Iron Maiden DVD delayed again…..

Those of you here in the U.S. waiting for Iron Maiden’s 3 disc DVD, Death On The Road, will just have to wait again. Seems there are production problems and Sanctuary has decided to postpone the 2/21 release (again).

Maiden always puts out excellent product, so if I have to wait another few months to get a superb package, I’ll wait.

UP THE IRONS!

Malice – In The Beginning (1985)

Malice – In The Beginning (1985)

1. Rockin’ With You
2. Into The Ground
3. Air Attack
4. Stellar Master
5. Tarot Dealer
6. Squeeze It Dry
7. Hellrider
8. No Haven For The Raven
9. The Unwanted
10. Godz Of Thunder

You would think that with all the new CDs I bought in the last week that I would want to give them a spin. But I can’t…..this is MALICE!

Malice was featured on a couple of the famous Metal Massacre compilations on Metal Blade Records back in the early ’80s. The band then signed up with Atlantic to release this fine gem of an album in 1985 (followed by 1987′s License To Kill and 1989′s Crazy In The Night E.P.). I remember reading the Rock mags and seeing that Malice was poised for stardom based on their Judas Priest brand of Heavy Metal. This band had a decent following but got lost in the shuffle of the Glam/MTV Hard Rock movement. Despite being based in Los Angeles (the hotbed of U.S. Metal & Hard Rock), Malice basically disappeared after the 1989 E.P.

In The Beginning is one solid Metal feast. Fave track here is Tarot Dealer but all the songs are solid. Rockin’ With You, Into The Ground, Squeeze It Dry, Hellrider…..all provide healthy portions of loud guitar and Halford-esque vocals. And dig that logo! Nothing was better than the logos back in the ’80s, everyone had one and Malice’s is one of my favorites!

My copy is the Japanese CD pressing but the album was reissued by Wounded Bird last year, as was License To Kill. Very affordable to order thru them…..there’s also a ton on Ebay.

CD shopping

Even though I tried staying off the computer, I still had to check my mail, bank, Ebay, and the online CD shops.

CD Baby was my first stop last Thursday. I picked up the Big Cock album, JRK – Freedom Road (bluesy Hard Rock), and 5 Hard Rock CDs in the “$5 Special” area.
Totals – 7 CDs for $45

Ebay was next. I was watching an auction for Hurricane – Slave To The Thrill (censored cover), BUY IT NOW for $23 + $3 shipping. Not bad, scooped that up right away!
Total – 1 CD for $26

Last stop was Retrospect Records for some serious reissues. If you got to the Heavy Harmonies Forums there is some serious discussion about this label both good and bad. Trying to keep an open mind (and wanting some good music!), I ordered some CDs. $60 got me Defcon – Defcon, Manilla Thrills – Tomorrow’s Waiting, Mariah – Mariah, and Mariah – Somewhere Between Heaven & Earth. Some of these albums never saw the light of day way back when and this is the first time the material has been officially released. Retrospect has some great rare titles and reissues, pricing varies. Like I mentioned, a lot of debate on the Retrospect business practices and manufacturing over at HH Forums. I say check out the Retrospect website, read the discussion forums, and form your own opinion. I took a chance on 5 CDs so far (this order + the Friction CD a few weeks ago) and I haven’t been disappointed. I have some comments on the artwork and green-tinted discs but I can look past that for a reissue of a CD that goes for $300+ on Ebay (the Friction CD).
Total – 4 CDs for $60

Final week totals – 12 CDs for $131…..not bad…..

Back on track…..

It’s been a busy week…..

Preparing for inventory at work (it was today actually) and the Valentine’s Day festivities just put a drain on my mind. I took some time off from the computer, PS2, and stereo to watch a couple of DVDs I had lying around and to read an excellent book:

The New Wave of British Heavy Metal Encyclopedia by Malc Macmillan (2001)

Click here to order the book

Here is my Pre-inventory playlist:

Big Cock – Year Of The Cock (2005)
Icarus Witch – Capture The Magick (2005)
AC/DC – all studio albums
Def Leppard – all studio albums
Saxon – all studio albums

Nothing is better than popping the Dell DJ on, selecting AC/DC or Saxon, and pressing SHUFFLE. Better variety and some deeeeeeep tracks!

