While out digging in those crates, I came across another 7″ Single, but this one was from a newer artist not one from the 80’s that I normally collect. I really dig Halestorm and not sure how I missed this one. It is a Record Store Day Release back from 2019. The song was “Buzz” off their album 2018 album ‘Vicious’. The song was never officially released as a radio single, but they did do an exclusive release for Record Store Day.
And why do you want to get this when you can just buy the album…well…the B-Side is exclusive to this release. A song called ‘Chemicals’. The song isn’t anywhere else. And to top that off, you get a beautiful Green vinyl to go with it. A really nice little package and one I was glad to pick up.
In my quest to find good homes for 7″ Singles with picture sleeve covers, I came across another Bon Jovi single. This time around it is for the song “Living in Sin” off the mega-seller ‘New Jersey’ and was released on October 7, 1989. Bon Jovi was the king of power ballads and this fit the bill nicely as the song went to #9 on the Billboard Top 40 charts. It was the 5th and final single off the 7X platinum status album which means it sold over 7 million copies in the US alone.
The song was written by Jon Bon Jovi and talks about cohabitating with the person you love out of wedlock, thus the “Living in Sin” part. True love outweighs every thing. Jon doesn’t need a wedding, a preacher, a ring to tell him he loves her and they should be together. He doesn’t need her father telling them it is wrong either. The only thing that matters is that they are together.
My copy of the Single is the standard U.S. release with “Love is War” as the B-Side. The picture sleeve is in pristine condition and a great find to add to my singles collection. I have a ton of Bon Jovi singles which makes sense as millions were sold so there should be some out in the wild for the taking.
“Kinks Shirt” by Matt Nathanson is off his 2013 album, ‘Last of the Great Pretenders’ and in July of that year he released this song as a video and a single. It was one of the fun songs on the album that shows he isn’t all heartbreak and sadness and that sometimes he can be a good mood or at least sound like he is. According to the Promo CD, the UK Single was going to be released on January 13th, 2014, but they scratched through it and said to “focus” on the song on February 10th. It gives a brief history of Matt to help sell him as an artist. What is really cool about this Promo CD is that Discogs does not even list it as an item in Matt’s discography. It has a ton of his other promo CDs, but not this one. I always love it when I find something that is not on Discogs!!
The song was actually inspired by an actual girl that was wearing a Kinks Shirt. You know The Kinks, who doesn’t love The Kinks? No one, that is who. While recording the album, Matt and his producer and band mates would visit this diner quite frequently, I mean like every day for lunch. There was a girl that worked there with tattoos and piercings and nothing like someone that Matt would normally be attracted to maybe, but someone he was obsessed with. Not in a crazy stalker way, but more fantasizing way. He was so mesmerized by her that she inspired this song.
When I was on vacation last Summer, I found a ton of 45 Singles with the Picture Sleeves at a place called House of Vinyl and I ended buying 7 Van Halen 45’s. And we’ve been through all of those so far as seen below…
Now it is time to add a new one to the list from one I found at Mad Jack’s in Matthews, NC. This is another from ‘OU812’ and it is “Finish What Ya Started”. The song was released as a single in September 1988 and it did well going all the way to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Rock Charts. The song was credited to be written by Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, but we all know it was really just Eddie and Sammy. They were doing the “band” thing and crediting everybody and that never seems to end well.
The album was basically finished, but due to lack of sleep one night, Eddie came up with the riff and ran over to his neighbor’s house at 2 in the morning and was begrudgingly let in by Sammy. The two spent the rest of the night finishing the music and after Eddie left, Sammy finished the lyrics which seem to be about someone being unsatisfied because the other person wouldn’t finish the deed…you know what I’m talking about. Someone has a case of blue balls!!
