Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 146

The Dream Academy- The Dream Academy

Pretty funny that I follow up Nick Drake with a band who's only hit was a tribute to Nick Drake. It's no surprise when you listen to this whole album why they are a one hit wonder band. No other song sounds anything close to "Life In A Northern Town". The rest is more poppy, less folky. Maybe if they kept the folk sound going they would have had a longer career as a band. A few songs on Side 2 sound like bad 80's British soul music. No thanks.

Interesting fun fact about this album is it was co-produced by David Gilmour. He plays guitar on a couple of tracks too. Interesting fun fact #2 is Peter Buck plays the 12 String Rickenbacker on the song, "The Party", which is the only other really good song on this album. I'm curious how that came about. I assume they were recording this album in 1984, so it's not like Peter Buck was the big time name he is now back then. Anyways, really good tune. They screwed up by not releasing at their second single.

Well this will be my last blog of 2010. We are going to the "Classical Mystery Tour" at the Palmer tomorrow night for New Year's Eve so I won't have time to listen to a record. So Happy New Year's to everyone!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 145

Nick Drake- Second Grace

This is an album of alternate versions and unreleased songs. It's good, but clear why they didn't make the cut on the studio albums. This record is intended for the die hard Nick Drake fans. I like Nick Drake a lot. I have a couple of his albums on CD, but not an uber fan.

I got this record for free, and I'm not going to pass on a free Nick Drake record. I will say though that this is great background music while reading a book. Which is what I was doing while listening to it. Book in hand, football game on the TV, and listening to a record. It doesn't get much better than that!

The weird thing about this album is there are no notes on it at all. Just the song titles and that's it. The name of the label or year isn't even printed.

I'm attaching a video for "Northern Sky". It's not on this album, but my Dad reads this blog and takes my suggestions. So if he hasn't ever heard this, I think he'll dig it and download it.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 144

The Doors- L.A. Woman

From the first Doors record to the last. And their best if you ask me. "L.A. Woman" the song is my favorite by the Doors. I still occasionally blurt out, "Mojo Rising" for no reason. Now that I'm listening to it tonight I'm sure I'll be doing that quite a bit over the next couple of days. Shit just gets stuck in your head.

Then you have other cuts like "Love Madly",
"The WASP", and "Riders on the Storm" to boot. That's pretty impressive. You hear a lot of talk about what John Lennon would be doing now or what kind of music he'd be making now if he were still alive. What about Jim Morrison? He'd be 67 if he were still alive. Would the Doors still be a band? Would he be doing his own thing?Would he think Ian Astbury needs to get his own schtick? Or would he have just been a hermit? I wonder.

Well that settles it. I'm going to wrap up this blog now and go watch The Doors documentary, When You're Strange, on Netflix.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 143

The Doors- The Doors

It's really cool to listen to my records now while I play Sega Genesis in the spare bedroom. I'm playing PGA Tour Golf II right now. Still the best game golf video game of all time! I also have NHL '94 which I still say is the best hockey video game of all time! It's going to be great having this in here when I have crappy albums to listen to.

You know this isn't one of them. This could possibly be the best debut album off all time. Hell, you listen to it now and it plays like a greatest hits album with "Break On Through", "Alabama Song", "Light My Fire", and "The End" on it. And "The End" is top 3 for me on my all time best songs by The Doors. I don't know why it is, but I love long songs. But I hate jam bands. Go figure.

I got tainted by The Doors as a teenager from that crappy Oliver Stone movie. I hated that movie so I hated The Doors for a long time. And I mean a really long time. It was only a few years ago, that I admitted that they were a great band. So in a way, that was cool to get into a band as famous as The Doors are, later in life. Like I was saving them for when everything else bored me.

Ok, I'm getting back to my golf game. I'm 4 shots over on the 13th hole. Ugh. I swear I used to dominate this game back in 1993!

Here's a video for "Break On Through". I figured nobody wants to watch an 11 minute video of "The End". Not that anybody watches these videos anyways.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 142

The Doobie Brothers- Minute By Minute

I hope everybody had a Merry Christmas! I know I did. Santa left me a Playstation Move, a Sega Genesis, and some other goodies. My Santa is pretty awesome.

