#645: Catching Up

GETTING MORE TALE #645: Catching Up

The last couple months were pretty crazy.  I was clocked out.  My wife’s cancer diagnosis and surgery really took their toll on me.  This resulted in me getting very sick right during Christmas holidays.  There has been so much chaos that I really haven’t paid attention to music.  I neglected my reading, I didn’t buy anything, and I didn’t listen to much either.  I’m just starting to get caught up now that Jen’s surgery seems to have gone so well.  She’s getting a little more independence back, and I’m able to take a little time to listen to music and write about it again.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my history with the band Queen.  I am on a Queen kick, but until recently I was missing two of Queen’s discs in the 2 CD format:  Hot Space and A Kind of Magic.  Eager to get back into the game, I ordered both from Amazon on a whim.  I’m surprised how much I’m enjoying Hot Space.  You wouldn’t think those synths and I would get along, but I’m digging the soul!  I already owned one version of A Kind of Magic, the 1991 Hollywood CD, but the extra disc has seven bonus tracks.

Soon after, the new CD by Mike Slayen called DUDE came by the post.  That enjoyed a couple spins, but I really wanted to go shopping again.  I haven’t been to a record store since the stress kicked in.  I had no idea what I was going in for, but I wanted to leave with a purchase.  There have been plenty of new releases that I missed, and reissues too.  The problem with new releases is, I don’t like to buy anything until I know what is on the Japanese version.  I want the maximum amount of bonus music.  So I decided to look at reissues instead and skip new releases.  Fortunately for me there was plenty going on in reissues.

Big Wreck’s 20th Anniversary edition of their debut In Loving Memory Of… was my first grab.  I didn’t think it was going to have bonus tracks on it, but it does:  “Ill Advice” and “Still Holding”.  I used to love that album, and I don’t know those two songs, so that was an easy buy.  For those who don’t know this band, check out the big single “That Song”.  Other hits you may know from this album are “The Oaf (My Luck is Wasted)” and “Under the Lighthouse”.

I then spied the recent 40th Anniversary edition of Rush’s classic A Farewell to Kings.  The 3 CD set was $30, so I tucked it under my arm.  Then I thought to myself, “You know what, I’d better check to make sure there isn’t another edition with more songs.”  Good thing I did.  Blabbermouth told me that there was a version with a brand new 5.1 surround mix by Steven Wilson on a blu-ray.  OK, then.  That had to be the one I get.  Via the Sectors box sets and other super deluxe editions, I already had every other Rush 5.1 mix.

How much?


Ahh, fuck it.  I earned this.

3 CDs, 1 blu-ray, and 4 LPs of vinyl, plus assorted goodies like a Rush turntable mat, a tour program and lithographs.  The CDs and vinyl include an unreleased (in full) concert, Live at Hammersmith Odeon – February 20, 1978.  A portion of this concert (11 tracks) was released in 1998 on a bonus CD to Rush’s live Different Stages.  This box set has the full 14 song (plus drum solo) performance, newly mixed by Terry Brown himself.  On blu-ray you will find the 5.1 and the stereo mix of the album A Farewell to Kings, in studio-quality clarity, plus three music videos.  Mixer Steven Wilson is generally considered one of the great masters of the 5.1 art.  The Sector 2 mix by Richard Chycki received a mixed to negative reception from fans, so I look forward to comparing.

And there’s still more:  new Rush covers by Dream Theater, Big Wreck (hey, Big Wreck again!), The Trews and Alain Johannes.  Plus a final mystery bonus track called “Cygnus X-2 Eh!”

It’s going to be fun digging into the Rush over  the next week or so.  But I wasn’t done catching up.  Because of all the shit that happened, I didn’t get to see Star Wars in the theatres.  Yes, I’m sorry folks, I’ll admit it:  Until now I only saw The Last Jedi online.  This, of course, could not stand.  I must see every Star Wars Saga film in the theatre three times, minimum.  For The Force Awakens, it was four.  Fortunately the Waterloo Galaxy still had a 3D screening, which has disappeared elsewhere in town.  Now I just have to see it two more times (2D will do fine).

I still have quite a few issues with The Last Jedi.  The slow motion is annoying as hell, and the Finn/Rose side story is still just a side story.  The ending is still at odds with set style of the saga Saga, and the movie could have used some editing.  In general I enjoyed the film more this time.  The Last Jedi is more poem than plot, but it has many rhymes.  I think it’s a fine Star Wars movie, and the fanboy overreaction is ridiculous.

Catching up feels great.  Music and movies still work as the best kind of escape.  I highly recommend both.






        1. I have one or two that, like yours, have been part of some kind of package. But my turntable has its own felt mat, so I haven’t pressed the novelty ones into service. Not sure what to do with them, really!!

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I may join u in that Queen quest. Hot Space u said? I’m on it. Staying Power spinnin now. Kinda surprised by the groove. Dance moves? New series or did u already do Queen? I’ve been on a Black Label Society kick lately myself. Good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the one I like too and LIfe is real.. I seem to like the disc 2 better at the moment. On your advice went record shopping too and got the new Machine Head and Jagged Edge (UK) ep. Weird ep since the 1 side is the same as side 2.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. yeah for sure…I cannot stop listening to it. It’s so good. Loved it 20 years ago…Still Loving it now…..Brilliant Debut…think I’m going to get this on vinyl


        2. amazon has the album for 22 bucks ..having said that the reviews from purchasers are not good saying the record is scuffed.songs cut…should have been a double album etc…one person said stick with the disc…


  2. I’m glad to learn all is good and you’re getting a chance to catch up on some music – looks like some real treats there!

    I just read your Star Wars fanboy thing… I wouldn’t say I share the reaction of some of those real die-hard fans, but I, of rational thinking generally, thought the film was pretty balls. A few good moments, but they were outweighed by the negatives. I get what they’re doing, but this sequilogy has been a missed opportunity.

    For all the issues with The Force Awakens, I thought it was an enjoyable flick and it felt like a Star Wars movie (specifically A New Hope); but despite having low expectations I left feeling disappointed by this one. So many problems, I was mostly bored and I still felt very little for the characters. I’ll watch 9 to see how they end things, but my expectations are so very low (I can’t possibly be disappointed).

    But, all that said, I’m happy if folks enjoy it… I have a few pals who have done. Personally, I think they blew it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not going to say they blew it — yet. It all depends what JJ does in the final chapter. And man I got chills every time Luke was on screen!

      I have no problem with people who didn’t like it, or who think it missed the mark. My sister is among you. But the fans on the message boards are just buzz-killers. “Disney is raping Luke Skywalker” and other nonsense. People who had serious expectations and possibly unrealistic ones. They annoy the shit out of me!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I got chills too – the bad kind! 😉

        … and yeah, I’ve seen a lot of hatred for it… and Disney and suchlike, which seem over the top. But I guess there’s folks like that with any franchise like this, eh? A lot of folks are heavily invested in it… the characters… the universe… and while I’m not sharing the same extreme views, I can see why there’s a lot of hate towards it. Like I say, I can see what they’re doing with it… and I’ll see 9, but my expectations are so low now that I can’t possibly be disappointed. Perhaps they should have put more focus on developing these ‘episodes’ rather than try to batter out the stand alone flicks, too.


    1. Thanks Sarca. Big day tomorrow. Followup meeting with the surgeon. Wish us luck. I’m excited and nervous. I’m supposed to be on the radio tomorrow night but that’s pending what kind of news we get tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

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