Monday, January 29, 2007

From The Gutter To The Starz

It's overkill of course, but here's another post, it's all happening here just now! I've sat on this post for a few days now, but i'm just going to lose track of my uploads if i wait any longer.
We begin this journey in the gutter, with the tasteless but tasty "Hillside Strangler!" 7" by THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES from 1978. Menacing greasy rock'n'roll from the heady days of Punk Rock.

THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES - Hillside Strangler! 7" (1978) USA

Some more in a similar vein now, we are proud to bring you the sleazy nihilistic sounds of The Alley Cats. This is their 1st (and best) release, the excellently titled "Nothing Means Nothing Anymore" in all it's crackling glory.

THE ALLEY CATS - Nothing Means Nothing Anymore 7" (1977) USA

Next we head off to the frozen North, from whence came Sweden's Axe Witch. We've posted a couple of their earlier releases here before. This is their full length debut, "The Lord Of Flies" from 1983. No nonsense Heavy Metal delivered with aplomb by viking lunatics. Who could ask for more?

AXE WITCH - The Lord Of Flies (1983) SWEDEN

A few requests taken care of now. Firstly, here's the debut album by Liverpool's own Spider. This hard boogie outfit were on the verge of hitting the big time throughout the early '80's, but record company politics screwed their chances in the end. Proper hard nosed heads down heavy rockin bluesy boogie woogie bluster!

SPIDER - Rock'n'Roll Gypsies (1982) UK

Staying in the UK for the moment, here are a pair of 7"s from the excellent Limelight. We posted their debut LP here a while back and you folks seemed to enjoy it's "classic-Rush-but-heavier" stylings, so here you go, have some more! "Metal Man" predates the LP, and is a different version from the one on the album. "Ashes To Ashes", was the last release from the band, with a 2nd LP in the can they were dropped by their label, and went their seperate ways never to be heard from again. Here's why they remain so highly regarded.

LIMELIGHT - Metal Man 7" (1980) UK

LIMELIGHT - Ashes To Ashes 7" (1982) UK

Some more NWOBHM thunder now, and, as promised, the "Breaking Strain" Mini LP from Le Griffe. This was their final release from 1984, great stuff it is too, from a band who died too soon. Their two earlier EPs are posted 'round these parts too, that's all she wrote. Enjoy 'em.

LE GRIFFE - Breaking Strain (Mini LP) (1984) UK

Across the pond now, here's the excellent sole release by Alaska's Snow White. This was released on 12" black vinyl with the same tracks on both sides in a really limited run as a promotional taster for a proposed album release which never materialised. Hooky melodic Heavy Metal with some incredible guitar playing, this fella made those six strings sizzle!

SNOW WHITE - Snow White 12" EP (1985) USA

Finally, an odds & ends assortment from the much missed Starz. Starz should have ruled the world with their catchy flashy Hard Rock, but the world can be an ass sometimes and failed to embrace 'em in sufficient numbers, so four great albums is all we had from them. Until 1987 that is, when Performance Records released this little beauty. Half the tracks are demos from the days before the band got signed, the remainder are from the period after the band were dropped, great stuff from a classic band.

STARZ - Do It With The Lights On (1987) USA

Whew! enjoy!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Getting to the middle.......

A ton of stuff here, and some shockers, but I will tackle as the blogger pics come up. This is more of the Tor-Erik collection and now I am a bit over halfway done with the megapost. I only have a pic for the Best of but here are two albums from Teaze a great hard rock band.

Teaze - The Best Of

Teaze - Teaze

Here is the rare self titled LP from Storm. Great AOP from '79 on the MCA label that is absolutely essential if you are into that genre. Great female vox from Jeanette Chase.

Here's some more NWOBHM with Samson live at Reading Fest 1981.

An album barely released in the US, but should have been great is the hard rockin' Rock Rose LP. I have this one on vinyl and have been contemplating ripping it for awhile. Now I don't have to!!!

Here's one of the Norweigian bands I mentioned last night, this is Heaven (and there is a Heaven in almost every country, let's hope there is one after we move on from this life) most people know of the Candian band and the UK bands, now we have the Norweigian AOR band called Heaven.

Easy on the eyes back in '79 and still the same in 2007, here's a shocking one. It's Lisa Hartman's (Now Lisa Hartman Black after marrying country crooner Clint Black) 2nd LP. This one didn't seem to fit anywhere, but since someone might wanna check her beginnings out, I decided to stick it up here. Kinda of poppy stuff but every once in awhile a guitar pops up and jams a bit. Still she was the hottest thing on Friday night television in the states when she was a star on Knot's Landing.