More awesome that this record that's for sure. I kept it around because of "What A Fool Believes" is on it, but it's not worth holding onto for one song. I thought the rest of the album was crap. It's obvious that Michael McDonald was running the show by this album and he took the rock out of the Doobies.

Ok enough talk about the Doobies. Time to go over my Top 10 of the year. I was supposed to turn one into Waterloo as well, but I forgot. So here goes:

1.The National- High Violet
2.Shout Out Louds- Work
3.Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin- Let It Sway
4.The Black Angels- Phosphene Dream
5.The Sword- Warp Riders
6.Band of Horses- Infinite Arms
7.Old 97's- Grand Theatre Vol. 1
8.Matthew Ryan- Dear Lover
9.Bruce Springsteen- The Promise
10.Kurt Vile- Square Shells ep

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 141

The Doobie Brothers- Best Of The Doobies

Man, this album has all the big hits. I guess I never realized that the Doobies had this many hits even though I know 8 of the 11 songs very well. Let me just list the first 8 songs for you:
1.China Grove
2.Long Train Runnin'
3.Takin' It To The Streets
4.Listen To The Music
5.Black Water
6.Rockin' Down The Highway
7.Jesus Is Just Alright
8.It Keeps You Runnin'

See what I mean?

Ok, it's Christmas Eve so I'm not going to spend much time on this. I listened to the record all the way through and now I'm gonna go enjoy some quality time with my girl. Merry Christmas everybody!

Man, talk about some old school footage:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 140

The Doobie Brothers- Takin' It To The Streets

Originally I figured all I needed by the Doobie Brothers was a greatest hits album by them. And I do have one, but when I came across this one, I picked it up to hear some of their deeper cuts.

This one's not bad. Some funky numbers, some jazzy, some rockin'. But it's clear why "Takin' It To The Streets" is the best known song on the album since it's much better than the rest. "It Keeps You Runnin'" and "Carry Me Away" are pretty cool too. And I like the funkiness of "8th Avenue Shuffle". Is that them answering back to Springsteen's "E Street Shuffle"?

That's all I really have to say about this Doobie Brothers album. I don't really have any memories with it. I've been told that Toulouse Street is the Doobie Brothers studio album to have so I'll be on the lookout for it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 139

Dokken- Tooth & Nail

Man, I've really been slacking off on this blog this week. Had I known that I was going to skip last night, I would have made an effort to do one on Sunday. But yesterday was seriously brutal. We were busy as all get out at Waterloo and by the time I got home, I was pooped. All I wanted to do was grab a quick bite to eat and go to bed.

I am happy to say though that last night was my last time to work at Waterloo Records. I didn't hate working there at all, but I was burnt out. I didn't need a second job and going there every Tuesday just took it's drain out on me. I plan on still going to visit the store every Tuesday, but it will be a helluva lot more enjoyable as a customer only.

I'm surprised at myself for only having one Dokken album. For quite awhile there in the mid 80's they were the band for me. At one point I even had one whole wall of my bedroom covered in nothing but Dokken posters and pictures that I'd cut out of Circus and Hit Parader magazines. Man, those magazines ruled. My main man in Dokken was George Lynch, the guitar player. What a shredder. I loved the way he'd play with his three fingers not holding the pick straight out. We all emulated that style back in the day.

It's weird growing up with Dokken, Under Lock and Key was always my favorite album of theirs, but listening to this album again, I gotta give it up to this one. It sounds a lot heavier and less cheesy than I remember Under Lock and Key being. I guess with that album, they had to capitalize on the success that "Alone Again" gave them off of this album.

Thinking back on how many times I saw Dokken back in the 80's in concert, I'm starting to feel sorry for them. They never made it as headliners. They were always the opening act. I saw them open for Aerosmith, Judas Priest, and Twisted Sister. Plus on the Monsters of Rock tour of '88 with Van Halen, Scorpions, and Metallica. I remember me and my friends waiting for the chance to see Dokken as the headliner, but it never came to be. But then in 1998, a reformed Dokken played at the old Backroom in East Austin. I had to go. My chance to finally see Dokken headline!

Oy, was it pathetic. You could tell Don and George still hated each other and both had this vibe about them that they were above playing in such a small club. And Don's voice was shot. The only one who looked like he was truly having a great time was Jeff Pilson, the bass player. He even took over lead vocals from Don on "Just Got Lucky". Weird. Anyways, we left way before it was over. It was too much of a bummer to see my childhood heroes in that capacity.

