My Sunday Song – “New Position” by Soul Sirkus

For My Sunday Song #283, we are going to dissect the song “New Position” by Soul Sirkus which was a Jeff Scott Soto side project with Neal Schon (Journey), Marco Mendoza (The Dead Daisies) and Virgil Donati on drums. They had only one album called ‘World Play’ back in 2005. If you get the European edition of the release, there is a DVD with the video for the song as well. The song was technically a single, but I don’t know if it charting.

The song was written by Neal Schon and Jeff Scott Soto. It is seems to be about a woman and is full of sexual innuendos with the title alone. The singer has aching for this woman and so wants her and believes he can show her things that she may have forgotten about…hmmm…I wonder what that could be!! This isn’t rocket science lyrics, no sir. It is rock & roll baby!! Keep it simple, sexual and jamming…and they do just that.

Musically, the song opens with a machine gun barrage drum fills from Virgil showing he means business. Marco’s bass is slamming helping give us a fiery, groovetastic, good time song that will rock your ass off. Neal Schon’s guitar mastery is on full display as he lays down some killer riffs and don’t get me started on the solo. Man, he is killing it. Jeff Scott Soto is full of swagger and confidence as he delivers a stellar vocal full of harmonies and so much power. This album is a showcase of his talents and why Neal tapped him to lead Journey on tour, sadly, no album was ever done before Jeff was dismissed.

Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “New Position” by Soul Sirkus”

Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Marching Out’ (1985) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

In a little less than a year after the release of Yngwie’s debut album, he puts out another release and this time a few changes were made. First, this sounded more like a band album. Jeff Scott Soto was still on vocals but this time he was involved in much more of the song writing. He contributed writing on 4 of the tracks and sang on 8 of them. For that reason, this was a more collaborative, band like experience…at least in how the album felt. The other change were a couple line-up changes. They brought in keyboardist Jens Johansson’s brother, Anders, to play drums. They also made a change in bass by bringing in Marcel Jacobs who is key and crucial part to the whole Jeff Scott Soto Story.

Marcel Jacobs is vital to Jeff’s story as the two became fast friends and within a few short years, the two would start what I think is one of Jeff’s best bands ever, Talisman. They would go on to do a couple side projects together called Human Clay and Humanimal, but they would always come back to Talisman and ended up giving us 10 studio albums together and numerous live albums and compilations. Without Marcel coming in to Jeff’s life, would his story have gone the way it did…I don’t think it would have. Even though they didn’t get along at first as Marcel was a stuck up European snob and Jeff was a trashy American, they eventually found common ground and their paths were destined to be intertwined for years to come.

Continue reading “Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Marching Out’ (1985) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)”

My Sunday Song – “Nowhere Fast” by Talisman

For My Sunday Song #282, we are going to discuss the song “Nowhere Fast” by the Jeff Scott Soto fronted band, Talisman. The song was off their album “7” (of course, their seventh album) and was released in 2006. The album is the last studio album by Talisman as bassist and founding member Marcel Jacobs passed away a few years later before they could do another album.

The song “Nowhere Fast” was written by Marcel Jacob and Jeff Scott Soto. The song is lyrically simple. It actually starts out with the chorus and does a 3 line verse back to the chorus. It repeats this process several times and does it effectively. It makes the song catchy and memorable. Lyrically, the song is about a woman he wants to be with but she doesn’t necessarily want to be with him. His friends warn him that the relationship would go nowhere, but he is bound and determined to make it happen. First, he has to change her mind to wanting him. We don’t know now if he ever does, but it sounds like it was a valiant effot.

Musically, it is a juggernaut of infectious hooks and catchy choruses all encompassed in that Marcel Jacob bass sound. That funky bass sound opens the song and then Jeff Scott Soto’s vocals come in so smooth and melodic. Is it funk? Is it melodic rock? Well, it is both and so full of life. If I had to pick a song on what I loved about Talisman, this is one of them. It is full of pleasure and a sound that is music to my ears…literally!! And you know what else I like, guitar solos! And Fredrik Akesson lays down one that fits the song so perfectly. This song is total perfection.

Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Nowhere Fast” by Talisman”

Yngwie Malmsteen’s ‘Rising Force’ (1984) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

Jeff Scott Soto saw an ad that Yngwie was looking for a lead singer so he sent a tape in to Yngwie’s managment in hopes of getting the job. The songs were from an early band he was in called Kanan. Amazingly, he received a phone call from Yngwie’s manager, Jeff Scott Soto had an easy decision to make so he left Panther, since he wasn’t really a member in the band, to take part in what was supposed to be a side project for Yngwie Malmsteen. I say a side project because Yngwie was in the band Alcatrazz when this was being made, but for some strange reason, he thought Alcatrazz was his band and Graham Bonnet felt differently and fired Yngwie. I guess we now know whose band it was. I guess you could say Yngwie has an ego problem. You could say it is a large ego or you could say it is even gigantic, both would be right as he is notoriously famous for that giant ego.

