Current Playlist

Here’s what’s been assaulting my ears this weekend!

KISS – ‘Hell Or Hallelujah’ single (2012): I finally broke down and purchased a song from iTunes for the very first time because I just couldn’t wait for the new KISS album, Monster, to hear this new single. I paid my $1+ and downloaded the tune and it’s been non-stop because it’s a great song! This is the KISS I like: heavy, fast, blazing guitars and Paul sounding great. If this is any indication of how the rest of Monster will sound, then it’s going to be a great record.

Motley Crue – ‘Sex’ single (2012): Thanks to the Crue for letting the fans download the track for free on the day of release. Just like the new KISS single, I’m playing this nonstop to get a handle on how the new album will sound. Seeing that both bands are touring together this summer it’s no surprise that both bands threw a teaser track out there to promote while on tour. ‘Sex’ isn’t bad (is it ever?), it’s a good song more along the lines of the Saints Of Los Angeles album from 2008. It’s hard to believe that album is 4 years old! ‘Sex’ didn’t impress me at first but it’s growing on me kind of like Van Halen’s ‘New Tattoo’ did.

Van Halen – A Different Kind Of Truth (2012): There’s just no getting over it…..this is one of the best albums of 2012! Say what you want about it not being a full Van Halen reunion, the recycled demos from the early years or David Lee Roth’s merits as a singer, this sounds like the album that would have come after the landmark 1984! I can’t stop playing it and I won’t miss their next stop in the New England area when they continue the tour.

UFO – Seven Deadly (2012): This new UFO record has been cemented into the stereo from Day #1! This is another awesome album from the band and it proves that good bands never age. Right now, this is a Top 5 album for me this year.

Lita Ford – Living Like A Runaway (2012): I’m missing the Def Leppard/Poison/Lita Ford concert on August 18 because that’s the day of my 40th birthday party but Lita is doing a signing and performance the next day at the Newbury Comics record store in Norwood, MA. My daughter and I are definitely there so I’m listening up on the new album…..it’s pretty good, very introspective and reflects Lita’s current personal life. Without a doubt, this is a far better album than Wicked Wonderland…..that was a pitiful record!

Lita Ford – Lita (1988): This was Lita’s big platinum seller back in the ’80s and the bulk of those sales came off the high MTV rotation of lead single ‘Kiss Me Deadly’ and her duet with Ozzy Osbourne ‘Close My Eyes Forever’. I figured that I’d re-listen to the hit record prior to the meet & greet at Newbury Comics and I just realized that it’s really a mediocre album. Is it the better wisdom of 24 years gone by or does the album have a staying power? I’m still listening and trying to decide.

Black ‘n Blue – Nasty, Nasty (1986): I had my iPod on shuffle the other day and the title track came on, I forgot that this was a Gene Simmons produced record and that gene used the main riff from this song for ‘Domino’ from Revenge (1992). I went back and gave all the Black ‘n Blue a fresh listen but Nasty, Nasty has stayed in my rotation…..what a great band they were, they should have been bigger.

Big Time Rush – (various songs): Yes, I’m talking about the boy band from Nickelodeon. I have two daughters and these guys are the biggest deal right now so we went to the concert yesterday (Sunday) at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA. I already know most of the songs from my kids’ iPods & CDs and the TV show but I got in a few more songs so I knew the tunes for the concert. My wife & I are cool parents and we shelled out the bucks for our kids to have a great time. I kept it Metal in the parking lot as we tailgated…..

I’ve been catching up on my podcasts as well…..definitely check these out on iTunes or head to their websites…..

Iron City Rocks — http://www.ironcityrocks.com/
Focus On Metal — http://www.focusonmetal.net/
Radioactive Metal — http://www.facebook.com/radmetal
Decibel Geek Podcast — http://dbgeekshow.blogspot.com/
Metalcast — http://www.metalcastshow.com/
Talking Metal — http://www.talkingmetal.com/2011/

Ozzfest 2010 at Comcast Center (Mansfield, MA) – 8/24/10

I went to Ozzfest a few weeks ago at the Comcast Center on 8/24…..I’m just getting around to reviewing it now because there really wasn’t much to review. Let me explain…..

I am an Ozzfest veteran, I have been to the 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 shows at the same venue. Each time I was in as soon as the gates opened and I caught as many Metal bands as possible. When the 2003 Ozzfest lineup was announced, I made the concious decision NOT to attend because of the ticket prices vs. what I thought was a poor lineup. Since that missed show, I didn’t attend another Ozzfest until this year. Maybe it was the small run of tour dates (six U.S. shows) or maybe it was because I was going with a group of friends, either way I put down the $100 for a ticket. None of my friends were interested in the smaller bands so the whole point of going was to see Black Label Society, Halford, Motley Crue and Ozzy. I wouldn’t have minded seeing Kataklysm, Skeletonwitch or Kingdom Of Sorrow but they weren’t top priority. So we get to the parking lot and the sky opens up with a steady drizzle that made the tailgate BBQ nice and soggy but I put up the tent and we had a decent feast. The plan was to head in around 4:15pm for the BLS set at 4:30 on the second stage…..we got to the gate about 4:25pm and found out the entire second stage schedule was cancelled due to inclement weather! Now I have been to Ozzfest many times, and I have been to a ton of outdoor shows in rain worse than what was coming down so I was shocked that a full cancellation was in effect. With nothing left to do it was off to the covered pavilion to our seats so we could dry off a little and wait for the main attractions.

