Michael Sweet – ‘Michael Sweet’ (1994) – Album Review

By the early 90’s Stryper was in a bit of turmoil.  Their last studio album didn’t do well mainly due to the band abandoning their yellow/black theme and moving away from their Christian roots.  For the record, the album was called ‘Against the Law’ and I think it is one of their best albums…but what do I know.  They released a greatest hits album with a couple new songs, but Michael Sweet, the lead singer, was unhappy with the musical direction and decided to leave the band for a solo career.  This was February 1992.  Stryper as we knew it were done (at least at this point in time, we know better now, but that is another story).

Michael recorded an E.P. called ‘Unstryped’ that was supposedly songs that were originally recorded for Stryper.  That disc didn’t see the light of day until 1999 though.  In the meantime, he went on to record his first full length solo album simply called Michael Sweet.  Now, with the re-release of the album on vinyl, the album now seems to be called ‘1994’…sorry but it is ‘Michael Sweet’…that is the title.  Here is the original album cover…

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The album brought Michael back to singing Christian based songs again and he kept to the fashion of what Stryper was originally.  There is no denying that is Michael when you here the vocals as his voice is unmistakeable.  When this was released in 1994, the musical landscape had changed significantly and my musical habits were not what they used to be.  I wasn’t totally in to the whole Grunge sound and my musical offerings at this time were limited.  When I discovered this was out, I ran to my local Christian book store and grabbed a copy.

Continue reading “Michael Sweet – ‘Michael Sweet’ (1994) – Album Review”

What to Expect for Music in 2020?

2020 is upon us and it is always fun anticipating what new albums are and will come out in the year.  There are quite a few we already know about, but some haven’t been officially announced or even a date set yet.  From what I have gathered around the internet, here are the bands that should have new albums out in 2020, but no dates announced yet. The ones I would give a try (and my kids) will be highlighted in Blue.  The ones with Dates Announced are at the bottom of this post.  The list is building up nicely!!

  • Ace Frehley – Origins, Vol. 2
  • Alicia Keys – A.L.I.C.I.A.
  • Angels & Airwaves
  • Bon Jovi
  • Bush – The Mind Plays Tricks On You
  • Busta Rhymes
  • Cardi B – Tiger Woods
  • A Day to Remember – You’re Welcome
  • Deep Purple
  • Deftones
  • Dixie Chicks – Gaslighter
  • Dokken
  • The Doobie Brothers
  • Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
  • Evanescence
  • FM
  • Greta Van Fleet
  • Harem Scarem
  • Iron Maiden (rumor)
  • J. Cole – The Fall Off
  • Jeff Scott Soto
  • Kid Cudi – Entergalactic
  • Lana Del Rey – White Hot Forever
  • Megadeth
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Niall Horan
  • One Desire
  • OneRepublic
  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Pearl Jam
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Royal Blood
  • Sam Smith
  • Sanctuary
  • Scorpions
  • Skid Row
  • Static-X – Project Regeneration
  • Steven Wilson
  • Stryper
  • The Airborne Toxic Event
  • The Cure
  • The Killers
  • The Offspring
  • Winger

Continue reading “What to Expect for Music in 2020?”

Merry Christmas: Stryper – “Reason For the Season”

I’m sitting here on this long, cold, winter night with a glass of wine in my hand and some crackers on a plate, contemplating Christmas and what it is all about.

What?  I am sorry, what did you say?

I’m missing cheese to go with my wine and crackers?

No, I am afraid you are mistaken, I have plenty of cheese as I am sitting here listening to Stryper’s Christmas song “Reason for the Season” and you can’t get any more cheesy than that song.

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Lyrically, the song is really awful…yet it is so bad that it is actually wonderful.  You can’t help but love it! Really!  If that isn’t enough, you get a “short” version and a “long” version. Wow!!  Because once truly isn’t enough.

