Blog Archives

The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years [Album Review]

MI0003161230

The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
2011, Capitol Records
Originally Released: 1988, Capitol Records
Buy the album at Amazon

1. “Under My Wheels” – Alice Cooper w/ Guns N’ Roses
2. “Bathroom Wall” – Faster Pussycat
3. “Cradle to the Grave” – Motörhead
4. “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide” – Armored Saint
5. “Born to Be Wild” – Lizzy Borden
6. “In My Darkest Hour” – Megadeth
7. “Prophecy” – Queensrÿche
8. “The Brave” – Metal Church
9. “Foaming at the Mouth” – Rigor Mortis
10. “Colleen” – Seduce

Any metal-head worth their weight in steel is well aware of this documentary that was released in 1988. It’s a truly fascinating look at life as rocker in the 1980s. For better or worse, warts and all, it absolutely captures a time and a vibe & scene that can never truly be replicated no matter how “retro” a band may act.

As it stands, the soundtrack to The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years is a solid compilation. Sure, bands like Seduce and Rigor Mortis didn’t stand the test of time but when it comes to the ’80s metal scene, you can’t really argue against the inclusion of bands like Motorhead, Lizzy Borden, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Guns N’ Roses, Metal Church or even Faster Pussycat. It was all metal one way or another.

The documentary itself was actually what turned me on to Megadeth as they performed “In My Darkest Hour” in the film and it certainly made an impression on me.

The lack of Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Poison, KISS or W.A.S.P. is a bit odd given how their stature and appearances in the documentary but the soundtrack isn’t meant to be all encompassing. If it was, we’d be putting up with having to listen to the likes of London, Tuff and Odin, too. A few tracks either start or end with audio clips from the film.

We could argue for hours over who truly deserves to be included on a compilation of ’80s metal but this soundtrack is just a taste of what that era had to offer and is meant to tie in most closely with bands featured in the documentary. Keep that in mind and what you’ve got is a good collection of ’80s rock & metal that will fit right in with your retro denim vest.

Highlights: “Under My Wheels”, “Bathroom Wall”, “Born to Be Wild”, “In My Darkest Hour”, “Prophecy”

Advertisements

KISS – Hot In The Shade [Review]

KISS_Hot_in_the_Shade_etu

KISS – Hot In The Shade
1989, Mercury Records
Buy the album at Amazon.com

1. “Rise to It”
2. “Betrayed”
3. “Hide Your Heart”
4. “Prisoner of Love”
5. “Read My Body”
6. “Love’s a Slap in the Face”
7. “Forever”
8. “Silver Spoon”
9. “Cadillac Dreams”
10. “King of Hearts”
11. “The Street Giveth and the Street Taketh Away”
12. “You Love Me to Hate You”
13. “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell”
14. “Little Caesar”
15. “Boomerang”

Band:
Paul Stanley – Vocals, Guitar
Gene Simmons – Vocals, Bass
Bruce Kulick – Guitar, Backing Vocals, Bass
Eric Carr – Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Bass

Additional Musicians:
Tommy Thayer – Guitar (“Betrayed” & “The Street Giveth and the Street Taketh Away”)
Phil Ashley – Keyboards
Kevin Valentine – Drums (“You Love Me to Hate You”)

Producer: Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley

Another very commercial album though not as slick as Crazy Nights, even if it did produce the ballad “Forever” (that Paul Stanley co-wrote with Michael Bolton) which reached #8 on the Billboard charts as a single and the band’s first major radio hit in years.

The main problem with Hot In The Shade is that at 15 songs, it’s just too much and there’s obvious filler like pretty much ever Gene song. “Cadillac Dreams”, “Prisoner of Love”, “The Street Giveth and the Street Taketh Away” and “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” could’ve easily been left off but I’m sure Gene wanted equal time to Paul, even if the quality wasn’t there.

“Hide My Heart” was the lead single and was a very minor hit. I actually remember hearing that song on the radio when I was a kid though. It wasn’t until years later when I got into KISS that my mind was blown  after having heard the song again for the first time in nearly 10 years — “That was KISS?!?”

