Robert Plant: Pictures at Eleven (1982)

 

Over the next few weeks I’ll be reviewing a few Robert Plant solo albums along the way. Hope you all dig it..

The cool thing about Used Record Shops are when you walk into those kinds of places you have no idea or I have no idea what I’m looking for as you don’t know  what you will come across.

Case in point…

I had a week of holidays and since life is somewhat getting back to normal here in Thunder Bay I thought it may be time to hit local shop “Comix Plus” and see whats in the bins..

A few weeks back I reviewed Robert Plant’s “Knebworth” release and in those used bins was the first three Robert Plant solo releases starting with “Pictures at Eleven” .

The lightbulb in my noggin went off…

I already own Plant’s stellar 1988 release “Now And Zen” and before my eyeballs were Roberts previous three solo albums there for the taking the used record bins.

So I took!

Why not finish off my Plant vinyl collection with one stop shopping!

Bought all three (the other two being  ’83’s Principle of Moments and ’85’s Shaken N Stirred) which are in great shape and along with a copy of Cheap Tricks ‘All Shook Up’ I was out the door with said purchases in hand.

I have to admit I originally bought “Pictures At Eleven” back upon its release almost four decades ago.  At the time I was 15 and upon first hearing Led Zeppelin around that time I was expecting a huge bombastic rock sound from Plant as that what Zep was known for right?

Instead what I heard was not too much bombastic rock on the albums eight songs which is  no fault of Roberts as he wanted to distance himself from the sonic fury and musical chops of Zeppelin.

After all he was going solo…

In 1982 I didn’t get it but now a revisit and another go round with “Pictures At Eleven” in 2021 I get it.

First of all Robert put together a studio/live band that pretty much stayed together for the first three solo Plant records.

Robert Plant – Lead Vocals, Harmonica
Robbie Blunt – Guitars
Jezz Woodroffe – Keyboards
Paul Martinez – Bass
Phil Collins – Drums

Yup! That Phil Collins who drums on six of the albums eight tracks and the two that Phil isn’t on the late very great Cozy Powell drummed on the other two. (more on that shortly).

Even though its Roberts band and his deal all the songs are a collaberative effort as Blunt basically is the the co writer on all the tracks. In case you’re wondering Collins is just the drummer on this album and Phil plays some great drums.

With Plant producing (along with Benji LeFerve and Pat Moran) you know the sonics would be great on this album as listen to those drums courtesy of Bonzo(RIP) on the Zep albums. Safe to say Robert picked up a trick or three of studio wizardry along the way.

“Burning Down One Side” opens the album and basically could have fit on Zeppelin’s final album “In Through The Out Door”. From there some songs go into a different territory for Robert like “Pledge Pin” which has a different vibe but some nice drumming by Phil and a sax solo to boot!

Guitarist Robbie Blunt became Plant’s new songwriting partner and together they cook up a pretty cool batch of tunes overall.

“Moonlight In Samosa” is a whole different feel almost ballad like but if Roberts footing the bill for this whole shebang I guess he can do as he pleases.

One thing I notice all theses years later is that Pictures At Eleven is an atmospheric record. No two songs sound alike and if you look at the song lengths many of them are pushing the five minute mark.

One tune that pushes the eight minute mark is the closet to Zep sounding track on here which is “Slow Dancer”. The drums are huge sounding and you have Powell to thank for that as he lays back but provides a huge sound. Just listen to those bass drums. Dude was a monster on the kit.

Not to be outdone Collins and Blunt hook up on the tune “Worse Than Detroit” where Robert even pulls out the harp as the song goes off into a jam at one point.

Cozy returns for “Like I Never Been Gone” which is another ballad like tune but Cozy as you know can lay down some huge drum sounds even on the slower tracks.

In the big picture of things this is a pretty good debut record from Plant.  Such a great listen and to my ol rocked out ears it doesn’t sound dated!

So there ya have it folk’s, 2021 and I have seen the light and it only took 39 years!

Give Robert credit though as his best friend (Bonzo) passed away in September 1980 yet Plant kept his feet moving in by putting together a new band and releasing a pretty decent debut in “Pictures At Eleven.”

SUMMERTIME SPIN: RATT-OUT OF THE CELLAR (1984)

My pal Tbone was first out of the cellar, oops I meant to say gate  picking up the major label debut of RATT’s “Out of The Cellar” back in March ’84.

Growing up in Thunder Bay there is no such thing as a Sunset Strip but at that time in ’84 we would cruise around in Tbone’s parents Ford green machine family van and would blast “Out of The Cellar” for all the city to hear!

