Category Archives: Impact Albums

These are albums that over time have impacted my listening tastes. Some of these writeup’s will not be about a bands biggest selling album but to me its some of there best work….

TRIUMPH: Allied Forces (2021)

Ah, there you have it. One of the finest albums ever to come out of Toronto (well anywhere actually) and that is “Allied Forces” by those fine Canadian Gents known as Triumph!

“Allied Forces” I  purchased back in the fall of ’81 as it was that cover with the iconic Flying V that was calling and telling me as 14 year old that this album will ROCK!

It does indeed ROCK! From album opener “Fool For Your Love” to closing  track “Say Goodbye” there are no dips in the songs. In other words, no skipping of tracks.

You can play this album front to back.

Fast forward to this year…

It was announced back in April that Triumph would be releasing and  limiting a deluxe box set of “Allied Forces”  to only 1200 copies throughout the entire world for “Record Store Day” on June 12th.

June 12th came and they were all scooped up. I tried and no luck but Andy Curran ( whom we were interviewing that day ironically enough as Andy had a major hand in the piecing together this box set))  told myself and Mikey Ladano to sit tight and not pay ridiculous eBay prices which had the box set going for about $400 Canadian.

So we sat tight, waited and some dude commented on Ladano’s page that Rock Paper Merch had copies of this limited set available.

Mikey pounced right away and after a few days I got myself a copy as well and better yet my daughter Lauren said this is my early Birthday  gift!

Wowzers, what a great gift as I had this box set in my hands in four days. Great shipping!

So not only do you get an updated copy of “Allied Forces” (the original studio release) you get a ’10 inch 45 of the boys ripping out a unreleased version of “Magic Power” from Ottawa back in ’82.

The flip side has “Allied Forces 2021” which features Phil X who on guitar who as you all know replaced Rik Emmett back in the early ’90s.

Below is the cover of the 45 which is right in my pal  Teebone’s wheelhouse as he has always been a sucker for ladies on record covers!

Rik Emmett, Mike Levine and Gil Moore did the right thing and let Andy Curran (who did a bunch of the recent RUSH reissue’s) dig through the attics of Metalwork Studios and pull together this magnificent looking box set including a shrunk down version of the tour book from the 1981 Tour!

Also included is a double live show recorded in Cleveland and the stage is where you hear how powerful the Toronto three piece Triumph really was in concert. As well what a stellar set list.

But wait there’s more. Included is an Rik Emmett guitar pic as well as couple of posters.

So take a bow Mr. Curran for taking on an enormous task of researching and putting together piece by piece a box set with the focus of a fans perspective put first.

Thanks to Rik, Gil and Mike for all the killer music included on “Allied Forces!”

Make sure you tune in this upcoming Wednesday night (Oct 20th) at 7pm when myself and Brent Jensen will focus our energies on the Rock N Roll Machine known as TRIUMPH!


You can watch live on my Youtube Page….Thunder Bay Arena Rock-Scotch On The Rocks


Impact Albums- Aerosmith:Draw The Line (1977)


It was early 1981 when my Dad handed me a copy of Aerosmith’s “Draw The Line” album.

Now as it turns out my Father’s friend Ken(RIP) gave it to my him to pass onto me as Ken did not dig Aerosmith but he knew me being 13 years young  I would likey.

Ken you were right and thanks for the Aero introduction!

Once I heard this album the second Aero album I ended up purchasing in the summer of 81 was the immortal double “Live Bootleg”.

I was used to cover drawn albums as KISS were the leaders in that department back than yet here comes Aerosmith with a cool band drawing on the cover and they call it “Draw The Line”

Cool play on words fellas!

As a 13-year-old at the time I thought Aero was into art class but a little later on realized Aero was into the seedier side of things when you skip art class.

So here we are 40 years down the line and it was time to upgrade from that worn out copy of “Draw The Line” and a RSD title to boot that I bought at Comix Plus here in Tbay that sells some sealed and mostly used records.

Let’s check on Joe Perry,Steve Tyler,Joey Kramer, Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford and see how they shaped some musical landscapes for a one young dEker!

