"The guy who said money can't buy you happiness didn't know
where to go shoppin'!"
David Lee Roth, Kerrang!, January 19th 1991
MUSIC REVIEWS: FULL-LENGTH CD RELEASES (BOOTLEG DEPARTMENT)
by Richard Karsmakers
For the first time I've decided to make a split between the
regular CD releases and those that are labelled "bootlegs". These
bootlegs are generally not of commercial quality (although there
are numerous exceptions to that rule) and usually feature full
live concerts not available 'officially'. They all have in common
that the performing artist gets no royalties paid on them. There
are huge discussions possible about condoning bootlegging by
purchasing bootlegs and the like, so before I get down to
reviewing some of them, I'd like to explain my thoughts on the
"Bootlegs are illegal. The artist gets no money from bootleg
sales, but regular album sales hardly dwindle due to bootleg
sales. If you're a real fan of a band and you buy bootlegs of
them, that does not mean their regular albums - i.e. the ones
they do get royalties on - suddenly don't sell anymore. Metallica
puts bootleggers in the snake pit so the recordings can be of
better quality; Marillion releases "semi-official" bootlegs
through their fan club. Dream Theater's drummer Mike Portnoy
likes the fact that Mike Bahr of the Ytsejam list produces
limited edition bootlegs (after all, Mike makes virtually no
money on them). Bootlegs enrich the music experience of listening
to a band. I don't think they can possibly harm a band; I'd
sooner think they help a band."
There. Now let's get down to the descriptions, shall we?
Deep Purple (featuring Joe Satriani) - Flying in a Purple Dream
Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore left the band for the second
time (again to form Rainbow) just prior to a Japanese tour. In
stepped Joe Satriani, who went to do two legs of Deep Purple "The
Battle Rages On" tour before Steve Morse stepped in as a new
At least two good bootleg recordings are known to exist, both
double CDs, and "Flying in a Purple Dream" is one of them. It was
recorded during the Japanese (first) leg of the tour, to be more
precise on December 5th 1993 in Yokohama. Satriani plays the
songs with immaculate precision, a lot closer to the original
versions, and nowhere as sloppy as Ritchie played them when he
was still with the band. Joe even pulls off "Child in Time"
rather well, though I expect nobody will ever equal Ritchie's
version on "Made in Japan" (least of all Blackmore himself!). The
best thing that ever happened to Deep Purple in recent years is
Ritchie's leaving (who as far more at home and a lot better in
Rainbow). This CD is a joy to listen to.
Dream Theater - Carpe Diem (independent)
Some of you, no doubt, may have been aware of my Dream Theater
afficionadity. For the last couple of years, ever since about
1992 they have been my top band. Their compository skills,
coupled with their amazing technical craftsmanship, have caused
me to dig them seriously. As a result, I've been purchasing quite
a few bootlegs of late. "Carpe Diem", made from a remarkably good
audience DAT recording of last year's July "Bospop Festival", is
one of them. Only about a hundred of these discs have been made,
and I am glad to be the owner of one. Apart from the fact that
it's really good quality - possibly a bit too clean at times,
weirdly enough - and a full gig, it also features the incredible
"A Change of Seasons" in the new version as recorded on the EP.
Apart from the encore - "6:00" - the audience is silent enough to
allow you to enjoy the music. A really good disc, this one, and a
real collector's item too!
If you're interested in getting this CD, contact me via email or
snailmail. The guy who makes them actually burns them on CD WORMs
so he can make as much as demand warrants. I know where he lives
so I can get them for you. Expect to pay between US$ 25 and US$
30 for them, including postage.
Dream Theater - Lost in the Sky (Metal Crash)
"Carpe Diem" was not the only Dream Theater bootleg I've
purchased of late. Not by a long shot, actually. Someone recently
sent me a copy of the "Lost in the Sky" double CD, recorded at
Palasesto, Milan, Italy, on November 15th 1993). The reason why I
find it necessary to rave about it is that it is of truly
commercial quality. Although I rated "The Dance of Eternity" at
my personal max, "Lost in the Sky" is just that tad better. A
pre-FM soundboard recording, as a matter of fact. Advantages:
Bass drums aren't too loud, the entire mix is clear, and you hear
the subtlest of keyboard sounds too. Disadvantage: Less audience
atmosphere (though many of you may find this an advantage).