Anyway, this album is underrated despite being a bit bloated. “Rise to It” and “Betrayed” sound like they could’ve come from the Asylum album, “Hide Your Heart” is a pop-metal masterpiece, “Read My Body” is an enjoyable Def Leppard rip-off, “Love’s a Slap in the Face” is the one good Gene song here, “Forever” is one of the greatest hair metal ballads ever and “Silver Spoon” and “King of Hearts” feature Paul in all his pop-metal glory. “King of Hearts” starts off reminding me of “Shocker” from soundtrack for the film of the same name (which Paul also sang on).

Hot In Shade is a fine 1980s glossy slab of hard rock but in the early 1990s, the band would decide to get a bit tougher with their next release.

Highlights: “Rise to It”, “Betrayed”, “Hide Your Heart”, “Read My Body”, “Love’s a Slap in the Face”, “Forever”, “Silver Spoon”,”King of Hearts”

KISS – Crazy Nights [Review]

KISS-Crazy-Nights

KISS – Crazy Nights [Remastered]
1998, Mercury Records
Originally Released: 1987, Mercury Records
Buy the album at Amazon.com

1. “Crazy Crazy Nights”
2. “I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You”
3. “Bang Bang You”
4. “No, No, No”
5. “Hell or High Water”
6. “My Way”
7. “When Your Walls Come Down”
8. “Reason to Live”
9. “Good Girl Gone Bad”
10. “Turn On the Night”
11. “Thief in the Night”

Band:
Paul Stanley – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Bruce Kulick – Guitar, Backing Vocals, Bass
Gene Simmons – Vocals, Bass
Eric Carr – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Phil Ashley – Keyboards

Producer: Ron Nevison

KISS were no strangers to experimenting with pop music in the past (DynastyUnmasked) and Crazy Nights is a culmination of the lighter metal sound the band had started with Asylum. “Crazy Crazy Nights” immediately sets the pace, it’s drenched in keyboards has a high cheese factor. So, of course, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine. And “I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You”, “My Way”, “Reason to Live” and “Turn On the Night” continue to work the keyboards into overtime.

The band was obviously in trend-chasing mode as bands like Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Heart were huge acts in the late ’80s with their very polished hard rock/pop sounds. In fact, they recruited just the right producer if slick rock/pop was their goal as Ron Nevison was quite in demand, having recently worked with such acts like Ozzy Osbourne (The Ultimate Sin), Heart, Survivor and even on the soundtrack for the first Karate Kid movie.

At one point, both Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley denounced this album as a mistake, but apparently their stance softened a bit because just a few years back “Crazy Crazy Nights” made an appearance in their set list while they were touring in support of Sonic Boom over in Europe. “Reason to Live” is the big power ballad of the album. It’s very much of its era and features Paul in his element. He was made for this type of stuff. It was released as a single and it’s surprising that the song wasn’t a big mainstream hit for the band.

Just like “Crazy Crazy Nights”, this entire album is a guilty pleasure album. It’s glossy but it’s not without a little bite. “Bang Bang You” is a solid oversexed polished rocker that would’ve sounded fine right next to “Let’s Put the X in Sex” and “(You Make Me) Rock Hard” on Smashes, Thrashes and Hits. “No, No, No” is frenetic and features some great guitar work from Bruce Kulick. “Good Girl Gone Bad” is a mid-paced rocker that’s one of Gene’s better songs from the 1980s.

I initially didn’t like this album but I’ve come to love it. It was given to me as a graduation present from my girlfriend at the time. I popped it in my car as we were driving somewhere and she immediately apologized for giving me a bad graduation gift! It wasn’t what I was expecting but I told her she did good. After all, I was trying to complete my KISS collection and, bad or not, I wanted the album.

If you’re a fan of glossy commercial hard rock from the 1980s, Crazy Nights is sure to please.

Highlights: “Crazy Crazy Nights”, “I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You”, “Bang Bang You”, “No, No, No”, “My Way”, “Reason to Live”, “Good Girl Gone Bad”, “Turn On the Night”

KISS – Animalize [Review]

kiss

KISS – Animalize [Remastered]
1997, Mercury Records
Originally Released: 1984, Mercury Records
Buy the album at Amazon.com

1. “I’ve Had Enough (Into the Fire)”
2. “Heaven’s On Fire”
3. “Burn Bitch Burn”
4. “Get All You Can Take”
5. “Lonely Is the Hunter”
6. “Under the Gun”
7. “Thrills in the Night”
8. “While the City Sleeps”
9. “Murder in High Heels”

