Albums I Missed in 2008

There are so many 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. 2008 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 2008, the reason is simple: I was lazy! As many of you collectors know, if you acquire a lot of albums then they tend to pile up, my pile kept growing! The more the pile grows, the more albums that get pushed to the bottom. The following list of albums are CDs that were in a pile on my desk waiting to be listened to but I never got around to giving them a proper spin until the new year. Some of these records might have cracked my Top 30 Albums of 2008 or at least extended it to a Top 20 or 25.

1977 – Rock ‘N Roll (2008): The missing KISS album! 1977 is a tribute/original band that draws their major influences from…..KISS! The songs all sound like vintage KISS circa the mid-1970s but there is a touch of originality with good songwriting and a fresh performance. As I wrote in the album review: “The real KISS hasn’t done anything new since 1998’s PSYCHO CIRCUS so I’m calling this album the next best thing, it just sounds like KISS!” I received this CD straight from the band in late December 2008 and I started listening in January.

Brother Firetribe – Heart Full Of Fire (2008): I have been wanting to check out Brother Firetribe since 2006 when their debut record, FALSE METAL, was getting great reviews across the Internet. I actually bought the album when it came out in June 2008 but it got lost in the pile on my desk. Aside from a quick initial listen, I didn’t even give this album a second thought until this January. That was a big mistake because Brother Firetribe’s AOR/Melodic Rock is top notch with songs full of hooks and melody.

Buckcherry – Black Butterfly (2008): I have been a Buckcherry since I received a promo copy of their debut album back in early 1999, that debut album is still one of my favorites. I bought TIME BOMB (2001) and 15 (2006) when they were released, the latter before ‘Sorry’ and ‘Crazy Bitch’ became hit singles. BLACK BUTTERFLY was a day of release purchase (September 2008) too but I couldn’t get pass the novelty song ‘Too Drunk’. I’m all for a gimmick but I felt Buckcherry was always a solid Hard Rock band so they didn’t need to resort to a song like ‘Too Drunk’ to get people interested. You already had ‘Lit Up’, ‘Porno Star’ and ‘Crazy Bitch’ from previous albums so I thought it was too formulaic. I should have paid attention because I listened to the album a lot in 2009 and the album was even better after I saw the band open for KISS.

Extreme – Saudades de Rock (2008): Always been a big Extreme fan dating back to their self-titled debut back in 1989 so I was looking forward to a new album when it was announced in 2006 after the band’s reunion tour. I bought this back at the end of August 2008 and I still hadn’t taken the shrinkwrap off the CD through October! I gave it a quick listen, liked the updated sound and put the album in my growing pile. I actually forgot I had the CD until I started digging around making my “Best of” and “Worst of” lists last December. I should have kept this album out because it’s really good, no surprise it made a lot of “best of” lists last year.

Grand Magus – Iron Will (2008): talk about missing an album! I blew it with Grand Magus’ IRON WILL record! I read great reviews from June 2008 through December 2008 but I never got around to picking up the album. Then I saw IRON WILL on most of the year end lists online and in print…..I knew I missed it. I picked up IRON WILL back in early February at the local record store and have enjoyed it all year long.

Yngwie Malmsteen – Perpetual Flame (2008): I’ve been buying Yngwie albums since Yngwie was in Steeler so I’ve been a fan for a long time. The problem is I hadn’t been excited about an Yngwie album in over a decade, the last one I looked forward to and really enjoyed was FACING THE ANIMAL (1997). Then I read that Yngwie had enlisted Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens for lead vocal duties…..now it was a whole different ball game! Ripper is a great singer and he has given life to the likes of Judas Priest and Iced Earth when their distinctive singers left the band. The best thing about this album, aside from Ripper on the mic, was that Yngwie played within the songs and not totally over the top. And there were actual songs with good lyrics and melody, not just guitar noodling. Had it since it came out in October 2008 but it remained in the pile until early 2009.

Rose Tattoo – Blood Brothers (Special Tour Edition) (2008): Of all the albums I missed out on in 2008, this was my favorite! BLOOD BROTHERS was originally released in 2007 but I received a promo copy of the special edition in the summer of 2008. Same tracklisting as the original release but with different artwork, packaging and a bonus live DVD of the band’s appearance at Wacken 2006. Always compared to their fellow Aussie countrymen AC/DC, Rose Tattoo has maintained their classic barroom boogie Rock style through the years…..this easily beats out AC/DC’s BLACK ICE on sheer power and force. Is it possible for another band to do AC/DC better than AC/DC? Rose Tattoo are a band not too many people know but they are top notch, BLOOD BROTHERS would have easily cracked my Top 15 in 2008 and ranked higher than BLACK ICE.

Talon – Fallen Angels (2008): I had the Talon debut from 2002 and loved it. When I read about a new Talon album to be released in early 2008, I wrote it down and forgot about it. When all the year end lists came out last December, I made sure to put this at the top of my Want List. I never got around to buying FALLEN ANGELS until the end of November when I went on an Ebay shopping spree and got it for a really great price. I’m not sure why I kept procrastinating on picking this album up because it’s an excellent melodic Hard Rock album that would have easily been all over my daily playlists had I bought it when it originally came out in 2008.

