Remixes And Rarities is a new collection that brings together rare tracks, (including early B-sides and live versions) and all of Paul’s hit singles from the golden era of the 1980s in their original full-length extended versions. Eight songs appear on CD for the very first time, including cassette-only long versions, the epic nine-minute live cut of No Parlez album track “Oh Women,” and “I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down,” remixed for the U.S. by John “Tokes” Potoker. The superb extended remix of U.S. #1 “Every Time You Go Away” also gets its CD debut outside of Japan.
Going through this two CD collection brings a real smile to my face, remembering the great songs and the memories that they bring back to me from when I was in high school. You get great songs such as “Every Time You Go Away,” the song that Daryl Hall said was “the one that got away,” “Come Back And Stay (Scratch Mix),” “I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down (both Remixed U.S. Dance Floor Smash and Special Extended Mix),” “Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home) (Extended Club Mix),” “Love Of The Common People (Extended Club Mix,” and the song that pisses off the purists, his cover of JOY DIVISION’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart (Full Length Version),” which I love. These and many more songs are spread over the two discs giving the listener a chance to hear Young’s incredible voice and the studio tricks to lengthen the songs into longer pieces that at times mesmerize your ears with the inventiveness that was used in creating the remixes. The remastering sounds fantastic, clear and crisp, but not harsh, giving the listener a chance to hear the songs in all of their glory. This selection of tracks has been drawn from the multiple singles accompanying Young’s first four Columbia albums: No Parlez (1983), The Secret of Association (1984), Between Two Fires (1986) and Other Voices (1990). The two discs include over two and a half hours of music that will make his fans ecstatic.
From the great liner notes to the Japanese-style OBI strip affixed by sticker to the jewel case, this is a collection that is the perfect gift for the fan in your life. I really wish that more re-releases of older music would be given the same treatment that this has been given.
Renowned 53-year old German guitarist Axel Rudi Pell first established himself as part of the heavy metal group STEELER. After releasing four underrated studio albums with them, Pell launched a successful solo career, this being the fifteenth studio album (featuring his own material). The Axel Rudi Pell solo band also features lead vocalist Johnny Gioeli from HARDLINE, keyboardist Ferdy Doernberg from HELLOWEEN, Pell’s former STEELER band mate Volker Krawczak, and all-star drummer Bobby Rondinelli, well-known for his work in BLACK SABBATH, QUIET RIOT and RAINBOW.
After the intro “The Inquisitorial Procedure,” the band provides us a heavy metal song that sounds like a classic from the ’80s, “Tower of Lies,” with excellent riffs and Gioeli’s superb job on vocals, and fantastic solo from Pell. The energy level remains high with “Long Way To Go,” an awesome hard rock song that has a ton of energy. Then comes “Burning Chains,” with its awesome intro and the play between Pell on guitar and Ferdy Doernberg on keyboards. The over seven minute “Touching Heaven” has a bit of an old school metal feel to it that I loved, and features some modern flourishes as well, and the band’s remake of NEIL YOUNG’s “Hey Hey My My” is one of the better covers of this song. The ballad “When Truth Hurts“ has beautiful lyrics and a great vocal performance by Gioeli. Things get rocking again with “Changing Times” and its nice keyboards, gritty riffing and another classic solo that blew me away. “High Above” has soaring vocals and awesome playing by the entire band that it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser with people raising fists and singing along. The album’s closing track “Into The Storm” is an over ten minute long masterpiece that really blew my mind and just may be one of the album’s greatest moments and is a great example of how to compose long songs without boring the listener.
From start to finish this is an album that deserves to be played loud, often and all over the radio, sadly radio sucks so much that the only way to get this album popular is to buy it, play it for your friends and get them to buy a copy. If only more bands would put as much work into their albums as was put into this one, I would be a happier listener and reviewer…great stuff!
Blue Sky Mining was MIDNIGHT OIL’s 1990 follow-up to their popular album Diesel and Dust. It peaked at number one on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) albums chart. It stayed at number one for two weeks in Australia and had top five chart success, in Sweden, Switzerland and Norway. It peaked at number twenty on the Billboard 200 and number twenty-eight on the UK charts.
The album’s first song, “Blue Sky Mine” addresses the asbestos exposure in the Wittenoom mine tragedy, carrying on the groups approach to promoting social justice. ”Forgotten Years,” was the next single and was every bit as powerful as the first with a catchy chorus and deserves the same attention. The political attack on this album is more subtle, varied, and intellectual than on previous ones, giving the listener more to think about than just being hit over the head with the points. The next single that I love on this album is “King Of The Mountain,” a fantastic song full of life and beauty that just makes me smile when I hear it and turn the volume up loud. ”River runs red” is a slower paced song, with some nice lead guitar playing, and lead singer Peter Garrett employs a restrained vocal style and sings of environmental exploitation. The album finishes with ”Antarctica,” a very slow and mellow song that keeps the biting lyrics going and ends things off perfectly. With its beautiful packaging and nice mini replica of the original US LP, this is a terrific release with sound that is clear and crisp. The remastering is well-done and gives the album a fresh sound.
