Noise-some Notes – A Week in Listening 22nd October 2012

Remixes seem to be a theme this week. It’s not intentional I promise!

Gillan – Double Trouble (Studio Side) Loving this intense and focused album. Let’s face it, if you’re going to open an album with a song called I’ll Rip Your Spine Out then it better be good. Interestingly, every time I hear the word “focused” in my head it’s Michael Schenker’s voice I hear saying it.

Whitesnake – Slide It In (US Remix) Hmm. I like the UK version of Slide It In and I like the US version. But which is better? There’s only one way to find out… FIGHT!!!

KISS – Monster Still enjoying this one. Having lived with it for a while, Take Me Down Below is a real grower (being the best song Slade never wrote). The only negatives here are the sub-Dictators chorus of Back to the Stone Age and the clunky “I Pledge Allegiance to the State of Independence” line in Freak. These are minor quibbles but… better out than in!

Twisted Sister – Under the Blade (80s Remix) Mike and Aaron’s record-shopping trip to Toronto turned up an LP of the remixed version of Twisted Sister’s debut album which got me wondering which version I actually have. Happily, it turned out I have both (having unwittingly downloaded the remix from Amazon). The remix tries to replicate the dumb, fun Glam Rock style that Twisted Sister hit paydirt with but I don’t feel the sound is a good fit for the songs whereas the original mix sounds gnarly and brutal like the underground Metal classic it is!

Manowar – The Lord of Steel (Hammer Edition) Manowar’s new album was released exclusively as part of a Metal Hammer fan-pack earlier in the year. It’s their best effort in years, a back-to-basics mix of classic Metal with a hint of Rock N’ Roll. Well, the album has since been subjected to further tinkering and remixing and now the “Retail Edition” has been unleashed on an unsuspecting world. I listened to the “Hammer Edition” this week so that it would be fresh in my mind when I got the new version. Stand and face The Lord of Steel! And clench your bum… the bass sound here is bowel-loosening!

Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark LeBrain and KeepsMeAlive have both been doing great reviews of the Maiden catalogue from start to finish. I felt inspired to revisit this one as I realised I hadn’t listened to it for ages. There are a few songs in the second half that are better than I remember but, if I’m being honest, only the title-track would have earned a place on any of the Adrian Smith-era Maiden albums that came before and after.

Blackfoot – Strikes and Tomcattin’ Both of these are absolutely essential. Strikes is the band’s breakthrough album and features the classic Highway Song (every Southern Rock act needs a Freebird and this is Blackfoot’s). It’s a great late-night album of laid-back, bluesy Rock. With their next album, Tomcattin’, Blackfoot had Metallized their sound significantly and it’s far more hard-hitting. When you hear tracks like Warped, On the Run and Every Man Should Know (Queenie) it’s no surprise that this band won a strong following in the NWOBHM-obsessed UK of the early 80s.

SONG OF THE WEEK A new feature at HMO! I’m going to pick the stand-out track from the week and post it here for your delectation. This week it’s Blackfoot’s Warped. I loved going back to Tomcattin’ and this raucous opener is a standout song from an awesome album. Hope you like it… and keep an eye out for the Rock Candy reissues coming soon!

[Blackfoot – Warped]

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23 thoughts on “Noise-some Notes – A Week in Listening 22nd October 2012”

    1. Cheers! It’s like “this weeks list was brought to you by Mike”! Half the stuff here I listened to cause you reviewed it.
      There’s loads of Gillan I don’t have but I’m fairly sure I’ve got all the best stuff. The main missing items on my want list are the Japanese Album which I had in my hand and put back! And that one I told you about with Naked Thunder and Toolbox on it.

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      1. I cant remember the last time I put BF on…but I have sooo much to listen to and so little time…you know that drill I am sure.

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  1. Funny you ask…I hardly listen to music for just pure listening. I tried to listen to a little Zep since I saw the Celebration Day movie a couple of weeks ago. I made a playlist for my daughter in the car and that is what I hear the most, Elvis, The Who, Van Halen plus a few others stuff that a 4 y/o w=can digest…I need to put on some head phones now that I think if it!!!!

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  2. I was really impressed of course I had no high expectations going in. Hoping to get a review out soon. Overall I thought it was some amazing musicianship!!

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  3. I was totally impressed with ALL of them even Jason Bonham was spot on. Plant sounds great and he was late 50’s early 60’s when they did the show….