Shortly after though  I had to have my own copy of “Out of The Cellar” and what a  decent debut. Some great playing within the band as the songs were good, production was good and singer Stephen Pearcy had that sleazy L.A drawl liked he swallowed a pack of razor blades.

The ace in the hole within the band is of course Warren DeMartini who plays a bunch of solo’s suited to the bands needs. Dude has his own style and wasn’t really the hot dogging type on the six string.

“Wanted Man” leads off the charge basically its about these guys blowing into town, playing the show, hooking up with ladies and blowing out of town(ahem) to the next show! Warren seals the seal the deal with a great guitar solo!

“Round And Round” the debut single went through the roof especially on the video front which at the time was really crafted smart video. The guitars of DeMartini and the late Robbin Crosby are stellar on this song and many others.

Plus the fact that RATT could shake up the musical tempo in there tunes as well. Some quick little shifts in the songs which made me notice as a listener that they cats could play.

Don’t believe me check out the second track “You’re In Trouble” which at the  start with the rumbling bass from Juan Croucier and the offbeat drumming by Bobby Blotzer  sounds like Duran Duran hyped on speed. “She Wants Money” has the RATT X-Press clipping at a fast pace down the track shows that when they wanted to power rock they could.

LOVE THAT OLD ATLANTIC LOGO ON RECORDS!

No dip on Side 2 as “Lack of Communication” has Pearcy and Croucier trading one liners on the song which if anything is an appropriate title in 2021 I would add!

“Back For More” is the second single and has that nice little acoustic opening before launching into an all out frontal rock attack. Once again the boys mix it up in the tempo department! (for an even better version of Back For More check out the RATT EP issued in 1983)

When I talk about end of album GEMS “The Morning After” is one of them. Why on Gods green earth was this not released as a single. It’s all here. Tight musical chops with Pearcy’s sleaze ball vocal delivery. Simply a stellar tune…

“I’m Insane” has the band driving forward with a quick hit between the eyes while end of the album tune “Scene of The Crime” is a real good album closer as Pearcy tells the tale about being duped by some cold hearted bitch. His words not mine folk’s. Once again another cool solo to round things up.

Looking back and listening to this one again takes me back to that summer of ’84 when so many records were coming out that year. RATT held there own in hanging with the big boys and give these guys props for not putting a single ballad on here!

KISS: LIVE AT THE RITZ (1988)

Another fabulous Father’s Day Score from the Family from Aux33 Records in Montreal!

“Live At The Ritz” has to be one of the most bootlegged live shows of KISS or it has to be close as its a radio broadcast from the summer of 1988 just as KISS was about to embark on their European Tour.

Being that this is a radio broadcast and its already 34 years old (yikes!) it sounds good as this show is out on many different formats as well as many different covers.

This version is no different as its a limited pressing of 500 copies in which I have number 387 and on orange vinyl to boot!

So for any KISS fan out there you know that this cover is all wrong! That is the cover of the KISS “Monster” album from 2012!

Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer are pictured on the front cover as well. We all know that Tommy back in 1988 was in “Black N Blue” and Eric Singer was drumming for Gary Moore and others as they were no where near being in KISS at the time. Mind you Simmons produced the “Nasty Nasty” album by Black N Blue around this time so there is a bit of a connection!

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley had ditched the makeup eight years earlier in 1980 and on board with KISS at this point time was Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr(RIP).

I’m thinking maybe they slapped the makeup cover on as a selling feature or maybe the people putting this together had no clue.

Then again the credits listed on the back cover featuring the two lineups are correct, so who knows. Imagine if they had gotten those wrong?

Either way it’s a great show to have on vinyl as for some this is “KISS ALIVE 3” and fair enough as I’m onboard with that theory.

I have reviewed this already a few years back when Mikey Ladano sent me the tracks so an actual breakdown of this album you can find elsewhere around here.

I will add its a nice looking set with it being a triple gatefold and all three records being orange as well.

Record Three- Side B is the selling feature as its a great audio recording of KISS being young and going for it before Alive broke them big in the year 1975 and changed them forever!

Pretty cool little 5 pack of KISS tracks featuring original KISS homeboys Peter Criss and Ace Frehley in the mix as well. How about that live version of “Let Me Know.”!?

That pic above is the inside layout with the correct version of the classic lineup of Simmons/Stanley/Carr/Kulick.

The pic below is the 70’s classic lineup of Frehley/Criss/Simmons/Stanley. 

