Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Primitive Future

I may have gotten myself in too deep with all the goals that I've set for 2019. First up, I created a list of ten records that I've wanted for years, but haven't had the focus to make any solid moves to actually acquire them, so keeping them front and center on my radar, I hoped that it would motivate me to finally pick them off. There are some heavy hitters on that list, so just sticking with that goal pretty much filled my plate...and then I kicked off January with a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal obsession, and I started to get excited thinking about chasing down some NWOBHM rarities. Then, if that wasn't enough, I got it into my head to really get aggressive over my 30th anniversary challenge, and grab some of my favorite albums from 1989 that I still need to own on vinyl...and I'll tell you, that list is fucking huge.

Right now, those records from 1989 are commanding most of my attention. Because I was so focused on buying CDs back in '89, my record collection for that year is fucking pathetic. When I looked in my collection for that year, I came up with a total of two metal records...and one of those was the Sea Hags album that I was introduced to this year. Jesus Christ. I needed to do some work.

I wanted to come out of the gates with a bang, and scoring Sepultura's Beneath The Remains was a great way to kick off this latest obsession. This thing is mint. With the shrink wrap and hype sticker still a part of the package, I don't think that I could have found a better copy.

Holy shit. This album is a monster. It has been a blast revisiting it, and every single one of these songs still hit like a brick to the face. Easily a contender for the best album from 1989...which is saying something for a year that was full of great metal records. More killer albums from 1989 to come...

Monday, March 18, 2019

Midnite Maniac

I remember owning the cassette for The Blitz, from Krokus, when I was a kid. I know that I owned it, but I don't remember much about it. My fading memory seems to recall it was a rather weak follow up to Headhunter, which was a favorite of mine back in 1983...but with The Blitz, I just don't think that it was heavy enough to capture my attention at the time, and it quickly took a back seat to Out Of The Cellar, Stay Hungry, and Powerslave.

For the past six months or so, I've been obsessing over those early 80's metal albums, and revisiting a lot of those albums that I've left buried by time and dust. After re-discovering Krokus recently, and absolutely loving some of their earlier records, I happened to find a used copy of The Blitz at the local store. I hadn't bothered to revisit this one, but I was feeling good about my chances with it in 2019, and I rolled the dice...dropping the $6 for it.

I've been finding myself very forgiving of those mid-80's hair metal bands lately, and I've been having a ton of fun spinning stuff like Kick Axe, Helix, Quiet Riot, and Ratt...and this Krokus album falls right in with those bands that have been getting lots of repeat plays in my playlists lately. Simply put, I'm having fun listening to The Blitz, so it was well worth the price paid for this slab of vinyl.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Reason To Believe In Remission

2019 has been pretty quiet on the record collecting front for hardcore so far, but when the opportunity came up to pick up a special pressing of the newest Remission album, I quickly added it to my cart without a second thought. I've built a nice Remission collection over the years, and I wanted to keep it going, so there was no way I was going to let this one pass me by.

This is such a solid album. When I first heard it, I commented that it had a Reason To Believe/Jon Bunch vibe...hell, when I blogged about the record last year, I even titled my post Remission To Believe...so it was cool to see them do a special pressing that is a tribute to the artwork for the Reason To Believe album. Man, this looks so damn good.

Hand numbered, limited to 50, and only available direct from the band.

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Wings Of War

Overkill has been one of my favorite thrash bands for years, and their production level is off the charts. I mean, without fail, they release a new album every two or three years, and each record is just a powerhouse of thrash. How many bands keep up that level of consistency?

I'll admit, the new album, The Wings Of War, took a bit of time to really grab me. I've been stuck in a hair metal mindset quite a bit lately, and the first couple listens of the new Overkill record didn't leave much of an impression on me. However, these songs are starting to take hold with the last few spins, and I'm really starting to dig this album. There is a lot of great new metal albums coming down the pike this year, so it will be interesting to see where this Overkill record falls in my end of the year list. The band typically scores pretty high with me, but damn, they are going to be facing some tough competition this year.