As hard as it must have been to follow-up the huge album that is Diesel and Dust, these guys pull off a winner with this one and it deserves a place in your collection right beside it. It may be a little more mellow and restrained sounding, but the message is clear…don’t sit idly by, go out and do something to create a better world.
Diesel and Dust by Australian band MIDNIGHT OIL is a concept album about the struggles of Indigenous Australians, environmental causes, and issues important to the band. This was the politically oriented groups first global success. Propelled by the hit single, Beds Are Burning, this album, the sixth the band would release, went platinum in the United States.
With a great job of remastering, bringing out the intensity of this album even more, the band really hit their stride on this release. Everyone knows the big hit “Beds Are Burning,” but it’s the album as a whole that delivers a punch and brings the issues into songs that are both catchy and still relevent. Being a fan of theirs before this album was released gave me a sense of excitement that others were getting to hear just what I had loved about this band…passion and energy and genuine emotion. I have always loved the song “The Dead Heart,” another classic that I play over and over again because of the sing-along nature of the song. With the great playing and song-writing, this is one of the best albums by this band and is a classic that must be in your collection.
With its beautiful packaging and nice mini replica of the original US LP, this is a terrific release. The sound is clear and crisp, giving you the beauty of the songs and the clarity of the band’s playing which will make you want to play it again and again.
You have a masked band that’s dressed in full Hamburglar costumes, they play garage punk mixed with some surf music, and almost every lyric is ”robble robble robble robble robble robble robble robble robble,” and it makes me smile, shake my head and laugh.
Six tasty treats on this release that will make Mayor McCheese happy, and when you crank this up and start to dance, you will knock over everyone’s Shamrock shakes, but don’t you dare screw with the hamburgers!
A great bunch of songs that just are funny as hell, and played with energy and reckless abandon. Definitely a treat, just like the one you get in your Happy Meal, but better.
The new album, Victory!, is this London, UK band’s second full length and it’s an explosion of noise and pure aggression. These eleven tracks fly past in a fast-paced 32 minutes and leave you wiped out and wanting more.
This album is a throat-punch of punk with modern-day elements of hardcore thrown in to make it harder and grittier. New vocalist Ben Mills’ fierce in-your-face roar joins together with complimenting group chants and sung vocals to create songs that stand out from the pack. Opening track “Off With Your Head” is full of power and aggression from the get-go. The song lasts just over a minute long, and builds up energy until barreling into the following track, “Benedict,” making a seamless blend from one into the another. Third track “Seatbelts” is the first single from the album and it has a massive sing-along chorus (complete with gang vocals) and catchy guitar lines. This track is followed by “Blue Nun,” which opens with a huge riff that is so catchy, I know it will be in my head for days on end. The album just keeps the incredible steam-rolling energy going right up until title track “Destroy!” ends the album with a song that sounds as if the band are going to bust through your speakers and drag you outside for a fight.
These guys have made an album that will get stuck in your head for weeks with the huge riffs, choruses, and sheer power. This one’s a keeper and the band would be crushing live.
Broadcast on Palladia, Direct TV and VH1 Classic in early 2013, Live at Moondance Jam features a baker’s dozen classic REO SPEEDWAGON tunes. This is a review of just the audio since I never received the DVD portion.
REO SPEEDWAGON has been going strong in one form or another, with founding member and keyboardist Neal Doughty the only constant, for more than 45 years. Though their studio output of the last few decades hasn’t been prolific or as successful as their chart-topping time in the early ’80s, the band keeps on touring, mostly on the fair, festival and casino circuit.
The band is captured on a very good night with the band at top form and Kevin Cronin’s voice sounds fantastic. The first four songs are from the first side of Hi Infidelity, celebrating its 30th anniversary and for good reason, that album was huge for the band and has the most recognizable songs by the band on it, and they include for the first time ever live, the song “In Your Letter.” Basically at this point in their career you’re getting a greatest hits selection and for most people that’s all they want to hear, but one or two newer songs would have been nice. You also get to hear “Golden Country” from the band’s second album, 1972′s R.E.O./T.W.O., and “Like You Do” from the same album both recorded live for the first time. It’s also pretty cool that the band included “Ridin’ The Storm Out,” and “157 Riverside Avenue,” both recorded originally with Cronin singing. Most bands usually skip over those years altogether, but they’ve embraced those songs.
The band shows their skill at playing these songs and the love that they have for the material, as well as the love for their fans. It’s a rare treat to hear a band that still gives everything in a performance after all these years and it will definitely make fans love this band for years to come. If only I had the DVD to watch as well…oh well, maybe one day.