CD Scavenger Hunt – May update

In keeping with the tradition of not posting the Hunts at the end of the proper months, here is another big update, this time for this past May…..

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Fozzy – Happenstance (2002) – $4 used
High Noon – No Turning Back (2009) – $6 used
Lance King – A Moment In Chiros (2011) – $6 used
Heaven’s Edge – s/t (1990) – $12 used
Rush – Moving Pictures (1980) – $2.50
Rush – Signals (1982) – $2.50
Deep Purple – Now What?! (2013, Deluxe Edition) – $16
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Mind Control (2013) – $12
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Blood Lust (2012) – $15
Queensryche – Frequency Unknown (2013) – $10
Stratovarius – Nemesis (2013) – $10
Avantasia – The Mystery Of Time (2013) – $10
Amaranthe – The Nexus (2013) – $10
Free Fall – Power & Volume (2013) – $10
Ugly Kid Joe – Stairway To Hell E.P. (2012) – $6

Poison – Sexyback (promo CD single) (2007) – $7 used
Arch Enemy – Black Earth (1996) – $7 used
Arch Enemy – Burning Bridges (1999) – $7 used
Arch Enemy – Wages Of Sin (2001) – $7 used
Arch Enemy – Dead Eyes See No Future E.P. (2004) – $7 used
Shok Paris – Go For The Throat (1984) – $7 used
Shok Paris – Steel & Starlight (1987) – $11 used
Shok Paris – Concrete Killers (1989) – $11 used
Trixter – New Audio Machine (2012) – $12
Waysted – Save Your Prayers (1986/2013 reissue) – $10
Jorn – Symphonic (2013) – $11
Torch – Electrikiss (1985) – $14 used
Airbourne – Black Dog Barking (Special Edition) (2013) – $22.50
Armored Saint – March Of The Saint (1984) – $9.25 used
Armored Saint – Delirious Nomad (1985) – $9.25 used

May was a really good month but I kind of stayed away from the record stores and did more online. I’m torn right now because technology is providing me a means to compare prices on Amazon and Ebay while I’m in the record store and I’m making decisions based on price. I’ve always been a record store rat and I always will be but, I buy and devour so much music yearly, that I need to save as much money as possible. I support local record stores but it’s hard to when Amazon offers the same CD cheaper than the record store sale prices and no sales tax. No shipping for me because I’m an Amazon Prime member and the membership has already paid for itself. Let’s move on to the treasures I found…..

My first outing of the month was a quiet one. I hadn’t planned to go to Newbury Comics but I was driving through Warwick, RI and decided to stop in. I picked up the Fozzy, High Noon, Lance King and Heaven’s Edge CDs all in the used bin for some really great prices. The Lance King CD replaces the promo digital download that Lance’s label, Nightmare Records, sent me to review but the gem was the original pressing of the self-titled Heaven’s Edge album. It’s a highly bootlegged CD and there have been some shoddy reissues so I was cool spending $12 for a used CD. I checked Ebay while I was in the store and original pressings were listed for $25+ so I feel like I got a bargain. After the record shop, I went across the street to Best Buy so I could burn a $5 off coupon that was expiring the next day. Best Buy doesn’t have much of a selection and they aren’t big on organization so it can be a crap shoot finding a gem. I knew what I wanted…..Rush! I’ve been filling the holes in my Rush CD collection with Best Buy purchases because they are all $5 each so I grabbed Moving Pictures (1980) and Signals (1982). Take that $5 coupon off the $10 total and I got both for $2.50! My last trip out before I went online shopping was to my usual Newbury Comics location in North Attleboro, MA to grab the new Deep Purple album special edition. I wanted the CD/DVD edition so I paid a little extra than the regular CD. While I was there the store was playing the new Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats record, Mind Control, so I added that in on sale and caved in to buy their 2012 release Blood Lust also.

Now we get to the dilemma…..online vs. record stores. I had been watching a few new releases at the record stores and passed on them because I either thought the sale price was too high or I was skeptical about the material therein. The releases in question were the new albums from Geoff Tate’s version of Queensryche, Stratovarius, Avantasia, Amaranthe and Free Fall.  The Queensryche record has gotten terrible reviews so I was holding out for a used copy and I was actually shopping for the new Stratovarius online for the special ecition with three bonus tracks and those two were well stocked at the sale price. Also, I wasn’t in the mood for another concept record so I passed on Avantasia on sale and I really wanted to try out Amaranthe and Free Fall but those CDs were available at regular price. I finally caved in towards the end of the month and checked the prices on Ebay and Amazon and decided that the best value was to order through Amazon. I got all five CDs for $10 each ($50 total) with free shipping (I have Prime) and no sales tax, had I bought in the record store, with sale prices, the total would have been $68. So I actually saved $18 for the same exact items on Amazon vs. my favorite Newbury Comics…..that’s 1 or 2 CDs! If the Queensryche, Stratovarius and Avantasia albums were bought in store at their respective regular prices ($17 each regular price) then my total in store would have jumped to $80. And those figures in store don’t include state sales tax! The savings is obvious and I guess that’s why record stores are having a hard time competing. As a bonus for saving all that money, I also ordered a hard copy of the Ugly Kid Joe E.P. that I bought digitally back in 2012. The actual CD was $6 so it wasn’t a large add on.

