picture discs

A Treasure Trove of Picture Discs with 2Loud2OldMusic

Brilliant show and tell tonight with John from 2Loud2OldMusic!  Iron Maiden and Def Leppard made up a large chunk of our picture disc collections that you will see by watching the live stream below.  Awesome comments from hardcore collectors and show regulars.  Enjoy the Buried On Mars vs. Everybody commentary on Leppard!

Thank you John for co-hosting tonight, and thank you everyone for hanging out on a Friday night.  See you next Saturday!


Upcoming Schedule:

DO NOT miss next week!  A special Saturday evening show replaces the usual Friday night as we chat with…

AARON AND JAMES FROM THE KMA!

If you are reading this, then you are a part of the community!  The Keeps Me Alive guys were here first!  Geoff from 1001 Albums, Scott our Heavy Metal Overlord, and LeBrain all came after.  I consider James and Aaron to the founders of the community.  Saturday February 5 at 7:00 PM, we will sit down and chat with Aaron and (for the first time ever) James about their history with music and writing about it.  This show has been a long time coming!  I have wanted to spotlight the KMA for a year and a half now!

We will also have a 10 Year Anniversary of Record Store Tales and a 2 Year Anniversary of the LeBrain Train, both coming in March!  If you would like to participate in either, drop us a line.

 

Picture This: A LeBrain Train Picture Disc special with 2Loud2OldMusic!

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and John

Episode 96 – Picture Discs Show & Tell

 

I had so much fun showing off my 7″ singles collection a few weeks ago!  When brainstorming for ideas to do this week, John over at 2Loud2OldMusic suggested picture discs.  Great idea!  John will be joining me tonight for a guaranteed fun time, a show and tell show.  I’ll be rediscovering what I own in picture disc form, since I buy so many records, I can’t remember them all.  10″, 12″, and shaped vinyl will be on deck for me tonight.  As for John?  I sure hope to see some Kiss and Def Leppard….

We will also be including etched discs from our collections.

If the 7″ singles show was any indication, then this will be a blast.  Make sure you catch it live to participate!

 

Friday January 21, 7:00 PM E.S.T. on YouTubeFacebook and also Facebook!


Upcoming Schedule:

DO NOT miss next week!  A special Saturday evening show replaces the usual Friday night as we chat with…

AARON AND JAMES FROM THE KMA!

If you are reading this, then you are a part of the community!  The Keeps Me Alive guys were here first!  Geoff from 1001 Albums, Scott our Heavy Metal Overlord, and LeBrain all came after.  I consider James and Aaron to the founders of the community.  Saturday February 5 at 7:00 PM, we will sit down and chat with Aaron and (for the first time ever) James about their history with music and writing about it.  This show has been a long time coming!  I have wanted to spotlight the KMA for a year and a half now.  Next week will be a party, I promise you.

We will also have a 10 Year Anniversary of Record Store Tales and a 2 Year Anniversary of the LeBrain Train, both coming in March!  If you would like to participate in either, drop us a line.

 

#969: Picture Discs

RECORD STORE TALES #969: Picture Discs

Picture discs – in this case, vinyl records – will be the subject of tomorrow’s episode of the LeBrain Train (don’t miss it).  If you have ever seen a playable record with an image on one or both sides, then you have seen a picture disc.  If you’ve played one, you know the quality of the audio can be dicey.  Today picture discs are quite common on store shelves, but they used to be much rarer.  What is the history of the picture disc, exactly?

The very first modern picture disc was 1969’s Off II – Hallucinations.  This German compilation disc from Metronome featured the Doors and MC5 among other current artists.  In the 1970s, Elektra records experimented with a five-layer disc consisting of vinyl film over a paper image over a core of traditional black vinyl.  Difficulties with the materials (particularly the paper) and manufacturing led to inconsistent audio quality.  Eventually the process was refined and picture discs today can deliver acceptable audio over cool artwork.  But the roots go further back.  Etched discs aside, the first true picture disc recordings were actually picture postcards!

We begin in the early 1900s.  Rectangular pieces of cardboard, with a transparent celluloid record glued to one side, were the first “discs” that you could play with a needle on a gramophone.  Later versions had the recordings etched into special transparent coatings.  These kinds of records could be mailed or even included in magazines and cereal boxes.  Later, in the 1920s and 1930s, regular circular picture discs began to emerge.  Some were used to spread political propaganda.  And yes, that means there is such a thing as an Adolf Hitler picture disc.

Picture discs disappeared for a while during the war era.  Vogue Records attempted a revival in 1946 but released only around 100 records before folding due to lack of interest.  From that point on, picture discs were dominated by children’s records.  One unique variety even included crude animation on the record as it spun, if you looked at it through a special mirrored eyepiece.

When picture discs re-emerged in the 70s, popular music and soundtracks took over.  The standard cover art would traditionally be on side one, with the back art and track listing on side two.  There were variations but generally this is what you’d find on a normal everyday picture disc.

