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Friday, August 22, 2008


A recent visit to Generation Records was quite fruitful.

Tom Petty - Wildflowers

Tom's second 'solo' record from 1994 features an excellent assortment of musicians. You may know them as the Heartbreakers. 'Wildflowers' is the debut record for drummer Steve Feronne, who has remained in the Petty camp ever since, as well as Producer Rick Rubin who would go on to produce the following two TP and the HB records.

I was flabbergasted to find this gem in the bins. What a stellar record, beautifully recorded, and chock full of outstanding tunes. 'You Don't Know How It Feels', and 'It's Good To Be King' aside - and I'm not knocking the quality of those wonderful tracks, 'Wildflowers' is a treasure trove of deep cuts. The LP just keeps giving through 15 tunes without a moment of anything less than great. 'To Find a Friend', Crawling Back To You', and 'Wake Up Time' rank among Tom's best compositions.

On vinyl, 'Wildflowers' is a two record set. 15 songs stretched over two discs allows for nice fat grooves, which in turn provides the most excellent quality in a listening experience.

It doesn't get much better.

Ozzy Osbourne - Speak of the Devil

Shortly after Randy Rhoads died, under pressure from the label, Ozzy recorded a two night stint at The Ritz in NYC, and released this double disc collection of Sabbath tunes. Brad Gillis, on loan from the then largely unknown Nightranger, handled the guitar duties, while Tommy Aldridge and Rudy Sarzo rounded out the band on drums and bass respectively.

'Speak of the Devil' is largely scoffed at, derided, and even disowned by Ozzy himself. I rather like it, despite it's glaring flaws: Brad Gillis, Ozzy's double tracked voice, the basic unwarranted nature of the album itself. I'm sure it's the novelty, and the nostalgia that endears the record to my heart. Regardless, the album is out of print, so I call it a score.

Aldo Nova - Subject

This one is mostly nostalgia based. I bought it when it came out (1983), and for some reason it grabbed me. Most likely the production values hooked me. It's a great sounding record.

Saxon - The Eagle Has Landed

Okay, this one is 100% nostalgia. There's no other value to it whatsoever. There's simply nothing to commend it otherwise. The song selection is decent, but the LP lacks that special Saxon magic. That's a joke.

Hey, I need it for the collection.

All good snags... I can rarely say this, but I have three of four on vinyl, the Saxon LP being the one missing.

Jackson Hearts Saxon...
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