deKe’s Top Albums in 2021…

 

Every December I would do a “Top 10 Album” list followed by a “Top 10 Live Album” list but this year I thought I would ditch the rankings and post what I mostly listened to throughout the year that was 2021.

My only rule is that they had to be vinyl albums I got this year that were released in the last 12 months.

Maybe you will find some of these titles cool and will check em out…

Let’s do this…

Aerosmith: The Road Starts Hear: RSD only release of a bunch of early Aero tracks that have been stashed away for five decades. This is such a fantastic recording of the Toxic Twins thinking stuff out and jamming  tunes that would make up the basis of the debut that would come out two years later in ’73!

Iron Maiden: Senjutsu: Harry, Bruce and crew dial up a mega listen in “Senjutsu” which solidifies Maiden’s dominance in still releasing stellar studio albums 41 years while still running free! (see what I just did there?). Plus I’m psyched to have gotten tickets to see Maiden in Toronto on Oct. 11 2022! Frigg Yeah!

Canadian Rebel Rocker Danko Jones released an album that is titled perfectly. “Power Trio” is just that. These guys lift off on this album over the course of its 11 songs.  Danko punches gas from opening tune “I Want Out” to end of album closer “Start The Show” that features Motörhead fella Phil Campbell. “Power Trio” blasts off from the get go. Trust me folks…

Gowan has been in Styx for over 20 years now and if your looking to hear what Larry has been doing check out “Crash of the Crown” which has had many spins on deke’s turntable in 2021. The album sounds like a late 70s early 80s throwback yet with enough punch to keep it current.

WVH is a monster talent and his debut album “Mammoth” proves that. Wolf fused together all his influences and put out a real fine slab of rock. Out of all the acts on my list Wolf is the youngest meaning I look forward to hearing what else he has up his sleeve in regards to new music coming out down the road.

KISS: OFF The Soundboard: You know I have always loved a good KISS  live album and Demon Gene and Starchild decided to start a series that they are calling “OFF THE SOUNDBOARD” which I’m quite excited about. This show from Tokyo (2001) is fantastic as you hear what the crowd heard that night and better yet Ace is back and along with Eric Singer they make this a very worthwhile listen.

I’ve only been waiting since ’85 for a live Coney Hatch release and the boys finally delivered and put out a killer double live album. Just a straight ahead rock album that Coney called Live At The ElMocambo recorded at the legendary venue. These guys have never disappointed me!

and lastly..

One of Canada’s biggest band’s, The Tragically Hip released a 6 pack of tracks (5 studio and one live track) that showed how dangerous these cats were back in 1991. The Hip had no idea these recordings were still around yet they surfaced this year in a neat and tidy little EP called “Saskadelphia”!

Their ya have it folk’s. My picks for the year 2021 but thats not all. Coming up will be another best of list but it will be on the reissues I bought this year that were my favourites…

Stay Tuned and Thanks for reading.

Coming January 2022!

Here we go Folk’s.

Starting in January I will be reviewing  this massive 7 Lp Box Set that Skid Row (or the powers that be) released “The Atlantic Years (1989-1996)”.

Since these albums have been reviewed a million times over I thought I would go an opposite way and scribble down words on how the work of Skid Row affected me as hard rock fan during those years that Sebastian Bach fronted the band.

I have to thank my daughter Lauren who got me this Box Set as a Christmas Gift. She ordered it early so it would get here on time.

Thanks Laurenie!

Mudkicker Kick!

Aerosmith: The Road Starts Hear (1971)

Record Store Day came and went. I really had no interest other than this title by Aerosmith which is an album has had sitting in the vaults for 50 years.

I figured I had no chance at getting this seven song album as Tbay has one store that does RSD but they get nothing as I gave up on going to get my hopes up.

My hopes were further dashed when last Sunday I went to Discogs to see if there were any Canadian Sellers who had posted copies of  “The Road Starts Hear” for a decent price.

