October Purchases – Vinyl & CDs

I realized I have been making a lot of purchases and yet not everything makes its way on to the site.  I figured I would do a wrap up each month of all my purchasing I have made even if they made it on the site during the month or even might make it on to the site down the road.

And this month started out with a bang!  A brand new record store opened up in Charlotte, NC called Noble Records.  They opened on October 5th which was a Saturday and because of that I got their bright and early.  Not grand opening 10am early, but I got there before 11am.  I had to take my daughter to her tutoring class at 10 and family comes first…then vinyl…sorry then God, then vinyl!!  Okay, maybe more order is skewed, but you get it.

I found two album I have been wanting and I had to grab them as I don’t seem them that often and one was a first pressing (not the RAGE album).

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Rage Against the Machine ‘Renegades’ and The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East (1st pressing pink label)

I then found two more albums one I for some reason didn’t have in my collection as it is one of the most popular albums of the 70’s and the other is a 12″ Single from Stryper just in time for Christmas.

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Meat Loaf ‘Bat of out Hell’ and Styper’s single “Reason for the Season”

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Stone Temple Pilots – ‘Purple” (25th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) – Album Review

I didn’t jump on board with the first album although it started me leaning in their direction.  It was ‘Purple’ that was “My First Time” experience with Stone Temple Pilots.  When I heard the song “Vasoline”, I was hooked and there was no looking back.  The late, great Scott Weiland was one of the greatest frontmen in Rock and the swagger and charisma he brought to the stage is unmatched by most singers.

The band might have been considered, Grunge, but to me it was more like the rock & roll I grew up loving.  Yes, they had the Grunge elements, but the way these guys played just screamed Rock and that is probably why I connected with them more than the others.  The band consisted of the following members:

  • Scott Weiland – lead vocals
  • Dean DeLeo – guitar
  • Robert DeLeo – bass, backing vocals
  • Eric Kretz – drums

The partnership between the band was simple.  The DeLeo brothers wrote the music and Scott wrote the lyrics.  Musically, the music was heads & shoulders above anything else out there.  Lyrically, the songs were some of the most bizarre yet most fascinating from any bands around this time.  The combination of the two was pure magic.

The original album came out on June 7, 1994,  The 25th Anniversary Edition came out last Friday, October 18th.  Funny enough, it is the exact day that two years earlier I posted my review of the 25th Anniversary Edition of their debut album ‘Core’. Go check out that review when you are done.

What do you get with this Super Deluxe Edition.  It is similar to the ‘Core’ release, but honestly, not quite as much extra to offer.  You get a lot, but the Core set was 4 CDs, Vinyl and a DVD along with a booklet and lithograph.  For ‘Purple’, you get the following:

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You still get a lot.  But before we get to the music, let’s talk a little about the album.  The album itself debuted at #1 thanks to the build up from their first album ‘Core’.  It remained #1 for six weeks and went on to sell over 6 million copies.  The band had become a force to be reckoned with.  The album’s producer was the great Brendan O’Brien who was the driving force for a lot of albums in the 90’s.

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The artwork is quite strange and consists of a very Chinese theme which I am not sure what that has to do with anything in this album.  The cover is a child riding what is called a Qilin which is a mythological creature that is thought to be a good omen of some kind.  Accompanying the child are several fairies.  The album title, ‘Purple’, is depicted by the Chinese characters for the word.  The cover for this set is like a hardback book and is fantastic.  It is embossed which makes it so shiny and pretty.  The back cover is the same as the original with the cake and words saying 12 Gracious Melodies.

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The cover is a gatefold with a picture of the band on one side and the CD’s on the other.  The band picture is actually a record sleeve and holds the LP and the booklet.

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Okay, time for the music.

CD One & Vinyl:

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The first CD and the LP are both the same.  They are the original album remastered in 2019 to bring you a crisp and clear sound that sounds even better than back in the day.  I am not going to go song by song because I have done that already a few years back and you can read that hear at “My First Time” with STP’s ‘Purple’.  If some of what I say above looks familiar when you read it, I borrowed a little from that post.  Why re-create the wheel.

