Posts Tagged ‘Lana Lane’

I’m late again posting the CD Scavenger Hunt updates! If you’re reading this, I’m actually writing this in mid-April but I’m back dating it for the end of February. It’s not that I don’t want to share my hunting, but I just can’t seem to get motivatd to write. Just a quick note: I’m taking out the savings totals because they are irrelevant considering I buy everything either on sale or used…..when I feel the need to express my keen bargain hunting savings strategies, I will mention it in the summary. I did a lot of shopping again so here’s the treasures for February 2012…..

Newbury Comics

Van Halen – A Different Kind Of Truth (2012)- $14
Metallica – Beyond Magnetic E.P. (2012) – $6
Lillian Axe – XI: The Days Before Tomorrow (2012) – $10
Treat – Coup De Grace (2010) – $6 used
Sunstorm – Emotional Fire (2012) – $16
UFO – Seven Deadly (2012) – $10
Scorpions – Live In 3D: Get Your Sting & Blackout Blu-Ray (2012) – $20
Queen – Days Of Our Lives DVD (2012) – $12

I made three separate shopping trips to my local Newbury Comics in February for all the new releases at sale prices. Tops on my want list this month were the new Van Halen album (which I sprung for the special edition with the bonus DVD) and the new UFO album, SEVEN DEADLY, that came in a digipak with two bonus tracks. I also bought the new Lillian Axe album, the Queen documentary DVD and my first ever Blu-Ray Disc with the Scorpions – Live In 3D…..all on sale. I grabbed the Metallica E.P. because it was a cheap six bucks and I’m hoping it helps me recover from LULU and I found a used copy of Treat’s COUP DE GRACE album from 2010 for another six bucks. Unfortunately I had to bite the bullet and pay the full import price for the new Sunstorm record but being able to hear the smoothest voice in Hard Rock, Joe Lynn Turner, is worth the price paid.

Wal-Mart

Jon Bon Jovi – Blaze Of Glory: Young Guns II Soundtrack (1990) – $5
Ozzy Osbourne – Live At Budokan (2002) - $5

I hate shopping at Wal-Mart! Nothing is worse than being in a Wal-Mart on a rainy day at 2pm when it’s crowded! Wal-Mart is one of the true evils of U.S. retail but I’m not going to get into all that right now. I was with the family and we had to go into Wal-Mart for some reason (I can’t remember why!) but I found the silver lining to the worst shopping experience — the CD bins! Now Wal-Mart has no selection as far as CDs & DVDs go, they basically cater to the new releases and greatest hits in order to get “Mr. & Mrs. John Q. Public” to make an impulse buy. In front of the “music dept”, were two large round plastic bins and they were filled with CDs so I went bin diving and came up with two CDs I didn’t own: the Jon Bon Jovi solo album for the Young Guns II movie and Ozzy’s live album from the Budokan in Japan. Both were brand new, both were $5!

Think Tank Media

Lana Lane – El Dorado Hotel (2012) – $15
Lana Lane – Curious Goods Special Edition (2002) – $5

Think Tank Media is the record label and distributor of all the Lana Lane albums…..it’s run by her husband Erik Norlander who plays on her albums and is in the band Rocket Scientists. I read about the new Lana Lane album, EL DORADO HOTEL, so I surfed over to the website and found a sale! A ton of back catalog titles from Lana Lane, Erik Norlander solo amd Rocket Scientists were all priced around $5! Unfortunately, I have almost all the Lana Lane albums but I was able to grab the new album for a reasonable $15 and the double CD special edition of Lana’s 1996 album CURIOUS GOODS. The special edition includes the original CURIOUS GOODS album from 1996 (that’s way out of print!) with the cover of Steely Dan’s ‘Do It Again’ on the first disc and the 2002 reissue of CURIOUS GOODS (also out of print!) that replaces the Steely Dan cover with a cover of the classic James Bond theme ‘You Only Live Twice’.