Continue reading “Merry Christmas: Stryper – “Reason For the Season””

November Purchases – Vinyl

First off, November does not have the amount of Purchases as October had as October was an anomaly…which I actually bought the album “Anomaly” by Ace Frehley last month so it was a double anomaly, if that is possible.  November was a more normal month of purchases.  And I am thankful for that. I am thankful for a lot of things.  Oh, and by the way…Happy Thanksgiving!!

I started off the month going back to Noble Records over in Matthews, NC.  They have been open for two months and I have been twice.  I think a regular monthly stop is what I should do and is what I am going to do.  As usual with Noble (even on his Pop-Up stores), I always walk away with some fantastic stuff and this trip was no different. This time, I only walked away with 3 Vinyl and they are great stuff.  They are all 80’s releases and actual 80’s vinyl, not re-issues.  And there are NO TURKEYS in this bunch. (Sorry bad Thanksgiving joke!!!)

First up is the debut album from the band Twisted Sister.  The album is ‘Under the Blade’ and it is the Italian release of the album by Secret Records.  It is also the original mix of the album and not the re-mixed version Atlantic Records released which I didn’t realize when I bought so thank’s to Scott at HMO for that information.

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The 2nd LP was the debut from the band Skid Row simply called Skid Row.  You know this one. It has “Piece of Me”, “I Remember You”, “18 and Life” as well as “Youth Gone Wild”.  It is a beast of a debut and it isn’t a first pressing, but it is the Columbia House Record Club version.  Remember that, for just $.01 you get like a bajillion albums if you buy 500 within two years…something like that.  It is mint shape and still has the plastic wrapper on it.

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The last one from Noble is Europe’s ‘Final Countdown’ album.  I am so sick of the song “Final Countdown”, that I had put off buying this one for years.  Well, Noble had one in one of the best shapes I have seen and at a decent price.  Also, still in the plastic wrapping.  So, I finally bit the bullet and added to the collection.  I am up to 5 vinyl releases for Europe and still a few more to go.

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Next up is one I finally grabbed from my WishList on Amazon.  I keep a list of albums I am looking to obtain and if the price ever gets right, I grab it.  This one I grabbed because it is a new release and it fell below my $15 threshold.  It actually wound up being only $14 for a 2LP set.  It is not my favorite Billy Idol album which is why I was waiting to grab it at the right price. It is his latest Re-Mix album Re-Vitalized.  I needed it to help complete my Billy Idol collection.  Still need a few more though before I am done.

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And then next up was a Record Show at the Fillmore here in Charlotte…at least I thought it was a record show.  It turns out it was market for mostly vintage clothing and jewelry.  Dang it!  I saw it advertised by Hardy Boy Records and Comics who have a shop over in Mint Hill so I thought it was going to be this huge record show. Wrong.  However, I wasn’t disappointed as I picked up a ton of stuff from the Hardy Boy’s booth as he never disappoints. If you are in or around Charlotte check out the shop at11237 Lawyers Rd in Mint Hill, NC.

Let’s start with the some Motley Crue.  I found The Dirt still sealed for $16.  I have avoided buying it because it is usually over $20 and I don’t like the new songs that much, but I figured for that price why not.  I also found a 12″ Picture Disc of Helter Skelter with the poster…Really cool…

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Next up is a classic Punk record I have been wanting for a while and finally found one in good shape at a good price.  It is The Clash’s ‘London Calling’.

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Then a couple really interesting pieces.  First up is an album I already have called ‘Love at First Sting” by the Scorpions…I don’t have it with this cover though!!  And for $6…sold!

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Next is one that is a round album cover with a blue vinyl which is really strange because yellow and black would have made more sense for an album color since the album is Stryper’s ‘Yellow and Black Attack’.

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And lastly is an album I have rarely seen it and it is usually north of $75.  This one was $15 all because someone named Lori wrote her name on the album cover.  Thanks Lori for saving me at least $60.  It is Kiss – ‘Smashes, Thrashes & Hits’.

