Def Leppard vs. Bon Jovi

Def Leppard vs. Bon Jovi

These are two of the most successful bands of the 1980s/early 1990s.

Both bands have sold millions of records, toured the world, had major hit singles, dominated MTV and radio, and have been the envy of many of their peers.

Both bands have also continued to release albums since the mid-1990s to the present and toured the world. Both bands have had continued success around the world, except in the U.S., where Bon Jovi clearly dominates over Def Leppard.

So why does Bon Jovi sell out U.S. STADIUMS at $100+ a seat and Def Leppard has to co-headline (Bryan Adams last year, now Journey) to come close to filling the seats at an outdoor amphitheater for a third to half of the price?

Why does Bon Jovi still command radio airplay for mediocre material and Def Leppard can’t get anything, even mediocre material, post-1992 in any airplay rotation?

Now I’m not going to deny the successes of both bands. I think that for both bands to have maintained a level of success within a 20-25 year period is amazing. It is good for the world of Hard Rock to have bands like this in the public eye, keeping this genre alive in the mainstream. What I am trying to figure out is why/how Bon Jovi has shot past Def Leppard in the last decade.

Tale of the Release:

Bon Jovi
– released 5 studio albums between 1984-1992, including a 4 year gap between New Jersey (1988) & Keep The Faith (1992)
– released 7 albums between 1994-2005, only 3 were actual studio albums, including 5 year gaps between These Days (1995) & Crush (2000) & Have A Nice Day (2005)
– the other 4 albums released between 1994-2005 were a greatest hits, live album, box set, and an acoustic greatest hits compilation.
– since 2000 have released various different forms of each album (Wal-mart only releases, tour editions, E.P.s, etc.)

Def Leppard
– released 5 studio albums between 1980-1992, including a 4 year gap between Pyromania (1983) & Hysteria (1987), as well as, a 5 year gap betweem Hysteria (1987) & Adrenalize (1992)
– released 6 albums between 1993-2004, only 3 were actual studio albums between 1996-2002
– the other 3 albums released between 1993-2004 were a b-side compilation, greatest hits, and another greatest hits
– will release a covers album, Yeah!, in 2005

If you look at both bands’ output until 1992, you’ll see that they released the same amount of studio albums and each had two major blockbuster albums. You will also notice that there are significant gaps of years between releases for both bands. You could explain these gaps with the facts that both bands went on worldwide tours for these releases resulting in two years or more on the road. Also Def Leppard had two major tragedies in those gaps: Rick Allen’s accident between Pyromania & Hysteria and Steve Clark’s death between Hysteria & Adrenalize. I’m stressing the point of both bands having years between their blockbuster albums because Def Leppard always gets criticism for not releasing albums in a timely manner.

If you look post-1992, you’ll notice that Def Leppard has released studio albums with more consistency: 3 albums in 6 years (1996-2002). Bon Jovi has released 3 albums in 10 years (1995-2005).

So what is it that has launched Bon Jovi past Def Leppard as far as popularity and success in the U.S.?

Is it radio airplay?
Is it label support? They are on the same label.
Is it that the women adore Jon Bon Jovi? I seem to remember the Def Lep guys being favorites of the ladies as well.
Is it the strength of the material? I’d argue that the studio albums both bands released are of the same quallity. (I’m taking personal preference out of it.)
Is it that Bon Jovi is American and Def Leppard is British? Doesn’t matter to me but it could to some people.

I have no answer.

Storage solutions

Storage is an important part of any collection. It is a combination of presentation, space, function, durability, flexibility, and price. I have spent the better part of the past year researching the best storage options for my growing CD collection. I’ve been putting off buying anything and the CDs I’ve been acquiring have been going into boxes and that’s killing my filing system! So I need help…..

As it stands (literally), my CD collection is housed in three 750 CD displays made by hand by Boston, MA woodworkers, Bostonwood. These display cases have been my only storage option for the price = $125 each. They do the job and they take up only one small wall in our small apartment. The only drawback is that these units sometimes have a flaw in a shelf where you can’t stand the CDs up but you have to lay them down. One of my cases has this flaw on the bottom shelf. We didn’t have a shop class in high school so I wouldn’t know how to fix it. I like these cases because I can get them for a good price locally and they do the job. I’m leaning toward just buying another one.

