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Friday, March 25, 2011

Brief News Update for Friday 25th March, 2011

ON MAY 23RD 2011 (May 24th through UME in the USA)

EMI are proud to announce the release of 'From Fear To Eternity: The Best Of 1990-2010'. A double-CD set spanning twenty years of Iron Maiden, this follows the huge success of 2010's studio album 'The Final Frontier' which hit the number one spot in 28 countries around the world. It also became the band's highest-charting album in the USA where Iron Maiden have just been awarded their first Grammy for Best Metal Performance, for the song 'El Dorado', taken from 'The Final Frontier' album, and which is included in this selection.

Iron Maiden's current phenomenal global success has seen the band not only scale new-found heights aided by their unique method of touring, using a customized Boeing 757 - named Ed Force One by their fans - to transport band, crew and all their equipment round the world to many new places, but has meant their ever-expanding fanbase now encompasses a brand new generation of metal lovers. 'From Fear To Eternity' is a chance for these new fans of the band to explore Iron Maiden's rich history, with the highlights of their last eight studio albums distilled into this handy collection, which follows 2009's compilation of their earlier work, the 1980-1990 'Somewhere Back In Time' album.

Perennial favourites to be found on this album include songs also featured in Maiden's current 'The Final Frontier World Tour' set list; tracks such as 'Fear Of The Dark', 'The Wicker Man', 'Blood Brothers' and 'Dance Of Death' sit alongside recent classics 'El Dorado' and the hauntingly evocative 'When The Wild Wind Blows'. It also include singles like 'Holy Smoke' and 'Be Quick Or Be Dead' together with more progressive thought-provoking album tracks like 'Afraid To Shoot Strangers' and 'For The Greater Good Of God'.
This new collection charts the musical development of Britain's most successful metal band as they have evolved their sound, producing longer, more complex songs, gaining huge critical acclaim in the process. Featuring many of the epics for which the band has become renowned, it is accordingly released as a double-CD, but will retail for the price of a single album.

The full tracklisting for the CD album* is as follows:

1. The Wicker Man 4.36
2. Holy Smoke 3.49
3. El Dorado 6:49
4. Paschendale 8.28
5. Different World 4.19
6. Man On The Edge (LIVE) 4.40
7. The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg 7.22
8. Blood Brothers 7.14
9. Rainmaker 3.49
10. Sign of the Cross (LIVE) 10.49
11. Brave New World 6.19
12. Fear Of The Dark (LIVE) 7.41

1. Be Quick Or Be Dead 3.24
2. Tailgunner 4.15
3. No More Lies 7.22
4. Coming Home 5.52
5. The Clansman (LIVE) 9.06
6. For the Greater Good of God 9.25
7. These Colours Don't Run) 6.52
8. Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter 4.44
9. Afraid to Shoot Strangers 6.57
10. Dance of Death 8.36
11. When the Wild Wind Blows 11.02

*It will also be made available as a Digital Download Album and as a Limited Edition Triple Vinyl Picture Disc.

Iron Maiden's 2011 The Final Frontier Tour is currently underway in an Around The World In 66 Days odyssey aboard Ed Force One, piloted by lead singer and qualified airline captain Bruce Dickinson. Having recently completed a series of shows in Australia and first-ever visits to Singapore, Indonesia and South Korea, they are now on their way to Mexico for concerts in Monterrey and Mexico City. After this they will play shows right across South America, including Argentina and Chile where both shows will be filmed for inclusion in a DVD to be released later this year.

Says bassist and founder member Steve Harris, "The tour has been amazing so far and we've been overwhelmed by the reaction from our fans everywhere. We are now on our way to Mexico and South America which the whole band is very excited about! We really enjoy playing there as the fans are so passionate and we always feel a huge responsibility to put on the best show we possibly can for them. For this tour we have a great set list, a brand new stage show, and of course Eddie!. This leg of the tour ends with two shows in Florida in April, which is another favourite place for us to play, then we'll be taking a short break before a series of Summer headline Festival and Stadium shows in Europe, finishing up with our first UK Arena tour in many years. It's a great way to round off what has been an incredible time for Maiden these last few years. We are really looking forward to seeing all our loyal fans again and welcoming all the new ones! "


Kiss will be playing live dates in North America this summer, but if you’re expecting a full blown tour, sorry, think again!
It seems that they are just playing a limited number large festivals and that will be it?
I guess less shows, but bigger venues / locations works out to pay them just as much as if they did like 20 average sized venues instead …

(Photo image courtesy of

This from the Kiss website:
"We're doing these shows to honor our promise to play these cities. We said we'd do it, and we are!"

