Mitch Lafon

REVIEW: Bon Jovi – “Wanted: Dead or Alive” (1987 cassette)

BON JOVI – “Wanted: Dead or Alive” (1987 Mercury extended play cassette)

Some rarities are easiest to find on tape.

That’s definitely still the case for “Wanted: Dead or Alive”, the 1987 acoustic version originally released only on an extended play cassette in most of the world.  This version, discussed below, is a Holy Grail collectable.  What about CD or vinyl?  There was a rare Japanese version with a slightly different tracklist, but for 30 years, all I had was this cherished cassette.

The tape has four tracks.  The original studio version (titled “Long Version” here to avoid confusion with the  4:10 single edit) leads side A.  “Wanted” is Bon Jovi’s first truly brilliant song.  An extended cowboy metaphor about the road, it’s timeless.  It always has been.  Richie Sambora’s 12 string guitar made all the young guitar kids want to play one.  His backing vocals were the real highlight.  Funny thing about Bon Jovi:  the backing vocalist was better than the lead singer!  Smoking guitar solo too, where every note counts.  You can hear Richie pushing those strings and wrenching that solo from the instrument.  It’s a perfect song, with every component serving a purpose and coming together.  The old west as seen from New Jersey.

The acoustic version of “Wanted” is the real delight here.  It’s just Jon and Sambora together with two acoustic guitars.  Jon explains the details in the liner notes, but only the cassette has this information: one more good reason to hunt down the tape.  Read below:

“On March 18, 1987 or somewhere there bouts, Richie and I flew into New York to mix some live tracks for a radio special.  After a couple hours of record making, donut eating, and MTV watching we got bored, picked up two acoustics and started to jam.  The results are here on tape, the way we wrote it, just like it was in the basement on that cold January night in Jersey.”

If that doesn’t set the scene, nothing will.  Richie sings more of the lyrics, and belts out a killer acoustic solo too.  It was this recording that demonstrated to me the talents of Mr. Sambo.  What it lacks in glossy finish, it makes up for in spades with vibe.

On side B, the live version of “Wanted” is another rarity.  It’s an extended 8:13 full band version, with a long instrumental prologue.  According to the liner notes (again, only on the cassette), it was recorded at Cobo Hall in Detroit on March 11, exactly a week before the studio jam was recorded.  It’s likely this is one of the live songs that Jon and Richie were in New York mixing on the 18th.  (Production is credited to both.)  You may have lots of versions of “Wanted” already, but owning an extended take from early ’87 is better.

The tape ends on “I’d Die For You”, a song that was good enough to be a single in its own right.  However, it wasn’t.  It’s just an album track from Slippery When Wet, but it’s safe to say it’s a bit of an unsung classic.  The Japanese CD version, on the other hand, comes with the non-album rarity “Edge of a Broken Heart”, one of their best tunes ever.  After “Edge”, there is an exclusive unlisted interview with all five band members.  Inside, Japan also got a “Bon Jovi Dictionary (R to Z)”.  Presumably the other volumes of the dictionary can be found in other Japanese CDs.

Though this cassette has an overabundance of “Wanted”, you simply need to get that acoustic version.  You want the one that’s 5:31 long, recorded in March ’87.  In fact, you need that one.  And even though CD is the superior format, the tape has the liner notes and other details you won’t find on CD.

5/5 stars

Thanks to Mitch Lafon for helping me locate a CD copy of these tracks!

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#513.5: The #200wordchallenge is done!

200-word

GETTING MORE TALE #513.5: The #200wordchallenge is done!

A huge thank-you to all who participated in this #200wordchallenge!

From August 29 to September 2, writers were challenged to write music reviews by the same length rules as old print magazines: 200 words.  No more no less.  One of us even took it upon himself to take the challenge further with the old “Hit & Run” review style — a hard 80 words!   Thanks to rock journalist Mitch Lafon for the impetus for this adventure.

The end result was 30 posts by six writers!  Speaking for myself, I enjoyed the experiment.  Mitch was right:  forcing yourself to adhere to a hard 200 words does sharpen your skills.  In addition, the challenge succeeded in bringing Vinyl Connection out of retirement (for now?)  so no matter how you slice it, the #200wordchallenge has brought some good to the world.  Each writer who participated even contributed more than they originally estimated they would!  Perhaps the #200wordchallenge injected a shot of inspiration.