If the chance ever comes up again with a true reunion gig, I'll give it another shot. I know Lynch and Pilson want to do it, but Don D is being a prick about it. I think he knows that the fans prefer Lynch over himself and that makes him jealous. Grow up, asshole. And put the bottle down for good while you're at it.

Keep Rokken with Dokken.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 138

Doctors' Mob- Headache Machine

Sorry I didn't blog last night. I got caught up in watching football all day and then the season finale of Survivor: Nicaragua. Laugh all you want, I'm a fan of the show. So after all that I was too tired to listen to a record.

I've been looking forward to getting to this record since Don Lamb is a friend and softball teammate of mine. Helluva a pitcher. What's weird is I could swear I saw Doctors' Mob back in the 80's when I lived in Dallas and used to sneak into clubs in Deep Ellum, but I can't remember the show. Back then, we didn't care who we were seeing, we just thought it was cool that we got in and that we were seeing live music. The first time Lambie told me he was in this band, that memory immediately came into my head so that's why I think I did see them. I could be wrong, but I think I'm right. I did go see one of their reunion shows a couple of years back at the Hole In The Wall. Unfortunately, I missed the one they did this summer.

I really dig this record. And not because my buddy was in this band. It's got the great 80's college rock sound. Jangly guitars, but playing fast, melodic songs. Like if Husker Du were from Austin. I found this record for a buck at a dude's garage sale earlier this year. Was really stoked to find it. Funny thing is I was just told earlier today that it was selling for up to $40 on Ebay. Not that I'm selling my copy. Just thought that was interesting. Now I need to go find Sophomore Slump.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 137

Dire Straits- Brothers In Arms

Yep, all these years later and I still think "Money For Nothing" is a stupid song. Actually think it's worst now. What a terribly dated song. How did MTV edit out the inappropriate lyrics on this song? I realize the 80's were a different time, but still. I'm curious to go back and watch the video again just to see how the whole second verse was edited out. If it was at all. It annoyed me to no end how much MTV played this song. And you knew it was just because of the lyric,"I want my MTV" that Sting sings. Shame on Mark Knopfler for writing such a wildly successful, crappy song.

As for the other singles off this album, I don't really care for them much either. Listening to "Walk Of Life" again just makes me think about the preppy 80's. The Preps loved this shit. I can totally envision them doing the white person dance to this song. "So Far Away" never did much for me either, but it's not as bad as the other two. At least the last song on Side 1, "Why Worry", is really good.

The only song I cared for on Side 2 was the second track, "The Man's Too Strong".

I kept waiting for a huge skip to happen on this record so I'd have an excuse to throw it away. But since it didn't happen, I'll keep it just to have the whole studio album catalog minus On Every Street, which I really want because I love the title track.

Hmmm, I found a clip with that second verse included in the video, but I still got to believe that MTV edited it out. Listen for yourself.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 136

Dire Straits- Love Over Gold

This was the last Dire Straits album I bought. The main reason I bought it was because when my Dad first started reading this blog he had asked me if I had the song "Private Investigations". Well, no I didn't, so I made it a point to buy it.

Not really sure why my Dad is into that tune. I found it pretty boring. I dug all 14 minutes of "Telegraph Road" and love, love, love "Industrial Disease", but "Private Investigations" is nothing memorable in my book. Sorry, Dad.

I'm starting to think that I must have had a greatest hits cd of Dire Straits years ago or something. That's the only way I can explain knowing a song like "Industrial Disease" so well. I don't remember it ever on MTV or hearing it on the radio, but when it came on tonight, I was singing right along with it.

After writing that last paragraph, I took a break from the computer and focused on the last two songs on the album. And like Johnny Utah would say, "Whoa!". "It Never Rains" might be my new all time favorite Dire Straits song. Had to listen to it back to back. Thanks Dad, for making me buy this record!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 135

Dire Straits- Making Movies

Now we're getting to the good stuff. Side One alone is a classic with "Tunnel Of Love", "Romeo and Juliet", and "Skateaway". You can't get much better than that.