KISS will headline the following festivals:

May 29 - Raley Field in West Sacramento, California

July 15 - Moondance Jam Festival in Walker, Minnesota

July 16 - Rock USA Festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

July 24 - Heavy MTL Festival in Montreal, Canada

Official site for Kiss:

Saxon give their ‘Call To Arms’ to fans on May 23rd

British Heavy Metallers, Saxon will release their latest album, for their new label, ‘Call To Arms’ on May 23rd, through Militia Guard Music.

The full album track listing is:
1. Hammer of the Gods
2. Back in 79
3. Surviving Against the Odds
4. Mists of Avalon
5. Call to Arms
6. Chasing the Bullet
7. Afterburner
8. When Doomsday Comes (Hybrid Theory)
9. No Rest for the Wicked
10. Ballad of the Working Man
11. Call to Arms (Orchestral Version)

The album is preceded by the new single, ‘Hammer of the Gods’ available through Saxon’s official site now.

The band will hit the road in Europe, in April and play through until August, as the tour dates currently stands. Tour details here:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Brief News Update for Thursday March 24th, 2010

Hi folks, well you won't believe this one ....!
I've been locked out of my laptop, where I usually work on the site, when I'm out on the road and so I'm having to use the Holiday Inn's (Cincinnati), business centre, to do this update ... You have no idea what I'm trying to deal with here folks?!
There is no function associated with a right mouse click, I cannot save any images to input to this posting so this is a complete joke! So I'm sorry if this news update is somewhat disappointing. Cheers, Al 


Black Country Communion, the Anglo-American classic rock group featuring the talents of blues rock guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa, bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze, Black Sabbath), drummer Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin), and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater), has announced the title of their much-anticipated second album.
The album will be called “2” and will be released in the UK on June 13th via Mascot Records, followed by a US release on June 14th on the J&R Adventures label.

The album track listing is as follows:
1. The Outsider
2. Man In The Middle
3. I Can See Your Spirit
4. The Battle For Hadrian’s Wall
5. Save Me
6. Cold
7. Smokestack Woman
8. Faithless
9. An Ordinary Son
10. Little Secret
11. Crossfire
12. Crawl

On June 9, the band will kick off a US Summer Tour in San Diego, CA. In July, BCC will embark on a European tour that will take in concerts at Llandudno Cymru Arena (Saturday 23rd July), London’s High Voltage Festival (Sunday 24th July), Leeds O2 Academy (Tuesday 26th July), Newcastle O2 Academy (Wednesday 27th July), Glasgow 02 Academy (Friday 29th July), and the Manchester Academy (Saturday 30th July).

The Summer 2011 live shows are long overdue and very highly anticipated, as the only live shows the band have performed previously was when they played two sold out concerts in Wolverhampton and London during late December 2010.

When the band performed in the heart of the Black Country at Wolverhmapton’s Civic Hall in front of a 3,000 strong crowd on Dec. 29, 2010, the Birmingham Mail newspaper described the band’s performance as “rip-roaring” and “breathtaking," while the Express & Star newspaper said, “From the moment Hughes’ thunderous bass riff introduced ‘Black Country’ it was like a torch had been lit underneath the famous old venue, the ghosts of rock Christmases past roaring into the present!”

Black Country Communion released its self-titled debut album in September 2010 to rave reviews. Mojo magazine gave the album four stars and Classic Rock magazine said it’s “Possibly, the best hard rock album of 2010.” Music Radar described it as “a potent and stomping collection of riff-heavy rockers that will undoubtedly stun listeners.”

During its first week of release in the UK, the album hit the #1 spot in the Official Top 40 Rock Album Chart, and also hit #13 in the Official Top 40 Album Chart and #2 in the UK’s Official Top 40 Indie Album Chart. The album was voted #3 in Classic Rock magazine’s “Critics Album of the Year” poll, while Planet Rock radio listeners crowned BCC as the Best New Band of 2010.
Official band website:




(New York, NY) - Foreigner will be performing an exclusive show at the P.C. Richard & Son Theater in New York City on March 30th as part of iHeartRadio Live, a Clear Channel entertainment production that features private performances and interviews with today's top recording artists. The band will be playing selections from Foreigner '4' and other songs from their repertoire of sixteen top thirty songs and radio favorites. Videos from the show will be available on and
Released in 1981, '4' was Foreigner's fourth studio album and features the hit singles "Urgent," "Waiting for a Girl Like You," and "Juke Box Hero."

"To provide the Q104.3 audience with an exclusive, intimate performance with a band like Foreigner in our P.C. Richard & Son Theater is incredible all by itself," said Eric Wellman, Program Director, Q104.3. "To give them the experience of hearing Foreigner classics including songs from Foreigner '4,' one of the defining albums in the history of rock, played live right before your eyes is amazing! Six times platinum? Is that all? I can't wait!"

