How Tempting! – January 2014

My monthly look at the new releases, reissues and back catalogue CDs, Vinyl, Box Sets and DVDs that are grabbing my attention.

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January’s usually a fairly slow month in the release schedules so if I can avoid the temptation of the New Year sales it’s usually a good time to catch up with what I’ve already bought/been given over the Christmas period. But there are a couple of tempting releases to consider:

Entombed – Wolverine Blues (FDR Vinyl Edition) (20th January 2014)

The third Entombed vinyl reissue from Earache. I already picked up the previous two and, even though I’ve barely paid them any mind, I’d like to pick this up too. It’s also their supposed “Death N’ Roll” album so I’m hoping it might hit all the same spots that Carcass’ Swansong does. I’d say this is the only sure-fire purchase of the month.

Dokken – Tooth and Nail, Under Lock and Key, Breaking the Chains (20th January 2014)

Yet more remasters from the Rock Candy label. I’m not as much of a sucker for this label as I used to be and I’m not a huge Dokken fan either so my current copies of these albums should probably suffice. There are still Blackfoot and Ace Frehley reissues from this label that I would prioritise over these in any case.

Red Dragon Cartel – Red Dragon Cartel (27/1)

The long-awaited return of Jake E. Lee! Jake’s a talented guy so this is fairly intriguing but I found the preview track Feeder a bit dull even with the excellent Robin Zander contributing. So I’ll wait to hear more before parting with any cash.

Alice Cooper – Trash (27/1)

Hear No Evil reissued Alice’s Hey Stoopid last year and follow it up with a reissue of its predecessor in January. Remastered with a couple of uninteresting bonus tracks but maybe worth an upgrade if I feel flush and/or in an Alice mood. And this will be followed up with a reissue of The Last Tempation in February too.

Emperor – Scattered Ashes: A Decade of Emperial Wrath 2CD (27/1)

With the Emperor reunion this year we should probably expect plenty of tie-in releases. This looks like a basic reissue without any special bells or whistles but if, like me, you don’t have it already then it might be worth picking up. There are certainly enough non-album tracks across the two discs to make it worth owning.

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Of course, if I feel like splashing extra cash there is still plenty from 2013 that I’ve still to catch up on: the front-runners being Girlschool’s Bronze Years set, Obsessed’s The Church Within reissue, Cathedral’s Last Spire and the deluxe editions of Accept’s Balls to the Wall and Metal Heart.

And that seems like the lot! Let me know if there’s anything I might have overlooked. Happy hunting!

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55 thoughts on “How Tempting! – January 2014”

  1. I can’t imagine the “upgrade” of Alice’s “Trash” is worth it unless you find it dirt cheap. That would only be a must-buy if you didn’t own any previous pressings.

    I don’t have any strong feelings regarding your other titles, but good luck with these temptations. I’ve already got a number of purchases I’m pondering, both upcoming titles and a handful from last year that are still on my wish list.

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    1. I’ve only got Trash on vinyl so i would maybe like a CD copy at some point but it’s not hugely tempting. I agree it’s pretty slim pickings this month. Definitely a good month to catch up on stuff that you might have missed. Any interesting upcoming titles that might be up my street?

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      1. Not sure if anything on my list would fit in with the items on yours, based solely on genres, but we’ve all got pretty diverse tastes so you never know. I’m looking forward to the new Springsteen. I don’t get excited about his new albums like I did 30+ years ago, but they’re usually worth hearing. David Crosby is releasing a rare solo album later this month, and based on the clips I’ve heard, I’m very excited. It reminds me of his work in the band CPR, which was like a cross between CSN and Steely Dan.

        I have to pick up the latest from Moon Safari, an amazing Swedish prog-rock-pop band with some of the most amazing harmonies I’ve ever heard, all set to intricate yet hummable music. I will also be closing out my Blue Rodeo collection this year. At the beginning of 2013 I only owned 2 of their CDs (which I’ve had since the early 90s), and now I own 9 of them. Not sure why I re-discovered them last year, but I’m glad I did.

