VINYL CONFESSIONS – 6/26/2019

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boston - don't look back
BOSTON – Don’t Look Back
The second of two of the good Boston albums. Also, you may note that this, along with other acquisitions I made the same day I got this, has the year this was released written on the front cover with a marker. Whoever decided this was a good idea, SHAME ON YOU.
duran duran - arena
DURAN DURAN – Arena
Back when I got this originally on cassette in the mid-80s, this was (and still is, really) the only way I could experience one of my all-time favorite non-metal bands live. The vinyl I came across had a booklette insert in a gatefold cover. Nifty…
billy idol - rebel yell
BILLY IDOL – Rebel Yell
I remember reading about the recording of this particular album in one of the teeny-bopper mags that I was reading in grade school, and being introduced for the first time to the pop artist with a punk attitude known as Billy Idol. Also, this is my first Billy Idol album…seems appropriate, really…
zz top - afterburner
ZZ TOP – Afterburner
It may be one of the “commercial” ZZ Top records, but it’s a good, solid record. I first listened to the entirety of this in grade school, on the walkman the dentist let me listen to while doing some dental work, and liking it, all while clenching with anxiety from the drilling…
cure - seventeen seconds
The CURE – Seventeen Seconds
I may be coming in late in the game with getting into The Cure, but at least I can get into them properly, with Robert Smith remastering and re-releasing everything on vinyl. This is an early look into what was to come on releases like Pornography and Disintegration…dark yet poppy…
aerosmith - toys in the attic
AEROSMITH – Toys In The Attic
After getting into Aerosmith with their Permanent Vacation release, and then their follow-up Pump becoming one of my oft-played favorites, I picked up a cassette copy of their classic Toys In The Attic in 1991…and didn’t really think much about it. Now that I picked it up on vinyl, after listening to it, aparently I was listening to the album all wrong…yeah, I’m becoming one of “those guys”…

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Vinyl Confessions: BUYING BACK MY CHILDHOOD, Part II

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Continuing on with the titles that I once owned as a boy, from grade school to the end of high school…
bruce springsteen - born in the usa
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – Born In The U.S.A.
Yeah, I was a fan of this album back in grade school. I wore out two copies of this album on cassette. And for those of you hipsters poo-pooing liking the so-called commercial sell-out album…so what? It got me to look into his other works and really appreciate his contribution to rock and roll…you know what? I don’t have to explain myself. I like this album…
joe satriani - dreaming #11
JOE SATRIANI – Dreaming #11
I first discovered Joe Satriani by way of a Flexi-Disc that was included in an issue of Guitar Player magazine which featured him on the cover. It was a combination of a bizarre guitar solo called “Power Cosmic” (which I can’t seem to find anywhere) which segued into a song called “The Crush Of Love”, which I fell in love with at the age of 13. I bought the cassette release of the EP that “The Crush Of Love” was on, which included three additional songs performed live. Good release. Found it on vinyl now…
stray cats - rant + rave
The STRAY CATS – Rant N’ Rave
So, once upon a time, there was a small grocery mart in a small town in Eastern Nebraska, called Marv’s. At the lone checkout counter was a box of dusty cassettes for sale, with several obscure titles. One of which was of The Stray Cats’ Rant N’ Rave (technically titled Rant N’ Rave With The Stray Cats). I bought that tape, as I was familiar with their other hits that weren’t on this release…but it was an interesting collection of Neo-rockabilly rock and roll with a punk attitude. Good enough to warrant picking up when I found it at the Half Price Books, then…
wham - make it big
WHAM! – Make It Big
Don’t look at me like that. For what it’s worth, I agree with Deadpool when he asserted that this was the album in which George Michael’s pop group earned that exclamation point at the end of their name. Say what you will, this is still an infectious 80s pop album, front to back. I have no shame in having this in my collection…

Songs That Suck: “NOTHIN’S GONNA CHANGE MY LOVE FOR YOU” (Glenn Medeiros)

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songs that suck heading
nothins gonna change my love for you
“NOTHING’S GONNA CHANGE MY LOVE FOR YOU”
Glenn Medeiros
Amherst
1987
[from Glenn Medeiros

Okay, so this is technically a cover song. The original version of “Nothin’s Gonna Change My Love For You” was done by R&B singer/guitarist George Benson back in 1985. However, I’m not familiar with that original version, or of Mr. Benson’s work; it is the Glenn Medeiros version that I keep hearing in the most inopportune places, and that’s why I’ve included this as a Song That very much Sucks.

And before you ask, yes I am aware of the Nick Carter version. But, I neither have heard that version, nor care about that one. Or Nick Carter’s music. But, I digress.