This summer Razor & Tie will release a Foreigner live DVD featuring the band's greatest hits filmed in Chicago in March. Razor & Tie will also release a new studio album of Foreigner hits, including classics such "Hot Blooded," "Cold As Ice," "Double Vision," "Waiting for a Girl Like You," and "I Want to Know What Love Is," to name a few. The live DVD performance will be featured in a PBS TV national broadcast in the summer. More details of this exciting event will follow.

"We are very excited to be working with one of the most successful bands in rock history," said Cliff Chenfeld Co-Owner of Razor & Tie. "Mick Jones and Foreigner are legends and continue to perform and record at a remarkably high level. We are honored to partner with them."

For the first time in over 10 years, Foreigner and Journey will hit the road on a national tour. The tour features special guests Night Ranger, and tickets are now on sale through online, phone and physical retail outlets, including select Walmart Ticketmaster locations across the country.

Foreigner's Mick Jones says, "This will be one of the main events of the summer. Bands who represent the magic era in Classic Rock together for the first time in ten years. Get ready to rock!" Journey's Neal Schon adds: "We haven't toured with Foreigner for over 10 years, so we're really looking forward to this run."

More than 30 years after releasing their first multi-platinum album, Foreigner's music resonates globally across generations with album sales exceeding 70 million. An impressive run of 14 Top 20 hits includes worldwide number one hit "I Want To Know What Love Is," "Cold As Ice," "Double Vision," "Head Games," "Urgent," "Waiting For A Girl Like You" and video game staples such as "Hot Blooded" and "Juke Box Hero."
Foreigner's tours continue to electrify audiences and establish the group in its rightful place as one of the top touring attractions. Formed in 1976 by English rocker Mick Jones, the current lineup includes: Mick Jones (lead guitar/vocals), Kelly Hansen (lead vocals/ percussion), Jeff Pilson (bass guitar), Tom Gimbel (guitar/saxophone/flute), Michael Bluestein (keyboards), and Mark Schulman (drums).

Foreigner is the latest addition to join the leading independent label Razor & Tie and the diverse and acclaimed roster that includes such artists as Vanessa Carlton, Richard Ashcroft, Nicole Atkins, Angelique Kidjo, Dave Barnes, All That Remains, Norma Jean, Dweezil Zappa, Dar Williams, Chelsea Grin and The Summer Set. The New York City-based label is one of the fastest growing independent record companies in the United States, and has garnered both Platinum sales and Grammy awards in its 20-year history.

Foreigner and Journey with special Guest Night Ranger Tour dates:

July 2011
21 Salt Lake City, UT Rio Tinto Stadium
23 Irvine, CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
24 Phoenix, AZ Desert Sky Pavilion
27 Maryland Heights, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
30 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
31 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre

August 2011
2 Cuyahoga Falls, OH Blossom Music Center
3 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
5 Columbus, OH Crew Stadium, Ohio State Fair
6 Noblesville, IN Verizon Wireless Music Center
10 Darien Center, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
13 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
16 Hartford, CT Comcast Theatre
17 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
19 Virginia Beach, VA Virginia Beach Amphitheater
20 Raleigh, NC Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek
21 Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Charlotte
24 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
27 Burgettstown, PA First Niagara Pavilion
30 Syracuse, NY New York State Fair
31 Allentown, PA The Great Allentown Fair

September 2011
10 New Orleans, LA New Orleans Arena
16 Atlanta, GA Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood
17 Tampa, FL Gary Amphitheatre
18 West Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre
24 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion
25 The Woodlands, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
28 Kansas City, MO Starlight Theatre

October 2011
1 Englewood, CO Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
7 Chula Vista, CA Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
14 Wheatland, CA Sleep Train Amphitheatre
15 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
19 Portland, OR Rose Garden Arena
21 Seattle, WA KeyArena

John Waite live dates announced

In support of his 'Rough and Tumble' release earlier this year, John Waite is hitting the road again for a series of live dates.
Right now there his next show is this Saturday 26th March, in Ramona, CA, he then plays a few shows in April, before a string of dates through June and July.
Unfortunately his new 'official' website is still not up and running yet, but there is a location that currently just shares his new album' cover artwork:

The live dates are as follows:

March 2011
Sat 03/26/11 Ramona, CA Ramona Mainstage

April 2011
Fri 04/08/11 Bremerton, WA Admiral Theatre
Sat 04/09/11 Edmonds, WA Edmonds Center For The Arts
Fri 04/15/11 Sussex, WI Hamilton Fine Arts Center

June 2011
Wed 06/01/11 Austin, TX One World Theatre
Thu 06/02/11 Baton Rouge, LA Manship Theatre
Fri 06/03/11 Clearwater, FL Capitol Theatre
Sat 06/11/11 Las Vegas, NV Boulder Station Hotel & Casino
Fri 06/24/11 Mount Pleasant, MI Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
Sat 06/25/11 Des Moines, IA Water Works Park

July 2011Fri 07/29/11 Lincolinshire, IL Viper Alley
Sat 07/30/11 Saint Clair, MI Palmer Park at "St Clair Riverfest"

The best sites currently to check on his updates are:

Sorry folks, but that's really all I have for you for Thursday news items ... Knowing my luck, like the other day, the Journey press release came out right after I had posted my site update ... Typical, huh?!
Have a good rest of the week folks, be safe wherever you may be.

