GOODBYE TO ROMANCE; GOODBYE TO PHYSICAL MEDIA: B'S

AAAAAA

* - Asterisk means I already had a good mp3 copy of this album, but threw up a few words anyway in the name of having an internet-based chronicle of all my legally-purchased, store-bought music


times - Beavis Having Rad Times means that this CD's purchase was directly or indirectly influenced by the Beavis & Butthead television show

B

Bad Brains - Bad Brains (1982, ROIR) - Oh man, the ROIR tape, the one Bad Brains record that everyone who only legally owns one Bad Brains record legally owns. I might be a poser, you guys. Somehow, I found my copy at Goodwill, which is weird, because what kind of maniac gives that to Goodwill? I could buy someone stealing it out of a car and pawning it, pawn shop dudes all trying to look legit when every CD they sell has no case, and a nearby shelf is just absolutely lousy with empty Cd wallets and visor CD holder thingies. I wish cops would make some loophole, so a pawnshop could just name their store something like "Dave's Stolen Goods" or "Drugs are More Important Than This Guitar Thrift and Pawn." Everybody knows that half of what's in there is stolen and the other half is the result of unfathomable sadness. But anyway, the music sections of Goodwill are usually just records from people whose Mamaw died and they don't know what to do with some 101 Strings or Herb Alpert records, mixed in with random CD-ROM games from 1994, so this being in there was nigh-inexplicable. What if someone's Mamaw was into hardcore punk and reggae, and their grandkids were just boring little shits?

B.B. King - Every Day I Have the Blues (2004, Echo Bridge)- I dunno, every so often, you can find neat crap on the shelves near the registers at the Ross Dress for Less.  It's weird, though, because this CD sounds off to me. I know some of it is live and some of it is unfathomably old, but it all sounds like someone making a tape recorder bootleg of a regular-sounding record from across the room. Was recording equipment really that bad back in the day, and this sounds reasonably fine, or am I just tripping? Did Scott Burns produce records for the King of the Blues, before Roadrunner Records hired him to make all that old death metal sound like hell? A mystery for the ages.

Belladonna - Belladonna (1995, Mausoleum) - Man, this, I dunno. This should be good, but it mostly just makes me sad. It's Anthrax's singer with Anthrax's old producer making Anthrax-sounding music, but I just never could get into this. Like the first song starts by lifting a section from "In My World," and maybe I'm reading too much into this, but some of it sounds like the most sour of grapes regarding his old band, and that's understandable, but it gets grating after a while. Maybe he should've just taken 15 years or so off and seen about rejoining Anthrax, that would probably be a good idea that I thought of.

Bill Cosby - ... Far From Finished (2CDs -  2013, Comedy Central) - Haha oh sweet Jesus fuck, I'm not touching this one. I really think he actually is finished, though.

Billy Joel - Songs in the Attic (1981, Columbia) - I'm pretty sure that my wife has actual musical taste, so she listens to music for grownups on occasion. Not much to say about this, aside from that I thought it was way older for some reason, and I always thought he was singing "Captain Jack will get you high tonight." I'm sure someone's done a parody of that song that actually says that, and I bet it was super clever if you've never read books.

Bitch - Be My Slave / Damnation Alley (1982/1983, Metal Blade) - I still hold to my theory that Betsy Bitch was once a nice girl from an upstanding middle-class family who loved her a great deal and supported her love of music and bought her singing lessons, and then teen rebellion kicked in and she started a metal band named Bitch and started singing songs about tying dudes up and whipping them, and GODDAMMIT BETSY, YOU ARE BREAKING YOUR MOTHER'S HEART. Anyway, this always felt like it should be terrible, but really isn't, but also is not super-good, either. Either way, it doesn't matter, because when Metal Blade would put a 99-cent clearance sale on the old website, you could just go nuts and not care about the consequences.

Black Flag - Damaged (1981, SST) - Black Flag is pretty much the official soundtrack to teenage male-type dudes who hate things and know that punk exists, but I never bothered with them until I was around 23 or so, even though I was in close proximity to several punk rockers in my misspent youth. And even at that older age, when I was a real mean sack of shit, I didn't like this at all. Fast forward a few years, at a point when I was pushing thirty and fat and happy and just hugged cats all day, I gave Black Flag another shot, and all of a sudden I was like "YYEEEEEAAAHHH, SPRAY! PAINT! THE! WALLS!" I'll never be able to figure that one out.

