Possibly the only video on the internet with both Megadeth and Poison?
Specially priced! $8.99 for cassette or LP, $18.99 for CD!
For a great look at the Poison album, check out Deke at Arena Rock!
Possibly the only video on the internet with both Megadeth and Poison?
Specially priced! $8.99 for cassette or LP, $18.99 for CD!
For a great look at the Poison album, check out Deke at Arena Rock!
…Hosted by Vinyl Connection
There are way too many CDs in my collection that I don’t like, but I own for one or two rarities. ECW Extreme Music is one of those many. I have never watched an ECW wrestling match in my life. I only know one of the wrestlers pictured inside, Bam Bam Bigelow, because he was in the WWF when I was a kid. I don’t like the 90s version of wrestling with the blood and barbed wire. And I don’t like much of the music they used.
First is the generic riff/loop combo of Harry Slash and the Slashtones, whoever that is. Skip that repetitive crap to get to a White Zombie remix. “El Phantasmo and the Chicken-Run Blast-O-Rama” was a great groove from Astro-Creep: 2000. The “Wine, Women & Song” mix by Charlie Clouser is from their remix CD Supersexy Swingin’ Sounds. It’s an enjoyable remix, which is something best appreciated on its own rather than on a remix album.
Somebody named Kilgore did a carbon copy cover of “Walk” by Pantera, presumably because using the original would have cost more? It’s embarrassingly copycat. Your friends who don’t know will assume it’s Pantera. Fortunately a great Megadeth tune is next. Cryptic Writings is an underrated album, and “Trust” was probably the second best track on it (right after “A Secret Place”). This instrumental mix is an exclusive and has emphasis on Marty Friedman’s lead guitar which replaces the vocals.
Bruce Dickinson (and Roy Z) is next with a lacklustre cover of “The Zoo” by the Scorpions. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, it’s just a cover, but it’s also a non-album track that collectors will want. Too bad it’s not exceptional like most of Bruce’s output. It’s just good not great. Another cover follows: Motorhead doing “Enter Sandman”! It’s as bizarre and weirdly perfect as you’d expect it to be. Grinspoon are next with their fairly stinky version of Prong’s “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck”, robbed of all its snarl. John Bush-era Anthrax are more impressive with Metallica’s “Phantom Lord” from Kill ‘Em All. It’s breakneck, and also very cool to hear a Big Four thrash band covering another Big Four group.
Pantera, minus Phil Anselmo, are here for their cover of ZZ Top’s “Heard it on the X”. It’s both ZZ Top and Pantera at the same time, and that’s kind of remarkable. That’s it for this album though — nothing worthwhile from here out. What’s the point of having a cover of “Kick Out the Jams” (courtesy of Monster Magnet) but then beep out the naughty words? Somebody named Muscadine decided to do “Big Balls” by AC/DC, a pretty obvious bad idea. Just awful. Then it’s more of Harry Slash to end the CD with some more pure filler.
CMC International released a lot of low budget crap over the years, and this CD is pretty poor. There are five pages of merch advertising inside, including one for a ECW Extreme Music 2. I skipped that one. This CD is collectable for the Bruce Dickinson, Anthrax and Motorhead tracks. But these are cover tunes we’re talking about, so tread wisely.
Dave Mustaine is a visionary, there is little question of that. He knows what he wants with each record and goes for it. With this one, “precision” was the word of the day. Recorded digitally, Countdown to Extinction is perfection embodied. Not one bum note, every beat is metronomically correct. So what could possibly be improved on a remaster?
This excellent series of Megadeth remasters are actually all remixed from the original tapes. This was done with Dave himself at the helm, still the perfectionist. Countdown being flawless already, I’m sure he didn’t have to do much remixing. You can hear some changes and some additional effects added here and there, and some different takes of instrumental tracks. In general though, the differences are the kind only diehards will notice. This CD sounds three-dimensional even on the cheapest of sound systems. Dave Mustaine, this is your Sgt. Peppers!
I won’t even bother discussing the tunes. You know them all anyway. “Symphony of Destuction”, “Sweating Bullets”, “Foreclosure of a Dream”…they are all excellent examples of technically sharp and aggressive heavy metal. For bonus tracks, you get one hard-to-find B-sides and some interesting demos, but not the coveted rare Trent Reznor remix.
1989’s slasher film Shocker was Wes Craven’s attempt to introduce a new character to the pantheon of horror. Unfortunately, Horace Pinker and the movie he rode in on were quickly forgotten. Also forgotten was the heavy metal soundtrack, so let’s have a gander and see what you may have missed.