Ebay was extremely lucrative in May. There were a few CDs I paid a little extra for and there were some good bargains. I had to have Poison’s cover of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Sexyback’ but I didn’t want the entire Poison’d covers album so I found the CD single for a cheap $4 + $3 shipping. As soon as that CD was taken off the want list, I focused on Shok Paris. I found a copy of Go For The Throat from a seller who was also selling a four CD lot of Arch Enemy CDs I needed so I went for both auctions and won for a grand total of $35. So I’m averaging $7 per CD on Ebay but the rest of the month was higher. I finished the Shok Paris discography (Steel & Starlight and Concrete Killers) for $11 each, grabbed the latest Trixter record from 2012 for a cheap $12 (replacing the promo download I was sent), the Waysted – Save Your Prayers 2013 reissue from Cherry Red Records and Jorn Lande’s Symphonic album for $11. I grabbed a CD copy of Torch – Electrikiss even though I already own the vinyl…..I’ve never seen a CD version so I grabbed it for $11 + $3 shipping and it’s in mint condition. The CD says Metal Blade for a label and I checked all Metal Blade releases through 2002 (through the anniversary box set) and didn’t see it listed. I think it was a Metal Blade Europe release and it’s a real silver pressed, factory made CD…..I’m still researching it. I had to have the new Airbourne album but I wanted the 2 disc special edition so that cost me a total of $22.50 and the seller who sold me the Arch Enemy lot had both Armored Saint CDs listed in one lot so I grabbed that for $18.50.

Total = $284

Total (year) = $1106.80

Average Price (per item) = $11.07

Total CDs (year) = 91

Total DVDs & BluRays (year) = 3

Total LPs (year) = 1

Total Box Sets (year) =5

Metal Mixtape – 5/6/12

Tale of the Tape
Ipod 120
9983 songs (858 albums)

  1. Gwar – ‘Parting Shot’ – Lust In Space (2009)
  2. Thunder – ‘An Englishman On Holiday’ – Backstreet Symphony (1990)
  3. AC/DC – ‘Walk All Over You’ – Highway To Hell (1979)
  4. Night Ranger – ‘Penny’ – Dawn Patrol (1982)
  5. Saxon – ‘Rockin’ Again’  – Innocence Is No Excuse (1985)
  6. AC/DC – ‘Live Wire’ – High Voltage (1975)
  7. Accept – ‘Sick, Dirty And Mean’ – Objection Overruled (1993)
  8. Black Country Communion – ‘Stand (At The Burning Tree)’ – Black Country (2010)
  9. Extreme – ‘Play With Me’ – Extreme (1989)
  10. Airbourne – ‘No Way But The Hard Way’ – No Guts, No Glory (2010)
  11. Megadeth – ‘Guns, Drugs & Money’ – Th1rt3en (2011)
  12. Riot – ‘Heart Of Fire’ – Rock City (1977)
  13. The Doors – ‘Back Door Man’ – The Doors (1967)
  14. KISS – ‘Lick It Up’ – Jikogu Retsuden (2008)
  15. Buckcherry – ‘Cream’ – Black Butterfly (2008)
  16. UFO – ‘Borderline’ – High Stakes And Dangerous Men (1992)
  17. Symfonia – ‘Rhapsody In Black’ – In Paradisum (2011)
  18. Blue Tears – ‘Innocent Kiss’ – Blue Tears (1990)
  19. Primal Fear – ‘Conviction’ – Unbreakable (2012)
  20. Tesla – ‘I Wanna Live’ – Forever More (2008)
  21. Accept – ‘Bound To Fail’ – Metal Heart (1985)
  22. Autograph – ‘Everytime I Dream’ – Loud & Clear (1987)
  23. Yngwie J. Malmsteen – ‘Now Is The Time’ – Odyssey (1988)
  24. Anvil – ‘Shadow Zone’ – Forged In Fire (1983)
  25. Chickenfoot – ‘Down The Drain’ – Chickenfoot (2009)

Bonus Track — Def Leppard – Switch 625 – High ‘N” Dry (1981)

Albums I Missed in 2010

It never fails…..every year goes by and there are always a ton of albums I end up missing. There are so many new albums released every year that it’s almost impossible to keep up. Usually I spend the first two months of the new year acquiring all the albums I didn’t buy the previous year before all the new releases start to flood the market. 2010 was no exception as I missed more than a few notable Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums. The following is a list of albums I missed in 2010 that I picked up in 2011…..some of the albums I just didn’t buy until 2011, some I bought but never got around to listening to and some I just forgot about! As many of you collectors know, if you acquire a lot of albums, they tend to pile up, and my pile kept growing! The more the pile grows, the more albums get pushed to the bottom of the pile. With all the submissions coming in and all the albums out there to buy, things can get lost in the shuffle quick. The following list of albums are CDs that were either in a pile on my desk waiting to be listened to but I never had the opportunity to listen to or albums I picked up at some point in 2011.