The CD and album both still include the hidden track “My Second Album”.  It is quite funny to listen to and did bring a smile to my face.  The song is done in the manner of a lounge song and is performed by Richard Peterson.  It definitely is a corny little song.

CD Two (Early Versions, Demos & Acoustic):

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The 2nd CD is full of 12 tracks, 11 of which have never been issued before.  The one track that was issued prior is “Dancing Days” which is a Led Zeppelin cover from a tribute album for the band.  I have to admit the collection is a little disappointing as there isn’t as much meat as there was on ‘Core’.  Aside from “Dancing Days”, the only cool addition is the demo of the song “She Knows Me Too Well” which is a Beach Boys cover.  The other nice to have songs are the acoustic recordings from the KROG Acoustic Christmas show in 1994.  You get a wonderful Christmas song called “Christmastime is Here”.

CD Three (Live at New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New Haven, CT, August 23, 1994):

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The biggest treat on the release is the live show from 1994.  It is 17 solid tracks 10 of which from the new album.  The recording sounds stunning.  Musically, the band is on point and sounds tight.  I especially love the guitar sound as Dean is freaking killing it.  Scott’s vocals are a little rough at times, but really that is what makes this recording special.  He sounds untouched.

A couple cool covers are in the set.  The first is “Gypsy Davy” by Scott’s Dad’s favorite artist, Woody Guthrie.  The second is from one of Scott’s idols, David Bowie.  He covers “Andy Warhol” and makes it his own, special song.  And of course, who doesn’t love hearing the songs from the first album.  Such songs as “Crackerman”, “Creep”, “Plush”, “Dead & Bloated” and ending it all with “Sex Type Thing”.

Do you want to see all the tracks?  Ok, then zoom in on this cardboard insert that was actually on the back of the set until I ripped off the plastic wrap.

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And there you have it.  It isn’t as great as the 25th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition of ‘Core’ as I think they didn’t have as much to offer.  Not enough cool unreleased tracks, but the live show is the real gem here.  That will get a ton of listen along with the original album.  Don’t get wrong, this is worth having and any fan who loves this album needs this set.  Sell the old copy you have and put the money towards this and then add a ton of other money as it ain’t cheap. I am listening to the vinyl now and as it the album is ending, I am now at the end of the post.  Perfect timing.  Thanks for stopping by!!

Friday New Releases – October 18th

Another great Friday of releases is upon us.  There aren’t a ton this week, but there are some I am eager to get ahold of.  Those choices will be highlighted in Blue.  This list is mostly rock and metal, but there is one country album and a pop/alternative release as well.  Hopefully you will find something you like.  I know I have.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

  • 810OcozS5IL._SX522_.jpg  Stone Temple Pilots – Purple (25th Anniversary) – (Rhino Entertainment):  I can’t believe it has been 25 years since ‘Purple’ has been released.  That is crazy!!  This was the album that got me in to STP as I hadn’t jumped on the whole 90’s music bandwagon by the time their debut album came out.  I was still strongly entrenched in the 80’s music.  But this one had so much guitar and the swagger of Scott Weiland won me over.  I can’t wait to get this set with all the bonus material…plus it is on CD and Vinyl!!

  • 81ZMllDLXwL._SX522_  Alter Bridge – Walk the Sky – (Napalm Records):  When Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy get together, you know it is going to rock and be amazing and I expect nothing less from this, their 6th album.    This is basically Creed with Myles Kennedy on vocals as the rest of the band, Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips as well as Mark are all from Creed.  What is still cool is that after 15 years, it is still the same 4 guys.  Ok, they are not really Creed I was generalizing, but they are still awesome.

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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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Stone Temple Pilots – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

You have the Big Four in Metal…Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth.  In Grunge, the Big Four were Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots.  At the time, the only one I liked was Stone Temple Pilots.  They were the closest to the old Rock & Roll that I grew up with.  The others were too foreign to me to like.  However, I do like Soundgarden now and Pearl Jam I can tolerate…Nirvana still sucks (I still don’t get the hype for them but that is another story for another time).

