primal fear - delivering the black

CD Scavenger Hunt – February 2014 update

It’s the end of April but here’s the February purchases…..late as always!

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Newbury Comics

Primal Fear – Delivering The Black (CD/DVD) (2014) – $15
Red Dragon Cartel – s/t (2014) – $13
Def Leppard – Slang (2CD Deluxe Edition) – $14
Starship – Loveless Fascination (2013) – $9
Behemoth – The Satanist (CD/DVD) (2014) – $13
Exodus – Bonded By Blood (1985) – $10
Prong – Cleansing (1994) – $4 used
GWAR – Carnival Of Chaos (1997) – $6 used

The first hunt in February took me to the Newbury Comics in Norwood, MA…..the only trip to the record store the entire month! I had a few new releases that I needed to purchase and a $100 budget to use, that includes sales tax. First three albums on the list were the new Primal Fear, Red Dragon Cartel and Def Leppard. I was able to get the new Primal Fear on sale $3 less than regular price and the Red Dragon Cartell as well for $4 off sale price…..not bad deals but the deal was the deluxe edition of Slang. I expected a 2CD set to be close to $20 and, with all the deluxe editions of albums coming out, I expected it to be as high as $30 like those pricey Thin Lizzy deluxe editions I’ve been eyeballing. Regular price was only $14! That’s a steal for 30 tracks (1 bonus disc). Keeping an eye on my list, I found two copies of Mickey Thomas’ Starship lastest record, Loveless Fascination, for $9 and $15 new and sealed…..guess wich one I bought? I’ve always had a soft spot for Starship because I like Thomas’ vocals so I snagged the album and paired it with the deluxe version of the new Behemoth record, The Satanist. Talk about two opposite sides of the spectrum! I saved $5 off regular price for the Behemoth so I still had some money to play with and I replaced two old cassettes picking up the classics Exodus – Bonded By Blood and Prong - Cleansing, topping it off with GWAR’s Carnival Of Chaos to fill a hole in the GWAR collection.

Amazon

Chastain  – Surrender To No One (2013) – $12
Adrenaline Mob – Men Of Honor (2014) – $10
Ian Gillan & Tony Iommi – Who Cares (2012) – $15
Altitudes & Attitudes – s/t E.P. (2014) – $5

While I was shopping at Newbury Comics, I found a couple albums on my wish list but I had to compare prices. Back in the early 90s, I dreamed of having something in my hand that had my want lists, collection and availability…..we call that the smart phone. With my phone out, I had my new release list for 2012, 2013 & 2014 and I saw both Chastain and Adrenaline Mob listed and in stock at the store. Unfortunately, I’m not paying regular price so I opened the Amazon app, scanned each bar code and found both albums much cheaper (saving $5 each) so they went in the cart. When I got out of the store and into the car, I remembered the new project with Dave Ellefson (Megadeth) and Frank Bello (Anthrax) called Altitudes & Attitude. It’s only a 3 song E.P. but it was also only $5 so that got thrown in the cart. I was going to checkout but I went to my Amazon Music wish list and one of the first CDs I added way back when was the Ian Gillan/Tony Iommi Who Cares project that I never bought when it first came out. I bought the single but not the full album and it’s been an expensive $20+ price tag for the CD but here it was with a price reduction of 25% off since I added it…..into the cart! So I spent $42 on top of the $100 in the record store.

Ebay

Kix – Midnight Dynamite (1985) – $10 used
Jack Blades – s/t (2004) – $5 used
7th Heaven – USA-UK (2008) – $5 used
Ted Poley – Greatest Hits Volume 2 (Ltd Ed) (2014) – $23
Axxis – Utopia (Ltd Ed + 2) (2009) – $7
Blackberry Smoke – The Whippoorwill (2012) – $8.60 used
Persian Risk – Rise Up (1986/1997 reissue) – $11 used
Tysondog – Painted Heroes: The Anthology (2002) – $20 used
Bret Michaels – Jammin’ With Friends (2013) – $10
Revamp – Wild Card (Ltd Ed) (2013) – $22.50

Ebay has been a go to destination for me since October 1999 and, close to 15 years later, I still find bargains and rare CDs. Nothing is better than finding a CD you want and searching the seller’s other items only to find MORE CDs you want/need. I recently found one such seller who had been kind enough to list his/her collection on Ebay in portions…..lots of CDs I don’t own too! The Jack Blades solo album, the 7th Heaven, Blackberry Smoke, Persian Risk and Tysondog CDs all came from the one seller and it was all because I was searching for the High Vaultage reissue on CD of Persian Risk’s Rise Up. Once I found that at a decent price, I checked the other items and found the rest. I’m not happy about paying so much for the Tysondog anthology but it is the first two albums the band released and the E.P. they had from 1984 through 1986. I had put a high bid of $20 in and I was the only bidder with 10 seconds to go and someone who was watching it went just under $20. I thought I already owned Kix – Midnight Dynamite but I was wrong and you wouldn’t believe how much this CD goes for on Ebay! Upwards for $20+! I got a bargain for $10, same with the Axxis CD for $9 brand new and that replaced one of the first promotional downloads I ever received doing this site. Another $10 went to the latest Bret Michaels solo CD so I could hear just how bad it is…..I know I shouldn’t have bought it but I’ve been dying to hear it because everyone says it’s a train wreck. The two big purchases was the Ted Poley – Greatest Hits Vol. 2 and the limited edition version of the last ReVamp album, Wild Card. Wild Card is an import so normal channels had the price $30+, I’m a big fan of Floor Jansen so I wanted to hear this project. The Ted Poley CD came straight from Ted himself on Ebay and autographed to me personally.

Johnny Lima website

Johnny Lima – My Revolution (Ltd Ed) (2014) – $23

I’ve been a big Johnny Lima supporter after I heard, and then immeadiately bought, his 2009 release Livin’ Out Loud. That was one of the best albums of 2009 and I still spin it today so I always have an eye on Johnny’s website. Sure enough, I checked the website and there was the announcement for the new album, My Revolution, but only as a limited edition CD release and regular download. I’m a physical media freak so I had to have the actual CD so I sent Johnny my $23 and he sent the CD same day! Hit the link above and check Johnny Lima out.

Totals

Total (Feb) = $271.10

Total (year) = $615.10

Average Price (per item) = $10.79

Total CDs (year) = 54

Total LPs (year) = 3

CD Scavenger Hunt – October update

Here’s the update for October…..I’m finally caught up! It’s another small update as I didn’t want to spend a lot of money but I did spend a few bucks and grabbed some great releases…..

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Cheap Trick – Silver DVD (2001) – $10.01 used
Manowar – Battle Hymns MMXI (2010) – $20.25 used
Manowar – Battle Hymns MMXI (Metal Hammer Edition) (2010) – $20.25 used
Manowar – The Lord Of Steel (2012) – $20.25 used
Manowar – The Lord Of Steel (Metal Hammer Edition) (2012) – $20.25 used
Def Leppard – Viva! Hysteria (2CD/DVD Deluxe Edition) – $20
Motorhead – Aftershock (CD/DVD Special Edition) – $14

Very quick update here with only Ebay sellers and Best Buy getting my money this month. First up is the Cheap Trick Silver DVD that I won for $10.01. I’ve been immersing myself in all things Cheap Trick for a couple months now so I was able to borrow this from a guy at work and I loved it so I wanted a copy for my own collection. Won it on Ebay for $7.01 + $3 shipping. The DVD is a concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of the band and it’s an excellent show with a diverse setlist. I bought the four Manowar releases from the same seller who was selling them as a lot. I have both Battle Hymns MMXI and The Lord Of Steel on my want list for the last couple of years because I didn’t want to pay the high import price online. Usual Ebay prices for these are also high if not higher especially with decent shipping so I waited. I stumbled on this auction and grabbed the regular releases of both albums AND the Metal Hammer editions that came in the special Metal Hammer Manowar magazines. I didn’t get the magazines with these CDs but I’m psyched to have the CDs because I understand that they are a different mix. Honestly, $81 for all four CDs is a steal.