DRAW THE LINE- What an intro to Aerosmith with this tune. Holy Crap here comes Joe navigating some serious slide guitar and his side kick Steve belting out the cowboy song! “Heads I win Tails You lose” yelps Tyler. You win Steve as  he basically throws up a tonsil in that crazy part of the song you all know it that part that goes “Checkmate don’t be late, take another pull, that’s right impossible” What a rip of an opening song!

I WANNA KNOW WHY- This is a great song, some cool keyboards rock this song along just fine. Being this is my first Aero album and so far so good! If the stories are true that they were totally blasted throughout the recording of this album. Keep blasting!

CRITICAL MASS-The whole band shifts a tempo down from the first two numbers and they still rock it with Tyler telling his story about the seedier side of living kinda like spaced out actually yeah man Tyler’s tripping into who knows where but he makes tripping seem real cool. “Tell me how ya recover from the time in space as it takes you away.” That’s what Steven sings….honestly.

GET IT UP-Perry kick’s  out with some cool slide guitar once again. Steve shoots into town in a police car and your daddy said he took it a little too far! Cool tune. Off the walls is Aero as there is no sobriety in sight.

BRIGHT LIGHT FRIGHT- Joe takes the lead vocal on this one and it’s a steamer of a track. Throw in some cool sax and some wicked leads and this is Joe doin solo time so Steve can ramp it up into the next track!

KINGS AND QUEENS- Wow, this is epic Aerosmith. Steve talks about the “Kings And Queens and Guillotine’s taking lives denied”. Basically Steve is singing about greed in 1877 or perhaps 1977 with all their handlers around. That’s my spin on it and for a band as they say being out of it. They pull one out of the fire here that’s for sure.

THE HAND THAT FEEDS-“Doctor,Doctor,Doctor” Steve shouts. Is someone calling a code on Aeros behalf? I have to say though I think by this point they were starting to lose a bit of creative gas but then the endless lifestyle of craziness may be catching up. Still they pull this one out. Tom and Joey set the rhythm pace.

SIGHT FOR SORE EYES- I prefer the live version on Live Bootleg. This version is kinda a  slow tempo compared to the very amped up live deal. Still it’s neat to hear it In Its original state.

MILK COW BLUES- This is a cover tune jammer that ends the album and I really think Aero ran out of steam by this point so a cover tune was needed to push the album to the 35 minute mark. I’m sure the record company was freaking on them for lack of material but I really don’t think the Smith boys cared too much by this point!


Impact Album: The Cult-Sonic Temple (1989)


1989 rolls around and The Cult featuring Ian Astbury, Billy Duffy, and Jamie Stewart along with Bob Rock at the control center unleashed one of the best sounding hard rock albums that in 2021 still sounds supreme!

Crazy to think Sonic Temple is 32 years old. Where does the time fly?

Once again this past Christmas I was gifted with “Sonic Temple” on vinyl which is spread out nicely over two double records that even has some bonus material on them.

This album kicks serious ass from the get go. Opener “Sun King” kicks the party off and the sound is massive. Cheers to Bob Rock and Mike Fraser for dialling it in sonically  on this album.

“Fire Woman” has that great opening Duffy street rock riff and the song lifts off from there.  Astbury was in his element here as I can still visual him in the video for this track digging his heals in at becoming that Arena Rock Guy which he dug for a time I’m sure before not too long after he kinda didn’t dig it.

Maybe I’m wrong here but either way the song still sounds good today on local crap radio. 

“Sonic Temple” fuses some huge Zep like rock on tracks like “Soul Asylum” while others like “New York City” is one of those hard driving balls out rock tracks that will smack you you around like if Iggy Pop was doing the smacking! (See what I did there?). Mickey Curry from Bryan Adams band handled the drums on this record and keeps The Cult on track.

“Sweet Soul Sister” with that cool driving bass line courtesy of Jamie Stewart is another bonafide hit. How about that chorus and guitar solo from Billy Duffy.

With it being 1989 sure there would be a ballad included which is “Edie (Ciao Baby)”. For all the sap power ballads that we’re racing up the charts back than “Edie” was a different kind of tune one in which I like and maybe that is because of WolfChilds vocals or the fact that tune ramps up. 

