Led Zeppelin III often has been tagged the group's "folk album." But how folkie is a tune like the operatic "Immigrant Song" or the charging "Out on the Tiles" or the epic blues "Since I've Been Loving You" or the wailing "Celebration Day?"
What the album actually represented was the band's arrival at the height of their compositional powers and the apex of their ability to distill their primary influences (folk, rock and blues) into something grander that faithfully encompassed elements of all three genres. And to do that, they had to go "country" – or at least into the countryside.
Until mid-1970 the group hardly had time to plan its moves. Less than two years in existence, Led Zeppelin had already made two albums and toured the U.S. – where Page acquired his storied "Number One" Gibson Les Paul Standard from Joe Walsh – five times, rising from clubs to arenas as their guarantees swelled from $1,500 to $100,000 a show. The modus operandi had been to grab their blues roots hard and hit the ground running, and it was only when they stopped in July for a five-week break in the action that Led Zeppelin III crystallized as something more.
Before that the group had tried to record "Since I'd Been Loving You," which appears in a pre-Led Zeppelin III live version on the Royal Albert Hall concert DVD, but couldn't nail its radical shifts in dynamics and intensity in the studio.
The acoustic "Friends," inspired by Page's tinkering with open C tuning, and "Immigrant Song" were also written, or at least ready to get crunched out in jams and on tape.
But sometimes the vibe just isn't right. Maybe, for Led Zeppelin in 1970, it was a matter of finding the right headspace. The group's most recent tour of the States had been a challenge. On the plus side, they set attendance records wherever they traveled and grossed well over a million dollars at a time when concert tickets were about the same price as a fast-food meal today. But the minuses included conflicts between the police and Led Zeppelin's counter-culture audiences in Baltimore, Vancouver, Pittsburgh and other cities. In Georgia and Texas, Plant and Page were taunted by rednecks when their bus stopped, and in Texas they were refused service at a restaurant because of their long hair and had a pistol pulled on them. Worse, in Canada, Page's beloved three-pick-up 1960 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty was nicked at an airport and still has never been recovered. He'd played the instrument since his years in the Yardbirds.
So when Plant suggested a July retreat to the ancient Welsh cottage Bron-Yr-Aur that he'd visited as a lad, he and Page packed up their families and headed to the country to find some peace.
After 18 months on the road playing at teeth-rattling volumes, the tranquility of the unelectrified cottage was welcome. It also seemed to be a perfect segue for the music they'd been listening to, which included a big helping of acoustic open-tuning wizards John Fahey, Burt Jansch and Davy Graham.
"That's the Way" ended up becoming a turning point in the upcoming album's direction. After Page and Plant mapped the song out at Bron-Yr-Aur it became a touchstone, dictating further acoustic explorations for Led Zeppelin III. Page developed the song in open G tuning, inspired by Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, and that, in turn, fueled a search for new textures when they returned to the studio. When the song was recorded John Paul Jones shifted from bass to mandolin, and Page took turns at pedal steel and dulcimer.
"That's the Way" was actually the only song written during the idyll in the countryside, but, Page says, it opened up the approach that made Led Zeppelin III a landmark recording in the group's history.
Led Zeppelin were so pleased with the overall sound of the album as a collective work that they told their record company they would not release a single. That was nothing new, since the group's conviction that they were an album band led them to refrain from spinning 45s from their first two discs' set lists as well. But this time Atlantic Records issued "Immigrant Song" as Led Zeppelin's first single despite the band's wishes. It reached #16 on Billboard's pop chart and included the line "The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands." Despite the awkward metaphor, Zeppelin fans adopted "hammer of the gods" as a description of the group's music and the phrase was used by author Stephen Davis as the title of his biography of the band.
Comparing tracks like "Friends" and "Gallows Pole" to the shimmering acoustic and electric layers of "Stairway to Heaven" and "The Battle of Evermore," it's clear that Led Zeppelin III was not only a masterpiece in its own right but a harbinger of even more creative compositions to come.
Former Kinks guitarist Dave Davies continues to offer words of encouragement to AC/DC's Malcolm Young, following news that health issues have forced Young to take a break from the band. Last week, on his Facebook page, Davies implored the AC/DC guitarist to "never give up," to continue exercising his hands and fingers and to "'image-play' your best solos ever in your mind before you go to sleep—daily." Davies, who himself suffered a stroke in 2004, has now issued a follow-up post suggesting the public should refrain from sending out "negative vibes." "I have no idea exactly what physical state Malcolm Young is in …," he writes, "but it really does not help by people taking a negative view …. Part of the healing process is convincing the brain and mind that it is capable of anything. I wish him well." AC/DC has thus far declined to reveal the nature of the health issue that's affecting Young. The band is scheduled to begin recording a new studio album in May.
Foreigner's Mick Jones says he expects new songs written with the band's co-founder and former vocalist Lou Gramm will be released next year.
Gramm and Jones haven't written together in 20 years, but the pair performed together in June 2013 at the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York City, playing "I Want To Know What Love Is" and "Juke Box Hero."
