Blog | The Vinyl Corner – Episode 14
Savatage Part 1
The entire Savatage musical catalog has been re-released on vinyl by earMUSIC. In fact, some of the classic Savatage releases are available for the first time on the beloved vinyl format. From August 2021 earMUSIC started with the re-releases. Not only that, but complete with liner notes and quotes by singer/songwriter/mr Savatage himself: Jon Oliva and supplemented with special versions of songs, live versions or demos that had never been released before. Also all the work is re-mastered especially for these releases. Since this is a band that is still very popular and these are beautifully executed copies, I couldn’t resist to put them in the spotlight.
THE ORIGINAL VINYL
Take the album ‘Sirens’ for example. Originally released in 1983 by PAR Records. If you want to have this album original, you will have to pay at least 500 Euro for a mediocre version. That is, if you’re lucky enough to find one at all!! The re-release by Combat/Music For Nations with a different cover from 1985 is a bit easier to find and will cost you just under 100 euros, depending on the condition of the LP and cover. In other words, either you dig very deep into your pockets to get your hands on the original, if you’re lucky enough. Or you make sure you quickly get hold of one of these new re-releases. Although I have to say that these limited re-releases also sold out quickly. If you do a little research, you’ll most likely still be able to get your hands on these versions.
The ‘Sirens’ album was re-released on 180g black vinyl and a strictly Limited Heavyweight Collector’s LP Edition on Turquoise Translucent Vinyl with LP-sized 4-page-booklet. Besides the absolute Savatage classic ,,Sirens’’, we also get an impressive insight into the origins and early days of this band.
For example, that this album and the EP `The Dungeons Are Calling’ (which was released a year later), were actually glorified demos of a band trying to record their music in a studio for the first time in their lives. I’m glad they chose to use the original artwork with ship, instead of the cover released in ’85 with the kids on it. The recordings have been nicely polished and you definitely get your money’s worth.
THE DUNGEONS ARE CALLING
The re-release of 1984 EP ‘The Dungeons Are Calling’ has also been lovingly put together. Reissued with the original design (including new extensive liner notes), the album is released on 180g black vinyl and a strictly Limited Heavyweight Collector’s LP Edition on Red Translucent vinyl which includes an exclusive 7” replica of the band’s, under original band name Avatar, single ,,City Beneath The Surface”.
That alone is worth wanting this record, because the original single is pretty much the holy grail among Savatage vinyl collectors, with staggering prices that can shoot up to 600 euros. The releases of both, ‘Sirens’ and ‘The Dungeons Are Calling’ in the early 1980s ensured that the band was immediately embraced in Europe. Fan favorites like ,,The Dungeons Are Calling’’, ,,Sirens’’ and ,,City Beneath The Surface’’ are still considered live killers today. These albums earned the band international recognition and the interest from Atlantic Records.
POWER OF THE NIGHT
Savatage‘s first major release was ‘Power Of The Night’ (produced by Max Norman) in 1985. It was also the first release to have the recognizable band logo, that is used to this day. It marked the band’s first time in a ‘real’ studio. So this was the first time they were able to figure out how it all worked and actually started to discover their identity. The album is available as a 180 black vinyl Gatefold Edition and as a Strictly Limited Collector’s LP on Crystal Clear vinyl which comes in an exclusive Pop-Up Gatefold packaging. Mastered for vinyl and with the exclusive demo version ,,No More Saturday Nights”.
,,Power Of The Night’’s guitar riff is one of the most recognizable in the entire Savatage catalog. An album that still sounds great after all these years and, according to Oliva, is the band’s first ‘real’ album. It would also be the last album with original bassist Keith Collins, but certainly not the last album of this iconic band.
PREVIEW SAVATAGE ON VINYL PART 2
For the next edition of The Vinyl Corner, Savatage special part 2, I will discuss the re-releases of ‘Fight For The Rock’, ‘Hall Of The Mountain King’ and ‘Gutter Ballet’.
To be continued….