RECORD STORE TALES & REVIEWS: Complete Table of Contents

February 1, 2012 9 comments

MAINRECORD STORE TALES

Parts 1 – 50  
Parts 51 – 100 
Parts 101 – 150
Parts 151 – 200
Parts 201 – 250
Parts 251 – 300
Parts 301 – 320

    RECORD STORE TALES MkII:

GETTING MORE TALE

#321-350
#351-400


DIRECTORY OF REVIEWS 

Music, Movies, and more

WTF?

 

Categories: Table of Contents

REVIEW: Bon Jovi – “Born To Be My Baby” (7″ single)

April 1, 2015 35 comments

I thought it would prudent to post a mini-review today, lest some of you thought I had lost my mind earlier.  What’s the date again?

BON JOVI – “Born To Be My Baby” (1988 Polygram 7″ single)

This single is a beauty.  I bought this 45 at the Zellers store at Stanley Park Mall in Kitchener when I was a young fella.  It doesn’t have any exclusive tracks — not even single edits which were very common on Bon Jovi 7″ singles.  Instead it came in a collector’s package with cardboard picture sleeve, and three postcards.

The postcards are interesting to me for a reason.  Look at the group photos of the band.  Jon’s face is always obscured.  These pictures from the New Jersey period represent a brief time when Jon was trying to give the band more face time.  Check many photos from that era — his back is often to the camera while the others look straight ahead.  I read a quote in a magazine where Jon was pissed that people only knew Richie Sambora as “the guy in the cowboy hat”.  He was trying to give them attention and I think that’s cool.

The two tracks on the single are two of my New Jersey favourites!  “Born To Be My Baby” was always a cool groove.  I enjoy listening to Tico Torres’ drums on this track.  Understated but perfect.  But “Love For Sale”?  Shit, I think that’s the best tune on New Jersey!   Proof of the talent of this band, drunk or sober.  Hard to imagine it was just something that happened and got recorded.  It actually makes me a little sad today — sad that Jon and Richie have now broken up this amazing chemistry.

Fun single though!  Glad to have kept it all these years.

4/5 stars

BORN TO BE_0003

#382: Record Store Tales Mk3 – The New Direction

April 1, 2015 10 comments

SHAW BLADES

RECORD STORE TALES Mk3: The New Direction

Having been on the interweb for three years now, endlessly driveling on about heavy metal music, science fiction movies, and whining about the trials and tribulations of working in a Record Store, I have decided to make a clean break with the past.  It feels like all I’ve been doing here is dwelling on events and music of the past.  I’m through with the zoilism.  I have now made peace with it, and moved on.  It’s time to do something new for a change.  I have analyzed the trends of the internet, let go of my rage, and found the next big thing.  My new direction.

The new direction is this:

Mushrooms!  Delicious mushrooms, the edible kind.  Not the poisonous or psychoactive ones.  The kind you would put in a salad or on a pizza.  I love mushrooms.  I always have.  Some people consider them “shit flowers”* but I think they’re awesome.  They taste great and smell great when cooked in butter.  They’re even delicious and healthy when served raw.  They are loaded with vitamins B and D, and are an excellent source of minerals.  The fruit among fungus, mushrooms are a delicious way to eat healthy!

Not only are they good for you, but mushrooms are also good for the environment.  New studies have shown them to be adept at removing toxins from soil.  The industrial uses for the fungus in the future are limitless, and they are still being investigated for medicinal purposes, in the treatment of various cancers.

The future for fungus is bright, and I hope you will join me daily here at mikeladano.com as we share recipes and the latest science of mushrooms!  But balance is also important.  With me on my latest adventure is the ever loyal Aaron, to add some counterbalance to my raving.  As a taste (yuk yuk) of things to come, here is Aaron’s first rant (I hope of many) on mushrooms!

YUMMY

Apparently Mike is writing something to praise mushrooms. And (I’m imagining) not the super-fun (so I’ve heard) hallucinogenic ones, either. No, my impression was that he meant the nasty, vile, disgusting little fungi that some people inexplicably eat in salads and all the other myriad ways people ingest the revolting things.

