AC/DC – Black Ice (2008) release date and first single confirmed

Read the review of AC/DC – Black Ice

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From Bravewords.com:

A reliable in-house BW&BK source has confirmed that AC/DC’s forthcoming album will in fact be called BLACK ICE. It will be released on October 27th. The new single, ‘Runaway Train’, will be released in late August. A mammoth world tour will start in America in November.

BLACK ICE is AC/DC’s first studio album in eight years. It was recorded in Canada at Bryan Adams’ studio under the production guidance of Brendan O’Brien. It will be the band’s 15th studio album. Their last album was STIFF UPPER LIP in 2000 but the band maintained a profile with DVD.

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Other reports online have the new AC/DC album being sold as a Wal-Mart exclusive along the lines of similar promotions done with The Eagles, REO Speedwagon, & Journey. No further information is available on this connection with Wal-Mart but as the release date gets closer, more information will be officially released. Bravewords is usually on the mark with official news so watch their page closely…..

— Steve

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7/23/08
Just another quick heads up…..of course nothing is completely official until the band says so. When AC/DC issues their press release, I will post it here at HMA. If any of the information turns out to be different, I will amend all related posts with links to the official information. The good news is that AC/DC has a new record coming and a tour being planned…..that’s a good thing!

— Steve

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8/18/08

Another update…..the album cover and tracklisting have been confirmed for BLACK ICE. Check out the post here:

http://hardrockheavymetal.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/acdc-black-ice-album-artwork-revealed/

— Steve

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10/24/08

Read the review of AC/DC – Black Ice

The album review is up and Black Ice is also October’s ALBUM OF THE MONTH.

— Steve

Rogue Male – Animal Man (1986/2008 reissue)

Rogue Male – Animal Man (1986/2008 reissue, Metal Mind)

  1. Progress
  2. L.U.S.T.
  3. Take No Shit
  4. You’re On Fire
  5. The Real Me
  6. Animal Man
  7. Belfast
  8. Job Centre
  9. Low Rider
  10. The Passing
  11. Rough Tough (Pretty Too)*

(* bonus track)

Band Lineup:
Jim Lyttle – Vocals, Guitar
John Fraser Binnie - Guitar
Kevin Collier – Bass
Danny Fury – Drums

Producer: Steve James

Total Time = 50:16

Rogue Male unofficial MySpace page
Rogue Male at Encyclopedia Metallum: The Metal Archives
Listen to ANIMAL MAN at Vibrations Of Doom
Metal Mind Productions

With the fame and fortune predicted by Kerrang! magazine a false promise, Rogue Male regrouped in the U.K. at the end of 1985 to begin work on their new album. In order to capitalize on the buzz created from their tour supporting FIRST VISIT, the band quickly churned out the BELFAST E.P.

The E.P. contained three songs: ‘Belfast’, ‘Take No Shit’, and ‘Rough Tough (Pretty Too)’ of which the first two would be included on the new album.

By 1986, the whole Metal world was overcrowded with new bands coming from all over the world and the L.A. Glam scene was starting to take over. Obviously that had an effect of Rogue Male because one look at the ANIMAL MAN cover and you get some sort of scary Mad Max gone Glam concept. Take a look at Jim Lyttle and tell me he doesn’t look like Adam Ant! I remember seeing this record back in the day and comparing it to FIRST VISIT’s cover, I just knew that something changed. This also marked the debut of new drummer Danny Fury who is credited with playing the drums on ANIMAL MAN but they are really the work of an unnamed session drummer.

The Music:
The reissue contains the 10 song proper album plus ‘Rough Tough (Pretty Too)’ from the BELFAST E.P. Giving this album a spin for the first time since 1986, it’s hard to believe that this is the same band that made FIRST VISIT. Gone is the complete raw sound that made the debut so good and in is a mix of Pop-flavored Hard Rock with some Metal mixed in. Maybe the band’s lack of initial success made them re-think their direction and came up with a “more accessible” sound. Obviously the image got a little out of hand but so did the music. There was a direct NWOBHM influence on the debut and that’s all but gone on ANIMAL MAN, the songs all sound like a batch of different styles and are not cohesive together on the album. Where FIRST VISIT had a rawness to the production, ANIMAL MAN sounds too slick and loses it’s power. The drums sound awful and both the vocal and guitar levels vary in the mix, there’s also a non-existent bass sound. This CD is remastered and everything is clear but it is also subpar Metal music, take a listen to ‘The Passing’, it sounds like heavy New Wave at times! There are a few good songs, I like ‘Take No Shit’, ‘Belfast’, and the bonus track…..no surprise they were from a slightly earlier recording.

