• Emil


Updated: Jan 14, 2019

I am amazed by the amount of music that I was able to go thru last month, December 2018. Besides the reviews and making the final decisions on what shaped to be a TOP 30 best albums of 2018 (and a list of 20 honorable mentions!), there was still time left to spin other records on my turntable. Funny enough, in order to keep track of what was played and when, I kept hand notes. According to these notes, these are my five most played albums in the month of December 2018:




2xLP, Rat Pak Records, RPR603078

"Scatterbrain" was released on March 17, 2017 and is the second studio album by the American hard rock band KXM, formed in 2013, and featuring King's X bassist and vocalist Doug Pinnick, former Dokken and Lynch Mob guitarist George Lynch and Korn drummer Ray Luzier. The super-group was formed when the three members met during a birthday party for Luzier's son. The drummer took the other two through a tour of his new home studio and suggested the three put together an album. According to Lynch, the name KXM was derived from each member's full-time band: K from Korn, X from King's X, and M from Lynch Mob. Thematically a darker record than the debut, the sophomore effort builds upon the developed KXM hard rock sound but this time includes some different dynamics drawing inspiration from prog, ska, punk and metal. Through it all, it remains undeniably KXM.


New Jersey


LP, Mercury, 836 345-1

Everyone who was alive in 1988 heard this or about this album ... "New Jersey" was the follow-up to the band's third album, "Slippery When Wet", and reached #1 on the Billboard 200 chart in its second week of release after making its debut at #8. It remained at #1 for four consecutive weeks. It produced five Billboard Hot 100 top ten hits, the most top ten hits to date for any hard-rock/glam-metal album, including "Bad Medicine" and "I'll Be There for You", both reaching #1. The album was certified 7x Platinum by RIAA. The album also debuted at #1 in the UK and was the band's first UK #1 album. "New Jersey" was released by the Soviet state-owned record company "Melodiya", being the first American album ever released in USSR officially. Although the glossy production and anthems orientation from the previous album remained, the band wished to show a higher level of diversity on the album.


Blues For Jimi


2xLP, Eagle Records, ER202941

"Blues for Jimi" is a double live album (and video) by the Northern Irish, legendary blues rock guitarist and singer, Gary Moore (RIP). The live performance was originally recorded on October 25th 2007 at the London Hippodrome, featuring Gary Moore playing a selection of Jimi Hendrix classics. The concert was part of the launch for the "Jimi Hendrix Live at Monterey" album. It also features a special guest appearance by Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell (RIP). Mitch Mitchell spent his final days celebrating Hendrix' music on the 2008 Experience Hendrix Tour, passing away on November 12. The album was released after Gary's untimely death, and it is perhaps the only recording that does full justice to the music of Jimi Hendrix.


Battalions Of Fear

1988, 2018 reissue,

LP limited edition Nuclear Blast NB 4322

"Battalions of Fear" is Blind Guardian's 1988 debut album. The album is a raw and unpolished speed metal effort that touches on thrash metal. It lacks many of the stylistic details that would mark the band's music in later years, focusing more on speed and aggression. While some, perhaps younger listeners, prefer the more melodic trajectory that the band set in the 1990s, in my opinion this album, and also their sophomore effort, "Follow The Blind" (1989) are quintessential for any speed (power) metal collection, alongside Helloween's "Keeper Of The Seven Keys: Part I and II". The 2017 remixed and remastered version which made the cut for the 2018 reissue, resolves the poor sound issues found on the original pressing.


Original Soundtrack

1993, 2010 reissue,

LP, audiophile pressing,

Music On Vinyl/Immortal Records/Epic, MOVLP232

"Judgment Night" is the soundtrack to the 1993 film of the same name. It was released on September 14, 1993. Every song on the soundtrack was a collaboration between hip-hop artists and rock/metal artists. The album peaked at #17 on the Billboard 200 and produced four singles. Following suit to earlier successful collaborations, such as: Aerosmith & Run DMC "Walk This Way" (1986), and Anthrax & Public Enemy "Bring The Noise" (1991), the "Judgement Night OST" was received positively. Entertainment Weekly wrote at the time of release: "can't vouch for the film, but the album is a MUST", while Rolling Stone said of the soundtrack, "Judgment Night's bracing rap rock is like the wedding of hillbilly and 'race' music that started the whole thing in the first place....It's an aspiring re-birth".

© 2019 by Emil Chiru

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