The rest of this album is killer. It’s all a brilliantly written heavy rock record and what better way than to end the sonic assault than all us of hoping on the “Medicine Train”!


Thats the great thing about Duffy/Astbury and Stewart back than as they didn’t follow the cheese rock formula. Instead they forged their own path sonically and this album delivers that in spades.

Check out Mike Lebrain on Youtube as a few weeks back we chatted with Mike Fraser who told us some great stories about working with these guy’s in the studio.




Impact Album: UFO- Strangers In The Night (1979)


Geez, I’m bad at anniversary dates and If I was on the ball I would have timed this back on January 2nd as it was that date back in 1979 that the mighty “UFO” released one of the most highly regarded double live releases ever…

“Strangers In The Night” is a tour de force. UFO was gaining a foothold in that market known as the United States( 1978’s Obsession charted at 41 on the Billboard Charts) yet by the time Strangers came out the main architect of this record was already gone.

Michael Schenker the blond playing German Guitar God with the Gibson Flying V after years of drugs and alcohol finally had enough and walked out during the mixing of “Strangers In The Night.”  

The story goes that when the song “Rock Bottom “was being mixed by producer Ron Nevison, Schenker heard the mix that was going to be used and he didn’t like how his guitar was sounding and wanted to pick another version of the song. Schenker also refused to do overdubs on the album saying there were better versions than what they were working with.

Michael was told ‘No’ and walked out of the studio supposedly muttering ‘Poor, Poor Rock Bottom’ in his broken English never to return.

The end result. Strangers came out and hit the charts (#42 in the U.S and #7 in England) but by the time the tour for it rolled around Micheal was long gone and replaced by Paul Chapman(RIP). More on Chapman’s involvement later.

UFO came across my radar back in 1981-82. My buddy Muc was the first I knew that owned any UFO album and Strangers was it.  Muc was also the first one I knew of who bought 82’s “Mechanix” record as well.

When I first heard “Strangers” it was an album I needed to own but by 82 this version of UFO was basically non-existent. Schenker had formed his own band MSG and in doing some nabbed his former UFO bandmate Paul Raymond(RIP) for the project.

 Bassist Pete Way(RIP) also was also off and running to play Bass for Ozzy on the Ozzmans 82 British Tour at which point Pete was fired by Sharon Osbourne (SHOCKER) than Pete joined Fast Eddie Clarke(RIP) who himself had left Motorhead and together they formed the very cool band “Fastway” but Pete was gone after 5 minutes to form his own band “Waysted” who released the pretty good “Vices” record in 83.

Did you get that?

So UFO at that point when Muc was spinning their records had Phil Mogg(singer) Andy Parker(drums) Neil Carter(keyboards) and Paul Chapman but I’m getting a little ahead here…

Back to 79…

Now in late 2020, the right thing was done and that was to reissue “Strangers” not only on double vinyl but also a 6 CD deluxe set that features 7 shows from the 1978 tour. Five of those have been unreleased and sitting in the vaults. I know many of these shows have ended up on various bootlegs over the years but now they are official.

So now more than ever there is a ton of UFO on the market!

Better real late than never.

So this past Christmas one of the albums I received was this updated version of this classic.

13 tracks make up the original Strangers album recorded in Chicago and Louisville on UFO’s “Obsession Tour’.

This band as we all know loved to party (ahem) but if anything when it came time to hit the stage these guys had it together.

Hello Chicago! Would you please welcome from England..UFO!!

Strangers for me personally is UFO’s Greatest Hits set. All these songs are bonafide classics that begin with “Natural Thing” until the final song “Shoot, Shoot”.

Mogg was always a great lyricist and I can honestly say the songs that make up this set showcase his writing abilities. 

Musically the band is rock solid. Schenker lays down the gauntlet on  every track on here. Just listen to Michaels soloing on tunes like “Natural Thing”, “I’m A Loser,” “Only You Can Rock Me”, and of course “Rock Bottom.” 

Which came as a surprise to me two tracks those being as “This Kids” and “Mother Mary” were recorded in the studio and had an audience slapped on them. 

Say What!?

The fact that Schenker co-wrote 11 of the albums 13 tracks says how his playing elevated this band to a whole other level. 

