Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Surf Combat

It took me a long to time to really "get" Naked Raygun. I mean, I liked a few of their hits, but each time that I would check out an entire album, I was left scratching my head. Naked Raygun weren't a by-the-numbers hardcore band...they were a little different, and for the longest time, I just couldn't wrap my head around what they were doing.

Around five years ago, I was having a conversation with someone, and we both had the same opinion on Naked Raygun...and this of course prompted me to check out one of their albums...again. I'm not sure what it was, but this time something clicked. Suddenly, I found myself really enjoying what I heard. Over the years since then, I ended up downloading four Naked Raygun albums, and enjoyed them more and more with each listen. The time had come to buy some vinyl.

I was tempted to grab some recent reissues, because the colored vinyl looked so damn good. The thought of Jettison pressed on clear pink vinyl was almost too much to resist. I was at war with myself over buying the vinyl that looked nice, or sticking with the plan to pick up original pressings.

In the end, I landed on the original Homestead vinyl pressing of Throb Throb to kick off my collection.

I was holding out for a copy in excellent condition, and finally pulled the trigger when I saw one that fit the bill on eBay. I couldn't have been happier...until the box landed at my door with a crushed corner and a huge dent in the side. The seller packaged the record nicely, but even that couldn't prevent the mail service from fucking it up. Heartbreaking to have the side of the sleeve crushed and ripped.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Ballads From The Reissue Revolution

There was a time when Good Riddance was one of my favorite bands. Of course this was back when I was buying CDs exclusively, and didn't understand the appeal of colored vinyl...so now here I sit, years later, with a shitty record collection for the band...and if I want to pick them up now, I'll be looking at some high price tags. Some days I entertain the thought of making a run at them, but for the most part, it just seems to overwhelming, and I end up chasing something else instead.

Last month, Ralf over at It All Comes Down To This posted about a colored vinyl reissue for Ballads From The Revolution. Knowing how quickly Fat Wreck colored vinyl pressings seem to sell out, I was immediately disappointed that I didn't have some advance notice on this, and I resigned myself to a missed opportunity. A couple of days after Ralf's post, Marcus sent me a message to let me know that Fat Wreck still had some of the colored vinyl repress available. Since the last one that sold on Discogs went for $100, I decided that I'd take the cheap way out, and take advantage of the new pressing.

I've been listening to this album a lot over the past couple of weeks. Man, this thing still holds up. 20th anniversary and still going strong.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Can We Survive The Bliztkrieg?

As I was obsessing over the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, I got the idea into my head to buy some early singles that were on the Neat label. I already had the first Raven 7 inch (NEAT06), and since NEAT01 and NEAT02 don't count for shit to metal collectors, I started thinking about grabbing the first Tygers Of Pan Tang (NEAT03), Fist (NEAT04), and White Spirit (NEAT05) records. These 7 inches don't go for insane prices, so it seemed like a great idea to chase them and knock 'em all off my list during this obsession...and then shit escalated.

For the hell of it, I started checking what Neat singles came out after those four, and was curious to see what it might look like to chase the first nine 7 inches...because you know, nine records make for a good photo on Instagram. If I thought that prices were manageable through the first Raven 7 inch, things quickly get out of control by the time you get to the first Venom single...and then prices take another big jump with the Blitzkrieg record.

Suddenly, I was scrapping my original plan completely, and going after a heavy hitter. Sometimes you just have to go big.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Welcome To Hell

I've been slowly preparing myself for an oncoming New Wave Of British Heavy Metal obsession. I worked my way through my late 70's playlists on the iPod, and picked up some cheap records for the collection along the way. However, I was ready to make some big moves and quit fucking around. It was time to dive into the deep end of the NWOBHM.

I wanted to make a big impact with this NWOBHM purchase, and cautiously started approaching the idea of chasing some early Venom records. To me, those first few Venom albums are perfect...they are raw, fast and loud...and to cross one off my Want List, would be a big step forward. Venom records on the original UK Neat Records label don't come cheap, so I was kind of worried about what I might be getting myself into...and since I needed one in excellent condition, I thought that I might be getting myself in some trouble here. In the end, all things considered and relatively speaking, the damage to my bank account wasn't too steep, and I grabbed a copy without breaking a sweat.

Apparently, some early copies came with a poster, but those appear to be as rare as hens teeth, so after a while, I gave up trying to find a copy with one. I found a copy in great condition, and it had the original lyric sheet, and that was enough for me.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Whitesnake, White Vinyl

After laying the foundation, and preparing myself for a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal mindset with early chapters from Martin Popoff's books on the subject and healthy doses of a 1977 playlist, the next logical step was to move into 1978.

