It had been two years since the last studio album, ‘Crazy Nights’ and still the band wasn’t working on a new album. Gene Simmons was out producing bands on his record label and Paul Stanley decided that in early 1989, he was going to go out on a solo tour. People were freaking out as was this the end of Kiss. Paul’s solo band on the tour had two major Kiss connections. On guitar was Bob Kulick and on drums was future Kiss drummer Eric Singer who would take over after the death of Eric Carr. Paul even went so far as to sing and record the title song to the Wes Craven movie ‘Shocker’. Kiss in my eyes, seemed doomed.
But it wasn’t the end. In mid-1989, the band got back together and finally started working on the new album. They had a very small budget for this album so instead of going in and fully recording a new album, they grabbed a bunch of demos and re-worked or even overdubbed them to turn them in to the album we have here. ‘Hot in The Shade’ has a crazy number of songs with 15 and the album was about an hour long. This was the late 80’s when bands felt they needed to fill up the entire CD and as a result, we got a lot of bloated albums at that time. If you knocked a few songs off this album, it would be a lot better but still suck.
I will give props to Michael Bolton for actually re-recording the songs with a symphony orchestra and not just phoning it in, but I don’t see the need for basically another greatest hits package of songs from 30 years ago that feels tired and boring and left me missing the days of this Michael Bolton…
Happy Friday! I can’t wait for the weekend! Why you ask? Duh, no work and all music all the time!! Not a whole lot this week, but a couple I will try out and they will be highlighted in Blue. Let me know if there is anything for you or let me know what I am missing out on. Hopefully there is something for you…I know that Bolton one is calling everyone’s name…”Listen to me (insert name here)”.
7eventh Time Down – Brand New Day – (BEC Recordings): A Christian rock band or pop rock…whatever you want to call it…I will give it a try. I have enjoyed their first few albums and there is always one or two songs that blow me away so hoping for more of that. I just like the positive messages and the good grooves. Check them out! (Update…I guess I need to stop doing these three weeks ahead because this got moved to March 1st…sorry about that).
Sister Hazel – Fire E.P. – (Croakin’ Poet Records): I remember their 90’s hits (or at least “All for You”) so why not see what they have to offer in 2019. They are doing a lot of E.P.s. They did two last year (Water & Wind) and now comes Fire. I think I missed the other two so I will check this one out and go back and listen to the others.
The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year. I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2017 (click to read). This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want classify these albums. Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.
Note: These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers. There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list. These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way. So, we might as well get started…
The #1 Album of 2017
Colton Dixon – ‘Identity’: What??? Not Taylor or Harry or Ed?? Nope!!! Colton Dixon’s album ‘Identity’ was the album that did it for me this year. Colton’s very pop album, but a Christian based album, is what I found to be best this past year. The album was a loosely based concept album which was broken down into 3 parts – The Mind, The Body & The Soul. He was able to rock out, dance, and slow it down all with precision. You couldn’t help getting caught up in the messages of the songs and I am still listening to it even though it came out real early in the year. That says something right there.
Now before I get into the album review, let me preface this with that I am a fan of Michael Bolton’s earlier work starting with his 1983 release ‘Michael Bolton’ which had “Fool’s Game” up until ‘Time, Love & Tenderness’ in 1991. After that it started to go down hill for me as he was doing way too many covers. More covers than originals, which is disappointing. He was also getting further and further from his original rock roots (listen to his early releases and you will hear what I am talking about).
Several months back, I heard Michael was signing with Frontiers Records Srl and I was actually excited to hear that as Frontiers is a great record label and they are a ROCK record label. They have brought back many bands of my youth and signed them including Night Ranger and Stryper and now Michael Bolton.
Imagine my utter disappointment when I heard the new Michael Bolton album was a cover album of movie songs called ‘Songs of Cinema’. Wow!! It is just what I wanted (heavy, heavy sarcasm)! I told myself going into it, I would keep an open mind and give it a solid listen…which I feel I did for about 30 seconds.
What songs did he cover? I will tell you.
It starts off with “When A Man Loves A Woman”. Hasn’t he done that one before? Why yes he has, but this one is different…it is the 2017 Version. Oh yeah, that is right…I am supposed to keep an open mind. I am sorry, but I can’t. That ship has sailed. When the first song is a rehash of an old song that you have already covered, you lost me. The original one he did back in 1991 was so much better.
Welcome to another Friday! It is time for more new releases and I hope you have some money saved up because one of these is quite pricey. I know I won’t be getting it anytime soon…if ever. Not a lot this week, but one I am getting for sure…My picks are in Blue. And that is The Michael Bolton you see on the list.
Def Leppard – And There Will Be A Next Time…Live From Detroit (Blue-Ray/DVD/CD) – (Eagle Rock Entertainment): Def Leppard is back with another live concert DVD and CD. Mine has been on pre-order for a couple weeks and should be at my house when I get home. Can’t wait for this one.
Bon Jovi – Vinyl Box Set (24 LPs) – (Universal Records): At over $400 this set is for the diehard fan. I am no longer diehard, but there are 2 albums in here I want that have never been on vinyl before…’Keep the Faith’ and ‘These Days’. Two of their best albums that I will pick up sometime soon. Here is a video from their newest album which is included in this set.