Category Archives: SONIC WAVES…Album Reviews

Occasionally I will throw down some reviews of albums that I thought were and still are cool to me…..hope you likey!

Iron Maiden: Nights of the Dead,Legacy of the Beast:Live In Mexico City (2020)

2020 brings out the best in bands and with that being said “Iron Maiden” is one of the best. 

Steve Harris and company have released one fine brilliant packaged live album pulled from three performances last September in Mexico City.

Maiden deliver the goods sonically on this album. I mean look at the back cover for reference.

For myself, it’s those rarely played tracks like “Where Eagles Dare”, “Revelations”, and especially “Flight of Icarus” that take me right back as a 15-year-old when I bought 1983’s “Piece of Mind” back in 83.

Bruce Dickinson is in fine form vocally. People need to realize that the Air Raid Siren is into his 60s now so let’s get used to the fact that Bruce is not in his 20s yet he can still sing circles around guys half his age. Still, no teleprompter is used.

Where Bruce shines is in the two tunes that Maiden pulled out from the maligned Blaze years. (“Sign of the Cross” and “The Clansman”) I could go on about it, but how about I post a conversation that I had with my pal Metal Todd whom I went to see this show with last year in Vancouver.

Well said, Metal Todd. Bruce is indeed a pro as is Maiden.  Below are pictures from the triple gatefold release.

The next three pictures below are the three different set changes Maiden had in the show. You get actual blueprints of the stage. War/Religion and Hell are the three themes used.

35 years after the immortal “Live After Death” Iron Maiden still know how to give the fans what they want.

 

 

Top 10 “Used Vinyl” Purchases in 2020.

This may be my last ever “Top 10 Used Vinyl Purchases” as the one place I had bought my used records from (Moon Money Vintage) closed up shop a few weeks before the world went into the tank back in March 2020

I liked buying used vinyl from that place as they were on consignment so they weren’t selling shit records. Sure I may have paid a buck or two more but at least I knew I was getting a decent used record.

When all is said and done I think I was able to build up my collection to well over 350 LPs from that place over a 2-year time period.

There are a few pawn shops in town that sell used vinyl but they just dump the records in a bin and I can’t be bothered rummaging and hoping for the best. Especially in these times.

Maybe things will turn around and someone can open up a cool record shop here in Tbay. In saying that I’m not holding my breath!

Before I forget make sure you watch for Snowmans/ Ladano’s and Mr. Buried On Mars Best of 2020 list’s  that are coming out sometime soon.

Here are their links to their sites. Give them a follow if you haven’t already.

https://mikeladano.com

https://buriedonmars.com

http://2loud2oldmusic.com

So here we go…

#10- Alice Cooper: Constrictor(1986)– Sure the Coop’s “Constrictor” release sounded like it was recorded in a tin can. There is some Cheesy Alice stuff on here (Thrill My Gorilla) but when Alice came back in 86  “Constrictor” was my entry world into the Coop. So this album gets a pass from me. Alice hooked up with Kane Rambo on guitar and they muscled up some decent stuff too (Your The Life And Death of The Party, The World Needs Guts).

#9- Boston: Third Stage(1986)– Tom Scholz back in 86  confused me that he led off “Third Stage” with “Amanda” (power ballad) but as an old man now in 2020 I get why he did that.  Doing things differently was Tom’s motto so it kinda works.  I mean Tom back then was battling his record company in lawsuits and whatnot as well as battling ex-members of Boston at the time. “Third Stage,” I think out of the first three Boston albums is the third-best record in the Boston catalog. Give it up for the late great Brad Delp whose vocals soar all over the sonic highway on “Third Stage”

#8-The Georgia Satellites: The Georgia Satellites(1986)- Who doesn’t love a good barroom stomping good time record. Dan Baird and the Sataliites cook up 8 originals,2 cover tunes, and this album blasts off from the get-go! Sure everyone knows these guys for the one big hit(Keep Your Hands To Yourself) but ask Tbone about the other tracks on here like “Red Light”! You cannot go wrong with this one!

#7-RUSH: Hold Your Fire(1987)- Can’t believe it has almost been a year since Neil passed on. Finding used RUSH records is a rarity in this town so when I have seen them I would pounce into action. Hold Your Fire is one I grabbed for a good price($10) and added to the collection. Geddy/Neil and Alex wrote some killer stuff on here (“Prime Mover,” “Time Stand Still”, “Lock And Key”). Nice addition to my collection.

