King’s X - "Visions" (Live Love in London, 2010)
I’ve never been a fan of this song until it breaks into the “jammy” section toward the end (as I said back in my June 13 Five). This live performance doesn’t change my mind in the least. The album, however, is one to check out for anyone with the slightest interest in King’s X.
Phil Keaggy - "Morning Snow" (Acoustic Sketches, 1996)
This “cleaning out the closet” album by CCM guitarist extraordinaire Phil Keaggy has appeared in three of my Fives—two (here and here) at Popdose and one (here) back in the IckMusic days—so I won’t belabor the point. Suffice it to say, if you are a guitar fan and you haven’t yet checked out Phil Keaggy, what are you waiting for?!
Anthrax - "Madhouse" (The Greater of Two Evils, 2004)
Interesting “live in the studio” take on a classic-era Anthrax tune featuring then-vocalist John Bush and then-guitarist Rob Caggiano. I get what Anthrax was trying to do with this album (at least I think I do), but in my opinion, despite my love for John Bush, few of the tracks are actually improved by this reimagining.
KISS - "Deuce" (KISS Demos)
Early demo on one of my favorite KISS songs (and one of my favorite Ace solos) from a collection of KISS-related demos that I acquired from a snobby music friend of mine.
John Davis - “Paranoid” (Arigato!, 2007)
Superdrag frontman John Davis’ solo album Arigato! has popped up in three of my former Fives (I’ll save you the linkage this time), so it should come as no surprise to anyone that I really like this one. You’ll have to take my word, though, as I can’t find a streaming version of this anywhere.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of what many fans regard as King’s X’s magnum opus. I don’t even remember the circumstances surrounding my discovery of this album. I just remember that one day it didn’t exist for me, and the next I couldn’t imagine a world without it.
Many words have been written and much has been said about this album that, for many, defined the King’s X sound, and I feel completely inadequate to add any more than to simply state that Gretchen will remain one of my favorite albums of all time for a very, very long time to come.
Here’s a quick Five from 12:30 this morning as I was wrapping up some work on a project that I am desperately behind on, hence the almost non-existent commentary from me. Enjoy the weekend. I know I won’t be unless I get a lot more done today than I have up to this point.
Black ‘N Blue - "Chains Around Heaven" (Black ‘N Blue, 1984)
Ah, this takes me back to my hair metal teenage days.
Andrew Osenga - "Wanted" (Letters to the Editor, Vol. 1, 2007)
Opening track of a really cool recording project by CCM artist Andrew Osenga that I wrote much more about in this Five.
As most King’s X fans would probably agree, Manic Moonlight is far from my favorite release. It saw the trio branch out into sonic experimentation with samples, loops, drum machines, and the like, which threw most of us a curve to say the least. But man if Ty Tabor doesn’t just totally rip it up on guitar on this track!
Megadeth - "How the Story Ends" (Endgame, 2009)
I guess I had higher hopes for this—as well as the reunited team of Mustaine and Ellefson on TH1RT3EN—but Megadeth’s modern-day output has left me a bit cold. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with it. The songs are good, with good riffs and even some moments of groove-iness, they are executed well, and Dave’s vocals sound great (methinks there is some studio trickery going on however), but for the most part, I can take it or leave it. It just doesn’t have that special something that early Megadeth had, especially albums like Rust in Peace. “How the Story Ends” is one of the better tunes from this album, and I think it would have been a better album closer than “The Right to Go Insane” (I mean, c’mon, how can you not end an album called Endgame with “How the Story Ends?!”) but I can’t help feeling a little “meh” over the whole affair.
The Beatles - “Mr. Moonlight” (Beatles for Sale, 1964)
Although a bit “crooner-ish” for my tastes, it’s the Beatles. What else can I say?
Ty Tabor - "Freakin’" (Trip Magnet - The EP, 2010)
Weird little 2-minute closing track of an experimental EP from one of my all-time favorite guitarists. This entire album is a bit of a left turn from what you would expect from Ty, but I’m somewhat of a completist when it comes to King’s X.
Scorpions - "The Zoo" (Animal Magnetism, 1980)
Classic plodding riff and excellent wah-wah-drenched lead from the Scorpions. This album gets a big of a black eye in the band’s catalog, but I love it.
Lecrae (feat. Andy Mineo and Papa San) - "The Fever (feat. Andy Mineo and Papa San)" (Church Clothes, Vol. 2, 2013)
Um, yeah. So this is in my library because I bought it for my teenaged son who is infatuated with Christian rap. Can’t say I’ve ever heard this before, or that I like it much, or that I will ever listen to it again on purpose. I’ve tried to turn him onto “real” rap/hip-hop like the Beastie Boys, but he just won’t have it.
I was so sick of trying to figure out what people wanted to hear. One day I just woke up and said, “I’m not gonna play that game. I’m gonna write whatever the heck I feel like. Whatever comes out is whatever comes out, and that’s gonna be that.”