On to Best Buy where the exclusive editions of both new Def Leppard and Motorhead releases were available. The Def Leppard release was the exclusive 2CD and 1 Blu-Ray release and the Motorhead was the deluxe digipak with a bonus live DVD. Prices were comparable to online and record stores for the regular editions so I actually left the house and walked into Best Buy and dropped my $34.

Total = $125.01

Total (year) = $2034.84

Average Price (per item) = $11.83

Total CDs (year) = 153

Total DVDs & BluRays (year) = 5

Total LPs (year) = 6

Total Box Sets (year) =8

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)

The Best Miscellaneaous Releases of 2011

Not every album released is a new studio album…..but it sure seems like they are! Every year there are a ton of live albums, greatest hits packages, reissues, remasters, box sets, special edition and limited edition releases that flood the marketplace. Sometimes there are multiple versions of these releases depending on which part of the world they are released in!

The one important criteria I have each year for the best and worst albums lists is that the albums have to be new studio albums…..or at least promoted as new studio albums. The problem is that some of these live records and greatest hits packages are quality releases and there’s nothing like getting a really good reissue of some long out of print album you’ve been searching years for. That’s why this year I’m creating this new list to recognize some of the quality non-studio, non-original releases that have found their way into my collection. There were a lot of different releases that I picked up that weren’t studio albums so I’m only going to list my ten favorites. So here are my Best Miscellaneous Releases of 2011…..

Bitch – Be My Slave/Damnation Alley E.P. (2011 remaster): I had no idea that this Bitch album was getting the remaster treatment from Metal Blade and I was completely surprised when i saw this in the new release rack back in August. Not only do you get the remastered BE MY SLAVE record from 1983 but also the DAMNATION ALLEY E.P. from 1982 along with a bonus track, ‘Let’s Go’. You can still find the original CDs online but what makes this remaster a top pick is the bonus DVD that runs over 2 hours long! The DVD includes a live performance at the Keep It True XIV Festival in Germany back in April 2011 and a classic performance from L.A. from the early ’80s and a couple of music videos. The DVD alone would have been a solid purchase but it adds so much more to the remaster.

Black Sabbath – Born Again (2011 Deluxe Edition) & Dehumanizer (2011 Deluxe Edition): I’m a huge Black Sabbath fan, especially of the post-Ozzy eras of the band! So far, I’ve collected most of these deluxe editions from the Dio years and the Tony Martin led THE ETERNAL IDOL (1989) but I was waiting for both BORN AGAIN and DEHUMANIZER to get the deluxe treatment. Both editions offer two bonus tracks each, live tracks from each tour and solid packaging but the best detail on these reissues is the sound. BORN AGAIN always had that thick muddy sound to it and this remaster sounds better than my original CD and the DEHUMANIZER CD sounds just as good. Definitely a couple of highlights added to my collection this year, now I’m looking forward to the rest of the Tony Martin era getting the deluxe treatment!

Eric Carr – Unfinished Business (2011): Being a KISS fan, and an Eric Carr fan, I had to list this CD. I ended up getting an advance copy of this new Eric Carr album and I’m honored to have it in my collection. During his tenure, Eric was the most outgoing member of KISS when it came to meeting with the fans…..he loved his fans and the fans loved him. It’s been 20 years since Eric’s passing and his family, specifically his sister Loretta, has compiled this collection of rare recordings that include unreleased songs, live tracks, remixes and interview clips. There are obvious KISS links in most of the songs and I really like hearing was Eric’s audition tape for KISS back in 1980 when he sang ‘Shandi’…..now that’s a rarity! I also think the packaging is top notch: a glossy digipak with plenty of liner notes for each track.

Def Leppard – Mirrorball: Live & More (2011): Hard to believe this is Def Leppard’s first live album but MIRRORBALL captures the band extremely well with a great overall sound. The songs are taken from the last few tours and it’s basically the same hits pack we’ve seen live since 2007 but the sound on all those hits is awesome. Lots of value here being a Wal-Mart release: 2 bonus live tracks, 3 new studio songs and a 45 minute DVD that includes a behind the scenes look at the last tour in 2008/2009, live tracks and music videos. I also like the old school, thick jewel case! Definitely a solid pickup and a solid live album…..it makes you wonder what took the Leps so long to release one.

Doro – 25 years In Rock…..And Still Going Strong (2011): Finally, a proper U.S. release of this 2 DVD & CD set celebrating Doro’s 25th anniversary in Metal. This collection was originally released back in September 2010 around the world but U.S. distribution took a little longer…..surprising considering Nuclear Blast has a U.S. branch. This package includes the 3 hour 25th anniversary concert in Germany with tons of guest stars on the first DVD, a documentary and tons of extra live performances on the second DVD, and a live disc with highlights from the anniversary concert. I spent about $20 on this release and, even though some of the performances are 3 years old, it was definitely worth it. Doro has packed a ton of material in here for a great price, my only complaint being that the live disc isn’t the complete anniversary show…..I would have easily paid the extra money to get the full show on audio.

Grave Digger – The Clans Are Still Marching (Live At Wacken 2010) (2011): It’s always great to see a band and label get it right and release a special package of a live DVD with the bonus live CD. Napalm Records and Grave Digger released THE CLANS ARE STILL MARCHING in both the CD and DVD formats but each version gave you the bonus of the other format. If you bought the DVD styled case, you received the bonus audio CD of the full show and, if you bought the CD version then you got the bonus DVD. Seems a little odd to release the show that way but you get the full experience of the band’s 2010 Wacken show either way. There’s bonus footage on the DVD and the package I bought was the CD hardbook version.

Twisted Sister – Under The Blade (Special Edition CD/DVD) (2011): Twisted Sister’s back catalogue got the reissue treatment in 2011 but this special edition of UNDER THE BLADE stands out as the best. First is the original Secret Records mix of the album with bonus tracks coming from the 1982 RUFF CUTTS E.P. Remember, there are two versions of UNDER THE BLADE: the original record from 1982 and the remixed album from 1985 on Atlantic Records (with an alternate album cover). That’s enough right there to make a solid reissue but there’s a bonus DVD included of the band’s appearance at the 1983 Reading Festival along with bonus interviews. Twisted Sister has been releasing a lot of archival material lately but getting the original version of UNDER THE BLADE out there was a must, as was getting RUFF CUTTS into circulation.

UFO – The Chrysalis Years (1973-1979) (2011): This is one of my favorite releases of the year and it’s not just because I’m a HUGE UFO fan but because this is a perfect collection to introduce a new fan to classic UFO. I was lucky to receive an advance copy of this 5 CD set and I was able to get a lot of time comparing it to other remasters that I own. This set includes UFO’s first five albums with Chrysalis Records (PHENOMENON, FORCE IT, NO HEAVY PETTING, LIGHTS OUT & OBSESSION), as well as, the classic live record STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT. Each album is remastered and sequenced in order of release with non-album singles, B-sides, bonus tracks and previously unreleased live performances all mixed in the timeline properly. Basically, you’re getting the classic Michael Schenker era UFO in all it’s glory complete with an extensive booklet that includes a new 2011 interview with lead singer/founder Phil Mogg and extensive song credits. I could have used some extra pictures and proper photos of each individual album’s cover art but that’s a small complaint. This collection is retailing for around $20-$25 depending where you buy your music so it’s a heck of a buy and a great way to get started into a great band, I hope there’s another collection like this with the rest of the UFO catalog.

