I can’t believe we are through with another year. And what a year it was, It saw me complete my goal of one post for every day of the year and it saw me start and still not finish the massive Jeff Scott Soto Series. I still have about 6 months to go on that one. Crazy. It saw some struggles as I had a minor surgery but the two week recovery was hard and then I got sick and was miserable for another two weeks and that put a massive damper on my enthusiasm for writing. For October, I barely wrote anything. Thankfully, I keep ahead so it had no impact on my readers, you probably didn’t even notice, but for me, it was hard. But we are way past that now and all is good.
With the Soto series and the Scorpions series, I actually didn’t spend much time with new releases, but I did have a bunch that I liked and wish I spent more time with. So, we are going to go through the Top 10 Rock Albums of 2022 and of course there will be some honorable mentions, a worst of album and some of my favorite Non-Rock albums. Sit back, grab a cup of coffee if it is morning, or a beer if it is any other time of day…and enjoy!!
TOP ROCK ALBUMS OF 2022:
#10 – HALESTORM – BACK FROM THE DEAD: Lzzy Hale and the boys are back from the dead and they are rocking the hell out of you with this one. With the title track, then “Wicked Ways” and “The Steeple”, they showed they mean business and are carrying the torch for rock. Listen to this and you know Rock Ain’t Dead!! And if you want more great ones, I really like “Psycho Crazy” and the ballad “Raise Your Horns”…oh sooooo good!!
#9 – H.E.A.T. – FORCE MAJEURE: I thought there last album was amazing with Erik Gronwell on vocals, but Erik left and is now with Skid Row who also released an album this year. Original H.E.A.T. lead singer, Kenny Leckremo, returned and they released another stellar release. I like it way better than the new Skid Row…sorry Erik. Such stellar tracks as “Back to the Rhythm”, “Nationwide”, “Tainted Blood” and “Demon Eyes” to only name a handful.
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.
Summer has been heating up and so did the purchases for this month. This month had some serious quality for me and at the same time some quantity as well. And the month came in with a bang as all my Def Leppard albums I ordered finally made it in. When I say “all”, I mean the new one and all the formats I ordered. I’m starting to like it too!
And it kept on going with a huge sale at 2nd & Charles having a buy 5 CDs get 5 CDs free and I took advantage of that discount. My daughter joined me and picked up some DVDs and CDs as the sale applied to those as well. First batch is all Kiss!!
At the latest record show here in Charlotte, I found a handful of great 7″ Singles as there is always this one guy that has an amazing collection of them to sell. I always find a handful of pristine and cool ones to grab and this one is no different. This time I found one by a band I really enjoy called The Alarm. The song was “Presence of Love” off their 1987 album ‘Eye of the Hurricane’. It was the third and final single and just missed cracking the Top 40.
The song “Presence of Love” was written by Eddie McDonald and Mike Peters. The song seems to be about how when you are really in love, no matter how hard things are you can overcome anything. Now, is that love, the love of a woman or the love of God? He mentions all the levels of heaven so part of me feels there is a religious connotation to it all. What do you think?
My copy is awesome even it is the plain old U.S. version. First, I love the I.R.S. labels on the single itself. I find them to be really cool. Second, the B-Side is “My Land Your Land” which is a previously unreleased track recorded during the Hurricane Sessions.
The single “Presence of Love” is a ballad as every album back then had to have a ballad. Musically, it sounds a lot like The Police and their song “Every Breath You Take” or at least it has a lot of the elements of that song. Mike Peters is on vocals and his voice is so distinct. When he really gets in some of the lines, his voice sounds so smooth and angelic and then the rest of the verses, he has a nice grit to it. A great combination of styles to have.
The B-Side is “My Land Your Land” was written by Nigel Twist and David Sharp of The Alarm and David is actually on vocals. Honestly, I didn’t know anyone else sang other than Mike Peters so this was really interesting to hear. David’s vocals are respectable but don’t have that character of Mike but not many do. The song being written by the drummer and lead guitarist, you do get some great drumming as that is the driving force of the song. There is some great guitar picking throughout but no huge single guitar moment. The song is mid-tempo and plods along not real exciting and I see why it wasn’t on the album, but it actually makes for a spectacular B-Side as this is what I like to get as the B.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed the walk through the single “Presence of Love”. I still have a handful more of singles I haven’t been through so more to come. Have a great day and see you real soon.
