Impact Album: Sloan: Navy Blues (Deluxe Vinyl Edition)-2019

Sloan to coincide with there Navy Blues Tour which hit Thunder Bay a week ago has released this fantastic Vinyl Edition of Navy Blues (limited to 1200 ) that gives you the listener a first-hand account of this masterpiece from 1998.

Crazy that it’s been 21 years since the original album came out and here we are now in 2019 and what a fantastic looking set put together by Sloaners Jay Ferguson and Chris Murphy.

Here are the Facts Folk’s at what’s included

SLOAN 
Navy Blues Deluxe Vinyl Box Set includes:
  • 3 LPs each with 11” x 22” lyric inserts
  • 12” x 12” 32-page full-color book
  • 2  7” singles
  • 11” x 24” color poster
  • High-quality digital download (mp3 or FLAC) of the entire box set
  • Limited edition of 1200 only

Thanks to my good pal Tbone I received this Box Set as a Birthday Gift! How sweeeet it is!

First of all the cool thing is when you get these box set reissues from Sloan the money they make is going straight into there own pocket which is how it should be.

The 32-page book that comes gives a very candid detail look at how the biz works and what kind of hoops and such these guys had to jump through to own all there own publishing from 1996’s’One Chord To Another’ from there and beyond. Each guy in Sloan (along with Jay and Chris in the band are Patrick Pentland and Andrew Scott) is interviewed in the book and gives a great detailed explanation back in the era that this album was recorded(1996-1998) along with the touring/videos made and the business involved with running a band which is a fascinating read.

The 3 vinyl albums are awesome. LP 1 is the full album that is the domestic release that we all know and love. (13 Tracks)

Navy Blues (LP #1)
Side A
1. She Says What She Means
2. C’mon C’mon (We’re Gonna Get It Started)
3. Iggy & Angus
4. Sinking Ships
5. Keep On Thinkin’
6. Money City Maniacs
7. Seems So Heavy
Side B
1. Chester The Molester
2. Stand By Me, Yeah
3. Suppose They Close The Door
4. On The Horizon
5. I Wanna Thank You
6. I’m Not Through With You Yet

 

LP 2  features all 13 tracks in demo form( and they sound amazing) and the demos have the same running order as the LP 1!  Pretty cool to hear a pretty sped-up version of Iggy and Angus which is really cool at how the song was tweaked before the final version that ended up on the album.

The Demos (LP #2)
Side A
1. She Says What She Means (July/Aug 1996 demo)
2. C’mon C’mon (We’re Gonna Get It Started) (Autumn 1997 demo)
3. Iggy & Angus (Jan/Feb 1997 demo)
4. Sinking Ships (Oct 1997 demo)
5. Keep On Thinkin’ (July 1997 demo)
6. Money City Maniacs (Aug 1997 demo)
7. Seems So Heavy (Sept 1997 demo)
Side B
1. Chester The Molester (July 1997 demo)
2. Stand By Me, Yeah (Aug 1997 demo)
3. Suppose They Close The Door (July 1997 demo)
4. On The Horizon (Oct 1997 demo)
5. I Wanna Thank You (Autumn/Winter 1997 demo)
6. I’m Not Through With You Yet (Aug 1997 demo)
The third LP  (The Outtakes) is really interesting as its basically stuff that I had never heard before. It’s pretty much an unreleased full album of Sloan tunes! Total score on this one as well.
The Outtakes (LP #3)
Side A
1. So Beyond Me (Studio outtake)
2. Just One Shot (July/Aug 1996 demo)
3. I Feel Lied To (July 1997 demo)
4. Mother’s Day (Studio outtake)
5. Style Is Still Style (Studio outtake)
6. 2, 3 Hello (Aug 1997 demo)
7. Open Your Umbrellas (Early 1997 demo)
Side B
1. Daddy Be Cool (Studio outtake)
2. Family Tree (Oct 1997 demo)
3. All By Myself (Studio outtake Version 2 )
4. Glen Campbell (July/Aug 1996 demo)
5. I’ve Enabled Myself (Aug 1997 demo)
6. Helen (Oct 1997 demo)
7. Yours To Steal (July 1997 demo)
Another interesting tidbit from The Outtakes is that the second song ‘Just One Shot’ from July/Aug 1996 was fixed up and ended up being retitled on Sloans album from 2018 called 12. The song on 12  was retitled ‘That Day Will Be Mine’
That’s not all folks. How about 2 Sealed 7 inch Singles:
7″ Single 1
Side A
1. Rock Star Admit It (July/Aug 1996 demo)
Side B
1. Out To Lunch (Aug 1997 demo)
7” Single 2
Side A
1. Hammond Jam Pt. 1 (Studio outtake)
Side B
1. Hammond Jam Pt. 2 (Studio outtake)
Such a wicked awesome set!
Tbone picked this up as I mentioned earlier at the Sloan show here in Tbay last week and we got together this past Saturday Night at Tbone’s and spun the three albums in succession. We went with LP 2 first, then LP 3 than back to LP1. Why did we do it this way? Why not lol!
A real cool listen to all these songs as the sound is excellent on everything. I also like the fact that Sloan also included an mp3 download coupon so I was able to put everything onto my iPod!
Great album by a Great Band!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sloan: Live at Crocks- October 16th 2019

