Early Monday Morning Metal – 7/28/08

Nothing is worse than being tired and having so much to do. That is exactly how last week went for me! My work schedule changed again because my assistant is out with an eye injury so I have had the overnight shift for the last two weeks. Of course the overnight shift is where I originally started so going back to my “old job” is a pretty good deal, very relaxing and not too much responsibility. Unfortunately, it’s taken my body the full two weeks to get back into my old sleeping pattern so I have been extra tired. Add the oppressive heat and torrential downpours that we’ve had here in Rhode Island and it’s making my two daughters stir crazy! I’ve been doing anything I can to keep them amused and sneaking in naps while they are playing video games or doing arts & crafts.

Sunday was my day off and I swore that I was going to catch up on the site, my music, and some overdue chores around the house…..I slept instead! I got home at 10am from work and slept most of the afternoon. when I got up, I lasted until after dinner. I think I fell back asleep around 7pm and woke up around 4am…..WIDE AWAKE! So what do you do when you’re up at 4am and everyone else is out cold? You start playing DJ and spin some early Monday Morning Metal!

Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry (1984): This is one of those albums that my oldest daughter really enjoys and I have Spongebob Squarepants to thank! In the Spongebob Squarepants Movie, there is a scene at the end where Spongebob performs the ‘Goofy Goober Rock’. The song is ‘I Wanna Rock’ with different lyrics and a David Lee Roth ‘California Girls’ sample. The good news is that she has borrowed the album and she knows it by heart! She also knows LOVE IS FOR SUCKERS (1987) word for word also and has both albums in her MP3 player. I decided I wanted to hear STAY HUNGRY without the vocal stylings of a 10 yr. old but it is cool to sing along with her.

‘Goofy Goober Rock’

‘I Wanna Rock’

Trixter – Trixter (1990): I know what everyone is thinking, “Trixter?”. Back in my senior year of high school, especially that summer after we graduated, Trixter was a huge deal on RI radio stations. I saw this when I was reaching for STAY HUNGRY so I pulled this out for a quick spin just to hear the two singles. I remember the hype was that all the guys in the band were teenagers, a prime gimmick that all the girls ate up, but they were all in their early 20s! This one doesn’t stand the test of time but it did remind me of hanging out in the parking lots with 50-100 other people on the weekends!

‘Give It To Me Good’

‘One In A Million’

When you sit in front of around 3000 CDs wondering which ones you haven’t heard in a long time, it gets a little crazy. I started making piles of discs to spin and I soon had close to 30 CDs ready to go! Unfortunately, I only had a window of 4 hours before everyone else woke up and my wife got ready for work. The next two choices had to be good…..

Dangerous Toys – Dangerous Toys (1989): Another “parking lot” band that everyone really liked back in the day. I remember driving around in my buddies Nova and playing this cassette over and over again. Best song here for me was ‘Queen Of The Nile’ but the whole record is strong. Dangerous Toys was one of those bands that we all thought would make it really big because they had a similar sound to Guns ‘N Roses. Definitely one of those ’80s bands that gets no credit, ‘Scared’ & ‘Teas’n, Please’n’ were a” over MTV and radio back in the day.


‘Tease’n, Please’n’

Y&T – In Rock We Trust (1984): I haven’t listened to enough Y&T over the last few years and that’s too bad because they were (and still are) a great band. I was the only one I knew that like Y&T BEFORE ‘Summertime Girls’ hit MTV back in ’85. I remember picking up this cassette after I saw the video for ‘Don’t Stop Runnin’ and that was it. One of my friends use to bust my chops about that song saying it was the best Paul Stanley song that didn’t make ANIMALIZE. I hear some similarities but Y&T weren’t KISS Klones at all. I have the recent reissue that has ‘Go For The Throat’ added from the Hear ‘N Aid benefit album and OPEN FIRE (1985).

‘Don’t Stop Runnin’

Black ‘N Blue – Black ‘N Blue (1984): Great debut! I remember the hype on Black ‘N Blue in all the magazines back in ’83/’84 and I got this cassette without ever hearing a note. Side 1 was always my favorite: ‘The Strong Will Rock’, ‘School Of Hard Knocks’, ‘Autoblast’, ‘Hold On To 18’, and ‘Wicked Bitch’. ‘Hold On To 18’ had decent MTV rotation, I was glued to that station 24/7! All BNB albums are hard to find on CD but the reissue box set on Majestic came out a few years ago so I picked it up. I play this record once a month and it’s probably one of my favorite from ’84. Too band Gene $immons diluted their sound on future records. BTW, watch the video…..doesn’t Jaime St. James look like a cross between Dee Snider & Paul Stanley? And who is that guitarist that looks like Ace Frehley? LOL!