        Oh yeah, one more thing I have to get is the Levin Minnemann Rudess album, with Tony Levin, Marco Minnemann (probably my favorite active drummer) and Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess. I’ve read great things about it, and have high expectations.

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      2. The Levin, Minnemann, Rudess sounds interesting. Didn’t know about that at all.

        I believe both Aaron and Mike are Blue Rodeo fans so I’m sure they’ll have something to say about you rediscovering them!

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      3. Glad I’m not the only one here looking forward to the new Springsteen, and it’s nice to know that you’re more excited than I am. He’s reached the point in his career where it’s always good to hear new music from him, but the odds of getting an all-time classic are relatively low. Considering that two E Streeters are no longer with us, every time he gets to record with the remaining band members should be considered something special.

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      4. You betcha Rich, it’s all special by now. I get excited about every Bruce release. I don’t think he’s ever foisted anything on us that truly sucked. Maybe one track or other didn’t fit the times, maybe he moaned on a bit long sometimes, but every record of his I’ve ever heard stands up just fine for me.

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  2. Yeah, I’m in the same boat as you – January is a slow, slow month for releases. There is, however, the new Transatlantic album that is out at the end of the month so (hopefully) this month won’t be a busy spending spree.

    I think I’m going to be wise and save my money for the possible Opeth album coming out.

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      1. Yeah, it’s one of those album I know I will buy.

        However, between now an then (whenever it is) there are a few releases I’m interested in.

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      2. Didn’t realize that Opeth had a new one on the horizon. That’s always exciting news. I love the fact that you never know which direction their music will be going in. As for Transatlantic, I already pre-ordered my deluxe edition artbook version from their website, which is the only edition that includes a surround sound mix. Hoping it arrives by the end of the month.

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      3. I read an interview with Mikael today and it sounded like it might be in a similar vein to Heritage. Goblin was mentioned as an influence!

        I’ve only heard Transatlantic’s debut. Not really kept tabs on them beyond that.

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      4. Guess you’re not a fan of Heritage, eh? I thought it was a stunning (and surprising) album for them. I’m surprised they’re staying in a similar vein, but since I loved the last one I have high hopes for the new one.

        Transatlantic is one of those bands who aren’t for everyone, but I was already a huge fan of all four members when their debut was released (in fact, I think I owned every release by all four members’ other bands/projects) and I can’t believe they’ve found the time to record a fourth album together. It’s very exciting news in the prog world, that’s for sure.

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      5. Heritage just didn’t do much for me but I wouldn’t rule it out for rediscovery later. It wasn’t even to do with the direction. I just didn’t grab me at all.

        I do like a lot of older Prog but a lot of the newer stuff leaves me a bit cold.

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      6. There’s one in the works, so hopping it will be out next year. And yes, the Transatlantic new one will be a cracker for sure.

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  3. Many lovely looking things listed here, even though you claim it’s a slow month! Entombed, man, I have vague memories of them from the mid-90s, in Mike’s town. A guy in the band I was in had their tape. That’s right, a CASSETTE. So hot. It could even have been this very same album, for all I remember. And I keep looking for that Girlschool for you but, man, it never turns up. I am undaunted! We will prevail!

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  4. Hey also, while we’re about the business here, what do you guys know about Dead Can Dance? I picked up about 5 of their albums the other day for less than $10, on a whim, and don’t know much about their sound except the name. Thoughts?

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    1. Dead Can Dance is one of those bands I’ve been curious about but haven’t checked out yet. I think they are/were on 4AD, right? A year or two ago I checked out some This mortal Coil on that label & really enjoyed it, so I might put DCD higher up on my list of artists to check out in 2014.

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      1. They are indeed on 4AD, good call! Looking at the stack here, I got Dead Can Dance (s/t), Spleen And Ideal, The Serpent’s Egg, Aion, A Passage In Time and Into The Labyrinth.