One of the best live albums ever. Well almost completely live!

GIve it a spin or a stream!






Cheap Trick: Out To Get You Live (1977)




Never was big on the whole Record Store Deal hype as Thunder Bay has one store(part of a chain) but as I did in the past go and check out those RSD specials it always seems the Thunder Bay store gets stuff I have zero interest in.

Now with the Covid thing hanging around, I was intrigued that one of the record stores I visited back in 2017 (AUX 333) in Montreal (with my pal Tbone in tow) was doing an online-only RSD this year. The store would be open that day to buy used/new albums but the RSD only vinyl albums would be on sale at 1pm.

So back at the end of August, I took part in the online-only RSD event. I scored Ace Frehley Trouble Walking on double vinyl as I had never owned it and I guess it was time to get a copy of it 31 years later after its initial release.

So now at the tail of October, there was another RSD and I was intrigued by a couple of releases. 

But since all RSD releases all don’t go to the same store throughout the world it’s like a surprise to see what my go-to store in Montreal would have.

So at 1 pm, sharp Aux33 Tours in Montreal dropped their list of albums. Four pages were full of special albums for RSD.

Right off the hop, I added two double albums to my basket and as I scrolled to the other pages I added Skid Row Slave to the Grind on vinyl as well.

So I checked out and when I went to pay Skid Row was already sold out. That quick under 5 minutes. No fuckin around you have to grab and basically dash. I did and bam just like Skid Row was gone. Not the end of the world as in my basket I had Alice Cooper and Cheap Trick and I made my payment and that was it for shopping as I didn’t want to fart around and lose out on the Coop and Trick.

I have to add that when you order from Auxx33 they pack their vinyl in solid sturdy packaging. 

One of my scores is Cheap Trick “Out To Get You Live”

Now when it comes to live albums we all know how respected 1978’s Cheap Trick at the Budokan is for the masses. Back in 79 Budokan was my entry point into the world of Cheap Trick so in my world I regard it easily in my all-time Top 5 Live Albums of all time!


Out To Get You Live may just be the better live album over Budokan!

What did you say? Better than …..Budokan? 

Lemme explain.

Out To Get You is 100% live. Read the blurb below that is on the back cover.

So back in June 77 here’s Robin, Rick, Bun E and Tom are hanging around in LA recording on what would become their second LP (“In Color”) after their self-titled debut had just come out earlier that year. 

Cheap Trick was working hard, here they are touring a debut album while recording on a break the second album while also about to begin a 3-month tour that year opening for KISS on their Can-Am Tour 1977 followed by the release of In Color in September ’77!

Deciding to take a break from recording CT set up shop at the Whiskey A Go-Go and pushed the record button and recorded this show which for the most part has sat in the vaults since then.

That’s Crazy! 

22 Songs make up this album and looking at the tracklisting below the band is playing at least 12 songs that had not been released yet. How about three songs (“Auf Wiedersehen”, “Southern Girls”, and “High Roller”) that would not appear until the third album in 78. (“Heaven Tonight”) Crazier is another three-pack of tunes featured ((“Loser,” “Oh Boy” and “Can’t Hold On”) which wouldn’t see release for years or even decades later.

Did you folk’s out there reading this notice anything? How about the exclusion of two of the biggest CT tunes being “Surrender” and “I Want You To Want Me”. 

The audio on this release is beyond phenomenal. Tom Petersson’s Bass is enormous sounding. Folk’s we are talking the late 70s here and it’s massive. You can hear how guys like Dug Pinnick and Andy Curran have nicked Tom’s tone. 

Being live these songs rock. “Ello Kiddies” has Bun E Carlos laying down a drumbeat that is like a stomp. A stomp to your mellon basically.  Rick Nielsen plays a ton of catchy licks and being the main songwriter Rick knew the fine art of crafting hook-driven tunes that can give you a hard swift kick in the arse when needed.

Give it up for Robin Zander whose voice at times almost goes hoarse but that is the charm of this album. No studio trickery and perhaps the only live album in the ’70s (Aerosmith’s “Live Bootleg” would be another) that is not fixed up with all that studio trickery(Say hello KISS)

Bun E Carlos has put together a classic era RSD recording that I can honestly say is better than Budokan! Even the gatefold shot posted below is from those shows at the Whiskey! Let’s call this one an Impact Live Album!


