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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Brief News Update for Saturday July 9th, 2011

Def Leppard North American dates rescheduled after Joe Elliott's father passes

It's tough enough losing best mates, like Def Leppard's  Steve Clark's passing some years back now, but yesterday Joe Elliott lost his father after an illness, admidst the bands North American 'Mirror Ball' tour. has posted this message:

We sadly share the following news with you. Joe Elliott's father, who has been ill for a number of weeks, has passed in a UK hospital.

The band has out of respect and sympathy for the man, cancelled a number of dates, including Thursday 7th July in Cincinnati and tonights (Saturday) gig in Bristow, VA.
This posted at the Def Leppard site:

The following performances in Cincinnati, OH (July 7th), Bristow, VA (July 9th), Saratoga Springs, NY (July 10th), Wantagh, NY (July 12th), Holmdel, NJ (July 13th), and Tinley Park, Il (July 15th) have been rescheduled due to a family illness.
The rescheduled concert dates, with special guests HEART, will now take place on the following dates:

July 27 - Cincinnati, OH (Riverbend Music Center)
July 28 - Tinley Park, Il (First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre)
July 30 - Wantagh, NY (Nikon at Jones Beach Theater)
July 31 - Bristow, VA (Jiffy Lube Live)
August 2 - Saratgoa Springs, NY (Saratoga Performing Arts Center)
August 3 - Holmdel, NJ (PNC Bank Arts Center)

DEF LEPPARD regrets the inconvenience and looks forward to returning to the cities in several weeks. Tickets purchased for the above dates will be honored for the rescheduled new dates.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Joe at this time, as I know what it's like, I lost my father ten years ago this year. Take care Joe, the fans will understand if the tour gets pushed back.

Magnum to release 'Evolution' later this year

After the success of this years studio album "The Visitation" , Magnum is in the studio right now to rerecord/remix/remaster songs for a very special best of album named "Evolution".
Coming in November this CD will cover the last 10 years plus a lot more.

Not a new, new album but ...., well Magnum's Tony Clarkin has this to say on the matter ...

'Olly Hahn suggested we put out an album of the last ten years we've been at SPV, we discussed this while we were on tour in Germany, at first I wasn't that keen but the more I thought about it the more I got to like the idea as long as we could re-look at some of the older songs and bring them up to the quality of 'The Visitation' our latest studio album.
Bob (Catley) and I sat in the studio and chose what we thought would make a good rock album so maybe its not all the obvious tracks you would expect, that done we are now in the process of re-recording various things from drums to guitars and even some vocals, bits of keyboards and bass, we are also including two brand new tracks on this album, the name of the album is 'EVOLUTION' for obvious reasons.
We've already got the artwork sorted for the front cover and we've got some real good photo's that were taken in Berlin for the inside.'
Tony Clarkin

Meanwhile, the band will play three live UK dates later this year:

30th November, 2011
The Robin 2, Bilston. England

1st December, 2011
Cambridge Junction, Cambridge. England

2nd December, 2011
Hard Rock Hell, Prestatyn. Wales.

Keep up with all things Magnum at:


New Live Simple Minds CD's Selling Out Fast!

Live CD's Of This Summers Shows Almost Sold Out!
European Tour Tickets Still Available
Concert Live CDs

Hurry!! The remaining Live CD recordings of Simple Minds stunning performances at Bedgebury Pinetum & Forest, Hampton Court Palace and Cannock Chase Forest are selling out fast!
For your chance to get these CDs, before they are all snapped up, follow the link below to the special Concert Live page.
Click here for the Live CD's and to hear samples:

European Tour Tickets Still Available

Some tickets are still available for the shows below:

07/07/11 - St Peter at Sunset, Kestenholz, CH
09/07/11 - TW Classic Festival, Werchter, BE
09/07/11 - Rock Zottegem, Belgium, BE
10/07/11 - Festival Terres Blanches, Guerande, FR
16/07/11 - City Rocks, Inverness, Scotland, GB
19/07/11 - Honberger Festival, Festivalzelt in der Ruine, Tuttlingen, DE
21/07/11 - Zeltspektakel Festival, Winterbach, DE
23/07/11 - Burgtheater Dinslaken, Dinslaken, DE
26/07/11 - Dortmunder Music Festival, Westfalenhalle, DE
30/07/11 - INEC, Killarney, Ireland
06/08/11 - Rock the Rock Festival, Gibraltar, GB, Iberia
11/08/11 - Les nuits musicales de Ma�che, FR
12/08/11 - Festival du Chant de Marin, Paimpol, FR
13/08/11 - F�te du Bruit dans Landerneau, FR
18/08/11 - Belgrade Beer Fest, Belgrade, RS
More more info go to:

UFO to release Eleven in '11

Classic rockers UFO, have lined up a deal with 'Back on Black' to release eleven of their classic albums this year.