Nonpoint & Devildriver

I don’t like either band but, I’ll be honest, I also never really heard their music. Actually, I saw Nonpoint at Ozzfest 2001 and I gave the first song off their new album, MIRACLE (2010), a spin when I got a free promo copy from their label. Like I said, not a fan of either band and both performances didn’t help the cause. All I heard was noise and unintelligible shouting and there was nothing extraordinary about Nonpoint or Devildriver for me. That said, I can tell you both bands had large followings and got a ton of applause, I assume that they get played on local Boston radio station 107.3 WAAF and Providence, RI’s 94.1 WHJY. I don’t listen to current Rock radio so I don’t get the appeal but I will listen to the new Nonpoint and review it at some point before the end of the year and I will grab a Devildriver CD if I find it used at a really low price.

Halford setlist:

Resurrection
Made In Hell
Locked And Loaded
Nailed To The Gun (Fight song)
Golgotha
Crystal
Drop Out
Made Of Metal (new song)
Cyberworld
Heart Of A Lion (Judas Priest song)
Never Satisfied (Judas Priest song)
Saviour

Like I mentioned before, we were there to see the four headliners but I know I was the only Halford fan. I knew going in that the band was going to play mostly from the Halford band catalogue and maybe we would get a Judas Priest song or two. I am a huge fan of Rob’s solo career so I was psyched to get all the RESURRECTION and CRUCIBLE songs but the highlights for me were the lone Fight track, ‘Nailed To The Gun’, and the new song, ‘Made Of Metal’, from Halford’s upcoming new album of the same name. It wouldn’t be a Rob Halford performance if he didn’t touch upon Judas Priest so he pulled out two deep tracks with ‘Heart Of A Lion’ (a song demoed in 1985 for the TURBO album) and ‘Never Satisfied’ from SAD WINGS OF DESTINY (1976). Those two songs were unbelievable! Turns out that this show was on Rob’s birthday so, at the end of the set, the crew brought out a cake and the crowd sang Happy Birthday to Rob Halford…..a cool moment that ended a flawless performance.

Motley Crue setlist:

Kickstart My Heart
Wild Side
Shout At The Devil
Saints Of Los Angeles
Looks That Kill
Live Wire
Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Same Ol’ Situation
Home Sweet Home
Mutherfucker Of The Year
Helter Skelter (Beatles cover)
Primal Scream
Dr. Feelgood
Girls, Girls, Girls

Of all the headliners, the one band I knew would definitely get the arena rocking was Motley Crue. I’ve seen just about every tour since the GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS tour back in 1988 and they Crue deliver each time. Forget the fact that Vince Neil sings only have the words most of the time, the band has a ton of hits and always plays a deep track or two in their set and the musicianship is usually flawless. The bottom line is that the Crue put on a great show and this one was no exception. The band came out to the high-powered opener ‘Kickstart My Heart’ and put the pedal to the Metal! Look at the setlist…..it’s just hit after hit along with two songs from their last studio album, SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES (2009), and a deep cut from SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (1983) with the Beatles’ tune ‘Helter Skelter’. I’m an old school Crue fan, I was there at the beginning, so I love hearing tracks from the first two recordsso ‘Live Wire’, ‘Looks That Kill’ and ‘Shout At The Devil’ went over huge with me but I would have liked another track or two…..maybe if the set was longer because you can’t cut any of the other hits out! Like I mentioned, Vince Neil still only sings half the words but he sounds better (if that’s possible) and the band was tight and dead on. I would say the performance of the night fell to guitarist Mick Mars…..it’s hard to watch that guy stand up or walk but he played flawlessly! The other three guys may be the faces of Motley Crue but Mick Mars is definitely the backbone. All in all, I’d say this was a solid performance and the band had the crowd looking for more.

Ozzy setlist:

Bark At The Moon
Let Me Hear You Scream
Mr. Crowley
I Don’t Know
Fairies Wear Boots (Black Sabbath cover)
Fire In The Sky
Suicide Solution
Road To Nowhere
Into The Void (Black Sabbath cover)
Shot In the Dark
Rat Salad (Black Sabbath cover)
Iron Man (Black Sabbath cover)
I Don’t Want To Change The World
Crazy Train

Encore:
Mama I’m Coming Home
Paranoid (Black Sabbath cover)

Here’s the thing about Ozzy…..his performances are hit or miss. I’ve seen Ozzy mulitple times on every solo tour since NO MORE TEARS (1991) and he is usually really good, the one exception being the 2001/2002 tour for DOWN TO EARTH. As I mentioned before, I’ve seen Ozzfest from 1998 to 2002 and now this one (that’s 6!) and he has performed solo on four of them, each one hit or miss. The two Ozzfests that I saw with Black Sabbath headlining were really great so is it a case of Ozzy being too comfortable in his own material or that ultimately Black Sabbath is more than just Ozzy? Either way, I was excited to see Ozzy because he finally released a new record that wasn’t a letdown, SCREAM being the best album since 1995’s OZZMOSIS.