        I just saw then there and bought on impulse. It was so cheap, it was hard not to. They’re used, but the discs are pristine, like they were never even played.

        It will remain to be seen if this was a big score or not. I’ll let you know how it goes, over at the KMA!

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      1. This could be quite the experiemnt. Who knows what I’ll hear? Hahaha.

        Yeah there’s a junk shop here in town, people just donate crap. Even books, DVDs and CDs! And a lot of it is just that – crap. And even if you find a good one, it’s more likely to be scratched all to hell. But occasionally (as in this case), they’re in great shape and super-cheap. I also recently got Slipknot’s Vol. 3 for under $2. Crazy. Add to this, some of the staff in there could care less, so if you go up to the counter with 6 Dead Can Dance CDs, they’ll as often as not charge you for 5, simply because they can’t be arsed to count how many there are in front of them.

        It takes a lot of patience, a lot of digging. But every once in a while, jackpots can be had!

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  5. Well HMO as far as the Dokken stuff goes and I bought all of these back in yesteryear I would say Tooth & Nail would be the best out of the bunch of Dokken stuff followed by Under Lock &Key which does feature a great track called The Hunter!
    Than again I have not fully listened to these in yrs so who knows I’m sure the production would tell the tale.
    When it comes to Dokken one album that I can still listen to this day and age is Dokkens solo album Up From The Ashes from 1990 that’s a great record if u ever happen to come across it! His band at the time featured Peter Baltes from Accept,John Norum and Mickey Dee…….

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    1. Wow, that’s quite a lineup! Never heard that one.

      I’ve got a few Dokken albums but they never really caught my imagination. Mainly cause of Don’s voice I reckon – always thought it was quite weak. I’ve got the live one Beast from the East and that’s pretty good!

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  6. What are the Alice Cooper bonus tracks? The original Japanese had two — Dwight Fry, and somethin’ else, live. These have since been reissued on the Alice Cooper album Extended Versions.

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      1. Not interested. I would have been before the Life and Crimes Of box set, because I Got A Line On You is killer.

        And also not interested in the Dokken either, unless I find them used.

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      2. Really eh? I hate to speak ill of 1) the disabled, 2) the dead, and 3) the Canadian, but I have heard his backing band sucked. My old guitar teacher used to tell me that his backing band were way, way beneath him.

        Anyway I think Healey was a very talented guitar player (he did some solos on Gillan’s Inn if you happen to have that) but limited vocally. I always wished he would have joined a pre-existing blues band, and just wailed on guitar.

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      3. I’m told it was an off night. He played ok but he seemed mega bored and the choice of songs was dreadful. It was like a cruise ship set or something. The guy I was with was a big fan and he thought it was crap too. Shame I had to pick that night to see him!

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      4. On behalf of Canada, I would like to apologize for your lost time and money. If you don’t want something like this to happen again — do NOT see Nickelback.

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      5. I saw Jeff Healey live, and it was an off-night and he still killed it – bad mood or not, the music end was excellent. I think it depended on how far he was from being on or off the wagon. Being off the sauce made him pretty cranky.

        Add to that, if I may, I never thought his backing band was beneath him, in that way. I’d also say that many bands would struggle to match a player of that calibre (when he was on his game), so it’s unfair to judge. The records were solid (to me), so maybe they preferred the studio and playing live was just a necessary evil, not their focus.

        He was also a good trumpet player, deep into jazz (and a huge record collector). He made a couple of CDs with a band he called the Jazz Wizards. I’ve heard copies from the library here and they’re really hot.

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    1. That’s great! I can’t wait to get it. I find that period really fascinating. All those extreme acts like Entombed, Morbid Angel and Carcass getting major label deals and being groomed as the next big thing! A lot of the albums from that time are incredible.

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      1. Absolutely! Excellent bands. Very influential. Grave and those from the Florida death metal scene are (usually) my go-to bands for listening.

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