Monday, August 06, 2018

Peter Cetera - Live at MPAC (Morristown, NJ)



Peter Cetera of Chicago fame recently came through Morristown, NJ to perform on August 2nd.

As someone who was just a kid in the 80’s when he was belting out ballads like "Glory Of Love" and "After All", I appreciated his music. Once I got more into classic rock, and realized he was the voice of Chicago, I started to dig his tunes even more.

Here we are in 2018 and Peter is still touring, still singing those ballads AND classic Chicago hits, and making audiences laugh. Yes, that’s right. Peter has got quite a sense of humor. Upon entering the stage at the beginning of the show for the song "Restless Heart", he approached the microphone while the crowd gave an ovation. However, the microphone wasn’t adjusted correctly and he had to stop and awkwardly fix it. This obviously delayed the song a bit. But what made it so funny was when he quickly said to the audience, “Ok forget you saw that. Let’s try that again.” At that moment we all laughed and he went back and came out again to a much larger applause. In between songs, Peter would inject funny stories and jokes here and there to keep the audience engaged.

This show was a bit milder for me, since I’m used to going to much louder shows. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. I thoroughly appreciated this performance. Peter performed his usual hits like "Glory Of Love", etc, but what kept it interesting was the introductions and background stories for each song. It really gave you a glimpse into what went on behind the scenes during Peter’s long running career.

Closing out the show was Peter and his band performing “25 or 6 to 4”. He can still hit the notes and had the crowd on their feet dancing along. My only issue was that there was no brass ensemble! To me, there has to be the brass ensemble to give it that extra kick that the original track had. But to hear the original singer perform it live again in 2018 after all these years was good enough. 

Overall, a great show and I hope he gets to come back to the NYC area again soon.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Three O'Clock High [Collector's Edition]


If there's any company that can take an 80's cult classic and give it the proper Blu-ray release it deserves, then it's Shout Factory,

Anyone familiar with this 80's teen classic will remember the name that struck fear in all who walked the halls of the school. I'm talking about Buddy Revell. This guy deserves a spot on the Mount Rushmore of high school movie bullies. He even makes Biff Tannen look like a member of the Mickey Mouse Club in comparison.

But the true star of this film was the likeable underdog known as Jerry Mitchell. At first glance, you'd wonder how he would make it out alive in a fight with Buddy. But by the end of this film, you'll be cheering for Jerry just like we all did for Rocky!

Seriously, this movie is not just one of my favorite 80's movies, but one of my favorite movies period. The performances were great, and you really felt the dread that Jerry felt as the end of the school day approached, The comedy was on point, and didn't sell itself short just for laughs. It was smart, funny, and a truly memorable film!

Shout Factory's Collector's Edition release is one to have for any fan of this classic. It's got special audio commentary by director Phil Joanou, interviews with the screenwriters and costume designers, and other features to make this one a true collectible.

Definitely check this one out!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

THE JEWEL OF THE NILE: LIMITED EDITION SOUNDTRACK



An 80's classic that is a sequel to another 80's classic gets a recent soundtrack release!

My exposure to the  film Jewel Of The Nile was seeing it on constant rotation on HBO in the 80's. The film doesn't live up to the charm of Romancing The Stone, but it was still a fun ride to go along another adventure with Jack and Joan.

Back in the day, the biggest thing that came from this movie was the song "When The Going Gets Tough" by Billy Ocean. That song took over the airwaves and had a really cool video (also starring Douglas, Turner, and DeVito). So the actual score kind of took a backseat to this massive radio hit.

La La Land Records recently released the soundtrack to Jewel on CD. I honestly have forgotten the score, since it has been years since I've seen the film. But revisiting this on CD, it was nice to hear the score by Jack Nitzsche all over again. Suddenly I had flashbacks of key scenes in the film while certain tracks played on my radio. Overall, it was great to revisit the movie through the score composed by Mr. Nitzsche.

Definitely recommended for any fan of the film, or of movie scores in general.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

La-La Land Records Roundup!

La-La Land Records has quickly become one of my favorite record labels. Each release they put out seems to appeal to pop-culture junkies from the 80's and beyond. Whether it's releasing the soundtrack for classics like Romancing The Stone, Die Hard, or Creepshow, they keep putting out special edition CD's that are must haves.

