Sunday, July 28, 2019

Great White

As I was digging into some hair metal albums that I'd ignored back in the 80's, I came across Great White. I remembered enjoying the song Face The Day back in '86, but I never bothered to check out more from the band.

When I started to do some research and check out the Great White discography, I was surprised to see they had released a couple of records in the early 80's. I'm quite sure that if I'd heard their Out Of The Night EP from '83 or their self titled album from '84, I would have been all over these records as much as I was with Krokus, Dokken, and Ratt from that same time period. This is just some straight up metal, and falls perfectly in place with a lot of what I've been spinning this year.

Turnaround was quick on this record. I downloaded the songs back in April, and must have been so excited about what I heard that I was placing a winning bid on eBay for the vinyl the following day.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Direct Line To The NWOBHM

Last year, I discovered the Hard Nutz album. It is a bit of a precursor to the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal in 1977, and kind of helped build the foundation for the movement that would really explode a couple years later. Man, I loved that album, and felt like I'd really uncovered a long lost gem.

The Direct Line album from Dedringer feels a lot like that Nutz record. The style is the same, with those 70's rock riffs, and hooks that don't fucking let go. As soon as I heard Sunday Drivers, I knew that I was going to come back for repeat listens...and then with each spin, I just loved this record more and more.

This record is a bit more poppy than what you would typically think of for the NWOBHM, but like Nutz, it is just too good to ignore. I've read reviews that say that Dedringer's second album, Second Arising, is heavier than Direct Line, so I'm definitely going to have to check that one out soon.

While the sticker on the front cover says "do not pay more than £3.99", I did end up spending $10 for this copy, which still feels like a great deal.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Sweet Seven Inch O' Mine

I still have a small stack of records that I inherited from Steve after he passed away...a few odds and ends that I didn't think were too important, and yet, I couldn't bring myself to include them in the pile that I donated to the local Goodwill. With my hair metal obsession this year, I finally pulled Steve's copy of 5150 from Van Halen out of that pile and was surprised that I enjoyed the hell out of when I found myself interested in singles, I flipped through the stack of Steve's old 7 inches to see if anything sparked my interest.

I'm not big on collecting Guns N' Roses, but it was cool to pull the Sweet Child O' Mine single from Steve's collection and add it to my own. While the song is definitely overplayed, you can't deny how great the Appetite For Destruction album is. That one album is the extent of my G N' R interest, but who knows, maybe someday I'll break down and finally check out the Use Your Illusion records.

Jesus, that barcode on the center label is fucking ugly. There is one on the back of the picture sleeve already, so I'm not sure what the point is of placing it on the A and B-side labels as well.

Monday, July 22, 2019

AC/DC Single Shakedown

Singles. Singles. Singles. I don't know why I'm suddenly obsessed with them. I've chased a bunch of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal singles, plus some Jethro Tull 7 inches this year, and it has been a blast. When I was picking up the Locomotive Breath single recently, I checked to see what else the seller had for sale, and when I saw a few AC/DC singles, I got excited and bought all of the ones that he had available.

Flick Of The Switch may be the most underrated AC/DC album. It is one of my favorites of the Brian Johnson era, so when I saw the Nervous Shakedown single, it ignited a spark that I might want to collect more of these AC/DC singles.

The winning track on this record is the live version of This House Is On Fire. The core of an AC/DC live set doesn't change very much with each tour, and any new songs tend to get dropped immediately after touring for that to have a live version of a song from the Flick Of The Switch album is a rarity indeed.

One of the big draws for me with the AC/DC singles are the iconic live photos used for the picture sleeve cover. Angus on Brian Johnson's shoulders for the For Those About To Rock single is looking good.

Nothing too exciting on the b-side here, with a live version of Let There Be Rock. It is still a great song, but since the band has probably played it live for every tour since 1977, a live version doesn't feel very special...still it was probably pretty cool to have a recording of Brian singing it back in '81.

Let's Get It Up! Wow. I considered this a deep track on the For Those About To Rock album, so it was surprising to see it was released as a single.

For Those About To Rock was the first AC/DC album I bought as a kid, and so it was a bit nostalgic to see those brown Atlantic labels again.

After picking up the three AC/DC 12 inch singles, I needed one more to make a nice square photo to post to Instagram. I felt that Fly On The Wall is another underrated AC/DC album, so I was on the hunt for a single from that album. When I found the Danger single at a good price, I quickly added it to the collection.

The Danger single from '85 is easily the most boring of the bunch. With the simple cover design, and another album track on the b-side (we don't even get a live version here), it isn't very exciting. Still, I'm pretty happy to have a copy.

