Black Sabbath: Dehumanizer (1992)

1992 was a weird year in music. I kept buying music from the usual suspects that put out new music (Iron Maiden, KISS, Jovi, Leppard)  but I was also trying to keep up with the joneses on what was the current sound at the time (Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam).

One band that put out a record was Black Sabbath who were back together with Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice for the first time in 10 years or so.

I caught the Sabbath video for “TV Crimes” and I loved it, yet I never took the chance and bought the comeback album from Iommi/Bulter/Appice and Dio. Why? I have no idea.

Until…

January 2023…

Thunder Bay finally has a decent locally owned record shop (Spins) which brings both new and used titles in. One of the recent ones they were bringing in sealed was “Dehumanizer” by Black Sabbath.

I was intrigued so when I spoke to Dan and Kurtis about Dehumanizer (as when I went to originally get it there were no copies) they told me they had sold at that point about 10 copies of this one Sabbath album recently.

Huh? Really? Wow…

So I ordered it and they brought it in and what can I tell you all is why did I wait 31 years to get this brilliant piece of Sabbath Sludge Riff Rock?

I have no answer. Better late then never I suppose.

Along with the other DIO fronted Sabbath records (“Heaven And Hell” and “Mob Rules”) “Dehumanizer” got the reissue treatment on double vinyl with a gatefold sleeve to boot with some great liner notes included.

The opening two tracks(“Computer God” and “After All”) are filled with those iconic Sabbath like sludge riffs that build and build the song up.

“Holy father, holy ghostWho’s the one who pays the mostRock the cradle, don’t you cryBuy another lullaby

Jack is nimble, Jack is quickPick your pocket, turn a trickSlow and steady, he’s got timeTo commit another TV crimeTV crime”

“TV Crimes” is such a great song as I love Vinny’s drumming and Ronnie dials in with that perfect catchy chorus(check his lyrics above). Along with “Time Machine” these two  would be the most uptempo tracks on this record.

“Dehumanizer” is the perfect record for ’92 as there sound could have fit in with all the grunge bands of the day. Hell, I can hear the late great Chris Cornell singing some of these tracks back then.

Some great playing and singing as well I have to add but then again it’s Sabbath as these guys are the originals in doing this kind of deal.

I also like the production that producer Mack brought to this record. The drum sound especially as Mack dialled in those big drums for Queen and Billy Squier back in the day.

The first record is the whole studio album whereas the second record is some single edits along with “Time Machine” which is a different version from the “Waynes’s World” movie.

The remaining songs (six in total) are live and what a killer live version of “TV Crimes” and “Neon Knights”. Ah hell, it’s all great.

Great looking package and set at a decent price. ($41 Canuck bucks)

Considering “Dehumanizer” is a 31 year old record to my ears its a brand new record and why it took me son long to hop onboard with this one who knows as I love “Heaven And Hell” and “Mob Rules”. But as they say better late than never.

deKe’s Vinyl Score of Dehumanizer…..9/10

 

 

RETRO THROW DOWN RD 4- Vandenberg Vs. Europe

 

Round 4 has Adrian and his band of Vandenberg’s going against Joey and his band of Europeans in what we would say is the closet battle on Retro Throw Down so far! Who came out on top? Just push play and find out!

Just click the video and viola you can watch what myself and Jex have to say….

I had my brother from another mother Darr review these two albums as well.

Here are Darr’s words posted below…

“Listened to both albums…. Both get passing grades, but neither was awesome.

Vandenberg album has some great guitar work, and would say there is no weak tracks, but dunno if there was any real stand out tracks either. Sometimes the guitar work seemed almost a bit too much. Solid but not a standout.

Haven’t heard the Europe album for ever. This album would be better if someone shot the keyboard player. If interferes with some decent tracks. Was never a fan of the final countdown and Carrie sucks, but a few of the songs I may not have heard before were pretty good. The singer has a good voice.

Final scores out of 10 (10 being an all time top 10-20 album of all time, and 1 being like Culture Club or some crap like that:”

Vandenberg – 6 out of 10
Europe – 5 out of 10

Tom Petty: Full Moon Fever (1989)

Back in the 80s I picked up a couple of Petty’s outputs on cassette tape and one of those was “Full Moon Fever” which dropped back in ’89.

Tom was riding high at that time. His band The Heartbreakers became an arena juggernaut while he helped create The Travelling Wilbury’s which did huge business especially “Handle With Care”.