My dream solution is Can-Am Cabinet. These cabinets are the high end of storage solutions. Steel construction, locking drawers, different colors, and you can add to the set-up. Only problem here is price, they are very expensive.

To save space, I looked into the Jewelsleeve. It’s a nice idea: remove the jewel cases from the equation and house a large collection in a small space. They have very nice cabinets to go along with the sleeves but they look like something I could buy at an office supply store cheaper. My reservations about removing the CD and artwork from the jewel case to a plastic sleeve would be justified if ANY CD of mine was ever damaged. Also, there’s no way to display the collection and the pricing is on par with Can-Am.

So where to from here? A bit of Googling and all sorts of racks, carousels, cases, and sleeves are a click away. Most of the racks/cases are similar to the ones I have now.

Volkher Hofmann at Livingwithmusic.com has written a few good articles on the subject of storage and also has some recent pictures of his collection and setup. Very nice!

So what do you all use? Can anyone help me find something?

New official Dream Theater bootlegs released

Dream Theater is a band that understands what it’s fans want and is willing to change things up a bit. Not content to play a cover song live, the band opts for doing a WHOLE ALBUM! I have the Number Of The Beast and Master Of Puppets live covers and they are excellent. This is official product, Dream Theater doing things the proper way, and extremely professional. What else would you expect from this band. Here’s the email I got…..
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According to the official DREAM THEATER website, four new official bootlegs are available for purchase through Ytsejam Records. They are as follows:

Awake Demos: ‘Scarred’, ‘6:00′, ‘The Mirror’, ‘Caught In A Web’,
‘Erotomania’, ‘Voices’, ‘The Silent Man’, ‘Lie’, ‘Lifting Shadows Off A
Dream’, ‘Innocence Faded’, ‘Space-Dye Vest’

Dark Side Of The Moon – CD (recorded live at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, England on October 25th 2005): ‘Speak To Me / Breathe’, ‘On The Run’, ‘Time’, ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’, ‘Money’, ‘Us And Them’, ‘Any Colour You Like’, ‘Brain Damage’, ‘Eclipse’ + Bonus Disc – A Saucerful Of Floyd

Dark Side Of The Moon – DVD (recorded live at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, England on October 25th, 2005): ‘Speak To Me / Breathe’, ‘On The Run’, ‘Time’, ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’, ‘Money’, ‘Us And Them’, ‘Any Colour You Like’, ‘Brain Damage’, ‘Eclipse’ + Bonus Features (‘Comfortably Numb’ featuring QUEENSYRYCHE)

Old Bridge, New Jersey – 12/14/96:
CD 1: ‘A Change Of Seasons Pt. I’, ‘A Change Of Seasons Pt. II’, ‘The
Mirror’, ‘Lie’, ‘Burning My Soul’, ‘Another Hand / The Killing Hand’, ‘Just Let Me Breathe’, ‘Caught In A Web’, ‘Peruvian Skies’, ‘Pull Me Under’

CD 2: ‘Lines In The Sand’, ‘Take Away My Pain’, ‘A Change Of Seasons Pt. IV’, ‘Ytse Jam’, ‘Learning To Live’, ‘A Change Of Seasons Pt. VII’,
‘Metropolis’
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Dream Theater official website
Buy these at YtseJam Records

Crimson Glory press release

This was sent to my inbox and I saved it in a folder and forgot about it. Exciting news on the Crimson Glory front!

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Crimson Glory Sign Multiple Releases Deal With Black Lotus Records

The Music. The Mystique. The Legend.

Crimson Glory

For 16 long years, the hands of the clock were ticking away aimlessly,
for 16 long years there was very little happening.
For 16 long years there was a big gap in the world of Metal.
But not anymore !

Finally that wait is now over!

Crimson Glory members Jon Drenning, Jeff Lords and Ben Jackson have
finally reunited with their original singer Midnight, following the
massive demand from their loyal fanbase around the globe and are ready
to take on the world.

