Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Start Of A Long Cold Winter

Even as a young thrasher, I still had to admit that the first Cinderella album, Night Songs, was pretty fucking good. While I was making broad generalizations about hair metal being for posers, that album still had enough grit to it so that I considered it acceptable.

No matter how much I enjoyed Night Songs, by the time Long Cold Winter was released in '88 I had such an elitist attitude that I wasn't going to even give it chance. Thrash or die.

While I was neck deep in my hair metal obsession earlier this year, I decided that I should finally check out that second Cinderella album. I honestly didn't think that I knew a single song off this album...but then I heard Gypsy Road, and remembered that I always enjoyed this video when it played on MTV's Headbangers Ball. There were a couple other songs on there that I recognized as I worked my way through this record, so maybe I did hear some of this album back in the day...I don't know, but either way, I am really digging this record now.

As a part of my hair metal shopping spree in town earlier this year, I was very happy to get this album so that I can finally really appreciate it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Come Out And Play

When I discovered Twisted Sister in 1984, they quickly became my favorite band. Stay Hungry had just come out, and it quickly became my soundtrack to teenage rebellion. I loved that band and their middle-finger attitude. By the time we were nearing the end of '85, I was starting to discover bands that were a little harder and heavier, and I was pushing aside those bands that initially turned me on to heavy metal. I no longer had time for Quiet Riot, Helix and Kick Axe, as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Dio were commanding most of my attention.

When I heard that Twisted Sister were going to be releasing a new album, I was interested to see what they would deliver. I tuned in to MTV to catch their newest video, and they served up a turd called Leader Of The Pack. I was horrified. How could these heavy metal heroes serve up a lame cover song that my parents liked from when they were in school? While I had a couple of friends that stuck by Twisted Sister, I felt betrayed and wanted nothing to do with them...and their follow up single of Be Chrool To Your Scuel, fell flat as well and was the final nail in the coffin.

2019 was shaping up to be my year for hair metal, and I decided to give Come Out And Play a second chance. Listening to it now, it makes me wonder if things would have turned out differently if the band had released Lookin' Out For #1 or the title track as the single instead. If I ignore Leader Of The Pack, this album is a worthy follow up to Stay Hungry.

I obviously need a copy with the original pop up cover.

Shame that the band got so screwed on poor decisions back in '85, because if they had come out harder than they did, this album may have been huge for me at the time.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Hair Metal Contagion

This year I've really been drawn to a bunch of hair metal bands that I've previously never had any interest in. In addition, this obsession has pushed me to check out some albums from bands that followed the hair metal trend in the late 80's, and changed their sound to try and stay relevant. While I've loved the early Y&T albums, I always kind of drew a line in the sand at 1984's In Rock We Trust. The band had already started to change by that album, but it had always been my stopping point, however, obsessing over hair metal earlier this year, had me feeling a little adventurous, and I was ready to give those late 80's Y&T albums a chance.

Earlier this year, I'd downloaded the songs from Y&T's 1987 album, Contagious, and I was having a good time giving it the occasional spin. It wasn't kicking my ass like some of the other surprises I'd uncovered this year, but since I'd seen the band live this past Spring, and a couple of Contagious songs were in the setlist, this was still a fun listen.

While this is by no means rare, I don't think that I'd ever stumbled upon this record in the used bins at the stores in town, so I was excited to see a copy while I was on a recent shopping trip.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Young & Wreckless

Like Krokus, Helix were one of the first metal bands that I stumbled upon in the early 80's. In the time before MTV, there were stations that would have late night programming exclusively for music videos. As a pre-teen that was hungry for more music, I hunted it out wherever I could, and that included catching shows like Night Flight and Friday Night Videos, hoping to catch something that was new and captured my attention.

I remember catching the Rock You video from Helix on one of those shows, and immediately needed to hear more from the band, so ran out to buy Walkin' The Razor's Edge to add it to my very small cassette collection of Heavy Metal.

Back in '84, this album was huge for me, but after a couple of years, and digging deeper and deeper into harder and heavier music, I eventually just sent it to the trash bin. Thirty five years later, I've rediscovered this record, and I'm having a complete blast listening to it again.

