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!!
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).
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.
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!
#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.
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:
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).
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!!
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.
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.
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???
Yes, you either like Christian Rock or you don’t…I do so get over it.
Now, Stryper, and Michael Sweet in particular, have released a lot of music lately. Let’s look back over the last 5 years…
March 2013 – ‘The Second Coming’
November 2013 – ‘No More Hell to Pay’
January 2014 – Icon (greatest hits)
September 2014 – Live at the Whisky
October 2015 – Fallen
And Michael Sweet…
2014 – ‘I’m Not Your Suicide’
2015 – ‘Only to Rise’ as Sweet & Lynch
2016 – ‘One Sided War’
2017 – ‘Unified’ as Sweet & Lynch
2017 – Sole: Songs and Stories From a Life in Music live concert video
That is 10 albums in 5 years. That is quite a busy group. I will admit that I have grown a little tired of Stryper as it is music overload. I can’t absorb all that. Now, it has all been great actually, but I felt like I needed a break.
On April 20th, Stryper brings us another new album called ‘God Damn Evil’ and my first thought was NOOOOO!!! On the title, I am sure they will catch some grief for using that title (which will be for another discussion if I review the whole album), but it is ballsy and I think it might set the tone for what is to come on this album.
Now before I get into the album review, let me preface this with that I am a fan of Michael Bolton’s earlier work starting with his 1983 release ‘Michael Bolton’ which had “Fool’s Game” up until ‘Time, Love & Tenderness’ in 1991. After that it started to go down hill for me as he was doing way too many covers. More covers than originals, which is disappointing. He was also getting further and further from his original rock roots (listen to his early releases and you will hear what I am talking about).
Several months back, I heard Michael was signing with Frontiers Records Srl and I was actually excited to hear that as Frontiers is a great record label and they are a ROCK record label. They have brought back many bands of my youth and signed them including Night Ranger and Stryper and now Michael Bolton.
Imagine my utter disappointment when I heard the new Michael Bolton album was a cover album of movie songs called ‘Songs of Cinema’. Wow!! It is just what I wanted (heavy, heavy sarcasm)! I told myself going into it, I would keep an open mind and give it a solid listen…which I feel I did for about 30 seconds.
What songs did he cover? I will tell you.
It starts off with “When A Man Loves A Woman”. Hasn’t he done that one before? Why yes he has, but this one is different…it is the 2017 Version. Oh yeah, that is right…I am supposed to keep an open mind. I am sorry, but I can’t. That ship has sailed. When the first song is a rehash of an old song that you have already covered, you lost me. The original one he did back in 1991 was so much better.
I have been going through this rock & roll trip down memory lane with this blog. It started with the vinyl records I found in a box and than last week with the posters. I actually found one more box from my younger days and this one had a ton of concert ticket stubs from over the years. I also found a couple concert T’s and a couple programs as well. I still can’t believe I kept all this stuff, but I am glad I did.
Going to a concert nowadays, they don’t give you a physical ticket anymore. If they do, they charge you for it. Nope, tickets are on your phone and get scanned in or you print it out on your printer. Not the same as those dot matrix printers from the old days.
You also used to stand in line for tickets. You had to arrive an hour or two before the tickets went on sale whether it was hot, cold, raining or snowing. We did it each and every time we wanted to go see a show. And we loved it! Now you go online from the comfort of you home…not the same.
Whether you want to or not, I am going to take you on a journey of my musical concert experiences…at least most of them because I think I am missing quite a few ticket stubs.
Our journey begins back around 1983. I was only 14 years old. My parents finally agreed to let me go to a concert, but I had to go with my sister…REALLY!!! Actually, it was okay. My sister and I have been to many concerts together and even went to one 2 years ago some 3o+ years later.
Stryper is currently touring in support of the 30th Anniversary of their break-through album ‘To Hell With the Devil’. The album was released back on October 24, 1986 and became the first Christian Metal album to go platinum. It was the best selling Christian metal album all the way up to 2001 when P.O.D. outsold it with their album ‘Satellite’ (another great album).
The videos for the album were on regular rotation on MTV which was so unusual for a band that was labeled as Christian. They actually made it cool to listen to music about Christ. They are the reason why I still listen to Christian music today (well Christ has a lot to do with it too). Most Christian music was fairly boring and somewhat cheesy. But not Stryper. They had screaming guitars, pounding drums, deep bass and soaring vocals. Perfect for the so called Glam era that was overtaking the radios at the time.
The band had its own gimmicks. The hair of course…wow!! The hairspray bill alone must of have been outrageous. The most memorable was them wearing the yellow & black leather outfits during their shows (which they will don again during their anniversary tour for the album). The band also handed out bibles to the crowd (I never got one). I did see them live on their tour in support of the next album ‘In God We Trust’, but was not close enough to get a bible.