OK – let’s make this about a few apparent rarities I’ve found in the last couple weeks. All three are albums I’ve never heard, but at least I’m familiar with a few of the songs. I can’t comment on why they seem to have a rarity other than the fact they are first pressings and they are from after CD’s started to become popular and vinyl was on the decline.
Pearl Jam: Ten
This album came out the year before I was married, and Even Flow is probably the only song I could name by Pearl Jam by memory. The vinyl is almost like new – just a couple light marks, maybe from the paper inner sleeve. There is virtually no static at all – even on the lead-in grooves.
On side 1 , while Even Flow was nice Alive (while being familiar) was so much better than I ever remember. The guitar solo at the end is absolutely killer. Then the way Why Go falls off right into the intro of Black just pulled me onto the couch in my prime listening spot.
And of course once Jeremy started, I obviously knew the song. And the bass pounded pretty good on that track. The second track on side 2 – Porch – was a new one for me and it absolutely rocked. I thoroughly enjoyed this album, and will keep it around for future listening sessions.
Pearl Jam: Vitalogy
Yes indeed, another Pearl Jam album. From the same original owner as the previous one, so as I understand it I am the second owner of each of them. This album is pristine; I even asked the guy if he ever listened to it, and he said he bought the CD and the LP the same day, so he’s not sure he ever listened to the vinyl copy!
Aside from being absolutely sexy due to the pristine glossy black vinyl, black label, and gold lettering, the sound quality is a notch above Ten as well to my ears. As it’s a later album, maybe the group’s sound is just more refined.
That refined impression disappears on side 2. It becomes a little more scattered, less musical, more artistic. Think Revolution 9 on The Beatles ‘White Album’. It’s an interesting album, but not one that I think I’ll keep.
Metallica: Master of Puppets
This is an original pressing; not sure why they command a premium. The first track of this album, Battery, starts of with a nice acoustic guitar and acoustic bass. I’m thinking “wow, this is unexpected.” After a few moments, the electric guitars build, and ramp up into the full on distorted metal I was expecting. The song is almost like punk metal to me.
I expected to be familiar with Master of Puppets, but it sounded very foreign to me. But I must admit the last 5 minutes of this song rocked. The final track on side 1 – Welcome Home (Sanitarium), was an engaging song, and seemed to have a little more musicality than most of the album.
Side 2 to spoke to me in a disturbing way. Disposable Heroes seems to be an anti-military song; ironic considering the violent feeling of the music. It’s not necessarily anti-war, just a commentary on how young men serve and seem to be “disposable”. I found this extremely disrespectful to the lives that created the freedom the band enjoyed to create the music.
Then Leper Messiah is an anti-Christian rant. Now, it could be more of song that’s anti tent- revival – fake prophet-healer, like the character Steve Martin portrayed in Leap of Faith, but it feels decidedly anti-Christ. On top of it, the rhythm of the song was very disturbing, almost like machine gun fire mowing down the sheep…
Honestly, I disengaged for the last 2 songs. It all sounded too similar throughout the album, and had worn me down y this point. Another note: this album has a solid 27 minutes of music per side! That’s a long LP, especially for one you don’t particularly like!
Bottom line – I’m the guy who got excited by an ’80’s album from Christian artist Bryan Duncan; thrash metal just isn’t my kind of music. Someone will be happy with it in their collection, though. Maybe it’s good I listened to this one on a Sunday after church….