Airbourne – No Guts, No Glory (Special Edition) (2010): I was a huge supporter of Airbourne when Runnin’ Wild came out in 2007 and I thought they were a breath of fresh air playing simple barroom boogie Hard Rock like their countrymen AC/DC. Airbourne impressed and I looked forward to a follow-up. When NO GUTS, NO GLORY was released I had every intention of buying it but then I found out there were multiple versions: the regular 13 song CD, the Japanese pressing with 4 bonus tracks, this special edition with 5 bonus tracks and another pressing that included the 18 song special edition and a bonus live DVD. Overwhelmed with the choices, and the various prices, I waited until I found the special edition with all the bonus tracks (no DVD) at a decent price. By the time I ordered it on Ebay and it was delivered it was already July, close to 5 months after it’s release, and my pile of 2010 albums was already large.

Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony (2010) and Angel Of Babylon (2010): Just like the Airbourne album, I had to shop around to get these two albums. Both of these new Avantasia records were released in Europe before the U.S. so I had the choice of buying each CD separately as an import, buy the special edition that had both albums in digipaks with an expanded booklet for a lower price or wait for the inevitable U.S. release. I opted for the special edition on Ebay and spent about the same money I would have if I’d waited for the U.S. releases. WICKED and ANGEL are parts 2 and 3 of The Wicked Trilogy (part 1 is 2007’s THE SCARECROW, my favorite album of 2008) and I wanted to hear these so bad but by the time I bought these in May 2010 and they got into the pile, they ended up getting lost in the shuffle. These two albums are so good I have no reservations that they would have made my 2010 Year End Awards had I gotten around to listen to them.

Dream Evil – In The Night (2010): I’ve been a fan of Dream Evil since DRAGONSLAYER (2002) so this new record was on my radar when it was announced in early 2010. Here’s another case of my collector’s disease running wild because I wouldn’t settle for the regular CD version in the record store, I needed the limited edition digibook with the two bonus tracks and patch. That meant searching online, ordering on ebay, waiting for it to arrive and slotting it in my “neatly” ordered pile on my desk. I did get to listen to the album here and there but I didn’t give it enough proper spins to actually come to any conclusion about it’s merits. Of course, I took the time to give it a fair listen this year but too late to qualify for any of 2010’s awards.

Helloween – 7 Sinners (2010): Talk about missing a major album! I’ve listened to 7 SINNERS this past year and I’m kicking myself for not giving it proper time in 2010 because this would have easily made my 2010 Year End Awards! The problem here was that I was lucky enough to receive a promotional copy from the record label/PR people but that’s a completely separate pile. With all the CDs coming in from bands, labels and PR firms, not to mention the daily emails with promotional downloads…..I got overwhelmed by the sheer volume of music at my fingertips. Helloween has always been one of my favorite bands, and I have really enjoyed their last few albums, but they got lost in the shuffle of promos and it was definitely my loss last year.

Holy Grail – Crisis In Utopia (2010): I picked this up at the beginning of the year when I was burning all of my Xmas gift cards but this ended up getting lost in the shuffle with all the 2011 releases coming out early and often. I did spin this for awhile this past year and it’s a really good Power Metal record from another solid new band…..the lineage here is that Holy Grail is an off-shoot of White Wizzard (one of my favorite new bands) s0 this was going to get more interest albeit late interest. I’m not sure if this would have made any of my year end lists but it was definitely a solid album and I’m looking forward to hearing more from Holy Grail in the future.

Issa – Sign Of Angels (2010): I ended up accidently deleting the digital promo I received from Frontiers Records after one spin but that was enough to put Issa on the want list. I ended up waiting to buy SIGN OF ANGELS because of the high import price at the local record shop, buying online would have cost more with shipping. Plus I had the digital promo but once it deleted, I had to have it. Really solid Hard Rock with a Pop sensibility, the songs are melodic and catchy and Issa has a great voice with looks to match! Compared to other bands on this list, this album is almost a little out of place but it was a really good break from the harder side of Metal. Actually, if this album was released 20 years ago, it would have easily charted and sold…..definitely an album I should have explored more when it first came out.

Lillian Axe – Deep Red Shadows (2010): I have no idea what my problem is with new albums from Lillian Axe but I buy them and I never get around to them! The same thing happened with the last two Lillian Axe releases…..I buy them immeadiately, give them an initial play and they get put in the pile only to be lost for months. DEEP RED SHADOWS was another casualty of the ever growing pile of CDs on my desk and I actually feel kind of bad about it because I’ve listened to more classic Lillian Axe than I have the new stuff and the new stuff is really great! There’s another new album coming in 2012 and I swear that this time I’m not going to make this band a pile casualty.

