Tyr - Valkyaja

CD Scavenger Hunt – January 2014 update

Here we go…..another late post…..another late update on my continuing quest for new additions to my collection…..

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PlanetHelix.com

Metal On Ice
Helix – A Heavy Mental Xmas (2008)
Helix – All I Want For Christmas…is the Leafs to Win The Cup! (7″ vinyl) - $35 bundle

Ebay

W.A.S.P. – Inside The Electric Circus (1986) – $8 used
W.A.S.P. – Live…In The Raw (1987) – $11 used
W.A.S.P. – The Crimson Idol (1989) – $8 used
Rhett Forrester – Gone With The Wind (1984/2001 reissue) – $9 used

Sammy Hagar & Friends (2013) – $7.25
King Kobra – II (2013) – $7.25
Coney Hatch – Four (2013) – $7.25
Little River Band – Cuts Like A Diamond (2013) – $7.25
Nightwish – Oceanborn (1998) – $10 used
MSG – Nightmare: The Acoustic MSG (1992) – $10 used
Great White – s/t (1984) – $5.50 used vinyl
Great White – Out Of The Night E.P. (1983) – $5.50 used vinyl

Amazon

Kill Devil Hill – Revolution Rise (2013) – $12
Tyr – Valkyrja (2013) – $10
Benedictum – Obey (2013) – $15
KISS – Best of Vol. 3 (The Millenium Collection) (2006) – $7

Newbury Comics

MSG – Bridge The Gap (Ltd. Ed.) (2014) – $24
Scorpions – MTV Unplugged: Live In Athens (CD/DVD) (2014) – $12
Iced Earth – Plagues Of Babylon (Dlx. Ed.) (2014) – $16
Nashville Pussy – Up The Dosage (Ltd. Ed.) (2014) – $16
Michael Monroe – Horns & Halos (2013) – $14
Lita Ford – The Bitch Is Back…Live (2013) – $0
Dream Theater – s/t (2013) – $14
Phil Anselmo & The Illegals – Walk Through Exits Only (2013) – $10 used
Trouble – Distortion Field (2013) – $0 used
Circle II Circle – All That Remains E.P. (2005) – $4 used
Andersen/Laine/Readman – Three (2006) – $4 used
Sinner – There Will Be Execution (2003) – $0 used
Royal Hunt – A Life To Die For (2013) – $18
Helker – Somewhere In The Circle (2013) – $10 used
Firewind – Few Against Many (2012) – $0 used

I started off the year with a major bang by scoring a lot of older releases and many 2013 releases that I received digital promos for from the labels. One of my resolutions for 2014 was to acquire more older catalog releases…..albums that have been missing from my collection for a long time.

My first purchase was from PlanetHelix.com, the official website of Brian Vollmer and Helix. The had a holiday bundle that included the Metal On Ice album, the Helix holiday CD and a bonus 7 inch vinyl single of the new Helix holiday song for a cool $35. I bought the deluxe package with the Helix t-shirt and baseball cap for $75.

Ebay was awesome for great buys early this year! I scored original Capitol Records pressing of the three W.A.S.P. albums that are missing from my collection. I’ve always had the entire W.A.S.P. discography be it on cassette back in the ’80s, the original pressing CDs and then the reissues with bonus tracks in the late ’90s. I sold my original pressings of all the W.A.S.P. albums about ten years ago when my wife and I were strapped for cash when our second daughter was born, and I sold them for decent bucks, but I’ve regretted it ever since. It’s been an on again/off again search for these original pressings but I finally decided to acquire them all once I found a seller that had them all up at once. Same thing happened with the Sammy Hagar, King Kobra, Coney Hatch and Little River Band CDs, these were all one lot at a great price from a reputable seller. I had all the digital promos but I wanted the first three albums in my collection, would have passed on the Little River Band if it was alone but it was a great price for the 4 CD lot. The other CDs I grabbed of Ebay were ones I stumbled on when I was searching some of my favorite sellers but my favorites were the two Great White vinyls I won for $5.50 each…..both original pressing in near mint condition.

I had to kill an Amazon gift card that I received for a Xmas present so I picked up some 2013 releases: Kill Devil Hill, Tyr and Benedictum. All were cheaper than actually buying them from the record store and, to round out my gift card, I added the KISS – Millenium Collection 3 compilation for completist purposes.

I did actually go to the record store three times to start the year! I stopped by the North Attleboro, MA Newbury Comics to pick up the new Michael Schenker Group album and I dropped $24 on the limited edition digibook with the bonus track featuring Don Dokken on vocals. I know that’s a lot of money but Michael Schenker is one of those artists that I will spend the extra money on. Luckily, I caught the sale because regular price on that bad boy was $30! While I was in store I added the new Scorpions MTV Unplugged CD/DVD and the new Iced Earth to the MSG album, both were on sale and I saved $5 and $8 respectively. The Scorpions release was cheaper on sale than on Amazon and it’s the CD/DVD version, same with the new Iced Earth which was also a CD/DVD combo.

My second trip out to the stores was to catch a Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale on all CDs. I made it up to the the big Newbury Comics in Norwood, MA (nice vinyl section there!) and scored mostly 2013 releases that I never bothered to pick up. I’ve been a Nashville Pussy fan since their first record so I needed Up The Dosage and I saved $3 buying the deluxe edition (2 bonus tracks) for $16 on sale. I paired it with Michael Monroe’s latest (also on sale for $14, saving $3) to get the Lita Ford live album free (also on sale for $14, regular $17). I paired the latest Dream Theater (also on sale for $14 from $17) with a used copy of the Phil Anselmo CD ($10 used instead of $16 regular) to get the latest Trouble album free $10 used instead of $16 regular). My last bundle was a few older releases that were all $4 used: Circle II Circle + Andersen/Laine/Readman = Sinner for free.

On the way home from Norwood, I hit the North Attleboro store to buy the latest Royal Hunt – A Life To Die For for a high priced $18 regular price, paired with a used $10 copy of the latest Helker album to get Firewind’s Few Against Many free. I already bought the Firewind album once and I uploaded it into my iTunes but I realized that the used copy I bought mid-year in a record store was NOT the jewel case version I thought it was. Upon further review, it was a ripped in half digipak version stuffed into a jewel case and priced as used. Needless to say, that won’t do for my collection, no damaged CDs allowed! When I found this copy used for $8, it was a an easy buy with Royal Hunt and Helker.

Totals

Total (Jan) = $344

Total (year) = $344

Average Price (per item) = $10.12

Total CDs (year) = 31

Total LPs (year) = 3

 

 

CD Scavenger Hunt – April update

April was another big month of finds in the record store and online…..here’s what I got in April…..

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Sevendust – Black Out The Sun (2013) – $10
Kvelertak – Meir (2013) – $10

First trip of the month was a quick one to my usual record store just to pick up the latest Sevendust and Kvelertak CDs. Nothing really exciting or exotic about this purchase but I got two new albums for $10 each and saved $6 on each one compared to the regular price.

Michael Schenker Group – Temple Of Rock Live In Europe (2CD) (2013) – $13
Michael Schenker Group – Temple Of Rock Live In Europe (DVD) (2013) – $13
Queen – Hungarian Rhapsody (2CD/BluRay) (2013) – $26
Royal Hunt – 20th Anniversary Special Edition (3CD/DVD) (2013) – $14.30

The second trip of the month was for the Newbury Comics 35th Anniversary sale where everything was 35% off. This was where I was going to make some long overdue expensive purchases! I didn’t have a lot of time though so I went to my usual location close to the house and I picked up the latest Michael Schenker live album and DVD ($13 each, saved $7 each) the Queen – Hungarian Rhapsody (2CD/BluRay) ($26, saved $14) and the Royal Hunt 20th Anniversary (3CD/DVD) ($14.30, saved $7.70). I’ve had my eye on these for a while and I knew the sale was coming so I put all of them together on one shelf in the Music DVD/BluRay section and walked in, grabbed them, paid quick and went home.

Dio – Magica (picture disc) (2013) – $22
Skid Row – United World Rebellion Chapter 1 (2013) – $6
Kobra & The Lotus – s/t (2013) – $13
Ghost B.C. – Infestissumam (Deluxe Edition) (2013) – $12
Warbeast – Destroy (2013) – $12

Into Eternity – The Scattering Of Ashes (2006) – $4 used
Rainbow – Down To Earth (1979/1997 reissue) – $8 used
Iced Earth – Live In Ancient Kourion (2CD/DVD) – $17

RECORD STORE DAY!

I never miss Record Store Day and there was a line again this year at the Newbury Comics North Attleboro store. I’m not a big vinyl collector, just select Heavy Metal vinyl, so I only had my eye on one thing…..the Dio Magica picture disc. So, while everyone was going for these limited edition vinyl releases for RSD, I went over to the CDs and got what I needed. Saved $17 on all the new releases by getting them on sale plus I scored an Into Eternity CD I needed for $4 used and the 1999 remaster of Rainbow’s Down To Earth from 1979 (Graham Bonnet on vocals) for $8 used. I browsed around for a bit while the fury of the vinyl frenzy died down, then I walked over and plucked my Dio pic disc from the bin for $22. A little expensive but a limited edition numered copy.

Whitesnake – Made In Japan (2CD/DVD) (2013) – $15
Cauldron – Tomorrow’s Lost (2013) – $14
Tom Keifer – The Way Life Goes (2013) – $10
George Lynch – Legacy E.P. (2012) – $6

Last trip of the month to the record store to grab the new Whitesnake (2CD/DVD), Tom Keifer and Cauldron albums on sale, saving $13 total off the regular sticker price and adding in a George Lynch E.P. for $6 new. Quick, easy and home with new treasures.

Blue Murder – s/t (1989) – $5 used
Faster Pussycat – s/t (1987) – $5 used
Faster Pussycat – Whipped! (1992) – $5 used
HARD – Time Is Waiting For No One (2010) – $10 used

Signal – Loud & Clear (1989) – $10 used
Tygers Of Pan Tang – Ambush (2012) – $9 used

Ebay was a good place in April because I picked up some harder than usual to find CDs. I got the Blue Murder and both Faster Pussycats from the same seller so I saved on shipping as well as price! Everything mint and cheap…..goodbye to those old cassettes! The HARD album replaces a digital promo the label sent me back in 2010, a little pricey but there was $3 shipping added to the $7 winning bid. The same seller sold me the Signal album as well so the shipping was free on that because I bought the HARD disc. I’ve been trying to track down an original copy of Loud & Clear for years but there’s always a bidding war upping the price. There have been a few reissues along the way as well but this copy was original and mint condition so I didn’t mind paying the extra money for it. Last Ebay find was the last Tygers of Pan Tang album, Ambush, from 2012. $9 used instead of $20 import price? A great deal!

