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.

Kiss – ‘Dynasty’ (1979) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

After the solo albums, Kiss jumped back in to the studio in January/February 1979 and began work on their seventh studio album (the solo albums aren’t really considered Kiss Studio albums) to be called ‘Dynasty’. It was set up to be the return of Kiss as it was the band’s first “band” album since 1977’s Love Gun. I say “band” because by this point, “band” is a very loose term.

The band was having serious problems with Peter Criss at this point. Peter had hurt his hand in a car accident, he was heavy in to drugs and alcohol and he was basically difficult to work with. To help try and ease things with Peter, the band hired Vini Poncia as the producer as he produced Peter’s solo album so they thought it would make things easier…it didn’t! In fact, Vini did not feel’s Peter’s playing on the recordings was sub par…basically, it sucked. So, they brought in a drummer to do all the drum parts. His name was Anton Fig and he played drums on Ace’s solo album. Anton played on every song, but one. The one song Peter played on was the one he sang, “Dirty Livin'”. It would also be the last Kiss song he played on any album until 1998’s Pyscho Circus (which is a whole other story to be discussed much later in the series).

Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Dynasty’ (1979) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”

Kiss – ‘Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park’ (1978) – Movie Review (The Kiss Review Series)

1978 was a big year for Kiss. Not only were they working on their Solo albums, they were also making their first movie. Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park was released on October 28, 1978. It was a made for TV movie in the U.S. if that tells you anything about it before we even start talking about it. I actually remember all the hype this was getting and for me it was Event TV. I was going to watch this when it came out and I actually did. I was just shy of 10 years old and I remember this vividly. I even had it on VHS when it was released (or my brother had it), but we don’t have it anymore.

I think there was a plot so I will see if I can piece it together for you. The movie takes place at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California and the Park is having some money troubles. The evil scientist man, Abner Devereaux played by Anthony Zerba, is spending too much on his robots. He is close to developing the most realistic robots ever, but before he can finish, he is fired. This sets him off to destroy the park and Kiss as they were there to perform 3 shows over the weekend. The funny thing is that after being fired, he wasn’t escorted out of the park like any normal firing. Stupid mistake on their part.

There is Sam and Melisse, two young kids in love. Sam works for Devereaux who takes Sam hostage using a micro chip in his neck to control him and basically turn him in to a human robot. All the while, Sam’s girlfriend, Melissa, is trying to find him. She meets Kiss and tries to get their help. Kiss is happy to oblige a pretty young lady and she was that. Kiss had special powers, they were superheroes basically. They had these Talisman that gave them their powers and Devereaux uses Sam to steal those Talisman.

Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park’ (1978) – Movie Review (The Kiss Review Series)”

Kiss – ‘Peter Criss’ (1978) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

The third Kiss solo album in the review series is none other than the Catman, Peter Criss.  Peter’s album was released on the same day as all the other band members on September 18, 1978.  And Peter, sadly, had the least selling and the lowest chart placing on Billboard charts at #43, however, that doesn’t mean it was the worst of the group…ok, yes it does!

Peter’s album was my least favorite, by far, and I haven’t heard it in over 30+ years probably.  And when I pulled it out for this review and gave it a listen, it isn’t bad as I remember.  I think that stems from the fact I know so much more about who Peter is that I feel the album fits him perfectly.  Peter is not a real rock drummer, he has more of a jazz feel and this is more of his style of music.  Does that mean I like this one, no, not at all, but I get it now and I respect him for it.

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Kiss – ‘Double Platinum’ (1978) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

Kiss was flying high.  Alive II was doing well and heck, all their albums were selling and some even reaching Platinum status.  Kiss had been in and out of the studio and on the road touring for over 4 years straight. They had 6 studio albums and 2 live albums under the belt now and they were tired.  Band friction was starting to form.  They were about to implode.  Ace wanted to do a solo album and to help keep the peace, management and the band came up with the idea of doing 4 solo albums all under the Kiss moniker.  To keep the ball rolling and capitalize on their current success, a greatest hits album was put together for a quick cash-grab and to give them more time to finish the solo projects and save the train wreck about to happen.

The album was released on April 2, 1978 and not just a simple single LP.  No, this was a 2 LP, 20 song greatest hits compilation.  It covers everything.  To entice people to buy it, they remixed a number of songs on here so the fan would have something a little different than what they already had.  And the packaging was beautiful.  The album cover was a gatefold which made sense for a double LP.  It was also embossed in a silver, foil-like sheen.  And let me tell you that trying to take a picture of this and not have me and the camera visible was very difficult.  The front and back cover for my version, are exactly the same.  I know some later ones, the back is different. Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Double Platinum’ (1978) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”

Kiss – World Domination 2003-2004 Tour – Tour Book

In yet another Kiss post, we are back on the topic of Tour Books. I had 3 Tour Books from Kiss and I have done posts on 2 of those and I really enjoyed going back through the book and looking at all the pictures.  The third one is from the End of the Road Tour and I will get to that one eventually.  In the meantime, I said to myself, “you know John, we should start collecting Tour Books”.  And I answered myself back with “John, that is a brilliant idea.  Not only are you handsome, but you are pretty damn smart too!”  I couldn’t agree with myself more.

That got weird fast!!

