Archive for April, 2020

Commando 5327-5330

Posted: April 30, 2020 in Comics

Commando 5327-5330 is out today in the UK. Just search “Commando comics” should you want to subscribe.

(Covers courtesy of Commando)

Started off the day with Episode 53 of the Deep Purple Podcast, titled the One Year Anniversary Extravaganza. Good show as usual and they went for a Cecil B. DeMille show this time, clocking in at two and a half hours. Lots of fun stats, greetings from fans etc. It was interesting to see that David Coverdale´s first solo album “White Snake” ranks as the Top pick when the guys analyze all the ratings from all the shows. I like that, it shows that they are thinking outside the box (and I can certainly relate). Looking forward to another year of Happy Mondays.

Got a couple of days off and I hope my “Slide It In” Double LP (Red Vinyl) pops up.

(My shot of my old copy of “White Snake”, signed by Coverdale in 1981)

Every now and then one just has to pick an album and turn the volume up to 11. For nearly 50 years I have had my favourite picks (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath etc etc), and there is no better way to get some shit out of your system. Hard rock and Metal is the natural go to music for such moments. Tonight I felt the need to crank it up and my top pick these days for this purpose is the Babymetal 2016 CD “Live At Wembley”. This one will blow your socks off, and it really is a criminally underrated live album. Everybody should have this epic release in their collection, and for a number of reasons: 1. The high energy performances (incredible musicianship), 2. Monster songs like “Babymetal Death”, “Karate”, “Megitsune” and “Road Of Resistance”, 3. The crazy mix of genres that only Babymetal has the balls to serve up like it is the most natural thing in the world. And it is not. It is just them. The DVD is killer too, but they are so good that they do not need to blind you with the lights and the pyrotechnics (not to mention all the cool moves that they present with military precision) to win you over. It is the overall power of a total live experience. This is the Babymetal album to go for if you want the best of the early years. And to think that they sold out Wembley after just two studio albums. Amazing.

Listening to this CD drains you, and makes you happy. All at once. I am so glad that I discovered this band.

(Top image shows five star Kerrang! live review of the actual show from #1615, and the two CD versions that are out there – now go find it!)

Had to move fast on this one, as I discovered the 40th Anniversary of Black Sabbath´s ”Heaven And Hell” album (see post yesterday) a couple of days ago. I had this Babymetalized Classic Rock cover by Shawn Fulford (aka ”futon”) planned for May but there you go. I said what I have to say about the “Heaven And Hell” album yesterday, here is the Babymetalized version on the very day that the original turns 40.

Black Sabbath – ”Heaven And Hell” Babymetalized

”I got into Black Sabbath when Ronnie James Dio was the lead vocalist, so the Dio albums are killer music to me. I was into Ozzy as a solo artist and discovered him in Sabbath retroactively. Regarding the cover, I had seen the pics of the girls in the white outfits and it reminded me of the angels on the Sabbath cover, plus some fans call the girls angels, so I went ahead and made the cover. This one is early on in my Photoshopping days, so it isn’t perfect, a higher resolution pic of the girls would have helped. This one has made the rounds on the internet though so I guess some people think it looks alright. I have considered doing this one again, and maybe I will. It does look alright for an early effort by me”. Shawn Fulford (aka ”futon).

(Classic Rock Calendar: April 1980)

Got this magazine in the mail today, Swedish Rock´n´Roll #4 2020. Great “Machine Head” era Deep Purple cover, and one of the best from this publication so far. Purple has two covers in Sweden right now, which would have suited the original release date of the “Whoosh!” album great, but since it has been pushed to August they now suffer from having a shitload of press and no product until later. The fans will know that it is coming though, we just have to wait a little longer.

Good Ian Paice interview in this one.

