Snowman rules when he posts all his findings in one month. So this morning when I saw John’s post I thought, “Well maybe todays the day I nick John’s idea and run with it, for this month anyway!”
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.
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!
1981 was a real interesting year in my world of music! Beginning in January 81 I had gone to a local record shop to pick up John Lennons “Double Fantasy” album as the whole world was still shocked after Lennon was assassinated in December 1980!
My intentions were all about getting the Lennon album until I walked into out local Sam The Record Man and seen on the racks these four long-haired guys calling themselves Van Halen that had them posing on the front cover. That album was Woman & Childern First and to this day it for me is perhaps the album that most impacted me. All Nine 9 songs on WACF are stellar. I had never heard guitar sound or played like that! I had never heard a singer think he is Tarzan yodeling away at the beginning of Track 2(Everybody Wants Some!) The Drums and Bass on the album sound like a runaway locomotive about to come off the tracks. The band is on who knows what chemically but whatever keep the party rolling and by golly David Lee Roth/Eddie Van Halen/Alex Van Halen/Micheal Anthony did just that!
Just 3 short months later VH’s Fair Warning came out and was a real score for me as well! Here’s my favourite new band that I just discovered and another new album? Ed Van Halen by this time solidifies his greatness in my world making him to this day still my numero uno fav-o 6 stringer!
Can Con started to make a dent in my listening habits as well as Triumph put out the super cool Allied Forces. Triumph were a Canadian 3 piece that featured two lead singers and a freaky dude on Bass! Triumph meant business back in 81. I mean it was about Allied Forces and Rock Troops. Magic Power/Fight The Good Fight and real classic wallop to the head opening track Fool For Your Love. Man Triumph were a lean mean fighting machine back than…
Judas Priest put out for what myself and Tbone could easily call our favourite Priest album and that would be Point of Entry, Love the sonic’s of this album with just straightforward Rock tracks like Heading Out To The Highway/Desert Plains and the very brilliant very underrated Turning Circles!
Rush made a double dent in my listening habits with both Moving Pictures and Exit Stage Left! My first foray into the term Prog Rock! Seriously these guys are singing about Honey Dew/Hash and Trees? Course Rush played at a level that was seriously sick I mean who the fuck plays drums like that? Neil Peart does Bitches that’s who!
Another huge game changer was Iron Maiden ‘Killers’. Maiden opened Killers with a musical only number Ides of March that segued way into Wrathchild and I had never heard Metal like this! It was brilliant as the guitars of Davey Murray/Adrian Smith just wailed like no one’s business and what the hell the Bass Player writes all the tunes?? Steve Harris was and is still the deal! Paul Di’anno had a great set of pipes back than and I think took it for granted his situation in Maiden that cost him his spot…
Those ol Horndogs AC/DC released For Those About To Rock(We Salute You) and Tbone was the first one to get this album. We stared at that gatefold pic of the live shot for hours while we listened to Brian Johnson once again sing about the birds and bee’s! We all bought into the program folks and so did you!
Whitesnake with the live Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City was my first time dabbling with a Snake album. Whitesnake circa 1981 featured three ex members of Deep Purple laying down that old school Hammond B3 old blues rock vibe 6 years before that Crazy Bird slid all over the hood of the Cov’s Jaguar in those Snake Vid’s!
Aerosmith Live Bootleg made such a huge impact on my listening habits in that it was the first live album I had ever heard where the band sounded blasted and in another zone yet what was in the grooves was so good/so classic/so stoned!
Last not least as KISS release The Elder which has KISS wanting to write a concept record! Fair enough but when your 14 and you have heavy hitters like Maiden/Priest/VH/Rush/Triumph putting out hard hitting slabs of rock! Why the F**k am I hearing a flute on a KISS album?
What is Deke’s going on about now you ask?! Well the title say’s it all!
2:22 to 5:31 is time it take’s Neil Peart to demolish his Red Tama Double Bass Drum Kit During his solo that is all brilliantly captured sonically on the Classic Double Live Exit Stage Left from 1981.
The tune is the Musical Only YYZ.
I don’t need to go on about how great the other two Fella’s from Rush are and that’s Vocalist/Bassist Geddy Lee and Guitarist Alex Lifeson.
Together they mash up up a jam. Call it YYZ where each guy can play snippets of brilliance on there instrument but for me hands down it’s Peart who goes to town on this one…
Some background History I would like to share with ya’s…
I was raised in Rock with Solo’s as in Guitar Solo’s and Drum Solo’s. The first two Rock Guy’s that I had heard on vinyl that had solo’s were No Stangers to this Blog and that’s Ace Frehley and Peter Criss From KISS. Back in 1979 when I caught KISS live this would also be the first show that I had seen and the solo’s Ace with his smoking guitar and his mish mash playing of notes and Peter with his Drums rising high into the rafters had an impact on me. It was like Wowzer’s these guys are God’s. Well kinda….
A few years later I heard Eddie Van Halen’s Eruption which to this day I think is the best guitar solo live or in studio I have ever heard. Sorry Ace!
The first KISS album I owned was KISS Alive 2 which I got back in 1978. Smack dab on Side 2 of KISS Alive 2 was Ace playing a bunch of wacka doodle notes during his solo on his own tune Shock Me.