Although it does not feature such fantastic songs as "Eve" with
samples and "A Change of Seasons" (oh hallowed song!), it does
feature other interesting songs such as "Afterlife" (from the
debut album) and a variety of in-between bits and jams such as
"Mission: Impossible Theme", "Puppies on Acid" (in fact the
beginning of "The Mirror" on "Awake") and "Barfbag". These songs
were referred to on the "Ytsejam" Dream Theater Internet mailing
list all the time, but now I finally know what they are...
If you find it, get it. As a fan you won't be disappointed.
There is only one bootleg CD that comes to mind that also has
such excellent sound: Joe Satriani's "Guitar Killer". Bootlegs
are often of good quality, but excellence such as on "Lost in the
Sky" is rare.
The date is the only thing I'd like to say more about. As Dream
Theater were touring Europe about half a year earlier, it may be
doubted whether in fact this was recorded in November. Then
again, it might be anyway.
A full track listing: (CD 1) "Metropolis Part 1", "Mission:
Impossible Theme", "After Life", "Under a Glass Moon", "Wait for
Sleep", "Surrounded", "Ytse Jam", "Puppies on Acid", "Take the
Time", (CD 2) "To Live Forever", "Barfbag", "Another Day", "Only
a Matter of Time", "Pull me Under", "Eve" and "Learning to Live".
Dream Theater - When Dream and Today Unite (Independent)
Remember "Subconscious" and "Acoustic Dreams", the Dream Theater
bootleg CDs that I reviewed in earlier issues of ST NEWS? Well,
whether you do or don't doesn't really matter, as I'll refresh
the memories of those in the know and those entirely unaware all
One of the people who is a member of the Internet "Ytsejam"
Dream Theater mailing list, Mike Bahr, occasionally puts together
good bits from various bootlegs and other sources and releases
them via this mailing list. As a matter of fact, during the time
this ST NEWS issue took to complete, he's done three. The first,
chronologically, is "When Dream and Today Unite". It's a limited
edition of 1000 copies, as opposed to the other ones which are
inevitably 500 copies. What we have here is a re-make of the
Dream Theater debut CD, "When Dream and Day Unite", only with new
singer James LaBrie at the helm instead of the slightly atrocious
original singer, Charlie Dominici. Compiled from rare bootleg
live recordings, it offers much better versions of every single
of the original songs. Two are of somewhat inferior quality due
to their not having been played in concert a lot, but the rest
sounds better musically, and, of course, there's James singing
the stuff. The icing on the cake is the presence of some bonus
tracks that appear to stem back from those olden days but that
were never released even with Charlie doing the singing. Such
small gems include "Get Funky" (which is an alternative intro to
"Status Seeker", really), "Mission Impossible", "March of the
Tyrant" (an excerpt from the old Majesty demos, glued rather
excellently to the end of "Only a Matter of Time", taken off the
"Lost in the Sky" bootleg), "To Live Forever" and
"Moonbubbles/Showdown" ("Showdown" really being "Barfbag"). Sound
quality is, if not commercial, quite awesome.
And the good news is that you can own one, too. Although ST NEWS
will cease to be after this issue, the editorial address will
remain valid for a long time still, and I will also be reachable
on the Internet, the latter hopefully for the rest of my days. I
have got an extra copy of "WDATU", you see, and it's up for sale.
I won't be a total bastard and sell it for US$ 25, which is
exactly the price I payed for it. This price, and there's a minor
catch, is without postage, so in the end it'll probably be about
US$ 30. I'd like to have the money paid in US dollars, and please
contact me before you send any money. If you're afraid someone
else is going to run off with the CD, you can always bung on an
extra $5 or $10 to make sure it goes to he who offers the highest
amount of money, but please don't go berzerk, OK? I will be
taking offers until December 31st, at which time I will sell it
to whoever offered the most (if there are more who offer the
same, I will draw straws for you). Be sure to write down your
address (and/or email address) clearly for when I want to get in
contact with you. The copy for sale is #69 of 1000.