In his email asking me to participate as the dissenting voice (an easy job for me), he didn’t exactly specify how long my rant should be… actually, his reply was “I was thinking a paragraph of 4-6 lines, but Jesus…maybe it would be even funnier if you went balls deep, and on and on for a while!” To which, naturally, I replied THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID. Anyway, it would seem I have license to hold forth on these repellent little blobs for as long as I want!

Like most people, you’re thinking something along the lines of: what could I possibly I find so off-putting about these? Surely I’ll agree they’re tasty, and nutritious! Oh, if I’d only ever had them prepared properly, I’d surely change my mind about them! Well, no. No no no no no. And NO. They are a taste AND a texture violation. They’re nauseating, and I pick them off pizzas. Do you even know what they grow these off-putting things in? Hm? And yet still you eat them? Ohhh yes give me more of THAT unpalatable fleur de merde! Mmmmm…

SHIT FLOWER*Yes, that’s right. Shit flowers. That’s what I call them, and it’s entirely appropriate, not only in taste but in the actual gardening of them. My stomach turns at the thought of finding one in a stew, stir fry or pasta. Don’t put them anywhere near my panini, sauce, soup, or my beef/chicken/anything else. Sliced, stuffed, dried, baked, or wrapped in bacon (no, not even the MIGHTY BACON can help these sad little bastards), I do not want your vomitous little bulbs of distaste.

There’s only one (appropriately-named) mushroom that truly tells the story, and that is, of course, the shiitake mushroom. At least that one knows it is shiit. And that’s the only positive I can think of, when asked to turn my mind to even the thought of these little turds.

If you like them, and actually choose to ingest them, power to you. You’re welcome to have my share, today and forever after that. Enjoy eating your shiit.

REVIEW: Hollywood Rose – The Roots of Guns N’ Roses (2004)

March 31, 2015 14 comments

HOLLYWOOD ROSE_0001

HOLLYWOOD ROSE - The Roots of Guns N’ Roses (2004 Deadline)

Hollywood Rose were one of several bands that eventually morphed into the original Guns N’ Roses. Already on board were singer William Bailey (Axl Rose) and guitarist Jeff Isbell (Izzy Stradlin). Guitarist Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns) was in and out of the band. Drummer Johnny Kreis and guitarist Chris Weber were later replaced by Steven Adler and Slash respectively, who came in together via their old band. It’s a complicated tangle of ins and outs and interchanging members but what’s important is that Hollywood Rose did record a crucial five-song demo in January of 1984. This demo was finally released on CD in 2004 with 10 (!) remixes, and now we get to hear what Guns N’ Roses sounded like as a fetus in the womb!

Unfortunately this CD releases has been padded out by having each song in triplicate. Each track is presented as a) the original demo, b) a remix by Gilby Clarke, and c) a remix by Fred Coury. Cinderella’s Coury, you may recall, sat in with Guns N’ Roses briefly when Steven Adler broke his hand in ’88.

No mercy is to be had on “Killing Time”, an aggressive and ragged assault that foreshadows Guns greats such as “Reckless Life”. It’s similar in construction to “Comin’ Atcha Live”, a later song by Tesla.  Axl is in vintage voice, not quite yet in control, but with all the power at his command. The Guns sound is already present on “Anything Goes”, later modified and released on Appetite for Destruction. The riff, later perfected by Slash, is already present and accounted for, although the verses are very different.  The chorus is a little out of control, yet to be tamed into a singalong melody.  What’s incredible is that the Guns sound was already there, waiting to be properly harnessed and unleashed upon the world.  Izzy and Axl created that sound; it came originally from those two guys.  Slash and the rest of the guys just had to add the finishing touches.

HOLLYWOOD ROSE_0005Track 3 is a Rose/Weber original called “Rocker”.  A sloppy punk metal riff and a killer Axl lead vocal make for a passable tune.  (I would love it if a reunited Guns would one day pull a “Van Halen” and remake these old unreleased songs…one can dream.)  “Rocker” is more metal than you expect from Guns, but it has that sloppy, dangly cigarette vibe that the band embodied.

“Shadow of Your Love” was later re-recorded by Guns N’ Roses as a demo and released on the B-side to “Live and Let Die”.  This is the original “Hollywood Rose” demo however, a more basic bare-bones version of the speed rock classic.  The last demo is “Reckless Life”, better known as the opening track on GN’R Lies.  It obviously evolved quite a bit as a Guns N’ Roses song, because this seems more like a skeleton of the song.  It’s still breakneck fast, but the verse riff isn’t there yet.