I didn't even fuck around with colored vinyl for this record. All the colors looked gross, and with the packaging, black vinyl just looked better.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Fell In Love With A Girl

There was a time when I was fucking nuts over The White Stripes. Man, I loved that band, and I played every one of their records to death...then around 2013, I just lost interest, and I basically forgot about them over the next five years. I've had the itch to give The White Stripes a spin lately, and I've been eyeballing their vinyl at the record store lately, so when family members were looking for Christmas gift ideas, I threw their White Blood Cells album on the list.

In the early 00's, I was desperately looking for something new when it came to music, and that was when I stumbled upon The White Stripes. I Think I Smell A Rat was the first song that I checked out, and there was something there that grabbed my attention. I don't think that I'd heard anything like that, and I needed more, so I downloaded the entire White Blood Cells album. Man, that was some fun shit, and I developed a pretty healthy crush on Meg White the next few years.

I've got to say, this album has been a blast to revisit. I don't give a shit what Jack White is doing these days, but I still love everything that The White Stripes did.

Monday, March 11, 2019

None More White

I've been slowly adding records for The Beatles to the collection. I enjoy all of their stuff, but it is really only the later day records...from '65 on...that I'm actively looking to pick up. I've grabbed a copy of all the records from that era that I was most excited to own...with the exception of The White Album. I still needed to get my hands on that one.

As the family was getting ready for Christmas last year, I was asked for some gift ideas, and so I threw together a list of albums that I wanted, but if left to my own devices, I know that I wouldn't have tried very hard to chase them. The two album set for The White Album was on that list. The Beatles are one of those few bands that some family members can see eye to eye with me on, so I figured that it might make someone happy to pick up that one for me.

This 50th anniversary pressing is pretty damn solid, and includes reproductions of the original portraits and poster that were included in the original pressings.

This poster is huge. I'm happy that things like this were included, otherwise, with the simple, embossed, white cover would be pretty damn boring. At least the poster and portraits give the packaging some life and color.

The White Album isn't one of my favorite albums from The Beatles, as there is a lot of different stuff tried here, but I do still enjoy it from time to time, and there is still more than a handful of songs that are just truly fantastic.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

The Refused Party Program

The late 90's were a weird time for me with Hardcore. Sure there were some great records being released, but it seems that the majority of it, I just can't be bothered with these days. While bands like Fastbreak and Floorpunch still hold up, there are a string of bands like Boysetsfire and Where Fear And Weapons Meet that I haven't fucked with for years now.

At that time, Refused were huge for me. It is ridiculous how many times I listened to their Shape Of Punk To Come CD...and yet looking back at last.fm for my listening history, over the past 13 years, I've only given that album a spin three times. Yeah, that one fell way off for me. Yet, when I was checking the exclusive vinyl from Newbury Comics, I decided to throw it on the list of records for my brother to pick up for me at Christmas. You know, not interesting enough for me to actively chase and spend money on, but it's not like I could point my brother in the direction of Discogs and ask him to pick up an original Noise pressing for a Celtic Frost record.

It was kind of cool to revisit the album with this vinyl purchase. Musically, there are a lot of new ideas on this record, and I can see why I loved it so much back in 1998...but these days, it's only good for the occasional spin.

500 pressed on clear blue swirl vinyl.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Rage Against The Evil Empire

Throughout the 90's, I was a big fan of Rage Against The Machine. Their politics and aggression completely fed into my angry young man attitude. I don't really listen to them very much these days, but every once in a while, I'll still give those albums a spin and get such a charge out of it, that I'll toy with the idea of chasing down the vinyl pressing to add it to the record collection.

