Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

The Pirate Vault #9

Iron Maiden – Somewhere In Time / Annihilator – Never, Neverland

I taped the “Somewhere In Time” album with Side 2 first and Side 1 second, because I didn’t want the 45 minute per side constraint to cut off “Alexander The Great”. I preferred that song over “Heaven Can Wait”.

“Never, Neverland” is the follow up to “Alice In Hell” and although each song on the album has some good guitar sections, it’s patchy overall.

Night Ranger / Deep Purple / Queen

This mix tape was done based on songs I liked at a particular point in time. I recorded it at my cousins place.

Halfway To The Sun, I Did It For Love, Reason To Be, Restless Kind

I didn’t like the “Man In Motion” album. But the songs listed here are what I would call my favorites. More musically than lyrically.

Like check out these masterpiece lyrics from “Halfway To The Sun” which was more suited for Motley Crue or Aerosmith.

So take them overdone lips
And that million dollar smile
And go use them up on some younger pup
That’ll spend his time and money on your style

They went their separate ways in the 80s.

Jack Blades teamed up with Tommy Shaw and Ted Nugent, bringing us two stellar albums Damn Yankees. Along the way Shaw and Blades wrote a lot of songs for other artists as well. One of my favorites is the Vince Neil track, “You’re Invited But Your Friend Can’t Come”.

“Burn” and “Mistreated”, I copied because they are awesome songs and I wanted to learn em.

Queen really came into my life in the 90s because of a few random things.

My cousin Mega was a huge fan and he kept playing me their more rockier songs.

“I Want It All” released in 1989, was all over the charts in Australia and then it kept getting played on radio.

Metallica covered “Stone Cold Crazy” in 1991 and it blew me away.

Lynch Mob covered “Tie Your Mother Down” in 1992 and it also blew me away. Suddenly I’m going back and listening to Queen.

The Prophet Song” is from the “A Night At The Opera” album. It’s a blast at 8 plus minutes. I felt like I was in a “Conan The Barbarian” movie. Savatage would take this style and run with it, during the Zachary Stevens fronted era.

Lily Of The ValleyTenement Funster, Flick Of The Wrist, Stone Cold Crazy

All of these songs are from the excellent “Sheer, Sheet Heart Attack”. If you like rock and metal music, there is no way you can’t like this album.

Rocktober Radio Recordings

Triple M was one hell of a radio station once upon a time. And from the late 90s and onwards, it morphed to just another radio station that played the same as most of the other stations. Even the presenters had no rock credibility anymore. But once upon a time it was a bonafide rock station. October also brought forth Rocktober at Triple M.

Don’t Tell Me What To Do – Baby Animals

Suzi DeMarchi is one awesome frontwoman. I saw the band live at Revesby Workers and man they could play.

For those who don’t know DeMarchi was also married to Nuno Bettencourt.

This song is the first single from their second studio album, “Shaved And Dangerous” released in 1993. DeMarchi and Bettencourt also wrote a song together for this album and Nuno even produced and wrote a few songs for her “Telelove” solo album released in 1999. I like this album more than the debut but it’s the debut that keeps selling.

The Flame Trees – Cold Chisel

This is their best song. It’s melancholic and hopeful at the same time.

Sister Havana – Urge Overkill

One hit wonders with this song, which has a riff similar to songs like “Fantasy” by Aldo Nova and “Jesse’s Girl” by Rick Springfield.

Personally I liked it and it rocked hard during an 90s era that tried to kill rock.

Soul To Squeeze – RHCP

It was a B side from their massive “BSSM” album. Then it was released as a single and it went massive. You can’t keep a good song down.

Why Can’t This Be Love (Live), Dreams (Live) by Van Halen

These tracks were taken from their live album. It was very rare in the 90s for radio stations to play live songs.

Janies Got A Gun (Live), Rag Doll (Live), Love In The Elevator (Live), Dude Look Like A Lady (Live) by Aerosmith

Aerosmith songs were recorded during an Oz tour I think. The band is firing on all cylinders here, delivering songs from their two biggest 80s albums.

Runaway Train by Soul Asylum

I saw these guys on an MTV awards show and the songs music, and melodies connected immediately because it reminded me of the 70s acts.

