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!
In my further quest for owning all Matt Nathanson items listed on Discogs, I found another gem. This Promo CD is for the song “I Saw” off his 2003 album and major label debut called ‘Beneath These Fireworks’. The song was from 2004 and sadly it didn’t chart. No real surprise as he’s never been a big radio hits guy (even though his stuff is better than radio). The album didn’t do well either and shortly after releasing his first major label debut on Universal, Universal dropped him. Such is the story of so many artists and bands.
The song was written by Matt Nathanson and Mark Weinberg and it seems to be about a break up. The two people were together and one still aches and longs for the other. It sounds like he screwed up, she broke up. He wants her back and is sorry for what he did. He wants her to save him so badly by taking him back. She’s consoling him and telling him everything will be alright, but she isn’t going to take him back. It is over. He dreams about her and can’t get her out of his head, but it doesn’t happen. They are done.
In my further quest for owning all Matt Nathanson items listed on Discogs, I found another gem. This Promo CD is for the song “Suspended” off his 2003 album and major label debut called ‘Beneath these Fireworks’. The song didn’t chart, no surprise as he’s never been a big radio hits guy (even though his stuff is better than radio). The album didn’t do well either and shortly after releasing his first major label debut on Universal, Universal dropped him. Such is the story of so many artists and bands.
The song was written by Matt Nathanson, Mark Weinberg and Eric Bazillion who you know as a founding member of the band The Hooters. The song is about being in a relationship that might not be the best relationship, but man, the sex is so good you are willing to accept anything to stay in it. You suspend belief and think that is all is great just to stay for sex despite how lost and miserable you might be. Better for some human contact than nothing at all. Now, that is one way to look at it, the other is that he is fully committed and in love, but she’s not quite there. The line, “When you pretend that I’m all that you waited for”, shows that he knows she’s not in to it anymore, just pretending. But he’s okay…he loves her and wants to stay and be together.
Another Promotional CD I found for Matt Nathanson thanks to Discogs is a “Sampler” CD for his 2003 album ‘Beneath These Fireworks’. That album was Matt’s major label debut album on Universal Records, but it wasn’t his first CD by any means. The CD was a 3 song sampler for his upcoming album and was sent around to the Radio DJs, I am assuming. The cover for the Promo is the same as the album cover, the only difference is instead of saying “Beneath These Fireworks”, it says “Sampler”.
The first song and actually the first single is “Sad Songs”. The song feels like it could be the Goo Goo Dolls. The chorus is so catchy and it has a great hook. His delivery of the lines is confident and earnest. For a song called “Sad Songs”, the music is more upbeat and gives us a great dichotomy in styles.
In my further quest for owning all Matt Nathanson items listed on Discogs, I found another gem. This Promo CD is for “Room at the End of the World” by Matt Nathanson which is off his stellar 2011 album, ‘Modern Love’ and it was the 2nd single off the album. Although I don’t think the song charted, the album did debut at #17 on the Billboard charts. The fact that it didn’t chart is no surprise as Matt has never been a darling of public radio. His songs are way too good for radio as they are well crafted masterpieces and lyrical poems about life and he is pure talent unlike the bozos on radio. No, I am not biased…okay…yes I am. You got me!
The song was written by Matt Nathanson and Mark Weinberg. I believe the song is talking about being with the one you love and nothing can stop you. Even if the world was ending, you two would get a room and make the best of what was to come. I love how the song talks about how he was lost and had given up on love until he found “The One”. The One that makes him whole, The One that he will be with until the end of time, The One true love. There is line that says “one heart is never enough alone” and I don’t think it is saying you have to be with someone to be whole, I think it is saying that he never felt complete until he found her (or him). His lyrical phrasing is always so eloquent and so beautiful. He doesn’t sing a love song in the same cliched way other songs do.
In my quest to own everything listed on Discogs for Matt Nathanson, I picked up the CD Promotional single for the song “Run”. It is off his 2011 album, ‘Modern Love’ and was released as a single, but only reached #53 on the Billboard Hot 100 which baffles me as it is probably my favorite song by him. Another cool thing about it is that the recording engineer on the album was my brother-in-law, Ryan; however, this was the one song he didn’t engineer. Bummer!
The song is not a country song even though Sugarland are on it. No! This is a sensual, oh so sexy, love song. The lyrics are dirty with lines like “You come in waves” and “Then Swallow me whole” as well as “And I watch it explode”. At the same time they are sexy with lines like “You pull me in close / And buckle my knees” and “You trace my lines / Stirring my soul”. And then they are heartwarming with a line like “I’m amazing when you’re beside me / I am so much more”. This song speaks to me and reminds me of my lovely bride and when I hear this song, I think of only her! Each and every time.
Now here is the problem. The song I think is more about an affair than love. The lyrics talk about running back to this person. The man says he knows that it’s wrong but he can’t help it and he always goes back to her. Personally, I ignore that part and think of it more as a passionate love affair with my wife. Either way, you can’t help but love the song.
