On this day in 1951 Bun E. Carlos (drummer for Cheap Trick) is born Brad Carlson in Rockford, Illinois.  Bun E was the band’s chief setlister and archivist, and kept recordings of all the band’s shows, some of which have been released under the title ‘Bun E’s Bootlegs’.

Bun E’s band Cheap Trick released their debut album way back in ’77 But it wasn’t until  ‘In Color’ the bands sophomore release that things really took off.  The first place to go crazy for cheap Trick was Japan where they always had a huge mutual love and respect namely their iconic ‘Cheap Trick at Budokan’.

they managed to break into the US Top 10 in 1979 with ‘I Want You to Want Me’ and over a decade later they managed to take ‘The Flame’ to the number one spot in ’88.

Cheap Trick has always had a rabid following but their general popularity has always been a bit up and down over the decades but being able to boast sales in excess of 20 million albums is no mean feat. The band has toured the world many many times, playing over 5,000 shows. Even though Bun E has been replaced for almost a decade after initially needing time off after back surgery he was replaced by Nielsons Son Daxx. His contribution is huge and that archive must be something to behold to this day.  Carlos had to sue his former bandmates several years ago and things got messy as he was countersued and so it began.  However, in 2016 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on April 8, and the band was introduced and Zander, Nielsen, Petersson, and Carlos all in attendance;  performed ‘I Want You to Want Me’, ‘Dream Police’, ‘Surrender’ and ‘Ain’t That a Shame’ so not all bad.  Happy Birthday Bun E!

Let us guide you through some of our choice picks from the pile of this years RSD releases and the ones we fancy as well as the ones that might just be a Record shop bun fight. As fans go toe to toe for that collectible 7″ that you hope and pray won’t be on eBay for even larger inflated prices than you pay on the day.  Anyway, we’ve picked through the list alphabetically and where possible we’ll give you online guide prices (some of which will make your eyes water).  This is part one – part two will follow tomorrow.

First up is a no brainer for us as The Alarm celebrate reissuing ‘Strength’ on vinyl and give it the old dark arts of a remaster there is also a RSD double live album of one of their best bootlegs live from Boston Orpheum in 85 on the Strength Tour. Four of the tracks (Where Were You Hiding?, Deeside, Sixty Eight Guns & Knocking On Heaven’ s Door), were used as B-sides and extra tracks with the band’ s ‘ Spirit Of ‘ 76’ UK single release of early 1986 which put the band into the UK Top 30, with ‘ Howling Wind’ being issued in the USA only as part of the ‘ Live For Life’ IRS Records cancer benefit compilation album. The audio was recorded by WBCN Radio Station in Boston, MA on November 9th 1985 and was a pretty hot show to record.  Certainly, one to pick up.

 

Second up is possibly one of this year’s most popular releases that of ‘Bingo Hand Job – Live At The Borderline 91‘ Who you might ask? Well, if you have asked its probably not for you then.  It’s none other than REM and some friends such as Billy Bragg pre-MTV unplugged superstardom taken from a set they played in London under the name BHJ.  Again this is a two-disc LP and has reached mythical status amongst REM fans over the years as to its validity.  Heads down 1-2-3-4 Go! Expect to pay stupid money for a copy of this if you find yourself without a copy on the day.

Next we see Bob Dylans classic ‘Blood On The Tracks‘ being advertised as the original New York Test Pressing and its also to be found on rough Trades website for £26.99 the story goes like thus – Months before Bob Dylan released ‘Blood On The Tracks’ in early 1975, a small number of test pressings were circulated, consisting entirely of material from sessions at A&R Recording Studios in New York City. (Dylan re-recorded five of these tracks in Minneapolis for inclusion on the final album.) Those original records were soon bootlegged, and the alternate history of one of Dylan’s most acclaimed works was born. This LP is an exact duplicate of the test pressing, containing unique mixes from the New York session available for the first time. It doesn’t say if this is limited so I’d imagine this might well be pressed in big numbers thus making it available after the furor of RSD has gone.

Next is Brett Smiley and ‘Sunset Towers‘ an eight-track release. Brett recorded a session at what was to become Cherokee Studios, in the Valley in Los Angeles. Owned by The Robbs, three brothers who had previously been the house band on ‘60s TV music show Where The Action Is (and who backed Brett on the session) and produced by Del Shannon, the session has lain in the vaults till now. This album of previously unreleased recordings is a what could have been for American glam music. expect to pay £21.99 for this album

RSD stalwarts Cheap Trick have something to offer this year that is one of the limited pieces and will be globally sought after ‘The Epic Archive Vol. 3 (1984-1992) (Limited 2-LP “Flame Red” Vinyl Edition)’ After Releasing Two Packages of Cheap Trick Rarities on LP for Record Store Day and BlackFriday to Great Acclaim (and Great Sales), Real Gone Music Is Back with Its Third and FinalCompilation of Hard-to-Find Epic Label Nuggets. coloured vinyl and limited to 2000 pieces this will fly which is why they’ve put an eye-watering price of £44.99 on it for a double album! Ouch!

The first seven-inch single we are really interested in is from Chuck Mosley. Never before released its limited to 750 copies worldwide. Chuck former singer with Faith No More, Bad Brains, Indoria and Primitive Race decided to pursue a solo project with a raw, psychedelic, acoustic direction. Armed with his guitar, a vocal effects processor, and a few friends (Cris Morgan, Randy Pirosko, and Douglas Esper), he embarked on a two-year tour and completed a few recording sessions. During a six-hour block in August of 2017 with producer Joe Haze, Chuck recorded two covers, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” originally written by Prince (and originally made famous by Sinead O’ Connor), and “Take this Bottle” by Faith No More (a FNM cut recorded during Mike Patton’ s reign). The two recordings have never been released until now. This ended up as Chuck’ s last time recording in a studio before his death on November 9th 2017. His guitar solo on Nothing Compares 2 U never got completed as the band had to leave for a show that night in Salt Lake City. Tracks : A Side Nothing Compares To You B Side Take This Bottle.

Bowie always a RSD favourite for the scalpers as they look to take advantage of the limited quantities available this year sees ‘Pin Up’s‘ getting the picture disc treatment and already its advertised on eBay for upwards of $80 a snip I guess if you can’t be bothered to go find a copy and go against everything RSD stands for even if it does look a very nice record. Good luck baggin’ one of these folks.  It doesn’t say how many have been pressed but I’d imagine it’s not enough to satisfy the demand.

 

 

 

The Crow – OST Original motion picture soundtrack to the movie of the same title, to be released on vinyl for the first time since its original 1994 release. The album features covers, including Nine Inch Nails who covered Joy Division’ s “Dead Souls”, Pantera who covered Poison Idea’ s “The Badge”, and Rollins Band who covered Suicide’ s “Ghost Rider”, and Rage Against the Machine re-recorded their 1991 B-side “Darkness of Greed” and renamed it “Darkness” for this soundtrack. It’s a three-sided record with side four being an etching.  It seems like this is the popular thing at the moment to leave side four blank and put an etching on it but hey maybe I’m old fashion I’d rather some more music.  Expect to pay  an eye watering £34.99 for this but it is limited to 1000 pieces

 

 

Dexys Midnight Runners Live At The BBC‘ is also on some RPM lists as this 1982 recording of the band at the peak of their powers and for the first time on vinyl, this legendary Newcastle BBC In Concert was regarded as a turning point in the band’ s career. the concert features a host of the finest Dexys’ tracks as well as introducing the audience to Dexys new “Celtic” sound including ‘Geno’, ‘Let’ s Make This Precious’, ‘Jackie Wilson Said’, ‘The Celtic Soul Brothers’… The concert introduces the Emerald Express string section and the audience are treated to the not heard before ‘Come On Eileen’-listen to the reaction after… The LP set finishes with 4 tracks from a David Jensen session from the same year. This double album pressed on Green Vinyl will look to set you back £27.99 if you’re lucky enough to bag one of the 1400 copies.  Good luck!

The first real big money item has to be ‘The Doors – London Fog’ pressed on 10″ this Individually numbered limited edition (if you can call 18,000 limited – cough cough) will look to set you back £42.99. It’s a Lift-top package designed to look like a vintage storage box.and has Seven songs on both CD and a 10-inch record that’s made to resemble a test pressing, Postcards, Setlist handwritten by John Densmore, Liner notes included from Sunset Strip legend Ronnie Haran-Mellen and Five black and white 8×10 reprints of unpublished photos.  sounds neat but limited?

 

Pink & Blue Double LP (3 sided, the 4th side is etched) live recording from The Oakland Coliseum April 1984 another I know several RPM scribes will be all over this in their shoulder-padded coats jostling to the front of the shop to make sure they get their copy.  Oh didn’t I say its Duran Duran. This one surfaced originally as a bonus to the 2010 reissue of ‘Seven And The Ragged Tiger’ ‘As The Lights Go Down’ has never been officially released on vinyl.  until now that is. only 5,500 pieces available.  One thing I often think about RSD is the packaging often it leaves a lot to be desired and seems rushed considering the mark up they put on the records it could and should be much better.
Whilst the Fall seems to have about as many releases as they had band members in the 90’s its Fallen Angels that really interests us.  Getting the double coloured vinyl treatment it also comes in a gatefold and has a cool booklet with extensive notes and pictures from the recordings.  It features the original album plus bonus Lp of singles and extra tracks. In 1984 Hanoi Rocks were signed to CBS and about to hit the charts they found themselves with a few weeks off. Meanwhile, The Vibrators were also taking a break, and Knox had some great new songs sitting there waiting for fate to intervene. It did, and they got together for this much-lauded and awesome album.  Jungle has done this release proud and you should be able to score a copy for around £21.99 which is money well spent if you ask me.  RPM will be reviewing this release in depth just before RSD.
Frank Black also sees his long out of print albums ‘Teenager OF The Year‘ and self-titled albums get a long overdue re-release on coloured vinyl but these should be available after RSD has passed.
We’ll end this first part of our RSD round up with another 7″ single this time it’s a Red Vinyl contains two previously unreleased mixes of the classic single ‘ Your Generation’ and later b-side ‘ Trying For Kicks’ From the mighty Generation X. Both tracks are previously unreleased and are Exclusive to this release and do not feature on the Deluxe Edition of the band’s album that is being released later on in April through Chrysalis Records.

It’s a staggering 32 years since Cheap Trick last played the capitol city of Wales, and whilst I’ve seen the band a good few times since that Motley Crue support slot it was their return to Cardiff that meant for the first time in many a year I not only snapped up a ticket for this show in double quick time but I’m also queuing early doors in the pouring rain outside one of my least favourite venues just to make sure I don’t miss a note. Ever the fan boy eh!

I’m glad I did too because tonight really does belong to the boys from Rockford. Playing a tight and sadly shorter set than I’ve come to expect from the band they still manage to change things around set list wise from the previous two nights (I just couldn’t resist a sneaky peak online beforehand) slotting in the sublime ‘Big Eyes’ and a crowd pleasing ‘The Flame’ as tonight’s curveballs around the rest of the set – which effectively plays out like a greatest hits of Cheap Trick.

The addition of Robin Zander’s son Robin Zander Jnr on second guitar and backing vocals certainly adds a new dimension to the band, one which allows his father to make full use of the ego ramp and concentrate on hitting all the right notes, something the 65 year old still does with the utmost of ease. Whilst behind the kit Daxx Nielsen has become as much a feature of Cheap Trick these past seventeen or so years as the legendary Bun E Carlos. And whilst legendary is a term bandied around all to easily these days when it comes to songs like ‘ If You Want My Love’, ‘I Want You To Want Me’, ‘Dream Police’ and ‘Surrender’ right here in these four songs you have perhaps the very cornerstones of many a subsequent musical genres. Without this band there would certainly be no power pop, there would be no hair metal and perhaps maybe even no alt-rock or grunge so when Kliph Scurlock takes to the drums for a song tonight everything comes kinda full circle and I feel honoured to witness such a magical one-off event.

Ending their ten song set with ‘Goodnight Now’ Rick Nielsen’s ludicrous multi neck guitar once again makes a long overdue appearance on a Welsh stage before it’s all over in the blink of an eye. Short and sweet this might have been but I adored every single sugar coated second of it, long may the Trick shine on.

Having witnessed the tail end of Def Leppard’s 25th anniversary tour for the ‘Hysteria’ album at Hellfest five years ago I was certainly interested in seeing what the band might do to top that stealing performance this time around.

Okay there’s a few small changes – there’s no Def Leppard supporting themselves “deep dive” archive set to start things off, plus (and this bit does seem strange) there’s no repeat of the intro film that they used to set the scene for what was about to follow, but what we do get tonight is the twelve song, bazillion copy selling, album played out in sequence in meticulous detail and boy does it sound good. How can you critique arena rock perfection? You can’t, you just have to simply accept that songs like ‘Animal’, ‘Armageddon It’ and ‘Gods Of War’ (noticeably now devoid of the Mrs T outro speech) were written for “Sold Out” nights like tonight and whatever you think of Def Leppard you cannot deny these guys have achieved a phenomenal amount in their time together as a band and tonight they have simply never looked happier – especially with the ecstatic crowd response.

Moving the “deep dive” section to the encores (ah! I see what you did their guys) and noting that on previous nights classics like ‘Wasted’ and ‘Let It Go’ have been given an airing I have to admit that tonight’s opening selection of ‘Make Love Like A Man’ ‘When Love And Hate Collide’ and ‘Let’s Get Rocked’ kind of leave me feeling like I’d been dealt a bum hand, I mean am I the only one who’d have preferred to hear ‘When Saturday Comes’ at this point? Ha! Look, I’ve still got the game changing ‘Rock Of Ages’ and the always awesome ‘Photograph’ so I’m always going to leave here tonight with a smile on my face, just like pretty much everyone else, it’s just that deep down inside I wish Da Lepps would have done a 35th year anniversary of the album those classics came from instead.

Ah well, you can always dream…

Author:Johnny Hayward

I get it you love Biters and you have a soft spot for the likes of The Cars and Cheap Trick and they all have more great songs than they don’t, well, Kurt Baker is like that as well. He doesn’t do bad songs simple as that – original or covers.  He doesn’t write bad tunes, in fact, he writes awesome tunes and this is the proof. He writes great tunes -pop tunes even but he plays them with loud guitars and that’s a lethal combination.

 

Hey, you Eureka Machines fans and you Costello fans get on this and check it out (you can thank me later) ‘Emma Stone’ has a melody and hook that’s just so listenable you can’t stay still it’s infectious and should have a government health warning.

 

He doesn’t change tack much at all (but why would you?) ‘What’s That Got To Do With Rock And Roll’ is a groovin’ slab of T-rex and some 70’s glam slam a go-go but don’t bother looking for imperfections because there aren’t any its just good time Rock ‘n’ Roll and its all about the good time and the party in your head whilst the songs are spinning  and Baker is so good at it.  Damn, there’s even time to sound like Thin Fuckin’ Lizzy on the excellent ‘On The Run’.

Thinks go Costello overload on the laid back ‘Since You’ve Been On My Mind’ its got a certain Joe Jackson about it too.  There’s even time this October to throw in a Christmas song but because its Kurt Baker I’m giving him a pass and it’s perfectly acceptable because when Bakers singing it’s like every day is Christmas such are the power pop gifts being dished out.  I know some of you will be scratching your noggins as this looks familiar well it does and it doesn’t this is the first time it’s had a vinyl release for the first time thanks to Ghost Highway and with some bonus material for all you audiophiles who just want your music on Wax or not at all.

By the time this album reaches the end we’ve got ourselves some synth-pop that’s right, some tasty new wave to put a cherry on the icing on the cake. ‘High Fidelity’ indeed!

Ghost Highway Records

Facebook

Author: Dom Daley