Are You Going My Way, Believe by Lenny Kravitz

“Are You Going My Way” was overplayed. It went to Number 1 in Australia. My favorite is the ballad and the outro solo to “Believe” is brilliant.

Twisted Sister – Big Hits And Nasty Cuts / Def Leppard – Retroactive

I don’t know why I felt the need to copy the Twisted Sister “Greatest Hits” album to a cassette. But I did.

“Retroactive” from Def Leppard is excellent. “Desert Song” and “Fractured Love” are two of my favorites and they have Steve Clark all over em.

These unfinished songs from the “Hysteria” recording sessions, show how creative an artist is at certain points in time. The guys in Def Leppard wrote over three albums worth of music for “Hysteria”.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Pirate Vault #8

Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls Live in Providence 8-8-1987

I’ve got the bootleg on LP and I couldn’t find any YouTube clips from this concert, but there is one titled Motley Crue – Full Concert – 10/10/87 – Oakland Coliseum Stadium (OFFICIAL) which has the same set list, starting off with the Dave Rose “Stripper” song as the backing tape, but some songs are edited out for some reason.

And “Dancin On Glass” is one of my favourite tracks from the “Girls” album, so it’s cool to see it in the set list and to hear it get the live treatment.

Because it’s a god damn great song and it works perfectly for the live show, with its sleazy groove and blues influenced vocal melodies. The other songs are more or less part of Motley canon and still part of the set list, and the Jack Daniels break is the guys drinking Jack Daniels, basically an early version of Tommy’s tittie cam.

Also on Tommy Lee, he is a very underrated drummer. He holds down the fort, consistent in his tempo’s and every cymbal crash and every drum fill and every ad lib drum fill is on beat.

Extreme – self titled debut
David Lee Roth – Eat Em And Smile

There is so much guitar on this tape, from two giants in Nuno Bettencourt and Steve Vai.

Like Steve Vai’s guitar is having a convo with David Lee Roth in “Yankee Rose”. Nuno’s is supporting an harmonica lead in “Little Girls”.

And both guitarists don’t play stock power chords chords as they decorate each riff with single note scalar progressions, triad chords, hammer ons and pull offs and palm muted arpeggios.

Iron Maiden – self titled debut
Metal Ballads

This tape fell into my possession from a girl who dumped her boyfriend. And since this mix tape was created by her now ex-boyfriend, she didn’t want it. Both sides were metal ballads. I didn’t mind side 2 as it had some cool guitar like Whitesnake with “Restless Heart” and “Is This Love”, Bad English, Firehouse, John Waite and Slaughter.

Side 1 from memory had some ballad Bolton songs which was enough for me to overdub. I actually liked Michael Bolton on his first couple of solo albums, because they are good melodic hard rock albums.

I also don’t know what I was thinking when I used the words Metal and Ballads together. It just doesn’t make sense. I should of merged them, Metallica style, to become Metallads.

Actually that’s even worse now, Metal Lads. What is that?

And I added some WASP tracks at the end of the Maiden album, just to fill up the side.

How good is the intro to “Prowler”?

Led Zeppelin – IV
Led Zeppelin – my selection from Remasters
(and I don’t know why I selected some of the same songs I had on side 1 courtesy of “IV”).

When I was burned out on my 80’s music in the 90’s and I wasn’t really biting the new Seattle sounds as essential listening, Led Zeppelin and hundreds of other 70 acts became my go to sounds.

And I loved the world and the sounds they created because rock music was about trying things. No other artist wrote a song like “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “Kashmir” or “Stairway To Heaven”. Ohh, wait, scratch that last part on “Stairway” as a judge and a jury will decide the Stairway case. The insanity of it all.

And I remember reading the making of “The Wall” and how complicated it was because the band members didn’t speak to each other, and Roger Waters wanted total control and the record label wanted it to have more accessible songs which Pink Floyd refused to do and the record label wanted it out at a certain time, which the band refused to do. And that constant struggle between creating art vs money thrown at the artist continued.

Because the labels were scared to drop an artist who had sales, because there was nothing worse than having an artist you dropped, sell a million records on another label. So they kept em on their label, put up with em and gave in to their demands, because the artist had the power. As Ricky Gervais said in his Golden Globe speech, “he doesn’t care”, the artists had the same motto. They didn’t care, it was all about the sex and the drugs and the sex.

