Posts Tagged ‘Extreme’

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)

Hurtsmile – s/t (2011, Frontiers Records)

  1. Just War Theory
  2. Stillborn
  3. love Thy Neighbor
  4. Kaffur (Infidel)
  5. Painter Paint
  6. Tolerance Song (edit)
  7. Set Me Free
  8. Jesus Would You Meet Me
  9. Slave
  10. Beyond The Garden/Kicking Against The Goads
  11. Just War Reprise
  12. The Murder Of Daniel Faulkner (4699)

Band Lineup:
Gary Cherone – Vocals
Mark Cherone – Guitar
Joe Pessia – Bass, Mandolin
Dana Spellman – Drums, Percussion

Produced by: Gary Cherone & Joe Pessia

Country: USA

Total Time = 49:50

Hurtsmile
Hurtsmile MySpace
Gary Cherone
Frontiers Records

I’m a big Extreme fan from way back in the beginning so when Gary Cherone’s new project, Hurtsmile, was announced, I knew that it would be something unique. The problem with a Gary solo project is that sometimes he gets way too experimental and deviates from the Rock sound that made him a success in Extreme and Van Halen. Take a listen to the Tribe Of Judah album from 2002…..if you can sit through it! That album was horrible (I can’t even explain how bad it was!) due to it’s highly experimental direction and lack of Rock. I’m all of artistic expression and exploring new music avenues but a Rock album should be a Rock album when it’s promoted as such. Now I was really into the last Extreme album, SAUDADES DE ROCK (2007), and their live CD & DVD, TAKE US ALIVE: BOSTON 2009 (2010), so I knew that I was going to buy the Hurtsmile CD but I was crossing my fingers that I would like it.

The album starts out well with the Hard Rock of ‘Just War Theory’ and ‘Stillborn’ and you can immeadiately hear that Gary’s voice is still top notch and his brother, Mark Cherone, has some serious guitar going. You could almost put these songs in either the last Van Halen or Extreme album because they have that modern, edgy flavor. Actually, the sound is almost Grunge, especially on ‘Stillborn’, and I can hear traces of Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots…..influences that will permeate all the harder and/or faster songs on the record.

‘Love Thy Neighbor’ starts out with a 1950s a capella intro but moves into more more familiar modern Rock territory as does ‘Kaffur (Infidel)’, sans intro. Four songs into the album and so far things are going along a modern Hard Rock path with some serious guitar work but the band throws us a curve with the Beatles-inspired acoustic ‘Painter Paint’. This is Gary’s showcase without a doubt, you can really hear his singing voice and how great it really is, kind of like you can do with the Extreme classic ‘More Than Words’. I don’t want to put Gary in a certain box but this guy can sing ballads with the best of them and have great success, I’m surprised that there aren’t more on albums he records.

One of the reasons Gary was hired to replace Sammy Hagar in Van Halen is because he has a very similar sounding voice at times and there is no better example of that with the beginning line of ‘Tolerance Song’…..you swear that’s Sammy! The song follows the same formula as the first four rockers but there’s a little more experimentation with different tones and effects on Gary’s vocals to make it sound more current. The vocal effects almost remind me of some of the ones Motley Crue used for Vince Neil on parts of GENERATION SWINE (1997). The songwriting here isn’t that great and I’m not really digging the song at all. ‘Set Me Free’ continues that thick guitar driven grungy sound mixed with more quiet parts where Gary’s voice carries the song, I like the solo break and Mark Cherone really shines, he plays well through the entire album. ‘Jesus Would You Meet Me’ sounds a bit like Extreme’s ‘Hole Hearted’ instrumentally but the song takes an acoustic/Bluegrass/church hymn direction. I wasn’t really sure about this track the first couple of times I heard it but, after multiple spins, I like it for it’s simplicity and it’s similarity to the Extreme hit. A quick bass intro with some vocal effects open ‘Slave’ and continue throughout the track except for the chorus. The song takes a few twists and turns stylistically and I think it’s really too varied. The band gets back to what I think is their strong suit: the ballad. I was really impressed with ‘Painter Paint’ and ‘Beyond The Garden/Kicking Against The Goads’ also leaves a lasting impression with it’s soothing arrangement and Gary’s smooth vocal.