Black Flag - The First Four Years (1983, SST) - As far as the actual sound of any of the singers Black Flag had are concerned, Henry Rollins was my favorite singer of the bunch, but their best stuff was all done before he was in the band. (and really, once you get past Damaged, it gets real iffy sometimes) So this is the absolute goddamn best, even if you just put "Nervous Breakdown" on and endless loop and never acknowledge the existence of the rest of it. Just whenever someone invents time travel, maybe after they kill Baby Hitler, they can teach Spot how to produce records, because man, so much of this just *sounds* so bad.

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath (1970, Warner Bros.) - Hey, remember the Anthrax Gauntlet from back when we were still in the A's? Well, here's the Sabbath Gauntlet, which won't be the last time a single band has like ten CDs here. (Much to my eternal shame, the Motörhead Gauntlet won't be insanely long, because most of my Motörhead stuff was nefariously downloaded like ten seconds after I got high speed internet, but I'm working on it, dammit, I'm taking steps.) Anyway, I just remembered that time Dave Mustaine bragged about starting the trend of bands putting bells in their songs, (and now I can't remember which song off off Killing is My Business that it was) but not only were "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "Hell's Bells" already out by then, but the song "Black Sabbath," by the band Black Sabbath, off the album Black Sabbath, starts with church bells, literally the first song off the first album by the first heavy metal band. How were we ever so young and innocent to not think that Dave Mustaine was full of dog shit?

Black Sabbath - Paranoid (1970, Warner Bros.) - OHHHH SHIT, IT HAD TWO CDS INSIDE, AND I FOUND MY COPY OF SOUND OF WHITE NOISE BY ANTHRAX AND YOU CAN GO OVER TO THE A PAGE AND SEE THAT NOW, YESSSSS. Anyway, much as Sound of White Noise was one of my first eleven CDs I bought from my cousin, this was one of my second dozen that  I got from Columbia House. Also, it was my first exposure to Black Sabbath beyond mere "best of" cassettes bought from gas stations, (I think I still have one of those somewhere, but the cover is long gone, possibly from as early as two previous owners ago) and was my first exposure to the fact that Ozzy's entire solo career is a moist turd from someone you don't like when compared to the first few Sabbath albums. Everything on here is amazing, even the wimpy hippy song with bongos that the Oklahoma City rock station played constantly, because even stations that are all "KATT: YOUR HOME OF THE ROCK!!!" are still just going to play the slow, quiet song, so as to not disturb the normals. Come to think of it, not only was "Planet Caravan" the only Black Sabbath song that station would ever play, but it was also the only Pantera song they'd ever play. Come on, you guys.

Black Sabbath - Master of Reality (1971, Warner Bros.) - There was a time back when I was still young and athletic, (as in fat and slow, but still young enough to have hope that things could change someday) I would watch Extreme Championship Wrestling every weekend on the crazy not-quite-public-access-but-close channel, (as part of the damnedest 6-plus hour block of wrestling ever assembled on a weekly basis, which is how I spent the time I was supposed to spend talking to girls) and have pie-in-the-sky dreams of one day becoming a rassler and going to ECW, (which was going to last forever with no chance of bankruptcy, because they were Extreme) and for some reason, I always envisioned "Children of the Grave" as my unlicensed ECW entrance music that they'd have to edit out of VHS releases. I'm 36 now, and all my dreams of concussion-based glory are dead, but this is still really great.

Black Sabbath - Vol. 4 (1972, Warner Bros.) - I mentioned Black Sabbath tapes from gas stations earlier, and I originall got this album in such a manner. The funny thing was that it was sold to me with a weird cover under the title Children of the Grave, even though I just mentioned that being off the previous album, and I guess to justify it, they tacked on the Live at Last version of that song at the end. Even though that was technically a legal release, it was still kind of bootleg as hell, and I'm sad that the death of physical media means that stuff like that doesn't happen anymore. No one gets to act like they're hot shit, because they have the older version of Ride the Lightning where the album cover is a square at the top of the tape with the title printed below, as opposed to the one with just the cover cropped into a rectangle, because it's all ones and zeroes now. I'm still really sad that I was too broke to grab all those Russian 2CD bootlegs of all the 80s Iron Maiden CDs that popped up at Hastings that one time. Anyway, this is probably the last fully-infallible Black Sabbath album, but as such, is fully infallible.

