Europe – “Cherokee” – 7″ Single

In the batch of singles I found at Repo Records a couple months back, we are now to our fourth single of 6 and second from the band Europe. This one is the fourth single off ‘The Final Countdown’ and is a song that would catch a lot of grief today as the song is “Cherokee”. With today’s over sensitive, my feelings get hurt easily culture, “Cherokee” would probably be frowned upon with a bunch of white guys singing about Native Americans. “Cherokee” was released in November 1987 and didn’t do as well as their other singles, It only went to #72 not getting anywhere close to the Top 40.

The song was written by Joey Tempest. It was inspired by a book the wife of the album producer had. He had read through it and was inspired to write about the plight of the Cherokee nation as the U.S. government relocated them to Oklahoma from their native land of the lower Appalachian Mountains. Over 4,000 died on that march. It was the last song written for the album.

The copy I have is the standard U.S. version with the single being the album version and not the shorter edited version. The B-Side being “Heart of Stone” off the same album. I also have a “demonstration-not for sale” stamp on this one as well, but it is backwards and on the B-Side so not sure what is going on with these. Maybe they were used for Promo purposes…and maybe not.

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Winger – “Hungry” – 7″ Single

We are now on to the 2nd single from the group of 6 I purchased a few weeks back. The first was Winger’s debut single for “Madalaine”. This time around we have the fourth and final single from the debut album. The single is for the song “Hungry” which was released in September 1989 a year or so after the albums release. The song didn’t do a well as their other songs only reaching #35 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Chart, but it did break the Billboard Top 100 reaching #85.

The song was written by Kip Winger and Reb Beach and seems to be about craving to be with the woman he loves. When he’s apart it makes him want her even more. He can’t eat, sleep and all he thinks about is being with her. Not at all creepy. The single I have is the standard U.S. release with the B-Side as “Time To Surrender” also from the debut album. Both songs are the album version and have not been edited.

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Winger – “Madelaine” – 7″ Single (Promotional Copy)

I have been out to some stores and found 6 great picture sleeve singles and all from only 2 bands. First up is Beavis & Butthead’s favorite band to hate, Winger. The song is for the debut single from their debut album. The song is “Madalaine” from their self-titled album Winger. The single was released in May of 1988 a few months prior to the release of the album. The song went to #27 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart and was actually ignored by MTV which is a shocker. It wasn’t until their next single “Seventeen” did the band break on MTV.

The song was written by Kip Winger, Reb Beach and producer Beau Hill. They took a bunch of riffs that Reb had laying around since he was a kid and Kip helped piece them together to make the song. It is obviously about a woman who is just to tough to tame as she is too wild. Originally it was written with a slower tempo and meant to be more ballady, but Beau Hill had the idea of speeding it up and well, he was right. It works really well that way.

My copy says the B-Side is the song “Higher & Higher” which was only available on the CD version of the release. However, my copy is not the public released single. Nope. It is a promo of the song “Madalaine” and that is the song on both sides. The jacket used was the standard single jacket, but the 7″ Vinyl label was printed as promotional copy. My version has the person it was sent to stamped on both sides (or it was the stamp of someone that collected it). Not sure why it is stamped on both sides because you really only need to stamp it once to mark it as yours.

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August 2022 Purchases – Vinyl, CDs and Books

August is over and so is Summer. School is back in session and it was a very busy month. Between vacation, getting one of my daughters off to college and traveling for work, I didn’t have much record store time. As a result, my selection is rather small compared to some of my months. But doesn’t mean there isn’t enough to show off so lets get in to it.

We will start off with my record shopping while on vacation as I did pick up a few things. First up was a Joe Satriani for the album, ‘Not of this Earth’, which I already have. But I didn’t have this cover. I had never seen this before, so my rule…if you haven’t seen it before, you buy it. And I did…

And that holds true for one my next finds at the same record store. I picked up Kiss’ ‘Psycho Circus’ on CD as it was at the lowest price I’d seen in awhile. Then I saw a maxi-single for “I Was Made For Loving You (Live)” for the Alive III album. I had never seen this before, so I bought it…

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The Alarm – “Strength” – 7″ Single

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.

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Queensryche – “Empire” – 7″ Single

At the May 2022 Record Show in Charlotte, I found a handful of singles and the one we are discussing today is from Queensryche for their single “Empire” from their 1990 album of the same name. The song was the first single and came out in September 1990. The song didn’t chart in the Top 40, but it did go to #22 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. It is the 2nd most played song by the band live…”Eyes of a Stranger” is #1. The song was written by Geoff Tate and Michael Wilton.

The version I have is the standard U.S. Version on 7″ Vinyl and the B-Side is “Scarborough Fair” which was not on the original album but added as a bonus track for latest re-issues of the album. “Empire” is said to be the radio edit of the album version but any changes is virtually unnoticeable.