Umm about that for a second…

Two stores in Canada (one in Winnipeg and one in Toronto who shall remain nameless) each had copies.  The problem was one store had it for $58 Canadian and the other had it for $63 Canadian.

I put both of them in my Discogs checkout but I had a real problem pushing click to pay as the word “Gouging” came into my mind.

The Toronto store was selling it for $45 U.S without shipping. Selling it in Canada and having to pay for it in American is a fucking joke.

So I gave up and deleted both out of my Discogs checkout.

So come Monday night I went to Encore Records (based in Kitchener) as I have ordered from the owner Mark before and he’s delivered.

I have Encore book marked  on my computer as I check what they post online almost daily.

It’s about supporting local even if the shop isn’t in my town.

This past Monday I went under RSD Titles on the Encore website and there it was…

“Aerosmith The Road Starts Here” for $24 Canadian!

There is no way around shipping through Canada Post meaning you’re going to get dinged a minimum of $16.

Regardless I had to get it before it was gone and once I clicked and paid for it it came up as Sold Out.

One and done. Right place right time!

I will add that Mark for running a local record shop is awesome to deal with. Sent him a message thanking him for not running the price up and even better it took only three days to get here to Tbay.

Now as many of you know, John T. Snow is reviewing the whole Aero catalog over at his site so I know in due time he will be doing this album in a track by track break down.

Snowman is a master at that kind of thing so instead I’m just going to post a couple of thoughts…

Wherever in Boston this was recorded I can honestly say the sound is amazing. Boggles my mind that they sat on these tracks til now but boy am I glad this is out now.

It almost sounds like a party is going on at the start of the album as the band launches into “Somebody.”

These tracks have a Stones like influence about them which is not surprising but you can hear for yourselves how these guys were starting to figure out the craft at writing tunes.

“Dream On” is pretty much in its finished form but its cool to hear Tyler at the piano at the end of the song figuring out what would become “You See Me Crying” which wouldn’t come out until the “Toys In The Attic” record dropped four years later in 1975.

This is Aero Rock N Roll in its primitive state. Writing tracks that would make up the debut self titled a few years later.  A cover of “Reefer Headed Woman” would not show up on a Aero record until ’79’s “Night In The Ruts” release as by then the creative well had dried up due to the lifestyle of the band catching up to them.

The packaging is really cool as well. A total throwback vibe in not only the look but the layout as well.

Man, I need to call Joe as he left me his phone number in the pic above! Maybe he will come on “Scotch On The Rocks”.

A very cool score and I’m sure knowing how cool this is Aero will get around to releasing it digitally and on CD at some point.

“The Road Starts Hear” is a must own of any fan of Aerosmith.

Top Albums from 1983 Live Tonight @ 7pm!

Muk’s  back and this time  we will do a deep dive back to the year 1983 when bands like Def Leppard, The Police and Quiet Riot ruled not only the charts but had massive video rotation as well.

Tonight we will discuss what rocked our world that year only on Scotch On The Rocks(Youtube)!

After tonight  I’m taking a break from live streaming til the New Year.

Thanks to all you have watched and have subscribed to the official Scotch On The Rocks YouTube  channel.

As I told Snowman last week when our stream ended that this deal that I’m doing is “Our” show, meaning whomever is on with me whether it’s the  MarsMan, Snowman, Ladano, Muk or actual  music guys it’s “Our” show that night.

I just set up the stream, invite guests (they pick the night) and try to figure it out as we go live.

Speaking of which you can only watch it live or on rerun on Youtube as I’m no longer connecting it to Facebook.

Some hiccups, but it’s live without a net so to speak..

Thanks Folks…

Lou Gramm: Ready Or Not (1987)

 

As the 80’s rolled on, 1987 to be exact I had checked out on Foreigner after the music they had been releasing by that point sounded like radio fluff.

Lou Gramm though wanted to kick the fluff to the curb and that he did when he released his debut solo album “Ready Or Not” back in February 1987.