The Package:
Like the other reissues from Metal Mind, each reissue is limited to 2000 copies and numbered. Each CD comes in a full-color digipak and includes a color booklet with additional liner notes and lyrics. The music is remastered using 24-bit technology on a gold disc. The big thing is the bonus track, ‘Rough Tough (Pretty Too)’, from the rare BELFAST (1986) E.P. added on to the proper album.

Bottom Line:
Metal Mind has made another nice reissue but the album suffers from a lack of direction from the music made 22 years ago. It’s nice to have ANIMAL MAN alongside FIRST VISIT in the collection but I would suggest this as a “collector’s only” type of album. Getting the non-album track ‘Rough Tough (Pretty Too)’ as a bonus is cool so you don’t have to track down BELFAST to complete the Rogue Male recorded history but I’m not sure that is enough to want to give this CD regular listens. Comparing both albums, the debut beats ANIMAL MAN easily with more raw Metal. For collector’s, completists, and diehard Rogue Male fans only.

Rogue Male – First Visit reissue (1985/2008)

Rogue Male – First Visit (1985/2008 reissue, Metal Mind)

  1. Crazy Motorcycle
  2. All Over You
  3. First Visit
  4. Get Off My Back
  5. Dressed Incognito
  6. Unemployment
  7. On The Line
  8. Devastation
  9. Look Out
  10. The Real Me*
  11. All Over You*

(* bonus tracks)

Band Lineup:
Jim Lyttle – Vocals, Guitar
John Fraser Binnie - Guitar
Kevin Collier – Bass
Steve Kingsley – Drums

Producer: Steve James

Total Time = 46:46

Rogue Male unofficial MySpace page
Rogue Male at Encyclopedia Metallum: The Metal Archives
Listen to FIRST VISIT at Vibrations Of Doom
Metal Mind Productions

Rogue Male is one of those bands that came out of the U.K. in the early ’80s that is a lost piece in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) puzzle. I remember reading Metal Forces back in the day and they had some articles about this cool new band coming out of Belfast and how they blended a futuristic theme with the energy and enthusiasm of the early roots of NWOBHM. I saw this album cover and thought that this was going to be cool band with the Mad Max/cyborg concept. Then Kerrang! started predicting superstardom for Rogue Male and that was the kiss of death, the band basically got lost in the crowded Metal world by the end of 1985. By late 1984, the NWOBHM movement was starting to phase out: the big bands were already signed to big labels a few years earlier and the newer bands kind of got lost in the shuffle…..very similar to the L.A. Sunset Strip scene from 1989-1991. Rogue Male survived a couple of years and released this album, the follow-up ANIMAL MAN (1986), and had a couple of E.P.s mixed in. Now they have basically earned cult band status as one of those “lost” early ’80s bands.

The Music:
The reissue contains the nine track FIRST VISIT album plus two bonus tracks from the ALL OVER YOU single: ‘The Real Me’ and the short version of ‘All Over You’ (NOTE – The 12″ single contained both of these songs along with the long version of ‘All Over You’). When you give this album a spin, you’ll hear a rough and ready band that is as raw as they are energetic. The influences here are early Motorhead, Saxon, Tank and Judas Priest. Jim Lyttle has the Lemmy influenced vocal down pretty well and each song has that “go for the throat” guitar intensity that early Saxon and Judas Priest had. Take a listen to many of the smaller NWOBHM bands and you get a very similar sound, everyone was trying hard to be raw and heavy and the production reflected that by not being too slick. Of course, the remastering by Metal Mind makes everything crystal clear but you still get that raw sound like Motorhead and Tank.