Digging into 1978 didn't uncover many lost treasures or surprises, however, there was one thing that caught my attention...and the more that I thought about it, I desperately wanted to make a move on it for the record collection.

I hated Whitesnake so much as a kid, that it still feels like a dirty secret for me to talk about how much I've grown to appreciate their early albums. I mean, the early Whitesnake days are basically just an extension of Coverdale's time in Deep Purple, and I've got no issue talking about my love for Purple...and the reality is that Whitesnake's albums like Snakebite, Trouble and Lovehunter, absolutely demolish Coverdale's last album with Purple, Come Taste The Band, so it might be time for me to finally stop hiding in shame, and proudly admit "Yeah, I fucking like Whitesnake. What are you going to do about it?"

Back to the topic at hand...when I was reading through Popoff's chapter on 1978 in his Wheels Of Steel book on the NWOBHM, I came across this entry:

June 2, 1978. "David Coverdale's Whitesnake" issue their first material, the Snakebite EP... The four tracks from this EP would be combined with four tracks from (Coverdale's solo album) Northwinds to become the debut album, also called Snakebite.

This came as a total surprise to me. I mean, I'm no scholar on Whitesnake history, but I had no idea that Snakebite was initially a 7 inch EP. Making this discovery, ignited a need to track one down, and finding out that they sell for relatively cheap on Discogs, made it an easy decision to grab one now.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Farewell To '77

A couple years ago, I went on a tear with a bunch of punk albums from 1977. Metal and Rock from that year took a backseat at the time, and I was all about The Damned, Sex Pistols, and Heartbreakers. This time around, rock and metal from '77 takes center stage.

The plan was to start working my way through my playlists of the late 70's, and then immerse myself into the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal explosion around 1980. I ended up having so much fun just hanging out in 1977, and really appreciating some of the albums that were released that year, that I decided that the NWOBHM could wait, and I started picking up some vinyl for albums that I was currently obsessing over.

I love early Rush, but I don't usually venture past the 2112 album from 1976, so it was a nice surprise to finally discover and appreciate A Farewell To Kings. Man, right alongside Nutz and Quartz, I was spinning these songs day after day.

Don't you love it when an obsession doesn't break the bank? An easy score under $10, which makes you wonder why people are dropping $30 on the reissues from a couple years ago.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Hard Nutz

As I was working my way through Martin Popoff's book, Wheels Of Steel, and reading about those early years leading up to the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, I read about some band called Nutz releasing their third album in 1977. I recalled that they had a track on the classic Metal For Muthas comp, which was considered a big milestone that propelled the NWOBNH forward, so while I was neck deep in my 1977 playlist, I grabbed a download of Hard Nutz to check out.

Just like that Quartz album from the same year, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, and I was playing the two of them back to back, just about every day. Listening to Hard Nutz these days, I can't imagine why this band wasn't fucking huge...oh yeah, that's right, their name was Nutz and that album cover is horrendous. So many bad decisions that hide the fact that this album contains some killer 70's rock.

I'm glad that I discovered this album, but obviously most people are still in the dark over them, as I was able to pick up this excellent condition record for well under $10.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Mainline Riders

I'd made a commitment to myself that for the beginning of 2018, I was going to focus on picking up some classic records from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal bands of the early 80's. My collection for those bands is pretty weak, and after reading Martin Popoff's trilogy of NWOBHM books, I was motivated to step up my game.

Popoff's NWOBHM books are written in chronological order, documenting the scene as it started rolling in the late 70's, and following it through the early 80's heyday. So to start my journey, I fired up my 1977 playlist, and started reading the chapter chronicling that same year. It was a little early for the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal scene in '77, but it was cool to get into the mindset of that time, and see how things started rolling...plus you had some solid albums from AC/DC and Judas Priest, and the first Motorhead album, so things were already starting to pop up and make some noise.

In addition to those bands, there was some stuff that Popoff's book put on my radar, and one of the big albums was the debut from Quartz.

Truth be told, I'd heard this album before, but it never clicked with me, and I was toying with the idea of actually just deleting the songs off my iPod, and forgetting about them. I really didn't find it to be that interesting, and it had been a couple of years since I'd given it a spin. Somehow, this time was different. I listened to it once, and kind of got hooked on the lead off track, Mainline Riders, so I gave it a second listen...and then another and another. This album consumed me for a solid month. I don't know if it counts as one of the first NWOBHM albums, but damn, I'm putting it on my list.

Since I was obsessed with the album, of course I needed to buy the vinyl...original UK Jet pressing only obviously. The problem was, this thing seemed to not come cheap, as Discogs sellers were listing them up over the $60 range. I felt confident that I could get a better deal than that, and after a few weeks, I found an auction on eBay. The starting bid was around $25, and as the only person to pay it any attention, I walked away a winner.