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Added by Ashley Winchester on 7 May 2015 06:35
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 4 IMDB Rating 0
Pariah's Child - Sonata Arctica


Added: 12.04.14 / Condition: New / Version: Standard Black Vinyl

This is an odd one because while I have no problem with the material on this consistent and well thought-out record, I do have kind of a problem with how the band attempted to sell this release to the their fanbase.

Those familiar with the band might catch that this release uses the band's older logo-type from the albums prior to 2007's Unia. Well, that is not an accident as the band was trying to revisit their roots with this album, only (in my opinion) they utterly failed at doing that. Nothing on Pariah's Child reminds of the pre-Unia material in the slightest. What Pariah's Child really reminds me of the band's previous album Stones Grow Her Name... which isn't a bad thing to remind me of as I've grown fonder of that album over the years. So in failing at one thing, Pariah's Child miraculously, and inadvertently, succeeds in a completely unrelated manner. I don't know if I should consider that to be luck or credit the band for creating something with a large enough safety net beneath it.

The only real issue with the album, which eventually fades away with time, is how the accessibility of the tracks seems uneven. For a good chunk of time I thought the first four tracks where weaker that the tracks that follow... but those tracks aren't weak when you really start to listen to them. Additionally some of the final cuts like "X Marks the Spot" and "Larger Than Life" have some problematic moments and elements but time smooths out those bumps as well.

The only thing I could ask for with this album is I wish the Japanese bonus track "No Pain" was included. I like how the album ends with "Larger Than Life" but "No Pain" is one of those bonus tracks that really calls for the listener to spend the extra green and buy the import.
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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
Reckoning Night - Sonata Arctica


Added: 12.22.14 / Condition: Used / Version: White Vinyl, Numbered

Talking about Reckoning Night is tricky because if you're going to talk about it you have to bring up the previous album, Winterheart's Guild, to explain what's so great about it. Additionally, you have to acknowledge that the album that follows it presents listeners with a substantial shift in direction... so Reckoning Night is a crucial record anyway you slice it and it holds up well in that regard.

The problem with Winterheart's Guild is that it is a typical speed metal album. Granted, if you want to get technical (and a little snarky about it) so were the previous two albums... but where Ecliptica and Silence had some semblance as far as having an identity... Winterheart's really didn't have that. There really wasn't any progression with that album and it's obvious the pressure put on the band to rush it out played a hand in that. While it's not a grand leap, Reckoning Night is the album Winterheart's should have been. The blueprints for songs are more varied and the experience is a lot harder for outsiders to tear down and write off with the criticisms that are used to bash and de-credit the genre.

That said, the fact the band's music shifted gears after this album is far from a surprise. Reckoning Night pretty much sums up what the band could achieve with the power metal formula they borrowed from bands like Stratovarius and the like. Composing another album like this after this release would have more-or-less constituted a dead-end of sorts even though the formula introduced on Unia would come with its own pitfalls.
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 0
The Days of Grays - Sonata Arctica


Added: 12.24.14 / Condition: New / Version: Black Vinyl, Numbered

As crazy as it sounds, Sonata Arctica's The Days of Grays is easily my biggest regret when it comes to the various albums I've purchased (at this early point) on vinyl. Why? Well, before I get into that I should point out that this is not a bad album, so those who still enjoy it can rest calm knowing I'm not knocking the album just to knock it yet I can't really back this particular pony anymore.

The problem with Days of Grays stems from the fact it is a continuation of the sound cultivated on Unia. When I'm honest with myself I'm just a little burned out on this subsection of Sonata's history and discography. I have flip-flopped on this opinion a few times over the years (I actually disliked Unia when I first listened to it) but these two albums now feel a little too complex for their own good. I can't say Days has aged poorly because I still believe that most of the material is well-crafted but the album hasn't aged in the right way - or how I imagined it would.

Additionally, listening through the album on vinyl only reinforces the album's issues. "Breathing" isn't a bad track in the slightest but it stops the energy of the album cold and over the years I've realized how bad "Zeroes" is which puts a huge crater right in the middle of the record. I'll admit that I like having the European bonus track "In the Dark" on vinyl (hell yeah!) but I never play Side D with the orchestral versions as they feel completely superfluous to me.