Wednesday night and Sloan are back! Back folks to this sleepy little Northern Town that over the years Sloan has graciously performed there own brand of power pop to the faithful who don’t view Wednesday as a work night but a live music night!

Thanks must be made to local promoter Guru Frank Loffredo who keeps bringing these bands back to Tbay. Without him, the live scene here in the Bay would be well, no scene!

Shortly after 9pm Patrick Pentland/Chris Murphy/Andrew Scott and Jay Ferguson hit the stage with one of the best opening killer riffs in   Murphy’s ‘She Says What She Means’C’mon C’mon (We’re Gonna Get It Started) the second song by Jay is a great tune that sets the plate for the awesome ‘Iggy And Angus’ by Patrick and we have officially lifted off. From there it was followed by the remaining 10 tracks that make up the current ‘Navy Blues’ Tour that has Sloan performing the album in its entirety.

Hard to believe to us as the listener that Navy Blues is 21 years young. I’m sure to the Sloaners it must be as well but Jay and Chris have stepped up to coincide with the tour a limited edition box set (1200 only) of Navy Blues which includes the full album on vinyl along with demos/booklet/digital download etc.

The songs from Navy Blues come across brilliantly in a live atmosphere and isn’t it amazing that one of the band’s biggest hits in ‘Money City Maniacs’ is the sixth song in the show!  That right there tells you the depth of there catalog which is pretty phenomenal that Sloan is sticking by the running order of the original album.

One of the highlights is when Andrew steps up from behind his kit and straps on his guitar while Chris hops on the drums and Jay hops on the bass and they launch into Andrew’s brilliant ‘Sinking Ships’.

Once the first set of tunes ended with Patricks ‘I’m Not Through With You Yet’. Murphy addressed the crowd and said to stick around!

My good Pal Tbone (who joined me) wasn’t going anywhere!

After 20 minutes or so the band kicked off Set 2  with ‘Flying High Again.’ From there another 15 songs came at us! ‘Who Taught You To Live Like That/The Lines You Amend/Coax Me/Three Sisters’  and another  highlight when Scott came out from behind his drum kit and did  ‘People of the Sky’ with the classic line of,

It’s like a three-legged dog
In search of a crutch
Ba ba ba da ba
Dissecting in past
All the motives of such

The cowbell  (by Gregory MacDonald who also provided backing vocals/keys/guitar)driven excellently sung Pentland track ‘Live On’ had the crowd clapping along while Sloan ended the night with ‘The Rest of My Life’.

Sloan left albeit shortly and returned with ‘The Other Man’ which like many a song this night featured crowd participation and the band headed straight to the finish line with ‘The Good In Everyone!’

This is mine and Tbone’s third show in a row(in the last 4 years) catching Sloan here in Tbay and they never disappoint live. With Sloan, you get your money’s worth and more!

I have to add its always cool that Sloan will come out once they’re done and talk to people. Tonight it was Chris Murphy who always is readily available to spend a few minutes chatting. Give these guys credit as they don’t play the bullshit game of charging for Meet N Greets!