Now Jones has told Classic Rock magazine that the pair are considering a new collaboration. "Lou told me a few weeks ago he's discovered a few songs we were writing in the '80s, but never quite finished," Jones said. "We might take time next year to bring a couple of those out of the vaults… It's a question of wading through them and finding a cassette machine to play them on."
Jones said that if a reunion with Gramm took place, the band's current lead singer Kelly Hansen would continue to be involved. "Kelly has dedicated everything to the band," he said. "He's phenomenal. So anything I do will be sensitive to that. If Lou and I do something, it'll be inclusive. No way will he replace Kelly."
The Who will kick off a tour in December, beginning with U.K. dates and continuing with shows in North America in 2015. As reported by Billboard.com, the band will hit the road sometime around Christmas. "It will be a world tour," reveals Pete Townshend. "I'm not crazy about going on the road, but I'm in good shape and once I start doing it--and I'm still very good at it—I'll take some pleasure from it."
The veteran guitarist added that a new album by The Who is a distinct possibility. "I'm trying to [look] through my 20,000 hours of complete and utter disorganized music [to find possible songs]," he said. "I'll be pulling some songs out of [his long-gestating project] 'Floss' to give to Roger [Daltrey] to see if we've got enough to make an album. It might be a big waste of time, but I'm hoping there will be an album." This year marks the 50th anniversary of the band performing under the Who moniker. Townshend, Daltrey and bassist John Entwistle started performing together as The Detours in 1961. Late drummer Keith Moon joined the band in the spring of 1964.
The advent of user-friendly technology and reasonably-priced studio gear has made do-it-yourself recordings a relatively uncomplicated affair. That said, playing all the instruments and singing all the vocals on full-band arrangements over the course of an entire album involves a special set of skills. Interestingly enough, some of rock's greatest "one-man-band" albums were made decades ago, using vintage gear. Below are 10 of the very best.
Foo Fighters – Foo Fighters (1995)
Few knew, but during his stint with Nirvana, drummer Dave Grohl was making home recordings that would serve as the foundation for his first post-Nirvana album. Recorded in just one week, the cannily-titled Foo Fighters retooled the best of those songs into a pop-punk triumph. In a twist of irony, the disc was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Alternative Music Album" category in 1996, but lost out to Nirvana's MTV Unplugged in New York.
Steve Winwood – Arc of a Diver (1980)
Hard to believe, but former teen sensation Steve Winwood was contemplating leaving show business when he crafted this masterpiece, recorded at his home studio at his farm north of London. Buttressed by the Top 10 hit "While You See a Chance," the album framed Winwood's blue-eyed soul in atmospheric arrangements and languid tempos. A heavy MTV presence later pushed Winwood's career to further heights.
Todd Rundgren – Something/Anything? (1972)
This double-album tour-de-force showcased all facets of Todd Rundgren's songwriting brilliance and studio wizardry. Playing all the instruments on three of the album's four sides, Rundgren crafted some of rock's most enduring pop songs. "I Saw the Light" and "Hello It's Me" mined territory similar to that of Carole King, while "Couldn't I Just Tell You" sounded like a great lost Badfinger track.
Prince – Dirty Mind (1980)
This one-man showcase gave new meaning to the phrase "shock rock." Exploring an array of taboo topics, Prince found the musical voice that would carry him through his next several albums. The dance-pop track "When You Were Mine" pulsated with sensuality, while "Uptown" weaved together brick house funk and synth-based melodies.
Grant Lee Phillips – Mobilize (2001)
Fans of Grant Lee Buffalo's cinematic, heartland-drenched arrangements were likely surprised by the approach Grant Lee Phillips took with this do-it-yourself solo debut. Although the golden pop grandeur remained intact, Phillips achieved it in minimalist fashion, nestling 12-string acoustic guitars, bass and horns in a bed of digital percussion and treated keyboards. Michael Stipe, who snapped the album's cover shot, was already an avid fan by this point.
John Fogerty – Centerfield (Warner Bros., 1985)
John Fogerty rediscovered his songwriting muse with this stunning effort, which earned the former CCR frontman his first Number One album since leaving his old band. Working from meticulously crafted demos, Fogerty recorded the disc for a mere $35,000. The title track remains a staple of classic-rock radio.
Roy Wood – Boulders (1973)
As co-leader and co-founder of both The Move and the Electric Light Orchestra, Roy Wood demonstrated a brilliant penchant for making commercially viable pop music. With this solo album, he also proved that great melodies could accommodate absurdist humor and an eccentric flair. Singer-songwriter Aimee Mann has cited this album as one of her favorites.
Tobin Sprout – Moonflower Plastic (Matador, 1997)
Robert Pollard gets all the attention, but former Guided By Voices guitarist Tobin Sprout deserves a special place among the pop-rock elite. A neglected masterpiece, this album boasts a trove of richly melodic songs rife with poignancy and yearning. The album's centerpiece, "Angels Hang Their Socks on the Moon," rivals anything in the post-Beatles McCartney catalog.
Paul Westerberg – Folker (2004)
Paul Westerberg's kicked off his post-Replacements' career in conventional, major-label fashion. Beginning in 2002, however, he hunkered down in his basement and started making beautifully messy slop-rock fitted with sharp hooks, Keith Richards-inspired riffs and the occasional heart-stopping ballad. All of Westerberg's DIY discs are winners, but this album is a notch above the rest.