For more information on this and the bands current tour plans, go to:

 UK festival 'High Voltage' releases information on artists stage times

Stage Times

Saturday 23 July 2011

20:35 – 22:50 Judas Priest
18:55 – 19:55 Slash
17:35 – 18:25 Thin Lizzy
16:20 – 17:05 Queensryche
15:20 – 15:50 Rival Sons
14:25 – 14:55 Skin
13:30 – 14:00 Michael Monroe

19:35 – 20:50 Barclay James Harvest
18:00 – 19:00 Neil Morse
16:45 – 17:30 Anathema
15:30 – 16:15 Caravan
14:30 – 15:00 Amplifier
13:30 – 14:00 Von Hertzen Brothers

21:00 – 21:45 Electric Wizard
19:45 – 20:30 Grand Magnus
18:30 – 19:15 Sylosis
17:15 – 18:00 Triggerfinger
16:15 – 16:45 Ravens Creed
15:15 – 15:45 Primitai
14:15 – 14:45 Attica Rage

Sunday 24 July 2011

20:20 – 22:20 Dream Theater
18:35 – 19:35 Black Country Communion
17:15 – 18:05 Thunder
16:00 – 16:45 Michael Schenker
15:00 – 15:35 Saint Jude
14:00 – 14:35 Heaven’s Basement

19:20 – 20:35 Jethro Tull
18:00 – 18:45 Spock’s Beard
16:45 – 17:30 Mostly Autumn
15:30 – 16:15 Curved Air
14:30 – 15:00 The Enid
13:30 – 14:00 Pallas

18:45 – 20:25 Neurosis
17:30 – 18:15 Black Spiders
16:30 – 17:00 Graveyard
15:30 – 16:00 Gentleman’s Pistols
14:30 – 15:00 The Treatment
13:30 – 14:00 Furyon

For further details:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Brief News Update for Thursday 7th July, 2011

Well folks, it seems my review of The Sweet gig has caused quite a stir among the supporters of Andy Scott's Sweet.
I stand corrected to a degree in my statement in my review of the gig last weekend and my comments towards A.S.'s Sweet. An additional comment has been added within the review, to kind of set things a little clearer.
I would say this, it's clear that both artists in life after 'classic' Sweet have released their own solo works and contributed to other artists works too, so in summing up. Good luck to them both, sincerely!
Enough of all that though, let's get on with some up to date news. Cheers, Al!

Aerosmith Set To Bring Their Unforgettable Live Show To Japan This Winter

It looks like Steven Tyler is back onboard with the Aerosmith boys as they get set to head to Japan on tour!
This announcement comes through the fan mail letter, Aero Force One:

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Icons Return To Their Japanese Fans For The First Time In 7 Years, with a tour that kicks off November 22nd in Kanazawa.
Tickets go on sale beginning July 23rd - Stay Tuned for Presale Dates

Official Aerosmith Video, check it out here:

Rock ‘n’ roll legends, Aerosmith, will head East this winter bringing their exhilarating live show to Japan. In light of the terrible tragedies that have recently taken place in the country, the band is excited to return for the first time since 2004 and play for some of their biggest and most dedicated fans.

 Aerosmith first toured Japan in 1977 and, this year, the band is set to electrify cities throughout the country including Tokyo, Osaka and Sapporo. Aerosmith’s Japan takeover will kick off November 22nd in Kanazawa at Ishikawa Sogo Sports Center. Tickets will go on sale beginning in July and go to for upcoming dates, on sales and more tour information.

“Our prayers are with all of our Japanese fans and the people of Japan. They can use all of our prayers and whatever help we can give. We can’t wait to be there and play for the people who have supported us for the past 40 years. Our fans know how much we love them and we are eager to return and give them the show of a lifetime, especially after the tragedy they have recently been through” says guitarist Joe Perry.

Adds bassist Tom Hamilton, "Every time we've come to Japan we've had a great time.  We'll do our best to bring a show that meets the high expectations of our Japanese fans.  Let's Rock!”