And they are normal, and everyday items now.  Most record collections have at least one.  What are your favourite picture discs?  Tomorrow, John Snow from 2Loud2OldMusic will join me as we show off our records.  They are always eye-catchers, and some occupy some real points of pride in our collections.

 

7 Inches: LeBrain’s Singles Collection Show

Tons of fun tonight as I went through my two boxes of 7″ singles!  Some dated back to the 1970s (“Smoke on the Water”, “Christine Sixteen”).   A large number (Def Leppard!) came from my vinyl collecting days in the 80s.  Most are from the 1990s to present.

This was, truthfully, one of the most fun shows ever for me!  I got to rediscover a bunch of records that I haven’t looked at in a long time, and show them all to you!  This is 98% of my 7″ singles collection, not including records that came inside box sets or magazines, which are filed in different places.  This is simply the contents of two boxes of my records, and it took a solid 90 minutes to get through them all!

There was also a special unboxing from Aaron, and some mail from Sean Kelly!  What?!  Check them out below on the LeBrain Train!

 

My 7″ Singles Collection – Show & Tell Show

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano

Episode 94 – My 7″ Singles Collection

Just a simple, one hour show tonight as we go through my 7″ vinyl, record by record!

We took a glance at some favourite singles in the past, but that was when I was only able to do Facebook Live.  There have been some new additions since then.  You’ll see some surprises and even a record or two that I have not yet listened to.

There will also be a special unboxing from Aaron, and some mail from Sean Kelly!  What?!  Don’t miss this.  Check them out tonight on the LeBrain Train!

 

#921.5: All I Wanted For My Birthday Was…

I wasn’t feeling very social on my unhappy worstday.

However, rotten moods eventually fade and I thought I would try to fulfill my social obligations on Tuesday. I picked up Jen and we went to go visit my parents. They had special donuts for us and a birthday card for me.

I couple weeks ago, I was talking to someone about having the vaccine, and the province re-opening. She asked me “What kind of things are you looking forward to doing now that you are vaccinated and things are opening back up?” I have simple needs so I answered, “I’d like to go shopping at Toys R Us and a record store.” So far I’ve done one of those two things. Realizing I had a birthday coming too, I added “and I’d really like to watch TV with my dad.”

Watching television with the old man is an experience. The way he flips channels, his running commentary…I haven’t watched TV with my dad since Christmas 2019. I realized yesterday that the only birthday present that I really needed was to watch TV with my dad.

He had Pawn Stars on. I sat on the couch, and after an hour had gone by…I started to feel normal again.

A guy was selling “rare” picture discs. The Pawn Stars offered him $60 for five. I had one of the five! It was a shaped picture disc for Iron Maiden’s “The Clairvoyant”. I paid $10 for it back in 2001.

The Pawn Stars explained that the discs were not a gold mine, because picture discs have an inferior sound, which is true. Still, $60 for five discs is $12 each USD. And I only paid $10 CAD. So that’s not bad. The same guy also had “Infinite Dreams”, some Pee-Wee Herman, and a Ghostbusters disc.

It was the first time I’ve been in the same room as my parents without worrying about masks, viruses, and sanitizer. It was the first “normal” visit in a year and a half. It felt strange, and then it felt normal.

All I wanted was to watch TV with my dad for my birthday. I got what I wanted.

I feel alright.

Gallery: A closer look at Alice Cooper and Japanese import unboxings

This week’s live show included some cool unboxings.  Here is a closer look at the three new arrivals at LeBrain HQ.

#1 Dokken – The Lost Songs: 1978-1981 Japanese import.  Old unreleased demos polished and finished for release.  This baby has a bonus track called “Going Under”.

#2 Accept – Blind Rage Japanese import.  2014 studio album.  “Thrown to the Wolves” is the name of this Teutonic terror’s bonus track.

# Alice Cooper – “Don’t Give Up” 7 inch picture disc single.  Great to finally have this new Covid-related recording on a physical format.

 

REVIEW: Mastodon – “White Walker” (2016 picture disc single)

MASTODON – “White Walker” (2016 Warner 10″ picture disc single)

Disclaimer: I’ve never seen a single episode of Game of Thrones, although I will admit a crush on Emilia Clarke, and a man-crush on Kit Harington.  And I don’t really know a lot about Mastodon.  I know they rock — and that’s enough.

Since Sunrise Records in Kitchener opened up again back in April, I’ve been doing my best to support them.  Taking a chance on something I haven’t heard before, and finding the artwork badass as hell, I plopped down for Mastodon’s “White Watcher” single.  There is nothing typical about this song.  The war drums opening the track sound as if from battle.  The lyrics certainly paint a picture:  a cold and desolate land full of despair.  There is little musical backing, just some spare acoustic guitars and a few atmospheric electric licks until the haunting guitar solo kicks in.  It’s atypical of any Mastodon I’ve heard.

The B-side is the A Cappella version of “White Walker”, with just one voice.  I love how it reveals the imperfections of the human voice.  It sounds like something a character on the show might be singing, before battle.  The mourning feeling is there in the grooves of the record.