‘Hold On To 18’

Return To Earth – Captains Of Industry (2007)

Return To Earth – Captains Of Society (2007, Bald Freak Music)

  1. Intro
  2. A New Sound
  3. Captains Of Industry
  4. Get Your Knife
  5. You Built The Fire, I Brought The Match
  6. Beautiful Mess
  7. The Way You Walk
  8. I’m Alive And Well
  9. Gunpoint Poetry
  10. Restore (My Heart)
  11. South 20th Street Riot
  12. Strings From Niagra
  13. Killer Pilots
  14. Endless Bags Of Money
  15. Last Night Last Fight
  16. Remember This Face

Band Lineup:
Brett Aveni – Guitars, Bass, Bass Synth
Chris Pennie – Drums, Synths, Programming, Guitars
Ron Scalzo – Vocals & Piano

Produced by: Return To Earth & Bumblefoot

Total Time = 50:31

Return To Earth official website
Return To Earth MySpace page
Bald Freak Music

I have to admit some ignorance in not knowing a thing about Return To Earth except that Chris Pennie is formerly of Dillinger Escape Plan and currently in Coheed & Cambria. Obviously, that band name-dropping has piqued the interest of many Hard Rock and Metal fans, including myself, but does Return To Earth play that style of harder music?

Vocalist Ron Scalzo describes the band’s sound as “Big Rock” but this isn’t the traditional Hard Rock or Heavy Metal that you would expect. All of the songs are heavily guitar oriented with solid drumming but what sets Return To Earth apart sonically is Scalzo’s Modern Rock vocals and the electronic sounds added in to give the music a current sound. Comparisons to the Foo Fighters, Staind, Shinedown, 3 Doors Down and Coldplay aren’t that far off so CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY should appeal to a wide range of Mainstream Rock fans. One listen to ‘Gunpoint Poetry’ and you can immeadiately hear the similarities to the Foo Fighters’ hit single ‘Monkeywrench’. That’s not to say that the band is blatantly ripping off Dave Grohl’s bread and butter but the sound is similar. What Return To Earth has over all these other Modern Rock bands that are burning up the charts is that they experiment with different drum patterns (there some good double bass in there!), electonica and synth, and the occasional sample. The vocals and harmonies are pretty solid all around and I would say that the guitar is pretty good too but everything sounds too much like the other bands out there.

Bottom Line:
This is not my kind of music so I couldn’t get into this album at all and I gave it a ton of spins. There’s nothing really Metal about Return To Earth but I would consider them more of a Hard Rock band in today’s definition of what mainstream Hard Rock is. For me, I don’t hear the difference between Return To Earth and Foo Fighters or Staind, those are two bands that I turn off when they come on the radio (if I even have the radio on), but if that is the style that the band is aspiring to then they have done a good job. I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard a song from this album on Rock radio but then again I personally wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Give this band some airplay though and I bet they chart on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart…..my local stations 94 WHJY & 95.5 WBRU (both in Providence, RI) would play the heck out of this album.

Metallica confirm the release date and tracklisting for Death Magnetic (2008)

From Bravewords:

METALLICA have officially confirmed the tracklisting for Death Magnetic, which will be released on September 12th in the U.S., September 10 in Japan. It is as follows: ‘That Was Just Your Life’, ‘The End Of The Line’, ‘Broken, Beat & Scarred’, ‘The Day That Never Comes’, ‘All Nightmare Long’, ‘Cyanide’, ‘The Unforgiven III’, ‘The Judas Kiss’, ‘Suicide & Redemption’, ‘My Apocalypse’

Ebay Madness: Black Death vinyl LP with bonus 7″ (1984) sells for a crazy $241.50!

Black Death vinyl LP with the 7″ bonus E.P. (1984, Auburn Records) sells for $241.50

Seller – rattlehead14
Starting Price = $3
Bids = 21

Here is the item description from the auction:
BLACK DEATH – Same US Metal LP, issued on Auburn Records in 1984.  Solid Ohio metal from this all African American band.  Includes the original bonus 7” with 2 songs not on the LP.  Vinyl and cover are Mint-, as well as the 7”…….For those who don’t know me, I’m Jim from OPM Records and I’ve moved from the USA to New Zealand, so please note that all records will be sent via airmail from New Zealand.  I’m selling off some of my collection, so I’ll be listing some monster metal records over the next few months, so please check back.