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And that is it!  Sorry, no CD purchases this month.  Maybe next month!

Since I don’t post on Saturday, generally and tomorrow is a New Release Friday, I am doing my Purchase Summary today.  Which means, if I grab anything tomorrow for Record Store Day Black Friday, it will be in the December Summary.  I hope that is okay to have purchases from the wrong month included.  Don’t sue me, I am giving you a disclaimer with plenty of advance notice.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

 

1,000 Posts and Counting

I can’t believe I have done 1,000 Posts.  I never thought I would be able to keep up with the site let alone get this far.  It all started on April 17th, 2016 with my very first post which was “Road Rage” Playlist!

And now, 1,304 days later here I am at my 1,000th post.  Crazy!!

Since we are looking back, let’s take a look at the Top 5 Posts viewed and the Bottom 5 posts viewed.  It is always curious to me which ones do well and which ones don’t. Sometimes I feel like I wrote a great post that was so witty and insightful, yet hardly any one sees it and then others I think I sucked at it and should have never posted and ends up getting a butt load of hits.  There is no rhyme or reason for any of it I am sure.

Here are the Top 5 Posts viewed:

5. Top Rock Songs of 2018 – 4,103 views:  This one only did well thanks to the one and only Michael Sweet of Stryper.  I picked the Stryper song “Take it to the Cross” as the #7 song of the year and he tweeted about it and mentioned it on Facebook (and so did Stryper).  As a result, this post took off!!  Thanks Michael!!

4. Maroon 5 – The Albums Ranked Worst to First – 4,393 views:  And this one did well thanks to Maroon 5 playing the Super Bowl half time show.  That week before and after were huge on views.

3. The Original vs. The Cover – “The Sound of Silence” – 5,110 views:  This is one I never realized would have done so well.  Thanks to a first page result when you Google this song, I get a bunch of reviews everyday.  I hope that continues.

Continue reading “1,000 Posts and Counting”

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”

Continue reading “October Purchases – Vinyl & CDs”

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.

Continue reading “The Top Rock Songs of 2018”

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).

Continue reading “The Top Rock Albums of 2018”

Friday New Releases – April 20th

Welcome to another Friday of new music releases.  There are a handful of good ones that are coming out and I will highlight the ones I want in Blue.  Take a look through and check them out and see what else you want to get this week or what I missed.  Whatever you do, support the bands you like.  Enjoy!!

  • 61CaDGJBrVL._AC_US436_QL65_  Stryper – God Damn Evil – (Frontiers Records):  The first single off this release, “Take it to the Cross” was a shock to the system.  It was more thrash than the normal Stryper music, but it was awesome.  The second single, “Sorry” was more of what you expect.  Either way, they have me excited about this release and can’t wait to check it out.

  • 61HFVOPvWmL._SX120_SY120_  Black Stone Cherry – Family Tree – (Mascot Records):  Black Stone Cherry have been releasing albums every 2-3 years and they are right on schedule with this one.  I love their Southern Rock/Metal sound and they haven’t missed a beat with this one.  Looking forward to hearing the rest.  Looks like it is going to be a heavy week.

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – April 20th”

Tuesday’s Memes – Stryper

With Stryper releasing a new album soon called “God Damn Evil”, it is time to have a little fun with them. I have always been a fan, but they can be easy to poke fun of so that is what we are going to do.  Now I hope I don’t get struck down by lightning for doing this, but I think God has a sense of humor – he created Trump right!!!  Oh yeah, and the platypus.  I hope you enjoy!!!

Okay, the resemblance is uncanny so let’s get to it…Ted Cruz and Michael Sweet – separated at birth???

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Yes, you either like Christian Rock or you don’t…I do so get over it.

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What do you think Grumpy Cat??

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And the Rock???

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To Hell With the Devil!!!

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Things that make you go hmmm??

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I love Jesus Music!!  This is me on Sunday!!

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