Saturday, January 27, 2007

King of Rock and Roll

Recently picked up Dio's live EP, Intermission, which was recorded during the '85 Sacred Heart tour. I saw Dio on this tour as they came through Portland with Rough Cutt opening the show. I was 15 years old and this was my third concert. Metal concerts in the mid '80's were all about the stage show, and Dio knew how to deliver, complete with his battle against a dragon. Man, as a kid I was blown away. Funny how everything is stripped down nowadays, with no theatrics.
I won this record on eBay for 99 cents. The seller also had a copy of Black Sabbath's Master of Reality, which I was expecting to win so I threw a bid on the Dio record for the hell of it. Ended up losing the Sabbath one, and was left with only Dio.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Shopping Spree (part 2)

Another stop on the Jeff and Mike record shopping spree was Enterprise Records in Portland. I had been here one other time, about a year ago with Rob, so I had high hopes that the selection would be as good as the last visit. It met my expectations, as I wasn't able to afford everything that I wanted.
  • Black Sabbath : Vol 4 - This was a new pressing on the Nems label. 180 gram vinyl. Vol 4 is one of the Sabbath records that I can't resist buying when I find a pressing that I don't have.
  • Thin Lizzy : Jailbreak - This is a great rock record. I "discovered" this band about 4 or 5 months ago, and downloaded a few albums. I bought this record so that I would own a copy, instead of just a burned CD. After I got home, I learned that the first pressing of this record came in a gatefold sleeve, and I was a little disappointed that mine wasn't.
  • Rainbow : On Stage - Dio has rocked us for a long, long time. Before his solo career and Sabbath, he fronted the Ritchie Blackmore band, Rainbow. Just like when Blackmore was in Deep Purple, live performances produce epic songs with plenty of jam sessions. This double album set has only 6 or 7 songs, with a handful of them clocking in around the 15 minute mark. It was kind of cool to hear Dio perform Mistreated from Deep Purple, originally sung by David Coverdale.
  • Fastway : Fastway - Jeff highly recommended this one, and at $3.75, I took the chance. The band has Fast Eddie from Motorhead, who was the original guitarist up through the Iron Fist album. Make no mistakes, Fastway sound nothing like Motorhead. Instead they play a very Zeppelin influenced style of rock. Good album.
  • This Is Boston, Not L.A. compilation - This is a hardcore punk classic. Fast and furious early 80's hardcore featuring Boston greats like Gang Green, Jerry's Kids, The F.U.'s and The Freeze. I picked up this album for $7.00 The next day I took a look at eBay to check how much they go for, and found one that sold for $60. I think I got a bargain.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Shopping Spree (part 1)

Last weekend Jeff and I took the afternoon to go on a record shopping spree. Both of us have an affinity for vinyl and hard rock / heavy metal music, so I was looking forward to spending some time visiting a couple of record stores with him. It was the perfect way to kill an afternoon...flipping through stacks upon stacks of vinyl.
We hung out at Jeff's house for an hour or so, talking about 70's rock and checking out his impressive collection of records that take up a whole wall in his basement. He had a Metal Massacre box set from Metal Blade Records that caught my was hand numbered and pretty limited. After spinning a couple of records we headed out. One of our stops was at Bill O'Neil's House of Rock n Roll in Saco. I have never been to Bill O'Neils, so I was excited to check it out. The place was exactly how you would expect to find a small independent used record store. It had crates full of records stacked in the aisles and stored in the back room. It was chaos to the untrained eye, but Bill knew where everything was. Jeff asked if he had some vinyl for Blue Oyster Cult, and he knew exactly which stack to find them. I tried to pace myself and only picked up four records.
  • Motley Crue : Shout at the Devil - I really wanted to listen to this again, so I was happy to find it. The gatefold sleeve was a little beat up, but the condition wasn't too bad, so I grabbed it. As a kid, Shout at the Devil was the first album that I bought without hearing any songs off it. I think I was in 7th grade, and I was starting to get into Heavy Metal with AC/DC, Def Leppard and Quiet Riot. At the time, this was the coolest record to own. Still a fun listen.
  • Black Sabbath : Eternal Idol - A continuation of my current Black Sabbath fascination. This album was released well after the classic Ozzy, Dio, and Gillian years, and is very underrated. At times the singer sounds like Ronnie James Dio....still worth checking out.
  • Van Halen : Van Halen II - Over the past couple of years, I have downloaded and burned all the David Lee Roth era Van Halen albums. I never liked them as a kid, but have come to really appreciate how much fun they are. Van Halen II is an amazing record, with my favorite track being D.O.A..
  • Scorpions : Lovedrive - Scorpions were another band that I never really liked while growing up. When I was first starting to get into Heavy Metal, this was a band that I was afraid would be too heavy, and then I quickly moved from Iron Maiden and Dio to Metallica and Slayer, and the Scorpions weren't heavy enough. Jeff convinced me to give them a chance and check out their earlier records, and once again, he was right. Some of the songs on Lovedrive are so heavy and fast, I'm surprised that I wasn't into them at the time.
All in all, I enjoyed Bill O'Neil's. I'll have to make a point to hit this store a couple of times a year.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fresh New Look

It took me a while before I bothered switching over to the new version of Blogger. One of the new features is a drag-and-drop edit function for templates. It looked easy, so I decided it was time to change the format. I still need to mess around with the chart that shows up here, but I'm liking the new look and feel of the blog.

While I'm here and making a general post, I want to take the time to thank the regular visitors to the Record Nerd friend Rob, and the two cool guys that I've met through Blogger, Tyler and Rold. Thanks, dudes.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Matter Of Life And Death

I used a $20 gift certificate that I got for Christmas, and put it towards the new Iron Maiden double album. It is a limited edition double picture disc, and the whole thing looks amazing with the gatefold sleeve. When I first picked up the album, I was amazed at how heavy the package felt....very solid. This is a very good album. It doesn't compare to the classic Maiden releases of the 80's, as the band still insists on writing these epic 10 minute tracks, but there is still some great stuff on this record. My only complaint is that this is pressed as a picture disc. I generally don't like picture discs...Especially when the packaging only consists of a clear plastic sleeve. Plus, picture discs tend to have a poor sound quality to them. I would have appreciated this more if it was pressed on regular black vinyl.