I was watching this auction closely just like I did on the last one that ended at $172.50. This time around most of the bidders had a lot of feedback so the possible shill bidding on the previous auction wasn’t an issue. With shipping being $14 from New Zealand, this auction tips the $250+ level. I took a look at the seller’s current auctions and his completed auctions, I could do a very long Ebay Madness column just on this guy alone! The rare NWOBHM vinyl he has on auction and has sold is some of the rarer pieces I’ve seen and the private pressings of little known U.S. and Canadian Metal bands is really good. I counted at least a dozen vinyl LPs that went for $150+ and half of those went over $200! What a shame he has to sell his collection, there are some rare items I wouldn’t mind acquiring, including this album. Why can’t I win Powerball?

More info on Black Death can be found at Auburn Records (I’m still waiting on that 2 CD reissue!), BNR Metal Pages, Encyclopedia Metallum, and The Corroseum. You can listen to the record in RealAudio at Vibrations Of Doom.

White Lion – Return Of The Pride (2008)

White Lion – Return Of The Pride (2008, Frontiers/Airline Records)

  1. Sangre De Cristo
  2. Dream
  3. Live Your Life
  4. Set Me Free
  5. I Will
  6. Battle Of Little Big Horn
  7. Never Let You Go
  8. Gonna Do It My Way
  9. Finally See The Light
  10. Let Me Be Me
  11. Wait (live)*
  12. When The Children Cry (live)*

Band Lineup:
Mike Tramp – Lead Vocals
Claus Langeskov – Bass
Jamie Law – Guitars
Troy Patrick Farrell – Drums
Henning Wanner – Keyboards

Produced by: Mike Tramp & Claus Langeskov

Total Time = 63:29

White Lion official website
Mike Tramp official website
White Lion MySpace page
Frontiers Records

When singer Mike Tramp announced that a new White Lion album would be released in 2008, many in the Hard Rock community thought that a reunion of Tramp and guitarist Vito Bratta was on the horizon. Bratta still had a controlling interest in the White Lion franchise and Tramp needed his involvement and/or permission to use the band name without any problems. Unfortunately, Vito decided to continue his reclusive life away from music and Tramp was able to use the brand that they both made famous with hit singles ‘Wait’ and ‘When the Children Cry’.

So what does White Lion 2008 have to offer? An updated sound for one thing. Mike Tramp has maintained a solo career all these years, as well as, having another band called Freak Of Nature. Both outlets are Hard Rock but they contain a more modern and heavier style than the slick and polished classic White Lion hit machine. Overall, there are classic White Lion influences and a lot of that has to do with the familiarity of Tramp’s singing voice but there also some melodic touches that add an ’80s inspired flavor to the aggressive contemporary Hard Rock the new White Lion is creating.

The album starts off with the 9 minute progressive epic ‘Sangre De Cristo’ that combines acoustic interludes and harmonies with a faster rough guitar base. With their pedigree, you don’t really expect White Lion to start with such an adventurous song but the band is following a similar formula, at least length wise, as they did on 1991’s MANE ATTRACTION with ‘Lights And Thunder’. ‘Dream’ is a mid-paced track that takes us back about 20 years for a quick look back at prime White Lion with big harmonies and a crunchier guitar sound. You can hear the miles added to Tramp’s voice from years of service, it’s got a gritty depth to it instead of the high pitch golden voice from songs like ‘Wait’ and Jamie Law’s guitar solo is particularly good. I’m not sure about ‘Live Your Life’, it sounds like a Green Day song with it’s Pop-Punk style and the simple repetitive chorus, not my cup of tea. The chorus sticks in your mind as easy sing-a-long fun but the song is out of place after the two opening songs.

