Guns And Roses - 2 Classic Albums Under Review. DVD. (Label: Sexy Individual, Cat.No: SIDVD525)
This documentary takes diehard fans inside the band's double set USE YOUR ILLUSION. Rare footage, extensive concert material, and interviews with journalists as well as those close to the musicians, aim to uncover the entire process by which the album was made and promoted.All regions DVD
This 1981 follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Spellbound (MNR006) was recorded too quickily to retain the quality of the former, but it's still an album with plenty of killer tunes and remains an important release in the Tygers canon and the history of the NWOBHM. Includes three bonus tracks.
Spellbound represented an amazing evolution for the Tygers of Pan Tang, especially considering that it was released a mere six months after their very rough and unpolished debut. Simply put, the addition of versatile new vocalist Jon Deverill and brilliant guitarist John Sykes (yes THAT John Sykes) helped improve the Tygers' musicianship and songwriting abilities no end...Spellbound still ranks as one of the more consistent and impressive early albums of the new wave of British heavy metal. Includes five bonus tracks.
This 1982 recording from the Tygers found guitarist John Sykes leaving to join Thin Lizzy and replaced by Fred Purser. The results are more of a mainstream rock style, the metal edges more on the back burner. The cover of Lieber & Stoller's 'Love Potion No. 9' however remains the band's most popluar hit and still kicks ass. Includes four bonus tracks.
The extreme raw energy of the Tygers is superbly caught on this classic 1980 release, showcasing the punk influence on one of the key NWOBHM outfits. Includes eight bonus tracks taken from the band's 7" and 12" releases.
Angel - Live Without A Net. Dble CD. (Label: B.G.O. Records, Cat.No: BGOCD730)
Originally a double LP release from 1978, this is the digitally remastered, slip cased double CD version. All the elements of a '70's rock show you could possibly want are here; drum guitar and keyboard solos, a cover of a Bowie classic and extended closing codas for every damn track here. Sixteen tracks including: "Got Love If You Want It", "Telephone Exchange", "White Lightning" and "On The Rocks."
Night Ranger, led by the wonderfully named Jack Blades, were one of the leading bands in the guitar crunching, melodic brand of hard rock throughout the 80s, and were especially popular in their native US. This is their hit album from '88, featuring the hit singles "Goodbye", "Four In The Morning" and "Sentimental Street." Digitally remastered, slip cased and with new notes. This is a release that proves AOR is no dirty word.
Never before released Desperado album from 1990. Now considered some thing of an '80's Rock/Metal classic, it features a super group line up of Twisted Sister's vocalist Dee Snider, Iron Maiden's drummer Clive Burr, bassist Marc Russell and Ozzy Osbourne/Atomic Rooster guitarist Bernie Torme. This eleven track album would have been essential listening had it not been for the arrival of "Grunge" Metal and the record company's decision to not release it as a result. Eleven track album that includes: "Hang 'Em High", "Son Of A Gun", "No Angels Here" and "Emaheevil" Sleeve notes by Joe Geesin.
A unique 13 trcak all star tribute to one of New Jersey's finest (but not quite as fine as the Bwoss), Bon Jovi. Artists paying tribute include Fred Coury of Cinderella, Kelly Hansen of Foreigner, Kory Clarke of Warrior Soul (well, he always did look a bit like him once he cut his hair off) and Phil Lewis of LA Guns. A must for any Bon Jovi fan or fans of the artists involved (and yes, that includes at least one member of Freak Emporium staff). Tease that hair and don those cowboys!!
Blackjack - The Anthology. CD. (Label: Lemon, Cat.No: CDLEM84)
Formed from the ashes of Carillo, Blackjack was a heavy melodic rock outfit that combined Michael Bolotin's rasping vocals with Bruce Kulick's guitar work to great effect. Both albums have been long regarded as AOR classics and are both highly collectable on the rock market. Sadly the band split after their second LP, with drummer Sandy Gennaro joining Pat Travers and Kulick going on of course to, Kiss. And as for frontman Michael Bolotin. . .he changed his name to Bolton and went onto have massive success as a solo artistthroughout the nineties. Yes, that bloke. But we'll forgive him for those misdemeanours, as his work with this band seriously was rather good (imagine an American David Coverdale or Phil Mogg and you're halfway there). Just don't let what he became put you off!! Contains an exclusive interview with guitarist Bruce Kulick by Classic Rock's Malcolm Dome, and is a first time ever release for this material on CD in Europe. A must for all fans of AOR, the album includes extended sleeve-notes and new artwork with a full discography.
Grand Prix - There For None To See- Expanded Edition. CD. (Label: Lemon, Cat.No: CDLEM83)
Grand Prix surfaced in the wake of the emerging New Wave Of British Heavy Metal scene in the late 70's. Not for them, however, the meat and two veg. approach of the likes of Saxon, Dedringer or Jaguar to their sound. From the outset, Grand Prix offered something distinctly more melodic and polished. This album is pivotal in Grand Prix's short but enjoyable career. The link between their early attempts at melodic metal and the polished sound of Samurai (the band's follow-up), There For None To See offered up their finest hour in 'Keep On Believing'. British melodic rock may have never managed to scale the grand heights of its American counterparts, but albums such asthis prove it certainly had much to offer. This is the first-ever CD release for this album, wich has been remastered and contains a bonus single b-side, 'Life On The Line'. Sleeve notes by Classic Rock & TotalRock Radio's Jerry Ewing.