Now that Crimson Glory are back, metal fans all around the world can
rejoice, as there is a wealth of material that the band will release
through Black Lotus Records — on this — the band’s 20th anniversary.

Firstly the Remasters:

The much revered eponymous debut album of Crimson Glory will be
expanded — remastered and have a new title. Crimson Glory – LOST
REFLECTIONS, will not only feature new artwork, new and previously
unseen band photos, lyrics and new liner notes but also the added
bonus of the previously unreleased songs “Love Me – Kill Me” and
“Dream Dancer” (which was originally only found on the Par cassette
release of the album and on some hard to find singles), a new video
for the song “Lost Refection” and a band interview about the first CD,
shedding light on how this magnificent opus was crafted.

Apart from the debut, an upgraded version of the band’s defining
masterpiece TRANSCENDENCE will be released — subtitled TRANSCENDENCE:
RENOVATIO, featuring new cover art, unpublished band photos, lyrics
and new liner notes, new mastering, demo versions of two songs as
bonuses, a new video for the song “Painted Skies” and a band interview
about the second CD.

Later in this year and beyond:

There are plans for a DVD with the tentative title PHANTOMS OF THE
OPERA. Also an ASTRONOMICA *redux* newly recorded, with Midnight at
the helm, a collection with many rare and previously unreleased songs
and last but certainly NOT least the band’s BRAND NEW album in mid-
2007.

For thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory Forever and Ever!

Crimson Glory official website
Black Lotus Records

Christine Sixteen – A High School Tribute To KISS (2006)

Christine Sixteen – A High School Tribute To KISS (2006)

1. Psycho Circus
2. Unholy
3. Love’em And Leave’em
4. Strutter
5. Calling Dr. Love
6. Rock And Roll Hell
7. I Stole Your Love
8. Rock Soldiers
9. All American Man
10. Detroit Rock City
11. Not For The Innocent
12. I Love It Loud
13. Rise To It
14. Ladies Room
15. Shout It Out Loud
16. An interview with former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick by Mitch LaFon

Christine Sixteen website

I know what you’re all thinking: “Oh god, a KISS tribute.”

Sure there are a ton of tribute albums out there devoted to “the hottest band in the world” but this one is a little different. The quick explanation: High school teacher, Patrice Beaudette, from Quebec, decided to create a KISS tribute using high school teens on vocals and former students as the band.

An interesting concept that is a breath of fresh air. Like I mentioned, there are a lot of KISS tribute albums, some good and some bad, but this one is good. The band performs the songs extremely well, at times I forgot I was listening to musicians other than KISS! As for the vocals, they’re pretty good. Should we expect these young women and men to be Gene & Paul? These young people do a wonderful job. You may notice a French accent in most songs (well, they are from Canada) that adds character. The young women change a couple of lyrics and arrangements in spots but they are still dead on to the original songs.

Another big plus is the song selection. Usually, a tribute consists of bands playing it safe and doing the normal standards but we get tracks like Love’em And Leave’em from ROCK’N ROLL OVER, Rock Soldiers from Ace Frehley’s FREHLEY’S COMET, and All American Man from Side 4 of ALIVE II. Kudos to Bruce Kulick for contributing an interview and supporting the project.

Go to the website and buy a copy…..only 500 pressed!

For more info on KISS tribute albums, and other related music, surf over to the excellent KISS Related Recordings.

Lacuna Coil – Karmacode (2006)

Lacuna Coil – Karmacode (2006)

1. Fragile
2. To The Edge
3. Our Truth
4. Within Me
5. Devoted
6. You Create
7. What I See
8. Fragments Of Faith
9. Closer
10. In Visible Light
11. The Game
12. Without Fear
13. Enjoy The Silence

Lacuna Coil official website
Emptyspiral.net – The Lacuna Coil Community

Lacuna Coil is one of Italy’s greatest Metal exports. Releasing 2 E.P.s and 4 full-length albums since 1998, Lacuna Coil has become the newest force in female-fronted, gothic-tinged, Heavy Metal. Comparisons to the Netherlands’
The Gathering and the U.S. Evanescence abound, Lacuna Coil has now taken control and become the band that similar ones will be compared to. Take the haunting angel-like voice of Cristina Scabbia, add the male vocals of Andrea Ferro, and throw in heavy riffs with a pounding rhythm section…..that’s the Lacuna Coil sound. It’s atmospheric, soaring, drifting, aggressive, beautiful, and catchy.