Yngwie Malmsteen – Relentless (2010): RELENTLESS is the second Yngwie album in a row that was released late in the year and ended up getting no airplay until the new year. Is there a reason why Yngwie has to do this to me? The same thing happened when PERPETUAL FLAME came out late in 2008 and I totally missed it! RELENTLESS is the second album in a row where Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens offers his talented pipes to Yngwie’s guitar arsenal and it’s another great match, one I hope Yngwie keeps for more new records. I was able to listen to this over the course of this year and it’s one of the better Malmsteen albums of recent years, definitely a record that would have made some noise on my 2010 lists.

Y&T – Facemelter (2010): Another pile casualty! I picked up FACEMELTER a few weeks after it came out because the prices online were too steep for this Frontiers release and my local record store didn’t have it stoced. I found it in stock at another store about an hour from my home and I decided I couldn’t pass it up when i found it. I gave the album one listen and piled it. I have to get a lot more spins in because Y&T is scheduled to play a show in Rhode Island in early March 2012 and I want to know some of the new tunes to go along with all those Y&T classics!

CD Scavenger Hunt — A month’s worth of purchases! (Part 1)

It’s been a long month but I am on the verge of vacation so I’m hoping to post a little more but I have been listening to music…..and buying! A lot of cool new releases came out and I found a lot of cool bargains over the last month so this is going to be a long update that’s going to be posted in two parts…..

Ebay
(free shipping this time around)

Airbourne – No Guts, No Glory (Special Edition) (2010) – $9: When Airbourne came out in 2007, I became a big fan. Yeah, I know they sound like AC/DC, or Rose Tattoo, or The Angels/Angel City or…..well, you get the idea. I liked the music, your basic barroom boogie Rock ‘n’ Roll with a ton of energy. I ended up getting an email straight from Roadrunner Records offering a fan-pack that included a limited edition double disc set that included a live DVD in addition to the regular album, the album also included 5 new songs as bonus tracks and a limited edition t-shirt…..all for $40! I don’t like Airbourne that much! Could care less about the shirt or the DVD but the bonus tracks were the key. The regular U.S. pressing was $9.99 without the extra songs the first week of release but I passed. I found this seller on Ebay and I picked up this CD at a great price along with the next couple…..

Danger Angel – s/t (2010) – $7: I don’t know much about Danger Angel except that they are on Perris Records, so that means the music must be in the Hard Rock style, and Jeff Scott Soto added lead vocals to one of the songs. I actually received a digital promo of the album months ago and I have never listened to it…..not sure why because even the cover looks cool like an old school ’80s record. The band is from Greece, they’ve supported Winger and Jeff Scott Soto on tour and they’re a new band. Hopefully this is a promising debut…..

Sinbreed – When Worlds Collide (2010) – $4: Here’s another great deal that I got from the same seller on an album that I received a digital promo of but never really listened to. I’m a big Power Metal fan and Sinbreed is a pure Power Metal group from Germany so I’m hoping that it’s a solid record. The band has a U.S. distribution deal with Nightmare Records and I received a digital promo but with all the new releases out now, I pushed it aside. I’ve read a lot of good reviews on this record so I’m looking forward to it.

Online

Judas Priest – British Steel (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (2010) – $30: Back in mid-May, I went to the record store to pick up this album and, of course, I bought the 2 disc version not the 3 disc pressing…..I wrote about it in the “Buyer Be Aware” edition of CD Scavenger Hunt. I wanted the 3 disc set with the remastered album, the live DVD and the live CD of the live DVD. The version I ended up snagging for $14 on sale was just the remastered record and the live DVD and I returned it the next day for a refund. Turns out the 3 CD Deluxe set was released in Europe at the same time as the 2 disc set but the the U.S. release for the 3 disc was slated for early June. I ordered directly through JudasPriest.com so I wouldn’t have a hassle, it was $30 but I received the album within 48 hours from Sony Direct in a perfect package. Sometimes buying straight from the band is the way to go.

Best Buy

Lamb Of God – Hourglass (3 CD box set) (2010) – $7: Best price on this 3 disc set was at Best Buy, they had it advertised for $16.99 in their new ad for the Tuesday release so I definitely made the trip. The reason I got the set for $7 instead of $17 was because I had a $10 off coupon from the Best Buy Rewards program that I was going to use to reserve my copy of Madden 2011. I went for the instant $10 savings on the box set and, even though I’m new to Lamb Of God, it’s some very brutal music that I’m really getting into. I’ve actually seen Lamb Of God live but I never really got into their albums but I’ve made it a point lately to listen to more extreme Metal and the band fit the bill. Saved $10.