By 1987 most bands that had cut their teeth on the rotating blades of the NWOBHM (except the 'big three' of Maiden, Leppard and Saxon) had either given up completely or fallen into inertia. Not Demon. Six albums in and they still hadn't cracked the big time (and had probably realised by that point that they never would), losing a guitarist to the Grim Reaper (the real one, not Steve Grimmett) in the process, yet they persisted and released yet another fine set of melodic Metal songs. Of course, they were blatantly ignored in the press at the time (too busy sucking up to Bon Jovi, Dave Lee Roth, Queensryche and the aforementioned Maiden, if one's memory serves one correctly) but the fervent few knew the band were special. This is by no means their best album (as a matter of fact it attempts to unecessarily Americanise their sound in places, but hey, it was an experiment) , but still a strong release worth hearing, and it quite frankly pisses on the likes of Marshall Law, Shy and other Midlands bands of the time. Check it out. Remastered with bonus material.
Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 2. Dble CD. (Label: Castle, Cat.No: CMQDD1179)
What does the year 1988 mean exactly to you? Well, to this writer, it meant growing one's mullet, going to school with your Quo t-shirt under your uniform, scrawling 'Saxon are Gods' on the desk in German lessons (and having a running conversation in biro about their relative merits for months with another deskee whose identity still remains unknown), failing to chat up girls because they were all into Bros and their idea of a Metal band was Europe, getting pissed on two cans of Banks's Bitter, and staying up after one's homework to watch repeats of Hammer House Of Mystery And Suspense. Oh, and this album!!! The sequel to the seminal first instalment in the story, and to some ears the band's most accomplished achievement. The definition of melodic, progressive, heavy, shredding Power Metal, sung atop a lofty castle peak as gangs flaxen-haired maidens and brave warriors do merrily revel below. And a record so powerful that it knocked one's mother's aspidestra off the loudspeaker when played at full volume. The classic lineup that appears here- Michael Kiske, Michael Weikath, Kai Hansen, the incredibly-named Markus Grosskopf (that's 'Marcus Bighead' in English) and Ingo Switchtenberg (RIP)- had found their magic formula, and the sheer confidence and melodic ebullience of the songs, underpinned by some of the most razorsharp riffs ever laid down, was unmatched by any other 'extreme' metal act at that time. 'Eagle Fly Free' 'You'll Always Walk Alone' 'March Of Time' and 'I Want Out' are about as anthemic as Metal ever got outside of Priest or Maiden: OK, 'Rise And Fall' and 'Dr Stein' may have almost childishly joke lyrics, but name me a pair of catchier songs written by any hard rock act in 1988 and we'll eat our collective hats. And of course, like its predecessor (which it exceeds in length by nearly twenty minutes) it ends with an epic- 'The Keeper Of The Seven Keys' itself, which with its several sections and guitar duels brings to mind classics such as Heep's 'Magician's Birthday' and Utopia's 'Singring And The Glass Guitar' but is more commercial than either and sums up the band's whole schtick better than anything else they ever recorded. Not to mention being a song which one certain Freak Emporium correspondent and his schoolmates used to sing in its entirety whilst wandering the streets of Bournville!! On the strength of this album, they opened Donington '88 (the infamous one where people died) and were one of Metaaal's hot prospects- but then completely buggered it with the messy followup 'Pink Bubbles Go Ape' (featuring new guitarist Roland Grapow, replacing Hansen who by now was fronting Gamma Ray) which failed to capitalise on their success and sank in the era of Funk Metal. Grunge, and the subsequent departure of Michael Kiske, meant that the band (still a permanent fixture on the Euro Metal circuit, but not in any danger of selling any gold records) never did scale the heights they deserved, but this album- now expanded to a two disc set by the addition of five bonus tracks and several single remixes- is a testament to everything they could have been and still stands up today. Incredible.
Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt 1. CD. (Label: Castle, Cat.No: CMQCD1178)
YEEESSSSS!! One of the two finest Power Metal albums ever recorded (the other being 'Keeper Part 2'), which took the influence of Maiden, Queen, Styx, Priest and of course the Scorpions and melding it into something relevant to the Speed Metal era of the late 80s. Very much a quantum leap from 'Walls Of Jericho' in terms of melody, production, riffs, songwriting and performance, and in no small part due to the addition of vocalist Michael Kiske- whose Dickinsonian, operatic tones added the commercial edge the band had been looking for- 'Keeper. . .' was and still is a milestone in 80s metal. From the opening gallop of 'Initiation/I'm Alive' (one of the most positive songs in the Metal genre, despite its sightly awkward English) through the thrudding 'A Little Time' to the epic 'Twilght Of The Gods' and the heartwrenching balladry of 'A Tale That Wasn't Right' there was not a duff track. Ultimately, though, this was the album that provided them with their first hit single ('Future World') and their career-defining/genre-shredding epic 'Halloween', still very much the high point of the band's live set. Of course, narrow-minded Thrashers with bad acne and no girlfriend thought the band had sold out (Melody? How dare they!!!) but who gives a shit what those people think anyway? Time will move on and in years to come, when we're still listening to this album but nobody can remember who DRI or Anacrusis ever were (not that they were bad bands- just very limited), we can study their fossils. Until that day, however, enjoy this superb expanded edition with four bonus tracks, remixes, edits and alternative versions. Metaaaal!!