Here are some of their releases that I've had the privilege of getting a copy of:


FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF: LIMITED EDITION


Since 1986, Ferris Bueller's Day Off has been one of the most beloved 80's films. Not only that, but it also contains one of the best soundtracks too. But did you know there was never any official soundtrack released for the film? That is, until La-La Land released one. This soundtrack is an absolute gem that contains every track that supported the movie, helping it to be the massive hit that it became. All the obvious songs like "Oh Yeah" by Yello and "Danke Schoen" by Wayne Newton are here. But it's also the random tracks that played throughout the movie like "Beat City" by The Flowerpot Men" when Ferris peeled out of the school parking lot after picking up Simone are here. Along with the songs that were featured in the film is the original score by Ira Newborn. Listening to this score again really takes you back to each scene. Like in the track "Ferris on Line 2" for example. You can truly feel the terror on Rooney's face when listening to this track. Overall, this soundtrack is a long awaited one that really delivered the goods!



BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA: LIMITED EDITION (2CD-SET)


Who can forget Kurt's memorable performance in this 80's cult classic? I remember catching this when it was shown on HBO in the 80's. It was a wacky and fun adventure/sci-fi/comedy mashup that holds up til this day. John Carpenter & Alan Howarth’s complete score for the film is here on this remastered 2 CD set. Like most other releases by La-La Land, this one comes with a cool 20 page booklet that makes this a true collectible. If you love this film, then this is one to definitely add to the collection.



POLICE ACADEMY: LIMITED EDITION



Another La-La Land release of a hard to find soundtrack is Police Academy! Those of us that grew up in the 80's were fortunate to have been able to see such zany comedies like Police Squad. The original score by Robert Folk was a huge part of what made this movie a hit. Each track on this CD captures the same fun and hijinks that were in the movie. This release is another one that most fans of 80's films will cherish. This one is a limited edition release, so try to get a copy while you can!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Blues Traveler - Live at Irving Plaza NYC (2/23/18)



In case you didn’t know, Blues Traveler is in the middle of celebrating their 30th anniversary by embarking on a nationwide tour. On Friday, they gave a sold-out crowd in Irving Plaza their money’s worth by delivering a night of pure fun.

Even though the band goes back 30 years, they really hit their stride in the mid 90’s. But if you only know them for 90’s hits like Run-Around and Hook, then you’re missing out! On this night, they brought their diverse catalog of songs to an audience that consisted of both young and older fans alike.


When it was time for the band to play, they walked onto the stage as the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” blared through the speakers. Once they got situated, frontman John Popper greeted the NYC audience and then stated, "We are 30 f**king years old!". After that, they wasted no time in jumping in to playing some tunes for this excited crowd.

From start to finish, the band rolled through hit after hit. As great as it is to hear their songs in concert, the real highlights of the show were whenever they broke into an impromptu jam session. In between songs, the bandmates would go back and forth and just turn into a full blown jam extravaganza! You could see how they just feed off each other’s energy during the show. There wasn't a dull moment at all. At the end, they said goodbye to this satisfied NYC audience by blowing a kiss from the stage.


If you’ve only heard radio or album versions of their music, then you really have to see them live. This is one band that sounds amazing in concert. 

After 30 years, these guys haven’t skipped a beat. Hopefully, they keep trucking along and have many more tours to come!

Friday, February 02, 2018

Die Hard - Soundtrack (La-La Land Records)



If you're ever stuck in Nakatomi Plaza and waiting for a man named John McClane to come save the day, a good CD to pass the time is the memorable Die Hard soundtrack by composer Michael Kamen.

La-La Land continues their catalog of high quality, limited edition CD's for movie junkies everywhere with this release. Like most of their CD's, it comes with extras like bonus tracks and a booklet that features in-depth material that take you back to this movie masterpiece. Speaking of bonus tracks, some of the ones included are Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis" and Vaughn Monroe’s “Let It Snow” to give that true holiday feel. People that believe Die Hard is a holiday film will definitely be happy to hear these on the CD.

With so many good products that have been released by La-La Land records, this is another one not to pass up by any fans of the film. With it being a limited release, all the more it makes it worth getting.

This CD definitely gets a "Yippee Ki Yay"!