Ebay

Zebra – s/t (1983) – $11 used
Mass – Sea Of Black (2010) – $4
Sister – Hated (2011) – $6
Vollmer – When Pigs Fly (1999) – $5 used
Helix – White Lace & Black Leather (1981) – $5 used

Ebay had some great bargains this month! I finally found the first Zebra album and finished off my Zebra collection…..’Tell Me What You Want’ is a great old tune! I got both the Mass and Sister albums from the same seller but different auctions. Both CDs were sealed and brand new and I got them for peanuts, the seller was kind enough to combine shipping and send them together so both discs and shipping totalled $10! I finally get to hear what Sister sounds like because I couldn’t bring myself to pay the $15 at the record store and I was able to replace the CDR of SEA OF BLACK that I made from the promotional download I was sent before Mass released the album. I also got closer to completing my Helix collection by winning an auction that included mainman Brian Vollmer’s solo album from 1999 and Helix’s second album WHITE LACE & BLACK LEATHER (rare to find on CD!). Both CDs were used but in mint condition and the total price of $10 for both CDs included shipping costs.

Total = $155

Total (year) = $411

Average Price (per item) = $8.75

Total CDs (year) = 47

Total DVDs (year) = 2

Total Blu-Rays (year) = 1

2010 is almost over and it’s been a good year for buying music. There have been so many new albums, so many reissues and so many discovered treasures that it’s been hard to keep up! Actually, I didn’t keep up…..I have literally hundreds of albums  on my desk and in boxes next to it that I either bought or were sent in by bands. There is just no possible way that I can listen to every album that crosses my desk but I do make a point to give every CD I buy a listen. I’ve bought a lot this year through online stores, band websites, Ebay, private sales and…..my favorite…..the record stores! Record stores are a dying breed, more and more are closing every year, especially the mom & pop stores that cared about the music and the customer, go out and support them!

December is always my slowest month of the year because the holidays are right around the corner and the hard earned cash has to be spent on more important things…..like presents and holiday dinners and, well, more presents! This is also the time of year when not much comes out because most of the new albums have already been released and it’s time for labels and stores to focus on greatest hits packages. The problem is that there are ALWAYS great sales this time of year, especially around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and I can’t pass things up sometimes.

So here it is, the final update of 2010…..make sure you check out my final totals and analysis at the bottom…..

Online

Lana Lane - Gemini (2006), Garden Of The Moon Special Edition (2002), 10th Anniversary Concert CD/DVD (2005) & Rocket Scientists – Revolution Road (2006) - $20: I was going through my CD collection making lists of things I was missing the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I decided to head over to Think Tank Media to see how much the Lana Lane CDs were because there are some glaring holes in the collection even after I picked up a few on Ebay this year. When I got to the website, they were having a $5 sale with free shipping on select inventory…..how could I pass up this sale? So I started going through the list and I picked up three Lana Lane releases I needed and I decided to try a Rocket Scientists album, the band that Lana’s husband, Erik Norlander founded. What a great deal! GEMINI is a covers record so I never bought it when it came out, the GARDEN OF THE MOON Special Edition is a 2 CD set, the 10 ANNIVERSARY CONCERT is a CD & DVD set and the Rocket Scientists album is a 2 CD set also. That’s like getting 6 CDs and a DVD! Plus free shipping? SOLD!

Ebay

Bret Michaels – Freedon Of Sound (Vol. 1): A Collection Of Songs Past & Present (2005) – $15: I have been on the search for all the Bret Michaels solo albums because, if Bret’s going to repackage everything with a couple extra new songs and new artwork and call it a new album, I’d rather get the out of print original. This album is interesting because it has a lot of new songs for 2005 but it also has the start of the repackaging of older material with two songs each from the two previous Bret solo albums, A LETTER FROM DEATH ROW (1998) and SONGS OF LIFE (2003). Most of these songs are out there on Bret’s newer albums ROCK MY WORLD (2008) and CUSTOM BUILT (2010) so you can definitely hear them but, if you want the originals on Bret’s label, you’re out of luck…..out of print! I have been scouring used bins and Ebay for a while and I came across this CD on Ebay as a BUY IT NOW with free shipping…..I pulled the trigger immeadiately!

Helix – Half-Alive (1998), Jackal – Vague Visions (1993), Jaded Heart – Slaves And Masters (1996), Letter X – Time Of The Gathering (1991), Mercyful Fate – In The Shadows (1993), Rattlebone – s/t (1992), Samson – Refugee (1990), Tokyo Blade – Mr. Ice (1998), Tyketto – Strength In Numbers (1994) – $27 used ($3 each): I found this lot on Ebay when I was cross-referencing a different Helix album, so I saved it and kept my eyes on it. I don’t own any of these CDs and the price was right to add all of them at once to my collection. How can you pass up 9 CDs at $3 each? I have been trying to pick up all the Helix CDs I’m missing so getting HALF-ALIVE is a big deal seeing that I’ve seen just that CD go for $20+…..the rest of the bands I’ve heard of, some like Tyketto, Samson and Jaded Heart I already own other records but this lot is more like a cool grab bag for me. It adds so bulk to the collection and maybe a hidden gem or two.

