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Albums You've Listened To Today, V.8


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Arena – Re-Visited : Live! (2019, CD) - Discogs

Arena - Re-Visited Live. Concert featuring The Visitor album played in it's entirety.


The Forest Sessions [VINYL]: Amazon.co.uk: CDs & Vinyl

Jonathan Hulten - The Forest Sessions. Re-worked versions of songs from his Chants From Another Place album.


Book of Invasions a Celtic Sym: Amazon.co.uk: CDs & Vinyl

Horslips - The Book Of Invasions. The greatest celtic-rockers of them all!

Edited by zepphead
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Dokken - Beast From The East


With a few exceptions, most of the groups that I really wanted to see during the 1980's and early 1990's (before grunge & rap ruined rock music) I got to see.  Dokken is one of those few exceptions.  Never got to see them but I really liked them so when this album came out I was thrilled and then disappointed when I originally listened to it.  It really underperformed.  A real dud.  So how does it stand up after all these years?


Well, its better than I remembered.  But nothing special.  


I think part of the problem is that Dokken's drummer was nothing special.  Great guitarist, adequate (at best) bass player, very good singer.  But poor drummer (IMO).  Over the years I have come to the conclusion that a band is sort of like a car.  The frame / body of the car is the songs.  They need to be rugged, classy yet classic.  The guitarist / bass / keyboards are the tires.  They better be good to keep the car / songs moving.  The lead vocalist is the transition system.  The drummer is the engine that powers everything.   Dokken just had an underpowered engine plus the transmission (Don Dokken) just was not a good fit with the most important tires (George Lynch - by the time they recorded this album their problems were well known).    You can get by with poor engine if everything else is working well.  Priest during the 1980's is a good example of this - nobody would say Dave Holland was a very strong drummer but you had some awesome tires and an amazing transmission system that were in synch so that more than made up for the weak engine. Journey is another example of this.   Dokken just could not do that.


Ok - their is more to it then just that.  A lot more.  But I think my simple analogy works reasonably well - feel free to disagree if you want.


So its an ok album.  But nothing special / memorable and still sort of underwelming.

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22 hours ago, TheAccountant said:

Next out of the moving box:


Rush - Roll The Bones


When this came out I liked it more than Presto and I liked it more than Counterparts when that came out.  However, over the years those 2 albums have aged very well and my respect for both has gone way up.  This album has not aged well and my respect for it has gone way down.


RTB has the wonderful Dreamline and Bravado.  Great start.  Then the title track is ok.  But then Face Up is not very good and Where's My Thing is not very good either.  Side 2 starts with The Big Wheel which is decent, then it has Heresy which is again, decent but nothing special.  Same with Ghost Of a Chance.  Neurotica is weak.  It end with You Bet Your Life which is somewhere between weak and ok.  So 2 very good songs (almost great) and a bunch of ok songs and some weak songs.


One thing I will give praise for - once again Rush put the album together in such a way that it is greater than the sum of its parts.  Still, not a very strong album (by Rush standards).


One other thing.  Rupert Hine produced this album and Presto.  His albums have been called, thin, weak, watery (and even less compliments things).  Many Rush fans wish they had gone from HYF direct to Counterparts (or even skipped the synth era).  But I would argue that you can't ignore his importance to Rush.  Let me explain.


I believe the guy who produced HYF and Power Windows also produced Counterparts.  Rush wanted to work with him when they started to work on Presto but he was working with another band so they looked around and said "lets try something different."  Rupert Hine had a minimalist style (he had produced The Thompson Twins) so it was a different style.  Hine was not familiar with Rush and the first thing he did was listen to all of Rush's albums.  Then (per Beyond The Lighted Stage and Contents Under Pressure) he told them "You are one of the few true power trios out there.  What are you doing larding your songs up with all these keyboards and synths? ".  He suggested they ditch the keys and synths.  That helped settle the dispute over them that Geddy and Alex had.  If Rupert Hine was not there then its possible they would not have ditched them - at least not to the extent they did.  Put another way, just as CoS was necessary to get 2112, AFTK etc, so Hines 2 albums were necessary to get Counterparts (which many Rush fans love).  So don't hate the thin sound of Rupert's albums.  Thank him for it.  He pushed them in a necessary direction after the synth era (which I very much enjoy but many don't).