Band:
Paul Stanley – Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Gene Simmons – Vocals, Bass
Mark St. John – Guitar
Eric Carr – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Bruce Kulick – Guitar (“Lonely Is the Hunter”, “Murder in High Heels”)
Jean Beauvoir – Bass (“Get All You Can Take”, Under the Gun”, “Thrills in the Night”)

Producer: Paul Stanley

At this point in the band’s history, it’s a game of musical chairs as to who plays on what. Then again, that was always kind of the case when it came to recording music. Even new lead guitarist Mark St. John only had a cup of coffee in the group as his tenure lasted only about half a year. This was due to a combination of personality clashes and the fact that St. John ended up being diagnosed with Reiter’s Syndrome. He played only 3 live shows with KISS before being replaced on the Animalize tour by Bruce Kulick (who later went on to have a 12 year career in the band).

What’s weird is that Gene Simmons would later say St. John was too flashy of a player and wasn’t a good fit for KISS… so why’d  they hire him in the first place? They already had one flashy player with Vinnie Vincent (who was also a great songwriter) so why did they think it would work out any better the second time around?

It was also during this time that Paul Stanley began to take control of the direction of KISS. Typically, the fate of KISS was determine by Paul and Gene Simmons, but Gene had stars in his eyes and was trying to make a name for himself as an actor, band manager and music producer which left Paul to carry on with the day-to-day duties of KISS. This included writing, recording and producing KISS albums. Due to Gene taking less active role in the band, Paul has stated that Animalize was pretty close to what a Paul Stanley solo album would’ve sounded like at that time.

Despite friction and changes within the band, Animalize is a solid album that delivered at least one classic in “Heaven’s On Fire”. It’s notable that this was one of two non-makeup songs (along with “Lick It Up”) that initially made it into the set list after the original four members reunited in 1996. It also happens to be one of the first KISS albums I ever bought so it’s got a special place in my heart.

This is when KISS started going glam and although the record is step down from Creatures of the Night and Lick It Up it’s still pretty enjoyable and was a commercial success upon its release. “I’ve Had Enough (Into the Fire)” is one of my favorite songs from this era as is “Heaven’s On Fire”. “Burn Bitch Burn” seems a bit too simplistic for KISS and has a touch of misogyny, but even so, it’s another favorite from the album for me.

Some numbers are stronger than others but I don’t feel like there’s any duds here, but then again, they may just be because I have a soft spot for the album and have listened to it so much. All told, I think it’s a very good album but I can see why others would be quick to point out its faults.

Highlights: “I’ve Had Enough (Into the Fire)”, “Heaven’s On Fire”, “Get All You Can Take”, “Burn Bitch Burn”, “Thrills in the Night”

KISS – Rock and Roll Over [Review]

rock-and-roll-over

KISS – Rock and Roll Over [Remastered]
1997, Mercury Records
Originally Release: 1976, Casablanca Records

1. “I Want You”
2. “Take Me”
3. “Calling Dr. Love”
4. “Ladies Room”
5. “Baby Driver”
6. “Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em”
7. “Mr. Speed”
8. “See You In Your Dreams”
9. “Hard Luck Woman”
10. “Makin’ Love”

Band:
Paul Stanley – Vocals, Guitar
Ace Frehley – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Gene Simmons – Vocals, Bass
Peter Criss – Drums, Vocals

Producer: Eddie Kramer

After the experimental and successful Destroyer, KISS changed directions yet again with the release of Rock and Roll Over, which came just 8 months after Destroyer. While I always assumed KISS didn’t want to rest on their laurels or make Destroyer II, according to Paul Stanley, without Bob Ezrin producing the band was scared to blaze further down the trail that Destroyer had set. So they reverted back to the no-frills hard rock heard on Rock and Roll Over because that was what they knew best.

While Paul has stated this album was a “letdown” and that he didn’t think Eddie Kramer captured the proper sound of the band, I have to disagree as far as it being a letdown. Proper production on the other hand, whether a product of times or what, plagued KISS during the 1970s. I agree that this album doesn’t sound all that powerful but other than the Ezrin-produced Destroyer, nothing KISS did in the ’70s sounded all that energetic from a production standpoint.