Black Sabbath - Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath (1974, Warner Bros.)- I remember being super excited when the Columbia House package arrived, because the title track was the best thing ever, even back when I only knew it as an Anthrax cover version. But it took me years to enjoy this beyond that and a couple other songs, which was jarring, because the previous four were just top-to-bottom greatness without a skipped track anywhere. And even what's good is kind of blandly inoffensive, and dudes, I am really struggling to come up with anything to say in the alotted time of ripping the CD, as set forth in the official rules, and Sweet Jesus, why is it taking so long. Is the CD scratched? Is my DVD-RW drive broken just a couple months after replacing the old one? Is this real? Am I dead? Are we all just figments of - Okay, CD's done.

Black Sabbath - Sabotage (1975, Warner Bros.) - I always thought this was a weird one, because "Am I Going Insane" is the song that's on all the greatest hits compilations, but "Hole in the Sky" and "Symptom of the Universe" are the ones that are actually good. Hearing "Hole in the Sky" for the first time as a dude who was way late for the bus for old Sabbath was traumatic for me, because I am pretty much the Sacred Reich dude, like I got shirts and posters and everything, and I'm pretty sure I liked Independent way more than TR00 METAL types are supposed to, and it turned out that "Crawling" pretty much shamelessly stole its first minute or two from that song. I mean, it's one thing when mid-period Megadeth would appropriate Metallica stuff, because Dave's an ass, but also might be the uncredited writer for the original, but Phil Rind should know better. He just seems so nice.

Black Sabbath - Never Say Die (1978, Warner Bros.) - This is the last O.G. Ozzy Osbourne era album, and man, I get it. The title track is great, and if I ever magically become a filmmaker, I'm going to craft a movie around the possibility of using it as the closing credits, but I literally remember nothing about the rest. I think these dudes were pretty much done in their present form at this point, and if I had the opportunity to kick Ozzy out and hire David Donato Ronnie James Dio, I'd have done it too. It's funny that in the triumphant final run for Black Sabbath, the album cover for this figured heavily into all the imagery and whatnot and T-shirts with the jet pilot guys starting popping up everywhere. I guess it was some sort of subversive way of saying "now that it's legally Sharon Osbourne's band, Dio/Tony Martin/etc. never existed, and we're picking up from the band's last album." Fuck Sharon Osbourne. I don't wish death on her or anything, but maybe just accidentally, non-fatally shot out of a cannon or something cartoonish. I dunno, I just always like the idea of people being shot out of cannons. (R.I.P., the concept of the circus.)

*Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell (1980, Warner Bros.) - It would be easy to just copy and paste the lyrics and tell you that this is the greatest, like a 99 on a scale of 1 to 10, so I'm going to do that.

Oh no, here it comes again
can't remember when we came so close to love before
Hold on, good things never last
nothing's in the past, it always seems to come again
again and again and again

Cry out to legions of the brave
time again to save us from the jackals of the street
Ride out, protectors of the realm
captain's at the helm, sail across the sea of lights

Circles and rings, dragons and kings
weaving a charm and a spell
Blessed by the night, holy and bright
called by the toll of the bell

Bloodied angels fast descending
moving on a never-bending light
phantom figures free forever
out of shadows, shining ever-bright

Neon Knights!
Neon Knights! all right!

Cry out to legions of the brave
time again to save us from the jackals of the street
Ride out, protectors of the realm
captain's at the helm, sail across the sea of lights
again and again, again and again and again

Neon Knights!
Neon Knights!
all right!

This is the greatest, like 99 on a scale of 1-10.