But MTV gave the record labels a lot of power because they created it and controlled it and when music entered the lounge rooms, sales of recorded music went through the roof, which meant a lot of dollars on their profit sheets.

Suddenly, the labels had the power to kill an artist’s career straight away. And Seattle didn’t decimate the hair bands. The record labels did, by signing so many “look a likes” and “sound a likes” that the market reached its saturation point.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Pirate Vault #7

The little box of cassette tapes keeps bringing back some memories.

Guns N Roses mix and 7th Son of A 7th Son

The Gunners mix is a weird one, a combination of live tracks from B sides and “Use Your Illusion” tracks, along with “Patience” from the “Lies” EP.

I chucked in “Breaking The Law” from Judas Priest towards the end because the band I was in was covering it, and in the 90’s when we played the song, people thought it was our own song. Totally clueless to the songs origin or we played it that bad, they couldn’t recognize it.

And “So Tired” from Ozzy’s “Bark At The Moon” album is one of the best songs Ozzy has written with just one finger and a piano.

Side 2 has the excellent “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” album from the mighty Iron Maiden.

I remember sitting down and learning “Moonchild”, “Infinite Dreams”, “Can I Play With Madness”, “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son” and my favourite track, “The Evil That Men Do”.

Living on the razors edge alright.

Savatage Mix and Fates Warning Mix

My cousin “Mega” is four years older and at this point in time, he had more money at his disposal and was devouring new music like a sumo having breakfast.

And I had the Savatage albums with Criss Oliva up to “Gutter Ballet” on LP and “Streets: A Rock Opera” on CD, but hadn’t heard “Edge Of Thorns” and then I wasn’t sure what was going to happen after his death with the next album, but upon hearing that Alex Skolnick from Testament was involved, I was interested.

As for Fates Warning, I had the first three albums on LP and Mega was purchasing all the CD’s after that.

So on a visit to his place, I spent some time listening and cherry picking songs to fill up a side over a few albums. I guess Apple was onto something with their iTunes Store.

The Savatage tracks are made up of “Edge Of Thorns” and “Handful Of Rain” tracks, while the Fates Warning tracks are made up of “Perfect Symmetry” and “Parallels” songs.

Guitars From Hell Part I and II

I don’t know why I selected that title for this mix tape.

Side 1

“Take Me For A Little While”

It’s one of my favourite cuts from the “Coverdale/Page” album, because it could have been a massive radio hit if it was shorter, but these two legends just kept going and the song ended up almost 7 minutes long.

“Song For Love”

Nuno Bettencourt has some real good guitar moments in this song and it’s here because of it.

“You Don’t Remember , I’ll Never Forget” and “Queen In Love”

I was having a Yngwie Malmsteen moment and these two songs are accessible and Malmsteen plays for the song, with stellar riffing and picking the right moment to break loose.

“Dr Rockter”, “Love Machine” and “Sleepin In The Fire”

WASP aka Blackie Lawless just knew how to satisfy the core. These 3 songs I can put em on, and never once do I think to press skip.

“Breaking The Chains”

I had overdosed on the Dokken albums from “Tooth N Nail” so I went back to the debut.

“Hiroshima Mon Amour” and “Island In The Sun”

Did I mention I was having a Malmsteen moment?

These are tracks from the excellent and very underrated “Alcatrazz” band before Malmsteen went solo.

Notice the guitar heroes in the list on side 1. Jimmy Page, Nuno Bettencourt, Yngwie Malmsteen, George Lynch and Chris Holmes/Blackie Lawless (bassist who moved to guitar). Maybe the whiskey swilling Holmes didn’t get as much attention, but he could play and he could party. Sort of like the underrated Robin Crosby from Ratt.

Side 2

“You’re Invited But Your Friend Can’t Come” kicks it off, a cut written by Shaw and Blades for Vince Neil, but the guitar you hear is from Steve Stevens. And the solo break is worthy.

“Reason To Kill” has the excellent Al Pitrelli on guitar. It was released on “Blood And Bullets”, the excellent album from Dee Snider’s “Widowmaker” project.

“Outlaw” is from the pre Motley John Corabi fronted “The Scream” band.

