Friday New Releases – April 3rd

April is here!  And as I write this, who knows how crazy it has become.  I am sure we are still at home, I am sure the kids still aren’t back to school and the world is probably closed down…for the most part.  But, there is still new music coming out and hopefully that hasn’t completely stopped otherwise this whole post will be for naught.  What I am interested in are highlighted in Blue.  Let me know what you are digging and what I might have missed.  Stay safe and I hope you have a great weekend.

  • 91zVuVV8yvL._SX522_  Ratt – Atlantic Years 1984-1990 – (Hne): I don’t really need this set as I do have all 5 albums on vinyl.  I am really interested in the bonus material.  If you haven’t gotten into Ratt, then this set is them in their prime and worth grabbing at a decent price.  If you want to know how I rank their albums….check it out HERE!!!  Now here is a little Round and Round for you.

  • 719DQGNyV4L._SS500_  Billy Raffoul – A Few More Hours a YYZ E.P. – (Interscope Records): I came across Billy Raffoul at the Needtobreathe concert.  He was the opening act.  I got to meet him, a horribly bad selfie with him and I bought his debut vinyl E.P. which he was kind enough to sign. So, naturally, I am going to be listening to this one.  Hoping for a little something different, but either way, he is awesome.

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Peter Tork (The Monkees) – R.I.P.

I am sitting here eating lunch and learned that Peter Tork of the Monkees died today, February 21, 2019.  Peter was 77 and passes almost 7 years to the day after Davy Jones (February 29, 2012).  I haven’t been doing memorials for passing artists lately as I saved that for my year end In Memoriam list, but I am going to make an exception.

Growing up, The Monkees were a big influence on me.  Their whimsical behavior and their music were a big part of my childhood.  I am sure it was that Beatles sound, but whatever it was, I loved it (They outsold the Beatles for a short time, by the way).

Peter was the lovable goofball bass player who might have been my favorite on the show as he always made me laugh.  Now, I didn’t see the shows live, but I did watch them religiously on the cable station TBS back in the 70’s.  The first album my parents bought for me was The Monkees Greatest Hits.  They ordered off one of those TV commercials because I am sure I hounded them until they did.  I still have that vinyl today and it plays beautifully.

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I am going to keep this short, but wanted to pay my respects to Peter Tork.  Thanks for the musical memories and the joy you brought me as a little kid.

John

Tuesday’s Memes – The Monkees

The Monkees??  Yes, The Monkees!  I love the Monkees.  The first album I ever got that was mine was a Monkees album.  So why not dedicate a whole Tuesday’s Memes collection to them.  They are more deserving than some I have done so far.  So, sit back and enjoy!  Maybe by the end you will be a believer!! (Yes, I went there!)

The songs…

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The band…

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And The Monkees…

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And for no reason at all…

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Have a great week!!!  Thanks for stopping by!

 

The Top Albums of 2016

The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year.  I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2016 (click to read).   This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, R&B, Christian and whatever other genre you want classify these albums.  Rock is my favorite genre that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.

Note:  These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers.  These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way.  So, we might as well get started…

The #1 Album of 2016

cover170x170-33Lady Gaga – Joanne (Interscope Records): This was an easy pick for me.  The album was such a pleasant surprise and a departure from her last album.  It had a little bit of everything from Pop to Country to Rock to Folk.  It was such a great mixture of songs that gave us one cohesive album.  The title track, “John Wayne”, “A Million Reasons” and “Perfect Illusion” were all great songs.  Even the Deluxe Edition was great with “Grigio Girls”.  All around classic album for Lady Gaga.  Check out my review here.

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Top TV Show Theme Songs – Playlist

I was listening the Monkee’s new album and it got me thinking about their TV show.  My first thought was what a great theme song they had.  That then led me to think about other TV theme songs and which shows had the best.

To do this, I had to break it up into two categories…those with vocals and those without. There are so many TV shows that had great catchy, theme songs.  Off the top of my head you had the Brady Bunch, The Beverly Hillbillies, Different Strokes, Saved by the Bell and so many more.  My kids would add the song from Full House as well.

Nowadays, I don’t feel that TV show theme songs matter much.  No show seems to focus on that at all.  I feel that a good theme song really adds to the show.

Without further ado, here are my Favorite TV Show Theme Songs:

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Turntables & Vinyl

Turntables & Vinyl.  Did you ever think they would come back in style?  I guess I must have thought so because I found a box  in a closet that was full of vinyl albums from the 70’s & 80’s.  However, I don’t own a turntable anymore.  What do I do?

Well, I went out and bought a turntable. My oldest daughter has been wanting a turntable as that is the new fad for kids her age, I guess.  That got me to thinking maybe I should get a turntable.  I didn’t want to spend too much as I didn’t know how much it would get used by her or by me.