So again, The Days of Grays isn't a bad album... but for me it was certainly a misguided purchase. Generally, I'll listen to most other Sonata albums over it except Unia which is obviously in the same boat as it.
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People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Dreamspace - Stratovarius


Added: 12.24.14 / Condition: Used / Version: Black Vinyl

While most Stratovarius fans will probably want to know what the hell is wrong with me, 1994's Dreamspace is easily my favorite album by the band. I tend to favor the music the band was putting out prior to Kotipelto joining or when the band's most beloved line-up was completed with 1996's Episode even though those albums are generally seen (and technically are) superior to the albums that proceeded them.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not oblivious as to why the group's popularity grew after the first three albums but like a lot of European flavored bands Strat was putting out excellent music prior to hitting the big time and Dreamspace is the ultimate accumulation of the work done by the band before Kotipelto. However, as much as I enjoy Dreamspace, this album points out that Tolkki needed to hand off his vocal duties for the band to reach the next plateau in their career. This isn't a dig at Tolkki's voice (which I enjoy) but like Helloween and their addition of Micheal Kiske in the late eighties a line-up change can pay huge dividends if handled correctly.

Unfortunately, there is some good and bad news about this vinyl. By this point I think most people are aware that Dreamspace has a pretty long run time, much longer than Fight Night and Twilight Time, so not all the tracks on the CD made the transition to the record. As bad as that sounds the minds behind the eight tracks that made the cut did a good job with their choices and none of the ones I consider "bad apples" make an appearance. I wish "Abyss" and "Shattered" where present but the fact the album flows from beginning to end without any speed-bumps is more than enough for me.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
Fright Night - Stratovarius


Added: 01.05.15 / Condition: Used / Version: Black Vinyl

Sometimes when it comes to Stratovarius it's hard to believe the beginning was so... I don't know... humble? From what I've seen some people are split on this record since it takes some rather obvious influences from Helloween which had set certain trends only a few years prior, but I don't see the point of chastising Tolkki and his crew for doing that since bands always influence other bands. It happened back then and it's going to happen for the foreseeable future despite the endless chants for originality.

However, even with that said, one of the main reasons I think I like Fright Night so much is it reminds me of Def Leppard's 1980's debut On Through the Night. When you think about this the comparison really does make a lot of sense. Both records are debut albums, many of the songs have a "soft rock" feel to them and most of (if any) of the tracks hardly make it into current day set lists. Of course, the last part of that comparison is kind of suspect since Def Leppard has pretty much said on record they don't consider On Through the Night be be their debut (the bastards...) and Strat's (thankfully) retired the pre-Fourth Dimension part of their catalog since Kotipelto's voice doesn't suit much of the material.

The only thing I question about Fight Night is what Tolkki thinks of the album now. Personally, I'd hope he'd have a higher opinion of it that Def Leppard has of their debut because I think this is a nice little album. Again, I know the later albums are much more popular and contain the songs that made them famous... but I think a lot of fans would enjoy this material just as much if they are interested in digging through the group's discography.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Infected - Hammerfall


Added: 05.04.15 / Condition: New / Version: Clear Vinyl (runs at 45)

I have to hand it to HammerFall. After they completely lost me with 2009's No Sacrifice, No Victory they won me back in a big way with this album. Granted I didn't check out Infected until the middle of 2014 but I really enjoyed this one.

The main reason that Infected caught my attention to the level it did is really reflected by the cover itself. Fans will notice that this is the only HammerFall album that doesn't depict Hector the Templar on the front. Now, I like Hector as much as the next guy but I feel that retiring him for this record was a good move because Infected is somewhat different than previous albums. It's true that the Zombie theme only pertains to the first track and some silly artwork that shows the band knows how tongue-in-cheek this fad is... but the increase in keyboards for certain tracks does set this album apart.

However, if you're not really into the symphonic stylings granted by the additional keyboards I don't think their use will turn you off of this album as they are mainly used for introductions and the songs aren't slathered by their presence. Anyway you slice it this is still HammerFall but the slight twist in instrumentation paid off huge for me. HammerFall did revert back to their more textbook style with their next album... but to be honest I felt (r)evolution felt weaker than this album because of that.

In the end I can't say Infected is a "ballsy" record but it does feel more gutsy than it probably has a right to. If anything I'm just glad to see at least one of the bands I grew up with bounce back from an odd record with an interesting one.
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People who added this item 75 Average listal rating (47 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Dark Passion Play - Nightwish


Added: 05.04.15 / Condition: New / Version: Standard Black Vinyl

As curious as it sounds, I have to thank Nightwish for reminding me how great this album is. Back when this came out I had the album on CD but it eventually cycled out of my rotation as did Imaginaerum... but with the recent release of Endless Forms Most Beautiful (and my subsequent disinterest in what it had to offer) I was reminded that this album was pretty damn awesome.

