Showing posts with label THE FINAL ON VINYL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label THE FINAL ON VINYL. Show all posts


Vinyl Review: Blue Oyster Cult-Ghost Stories

Release Date: April 12, 2024

Label: ‎Frontiers


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Ghost Stories, possibly the Blue Oyster Cult swan song, is a nostalgic journey back to the band's prime. As the two remaining original members age, this album serves as a heartfelt tribute to their past, pulling out some gems for the longtime fans.


It stands out as a significant release, not just for its musical content but also for the long-awaited return of Albert and Joe Bouchard and the heartfelt tribute to the late Allan Lanier. These elements imbue the album with a historical depth, making it a compelling listen for longtime fans.


The vinyl edition of Ghost Stories is a visual treat. The artwork's intricate details (and hidden messages?) serve as a unique storytelling medium. It beautifully captures the essence of the tracks, which are like ghosts in the attic, now brought back to life and polished.


Side A starts with "Late Night Street Fight," a strong opener." "Cherry" is a classic old-school rock with a summertime AM radio station feel—mind you, this was the 1970s. One part of the song has a quiet interlude, then changes with the guitars cutting loose with fire. So, we are off to a good start two tracks in.


Then comes the longest track, "So Supernatural," which clocks in at 5:55. It is classic BOC with music and a theme all fans will recognize. It is one of the strongest compositions on the LP.


If you are familiar with The Animals (Eric Bourdon), you will love their version of "We Gotta Get Out of This Place." Eric Bloom does a great job with the vocals; the musicianship is spot on. It's a rock classic on steroids.


"Soul Jive" is probably the album's most out-of-their-comfort-zone song. It is very cool, though. A catchy beginning riff sets the tone with a more subdued guitar. The music is soft but well done, even if you like the rockers more. However, there are some things to appreciate.


"Gun" closes out side A. It's back to rockin' the house faster and another one of my favorites.


Side B opens with "Shot in the Dark." Picture the scene: a smokey bar room with a piano player. Eric starts talking and telling the story before the music and singing kick in. It is a fine opener with lots of high-energy BOC at work and an excellent lead guitar.


"The Only Thing" is Buck Dharma's perfect song. His voice is the spice that flavors the words and makes them believable. It's a slow-burner love song but features some fitting rockin' funky organ and bass. There is a good guitar break towards the end.


Do you remember, or are you familiar with MC5? Well, here it is, BOC style. "Kick Out the Jams," indeed! Wayne Kramer (RIP February this year) must be smiling down upon this one from his seat in rock 'n' roll heaven. It's another absolute favorite I could listen to daily.


"Money Machine" is a real toe-tapper. It has a great rhythm, accompanied by the piano tinkling as the guitars wail. Excellent!


"Don't Come Running to Me" features quick guitar bursts throughout, with passionate vocals making a point as they sing, "Don't come running to me if he breaks your heart." Well, you get the idea.


Would they end the album with some force and flex their rock muscles? Wrong! They cover The Beatles' song "If I Fell." What a mistake. It is horrendous. It's a very disappointing way to end a decent album from the archives.


It is undoubtedly not one of my favorite BOC albums, but it was a fun listen. It was nice to reminisce back when they were one of the hottest bands on earth. It is a sample of those times and a reminder of how talented this band was. 


If you're a BOC fan, you have to have it; an average rock fan, look to their early catalog of releases to find out how good they were. I recommend Agents of Fortune, Secret Treaties, Fire of Unknown Origin, and On Your Feet or On Your Knees (live).


If Ghost Stories is the curtain call for BOC studio work, then all things considered, it's a good exit strategy.


Keith “MuzikMan” Founder

April 18, 2024


Side A:

1. Late Night Street Fight

2. Cherry

3. So Supernatural

4. We Gotta Get Out of This Place

5. Soul Jive

6. Gun

Side B:

1. Shot in the Dark

2. The Only Thing

3. Kick Out the Jams

4. Money Machine

5. Don't Come Running to Me

6. If I Fell


Heavy Metal VinylLP Review: Judas Priest-: Invincible Shield

Release Date: March 08, 2024

Label: ‎Sony Music


Judas Priest is comparable to a cockroach that doesn't die in a nuclear holocaust. Always remember their resiliency and ability to adapt and carry the heavy metal flag. Invincible Shield is an excellent heavy metal recording with no disappointments; every track rocks! This band is on point at all positions, with incredible guitar work and a rhythm section that keeps the pace from start to finish. And, of course, Rob Halford is still singing like he was in his 20s.