Whitesnake – Live At Donington 1990 (Special edition 2CD/DVD) (2011): Another solid live package from a classic band that’s had a major resurgence in the last few years. Whitesnake is as relevant as ever by releasing two awesome studio albums in the last few years and having some great anniversary reissues of the band’s best selling albums from the ’80s but this new live set is something fans like myself want to have. 1990 was probably Whitesnake’s peak of success and this Donington perofrmance on the Slip Of The Tongue tour is a great way to re-live some of the glory days. The package includes the full live show on DVD and CDs (a huge plus for me!) and it’s got great glossy digipak packaging with plenty of pictures and great disc artwork. I love live releases like this! Both formats, full shows and a lot of care put into the package.

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Def Leppard – Mirrorball: Live & More (2011)

Def Leppard – Mirror Ball: Live & More (2011, Mailboat Records)

Disc 1

  1. Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)
  2. Rocket
  3. Animal
  4. C’Mon C’Mon
  5. Make Love Like A Man
  6. Too Late For Love
  7. Foolin’
  8. Nine Lives
  9. Love Bites
  10. Rock On

Disc 2

  1. Two Steps Behind
  2. Bringin’ On The Heartbreak
  3. Switch 625
  4. Hysteria
  5. Armageddon It
  6. Photograph
  7. Pour Some Sugar On Me
  8. Rock Of Ages
  9. Let’s Get Rocked
  10. Action *
  11. Bad Actress *
  12. Undefeated **
  13. Kings Of The World **
  14. It’s All About Believin’ **

* bonus live track
** new studio track

Disc 3 – DVD

– Behind the Scenes on the Sparkle Lounge Tour 2008-2009
– Live Performances: Rock! Rock! (‘Til You Drop), Armageddon It, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Hysteria
– Music Videos: Nine Lives, C’Mon C’Mon

Band Lineup:
Joe Elliott – Lead Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
Phil Collen – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Vivian Campbell – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Rick Savage – Bass & Backing Vocals
Rick Allen – Drums & Backing Vocals

Producers: Def Leppard & Ronan McHugh

Country: United Kingdom

Total Time (CD) = 2 hours
Total Time (DVD) = approx. 45 mins

Def Leppard

It’s hard to believe that Def Leppard has never released an official live album until now with MIRRORBALL, a full 31 years since the band’s 1980 debut ON THROUGH THE NIGHT. You would have figured that the band would have put out a live set between studio albums somewhere in their ’80s heyday or at least in the late ’90s/early 2000s because they have been a touring juggernaut since the band first burst on the NWOBHM scene. I’ve been lucky enough to catch the band a couple of times back in the ’80s and on various tours since the 1999 tour for EUPHORIA but the concert I saw in 2006 on the YEAH! Tour, the concert I saw in 2007 promoting YEAH! , and the show in 2009 for SONGS FROM THE SPARKLE LOUNGE (2008), are all represented on this live collection. If you take a look inside the nice booklet that is inside the old school multi-CD jewel case, you’ll notice that no specific cities or dates for the recordings are list, just the quote: “Recorded at various points around the world, in the not too distant past.” While I would have liked to know the specific tour dates, it’s a small ommission that can be overlooked because of the quality of the live album.

The Leps have followed the business model that Journey, KISS, Foreigner and AC/DC have forged by releasing MIRRORBALL exclusively in the U.S. through retail giant Wal-Mart…..that means a low price and more than a few extras. First, the actual set is 19 songs long on the CDs with two bonus live tracks added in with ‘Action’ and ‘Bad Actress’. In the last three times I’ve seen Def Leppard live since 2006 they’ve played 15, 16 and 17 songs respectively and the live show on this album is a perfect representation of what’s been played on the last few tours. I missed this summer’s tour for MIRRORBALL but the 16 song set they played at the Comcast Center in Massachusetts is pretty much the greatest hits pack you have here along with the David Essex cover ‘Rock On’ and opening with the new song ‘Undefeated’. Back to this album though…..it’s good to hear ‘C’Mon C’Mon’, ‘Nine Lives’ and ‘Bad Actress’ live as I was only given ‘Nine Lives’ in concert the times I’ve seen the band live. The rest is a hits collection culled mainly from the three blockbusters PYROMANIA (1983), HYSTERIA (1987) and ADRENALIZE (1992) with a couple tracks from HIGH ‘N DRY (1981) thrown in with the instrumental ‘Switch 625′ coming right after the obligatory power ballad ‘Bringin’ On The Heartbreak’. Would be nice to get another cut from HIGH “N DRY or maybe from the first record but I’m not complaining because Def Leppard has had huge success and there’s just so many songs you can fit into a concert. Personally, I would have cut out ‘Rock On’ and the bonus live track ‘Action’ (a cover orginally done by The Sweet) for a couple more Lep originals but that’s just me. As far as the sound goes, it’s perfect but did you expect anything less from Def Leppard? These guys have sounded great in concert everytime I’ve seen them since the ’80s and their studio album always have top quality production so MIRRORBALL has the same BIG sound that’s crystal clear. Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen are a seasoned guitar tandem and are as good as the classic team of Collen and Steve Clark and Rick Savage always keeps the rhythm in line on bass while Rick Allen continues to impress on drums. The wild card has always been Joe Elliot’s voice and he’s had some concerts I’ve witnessed where he wasn’t that great and some that he sounded like he was still in his 20s. On MIRRORBALL, Joe sounds pretty good although you can tell that age has become a factor and he doesn’t reach the high notes he used to, a surprisingly good vocal performance though.

There are three new studio songs added to this package which I always think is a good idea for the longtime fans but there has to be quality. The current tour opener is ‘Undefeated’ and it’s a heavy guitar track with a great drum intro that reminds me a little of the opening to Bon Jovi’s ‘Lay Your Hands On Me’. The song sounds like your current day Def Leppard song that could easily have fit on SPARKLE LOUNGE with it’s heavy sound and big harmonies, the only difference is that Joe’s voice sounds a little raspier and deeper. Like I said before, Joe Elliot is not 20 years old anymore and he knows what he’s able to accomplish as he gets older. Not a bad vocal though just slightly different and a little lower register than the usual. Good track though and the best one to play on the current tour. ‘Kings Of The World’ is Def Leps ode to Queen with it’s bombast, piano, harmonies and Brian May guitar tone. Rick Savage wrote this song and he had to be going through his Queen records but, then again, the band has always cited Queen as an influence and they are friends. ‘Kings Of The World’ is good but it’s not really what you would expect from Def Leppard. ‘It’s All About Believin’ sounds like a track from the EUPHORIA sessions, very upbeat and HYSTERIA sounding and it actually has some parts that sound like ‘Animal’. Of the three, I’d rate this as my favorite because this is the Lep sound and I was a huge EUPHORIA fan, I wouldn’t mind hearing this live either.

