Tag Archives: greatest hits compilations

“Icon” by Queen

Artist: Queen
Title: “Icon”
Label: Hollywood Records
Release Date: 6/11/2013
Genre: Rock
Rating: 4.25/5

Every now and again I like to toss thoughts together when a compilation package is released that could add some value to the potentially new or growing music fan in your own personal world. After all, any diehard of bands like KISS, Iron Maiden and now Queen, seem to have all of the albums and tracks that are needed in their own musical collections so these “Icon” issues are generally not something that we as ardent fans might not jump to. With that being said they do still serve a great purpose and amount to good presents for the younger set who are learning to appreciate such classic tunes by legendary artists. Such was the case that I found with the recently released Queen issue in the form of “Icon” which delivers eleven tunes from the bands truly massive repertoire. I’ll keep this one short and say that there does not appear to be a throwaway track on the issue.
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“Framed In Blood: The Very Blessed Of The 69 Eyes” (Expanded Edition) by The 69 Eyes

Artist: The 69 Eyes
Title: “Framed In Blood: The Very Blessed Of The 69 Eyes” Expanded Edition
Label: Cleopatra Records
Release Date: 11/13/2012
Genre: Gothic Hard Rock
Rating: 4.5/5

Cleopatra Records has been amazing in their issuing of the entire back catalog by the Helsinki Vampires, The 69 Eyes I’ve already reviewed a healthy chunk of them here on the website. Recently, the label announced an expanded edition of their greatest hits package “Framed In Blood: The Very Blessed Of The 69 Eyes” and that this version would have a now very hard to find DVD concert film included. Since I reviewed each of those already and there isn’t much else to say about them, I have decided to place both of those articles text here to speak about the new version. Take a look.

2006 CD Review: The 69 Eyes or the “Helsinki Vampires” as their fans know them best bring you a career spanning Greatest Hits with “Framed In Blood: The Very Blessed Of The 69 Eyes”. It is a nice collection of tracks from across their existence and offers a good look inside to the band for those that might be unaware or serve as a tasty sampler for those ardent fans. The Finnish group has a large following in Europe, but have only begun to make some ground in the US Market since 2005 and what this album does well is bring you back to the very early Glam-era stuff and leads you up until their harder edged Gothic sound that is the focus of the band today. The solid 18 track best-of has a number of great moments and you will find that singer Jyrki 69 definitely has a style that comes more rooted in older Rock and Roll than that of Metal (his vocals at times are very reminiscent of both Jim Morrison and Peter Steele). The deep, resonant tone shakes you up at times and yet is full of cryptic fire at others. Some stand out numbers are on this CD are “Brandon Lee”, “Gothic Girl” and “Wasting The Dawn” all of which are among my favorites from their catalog. New potential fans need only look into these tracks for it can easily make you a follower of their often hypnotic sound.
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“XX – Two Decades Of Love Metal” by HIM

Artist: HIM
Title: “XX – Two Decades Of Love Metal”
Label: The End Records
Release Date: 10/26/2012
Genre: Gothic Metal/Hard Rock
Rating: 4.5/5

It’s sure been a rollercoaster of music life for the last few years for the guys in HIM because after their “Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice” album, they parted ways with their longtime US label and pretty much seemed to disappear from peoples sights but never for a second in their fans musical hearts. I remember reading forum posts suggesting that HIM should at long last start their own label and while years ago that might have been grand, I felt the too rapidly shifting geography of the music industry would not have had room for this. That said I was very happy to find a new greatest hits compilation being released by The End Records, a label that I have enjoyed the output on for several years. This is the second such release in the bands discography and was different enough to be enjoyed for its content. Let’s examine it shall we.
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“Discoveries” by KISS

Artist: KISS
Title: “Discoveries”
Label: Island/Mercury Records
Release Date: 7/8/2008
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 3/5

In 2011 I reviewed a KISS “Best Of” compilation called “45: The Complete Collection” and while it was a nice grouping of tunes it was by no means “complete”. It was available as a digital only release which was great for the new generation of music fans who are glued to their iPods or Droid devices and keep connected to their music that way. With that being the case I never expected to find this collection broken up into three separate products now entitled “Favorites”, “Classics” and “Discoveries”. I took my original text about the complete release and expanded upon it lightly for the sake of this review.

This third and final grouping of tracks from the original larger release is actually very interesting to see placed all together based on the fact that so many of the tunes have videos for them. Unless I am mistaken, fourteen of the fifteen inclusions all had videos. That is pretty awesome to find being the case. Tune wise we get two selections from the now unmasked men with “Lick It Up” and three from “Asylum”. There’s two from “Crazy Nights” which is now an album that brings a smile even if it didn’t at the initial time of release and the “hit” from the “Smashes, Thrashes, Hits” compilation that the boys released in the late 80’s. We touch both “Revenge” and “Psycho Circus” with two tracks apiece and I think that the second track from each could have been swapped for something else in my humble opinion. Another interesting aspect of this is the fact that the band had been unmasked during almost all of the tunes until when they give us “Psycho Circus”. By the time that song was historically done, the original members had reunited and once again donned their famous face paint. Of course since then a lot more has changed. Such is life in Rock and Roll.
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“Classics” by KISS

Artist: KISS
Title: “Classics”
Label: Island Mercury Records
Release Date: 6/10/2008
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 3.75/5

In 2011 I reviewed a KISS “Best Of” compilation called “45: The Complete Collection” and while it was a nice grouping of tunes it was by no means “complete”. It was available as a digital only release which was great for the new generation of music fans who are glued to their iPods or Droid devices and keep connected to their music that way. With that being the case I never expected to find this collection broken up into three separate products now entitled “Favorites”, “Classics” and “Discoveries”. I took my original text about the complete release and expanded upon it lightly for the sake of this review.
Continue reading “Classics” by KISS