What once was old is new again. Bon Jovi’s 1987 rock anthem, “Livin’ On a Prayer,” has re-entered the “Billboard Hot 100” more than a quarter century after the song first topped that same chart.
As reported by Billboard, the song’s return to the chart was triggered by a surge in the number of times it’s being streamed online. The streaming is mostly attributable to user-generated clips spurred by renewed interest in a video, originally posted in 2009, of Boston Celtics fan Jeremy Fry dancing to the song during stoppage of play at Boston’s TD Garden. Fry’s dance routine was freshly uploaded to Utrend.tv on October 17, and has since drawn 11 million worldwide views and garnered more than 1.6 million Facebook “shares.”
Bon Jovi last appeared on the Hot 100 chart in 2009, when “We Weren’t Born to Follow,” from the band’s album The Circle , reached Number 68.
Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson is set to release his third solo album. Titled The Ceaseless Sight, the album will be issued in the spring of 2014 by The End Records, a Brooklyn-based indie label that’s home to such artists as Cradle of Filth, Badly Drawn Boy, Anvil and Fatboy Slim.
Robinson apparently chose the label in part because of his high regard for The End founder Andreas Katsambas. “[Katsambas] is a long time music fan and has some very forward ideas on how to get music out there,” Robinson told Billboard, “but more importantly for me, [he knows] how to allow the artist to create pure music without the inevitable ‘commercial versus art’ clash that comes from a more traditional approach. All of Andreas' team shares these qualities.”
Robinson has been on the road this year with the Black Crowes, as part of the band’s “Lay Down with Number 13” world tour. The guitarist will undertake a U.S. tour in 2014 in support of The Ceaseless Sight.
Rush have been busy on the road in support of their 2012 studio album “Clockwork Angels,” and now, it’s time for a break.
“We’ve committed to taking about a year off,” guitarist Alex Lifeson told Billboard. “We all agreed when we finished this tour we were going to take this time off and we weren’t going to talk about band stuff or make any plans.”
If you’re worried that means Rush will permanently go away, don’t. “We haven’t stopped or quit,” Lifeson said. “Right now we’re just relaxing.”
Even though the band plans to take the time off, Lifeson says band mates may find some spare moments to start working on Rush’s next album.
“[We] typically get a little bored, and so we enjoy writing and working together,” he explains, “and I wouldn’t doubt that some time in the New Year we’ll probably gravitate towards each other and start doing some writing.”
He added that Rush’s next album will probably different quite a bit from Clockwork Angels.
“The album is dying as a format,” he maintains. “We’re so used to it…but will we get more mileage by doing a few new songs at a time, or do we do another album? It’s hard to say what the future holds.”
James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo have announced they will release a special, vinyl edition of their Through the Never Soundtrack on Nov. 29, limited to just 4,000 copies.
The release is in conjunction with Record Store Day‘s “Back to Black Friday” releases, which arrive on Black Friday exclusively at local record shops.
“Since its inception we have always been very proud to be a regular part of Record Store Day, including kicking off the very first one with an autograph signing at the Bay Area’s own Rasputin Music in April of 2008,” the band said in a statement. “So we’re psyched to confirm that on Nov. 29 (yes, that’s Black Friday!) your favorite North American independent music retailer and the Metallica.com Store will have the Through The Never soundtrack available in all its vinyl glory as a limited edition deluxe four LP set, 45 RPM on 180 gram vinyl. Only 4,000 of the special box sets will be made and they will all be numbered.”
Check back next week for Gibson.com’s Record Store Day Black Friday gift guide.
Coldplay scored the highest among rock talented, landing at No. 5 on Forbes’ list and earning roughly $64 million this year, much of it coming from the band’s world tour in support of the group’s current album, Mylo Xyloto. Former Pink Floyd singer and bass player Roger Waters did pretty well for himself, too, landing at No. 15 on the list and pulling in $44 million from his “The Wall Live” trek. That tour has actually raised almost half a billion dollars over the past three years—how crazy is that?
Another rock name, Muse, is neck-and-neck with Rihanna for the No. 16 place on the roster, with each earning about $43 million. Likewise, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dr. Dre are tied for the No. 20 spot, with both of them pulling in $40 million, the Peppers from their tour in support of their latest full-length, I’m With You.