Can you believe another month has passed? At least Spring is here and temperatures are starting to warm and trees are pushing out pollen and blanketing the world in some sort of yellow dust that is making by white car look pretty dirty. Thanks for that Mother Nature. At least one bright spot is all the purchases made during the month. Let’s get started.
First up my kids and I went to Lunchbox Records as we hadn’t been in a long time. They each bought something and so did I. I picked up a 2021 bootleg of Wicked Lester’s first album or what was supposed to be their first album. Wicked Lester is Gene and Paul’s band before Kiss. I already have a Wicked Lester bootleg but this had a couple songs I didn’t have and now I do. Yes, a review is coming.
And then shortly after, I received a delivery from Japan. It is the Japanese Edition of the Danger Danger Album “Screw It” with bonus tracks and the prized OBI Strip. Now to get the Japanese debut album for a decent price as this one was cheap.
Another week of over 40 albums being released which means there is something for everyone. Heck, if you make it down to the end there is even a Christmas album by Kelly Clarkson. Yes, it is time for Christmas albums to start coming out. I know, too soon!! I have a handful I would really like to hear and one I’d really like to buy, but KACHING!!! My choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you want to hear and let us know what I may have missed so everyone can see what they might be missing. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!
The Alarm – History Repeating: 1981-2021 – (Twenty First Century Recording Co): A Double CD of the band’s 40 year career!! Man, I am feeling old as I have been listening since the beginning. There are are a several unreleased songs as well as all their hits. I believe there are 44 tracks and definitely worth grabbing!!
Judas Priest – Reflections: 50 Heavy Metal Years of Music Box Set: I would love to get the big deluxe box set but it is well over $400 and I am sure worth every penny. I might need to sell some things or take out a second mortgage for this one. After just finishing the Judas Priest Review Series on the site, this would be a great way to top it off!! With a giant cherry on top!! Or you can get the one disc greatest hits album if that floats your boat. Either works.
Welcome to my monthly wrap-up of all my purchases for the month. Now I am cheating as there are a number of items that came in at the end of August after I had already done my August post and I wasn’t about to go update that and have to change a few pictures so they will start out our September update.
First up is an brand new album from one of my favorite bands, Needtobreathe. Their new album came out on Friday, August 28th and luckily I got release day delivery and it came with a CD. I have already done a review (Click Here) and an update to their Album Rankings will be coming shortly.
August 29th was the first 3 of RSD days for 2020. As you know, due to Covid the April Record Store Day was delayed until June and then split in to 3 days in hopes of decreasing the # of people showing up on the day of release. The first one of these 3 days was August 29th and there will be one in September and October and if I am not mistaken, November will still see the normal Black Friday RSD. I tried to keep this one simple and I only bought 4 albums, one of which was for my daughter. I bought an Ace Frehley album, Collective Soul and a Def Leppard one. The album for my daughter was a live album by Billie Eilish (I will probably listen to it as well as she is quite interesting.
And I guess it wasn’t the only thing I bought as it was raining and he let everyone come in early, but he couldn’t actually ring us up until 8 and it was around 7:30. So after we got to pick out or RSD items, I had time to walk around the store and see if there was anything else. I wasn’t going to actually buy anything else as I spent enough on the above. If you follow the site you know I have started collecting Kiss Tour Books. I picked up a Bon Jovi one when I was out and I wasn’t looking to do anyone else other than Kiss. Well, Repo Records had a Bon Jovi Tour Book from 2011. And you guessed it. I bought it. I will do a full review of this soon.
Normally on Record Store Day, Repo Records gives us a goody bag. This year he didn’t have a goody bag (Sad face)…No, he had a goody album cover…WTF? He had old useless album covers and inside he had a Record Mat for your turntable, a sticker, an RSD guitar pick and a button of someone but I have no idea. And that was it…wasn’t much.
And that was it for RSD, but on the same day I had delivered another item from Needtobreathe. I was on eBay only about 3 days earlier and checking to see if any of their rare Fan Club Insider CDs were for sale. You can only purchase these if you sign up for their fan club and pay the annual premium of like $60. I hadn’t done that up until this year so the new one will come in December, but I have been trying to find these on eBay or Discogs at reasonable prices (something less than $60…and I did). I got my second one, Volume 5, for $25…yeah me!! And within a week, I found another one for $27 after eBay was kind enough to give me a $25 Off coupon for being a member since the beginning of eBay. That is two for less than a year membership for one. Not bad!!!