Newbury Comics

Visions Of Atlantis – Cast Away (2004) – $6 used: For the last couple of months I have been watching a few used CDs that have regular priced counterparts right with them. I’ve been meaning to buy them all up because they are solid bargains but I always find something else to pick up. This Visions Of Atlantis CD has been on my radar for at least two months, maybe longer. It’s regular priced comrade is $16 so I figured maybe someone would snag this album if they saw the $10 savings. These two discs were filed in the “V” section in the regular stock CDs so I took the used CD and placed it in the Heavy Metal section under the “V” there. Not every Newbury Comics has a specific Metal section but there are some Metal dudes that work there and they are cool enough to make a dedicated place for Metal, this is one of the reasons why I keep going to the same store! I figured that since Visions Of Atlantis were a Symphonic Metal band then they should have a presence in the Metal section…..and keeping the two differently priced CDs seperate so i could wait and decide when to buy the used one. Saved $10.

Bang Camaro – II (2008) – $4: Here’s another bargain CD that I’ve been watching for a while! Bang Camaro is a Boston band so I naturally have an interest because I live in Rhode Island about an hour away. Bang Camaro got a lot of press when they debuted in 2007 because they feature 8 to 12 singers on each album and sometimes on each song! The band lineup is a revolving door but the spirit of the project remains strong. I had the opportunity to buy the debut at a cheap price but I passed and now I can’t find it locally. Bang Camaro came to my attention when I heard their song ‘Revolution’ while playing Madden 2010 on my Playstation 3…..it’s a good tune so I figured I would finally give them a chance. There were three brand new copies of this CD: one for $8, another for $6 and the copy I bought for $4. Saved $4.

Stephen Pearcy – Social Intercourse (2002) – $5 used: I never really got around to buying any of Stephen Pearcy’s solo work until just over a month ago. I have all the records from Arcade and Vertex, and I’m a huge Ratt fan, so I finally decided to pick this stuff up. I didn’t expect to find anything new under Ratt but old habits are diehard and I checked their section…..there’s this CD! It’s been a while but I’ve seen this album go for around $15 in the record stores at regular price, while the online prices change rapidly, so I estimate I saved $10.

Nevermore – The Obsidian Conspiracy (2010) – $12: I bought this album the day of release on sale for $12 because i thought the cover was really cool. I have been into Nevermore since 1999’s DREAMING NEON BLACK and that was only because I found out through the power of the Internet that the members of Nevermore were also members of Sanctuary…..I had a cassette copy of REFUGE DENIED when it came out in 1987! I’ve missed out on the last couple Nevermore albums since 2000’s DEAD HEART IN A DEAD WORLD so I figured that this new album would be a good way to reconnect. Regular price was $17 so I saved $5.

Kingdom Of Sorrow – s/t (2008) – $10: I work with a guy that is huge into Kingdom Of Sorrow and he constantly asks me if I have heard any of the music or if I have picked up a CD. Up until a couple of weeks ago I really didn’t pay attention to the recommendation but then the band’s new album came out and I decided to buy that one on sale (I’ll get to that next!). When I was going to grab the new CD, I noticed that the debut had a $9.99 sale sticker too. Maybe it was a mistake? The other two copies of the debut didn’t have sale stickers so I snagged this one quick. I like to start at the beginning if I can with new bands so this was a good purchase. Saved $5.

Kingdom Of Sorrow – Behind The Blackest Tears (2010) – $10: Like I mentioned above, when this album was released there was a great sale price. Add the sale price to the constant recommendation from a co-worker with my going to Ozzfest this summer and you have the recipe for a CD purchase. Truthfully, I’ve been meaning to check out KOS because I’ve read good things but my co-worker’s insistence made me not purchase the debut until this new record came out. Now I won’t be staring into space when I see the band on Ozzfest…..saved $5.

Savage Grace – The Dominatress/Master Of Disguise reissue (2010) & After The Fall From Grace/Ride Into the Night reissue (2010) – $24 ($12 each): Now this was a complete surprise! Every week I get the Newbury Comics e-newsletter telling me what the new releases are and how much they are going to be but somehow I missed the reissues for the Savage Grace albums. Before I went out to the store, I jumped online quick and I found a quick announcement regarding the reissues. I double checked my newsletters (I save them for a while) and there they were on sale for $12

each! When I got to the store they had 2 copies of each reissue so I was able to get both and let someone else enjoy some classic Heavy Metal. Each reissue is a single disc housed in a nice slipcase with 4 bonus tracks and 3 bonus tracks respectively. There are full color booklets with extensive liner notes and pictures along with the preserved and uncensored  original album artwork. You can tell that Limb Music took special time and care to get these reissues just right. Most of these albums are available on Ebay in cassette or LP form but the CDs are usually bootlegs. I believe AFTER THE FALL FROM GRACE has an official CD release but THE DOMINATRESS and MASTER OF DISGUISE are usually a 2-on-1 CD from Greece that is a definite bootleg. It’s nice to have an official re-release finally…..and a superb job as well. Regular price was $16 each so I saved $8 ($4 each).

