Archive for strawberries records & tapes

My Mom Supported Heavy Metal Music

Posted in 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, classic rock music, family, feel good stories, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, life stories, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, people, personal stories, rock music, scary album covers, shopping for music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MetalOdysseyMy unreal great and undeniably loving Mother passed away on July 10, 2009. She just turned seventy years old this past April of 2009. To look at her, you would never know she was seventy, really. My Mom is a true hero and inspiration to me, always will be. She suffered a series of strokes in the Fall of 1990, therefore my Mom was a courageous survivor for nearly twenty years. Not being able to speak and having paralysis on the right side of her body were the two biggest obstacles that my Mom endured for two decades. That did not stop her from enjoying life, seeing her children get married and enjoying four grandchildren. Thanks to my heroic Father who became my Mom’s full time caregiver, many people and family members were given the gift of my Mom’s presence, thoughts and love for much longer than was initially predicted by doctors. Being born from my Mom was a gift and she was a gift to me for forty three years of my life. I now am convinced, that my Mom can speak and walk again up in heaven, where she has been reunited with her parents and without any doubt… my incredible sister too. I am at peace knowing my Mom is healthy again in heaven, no more suffering… my Mom has earned her place with the angels.

KISS Alive ll - small album pictureAlright, as my Mom would probably say right about now… enough with all of the sad stuff, let’s have a good time. I cannot resist reflecting on good times, heck, that is why they are called that in the first place. You see, my Mom was in her own special right… a fan of Heavy Metal. She was without question, one of the biggest advocates for Heavy Metal amongst any other Mom I knew, while growing up as a teenager back in the 1980’s. Her knowledge of the past and current bands back in the late 1970’s and through the 1980’s was admirable. There was a hiccup, however, when I was in sixth grade, in regards to my being allowed to have a KISS album in the house. My Mom took one look at the cover of KISS Alive ll and she said – no way. The blood spewing from the mouth of Gene Simmons was over the top for her. She specifically said that no son of hers would have that in her house. Well, to make a long story short, after she heard the song I was Made For Lovin’ You by KISS, the decision to allow KISS and any of their albums into our house was cleared to go. KISS was in… the world of Heavy Metal had a new fan… my Mom.

The neighborhood in which I grew up in, was a definite attachment to the downtown area of the small city it belonged to. There was a surplus of families living around me for blocks, that struggled to make ends meet. I was the luckiest kid in my neighborhood, having the record and tape collection that I bestowed. This collection of Heavy Metal was earned, I worked many different part time jobs after school and did a bounty of chores around the house and yard. Every penny I made… went to Hard Rock/Heavy Metal albums and tapes. No regrets ever, just a cool life of Heavy Metal enjoyment. My neighborhood buddies and me, well, none of us had a car until our senior year of High School, so making any out of town treks to the “real” record stores was out of the question. Step in my Mom.

Iron Maiden - debut album small picYes, my Mom would go out of her way to drive me and my buddies thirty minutes – out of town, to Strawberries Records and Tapes. These Heavy Metal excursions, (as we called them back then), would happen at the drop of a dime! After school, on the weekends, on days off from school and during the Summer… with my Mom it was no problem. She loved those trips to Strawberries. We sometimes would have four dudes in the back seat, with me up front and my Mom leading the way behind the wheel – those Heavy Metal journeys, (we called them that too), are memories that no money can buy. At least half of my Heavy Metal collection of albums and tapes, were courtesy of what my Mom would pick out on her own back then. We would storm into Strawberries and my Mom would seek out albums like a bobcat seeking out it’s prey. She is responsible for my having every Rainbow album ever made at the time. Iron Maiden too. Honestly, I never would have listened to Scorpions World Wide Live if not for my Mom, she would find and buy some prime albums for me back then.

This last memory I will reveal is one for the Heavy Metal record books. It is true and quite unbelievable. I would have many of my buddies from the neighborhood over to my house, almost on a daily basis. The door was always open to them… per orders from my Mom. Listening to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums was our number one priority back then. We played the music loud, as all of us have done and still do… no big deal. One day, while a few of my buddies and me were cranking up the Metal tunes in my bedroom, there was a knock at the door. Crap, I thought. Has my Mom finally had enough of these Heavy Metal hang outs? We all stared at each other not knowing really what to do or say. Again, the knocking at my bedroom door continued. One of us was knowledgeable enough to turn the music down low. I opened the door, hesitantly with a semi-gulp in my throat. Behold it was my Mom standing there with a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies!! She smiled at all of us and said, you can’t go hungry while having so much fun with your music. Needless to say, my buddies were stunned. Unreal memory. A real memory. An unreal Mom that I will love and cherish forever, even if she is far away in heaven.

