October 2020 Music Collection Update, Part 1

October was an excellent month for adding new tunes to the collection!  I’ve been doing very well selling off video games and squirreling away the profits, but I allowed myself to spend some of the earnings on discs with music on them.  The month was so good, I decided to break them up into TWO parts!

Also, I need some time to listen to this stuff, hence the mid-November post.  It is what it is.

For part one, these are all albums I grabbed from eBay, amazon, and a online order from The Beat Goes On.  Some is new, some is used.  All were in the $10 -$15 range except for the box sets.  So, here we go:

I wanted to full some holes in my Anthrax collection and I did:

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Worship Music is from 2011 and For All Kings is from 2016.  Anthem is an EP collection of cover tunes that does include Rush’s Anthem among others. Chile On Hell is a live CD/DVD box set of a show they did in 2014, which has a crowd that is WAY in Anthrax.  A fun watch, for sure.

Fistful of Metal is their debut with their first vocalist, Neil Turbin.  Neil’s voice is not as melodic Belladonna’s, but he has a great rocks voice and wrote some solid lyrics.  I’m happy with all of these. 

Continuing with the thrash metal, I got Testament’s Titans of Creation which came out earlier this year in March.  

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I want to do a full review before the year is up as I’m sure it will make my best of 2020 list. 

I also grabbed the last Black Sabbath album I’ll need with Ozzy:

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The End is an EP of extra material from the last studio album, 13 that was originally only available to those who attended their final tour.  But it must have been reissued at some point because it wasn’t very expensive on eBay and it seems legit.

For some reason during one of my purge sessions I got rid of my Pantera CDs.  Well, I corrected that error this month: 

20201108_202330 When it comes to Pantera, the first three albums are my jam.  Although, I have turned the corner on Reinventing the Steel and may have a deluxe edition soon heading my way. 

I got three Alice Cooper albums:

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The early Greatest Hits collection has different mixes that what is on the album.  Plus, it is the one I had on cassette during my teens. 

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Deep Purple’s In Rock is staple in influencing heavy metal bands that followed it.  Just listen to it back to back with Iron Maiden’s first album for proof.  People seem to be mixed on The Who’s The Who By Numbers but I like it.  Squeeze Box is the tune causal fans will know but it has quite a few solid album tracks on it. 

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I have both of Led Zeppelin’s In Through The Out Door and Presence on vinyl already, but they’re not in the best shape.  I bought them in the ’90s when they were more for wall art.  These were dirt cheap and in nice shape, so I though why not? 

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For some reason I stopped buying Sloan albums at some point.  Another correction needed to make.  Peppermint is an early EP with some tunes that ended up on their debut album but with different mixes, so you’ll need this if you want the OGs.  I don’t have too much experience yet with Never Hear The End Of It but Parallel Play is a gem of an album.  Doesn’t get the respect it has earned! 

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Jimi Hendrix Blues was an album one of my college roommates had and I always had wanted and People, Hell & Angels is a collection of rare tracks all remastered by Eddie Kramer.  And… oops, Stone Free is a $2 mission thrift pickup that slipped in here.  Well, the tribute album is mostly “meh” but there are some gems. 

And finally, 

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I already wrote about Tom Petty’s Wildflowers & All The Rest right here.   Just thought I’d mention it again to remind people of how good it is. 

So, that is all.  That would have been enough but I had a good day at my local mission thrift last month.  So, Part Deux will feature some Paul Simon, The Beatles, and a rare Beach Boys set!  All $2 grabs  You don’t want to miss it!

[Album Review] Alice Cooper | Paranormal

 

I know The Coop’s new album, Paranormal, has been written about a few times in our little corner of the intranet already, and I did think about not writing one for that reason… for about a second!  My stance is, it doesn’t matter how many times something has been written about or reviewed.  It hasn’t been done in your voice until you make the effort.  Only you can only do you!  And really, what miserable prick complains about having too many delicious things to read anyway?

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But, enough about my philosophy, you’re here for a review.  To give you some context of where I’m coming from, I’ve always have had mad respect for The Coop.   His past albums, Love It to Death, Killer, and Welcome to My Nightmare are favorites of mine.  Some choice rarer tracks like “You Look Good in Rags” and “Novocaine” are a couple of tunes I like to share with people who don’t know much about his music.

