Tape of the Month Oct. ’22: I Want Out – Live

Greetings fellow cassette enthusiasts, or should I say, nerds!

Welcome to the first edition of the newest feature on our website: the tape of the month! We decided that doing a monthly ‘deep dive’ into an album would be a great way to grow our audience, do some more writing, and most importantly, increase awareness of great music!

That’s the beauty of the sheer size and magnitude of the popular music canon. There’s simply too much out there for anyone to ever know everything. Of course that could be said about all areas of life, but seriously consider how many songs have been written in the last year, the last decade, the last 50 years…. You see where I’m going with this. So, even if we were to do a review of what could be considered a classic album, there will still be someone out there with no knowledge of it; therefore, in our minds, justifying it’s coverage.

So, with all of that in mind, we pick a tape and write about it hoping to turn you on to something new, or remind you of something you haven’t thought of in a while.

Since, we’re in peak spooky season, at least until tax season, why not get spooky? It’s almost Halloween and it only seems fitting that our selection for tape of the month is…

Helloween – I Want Out-Live

(1988) Produced by Tommy Hansen

Track listing:
Side A:
1. Intro: Happy Helloween / A Little Time
2. Dr. Stein
3. Future World

Side B:
1. We Got the Right
2. I Want Out / Encores
3. How Many Tears

I’ll just come right out and say it; Helloween is a blind spot for me. As much as I love rock, metal, fantasy, and the 80s, it is surprising even to myself that we just never crossed paths. I’ve owned this tape for years, just sitting there collecting dust, having never been placed into my tape deck. This ends now. Is this a great entry point? Who knows! Let’s find out!

The tape kicks off with a soccer chant of ‘Happy, Happy Helloween, Helloween filling the arena before the guitar kicks in. With some killer drums getting us up to speed it’s not long before we’re full on ‘Iron Maiden-ing’ all over this thing. However, this is not Iron Maiden. This is Helloween. I had no idea there was so much sonic overlap. What kind of horrible disservice that I’ve done myself?!

After the initial outburst, the band rouses the Scottish crowd before a walking jazz bass-line leads to a rockin’ song about Frankenstein! Something for Mom and the kids! There’s some serious musicianship at work here. I can’t help but be impressed by the entire band. Like many of the greats, the drummer is working his ass off to drive these songs while accenting the rest of the group. Over the top of this are soaring vocals and guitars. It’s bombastic and has the gallop that so many listeners would associate with Maiden.

Future World kicks off with a segment of the classical piece ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ then the guitar increases in speed until we’re at full tempo. The vocal high notes on this song are wild in and of themselves. Then when you factor in the accuracy and strength of their delivery; your brain should be exploded. There’s some good crowd work on this song, the Scots were chanting along, hungry for some Helloween! Shortly after this we’re greeted by some twin lead in the vein of Maiden or Thin Lizzy. The song breaks down here from borderline power metal to…. rock and roll. After paying tribute to Elvis Presley, which I did not expect, the crowd work hits another level. Now, I can see where Fozzy gets it from. Eat your heart out Judas!

Side 2 kicks off with some menacing bass guitar, creating a sense of tension. I can’t help but feel like I’m awaiting my medieval execution. Suddenly the band comes in a with a slow and punishing version of the ‘Maiden Gallop’. Here’s where a bit of that later 80s edge cuts through. Double bass drum lovers will perk up a little here! Well, to be fair, if you appreciate good drumming, you’ll be loving this entire performance. I didn’t realize how many neoclassical elements were going to be at play here, but it lends an ‘epicness’ to the music that I would guess is similar to what most listeners would hear in their mind when imaging vikings, dragons, or whatever else nerds like.

‘I Want Out’ just fires right out of the gate in an almost ‘Aces High’ fashion. I’m not actively trying to put everything in this review in ‘Maiden’ terms, but it is challenging to think of any other way to put it. On this song the bass stretches out a little before returning to being the underlying driving pulse of the band. When this song ends, the band reveals how goofy they really are, messing around with more soccer chants and some silly noises. Strange, I thought the pumpkin band was gonna be more serious…..

Our encore ‘How Many Tears’ is just more operatic metal bad ass-ery. It feels like ‘Where Eagles Dare’ with a pinch or two of ‘Painkiller’ mixed in for good measure. Seriously, the drummer here…. bonkers. Sure enough, the moment I jot that down the rest of the band goes off the wall. Melodic guitars are just rapid fire shooting out notes that dance together on the top of the song before an all out assault grinds to a beautiful halt for a slow and epic ending.

HA! You thought they were done! You fool! Cue some fireworks and more double bass and you’ve now shit your pants for a second or third time since hitting play. With another epic dose of metal the band brings us to a proper all out finale, with some Coverdale-esque high notes ringing out before a ‘Black Diamond’ like ending sends us all into oblivion.

The Verdict:

Helloween is bad ass. This album is bad ass. I seriously couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it. This was a tape that a friend sent to me out of the blue – only 4 years ago! What a fool I am, and a lucky one at that. If you’re like me and you enjoy Maiden, Priest, Scorpions, etc. – you will more than likely dig this album.

Check this one out if you can! While I couldn’t find it on Spotify, it’s fairly likely that Youtube has it. If not, I’m sure the songs exist on other compilations or as studio recordings.

Well, there you have it. Helloween holds up to the hype. Thanks for checking this out! Have any recommendations, corrections, or comments? Drop them below! Let me know what to listen to next or what to write about next month.

Respect, DJ O’K

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