MetalOdyssey

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BADLANDS – 1989 Heavy Metal Debut Album Still Reigns Supreme

Posted in 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's hard rock bands, Album Review, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, collecting heavy metal albums, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, guitar legends, hard rock music, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1989, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1989, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock guitarists, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage heavy metal songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

BADLANDS "Badlands" large album picBadlands was a Heavy Metal band that I caught onto the instant they released their debut/self titled album – Badlands, (on Atlantic Records), back in 1989. I purchased this Badlands cassette at Strawberries Records & Tapes, located right around the corner from Central Connecticut State University on New Britain Avenue. I was a student at CCSU back in 1989, very much broke to the Metal wind. Therefore, my Heavy Music purchases were not abundant, I chose quality over quantity. With so little funds to buy music as a college student back then, being choosy was a necessity. Badlands with their classic and ultra talented lineup of musicians became a necessity for me. From the very first listen through of this album, (in my case cassette), to say that Badlands left an earthshaking mark on me is the understatement of the decade. The Heavy Metal onslaught of cool and psyched out vibrations, that this Badlands album gave me back in 1989, has once again reintroduced me to that same experience this past weekend.

My best buddy – a.k.a. – best Metal buddy – a.k.a. – Scott, well, he remembered just how much Badlands and their debut album resonated with me back in the day, therefore Scott landed me a CD copy of Badlands. Scott was my roommate at CCSU, my best man at my wedding and if anyone knows my Metal tastes and background… it is him. Thank you Scott, for this Metal gift of Badlands this past Saturday. Getting Badlands on CD in the mail was like experiencing Christmas Day on this cold, dank and rainy day in October. F’n unbelievable surprise.

It is an unreal great feeling to have this Badlands CD finally in my collection. I have never let go of my Badlands cassette since 1989… and I never will. To the best of my Metal research, this Badlands CD is extremely hard to find at retail. Out of print perhaps? Badlands is definitely one of my favorite Heavy Metal albums that I have ever listened to. I only wish this band was able to stay together forever, yet lead vocalist Ray Gillen was called to heaven a little early, on December 1, 1993 at the age of 34. The unreal great guitarist – Jake E. Lee and Ray Gillan on vocals may be the two main musical focal points of Badlands, yet Eric Singer on drums and Greg Chaisson on bass make for an ear bending and jaw dropping rhythm section – stuff of legend. Anyone that knows and enjoys Old School Heavy Metal can certainly identify with Badlands, this band is from that mold. Jake E. Lee proved with Badlands that there was definitely a Heavy Metal life for him away from Ozzy Osbourne.

The eleven songs on Badlands encompass the melodic driven side of Heavy Metal enormously, with the late Ray Gillen’s unique vocals surpassing many of his peers of that time, when it came to harmony and range. I include the late Ray Gillen in with Tony Martin, Jeff Scott Soto, Gary Barden, Jorn Lande and Joe Lynn Turner when it comes to lead vocals status in Old School Heavy Metal. He belongs with this select group of singers. (I definitely left out some names here, yet I think my point is made). If not for his passing away at age 34, I am convinced Ray Gillen would have been a top tier Heavy Metal and/or Hard Rock vocalist to this very day. With so many new vocalists coming out of the woodwork in all of the Metal genres since the 1990’s, too many of them sound like each other or have little regard for originality. This is why I can never tire from the late Ray Gillen’s vocal talent.

My favorite song on Badlands is Dreams In The Dark, I played it six times over, very loud the other night and it served me right. Yes, I acted very silly jumping around in my basement like a psyched out kid, while this song and the rest of Badlands cranked. As the ultra great Blackie Lawless would say… I don’t need no doctor. All I need is to delve back into the Metal world of Old School Heavy Metal, (on a very consistent basis), turn on some Badlands and let the bull crap of the world around me, wallow in it’s own decrepit stank. I don’t look back upon Badlands as a supergroup, instead I look upon them as a fabulously talented Heavy Metal band that was too short lived. Long live the legacy of Badlands – their Heavy Metal still reigns supreme for me.