So when “Free Fallin'” was released as the first single. I liked what I heard and bought “Full Moon Fever” right away for the trusty old Walkman at the time.

I have been on the hunt for this album for about 5 years now and my local go to vinyl store “Spins” got it in …sealed and for a good price so it was a quick grab, and off to my  turntable!

12 songs make up the album of which 5 were singles and they were all great songs.

Petty’s right hand man from The Heartbreakers Mike Campbell sizzles the six string on this record. Jeff Lynne of course co wrote all the songs as well as doing co production along with Campbell and Petty.

Always loved Campbell’s riffing on “Runnin’ Down A Dream” as for a song that I have heard a million times since 1989 its one I have never tire of hearing.

I love the stripped back sound on this album as thats the charm as late 80s albums could be overproduced yet “Full Moon Fever” hits ya right in that sonic sweet spot.

One of my faves is “Love Is A Long Road” which wasn’t a single but could have been as the opening reminds me of an early 80’s Who song.

“Depending On You” is another great track as I love the guitars on this one and of course the vocals are great and what can you say about album closer “Zombie Zoo” which is just a fun damn song.

That folks right there is the key to “Full Moon Fever” its a fun listen through with no skippers!

deKe’s Vinyl Score of Full Moon Fever…..10/10

 

Aerosmith: Nine Lives (1997)

For some like myself this is  the last good studio album that came from Boston’s very own Aerosmith.

We all know the backstory as Aero had a hard time getting this album done. They scraped a bunch of tracks that were recorded with another drummer (Steve Ferrone) as well as some additional production by Glen Ballard which was tossed aside when Columbia Records who had just lured Aero away from Geffen had paid them millions of dollars didn’t like hearing what they had invested in.

So there were issues, but when “Nine Lives” hit the street back in March of ’97 upon first listen I really liked this album and of course it was purchased back than on CD.

So fast forward to December 2022 and upon my visit at a local record shop (Spins) I saw “Nine Lives” on double vinyl for a very good price sealed. ($31)

Too be honest I have not listened to “Nine Lives” in years but looking at that track listing above I figured what the hell and bought it.

Some real great cooking tracks on here like the opener “9 Lives” which goes into the first single that came from this record “Falling In love (Is Hard On The Knees)”.

Course it being the 90s and let’s not fool ourselves kids that Aero-ballads became a thing for the band (some I liked, others not so much) and basically it was about putting rear ends in the seats when the Aero-Express came to town.

“Hole In My Soul” I like as Steven Tyler sings for his supper on this track which is quite good whereas “Full Circle” kinda misses the mark and of course there is another ballad on this vinyl copy which wasn’t on the original release which I will get to later). “Fallen Angels” could have had 4 minutes shaved off of its running time (8 minutes long) instead of it meandering around in some sonic landscape that really goes no where. “Ain’t That A Bitch” is ok not a skipper but I dunno maybe tomorrow I will think otherwise!

Amazing when you look at that track listing that Steve and Joe Perry along with their various cowriters liked using the  title  Falling and Fallen for three different songs. Why I pick up on shit like that I have no idea!

I will add that when Aero ramps up on the rock stuff on “Nine Lives” I’m all in. The title track is an ass kicker along with “Somethings Gotta Give” (featuring Tyler ripping out a cool distorted sounding harmonica on it) and “Crash” which zips along at a 110 mph clip.

Even when the pedal isn’t pushed at a high speed the other rock tracks are great especially “Taste of India” ( great pre chorus that goes into an even better chorus)  and the wacky “The Farm”.

“Pink” was a big single and I got tired of it as it was played continuously on Much Music but it was an ok song to be honest.

With this reissue on vinyl the two bonus tracks are the excellent Joe Perry sung “Falling Off” but the other one, that Disney written balled is so out of place on here that I will tell ya that track will never be played on my turntable (deKe’s house rules). Should have left it off boy’s. I can’t even type the title of the track but you all know it.

One last thing is I caught this tour along with the Boss (my wife Sue) and Tbone back in the summer of ’97 and it was a great show almost at times it ranks as my favourite Aero  live show ( I have seen the band 6 times) as they went and played of course the singles but also went deep on some other tracks like “Taste of India” and “The Farm” (which I loved) and even Joe sang his tune the already mentioned  “Falling Off” live which was not on my CD copy!

