The Scorpions were flying high. From the release of ‘Lovedrive’ in 1979 all the way up to ‘Savage Amusement’ in 1988, they could do no wrong. Their label, Mercury Records, thought, “hey, good time for a greatest hits compilation”…and ‘Best of Rockers ‘N’ Ballads’ was born. Since they have had other compilations focusing on Pre-‘Lovedrive’, Mercury Records released a compilation of only songs that were during the bands tenure on Mercury from 1979-1988. To make it enticing to fans, they added a few new remixes and unreleased tracks and I am a fan of new mixes and unreleased tracks.
The album was released on November 29, 1989 just in time for Christmas. And what a present it was. The album sold over 1,000,000 copies and is the only Scorpions compilation to be certified Platinum. The album went to #43 on the U.S. charts and had one single that went to #5 on the Mainstream Rock Charts. Now, depending on where you were in the world, you got a different track list. The European version had an extra track, “Is There Anybody There” from ‘Lovedrive, but this was a remix and previously unreleased. They also got a remix of “Hey You” which is a Non-Album single from 1980 that hasn’t been released on any album up to this point. The US and Japanese releases did not have either of those tracks, but did have the original version of “Hey You”. The European CD release also included one more rare track. It was the version of “China White” which features the guitar solo that was only available on the US Blackout release. If you are a completist on the Scorpions, you have a lot to buy here.
Happy Friday everyone! Spring is upon and us and things are heating up both in temperature and releases. We have some great stuff for you today, at least I hope you find some of it great. Lots of rock, lots of Indie and lots of country. I know I’m excited as I have 3 new albums I am eagerly waiting on and those are marked in Blue. Let me know what you are interested in hearing and what I may have missed on my list so everyone can know what is out there. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Reach – The Promise of a Life – (Icons Creating Evil Art): This three-piece band from Sweden is back with their third album. Their last album, ‘The Great Divine’, was my favorite album a few years ago so can’t wait for this one. The used to be a little melodic rock, but now they are far from it. They are way more alternative rock now in the vein of maybe The Muse or even Panic at times. We will see if I like the new direction, but I have a feeling I still will.
Kaleo – Surface Sounds – (Elektra Records): Are you ready for Icelandic Blues Rock…you heard me right. This band from Iceland are the real deal. This is their third album that was supposed to come out last year right around the time the pandemic hit and now we are finally getting it. They are a solid blues band and you will be in for a treat.
The day before you and I have a bunch of treats and absolutely No Tricks!! We have around 30 new releases for you this week! Tell me that is not a Treat!! The time changes this weekend as well so you will have a whole extra hour to listen to music. Am I looking out for you or what!!! I have a handful of items I want to hear and they are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you want to hear and if there was anything I may have missed. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful, safe, and socially distanced Halloween and great weekend. Until next week!
Black Stone Cherry – The Human Condition – (Mascot Label Group): Now I’m not a massive Black Stone Cherry Fan, but they do put out consistently great material. For that, I will give this a listen as I do love that heavy, southern rock sound. I am kind of a sucker for it so they will be first up this morning.
Thin Lizzy – Rock Legends Box Set – (Universal UK): Now here is a box set you need to get. I believe there are 99 songs and 74 have never been released. Yeah, that is sort of sweet!! Plus, it is Thin Lizzy so what other reason do you need to buy this…maybe a cheaper price as currently this is cost prohibitive. If the price drops, so will my cash.
Welcome to the first Friday of December. Christmas is just around the corner and here are a few ideas to either get yourself for Christmas or get someone else. There is only one I am interested (highlighted in Blue), so I can concentrate on my year end list some more. I hope there is something for you.
The Who – WHO – (Polydor / Universal): After a mere 13 years, the Who is back with a new album. I have to say, I am intrigued to hear what they have to offer even if it is only Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey which it has been for years, I know. We will see…or hear…
These are probably the big releases in the pop world…
Camila Cabello – Romance – (Simco / Epic / Sony)
Liam Payne – LP1 – (Capitol Records): Debut from the former One Direction Star
I am starting to feel old. Why you might ask? Well, I will tell you and it is not that I turned 50 last year. It is not that my kids are growing up too fast. Okay, that is part of it. The main reason is that all the musicians I grew up listening to are now starting to die. Not by drug addiction or overdosing. Nope, those are generally younger rockers and although sad, it doesn’t make me feel old. The musicians are now dying of natural causes due in part to old age. They are getting cancer or having heart attacks…you know…normal things that tend to happen when you are older.
Recently, we have seen the deaths of Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek who were both in their 70’s when they passed. Let that sink in. They were in their 70’s. When I listened to them growing up, their music was mainstream. Not today. They fall under the Classic Rock category. I loved both Eddie Money’s and The Cars’ music. I remember sitting in my basement watching MTV and seeing Eddie scream out “Take Me Home Tonight” and The Cars “You Might Think” video which is one of the most innovative music videos ever done (at least at the time).