The Package:
Like the other reissues from Metal Mind, each reissue is limited to 2000 copies and numbered. Each CD comes in a full-color digipak and includes a color booklet with additional liner notes. The music is remastered using 24-bit technology on a gold disc. The big thing is the two bonus tracks from the rare ALL OVER YOU (1985) single.

Bottom Line:
I remember holding this vinyl in my hand staring at the album cover thinking how cool it was but I never bought it…..1985 was a busy time for Metal and a 13 yr. old’s money only went so far. I did get a copy on cassette from a tape trader but I ended up losing it years ago. I haven’t heard this album in at least 20 years and, thanks to Metal Mind, I can have the CD. The package is nice and the music is dated but it’s a fun listen. The bonus tracks are a nice addition because the single is extremely rare.

Favorite Songs: ‘Dressed Incognito’, ‘All Over You’, ‘Crazy Motorcycle’

All-time top posts at Heavy Metal Addiction

When I started this blog back in January 2006, all I wanted to do was talk about albums in my music collection and pass along some Metal memories. Two and a half years later, close to 460,000 people have stopped by to read my album reviews, get some Metal news, and join me out on the Hunt for more music. I thank everyone for stopping by!

One of the things I get asked often is: “What is your most popular post?”.

Today I’m going to list the Top 5 posts and the Top 6 album reviews (with the publish date and stats) at Heavy Metal Addiction from day 1 to right now with a little commentary.

Top 5 Posts at Heavy Metal Addiction

  1. Poison members involved in onstage fight – breakup? – (8/27/06 — 23,732 views)
  2. Journey (with Arnel Pineda) – Festival Vina Del Mar 2008 complete set from Chile (video, 2/21/08) – (2/23/08 – 20,573 views)
  3. First official band picture of the new Journey with Arnel Pineda – (1/8/08 — 19,768 views)
  4. Press Release: Arnel Pineda is the new Journey singer! – (12/6/07 — 12,064 views)
  5. Gene Simmons facelift post-op picture – (4/2/07 — 10,576 views)

The Poison fight post has been the top dog for a long time, the day I posted it I ended up with the best single day ever with close to 17,000 hits! Before that, I think my best day was couple hundred readers. The Poison video is going to get taken out by Journey with their new singer Arnel Pineda. Like them or not, Journey has always been a worldwide band and with Filipino Arnel on the mic, they are now more than ever. If I were to expand this list to the Top 20, there would be four more Journey related posts! A lot of people are getting a chance to see/hear the new Journey from the full video of the Festival Del Mar 2008 in Chile and the two press releases. Personally, I like the fact that Gene Simmons is at #5 not just because my favorite band is KISS but because look at that train wreck! Like I said in the post, too bad they didn’t fix his vocal chords while they were at it!

Top 6 Albums Reviews at Heavy Metal Addiction

  1. Quiet Riot – Metal Health (1983) – (1/21/07 — 10,014 views)
  2. Ozzy Osbourne – Black Rain (2007) – (6/1/07 — 8904 views)
  3. Iron Maiden – A Matter Of Life And Death (2006) – (9/13/06 — 7439 views)
  4. Black Sabbath – Forbidden (1995) – (12/19/06 — 6279 views)
  5. Legs Diamond – Town Bad Girl (1990) – (2/22/07 — 5132 views)
  6. Lita Ford – Out For Blood (1983) – (1/12/07 — 5048 views)

Quiet Riot makes the top spot unfortunately due to the news of Kevin DuBrow’s passing. Unfortunately, the hits for this post picked up when Kevin died…..RIP Kevin. No surprise that Ozzy’s last record made the list because the guy is just popular with all Metal fans. BLACK RAIN made my 5 Worst of 2007 list at #4 and I have had a ton of email pointing out what an idiot I am for calling it a subpar effort. Another no brainer was Iron Maiden’s last album making the list, this album review seems to get a fair amount of hits every week.

The next three surprise me because they are in my Top Posts list everyday. Of all the Tony Martin era posts I did, FORBIDDEN gets a ton of hits everyday. I consider FORBIDDEN the weakest effort of that Sabbath era but people are searching and reading about it. Legs Diamond and Lita Ford are duelling for the #5 spot, that’s why I post six on the list. Everyday I see both of these reviews getting a ton of views, both are definitely “cult” albums but I didn’t think they would get that much attention, especially the Legs Diamond review.