Final Stats for 2010

Total (December) = $62

Total (year) = $1820

Average Price (per item) = $10.23

Total CDs (year) = 162

Total DVDs (year) = 7

Total Box Sets (year) = 7

Total LPs (year) = 2

I’m trying to get back into regular posting, especially catching up on what I’ve been buying. With two months full of purchases sitting on my desk, the goal was to catch up quick and, hopefully, be prepared for November’s and December’s updates. I got September’s update posted a couple days ago so here’s the October update, it’s a small one because I made only one shopping trip to the record store…..

Newbury Comics

Angra – Aqua (2010) – $12: I got into Brazil’s Angra back in 1998 when I first got hooked up to the Internet, that was the year of Metal re-birth for me because I discovered all these bands that I had read about briefly in the few fanzines I subscribed to. My first Angra album was 1998′s FIREWORKS and I have collected every album since. I had no idea Angra was releasing a new album and I only found out when my Newbury Comics e-newsletter arrived in my inbox. This has happened with a bunch of releases lately and it’s due to my not being attached to the computer as much as I’ve been in the last few years…..if you’re not paying attention, then you might miss out! This was one of the two albums on my list this week so it was a definite purchase whether it was on sale or not. Regular price was $16 so I saved $4 buying the day of release.

Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra (2010) – $9: I don’t own any Dimmu Borgir albums but I have kept my eye on the band over the years reading about them in magazines and online and sampling their music from time to time on MySpace or their official website. I just never got around to buying any of their albums but, with my purposeful committment to try out more extreme Metal, I have been waiting for an excuse to buy a Dimmu Borgir album. The $9 sale price helped a lot considering that the regular price would eventually be $15 so I saved $6. I wasn’t going to buy this album but I saw it in the new release rack and I figured I would take a chance and check it out. The CD includes deluxe cardboard packaging, a bonus track and bonus video.

Grave Digger – The Clans Will Rise Again (2010) – $12: I’ve been a Grave Digger fan for a long time and their last album, BALLADS OF A HANGMAN (2009), just came out last year so I was surprised to see this new album on the new release list. The problem was that the store only had one copy and it was sold immeadiately at 10am when they opened. I got to the store 15 minutes later so I was a little pissed that I didn’t get the album right away. Rather than drive the half hour to the next closest location, I decided to go back to the store a couple days later when two more copies would be available! Inconvenience due to my own lateness aside, a new Grave Digger album is a must have and this was the only other album on my list along with the new Angra. The U.S. pressing includes the bonus track ‘Watch Me Die’.

Angel Dust – Of Human Bondage (2002) – $3 used: Bargain of the month! Since I had to make the 10 minute trip back to my local Newbury Comics a couple days later to pick up the new Grave Digger record I might as well take some time and browse again! I go to the same store every week because it’s so close to my house so I usually get my new releases right away but the store’s regular stock and used CD stock generally stays the same…..there’s not a lot of turnover in the North Attleboro location like there is in the busier Warwick location 25 minutes away. I pretty much have the place memorized so it was a great surprise to find this Angel Dust CD in the bargain bin that I just checked two days earlier…..and for $3! The added bonus to the whole thing is that the album comes with a bonus CD sampler from Centruy Media…..I will always take basically 2 CDs of music for $3. Assuming regular price is around $12 then I saved $9.

Ebay

Lana Lane – Ballad Collection I (1998), Ballad Collection II (2000) & European Tour 2003 Souvenir CD (2003) – $12: All three CDs were bought from the same seller who I believe is Think Tank Media, Lana Lane’s label that is run by her husband and fellow musician Erik Norlander. I have been trying to fill the holes in my Lana Lane collection but a lot of the earlier albums are out of print and hard to find, especially all of her albums prior to, and including, 2000 because they were al released exclusively in Japan on the Avalon/Marquee label. Both BALLAD COLLECTON CDs are sealed Japanese pressings and the Euro Tour 2003 CD is also sealed, usually the Ballad CDs go for $20 at the Think Tank website and $25+ on Ebay and the Euro Tour 2003 CD for $15 at Think Tank and about the same at auction. Getting all three albums for an average of $4 each was a huge score and I estimate that I saved at least $43 based on the average regular prices I’ve seen in the last few years.