First thing I noticed was that Ozzy sounded great…..he opened with the classic ‘Bark At The Moon’ and his vocals were the best I’ve heard since the OZZMOSIS tour. The new band was really powerful, especially new guitarist Gus G. (Firewind, Dream Evil) who added a new edge to the overall sound. Nothing against Zakk Wylde but sometimes a new member can add a new spark. Same thing goes for bassist Blasko, drummer Tommy Clufetos and keyboardist Adam Wakeman…..these guys all had an energy to them that seemed to revive the Prince Of Darkness to put on an inspired show. The Blasko/Clufetos rhythm section is solid, no surprise as they have worked together in Rob Zombie’s band, giving them a modern sound and Adam Wakeman is a solid keyboardist/guitarist much like his father Rick Wakeman of the Progressive Rock band Yes. If I had to pick a standout performance it would definitely be Ozzy because his singing is much improved this time around but Gus G.’s guitar playing was dead on to Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee and Zakk Wylde proving that he is a versatile young guitar player.

The setlist was pretty good although a little predictable. All the usual hits were there (‘Bark At The Moon’, ‘I Don’t Know’, ‘Crazy Train’, and ‘Mr. Crowley’) but I was a little surprised by ‘Shot In The Dark’ because usually Ozzy & Sharon dismiss THE ULTIMATE SIN (1986) so much so that it’s the only Ozzy studio album deleted from the available catalog! Ozzy played two deep tracks with ‘Fire In The Sky’ from NO REST FOR THE WICKED (1988) and the excellent ‘Road To Nowhere’ from NO MORE TEARS. As with any Ozzy concert, the setlist had some Black Sabbath songs included…..this time around five but one was a solo section for the rest of the band when they did ‘Rat Salad’ from PARANOID (1970). ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ and ‘Into The Void’ were excellent, so were ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Paranoid’ but I am sick of those two songs after so many years. Bottom line…..one of the best times I’ve seen Ozzy live in a long time!

Vince Neil – Tattoos & Tequila (2010)

Vince Neil – Tattoos & Tequila (2010, Eleven Seven Music)

  1. Tattoos And Tequila *
  2. He’s A Whore
  3. AC/DC
  4. Nobody’s Fault
  5. Another Bad Day *
  6. No Feelings
  7. Long Cool Woman
  8. Another Piece Of Meat
  9. Who’ll Stop The Rain
  10. Viva Las Vegas
  11. Bitch Is Back

(* new studio track)

Band Lineup:
Vince Neil – Vocals
Dana Strum – Bass
Jeff Blando – Guitars & Background Vocals
Zoltan Chaney – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Brad Gillis – guitar solo (8)
Marti Frederiksen – bass, drums, keyboards, percussion and background vocals (1,5)
Will Evankovich – acoustic guitar (9)
Anthony Focx – drums (5)
Christian Matthew Cullen – keyboards (11)
Jack Blades – background vocals
Mollie Solow – background vocals (4,8,11)

Executive Producer: Vince Neil
Producers: Jack Blades & Marti Frederiksen

Total Time = 38:27

Vince Neil
Vince Neil MySpace page
Motley Crue
Eleven Seven Music

Just in time for Motley Crue’s co-headlining summer run at Ozzfest 2010, frontman Vince Neil has released his third solo album. Huh?

When I heard that Vince was putting out a new album I was pretty excited because I am a fan of his two solo albums post-Crue, EXPOSED (1993) and CARVED IN STONE (1995). I’m also a big Motley Crue fan and I figured that a new Vince solo record would sound similar to a new Crue album. Vince may not be the best singer in Rock but his voice is so distinctive that you can’t help but identify the vocals with Motley Crue. So here I am waiting for more information on this new album and I find out that only 2 out of 11 songs are originals! (Those buying the European pressing get a 12th track, a cover of ZZ Top’s ‘Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers’.) Only two new songs? I could see if Vince was releasing some unreleased material, or a greatest hits collection and then added the two new songs but this is basically a covers album. That screams laziness to me especially when Vince didn’t even co-write anything on the two new songs. Why bother releasing an album then?

So here’s how the new album runs: new song, Cheap Trick cover, The Sweet cover, Aerosmith cover, new song, Sex Pistols cover, The Hollies cover, Scorpions cover, Creedence Clearwater Revival cover, Elvis cover, and an Elton John cover. Impressive…..right?

The two new songs are pretty good and they sound very much like Motley Crue. The title song, written by song guru Marti Frederiksen is pretty good, it catchy chorus with a modern sounding arrangement mixed with that Motley sleaze. If you could find an autobiographical song for Vince, this would be it…..actually, this album is supposed to be the soundtrack to an upcoming book Vince is writing on his life. Kind of like Nikki Sixx’s Sixx AM band and THE HEROIN DIARIES book and album. The second new track is ‘Another Bad Day’, a song co-written by Nikki Sixx, Tracii Guns, James Michael (Sixx AM) and Grammy award winning songwriter Kevin Kadish. I’m not sure about the original writing session for the song but James Michael helped write on Motley Crue’s NEW TATTOO (2000) and SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES (2008) and also on Nikki’s side project Brides Of Destruction. Tracii Guns was a member of the Brides and Kevin Kadish helped write on that project as well. So it’s safe to say that Nikki had this song in the can between 2000 and 2008. ‘Another Bad Day’ is a melodic mid-tempo ballad and it’s actually pretty good, basically a Motley Crue style track.