Paul McCartney – McCartney (1970)
Paul McCartney opted for a low-key approach on his first post-Beatles album. Working mostly in his home studio, Sir Paul burnished a clutch of pop rockers and ballads with an organic brush, eschewing polish in favor of charm. Perhaps the ex-Beatle was trying to minimize expectations, but tracks like "Maybe I'm Amazed" continue to dazzle even after all these years.
AC/DC's Brian Johnson has shot down rumors the band was on the verge of retiring due to the ill health of one of its members.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Johnson said the band still intended to get together in Vancouver in May, as previously planned. "We're going to pick up some guitars, have a plonk, and see if anybody has got any tunes or ideas," he said. "If anything happens, we'll record it."
However, Johnson confirmed that a member of the band, who the Telegraph says is thought to be rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, was suffering a debilitating illness. "I wouldn't like to say anything either way about the future," Johnson told the Telegraph. "I'm not ruling anything out. One of the boys has a debilitating illness, but I don't want to say too much about it. He is very proud and private, a wonderful chap. We've been pals for 35 years and I look up to him very much."
Johnson said the band was a tight family and that he'd love for the band to mark its 40th anniversary with 40 shows this year. "That would be a wonderful way to say bye bye," he said. "We would love to do it. But it's all up in the air at the moment.
Lately there's been quite a bit of talk about a Kinks reunion. Kinks guitarist Dave Davies has said that he has met up and jammed with his brother Ray recently, adding fuel to the fire that perhaps the band will reunite in conjunction with their 50th anniversary as a band.
In a recent interview with Guitarist magazine, Dave Davies talked about the difficulties the band experienced when recording their classic 1964 song "You Really Got Me." The engineers couldn't quite figure out how to record Davies' distorted guitar sound, which was something new all together. Said Dave: "The problems we had trying to record 'You Really Got Me'! It was like they just didn't know how to record it. They didn't know how to record the bass or bass drum. They certainly didn't have a clue how to record my guitar sound. We had to record it twice; the first one sounded crap."
Dave Davies just played his first gig in the U.K. in 13 years this past Friday (April 11), at Barbican Hall in London.
Led Zeppelin are getting ready to release remastered versions of their entire catalog. The band's first three albums will be released on June 3. The albums, which were remastered by Jimmy Page himself, will each contain bonus material. Now the band has released an exclusive track from the upcoming release. It's a live recording of "Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown" from a concert at the Olympia in Paris on October 10, 1969.
"This is how we started off the set at Olympia," said Jimmy Page in a statement. "And you can just feel the energy on this. It's wild, but it's contained." John Paul Jones added: "These were usually openers 'cause they made you sit up. Concise and hard-hitting."
"'Good Times Bad Times' is the nearest thing you'd ever come to a sort of rock ditty. I mean, how did I know about the 'days of my youth I was told what it means to be a man' and all that stuff? It's almost Tin Pan Alley, but played brilliantly. And Bonzo's bass drum work. They were just really vigorous, joyous, uncomplicated pieces of music, which were great fun," Robert Plant said.
Led Zeppelin have released a new trailer to promote the reissue of their debut album. Watch it below.
The previously unreleased clip features the band performing live at Paris's Olympia Theatre on October 10, 1969. The full performance appears on the companion disk that comes with the reissue of Led Zeppelin.
In 2014, Led Zeppelin will reissue their first three albums, with four previously unheard tracks set to accompany each release.
"New" song "La La" will appear on the second disc of the reissued Led Zeppelin II. The extra audio disc accompanying Led Zeppelin III will feature "Jennings Farm Blues," "Bathroom Sound" and "Keys To The Highway/Trouble In Mind." All of these songs have been previously available on bootlegs but the June 2014 reissue of the three albums will mark the first time the tracks have been made widely available and approved by Jimmy Page.
Page says, "The material on the companion discs presents a portal to the time of the recording of Led Zeppelin. It is a selection of work in progress with rough mixes, backing tracks, alternate versions and new material recorded at the time."
All nine of the band's studio albums are due to be reissued in the same style.
Metallica's Lars Ulrich is pleased that Nirvana and KISS are being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but he's troubled by the absence of another classic rock band. "I'm not gonna get into the politics or all that stuff, but I got two words to say: Deep Purple," he said yesterday, speaking to Rolling Stone. "That's all I have to say: Deep Purple. Seriously, people, 'Deep Purple,' two simple words in the English language. But definitely, Nirvana is a no-brainer for the first year and I'm glad that KISS is getting the long-overdue recognition that they deserved for everything that they pioneered, and then I got two words, 'Deep Purple!' Did I say that already?"
Deep Purple have been eligible for induction since 1993, and have been nominated twice—in 2013, and again in 2014. The much-lauded "Mach II" version of the group featured Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Roger Glover and Ian Paice. Other members over the years have included Steve Morse, Tommy Bolin and Glenn Hughes.
An angry letter that John Lennon wrote to producer Phil Spector in the early seventies has sold for an astonishing £53,000 - or roughly $88,000. The winning bid was about ten times higher than what was estimated. The letter is a rant from Lennon where he is angry at Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson for behaving badly in Hollywood's Capitol Studios during a recording session.