Impact Album: Iron Maiden- A Matter of Life and Death (2006)


When “A Matter of Life and Death” came out in 2006 it was easily a first day buy.

Why wouldn’t it be as  Bruce Dickinson returned 7 years earlier back in 1999 to regain his throne as the lead vocalist in Iron Maiden. In return, Maiden started to deliver some stellar studio albums.

“Brave New World” in 2000 followed by “Dance of Death” in 2003 let everyone know that Maiden was back. They were not going to rest on their previous success (pick any studio from the 80s).

“A Matter of Life and Death” was released August 8th, 2006 and as you can tell by the cover ‘War’ is going to be somewhat the theme on this album.

With Maiden, you know what you are getting. 10 songs clocking in at just over 71 minutes. You know with Steve Harris and company there are no cutting corners!

“Different World” the first track sets the pace and as any Maiden fan knows Maiden starts off their albums with rockers. Written by Harris and Adrian Smith Different World has that great catchy chorus and a phenomenal guitar solo by Smith that you would expect when you see Adrian’s name attached to any song he has written in the confines of this band.

The rest of the album has a ton of tempo changes. Prog Maiden to Galloping Maiden to Acoustic Maiden back to Prog back to Galloping. “These Colors Don’t Run” builds up then kicks off into another gear and then ramps down. What Maiden album would be without a round of ‘Ooooh, Ooooh, Ooooh’ during the chorus. Bruce Dickinson you know is going to make every last person in that arena stand up and join in on the fun!

Speaking of Dickinson Bruce really gives it his all (well he always does) on “Brighter Than A Thousand Suns”. I have to say that this song is one of my favs as there is a killer riff throughout and Bruce goes from all-out metal mode to chill out with a snap of the fingers. At 8 minutes long this song is so well written (take a bow Smith-Harris- Dickinson) and performed that it’s hard to believe that 8 minutes of time has passed!

Janick Gers gets into the swing of things in a co-write with Harris on “The Pilgrim” which has the slow beginning and then everything starts boogying at a clip. Speaking of Gers I love his loosey-goosey style of guitaring in Maiden as Dave Murray and Adrian are more on the technical side of the fence. It all gels together.

“The Longest Day” has that galloping Maiden vibe as Harris and his four-string start as Nicko McBrain sets the table with his drumming as the others follow Nick’s lead on it. More twist n turns on this tune. That’s the great thing about this album. It has many tempo changes you don’t know what’s coming up around the bend! If you don’t believe me check out the 5-minute mark as the guitars will slam your noggin against the wall!

Bruce and Steve team up and deliver “Out of the Shadows” which could have slotted in nicely on 92’s Fear of the Dark album as Out of the Shadows has that “Wasting Love” vibe about it. Not a ballad per se but Maiden taking the foot off the gas pedal shall we say!

Being a Maiden fan since the summer of 1981 one of my favorite things about them is that they do it there way (just as RUSH did) as when it comes to singles.  How about a 7-minute 21-second track called “The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg”. Being a single(ha) I have to add this another standout track composed by Harris and Dave Murray. Once the song lifts off after the moody intro all bets are off as the song is so brilliant during the chorus as Bruce takes over while there are moveable musical tempo changes under his voice which is the selling point! Blown away by this track. Simply put on the best!

When I caught “The Legacy of the Beast Tour” last year, Harris and company played “For The Greater Good of God” which was a surprise addition as with a catalog as deep as Maidens it was nice to see them polish this one up and play it live for the first time since 2006! Tempo changes, Drums, galloping Bass, lots of Guitar magic. It’s all delivered in this song. All 9 plus minutes!

“Lord of Light” begins chill and then explodes into the fireball frenzy that we expect from Maiden. Lord of Light is the third song on this record to feature the writing talents of Smith-Harris- Dickinson. When these three put their talents together on songs watch out!

Ending the album is “The Legacy” written by both Gers and Harris and if anything it’s like a mash-up of Zep and Maiden as there is that slowly but surely build-up which takes the listener on a journey for an album closer which clocks in as the longest song on the album at 9 minutes 23 seconds. 

