Collection Update | July 17th, 2021

Oh my gaaaaad! I’m buying music again? Well… yeah. Deal with it.

I headed over to Canadian Tire this morning with Sarah to pick out a new faucet for the kitchen. We found exactly what we needed within a few minutes and our exit timed nicely with the opening of our local mission thrift. Hmmm…. it might be a good idea to see what music they have. I mean, I’ll need something to listen to while I install it, right?

All of the CD were $2 moosebucks each, unless you spot a red tag. Then it was 75 cents.

The ’90s metal collection got a nice boost:

Pantera’s The Great Southern Trendkill isn’t my fav of theirs but it was the last I needed to complete the collection. And someone dumped out of their Tool collection. I never been much of a fan in the past but I’ll give the CDs a spin. Sometimes having the album gives you a different perspective. I don’t know why. Anyway, if I don’t enjoy these I’m sure someone in our group will appreciate them.

The Canadian collection got a nice boost as well:

The Burton Cummings album is a live concert from the ’90s. It looks like he performs most of his hits on it. I have already listened to The Northern Pikes Neptune and it is solid. Sarah’s keen eye spotted Skydiggers Northern Shore. It is a Deluxe edition with 3 extra CDs of music.

Crazy! If I read the internet right, this was a special order set that was only available on their website in 2012.

I found a couple of soundtracks:

I still haven’t seen Trainspotting but I know a lot of the music from it. Animal House is a pure classic.


I’ve never seen this John Lennon tribute album before. Should make for an interesting listen. Cheap Trick does Cold Turkey on it. Tom Petty’s Southern Accents and Billy Joel’s River of Dreams are not best album from either artist, but both are fine for a cheap CD addition to the collection.

Rod Stewart CDs are fairly easy to find:

As long as it isn’t one of those albums loaded with old standards, I’ll add it. Vagabond Heart has Broken Arrow and The Motown Song on it so… must buy? Yeah, I think so.

And here is what Sarah got:

I remember buying Adrenalize on cassette when it first came out. I listened to the first two songs on my Walkman, removed the cassette, then gave it to my Sister. I’ve always liked the name Was (Not Was). I don’t really know who they are.

And I found a four back of Jackie Chan DVDs!

Hopefully the quality is good and they don’t look like arse! meh, they’ll still be fun watches even if they do.

Oh yeah, and installing the faucet was a lot easier than trying to figure out what was wrong with the old one yesterday.


Collection Update | July 3rd, 2021

Just a couple of records came in this week, both have been pre-ordered for a while.

Every good Tom Petty fan knows how he was not happy with his soundtrack/tie in album for the film She’s The One. I have yet to see the film (I hear it is not very good) but, I’m love the music from it! Many of the songs on the original album were leftovers from the Wildflowers sessions, an album that already received and extensive rerelease last year.

None of the Wildflowers songs are repeated on Angel Dream (Songs And Music From The Motion Picture She’s The One). This album has all of the non-Wildflowers tunes remixed (Reimaged is how thee album phrases it, but they are re-mixes) and four new songs. So, the answer is yes. Even if you have the original She’s The One soundtrack and the extended edition of Wildflowers, you still need this.


The other album that came in is Hound Dog Taylor’s Natural Boogie. I thought I would never own a copy of it.

Hound Dog Taylor was discovered late in life and he only recorded two albums before he passed away from lung cancer at the age of 60 in 1975. I have his first album, but have not been able to luck into getting his second, Natural Boogie until this week. Thank the vinyl gods for reissues!

I’ll be talking a bit more about these albums later tonight on Bill’s show starting at 8pm. Sarah will also be there to talk about her Peter Murphy records. Stop by and say Hi if you can!


[MarsNews] Tonight’s Podcast Schedule

I don’t know why I’m just thinking of doing something like this now… but I’m a little slow.

I was going to send out several posts on the socials for the shows I’m guesting/hosting over the next two days, but why not get ‘er done in one? Right here on the ol’ blog.

The fun starts in a few hours at 4pm EST with Retro Filmdango. This month is all about The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II. Part III can go fly a kite. A bit of a warning, we do get into spoilers so you might want to save this one until after you have seen the films:

Later tonight at 7pm, I’ll be guesting on LeBrain Train talking all about Bootlegs! All but one tonight will have a visual aid from me. I’ve been collecting “boots” since the Napster days, so I got some good stuff to show! Hey, Mike Ladano, you should schedule these shows ahead of times so I can link them! For now, a link to last week’s episode will have to do.

Then, finally at 9pm, I’ll be guesting on The Vinyl Collection over on Bill’s STC channel. This week I have some new Strippers Union to show and I’m continuing on with the “Ps” as I alphabetically go through my vinyl collection. I can guarantee you that some Petty will show up! Should be good times!

If you are able to tune in live be sure to say Hi! If not, you can still watch them after the fact. Hope to see you!

[MarsNews] The 2020 Marsy Music Awards

This was to go with yesterday’s Top 10 Albums Of 2020 list, but it was making the post too long.  So, why not give my extended ramblings a post of their very own?