Their deaths brought to light a real issue that the world is facing. The heroes of the classic rock era of the late 60’s, the 70’s & the 80’s are getting a lot older and won’t be around much longer. Soon, we won’t be catching these acts on tour or won’t even have any new material be released. The iconic music makers will be dying and the music of generations will start to fade away. When that happens, how many radio stations will play Classic Rock anymore? Think about it…there are no stations specific to the 40’s, the 50’s or even the 60’s music (ok, maybe unless you have Satellite Radio). Some of the 60’s will fall under Classic Rock, but not the early 60’s music. Gone. Classic Rock’s days are numbered.
The Who released a Record Store Day Exclusive for the April 2018 edition of the event. The album was ‘The Kids Are Alright’ and the release was a double LP, colored vinyl edition. And a nice set it was. This is an album spotlight and not a review as this is The Who and I don’t know if I can add anything new to the conversation, so I am just going to talk about this particular release and what I like and don’t like about it.
First up, what do I like about this release?
Well, there is quite a lot actually. The sound for starters. The quality of the sound coming out of the speakers for this album are sensational. It sounds so crisp and clear and just begs to be cranked up so loud the walls shake and with an opening song like “My Generation”, how could you not oblige.
I mentioned that it was a double LP and colored vinyl and it is just that. I love the red & blue colors and it feels like a 3rd LP would be good with a white color to complete the Union Jack color scheme, but sadly only 2.
The track listing is great as well. It has the same 17 tracks as the original and they have been remastered beautifully. What are the 17 tracks? Easy, here are they are…
If you are new to the site, I started this series with the year 1987 and then noticed that 1991 and 1983 were also a couple of the greatest years in music. I got to thinking, was there a pattern that every 4 years we have another great year in music. Well theory didn’t last long as I don’t think the next two years I researched were “great” years in music. Those years were 1979 and 1995. If you want to explore all the years I have examined so far, click on the link below…
Now that my theory is busted, I am just going to start looking for the “Greatest” year in music. I am going to start with 1971. Will 1971 be another great year or will it be the greatest year. Let us explore and see and then decide at the end. But first we have to ask What were the top albums of the year?, What were the debut albums from some of the great rock bands? and What was going on in the world of music that year?
What were some of the biggest news events that happened in 1971? I couldn’t find any one big thing that happened. Nothing new was invented such as the walkman or the CD. There were a couple things of note.
June 27th & July 4th – Music promoter, Billy Graham, closed two of the most famous music venues, The Fillmore East in New York City closed on June 27th and closed with The Allman Brothers (the band recorded their famous live album their 3 months earlier) and on July 4th the Fillmore West in San Francisco closed with Santana, Credence Clearwater Revival and the Grateful Dead (not a bad night).
For My Sunday Song #101, we go back to picking some of my favorite songs and no theme behind these next 10. First up is “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who. The song is off their album ‘Who’s Next’ and was the final song on the album as well as a single which wen tall the way to #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. If you aren’t familiar with it, you might know it as the song on the opening credits for the CBS show CSI: Miami.
The song was written during the ‘Lifehouse’ project the Who were working on. This was another rock opera following the success of ‘Tommy’; however, the project was later scrapped. This song was so good that they felt it would work as a standalone song on the album that became ‘Who’s Next’.
The song is about a revolution and you can see that through the lyrics. The beginning of the song is of course the beginning of the uprising of the revolution. The middle of the song has the revolution over with the new people in power and the song ends with the new people in power being just as bad as the previous people so they have to start a new revolution. It is a stark look at the reality of government. You might vote someone new into office, but they are just as bad or worse than who was previously in power. It is a constant struggle across the globe.
The song itself is absolutely amazing. It is over 8 minutes long or you can get the single edit which is shortened to a measly 3:36, but you miss the whole power behind the song. The original “full” version is a stroke of genius musically. Pete outdoes himself with both his guitar work and his work on the synthesizer which is the main focus of the song. The synthesizer is symbolic of the revolution and you can track the progression with the impact of it during the song.
Record Store Day is upon us. It is April 21st, 2018 and I can’t believe I stood in line to get vinyl in 40ºF temperature. It could be worse, it could be freezing & raining. Thankfully, it was absolutely beautiful and sunny…just cold.
My daughter and I were tackling it again this year. This time my daughter had something in mind she wanted. I called the Record Store on Friday and asked if they had the album she wanted and he said he didn’t see it. So, we made a plan to divide and conquer. I asked my daughter to call a friend to see if they were stupid enough to stand outside with her at Lunchbox Records while I stood in line at Repo Records 5 minutes down the road.
We arrived at 7am (which means we left the house at 6:15am since it is a 45 minute drive to the record stores – we live in the boonies). We decided on 7am since last year we arrived at 8am and the store lines were awful (except at Repo). I get my daughter and her friend over to Lunchbox right at 7am and the line is not that long. They jump out and get in line and I head over to the other store.
Repo Records line was shorter than Lunchbox and so I jumped in line. Now the 2 hour wait since the stores didn’t open until 9am. After chatting with everyone around me and everyone discussing what they were there for and what bands they liked and concerts they had seen, the doors opened. The time flew by. That was an enjoyable 2 hours…wait…it hadn’t been 2 hours. The store opened a little early at 8:40am. There is a God!! (yes, there truly is but that is another discussion).
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.