And speaking of the record, what artwork!  The A-side is a brilliant painting of a White Walker, while the B-side is a still from the show.  The snowy landscape and ragged people huddled around fires certainly illustrate what the song feels like.  Incredible single.

4.5/5 stars

REVIEW: Anthrax – Live from Sonisphere Festival 2010 (picture disc EP)

Welcome back to the Week of the Singles 3! Each day this week we’ll be looking at rare singles and EPs.

MONDAY: OZZY OSBOURNE – Ultimate Live Ozzy (1986 CBS picture 12″ record)
TUESDAY: BON JOVI – Livin’ On A Prayer (double 12″ EP)

ANTHRAX – Live from Sonisphere Festival 2010 (picture disc EP, Record Store Day exclusive)

I don’t get these Record Store Day exclusives, honestly.  I saw this thing for a reasonable price on Amazon and bought it without even knowing it was some kind of “exclusive”.  I sure didn’t buy it at a record store, but I won’t turn this into a Record Store Day rant.

This is a very nice looking picture disc. I wouldn’t recommend playing it too often, you know how quickly a picture disc can wear out. If you’re lucky enough to own the Big Four Live CD box set, you won’t need to play this.   I don’t have that very limited set, but these two Anthrax performances make me want it! “Medusa”, an oldie from the Anthrax days of yore (Spreading the Disease), is just as powerful as ever.  Belladonna’s voice has changed, but not enough to matter.  The song has been tuned down, but that really only makes it heavier.

“Only”, the first single from the John Bush era of the band, is on the other side.  This is one of the best Anthrax songs ever, in my opinion.  Joey certainly turns a more than able performance.  He sounds at home, and I quite enjoy his version, especially when he starts shrieking before the guitar solo.

I loved this single, and I was surprised how awesome Joey sounded. I really lost track of Anthrax after the We’ve Come For You All period and haven’t been too excited about all the rotating singers since then. However since Joey’s been back (for hopefully the rest of the band’s life) I’ve been a lot more interested, and that’s why I bought this. I didn’t know how good he would sound on the Bush-era stuff, and “Medusa” smokes with furious intensity too.

Good single, I’d really like that box set.

4/5 stars

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REVIEW: Ozzy Osbourne – Ultimate Live Ozzy (picture disc EP)

Welcome to the third WEEK OF SINGLES!  Once again, we’ll be looking at singles and EPs all week.  Up first is a really odd one.

Click here to see directories for the last two installments:  The Week of Singles, and the Week of Singles 2.

OZZY OSBOURNE – Ultimate Live Ozzy (1986 CBS picture 12″ record)

T-Rev bought this for me a year or two ago, God knows where he found it!  All I know is that one day I got a text from him saying, “Mikey, Ultimate Live Ozzy picture disc, do you need it?”  I obviously said yes,  I didn’t care what it was exactly.  I figured it was probably live cuts from The Ultimate Ozzy home video release.  I know that Ozzy picture discs go for crazy amounts of money at record shows, and this one was affordably priced.

Picture discs don’t sound the best, and this one even has a label on the front warning the consumer of this fact.  Unfortunately my plastic sleeve isn’t in the greatest shape, although the record is absolutely perfect.  I love the way the turntable spindle sticks out of Ozzy’s tongue on one side.  The other side has a picture of Ozzy and guitarist Jake E. Lee with the girl from The Ultimate Sin album cover.  Jake’s taking a bite out of her bum.

Here’s the weird thing.  Even though the label clearly states these are live versions from Kansas City in 1986 (the Ultimate Ozzy video shoot), there are no live songs.  There are three tracks per side, and both sides are identical.  They contain the studio versions of “The Ultimate Sin”, “Never Know Why”, and “Thank God for the Bomb”.  The studio versions — not live versions!  Somebody screwed up somewhere; you have to assume one side was meant to have the live tracks, and the other the studio counterparts.  Information is scarce, except that there are multiple reports of the same issue for this picture disc on the web.

Thankfully, the three missing live tracks are on the Prince of Darkness box set.   It’s always nice to get some live Ozzy stuff with Jake E. Lee, since it’s so rare to find.  Randy Castillo (R.I.P.) is on drums, and like him or not, he has a signature style that he utilized with Ozzy.  I enjoy his drumming.  The live versions are more keyboard heavy than the studio counterparts.  I enjoy Jake’s echoey guitar intro to “Thank God for the Bomb” which sounds cool live.

I’d love to know if these three live tracks were actually released on vinyl at all in 1986.  Prince of Darkness was released in 2005; that’s a long time to wait to finally get the tracks in an audio format!  I do have the Ultimate Ozzy video on VHS, but it has never been released on an official DVD.  Knowing of Ozzy’s loathing for this period, I wonder if it ever will be.  I doubt it.  It’s too bad, because some have a fondness for The Ultimate Sin and its songs.

If this picture disc had contained the live tracks it was supposed to, I’d give it 4/5 stars.  However, for a screwup this colossal:

0/5 stars.  At least it looks cool.

Final note:  When originally released, this disc came with postcards and a poster.  I have neither.