RECORD STORE TALES #1056: Spring Metal on the Other Side of Winter
I think many people share my sentiment that this winter was absolutely brutal.
Since ages past, it has always been a celebration when the sun emerges warmly after a long, cold winter. Memories flooding back. So many memories.
1986. On the back porch at the cottage, playing “Turbo Lover” and “Locked In”, freshly recorded in mono from MuchMusic, from the brand new Judas Priest album Turbo. I was probably told to turn it down….
1987. On my bike. I had received The Final Countdown by Europe for Easter. It was difficult for me to get into; different from what I was used to. I remember cruising down Carson Ave on my bike with that album in my head. Best track for me: “Cherokee”. I loved the keyboard hook and the chorus.
1988. I was given Skyscraper by David Lee Roth for Easter. It became a “warm weather album” that spring, played many times weekly in a Walkman while riding a bike or strolling through the neighbourhood looking for girls. (Not that I ever found any.) Memories of setting up my ghetto blaster on the front porch, with Skyscraper serenading the street. That cassette wore out rapidly. It was one my first CD re-buys a couple years down the road (spring ’91).
1989. Trying to look cool, and practicing my guitar on the front patio for the world to see. I was never any good, but I am sure that “Mary Had A Little Lamb” really delivered the spring-like vibes I was laying down. In my earphones were things like New Jersey by Bon Jovi, House Of Lords’ self-titled debut, Quiet Riot’s latest with Paul Shortino on lead vocals. Amazingly though, 1987’s Hysteria by Def Leppard was still in my Walkman. The album had incredibly long legs. I was hoping for one more single, which never came to be. I picked “Love and Affection” as my favourite in ’89. Then, I had some new buys! We had just joined Columbia House. I split the membership with my sister and picked up these treasures that rocked my whole spring:
- Leatherwolf – Leatherwolf
- Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls
- Hurricane – Over the Edge
- Stryper – To Hell With the Devil
- Stryper – In God We Trust
- White Lion – Pride
- Sammy Hagar – VOA
Shortly after the first seven, I added Triumph Stages to the list, which carried on rocking me into the summer of 1989. That year was one of the most critical in my life as a music fan, and the spring motherlode from Columbia House had a lot to do with it.
1990. I was now working at the local grocery store, Zehrs. Short-haired and geekier than ever, I was really getting in Black Sabbath. Pushing the shopping carts in long lines, singing “Sweet Leaf”, but having no idea what it was about. When I declared it as my favourite Black Sabbath song, people reacted strangely and I didn’t know why. I guess they thought I was into the pot! I thought the “Leaf” of the song was a girl named Leaf.
1991. The end of highschool loomed…I felt very free. Very excited about the future. The future of hard rock. Little did I know! I was listening to a lot of the new Mr. Big that spring, an album called Lean Into It. I thought they had really refined their sound. I had also taken the dive into indi rock, and Raw M.E.A.T was absolutely one of my favourite CDs that spring.
Good place to end this trip down memory land: happy memories, all of them! I wonder what will be dominating the car stereo with the windows down this spring?