Today, we are focusing on Stone Temple Pilots and how their albums rank from my least favorite to the very best one.  Despite all the troubles with the band and lead singer Scott Weiland, they were able to capture a magic that set them apart from most other bands.  Hell, Scott was probably one of the best frontmen to come out of that era or any era for that matter.  His stage presence and charisma were unparalleled and he could command a crowd.  After his passing, a couple other singers came on board including the late Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) and now current lead singer Jeff Gutt.

And let’s not forget the band…Robert DeLeo (bass), Dean DeLeo (guitar) and Eric Kretz (Drums).  Musically, they are the driving force behind the band. They are the constant.  They are why I still listen to this band no matter who fronts.  Their playing is excpetional and Dean’s guitar is freaking awesome.  Some of the best riffs you will hear!

Enough chit chat, let’s get to the reason we are here.  Here are the Stone Temple Pilots albums I rank from Worst to First!!

THE WORST – SHANGRI-LA-DEE-DA (2001):

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The Top Rock Songs of 2018

Welcome to the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2018.  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!

If you missed the Top Rock Albums of 2018 or the Top Albums of 2018 (that were not Rock), just click on the link and go check them out.

It is time to start the list so here we go…

#20 – “Loading Zones” –  Kurt Vile off the album ‘Bottle it In’:  Kurt’s can be about the mundane and anything that troubles him in life. This is about the horrors of trying to park in the city.  It has such a great little beat to it and some great guitar and such a simple subject that yet turns into something amazing.  The video is great as well.

#19 – “Roll Me Under” – Stone Temple Pilots off the album ‘Stone Temple Pilots (2018)’:  I know I did give the album the best review, but I liked this song.  It had the old STP sound, but it was also Jeff Gutt at his best on the album.  Such a heavy bass and guitar sound,  it was just great.

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The Top Rock Albums of 2018

2018 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.  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 2018:

My #1 Album of the Year:

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Reach – The Great Divine: A modern, yet melodic rock album that just grabs hold and won’t let go from beginning to end.  A band I had never heard of prior to this album and I am now wondering where they have been my whole life.  Just a fantastic album with no songs to skip or delete.  Almost pure perfection.  The first album I bought that was new in 2018 and still listen to it today.  With songs like “The Great Divine”, “Nightmare” and “Into Tomorrow” you can see they have the goods.  The production value was great, the music, the vocals, it was all solid and my favorite album of the year!!  Give it a try (and check out my original review by clicking the album title).

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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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Stone Temple Pilots – ‘Stone Temple Pilots’ (2018) – Album Review

Stone Temple Pilots are back with a brand new album and a brand new singer.  As you probably already know the story, their original lead singer was one of the most iconic lead singers of any band, Scott Weiland.  Scott had a lot of troubles with addiction and was in and out of the band several times.  He was replaced with Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, but Chester left to focus solely on his original band.  Since this time, both singers have passed away and will never rejoin the band.

Now STP has a decision to make.  Do they continue as a band?  The answer to that is obviously YES or I wouldn’t be doing a review of their new album.  Do they get a new lead singer that is completely their own person and nothing like the previous singer or do they get one that sounds just like Scott Weiland?  The answer to that will come later, but first let me explain why I asked that question myself.

In history, bands have always replaced lead singers.  There are two types of replacements..1) The singer that sounds nothing like the original singer and 2) the singer that sounds just like the old lead singer.  Depending on which one you choose can have a different impact on the band.  I think throughout history we have seen both work, however, for me there is only one solution.

Let’s look at the first, the new singer sounds nothing like the original singer.  There are many examples of that happening and quite successfully…Deep Purple has done it, Black Sabbath, Rainbow and even Van Halen.  Let’s look at Van Halen…with David Lee Roth (the original singer) and Sammy Hager (the replacement) were totally polar opposite singers and styles.  However, each band  was extremely successful in their own right.  Why you might ask? Because the band sound was still Van Halen and the songs were great.  Also, there was no real comparison between the two.  It was really two different bands that just happened to have the same name.  I personally like both versions (I am little more partial to David’s era just because I liked that sound a little better).

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