Peter Criss was interesting. On Side 3 of KISS ALIVE 2 is Peter slamming his Drums on God Of Thunder. Criss I thought at the time was the best drummer I had heard. I mean the opening of his Drum solo as simple as it is still sticks in mind 38 years later….
Case in Point….
Years later back in January of 1991 as Myself/Tbone/Rugg and Oink’s were headed on a Party Bus to Winnipeg to witness Poison put on a Half Assed Live show one dude on the Bus that we knew as Brighton even talked about the Criss drum solo from Alive 2 which garnered a good discussion about solo’s! In case your wondering why we called the dude Brighton. It was simple he was wearing a Brighton Rock T shirt. (Canadian Band). See Aaron we got nickname’s for everyone!
But back to the early 80’s and as everyone know’s KISS is struggling. Criss is tossed from his drum stool and here comes Neil a blazing and when I heard the live YYZ for the first time I was like…..
Now you have to remember it would be a few years later that I would discover Led Zeppelin and the Late John Bonham who is also Master of the Drums. But by than Zep was finished and I was digging into Bands that were still out there at the time doing it.
YYZ I could go on about it but I’m no Drummer so basically play YYZ or just start it at the 2:22 mark….. That part that Neil does with his cowbells is just ridiculous! Like …WHUT?
How can this dude play at this level that quick during all those Kooky Time Changes that Rush song’s have and still have enough Sauce left in his tank to bash out a Drum Solo?
Who know’s but Neil does. He is indeed The Professor! Come tot think of it I can listen to all of Neil’s Drum Solo’s on the various Rush Live Release’s through the years but man YYZ on Exit is just a Sonic Explosion….!
The Greatest Drum Solo I have ever heard or will hear for that matter!
Summer of 81 and it was Rush Rush Rush Rush. Moving Pictures was selling like Hotcakes and Tbone was the first to jump on the Prog Train by purchasing this album before Moi ! Wowzer’s,as our first introduction to Rush our minds were blown!
Like other huge Rock albums that came out around the time of the early 80s(AC/DC’s Back In Black being the biggest) what could I possibly add to a review that many have already read?
Um….Nothing! Haha! What I will try to explain is how this album impacted a couple of young Thunder Bay Hooligans and became an instant classic! Tbone has Moving Pictures securely set in his all time Top 20 whereas I have Rush’s followup Signals(1982) which just beats out Moving Pictures by a smidge in my Top 20!
Geddy Lee – lead vocals, bass guitar, bass pedals, Minimoog, Oberheim polyphonic synthesizer, OB-X, Moog Taurus
Alex Lifeson – electric and acoustic six- and twelve-string guitar, Moog Taurus
Neil Peart – drums, timbales, gong, bells, glockenspiel, wind chimes, bell tree, crotales, cowbell, plywood
Look at that resume of what 3 Dudes can pull off! Interesting to note that Peart is so good he plays Plywood??! Would not put it by the Professor!
The production of Moving Pictures (Courtesy of Terry Brown) is awesome! Terry does an excellent job at keeping all 3 instruments in check with the guitar/drums/ bass never being buried by the Keyboards! The sound of the album gives off a Warm vibe but with a Fist to the Gut when need be!
Or should I say The Classic’s!
No. Title Length
1. “Tom Sawyer” (Lyrics: Peart and Pye Dubois) 4:34
2. “Red Barchetta” 6:10
3. “YYZ” (Lee, Peart; Instrumental) 4:26
4. “Limelight” 4:20
No. Title Length
5. “The Camera Eye
I: New York
II: London” 11:01
6. “Witch Hunt” (Part III of “Fear”) 4:46
7. “Vital Signs” 4:46
What can you say about Side 1 that already hasn’t been said?! These first 4 tracks were prominently featured on the live Exit Stage Left album that came out later in 1981! What a fantastic way to become an Rush Fan back in the Summer of 81! We first get our 14-year-old noggins wrapped around this new Sonic Sounds Of Rock than shortly a few months later comes the Double Live Exit Stage album! What a great couple of months to be a Rush Newbie!
First time hearing Tom Sawyer just boggled my mind! I had never heard and I’m sure I can speak for Tbone as well that up to that point we didn’t know what Prog Rock was. I’m sure for the diehard Prog enthusiast out in Blogsville there are more Proggy Rock Acts going but for us Moving Pictures was a whole new Ball Game!
Peart lays down the beat and who has not air drummed to that part of Tom Sawyer after Lifesons solo? We all have and when we(Tbone) caught Rush for the first time live in 2002 I seen with my own eyes 14,000 people airband Peart. That’s saying something! Sawyer sets the pace for the rest of the album.
Love the geetar picking of Alex at the beginning of Red Barchetta until the pace of the tune ramps up especially during the chorus and Lifeson once again lifts this track off the ground with that solo! Also must mention Geddy’s riffing on the Bass at the tail end of the tune. He’s a Beast on the 4 Stringer!
YYZ is the instrumental so each guy shows off their musical muscle during the 4 plus minute of Sonic Prog Furry! Tempo changes galore rage supreme during YYZ!
