You, my reader, are going to pick an album for me to review each month. It is really simple…first, I will give you 5 albums to choose from and second, you will tell me which one of those you would like to see reviewed on the site. See…simple! Now, if you want to cast more than one vote, comment on the Twitter and Facebook post and you could get up to 3 votes on your favorite pick.
The choices are simple, I pick 5 albums and lately I’ve been going on a loose theme. This time the theme isn’t loose, it is pretty straight-forward. We are going with 5 albums I have in my collection that are Rock Candy Re-Issues. What are the 5 albums you ask? I have them right here…
Diving for Pearls – ‘Diving for Pearls’(1989)
Blue Murder – ‘Blue Murder’(1989)
Saigon Kick – ‘Saigon Kick’ (1991)
RTZ – ‘Return to Zero’ (1991)
The Scream – ‘Let It Scream’ (1991)
Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in April, I will post a review of the album that gets the most votes. You have one week to decide and from there I will start listening to the album and do a review.
For my last You Pick It vote, I had a tie between Queensryche’s ‘Hear in the Now Frontier’ and with Saigon Kick’s ‘The Lizard’. Last week reviewed Queensryche and this week, as promised, we have Saigon Kick. Mike Ladano from MikeLadano.com agreed to tag team with me here and he is also reviewing this album so go check it out as it came out today as well. Go to Mike’s Lizard Review here.
Saigon Kick had a problem in 1992. Mis-labeling was their problem. Due to their massive power ballad hit, “Love is On the Way”, they got dumped in to the 80’s Glam Rock scene (or Hair Metal) when in fact, they were not even close to anything that sounded like that. People who bought this thinking it was the next Danger Danger, Trixter or maybe even Bon Jovi were surprised at what they heard. They weren’t Grunge either so they were a band that had no real marketable identity at the time. They were alternative, but to melodic for them and not metal enough for the glam. What a weird place to be. The timing sucked for them as well with the Glam scene dying at an alarmingly fast rate and Grunge taking over, just where did this band fit in the mold.
Saigon Kick’s sophomore album, ‘The Lizard’, was a diverse collection of rock songs that defied classification. The songs were so well crafted, so mature and unlike anything else at the time. The closest band I would say would be Extreme as they were also had a diverse, eclectic set of songs and because of their ballads also got lumped in to the Hair scene, unfairly as well I might add. The band was Matt Kramer (Vocals), Jason Bieler (Guitar, keyboard), Tom DeFile (Bass) and Phil Varone Drums). The bands second album saw Jason step up and produce the album and do most of the heavy lifting with the songwriting as he wrote all the music and had his hand in all but three of the songs on the lyrics. The album was released on June 2, 1992 and sold well, going to #1 on the Heatseekers Album Chart and #80 on the Billboard 200 chart. It did get certified Gold selling over 500,000 copies some time around 1996 though.
I was a fan of that ballad I mentioned earlier, but back in the day, I didn’t buy this album. I didn’t buy it until last year after I saw Jeff Scott Soto and Jason Bieler in concert together. They played mostly Saigon Kick songs and I had forgotten how great those songs were so I ran out and bought the band’s first three albums off Rock Candy. This version of the album has massive liner notes all new for this reissue and a bonus track. To top it off, thanks to the clout of The LeBrain Train show, I was able to snag Jason Bieler for an interview and Mike Ladano and I interviewed him for that show. It was a lot of fun and great diving in to his career.