Track List For Badlands:

High Wire

Dreams in the Dark

Jade’s Song

Winter’s Call

Dancing on the Edge

Streets Cry Freedom

Hard Driver

Rumblin’ Train

Devil’s Stomp

Seasons

Ball & Chain – (this song is not on the vinyl record version of Badlands)

BADLANDS "Badlands" large album pic

How I Discovered Motorhead And My Favorite Motorhead Song Ever

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's metal bands, 1990's rock music, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, collecting heavy metal albums, collecting metal music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, current heavy metal bands, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, feel good stories, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1983, heavy metal albums 1984, heavy metal memorabilia, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1984, heavy metal on vinyl, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal odyssey, Motorhead, Music, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage heavy metal songs, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Motorhead "No Remorse" small album picMotorhead is and always will be a core favorite Heavy Metal Band of mine, (a top 3 band without a doubt). I was first introduced to this prolific band back around 1983, a friend of mine in high school gave me an 8-track of a live Motorhead bootleg. (This dudes name was Rich, I am glad we had crossed paths back then). The sound was enormously awful, (the actual 8-track didn’t help), the lead vocals were beyond raspy and unclear and the Heavy Metal Music being played was raw, uncommercial and unlike anything I had ever heard before in my young life. I loved it. I was beyond thrilled at listening to this Motorhead 8-track. I was enamored by every unpolished intricacy that my rookie Metalhead ears heard. Here is this band, on a beat up 8-track, recorded as a live bootleg somewhere far away in the world, that only a dozen or so dudes in my high school even knew about at that time in 1983. All  that was written on the blank white sticker on this 8-track was a barely legible – Motorhead Live. I’ll never forget that… an Old School Metal memory at it’s most innocent. I was awe struck by the unnatural vocals of Lemmy Kilmister and his bass was over powering to boot. Gimme some more Motorhead is what I said.

I wound up buying the Iron Fist album by Motorhead first, (on vinyl of course). This Iron Fist album was released on April 17, 1982, I bought it sometime in 1983… owning a real Motorhead album became a dire Metal necessity then, I needed to get the Metal ball rolling in starting my Motorhead collection. Not having too much money as a teenager, I did not make another Motorhead album purchase until the double album No Remorse was released – which was September 15, 1984. (I can’t recall if I actually bought No Remorse on it’s release date, who would care now? I do remember that I bought it right away though!). Buying No Remorse heightened my awareness, attitude and respect for Metal Music in 1984 – I now had a legitimate greatest hits of Motorhead in my possession. My favorite Motorhead song ever, is on No Remorse, it actually was a brand new song added to this greatest hits track list at the time. Killed By Death. An unreal and damn incredible Metal song for me then… still is now in 2009.

Motorhead "No Remorse" small album picWhen I listen to Killed By Death today, it is like I am hearing it for the very first time again. I cannot figure that out, why bother? All I know is what this song does for me, it gets me extremely pumped up and motivated beyond Metal belief. The Heavy Metal and Roll vibe and groove that Killed By Death bestows is unlike any Motorhead song pre-1984. I was so fascinated back in 1984, while holding the double album jacket, staring at the front cover artwork of Snaggletooth, a.k.a. War-Pig and having my ears being ignited by Motorhead Metal. It felt like my little teenage world was made into a more tolerable place to exist in, with the Heavy Metal of Motorhead being at the ready for me to escape in. I could never forget just how much this No Remorse album of greatest hits means to me still, especially the song Killed By Death. Yes, I still have this No Remorse album, this double album is like Metal gold to me. I have kept it in pristine condition since September of 1984, this album is one of the fortunate ones that never was traded, sold, lost or given away by me.

I bought No Remorse at the no longer existing – Strawberries Records & Tapes. I even begged, bribed and pestered the Strawberries manager for months, to give me the Motorhead No Remorse promotional poster that hung on the store wall. (Back then, large record stores had class, they would actually give away any and all promotional posters for free, that is correct… for free). This Strawberries manager turned out to be a Metal hero for me… upon one of my extremely many trips there, he saw me enter the store and informed me the No Remorse promo poster was mine. That’s one cool memory – simple, innocent and Metal. This Motorhead No Remorse promo poster was hung up on my college dorm wall at Central Connecticut State University and survived. (I don’t know how it survived either). This same poster now adorns my basement wall… surrounded by many, many other Metal posters. However, this Motorhead No Remorse promo poster will forever remain as the Metal epicenter of my Rocked out basement, while the No Remorse album will remain as an integral reason as to why I revere Motorhead and Metal Music in the first place.

*My original copy of this Motorhead No Remorse – double album, depicts the same artwork on the front cover, however, the graphics Motorhead No Remorse are in deep red type.

Motorhead "No Remorse" large album pic

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