Aeon Zen - Self Portrait E.P.

CD Scavenger Hunt – November & December 2013 update

I know it’s late but here’s the updates for November & December 2013 and the totals for the year…..

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November

Aeon Zen – Self Portrait E.P. (2013) – $12

I only bought one CD in November…..ONE CD! That itself is amazing! Seriously though, getting close to the holidays and it’s better to save money. I picked up this E.P. from Aeon Zen from their website because I wanted the actual CD and not the download, seeing that the CD was limited to 100 copies, I bought it immeadiately.

December

Alestorm – Live At The End Of The World (CD/DVD) (2013) – $15
Stryper – No More Hell To Pay – (CD/DVD) (2013) – $14
Saxon – Unplugged And Strung Up (2013) – $0
Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed (2013) – $10 used
Newsted – Heavy Metal Music (2013) – $10 used
Ghost B.C. – If You Have Ghost E.P. (2013) – $0
Boston – Life, Love And Hope (Best Buy Exclusive) (2013) – $12
Black Oak Arkansas – Back Thar N’ Over Yonder (2013) – $10
Epica – Retrospect 10th Anniversary Box Set (3CD/2DVD) (2013) – $36
Nightwish – Showtime, Storytime (2CD/2DVD) (2013) – $25
Ayreon – The Theory Of Everything (2CD/DVD) (2013) – $20
Rhapsody Of Fire – Dark Wings Of Steel (2013) – $12
Seventh Seal – The Black Dragon’s Eyes (2003) – $4 used
Van Canto – A Storm To Come (2006) – $6 used
Bal Sagoth – The Chthonic Chronicles (2006) – $5 used
Meliah Rage – The Deep And Dreamless Sleep (2006) – $5 used

Let’s start December at Newbury Comics in Warwick. There was a sweet sale (Buy 2 Get 1 Free) on CDs so I decided to spend a few bucks. I didn’t know the Alestorm album was out so I dropped the $15 sale price (saved $5 off regular price) and paired it with the new Stryper studio album on sale for $14 (saved $4) to get the new Saxon unplugged album for free (saved $12). The Saxon CD was on sale for $12 for the regular edition ($16 regular price) but there was also the limited edition with the bonus CD of re-recorded classics. Turns out this bonus disc is Heavy Metal Thunder re-recorded compilation from 2002 so I didn’t need another version of that. I forget the price on the 2 disc set but I think it was around $20 on sale, maybe $24 regular price. Keeping this trip under $50 was a goal so I grabbed three used CDs: the new Skeltonwitch for $10 (saved $6), the new Newsted for another $10 (saved $5) and the new Ghost B.C. disc for free (saved $8). The Ghost B.C. album was listed as used but it was sealed and brand new. This whole trip saved me $40.

The second trip was actually on the same day. I was Xmas shopping so I decided to grab the new Boston album at Best Buy for the exclusive bonus track but I couldn’t find the new Black Oak Arkansas album. Pulled out the phone, added the CD to the Amazon Xmas wish list and, when I got home, I placed the order with other Xmas gifts. Very easy!

Made a second trip to Newbury Comics in Warwick, RI while Xmas shopping a few days later. I bought what I needed for presents and decided I needed a couple presents! I bought the new Epica – Retrospect box set on sale for $36 (saved $10 on the 3CD/2DVD set) and I added the new Nightwish live album (2CD/2DVD) for $25 (saved $5).

The last trip of the year went to the same record store after the holiday. I won $50 on a scratch ticket so I spent it on CDs. I didn’t really see much aside from the new Ayreon and Rhapsody of Fire releases (saving a total of $8 on both) and 4 cheap used CDs that I didn’t own. I ended up spending an extra $2 over the lottery winnings so it was a solid trip.

Final 2013 Totals

Total (Nov & Dec) = $196

Total (year) = $2230.84

Average Price (per item) = $11.93

Total CDs (year) = 169

Total DVDs & BluRays (year) = 5

Total LPs (year) = 6

Total Box Sets (year) = 7

Just a quick analysis…..

Compared to 2012, I bought 46 less items this year but I spent about $427 more. A lot of that money goes to a few higher priced Ebay purchases and some new releases that were CD/DVD combo packs. I bought 58 fewer CDs and 1 less DVD/Blu-Ray but I did pick up 7 box sets and 6 vinyl LPs so the collection is getting more diverse. Maybe I will add some cassettes in 2014! I’m not sure what 2014 will be for CD hunting but I’m hoping that I find more gems, fill a lot of holes in my collection, acquire more and spend less. I say that every year but I’m really going to concentrate on obvious and glaring holes in the collection that are more mainstream and/or popular. I still like the rarities but I’m going to go for more accessible releases from past years.

