Archive for March 14, 2007

Shaw Blades - Influence

Shaw/Blades – Influence (2007, VH-1 Classic)

  1. Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts, 1972)
  2. Time Of The Season (The Zombies, 1968)
  3. Your Move (Yes, 1971)
  4. I Am A Rock (Simon & Garfunkel, 1966)
  5. Lucky Man (Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, 1970)
  6. The Sound Of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel, 1964)
  7. California Dreamin’ (The Mamas & The Papas, 1963)
  8. On A Carousel (The Hollies, 1965)
  9. Dirty Work (Steely Dan, 1972)
  10. For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield, 1967)
  11. Dance With Me (Orleans, 1975)

Musicians:
Tommy Shaw – Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Keyboards, Percussion, & Vocals
Jack Blades – Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, & Vocals
Michael Lardie – Keyboards
Brian Tischy – Drums
Kelly Keagy – Drums on ‘Dirty Work’
Ben Krames – Drums on ‘Time Of The Season’
Colin Blades – Backing Vocals on ‘Your Move’
Randy Mitchell – Loops

Total Time – 39:02

Shaw/Blades official website

If you’ve been reading this website regularly, then you know that I have a problem with cover songs. It’s not that I am totally against them but I don’t like to see them taking up space on a new album of fresh material. Even if the cover is a good one, I will still be disappointed that the artist/band didn’t use an original composition instead.

In the case of this latest album by Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades, I knew coming in that it was a collection of cover songs rather than original material. Normally I don’t buy into this type of album, unless it’s by a band I really enjoy. I have always been a big fan of Night Ranger, Styx, and Damn Yankees so I knew that the performance would be top-notch at the least. Shaw and Blades have a chemistry that works very well and their versions of these Classic Rock songs from the early ’60s to mid ’70s are extremely good. Favorite songs on this record are: ‘Your Move’, ‘Dirty Work’, and ‘Lucky Man’.

Bottom Line:
There really isn’t much to review here. I could go song by song but, if you’ve ever listened to Classic Rock radio, then you’ve heard most of the original versions. The band does a nice job in putting their own spin on these classics while staying true to the original song. It’s a nice listen but it makes you want a little more…..maybe that unreleased third album by Damn Yankees? If you like these songs in their original form, then you won’t mind picking this up. Then again, you could turn on any Classic Rock station and listen for an hour. I’d bet you would hear at least four of these tunes. It’s a very well done album, it’s a decent listen, but it’s not essential.

It’s been a hard week for me to post so I’m putting my last to expeditions together. Let’s also just say that the pickings have been very slim for new releases and used CDs at the local stores so I haven’t really bought all that much.

3/5/07
Shaw/Blades – Influence (2007) – $9.99: I’m a big Night Ranger/Styx/Damn Yankees fan so I was on for this album by Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades. Something about their collaborations really sticks with me so I ran out at 10am to the local shop for this at a bargain price. I know it’s a covers album and I have a track record against covers but I have definitely been intrigued since this was announced last year.

Mob Rules – Ethnolution A.D. (2007) – $10.88: I got into Mob Rules back in 1999 when they debuted with SAVAGE LAND and I haven’t been disappointed since. I have a weakness for German Power Metal but this band really does it right. I had forgotten all about this album, it came out February 20th in the U.S., but I stumbled on a copy mixed in with the Dio albums. A nice price for a new release.

Elf – s/t (1972) – $7.99: An absolute score! I have been looking for the Elf albums locally on either vinyl or CD for a while now and gotten zilch for my efforts. When I have seen the debut at record shows, the vinyl commands at least $25. This has been on CD for many years but it’s hard to find…..the last time I saw one was somewhere around 2003 when my favorite record store shut down. I didn’t buy it back then because I had a basket of CDs already and I was sure I’d see it again. I’ve never heard any of the Elf material so I am very interested in how Ronnie James Dio sounds on what is basically his major label debut.

Total – $29

3/12/07
Metal For Muthas (Vol. 2) (2000) - $2 used: This is the CD reissue from 2000 but for $2 I’ll take any NWOBHM compilation that includes bands like Trespass, Dark Star, White Spirit, and Chevy.

Dokken – From Conception (Live 1981) (2007) – $16: Always been a Dokken fan so this was one of the reasons I went out. I knew it wasn’t on sale and I’d have to pay regular price…..I would have paid the same with shipping had I ordered online so at least I got it right away. It’s early live recordings of the band from ’81 with four of the songs previously unreleased and never recorded on a studio album.

Dokken – Unchain The Night DVD (2007) – $9.99: Reason #2 for going out to the record store. I remember this video being pretty good back in 1986 so I was definitely picking it up when I read that four unreleased videos were included. Ten bucks? Easy money!

Damn Yankees – Uprising Live! DVD (2007) – $13: This is a re-release of the VHS from 1992. Big Damn Yankees fan so this concert video was a must for me. Nice to have a live souvneir of DY, I saw them in Providence, RI opening for Bad Company back in 1990. Damn Yankees blew the Paul Rodgers-less Bad Co. away!

Metal Mania Stripped Vol. 3 (2007) – $12: I picked this up as an afterthought. It came out on the 5th but I passed on it then because I wanted to read some reviews first. Never got around to searching for reviews so I grabbed both this and the new Messiah’s Kiss album, Dragonheart. Messiah’s Kiss was $9.99 but I have never heard them before so I went with the safe bet. Looking at the tracklist, I’m mostly interested in the “stripped” versions of Autograph – ‘Turn Up The Radio and Accept – ‘Balls To The Wall’.

Total – $53

So I spent $82 in two weeks, that’s well below my usual spending habits but I’m trying to save some of my treasure for the online order that’s going to come and cost a couple hundred dollars. Biggest surprise had to be the Elf album and the Metal For Muthas Vol. 2 used at $2. I probably should have waited on the Stripped album and gone with Messiah’s Kiss. Either way, some new music, some old music, and two really good DVDs.