So yeah... I'm complimenting Nightwish while slyly bashing them at the same time. Oh well, it happens. Anyway, when it comes to vinyl this album was at the top of my list for many reasons. The first is it's very easy to listen to the album in its entirety and not get the urge to skip a track and the second is that Anette Olzon replaces Tarja Turunen to the point where I simply don't miss her. In fact, Dark Passion Play had the unfortunate side effect of lowering my interest in the pre-Olzon Nightwish material in general... although I am interested in revisiting it now that I've become entangled in collecting in a different format.

Future revisiting aside, I think the most important thing about Dark Passion Play is even though the experience is pumped full of that movie-soundtrack feel that the band wanted to incorporate into the mix this album doesn't feel like the end of line for this idea like Imaginaerum and Endless Forms Most Beautiful do. When you think about it it's kind of crazy how quickly this formula maxed itself out... and not that I'm a soothsayer or anything but I can't help but think this will spell nothing but trouble for the band in the future.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0


Added: 05.14.15 / Condition: New / Version: Clear Re-issue

Not to slight those who are put off by the first seven albums on this list, but I'm sure that adding this album will prove that I'm interested in collecting music from genres other than your typical, ultra cheesy power metal. However, in all seriousness, how could I not buy and add this one to my collection? Every song on here is fantastic ("Street Fighting Man" does fall behind the others) and this has to be one of the stoutest greatest hits compilations ever put together. I can think of a few others that are comparable (the Doors for example) but I think this is the poster child for a compilation album done right.

Of course, this doesn't contain every great Stones track. I can think of many tracks that I still need to obtain with other albums like "Stupid Girl" and "Under My Thumb" to name a few... but Through the Past, Darkly is a great way for anyone to kick-start this subsection of their collection, let alone being a great introduction to the Rolling Stones period. Man, I can totally remember listing to the tape of this in my dad's truck when I was younger.

To be honest I really don't have much else to say. I unfortunately do have one gripe about this release. While I'm absolutely thrilled to see that the album still comes in the octagon shaped sleeve, they really could have spent more money making it less flimsy. The copy my father has from the 60/70's has a much more profound sleeve they didn't cut corners on. I'm obviously going to take care of my copy but honestly using a higher density material would have been greatly appreciated.
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People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 0
State of Euphoria - ANTHRAX


Added: 05.18.15 / Condition: New / Version: Original Black Vinyl

First thing's first, I know some people are going to question buying this Anthrax album before purchasing some of the better and more popular ones... but State of Euphoria really means a lot to me as a record because my late cousin dubbed this for me back when I was younger, so I really think of him when I hear this. However, that kind of nostalgia makes me very biased... so unlike most other albums on here I have somewhat of a hard time looking at this one objectively.

However, at the same time I really can see some of the underlying problems with State of Euphoria. Two of the biggest ones are the closer (ironically named "Finale") is pretty damn weak compared to everything that comes before it and the album's big hit ("Antisocial") is somewhat overrated... but those issues are rather trite in my book. What I don't quite get is why people feel State of Euphoria lags behind the band's other releases to degree it does... or why they seem so incessant in comparing it to the albums the other three bands of the "big four" at this point in time.

However, those kinds of comparisons were and are inevitable even after all this time. Those that don't feel the need to over-analyze the albums in a band's discography to the point of a near science so they have a reason to back up their favorite pick are the ones that will probably get the most out of State of Euphoria, even though it's kind of preachy with some of its underlying themes.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Paradox - Royal Hunt


Added: 05.18.15 / Condition: New / Version: Limited Print Black Vinyl

It probably goes without saying if I'm going to talk about Paradox, I should probably talk about whether or not the album is overrated. At the end of the day, I believe Paradox is overrated... but when you hear the album it's easy to understand how this came about, so it's not one of those cases where the album's legacy is so misconstrued that its becomes one of those "really?" situations where that status seems completely undeserved.

As odd as it seems part of Paradox's attractiveness isn't so much the music as it is the lyrics. As some of those reading have probably guessed, this is concept album that tackles certain religious concepts and ideals. The thing is if you take certain tracks at face value (like "Message to God") you're going to miss the underlying message... only that message is probably going to vary from person to person. While it's not spelled out for the listener, there is a bit of a narrative told with these tracks that can be picked up when you read into key segments.