Let the hunt continue!

CD Scavenger Hunt – June update

Another month behind as usual but here’s a large purchase update from June. I’m breaking it up just a little because the beginning of the month was boring but I caught a huge sale at the record store mid-month and Ebay was really good again…..

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Dio – Finding The Sacred Heart: Live In Philly 1986 CD (2013) – $14
Black Star Riders – All Hell Breaks Loose (2013) – $12
Anvil – Hope In Hell (2013) – $9
Black Sabbath – 13 (Deluxe Edition) (2013) – $15
Burning Rain – Obsession (2013) – $10
Dio – Finding The Sacred Heart: Live In Philly 1986 BluRay (2013) – $14
Megadeth – Supercollider (2013) – $12
Aerosmith – Pandora’s Box (1991) – $20 used

The beginning of the month wasn’t really exciting, just catching some new releases on sale. I picked up the new live Dio CD and the new Black Star Riders (aka Thin Lizzy) and I wanted the Dio BluRay but they only had Finding The Sacred Heart on DVD. Opened the Amazon app on my phone and started price comparisons while in the store! Found the Dio BluRay for $14 saving $2 in the process compared to the in store sale price. I started comparing the prices on the new Anvil ($4 difference), Black Sabbath ($2 difference), Burning Rain ($6 difference), Megadeth ($1 difference) so I placed an order right away. I saved $15 by checking my phone while in the record store! I know, buying online kills record shops, and I’m against killing record shops but how can I deny saving $15 online compared to the SALE prices in the store? And I also saved the sales tax! I ended up taking that $15 savings and applying it to a used original pressing of the Aerosmth Pandora’s Box set for $20 so the store still got my business.

W.E.T. – Rise Up (2013) – $18
Snakecharmer – s/t (2013) – $18
Gloryhammer – Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife (Deluxe Edition) – $0
Jorn – Traveller (2013) – $18
Timo Tolkki’s Avalon – The Land Of New Hope (2013) – $17
U.D.O. – Steelhammer (2013) – $0
Children Of Bodom – Halo Of Blood (Deluxe Edition) (2013) – $16
Bon Jovi – What About Now (Deluxe Edition) (2013) – $15 used
Rhapsody Of Fire – Live From Chaos To Eternity (2013) – $0
Anthrax – Among The Living (1987) – $8 used
Anthrax – I’m The Man (1987) – $8 used
Slayer – Christ Illusion (2006) – $0 used
Anthrax – Spreading The Disease (1985) – $6 used
Warrel Dane – Praises To The War Machine (2008) – $4 used
Mercyful Fate – Into The Unknown (1996) – $0 used

I’ve been debating the Amazon vs. record store thing for a while but you can never pass up a great sale at the record store. Newbury Comics had a “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” on all CDs mid-month so I decided to drive the 20 minutes to the Warwick, RI location with my daughter for some bargains. Is it wrong to teach my kid that you have to be first in line at the door before they open and you race for everything? That’s how it was back in the day. Of course, we were first but also the only ones there…..we got first dibs! Within 15 minutes the place was packed but I already grabbed a handbasket and had the major purchases inside. The goal was to get a lot of new releases from this year that I’ve passed on and I did an awesome job.

(Here’s a tip for all you record store rookies…..if you have the opportunity to go to the record store before a big sale like this, go immediately and put all the CDs you really want in one spot. That way you won’t miss out! I like to hide Metal CDs in the Classical section the day before. Who really shops the Classical section? How many times do you think the staff organizes the Classical section?)