 As far as the covers go, there are some that aren’t that bad and they are pretty much straightforward performances. I like his cover of Aerosmith’s ‘Nobody’s Fault’, the Scorpions’ ‘Another Piece Of Meat’, CCR’s ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ and The Hollies’ ‘Long Cool Woman’. The other cover songs are OK at best with the cover of Elvis’ ‘Viva Las Vegas’ being the worst, maybe we could add the Sex Pistols’ ‘No Feelings’ in there too. What Vince has going for him here is excellent production from Frederiksen and Night Ranger mainman Jack Blades and a superb band that includes Slaughter members Dana Strum & Jeff Blando and drummer Zoltan Chaney who has been rumored to hold the drum stool in the Crue everytime Tommy Lee decides it’s time to leave again. The band sounds perfect, Strum and Blando are seasoned veterans and Chaney has a huge drum sound…..even Vince sounds in decent voice.

Bottom Line:
If you’ve been a reader of this site for the last 4+ years, then you know my opinions regarding cover songs so it’s almost expected that I am going to crucify this album but I am going to try and be kind. I like the two new songs that are basically Motley leftovers and I like half the covers, not just because of song choice but also performance. I’m still disappointed though. When you advertise a “new album” and you hype it up, let it be a true new album. Releasing nine or ten covers with two new tracks that you had no hand in writing screams laziness to me. It’s not like Vince is the main songwriting force behind the Crue but he can write and has contributed in the past, at least contribute something! This album gives off the same empty feeling that all those late ’90s tribute albums with all-star lineups did, something Vince did a few times. You’ve got a good backing band, good producers and a label headed by your Crue bandmate, why not put some effort in and throw in more originals? If this were an album of ten originals and two covers then I would rate this higher but it isn’t and I can’t. I bought this for the curiosity and completist factors but it was $10 wasted. This is a trend that is happening way too much in today’s Rock world.

Favorite Songs:
I like the two new tracks ‘Tattoos & Tequila’ and ‘Another Bad Day’. As for the covers, give me the Scorpions, The Hollies and CCR as the best of the bunch.

Current Playlist – Sunday A.M. work edition

Today is NFL Championship Sunday and I had to rearrange my work schedule so I can sit on my couch and watch the AFC and NFC Championship games like most football fans. Instead of working my Sunday gig in the afternoon, I did the early morning (12am-8am)…..that gives me plenty of time to put the iPod on and listen to some Metal! Here’s what I listened to…..

Brainstorm – Memorial Roots (2010): The new Brainstorm was released everywhere but the U.S. in late 2009 so I was lucky to get a digital promo from AFM Records so I could give this a listen and review. I made this my Album of the Month and I like this new record better than 2007’s DOWNBURST.

Helix – Vagabond Bones (2009): I bought this late in 2009 and it’s been in my playlist every since. It’s got some great songs, most about drinking! Favorite song here is ‘Jack It Up’.

Circus 51 – s/t (2009): A six song independent release from Amarillo, Texas. I wanted to give this an extra spin because I listened to it a few times on the stereo and I noticed the production was a little “muddy”, I figured that headphones might clear some stuff up. The songs are there but the production lacks.

Epica – Design Your Universe (2009): I missed this album in 2009 but picked it up last week. This was my first listen and my first impression is a good one…..Simone Simons has a great voice and there is a ton of orchestration making the music very layered. This one needs a lot more time!

UZI – Madhouse (2009): Eonian Records keeps releasing great long lost ’80s gems and MADHOUSE keeps getting better with every listen. Makes you wonder how/why UZI wasn’t signed back in the ’80s.

Motley Crue – Dr. Feelgood (1989): Went with a classic to end my shift and I wanted to hear some Crue. This album is just so good, the Crue was at the top of their game and the biggest band around back then. Favorite track – ‘Without You’.

The Top 5 Music DVDs of 2009

2009 wasn’t the greatest year for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal DVDs. Maybe there weren’t that many released this year? Maybe I just flat out missed them? One factor could be that a lot of bands are packaging bonus DVDs into their proper album releases as bonuses for fans. Slayer, Alestorm, Saxon and KISS were just a few of the bands that did this in 2009, maybe next year I should include these as part of this list criteria? I’m not really sure what the deal is because I didn’t buy nearly as many DVDs in 2009 as I have in the past couple of years. The good news is that bands are still taking great care when producing these DVDs by adding extra content, bonus footage and CDs of live performances to the overall packages and the overall prices have been extremely reasonable. Money has to be spent wisely and the following list of DVDs gave a lot of bang for my hard earned buck! Here’s my list of The Top 5 Music DVDs of 2009:

#1

Iron Maiden – Flight 666 (The Film) DVD (2009): No surprise here! Iron Maiden consistently puts out the best DVDs every single time and FLIGHT 666 was no exception. 2 DVDs packed with a 2 hour documentary a 100+ minute concert performance and a ton of extras…..other bands need to take notice, this is how you release a DVD! FLIGHT 666 gives Iron Maiden the top spot again in the Top 5 DVDs of the year, they were the winner in 2008 with their official release of LIVE AFTER DEATH. I wonder what 2010 will bring?

#2

Anvil – The Story Of Anvil DVD (2009): Just a quick note: the link is for the movie review I did in late May when I went to see it at a local theater. Production started in November 2005 and the film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2008. The band played select tour dates in 2008 with the movie as support and I missed the show in Worcester, MA…..the good news was the actual theatrical debut in the U.S. was February. I waited on the DVD until it finally arrived in early October and it is basically the same movie as the one I saw in the theaters with the added bonus section with unedited and bonus footage. This was almost a tie for the top spot because I had more of an emotional attachment to the Anvil film seeing that I had cassettes of FORGED IN FIRE and METAL ON METAL back in the day.