I didn’t bite on it right away when I read and seen the adds for Lou’s record. I was thinking 10 songs of “I Want To Know What Love” was my line of thinking. Basically a record of ballads!

I was turning 20 years young at the time so can you blame me for thinking like  that ?

MuchMusic spun Lou’s debut video “Midnight Blue” and as soon as I heard that opening riff on guitar I was drawn in and when Lou opened his mouth to sing, I was hooked.

The power of video sold me on wanting to get “Ready Or Not”  which I did and Teebone bought it as well on cassette and we cruised around like a couple of yahoo’s cranking the rock tracks on this record during those summer months of ’87.

I’m sure we weren’t the only two knuckleheads as this record climbed the Canuck Charts to #25.

Lou showed up on this debut and  I can quite honestly say that the first three tracks on here ( “Ready Or Not”, “Heartache” and “Midnight Blue”) has Lou throwing down the  gauntlet showing  his soon to be ex- Foreigner bandmate Mick Jones that he could still rock it out.

Speaking of bands, below are the cats that helped Lou record this album.

Turgon co- wrote eight of the ten tracks on here and Lofgren when he wasn’t hanging out with Springsteen plays some stellar six string  throughout this record as well.

Sure the album sounds a little over produced but that was the sound for the time.

The two songs that end each side of the record (“If I Don’t Have You” and “Lover Come Back”) are to me the closest things to the stuff that Lou had going on in his day job at the time.

That day job was Foreigner who later in 87 released “Inside Information” and for the record (no pun) I still didn’t bite!

Give Gramm full props as he released a great melodic rock album that still holds up well today.

Best $2 I have ever spent when I came across it recently sitting in the used bins.

RATT N ROLL with the Snowman!

Tonight!! The one and only John T. Snow is going to spend an action packed hour with me as we discuss those fun loving rodents RATT who had a real great run in record sales and tours in the 80s.

Nowadays they love suing each other but we will talk what it was about RATT that separated them from the 1000 other bands that came from L.A almost 40 years ago!

See the pic above for all the info about tonights show!

Thanks to Teebone for the killer artwork!

The Tragically Hip: Road Apples 30th Annivesary Deluxe Vinyl Edition(2021)

It’s all about timing. A few months ago (early September) the ladies in my house asked me what I wanted for my Birthday and no sooner that question was asked than Canada’s very own The Tragically Hip were reissuing on both CD and Vinyl a huge set commemorating  the 30th Anniversary of the iconic “Road Apples” album.

Umm, I would like one gift and one gift only Ladies and thats this box set!

Once I was given the green light by them it was off to The Hips web store and I preordered it straight  from them as they had a limited offer of charging only $10 for shipping!

So this past Monday (Nov. 15th) I was notified that this set was on route to my house.

Just three days later on Thursday the 18th here it was in my hands.

“Road Apples” for myself is an iconic album and it’s easily to say  in my all time Top 20 if we were keeping score.

For those unfamiliar with the album. It’s as if the five members of The Hip just plugged in and blasted out an ass kicker of a record live in the studio.

That’s why I love this album. It sounds so live as it was expertly dialled in by Don Smith (RIP) and Bruce Barris (RIP.) Together they let The Hip do there thing..

Included is a Blu-ray DVD with all remixes in 5.1 and 7.1 but really the selling the point is the vinyl especially the double “Live At The Roxy” (more on that in bit).

Included is the original “Road Apples” studio release along with the recently released “Saskadelphia” which features five studio tracks from the “Road Apple” sessions (plus a sixth track “Montreal” recorded live back in 2000).

 

“Hoof- Hearted” is a collection of outtakes and  rarities from 1990/91. Included is an actual poster promoting the album as well as a killer 36 page booklet which zeros in on just this time frame of the band.

The booklet is awesome as it has a ton of pics from recording at Danial Lanois Kingsway Studio in New Orleans plus a breakdown of each song and even pictures of Good Downies hand written lyrics.