Guilty as charged, I went the night before and hid 9 new releases. Did I think I was going to miss out? Maybe…..its happened before. And what if I was late getting there? Good thing I was in the area the day before! So the first 9 CDs were all high priced new releases NOT on sale (the staff usually pulls most sale stickers in advance). Some of these releases are imports (that means anything from Frontiers Records) so the new album from the Jeff Scott Soto led W.E.T. and the new Snakecharmer were $18 each but I saved $18 getting the limited edition Gloryhammer CD for free. Jorn Lande’s new album, Traveller, was expensive (AFM Records) at $18 and so was Timo Tolkki’s Avalon, The Land Of New Hope, at $17 but I scored the new U.D.O. album for free and saved $17. Saved $35 so far! I saved another $14 when I got the latest double disc live album from Rhapsody Of Fire for free when I paired it with the deluxe edition of Halo Of Blood from Children Of Bodom for $16 on sale and a $15 used copy of Bon Jovi’s What About Now (also deluxe). If you look at these CDs, the Rhapsody Of Fire was on sale for $14 but regular was $16 and both Children Of Bodom and Bon Jovi had regular prices of $22!

After I grabbed all the “hidden” CDs, I started on the used bins. I found three Anthrax albums I didn’t have on CD but have on cassette, an original pressing of Slayer’s Christ Illusion (recently reissued), and two cheap copies of Warrel Dane and Mercyful Fate. I saved $7 on the Slayer by pairing it with two Anthrax CDs, and I saved $4 on the Mercyful Fate. Total savings on free CDs this trip = $60.

Richie Sambora – Stranger In This Town (1991) – $5.50 used
Bruce Kulick – Audio Dog (2001) – $12.70
Cutty Sark – Die Tonite (1984) – $10 used vinyl
Cutty Sark – Heroes (1985) – $10 used vinyl
Rainbow – Finyl Vinyl (1983/1999 2CD reissue) – $13 used
KISS – Monster (International Tour Edition) – $16
Coney Hatch – s/t (1982) – $7 used vinyl
Coney Hatch – Outa Hand (1983) – $7 used vinyl
Coney Hatch – Friction (1985) – $7 used vinyl
Cheap Trick – Sex, America, Cheap Trick Box Set (1996) – $17.50 used

Can’t forget Ebay! I always watch Ebay daily because there have always been bargains since I joined in 1999. It’s not the same as it was back then but, if you search properly, the bargains are still there. I found the Richie Sambora solo album while watching a Bruce Kulick solo album from the same seller. I missed Bruce Kulick but got Richie Sambora and then had to go to another seller and pay slightly extra for Audio Dog. I picked up the two Cutty Sark vinyl LPs while searching for Die Tonite on CD at a decent price. After careful communication with the seller about the LPs condition, I pulled the trigger and paid a little extra for fast shipping. Finyl Vinyl fills the last hole in my Rainbow collection and it’s the complete two disc version and the international edition of KISS Monster was necessary for the bonus track ‘Right Here Right Now’ that was only previously available on iTunes. Add the digipak format and poster along with the bonus track to make it even more necessary for this KISS diehard. Technically, my international version is from Canada and this is the 4th version I own of this album (I also have the original release, the Wal-Mart zine pak and the Best Buy version with the 3D cover)…..all I need is a Japanese import or a German version with the alternate KISS logo! I bought more vinyl while researching Coney Hatch CDs and I got copies in really awesome condition but the real gem from Ebay this month was the Cheap Trick box set Sex, America, Cheap Trick. I’ve been immersing myself in all things Cheap Trick and I had to have this rarities box set but it’s out of print and high priced most of the time. I picked this up for $15 plus $2.50 shipping because the seller misspelled Cheap as “Cheep”. Another bargain through someone else’s mistake!

Total = $339.70

Total (year) = $1446.50

Average Price (per item) = $10.88

Total CDs (year) = 116

Total DVDs & BluRays (year) = 4

Total LPs (year) = 6

Total Box Sets (year) =7

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NOTE:
Just to compare, here’s the mid-year totals from 2012…..

Total (year) = $1171

Average Price (per item) = $8.87

Total CDs (year) = 127

Total DVDs & Blu-Rays (year) = 5

CD Scavenger Hunt (July update)

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

Newbury Comics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total = $110

Total (year) = $669

Average Price (per item) = $10.29

Total Savings (month) = $99

Total Savings (year) = $435

Total CDs (year) = 59

Total DVDs (year) = 5

Total Box Sets (year) = 0

Total LPs (year) = 1

CD Scavenger Hunt (January update) – The first hunt of 2011!

Better late than never! I realize it’s the middle of February and I’m a couple of weeks late but the hunt is always going!