I have to thank Mikey Ladano who put the bug back in my ear about this album a few weeks back. We were talking Maiden and I said that  2015’s “Book of Souls” was the best record they have done since Bruce returned in 2000. Mikey came back with A Matter of Life And Death and in saying that stopped me in my tracks.

It got me thinking. Is Mikey onto something? An under the radar album from Maiden. I listened to it that day after our conversation on my iPod and by golly, Mikey makes a strong case.

So strong that I ordered it from Amazon on vinyl! The pictures you see here are from the vinyl version. Double Vinyl. Gatefold Sleeve. A thing of beauty. Maiden albums give you your money’s worth on how a reissue should be done!

I’m thinking this may be my fav studio Maiden album since Bruce’s return 21 years ago. 



Vinyl Rewrite- Metallica: Master of Puppets(1986)


Metallica really first came across my radar in early 1985 when a Canadian magazine called Metallion was raving about this band from California.

Then a few months later I was at A&A Records (long since defunct) and purchased two records that day. One was Deep Purple’s Perfect Strangers release which was the 5 old British Geezers reunion album and the other one was Ride The Lightning by Metallica who were a hell of a lot younger than Deep Purple, to say the least.

Both albums were awesome but Metallica kind of blew my mind as these guys weren’t that much older than me as I was 17 at the time yet here are these four long hairs writing tunes musically/lyrically like Fade To Black. James Hetfield blew my mind that he knew how to handle the English Vocabulary with his lyrics as I was just trying to pass Grade 13 English back in 86!

I knew and many knew as well that Metallica was a band on the fast track to superstardom.

So in March 1986 drops into the Record Shops Master of Puppets and it was an easy purchase which I bought on cassette for the trusty old Walkman at the time.

1986, let’s think about that year musically in the Hard Rock Spectrum for a second.

Lot’s of Hard Rock was coming out that year in which I was trying to keep up. Judas Priest had the Synthy driven Turbo album and even my Homeboys Iron Maiden went synthy on the brilliant Somewhere In Time release.

Here in Thunder Bay, some new bands were entering my radar in 1986 three of which come to my mind right away are Europe’s The Final Countdown, Poison’s Look What The Cat Dragged In and Tesla with Mechanical Renonsnance.

That was the Hard Rock stuff. Even my pal Tbone was exploring those as well and was digging Huey Lewis And The News with the Fore release and Loverboy with there Loving Every Minute of It album.

I was a little concerned with Tbone shifting musical directions as I thought “Is he going all in Top 40?’ but by 1987 Tbone was back once The Cult hit the streets with the fantastic Electric album.  Tbone dabbled in other areas of music and rehabbed himself musically even after the Y&T Down For The Count debacle as well in 1986.

Sorry, I’m fast-forwarding here. Need to rewind a bit back

I guess what I’m trying to get at was Metallica went for a very dry sounding heavy record and they succeded on many levels. Master of Puppets sonically sounds the exact opposite of what everything else was sounding that came out in 1986.

Even the cover is a grave reminder(get it?) that not all music had to be happy go lucky (Hello Poison) as the cover is dark in nature. Even the back cover shots. They look tough in a 1986 way. Love that stadium shot from the backstage area. Just the pics alone pull you in.

No Hard Rock Gloss more like a Fist To The Face in the songs as opener Battery proves nice little classical guitar opening than the slam of the guitars. A complete wall of sound as the Bass/Drums and vocals and lyrics of James Hetfield make you take notice.

Lashing out the action, returning the reaction
Weak are ripped and torn away
Hypnotizing power, crushing all that cower
Battery is here to stay.  

Smashing through the boundaries
Lunacy has found me
Cannot stop the battery
Pounding out aggression
Turns into obsession
Cannot kill the battery
Cannot kill the family
Battery is found in me

The whole album just rips at such a huge clip!

The second song is the title track that being Master of Puppets which in all its just over 8 minutes takes you on a sonic journey with all kinds of tempo changes throughout. Love that breakdown and buildup before the song lifts off again into the solo.