Unfortuately, I have to kill ‘Just War Reprise’. I get that Hurtsmile is an experiment in sound but it stays mostly on the Rock side of things…..’Just War Reprise’ is a Reggae version and it just doesn’t fit. I’m not bagging it because it’s Reggae, I like some Reggae, but on a Rock record? I give the band credit for trying something new but it doesn’t work for me. The final track is ‘The Murder Of Daniel Faulkner (4699)’, a tribute to the Philadelphia police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1981, his badge number being #4699. The song reminds me of a Bob Dylan or a Tom Petty song (is there any sonic difference between the two anymore?) and it tells the tale of Officer Faulkner and the incidents involving Mumia Abu-Jamal resulting in his death on the night of 12/9/1981. The song is best described as a folk ballad, more of a musical story if you will, with excellent acoustic guitar and focused vocals. I guess you could maybe call this Ballad #3 of the album but there’s a little more to it than a straight up ballad, there’s a lot of emotion invovled as Gary recounts the story. Bagpipes mark the end of the song in tribute to a fallen officer.

Bottom Line:
I have to admit, this album didn’t really grab me after the first couple of spins, the songs were too grungy and a complete mix of different styles. I kept listening though because I’m a big fan of Gary Cherone and Hurtsmile grew on me. I was ready to lump this in with the industrial Tribe Of Judah (a huge mess!) as another experimental failure and send the message to Gary in this review to just stick with Rock but careful listening proved that there’s a lot more to hear. Extreme fans might not get into this album because it’s different than the traditional Hard Rock you expect but, if you’re looking for something different, Hurtsmile might do the trick. I’m not going to put this album at the top of the heap but I’m not going to cast it to the bottom of the 2011 pile either. This CD is a grower and there are a few songs that rise above the rest, particularly the ballads.

Favorite Songs:
‘Just War Theory’, ‘Painter Paint’, ‘Jesus Would You Meet Me’, ‘Beyond The Garden/Kicking Against The Goads’

Extreme – Take Us Alive: Boston 2009 (2010, Frontiers Records)

  1. Decadence Dance
  2. Comfortably Dumb
  3. Rest In Peace
  4. It (‘s A Monster)
  5. Star
  6. Tell Me Something I Don’t Know
  7. Medley: Kid Ego, Little Girls, Teacher’s Pet, Play With Me
  8. Midnight Express
  9. More Than Words
  10. Ghost
  11. Cupid’s Dead
  12. Take Us Alive
  13. Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee
  14. Get The Funk Out
  15. Am I Ever Gonna Change
  16. Hole Hearted

DVD Bonus Material: Videos for ‘King Of The Ladies’, ‘Interface’, ‘Run’, & ‘Ghost’ from SAUDADES DE ROCK (2008)

Band Lineup:
Nuno Bettencourt – Lead Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Gary Cherone – Lead Vocals
Pat Badger – Bass & Vocals
Kevin Figueiredo – Drums

Producers: Extreme & Devin DeHaven (DVD)

Country: USA

Total Time (DVD) = approx 2 hours (includes concert & bonus videos)
Total Time (CDs) = approx 1 hour 40 minutes

Extreme
Extreme MySpace page
Frontiers Records

Recorded live on August 8, 2009, TAKE US ALIVE is a live album and DVD that showcases Extreme playing in front of a sold out hometown crowd at the House Of Blues in Boston, MA. I was able to catch Extreme live a couple of years before in Boston at another venue while they were touring in support of their reunion but I was unable to catch this show last year. Now I’m kicking myself because, as the DVD shows, it was a solid energetic concert full of hits and new songs from their latest album SAUDADES DE ROCK (2008). What we have here is two separate releases a DVD and a 2 CD live album…..not sure why this can’t be packaged together as a special set but this seems to be the trend for most of the live CD and DVD releases this year.