Rock News Update for Wednesday 23rd March, 2011

JOURNEY to come back with their new album 'Eclipse'

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of JOURNEY’s forthcoming studio album 'Eclipse' in Europe on May 27th 2011.

"Eclipse" is Journey’s fifteenth studio album and shows the band at the peak of their creative juices, truly regenerated after the blistering success of their last studio album "Revelation."

Journey will follow the release of "Eclipse," Journey will launch the “Eclipse Tour” which will kick off with a 7 dates arena tour in the UK/Eire, together with Styx and Foreigner and will then hit Germany, Switzerland, Benelux, Scandinavia, France and – for the first time ever – Italy.

“I’m in love with this record, which I haven’t said about one of our albums for a long time,” says founding member and lead guitarist, Neal Schon. “It’s a rock record and it sounds amazing.” Commenting on the upcoming tour, Schon continued, “We’ve got a lot of hits to play and there’s plenty of time to do some new stuff too, so we’re gonna mix it up. We haven’t toured with Foreigner for over 10 years, so we’re really looking forward to this run.”

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, keyboardist Jonathan Cain recently described “Eclipse” as "a concept record with some spiritual themes to it…pretty tough, hard-hitting stuff.” Jonathan continued, "We just felt like it was time to send a message to the world about how we feel about life in general.”

The new album release will be preceded by the digital release of the single “City of Hope” on April 4th.

Journey toured the world for two years in support of their 2008 release, "Revelation."
More than a million fans attended the shows, and welcomed new lead singer Arnel Pineda. Completing the Journey lineup is Schon (guitars, backing vocals), Cain (keyboards, backing vocals), Ross Valory (bass, backing vocals) and Deen Castronovo (drums, percussion, backing vocals). "Revelation" marked the band’s biggest first week's sales in more than a decade, debuting at #5 on the Billboard 200 in June 2008 and with chart entries in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland. “Revelation” earned the band their 11th Platinum album certification to date, leading The New York Times to declare that "the band…feels alive."

Since its formation in 1973, Journey has earned 19 Top 40 singles and 25 gold and platinum albums in the US. The band’s 'Greatest Hits' album is certified 15 times platinum, bringing Journey into the elite club of Diamond-certified album holders. The group also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.

Arnel Pineda – vocals
Neal Schon – guitars
Jonathan Cain – keyboards
Ross Valory – bass
Deen Castronovo – drums

“Eclipse” will include the following tracks :
City of Hope, Edge of the Moment, Chain of Love, Tantra, Anything is Possible, Resonate, She’s a Mystery, Human Feel, Ritual, To Whom It May Concern, Someone, Venus.

The “Eclipse” tour video trailer can be enjoyed below:

Or go to You Tube to watch this directly, here:


JUNE 2011
Sat 04 London, UK - Wembley Arena
Sun 05 Birmingham, UK - LG Arena
Tue 07 Newcastle, UK - Metro Radio Arena
Wed 08 Manchester, UK - M.E.N. Arena
Thu 09 Glasgow, Scotland - S.E.C.C.
Sat 11 Dublin, Ireland - The o2
Sun 12 Belfast, N. Ireland - Odyssey Arena
Wed 15 Berlin, Germany - Zitadelle
Fri 17 Hannover, Germany - ParkBuehne
Sat 18 Esslingen, (Stuttgart), Germany - Richard Hirschmann Eisstadion
Sun 19 Winterthur, Switzerland - Eishalle Deutweg
Tue 21 Milan, Italy - Fiera Arena
Wed 22 Augsburg (Nuremberg), Germany - Schwabenhalle
Fri 24 Dessel, Belgium - Graspop
Sat 25 St. Goarshausen, Germany - Loreley Freilichtbuhne
Sun 26 Gräfenhainichen (Dessau), Germany - Ferropolis 'Stadt aus Eisen'
Tue 28 Copenhagen, Denmark - Store Vega
Thu 30 Haugesund Norway - Arena Tent, Skaanevik Blues Festival Site

JULY 2011
Sat 02 Borlange, Sweden - Peace & Love Festival site
Wed 06 Luxembourg - Rockhal Box
Thu 07 Paris, France - Palais des Sports
Fri 08 Weert, Netherlands - Bospop, Festivalarea, Weert-Nord

For more information on Journey and complete tour details go to

North America Journey details on Eclipse and summer tour
For North American Journey fans that missed my previous posting here, don't forget that the 'Eclipse' album will be released here in the U.S. and Canada on May 24 exclusively at Walmart, as their last album 'Revelation' was.