Next up was an album I ordered back in June or so and when it was released in August, Amazon apparently ran out so I had to wait and wait to finally get it. My local record store had it but sold out so I kept waiting, plus Amazon’s price was only $16 so I was willing to wait. It is the self-titled album from Collective Soul that was finally issued on vinyl to celebrate its 25th Anniversary.
I forget what day, but the kids wanted to get out of the house and so we took a ride over to 2nd & Charles, the whole family, and we all searched for books or music or movies or whatever floated our boat. I found one item that I needed for my collection and at $8, it was a steal. Peter Criss’ book ‘Makeup to Breakup’ another book in my long list of Kiss books I have to get through.
Next up is an autographed copy of the Storm Force album ‘Age of Fear’. My fellow bloggers Deke and LeBrain have raved about this album and then during LeBrain’s live stream on Facebook, the boys from the band joined him and Deke and talked for an hour on a fun-filled Friday night. I thought that was really cool of the guys so I supported them by buying this. You should do the same.
And then something else popped up. I was on Amazon and I saw Art Alexakis’ solo album for only $8 and free shipping so since I am fan of Everclear, I jumped on it. It came quick and is below…
And finally we get to the 2nd Record Store Day and this was just this past Saturday on Sept. 25th. I picked up three things including The Alarm’s Celtic Folklore Live, a Mott the Hoople compilation called The Golden Age of Rock and Roll and then a live album from Hootie & the Blowfish. That one wasn’t on my list, but when I saw it and that it was from 1995, their heyday.
And like last time at Repo, they let us in before they could check us out and it gave us time to look around and shop. Let me tell you that is never a good thing. The first thing I found was a 7″ Kiss single for Beth and Detroit Rock City and then it was a bootleg from Van Halen for the Women And Children First Sessions full of the demos. I’m a sucker for that stuff….
And Repo gave out his typical swag….at least the mat was a different color this time…
And that is everything…yes, that was plenty. Here it all is in one big picture…
Thanks for stopping by. I already have a few things coming for October and there is another Record Store Day so shaping up to be another big month.
In my quest of the finding cool things on vinyl, occasionally I pick up 7″ singles or 45’s of bands I like and while in Florida, I found this 45 Single from the band The Alarm. Mike Peters and crew released their debut album, ‘Declaration’, in February 1984 and the single for “Sixty Eight Guns” well before the albums release in August of 1983. Due to the success, they put it on their debut album. Now, the single I have is not that particular single. My single is a re-issue of the single done on February 14, 1984 for the official release of the album. Where the original single had alternate version of “Sixty Eight Guns”, mine has a previously unreleased track called “Pavilion Steps”.
The Alarm were a new wave, alternative rock band that liked to take on the “Establishment” and were not afraid to write politically charged songs. Something other bands at the time were not doing. “Sixty Eight Guns” was inspired by a book called A Glasgow Gang Observed by the Scottish author Patrick James that Mike Peters was reading about gangs in Glasgow around 1968 (thus the title). The song is a battle cry for that gang mentality that you were invincible and ready to take on the world. Continue reading “The Alarm – “Sixty-Eight Guns” (45 Single)”→
August started off with a bang on purchases. We went on vacation down to St. Augustine, Florida and like I do on every trip, I hit the local record stores to see what I can find. There were three to choose from on this trip and of course, I hit all three on different days.
The first was actually in a little house that was selling Antiques. The record shop goes by the name On The Record – Vinyl Records and More and it was two blocks from where we were staying which made for an easy walk from the house. It was a small shop and didn’t have a ton, but enough that I found some albums. First up was a Crowded House album and then 2nd was The Cult. I also picked up a 45 Single for the song from the TV show The Greatest American Hero which I loved (at least the first season).
The next shop was a record store called MusicMatters. It was in a strip mall and looked promising but was far from it. They didn’t have anything really cool and everything was overpriced. Not a great shop in my book. I did find a Kiss Bootleg and thankfully I already had that one because they wanted $200 for it. That is right $200. CRAZY!!!…no F$&KING CRAZY!! I paid $50 for mine and the quality was no different at all. I did find one cool piece at this store and that was a compilation that I bought for two reasons, 1) I had when I was a kid and 2) it was $5. It was “Masters of Metal”… Continue reading “August 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And then there were two 80’s albums I didn’t have. First one was Dokken’s “Under Lock And Key”…
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…
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…