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  4. Fresh one from the irony department: My sometimes-contributor T-Rev emailed me this morning. “What Ian Gillan Band do you have?”

    I said “Live At Bodukan, but it’s bippy-boppy jazz rock fusion, I’m not much into it.”

    His response: “So does that mean you don’t want the IGB CD that I bought for ya this weekend?”

    And I said, “Are you kidding, of course I want it, I’m a collector!”

    So there you go. Looks like I will have some more Gillan (or at least the IGB) to check out!

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  5. Another great week in yer ears. The Gillan carries over, and heavy on the 80s metal. Niiiiice. That new KISS is still hanging in there, too.

    Thanks for the shout-out. Like I told Mike, if anything I write about Maiden is good, it’s pure luck. Just chucking stuff at the walls, seeing what sticks.

    I’d watch the Zep, for sure. Like mikeslayen says, it’s tough to get the time. I still have a STACK of stuff here to go through. And I know all about the kids thing (having a 3.5 and a 1 year old here with me, all day every day). Headphones can do the trick, for later in the evening when they’re finally asleep. But through the day, I find I just put the ol’ iTunes on shuffle and let ‘er rip. The kids can put up with a lot, and they like most of it. I do try to skip the tracks with swearing in ’em, if I’m near the Mac. But man, I just went past 16,000 songs in the library, from almost all genres, so at this point just about anything could come up! I think a mix is good for their forming brains. They’ll sort out their own tastes later on.

    On that point, my wife asked me, being a HUGE fan of music and being fairly set in my ways of what I like best, what I would do if the kids like something I don’t. First off, they’re gonna have to work pretty hard to find something I really dislike. And what will I do if they develop a taste for, I dunno, really shitty techno or gangsta rap? I’ll ask them to turn it up and get right in there with them.

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    1. I always wonder how kids would rebel against parents that have listened to all this stuff. I dare say they find a way! I’d look forward to saying “Call that music? In my day we had REAL bands like… Sodom!”

      I’d say you’re Maiden blogs are sticking fine! I’ve been impressed with your take on it and you seem to like and dislike the same sort of things as me. No worries about the shout-out. Credit where credit’s due!

      Was a very 80s-centric week wasn’t it? Hadn’t even thought of that!

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      1. All I can think of is Calvin & Hobbes (ever read them?). There’s one where Calvin’s listening to muzak, to piss of his Dad. And he’s listening to it really quietly, too… Watterson is a genius, I wish he was still making those strips. I remember Rollins had a funny rant one time about this subject, talking about his (hypothetical) kid, in tears, telling his therapist all about how Dad (Rollins) forced him to listen to Slayer records. Haha.

        But honestly, I think they’d have to try pretty hard to find something I don’t like.

        What I’m learning through all this Maiden (and I am still two live records behind, need to get on that), is that there are things I definitely love, and things I can recognize as them, and they’re alright, but I could take it or leave it. One other thought I had was it would be interesting to compare the first four Metallica records, and our impressions of all those songs, versus the first four Maiden. I don’t think there’d be as many essential songs, in the Maiden. And then we could look at the first four Sabbath records… which would destroy everything and we’d all be so happy. Anyway. That’s probably a whole other blog page, right there, not one post.

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      2. I love Calvin and Hobbes… don’t remember them doing that, that’s hilarious. I’d think any kids of mine would find it fairly easy to find stuff that would annoy me, but probably nothing that I couldn’t put up with. I’d just despair for their lack of taste.

        Maiden first 4 vs. the ‘tallica first 4 is an interesting one! I think you’re right. Metallica win that one but I think Maiden have had the more satisfying career and more great albums overall. And the first 6 Sabbath is just one of the most amazing runs of genius ever.

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      3. I have the Complete harcover C&H collection here. Pure greatness.

        It’s inevitable that parents will despair of their childrens’ taste in anything. That’s a genetic imperative, on both sides!

        Will see about the rest of Maiden (I haven’t heard it all, yet)! Don’t forget, I like the Metallica records other people despise. I can play Reload and enjoy it, no problem. St. Anger? Bring it! I’ll better be able to make the Career decision when I hear the rest of Maiden!

        Sabbath rules. Hands-down. No arguments. Just. Rules.

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      4. No argument from me on the Sabs front. Was never a huge Load/Reload fan though, bit too much flab and filler going on. Wouldn’t say I despise them though. I think Maiden just edge it in volume of great albums anyway. They really churned them out for a while and they’re on a good run again lately. Wait and see!

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