When I found this copy of the record in the store, the price tag was a bit more than I had planned to spend for this one, but it was still sealed and I couldn't resist. Still blows my mind to find these older records unopened...and then I immediately rip the cellophane wrapper off and put the record on my turntable.

As I was digging through the used bins in the local record stores, I was hoping to walk away with a handful of old Helix records, but unfortunately, I only found one other one that was in the condition that I was willing to buy...Wild In The Streets from 1987.

My memory is hazy on this one. I want to say that I bought this one on cassette as well...and if I did, it would have been the last Helix album I would have bought...but other than the terrible album cover, I really don't remember anything about this one. If I did buy it when it was released, it did not get much attention on my stereo...which is funny, because in 2019 I absolutely love this fucking record. Man, what a good time. This one is going to be getting daily spins for a while.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Hot Shot Promo City

I've spent a fair amount of my time this year revisiting some of the bands that I was listening to when I first starting discovering Heavy Metal in the early 80's. Back in those days, I was really into Krokus and Helix, but as I started to find heavier bands in Maiden and Priest, those two bands were quickly forgotten for the next 30+ years. It has been a blast to rediscover these bands this year, and while I've already picked up a few Krokus albums this year, as I headed into the used record stores in Portland recently, I wanted to cross a couple more off the list.

By the time Change Of Address came out in '86, the band was definitely feeling the pressure to keep up with the hair bands of the day. Dokken, Motley Crue and Ratt were fire at that time, and Krokus obviously wanted some of that action and started to follow that path. While I remember this album hitting the stores, and the video for School's Out...really though, Krokus seemed to love putting those 70's hard rock covers on their albums...still, the band was basically off my radar at this point, and I'm pretty sure that I ignored this one.

I've been obsessing over Krokus this year, so I was game to try anything, and when I saw Change Of Address in the used bins for $6, I didn't hesitate.

The album definitely isn't as strong as their earlier albums like Headhunter, One Vice At A Time and Hardware, but these songs are still cool to me.

I was hoping to pick up some more late 80's Krokus albums, but came up short. Surprisingly, one of the stores in town had a couple of promo records for the band, and I quickly snatched them up to help feed the obsession.

Promo singles don't offer anything new, and like this Burning Up The Night 12 inch, the same song is on both sides. That's fine though, I'm just looking to fill the collection, and I think the unique promo covers are cool to have.

In addition to the Burning Up The Night promo, the store also had a copy of the Midnight Maniac promo from the Krokus album The Blitz. I love this song, and while the same art is used for the front and back cover, I'm still happy to own this.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Hardcore Crusade

I was on a hardcore record shopping spree, and I was coming out of this with four records for $10. The last one that I grabbed from the Discogs seller was the first 7 inch from Thought Crusade.

The Common Man record from Thought Crusade was released back in 2008...which is crazy, because it feels like it was just a few years ago that I was seeing them at the Triple B Showcase. Fuck. So much time has passed, and the memories of checking out all kinds of new hardcore bands back then makes me nostalgic to get out and catch a show.

This band is terribly overlooked, and the $2 price tag is a testament to that. Strangely enough, this copy of the Common Man record on red is the only one that has been sold on Discogs.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Serpico Is Not Dead

While I was picking up a few other records from a Discogs seller, I saw they had a Serpico 7 inch for sale that I'd never heard of before. I've got their two Equal Vision CDs from '95 and '96, and a couple other 7 inches, but I'd never heard of this I'm Not Dead record. I was in an adventurous mood, and with a $2 price tag, I figured that I'd grab it.

Even though I own the two Serpico CDs that were released from Equal Vision Records, I still haven't listened to them in around 15 years. No exaggeration. So I'm not sure why I felt the need to buy another Serpico record...just caught up in the moment, and looking for something new, I guess.

I'm Not Dead was released in '94, and definitely sounds of that time. Good enough to be enjoyable for a spin when you want to revisit that time period, but there isn't anything here to set it apart and above those bands that were doing it better at that time. Good stuff, but not too exciting.

Numbered and limited to 1,000 pressed...which I guess explains why this record goes for so cheap these days. I can see the band sitting around in the late 90's with half of these still sitting in their basement and bummed out that they took the effort to actually hand stamp and number all 1,000 of these.