We’ve Got Ourselves a Reader! – Book Haul

Despite my best efforts to avoid buying more music I still feel compelled to visit at least one music shop every Monday. Obviously this can cause all sorts of problems!

Last Monday I went to Fopp in Glasgow and was relieved to discover that there was no music I was interested in. Then I went and spent £14 on books. I’ve been reading quite a bit lately and I really don’t want to replace my music buying addiction with a book buying one so I’ll need to be careful about this!

3 of those books were music related so I thought I mention them here although I’m not including them in my tally of money spent. If this gets out of control then that’ll be another blog entirely!

When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin – Mick Wall £3

I have to say I’ve worn Led Zeppelin’s music out. It’s too over-familiar to do much for me now and they are covered so frequently in the press I’m a bit sick of the sight of them. I like Mick Wall’s writing though (especially loved Run to the Hills, his Maiden biog) and this got some good reviews when it was published. While the Damned Utd style internal monologues look like a naff idea, I’m hoping this might help breathe a bit of life into their music for me. I’d also be keen to check out Enter Night, his recent Metallica book, although I hope to god Mick doesn’t try and imagine what’s inside any of their heads. I hate to think what warped internal monologue resulted in Lulu.

Electric Eden (Unearthing Britains Visionary Music) – Rob Young £3

This is an absolute steal at £3. I started reading this on loan from my local library (support your libraries!) but didn’t have time to get through it all! It’s an exhaustive look at British Folk music and how its influence has seeped into all sorts of music and culture ever since. From Fairport Convention to Talk Talk! Not very HM related obviously but there’s still plenty of interest here for anyone that likes music and there is enough folk influence in a lot of HM and Progressive Rock to justify reading up on this stuff.

Englands Dreaming – Jon Savage £3

I’ve had my eye on this for a while. I’m not hugely up on the Punk stuff and when I was younger I hated it! Over time my taste in Rock and Metal has worked round to the fringes of Punk so I don’t feel as opposed to it as I did when I was an opinionated young ‘un. I thought The Filth and the Fury film was fantastic and I’m hoping this book might hit the spot like that did.

All worth a punt at £3 each I’m sure you’ll agree.  If you have a Fopp nearby I suggest you pay a visit because there is a great range of bargain books there at the moment.  If anyone out there has any opinions on these I’d love to hear them!

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Gudbuy T’ Fourteen Quid – The Slade Box Set

Time elapsed since last music purchase: 8 days

Amount spent on purchase: £14

Amount spent in total so far: £26

I was going to write about how if you feel the temptation to buy some new music, I recommend listening to Slade instead as they are probably better than whatever it is you’re thinking of buying.

This strategy has been working pretty well for me over the last few days. I watched the excellent, grim-oop-north Slade In Flame on Saturday (my girlfriend was asleep) followed by repeated listenings of Slade On Stage from The Live Collection from Salvo. It’s an absolute belter of an album full of fat power-chords, great hooks and Noddy Holder’s unbeatable testifying holler.

Unfortunately, I’ve enjoyed myself so much I’ve decided I need more Slade in my life so, having decided I already own the core studio albums, started mulling over the tempting 2006 Box Set.

One thing led to another and I ended up having a wee swatch on Amazon. The bloody thing is only £13.99! Probably all the Slade you ever need on 4 CDs with a, no doubt, lovely booklet of pics and a biography for £13.99. If you don’t immediately head over there and buy this you either own it already or you are not my friend.

So, anyway, this post became about how amazing Slade are instead and how I’m £14 down.

Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power (CD/DVD Reissue)

Time elapsed since last music purchase: 7 days

Amount spent on purchase: £12

Amount spent in total so far: £12

I’ve been looking forward to this reissue coming out since the Cowboys From Hell set was released a couple of years back. So it’s my first moment of defeat since resolving to put an end to my compulsive music purchasing! First-day buyer too… the shame. So I’m £12 down at any rate.

I remember seeing Pantera at the Glasgow Barrowlands touring this album in support of a below par Megadeth (whose setlist peaked too soon with Holy Wars.. and that was the first song!). This would be the best upstaging of a headliner I would see until seeing the Scorpions embarrassing Judas Priest during their Angel of Retribution tour.

I just recently found out that the album title was actually taken from a line in the Exorcist (where the possessed Regan explains why she has to limit her powers to vomiting pea-soup and opening bedside cabinets for Priests).

Plenty has already been written about this band so I don’t have much else to add really! Listened to it last night and enjoyed it a lot. This CD/DVD reissue doesn’t have the same quantity of bonus stuff that Cowboys enjoyed but it’s still a great buy. Even for people who are trying not to buy music anymore. Ahem.

Mantas – Death By Metal

Only a week into my new era of abstinence and I’m feeling the pressure increase already! Just found out that Relapse Records will be re-releasing the great Chuck Schuldiner’s Pre-Death band Mantas’ recordings on June 19th 2012. Death By Metal will include demos and rehearsal recordings from 1984 and there will be a limited edition 2CD version with extra rehearsals and a live recording. Not sure if the limited 2CD will only be available through Relapse or not.

Relapse have been doing a great job of reissuing the Death back catalogue recently and I’m excited to see these recordings getting the same deluxe treatment. These recordings are essential listening for anyone interested in the genesis of Death Metal and the career of Schuldiner. Mantas also featured Kam Lee and Rick Rozz who are also important figures in the genre and later formed Massacre, another great DM band.

I’ve been listening to quite a few old demos lately, bands like Voivod, Destruction, Hellhammer, Massacre, and Coroner so this is just astoundingly tempting. I’ve also been checking out some other early DM bands like Master and Death Strike so I’m really interested in hearing these, unfortunately!

Aaaarghhh…. at least I’ve got until June 19th. If I maintain my iron resolve until then maybe I can justify treating myself. Maybe I’ll forget about it in the interim. Maybe.

TEMPTATION RATING: 10/10 This purchase is as inevitable as… Death!

Rainbow – Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and Long Live Rock N’ Roll (Vinyl)

Two all-time classics featuring the sadly departed Ronnie James Dio and the sadly departed Ritchie Blackmore (well… departed from rock music anyway. He’s currently to be found mistrel-ing to the elves at the bottom of his garden. Not bad work if you can get it.).

No heavy music collection should be without these and I have them on CD already. But these Back On Blackvinyl reissues are beautiful things and have been preying on my mind for some time. I was listening to a Shockwaves/Hard Radio podcast episode going in to work this week and Bob Nalbandian was banging on about them, as is his wont, so it got me thinking about them again.

I relented last year and bought the Back On Black vinyl edition of Rising and it’s a lovely thing. Jury’s out on whether it really improved my listening experience, though, compared to the remastered CDs. I’ve just not listened to it enough. I think the temptations here are really the objects themselves and the completist urge to have “the set” on vinyl rather than just one! I do have the later albums on CD (and have a particular passion for Difficult To Cure) but they don’t seem to require the “upgrade” to vinyl for some reason.

So, in order to stave off this temptation, I’m going to listen to these two albums on CD and then Rising on vinyl and see if there’s that much of a difference. Hopefully there won’t be and my wages will live to fight another day!

TEMPTATION LEVEL: 5/10. Collectability high, but no new content here.

… and classic rock too!