The song is very political and talks about how much the government spends on law enforcement and how little that amount is compared to military and space exploration. The song itself is about the drug trafficking within the United States and all the related crimes that arise from it. The song believes that it will inevitably lead to the breakdown of civility in American society. I can’t say for sure if that is the case, but today it is still just as bad as it was in 1990 and Society does seem to be imploding at times. The gun violence is definitely on the rise.

A-SIDE:

The song opens with a massive guitar riff and a very heavy, metallic drum beat. The vibe is foreboding and urgent. Geoff Tate almost speaks the lyrics as he describing the events that result from drug trafficking. When he gets to the chorus his vocals soar and then with “Empire” it turns deep and sinister. Some of the echo effects on his vocals are added fro dramatic effect and are so cool. Musically, the boys give us an industrial sound that is as dark and sad as the lyrics yet it rocks out as the production quality is perfection. There is a break in the song where Geoff speaks out statistics backed by the band with a driving beat that builds and builds until we get to the solo that will blow your mind…okay maybe not, but it is superb. The song might be one of the best they have ever done and there are a quite a few great ones from them.

B-SIDE:

“Scarborough Fair” is an old traditional English Ballad that dates back generations. It was made famous in modern times thanks to Simon & Garfunkel. Queensryche recorded it back in 1986 and it ended up as the B-Side for “Empire”. Back in 1990, you wanted this single for the reason that this song had been previously unreleased at the time. The song is sad sounding and Geoff sings in a deep dark voice…which doesn’t feel natural. The song sounds sinister and evil with how they are playing. It does build and get a little heavier and Geoff actually hits some higher notes as well. It is a weird song for them and not a favorite of mine, but there is something cool about it.

And there you have it. Another 7″ Single from the collection. Don’t worry…there are more to come. Thanks for stopping by.

Halestorm – “Back From the Dead” – RSD Exclusive Cut-Shaped Picture Disc (2022)

For the Record Store Day drop on June 18, 2002, Halestorm released an RSD Exclusive Cut-Shaped Picture Disc for their song “Back from the Dead”. The shape was pretty cool as it is a tombstone which definitely fits the title of the song. Only 2,800 were made and distributed and I was able to get one. The shaped disc is one of the attracting things about this release, but it is also the cover of The Who’s “Long Live Rock” which isn’t on any Halestorm album and at this point in time the only physical release of the song.

The vinyl is not a 45 RPM but is played at the standard 33 so don’t hit 45 like I did and listen to it super fast as if the Chipmunks were singing. Yes, I know it says 33 at the bottom of the vinyl, I didn’t read it and assumed it was a typical 45. But it was a fun way to hear the song.

A-SIDE:

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July 2022 Purchases – Vinyl, CD’s and 8-Tracks!!

We are moving through the year quite fast I believe as it is already the end of July. And it was a hot one, both temperature and purchases. Now, I do have a handful of vinyl, but as prices skyrocket, I am focusing on the albums that mean something to me or from bands that mean something to me so the purchases have slowed. CDs are cheaper and a lot easier to obtain so I seem to be buying way more of those these days. With minor exceptions, I have been laser focused on what I’m buying. Let’s go through the vinyl first. First up is the new album from Shinedown called ‘Planet Zero’. I have all their albums on vinyl as I am a big fan so why not get the new one…

Then it I picked up a couple holy grail type albums. First was one from Kiss that had only been issued for their very limited exclusive Kissteria box set. I didn’t think I’d every own one. Thanksfully, they re-issued it on vinyl and I snagged a copy. Not their best compilation, but one that was lacking in my vinyl collection so couldn’t be happier…My list of missing vinyl is now smaller.

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Ghost – “Hunter’s Moon” – 7″ Single

In my many trips to the local record stores, I stumbled across a new single by the band Ghost. It wasn’t a single for the new album, ‘Impera’, even though the song is on that album. It is actually the song that was written for the latest Halloween movie called “Halloween Kills” which was out in 2021. Tobias Forge was approached by the producer Ryan Turek if he’d be interested in writing a song for the movie. I doubt Tobias hesitated at all as he had a song already laying around that he thought would work and that was “Hunter’s Moon”.

A-SIDE:

I love how the song feels like it is coming from Jason’s perspective which makes it really eerie. The drumming on this is a highlight as the fills and pounding beat are really key to its creepiness along with Tobias’ haunting vocals. You can help but feel creeped out. The piercing electric guitar riffs are like stabbings to your heart. But the song also feels nostalgic which I know sounds weird. The song feels like it is Jason looking back over the years and how he has felt along in his thirst for killing people. The song is heavy yet it has a little romanticism to it as well. It is a really cool song, admit it.

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The Alarm – “Presence of Love” – 7″ Single

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.

A-SIDE:

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.

B-SIDE:

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.