DVD:
The DVD version of TAKE US ALIVE captures Extreme live on stage in front of a sold out Boston crowd. The DVD contains the full 16 song concert and has a bonus section that includes four music videos made for songs from the band’s latest studio album, SAUDADES DE ROCK (2008). As far as the setlist goes, you get all the big hits like ‘Decadence Dance’, ‘Rest In Peace’, ‘Get The Funk Out’, ‘More Than Words’ and ‘Hole Hearted’ alongside new songs like ‘Star’, ‘Ghost’, ‘Comfortably Dumb’ and ‘Take Us Alive’ and they all work well together. Extreme have always been excellent musicians and that always translated into their songwriting and performances and this DVD really showcases how well the band plays and interacts on stage. I’ve been a fan of the band since their first album, only saw the band live once back in 2006, so I was really analyzing how the band played live. First off, drummer Kevin Figueiredo, who played on SAUDADES DE ROCK (2008), plays solidly throughout the show and fits seemlessly into the band. Back in 2006, the reunion show in Boston had original drummer Paul Geary on the kit, as well as, a guest appearance by Mike Mangini who ended up replacing Geary. For some reason, I was looking for one of these guys on the drums but Figueiredo is excellent. Turns out that Paul Geary is one of the band’s managers now! The energy of the band is powerful…..Gary Cherone prowls the stage with serious presence and superb vocals, Nuno Bettencourt is every bit the guitar god he has been made out to be and Pat Badger is the solid rock that keeps it all together. Honestly, I couldn’t believe the energy Cherone has on stage, this guy is pushing 50 and in excellent shape but he moves and sings like he was back in his 20s. Nuno’s guitar work is awesome, giving me a fresh appreciation for the man’s skills, and he really shines both on the electric and acoustic, touring with Pop superstar Rihanna hasn’t dulled his Hard Rock skills at all. I guess what I took most out of this DVD was how much fun an Extreme show is and how many solid songs these guys have. We all know the hits and they are the highlights of the show but the newer songs off the latest record are great too. Best one of the four is ‘Star’ because it sounds like classic Extreme and features their signature harmonies but ‘Ghost’ was also solid live. The highlight for me was the medley of songs from the first Extreme record released in 1989: ‘Kid Ego’, ‘Little Girls’, Teacher’s Pet’ and ‘Play With Me’…..that debut record is still my favorite and it brings back a ton of memories, good to see the band still play stuff from it. There’s no bonus material listed on the packaging but I found some on the DVD menu…..four videos from the SAUDADES DE ROCK album, best of the bunch being ‘King Of The Ladies’. It’s great that the band included these here because you’ll never see them on MTV or VH-1 Classic. The booklet is sparse, just pictures of the band members with the credits on the inside panel of the DVD digipak.

CD:
As far as the double CD live album goes, well, it’s basically the same thing as the DVD just without the visuals and the bonus videos obviously. The booklet is sparse also but the band pictures are different and the credits are in the booklet and not on the digipak. I like having the live album for the car, iPod and stereo and the concert holds up well in an audio-only format.

Bottom Line:
TAKE US ALIVE is a solid live release both on DVD and CD. I’ve been an Extreme fan since their first album back in 1989 and I’m surprised that they don’t already have a live album out there. TAKE US ALIVE is worth checking out because Extreme has a ton of great songs and the performance is great but it’s also a great way to experience some of their new material. For me, a must have release…..a little short on extras, although the videos were a nice surprise, but the concert speaks for itself.

I was doing so well this month posting albums reviews and catching up on my listening…..then Ronnie James Dio passed away and I’ve been a little “off”. Not sure what the deal is but when RJD passed away, I didn’t really feel like listening to music all that much. I still bought things though so I figure today is a good day to update what I’ve acquired…..

Ebay
(prices include shipping)

Casanova – s/t (1990/2010 reissue) – $14: I’ve had my eye on this reissue since Divebomb Records sent me the press release. I was hoping to get an advance copy but it never came so I started trolling online shops and Ebay. Found this sealed copy starting at 1 cent but it quickly moved over $10. One of the key selling points was the free shipping, the other was that the seller was actually an online store I order from often. Good reissue here…..the original 1990 debut casanova album and 5 bonus tracks. Saved $6 with free shipping and decent price.

Masterplan – Time To Be King (2010) – $23: I paid a little extra for this with BUY IT NOW but the shipping was free and it was the same seller as the Casanova CD. The selling point here was the limited edition European digipak pressing and the bonus track ‘Kisses From You’. I had to have this album because Masterplan with Jorn Lande on vocals is a superb band and this CD is in the running for 2010 Album of the Year easily. Saved $0 (I actually spent a little extra!).

Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony & Angel Of Babylon box set (2010) – $23: The last installment of CD Scavenger Hunt was the “Buyer Be Aware” edition and I recalled a couple of quick purchases that I didn’t properly think through. I bought THE WICKED SYMPHONY but didn’t want to wait for ANGEL OF BABYLON so I returned it when i saw this limited edition box set for a $20 BUY IT NOW. The seller basically bought it, uploaded it to iTunes and put it on Ebay. This was a steal for me because I have seen this box set going for $50+ at online shops…..you get the limited edition slipcase and booklet, both album in digipak and codes for downloadable content. This was basically a used copy and when I got it in the mail, the packaging was shoddy so the slipcase got bent. The CDs and booklet are mint so I can live with a couple creases to the slipcase…..even though my OCD kicks in everytime I see it! Saved $30 compared with online retailers and free shipping.

Newbury Comics

Iced Earth – Box Of the Wicked (2010) – $28: I have been a big Iced Earth fan since THE DARK SAGA (1996) and I try to collect all the singles and albums to keep the collection up to date. I didn’t really get into the post-Matt Barlow era starting with FRAMING ARMAGEDDON (2007) and I neglected buying a couple of the singles. When I saw this box announced, I wanted it! It includes both FRAMING ARMAGEDDON and THE CRUCIBLE OF MAN (2008), the OVERTURE OF THE WICKED single (4 songs) and the I WALK AMONG YOU single (3 songs). The bonus CD has 4 tracks with Matt Barlow on vocals, 3 live and a re-recorded version of ‘A Charge To Keep’. So I knock out both singles, replace the promo copy of CRUCIBLE and get a bonus CD. I’m sure there are more bonuses inside but I haven’t opened it yet, I think there’s a poster or something. Regular price was $40 so I saved $12 on sale.

Extreme – Take Us Alive: Boston 2009 (2010) – $14 CD and $15 DVD: Extreme has always been one of my bands and always a local favorite here in rhode Island. I was trying to attend this show last summer but some things came up and I couldn’t make it. Now I get to find out what I missed! I bought both the CD and the DVD so I had the full documentation. They are identical performances but the DVD has four extra videoclips. Compared to online stores, the sale prices at Newbury Comics were really good. Regular price for the CD was $18 and the DVD was $20 so I saved a total of $9 for both.

Triumph – Greatest Hits Remixed (CD/DVD set) (2010) – $12: Can’t beat a 14 song greatest hits CD with a 14 video DVD that includes the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame induction. That’s a lot of music for $12! I don’t have much Triumph in my collection, something I need to fix quickly, so this greatest hits compilation is a good starting point. The other thing is that the guys in Triumph are always up to date on current technology and Gil Moore and Mike Levine own their own studio so you know the quality here is top of the line! Regular price was $16, saved $4.

Exodus – Exhibit B: The Human Condition (2010) – $10: I love old Exodus but I haven’t really kept up with the band since Rob Dukes took over the vocals in 2005. I always mean to pick up a few of those albums but I just never seem to get around it but I saw the sale price on the new album and I figured it was about time I gave Exodus another shot. The extra good news is that I can pick up the albums I’m missing used for around $7-$8 each. Regular price was $16, saved $6.

Stephen Pearcy – Under My Skin (2008) – $7 used: I’m a big Ratt fan but I haven’t really gone out of my way to pick up all of Stephen Pearcy’s solo work. I have all the Ratt and Arcade albums, I have Vertex and Vicious Delite but I have neglected the actual solo albums…..another problem I need to fix in the collection! UNDER MY SKIN was Pearcy’s last solo record before the Ratt reunion and it was a cheap $7 for a used copy so this was a no-brainer, I saved at least $8 compared to a regular priced CD.

Eddie Ojeda – Axes 2 Axes (2006) – $4: I love a great bargain and that’s exactly what I got with this Eddie Ojeda solo record. Ojeda released this album hot on the heels of Twisted Sister’s success with A TWISTED CHRISTMAS (2006) but I never bothered to grab it because the reviews I read were all bad. There has been a sealed copy of this album at the record store for months at the $16 regular price, somehow this used copy landed right in front of it last week. Saved $12.

Mail

Tempest – Hard Night (1996) – $15: I did an Ebay Madness post that featured this CD way back in mid-October 2007. Back almost three years ago, this CD went for $185.50 on Ebay and it was one of the highest priced indies that I had never even heard about. Who was Tempest? What year was the album recorded? Where are they from? What is the music like? At the beginning of the year, Alan Hicks (Tempest guitarist) got in touch with me about the post and we got to talking about the band and CD. Alan was nice enough to offer me an extra sealed copy of this album for what the band used to charge at shows…..$15. Compared to the $185, Alan saved me $170! I just want to take the time here to thank Alan for the CD and point out his current band Alice Sweet Alice, who have an album that can be downloaded at their website. Thanks again Alan!