In a certain sense the above really does make the whole experience appear much more grandiose than it probably is. You don't need to dig that deep to enjoy what Paradox offers... but once you pick up on the smaller touches and allusions the experience picks up some steam and helps explains why the album's reputation is what it is.
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16 Greatest Hits - Steppenwolf


Added: 05.18.15 / Condition: Used / Version: Black Vinyl 1980 Reprint

Unlike the vast majority of albums I've heard over the years I can actually remember buying my original copy of this album on cassette. I still have it as well (as well as the cover) but in all the years since I last listened to it I had really forgotten the names of the various tracks on here. Oh, of course I remembered "Magic Carpet Ride" and "Born to Be Wild" but everything else was kind of lost over time... except that this was an extremely consistent greatest hits package.

After listening to this LP I still fell confident in saying that all these years later... but in reading up online I was caught off guard at how some people were irritated that not all of these tracks were tracks that charted. Yeah... I guess that does kind of the fight against the "greatest" part of the title... but when it comes to picking tracks for a greatest hits album it's usually pretty hit and miss anyway unless there's a huge gap between a band's hits and their lesser numbers.

So no, I don't really share the sentiment of others that this compilation is sloppy and unfocused. The sixteen tracks that make an appearance do a great job of letting the listener know what Steppenwolf is all about. Also, I'll never forget getting reprimanded for singing "The Pusher" when I was a kid :P
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People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
On Through the Night - Def Leppard


Added: 05.19.15 / Condition: Used / Version: Standard Black Vinyl

First of all, I absolutely adore that cover art. It's so damn... I don't know... 1980? Second, as much as I like Def Leppard (or at least everything up to 1999's Euphoria) the band can absolutely (expletive) off when it comes to their opinion of this album. "We don't consider this out debut album." WTF? I seriously love the ever livin' HELL out of this one and can't act like it didn't happen guys!

Okay, I should probably calm down a little bit. I mean in recent years the band did bring back some of these songs in their live performances (bout damn time!) but I can't get enough out of how this album feels more like soft rock than pop rock... but that's really due to the limitations of the production. When you're honest about it On Through the Night does sound rather dated, but in an odd way that's why I like it so much... and why it reminds me so much of Stratovarius' 1989 debut Fright Night.

In the end I don't know if this is my favorite Def Leppard album (don't really know which one is my favorite), but I do feel this album is quite underrated. Just listening to it you can tell that great things lie just beyond this one. If there's one thing you can ask of a debut record, that's it.
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Added: 05.20.15 / Condition: Used / Version: Standard Black Vinyl

If you read the section on above on the Rolling Stone's Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits, Vol. 2) above the fact that I alluded to this compilation probably makes this album's appearance a total non-surprise. Again, this is one of those compilations where I can't even begin to tear down what it offers because every pick is just so damn good.

Additionally, I also have to talk about the cover of this album. No, it doesn't seem that fancy... but it is so ingenious in its simplicity that whenever I hear one of these songs this exact picture comes to my mind, which really says a lot for the underlying graphical scheme used here. Simple and extremely effective. I honestly have no clue why they changed the cover on the US CD but I plan on buying an import version just to get the older cover art.

Like a few other albums on here (and some I'm planning to add in the future) the reason this album was so high on the list was I grew up listening to this on tape. In fact, I still have the cassette and even have the cover to this day. Actually, if you can believe it I also have the 8 track as well. I guess when I get around to getting the CD I'll have it on most major media.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 10 IMDB Rating 0


Added: 05.20.15 / Condition: Used / Version: Standard Black Vinyl

I have to admit that the older I get the less and less sense the name of this album makes. I'm not going to say that you can't dance to these songs... but when I think of Pink Floyd the term "stoner rock" never seems to be far behind. Personally, I can imagine a bunch of people listening to this in a smokey room "enhancing" their experience with some mind-altering substances than the situation the cover depicts... but at the end of the day I don't really care about that as this is a solid compilation that does a great job in doing what it does despite only containing six tracks.

However, in picking up this album I do have to admit that I'm not the biggest Pink Floyd fan. I'm familiar with their work but not to a significant degree, and the main reason I obtained this one was I had the tape of this when I was a child somehow and remembered that I did enjoy it quite a bit. The album holds up wonderfully (that being the furthest thing from a surprise) and no space is wasted with any of the picks.

