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 – ‘Chikara’ (1988) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

Kiss were plugging along and everything is still right in the world. In 1988, as they were preparing for their Tour of Japan, the label and the band decided to release a greatest hits compilation. The CD was issued on May 25, 1988 and was limited to only 100,000 copies and only released in Japan. The was the 2nd greatest hits package to not be issued in the U.S., the first being 1982’s ‘Killers’. For that fact, this is a hot collector’s item for Kiss collectors and I didn’t even know about it until years after its release and I still don’t have a physical copy of this release (but I will get one someday).

The Japanese character on the back of the case and on the CD might look familiar. It is the same symbol that was on the bottom of the cover art for the band’s 1974 album, ‘Hotter Than Hell’. Eric Carr also used that symbol on his drum kits for quite some time. Chikara is the Japanese word for Power if you are interested in knowing that fact. And when you are looking to buy this CD on ebay or somewhere, the prize to get is the OBI strip with all the Japanese writing. A lot of the ones I’ve seen out there don’t have that strip anymore.

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My Top 10 Concerts of All Time

It has been over a year now since I have seen a live show and it could be another year before I get to see another one. I started thinking back on all the shows I have seen and the memories came flooding back. Now back some time last year, the LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or Less did a live stream on the Nigel Tufnel Top 10 Favorite Live Shows of all time. Each guests gave a list of their 11 favorite shows and I had a list for the show. I thought why not spell it out here for everyone to read in all its glory and add some pictures and extra information, if I have any. I hope you enjoy.

11. Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls Tour (1987):

November 22, 1987 at the Omni in Atlanta, GA.  The opening act was Guns N Roses.  The lineup alone makes it a favorite but what happened at the show is why it is on the list. It was not a good show at all which is why it is down at 11.  It is only on the list for what happened at the show. During GNR’s set, Axl jumps off stage at about the 2nd song to grab a security guard who pushed his friend.  Axl is held backstage while the band plays a couple songs (“Communication Breakdown” and “Honky Tonk Women”) with one of their roadies and that was all got from them.  Motley delayed coming on and then put in a half-ass show and left early in protest of Axl’s arrest (at least this is the rumor we heard).  It pissed me off so much I stopped listening to both bands for awhile. Ticket prices at the time were only $17.50.

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My Sunday Song – “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen

For My Sunday Song #229, we are tackling on of the band’s biggest hits, “Another One Bites the Dust” off the Queen album “The Game” from 1980. The song was a departure for Queen as it was more funk and disco but it seems everything they do is a departure as they don’t follow anyone’s rules. The song went to #1 in the US and several other countries and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.

The song was written by bass player, John Deacon, and let me tell you there is some bass in it. The song was inspired by the song “Good Times” by the Chic and resulted from John hanging out a lot with that band as he was a big fan. Now, Roger Taylor wasn’t a big fan of the song, but Freddie loved it and worked hard to get everyone’s buy-in on the song and thanks to Freddie it was put on the album and the rest is history.

The song has so many effects on it, but none are with a synthesizer. It is all bass, guitar, piano and drums. Deacon played all the instruments except Roger’s drum loop. Brian May was on it as he added numerous sound effects using his guitar and a harmonizer. Some of the effects were the tape played backwards at different speeds. As a result of this effect, Christian groups protested the band saying the band was using backmasking to hide messages. They thought the band was promoting the use of marijuana.

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What to Expect in New Music for 2021!!

2021 is upon us and it is always fun anticipating what new albums are and will come out in the year. There are quite a few we already know about, but some haven’t been officially announced or even a date set yet.  

Last year, there were a few artist I was hoping would release an album that might have or might not have released one.  It is always fun to hope for new music from these bands, but were disappointments.  Here is who I was hoping for new albums from last year and what actually happened…

  • Def Leppard – We did get the Def Leppard Box Set for The Early Years and the Live Box Set London to Vegas, BUT NOPE!! STILL NOTHING NEW!!
  • KissNOTHING!!
  • Van HalenNO! Sadly, this won’t happen with Eddie’s passing. I am now hoping for archive music.
  • The Winery Dogs NOTHING!! Still keeping my hopes up
  • Guns ‘N RosesNOTHING!!! Rumors, Rumors, Rumors!!
  • Talisman – after getting a song to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the death of Marcel Jacob in 2019… NO ALBUM, we did get more Jeff Scott Soto music though.
  • AC/DC YES!! We got POWER UP and it is awesome!!
  • Motley Crue – I thought with a Big Tour in 2020 with Def Leppard & Poison…is a new album far behind??? NOPE – No Music, No Tour thanks to Covid!!
  • Poison – Same as Motley statement above!!! No Music, No Tour thanks to Covid!!
  • Aldo Nova – He kept talking about a 2CD set, but he never got around to releasing it?? NOPE..still talking. He has released some songs, but still no album!!
  • Matt NathansonNo New Music but we got a Live album and a Christmas album
  • NeedtobreatheYES!!! We got the incredible OUT OF BODY and it was one of their best!!

Okay, are there albums I want to see this year from some of my favorite bands that haven’t been announced or in some cases even rumored?  Of course there are.  These are the bands I want new albums from this year…but it might not happen.

