The Misfits – Collection II & I [TDK D46] – Enter “Alex The Fur”

February 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

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We were thirteen or so, my friends and I were just staring moving our first steps into music and we had just found out about this incredible band called Metallica. We knew every single song by heart, but we wanted more and we were constantly craving for new Metallica songs, therefore we started hunting for bootlegs, looking for rarities and covers. One of my friends managed to find a really good one on which Metallica played many songs we never heard of: one of them was called Last Caress. Then I remember a picture of Cliff Burton wearing this awesome T-shirt sporting a great big skull: we all loved that T-shirt…

Enter my friend and ex bandmate Alessio “The Baron”. Alessio at the time was a sort of  myth. A couple of years older than us, he was (and still is) a huge guy with long curly hair and a thick beard which at the time earned him the nickname of  “Alex the Fur”. He had a little radio program at the local radio station called “Sudden Impact” which we all used to listen (thinking about it, we were probably his only audience). He was a skater, he loved horror movies and according to one guy at school who knew him personally, his bedroom was a “heavy metal temple”.  He was the one to ask to for all music matters, as he seemed to know everything of almost every band ever existed.
So one day we got on our BMXs and went looking for this oracle to ask him about this great song we’ve heard. We found him skating along the streets, we never met him before, but his huge figure was unmistakable. We shily introduced, finding out with a pleasurable surprise that he was a truly funny and friendly guy. Finally one of us dared to ask: “We all love Metallica and ther’s this one song which doesn’t feature on any of their albums: the song is called Last Caress.”  Alex The Fur looked down at us fresh newbies with short hair with a bit of a scornful smile and, raising an eybrow, he spoke enlightening us:  “That song is featured in a very rare Metallica EP, which I own of course. It is not an original, but a cover from a band that is no more. have you noticed the skull tattoed on Cliff Burton’s shoulder? That’s their logo. Their founding member is called Glenn Danzing and their bass player, Jerry Only, is James Hetfield’s older brother.”  This last bit of information later proved to be just a legend, but none of us could know at the time (not even Alessio,  you’ll find out the reason why in the next few lines), still these few infos were enough for us to jump back on our BMXs and venture for yet another two big quests: that of the mythical Garage Days EP, and the even harder quest for The Misfits.

Thanks to Metallica, The Misfits were getting the fame they didn’t have while still together, but their records still proved to be hard to find. Infos about their biography were nowhere to be found, more to this, their discography was quite tangled up (you can check for yourself here) and the record shops were full of bootleg material, most of it worthless due to the horrible sound quality.  Some lucky guys, among which Alessio of course, managed to find at a record fair a much coveted copy of the Beware EP , which featured Last Caress in its tracklist (he had to tape it to oh so many people) but all the rest of us were left to the easier to find Legacy Of Brutality, Walk Among Us, Heart A.D. and Collection I. We had to wait until 1995 when all of a sudden a new Misfits collection was released featuring Last Caress in good sound quality along with many other precious gems. Still the CD provided almost no infos, no dates, no names, anything. The quest was still on.

More about the Misfits will follow in the next posts…


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Encoded from a TDK D46 cassette.
Noise, cracks and hissing are intentionally left untouched.

Blue Öyster Cult [original tape] – The coolest uncool band ever

January 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

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This tape is the first of some exceptions I’ll probably make along the way: as you may see from the picture this is an original cassette although not an average one. It was part of an Italian booklet-series-cum-tape called “Rock – Storia e musica” published in the early 80ies (here‘s a complete collection on sale on E-Bay): the booklets sometimes were hastily assembled, and with hindsight one may realise that the informations were sometimes inaccurate. Also the style in which these short biographies are written is funnily rethorical and overblown: it looks like in those times music journalist still had to prove that rock music was something “important”. Nonetheless this series was very popular back then as it provided lots of useful informations in a time when even sorting out an album discography (not to mention the  singles) could have required a lot of research. Also, each booklet, dedicated to a single artist or band, came with a sampler or even a full album. My uncle passed on to me an almost complete collection when I was thirteen or so, and it was as if I found a goldmine!