Limelight ends Side 1 with another Classic! Speaking of Air-banding. How about the opening riff of this tune? Instant Gem! I will go on record as saying that the guitar solo on this tune is one of my all time fav’s. Love how the song just breaks down and Alex takes over while Geddy and Neil layoff of the gas pedal for a second while Alex dips and dives during the solo until the boys pick up steam to end Side 1.
Side 2 is where things get real interesting!
Camera Eye is one of the best Rush Tracks ever! Basically this is my first foray into Prog! I had never ever heard a tune like this before as it’s a long way from KISS’s Ladies Room. Love that funky wavy synth sweeping around the track and of course Neil once the drums kick in and lays down the pace i’m hooked! Crazy time changes and Lifeson just laying down the law sonically with his 6 string just encompasses all good things Rush! At 11 minutes this at the time was the longest song I had ever heard before and basically good on Rush for holding my attention span! I posted the video for Camera Eye as I don’t expect you to listen to the whole 11 minute track( you should though!) but cue up the track at the 5 minute 50 second mark and at exactly the 6 minute mark this just proves Rush’s pure brilliance as the band is going one way and then Neil shifts gears and the song goes down another avenue! Everytime I hear this part of Camera Eye it gives me Goosebumps! How can dudes in there early to mid 20’s at the time come up with stuff like this?
Witch Hunt has to be the creepiest/darkest Rush tune ever as at the beginnings of the song you hear an Mob and well Folk’s were on a Witch Hunt! The Lyrics are dark the pace of the tune is darker. Neil’s lyrics are deep here basically about Society going down the Shitter! (well that’s how I hear it!)…You want pre Grungey 1981 Rush? Look no further than here friends!
Vital Signs has a real neat synth Cars/Devo like charm added with what sounds like Neil playing some electronic drums. Vital Signs triggers the end of Rush on Moving Pictures but Vital Signs also begins the sound that Rush would pursue on their next studio release (My all time fav Rush album) Signals. Just always to remember not to Deviate From The Norm!
Ged/Neil/Alex released a Classic with Moving Pictures! Once I dived into Rush’s 70’s music and 1980’s Permanent Waves album you could see Rush was moving forward!
Side 1 of Moving Pictures to me anyways is Rush going mainstream as we all know the first 4 tracks right? Even a non Rush fan knows Tom Sawyer!
Side 2 of Moving Pictures is Rush going little Prog to keep the 70’s faithful happy especially on the first two tracks but by the time Vital Signs rolls around its Rush saying this is our new direction. You with us??
Yes Dudes…..I’m with ya!
So a few weeks back I tossed out to some folks via FaceCrack to throw down what they would consider their favourite Top 20 Albums.
Some of my Peep’s got right into it( I thank you all who participated) and submitted their picks which I laid down a few rules being that you could not duplicate artists and not to include Live Albums!
Some people are just plain old Rule Breakers and one of them is Muc (I have known for close to 36 years! ) Ha! But I was glad he submitted his Top 20 and most of the stuff I have heard but there are a few submitted I had never heard!
With Muc’s Top 20 I thought I would talk about all his Top 20 albums with just one or two sentences explaining them to you all……(Muc’s Top 20 is pictured below)
Muc….grow back that Mullet Dude……
Lets Do This…
AC/DC’s “BACK IN BLACK’ – Yup with titles like Given The Dog A Bone,Shake A Leg and the greatest song ever written about Hookers(What You Do For Money Honey) we all learned life lessons from Jonno,Angus and the rest of the DC’ers!
RUSH’s “MOVING PICTURES”-What happens when you get three virtuosos(Lee/Lifeson and Peart) locked up at Le Studio in Quebec back in 1981? A bona fide all time great piece of Kinda Prog Rock that is relentless in the chops of the musicians and the songs just explode and after one spin of Moving Pictures we all became Air Drummers thanks to Mr Peart!
BLACK SABBATH’s ” HEAVEN AND HELL- 1980 ushers in Ronnie James Dio as the new Sabbath vocalist and Iommi/Butler and Ward shift gears and deliver a rock solid masterpiece! Neon Knights leads off the charge and if you want your Sabbath Sludged like how it was with Ozzy you came to the wrong house…..
JUDAS PRIEST’s “Unleashed In The East- What a rule breaker that Muc fellow is. Unleashed is live so I can forgive him as this is Priest on fire before they became Turbo Lovers. Unleashed is when Priest sang songs about Genocide and toss in a Green Manaleshi With The Two Pronged Crown while we’re at it!
THE KILLER’s ” SAM’S TOWN”-Don’t know too much about these guys but I will say that the tune When We Were Young is a great piece of written rock. Muc moves into the present time pretty much with this one…
KISS “ALIVE 2”- I will say that Kiss Alive 2( not counting the actual studio portion of it) is the second best Kiss studio album next to the first Kiss Alive album! Money Bags Simmons and Stanley along with Piss Tanks Criss and Frehley deliver a Sonic Juggernaut to our young minds back than and delivered of course the marketing with Alive 2 which included that real cool Live Pic in the gatefold along with booklet and washable Tatoo’s??
MATTHEW GOOD “White Light Rock N Roll Review”-Too be honest I only own a couple of Good albums but the guy still makes it to Tbay now and then to play and still puts out albums so Kudos to him for that!