Total = $128

Total (year) = $813

Average price (per item) = $10.04

Total CDs (year) = 74

Total DVDs (year) = 2

Total Box Sets (year) = 4

Total LPs (year) = 1

Ebay Madness – Galaxy Group, Mata Hari, Airbourne

Galaxy Group – s/t (1991) sells for $113.60

Seller – eagleeyeiii
Starting Price = $8.99
Bids = 14

I have this CD! Picked it up years ago from a top collector for about half the price. This Russian AOR disc gets bootlegged often, copies flood Ebay and eveyone gets to hear it. To find an original is hard to do, only 300 copies were made. I did my research years ago and did in fact get an original. Speculation is that either the label keeps pressing the discs or one of the band members is doing it.

Mata Hari – Feel the Fire (1992) sells for $190.50

Seller – eagleeyeiii
Starting Price = $8.99
Bids = 20

This CD sold for $270 back on March 1st and now here’s another one. I know nothing about the band except that they are from Minnesota and play Hard Rock. I’ll bet that there is someone on the Net with a few copies and they are getting sold to collectors. The first auction in March was sold by a respected collector, this auction was done by an up and comer that I have bought from in the past. Kudos to eagleyeiii for getting two big auctions in the same column!

Airbourne – Ready To Rock (2004) sells for $410!

Seller – doctor_fish
Starting price = $9.99
Bids = 13

Everyone should have picked this CD up when Airbourne was still a bar band and copies could be had for $10-$15 plus postage. This is the second one I’ve seen in the last couple of months go for big money, both signed by the band. These discs were only sold at local shows in Australia.

The Top 15 Albums of 2007

It’s been another solid year for new releases, hundreds of bands released new albums in 2007 and it’s been very hard to keep up. I missed out on many new releases in many different genres because I spend my hard earned money. That money I put aside for my music fix has to be spent wisely and some bands/albums just fall through the cracks. I’ve started to get the attention of some labels and distributors so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to review more new releases in 2008.

Another factor is availability. Today anything can be bought online but the prices can be too high, sometimes it’s better to save a few dollars by holding off on a European or Japanese import and waiting for the U.S. release. In a few of those cases, some albums released around the world in 2007 won’t be released properly in the U.S. until early 2008 (Night Ranger, Airbourne, Primal Fear).

Looking back on 2007, I noticed that some bands got more of my attention than others and I picked up a lot of new releases from 2006 that I had missed. I only expect more of the same as my Want List grows and my musical tastes expand. The only criteria I followed for my Top 15 was that the album had to be a studio album, not a live record, best of, or covers collection. So here it is, my Top 15 Albums of 2007:

#1

Scorpions - Humanity Hour 1 (2007)Scorpions – Humanity Hour 1

The surprise of the year! The Scorpions experimented enough over the last few years but they planted the seeds with 2004’s UNBREAKABLE for a major comeback, not that they ever went away. I admit that I was apprehensive when I found out Pop Rock guru Desmond Child was aboard but the relationship produced a solid Hard Rock album full of melody, emotion, and attitude. This album has remained in my playlist rotation since it’s release and I haven’t tired of it yet, that’s the mark of a great album. I missed the band when they came to Boston this past Fall but their is a rumored tour with Judas Priest in 2008, that will make HUMANITY HOUR 1 even better. Another surprise was the advertised price ($7.99 at Best Buy) and the exclusive bonus track ‘Cold’. A great album AND value!

#2

Joe Lynn Turner - Second Hand Life (2007)Joe Lynn Turner – Second Hand Life

Very close to being my #1 album of 2007. So close in fact that I’ve had to listen to this and the Scorpions more in the last week to make the final decision. All the songs are strong and the music is a pure blend of classic AOR and Melodic Hard Rock. The songwriting is intelligent and emotional and the vocals are the best I’ve heard in 2007, JLT is in fine voice, probably the strongest of his career…..he just sounds so smooth, so effortless in his delivery. There were also a couple of Rainbow influences that gave the album a classic sound without sounding dated. Like the Scorpions album, there was a lot of value: the U.S. release on Friday Music was $12.99 and included an exclusive track (‘Freedom’s Wings’) and all the European and Japanese bonus tracks.

#3

Saxon - The Inner SanctumSaxon – The Inner Sanctum

THE INNER SANCTUM was the album of the year for me until the Scorpions and JLT released their albums. Saxon are one of my favorite bands and they have consistently produced great albums since the late ’90s, this record is no exception. Saxon blends their current approach of blazing fast Power Metal with their NWOBHM roots and creates an album of ten really great songs. Saxon are elder statesmen in the realm of Heavy Metal but they do things better than many of the younger bands. The focus is on the songwriting and then translating it to the live show. Every one of these songs could be played alongside the classics, that’s how strong they are. Add the bonus DVD to the studio album and it turns into a great package, also one of my favorite album covers of the year.