More old school White Lion shows up on ‘Set Me Free’ with it’s quiet moody intro moving into a rough and ready rocker with solid harmonies and smoldering guitar. So much has been made of Vito Bratta not being involved with the resurrection of the band but Jamie Law has done a superb job of handling the guitar duties and he is the shining star so far on this new album. Another low-key intro opens ‘I Will’ with a simple keyboard and vocal moving into a mid-tempo groove. This is another ’80s influenced song that really comes across as a bouncy, uplifting affair due to that main keyboard line but it has that modern rock sound. The topic is Tramp singing of a father/son relationship and the dedication of each to the other…..sounds like a song that would fit on his solo album CAPRICORN (1997). The second epic on RETURN OF THE PRIDE is ‘Battle Of Little Big Horn’ and, although ambitious, sounds out of place as a White Lion song. When I listen to White Lion, I expect more upbeat fare rather than this dark brooding tale of General Custer’s last stand, this is Iron Maiden subject matter! After being bored by the second epic, it’s good to hear Tramp and the band return to more familiar territory with the first ballad of the album, ‘Never Let You Go’. It’s a piano based song with a solid vocal and good harmonies at the chorus, I’d say it’s similar to the classic sound.

Jamie Law returns the focus to guitar driven rock with ‘Gonna Do It My Way’, a fast rocker that sounds like it could have come from the PRIDE/BIG GAME era. The main riff is unmistakably ’80s based and the chorus has big background vocals, it’s exactly what I expected from a new White Lion record and is one of my favorites. A quick drum intro by Troy Patrick Farrell starts ‘Finally See The Light’ and the song moves into another guitar song that has major keyboard support. Once the chorus hits, it’s an obvious ’80s influenced song with the fat harmonies and keys but the guitar tone keeps it from being totally retro. The chorus has that hook that made White Lion a late ’80s powerhouse, the only drawback is that the keys detract from another great Law solo. The original material ends with the uptempo rocker ‘Let Me Be Me’, another guitar rocker that sounds like a mix between the classic band sound and Mike’s later work, more solid guitar from Jamie Law.

The album was originally released in Europe on Frontiers Records but my copy is the U.S. release on Airline Records. This version has two live bonus tracks: ‘Wait’ and ‘When The Children Cry’…..obviously catering to the familiarity of the American audience. These songs are fine, nothing overly special…..I’d rather have the original song, ‘Take Me Home’, that is the bonus song on the European edition via Frontiers.

Bottom Line:
I honestly didn’t expect too much from this new White Lion record. With all the controversy between Tramp and Bratta, and the new band being Mike Tramp fronting all new members, I figured this would be a total train wreck. Surprisingly, there is new life in an old band and this is a solid record. Jamie Law has proven that he can handle his own on guitar and step out of the long shadow of original axeslinger Bratta and the rest of the band provides a solid base for Tramp and Law to stand on. Mike Tramp has had a decent solo career under his own name and Freak Of Nature so he is still on his game creatively by bridging what people expect from White Lion and what he has been doing since the glory days. The whole record has an updated, guitar based sound that uses the ’80s roots as a compliment, what is here is solid songs with solid performances. There are a couple of clunkers with the boring ‘Battle Of Little Big Horn’ and the Pop-Punk ‘Live Your Life’ but the rest of the originals make up for them. I could also do without the two live tracks and get the Euro bonus track instead but I didn’t do my research when the album had it’s U.S. release. I would have ordered the Frontiers version online had I looked into it more closely.

Favorite songs: ‘Gonna Do It My Way’, ‘Sangre De Cristo’, ‘Never Let You Go’, ‘Dream’

Gene Simmons – Asshole (2004)

Gene Simmons - Asshole (2004)

Gene Simmons – Asshole (2004, Sanctuary)

  1. Sweet & Dirty Love
  2. Firestarter
  3. Weapons Of Mass Destruction
  4. Waiting For The Morning Light
  5. Beautiful
  6. Asshole
  7. Now That You’re Gone
  8. Whatever Turns You On
  9. Dog
  10. Black Tongue
  11. Carnival Of Souls
  12. If I Had A Gun
  13. 1,000 Dreams