Be sure to visit our friends below, and check out their work.  Thanks to each of these talented folks, we had a fun week.  And a big thanks again to Mitch Lafon, a rock star in his own right.  Click below for the posts, and give them all a hand (or 200 hands)!

 

 

VINYL CONNECTION:

GOODGIRLFRIEND (Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend
TRANS GILMOUR EXPRESS (The Orb featuring David Gilmour – Metallic Spheres)
DEAR HERR FROESE (Tangerine Dream – Phaedra)

1001 ALBUMS IN 10 YEARS:

The Sugarcubes – Life’s Too Good
Hanoi Rocks – Back to Mystery City (1983)
Sigur Rós – Ágætis byrjun (1999)

STICK IT IN YOUR EAR:

MSG (1981)
Badlands (1989)
Stereophonics – Performance (1999)
Tragically Hip – Roxy and Elsewhere (1993)

MIKE LADANO:

Ratt – Ratt & Roll 8191
Two – Voyeurs (1998 Japanese bonus track)
Journey – Look Into the Future (1976)
REVIEW: Megadeth – Countdown to Extinction (Remixed & Remastered)

BOPPINSBLOG:

Black Sabbath (The End World Tour -Toronto 2016)
Prophets of Rage – EP
Misheard lyrics (bonus)

“HIT & RUN” 80 word reviews:

KEEPS ME ALIVE:

Aerosmith – Devil’s Got a New Disguise – The Very Best of Aerosmith
Jim Cuddy – All In Time
Jim Cuddy – Skyscraper Soul
Regina Spektor – Soviet Kitsch
Willie Nelson – The Great Divide
Willie Nelson – Countryman
Holly Golightly – Slowly But Surely
Pegi Young – Foul Deeds
54-40 – Smilin’ Buddah Cabaret
Elliott Smith – Figure 8
Trews – Acoustic: Friends And Total Strangers Deluxe Reissue
Jake Bugg – On My One
Weezer – Weezer (blue)

#513: The #200wordchallenge

200 word

GETTING MORE TALE #513:
The #200wordchallenge (hosted by mikeladano.com)

Writing is a process of continual improvement.  This challenge started a couple weeks ago when I posted my epic Def Leppard review for Hysteria, at approximately 2400 words.

One benefit this writing journey has done for me is put me in contact with some great professionals.  Rock journalist Mitch Lafon (from One on One with Mitch Lafon) is one such professional, always willing to offer advice and encouragement.  Mitch has a decades-long history with writing, having done many reviews for the print medium before embarking on his current journey interviewing the stars.

“Anyone can fill a page,” he said, “but it’s much harder to come up with a sharp 200 word review.”

Back in his print days, they used to have to adhere to a strict 200 word limit:  no more, no less.  Not 199, not 202.  Mitch encouraged me to try this exercise.  “It hones the mind and sharpens the skills,” said Mitch.  That’s all I needed to give it a try!  “Pithy is king,” he says.  Sharp, concise and expressive.  (Mitch also told me about the old “Hit & Run” review format – a hard 80 words!)

A few of the budding writers here have taken up the #200wordchallenge, and you will see our work next week.  I will post links to all of the #200wordchallenge reviews from the writers taking part.  Would you like to participate?  Are you up for it?  Leave a comment below.

Interestingly, WordPress and Microsoft Word seem to count words differently.  My first #200wordchallenge review came up to 194 words on WordPress, but 200 words in Microsoft.  My manual count was closer to Microsoft’s, so that’s what I’m using for my word counts.  You may use whatever method you like as long as you’re consistent.  Title and score do not contribute to the word count.

There will always be a big place in my life for an epic-style review.  I don’t think I could have done Hysteria any other way.  (I mean, I could have, but I wouldn’t be happy with it.)  What’s your attention span like?  Can you make it past 200 words when reading a music review?  Comment below and let us know your take.

 

You up for it?


Look for reviews from the #200wordchallenge from Aug 29 – Sept 2.  This page will be updated with links.