These five songs indicated there was a cutting edge band here that needed to be heard.  They could not have had the same success in this incarnation.  They clearly needed Steven and Duff in the engine roof, and Slash laying sticky guitar toffee on top.  The bones were already there, and it’s absolutely historic to hear these early demos of such important hard rock songs.  The impact that they would have, as a foundation for something bigger, cannot be understated.

That said, as songs they still had a little ways to go, and I don’t think we really needed each song three times in one sitting.  I’m not sure why Gilby was involved (except that he was in Guns N’ Roses too, from 1992-1994).  I’ll be damned if I can pick out specific changes he made with his remixes, but most of the songs are different lengths so he obviously did stuff!  Gilby did have Tracii Guns come back to Hollywood Rose and overdub new guitar solos for “Shadow of Your Love” and “Reckless Life”.  These guitar overdubs do succeed in making the demos more exciting than they were.  The Coury remixes are probably most notable for a distinctly different drum sound.

The Roots of Guns N’ Roses by Hollywood Rose is an essential collector’s item for any serious Guns fan.  You don’t want to be without this.  I just don’t think that two complete sets of remixes were necessary.

3/5 stars

CONCERT REVIEW: Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, In This Moment 1/21/08

March 30, 2015 50 comments

Review written January 22, 2008.  Dedicated to Peter M. Cavan!

OZZY OSBOURNE/ROB ZOMBIE/IN THIS MOMENT live at the ACC, Toronto Ontario, 01/21/08, on the Black Rain tour

OZZYWhen you pay $100 a ticket you’d better get a hell of a show, no pun intended. While Rob Zombie rose to the occasion and put on the show of a lifetime, Ozzy Osbourne stumbled, carried only by his seasoned band and the love of a metal craving audience.

First up were newcomers In This Moment, who played a short 4 song set to a half filled house. Singer Maria Brink managed to get the crowd going even though most of them didn’t know there was a third band on the bill. Coming out in her trademark blue dress, and screaming her lungs out, I could not believe the power in this woman’s voice. The whole band was hampered by horrible sound which unfortunately rendered her screaming and singing unintelligible. However, at one point she let loose and screamed for a good 30 seconds straight…how she does this is beyond me, I sure can’t! In This Moment played their hit “Beautiful Tragedy” second-to-last and then revved up the audience to see Rob Zombie.

This was Zombie’s last night of the tour, and his crew played pranks on In This Moment through most of their set, however it was dead serious once Zombie hit the stage. Hidden by curtains, the audience could not see Zombie’s amazing stage set until the lights came up. And that was not to happen before we were treated to a surprise: Rob Zombie’s Grindhouse trailer “Werewolf Women Of The S.S.” starring Nicholas Cage as…FU MANCHU! (Zombie is considering making a full movie based on this trailer.)

Then the lights came up, dancing girls on either side of a giant devil head, and band roaring. The head cracked open and an adrenalized Rob Zombie emerged to “American Witch”! What an entrance.

John 5 was at the top of his game on guitar, playing with his teeth, behind his back, throwing his instrument all over the stage. For his guitar solo he even played a snippet of “Oh Canada”, but more on that shortly.

Zombie played all the hits with tons of syncopated pyro behind him, so much that you could feel it from the nosebleeds. “Dragula”, “Living Dead Girl”, “Thunderkiss ’65” and of course “More Human Than Human” were all played expertly, Zombie himself all over the stage at all times. He had ample video footage behind him, showing original film footage from House Of 1000 Corpes, The Devil’s Rejects, his own animation, and classic horror films such as Nosferatu.

Zombie’s crowning moment was during John 5’s guitar solo, at which point he grabbed two flashlights and headed into the crowd, all backed by John 5’s incredible shredding. I mean, come on folks…this is the guitar player that David Lee Roth chose to stand where Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Steve Hunter and Jason Becker have stood.

The only thing wrong the whole Rob Zombie show is that there was so much going on at once, with the video screens, dancing girls, drumming robots, props, lights, and pyro, that you can’t see it all at once. I would like to see Rob Zombie twice or three times…difficult now that his tour is over!

