King of the Nighttime(Stationary) World!

Today I like the Mailman. Came home and seen that Aaron(Mr Books) had sent me  something and look at this Folks! Rush playing Cards!!

How cool is that? Thanks a bunch Aaron!! Much Appreciated! Dude is the King of Stationary! Nobody comes close! Kinda keeps the KISS review week going as RUSH opened for KISS back in 1975! Just Saying!

#community

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KISS: Double Platinum(1978)

1978 was the year I purchased my first ever KISS album.  That was the Double Live KISS ALIVE 2!  The second ever KISS album I ever purchased was Double Platinum in the summer of 1978 as my family was vacationing in Southern Ontario and I spent my money on KISS!

Crazy to think that  a lot of Greatest Hits sets bug me nowadays whereas back in 1978 what a great way to get a mishmash of KISS music up to that point!

Smart marketing move on KISS’s part as listening to the songs that made up Double Platinum  would make you want to rush out and purchase the studio records from which these songs came from.

20 songs/5 per side spread out over Two Records(Double Gatefold) with everything in the packaging looking Platinum.

 

KISS was so big in 1978 that they didn’t even have to put the names of the songs on the back cover! Ha! There must have been a sticker or something on the front  than again they were so big people were snapping up a ton of KISS released product and also later in 1978 came the 4 solo albums as well!

Looking at this album 31 years later I like the selection of tunes. First song up is Strutter 78. Listening to it now it seems slower than the original  as KISS rerecorded it early in 1978 and supposedly producer Sean Delaney played drums on it. (don’t know if that’s true but with KISS who knows..) Plus what is Paul Stanley going on about at the ending of this tune?

The question has to be asked. Why? Strutter 78 is an older Strutter. Older being more mellow of a recording but upon my listening to it for the first time back in 78 what did I know as a 11-year-old?

Exactly!

I was freshly enlisted in the KISS Army. I drank the Kool Aide KISS was pushing and it’s  funny to think back than with all the KISS product coming out over exposure was not an option but getting anything  I could get my hands on was my only option.

Double Platinum looking at and listening to it again is perhaps the best put together Greatest Hits set that this band ever did as nowadays there are so many KISS comps its to the point of goofiness!

I mean…..

How many friggin times do we need Beth pummelled into our heads? But Beth gets a pass here as this was the first album I owned the studio version of!

But you know  for a snot nosed kid back in the Summer of 1978 (Me) Double Platinum was the perfect addition to my early  KISS Record Collection!

 

dEke’s Score of Double Platinum: 8.5/10

 

 

KISS: Love Gun(1977)

I recently came across a bunch of KISS albums from the 70’s and a bunch of them I have not reviewed! So here is Numero Uno! I’m not going in any certain order…Hope ya Dig this…. I will be posting a bunch of KISS reviews in March so I hope you join along and in a first here at Arena Rock I’m doing a scoring system! 

KISS in 1977 keep the album/tour/album tour cycle going at full throttle and why wouldn’t they. Strike while the Iron was Hot so to speak.

I mean check out the this cool cover drawn by Ken Kelly. These dudes are ripped! Look at Peter Criss! One wrong look at the Catman and he will kick yo ass circa 1977!

June 1977 and KISS unleashes Love Gun which for the right reasons kept the cash registers flowing  and concert tickets moving. 

Like other KISS albums before it and after it. This album is not rocket science yet it has some cool tracks on it.

Opener I Stole Your Love sets the tone of the album. Paul Stanley as he does opens the album with that fun game of stealing some one’s love I suppose.  I’m thinking that the original 4 Kiss guys played on all of this album unlike 1976’s Destroyer where Ace Frehley was replaced on a more than a few solos yet here in 1977 all is well again for a short time that is in the KISS camp…

I Stole Your Love is a good table setter for the Love Gun album. Love Ace’s solo on this tune and Stanley and Simmons did all the writing on their own tunes no co writes whatsoever…Maybe this got them thinking about doing those four solo albums that came out in 78!