So there you have it, some of the top posts…..now click the links and check’em out!

Temujin – 1000 Tears (2008)

Temujin – 1000 Tears (2008, Renaisance Records)

  1. Find Me
  2. 1000 Tears
  3. So Near
  4. Let You Go
  5. Spiral
  6. Down
  7. Blue Jay
  8. Taken
  9. Sheltered
  10. Haunted
  11. All Of You
  12. Throwing Stones
  13. Heart And Soul

Band Lineup:
Kelly – Vocals & Keyboards
Karl Lean- Guitars, Bass, Drums

Additional Musicians:
Buddy Snape – guest Lead Guitar on ‘Find Me’, ‘Taken’, & ‘Sheltered’
Sham Hughes – guest Lead Guitar on ‘So Near’

Produced by: Temujin

Total Time = 55:51

Temujin official website
Temujin MySpace page
Renaissance Records

Temujin is from Australia and began in 2005 when guitarist Karl Lean started writing new music in a different style than the Thrash Metal he made with Nothing Sacred. That new style turned out to be Gothic Metal that is guitar driven and not as operatic or orchestrated. Mainly collaborating with the talented and beautiful Kelly, the duo has created 1000 TEARS, an album that is influenced from the late ’90s Gothic/Ambient Metal moverment that included bands like The Gathering and Lacuna Coil.

First thing you notice when listening to Temujin is Kelly’s haunting voice. I was immeadiately drawn to her melodic soaring singing and I thought of The Gathering’s Anneke Van Giersbergen on albums like MANDYLION (1997) and NIGHTTIME BIRDS (1998). The singing is not operatic and over the top like some of today’s contemporaries are doing, it’s darker and sets a certain mood. Obviously, Kelly has a beautiful voice but she also maintains a calm control during each song as well as retaining the melody. Kelly also lends her keyboard talents to the record and that is an integral part of the overall ambient sound. Keyboards in this kind of Metal can be overbearing but on 1000 TEARS they compliment the overall sound structured around Karl’s guitar.

You might recognize Karl Lean from the Australian Metal band Nothing Sacred. After being in the band for over 10 years, Karl moved on to studio session work with other Australian bands. This experience in the studio is one of the reasons why he plays the rest of the instruments on the album except for some lead guitar parts on a few of the tracks. Karl is a multi-talented musician and it’s obvious by the perfect precision there is between the guitar, bass, and drums in each song. The songs are all guitar based with the keyboards coming in to compliment the sound. The guitar sounds really thick overall and the rhythm section keeps the songs on track without being a distraction. The majority of the songs are mid-paced and keep in line with Kelly’s range and beauty…..these tracks are not quiet ballads, they are still layered in heaviness.

The only minor complaint I have is that the production is a little weak when it comes to mixing Kelly’s voice and the guitars. It sounds like she is in the background on some songs and then she’s right up front on the next. Take a listen to ‘Sheltered’, it’s a great song but I sometimes feel like Kelly’s vocal gets pushed back by the main riff. Then you listen to ‘Haunted’ right after and she sounds like she’s right up front. No problem though, it’s all in the mix and I’ll bet that in concert there is a better difference. I was also waiting for Kelly to really let go and wail but that’s not the style she uses. I’m a little too used to hearing all the vocal histrionics that happen sometimes in this genre so the controlled power Kelly displays is fresh and gives an added element to explore.

Bottom Line:
I had never heard of Temujin until I received the CD…..this is how Gothic Metal should be played. The fact that the music sounds similar to The Gathering in the late ’90s is a major plus for me because that music is the basis of what bands like Evanescence (who are terrible!) are doing with success on the U.S. charts. I’ve always said that Evanescence was a sham and that band’s like The Gathering, Lacuna Coil, and After Forever do not get the credit they deserve. Add Temujin to that list because they are definitely a really good new band in a crowded scene. I think they choice to go with less operatic vocals, subtle keyboards and more focus on the guitars will set them apart from the other female fronted bands in the future. A great debut!

Favorite songs: ‘Find Me’, ‘So Near’, ‘Sheltered’, ‘Haunted’, ‘Throwing Stones’

Vacation is over! Back to work…..