Total = $145

Total (year) = $685

Average price (per item) = $10.07

Total CDs (year) = 63

Total DVDs (year) = 2

Total Box Sets (year) = 2

Total LPs (year) = 1

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.

extreme-self-titled-1989

Extreme – s/t (1989, A&M)

  1. Little Girls
  2. Wind Me Up
  3. Kid Ego
  4. Watching, Waiting
  5. Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go To School Today)
  6. Teacher’s Pet
  7. Big Boys Don’t Cry
  8. Smoke Signals
  9. Flesh ‘N’ Blood
  10. Rock A Bye Bye
  11. Play With Me

Band Lineup:
Gary Cherone – Lead Vocals
Nuno Bettencourt – Guitars & Vocals
Pat Badger – Bass
Paul Geary – Drums

Producers: Extreme & Mack

Total Time = 45:07

Country: USA

Extreme
Extreme MySpace page

Parking lot parties…..friends…..girls…..beers…..these are the things I remember most when I listen to Extreme’s first album. Back in ’89 when this album first came out, I was a junior in high school working part-time and hanging out at night. We all used to get together in shopping mall parking lots and hang out, have a good time and listen to music. Extreme started to get played on local Rock radio stations because they were from Boston, MA and considered a local band for all of us to the South in Rhode Island.

‘Kid Ego’ was the band’s first radio single but it was the anthemic ‘Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go To School Today)’ was our rallying cry for the Spring & Summer of 1989 amid the bottles of Schnapps and Budweiser. Back in the day we had the cassette so we could play it in the boombox so we only used to get through Side 1 (tracks 1-5). We’d drink the beers to the bluesy funky ‘Little Girls’ and hard rockin’ ‘Wind Me Up’ until we got to the footstomp of ‘Kid Ego’ that we all knew. The girls always wanted to hear the ballad ‘Watching, Waiting’, I think that was the ballad of the summer along with ‘Heaven’ by Warrant, and that was always the makeout tune. But the anthem was ‘Mutha’…..that was the song that everyone sang and jammed to, it was THE song of that summer and I remember we blasted that on the car deck as we made our way to our first day of our senior year!

‘Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go To School Today)’

After Side 1 we usually popped the tape out but back at home I would listen to the whole record. I dug ‘Teacher’s Pet’ because the band had some thick harmonies (one of Extreme’s trademarks) and some serious fretwork from Nuno. ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry’ was cool even though the lyrics were a bit lame but ‘Smoke Signals’ had that bluesy side to Nuno that really matched well with Gary’s delivery. I remember back in the day (before his ill-fated tenure in Van Halen), we all used to think that Gary Cherone sounded kind of like Sammy Hagar at his AOR best with the moves of Paul Stanley! ‘Flesh ‘N’ Blood’ was too Hagar and too Poison for me so I usually skipped it and moved on to the piano, strings and harmonies of ballad #2 ‘Rock A Bye Bye’ (another bad title). ‘Watching, Waiting’ was the better of the two ballads but you just knew by hearing both that the band would eventually hit it big with something this speed…..and they did with ‘More Than Words’ on the next record EXTREME II: PORNOGRAFFITTI (1990). The closing song ‘Play With Me’ was featured in the movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and was the last single from the album and it featured some awesome guitar from Nuno making him an instant guitar god.

The only complaints I have with the album is that most of the songs have this childhood theme running through it, especially most of Side 2, and it was annoying back then because we weren’t little kids. Maybe that’s why we skipped Side 2 back in the day! The other beef is with the album cover, the guys were trying to to this “tough guy” glam thing and it wasn’t working. I know some of us looked like that but we all thought the look was awful!

Bottom Line:
This is a record packed with a lot of good memories and a lot of good music. Unfortunately it gets forgotten because the follow-up had all the big hit singles but back when this first came out it was one of the best albums out there and put the band as one of our favorite bands…..everyone liked Extreme. This album was more of the Hard Rock Extreme rather than the funkier version that would follow as their career continued and it showcased Nuno’s guitar and Gary’s vocals but the immeadiate hook was the harmonies, you just knew there was something special there. I play this album more than any other Extreme release to this day.