PEARL JAM “10”-When I think of 1992 ,this album is at the top of that heap as it did lend a helping hand( along with Nirvana and others) to demolish Bret Michael’s into the foothills of his L.A Mansion crying into his Bandanna! Mr Vedder! I thank you for that!
THE CLASH “LONDON CALLING”- Even though Muc was full-out 100% Hard Rocker you can see that by some of his picks he could listen outside the musical box and give The Clash credit as they were one of the first bands I knew of to deliver a double studio album. Train In Vain is still a real good track…..
HONEYMOON SUITE “BIG PRIZE”- Surprised to see this one here! These guys were the deal here in Canada back in 1986 and thanks to the production of the late Bruce Fairbairn, Honeymoon delivered a blistering set of Rock Tracks that even featured Mike Ladano’s Homeboy Ian Anderson(Jethro Tull) playing some cranked up flute on All Along You Knew!
FOO FIGHTER”s “THE COLOUR AND SHAPE” – Dave Grohl before he became Mr Everywhere delivered a real good album and had a good knack(no pun,keep reading) for writing real cool big rock riffs that even an Old Geezer like me could relate too! Case in point,Monkey Wrench and Hey Johnny Park…
DEF LEPPARD “On Through The Night”- Yes! Classic Lepp and when Muc bought this back in 1981 I purchased at the same time Iron Maiden’s Killer’s! On Through The Night is Lepp going for the throat with nothing to lose and no signs of pouring any kind of sugar at all!
THE KNACK “Get The Knack”-Muc I think mentioned that this is his all time favourite album! Fair enough as it was jammed pack with simple rock and real catchy tunes and a song about Sharona!
CHEAP TRICK “DREAM POLICE”- This album landed in my Top 20 as well. It’s a Sonic Boom of Epic Proportions in song structure and string selection along with Rick Nielsen’s quirkiness with a singer in Robin Zander who could belt it out made this a win win..
FLEETWOOD MAC “RUMOURS”- How many copies did this sell? 20 mill and counting? Who knows but man I think Mick Fleetwood has the coolest Skullet ever! Well Kim Mitchell pre 1990 had a good Skullet as well….
THE TRAGICALLY HIP ” FULLY COMPLETELY”-You can’t really go wrong in my estimation with the first 4 Hip albums! This is a dud free album and man The Wherewithal is an absolute blast of genius!
IRON MAIDEN “PIECE OF MIND” –Atta Boy ! Maiden deliver a Bombastic Slab O Metal that just blew us all away! Dickinson soars vocally while the rest of the Maiden’s lay down the British Metal Law Musically! Epic comes to mind!
SEVEN MARY THREE “DIS/LOCATION- Can’t really comment here but if Muc says so ……well its his Top 20 ….
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN “BORN TO RUN”- I can see this one here as Muc always dug the Boss! The title track sez it all doesn’t it??
SEX PISTOLS “NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS”- Ha!Muc being different but fair enough.Amazing how much a game changer this was for many people yet it sold peanuts but every rock fan knows of its existence! Bizarre….
Well there you have it my friends!
Darr I have known for about as long as I have known Tbone and there’s a simple explanation for that and the answer would be that Darr is TBones younger brother( not by much though!)
Darr growing up got the knowledge of all good things Rock from myself and Tbone! Basically it worked like this. I would buy the product. Than pass it on to Tbone and from the inner sanctum of Tbones Basement Bedroom Darr would hear and be and be captivated by the Sonics Of Rock ….
Like what I did to Tbone I loaded up a syringe of Roth Era Van Halen and shot Darr up ! From there he gathered up all things Rock(1987-88 or so) and found his own path. Digging around buying stuff and I would occasionally check in to see his growing Cassette Collection growing by leaps and bounds. After a short while I knew my work with Darr was done!
So here we are almost 30 years later and when I posted my Top 20 Albums on Facebook Darr delivered and real Super Duper List like along with his old brother as like all good friends do to another I called them out publicly!
After Darr posted to my FaceCrack page his Top 20 and we bantered a bit I knew I had to yammer about his selections.
Time To Dissect…..See Darr’s Top 20 Below….
The Cult Electric and Guns N Destruction just like Tbones and my list made the cut! 1987 Babee……
Aerosmiths Pump(1989) makes an appearance and why wouldn’t it? Its SoberAero but it still reeks some sleaze ball like slickness that is a classic for sure and just like the Aero albums of Toys In The Attic and Rocks. Steve-o and Joe put the ballad right at the end of the album and I’m real fuckin good with this move! Not a dud on this album and as we had all seen this tour in Winnipeg(March 1990) that may have swayed Darr somewhat but make no bones about Pump! It’s a bonfide classic!
Like his older brother,Darr selected ZZ Tops Eliminator and this little Texas Nugget rocks bad ass! ZZ Nation is alive and well with the brothers in Tbay!
Heres something that Darr pulled out of the Rule box and was a pure genius move! He selected Two Van Halen Albums! Now the rules were you couldn’t pick two albums by the same band so Darr picked the Van Halen debut(1978) with Dave Roth singing and For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991)with Sammy Hagar singing. True its the same band in name but two different animals in the studio! Van Halens debut is the juggernaut of Guitar Brilliance and the Vocal Shenanigans of Roth while F.U.C.K is Sam fueled with his own spin on tunes like the immortal Poundcake,Right Now and how could we forget Spank! HA! Not to be outdone Darr even selected Dave’s Eat Em And Smile as a Top 20 ….Well Played Darr….