Karmacode is a progression of the Lacuna Coil “sound” with a Middle-Eastern flavor, very exotic. This is what I like from a new band, the ability to grow and expand their ideas and music. I thought 2002’s Comalies was the band’s peak as they started to crack the U.S. mainstream but this new offering has blown away all expectations. With serious promotion from Century Media, and spots on the current Rob Zombie and Ozzfest tours, Lacuna Coil is poised to dominate into the mainstream conciousness.

Standout tracks: All, it’s a damn good album. I was surprised by the band’s take on Depeche Mode’s Enjoy The Silence.

What band do you want to see live?

I go to a lot of shows and I have seen almost all of my favorite bands. I’m fortunate because there are many people who just can’t get to shows or their area doesn’t have a venue, etc.

The question is:

What band do you want to see in concert?

I just saw Queen but I missed out on them with Freddie Mercury.

Tops on my list are:
Night Ranger
Riot
Krokus
Van Halen w/Diamond Dave
Lacuna Coil
Accept

Time to grow up?

Back in the day, my normal dress was blue jeans, concert shirt, denim jacket.
Today, my normal attire is blue jeans, a tour shirt, and my denim jacket. I listen to the same styles of music I did back when I was a kid. I don’t drink, smoke, gamble, or do drugs…..I buy albums and listen to Hard Rock & Heavy Metal.

I ran into an old friend today, one of the biggest Metalheads I remember. He was dressed in a suit & tie and was on his way to a business meeting. We talked for a few minutes and he noticed my Motley Crue shirt from the current tour. We got to talking about the old days, the old music, hanging out, etc…..

My friend: “So, what do you listen to now?”

Me: “Same as I always have. KISS, Crue, Maiden, Priest. Mostly, Hard Rock and Metal. I keep up with the new stuff, the new bands.”

My friend: “Really?”

Me: “Yeah! I still listen to the music, buy the new albums, go to the shows…..”

My friend interrupts: “I out grew that stuff a long time ago. It wasn’t that good anyway. I can’t believe I wasted all that money way back then.”

(Now this guy was the biggest Guns’n Roses fan back in the day. He was also majorly into Crue, Bulletboys, Maiden, Ozzy, and classic rock like Led Zep, Stones, Purple. He had longer hair than me and got into fights when someone challenged his loyalty to GNR.)

Me: “What’s wrong with listening to music you liked when we were kids?”

My old friend: “Nothing, I guess. Unless you want to be 16 forever. Don’t you think it’s time to grow up?”

Me: “Uhhh, I’m the same age as you (33). I have a family. A great job that pays very well. Music is my hobby, my only vice.”

(No reply)

Me: “So what do you listen to now?”

My old friend: “I like country, some Rock but mostly women like Sheryl Crow.”

(I’m not one to judge someone’s tastes. I believe you like what you like and no one should change it. But then this guy gets on my clothes…..)

My old annoying friend: “You wear what you wore when we were growing up!”

Me: “So?”

My old annoying friend: “Men your age aren’t supposed to wear that. What are you going thru some mid-life crisis?”

Me: “I gotta go.” (Shake his hand) “Good to see you.”

And with that final exchange, I walked away. It wasn’t the questions or comments, it wasn’t the “time to grow up” line, it was the condescending tone in his voice. I was being “talked down” to, as if I haven’t evolved past high school. I also got the looks of disapproval…..that face of disgust when someone finds something offensive. I just couldn’t carry on talking with someone who was close-minded.

I’m proud to be a Metalhead at 33. I still wear my colors and live for the music. I still don’t like being told what I should do or shouldn’t do. What I should like and shouldn’t like. My personal life is my own, not part of the spoon-fed masses.