With that said, I am positive I have never bought a new Alice Cooper album before.  I have listened to a lot of A.C. from used CDs, streaming, YouTube and perhaps some mp3s from the Dark Web may have found their way onto my hard drive.  The only legit piece of Coop music I have bought is when I picked up the Wayne’s World soundtrack (which featured “Feed My Frankenstein”) on cassette in 1991.

I was intrigued enough to check out Paranormal after reading Mike Ladano’s review, then moved it to the top of the recommendation pile after it received another glowing review from Deke.  I downloaded the album onto my phone through Groove Music and listened to it… twice back to back.  I can’t remember the last time I did that.  I knew right then how I needed this in my LP collection.

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Besides the music, this is an interesting set for a couple of reasons.  It is a double LP with the playback set to 45 rpm.  Those extra rpms deliver a higher quality record, but it also means there are only three songs per side.  I like having reasons to get off my ass more frequently because I need them, but the track order is different from the CD and streaming versions.  I guess this was done to fit everything nicely onto two discs.  It doesn’t really hurt the flow of the album since only the last few songs are effected, but it is worth noting.

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Also, the extra bonus live tracks are on a separate CD.  Odd way of doing it all, but it works.  Besides, the quality of new songs warrent the 45 rpm treatment.  Now, onto the song breakdown!

Paranormal
Creepy tune that you would expect from the Coop.  It is co-written and features Roger Glover from Deep Purple on bass.  The song opens to Coop’s delicate voice then builds up to some rockin’ guitars.  Solid start to the album.

Dead Flies
Riff rockin’ track.  Not my fav, but good times.
Choice lyric: 
Your sister is high on Angle Dust and so’s your porno brother

FireBall
This tune is about the our little planet Earth succumbing to the impact of an asteroid.  This is really where the album took off for me on the first listen.  Is that a Hammond organ I hear?  The liner notes say it is none other an early Coop producer Bob Ezrin jamming away on it.  (He produced the clean sound on this album too.)  Roger Glover sounds like he’d be more at home on this track than the one he wrote.

Paranoia Personality
Bass line in this one kind of sounds like Ozzy’s “Believer” and is the most darkest, 70’s sounding tune on the album.

Fallen In Love
ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons makes a cameo with his fuzzy guitar tone ever-present.  Of course with Billy on board this one will have a blues-y vibe.  It’s like a Welcome to My Nightmare’s version of  “My Head’s In Mississippi”.

Dynamite Road
I like my rockin’ tunes, so of course I love this hard rock drivin’ track.   Finishes on the line: Did he have to trash my Cadillac, I loved that car to death.  Sooo Coop.

Private Public Breakdown
This one has some heavy lyrics about a politician who is about to do a Peter Pan off of a bridge or building.
Choice lyric: By strange behavior, I got elected, because I’m the savior resurrected!
Hmmm…. Trump vibes, anyone?

Holy Water
Big production number with the horns, background singers and the hollow bone sound of drum sticks tapping away on a hard surface.  One of those Coop tunes with a vaudeville vibe.  This one is about an older evangelist lusting after (and getting) a younger woman.  Rock that cradle.

Rats
Straight up rocker.  Has me singing out loud “Give the Rats what they want!”  Kind of an odd thing to say.

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OK, now here is where the order is different.

You and All of Your Friends
This is the first of two that features the OG Alice Cooper Band from the late ’60s early ’70s with both writing and performing credits.  Catchy, garage rock tune.

Genuine American Girl
This is my favorite song on the album.  It has and old-timey, rockin’ doo-wop groove and it is REALLY awkward to sing along to.  The lyrics belong to those of a teenage girl, but damn does The “pushing 70” Coop pull it off.
Choice lyric: I’m only 30 out of 50 shades of grey
Crank this one up!

The Sound of A
On the CD this is after “Rats” and is the last OG song before The Alice Cooper Band takes over.  This is another creepy tune and I have no idea what “The Sound of A” is or means.  But there is one line that goes “Meaningless noise is everybody’s toys”.  An appropriate line to hear while my neighbor runs a vacuum cleaner under my open window as I try to take this album in.

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Overall score: (5/5)
One of those albums that gets better after repeat listens.  After linking Deke’s blog to this post I had to double-check that it was only August 30th when I first listened to it.  I already feels like I have been soaking this in for six or seven months.  As for the live tracks, I only casually listened to them once.  They are good enough but really the new songs are the reason to get Paranormal in you anyway you can!