VINYL CONNECTION:

GOODGIRLFRIEND (Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend
TRANS GILMOUR EXPRESS (The Orb featuring David Gilmour – Metallic Spheres)
DEAR HERR FROESE (Tangerine Dream – Phaedra)

1001 ALBUMS IN 10 YEARS:

The Sugarcubes – Life’s Too Good
Hanoi Rocks – Back to Mystery City (1983)
Sigur Rós – Ágætis byrjun (1999)

STICK IT IN YOUR EAR:

MSG (1981)
Badlands (1989)
Stereophonics – Performance (1999)
Tragically Hip – Roxy and Elsewhere (1993)

MIKE LADANO:

Ratt – Ratt & Roll 8191
Two – Voyeurs (1998 Japanese bonus track)
Journey – Look Into the Future (1976)
REVIEW: Megadeth – Countdown to Extinction (Remixed & Remastered)

BOPPINSBLOG:

Black Sabbath (The End World Tour -Toronto 2016)
Prophets of Rage – EP
Misheard lyrics (bonus)

“HIT & RUN” 80 word reviews:

KEEPS ME ALIVE:

Aerosmith – Devil’s Got a New Disguise – The Very Best of Aerosmith
Jim Cuddy – All In Time
Jim Cuddy – Skyscraper Soul
Regina Spektor – Soviet Kitsch
Willie Nelson – The Great Divide
Willie Nelson – Countryman
Holly Golightly – Slowly But Surely
Pegi Young – Foul Deeds
54-40 – Smilin’ Buddah Cabaret
Elliott Smith – Figure 8
Trews – Acoustic: Friends And Total Strangers Deluxe Reissue
Jake Bugg – On My One

REVIEW: Russ Dwarf – Wireless (2013)

The Best Fucking Collaboration Week Ever, Pt. 2
 Mike and Aaron will be doing simultaneous daily reviews of albums these two intrepid music reporters have sent to each other. Buckle up, buttercups, it’s gonna be a blast!

Aaron’s review: Russ Dwarf – Wireless

RUSS DWARFS – Wireless (2013 Smoothline)

I don’t know where Aaron finds this stuff up in Owen Sound, but here is a pristine digipack CD of Russ Dwarf (of Killer Dwarf) and friends doing acoustic versions of old Killer Dwarfs classics.  Wireless is a great name for such a venture, and the friends list includes Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses) and Glen Drover (ex-Megadeth).  Holed up in a studio in Newmarket, Ontario they laid down some pretty cool acoustic renditions of these numbers.

“Keep the Spirit Alive” remains irresistible today in acoustic form.  That’s because a good song has a lifespan.  A great chorus and memorable lyrics plus a pinch of magic made “Keep the Spirit Alive” a minor hit.  It’s one of the most purely enjoyable Dwarfs tunes and works well as an acoustic spirit booster.  Russ can still hit all the notes.  From the same album (Stand Tall, 1986) comes “Stand Tall”, which also makes the acoustic transition successfully.  A pretty incredible guitar solo (it’s not clear who is playing what) ensures this isn’t just “KD Lite”.

1988’s “I’m Alive” was an upbeat morale booster in its band arrangement.  Acoustically it’s the campfire version of the same thing.  The musical arrangements on Wireless do not deviate very far from the originals.  There are no radical re-imaginings.  What makes Wireless special for fans is Russell Graham’s earnest and still strong vocals, and of course the impressive six-string slinging of Drover and Bumblefoot.  The harder rock songs transition into an acoustic versions well enough, but ballads like “Doesn’t Matter” really shine.  A touch of piano and a vintage Russell vocal are the perfect topping.  A lot of this sounds live in the studio.  It doesn’t sound like a lot of time was spent mucking around fixing things in the mix, or sweetening things up.   What it sounds like, more or less, is Russ singing live in your living room.

The one thing that I did not think would work acoustically was “Comin’ Through”, the angry barnstormer from Dirty Weapons (1990).   It exists acoustically as a semi-epic and righteous twister through the plains of Canada.  “Crazy fuckin’ people living in the past, can’t you see that ain’t gonna last?” sings Russ with all the grit of the original.  Whatever Mr. Dwarf is doing to maintain his voice…well, good on you sir!  “Dirty Weapons” itself is mournful and slow rather than aggressive.  Interestingly, Russ arranged this album in chronological order.  The last three songs are from the final Dwarfs studio album Method to the Madness (1992).  That puts a nice bow on it, serving as a reminder that the Killer Dwarfs were still writing great tunes right to the end.  I can’t think of a better tune to end with than “Driftin’ Back”.