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We were at the mall and I found this turntable at some trendy clothes store for young people (I was the oldest person in the store).  Don’t know if it is any good and honestly, don’t care.  It will be a fun experience I can share with my daughter and maybe teach her what real music sounds like.

We started shopping for albums afterwards and the first thing I noticed was…THE PRICE!!! HOLY CRAP!!  When did albums become so expensive.  $25, $35 and up to $50 for a freakin’ album.  Well, I guess my daughter won’t be getting one anytime soon.  She will have to listen to mine until I can take a 2nd mortgage out on the house to buy a new album. Luckily, the store had a limited selection so there was nothing either of us had to have right then.

We get back home and I run upstairs to grab the box of records.  We take it into my office along with the turntable.  I get the turntable plugged into the wall and into my stereo system and found the setup to be extremely easy.  Thank goodness as I wanted to put on some music.

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Next, I grabbed the box and opened it like I was a kid on Christmas.  I couldn’t wait to go through and see what all I had.  I knew what a lot of the albums were in the box, but not everything. What I did know for sure is that the first album to be played on the turntable was going to be Van Halen’s self titled debut from 1978.  I remembered that album was in the box along with several Kiss albums.

The Van Halen album sounded amazing!! And now as I am typing this post up, I am listening to Kiss Alive! and I have it cranked! (No one is home right now) Not a bad way to spend my afternoon.  Here is a list of albums that were in my box that I will definitely be putting on heavy rotation.

  • Van Halen – Van Halen
  • Kiss – Alive!
  • Kiss – The Originals (Special Edition with the first 3 albums)
  • Boston – Boston
  • Boston – Don’t Look Back
  • Eagles – Hotel California
  • Eagles – Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975
  • The Beatles – The Beatles / 1967-1970
  • Mother’s Finest – Mother’s Finest Live
  • ZZ Top – Tres Hombres
  • Billy Joel – Glass Houses
  • Black Sabbath – Mob Rules
  • Kiss – Unmasked
  • Kiss – Hotter than Hell
  • Billy Idol – Billy Idol
  • Loverboy – Lovin’ Every Minute of It
  • Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion
  • Styx – Caught in the Act Live
  • Def Leppard – On Through the Night
  • Grease – Soundtrack
  • Star Wars – Soundtrack

The biggest surprise included in the box was the first vinyl album I ever bought.  If you have read the “About” section of my blog, you know what that album was.  My mom ordered it for me off the TV from a commercial during the TBS reruns of “The Monkees” back in the 70’s.  It was simply called “The Monkees”.  I almost teared up (actually I teared up from all the dust in the box as it flared up my allergies).

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A lot of these albums I am sure were my brothers’ albums and I somehow ended up with them. I hope they aren’t too disappointed that they are not getting them back.  That is not true, they can have them back.  They just need to come to North Carolina from Georgia and pry them from my cold, dead hands.

Also discovered in the box were some of my wife’s childhood albums.  There were some old Disney albums (and I mean old) and then some from a few of her favorite teen idols.  There was Andy Gibb, Leif Garrett and her personal love, Shaun Cassidy.  When she looked at the album, I hadn’t seen that look in her eyes since WE first met.  I think I should be jealous.  I have a feeling she will be listening to those while I “Da Doo Ron Ron” off to work.

The next day, my daughter and I found a great little record store in Charlotte and we went and picked up a couple albums.  They had those expensive albums like what I mentioned above, but they also had used albums that were a lot cheaper.  Since I had the first two Boston albums on vinyl, I went ahead and picked up Boston’s Third Stage ($10) and my daughter picked up James Bay’s latest album for only $20 (which I still think is too much).

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I need to make a list of what albums I want because I walked around that store for almost an hour and couldn’t decide on anything but the Boston album.  Too many to choose!!!  My daughter, who takes hours to pick out a shirt had her album picked in 5 minutes.

When we got home and put the James Bay album on, the cheap record player we bought the day before wasn’t working properly.  It can’t seem to keep the appropriate speed and the song tends to slow down.  All the excitement from the first day fizzled out fast. I knew I should have just waited and bought a decent player right out of the gate. Sometimes I am too cheap.   So, I guess I do care if the record player is any good.

Well, I am researching a decent player now and can’t wait to get one.  Any recommendations?  I am anxious to listen to the whole set of albums from the box.

Friday New Releases – May 27th

It has been an incredibly busy week and I am looking forward to some new music.  Friday’s new releases have some good choices to try.  See if there is anything that excites you.  My top choices are highlighted in Blue.

  • 61E-SCkAK2L._AA160_  Paul Gilbert – I Can Destroy – (Pronghorn) – The former lead guitarist for Racer X and the Mr. Big lead guitarist releases his latest solo album I Can Destroy. The first 2 songs I have heard rock out hard and his guitar work is amazing.

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