#3

Global Metal DVD (2009): I was witing on this documentary to be released for all of 2008 and it NEVER came out. If you have heard of Sam Dunn & Scot McFadyen then it’s from their first film METAL: A HEADBANGER’S JOURNEY, the beginning chapter of the duos’ quest to find out how Metal is perceived, loved, enjoyed and revered by fans all over the world. GLOBAL METAL expands on A HEADBANGER’S JOURNEY and goes to different countries like India, Colombia, Japan and Brazil. It was great seeing the absolute dedication fans in different countries had, it reminded me of my days growing up as a kid and discovering Hard Rock & Heavy Metal…..I still have that same dedication. this set has 2 DVDs with the proper film on the first and all the outtakes and bonus content on the second. Any other year and GLOBAL METAL would easily take the top spot but it had to contend with FLIGHT 666…..coincidentally, Dunn & McFayden also filmed FLIGHT 666 and worked on GLOBAL METAL at the same time!

#4

Jeff Scott Soto – One Night In Madrid DVD (2009): This is a late addition that just made the cut, I just picked this DVD (and the 2 CD set) last week! I’ve been a Jeff Scott Soto fan since the Yngwie days in the early ’80s so I usually buy anything I can with his name attached to it. ONE NIGHT IN MADRID is a solid performance from Jeff’s just completed world tour and it includes a 21 song live show and a ton of bonuses including 8 music videos and bunch of outtakes. A ton of value for the price and a solid performance made this an instant favorite.

#5

Motley Crue – Cruefest 1 DVD (2009): I went with a sentimental choice for my #5 DVD, beating out the other 3 DVDs I had competing for the slot. I’ve been a Crue fan since TOO FAST FOR LOVE (1982) and I’ve seen a ton of Crue tours over the years but I skipped Cruefest 1 when it came to town because I didn’t like the lineup. I even passed on Cruefest 2 this past summer! So why does this get the #5 slot here? Because I like Motley Crue. I liked their last studio album SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES (2008) and I caught their show at Mohegan Sun Arena this past March so I was riding high on Motley Crue when I bought this DVD a couple weeks after the show. The Crue performances make the DVD, and the Buckcherry songs were good, but I could do without the live footage of Trapt, Sixx AM, and Papa Roach. A few bonuses were added in: a behind the scenes road documentary and 6 Crue videos.

Current Playlist

I’ve got the AC/DC concert, with Anvil opening up, on Tuesday so I’m listening to a lot of both bands lately but the latest studio records from both bands have been getting the majority of the spins…..

AC/DC – Black Ice (2008): I haven’t really listened to much of BLACK ICE in the last couple of months so I figured I’d give it a few fresh spins, especially since the band has been playing about 5 new songs live!

Anvil – This Is Thirteen (2007): This album has been played a lot since I bought it in 2008 and I’m still not sick of it. I definitely can’t wait to hear a couple of tracks live on Tuesday.

Praying Mantis – Sanctuary (2009): I just got this album in the mail the other day and I’ve only given it one quick spin. I’m a big NWOBHM fan and Praying Mantis released one helluva debut with TIME TELLS NO LIES back in 1981 so I’m hoping that this album will be one of the year’s best. I need to really sit down with this over the next week and give it serious time.

Motley Crue – Shout At The Devil (1983): I’ve been on a Crue kick for the last week so I pulled this one out to relive some childhood memories. The Crue were the biggest band back in the ’80s and his album along with their debut (TOO FAST FOR LOVE) were the most Metal the band would get. I never get sick of listening to this album,

Motley Crue – Generation Swine (1997): A lot of people hate this record but I always liked it. It was definitely a more modern Hard Rock sound compared to the party metal Crue had in their ’80s heyday but you have to remember that this album was written with John Corabi in mind…..then the reunion with Vince Neil was pushed in to cash in. There are some standout songs like ‘Afraid’, ‘Glitter’, and ‘Confessions’ but there are also stinkers like ‘Brandon’…..I had to sit there and listen to Tommy Lee gush this out on piano when I saw the tour in Worcester, MA back in 1997. Awful song!

Tesla – Forever More (2008): I missed out on this album last year because I was lazy. I bought it right around the time it came out and I left it wrapped until Christmas. I think I’ve only given it one spin, maybe two. I’ve read a lot of reviews and everyone really seems to like it so I think I need to spend more time with it.

Motorhead – Everything Louder Than Everyone Else (Live In Hamburg, Germany) (1998): This is one of my favorite live albums and I haven’t listened to it in a very long time. This album was recorded on the tour for 1998’s SNAKE BITE LOVE but the 25 song set is wide ranging from obvious classic like ‘Iron Fist’, ‘Overkill’ and ‘Ace Of Spades’ to songs that were newer then like ‘Love For Sale’ and ‘Take The Blame’. I especially like hearing four tracks from 1993’s BASTARDS, a seriously underrated Motorhead record.

KISS – Carnival Of Souls (The Final Sessions) (1997): The “lost” KISS album. CARNIVAL OF SOULS is a good modern Metal record and definitely a twin companion to REVENGE (1992). I had a bootleg of this record for a couple of years but I was glad that the band finally released the album properly in ’97 in the middle of the reunion with Ace & Peter. Too bad it didn’t come out in 1994 or 1995 because it’s definitely a solid record from the band’s most talented, and stable, lineup since the original makeup days.

