MY MOST PLAYED ALBUMS IN THE MONTH OF APRIL 2019
Somewhat following suit to the most recent months, April's rotation was once again rooted in the glorious and vast rock and metal past. Being away from home for a good part of the past month, left me reaching for goodies from my expansive HiRes digital collection, vastly made of rips from my physical vinyl collection, making use of my trusted portable digital player and a set of large, open-back headphones. With one notable exception: the Eagles double vinyl reissue of their 1994 comeback, an album that made my top ten deserted island list, "Hell Freezes Over" kept finding its way back to my turntable's platter, and remaining in heavy rotation as I type these words. Let the nostalgia soak in ...
Hell Freezes Over "25th Anniversary"
2xLP (180g), Geffen, 00602577189852
Originally released in 1994, "Hell Freezes Over", was the comeback album after the Eagles had reformed following a fourteen-year-long break up. The band's lineup was that of the "Long Run" era: Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Don Felder, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit. The album contains four new studio tracks and eleven tracks recorded live in April 1994 for an MTV special and it went to #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart upon its release where it stayed for two weeks. The album has sold over 9 million copies in the United States. The album's title is in reference to a quote by Don Henley after the band's breakup in 1980, when he commented that the band would play together again "when Hell freezes over". The live portion of the album, which included eleven of the bands greatest hits, was recorded in April 1994 at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. At the beginning of the concert, Glenn Frey joked to the audience: "For the record, we never broke up; we just took a 14-year vacation". "Hell Freezes Over" support tour began in May 27, and lasted from 1994 to 1996, becoming one of the most successful tours in music history.
LP, Vertigo, 6360 066
"Red Sea" was the second, and last album by the English hard rock band Warhorse. The band was formed in the early 1970 by the co-founder, and original bassist of Deep Purple, Nick Simper. After a short stint in Marsha Hunt's backing band, Simper and fellow bandmates, guitarist Ged Peck and drummer Mac Poole, enlisted vocalist Ashley Holt and recruited keyboard player Rick Wakeman. A deal was signed with Vertigo and the band released their self-titled debut before the end of 1970, to mixed reviews. After Rick Wakeman's departure, the band enlisted Frank Wilson to fill the keyboards position. In this formation the band released "Red Sea" in June of 1972. Despite its prog-rock/proto-metal quality, the album failed to chart and the band was dropped by its label. Warhorse disbanded in 1974.
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
LP, Warner Bros. Records, 7599-26594-1
F.U.C.K., the ninth studio album by legendary American hard rock band Van Halen, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart and maintained the position for three weeks. Van Halen started work on the album in March 1990 and finished in April 1991 (just two months before its release). The album itself was marketed as the "return" to Van Halen's hard rock roots, with most songs being guitar driven, and the synth sounds being replaced by pianos ("Right Now"). The band also reconciled with producer Ted Templeman who produced earlier Van Halen albums to return to work on the album. To this day F.U.C.K. remains a great example of a properly recorded, produced and mastered hard rock album.
Here Comes Trouble
LP, In-Effect, 88561-3012-1
The eclectic thrash metal band Scatterbrain formed in New York City in 1989 from the ashes of the NYHC outfit Ludichrist. The band gained immediate local popularity due to their rather bizarre live performances mix of classical music with heavy metal, and stage antics. Showing a great quality in songwriting, the band's debut album, "Here Comes Trouble" was released in 1990, and went on to reach #138 on Billboard 200. It contains a cover version of Cheech and Chong's "Earache My Eye". The album's first single, "Don't Call Me Dude", makes reference to vaudeville routine "Slowly I Turned", and the intro is a parody of Dion's "Runaround Sue". The follow-up single, "Down With the Ship (Slight Return)", features snippets from 16 classic rock (and not only) songs. The band called it quit after the release of their 3rd album, in 1994.
How Will I Laugh Tomorrow
... When I Can't Even Smile Today
LP, Epic, E 44288
ST's 3rd album, their first album on Epic, marks the band's full transition to crossover thrash metal. This is also the first ST album recorded with guitarist Mike Clark (who had played with Mike Muir in No Mercy), and their only release with bassist Bob Heathcote, who was replaced by Robert Trujillo in 1989. The stylistic changes were already evident in this album's predecessor "Join the Army", but this album had a distinctly more defined metal sound, more complex and lengthy songs, as well as better production values. The addition of Mike Clark on rhythm guitar, altered the band's musical style and direction, as well. Clark wrote much of the music for this album, and gave lead guitarist Rocky George more soloing time. Thus creating another factor in this album and future releases' metal-oriented sound. Drummer R. J. Herrera completed the lineup. The album peaked at #111 on the Billboard 200, and it remained on that chart for eleven weeks.The album featured singles were "Trip at the Brain" and the title track. Music videos were shot for both singles.
© 2019 by Emil Chiru