And the Highly Prestigious Marsy Award goes too…

Best Album Re-reissue:


Tom Petty | Wildflowers & All The Rest

In 1994, Tom Petty had recorded enough material to make Wildflowers a two disc album, but pressure from the record label forced him to cut it down to one.  One of the projects Tom was working on before he passed in 2017 was restoring Wildflowers to that two disc version.  The project was completed by his family and Mike Campbell this year.  The results are wonderful.

There are a few different versions of this re-release, all designed to best suit your wallet.  I found the four disc version gave you the best bang for your buck.

Full Review

Best Song Laced With Cursing:

The Dirty Knobs | Fuck That Guy

Speaking of Mike Campbell, his side project The Dirty Knobs released their debut album this year.  The album is pretty good overall, but Fuck That Guy is the standout track.  I love everything about it.

Full Review

Revival of the Year

Current River | Cut The Covid

Current River was revived late last year on the blog site Thunder Bay Arena Rock.  Material that was thought to be unimportant was freed from the shackles of self-deprecation and placed into proper context by fans.  Experience the full Cut The Covid playlist here.  Here’s hoping for some new material in 2021!


Best Packaging of a CD

Jimi Hendrix - Live n Maui inside

The Jimi Hendrix Experience | Live In Maui

It isn’t perfect.  Leaving the manual flapping in the breeze when it is all open is a major downer.  But I love how the combo CD/DVD set folds out and is held together by a magnet.  Plus, the CDs are secured in classic plastic instead of cardboard sleeves.  

Full Review

Theme Song of the Year

TeeBone  – LeBrain Train

The LeBrain Train needed a theme song in a bad way.  The weekly 2-3hr chat about music needed a better warm up than Mike saying, “Hello” or “Welcome”.   Major props to TeeBone who went from a caricature accurately drawn on a paper plate to a full live person in a few episodes.  The theme song he wrote gets hummed around here a lot!

And Finally… Collaborator of The Year


Sarca Sim – Caught Me Gaming

Writing about Led Zeppelin with Sarca Sim this year has been the most valuable highlight for  The journey to go through every Led Zeppelin studio album in tandem with the luxury blog Caught Me Gaming was as entertaining as it was educational.

Work has already begun for the return of the popular series this February.  It will be an extended look into… a Canadian rock band.  The series will include their studio albums, live albums, and video releases.  it is estimated the journey will take us well into the spring before it is completed!  Let me know in the comments if you need any more hints!

So get caught up with the Led Zeppelin before series two begins!  You’ll want to start with Sarca Sim’s Zeppelin memories right here.

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:


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.  


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:


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:


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. 


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. 


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? 


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! 


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, 


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] Tom Petty | Wildflowers & All The Rest (Deluxe)

Wildflowers is my favourite Tom Petty album (with or without the Heartbreakers) since its release in 1994.  The album was originally intended to be two discs but Tom cut it down to one after some pressure from his record label.   Rumors of Tom working on releasing the second disc have been floating around for a while until he passed away in 2017.

So, I was stoked when the Wildflowers “Super Deluxe” set was announced.  Members of Tom’s family, the Heartbreakers, and producer Rick Rubin continued Tom’s work and finished with a set that contained a whopping 70 tracks, most were previously unreleased or out of print.

Then I saw the price.

“Super Deluxe” was $250 for the 9 LP set or $150 for the 5 CD version. (Canadian prices)  Oof.  And I think some are already sold out and hard to find.  Meh, I didn’t want to deal with all of the crap.

I settled for the 4 CD “Deluxe” version which is readily available.  It is 54 tracks for $50 which gave me a better bang for my buck.  I’m missing out on a 5th disc of mostly alternate tracks which sucks.  But really, the only one that stings a bit is the studio version of Girl on LSD.   It was originally the B-Side of You Don’t Know How It Feels and would have been sweet to have.  But $100 for one song… I’ll be a “4 CD peasant”.

So, here is what us peasants get:

Disc 1 is the 2014 remaster of Wildflowers.  I played both back to back and the remaster sounds warmer than the original which has some harsh dynamic range shenanigans afoot.  But this was only apparent on my hi fi system.  Both sound nearly identical when played back through my computer to some cheap bookshelf speakers.  Really, which one people will prefer will be based on personal taste.

Disc 2 is All The Rest, the 10 tracks that were originally left off of the Wildflowers.  I was disappointed to find out that I already have 4 of these songs.  Hung Up and Overdue, Climb That Hill, Hope You Never, and California are all on the soundtrack for film She’s The One.

But all was forgiven once hearing the disc.

All 4 of the repeated tracks are remixed with small changes that make a big impact.  Hung Up and Overdue, for example, features Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys on back up vocals, which you might not have known prior since his performance is buried in the mix on She’s The One.  Tom himself fixed that.

As for the new tunes, my only disappointment is how I had to wait 26 years to hear them.  They are fantastic.  You’re going to want them.  Leave Virginia Alone (covered by Rod Stewart in the ’90s) might be my favourite of the bunch, but we’ll see once the album sinks further in.  I was prepared to hear at least a tune or two that would sound weak.  One that you can say, “Yeah, I understand that one was left off.”  But that didn’t happen.  Not once.