A short break ensued, and then we were treated to some video footage courtesy of the Ozzman. It was a humourous medley of popular film and TV footage from the last year, all recut to star Ozzy himself! Imagine Ozzy in: The Queen. Or Ozzy under Azamat’s ass in Borat! It was good stuff, but unfortunately it underlined that the once and future singer of Black Sabbath has now become something of a joke himself.

Ozzy and his band (Zakk Wylde on guitar, Mike Bordin on drums, Blasko on bass, and Adam Wakeman on keys) then blasted through his first single from the new Black Rain CD, “I Don’t Wanna Stop”. A great opener, unfortunately hard to appreciate with Zakk Wylde’s guitar sounding so harsh in the ACC. Ozzy played most of the classics with very few surprises: “Bark At The Moon”, “Suicide Solution”, “Crazy Train”, “I Don’t Know”, “Mr. Crowley”, “Road To Nowhere” and “Not Going Away” from the new CD.

Ozzy’s problem, both as a solo artist and with Black Sabbath, is his unwillingness to change his setlists. While I’m sure everybody there would have died and gone to heaven if Ozzy played a song like “You Can’t Kill Rock And Roll” or “Diary Of A Madman”, his setlist was based almost entirely around his Blizzard of Ozz and No More Tears CDs. Too predictable, Ozzman. His other problem is his lack of range. His voice cracked many times, and the band lowered the key for him the old songs.

A few disappointing choices: Ozzy did not play “No More Tears”, but instead treated us to the overrated “I Don’t Wanna Change The World”. And for an encore, yes, of course…”Mama I’m Coming Home”. Shame about that, as there are so many better songs to play. “Mama” sure did get the cigarette lighters out [see picture below].

Zakk Wylde did a ridiculous 10 minute guitar solo, which sounded mostly like razorblades coming at your ears. He too played with his teeth, but it was only when he quoted Randy Rhoads’ classic “Suicide Solution” live solo that sparks flew.

As a last song, of course, Ozzy played “Paranoid”. He had to. He couldn’t show up and not play any Sabbath material, although “Iron Man” and “War Pigs” didn’t make his short set. Shame, considering that he reminded the audience that Toronto is where he recorded Never Say Die.

In the end, we all got tired of Ozzy’s endless “I can’t fucking hear you” and “Go extra extra extra crazy!” When Ozzy shouted “I still can’t fucking hear you” for the 100th time, people started responding, “Because you’re fucking deaf”!

There was no question that Ozzy came, saw, and conquered because of his excellent band and the love that the crowd had for him, but it was also obvious that this was Rob Zombie’s show, and there was nothing Ozzy could have done to change that, aside from bringing Randy Rhoads back from the dead.

In This Moment – 3/5 stars
Rob Zombie – 5/5 stars
Ozzy Osbourne – 3.5/5 stars

ozzy

 

#381: There’s Only One Way to Rock

March 29, 2015 36 comments

A shout-out to Geoff at 1001albums for the inspiration.

RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#381: There’s Only One Way to Rock

Back in 1981, the philosopher Samuel Roy Hagar announced that there is “only one way to rock”. He made his case on the song “There’s Only One Way to Rock” from Standing Hampton, a song that he later performed in Van Halen. An except of Sammy’s argument is below:

STANDINGI’ve heard it called by different names
All over the world, but it’s all the same
Now there’s so many ways to make love
A million ways I been thinking of, oh yeah

But there’s only one way
There’s only one way to rock, yeah

While Hagar is normally quite convincing, I have to disagree with him on this matter. In fact I was able to think of at least five ways to rock while on my lunch break. I am sure you can think of many more. How many ways to rock are there? Here are five of my personal favourites!

1.THERES ONLY ONE WAY TO ROCK_0001

2.