The artwork on the two LPs' gatefold covers, inner sleeves, and lyrics are fantastic. I followed the words all the way through and the images presented to create a story. Honestly, I don't believe it to be too far off base for the world on fire that we are seeing these days.


Glen Tipton and Richie Faulkner fighting off health issues is a fine example of strength in their return to the lineup recording and touring. Both guitarists are back in all their blazing glory to answer the call again with fire and brimstone licks.


"Panic Attack" kicks things off on side one of this two-album platter of 180-gram metal perfection. It is a classic JP full-throttle opener with great lyrics for our times. They hit the bullseye musically and lyrically. Halford is as strong as ever. Who would have thought he would sound this good at his age? He is simply a wonder of humankind. 


"The Serpent and the King" has the typical locomotive rhythm section, driving the lyrics with the force of magma spitting out at the top of a volcano. Halford hits all the high vocalizations amazingly well. Tipton and Faulkner make a remarkable duo, a most potent two-pronged attack. 


Side Two opens with the title track, "Invincible Shield," which features some great melodic guitar runs with a heavy edge. These riffs push the lyrics to the forefront and deliver the message of intent. 


"Devil in Disguise" has the appropriate sledgehammer metal to meet the point of the lyrics and the deception of evil that is one of a kind, preying on your fears. What an astonishing twin-guitar attack!


"Gates of Hell" continues the assault of darkness on your consciousness,  and the lyrics are accurate. Only the energy and sharp chops of this band of metal gods can sharpen the blade of the song's lyrics that Halford sets in stone with his voice.


Side three begins with changing thoughts and beliefs with "Crown of Horns." Is redemption the card now for the lost souls? Is Halford singing about Jesus on the cross? ("Heavy is the crown of thorns that rest on his head") It depends on your perspective. The other side of their typical dark and evil subject matter comes across as a light in the darkness with that powerful message with superb licks from the two six-string masters.


"As God is my Witness" brings on rapid-fire riffs as Halford tells the story of triumph and the destiny of a world at war. He sings, "I will prevail until the end of days." An optimistic view for only those who are true warriors indeed. As usual, the music suits the lyrics.


"Trial By Fire" begins, and within a few passing seconds, the momentum builds as the track explodes into a trail of fire with the band ablaze and committed to back the lyrics with power and conviction. Enduring this trial by fire is an innocent person accused of being a liar, as the words drive home the hell of one unfortunate individual. Halford is impressive with his vocals!


Side four opens with "Escape From Reality," a track that ebbs and flows with powerful chops and a testament of truth set to heavy metal as only Priest can perform. The third verse and the line "Hallucinations from another worldly place" sounded like Ozzy, and I was not hallucinating. It is agony escaping reality, an epic track sure to be a concert favorite.


"Sons of Thunder" is an anthem for all the metal maniacs. Inspiration for the masses rides the wave of the song as Halford sings "Let's Ride All Night Sons of Thunder" as the clean riffs pierce your soul, and you are ready to take that ride. Again, the always fantastic rhythm section stands tall and proud to support this heavy metal machine like a locomotive on a mission to a destination.


"Giants in the Sky" closes out this masterpiece of heavy metal with excellent leads on the guitars and a significant change towards the end with some soft, finely designed acoustic guitar, a little surprise before closing out with a clap of thunder with their punishing sound to a tribute to those giants in the sky.


Invincible Shield is a solid release, proving that Judas Priest is not slowing down! The recording and downloads are available in different variants and formats with three bonus tracks. I also checked out the bonus tracks on Spotify, and they are excellent, so that is worth checking out.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-TFOV Founder

March 9, 2024


Disc: 1

1. Panic Attack

2. The Serpent and the King

Disc: 2

1. Invincible Shield

2. Devil in Disguise

3. Gates of Hell

Disc: 3

1. Crown of Horns

2. As God is my Witness

3. Trial By Fire

Disc: 4:

1. Escape From Reality

2. Sons of Thunder

3. Giants in the Sky


Various Artists Review-Rolling Stone: Life And Death Of Brian Jones Soundtrack

Release Date: June 12, 2020
Label: MVD

The story of Brian Jones, famous for originating the band The Rolling Stones, is a compelling real-life account. I had the opportunity to view the DVD and listen to the red vinyl LP of Rolling Stone: Life And Death Of Brian Jones Soundtrack. It is a Dudeski/Chip Baker production directed by Danny Garcia. I watched the Rolling Stone: Life And Death Of Brian Jones DVD first to learn about the story of his life and untimely death. The DVD would tie in well with the soundtrack and make more sense to me.