Following the release of Eclipse, Journey will launch the "Eclipse Tour" with Foreigner and Special Guest, Night Ranger beginning July 21 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT.

Tour date details here:


One of the finest rock guitarists to ever hail from Texas, Eric Johnson, continues to be recognized as such from his home state. On Saturday, March 19th, Johnson collected a total of three awards at the 2010/2011 Austin Music Awards. Held at the Austin Music Hall, the categories that the Johnson won in included "Best Electric Guitar," "Best Acoustic Guitar," and "Best Instrumental Band."

Johnson has long been considered one of rock's most talented six-string players, as evidenced by his platinum-certified 1990 release, 'Ah Via Musicom,' its hit single "Cliffs of Dover," as well as a Grammy Award win for "Best Rock Instrumental Performance" in 1991. Johnson has recorded six studio albums thus far, his latest being 2010's 'Up Close,' a release, which included guest appearances from Sonny Landreth, Steve Miller, Jimmie Vaughan and Jonny Lang.

Since 1982, Johnson has won an unprecedented 33 awards at the Austin Music Awards. For a full listing of Johnson's Austin Music Awards wins over the years, visit here:

"Thanks for the continued support from my fans and all those that help keep the music scene vibrant in Austin," says Eric. "I appreciate the opportunity to keep playing music for everyone."

For more information on the man, visit:

Judie Tzuke new album news, live album release details and update

Just received this update via the Judie Tzuke site to fans, of just what's going on, including details of her new live album, 'October Road' that's just become available and news of a new studio album on the way too..

Judie Tzuke - New Album

Hi Everyone,

A quick email to tell you that Judie's Tzuke's fantastic new album, 'The October Road' is now available to order via the website.

Thank you for all the wonderful reviews we have received from those of you who pre-ordered. Sorry for the delay on the delivery, things kept going wrong on the manufacturing front; I hope the finished product was worth the wait.

Judie would like to thank everyone who donated to Childline in return for her signature, she said she thought her arm was going to fall off but it was worth it!

All of us at Big Moon would like to send our heartfelt sympathy to everyone in Japan, but especially to the large contingent of Judie's fans out there. We hope that you have avoided the worst of the disaster and that your country recovers quickly. With this in mind, during this time if you request a signature from Judie, we would be happy if you choose to donate to one of Japanese recovery funds instead of Childline.

We have another project with Wrasse Records (the nice people who released 'Moon on a Mirrorball') in the pipeline which will hopefully include some news on the re-release of 'Turning Stones'.

So finally we have some news about the next album, which at the moment has the title of 'One Tree Less'. Five tracks are done and the rest are being worked on, I've listened to the album in demo form and the songs are fantastic.
Thanks for all the support during these difficult times, as without you we couldn't keep producing Judie's music.

All the best,

Official weblinks:

Details on the live album are as follows:

Judie Tzuke - The October Road (Live)

This album gives you the chance to experience, or if you were lucky, re-experience the wonderful show which Judie took out on the road to celebrate the release of the retrospective album 'Moon On A Mirrorball' in 2010.

The set is a collection of new and old favourites, played by a group of fantastic musicians whose love for Judie and her music adds an inspired edge to their playing; with rock tracks and ballads all played with equal passion, skill and care.
Judie's always wonderful vocals are still a revelation, somehow transporting the listener back to the early 80's when blasting out 'Sportscar' and then shifting to the rich honeyed voice needed for a performance of 'If'. These amazing vocals are ably backed by two more Tzuke voices, the superb Bailey Tzuke and in her first appearance on tour, the youngest Tzuke, Tallula; the best example being during their lovely three part a cappella version of Judie's first single, 'For You'.

Official release date: 14th March 2011.

Track list:
1. Enjoy the Ride
2. Under the Angels
3. Secret Agent
4. Faith
5. Submarine Boy
6. Come Hell or Waters High
7. One Minute
8. Bring the Rain
10. I Will
11. Sukarita
12. Stay with me 'till Dawn
13. Sportscar
14. For You
15. If
Remember official Judie Tzuke website is:


Norway's PAGAN'S MIND are proud to announce a worldwide collaboration with SPV/Steamhammer for the future, commencing with the band's upcoming album. Entitled "Heavenly Ecstasy" the fifth studio album from the hard-hitting melodic metal outfit will be released on May 31st in North America

Guitarist and producer Jørn Viggo Lofstad says: "After considering offers from various labels, we decided to be a part of the new SPV family. Signing with such a respected label gave us the spark to come up with what we think is the most cohesive album we have done, and probably our best offering so far. We can't wait to get back in action and present these songs to you all."