Cheap Trick – The Complete Epic Albums Collection Box Set (2012), Live At Budokan (30th Anniversary Box Set) (2008) – $100

I registered at Pop Market.com years ago and there are good deals from time to time. I’ve been eyeing the Cheap Trick box sets for a long time and I was actually watching both on separate auctions on Ebay but this offer of both together for $100 plus free shipping was a great deal. I pulled the trigger immeadiately.

Y&T – Earthshaker (1981), Mean Streak (1983), In Rock We Trust (1984), Down For The Count (1985) (all Japanese imports) – $75

My last deal was for four Japanese imports of Y&T albums that I didn’t have. I was watching these for $25 each (that’s $22 + $3 shipping each disc) on Ebay but I waited because there were no bidders and the listings were flooded with the same CDs. Once the auctions for all four ended, I privately contacted the seller and politely requested a non-Ebay private sale at a lower price. $75 plus free shipping was my offer and the seller took it. I saved $25 off the initial Ebay listings and I can live with that, especially for mint Japanese imports with all the inserts inside!

Total = $444.30

Total (year) = $822.80

Average Price (per item) = $11.75

Total CDs (year) = 61

Total DVDs & BluRays (year) = 3

Total LPs (year) = 1

Total Box Sets (year) =5

CD Scavenger Hunt – January 2013 update

The first month of the new year is off and running with some great shopping trips to the record stores and some great Ebay finds…..I grabbed a lot of 2012 releases I missed and I grabbed a few used bargains and hard to find albums along the way. I crossed a lot of my want list!

Newbury Comics & FYE

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Devin Townsend Project – Epicloud (2012 Deluxe Edition) – $2
Black Country Communion – Afterglow (2012) – $2
Graveyard – Lights Out (2012) – $8
Sepultura – A-Lex (2009) – $5 used
Lamb Of God – New American Gospel (2000) $6
Alice Cooper – Old School box set (2012) – $50
Iced Earth – Dark Genesis box set (2001) – $25 used
Kix – Live In Baltimore CD/DVD (2012) – $0
UFO – Live Throughout The Years box set (2011) – $20 used
Doro – Raise Your Fist (2012) – $14
AC/DC – Live At River Plate CD (2012) – $0

Well the month started out with one last gift card burning a hole in my pocket so I went to my local Newbury Comics store in North Attleboro, MA and immeadiately put that $25 card to the test. Easy pickings on this trip as I grabbed the new Devin Townsend Project and Black Country Communion albums. The DTP album, Epicloud, was a limited edition that came with a bonus CD and there was still a sale sticker on one copy for $15! Regular price for the other three copies of the limited edtion was $22 so I saved $7 straight away and another $13 when I split the gift card up. Same thing with Black Country Communion’s Afterglow, there were a few copies available but only one still had a sale sticker on it for $14. Regular price was $19 so I saved $5 right away then another $12 with the other half of the gift card.

My second trip to the same Newbury Comics was prefaced by a quick trip across the mall to the FYE store to burn a $3 off coupon. When I walked in, I noticed there was a Revolver Magazine display with a bunch of 2012 Metal releases on sale for really low prices, something about the magazine’s year end awards issue. I owned most of the CDs already, or I had a promo download from the label, but one release caught my eye…..Graveyard – Lights Out. I’ve had that Graveyard record on my list since it came out but I never got around to buying it and, when I did, it wasn’t at a sale price. Regular price at FYE was $12 but it was on sale for $7.99 so I saved $4. Unfortunately my coupon required a CD priced at $12.99 or above to get the $3 off so I found a copy of the latest Grave Digger album, Clash Of The Gods, on sale for $15. Regular price was $18, then add the $3 coupon, and I scored it for $12. I went up to the Newbury Comics to do a quick check around and there was nothing new that I wanted but I did find a used copy of Sepultura’s 2009 album A-Lex for $5, which officially replaces my simple promo copy from the label, and Lamb of God’s first album from 2000, New American Gospel, for $6 brand new and sealed. I’ve been trying to pick up all the Lamb of God records I’m missing and this was a steal because there was another copy at a regular price of $15, I saved $9 on a brand new CD!

Last trip to the record store took me to the Newbury Comics in Warwick, RI for a “Buy 2 get 1 Free” sale on all CDs new and used, I wanted a little variety so I was hoping that the Warwick store had a decent selection. My daughter and I were outside the store at 9:50 on a Saturday morning waiting for the doors to open so we could be first inside to snag any bargains. By 10:10, my daughter had her CDs ready but my list is longer and more specific and I was armed with $100 in spendable cash! By 10:20, I had gone through the Rock, Metal and boxed set sections and I came away with some great stuff. Box sets were included in the sale so I grabbed the CD version of the Alice Cooper box set Old School for $50, a $25 used copy of Iced Earth’s Dark Genesis box set and a used copy of the UFO – Live Throughout The Years box set. Old School was on my list of 2012 releases so I grabbed it immeadiately because of the sale tag (regular price was $75) and I have been searching for a used copy of Dark Genesis for years. I could have bought it on Ebay a number of times but they go upwards of $30 + shipping. I’d never seen the UFO box set before but it’s UFO and it was $20 used but still factory sealed. I already had the Doro and AC/DC albums in my hands (both on sale for $14 and both regular priced $18) so I decided to spluge and pick up the Kix – Live In Baltimore CD/DVD package for $22. I saved an extra $2 by pairing the Kix set with Alice and Iced Earth and I got AC/DC for free paired with UFO and Doro. I went a little over budget but the cash was basically money that could be spent wildly so the extra $9 was all that come out of my bank account.

Ebay

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Cutty Sark – Heroes (1985/1997 reissue) – $26
Bullet – Execution (1981/1997 reissue) – $6.25 used
MP – Bursting Out (Beast Becomes Human)/Get It Now (1986 & 1987/2006 reissue) – $6.25 used
Herazz – Yet To Come (1985/2006 reissue) – $6.25 used
Intrinsic – s/t (1987 & 1988/2008 reissue) – $6.25 used
Odin – Fight For Your Life (1988/2001 reissue) – $6.25 used
Steel Assassin – From The Vaults (1997/2003 reissue) – $6.25 used
Lizzy Borden – The Murderous Metal Road Show (1985) – $6 used
Lizzy Borden – Menace To Society (1986/2001 reissue) – $5 used
Lizzy Borden – Visual Lies (1987/2002 reissue) – $5 used

Nothing beats a good Ebay win and I scored more than a few this month. One of my goals is to complete my collection of High Vaultage reissues from the late 1990s/ early 2000s but it’s getting harder with the label out of business and the years going by. I found out about High Vaultage in 1997 from the Metal Dreams fanzine and I started collecting the releases I could find in the record shops but I missed out on most of them. I can get any of the releases on Ebay but it’s the prices that have kept me from buying all of them. There’s one seller in particular that I buy from all the time and they have pretty much the entire catalog for sale but at $23 each + shipping. That’s where I bought the Cutty Sark reissue from, I just couldn’t let it go by at that price when other copies were going for double.

In my quest for High Vaultage reissues, I found a seller basically dumping his/her collection. The saved search for Bullet’s Execution came up in a 6 CD lot from this seller including the MP, Herazz, Intrinsic, Odin and Steel Assassin reissues. I checked my usual seller of High Vaultage releases and he had this particular Bullet CD at the same $26 total so I figured if I could snag this CD lot for under $50 it would be worth it. The main concern was the Bullet album but the rest of the CDs were all ones I didn’t currently own and they were all names I didn’t know (except for Odin and Steel Assassin) so I could discover some new music along the way. The MP disc was interesting because it was a 2 on 1 CD and, although I would prefer to have each on a separate CD, it was another bonus to this really good lot. I topped out at a $50 bid and won at $37.50 (includes shipping) so I only paid $6.25 per CD. Moving to the three Lizzy Borden albums, I found that lot with the same seller so I put in a bid of $20 and won for $16 (includes shipping). Surprisingly, I really only have the later Lizzy albums so I really needed to get the early stuff in my collection.

Total = $211.50

Total (year) = $211.50

Average Price (per item) = $9.61

Total CDs (year) = 19

Total Box Sets (year) = 3

CD Scavenger Hunt – August, September, October, November & December update

It’s been a long time since I posted anything here at Heavy Metal Addiction…..a real long time! Sorry to all my loyal readers but I just haven’t had the time or the inspiration to write about anything Hard Rock or Heavy Metal but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been buying my fair share of music! Seeing that we are at the end of the year, I figured it was about time I posted something and why not be a full update of everything I’ve bought since August? Enjoy and please leave some comments…..

(WARNING — This is going to be a long post!)

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August update

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Rainbow – Difficult To Cure (1981/1999 remaster) – $8
Fozzy – Sin & Bones (2012) – $13
Loudness – Eye To Dawn (2012) – $13
In This Moment – Blood (2012) – $10
Jackyl – Best In Show (2012 Best Buy Deluxe Edition) – $10
MSG – The Michael Schenker Story Live (1997/2001 re-release) – $0
Loverboy – Rock N Roll Revival (2012) – $0
Baroness – Red Album (2007) – $0
House Of Lords – Sahara (1990) – $0
Marshall Law – Power Games (1992) – $0
Headcat – Walk The Walk…Talk The Talk (2011) – $0
Exciter – Unveiling The Wicked (1986) – $0
Enuff Z’nuff – Welcome To Blue Island (2003) – $0
Zyklon – Aeon (2003) – $0
Ozzy Osbourne – Black Rain (Tour Edition) (2007) – $0
707 – The Bridge (2004) – $0
707 – Anthology (2009) – $0
Starz – Brightest Starz (2000) – $0
Petra – Still Means War (2002) – $0
Rob Zombie – The Sinister Urge (2001) – $0
Sentenced – The Cold White Light (2002) – $0
Frameshift – An Absence Of Empathy (2005) – $0
KISS – Destroyer Resurrected (2012) – $13
Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run (1975) – $0
Helix – Breaking Loose (1979) – $26.50 used
Mass – Voices In The Night (1989) – $9 used
Tokyo Blade – Camp 334 E.P. (2012) – $3 (iTunes download)

Where to begin? Obviously August was a good month! One thing that happens evey August is that my birthday rolls around and I get a lot of gift cards to Newbury Comics, my favorite record store, so that will account for all the CDs with zeros for amounts. Let’s analyze these purchases…..

I bought the new albums by Fozzy, Loudness, In This Moment, and KISS on the day of release and on sale…..I had to have the new Destroyer Resurrected the moment the doors to Newbury Comics opened because my KISS collection isn’t complete without the latest new album! The Bruce Springsteen disc was a gift from my best friend’s son who loves Springsteen and is trying to turn me on to his music. I like myself some Bruce, mostly the stuff I hear on classic rock radio, but this is the album I would pick to start getting into The Boss if I were buying it myself. The Helix and Mass CDs were auctions I won on ebay from the same seller, both are original pressings and the Helix album is especially rare and it’s been on my radar for a long time. The last album listed is a digital only E.P. by NWOBHM legends Tokyo Blade that I got from iTunes. I have NEVER bought anything from iTunes because I believe in physical media but there are no plans to release this on any other format so I had to bite the bullet and spend the $3. On to the freebies…..