This was super fun, so add another quest to the list. I'm looking forward to finding more!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Locomotive Breath

I was slightly obsessed with Jethro Tull singles earlier this year. Initially, I was interested in the exclusive songs that never appeared on the regular studio albums, but soon I became fascinated with the picture sleeves. I loved the old photos and sleeve felt like a true piece of music history. Once I started chasing them, I just wanted more and more of them, so I set a quick goal to keep going until I had nine of know, for that perfect Instagram photo. Once I hit my goal, I pumped the brakes and moved on and started focusing on other records.

After picking up a few recent New Wave Of British Heavy Metal singles, it got me thinking about that obsession with Tull singles, and it rekindled that desire to collect I grabbed another one from Discogs.

Locomotive Breath is one of my top Jethro Tull songs, so I kind of had my sights set on getting the 7 inch single for that one. As luck would have it, I found a US seller with an available copy...and since the price was right, I quickly added it to my cart.

Once again, I love that picture sleeve photo. Shame that someone felt the need to write their initials on the front and back.

I've got a few of these French pressings from the Serie Parade collection for Tull singles, so it feels cool to add one more.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

NWOBHM Fun After Midnight

I was on a roll, picking up a couple of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal singles from a seller on Discogs, and I added one more to my cart before checking out.

A II Z released their debut album, The Witch Of Berkeley, with the leading wave of NWOBHM in 1980. Oddly, their first album was a live recording. It's okay, but not their best representation, as the No Fun After Midnight single from '81 is where they truly shine. This three song single is NWOBHM perfection. It is such a shame that this single stands head and shoulders above everything else they recorded...and even the 7 inch they released later in '81 falls flat when compared to this.

I've made various attempts to pick up the No Fun After Midnight 12 inch since I first heard it five years ago, so it feel good to finally get my hands on one. The record cover is fucking iconic with the flying V guitar held high, and the red colored vinyl is a great touch.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Made In Great Britan

Early 2018, I started to really get interested in some of the more obscure New Wave Of British Heavy Metal singles. I downloaded a bunch of them on Soulseek, and I was getting down with just about everything that I was hearing. No surprise, I wanted to hunt them all down on vinyl. Of course I couldn't just fuck around, and I dove in after a heavy hitter with the Blitzkrieg single. Dropping that much cash so quickly had me pumping the breaks, and I backed off the chase, and then my attention was drawn to less expensive obsessions. Still, I've had thoughts of those singles bouncing around in my head for the past year or so, and it felt good to get back to the game.

One of the early NWOBHM singles that really hooked me was from Mythra. The band released one single back in '79/'80, and I'd never heard of them before...but goddamn, those four songs are fucking gold. This shit can hang with most of those bands that were getting attention at that time. Heavy metal rules.

The Death & Destiny EP saw a few different pressings at the time. The original 7 inch pressing on Guardian Records N' Tapes, which was packaged in nothing but a plain white dust sleeve, and then it was reissued by Street Beat in both the 7 inch and 12 inch formats. Both of the Street Beat pressings were packaged with a picture sleeve, and I was tempted to grab one of these because they just looked better...but there was just something cool about a bare bones 7 inch single with that orange Guardian label, so that's the one that I went with. So happy to have this long lost treasure.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

NWOBHM Sweet Tooth

Goddamn. Things have been incredibly busy the past month or so. I'm months behind on blog posts, and I keep telling myself that it's time to get serious, and to crank out post after post...and then I just find myself trying to find the time. Real life obligations and plans are a bitch.

I'm an idiot. There are stacks of classic New Wave Of British Heavy Metal albums that I still need to add to the collection...Tygers Of Pan Tang, Raven, Tank, Samson...the list goes on and on...yet here I am, obsessing over obscure NWOBHM singles.

One of the singles that I have been hot to pick up was the Sweeties 7 inch from The Handsome Beasts. I mean, this one is worth it for that cover alone. The label definitely had a target audience for this one, and it certainly grabbed my attention.

Both Sweeties and One In A Crowd appear on the Beastiality album, which I still need, but this is still a cool single to own. The Handsome Beasts have more of a ruffian/biker rock style, instead of what I would typically consider the NWOBHM sound, but I'm still liking the dirty vibe of this I love that classic Heavy Metal Records label!

While I certainly didn't pay this $2.99 price tag, I thought that the Oz Records price tag on the plastic sleeve was a nice touch.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Bells Of Awakening

Visigoth are a newer metal band that has taken me by surprise over the last few years. Both of their albums have landed near the top of my Top 10 list for the year they were released, so when it was announced that Metal Blade was releasing a new two song 7 inch from the band, I grabbed my shield and broadsword and went into battle.

These two songs don't stray from the path that Visigoth have already tread...just straight forward traditional heavy metal. This shit is epic...a triumphant battle cry for metal. Damn, I'm so glad that this band exists in 2019.

Metal Blade released a few different colors for this 7 inch. The US pressing on green vinyl...hand numbered and limited to 200...was good enough for me. Such a great single.