Motley Crue – Shout At The Devil (1983)

Motley Crue - Shout At The Devil (1983)

Motley Crue – Shout At The Devil (1983, Elektra)

  1. In The Beginning
  2. Shout At The Devil
  3. Looks That Kill
  4. Bastard
  5. God Bless The Children Of The Beast
  6. Helter Skelter
  7. Red Hot
  8. Too Young To Fall In Love
  9. Knock’em Dead Kid
  10. Ten Seconds To Love
  11. Danger

Band Lineup:
Vince Neil – Vocals
Nikki Sixx – Bass
Mick Mars – Guitars
Tommy Lee – Drums

Producer: Tom Werman

Total Time = 44:10

Motley Crue
Motley Crue MySpace page

I was already a Motley Crue fan by the time SHOUT AT THE DEVIL came out because I had the band’s first record, TOO FAST FOR LOVE (1981). I bought that cassette based on the ‘Live Wire’ video I saw on MTV at some point in late 1982 so when I saw the video for ‘Looks That Kill’ I knew I had to buy this album. Back in ’83, I was in the 6th grade and everyone was into the Crue so having the album was considered cutting edge and extremely cool. My friends and I would listen to that cassette on the walk home from school and then we would play it to death on weekends. It was important listening!

The album was so exotic for us kids. First, the band was from L.A., if you read Circus or Hit Parader then you knew that L.A. was a Heavy Metal hotbed. Second, the vinyl was black with a pentagram on it…..anything to do with the devil was cool. Same thing with the song titles, you had the title track, a song with “kill” in it, a song with “beast” in it, a swear, knocking someone dead and danger…..they were dangerous and evil sounding so they were cool. Then you had the band pictures in all the magazines!

Motley Crue circa 1983

Listening to the CD today is a little weird because I was so used to the cassette and vinyl versions…..you know, with Side 1 and Side 2? Side 1 was my favorite because all the two big singles were on it: ‘Shout At The Devil’ and ‘Looks That Kill’…..two of the biggest Metal songs of the ’80s! The opening intro of ‘In the Beginning’ was always looked upon as a waste of space, as was the instrumental ‘God Bless The Children Of the Beast’. Why could they just give us a real song? And what a waste of a good song title! ‘God Bless The Children Of The Beast’ always reminded me of Iron Maiden’s ‘The Number Of The Beast’ so I had hoped it would be just as good a song. Today I skip both to get to the album cuts. ‘Bastard’ was always a favorite if for nothing else than the title and ‘Helter Skelter’ just sounded evil, that is until I found out that it was an original by The Beatles. Normally I disregard cover song, especially in my later years, but I didn’t care when I was 11 years old. Even today I still listen to it.

Side 2 was the side that only the guys with the long walk home from school would get to hear during the week, the others had to wait until the weekend. I always skipped Side 2 when I listened at home until i saw the ‘Too Young To Fall In Love’ video and then I started to listen to the whole album a lot more. ‘Red Hot’ is still a scorcher that I always thought sounded like something off TOO FAST FOR LOVE, a great tune. ‘Too Young To Fall In Love’ is a great single but gets forgotten by many, so does ‘Ten Seconds To Love. I wish Motley Crue would kick these into the live set once and a while, they do occasionally but not regularly since 2005. ‘Knock’em Dead Kid’ is a another cool song with a big catchy simple chorus but ‘Danger’ is the low point. Nothing like album sequencing back in the old days! You could just start the album with ‘Shout At The Devil’ and end with ‘Ten Seconds To Love’ and only have to deal with a minor instrumental interruption.

Bottom Line:
One of my favorite albums from the ’80s and definitely a classic! I grew up with this record, I listened to it so much that I wore the cassette out and this was one of the first CDs I bought when I got my first CD player. This was Motley Crue at their polished Metal best and they could easily compete with any band from Europe not only with music but image too. There are two throwaways with ‘In The Beginning’ and ‘God Bless The Children Of The Beast’ but the rest of the album is top notch radio-friendly Heavy Metal. The worst song for me here is ‘Danger’ but I still give it an occasional listen and the Beatles cover is one that I actually like. I just wish the band continued with this sound and look for the next album…..THEATER OF PAIN (1985).

Favorite Songs:
‘Shout At The Devil’, ‘Looks That Kill’, ‘Too Young To Fall In Love’, ‘Red Hot’. ‘Ten Seconds To Love’

End of vacation Mixtape

Sadly all good things must come to and end…..and so must my vacation. It’s been a great week off from work: I spent time with the family, listened to a lot of music and did a lot of things I can’t do because work gets in the way…..like sleep! I have to go back to work today at 4pm so I decided to relax in the music room and shuffle the iPod one last time to see what comes out…..