Well, vacation is over and I’m heading back to work this afternoon. How depressing!

It was a nice quiet 7 days off from work with the family. We went to the shore a couple of times and did a few other things but the main thing was that I got to relax. I did some things around the house and spent time with the kids without being exhausted but the thing I did for myself was catch up on some music.

Here’s a few albums I listened to on vacation, I didn’t keep a list but I pulled out a ton from my collection:

The Who – Tommy (1969): A legendary band, a legendary album. I happened to hear a block of three TOMMY songs on one of the classic rock radio stations so I pulled this out for a few spins.

Billy Joel – The Stranger (1977/2008 deluxe reissue): More Classic Rock! I picked this up last Tuesday when it came out (more on that when I post a Hunt!) and I have been listening ever since. My wife and I went to the Billy Joel concert on July 3rd so I’m still on a bit of a Billy Joel kick.

Judas Priest – Nostradamus (2008): The album that will not go away! I keep listening and finding something new but it’s still a long listen at close to 2 hours over two CDs. I’m trying to get ready for a review but there is so much music, and Priest is my second favorite band, that I want to give the album a lot of time.

Motley Crue – Saints Of Los Angeles (2008): One of the biggest releases of the year and I’m definitely still listening. There’s plenty of good songs here but I’ve had to hit the “skip” button on a few songs.

Avantasia – The Scarecrow (2008): So far, my album of the year. Tobias Sammet has really created a masterpiece project with Avantasia, something that was supposed to be a side project that’s now as big as his main band, Edguy. Best song is the Alice Cooper sung ‘The Toy Master’.

Rogue Male – First Visit (1985) and Animal Man (1986): Both of these are reissues from Metal Mind Productions and I have been giving both CDs some serious time. I haven’t heard FIRST VISIT in about 20 years! Reviews coming…..

TKO – Let It Roll (1979) and In Your Face (1984): These two albums are officially reissued CDs from Tribunal Records with tons of bonus tracks. Another time travel back to my early days because I haven’t heard IN YOUR FACE in over 20 years too! I always meant to pick up the vinyl on Ebay but Tribunal has done a solid job with the reissues. Look for reviews soon…..

Temujin – 1000 Tears (2008): The band was nice enough to pass a copy along for review and I have to admit, I was surprised by the excellent music. I had never heard of Temujin but I know them now! The music is like MANDYLION-era and NIGHTTIME BIRDS-era The Gathering with a little Lacuna Coil in there.

Infernophonic – Spark It Up (2007): Another solid Hard Rock band i missed out on in 2007. Solid album, review soon.

Benedictum – Seasons Of Tragedy (2008): It’s a really good album but I think their frist record, UNCREATION (2006), is better. I’m still enjoying it though.

Gene Simmons – Asshole (2004): I was picking through my KISS related albums and I decided that this deserved it’s annual spin to see if it’s as bad as I remembered. Unfortunately, this is just a bad album with maybe one or two songs I like. This ties with Peter Criss – One For All (2007) as the worst KISS related album ever.

Paul Stanley – Live To Win (2006): I had to pull this out to compare it to Gene’s album…..light years better! I haven’t given this a spin in a while but it’s obvious who the true creative force is behind KISS.

Griffen – Linked In Eternity (2008): Just reviewed this one and I thought it was great. Only a 5 song demo but professionally done and very cool to listen to.

There were so many more albums that I pulled from my collection that I hadn’t heard fro a long time. I started to pull out different albums from Ratt, Dokken, Scorpions, Alice Cooper, Megadeth, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, UFO, ZZ Top, and Bruce Dickinson solo. I listened to a few live albums as well from KISS, Maiden, Priest, UFO, Sabbath, Royal Hunt, Motley Crue, Scorpions, Triumph because I want to do a “live album week” in the next couple of months.

It was a great week of music!

Stage collapses at Rocklahoma 2008! (video and links)

From Allyson at Bring Back Glam who is attending Rocklahoma 2008:

Saturday, 7/12/08 — PRYOR, Oklahoma – Two side stages collapse at Rocklahoma 2008 when a severe summer storm blasted the area. The Tulsa World reports one person sustained a broken arm.