Birthday = gift cards. I decided to head up to a different Newbury Comics, this time Norwood, MA, to see if there were any bargains to be had. Now this is the BIG Newbury Comics so they have excellent selection when I make the 45 minute trip a few times a year and right off the bat I found a used copy of Baroness – Red Album (2007) for what would have been $10 ($14 for the regular priced one that was there. Among the other highlights from this shopping trip, the Michael Schenker Group live double disc rerelease that would have been $14, the new Loverboy album that would have been $13 on sale ($20 regular price!), and a tour edition copy of Ozzy’s Black Rain used that has all the bonus material for all the different versions of the original album for a mere $6 used price. Of course I padded the collection with used CDs that ranged in price from $2 to $8 but they were all free for me.

September update

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Lynyrd Skynyrd – Last of a Dyin’ Breed (2012 Deluxe Edition) – $10
Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance 30th Anniversary Edition (2012) – $14
The Darkness – Hot Cakes (2012) – $16
Cloudscape – New Era (2012) – $15
ZZ Top – La Futura (2012) – $0
Steve Harris – British Lion (2012) – $13
Bullet – Full Pull (2012) – $13
Dokken – Broken Bones (2012) – $0

As September hits we have back to school for the kids, house preperations for winter, the beginning of football season and fantasy football and starting to think of the holidays…..that means money is at a premium and CDs have to wait. I was able to pick up some new releases in my two trips to the record store in September and I caught a great sale at the end of the month – Buy 2 get 1 Free on all regular and sale priced CDs.

On my 1st trip of the month, I had to have the deluxe edition of the new Lynyrd Skynyrd CD to get the 4 bonus tracks and was lucky to grab the last sale priced copy they had for $10 which saved me $7. Take a listen to the Skynyrd records with Johnny Van Zant on vocals, they are all excellent and rival the classic 70s era of Skynyrd with his late brother Ronnie fronting the band. Of course the legend of Skynyrd back in the day overshadows everything newer but the quality is definitely there. The other major purchase was the 30th Anniversary Edition of the classic Screaming For Vengeance from Metal legends Judas Priest. I love all the bonuses on these special anniversary releases and it makes it worth it to re-buy the album, this time around the big deal was the included DVD of Priest’s performance at the US Festival in 1983 but the live tracks and the bonus studio track ‘Prisoner Of Your Eyes’ add to the value. You can’t beat $14 for a CD/DVD combo and I still saved $3 buying it on sale.

The 2nd trip of the month was towards the end but that’s where I caught the special sale and picked up a bunch of new releases I was waiting on. My strategy is to always group the CDs by price from high to low so when I get to the register I get some of the higher priced CDs free. I had been waiting on Hot Cakes from The Darkness and missed the sale price so I had to pay the full $16 regular price and the new Cloudscape was the same deal at $15 regular price but I put them together with the new ZZ Top to get that one free and saved $14 right off the bat! The $14 was the sale price for ZZ Top but regular price was $17 so I really saved $17 in the long run. My second grouping was the new Steve Harris solo album ($13 sale/$17 regular) + the new Bullet ($13 sale/$17 regular) with the new Dokken ($12 sale/$18 regular) for free and saved more money. You have to love those Frontiers Records albums that are $17+ regular price, I would have choked if I had to pay that much for the new Dokken! At least I got it on a double sale!

October update

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KISS – Monster (2012) – $12
KISS – Monster (2012) – $15 (Wal-Mart exclusive limted edition zine-pak)
Arch Enemy – Stigmata (1998) – $4 used
Allen-Lande – The Revenge (2007) – $8 used
Dream Evil – Evilized (2003) – $8 used
Rob Rock – Garden Of Chaos (2007) – $8 used
Motorhead – March Or Die (1992) – $4 used
Cloudscape – Crimson Skies (2006) – $4 used
Kotipelto – Serenity (2007) – $4 used
Dragonforce – The Power Within (2012) – $13
Motorhead – The World Is Ours Vol.2 (2 CD/DVD/Blu) (2012) – $18
Ten – Heresy And Creed (2012) – $12
Sister Sin – Now And Forever (2012) – $12
Night Ranger – 24 Strings & A Drummer (CD/DVD) (2012) – $10
The Sword – Apocryphon (2012 Deluxe Edition) – $12
Praying Mantis – Time Tells No Lies (1980/2011 remaster) – $13.50 (Ebay)

September was a slow CD buying month but October’s prospects improved and there were a few new releases that were must haves. Starting the month of right was the new KISS album…..Monster. I was out front banging on the door fo the record store so I could get this album as soon as the store opened, got it on sale for $12 and saved $4 off the regular price. Of course, KISS is my favorite band and they can’t do anything simple so I ran over to Wal-Mart right after to buy the limited edition zinepak exclusive to Wal-Mart.

My second CD hunt was at the Newbury Comics in Warwick, RI (about 20 mins from home) when the family and I were out for the day and they allowed me to go and search. Actually, they dropped me off and went to the Target down the road! Nothing is better when you walk into a record store and you start to find a lot of cheap CDs that you’ve been looking for…..obviously, I hit the store after someone dumped part of their collection because I’d never seen these CDs at this location before. Right away I found a copy of the latest Dragonforce record, The Power Within (2012), still on sale for $13 while the other two copies with it were regular price at $19. Then I started through the Metal section in alphabetical order and I found the Allen-Lande, Cloudscape and Dream Evil all used and immeadiately crossed them off my want list. I only had $60 in disposable CD income so I had to make wise purchases and I already had $33 worth of discs in my hand so I had to ignore some more higher priced used gems but I did make my way over to a sale table towards the front of the store. Score! Arch Enemy for $4 used, Motorhead for $4 used and Kotipelto for $4 used and Rob Rock for $8 used…..the Motorhead – March Or Die was a missing album in my collection and both the Kotipelto and Rob Rock CDs replaced very plain promotional CDs I received from the record label years earlier. I spent $53 on this trip so i was pretty psyched to come under budget just a little.

The last trip of the month also included an Ebay auction I actually won while I was in the record store! New releases everywhere during the last week of the month: the new Motorhead, Ten, Sister Sin, Night Ranger and The Sword were all high priority buys and the Ebay auction was the Praying Mantis reissue from Rock Candy Records. I saved $35 off the regular prices of the new releases by buying them on sale the day of release with the biggest savings coming from the Motorhead – The World Is Ours Vol.2 release at $12 off. I also saved $6 on the Ten CD and $8 on the Night Ranger (both imports from Frontiers Records), $3 on the new Sister Sin and another $6 on the limited edition of the new CD from The Sword.

November update

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Mob Rules – Cannibal Nation (2012) – $14
Aerosmith – Music From Another Dimension (Deluxe Edition) (2012) – $20
Kamelot – Silverthorn (Deluxe Edition) (2012) – $0
Geoff Tate – Kings & Thieves (2012) – $13
Twisted Sister – A Twisted Xmas Live In Las Vegas (2012) – $0
Butcher Babies – Butcher Babies E.P. (2012) – $5 (from Butcher Babies merchandise website)

Another slow month with the holidays looming…..I only made one trip to the record store but I made it count when they had a “Buy 2 get 1 Free” sale on all CDs. Of course they ring the CDs from highest to lowest so I paid for the limited edition version of the new Aerosmith record and the new One Direction limited edition new album (I have a daughter that loves that boy band!) for $20 each and I got the new Kamelot – Silverthorn limited edition for free. I forget what the regular price on the One Direction CD was but that wouldn’t count here but the regular on the Aerosmith was a crazy $29 and the new Kamelot was on sale for $18 but the regular price would have been $22. My second bundle at this sale was the new Mob Rules album for $14 and the new Geoff Tate solo album for $13, both on sale, and I got the new Twisted Sister live Xmas album from Las Vegas for free. The Twisted Sister CD was on sale for $12 with a regular price of $16 and both the Mob Rules and Geoff tate albums had a regular price of $18. The last purchase I made was the debut E.P. from the Butcher Babies for $5. I had been hearing a lot about the band on various podcasts and I finally decided to pick up the E.P. towards the end of the month.

December update

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King Kobra – Ready To Strike (1985) – $8
King Kobra – Thrill Of A Lifetime (1986) – $8
U.D.O. – Live In Sofia (2CD/DVD) (2012) – $14
Bloodbound – In The Name Of Metal (2012) – $14
Municipal Waste – Massive Aggressive (2009) – $10 used
Ring Of Fire – The Oracle (2001) – $10 used
Tankard – Beast Of Bourbon (2004) – $0 used
Avian – Ashes And Madness (2009) – $10 used
Overkill – Feel The Fire (1985) – $9 used
Doro – Classic Diamonds (2004) – $0 used
Iced Earth – The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked Pt.2) (2008) – $8 used
Municipal Waste – Hazardous Mutations (2005) – $8 used
Tristania – Midwinter Tears (CD/DVD) (2005) – $0 used
Grave Digger – 25 To Live (2CD) (2005) – $7 used
Grave Digger – Rheingold (2003) – $7 used
Gwar – Live From Mt. Fuji (2005) – $0 used
Scorpions – Taken By Force (1977) – $6 used
Overlorde – Return Of The Snow Giant (2004) – $6 used
Tristania – Ashes (2005) – $0 used
Straight Line Stitch – When Skies Wash Ashore (2008) – $6 used
Fates Warning – Inside Out (1994) – $4 used
Tristania – World Of Glass (2001) – $0 used

With the Christmas holiday looming, there was no extra money for CD shopping during December but that’s OK because the end of the year is always the slowest time for new releases. I knew there was a shopping spree coming at the end of the year because of all the gift cards I get to Newbury Comics for holiday gifts. This year was no exception, I netted $135 in gift cards so I held out as long as I could after Christmas (3 days!) and I was able to catch a year end used CD sale, Buy 2 Used CDs and Get 1 Free! The strategy for gift cards and a great sale was to get as much music as possible and to get some of those used CDs that I’d been passing over in my travels and, seeing that everything was basically free and nothing coming out of pocket, I spent a long time combing every rack in the Warwick, RI Newbury Comics. I put up all the prices above, including the sale freebies, so you could get an idea of what I would have spent.

I couldn’t pass on the King Kobra CDs because both were recent reissues in album style cardboard sleeves and brand new sealed at awesome cheap prices…..turns out they should have been $17.99 instead of $7.99 but that’s OK with me! I also couldn’t pass up the latest U.D.O. 2CD/DVD live release, Live In Sofia (2012), or the latest release from Bloodbound…..both were still on sale and they weren’t at my normal closer location. Both of these were $18 regular price so I saved $4 on each theoretically. So those are the new CDs, on to the used!

