Tag Archives: 2017 Albums

Iron Maiden: ‘The Book Of Souls:Live Chapter(2017)

So today at work on my coffee break as I was scrolling my timeline on FaceCrack out of nowhere comes direct from Iron Maiden HQ’s the news that Maiden is releasing a live album to coincide with the recently finished Book Of Souls tour.  Here comes the live album!

Whut???

That was my first reaction. My second reaction was to show my pal at work Deaner the Maiden posting as well!  This came out of nowhere and what a pleasant surprise as the studio album and tour were stellar!

November 17th 2017 is when this bad boy drops and I CAN’T WAIT!

The packaging looks spectacular! Check out the pics below! 

Must also mention that Maiden is going to stream the Concert Video of this album for free at a date to be determined.

The full show recorded at various points round the globe!

The track listing is as follows!

01. If Eternity Should Fail – Sydney, Australia
02. Speed Of Light – Cape Town, South Africa
03. Wrathchild – Dublin, Ireland
04.
Children Of The Damned – Montreal, Canada
05. Death Or Glory – Wroclaw, Poland
06. The Red And The Black – Tokyo, Japan
07. The Trooper – San Salvador, El Salvador
08. Powerslave – Trieste, Italy
09. The Great Unknown – Newcastle, UK
10. The Book Of Souls – Donington, UK
11. Fear Of The Dark – Fortaleza, Brazil
12. Iron Maiden – Buenos Aires, Argentina
13. Number Of The Beast – Wacken, Germany
14. Blood Brothers – Donington, UK
15. Wasted Years – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Posted the live version of Speed Of Light at the top of the page that Maiden dropped today as the lead single from Live Chapter!

Maiden to this day still know how to do it right!

Up The Irons!

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Alter Bridge/Live At The O2 Arena + Rarities(2017)

A week or so ago  I was stoked to hear a couple of tracks from this forthcoming live album from Alter Bridge (pre ordered this on iTunes) that I  hyped its release by a day(September 7th) with a quick little post but with this album being on heavy rotation in my world for a week  since its release back on September 8th. It’s time for the review of Live At The O2 Arena.

Myles Kennedy/Mark Tremonti/Brian Marshall/Scott Phillips have put out the ‘Contender’ for 2017  Album of the year in my book!

Hey, why not! AB’s 2016 effort The Last Hero came in at Number 3 for fav albums of the year and as with every AB release it gets better!

This album is a pure brilliant release on how a band in this day and age in the year of 2017 should record and release a live album!

Writing On The Wall starts the show off with its twirling like power riffs and Kennedy as he does on all AB tracks delivers the goods vocally!

Love the production on this album. Not any real polish, no tweaking  and sounds live!

The other 18 live tracks are spread throughout AB’s 5 album career especially songs from The Last Hero being featured with Blistering versions of Crows On A Wire/Show Me A Leader/My Champion amongst others.

AB’s strength is in the writing of Tremonti/Kennedy who can write super heavy rock riffs during the course of a song yet still find that melodic bit during a chorus which Is what I would think you could say would be “Hook”. Tunes like Ties That Bind/Open Your Eyes/Isolation fit this format to a T!

Basically a ‘Hook’ followed by a swift boot in the ass musically speaking that is!

The live guitars of Mark and Myles are mixed brilliantly on this release! Myles guitar is on the left side/Mark’s is on the right and these guys are wicked players. Sure and justifiably so everyone goes on about Tremonti and how good he  is! Ah yeah, just check out the track Metalingus as Mark plays like a man possessed!

But…

Myles holds his own on the 6 string something that no one ever writes about which is just goofy! Yeah we all know the cat can sing but  Myles rips about a good 40% of AB solo’s on this release and I will say that opening solo on Show Me A Leader is absolutely sick! So good!

That’s the beauty of this band. A solid one two punch in the six string department. On one side you have Tremonti laying down Metallica like riffs whereas on the other side you got Kennedy playing old school power chord riffs! Best of both worlds!

Marshall and Phillips are exceptional on their instruments as well (Bass and Drums respectively) Phillips lays down a ton of cool drumming at times! Want double Bass? Want a ton of cymbal smashing? Yeah it’s all here…

19 live tracks and don’t think its just one big metal assault! No way Jose. Myles does an acoustic only song Watch Over You  while Mark takes over the lead vocal on the prog rock like Waters Rising.