As far as the bonus DVD goes, it’s a nice extra but really only a one time view for me. Some of the footage I’ve seen before and some I haven’t, the backstage footage is always fun to see. It’s nice to get the ‘Nine Lives’ and ‘C’Mon C’Mon’ videos and I enjoyed the live songs but I would have enjoyed more full live performances instead of just four. If you compare this package to KISS’ or Foreigner’s the difference is full concerts on those bands’ Wal-Mart releases, same thing with Whitesnake’s LIVE AT DONNINGTON 1990 on Frontiers Records (a double disc live with DVD). It’s a small criticism because I have hope that the band will release an official live DVD but they really didn’t have to add this in to the live album so it’s a good bonus to have.

Bottom Line:
A solid live set from Def Leppard full of hits and sounding great, a lot better than I expected. The production is great and the band sounds as tight as they were when I saw them in concert over the last few years. The surprise is how well Joe Elliot sounds, I expected that he’d sound a little rougher on a live recording but he sounds pretty good, maybe a little studio overdub? Hopefully not, I hate knowing a live album is studio enhanced but I can say that Joe sounds much like he did over the last few tours. Adding three new original songs is always a good deal and they are all good, the DVD is run of the mill for me but a cool bonus nonetheless. For the $10 price, this is a nice album to pick up.

Best Songs:
The live songs are all great sounding but I have to pick ‘Animal’, ‘Foolin’, ‘Make Love Like A Man’ and ‘Nine Lives’ as my favorites. Of the three new tracks, I’d rate ‘It’s All About Believin’ as my favorite, ‘Undefeated’ second and the Queen tribute,’Kings Of The World’, last.

CD Scavenger Hunt (June update)

It’s been a slow year so far for buying CDs and collecting but I made up for the last few months with a quality buying spree in June. There were a bunch of new releases on sale, a few hidden bargains in the used CD racks, trips to a few different record stores and the discovery of my childhood record store re-opening in the local flea market! June was definitely a good month for the Hunt…..

Luke’s Record Exchange (@ The Big Flea Market in Cumberland, RI)

Luke’s Record Exchange was my childhood record store that got me started as a record store regular and a CD scavenger hunt expert. Unfortunately, the long time Pawtucket, RI location closed a few months ago for good but a chance trip to The Big Flea Market in a neighboring town provided a link to my record store past…..Luke’s re-opened as a large booth. Prices were pretty good: 50% off the stickered price on all CDs! My oldest daughter loves music and has the record store addiction like her dad and she absolutely loved searching the racks and dark corners that the original Luke’s store had. I’ve tried to teach my oldest daughter as much about Metal and collecting as possible, now it’s up to her to decide what direction to go in.

Hair Of The Dog – Rise (2000) – $7: I started scouring the racks of CDs Luke’s had and I found plenty that used to be at their store and plenty that I already owned but with 50% off you have to buy something. I saw this Hair Of The Dog CD and remembered the name from the late ’90s editions of Metal Edge magazine so I snatched this up to try the band out. When I got home I realized I mixed up Hair Of The Dog with another band, American Dog, but a quick check of my back issues and this purchase was worth making. I’ve read some positive reviews online on Hair Of The Dog, and the band was signed to Spitfire Records back in 2000 (a label with plenty of Hard Rock bands and reissues) so I will definitely check them out when I get around ripping the cellophane off the case! Regular stickered price was $14 so it was really $7 for a brand new sealed copy of RISE. Saved $7.

Vince Neil – Live At The Whiskey: One Night Only (2003) – $6: I always meant to buy this live album when it came out but I had read some bad reviews and I decided against it back then. I did keep it on the want list just in case I came across a used copy somewhere. Over the years I’ve seen this album still at regular price anywhere from $12 to $15 and I’ve passed each time. I’ve seen Vince Neil in concert twice with his solo band and he’s been just OK performance wise and the set is always dominated by the big Motley Crue hits so it’s no surprise to only get one Vince solo song (‘Look In Her Eyes’) on this live record. maybe if there was more from EXPOSED (1993) or CARVED IN STONE (1995) then this would have been a more essential buy. Like I said, you can’t beat 50% off so I finally filled a hole in the Vince Neil solo collection. Another brand new sealed copy stickered at $12, the 50% off making it $6. Saved $6.

Wal-Mart

Def Leppard – Mirror Ball (Live & More) (2011) – $10: I hate going to Wal-Mart! In my life there is no reason to ever set foot in one but some of my favorite bands like KISS, AC/DC, Journey and now Def Leppard have forced me to enter the worst shopping place on earth to buy their exclusive releases! Sure, I could have someone else go in and buy it for me, or maybe buy it online, but sometimes we must sacrifice for the thrill of the Hunt! Definitely an old school move by the Leps with the old bulky multi-disc packaging for their double disc live record with the bonus DVD included. I’ve seen Def Lep on every tour since the 1999 EUPHORIA Tour and I saw them back in the day on the HYSTERIA Tour in 1988 so I know how good these guys are live. It’s a little surprising that it’s taken 31 years to finally get an official live album from Def Leppard but it looks like the band’s last few successful tours have finally given it to us. This was more about the new songs for me and their are three of them on Disc 2. The only positive thing I can say about the Wal-Mart experience is that the price can’t be beat…..$10 is a small price to pay for 21 live tracks, 3 new studio songs and a DVD.

Newbury Comics

Twisted Sister – Under The Blade (Special Edition) (2011) – $12: I already own UNDER THE BLADE on CD and on vinyl but I had to pick this up because of all the bonuses included. First, this is the original mix of UNDER THE BLADE as heard on the original Secret Records pressing (the 1985 reissue is remixed) so that saves the vinyl. Second, the RUFF CUTTS E.P. (1982) is the bonus on the CD. The RUFF CUTTS vinyl is easy to find but high in price for a mint copy, it’s nice getting the music on CD. Finally, the bonus DVD is the band’s performance at th 1982 Reading Festival. This is how you do a reissue! Unfortunately, some of the other Twisted Sister reissues on Armoury Records leave a lot to be desired as far as bonus material but this reissue was worth getting even at the regular price of $16. I bought this the day it was released so I got the $12 sale price saving $4.

Black Stone Cherry – Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea (2011) – $10: Black Stone Cherry is one of those newer bands that I’ve followed from their first album to present but I haven’t really gotten totally into them. I have the band’s first two albums, and I enjoy them, but the band hasn’t had the staying power for me to keep coming back. I’m hoping that BETWEEN THE DEVIL & THE DEEP BLUE SEA breaks that cycle and also forces me to revisit the band’s first two records for a fresh listen. Good band and good music but I’m just not completely hooked. This was another day of release purchase to get the sale price of $10 and save $4 but even the $14 regular price seems reasonable. Of course, the day I purchased the album, I get home from the record store and check my email and find a link from Roadrunner Records PR dept for a download of the album so i could review it! I would have bought the album anyway.

Warrant – Rockaholic (2011) – $13: Frontiers Records was kind enough to send me a download of the album for review so I have been enjoying ROCKAHOLIC for a few months prior to it’s U.S. release. In most cases when I receive a promo download for review, I buy the album for my collection if I enjoy it so I caved on buying the new Warrant. For me Warrant has a stigma…..the Jani Lane stigma. Back in the ’80s, I liked Warrant like most Hard Rock fans tuned in to FM radio and MTV but I started to really dislike the band after I got the internet in 1998 and started reading about all the dumb ass things Jani Lane used to do (cancel concert, quit and rejoin, go onstage drunk, etc). Anyway, after seeing the band reunite on the Poison summer tour a few years ago, I had hope but Jani screwed it up again and again. I thought the band’s move to replace Jani with Jaime St. James from Black ‘N Blue for BORN AGAIN (2006) was a great move resulting in a solid record. This time around it’s Robert Mason (formerly of Lynch Mob) replacing Jani (again!) and Jaime (who has a reformed Black ‘N Blue) at the mic and it’s a solid album that actually charted on Billboard’s Top Hard rock Albums Chart at #22! It’s such a good record that I would have easily paid the $17 import price but I saved $4 by waiting for the U.S. release.