Scratch what I just said. Just finished listening to Side Two and the whole album is fantastic! Such a good, rockin' album. I'll be listening to this again, definitely. I still have "Skateaway" in my head and kind of want to hear it again right now.

While listening to this album, I also visited it's Wikipedia page and noticed that on there it stated that it ranked #52 on it's Top 100 albums of the 1980's according to Rolling Stone. So since you can't believe everything you read on Wikipedia, I googled it and sure enough, it's true. In fact, it was the only Dire Straits album to make the list even though Brothers In Arms outsold it tremendously.

The reason I bring this up is because Rolling Stone contradicts itself. I have the Rolling Stone Album Guide fourth edition, and in it they only gave this album three stars. The writer even goes on to say that they didn't gain their focus back until their next album, Love Over Gold. Huh, weird. Three stars in your book, yet it's also #52 for the decade? I know, it's not a big deal, but I just wanted to point out another example of how much of a shitty rag Rolling Stone is. Speaking of that awful book that I bought on clearance at Borders, it's so crappy that they completely ignored Deep Purple. Unbelievable.
Glad that book didn't cost more than $5 to buy. Allmusic.com gave it 4 and a half stars out of 5. That's more like it. Ugh, stupid Rolling Stone.

Dang, I was hoping to find an over 10 minute version of "Skateaway" to put on here, but no luck. But I did find this performance from the show Fridays. I loved that show!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 134

Dire Straits- Communique

I've listened to this entire album before typing a word, which is not what I normally do. Typically, I'll type along while the record is playing and whatever pops in my head, I'll type. But this was my first listen to Communique, and I wanted to hear all of it before I formed an opinion. And that opinion is: it's a snoozer.

There were three songs I really got into. The title track, "Lady Writer", and my favorite "Portobelle Belle". Really the whole album just has the same tempo throughout. Maybe if I was in a mellow mood I'd like it more. I still really appreciate Mark Knopfler's guitar playing and songwriting, but you have to wonder if these songs were leftover tracks from their first album. I'm sure they were rushed by the record company to put it out asap.

"Portobello Belle" even sounds better live:

Day 133

Dire Straits- Dire Straits

I've never claimed to be a big Dire Straits fan, but I want to be. I've always dug their singles, but have never owned any of there albums previously. Thanks to some nice, cheap finds, especially at Music Mania, I now have five of their albums. Thanks Bernard!

So in case you know as little about Dire Straits as I did, this is their debut album from 1978. The song you'll know of this is "Sultans of Swing". As much as I like that tune, I gotta go with "Southbound Again" and my favorite "Wild Wild West" as the best songs on here.

I tell you what though, I always knew that Mark Knopfler was a good guitar player, but listening all the way through, the dude is a great guitar player. I think I'm really going to enjoy the next 4 days of Dire Straits albums. It'll probably drive Jessica up the wall like most of the albums have lately. Oh well, her WE and TLC reality shows drive me up the wall, so we're even.

Are Dire Straits in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Not that at matters since the Hall is a joke, but just curious. I guess I could google it, but it's really late, I'm really tired, and I really need to go to bed.

Who's up for an 11 minute version of "Sultans of Swing"? Yeah I thought so....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 132

Dio- Sacred Heart

First time I saw Dio was on this tour. They played the 1986 Texxas Jam. I wasn't the biggest Dio fan then, but looking back on it now, I'm glad I got to see Ronnie James Dio back in those days. This was the last good album they put out in the 80's though. We went to go see Dio again in 1988 on the Dream Evil tour, but really, we went to see Megadeth who were opening up. Ticket sales were so bad that they only played to half of Reunion Arena. That was the first show I went to where that happened.

After that, I really did give up on Dio. I never bothered to listen to anything they put out after that. Which is a shame because I've heard that some of those last records they put out were good.
But even though I got lame and stopped following Dio, you have to give RJD props for keeping the metal flame alive. The 90's were a terrible decade for metal, but he never quit. I was more than happy for him when he reunited with the Black Sabbath guys to form Heaven & Hell. I got to see that tour a couple of years ago, and was so impressed that here was a 67 year old guy working that stage better than someone half his age. And that voice. Goddamn, he never lost that magical voice!

