Friday, March 29, 2019

Modern Day Cowboy

Three months into 2019, and this post finally catches me up from my 2018 backlog. I've thrown in a couple of new releases along the way, but for the most part, the majority of my 49 posts this year were for records that I'd bought during the last few months of 2018. That said, I'm still about 18 posts behind, so at this rate, I hope to be caught up buy June. Got to keep at it!

Tesla were a band that were tough to categorize. They were kind of lumped in with the 80's hair bands, but Tesla seemed to be less about the image, and more about just playing some quality rock songs. Still, I was getting down with Reign In Blood and Master Of Puppets at the time, so Tesla was more of a guilty pleasure for me. All I wanted to do was thrash, but god damn, that video for Modern Day Cowboy still had me hooked.

I think it took me a couple of years before I would admit that I liked Tesla, but these days, I've got no hesitation...their first two albums are damn solid. As I've been stuck in an endless cycle of listening to stuff like Dokken and Ratt, Telsa fit in there perfectly.

Mechanical Resonance was released in 1986, but for some reason I always think Telsa were a couple years later than that. I think that I was just slow in finally accepting them, and didn't dive in until their second album was out in 1989. Either way, I was pretty psyched to find their first LP in the used bins.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Made In Europe

I know that I tend to classify most live albums as useless filler, but I do have a small list of live records that I find to be absolutely crucial. Some of them truly capture that live energy, and are just too good to ignore. For me, one of the best live albums of all time has to be Deep Purple's Made In Europe.

I know that most people rave about Purple's Made In Japan album from the Gillan era, but for my money, I'll take the Coverdale era Made In Europe every fucking time. For some reason, the live album from Japan just seems so bloated and dull to me, while the Live In Europe album just explodes with energy and vitality.

Five songs, all from the Coverdale albums, that hold my attention from start to finish. Even the sixteen minute version of You Fool No One keeps it's hooks in me all the way through.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Russian Collusion

A friend of mine wanted visit The Record Connection, a record store that he used to frequent as a kid, 35 years ago. He had some fond memories, and recalled that it was great store back in the day, and so I agreed to make the 70 minute drive up the coast to check it out. The store was in a small Maine town, years from Todd's teen memories, and I really wasn't holding out much hope, but within a couple of minutes of browsing the store, I had pulled an Accept album from the shelf and things were looking up.

Russian Roulette was released back in 1986, but here we are, over thirty years later and I'm still not very familiar with the record. Metal Heart, from '85 was my introduction to Accept, and I loved it...then I worked my way back through their catalog with Balls To the Wall and Restless And Wild, and that shit just melted my face. Goddamn. I thought that three album stretch was damn near perfect.

By the time we got to '86, I was really getting into Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth, and I had the taste for thrash. I heard a number of disappointing reviews for Russian Roulette, and I decided to just ignore the album. I had limited resources and Master of Puppets and Peace Sells were winning in the fight for my attention.

I've heard the album a couple of times since getting back into metal, but I never really felt compelled to return to it very often. It is a decent album, and there are a handful of really great songs here, but overall it is just kind of flat, and I can understand the disappointment surrounding the record back in '86. I'm happy to pick up the vinyl, and I'm looking forward to giving it a few spins with hopes that I warm up to it a bit more.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

I Wanna Rock

I've been on the hunt for those early albums that helped introduce me to heavy metal. Picking up a copy of Pyromania was a big step towards that goal, but I still had one more album from that time period that I needed to add to the collection...Twisted Sister's Stay Hungry. Thankfully, when I grabbed that copy of the Def Leppard record, the store also had a copy of the Twisted Sister one as well.

I was thirteen to start 1984. I had just started to discover heavy metal the year before...MTV was new, and introducing me to some bands that I'd never heard before...and suddenly there was Twisted Sister telling me what I wanted to do with my life. Sure some parts of Stay Hungry may seem a bit cheesy now, but at that time, We're Not Gonna Take It and I Wanna Rock were like a battle cry...this album was my anthem of teen rebellion. Twisted Sister were incredibly important at that time, but man, I burned through them hot and fast. By the following year, when they released Come Out And Play, and the single Leader Of The Pack, I found them to be rather weak when compared to my steady diet of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, and I quickly left them behind.

Still, I find that Stay Hungry still holds up for me today, and I'm happy to finally have the record in my collection.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Rock Of Ages

I went down a deep nostalgia hole last year, and it's one that I still can't seem to pull myself out of. Bands like Twisted Sister, Dokken, and Quiet Riot all made a big impact on me as a kid, with each one played a major role in leading me down the path to Heavy Metal and discovering heavier and faster bands. While I was excited to add records for each of those bands to my collection last year, there was still a major player that I was missing from my early metal years.

I remember AC/DC's For Those About To Rock album as the first legit metal album that I bought as a kid...that Motley Crue's Shout At The Devil was the first album that I'd bought without hearing a single song from it, diving into it completely blind...but right there commanding a lot of attention from me in those early days was Def Leppard's Pyromania. While it might seem hard to believe these days, but back in 1983, I didn't know a single person that had heard of Def Leppard. My brother and I saw the Rock Of Ages video on MTV, and we were immediately hooked. This was ours.

While Pyromania was a great introduction to heavy metal at the time, the album pales in comparison to the first two Def Leppard albums, On Through The Night and High And Dry...but back when I was thirteen years old, this album was huge.

I've been itching to cross this early introduction to metal from my want list. It would have been easy enough to just grab a copy from Discogs or eBay, but I figured that if I kept digging through the used bins at the local stores around town, sooner or later a copy would show up. At the end of last year, I finally found one...and at seven dollars, the price was right.

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 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 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, many unknown bands playing such great NWOBHM songs. I love this shit.