Gene Simmons (lead vocals; rhythm guitar on track 3; bass on track 1, 3, 7, 10, 11; background vocals on track 3, 4, 6, 7)
Bruce Kulick (guitars on track 1 and 3)
Eric Singer (drums on track 1 and 3)
Ritchie Kotzen (guitars on track 10 and 11)
Frank Zappa (spoken words and rhythm and solo guitars on track 10)
Dweezil Zappa (lead guitar and background vocals on on track 10)
Ahmet Zappa (background vocals on on track 10)
Moon Zappa (background vocals on on track 10)
Gayle Zappa (background vocals on on track 10)
Mark Addison (drums, bass, keyboards, guitar and background vocals on track 5)
Nina Singh (drums, vocals, guitar aand percussion track 5)
Frank Tolstrup (drums, bass, rhythm guitar, percussion on track 6)
Thomas Ruud (rhythm and lead guitars on track 6)
Dave Williams (background and harmony vocals on track 8)
Dan Cuprier (drums on track 8)
Holland McRae (lead guitar on track 8)
Brian Lebarton (piano on track 8)
Bag (guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, background vocals on track 9, 12 and 13)
Jeff Diehl (keyboards and drum recordings on track 7)
Shannon Tweed (background vocals on track 8)
Nick Tweed Simmons (background vocals on track 11)
Sophie Tweed Simmons (background vocals on track 7)
Louise Tweed (background vocals on track 8)
Zachary Grant  (background vocals on track 7)
Kylie O’Brien (background vocals on track 7)
Michelle Casio (background vocals on track 8)
Nira Weiss (background vocals on track 8)
Steve Parrish (background vocals on track 11)
Chris Parrish (background vocals on track 11)

(*information coutesy of KISS Related Recordings)

Producer: Gene Simmons

Total Time = 44:45

Gene Simmons official website
KISS official website

KISS is my favorite band, so when a member of the band releases a solo album, I run out and buy the new record immeadiately. Back in 2004, KISS was touring the U.S. with Poison on the ROCK THE NATION tour and the only new product was Gene’s record…..released June 8th. Was I psyched for new material from a KISS member? You bet! I ran right out and bought it the day of release…..

The album starts off on a decent note with ‘Sweet & Dirty Love’ that features KISS drummer Eric Singer and former guitarist Bruce Kulick. It’s basically a KISS song that didn’t make an album and was considered for PSYCHO CIRCUS (1998), the reunion album. Typical Gene: big ’70s style guitar, lyrics about chicks, filled with innuendo…..the background vocals sound like KISS with Gene backing himself up. All the promise gets killed by ‘Firestarter’, a cover of the Prodigy track that was huge in Europe back in ’96. Gene doing dance/techno is just plain awful, so was the video!

‘Weapons Of Mass Destruction’ is another hard rock song featuring Eric Singer and Bruce Kulick and has a REVENGE-era style. Bruce really blazes on guitar but the lyrics are repetitive. Gene does his best re-make of ‘Mr. Make Believe’ from his 1978 solo album on ‘Waiting For The Morning Light’, at least that’s what it sounds like to me. The cool thing is that he co-wrote parts of this with Bob Dylan under a different title “Laughing When I Want To Cry”, which is a main line in the lyrics. Listening to this song now, it’s a decent ballad. ‘Beautiful’ is another cover, originally titled ‘Somebody Beautiful’ by the band Kitty Gordon and originally released in 1999. I’m all for Gene branching out and doing a ballad that sounds like alterna-pop but at least write your own material, don’t license a song from an unknown band. Gene does it again with the title track by getting the song from Norwegian band Shirley’s Temple, who released their original version in 2002. The song is supposed to be a celebration of being an “asshole”/individual going against the grain of society…..or maybe it was calling people out who followed like sheep…..well that’s what Gene said at the time and I’m still confused. Using this as the album’s title killed it right away in retail stores, not that it would have gone gpld or platinum anyway.

‘Now that You’re Gone’ is another ballad and is recycled from writing sessions with Bob Kulick back in the late ’70s, it would have fit decently on Gene’s solo album. ‘Whatever Turns You On’ is another song submitted to Gene via his website that was already released. Basically it was the band’s original music and Gene changing a few lyrics and singing it…..something that he did all over this record. This is basically cover #4 and the notable feature is Shannon Tweed, her mom, and the song’s creator Dave Williams on background vocals. ‘Dog’ is awful, it sounds like a mellow Beck track. Listen for the nursury rhyme “Little Red Riding Hood” based lyrics. I’m calling ‘Black Tongue’ a cover because it’s basis is an unreleased Frank Zappa song that Gene collaborates with Zappa’s kids (Dweezil, Ahmet, Gale, & Moon) on. Frank is in there with the guitar and some spoken word but it’s not really a Gene song except for the references to the black tongue. I admit I like this one though but if the best Gene can do is go to the deceased Zappa for ideas then you know he is tapped out of original ideas…..at least he went to a visionary for help!