Everyone’s favourite Demon Mean Gene Simmons gets tracks 2 and 3 that being Christine Sixteen followed by Got Love For Sale. I have always been a sucker for that dribble of a piano at the start of Christine 16. Good decent Gene song back than especially when Gene goes into his creeper speaking voice in detail below..

‘I don’t usually say things like this to girls your age, but when I saw you coming out of school that day, that day I knew, I knew, I’ve got to have you! I’ve got to have you!’

Frehley tosses down one of his epic solo’s and stumbles and bumbles about like nobodies business and that is what made Ace so great back in the 70’s. Ace’s solo’s were so simple sounding that they  would stick in your brain all these years later like if you were to step on a piece of bubblegum….

The other Simmons tune Got Love For Sale is awesome. I love this tune and it may be very well my fav tune from Love Gun. Simmons along with Criss drive the rhythm Bus on this track that leads into that brilliant  chorus that is oh so good followed by Frehley’s solo  followed by Gene going on about Love For Sale…

The pickled up Guitar Hero drops a doozy of a track and that would be Ace writing and making his singing debut on Shock Me. Ace wrote this track after he was almost electrocuted on stage the year before. Shock Me has Ace with his cool street rock voice that would be very prominent on his solo album a year later in 1978! Shock Me proved probably more to Ace that he could do it. He could not only write cool rock tracks which he already did on previous albums( Cold Gin/Parasite/Getaway/Strangeways) but he could sing them since previous written Ace songs were sung by either Simmons or Criss.  The fact that Ace was indeed finding his rock voice you know irked Genie and Paul to no end…haha..

Tomorrow and Tonight** is a decent enough song to end Side 1 of Love Gun. Not a classic by any stretch of the imagination but one that makes you get and go and make a sandwich when the song is playing before the track ends as you flip over your vinyl to Side 2!

There’s Petey snapping his snare drum like artillery fire and were off as Paul tells us all about his Love Gun. I’m thinking this tune has been played on every tour since 1977! Man that’s a lot of shots of Paul’s pistol doled out by Starchild over the years! Ace as he always does steps up with a pretty nifty solo which he always does…

When KISS was 4  original members and not 2 members and 2 salaried members or the current version with 2  original members and 2 Scabs(HEY! EASY DEKE’S!) Pete Criss got a song on each album. In this case it’s the cool Hooligan which is a great simple yet effective rock track that serves the KISS ARMY faithful happy!

Hey is that Bongos I hear and a Gong Smash?? Yup and were only 7 seconds into another Gene tune which is Almost Human  which in itself is a  oddball way  a cool track that beats to the sound of a different KISS beat but staying somewhat in the confines of the safe zone! No one ever talks about this tune and you should. Gene wrote some wicked stuff that gets shadowed by some of his 80’s silliness tracks(do I need to go there??) I will add that when were talking about the 80’s Gene  his output on the Creatures of the Night album in my estimation is his best work!

Anyhoo….

After Simmons psych’s us all out with Almost Human. Gene takes a drive down Familiar Avenue with  Plaster Caster a song Gene wrote about a groupie who liked to work with plaster and  caster! Actually as goofy as that sounds it’s a catchy tune with a catchy chorus that proves you can write real silly goofball lyrics but if your money shot is the chorus no one will really care what you’re going on about in the verses!

Love Gun ends with a cover tune titled Than She Kissed Me which is ummm ..nah…not going there…

Love Gun wetted the appetite of North America fine and dandy and kept the KISS Money Machine rolling along at a clip that the cash registers couldn’t keep up. I dig Love Gun pretty decent batch of songs and considering as I had mentioned earlier the ridiculous pace that KISS was on they manage to do write this album basically in-house with no outside help except for the Criss track….

dEke’s Score of LOVE GUN: 7.5/10

**Tomorrow and Tonight ended up on Alive 2 later that year as KISS fooled everyone by recording the tune at soundcheck than adding the crowd in and saying in the liner notes of the Album that this tune was recorded live…haha.. Fooled all of the KISS Army and You as WELL!