Whitesnake before that Crazy Cougar slid all over hoods of cars made Darr’s list with Slide It In!(1984) Great add Darr as the late great Cozy Powell slams those drums and you have John Sykes( playing chill before he’s let loose a few years later on the 1987 album) along with others like Jon Lord and David Coverdale singing about everything Sex,Sex and more Sex! Hey Sex sells so Slide It In!
AC/DC take Darr on the Highway To Hell(1979) and He’s not coming back folks! Night Prowler,Get It Hot are some Gems there that never get discussed and they should! I need to review that bad boy someday!
Bryan Adams with Into The Fire resonated with Darr and this is another great surprise! This album at the time when released in 1987 kinda stalled publicly as it wasn’t Reckless Part Deux! Adams served up a change ball to us and for Darr he took the pitch! Atta Boy! Hearts On Fire from this album is one of the best tunes I think Adams ever wrote!
Bono and U2 make the grade and you can read my thoughts on TBones post about Achtung Baby(1991).
But a real deadly pick was The Black Crowes with Shake Your Money Maker(1990) Holeee Fudge Darr! This is easily a piece of Rock Gold! Those two wacky Robinson Brothers nailed this one out of the park and into the next decade,make that two and half decades and the album still cooks! Thick N Thin I just love ..no we love it all!
Like on a few lists Def Leppard shows up and for Darr Its pyro rock n roll with Pyromania (1983). What can I say about a album launching sonics into another stratosphere ….Man Oh MAN……
Darr does not leave the Canadian Rock behind and picks Rushs debut from 1974 with John Rutsey on the drums and Darr must have taken a shine to the throwback sound of the debut. Why Not? This little debut cooks quicker than Tbone frying Finnish Pancakes in the morning after a hard nights Drinkin!
Tragically Hip show up 20 years later after Rushs debut with Day For A Night(1994) and compared to my fav of the Hip Road Apples Day For Night is darker more moodier than Apples kinda like as if the Hip were to take a sledgehammer to a bag of Apples! Day For Night would come to fruition! Mopey Hip but it works! Grace Too is a beauty of a opener!
‘Here I Am I’m On The Scene’ so says Gordie Johnson and Big Sugar are here with 1998s Heated a mash-up of ZZ Top and Bob Marley with a huge dose of fuzzed up reggae like tones! Even Randy Bachman plays on Let it Ride and old BTO nugget that Bachman wrote…Sweet add as well….
Rest In Peace! Cupids Dead! Yup that would be Three Sides To Every Story(Yours, Mine And The Truth) by Extreme and can you once again say Shock A Roo! Darr dug deep into his Sonic LunchBook and Wowzers Nuno and Gary would be pleased to see this! Pretty impressive that back in Grunge 92 these boys could toss out a solid rock record and still have it sell….somewhat!
Dazed And Confused a soundtrack that features amongst others a whose who of Classic Rock! Sabbath,Kiss,Foghat,Cooper,Sweet! There all here…..crank it,drink it,snort it whatever it may be! Added bonus points to Mr Darr for this being the first Soundtrack on any list I seen! A round of Kudos please!
Darrs last couple of picks that I’m gonna talk about are real cool one of which I’m familiar with and one I’m not with…
Jack Whites Lazaretto just was released two years ago(2014) Too be honest my old buzzard mind has no idea about anything about this release but if Darr included It Lazaretto must be a Solid Ball Of Rock! Great pick and perhaps one I should seek out myself and Darr can load up the Sonic Syringe and shoot me up with a dose of Jack Rock!
Beastie Boys Paul Boutique came out in 1989 and I even bought this on cassette and it was a huge departure as for myself I was weened on Fight For Your Right To Party from 1986 but man The Beasties change-up the sonic atmosphere and well how about a round of applause for “Shake Yo Rump” Ha…love that tune Mega Pumping Bass! Darr not only stepped out of the box on these two albums but he kicked the snot out of the box! Well done Son!
Actually out of Darr’s Top 20 list I have only reviewed 4 of these 20 picks. So I hope you’s all dug it!
So the last 7 songs,6 of which were recorded in Toronto on the first of two nights are the alternate tunes and word on the street is that these songs were the only ones they could use as they had some recording glitch the first night so the second night was the video footage they used. Speaking of Video outside the clips I have shown on the first two parts this would be awesome to watch on video (I bought the audio of R40 off of iTunes)especially since the set changes while they play around them and Rushs stage resembles a high school gym complete with their amps sitting on chairs by the end of the show!
ONE LITTLE VICTORY-Remember when i said Peart hits the drums hard! Well One Little Victory proves that as Neil slams some heavy Tool like drumming and before you know it Geddy nails down some bass God like riffs while Alex delivers some huge power chords and we’re off! This song is heavy! Twists and turns and a hard boot up the listeners ass!