#6-KISS: Asylum(1985)- I have been trying to finish up the KISS collection on vinyl and I grabbed this one from Discogs. “Asylum” is a good album once you get by the band wardrobe malfunction that Gene and Paul were into at the time. The songs though speak for themselves as “King of the Mountain”, “Love’s A Deadly Weapon”, “Tears Are Falling” are good tracks. There is always the matter of “Uh All Night”. lol But yeah it’s a decent spin.

#5-Dokken: Beast From The East(1988)– We all know this story. Dokken put out 4 solid studio records, opened up for every rock act at the time, and when this Double Live album came out the wheels came off of Dokken as Don split and the other guys sued as they were about to make that move to the arena headliner.  Still, though the tunes on here are brilliant and George Lynch is the man on here!

#4-Ozzy Osbourne: Bark At The Moon(1983)– On any given day this may be my favorite Osbourne record. Jake E Lee shows up and lays down the gauntlet on guitar. For all his hard work on this album, the Osbournes don’t credit Jake with any co-writes on “Bark At The Moon”. Highway Robbery 101 if you ask me. Did Ozzy write that opening riff to “Rock N Roll Rebel” or the title track? C’mon man no way that happened when Ozz was snorting ants and licking up piss back then. Cheers to Jake as his contribution is huge on this album!

#3-AC/DC: Let There Be Rock(1977)– Earlier this year I came across a fella who was selling 8 AC/DC albums for $80. I already had 4 of the 8 so I asked the seller if he wanted to just sell the 4 that I wanted.  He preferred to sell the whole lot.  So I figured what the hell I’ll buy all 8 and the 4 I already had I would pass onto Tbone which I did. “Let There Be Rock” was one that I did not have on record. Now I do and I’m all the better for it. Angus and  Bon crank everything up to 10 and well…just get a copy for yourself and while we are at it…” Let There Be Rock”.

#2-Deep Purple: Perfect Strangers(1984)– I have always held in high praise this reunion album of Deep Purple. “Perfect Strangers” was my entry point into Deep Purple. This album is an all-time great as Ian Gillain sings for his supper as Richie Blackmore being all moody and shit slays everything in site with his strat. Not one dud track on this album and yeah still to this day my all-time fav DP record!

Now my Used favorite score in 2020 goes to …

#1- Kim Mitchell: Kim Mitchell(1982)- Kim ditches Max Webster dials in his strat and cranks his Marshall to 11 and plays on what I consider some of the best electric guitar recorded to tape. Ask Ladano and he will tell you this is the Best EP ever and I tend to believe him as there are no drop-offs or let down on these 5 songs. Kim basically recorded this as a power trio and it shows. I was beyond giddy when I scooped this for $5 Canadian. If any of you readers out there want a crash course in rock guitar dial this one in on your streaming choice and crank it! You can thank me and Mikey!

There ya have it, folks. Three Top 10 lists in 2020! Thanks for reading and commenting throughout the year!

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!

 

 

 

Thunder Bay Arena Rock’s Top 10 Live Albums 2020

2020 was a tough year for everyone. Thankfully some bands stepped up and released product to hold us over until life gets somewhat back to normal. If anything I’m surprised Gene and Paul from good old KISS did squat and released nothing. Others though took care of business and that was the business of Live Rock!

Without further ado here’s what I think is the best of the best!

#10- Hardline: Life Live-  I have always liked “Double Eclipse” the self-titled debut by San Fran’s Hardline back in 1992. So when this live release dropped in January 2020 I was intrigued as only singer Johnny Gioeli remains.(Original guitar guy Neil Schon is gone back to playing sappy power ballads with Cain in Journey) Make no mistake that Johnny still has the voice and this release pleasantly surprised me. 

#9-Sloan: Live at Yep Roc 15- Sloan played an indoor festival show and Halifax’s best slam out a 10 song 31-minute set that oozes cool. If anything I had a good chuckle as about 3 months before this album came out Bassist /Vocalist Chris Murphy told me personally that “no one listens to live albums anymore” Ha! I do!

#8-John5: Live Invasion- John5 sizzles some serious 6 string on this album. John5 is smart as he keeps the pace going from song to song including a classic 12 minute medley of a whose who of rock that is a complete mindblower. Plus a cover of VH’s “Take Your Whiskey Home” makes this a win-win album.