I remember exactly where I was when I first heard “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You”: I was on the school bus, on the 45-minute ride back home. The radio on the bus was tuned to the popular Top 40 station, and this song came on. Even at the tender age of 13, when my music tastes were still more or less dictated by what’s on heavy rotation on the radio, this song was just horrible. I’d heard my fair share of Adult Contemporary pop before, but my reaction had never been this kind of vehement. It was beyond sappy. It sounded like the kind of song a teenager would sing at the Congregational Church for his grandmother.

And that was kind of close to the truth. The guy who did this cover version, Glenn Medeiros, was 16 when he recorded the song after winning a local radio talent contest in Hawaii.It was one of those small, locally released on an independent label kind of things, like the kind you do at a karaoke booth to give out to your friends and family. But, because a visiting radio exec from Phoenix, Arizona happened to hear the song on the local radio there, the single made it’s way back to the mainland and went national. Thanks, guy.

But, you know what’s worse than listening to this AC dreck? Watching the accompanying video that was made. It’s essentially Medeiros walking around on a beach, with a girl in a pink dress. The same kind of visuals used for herpes medication advertisements during daytime television.

The thing is, as dry heave-inducing as this song is, it won’t seem to go away. Just like herpes, it seems to pop up in the most unusual and inopportune times, usually when shopping at a department store, or sitting in a hospital waiting room, or having come on whatever soap opera is playing when visiting Grandma and she’s watching her stories. And each time I want to run away screaming.

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Vinyl Confessions: BUYING BACK MY CHILDHOOD, Pt. 1

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So, one of the objectives I have when I dived back into collecting vinyl records was to try and get back some of my favorites that I may not have originally owned on that format, but were integral in shaping my personal soundtrack growing up. So far, it’s been fun running into some of these bits…
duran duran notorious
DURAN DURAN – Notorious
Not my favorite Duran Duran album, but still something I nabbed when I saw it at Half Price Books. The title track skips right at the beginning, which sucks…
nugent, ted - double live gonzo
TED NUGENT – Double Live Gonzo
It’s one of the albums that my Uncle Jerry gave me when he heard me listening to Wham. It’s one of the two gateway albums that he gave me that got me into hard rock and metal in the first place. Which is the main reason why I have this in the first place. Otherwise, not really a fan of the Nuge’s music outside of the radio hits…
run dmc - raisin hell
RUN-D.M.C. – Raisin’ Hell
Bought it as a nerdy 13-year-old white kid because of their cover of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”; discovered that this is a solid album front-to-back. Still one of my favorites…
bon jovi - slippery when wet
BON JOVI – Slippery When Wet
I once overheard a teenage coworker years ago proclaim–out loud–that Bon Jovi was the Nickelback of the 80s. I immediately chucked several sharp objects at him. Slippery When Wet may be their only album that I can still listen to front-to-back (with their follow-up New Jersey coming a close second) in public and not be ashamed of doing so. It’s also one of the very few good memories I have of my Junior High years. That, and the Run-D.M.C. record…

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Uncle NecRo’s TOP 100 CHRISTIAN ALBUMS FROM THE 1990s, Part 1: 100-81

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So, some time ago, I came across a bunch of lists that the members of one of the Facebook Pages that I am a member of were doing. Namely, they were listing their top 100 favorite albums by Christian bands and artists that were released in the 1990s. I thought I would go ahead and write out my own list; the thing was, I was also in the middle of organizing and uploading the posts for the entirety of October, all of the Halloween’ing articles, and put the list on the back-burner to focus on getting all of that taken care of. I went back to it, and…well, I decided to not post it in the group itself, but instead share the outcome with everyone, along with some blurbs on the ones I picked.

Before I share, I want to point out that I had a couple of ground rules: 1) no live albums, and 2) no greatest hits type albums. Also, this list developed from the top down, as I thought of them, with very little messing with the final lineup. This is all as they came to me, so they’re in no particular order per se. So, now, without further adieu, here is my list:

carman-addicted-to-jesus100 – Addicted To Jesus (Carman)
…yes, I actually owned this one, way back in the day. It still remains a bit of a guilty pleasure, really. Especially with “Satan, Bite The Dust” on here. Pure, delicious sanctified cheese.

petra-beyond-belief99 – Beyond Belief (Petra)
…’tis the only 90s-era release of Petra’s that I don’t find myself flinching at too much while listening to. Also, that riff on “Seen And Not Heard” that everyone knew was a rip-off of the riff from the KISS song “Heaven’s On Fire” but couldn’t admit to in public circles because that would be admitting to knowing what a KISS song is.

adventures-of-the-o-c-supertones98 – Adventures Of The O. C. Supertones (The O. C. Supertones)
…there was a brief time in the mid-1990s where everyone claimed to like ska. Well, the so-called “third wave” ska that seemed to pop up like a rash after using the public pool. I’m afraid this wormed its way into my collection due to peer pressure. This album is the equivalent of that one person you know that tries so very hard to get you to be as bubbly happy as they are, you can’t help but want to kick puppies into traffic. Good production, though.

dc-talk-jesus-freak97 – Jesus Freak (DC Talk)
…there was also a time in the 1990s where there was a list of albums you needed to own, otherwise your sincerity of claiming to be a Christian was called into question. This was one of those albums. The thing is…this still holds up.

bloodgood-all-stand-together96 – All Stand Together (Bloodgood)
…it’s a pity that the majority of the good Bloodgood albums were released in the 1980s, because they needed to at least be represented. This particular album, unfortunately, is not that great. But, it’s on here in hopes to get someone to check out their previous releases before this one.

third-day-third-day95 – Third Day (Third Day)
…remember what I said about Jesus Freak being one of those albums you needed to have in your possession to justify your Christian existence? This was also one of these albums. That’s all I’m gonna say about this.

miss-angie-100-million-eyeballs94 – 100 Million Eyeballs (Miss Angie)
…would you believe I got this after seeing the video she did for “Lift”, because I developed a bit of a fanboy crush on her voice and style. The album is pretty good, too, kind of a Veruca Salt vibe to it.

grammatrain-lonely-house-cover93 – Lonely House (Grammatrain)
…one of the actual decent releases from the glut of Grunge music that came out two years after Grunge died out in the mainstream. That’s the usual gestration period for a genre to be co-opted by the CCM market.

mike-knott-strip-cycle92 – Strip Cycle (Michael Knott)
…I like to pop this one on after someone claims they only listen to acoustic singer-songwriter music. Nine times out of ten, their heads explode. I also like to que up “Rock Stars On H” when the youth group is stuck inside the NEKRON 7 with me just to hear the uncomfortable silence.

galactic-cowboys-space-in-your-face91 – Space In Your Face (Galactic Cowboys)
…look, I agree that this should be quite a bit higher, had this been an actual ranking-of-the-worst-to-best list, but as I mentioned in the intro (in case you skipped it directly to the list, like I usually do with posts like these), this was thrown together as they came to mind. And this is my favorite of the Galactic Cowboys discography.

swirling-eddies-sacred-cows90 – Sacred Cows (The Swirling Eddies)
…finally. Proper renditions of Christian favorites. This has the superior version of “Satan, Bite The Dust”. Sorry, Carman.

steve-taylor-squint89 – Squint (Steve Taylor)
…this is a classic. You need to own this, if you don’t. Period. Yeah, I realize I would say this to all of Steve Taylor’s output, but this was the only one of his solo albums released in the 1990s. So, there you go.

crashdog-the-pursuit-of-happiness88 – The Pursuit Of Happiness (Crashdog)
…released at a time when punk was still underground and yet to be made into a joke, this release is legit.

tourniquet-microscopic-view-of-a-telescopic-realm87 – Microscopic View Of A Telescopic Realm (Tourniquet)
…Ted Kirkpatric’s “Tourniquet” goes back to playing “metal”, and the result is adorable. Eh, still better than Crawl To China.

kings-x-dogman86 – Dogman (King’s X)
…very raw, very dark and very angry. My favorite King’s X release. You know, whenever I’m in that kind of mood.

way-sect-bloom-effloresce85 – EfFLoReScE (The Way Sect Bloom)
…something I came across while first exploring the industrial and Gothic side of Christianity. Produced by Celldweller, released on Flaming Fish, and one of the more interesting electronic industrial releases I came across.

scaterd-few-grandmother-spaceship84 – Grandmother’s Spaceship (Scaterd-Few)
…the legendary scaterd-few’s third full-length release I don’t really listen to as much as the first two releases, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s something to overlook, here.

tourniquet-vanishing-lessons83 – Vanishing Lessons (Tourniquet)
…Tourniquet back when they still had a few members of the classic lineup left, plus a new singer and a streamlined sound. Eh, still better than Crawl To China.

holy-soldier-holy-soldier82 – Holy Solider (Holy Soldier)
…some say this self-titled released by Holy Soldier is better than their sophomore release. I disagree. Still a good album.

dig-hey-zoose-strugglefish81 – Struggle Fish (Dig Hay Zoose)
…while I grant that Dig Hay Zoose actually tried to do something unique with their music, rather than just aping a style, this is a delicious hot mess when compared to their second album.

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