I quite liked Wireless and recommend it to any fan of the mighty mites known as Killer Dwarfs who wants to check out some quieter versions of their best material.  No new songs, sadly.  That would have been bitchin’.

3.5/5 stars

Spot the Mitch

Spot the Mitch

#436: To offend, or not to offend?

GETTING MORE TALE #436: To offend, or not to offend?

It’s 2015 and any serious business has an online presence on Twitter, Facebook, and everywhere else.  Ever sit there at your computer and wonder just what the social media guru for a business does?  Ever looked at something online and said, “I could do what they do, and with the resources they have, I could do it better.”  I know I have.

But could I?

There is a huge difference between a paid social media person, and someone like myself who is doing this on his own for the sake of the music.

Let’s look at the goals of the paid social media liaison:

  1. Engage in conversation with customers on social media.
  2. Make interesting posts involving questions, to kick-start the conversations.
  3. Give a peek behind the curtain of their business.
  4. Don’t offend anyone.

The first three points here are all pretty easy to accomplish, especially for us as writers.  Just substitute “customer” with “reader”.  Most music writers online that I follow and read regularly do these things, and with style and fun.

Rock journalist Mitch Lafon is a great example.  Almost daily, he poses loaded questions to his many followers.  Things like “Slippery When Wet, or New Jersey?”  “Iron Maiden, or Judas Priest?”  He also asks fans to choose which interview he’ll post next.  “Slash or Geoff Tate?”  (Slash won.)  Mitch has a very engaged following on social media, thanks to his regular posts and questions.  He’s quite a natural at it, and he has done a fantastic job.  The great thing about social media is the ability for everyone to get involved and be heard.

As for a peek behind the curtains, this is all but expected on social media now, no matter who you are.  Movie studios are always posting drool-inducing teaser photos from the set via Twitter.  Bands do the same from the studio.  I have always tried to give you a look at how my creative process works, showing you the mess behind the scenes at LeBrain HQ.

IMG_20150102_111343

The exciting life of a music blogger

The tricky point is the fourth one: “Don’t offend anyone”.  It is very difficult to go through life without offending anyone.  I might be considered an expert on such subjects.

When I used to write CD reviews for our old company newsletter, we couldn’t really say anything negative.  The reviews were one paragraph each, and had to be to the point.  We only reviewed CDs that we could praise, because as a store, we were trying to sell CDs!  We didn’t want to offend a fan, nor discourage one from buying a CD.

We did the best we could considering the circumstances.  Our monthly newsletter had some humour content, such as “funny customer quotes”, similar to my Klassic Kwotes here, but watered down and tamed.  You couldn’t have somebody read the newsletter and say, “Hey, they’re making fun of me!  I’m never shopping there again!”

I’m not doing this to sell anything.  I started this for the sheer joy of talking about music, and to shine a light on neglected albums that deserved more attention.  One of my earlier reader’s comments said something like, “You like everything, how come you don’t have any negative reviews?”  Very well, then!  My negative reviews have since become some spicy favourites.

Surprisingly, the negative reviews (or stories) are no more likely to receive negative comments than positive ones!  It seems that there are many people out there who will take the slightest words the wrong way, or personally.  (My radio buddy Craig, who openly loathes all social media, refers to these people as “humourless bastards”.  He has also noticed that many of them use three names on Facebook, and have a picture of a cat as their Facebook photo.)

Creative freedom is more important to me than ruffled feathers.  It’s different for a business, and I’m glad for that reason that I’m not doing this as a business.  I admit that I have purposely sought to get a reaction.  I’m the guy who once wrote a Quiet Riot review by pasting a picture of a piece of shit on the album cover.  It’s all supposed to be fun.  If you’re offended by that, then you’re reading the wrong website.  (I have a lot more toilet humour where that came from.)

Even if you’re using social media to promote a business, a little bit of humour never hurts. No, you don’t want to go out of your way to offend someone’s tastes, or sensibilities.  You also don’t want to have bland, faceless content.  Let your personalities shine, be creative and have fun with your social media.  You don’t have to take a page out of my book and uses pictures of poop as a product review (tee hee)*, but if you’re not having a laugh, neither are your followers!

* I’m also not discouraging you from using pictures of poop in product reviews, either.