Tor-Erik sent me front back and inner sleeves for this one and I've posted them all. She makes the blog look a bit more comely if nothing else!

And now for a whole bunch of Dan Reed. Great underated stuff that somehow got lumped in with the hair metal scene in the U.S. although his music has much more substance than that genre. I think this is almost everything by the Network, his band.

Dan Reed Network - 4 x EP's

Dan Reed - Breathless (Debut Mini Album) '86

Dan Reed Network - B-Sides & Extra

Dan Reed Network - Dan Reed Network

Dan Reed - Sharp Turn EP

Dan Reed Network - Slam

Dan Reed Network - The Heat

And here are a bunch from the great southern hard rock band Blackfoot.

Blackfoot - Rattlesnake Rock'n'Roll (Best of)

Blackfoot - Live King Biscuit 1998

Blackfoot - Indian World Live 1981

Blackfoot - No Reservations

Blackfoot - Live 1981 @ Donnington

And here's one I remember seeing at used record stores all the time (always a dj promo copy!!) in the late 80's and was never willing to try. Lisa Price's Priceless and while I won't quite go for priceless to describe it, it's pretty good femme vox AOR. Your typical female hard rock type stuff of the early 80's.

And now for the 2nd band I ever saw in concert (and the first I ws at without parents). Now that I think of it, the first two concerts I went to were both Canadian bands (Rush was the first). They had bought a stage setup from Genesis for their "Nature of the Beast" tour and it was a cool show. Anyways, here's a couple early ones, a couple live shows and one later one from April Wine.

April Wine - April Wine

April Wine - Stand Back

April Wine - Forever For Now

April Wine - Live KBFH

April Wine - Live Bootleg

Don't know much about this or the two that follow it that I couldn't get the pics to load for. I am figuring these to be more Norweigian hard rock. First one is living in a boy's World by Aina and the second is the band Perfect Crime with their 1990 LP Blonde on Blonde. The third is a cool hard AOR LP by Wendy & the Rockets.

Aina - Living In A Boys World

Perfect Crime - Blonde On Blonde 1990

Wendy and the Rockets - Dazed For Days

Okay that's all for today. It's enough for now isn't it?
If not, don't fret, more to come tomorrow. Clear those hard drives!

Only the beginning.......

As many of you may have read over at the other blog, a friend of both blogs has sent a dazzling array of tuneage, both obscure and more well known for you ears to feast on. Here I'll post the rare Norweigian metal, harder stuff, the NWOBHM, and the hard southern rock, and over at the other blog everything else. First up, one that a lot of people are going to scoff at, but I recommend. This is not the Wendy of the Plasmatics. Instead of screaming for the most part she has a breathy, sexy (but still tuff) voice that is very enticing. The production, handled by none other than Gene Simmons of Kiss (who was dating WOW at the time--hey it was a step up from Cher!!) and with instruments on various songs played by the late Eric Carr (Kiss' skinsman at the time) , Gene and Ace Frehley does a ripping guitar solo or two. As the late Ms. Williams would've said (and did quite often) "C'mon, you know you wanna".

Tor Erik sent many comps and here is the first 2. These were released by Mike Vraney (or Varney) for the Shrapnel label in the early days of that label. Very good stuff and if you know Mike, you know he had a penchant for excellent guitarists. These comps are no exception, but most of the bands here never went any further than these comps. Both volumes do have the Rods (Kit posted Rod member's David Rock Feinstein's pre-Rods single below), and vol.2 has Vixen which was Marty Friedman's early Hawaiian band and there is a great track from Exciter too(anyone out there have Violence & Force they care to share?!?!?).

US Metal Volume 1

US Metal Volume 2

And here are two great mostly NWOBHM comps with some very obscure bands from that genre (Ethyl the Frog anyone?) along with the not so rare. Early version of Iron Maiden's Sanctuary on vol.1, along with surprises like Toad the Wet Sprocket (they were metal at the beginning?!?!?!) and Bootliggers by Nutz.

Vol.2 has much more obscure stuff except it does have White Spirit and 2 from Trespass.

Metal For Muthas Vol. 1 (NWOBHM)

Metal For Muthas Vol. 2 (NWOBHM)

Here's V2's highly original cover.