 

Impact Album- Poison: Open Up and Say Ah(1988)

‘When it’s said and done and you’re on the run
And the only law comes under the gun’

This album over time(31 years it took) in my world of listening habits has gone from  what I would consider a pretty decent spin of Goofy Kiss Rock into an Impact Album!

How the Hell did this happen?

Let’s rewind back to May 1988 with a pretty decent Buzz surrounding Poison unleashing the followup to there Mega Million selling debut 1986’s Look What The Cat Dragged In!

If you read my original Poison review of Open Up and Say Ahh that I wrote a ways back you all know the story of how Tbone snagged this album before I got my paws on it in. That is what you could call  an Impact  Moment as I still remember that moment precisely as I headed up to Tbone’s house as he was painting his boat outside that lazy May-day when as I approached his backyard I could hear what sounded like Poison but was it Poison? Nah! In a WTF moment Tbone told me he just picked up the newbie Poison album just hours earlier that day!

First Day Buyer Alert for Tbone!

‘Son of a Bitch T’ came to my mind and from what I heard Poison had upped their game. I cannot tell you what song was playing  or tunes of this album I heard that afternoon at Tbone’s  but for sure I can tell you it wasn’t the Ballad (more on that later) or the cover tune on the album(Your Mama Don’t Dance) as the cover tune is which  I tortured  him  back in our last year of High School (1985) as  Tbone and Jack Loaf thought they could fool me on Your Mama Don’t Dance  coming from  the much maligned Y&T release Down For The Count! For the record I didn’t even guess that it was Y&T I just commented that was a weak cover..haha…

But here we are in 1988 and Tbone may have been gun-shy to play Poisons cover of Your Mama Don’t Dance do to me just in case of the fallout he might have had to listen to that day! Who knows hahaha….

Still though I liked what I heard and quickly went and purchased  this on CD as CD’s were the rage back than!

I liked it right off the bat and as I have stated many times before back in the 80’s there’s was always a ton of music being released  and sometimes it was crazy to be able to keep up with all of  it. So if something stuck sonically at that point  you would go back to it. If it didn’t  grab you right away you moved on…

Funny Thing Happened…Part 1

Poison stuck around but than a funny thing happened.  I caught them live in January 1991. (They didn’t impress me that night I kinda soured on them. Guitar Solos and Drum Solos ate up at least 20 minutes of the show. Bobby Dall was a mess and if you want further proof I reviewed that show a ways back as well…)

Soon after CC Deville bolted or was booted and was replaced by Ritchie Kotzen  and Poison released the very grown up Native Tongue album but then  Kotzen was caught  banging drummer Rikki  Rocketts  wife and then  Richie was turfed…

Than Poison hired Young Gun Blues Saraceno on guitar which I thought was a great addition and then that album was shelved for a while and by that point I gave up…on Poison…

Funny Thing Happened…Part 2

About a week ago everyone’s favourite blogger Mikey Ladano started posting old MuchMusic videos transferred from VHS to Digital that Mikey has been blogging about which has been a real hoot to watch.

One of the vids that Mikey posted was of Bret Micheal’s from back in 1988 who was hyper as a Mexican Jumping Bean talking at 90 mph and preaching to the masses about Rock N Poison Roll!

Funny Thing Happened…Part 3

Just last Friday(February 15th) Myself and my daughter Lauren were checking out vinyl. Ok let me clarify that I was checking out vinyl Lauren was too busy taking SnapChats pics of me and commenting as I was rummaging though the album bins at Moon Money Vintage which here in Thunder Bay has become my favourite place to now purchase  used vinyl from. Plus the owner’s name is Derrick! Yep case closed!