Last October, I met Sandwell in Boston for some record shopping. I haven't been a fan of Newbury Comics for years, but he wanted to stop in and check it out. While we were in there, he mentioned he was looking for a Newbury Comics exclusive pressing of an Op Ivy record...two seconds later, I started looking around to see what other exclusive colored vinyl pressings Newbury Comics had available. When I saw the red vinyl for Rage Against The Machine's Evil Empire album, I was tempted to finally grab a copy...then I saw the price tag, and immediately put it back on the shelf. Yeah, I wanted a copy, but money was feeling tight, and I didn't want to drop $30 on one.

While I didn't want to buy one for myself, I was totally okay if someone else wanted to buy it for me, so a month later, when my brother asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I pointed him in the direction of the Newbury Comics exclusive vinyl in their online store.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Night Moves

A few years ago, we lost a member of our family, and when all was said and done, I ended up with his small record collection. I took it home, and spent some time flipping through it...deciding what I might want to keep, and what was most likely going to end up getting dropped at the nearest Goodwill. While the majority of Steve's albums weren't of any interest to me, there were a small handful that I was excited to add to the collection, and I blogged about these back in 2017 and early 2018...and then there was a small stack that I wasn't overly excited over, but I still felt the need to hang on to them anyway. These records have just been sitting around gathering dust in the corner, but I recently dropped a couple of them onto my turntable, so let's get them up on the blog, so I can finally stick them on the shelves and officially make them part of the collection.

I love the early Bob Seger records, but I haven't been too excited to get into his later 70's-era stuff when he added in the Silver Bullet Band. Still, Steve had a couple of those albums, and so I finally decided to give them a shot.

Night Moves was the first album with the Silver Bullet Band in '76, and I regret ignoring it for so long. Pay no attention to the beautifully feathered hair and giant mustaches, this record is full of 70's rock hits. Great stuff.

The cover for Against The Wind is so balls deep in 70's cheese with that horse artwork and the cursive script for the band name, and then the album starts with The Horizontal Bop with those saxophones, and you are reminded of Huey Lewis And The News, and you know that Seger has moved into the 80's here. Things start off a little cringe worthy with that opening song, but once the songs started flowing, I was surprised to find that I was kind of digging the record. Not too bad.

While things weren't too exciting with these records, I still enjoy them, and I'll happily add them to the collection.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

New Electric Warriors

I wanted to sink into a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal obsession to kick off 2019. I grabbed my copy of Martin Popoff's This Means War, which covers everything that was happening with the NWOBHM scene from 1981 through 1984, and I dove in head first. There was so much to discover...tons of bands and records that I'd just never taken the time to investigate, and with Popoff as my guide, I hit up Soulseek to download a ton of stuff that was new to me.

One of the things that I discovered while reading Popoff's book, was just how many compilation records were released at that time. The NWOBHM scene was built on a Do It Yourself ethic, and it seemed like every upstart record label was putting together a comp full of young and hungry bands. While I generally steer clear of comps, I was suddenly caught up in the spirit of those early metal years, and I wanted to dig in deep, so I started checking out what some of those compilations had to offer.

I started checking out some of the comps, and was excited over just how many great discoveries there were to make. There was a lot of bands that I'd never heard before, and in many cases, it seemed that the comp was the only place that some of these bands ever appeared. I downloaded a copy of the New Electric Warriors compilation record, and I was amazed with how much fun this record was. There is a lot of innocence and determination captured here, and real youthful energy and excitement flows through this whole album...and I had these songs on repeat for weeks. I knew that I needed to track down the record.

These early comps don't seem to have seen a lot of attention since their initial run in the early 80's. If you want a copy you need to dig into the past, and get an original pressing because that's all there is. Given that many of the songs on the New Electric Warriors comp were exclusive that record, I would have expected it to carry a higher price tag, but for $25, I had no problem paying that. Man, this record is a blast. Buffalo, Streetfighter, Jedediah Strut, Race Against Time, Rhabstallion...so many unknown bands playing such great NWOBHM songs. I love this shit.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

In Search Of The Lost Chord

A year or so ago, I was stuck in a late 60's musical mindset. I was listening to tons of stuff from The Doors, Cream, The Beatles and The Stones, and I was loving the history of this music. It was fresh and pushing boundaries for it's time, and it just felt important. It has taken me a long time to finally recognize how great these bands were, an suddenly I was hit with an urge to dig around and see if there was something else that I'd been missing out on.