The letter reads: "Phil – See ya around 12.30! Should you not yet know, it was Harry and Keith who pissed on the console! We left at 11.30… Jerry now wants us to evict us or that's what Capitol tells us, anyway. Tell him to bill Capitol for the damage if any?"
"I can't be expected to mind adult rock stars nor can May. Besides, she works for me, not A&M! I'm about to piss off to Record Plant because of this crap. John."
"PS Why does Leon's people not get shit?"
Louise Cooper, from the auction firm Cooper Owen Music Media Auctions commented on the sale: "This price reflects the fact that it has never been on the market before and refers to so many famous people of the time."
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have revealed some news on their upcoming new album Hypnotic Eye. The album is tentatively scheduled to be released this summer through Reprise Records. Some of the song titles include "American Dream Plan B," "Burn Out Town," and "Red River."
Fans of the band's early material really have something to look forward to, according to a Rolling Stone interview with Petty (via Classic Rock): "I knew I wanted to do a rock'n'roll record. We hadn't made a straight hard rocking record, from beginning to end, in a long time," said Petty. Writing and recording the album has been a long process, spanning nearly three years. Petty explains: "You must get the songs. It takes time to write 10 or 11 really good songs."
Petty also said it was guitarist Mike Campbell who first noticed the similarities with the band's early work: "You sing like you did on the first two albums." Sounds like the new material will set the stage for some really rocking shows in the near future!
Duff McKagan posted a message on his Twitter page yesterday, that seems to be hinting at a possible reunion with his former band Guns n' Roses. The message reads: "Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil! See y'all in the next few weeks, Si? GNR." So it would appear that McKagan will go on the road with the band during their South American tour. The tweet was also accompanied by a picture of two pieces of paper with Guns n' Roses song names on them, seemingly a setlist that Duff is rehearsing.
It seems very likely that the reunion is in fact taking place since current Guns bassist Tommy Stinson is sitting out the tour due to a reunion with his band The Replacements, who will be headlining this year's Coachella festival. Duff, who left GNR in 1997, briefly reunited with the band on stage in London back in 2010 after having run in to Axl Rose at his hotel where the two happened to be staying in the rooms next to one another.
Fleetwood Mac will return to the live stage in the USA later this year after their previous tour was cancelled so bass player John McVie could undergo cancer treatment. And this time the band is bringing along a dearly missed friend: singer, songwriter and keyboardist Christine McVie, who hasn't toured with the band since 1998's The Dance tour.
The band currently have 34 dates booked with McVie so far, and there are plans for a new recording as well.
"It's official. Christine will be re-joining bandmates Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks as they launch the On With The Show tour in Minneapolis on September 30," the band said in a joint statement.
McVie told Rolling Stone the band would begin rehearsals in July. "The tour starts in Chicago and we head west and come back east again, finish at Christmas and pick up end of January and complete America and we can do the world, really," she said. "And there's a studio album somewhere in the mix too. We're playing around in studios now."
The Rolling Stones will resume their world tour in May in Norway, after the band's 14 On Fire tour was postponed following the death of Mick Jagger's girlfriend, fashion designed L'Wren Scott.
Scott took her own life while the band was in Australia preparing for the first of their run of shows there.
The band has expanded the European tour to 14 shows through May, June and July, beginning in Oslo Telenor Arena in Norway on May 26 and wrapping up at the Roskilde festival in Denmark on July 3. They have also promised to reschedule the Australian dates for October and November.
Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley has confirmed the release of his first solo album in five years. Space Invader will be released via eOne Music on June 23. It also features bassist Chris Wyse (The Cult) and drummer Matt Starr (Burning Rain).
Frehley says: "Life on earth has been good to me. The body of work I've created over the years has withstood the test of time. Today I see no obstacles before me and my creativity has never been more fine-tuned.
"Growing up in an alien world has enhanced my senses and allowed me to success where others would have failed. The best is yet to come."
Space Invader follows Frehley's Anomaly album of 2009. It includes nine original tracks plus a cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker."
The Pretenders' frontwoman Chrissie Hynde is set to release her debut solo album, although she's reluctant to label it as such.
Titled Stockholm, the disc features contributions from Neil Young and guitar-playing tennis legend John McEnroe, among others. "It's the first album with my name on it," said Hynde, in a prepared statement. "But it's not a solo album. In fact, making this album was more of a collaboration than any Pretenders album ever was."
As its title implies, the album was recorded in Stockholm, Sweden, with Bjorn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn and John at the controls. Hynde describes the music as "ABBA meets John Lennon. "So much of rock 'n' roll has become what I would call Glory Rock, with family values," she said. "It's the irreverence in rock that was always the turn-on."
The album will be released June 10, with the 1st single, "Dark Sunglasses," slated for April 21.
Canadian power trio Rush are taking the year off after an extensive touring cycle behind their latest album Clockwork Angels. In doing so they are skipping out on what would have been their 40th anniversary since the release of their first album. But fans shouldn't be worried - the band has already started planning for 2015.