Seriously though Derrick takes care of the vinyl he is selling and its in great shape as many of the albums are on consignment so for himself as well  the vinyl needs to be in tip-top shape and it is. In the past 2 weeks I have picked up 9 albums from Moon Money Vintage and they all play excellent  and the covers/inserts look fantastic!

Anyhoo…

I was going through the bins and already had a few records that I was going to purchase and then I hit the Letter P Section! Sitting in there was a copy of  Open Up and Say Ahh in mint shape well taken care of for the cost of $20!

As  I mentioned at the start of this story(thanks for hanging in there) I only ever owned this on CD. Here it was on vinyl! Mint copy and I had no problem getting it at $20! I was kinda psyched that I scored this as it’s an album but to see it on vinyl. That was the clincher!

Brought it  home with my other scores for that day(you will see reviews and a Back Covers post coming up at some point on the other albums I snapped up) and man what a great revisit!

The Songs….all 36 minutes and 11 seconds of it!

I said it before and I’ll say it again as opening track Love On The Rocks has one of the greatest opening lines when Micheal’s sings ‘She goes down slow like a shot of Gin’ which is brilliant and hilarious at the same time as from here on out the Poison Party has started!

Second song in is Nothing But A Good Time and that’s what the party is about right?  CC Deville as he does on lots of Poison songs to my ears that is solo’s like he’s off the rails but kinda keeps it together in the context of the tune.

Back To The Rocking Horse another simple straight ahead rocker that comes across real well on vinyl. I think I commented on Ladano’s review on Open Up that I said it sounded like producer Tom Werman recorded this album in an Aluminum Shed. I must apologize to Mr Werman now  as the songs sound pretty crisp on vinyl.

Michael’s honks on the harmonica on Good Love which shows Poison doing some Hard Blues Rock in a basic yet effective manner. Keeping it simple is Poisons motto or it should be!

Tearin Down The Walls ends Side 1 with Poisons twisting and turning and kicking down the walls with this mid tempo rocker.

Look But You Can’t Touch which kicks Side 2 of the album in party fashion as Bret teaches us all that the best things in life aren’t free! A great hard rocking not Einstein over thunk rock track!

Fallen Angel tells the tale of a girl  taking a drive down Wrong Avenue in Life. Simple yet dare I  say it effective hard rock number that thanks to the CC Guitar Riff that sticks in your head for minutes/hours or in my case decades later!

Yup so here it is. Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Poison playing the 1988 Ballad Release as a Single Game. Back in 88 I was bored with these kinda tunes as everyone was doing it that were in the business of  the Melodic Hard Rock Market! I get it but man it got so over saturated that it made me nauseous! I even bought the damn 45 of Every Rose just for the non album tune Livin For The Minute. Here we are 31 years later and I will add that it’s a decent track. Yeah I still have hard time listening to it as it’s a little to obvious for my liking but I get it that Poison would get the spins/the sales and the girls from this tune and it worked….yeah I sound bitter! Ha!

So up next is the cover tune which is indeed Your Mama Don’t Dance which is an ok cover. I wasn’t big on it back than and maybe I can tolerate it a little more now as this another game that Poison kinda played with. Play the cover song and release it as a single. It worked for Poison and my issue with this  is when I seen em live they played this tune. So add that along with 20 minutes of solo’s that’s basically 25 minutes that you lost me in regards  to your live show…..

So after the wee bit of a dip with tracks 8 and 9 comes what I would consider one of the best Poison tracks ever in Bad To Be Good. I love the opening of this tune where you have Poison sounding like they are ready to rumble but you know they would get there asses kicked physically but sonically this tune kicks all kinds of Ass! Wheeling/Dealing/Cheating/Stealing ..Ya gotta be Bad To Be Good. A smart well written piece of Hairspray Rock that is sooo good that its amazing this song is buried at the end of the album and never given any credit whatsoever about it…Well Fuck That…times a changing! Winner Winner Bret and the Boys get the Chicken Dinner with this one!

Smart move as all four members of Poison split the songwriting  four ways on this album! Maybe thats another reason they are still playing shows nowadays!

