5150 ($5 SPECIAL)

SKU: 925394-2
Label:
Warner Bros
Category:
Hard Rock
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"he power struggle within Van Halen was often painted as David Lee Roth's ego running out of control -- a theory that was easy enough to believe given his outsized charisma -- but in retrospect, it seems evident that Eddie Van Halen wanted respect to go along with his gargantuan fame, and Roth wasn't willing to play. Bizarrely enough, Sammy Hagar -- the former Montrose lead singer who had carved out a successful solo career -- was ready to play, possibly because the Red Rocker was never afraid of being earnest, nor was he afraid of synthesizers, for that matter. There was always the lingering suspicion that, yes, Sammy truly couldn't drive 55, and that's why he wrote the song, and that kind of forthright rocking is evident on the strident anthems of 5150. From the moment the album opens with the crashing "Good Enough," it's clearly the work of the same band -- it's hard to mistake Eddie's guitars, just as it's hard to mistake Alex and Michael Anthony's pulse, or Michael's harmonies -- but the music feels decidedly different. Where Diamond Dave would have strutted through the song with his tongue firmly in cheek, Hagar plays it right down the middle, never winking, never joking. Even when he takes a stab at humor on the closing "Inside" -- joshing around about why the guys chose him as a replacement -- it never feels funny, probably because, unlike Dave, he's not a born comedian. Then again, 5150 wasn't really intended to be funny; it was intended to be a serious album, spiked by a few relentless metallic rockers like "Get Up," but functioning more as a vehicle to showcase Van Halen's -- particularly the guitarist's -- increasing growth and maturity. There are plenty of power ballads, in "Why Can't This Be Love" and "Love Walks In," there's a soaring anthem of inspiration in "Dreams," and even the straight-up rocker "Best of Both Worlds" is tighter and leaner than the gonzo excursions of "Panama" and "Hot for Teacher." And that's where Hagar comes in: Diamond Dave didn't have much patience for plainspoken lyrics or crafting songs, but Sammy does and he brings a previously unheard sense of discipline to the writing on 5150. Not that Hagar is a craftsman like Randy Newman, but he's helped push Van Halen into a dedication on writing full-fledged songs, something that often seemed an afterthought in the original lineup. And so Van Hagar was a bit of an odd mix -- a party band and a party guy, slowly veering into a bourgeois concept of respectability, something that eventually sunk the band -- but on 5150 it worked because they had the songs and the desire to party, so those good intentions and slow tunes don't slow the album down; they give it variety and help make the album a pretty impressive opening act for Van Halen Mach II." - Allmusic Guide

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    $6.00
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    $13.00
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    $11.00
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    $3.00
  • To commemorate their 10th anniversary, Riverside has recorded a new 3 song “mini-album”. This 33 minute work consists of three long tracks that segue into one cohesive whole. Stylistically it’s a return to the spacier melancholy sound of their debut “Out Of Myself”. Memories In My Head is a musical rollercoaster ride of deep emotional power. This new release also marks the band's return to the Laser’s Edge, the label that they began their incredible journey with. Recommended to fans of Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, and Anathema.
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  • "There's no doubt that every genre has its leaders. Bands who through a confidence and display of ability, rise above the others who simply seem to follow in their wake. Primal Fear are one such band, leading the Euro Power Metal genre as if it is their own to do with as they please. In essence what they choose to do is, in truth, similar to countless other bands and still reliant on a blueprint created by the likes of Accept and Judas Priest many, many years ago. However with the class of Alex Beyrodt and Magnus Karlsson on guitars, PF already have a head start on the opposition, so when you add to that the bass bombast of Mat Sinner, drumming displays from Randy Black and the ultra powerful vocal viciousness of Ralf Scheepers, then immediately it becomes apparent why Primal Fear reign supreme.That line-up has been stable for some four years now and it shows on Delivering The Black, amazingly this band's tenth studio offering. What does it sound like? Well truth be told you know that already because Primal Fear do what they do so well, that tinkering with the sound would be merely to stray from a tried, tested and well loved formula. However the sheer energy and conviction behind the likes of "King For A Day", "Alive & On Fire" and "Inseminoid" ensures that what this Beyrodt produced monster of an album delivers, never falls short of fist punchingly good.However while each and every one of the ten tracks on show here (twelve and a "single" mix of "Death Comes Knocking" if you buy the deluxe version – and you know you really want to...) pulsates, gyrates and convulsates, the two which really stand out as the central pieces of Delivering