Okay, grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relax as we are going to be here awhile as April turned in to a stellar month. And let’s just jump right in to this shall we. Before March even closed and after I wrote the March post on the purchases, this arrived in the mail…Needtobreathe’s Fan Club Exclusive vinyl autographed by the band. It is the 1st Edition from 2022 and took awhile to get here. And two weeks or so later. the 2nd Edition for 2023 arrived, autographed by the band. These are two of my favorite pieces now in my collection. As they are one of my favorite bands (after Kiss & Def Leppard of course).
And if that wasn’t enough with autographs, Jason Bieler released his latest album and I was able to grab on CD with his signature. I could’ve done vinyl, but I don’t have of his albums on vinyl so why start now. And this another great one. His stuff is so interesting and eclectic, Love it!!
I can’t believe we are through with another year. And what a year it was, It saw me complete my goal of one post for every day of the year and it saw me start and still not finish the massive Jeff Scott Soto Series. I still have about 6 months to go on that one. Crazy. It saw some struggles as I had a minor surgery but the two week recovery was hard and then I got sick and was miserable for another two weeks and that put a massive damper on my enthusiasm for writing. For October, I barely wrote anything. Thankfully, I keep ahead so it had no impact on my readers, you probably didn’t even notice, but for me, it was hard. But we are way past that now and all is good.
With the Soto series and the Scorpions series, I actually didn’t spend much time with new releases, but I did have a bunch that I liked and wish I spent more time with. So, we are going to go through the Top 10 Rock Albums of 2022 and of course there will be some honorable mentions, a worst of album and some of my favorite Non-Rock albums. Sit back, grab a cup of coffee if it is morning, or a beer if it is any other time of day…and enjoy!!
TOP ROCK ALBUMS OF 2022:
#10 – HALESTORM – BACK FROM THE DEAD: Lzzy Hale and the boys are back from the dead and they are rocking the hell out of you with this one. With the title track, then “Wicked Ways” and “The Steeple”, they showed they mean business and are carrying the torch for rock. Listen to this and you know Rock Ain’t Dead!! And if you want more great ones, I really like “Psycho Crazy” and the ballad “Raise Your Horns”…oh sooooo good!!
#9 – H.E.A.T. – FORCE MAJEURE: I thought there last album was amazing with Erik Gronwell on vocals, but Erik left and is now with Skid Row who also released an album this year. Original H.E.A.T. lead singer, Kenny Leckremo, returned and they released another stellar release. I like it way better than the new Skid Row…sorry Erik. Such stellar tracks as “Back to the Rhythm”, “Nationwide”, “Tainted Blood” and “Demon Eyes” to only name a handful.
Merry Christmas!! And today is a Special Edition of My Sunday Song as it will be a Christmas song and one I enjoy a lot. The song today is “Yellin’ at the Xmas Tree” by Billy Idol. Nothing says Christmas like a drunk father yellin’ at the Christmas tree and then end up falling asleep in the same tree. The song was written by Billy Idol and Brian Tichy and was released on the US and EU promo copies of Billy’s 2005 album ‘Devil’s Playground.
Now, my Christmas’ were nothing like the one pictured in the song. My dad was only yelling at the Christmas tree if we were doing something to it. Plus, he was never drunk. But I am sure a lot of people out there that this has happened to them. Gather around the tree to decorate it, but Dad’s out at the pub getting drunk. Carolers are outside singing and all is well while Santa comes down the chimney and is making it with your Mom while Dad stands there and yells at the Christmas Tree. It sounds like such a Happy Christmas!! And it sounds like a dirty Santa as you can tell from this line…”Santa’s balls are jingling / Mommy’s hips a-wiggling” You go Santa!!
We would all need some therapy after that sight I am sure. The song opens with sleigh bells and then turns straight up rocker. That Steve Stevens guitar sound races through the riffs and Brian Tichy is banging on those drums. Billy’s lip curls as he spits out the lyrics. We get some great Idol screams, some church bells. It is a kick ass song that will put you in the Christmas spirit the minute you hear it!!
Give the song a listen and tell me it doesn’t just brighten your day that your families Christmas was better than this. It makes you appreciate what you have for sure!! Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Day!!
Welcome to the November 2022 Purchases update. You will notice that my cover picture is a little different this month. Normally, I have all my purchases stacked on top of the turntable, but there was a problem this time around. My cat, Chandler, decided it was nap time and wouldn’t move. Actually, Chandler naps up there a lot when I am working from home so no big surprise. So, I didn’t want to disturb him as he needs his beauty sleep so I took a picture of him instead. Believe it or not, he is still a kitten as he is only 9 months old. Once full grown he will be 20-25 lbs and won’t be able to fit on the turntable so I am letting him enjoy it while he can.