Forbes bases its standings on estimates of gross income brought in by each musician or band between June 1 of 2012 and June 1 of 2013.
The Rolling Stones have something special lined up for Back to Black Friday, which takes place on November 29.
The band plan on releasing a 7-inch vinyl version of their 1965 live EP Got Live If You Want It!.
The EP was recorded between March 5 and 7 during the Rolling Stones’ fifth tour. The six-track EP contain covers of Solomon Burke’s “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” and Nat King Cole’s “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66,” as well as the Jagger/Richards penned “I’m Alright.”
Back to Black Friday is a complement to Record Store Day, which is held annually on the third Saturday of April each year. Its purpose is to celebrate, and help support independently owned record stores, who have seen dwindling sales in the past decade with the advance of digital music.
So whether you plan to pick up the Stones record or not, make sure you visit your local record store next Friday and show some support!
Bob Dylan has just released a video for "Like a Rolling Stone," a song that doesn't need a video. Why release one after 50 years? Why do you need a video for such an iconic song? Well, for one it's to promote his new "The Complete Album Collection Vol. 1" It's 35 studio albums, 6 live albums, 2-CD "Side Tracks," and a book. The other reason? A brilliant way to attack today's modern day lifesyle. A fantastic idea with an interactive function that allows you to change the channel, and have the song perfectly lip synced on the next channel. Whether it be fashion, a cooking channel or some real housewives show. This you should check out. Watch it here.
Classic rockers Journey have donated $350,000 to support the relief effort in the Philippines following the devastating typhoon which ripped through the country last week.
More than 615,000 people were displaced by Super Typhoon Haiyan, the largest storm to ever make landfall. Manila native and Journey lead singer Arnel Pineda said the money would help to provide emergency food relief to those affected by the typhoon by supporting the United Nations World Food Programme.
The funds are being donated by Pineda, Journey and their team - promoter Live Nation Entertainment; Creative Artists Agency (CAA); and Manager John Baruck. Journey is calling on fans to join them and make urgent donations to support life-saving food relief for millions of Filipinos. Donations can be made at wfpusa.org/journey or by texting the word AID to 27722 to instantly donate $10.
“We're honored to have Journey's support and Arnel Pineda's leadership on this incredible donation for WFP's emergency relief in the Philippines," Hunter Biden, Board Chair of World Food Program USA, said. “Their support is going to make a real difference for so many Filipino children and families in need.”
One of rock and roll's greatest guitar riffs is receiving special recognition. On Jan. 28, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville will posthumously honor legendary musician Roy Orbison with the Iconic Riff Award for his classic song, "Oh, Pretty Woman." Co-written by Orbison and Bill Dees, "Oh, Pretty Woman" was released as a single in 1964 and spent three weeks at Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the midst of Beatle-mania, the single also topped the British charts for three weeks.
Artists as diverse as Al Green and Van Halen have covered the song, with Van Halen scoring a hit with their searing version in 1982. The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum honors musicians from all genres and eras of recorded music, and inductees are nominated by current members of the American Federation of Musicians and by other music industry professionals. Orbison has the distinction of being the first-ever recipient of this newly created award.
Black Sabbath were the big winners at this year’s Classic Rock Roll of Honor ceremony in London. The heavy metal pioneers picked up three prizes, including the coveted Living Legend award, reports NME.com. "I didn’t even expect to live this long,” said Ozzy Osbourne, accepting the awards. “When I was 21 I thought I would be dead by 40. That was alright until I was 39." He later added: “I never thought 43 years ago I'd be standing here. We're in shock--this year has been an incredible event for us.”
Guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler attended the event as well. “It's fantastic to get the awards,” said Iommi. “When we started out we never thought about it, you just wanted to play. Even this time, we never thought for a minute [the new album] would get to number one. We just wanted to make an album.”
In other Sabbath news, the band has just announced another round of North American live dates, kicking off at the end of March. See the schedule below:
Roger Waters reflected on the legacy of original Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett at the recent Billboard Touring Conference , describing the troubled songwriter as “very talented” but “only incandescent for a year or two maybe.”