The songs are top notch though with only “Take Me” and “See You In Your Dreams” coming across as a bit of filler. “I Want You”, “Ladies Room”, “Baby Driver”, “Mr. Speed” and “Makin’ Love” are some of the band’s best rockers. “Makin’ Love” especially so. Then you’ve got one of Gene’s signature songs — “Calling Dr. Love” while “Hard Luck Woman” is a trademark for Peter right up there with “Beth”. In fact, Peter gets lead vocals on “Baby Driver” as well and I wish he was given more vocal duties during his time spent in KISS.

For this KISS fan, Rock and Roll Over is one of the band’s best and most consistent efforts.

Highlights: ” I Want You”, “Calling Dr. Love”, “Ladies Room”, “Baby Driver”, “Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em”, “Mr. Speed”, “Hard Luck Woman”, “Makin’ Love”

KISS – Destroyer [Review]

Kiss_Destroyer1

KISS – Destroyer [Remastered]
1997, Mercury Records
Originally Released: 1976, Casablanca Records Buy the album at Amazon.com

1. “Detroit Rock City”
2. “King of the Night Time World”
3. “God of Thunder”
4. “Great Expectations”
5. “Flaming Youth”
6. “Sweet Pain”
7. “Shout It Out Loud”
8. “Beth”
9. “Do You Love Me?”
10. “Rock and Roll Party” [hidden track]

Band:
Paul Stanley – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Gene Simmons – Lead Vocals, Bass
Ace Frehley – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Peter Criss – Drums, Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Dick Wagner – Guitar (“Sweet Pain” & “Beth”)

Producer: Bob Ezrin

You have to give KISS credit after having just come off the success of the Alive! album — instead of coming up with a new studio release that sounded similar to their three first studio albums, they wanted something a little different and tapped Alice Cooper/Pink Floyd producer Bob Ezrin to help them come up with it. Ezrin hold a co-writing credit on every song but “Sweet Pain” and “God of Thunder”.

There’s some weird stuff here. “Great Expectations” is complete with an orchestra. It’s odd, but I like it. “Flaming Youth” could’ve easily been an Alice Cooper track, I think. “Sweet Pain” is standard fare that could’ve easily been on Rock and Roll Over (which would be the band’s second album release for 1976!). “Rock and Roll Party” is a hidden track that uses echos and what sounds like backmasking and comes off as kinda creepy and I’m sure it probably only served as fuel to those that thought KISS were Knights In Satan’s Service.

Then, of course you’ve got “Detroit Rock City”, “Shout It Out Loud” and “God of Thunder”. All of which are stone-cold classics that still make it to the set list. “Beth” is another vintage KISS track and I’ve always had a soft spot for “Do You Love Me?” (which the band had a great performance of during their MTV Unplugged set).

Gene & Paul might say this is the best album KISS ever made but that probably has more to do with it making the most money. For me, it’s not their best, there’s a few quirky numbers here. They aren’t bad but they get totally outshined by “Beth, “Shout It Out Loud”, “God of Thunder” and “Detroit Rock City”.

Highlights: “Detroit Rock City”, “King of the Night Time World”, “God of Thunder”, “Great Expectations”, “Shout It Loud”, “Beth”, “Do You Love Me?”

KISS – Dressed to Kill [Review]

Dressed_to_Kill_(album)_cover

KISS – Dressed to Kill [Remastered]
1997, Mercury Records
Original Release: 1975, Casablanca Records
Buy the album at Amazon.com

1. “Room Service”
2. “Two Timer”
3. “Ladies in Waiting”
4. “Getaway”
5. “Rock Bottom”
6. “C’mon and Love Me”
7. “Anything for My Baby”
8. “She”
9. “Love Her All I Can”
10. “Rock and Roll All Nite”

Band:
Paul Stanley – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Gene Simmons – Lead Vocals, Bass
Ace Frehley – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Peter Criss – Drums, percussion, Lead/Backing Vocals

Producer: Neil Bogart

Dressed to Kill is the band’s third album and it was released only 13 months after the band’s debut! They don’t crank ’em out like that anymore. In the case of KISS and Casablanca Records, they were determined to be a success and that was the cause of the rapid fire release of new studio albums. As a live act, KISS’ popularity was unquestioned but still weren’t finding chart success like they or the label had hoped (that wouldn’t come until the release of Alive! later in 1975).

