This is the first installment of my favorite 25 albums of all time. Like my top 20 books list, no artist can be represented more than once. Also, keep in mind, I am making no claim that these albums are the best, just that they are my favorite. They had, in some way or another, a distinct impact on me and I consider them to be essential recordings.
In these posts, I will be hosting mp3 files, so readers of BillyBlog can listen to essential tracks from each album. These tracks will be available for a short time only, and if you like what you hear, you are encouraged to buy the artist's music. Links will be provided to facilitate that option.
So without further ado, here is the first in the series:
A long time ago, in a galaxy far away.....
Or, in Honolulu in the early 1980's...
there was a fine establishment, a specialty store called The Cavern, named after the nightclub the Beatles cut their teeth in, in Liverpool.
The Cavern was...a heavy metal store. Specializing exclusively in heavy metal records, pins, t-shirts, and other hard rock paraphernalia. It was owned by Norm Dale, father of one of my best friends, Chris, who now fronts, along with his brother Mark on bass, the band Rurik.
But this isn't about the Cavern, per se, or Chris, or Rurik, it's about the Fiends.
Needless to say, I spent many hours of my adolescence hanging out with headbangers and metalheads at the Cavern. Norm also managed a metal band called "Hawaii," whose guitarist Marty Friedman, joined Dave Mustaine's band Megadeth in the mid Nineties. Dio guitarist Vivian Campbell once came in before a gig, and there was a vast array of young teens who hung there and listened to the latest releases on the Cavern's stereo.
Sometimes we acted quite silly (even sillier in retrospect) and one of the more memorable rituals was the playing of an album called We've Come For Your Beer by Fiends.
For, my dear readers, that album started off with a blistering powerhouse track that begins with laughter and the sound of a flushing toilet, and then an incredible bass riff. And then the lyrics: "Yeeeeee-ha! This is a song about a riot, about a riot, about a riot, about a riot in the men's room!" The remainder of the song is the repetition of "Riot in the Men's Room!" with screaming guitars. The song ends after 1 minute and 19 seconds with the sound of breaking glass.
This is what entertained us teens back in 1984.
The fact of the matter is that the other 11 songs on the album were also quite good. With songs entitled "Sexual Explosion #19," "Die Bob Die," "John Belushi," "You Make Me Sick," and "No More Drugs," it had to be good. The record became a part of my collection, as did Fiends' follow-up LP, Gynecology released in 1986.
Both LP's are out of print and unavailable. Alas, in the late '80s and early '90s, I'm not sure when, I parted with these precious albums. I reclaimed Gynecology several years ago off of eBay, but We've Come For Your Beer took a little longer. I finally nabbed one off of eBay last Fall.
I then gave the LP's to a co-worker who took his time and gave me digital copies earlier this year. I was a very happy camper.
Sadly, I learned that, in a very weird twist, Sean Gwin, the bassist, died October 13, 2005, just 23 days after Scott Morrow, the lead singer and lead guitarist, passed away from complications of a bone infection.
Do not be confused with the band "The Fiends" 1998 album Gravedigger. It's not the same band.
Anyway: listen and enjoy! Fiends' We've Come for Your Beer is my #25 album, but I'm piggybacking Gynecology onto it.
All MP3s provided on this site are hosted via official sites or with the artist/label's permission. On the extremely rare occasion when this isn't the case, the track will only be available for a very limited time. If you are the owner of a sound file and would like it removed, please email me directly. If you like what you hear, PLEASE follow the links provided to buy the records and support the music.