Ever heard of The Dudes of Wrath? This temporary “supergroup” consisted of various members from track to track, but the best song they did was “Shocker” itself. With lead vocals by Paul Stanley and Desmond Child, it’s a must-have for Kiss maniacs. If that’s not enough, Vivian Campbell, Tommy Lee and Rudy Sarzo also play on it. It’s like a collision of some of those bands — Kiss, Dio, Motley. The anthemic outro will slay you.
Desmond’s writing is all over this album, and he co-wrote a track with Alice Cooper that ended up being recorded by Iggy Pop called “Love Transfusion”. Sub out the saxophone for guitars and you could easily imagine this being a Trash B-side. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the backing track is from the Cooper sessions, because this sounds exactly like an Alice Cooper song with Iggy Pop overdubbed. All the musicians are guys from the Trash album. Do the math.
It’s hard to imagine a weirder team up than Desmond Child and Megadeth. Dave Mustaine was deep into the powders at the time, and he recorded “No More Mr. Nice Guy” with a three piece Megadeth. The late Nick Menza had joined the band already, but Marty Friedman was yet to be hired. Most Megadeth fans are familiar with this track, since it was re-released on their Hidden Treasures EP. Certainly not the band’s finest moment.
Paul Stanley reappears in a writing capacity on “Sword and Stone”, performed by Bonfire. Paul wrote it for Kiss’ Crazy Nights LP with Desmond Child and Bruce Kulick. If it had been on Crazy Nights, it might well have been the best tune on there. Paul’s demo has yet to be released in an official capacity, but it’s been heavily bootlegged. Bonfire’s version is fantastic, but it only makes me hungry for a fully recorded and mixed Kiss version. One day….
Another version of The Dudes of Wrath appear on side two, this time with Alice Cooper on vocals. “Shockdance” sounds like little more than a slowed down variation of the “Shocker” riff, with Alice and actor Mitch Pileggi rapping over it. Just terrible stuff, actually. Thankfully Desmond redeemed it a little bit with the song he wrong with Dangerous Toys, “Demon Bell”. Like Guns N’ Roses galvanized and electroplated, “Demon Bell” slays.
Voodoo X were the band of Jean Beauvoir, who Kiss fans know from his many co-writes and guest appearances on their records. He only made one record as Voodoo X, and his song “The Awakening” is damn fine indeed. At first you’re thinking, “Oh it’s just another crap ballad”. Then a riff kicks in, and it blasts right off. It’s a bit like 80’s Kiss meets Top Gun. The last band up is Dead On, pretty pedestrian thrash metal, and one of the few songs without any involvement of Desmond Child. The angry elf vocals are hilarious, but the song is almost a parody of bad metal. The album ends with a reprise of the title track “Shocker” from the first side. Basically what this means is that you get to hear Paul Stanley singing for another two or three minutes, when he was really able to hit some seriously high notes. Cool!
The worst track is probably the ballad “Timeless Love” by Sandi Saraya. Guess who wrote this putrid sappy swath of heartbreak? Desmond Fucking Child!
Shocker isn’t the greatest soundtrack, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the movie that spawned it!
Getting More Tale #433.5 presents: A worldwide online event!
THE TOP 15 ON THE 15th – Guest shot by Uncle Meat
This is an event spanning many sites and writers in the World Wide Web. I will link to as many as possible; my own Top 15 can be found here. A few months ago, the challenge was thrown down to all comers: List your top 15 albums of all time! The date September 15 was chosen for the deadline.
Uncle Meat laboured hard on his Top 15, eventually whittling it down from a list of 31 great records*. Without any commentary, here they are. His only requirement: No live albums.
* For shits and giggles, here are the rest of The Meat’s albums that didn’t make the final cut.
Welcome back to the WEEK OF SINGLES 2! Each day this week we’re look at rare singles. Today, we’re looking at lots and lots of them! WARNING: Image heavy!
Monday: Dream Theater – “Lie” (CD single)
Tuesday: Jimi Hendrix – “Valleys of Neptune” (7″ single)
Wednesday: Them Crooked Vultures – “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” (10″ single)
Thursday: Megadeth – “Creepy Baby Head” (“Crown of Worms” CD single)
RECORD STORE TALES Part 269: CD Singles (of every variety)
I’m going to take the blame for this. It was I who got T-Rev into collecting singles in 1994-1995. Oasis kicked his addiction into gear big time, but it was I that sparked his interest in singles. According to Trevor today, “I suppose it was Oasis that started that ball rolling…then Blur taught me the tricks…Metallica helped mix the sauce…and then I was almost a pro, like you!”