I, like many others, assumed that Jones died because of drugs and alcohol. This revealing movie shows evidence that contradicts those basic beliefs. Yes, he did his share of mind-altering substances however when he was found dead at the bottom of his pool it is believed, based on evidence and a 600-page document unearthed by Scott Jones, that he was murdered. Jones had been arguing with a man named Frank Thorogood all day and each time the arguments became more heated and the last altercation being a physical struggle in the pool with the larger and stronger Thorogood that ended Jones’s life. The truth about his death was covered up by law enforcement and was under a 75-year rule established by that very institution.

Jones was a brilliant multi-instrumentalist and referred to as genius in the film. I would not dispute that statement with what I know and have listened to the Stones most of my life. What I found so interesting and shocking was how Jones was treated by his mother, band members, and friends. I understand that he was temperamental and had issues but that does not explain the way he was treated and at times very unfairly. He was a very sick man that never got the help he needed but I know it was not desired by the flamboyant musician. He was the leader of the Stones and eventually, the songwriting went to Jagger and Richards and that was the beginning of the end for Jones.

The beginning of the film starts with footage of Brian in his youth and his rise to fame with the Stones. One scene shows the band at a party getting in a cake fight, which I thought was very light-hearted. Too bad things did not stay that way for the band and Jones. By the time Jones was 19 he had three illegitimate children and at the time of his death, he left behind six children. Interesting how if this story was about a woman how she would have been looked upon as a whore but because it was a man he got labeled as a lost rock star a lower class of society by the establishment. And actually, the establishment of that period was doing everything they could do to split up the group including planting drugs and arresting them.

The bonuses of the DVD include nearly an hour of Deleted Scenes, Behind The Scenes, and Muddy Waters: The Scott Jones Files. All of which reveal more stories about Brian Jones, The Rolling Stones, and his mysterious death and cover-up. Rolling Stone: Life And Death Of Brian Jones is a fascinating film and it brings forth so many stories and facts about the famed artist and how he died that I certainly never knew. I am now well-informed thanks to this eye-opening DVD.

Now on to the music...Rolling Stone: Life And Death Of Brian Jones Soundtrack is a special Red Vinyl LP. If you remember the early Stones music when Brian was involved there were strong blues influences and many classic blues covers. Jones loved Elmore James and Alex Korner etc. This soundtrack will satisfy all Stones fans and blues lovers.

Side one opens with “1969,” echoing that fateful year for Jones. The music is very much retro sounding like it was recorded then. “Ain't Nothing Here to Change My Mind” is a real ear catcher and the first thing that you notice is that the lead singer sounds like Jagger. How appropriate for this record to have vocals like that. Dick Taylor & The Red Squirls (the first bass guitar player for the Stones who left to form The Pretty Things as their lead guitar), who is interviewed on the DVD, has his contributions on the LP as well with “Edith” an instrumental, which certainly did remind me of Dick’s band The Pretty Things. And another instrumental on side two titled “14a Chestnut St,” which is real rockin’ blues boogie. “Dusted” is a slow-burning simmering hot blues track with cuts like a knife slide guitar (a nod goes to Brian for his memorable slide playing). “Riding The Dog” is classic blues with a fine six-string workout towards the end of the track. Then the “The Path of the Meeting” closes out the first side with an atmospheric instrumental perfectly suited for a soundtrack.

After side one I was quite pleased with what I heard, all of it was very good and I expected it would continue on side two, which it did. After the kick start of side two “14a Chestnut St” then “Tighten It Rough” keeps the momentum going and then “Brian” follows which features some nice acoustic guitar picking and some killer slide work. Next up is “(I’ll Never Be) Satisfied” which immediately brings to mind one the most famous Stones hits “Satisfaction.” All the tracks are purposeful and fitting and that is a fact.

Following that wake-up call, fans and historians are sent a reminder of the fact that Brian was the originator and first leader of the Stones with “Brian Jones (The Real True Leader of The Rolling Stones),” which is a peppy pop-rock tune, suitable for cutting a rug. The one track that seemed out of place but was a good one was “Glitter Girl.” It sounded like a band from the 80’s straight out of England, complete with the accent. I am sure it was dedicated to Anita Pallenberg, one of Brian’s more famous glamorous movie star girlfriends (that ended up with Keith Richards). The album closes out most appropriately with a short instrumental soundtrack outro that was just perfect.