The Black are the aforementioned, but full version of "Death Comes Knocking" and "One Night In December", both of which reach towards and beyond the seven minute mark. Orchestral embellishments are unobtrusively added and both tracks evolve through a variety of moods and atmospheres, while still sounding 100% like prime-time Primal. Add to that an acoustic based, but bombastically delivered slower number in the shape of "Born With A Broken Heart", where Leaves Eyes' Liv Kristine adds backing vocals and Delivering The Black stands out as an individual and ambitious album, while still being completely and utterly what this band have always been about. Something many acts have tried to do and failed.While a few new elements are successfully introduced here, the old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" still springs to mind and rest assured that Primal Fear are in full, glorious, working order." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $19.00
  • Here's a nice archival discovery courtesy of Esoteric Recordings.  Fields was the post-Rare Bird trio consisting of keyboardist Graham Field, ex-King Crimson drummer Andy McCullough, and bassist Alan Barry.  Their 1971 eponymous release on CBS is a prog rock gem in which Field shows off his abilities as an organ player.Contrasts is a previously unknown to exist second album that sat on a shelf gathering dust since 1972.  It finds Alan Barry replaced by ex-Supertramp Frank Farrell on bass and vocals.  Field concentrates on organ but he does play some synthesizer.  The music has a melodic feel that reminds a little bit of Spring.  Comes with plenty of liner notes by Sid Smith.
    $16.00
  • Remixed and remastered edition comes with a bonus CD with instrumental tracks and demos."Death was unquestionably one of the, and arguably the primary innovators of the death metal genre, but it was with this album that Death truly built their legacy as one of the greatest metal bands ever. This marked a new phase for Death, turning them from a band into essentially a Chuck Schulinder solo project, with every song on this album, and all future Death albums, being written by Chuck alone. This also marked the beginning of a series of releases of rare, extraordinary quality culminating in the release of the phenemenol Sound of Perseverance, which I consider to be the best Death album, and one of the few greatest albums ever recorded by anyone. If you haven't heard any Death, that is perhaps a better place to start, but this fantastic release still belongs in any metal fans collection, and is probably my second favorite Death album.Though Death was initially a pure Death metal band, this release and all future Death releases are better described as progressive death-thrash, perhaps leaning a bit more towards the thrash side. It's difficult to say why this is, other than to say that it feels more like thrash than death, to me anyway. Though it maintains much of the increased brutality of death metal, the riffs are very thrashy structurally, and they are always clean and crisp, not blurry and noisy as they tend to be in fast death metal. As a whole the riffs come a cross as a stylistic melding of those found in Reign in Blood and Beneath the Remains. Similarly, the drumming tends to be more thrashy, avoiding the blast-beat style drumming also common to death metal. Speaking of the drumming, Sean Reinert of Cynic is a fantastic drummer, though I prefer the later work of Gene Hoglan and Richard Christy. Sean doesn't seem to have as much personality stylistically as do those 2. To his advantage, he is probably the most accomplished double bass drummer I've ever heard, with even more extensive use of them than the latter 2. He can do them incredibly fast, but still mixes up the tempos more than any drummer I've heard. The rhythm guitar work is excellent as well, some of the fastest and most technically accomplished work around. Chuck seems unable to write an uninteresting riff. The solos/leads are good, but not great, and not nearly as good as they'd become just one album later. They still have their moments, particularly on the instrumental Cosmic Sea and and Lack of Comprehension. The bass is, sadly, pretty much MIA except on the aforementoined Cosmic Sea, where he does a nice, if short solo. Chuck's inimitable vocals fit the music very well, and he writes some thoughtful lyrics.The only real conceivable complaint against this album is that other than the relatively mellow instrumental it has little variety. The intensity rarely relents, and it tends to focus on the extremely fast tempos, though every track drops down to more mid-paced tempos at leat occasionally. However, though it lacks variety, it is very consistent, with the track quality ranging from very good to brilliant. The opener, Flattening of Emotions is probably my favorite track, and is the fastest and most unrelentingly intense track on the album, though it still has a very memorable chorus. The next track, Suicide Machine, is another standout. A bit slower, though it still knows when to kick it up to speed and its got another strong chorus. Lack of Comprehension is another speedy number, with some nice stuttering, jumpy riffs and short leads thrown in as well.(It also has the best solo on the album.) Anyway, enough about the individual tracks. They all rule.Thats really about all I got to say. Truly, a great metal album. Get it."
    $15.00