Okay, enough of that. Let us get to the real reason we are here…the music. And what did I get this month. I will say it was a better month than last one as I went a little nuts on the vinyl this time around and very little on the CDs. First up, I have been holding off on buying Def Leppard stuff on vinyl because I want to see what is in the Collection, Volume 4, but I’m tired of waiting and I realize it is generally not any one specific live album that has already been released, so I bought these three things so I finally had them on vinyl.
Now, I did hit one real record store this month, but didn’t score a bunch. The only thing I picked up from Mad Jack’s are a couple of Asia albums that I didn’t have in my collection for some strange reason. And they were clean!
When I was out to Noble Records 3rd Anniversary Record Drop, I found some great pieces for the collection. One that I had been wanting is the 12″ Single for Billy Idol’s classic, “White Wedding”. And sure enough, he had it and I bought it. One of the most recognizable Billy Idol songs ever is from his debut 1982 self titled album. “White Wedding” is on that album but it is listed as “Part 1”. Which means there must be a “Part 2”. What is cool about this 1982 release is that it includes both Part 1 and Part 2 of the song “White Wedding”. Side 1 actually has both Part 1 & Part 2 together as one song at over 8 minutes in length. Side 2 is exclusively Part 2.
“White Wedding (part 1)” became a massive hit for Billy thanks to MTV. With few videos to play in the early days, this one got on heavy rotation. The song was written by Billy Idol and is a song that is not about a happy wedding. I have read different stories about what the song means. One, it is not actually about his sister. It is either about a “shotgun” wedding or about a woman he is in love with then she marries someone else.
It has that classic Steve Stevens opening riff and the bass line by Phil Feit is powerful and chugs along driving the song forward. Keith Forsey on drums is amazing as his fills are perfectly placed and the beats give the song a frantically charged feel to the song. Billy calmly sings at first with an almost eerie yet sinister tone. He gets more aggressive as the song goes and when it builds to a climax he starts screaming and his “woahs” are perfect. The song never made you look at weddings the same way again.
Happy Halloween!! October was not a good month for me. It was mostly Tricks and few Treats! The tricks were that I was recovering from an appendectomy and after two weeks of that, I caught a virus and then a bacterial infection and was sick for 2 more weeks. My motivation is now at all time low and I have no desire to write or even buy as my energy level is completely wiped. I haven’t written much at all this past month and don’t know when I will get back in to a full time mode, if I ever do. It was hard enough to even put this simple post together, but I am trying.
This month might be my smallest number of purchases in quite some time, but doesn’t mean it doesn’t have what I think are some really sweet Treats! I did get to one record store during the month on the sole day in between recovery and illness where I felt good. It didn’t last that long because by the afternoon, it all went down hill. Noble Records was having their 3rd Anniversary Drop and what a drop it was. I picked up a Kiss Bootleg. More to come on this one down the road, but this is a 1981 reissue of a 1978 bootleg of Kiss My Axe 1978.
While there I picked two albums I had reviewed in my You Pick It Series that won for albums I had never heard before. I grabbed Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats and George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass which was the owners personal copy. It is so clean and even includes the poster!!
After a seven year absence with new material, Billy has popped back and in a big way. His last album was 2014’s King & Queen of the Underground (which absolutely stellar) and then in 2021, he released an E.P. called ‘The Roadside’ which has one of his best songs ever called “Bitter Taste”. Almost exactly one year later in 2022, Billy released another E.P. and this one was called “The Cage” and is another 4 song set. This leads me to think that Billy might not be up for doing a full album, but if he wants to put out 4 new songs every year and with the caliber of these songs, count me in.
Billy Idol and his longtime partner, Steve Stevens have crafted another batch of great songs with the help of famed producer, Butch Walker along with Tommy English and Zakk Cervini. In an interview recently, I heard Billy talk about the fact that he was happy he somehow survived his drug induced rock & roll lifestyle because it has all been worth it. That worth it he is talk about is his granddaughter. He has seem to have found a new appreciation for life and that is reflected in his music and writing and I’m starting to think Billy is a fine wine because he keeps getting better with age!
The opening track, “The Cage”, is basically about all the pent up energy everyone was feeling coming out of the Covid Lockdown. It felt like we were all in a cage and it was time to bust out. Written by Billy, Steven, Tommy and Joe Janiak. It is a high energy, punk rock song and Billy feels right at home on this track. If there is a Billy Idol sound…this is it and with Steve Stevens on guitar, there is no mistaken that sound. A perfect song to catch your attention and reel you in.
And if you think “The Cage” is the best song on the E.P., you’d be wrong. That belongs to the introspective “Running from the Ghost”. Lyrically, the song seems to be about Billy running from his demons all his life. He has seen some dark things in this life and his alcohol and drug addiction are a battle every day. The song starts off slow and then it explodes and the guitar work by Stevens is some of his best ever. That drum beat with it are powerful and engaging. It is a beast of a track and has such a mature and serious tone. You will be surprised by this one.