Crazy that this album is almost 26 years young!

deKe’s Vinyl Score of Nine Lives….8.5/10

 

deKe’s Top Spins in 2022

Here’s what I picked up which were new releases this year on Vinyl (except for one, keep reading) that got serious time on my turntable.

I used to rate these albums but I didn’t want to give myself an headache overthinking this stuff, so here’s a batch of rock that I  dug and maybe you will find something  here to check out….

‘Dirty Honey’ came out in 2021 but fell into my lap early 2022 so I tossed it into this pile of records. These guys are your straight ahead four piece that sizzles a real cool vibe of rock. No frills just get to it kind of rock. A great young band and I look forward to hearing what they have up their sleeve in 2023.

Dirty Honey tracks to check out: “The Wire”, “No Warning”, “California Dreamin'”

An album that I was surprised that I would buy on vinyl was the ‘Scorpions’ who stomped back with the stellar “Rock Believer” opus that had the boy’s digging deep into their bag of tricks. Parts of this album sound like it could have been recorded back in 1982! That my friends is a great thing.

Scorps tracks to check out: “Roots In My Boots”, “Peacemaker,” “Gas In My Tank”

‘RUSH’ released the 5 Lp “Moving Pictures” 40th Box Set. What can you say about that unreleased Toronto show from 81 that was included here? Friggin amazing is what I can tell ya! The packaging, the booklet and Peart’s drum solo from the T.O show has to be the best drum solo I have ever heard. Yeah, I just typed that.

RUSH tracks to check out: “YYZ (live)”  “Working Man Cygnus X-1 Grand Finale”(live), “2112”(live)

Tobias Forge for me is one brilliant crafty singer, songwriter producer as when he puts out his stuff as ‘Ghost’ I’m in! “Imperia” is another fine release from the man and full out credit to the slick layout of this record and booklet included.

Ghost tracks to check out: “Spillways”, “Hunters Moon”, “Twenties”

I have been waiting for a long time for an official ‘Georgia Satellites’ release and that came out this year. “Lightin’ In A Bottle”  was recorded in Cleveland back in ’88. Plain and simple this double vinyl lays down the law of barroom boogie rock! These guys were the best at doing that. All hail Dan Baird as one the all time great lyricists.

Georgia Satellites tracks to check out: “Down And Down”, “Sheila”, “Railroad Steel”

‘ZZ Top’ lose the great Dusty Hill but that didn’t stop Frank n Billy for putting out the classy recorded live off the floor “RAW” as it was basically the soundtrack to their documentary from last year.  Love how this is ZZ Nasty. Just the three amigos playing there own brand of Texas Taco Rock.

ZZ tracks to spin: “Heard It On The X”, “Thunderbird”, “Tube Snake Boogie”

Fans are a funny bunch when it comes to new music from the Ozzman. People go on about auto tune this and that. Who gives a shit what Ozzy is doing other than cooking up a stellar bunch of tracks with a bunch of buddies of his on guitar. “Patient #9” is a great rock record and now that he has turned 74, Ozzy just keeps rocking!

Ozzman tracks to check out: “Dead And Gone”, “Degradation Rules”, “Patient #9”

Give ‘Def Leppard’ credit as they were playing stadiums in 2022 and had a new album to plug as well. “Diamond Star Halos” was better than I expected. Its pretty rocking but they should have put those two Alison Krauss tracks at the end of the album. Why these guys have to try and crossover at times makes no sense. Then again they are not going to take advice from a hack like me.

Leppard tracks worth checking out: “Take What You Want”, “Kick”, “Fire It Up”

T’he Cult’ released the trippy “Under The Midnight Sun” which to be honest was not an album I was expecting from Duffy and Wolfchild. With these guys though they are always shifting gears from album to album so I do appreciate that fact as they always bring the goods. A different vibe here as if you’re looking for “Lil Devil” or “Sun King” like tracks just keep passing by. If your looking for a  deep listen and are in that kind of mood check this album out.

Cult tracks worth checking out: “Cut Inside”, “Give Me Mercy”, “Knife Through Butterfly Heart”

Snake and Bolan out of all the albums here, perhaps “The Gangs All Here” may be my favourite as I was not expecting this album to be Great! New singer Erik Gronwall has a stellar voice and these guys have put out one ass kicker of an album that doesn’t let up.