“Devils Toy” is from the excellent “The Almighty” and it can be found on their “Soul Destruction” album.

“Stand Up And Fight” is from MARS, the supergroup project featuring Tony MacAlpine on guitars, Tommy Aldridge on drums, Rob Rock on vocals and Rudy Sarzo on bass.

“To Hell With The Devil” is one of my favourite cuts from the album of the same title and all those harmonies courtesy of Michael Sweet.

“Here I Go” is from “The Screaming Jets” a hard rock band from Australia. This song appears on their “Tear Of Thought” album. Guitarists, Grant Walmsley and Richard Lara really worked well together and nailed their parts, however credit needs to go to the main songsmith in bassist, Paul Woseen, who wrote the majority of songs for the band.

“Midnight/Tornado” is from the Skid Row debut. I always liked this song, but other songs got my attention early on, so I put it on a mix tape to overdose on it.

“Don’t Lie To Me” is another obscure Dokken cut that features some tasty work from George Lynch.

And to close, a Cinderella classic in “Don’t Know What You Got (Until It’s Gone)”.

And even on this list, you see a list of guitar heroes. Steve Stevens, Al Pitrelli, Bruce Bouillet, Ricky Warwick, Tony MacAlpine, Michael Sweet/Oz Fox, Grant Walmsley/Richard Lara, Dave Sabo/Scott Hill, George Lynch again and Tom Keifer/Jeff LeBar.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

The Pirate Vault #6

Electric Nights Mix Tape

Before playlists became an iTunes sensation, people who grew up before the internet called em “Mix Tapes”. One thing I enjoy is listening to different artists when I am cruising, and this is just one of those kind of mix tapes.

And I have no idea why I called it “Electric Nights”. It feels like a pretty lame title.

I also try to sequence my playlists/mix tapes like how I would like an album to be sequenced. My rough guide is;

  • TRACK 1 – The Killer Opening Track with Serious Riffage
  • TRACK 2 – The Fun Track
  • TRACK 3 – The Meant To Be “Big Hit” Track
  • TRACK 4 – The “Ballad Song” or “Experimental Song” or “We Dont Know What to Do With” Song
  • TRACK 5 – The Killer Side 1 Closer
  • TRACK 6 – The Killer Side 2 Opening Track
  • TRACK 7 – The Song That Will Not Be Played Live
  • TRACK 8 – The Cover Song or The We Are Running Out Of Ideas Song or The Melodic Rock Song We Are Not Sure Our Fans Will Like
  • TRACK 9 – The We Ran Out Of Time Song
  • TRACK 10 – The Killer Speed Metal Closer or The Killer Epic Power Ballad Closer
  • TRACK 11 – The Bonus Track


    Black Hearted Woman – Blue Murder

John Sykes brings the riffage to kick off the imaginary album with the killer opening track.

    Jet City Woman – Queensryche

Then Eddie Jackson brings the bass for track number 2 and we have lift off.

  • Fantasy – Project Driver

The supergroup project of Tony MacAlpine, Tommy Aldridge, Rob Rock, Rudi Sarzo bring the melodic rock for the track which was meant to be the big hit on the album.

  • Had Enough – Tesla

And those Sacramento rockers bring the bar room brawls with our experimental song.

  • You’re All I Need – The Scream

John Corabi and his Scream buddies bring the ballad.

    Hold The Line – Toto

I used to cover this song in bands and to this day, I can’t turn it off whenever it comes on. Steve Lukather decorates the songs tastily with power chords and melodic leads.

  • Tell Me Why – The Scream

A blues rock track with Corabi showing his vocal chops.

  • I Can See It In Your Eyes – Project Driver

Another melodic rock gem from this supergroup.

  • Freedom Slaves – Tesla

The intro of the bass and the military style marching beat is enough.

  • Nobody Rides For Free – Ratt

The palm muted guitars with the bass and drums building. A perfect closer for the perfect imaginary album.


  • Bad Boys – Whitesnake

And another John Sykes cut to bring the riffage.

  • Look What The Cat Dragged In – Poison

Shoot me but I dig the main riff from CC DeVille in this song.

  • For A Million Years – Lynch Mob

One of my favourite cuts from “Wicked Sensation” with Lynch riffing and rolling, while Oni Logan delivers a stellar vocal performance.