Tesla – Forever More (2008): I saw Tesla open for Def Leppard on 10/12/1987 on the HYSTERIA tour in Providence, RI…..I was 15 years old. Tesla was the hot new band with the hot new single ‘Modern Day Cowboy’ that they opened with. From then on I was a Tesla fan. I didn’t buy FOREVER MORE until a week after it came out in October 2008 and I didn’t even play it, aside from the initial spin, until early 2009. Like the Extreme & Yngwie CDs, it got lost in the growing pile! I couldn’t help but notice this album ranking near the top of many “best of” lists last year so I knew I missed out on a good record.

Venom – Hell (2008): Not a lot of people like Venom…..not a lot of people really know anything about Venom! I grew up with the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) so venom has been burned into my brain sonce 1982! I had no idea that Venom was releasing a new album in 2008 and I read all the Metal news daily so I was surprised to find this as a new release the same day in October 2008 that I bought the Tesla and Yngwie CDs. This had actually come out earlier in August but I completely missed it! A lot of people may not like the crazed and distorted sound Venom prides themselves on but I thought it was a real heavy record.

CD Scavenger Hunt – 2 month update!

It’s hard to believe that the last CD Scavenger Hunt was way back at the end of April but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been out on CD safaris! I have been visiting the local shops but money has been tight (for everyone I think!) so I have only been picking up the major releases and a couple of used ones along the way.

I re-read all the Scavenger Hunts from this year over the weekend and I found two glaring omissions:

Benedictum – Seasons Of Tragedy (2008) – $13: I picked this up back in March when it received it’s U.S. release. The album was released everywhere else in late January ’08 but I wasn’t paying import prices for a Rainbow cover that’s the bonus on the European release. I became a fan of the band when I heard UNCREATION (2006) so I agonized over a month & a half wait, LOL!

Anvil – This Is Thirteen (2007) – $20: I picked this up back in March as well thru CD Inzane. The band are selling the album themselves thru their website but at a price of $25 (includes S&H), I found CD Inzane to have the best price with shipping and I was impressed by the quick delivery. My version is the limited edition version that the band is selling as they currently are without a label.

So now we’ve caught up on the really late CDs, lets move on to the rest that I’ve bought since the end of April…..

Sledgehammer Ledge – s/t (1992) – $20: I found out about Sledgehammer Ledge about a year ago when I found this album on CD Baby. I liked the samples so I added it to my wishlist and that was that. A couple of months ago, I decided to update my wishlist at CD Baby and I saw that this CD was out of print so I started checking Ebay. Turns out that this disc was going for $20-$30 at auction so I waited to see if CD Baby would restock. I finally got fed up and used BUY IT NOW to buy the album for $15 plus the $5 for shipping.

Dokken – Lightning Strikes Again (2008) – $13: Another case of the European edition being available before the U.S. release…..I ordered the Euro edition from an online shop I usually frequent but there was a stocking problem so i cancelled my order. With shipping, the total cost was going to be $20 but there was a bonus track called ‘Sunset Superstar’. I decided to wait the extra month and saved the seven dollars but it would have been nice to have had the Euro edition right away.

Brother Firetribe – Heart Full Of Fire (2008) – $10: I’ve been wanting to check out Brother Firetribe since 2006 when I read many positive reviews on their album FALSE METAL. I’ve never heard much fron the band except for a few samples and some songs at their MySpace page but I couldn’t pass up the sale price and I grabbed my copy when I picked up the new Dokken.

White Lion – Return Of The Pride (2008) – $13: I’m a sucker for ’80s Hard Rock bands that were big on MTV and White Lion is no exception. My high school years were filled with songs like ‘When the Children Cry’ and ‘Wait’ so I have a soft spot when it comes to White Lion. I waited to buy this album because I read mixed reviews but I found this a few weeks after it’s initial release with a sale sticker attached! It rang up $17 but the sale sticker got me $4 off! I still haven’t listened to it…..

Royal Hunt – Paradox II: Collision Course (2008) – $10: Another album that has been out in Europe and Japan since late 2007/early 2008 and didn’t get a U.S. release until the end of May! I wish these albums could get released in all the territories around the same time! I couldn’t pass up the sale price and I’ve been a Royal Hunt fan since 1997 so I’m very interested in how new frontman Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) sounds.

Journey – Revelation (2008) – $11.88: If you’ve read the site before then you know I like me some good ol’ American AOR whether it’s Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, Sammy Hagar, or Journey. I’ve always liked Journey since I was a kid and I have very vivid memories of the radio and TV ads for the Providence tour stop on the FRONTIERS tour with the big emphasis on the band’s name (JOURNEY!!!) and a montage of their hits. Anyway, the new album is a 3 disc set available exclusively thru Wal-Mart with the debut of new singer Arnel Pineda on the new album, a CD of re-recorded hits with Arnel, and a live DVD from Las Vegas 2008. That’s major value for such a low price!