THERES ONLY ONE WAY TO ROCK_0002

3.THERES ONLY ONE WAY TO ROCK_0003

4.THERES ONLY ONE WAY TO ROCK_0004

5.THERES ONLY ONE WAY TO ROCK_0005

 

REVIEW: Dio – Angry Machines (1996)

March 28, 2015 14 comments

DIO – Angry Machines (1996 Spitfire)

I have never liked Angry Machines.  Right from the moment it came out, to today, I do not like Angry Machines.   It’s not because I don’t like this Dio lineup.  I’m quite fond of the Strange Highways record, which features the same band (Jeff Pillson – bass, Vinny Appice – drums, Tracy G – guitars).  Given my fondness for that previous record, and the awesome cover art emblazoned upon Angry Machines, I was looking forward to this album.  Now, all these years later, even cranked to max volume it has failed to grow on me and remains my least favourite Dio album by a fair margin.

When Dio gets his hands on a treacherously slow heavy metal song, he can sometimes wring great things from it.  Angry Machines, however, is bogged down with many agonizingly slow, soundalike trudgy songs.  The opener “Institutional Man” almost resembles Born Again-era Sabbath at times for sheer slow chug, but it lacks any sort of hooks.  Ronnie is bellowing as incredibly as he always has, but he’s grasping for a melody to hang his powerful voice on.  The saving grace is a razor sharp guitar solo by Tracy G.

Thankfully “Don’t Tell the Kids” is a speed metal rocker.  I didn’t expect Ronnie to take it to Motorhead tempo, and that’s cool.  Lack of hooks is the problem again, so you’re left with little but the smoking instruments to carry you through.  MVP: Vinny Appice who has never sounded so lively!

DIO ANGRY MACHINES_0004

The disc gets stuck in the mud after “Don’t Tell the Kids”.  The atonal “Black” doesn’t do anything for me, although I do admire the stripped-back production (by Ronnie and engineer Wyn Davis).  I dig Jeff Pilson’s bass hook on “Hunter of the Heart”, and the chorus is pretty good, but the song is mostly forgettable.  Then is the slow and boring “Stay Out of My Mind”, a real snooze.  A 7-minute snooze with an extended keyboard segue!  Continuing with the mind control theme, “Big Sister” isn’t much to write home about either, except in terms of Vinny’s relentless sticks.

“Double Monday” has cool acoustic segment, very unlike typical Dio.  Unfortunately this one section does not save the song which is otherwise dreary and grating.  Up next, I enjoy the vintage groove of “Golden Rules” but again there’s not much of a song here.  Same goes for the penultimate track “Dying in America”.

You may already be familiar with the best song on Angry Machines, a piano ballad called “This is Your Life”, that was re-released on the 2014 tribute album of the same title. When I reviewed that excellent CD, I had this to say of “This is Your Life”:

Fittingly, the album ends on a ballad: Dio’s own somber “This Is Your Life”, performed by the man himself in 1996. I did not like the Angry Machines album, but if there was one song I would have picked as a highlight it would be “This Is Your Life”. Performed only by Dio and Scott Warren on piano, it is unlike anything else in Dio’s canon. The lyrics speak of mortality:  “This is your life, This is your time, What if the flame won’t last forever? This is your here, This is your now, Let it be magical.”

The always lucky Japanese fans received a bonus track with the cool title of “God Hates Heavy Metal”.  Although I am intrigued I have not been motivated enough to search it out.

2/5 stars

DIO ANGRY MACHINES_0003

#380.5: Thank You!

March 27, 2015 11 comments
KMA

KeepsMeAlive

RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#380.5: ThankYou!

Thanks to you, the reader, for joining us this week for THE BEST FUCKING COLLABORATION WEEK EVER! All week, Aaron and I reviewed the same discs, and it was a ton ‘o fun. You got two reviews for the price of none each day! On Tuesday, Aaron’s gracious co-host over at the KeepsMeAlive, James, joined us to review Danko Jones’ Born a Lion CD!  A big thanks to Aaron and James for a very fun week.

Due to the great reception, I have a feeling this will happen again, with an even larger field of participants. We shall see.

Below you will find links to every installment. Be sure to check ‘em out, especially since you don’t want to have to read my crap all the time.  Enjoy!

METAL HEALTH_0001

QUIET RIOT – Metal Health

DANKO_0001

DANKO JONES – Born a Lion

IMG_20150318_174717

BLACK CROWES B-SIDES

PURE CULT

THE CULT – Pure Cult

priest

CUSTOM PRIEST BOX SET MANIA!


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