I started researching other bands from that era, and when I saw the name The Moody Blues, I figured that I'd give them a shot.

After checking out their discography, I decided that their 1967 album Days Of Future Passed might be a bit too much to start with since it was recorded with an orchestra, so I bumped thing out a year, and looked up their In Search Of The Last Chord album from '68.

I really didn't know what to expect here, but as we started to get into Ride My See-Saw I was getting really excited over what I was finding. The rest of the album didn't hit me as hard as that one song, but there was still something there that kind of kept my interest, so I revisited it off and on..and while it didn't completely grow on me like some of the other classic bands of the time, this is still a fun album to spin every once in a while.

While I was out visiting some local stores last Fall, I spotted the record in the racks and for six dollars, I added it to the slowly growing collection for the late 60's.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

7 Screaming Diz-Busters

When it comes to early 70's metal albums, some of my favorites would be those first few Blue Oyster Cult records. Given how much I love those albums, it is a bit of a shock that the only one that I own is the self-titled debut...and it was around 12 years ago since I'd picked that one up. I've gone looking on eBay and Discogs for both Tyranny And Mutation and Secret Treaties before, but I always end up wringing my hands over the condition of the cover, or the sellers price, and walk away empty handed. It shouldn't be this difficult to grab these records.

I've spent some time over the years digging through used bins, and of the two Blue Oyster Cult records that I need, I don't think that I've ever seen them in the wild. When I came across a copy of Tyranny And Mutation during a visit to one of the local used stores, I quickly pulled it from the rack. I wasn't happy about the bit of ringwear, or the barcode on the back cover indicating it was a later pressing, but fuck it, I just wanted this in my collection. I can always grab an original pressing down the road...because those original red and black, and inverted black and red b-side labels, are a pretty cool touch.

Damn, this album is so good. For 1972, this one is going to be right near the top of the list.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sea Hags

Back in October, Doug sent me a message, letting me know that he'd just picked up the Sea Hags album. He was obviously excited over his new purchase, and I was sitting there thinking, "Who the fuck is that?" I'd never even heard the name Sea Hags before. Doug gave me a quick lesson on their sleazy hair metal style, and I tucked the name away to check them out at a later date. Since I latched on to my obsession over Dokken, Ratt and early Motley Crue last year, I've been taking baby steps into the Hair Metal world, and checking out some bands that I ignored back in the day, so the Sea Hags record seemed like something that I'd be down to check out at some point.

A few days after Doug's message, I was flipping through the used bins at a local record store, and was surprised by the coincidence to see the same Sea Hags album sitting there. I had no idea if I was going to like it or not, but for six dollars, I figured that I'd take the chance.

Yes! This is exactly the kind of thing that I've been craving. Great sleazy rock and roll. I don't know if I'd qualify it as hair metal, but it does sit nicely next to stuff like Faster Pussycat that I've been digging lately.

One of my missions this year is to chase down the vinyl for albums that were released in 1989, and it just so happens that this one falls into that category. Not bad...30 years after it's release, I'm discovering it for the first time.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Hard And Heavy Hardware

As I was starting to get into heavy metal in the early 80's, one of the early cassettes that I bought was Headhunter from Krokus. I'm assuming that I got turned on to the band by those quality videos for Eat The Rich and Screaming In The Night...man, they don't make 'em like that anymore. I loved that album, and my brother an I quickly dug into their back catalog and picked up the tapes for Hardware, Metal Rendez-vous and One Vice At A Time... but honestly, I don't recall a damn thing from any of those albums. I think that my musical taste was changing so quickly, that soon after we picked up those other Krokus albums, we were already off chasing something heavier and faster...and Headhunter was obviously the heaviest album from Krokus, so their other stuff just didn't hold my interest.