These guys and girls were treated as a joke, possibly due to Rick Derringer's cartoonish production or possibly due to the lead vocalists cartoonish behavior, but this band were an early MTV staple for a time with their "High In High School" video. They kinda remind me musically of Andrew WK's style of bubblegum metal, maybe a measure of lighter Twisted Sister type glam thrown in with the vocalsit being of the Ron Keel/Kevin DuBrow shouter variety. Roxy Pettrucci (later of Vixen, the girl band, not Marty Friedman's Hawaiian band mentioned above)was the drummer and her sister was the guitarist. Fun stuff. Another pic of the band below. Why? Fuck if I know. More of the producer below.

And this was a very pleasant surprise. I got this album a long time ago at a thrift store, where there were a ton of radio station albums in the bins, and I grabbed a bunch that looked interesting (I got the Morningstar album Kit posted in a previous entry at the same time!) and this (as well as the Morningstar) turned out to be excellent AOR (album oriented rock for those who may wonder) with a touch of hard rock as well as proggy moments. Unfortunetly when I got rid of the bulk of my record collection in the mid 90's this was a casualty of that misfortune and now I am ecstatic to have it again!! If you are in the mood for some classy obscure rock done with style, I can place no higher recommendation on either of the 2 aforementioned Lps. I think I thanked Tor-Erik 10 times for this so far, well here's another!!!

Here's the first of many NWOBHM bands that were sent. This band is more famous for their guitarist Phil Collen going to (and wimping out) Def Leppard than anything they did as a band. At least in the states, I believe they may have been a bit more popular in the UK. I listened to their album Sheer Greed, but at the time, being in a "the heavier the better" phase, I wrote it off as what I refered to at the time as "pussy metal". So I downloaded this and am going to try to give it another chance as this one is their 2 CD anthology. Hey, I wrote off Rough Cutt around the same time and I absolutely love them now, so who knows!

CD 1

CD 2

I'll be honest, I don't much of the Norweigian hard rock scene (I could tell ya plenty about the black metal, as I used to listen to a lot of that) but what I have heard in the last day or two has been high quality stuff. And here is a comp of some of the best. I figured I would post this as a sampler as Tor-Erik has sent us several full albums of many diverse band which I will get posted in the next day or so. There is a tremendous amount of stuff to sort out I tell ya!! So for a starter give this a shot. I know just by looking at the pic there is more Heaven to come.

The Best Of Norwegian Hard Rock part 1

The Best Of Norwegian Hard Rock part 2

And as promised back in the blurb for Madam X here's a Rick Derringer album (sort of) from around the same time period roughly. This is DNA's Party Tested which stood for Derringer and Appice. And the Appice is of the Carmen variety, ex-Rod Stewart and Vanilla Fudge skin-thudder. Interesting if you are a fan of either, but if you aren't you may wanna run. This ain't the Hootchie Coo Derringer, this is the I'm about to produce Weird Al Yankovich (and Madam X)Derringer. I always thought it was fun, but I've issued the warning.

More NWOBHM with Angel Witch's '82 Revisited. Live stuff I do believe.

And here are 2 from Bodine, their 1st, and 2nd, Bold as Brass. I really like these guys.


Bold As Brass:

And here are a few that either are live shows and have no covers, or albums I couldn't find covers for.

Montrose KSAN Record Plant 1973

Montrose Live In Cleveland 1974,

Stevie Salas Colorcode - Bootleg Like A Mug!! Live In Japan

Dirty Tricks - Night Man. 1976.

Dirty Tricks - Hit & Run. 1977

Riggs - Riggs. 1982.

Gamma - Concert Classics 1998

Queensryche - KBFH 1983

The Dictators - CBGB 1976

Styx - Live Providence 1975.

Shakin' Street (Ross The Boss, Manowar) - Shakin' Street. 1980

Lee Aaron Project - Lee Aaron Project (one of the hottest babes in hard rock ever!!!)

Diamond Head - The Academy Manchester

Diamond Head - The Friday Rock Show Sessions

Quartz - Satan's Serenade Bonus 1/3

Quartz - Satan's Serenade Bonus 2/3

Quartz - Satan's Serenade Quartz 3/3

Much more to come. Please don't forget to thank Tor-Erik for his generousity. He says he is sending more!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Saluting The Gods In Greasepaint

Howdy folks, a short quick post to tide you over 'til the weekend.
This is the conclusion (for now) of the KISS Tribute albums post which began over on Time Traveller Blog.
Four posted here, and if you missed 'em, there's another nine (!) albums over at Time Traveller.
More than enough to make even the most hardened KISS Army foot soldier weep with joy.
First up, from 1998, here's the Various Artists collection, "Creatures Of The Net". This is the 2nd cd in the series of KISS covers compilations from KAOL (Kiss Army On Line). Some great versions on here, and as a bonus they've also included a track from 1969 by ERIC CARR's early band THE CELLARMEN. It's in two parts, so remember to grab both!