DISTANT EARLY WARNING-D.E.W is from one of my fav sleeper Rush Albums Grace Under Pressure and its a Rush circa 1984 tune complete with snappy happy keyboard ripping during the chorus. I have always liked this tune and will continue to do so my friends of Arena Rock!
RED BARCHETTA- I really dig the beginning of this tune as Geddy riffs on his bass while Peart and Lifeson chill at the Rush bar and just provide a mellow back drop with the drums and guitar. This is another monster Rush track and those old Geezers made me laugh when at the end of Lifesons solo as Peart hits the power rolls they go right chill with almost a little chill out feel and build it back up to BARCHETTA speed! Just like how the song starts it ends with Geddy riffing on his bass and Neil and Alex chillaxing!
CLOCKWORK ANGELS-The title track from the fabulous last studio album from 2012. This song cooks and rocks and it’s so crazy good with all the time changes and tempo mood swings and here they are Rush in their glory pushing Into there early 60s banging out heavy musical chops that just blows me the Frigg Away! Clockwork Angels the song takes you on a musical journey. A Tour De Force if you will…..
THE WRECKERS-Another favourite from Clockwork Angels the beginning of this track reminds me of The Who and during the chorus which is real good-by the way Geddy pulls the song along with his bass line. The Wreckers is just a straight ahead rock track that is another Gem! Love this track!
THE CAMERA EYE-Speaking of loving tracks! Moving Pictures was like many others back in 1981 our introduction to Rush! The Camera Eye for myself was the first time I got progged! What an intro to this track where you can hear the hustle and bustle of city sidewalks and not before to long Theres Geddy doodling with his keys and Neil doing some real groovy small cymbal smashes and boom a big blast of Drums,Synth,a Guitar and the song shifts into hard rock territory. Camera Eye as a song dips and dives,twists and turns into a wall of Prog Abyss! I’m so glad Rush brought this tune back on their Time Machine Tour and once again on the R40 3 disc Musical Workout! The Camera Eye = Classic!
LOSING IT-Cool story I read about this track and you’re wondering why is there two versions of Losing It? The story goes that Jonathon Dinklage(whose brother Peter is on Game Of Thrones) is an electric violinist as well and was part of the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble and was talking to the Rush guys back on that tour about how he learned Losing It right after it was released on Signals back in 1982 and would love for Rush to play it…so Rush did and for some of the U.S. shows the boys brought him up on stage and what’s cool is when I watched some YouTube footage of the NYC show Dinklage has his own set of pedal boards for his violin hahaha….now that’s rock! I believe this version was recorded in LA. not sure as in the liner credits (which ITunes included the digital booklet) it doesn’t say….Great version and a cool dream come true! Watch the video ……
IN CONCLUSION- I’m thinking after yammering on about a ton of Rush for the last 3 posts(Thanks for reading friends) that this will probably be the last Rush live album as it has come full circle for them. All The Worlds A Stage was recorded live in Toronto back in 1976 and R40 was recorded in Toronto in 2015 almost 40 years later so basically it started in Toronto with the live albums and ends in Toronto with the live album.
Now word on the street is that Neil is hanging up the sticks! If this is the case…
So now we’re into the second part of R4O….1980 and its time to rewind……
THE SPIRIT OF THE RADIO-Rush kinda somewhat streamlined there sound and Alex blasts off a mirage of notes as Geddy,Neil and his army of drums take off and it’s been a live staple of all Rush Tours since 1980 and why wouldn’t it? Rush jams with speed and accuracy on this track and how’s about the cool part that when all three Rush cats go all power chord heavy with a milli chops per second and it segues with a reggae feel into The Concert Hall! (Cue Cheer) the ending is slick as well just like how it starts with Lifeson blasting off a mirage of notes!
JACOB’S LADDER-Geddy tells the crowd here’s one from the same album and all the Prog Rockers look to the heavens and rejoice as it’s the barely live played Jacobs Ladder! Neil plays drum rolls of the snare and drives this track. It progs along and man it’s such a great track!
NATURAL SCIENCE-This is a bona fide Rush Tune! It sweeps through all kinds of twist and turns and talk about music chops! Rush once again flex their mighty rock muscle and take us on a journey of epic perportions! I just love the total groove change when Geddy sings the line “Science Like Nature….” Alex and Neil especially with his cymbals splashing about take charge and drive Natural Science to its end! What a friggin fantastic Prog Juggernaut!
HEMISPHERES PRELUDE-Now this is cool and on the bootleg video I watched in this 4 minute piece there are about 75 time changes (ha)and the crazy thing is Geddy,Neil and Alex don’t even look at each other it’s friggin unreal how locked In they are. So cool man and it’s basically 4 minutes of crazy off timing high jinx and then Geddy hits the mic with “When are weary world was young” Rush takes off and it’s a total flash throwback to the 70s…
CYNGUS X-1/THE STORY SO FAR-Ok Geddy with some distorted Bass Pops starts off the 9 plus minute CYNGUS and here it comes Neil and his solo which has to be a cool 5 minutes at least. Neil is simply the best live drummer of my era and I’m glad I saw him live back in 2002. What’s even cooler is he brought back the old school double bass drum kit of the 70s complete with all the bells,chimes and whistles! His drum solos I never skip as he plays with fury man and pounds the crap Outta them! Monster comes to mind! Dudes a hard hitter no wonder millions air band to this guy like how could you not? Basically after his solo the band ramps back up and does it dippsy doodle Prog Rock workout until the song ends….