Taking a quick look back at last year…..I bought 178 different music items totalling $1820, that’s only about $35 a week and I’ve been known to spend a LOT more than that. I’m a little more budget concious now and I’ve come to the realization that I can’t buy everything so this year’s purchases are going to be a little more thought out and a little more of the less expensive side. I may equal or surpass last year’s dollar amount but I want to add more items to my collection. What’s the old saying? “Less is more”? Not in my collecting world…..MORE is more! Xmas came and Santa brought me $100 dollars in Newbury Comics gift cards so I was armed and ready when I walked into the Warwick, RI location…..

One thing to check out…..I’m adding Total Savings per trip and for the year into the stats at the end of the hunt so you can compare what I would have paid had I paid regular prices.

Newbury Comics

Black Sabbath – Mob Rules (2010 Deluxe Edition) – $35 (free with gift card): The top album on my Want List was the deluxe edition of Sabbath’s Mob Rules for one reason and one reason only…..the bonus CD of the Rhino Handmade release of LIVE AT HAMMERSMITH ODEON. Back in May 2007, Rhino Records’ custom division released the limited edition numbered CD of LIVE AT HAMMERSMITH ODEON for a meager $20 and the 5000 copies sold out immeadiately. There was a pre-order but I never bought in because money was tight at the time. I’ve been kicking myself ever since because that custom CD became a hot collector’s item not only for the music but for the exclusivity of having 1 of 5000 copies. In the years since, this has been one of the hottest bootlegged CDs on the secondary market. I was going to pick up all the Dio-era Sabbath deluxe editions anyway but once I heard what the extra disc was, I had to have it! Unfortunately, the Newbury Comics closer to my house in North Attleboro stocked only one copy and it sold right away. I kept my eye out and, when I saw it in the Warwick location, it was a done deal! There are also two bonus tracks that accompany the album proper: a live version of ‘Die Young’ and the original version of ‘The Mob Rules’ from the Heavy Metal movie soundtrack. Saved $35.

Black Sabbath – Seventh Star (2010 Deluxe Edition) – $35 (free with gift card): I was going to pick up the HEAVEN & HELL Deluxe Edition but there were two copies of it at the store while there was only one copy of the SEVENTH STAR Deluxe Edition. My paranoia that I would miss out on SEVENTH STAR forced my hand! I am a huge fan of all post-Ozzy eras of Black Sabbath and I bought this album back in 1986 when it first came out on cassette. Actually, I almost went to the concert at the Providence Civic Center that tour but my parents wouldn’t let me go, concerts were a new thing for me and them back in 1985/1986. Anyway, the extras here are a remixed version of ‘No Stranger To Love’ on the album CD and the bonus disc is a live recording with Ray Gillen at Hammersmith Odeon 6/2/1986. For the sake of history, the Providence, RI gig was 3/25/1986 and was the next to last show with SEVENTH STAR vocalist Glenn Hughes fronting the band. Saved $35.

The Rolling Stones – Hot Rocks (1964-1971) (2002 remaster) – $30 (free with gift card): When I started to get into music in the early ’80s, The Rolling Stones were billed as “the ultimate Rock ‘n’ Roll band” and they were always on local FM radio. I grew up listening to the radio and I grew up listening to the band’s songs. When I started heading out to record stores, I wanted a Rolling Stones greatest hits cassette…..enter HOT ROCKS. I bought my cassette copy at the old Good Vibrations chain and I remember it was so expensive (probably around $15) because it was considered a double album…..I still have the cassette today. I had $30 left in gift cards and I wanted something special and that’s when I thought of HOT ROCKS. The price has doubled for the remastered single CD compared to my cassette from back in the day but I figured I would never spend the $30 on my own so I decided that it was now or never and I burned the last gift card. Saved $30.

Holy Grail – Crisis In Utopia (2010) – $12: Holy Grail is a spin-off band from one of my favorite new bands White Wizzard. I’m not really sure who left to form what band but now I know that there are two solid U.S. Power metal bands out there! I had read a lot of reviews on Holy Grail in Decibel and Revolver magazines, as well as, online so I kept the band and album in mind but I had totally forgotten as I was burning all my gift cards. As I was walking to the checkout counter with my three albums, I saw CRISIS IN UTOPIA sitting in a display so I snatched it up right away. I figured that I wasn’t paying for the three other deluxe CDs so I could spend some of my own money and buy this album. Good thing I grabbed the CD on display because a quick look in the Metal section under ‘H’ and I found another copy at the regular $15.99 price! I’ll take a sale CD anyday! Saved $4.