Well how about that Huh? Did ya see this one coming? Nope neither did I but it  sure it can be classified as an Impact Album as in my world its the perfect balance of  catchy written rock mashed up with funny at times silly lyrics and real catchy hooks! Nothing to serious here Folk’s. I’m sure your thinking there are better albums from the genre so to speak and you may be right but for some kooky reason it resonated with me again after all the years away!

Life is way to serious at times and this album is basically my Gateway Vinyl  Drug back to a simpler time!

Impact Albums-Aerosmith: Rocks(1976)

Writing about Aerosmith Rocks is like writing about a few other huge rock releases like AC/DC’s Back In Black or Boston’s self titled million’s upon million’s selling debut! What the hell am I going to add that already hasn’t been said about Rocks before?

If you recall from my Aero review of Draw The Line. I first dabbled with Aero  back in 1981 as my Dad’s friend at the time gave me a copy of Draw The Line as Dad’s friend didn’t really dig it too much. Fair enough so I spun Draw The Line and it knocked meant another time zone! I mean going from the comfy safe zone of KISS and now hearing  the opening title track from Aero just ripped me apart. This band was loaded on all kinds of set and taking no prisoners!

1981 was a funny year to discover Aerosmith as when I did Joe Perry had left amidst split milk the year before and there was zero press on Aerosmith. But I dug what I heard from the Draw The Line so much so that it made me take my allowance that summer and purchase the Live Album of all Live Albums  LIVE BOOTLEG.

Spread over two records LIVE BOOTLEG impacted me like no other Live album I had heard up to that point as well up to now for  that matter! It is easily my all-time fav-o Live Record one in which that will get its own Impact Record segment  at some point!

As we roll into 1982 the fall to be exact there is new Aero product in the form of Rock In A Hard Place which featured the new guitar duo of Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay. To this day RIAHP is a fantastic listen as Aero stepped up the Game so to speak. Great tunes and Steve Tyler stepped up ad brought his A Game even though the public didn’t think that as the album didn’t shift a ton of sales!

So from there eventually I think it may have been 1984 or so I finally bought 1976’s Rocks on cassette tape in which they’re  was absolutely no packaging whatsoever as were many tapes backs than and is the main reason I disliked buying them but with my Walkman kicking about at times I had to do what I had to do!

I was blown away by Rocks back than and still today!

I mean look at those 9 Tracks! From opener Back In The Saddle to end of the album kinda somewhat ballad like Home Tonight Aerosmith drops the gauntlet on a total street rock record! This album reeks of the seedier side of life. All drugged up and nowhere to go Tyler/Perry went about crafting the ultimate rock record!

Back In The Saddle crushes right out of the gate with Tyler screaming that he’s “Baaaaaaaaaack’ where they ever gone? Nope, Aero hammers it right out of the gate as Joe and Brad Whitford slice and dice their guitars mashing up flinging out brilliant lightning bolts of riffs and this is just the first track!

I have to mention Jack Douglas and his fantastic production throughout Rocks. Jack does the perfect mix between polish and keeping it ruff round the edges!

You gotta hand it to Aerosmith as they could blast right out of the gate with a stomper of a track in Back In The Saddle but then can take the foot of the gas and go in a whole different direction by track 2.  Last Child  just oozes a cool  funky groovy little ditty that does not lose any drive even if it’s played at half the speed the opening tune was….

Aero does indeed put the foot on the gas pedal and all bet’s are off as we zip right into Rats In The Cellar as Perry/Tyler load up a speedball and blast off into parts unknown during this track. Love the interplay of the guitars and Steve-o lying down some serious harp playing….

Joe steps up and delivers a fine tune on his own called Combination. What a friggin brilliant tune as Joe slices not only some mean guitar but tosses down a cool lead vocal(with help from Steven of course) that makes Combination end Side 1 with a swift kick in the ASS!  Joe as u may recall also ended Side 1 of 1977’s Draw The Line with Bright Light Fright so maybe Joe thought the could have his own little space on each album. Course that ended with the Draw The Line album as Joe didn’t get his own sung tune on a Aero album again until 1993’s Get A Grip release….