Back on topic.  I actually went on to eBay and noticed there are tons of them for sale, but dang! they are expensive.  Maybe this wasn’t a good idea.  Then I saw one that was only $5 and the pictures looked pretty great actually.  I added it to the Watch list and about 4 hours before it was to end, I figured let me place a bid.  So I did and I was not wanting to go over $10 so that was what I put in as the max bid. I went to bed and forgot about, but morning came and dang it, I got it.  My Tour Book collecting had officially begun.

The one I bought was from the World Domination Tour in 2003.  This was Kiss with Aerosmith and I actually missed this tour as I believe they came to town shortly after the birth of my first daughter so there was no way I was getting out to see a show.  So I was excited to see what this book looked like and now it is time to share it with all of you. Continue reading “Kiss – World Domination 2003-2004 Tour – Tour Book”

Kiss – ‘Alive II’ (1977) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

After three studio albums, it was time to repeat the magic with another live album, ‘Alive II’.  It worked well the first time so it seemed like that was the intention this time around to try and capture that gold again.  However, that was not the original intention.  While the band was touring Japan for ‘Rock & Roll Over’, they recorded the entire show of the band at the famed Budokan Hall in Tokyo on April 2, 1977.  They felt the band needed a break before recording the next album and this would be it.  However, Casablanca hated the album and it was scrapped.

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The band went and released ‘Love Gun’ as planned and then it was time for another live album.  This time they recorded three shows at the LA Forum on August 26-28 of 1977 while out on Tour for the ‘Love Gun’ album which was just released in June.  Heck, they even recorded the soundchecks as the goal for this album was to not duplicate any songs that were on ‘Alive!’.  And to add something special to the album, Side Four was going to be all new studio songs which gives this release a little something extra.  Eddie Kramer was brought back in to produce and he worked his magic. Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Alive II’ (1977) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”

Kiss – ‘Love Gun’ (1977) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

Kiss were flying high. Their popularity was growing by leaps and bounds and so much so that they were voted the most popular band in the U.S. beating the likes of some other famous bands maybe you’ve heard of them…Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith.  Nah, I didn’t think so.  They appeared in their first comic book, “Howard the Duck #12: “Mind-Mush!” (May 1977)’ and later that year they had their own comic book with “A Marvel Comics Super Special #1: A Marvel Comics Super Special!: Kiss (1977).  For this, they used their own blood to mix in with the ink.  They were becoming the merchandising kings they are still today.

With that popularity needs to come new music and 6 months after the release  of ‘Rock And Roll Over’, the band was back in the studio to record their 6th studio album.  The band brought back Eddie Kramer to produce and man the boards in hopes to maintain the direction that ‘Rock And Roll Over’ was taking them. And on June 30, 1977, the album came out and immediately went platinum with sales over 1 million.

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The album became the first studio album to feature all 4 band members singing a song as Mr. Ace Frehley finally sang a song and what a beast of song it was.  And another interesting fact, this is the last album to feature Peter Criss on all the songs.  What does that mean?  That means that the next two studio albums (not including the solo albums), Peter doesn’t play all the drums, in fact, very few of them.  All this despite the fact he is prominently featured on the cover of the album and still tours.  We will touch more on that fact in future posts.  The band was still in tact with Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.  That still wouldn’t change for a couple years. Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Love Gun’ (1977) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”

Kiss – ‘Rock And Roll Over’ (1976) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

After the massive success of ‘Destroyer’, the band was riding high. Now the hard part, following up a massive album.  Despite the success of the prior album, there were many fans who didn’t like the direction Kiss was going. They felt the rawness of the band was missing. It was that rawness they loved.  They weren’t alone, Ace and Peter felt the same way.  They did not want to repeat what Ezrin had done, but Gene and Paul didn’t want to completely throw it away either.

So, Eddie Kramer was brought back in to produce.  They camped out at the Star Theater in Nanuet, New York i hopes to have a live feel for the album to make sure they capture the true essence of the band.  And whether or not they did is still up for discussion.  You get a mixed bag of thoughts on the production of this album, I will just say I think it is one of their most consistent albums they have done and we will get in to the meat of it later.

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Kiss – “Flaming Youth” – The 45 Single (1976) – Bonus Edition (The Kiss Review Series)

Welcome back to the Kiss Review Series.  Today we are doing a little bonus edition.  As I am going through the band’s releases, I am going to throw in different items from my collection that aren’t part of the band’s normal album releases.  Singles, promos or whatever I can come up with.

Since we just talked ‘Destroyer’ in the last review, these next two posts are specifically related to that album.  The first is this 45 Single of the song “Flaming Youth”.  Now, I am cheating here as I wrote a review on this years ago, so I am re-doing it here so it is now a part of the Kiss Review Series.  I hope you like it.

I had this big box of vinyl that I found in my attic that started my new vinyl obsession about 4 years ago.  This is another 45″ Single in that big box of vinyl and it is from the Kiss album ‘Destroyer’.  The song was “Flaming Youth” and it was only a promotional single and not intended for resale.  How we ended up with it or where we got it, I am not sure.

The B-Side of the single is also “Flaming Youth” which I find interesting because the true B-Side of the Single released for the album was “God of Thunder”.  Both sides of the disc say Side A. Maybe I have a nice collectors piece…if so, I wish it was in better shape.

Continue reading “Kiss – “Flaming Youth” – The 45 Single (1976) – Bonus Edition (The Kiss Review Series)”