to First!!
Aerosmith…one of the greatest American Rock & Roll Bands. From the early 70’s the band has delivered, solid, good time, bluesy rock & roll. With 15 Studio albums, numerous live albums and compilations, they are a beloved American Icon. From the rough and raw days of the early Boston Bar band to the well-polished Stadium filled rock & roll band, they are as American apple pie.
Now the band has had issues, but for a majority of the career it has been Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer. Yes, some members went away for awhile, but the magic was always these five original guys. Alone, they are not the same…together they are magic. To celebrate this band, I went through all the albums in my collection (which was around 28 posts) and now we are going to rank their studio albums from Worst to First. So sit back, relax and get ready to be rocked like only Aerosmith can do it.
THE WORST – ‘MUSIC FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION (2012):
This album is so bloated with 16 tracks and at around 68 minutes and that is before the 3 bonus tracks on the 2nd disc which we will get to soon. First off, yes, the packaging is better than the album. The album does nothing for me but reinforce how tired I am of anything of Aerosmith’s past ‘Done With Mirrors’. This series has reenforced that for me…big time. Although I could pull out ‘Honkin’ on Bobo’. The album is too much of everything and not enough of Aerosmith if that makes sense. If this ends up being the last studio album, it is a shame. My Overall Score is 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars. I didn’t enjoy this one and it didn’t get better with each listen. Sorry.
When I think of a country that rules in Glam Metal, my first thought goes to Norway!! Huh? WTF? Norway? Yes, you heard me correctly. Norway is home to the stellar Glam Metal band Wig Wam. The band members are Glam, Teeny, Flash and Sporty and no those aren’t the Spice Girls’ names. In reality, it is Age Sten Nilsen, Trond Holter, Bernt Jensen and Osytein Andersen. Yeah, the nicknames are easier to pronounce and remember.
The band’s first album came out back in 2004/2005 and showed the world that Glam metal was still alive and kicking. They represented Norway in the 2005 Eurovision contest and their song “In My Dreams” did really well. After that, they put out 4 albums and then they called it quit back in 2014. Then 5 years later, the band was back together. However, we didn’t finally get another album until 2021 and let me tell you, the boys are back!!!
I thought to myself, this is a band that needs to be heard so why not spread the love with an album ranking and since they only have 5 albums, it would be easy enough to do. So, grab a cold one and check out the Wig Wam Album Rankings from Worst to First!!
I know, I know…if you read this blog regularly you know this is completely out of left field for the site. Katy Perry actually has a special place in my heart. Her first three Katy Perry albums were when my kids were really little. They loved her and would act out the songs almost daily and we have some great videos capturing those special moments. And when we were in the car, they would sing at the top of their lungs when her songs came out. As a result, when I hear those songs today, it takes me back to those amazingly fun times with my kids. She has been able to imprint a memory with her songs and that is hard to do. My oldest is away and at college and I have to say I miss her terribly. So to keep her in my thoughts, I figured why not rank all Katy’s albums from worst to first.
You might not know that Katy Perry came out with her first album back in 2001 when she was Katy Hudson and a Christian singer, then she became a sugary, sweet pop princess and for awhile she ruled the airwaves. Now she’s a judge on American Idol and she still puts out albums, but the massive fame and craziness has slowed down a little (at least on the radio). Like her or not, she was the driving force in the industry and what she did, people noticed and paid attention.
We are only going to go through her studio albums, no live albums or E.P.’s or any compilations (which I am not sure she has one yet). So sit back, relax and I hope you enjoy and maybe learn something new.
We are finally to the end of the Judas Priest Complete Albums Collection Series. And we are ending it with a ranking of all the Studio albums for the band which is a total of 18 albums to go through. That is a lot. I knew of Judas Priest and I had heard a ton of songs, but I had never dived deep in the band until I did this series. I received The Complete Albums Collection Box Set for Christmas 2020 and bought the 4 studio albums that were missing from the set and decided to review them all and it has been a blast. I will say that I am a huge fan now.
Out of the 18 albums, there are only 2 they have that I felt were below average and the rest are worth hearing at least to me. That isn’t bad to have 16 albums that rank at least a 3 or higher. My choices might be different from some people and that is okay as we like different things. I really enjoyed the bluesiness of the early albums and the more 80’s style and even the real heaviness of the more current records. I will even admit I liked one of the Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens albums. No matter what I heard, I found things I liked and didn’t like. But what I do know is that the original members of Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing and Ian Hill were a powerful group and there was a magic to their music together. I like Richie Faulkner as he brought a new life to the band and I really liked Scott Travis on drums as he was a force to be reckoned with behind that kit.
Judas Priest was not a one trick pony. They weren’t just heavy metal…they had a blues influence, glam influence, straight up hard rock, speed metal and even a little death metal at times. They could do it all. Any time they had dual guitar solos or Halford hit that trademark scream, I was all in. These guys are one of the best bands to come out of the UK and I can’t believe we have had 50 years of Judas Priest. What a ride it has been. Now, let’s see how I rank the albums and away we go…
Formed in 1989 in Connecticut, the band quickly moved to L.A. where they were signed almost immediately and had their debut album out in 1990. The timing was perfect as record companies were over-saturating the market with the next big Glam Band or Hair Band as it has been so horrendously called over the years. Steelheart it that bill nicely as lead singer Miljenko Matijevic had the pipes and the looks. The band exploded on to the scene with their self-titled debut and saw the album go to #40. They quickly released their follow-up, ‘Tangled in the Reins’, in 1992 and it was dead on impact.
Then tragedy struck while on tour for the 2nd record. An unsecured light truss fell on to the stage, crushing Miljenko and breaking his nose, cheekbone, jaw and twisting his spine up severely. It took him years to recover and eventually in 1996 he made a comeback with ‘Wait”. The album didn’t do anything. Years went by and there was nothing from the band. Then in 2006, he re-emerged with a new band, same name, and released their fourth album, ‘Good 2B Alive’ in 2008. Again not much notice then thanks to Frontiers, 2017 saw them return once more with “Through Worlds of Stardust”. And here we are a few years later and finally ranking all five of their albums from Worst to First.
If you haven’t heard them before, they are worth checking out, and yes, even the worst has some great stuff. I hope you enjoy!