This album is the very embodiment 1970s KISS and it’s gotta be the most consistent album from that decade for the band. There’s really no dud track here. This classic album captures a band that was still hungry and scrappy. Though they were gaining a large following, this was before they tasted true commercial success on music charts and before all of the merchandise.

Obviously, the most well-known song is “Rock and Roll All Nite” (which didn’t become a hit until a live version was released from the Alive! album) but I’m extremely tired of that song and actually believe it’s overrated. It was the most dumb and commercial song in their catalog at that point, so that’s why it caught on.

“Rock Bottom” is one of my favorite songs in the band’s catalog and Ace’s nearly classical sounding acoustic intro (which was tacked on to the rest of the song that Paul wrote) is fantastic and proves that Ace should’ve had a bigger musical influence during his time in the band. “C’mon and Love Me” is another one of my all time KISS favorites.

As I said before, Dressed to Kill truly is what KISS was all about in those early years and it’s the most KISS-like of all their studio albums from the 1970s, if that makes any sense.

Highlights: “Room Service”, “Two Timer”, “Getaway”, “Rock Bottom”, “C’mon and Love Me”, “Anything for My Baby”, “She”, “Love Her All I can”

Reckless Love – Spirit [Review]

MI0003628603

Reckless Love – Spirit
2013, Spinefarm Records/Universal Music
Buy the album

1. Night On Fire
2. Bad Lovin’
3. I Love Heavy Metal
4. Favorite Flavor
5. Edge Of Our Dreams
6. Sex, Drugs & Reckless Love
7. Dying To Live
8. Metal Ass
9. Runaway Love
10. So Happy I Could Die
11. Hot Rain

Band:
Olli Herman – Lead Vocals
Pepe Salohalme – Guitar
Jalle Verne – Bass
Hessu Maxx – Drums

Producer: Ilkka Wirtanen

Reckless Love is one of the better bands from the current crop of the glam/pop metal scene. For the record, they refer to themselves as “merry metal”. Spirit continues to prove the band’s worth as they continue to offer up their own blend of ’80s glam, heavy metal and danceable pop tunes. Unfortunately, it took me awhile before I could listen to this album. It was released in the summer of 2013 but the CD has only been available in the United States as an import and it isn’t being offered digitally in the States either.

Reckless Love’s last album, Animal Attraction, saw the band going in an even poppier direction but Spirit features a few more bare-knuckle rockers. “Bad Lovin”” is a sleaze rocker, “I Love Heavy Metal” is an ode to all kinds of ’80s hair metal hits and bands and “Metal Ass” is the heaviest song the band has recorded yet. Maybe opening for Black Veil Brides inspired these guys to get a little dirty.

That’s not to say the band has adopted a completely heavier style. “Night On Fire” is a great example of what the band is all about — big pop hooks, guitars, huge gang vocals and a beat you can dance to. Fans of the band’s first two albums will not be disappointed by Spirit.

Highlights: “Night on Fire”, “Bad Lovin'”, “Edge of Our Dreams”, “Sex, Drugs and Reckless Love”, “Runaway Love”, “So Happy I Could Die”, “Hot Rain”

Def Leppard – Viva! Hysteria [Review]

2594316

Def Leppard – Viva! Hysteria: Live at the Joint, Las Vegas
2013, Frontiers Records
Buy the album at Amazon.com

Disc One:
1. “Women” 6:11
2. “Rocket” 6:09
3. “Animal” 4:07
4. “Love Bites” 6:08
5. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” 4:32
6. “Armageddon It” 5:26
7. “Gods Of War” 7:14
8. “Don’t Shoot Shotgun” 4:33
9. “Run Riot” 4:49
10. “Hysteria” 5:59
11. “Excitable” 4:37
12. “Love and Affection” 6:17
13. “Rock of Ages” 4:15
14. “Photograph” 6:13

Disc Two:
1. “Good Morning Freedom” 3:36
2. “Wasted” 3:44
3. “Stagefright” 3:41
4. “Mirror, Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)” 4:56
5. “Action” 4:13
6. “Rock Brigade” 3:41
7. “Undefeated” 5:25
8. “Promises” 4:11
9. “On Through The Night” 5:11
10. “Slang” 2:37
11. “Let It Go” 6:08
12. “Another Hit And Run” 5:14
13. “High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)” 3:44
14. “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” 4:43
15. “Switch 625” 5:08

Band:
Joe Elliott – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Phil Collen – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Vivian Campbell – Guitar, Backing Vocal
Rick Savage – Bass, Backing Vocals
Rick Allen – Drums

Producer: Ronan McHugh

In the late ’90s/early ’00s, the fad among hard rock bands seemed to be working with a symphony. Then for a bit it seemed like cover albums were all the rage for the older bands. Now? Well, it looks like Vegas is the place to be for ’80s hard rock groups and honestly… that makes sense considering most of those bands were decadent and over-the-top with their music and live performances.