The Thing That Should Not Be and Welcome Home Sanitarium(songs 3 and 4 respectively) have Metallica taking their foot off of the gas pedal in tempo for the most part.  The Thing That Should Not Be crawls along with real cool verses and choruses while Welcome Home Sanitriuom picks up the pace somewhat especially when Kirk Hammett(before he fell in love with the wah pedal) lays done a brilliant solo.

Speaking of which that’s all Kirk did was show up to the studio and play solos as Hetfield handled all the rhythms and only James. Back then that is. Did someone just holler out ‘Control”??

Side 1 is officially over, What a Power Surge!

Side 2 lifts off with Disposable Heroes. All 8 minutes and 17 seconds of it! Speed Metal did Metallica style. If you were fooled by the tempo of the last two songs on Side 1 think again as Disposable Heroes kicks your senses to the curb!

Leper Messiah has a groove similar to AC/DC but a quicker tempo mind you that goes out the door come solo time but Leper Messiah does not fool around at all.

James gets to rest his larynx as the musical driven Orion plows through which is like if Geddy/Neil and Alex got into a bottle of Vodka washed it down with speed and jammed out a metal-like tune. Speaking of RUSH they are thanked in the credits of the album so three cheers to Metallica back in 86 for recognizing brilliance! Course there was the rumor floating around that Geddy was considered to produce this album. Imagine that? Rickenbachers Rejoice!

Damage Inc ends the album with a furious blitz of riffs n drums as Lars pounds those drums like artillery is going off! Frantic is the pace and basically the pace set forth by Metallica on this album.

In these Vinyl Rewrites, I usually don’t go song by song but once I started I couldn’t stop if I only wrote about half the songs that’s not cool either so… Thanks for sticking around to the end!

Not only did I mark this as a Vinyl Rewrite I included in another category(Impact ALbums) and that’s because when I first heard Master of Puppets in 1986 this was a sound I had never heard.

Sure there were other metal acts out at the time like Anthrax and Slayer but I didn’t really take to them. Well, Anthrax I did buy 1988’s State of Euphoria at the time (thanks HMO for the bonus tracks with the Anthrax reissue) and Slayer well just plain scared me! In Slayers defense they did an ass-kicker cover of In A Gadda Da Vida on the Less Than Zero soundtrack.

One last thing is I need to thank my daughter Lexie for buying Master of Puppets for me on vinyl this past Xmas.

We had a laugh as 3 out of the last 4 Xmas’s Lex has bought me Metallica albums for gifts (And Justice For All/Hardwired/Master of Puppets) without knowing there was a pattern developing.





Impact Albums: The Tragically Hip: Day For Night(1994)

Living in Canada back in 1994 one of the biggest releases came in September of that year.

The Tragically Hip were putting out the fourth studio release and the ‘HYPE’ was huge! So much so that our local record stores(remember them?) were going to open at Midnight the day of release.

This was the second time in Thunder Bay that the record shops did this as they did the midnight opening in late 92 when The Hip released Fully Completely and we all headed to the record store at midnight on the dot!

Both times the store I was at was packed as people were not only grabbing Hip stuff but other CDs as well!

Tbone and I were there right at midnight as I didn’t want to lose out and not get a Hip disc as they could possibly sell out. As soon as we set foot in the door it was to the New Release Rack to grab our copies of Day For Night and then we could browse for other bands etc.

Being it was midnight, how the hell do you go home and go to bed?

Umm, you don’t!

No need for sleep at this point as we wanted to hear what The Hip had been up to!

Having said that they cooked up a real different batch of rock which was a brilliant move as by this point no two Hip records sounded the same. They changed up the style/songs on this album and it only takes about 10 seconds of opening track Grace Too for you to realize this song and perhaps the rest of the album is going to bring a whole different vibe to you the listener!

This being the fourth long-player in the Hip catalog shows the band not slowing down in regards to there creative juices.

The late Great Gord Downie is up to his usual mixed bag of lyrics (which make you think and take notice) and his vocals where he can soar at times singing or almost a holler like vibe but keeps it in check.

I dig Gord Sinclairs Bass playing as he drives some of these tunes like Grace Too and how about his Bassing on one of my favs of the Hips batch of songs anywhere in the form of ‘Invevialbity of Death.’