Favorite Songs:
‘Little Girls’, ‘Wind Me Up’, ‘Kid Ego’, ‘Mutha’, ‘Watching, Waiting’, Teacher’s Pet’

NOTE — There is a video for ‘Kid Ego’ and I was going to post it but the song is a re-worked version and sounds nothing like the version on the album. Not sure why they made a second version because the original is way better.

I haven’t been spinning a whole lot of music lately, for some strange reason I have been getting a little bored with it all. Then I heard an old song on the radio the other day and it brought the passion back right away. So here’s what’s in my rotation right now…..

Extreme – s/t (1989): The old song I heard was ‘Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go To School Today)’ and I went and pulled the CD from the racks and its been getting a daily spin or two. Good memories attached to this album, mostly old friends from high school, etc.

Rose Tattoo – Blood Brothers (2008): This album is still in the rotation but only when I walk the dog so its getting a daily spin. I wish I could do my best of 2008 list over again because I would slot this one high.

Saxon – Into the Labyrinth (2009): So far my album of the year!

The Cotton Soeterboek Band – Twisted (2008): Like an idiot, I’ve ignored this album even though it’s been towards the top of the growing pile for months. This album is the reason why I love Rock music, it has that infectious groove to it that keeps you listening. Pure Classic Rock with a Blues base…..this is the kind of music I want to hear on the radio! It has a mid-’70s Rock sound and that’s what makes it so fresh to me. Another album I’d like to get in that best of list if I could do it all over again.

In Shadows Reign – Phoenix (2008 demo): This young Norwegian Metal band was kind enough to send me their demo via email and I have been giving this some serious listens. I really like the guitar tone, it has a NWOBHM sound to it like old Iron Maiden, Diamond Head or Tygers Of Pan Tang.

Sepultura – A-lex (2009): I keep giving this some spins and I am still up in the air on this one. Not sure if I dig it or hate it. I’ve never been a big Sepultura fan but I seem to have all their releases…..go figure. A-LEX is a long record, maybe I’m just not getting it because there is so much?

Cornerstone – Head Over Heels (2008): A real good Rock album that has been in the pile too and I’m only getting to it now.

Axiom – A Means To An End (2008): Solid Progressive Metal album that has been in the pile for awhile but I have been spinning it a lot.

Motley Crue – Saints Of Los Angeles (2008): I’m going to see the Crue next Friday (3/13) at Mohegan Sun Arena so I’ve been gearing up with old Motley but I wanted to revisit SOLA because I wasn’t too impressed when I gave it a lot of airplay over the summer. I was disappointed either so I need to give it another shot.

Here we are on the eve of 2009 and for some reason I’m getting more of a sense of “the end” rather than “the beginning”. For me, I usually can’t wait for New Year’s. It’s a time to start over, to right wrongs and set things in order. It’s a time of promise and of hope because we all think that the new year will be better then the last. I’ve been very lucky, every year of my life has gotten better. Some years are harder than others but they are all filled with much more good than bad.

Today is a day that I’ve been looking back instead of forward. I’ve remembered old friends and thought of really good times and even some rough ones too. Helping me out in all of this is my CD collection (Hey, I just couldn’t stay serious the whole time, it all comes down to music in the end!). Instead of listening to the upcoming Saxon or Kreator I decided to sit in front of the stereo and spin some albums that I haven’t pulled out in a long time.

Lana Lane – Ballad Collection Special Edition (2000): I’m a big fan of Lana Lane, she’s probably the best female vocalist out there that no one really knows. This collection is a 2 CD set that encompasses both individual albums (BALLAD COLLECTION I & II) in one nice package. Both individual albums are out of print Japanese releases so this reissue is very cool. The ballads fit my mood: slow and relaxing.

Extreme – s/t (1989): Extreme’s first album was one of the great “parking lot” albums of the late ’80s. ‘Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go To School Today’ and ‘Kid Ego’ were big time radio hits on local radio at the time but all the girls in my circle of friends loved the album’s ballad ‘Watching, Waiting’. Good memories of good friends. I was 16 in ’89, we would all park at the Color Tile in the Stop & Shop plaza (we all worked at Stop & Shop) and the cops never kicked us out. We drank a little but it was mostly loud music and hanging out until we found a particular place to party. My favorite off this album is ‘Wind Me Up’.