The severe storm sent thousands of people to tents for cover, most seeking refuge in the “VIP” tent. Despite the storm, only concert attendees with wristbands were allowed into the VIP tent, perhaps the most sturdy structure at Rocklahoma. Strong wind gusts whipped through the area, peeling apart tent flaps, allowing rushing water into the area.

The Tri-Label and Retrospect Records stages both completely collapsed. Damage estimates are unknown. Thousands of attendees trampled through standing water, uncertain of the evening’s outcome. 

Update: concert has resumed as of 8:44 C.S.T.

‘Rocklahoma 2008 side stages collapse’

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Allyson is on site at the Rocklahoma fest and has been providing updates at Bring Back Glam with posts, pictures and video. She’s continued posting at her website so I’m assuming she and her crew are safe and unharmed. Allyson has pictures posted on her website:

Breaking News: Rocklahoma Side Stages Collapse

Hope everyone is safe…..

— Steve

Griffen – Linked In Eternity (2008)

Griffen – Linked In Eternity (2008, self-released promo demo)

  1. Linked In Eternity
  2. Secret Fire
  3. Falling Inside
  4. The Hydra
  5. Life Is On The Way

Band Lineup:
Jörgen Söderberg – Lead Vocals
Tomi Peltonen – Guitars, Vocals
Harri Tuovila – Bass, Vocals
Stefan Törnblom – Guitars, Vocals
Kristian Huotari – Drums, Vocals

Total Time = 25:36

Griffen official website
Griffen MySpace page

Up until about a month ago, I had never heard of Griffen. The band was kind enough to contact me and send me a copy of LINKED IN ETERNITY for review. I did a little research and found that Griffen is from Sweden and has two current members of Torch among their ranks (Peltonin &  Huotari)! I have had a fascination with Torch for a long time so my interest got sparked big time. Turns out that this is Griffen’s second promo demo (the first was in 2007) and it is one of the most professionally done demos I’ve heard in the last couple of years.

The music is basically a blend of melodic Hard Rock and traditional Heavy Metal that really has it’s roots in the ’80s…..it’s all straight forward Metal with strong vocals, a great twin axe attack, and a powerful rhythm section. The guitars really form a solid groove on every track without being overbearing. It’s not about overplaying and fitting in as many notes as possible, it’s about attitude. The blend of heaviness and melody cannot be overstated, this is the basis of good old fashioned Metal. Yes, the songs’ roots sound like they’re from the ’80s but it’s far from “dated”, the production is top notch and the mix crystal clear. The music is excellent but Söderberg’s vocals are particularly impressive, he can move from low/mid-range to hitting all the highs while maintaining a melodic presence. It seems very easy for Söderberg to move between straight up Hard Rock to the heavier Metal songs, I would take a close listen to both ‘The Hydra’ and ‘Life Is On The Way’ as perfect examples.

Bottom Line:
For a second demo, everything is crystal clear and evenly mixed, very professional work. Every song has solid musicianship and vocals but the key is that they songs themselves were well-written and stayed true to the attitude and style of the band. I’m very surprised that a European label has not snapped these guys up yet for a full-length album, there is some major talent here and Griffen would do well in today’s crowded Metal scene. Frontiers would be a solid fit, maybe even Nightmare Records in the U.S., whoever signs Griffen will end up with a solid, well-tuned band. I’m hoping to acquire the band’s first demo CD as well so keep your eyes here for more news on Griffen in the future, I’m sure we will be hearing good things from them.

Favorite songs: all of them

WANTED: Krokus – s/t (1976) & To You All (1977)

WANTED

 

Krokus – s/t debut (1976)

This is one of those “holy grail” albums that I want for my collection really badly. Krokus has been one of my favorite bands since 1982 when I first heard ‘Long Stick Goes Boom’ (from ONE VICE AT A TIME) on a local Metal radio program. Shortly after, I started reading more and more about the band in magazines like Metal Forces, Circus, and Hit Parader. Aside from filling a hole in my Krokus collection, this album stands out as a must have because it is the only album to not feature either guitarist Fernando Von Arb or vocalist Marc Storace. Most people believe that Von Arb started the band but it was really long time bassist/keyboardist Chris Von Rohr who founded Krokus and actually sang lead vocals on this album. I’ve seen this album twice on Ebay but the price was $100 U.S., this was around 1999. It’s very rare and out of print and is only available on vinyl.