Whitesnake – Live At Donington 1990 (Special Edition Box Set 2CD/DVD) (2011) – $16: Again, thanks to Frontiers Records, I was able to preview the CD portion of LIVE AT DONINGTON 1990 for a few weeks before it was released but this special edition wasn’t one I was going to miss adding to my collection. Recorded on 8/18/1990 at the Monsters of Rock Festival at Donington Park, this is Whitesnake at it’s chart-topping best: a live album with mostly all the big hits from 1984 to 1990 and a DVD of the exact performance all packaged it a double gatefold CD digipak with full color graphics and booklet. Remember how big Whitesnake was back then? Well their bands before them were The Quireboys, Thunder, Poison and Aerosmith! Import prices online were around $25 plus shipping at most shops but the U.S. release was a regular $20…..I bought it day of release so I saved $4.

Hammerfall – Infected (2011) – $10: I had no idea that Hammerfall was releasing a new album until about a week before the release date…..and I have been following the band since 1998! It’s no secret that I’m a big Power Metal guy and Hammerfall has been one of my favorites since the Power Metal resurgence of the late ’90s so this was a no-brainer purchase for me. “No-brainer”…..that’s a funny way of putting it because the concept here seems to be zombies and being infected as one. It’s a different direction for Hammerfall but one I’m hoping to enjoy as much as their last few records. I’m a little puzzled by the lack of vibrant graphics and no sign of Hector, the band’s knight mascot that has been on every album cover, but if it’s something different then why not try it? Regular price was $16 so I saved $6 buying the album the day of release but I was lucky to get a copy because there were only two copies available when I hit the new release rack at the shop.

U.D.O. – Rev-Raptor (2011) – $12: Here’s another album that I received a promtional download for so I could review it but I added it to my want list. I’ve been an U.D.O. fan since he formed the band after his time in Accept so I’m going to buy every album that comes out but I really wanted to get the European limited edition with the bonus tracks but the online shops sold out quick and I didn’t really want to drop around $25 for a couple extra songs and a couple videos. I’ll give Udo Dirkschneider credit, he knows how to do it Gene Simmons style because there were four pressings of REV-RAPTOR: the regular jewel case, the limited edition European with 2 bonus tracks & videos, the Japanese with different bonus tracks and the special box set with a t-shirt and other souvenirs. I wish there was an easier way to get all the bonus material instead of having to buy to high price imports but I’m happy with my U.S. version. Regular price was $16, sale price was $12, saved $4.

Arch Enemy – Khaos Legions (2 CD Limited Edition) (2011) – $14: It’s only been recently that I’ve really gotten into Arch Enemy so this new album is kind of a new start for me. There’s been a lot of press on KHAOS LEGIONS so I’m hoping that it’s as good as the older material I’ve been listening to. What makes this release interesting is that there are 2 versions: the regular jewel case or the limited edition with a 4 track bonus disc and a code for a free t-shirt. I was grabbing the double disc version but what astounded me was the regular prices: $16 for the single, $25 for the double! Good thing I buy the new releases the day they come out because I save a lot of money…..in this case, the single disce was on sale for $11 and the limited edition for $14. How could I not buy the limited edition and save $11? Add in the free t-shirt and it’s a great buy even if I have to pay the shipping for the shirt and then give it to my daughter because I can’t fit in an XL!

Pagan’s Mind – Heavenly Ecstacy (2011) – $12: I got into Pagan’s Mind with 2007’s GOD EQUATION but I really haven’t gone back and tried to acquire the band’s previous releases. I like the band and I’m a fan of Progressive Metal but Pagan’s Mind just hasn’t taken hold in my listening rotation, hopefully that will change with this new album. This is another band that I didn’t know was releasing a new album but I was pleasantly surprised to find out in the Newbury Comics weekly newsletter. There are two versions of this album too: the single disc or the limited edition with 2 bonus tracks. When I went to the record store the day of release they only had the limited edition (the version I was buying anyway!) and they had plenty of copies. Regular price was a high $17 for the two extra songs but the sale price was only $12 for a savings of $5. I have been to the record store since I purchased this in the middle of June and I still haven’t seen the standard version but I assume that it’s without the bonus tracks and priced around $15 regular price.

Black Country Communion – 2 (2011) – $13: Black Country Communion is Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham…..now that’s a supergroup! The debut BCC album was awesome and made my list of the Top 30 Albums of 2010 at #5 so I was surprised when I read that the band had a new record ready to go. I waited on buying the first BCC album and ended up paying full price, the sting of that purchase was easier to take because the album was so good, but I wasn’t waiting around this time. Day of release and on sale for $13, I pulled the trigger. I like the old school stadium rock sound BCC has and Glenn Hughes keeps sounding better as he gets older while I am totally into Bonamassa’s guitar sound and now checking out his solo material…..good to see this album get on the U.S. Hot 100 chart with it’s debut. Regular price was an expensive $17 so I was glad to get the sale price and save $4.

Alestorm – Back Through Time (2011) – $13: Alestorm is another band I’ve followed from the beginning and I’ve grown to enjoy their Pirate Metal that’s a continuation of what Running Wild was doing a decade plus before. The thing is that the pirate themes and concepts are going to wear thin on the ultra serious metal fans but it’s all done well and in good fun so I don’t mind dropping a few bucks for good pirate party. I ended up buying the special edition of this album too with the hardbound book packaging and the two bonus tracks that are included. I didn’t see a regular jewel case edition at the record store but I read only that it exists. I actually almost pre-ordered this online through Napalm Records with the free t-shirt but they didn’t have the 2XL I need, the price on that package was $25 with shipping. Regular price for the special edition was $17 at the shop but I bought this on sale for $13 saving myself $4.

AC/DC – Live At River Plate DVD (2011) – $12: I’ve had my eye on this concert DVD for a few weeks but I never picked it up because the local shop had a ton of copies for weeks and the sale price kept going. Usually they take off the sale price after a couple week but they had so many copies of this DVD that the sale price was still there about a month after release. I had a little extra money to burn so I went to go pick up a copy but there was only two left this time! I’m not sure if the shop had a run on them all of a sudden or maybe transferred some to other locations but where there were many stood only two and one copy was regular price $15. Lucky for me the other copy still had the sale sticker on it so I knew that I’d be getting the price I wanted. Sure enough, when I got to the register, the DVD rang regular price but they price adjusted to the $12 sale price and I saved $3. I saw the Black Ice Tour in Foxboro, MA so LIVE AT THE RIVER PLATE will be a nice tour souvenir.

Night Ranger – Somewhere In California (2011) – $14: This is another album that I’ve had the promotional download for through Frontiers Records but I decided to pick the album up for the collection. I remember when DAWN PATROL came out back in 1982 and I was a fan of the band straight through to the break-up and reformation in the late ’90s…..this is another no-brainer purchase for me. I didn’t really get into the band’s last album, HOLE IN THE SUN (2008), right away because of the more modern sound the band used but it was still Night Ranger and it grew on me. From what I’ve read and my initial spin, SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA sounds like classic ’80s Night Ranger. I caught the band’s tour last year in Connecticut and it was a high energy show and the band sounded great, maybe taking that energy into the studio proved successful? Regular price here was $17 because it’s technically an import but I got it on sale for $14 and saved $3.