Damn Yankees – s/t (1990): This album was one of the soundtracks to my senior year in high school and my first year of college. What a solid record, they just had a winning formula with the Tommy Shaw/Jack Blades harmonies. ‘Coming Of Age’ was a big Rock tune but it was the two ballads (‘High Enough’ & ‘Come Again’) that sent the album to mega-status. My best memory was waiting in line in the rain at the Providence Civic Center with a wristband to buy tickets to the Bad Company/Damn Yankees show. We spent four hours in line and the only thing I remember most is the group of Deadheads that were literally camped out because there was a rumor that Grateful Dead tickets were going onsale at some point. We played this album everywhere but this was a car record and still is for me today!

KISS – Psycho Circus (1998): Of all the albums by my favorite band, this one is extremely significant because it’s the album and tour where I got my oldest daughter’s middle name from. No it’s not Gene, Paul, Peter or Ace! PSYCHO CIRCUS was getting a ton of airplay at the time and the tour was opening in Boston (after the Halloween show in L.A.) with 2 shows. I waited in line at a department store that had Ticketmaster around 5am, I was second in line! What I remember most is around 8am a couple came with their 3 yr. old daughter to stand in line. All this little girl did was dance around and talk to all of us KISS freaks…..her name was Jade and that’s my daughter’s middle name.

Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry (1984): I’ve been listening to this album a lot over the last year because my 10 yr. old daughter has taken to this album with such dedication. She reminds me of me at age 10! Actually, my daughter has been raiding my CD cases for all things Twisted Sister and I finally had to load her brand new iPod Nano with all the band’s albums. STAY HUNGRY was one of those album that everyone had back in ’84 and there really isn’t a bad song on the album…..I just can’t listen to ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ anymore. Best song on the album for me is ‘The Price’, my daughter and I duet that one to my wife’s delight. My daughter wants you all to know her favorites are ‘Burn In Hell’ and ‘I Wanna Rock’.

Aersomith – Done With Mirrors (1985): This tour was my first concert. Aerosmith and Ted Nugent at the Providence Civic Center (March 18, 1986). I remember my friend’s older brother buying the tickets because it was the band’s big reunion and we couldn’t miss it. (Just an aside — DONE WITH MIRRORS was the band’s official reunion album, it wasn’t the next album PERMANENT VACATION.) I didn’t have the new record yet and my Mom got it for me on cassette for Valentine’s Day, a full month before the show. I played the hell out of that album: in the car, on my stereo, Walkman, boombox…..I think that was the only album I played for a solid month so I could learn all the tunes. I wrote down the setlist during the show so I wouldn’t forget and I tucked that into the cassette insert. When I replaced the tape with a CD years ago, I moved the paper to the CD booklet. I had forgotten all about that and I found it when I took out the booklet today. I’ve played the CD tons of times over the years but I never bothered with the booklet! They played 5 songs off the new album and I knew every word! To this day, DONE WITH MIRRORS is my favorite Aerosmith record. Here’s that setlist:

1. Back In The Saddle
2. Same Old Song And Dance
3. Bone To Bone (Coney Island White Fish Boy)
4. Big Ten Inch Record
5. My Fist Your Face
6. Last Child
7. She’s On Fire
8. The Hop
9. Walkin’The Dog
10. Red House
11. Lightning Strikes
12. Shela
13. Walk This Way
14. Let The Music Do The Talking
15. Sweet Emotion
16. Toys In The Attic
17. Dream On
18. Train Kept A Rollin’

Tale Of The Tape:
Dell DJ 30 (1st Gen)
4555 songs (385 albums)

One of the problems with taking a weekend off is that you need to take care of all the little things around the house that you let slip when you are working and doing all the things you need to do to keep life going. I had some chores around the house to do, bills to pay, a dog to walk and a house that needs it’s Halloween transformation. The only way to get through it is to put the headphones on, press SHUFFLE, and go about your business! Here’s the first 20 songs that played…..