Dream Theater - Antiquities (Independent)
"Antiquities" is, chronologically, the fourth Dream Theater
bootleg Mike Bahr has released (and the second within the
timespan of this issue of ST NEWS). It's kind of a double-package
with "Scenes of a Memory" (below), featuring old stuff and
collectibles from various Dream Theater demos, studio outtakes
and live gigs. Both have been released as limited edition runs of
500 copies. The quality varies, as it's from various sources, but
varies between "moderate" to "almost commercial". This CD offers
"A Crack in the Mirror" (alternative intro to "The Mirror"), "The
Mirror" and "Take the Time/The Mists of Evening" (a longer
version with an alternative ending) from a gig with new
keyboardist Derek Sherinian, recorded on the December 1994 leg of
the "Waking up the World" tour. Further it offers an unused track
from the "Live at the Marquee" gig - "Under a Glass Moon". The
quality of this track is a tad disappointing, because it's below
the standard of the actual "Live at the Marquee" CD. Next follow
two "Images and Words demo session" tracks with James LaBrie on
vocals: "A Change of Seasons" and "Don't Look Past Me". You
should all know the first song by now, which is, in this case,
the same version as that on "Instrumental II" but now with James
on vocals. The latter is an old song that was on Mike Bahr's
first collection CD, "Subconscious", only there it had Dominici
on vocals. The three last tracks are from the autumn 1990
vocalist auditions after Dominici had left the band and they
didn't yet have James LaBrie. Featured here are "Metropolis Part
I" with Steve Stone on vocals (different, but OK, interesting
vocal harmonics at the beginning), and "The Killing Hand" and "A
Fortune in Lies", both with John Arch (ex-Fates Warning) on
vocals. I personally can't stand these last two tracks, for I
think Arch really rapes them. He used to be OK in Fates Warning,
but here he just, well, sucks giant rock.
Dream Theater - Scenes of a Memory (Independent)
When Mike Bahr decided to release the old snippets of Dream
Theater, he had too much stuff to be able to fit it on one CD,
though I am afraid he didn't have quite enough for two. Still,
"Scenes of a Memory" is the second of the two. As far as I am
concerned, it is the least of all CDs he's released so far (and
that includes Rush' "Cygnus", which he released last year and
which has a rather substandard quality standard).
It starts off with four tracks from a gig in Providence,
Richmond, July 20th 1989. Charlie Dominici on vocals, of course.
The intro is interesting, "Distant Echoes", a kind of sampler of
"WDADU", nice as a concert intro. The further three tracks are
instrumentally excellent, though of slightly sub-par quality
sound-wise, but they have Dominici on vocals. I rest my case.
They're not horrible, but they just don't do anything for me.
What follows is a clear filler, the instrumental "Eve" from a
November 1993 gig, still with Kevin Moore on keys. A superior
version already appeared on "Subconscious" and the studio version
appeared on one of the "Awake" singles, so this is just plainly
superfluous. Nothing special about it, either. Excellent quality,
certainly (damn near commercial), but no rarity at all. "Eve" is
followed by three "Awake" demo sessions - "6:00", "Lifting
Shadows off a Dream" and "Caught in a Web". The mix is different,
rougher, and the last of these three is different with regard to
structure. Interesting, but not really the stuff you'd want to
kill for. Still, they're better than the usual demo stuff
Metallica puts on CD singles (James: "nnanannaaannaa"). The disc
further offers to further autumn 1990 vocalist auditions: "A
Change of Seasons" with Chris Cintron on vocals, and "Only a
Matter of Time" with John Arch. Chris is simply horrible at
start, but smartens up a tad further down the song. John Arch
rapes "OaMoT", but thankfully it only lasts over 2 minutes and is
then faded away. Last track on the CD is "Autumn Moon", an
instrumental piano bit by Kevin Moore. Rather nondescript, but I
guess this is a true rarity. So far I've neglected to mention the
most interesting of the offerings, a song called "Oliver's
Twist". It's an "Images and Words" demo session of the original
"Pull me Under", instrumental, longer, with a different bassline
and with an interesting bit of music at the end that would make
it into "Erotomania" (I think) two years down the road.
If you want to have all these Mike Bahr CDs (like I), of course
there is no way around getting this. But, still, it's the one I
would most not mind missing.