KAOL 2 - Creatures Of The Net : Various Artists (1998)

Next up are the first 3 volumes in the "Larger Than Life" series of KISS covers compilations. I know there are at least four volumes in this series so far, maybe more, if anyone has vol 4 or higher, drop us a line. There are some great rare tracks spread across these 3 discs from the likes of GIRL, GIRLSCHOOL, MOTORPSYCHO, HAIR OF THE DOG, PRETTY MAIDS & FOO FIGHTERS.

Various - LARGER THAN LIFE : A KISS Covers Compilation (2003)

Various - LARGER THAN LIFE 2 : A KISS Covers Compilation (2004)

Various - LARGER THAN LIFE 3 : A KISS Covers Compilation (2005)

So that's the end (for now), of the KISS Tributes, i'll carry on amassing them and when there's enough i'll go through 'em all & up another mega post, but i'm a bit burned out on it just now so don't expect any more of them for a while.
Will be back over the weekend with a couple of requests, lots of over-distorted guitars and some rare surprises.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Sonic Smorgasbord

Howdy folks, it's that time again.
A sonic smorgasbord is what i promised and that's what i've delivered. With so many exotic flavours on the menu, there's bound to be something here to tickle even the most jaded palette.
In keeping with the smorgasbord theme, today's first course comes from Sweden's HEAVY LOAD. This is their 1981 mini LP, "Metal Conquest". They'd released an album a few years before this one, but this is where they found their sound and really hit their stride. Bad-ass viking Heavy Metal. If you've never had the pleasure, this should be your starting point.

HEAVY LOAD - "Metal Conquest" Mini (1981) Sweden

I had a request for something by MORE a little while back, so here are two tasty morsels by the London based NWOBHM band. Their "We Are The Band" 7" has a non-LP b-side, the excellent "Atomic Rock" and we're proud to present their live set from the 1981 Castle Donington "Monsters Of Rock" Festival too. They were the opening band that day, on a bill that included AC/DC, WHITESNAKE, B.O.C., BLACKFOOT & SLADE. More bang for your buck back then eh?

MORE - "We Are The Band" 7" (1981) UK

MORE - "Live At Donington 1981" (1981) UK

Here's some ultra-rare US Metal from 1984, the 200 copies only, one-sided 12" single from GRAVEN IMAGE, the catchily titled "People In Hell Want Ice Water". Saw one recently on E-B*y, starting bid $1200!!! Good strong Maiden/Mercyful Fate styled heaviosity.

GRAVEN IMAGE - "People In Hell Want Ice Water" 12" (1984) USA

Some excellent Hard Rock up next, the third LEGS DIAMOND album, "Firepower", from 1979. A bit of a transitional album this one, as they moved slightly away from their DEEP PURPLE meets KISS style towards a slicker, more AOR direction, which they pursued fully on their mid-80's albums. There are still some great songs and performances, (with the exception of their awful version of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"), with "Remember My Name" & "Underworld King" being particular highlights. This is the cd version, so you get some bonus tracks too, enjoy!

LEGS DIAMOND - "Firepower" (1979) USA

Some more US Metal next, from Chicago's IRONHAWK. This is their sole release, 1983's "To The Point!" mini LP, which is another scarce one much prized by collector types, this is probably the only way us average joe's will ever be able to hear a copy without winning the lottery. Good riffing, soaring vocals, widdly-widdly guitar solos. All present and correct.

IRONHAWK - "To The Point!" Mini Lp (1983) USA

Last, but by no means least, another of the ever popular BBC Sessions. This one finds everyone's favourite Filth Hounds, TANK, at the peak of their powers. Here they are creating an almighty racket at the behest of Tommy Vance's BBC Radio 1 Friday Rock Show, way back in 1981.
"T.V., Play That Rock'n'Roll!!!"

TANK - BBC Session (1981) UK

Keep the requests and comments coming, they really help shape the posts and direction of the blog.
Enjoy the music.