I put everything up by price because that’s how the store separates them and denotes the free ones. I like the fact that they give you a free CD closest to the price of the ones you buy so the Tankard CD should have been $10 used but it was free because the Municipal Waste and Ring Of Fire CDs were the same price. Obviously, I picked up a lot of back catalog from Municipal Waste, Grave Digger and Tristania with the biggest bargains being the two Municipal Waste and two Grave Digger CDs because you never see these albums used and, if you do, they are $12+ used because of the demand for Municipal Waste and Grave Digger is usually imports. Of the $0 CDs, the Tankard shuld have been $10, Tristania and Doro were $8 each, Gwar and another Tristania were $6 each and the last Tristania was $4 used. The final total on this hunt was $135 all paid with gift cards so I paid nothing out of pocket and I saved an additional $42 on the free used CDs!

Final 2012 Totals

Total (year) = $1804

Average Price (per item) = $7.71

Total CDs (year) = 227

Total DVDs (year) = 5

Total Blu-Rays (year) = 1

Total iTunes Downloads (year) = 1

Just a quick analysis…..

Compared to 2011, I bought 85 more items (227 this year and 142 last year) and I spent $659 more than I did the previous year. My DVD total is low because a lot of bands/labels are packaging DVDs or Blu-Rays with live CDs now and I count those as CD packages. Also, 2012 was the first time I bought a Blu-Ray and paid for an iTunes download. I’m not sure what 2013 will hold for CD hunting but I’m hoping that I find more gems, fill a lot of holes in my collection, acquire more and spend less.

Let the hunt continue!

The Top 25 Albums of 2011

I think I say the same things every year when I write the introduction to my Best of the Year list…..this year was one of the greatest years for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal! More and more new albums come out from a wide variety of bands and 2011 was no exception, this was the biggest year for Heavy Metal Addiction as far as promotional review copies go. Usually, I physically buy all my new albums but this year I partnered with more labels, more promotional people and more bands and I received more albums for review than any other year. Honestly, I couldn’t keep up and I came nowhere close to listening to all of them properly. Looking at the piles on my desk, the boxes next to it and the separate iTunes folder I reserve for promo downloads, it’s easy to estimate that I have more new 2011 albums submitted to Heavy Metal Addiction than in 2010! Add in all the new releases I bought on my weekly trips to the record stores, and my daily online searches, and it’s fair to estimate that the total number of new releases is on par with what I had for 2010. Unfortunately, I’ve let the website go a little in the last couple of years so, while I’ve been listening to almost everything, I just haven’t posted about it.

The only criteria I followed for my Top 25 was the same criteria I’ve used for the last few years: the album had to be a studio album (not a live record, best of, or covers collection) AND the album had to be released in 2011. Just like previous years, an album that was released in 2010 internationally, but was released in the U.S. in 2011, qualified as a 2011 album…..basically I went by the date on the back of the CD! There are plenty of albums that got late U.S. releases and there may be a few in this countdown. 

The ranking of the Top 25 is based solely on my enjoyment of the album and not some scientific formula. Bottom Line: I had to like it! There were so many releases this year that I could have continued with a Top 40 list but I got so far behind listening and writing so there are definitely albums I haven’t heard yet or didn’t give proper time to. We’re talking a couple hundred albums though so anything that got missed might end up in an expanded “Albums I Missed in 2011″ post during next year’s awards week. Just like last year, I will be splitting the Top 25 into three posts so it’s easier to read. Be sure to check out the links to the album reviews. So here it is, my Top 25 Albums of 2011:

25. Nelson – Lightning Strikes Twice (2011)
24. Michael Monroe – Sensory Overdrive (2011)
23. U.D.O. – Rev-Raptor (2011)
22. Riot – Immortal Soul (2011)
21. Tokyo Blade – Thousand Men Strong (2011)

Starting at the bottom of the countdown is the new Nelson album that surprised me with it’s huge melodic hooks and vocals, former Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe’s latest solo album that I bought late in the year but ended up enjoying a lot and the steadiness of U.D.O.’s Traditional Metal REV-RAPTOR. I still can’t figure out what a “rev-raptor” is aside from the machine on the cover but there you go. Two huge surprises were from Riot and Tokyo Blade! Riot scored #22 with a solid record from the THUNDERSTEEL-era lineup (a record I was looking forward to big time!) but the band had to endure the loss of Riot founder/guitarist Mark Reale…..at least he left a lasting legacy with this last album. The big surprise was NWOBHM legends Tokyo Blade, who came out of nowhere with THOUSAND MEN STRONG, one of the biggest comebacks of 2011! I’ve been a Tokyo Blade fan for a long time but I really didn’t expect much when I heard the band was releasing a new album but I was completely surprised and excited, sounds like old school NWOBHM with a modern touch.

20. Stratovarius – Elysium (2011)
19. Journey – Eclipse (2011)
18. Iced Earth – Dystopia (2011)
17. Royal Hunt – Show Me How To Live (2011)
16. Arch Enemy – Khaos Legions (2011)

I came late to the Stratovarius party even though I’ve acquired a few albums over the years, ELYSIUM was another epic Power Metal record. Journey’s ECLIPSE was a leader for the Top 5 this year but, as other bands released new records, and I kept comparing this album to 2008’s REVELATION, ECLIPSE fell a little. It’s still a solid AOR album Arnel Pineda still shines as the new Steve Perry but it wasn’t as good as REVELATION. Iced Earth made another vocalist change adding Stu Block from Into Eternity but they released one hell of an album with DYSTOPIA…..another late year purchase that might have gone higher with more time. Same for Royal Hunt but their reunion with D.C. Cooper is just what I needed to add their new Progressive/Power Metal album into the Top 25. I know a lot of fans of the more extreme side of Metal look at Arch Enemy as somewhat of a commercial band, especially with Angela Gossow front and center, but they are still kind of new to me. As I open myself up to more extreme bands, a band like Arch Enemy is a good starting point. I’m more of a Traditional/Power Metal fan and a AOR/Hard Rock fan but KHAOS LEGIONS sounded great to my ears and I had to rate it higher than some of my favorite bands (Iced Earth, Royal Hunt, Riot).

15. Anvil – Juggernaut Of Justice (2011)
14. Scheepers – Scheepers (2011)
13. Dream Theater – A Dramatic Turn Of Events (2011)
12. Chickenfoot – III (2011)
11. Sebastian Bach – Kicking & Screaming (2011)

Gotta give some love to Anvil because THIS IS THIRTEEN (2007) was a great comeback album (even though they never left!) even without the movie and they had four busy years to release a follow-up. JUGGERNAUT OF JUSTICE continued where THIS IS THIRTEEN left off and exceeded all my expectations…..great to see the band still getting success even with the movie hoopla dying out, hard work pays off! Ralf Scheepers didn’t stray too far from the more commercial side of Primal Fear’s last few albums but his first solo album was just as good as those. What can you say about Dream Theater? They always release one great record after another and, yes, Mike Portnoy is a huge loss on drums but Mike Mangini does a great job! Another big surprise in 2011 was the new Chickenfoot album, III, because I didn’t really feel the debut album. Not to say I didn’t like the first Chickenfoot record but the songs weren’t as catchy, as memorable. On III, the songs instantly stuck too me and the harmonies were awesome between Mike Anthony and Sammy, they can take the “supergroup” label off and just be a band now. Talk about a comeback! Sebastian Bach came back and kicked his former band in the teeth with this new solo album, KICKING & SCREAMING.  Baz sounds as great as he ever did and his band is blazing! I always get disappointed with Baz because I always think he should be doing more music than interviews, or reality shows, or VH-1 related things but he really came back strong with this record.

10. Warrant – Rockaholic (2011)
9. Saxon – Call To Arms (2011)
8. Night Ranger – Somewhere In California (2011)
7. Motorhead – The World Is Yours (2011)
6. Black Country Communion – 2 (2011)

Despite original singer Jani Lane passing away, Warrant recruited former Lynch Mob singer Robert Mason (who replaced Black ‘N Blue singer Jamie St. James) and released a wicked Hard Rock record with ROCKAHOLIC. The first two songs, ‘Sex Ain’t Love’ and ‘Innocence Gone’, are two of the best Hard Rock songs of the year! Saxon is one of my Top 5 favorite bands of all time and they released another great album with CALL TO ARMS. I was a little worried when I read they were stripping back their current sound for something more like the early ’80s because they have released a string of great Traditional/Power Metal albums since 1997’s UNLEASH THE BEAST…..the good news is that the old NWOBHM guard still maintained their excellent track record of the last 15 years! I’ve been a Night Ranger fan since the early ’80s and I thought they easily made the best Melodic Rock record of 2011 after one spin of the new album, once I heard this album, the  Journey and Nelson records started to pale in comparison. Like Saxon, Motorhead is a favorite band and a staple when it comes to my year end countdowns. You know what you’re going to get from Motorhead before they album is released but you know it’s going to rip your face off and punch you in the gut! Lemmy, Mikkey and Phil just keep making great album after great album every other year…..see you in 2013 Motorhead! Coming is at #6, and just missing the Top 5 by a hair, is the sophomore album by Black Country Communion (the other supergroup in the countdown). Just hearing Glenn Hughes sing ’70s styled Hard Rock is enough to catapult any band or album into year end lists but the songs are so good and the performances so perfect that I knew this was going to be a top album of 2011 after the first spin. Hard working band too, this album came out a year after the debut, they released a live record and DVD and have toured constantly…..that’s old school work ethic and it pays off.