We(Tbone and I) chatted up about the various influences we hear in Sloan’s tunes like The Beatles/KISS etc with Chris and of course, I had to ask him if there was perhaps another live album in the making since the last live Sloan came out back in 1999 ( 4 Nights at the Palais).

Chris told me “people don’t really dig live albums anymore”. I was like ‘What?! I do!’.  Fair enough and Tbone snapped a few pictures and off we went into the cold crisp fall air of Tbay.

Great Show and if Sloan hits your Town. GO!

All pics courtesy of ‘Boozin Wobble’ 

 

 

The Cult: Sonic Temple 30th Anniversary deluxe Edition(2019)

I pre-ordered back in July the reissue of The Cults Sonic Temple which is 30 years young this year!

That’s crazy! So come release time of the box set, Amazon.ca scrubbed the actual release date for the 5CD set (which I preordered) due to some manufacturing delay which sucks but what can you do.

Itunes did have the Deluxe which came out on vinyl September 13th. So to make a long story short you can buy the limited edition 3500 vinyl pressed copy edition of Sonic Temple or go the iTunes route.

I went with iTunes for the 9 live tracks posted from the Sonic Temple Tour from 1989. 9 songs only but from what I read that’s all they had and they are from a radio broadcast.

1 New York City (live) *previously unreleased)
2 Automatic Blues (live) *previously unreleased)
3 American Horse (live) (from the Sweet Soul Sister single)
4 Sun King (live) *previously unreleased
5 Soul Asylum (live) (from the Sweet Soul Sister single)
6 Rain (live) *previously unreleased
7 Sweet Soul Sister (live) (from the Sweet Soul Sister single)
8 She Sells Sanctuary (live) *previously unreleased
9 Fire Woman (live) *previously unreleased

That’s a pretty decent mix of Cult Rock played by a band at the top of there Arena Rock game in 1989!

As you can see some of these are already out there but to me, I had up till I purchased these tracks heard any of them.

Listening to it sounds more bootleg like than anything, The sound is a little rough but if anything the band is firing on all cylinders as Billy Duffy/Jamie Stewart/Ian Astbury/Matt Sorum and John Webster bring it live.

You get to hear Iggy Pop and his voice intro New York City as The Cult blast off like a rocket.

7 songs live are featured from Sonic Temple and a real slick use of percussion at the start of American Horse.

Jamie Stewart! Where is this guy in 2019? He walked away in 1990 and was never heard again but you can hear him with a Bass solo at the start of Sun King. Stewart actually plays some slick Bass Lines throughout this show. Dude was very underrated in The Cult.

You can tell that these guys had to play the game somewhat back in 89 as during the chorus of Sweet Soul Sister you hear the backing vocals piped in from the studio album. I’m pretty sure of that but Ian’s vocals and the music are live. Trust me there friends!

This is a pretty cool show to own albeit all the songs aren’t here but it gives you a decent listen to how these guys were rolling live back in the roaring 80s!

 

 

 

Vinyl Rewrite: AC/DC-For Those About To Rock( We Salute You)- 1981

 

Hey, Folks thanks for checking in. Starting something new here called ‘Vinyl Rewrite’ which is basically me somewhat re-reviewing some classics that I have now acquired on vinyl. As you all know I have been reviewing a bunch of records and this is one that I had on CD/Cassette but now its time to hear some of these albums on how they should be heard and that’s on Record!

It’s been a hoot to revisit these albums on vinyl years and in some cases decades later after I had originally acquired them on either vinyl or cassette tape back in the day!

For Those About To Rock was the followup to the mega-selling Back In Black. FTATR came out of the gate back at the tail end of November 1981 and here comes the shocker!R

READY FOR IT:

Tbone scores this album the DAY it came out!! ( I got this as a Xmas Gift one month later). We drooled all the way home with excitement as two 14-year-olds would at the time from downtown where Tbone bought FTATR (Music City was the name of the record store). To say we weren’t pumped would be the understatement of 1981!

We headed right to Tbone’s where he dropped the needle on Side A track 1 which was the title track FTATR! We were blown away at the simple yet pounding artillery like drumming of Phil Rudd while Lead SInger Brian Johnson sounds like he’s about to toss a lung at the one minute mark of the album! The Guitars of Malcolm and Angus are cranked what more can you add other than HOLY F**K!