‘Carnival Of Souls’ is another song that’s plain filler, thankfully this wasn’t used on the KISS album of the same name. There’s some decent guitar by Ritchie Kotzen (ex-Poison & Mr. Big) but that’s about it. ‘If I Had A Gun’ is more bad filler that is slow and ballad-ish…..press the SKIP button. ‘1000 Dreams’ is a country song with a touch of steel guitar and also has this Disney style orchestration…..a waste of time.

Bottom Line:
Why bother?

Seriously, why release something that almost half the songs are covers and the other half are recycled ideas that hadn’t been good enough for Gene to release with KISS. I pull this out only when I’ve forgotten what it sounds like and I stumble on it when I’m looking for something to listen to in the S-section of my collection. Definitely only for diehards…..and even then it’s a terrible listen.

Favorite Songs: I like ‘Sweet & Dirty Love’ and ‘Weapons Of Mass Destruction’ because they are the most KISS-like, although the lyrics to ‘Weapons’ suck. ‘Black Tongue’ is cool only for the Frank Zappa connection and performance.

Press Release: New Gamma Ray three DVD set announced with tracklisting

From Gamma Ray:

Gamma Ray’s long-awaited three-DVD set will be out in September and will feature the following content:

DVD 1 (live in Montréal – 2006; 120 minutes)
‘Welcome’, ‘Gardens Of The Sinner’, ‘No World Order’, ‘Man On A Mission’, ‘Fight’, ‘Blood Religion’, ‘Hmuniverse’, ‘Dream Healer’, ‘Heart Of The Unicorn’, ‘Fairytale (Accoustic)’, ‘The Silence’, ‘Beyond The Black Hole’, ‘Valley Of The Kings’, ‘Somewhere Out In Space’, ‘Land Of The Free’, ‘Rebellion In Dreamland’, ‘I Want Out’, ‘Send Me A Sign’.

History (47 minutes); Road Movie USA 2006 (16 minutes), vocalist/guitarist Kai Hansen and guitarist/keyboardist Henjo Richter unplugged in Japan (15 minutes).
Video clips: ‘Heavy Metal Universe’, ‘Space Eater’, ‘One With The World’, ‘Rebellion In Dreamland’, ‘Gamma Ray, ‘Eagle Fly Free’, ‘Send Me A Sign’
Wacken 2006: ‘One With The World’, ‘Last Before The Storm’, ‘Rebellion’, Heavy Metal Universe’, ‘Somewhere Out In Space’.

DVD 3 (bonus)
Road Movie: Hellish Rock Spain
Barcelona Show: ‘Into The Storm’, ‘Empress’, ‘From The Ashes’, ‘Real World’.

Sunday Spins – 7/20/08

Combine a day off with temperatures climbing past 95 degrees and high humidity and you get a nice Summer day in Rhode Island. It’s a day to relax…..forget all the errands, all the housework, and just do what you want. My wife and kids are doing just that and, with a check of any “man of the house” duties, I am free and clear to do my own thing too. Time for some music…..

Judas Priest – Nostradmaus (2008): I worked overnoght shift last night/this morning (12am-8am) and I played this twice on the MP3 player…..a nice way to kill almost four hours! I still think there is more to like on this album if you push your expectations aside.

Ayreon – 01011001 (2008): I’ve been in the music room since about 10am this morning and I have spun both discs of this album twice. I bought this latest Arjen Lucassen masterpiece the day it came out earlier in the year but I haven’t really listened. I gave this a couple of spins and put it in the pile, it’s excellent but there is so much going on musically that you really need to sit down and listen, it’s not background music at all.

White Lion – Return Of The Pride (2008): I admit to liking White Lion back in the day and I still give their albums a spin from time to time. I followed Mike Tramp’s solo career not as closely but a new album under the “White Lion” banner had me interested. I’ve had this since it came out and only gave it a couple of spins.

U.D.O. – Mastercutor (2007): I am a very stupid man! I passed on this album time and time again all of last year and I finally broke down and grabbed it back in January. Probably one of the best albums released in 2007 and that means it would have easily been in my Top Albums list. Rene…..you were right, excellent CD!

The Who – Quadrophenia (1973): My current obsession with The Who has nothing to do with the current accolades the band is getting from VH-1 and other media outlets, it’s due to hearing a block of TOMMY songs during a “block party weekend” while on my vacation. Nothing is better than the local stations playing 3 or 4 tunes in a row from a certain band! ‘5:15’ has been one of my faves Who grooves for years.

KISS – Creatures Of The Night (1982): My second favorite KISS album and probably their most metallic.