I’m really glad to have this added to my collection and finally getting a live version of “Bang, Bang You” on vinyl! (insert laughter here)

All kidding aside this is the warts n all recording of KISS at the back end of the 80s and its a great representation of that era of the band.

SUMMERTIME SPIN: Ozzy Osbourne- THE ULTIMATE SIN (1986)

I purchased “The Ultimate Sin” on cassette tape back in the spring of ’86 right before summer hit and this one (along with some others) for the longest time, was a favourite of mine in my trusty old Walkman!

Ozzy was on a creative roll after the awesome debut of Jake E Lee on ’83’s “Bark At The Moon” in which Jake showed up with a bag of riffs and laid down some serious guitar chops and continued Ozzy’s success . The thanks Jake got for “Bark At The Moon” was squat in the songwriting credits but this would change for the “Ultimate Sin”.

Ron Nevison fresh from bringing the band “Heart” off of  life support a year earlier in which that self titled album sold millions. Ron was tasked at hand at dialling it in with Ozzy and the band.

“Ultimate Sin” in 2021 is kinda the forgotten album in the Osbourne solo catalog. Why? I have no idea but I’m sure its business related and personal as we all know Sharon’s deal right?

Anyhoo…

Ultimate Sin has a good batch of tunes. Is it as good as “Bark At The Moon”? In my opinion no but this record had some killer riffs and songs.

Actually listening to it now there’s really no bad tunes it’s just that Nevison tried making a heavy metal Heart album. Whereas Bark At The Moon had a production style to its own Ultimate Sin doesn’t.

The songs can’t be knocked as the title track opens the album and it just crushes and launches right into “Secret Loser”. Thats a good starter pack right there as Jake smokes that fret board.

I will say that each song has some good Ozz and Jake value. The crowning achievement on this record is the stellar “Killer of Giants” which slowly builds up until it lifts off. What a great track as Jake delivers the goods on this track.

“Shot In The Dark” (written by Ozzy and Bassist Phil Soussan) was the big video/song from this record and helped propel the album up the charts.

So for Ozzy having Jake along (Bob Daisley co wrote 8 of the tracks with Jake and Ozzy) in the drivers seat helped keep Ozzy playing the arenas whereas his old band Black Sabbath was changing lineups quicker than a McDonalds worker flipping patties!

In what has to be one of my rock n roll blunders was when I had an opportunity to catch this tour In Minneapolis in early July of 86 in Minneapolis as I had to decline as I working full time that summer.

My thinking was no biggie I will catch Ozzy next time.

Well that was partially true. I caught Ozzy not o the next tour but on Ozzy’s “No More Tour Tours” back in July ’92!

That was no big deal but what I missed out on was that July ’86 show was Metallica opening for Ozzy when Cliff Burton was still alive.

Damn…

I have this on vinyl which my pal El Donko passed onto me. It’s a little worn but I have never seen this out there in the wilds so this beat up copy will do for now!

 

 

 

Robert Plant: LIVE AT KNEBWORTH (1990)

Another RSD 2021 score from Montreal is this little ass kicker of a 4 song EP from Robert Plant recorded during the Knebworth concert from the summer of 1990 in England. Also featured at that show were Genesis, Pink Floyd, Status Quo amongst others.

For myself personally I love this era of Plant’s career from “Now and Zen(1988”) through “Manic Nirvana (1990)” to “Fate of Nations(1993)”.

What a killer three pack of albums from Robert and his band at the time.

“Hurting Kind” and “Liars Dance” are two songs that were featured on the current Plant album at the time “Manic Nirvana” whereas “Tall Cool One” was from the previous album “Now And Zen”.

Speaking of “Tall Cool One” love how the band shifts gears at the end and does a snippet of “Custard Pie”.

“Liar’s Dance” is easily in my all time Top 5 Plant solo songs. This live version is so friggin good. Guitarist Doug Boyle lays it down brilliantly on acoustic guitar while Plant delivers the goods vocally.

Such a killer track which proves the theory that you can kick ass in different ways than always running an electric six string though a Marshall stack.

The other show stealer is of course Plants old homeboy Jimmy Page showing up and along with Plant’s band they rip through “Wearing And Tearing”!

That’s right “Wearing And Tearing” the last track from the never talked about (except around here) album “Coda”(1982)!

Talk about digging in and pulling out a deep track!

Even though it’s only a short listen, what a brilliant four pack of tracks!

R.I.P Phil Johnstone.