And than Cannon Fire and lot’s of it in those vinyl grooves and that’s just the first tune!

Put The Finger On You keeps the pace going. How about that simple yet effective drum beat that Phil locks in with Cliff Williams(Bass). Don’t piss off Phil or you may get whacked!

Let’s Get It Up oozes sex than again it’s no secret that I learned about the birds and bee’s from those 10 tracks from Back In Black back in 1980. Speaking of which Back In Black should have been a mandatory listen for all students that were enrolled along with myself and Tbone at Lakeview High School(1981) in Sex Education Class! Mr. Johnson delivered in great detail on how to go about a relationship on those Back In Black tracks instead of the (name withheld)  drip we had teaching us Grade 9 Sex Ed!

Sorry way off topic but AC/DC knows one thing and well ok two things and that’s to slam your noggin straight ahead into a wall with there barroom boogie rock while schooling all of us teenagers on the finer seedier dirtier side of life which leads right into…

Inject The Venom! Jonno screams his balls off while Angus plays one of my fav solo’s of his (Angus has many by the way!) The solo slices you right between the eyes as Angus works that Gibson SG like no one’s business!

End of Side 1 features the no-nonsense Snowballed which has the AC/DC Tour Bus lock and loaded and steaming down the highway at over 100 mph! This song cooks and kicks big time as the verses are the money shot!

Side 2 begins with evil as in Evil Walks. Evil Walks behind you/sleeps beside you/talks arouse you/walks behind you! I mean when Jonno sings…

Black widow weavin’ evil notions
Dark secrets bein’ spun in your web
Good men goin’ down in your ocean
They can’t swim ’cause they’re tied to your bed

We all bought into it as it was AC/DC teaching us to all be young silly horn dogs and maybe this is why these guys are still important and beloved by all of us now! They crafted memorable riffs and lyrics into an endless fireball fountain of youth!

Love that crisp sound of the drums on C.O.D and the slinky like guitar playing of Angus and Malcolm in this tune. How about those back up vocals as well. That’s the thing with these guys they basically took there onstage rockiness and took that vibe right into the studio.

Breaking All The Rules is has some more coll guitar interplay between the Brothers Young and they even dive into a few tempo changes as well! Them funny Youngs keeping us on our toes!

If you’re a follower of my hack writing(I thank you) then you know I love those end of the album Gems as I call them. Night of the Long Knives is one of those Gems! Just a great track that has an even better chorus!

FTATR ends with the trippy Spellbound that twists and turns with again a different kind of thing AC/DC was going for. Spellbound is a track forgotten by many but check it out you will be better for it! Different sounding tune for sure but it’s still these guys as it sounds like, well AC/DC!

VINYL REWRITE VERDICT:

FTABTR next to Flick of the Switch has to be my favorite Johnson fronted album by AC/DC. (Back In Black as well but that would be to easy to go with) FTABTR came out at that point in mine and Tbone’s life where we were discovering music and that was the best time really. I had no older brother to borrow music from. It was for me to discover and along with Tbone and my other pal Muc we discovered AC/DC and others.

I still recall talking to a fellow student at school at the time(name withheld) let’s just call him Doofus*. I asked Doofus what he thought about FTABTR and he responded with an “it’s basically side’s 3 & 4 of Back In Black!’

Umm about that statement. My AC/DC collection at the time of FTATR’s release was the following albums. Back In Black/Dirty Deeds/ If You Want Blood/Highway To Hell. They all sounded kinda the same but that was AC/DCs deal. Stick to the formula, for the most part, don’t deviate too far from the norm and slam people’s heads into the wall with a ton of sound!

This album as well could fall under the category as an Impact Album in my world as it’s just where we were at that point in life. I mean look at the packaging. Band member’s names aren’t even listed. Just the basics and where it was recorded. Producer Mutt Lange did a great job on the three albums he produced (Highway To Hell/BIB/FTATR) before AC/DC kicked Mutt to the curb (for taking to long to get a drum sound in the studio which drove the brothers crazy).

Look at the killer live shot(below) that makes up the Gatefold!  Tbone and I stared at that pic for hours you would have thought we were baked but we weren’t! If a picture says a thousand words this pic would be it!

