Cheap Trick – ‘The Epic Archive, Vol. 1 (1975-1979)’ (2015) – Album Review (The Cheap Trick Collection Series)

After the last studio album, 2009’s ‘The Latest’, Cheap Trick went a little quiet. The did release a a live album, ‘Sgt Pepper Live’ in 2009, but that album is not in my Collection and this is “The Collection Series” so it won’t get reviewed at this point. Then in 2010, Bun E. Carlos stopped touring and he ended up suing the band in 2013 as they weren’t allowing him to record or participate in anything with the band. The lawsuit was settled and the band continued on without Carlos as a 3-Piece. Of note, Rick Nielsen’s son, Dax, has filled in for Bun E. as the drummer. And in 2014, they did release a compilation album called ‘The 70’s’, but again, not in the collection.

So, what is in the Collection that can be reviewed next? I will tell you. We have ‘The Epic Archive, Vol. 1 through Vol. 3 to review that were all released in 2015. All three albums were released on November 27, 2015 digitally. There was no physical product at the time. That has since been corrected as they eventually did release these on vinyl for Record Store Day on three separate occasions. I was lucky enough to get all 3. We will start with ‘The Epic Archive, Vol. 1 (1975-1979) since that is the first one in the series.

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Creed – “With Arms Wide Open” – Limited Edition CD Single

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.

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AC/DC – “Through The Mists of Time” / “Witch’s Spell” – 12″ Limited Edition Picture Disc (RSD 2021 Release)

I really like Picture Discs. I find them quite beautiful and a wonderful piece to add to the collection. I doesn’t even matter if that is not a new song, bonus track, live version or rare track on the release. I still like to have them. For the June 12, 2021 Record Store Day, AC/DC had a limited edition picture disc that I didn’t even realize was being released. I only caught it because I was online and ordering the Def Leppard RSD release and noticed it. So, I added it to the cart, and sold!!

The Picture Disc is for the song “Through the Mists of Time” and the B-Side is “Witch’s Spell”. Both are on the new release Power Up and not some special mix or anything else that I can see. This is a Limited Edition and that means there are only 5,000 copies. I don’t know what number mine is as it doesn’t say that anywhere on the packaging. Mine has a sticker that says 14280, but that is handwritten and I think was added by the local store. No idea what it means but don’t want to peel it off. The release was made in the Czech Republic based on a sticker that is on the back. There is a Record Store Day Sticker on the front as well plus a little obit type strip at the top (no Japanese on it though) that lists the band and the song info on the back. And that is all there is to it.

On Side A is “Through The Mists of Time” and I love the white background with the band and speaks wrapping around the front. It is a cool shot. Speaking of cool, the coolest song on the album is “Through the Mists of Time” which is not a normal AC/DC title. It harkens back more to a Zeppelin title and has this nostalgic feel to it. And let me tell you what a breath of fresh air this song is and might be one of the best songs on the album. Over 40 years and they still can throw surprises at you. 

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Needtobreathe – “Brother” – 7″ Limited Edition Single

In my quest for getting everything on vinyl for Needtobreathe, there were four 7″ Singles I had to get and I am glad to say, I now have 3 of them. There is still one elusive one that I need for the song “Keep Your Eyes Open”, so if you see it let me know. For now we are going to talk about this single for the song “Brother”. The song is actually off the album, ‘Rivers in the Wasteland’ from 2014. However, the songs on this disc are not on the version on the album.

The disc is a limited edition release with only 2,000 copies and I have one so there are only 1,999 left out there for you to find (yes, I know how to subtract). It is on a very beautiful transparent blue vinyl and it is gorgeous. It comes in a lovely jacket with a cool picture of Bear Rineheart on the front and his brother Bo Rinehart on the back which is significant which we will discuss later.

The package also comes with an insert with details about Side A and Side B and it is formatted in that same flowery motif. It is quite nice.

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