Press Release: Metallica – Death Magnetic (2008) artwork, packages, wallpapers, samples revealed

From Bravewords & Metallica.com:

Metallica have revealed the artwork for their forthcoming new studio release, DEATH MAGNETIC. Head to here for wallpapers, PDF download, and buddy icons.

As previously reported, the following Death Magnetic packages (due in September) will be available in North America:

Digital Death Magnetic:

Digital Death Magnetic first – at 320 KBIT/S delivered at midnight on street date
Downloads of two entire shows from this summer
Almost 2 hrs of additional exclusive fly on the wall footage
250 additional exclusive photos
Ringtones of riffs from the new album
Exclusive Contests: Airfare, hotel, tickets and meet + greet passes for Ozzfest, Reading UK and special listening party for the new album at Band HQ!
$10 off merch or Fan Club membership at Metallica.com or MetClub.com

Death Magnetic CD + Digital Death Magnetic:

The Death Magnetic CD with free shipping
Digital Death Magnetic first – at 320 KBIT/S delivered at midnight on street date
Downloads of two entire shows from this summer
Almost 2 hrs of additional exclusive fly on the wall footage
250 additional exclusive photos
Ringtones of riffs from the new album
Exclusive Contests: Airfare, hotel, tickets and meet + greet passes for Ozzfest, Reading UK and special listening party for the new album at Band HQ!
$10 off merch or Fan Club membership at Metallica.com or MetClub.com

5LP + Lithograph + Death Magnetic CD + Digital Death Magnetic

5 LP 180 gram box with 5 individual sleeves
Mission: Metallica Lithograph
The Death Magnetic CD
FREE shipping on all!!
The Death Magnetic CD with free shipping
Digital Death Magnetic first – at 320 KBIT/S delivered at midnight on street date
Downloads of two entire shows from this summer
Almost 2 hrs of additional exclusive fly on the wall footage
250 additional exclusive photos
Ringtones of riffs from the new album
Exclusive Contests: Airfare, hotel, tickets and meet + greet passes for Ozzfest, Reading UK and special listening party for the new album at Band HQ!
$10 off merch or Fan Club membership at Metallica.com or MetClub.com

More details can be found here.

Death Magnetic is “a stunning, overdue return to the shock and rush of the band’s speed-metal monuments, 1984’s Ride The Lightning and 1986’s Master Of Puppets,” according to Rolling Stone.

According to BW&BK sources, the album will be preceded by an eight-minute single which is being described as “a tour de force that features some of their fastest playing ever.” The record is being produced by Rick Rubin (SLAYER, RED HOT CHILI PEPERS) and mixed by Greg Fidelman.

Listen to Death Magnetic samples below:

Ebay Madness – Living Colour, Laurence Archer, Uncle Slam, Hear ‘N Aid, Taken

Living Colour – Vivid (1988) sealed longbox sells for the crazy amount of $1025!

Seller – beatlesandmore
Starting Price = $16.95
Bids = 4

You have got to be kidding me! Over a grand for an album that you can find in any record store in the U.S. either new or used? If you’re in the market to buy this CD, then $5 used is plenty and no more than $10 brand new. The trend lately is to buy sealed longboxes and keep them sealed so they go up in price, on the same idea of action figures and toys. The problem is that millions of copies of VIVID were sold and there are thousands of used copies all over the place. With so many “mom & pop” record stores closing there doors, old inventory like CDs in longboxes are becoming more common…..the old record store in my hometown has 5 sealed longboxes of Lita Ford’s DANGEROUS CURVES for $15 each, maybe I should invest?

Laurence Archer – LA (1986) sells for another high price – $395!

Seller – hinomoto1
Starting Price = 99 cents
Bids = 44

This Laurence Archer CD is like a default Ebay Madness item, I think I’ve done more Ebay Madness columns with this CD than any other! It’s popular among collectors and very rare and now there is an Italian bootleg out there so buyer beware! I have bought from this seller in the past so I can attest to the quality of the auctions and CDs I’ve received. Hinomoto1 is one of the best sellers on Ebay for Japanese issue CDs.

Uncle Slam – Say Uncle (1988) Japanese import sells for $233.73!

Seller – heatwave704
Starting Price = $99.99
Bids = 14

Old school Thrash from ’88 released in Japan only. I’ve seen this disc go for big bucks before and it’s definitely a rarity. You gotta love that album cover, especially in today’s context! If anyone is interested, check Ebay for a current auction that starts at $200!

