February 2020 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs

Two months in to the year and already some great purchases.  If you are new to the site, this is my monthly wrap-up of my vinyl and CD purchases since not everything I buy makes it on to the site.  Some of it does or already has or will in the future, but whose to say how long that will be.  So, I thought why not share the love of music and let you see what I have been adding to the collection.

The first set of purchases started with a run of vinyl diving when my daughter wanted to go out and pick up a certain album.  We hit two stores…Repo Records and Lunchbox, both in Charlotte, NC.  First stop was Repo Records and my daughter didn’t find anything she wanted, but I found one.  It is the 1980 debut album of Canadian rock star Bryan Adams. Honestly, I have never seen this one and for $5 bucks, why not add to it my ever growing Adams collection. I have at least 6 or 7 of his so this fits in nicely.

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Then we are off to Lunchbox and my daughter found the album she wanted which was Lorde’s album “Pure Heroine” which is actually a really good album.  And don’t worry, I found a couple as well.  I love the UK band The Alarm.  I have about 4 or 5 in the collection and now I have one more.  It is Electric Folklore Live from 1988 that I was missing.

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And then one more to add to the ever growing Aerosmith collection. I finally found ‘Permanent Vacation’ at what I thought was a good price of $10. I’ll take it.

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And then a week later, my wife and I had an afternoon to ourselves and we spent it going to 2nd & Charles as my wife wanted to look at some books and they have a great selection of new and a ton of used books. They also have a vinyl and CD section as well. They have bootlegs on vinyl which is cool and I might have to go back and get some.  I didn’t buy any vinyl, but picked up some cheap CDs which I always like.  First up was a from a band called Audiovent.  Their only album ‘Dirty Sexy Knights in Paris’ came out in 2002 and I had it at one time on CD and loved it, so I re-bought it.

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And since I have been on a Robbie Williams kick lately, I decided I needed all his albums. I didn’t get all, but I picked up 3.  I grabbed ‘The Ego Has Landed’ and ‘Intensive Care’ both studio albums and then a really cool Live album called “Live Summer 2003” recorded at Knebworth.

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I also picked up the new album from Stone Temple Pilots called ‘Perdida’ and I already have shown you that when I did a review.  It wasn’t pleasant.  But I bought it mostly due to my brother-in-law being the engineer and mixer on the album.  Go Check out the Review.

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If that wasn’t enough, when my kids and I were out to dinner on Saturday, February 15th, we were driving by Noble Records and I had to stop in.  As usual, I found a few more things.  First up is another Stone Temple Pilots album. This one is Shangri-La Dee Da and since I am buying albums that their uncle worked on, this falls in that category as he was working with Brendan O’Brien back then and he was the engineer on this album.

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And then there were two 80’s albums I didn’t have.  First one was Dokken’s “Under Lock And Key”…

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and the next one was one of the covers I am after for Stryper’s “To Hell With the Devil”…now I need to find the alternate more controversial cover…

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And that is all.  Well, there was one more, but it didn’t arrive in time for this month’s post so it will kick off next months.  Here is everything in one bundle and yes, I have a problem…

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See you next month…

The Top 20 Rock Songs of 2019

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!

If you missed the Top Rock Albums of 2019 or the Top Albums of 2019 (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 -“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!!

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Friday New Releases – June 28th

We are halfway through the year now, can you believe it?  I have to say, I haven’t been blown away by the first 6 months of releases, heres hoping to a better second half.  In this final week of June there are a handful of releases I am looking forward to and they are highlighted in Blue.  Hopefully there is something in the list that will connect with you and if there is, let me know which one. Also, let me know if I missed anything as it helps our readers find new music.  Thanks and have a great weekend!!

Oh yeah…I have a public service announcement at the bottom of the list, please give it a read! It will help us all!!

  • 812r4wN9wHL._SS500_  The Alarm – Sigma – (Twenty First Century Recording Co):  Mike Peters returned in 2018 with the album Equal and it was fantastic.  I can’t wait to hear this new one and as with all albums I am excited about, I haven’t heard a song until I take it all in at once.  So glad he is back and in such a prolific way!!

  • 71xVIBkD4DL._SX522_  Generation Axe – The Guitars That Destroyed the World (Live in China) – (earMusic):  A live album of Guitar Heroes…yes sign me up!! Oh, and a live album on top of that…YES PLEASE!!!  You get Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, Yngwie Malmsteen and Tosin Abasi.  Is there anything else that needs to be said…I didn’t think so.

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The Alarm – Strength Live ’85 (RSD) – Album Review

For Record Store Day April 13, 2019, The Alarm released a live album in support of their 1985 album ‘Strength’.  It was a previously unreleased show recorded at the Boston Orpheum Theatre on November 9th, 1985.  Since ‘Strength’ is one of my favorite albums, this was quickly added to the albums I needed to grab on RSD.

The album has 20 songs, of which, 16 have never been released before (officially). There have been bootlegs of the show, but none with the actual mixed recording which was done about a month after the show by Nigel Luby.  The sound is untouched and no overdubs.  It is as it was back in the day.  You can hear the rawness, the crowd and you know it is truly live.  It is fantastic.