Actually, the whole band stepped up on this album. The guitar work of Bobby Baker and Paul Langlois is superb. There almost a Canadian version of Keef N Woody from the Stones. Johnny Fay as well keeps the album moving forward from behind his drum kit not letting slack off.

Some excellent weaving with the guitars throughout this album in general. I like the dry like production as well on Day For Night after the crisp rock sound of Fully Completely(1992). The Hip changed it up on this record and it shows in spades. Even the production sonically gives off a whole different vibe.

Living in Canada pretty much everyone has a fav Hip album. I always flip between 1991’s ‘Road Apples’ and The Hips 1989 Major Label release ‘Up To Here’.

But a few years back I did a Top 20 all-time fav studio records lists and asked some pals to contribute. Tbone’s brother Darr did participate and sitting in his all-time Top 20 was Day For Night. I thought it was a brilliant pick. ( I went with Road Apples on my list)

Day For Night is kinda that Hip album that sometimes flies under the radar as they have so many albums out. But all things considered, it shouldn’t. I still hear on out local crap radio at times about 5 tracks that are still played on the airwaves from this record.

Great to hear this and now own it on vinyl.

So maybe it’s not under the radar as much as I think it is!

In my case, this album could easily be my favorite  Hip record at this moment.

Yeah, it’s that crazy good!


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

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!







Impact Albums: Aerosmith: Night In The Ruts(1979)


Hell, if you really want to get down to it. All of Aerosmiths 1970’s output would have to fall under the Impact Album in my world!

Night In The Ruts released in 1979 is Aerosmith all stoned and boozed up and Night In The Ruts would fall under the category of Sleeper Album in all things Aerosmith along with 1985s fantastic Done With Mirrors release!

But I’m getting ahead of things here so back to 1979 and when Aero dropped this album into the hands of the public it sold nowhere at the level Aero was selling albums back a few years earlier!

This band was cooked and basically, Joe Perry was done. Night In The Ruts boasts 9 tracks. 7 original tracks and 2 cover tunes.


The writing partnership of Steve Tyler/Joe Perry could only muster up 5 tracks on this album but the 5 they wrote are all stellar!

This album is fractured and it took me a lot of years to get what was going on here. Toys in the Attic and Rocks set the musical bar so high in camp Aerosmith there is nowhere to go but down. But over time this album has grown on me. Ok, make that decade’s it has taken to grow on me but for a band that was in trainwreck mode in 1979 they pull it off.

Basically, this album if Aero added 2 more cover tunes It could have compared it to Van Halen’s Diver Down release from 1982.  The cover tunes here are pretty decent but the originals are brilliant!

 No Surprise is one of the best Aero tracks ever composed by Tyler/Perry. Lyrically/Musically it’s all here in No Surprise. One of the best opening tunes on any Aerostoned album!

Just as Done With Mirrors did a little way down the road NITR’s reeks of Booze n Drugs. Aero is in fine form plowing right into Chiquita with that deranged sax driven solo over Joey Kramers drums.

That’s the thing with NITR as when you dig in the Aero originals theres some gold in these tracks. The three-pack of Perry/Tyler written songs Cheesecake/Three Mile Smile and Bone To Bone(Coney Island Whitefish Boy) have Aero firing on all cylinders.

The three cover tunes are pretty dripped in the Aero Philosophy of slop rock where they pull off these cover tunes and make em sound like there own!

Remember(Walking in the Sand), Reefer Headed Woman and Think About It reek of Aero delight and I will tell ya something when I first acquired this album in the early to mid-’80s on cassette there were no credits inside the tape so guess what! I thought these were all Aero’s own tunes!

Ah, silly dEke’s!  To my defense though there was no wiki or internet around (the 1980s) and Aerosmith themselves sure as hell wasn’t talking about NITR at that point either!

So a few months back when I saw this sitting in the bins at the used shop it was a quick buy and run out the door!

Score and kudos to the original owner who kept the album and inserts in mint shape!

I think loyal Arena Rock Reader ‘Da Heff’ should order that Aero 3/4 sleeve shirt! You lead Heff we will follow!