#7- Queen: Live Around The World- I’m kinda a funny Queen fan. I love The Game album and some other stuff but the last Queen album I bought was “Innuendo” and what was that back in 1991! The whole Lambert thing I didn’t really dig my heels in until Queen announced this live album and I have to say it’s Killer Queen. Give Lambert props as he doesn’t try and copy Freddie instead Adam does what he does and that delivers some stellar vocals.  All in all an enjoyable listen and this would have placed a spot higher if “Dragon Attack” was on here!

#6- The Rolling Stones- Those old buzzards still like the rock n roll and give these guys credit as in a pandemic year they reissue “Goats Head Soap” and released on audio and DVD the massive “Steel Wheels” tour from 89. This is a full show from Atlantic City that features 27 tracks and a bunch of special guests in tow as well (Izzy, Axl, Clapton, and Hooker) Such a great setlist as well. 

 I remember reading the rock mags back in the late 80s, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot went on about there was no need for a live Leppard album. Umm ok, Joe how about a 3 pack of live albums that came out in 2020! 

#5- Def Leppard: Hysteria Live- This is a good live representation of Leppard playing song for song all the tracks from 88’s massive “Hysteria” release. Full props to the songs on Side 2 of Hysteria that weren’t singles that show some zip and pop as the band plows through stuff like “Run Riot” and “Don’t Shoot Shotgun”! I love that stuff.

#4- Def Leppard: Hits Vegas- The second live release which came out the same day as the “Hysteria” as the 02 album. The one thing that makes this one cool is the not to often played tracks like “Billy’s Got A Gun”,” Slang”, “Die Hard The Hunter”, and the epic “Paper Sun”.

#3- Def Leppard: The Early Years- Which has to be one the best ever live Lep shows recorded would be included in this massive box set. Pete Willis and the late great Steve Clark as young fella’s run and gun on this live set from Oxford(1980) and it’s so unbelievably brilliant. Kinda a shame really that Joe and the boys gave Pete the boot as if these guys could have stayed together they would be name-dropped in the same sentence as Adrian Smith/Dave Murray and KK Downing/Glenn Tipton. Willis/Clark were that good.

#2-Cheap Trick: Out To Get You Live 1977-  Crazy to think those funny Tricksters had this album sitting in the vaults since 77. Vaults no more as the world now has a chance to hear just how good these guys were back in time and how I proudly stated in my review of this album how this representation is better than the mighty Trick at the Budokan from 78!

#1-Iron Maiden: Nights of the Dead: Live Legacy of the Beast- Maiden delivers another live album and it’s stellar for the tracks that are on it. “Where Eagles Dare”, “Revelations”, and “Flight of the Icarus” give this album a must-listen. Bruce Dickinson as he always does gives it 110% vocally throughout and when Maiden launches into the two Blaze era Maiden tunes (“The Clansman” and “Sign of the Cross”) Bruce vocally makes them his own. I know lots of people moan and groan about another live Maiden album.

But…

Give your head a shake folk’s as there will come a day when Maiden ceases its operation and you numbnuts complainers will be crying!

I may do a third Best of 2020 list so stay tuned…

Thunder Bay Arena Rocks Top 10 Studio Albums 2020

Thank goodness for music. Here’s what I thought was cool in the year 2020. If anything check out some of my picks as you may find some stuff here that will make you wanna crank it to 11!

Here are my Top 10 Studio Albums/Songs for the year 2020!

Here We Go…

#10-Tbone: Lebrain Train– So my pal Tbone bored out of his noggin at “Castle Del Erickson” one night decided to monkey around with all the gadgets on his iPhone (Garageband) and recorded a theme song for Ladano’s Stream. Safe to say he has managed to do in 2 minutes that bands like “Poison” and “Warrant” have not been able to muster up since 1990 and that’s writing a catchy tune! Click the video above and by the way my favorite part of the video comes in at one minute and thirty-five-second mark.

#9-Trapper: Bye Bye Mon Cowboy/Illegal/Winterlong– Guitarist Sean Kelly continues to show his work ethic as not only does Sean play the 6 string in acts like Coney Hatch, Rough Trade but along with vocalist Emn Gryner and their band Trapper released a mini EP featuring a couple of French cover tunes (Illegal/Bye Bye Mon Cowboy) Not only that but Trapper a few weeks back also released an original tune called “Winterlong” that leaves us wanting a full on-length release of originals! Bring it on Sean!