With only 2 albums out at this time, the band played a ton of songs from both ‘Declaration’ and ‘Strength’ (which hadn’t been out long) and some you hadn’t heard before.  Songs like “Majority” and “The Chant Has Just Begun” were not on the studio albums, but later released as bonus tracks on deluxe editions.  You get to hear them live here before ever seeing the light day.

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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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The Alarm – ‘Equals’ – Album Review

Has there ever been a band that you loved and then suddenly stopped paying attention to any new releases?  The Alarm was that for me.  I followed them throughout the 80’s and after 1989’s album ‘Change’, just stopped listening to new stuff.  No reason, just stopped.  It is strange and I can’t figure out why.

So when I saw they had a new album being released, something told me to listen to it.  Now if I wasn’t doing this blog, would I have cared or paid attention?  I can’t answer that, but the thing is I did pay attention and I did listen to their new release this time.  And I am hear to tell you I am so glad I did.

Now Mike Peters is the only original member still in the band and usually that would bother me, but Mike was always my draw anyway.  I loved his vocals, his delivery and his style and with him still at the mic, I am still getting what I liked.

From the first notes of the opening track, “Two Rivers”, there was a familiarity to it with the minor exceptions of some electronica sounds which I don’t recall the band ever doing.  However, that was a minor distraction.  Mike Peters sounded amazing and he hadn’t lost anything which is amazing considering he has been around singing since the late 70’s.

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Friday New Releases – June 29th

We are at the end of another month and what a way to end it.  There are so many releases this week I hope there is something you can find and enjoy.  My vacation will be ending this week and then back to work next, so I am going to try and do nothing for a couple days except listen to music.  My choices are in Blue.  Let me know what you are feeling and if I missed anything.  Have a great weekend!!

  • 51tBEraJ-2L._SS500  The Wild Feathers – Greetings from the Neon Frontier – (Reprise Records):  This is where I will spend most of my time.  I really think these guys are great.  They are a mixture of Rock, Folk, Country and blend it all together so nicely.  It is always a listening pleasure and so much to take in.  Give them a try and as this is their third studio release, go back and get the other two.

  • A1-BihGWkML._SX522_  Guns N Roses – Appetite for Destruction Super Deluxe Edition – (Geffen Records):  What can I say about this one.  One of the greatest debut albums by any band and now we get the ultimate deluxe edition.  I can’t afford the big daddy release as I just bought the Def Leppard Vinyl collection (Volume One) so I will end up settling for one of the lesser expensive releases.  Either way, it is nice to have for the collection.

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Friday New Releases – March 16th

Another Friday and another week of some great releases.  There are some re-issues and so old bands back with new singers and some newer bands as well.  Hopefully there is something for you.  The two that really peak my interests are highlighted in Blue as usual.  Leave me a comment on what interests you this week…if anything. Also, let me know if I am missing anything as that is usually the case.  Happy Friday!!

  • 81-7puQHUFL._SX522_  Stone Temple Pilots – Stone Temple Pilots – (Play Pen Music):  The boys in STP are back and with a new lead singer, Jeff Gutt.  The three songs I have heard are great and I am looking forward to the rest.  Jeff sounds a little like the late, great Scott Weilan, but he also has his own sound and style.  The old STP sound is there as well so hopefully the have their groove back and we will see some great things from them.  Give it a try…if for no other reason than my brother-in-law was involved with recording the album.  That makes it worth it right there alone!!

  • 51gscNxcR2L._AC_US436_QL65_.jpg  Dorothy – 28 Days in the Valley – (Roc Nation Records):  A new band on the scene is Dorothy.  The band really delivers some great, heavy, old school blues rock & roll.  The lead singer, Dorothy Martin, is a powerhouse and force to be reckoned with.  Her searing vocals exploded on the scene with “Raise a Little Hell” and can’t wait to hear what she has to offer this time around.

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My Sunday Song – “The Day The Ravens Left the Tower” by the Alarm

For My Sunday Song #46, I have chosen “The Day The Ravens Left The Tower” by The Alarm.  The song is off the album, ‘Strength’, from 1985 and is one of my all time favorite albums from the 80’s.  They were never hugely popular in the States although MTV played them a lot.  The album did reach #39 on the Billboard 200 Chart.

“The Day The Ravens Left the Tower” is a very dark song and was a real jump in their songwriting lyrically.  They have always been political with their songs, but the maturity and growth in songwriting really shined on this song for me.  I know I read this somewhere that the song was inspired by a hallucination that Eddie MacDonald had when he was sick with the flu.  I think that is cool if that is true.

What I am fascinated with about the song is actually the story of the ravens.  For those that don’t know, there are ravens that live in the Tower of London.  There have been ravens living there since as far back as 1660 or so around the time of King Charles II.  It is believed that the ravens are there to protect the Crown. If they should ever leave the tower, the Crown and Britain would fall.  I know there is a lot more to the story, but I am not a historian and the site is about music so you can look it up further if you are interested…it is fascinating stuff (also any UK readers want to add anything, please leave a comment).

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