Anyone else run into this scenario?

Missing in action

I’ve been adding CDs from the pile to my CD cases and I noticed a few holes in my collection:

Metallica – Ride The Lightning
Motorhead – Ace Of Spades
AC/DC – Fly On the Wall
Dio – Intermission
Mercyful Fate – Melissa

I know, these are some good albums, what am I thinking? I had these on cassette and I’ve never replaced them with CDs. I sold all my cassettes in one shot to a cassette collector a few years ago but I kept my list of what I had. Slowly, I’ve been able to cross almost all the albums off the list that have been replaced with CDs.

Looks like I’m buying some extra CDs this weekend!

The line at the record store

I go out and buy new albums on the day of release, I’ve been doing this since I was a kid back in the early ’80s. There has always been something special about being one of the 1st in the door of the local record store and scoring that highly anticipated new album by your favorite band. It has always been like a trophy, the culmination of months, if not years, of waiting. The feeling is exhilarating that you are one of the 1st people to have that album.

Back in the day, new release day was a big event…..

- There was always a line, sometimes you even got a number.
– The record store might have a special opening to buy new albums from big name bands.
– The same people were always there. It was a sense of community, a common bond.
– Some stores would play the album while you waited.
– There were never enough copies, some people got shut out. There was always just enough to almost supply the demand. Those who didn’t get a copy were destined to a few more days of tortured anticipation, guaranteeing a return visit to the store.
– You could pick up the new posters, patches, buttons, and other assorted goodies for the new record.
– You cut school or you cut class.

When I went to the local shop this past Tuesday for the new Dio, there was no crowd, no line. I walked in, went to the New Album Rack, saw no Dio album, and found out they sold the only copy they had minutes earlier. The only copy they had! This a totally different scenario to the release day of Dio – Sacred Heart way back in 1985.

Being in grammar school, it was tough to get out of class without being noticed. I remember that a few of us stashed our bikes at a friend’s house and, when the bell rang for the start of the day, we took off. We got to the local store just before opening and there was a long line. Here we were, these little 12-13 yr. olds in catholic school uniforms, waiting in line with long-haired, denim-clad high school dudes and chicks. Everyone who was anyone in the local scene was there because it was an event. You had music blaring, good-looking girls, maybe you’d get a whiff of some bud…..it was like a first concert. It was the scene I always wanted to be a part of. The next day at school we told the tale. We were the envy of the rest of the guys when we all pulled out a Sacred Heart cassette, it was our medal of honor.

I remember a midnight opening of the local Strawberries Records in 1992 for the release of Def Leppard – Adrenalize, which was released the same day Bruce Springsteen released Lucky Town & Human Touch. I had a number in the first 20 to get in at midnight but I was there hours earlier because it was an event. Everyone I knew was there and they all didn’t buy an album, it was the place to be.

Sadly, it all faded away. The last time I had to wait in line was for KISS – Unplugged. With the KISS reunion gaining momentum, I joined a dozen or so KISS freaks at another Strawberries to grab my copy. Not the event I was used to over the years but the comraderie was still alive!

I miss those days…..

Ebay Madness: Delirious – Vamp E.P. goes for $311.51

Another crazy auction!

Another band I’ve never heard of, no listing at various websites I frequent. I have to give it to surrf, he is one of the most respected traders/sellers in the AOR/Hard Rock/Metal circles and he gets top dollar. I’ve bought a few CDs from him and I always got an excellent product. Can’t blame the guy for turning a major profit if he can, check out the completed auctions. “Business the American way.”

Where do they find these CDs/bands?

Where do these bidders get the cash? Must have a money tree in the backyard…..

Ebay Madness: Douglas – Mad CD goes for $676.66

Check out this completed auction!

This just proves that some people have more money than sense! $676 for 1 CD is crazy. Kudos to the seller for getting that amount for it, this is a world built on business after all. If I could find a couple copies of this, I’d do the same thing.

I’ve never heard of Douglas but the band does have an info page at Heavy Harmonies…..check it out. I hope it’s a good CD!