With Jeff Scott Soto still busy with Boogie Knights, his time with Axel Rudi Pell had come to an end. He was too busy to do both. However, he wasn’t too busy to play around with his good buddy Marcel Jacobs. Since Talisman was on hiatus, they decided to form Human Clay and pull together some of the old demos they hadn’t used with Talisman and make an album. That was the debut Human Clay album we reviewed a few weeks back. It was time for them to do another album together in Jeff’s spare time and this time around had a better batch of songs and they spent a little more money on it, double the last one.
As a result, the production was a lot better and so was the sound. This one sounded more like a Talisman record as the bass was more prominent in the mix and most importantly, the drums were actually real drums thanks to former Talisman drummer Jamie Borger. Jeff sounded great, they had real engineers this time around and it all came together much better. There was still no touring as Jeff’s other commitment made it too hard to do. In fact, Human Clay has never played live as a band and never will due the passing of Marcel in 2009. The Japanese label they were under actually had an option for a third album, but nothing ever came of that as one was never released or recorded that we know about.
My version of the album is a Japanese edition. It doesn’t have the OBI strip, but as you can see below, there is some Japanese at the bottom. Included in the CD was an extra booklet that was all in Japanese and being the Japanese edition, we get a bonus track. And that is really all the info I have on this one, so turn up the volume and let’s review the album.
After the disappointment of the last Talisman album ‘Life’, Talisman went on an indefinite hiatus. They technically weren’t broken up, just doing separate things…sort of. Guitarist extraordinaire, Frederik Akesson, did leave the band to pursue something more heavy with a band called Eyeball. Jeff Scott Soto and Marcel Jacobs thought stuck together. They wanted to put something out that would hold over the Talisman fans until they could decide what was going to happen with Talisman.
Out of that came the band Human Clay. You would ask, why not continue Talisman. The answer was simple. Jeff was needing a steady income and reforming Talisman at the time was not a viable option as he had committed to doing his 70’s tribute band Boogie Knights. This wouldn’t allow for touring. So, they stuck with the Human Clay idea and recorded between December 18th, 1995 and January 10th, 1996. They decided to grab a bunch of old material that they never released with Talisman and put together an album. They didn’t have a drummer so they used a drum machine instead (which I don’t usually like) and then Marcel handled all the other instruments with some minor exceptions. The production on the debut album is not that great as they didn’t have much of a budget, but I will try to focus on the songs and not the production value…much.
If you are curious as to how they got the name Human Clay, well, I will tell you what I know. They liked the name Human as part of the band name as Jeff’s a fan of Human League and they tried a bunch of different combinations and each one seemed to already be used by another band. Soto says he also liked Andrew Dice Clay so they took the clay part. The Human Clay name wasn’t being used by another band so they went with it. Not very exciting of a story and I am not sure how much of it is true or just the Soto trying to be funny.
In my digging, whether vinyl or cd, I like to find things I hadn’t seen before and this was one of those items. It was a Limited Edition CD Single from Creed for their song “With Arms Wide Open”. The release was to help promote and fund the With Arms Wide Open Foundation that was started by the band. $3 from the sale of each single went to the Foundation.
The CD has 3 separate versions of the song. It has the Strings Version, the Acoustic Version and the Rock Version. There is also a video of the song as well. So if you like the song, you get a nice variety of versions for the song and that usually makes every collector happy. I will be honest, vocally each version of this song is feel exactly the same. The only difference is they layered in strings for the String Version and acoustic guitars for the Acoustic Version. The Rock Version has all instruments at full force but is around seconds shorter.
What I loved about the CD single is the fact it was transparent. Yes, you get a picture disc as well with the crossed hands of the father and child, but you can see right through the disc. I don’t think I’ve seen one like that before so I had to grab it. And I do like Scott Stapp so there was that as well.
Starting January 3rd, 2022, we will kick off the EPIC series covering one of my favorite singers, Jeff Scott Soto!! We will go through his entire career from where it all began in 1984 with Panther all the way to his latest solo album that came out this past October called ‘Duets’. Wait, I know it started with a band called Threshold in 1983 (not to be confused with the prog metal band years later), but I can’t find anything on that band or album so it is starting with Panther for this series as I have that album.