SPV / Steamhammer A&R Olly Hahn replies: "I´m very happy that Pagan`s Mind decided to join the SPV family. The band always delivered some of the best and most exciting metal music and with the new album they even put up a dash more!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

UFO – Best of a Decade Album review

UFO – Best of a Decade Album review
Released on: SPV Steamhammer. Release date: Available now.

So, what do we have here then, another UFO compilation album?
Well, yes it is for all intents and purposes, but it’s not your standard UFO compilation fare as such.
Most will be another rehash of old Schenker stuff, usually containing nothing you don’t already have, this one on the other hand is quite different.
How so, I hear you saying …

Well, Michael Schenker has not been a part of UFO for some years now for one thing and following his departure, in stepped one Vinnie Moore, who had released a bunch of solo albums and helped out here and there on a few artist albums including Alice Cooper and Vicious Rumors.

To be honest, when this was announced at first, I was very skeptical, as Vinnie’s background was of the 'shredding nature' and not like Schenker at all. Suffice to say, with the three UFO studio albums he’s played on since 2004 and the live ‘Showtime’ release, I’ve been very impressed.

No disrespect to shredders, who sure …, can play at like 200 mph, but it’s like he’s matured, come of age and has really developed his style in a not too dissimilar style to say ... Michael Schenker. It’s a good thing!

For me, it's great to see Paul Raymond and Andy Parker back in the band for the past eight and six years respectively, although very sad about where Pete Way is at right now, who really knows ….?
He went through some real health issues and although he’s jammed with Schenker, Herman Rarebell and Michael Voss with the ‘Strangers in the Night’ project, there’s no word on who will be in the bass player slot for the next UFO album and tour?

Anyway, enough of that, let’s get on with this and what it offers, which you’ve probably guessed already, right?
Well, it captures four tracks from ‘You Are Here,’ three from ‘Monkey Puzzle,’ three from ‘The Visitor’ and six live cuts from …, well, I don’t know where to be honest? They’re not the tracks from ‘Showtime’ though and the sleeve notes don’t tell you?

The opening salvo of both ‘The Wild One’ and ‘Hard Being Me’ are great modern day UFO rockers, swiftly followed by a version of ‘Light’s Out’ that makes Phil Mogg look bad on his timing …, as he starts singing the chorus too early and then realizes it, stops, then comes back in at the right time. What a character, but he did have his moments now and then live, where he did improvise lyrics or miss a line or repeat a verse on occasion, that said, I never heard him sing bad once and I’ve been catching their shows since 1979.

‘Saving Me’ from ‘The Visitor’ is pretty steady, then ‘When Daylight Goes To Town’ picks it up well and rocks out.

Two live cuts next in ‘Let it Roll,’ very good and then ‘This Kids,’ with Phil’s funny introduction and then his ‘strange’ vocal part in the middle, is completely out there! You have to hear it.

OK, next track ‘Heavenly Body’ from ‘The Monkey Puzzle,’ kind of shows why I felt it was the weakest of the last three studio albums. It’s a very dark and grungy indeed. Don’t like Mogg’s vocal on this …
This kind of makes me wonder who determined the tracklisting for this. There are easily better tracks off both ‘You Are Here’ and ‘The Visitor,’ so surprised by the choice of this one?
‘Hell Driver’ recovers well though and is a great track off ‘The Visitor.’ Great groove!

A rip roaring version of ‘Too Hot To Handle’ is next and clearly indicates how great these guys still sound live.

From ‘You Are Here’ another very classy track in ‘Mr Freeze.’ I really loved this when I first heard and it’s great to hear it here again now.

Live time again with ‘Shoot, Shoot’ and it really lacks, nay, misses’ cowbell here?! Why no cowbell? Still a great live favourite though, clearly, just listen to the crowd!

‘Black and Blue’ is one of the better tracks from ‘Monkey Puzzle’ and it starts kind of not so dissimilar to The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again,’ it’s an up and down tempo track. Nice harmony guitar part too!

To emphasize the consistency of ‘The Visitor,’ ‘Can’t Buy A Thrill’ is another winner that reminds me a little of ‘Making Contact’ era UFO, which I actually enjoyed.

‘Baby Blue’ is another good one from ‘You Are Here’ and it’s a pretty catchy and commercial track, that was probably intended to be a single, if it had been given a chance. Good one.