Total = $48

Total (year) = $1460

Average Price (per item) = $10.28

Total CDs (year) = 130

Total DVDs (year) = 4

Total Box Sets (year) = 6

Total LPs (year) = 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are so many albums released every year that it’s almost impossible to keep up. Usually I spend the first two months of the new year acquiring all the albums I didn’t buy the previous year before all the new releases start to flood the market. 2007 was no exception, I missed more than a few notable Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums, but I made up for it in 2008. The following is a list of albums I missed in 2007 and picked up at some point in 2008. Some of these records might have cracked my Top 15 Albums of 2007 or at least extended it to a Top 20 or 25.

after-forever-2007After Forever – s/t (2007): I picked up this album January 2nd and it has remained in my playlist pile the entire year. I have always been a fan of female-fronted Gothic/Symphonic Metal bands and bands like The Gathering, Lacuna Coil, and Tristania have made me take a good look around the scene for bands I overlooked. What I like about After Forever is their use of beautiful operatic female vocals courtesy of Floor Jansen mixed with Death Metal growls while keeping everything heavy. This album would have easily made my Top Albums list if I had bought it last year.

anvil-this-is-thirteen-2007Anvil – This Is Thirteen (2007): I’m an old school Metal guy and it doesn’t get more old school than Anvil! Independently released and limited to 1000 copies through their website, Anvil created an album that is straight forward Heavy Metal. The band is like AC/DC in that they don’t stray too far from their original sound. Heavy riffs, solid drumming and gritty vocals…..that’s all that’s needed. Like I said in the review, THIS IS THIRTEEN is one of the most underrated albums of 2007!

Armory - The Dawn Of Enlightenment (2007)Armory – The Dawn Of Enlightenment (2007): I stumbled on Armory when I was looking up local New England Metal bands on MySpace. I heard the songs on their page and I was hooked! The guys in the band were kind enough to submit their album for review and I got one of the best Metal albums of 2007! I can even tell you that it would easily have made the best of list from last year at #7. Traditional/Power Metal blended with Progressive and Thrash Metal…..Armory is a band that has shot to the top of my list for a band to watch.

Gamma Ray - Land Of The Free II (2007)Gamma Ray – Land Of The Free II (2007): LAND OF THE FREE II was released in 2007 in Europe and Japan, we had to wait until January in the U.S. I picked up the European version in January from a CD sale at the local record store the same day the album was officially released here in the States. Is there really any difference? Nothing bothers me more than when a CD gets released eveywhere else and we have to wait a few weeks, or months, for a proper U.S. release. It’s either that or buy the import! It’s an excellent Power Metal record by one of the best in the genre but it seemed to get lost in my playlist with all the new albums coming out.

Helix - The Power Of Rock And Roll (2007)Helix – The Power Of Rock And Roll (2007): This album is a re-release of the GET UP! promotional disc with four more songs added in for good measure. Helix hasn’t changed their sound over the years, they still play the good time party Hard Rock that made them a success in the ’80s. Another album that would have made my Best of 2007 list.

King Diamond - Give Me Your Soul... Please (2007)King Diamond – Give Me Your Soul…Please (2007): Nothing can beat a new King Diamond album and I passed on this one too many times in 2007. Not sure why because it was on my list all year long and I just kept leaving it the racks. I bought this CD the same day I bought the Gamma Ray disc at a really good price and playing this regularly over the last year got me to fill some of the King Diamond/Mercyful Fate holes in my collection.

Lana Lane - Red Planet Boulevard artworkLana Lane – Red Planet Boulevard (2007): I passed on this album in 2007 because I was disappointed with the last few Lana Lane albums. There are so many live records and covers collections you can take before you need real songs and it had been 5 years since 2002′s PROJECT SHANGRI-LA. The conceptual LADY MACBETH was in there somewhere but I couldn’t get into it at all. This album is exactly what I was hoping for from Lana Lane and it’s another release that would have made my Best of 2007 list.

Nightwish - Dark Passion Play (2007)Nightwish – Dark Passion Play (2007): I have never been a big Nightwish fan because of the Opera style vocals of former vocalist Tarja Turunen but I had a couple of their CDs. Nightwish split with Tarja and the news wasn’t taken lightly by many of the band’s fans. When the band announced that former Alyson Avenue vocalist Anette Olzen would replace Tarja, I knew that it was a great move. I liked Alyson Avenue a lot and Olzen’s style is more to my liking. This is another one of those albums that had an international release in 2007 but a U.S. release in 2008. I ended up grabbing the last sale copy of the collector’s edition that included an expanded booklet and a 2nd CD of orchestral versions of the album.