Hear ‘N Aid (1985) Japanese CD sells for $202.50!

Seller – ufo-msg
Starting Price = $29.99
Bids = 23

I have this exact disc and I bought it for $20 in ’96! This was issued on CD in Japan in 1994 and it hasn’t been released on CD in the U.S. at all to my knowledge. I had this on cassette when it first came out, I remember how cool I thought it was that the Metal guys were doing a USA For Africa thing. I give the seller credit for getting so much but I noticed that the winning bidder has zero feedback and is new to Ebay…..always a question mark in my eyes but the seller is legit, I’ve bought from ufo-msg in the past.

Taken – Smell the Groove (1992) independently released CD grabs $147.50!

Taken – Smell The Groove (1992) independently released CD ends at $130 with BUY IT NOW!

Seller – djsfresh19
Starting Price (auction) = 99 cents
Bids = 12
Buy It Now Price (2nd listing) = $130

Ebay seller djsfresh19 had two copies of this album to sell: the first at $147.50 ended 7/10/08 and the $130 BUY IT NOW listing ended on 7/14/08. Not a bad haul for 4 days of “work”! The funney thing about these two listings is that the seller misspelled “groove” and used “grove” instead! I’ve listed this CD before, it’s a rare early 90s album that usually goes between $150 – $200. There seems to be a few of them circulating lately because…..

Taken – Smell the Groove (1992) CD ends with BUY IT NOW at $125…..a bargain!

Seller – sawface32
Buy It Now Price = $125

This Philadelphia band’s independently released CD went like hotcakes in the 5 days! This listing ended on 7/11/08, right in between the two up above. Turns out this one was the best price by five bucks!

Joe Elliot (Def Leppard) vs. Bret Michaels (Poison) – Battle of the Sweden Rocks Festival 2008 press conferences, video available

If you’ve been living under a rock, the Sweden Rock Festival 2008 took place this past June 4th through June 7th. The annual festival, in it’s 17th year, had an awesome lineup with many Hard Rock and Heavy Metal heavyweights. Two of the bigger name bands, Def Leppard and Poison, have stirred up a little controversy. Joe Elliott and Phil Collen had their press conference where Joe elaborated on the difference between ’70s British glam acts, Def Leppard and L.A. Glam bands Motley Crue & Poison. Basically, Joe stated that the L.A. bands cared more about their image than the music and didn’t compare to Def Leppard…..Phil kept quiet.

Of course, the next day at his presser, a reporter asked Bret Michaels to comment on Joe Elliot’s comments the previous day. Watch the video…..

‘Sweden Rocks Festival 2008 – Joe Elliot press conference & Bret Michaels answer’

Round 1 to Bret Michaels!

WANTED: MainEEaxe – Shout It Out (1984) & Going For Gold (1985)



MainEEaxe – Shout It Out (1984)

Another band that came out just as the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) movement was losing momentum, MainEEaxe has been one of those bands that has captivated my attention for a long time. The music is basically in the same direction early Saxon or Tygers Of Pan Tang only just a couple of years too late to breakout. I remember SHOUT IT OUT from my early days scrolling through vinyl racks at the record stores and I actually knew someone who had this on vinyl but I never heard it. My obsession with this album is probably due to the cover…..just look at it, it’s the epitome of Metal cheese. Definitely a rip-off of Sammy Hagar’s THREE LOCK BOX (1983) and I always like to compare the covers. Of course I always had a KISS konnection to go with also, I always thought the mouth reminded me of Paul or Gene’s facepaint. This record is fairly easy to find online between $7 and $20 depending on the condition of the vinyl. It was released on CD in 1990 on the Steamhammer label in Germany and as a Japanese import. The German issue is extremely rare and goes easily over $75 if it ever pops up on Ebay, the Japanese import goes for over $100 and is extremely rare.

MainEEaxe – Going For Gold (1985)

When I started searching for SHOUT IT OUT, I decided I might as well get their second full-length on CD as well. GOING FOR GOLD is another rare item on CD and it “goes for gold” with the German Steamhammer CD selling for over $75 and the Japanese import for over $100. I had a lead on both of the Japanese imports on CD from a respected private collector who lived in Canada and did a lot of business in Japan. This collector knew where to get a copy of each but the price for the set with shipping was going to be around $200…..this is going back about six years ago. It’s so much easier, and cheaper, to grab both albums on vinyl…..