How about an additional 11 studio tracks that make up the Rarities portion of the album. 2 of the tracks (Cruel Son and Solace) are two unreleased songs from AB’s debut One Day Remains back in 2004!  I’m not one to hunt down bonus studio tracks etc so to get them all included in this package is a total score for me!

This is a total must own if your into heavy rock with a singer who can  deliver it live…..

Alter Bridge/Live At The O2 Arena + Rarities(2017)

 

Tomorrow (Friday Sept 8th ) drops the new Alter Bridge triple CD album! (19 Live Songs and 11 Studio tracks)

Too say I’m not stoked would be the understatement of the decade. Alter Bridge has always put out quality product with all 5 of their studio albums, Each one has gotten better  than the previous one and if you recall  AB’s last studio  effort 2016’s The Last Hero was my third fav studio album of the year. Show Me A Leader off that album just flat-out smokes and mention must be made about the guitar duo of Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy who play at times cool classic rock riffs while colliding   with heavier riffs of Metal. The fact that Myles has one of the best rock voices out there also totally helps as well at getting AB’s point across!

Give em some props! Drummer Scott Phillips and Bassist Brian Marshall keep everyone in check while harnessing all that guitar action that’s going on around them.

This album was recorded over in England at the O2 Arena and by all accounts was the biggest show of their career.

Dig the fact that the Rarities  studio portion has tracks that have appeared on soundtracks or deluxe editions but as well there are 2 unreleased songs from 2004! In other words I have none of these tracks on the Rarities set! That’s gonna change!

Get This…..

I am!

Alice Cooper/Paranormal(2017)

Here’s a conversation I had with Alice Cooper the other day..

Deke- ‘Hello Alice!”

Alice- ‘Deke! Is that actually you returning all these years later to finally buy a new release of mine?”

Deke-“Sure Is!”

Alice-“Hey Stoopid!”

Deke- “WHUT?”

As you can see I never actually had a conversation or met the man.

Believe it or not Alice’s 1991 release Hey Stoopid was the last actual Coop album I had bought as upon its release  I had my brother both pick us copies of this album….

Hey Stoopid had some good stuff especially the title track and Feed My Frankenstein but as is the case sometimes I just stopped buying his stuff.

Until….

July 28th 2017! Crazy how time flies huh? Yep read some good things about this album  and once I had seen a deluxe edition available I took the plunge on the preorder from iTunes.

This album peaked my curiosity on numerous levels. One being Alice has the great Bob Ezrin on board producing.

Coop has brought back some of his old hombres from the Alice Cooper Band from the 70’s(Dennis Dunaway/Neil Smith/Micheal Bruce/Steve Hunter) on two tracks Genuine American Girl  and You And All of Your Friends.

Alice had Deep Purple’s Roger Glover and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons drop by for a couple of guest appearances as well!

As well Coop with his current band has added 6 old school Alice Classics recorded live in Columbus (May 2016) for inclusion as well to make this indeed a total deluxe !

The biggest one(for me ) has to be that Alice has shaken things up as well as  he has enlisted of all dudes Larry Mullen Jr from U2 to slam down some drums on 9 of the 12 studio tracks. Awesome to hear Mullen Jr get out from the safe confines of U2 and smash around on the kit!

Paranormal leads the album off with a real cool catchy riff and this track features the co write and Bass playing of Roger Glover! First songs usually set the tone of an album and this one features just that. Love Cooper’s voice as he may not be the best rock singer but with this kind of music it fits his creepy like persona. Slick move at the end of the song to go back to the “well” with that opening catchy riff!

The next few tracks Deadflies and Fireball keep the Coop clipping at a decent clip. Ha! Still can’t believe Mullen Jr has these kind of drum chops in him. Unleash the beast behind the kit. Break free from those shackles that Bono has had around your ankles for decades! Atta boy Larry drum man drum!

Paranoiac Personality features a real cool like drums and bass stomp with Alice sneering and snarling like only he can do. Real cool rhythm throughout and man did someone sample that crazy ‘Psycho” sound bite?

Billy Gibbons like do I really have to tell you what band he is from? Anyhoo he and Alice collaborate on the song Fallen In Love which is a total ZZ and Alice mashup featuring Gibbons laying down that dirty guitar tone like only the Reverend can do! Great solo and can you dig it…Mullen Jr and Gibbons on the same song together?

Dynamite Road has to be an autobiographical lyrical tune  that has that Charles Daniels “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” vibe to it except its played through a Marshall Amp cranked up to 10!

Another real cool groove on Private Public Breakdown which features more cool percussion with once again Alice leading the charge with the guitars sounding heavy at a slower clip than Dynamite Road but still a good swift kick in the ass …

Ahh Horns! Coop incorporates some real cool  Brass in Holy Water. Basically Holy Water is like if one of Coops Boa’s put the choke on a Huey Lewis  tune and squeezed the devil out of Huey! Nice shuffle like vibe!

Rats a typical like Alice tune. Straight ahead Alice rocker. Kind quirky  but you gotta expect this stuff from the man known as Coop! Slick hard rock solo.

The Sound of A. Kinda a creepy send off from Alice. Bizarre like creepy vibe but this is Coopville!

So Alice gets the original mid 70’s Cooper band back together. Genuine American Girl  has that 70’s like Cooper throwback sound. Nice to see Coop reunite with these guys!

The second track featuring the original Coop band is You And All Your Friends has Alice singing he’s going to burn down your city! More throwback like vibes on this tune. Real cool wicked slide guitar solo from Steve Hunter. 

This album totally surprised me at how good it is! Alice steps up and give all involved full props! This album has gotten a ton of press and is selling and charting high around the world as well!

Cool how Alice has a current rock sound on the first 10 tracks whereas when the original Coop band play on the last two tracks it sounds like a 70’s throwback!

Buy This!

 

Europe/The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary Show.(2017)

30 years ago already? Whut? EUROPE unleashed the mega selling The Final Countdown back in 1986 and it’s kinda funny as if we were to talk about my listening curve with Europe back in 1986.

The Final Countdown had some great rock tracks like Cherokee/Danger On The Track and Rock The Night.

Course the song The Final Countdown song and video was played to death (will say that Europe Guitarist John Norum plays a great solo on the track)  as was the ballad Carrie(no comment) but things kinda went south for me when Lead Singer Joey Tempest sang into a Heinz Ketchup bottle on the Rock The Night video( I posted a story about Joesph and The Ketchup Bottle)…

So Europe basically that year 1986-87 flatlined for me. Even when Europe released in 1988 Out of This World it didn’t do it for me(my brother Todd bought Out of This World on cassette tape) even after hearing it. Superstitious was a great track still though….

Than EUROPE closed up shop and then in the year 2000 EUROPE reforms with the same 5 guys and they still continue on to this day which is remarkable as they look  and sound in decent shape. Case in point check the vid below with a recent tune from 2015’s excellent War of Kings album called Nothing To YouKiller track with Norum soloing like a lunatic on  guitar! Norum is an underrated guitarist the guy is a genius on the 6 string….

The first part of this show is the full War of Kings album played in its entirety. A great slick move as Joey and the boys are like keeping it fresh and current and just not relying on some huge nostalgia only rock act….

So here comes in 2017  the actual  release of the Final Countdown show recorded last year and it features a ton of tunes. On the first disc as i mentioned EUROPE plays a bunch of new stuff from the War of Kings release. These new tunes stand up well.

Remember earlier on I was talking about my listening curve with EUROPE?!

Let’s put it this way Joey and the boys have blended on there last few releases  the sonics of Deep Purple and UFO into their music and have become a great straight ahead hard rock act that know the role of the keyboards just as UFO did in their heyday.

Funny how time changes one’s mind in this case whereas I have no problem listening to EUROPE now especially with the recorded output they have recently put out in the last few years.

I cannot say the same about Bon Jovi currently and even UFO for that matter. Now don’t get me wrong folk’s what I mean is when I do listen to UFO or Jovi it’s a certain era. UFO its everything from the brilliant Strangers In The Night to Making Contact. For Bon Jovi it would be Slippery thru to Keep The Faith. Basically anything these bands have put out since than I really couldn’t care less about…

EUROPE on the other hand its a role reversal with Jovi and UFO…

Europe has ramped up there sound/mixed things up sonically(hiring Rival Sons producer Dave Cobb was a brilliant move) and have made it interesting to say the least! Speaking of which EUROPE has a new album coming out this October titled Walk On The Earth. Friggin rights I’m getting it….

I can listen to Europe in 2017  whereas  in 1987 I had issues with them! Haha..

Better late than never!

 

Styx/The Mission(2017)

 

Yeah I have dabbled with Styx and their music in the past. First album I ever bought of there’s was Cornerstone(1979) after hearing how good 1978’s Piece’s of Eight was.

Paradise Theatre when it came out in 1981 I skipped as I was absorbed that year musically with Van Halen discovering Iron Maiden/Def Leppard. 

I found Styx to be on the safe side of rock. I wanted Loud Guitar Rock and Styx kinda wasn’t doing it for me. Nothing personal Styx just not my deal…

1983 rolls around and Mr Roboto from the Kilroy Was Here concept album was released and left a lot of people scratching their noggin’s. I just laughed at Mr Roboto?? Whut? I was more interested in Judas Priest singing tunes about Hot Rockin than some Roboto dude!

Once again I  passed on Styx….

Forward 16 years later to 1999 and CanCon Legend Lawrence Gowan joins Styx and now I’m intrigued to say the least. Gowan we all know replaced original Keys/Singer Dennis DeYoung over some dude drama with Tommy Shaw and James Young. In other words Dennis got DeBoot!

With Gowan onboard I picked up a few of their live releases StyxWorld being one( check out the scorching live  Half Penny Two Penny from StyxWorld!) and Styx was a different beast with Larry on the keys. They kinda rocked it back up again….

So here we are in 2017 and back in May Styx dropped a new single titled Gone Gone Gone and Styx is ramped up on this track and I watched the video as Gowan does the honour of the lead vocal and Styx have released a solid debut single.  Gone Gone Gone features some wicked ass prog drumming courtesy of Todd Sucherman who plays and slays at a double bass drum clip! Nice loud jam out between JY and Tommy guitars as well.

Hey great to see Tbone’s Homeboy from Bad English bassist Ricky Phillips laying down some serious bass riffing on this track as well!

Top Notch….

So did I buy The Mission?

Nope …not yet until…..

Mikey Ladano reviewed it a week ago and for those of you that don’t follow Mikey’s blog what are you waiting for?

Anyhoo Mike rates all his albums out of 5. Styx The Mission got 5 stars…Mike does not toss around 5/5’s without merit!

I commented on Mike’s review with a “Damn you Mikey now I gotta go to iTunes and buy it!”

I did and man oh man…What a Brilliant album these cats have put out. Lemme tells ya all why!

The Mission is a concept album! All 42 minutes of it(smart move by keeping it a neat and tidy like Concept album it’s  short to hold my attention span !) telling the story of a mission to mars in the year 2033. The concept was Tommy Shaw’s idea along with producer Will Evankovich.

This album reeks of a late 70’s early 80’s vibe as the album was recorded on analog  and man when you listen to the sonics this album is produced brilliantly. Total old school sound but with an updated Styx sound if that makes any sense!

If you’re keeping score there are no Babe like tracks!

Time to Slingshot To Outerspace!

Overture begins and it’s a musical little snippet a quick little opener of just over a minute before the Styxians launch a sonic attack on the track Gone Gone Gone! Posted a live clip shot by someone to show you that Styx in 2017 is meaning some serious musical muscle!

From there Styx delves right into one of the best tracks on this album Hundred Million Miles From Home.  Great 70’s like guitar vibe to open the song. Tommy sings the lead vocal on this track and its so good! Awesome good use of percussion on this track with a great cool bass riff from original Styx Bass Man Chuck Pananzo making an appearance. This song is just so good! Great all catchy syrup like chorus that is oh so good! Basically one that will get stuck in your head all day! That my dear readers is not a bad thing! Crank the tune below!

JY Young sings lead on the third track and Yup thats three songs in a row with a different lead singer! Trouble At The Big Show which has a nice slick jam riff to open the track as well. You have to love the chorus’ on these tunes as they are so damn catchy! Seriously only three songs in and this album is a sure-fire winner!

Locomotive has a different like rock vibe to it as Tommy sings this tune and features a ton of real cool snap tight acoustic mixed with electric guitars mashed up with Todd’s splendid drumming.

Radio Silence is Styx heading into the unknown  with no Radio Silence around for miles. No communication whatsoever  and this mid tempo rocker has a real slick power riff at the halfway point and Gowan nails that Hammond organ sound to a Friggin T!!!

Gowan takes the lead vocal  along with Tommy on The Greater Good which is balladish like driven with Larry’s piano and thanks to Todd drums yet again that steer this tune clear of mushville!

Time May Bend is another Gowan rocker especially when the chorus hits. ‘Shine Shine Shine On Me” nails Gowan into the mic and features some real slick 70’s synth like psychosness. Now we all know I’m not a huge piano guy but I’m always up for a good dose of Keyboard hooliganism now and then!

Red Storm more slick pic work along with some mandolin mashed up with the usual characters of drums/keys and bass. Great track that us all wondering when the Red Storm is coming in.

All Systems Stable …..quick little intro static like to launch into

Khedive which has Gowan plucking those keys with a Group like vocal and Wowzer’s did someone in the Styx camp inner channel there Brian May guitar  riff a roo synched with the piano. This tune reminds me of Queen,

The Outpost. Big time Styx driven song which picks up the pace with Gowan driving the tune with this vocal and this is another one that when you listen to on the headphones has 70’s written and played all over it! Great chorus! But that should not surprise you by now!

Here’s the conclusion with the song called simply enough Mission To Mars.  A late night prog night delight featuring some slick like drumming and big time lead vocals. Great sendoff …

Well what can I say?! STYX have totally blown me away with this album. Here we are in August 2017 and both Styx and Cheap Trick have released super-duper albums that have exceeded my own expectations! The crazy thing is that both these bands released their current albums (Styx with The Mission and Cheap Trick with We’re All Allright) on the same day this past June 16th!

Styx dig out and pull all the stops on this album. It’s unbelievable how good this concept piece is. Styx as I had mentioned keep it short and simple and wrap up this concept album without the fear of running it into the ground! The song structure with the interludes at times add to the whole trip Styx deal to Mars! (almost sounds like these used actual NASA radio communications a couple of times)

The Songs are all solid and Styx with their lavish harmonies totally step up on all the choruses on all the songs on this album!

I know a lot of people want Dennis back. Fair enough if you’re the hardcore fan but really for myself I’m fine with Gowan doing the Styx thing and I think Tommy and JY would agree with me…

It’s ok to revisit the past sonically with an updated sound but don’t go down DeYoung drive as you fella’s have a good thing going here…

Straight Forward No Looking Back….

Your mission that you should  choose to accept is….. Buy this!

 

Cheap Trick/We’re All Alright(2017)

 

A few months back I had a great conversation with Scott (HMO) about all things Cheap Trick. We discussed at great length our fav albums of Cheap Trick(basically the whole 70’s output) and the not so good stuff (basically the whole 80’s output except for the very underrated 1982 album One On One) and the soon to be released We’re All Alright (which has been out since June 16th)

Scott said he was going to wait this one out before taking the plunge as Scott did indeed take the plunge on Tricks studio release from last year Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello. Let’s just say Scott was a tad little disappointed to say the least and I will leave it at that! Bug Scott if you want more info….

I almost joined Scott’s line of thinking. A few weeks back I was in our local record store “Sunrise Records” and I actually held the physical copy of the disc  in hand. I hemmed/hawed/more hem/more haw and then put it  in my pocket and walked out! HAHAHA….no I did not lift it I put it back in the Cheap Trick section and walked out. I could not pull the trigger purchase on it…..

Jon from Sweden posted a quick little blurb on Facecrack that he was loving the new CT album. I sent Jon a message saying “really?” Jon said it was a great album…

Than….another fella named….