  • This Time – Y&T

I always enjoyed the ballads.

  • The Morning After – Ratt

The riffage from the real Ratt and Roller, Robin Crosby cements this song.

  • Temptation – Y&T

Harmony guitars, a melodic rock chorus and Meniketti’s brilliant voice.

  • You’re Gonna Break My Heart Again – Whitesnake

At this point, the imaginary album needed to be picked up with some serious riffage, so off to John Sykes I went.

  • Dust In The Wind – Kansas

One of my favourite acoustic pieces.

  • Too Late To Say Goodbye – Richard Marx

Marx is a rocker to me, and when he rocks, he does a good job.

  • Run For Your Life – Twisted Sister

One of my favourites from “Under The Blade”.

  • Lightning Strikes Again – Dokken

And we close off the album with some serious riffage from George Lynch and Don Dokken screaming, Lightningggggggg, Lightning strikes again.

Iron Maiden – Piece Of Mind and Eric Clapton/Metallica/Maiden Mix

Yeah what a tape.

An awesome Maiden album (which I have already written about in my 1984 year posts, plus will revisit when I get to my Record Vault collection of Iron Maiden), along with some Clapton songs from various albums, plus some live Metallica and Maiden stuff which would have appeared on B sides of CD singles.

Magellan – Hour Of Restoration and Impending Ascension

When I look at the song titles, I cannot even remember a lick or a word or a vocal melody. But once upon a time, it felt important to copy this from my cousin.

Aerosmith – Get A Grip

My mate, Mofartin had it, and I copied it and it served its purpose at the time, until I purchased the CD which I have covered in my Aerosmith Record Vault post.

Bad News

One of the best albums from the worst ever Rock and Roll band that ever was. Spinal Tap has nothing on these guys…

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

The Record Vault – Bon Jovi Cassettes

The Record Vault for Bon Jovi will need to be broken up over a few different posts as I have a lot of Jovi content. I didn’t even realize I’ve amassed so much.

So this one deals with the product I have less of.


This Aint A Love Song / Lonely At The Top

I was always on the lookout for singles with a B side which isn’t an album track. And the I reckon “This Aint A Love Song” is a crap song. And like the single track, “Lonely At The Top” is very similar. The next appearance of the song is on the “100,000,000 Fans Can’t Be Wrong” Boxset.

Lay Your Hands On Me (Edit) / Runaway (Live)

I got this one, because the single edit was different to the album version, basically no drum intro and a live version of “Runaway”.

How good is that synth intro in “Runaway”?

And Jovi is in top form here.

7800 Degrees Fahrenheit / Dokken – Under Lock And Key

The tape got mangled by the cassette deck, which is a risk we always took with cassette tapes. So instead of re-buying it again, I got a blank tape and dubbed it off a friend as well as “Under Lock And Key” from Dokken.


And the album is a melodic rock gem to me. Songs like “The Price Of Love”, “Only Lonely” and “Always Run To You” bring the melody and tracks like “In And Out Of Love”, “Tokyo Road”, “King Of The Mountain” and “The Hardest Part Is The Night” bring the rock.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Pirate Vault #5

The Pirate Vault box keeps on producing some great memories.

Richie Kotzen – Fever Dream and Cacophony – Metal Symphony

I was in a shred mindset between 1989 and 1992 and I was buying CD’s and albums from Shrapnel artists. And I got these albums dubbed a few years after they came out and i picked em up on CD and LP not soon after.

I heard about Cacophony from interviews I read about Jason Becker and Marty Friedman, who of course at the time had gigs with David Lee Roth and Megadeth. And the music world only got to see a brief appearance of an unbelievable musician in Jason Becker, who still writes music via his eye movements and a system his dad has set up for him due to Lou Gehrig’s disease otherwise known as ALS.  

And of course, Richie Kotzen had the Poison guitar slot, in which he co-write a brilliant blues, rock and soul album called “Native Tongue” (which could have been his solo album) and the busy man he was, he also took Ricki Rockett’s fiancé mid tour. “Layla” from Eric Clapton comes to mind right now.