Black Sabbath - Live at Last (1980, NEMS - my copy was released by Power Sound 2001 in 1996) - Ahhh, I've jut been doing these in the order I grab them off the shelf, and this was in the wrong place, and it's going to bug me. But this is another weird bootleggish CD, where it got released without the band's permission on some weird label and then re-released by another even weirder label, (again, with a weird cover) where I found it on the cheap CD rack at Walmart. It was funny to think how clueless about the entire world I was at the time, because right after I picked it up, this girl from school, Ginger, saw me and said hi or whatever and asked what I was getting. And in my awkward attempt at human interaction, I said something about having never heard of this CD before and actually said something about hoping it was a good one with Ozzy singing "instead of Dio or whoever," all dismissively, and that horrifies me now, because now I'm older and wiser, and Ronnie James Dio was so much a better singer than Ozzy Osbourne you guys, seriously, it is insane. Anyway, this actually did have Ozzy, and I liked it, despite the entire world (and the band) having a hugely negative opinion toward it.

Black Sabbath - Mob Rules (1981, Warner Bros.) - Not only is the title track off this pretty much the secret second-best Black Sabbath song, ("Heaven and Hell" is the first greatest) but the scene from Heavy Metal where this song plays while ever goblin looking dudes are fucking the world up is the best combination of cartoons and heavy metal that exists, unless you count the full 90 minute run time of Transformers the Movie. Heavy Metal also had that scene where the WW2 bomber gets possessed by the evil orb thingy and zombie dudes are all decaying and evil and coming for that one guy, and even in the edited for TNT form that I originally saw it in, that scene screwed up my life for months, and thinking about it 20 years later is going to make me sleep with the lights on, because I have delicate sensibilities.

The Best of Black Sabbath (2001, Platinum Disc) - I got this off the same Walmart cheapo Cd rack that I got Live at Last from, and it's not so much the actual best of Black Sabbath so much as the best of the Tony Martin years, (or at least the best that trifling-ass Platinum Disc could get the rights to) aka The Version of Black Sabbath That No One Talks About. I should give this another try someday, because I think I just kinda barely skimmed through it and got disappointed that none of it was Ozzy or Dio, but I'm old as hell and open to new experiences now, so maybe Tony Martin is okay? There used to be an NFL wide receiver named Tony Martin, and I would put him in at running back for the Dolphins on Tecmo Super Bowl for no good reason, other than to prove that I could rush for 1,000 yards with Miami's #4 receiver.

Black Sabbath - The Dio Years (2007, Warner Bros./Rhino) - Man, fuck Sharon Osbourne. After they put this out with a new new Dio-based recordings, they were like "aw hell yeah, let's just do a whole new album," but since Sharon owned all the trademarks by then - she finally got Tony Iommi to sell it all off after he went broke by having fucking cancer - only Ozzy-fronted stuff could bear the Sabbath name. So that's why Heaven and Hell (the band) happened, because Iommi was no longer legally allowed to use his own band's name for his own band. They always have that ripoff of The View that Sharon is on playing in the break room at work, and every time I see it, part of me wishes that the Ozzfest crowd that booed her off the stage after she got Iron Maiden egged had just bum-rushed the show and torn her apart and gnawed on her bones like the High Septon. Okay, maybe that's harsh, and I didn't really mean it. Still, fuck her.

*Black Sabbath - 13 (2013, Universal) - Hey look, the first Black Sabbath record with Ozzy Osbourne in like 40 years happened, and it kinda sucked.

Blood for Blood - Serenity EP (2004, Thorp) - After my copy of Livin' in Exile disappeared, this is the only Blood for Blood Cd I legally own, because I got super into them right around that magical, decadent period in late 2002 when the move to Oklahoma gave me high speed internet, I found out that the file-sharing program Soulseek existed, and I realized that everything on earth was free, so long as you stole it. So I always *almost* go back and buy some of that stuff, (or at least replace the missing CD) but then I get all creeped out because Buddha got busted for trying to force himself on a 14 year old a few years back, and then I hit the back button and window-shop elsewhere. Maybe I should just PayPal like 20 bucks directly to White Trash Rob or something.

*Bob Marley - Bob Marley Box Set (4CDs, 2011, Wagram) - So, uhh, we've had this set for like three weeks I think, and got it right around the same time as a bunch of other stuff (tax refund season) and I have literally never listened to it. I'm sure it's perfectly fine, even if it is kind of a weird scattering of decidedly  non-"greatest hits" kinda stuff, with a tribute Cd tacked on at the end. It's odd, because so much about this screams "cheap CD you find by the register at Big Lots," but the tribute part looks like it had some real effort put into it, with people I've heard of and everything, like Sinead O'Connor and Dennis Brown. Anyway, only having compilation-type Bob Marley stuff (as opposed to regular albums) in your possession is one of the whitest things a person can do, and lord, I try real hard to fight against it, but every so often, I just have to honor the traditions of my people.

