January 2021 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs

Welcome to the first Purchases post of 2021. After the crapload of items in December, I am so not going to be able to top that right out of the gate. This time, the focus is more on the CDs as I finally got back out to Manifest Discs which has a great used CD selection. I was able to get out by myself and take my time going through the racks. They have a deal where if you buy 2 you get 1 for a $1, so of course, I have to buy way more than 2. I ended up buying 11 and it worked out to <$5 per disc when it was all said and done.

The first batch is a band that doesn’t have much on vinyl as they are from the early 2000’s up to a few years ago so it is easier to go the CD route than the vinyl. That band is Lifehouse. I picked up 6 CDs. Now, I used to have all these before, but due to dumping the collection stupidly about 7-8 years ago, I didn’t have them anymore. Now I am going back and getting my favorite stuff again. Only need 1 more Lifehouse album.

The next couple of CDs are for a band, I never thought I’d like, but man, I really do. It is a rap rock band called Hollywood Undead. I picked up two CDs…again the vinyl is a mish-mash of do they or don’t they, but they do have CDs. These are their first two studio albums. I still have 6 more to go.

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Top Albums of 2020

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 2020 (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 to 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.

I feel I didn’t get to as many as I would have liked as the year seem to got away from me with all that went on with Covid.  I did spend a lot of time on a few series such as finishing The David Coverdale Series, The Gene Simmons ‘The Vault’ Series and starting the epic Kiss Review Series.  These consumed a lot of my time.  What I am trying to say is I missed a lot.

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 (okay, there might be one or two).  These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way and some thanks to my kids.  So, we might as well get started…

#10 – Richard Marx – Limitless:

Richard_Marx_-_Limitless

I have a soft spot for Richard Marx. I think he is a hell of singer and songwriter. I also have a soft spot for pop ballads and he is the King. This album always put me in a good mood and would relax me when I needed a break from the heavy rock. The songs “Another One Down” and “Limitless” really show off those vocals and are so beautiful. And then when your throw in “Front Row Seats” and “Let Go” well, you get an incredible pop masterpiece.

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Needtobreathe – “Who Am I”

Sometimes when you hear a song, it connects with you, it moves you, it touches you in a way that few songs can do. Well, this is one of those songs. The first time I heard it immediately caught my attention. There was something special about it, I could tell. I listened to it again, I mean I really listened to it. I took in the words and absorbed them in to my mind and then in to my heart. Yes, this song IS Special!!

Sometimes an artist can write a song that you feel is written especially for you or for something going on in your life. Well, this is one of those songs. If you know anyone that is suffering from depression, then this is a song that you need to hear. Depression can make a person feel worthless, can make a person feel like there is no hope, can make a person push their loved ones away. Depression is cruel and it is so hard to watch someone go through it and it leaves you wishing there is something you can do.

“Who Am I” is a song that can be interpreted in a couple ways. The first way is more religious. It is God telling us that no matter how unworthy we feel, he will always be there. No matter what we do or say, no matter how bad it is, God will love us unconditionally. All we need to do is accept him in to our hearts

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Needtobreathe – ‘Insiders LP, Vol. 3’ – Album Review

As you know if you visit my site, one of my favorite bands is Needtobreathe.  I have everything they have put out on vinyl and now I am going after everything they have released on CD (that they don’t have on vinyl).  And the CDs I want the most are the exclusive fan club CDs they release each year.

If you join the Needtobreathe Insiders fan club (for $70 a year), you get a Live CD of tracks collected from the band’s live performances throughout their career (among other things such as a Needtobreathe Mug, a key chain and a free live track download ever month – that is 12 more songs or maybe the same tracks that will be on the CD, not sure yet on that).  Needtobreathe actually records every show they put on so they have a ton of tunes to choose from.  They have released 6 volumes and number 7 will be coming in December which I will get as I have now joined the club.  I had never joined prior so getting my hands on these has not been easy as it is not cheap. I am looking for the right price and most of the time it is too high.   I finally grabbed my first one at a price less than the membership fee which was Insiders LP Vol. 2 for $40 and 9 months later I got one even cheaper which was Vol. 5 and it was only $25. And then a couple days later got another for $27 which is this one Vol. 3. Sorry we aren’t going in order, but we are going in order of when I receive them.

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Needtobreathe – ‘Insiders LP, Vol. V’ – Album Review

As you know if you visit my site, one of my favorite bands is Needtobreathe.  I have everything they have put out on vinyl and now I am going after everything they have released on CD (that they don’t have on vinyl).  And the CDs I want the most are the exclusive fan club CDs they release each year.

If you join the Needtobreathe Insiders fan club (for $70 a year), you get a Live CD of tracks collected from the band’s live performances. (among other things such as a Needtobreathe Mug, a key chain and a free live track download ever month – that is 12 more songs or maybe the same tracks that will be on the CD, not sure yet on that).  Needtobreathe actually records every show they put on so they have a ton of tunes to choose from.  They have released 6 volumes and number 7 will be coming in December which I will get as I have now joined the club.  I had never joined prior so getting my hands on these has not been easy as it is not cheap. I am looking for the right price and most of the time it is too high.   I finally grabbed my first one at a price less than the membership fee which was Insiders LP Vol. 2 and now I got one even cheaper which is this release Vol. 5. Sorry we aren’t going in order, but we are going in order of when I receive them.