CLOSER TO THE HEART-Ahhh one from the vaults and for Rush it’s under 4 minutes long. Slackers ,hahaha…Lifeson opens with some neat and tidy acoustic playing and Geddy joins him on doing some laid back bass lines basically jamming like crazy. Still recall the first time I actually heard this was when I received from my parents at Christmas time 1981 Exit Stage Left which is my all time favourite Christmas album! The song of course gets cranking at a decent clip during Alex’s electric solo and Neil does his famous patented drum rolls and boom it’s done! Great track….
XANADU-If You Want Prog…..You Got It! Xanadu holy shit does it get any zanier or cooler than this! Think about it for a sec! Once again just like Closer To The Heart the first time I heard Xanadu was again on Exit Stage Left and I never heard lyrics or music chops like this before! I mean as a 14-year-old in 1981 it was lyrics like Given The Dog A Bone by AC/DC or Ladies Room by Kiss that I had heard about well ….Chicks and here’s Geddy singing Neil’s lyrics on Xanadu like “To Seek The Sacred River Alph,To Walk The Caves Of Ice,To Break My Fast On Honeydew,And Drink The Milk Of Paradise” Wowzers this is some crazy Prog man but what a tune…I’m not gonna say anymore about it! Kick back and let the masters show you as I posted the Honeydew eeeer I mean Xanadu video! Wanna see double neck guitars? Double neck basses? Double Bass Drums? Birds whistling? Lasers? Smoke? It’s all here……..
2112-Oh yeah! No Rush show would be complete without playing a snippet of 2112 and a snippet for Rush would be 12 minutes of 2112 played! I like the fact that after they plow thru Temples Of Syrnix they go right into The Presentation and Grand Finale! When Lifeson goes all crazy on his six string with Geddy and Neil just driving the pace at rapid speed it does not get any better than this! All Planets Of The Solar Federation……We Have Assumed Control! Geddy says thanks for 4o years! Toronto and Canada! No Geddy we salute you! Slappa Da Bass!
LAKESIDE PARK/ANTHEM-Rush for the encores delve back into the Fly By Night album and Lakeside Park is a chill tune with Alex strumming a clean electric while Geddy and Neil play the chill game as well! Lakeside Park the willows and the breeze along with memories! This is Rush 1974 and before long Alex is introduced by Geddy and Alex goes all wacky on his guitar and the band pounds out a tuff few minutes of Anthem! Listen to Peart hard hit those drums….totally impressive!
WHAT YOUR DOING/WORKING MAN-For the last two songs of the evening its Whay Your Doing and Working Man. Total Kudos to Botrill on the mix especially Pearts drums for What Your Doing it sounds like Bonham playing. Drums are sooooo good sounding of course it helps when the drummer guy is legend! What Your Doing is a young Rush being influenced by Zeppelin (check out Lee And Lifeson doing those bass/guitar runs)and why not! Working Man another stellar track from the debut! Love the chorus with a big driving bass and Rush closes out and Geddy thanks everyone for 40 years…..
For R40 this is the end of the set! Check back next Tuesday when I yammer on about the third disc which is the alternate songs that Rush played during the R40 tour!
Rush by the sounds of it are calling it a day! Over 40 years of playing as a power trio(countless albums,tours and praises from everyone all over). Let’s face it if this indeed the end I’m ok with it! Reason being these dudes as in Geddy Lee(vocals/bass) Alex Lifeson(all things guitar) and (The Professor ) on drums Neil Peart have set the bar of musical supremacy so high that they would rather pack it in than flog their craft for an easy payday if their chops were to lag….
There is no lagging of musical chops on R40 as Rush play at an intensity so high that it’s kinda sad they may just not do it anymore! Geddy,Neil and Alex just 3 years ago released Clockwork Angels (my number 2 album of 2012 over at Ladanos year-end best list)which many viewed as there best piece of rock in decades so there was no signs of a dip in creativity whatsoever.
R40 was recorded over two nights in the boys hometown of Toronto which in turn may ring true that it’s the end of the road as it began for Rush in Toronto and could well be with this live dvd/ audio representation. Hope not! But with these guys pushing into their 60s it could and can Ya blame them?
So what we got is the full meal Prog deal offered by Rush! 29 Songs over 160 minutes of pure genius in musical gold!
My good pal Metal Todds favourite band Tool whose producer David Bottril did the audio producing of this and does a fantastic job keeping the crunch of Lifesons guitars intact,the smooth almost dry like sound of Pearts drums with an added crystal clear mix of his cymbals and with Lee, Bottril keeps the bass cranked and the keys never overpower Alex’s guitars!
So what we’re doing here is this review is gonna be broken up into 3 reviews a first here at Arena Rock for one album! So basically I’m gonna go track by track about 10 songs or so that will end each part as if I were to yammer on about it all in one shot I would lose my mind! Well what’s left of it!
This as you read along in my blog is the ultimate set list of Rush tunes and hey Greatest Hits Guru’s (Rockin Roberts and BMellis)buy this and Prog out!