So, not a top tear Rush album.  Not even a middle of the pack album.  But it has some good moments and it was a necessary album that set the stage for latter, better, albums.

I think RTB is now my most played Rush album. I really, really adore it. It's definitely not my favourite, but I find it a genuinely comforting and emotional album.

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20 hours ago, TheAccountant said:

Cinderella - Long Cold Winter


This is Cinderella's second album.  Their first was a success and they toured opening for Bon Jovi on the Slippery When Wet tour.  So when this came out the big question was, could they follow up a very good first album with a better 2nd or would they have just burned out with the one strong album.. I remember at the time that the answers was clear - they had followed up a strong first album with a better 2nd album.  This album was a big hit and I was very impressed by it.


So what do I think of it now?  Side one is loaded with some very strong songs.  Bad Seamstress Blues, Fallin Apart At The Seams, Gypsy Road, Don't Know What You Got (Till Its Gone) & The Last Mile are all very strong songs that I really like.  Unfortunately the side end with Second Wind which I don't care for.  Side 2 starts with a couple of songs that I don't care for.  Then you get Coming Home and Fire & Ice.  Those 2 songs are as good as anything on side one.  The album closes with a weak song I don't really care for.


So, although the album has some songs i will skip, it also has some very strong songs that have stood the test of time (IMO).


BTW - I was lucky enough to see Cinderella during the summer of 1988 when they were touring supporting this album.  They put on a tremendous show.  Just awesome.  Then they got blown off the stage by the group they were opening for  - Judas Priest.  No shame in that.  Priest blew most groups off the stage during the 1980's.  To this day that show is the 2nd best concert I have ever seen.  Only Rush on the VT tour was better - and not by much.


Just a pity Cinderella never really followed this album up with anything special.  I think I had their next album and sold it.  It did nothing for me.





Long Cold Winter is one of my favorites. Very solid rock!

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Next out of the moving box:


The Who - Rockpalast


Never heard of it?  Its a 2 record live album (boot) that was recorded live from West German TV in 1981.


Ok - so its Kenny Jones Who and not Keith Moon.  But Kenny Jones was still a darn good drummer.  I know a guy who saw The Who live with Moon and The Who ive at Shea stadium in 1982 with Jones (I have that show on DVD somplace) and he swears that yes, Moon was better, but its comparing one of the very best of all time to a very, very good drummer.  Of course the very, very good drummer will come off worse.  But having watched that DVD in the past (and some DVD's with Moon) I would agree.  Jones was excellent.  Moon is Moon.  Of course Moon was better.


So the album is not The Who at their best.  Plus a few of the songs have a few to many synth's / keyboards added to them for my likes.  But its still a very, very good album. 

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1 minute ago, Chronos said:

Queen: Queen (2x)

Queen: Sheer Heart Attack (2x)

Queen: A Night at the Opera (2x)

Scorpions: Blackout

And a couple more albums that contend with my all time top ten ever. Actually one of them is my #1.

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Premiata Fornerai Marconi - Per Un Amico (easily my favorite Italian prog album, and that probably puts it in or close to my top ten prog albums of all time... for example, this is better than anything ELP ever recorded, and easily contends with the best of Jethro Tull and Yes)


Tedeschi Trucks Band - I Am The Moon: I. Crescent (just sincerely charming)


The Pretty Things - SF Sorrow (wonderfully of its time, in all the best ways)


Love - Forever Changes (some of the greatest melodies of 1967 appear here, and some really cool production and arrangement experiments)


Various Artists - Function Underground (a compilation of black rock music from the mid seventies, lots of cool stuff)


Mastodon - Blood Mountain (ripping, and gripping)

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2 minutes ago, J2112YYZ said:


Do you set up all the albums you plan on listening to the next day before you go to bed then just hit "play" the second you wake up?😄

Hahaha, whenever I'm not doing a marathon I just kind of stand in front of the wall of music and just pick whatever catches my eye.


I did, however, just finish listening to music from 1978 (just over 50 albums in length), which was inspired by one of Treeduck's listening plans.


How do you select what you'll be spinning?



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