Besides guitarist Joe Perry and singer Steven Tyler, Aerosmith includes drummer Joey Kramer, guitarist Brad Whitford and bassist Tom Hamilton and has become one of the most powerful and recognizable band’s in popular music.
Aerosmith has spanned generations to create their own unique place in rock history. With four Grammy’s, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction (2001) and 12 MTV Music Video Awards, the band shows no signs of letting up with sold out shows across the globe and over 150 million albums sold. Never succumbing to the trends and fads of rock and roll, Aerosmith has blazed their own path remaining as ground-breaking as they were when they first formed over 40 years ago.

Tickets for the tour will go on sale beginning July 23rd with presales TBD.
VIP experience packages which may include meet and greets, backstage tours, early entry passes, and premium seating and/or merchandise are available through or by calling +1-508-791-6710 in the United States between 9am and 5pm Eastern Time.

Date City Venue
November 2011

November 22nd Kanazawa Ishikawa Sogo Sports Center
November 25th Hiroshima Hiroshima Green Arena
November 28th Tokyo Tokyo Dome
November 30th Tokyo Tokyo Dome

December 2011 

December 2nd Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka
December 6th Osaka Kyocera Dome Osaka
December 8th Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
December 10th Sapporo Sapporo Dome

Official band sites:

Van Halen Update 7/6/11

Yes, there is a Van Halen update, I guess in response to all the speculation doing the rounds!
Check out this recent picture of Alex Van Halen and Diamond David Lee Roth from
Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth photo courtesy of

Not much new here, but here’s a quick update on the new Van Halen album. Some new rumors have surfaced since our last update, but we are hearing that most of them are not true. Here’s what we know as of now:
Album Release Date: We are hearing it is tentatively September or October, 2011.
First Single Release Date: Unknown.
Album Title / Song Titles: Unknown. (We hear that the rumored titles, “Hurricanes”, “Stop Talking” etc. are NOT real song titles).
Album Cover: Unknown. (There’s a rumor that the artwork will feature a brown M&M, emblazoned with the VH logo. We are hearing that this is NOT the artwork that will be used for the CD).
Producer: The vocals were produced by John Shanks. The music was produced by John Shanks and possibly also Eddie Van Halen.
Engineer: Ross Hogarth, who is back on board after being off the project for some time. He recently described the unreleased record as “the killing side of Van Halen at the top of their game again with Diamond Dave.”.
Tour: Their will definitely not be any tourdates before the 5 announced Australian dates from Sept 24th through Oct. 3rd. There are no other rumored dates at this point.
We’re excited to hear Mark Tremonti claimthat new music sounds like “old school Van Halen”, and of course the recent 'Get Ready' message from Diamond Dave is further heightening our unbridled anticipation!
Stay tuned to

Leslie West to release new album, 'Unusual Suspects' on Sept. 19th.

 Legendary guitarist and Mountain founder 'Leslie West' will release the new solo album, 'Unusual Suspects', on Monday September 19th. The album follows the recent news that West underwent life-saving surgery on June 17th, when his leg was amputated above the knee.
While an ordeal such as this would surely deter other artists, West insisted on honouring the 'Unusual Suspects' album release date in September.

Released by Provogue Records, 'Unusual Suspects' features West performing alongside an all-star hand-picked line-up of the world's finest guitar players, including Slash, blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa, Black Label Society front man and ex-Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and Toto's Steve Lukather. 'Unusual Suspects' is West's first album since 2006's 'Blue Me'.

"These guys don't just show up to play on everybody's albums," says West on his special guests and the album's title. "They're all stars in their own right, and fantastic players - everyone with their own sound and style, about as far from the usual suspects as it gets."
Read the full press release online -