Krokus – To You All (1977)

I need the second album too! TO YOU ALL brings classic Krokus members Fernando Von Arb, Freddy Steady, Tommy Keifer and Jurg Naegeli into the fold joining Von Rohr…..this was actually a joint effort between Krokus and Von Arb’s band Montezuma (with Naegeli & Steady) under the “Krokus” banner. It’s also the beginning of the band using the famous Krokus logo. This ones pops up on Ebay once in awhile on CD for about $35 from Switzerland. The Krokus website says that a Swiss company released it on CD but I’m skeptical on the authenticity, it could be a bootleg. I had a sealed copy of the LP in my hands in 2000 at a record store in my hometown and the price was the original $25 price tag from back in the ’80s for the import. I hadn’t been in the store in years so when I put it down and checked out the rest of the store, the owner grabbed it off the rack and slapped a fresh tag on it for double the price! I had been a regular at this particular store since I was a young kid and I knew the owner was a shady guy with a lot of questionable business practices as years went on so I wasn’t surprised to find a new sticker. Obviously I passed.

Anyone with any leads on these two albums, please contact me through the contact page of the website.

Motley Crue – Saints Of Los Angeles (2008)

Motley Crue – Saints Of Los Angeles (2008, Motley Records/Eleven Seven Music)

  1. L.A.M.F.
  2. Face Down In The Dirt
  3. What’s It Gonna Take
  4. Down At The Whiskey
  5. Saints Of Los Angeles
  6. Muther Fucker Of The Year
  7. The Animal In Me
  8. Welcome To The Machine
  9. Just Another Psycho
  10. Chicks = Trouble
  11. This Ain’t A Love Song
  12. White Trash Circus
  13. Goin’ Out Swingin’

Band Lineup:
Vince Neil – Lead Vocals
Nikki Sixx – Bass
Mick Mars – Guitars
Tommy Lee – Drums

Produced by: James Michael, Nikki Sixx, DJ Ashba

Total Time = 44:10

Motley Crue official website
Motley Crue MySpace page

It’s been just over 10 years since the original lineup of Motley Crue released a new album of original material.  Has it really been that long since GENERATION SWINE (1997) and the reunion? It seems like the Crue has been very busy in the last decade or so: tours, live CDs & DVDs, a tell-all book (The Dirt) by the band themselves, box sets, greatest hits albums, solo careers and the band even managed to release an album of new material, NEW TATTOO (2000) with the late Randy Castillo on drums instead of Tommy Lee. Get all that? It’s hard to believe that SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES didn’t come sooner, the question is…..was it worth the wait?

I’ve been a Motley Crue fan since around ’82 when I discovered TOO FAST FOR LOVE at a local record store. I have been excited for every new record, every tour, and every move the band has made for the last 26 years. Hell, I even hated the Crue back in ’83 & ’84 when everyone was jumping on the bandwagon because they were the hot new thing…..secretly, and unknown to my friends, I was listening to TOO FAST FOR LOVE and SHOUT AT THE DEVIL at high volume in my bedroom, LOL! These guys were the baddest band in the land when I was growing up and every Hard Rock band was chasing them in terms of success and excess. So I was definitely psyched to hear new music coming from the Motley camp but I wasn’t sure about the concept: an album loosely based on their collective autobiography The Dirt. The book came out in 2001 and that seems like a long time to release an album based on it. Granted there were personal issues between the original band members but these guys have been back together since the Fall of 2004.