#4

Great White - Back To The Rhythm (2007)Great White – Back To The Rhythm

A successful comeback by a band no one expected to do anything. After all that has happened, did anyone think that Great White would actually make an album? They did and they made a great Blues based Hard Rock record. Getting the classic lineup back together rejuvenated the writing and getting singer Jack Russell sober made all the difference as he put in probably the best vocal performance of his career.

#5

Icarus Witch - Songs For The Lost (2007)Icarus Witch – Songs For The Lost

One of the best new bands out there playing a cross between NWOBHM and Traditional Metal. This is their second album and it doesn’t suffer from the “sophomore jinx”, this is a solid slab of straight up Heavy Metal. I even like the cover of Def Leppard’s ‘Mirror Mirror’! A band worth watching for the future.

#6

Primal Fear - New Religion (2007)Primal Fear – New Religion

Primal Fear just make good Heavy Metal records…..period. NEW RELIGION has a bit more melody and harmony within the power of their Metal assault, making the album more accessible and diverse. Everytime I hear a new Primal Fear record, I always wonder how vocalist Ralf Scheepers lost the Judas Priest gig to Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens. Ralf has grown from being complete Halford clone to being one of the best Metal singers alive. Had to pick this up on import in September, the U.S. release is January 2008.

#7

Airbourne - Runnin’ Wild (2007)Airbourne – Runnin’ Wild

I bought into all the hype and rave reviews and I picked this up very late in the year. I was skeptical because I had heard only two songs and I wondered if AC/DC clones could produce a strong album. Everyone likes AC/DC, and with them out of the picture for now, Airbourne has picked up where Angus & company left off. It’s simple bluesy Hard Rock like AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, and The Angels but with a youthful energy built for party Rock. Had to get this one on import late in the year also because their U.S. distribution starts in January 2008.

#8

3 Inches Of Blood - Fire Up The Blades (2007)3 Inches Of Blood – Fire Up The Blades

A big thanks to a loyal reader, and devout Metalhead, Rene for pushing me to check out this band. Good thing I listened because 3 Inches Of Blood is a great young band that blends many different styles of Metal into their overall sound. Cam Pipes is one of the better Metal vocalists that can incorporate clean/traditional singing with growls. grunts, and groans. Another young band making their mark.

#9

Ted Nugent - Love Grenade (2007)Ted Nugent – Love Grenade

Terrible Ted came roaring from the woods to deliver his best album in years. Continuing with his gonzo attitude and hunter instinct, Ted took his love of the Blues, added his Hard Rock blend and tongue-in-cheek humor, and built the LOVE GRENADE. Jack Blades’ (Night Ranger/Damn Yankees) produces and co-writes here and does a spectacular job at getting the best from the Nuge. One listen to ‘Girl Scout Cookies’ and ‘Funk U’ and you’ll understand.

#10

Kamelot - Ghost Opera (2007)Kamelot – Ghost Opera

Another end of the year addition and it’s a shame I waited so long, it’s a good album. A little more Progressive and Symphonic than their past Power Metal style but still good. Kamelot proves that heavy music can be intricate and diverse while retaining the power…..I really dig the orchestration and strings and the lush backgrounds. Is Roy Khan one of the most underrated singers in Metal or what? Added value to this one is the bonus DVD on the limited edition.

#11

Megadeth - United Abominations (2007)Megadeth – United Abominations

At first, I wasn’t excited or impressed, Megadeth hadn’t regained my trust from 1999’s RISK debacle even though there had been two decent studio releases since. It wasn’t until mid-May when I saw Megadeth open for Heaven & Hell that I stood up and took notice. It’s having classic Megadeth back with Dave Mustaine more focused than ever.

#12

Helloween - Gambling With The Devil (2007)Helloween – Gambling With The Devil

Helloween were kind of put in the same category as Megadeth because I just couldn’t get into their last two albums: RABBIT DON’T COME EASY (2003) & KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS – THE LEGACY (2005). There was too much experimentation and enhancements on those records while the band tried to regain their signature sound and promised fans such. This album was more straight ahead Power Metal that Helloween is known for. Andi Deris puts in a spectacular performance and the band has shown that all the lineup changes of recent years hasn’t disrupted their core.

#13

Iced Earth - Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Pt.1) (2007)Iced Earth – Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Pt.1)

Hard to believe that this is only Iced Earth’s third album since 1998’s masterpiece SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. It’s also hard to believe that after releasing two very spotty concept records, the band would come roaring back to form with another concept album based on the SOMETHING WICKED theme. Unfortunately, recent lineup changes (Owens out, Barlow back in) and some late year additions to my collection have pushed this album down the list, I had it Top 10 easily up until the last couple of weeks.

#14

Endeverafter - Kiss Or Kill (2007)Endeverafter – Kiss Or Kill

Endeverafter came out of nowhere to deliver solid party time Hard Rock. A blend of classic L.A. Hard Rock with today’s edge, I couldn’t find a bad song. I’d like to hear how the do on their next record.

