ZZ Top returned after an extended layoff in late 1979 with Degüello, their best album since 1973's Tres Hombres. During their time off, ZZ Top didn't change much – hell, their sound never really changed during their entire career – but it did harden, in a way. The grooves became harder, sleeker, and their off-kilter sensibility and humor began to dominate, as "Cheap Sunglasses" and "Fool for Your Stockings" illustrate. Ironically, this, their wildest album lyrically, doesn't have the unhinged rawness of their early blooze rockers, but the streamlined production makes it feel sleazier all the same, since its slickness lets the perversity slide forth. And, forget not, the trio is in fine shape here, knocking out a great set of rockers and sounding stylish all the time. Undoubtedly one of their strong suits.
Sodom's landmark Persecution Mania stands at the very crossroads of thrash and death metal. A virtual tour de force of blinding speed and blunt force, it is also arguably the best album of Sodom's checkered career. Recorded shortly after the arrival of guitarist extraordinaire Frank Blackfire, Persecution Mania took the group's fast-as-can-be, subtlety-free, roast-every-bridge approach to a whole new level of intensity and power…
Love Gun was Kiss' fifth studio album in three years (and seventh release overall, peaking at number four on Billboard), and proved to be the last release that the original lineup played on. By 1977, Kiss merchandise was flooding the marketplace (lunch boxes, makeup kits, comic books, etc.), and it would ultimately lead to a Kiss backlash in the '80s. But the band was still focused on their music for Love Gun, similar in sound and approach to Rock and Roll Over, their previous straight-ahead rock release. It included Ace Frehley's lead vocals on "Shock Me," as well as one of Kiss' best and most renowned hard rockers in the thunderous title track. The album's opener, "I Stole Your Love," also served as the opening number on Kiss' ensuing tour, while "Christine Sixteen" is one of the few Kiss tracks to contain piano prominently.
Limited to 5000 copies.Paper sleeve. TRY ME, credited to James Brown and his Famous Flames was originally released as KING 12-635 in 1959. It was Brown's second album, and as with most of his non-live pre-1970's albums, it contains previously released singles. Here it's some of his final Federal and later-to-be King sides. Two of TRY ME's album-only cuts were later released as KING singles.