Like most Motley Crue albums after SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (1983), SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES has some really good songs and some filler but the good definitely outweighs the bad. ‘L.A.M.F.’ starts the album off and it’s a spoken word intro by Vince Neil akin to ‘In The Beginning’ from SHOUT. I’m not sure if this intro is really needed and I find it rather annoying so I hit the skip button. ‘Face Down In The Dirt’ is pretty cool and has that trashy vibe to start things off on a high note while ‘What’s It Gonna Take’ slows down slightly and hits a nice groove. My favorite song is ‘Down At The Whiskey’, it has that sound that screams vintage melodic Motley and it has an infectious chorus. What I hear most in this song is Tommy Lee’s inspired drumming (listen to those cymbals crash!) and Mick Mars’ guitar playing, I think that Mick turns in the best performance of all the members on the whole album. More inspired playing from Mr. Mars on the lead single ‘Saints Of Los Angeles’…..sounds a little like ‘Wild Side’ & ‘Dr. Feelgood’ doesn’t it? Comparisons aside, this is probably the best track on the album despite my favorite being ‘Down At The Whiskey’. Motley Crue has always put their best songs forward as singles and videos and ‘Saints’ is no exception…..it has that big sounding chorus thanks to the guest singers (and labelmates/touring partners) and Mick turns in one hell of a performance. I watched the press conference live on TV and when they played ‘Saints’ live, Mick went from basically a cripple to fluid motion almost instantly. Great song, I bet it comes off well in concert.

‘Muther Fucker Of The Year’ starts off the filler. It’s an annoying song with juvenile lyrics, it just seems so unnecessary to have the profanity but this is the Crue so they do it. The first ballad is ‘The Animal In Me’ and is has that whiney Vince vocal that just sounds depressed. It kind of reminds me of ‘If I Die Tomorrow’ from the hits package RED, WHITE, & CRUE (2005), it has that sad vibe but it’s good. One glance at the tracklisting and I was afraid that the band added a Pink Floyd cover to the record with ‘Welcome To The Machine’ but it’s thankfully a gritty, punky original that rocks up like some of the songs did on TOO FAST FOR LOVE. The guitar solo on this song is particularly good and it just makes me respect Mick Mars that much more. Another cool tune is ‘Just Another Psycho’ that has the catchy hook to get me singing along with Vince and there’s a cool bass line from Nikki Sixx that just follows along with the drums to provide the groove. I could do without ‘Chicks = Trouble’, another filler tune for me. Think they’re talking from Tommy Lee’s perspective on this one? Or Vince’s? Or Nikki’s?

A little drum intro starts ‘This Ain’t A Love Song’ and it sounds similar to ‘Primal Scream’ (from DECADE OF DECADENCE) at times, it’s an OK song. ‘White Trash Circus’ has some decent drum beats but the song bores me with it’s chanty singing and dumb lyrics, just awful! ‘Goin’ Out Swingin’ was added to the album late in the game, I think right after the press conference, to add a little punch (forgive the pun) to end the album. The song is uptempo and has some decent guitar lines but it’s repetitve with the title in the lyrics…..I have to give it a “thumbs up” though after the last three duds.

Just a few words here about the package, concept, production and performance….. I like the black and white concept the band is using, it’s basic and gives the band that street look. I’m not cracking on the guy’s medical condition but Mick Mars just looks like one scary bastard! All the promo shots I’ve seen depict Mick as this mysterious, leather-clad, grim reaper type…..very cool. The songwriting tells the sleazy story of the sex, the drugs, the triumph and tragedy of being in one of the most notorious bands in Rock. I can remember different chapters of Motley history on each song…..Nikki is normally the main songwriter and he had a long history to draw inspiration from, I’ll bet everyone contributed much like they did on the book. Production is 2008 modern but you can hear some old school Crue in some of the songs but also some Sixx AM in there too. Obviously, the production assistance Nikki and the band had from James Michael & DJ Ashba (Nikki’s Sixx AM bandmates) had some influence on the sound, it’s sounds great though and is crystal clear. Performance of the album goes to Mick Mars for his inspired guitar playing despite the Ankylosing spondylitis that is ravaging his body. Second place goes to Vince Neil who sounds pretty good on the mic.

Bottom Line:
I’ve been playing this non-stop since I bought the album and I think it’s a pretty solid record. Like I said before, all Crue albums after the first two have filler but the good songs outweigh the bad. It may not be the next SHOUT AT THE DEVIL or DR. FEELGOOD but I would say that the band has come back with a good album with some great songs and a lot of attitude. Let’s just hope that the Crue won’t wait another 10 years to release a follow-up!

Favorite Songs: ‘Down At The Whiskey’, ‘Saints Of Los Angeles’, ‘The Animal In Me’, ‘Welcome To The Machine’