  1. Queen – ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ (1986)
  2. Starz – ‘Violation’ (1977)
  3. Dokken – ‘The Hunter’ (1985)
  4. Autograph – ‘Send Her To Me’ (1984)
  5. Journey – ‘Send Her My Love’ (1983)
  6. Judas Priest – ‘Hard As Iron’ (1988)
  7. Accept – ‘Do It’ (1980)
  8. Judas Priest – ‘Solar Angels’ (1981)
  9. Quiet Riot – ‘Twilight Hotel’ (1986)
  10. Sammy Hagar – ‘Mas Tequila’ (1999)
  11. .38 Special – ‘Wild Eyed Southern Boys’ (1981)
  12. KISS – ‘Room Service’ (1975)
  13. Ozzy Osbourne – ‘No Bone Movies’ (1980)
  14. Manowar – ‘Fighting The World’ (1987)
  15. KISS – ‘Exciter’ (1983)
  16. Tim Owens – ‘Believe’ (2009)
  17. ZZ Top – ‘T.V. Dinners’ (1983)
  18. Motley Crue – ‘Hollywood Ending’ (2000)
  19. U.D.O. – ‘Infected’ (2009)
  20. Aerosmith – ‘Last Child’ (1977)

Bonus Track: UFO – ‘Diesel In the Dust’ (1983)

    CD Scavenger Hunt – updated purchases

    Here we go again! I’ve been buying a lot of CDs & DVDs so here’s what’s new……

    Ebay

    hammerfall-no-sacrifice-no-victory-2009Hammerfall – No Sacrifice, No Victory (2009) – $15: I’ve been a Hammerfall fan since GLORY TO THE BRAVE was released in 1997 so everytime they release a new album I have to have it right away. NO SACRIFICE, NO VICTORY has been out for a couple of weeks in Europe and Japan and I was holding out for a U.S. release but I couldn’t wait and I used BUY IT NOW to grab the European version. I bought this late last week and the U.S. release ended up being this past Tuesday…..the local shop had it on sale for $9.99…..figures!

    NEH Records

    great_white_-_rising_artworkGreat White – Rising (2009) – $17: Great White’s last album, BACK TO THE RHYTHM, was one of my Top Albums of 2007 and it was an awesome comeback. This is another album that came out everywhere else a week or two ago except for the U.S. (the U.S. release is sometime in April). RISING was at the top of my want list so I searched all over the Net for a decent price and NEH had the best one. I always like ordering from NEH because they are based in the U.S. and always have a solid selection and great shipping rates.

    jeff-scott-soto-beautiful-messJeff Scott Soto – Beautiful Mess (2009) – $17: Had to have the new Jeff Scott Soto album as well and I had to wait a couple months. JSS went with an initial release campaign for a digital download of the complete album. I just can’t bring myself to download anything so I decided to wait until the actual CD was released. It took a couple of months but JSS released the album on CD and then it took me a couple of weeks to get around to ordering it. I’ve always been a JSS fan since his days with Yngwie Malmsteen but his solo works are more melodic and soulful rather than Metal. After seeing him successfully front Journey a couple of summers ago, I will always support anything he releases.

    tall-stories-skyscraperTall Stories – Skyscraper (2009) – $17: Continuing the theme of former Journey frontmen releasing new albums, Steve Augeri got the unreleased Tall Stories album, SKYSCRAPER, out and in the hands of fans. SKYSCRAPER was worked on from 1993 to 1995 but the band dissolved and Augeri went on to Tyketto and then Journey. I had the first Tall Stories album when it came out back in 1991 and it’s solid Melodic ock and I expect that this new record is more of the same.

    CD Baby

    badmouth-debut-albumBadmouth – s/t (2008) – $10: I’ve had this album on my radar since it came out in September but I’ve never been able to find a decent price. I was going to order it from NEH Records with the rest of my order but the price was $18.99! I checked Ebay but there was nothing available so I moved over to Badmouth’s website and I saw that it was $10 buying direct from the band! Clicked the link…..went to CD Baby and it’s all done.

    dirty-penny-take-it-sleazyDirty Penny – Take It Sleezy (2007) – $12: Now I just couldn’t order one CD from CD Baby so I went through my account’s wish list and one of the last CDs I put on there was Dirty Penny’s first disc. I never got around to picking this up a couple of years ago and I have read some great reviews online so this one was a no brainer. What made it even sweeter was that the price was the best I’ve seen. I’ve read that Dirty Penny is like a cross between Dokken and early Motley Crue, I love both those bands so I hope that’s true.

    ravage-freedom-fighterRavage – Freedom Fighter (2008) – $7: I’ve been checking out a lot of local bands and Ravage is from my backyard (Massachusetts). I’ve been compiling a list of local New England bands and Ravage was on the list but I forgot all about them until I received an email from Metal Blade that they signed Ravage for their new record. A quick check and $7 later and this 6 song E.P. was on the order.

     

    Not everything can be an online purchase because I’m a record store guy and I still like to go through all the racks. I went down to my local Newbury Comics to pick up a few new releases from last week and this week but I didn’t get to the store until Noon…..usually I’m there right when the doors open because there is only a limited amount of certain new releases…..

    Newbury Comics

    wolf-ravenousWolf – Ravenous (2009) – $12: This was first on the list because I knew there would only be 1 or 2 copies in the store. Nothing in the new release rack, nothing under “Wolf” so it was off to the front counter. Good news was that the Metal guy was working and he had the second (and last) copy of the CD behind the counter. Turns out they sold the first one as soon as they opened and they hadn’t had a chance to get the other copy on the front rack. From what the Metal guy told me, it’s an excellent album, he bought his own copy…..so they really had three!

    mastodon-crack-the-skye-2009Mastodon – Crack The Skye (2009) – $10: CRACK THE SKYE has got to be one of the most anticipated Metal albums of the year especially after Mastodon’s previous album from 2006 BLOOD MOUNTAIN. That record was a grower for me but I started to come around and check out the rest of Mastodon’s albums and I’m really high on the band. I started receiving press releases on CRACK THE SKYE two months ago so I knew that there was a limited edition package with a bonus DVD but I went with the regular CD. I have to really love a band to spend an extra $5 for a a special edition with a DVD that’s just about making the record.