And that leaves me waiting for his next two projects: "Critical
Mass" (2CD Rush bootleg, "Counterparts" tour, supposedly of
impeccable quality) and "Precious Things" (something with really
rare and current Dream Theater stuff, has been hyped quite a bit
already and I have a hunch Mike won't let anyone down; it's
scheduled for release in September).
Metallica - Garage Days Pt.II
An interesting new Metallica bootleg digipak release featuring a
combination of demos and the like, this CD features around 75
minutes of music of varying quality. I bought it for 30 Dutch
guilders at a bootleg stall at "Bospop" festival, where all other
vendors sold at at 40. It does pay to look before you leap.
Anyway, let's get down to a description.
The first 6 tracks are March '82 tracks, i.e. two months after
the band was formed. Ron McGovney still plays bass there. The
tracks are "The Mechanics" (an early version of "The Four
Horsemen"), "Killing Time" (Sweet Savage cover), "Let it Loose"
(Savage cover), "Sucking my Love" (a really rare Metallica track,
covering a Diamond Head song, which sadly has a cut in the
middle, missing a segment), "The Prince" (another Diamond Head
cover) and "Jump in the Fire". The quality is fairly OK, what
you'd expect for a 14 year old demo performance, but full of
The next batch contains two March '83 tracks, allegedly the only
tracks with Dave and Cliff in the band: "Whiplash" and "No
Remorse". The CD info claims this is the first time these tracks
occur on a CD or LP at the correct speed. The sound quality is a
bit cleaner than the previous batch.
The rest of the CD features a wide variety of rare and special
bits. There's an early version of "Eye of the Beholder" ("na na
na na na na"...), "Remember Tomorrow" (only the intro, though,
like it appeared during the Donington show of 1995, which stops
short of where it starts to be interesting; good quality), "Two
by Four" (which has in the mean time made it onto two of the four
different "Until it Sleeps" CD singles; good quality, with a
rather different mix), "So What" (with singer Animal of the Anti
Nowhere League on vocals; I believe this version originally
occurred on the video of the "Metallican"; good quality, now
sung with an English accent!), "Am I Evil" and "Helpless"
(featuring the four original members of Diamond Head as well,
NEC, Birmingham, November 5th 1993), "London Dungeon / Last
Caress / Green Hell" (with Glen Danzig of ex-Misfits on vocals,
Chicago 1994), "Rapid Fire" (Miami, 1994, with Rob Halford of ex-
Judas Priest on vocals) and "Merry Fuckin' Christmas From
Metallica (1993 Promo Christmas Message from Jaymz).
All in all, a really interesting collection that is, however,
more fun to have than to listen to. I had the impression that the
cover songs with original vocalists are all inferior to the 100%
Metallica ones, and especially the Diamond Head songs get across
rather chaotic. And it's a real shame that they took "2x4" from
Donington instead of "Devil's Dance", which didn't make it onto
Rush - Critical Mass
Mike Bahr, the guy who makes all these numbered limited edition
Dream Theater bootleg CDs, is also a Rush fan. He already offered
a fairly rare bootleg before, the rather mediocre "Cygnus"
(mediocre when it came to sound quality, for the songs were
great). Now he has joined forces with a guy called Scott Hansen
and has released a limited edition (500 copies) double CD bootleg
of the Rush "Counterparts" tour, "Critical Mass", recorded at
Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA, 22 March 1994. And this time he got
it just right, for what we have here is a full-concert bootleg CD
with a quality next to commercial. All instruments are clearly
audible without excessive bass drums, and the vocals sound
excellent. There's a minor recording glitch in "Cold Fire", but
other than that is the finest Rush bootleg live CD I have ever
heard. The CD features classics like "Analog Kid", "YYZ", "Closer
to the Heart", "Limelight", "Xanadu" and "The Spirit of Radio"
next to new songs the likes of "Animate", "Double Agent", "Cold
Fire", "Leave That Thing Alone" and "Nobody's Hero". And quite
some songs in between, totalling to over two hours with 23 songs
as well as a mysterious bonus track called "The Pieces of Eight".
Very much worth getting, this one. In November, Mike will
produce an extra (final) batch of unnumbered copies in November.
For those of you who are interested, one CD will cost you US$ 60,
including shipping. Contact me for the details if you feel like
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.