Dinosaur Jr – Without A Sound and Hand It Over

I was in a hard rock band with a drummer who was into grungy sounding bands, so while I exposed him to Dream Theater, he told me to sink my teeth into Dinosaur Jr.

I was hooked from the opening arpeggios and single note lines in “Feel The Pain” from the “Without A Sound” album released in 1994. And the heaviness of opening track “I Don’t Think” from the “Hand It Over” album released in 1997.

Fuel – Sunburn and Santana – 3

Fuel had significant chart success in Australia with “Shimmer”, however I didn’t commit financially until the second album came out. Another band member did commit, so it was a no brainer to copy this album from them, while another band member really enjoyed the jam aspects of Santana – 3, so in order to understand what they meant at band practice, I had to dub this album.

And it’s funny how in the early 2000’s, I was experiencing a new release and a release more than 30 years old. The beauty of music is that everyone forms a connection at different times.

And the songs “Taboo” and “Toussaint L’Overture” have some of the best and emotive guitar solo work Carlos has recorded on tape. They still make the hairs on the back of my neck rise.

AC/DC – Bon Scott compilation

My mate, Mick is a mad ACCA fan. When he lived in NY for about 12 years, he saw them on every tour, every night. When they come to Australia, he sees the Sydney shows.

One day in a suburban street in Australia, at a time far away sometime in the 80s, I asked him if he was keen to make our own Best Off compilation of Bon Scott material while we polished off a box of beer.

So off to work we went, debating which song should make it and which song shouldn’t. And a few hours later the holy grail of Bon Scott material that we classified as essential was ready to be blasted in the car stereo.

And I still hold that view to this day.

We were meant to meet and eventually do a Brian Johnson compilation, but life got in the way and we never did.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Pirate Vault #1

Remember when the Recording Industry spent money on advertising stating that “home taping would kill the industry” and they wanted cassettes removed from sale, only to realize that once they started producing music onto cassettes, another revenue stream became available.

Sound familiar. Streaming is bad. Let’s ban it. Wait a minute, let’s work with it and wow, look at our profit lines.

Cinderella – “Night Songs” and Pearl Jam – “Vs

There was another band on Side 2 which I overdubbed for Pearl Jam’s second album. I can’t even remember the name of the band.

And I couldn’t have overdubbed Cinderella because I didn’t buy the “Night Songs” LP until the 90s, via the second hand shops.

“Night Songs” came from my cousin Mega around 1987 and “Vs” came from a drummer in a band I was in.

WASP – “The Headless Children” and Twisted Sister – “Ruff Cutts”

My cousin Mega was again my point of reference here. “The Headless Children” is a massive album from WASP, one of their best.

And Mega has the TS logo on his arm.

At this point in time he also found the very rare and hard to find “Ruff Cutts” from Twisted Sister so it was a no brainer to tape that, purely for the rawness of the sound.

And the beauty of a 90 cassette meant that I had 45 minutes available on each side.

Which I filled up by other artists at separate points in time.

In this case I added “Out In The Fields” by Gary Moore, then at some point I added “Anybody Listening” the band version by Queensryche and “Seasons” from Badlands.

Tesla – Mechanical Resonance And Kansas – Point Of No Return

I taped these ones myself from the LPs so I could play the cassette on the Walkman. Remember those.

And I added a couple of Kansas tracks from the 80s at the end.

Alternate Reality, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Piracy Was Rampant Even In The Eighties

Back in the Eighties, piracy was rampant. Most of my music collection during that period was made up of music taped onto blank cassettes. My “wealthier” older cousin in Sydney always seemed to have his finger on the pulse on the latest releases and every time I visited, I was armed with blank cassettes and proceeded to copy (download) albums that he recommended to me. There was also another shadier character locally that used to sell dubbed cassettes from 50 cents to $1 dollar. He then used the money obtained from his buyers to purchase more albums that he would sell to us on dubbed cassettes.

I was not alone in doing this, nor was I the first. Most of the music from the seventies that was passed down to me by my brothers was in the same format (blank cassettes that got filled with music).

So what did my brothers do in the Eighties, when they were old enough and had their own incomes. They started purchasing the music they listened to in the seventies. It worked like this; for example, they would purchase “Destroyer” from Kiss on LP or CD and once they did that I would get the cassette copied version that they had.