#8-Ozzy Osbourne: Ordinary Man– People bitch and moan about Ozzy using autotune and doing this and that but want do you want. No Ozzy records? People would complain about that. In saying that “Ordinary Man” is a decent spin. Some rockers, some ballads, and other than the last two songs which are not my deal it’s a good album. Kudos to Andrew Watts for co-writing and playing some good guitar.

#7-Kim Mitchell: The Big Fantasize– Kim well into his 60s has released a cool summertime chill-out record called “The Big Fantasize”. If you’re looking for “Lagar And Ale” type Kim rock keep on walking but if your willing to listen to a dude who has earned his right to do the rock he wants to do you may like what Akimbo is doing here!

#6-Whitesnake: The Rock Album- I’m not big on compilation albums but this one intrigued me as 10 of the 16 tracks featured I had never heard. So for that David Coverdale makes my list and it always helps when an album opens with John Sykes and his musical guitar muscle of “Still of the Night.” Plus the fact that there are zippo ballads on “The Rock Album” also helps the cause!

#5-Big Sugar: Eternity NowGordie Johnson released the long-awaited “Eternity Now” which went straight in at Number 1 on the iTunes sales charts. No mean feat as Big Sugar lays down the law on epic guitar tracks like “The Better It Gets” and Alex Lifeson makes an appearance on the title track. Gordie is one fine guitarist!

#4-Harem Scarem: Change The WorldPete and Harry do what they do best and that is delivering huge hard rock slabs of pure melodic metal. “Change The World” came out right before the world took a dump yet these guys stepped up with a batch of hard rock delight.  “The Death of Me is hands down one of my fav rock tracks of the year. Give this one a spin or a stream and tell Harry and Pete that dEke’s sent ya!

#3-Vandenberg:2020- Holy moly, Adrian Vandenberg enlists a great vocalist in Ronnie Romero, and between the two of them easily have made the list here as Vandenberg has rocked up a batch of great tracks. “Freight Train” is a bonafide winner and Adrian lays down the law on his guitar throughout the 2020 album. I’m glad he has rebooted Vandenberg. 

#2-AC/DC: Power Up– The world needed an AC/DC album and boy did they deliver. I can honestly say I can listen to “Power Up” front to back without skipping tracks. Angus was smart to bring the old crew back and they blasted out an album of what they do best. Power this album Up!

#1-Storm Force: Age of Fear- Patrick, Dennis, Mike, and Greg known as Storm Force put out the magnificent “Age of Fear” this past January, and then the world hit the skids. “Age of Fear” is my Number 1 for the year 2020 as this release is chock full of superb musicianship, soaring vocals, and crafty lyrics along with very solid production(Darius Szczepaniak). A top-notch release that covers all the bases of the Hard Rock spectrum.  If you goggle around on the web all the reviews have been stellar for this band so it’s not just me spouting off.  Check out “Age of Fear”  an appropriately named release if there ever was one in the year 2020!

Check Back Friday for my Top 10 Live Albums of 2020!

 

Judas Priest: British Steel (1980)

 

Crazy to think that “British Steel” by Judas Priest is 40 years young this year.

Crazier to think that it took me 40 years to finally own a physical copy of this album!

WHUT??

Ok, so the story goes that when I discovered Priest in 1979  the fantastic live opus “Unleashed In The East” hit the streets. I loved that album but being 12 years young in 1979 and 13 years young in 1980 and hitting 14 years old in 1981 my allowance would only take me so far at the time. 

The brilliant “Point of Entry” album by Priest in 1981 I bought as I needed some cassette tapes as the family was headed to a campground outside of Thunder Bay for 2 weeks. I needed Metal and the recently released “Point of Entry” satisfied my desire for the sonics that JP delivered on Point of Entry. I still also remember taking out to camp with me the Creem issue(August 1981) that had singer Rob Halford on the cover.  (See the picture below.)

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Over the years when Priest released new music as in Screaming For Vengeance(1982)” Defenders of the Faith (1984) Turbo (1986) Priest Live (1987) I was pretty in synch at getting the albums basically on or close to release day.

“British Steel” I had dubbed on cassette throughout the early 80s. By the end of the decade though when CD’s became the rage I never bit and purchased them. Who knows why? 

In 2010 British Steel had its 30th Birthday and Judas Priest reissued it with bonus tracks and a live show from 2010 where Priest played the album front to back.

I bought it but from iTunes so I’m sure you physical product lovers out there (I know who you are) would disqualify me on said purchase. lol

Not until September 2020 when RSD was going on and I ordered the Ace Frehley album “Trouble Walking” from Montreal to make it worthwhile since I was paying $15 for postage why not include a second album at a cheaper price to make the postage a little easier to accept!

British Steel is just that a classic! Nine songs make up this fabulous platter served up by Rob Halford and the boys!

Side One lifts off with Breaking The Law. As Preist do they do indeed go about breaking the law on this album as the next eight tracks that follow are classics!

Lot’s of great metal on here as the vocals of Rob Halford are top-notch from the get-go as his two co songwriters on the album Guitarists KK Downing and Glenn Tipton lay down their own law on the six strings! Dave Holland (drums) and Ian Hill(bass) are a very simple yet effective rhythm section that gets the job done in servicing these tunes.

Ok, deKe enough about the word Law!

Seriously though there are all kinds of metal on here. Fast ripping tunes like Rapid Fire and album closer Steeler.  Tunes that have such a cool breakdown in them and build up like Grinder, songs that have always gone over well in concert those being Living After Midnight and of course Breaking The What?? Breaking The What?? Breaking The Law!

Ok, I promise now! I won’t say the word Law again! 

If you were to ask me what my favorite track from this album would be I would have to go to Side 2 and that would be track seven You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise.

Love this tune as Halford delivers the perfect vocal especially when he sings the line of…

“I grow sick and tired of the same old lies”

Give it a listen and hear Halford soar at the 1:26 minute of the tune. It’s those little octave changes that always grab me as a listener!

What a stellar track that along with the rest of the album is indeed British Steel!

 

 

 

Alice Cooper: Live At The Apollo Theatre Glasgow- 1982

 

I don’t own a lot of Coop stuff. If you want top-notch Coop reviews to check out go and track down “Mikey Ladano’s” site and also over at “Buried On Mars” who are the experts as those two fella’s know lots about Alice.

I’m a hit and miss Coop fan. I have picked up his last couple of albums and as well I tracked down a vinyl copy of the 86s “Constrictor” album as that was my intro into the world of Alice’s shock rock.

So when RSD came in October and I seen this one listed from Montreal I scooped it. Intrigued I was as this is Cooper and his band live on the” Special Forces Tour” back from 1982!

Limited to 7000 copies worldwide I pounced on this record (along with Cheap Trick) quickly, as come check out time I didn’t want to lose this copy as I had no idea how many the shop in Montreal had. (online shopping folks)

Once I received this record I thought it was cool as I have zero Coop stuff from this period so even though this show is from decades ago (Feb 19/82) to me it’s a new double live vinyl to add to my collection.

Even though Alice’s records were stalling on the charts (“Special Forces” the studio album only made it to #125 on the Billboard Charts) Coop though kept on doing what he does best and that was putting together a stellar group of musicians and hitting the road!

To be honest with everyone out there, other than the drummer  (who I had heard in the band Alcatrazz) I had never heard of any of these names before.

  • Bass – Erik Scott
  • Drums – Jan Uvena
  • Engineer – Mike Pela
  • Guitar – John Nitzinger, Mike Pinera
  • Keyboards – Wayne Cook

BUT…

These cats know how to rock it up on stage. Coop has always had great musicians with him and this band is no exception.

Nothing in the way of packaging so for this album it’s more of Let The Music Do The Talking!

As I mentioned earlier nine out of seventeen tracks I have never heard so if anything this album is a great starting point into the early 80s world of Coop.

Still never too late to learn about rock n roll!

 

 

David Lee Roth: In The Heat of the Night (Live 1994)

 

Wrote this about 8 months ago…

By 1994 David Lee Roth’s career was in a tailspin as Dave’s current release at the time “Your Filthy Little Mouth” failed to set the charts on fire.

You would never know it by this soundboard recorded bootleg that has Dave live from Hollywood promoting his soon to be released studio flop.

Still, though Roth gives it his all on this and his vocals are still there. 

SHOCKER!

‘Big Train’ kicks it off and it’s a great opener as Dave as he always did was take charge. Part Barnum and Bailey and Part Lead Singer kick this set off and then it’s right into ‘Panama’. 

