Real Gone Music has announced its latest releases – due on April 26 – which celebrate rock of the ’80s and ’90s. First up is the 1989 album O.F.R. by the late-’80s hair metal group Nitro, which will appear on limited-edition red and yellow explosion vinyl. Real Gone will also release a CD edition of the third and final volume of Cheap Trick’s vault-dive series with The Epic Archive, Vol. 3 (1984-1992). This follows the previously announced red vinyl edition for Record Store Day. Both titles will be available on April 26.
First, let’s take a look at Nitro’s O.F.R., which, legend has it, stands for “out-f******-‘rageous.” It’s an apt title, as Nitro’s is as over-the-top as any of the other hair metal groups that reigned during the tail end of the ’80s. Indeed, over-the-top and in-your face were the group’s main goal. Aside from their image (think stories-high hair and a trademark four-neck guitar) Jim Gillette’s delivers with his other-worldly pipes. His impressive and very possibly superhuman high-pitched voice caught the attention of one executive at Rampage Records when Gillette went for a lengthy high note and shattered three wine glasses. Michael Angelo Batio’s guitar playing is also outrageous, full of lighting-fast riffs and frenetic picking. TJ. Racer’s hyperactive bass and Bobby Rock’s double-kick-drum assaults complete the band’s aesthetic. The result is a 9-track collection of music that’s emblematic of its era and still remains impressive in its extravagance.
It’s been thirty years since O.F.R. was originally released. To celebrate its anniversary, Real Gone will press the first-ever vinyl reissue of the title on April 26. It will be limited to just 700 copies and will be presented on red and yellow “explosion” color vinyl. The disc will be housed in a faithfully recreated printed inner sleeve with lyrics and priceless band photos. The single-pocket outer sleeve has also been faithfully recreated for this new reissue.
On the same day, Real Gone will present The Epic Archive, Vol. 3 (1984-1992), the last installment of the Cheap Trick rarities series. Originally released as a digital compilation in 2015, the new, resequenced collection will arrive on CD for the first time, on the heels of the Record Store Day-exclusive red vinyl version. Compiled by Timothy J. Smith, the CD includes 16 hard-to-find tracks from the final years of Cheap Trick’s Epic run, featuring rare alternate mixes, single edits, alternate takes, international tracks, and tracks that were previously soundtrack exclusives. Highlights include the No. 1 hit “The Flame,” which appears in its original single edit; the “Big New Mix” version of “Don’t Be Cruel (which sees Robin Zander vocally channeling both Elvis and John Lennon), and alternate versions of “How About You” and “All We Need Is a Dream,” plus “Big Bang” from the Japanese edition of 1990’s Busted. All the music was mastered for the compilation by Mike Piacentini at Battery Studios, New York.
The package also includes comprehensive liner notes with track-by-track commentary from Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, and Bun E. Carlos, alongside interviews with biographer Ken Sharp and Epic Archive series producer Timothy J. Smith. The booklet is rounded out by Robert Alford’s photographs of the band.
For Cheap Trick die-hards, The Epic Archive, Vol. 3 (1984-1992) is a treasure trove of great music that will complement the studio albums and present an alternate view of the bands final years with Epic. Fans of the ’80s sound and all-out, over-the-top rock will also enjoy the color vinyl reissue of Nitro’s O.F.R. Both titles are up for pre-order with the links below and will be available from Real Gone on April 26. Scroll down for full track listings and pre-order links!
- Freight Train
- Double Trouble
- Machine Gunn Eddie
- Long Way From Home
- Bring It Down
- Nasty Reputation
- Shot Heard ‘Round the World
- Up the Creek (Acappella Intro)
- How About You (Alternate Version)
- Little Sister (Alternate Jack Douglas Mix)
- It’s Only Love (Single Version)
- She’s Got Motion (Alternate Jack Douglas Mix)
- Mighty Wings (From Top Gun Original Soundtrack)
- Tonight It’s You (Single Version)
- The Flame (Clean – Single Version)
- Don’t Be Cruel (Big New Mix)
- All We Need Is a Dream (Alternate Version)
- Money (That’s What I Want) (From Caddyshack II Original Soundtrack)
- You Want It (From Say Anything Original Soundtrack)
- Can’t Stop Fallin’ Into Love (Radio Mix)
- Big Bang (From Japanese Edition of Busted)
- Magical Mystery Tour (Greatest Hits Version)
- I Will Survive (From Gladiator Original Soundtrack)