  1. Tygers Of Pan Tang – ‘Badger Badger’ (1980)
  2. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Angel Eyes’ (2008)
  3. Uriah Heep – ‘Tears Of The World’ (2008)
  4. Icarus Witch – ‘Queen Of Lies’ (2007)
  5. Alcatrazz – ‘God Blessed Video’ (1985)
  6. UFO – ‘Hunger In The Night’ (1988)
  7. Alice Cooper – ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’ (1971)
  8. Extreme – ‘Slide’ (2008)
  9. Iron Maiden – ’2 Minutes To Midnight’ (1984)
  10. Mogg-Way – ‘Totaled’ (1997)
  11. Motley Crue – ‘Down At The Whiskey’ (2008)
  12. Judas Priest – ‘Wheels Of Fire’ (2005)
  13. U.D.O. – ‘ The Devil Walks Alone’ (2007)
  14. Mogg-Way – ‘Death In The Family’ (1999)
  15. Krokus – ‘Shotgun Boogie’ (1990)
  16. Scorpions – ‘Mind Like A Tree’ (1999)
  17. Saxon – ‘Empty Promises’ (1986)
  18. Krokus – ‘Backstabber’ (1999)
  19. Balance Of Power – ‘No Place Like Home’ (2003)
  20. Black Sabbath – ‘Zero The Hero’ (1983)

Bonus Track: KISS – ‘Charisma’ (1979)

It’s been a couple of months since I posted my last Hunt and there’s been a few good reasons:

1. Money is being spent wisely — I don’t think I have to tell anyone, especially here in the U.S., how bad the state of the economy is. Electricity has gone up, gas is still over $3.50/gallon, Heating Oil is $4.20/gallon this season, and food has gone up. A sign of the times! The extra money I usually spend on music has been saved.

2. End of Summer slowdown — The labels like to save some key releases for the last third of the year and some heavyweights are releasing albums in the next couple months: Metallica, AC/DC, Iced Earth, Metal Church, Tesla and many more. July and August are usually slow with bands out on tour for the summer season and the promotion teams gearing up for the Fall releases.

3. I’m way behind! — I never thought that a simple blog about my Heavy Metal & Hard Rock collection would connect me with so many bands, PR people, and record labels. Everyday brings a new CD submitted for review and I have a good 50 albums or so sitting in a pile waiting for more spins. I need to catch up!

So here’s what I managed to buy in the last couple of months:

Alice Cooper – Along Came A Spider (2008) – $9.99: I bought this the day it came out for a nice sale price. Unfortunately, I haven’t really given this record all that much attention. I’ve listened a few times but that’s about it, this is in my pile for extra consumption this week and I just uploaded it to my MP3 player so I can listen at work.

Mad Margritt – Cold Sweat (1997) – $25: This album has been on my want list for a long time but the price usually goes through the roof on Ebay. I was browsing on Ebay a couple of weeks ago and I typed in the band name but misspelled the word “Margritt”, I left off the 2nd “T”. Good thing I did because I was able to win this CD for $20 & $5 shipping with no competition. There was another copy from another seller up for sale at the same time but the band name was spelled correctly in the listing title, everyone was after that one and the bids rose. This takes COLD SWEAT off the WANTED! list.

Kerrang! – Maiden Heaven (A Tribute To Iron Maiden) (2008) – $7: I haven’t bought an issue of Kerrang! in years, I usually thumb through it in the bookstore. When the tribute CD was announced, I figured that I would drive the 20 minutes to the Barnes & Noble and actually buy it…..but I got lazy. True Rhode Islanders believe that anything more than a 15 minute drive is too far and, in true native fashion, I couldn’t have been bothered. I ordered online and the issue showed up a month later with the CD.

My birthday was August 16th and I decided to have a low key day. My kids are usually good for taking mom to the local record shop for a gift card but they decided that Dad should get himself a new tour shirt from the Metal Masters show instead. A mysterious package was delivered that day from my estranged father in Texas. The package contained 3 CDs: the new Motley Crue, the new Disturbed, and the new Miley Cyrus! I gave the new Miley to my 5 yr old daughter (my 10 yr old daughter has it already), I already own the new Crue and I hate Disturbed. All the discs were sealed so I walked into the local shop and returned them for a $30 credit!

Extreme – Saudades De Rock (2008) – $9.99: Always loved Extreme, especially their debut album. I saw their reunion show in Boston back in June 2006 and I have been patiently waiting for some new material. I’ve read some really good reviews about this album so this was a no-brainer…..I still haven’t taken off the shrinkwrap!

Motorhead – Bomber (Deluxe Expanded Edition) (2005) – $19.99: This was the last 2 CD deluxe edition I needed of the Motorhead studio albums. I should have bought it right away a few years ago when it came out and was on sale but I didn’t and I’ve been staring at the same copy with the same $20 price tag for close to 3 years! I could have passed again but I wanted to complete my set.