His band is tight plays the tunes and gets on with it. ‘Tell The Truth’ from 91’s “A Little Ain’t Enough” gets the call and is a great pick as well.

Dave knew the art of selling and boy does he try and sell ‘She’s My Machine’ telling the crowd ‘Here are the hits and more’.

I don’t think this tune went anywhere but it has a pretty cool bass line intertwining with the guitar. A slow burner kind of groove. 

Basically what you are getting here is 16 tracks of Dave Mach 94!

7 tracks from the current Roth record. 1 from ‘A little Aint Enough’. 1 from ‘Skyscraper’. 4 from the VH catalog including a pretty decent spin of ‘Beautiful Girls’ as well as 3 covers which is from his solo EP from 85.

Dave knowing this show is going out over the radio showed up and along with his band plays the tunes pretty good.

Overall a decent bootleg that I picked up on Google Play for a cheap price. 

I’m thinking this was his band from 1994.

Rocket Ritchotte-guitar John Regan-bass Brett Tuggle-keyboards Larry Aberman-drums.

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

    1.  

Cheap Trick:Cheap Trick(1977)

 

Blasting out of the gate in Feburary 77 was Rockford Illinois very own “Cheap Trick” which released a pretty widely at the time ignored debut album which is a shame as it only got only to #207 on the Billboard charts.

Epic Records signed Cheap Trick sent them to the Record Plant in  NYC and better yet hired Jack Douglas (Aerosmith) to man the ship at the production desk.

For some, this debut is the best Cheap Trick period.

A valid case is made for this album as it’s ten songs of Hard Rock Power Pop!

Now check out these two pics below. Here’s a little quiz for you fine folks out there. There is a pic of the songs on the record but something is different. Can you spot the difference?

The answer lies at the end of this review.

Before I go any further I have to thank a good pal of mine JohnB who seen my post on Facecrack a few weeks back about the recently released live album. (come back this Friday). Here is the actual conversation in which how I never owned this on vinyl until well, read on…

JohnB-I picked up this one on vinyl back in the ’80s at Records On Wheels along with “In Color” and “Heaven Tonight.” Still have this vinyl, but nothing to play them on anymore … but I do have them in digital form!

deKE-JohnB that’s awesome. I need to get a copy of the debut. My CT collection is coming along fine on viny. Have “In Color” Heaven Tonight “Dream Police” “Budokan” Wouldn’t mind a few others but not the syrupy stuff.. ie ‘The Flame” kinda was a miss for me but I was glad to see them get back in the spotlight. Their 70s output is some of the best Power Hard Pop Rock created.

JohnB-I lost interest after “The Flame”. I also have Dream Police on vinyl and Budokan on 8-track. I know you are into vinyl and CT, so hold tight. I don’t have a turntable anymore, so you can have my CT debut. I can’t remember the condition of the vinyl, but the jacket is in near-mint shape. Once I find a way to get it to you, it’s yours – Merry Christmas! Maybe PM me your address and I’ll drop it off at the door or in your mailbox next time I’m in town.

Hell’s Yes! Two days later waiting for me on my kitchen table when I got home from work was this record!

Thank You, Mr. B!

Now back to business…

Rick Nielsen (guitar) wrote eight of the records ten tracks and in describing the sound Cheap Trick was after you could say back in 1977 they liked it a little noisy.

“Hot Love” begins the Trick festivities which is my case is a hard-driving opener that should have been the first single from this album. “Oh Candy” was the single that was released and ironically enough  “Oh Candy” is the last song on the album.

Nielsen had the knack of writing Beatlesque like songs over the years like “Taxman, Mr. Thief” which is a Fab Four like tune cranked through a Marshall!

I will add my two cents worth and say that two tracks on this album are two of the best Cheap Trick tunes in the catalog.

“Ello Kiddies” has Drummer Bun E Stomping a straight beat while mucking about on his Ludwig drums as Bass fella Tom Petersson was already making a statement about playing those 8 and 12 string Hamer Basses which sounded huge and we’re talking 77.

Robin Zander the man with the golden throat delivers a stellar vocal basically telling kiddies to quit school as school is for fools and get into crime as it pays off! What a killer track. period!

He’s a whore
(I’d do anything for money)
He’s a whore
(Look at the things that I write)
He’s a whore
(Ooh, the stories I can tell)
He’s a whore
(And my body really smells)

 

Rick had the skill of writing great hooky-like tunes with at times quirky lyrics but underneath it all when you peel back the layer there’s the message of the tune.

