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Some Old-as-Hell album reviews


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Keith, great review of the Savatage "Streets" CD, will reacquaint with it tomorrow on the way to work.

 

Haha, I did the same thing...pulled it off the shelf for the ride to work this snowy morning...

 

I bet you back in '91 your were one of those Metal elistists that only listened to vinyl.

 

:rofl:

 

Well... your prediction may have had a better chance of coming true if Stevie Ray Vaughan hadn't been killed in a helicopter crash in August of 1990. He was only 35 years old. I for one think that Stevie Ray would have been able to help keep this blues-based rock era alive (or at least would have been able to prolong it).

 

Denis Leary: "Stevie Ray Vaughan is dead... and we can't get Jon Bon Jovi into a helicopter? GET ON THE F**KIN HELICOPTER JON! THERE'S A HAIRDRESSER IN THE HELICOPTER!"

 

It's all gold, mate. You had yourself some wikked accurate predictions, though. HAHA!

 

In the past I'd also predicted that Van Halen would be dead within a year when Sammy Hagar replaced DLR, and that KISS wer going to go nowhere when they took their makeup off. (OK, so that last one sorta came true, though it took a while)... so my musical crystal ball is obviously a little cloudy. It's probably a good thing I don't dabble in the stock market considering how bad I am at making predictions. :lol:

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March 1, 1991...

This one makes me cringe A LOT when I read it back now (especially the last sentence, hahaha)... HEARTBREAK STATION is a decent enough album but nowhere near the classic that I make it out to be here... nowadays I see it as the weakest album in their catalog... but I guess I must've REALLY liked it when I wrote this... :rofl:

 

Cinderella, "Heartbreak Station" (Mercury/PolyGram Records)

Rating on a 1-to-10 scale: 8.5

 

Cinderella's 1986 debut, "Night Songs," was a listenable, although unspectacular album in which the Philadelphia glam foursome belted out AC-DC style teenybopper rock that was obviously aimed at the Bon Jovi market. Non-offensive, but nothing to make one predict any sort of future for the band beyond their next hit single. The band then shocked a lot of listeners with 1988's follow up, "Long Cold Winter," where they displayed a musical maturity not heard on "Night Songs." While still retaining their hard rock edge, the Cinders tossed heaps of bluesy harmonica and slide guitar riffs into the songs, giving them a more "rootsy" sound that separated them from the pack of sound-alike pop/rock bands.

Two years and five million in album sales later, Cinderella's back with their third long player, "Heartbreak Station," and what a tasty platter it is, too! On this one it seems that the boys have been listening to even more Southern rock and blues, because "Heartbreak Station" is a far mellower, more groove-oriented album than "Long Cold Winter" and is a complete 180 degree turn from "Night Songs." This album simply oozes with that Southern boogie, "One foot in the swamp" influence, probably due to its being recorded in Louisiana. Throughout many of the tracks, one gets the feeling of being in a smoky bar somewhere in the backwoods, watching the band on stage. Opening with the hard rocker "The More Things Change," a rockabilly number filled with brass, and moving to the first single "Shelter Me" (complete with a full horn section, piano, and female backup singers adding to the "bar band" feel) it's tough to find any resemblance to the band that recorded "Night Songs" here. There's very little, if any, heavy metal influence on this record. The title track, one of the album's best, is a heartfelt ballad loaded with acoustic guitar and strings (arranged by John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, incidentally) and is probably the most mature song Cinderella has ever written. This is the kind of song "Don't Know What You've Got (Till It's Gone)" from the last album wanted to be, but didn't quite make it.

Vocalist Tom Keifer's performance is light years ahead of any of his previous work as well, he's finally dropped the "AC/DC" clone sound of the old records and proves he does actually have a soulful voice under that growl. For proof, check out "One For Rock N Roll," a country-western flavored number that begs to be played in the car on a long drive through the mountains.

Other highlights on this album include the keyboard work by Uriah Heep's Ken Hensley on "Make Your Own Way" and "Winds of Change," which brings the album to a mellow close. There are no clinkers on this tape!

Overall, "Heartbreak Station" represents another quantum leap forward for Cinderella, building on the foundation that "Long Cold Winter" started. Forget the "glam rock" or "pop metal" tags that have been affixed to the band in the past because they no longer apply. While so many bands are trying to sound LIKE the blues, Cinderella are one of the few who sound OF the blues. Together with the Black Crowes, Cinderella are going to spearhead a whole new decade of blues-based rock supremacy. Get in on the ground floor now!

 

...Yeesh, it hurt just to type all that blather up. I was really talkin' out my ass when I wrote this one... tryin' to sound like some kind of expert on blues and "rootsy" rock when I knew NOTHIN' about either one... I wish I could reach back in time, slap my 20 year old self and say "Quit sounding like such a f**kin know-it-all, you a**hole... who do you think you're writing for, f**kin' SPIN?" :doh:

 

 

Now there's a review I agree with... :) ...I know I'm in the minority but I consider 'Heartbreak Station' to be Cinderella's best.....

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By Popular Demand (well, demand from Dark Star anyway)... The Rock Report's most famous article! (Both my partner Gary and I got the byline on this but I wrote about 90% of it because Gary was so pissed off by the whole experience that he didn't even want to think about it...)... this is from April 22, 1991.

 

AN EXTREME-LY ROUGH NIGHT IN BROOKLYN

By Gary Geffen & Keith Abt, Wagnerian Staff Writers

 

If Buddy Thomas over there on the "Viewpoints" page thinks he's got the market cornered on "Adventures in Hell," he should consider himself lucky; he didn't go to see Extreme at L'amour on March 16th.

Over the phone, the nice lady from A&M Records had made everything sound so easy. They'd loved the Rock Report review of Extreme's "Pornograffiti" album that we'd sent them and they were nice enough to set us up with a chance to interview the band before the show. "Be at the club at 6 PM," she'd told us, "there'll be three free tickets and a photo pass waiting for you."

Thus, your intrepid Rock Reporters (Keith, Gary, and ace photographer Bob) trekked to scenic Bay Ridge and arrived at L'amour at the appointed time. However, the only thing waiting there for us was the L'amour stage crew, who let us inside but knew nothing about when Extreme were due to arrive or about any interviews. Stopping anyone and everyone we saw wearing an Extreme backstage pass, we soon found out that the band were in the city making a radio appearance and were running an hour and a half late. This did not bode well for our chances of an interview.

At approximately 7:30 PM, Extreme finally arrived for their soundcheck. We accosted both lead vocalist Gary Cherone and bassist Pat Badger, who gave us autographs but could make no promises as to an interview. They did introduce us to their manager, though, who promised to try and work something out. We wish we could've gotten a picture of Cherone and drummer Paul Geary reading their "Pornograffiti" review in the Wagnerian, but at that point our photo pass was still non existent and we weren't about to ask for any trouble.

Extreme's soundcheck treated the small crowd of onlookers to tight versions of "Hole Hearted" and "Get The Funk Out," a taster of what was to come later. This was immediately followed by a stage crew gorilla booting everyone who didn't have a backstage pass out of the club, your humble Rock Reporters included.

Out in the club's lobby, we once again explained to the hair sprayed, gum cracking monstrosity behind the ticket window that we were indeed on the guest list and should be down for three tickets and a photo pass. "I've only got you down for a photo pass," she said with disinterest. "That doesn't get you in; you still need tickets." Panic, not to mention, anger, ensued. Not wanting to have come all this way for nothing, $42.00 was immediately forked over for three tickets, albeit unwillingly.

A few moments later, the Spandex Enormity looked at the guest list again, this time with BOTH eyes, and said, "Oh WAIT, HERE you are! You DO have tickets!" When asked if we could then get our money refunded for the tickets we'd just bought, though, her reply was: "Sorry, there's no refunds after you've bought'em, there's nothing I can do about that." We pleaded with her to summon the manager, who listened to our sad tale, and who then replied "If you got a problem with it, you can (BLEEP)'in leave." Before we had a chance to wreak bodily harm on this bimbo or her boss for their mistakes, a bouncer told us we couldn't hang out in the lobby and kicked us out onto the street with the rest of the rabble until the club's doors officially opened at 9 PM.

 

So much for our dreams of journalistic glory. At least the show (more or less) made up for the indignities we suffered.

 

New Yorkers Valentine, new signings to the Giant Records roster, opened up the gig, and the five piece's keyboard-oriented sound, reminiscent of Trixter or Slaughter (with a heavy dose of Journey thrown in for good measure) was satisfactory, although unspectacular. The outstanding track of their set was the power ballad (geez, seems like everybody's got one of them these days) "Never Said it Was Gonna Be Easy," which had every teenage girl in the audience swooning -- particularly when the lead singer singled out a girl in the front row and said, "This one's for YOU!" Overall they did a decent job of getting the crowd going for the rest of the show; watch for Valentine's "No Way" video and judge for yourself.

Next up were Tangier, and we've got a split decision on them. Thumbs up from Keith, thumbs down from Gary. Gary felt that all their songs sounded the same, and bluntly, "They sound like every other band that opens for a bigger band at a rock club." Keith, on the other hand, was immediately grabbed by the Philadelphians' collection of hard edged, Southern style hard rockers from their new "Stranded" album, sort of a Bad Company meets AC/DC. Both critics, however, gave a thumbs up to lead singer Michael LeCompt's pornographic t-shirt, the message of which would be unprintable in a family newspaper.

Finally, just as your Rock Reporters were at the brink of exhaustion, came the headliners of the evening, bigger than life and about ten times louder than their soundcheck. (Ouch!) Extreme kicked things off with "It's a Monster," and the floor at the front of the stage immediately became an insane crush of bodies. Suffering at first from a messy sound mix, the band overcame it as they blasted through "Kid Ego," "He-Man Woman Hater," "Suzi Wants Her All Day Sucker" and other hits from their two albums.

A show stopper was the ballad "More Than Words" (still one of the best ballads Gary's ever heard!), where the rest of the band left the stage while Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt (on acoustic guitar) pulled up chairs and went it alone. You could've heard a pin drop. The band has recently completed a video for this track and in our opinions it's definitely a number one contender.

Both Drummer Paul Geary and budding guitar hero Bettencourt contributed solos; Bettencourt's included bits of "Play With Me" and "Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee" into other flashy fingerwork that left all the aspiring guitarists in the audience with their jaws firmly on the floor, faces in disbelief, silently saying "Why can't I play like that?"

Extreme continued onward with "Flesh and Blood," "Decadence Dance," and "When I'm President," before finally closing with a spirited "Get The Funk Out" (the word "Funk" of course was replaced by a certain other word that begins with "F"...), mixing in a bit of "Mean Green Mutha From Outer Space" from "Little Shop of Horrors" in the midsection (!!) before ending with a three part a cappella sing-along by Cherone, Bettencourt, and Badger. The encore was "Hole Hearted," where Paul Geary came out from behind his drum kit and joined the rest of the band at the front of the stage, accompanying them on bass drum and tambourine.

Thus, the Rock Report left the Rock Capitol of Brooklyn, wiped out and for the most part satisfied, except for Extreme's omissions of personal favorites "Mutha (Don't Wanna Go To School Today)" and "Money (In God We Trust)" from the set list. Oh well, you cant' have everything. Hopefully Extreme will be making a return to the New York area soon, and if they do, rest assured that the Rock Report will be there, still trying to get that damned interview!

Special thanks are in order to Carol at A&M Records for her patience in setting the whole thing up, and to the guys in Extreme for the great show. Likewise, huge amounts of hatred and cess-ridden filth are in order for the management of L'amour for their totally uncool, unprofessional attitude...especially that bimbo behind the ticket window!

The next time the Rock Report goes to a concert, they'll be doing it as fans, not journalists... journalists have to do too much work!!

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I'm probably alone in thinking this but I fucking hate metal/rock opera/concept releases.......I remember when 'Streets' was released, I was so disappointed that I never looked at a Savatage release again for years....

 

 

no,you're not alone my friend...but you can't deny that streets was a great cd to find some chicks...at least it worked for me(though the difficult part was to make them listen to the cd)....till one lovely, lonely lady took it with her and i've never seen it again....and i didn't care obviously to replace the missing cd(thankfully she didn't take any other of my countless gems)....

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By Popular Demand (well, demand from Dark Star anyway)... The Rock Report's most famous article! (Both my partner Gary and I got the byline on this but I wrote about 90% of it because Gary was so pissed off by the whole experience that he didn't even want to think about it...)... this is from April 22, 1991.

 

AN EXTREME-LY ROUGH NIGHT IN BROOKLYN

By Gary Geffen & Keith Abt, Wagnerian Staff Writers

 

If Buddy Thomas over there on the "Viewpoints" page thinks he's got the market cornered on "Adventures in Hell," he should consider himself lucky; he didn't go to see Extreme at L'amour on March 16th.

Over the phone, the nice lady from A&M Records had made everything sound so easy. They'd loved the Rock Report review of Extreme's "Pornograffiti" album that we'd sent them and they were nice enough to set us up with a chance to interview the band before the show. "Be at the club at 6 PM," she'd told us, "there'll be three free tickets and a photo pass waiting for you."

Thus, your intrepid Rock Reporters (Keith, Gary, and ace photographer Bob) trekked to scenic Bay Ridge and arrived at L'amour at the appointed time. However, the only thing waiting there for us was the L'amour stage crew, who let us inside but knew nothing about when Extreme were due to arrive or about any interviews. Stopping anyone and everyone we saw wearing an Extreme backstage pass, we soon found out that the band were in the city making a radio appearance and were running an hour and a half late. This did not bode well for our chances of an interview.

At approximately 7:30 PM, Extreme finally arrived for their soundcheck. We accosted both lead vocalist Gary Cherone and bassist Pat Badger, who gave us autographs but could make no promises as to an interview. They did introduce us to their manager, though, who promised to try and work something out. We wish we could've gotten a picture of Cherone and drummer Paul Geary reading their "Pornograffiti" review in the Wagnerian, but at that point our photo pass was still non existent and we weren't about to ask for any trouble.

Extreme's soundcheck treated the small crowd of onlookers to tight versions of "Hole Hearted" and "Get The Funk Out," a taster of what was to come later. This was immediately followed by a stage crew gorilla booting everyone who didn't have a backstage pass out of the club, your humble Rock Reporters included.

Out in the club's lobby, we once again explained to the hair sprayed, gum cracking monstrosity behind the ticket window that we were indeed on the guest list and should be down for three tickets and a photo pass. "I've only got you down for a photo pass," she said with disinterest. "That doesn't get you in; you still need tickets." Panic, not to mention, anger, ensued. Not wanting to have come all this way for nothing, $42.00 was immediately forked over for three tickets, albeit unwillingly.

A few moments later, the Spandex Enormity looked at the guest list again, this time with BOTH eyes, and said, "Oh WAIT, HERE you are! You DO have tickets!" When asked if we could then get our money refunded for the tickets we'd just bought, though, her reply was: "Sorry, there's no refunds after you've bought'em, there's nothing I can do about that." We pleaded with her to summon the manager, who listened to our sad tale, and who then replied "If you got a problem with it, you can (BLEEP)'in leave." Before we had a chance to wreak bodily harm on this bimbo or her boss for their mistakes, a bouncer told us we couldn't hang out in the lobby and kicked us out onto the street with the rest of the rabble until the club's doors officially opened at 9 PM.

 

So much for our dreams of journalistic glory. At least the show (more or less) made up for the indignities we suffered.

 

New Yorkers Valentine, new signings to the Giant Records roster, opened up the gig, and the five piece's keyboard-oriented sound, reminiscent of Trixter or Slaughter (with a heavy dose of Journey thrown in for good measure) was satisfactory, although unspectacular. The outstanding track of their set was the power ballad (geez, seems like everybody's got one of them these days) "Never Said it Was Gonna Be Easy," which had every teenage girl in the audience swooning -- particularly when the lead singer singled out a girl in the front row and said, "This one's for YOU!" Overall they did a decent job of getting the crowd going for the rest of the show; watch for Valentine's "No Way" video and judge for yourself.

Next up were Tangier, and we've got a split decision on them. Thumbs up from Keith, thumbs down from Gary. Gary felt that all their songs sounded the same, and bluntly, "They sound like every other band that opens for a bigger band at a rock club." Keith, on the other hand, was immediately grabbed by the Philadelphians' collection of hard edged, Southern style hard rockers from their new "Stranded" album, sort of a Bad Company meets AC/DC. Both critics, however, gave a thumbs up to lead singer Michael LeCompt's pornographic t-shirt, the message of which would be unprintable in a family newspaper.

Finally, just as your Rock Reporters were at the brink of exhaustion, came the headliners of the evening, bigger than life and about ten times louder than their soundcheck. (Ouch!) Extreme kicked things off with "It's a Monster," and the floor at the front of the stage immediately became an insane crush of bodies. Suffering at first from a messy sound mix, the band overcame it as they blasted through "Kid Ego," "He-Man Woman Hater," "Suzi Wants Her All Day Sucker" and other hits from their two albums.

A show stopper was the ballad "More Than Words" (still one of the best ballads Gary's ever heard!), where the rest of the band left the stage while Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt (on acoustic guitar) pulled up chairs and went it alone. You could've heard a pin drop. The band has recently completed a video for this track and in our opinions it's definitely a number one contender.

Both Drummer Paul Geary and budding guitar hero Bettencourt contributed solos; Bettencourt's included bits of "Play With Me" and "Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee" into other flashy fingerwork that left all the aspiring guitarists in the audience with their jaws firmly on the floor, faces in disbelief, silently saying "Why can't I play like that?"

Extreme continued onward with "Flesh and Blood," "Decadence Dance," and "When I'm President," before finally closing with a spirited "Get The Funk Out" (the word "Funk" of course was replaced by a certain other word that begins with "F"...), mixing in a bit of "Mean Green Mutha From Outer Space" from "Little Shop of Horrors" in the midsection (!!) before ending with a three part a cappella sing-along by Cherone, Bettencourt, and Badger. The encore was "Hole Hearted," where Paul Geary came out from behind his drum kit and joined the rest of the band at the front of the stage, accompanying them on bass drum and tambourine.

Thus, the Rock Report left the Rock Capitol of Brooklyn, wiped out and for the most part satisfied, except for Extreme's omissions of personal favorites "Mutha (Don't Wanna Go To School Today)" and "Money (In God We Trust)" from the set list. Oh well, you cant' have everything. Hopefully Extreme will be making a return to the New York area soon, and if they do, rest assured that the Rock Report will be there, still trying to get that damned interview!

Special thanks are in order to Carol at A&M Records for her patience in setting the whole thing up, and to the guys in Extreme for the great show. Likewise, huge amounts of hatred and cess-ridden filth are in order for the management of L'amour for their totally uncool, unprofessional attitude...especially that bimbo behind the ticket window!

The next time the Rock Report goes to a concert, they'll be doing it as fans, not journalists... journalists have to do too much work!!

:rofl2: that is your BEST one yet!!! :drink:

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:rofl2: that is your BEST one yet!!! :drink:

 

 

Thanx... we never set foot in L'amour again after that debacle. Which kinda sucked cuz they had all the best bands back then. I can laugh about it now but obviously it wasn't very funny at the time!!

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:rofl2: that is your BEST one yet!!! :drink:

 

 

Thanx... we never set foot in L'amour again after that debacle. Which kinda sucked cuz they had all the best bands back then. I can laugh about it now but obviously it wasn't very funny at the time!!

 

 

OH Yea your BEST one EVER!! thank you SO much for re-printing it Man!!! :bowdown:

 

I wonder how many people got the spandex enormity reference??? :whistle:

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  • My Little Pony
:rofl2: that is your BEST one yet!!! :drink:

 

 

Thanx... we never set foot in L'amour again after that debacle. Which kinda sucked cuz they had all the best bands back then. I can laugh about it now but obviously it wasn't very funny at the time!!

 

 

OH Yea your BEST one EVER!! thank you SO much for re-printing it Man!!! :bowdown:

 

I wonder how many people got the spandex enormity reference??? :whistle:

It was worth the weight, I mean wait. Keep 'em coming, boy!!

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