Electric Wizard – Black Masses (2011) – $10: One of the hardest things about being an obsessive collector is that you want to hear and buy everything but everything is not always available. I had Electric Wizard’s latest, BLACK MASSES, on my list all year long but I wasn’t about to pay the high import prices. I don’t own any Electric Wizard albums but, after reading so many great reviews, I decided to start with the new album. Unfortunately, there was no U.S. release date set! So I waited and then the 2010 year end best of lists started coming out online and in print. Gues what album always seemed to be at or near the top? A couple weeks after my gift card shopping trip, I decided to drop in quickly to the local Newbury Comics closer to home and there’s BLACK MASSES in the new release section for a cool $10…..about $15 less than the import price + shipping! A no-brainer to pick up…..saved $4 off the regular price. Just a note here…..this is the North American release and it’s dated 2011 on the CD even though it was released everywhere else in 2010.

Bret Michaels – Songs Of Life (2003) – $4 used: If you’re going to pop in the local record store quick and immeadiately find an album you want on the new release rack in front of the entrance, then it’s your duty as a collector to make sure that there are no other treasures hiding in plain sight. I took a quick lap through the entire store and guess what album I find staring at my from the Poison section? I know I’ve crucified Bret the last few years for releasing “new” albums that are really repackage deals of his previous solo work but I’ve made it a personal mission to acquire all the Bret solo albums that were released in the mid-2000s on his own label, Poor Boy Records. Slowly but surely, I started to find all the Bret albums but SONGS OF LIFE had eluded me at a fair price, it was going for $25+ on Ebay! I saw the CD and grabbed it right away, then I saw the $4 price tag…..that’s a huge deal! I estimate that this originally went for $15 when it was released so I saved about $11.

W.A.S.P. – The Last Command (1985) – $7 used: This was a great find for very personal reasons. About 8 years ago, when my wife and I were expecting our second child, money was a little tight. My wife wasn’t working and my work schedule wasn’t flexible enough for me to get a second job. I turned to my CD collecting hobby for additional income. I started selling used CDs that I found in the record stores on ebay and I started to make a couple extra bucks. When we needed even more extra cash, I turned to my own collection for CDs to sell. One of my big sales was all the original pressings of every W.A.S.P. album from the first to THE CRIMSON IDOL (1992)…..6 CDs and I netted $100! That was a huge help back then and I justified it not only by the situation but by the fact that I had bought the W.A.S.P. remasters back in 1999. Years later, I’m unhappy with the sound on the remasters and I’ve been searching for the original pressings again. W.A.S.P. has always been one of my favorite bands and I was there from before the debut album so these records are special, THE LAST COMMAND being my favorite. An obvious purchase and a great find at what I estimate as half off regular price. Saved $8.

Hardcore Superstar – No Regrets (2003) – $4 used: I found this CD in a bargain bin and I recognized the name but I wasn’t sure what kind of music they played. I remembered seeing reviews on one of the websites I frequent but I had never heard one song from Hardcore Superstar. Thank god for smartphones! First, I checked my collection to see if I already owned it (I’ve seen more than a few copies at a low used price). Second, I got online and looked the band up. Once I found the reviews at some of my favorite websites, I decided to take the $4 risk. Third, I checked Ebay to see what the CD was going for because there was a second copy of NO REGRETS at the same price. It wasn’t selling at auction so I figured I’d leave it for someone else to discover. I’m going to use this as a jumping off point to check out the band because it’s their fourth out of eight albums and, if I like their brand of Sleaze Rock, I will try and get the rest as cheap as possible. I estimate the regular price at $15 when researching online and taking into account Newbury Comics’ prices, so I saved $11.

Damageplan – New Found Power (2004) – $3 used: I found this in the same bargain bin that I found the Hardcore Superstar disc in and I used my smartphone again to make sure I didn’t have it in my collection. I have always been a Pantera fan, maybe not as big as others, but I have all their records in my collection, including the independent ones before COWBOYS FROM HELL. I never bothered to collect all the spin-off bands until I bought both HellYeah albums last year. I had every intention of checking out Damageplan after the untimely death of Dimebag Darrell but I just never got around to it. In fact, I’ve passed on more than a few used copies over the years but none at this price. To make sure I was getting the best deal (and how could $3 not be a great deal!), I went over to the ‘D’ section and noticed that regular price on this disc was $15.99 and the other used price was $7.99. I saved $13 off the regular price.

