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Some hobbies are way too expensive

I love vinyl. I’ve picked up loads of used vinyl at record shops and antique stores in the Cincinnati area (where I live), Knoxville (a yearly trip), and Bowling Green (on my way to my son’s college). Generally I don’t spend more than $10 on a title, and that’s only if I really want the record and haven’t seen it elsewhere. For the most part, though, I like to stick with the bargain bins and keep most purchases under $5. I’ve found some great releases in those bargain bins, including The Guess Who, Merle Haggard, and Frank Sinatra.

Sometimes I click around on Amazon to see what some of my favorite albums would cost on vinyl, and it blows me away. In the same way that some baseball cards are ridiculously out of reach, I never expect to own any of these vinyl releases, as much as I would like to hear them in all their clicky-and-poppy glory.

Alice Cooper Van Halen

  • Alice Cooper, Along Came a Spider, $1396.48. The shock rocker’s best album since at least the late 1980s, maybe even since the glory days of the 1970s. Features a harmonica performance by Ozzy Osbourne and a killer guitar solo from Slash. Yet, I will never buy it at the current price (although, it does have free shipping!!!).
  • Van Halen, A Different Kind of Truth, $179.98. I was fortunate to find the first five original VH releases at reasonable prices, and received the remastered 1984 for my birthday last year. (Actually, come to think of it, the debut was a Christmas gift along with the turntable three years ago). ADKOT is another story. The record was panned by many, but I love how it reaches back into the vault and updates some old riffs that were used on demos in the 1970s. But at this price, I’ll have to stick to the shiny compact disc version.
  • Van Halen, Balance, $419.78. Sammy’s last full album with the band is the only Van Hagar production I really enjoy. “Can’t Stop Loving You,”Milli Vanilli “Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do),” “Feeling,” “Not Enough,” and “Take Me Back (Deja Vu)” all rank among my favorite Van Halen songs. I really hope I stumble across this in a bargain bin someday (or even for $10), because I’m not dropping four Benjamins and a Jackson regardless of how much I like it.
  • Cinderella, Still Climbing, $89.99. I was fortunate to find Cinderella’s debut, Night Songs, a few years ago for about $8, and I snatched it up immediately. Still Climbing, the band’s last album from 1994, has been more challenging to track down. It didn’t perform well on the charts or on radio as grunge had brainwashed everyone by the time it hit stores. The 21st century price tag is just a little out of my range.
  • Mill Vanilli, Girl You Know It’s True, $65.55. I can hear the groans. I don’t care if the guys in the picture didn’t actually sing the songs, they are still great pop songs. This is one of my go-to albums for “take me back to the easy breezy days of being a young teen in the late 1980s.” But at nearly seventy bucks? Nope.
  • Stone Temple Pilots, Core, $699.99. This album was huge in 1993, but by that time vinyl was on the outs. Everyone was listening to CDs or cassettes. I’m not sure if it was even released on vinyl in the 1990s. The “collectible” reissue from 2013 is currently going for $700. Insane.
  • Black Label Society, Mafia, $70.90. Zakk Wylde’s side-band has changed lineups frequently over the years, but with ten studio releases under the BLS moniker since 1999, it is a force to be reckoned with. My favorite album from Zakk and friends is 2005’s Mafia, which includes “In This River,” a touching song frequently dedicated in concert to Wylde’s best friend Dimebag Darrell of Pantera, who was killed in a shooting in 2004.

Some of these albums may get reissued, and hopefully I’ll be paying attention when that happens so I can buy them for about $20. In the meantime, I’ll just have to stick to my CDs and Amazon’s streaming service.

Cinderella Stone Temple Pilots Black Label Society

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Photoset: Cinderella (July 26, 2012 @ Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, Columbus, OH)

Cinderella concert photography Columbus OH

I am always amazed at how great Cinderella sounds in concert. This is my fourth experience with the band, and with the exception of one sub-par show due to the illness of singer Tom Keifer, they always impress. For a full ninety minutes, this classic hard rock outfit blasted through their biggest hits and even played a few deep cuts, including “Second Wind” from the Long Cold Winter record. While Keifer traded guitar licks with Jeff LaBar, Eric Brittingham and Fred Coury held down rhythm duties on the bass and drums, respectively.

It is difficult to ignore Keifer’s abilities on the microphone. Opening act Sebastian Bach strained to reach some of the notes from Skid Row’s heyday (and even a few of the notes from his Angel Down release), but Keifer’s voice sounded great from the beginning to the end of the show. Cinderella has not released an album of all-new material since 1994, but their live show never gets stale with the classics. Watching the band perform in concert is a treat, and an experience no hard rock fan should miss.

Cinderella concert photography Columbus OH

More photos after the jump: Read the rest of this entry

Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #8 – Cinderella “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”

Despite only releasing four studio albums, Cinderella remains one of the most popular bands from the 1980s and draw large crowds when appearing in concert. Several songs could have been picked here without affecting the group’s ranking too negatively, but the ballad “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” is the most recognizable and enduring track Cinderella recorded.

Other songs considered: “Gypsy Road,” “Nobody’s Fool,” “Shelter Me,” “Coming Home”

Purchase Cinderella music.

Today is gonna ROCK!!!!

I’ve been looking forward to this day for months.

I’m ready to get rocked like a hurricane!

New radio show

Saturday was my last live broadcast for ClassX. It was a difficult decision to make, because I really do love doing the show and the station’s playlist is incredible. However, with gas prices continuing to rise, it was no longer economical to make the trip every week. Read the rest of this entry

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