THE TRAGICALLY HIP: SASKADELPHIA (2021)

A huge round of applause for Hip drummer Johnny Fay who unearthed these six songs on this little 20 minute ass kicker of music from The Tragically Hip who hail from my pal Geoff Stephen’s hometown of Kingston Ontario!

“Saskadelphia” is the EP I needed to own on vinyl as the songs on it were recorded back in the fall of 1990 and for myself those first two Hip albums “Up To Here”(1989) and “Road Apples” (1991) are pure Gold in both songwriting, performance and production!

Producer Don Smith (RIP) and Bruce Barris(RIP) on those first two records dialled it in brilliantly as its basically the five Hipsters playing live and boy did they deliver the goods on those first two albums. Two of my all time fave records period!

The Hip thought these tunes were lost in that Universal Fire but Johnny Fay was able to uncover these six tracks well 5 actually (the sixth song “Montreal” is a live version from you guessed it, from Montreal back in 2000) are so good its amazing they were left off of “Road Apples” studio album 30 years ago!

I have told this story a few times but it was around this time that myself and Tbone caught The Hip live. The first time was back in February 1988 at Crocks and the second time was March 1990 at Lakehead University.

That March ’90 show had the Hip rolling onstage at midnight and blitzing through the debut album “Up To Here” in basically its entirety.

What is interesting is The Hip we’re road testing at the time three songs that would not appear until the following year in early ’91 when “Road Apples” was released.

“Fight” and “Three Pistols” were played that cold March night but the opening tune that night was “Crack My Spine Like A Whip”.

Yet when “Road Apples” was released “Crack My Spine” was nowhere to be found on the newly released record!

I was dumbfounded to say the least! For a split second I thought maybe its a hidden track?

Mmm nope..

What happened here? Whose in charge? Who at the record company do I speak to? Where is the “Whip” tune?

Well now 30 years later the problem has been rectified and what a great song, one of the bands best as far as I’m concerned as its the Hip firing on all cylinders as I can still picture them on that University Stage that night playing there style of barroom boogie rock.

Johnny Fay staring straight into a spotlight that night while not missing a beat behind the kit. Bassist Gord Sinclair and Lead Guitarist Bobby Baker hanging out on stage right keeping the band on the tracks while on stage left there is rhythm guitarist Paul Langlois, strumming his 6 string electric guitar. The strap being held by duct tape while a cigarette ash the length of my arm dangled from his mouth as Paul sang the backing vocals.

Singer Gord Downie (RIP) was holding centre stage with his long hair and a big bushy beard as Gord was in another zone that night while delivering the songs and not missing any lyrics. When the band would launch into the guitar solos, Gord like any great rock singer would do at times, he would dump the mic down the front of his pants!

What a great show…

Sorry, I went way off topic but these six songs are so good to finally hear. “Ouch”, “Not Necessary”, “Montreal” (Live) lead off Side A. Three stellar songs.

Side B leading the charge with the “Whip” tune makes me reach for the volume dial on the stereo! “Just As Well” is a hidden gem. The band is cooking by this point while the last song “Reform Baptist Blues” is one kick swift in the crotch as it has the Hip going 100 mph in a 55 mph zone!

Cool that they added Gord’s original hand written lyrics with different titles in the album.

Nice to see the album get to #2 on the charts in Canada as well as getting to #66 in the U.S which may be their highest chart position ever in the States.

It’s amazing these songs were left off the radar for 30 years but thanks to the determination of the guy’s in The HIP we’re all for the better of hearing Gord and the boys delivering some good time blistering rock one last time…

Summertime Spin- Motley Crue: Theatre of Pain (1985)

Hey Folk’s! Welcome back to another round of “Summertime Spin” where I transport you all back to those good old days of the 80’s, where certain albums had those kind of impact moments on me as a listener upon there release when I was young, much younger!

Summer of 85 and I was starting my second summer working for a living as I was going on 18 my job washing dishes was basically funnelling my addiction to all things hard rock. Magazines, the odd purchase on cassette and mostly on vinyl ruled my world when payday would roll around.

One such album that came out right when I was finishing up Grade 12 was the very eagerly awaited new album from Motley Crue!

Now Playing- Theatre of Pain.

Crue was huge in 85 for some of the wrong reasons as we all know about the car accident in which Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle was killed as Crue singer Vince Neil was charged with vehicular manslaughter. A few people in the other car that Neil plowed into also were hurt.

I’m not going to go down that whole road as there has been enough written about it but come that summer, how would the Crue respond.

Before I get to far into this you have to transport yourself back to that summer of 85 with me.