Also one more thing, Rush works their way back through the set from there latest studio album(Clockwork Angels/2012)all the way back to their debut (Rush/1974)
Wowzers! Enough get to it DeKEs….
THE ANARCHIST-Working Them Angels from the Snakes and Arrows studio album ushers Rush in and the Rush party begins with Pearts drums and Lifeson joins in while Geddys bass jives and we’re off! The Anarchist rocks and what a great opener not one you would think would kick things off but it works!
HEADLONG FLIGHT-Bass man tons of Bass leads off track 2 and Headlong Flight sounds like the beginning of Bastille Day played at 78 rpms! Hey folks if you’re gonna borrow music borrow from yourself! The song drives at a rapid clip and of course with all things Rush theres dips and doodles of musical super chops tossed in and a quick little Peart drum solo tossed in that makes you wanna air drum! Ha!
FAR CRY-Another rocker out of the gate! Rush lift off and man can you not dig those time changes! This is Rush rocking the pre chorus with Geddy shifting all over the bass neck and he sings it real good as well.
THE MAIN MONKEY BUSINESS-Straight up musical to rest Geddys vocals and to show Rush’s jam like musical muscle(like they need one). Cool use of Neil’s percussion throughout the dudes a machine and Alex tosses down one of many lightening bolts of solos as well…
HOW IT IS-Geddy tells the Toronto faithful that it’s time to play a tune that fell through the cracks from Vapor Trials and that’s How It Is. A great song and Geddys right folks this is a forgotten one but Rush makes amends and play this mid tempo song and deliver it with a possible message of hope and don’t stop giving it as that how it is! Nice little solo from Alex and for Neil he just takes it chill on those drums……
ANIMATE-Neil rocks the drums out of the gates with a solid opening and who better to lead the charge! I do love the keys and Geddys bass locked in along with Alex’s guitars as well on Animate. This song has some real crunch and well it should as it was the opening number on 1993s Counterparts album! This is Rush hanging with the Seattle Sound at the height of GrungerMania! Rush responded with a heavy guitar rock sound at the time and all of us Rushians loved it! Animate is just a plain all out no holds barred Rock track!
ROLL THE BONES-As per protocol here at Arena Rock I preordered R40 off of iTunes and with the preorder came Roll The Bones! Watch the video as during the rap you can see a few fellows that you may know from TV and the Movies! Hint how about some Game Of Thrones with a little Rage and Trailer Park thrown in with a little Love Ya Man https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/rushroll-the-boneslive-r40-tour/
BETWEEN THE WHEELS-Holy Hell I love this tune! “You know how that Rabbit feels going under your speeding wheels. Bright images passing by like windshields towards a fly!” Great lyrics by Neil and this song starts with big Lifeson crunch riffs and Geddy adding sharp little jagged edges of keyboard hits until the pre chorus when Rush like so many times breaks down to there little hard rocking 3 piece unit and blast off! This song flat-out cooks!
LOSING IT-Geddy tells the crowd that there going to play a song they have never played live before and hopefully they won’t screw it up(haha??) with a special guest and that would be Ben Mink who played the electric violin on Signals from which Losing It appeared! Rush slow the speed dial right down and no it’s not a ballad its a slow progger but I tell you all it kicks into gear towards the end and Mink razzles and dazzles the violin strings and hey how many cats can say they joined Rush on stage to jam it as a 4 piece? None to my recollection!
SUBDIVISIONS-“Conform Or Be Cast Ooooout Subdivisons!” Preaches Geddy and guess what 33 years later this song resonated with me as i was never the cool kid in high school just a squirt who dug hard rock played at loud volumes! So even though in 1982 i never picked up on it but actually Geddy was singing Neil’s lyrics to me and many others! Ha ….only took me 33 years to figure this out! Hahaha! Subdivisons man i will say it’s one of my fav Rush tracks. Love Neil’s robotic like drumming and Geddy synthing like there’s no tomorow until the chorus when the synth is kicked to the curb and Geddys bass grumbles with ferocity and we’re off with Neil and Alex. Also of note what another top-notch guitar solo from Alex. The dude is one of the best on the six strings! No doubt ….Watch the video posted from R40! Crank it….
TOM SAWYER-Even if you’re not a Rushian fan(shame on you!) Tom Sawyer you know whether you like it or not! Myself, Loooove it! Love the infectious power chords of Prog Rock galore and big sonic booms of Lifeson,Lee and Peart who we all have at various points of our lives have air banded too! Lifeson is funny as hell, so watch the video when he acts like he’s smoking dope! The solo section for me is one of my personal points of interest of this tune and for what it’s worth every one talks about Neil and Geddys chops individualy but how about together! When they lock up during Lifesons off the rail solo it is so good with Neil slammimg those drums and Geddys fingers running wild on his bass they are so ahead of everyone musically it’s sick! Of course Neil does his drum rolls which you never get tired of hearing!
YYZ-Rush tosses out another musical only tune from Moving Pictures and once again flex their Musical Muscle complete with over the top bass riffing,swell guitaring, hard drum bashing added with a sprinkle of some keys and boom this song clicks at a rapid pace!
Cruise back here on Friday for R40 Part 2……..more songs …70s Rush straight ahead!