Jeff Scott Soto – ‘B-Sides’ (2006) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

We are here with yet another Jeff Scott Soto release and this one is quite unique. It is called ‘B-Sides’ and consists of unreleased tracks, bonus tracks, duets as well as songs used for Tribute albums. It shows as it is an official release from Frontiers Records, but it is very cheap looking. The CDs themselves do say these are “Not For Sale, For Promo Use Only”, but they seem like bootlegs. However, discogs has them on their site and they do not list it as ‘Unofficial’ so everything actually leads me to believe this is a real Frontiers Records release. And yet, the mix of it is not that great as the volume between songs has not been equalized as some songs are louder than others. I don’t know what to think, but I have a copy and I am pretty stoked about it. I am curious as to why the reason behind this product though, so if anyone knows, please let me know in the comments below.

The main reason I’m stoked is that it saves me a ton of money from going and buying all the albums that these songs are on. Most are on an album from another artist that Jeff appears on or Tribute albums where this is probably the only song I would want any way. To have them all in one compilation I would say is big win. One thing that sort of stinks about this is the liner notes on the CD booklet. As you can see from a picture further down the post, there is a fantastic Track List of CD 2 and where the songs originated from, but the left side of the picture does not have the track list for CD 1 and where the songs originated. That is actually a misprint because I have seen pictures of the inner sleeve that have the CD 1 track list breakdown. If the list is there or not, this is still a pretty cool piece in the Soto collection.

The first song was a cassette only bonus track from Jeff’s first band, Panther. “Set Me Free” one of my favorite songs on that album. Soto attacks it with a deeper tone and yet still soars with some high notes. The drumming on it is immense with some great fills. The guitar solo is typical for the time to see how fast he can go, but its great. It definitely takes me back to the 80’s with this one. The next three tracks,”Act of Sympathy”, “Highway to Nowhere” and “Mental Ward” were demos from Jeff’s work with is buddy Gary Schutt on his album ‘Sentimetal’ that Jeff sang lead on. “Act” is pure metal, heavy, dark and Jeff sounds great but a lot of echo…again, this is a demo so not fully polished. Same with “Highway” except it is a little more speed metal, some kickass double bass drum, a real killer track. “Mental Ward” comes off feeling like a leftover track from Jeff’s worker with Biker Mice From Mars soundtrack. It has that same campy, cartoony feel to it.

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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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