Rhapsody Of Fire – The Cold Embrace Of Fear E.P. (2010) – $7: As I was picking up the W.A.S.P., Hardcore Superstar and Damageplan CDs on my third trip of the year to the record store, I noticed this new release by Rhapsody Of Fire in the new release rack. I wasn’t really sure what this release was, and Rhapsody does have a pattern of releasing E.P.s and multi-track CD singles between albums, so I got online with my phone for quick research…..my Android phone is my new best tool while on the hunt! Turns out this E.P. was released in Europe in October 2010 and it’s one 35 minute song broken into seven acts. I’m skeptical about these type of releases because what does a 35 minute song sound like? And am I going to get bored? I have almost every Rhapsody release so the completist in me had to have it and, at $7, it wasn’t too much to risk. Saved $3 off regular price.

Online

King Lizard – Viva La Decadence (2010) – $20: I happened to find out about King Lizard through a podcast I listen to and I liked the song so much that I went to their website to buy the album. Of course, I was too late because they were sold out of the first pressing with the uncensored artwork! I didn’t want to wait for a second pressing to become available so I emailed the band direct and inquired on the availability. The band responded and I bought the LAST copy they had with the uncensored artwork AND they autographed it for me! Not a bad deal at all! Sometimes all you have to do is ask and you definitely shall receive, as long as you have a genuine interest and still pay for the item! Thanks to King Lizard for hooking me up so watch for an album review here soon. More info on the band can be found at their official website: http://www.kinglizard.co.uk/

Total = $67

Total (year) = $67 

Average Price (per item) = $6.09

Total Savings (month) = $154

Total Savings (year) = $154

Total CDs (year) = 11

Total DVDs (year) = 0

Total Box Sets (year) = 0

Total LPs (year) = 0

CD Scavenger Hunt – A month’s worth of purchases! (Part 2)

OK, so what was a month of purchases has taken me extra time to post because I’m lazy! So here is Part 2 of this installment of CD Scavenger Hunt, the first part will be the post before this one! All of these CDs come from my local record store, Newbury Comics, except for the last CD that came from Best Buy.

Newbury Comics

Ozzy Osbourne – Scream (2010) - $9: This was a definite purchase because I have been an Ozzy fan since the first album and this was either going to be a solid record or a complete train wreck! After the TV show and the last 2 studio albums, I’ve had no faith in Ozzy but my loyalty keeps me coming back over and over. I was going to pick this up at Best Buy because it was featured for $8 but I decided that my loyalty lies with the independent store so I paid the extra buck at Newbury Comics, regular price at both stores was $15 so I saved $6. I installed SCREAM as my July 2010 Album Of The Month so click the link above to read the review.

Halford – Live In Anaheim (2010) – $12: I don’t miss a new Halford release and this double disc live set was on my list since the Metal God announced it months ago. This live album is a 2 disc set that is billed as an “original soundtrack”, that’s because the live DVD of this show is coming in August. I was a little disappointed that the DVD set wasn’t released at the same time but I will take the 19 song live show plus the 4 live bonus tracks from Japan. Regular price was $20 so I saved $8 buying it the day of release!

Sister Sin – True Sound Of The Underground (2010) – $10: I’ve been keeping an eye on Sister Sin since 2008 when they released their first record SWITCHBLADE SERENADE but I never got around to buying that album. When it first came out, I wasn’t sure because they were a new band that I hadn’t heard about. By the time I checked them out, I missed the sale price and couldn’t find the record in the stores! I’ve heard a few songs and read a lot of good reviews on the band so I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. Regular price was $14, saved $4.

Primal Fear – Live In The USA/16.6 All Over The World (2010 Special Edition) – $0: As you all know, I’m a huge Power Metal fan and a huge Primal Fear fan so this new live CD & DVD set was a must have. I knew that this was going to be a high priced purchase because all the online stores listed this set between $25 – $40 plus shipping and the Newbury Comics website listed the $25 regular price. Of course there was always the option of buying each separately but what is the sense of that? It becomes MORE expensive! I got to the store and found a sale sticker for $20, I will save $5 any way I can, especially when it’s for a great package! Here’s the kicker, I had a $20 gift card from Father’s Day that my daughters gave me so this actually cost me nothing! Saved $20.