U.D.O. - Mastercutor (2007)U.D.O. – Mastercutor (2007): I missed the release date on MASTERCUTOR and I was trying to hold out until I could find the European limited edition with the bonus tracks. Unfortunately, that search continues but I picked up a U.S. copy used for $7 and it was one of the best purchases all year. I’ve been an Accept/U.D.O. fan all along and I usually pick up anything these bands put out but I missed out on one of the best releases of the 2007.

Wasp - Dominator (2007)W.A.S.P. – Dominator (2007): I passed on DOMINATOR for the same reasons I passed on Lana Lane’s RED PLANET BOULEVARD, I wasn’t thrilled with W.A.S.P.’s last few albums and I wasn’t going to waste my time with an album that wasn’t good enough to get U.S. distribution. It just had to be bad. W.A.S.P. had released two stinkers with the NEON GOD records and I just figured that this one would follow suit. This album blew me away and ended up becoming one of my 2007 favorites, just like the U.D.O. album.

Lana Lane – Red Planet Boulevard (2007, Think Tank Media)

  1. Into The Fire
  2. The Frozen Sea
  3. Capture The Sun
  4. Jessica
  5. Stepford, USA
  6. Shine
  7. Lazy Summer Day
  8. No Tears Left
  9. Save The World
  10. Angels and Magicians
  11. The Sheltering Sorrow
  12. Red Planet Boulevard

Band Lineup:
Lana Lane – Vocals
Erik Norlander – Keyboards & Bass
Peer Verschuren – Guitars
Ernst Van Ee – Drums

Producer: Erik Norlander

Total Time = 1:08:57

Lana Lane official website
Lana Lane MySpace page
Erik Norlander official website
Think Tank Media

Lana Lane has been churning out album after album of Symphonic  Melodic Hard Rock since 1995 and RED PLANET BOULEVARD is her first album of original material since 2005′s concept album LADY MACBETH. With a collection of covers in 2006 sandwiched in between the two (titled GEMINI), it’s clear that Lana and her band have continued to consistently release superb material. Along with her husband/producer Erik Norlander, and long time band members Peer Verschuren and Ernst Vann De, Lana Lane explores the same grand soundscapes she has on previous efforts with intelligent writing, beautiful vocals, and solid musicianship.

The album kicks off with the melodic rocker ‘Into The Fire’. The main riff is heavy and the vocals soar with Norlander’s keyboards providing a lush backing. A quiet acoustic guitar opens ‘The Frozen Sea’ until another heavy Verschuren riff kicks in and the song moves ahead with a melodic sensibility. It’s almost a little deceiving because Lana’s voice is so beautiful, the melodies and hooks are perfectly aligned, and the first two songs are uptempo and are both metallic and progressive. Continuing the heaviness is ‘Capture The Sun’, a song that could be termed as Progressive Power Metal, almost Dream Theater like.

Lana Lane is a talented singer, channelling the likes of Ann Wilson (Heart), Pat Benetar, and Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac), and her talent is beautifully displayed on the album’s first ballad ‘Jessica’. I especially like trade off between the guitar and the keys/organ at the solo. ‘Stepford USA’ is another uptempo rocker with a catchy chorus that tells the story that is the movie. ‘Shine’ is another uptempo song with soaring vocals and excellent riffs, and do I hear a talk box in the background? The music on ‘Shine’ weaves from subtle and almost ballady to an immeadiate heavy riff that maintains the Hard Rock tone of the whole album.

‘Lazy Summer Day’ is the album’s second ballad and sounds like an early 1960s slow dance from the high school dance until the chorus kicks in and the guitar does as well. Come solo time, the main riff picks up and Peer Verschuren plays a tight clean solo. It’s a definitely different than the rest of the album and shows some different influences. ‘No Tears Left’ is a mid-tempo rocker that continues to feature Lana’s voice against a superb musical backdrop while ‘Save The World’ continues the mid-tempo flow with a heavy guitar, marching drums, and intertwining keyboard melodies. There’s a subtle backing track on the chorus that gives it almost a “spooky” effect, very cool. The proceedings pick up again with ‘Angels And Magicians’ with a solid clean riff during the chorus that cuts out for the acoustic while Lana beautifully sings the verses. I could do without the “na na na’s” Lana employs but the acoustic guitar solo that easily moves to electric more than makes up for it.