T-Rev was already familiar with the dominance of singles in Europe. “They’re so much cheaper in England!” he told me then. “They have entire walls of them, like we do here with albums, but with them it’s singles.”
He had seen me go crazy for some of the singles that came into the store in the early days. He saw me plunk down my hard earned pay for CD singles by Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and many more. He didn’t get why I was spending so much money on so few songs. CD singles are much rarer here and commanded (new) prices similar to full albums.
“I buy them for the unreleased tracks,” I explained. “I don’t buy a single if it has nothing unreleased on it, but I want all the different songs.”
“But the unreleased songs aren’t usually any good, are they?” he continued.
“Sometimes,” I answered. “But check out this Bon Jovi single here.” I handed him a CD single that I had bought recently at an HMV store. “This one has ‘Edge of a Broken Heart’. It’s a song that was recorded for Slippery When Wet, but it didn’t make the album. Sometimes you find these amazing songs that are totally worth having. Sometimes you only get live songs or remixes, but I still collect those because I try to get everything.”
When Oasis came out with (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, there were ample new singles out there to collect with bonus tracks galore. T-Rev got me into the band very quickly. Oasis were known not just for their mouths, but also for their B-sides. Noel Gallagher was passionate about giving fans good songs as B-sides; he wanted them to be as good as the album. Oasis had a lot of singles from the prior album Definitely Maybe as well, and one non-album single called “Whatever” that was absolutely marvelous.
Once T-Rev got onto the singles train, he had his own rules about what he wanted to collect and what he didn’t. Packaging was important to him. He hated CD singles that came inside little cardboard sleeves. He couldn’t see them once filed on his CD tower, because there was no thickness to it; no spine to read from the side. It didn’t matter what was on those CD singles; if the packaging sucked T-Rev was not usually interested. This applied when we both started collecting old Metallica singles. I found an Australian copy of “Sad But True” with the rare B-side “So What” at Encore Records for $20. This came in a cardboard sleeve; T-Rev didn’t want it. (He also already had a live version via the Live Shit: Bing & Purge box set.) Oasis started releasing their old singles in complete box sets, but T-Rev was only really interested in collecting the UK pressings. There were a lot of variables to consider. If you can’t or don’t want to buy everything, you have to set rules and pick and choose.
Once we understood each others’ needs, we were able to keep an eye open for each other. T-Rev knew if it said Bon Jovi, Faith No More, or Def Leppard on it, that I’d be interested. If it was a Brit-pop band like Blur or Supergrass, he’d want it (as long as it didn’t come in a paper sleeve). Foo Fighters too, or virtually anything with Dave Grohl. Our collections grew prodigiously with rare tracks, EPs we never heard of before, and loads of Metallica. I believe at one point, T-Rev and I had nearly identical Metallica collections, duplicated between us. More than half was singles and rarities. We used to joke that there were probably only two copies of some of these things in town, and we had both of them in one apartment.
T-Rev sold a lot of his singles but not all. He still has some treasures. Highlights include a Steve Earle tin can “Copperhead Road” promo (that he got from local legend Al “the King”). There’s also Megadeth’s uber-rare “Sweating Bullets” featuring the in-demand “Gristle Mix” by Trent Reznor Then there was a Blur thing, some kind of “special collectors edition” signed by Damon Albarn, in a Japanese pressing. Trevor’s seen one sell for upwards of $100. Then there was another band called “A”. As Trevor said, “Remember these guys? It was like ‘Britpop punk’. I liked it anyway.”
Also still residing in his collection: a Japanese print of Oasis’ “Some Might Say” that has two bonus tracks over the domestic version, and two versions of Foo Fighters’ “Big Me”. One is from Canada, the other from the UK. Both have different tracks. I’d forgotten about these until I saw the pictures.
Welcome back to the WEEK OF SINGLES 2! Each day this week we’re look at rare singles.
MEGADETH – “Crown of Worms” (1994 Capitol promo CD single)
also known as the “Creepy Baby Head”
Here’s a real treasure that I acquired via T-Rev’s store for about $4. Lately this thing’s been going on Discogs for $36, which must be solely for the packaging. All the tracks have been available on various Megadeth collections for a long time now, although “Crown Of Worms” was originally a rare track. It’s a co-write between Dave Mustaine and Sean Harris from Diamond Head. It kicks some serious ass, but it’s no longer a song that’s worth $36. I think what makes this single command high prices is the bizarre baby head slip case. That and the fact that it was a promotional CD, meaning it was never intended for sale and only small numbers were made.