Vince Neil – Tattoos & Tequila (2010) – $10: When I heard Vince Neil was releasing a new solo album, I was all for it because I am a big fan of both EXPOSED (1993) & CARVED IN STONE (1995)…..I had no idea that this was mostly a covers album. I actually waited to buy this because I was on the fence about all the covers and there are 2 versions of the album: the 11 song U.S. release and the 12 song European that includes a cover of ZZ Top’s ‘Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers’. The price difference between the 2 versions was $5 and I wasn’t dropping the extra five bucks for another cover song so I settled for the U.S. pressing. Good thing I didn’t miss the sale price because I would have been pissed to pay the regular price of $15….saved $5.

Dokken – Greatest Hits (2010) – $13: Watch out if you go to pick up this latest greatest hits collection from Dokken because there’s more than meets the eye here. The first 10 songs are re-recorded classics featuring the current Dokken lineup of Don Dokken, Mick Brown, Jon Levin and Sean McNabb followed by two brand new songs – ‘Almost Over’ and ‘Magic Man’. There was no sticker on the front indicating the contents of the album and the Deadline/Cleopatra label has a habit of recycling a lot of previously released material. I wasn’t sure what I had in my hands so I called home and had my daughter look it up on the Net (I don’t have a smartphone!). Once I knew that these were different versions with 2 new songs, I snatched it up. I’ve been a Dokken fan since BREAKING THE CHAINS (1983) so I always support the band. Honestly, there’s not much difference between this album and Vince Neil’s because Dokken is essentially covering themselves but at least it’s their own material. Saved $3.

Sabaton – Coat Of Arms (2010) – $10: When I saw that Sabaton was releasing a new album, I checked my collection to see if I owned any of the band’s albums. It turns out that I own a couple of them so I gave them a quick listen and decided that I would pick up COAT OF ARMS the day it came out at the sale price. It’s Power Metal and I’m a fan of the genre so there had to be something worth checking out on this album. Regular price was $16 so I saved $6 and there were two bonus instrumentals included so it’s a 12 song disc instead of 10 songs. This was a reach for me, and I still haven’t listened to it, so I have my fingers crossed.

Rhapsody Of Fire – The Frozen Tears Of Angels (2010) – $10: Unlike Sabaton, I knew what I was buying when I picked up the new Rhapsody Of Fire. I have been a fan since the Power Metal resurgence in 1997 when the band was known simply as Rhapsody and they released LEGENDARY TALES. I have almost every Rhapsody album (I’m missing 2006’s TRIUMPH OR AGONY) so I figured I’d grab this at the sale price (saved $6) and I was pleasantly surprised to see the 2 bonus tracks from the European digipak release included on the U.S. pressing. By the way, I hate the new name! I know that there was some legal issues with another band named Rhapsody but the “Of Fire” part really doesn’t fit.

Witchery – Witchkrieg (2010) – $10: Here’s another album that I was on the fence about picking up even though I own a few Witchery albums. Maybe it was the switch in vocalists, maybe it was that it’s been four years since DON’T FEAR THE REAPER (2006) but I was going to pass on it. I got to the register with this set of purchases and I asked my Metal friend at the counter if he had heard it. We got to talking, he recommended it, he hasn’t steered me wrong before so I went back and grabbed a copy. Saved $6.

Y&T – Facemelter (2010) – $18: I had meaning to buy the new Y&T for a few weeks but the import prices with shipping were out of control and my local Newbury Comics hadn’t stocked it yet. I bought this on my last vacation 4th of July week at the Newbury Comics in Norwood, MA (the chain’s superstore). My wife, the kids and I got in the car for a drive and we happened to pass by the superstore (I planned it that way!) so we stopped on the way back. I had to pay full price at the store but that was still better than the online prices that were around $20 – $25 plus shipping. I’ve been looking forward to this album because I’ve been a Y&T fan since I heard ‘Don’t Stop Runnin’ on the radio back in 1984.

Anthrax – Fistful Of Metal (1984) – $10 used: Nothing pisses me off more than not being able to find a CD for years. I have had a cassette of this album for two decades and I have never been able to replace it! I’ve had the chance a few times but that was close to 10 years ago just before my favorite mom & pop record store closed it’s doors. I have had FISTFUL OF METAL on my short list of wanted CDs and neither Ebay or record stores have been able to turn up a copy. I once found a copy at a pawn shop for $5 but it had the biggest scratch on the CD so I passed, even that CD was found 5 years ago! This is the original Megaforce CD pressing in perfect condition so I didn’t mind spending a couple extra bucks for a used CD. I estimate that this would be a regular price of $15 so I assume I saved $5. I bought this with the new Y&T in Norwood, MA.