‘The Sheltering Sorrow’ is another beautiful ballad that reminds me of Lana Lane’s earlier work and could easily fit on her BALLAD COLLECTION albums. It’s another prime example of Lana’s vocal talent as she easily sings with emotion and subtlety amid another lush musical landscape. The title track is last and I’m glad it is. It’s an instrumental that incorporates major elements of each song on the album, almost like a reprise for the entire record. It’s a nice listen but seems unnecessary, I’d rather have another proper song with vocals.

Bottom Line:
I wasn’t too keen with the last few albums, the last album I really enjoyed was 2002′s PROJECT SHANGRI-LA. The last few releases, aside from LADY MACBETH, were either live records or basically covers. I prefer original studio material and Lana and company surely delivery another superb album. The vocals are as powerful as they are beautiful while the music is grand, sweeping, and technically sound. The guitar solos by Peer Verschuren are superb and they weave in and out with Norlander’s keyboards perfectly as the two bond together to give each song a rich full sound. The drums are heavy when they have to be and are expertly done by Van Ee while Norlander handles the bass. Each song has excellent songwriting with soaring melodies, catchy hooks, and a lush full sound. Favorite songs here: ‘Into The Fire’, ‘Jessica’, ‘Lazy Summer Day’, ‘The Frozen Sea’…..actually, I think every song on the record is excellent and I would only change the ending instrumental to a song with lyrics.

Most of the CDs I’ve been listening to are up for review but I also decided to give a few oldies a spin…..

Lana Lane – Red Planet Boulevard (2007): I am kicking myself for not buying this when it came out in late 2007. If I did, this album would have easily made my Top 15 Albums of 2007. I think I have spun this CD more in the last two weeks than any album I’ve bought since the beginning of the year. It is going to be a staple on my playlist for more than a few weeks.

Testament – The Formation Of Damnation (2008): The label was nice enough to send me a copy to review but I would have been more than happy to buy my own copy. I’ve only had a few spins but I like what I hear so far.

Pharaoh – Be Gone (2008): I’ve been enjoying the latest Pharaoh album for a couple of weeks now and I should have a review soon. BE GONE is released in Europe later this week.

Asia – Phoenix (2008): Bought this today but I only had a quick listen in the car on the way home from the record store. Every year there are controversial albums, this year one of them is Asia’s PHOENIX. I have read a lot of reviews and it’s considered either a return to form or very boring and bland, there has been no middle ground.

Saints Of The Underground – Love The Sin, Hate The Sinner (2008): I heard about this “supergroup” toward the end of 2006 but I really didn’t think it would see the light of day. I picked this up with the Asia album and I gave it a spin while I walked the dog today. I’ll review this soon.

W.A.S.P. – The Last Command (1985): My favorite W.A.S.P. album. I never get tired of it except for maybe ‘Blind In Texas’ because it’s always on VH-1 Classic. ‘Fistful Of Diamonds’ is a great song, so is ‘Widowmaker’…..classic W.A.S.P.!

KISS – Animalize (1984): KISS is my favorite band but I know the songs so well that I don’t bother to listen to them that often. For some reason, I had to hear ‘Get All You Can Take’ so I listened to the whole album rather than skip to the song. ANIMALIZE is a solid KISS record, probably their best until 1992′s REVENGE…..there’s more to the album than ‘Heaven’s On Fire’ but that is still a great tune.

Saxon – Denim And Leather (1981): “Denim and leather, brought us all together”…..no truer words are spoken! Pure NWOBHM and classic Saxon with tracks like ‘Play It Loud’, ‘Princess Of The Night’, the title cut and ‘Never Surrender’. The band still revolves five of the songs here in and out of their current setlist.

I’ve been concentrating on a few albums I’d like to do reviews on soon but I had to put on some Motley Crue to get in the mood for the press conference.

Motley Crue – Too Fast For Love (1982): Had to gear up for the big Motley Crue press conference with my favorite Crue record.

Wicked Stick – Ill Inspired (2007): Getting this ready for review.

Lana Lane – Red Planet Boulevard (2007): I never get sick of Lana Lane albums and this one is excellent so far. Another up for review this week.

Don Dokken – Solitary (2008): I’m trying to get through this one but it’s hard to take in. It needs many focused listens because it’s a departure from the typical Dokken sound. Review up this week.