OK, last track and it’s a live one, which often is the bands encore number, yes, it’s ‘Doctor, Doctor.’ Enough said?!

It’s a good compilation generally with the odd exception, but without doubt if you’re a fan of old and haven’t yet given the band with Vinnie Moore a chance, shame on you! You could do a lot worse than going and getting this or else go and buy ‘You Are Here’ and ‘The Visitor.’ 'Showtime' is pretty good too!

Rating: 4 out of 5
Official band website:

Brief Rock News Update for Tuesday 22nd March, 2011


To coincide with this year's Record Store Day (which falls on Saturday, April 16th), Niji Entertainment will be issuing a very special, LIMITED EDITION, Deluxe Numbered Picture Disc LP of Dio's 2002 release, 'Killing the Dragon,' of which only 2,500 copies will be made.

Each copy will be numbered in a unique way – by a special Dio hologram sticker.

Also on Saturday, April 16th, former Dio band members Craig Goldy, Simon Wright and Scott Warren will participate in an in-store appearance from 12:30pm to 3:30pm at the Mad Platter record store, which is located at 1223 University Avenue, #160, in Riverside, CA 92507-7238. You can also call the store at (951) 328-1600.

'Killing the Dragon' marked the first collaboration between Ronnie James Dio and guitarist Doug Aldrich, who has subsequently joined Whitesnake. The album also spawned the single/video "Push," which featured Tenacious D's Jack Black and Kyle Gass. And exclusively for the picture disc edition of 'Killing the Dragon,' Dio's longtime engineer, Wyn Davis, mixed and remastered the album.

Get ready to grab your copy quickly of the 'Killing the Dragon' picture disc, as this collector's item is bound to disappear quickly!

'Killing the Dragon' Track List:

1. "Killing the Dragon"
2. "Along Comes a Spider"
3. "Scream"
4. "Better in the Dark"
5. "Rock & Roll"
6. "Push"
7. "Guilty"
8. "Throw Away Children"
9. "Before the Fall"
10. "Cold Feet"

For more information, visit:

Additional info on Annual Record Store Day

Record Store Day is an event for record collectors everywhere, that takes places annually on the third Saturday of April.
For more details, go to:

UK melodic rockers FM announce more live dates

More live dates announced for the summer in Dublin, Belfast and Lisbon

(Photo courtesy of

This update from the FM website:

We've added three more dates to our summer touring schedule for this year and are very excited to confirm two more shows with Journey and Foreigner in June (Dublin and Belfast) plus in July we'll be appearing in Portugal with D-A-D.

It's 25 years since we played in Dublin with Foreigner at the RDS Arena - it’ll be great to be back there with them and Journey and the Belfast concert will be a welcome return for us following a great gig at the Spring & Airbrake last summer.
The Lisbon show will be our first there since the 'Aphrodisiac' tour in 1993!
We're really looking forward to catching up with everyone.

Asia's Omega tour continues through North and South America

Pomp / AOR specialists at their game, Asia will be playing more North and South American tour dates over the next couple of months, in continued support of last years, 'Omega' album and Mexico fans will get an extra treat ...
The two dates Asia will play in Mexico, will be with Yes!

Shows in Central and South America have been announced.
 The 2011 Omega dates confirmed so far include:
North America - 2011

April 2011Apr 28 - The State Theatre, Easton, PA
Apr 29 - Keswick Theatre, Glenside, PA
Apr 30 - Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY

May 2011
May 01 - Birchmere, Alexandria, VA
May 03 - Rams Head Tavern, Annapolis, MD
May 04 - Rams Head Tavern, Annapolis, MD
May 05 - Community Theatre at Mayo Center, Morristown, NJ
May 06 - The Turning Stone Casino and Resort, Verona, NY
May 07 - Casino Rama, Rama, ON, Canada
May 09 - Metropolis, Montreal, Canada
May 10 - Infinity Hall, Norfolk, CT
May 12 - Leelanau Sands Casino, Peshawbestown, MI
May 13 - House of Blues, Chicago, IL
May 14 - Pabst Theatre, Milwaukee, WI

Mexico shows:
May 28 - Monterey, Mexico (with YES)
May 30 - Mexico City, Mexico (with YES)

Central/South America - 2011
May 20 - Teatro La Cuplula, Santiago, Chile
May 21 - Teatro Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina
May 22 - HSBC Arena, Sao Paulo, Brazil
May 24 - Isla De Atlapa, Panama
May 26 - Anfiteatro Sambil, Chacao, Caracas

Official band website:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stryper, Live! - Harpo’s Concert Hall, Detroit, MI. March 19th, 2011

Stryper at Harpo’s Concert Hall, Detroit, MI.
Sat. March 19th 2011 - Live review

Editor note: Hey folks, well, what do you know? I have my first guest reviewer, please welcome Mr. Mark W.T. Payne!
Mark is actually an author already, so he knows how to write a thing or two! 
Mark went along to the Stryper show, braving life and limb ..., well, something like that!
Anyway, he stepped out on the rough side of Detroit to check out the latest live Stryper show and without further ado, here's the story, enjoy!