  • Def Leppard – I don’t care if I get new music, but give me The Collection Volume 3 at least!!!
  • Kiss – I will keep this on the list until I die!!
  • The Winery Dogs – Still keeping my hopes up
  • Guns ‘N Roses – Rumors, Rumors, Rumors!!
  • Aldo Nova – He keeps talking about a 2CD set, but will he get around to releasing it??
  • Matt Nathanson – Loved what we got last year, but time for new music!!! I believe he finished recording it, but haven’t heard anything for a long while.
Continue reading “What to Expect in New Music for 2021!!”

December 2020 Purchases – Vinyls & CDs

We are at the final month of 2020 and thank the Heavens. I hope 2021 sees an end to Covid, but not an end to my music buying. This month we have another treasure trove of stuff I have obtained over not just the month, but the last 6 months as a couple things I ordered in prior months finally arrived. And being December, there is everything I got for Christmas that is music related.

First up this month are a couple things I bought back in April/May timeframe, right when Covid started. My brother saw these on the Facebook market from a friend of his and knew I would like it so I told him I wanted them and he bought them (I paid him back of course). I told him to hold them and I would be down to Atlanta soon and boy was I wrong. We are now in December and I haven’t been down. I eventually asked him to mail them. I got another Kiss Tour Book and this was from the Alive/Worldwide Tour (1996-97) and the other is The Ultimate Kiss Fanzine Phenomenon 1976-2009 hard back book. They are both awesome and will be reviewed in detail in 2021.

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Top Albums of 2020

The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year.  I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2020 (click to read).   This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want to classify these albums.  Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.

I feel I didn’t get to as many as I would have liked as the year seem to got away from me with all that went on with Covid.  I did spend a lot of time on a few series such as finishing The David Coverdale Series, The Gene Simmons ‘The Vault’ Series and starting the epic Kiss Review Series.  These consumed a lot of my time.  What I am trying to say is I missed a lot.

Note:  These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers.  There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list (okay, there might be one or two).  These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way and some thanks to my kids.  So, we might as well get started…

#10 – Richard Marx – Limitless:

Richard_Marx_-_Limitless

I have a soft spot for Richard Marx. I think he is a hell of singer and songwriter. I also have a soft spot for pop ballads and he is the King. This album always put me in a good mood and would relax me when I needed a break from the heavy rock. The songs “Another One Down” and “Limitless” really show off those vocals and are so beautiful. And then when your throw in “Front Row Seats” and “Let Go” well, you get an incredible pop masterpiece.

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Top Rock Albums of 2020

2020 was probably the strangest year yet.  With the Covid virus running rampant, many new releases were either postponed until late in the year or we never saw the release at all.  There were a flurry of albums at the beginning of the year, then basically nothing for a few months until we got to the Fall and now there are too many to get through.  But there were some great releases and I am sure I missed a number of great albums and if you look around the web, there will be tons of Top Album lists you can get a pretty good idea of what you should check out in case you missed any of these.

This list will be my favorite “Rock” albums of the year.  All other types of music will be for another post tomorrow.  I am going to leave this one to my favorite genre.  It is a broad genre, but these are the albums that I consider to be ROCK!!

Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!!  These are not the most popular or trendy albums.  You won’t find the cool trendy bands, because they are usually here today gone tomorrow.  These are the albums that I connected with during the year and I kept coming back to again and again.  And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2020:

#10 – Storm Force – Age of Fear:

81HSuWcovgL._SY355_ Thanks to some fellow bloggers in the name of LeBrain and SuperDekes, I was introduced to this Canadian band that unapologetically brought us a classic 80’s rock album full of songs that rocked you out and songs that were actually relevant to the events going on in the world which is amazing considering this song came out prior to the Covid shutdowns.  I believe these guys can see the future and with music like this, I can see their future being very bright.  You need to hear the songs “Breathe”, “Because of You” and “Dirty Vegas because once you do, you will be caught in the Storm!!

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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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My Sunday Song – “The Invisible Man” by Queen

For My Sunday Song #228, we are going to discuss the song “The Invisible Man” by Queen from the band’s 1989 album ‘The Miracle’. The song was the third single on the album and reached #12 on the UK Charts. It did not chart in the U.S. In fact, the album didn’t do all that well in the U.S. despite reaching #24 on Billboard. But the song is still one of my favorites on the album and I wanted to have something from ‘The Miracle’ in my 10 song set.

The song was written by Roger Taylor and was inspired by a book he was reading in which the bass line came to him immediately while reading. He titled the song after a book by H.G. Wells called “The Invisible Man”. I am sure you’ve heard of it. Roger doesn’t sing much on the song. He opens the song with saying “I’m the Invisible Man”, but Freddie does all the heavy lifting in the song. And one interesting fact about the song is that is the only Queen song to actually feature every band member’s name in the song. When they say Freddie Mercury, he starts singing. When they John Deacon, there is a heavy bass line going. When they say Brian May, they say it twice and he goes in to a solo. When they say Roger Taylor, he has a quick drum fill. It is all pretty cool.

The song is about a guy he becomes invisible after being rejected by a woman. Now, he actually isn’t invisible physically, only in the fact he is ignored by people and only feels invisible. He can now see right through her and her hidden emotions and the woman suddenly can’t stop thinking of him. He becomes her meanest thought and her darkest fear as the lyrics say. It is an interesting take on invisibility.

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