A while back I made a video explaining what a promo CD was, which featured the “Creepy Baby Head”. You can check out that video below. The head obviously ties into the Youthanasia album artwork but otherwise there’s nothing else externally to tie it to the band. No logo, no tracklist, just the serial number DPRO-79448.
As mentioned, “Crown of Worms” kicks some serious ass. I was a big fan of the Mustaine/Ellefson/Friedman/Menza lineup of Megadeth, and this song was not only album worthy but single worthy. Nick Menza sounds great on it, and the song just smokes from start to finish. Killer riff, too. Mustaine’s at his snarly best.
The other two tracks are both Youthanasia album songs: “Black Curtains” and the single “Train of Consequence”. “Black Curtains” is a lot more doomy, kind of like “Harvester of Sorrow” (perhaps). “Train of Consequence” seemed to alienate some fans back in ’94, but I think it’s a strong single if a bit more melodic then some would have liked. It still has a cool stuttery riff and a vintage Dave vocal. It’s rhythmically interesting and I think the guitar solo is ace.
There is no way I would pay $36 for this thing, and I’d advise you to keep searching the used CD shops. Promos were funny things. Record store and radio stations would be sent these things, and a lot of the time nobody gave a damn. They would end up in the hands of a non-fan and sold at a pawn shop or another CD store. While today some fans will pay a lot of money for this, you know that copies will end up in used CD stores without a $36 price tag. You just have to do the legwork and find it.
Last year for Record Store Tales Part 145, I dug up some of T-Rev’s old mix tapes, complete with custom artwork. T-Rev always put such work into his tapes (sequencing and art included, he even numbered them as a series!), so it is a pleasure to give you this gallery of three more of T-Rev’s Tapes!
Rockers love to discuss “mix tapes”, so I invite you to comment on your own personal picks. Led Zeppelin? Metal Tunage? What would you do?
There were some pretty awesome picks this year. I have to give Scottie props for “Coming Home” by Iron Maiden, from the excellent Final Frontier album. I found some things a bit surprising, such as the overplayed-on-radio “Black Betty” by Ram Jam, placing so high.
“Thick As A Brick” was the live version, so just over 10 minutes. Other long bombers included all of “Supper’s Ready” by Genesis, which resulted in a tirade by Phil for just as long, about how much he thinks it sucks! (And he’s an old-school Marillion fan…surprising.) And of course there were several Maiden tunes that clock in well over 5 minutes.
For your edification, here is the official Sausagefest XII Countdown: 75 tracks, plus 35 tributes. One tribute for each person that submitted a list! 110 songs over one weekend! Awesome.
|1||Toronto Tontos||Max Webster|
|2||Long Cool Woman in a Red Dress||The Hollies|
|4||Rooster||Alice in Chains|
|6||Papa Was a Rolling Stone||The Temptations|
|8||Black Betty||Ram Jam|
|9||Locomotive Breath||Jethro Tull|
|10||I’m Your Captain||Grand Funk Railroad|
|11||Wasted Years||Iron Maiden|
|12||Low Hanging Fruit||Tenacious D|
|13||Green Eyed Lady||Sugarloaf|
|14||Hey Joe||Jimi Hendrix|
|16||Roadhouse Blues||The Doors|
|17||Thick as a Brick||Jethro Tull|
|20||Trapped Under Ice||Metallica|
|21||Nautical Disaster||Tragically Hip|
|22||No Quarter||Led Zeppelin|
|23||Mr. Blue Sky||Electric Light Orchestra|
|24||The Wizard||Black Sabbath|
|25||Mama Told Me Not To Come||Three Dog Night|
|27||Jungle Boogie||Kool and the Gang|
|28||Telegraph Road||Dire Straits|
|31||Eulogy of the Damned||Orange Goblin|
|32||Throw Down the Sword||Wishbone Ash|
|34||The Alabama Song||The Doors|
|35||Rise of the Fenix||Tenacious D|
|36||Livin Thing||Electric Light Orchestra|
|37||The Shape I’m In||The Band|
|39||The Chain||Fleetwood Mac|
|40||No One Knows||Queens of the Stone Age|
|41||Die Young||Black Sabbath|
|42||Bang Bang||Terry Reid|