REVIEW: A World With Heroes EP

NEW RELEASE

A WORLD WITHA World With Heroes EP – A KISS Tribute for Cancer Care (Anniversary release)

You’ve heard me talking a lot about this one lately.  It’s a release I’m really excited about.  The record shows that I heartily approved of last year’s A World With Heroes (A Kiss Tribute for Cancer Care), assembled by Mitch Lafon.  Proceeds went to benefit the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence in Hudson, Quebec.  And it was a killer, killer CD as my 5/5 star rating attested to.  To hear there was an EP coming featuring more Kiss covers, that peaked my interest.  Lafon always makes sure that there are quality tunes, performed by artists we care about.

The Killer Dwarfs do “C’mon and Love Me” just right.  I like that Russ Dwarf throws in some of Gene’s mannerisms in the chorus, but also sings it in his own voice.  If you like Killer Dwarfs and Kiss, you will love this, guaranteed.  Once again, the A World With Heroes series has delivered a solid Kiss cover that is valuable to fans.

“Calling Dr. Love” as performed by Crash Kelly is a real rarity.  You had to pre-donate to the original compilation CD to get an mp3 of it.  Now you can buy it on the EP.  They turn in a fun version of “Dr. Love”.  They make it a bit more pop rock in feel, and Sean Kelly absolutely nails Ace’s solo note for note.  It’s uncanny.  We all know Sean is a talented axeman, but that solo was flawless.

“Save Your Love” is an awesome Ace song, but Matt Bradshaw’s take on it is unique to say the least.  He transforms it into a funky acoustic ballad.  But it works!  I was prepared to hate it but was pleasantly surprised.  It’s bizarre how the song completely works in this format.  This is an example of an intelligent, innovative cover — something that is rare these days.   Brilliant cover.  Seriously.

“Every Time I Look at You” was originally from the Revenge album.  Some fans assume that Bruce Kulick played the guitar solo, but it was in fact Bob Ezrin’s old pal, Dick Wagner.  Dick Wagner passed away recently, at age 71.  This was his last song ever, which makes his version of this song that much more poignant.  His quavering voice speaks of the years past, but much like a late period Johnny Cash album, it only adds character to the song.  He sounds like a cross between Bob Dylan and Keith Richards.  The guitar work is lovely of course.

The Dwarfs return with “Nothin’ to Lose” from the first album.  Once again Russ nails the Gene mannerisms, while still sounding like Russ Dwarf.  This one is replete with piano and cowbell (Piano is by Bruce Stephen Foster, who also played on the Kiss original!).  I gotta be honest with you, I like the idea of the Dwarfs covering Kiss songs.  They can do more if they want.  They’re allowed.

Sudden Flames are a metal band from Quebec City.  They heavy up “Coming Home” considerably.  It’s one of my favourite Kiss songs ever, so it’s kind of funny to hear it with drums blasting away like this.  Like “Dr. Love”, this song was only available to those who donated in advance to the original CD.  Now you can get it on iTunes too.   I enjoy hearing their Québécois accents, truly one of the greatest accents on this Earth.

I only wish this was a physical release.

4.5/5 stars

  1. “C’Mon and Love Me” – Killer Dwarfs
  2. “Calling Dr. Love” – Crash Kelly
  3. “Save Your Love” – Matt Bradshaw
  4. “Every Time I Look At You” – Dick Wagner
  5. “Nothin’ To Lose” – Killer Dwarfs
  6. “Coming Home” – Sudden FlamesA WORLD WITH EP

 

 

REVIEW: A World With Heroes – A KISS Tribute for Cancer Care – A 40th Anniversary Celebration (2013)

Part 7.5 in my series on Ace Frehley, sorta!  Plenty of Ace related coolness here.  For the last part of the Ace series, 12 Picks, click here.

A World With Heroes – A KISS Tribute for Cancer Care – A 40th Anniversary Celebration

Cancer sucks.  Kiss rules.  Agreed?  Buy this CD.

