The Rundown: Bachman and Turner, Foreigner, Deep Purple, Twisted Sister

The Rundown returns for a 58th time – this time with five killer releases that you’re going to want to check out for sure, especially if you’re a fan of classic rock. This time out we check out new releases from Bachman and Turner, Foreigner, Deep Purple and a double dose of Twisted Sister.

File Under: Classic Rock Live
Bachman & Turner - Live at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC (Eagle): Two discs, twenty songs, and a whole lot of timeless music make up Bachman and Turner’s Live at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC release. As you’d expect, there is a heaping helping of songs you’re  more than likely very familiar with on this live set, handfuls of hits like “Let It Ride,” “Takin’ Care of Business,” “Roll On Down the Highway,” “Hey You” and “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” though the true highlights of this set might just be a pair of Guess who tracks – “American Woman” and “Shakin’ All Over,” though the latter is actually a cover of Johnny Kidd and the Pirates. The setlist here is fairly blueprint and somewhat predictable as far as B&T goes, with “Roll On Down the Highway” and “Takin’ Care of Business” closing out the night festivities. Regardless, Live at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC is about as pitch perfect as you can get, which is pretty much par the course for them. Consider Live at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC an example of Bachman and Turner just doing what they do, and damn, do they do it well.
Grade: B+
Go Download: “American Woman”

File Under: Hard Rock
Foreigner - Alive and Kickin’ (Eagle): The biggest question about Foreigner’s Alive and Kickin’ live set is whether or not newly anointed frontman Kelly Hanson could amply fill the shoes of Lou Gramm, and the short answer is yes. At times throughout this set Hanson appears to be channeling Gramm, but overall he holds his own and handles these incredible songs with care. And speaking of incredible songs that pretty much all oyu’ll get here with this live CD. There are only nine tracks in total, but this setlist plays as a greatest hits playlist for Foreigner, and chances are, if you could pop this record into the jukebox at your local bar the next time you’re out enjoying some cold adult beverages, you would in a heartbeat. Opened with “Double Vision,” Alive and Kickin’ doesn’t slow or fade, as the hits from the bands massive body of work come at you rapid fire. “Cold As Ice” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Juke Box Hero” (don’t miss the bands segue into Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” here) and “Cold Blooded” comprise the main body of Alive and Kickin, an album that could easily find itself in heavy rotation in your collection. While it’s clear Foreigner isn’t the bands they were 20 or 30 years ago, Alive and Kickin’ shows the band still have some legs and more than enough gas in the tank to rock your face.
Grade: B
Go Download: “Juke Box Hero”

File Under: Live Down Under
Deep Purple - Total Abandon Australia 99’ (Eagle Records): As you’d probably expect, Deep Purple’s Total Abandon Australia 99’ release is littered with hits, timeless tracks like “Strange Kind of Woman” and “Woman From Tokyo” strewn about, though the bulk of the new live offering is centered around material off the bands 1998 long player Abandon (“Almost Human,” “Watching the Sky,” “Bloodsucker”). As should be expected, Total Abandon Australia 99’ is capped off predictably with the Deep Purple standard closer “Highway Star,” though it’s the bands memorable rendition of “Smoke of the water” that steals the show. Sure, the song in and of itself is always noteworthy, though on this night the bands went the extra mile to make things special. The band tinker with the classic tune, tossing in bits and pieces from other timeless works such as Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” the Beatles’ “Day Tripper” and the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” in an effort to ramp up the performance, and it’s clear the crowd isn’t as hot throughout the night as they were during this rendition of “Smoke.” With Total Abandon Australia 99’, there’s plenty of excellent guitar work to go around, and on the whole, while this release doesn’t stack up to other live releases from Deep Purple’s extensive live catalog, it’s not one that should be overlooked.
Grade: C+
Go Download: “Smoke on the Water”

File Under: From the Vault
Twisted Sister - Live at Hammersmith (Armoury Records/Eagle Rock): Putting the phrase ‘Twisted Sister re-releases’ in the same sentence with Eagle Rock Entertainment is always a good idea, and the latest combination of both of those wonderful things is Twisted Sister Live at Hammersmith, a reboot of the bands performance at the mighty Hammersmith Apollo from 1984, an album originally released in 1994 but flew under the radar. Live at Hammersmith finds the band in the middle of their Stay Hungry tour, ripping through a killer set that not only features timeless fan favorites like “I Wanna Rock” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” but also slightly lesser known hits like “The Kids Are Back,” “Destroyer” and “Under the Blade.” This set is a great representation of the electricity Twisted Sister has the ability of generating while on stage, one that will make a brilliant addition to your ever-growing collection. And that’s not even mentioning the two bonus tracks taken from a show in Detroit from 1979, a cover of Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock” and “Train Kept A-Rollin,” a track made famous by Aerosmith. As is the case of most every Eagle Rock re-release, Live at Hammersmith is a record you should own.
Grade: B+
Go Download: “Stay Hungry”

File Under: Rock for the Fans
Twisted Sister - Club Daze Volume II: Live in the Bars (Armoury Records/Eagle Rock): The best thing about Twisted Sister’s Club Daze Volume II: Live in the Bars, is also its biggest detriment – it’s clearly an album made for the fans. Casual fans probably won’t find much noteworthy here, but hardcore fans should devour this collection of live performances and demos. The clear highlights are the albums final two songs, covers of Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” and Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” takes that see the band apply their own coat of mascara, including some improvised Dee Snider lyircs, but rest assured there’s more here to sink your teeth into. The bulk of Club Daze Volume II: Live in the Bars was recorded for radio in 1979, a set that includes standouts like “Under the Blade” and “Lady’s Boy,” but the first two tracks, “Never Say Never” and “Blastin’ Fast,” both recorded in 2001, are more than worth your time. Dear hardcore Sister fans, Club Daze Volume II: Live in the Bars is a must-own, for obvious reasons.
Grade: C+
Go Download: “Long Tall Sally”