Symphony X – Iconoclast (2 CD Special Edition) (2011) – $13: I haven’t really listened to Symphony X since 2002’s THE ODYSSEY and I had no idea that they were releasing a new album (I’ve got to keep up on my Metal news!) so I was a little hesitant when i saw this album in the new release rack at the record store. Do I take a chance on a band that has released only two records since 2002? I noticed that there were two versions of this CD also (a trend for June I think!): the single disc and the special edition digipak that’s two CDs and has extra songs. I’m a sucker for bonus tracks and the sale price for this version was only $2 more than the regular so I snatched it up! I also noticed that there were a lot of copies of both versions of the album, a lot of which are still unsold and still onsale in mid-July. Regular price for the special edition was $19 so I saved $6 on the day of release. I’m hoping ICONOCLAST is a surprise record for me this year.

Queensryche – Dedicated To Chaos (Deluxe Edition) (2011) – $16: Another deluxe/special/limited edition for June’s hunt! Things with Queensryche have been hit or miss since 1994’s PROMISED LAND but I really enjoyed AMERICAN SOLDIER (2009) and I’m hoping that DEDICATED TO CHAOS is a continuation of the quality material I know the band is capable of. The wild card here is Geoff Tate and the direction his writing and leadership takes the band, one look at the back cover and seeing a bald Tate could either be a bad sign of he’s channelling his friend Rob Halford. Either way, I’ve been a fan of the band since the QUEENSRYCHE E.P. (1982) and THE WARNING (1984) so I’m always going to support the band. I bought the deluxe version for the three extra songs for only $3 more than the standard version. If you’re going to spend $13, why not just spend the $16 and get the whole package? Regular price for the deluxe version was a scary $22 so there was no way I was going to let a sale price pass me by with an opportunity to save $6 on an album I would easily buy.

Zebra – No Tellin’ Lies (1984) – $6 used: This was easily my bargain of the month and well worth the time spent digging through the used sections. I had gone to a different Newbury Comics location that had better selection than my usual store with my daughter and niece so I gave them each some money to shop so I could dive into the used bins. Unfortunately, I own most of the discs I found but NO TELLIN’ LIES, Zebra’s second album, was sitting there at a perfect price at $6 used! I’m not passing that up especially since all the Zebra records are on my want list so I can replace my cassettes. I was particularly psyched about finding a Zebra album because they had just played a local club in Massachusetts back in May (that I missed!) and the band’s hit from the first album, ‘Tell Me What You Want’, has been all over the local rock stations. My online research tells me that an original Atlantic Records pressing of this CD retails at about $15 if you can find it and the double disc reissue with the band’s third album, 3.V (1986), goes for around the same price and is easier to find. My digging saved me about $9.

Zebra – 3.V (1986) – $10 used: When out on a CD hunt always be mindful that where there’s one Zebra CD, there could be another! Zebras travels in herds don’t they? Seeing that I had good luck finding NO TELLIN’ LIES in the used bins, I decided to take the hunt over to the “Misc. Z” section of the Rock/Pop bins and there it was…..bargain #2 of June…..Zebra’s thierd album, 3.V from 1986! Here’s another pristine original pressing that goes for the same $15 alone or in the latest reissue with NO TELLIN’ LIES so I wasn’t about to pass it up! I haven’t seen original pressings of these Zebra albums in local record stores in at least ten years so I’m hoping that the recent concert at Showcase Live made some people clean out their collections. I’m not saying Zebra is a bad band, quite the contrary, but you would be surprised how many people dump their collections after a concert comes through town or the extra used stock the stores have in back makes it to the sales floor. Either way, it pads my collection and gets the want list a little shorter. Spending $10 for a used CD is a little high but I was sure I wouldn’t see it again and I still saved $5 off what would be a $15 regular price.

Helix – Walkin’ The Razor’s Edge (1984/2009 reissue) – $20: Now this was a big purchase but a necessary one. Ever since I rediscovered Helix back in 2005 when I bought lead singer Brian Vollmer’s autobiography Gimme An R!, I have been snapping up a lot of their back catalogue. Rock Candy Records in the U.K. are a great reissue label that takes great care in releasing high quality reissues of classic albums by working alongside the artist in getting the album back in the stores. In the case of WALKIN’ THE RAZOR’S EDGE, I do have a cassette that is well worn and I have the single ‘Rock You’ on an ’80s Metal compilation CD so I’ve been content to wait out the last couple years and get this reissue at a good price. Depending where you look online, you can get this reissue anywhere between $15 and $25 plus shipping charges, that’s too high. When I saw the record store actually stocked the album, I jumped on it despite the price. I figured I’d pay at least $20 on the low end of the online price so I decided to buy it now instead of having to wait a week or two because of the mail services.

Total = $239

Total (year) = $559

Average Price (per item) = $10.75

Total Savings (month) = $97

Total Savings (year) = $336

Total CDs (year) = 49

Total DVDs (year) = 2

Total Box Sets (year) = 0

Total LPs (year) = 1

 

Metal Mixtape – 3/13/11

Tale of the Tape
Ipod 120
8370 songs (725 albums)

I usually work a double shift Saturday night into Sunday morning so good Metal music is a must on the overnight. I usually listen to a lot of new albums but I have to start the overnight (the 2nd part of my long shift) with some familiar tracks to get the blood pumping. Here’s the first 20 songs (band-song-album-year):

  1. Dio – ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Children’ – Sacred Heart (1985)
  2. Dio – ‘I Could Have Been A Dreamer’ – Dream Evil (1987)
  3. Ozzy Osbourne – ‘I Just Want You’ – Ozzmosis (1995)
  4. Great White – ‘Rock Me’ – Once Bitten (1987)
  5. Guns ‘N Roses – ‘Anything Goes’ – Appetite For Destruction (1987)
  6. Van Halen – ‘I’ll Wait’ – 1984 (1984)
  7. Def Leppard – ‘Armageddon It’ – Hysteria (1987)
  8. Whitesnake – ‘Fool For Your Loving’ – Ready An’ Willing (1980)
  9. Scheepers – ‘Cyberfreak’ – Scheepers (2011)
  10. Quiet Riot – The Wild And The Young’ – QR III (1986)
  11. Scorpions – ‘The Zoo’ – Animal Magnetism (1980)
  12. Firewind – ‘The Ark Of Lies’ – Days Of Defiance (2010)
  13. Helix – ‘Best Mistake I Never Made’ – Vagabond Bones (2009)
  14. Accept – ‘Flash Rockin’ Man’ – Restless & Wild (1982)
  15. Metallica – ‘Holier Than Thou’ – The Black Album (1991)
  16. Cinderella – ‘Winds Of Change’ – Heartbreak Station (1990)
  17. Crazy Lixx – ‘Road To Babylon’ – New Religion (2010)
  18. Yngwie Malmsteen – ‘Death Dealer’ – Perpetual Flame (2008)
  19. Diamond Head – ‘It’s Electric’ – Lightning To The Nations (1980)
  20. Primal Fear – ‘Black Sun’ – Black Sun (2002)

Bonus Track: AC/DC – ‘War Machine’ – Black Ice (2008)

Def Leppard, Poison & Cheap Trick in concert at Comcast Center (Mansfield, MA) – 6/30/09

The summer concert season is in full swing but I haven’t been to a show since March! The good news is that I have tickets to a few shows coming up but the first on the list was the Def Leppard/Poison/Cheap Trick show last night at the Comcast Center (formerly Tweeter Center……formerly Great Woods) in Mansfield, Massachusetts. I got together with a couple of buddies from work and we bought tickets back in April so it was a planned day off of tailgating in the parking lot and good music in the arena.