Best Buy

Bret Michaels – Custom Built (2010) – $8: I have no idea why I bought this because, even though I like Poison, Bret’s solo career has been a waste of money. Bret’s last album, ROCK MY WORLD (2008), was one of my Worst Albums of 2008 and I vowed not to get sucked in again by an album advertised as a new album but it’s really recycled material from previous records. Maybe it was the Best Buy exclusive sale price? Maybe it was like with the new Ozzy record? I was curious to hear if there is anything good or if it’s a train wreck. Things aren’t looking good when Miley Cyrus (yes, Hannah Montana!) is featured on the thrid track on the record. I’ll review this eventually but I’m not in any hurry…..at least I saved $7 because this was going to be $15 regular price after the initial promotion.

Total = $120

Total (year) = $933

Average price (per item) = $10.03

Total CDs (year) = 85

Total DVDs (year) = 2

Total Box Sets (year) = 5

Total LPs (year) = 1

Current Playlist

Now that I’ve seen the Anvil movie and read the book, I feel rejuvenated! Nothing like seeing/hearing an inspirational story about Heavy Metal to get you out of a rut and back on track. There have also been some really good albums that I’ve rediscovered by adding them into my iPod so it’s been all about the music and getting myself into a Metal frame of mind. Here’s what I’ve been spinning…..

Anvil – Anthology (1999): I have a lot of holes in my Anvil collection but I’m taking care of that as we speak. This anthology cane out on Metal Blade Records back in ’99 and has 18 songs that come from everything from the debut HARD ‘N HEAVY (1981) to SPEED OF SOUND (1998). It’s a nice overview of Anvil’s career to that point.

Anvil – This Is Thirteen (2007): Watch the new Anvil movie and you’ll get an inside look at the recording of this album. I never really took this album out of my playing rotation for the last year and a half…..if the CD is sitting next to the stereo then it’s in the “Now Playing” pile. When I actually file it away in the cases, then it’s out of normal rotation. What a great album, a serious comeback from a band that’s never really gone away.

Wolf – Ravenous (2009): I really wasn’t expecting much from Wolf but that just goes to show you that I’m an idiot! I never picked up 2006’s THE BLACK FLAME even though 2004’s EVIL STAR was an awesome record. I ended up grabbing this CD a week after it came out as an afterthought because it was still on sale. This is probably going to be in my list of top albums of 2009! Review coming soon…..

MSG – Gipsy Lady: The Schenker Barden Acoustic Project (2009): Always a big fan of MSG and Michael’s solo work, especially his acoustic THANK YOU series which are some of the best work he’s ever released. Now that the Schenker/Barden team is here for a while, they are exploring the acoustic realm together. It’s a little different with vocals but they are a solid team. Review this week…..

UFO – The Visitor (2009): One of my favorite releases of 2009 and June 2009’s album of the month. Review this week…..

Aerosmith – Nine Lives (1998): Everyone remembers this album as the one with ‘Pink’ on it but I picked this up over a decade ago the day it came out. It had been 4 years since GET A GRIP (1993) and I bought the album just because it was a new Aerosmith record. Every song on the album is great and I remember thinking that this was going to be the Aerosmith album that would closely resemble the ’70s but not be as commercially successful. They had a few singles but when ‘Pink’ hit the radio then NINE LIVES skyrocketed! I skip ‘Pink’ when I play the CD. Two quick details: I have the original pressing with the original cover art and I saw the tour on New Year’s Eve that year…..what a party!

KISS – Crazy Nights (1987): I know this album by heart and KISS is my favorite band but I wouldn’t have listened to it 10 times in the last week if my daughter wasn’t playing it constantly!

Rhapsody – Legendary Tales (1997): I got into Rhapsody (now Rhaposdy Of Fire) back in 1998 and I heard a newer song on an internet radio show last week so I figured I would give the band a fresh listen from the beginning and start to search out some of the holes in my Rhapsody collection.

The Gathering – Mandylion (1995): With the band’s new album (THE WEST POLE) coming out Tuesday, I figured I would revisit the album that got me into the band. If I buy the new album it will be the first Gathering record I’ve picked up since 2000’s IF THEN ELSE.