On June 28, The Doobie Brothers Live At The Greek Theatre 1982 was released on CD and DVD through Eagle Rock Entertainment.
The rafters of Berkeley, California’s famed Greek Theater shook with rock’n’roll fervor as the final date of the final tour of hometown heroes The Doobie Brothers brought many in the crowd that night to tears.
Billed as their “Farewell Tour,” the band, guitarist/vocalist Pat Simmons, keyboardist/vocalist Michael McDonald, drummer Keith Knudson, guitarist/violinist/harmonica player John McFee, saxophonist/keyboardist/flautist Cornelius Bumpus, drummer/percussionist Chet McCracken, bassist Willie Weeks, and conga player Bob LaKind, pulled out all the stops on a set that revisited their every era.
This incredible night included the surprise return of band co-founder Tom Johnston for the final two numbers. On their biggest hit, “Listen To The Music,” original member John Hartman also joined the band as did former members Tiran Porter and Michael Hossack. It would prove to be the last onstage Doobie Brothers music for five years.
The two-hour 21-track DVD includes five bonus songs cut from the original film of the event“Little Darlin’ (I Need You),” “One Step Closer,” “Dependin’ On You,” “Real Love” and “”No Stoppin’ Us Now” as well as interviews with the band and its manager.
Since their self-titled debut in 1971, The Doobie Brothers have released thirteen studio albums, as well as several live albums and “Best Of” compilations. 'Live At The Greek Theatre 1982' is a welcome addition to their stunning musical repertoire, that captures an unforgettable celebration of their career.

CD Track Listing:
1) Listen To The Music
2) Sweet Maxine
3) Rockin’ Down The Highway
4) You Belong To Me
5) Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me)
6) Long Train Runnin’
7) Black Water
8) Minute By Minute
9) Slat Key Soquel Rag
10) Out On The Streets
11) What A Fool Believes
12) Jesus Is Just Alright
13) Takin’ It To The Streets
14) China Grove
15) Listen To The Music
16) Little Darling (I Need You)
17) One Step Closer
18) Dependin’ On You
19) Real Love
DVD Track Listing:
1) Listen To The Music
2) Sweet Maxine
3) Rockin’ Down The Highway
4) You Belong To Me
5) Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me)
6) Long Train Runnin’
7) Black Water
8) Minute By Minute
9) Slat Key Soquel Rag
10) I Keep Forgettin’
11) Out On The Streets
12) What A Fool Believes
13) Jesus Is Just Alright
14) Takin’ It To The Streets
15) China Grove
16) Listen To The Music
17) Little Darling (I Need You)
18) One Step Closer
19) Dependin’ On You
20) Real Love
21) No Stoppin’ Us Now
Check out a video from the DVD here:
Official website:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rock News Update for Wednesday 6th July, 2011

Hi folks, well ..., it's hump day, sorry, Wednesday and we're halfway to the weekend, yes, we've got this far!
Anyway, all that aside first of all I'd like to say congratulations to our two Christopher Cross giveaway prizewinners, Todd Nemphos of Baldwin, MD wins the autographed copy of 'Doctor Faith' and John Pierson of Sellersville, PA, gets the regular copy of the album.
Well done guys, you correctly guessed that British metal act Saxon covered Christopher Cross' hit single, 'Ride Like the Wind,' your  CD's will be sent out to you both later today. Hope you appreciate the album.

 Onto the news for Wednesday! Cheers, Al

Uriah Heep set for UK tour in December

Looks like UK rock fans are in for a treat, as Uriah Heep have set up a ten date UK tour in support of current album 'Into The Wild,' released through Frontiers records.

Here's the flyer for the tour.

Based on the excellent new album and great reviews of the band's recent US tour, it's not to be missed!
Enjoy folks!

Keep up with the band, for any news or tour date additions at:

VH1 Classic Presents THAT METAL SHOW
Hosted by Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson
SEASON 8: Los Angeles!


That Metal Show is back in LA to film its 8th Season and we’re looking for Hardcore LA Metal Fans to be in the audience for our shows!

You wanted more metal, we’re giving you more metal! VH1 Classic’s THAT METAL SHOW is back and ready for another season of celebrating all things hard rock and heavy metal. Hosted by Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson, THAT METAL SHOW is a ONE HOUR roundtable talk show where legends of rock hang out and discuss their past and current projects, all the while interacting with the metal maniacs that make up our studio audience. Once again, we’ll be settling all metal arguments, trying to Stump the Trunk, and we’ll be tracking down artists who vanished from the metal scene. THAT METAL SHOW is quite simply the only on-air destination for the greatest genre of music ever created.

We will have another season of AMAZING Guests, so get your reservations in now!

Friday, 7/22/11
Saturday, 7/23/11
Monday, 7/25/11
Tuesday, 7/26/11
Thursday, 7/28/11

NOTE- We will film 2 shows each day. You MUST stay for both show tapings. The shows this season will be a FULL HOUR, so we will be shooting for an hour and half each show!
It’s twice the Metal!