So, this music lover and Stones fans got a double shot of Rolling Stones and Brian Jones's history and music. I have a different view of some of the members of the band now and what Jones was like and how he died. It was a sad tragic end and Jones is a member of the “27’ club that includes luminaries like Hendrix and Joplin. Most impressive was the soundtrack music, I did not hear one throwaway track and it is the kind of music I will want to hear often. Watching the DVD first made a big difference in how I heard and interpreted each track and I would recommend doing it that way.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-TFOV Founder
June 21, 2020

Track List:
Side A:
01. 1969 by The Proper Ornaments
02. Ain't Nothing Here to Change My Mind by Greg ‘Stackhouse’ Prevost
03. 3Edith Groove by Dick Taylor & The Red Squirls
04. Dusted by Ray 'Sonic' Hanson’s Whores of Babylon
05. Riding the Dog by Deadbeat Poets
06. The Path of the Meeting by J.M. Baule

Side B:   
07. 14a Chestnut St. by Dick Taylor & The Red Squirls
08. Tighten It Rough by Steve Hooker
09. Brian by John Perry
10 .(I’ll Never Be) Satisfied by Alabama 3
11. Brian Jones (The Real True Leader of The Rolling Stones) by The Bermondsey Joyriders
12. Glitter Girl by The Primadonna Reeds
13. Muddy Waters by John Roome


Progressive Instrumental Rock Review: Yang - The Failure of Words LP

Release Date: February 9, 2017

The Failure of Words album was my introduction to Yang. The band was founded in 2002 by Frédéric L'Epée, who plays guitars and keyboards. Laurent Mouton also plays guitars, with Nico Gomez on bass and Volodia Brice handles the drums on the recording.  

Yang is an instrumental rock quartet that many would classify as Math Rock, Prog Rock or Art Rock, but for the sake of uncomplicating matters, I will refer to it as Progressive Instrumental music. The first band that came to mind as a comparison was King Crimson. I would think that is quite a compliment that the band would appreciate.

As the band explains on their website: The Failure of Words is a touchstone in Yang's evolution. The idea behind the project was to express the inability, as human beings, to communicate with our species, always experiencing conflict, disharmony, and delusion. Only art, love, can convey our deepest feelings and ideas.

That is how they came up with the title of the album because words failed them.

The music is very complex yet not over the top and the kind you need to be in a certain mood to listen to. Music that gets too crazy for too long either gives me a headache or I find myself completely immersed, it just depends on what mood and frame of mind I am in. I suppose that would equate to any listening experience but for my tastes, it happens to work with mostly with prog or acid jazz and fusion.

The Failure of Words was perfect timing for my listening pleasure, and above all, appreciation. I received the vinyl LP via my Prog Rock Music Talk ( site where I am requesting vinyl for review for The Final On Vinyl site, my latest project. I had to do a bit of research about the band and its leader Frédéric L'Epée before jumping in. The influences of King Crimson and Yes are quite evident to these ears. That is my humble opinion of course, and certainly, other folks may hear something else. I heard Yes on the closing track “Healing,” in particular to the keyboards. All the other guitar parts were pleasing to my prog loving soul. Because I have been listening to prog since the 70s it was not hard to enjoy this presentation of high-level musicianship from beginning to end.

The track lengths are typically prog as the album opens with “El Diablo” which runs 7:12, the longest track on the LP, then closes with the aforementioned “Healing,” ending at 6:06. Every track resonated with me and made me feel I need to investigate all of the former releases from this band. Even though The Failure of Words came out in 2017, it was new to me. I am always open to discovering bands I have never heard before and sometimes they find me rather than the other way around. In this case, thank you Frédéric for turning me on to your music and opening my ears to some fantastic instrumental progressive throughout the 7 tracks on the LP.

This music intrigues, invigorates, and continually amazes me. The prog-rock community will appreciate what went into creating The Failure of Words and the significance of the words in the title. What we have here is prolific music without words that carries an equally direct and impressive message. For me, that is the whole package, it is very difficult not to hear the music and the messages within, especially when you come to an understanding before listening.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-The Final on Vinyl
September 7, 2019
Side 1:
1. El Diablo 07:12  
2. 9/8 Variations 08:01
3. Décroissance (Degrowth) 05:23

Side 2:

1. Iago  4:12
2. Six Four Five 05:16
3. Indecision 05:34
4. Healing 06:06