Another interesting thing in the Seventies was that while we all lived together, we only needed one version of the album to listen to the music. So what happens when family members move out. One brother purchases the album, the other brother purchases the album and then I need to purchase the album and so on. You can see the exponential growth here when children grow up and move out.

So what did I do in the Nineties, when I had more cash at hand. I purchased every album I had on dubbed cassettes on CD. I re-purchased every LP I had on CD. I went to second hand record shops and purchased LP’s from the Eighties and Seventies very cheap. If I found a real gem in those purchases, I then purchased that album on CD.

I went to the Record Fairs and Collector Fairs that started to gain traction during this period. Again, I purchased a lot of LP’s very cheap at those Fairs. I saw it as a try before you buy. If I found a real gem, I then purchased that album on CD.

I was not the only one that did the above. Based on sales figures during this period, the Record Labels had their largest ever profits to date. Everything that came after 1999 has been linked back to the unbelievable profits the record labels made during 1998 and 1999.

In the end, did all the piracy from the Seventies and Eighties hurt any of the bands that I supported. These are the bands that where pirated heavily on cassettes (from a list of the shady dealer selling them for 50 cents to $1 dollar);

Motley Crue
Bon Jovi
Iron Maiden
Guns N Roses
Van Halen
David Lee Roth
Skid Row
Twisted Sister
Def Leppard
Judas Priest
Yngwie Malmsteen
Night Ranger
Ozzy Osbourne
White Lion
Joe Satriani
Michael Schenker
Quiet Riot
Black Sabbath
Deep Purple

The answer is a resounding NO. All of those bands mentioned above are still around today in some form or another. All of those bands are part of pop culture in some form or another. They still have a loyal cult following and that cult following happened because of piracy.

If it wasn’t for cassette piracy, I never would have heard the full length albums of bands that did the rounds on MTV. I never would have heard “Master Of Puppets” from Metallica (I know own “Master Of Puppets” on CD, mp3 and LP).

The real hurter of bands was the Record Label. It was never piracy. Due to the labels having all the power in breaking a band, plus having all the control over the distribution, they would offer bands an unfair deal that stacked the deck in the Record Labels favour. For any musician that wanted their music exposed to a greater audience, it was the only option they had.

A lot of studies have come out stating that “pirates actually purchase the most.” I know it is a cliché statement at the moment however back in the Eighties I went to an Iron Maiden concert without actually owning an original copy of any of their albums. I went to a Megadeth concert without owning an original copy of their albums. The same with Bon Jovi, David Lee Roth, Guns N Roses and Stryper.

Music, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Record Label Innovation – Bring Back The CD in Blu-Ray?

For years the compact disc was the preferred audio format for music fans. In addition those years were the most profitable in the recording industry’s history.

Fans/collectors of vinyl and cassettes started to re-purchase albums they already owned for the sake of convenience. That is what the CD offered. Convenience.

It saddens me to keep on hearing that the recording industry still prefers a return to that era instead of innovating.

The most recent “innovation” comes from Universal Music Group.

UMG is launching a new audio format called High Fidelity Pure Audio. Basically it is a Blu-ray disc that delivers high definition audio recordings. This is yet another attempt to reinstate a long-gone profit margin that has all been done before.

There is nothing innovative about re-factoring the compact disc.

Remember convenience. Fans didn’t choose to replace the CD format with MP3’s simply because MP3s sounded better. It was about convenience. Convenience is key here. For personal use, portability and speed is worth more. That is what UMG fails to understand.

UMG is banking on a demand for high-fidelity re-releases of their back catalogs.

The label business models are built upon lack of competition in their market. Once upon a time the only music available came from the established recording industry. They told us what we were going to listen to and in what format.

I liked CDs, I really did, but after a while I ran out of space. I still buy physical CDs from time to time however I never buy CDs for the music itself.

The last physical discs I bought were for the special edition of Coheed and Cambria’s Afterman: Ascension / Descension double album. This package was was sold when Ascension released in September 2012 and Descension was months away (February 2013).

So when the package arrived The Descension disc in the box is completely blank. The purpose of this is that I am meant to burn the 320 high-quality Descension track downloads to it. I still haven’t bothered to do it, however the art book that came with it is priceless.