5. Whitesnake – Forevermore (2011)
4. Mr. Big – What If… (2011)
3. Anthrax – Worship Music (2011)
2. Michael Schenker – Temple Of Rock (2011)

Making the Top 5 is no easy task when hundreds, if not thousands, of new albums get released each year but these four albums had the #1 spot on my countdown and really put me to task to pick the best album of 2011. Whitesnake started the year off with the album to beat, FOREVERMORE being a continuation of GOOD TO BE BAD but just a shade behind that awesome 2008 album. Maybe it’s because FOREVERMORE didn’t have 11 years of waiting and then hit you between the eyes but the new album did keep David Coverdale and the band at the top again. This year’s countdown has a lot of Hard Rock comebacks with Baz and Warrant turning in solid albums but Mr. Big really made the superior Hard Rock album of 2011 and then toured the album hard with more than just a few making the live set. I expected nothing from a new Mr. Big album but WHAT IF…. was a great album from a band reuniting and not just going out for the quick nostalgia buck. I’ll tell you what, they were definitely one of the best concerts I saw this past year too! Mr. Bog would have had the top album of 2011, and the best comeback of 2011, if Anthrax decided not to release WORSHIP MUSIC! Are you kidding me? WORSHIP MUSIC is an album that should be my top record of 2011 because it’s so good, so thrashy, so hard and so melodic all rolled into one. The band is tight as usual, no problems there, but the wild card in all of this was whether the band reuniting with Joey Belladonna would make a difference. No offense to the John Bush-era of Anthrax but Belladonna is just a better fit! Joey sounds as good as he ever has, the band sounds as brutal as ever and there isn’t a throwaway song on the album. A lot of year end countdown’s have Anthrax at the top of the list and, in a year of comebacks, they have the best one but the band got trumped by one of my favorite guitarists of all-time…..Michael Schenker! The #2 album of 2011, and a serious contender for the #1 spot right to the end, was Schenker’s new TEMPLE OF ROCK solo album. Is it the Michael Schenker Group? Is it him by himself, hence a solo album? TEMPLE OF ROCK follows the lead of 2006’s TALES OF ROCK ‘N ROLL where Michael and his regular backing band teamed up with another new vocalist for the half of the new album and then did a few songs each with a different singer from Michael’s career. This time around it’s new singer Michael Voss for 10 of the 12 new songs with Robin McAuley and Doogie White each singing one…..I kind of expected Gary Barden to fit in here somewhere considering he’s done Michael’s last two albums but he’s not here. Voss sounds great, the guitar is pure Schenker mastery and the songs are all well written with big memorable hooks and solos. Best song on the album is the McAuley led ‘Lover’s Sinfony’, which I got to see live when the band came through town, with a close second being ‘Miss Claustraphobia’ performed by Michael Voss. Michael Schenker had some rough years since the mid-’90s but the guy is such a talented musician, so prolific on guitar, that the music is a reflection of the man’s genius. Definitely a tough task to beat out anyone in the Top 5, especially Anthrax, but Schenker and company came out of nowhere and blew me away.

Up until the last minute, up until I had written this post this far, I finally made the decision to place the next album as the best album of 2011…..the top album of 2011 is…..

(drum roll please…..)

#1

Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare (2011)

This was a hard one to call with the Top 5 albums being so good and Anthrax and Michael Schenker being in a virtual three-way tie with Alice Cooper right up until the end. Actually, I didn’t make up my mind until I gave each album a spin one last time before I wrote this up. In the end…..Alice is the winner!

WELCOME 2 MY NIGHTMARE is not a sequel to the iconic WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE (1975) but a continuation of Alice’s nightmares…..that’s exactly how this album won. Alice and producer Bob Ezrin weren’t trying to best one of the greatest Rock albums of all-time, they were trying to continue the tale and putting a current spin on what Alice would be dreaming about 37 years later! Turns out Alice’s nightmares just get worse! Every song on the album is well written with the usual Alice Cooper trademark humor and horror mix, the production is perfect and the performances are flawless. There are more than a few guest stars, including the surviving members of the original Alice Cooper band and notable names like Vince Gill and Ke$ha, and they all move into the dreamworld effortlessly. I was especially impressed with the reunion of the original Alice Cooper band members because it just shows how much impact the original band had and how much creativity they still have because they are all great musicians. Now Alice Cooper is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and now Alice has a #1 album at Heavy Metal Addiction…..what could be better?

The Top 5 DVDs of 2011

2011 was a pretty good year for music DVDs and I made sure I picked up my fair share. Actually, this turned out to be one of my better years for DVDs, I bought straight up DVD release but I also picked up a few special CD/DVD releases that turned up in The Best Miscellaneous Releases of 2011. Bands and labels are continuing to raise the bar by putting a lot of content into these DVDs so that the fans get a lot of value for their hard earned dollar and most of them are very well done. I wanted to list pure DVDs here but I’m realizing that some of these special package releases technically qualify for this category because, well, they include a DVD! I think that I’ll have to revisit my criteria for 2012 and there may be some overlap between the best DVD list and the best miscellaneous list. Here is my list of  The Top 5 Music DVDs of 2011:

#1

Lemmy (49% Motherfucker. 51% Son of a Bitch) (2011): This documentary on Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister was released in early 2011 (even though the date says 2010!) and it was the clear winner upon first view! You’re not going to find a bigger icon of Heavy Metal than Lemmy and you’re not going to find another band that hasn’t compromised themselves or their sound over a 36 year career like Motorhead. Well, there’s also AC/DC! For those who don’t own this DVD, you may have caught the edited version on VH-1 Classic…..that just doesn’t cut it for me! The uncut documentary if two hours long but the bonus footage on the second DVD adds over three more hours! That’s over fiver hours of interviews, concert footage, current and archival footage, backstage action and basically Lemmy’s every day existence. It’s great to get a glimpse of a rock star’s life and watching this document of Lemmy’s lifestyle is eye-opening. It’s not all mansions, money and sex…..it’s hard work, hard drinking, candid conversation and a unique way of living. I could go on and on but those who love Metal know that Lemmy is just as much an icon, just as much a founding father of Heavy Metal, as Ozzy, Iommi, Dio, Halford and Blackmore are. Looking into his life and career in five hours probably doesn’t uncover the surface. One of my favorite parts of the DVD is in the beginning when you get a look at Lemmy (with his son) in his L.A. apartment…..talk about being a prime candidate for the TV show Hoarders! Easily this was the best DVD of 2011 and one of the best of the last few years, highly recommended.

#2

Deep Purple – Phoenix Rising (2011): Had there not been a five hour DVD on Lemmy, PHOENIX RISING would have been my top DVD of 2011. This DVD set is a special edition DVD/CD covering the Mark IV lineup of Deep Purple that included Jon Lord, Ian Paice, David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes and Tommy Bolin performing live in Japan in December 1975 and an documentary on the band titled ‘Gettin’ Tighter’. Also included is a bonus interview from December ’75 in Jakarta with Glenn Hughes & Jon Lord, an electronic press kit for the COME TASTE THE BAND record and two awesome booklets full of vintage pictures, articles and a great history. Add the audio CD that includes rare live tracks from the Mark IV lineup on tour in Japan and Long Beach, California and you’ve got a serious package for Purple fans. When you think of Deep Purple, you really don’t think past the classic lineup of Blackmore/Paice/Lord/Gillan/Glover (Mark II) or the Mark III lineup that included Coverdale and Hughes replacing Ian Gillan and Roger Glover…..there really isn’t much out there documenting the Mark IV lineup but this DVD package makes up for it. Deep Purple is one of the most consistent bands of all-time despite various (many!) lineup changes.

#3

AC/DC – Live At River Plate (2011): AC/DC is another band that just churns out consistently good material all the time, this time around it’s the excellent LIVE AT RIVER PLATE concert DVD. The DVD was shot in Buenos Aires, Argentina in December 2009 on the Black Ice World Tour and features the full 19 song setlist that was featured throughout the tour, including the concert I attended in Foxboro, MA on the U.S. run. Obviously this is like a tour souvenir for me but if you attended this tour then you know that the band was at their best and the show was excellent. It’s a big stage production that looks great on my 52″ HDTV and the 32 camera HD production makes it like you’re actually there. Aside from the concert is the bonus documentary and the show opening animation that started each concert. Of all the DVDs I bought this year, LIVE AT RIVER PLATE is the best pure concert DVD.

#4

Iced Earth – Festivals Of The Wicked (2011): It was really tough to put this new Iced Earth live DVD at #4 because I really thought it was a great tour document for 2007 & 2008 for FRAMING ARMAGEDDON (2007) and THE CRUCIBLE OF MAN (SOMETHING WICKED Part 2) (2008). I’ve been a fan of Iced Earth since the early ’90s  and this double DVD set packs in 5 hours of Iced Earth with three full concerts featuring both Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and Matt Barlow on lead vocals. Ripper performs on the Wacken Open Air Festival 2007 and Barlow at Rock Hard 2008 and Metal Camp Slovenia 2008, my favorite is the Wacken show because I’ve warmed up to the Ripper fronted Iced Earth more as the years have passed. Don’t get me wrong, the Matt Barlow eras of the band are the classic periods and sound but I love seeing Ripper perform. Add in the 60 minute documentary on the 2008 tour to start the first DVD with the bonus material videos and slideshows that end the second DVD and you’ve got a solid package. Up above, I stated that LIVE AT RIVER PLATE was the best pure concert DVD of 2011 but FESTIVALS OF THE WICKED comes close because of the three full shows. I probably should have made this a tie between AC/DC and Iced Earth but my attendance at the AC/DC show put them ahead of Iced Earth.

#5

Twisted Sister – Double Live: North Stage 1982 & New York Steel 2001 (2011): Twisted Sister is one of those bands that, as the years go by, I come to appreciate more and more. I’ve bought a few of the reissues, bought the Xmas record and DVD and I even saw the band live a few years ago but there really isn’t much future for live shows or a studio album. The one thing Twisted Sister does well is release DVDs of archival concert footage and this time around one of the most important concerts in the band’s career is featured – New York Steel 2001 – a concert for the New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund, a fund set up for the families of rescue personnel involved in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. That concert is the main reason to buy this DVD, not only is it a benefit show for a serious cause but it documents the band’s reunion after a 13 year breakup. For me, the North Stage show from the band’s 1982 club days is a bonus compared to the importance of the NY Steel 2001 concert but it’s also a great live document of the band just before they started recording their bebut album UNDER THE BLADE. Add in the fresh interviews from the band commenting on both shows and you have a solid DVD.

CD Scavenger Hunt (October update)

I always have a handwritten list of new releases on my desk that gets added to on a daily basis so I can get my shopping list ready for the record stores. Unfortunately, I didn’t see many new releases coming in the beginning of October so I didn’t plan on making many trips to CD hunt. October is another usually slow month for me for buying CDs because of the impending and dreaded filling of the oil tank and my two daughters’ birthday celebrations taking up a good chunk of disposable income! Like I said though, I didn’t have much on my list and I make sure I check every bit of news for release dates of albums I will need. I’m always up for a bargain or two and I found a few decent used CDs mixed in with some new releases…..

Newbury Comics

Sabu – Between The Light (1998) – $4 used: First trip of the month wasn’t for me, it was for my oldest daughter who needed some new Skullcandy earbuds for her iPod Touch. While she looked around, I hit the markdown bin and this CD by Paul Sabu is the first one I found. You may remember Paul Sabu because he’s a huge producer/composer/songwriter in the AOR/Melodic Rock arena and has worked with bands like Alice Cooper, Heart, David Bowie, Shania Twan, Little Caesar, Malice and a ton more but he also managed to carve out a nine album solo career since 1984. BETWEEN THE LIGHT happens to be album #6 in Sabu’s solo career and I’ve never seen a copy in a record store before. On Ebay I’ve seen this album go anywhere between $5 and $15 at auction but it’s nothing I would go out of my way to bid on. For $4 used I grabbed it! Nice and cheap and in perfect condition…..assuming the regular price to be what a normal CD would go for ($15), I saved $11.