I was very sad the day he died back in May this year. Not because I was his biggest fan, but because he was an ambassador for metal and for what I've always read or heard, a genuinely nice guy that always had time for his fans. He will be missed by many for quite a long time to come.

I realize I haven't talked at all about this album. But, so what? It's Dio, you know I like it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 131

Johnny Diesel & The Injectors- Johnny Diesel & The Injectors

Back in 1991 when I graduated high school, we had this school sponsored event the night of graduation called "Ram Jam" at the Harvey Hotel in Dallas. It was an all night thing and pretty fun. They had casino games where you win prizes and one of the prizes I won on roulette was this album. I had no idea who they were at the time, but I was open to listen to anything.

The next morning, my brother and I drove 24 hours straight back to San Diego where he was living at the time. Somewhere in the middle of Arizona at three in the morning when he was crashed out and I was behind the wheel, I put this in the tape deck to help keep me awake. I enjoyed it so much I played it back to back. I think the reason I remember this so vividly was because this album was on when I hit a coyote. Critter came out of nowhere and I couldn't avoid it. I stopped the car, but he was long gone. Freaked me the hell out and my brother was pissed I woke him up. Ha!

I spent a good portion of that summer in San Diego and this was one of my soundtracks. I'd take my sister's car out for a drive around La Mesa and play this album. So needless to say, I'll always think of San Diego when I hear this. The other album that does that to me is the Bodeans Black & White album. Eventually I came back to Dallas, fell in love with a girl who was into indie rock, and put this album on the backburner. This is probably the first time I've listened to it in 19 years. Still sounds pretty damn good. I was pretty happy when I found it on vinyl. It wasn't anything I was hunting for, but a nice find to remind me of my past. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's a shame that no one is making great bar band rock n' roll anymore. Of course, I guess everyone has their own definition of great bar band rock n' roll. Well, this is mine.

Johnny Diesel broke up the Injectors after this, there one and only album. In 1992, he did release a solo record called Hepfidelity that wasn't band, but wasn't a punch in the mouth like this record was. I still think I have that one on CD somewhere around here. Maybe I'll give it another spin too. I read that he's still playing and is still successful back in Australia. Good for him. I always like to hear about bands or artists I've long forgotten about are still out there doing it. Beats sitting behind a desk all day like me.

I love this song but have never seen the video before:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 130

Neil Diamond- Hot August Night

If I had kept every Neil Diamond lp I got in a grab bag box it would easily add up into the double digits. Yeah, don't need that. I was hoping to score a greatest hits collection, but no such luck and I'm not paying for one, so this will do. Actually a very cool live album.

It's got most of the Neil Diamond hits you'd want like "Solitary Man", "Cherry Cherry", "Sweet Caroline" and so on. My Neil Diamond knowledge isn't up to par so I was surprised that those three songs all came out pre-1972. I don't know, for some reason I thought they were late 70's.

If there's any big time Neil Diamond fans out there that can school me on all things Neil, please do so. Like I said, I like what I hear on this album, but couldn't justify owning some many of his records. Maybe you can suggest lps of his to pick up. Thanks.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 129

Deodato- Artistry

Dude, even in 1977, how do you pick this as your album cover?

I only got this album because I saw it for a buck at Music Mania. I liked Prelude, so I figured any of his other albums I could find for a dollar would be worth it. And it's not bad. Don't like it as much as last night's, but still listenable. I'm only realizing now that it was recorded live at the Mississippi River Festival.

Really though, it's just background music while I make a pumpkin pie for Jessica's boss's Xmas party tomorrow night. And I make a pretty mean pumpkin pie.

And that's all I have to say about that. Now I'm going to listen to some of the metal records I bought at Waterloo today. Maiden, Megadeth, and Metallica. Nice. Think I'll start off with some Peace Sells....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 128

Deodato- Prelude

I had no idea who Deodato was when I first got this album from a Half Price grab bag box. Any time I came across an album by someone I didn't know, I'd put it on and read up on them via allmusic.com or wikipedia. Most of them were total crap, but I really dug this album.

So for those of you who don't know who Deodato is, he's a Brazilian Jazz artist. He plays electric piano and I guess it's more modern jazz, but he's got a nice funky feel. I was really digging it. Especially opener "Also Sprach Zarathustra 2001" He totally funkifies the Strauss masterpiece. That alone is worth checking out this album. It's nine minutes long and takes up a good chunk of the album.