    cruefest-2008Motley Crue – Crue Fest 1 DVD (2009) – $19: I wasn’t going to pick this DVD up because I knew there would be plenty of copies around but because the store didn’t have Saga – Live In Munich (2 CD/2 DVD) limited edition I decided to pick this one up as a consolation prize. I didn’t go to Crue Fest 1 last summer because I thought the lineup sucked aside from Motley Crue and Buckcherry and I really didn’t want a DVD with performances by Trapt, Sixx AM, and especially Papa Roach. the good news is that there is a full Crue perofrmance, a documentary about the tour, 6 Crue videos, and only a few tunes from the other four bands. I can live with that! I also just saw Motley Crue a couple weeks ago so I figured the performance had to be a good one on the DVD.

    The quest continues because I was shut out of two items on my hunt: Rob Halford – Resurrection re-release and Saga – Live In Munich (2 CD/2 DVD) limited edition. The Halford reissue has four new tunes on it and was advertised a week ago for $13 but they were sold out. The Saga limited edition set is the last performance of the band with original singer Michael Sadler and was advertised this week for $25 while both the double CD and double DVD versions were both priced at $17 separately. If I’m going to buy the set then I might as well get both formats in one package for the lower price. I’ll be getting that one this weekend…..if they have it in stock!

    Motley Crue in concert at Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT) – 3/13/09

    It’s Friday the 13th and Motley Crue is playing the Mohegan Sun Arena at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut and I’ve got tickets! Took the night off work, met a couple of my buddies and we went to the casino. After a nice dinner at one of the casino’s buffets, we headed into the arena. There was a band playing when we got in around 7pm and I have no idea who they were, by the time I bought a Crue t-shirt and we got a beer, the opening band was gone! We took our seats in the upper arena on the exact side of the stage (the Nikki Sixx side) and waited patiently for some kick ass Hard Rock.

    Up first was Theory Of A Deadman. I’ve heard of the band but never any of the music, I don’t usually go for those Hot Topic styled bands that all the kiddies like. I went in with an open mind and, after a 30 minute set, I decided that Theory Of A Deadman suck. Second band on was Hinder…..another band I have heard of before but never heard any of their music. After an hour set, I was impressed. The songs had hooks for miles and a very melodic base, I almost could compare them to a more ’80s styled Buckcherry. Hinder made such an impression that I went online and sampled some of their music when I finally got home but I was there for only one reason…..Motley Crue!

    Motley Crue setlist:

    Kickstart My Heart
    Wild Side
    Shout At The Devil
    Saints Of Los Angeles (with the singers from the opening acts)
    Live Wire (with guitar solo intro from Mick Mars)
    Too Fast For Love/On With the Show
    Mutherfucker Of The Year (with an intro from Tommy Lee)
    Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
    Same Ol’ Situation
    White Trash Circus
    White Trash Circus (2nd performance for Jimmy Kimmel Live)
    Primal Scream (with a quick bass intro from Nikki Sixx)
    Looks that Kill
    Girls, Girls, Girls
    Dr. Feelgood

    ENCORE:
    Home Sweet Home

    Basically your standard Motley Crue setlist with a couple of new numbers from SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES (2008). I knew about ‘Saints Of Los Angeles’ & ‘Mutherfucker Of The Year’ but ‘White Trash Circus’ was definitely a surprise, especially getting it twice. The band announced that they were taping the song for Jimmy Kimmel Live so they gave us two performances of the new single. If you’ve seen the Crue in concert before then you’ve heard all the hits before, not much of a surprise. What I liked was hearing the two songs from TOO FAST FOR LOVE, especially ‘Too Fast For Love’ with a quick ending of ‘On With The Show’…..what I would have given to hear ‘Starry Eyes’ or ‘Public Enemy #1′ but I’ll take it. Another couple of highlights for me were ‘Primal Scream’, ‘Same Ol’ Situation’ and ‘Looks That Kill’. Missing from the set were ‘Red Hot’ and ‘Louder Than Hell’, thankfully we didn’t have to put up with ‘Anarchy In The UK’ either, but the new songs fit in well in their place. I thought ending with ‘Home Sweet Home’ was kind of a “downer” even though it’s a great ballad…..I just kind of expected one more rocker to end the set.

    The overall performance was really good: Tommy still hits the skins hard, Nikki pounds the bass, and Vince actually sang most of the words this time! He was in fine voice at this show but the performance of the night had to go to Mick Mars. I’ve never thought of Mick Mars as an influential guitar player and he’s never been one of my personal favorites but seeing this shrunken, almost cripple, skeleton of a man just wail all over the stage was what made the show so much fun. He was shredding, soloing, and keeping true to all of the classic riffs. From my vantage point, he seemed to be enjoying every moment on stage with the crowd. I’ve seen every tour that the Crue has done since the ’87/’88 GIRLS Tour (except for last summer’s Cruefest) and I think this was one of the better shows I’ve seen by the band. The only drawback was that they had 3 opening acts, I would have preferred 3 more Crue songs in the setlist. After the show in the casino, I was talking with some people that were involved with the tour production and I’ve heard that the setlist that they played tonight is going to be the set they play on Cruefest 2 this summer.

    Current playlist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Current playlist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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