Then we get to “Rebel Like You” with its fun motorcycle revving at the start. The electronic drum beat comes blaring in and Billy sings with umph and you can feel that snarl. The song has Billy on stage looking out in the audience and sees another woman dressed like him, but I’m not sure that is the gist of the story. I think the song is a shout out to his grand daughter and that she is a rebel just like him. The lines…
Ain’t nobody gonna love you more Except your mommy and your daddy, maybe Looking like you’re on the go, go, go Guess I’ve got company
I think he just loves her so much he wants to show her the world. She has the wild spirit like he had and he loves her to death. That is what I think. I could be wrong…known to happen.
The last track is called “Miss Nobody” and it is an electronic, dance song. This one was produced by Butch Walker and co-written by Sam Hollander. It is a slick pop track about a down & out woman who still is kicking ass. It is not my favorite track on the album, but it has its merits as it is catchy and contagious and will get you moving. A little less on the guitars, but still feels like a Billy track.
Let’s get this out of the way quick…I love this E.P. and have been playing it non-stop and now these songs are old friends. That is two E.P.s in two years and both are amazing. I hope this continues because I could get spoiled. If you think Billy’s heyday is behind him, you’d be seriously incorrect. This is Billy at his best. My Overall Score is a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars. A must have!!
Now, if you want to check out the full reviews and the entire Billy Idol Series, click on any and all of the links below…
It has been almost two years since I’ve done a Turntables & Vinyl post. And since today is the 2,000th Post on the site, why not do another. 2,000 Posts!! That is insane. I can’t believe I have bored you for that long now and yet you still come back. Thank you for that.
These Turntable & Vinyl post are basically about my collection or interesting things about collecting and this one is about collecting. As far as collecting goes, I haven’t gone down the rabbit hole of getting every variant of an album, but I have found myself, a little unknowingly, picking up duplicate albums with the big difference being they have a completely different album cover. I don’t have a lot, but I am noticing more and more that if I know there is a different album cover, I am now actively looking for it. However, most of the time it has been by utter accident that I found a different cover and didn’t know it existed.
This post is going to show you the handful that I have and then show the ones that I am actively hunting down. But first, why do artist have different album covers in the first place? Most of the time it is simply down to controversy. Some album covers have a little nudity or something offensive that pisses off the wrong people so in order to sell those albums in certain stores a new cover is done. In other parts, it is simply different tastes in different parts of the world. And then it might be a reissue so they change up the cover a little, either way, I think it is cool and so I am now collecting alternate covers.
This is my most recent acquisition and it is from Joe Satriani. The one on the left was the album cover I originally had and all I knew about and it turns out it is the European release cover and the one used in the 1988 reissue. But apparently there was alternate cover because I found the one on the right in a record store in St. Augustine Florida. It really isn’t the alternate cover because I believe it is the original release cover from 1986 and the one i had first was actually the alternate cover. Both are awesome.
Here is another one where I had the alternate cover first, the one on the left, before i had the original cover, the one on the right. The original cover was the UK only release of the original album. The giant snake on the left is the alternate cover for the releases outside of the UK. Not sure why the difference, but both are equally cool.
Another month gone by which is good news because it means more Vinyl, CDs, books and even a DVD have been added the collection. And we are kicking this month off a very pleasant surprise from a good friend of 2 Loud 2 Old Music. Mr. Books himself, Aaron, from KeepsMeAlive.com has sent yet another care package. The man believes in giving! This time around we got 2 books and 2 CDs all the way from the Great White North. Be careful what you say in the comments on his site as you are bound to wind up with it. Aaron knows my love for Idol and I have made comments before about the other 3 items…and now I have them. Thanks Aaron…and yes, he left a little note as usual!!
Now to start the month out, during labor day weekend, 2nd & Charles had their buy 5 get 5 free sale and so I hit up the CDs section and stuck to the 5 and 5 rule. Here is the 5 I bought…
And the five I got for free…or vice versa, however you want to look at it…
Yesterday, I had my appendix removed…today is recovery and nothing better than new music. There is only one I want this week and it is on order. I hope it arrives soon. We don’t have as many releases as this week but we are still close to 50 new ones. Go through the list and tell us what you want to hear this week and let us all know if there is anything we might have missed. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Billy Idol – The Cage E.P. – (BFI Records / Dark Horse Records / BMG): If you read this site regularly, then you already know this is my top choice this week. Billy Idol is back with another E.P. and after last year’s fabulous The Roadside E.P., I am excited about this one and first single “The Cage” is a promising start. Even we aren’t going to get a full album, I will gladly take an E.P. every year.
And the rest…enjoy…
Kelsea Ballerini – Subject to Change – (Black River Entertainment)