No stone will be left unturned! Okay, that isn’t true as we are not going in to any compilations or tribute albums where he wasn’t the featured singer as this will only be albums that Jeff is the Lead Singer and not just appearing on one song as we would be here forever if that was the case. We will also have some great little bonus pieces with Singles and E.P.’s I happen to have in my collection and interesting one-off projects he has done. Heck, I even have a digital bootleg of when Jeff Scott Soto toured as the lead singer with Journey. And as you can see below, it is quite a collection…if I do say so myself…
There will be over 65 Posts in the Series, you read that right, 65!! And that is at least 65 because I am sure he will release 1 to 2 to maybe even 4 albums by the time I’m done. I expect this to take over a year to complete because this isn’t all I’m going to do. No, not at all. We will still finish up the series of Cheap Trick and Aerosmith that we are currently doing in 2022 and when those end I am sure new series will be added in as well. Quite possibly Bon Jovi, Scorpions, Van Halen, Ace Frehley, Poison or even Def Leppard. It won’t be all, just a couple of them, but I can’t decide which ones yet. But heck, I do already have an idea of which epic artist I want to tackle after Jeff, but that will be 2023 and it could be huge. We will announce it next year.
Scott Stapp…people either like him or they don’t. Me, I like him. Always have. I didn’t care about the haters that poured out of the woodworks when Creed made it big. Did he deserve the hate? Yeah, he probably did, but there was something about that voice that I really enjoyed. As a result, I have followed up over the last 20 + years with Creed, his solo work and the one album with Art of Anarchy. Not every album is the best and not every song is the best, but there is so much there to enjoy that I am fan.
I finally got to see him live back in 2019. You remember live shows right? I know it has been awhile, but we will get back there soon enough. He performed his solo songs and a bunch of Creed tracks and I had second row so it was pretty awesome. Scott has had his struggles over the years with addiction and mental issues, but he has seem to come out the other side better and stronger and I give him props for that. Some people don’t make it to the other side.
With all that being said, I am going to rank his albums from I find to be the worst all the way to the first…his best album. People are going to disagree with me I am sure, and that is great because music is subjective. We like what we like so keep that in mind. It is okay to disagree. Now, go forth and enjoy the Scott Stapp album ranking.
THE WORST – SCOTT STAPP – ‘THE GREAT DIVIDE’ (2005):
Welcome to the May Purchases review. I was worried that there wouldn’t be much to discuss as all the Record stores were closed, Amazon mentioned they wouldn’t be delivering records, but all that started to end and the world started opening back up. Now, I didn’t make as many purchases as usual and that is okay. One purchase this month was rather large and has kept me busy.
First up for this month is another Kiss album. Believe it or not, I haven’t bought them all yet. I am down to about 6 or 7 vinyls that I do not have and this month I picked up one of them. The album is ‘Sonic Boom’ and I have been searching for this one for a while. If you find one of the original pressing, it is well over $100 as there were so few of them. Thankfully, I finally discovered that there was a special release done by KissOnline a few years back and the price of those is so much better at around $30 (with shipping). So, I grabbed a nice one unopened, green vinyl. It is sweet!!
Then a week or so later, I was snooping around on eBay and I found a seller that was selling a bunch of CDs by Jeff Scott Soto and I am a huge fan of his. I used to have a bunch of his CDs, but gave them away years ago when we moved from one state to another….Dumb move…the CD part, not the actual move. I bought as much of his collection as my budget would allow. It had 13 CDs, but there were actually 15 separate albums as some had 2 albums in one. Do you want me to list them all?? Of course you do…
Talisman – Life
Talisman – 5 Out of 5
Talisman – Live at the Sweden Rock Festival
Talisman – Humanimal (2CD set)
Talisman – Cats & Dogs
Talisman – Truth
Jeff Scott Soto – Live at Firefest 2008
Jeff Scott Soto – Believe in Me E.P.
Jeff Scott Soto – Prism
Jeff Scott Soto – Love Parade
Human Clay – Human Clay
Human Clay U4ia
Soto – Inside the Vertigo
Soto – Divak
And there is another I picked up on Amazon, not pictured…Jeff Scott Soto – Retribution. That is a lot of Jeff and sadly, only a small sampling of what he has done. I am still missing 15-20 more that I want of his since he has more solo stuff, more Talisman stuff, more Soto, there is W.E.T., Eyes, Takara, Axel Rudi Pell and Sons of Apollo still waiting to be bought.
And that is it. Not much vinyl this month, but that is okay. I will make up for it in June I am sure when I go out and finally do some crate digging for some old vinyl. Plus, I have some Def Leppard coming and a new Whitesnake that will be in my June collection as they are already pre-ordered. Until next month! Happy collecting!