"The three of us just had a meeting," Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson told Rolling Stone. "We said, 'Let's not talk about anything band-wise for the next year. Let's separate ourselves and come back rejuvenated.' Unfortunately, the other people at that meeting didn't hear what we were talking about, so there are already plans being made for spring of 2015. It's going to be a 41st anniversary tour, or whatever they're going to call it."
Longtime fans of the band will also be happy to hear what Rush has in store for them regarding the setlist for the upcoming tour. "We haven't really talked seriously about what we want to do," said Lifeson. "But I think we're probably going to lean towards making it a real sort of fan event, and really try to put something together that's very pleasing for the fans across the board. That's always been difficult, for us to sort of balance things." Lifeson continued by saying: "We want to try and play different material this time. I've always wanted to do some rarer Rush material, and this should be a good opportunity to do that. I also think it's going to be a long tour. We just need to stay healthy until then."
John Mayall is one of the hardest working blues musicians out there. Right now he's in the middle of a European tour where he will be doing 59 shows in only 64 days (source: Music-News.com). That is pretty impressive by anyone's standard, but even more so when you consider the fact that Mayall just turned 80 years old.
To celebrate this milestone in his career, Mayall is getting ready to release his first studio album in five years. The aptly titled A Special Life will be released on May 19 through Forty Below Records. Mayall did the recording in Los Angeles with producer Eric Come.
Mayall's longtime band featuring guitarist Rocky Athas, bassist Greg Rzab, and drummer Jay Davenport, all play on the album, with Rzab and Athas even contributing an original song. Mayall himself wrote three new songs for the project, which also contains covers by the likes of Albert King and Jimmy Rogers.
The second installment in Johnny Winter’s Roots album series includes contributions from several of Winter’s high-profile six-string peers. Eric Clapton, Joe Perry, Billy Gibbons and Ben Harper all make guest appearances, along with keyboard legend Dr. John.
Titled Roots 2, the just-completed album is tentatively slated for release in June or July, with two additional installments—Roots 3 and Roots 4—planned for future release.
Speaking to Billboard, Winter said, “I like playing songs from when I was first getting into music. That’s just fun to do those songs, lots of good memories. It’s [great] to bring it to the people of today who haven’t listened to the old music. It’s better than anything they hear today.” In related news, the 70-year-old blues veteran was profiled in a film documentary—titled Johnny Winter: Down and Dirty—that premiered last week at the South By Southwest Festival in Texas.
Neil Young and Warner Bros.Records have announced that the release of Young’s forthcoming Neil Young Official 2 Vinyl Box Set—originally scheduled to come out on Record Store Day—will now come out in November. The delay was necessary due to several other projects Young has in the works that he wishes to focus on. The set will include the classic albums Time Fades Away, On the Beach, Tonight’s the Night and Zuma.
In other Young news, the veteran rocker recently told Rolling Stone he once used 200,000 inferior copies of his 1978 album, Comes A Time, to roof his barn. “That was because it was a mastering error,” he said. “The tape got damaged when it went through the airport or something. I had to go back and use a copy of the master--it was a copy, but it had better-sounding playback than the other one. I made a barn roof out of the [inferior LPs]. I used them as shingles.”
Sammy Hagar and Metallica’s James Hetfield have organized a star-studded benefit concert slated for late spring.
Titled Acoustic-4-A-Cure, the inaugural event will take place May 15 at the Fillmore in San Francisco, and will feature appearances by Billie Joe Armstrong, Joe Satriani, and Heart’s Nancy Wilson, among others.
Jam sessions, surprise appearances, and once-in-a-lifetime duets are promised. Proceeds from the event—which will consist of all-acoustic sets—will go to the Pediatric Cancer Program at the Bay Area’s UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.
“I've seen firsthand the great work they're doing and how vital community support is,” said Hagar, in a prepared statement. “I ran the idea of a benefit concert by James, and we quickly had an amazing lineup of artists on board.”
The Beatles’ classic 1964 movie A Hard Day’s Night is getting a cinematic re-release. The black and white comedy starring the Fab Four has been restored and is ready to once more take the world by storm.
The movie follows John, Paul, George, and Ringo during a couple of days in their lives, at the height of Beatlemania.
A Hard Day’s Night, which was written by Alun Owen and directed by Richard Lester, is said to have inspired The Monkees television show. Aside from the four Beatles members, the cast includes Anna Quayle, Bob Godfrey, Patti Boyd, Lionel Blair, and Robin Ray. The movie will be released in theaters and as a digital download on July 4, with a limited edition DVD and Blu-ray to follow on July 21.
Metallica have unveiled a new song titled “The Lords Of Summer” during the first show of their Metallica By Request tour.
The early fan response to the new song seems positive, with some aggressive thrash riffage, double-kick and harmonized soloing. It seems to fit somewhere alongside the more …And Justice For All-like moments of Death Magnetic.
Metallica By Request allows fans to vote on the set list. Upon purchasing tickets online, fans receive an email with a code allowing them to cast their ballots. Voting for the South American leg of the tour has been completed, but European fans can vote until May 16, and those heading to the Heavy Montreal festival can vote until August 1. The band also allowed Bogota audience members to pick one song towards the end of the set, choosing between “Whiskey In The Jar,” “Ride The Lightning” and “Hero Of The Day.”