I didn’t know anything abouth Blue Öyster Cult, but being into heavy metal I immediatly sniffed something when I saw the picture on the cover of the booklet and read titles such as Black Blade, Hot Rails To Hell and Dominance and Submission. At that time I was also reading The Stand, which quoted (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, this way turning this tape into a perfect soundtrack for the book. And this is how it started…

As sometimes happenes, you develope a certain fondness, a weird unexplicable attraction for a particular band, even if you never exactly fall for it. In my case this happened for BÖC: slowly along the years I ended up owning five or six vinyls all bought at second hand stores or thrifts markets at ridicolous prices: it looked like everybody got rid of their albums. Yeah, they are a dinosaur band now and their last records suck, and I also know that  BÖC are regarded as one of the uncoolest band ever, but at the cost of sounding like Homer Simpson defending Grand Funk Railroad (I wanted to link a YouTube video, but they’re all gone: thanks.) I have to say that  frankly this seems unfair to me.

Here’s a few informations in no particular order  that should be enough to tempt you into listening to BÖC.
They have some marvellous sci-fi lyrics written by writer Micheal Moorcock; if you do like Motorpsycho you must know that they entitled thei 2010 album Heavy Metal Fruit quoting a BÖC song, meaning they like BÖC too; their guitarist “Buck Dharma” was Patti Smith‘s lover; they featured in one of the funniest Saturday Night Live skit ever; if you’re into great guitar solos and great riffs BÖC are good for you. Last but not least the proof of them being a great band is in the pudding of their live records, which by the way are often better then their studio albums in terms of production and sheer energy: try listening Side A of this tape! All the tracks here are taken from their double album Extraterrestrial Live, which features some of their best songs ever such as E.T.I, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, Godzilla and Dominance And Submission. Here’s another reason to like BÖC: this live version of Godzilla features silliest attempt at censoring I ever heard. While introducing the song, singer Eric Bloom shouts “Holy shit, it’s Godzilla!” but an incredibly clumsy “ding dong” sound covers the horrific scatological word providing the listener with a most precious and savourable “whathefuck-moment”.

I almost forgot: BÖC have an incredibly cool logo! I like it even more than the band or the songs themselves! In fact it’s engraved or painted on every single guitar or guitar case I own and even on my car. To this day I still couldn’t find a good BÖC t-shirt though, but the quest goes on.


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Encoded from an original cassette, no infos about the manufacturer.
Noise, cracks and hissing are intentionally left untouched.

VVAA – Fat Music For Fat People [Sony Cdit II 46]

January 9, 2012 § 3 Comments

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It is my opinion that the years between 1992 and 1995 represented the zenith of melodic hardcore punk before the genre started living on its own cliches and/or being diluted into pop music.  Fat Music For Fat People was the first sampler released by Fat Wreck Chords (the label founded by Fat Mike, singer of NoFx) in 1994 and it features some of the best bands of that period. Represented here are samples from Propagandhi‘s How To Clean Everything (plus a non album track), Don’t Turn Away  by Face To Face, both Duh and Trashed by Lag Wagon (though being quite good, may be actually the first copycat band of the time sounding more or less like NoFx) For God And Country by Good Riddance and NoFx‘s The Longest Line. Check out the yearly users polls on Sputnikmusic and you’ll find all of these records and many more.

Not much to say about this tape, my friends and I have listened to it so much the memories are just spread over like a thin layer of butter in such a long timespan it’s almost impossibile to recall any highlight. To be fair, only a few friends of mine listened to it:  by that time some of the guys were a lot into death metal (I was a bit…) and they wouldn’t even touch anything that stank of punkrock with a Ten Foot Pole (hahaha). They said none of these bands were “technical” enough… Some of them later, but maybe too late, started to pay attention and changed their mind.

A note on the cassette: Sony CDit II tapes sported a “slim case”. Personally, I hated them: the card was usually very small, the case would break even more easily than on normal cassettes and, last but not least, when you were piling tapes on a shelf they didn’t fit anywhere screwing the carefully stocked piles big time!


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Originally recorded on a Sony CDit II 46 cassette.
Noise, cracks and hissing are intentionally left untouched.