Mitch Lafon executive produced this sucker, and I suspect that means a hell of a lot of work.  I have never in my travels discovered a cooler Kiss tribute album.  Do you really need to buy another Kiss tribute album?  Do you?  Yes, you do.  Why?  For the following reasons:

  • IMG_00000937Profits benefit the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence in Hudson, Quebec.
  • Obscure track selections.
  • Rare Kiss related gems, such as two Peter Criss Band demos with Phil Naro.
  • New Brighton Rock!  Finally.
  • Superstar performers including Mark Tornillo of Accept, Russ Dwarf, Don Dokken, Bonfire, Sean Kelly, Vinny Appice, L.A. Guns, Doro, and many more.
  • Members of the Kiss family including Eric Carr, Peter Criss, Frehley’s Comet (minus Frehley), Bob Kulick and Phil Naro.

I can’t say enough good things about this compilation.  Upon first sight, it had enough rarities from artists I liked, as well as Kiss obscurities, to make it a must-have.  Hearing it, I’m blown away repeatedly.  It is a heady brew of hits and deep, deep cuts.  Since there are 51 tracks in total, I can’t go into too much detail.  I’ll point out some personal favourite moments.

I’m a huge fan of the Revenge album, and I’m a huge fan of Accept.  Hearing Mark Tornillo do his thing through “Spit” was awesome.   I think the man’s vocal cords must be made of steel or something for him to sing like that.  I also loved “Sure Know Something”, although I don’t know Chris Buck & Anthony Cardenas Montana.  It’s a slinky version, very true to the original but with a Rod Stewart vibe.  Jeff Paris does a pretty authentic “Shout Mercy” and I give him full points for doing a Monster tune, the newest Kiss song on A World With Heroes.

I’ve loved Brighton Rock since I was a kid, but I never expected them to unplug “Creatures of the Night”.  This twist takes a moment to get used to, but their haunting arrangement is very original and cool!  “Larger Than Life” from Alive II is revisited by Brian Tichy and friends, and they do it pretty straight to the original, almost lick for lick.  It’s great.  I love that Ron Young from Little Caesar sings “Little Caesar”, a nice wink and a smile there.  A band called Shredmill contribute their original song “Outerspace”…which was later covered by Ace Frehley on his Anomaly album (giving himself a writing credit).  Shredmill’s version is more Danzig, where Ace’s was more Ace.

On the second CD, surprises and highlights continue.  Ron Keel and friends from Tesla and Cinderella knock it out of the park on “Rock N’ Roll Hell”, with a nod at the start to Keel’s own “The Right To Rock”.  Rick Hughes of Quebec metal masters Sword helps blow the doors off “The Oath”, a favourite from The Elder.  The L.A. Guns guys (Phil Lewis included) tackle the difficult “Master & Slave” from Carnival of Souls, and it smokes.  They do it authentic to the grungy original but with Phil’s snarky vocals.

As a Killer Dwarfs fan, I’m always pleased to hear Russ Dwarf’s nasally twang, and he turns in a decent “Hard Luck Woman”.  (Meanwhile, another bunch of L.A. Guns guys did their own version on disc one.)  Bonfire contribute a live version of Paul Stanley’s unreleased song “Sword & Stone”, from their Live at Wacken CD.  I don’t really know who American Dog are, but I love that they covered the Paul Stanley version of “God of Thunder”, not the Gene Simmons take from Destroyer.  They do it the speedy rocked-up way that Paul originally demoed.  Jim Crean does justice to “Magic Touch”.  He’s almost Joe Lynn Turner style on this one.

A WORLD WITH_0001The second CD ends with two takes of “Beth” (Chris VanDahl sounding like the hoarse Peter Criss on Alive II, and Phil Naro).  This is in addition to Michael Lardie’s (Great White) version on disc one.  Naro’s is easily the best of the three.

But wait, that’s not all, folks.  iTunes are selling a 51 track version of A World With Heroes, including 11 exclusives.  Thankfully, you can buy these exclusives separately if you already bought the CD (like I did).  Once again, highlights are many.  Doro contributes a 2013 re-recording of “Only You”, which she had a previous hit with back in 1990.  Russ Dwarf returns with an outstanding “God Gave Rock and Roll To You II”.  There are two previously unreleased demos by the Peter Criss Band with Phil Naro.  These feature Peter on drums, but believe me, you can hear that it is the Cat Man and no one else.  In addition, there’s a third song from this period, but recorded by Phil in 2013.  There is also a second version of “Larger Than Life”, this time by somebody called Robot Lords Of Tokyo.  I don’t know who Robot Lords Of Tokyo are, but I love “Larger Than Life” and I have no problem with another version of it.  This one’s done quite differently, and heavier too.

