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The Scrounger's Report

May 11, 2004

The Where the Hell You Been? Scrounger's Report

It's been quite a while since my last Scrounger's Report. What with changing job demands, changing hobbies (I'm not doing as much CD collecting lately -- a bit burnt out on it), and the price of gasoline hitting $2 per gallon, the scrounging trips have been few and far between. I drove back to Lancaster, PA to visit Mom for Mother's Day, and while out there hit a few places, and then one or two once I got back to Illinois. Found a few interesting pieces.

One for the trade list:

In 3D - Barrage. 1987. Refuge Records (Canada) Incredibly tough to find Christian Hi-Tech AOR. Very melodic stuff! Contact me off-list if you're interested.

The keepers:

Pink Cream 69 - Only the Good (CD single). 1995. Sony/Epic. 4-track single from the "Change" album. While "Change" was an alternative abomination in comparison with both earlier and later works, this single has unplugged versions of two songs: "Funny Words" and "Change".

Mother's Finest - Live. 1979. CBS/Epic Records. Pretty solid live effort, mostly covers.

Phil Driscoll - Warriors. 1990. Word Records. Imagine Bob Seger crossed with Joe Cocker, also playing the trumpet. Since I started playing the trumpet again after 15 years, I've been picking up some jazz and classical trumpet CDs; this falls somewhere in the mix...

Gary Moore - Corridors of Power. 1983. Mirage/Relativity. I already have this CD, but the artwork is completely different. The old one has a black cover with wording in red, depicting a 3-D view down a corridor with Gary Moore standing in it. This new one is a fog-obscured stage shot with a sillhouette of Gary holding his guitar, with a chrome "Gary Moore" logo above it. Very retro (by today's standards).

Tad Morose - Modus Vivendi. 2003. Century Media. You want melodic *and* heavy? This is it. Quite excellent!

Ivanhoe - Symbols of Time. 1995. Avalanche Records. Finally replaced this CDR. Took me long enough... Prog metal; the lead vocalist can be a bit shrill at times.

Badger - Fierce Rock 'N Roll. 1989. Bagaboo Productions. I had this years ago, but traded it away. Mediocre indy hard rock, but quite tough to find.

Michael Schenker Group - Be Aware of Scorpions. 2001. Steamhammer/SPV. Some good stuff on this one; a bit more powerful than his usual offerings.

Tarot - Suffer Our Pleasures. 2003. Metal Blade Records. A mistake gone right. I *completely* misread the cover and thought it was "Riot" instead of "Tarot". It wasn't until I was opening the disc several miles down the road that I noticed my error. As it turns out, some pretty decent heavy metal. The lead vocalist is a bit throaty and gruff for my tastes, but musically this is quite solid.

Jaded Heart - Trust. 2004. Ulftone Music (Germany). Wow! As much as I like "The Journey Will Never End", I think they may have surpassed it with this offering. This thing is a melodic monster!

Y&T - Unearthed Vol. 1. 2003. Meanstreak Music. All sorts of unreleased material here; haven't listened yet.

Ambush - Infestation. 1999. Incubus Records. Interesting melodic heavy metal. A bit of a synth-goth thing going on with the rhythm line at times, overlayed by more traditional heavy metal vocals. Sometimes sounds like W.A.S.P. meets Metallica.

Highwire II - Breaking Out. 2003. Self-released. Decent melodic heavy metal. Production isn't the greatest, but it's still worthwhile.

Trust - Repression (English Version). 1980. Epic/Sony Records. The only material from "Trust" I'd heard previously was their live CD, and it never did much for me (probably because it was sung all in French). This studio effort is quite a bit better; I didn't relaize that they had released 2 versions of the album, one in French and one in English (like Loudness did with several of their albums, releasing them as both Japanese and English versions).

Andy Scott's Sweet - The Answer. 1995. Pseudonym Records (Holland). The one other ASS (nice acronym!) disc I have is later and more hard rocking than what you traditionally think of with Sweet. Haven't listened to this one yet.

Russ Ballard - Winning/Barnet Dogs. 1997. Renaissance Records. Since stuff on the now-defunct Renaissance label is becoming harder to locate, I've been snatching up discs that I don't already have whenever I find them. This is a 2-on-1, the two albums originally having been released in 1976 and 1980. Poppy AOR; definitely an acquired taste.

Now the fun stuff:

Gotthard - The Hamburg Tapes. 1996. BMG/Victor (Japan). Been wanting this one for a while, but never found it at a reasonable price. This wasn't reasonable either ($20) but for a sealed Jap import I decided to bite the bullet and finally fill that hole in the collection.

Impellitteri - Victim of the System. 1993. BMG/Victor (Japan). Another expensive EP. Early '90s Impellitteri is incredible stuff. If anyone's interested, I now have one of these without the tray card or OBI that is for sale/trade...

Harlequin - S/T. 1990. Frantic Metal. Features Jerry Harrison from Icon. I had heard nothing but bad things about this CD, but while it's a little rough around the edges in places, it's not anywhere as bad as what I was expecting.

Kryst the Conqueror - Deliver Us From Evil. 1989. Cyclopean Music. Another tough find that people claim sounds awful. I don't have any problem with it. Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, with members of "The Misfits".

Crown of Thorns - S/T. 1991. Amazing Management. Not sure exactly what this is. It's a 6-track EP, with several of the tracks being the same as on the Now & Then S/T released 2 years later, and the rest showing up on "21 Thorns" released in 1995. The artwork (both cover and tray card) are black, with text in white. On the back it says "48 Track Masters".

Badd Boyz - S/T. 1993. Alfa Brunette (Japan). Been looking for this one for quite a while! Paul Shortino belting out some excellent melodic hard rock. Still sealed with OBI after all these years...

and lastly:

Talked one of the shops I frequent into selling me all their CD singles in a single bulk lot. They had been sitting in a storeroom since the store moved locations, and they hadn't gotten around to putting them out again in almost a year. All sorts of genres represented (mostly hard rock, pop, and alternative promos from 1989 to 1994 or so). I'll go through them and see which ones I need for my collection, then I'll have a boatload available for trade, assuming there are others here who collect CD singles. There were approximately 900 in the lot.

Til Next Time, -Dan

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