R.E.M. – Murmur [TDK D-46]

January 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

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During a summer camp in Ireland in 1994 I felt like Losing My Religion was everywhere, though the song had been released three years before. It was on tv and on the radio and people where talking about it, we even had a grammr lesson or something during which the teacher gave us the lyrics to analyse! I knew the song already, but I never paid much attention to it, I don’t know why, maybe I was too young.  Anyway, during those three weeks it struck a chord in me as it did with millions of people. I decided I wanted to listen to R.E.M first album though, before getting to Automatic For The People, so i checked into almost every music store I could find in Temple Bar in Dublin, but I just couldn’t find it. So when I got home I just forgot about it. Meanwhile Monster came out and R.E.M where again everywhere. Again, even though I liked it, it didn’t click with me. One year or two later, I was checking the new stuff at my favorite CD-rentalsand there it was: a reissue of Murmur! Since New Adventures In Hi-Fi had just come out I rented that too so that I could hear both the first and the last LP available by R.E.M.  I was still much into heavy stuff and punk rock by that time, I was just about to explore what was out there and I fell immediately for both the records, specially for Murmur (though I still love some tracks on New Adventures: more about it in a while) as it was nothing like I had heard before. Edgy, nervous (Radio Free Europe), kind of menacing sometime (Moral Kiosk, West Of The Fields), with slanted melodies (We Walk) and that dry and neat sound: everything was in place. Everytime I listened to it it felt like eating some sort of exotic food: what’s that weird taste?!

What happened then? Nothing. It just stopped there, since then I always had an ear open for anything R.E.M. released, but I never quite got into them. It happens.

Cd Rentals were a dream came true for anybody who was into music: you could rent a CD for three days paying roughly 1€ and of course tape it if you liked it. It didn’t last long: all the CD-rentals closed due to the usual copyright laws. Video rentals where still open though: we never quite got that.

As you may see from the back of the cassette card, R.E.M. took the place of David Bowie‘s Pin-Ups: I don’t regret it at all. I love Bowie but personally I find that record to be quite over-rated.


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Originally recorded on a TDK FE-60 cassette.
Noise, cracks and hissing are intentionally left untouched.

NOFX – Punk In Drublic [Maxell UH-46]

December 21, 2011 § 2 Comments

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Arguably this is NoFx best album so far.
I admit it took me ages to realize the title of the album was a silly pun…

In the beginning of the 90ies a whole new lot of hardcore punk bands came to rise: they were fast, they were angry AND they were also fun and had catchy singalong tunes.  What more could a teenager who had just discovered punkrock ask for? They started calling it melodic hardcore and people basically bought every release  from labels like Epitaph and Fat Wreck almost blindfolded. The artistic and commercial peak of this new genre came between 1993 and 1995, when records like (among many others)  Propaghandi‘s How To Clean Everything, Unknown Road by PennywiseRancid‘s …And Out Come The Wolves and Punk In Drublic were released. 1994 was also the year in which The Offspring became huge with Smash: from then on, the genre started withering, perpetuating the same ideas and sounds and/or being diluted into chart-friendly guitar-pop: please welcome Blink 182. More than fifteen years later it still sounds the same.

As you may guess I listend to this cassette to the point of consuption, and the tape is pretty worn, but still kicking. Curious fact: I do not own the orginal album. Back then like many kids did, having no money, we’d go to our favorite record store in Milan called “New Zambrinskie Point” (R.I.P) and each of us friends would buy one LP and then we’d swap the treasured findings and copy them on tape. I do remember who copied Punk In Drublic for me from the original cassette (thanks Diego) but I can’t remember what I gave in exchange.

End of side B features snippets from Il Regno Del Cinghiale by Tossic (an Italian thrash band)
Check out Mangiacassette on Facebook for a complete cover gallery of all the tapes!


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Originally recorded on a Maxell UH-46 cassette.
Noise, cracks and hissing are intentionally left untouched.

Motorhead – Greatest Hits [Sony HF 46]

December 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

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Originally recorded on a Sony HF 46 cassette.

This is a very old self made compilation: it dates back to 1983. I stole from my uncle’s collection some years later and I still believe to these days this is one of the best Motorhead selections ever!

Noise, cracks and hissing are intentionally left untouched.

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