But wait!  There’s still more!  Pledgers who pre-ordered the CD got four bonus tracks.  I missed the boat on these, and you can’t get them anymore.  I’m bummed about that, but for the sake of completion, the four bonus tracks are:

  1. ‘Calling Dr. Love’ – Performed by: Crash Kelly
  2. ‘Comin’ Home’ – Performed by: Sudden Flames
  3. ‘Heaven’s On Fire’ – Performed by: The Feckers (ft. Irene Slade)
  4. ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You’ Performed by: Alain Pernot

I’d love to have these, especially Crash Kelly, but alas.  The project is still awesome and worth your coins.  Especially if you’re a self respecting Kiss fan.  Get it.

5/5 stars

EDIT:  I now have the tracks.  Crash Kelly’s is awesome!  Fun and awesome.

Disc 1:

  1. ‘Psycho Circus’ – Performed by: DDRIVE (Phil Naro, Don Mancuso, Dave Sessions, Jt Taylor & Bobby Bond)
  2. ‘Spit’ – Performed by: Ken Dubman, Jimmy Callahan, Scott Metaxas, & Mark Tornillo
  3. ‘Deuce’ – Performed by: Bill Leverty, Kevin Valentine, John Regan, & Russ Dwarf
  4. ‘Sure Know Something’ – Performed by: Chris Buck & Anthony Cardenas Montana
  5. ‘Detroit Rock City’ – Performed by: Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, Rex Brown & Brian Tichy
  6. ‘Eyes Of Love’ – Performed by: Eric Carr, Benny Doro & John Humphrey
  7. ‘Shout Mercy’ – Performed by: Jeff Paris, Troy Lucketta, Eric Brittingham Jeff Labar
  8. ‘Creatures Of The Night’ – Performed by: BRIGHTON ROCK
  9. ‘Larger Than Life’ – Performed by: Rex Brown, Brian Tichy & Mark Zavon
  10. ‘Cold Gin’ – Performed by: Don Dokken & Tommy Denander
  11. ‘Love Gun’ – Performed by: Tony Harnell, Mark Kendall, Scott Snyder, Sean Michael Clegg, Kevin Valentine & Tommy Denander
  12. ‘Little Caesar’ – Performed by: Ron Young, John Regan & Tommy Denander
  13. ‘Hard Luck Woman’ – Performed by: Chris VanDahl, Stacey Blades & Adam Hamilton
  14. ‘Outerspace’ – Original demo later covered by Ace Frehley on his Anomaly album – Performed by: SHREDMILL (David Askew, Jesus Mendez Jr, Jaime Moreno)
  15. ‘Goodbye’ – Performed by: IMPERIA & BOB KULICK (J.K.Impera, Matti Alfonzetti, Tommy Denander & Mats Vassfjord) – Additional Guitars by Lars Chriss
  16. ‘See You Tonight’ – Performed by: TODD FARHOOD & MYSTERY (Todd Farhood, Michel St-Pere, Sylvain Moineau, Jean-Sébastien Goyette, Francois Fournier & Benoit Dupuis)
  17. ‘Beth’ – The Grand Piano Version – Performed by: Michael Lardie
  18. ‘Tomorrow’ – Performed by: DRESSED TO CHILL (Matt Bradshaw, Rav Thomas & Rhys Lett)
  19. ‘Anything For My Baby’ – Performed by: SLAVES ON DOPE (Kevin Jardine, Jason Rockman, Seb Ducap & Peter Tzaferis)
  20. ‘Unholy’ – Performed by: Fred Duvall, Glenn Belcher, Mark Slaughter (Guitar Solo), Rob Zakojc & Russ Dwarf

Disc 2:

  1. ‘Breakout’ – Performed by: Tod Howarth, John Regan & Kevin Valentine
  2. ‘Rock N Roll Hell’ – Performed by: Ron Keel, Troy Lucketta, Eric Brittingham & Jeff Labar
  3. ‘Nowhere To Run’ – Performed by: DRUCKFARBEN (Phil Naro, Ed Bernard, William Hare, Troy Feener & Peter Murray)
  4. ‘The Oath’ – Performed by: Rick Hughes, Chris Buck & Bob Richards
  5. ‘Master & Slave’ – Performed by: Adam Hamilton, Scott Griffin, Stacey Blades & Phil Lewis
  6. ‘Calling Dr.Love’ – Performed by: BURNING RAIN (Keith St John, Doug Aldrich, Sean McNabb & Matt Starr)
  7. ‘I Stole Your Love’ – Performed by: S.U.N. (Brian Thomas Tichy, Sass Jordan & Tommy Stewart) With Derek Sharp (Of The Guess Who)
  8. ‘Reason To Live’ – Performed by: Johnnie Dee & Derry Grehan of HONEYMOON SUITE with Michael Foster & Bill Leverty of FIREHOUSE
  9. ‘Hard Luck Woman’ – Performed by: Fred Duvall, Glenn Belcher, Rob Zakojc & Russ Dwarf
  10. ‘Forever’ – Performed by: Terry Ilous, Sean Kelly With Jeff Paris.
  11. ‘Sword And Stone’ – Taken From Bonfire Live In Wacken – Performed by: BONFIRE (Claus Lessmann, Hans Ziller, Chris Limburg, Uwe KöHler, Harry Reischmann)
  12. ‘God Of Thunder’ – Performed by: AMERICAN DOG (Michael Hannon, Steve Theado & Keith Pickens)
  13. ‘She’ – Performed by: RAZER (Chris Powers, Chris Catero, Jordan Ziff, Paul Sullivan, Eric Bongiorno & Chuck Alkazian)
  14. ‘New York Groove’ – Performed by: SLAVES ON DOPE (Kevin Jardine, Jason Rockman, , Elizabeth Lopez & Peter Tzaferis With Marty O’Brien)
  15. ‘Magic Touch’ – Performed by: Jim Crean, Phil Naro, Vinny Appice, Steve Major & Stan Miczek
  16. ‘Tears Are Falling’ – Performed by: Willie Basse, Bruce Bouillet, Scott Warren & Mike Hansen.
  17. ‘Rock N Roll All Nite’ – Performed by: Harley Fine, John Regan & Atom Fellows
  18. ‘Shandi’ – Performed by: Dani Luv, Scott Griffin & Matt Starr
  19. ‘Beth – Bonus Track’ – Performed by: Chris Vandahl & Scott Griffin.
  20. ‘Beth – Bonus Track’ – Performed by: Phil Naro, William Hare & Ed Bernard

iTunes exclusives:

  1. ‘No, I’m Not Afraid’ (Previously Unreleased Peter Criss Band Demo from 1991) – Performed by Peter Criss and Phil Naro
  2. ‘Wait For A Minute To Rock N’ Roll’ (Previously Unreleased Peter Criss Band Demo from 1991) – Performed by Peter Criss and Phil Naro
  3. ‘Back On The Streets’ (2013 Mix originally from Return of the Comet) – Performed by Richie Scarlet, John Regan, Tod Howarth, Arthur Stead & Steve Werner (The Comet Band)
  4. ‘Only You’ (2013 Recording) – Performed by DORO
  5. ‘God Gave Rock N Roll To You II’ – Performed by Russ Dwarf
  6. ‘I’m An Animal’ (2013 Mix originally from Return of the Comet) – Performed by the Comet Band
  7. ‘Let Me Go Rock N’ Roll’ – Performed by The Oddfathers
  8. ‘Surrender In The Name Of Love’ (Written by Peter Criss & Phil Naro) – Performed by 24K featuring Phil Naro and Mladen Alexander
  9. ‘Love Gun’ (Tommy Denander Guitar Solo Mix) – Performed by Tony Harnell, Kevin Valentine and Tommy Denander
  10. ‘Larger Than Life’ (2013 Remaster – Robot Lords Of Tokyo version) – Performed by Robot Lords Of Tokyo
  11. ‘Cold Gin’ (2013 Remaster from L.A. GUNS’ 1998 Wasted EP) – Performed by L.A. Guns

Gallery: A World With Heroes

This arrived in the mail today.  Haven’t even taken off the shrink wrap yet! Thanks @mitchlafon!

A World With Heroes – A KISS Tribute for Cancer Care – A 40th Anniversary Celebration.  That’s a buttload of songs, people! (I love that Ron Young of Little Caesar SINGS “Little Caesar”.)