A previously unheard Led Zeppelin track is set to be released for the first time on the band’s forthcoming reissues.
“La La” was recorded during studio sessions for 1969 album Led Zeppelin II, and was discovered among a treasure trove of unreleased recordings. The song has been remastered and is included on an upcoming re-release of the album, which will be reissued with a companion disc along with Led Zeppelin's other records. Jimmy Page admits wading through vaults of unreleased material was a major challenge.
Page says, “The material on the companion discs presents a portal to the time of the recording... It is a selection of work in progress with rough mixes, backing tracks, alternate versions, and new material recorded at the time.”
Even if you thought you’d heard enough of Led Zeppelin, you can choose to soon hear more. The reissue sets are massive. The reissue of their 1969 self-titled debut features a previously unreleased performance recorded on October 10, 1969 at the Olympia Theatre in Paris. The nine-song set features seven tracks from the album, including an epic 15-minute version of “Dazed And Confused,” as well as “Heartbreaker” and “Moby Dick,” which would debut on Led Zeppelin II later that month.
Led Zeppelin II , which includes “Whole Lotta Love,” features alternate mixes of five songs from the album, including backing tracks to “Thank You” and “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman),” as well as the “new” “La La.”
The Led Zeppelin reissue albums are out in June 2014.
Led Zeppelin fans, mark your calendar. On June 3, the band’s first three albums—all newly-remastered by Jimmy Page—will be released in vastly expanded form. Each will be available in multiple formats and with a companion disc featuring previously unreleased material. The companion audio for Led Zeppelin features a previously unreleased performance recorded on October 10, 1969 at the Olympia Theatre in Paris. The nine-song set includes seven tracks from the album as well as "Heartbreaker" and "Moby Dick," which would debut on Led Zeppelin II later that month.
The Led Zeppelin II companion audio gives fans the first peek into the band's recording sessions, with alternate mixes of five songs from the album, backing tracks to "Thank You" and "Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)" and the previously unreleased track, "La La." The nine tracks featured on Led Zeppelin III 's companion audio offers a further window into the band's recording process, with seven studio outtakes of songs from the album as well as three previously unheard compositions: "Jennings Farm Blues" (an instrumental forerunner of "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp"), "Bathroom Sound" (an instrumental version of "Out On The Tiles") and their take on the blues classics "Keys To The Highway/Trouble In Mind."
Led Zeppelin , Led Zeppelin II, and Led Zeppelin III will each be available in the following formats:
Single CD - Remastered album packaged in a gatefold card wallet.
Deluxe Edition (2CD) - Remastered album, plus a second disc of unreleased companion audio.
Single LP - Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl, packaged in a sleeve that replicates the LP's first pressing in exacting detail. (For example, III will feature the original wheel and die cut holes.)
Deluxe Edition Vinyl - Remastered album and unreleased companion audio on 180-gram vinyl.
Digital Download - Remastered album and companion audio will both be available.
Super Deluxe Boxed Set - This collection includes:
Remastered album on CD in vinyl replica sleeve.
Companion audio on CD in card wallet.
Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl in a sleeve replicating first pressing.
Companion audio on 180-gram vinyl.
High-def audio download card of all content at 96kHz/24 bit. (Live tracks are 48kHz/24 bit).
Hard bound, 70+ page book filled with rare and previously unseen photos and memorabilia.
High quality print of the original album cover, the first 30,000 of which will be individually numbered.
Led Zeppelin will also include a replica of the band's original Atlantic press kit.
KISS and Def Leppard have announced they will stage a press conference in Los Angeles on Monday (March 17) to deliver “major news.”
Though the word is unofficial, a source close to one of the bands has told ABC News Radio that the two groups are planning a co-headlining tour, set to kick off in late June and run through the end of August.
The source went on to say KISS would serve as closing act for all the shows, adding that only U.S dates are planned for now, but that the tour could extend internationally. Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell had previously fueled speculation about a rumored tour in an interview with TicketsThere.com.
Asked about possible shows with KISS and Poison, Campbell replied, “I’d say you’d be half right there, but only half right and half wrong. There will be an announcement of our tour imminently. We’re talking a matter of days. It has to be announced because we’re almost at summertime.” The Monday press conference will stream live on the Live Nation website.
Neil Young’s launch of PonoMusic continues to draw reams of attention. Touting the high-resolution music and player to Billboard, the veteran rocker said he’s pleased that music fans will at last hear music “that’s [sonically] identical to what the artist created” in the studio. “There’s [no longer] that depressing aspect … where you make a record and go, ‘Wow, too bad no one’s gonna hear it [properly]’’” said Young. “That really bothered me, and it bothered all the artists. The testimony of those artists speaks for itself. All they have to do is hear it [on Pono], and they go, ‘Oh my god, thank you. It’s there. It’s what we did.”
Young went on to say the Pono player—which hits the retail market in October—will always be designed for just one purpose. “This rollout of the player is a basic music player,” he explained. “We don’t want to do anything other than play music. We're not a phone. Everything else is taken care of at various levels of quality by other people. It’s not our focus. Anything that gets in the way of us making a great music player, we’re not interested in it. One thing well -- that’s all we do.