(Harpo's venue - Photo by Mark W.T. Payne)

The Yellow and Black Crush Detroit Rock City

Anyone who was attending last Saturday’s Stryper show at Harpo’s, expecting to see a has-been hair band lumbering across the stage in a futile attempt to recapture the 80’s, was in for one hell of a surprise!
This sonic metal quartet originally from L.A., blasted through their ballad-free, straight-up rockin’ set-list like a well-oiled, precision machine and with enough energy to power the eastern seaboard.
Gone are the crazy spandex costumes, globs of make-up and ultra-poofy hair, revealing four stunningly skilled musicians who know how to perform and connect with their audience.
For the 700 who attended Saturday night’s concert, it was an obvious love-fest, with Stryper leading the way and delivering the goods.

Formed in 1983 by brothers Michael and Robert Sweet, this glam metal band was originally known as Roxx Regime and at one point featured Poison’s C.C. DeVille on guitar, before Oz Fox came aboard. Inspired by bands like Van Halen, but distressed at the message they conveyed, Roxx Regime added bass player Timothy Gaines to the group and became Stryper, a name derived from a verse in the King James Bible (Isaiah 53:5).
In 1983 they signed with Enigma Records and shortly thereafter released an E.P. entitled “The Yellow and Black Attack,” propelling them into the spotlight and making them the first ever “Christian rock band” to achieve mainstream recognition and MTV air-play. Platinum record sales followed, along with Grammy award nominations and highly successful world tours.

Drawing on their twenty-eight years of experience and eight original albums, Stryper had a wealth of material to work with on Saturday night and they pumped out their classics like 'To Hell with the Devil,' 'The Way' and 'Soldiers Under Command,' with a fury that made those older songs sound fresh and exciting. They also threw in a few tunes that they haven’t played live in a while, like 'Loving You' and 'Surrender,' the latter featuring an incredible extended guitar duel between guitarists Michael Sweet and Oz Fox. To make the night even more of a “tribute to the classics,” Stryper’s set list featured songs from their latest CD, 'The Covering,' a collection of cover songs from some surprising artists such as Led Zeppelin, The Sweet and The Scorpions.
They treated the crowd on Saturday to Stryper-'ized versions of Ozzy’s 'Over the Mountain,' Black Sabbath’s, 'Heaven and Hell' and Kiss’ 'Shout It Out Loud,' making the songs their own and breathing a fire into them that you just cannot get from a recording!

(Photo by Mark W.T. Payne)

The most startling thing about Saturday’s concert however, was the amazing musicianship and performance abilities, of each member of the band. Lead vocalist Michael Sweet raced from one end of the stage to the other, dancing around like he was twenty and showcasing his amazing vocal abilities, a range which seems to allow him to hit notes you would think only dogs could hear! Guitarist Oz Fox, perhaps one of the most underrated guitarists ever, played his yellow and black instrument like his fingers were on fire, all the while spinning, jumping and kicking, to the delight of the fans crowding the front of the stage.
He also demonstrated some amazing vocal skills of his own, at one point taking over lead duties on 'Over the Mountain.' When Michael and Oz hit the harmony guitar solos, you would think you were attending a guitar clinic, their stunning synchronicity filling the air with an almost dreamy sonic assault.

(Oz Fox, left and Michael Sweet, right - Photo's by Mark W.T. Payne)

Bass player Timothy Gaines bopped his head and displayed a chunky, rich, thumping style, that was the perfect backdrop for the melodic hard metal sound of the band. He too was incredibly animated.

(Timothy Gaines and Oz Fox - Photo by Mark W.T. Payne)
Finally there was Robert Sweet on the drums. It’s easy to see why they call him their Visual Time-Keeper, as opposed to their drummer! He pounded those skins with a wild and entertaining energy seldom displayed by a musician behind a kit!
Regardless of what you think of their beliefs, Stryper is a wonder to behold, and definitely a contender as one of the best live bands out there.
Do yourself a favour; catch them in concert on this tour! You’ll be glad you did!
Murder by Pride
Rock that makes Me Roll
Over the Mountain
Loving You
Reach Out
Calling On You
More Than A Man
Shout it out Loud
Heaven and Hell
The Way
To Hell with the Devil
Soldiers Under Command.

Reviewed by Mark W.T. Payne
Editor's comment: Thanks Mark, big time! :)

Official Stryper website: