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 – 6/19/2019

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kansas - leftoverture

KANSAS – Leftoverture
What can I say? I unashamably love the song “Carry On Wayward Son”. The rest of the album is okay too, I guess…

david lee roth - crazy from the heat

DAVID LEE ROTH – Crazy From The Heat
So, I have to admit that I’m not really a fan of David Lee Roth. Either his solo stuff, or the time he spent in Van Halen. There are a couple of catchy songs that I do like; however, I’ve never really owned any of his releases…until I kept seeing this EP of covers he did after leaving Van Halen at Half Price Books, looking forlorn and lonely, like a puppy wanting a home. So I gave it a home. Eh, not losing sleep over this one…

doors - alive she cried

The DOORS – Alive She Cried
Back in the summer after I graduated High School, I purchased the boxed set that collected all of The Doors’ live matterial onto two cassettes, and played them until they wore out. Here’s one of the live albums that was featured, that I found at Half Price Books. I was immediately taken back to those late summer nights wherein I would walk around the farm with this playing on my walkman, pretending to be Jim Morrison…um, I may have shared a bit too much, here…

jimi hendrex - axis bold as love

JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE- Axis: Bold As Love
The second release from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Axis: Bold As Love needs to be heard as a whole, instead of just a collection of singles…also, fantastic psychadelic artwork in a gatefold cover, there…

golden earring - moontan

GOLDEN EARRING – Moontan
This is the one with one of two Golden Earring songs that I was, up to now, familiar with: “Radar Love”. The rest of the album is pretty good, too…

krokus - one vice at a time

KROKUS – One Vice At A Time
Krokus may have been considered Switzerland’s poor-man’s AC/DC, but it’s still good crunchy hard rock, here…

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Vinyl Confessions: ODDS N’ SODS II

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jimi hendrix - are you experienced
JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE – Are You Experienced?
I originally got this as a cassette back when I was going through my whole college-age faux-hippie era, back when I would make my own bell bottoms, wear bright multi-colored scarves on my head, rose-tinted sunglasses, and stay up late drinking coffee and smoking clove cigarettes. Turns out, this debut album from the legendary Jimi Hendrix and his band is a solid front-to-back psychedelic rock album. This is obviously the US stereo release version, with that iconic cover art, as well as being an original release, rather than one of the recent re-releases…
jimi hendrix - smash hits
JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE – Smash Hits
Back in High School, I would read in my rock and metal magazines about how Jimi Hendrix revolutionized guitar playing for the rock and metal bands to follow, and so I picked up this Greatest Hits package at a Target on cassette to check out what the hype was all about. It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but over time the songs grew on me. I picked up this re-release, with way different cover art and 180-Gram Vinyl, because it was a used copy and cheaper than a new copy. Also, this has a couple of songs that were originally on the UK release of Are You Experienced that were omitted on the US release…
ramones - end of the century
The RAMONES – End Of The Century
This may be considered one of the less popular Ramones albums, but at least I can say I’m not a poser who just has the album “Blitzkrig Bop” is on…just the one “Rock And Roll High School” is on…
supertones - strike back
SUPERTONES – Supertones Strike Back
So I really can’t give a good explanation as to why I picked up this particular record, other than I saw it used at the Half Price Books, and recalled it didn’t suck as bad as their first album. Still, somehow I don’t foresee this getting a lot of spins…huh…

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…

Vinyl Confessions: MULLET ROCK

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Some good classic hard rock from an era most refer to as “hair rock”, “butt rock” and “dad rock”, but I lovingly refer to as “mullet rock”. As someone who had more than one mullet in his teenage years (and Recovering Adolescent years), I wear that as a badge. Anyway, here are the ones in my collection thus far…
acdc - dirty deeds done dirt cheep
AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheep
Obviously the American release version, with that cover and track listing. This is a bluesy hard rock classic, with several cuts that just lends itself to the format it’s printed on. The title track, “Rocker”, “Problem Child”, “Ride On”, and let’s not forget the middle school boy giggle-fest that is “Big Balls”…
acdc - for those about to rock
AC/DC – For Those About To Rock
This is the album that had to follow the juggernaut that was Back In Black (wondering why I don’t have that one on vinyl yet? So am I…looking to rectify that). This is still a solid album, though there’s really only two that are immediately recognizable as AC/DC classics: the title track, and “Let’s Get It Up”. Otherwise, there are some good rocking deeper cuts on this…
acdc - fly on the wall
AC/DC – Fly On The Wall
At this point, I’m pretty sure the band knew they weren’t going to hit the heights that was Back In Black, but they were okay with that. This one has some good cuts on here, including the title track, “Sink The Pink” and “Shake Your Foundations”; this is probably when the phrase “It’s an AC/DC album” was sufficient to describe any release of theirs at this point in the game…
sammy hagar - voa
SAMMY HAGAR – V.O.A.
I’m not a fan of Sammy Hagar. I am a listener of Sammy Hagar, though; meaning, I’m familiar with the hits he’s written. I’ve never owned an actual full album…well, I take that back. There was the low-budget live album on cassette that I never listened to. But, I got this particular album because I kept seeing it at the shop for months, just sitting there, forlorn and lonely, like a homeless kitty at a shelter. So…yeah, I gave it a good home. Also, there is the first track, “I Can’t Drive 55″…
ANTHRAX -- I'm the man
ANTHRAX – I’m The Man
Okay, so, not technically falling under the proper “Mullet Rock” tag, but as of this writing, this was the closest thing to fitting in with the others in my collection. Decent enough EP, though the live cuts are a bit on the thin side production-wise…

Songs That Suck: “PINK” (Aerosmith)

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songs that suck heading
aerosmith - pink
“PINK”
Aerosmith
Columbia Records
1997
(from the album Nine Lives)

Bit of a Rock N’ Roll History Fun Fact: In 1977, the band Aerosmith decided against renting the same Convair CV-240 airplane that eventually crashed and killed members of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Aerosmith had concerns about the safty of the plane, and also questioned the seriousness of the plane’s crew, who seemed to be more of the partying type than serious pilots. Keep in mind, this is 70s-era Aerosmith, where the singer Steve Tyler and the guitarist Joe Perry were refereed to as the Toxic Twins. When 70s Aerosmith thinks you’re partying too hard…well, you get the idea.

The point of that is, since they survived to play another day, we never would have to ask, “What could have been?” like we do with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and others who died at the prime of their musical careers. With Aerosmith, we don’t have to. We know exactly what happened: “Pink” happened.

Released about a year before the release of the Ultimate Aerosmith Ballad You Can’t Get Away From that was on the Armageddon soundtrack (you know the one), “Pink” gets the Songs That Suck listing for one reason above all the others: This is a song about Steven Tyler’s love of vaginas.

Yes, you could argue that, this is Aerosmith. What else are they going to be singing about? Well, sure…except that this is late 90s Aerosmith we’re talking about, here. Not only were their pop relevance waning again (the last resurgence happened because of Run-D.M.C.), but at their age at the time, singing songs like this made them more creepy late middle-aged dirty old man creepy, rather than bad boys of rock n’ roll cool.

Also, this is a ballad. Nope.

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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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