*-Doofus was your typical Highschool Stoner. I recall asking him what he thought about Judas Priest after they leveled Duluth on Priests Screaming For Vengeance Tour. Doofus replied to my question with this answer. “Don’t recall a thing other than some dude riding a motorcycle at one point in the show!”

Nuff said!

 

Back Covers: AC/DC: Powerage(1978)

Some pretty cool Back Covers I have done, but one of my personal favorites is this one of AC/DC taken by Jim Houghton back in 1978!

We all know how fantastic this album is but take a look at these guys

AC/DC is here Folk’s! I love how Angus Young is upfront and center while the late great Bon Scott is peaking over Angus’ shoulder with Bon giving a total sinister smirk!

Phil Rudd to Bon’s right looks somewhat amused by the shenanigans of  Angus and Bon. New Bass guy at the time Cliff Williams has his back against the wall while the King of Rythm Guitar Riffs Malcolm Young stands off to the side.

Such a simple but very effective back cover photo along with those 9 song titles from Powerage that alone will kick your ass!

Whitesnake: Slip of the Tongue:( Super Deluxe Edition-2019)

You got to hand it to David Coverdale as he knows the deal in how to reissue a previous release by going all out and delivering the goods in a box set!

Like the two previous box sets that David had released before this latest reissue (30th Anniversary of the John Sykes guitar-driven reissue of the 1987 album in 2017 followed by the 35th Anniversary of Slide It In released earlier this year) Whitesnake, this year alone has delivered two box sets and a new studio album as well!

That’s a pretty impressive amount of product released in 10 months!

About 2-3 months ago the one and only Mikey Ladano set social media afire from the safe confines of Ladano HQ when he sent us all the prerelease info on Slip of the Tongue. Fellow pals HMO and John Snow were onboard quicker than you could say ‘Tawney’.  I commented with ‘Meh!’

It took a millisecond for Mikey to fire back a response going “What!?’ My response was I’m not interested in hearing all that wacky guitar shit Steve Vai did on Slip of the Tongue. ( Love Vai with Roth on the Eat Em and Skyscraper releases) Mikey commented on the previous box sets on how well they were done than a moment of clarity entered the back regions of my noggin.

I thought about all the Unreleased Tracks/Demos and man how much I would miss not hearing Kittens Got Claws again after 30 years.

30 years is a long time man. 3 decades worth of days/weeks and months as time waits for no one. Maybe after all this time perhaps maybe I could go back down into that rabbit hole known as Whitesnake 89 and give it another go as I had reviewed the Slip album a long way back and filed it as 3/4’s Filler!

Time can change the listening habits of judging for that matter of what your mind was thinking about at that time and in this case, it was 30 years ago that Slip had been recorded and I liked some of this album but not all.

Would time change that?

Once I clicked preorder I thought it would be cool to hear the songs in the early stages of demo form with Adrian Vandenberg who co-wrote the album with Dave and as fate would have it Adrian mangled up his hand and enter in Steve Vai.

Now about that for a second. How about a conspiracy theory comment open for debate.

1989 John Sykes releases the excellent Blue Murder album and it supposedly got buried by Geffen records as both Sykes and Coverdale were on Geffen and supposedly David would not release the master tapes of ‘Slip’ if Geffen supported Sykes. Who knows if this was true or not but considering there was a ton of bad blood between John and David and with ego and money on the line I could see it happening.

Vandenberg being a pretty decent six-stringer himself is no John Sykes so do you think someone at Geffen (maybe John Kalodner) approached Vai thinking the Slip album needed some star guitar firepower to push the album forward in sales and the deal was Vai could self promote himself as well as Steve had  released Passion and Warfare during his time in Whitesnake!

I could be way off track here but it was fun to toss it out there.

Now back to the Box Set!

Look at all those tracks folks! 6 CD’s worth of songs which Dave as he always does leaves no stone unturned in regards to this album

Discs 3,4 and 5 are the deal for me. Songs in an earlier incarnation. Demos/Jams and the sound is excellent.  Coverdale even tackles Burning Heart which was the biggie single from the self-titled Vandenberg album(1982).

The Granny House stuff on Disc 5 is brilliant in their demo form. Now I’m Gone is the best version I heard before it got all polished up for public consumption.