Dokken – Shadowlife (1997): This album and SOLITARY, Don’s new solo disc, are very similar. I’m trying to compare both because I liked parts of SHADOWLIFE.

StarofAsh – The Thread (2008): Heidi Solberg Tveitanm, aka Ihriel from Peccatum, has released another ambient Metal solo record full of orchestration and experimentation. Reminds me of The Gathering – Nighttime Birds (1999) with no vocals.

Pharoah – Be Gone (2008): I’m enjoying this one a lot and I should have this review up end of next week in time for the U.S. release.

Zero Hour – Dark Deceiver (2008): Gave this one a quick spin this morning so it’s too early to comment. Album release date is 4/29/08.

 

I bought some good CDs in the last couple of weeks, mostly from Ebay and my weekly stop at the local shop. I bought a couple of albums this week that haven’t arrived yet: I pre-ordered the 2 disc limited edition of Whitesnake – Good To Be Bad through Amazon.com (see the link in the sidebar) and I won an auction for Y&T – Musically Incorrect (1996). Neither has arrived yet so I will list them in future editions. So here’s what I added to the collection recently…..

Keel – Lay Down the Law (1984) – $12.99: Keel’s first album was never officially released on CD but it has been widely bootlegged over the years. Finally, Ron Keel and Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records got together and put this album on CD. It’s a full-color digipak but no booklet and I’m not sure if it’s remastered. Either way, this is official issue and I can finally forget about digitizing my vinyl copy.

Lana Lane – Red Planet Boulevard (2007) – $14.99: I’m a big Lana Lane fan and I passed on this when it came out back in the Fall. I wasn’t happy that her previous album, GEMINI (2006), was an album of covers so I was reluctant to buy this one right away. So, in my quest to acquire albums from 2007 I missed, I picked this one up. It was also the last copy at the record store so I didn’t want to get shut out and have to order online, pay for shipping, etc.

The Sword – Gods Of The Earth (2008) – $9.99: Had to buy this the day it was released, especially at such a good sale price! I wasn’t too high on The Sword’s debut album, AGE OF WINTERS (2006), but it was still good. I did my research before hand and read a lot of reviews so I bought the hype and made the purchase. Not disappointed at all, it’s a solid Doom Metal album (read my review) and looks to be one of the best records of 2008.

Kamelot – Ghost Opera: The Second Coming (2008) – $10.88: Kamelot released Ghost Opera in 2007 and it was excellent, it made my Top 15 Albums of 2007. So now it’s 2008 and the band has re-released the album with the added title of “The Second Coming” and added videos to the main disc. A second CD is included wiith 10 live tracks from Belgrade and four bonus studio tracks. For the price I paid, that is totally worth it. Do all these bonus feature put this album in my Top Albums of 2008?

Bullet – No Mercy (1983) – $10.54: I have been after this CD for 10 years! I’ve had the opportunity many times but I have never pulled the trigger until now. This slice of German Metal was released on CD by the now defunct High Vaultage label in 1997 and included two demos as bonus tracks. I have been collecting High Vaultage releases for a number of years but they are starting to become had to find. I love the album cover! Picked this up on Ebay, price includes shipping.

Trixie – s/t (2003) – $25.25: This one I had to splurge on because I haven’t seen it go for less than $30 now that it’s out of print. This was released on Metal Mayhem in 2003 and it got rave reviews. I had a few opportunities to pick this up but I passed for other releases. Of course when I finally get around to buying it, it’s out of print! Another Ebay auction won, price includes shipping.

Tall Stories – s/t (1991) – $9.65: I’ve been in a Journey mood recently, especially the version with Steve Augeri at the mic. I thought that Journey record, ARRIVAL, was great so I’ve been playing it a lot along with the GREATEST HITS record. I figured I’d go back and listen to the Tall Stories album because I wanted to compare but it’s not there. I double checked my want list and it was there…..cross another one off the list. Ebay auction #3 of the week, price includes the envelope and stamps!

Roxy Blue – Want Some? (1992) – $8: I swear I had this album but it’s on my Want List and not in my collection. I really need to make a master list of my collection because this is happening a lot! Found this at a decent price and I was the only bidder. Usually this goes for $15+ on Ebay but it was only $8 with shipping. Another classic album cover!
 

From Bravewords:

Release dates for Japan and North American have been confirmed for Red Planet Boulevard, the new album from LANA LANE.