Here's Deodato and band live:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 127

John Denver- John Denver's Greatest Hits

I never was much of a John Denver fan. He always bored me for the most part. If you ask me, his best work was Oh, God!.

I kept this record mainly for a point of reference. In case anyone asks me about a John Denver song or something. Personally, I prefer Mark Kozelek's covers to the originals. You can hear John Denver's influence on Kozelek's guitar playing listening to this record though. So, that's pretty cool. It's also pretty cool that instead of this being a collection of his best songs from his first six albums, he went in and re-recorded them. In the liner notes he says that he felt that the songs had grown a bit and that he's singing better than he was when he first recorded them. I gotta give him props for that.

But that being said, this album is still boring me. And that's with his big hits on this record. "Take Me Home, Country Roads", "Leaving, On a Jet Plane", "Sunshine On My Shoulders", and "Rocky Mountain High". Too bad "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" isn't on here. I always dug that song. I'm keeping it though. You never know when I'll have to bust it out for somebody.

Old videos crack me up:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 126

The Del Lords- Johnny Comes Marching Home

I have no recollection of how I got into The Del Lords but I'm glad I did. These guys are real deal rock n' roll. Why they never became huge rock stars I'll never understand.

I do remember that the only album I had by them was their last, Lovers Who Wander on cassette. Great album title by the way. I played the crap out of that tape and specifically loved the song "You and I". I put that song on so many mix tapes back in those days. Great, great love song. I'd love to find that album on vinyl.

This is their second lp and the only one I have. But seriously, I need to find all four asap. This record especially kicks you in the balls with its rock. You dudes need to hear "Drug Deal". Awesome instrumental track. If I were passing out grades on these records I'm listening to on this blog, I'd definitely give this one an "A". Next time I work a shift at Waterloo, I'll play one of their albums on the overhead and I guarantee I'll get someone asking about. Just wonder if we have any of their cd's in stock.

So this is cool. I just googled "The Del Lords" and was at first surprised that they have a website, and then even more surprised to learn that they just got back together this year and recorded a new EP! They went on a mini tour and said they will be back out in 2011. Please come to Austin! SXSW perhaps? Great news.

Well, I can't find any video at all on You Tube for any track off this record. That's too bad. I should be one of those guys that posts songs on there with just a video of my turntable playing the song. Instead here's a clip off their Lovers Who Wander album just to give you a taste of The Del Lords:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 125

The Del Fuegos- Stand Up

This is an ok album, but nowhere close to knocking it out of the park like Boston, Mass. did. I recently bought the record without having ever heard it. I figured since Boston, Mass. that it was a safe bet. And that's a good word to use to describe this album. "Safe" rock n' roll. It's not raw and ready to kick you in the ass like the last one. I don't know, maybe they were trying to appease to the label and make a hit album.

The one song on Side 1 that is truly brutal and will consider myself lucky if I never hear it again is "He Had A Lot To Drink Today". I think they are trying to be Tom Waits-ish with it, but it's soooo bad. I should look for it on You Tube just so you can hear what I'm writing about. Side 2 really doesn't have anything to write home about either. Man, actually now that I'm finishing it up, I've changed my mind. This album blows. I'm contemplating if I want to keep it or not.

I found a video for the song "Long Slide (For An Out)". Notice with the horns and the back up singers that they were going for a radio friendly hit. Oh well, at least Dan Zanes' children's music career took off.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 124

The Del Fuegos- Boston, Mass.

Listening to this album again reminds me of this girl, Lisa Brinson, I used to work with at Sound Warehouse back in 91-92. We were nothing more than friends, but she was a super cool girl that dug the Del Fuegos as much as I did. She was one of those cool chicks that dudes liked hanging out with because she could go toe to toe with you talking about music. I wish I kept in touch with her. After she went off to school at Texas Tech, we lost touch. I'm sure it was my fault. She was a good friend.

It's nuts when you think about how good the Boston music scene is. Thinking about who I've gone through from Boston doing this blog and I've listened to Aerosmith, Boston, The Cars, and now The Del Fuegos. I have a lot more Boston bands coming up too. I like how diverse the scene is. You can't pinpoint one style of music to that scene. Think about it. Besides the bands I've mentioned, there is New Edition, New Kids On The Block, James Taylor, Guster, Wheat, Juliana Hatfield, etc., etc. And I've never been to Boston. I really want to go though. Going to a game at Fenway is on my bucket list.