Alice Cooper is inviting fans to submit questions for a special “Q&A” session that will be coupled with theatrical screenings of his forthcoming film documentary.
As reported previously, Super Duper Alice Cooper will premiere at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and will hit theaters nationwide beginning May 30. The veteran shock rocker is putting together a special pre-recorded “Keep Calm & Go Ask Alice” Q&A—in which he answers fan-submitted questions—that will be presented in theaters following each screening. Fans can submit questions by visiting the Super Duper Alice Cooper website and clicking the “Keep Calm & Go Ask Alice” graphic.
Alice himself will decide which questions make the cut. The film documentary is said to blend archival footage, animation and rock opera. The project includes exclusive interviews with members of the original Alice Cooper band, Elton John, Iggy Pop, John Lydon and Dee Snider.
Paul McCartney is a busy man. Having released his sixteenth solo album New last fall, and completing a tour of Japan, the former Beatle is ready to take on his next project.
Speaking to KCSN Radio in Los Angeles, McCartney revealed that he is going to compose the music for an upcoming animated movie. "It's like being a kid getting to play with some of the most creative people in the world," said Paul (via Billboard).
During the hour-long interview McCartney also talked about his feelings surrounding the recent celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Beatles arrival in the US. "When people tell you that you wrote the 'soundtrack to their life,' that's pretty meaningful," said Paul. McCartney also touched on how pleased he is with his current touring band consisting of Brian Ray, Rusty Anderson, Wix Wickens and Abe Laboriel Jr.
It was McCartney who initiated the interview with KCSN upon hearing from friends how the radio station had been playing songs from New. KCSN's program director Sky Daniels was touched by Sir Paul's gratitude towards the station: "When Paul McCartney's friends sing the praises of KCSN, and he feels compelled to listen and reach out to say thanks, it validates the support of our members and the hard work of our staff. It really is a statement that radio can still touch hearts and minds, even those of the greatest songwriter of our time."
There's been a lot of speculation as of late whether Steve Perry will reunite with his former Journey band mates. But now Perry himself has put those rumors to rest. Speaking to Mingle Media (via Classic Rock) recently Steve said: "Absolutely a false rumour. You’re hearing it from me: Nope. That’s a rumour."
Steve Perry is currently working on his first solo album in twenty years. "It’s beautiful, very inspirational, with orchestrations," Perry said about the new songs.
One of the reasons the reunion rumors flared up was the report that the members of Journey were at odds with current singer Arnel Pineda, although the band's management has since denied those reports. Earlier in the year Perry told Artisan News (via Classic Rock) that he hopes to mend his working relationship with Journey guitarist Neal Schon: "I haven’t worked with Neal. We’re trying. It’s tough. I’m doing my best in that area and I can only do so much."
Titled Super Duper Alice Cooper, the film takes us through Alice’s life and career via a combination of documentary archive footage, interviews, animation and rock opera, charting Alice’s transition from preacher’s son Vincent Furnier to 70s shock rock king to 80s glam metal godfather and beyond. The story is told not only by Alice himself but also in the words of Elton John, Iggy Pop, John Lydon, Dee Snider and members of the original Alice Cooper band.
The film was made by Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn of Banger Films, producers of Iron Maiden: Flight 666, Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage and the television series Metal Evolution, and filmmaker Reginald Harkema, winner of the TIFF Special Jury Prize for his film Monkey Warfare.
Rock legends Boston will hit the road from June to August 2014 in support of their new album, Life, Love and Hope, and drop by Harvey's Lake Tahoe August 3rd with the Doobie Brothers.
The Heaven on Earth Tour (named after the first track from the new album) kicks off on June 5 in Hollywood, Florida and sees the band running through to Springfield, Illinois on August 12. Supports at different points on the run include .38 Special, the Doobie Brothers, Cheap Trick and Steppenwolf.
Boston founder and mastermind Tom Scholz was recently honored with a recreation of his iconic hotrodded Gibson Les Paul in the form of the Collector’s Choice #10 Tom Scholz 1968 Les Paul. The guitar faithfully recreates Scholz’s 1968 original, which began life as a Goldtop before being extensively modified by the enterprising Mr. Scholz: the guitar is made of a solid unchambered Grade-A mahogany body with a two-piece selected plain maple top stripped of the Goltdop finish.
The original and recreation both feature a DiMarzio Super Distortion bridge humbucker, a P-90 Soapbar in the neck position and Schaller M6 tuners. And in keeping with Scholz’s original, the recreations even feature pickguard mounting screw holes where the long-gone original pickguard once sat.
For more information on the Collector's Choice™ #10 Tom Scholz 1968 Les Paul, go here.
Aerosmith have been confirmed as headliners at this year’s Calling festival on London’s Clapham Common. The renamed and relocated Hard Rock Calling event takes place on June 28 and 29, with the first day also starring Joe Bonamassa, Thunder and Walking Papers.
Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry says: “I’ve been so involved in writing my autobiography I didn’t realised how long it had been since we played across the big pond. We can’t wait to bring back some of the classics as well as some new songs from Music From Another Dimension.”
Brit rockers Thunder, who also play, have just put out two new live albums. Back to the Black Country and The Xmas Show Live 2013 are both available now from the band’s website. Read what Thunder guitarist Luke Morley has to say about being a left-handed Gibson fan.