As previously reported, Frontiers Records will release Red Planet Boulevard, the new album from LANA LANE, on December 7th 2007 in Europe.

The album will also be available in Japan on November 23rd on the Avalon label, and in North America on January 29th on Think Tank Media distributed by ProgRock Records.

All versions contain the identical track listing – there are no bonus tracks on any edition.

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Nice to finally have a release date for this new album. Unfortunately, the U.S. & Canada have to wait close to 2 months before we can get our hands on it. My suggestion is to order the album from places like NEH Records, Sentinel Steel, and other reputable mail order stores for December 7th. Lana Lane has made a habit out of not having bonus tracks on different versions, especially on the last few albums. She’s giving her loyal fans a break and not killing their wallets! This is going to be a great record, Lana’s track record is superb.

— Steve

From Frontiers Records:

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of Red Planet Boulevard, LANA LANE’s new studio album on December 7th 2007.

Lana Lane - Red Planet Boulevard artwork

The new album is a melodic rock feast that showcases Lana’s legendary vocals with timeless songwriting, all produced in a modern symphonic rock environment. The atmosphere of the album is both spacious and grand, soaring melodies and intimate phrases play against lush arrangements of guitar and keyboards, all intertwining in a compelling tango of orchestration that is pure Lana Lane.

Recorded in The Netherlands and in San Francisco, California, Red Planet Boulevard combines the feeling of European precision and old world mystery with the Bay Area’s legendary style and mood that is pure Northern California magic. The melange of locations shows in the album’s production that is both bombastic and moody, clear and heavy, intimate and extroverted. Producer/keyboardist Erik Norlander took on bass guitar duties as well for this release continuing in the role he played on the 2007 Lady Macbeth tour. Long time collaborators, Dutchmen Peer Verschuren (guitar) and Ernst Van Ee (drums), complete the instrumental trio in what Norlander calls “a sort of ‘Led Zeppelin’ instrumentation where we have guitar, drums and a bass playing keyboardist.”

Lana Lane (2007)

The Red Planet Boulevard musician line-up is indeed the most compact to appear on a Lana Lane album, but the trio does not falter in creating the massive Symphonic Rock sound for which Lana Lane is so well known. Walls of guitars, landscapes of keyboards and tectonic plates of bass and drums drive the arrangements with the energy and exuberance of a band that indeed went straight from the road into the studio. That touring seasoning shows in the subtle complexities of Red Planet Boulevard. This is a band that is experienced and skilled in their craft all supporting a legendary vocalist who is at the top of her game.

Twelve all original songs compose Red Planet Boulevard. The heavy rockers “Into the Fire”, “Capture the Sun” and “Angels and Magicians” along with the power ballad “Jessica” harken back to Lana’s 1995 debut release, Love is an Illusion, while in contrast, the anthemic “Shine”, “The Frozen Sea” and “No Tears Left” have a distinctly 21st century sound that fits perfectly with today’s iPod generation. The uptempo “Stepford, USA” re-tells the story of the quiet rural town with a dark secret, while “The Sheltering Sorrow” is a heart wrenching ballad that is epic in scale with links back to the late 60s majesty of early symphonic rock. The album concludes with the finale and title track, “Red Planet Boulevard”, where themes from each of the album’s songs is reprised in a grand orchestral rock style.

Lana Lane & Erik Norlander (2007)

Artwork is once again provided by Polish surrealist Jacek Yerka who has painted the covers for Lana’s many past masterworks. Photos for the album were shot by noted San Francisco photographer Mark Leialoha who brings his own style and vision to the Lana Lane production team. Fans of melodic rock, symphonic style and the amazing female rock voice, your light is green: make the turn onto Red Planet Boulevard!

Album tracklisting:
Into the Fire; The Frozen Sea; Capture the Sun; Jessica; Stepford, USA; Shine; Lazy Summer Day;  No Tears Left; Save the World; Angels and Magicians; The Sheltering Sorrow; Red Planet Boulevard.

Weblinks: www.frontiers.it / www.myspace.com/frontiersrecords / www.lanalane.com

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Just a quick comment here.

I’ve been a Lana Lane fan since 1996 when I picked up her second album CURIOUS GOODS. If you like good symphonic/power/progressive Rock then Lana Lane is an excellent band to check out. I haven’t heard a bad album yet from the band and the songs and music have always been top quality, even the covers albums! I suggest everyone check Lana Lane out.

— Steve