Big Cock – Year Of The Cock (2005)

Big Cock – Year Of The Cock (2005)

1. Bad Motherfucker
2. I Want It All
3. Cinnamon
4. King Of Cool
5. Carrie’s In Love
6. Mean Street Machine
7. Take It Off
8. Dynamite
9. Hard To Swallow
10. Old No. 7
11. You Suck The Love Out Of Me
12. Year Of The Cock
13. Thank You, Good Night

Taken from the official Big Cock website – BigCockRocks.com:

Loud, crude, rude, arrogant, pompous and aggressive arena rock is not dead…it is alive and well and called Big Cock. If you like your rock hard, Big Cock delivers all the show, swagger, musicianship and fun that rock ‘n roll is supposed to be, complete with songs you can sing along to. A combination of the best of 80′s glam metal, 70′s glitter rock and Modern Rock aggression, Big Cock is AC/DC meets Audioslave, Van Halen meets Velvet Revolver, Def Leppard meets Rick Springfield, and Motley Crue meets 50 Cent. Don’t take our word for it, have a piece of Big Cock for yourself and see how good it tastes. Big Cock. Love it! Live it! Worship it! Big Cock was meant to be. Lifelong friends Dave Henzerling (a.k.a. David Michael-Philips – King Kobra, Keel, Lizzy Borden) and drummer John Covington, along with the “Bad Motherfucker” himself, Robert Mason (Lynch Mob, Cry of Love) and fellow partner in crime, Colby, followed their collective destiny to form a kick-ass rock ‘n roll band that could only be called Big Cock. Recorded at a secret location in the middle of the southwest desert during the summer of 2005, Big Cock’s debut CD “Year of the Cock” is the record rock fans have been waiting for. It is the sum total of 3 decades of road-tested hard rock and solid proof that these guys will never, ever grow up. You can’t ignore Big Cock – you know you love it, so come on and join the party…My thoughts…..

Awesome album! This one really Rocks! Probably the best independent CD I’ve bought in the last year, and for a mere $10!

Robert Mason sounds the same as he did back in the day with Lynch Mob. I was buying this just because he was a part of it, once I heard the samples at CD Baby, I was hooked. This is what an “updated” ’80s vibe should sound like. The songs are in your face, crunching guitar, and a great groove from the rhythm section. Solos! Solos! Solos! You take any song off this album and put it on Rock Radio right now and it will start an irreverant trend like Guns’n’Roses did with Appetite For Destruction. Take a look at the tracklist and you can tell by the titles what you’re going to get. People were talking about Nikki Sixx’s Brides Of Destruction & The Darkness as being the new bands bringing the classic ’80s sound back, forget them because Big Cock is what those bands should have been.

Fave tracks: All of them, can’t pick a bad one in the lot.

Go get some Big Cock at CD Baby.

Friction – Baby Talk (1990)

Friction – Baby Talk (1990, Nizer Top Records)

1. Let The Love Begin
2. Down And Lonely
3. Baby Talk
4. Wave Goodbye To A Friend
5. Do Ya
6. Lover’s Lane
7. Broken Heart Charity Ball
8. Bed Of Roses
9. Too Late To Cry
10. Past Tense
11. Rockin’ Tonight

Let me begin by stating that this is NOT the highly collectible original CD, this is a 2005 REISSUE by Retrospect Records. The original CD is one of the rarest U.S. indies out there. It commands a hefty sum ($300-500+) on Ebay for a mint original. The Retrospect reissue is available for $30 + shipping at their website. For those interested, the CD is pressed on a green-tinted CDR, the front cover art is a bit blurry, and there is no extensive booklet. If you care about the music (I do!), this CD is worth it. If you prefer silver-pressed CDs and the original artwork/booklet, then I would keep waiting for an original. This reissue is one of Retrospect’s first releases so I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt because newer reissues are silver-pressed with extensive art, etc.

On to the music….

This is pretty good stuff for a band that hadn’t been signed. Imagine the late ’80s/early ’90s sound and that’s what is on this disc. You’ve got great vocals, great hooks and melody, and guitar solos! Nothing is better than solos, I wish they would come back in today’s music. Let The Love Begin starts the album off with a power kick and Down And Lonely brings it to a nice ’80s groove. Some other quality tunes: Broken Heart Charity Ball, Too Late To Cry, and the audience-flavored Rockin’ Tonight. This is fast becoming one of my favorite indies.

Additional information on Friction can be found here at Heavy Harmonies.

If anyone out there has an original…..contact me right away, I’d be interested in making an offer.

