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.

Night Ranger – “When You Close Your Eyes” – 7″ Single

For Night Ranger, how do you follow-up your biggest hit, “Sister Christian”. Well, you release another ballad and they did it this time with “When You Close Your Eyes” the third single off their 1983 album ‘Midnight Madness’. It was released on July 14, 1984 as a single and it didn’t do as well as “Sister Christian” as it only went to #14 on the Billboard Charts. Only..right! Most bands would kill for that. It did help continue to catapult the album to well over 1 million copes giving them their first and maybe only Platinum album.

The song was written by Jack Blades with the help of Alan Fitzgerald and Brad Gillis. The song came about from Jack noodling around on the piano and he sang the chorus and thought it was great. He had Alan and Brad help but he couldn’t finish it with all the distractions while recording the album. He flew home and sat around the pool and then was inspired by his ex-girlfriend and wondering if she ever still thought about him. That inspiration turned in to a big hit for the band.

My copy is a U.S. Pressing with the B-Side as “Why Does Love Have to Change” which is also off ‘Midnight Madness’. My copy is the Gloversville pressing as it has this little flower symbol in the runout. Plus it only has the Midnight Madness album cover on the back where later pressing have that plus Dawn Patrol. It is pretty good shape and plays great.

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Kiss – ‘The Ritz On Fire’ – Album Review (The Bootleg Series)

I can’t believe we are on our 20th Review in the Kiss Bootleg Series. Nuts to think I’ve picked up that many. This one is called ‘The Ritz on Fire’ which is from August 12, 1988, The Ritz, New York City. A radio broadcast, from the Crazy Nights tour. This one is not the full show, but sort of a Best Of Compilation of that show. There are a bunch of different ones out there, some with full shows and some like this. I do have a show from the Crazy Nights Tour that was recorded on April 18, 1988 in Osaka, Japan, so I figured I’d grab this one as well as why not, you can never have enough Kiss Bootlegs…obviously or we wouldn’t be on #20.

I have found that this version is one of the few bootlegs that get all the packaging correct. They have the right band members in the pictures (Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick) and the right song titles and I don’t see any mistakes which is rare in the Bootleg world.

This is Kiss live much in the same vein as their current “Off the Soundboard” series in that there are no touchups, it is as you heard it when it happened and in this case as it was on the radio broadcast. The first 9 songs on this 10 song set are in order of the original setlist and it isn’t until the 10th song that it jumps ahead a number songs and plays one more. Basically, it is the first half of the show.

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Cheap Trick – ‘We’re All Alright!’ (2017) – Album Review (The Cheap Trick Collection Series)

Cheap Trick is the fine wine of Rock & Roll…they keep getting better with age.  Okay, that was extremely cheesy if not entirely true!  They are now on their 18th Studio album after 44 years together.  To top it off, it has only been around 15 months since their last one, ‘Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello’.  The new album picks up right where that album left off.  ‘We’re All Alright!’ even takes it to the next level.

The album title, ‘We’re All Alright!’, is a line straight out of their classic song “Surrender” and the whole album is classic Cheap Trick.  The album is a fast paced, juggernaut of pure Cheap Trick rock.  The songs are generally around 3 minutes and the album flies by at only 33 minutes (45 for the deluxe edition).  The album consists of new songs and some old songs that were never recorded or released.

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Poison – “Nothin’ But A Good Time” – 7″ Single

While out at a new Record Store I found called Mad Jack’s, I picked up this sweet single from Poison’ album ‘Open Up and Say…Ahh!’. This is their first single off the album and it was called “Nothin’ But a Good Time”. It was released on April 6, 1988 and the song went all the way to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it was all over MTV. My version of the single is the standard U.S. version with “Look But You Can’t Touch” as the B-Side. It was in pristine condition considering it is over 30 years old. The B-Side for the single is also off the ‘Open Up and Say…Ahh!’ album and is called “Look But You Can’t Touch”.

The song was written back in their early days when they were living in a warehouse and they had no money. They would talk women in to buying them food and doing all sorts of things for them. I have also read it was about not needing to be depressed working a 9 to 5 job and just live in the moment and live it up. It is a very hedonistic lifestyle and that comes across in the song. They were rock stars living the dream, what more could you want.

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Aerosmith – ‘ 1971: The Road Starts Hear’ (2021 RSD) – Album Review (The Aerosmith Collection Series)

It has been years since we have been given any new, unreleased material from Aerosmith. The last studio album was 10 years ago in 2012 and there were two live albums back in 2015, but nothing to light the world on fire. That was until Black Friday Record Store Day on November 26, 2021 when they had a “first release” of a found recording that contains the earliest known recording of the band to exist. The album is called ‘1971: The Road Starts Hear’ which is around 18 months prior to the release of their debut album in January 1973.