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September 2020 Purchases – Vinyl & CD & More

Welcome to my monthly wrap-up of all my purchases for the month. Now I am cheating as there are a number of items that came in at the end of August after I had already done my August post and I wasn’t about to go update that and have to change a few pictures so they will start out our September update.

First up is an brand new album from one of my favorite bands, Needtobreathe. Their new album came out on Friday, August 28th and luckily I got release day delivery and it came with a CD. I have already done a review (Click Here) and an update to their Album Rankings will be coming shortly.

August 29th was the first 3 of RSD days for 2020. As you know, due to Covid the April Record Store Day was delayed until June and then split in to 3 days in hopes of decreasing the # of people showing up on the day of release. The first one of these 3 days was August 29th and there will be one in September and October and if I am not mistaken, November will still see the normal Black Friday RSD. I tried to keep this one simple and I only bought 4 albums, one of which was for my daughter. I bought an Ace Frehley album, Collective Soul and a Def Leppard one. The album for my daughter was a live album by Billie Eilish (I will probably listen to it as well as she is quite interesting.

And I guess it wasn’t the only thing I bought as it was raining and he let everyone come in early, but he couldn’t actually ring us up until 8 and it was around 7:30. So after we got to pick out or RSD items, I had time to walk around the store and see if there was anything else. I wasn’t going to actually buy anything else as I spent enough on the above. If you follow the site you know I have started collecting Kiss Tour Books. I picked up a Bon Jovi one when I was out and I wasn’t looking to do anyone else other than Kiss. Well, Repo Records had a Bon Jovi Tour Book from 2011. And you guessed it. I bought it. I will do a full review of this soon.

Normally on Record Store Day, Repo Records gives us a goody bag. This year he didn’t have a goody bag (Sad face)…No, he had a goody album cover…WTF? He had old useless album covers and inside he had a Record Mat for your turntable, a sticker, an RSD guitar pick and a button of someone but I have no idea. And that was it…wasn’t much.

And that was it for RSD, but on the same day I had delivered another item from Needtobreathe. I was on eBay only about 3 days earlier and checking to see if any of their rare Fan Club Insider CDs were for sale. You can only purchase these if you sign up for their fan club and pay the annual premium of like $60. I hadn’t done that up until this year so the new one will come in December, but I have been trying to find these on eBay or Discogs at reasonable prices (something less than $60…and I did). I got my second one, Volume 5, for $25…yeah me!! And within a week, I found another one for $27 after eBay was kind enough to give me a $25 Off coupon for being a member since the beginning of eBay. That is two for less than a year membership for one. Not bad!!!

Next up was an album I ordered back in June or so and when it was released in August, Amazon apparently ran out so I had to wait and wait to finally get it. My local record store had it but sold out so I kept waiting, plus Amazon’s price was only $16 so I was willing to wait. It is the self-titled album from Collective Soul that was finally issued on vinyl to celebrate its 25th Anniversary.

I forget what day, but the kids wanted to get out of the house and so we took a ride over to 2nd & Charles, the whole family, and we all searched for books or music or movies or whatever floated our boat. I found one item that I needed for my collection and at $8, it was a steal. Peter Criss’ book ‘Makeup to Breakup’ another book in my long list of Kiss books I have to get through.

Next up is an autographed copy of the Storm Force album ‘Age of Fear’. My fellow bloggers Deke and LeBrain have raved about this album and then during LeBrain’s live stream on Facebook, the boys from the band joined him and Deke and talked for an hour on a fun-filled Friday night. I thought that was really cool of the guys so I supported them by buying this. You should do the same.

And then something else popped up. I was on Amazon and I saw Art Alexakis’ solo album for only $8 and free shipping so since I am fan of Everclear, I jumped on it. It came quick and is below…

And finally we get to the 2nd Record Store Day and this was just this past Saturday on Sept. 25th. I picked up three things including The Alarm’s Celtic Folklore Live, a Mott the Hoople compilation called The Golden Age of Rock and Roll and then a live album from Hootie & the Blowfish. That one wasn’t on my list, but when I saw it and that it was from 1995, their heyday.

And like last time at Repo, they let us in before they could check us out and it gave us time to look around and shop. Let me tell you that is never a good thing. The first thing I found was a 7″ Kiss single for Beth and Detroit Rock City and then it was a bootleg from Van Halen for the Women And Children First Sessions full of the demos. I’m a sucker for that stuff….

And Repo gave out his typical swag….at least the mat was a different color this time…

And that is everything…yes, that was plenty. Here it all is in one big picture…

Thanks for stopping by. I already have a few things coming for October and there is another Record Store Day so shaping up to be another big month.