|43||Caught Somewhere in Time||Iron Maiden|
|44||Buried Alive||Avenged Sevenfold|
|45||Dream Police||Cheap Trick|
|46||Would||Alice in Chains|
|47||Don’t Fear the Reaper||Blue Oyster Cult|
|48||Zero the Hero||Black Sabbath|
|49||Pool of Booze||Volbeat|
|51||Why Cant We Be Friends?||War|
|52||Rock and Roll||Led Zeppelin|
|53||While My Guitar Gently Weeps||The Beatles|
|57||Old Man||Neil Young|
|58||Southern Man||Neil Young|
|61||Fight Fire With Fire||Metallica|
|63||Green Onions||Booker T and the MG’s|
|64||Weird Beard||Fu Manchu|
|65||Tonight’s the Night||Neil Young|
|66||BYOB||System of a Down|
|68||As the Years Go By||Mashmakhan|
|69||Toxicity||System of a Down|
|71||Space Truckin’||Deep Purple|
|72||South of Heaven||Slayer|
|73||Rocky Mountain Way||Joe Walsh|
|75||Rock and Roll||Motorhead|
|TOM||Earache My Eye||Cheech and Chong|
|BUCKY||A Day in the Life||WAR|
|LAMB LORD||The Wizard||Uriah Heep|
|LEBRAIN||Well You Needn`t||Herbie Hancock Quartet|
|TROY||Caught Up in You||.38 Special|
|SCOTTIE||Coming Home||Iron Maiden|
|PHIL||Under Black Flags We March||Arch Enemy|
|CHUCK||New Fang||Them Crooked Vultures|
|TYLER G.||Come on in my Kitchen||Robert Johnson|
|C||Time After Time||Savage Steel|
|CHAD||She`s a Rainbow||The Rolling Stones|
|DR DAVE||Ogre Battle||Queen|
|LOGAN||Cowboys From Hell||Pantera|
|GRANT||Around the World||Red Hot Chili Peppers|
|WAYNE||Inside Looking Out||Grand Funk Railroad|
|CAM||Red Hot Mama||Funkadelic|
|AARON||High Caliber Consecrator||Clutch|
|JOHN B.||I Stay Away||Alice in Chains|
|LAMB LAD||Kick Out the Jams||MC5|
|ALEX||Chicken Strut||The Meters|
|FRANK||Whiskey in the Jar||Metallica|
|MARK E.||Are You Mine?||The Arctic Monkeys|
|JON K.||Stone Deaf Forever||Motorhead/Metallica|
|TYLER W.||We Are All on Drugs||Weezer|
|MARK S.||People are Strange||The Doors|
|JUSTIN||Monsters||Blue Oyster Cult|
|MIKE||Monarchy of Roses||Red Hot Chili Peppers|
The official video
Music fans love lists. Maybe it’s the Ten Best Bass Lines of the 1990’s or a list of the songs you wish you lost your virginity to. I have always been a lists guy as the whole Sausagefest Top 100 thing would attest to. So here is yet another list. The albums listed below are not my favorite albums of all time, even though many of my favorites are included. The point of this list is to possibly introduce to, or maybe even remind, this blog’s readers of 30 albums that I think need to be heard. Maybe an album that in my opinion was under-appreciated. Perhaps even an album that inspired me in some way. Anyways, here are 30 albums that Uncle Meat wants you to visit … or re-visit. They are in alphabetical by album title. Enjoy
A EULOGY FOR THE DAMNED – ORANGE GOBLIN (2012)
I could have easily listed several other Orange Goblin albums here, but their latest album is an absolutely killer album. Almost fusing some Black Crowes into their brand of Metal, these British stoner-rockers put out maybe the best Metal album of 2012. And considering that there are only 3 albums on this whole list that were released before the year 2000, it feels good to actually get some new content in here. The album ends with the title track, which almost plays out like its own Rock N’ Roll Western. The band finally tours Canada for the first time coming up in spring of 2013. As the late Billy Red Lyons used to say, “Don’t ya dare miss it!”
ACT III – DEATH ANGEL (1990)
Death Angel’s first two albums are pretty sloppy, sound-wise and in song structure. Some very heavy moments, but at times it just sounds annoying. On their third release, Max Norman (Megadeth) got his hands on them and it resulted in a polished sound and the best album of their career. Gone were the high-pitched shrieks of singer Mark Osegueda that littered their first two records. It really does seem that the band simply matured. One of the best Metal albums of the 90’s indeed. Definitely among the most progressive metal albums I can think of. A must-have album for every true Metal fan.