LOCATION-Los Angeles, CA (Given upon being confirmed.)
(The total check in & tape time for the tapings will be approx 4-4.5 hours)

PLEASE NOTE- As this is a television taping, all shows are overbooked. (Which is standard for any show) Audience members will be allowed in on a first come first served basis.

We are extending this special, complimentary ticket offer to LA fans of METAL!!


And Include:
CITY/STATE: (MUST be in the LA area to be eligible)
GUEST NAMES: (You Can bring TWO guests with you)

Put “Metal Show (and date you would like to attend)” in subject line! Example: “Metal Show 7/22/11”There are no hard tickets, you will be put on a VIP security list upon confirmation.

For more details check out:

Van Halen ... Is that album ready ...? David Lee Roth's site, possibly drops a hint!

So, are the rumours about to be made fact ...?
For sometime now, there's been speculation over when the new Van Halen album will be released, the first new material featuring David Lee Roth on lead vocals since ... Well, it's been so long it was the Van Halen 'Best of ... Volume 1,' back in 1996, which featured two previously unreleased David Lee Roth fronted Van Halen tracks.
This at the time looked as though VH were back with Diamond Dave fronting the band once more, but alas the man blew his chance by taking over the MTV awards show that year ..
Eddie Van Halen was apparently less than happy about it ...

The 'Best of Both Worlds' compilation in 2004 featured three brand new Sammy Hagar sung Van Halen tracks and the band did indeed reunite for a big old tour ...
Sadly, once again, the reunion was short lived with all kinds of rumours from both sides ... Sigh ...

Van Halen of course DID reunite with Diamond Dave in 2006 and they toured in 2007 to mixed reviews. Some said Eddie Van Halen was in trouble again trying to stay clean ..., but they managed to get through the tour that finished in 2008.

So much talk as I say has been ongoing regarding the new album and finally ... It's just possible that David Lee Roth has indeed dropped the biggest - yet cryptic - hint yet, by a simple statement at his website, 'Get ready ...'
You can check it out here:

Who knows, maybe he's got his own new solo album coming out, but I kind of doubt it, as Van Halen have already lined up live dates in Australia:

Van Halen
Soundwave Revolution Festival - Australia

Saturday, September 24th, 2011 Brisbane
Sunday, September 25th, 2011 Sydney
Friday, September 30th, 2011 Melbourne
Saturday, October 1st, 2011 Adelaide
Monday, October 3rd, 2011 Perth

I guess we should find out soon enough right ...? I hope so!
The Van Halen news desk seems to keep on top of most things:

New solo album, 'Marauder' from Starship's Mickey Thomas

A new covers album has just this week been released by Starship frontman, Mickey Thomas and the album goes by the title of 'Marauder.'
I cannot find any official press release for this album, but Amazon says this of the release:
Mickey Thomas is one of rock music's best kept secrets. 'Marauder' plunders Thomas Rock legacy with Starship and Elvin Bishop to pay tribute to his musical influences, peers, and followers. Featuring fourteen incredible tracks, 'Marauder' showcases Thomas vocal genius and leaves no doubt that his voice is among rock music most treasured.

'Marauder' is Thomas fitting tribute to his musical influences such as
The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Joe Cocker. As lead singer for the popular 80's hitmakers, Starship, Mickey Thomas was the voice of some of the biggest hits of the 80's including
'We Built This City,' 'Sara' and 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now'.
With 'Marauder', Thomas showcases the amazing range of his voice on classics as Paul McCartney's 'Maybe I'm Amazed', AC/DC's 'Moneytalks', Snow Patrol's 'Chasing Cars', and Muse's 'Supermassive Black Hole' among others. 
It's avilable through both Amazon and iTunes it seems right here:
The official website for the man is here:








Atlantic recording group Staind has announced details of their hugely anticipated new album.  “STAIND” – which marks the iconic hard rock band’s seventh studio album and first full-length release in three years – arrives in stores and at all digital retailers on September 13th.
Produced by Johnny K – known for his work with 3 Doors Down, Disturbed, and Sevendust, not to mention his Grammy Award-nominated collaboration with Staind, 2008’s “THE ILLUSION OF PROGRESS” – and mixed by the legendary Chris Lord-Alge, “STAIND” stands as Staind’s most intense and powerful work to date.  The album is heralded by the new song, “Eyes Wide Open,” which premieres today at
“Not Again,” the first official single from “STAIND,” will then impact multi-format rock radio outlets nationwide in mid-July.
Check out the video for 'Eyes Wide Open' right here:

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Aaron Lewis recent described “STAIND” as “the heaviest thing we have recorded in a long time.  It’s definitely one of the heaviest collections of songs that we have put together.”
“It’s completely different than the last record,” agrees guitarist Mike Mushok.  “It’s more of a throwback to where we came from.  I definitely think it’s fresh. It’s a modern-sounding version of a heavy Staind record.  It’s pretty cool.”
“STAIND” has already earned advance acclaim from ARTISTDirect, which hailed the album as a “timeless masterpiece,” praising Lewis’ vocals for “reach(ing) heights that only legends can touch.”
In other news, Staind will perform at KROQ’s annual rock festival, Epicenter 2011, slated for September 24th at Irvine, California’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. 
For up-to-the-minute details, please see
Staind’s decade-plus career has seen worldwide album sales in excess of 13 million and five #1 singles spanning three different radio formats.  With honest, heartfelt lyrics, resounding guitar chords, and Aaron Lewis’ unmistakable voice, the New England-based band leapt to the forefront of American alternative metal with 2001’s hugely popular Flip/Elektra third album, “BREAK THE CYCLE.”  Fueled by the hit singles, “Outside” and “It’s Been Awhile,” the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, ultimately going on to five-times RIAA platinum certification and worldwide sales of 7 million.
2003’s “14 SHADES OF GRAY” saw Staind continuing to dominate rock radio, spawning the mainstream rock hits, “Price To Play” and “So Far Away” and earning RIAA platinum certification.  Released two years later, “CHAPTER V” entered the Billboard 200 at #1 – Staind’s third consecutive platinum-certified, chart-topping debut.  In 2008, “THE ILLUSION OF PROGRESS” made a top 3 debut on the Billboard 200 driven by the #1 alternative rock song, “Believe.”
In addition to his continuing work with Staind, singer Aaron Lewis is a fervent road warrior, performing solo acoustic shows featuring both classic Staind songs like “It’s Been Awhile” and “Right Here” and songs from his solo EP "Town Line," which debuted at in the #1 slot on the Billboard country chart, and #7 on the Billboard 200.  "Town Line" also earned him two CMT video nominations, one for the lead single "Country Boy," the video for which currently has 10 million views on and YouTube alone.
For additional news and information, please visit

Classic Rock Presents AOR 3: Foreigner 4
A year to make. More than $1 million in recording costs. Deadlines Missed. Budgets broken.
Classic Rock Presents AOR analyses the dramatic birth of Foreigner '4.'

The third sensational issue of AOR magazine celebrates a very special birthday: the 30th anniversary of the release of Foreigner 4 – the classic 1981 album that brought you such massive hits as 'Waiting For A Girl Like You,' 'Urgent,' 'Juke Box Hero' and many more.

The epic 10-page article tells you everything you need to know about the creation of this melodic rock masterpiece, based around a revealing new interview with Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones.

Other interviews include former band members Rick Wills and Dennis Elliott; Tony Platt, who engineered Foreigner 4; plus the man who played synthesiser on the album – none other than Thomas Dolby.
There is also an interview with the band’s current frontman, Kelly Hansen, asking him what it feels like singing those classic Foreigner songs today.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Black Country Communion ‘2’ album review

Black Country Communion ‘2’ album review
Released through: J&R Adventures. Release date: Available now!

First off, what a phenomenally talented line up, there I said it!

The combination of an ex-Deep Purple legend in Glenn Hughes - The man that Ronnie James Dio (RIP) bless him, said was his favourite vocalist. – alongside the extremely talented Joe Bonamassa - Whose own solo career just goes from strength to strength and deservedly so too. – who at times vocally reminds me of classic Paul Rodgers, is just perfect!

Add to that the Led Zeppelin ‘endorsed’ – Well, what else would you call him?! – Jason Bonham on drums as well as the phenomenal talent who is Derek Sherinian on keyboards and you have yourselves, one of today’s, without question, best super groups imaginable!
I give you Black Country Communion!
As much as I enjoyed the first album from B.C.C. , it took me some getting into, but now we know what these guys are all about ‘2’ comes along and simply casts in stone, this magically talented ensemble of musical genius!
I would love to see these guys live, it must be something else, seriously and all I have heard on that front, is nothing but good if not great reports! Ah well, maybe one day …

So, what do we have here?
When I first heard ‘The Outsider’ I was stunned! What an absolute killer opener for these guys, it just kills, as it storms on!!!
I cannot leave it there, I really can’t, it is so, so powerful! A great vocal from Mr. Hughes, so powerfully driven by his bass line and such strong drumming from Jason Bonham and then the interplay between Bonamassa and Sherinian simply reminds of the best times from (Ritchie) Blackmore and (Jon) Lord, stunning!
Holy cow, I’d have bought the album on the strength of this track alone, I kid you not!

