In my digging, whether vinyl or cd, I like to find things I hadn’t seen before and this was one of those items. It was a Limited Edition CD Single from Creed for their song “With Arms Wide Open”. The release was to help promote and fund the With Arms Wide Open Foundation that was started by the band. $3 from the sale of each single went to the Foundation.
The CD has 3 separate versions of the song. It has the Strings Version, the Acoustic Version and the Rock Version. There is also a video of the song as well. So if you like the song, you get a nice variety of versions for the song and that usually makes every collector happy. I will be honest, vocally each version of this song is feel exactly the same. The only difference is they layered in strings for the String Version and acoustic guitars for the Acoustic Version. The Rock Version has all instruments at full force but is around seconds shorter.
What I loved about the CD single is the fact it was transparent. Yes, you get a picture disc as well with the crossed hands of the father and child, but you can see right through the disc. I don’t think I’ve seen one like that before so I had to grab it. And I do like Scott Stapp so there was that as well.
April was a solid month of purchases and some great finds. I went digging at an antique mall and cleaned up, I found a few things on ebay and discogs I needed for something special and then I found a few things that were especially cool.
First up, we will go with the especially cool things. I am a big fan of the Train album ‘Drops of Jupiter’ for many reasons. One, it is a really great album! Two, my brother-in-law was the engineer on that album. So when the 20th Anniversary Edition popped up online, I had to grab as I don’t think it had ever been issued on vinyl prior which means I didn’t have it. It is a beauty…
The next was a Michael Sweet album. Stryper released an album years ago called ‘Reborn’ which was the band’s comeback album. The album was originally done as a Michael Sweet solo album, but it was decided to redo it for the band. Well, now we get the original Michael Sweet solo album the way it was intended. This one is called “Reborn Again” and is on a fiery red vinyl and is autographed (on the back) by Michael Sweet…SWEET!!!
Scott Stapp…people either like him or they don’t. Me, I like him. Always have. I didn’t care about the haters that poured out of the woodworks when Creed made it big. Did he deserve the hate? Yeah, he probably did, but there was something about that voice that I really enjoyed. As a result, I have followed up over the last 20 + years with Creed, his solo work and the one album with Art of Anarchy. Not every album is the best and not every song is the best, but there is so much there to enjoy that I am fan.
I finally got to see him live back in 2019. You remember live shows right? I know it has been awhile, but we will get back there soon enough. He performed his solo songs and a bunch of Creed tracks and I had second row so it was pretty awesome. Scott has had his struggles over the years with addiction and mental issues, but he has seem to come out the other side better and stronger and I give him props for that. Some people don’t make it to the other side.
With all that being said, I am going to rank his albums from I find to be the worst all the way to the first…his best album. People are going to disagree with me I am sure, and that is great because music is subjective. We like what we like so keep that in mind. It is okay to disagree. Now, go forth and enjoy the Scott Stapp album ranking.
THE WORST – SCOTT STAPP – ‘THE GREAT DIVIDE’ (2005):
It has been over a year now since I have seen a live show and it could be another year before I get to see another one. I started thinking back on all the shows I have seen and the memories came flooding back. Now back some time last year, the LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or Less did a live stream on the Nigel Tufnel Top 10 Favorite Live Shows of all time. Each guests gave a list of their 11 favorite shows and I had a list for the show. I thought why not spell it out here for everyone to read in all its glory and add some pictures and extra information, if I have any. I hope you enjoy.
11. Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls Tour (1987):
November 22, 1987 at the Omni in Atlanta, GA. The opening act was Guns N Roses. The lineup alone makes it a favorite but what happened at the show is why it is on the list. It was not a good show at all which is why it is down at 11. It is only on the list for what happened at the show. During GNR’s set, Axl jumps off stage at about the 2nd song to grab a security guard who pushed his friend. Axl is held backstage while the band plays a couple songs (“Communication Breakdown” and “Honky Tonk Women”) with one of their roadies and that was all got from them. Motley delayed coming on and then put in a half-ass show and left early in protest of Axl’s arrest (at least this is the rumor we heard). It pissed me off so much I stopped listening to both bands for awhile. Ticket prices at the time were only $17.50.
Welcome to the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2019. These songs are my favorite songs of the year and were not necessarily played on the radio or even shot up the charts. They just moved me in some way good or bad!
#20 -“Chase the Feeling (feat. Chris Cester)” by Wolfmother – Single:
No album, just a single and anything they put out will probably end up on my list. It is full of the distorted guitar sound that is reminiscent of Wolfmother and don’t forget that voice os Andrew Stockdale. The drum fills are great and that groove keeps the song driving forward. I hope this is a sign of things to come.
#19 – “All Animal” by Through Fire off the album ‘All Animal’:
I like it loud and I like it heavy at times and this does both. Pounding drums, blistering guitars and vocals that can scream it out or sing with such great melodies. A modern rock sound that rips it from the opening notes until the very end. Perfect for driving down the road at 100mph as it wakes up the beast in you!!
2019 was another year with some great releases and way too many to get through them all so I am sure I missed a number of great albums and if you look around the web, there will be tons of Top Album lists you can get a pretty good idea of what you should check out in case you missed any of these.