Saigon Kick – Devil In The Details (1995) – $3 used: If you were alive and kicking in 1992 then you who Saigon Kick is because Rock stations couldn’t get enough of their hit ballad ‘Love Is On The Way’ from THE LIZARD (1992). Never heard another song though, right? Exactly! Another casualty of the hair band and power ballad craze. The thing is that Saigon Kick had a debut record in 1991, a bunch of good Rock songs and four more studio releases to round out the ’90s…..but all they’re remembered for is the one hit ballad. I seem to always stumble upon a Saigon Kick album in a used bin but it’s usually either THE LIZARD or WATER (1993), when I saw this CD for $3 used I grabbed it right away because I knew I didn’t own it and it was a great bargain. Assuming a regular price of $15, I saved $12, but the interesting thing is that it seems I have the import version and not the U.S. release on CMC International. The label here is Seagull Int’l/Pony Canyon and the band cover shot is different artwork than the U.S. pressing. I know Pony Canyon is a Japanese label but this isn’t a Japanese import…..a great bargain and an alternate version that includes two bonus tracks.

Valient Thorr – Legend Of The World (2006) – $4 used: A band I’ve read about in various Rock magazines (specifically Classic Rock) over the last few years so I instantly recognized that at least this was a Metal CD. Outside of that, I know nothing about Valient Thorr. Buying a CD from a band you don’t know anything about can be very tricky and it’s an art that most record stores rats like myself perfected in the ’80s by using cool album artwork as a guide…..that doesn’t apply here either! You can’t beat the bargain so spending only $4 on a used CD by a band you don’t know anything about is low risk. Assuming regular price would be the normal $15, I saved $11 with another bargain bin find. After I got home with this disc, I checked some of my sampler bonus CDs I’ve gotten in issues of Classic Rock and there are two or three Valient Thorr tracks on them to also check out!

Mercyful Fate – Melissa (1983) – $9 used: Hard to believe that MELISSA is one of those albums that is missing from my collection but the debut from Mercyful Fate has eluded me for a few years now. You can get it on Ebay at anytime but I haven’t bothered because the price always seems too much, I’ve been keeping an eye on the used bins, and the regular priced sections, to see if this one shows up at a decent price. I have most of the Fate catalog with the exception of maybe a couple releases but I never could get MELISSA. This version is the 1997 reissue on Roadrunner which you would think you could find everywhere because it used to be everywhere, the only versions I see are these 2 on 1 CD collection from Roadrunner and I don’t like those, I prefer each individual disc. I found this CD in the regular Rock section rather than the Metal section and, if you compare it to the $16 regular price for one of those 2 on 1 discs, I saved $7 with this find.

Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi & Friends – Who Cares (2011) – $8: It’s very rare that I buy a CD single, and paying $8 for one is even rarer, but I needed this one because it marks the first recorded collaboration between Black Sabbath founder/guitarist Tony Iommi and former Sabbath/current Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan. If you’ve read this blog a while then you know I’m a huge Sabbath fan, especially post-Ozzy, so when I heard that Iommi and Gillan were working together on a project that was for charity, I had to hear what the old BORN AGAIN lineup was up to. The “friends” on this album are Jason Newsted (bass), Nicko McBrain (drums), Linde Lindstrom (guitars), and Jon Lord (keyboards) and the only play on ‘Who Cares’, the second song, ‘Holy Water’, has other musicians. This is a two song single but it’s an enhanced CD that includes the video for the title track and a 27 minute documentary on the making of Who Cares.

Charred Walls Of The Damned – Cold Winds On Timeless Days – $10: I never really gave the debut by Charred Walls Of The Damned enough time when it came out but it was a great record and I’m hoping for the same on COLD WINDS ON TIMELESS DAYS. Richard Christy’s project has Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens back again on vocals and Steve DiGiorgio on bass so it’s kind of like an Iced Earth alum band in a way…..say what you want about Ripper Owens singing on everyone’s albums (Yngwie Malmsteen, Iced Earth, and a bunch of guest spots), the guy is a great singer and not the Rob Halford clone everyone thinks he is. Charred Walls Of The Damned got instant credibilty with Owens and DiGiorgio on board but the quality of songs on the debut made this more than a bunch of names. Buying this new record means I will revisit the debut first and give both records extra playing time. Regular price is $14 but I got this on sale the day of release for $10 so I saved $4.

Halford – Live At Saitama Super Arena DVD (2011) – $7: I had no idea this was even coming out but when I saw a new Halford DVD on the Newbury Comics mailing list I immeadiately went to the Halford website to see what this release was about. A 15 song live set in Japan on the last tour in October 2010 promoting MADE OF METAL (2010) that adds two bonus videos…..there isn’t really anything else to this release which is why the price was so low. Checking out the Halford website, it seems the live CD will be released November 21 & 22 worldwide. I’m glad that Rob Halford is releasing this on DVD and CD (Blu-ray is out now too!) but I’m a little disappointed that this wasn’t released as a CD/DVD package. Granted, $7 for a concert DVD is awesome, even the $12 regular price was great, but having the audio CD and the DVD together in a nice package for a $15 sale price/$20 regular would be more my thing. Not complaining at saving $5 off the regular price for this DVD, I just wish I didn’t have to wait on the CD.

Iced Earth – Dystopia (2011) – $10: When I heard that Iced Earth had a new record coming out I was psyched because the last two albums have been really good. I’ve been a long time Iced Earth fan, since the mid-90s, and I recently went back and listened to all the older albums with Matt Barlow on vocals…..excellent stuff! The problem with Iced Earth over the last 9 years has been the constant changes in the lead vocal slot. New vocalist, and Into Eternity frontman, Stu Block is the band’s fifth lead singer in the band’s 20 year career but the real upheaval is that critically acclaimed, and fan favorite, singer Matt Barlow has left the band for a second time! For me, a new Iced Earth record is a must have no matter who’s on the mic and I made it to the store the day of release to get the limited edition digipak that includes 3 bonus tracks, a fold-out poster and a sticker. There was no regular version available that I could find but the sale price was only $10, saving me $7 off the $17 regular price.

Running Wild – The Final Jolly Roger (Live At W.O.A. 2009) (2011) – $12: Rock ‘n’ Ralf announced the end of Running Wild a couple of years ago and the band’s last performance at Wacken Open Air 2009 was recorded for the live CD and DVD. Of course, Ralf has decided to bring Running Wild back for a new album in 2012…..the originators of Pirate Metal are back again! THE FINAL JOLLY ROGER comes in 3 formats: the double live disc (this is the one I have!), the DVD, and the limited edition 2 CD/DVD set with both together. Of course, there was only one copy of the live album in the store and I had the staff look up the availability of the DVD and the 3 disc edition…..nothing. I figured that I was going to miss out on the live album if I didn’t grab it right away so I snagged it for the $12 sale price, saving $8 off the $20 regular price. Now the search is on for the DVD…..I wish that these collections were only released in the one all encompassing format. I would have easily paid $20-$25 for the 3 disc set.

Jag Panzer – The Scourge Of Light (2011) – $12: Here’s an album that I didn’t buy over the spring when it came out and the sale price came and went pretty quickly. Taking a look at my collection, I’ve picked up most Jag Panzer releases since the band came back in the late ’90s but I haven’t picked up the last two studio albums MECHANIZED WARFARE (2001) and CASTING THE STONES (2004). I think that’s one of the reasons why I passed on this CD initially…..I just haven’t bothered to keep up with the band and their presence over the last decade has been spotty. I was picking through the Metal section and I noticed that the store had 4 copies of THE SCOURGE OF LIGHT but there was only one with a sale tag on it! Regular price on the other 3 copies was $16 so I immeadiately grabbed this disc to save the $4 but the most important aspect is that this new album as ignited a new spark for Jag Panzer and I’ve been revisiting the other albums I own and I’m on the search for the missing ones.

Lillian Axe – Psychoschizophrenia (1993) – $6 used: I’ve had a lot of luck lately in the bargain bins so I went over and gave them another thorough check. I’ve pretty much grabbed all the quality Hard Rock & Metal over the last couple of months but there’s always that person that sells back CDs for store credit and enhances my collection at the same time! As soon as I saw PSYCHSCHIZOPHRENIA, I grabbed it because I knew that I needed two Lillian Axe records in the middle of their discography to complete my collection but I couldn’t remember which ones. I decided to tke the $6 risk and buy it knowing I had a 1 in 3 chance of filling another hole in my collection. When I got home, it turned out that the two records I needed were 1992’s POETIC JUSTICE and this one. My research shows that this CD goes for around $15 on Ebay so I saved $9 by bargain bin diving!

Total = $85

Total (year) = $887

Average Price (per item) = $8.61

Total Savings (month) = $78

Total Savings (year) = $813

Total CDs (year) = 96

Total DVDs (year) = 6

Total Box Sets (year) = 0

Total LPs (year) = 1

CD Scavenger Hunt (July update)

After a solid month of purchases in June to end the first half of the year, it’s time to set sights on the second half of 2011. Will the money be there to spend? Will the CDs be there to buy? What treasures will be found? The answers start now…..

Newbury Comics

Metalium – Hero Nation: Chapter III (2002) – $6 used: I started off the month of July with a very easy purchase…..a used copy of Metalium’s third album HERO NATION for $6. You may be asking why this album has so much significance, and there really isn’t any, the price was right and I have been watching this CD sit in the Used Metal section for at least six months! Over the last six months I think I’ve checked my collection at least a dozen times to see if I already own this CD but I would forget everytime I’d be in the record shop. Finally, I wrote it down on the growing Want List but I never got around to buying it until now. I never like to miss a bargain and my online research tells me that this CD still gets at least $15 regular price so I decided to make the purchase and saved myself around $9. This puts the Metalium collection a little closer to being completed, now I just need Chapters IV, V, VI, VII and VIII! Bonus enhanced CD included on this also so it was a great find.

Deep Purple – Phoenix Rising (Special Edition DVD/CD) (2011) – $14: I love Deep Purple, all lineups, all albums…..they are one of the founding fathers of Heavy metal as we know it and the credit is well deserved. I saw an add for this DVD in Classic Rock Magazine so I checked it out when it received a U.S. release. The special edition DVD is based on the Mark III and Mark IV Purple lineups that include David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes and Tommy Bolin along with founding members Ian Paice and Jon Lord and it’s a great snapshot in time of a Deep Purple era that so many have for gotten about. There is a DVD with a Japanese concert from 1975 and a documentary, the CD version of all the live tracks and two special booklets. Add in a bonus interview with Lord & Hughes and the COME TASTE THE BAND press kit and you get a little more for the money. The difference between the standard DVD and the special edition was $4 so I went for the extras as I always do. Regular price for the special edition was $20 so I saved $6.

So on one shopping trip, I made it over to the Newbury Comics location in Warwick, RI…..this was my usual store until a location opened near my house a few years ago. If it wasn’t for the 20 minute drive (I know, 20 mins is nothing but it is to a true Rhode Islander!), I’d be down there all the time because it’s a bigger store and they get some great used bargains. I went diving in the used bins, especially the real cheap CDs, and here’s what I pulled out…..