Of course given that I've been totally immersing myself in early 80's metal nostalgia, I've been toying with the idea of digging back into those earlier Krokus albums, and giving them another shot.

I was in Portland last Fall, and checking out the record stores when I found a copy of the 1981 release for Hardware. I didn't remember a single thing about the record, but with a six dollar price tag, I figured that I'd take the chance and pick it up.

It is pretty rare for me to buy an album without playing it safe and downloading the songs and giving them a spin before actually deciding to buy the record, so it felt a little dangerous buying Hardware, but you know, sometimes I really walk on the wild side.

I didn't really have high expectations for this record, and while I've had it for about five months, I still hasn't bothered to listen to it. I was dragging my feet on this, but since it had worked it's way to the top of my backlog pile, it was time to finally give it a spin. Hot damn. This was a great surprise! I mean, back in 1983 and '84, as I was devouring a steady diet of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Dio, I can see how this would have gotten pushed aside, but as I'm neck deep in early 80's metal nostalgia, this was an amazing find. This record has been getting repeat spins this past week.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Canadian Ice

I know that I've talked a lot of shit on compilations. Generally, I've looked down on them, and have considered them to not really bring anything to the table for the long haul. Well, I'm starting to change my hardline stance on them. As I've recently been digging into the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal scene, as well as revisiting some early Metal Massacre comps, I've found myself quite enjoying these time capsules. With these metal compilations, there are quite a few bands that have been buried by time and dust, and in some cases, these comps are the only places that smaller bands had a song or two pressed to wax. Suddenly, I was looking at those old comps through rose colored nostalgia glasses, and I started to have a change of heart.

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about a new Canadian heavy metal comp on Temple Of Mystery Records, called Trapped Under Ice. The only band on this comp that I'd heard of was Freeways, and since I fucking loved their Cold Front EP so much, I really wanted this record...even if it was just to hear their new song. I'd been contemplating the purchase of Trapped Under Ice for a couple of months, but after downloading the Rocksnax and Lead Weight comps from the early 80's, I got caught up in the excitement and finally pulled the trigger.

Man, the gamble paid off, because this compilation is rock fucking solid. While I came for the Freeways track, I was absolutely surprised with how great bands like Traveler and Metalian sounded, and I found myself running to the internet to see what many of these other bands had available. Suddenly I'm excited about new metal bands!

The packaging for the Die Hard pressing is excellent. "Ice" colored vinyl with an OBI strip on the cover, plus a sheet of stickers with all the band's logos, and an exclusive fanzine.

This is a quality package, and I'm looking forward to digging into that fanzine and reading about each band.

Monday, February 18, 2019

A Ratt In Trouble

Last September, I picked up the first Ratt EP. When I grabbed that record, I was completely obsessing over that 1983/1984 time period...those days when I was first starting to discover heavy metal...and I loved finally adding those old classics to the collection. When I was digging around Discogs on the Ratt EP, I discovered that there was another pressing with a different cover, and like a fool, I needed to get a copy.

The Ratt EP was originally released in 1983 on Time Coast Communications, and then reissued in '84 when the band signed with Atlantic. Somehow Target Entertainment was able to get their hands on the rights to the EP and release their pressing of it in 1985, including a bonus track of an early recording of You're In Trouble (that was only previously available on the original UK pressing), renaming the record and slapping a quick and rather boring cover on the package.

At the time of my obsession, I was buying US and UK pressings of Twisted Sister albums because of the difference in album artwork, so of course I had ride that wave with this Ratt EP as well.

Man, that puffy jacket on Stephen Pearcy is...umm...well, it's a look.