Disc 3 is titled Home Recordings and is loaded with 15 “demos” that play more like alternate takes.   If you were expecting to hear Tom singing into a cassette deck, look elsewhere.  Tom had a full studio set up in his home and that is how he recorded these.  Some feature only Tom on the acoustic guitar, some have a few more instruments to accompany him, but they are all without polish.  They show an important step in the creative process that fans will want to hear.

The final and 4th disc is Wildflowers Live.  In general, I prefer my live albums to be an intact show  but at no point did Tom run through all of Wildflowers on stage.  So, instead we have a collection of tunes from the Wildflowers era recorded anywhere from 1995 to 2017.   As this is a collection that celebrates the songs from Wildflowers, it makes sense to hear them played live, regardless of when and where.  And I enjoyed hearing Tom’s intros as he talks about how much they meant to him and what they’re about.  In short, this is a better fitting than a random live show from 1995.

Oh, and it has a live version of Girl on LSD which does make up for the missing studio version.

The packaging for this set is a little awkward but not too bad.  All of the content can be read easily without cracking the spine but it is a little bigger and much thicker than a standard jewel case.  So how it will fit on your shelf will depend on your set up.  The CDs are packed tight into cardboard envelops too, which I’m not a fan of.


Overall, this is a truly great set.  All the Rest is good enough for me to recommend for to even the most causal fan of Wildflowers to upgrade to the 2 disc set.  Anyone whose fandom is above that will at the very least want this.

The Music: 5/5
The Content: 5/5
The Packaging: 4/5


Tom Petty Memories


I work in the news media and yesterday was a crazy day.  On top of the Las Vegas terror attack, “trusted” news sources rushed to be the first report on Tom Petty’s death.  Although Tom wasn’t in good shape… at all, the initial reports were false.  His daughter lashed out at Rolling Stone magazine last night on social media for jumping the gun, but really (to loosely quote Jack Nicholson’s Joker) the whole damn system needs an enema.  What a world we live in.

Unfortunately, the news did eventually become true.  Tom had suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday morning was gone by late last evening.

I appreciated the many blogs I read yesterday from people who shared their thoughts and feelings about Tom and his music.  Reading how he had touched their lives helped me process his untimely death.  So, I thought I’d do some sharing too.  It is what we do when we are hurting.

I wasn’t always a fan of Tom Petty.  I loved the Travelin’ Wilburys tunes when they came out but I really didn’t know who he was.  To me he was just some guy singing back up to Roy Orbison.  A year later, I was in grade nine when Full Moon Fever came out and I still wasn’t won over.  Our high school cafeteria had a jukebox where we could play tunes for a quarter each and this one girl made sure to bring in enough to play “Free Fallin'” every day, three or four times over.  EVERY day.  Monday through Friday.  She must have been popular or her dad was in the mafia because no one was brave enough to stop her.  Let me tell ya, 40-year-old Mars would not put up with that.

At that point I written off Petty as the “Free Fallin'” guy.  “I Won’t Back Down” and “Learning to Fly” were radio staples but the tunes were not able to penetrate my learned hate for “Free Fallin'”.  Plus, I was one of those kids who ONLY listened to metal.  And as far as I knew, Tom was not metal.

It was a couple of years later when I heard “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” on the radio (a then new track from his Greatest Hits album) and it hooked me.  Suddenly my cold, black metal heart thawed and I was won over.  I ran out the following weekend to pick up his Greatest Hits CD (I still have it!) and I gave “Mary Jane” a few spins when I got home.  After I got the tune out of my system I cautiously gave the rest of the CD a chance and I was floored.  Every song (except “Don’t Come Around Here No More”) spoke to me on some level.  I was able to enjoy “Free Fallin'” now that the daily barrage was years in the past…  I had no idea “Refugee” was his tune….  “I Won’t Back Down” is not metal, but those kick ass lyrics sure are!


In the following years Full Moon Fever, Into The Great Wide Open, and Wildflowers were added to the collection.  I bought the soundtrack for She’s the One the day it came out.  I still have not seen the movie… or even care too.

I regret never seeing Tom perform live.  I guess let the clock run out on my opportunities.  (I am making it my mission to have that not happen with Neil Young and John Fogerty.)

One cool thing I did learn from my used copy of Into The Great Wide Open was how to keep my ticket stubs with the album the concert was promoting.

concert ticket

Yeah, I wish I could say I was at that show, but it was most likely the person who owned this CD before I did that got to go.  Still, great way to store you ticket stubs.  Difficult to lose and you’ll always know where to find them!

One final thought, When I bought my acoustic guitar “Yer so Bad” and “Learning to Fly” were a couple of the first songs I learned to play.   “Learning to Fly” is a perfect tune for new guitarists.  It has only four chords, F, C, Am, & G, repeated through out with plenty to time to strum between the changes.  This was instrumental in helping me get the those open chords down pat.  I always wondered if he purposely made that one easy to play so we budding guitarist could learn to fly.

Rest easy, Tom.