‘Man in the Middle’ is almost presented vocally in a Steven Tyler style, I know, I know, Glenn is so much better than Tyler! - I'm sure I'll hear something about that! Then it has such a great mid paced rockin’ groove, it brings to mind Led Zeppelin and the interchanges kind of enforce that sound. They’ve really got something special here, without question. I love it.

With an almost melancholy start, we get ‘The Battle for Hadrian’s Wall’ with a great vocal from Joe Bonamassa and the track just grows into something special, almost not unlike a Bad Company feel and I know I’ve said of the Rodgers comparison, but tell me you don’t hear that vibe too?! The song overall has it’s laid back moments and then it’s pick up spots too. Great balance!

‘Save Me’ next has a kind of atmospheric start, with a haunting distant vocal from Glenn Hughes, then in kicks the groove.
This is very similar to a lot of the sound that the band established on the first album, it’s so rich, yet a slower pace, again in a Zep kind of like style. Here’s the thing – And I know I’ll get some stick for this! – I wasn’t the worlds greatest Zep fan, but there’s something about what B.C.C. have captured here that really grabs me. It just sounds so epic like and Sherinian orchestral stabs – Unless there is an orchestra on here?! With little information on who else plays on here besides the obvious culprits. – that it makes the song immense.

In ‘Smokestack Woman’ they just keep that same kind of groove going and it’s another slow to mid paced rocker. The tempo is laid back and steady, but the guitar riff rockin’! Tasty solo from Joe too!

Ha ha! ‘Faithless’ rides a similar groove to the last, but Joe’s guitar work on this takes the song to a whole new level and the rest of band just hangs out there keeping everything steady, plus Derek Sherinian has a mystical theme going all the way through as well. Nice!

There’s a kind Free / Bad Company feel to ‘An Ordinary Son’ but it’s so much more than that. There’s light and dark where it’s nicely held back through the verses and then the pre-chorus and chorus builds and rocks out.

When you just take a moment, to play this a few times over and listen to what each of the players contribute, it’s just great the full sound the band creates. Glenn joins in on a verse to take the lead vocal to break things up a bit and its cool the way it plays out.

I love the groove to next number ‘I Can See Your Spirit,’ it’s punchy as heck and kind of combines both a Zep and Purple feel, it’s great!
Joe really rips up a solo too, short and sweet and then Derek gets his spot too, so much in a song that’s little over four minutes, nice!

Some tasteful blues on ‘Little Secret’ next and surprisingly Joe lets Glenn sing this one, when you might expect him to sing it, it’s nicely done indeed. Sounds like something right off one of Joe’s own albums, that put simply Glenn does a great job on and is a clear indication of the mans complete ability to sing the blues just as well as rock or funk …, but then most of his fans - Me included! – already knew this!

‘Crossfire’ starts initially a little psychedelic sounding and then gets into classic Glenn Hughes funk rock / soulful groove territory, more so perhaps than any other BCC track before. I think it’s great that the band has done this.
In the second half of the track, it gets into a more melodic rock groove to wrap it up nicely.

It’s funny, I think this album tends to show perhaps a little more diversity to it than the first, but knowing Glenn and Joe’s styles from prior to this project, it doesn’t surprise me and in fact make the album click for me, quicker than the first.

Last track here is ‘Cold’ that has a haunting, almost eerie sounding laid back start. Love Joe's guitar tone here, it’s beautiful!
It’s a steady number, kind of almost power ballad like in most of the first half and then the tempo pick up and Joe just conjures up another great solo, before the track then eases back to the earlier groove and finishes as it started with some beautiful laid back guitar.

These guys have just raised the bar from their first release, seriously! This is an excellent album that cries out, no, make that yells out, demanding attention and folks, you deserve to give it just that. Classy stuff indeed!
So, how are you guys going to top that on the third BCC one, huh? Can’t wait to find out!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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