I know this is a Jeff Scott Soto series and we will get to Jeff, but the album focus is really Yngwie as it is a mostly instrumental album and only two songs feature vocals and those vocals are both handled by Jeff Scott Soto. The album was recorded in 1984 and released late in that year during November 1984. Don’t let wikipedia fool you as the album was not released in March 1984. As Jeff Scott Soto has pointed out that would be impossible as he didn’t meet Yngwie until a little after March as he was still working with Panther at that time. This album did come out before the Panther album and as I said, should’ve been the start but Panther really is the start of the story for Jeff (or at least the story I’m telling).

The debut album from Yngwie Malmsteen was called ‘Rising Force’ and did quite well garnering a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. It is heavily influenced by classical music and is a showcase of the true talent of Yngwie’s guitar mastering. It has been classified as neoclassical metal and I think that is about right. I will admit, I am not a big Yngwie fan and the only reason I own this album is because it has Jeff Scott Soto, however, this is quite an amazing album as I think this is before Yngwie’s ego completely took over and ruined things for me with him. But enough about that. Let us get to the music.

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My Sunday Song – “Soul Divine” by Jeff Scott Soto

For My Sunday Song #281, we are kicking off a 10 song set of Jeff Scott Soto. They won’t all be his solo work as they will cover his career and many bands. I figured since this past week we kicked off the Jeff Scott Soto Series here at 2 Loud 2 Old Music, why not continue that in to the My Sunday Song Series. First up is the song “Soul Divine” off his 2004 album ‘Lost in Translation’. The song was written by Jeff Scott Soto and Howie Simon who also played guitar and bass o the song. Glen Sobel played the drums.

“Soul Divine” is about regret. He treated his woman horribly and lost her. He now looks back and in his soul he knows he screwed it up. She was his light and yet he brought her so much pain and he didn’t realize what he did until she was gone and then he realized he had something really great. He has finally gotten to a point in his life where he realizes he was a little shit and feels really bad for it.

Musically, the song is a scorcher. It is heavy on the guitars from Mr. Simon who takes on bass duties as well which is also very prominent on the song. Glen Sobel’s drumming is rich and full force with a great driving beat and cool ass fills. It is a modern, melodic song that might be some of the best stuff Jeff has ever done. Howie’s opening riff is striking and almost singable and he also lays down a tasteful guitar solo that isn’t too boastful and fits the mood of the song. Jeff’s vocals are so masterful on this one. They soar, they are emotional, they are energetic and they are memorable. The chorus is catchy and his tones grab hold and pull you in and will have you singing along by the end. This one is a shining example of the soulful and smoothness of his voice as well. I figured, let’s kick it off with one of his best!!

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Panther – ‘Panther’ (1986) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

Welcome and Happy New Year!! We are finally here. The first in the Jeff Scott Soto Series. I have been teasing this thing for months and let me tell you I am really excited to finally be starting the series. We are not going to go through Jeff’s entire career, but mostly focusing on albums where he is the featured singer. He has done a ton of tribute album songs, but this is all about the Studio albums he has done with his solo work and numerous bands he has been in and there are a lot. I have followed Jeff’s career for over 20 years thanks to the site Melodicrock.com. It was there I discovered Jeff with his band Talisman and his solo work. And from there, I’ve gone a little nuts. I’ve explored his entire career which now spans out 37+ years. We aren’t going back to the very beginning which would’ve have been his birth on November 4, 1965…nope that is too far back. We will pick things up in 1984 when Jeff was only 18 years old with his first real band. Yes, I know he wasn’t an official member of this band and that he was only used to record the demos so they could find a singer, but it is the first real recordings we have that have been released.

The album ‘Panther’ by the band Panther was originally released in 1986 and was only a 6 song E.P. Wait, 1986. If that is the case, why is this the first album? I’ll tell you why. The album was recorded in 1984/85 (depends what you read) as demos for the band. Right after recording the album, Jeff received a phone call from the management of some new gun slinger named Yngwie Malmsteen. Soto jumped at the chance and left the band to work with Yngwie’s Rising Force. Technically, the Yngwie albums were released prior to this one, but this one was recorded prior to those so that is why I am starting with this one. It is my site and my party and I’ll start where I want!