The 2005 MelRock Awards (MelodicRock.com)

The MelRock 2005 Awards

Just a heads up to let you readers know that Andrew over at MelodicRock.com has put up his 2005 year in review/2006 preview, The 2005 MelRock Awards.

This is always a great read (40 printed pages this year!), a well-crafted guide to the year that was in the AOR, Melodic Rock, Hard Rock, and Heavy Metal scenes.

Shameless plug:
I have been visiting MelodicRock.com daily since 1999. This site is one of the best, if not the best, websites for all things Rock. Andrew really does a great job with news, interviews, CD reviews, and album showcases. He promotes the scenes, bands, albums, and labels as best he can while keeping a fair ear to what is good and what is garbage. There is also a subscription membership to MR-X (MelodicRock Xtra) that offers a variety of musical treasures and there is the famous Noticeboard.

Go on over and check out the site, read the 2005 year in review, and support the artists and bands by picking up some of their music.

The questions of collecting.

Collecting CDs is my hobby. I enjoy it. I like the music, the album art, the thrill of the chase! Nothing is better than finding that rare CD for a few dollars, when it goes on Ebay for hundreds.

Going back 10 years ago to 1995/1996, Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts had some great record shops where CDs were plentiful. Now, that scene has all but dried up. Stores closed, big chains got involved in used CDs, and the average CD buyer started to scour used racks for Ebay fodder.

The thrill of the hunt is gone…..due to the ever decreasing hunting grounds in my area. I do come across some gems to add to the collection but they are few and far between. It also becomes increasingly hard to find CDs to add to the collection as your collection grows and the stock in your area stays stagnant. New releases can still be found as long as the price is decent.

The hunt has transferred to the Internet. We all know Ebay. The mother of all used CD stores! This is where it gets tricky. I buy off Ebay a lot, I sell when I can but that goes hand in hand with hunting and finding things to sell. When on Ebay, I watch a lot of rarities. Of course, a rarity to one person may not be a rarity for another. A rarity to me may be a common CD that I haven’t seen locally for a while, to others it may be that obscure independent release by a band that never had a chance.

It’s all become big business, especially in the AOR, Hard Rock, and Heavy Metal genres. Old albums get reissued, remastered, bootlegged, etc. Original CD pressings of certain albums go for big bucks, as do Japanese pressings. There are albums that were never released on CD that are coming out of Russia and Greece that are bootlegs, digitized from vinyl or cassette. There are CDs that were made by bands independently from the 80s and 90s that go for hundreds, if not thousands, on Ebay. These are being bootlegged as well.

Old band members get involved in the Ebay selling. It’s not uncommon for a band to have old stock lying around in someone’s garage and they whip the CDs, one at a time, for $100 a pop. Collectors find members from now defunct bands and try to buy any copies of the CDs they may have, then they turn them into Ebay profits.

Do I fault the Ebay sellers? Nope. They are doing business the American way, why shouldn’t they profit from their ingenuity? It’s all Capitalism, baby! It just makes it harder for the smaller fish.

So what do you do?

Do you buy the original CD, the original pressing from decades past?
Do you buy the official reissue or remaster with bonus tracks?
Do you buy the bootlegged copy?
Do you buy the vinyl or cassette, hopefully insuring that you have the original press if it was never on CD?

These are serious questions that need serious answers. Almost forgot…..

Which band’s CDs do you purchase?

Truth be told, I want it all. I like old bands, new bands, and bands I’ve never heard of. I want to have all the old Rainbow albums on CD, I want all the Alice Cooper albums on CD, and I’d love to find an original copy of Rock Boulevard or Stage Dolls – Commandos lying in a dusty bin in the back of a pawn shop.

I guess it’s all about preference. I have a small collection compared to some and a large collection compared to others. Do I spend my hard earned cash and fill in those holes in my Rainbow collection or do I pull that $40-50 together and go after Kick Axe – Vices that was re-released on CD in 2000 on Sony Rewind but is now out of print (OOP)? Do I buy those 3 Queen CDs I need to complete my Queen collection or do I take that $25 and buy that UFO Japanese import from 2002 of Lights Out? Do I suck it up and save the hundreds it will take to buy that original copy of Rock Boulevard (if it ever comes up on Ebay again) and forget about the more “common” or available bands out there?

When you work hard for your money, you spend it carefully and wisely. So the question really is:

How do you collect?