Skid Row tracks worth a crank : “Time Bomb”, “Resurrected”, “Tear It Down”

Well, well, well. Mean Gene and Starchild between the soundboard releases and this “Creatures” set took a good chunk of my change this year. To be honest I’m totally cool with it as KISS has made this stuff interesting. The “Creatures” super deluxe box set is a must own and I’m glad I got this as “Creatures of the Night” is in my top 3 all time KISS records. This box was a must buy for me even though its on the shitty format known as CD. They went all out on this set. Demos, live stuff with Vinnie Vincent, posters artwork and a killer 80 page hardcover book that is worth the price. I will add kudos to Gene and Paul for giving this album another shot of life as back upon its initial release in 82 Creatures was D.O.A on the charts. Yet in 2022 you realize how important Eric Carr was with his drumming and the sound that producer Michael James Jackson got. 103 tracks here folks!

Creatures tracks to check out: “Saint And Sinner (demo)” “Deadly Weapon”, “Keep Me Comin (live)”, “God of Thunder live (with Eric Carr drum solo)” “Rock N Roll Hell (live)”

Alex Lifeson and Andy Curran formed a new band called “Envy of None” with Alf  Annibaliani  and Maiah Wynne and released a solid album that has nothing to do with RUSH or Coney Hatch. So props for that as Andy and Alex have zero things to prove and they can do what they want. E.O.N like the “The Cult’s” latest don’t play it safe and for that you have to respect em.

E.O.N tracks to spin: “Shadow”, “Dog’s Life”, “Dumb”

Late to the Vinyl Party!

Iron Maiden: “Number of the Beast 40th Anniversary Reissue”: Harry and Bruce know how to do it up right and this triple vinyl set ticks off all the boxes. “The Number of the Beast” (studio record) is reissued with one exception that being “Gangland” is taken off and the brilliant “Total Eclipse” is added in its place. Steve Harris wrote very detailed liner notes detailing this and also gives some great backstory about the double live show included from the February ’82 Hammersmith show.  Brilliant set list and performance by the boys and its great to hear a young Bruce Dickinson chirp from the stage the Capitol/EMI suits in the crowd!

All Hail Maiden and there use of the triple gatefold!

Bruce and Harry tracks to listen to- The whole damn thing!

Big Sugar : Heated- Got this one for Xmas this year and could it really be 25 years since “Heated” came out? Beautifully coloured green double gatefold on coloured vinyl with liner notes by Warren Haynes. Gordie Johnson rocks on this album as he fuses up reggae/rock mixed with a dose of old school ZZ Top and this is a winner. Check this one out as GJ has added a few unreleased tracks and a cool cover of “Let Me Roll It” by Macca!

Heated Tracks to crank out- Better Get Used To It, The Scene, Let It Ride (featuring Warren Haynes)

Thanks folks for checking out what I rocked to in 2022. I bought a lot more records this year but they were basically records pre 2022 and what not but maybe as I already mentioned, you may  find something here to spin or stream!

Cheers…C ya in 2023!

 

 

 

CREATURES OF THE NIGHT with JOHN T. SNOW

It’s always a great chat when the Snowman hops on “Scotch On The Rocks” and this time was no different!

We talked of course about KISS and the Creatures album but with more of a personal angle than showing an unboxing video of the super deluxe as there are a hundreds of those kind of videos on Youtube currently.

We basically went back into the time machine to talk about how it was being a KISS fan when KISS wasn’t cool in the early 80’s. We talked about the music included in the various formats like the demo’s and live tracks with Vinnie Vincent in pretty good detail.

Some highlights were….

One of us got sprayed with perfume back in high school wearing a KISS shirt.

One of us also thought that “I Love It Loud” (live) wasn’t on the deluxe set.

One of us has Gene Simmons Money Bag Soda and could be seen swigging from the bottle of the Demon at the end of the show.

How’s that for hype!

Click the link above and give it a watch!

Cheers and Merry KISSMAS to you all out there!

 

 

the 1002nd album Podcast

It was a blast being asked to talk to Geoff Stephen  on his newly launched podcast series that he is calling  “the 1002nd album”.

We went into detail about one of my all time favourite albums that being Hanoi Rocks “Two Steps From The Move” which was released back in the fall of 1984 and by early 1985 Hanoi Rocks had broken up!

It was a great discussion for the half hour and I have to thank Geoff for letting me come on his show and fanboy out on this record!

Give it a listen and give Geoff’s newly launched podcast a follow!

Cheers,

deKe

A music fan trying to put it down in words….