After Jeff’s success with Yngwie, the label finally released the album in 1986. It was released as an E.P. with only 6 songs. Good luck finding that original E.P. and if you have it…ugh how much do you want for it???? My copy is actually a re-release of the E.P. with four additional songs only a few years back in 2018. And that is perfect for me as I love to have as many songs as I can get. The band was Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, Mike Barrish on guitar, Glen Davis on bass and Scott Taylor on drums. The boys played up and down the LA Strip and played a lot at The Troubadour. Their style was typical 80’s Hard Rock with a very NWOBHM influence as well. And since that is all the history of the band I have been able to piece together (accurately or not accurately is to be determined) let us get to the music.

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The Top Albums of 2021

2021 was not quite as strange as 2020 as things started to get back to normal. I got out to see a couple concerts and back to digging in the record stores and even went in to the office a few times.  Covid pushed back a lot of albums in 2020 and they finally came out in 2021. Some were worth the wait and well, some weren’t.  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 year I am doing things a little different.  I am only doing one list post, but that list will be centered around my Favorite Rock Albums of the year.  At the end I’ll give you my Top 5 Non-Rock Albums of the year as I didn’t listen to a ton of new releases this year as I was focused so much on my Kiss, Judas Priest, Queen and now Cheap Trick & Aerosmith Series.  That took a lot of time.

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:

THE TOP ROCK ALBUMS OF 2021:

#10 – Eclipse – ‘Wired’:

71-t49UrImL._SX522_ Eclipse is a melodic rock / glam rock /hard rock band out of Sweden and let me tell you Sweden knows how to pump out these bands. I think there are more rock bands in Sweden then there are people.  It is just a guess.  The two original guys, Erik Martensson and Magnus Henriksson. are back with their 9th album and they keep delivering.  Erik’s vocals are killer and Magnus can lay down some riffs.  The three opening tracks, “Roses On Your Grave”, “Dying Breed” and “Saturday Night (Hallelujah)” just suck you in and you know you are in good hands and just along for the ride at this point. Continue reading “The Top Albums of 2021”

You Picked It! – Stryper -“Against the Law” – Album Review

Alright…You Picked It! And this one wasn’t really that close. After the first five picks were one for each artist, the winner took the early lead and never looked back. The winner this month is Stryper and their album ‘Against the Law’ which was one that was in my collection. I will be honest, this winner surprised me as I didn’t think they really had a chance, but boy was I wrong. Here are the results.

  1. Stryper – ‘Against the Law’ – 7 votes
  2. David Bowie – ‘Let’s Dance’ – 5 votes
  3. The Band – ‘The Band’ – 3 votes
  4. Dusty Springfield – ‘Dusty in Memphis’ – 2 votes
  5. The Darkness – ‘Motorheart’ – 1 Vote

Thanks to all for participating. The January choices will be up on Saturday!

STRYPER – ‘AGAINST THE LAW’:

I remember when this album came out. It was a drastic change for the band. The Yellow and Black costumes they wore were gone and everything was black leather. The religious themes and any mention of God were gone. Stryper as we knew them were gone. Due to the constant criticism of from the religious critics, Stryper had grown weary of the music business and the Christian themes. They had become angry and a little resentful at the constant bashing. So, they threw religion to the side and went heavier and darker in both sound and lyrics.

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COMING TO 2 LOUD 2 OLD MUSIC IN 2022 – THE JEFF SCOTT SOTO SERIES!!!

Let the Countdown begin!!!

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.

Continue reading “COMING TO 2 LOUD 2 OLD MUSIC IN 2022 – THE JEFF SCOTT SOTO SERIES!!!”

November 2021 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs

Can you believe there is only one more month in the year? It has flown by so fast. And here we are again with another month end wrap-up of the purchases we have made here at 2 Loud 2 Old Music. It was a pretty decent month and another month where CDs outweighed the vinyl. There should’ve been a couple more vinyl in here, but with all the delays in vinyl pressing I have 3 that have been bought that will now not show up until 2022!! Thanks Adele!!!

First up this month are a couple that came in at the end of October after I had done my post. First is the John 5 & The Creatures release ‘Sinner’ and this one is signed. It is an awesome album and it will be interesting to see where this lands on our year-end countdown.

The other item that I received was another stellar box set from Whitesnake. This time around it is the 25th Anniversary of the album ‘Restless Heart’. It is full of demos, remixes and the always cool Evolutions disc that walks you through the evolution of the songs. Sadly, there was no live show added but that is being picky.

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