Classic Rock Bottom

There's a few CDs I have that I haven't or hadn't gotten around to listening to yet. Whether they are too "old" or I end up not really having much to say about them, I'm not doing a full on review.

Instead, I'm just putting in a sentence or two about what I thought of them. I'll probably keep updating this thread as I get around to various albums that have been sitting waiting for me to play them.

Joe Bonamassa - Blues of Desperation - While there were a couple of tracks I wasn't all that enamored with, overall this album was another winning blues solo album from Bonamassa.

Boneyard Dog - Bluesbound Train - Another bluesy rock and roll record, this debut album was pretty much kicking my ass each time I listened to it.

U2 - The Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition - Sadly, while I absolutely love the album itself (it is one of my all-time favorites), the anniversary edition isn't much to write home about. Disc 1 is the original album while Disc 2 is a live concert from the Joshua Tree tour. It's not bad, but there's nothing special about it really.

Inglorious - S/T - I was really kind of hyped up about this album but I think the fact I've already sold it off on eBay might give you a hint about my final reaction to the album. Okay, that might be slightly unfair but after listening to the album four times and I couldn't really pick a single memorable song out of it, there's obviously something of a disconnect.

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Never heard it but I would definitely pick it up if I came across it at a decent price.

John Cougar - American Fool (1982) - Given that this album has three bonafide hit songs on it, it isn't like the fact I think this is a fantastic album overall should be a surprise.

But the non-hit tracks are all pretty good too. I loved "Danger List" and "Can You Take It" in particular. "Close Enough" was pretty good as well.

I think I would've liked "Thundering Hearts" more if the chorus hadn't been done in such an annoying way.

Since I've decided to add more Mellencamp albums to my collection besides The Lonesome Jubilee, Human Wheels and Plain Spoken, this was a nice way to get started with that new project.

Yup, this is a great album.  Gave him the balls to refuse the name Cougar going forward.  And good for him because Uh-Huh is his masterpiece IMO. Admittedly, I got tired of Hurts So Good and Jack and Diane, both still feel overplayed at times.  But the album cuts are real solid and they stand up well.

Hand To Hold On To , Danger List, China Girl, are fun deep cuts while Can You Take It, Close Enough and Weakest Moments give hints of his future direction (sans the overproducing).  I get your take on the Thundering Hearts chorus, it's a bit weird...

The title track was not released initially, only showing up in a remaster/reissue sometime this millenium.  I don't know why, it's actually pretty cool....

China Girl was okay but it didn't quite make the cut as songs I felt needed to be mentioned. I didn't know that there was a title track so I'll have to see about finding that on YouTube so I can listen to it.

Thanks for the heads up on that.

Huey Lewis And The News - Fore! (1986)

I finally got my hands on a copy of this album and I've gotta say that it starts off powerfully strong. With well known songs like "Jacob's Ladder", "Stuck With You", "Doing It All For My Baby" and "Hip To Be Square", the album doesn't lack for stand out tracks. I also liked "Whole Lotta Lovin' " and "I Know What I Like". In total, that's the first 6 tracks on the album and if they stopped right there, this album would definitely rival their Sports album.

But after a number of times listening to the albums, I have to say that I found tracks 7 through 10 to be a step down in overall likeability. It's not that they are necessarily bad, but they are second tier in comparison to the album's first 6 songs.

Still, this is a pretty decent album overall and I'm glad I finally have it for my collection.

Kiss - Rock And Roll Over (1976)

I've been trying to get into this album for a while now and with the exception of the classic track "Calling Dr. Love", I just find that this album is really lacking in greatness.

"Ladies Room" was okay and the ballad "Hard Luck Woman" was okay despite sounding like a cross between country music and Rod Stewart song.

As for the rest of the material, it doesn't matter how much rocking the band did, the songs were just weak to my ears. Call me very disappointed by this one.

Although this album contains one of my all time favorite KISS tracks - Love 'em Leave 'em - I do have to admit I agree with you.  For me, add Baby Driver, Mr. Speed and Hard Luck Woman and thats about all this album does for me...

I had some people say that the album would grow on me when I mentioned that I wasn't crazy about the disc the first time I listened to it. They were wrong.

I love Take Me and Mr. Speed.  Also like I Want You.

Vicious Rumors - Razorback Killers (2011)

I don't know what it is but I have always been intrigued by this band. Sadly, I never got around to actually listening to them until I did one of my Cassette Chronicles article on their Welcome To The Ball album.

Much like that release, Razorback Killers suffers from having some great songs and then tracks that are just mind numbingly uninteresting. "Murderball" opens the album and yet despite it's fast pacing I was unimpressed. Testament's Eric Peterson plays the solo in the song but I just couldn't really get into the track.

But the next song, "Razorback Blade" was a killer track with vocalist Brian Allen nailing the performance perfectly. (He sings on 8 of the 10 songs on the disc with guitarist Geoff Thorpe singing lead on "All I Want Is You" (which was flat at best) and the knockout "Let The Garden Burn".

Including "Let The Garden Burn", the last four track on the album are where the band really hit their stride. "Axe To Grind" is fantastic and I really liked "Right of Devastation" and "Deal With The Devil". That latter track featured a solo from Night Ranger's Brad Gillis.

It's not a bad album but for some reason the band has yet to completely get me on board with them. I just find that their material is of such an either or nature that the bad tends to bring down the good.

John Cougar Mellencamp - Scarecrow (1985)

Given that this album sold 5 million copies plus (in the US), it doesn't come as much of a surprise that the album is pretty darn good. There are four smash tracks, 3 of which were singles. "Small Town", "Lonely Ol' NIght and "R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A. (A Salute To 60's Rock)" are bonafide Mellencamp classic tracks.

I've read online that this album is where Mellencamp really started finding his lyrical voice and viewpoint. Though they weren't singles the songs "Minutes To Memories" and "Rumbleseat" are tracks that I found myself enjoying a lot. The latter of the two songs is particularly memorable so I know I had to have heard it before even though I have never owned the album until now.

The majority of the rest of material wavers to and fro in terms of quality but I did like "The Face of the Nation" and "The Kind of Fella I Am". However, as much as I like these songs I've mentioned, I think the best song on the album is Mellencamp's dark and noirish "Rain On The Scarecrow". It may have a memorable chorus but the storytelling of the loss of a family farm and the consequences and regrets that come from that loss will really stay with you long after the song is done.

I wish there hadn't been a number of songs that I didn't care for on this album but otherwise, Scarecrow is a pretty great example of Mellencamp's music and well worth adding to your music collection.

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