During the 80-minute discussion, Waters also recalled Floyd’s 1967 U.S. debut performance at San Francisco’s Winterland, saying Janis Joplin pilfered a pint of Southern Comfort he had just purchased just before the show.
Earlier this week, Waters spoke with Rolling Stone about his forthcoming solo album--his first “rock” effort in 20 years. “I finished a demo of it last night," he revealed. “It's 55 minutes long. It's songs and theater as well. I don't want to give too much away, but it's couched as a radio play. It has characters who speak to each other, and it's a quest. It's about an old man and a young child trying to figure out why they are killing the children.” The veteran rocker went on to say he isn’t sure whether he’ll support the disc with a tour.
The 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ debut performances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” will be marked by a two-hour TV special on CBS. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, “The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles” will air Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time. The show—which will highlight the musical, cultural and historical impact of the band and its Sullivan appearance—will be taped the day after the Grammys, on Monday, Jan. 27.
“That night 50 years ago on the Ed Sullivan stage, the Beatles delivered a momentous performance, and America witnessed a historic television event and the beginning of a new era in music,” said Jack Sussman, CBS Entertainment executive VP of specials and events.
Neil Portnow, president and CEO of The Academy, added: "As the Grammy Awards are music’s biggest night, it's only fitting that we recognize this milestone moment in music history and pay tribute to this larger-than-life group and their enduring music and legacy.”
A new college course offered by New Jersey’s Rutgers University is set to study the religious themes found in Springsteen’s music.
You read that right. “Bruce Springsteen’s Theology” is a one-credit, one-semester course that is currently available to first-year students. Azzan Yadin-Israel, an associate professor of Jewish studies, came up with the idea for the course. Of course, he’s a big fan of The Boss.
In an interview with Rutgers Today, Yadin-Israel explained that he doesn’t expect “that (any of his students) will become a Springsteen scholar” but hopes they “gain an appreciation for a particular way of thinking about texts, an attentive engagement of an author’s work and an understanding of the broader contexts -- political, literary, theological, etc. -- that inform a work.”
He also stated that examples of biblical references are found in many of Springsteen’s lyrics, explaining that “the seminar includes lyrics of songs from Greetings from Asbury Park, New Jersey, Springsteen’s first album, all the way through Wrecking Ball.”
“Bruce Springsteen’s Theology” falls under the school’s Byrne Seminars label, a series of introductory classes with a maximum of 20 students.
The Beatles archive collection On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2 is just out. But there may be even more Fabs music in the vaults.
“There are no plans at the moment,” says Kevin Howlett of Apple Corps. He tells Billboard , “I think these two albums [inc Volume 1] are wonderful from the point of view of presenting the real highlights of the Beatles' BBC sessions.”
The new BBC volume also contains a pair of songs The Beatles never recorded for release during their regular sessions for the E.M.I label - covers of Chuck Berry's “I’m Talking About You” and a revved-up version of the pop standard “Beautiful Dreamer.”
You think The Beatles’ well must be dry by now? Maybe not. There are more Beatles archives being worked on, says Howlett. “There is something, but I don’t think we’re allowed to talk about it yet. If you’re involved in these Beatles projects, you have to be very discreet. It’s all top secret.”
Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant took a fascinating journey to Mali in 2003 to play in the Festival of the Desert and learn more about the music of Africa. Now, Plant is ready to give fans a glimpse into his travels with an eight-part documentary, called “Zirka.”
The film has a homemade feel, with Plant shooting most of the footage himself with a small camera. Fans can check out the first episode via Planet’s official YouTube channel.
In a news post on his official website, Plant calls the trip “a journey of revelation…one of the most illuminating and humbling experiences of my life.” He added that it was “a journey that took us from the scurry and bustle of our world into the homeland of the Tuareg..the Sahel of Mali, Timbuctoo and north to Essakane.”
Plant also says the trip brought him more in tandem with his love for music: “A journey that could only reinforce the power and the great gift of music across and between cultures..sharing outside of language. A world where for awhile, at least borders, boundaries and barriers once again fell away..as it was long ago.”