Cheap Trick setlist (abbreviated):

Don’t Be Cruel
Dream Police
The Flame
Surrender

Usually I’m in the arena and in my seat 30 mins before the show starts and I always catch all of the bands on the bill because that’s what I paid for. The guys I was with had no interest in seeing Cheap Trick, and the party in the parking lot was going strong, so we ended up getting in halfway through the band’s set. I got to hear ‘Dream Police’, always a fave of mine so I was happy. Cheap Trick had a great sound and a lot of fire to the performance. Does Robin Zander age? I ask this because he sounded the best out of all three singers performing.

Poison setlist:

Look What The Cat Dragged In
I Want Action
Ride The Wind
Fallen Angel
Something To Believe In
Your Mama Don’t Dance
Unskinny Bop
Every Rose Has It’s Thorn
Talk Dirty To Me
Nothin’ But A Good Time

I forgot the pen and pad in the car so I couldn’t write the setlist down as I usually do but these are the tunes they played and I’m almost positive this was the running order. First thing that has to be said, the sound was terrible and Bret Michaels acknowledged it. The mic kept screeching and he was barely audible during the first couple of songs. The sound got better as the show went on but you could tell that this wasn’t a gimmick and Bret was visibly annoyed by the technical problems. The band had a lot of energy and played well but the setlist needs to be mixed up a bit. I’ve seen Poison just about every summer since 1999 and they never really change things up.  I had read online that the opening night set in Camden, NJ featured ‘I Won’t Forget You’ instead of ‘Something To Believe In’ and an extra song ‘Stand’ but we didn’t get either in Mansfield. ‘Stand’ would have been awesome to hear live and I am sick to death of ‘Something To Believe In’ but what are you going to do? The only thing I would change would be the solos by C.C., Rikki, & Bobby…..when you’re an opener, you don’t do solos, you add in as many songs as possible. The crowd was huge into Poison, especially the ladies.

Def Leppard setlist:

Rock Rock Till You Drop
Rocket
Animal
Too Late For Love
Nine Lives
Love Bites
Rock On
Two Steps Behind (acoustic)
Bringin’ On The Heartbreak (acoustic…..until the end)
Switch 625
Hysteria
Armageddon It
Photograph
Pour Some Sugar On Me
Rock Of Ages
Let’s Get Rocked

I went to the show to see Def Leppard. I’ve been a fan of the band since HIGH ‘N DRY and I always go in with the hope that the band will pull out a few nuggets from the first two records. It was a PYROMANIA/HYSTERIA heavy set again with 10 songs out of 16 from those two albums…..the band knows where their success lies. Nice to see ‘Rock Rock Till You Drop’ added for the opener but I was disappointed that ‘Foolin’ was dropped from this year’s tour. The acoustic performances of ‘Two Steps Behind’ and ‘Bringin’ On The Heartbreak’ were solid and Joe Elliot sounded pretty good. I’ve been critical of Joe’s vocals the last couple of times I’ve seen the band live but he had a decent voice going this time around. Better than Bret Michaels but no where close to Robin Zander! I thought the band was strong live…..Rick Allen and Rick Savage are really tight and the guitar duo of Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen are a solid tag team. Everytime I see Def Lep play, I always come away impressed with Phil Collen’s playing, he is so smooth but technical. The cool thing was that there was a mini camera at the top on the nut so you could see Phil’s fingers flying up and down the frets with ease…..a cool way to see the solos. I enjoyed the Leps’ show but I was hoping for a little more variety in the setlist but they played their biggest hits and the crowd loved it…..including myself!

Next concert: Judas Priest & Whitesnake next Tuesday!

Current Playlist

I haven’t been posting but I have been listening…..here’s what’s been assaulting my ears the last couple of days…..

Primal Fear – 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead) (2009): I picked this up in the last couple of weeks but I didn’t get around to listening to it until this past weekend. There is some classic Primal Fear on 16.6 but there is also some more melodic songs like on the band’s last album, NEW RELIGION (2007). I definitely need some more spins with this.

Wolf – Ravenous (2009): This CD hasn’t left the stereo yet and it’s getting a daily spin or two. One of the best albums of the year.

Def Leppard – On Through The Night (1980): Great debut from a band that rocked big time when they were hungry for success…..and the Leps haven’t been hungry in a long time! The concert is Tuesday night so I’m reliving some old glories!

Def Leppard – High ‘N Dry (1981): I had this record BEFORE the reissue in 1984 when PYROMANIA was hitting the top of the charts. To this day, one of my favorite Def Lep songs is ‘Let It Go’ and I’m hoping to hear live again, last time was back in 2006.

Poison – Greatest Hits (1996): I like a taste of Poison now and then but not enough to get me to listen a lot. I already know the setlist the band is playing on tour…..all the predictable hits that are on this compilation. If I could have one song off this album it would be ‘So Tell Me Why’ from the studio tracks on SWALLOW THIS LIVE (1991).

Judas Priest – British Steel (1980): The show with Whitesnake is next week so I figured I’d give this a spin seeing they are playing the whole thing live. Looking forward to hearing the band tear up ‘Rapid Fire’ and ‘Grinder’.

Iron Maiden & The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal DVD (2008)

ironmaidenandnewwaveofbyw4

Iron Maiden & The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal DVD (2008, Sexy Intellectual Productions)

(Region 0, NTSC, Total Running Time = 157 minutes)

When I was a kid in the early ’80s and I started getting serious about Heavy Metal, many of the bands that I started listening to were from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon, Samson and Girlschool were all playing on my stereo and their pictures were hanging on my walls alongside KISS, Judas Priest and AC/DC. As I got older, I discovered a lot of other new bands from the NWOBHM and older Metal bands that benefited from the movement. Judas Priest, AC/DC, Motorhead and even Black Sabbath saw a resurgence at the beginning of the ’80s due to the NWOBHM explosion.

For those not familiar with the NWOBHM here’s a quick simple explanation:

By the late ’70s, big time Arena Rock acts like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, KISS, and Aerosmith were viewed as dinosaurs of the music world and the newest musical fads were Disco and Punk. In the U.K., the Punk movement was a phenomenon and the do-it-yourself rebellious attitude influenced an entire movement of kids forming bands and trying to do something different. Taking a cue from the “dinosaur” bands, these new musicians actually learned to play their instruments well, something many Punks didn’t bother with, and set out to “make it”. The music was loud, raw and heavy and took influences from all styles of music. The biggest bands to come out of the NWOBHM were Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon but there were literally hundreds of bands popping up all over England almost overnight and the new Metal movement made it’s mark.