Side by side photo of both the original cover and the 1985 Target Records reissue. Funny that I've been dropping out of the multiple pressing game for hardcore records, but for these early 80's metal records, I have no problem adding them to the collection.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Sweet Teens

Buying those Jethro Tull picture sleeve singles really gave me an appreciation for those things. I don't know what it is about them, but I've suddenly fallen in love with them. At one time, I gained interest in them when there was an exclusive b-side track that didn't show up on the album, but after my Jethro Tull shopping spree, even that wasn't a huge draw for me. I just loved the way that the singles looked with the unique sleeve. They just seemed cool to own.

When I was picking up the last Jethro Tull single, I checked what else the seller had to offer, and seeing the single from The Sweet, I quickly added it to my cart before checking out. I mean it was less than five dollars, so it was a cheap pick up, and well, I was still riding a single high.

I have had the Sweet Fanny Adams album from The Sweet on my want list for a few years now...UK pressing obviously...but I haven't pulled the trigger on it yet. This single for The Six Teens will have to hold me over for now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Tull Obsession - Part 6: Songs From The Wood

While I was putting a hold on chasing more Jethro Tull singles, I still wanted to add another full length album to the collection. I've got the band covered for their first five albums...from This Was in '68 to Thick As A Brick in '72..but I've been hesitant to explore much beyond that. Diving into the world of Tull singles, exposed me to some stuff outside of my comfort zone, and I was ready to go a little deeper into their catalog.

I've been slowly checking out the next handful of Jethro Tull albums, and while they don't completely have me losing my shit over them, they are still quite good. One of the albums that I spent a bit of time with was Songs From The Wood from '77. I had that album queued up to listen to while on a few of my 5:00am runs in January, and those songs really hooked me while I was out there under the stars.

The Steve Wilson remixes for the Jethro Tull reissues have been great, so I was happy when my local record store had a copy of Songs From The Wood in stock.

Other than how great these sound, my favorite thing about these reissues is the huge booklet that comes with the record. I love the packaging for these things, and it is one of the few times that I'll skip the original pressing to get the reissue instead.

Twenty three pages of photos and history of the album. Perfect for just putting the album on, and flipping through the booklet to totally immerse yourself into it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tull Obsession - Part 5: Minstrel In The Gallery

I was still on my Jethro Tull kick with eight singles under my belt, and an easy goal seemed to be to aim for nine...you know, to get the perfect three by three photo for Instagram. Got to have symmetry.

So I wanted to get one more, and I hit up Discogs to see what opportunities there were. I really like the cover art for the Thick As A Brick single, but I couldn't seem to find one that was a decent price. Then I heard the title track for the Minstrel In The Gallery album, and I loved it...and was able to track down a German pressing with this cool looking cover. The exclusive b-side track of Summer Day Sand is a nice touch as well.

Nine Jethro Tull singles. I still get excited over these things, but it is time to take a break from this obsession, as I have a few other things rattling around in my record collector head, and I want to start filling some bigger holes. I'll definitely have to get back to this one somewhere down the line. This was fun.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Tull Obsession - Part 4: Sweet Dream

I was six records into my obsession over Jethro Tull picture sleeve singles, and what started as a casual pursuit, suddenly got really fucking serious. Initially, I told myself that I was only going to pick up cheap singles from US sellers, but as I got deeper into this game, those rules went out the window, and this time out I was hitting up a seller out of France. I didn't care about the higher shipping fees, I just wanted to grow the collection.

The Sweet Dream single was out of 1969, and while the a-side made it on to the Living In The Past comp, the b-side song, 17, did not, so I was especially excited to get my hands on this one. This might be my favorite cover of all the singles that I have at this point. The shaggy, long hair and beard...plus the cigarette smoke...captured in black and white...goddamn, it just looks so bad ass.

Two great classic Jethro Tull songs that should not be missed!

The Stand Up album is probably my favorite Jethro Tull album...basically for the same reason that Fireball is my favorite Deep Purple album...both of them just have this perfect flow and texture. So while both songs on the Bouree single are from the Stand Up LP, and there is nothing new that is offered here, I still wanted a copy of this single.

Another French pressing, and a great addition to the collection.