For Record Store Day, April 23, 2022, Night Ranger and Frontiers Records released an RSD “First Release” of two previously unreleased songs recorded during the recording sessions for their latest album ATBPO (And the Band Played On). That is right, two never before released tracks. Now that my friends, is a single worth picking up.
According to the back cover and the stickers on the vinyl, the A-Side is “Wasted Time” and the B-Side is called “Free”. However, that is not what you get. The A-Side of “Wasted Time” is actually the song “Free”. Which naturally means, the B-Side of “Free” is actually “Wasted Time”. Talk about a screw up. The Stickers are on the wrong sides. Oops. I find that pretty cool though, as I love little mistakes like that. The one thing that is not a mistake is the pretty Green Vinyl!! I like colored vinyl!
While Jeff Scott Soto was touring with Talisman in Europe, Axel Rudi Pell was ready to make another album. After the mixed reaction from the fans on ‘The Ballad’ album, Axel was going to go to his roots and make a pure metal album…a German Metal Album as he has stated. He contacted Jeff and arranged for him to come in and work on the album while his other band was touring. Jeff was happy to do so as he really enjoyed working with Axel since it wasn’t a dictatorship like other bands he had worked in. Jeff and Axel work well together and Soto co-wrote 4 of the 10 tracks.
Most of the band was back from the last studio album, ‘Eternal Prisoner’. There was obviously Axel and Jeff, but Jorg Michael was back on drums and Volker Krawczak on bass. Keyboardist Kai Raglewski was out and in his place was Julie Greaux who has worked with Billy Idol and happened to be Soto’s girlfriend. That’s convenient wouldn’t you say!! What I would say is that this was a solid line-up and had me interested to hear what they had put together this time around. It is definitely more fantasy and mystical lyrics and it is truly metal for sure! One more thing, in the liner notes, it lists out what instrument each band member plays with and for Jeff…it says he plays with Julie….”Oh Heffe, Oh Oh Ooh”…Let me just say…Wow!! Okay, hold on tight and let’s get to the music.
CD Edition?? What the hell??? This is a series about my journey rediscovering Vinyl. Why would I discuss CDs??
Well, let me tell you why. Before I started re-collecting vinyl, I use to have a pretty extensive CD collection. After we had kids and the digital age, I burned all my CDs to digital and then started selling them off (made pretty good money on some). When we moved from Georgia to North Carolina, I gave my neighbor the final box of CDs as I didn’t want to move them and I was going to have no where to store them (I regret that decision to this day).
Lo and behold, one of my neighbors inherited a collection of CDs he had no desire for keeping. He had a bunch of scratched up, banged up CDs that probably didn’t even work and he was going to try and sell the rest. I let him try and make a little money on the others (which he was able to sell about 100) and if there was any left, I told him I would be interested in whatever he had left.