In the batch of singles I found at Repo Records a couple months back, we are now to our fourth single of 6 and second from the band Europe. This one is the fourth single off ‘The Final Countdown’ and is a song that would catch a lot of grief today as the song is “Cherokee”. With today’s over sensitive, my feelings get hurt easily culture, “Cherokee” would probably be frowned upon with a bunch of white guys singing about Native Americans. “Cherokee” was released in November 1987 and didn’t do as well as their other singles, It only went to #72 not getting anywhere close to the Top 40.
The song was written by Joey Tempest. It was inspired by a book the wife of the album producer had. He had read through it and was inspired to write about the plight of the Cherokee nation as the U.S. government relocated them to Oklahoma from their native land of the lower Appalachian Mountains. Over 4,000 died on that march. It was the last song written for the album.
The copy I have is the standard U.S. version with the single being the album version and not the shorter edited version. The B-Side being “Heart of Stone” off the same album. I also have a “demonstration-not for sale” stamp on this one as well, but it is backwards and on the B-Side so not sure what is going on with these. Maybe they were used for Promo purposes…and maybe not.
We are now on to the 2nd single from the group of 6 I purchased a few weeks back. The first was Winger’s debut single for “Madalaine”. This time around we have the fourth and final single from the debut album. The single is for the song “Hungry” which was released in September 1989 a year or so after the albums release. The song didn’t do a well as their other songs only reaching #35 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Chart, but it did break the Billboard Top 100 reaching #85.
The song was written by Kip Winger and Reb Beach and seems to be about craving to be with the woman he loves. When he’s apart it makes him want her even more. He can’t eat, sleep and all he thinks about is being with her. Not at all creepy. The single I have is the standard U.S. release with the B-Side as “Time To Surrender” also from the debut album. Both songs are the album version and have not been edited.
I have been out to some stores and found 6 great picture sleeve singles and all from only 2 bands. First up is Beavis & Butthead’s favorite band to hate, Winger. The song is for the debut single from their debut album. The song is “Madalaine” from their self-titled album Winger. The single was released in May of 1988 a few months prior to the release of the album. The song went to #27 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart and was actually ignored by MTV which is a shocker. It wasn’t until their next single “Seventeen” did the band break on MTV.
The song was written by Kip Winger, Reb Beach and producer Beau Hill. They took a bunch of riffs that Reb had laying around since he was a kid and Kip helped piece them together to make the song. It is obviously about a woman who is just to tough to tame as she is too wild. Originally it was written with a slower tempo and meant to be more ballady, but Beau Hill had the idea of speeding it up and well, he was right. It works really well that way.
My copy says the B-Side is the song “Higher & Higher” which was only available on the CD version of the release. However, my copy is not the public released single. Nope. It is a promo of the song “Madalaine” and that is the song on both sides. The jacket used was the standard single jacket, but the 7″ Vinyl label was printed as promotional copy. My version has the person it was sent to stamped on both sides (or it was the stamp of someone that collected it). Not sure why it is stamped on both sides because you really only need to stamp it once to mark it as yours.
This is the last 7″ Single I found at Mad Jack’s on the last dig I had back earlier in the Summer. This time around it is the song “Strength” by the UK band The Alarm. This was the first single off the album of the same name. The song came out prior to the album release which was in 1985. It reached #40 in the UK but didn’t chart in the U.S. However, I saw the video for this song on MTV and my brother had their prior album, so I was really in to it and in fact, the album ‘Strength’ is a personal favorite of mine.
The song is credited to the whole band which is not normal for them. The song came to Mike Peters in the middle of the night while at a hotel in Newcastle. He and his friend went down to the get his guitar out of the van so he could start writing. The next day during soundcheck, the whole band worked through the song as Mike still didn’t hav the right chords for it. And that is why the whole band got credit.
My copy is the Pinckneyville Pressing from the U.S. Pretty standard. The cool thing about it is the B-Side is a non-album track. The song is called “Majority”. You can now get it on subsequent re-issues of the album, but not back in the day. This was the only place which would’ve made this a prized single to get.