What this DVD tries to accomplish is to chronicle the history of the NWOBHM from interviews with some of the movement’s players and Rock journalists of the time. There are interviews with Paul Di’anno and Dennis Stratton (Iron Maiden), Brian Tatler (Diamond Head), Thunderstick (Samson), Rob Weir (Tygers Of Pan Tang), Tino & Chris Troy (Praying Mantis) and Girlschool. These are band members that lived the experience and they shed a personal light on what it was like starting out and continuing on with their careers. Other interviews come from journalists Geoff Barton, Malcolm Dome, Jerry Ewing and Joel McIver who all had a first had account of the Metal climate of the time and they add critical review to different aspects and bands of the movement. Of course a retrospective DVD on the NWOBHM would not be complete without the insight of Neil Kay, the Heavy metal DJ who formed the Soundhouse club and who almost single-handedly spearheaded the NWOBHM with his love of well-played Rock. If it wasn’t for Neil Kay, would bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon be playing to millions to this day?

This DVD packs in a ton of rare footage from newsreels, concerts and studio sessions to give an inside historical look at the beginnings of the new Metal genre. There are plenty of interviews and commentaries as well as a bonus section that includes some extended interviews, the NWOBHM and BBC Radio 1, and a interactive challenge game. Like I said, I’m a big fan of the NWOBHM so anything that gives a historical perspective is at the top of my list, the only complaint I have is that there wasn’t much said about some of the lesser known, and less successful, bands of the genre. I would have liked to hear a little more on Rock Goddess, Tokyo Blade, Angel Witch, Jaguar, and many of the rest but there’s only so much time to a DVD! Honestly, you could make a multiple DVD set, or an entire series, exploring the numerous NWOBHM bands but it would get out of focus. This DVD focuses on the more well-known bands, the most successful bands, and moves on from there. No matter what, it’s one of the best DVDs I’ve seen in a long time.

Just a quick word to the wise here: you may have noticed that the DVD title uses Iron Maiden? If you’re looking for footage of the current lineup of Iron Maiden, or a lot of Maiden footage, then I would go out and buy a Maiden DVD. There is a good size portion of the DVD dedicated to the rise of Iron Maiden, they were the biggest and most successful band of the NWOBHM, but the current lineup of Maiden, their management and their label have not authorized this DVD. There is some audio and video of early Maiden but the official stuff is under the cpyright control of the band. It’s still an awesome DVD!

Bottom Line:
If you’re a fan of the NWOBHM, then you should run right out and buy this! If you’re a Metal fan and enjoy learning about the history of Metal, then this is an absolute must! What really makes this DVD is the genuine love of the NWOBHM music that everyone involved with it has. These band members and journalists were right in the thick of the movement when things were new and ideas were fresh and their enthusiasm in talking about it all makes it genuine. For me, this DVD was a great companion piece to The NWOBHM Encyclopedia (by Malc MacMillan) reference book. I’ve had that book since it was published in 2001 and it has been an invaluable resource in my quest for picking up NWOBHM albums, I recommend finding that too!

For more info on the NWOBHM, check out these websites:

NWOBHM.info
The Old School Metal Show
Encyclopedia Metallum: The Metal Archives

Current playlist

It’s been a very long weekend and I’m up late trying to recoup after a hellish night at work. I spent the day re-organizing all my CDs but I spent more time spinning the discs than actually getting them uploaded to my database! So here’s a few albums I listened to before work and now after work…..good music relaxes the soul…..

Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus (2009): I started out with this new record from Edguy and it is really good. Is it me or is Tobias Sammet everywhere lately? As long as he keeps putting out good material with Edguy and Avantasia, I’ll still be picking the stuff up. I found some holes in my Edguy collection so I’ll be trying to fill them ASAP.

SBS (Spicy Bits Of Scandal) – The Gambler (2009): SBS is a Heavy Metal band from Italy and they were nice enough to send their latest album along for a review. Very nice package with a DVD too, I’ve been enjoying this Traditional/Power Metal album all week. The full band name through me off (it sounds like a Glam band) but SBS is all Metal…..very good so far.

Buckcherry – Black Butterfly (2008): I have had this album since it came out but I just haven’t been able to get into it, one day I like it and the next I think it’s average. I’ve been a fan of the band since they first came out (before ‘Lit Up’ became a hit single) but I think they can be brilliant at times and dumb as stumps the other. The latest single (‘Too Drunk Too Fuck’) is good but it seems like Buckcherry always needs to have that danceable single that is blatantly explicit. It’s like they are trying too hard. Not out of the playlist yet, I need more time.

Motley Crue – Saints Of Los Angeles (2008): I’m going to the show Friday at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut so I wanted to give this record some spins this week so its fresh. I know the rest of the Crue catalog by heart so SOLA gets the refresher.

Ratt – s/t (1999): I had to dig this out because Metal Mark had a Lesser Of Two Evils column with this album at Heavy Metal Time Machine, I had to give this a fresh listen to see if it was as bad as I remember. At the time, I was psyched to get new Ratt but it wasn’t as good as the Great White album that came out at the same time.

Great White – Can’t Get There From Here (1999): Awesome record! Great White toured with Poison, Ratt and LA Guns in the Summer of 1999 and a buddy and I drove the 8 hours to catch the show in the Pittsburgh area. The cool thing for me was that I knew all the new Great White tunes because I bought the Japanese import a couple weeks earlier. I saw that tour 3 times that summer……

Def Leppard – Euphoria (1999): Another great record from ’99! People slag this album because it sounds too processed (like HYSTERIA) but I thought it was a great return to the classic Def Lep sound (depending on which era you think is classic). I thought ‘Promises’ was a great single the whole record had potential but it got buried by the record company. Even the band doesn’t really recognize it. When Def Lep is live they have visuals on the big screen…..they show all the album artwork and they always skip EUPHORIA.

Snatch – If The Party Is In Your Mouth, We’re Coming (1985): Another album from Metal Mark and the Heavy Metal Time Machine! He had a post about this album and I just had to find it because the title is just so bad! I actually became obsessed with finding it and I found a copy locally for a few dollars. I set up my USB turntable and decided to break the seal with this album…..definitely not a lost gem musically but certainly a timepiece of the bottom of the ’80s barrel.

Metal Mixtape – 1/25/09

Tale Of The Tape:
Dell DJ 30 (1st Gen)
4482 songs (387 albums)

I’ve got the MP3 player shuffling as I’m creating a new master list for my CD collection so here’s the first 20 songs that have come up (band-song-year)…..

  1. Tygers Of Pan Tang – ‘Bad Times’ (1980)
  2. KISS – ‘Hard Luck Woman’ (1976)
  3. Icarus Witch – ‘Mirror Mirror’ (2007)
  4. Iron Maiden – ‘Man On The Edge’ (1995)
  5. Def Leppard – ‘Bad Actress’ (2008)
  6. Black Sabbath – ‘Black Sabbath’ (1970)
  7. Scorpions – ‘Obsession’ (1999)
  8. Daylight Dies – ‘A Portait In White’ (2008)
  9. Iron Maiden – ‘Remember Tomorrow’ (1980)
  10. Dio – ‘Straight Through The Heart’ (1983)
  11. Quiet Riot – ‘Overworked And Underpaid’ (1999)
  12. Primal Fear – ‘Fighting The Darkness’ (2007)
  13. Q5 – “Our Love Has Come And Gone’ (1984)
  14. Vinnie Vincent Invasion – ‘Burn’ (1988)
  15. KISS – ‘The Oath’ (1981)
  16. Westworld – ‘Bring The Water To Me’ (1999)
  17. Running Wild – “The Poison’ (1998)
  18. Girlschool – ‘Metropolis’ (2008)
  19. Rainbow – ‘Street Of Dreams’ (1983)
  20. Black Sabbath – ‘Die Young’ (1980)

Bonus Track: Saxon – ‘Forever Free’ (1993)