I read in the accompanying book that Slip of the Tongue was originally going to be called Liquor And Poker! They even had a song written as Liquor and Poker as well. Parking Ticket/Kill For the Cut as well as a bunch more outtakes as you really get to hear how the sound of Whitesnake was before Vai came aboard. To be honest I prefer the Vandenberg approach to these songs as he’s no razzle and dazzle on the fretboard. Keeps it simple yet catchy.

Like David has done on his other two previous reissues. Make it your money’s worth. Included is a 60-page hardcover book documenting this era of Whitesnake( 88-90) as well.

The ? has to be asked.

Has my mind changed on the actual studio album that we all heard?

Jury is still out! I haven’t even relistened to it yet. I’m too busy getting through the other discs but I will make it back to Disc 1 eventually!

To be honest I’ve been digging into the tracks on the previously mentioned discs which have given me a new sonic perspective on this album as a whole!

So well done. Bravo, David and the real treat for me was my daughter Lauren gave this mega Box Set to me as an early Birthday Gift!

How could I not like this album now?

 

 

The Return of KISS: 40 Years Ago in Duluth Minnesota

Well 40 years ago today I was 11 years old going on 12 and my parents for my soon to be birthday got me the ultimate gift which was seeing KISS in Duluth!

For KISS it was the Return of! For myself, it was the Beginning!

What an experience for a first concert eh Folks?

You have to hand it to my parents back in 1979 who dragged me to church every dang Sunday but my Mom and Dad were smart folks as they didn’t buy into that nonsense that KISS stood for Knights In Satans Service or any of that other silliness that surrounded the 4 masked ones that were plastered all over my bedroom wall’s back in 1979!

(Below is a pic of me posted with my parents back in Oct/79)

Bottom Line was they were very cool with it! A few years down the road (the early 80s) I still remember my Mom coming into my bedroom and asking me if that guy singing that song was an opera singer at one point! That guy that my Mom asked about was Rob Halford and he was doing his operatic vocal thingy at the end of Side 1 of Judas Priests Magnificient Unleashed in the East album. The song was The Green Manalsihi with the Two-Pronged Crown.

Good call Mom!

Speaking of Judas Priest. That night in Duluth they were listed as the openers but 3 dates before Duluth they left the tour and were replaced by Johnny Cougar and the Zone(as they were called) and faced a hostile crowd that night in Minnesota! I wonder why?!*

Before too long KISS took the stage and I still remember the opening as the Gene/Paul/Ace and Peter raised up from underneath the stage and took their spots and launched into King of the Nighttime World!

My 11 year old mind is blown and thanks to the power of the internet here are the songs that KISS played that night.

1.  King Of The Night Time World
2.  Let Me Go, Rock And Roll
3.  Move On
4.  Calling Dr. Love
5.  Firehouse
6.  New York Groove
7.  I Was Made For Lovin’ You
8.  Christine Sixteen
9.  2.000 Man
10.  God Of Thunder
11.  Shout It Out Loud
12.  Black Diamond

Encores:
13.  Detroit Rock City
14.  Beth
15.  Rock And Roll All Nite

This show basically set the blueprint for me wanting to attend live shows as KISS in their glory was setting off a ton of pyro on a huge stage complete with Guitar and Drum solos delivering all of this at a loud volume!

I’m not even friggin 12 years old and look what lies before my naked steaming eyes!**

Gene and Paul taking their job that night seriously and I betcha counting the cash from the ticket/merch after the show while Ace and Peter were probably polluted by party treats by that point but I didn’t care and I was way too young to even know about that stuff!

It only took one night to be sold in the live atmosphere of a concert.

If there was an Impact Concert to set as a foundation of wanting to attend a live show from there on out  this would have been the one or probably any KISS concert from the 70s if you were lucky enough to attend and are as old as me!

Big Love to my Parents (Don and Vicki) for raising me right and by not judging what my listening habits were as a youth!

$10 for all seats at this show. Now that is something as well.

*- Cougar got booed throughout as I recall and when you think about it how wild is that it’s your first concert and the opener gets ripped by the crowd! What a first impression!

**- I totally nicked that sentence from David Lee Roth. Is anybody surprised by that?

 

Hard Rock Album and Concert Reviews! (Odd Book Review as well!)