Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Eugeology: Eugene's List of Hard Rock Albums and Possible Gems Part 13 - Masters of Reality 'Masters of Reality (Blue Garden)'
There have now been two hard rock albums with Beau Hill at the helm and now its time to drop a second from Rick Rubin.
And this album was forced upon me.
I remember arriving at my girlfriend Melanie’s apartment and before I could drop a single complaint about my day, she grabbed me and dragged me into the living room while saying “You’ve got to hear this shit!”
Well… To be honest she had the stereo cranked up louder than most law enforcement officers would allow within the city limits. And what I heard along the way had my undivided attention. I could hear what got her excited because the sounds of this album filled the air with electricity.
Melanie immediately stopped the CD and restarted it at the beginning.
“Theme for the Scientist of the Invisible” introduces us to the Masters of Reality who take their name from a Black Sabbath album (a favorite of most Sabbath fans). And that introduction is the pebble that rolls down the hillside causing you to look up towards the top. But there’s no escape. There's a boulder coming and it's going to crush you.
“Domino” kicks your eardrums in the teeth. It’s the perfect song to follow the opening instrumental track.
“Gettin’ High” is one of my favorites on the album. There’s moments of boogie beauty complimented by the shear hard rock of overdriven guitars.
“The Candy Song” is a sweetie and the record label sent out edible panties wrapped around the CD single. I kept the package for years until the undies ripened and became one with the CD single.
Other stand out tracks include “Magical Spell” (I dig the innuendo in the lyrics), “Sleep Walkin’”, “Lookin’ To Get Rite”, and “Kill The King”.
The last track reminded me immediately of how KISS ended “Black Diamond” to close out their debut album.
Overall, the first Masters of Reality album is a stoner rock classic. It’s a thing of beauty. But something happened along the course of a year…
The album was released in 1990 and then it just went away for a short period of time.
I was working at a record store and I would always recommend the album to my like-minded friends. But after reorders, it just wasn’t showing up anymore.
Then it was released on the Delicious Vinyl imprint best known for putting out the Tone Loc albums. But the artwork was changed and horrible. The songs were reordered with an additional track. It just kind of lost the original vibe. I suppose the bonus cut was bone thrown to those of us that didn’t like the change.
When Melanie and I split up… This album was a point of contention in our redistribution of the compact discs that we acquired as a couple. Ultimately and rightfully so, she got the original with the cover pictured above. We both had a great appreciation for the cover artwork and despite having a bonus track on the Delicious Vinyl release; I just couldn’t talk her out of the original version. She had dibs on it since she got her stoner rock loving hands on it first. But I tried my best used car salesman approach to make it mine.
Sadly, this album isn’t streaming on Spotify so whatever happened during that year of changing artwork and tunes it still hasn’t been cleared up. At least, that’s my guess… Some legal crap is keeping that MOR goodness away from us.
The second release ‘Sunrise on the Sufferbus’ really disappointed me and MOR just fell off my radar. I even missed the released deluxe re-release of that first album complete with live cuts.
But should you find yourself any copy of this album I suggest one simple rule for a first listen… Play it LOUD!