Sure over time “Theatre of Pain” has been trashed by many a fan and fair enough as if you bought this at the time I bet ya liked some if not all of it.

I’m calling you out!

My point being there wasn’t much Crue to compare it to as this record was the third major release by them. (“Too Fast For Love” and “Shout At The Devil” came out in 1981 and 1983 respectively)

See thats the thing with 20/20 hindsight. What is maybe considered meh in 2021 was awesome in 1985!

So anyways with Vince Neil freshly out of the clink and back with Motley out comes “Theatre of Pain” in which I was fully invested what the band was selling upon its release.

At the time I dug that look the Crue was going for. Back in 85 I was an imperishable teen who lapped up what Nikki Sixx was pouring my way.

Let’s go Glam says Sixx and the masses bought into it. Crue must have been the first act or close to it as come a year later in 86 Poison releases on the world their debut(” Look What The Cat Dragged In”) and that Poison front cover had many fooled. You know what I’m talking about.

Actually looking back some good stuff oozed itself off this album like the Aerosmith driven “City Blues Boy”. I thought this style of sleaze rock was good.

I was burnt out at the time and still am ironically enough in regards to cover tunes as “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” I found somewhat boring on the album but I thought the video was funny enough and I could handle watching it in 1985 times so to speak.

Speaking of video. “Home Sweet Home” is a good one as this song I believe saved the album from going to the cheapie bins rather quickly. Once again I liked the video over the album version. As I loved that live and backstage footage of the band.

Sixx was smart or someone at the management was as they knew how to sell the show to a yahoo like me at the time and this video went bonkers and I bet ya sold a million copies of this record alone on that track.

The rest of the record was good not great with “Keep Your Eye On The Money” being perhaps my favourite off this album back in 85 and even now in 2021.

Sixx hit one out of the park on that one…

Comedy and tragedy
Entertainment or death
Like Sister Morphine
Hooked on her game
Time to place your bets

Considering the Crue was kinda in a mess at this time personally its amazing that they could pull it together and put out a record at all.

I guess back in 1985 that was saying something as Sixx, Lee, Mick and Vince were partying and pulling all nighters, a young deKe’s was getting up at 5 am to go to my summertime job at the hospital to fuel my addiction to rock and in doing so in buying albums like “Theatre of Pain”.

Your Welcome Sixx!

THE WHO:FACE DANCES (1981)

For some, well let’s say many when it comes to discussing The WHO lineup’s over the years it’s Keith Moon or nothing. I get that. For myself though my discovery point of getting into The WHO was when they were breaking up in 1982 when I was 15!

So for that fact the two Kenny Jones studio albums that Ken drummed on, those being “Face Dances(1980”) and “It’s Hard(1982)” will always be held in high esteem around here at Arena Rock Central!

Sorry Moon The Loon! Love your stuff too but this period of The WHO is my entry point.

This year for Father’s Day my three daughters and The Boss let me run wild online for RSD 2021.

I hit my go to place AUX333 in Montreal and I scored with four albums (which you will see in reviews at some point sooner than later) and this one that I have been wanting to own on vinyl since 1982 which is ….

THE WHO: Face Dances!

You Better You Bet I got a copy!

Now years ago(mid eighties) I bought “Face Dances” on cassette tape for $5.99! I loved it yet when I got back into buying vinyl seriously about four years ago I began the hunt for this album.

Thanks to RSD in June 2021 I search no more!

Pete and Rog have reissued “Face Dances” and once I seen that I was thinking I need to be getting this one!

Got it!

LP1: The Original Album

Side One:
1. You Better You Bet
2. Don’t Let Go The Coat
3. Cache Cache
4. The Quiet One
5. Did You Steal My Money

Side Two
1. How Can You Do It Alone
2. Daily Records
3. You
4. Another Tricky Day

LP2: Face Dances Part 3

Side 3 
1. I Like Nightmares
2. It’s In You
3. Somebody Saved Me
4. Dance It Away (previously unreleased) with Roger on lead vocals
5. Don’t Let Go The Coat (previously unreleased) with Pete on lead vocals

Side 4 All tracks live at Grugahalle, Essen, 28 March 1981 and broadcast live for Rockpalast
1. Don’t Let Go The Coat (previously unreleased)
2. You Better You Bet (previously unreleased)
3. The Quiet One (previously unreleased)
4. Another Tricky Day (previously unreleased)

A huge batch of music and it’s finally great to own a copy on vinyl. The standouts for me on the original album are of course “You Better You Bet” which Roger Daltry delivers what I believe is one of his best studio performances ever which has always impressed me as Rog was always singing the words of Pete Townsend who as we all know all can be a pretty fickle fella when it comes to his music and fair enough as Pete has earned that right.

