Stone Temple Pilots – ‘Live 2018’ – Revised Album Review

Is 4% a lot?  If someone was to give you 4% less of something, are you really missing out?  For the most part, that answer would be…No!  Well, the answer changes when it comes to music. If you were to listen to an album that was playing 4% slower and you asked that question, my answer would be…Yes, 4% makes a huge difference.  And such is the case for the Stone Temple Pilot’s album ‘Live 2018’.

What am I talking about?  For Record Store Day 2018, the one on Black Friday, Stone Temple Pilots released a special edition, 3-D, live album.  The music wasn’t 3-D, the album cover was. There was a manufacturing error with the vinyl that caused the speed of the album to be 96% of the actual speed.  Only a 4% difference that made a world of difference when listening to the music.

In my original review of Stone Temple Pilots – Live 2018 review, I mentioned if my opinion of the album was changed when (and if) I received the replacement copy, I would do another review…and here we are. The original, 96% speed, actually received a 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars…what will the corrected vinyl receive?  We will see shortly.

The Replacement copy arrived and it took about 3-4 months after I contacted them to get a replacement which makes sense since albums need about a 3 month window to be made.  The copy arrived and it was in a very simple, solid white cardboard sleeve.  The dust cover was the same as the original version and the album was also the same in the that beautiful translucent, red vinyl.

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Generation X – “Your Generation” 7″ Record Store Day Release – Single Review (The Billy Idol Series)

This is the last in the Billy Idol Series.  I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have in writing it.  There could be one more in the series if I get the Generation X Deluxe Set that was just released, but I have not grabbed a hold of yet.  When I get it, I will do a review of it, but for now, we will end the series with this beauty right here.  I started with a Generation X release and I will end with one as well.

For Record Store Day 2019, Generation X released a special 7″ Single of the band’s debut song “Your Generation”.  The song is not the original version, but the Winstanley Mix which is done in conjunction with the release of a Deluxe Edition of the band’s debut album.  This remix is not on the box set, but in addition to and a must grab for Generation X fans.

The original song was released as a single in 1977, however, it did not show up on the debut album.  It wasn’t until the 2002 re-issue of the debut that this song saw new light.  The B-Side of this single  is “Trying for Kicks” which was also on the 2002 re-issue and not used for the original album.

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The 7″ Single release was on red vinyl and is absolutely beautiful and a nice add to the collection.

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Billy Idol – “BFI Live” – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

On November 25th, 2016, Black Friday or another Record Store Day, Billy Idol released a special edition 3 LP vinyl Live Album!!  The release were highlights from his 2014-2015 Kings & Queens of the Underground Tour.  I say it is highlights because the songs are from various different shows from around the world and not one full show.  I am sure he went and grabbed the best versions of each song.

The album was limited to only 2000 copies, each hand-numbered and exclusively on vinyl as the only physical release. The album is available digitally as well (which also comes with the Vinyl version.  It is a beautiful set and the sound is amazing.  Here’s the only problem.  I was unable to snag a copy during its initial release.  I am keeping a watchful eye on eBay and Discogs to find a reasonably priced one for sell and then I will grab it.  So, this review is really just a review of the digital release.

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BFI?  What does that stand for?  I think it is Billy “Fucking” Idol.  I also think BFI is the name of his label as well.  Whatever it stands for, BFI Live is fantastic.  The sound quality of each recording is crisp, clear and loud!  Was it cleaned up in the studio…probably, but who cares.  It is still live for the most part and that is all that matters.  It captures the essence fo a Billy performance and that is all you really want anyway.  Okay, I guess it is missing a little of the roughness that happens during live shows so that might be the only negative.

The release has 16 tracks from 10 different cities including Houston, Vienna, Munich, Atlanta and even Council Bluffs (wherever that is).  The setlist is greatest hits set live basically.  It is everything you would want to hear and expect to hear at a Billy show.

He does 3 songs off the latest album and they are “Postcards from the Past”, “Can’t Break Me Down” and “Save Me Now”.  Two of the first three songs are off the new album which is smart as people tend to go to the bathroom or get a beer (or both) when a song comes on they don’t really know.  When the show opens up, the crowd is so energized, that isn’t going to happen.

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It is a high energy show and Billy and Steve Steven show no signs of slowing down.  The songs are kept pretty much to their original format with the exception of a few lyric changes such as “LA Woman” (the Doors cover) being changed to “Portland Woman” and Billy asking “Nashville to Dance” on “Dancing With Myself”.  Billy and the crowd seem to be having a wonderful time.

Steve Stevens sounds really great with his guitar work especially on Flesh for Fantasy and the one song I didn’t know when looking at the track listing. It was “Dementia” which turned out to be a wonderful Steve Stevens guitar solo.  I didn’t know guitar solos actually had names other than “Guitar Solo”. Seriously though, the song is actually off Steve’s solo album “Flamenco a Go-Go” from 2000.  Kinda nice Billy let him highlight one of his own songs.