1977 get into crime kids as Ricky and Robin told ya to do!

The second one which when I listen to it in 2020 is musically a tune Poison could have ripped off ten years later on their debut album. That tune is.

“He’s A Whore”. What a great tune as it gets right out of the gate with catchy chord changes and a great chorus.

He’s a whore
(I’d do anything for money)
He’s a whore
(Look at the things that I write)
He’s a whore
(Ooh, the stories I can tell)
He’s a whore
(And my body really smells)

You know that’s the thing I love about these guys to this day (been a fan since early 1979) is this band wrote their first four albums (Cheap Trick, In Colour, Heaven Tonight, and Dream Police) that I can honestly say can stand toe to toe with any other recording acts first four albums.

If you look closely there is a Side A and a Side 1. Interesting no Side B and that was the Trick Guy’s said there was no B Side like material on this album. How many of you figured that out? If you did, fantastic your a star if not your still a star also as that’s the best I could do for a prize!

 

 

 

Iron Maiden: No Prayer For The Dying (1990)

I know my Maiden 1980-1988 album series just ended. (by the way thanks for reading and commenting.) 

“Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” I thought would be the last Maiden review but a few weeks back my daughter Kylee came into town and for my Bday and gifted me with “No Prayer For The Dying” on VINYL!

So I thought “What the Hell, what’s one more Maiden review after posting eight in a row!”

Bring This Blogger to the Slaughter!

As Maiden headed into the 90s some changes were going on…

1-  Guitarist Adrian Smith decided to leave Maiden after 9 years.

2- After the synth-driven sounds of 1986’s “Somewhere In Time” and 88’s “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”, Steve Harris and crew ditch that style and begin the 90s as a stripped-down Metal Act.

3- Once Maiden began the No Prayer Tour the stage show was stripped back as well. No extravagant staging as Maiden was going back to the basics. 

4- No Prayer For The Dying was the first album since 1983’s “Piece of  Mind” that I did not purchase on its release date which was October 1st, 1990. The reason being as Tbone and myself were headed to Winnipeg a few days later (Oct 5th) I knew there would be a CD shopping spree so I needed to purchase something so I figured I would buy NPFTD in a big city. Hell, even Tbone bought it!

“No Prayer For The Dying” came out at a time when the musical landscape was about to change the following year. 

Upon my first listen to “No Prayer For The Dying” back then I liked it but with Steve Harris and company coming off of the magnificent “Seventh Son” album NPFTD was a step behind.

Course, when Smith went so did a big part of the songwriting.  Having said that though Adrian did have a co-write with Bruce titled “Hooks In You” which you can hear Smith’s style of writing melodic rock riffs taken over by his replacement Janick Gers on guitar.

With Smith gone Bassist Steve Harris and Vocalist Bruce Dickinson composed three great tracks together. The opening tune “Tailgunner,” followed by “Holy Smoke”, and “Run Silent Run Deep”.

Bruce also co-wrote the magnificent “Public Enema Number One” with Guitarist Dave Murray which at certain times just may be my favorite track from this album.

Bruce brought over his solo tune “Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter” from his solo band and had the song Maidenized!

Actually, Murray also cowrote “Fates Warning” with Steve so even Dave was picking up some slack in regards to the songwriting void left by Adrian when he split. 

Boss Man Harris handles the albums title track on his own as well as the album closer “Mother Russia”.

“The Assasin” which leads off Side Two is another Harris solo composition and to be fair the song could have used Bruce’s input in the songwriting part of this tune. By that I mean Bruce has a good knack for delivering some catchy choruses and “The Assasin” kind of falls flat and could have used some Air Raid Siren input.

Overall a decent spin of NPFTD which to be honest I have not listened to this album in full in a very long time.

Side One for me has the better tracks whereas Side Two lags a little. 

No-fault to Maiden though as up until this point it was the album/tour/album tour cycle for 10 years and so it is to be expected that the creative wheels may come off a little at some point.

“No Prayer For The Dying” came out in 1990 the music scene would shortly be shifting(we all know what I mean by that) and Maiden though would keep trucking so I guess in a way Harris and company decided to go back to a bare-bones approach in recording and touring for the NPFTD album.