At the May 2022 Record Show in Charlotte, I found a handful of singles and the one we are discussing today is from Queensryche for their single “Empire” from their 1990 album of the same name. The song was the first single and came out in September 1990. The song didn’t chart in the Top 40, but it did go to #22 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. It is the 2nd most played song by the band live…”Eyes of a Stranger” is #1. The song was written by Geoff Tate and Michael Wilton.
The version I have is the standard U.S. Version on 7″ Vinyl and the B-Side is “Scarborough Fair” which was not on the original album but added as a bonus track for latest re-issues of the album. “Empire” is said to be the radio edit of the album version but any changes is virtually unnoticeable.
The song is very political and talks about how much the government spends on law enforcement and how little that amount is compared to military and space exploration. The song itself is about the drug trafficking within the United States and all the related crimes that arise from it. The song believes that it will inevitably lead to the breakdown of civility in American society. I can’t say for sure if that is the case, but today it is still just as bad as it was in 1990 and Society does seem to be imploding at times. The gun violence is definitely on the rise.
The song opens with a massive guitar riff and a very heavy, metallic drum beat. The vibe is foreboding and urgent. Geoff Tate almost speaks the lyrics as he describing the events that result from drug trafficking. When he gets to the chorus his vocals soar and then with “Empire” it turns deep and sinister. Some of the echo effects on his vocals are added fro dramatic effect and are so cool. Musically, the boys give us an industrial sound that is as dark and sad as the lyrics yet it rocks out as the production quality is perfection. There is a break in the song where Geoff speaks out statistics backed by the band with a driving beat that builds and builds until we get to the solo that will blow your mind…okay maybe not, but it is superb. The song might be one of the best they have ever done and there are a quite a few great ones from them.
“Scarborough Fair” is an old traditional English Ballad that dates back generations. It was made famous in modern times thanks to Simon & Garfunkel. Queensryche recorded it back in 1986 and it ended up as the B-Side for “Empire”. Back in 1990, you wanted this single for the reason that this song had been previously unreleased at the time. The song is sad sounding and Geoff sings in a deep dark voice…which doesn’t feel natural. The song sounds sinister and evil with how they are playing. It does build and get a little heavier and Geoff actually hits some higher notes as well. It is a weird song for them and not a favorite of mine, but there is something cool about it.
And there you have it. Another 7″ Single from the collection. Don’t worry…there are more to come. Thanks for stopping by.
At the most recent Record Show in Charlotte back in May, I found a few really cool items. One of them was a Limited Edition Cut-To-Shape Picture Disc for the song “Jet City Woman” by Queensryche. The song was off their 1990 album ‘Empire’ and was one of the best songs on the album. It was the 4th and final single from the album and was released in May 1991. The song was played a lot on MTV and reached #6 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock songs. However, this is not the official single. This was released in the UK in August 1991.
The song was written by Geoff Tate and Chris DeGarmo and the title was taken from their hometown of Seattle which is known as the Jet City. The woman part was Geoff’s first wife who was a flight attendant. The song tells the story about after being out on the road and the longing for the ones you love. The loneliness that is felt without them and you can’t stop thinking about them. You want to get home and be with them, but can’t.
The A-Side is “Jet City Woman” of course. The sound is very industrial at times and very metallic, but overall, still a pop-rock song. Very melodic and Geoff’s vocals are quite stellar. They are slickly produced and the production on the whole song is done very well. There are still progressive metal elements as well and I like the added airplane sound effects to go with the song title. It is very mature sound unlike most bands of the time. Queensryche always sounded like a smarter band then their peers and this goes a long way to proving it.
The B-Side of the single is the title track from ‘Empire’ and it is a live version. I believe it is from the 1991 Wisconsin Show where Operation: Livecrime was recorded. That show was done in May 1991 and released in September of the same year. Now, “Empire” was not on that release as the release was Operation: Mindcrime full album live only. This was one of the other songs played that night and was previously unreleased. Geoff and Chris together live is lethal and these guys slayed it. I miss those two together. I don’t have a video to show you that has the song live. I am really surprised by that I will admit.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this cool Shaped Picture Disc.