ARGUS – WISHBONE ASH (1972)
It is fair to say that Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy would never have the musical identity they have, if it wasn’t for Wishbone Ash. Innovators in twin- lead guitar harmonization, this band never really got its due. Interestingly enough, the sound engineer on this record is none other than Martin Birch. Coincidence? Meat thinks not. I remember this album sitting in front of my Dad’s stereo for years when I was very young, and then seeing Star Wars and thinking that Darth Vader looked a lot like the guy on the cover of Argus. Check this album out and discover a part of where it all came from. When you listen to the beginning of the song-clip included here, “Throw Down the Sword”, think “To Live is to Die” by Metallica. Sounds like Lars and the boys were paying attention as well.
ARGYBARGY – SQUEEZE (1980)
Think The Beatles meets The Clash. The first two songs on this album are both stellar pop moments. The melodies are McArtney-esque, and that is truly saying something. “Pulling Mussels From a Shell” is pure song-writing genius. “Another Nail in my Heart” is one of my favorite songs of all time. Check out the incredible guitar solo in this song. Funny enough, like the 2 previous albums listed, this was the band’s third album. Maybe a trend is happening here.
BIG WORLD – JOE JACKSON (1986)
For Joe Jackson’s 8th release, he decided to go all out. An original studio album, recorded live in front of a New York City audience who were told to be silent throughout. Capturing the excitement and spontaneity of a live performance, in which absolutely no post-recording mixing or overdubbing was done, this record is ambitious as it sounds. It is all here. You get Jazz, Pop, Punk and everything in between. Jackson possesses one of the classic all-time voices. When this double-album was released, it contained three sides of music, leaving the fourth side blank. A landmark recording.
BLUE – JONI MITCHELL (1971)
This album came in at Number 30 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Albums of All-Time chart, the highest placing for any female artist. So why is this album on this list? Honestly because I still believe this album is truly under-appreciated. Too many people do not realize how great this album is. Simply, some of the best lyrics of all time are here. If this album was any more personal it would contain a video of Joni Mitchell going to the bathroom. Listen to this front to back when you want to feel like someone understands your pain. A truly cathartic experience, when she played this album originally to Kris Kristofferson he was reported to respond, “Joni… You really should keep some of that to yourself”. I am glad she didn’t take heed of his advice.
DOGMAN – KING’S X (1994)
It seems as soon as Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam/STP/Black Crowes) got his hands on King’s X, the band’s sound fattened up. Thick, lush and pounding would be a good overall description of the sound on this album. The songs are great too. I saw King’s X at the legendary El Mocambo in Toronto and was standing literally beside Dimebag Darrell and the rest of Pantera. While I love almost every song on this album, the title track is an absolute killer. When the first Woodstock concert in 25 years began, it was King’s X who took the stage to kick it all off. Check out this live performance from the old Jon Stewart show from back in the day and crank it. One of my favorite youtube videos ever.
DUKE ELLINGTON & JOHN COLTRANE – DUKE ELLINGTON & JOHN COLTRANE (1962)
This might be my favorite jazz album of all time. Duke was 63 and Trane was 36 when this album was recorded. With a running time of 35:05 this album is short and oh so very sweet. Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” starts this album off and it never lets up. “Big Nick” is just a wonderfully happy shuffle. True story: I once got so fed up with Metal that I became a Jazzatarian for a few months, listening to nothing but old school Jazz. I started with John Coltrane and went from there. I never did find a jazz artist after him that I enjoy more.
EL CORAZON – STEVE EARLE (1997)
Simply put, this album is easily in my Top 3 albums of all time, of any genre. True storytelling at its finest, El Corazon is a complete masterpiece. It seems that sobriety allowed Steve Earle to realize how great of a songwriter he really is and on this album he branches out and removes any constraints of style. Of all the 30 records included on this list, this is the one I am not asking you to check out, but I am TELLING you to check out. Comparing the laid-back intensity of “Christmas in Washington” to the sheer power of “Here I Am” truly makes you appreciate the diversity of this record. Steve Earle is THE man. A lifetime Bro-mance going on here.
HEAD HUNTERS – HERBIE HANCOCK (1973)
Quite possibly the greatest jazz fusion record ever recorded. This record is a funk buffet. Only 4 songs and all of them are great. The YouTube clip here of “Watermelon Man” is the shortest song on the album, and is as original as it is velvety-smooth. I find it hard not to do some sort of jig when this I hear this song. “Chameleon”, “Sly” and “Vein Melter” complete one of the most influential jazz albums of all time. Half of this album made 2012’s SausageFest countdown. I suspect the other half will not be far behind.
Stay tuned for Part 2!