Needtobreathe – ‘Out of Body’ – Album Review

A couple months back, Needtobreathe sent out emails to their fans and told us some news about a new album, ‘Out of Body’. However, at the same time they discussed the heartbreaking news that Bo Rinehart, lead guitar and founding member, was leaving the band. This caused great pause to me as Bo is the creative mind behind the band. He did a lot of the art, the video concepts, he was a songwriter as well and a hell of a musician. He was one of the many reasons, I love this band. I now had worries about the new album and how the band was going to sound.

This only left 3 members of the band…

  • Bear Rinehart, lead singer, guitar
  • Josh Lovelace – hammond organ and piano
  • Seth Bolt – bass and drums (not at the same time)

I still ordered the album the day it went available for pre-order and I even ordered the Vinyl and CD bundle because why not. Artistically, the cover of the album was amazing, the color of the vinyl was stunning and everything about the concept was beautiful and some of the best the band has done. And you can see below, everything looks great…

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Friday New Release – August 28, 2020

We are ending August with a BANG!! There are an abundance of releases this week and there has to be something for you to grab hold of and listen to all weekend. I am listing 18 different releases and you know I don’t ever have all of them so that is a boatload of stuff. I have a bunch I am eager to hear and 2 on order. My choices are highlighted in Blue and I can tell you right now, I doubt I will get to all of them this week as there are so many. Let me know which ones you are interested in hearing and which ones I may have a missed. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!

  • 81Rz9estbVL._SS500_  Needtobreathe – Out of Body – (Elektra): Is there any doubt this one would be tops for me. I am a huge fan, but a worried fan as guitarist and a very creative mind behind the band, Bo Rinehart has left the band. I don’t know how much he put in to this album, if anything, but that has me a little concerned as direction and what to expect. The one thing they did that I don’t particularly don’t care for is they released like 5 songs already. I am not a fan of bands doing that.
  • A1aBMRfQkrL._SS500_  Metallica – S&M 2 (Live) – (Blackened Recording): I actually enjoyed the original S&M so I am curious to hear this one as well. Metallica and classical music I think are a good match. And the song they released already was pretty great.
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My Sunday Song – “Brother” (feat. Gavin DeGraw) by Needtobreathe

For My Sunday Song #170, we are choosing the song “Brother” by Needtobreathe as the final song in the 10 song Needtobreathe series.  This song is the one with Gavin DeGraw as guest vocalist and not the version on the album “Rivers in the Wasteland”.  Although I liked that version, I think having the duet added a lot to the song since it felt more like it matched the meaning of the song.  The song only reached #98 on the Billboard charts, but the Christian charts had it reaching #1.

The song came about due to the issues between two brothers.  Those brothers were Bear and Bo Rinehart.  Their friendly competition turned in to more of a blame game as times got difficult for the band as they struggled during the work on the album ‘Rivers in the Wasteland’.  They finally worked things out once they actually talked to each other confessed their own personal faults.  Once that was done, they realized how important it was to have a brother working with you and beside you rather than compete with you.  They turned that in to a beautiful song.

The song has a church feel and some choir-like backing vocals to help add to that effect.  Having Bear and Gavin do it as a duet it gave the song that back & forth that it needed to give it the effect of two brothers going at it and making amends to each other.  It gave the song more dimension and heart.  Their voices worked so well together and their tones blended nicely and gave the song the emotion it needed.

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My Sunday Song – “Don’t Wait for Daylight” by Needtobreathe

For My Sunday Song #169, we are going to talk about the very first Needtobreathe song I ever heard.  The opening track to the album ‘Daylight’ called “Don’t Wait for Daylight”.  The song that started it all for me.  The one that said…these guys are special…they have a sound I like…their songs are interesting…I can get it in to this…and I did.  13 years later they are now one of my all-time favorite bands.

This song is really interesting as a band that was supposed to be a “Christian” band (which they are not) tackled a very delicate subject.  Well, actually two delicate subjects…Suicide and Affairs.  The song is about a woman who was having an affair with man and while she was going to his house to end it, she wound up stealing his coat so she could have a piece of him to remember and never said a word.  Inside the coat pocket was a note. Not just any note.  A suicide note that he wrote for his wife.  Now here is where it gets interesting.  Does she tell someone and save him?  If she does, it will then be known she has cheated on her husband. Quite a predicament.  The song is telling her not to wait.  She has to let people know.  She has to come clean and save this man’s life even if it mean destroying her world.  Wow!

Musically, it is a great rocker, upbeat tempo and a standout opening track to an album. The guitar work is fantastic with a nice opening riff and pulsating beat accompanying Bo’s guitar.  The song has punch and has an intensity that matches the lyrics.  There is a sense of urgency in the music the same as the urgency in the need for the woman to let someone know about the note as she struggles with her decision. Bear’s vocals show range and has a maturity that most singers don’t have on their first album.  It has a little raspiness to it that gives it the grit that makes for a great rock singer.

91UtSe78JvL._SX522_.jpg

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