John over at his fantastic written Blog 2loud2oldmusic site reviewed We’re All Alright and John loved it…Check it out for yourselves… Click the link below folks’

Cheap Trick – ‘We’re All Alright!’ – Album Review

John’s review sold me on it so off to iTunes and I downloaded the deluxe edition and as an added bonus the Trick included the digital booklet!

Upon first listen I was hooked! It’s an amazing album and it’s as CT dug back to their roots and decided to rock it out and if were keeping score this is my first new studio Trick purchase since the brilliant 1997 self titled release! 20 years it has been….

Robin Zander/Tom Pettersson/Rick Nielsen and Daxx Nielsen need to be saluted here for all intents and purposes may have in my mind made the best Rock album of 2017!

Right out of the gate Trick fires on all four cylinders on the song You Got It Going On. Zander still has one of the best sets of pipes in the biz. Listening to his voice you wouldn’t know it was 1977/1987/1997/2007 or 2017! 40 years man! What a vocal run. Rick Neilsen looking today more like a creepy old Uncle than the Geeky College nerd of 1977 still has a ton of classic riff’s up his sleeve!

First single Long Time Runnin is a great track. Straight forward hard rock done Trick style! Cool lyrics and of course a real good lead vocal by Zander. Must also mention about the production by Julian Raymond as he has produced this album brilliantly. Not too much polish on this album yet still keeping it  a little rough around the edges.

The next two tracks Nowhere and Radio Lover ( Radio Lover was a demo from 97)are brilliant tracks and man I just love Tom’s 12 String Hamer Bass and Daxx’s drum  workout’s  on these tracks. Nowhere and Radio Lover could have easily fit right  on the debut Trick album back in 76! Basically a pissed of Trick dumped into a blender with some punky attitude rock.

Brand New Name on a Old Tattoo has Robin wailing like it’s Auf Wiedersehen time. Can’t believe Zander is still rocking the throat like this in 2017.  This is another hard rock track. Love the groove.

Basically let’s put it this way. 5 tracks in so far! 5 Brilliant well written Hard Rock Nuggets!

Oh oh here it comes….The ballad……oh man ….wait for it! Floating Down is ballad like for about a minute and then shift gears to a tempo that I’m comfy with! That’s thanks to Daxx on the drums. The Flame from 1988 has been extinguished!

She’s Alright has the band picking up the pace with some  roots like rock action. Love the opening bass and drum groove to start the tune. Cool laid back musical  vibe with a cool laid back vocal vibe.

Listen To Me is another throwback 70’s workout and Tom and Rick lock horns and stomp all over the verse’s while Robin just flat-out takes over which will come as no surprise!

The Rest of My Life ends the regular album with a mid tempo like tune. Another sure-fire winner with a real sweet Trick like chorus!

The Deluxe Version features three more tracks…!

Trick does a cover of The Move’s song BlackBerry Way with Cheap Trick’s gives it a Beatle’s like stamp. No lagging on the bonus tracks even with a cover included! Like the all the swirling like action going on in the background.

The Fly gets things back to rock with  some Rick feed backing off of his amp. The Fly is a great hard rock tune with Tom playing a bunch of solid bass licks under the drums and guitar.

Everyone is saying that the final track If You Still Want My Love is the followup up 1982’s If You Want My Love. Perhaps but like the 82 classic this 2017 song is a great track. If I had it my way I would have ended this album with The Fly as I always like to go out Rockin but still since the Tricks did a solid album I can forgive em for this . Bottom line is a great track is a great track and this is well….you get the picture!

Well what can I tell ya!?  Cheap Trick have dug deep into there 1970’s vibe and in the year of 2017 have totally blown me out of the water on how good of an album this is. You know my deal with these guys through this blog. Loved all that 70’s into the early 80’s output than their collective wheels came off on the various 80’s albums(The Doctor/Lap of Luxury/Busted/Woke Up With A Monster) yet I still purchased their output as Cheap Trick was one of those earliest bands that I had discovered on my own!

I must also mention that in all the rocked up glory on this album I like how Trick uses some strings throughout the album(the track Nowhere being one). For myself these kinds of things remind me of way Trick did things back on the classic Dream Police.

Hell,even the front and back covers look throwback.

So good to see these guys ramp it up with a 13 song album that flies by with one catchy hook after another…

A Must Own!