I must also mention the impact that producer Don Smith and Bruce Barris had shaping and teaching the tools of the trade when it came to recording in the studio. Each member of the band talks about the impact that Smith and Barris had on them at that time and still to this day.

“Live At The Roxy” recorded back in May 91 is the selling feature for me as it’s the The Hip in their element which is the live stage.

“Live At The Roxy” has been heavily bootlegged throughout the years as I had some tracks but not the full show so how psyched was I to finally hear the full show from Kingstons finest.

Look at that setlist below…

Gord and The Hipsters were on fire that night in Los Angeles as they rip n roar through a 15 song set. Up until this Roxy show was included I thought the best live Hip I had ever heard was the bonus live show (included on “Fully Completely”) from Toronto (recorded in the fall of 1992 at the Horseshoe) but that all changed once the needle hit the turntable!

Holy Moly…from opener “Little Bones” to the last track “Canadian Surf Club”, these guys are on fire. “On The Verge” has them almost going off the rails of the stage.  I don’t think I ever heard them play this quick before…

Gord Downie is well, classic Gord on here.  Introducing  “Twist My Arm” to the crowd about a “guy delivering a pizza to a crack house” is mint or Gord singing a few lines of Poisons “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” (which garners boos) before the band goes into “Long Time Running” is hilarious.

As I noted above this album has been heavily bootlegged two of those tracks are finally on here together those being “Highway Girl (Double Suicide)” and “New Orleans Is Sinking (Killer Whale Tank)” which not only includes Downie’s stories but the playing of guitarist Bobby Baker as well as the whole band (Gord Sinclair, Paul Langlois and Johnny Fay) is stellar.

Each show Gord would change up the stories so thankfully the tapes were rolling that night which  Don Smith was on site recording.

What also be noted that on all the streaming platforms (Apple, Spotify) The Hip chose not to include the Roxy show as of right now.

Another reason for me wanting this box set!

One more thing. The remaining surviving members put this box set together. No outside interference which if you have followed these guys throughout there career you know that has always been the deal.

Special thanks to Sue,Kylee, Lex and Lauren!

A must own!

 

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Walsh

I’m pumped to have Nicholas Walsh coming onto” Scotch On The Rocks” to talk to myself and Mikey about all things that Nick has been up to in his over 30 years in the music biz.

From Nick’s start in Toronto fronting the band “Portrait” which became “Slik Toxik” who released a couple of records on Capitol Records right on  through to his current band “Famous Underground”  and all points in between we are going to be doing a deep dive into his musical journey.

Join us tonight at 7pm!

Click the video below to see what Nick is up to currently.

Eruption: Conversations With Eddie Van Halen (2021)

Brad Tolinski and Chris Gill have compiled over 50 hours of interviews over the years (beginning in the late 80s) with Eddie Van Halen and have over the course of 336 pages let Eddie do the talking about all things Van Halen.

Eruption: Conversations With Eddie Van Halen is a fascinating read as you get what Eddie talking shop with Eddie as he talks about the various producers VH has worked with over the years (Templeman, Fairbairn, Johns, Post and Shanks).

And yes there is the fallout with the singers that being David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar.

Lots of guitar talk as well but for me the real deal in regards to this book were new interviews with Michael Anthony, Gary Cherone, Ray Danniels (worth the price of the book alone), Steve Lukather and Steve Vai.

Also the book has a bunch of unreleased photos which adds to its value.

By reading what is on these pages you can understand that Eddie was comfortable talking to both Tolinski and Gill as they both wrote for guitar magazines so that helps the vibe in this book.

Must read!

Don’t Throw Stones at Glass Houses unless your Weezer!

The one and only Geoff Stephen joins me live tonight for a chat on two albums that we both have connected on….

Billy Joel’s Glass Houses and Weezer’s self titled debut (The Blue Album) are what we will be yakking about tonight at 7pm on Scotch On The Rocks Youtube Channel.

Get ready for some cool backstories and our discovery points into both of these albums and how much we still enjoy em!

See ya then!

 

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