“Faster” is the first single off Matt Nathanson’s 2011 album ‘Modern Love’. The single in the U.S. came out on March 29, 2011 and it broke the Top 100 landing at #74…so not getting close to the Top 40 countdown. However, on the Adult Top 40 Billboard Chart, it reached #11 so the adults dug, kids…I guess not so much.
The promotional copy I found is from the U.K. and according to the note on the front, it was to be released on August, 6th, 2011. It was talking him up and the fact he was opening for Kelly Clarkson’s tour in America and Train in the U.K. Matt was heading to the U.K. to do his own set of shows. That Kelly Clarkson show was the one my oldest daughter and I caught at their Fox Theater, Atlanta stop. My brother-in-law, Ryan, worked with both Kelly and Matt in that year so we got free tickets to the show and ended up meeting Matt that evening and getting autographs and pictures. He was a truly stand-up guy with the way he treated my daughter. He made her feel that she was the most important girl in the room when he talked to her. Really cool.
As I mentioned in the prior Humanimal post…back in 2001, Talisman guitarist, Pontus Norgren, was working on a side project with Z-Records label boss, Mark Alger. Mark envisioned a Talisman type project that would be very different from the normal Talisman material. Pontus recruited Talisman bassist, Marcel Jacob, but the drummer was Thomas Broman who was not from Talisman. And yes, Jeff Scott Soto was on vocals. The big difference between Talisman and Humanimal is that the songs were more guitar driven than bass.
The first single released from the debut album was doing so well, Z-Records thought they would capitalize on the success and released this limited edition E.P. for the song “Find My Way Home”. To entice fans to buy it, they included a previously unreleased track…heck it worked…I bought it!!
“Find My Way Home” is off the debut Humanimal album and compared to some songs on the album this one slows things down, but it ain’t a ballad as there are none on that album. Slowed down means it is less than a million beats a second. This is one of the best songs on the album as it is more melodic and Soto brings it on home vocally as it sits right in his wheelhouse. The instruments take a little backseat to Soto’s vocals as they aren’t as in your face. But it doesn’t take away from that great rhythm section. A standout track for sure.
The second track and previously unreleased is “Love Dominion” which has some intense guitar work from Pontus with some really cool opening riffs and Thomas is pounding away on the drums. The opening gives us a guitar solo as well before Jeff joins in on vocals. The bass is heavy on this one, but not Talisman heavy. Jeff’s vocals aren’t as in your face and seem more reserved with such a rocking track, but it works. Great hooks, riffs and melodies…another cool track that would’ve fit nicely on the album. The song was issued on the album for the reissues and has been called “Love Dominion”, “Loves Dominion” and “Loves the Dominion” depending which version you get. Mine is “Love Dominion”.
Then with the final song on the E.P. and another from the debut album, things get a little funky with “Turn Away”. The song is dark and moody while also a very groovy song thanks to Marcel and the magic he can do with that bass. The chorus is really catchy and has more great harmonies. The a cappella break with just Soto and his many layers of vocals is awesome. Another Soto standout track.
And there you have it. I had to buy this one since I had the original release of the album and not a reissue which makes it cooler for me. It is a great 3 song set and is great taste of how good this short-lived band was. It is a must have for the Soto collector as it is a limited edition. The only thing is I don’t know how limited it actually is as I’ve never seen a number for how many were released. 3 powerhouse songs means a Perfect Score of 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars!
UP NEXT: JEFF SCOTT SOTO – ‘HOLDING ON’ E.P. (2002)
August is over and so is Summer. School is back in session and it was a very busy month. Between vacation, getting one of my daughters off to college and traveling for work, I didn’t have much record store time. As a result, my selection is rather small compared to some of my months. But doesn’t mean there isn’t enough to show off so lets get in to it.
We will start off with my record shopping while on vacation as I did pick up a few things. First up was a Joe Satriani for the album, ‘Not of this Earth’, which I already have. But I didn’t have this cover. I had never seen this before, so my rule…if you haven’t seen it before, you buy it. And I did…
And that holds true for one my next finds at the same record store. I picked up Kiss’ ‘Psycho Circus’ on CD as it was at the lowest price I’d seen in awhile. Then I saw a maxi-single for “I Was Made For Loving You (Live)” for the Alive III album. I had never seen this before, so I bought it…
We are moving through the year quite fast I believe as it is already the end of July. And it was a hot one, both temperature and purchases. Now, I do have a handful of vinyl, but as prices skyrocket, I am focusing on the albums that mean something to me or from bands that mean something to me so the purchases have slowed. CDs are cheaper and a lot easier to obtain so I seem to be buying way more of those these days. With minor exceptions, I have been laser focused on what I’m buying. Let’s go through the vinyl first. First up is the new album from Shinedown called ‘Planet Zero’. I have all their albums on vinyl as I am a big fan so why not get the new one…
Then it I picked up a couple holy grail type albums. First was one from Kiss that had only been issued for their very limited exclusive Kissteria box set. I didn’t think I’d every own one. Thanksfully, they re-issued it on vinyl and I snagged a copy. Not their best compilation, but one that was lacking in my vinyl collection so couldn’t be happier…My list of missing vinyl is now smaller.