 

 

The Rolling Stones: Steel Wheels Live (2020)

I really wasn’t going to review this but I got the Snowman to thank as at his site every Friday he posts that week’s New Releases which trust me is a valuable read as I check out what John has posted before I head to the iTunes site to see what has dropped that week.

By the way here’s John’s site below. Give this link a click and a follow.. https://2loud2oldmusic.com/2020/09/25/friday-new-releases-september-25-2020/

It was in John’s comments(at his site)  this past Friday when someone remarked that this Stones release featured a killer set list.

The Snowman commented with,

“Yeah, it looks pretty great. I am sure Deke will have a review up by Monday!! Ha!!”

Well, how could I not review it now and post it today which is ironically Monday!

You have to hand it to Mick, Keef, Charlie and Ronnie as they have been busy releasing product during this crazy time. We all know what I mean by the “crazy time” comment correct?

The Stones dropped the single “Living In A Ghost Town” back in April 2020. At the tail end of August 2020, they dropped a deluxe version of there 1973 classic “Goats Head Soup” which is a phenomenal listen especially the live show (Brussels Affair 73) which is tacked on at the end.

And now at the end of September 2020 comes this wicked awesome live release which was recorded on the last date of the massive “Steel Wheels Tour” back in December 1989. Check out that setlist below.

Intro
“Start Me Up”
“Bitch”
“Sad Sad Sad”
“Undercover of the Night”
“Harlem Shuffle”
“Tumbling Dice”
“Miss You”
“Terrifying”
“Ruby Tuesday”
“Salt of the Earth” (featuring Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin)
“Rock and a Hard Place”
“Mixed Emotions”
“Honky Tonk Women”
“Midnight Rambler”

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
“Little Red Rooster” (featuring Eric Clapton)
“Boogie Chillen” (featuring Eric Clapton and John Lee Hooker)
“Can’t Be Seen”
“Happy”
“Paint It Black”
“2,000 Light Years From Home”
“Sympathy for the Devil”
“Gimme Shelter”
“It’s Only Rock n Roll (But I Like It)”
“Brown Sugar”
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”

Ladies and Gents Bill Wyman on the Bass!

I still remember watching this show at the time at a friend’s place as his family had one of those huge satellite dishes at the time that looked more like some kind of NASA operation in his front yard. The Stones made this concert at the time available on PPV.

The Steel Wheels stage was massive! Jagger commanded that stage as if he owned it in which Mick did as the rest of the Stones and their sideman and backing vocalists kept the vibe going throughout the set.

So here we are 31 years later and here’s “Steel Wheels Atlantic City New Jersey”.

27 songs just over two and a half hours long and look at the setlist I posted above!

Look at the special guests that showed up. Axl N Izzy, Eric Clapton, and the late John Lee Hooker.

Just as the other big tour in 1989 which was Paul McCartney. The Stones as Paul did featured songs from there current release so they weren’t resting on there laurels so to speak.

“Steel Wheels” was the name of the studio album at the time which I liked and still do. Five songs from the album are featured as some other hits from the early 80s like “Harlem Shuffle” and “Undercover of the Night” are played.

A pretty wide cross-section of Stones material over the decades.

Listening to the audio of this show you really hear the crowd ramp up when the Stones count in “Ruby Tuesday”. (Love Keefs hacked out backing vocal on it)

One of the coolest tracks is “Salt of the Earth” when Mick tells the crowd that some guys came to New Jersey to get there “tattoos inked up.” Axl delivers a great vocal along with Mick and Keef. Such great stuff and what a stellar track.

Eric Clapton joining on “Little Red Rooster” is great as well as is “Boogie Chillin” with both Eric and John Lee Hooker jamming some old Chicago blues numbers.

Mick is great on this album. His vocals are superb( check out “Sympathy of the Devil”) and how about a shout out to Jaggers harmonica playing on tunes like “Miss You” and the fantastic jam blowout of “Midnight Rambler”!

What I actually enjoyed hearing are tunes like “Brown Sugar” and “Gimmie Shelter” and comparing these versions to the recent live versions on the “Goats Head Soup” edition.

“Gimmie Shelter” from the live 73 is very noticeable as there is no female backing singer and it’s really a wild listen as I always have known that tune as co vocalist lead track.

Give The Stones credit. They are the oldest band on the block but by the amount of productivity they are putting out currently they are still schooling all the other acts which speaks volume about work ethic!