Body Count - Body Count (1992, Sire) -

YEEEEEEEEEEAHHHH MUTHAFUCKAAAAAAAAAA, BODY COUNT, N-WOOOOOOOOOOORD

Sadly, I have the false second-pressing of this that doesn't have "Copkiller" on it, which obviously sucks, because it's a reminder of the time that Ice-T totally just rolled over in the face of pressure from The Man, but also because that was the best track off the real version of this. So we do what we must, which is to download a copy of copkiller.mp3 and just change the digitized track numbers for everything else, to simulate it being the real thing. You take the small victories where you can get them, I guess.

Body Count - Born Dead (1994, Virgin) - I got this off Ebay back in the day, and my copy has got bigass stickers all over it indicating that it is now and forever record company property and that it can never be sold and that it "must be returned on demand." So I've spent the better part of 20 years living in fear, wondering if and when Richard Branson was going to show up in my front yard, all stepping out of a blimp or a hovercraft or something, demanding upon pain of death that I return his copy of Born Dead by Body Count immediately.

Body Count - Violent Demise: The Last Days (1997, Virgin) - The first track off this rules, because it's a rap-metal collaboration with a group from Ice-T's label called Raw Breed, and it includes a dude named Bizarra who sounds like a cartoon monster and just yells wild shit like "I'M HIGH AND DUSTED, RAAAARGH, NARCOTIC" the whole time. Sometimes, I want to get onto the Googles and find out whatever became of that dude, but based on his behavior here, I'm sure nothing good could have happened, like he probably died trying to fist fight a live jaguar or rob an army base or something. YEAH IT'S RAW BREED, B.C., KILLIN OVERSEAS, DROPPIN OFF ROOFTOPS, PUNKS HANG FROM TREES

Bruce Dickinson - The Chemical Wedding (1998, CMC International) - Somehow, I missed this when it initially came out, probably due to the lack of access from being in rural Mississippi with no job, 56K welfare internet, and no record stores for like 30 miles. After a few years of people telling me how this was a life-changing masterpiece of pure genius, greater perhaps than any of Bruce's Iron Maiden material, I finally picked it up in maybe 2007 or so, and it's... Okay, I guess. I mean, I really have nothing bad to say about it, but it didn't really blow my dick to the back of the room, either, you know?

The Bruce Lee Band - The Bruce Lee Band (1996, Asian Man) - Haha, oh man, the late 90s happened, so here's a ska CD. Won't be many of those, relatively speaking, but there are at least a few more of these I'll get to eventually. The Bruce Lee Band (B. Lee Band, if you're one of Bruce Lee's lawyers) is a side project of Mike Park from Skankin' Pickle, so this basically sounds a lot like them, but with some occasional acoustic stuff. It's funny, because I flew half-blind into this one, since the song that I had previously heard before placing a "well-concealed cash" order to No Idea Records for this and some other stuff sounded nothing like anything else on here. It worked out in the end, because this is good, and even if it had sucked, I seriously think it was like $6 at a time when $18 was semi-reasonable for a CD.

Brujeria - The Mexicutioner! The Best of Brujeria (2003, Roadrunner) - For the longest time, I would take semi-weekly trips to the local Hastings and *almost* buy Matando Gueros by these dudes, but I never did. Because every time, I'd flash back to the time I bought some magazine, like Terrorizer or Metal Hammer, and it had a cover price of $6.66, and the cashier gave me a shitty look and made some shitty comment, and I'd like to tell y'all that I stood up for Heavy Metal and hissed at the guy and yelled "DEVIL! DEVIIIILLLLL!!" like David Putty did to that priest in the one Seinfeld episode, but honestly, I just kind of shamefully slunk out of the place with my magazine, feeling kind of shitty for upsetting the sensibilities of someone who had even more delicate ones than my own. So no way in hell was I going to risk blowing someone's goddamn mind out with a CD that had a real photo of a literal burned-up severed head on the cover. And that's why I just have the "best of" CD.

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