This is another damn good garage rock album from the 80's. You'll be tapping your toes and nodding your head throughout the album. Pretty funny that Dan Zanes fronted this band. In case you don't know who he is, he's big time on the Children's music scene nowadays. I know he won a grammy a few years back for a kids' album. Good for him.

I love it when I find videos on You Tube that I've never seen before. Thank you person that put it up on there!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 123

Def Leppard- Hysteria

While the song "Animal" was playing, Jessica said, "This song reminds me of watching the MTV Video Countdown with my Dad. It's 'Photograph' right?" Oy. Much to learn still she does.

What I remember when this album first came out was MTV hyping up the world premiere of the video for "Women". I was so psyched for it and so "what the hell?" after it was over. It's not a bad song, but a first single? Umm....

Of course I still went out and bought it the first day it came out and was relieved to hear songs like "Animal", "Armageddon It", and "Don't Shoot Shotgun" to name a few. I did like every song on the album but one. "Love Bites". Never ever liked that song. Pissed me off that they released that song as their ballad single instead of "Love and Affection". Much better song.

Ok, let's talk about "Pour Some Sugar On Me". It's a fun tune, but God I'm still sick of hearing it. It annoys me that to fair weathered fans, that's the song they are most known for. KLBJ, the local rock radio station in town apparently thinks that Def Leppard is a one hit wonder since it's the only song they ever play by them. Give me a break. Is it really that surprising that more and more people are turning to internet and satellite radio? I'm sure the band doesn't care since they are probably still making a big fat penny off that song. I wish that the next time I saw them live, they would honor my request of not playing that song. Some songs just need to be retired.

A lot of my friends growing up did get turned off by Def Leppard when this album came out. But not me. Yeah it's not as heavy as their first three albums, but the songs are still catchy as hell. One of my favorite things about Def Leppard are the background vocals and they mastered the art on this album. Does any band do it better? I think not.

I got the chance to see them twice on this tour. The first was "in the round" with Tesla opening up. Still one of the best shows I've ever seen. I need to find a concert video of that. Since a lot of bands like to re-create the past, I'd love to see Def Leppard bring the In The Round Tour back on the road. I bet it would do well. The second time I saw them on this tour was with Europe opening up. It was at an outdoor amphitheater so not as cool, but worth mentioning because Europe played "The Final Countdown" to open and close their set. Ha! Talk about getting sick of a song. Fair warning, I do have that Europe record so be prepared. I don't know why I have it honestly. I thought it would be funny.

Let me jump on my soap box here for a second. Can we please stop with the Rick Allen the one armed drummer jokes already? First of all it happened over 25 years ago and secondly, he should be admired for what he overcame and that he had the determination to learn how to play the drums with one arm. If you ask me, the dude is nothing short of a bad ass. Long Live The Thunder God!

Well tonight wraps up my Def Leppard run. I'm bummed that I don't have anymore on vinyl. I did find Slang at Forever Young in Grand Prairie, but they priced it at $34.99. Say what!!!??? And yes, I really like that album too. I have it on cd.

This song still tugs at my heartstrings:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 122

Def Leppard- Pyromania

Somewhere there's a photo of me from my 10th birthday with a huge smile on my face holding up this record. I wanted to put it up on this blog, but I couldn't find it last night. I guess my parents still have it. It's really funny.

I'm not going to write as much as I did last night about this album. We all know it's good. Even if you won't admit to liking Def Leppard, you know this record rules. It's funny that "Photograph" is responsible for me getting into Def Leppard, but when I listen to this album now, I think it's one of the weaker songs on the record. Same with "Rock of Ages". I still like both songs, but they can't hold a candle to such gems as "Stagefright", "Die Hard The Hunter" and "Comin' Under Fire".

This was easily the first album that I used to lip synch to in front of the mirror. Either hairbrush for a microphone or a tennis racket for a guitar. One time my Dad walked in on me doing this and said "What the hell are you doing?" I answering back defiantly, "Practicing". Oh boy. But I did develop some serious front man moves. I can copy anybody from Joe Elliott to Stephen Pearcy to Bruce Dickinson. I still have them all down cold to this day. I can't do the David Lee Roth high kick anymore, but then again, neither can he.