The timeframe of the release is sometime during the Fall of 1971 as Brad Whitford was in the band as he was the last cog in the wheel as he joined in August 1971. So, we had Brad as well as Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer and Aerosmith was born in the form we all know and love. However, the whereabouts of where this was actually recorded is in question. There are several possibilities, but no one actually knows for sure. We know it is not an actual concert as there is no crowd noise so thoughts are it is either a soundcheck or a band rehearsal, but whichever it is, it is totally amazing as we get a band that is fairly new, but extremely tight musically and destined to explode on to the world. The thought is it was recorded originally recorded in October 1971, Boston, Mass. on Joe Perry’s Wollensak 3M 1280 2-track tape recorder, but that is as much as we know for sure.

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Dire Straits – “Money For Nothing” – 7″ Single

One of the most Iconic 80’s songs is Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” which was a staple on MTV as the song was about MTV. The song was the second single off their smash album ‘Brothers in Arm’. The song was released on June 24, 1985 and went all the way to #1 for three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. It also won Dire Straits a Grammy for Best Rock Performance. It features fellow 80’s icon, Sting, on the background vocals singing the famous line “I Want My MTV”. On a fun note, the song was the first video played on MTV Europe which aired on August 1, 1987.

The song was inspired by a visit to the appliance store by Mark Knopfler. He saw they had a wall of TV’s all on one station, MTV! Standing next to him was an employee and Mark says he actually said some of the lyrics. Mark apparently borrowed a sheet of paper and started writing the lyrics right there in the store. As a result, the song is about an appliance worker bitching about the guys on MTV and how easy they got it. He does real work, they don’t.

My copy is a standard U.S. version with what is called the Long Edit version of “Money For Nothing” which I find humorous as the Album version is over 8 minutes, yet the long edit version is 4:38. So why is it the long edit version, but the single edit version is 4:06. Okay then. The B-Side is the live version of the song “Love Over Gold”. I like the back of the single jacket as it actually lists the band’s North American Tour dates. I don’t know if that was a common thing, but none of my singles from other bands have done that.

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Talisman – “I’ll Be Waiting” (1990) – 7″ Single (The Jeff Scott Soto Series – Bonus Edition)

Welcome back. For this Bonus post in the Jeff Scott Soto Series, we are going to talk about a 7″ Single from the album ‘Talisman’ for the song “I’ll Be Waiting”. The single was released in Sweden and didn’t take off at first. There was a radio station in Sweden that normally played Kylie Minogue and that type of music, played the single and the response was tremendous. They played it again and the same thing happened. The song went all the way to #2 on the their charts and the album ended up selling over 50,000 albums. Not bad at all. Amazingly enough this was supposed to be a one-off project, but the response was so big Talisman went on for another 19 years and released 7 albums plus numerous live recordings.

The single I have is the 7″ vinyl single from Sweden. It is on the Airplay Recordings label and was released in 1990. The B-Side was the song “Dangerous” off the same album and was written solely by Marcel Jacob. “I’ll Be Waiting” was written by both Marcel and Jeff Scott Soto. The two songs are actually right next to each other on the album and a great 1-2 punch.

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Eyes – “Nobody Said It Was Easy” (1990) – 7″ Single (The Jeff Scott Soto Series – Bonus Edition)

For this edition of the Jeff Scott Soto Series, we are going to look at a 7″ Single I found from the band Eyes. This single I found is really cool in my book. It is a Scandinavian release of the band’s single “Nobody Said It Was Easy” off their 1990 debut album ‘Eyes’. The album was off the Curb Records label, but that was in the U.S. For this release we get Sonet Grammofon AB and I love how the label on the record looks with the Sonet logo on it. I can’t imagine there are a ton of these out there as they were an obscure band, but thanks to Discogs, I now have a copy. I doubt I’ll ever see one out it in the wild here in the U.S.

The song was obviously released as a single, but I don’t think it ever charted anywhere which is a shame. The B-Side of the vinyl is also from the debut album and is called “Start Livin'”. I don’t have any back stories to the songs as information on the band Eyes is really hard to come by. Maybe if I ever get to sit down with Jeff, I can ask him about them.

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Cheap Trick – “The Flame” (1988) – 7″ Single (The Cheap Trick Collection Series – Bonus Edition)

Welcome to a bonus edition of The Cheap Trick Collection Series. In my crate digging, I occasionally come upon 7″ Singles and when I find one from a band I like, I usually buy it and this was no different. The single was for the song “The Flame” from the band’s album ‘Lap of Luxury’ from 1988. It was sort of a comeback album for the band as the prior few albums didn’t do very well and they were starting to disappear from the scene. This song saved them from going the way of the Dodo. The album ended up going Platinum thanks to this song and their other singles “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Ghost Town”.

The band almost didn’t get an opportunity to sing the song as it was initially offered to blues artist, Elkie Brooks who turned it down. Which is a good thing because I doubt it would’ve had the success it ended up having with Cheap Trick. There was a story going around that Rick Nielsen really hated the song and pulled it out of the tape deck and ground it in to the floor with his foot. He has later denied disliking the song entirely and said it had its moments. The problem is Rick hated that the song was written by outside writers that were forced upon them by the label.

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