“Face Dances” is one of those albums that I can dig in as the album does not lag whatsoever but when I read about the thoughts of how the band felt about the material at the time, they were taking pot shots at each other about the songs on it and it didn’t help matters that as The WHO hit the road before the album came out that producer Bill Szymczyk was left to the final mix which also did not help the cause as the band was not happy with it.

Whatever the reason I love it man..

  Sprinkled throughout the album is classic WHO rock (“Daily Records”),old school WHO (“Cache Cache”) as well as some other kinds of WHO rhythm (“Don’t Let Go the Coat,” “Did You Steal My Money”).

Another ace in the hole tune on “Face Dances” is Bassist John  Entwistle’s song “The Quiet One” which has the boys rocking out in a power trio fashion and is one of my all time fav WHO nuggets. Where the band really soars though on this tune is the live version on Side 4 off the record.

I always have loved how Pete just cuts loose and lets it all hang out on the 6 string. Windmills, power chords and the amps pushed to 11 have Pete going bonkers and there are a few live versions of “The Quiet One” out there and I don’t think I have ever heard this song end the same. Kudos to Jones on the drums as well riding that cymbal with a bunch of different patterns underneath.

1980 and The WHO were headed into a new decade with a new album and a new drummer in tow and all these years later (41 to be exact) I finally got on vinyl.

So good So brilliant So get this…

KISS: OFF THE SOUNDBOARD:TOKYO 2001

I have to say that as a fan, Mean Gene and Starchild can frustrate me at times with all the silliness that they try and sell us diehards.

KISS though has done the right thing and have issued what hopefully will become a series of shows recorded directly off the soundboard that are now available to us domestically instead of buying bootlegs at inflated prices.

KISS Tokyo 2001 is just that. A killer live show. 21 songs the full meal deal and if you’re wondering, Paul Stanley’s voice is spot on throughout the show.

Now you could say do we need another KISS live album? Yup I say as if its going to be done in a bootleg style and features the full show than I’m onboard.

The real charm for me is four things..

1- This album features the short lived lineup of Stanley-Simmons- Frehley and Singer.

2- No “Beth”

3- Some rarely played songs like Ace’s “Talk To Me” and the Stanley’s solo version of “I Still Love You” are a couple of tracks you wouldn’t expect to hear.

4- Ace playing guitar on songs like “Heaven’s On Fire”, “I Love It Loud” and “Lick It Up” that the Spaceman was not originally on!

I could go on and talk about all the other tracks but thats why you have guys like Ladano and Snowman around. I let those boy’s do the heavy lifting and I take the easy way out!

Sure you get all the hits as well as you can see below by the track listing but it’s those little things that I mentioned above that make this soundboard recording one excellent spin.

I really hope at some point that KISS release other soundboard shows as I think Eric Carr should get his due with an official KISS live release.

STILL COMPETITION: The Listener’s Guide to Cheap Trick: by Robert Lawson

This Friday night on the Lebrain Train at 7pm we will be talking to book author Robert Lawson who has written the ultimate recording history of Cheap Trick titled “Still Competition”.

Needless to say we will be doing a deep dive into the Cheap Trick albums as well as focusing on Roberts other two books, Razama-Snaz which details the recorded output of Nazareth and Robert’s recently released book “Wheatfield Empire”: Listeners Guide to The Guess Who.

Over the course of the book’s 261 pages, Robert digs deep going way back to 1967 when the band with various Trick members started as the “Grim Reapers”.

22 Trick albums are fully written about as well as Robin Zander’s two solo albums that came and went without notice as well as compilations that former drummer Bun E Carlos has put together over the years are examined thoroughly.

Each album is broken down into four sections. Background, Videos, Release And Reception, Reissues- Remasters and Re-Recordings.

Such a great breakdown of each album. No stone is left unturned as I even discovered things that Robert put in this book that I had no idea about and I’ve been listening to Cheap Trick since 1979!

Robert did his homework here folks, and one of the best things I can say about “Still Competition” is when Cheap Trick had an album that was iffy at best Robert says so.

No sugercoating!

From a personal standpoint I look forward to yacking with the guys about “The Doctor” release from 86!

It’s going to be a great chat Friday night with Robert and you can pick up his books at Amazon for a very good price!

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