End of Side 1….now onto …..Side 2

Sick As A Dog yeah about this track for minute! The first version I heard of this tune was the Booze N Blow ramped up version off of Live Bootleg which has Tyler and Perry shooting up at the speed of the light as the song is played at super-duper cool speed. On Rocks it’s got that more of a Sleazy Aero Pace with the foot off the Aero Gas Pedal! Check out the picture I posted below as you see the guys in Aero switch up instruments for this tune..

Tom Hamilton plays guitar on Sick as a Dog while both Tyler/Perry play Bass on the track! Ha…gotta love the 70’s! Gotta love Drugs in the 70’s I suppose…

Brad Whitford inner channels some Black Sabbath like riffs of rock and along with Tyler delivers a fist to your face in the form of Nobdy’s Fault. Yet for all that Sab like slow like riffage comes the melodic chorus which takes care of business. Man wouldn’t it be a hoot at the upcoming Vegas Aero Residency if Aero would blast this one out after that good awful Disney tune? My sister Kristin  is attending one of Aero’s show’s this upcoming April  and  I bet ya $20 bucks that if Aero lifted off with Nobody’s Fault, Kristin will be hiding under the Merchandise table until the coast is clear! HAHAHA!

You know how I love end of the album GEMS as I call em?  Well here comes two in the form of Get The Lead Out and Lick and a Promise. These songs deliver in spades. Get The Lead Out has that slinky strut of a track that is one of the all time great songs in the Aero catalogue and there are many folks! Love everything about this tune. Tylers crafyt lyrics. Perry’s brilliant solo all kept under warps by Joey Kramer on the drums! Before even Get The Lead Out is finished here comes Aero driving 110 Mph in a 55 zone and were blasting off yet again with Lick and a Promise. Jeepers this song is just frigging awesome. Lick and a Promise is a tough track. Don’t Fuck around with it. Just crank it up and not  before too long you will be wanting to break things!

The album wraps up with the brilliant piano Tyler driven  ballad Home Tonight. See Folk’s that’s how you do an album right. You slam the listener through the whole album and if you really have to keep the ballad til the last song. Aero was smart man. I really like how they  did it this way on 1975’s  Toys in the Attic and  1989’s  Pump release’s

Home Tonight I have to say is a great end of the album’s track that does fit in with all the classic chaos before it. Like the calm after the storm so to speak!

Rock’s Off…

Simply put this is one of my favourite albums ever! Period! Aero is blasted, higher than kites yet they all pull together and release a brilliant album from start to finish. It’s so good! A band on a creative juggernaut that wasn’t about to slow down any time soon!

Long Live the 70’s Man!

 

 

Motley Crue: The Dirt Movie-Netflix

 

So Motley Crue is going straight to the steaming service Netflix next month (March 22nd) to unleash the much-anticipated film based upon their successful book  titled The Dirt which tells the tale of  all the shenanigans of Motley Crue over the past 3 Decades!

Just a few short days ago Motley released the trailer for the movie. I watched the trailer and was kinda amused as in some clips Mick Mars was always the Old Geezer in the band looks like the Youngest Guy  in the band! How are they going to address the Corabi years will be interesting for me as John‘s contributions have always been wiped from the Crue History books which is unfortunate.

Having said that…

What I look forward to is seeing the track listing of the  soundtrack with the 4 new crushing songs that the Crue recorded for The Dirt Soundtrack. “Crushing” is the word Nikki Sixx has described the new songs. Then of course one song features Machine Gun Kelly (who portrays Tommy Lee in the film) doing some rapping or something that makes  the fanbase freak out about  that possibility!

I dunno this may be a total Train wreck of a film that the Crue may actually  pull off cause as we all know in life people love Train wrecks and that goes hand in hand with these guys!

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