Project X – Blueprint For Xcess (1996) – $2 used: I knew nothing about Project X but I noticed that the album was released in 1996 on Escape Music, distrubuted by MTM Music…..that’s a Hard Rock/Melodic Rock label! Closer inspection at the back tray card revealed the name Don Wolf who used to be the lead singer for White Wolf and was Don Wilk back then. I remember White Wolf from back in the early ’80s, I tried to win a cassette copy of STANDING ALONE (1984) from an ad in Hit Parader magazine. Never won that tape but I did get to dub a copy of the record from a friend of mine…..remember dual cassette decks? So with the Escape Music link and the White Wolf pedigree, I picked this up used for a cool $2. How can you go wrong with $2 for a used disc? I did some research on my phone when I got to the car and it seems that you can get this CD online anywhere from $7 to $20 depending on where you shop. Assuming we go by a regular price of $12, I saved about $10.

Brother Cane – Seeds (1995) – $3 used: This is where the Collectorz software I use came in handy! As the long time readers know, I’ve had the Collectorz Music Collector software software for awhile and I’m slowly putting my collection in the database…..I also have the Android app that lets me put what I have on my main computer on my cell phone. Well, I’m not too far along (in the D’s) but I was able to double check to see if I owned this Brother Cane disc. Lead singer/guitarist Damon Johnson is in Alice Cooper’s band and he’s played with Sammy Hagar, John Waite and Jack Blades. I remembered Brother Cane from their first record and ‘Got No Shame’ so I decided to grab this used for $3. The funny thing about it is that there were three other used copies in the same spot priced at $5, $7 and $10! I’m the lucky one I guess! Considering a regular price around $12 for an older album from the early ’90s, I saved $9.

Twisted Forever (A Tribute To The Legendary Twisted Sister) (2001) – $4 used: Tribute albums, cover albums, cover songs…..I could generally do without them but it seems that I own a ton of them! Chalk that up to getting them cheap in used bins over the years! Of course, there are a few essential ones I need because the tributized band adds a song or two in there. This time around, it’s this Twisted Sister tribute that I wouldn’t have bought if it wasn’t for the low price and the fact my oldest daughter’s favorite Hard Rock band is Twisted Sister. There’s some good bands on here paying tribute (doing covers!): Motorhead, Anthrax, Overkill, Hammerfall, Sebastian Bach…..and some questionable ones like Chuck D. from Public Enemy and Lit. Of course, Twisted Sister is on there last with their cover of AC/DC’s ‘Sin City’ which is nothing I hadn’t heard before but it’s a nice package overall. Last copy I saw in a record store was going for about $10 brand new so I saved $6 since spotting it last and I made my daughter ultra-happy!

Jimmy Page – Outrider (1988) – $4 used: OUTRIDER is an album I’ve had on my list for a while, seen it hundreds of times new for $12- $15, but never pulled the trigger because it’s not the best record in the world. I remember a lot of my Rock friends getting psyched for this album back in the day because it was Jimmy Page, guitar god from Led Zeppelin, with Jason Bonham drumming on six out of nine tracks! This fuelled the Led Zep reunion rumors and my group was heavy into it. I’ve never been an overly huge Zeppelin fan even though I like them but I was more interested into where Page was going to go from after The Firm broke up (an underrated band by far!). I remember having a taped copy from a friend (there’s that dual cassette deck again!) and listening to the lead single ‘Wasting My Time’ but that’s about it. I wasn’t going to pass this up at $4 and I assume I saved around $10 by passing on all those new copies over the years!

Ian Parry – Visions (2006) – $4 used: You might remember Ian Parry as the lead singer for Elegy or The Consortium Project, at least that’s how I know Ian Parry! Obviously name recognition went into this purchase as well as the label was Escape Music. Taking a look at my collection it seems I have most of the Elegy albums so I figured that spending a whole $4 on an Ian Parry solo album wouldn’t be much of a stretch musically. To be honest, outside of his name and his work with Elegy, I really don’t know much else about Ian so I’m taking a chance in a way. I don’t own any Consortium Project CDs which is actually odd because I see them used everywhere. The cool thing is that I found another copy of this in the Metal used bin for $8 so I saved $4 off a used price and my research online shows that this album still lists for $15 in most places…..overall I saved about $11.

Carmine Appice Project – Ultimate Guitar Zeus (2006) – $5 used: All right, the only reason I picked this up was because I know Carmine Appice and I heard an interview with him on the Talking Metal podcast. From what I know, GUITAR ZEUS and GUITAR ZEUS II were released in 1995 and 1997  respectively and released to fan club members only. The songs include originals and a few covers that Carmine, bass god Tony Franklin and singer Kelly Keeling teamed up to record along with some of the biggest names on guitar like Zakk Wylde, Ted Nugent, Slash, Brian May and Neal Schon. ULTIMATE GUITAR ZEUS is a compilation of songs from volumes 1 and 2…..of course, when I heard the Talking Metal podcast, Carmine was promoting GUITAR ZEUS: CONQUERING HEROES (2009) which I believe is a double disc that is both volumes in a nice package.  Considering that this CD, the first two original albums, and all the Japanese pressings are out of print and go for various prices on Ebay, all I have to go buy is the newest installment that retails at $15 via Carmine’s website. I’ll assume I saved $10.

Enough used bin diving…..back to the new releases! More trips to the local store near my house for the new albums on Tuesdays…..

Rhapsody Of Fire – From Chaos To Eternity (2011) – $10: Rhapsody Of Fire, formerly just Rhapsody, seems to release album after album, and E.P. after E.P., and I always pick them up! Didn’t I just buy a new CD from Rhapsody Of Fire recently? The problem with  Rhapsody Of Fire is their distribution to North America is later than Europe and Japan so something released everywhere last year might only see a release in the States this year…..at least FROM CHAOS TO ETERNITY is brand new and released worldwide on Nuclear Blast. What’s crazy now is that I just read today that the band is splitting in two and keyboardist Alex Staropoli and lead guitarist Luca Turilli will be parting ways in a friendly manner. Staropoli retains the Rhapsody Of Fire name and all previous rights and Turilli retains the name “Rhapsody” and will have a new band under that name. Confused yet? At least I bought their last offering on sale, regular price was $16, so I saved $6.

TYR – The Lay Of Thrym (2011) – $12: THE LAY OF THRYM came out months ago but I’ve kept this album on the want list because of the insane amount of copies at every record store I’ve been to. Is TYR that popular? I seem to acquire all the TYR albums and I like their Viking Metal sound but I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it, even when it was on sale, knowing that eventually the record stores is going to discount the price further to get rid of overstock…..I was wrong. I went into the store for the new Rhapsody Of Fire and Iced Earth releases and I noticed that all the copies of this album were off sale and at a $16 regular price. Further investigation found a copy of this disc in the Misc T. section still on sale for $12 so I grabbed it right away. When I got to the register the CD rang up at the $16 regular price, of course they price adjusted it so I ended up saving $4 with the sale price.

Iced Earth – Festivals Of The Wicked DVD (2011) – $16: I’ve been an Iced Earth fan since 1997 when I picked up THE DARK SAGA (1996) and the DAYS OF PURGATORY (1997) double disc compilation so I was looking forward to getting this DVD of the latest Iced Earth lineups at some of the biggest European Metal festivals from 2007 and 2008. two DVDs, three concerts, an hour long documentary and some bonus material totalling over foive hours of footage, that’s a bargain for $16 the day of release! Regular price was $24 so I saved $8. Here is where I complain a little…..there’s an audio CD of FESTIVALS OF THE WICKED that was released the same day and I planned on buying that too. The sale price was $13 for the CD so I figured I was going to get a 3 CD set of the concerts kind of like I did when I bought the ALIVE IN ATHENS live set back in 1999. So I grab the CD immeadiately but I never checked it until I got to the register…..the CD version is a compilation of songs from all three concerts and only 12 songs! Absolutely disappointed and I never bought it. I’m not sure who thought of this at Century Media but you’ve got to be kidding! With other bands releasing DVDs with bonus CDs of the music, and vice versa, all the time you would think that Century Media could have easily released a 3 disc audio set of the DVD. I would have put that on my Ipod and enjoyed that like crazy! Somebody dropped the ball at the label!

Twisted Sister – Double Live: North Stage ’82 & New York Steel ’01 DVD (2011) – $18: Here’s another Twisted Sister release that had my oldest daughter going crazy! Nothing beats a good DVD and you can’t miss with Twisted Sister finally releasing both of these concerts on DVD, especially New York Steel 2001 because it was a benefit for the New York Police & Fire Widows & Children Benefit 11 weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I read about New York Steel back in 2001 and it was not only a great cause for the band to unite for but it was also the rebirth of the band as a touring and recording entity. The North Stage show from 1982 is there last club performance before the band flew to engalnd to record their ’82 debut album UNDER THE BLADE. A little vintage footage, some recent footage (although 10 years old!) and you’ve got two solid concerts. Add in the bonus interviews with the band talking about each show and it’s a nice package. There was no audio companion release but I would have bought one had it been listed for release. Regular price was $25, I paid $18, so I saved $7.

George Lynch – Kill All Control (2011) – $12: I grew up a Dokken fan so I ended up as a Lynch Mob fan back in the day too. George has such a cool guitar style and I’ve been listening to WICKED SENSATION (1990) a lot lately so I kept this release on my list. The only problem with buying this is that I didn’t get into some of his last few albums I bought like SYZYGY (1998), SMOKE THIS (1999) and the Lynch/Pilson album WICKED UNDERGROUND (2003) and I didn’t want to get burned. You’ve got some guest stars here as this isn’t Lynch Mob but George solo: London LeGrand (Brides Of Destruction) is singing and touring with George right now, Marq Torien from the Bullet Boys, Fred Coury from Cinderella is on there and a few more. I read a few good reviews online so I decided to take a chance. The record store had only one copy so I grabbed it figuring I wouldn’t see it again on sale…..regular price $15, saved $3.

