Jan 1, 2016

The Ritchie Blackmore Story, Tuff, and more

By Bob Suehs

TUFF

“Decadation”

I give Stevie and the boys in Tuff credit for putting out a kick ass vinyl record which is essentially a rarities collection.  The packaging is very cool in a retro-yet-currently-modern style and if you didn’t know better you would swear this record came out in the late 80’s or early 90’s!

The “rehearsal” takes are literally the band rehearsing and it’s nice to hear how the band sounds in an un-polished and raw style as opposed to the heavily produced versions most fans will know.

The record itself sounds superb and is pressed on very thick vinyl which delivers the best sound possible.  

The attention to detail is what made me fall in love with this record because it was all clearly thought out in advance and a lot of work was done to make this a cool representation of Tuff.   There’s random trivia written in the liner notes and the vintage fliers which adorn both sides of the insert give a nice glimpse to Tuff’s past.

The Japanese Interview with the band was clearly recorded off of the radio and has random static throughout the interview. The static filled interview is a nice little snapshot of the bands past and the interpreters ad a slight comical element.

All in all this is a kick ass record and like I said, the band put a lot of work into making this a solid package for the fans.

 

 

TUFF

“What Comes Around Goes Around…Again!”

This TUFF cd is a re-recorded/remastered disc chock full o’ the past and present.  The first 6 songs are re-recorded versions of songs from the “What Comes Around..” disc but the catch is that each song has special guests.  Stephen Pearcy, George Lynch, Keri Kelli, and Steve Brown are just a few of the guests and they add a new element to each song while maintaining the style of the original version.

The remastered tracks are #7-12 and they sound good with just a touch of added production to what was on the original mixes.  

 

STEVIE RACHELLE

“Since sixty-six”

This record came out in 2000 yet still sounds fresh and relevant.  This record does not sound like Tuff; this is a singer/songwriter styled record and every track is relatable, honest, and real.

Tuff’s style of music is clearly hair/glam metal and Stevie surprised me with the direction of the music on this release because most of these songs are stripped down, well written, honest anthems.

 

SHAMELESS

“Queen 4 A Day”

This interesting project that Alexx Michael started.  It features 2 lead vocalists; Steve Summers from Pretty Boy Floyd and Stevie Rachelle from Tuff.  Musically this record is straight up glam/hair metal and if you read the liner notes you will realize there’s a MAJOR connection to the band KISS on this cd.

My only complaint would be that the backing vocals to most of the Steve Summers songs were just too annoying and poorly produced.  The overly echoed backing vocals sound amateurish and personally I feel like the songs that Rachelle sings are the stronger ones.  

 

TUFF

“The Glam Years”

This 13 song disc features early work by the band Tuff with the first 6 songs featuring the bands original singer Jim Gillette while the last 7 songs features Stevie Rachelle on vocals.  

This disc is a cool little blast from the past and features material previously unreleased on cd.

 

THE RITCHIE BLACKMORE STORY

“dvd”

This long awaited documentary on the life of Ritchie Blackmore is for the most part an absolute let down.  The movie starts off a tad slow and what you start to realize quit fast is that this is a Blackmore production and therefore they do their best to show Ritchie as a “god” yet he comes off as an arrogant prick.

 I will give Ritchie credit, he is a pioneer, an amazing guitarist, and an influential musician yet the portrait they try to paint of Mr. Blackmore on this documentary is not so flattering in my opinion.

Ritchie clearly used this movie to promote his wife’s career while also doing his best to downplay/trash talk Deep Purple’s members.  Ian Gillan IS the voice of Deep Purple yet he is not interviewed in this movie; the most you get is Ritchie telling negative stories about him and insinuating that he wasn’t a great singer.  

The most interesting part of this film was the footage from Cal Jam where Ritchie destroyed pretty much everything in sight which included him setting his Marshall stacks on fire and smashing a video camera!

I would highly recommend this documentary as a must watch film because despite Blackmore’s pompous nature this IS a great documentary because it’s so over the top.  This film is pure Spinal Tap!