The only thing that's rather curious about A Collection of Great Dance Songs is "Money" had to be re-recorded because one record label wouldn't let the other label use the original version from Dark Side of the Moon. I honestly didn't catch this until my friend said something about it but it's actually alluded to on the back cover with some very sly wording... but this doesn't take away from the album for me.
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People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Diesel and Dust - Midnight Oil


Added: 05.19.15 / Condition: Used / Version: Standard Black Vinyl
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 4 IMDB Rating 0
Waiting for the Dawn - Kotipelto


Added: 05.20.15 / Condition: Used / Version: Standard Black Vinyl

A product produced during the small "intermission" Stratovaius took from 2001 to 2003, Waiting for the dawn was the first of three solo albums produced by singer Timo Kotipelto. Unlike Tolkki's solo excursion Hymn to Life, Kotipelto sticks with all the Euro trappings that people came to love (and despise) with the Stratovarius albums since 1994's Fourth Dimension. The main twist here, which can be easily gleamed by looking at the cover, is this a (loose) concept album that focuses on ancient Egyptian culture.

Supposedly Kotipelto finds the history of the culture to be interesting which is awesome as I remember being very vested in what I learned about that subject when in junior high school. Now, you won't really learn anything about Egyptian culture listening to this outside of the names of certain deities, but I think this backdrop is ripe for any kind of exploration... even if the musical path taken here is typical of the genre.

However, if you're interested in adding Waiting for the Dawn to your collection, I'd honestly recommend obtaining the Japanese pressing of the album on CD. The bonus on that version ("Secret Name") is actually very solid and is much better than the bonus track on the Finnish edition.
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People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 0
Seven Seals - Primal Fear


Added: 05.23.15 / Condition: Used / Version: Standard Black Vinyl

This is a tricky album to talk about because if any Primal Fear fans are reading they're probably not going to like some of the things I'm going to say... but in all honesty I don't mean any of what follows with any malice.

From the get go Primal Fear did have a major leg up in my book and that's vocalist Ralf Scheepers who I pretty much adored from his earlier work with Kai Hansen's Gamma Ray. However, musically Primal Fear didn't really tickle my fancy because in all honesty they just seemed to be a more European flavored version of Judas Priest. If you know anything about Scheepers this is far from a surprise... but I'm not the biggest fan of Judas Priest so the combo didn't really work for me. This isn't to say the band didn't have any good songs to listen to prior to Seven Seals but it was very hit and miss (more miss) with me and there was never enough material on a given album for me to purchase one.

This changed with Seven Seals as Primal Fear changed up their formula quite a bit following Devil's Ground and yeah, the album was more than agreeable enough for me to obtain it. I'm sure in that process some longer time fans were put off but Seven Seals really answered what I was looking for from a Primal Fear album... and for that I'm grateful.
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Obsessed - Jim Gaffigan
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Dare to Be Stupid - 'Weird Al' Yankovic
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Naughty By Nature - Naughty By Nature
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Original Soundtrack
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Educated Horses - Rob Zombie
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Nevermind - Nirvana
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Twilight Time - Stratovarius
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Monster - R.E.M.
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Astro-Creep: 2000 - White Zombie
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The Sign - Ace Of Base
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Too Wild Too Long - George Jones
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Dr. Feelgood - Mötley Crüe
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Skyscraper - David Lee Roth
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Chiseled in Stone - Vern Gosdin
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This Note's for You - Neil Young,The Bluenotes
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Always & Forever - Randy Travis
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Killin' Time - Clint Black
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Old 8x10 - Randy Travis
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The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 - The Traveling Wilburys
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Trans - Neil Young
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Lap of Luxury - Cheap Trick
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What Hits!? - Red Hot Chili Peppers
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Out of Time - R.E.M.
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Slave to the Grind - Skid Row
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Okay, first I have to champion (and scold) my friends for getting me into vinyl in the first place. In all reality the last thing I needed was another hobby. As George Carlin says: "interests are free, hobbies cost money." Ain't that the (expletive) truth...

Also, I plan on buying more than just European power metal albums... but I don't want to concentrate on obtaining older records at the moment until I learn the correct way to clean them. However, I tend to have much more trouble with newer vinyl than older vinyl as it stands now.

Additionally, I have about three-hundred records from my parents and uncle's collections. I plan on listing some of my favorites in a separate section of the list... but they haven't been played in years and I need to revisit some of them.

Note: Unlike some of the CDs I own, I'm not worried about getting first presses and the most limited versions of the records I'm after. Some of the records I want are pricey as they stand. I'm not worried about what color/edition I have unless there's a good technical reason.

Last Updated: May 23. 2015

Be sure to check back often as I have many other albums on order!

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Comments

Posted: 2 months, 1 week ago at Apr 22 9:41
Total agreement about On Through the Night, both album and cover are simply FANTASTIC and better than Adrenalized IMO

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