#15

Masterplan - MK II (2007)Masterplan – MK II

I’ve had this CD since early April and I’m still enjoying it. Unfortunately, it ranks a little lower due to my getting used to Mike DiMeo replacing Jorn Lande at the mic and the fact that many top bands released excellent albums later in the year. Really good Power/Progressive Metal here, hopefully the lineup stays stable.

In case my list wasn’t enough, or you simply don’t agree, some other great Music blogs have listed their Top Albums of 2007:

Axeman

Bring Back Glam

Hard Rock Hideout

Heavy Metal Time Machine

Imagine Echoes

Layla’s Classic Rock Faves

The Metal Minute

Raise Your Fists

Rock & Roll And Meandering Nonsense

Rock Of Ages (Dave’s Best of 2007)

Rock Of Ages (Bill’s Best of 2007)

Airbourne – ‘Runnin’ Wild’, ‘Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast’, & ‘Diamond In The Rough’ (videos, 2007)

Just so everyone can get a sample of Airbourne’s blend of Hard Rock, here’s the videos for the first three singles from RUNNIN’ WILD: ‘Runnin’ Wild’, ‘Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast’, and ‘Diamond In The Rough’.

‘Runnin’ Wild’

‘Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast’

‘Diamond In The Rough’

Airbourne – Runnin’ Wild (2007)

Airbourne - Runnin’ Wild (2007)

Airbourne – Runnin’ Wild (2007, EMI/Capitol)

  1. Stand Up For Rock ‘N’ Roll
  2. Runnin’ Wild
  3. Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast
  4. Diamond In The Rough
  5. Fat City
  6. Blackjack
  7. What’s Eatin’ You
  8. Girls In Black
  9. Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women
  10. Heartbreaker
  11. Let’s Ride

 Airbourne

Band Lineup:
Joel O’Keeffe – Lead Vocals & Guitars
Ryan O’Keeffe – Drums
David Roads – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Justin Street – Bass & Backing Vocals

Producer: Bob Marlette

Total Time – 37:52

Airbourne official website
Airbourne MySpace page

Airbourne

I’ve been waiting a long time to finally acquire RUNNIN’ WILD from Australia’s newest pub rockers, Airbourne, and it’s been worth the wait. The music is basically AC/DC, The Angels, and Rose Tattoo inspired, party-time guitar Rock. Obviously, we’re not talking about the technical prowess of Dream Theater or the grand atmospheric splendor of Nightwish, this is bare bones guitar, bass, drums, and a whole lot of attitude.

What sets a band like Airbourne apart, like AC/DC, is their minimalist approach. In the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal world right now, there are so many different genres, so many different styles, that bands can get lost in the shuffle of being too different or too technical. Basic blues-based Rock ‘n’ Roll is what Classic Rock legends like AC/DC thrives on to this day. Take a listen to late ’70s and early ’80s Rock and tell me if Airbourne fits right in. Take tons of basic riffs, add lyrics about booze, chicks, and sex, and add a solid backline…..it’s a formula Airbourne has taken from some of the masters and brought it to a new generation.

Airbourne has decided to go straight for the jugular and come out blazing with new anthems like ‘Stand Up For Rock ‘N’ Roll’ and ‘Runnin’ Wild’ (first single). Both guitar driven songs with shouty lyrics and big background vocals. The pace and style doesn’t stop as the record continues on to ‘Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast’, ‘Diamond In The Rough’, and ‘Fat City’. Actually, ‘Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast’ and ‘Fat City’ fall into a groove slightly above mid-pace, still hard and still good.

Listening to fast rocker ‘Blackjack’ and you swear that mainman Joel O’Keefe is the bastard child of Bon Scott and Brian Johnson combined. Joel just screeches his vocals with a power that these two greats trademarked long ago. ‘What’s Eatin’ You’ sounds like it came right out of the bar, toe-tapping and fist-pumping all the way to the arena. Same thing with the rest of the disc: if the formula isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

What’s so striking is the guitar playing, it’s right out of the Young brothers’ songwriting books. Simple and basic, it doesn’t have to be overplayed, or have layer upon layer, it’s a basic rhythm track with the lead over the top and a solo. It’s just works.

Bottom Line:
I like AC/DC and this is just like AC/DC but more aggressive and fast. I use the AC/DC comparison as a compliment because the music is that good. RUNNIN’ WILD is fast and has a groove…..it gets your toe tapping, and your head banging. Because the album is so straight forward, it goes by fast, clocking in close to 38 minutes. That’s almost an E.P. for some bands! It may be short but it’s long on quality Rock anthems. I see lots of success for Airbourne if they stay the course and keep churning out albums like this. Millions of people love this kind of Rock and Airbourne delivers. Favorite songs: ‘Runnin’ Wild’, ‘What’s Eatin’ You’, ‘Fat City’, ‘Diamond In The Rough’…..hell, I like the whole damn thing!