CD Scavenger Hunt (Ebay edition) – 7/19/06

The selection has been so bad for used CDs at the local shops lately that I’ve not gone in a couple of weeks. There also hasn’t been many “must have” new releases either. I’ve been trolling Ebay for my latest purchases…..

1. Beyond Fear – s/t (2006) – Picked this up for $10 from a seller that I frequent. Still haven’t listened to it. Features Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-Judas Priest).

2. Victory – Voiceprint (1996) – Spent $20 on this one. I have no other Victory albums but I always wanted to hear it because the artwork was cool. Click here for the album cover and info.

3. Saraya – s/t (1989) – Another $20 for an out of print CD. This one can get expensive at auction so I was glad to get it for 20 bucks. I heard the single, Love Has Taken It’s Toll, on the radio on the way to the Extreme show a couple weeks back. Since then, I’ve been wanting this album. On a personal note, Saraya was in the running for baby names for each of my two daughters. That is until my wife remembered that the name was from an ’80s Hard Rock band.

4. Herman Ze German and Friends (1985, 2005 reissue) – Solo project from Herman Rarebell of the Scorpions. Apparently, there are 2 versions of this album…..taken from Scorps.com:

Herman released a solo album in 1985 on Capitol Records called “Herman Ze German and Friends”. Herman produced this album which included guest appearances by: Don Dokken, Steve Mariott, Jack Russell (Great White), Juan Croucier and Bobby Blotzer (Ratt), and others. It also included a cover version of “Wipe Out”.

Herman’s solo album (Herman Ze German-1985) was first released a couple of years earlier, in 1981 as ‘Nip in the Bud’ on import from Germany with just the trio of Herman, D.H. Cooper on guitar and George Phillips (Pedro Schemm on the 1985 version) on bass and vocals. The 1985 version was the same backing tracks re-mixed and with the new vocals added on by the guest musicians. WipeOut did not appear on the earlier version but there was an instrumental called Triangle which the Scorpions did play on their Blackout tour which was the intro to Herman’s drum solo.

The 2005 reissue is on Retrospect Records. It’s not listed on their website anymore but you can find it on Ebay through the seller VegasCDs (the guy who runs it). It’s a bare bones reissue, not much in the way of artwork and it looks like a CDR. There is news of an official silver pressed CD/DVD package that is authorized by Herman himself. I picked this up for $18 at auction from a different seller.

5. Hurricane – Slave To The Thrill (1990, banned cover/Japanese version) – Cost $45 with shipping from Japan but I finally have the banned artwork. No OBI though. This usually goes over $60.

Yes, a lot of money spent but some good additions. I’ll be reviewing a couple of these next week, definitely Beyond Fear.

Schedule change

I was going to post a review of Alcatrazz – Disturbing The Peace today but I’m pushing it until Thursday so I can give it some proper spins. The Impellitteri review is pushed to Friday.

Alcatrazz – No Parole From Rock’n Roll (1983)

Alcatrazz - No Parole From Rock'n'Roll

Alcatrazz – No Parole From Rock’n’Roll (1983, Rocshire)

  1. Island In The Sun
  2. General Hospital
  3. Jet To Jet
  4. Hiroshima Mon Amour
  5. Kree Nakoorie
  6. Incubus
  7. Too Young To Die, Too Drunk To Live
  8. Big Foot
  9. Starcarr Lane
  10. Suffer Me

Total Time: 41:34

Band Lineup:
Graham Bonnet – Vocals
Yngwie Malmsteen – Guitar
Gary Shea – Bass
Jan Uvena – Drums
Jimmy Waldo – Keyboards

Graham Bonnet official website
Yngwie Malmsteen official website

Alcatrazz is one of those forgotten bands from Metal’s past that had considerable success overseas but couldn’t catch a break in the good ol’ USA. After his dismissal from MSG, Graham Bonnet decided to form his own band. He enlisted Jimmy Waldo and Gary Shea (both of New England fame), Jan Uvena (former Alice Cooper drummer), and a young Swedish guitar virtuoso, Yngwie Malmsteen, fresh out of L.A. Metal band Steeler. With all the parts in place, Alcatrazz was born.

All the songs on the debut album are Bonnet/Malmsteen collaborations, with help from Jimmy Waldo on a few tracks. What I find interesting about this is that Malmsteen seems restrained (compared to future works) but more focused. Rather than playing complex throughout, he keep his guitar focused within the context of the song and then lets loose come solo time. Probably the most enjoyable Malmsteen performance I’ve heard (and I have all of them!), almost Schenker like. Bonnet continues his excellent vocal performance as heard on his previous albums with Blackmore and Schenker but he seems to let loose a bit more here as he is the man guiding the ship this time around. With Waldo’s keyboards adding to the tracks rather than drowning them, giving added punch much like Rainbow.

Island In The Sun starts the album in sing-along fashion. This was Alcatrazz’s first single and video (search YouTube) and it’s pure Pop Metal. We move to the metallic General Hospital where Bonnet’s tale of being trapped in the hospital is a departure from the usual songcraft of the times and Malmsteen adds the chugging riffs. Jet To Jet is the fast rocker, Malmsteen’s solo is blistering.

No doubt that Alcatrazz’s popularity was in Japan after hearing the two Japanese inspired songs: Hiroshima Mon Amour and Kree Nakoorie. My two highlights of this album: both mid-paced, both including Bonnet’s most emotional performances of the record. Again Malmsteen stays within the song and lets loose during the solos.

Incubus is Malmsteen’s instrumental. Too Young To Die, To Drunk To Live chugs along, another Metal attack telling the tale of the consequences of imbibing. Big Foot slows down to tell the tale of the Abominable Snowman, one of the best Yngwie solos. Bonnet mellows out on the vocals. Starcarr Lane is an OK rocker, nothing you haven’t heard already on this album. It’s good but doesn’t grab me like the rest did except for the solo. Suffer Me is the ballad and the weakest song on the album.

No Parole From Rock’n’Roll is another of my all-time favorites, probably in my Top 10, definitely in the Top 20. Fave tracks here are the first five…..I really enjoy the the sing along of Island In The Sun. No Parole is probably the one of the greatest lost albums of the early ’80s, the last of the triumverate that Bonnet helped create from 1979-1983 and building his unknown legacy.