Total = $110

Total (year) = $669

Average Price (per item) = $10.29

Total Savings (month) = $99

Total Savings (year) = $435

Total CDs (year) = 59

Total DVDs (year) = 5

Total Box Sets (year) = 0

Total LPs (year) = 1

CD Scavenger Hunt – update 5/30/10

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

CD Scavenger Hunt – 4/25/09

I had a few coupons that came out this past Tuesday for the new Lacuna Coil and Seventh Void CDs so I had to burn them by Saturday. Unfortunately my schedule with work and the family stopped me from hitting the record store on Tuesday so I hit it Saturday.

lacuna-coil-shallow-lifeLacuna Coil – Shallow Life (2009) – $9.99 (with coupon): Like I said, I had a coupon to burn by the end of the week so I saved myself $3 off the sale price and $7 off what would have been the regular price. I got into Lacuna Coil back in 1998 with their self-titled E.P., I had read something online comparing them to The Gathering and I was big into The Gathering at the time! Turns out I jumped on the bandwagon at the beginning before everyone else did with COMALIES in 2002!

seventh-void-heaven-is-gone-2009Seventh Void – Heaven Is Gone (2009) – $8.99 (with coupon): Another coupon to use and I saved $3 off the sale price and $6 off what would have been the regular price. I never really got into Type O Negative so the fact that Seventh Void has Type O guitarist Kenny Hickey and drummer Johnny Kelly in the ranks did nothing for me. I read more than a few good reviews online and I sampled some of the music off the Seventh Void MySpace page and I decided to take a chance.

sirenia-the-13th-floorSirenia – The 13th Floor (2009) – $9.99: I picked up this album based solely on someone’s recommendation of Sirenia’s previous album, NINE DESTINIES AND A DOWNFALL (2007). I remember being in the record store back when NINE DESTINIES came out and the Metal Guy working the store said it was a solid record. Everytime I would find a Sirenia CD, I would pass on it for something else but I would always remember the Metal Guy’s recommendation. I decided that THE 13TH FLOOR would be my first listen to Sirenia’s music and the $9.99 sale price helped in the decision.

edguy-the-singles-2009Edguy – The Singles (2009) – $9.99: This was a last minute addition to my shopping spree because I was debating the new Ian Gillan album…..I’m a big Deep Purple fan! I was looking at the new Ian Gillan and I noticed that this Edguy CD was still on display with it’s sale price. THE SINGLES is a compilation of all the songs Edguy released on E.P.s and CD singles (except for ‘Reach Out’) and it was released at the same time as the 2008 European release of TINNITUS SANCTUS but it came out February 10 here in the U.S. I couldn’t leave this CD just hanging there with a shiny sale sticker so I grabbed it and put Mr. Gillan back down.

The hunting didn’t end at the record store…..I had a couple of things going on Ebay also…..

burn-global-warningBurn – Global Warning (2007) – $12: I read a lot of good reviews about this album and it’s been on my list for a couple of years but I’ve never been able to track it down. I found out that this U.K. band only had a record deal in Japan so the import prices for the CD have been around $30 plus shipping. I found this CD for $7 plus $5 shipping and insurance from a seller in China so I rolled the dice and put in a bid. Normally I have no problem buying anything from international sellers with top notch ratings but I am a little skeptical about the price and the location…..we’ll see what happens.

night_of_the_stormrider_coverIced Earth – Night Of The Stormrider (1992) – $13.50: This Iced Earth CD has eluded me for a long time in it’s original form. I could get the remastered version from 2002 but I wanted an original pressing to go along with the rest of my Iced Earth collection. This was a WANTED feature back in August. I was able to pick this CD up from a U.S. seller that I have dealt with before, turns out that most of the auctions for an original U.S. pressing go for $15 – $25 incl. shipping.

Iced Earth – The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked Pt.2) (2008)

Iced Earth – The Crucible Of man (Something Wicked Pt.2) (2008, SPV)

  1. In Sacred Flames
  2. Behold The Wicked Child
  3. Minions Of The Watch
  4. The Revealing
  5. A Gift Or A Curse
  6. Crown Of The Fallen
  7. The Dimension Gauntlet
  8. I Walk Alone
  9. Harbinger Of Fate
  10. Crucify The King
  11. Sacrificial Kingdoms
  12. Something Wicked (Part 3)
  13. Divide And Devour
  14. Come What May
  15. Epilogue

Band Lineup:
Matt Barlow – Vocals
Jon Schaffer – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Troy Steele – Guitars
Brent Smedley – Drums
Freddie Vidales – Bass

Total Time = 59:15

Iced Earth official website
Iced Earth MySpace page
SPV USA
SPV Germany

I have had such a hard time being an Iced Earth fan for the last decade. The material that founder/guitarist Jon Schaffer has been a bit lackluster since 1998’s opus SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t get into the HORROR SHOW album in 2001 even though I did like the monster concept. I thought TRIBUTE TO THE GODS was a decent record of covers but an unnecessary stop-gap in between studio albums. Then we got a new record, and a new singer, with the Civil War themed/Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens sung THE GLORIOUS BURDEN (2004). I thought that was a terrible album so, when Schaffer announced plans for a continuation of the SOMETHING WICKED concept in 2007 with FRAMING ARMAGEDDON, I was skeptical. FRAMING ARMAGEDDON was another collaboration with Tim Owens and it turned out to be a solid album, an album that sounded like it was made a decade earlier but with a different singer. Part two of the SOMETHING WICKED concept is the new album, THE CRUCIBLE OF MAN, that marks the return of vocalist Matt Barlow to the band…..something many fans have been waiting for. I’m sure many fans will debate the album’s merits as they pertain to Matt Barlow’s vocal style compared to Tim Owens’ style, Barlow is the classic Iced Earth singer and his leaving the band in 2002 to pursue a career in law enforcement was stunning. It’s obvious that the sound of Iced Earth has a lot to do with Barlow, the band’s best albums have been recorded with him at the mic, but there also seems to be a creative chemistry that Schaffer and Barlow have that has been missing the last few years. Not taking anything away from Tim Owens, he did a good job, but Barlow is the natural fit.

The sound of the album is typical Iced Earth, who have been described at times as being the American version of Iron Maiden. I’m not sure I would put Iced Earth close to Maiden’s legendary status but the influences are definitely there. Most of the album is full blown Power Metal full of powerful guitars, galloping rhythms and bombastic choruses but there is also orchestration and choir vocals that add another layer to the band’s sound. Honestly, the band isn’t really breaking any new ground with their sound. You could go back and listen to SOMETHING WICKED from ’98 and there really wouldn’t be much of a difference between both albums, they are both done well. The main difference for the rejuvenation of the band is the return of Matt Barlow, his deep voice just suits the band so well, not taking anything away from Ripper Owens who also has an amazing voice.

‘In Sacred Flames’ is an instrumental intro, complete with male & female choir vocals and strings, that builds music until the opening riff of ‘Behold The Wicked Child’, the song that signals Barlow’s triumphant return to the fold. hearing that opening guitar and Matt’s vocals soaring, I knew right away that this would be a special album. I also like the female vocals and choir accompaniment that are included to give the song an epic feel. This is a concept album so every song continues along a certain pattern and style and sometimes into each other: ‘Minions Of The Watch’ flows right into ‘The Revealing’ and both are fast Power Metal marches that are signature Iced Earth. The band slows things down a little with ‘A Gift Or A Curse’ but it is still heavy as it builds up, Barlow’s deep style is perfect for the ebb and flow between the slower passages and the faster ones. This is the type of song that I really enjoy because it gives the band another dimension, some diversity from straight up Power Metal.

It’s toward the middle of the record that I start to get the feeling that I’ve heard it all before. ‘Crown Of The Fallen’ and ‘The Dimension Gauntlet’ sound like continuations of previous songs rather than individual songs. ‘I Walk Alone’ is the first single (as heard on the I WALK AMONG YOU E.P.) and it’s a solid song that gives a solid overview of the album as a whole: plenty of guitars, multi-tracked vocals, Matt Barlow’s delivery. Same goes for the slowed down ‘Harbinger of Fate’, it’s basically the same formula except at a slower pace. Nine songs have passed with six to go and everything is getting predictable, all the songs are starting to sound the same. ‘Crucify The King’ and ‘Sacrificial Kingdoms’ sound like combinations of the previous tracks and they aren’t that good. ‘Something Wicked (Pt.3)’ is mid-paced and follows the same formula while ‘Divide And Devour’ gets faster and more aggressive. Of the last six songs, it’s the best one due to it’s heaviness and there really isn’t much orchestration, etc. until mid-way through the solo section. At over 7 minutes, ‘Come What May’ is the album’s longest song and I’m pretty much done by the time it’s over because there really isn’t anything new. ‘Epilogue’ is the closing instrumental.

Bottom Line:
I really wanted this album to be great and it is if you want a complete retro package of songs that sound close to the songs from 1998. Maybe that’s the whole point? Maybe the pressure from the fans (and it’s been there for years) to bring Matt Barlow back and return to the older sound made Schaffer and company get too retro? Listening to this daily for close to 2 months now I find myself really liking the record one day and getting bored with it the next. Some days I find it expertly done and better than FRAMING ARMAGEDDON and other days I think it’s not as good. I’m on the fence I guess so I’ll call this a “grower”, it’s going to take more spins to get through the second half of the album when it all starts to sound the same. It’s definitely a solid album through the first nine songs and better overall than THE GLORIOUS BURDEN and HORROR SHOW. What I’d like to see is the Schaffer/Barlow team get into something other than concept albums, maybe NOT doing one is a good idea?

Favorite Songs: ‘Behold The Wicked Child’, ‘Minions Of The Watch’, ‘The Revealing’, ‘A Gift Or A Curse’, ‘I Walk Alone’, ‘Divide And Devour’

Sunday Playlist – 9/14/08

Drove to work Saturday night and turned back halfway there because I forgot my MP3 player…..there is no way I’m working the graveyard shift without it! Here’s what I played to make 3rd shift a little easier…..

Yngwie Malmsteen – Marching Out (1985): Nothing beats ‘I’ll See The Light Tonight’ and Jeff Scott Soto on lead vocals. I’ve always thought that Yngwie’s earlier albums were more focused.

Alcatrazz – No Parole For Rock ‘N Roll (1983): Yngwie connection! Alcatrazz is one of my favorite bands…..and one that doesn’t get a lot of credit. Graham Bonnet is superb on the mic and Yngwie is controlled, not over the top.

Alcatrazz – Disturbing The Peace (1985): I love this album but I wanted to compare Yngwie’s playing on the first album to Steve Vai’s performance on this one. I think the album would have been better with Yngwie…..

Michael Schenker Group – Assault Attack (1982): From Yngwie to Bonnet to Schenker…..a solid connection! Another all-time favorite album of mine and probably MSG’s best.

Metallica – Death Magnetic (2008): It’s not as bad as I thought it might be, definitely better than ST. ANGER!

Iced Earth – The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked Pt.2) (2008): One of the top albums of the year! I haven’t had much faith in Jon Schaffer after the band released the masterpiece SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES in 1998. Since then, I think all the albums have been subpar until 2007’s FRAMING ARMAGEDDON. This album is even better!

Danger Danger – Cockroach (2001): COCKROACH is the shelved third D2 album from ’93/’94. Original singer Ted Poley recorded the album with the band in 1993 but then he got fired. Lawsuits prevented the album from being released. D2 got Paul Laine to replace Poley and he re-recorded the vocals but the band’s label kept it shelved. The band finally got Poley and Epic Records to agree to release the album in 2001 but with both versions included. I’ve had this album for a while…..in a pile waiting to be spun. I was only able to get through the Paul Laine version and that version is very good.