The songs cover most of Billy’s career with even a song from his Generation X days, “Ready Steady Go” which Billy seems to love to still play and Steve adds a whole new magic to it with his playing.  You also get the story behind the song “Sweet Sixteen” which Billy tells with such enthusiasm.  Before that story, a woman screams “I Love You!!!” and immediately Billy responds back “I Love Me Too!  That makes two of us”…it was a very funny moment I am glad they left in.

And let’s talk about how he ends this album.  The album ends with 3 of his most iconic songs and I could imagine the crowd going nuts and loving everything about it.  He ends with “Rebel Yell”, “White Wedding” and “Mony, Mony”…what an amazing way to go out.

All-in-all, this is a hell of a live set and since Billy has only released one other live album (VH1 Storytellers), I will take what I can get.  I loved this set and I am eager to go out and find the physical copy after listening to this.  With 16 songs and 1 hour and 40 minutes of music…it is simply wonderful.  I will give this a 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars and only deducting because it is too clean…I mean I don’t think Billy misses too many notes and I don’t think that is possible (I have never seen him live so can’t say for sure).  If you are out and about and come across it (somehow), grab it.  You won’t be disappointed.

If you want to check out the other reviews I have done so far for the Billy Idol Series, click the links below:

  1. Generation X – ‘Generation X’
  2. Generation X – ‘Valley of the Dolls’
  3. Gen X – ‘Kiss Me Deadly’
  4. Generation X – ‘The BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 1978’
  5. Billy Idol – Don’t Stop E.P.
  6. Billy Idol – Billy Idol
  7. Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
  8. Billy Idol – Whiplash Smile
  9. Billy Idol – Vital Idol
  10. Billy Idol – Charmed Life
  11. Billy Idol – Cyberpunk
  12. Billy Idol – “Speed” (song from the Speed Soundtrack)
  13. Generation X – K.M.D. Sweet Revenge
  14. Billy Idol – VH1 Storytellers (Live)
  15. Billy Idol – Devil’s Playground
  16. Billy Idol – Happy Holidays
  17. Billy Idol – The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself
  18. Billy Idol – Kings & Queens of the Underground
  19. Billy Idol – BFI Live (#RSD 2019)
  20. Billy Idol – Revitalized
  21. Generation X – Your Generation (7″ Record Store Day Release)
  22. Billy Idol – The Albums Ranked From Worst to First

Up next will be Billy Idol’s ‘Revitalized’.

The Alarm – Strength Live ’85 (RSD) – Album Review

For Record Store Day April 13, 2019, The Alarm released a live album in support of their 1985 album ‘Strength’.  It was a previously unreleased show recorded at the Boston Orpheum Theatre on November 9th, 1985.  Since ‘Strength’ is one of my favorite albums, this was quickly added to the albums I needed to grab on RSD.

The album has 20 songs, of which, 16 have never been released before (officially). There have been bootlegs of the show, but none with the actual mixed recording which was done about a month after the show by Nigel Luby.  The sound is untouched and no overdubs.  It is as it was back in the day.  You can hear the rawness, the crowd and you know it is truly live.  It is fantastic.

With only 2 albums out at this time, the band played a ton of songs from both ‘Declaration’ and ‘Strength’ (which hadn’t been out long) and some you hadn’t heard before.  Songs like “Majority” and “The Chant Has Just Begun” were not on the studio albums, but later released as bonus tracks on deluxe editions.  You get to hear them live here before ever seeing the light day.

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Turntables & Vinyl #17 – The Thanksgiving Collection

For Thanksgiving, we always travel to Atlanta to visit family and celebrate what we are ‘thankful’ for and just enjoy being around people we love.  And two things happened this year that involved vinyl.  The first was Black Friday Record Store Day and the second was that a family member brought up they have a collection of vinyl they have sitting around.  Anything that involves music or vinyl is a good time for me.

First off, let’s talk about the Black Friday Record Store Day.  Friday morning came and everyone was a little tired from eating too much the night before and it was a slow start to the day.  My sister and brother-in-law were kind enough to make us breakfast and I couldn’t refuse.  Now this started at about 8 or so in the morning.  The one record store that was fairly close to my sister (20-25 minute drive) was going to open at 10am so I felt I was still good on time.

Breakfast didn’t actually get ready until closer to 9am and now I was getting worried. I didn’t want to be rude and skip out on breakfast, so I decided that it was more important to sit with the family and enjoy what was a very yummy breakfast rather than get some exclusive limited edition vinyl’s that would bring me hours and hours of enjoyment.  And I was right.

My daughter and I eventually got on the road and made it to the record store, Sweet Melissa’s Records at about 9:50 which was 10 minutes prior to opening.  And there was no line!!!  That is right…NO LINE!!!  I was so excited.  We got a parking space right in front of the store and couldn’t be happier.  We get out of the car and there was a lady at the door coming out and we asked if they were open and she said Yes, come on in.  Then she added, we got bored and opened early!  Early????  Red Alert….Early?? Danger Will Robinson, Danger!!