Wow, here's a video for Rock! Rock! (Til You Drop) that I've never seen. Sweet!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 121

Def Leppard- High 'n' Dry

Just to be clear, this copy is the 1984 reissue with the "Bringin' on the Heartbreak" and "Me and My Wine" remixes. They released it after Pyromania blew up. It makes sense for me to own this copy instead of the original since I didn't get into this album until after Pyromania.

It's definitely their heaviest album if not their best. Which is hard for me to say since I love them all, but I'd probably recommend this one first if someone wanted to get their first Def Leppard record. Which you should totally do, by the way if you haven't already.

So can anyone name me a better power ballad than "Bringin' On The Heartbreak"? And I gotta say that "Switch 625" is probably my all time favorite rock instrumental. Props to the late, but great Steve Clark for writing that one. Pretty awesome that they are back to back on the record too.

Speaking of Steve Clark, has there ever been a cooler looking dude playing the guitar? Damn, he held that guitar so low! When I tried to become a guitar player, that's how I always held mine too. Maybe if I held it normally, I'd be a better player! I know some of you are thinking right now of so and so who also played their guitar like that, but for me, it was all Steve Clark. I can't believe it's been almost 20 years since he died. RIP, Steve "Steamin" Clark. Did anyone see that VH1 movie, "Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story"? I don't know why I just thought of that. Terrible movie, but I'd still watch it every time VH1 showed it. Pop quiz: What did VH1 originally stand for?

As much as I love "Bringin' On The Heartbreak", I'm not too crazy about the remix version that leads off Side 2. Just unnecessary with the added synthesizers. Thank God, it's the original that still gets the radio play. They really should have moved it to the end of the album. It breaks up the flow of the record. I'm listening to it now as I type this and I'm itching to get through it so I can hear "You Got Me Runnin'". Guess it's time to go see what's in the fridge while this is on.

Oy, we really need to go grocery shopping. Either we have nothing good to snack on or I'm being picky as hell. Oh well, at least "You Got Me Runnin'" is on now. One of my all time favorite Def Leppard songs and my favorite on this album is "On Through The Night". I wonder if it was a throwaway track when they recorded their debut or if they just liked the title so much that they cut a new song while recording this album. Guess I shouldn't put too much thought into it.

Feels like this is my longest post ever so I'm going to wrap it up. Here's a video of "Me and My Wine" which is a tip of the hat to The Young Ones. Good stuff.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 120

Def Leppard- On Through The Night

One of my all time favorite bands ever since I heard "Photograph". Even in the 90's when I was heavily into Americana, grunge, and indie rock, I was still a huge fan of Def Leppard. Sure they've had some missteps throughout the years, but who hasn't? I got some crappy Stones records to back me up on that one. I'm still scratching my head when Def Leppard did that "9 Lives" tune off their last record with Tim McGraw. I saw an interview with Phil Collen recently where he said that they were going to do a High N' Dry type album. Please God, let that be true! But no matter what they do, I'll still get it the first day it comes out. They are my boys and still put on a great show live.

Being that I was 10 when Pyromania first came out, it never occurred to me at the time that they would have other albums. I was infatuated with that album for a good year straight. Eventually I got wise that they had two other albums with this being their debut. And it's a really solid debut at that. I doubt it's anyone's favorite Def Leppard album, but it sure does rock. That's pretty evident as soon as "Rock Brigade" kicks in. The album cover cracks me up though. I think the semi carrying the guitar is cool, but what cracks me up is that the record company put their name on it twice. Once in regular font so you could read the band name and another as their logo. Pretty silly. Oh, and the truck driving out of the moon is pretty ridiculous too. Who comes up with this shit?

I know Def Lepp have even stated that they don't really like this album, but I'd still recommend it. Good British rock n' roll record. And no, I don't consider them "heavy metal". That's an insult to real metal bands like Iron Maiden, Saxon, and Judas Priest. They are a rock n' roll band plain and simple. And I love them for it.

Man, look how young they look in this video! And what the hell are they wearing? God Bless You Tube!