This list will be my favorite “Rock” albums of the year. All other types of music will be for a later post. I am going to leave this one to my favorite genre. It is a broad genre, but these are the albums that I consider to be ROCK!!
Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!! These are not the most popular or trendy albums. You won’t find the new Tool album here because I don’t like them and I never had any desire to hear it. So, they won’t even be rates as worst album because I didn’t listen to it. These are the albums that I connected with during the year and I kept coming back to again and again. And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2019:
#10 – Michael Sweet – Ten
Michael Sweet’s 10th solo studio album brings us a very Stryper sounding album, but one that takes us back to the early days of Yellow & Back Attack and To Hell With the Devil which in my opinion is a very good thing. He brings a special guest on each song which you would think would make the album a little disjointed, but it works on so many levels. The album rocks out from beginning to end!
This was a show I was really eager to see. I became I real fan with Scott Stapp’s 2nd solo album ‘Proof of Life’ and when he released his third solo album ‘The Space Between the Shadows’ and announced a tour, I was all over it. I got on line and bought 2 tickets and we were able to get 2nd Row. And to top it off, the show was at the McGlohon Theater in Charlotte which is a really small venue and it was an old church. A great spot for a show.
The show started at 7:30 and we ended up getting there around 7:00 which was early….at least I thought it was. There weren’t too many people there, so I thought I had the time wrong. I mean it was sparse. When the opening act Sunflower Dead came on, the crowd was pretty thin. I give the band some credit as the crowd just sat there like a bump on a log and these guys were up there giving it their all. Sunflower Dead is a Metal band from California who used to wear make-up and costumes but now have a more normal look, you could say.
They were pretty great. Heck, my wife enjoyed it and that is saying something. The lead singer, Michael Del Pizzo, was a beast on stage. We were so close and when he would come to the end of the stage, he would look right at you and give you this look. I swear I thought he was going to jump down and kick my ass (I’ll admit, he would have won). And the coolest thing, he played the accordion. Yes, that is right. They are an Accordion metal band. Hell to the Yeah!!!
Scott Stapp, the man everyone seems to love to hate. From Creed to his solo work, he gets no respect which is an utter shame as I think people miss the beauty in his songs and his voice. The man has been at the top of the world when Creed was at its heights and he has been at rock bottom with his public battles with bi-polar disorder and addiction. This album is reminder of what he has been through and badge of how far he has come.
His 2013 album, ‘Proof of Life’, is one of my favorite albums and my favorite of his so when I heard about his third solo album, I was really excited. And did the album live up to expectations, well, lets check it out and see.
The vinyl is a single LP which has all the 12 songs you can get in Apple Music or iTunes. The last 2 being listed as bonus tracks. Being that many songs on one piece of vinyl, the sound is still fantastic, crisp and clear.
The album jacket is a gatefold and inside the gatefold you get all the lyrics to each song, his thank you list and all the credits on the album. It is nice to be actually able to read the lyrics because sometimes they get jammed on one side of the album sleeve and they are too hard to read.
Things might finally start heating up. No, not the weather it has been pretty damn hot for awhile. I am talking about new releases. What has felt as a pretty lackluster year so far in new releases, maybe it is time for some good ones to start coming out. I have 2 this week, one of which is on pre-order and the vinyl should be there when I get home. My choices this week are marked in Blue. Let me know what you want to hear or if I missed anything. Have a great weekend!!!
Scott Stapp – The Space Between the Shadows – (Napalm Records): The former lead singer of Creed and the very short stint with Art of Anarchy, Scott comes back with his third solo album. It has been 6 years since the sensational ‘Proof of Life’, so high expectations for me as that is a favorite. I have the vinyl on order and can’t wait to drop the needle. The opening single, “Purpose of Pain” is great so this should be another homerun.
Through Fire – All Animal – (Sumerian Records): Justin McCain, lead singer of Emphatic, is on his second band and second album with Through Fire’s new album ‘All Animal’. The first was a heavy dose of rock that is right up my alley. Looking for more of the same and will be cranking this one up pretty damn loud!!
Scott Stapp is back and he is back with a vengeance. Scott is set to deliver his first solo album in 6 years since the sensational ‘Proof of Life’ back in 2013 which I think is his best album he has ever done. So for me, anticipation is high for the new album called ‘The Space Between The Shadows” to be released in July.
As it has been well publicized, he had a meltdown back in 2014 as he suffers from addiction, depression and bi-polar disorder. Scott is sober now and seems to be ready to take on the world again. The first single from that album is “Purpose of Pain”. It is a hard rocking, melodic song that seems to tackle Scott’s struggle with the pain he feels. It has heavy guitars and for me picks up where he left off with the last album.
Scott’s songs really shine when they are personal and this one is no different. The darker tone and theme are a big draw for me. You can feel his pain and the emotion in him which adds so much texture to it. If this any indication of what is to come, I can’t wait!!
“‘Purpose For Pain’ is about seeking a higher meaning, a spiritual mentality when dealing with our struggles and life’s painful moments,” says Scott. “There are unexplainable, dark times that everyone goes through, and that pain is real. If we can dig deep and hold on to hope during the most difficult situations, believing there is a purpose waiting for us on the others side, we can find meaning and clarity that gives us the strength to keep fighting.”