Viva! Hysteria is Def Leppard’s second live offering, recorded in March of 2013, and it arrives only two years after the release of their first live album, Mirrorball: Live & MorePersonally, I think it’s way too soon for the band to release another live album (and they’re both double albums!) but I understand them wanting to commemorate their run Las Vegas run at The Joint.

At least the set list is not similar to Mirrorball. Viva! Hysteria captures an entire live performance of the Hysteria album while disc two sees the band playing fan service by tossing in some old favorites, oddities and rarely played songs. It’s always great to see a classic band do this rather than run through a tired ‘greatest hits’ set list for the millionth time. I imagine the second disc will get more spins from the hardcore Def Leppard fans than the first disc will. I’m glad to see they dusted off “Promises” from 1999’s Euphoria. It’s a great song from one of my favorite Def Leppard albums.

The band actually opened for themselves performing under the name of Ded Flatbird while playing those deep cuts from disc two. So the entire live performance of Hysteria on disc one is actually how the band closed their shows (while tossing in Pyromania‘s “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph” as encores).

Def Leppard may have released some of the most polished rock albums ever but when it comes to live performances, you won’t miss the studio trickery… they actually sound like a rock ‘n’ roll band! I just wish the band tossed one or two new songs on this release as I liked the three new studio tracks they released with Mirrorball.

www.defleppard.com
www.facebook.com/defleppard

Great White – 30 Years: Live from the Sunset Strip [Review]

GREAT WHITE 30th COVER

Great White – 30 Years: Live from the Sunset Strip
2013, Frontiers Records

1. Desert Moon
2. Lady Red Light
3. Face The Day
4. House Of Broken Love
5. Save Your Love
6. Mista Bone
7. The Big Goodbye
8. Back To The Rhythm
9. Rock Me
10. Can’t Shake It
11. Once Bitten Twice Shy

Band:
Terry Ilous – Vocals
Mark Kendall – Guitar
Michael Lardie – Guitar, Keyboards
Scott Snyder – Bass
Audie Desbrow – Drums

Producer: Great White

Recorded at L.A.’s legendary Key Club on March 22, 2012, this is the band’s fourth, fifth or sixth live album..? Who knows! Hey, I can’t keep up with all of their live releases because a number of them have been repackaged & re-titled over the years. I do know that this is Great White’s first live offering featuring former XYZ singer Terry Ilous as the frontman.

This is basically a live greatest hits. Though I’m a little surprised that they included “Back to the Rhythm” from 2007’s Back to the Rhythm album but didn’t include anything from 2009’s Rising. I would’ve assumed that they would have focused on their ’80s/early ’90s material entirely anyway. The absence of Elation material is somewhat understandable because that album wasn’t released until May 2012.

Although Jack Russell was much missed on Elation, I think Terry does a great job handling some of the band’s classics in a live setting. I still pick up that Jack Russell/Steven Tyler vibe from his vocals and while Jack Russell will always be THE voice of Great White, I can’t knock Terry Ilous’ abilities at all. With the departure of Jack Russell, I think Terry was a great choice for lead singer and 30 Years: Live from the Sunset Strip further proves it.

The production on this album isn’t great but it’s fine considering the budget probably was pretty tight. I’ve heard a lot worse. The crowd seems a bit low-key at times but I guess you can chalk that up to the production and the fact that it’s a club audience.

And say what you will about Terry Ilous, the band is on fire. Sometimes you hear a band live and they don’t come close to replicating the work they did in the studio but Great White is a real band that cut their teeth playing dives & bars in the early years. They’ve got the chops to back up what they put on tape.

Although I’m generally not a fan of live albums, 30 Years is a good snapshot of the Terry Ilous-front Great White.

http://greatwhiterocks.com/
http://www.facebook.com/GreatWhiteOfficial

Buy the album at Amazon.com

%d bloggers like this: