Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Dr. Feelgood" Post-1994 - #39

"Dr. Feelgood" Post-1994

Actually, the topic is as dead as a piece of meat on the plate in front of you. I've taken a lot of flak during the last couple of years for expressing my opinion, that Dr. Feelgood simply ceased to exist when Lee Brilleaux died. Everything else is a cover band. I knew right from the start of this debate, that history would prove me right. But seeing Wilko Johnson in an interview in the current Classic Rock magazine made my day.

You left the Feelgoods as long ago as 1977. How do you feel about the band carrying on these days with the name but without a single original member?

I'm quite an articulate guy, but even I don't have the vocabulary to describe the current band. Without Lee (Brilleaux, singer who died in 1994) it's not Dr. Feelgood. The connections are just to tenuous.

Unfortunately, this brought the topic back, which I, by now, had well and truly forgotten, as "Dr. Feelgood 2011" are relegated to the backseats of Rock's history. Not even I get heated up about this anymore. But I had to laugh when I read it and I knew, I was always on the side of the good guys. Wilko, I do owe you one!



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare - Part 2 - #38

Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare

2011. A new studio album by everyone's favourite artist, Alice Cooper. This is kind of a sequel to 1975's "Welcome To My Nightmare", the debut Alice Cooper solo album. The work comes in a plethora of releases and each different one seems to sport a bonus track, not available on any of the other items. I've said, what I had to say about this. If fans are ripped off in such a way, I don't feel sorry about the decline of the music industry. You reap what you sow.

Right now, I've only the double vinyl issue (on red wax nevertheless) in my possession. The CD with accompanying magazine is still not here (Classic Rock issue), which is total b.s. as well. This was advertised as being out a full month before the albums hits the streets. Stupid marketing gimmick, I bought the Vinyl today (and I believe, the normal CD version was also available). The LP comes with a mini poster and coversized booklet. The latter is quite nice. The poster? I don't know. Kindergarten stuff. The original "Welcome To My Nightmare" doesn't have a cover graphic to write home about, but they have lowered their standards even further. This qualifies easily as one of the most horrible (pun intended) covers. Jesus Christ, what kind of amateurs are trying their "skills" these days. Where have the days gone, when talented people created good graphics?

The music? Much has been made of the fact, that the original Alice Cooper Band was back in the Studio! It was hailed as the second coming of Christ! Original? Wait a minute! Last time I checked, Glen Buxton was still dead ... so much for the claim of "original" ACG. And as far as I've heard, the rest didn't even get to be in the studio at the same time. And worse is yet to come, The living members of ACG are only to be heard on three tracks. Hardly news you need to be aware of. And what's more, wether they have lent their skills to these three songs or not, I wouldn't have noticed anyway. Alice Cooper could have hired any musician to fill out these slots, with no change to the quality. Or he could have used his current standard band on all tracks. Oh well! 

The music needs to grow on you. Starting very slow and a few tracks later drifting off to funfair music and everything else between here and Transylvania, this is not the kind of album you expected of a 2011 solo Alice Cooper. Especially since the last couple of releases had the quality of a fifty ton steamroller. But after a couple of listening sessions, I'm already beginning to like this slice of music. Although this is certainly not on a par with the original "Welcome To My Nightmare", as there's to much missing and the album is still a hodge podge collection with just to many gimmicks thrown in. It's entertaining, yes, but for the most part, don't expect your rockin' Alice. Very mainstream, but sometimes you want to shout "get to the point". As negative as this might sound now, there's some excellent stuff here, but I don't rate it as high as, say, "Killer" or thereabouts. And it doesn't help, when Alice Cooper tries his hands at Disco music (even though he might make a statement here) or with this godawful bonus track on the LP version. I have better Electronica or Industrial music in my collection. Just wonder where this leftover came from!

Buy the album, when you're in a record store the next time and you can't decide wether to buy a hits collection of yesteryear or this here. At least you're on the side of the good guys.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Heidi Brühl - Hundert Mann und ein Befehl - #37

Heidi Brühl - Hundert Mann und ein Befehl

I'm not one for German Schlagers (with very few exceptions), but this here is remarkable. I was only aware of the Freddy Quinn version of this Cover (Sgt Barry Sadler - The Green Berets) until someone pointed me this way. Heidi Brühl is singing the song from a women's point of view, although the original German version is from a man's standpoint. I believe, it has nothing much to do with the Barry Sadler interpretation of this song.

What's so interesting here is not so much the song itself, but the delivery of the tune. First, Heidi Brühl looks absolutely stunning in this video. Then, this is the video for which the word teutonic must have been invented. This is a top class performance and I very much believe, that this was intended the way it comes across. Ice cold, shivers down your spine, that's what it is. The thing has class written all over the video. In one sweep, the team who produced this piece, has confirmed and denied everything that one believes to know about the Germans. And then the choir set into the dimly lit frame. This is one of the most interesting videos I've seen in a very long time.  Unfortunately, Heidi Brühl died when she was in her fourties (complications after cancer surgery). You don't have to buy Schlager CDs now, but you can still admire this one here.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Test Pressings / Acetates - #36

Test Pressings / Acetates - #36

If you're after test pressings or acetates, here's a word of warning. For years, test pressings and acetates have been on the market, that are not the real deal. There's an industry in the Far East feeding the market with fake "acetates" (I'm speaking of vinyl only, as in my opinion, there are no CD acetates, whatever there might be available). Suddenly you see these items creeping up from places you've never heard about in your life. It's sometimes hard to spot a genuine article, when all you have is a picture on an auction site, and most of the time not a very good one at that.

Test pressings seem to be made from stock copies by way of taking off the label and replacing it with a white label with some fantasy writing or even better, bleaching the original label, so what you have in the end is a white label. But, of course, again, you can hardly spot this before bidding. Just ask the seller for a confirmation, that this is the real deal and if you don't get it, hands off! Of course, once you have the item in your hands, it's apparently easy to see that you've been had. Bleached labels with the original artwork shining through, handwriting the same over a set of different vinyls and the etching in the wax being the same as the one off stock copies.

In view of test pressings and acetates having a premium on them, sometimes very high, don't let yourself being taken advantage of. As tempting as an item might look, make sure you're not going to fall for a fake product.