(My shot of said publication)

Black Sabbath´s “Heaven And Hell” turns 40 tomorrow. Released on April 25 1980, it was the first Sabbath album to feature Ronnie James Dio on vocals and it reignited their career in a big way. I remember buying it and immediately loving it. The title track alone is worth the price of this record, but it is all good stuff. Keyboard player Geoff Nicholls, whom passed away in 2017, actually came up with the bass line to “Heaven And Hell”. He was seen on band images for a brief period in the mid 1980s but remained largely hidden throughout their history (having joined in 1979 he was there for a quarter of a Century), which is a bit sad. I guess they wanted to stick to the four piece image. I only realized yesterday when the new Sabbath 1980 live CD “Heaven In Hartford” (see previous post) arrived as I read the liner notes that we had this Sabbath Anniversary coming up.

This is a great album.

(My shot of said release)

April 2020. Some good stuff on display here: Norwegian Tex Willer (#666), UK Classic Rock publication Rock Candy (#19), Norwegian Pionér (#3), Norwegian Davy & Miki (#25), two Donald E. Westlake books from Hard Case Crime, Swedish Knasen (#6/7, Easter Special), Sweden Rock Magazine (#4 2020), Norwegian Tempo (#29), Rainbow “Tokyo 1980” CD, Black Sabbath “Heaven In Hartford” CD.

Some of these titles (or the record companies/publishers behind this stuff), may be gone six months from now. Support your culture.

(My shot of these titles)

I had planned to be back in May with another Babymetalized Classic Rock cover (by Shawn Fulford (aka ”futon”) on this blog, but then he created this masterpiece of Rainbow´s ”Difficult To Cure” and I just had to go for it right now. After all, Ritchie Blackmore has just celebrated his 75th birthday (on April 14, see earlier post), and the subject matter of this very art is very much part of our daily lives now. In Babymetal, they have their Stay Home Stay Metal campaign going, and this fits very well into that whole thing as well. I had to listen to ”Difficult To Cure” again when I saw this (I listened twice actually, it is a great album), and I have also had some fun preparing you guys for this post in the last few days. This art can be seen on different platforms by many fans of Babymetal, and I am sure that many of them are checking out the original albums. This is creating a bridge from the now to the past, and we can all appreciate that. I know I can. And the detail in this art is just fantastic.

Rainbow – ”Difficult To Cure” Babymetalized

”I was looking for a new cover to alter and saw Rainbow’s ”Difficult To Cure”, and thought it could be kind of funny and encompass all the girls. I hadn’t even considered the Covid-19 issue and had already started it with different pics of Su and Moa. Then BABYMETAL released the Stay Home Stay Metal pics of Su and Moa in masks and I liked those and started over. I think it came out not bad, trying to do something like the lighting of the actual faces on the cover was tough for a few faces. It’s a little support for the Covid-19 safety rules as well. As for Rainbow, they are a band I have enjoyed songs by but never dug into their catalog. I like a few old Dio era songs and I have two albums, ”Bent Out of Shape” and ”Straight Between The Eyes”. I dug some of the Joe Lynn Turner era”. Shawn Fulford (aka ”futon”).

(Classic Rock Calendar: February 1981)

Some of the postponed/cancelled festivals are trying to keep the bill intact for 2021, and we can only hope that they succeed. If this goes on even then, I predict that a great deal of bands will just give up. Some will retire (David Coverdale mentioned recently in an interview that those that can afford to just might, and he has also hinted that 2021 would be a good year for him to quit, aged 69!), many will prepare for 2021 and prey for the best.

(And if you suddenly feel the urge to play the “Difficult To Cure” album, by all means do!)

I have noticed in the last few weeks that it takes forever for packages to arrive from places like Canada and Japan. Now, I know that there are much fewer flights and God knows what is going on out there right now to keep the wheels turning? The last auction I won a couple of weeks ago (in Japan, a very rare magazine), was posted by the seller but returned by the Japanese postal service (indicating that the Japanese lockdown is very strict now). I got a refund but the signs are all there that things have changed. I have also noticed that CDs I ordered weeks ago from normal outlets (like Ginza) in Sweden has been delayed without any information on when they might pop up. My guess is that these (new) releases are simply not manufactured on time due to all the restrictions. This indicates that all bets are off for any release you might have your eyes on at this point.

I have tried to maintain some sense of normalcy in all this, but it is what it is.

(The headlines for the last two posts are song titles you may recall from the Rainbow “Difficult To Cure” album)