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Stone Temple Pilots – Live 2018 – Album Review

For Record Store Day on Black Friday of 2018, I was able to pick up the new Stone Temple Pilots Live album simply called Live 2018.  I have been a fan of STP for years and was happy to hear they were getting a new singer and were going to continue despite the death of former lead singer, the great Scott Weiland.  The new singer, Jeff Gutt seemed like a good choice and their new album earlier this year wasn’t bad…wasn’t great either, but wasn’t bad (see review here).

When I heard they were doing a Live album for Record Store Day, I was excited and it was one I wanted to get to see how Jeff does live..  The track listing was only 10 songs, but they are a great 11 songs with 2 from the new album and the rest being STP classics.  The album cover was cool as it was rendered in 3-D and the album came with 3-D glassed

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And the back cover of course was in 3-D as well which is why it is a little blurry.

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The Who – ‘ The Kids Are Alright’ – Album Spotlight

The Who released a Record Store Day Exclusive for the April 2018 edition of the event.  The album was ‘The Kids Are Alright’ and the release was a double LP, colored vinyl edition.  And a nice set it was.  This is an album spotlight and not a review as this is The Who and I don’t know if I can add anything new to the conversation, so I am just going to talk about this particular release and what I like and don’t like about it.

First up, what do I like about this release?

Well, there is quite a lot actually.  The sound for starters.  The quality of the sound coming out of the speakers for this album are sensational. It sounds so crisp and clear and just begs to be cranked up so loud the walls shake and with an opening song like “My Generation”, how could you not oblige.

I mentioned that it was a double LP and colored vinyl and it is just that.  I love the red & blue colors and it feels like a 3rd LP would be good with a white color to complete the Union Jack color scheme, but sadly only 2.

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The track listing is great as well.  It has the same 17 tracks as the original and they have been remastered beautifully.  What are the 17 tracks?  Easy, here are they are…

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Def Leppard – Live at Abbey Road Studios E.P. (2018 #RSD) – Album Review

For the third time in as many years, Def Leppard took part on Record Store Day.  In 2016, the did a picture disc of the self-titled album and last year they re-released their original EP release on vinyl, The Def Leppard EP.  For 2018, we are given another EP, but this time it is 3 songs recorded live at Abbey Road Studios on May 8, 2008.

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What does the Def Leppard press release say about this release, well I will tell you…

The retro cover art is similar to the Def Leppard EP and features the large logo from the 1980 ‘On Through The Night’ album and ‘Hello America’ single. Also included is the street sign from the studios in North West London and the same red stamp title seen on ‘The Lost Session’ iTunes EP from January.

The band recorded a session at the legendary London studios on 8th May 2008 when promoting the ‘Songs From The Sparkle Lounge’ album. Using the same room The Beatles used to record most of their biggest albums in the 1960s.

This was filmed for the UK TV show ‘Live From Abbey Road’ which was broadcast on More4 TV on 1st August 2008 and featured three songs – ‘Rocket’, ‘Rock On’ and ‘C’mon C’mon’

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Turntables & Vinyl #14 – #RSD 2018

Record Store Day is upon us.  It is April 21st, 2018 and I can’t believe I stood in line to get vinyl in 40ºF temperature.  It could be worse, it could be freezing & raining.  Thankfully, it was absolutely beautiful and sunny…just cold.

My daughter and I were tackling it again this year.  This time my daughter had something in mind she wanted.  I called the Record Store on Friday and asked if they had the album she wanted and he said he didn’t see it.  So, we made a plan to divide and conquer.  I asked my daughter to call a friend to see if they were stupid enough to stand outside with her at Lunchbox Records while I stood in line at Repo Records 5 minutes down the road.

We arrived at 7am (which means we left the house at 6:15am since it is a 45 minute drive to the record stores – we live in the boonies).  We decided on 7am since last year we arrived at 8am and the store lines were awful (except at Repo).  I get my daughter and her friend over to Lunchbox right at 7am and the line is not that long.  They jump out and get in line and I head over to the other store.

Repo Records line was shorter than Lunchbox and so I jumped in line.  Now the 2 hour wait since the stores didn’t open until 9am.  After chatting with everyone around me and everyone discussing what they were there for and what bands they liked and concerts they had seen, the doors opened.  The time flew by.  That was an enjoyable 2 hours…wait…it hadn’t been 2 hours.  The store opened a little early at 8:40am.  There is a God!! (yes, there truly is but that is another discussion).

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David Bowie – Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles ’74) – #RSD

One of my main goals on Record Store Day on April 22nd was to obtain a copy of the David Bowie album ‘Cracked Actor’.  Thankfully, I succeeded.  It fast became one of my favorite LPs I have in my ever growing collection.

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The year was 1974, David Bowie was king and touring supporting the Diamond Dog album. The album was recorded live at Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles on September 5th, 1974.  The Theatre only sat around 5,000 so it was a nice intimate setting and quite small to what David was able to fill later in his career.

Let’s first talk about the packaging of the record.  It is a very nice, high quality, high glossed album cover.  So high glossed, I couldn’t avoid being seen in the cover as I was taking pictures.  I tried so many angles.

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