A spokesman for promoters Live Nation says: “This year is one of the most exciting on record for the Calling Festival. We’re looking forward to bringing the new look event to Clapham Common, and bringing one of America’s most iconic bands to headline on Saturday 28 June. There’s still lots of announcements to come – including a big Sunday night headliner – and we’re excited at what’s in store.”
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will headline the finale of the 2014 NCAA March Madness Music Festival, closing out a three-day event in conjunction with the NCAA Men's Final Four college basketball championship games.
Springsteen and his band will rock the April 6 show, called the Capital One JamFest. Pop-rockers .fun are also scheduled to perform.
The full March Madness festival will take place April 4-6. Other artists slated to perform over the three days include Jason Aldean, Tim MgGraw and the Killers, with more acts expected to be announced soon.
The NCAA March Madness Music Festival is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, and no tickets are required. For more on the shows, visit www.NCAA.com/MusicFest.
In other news, Springsteen and the E Street Band will embark on a U.S. tour starting April 8 in Cincinnati. The tour runs through May 17 and 18 shows in Uncasville, Conn.
Metallica is offering a free download of a 1986 concert from the tour that supported the release of their watershed album, Master of Puppets. Recorded Sept. 21, 1986 at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, the concert featured John Marshall (Kirk Hammett’s then-guitar tech) on rhythm guitar, as James Hetfield had recently broken his arm in a skateboarding accident. The date is also notable in that bassist Cliff Burton died tragically in a bus accident less than one week after the concert was staged. Notable tracks include “Welcome Home (Sanitarium),” “Seek & Destroy,” “Whiplash,” “Creeping Death” and the title track. The band has also posted several video clips from sessions circa 2008, during the run-up to the release of the Death Magnetic album. Click here to download the concert mp3s. You can sample the 2008 videos below.
Guitar great Slash will join Ozzy Osbourne on-stage for a performance at this year’s 10th anniversary MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert.
Slated for May 12 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, the event will honor Osbourne for his support of the organization, which seeks to assist musicians who are struggling against addiction. The Black Sabbath frontman will be presented with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award in recognition of his efforts to support the cause. “I know firsthand about the ravages of addiction and I also know that the MusiCares MAP Fund is a vital safety net for people in the music industry who need help with substance abuse,” said Osbourne, in a prepared statement.
“This organization literally saves lives.” Jeff Greenberg, CEO of The Village studios in L.A., will be honored as well, with a “From The Heart” award. “This annual benefit provides a meaningful way to recognize artists and industry professionals who are on the front lines in the battle to fight this crippling disease,” said MusiCares president Neil Portnow. “It's an honor to celebrate Ozzy and Jeff in our 10th anniversary year, and we know it will be an extraordinary evening filled with heartfelt words and serious rock and roll.”
The Who singer Roger Daltrey is interviewed in the latest issue of Q Magazine. An excerpt has been posted on the magazine's website where Daltrey talks about his initial reaction to some of the band's most celebrated albums, like Tommy and Quadrophenia. Daltrey admits to being slightly confused upon first hearing bandmate Pete Townshend's ideas: "Did I have to ask him what the hell he was on about? All the time [laughs]," Daltrey said.
But the singer also explained that he would eventually be able to find certain subjects that he could relate to and expand upon: "But equally, there's always one sentence that comes out of that rambling brain of his that you can grasp. With Tommy it was: 'Imagine living life where you can only feel vibrations' and I could latch on to that."
In related news Daltrey recently told the London Times that The Who will record a new album this summer, their first since 2006‘s Endless Wire. Townshend has apparently written more than 100 songs for the project. Daltrey is also getting ready to start work on the band’s memoir.
It seems as if Eric Clapton is looking towards some kind of semi-retirement in the near future. According to Classic Rock, Clapton made the following statement in the tour programme from his recently completed tour of Japan: "I may not be able to come back again. I’ve been coming here for 40 years, since before some of you were born. It’s the best place I’ve ever played. Thank you for having me."
Clapton's idea is apparently to stop touring after he turns 70 years old in 2015, according to an interview he did with Rolling Stone last year: "The bit onstage, that's easy," Clapton, told the magazine. "If I could do that around my neighborhood, that would be great. You have guys in Texas that play their circuit, and it keeps them alive. But for me, the struggle is the travel. And the only way you can beat that is by throwing so much money at it that you make a loss. So the idea is I'm taking a leaf out of JJ [Cale]'s book: When I'm 70, I'll stop. I won't stop playing or doing one-offs, but I'll stop touring, I think."
So even if this doesn't mean Slowhand will go in to seclusion, you should probably make an effort to catch the legendary guitar player the next time he comes around your neck of the woods, cause it might be the last.
Guns N’ Roses will release a concert film titled Appetite For Democracy in early April, just prior to kicking off their second Las Vegas residency.
The concert film was shot during the band’s first Vegas residency at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in November 2012. The show celebrated twenty-five years of Appetite For Destruction and four years of Chinese Democracy, with elaborate Vegas-style production and plenty of great guitar work from DJ Ashba, Bumblefoot and Richard Fortus performing hits including "Welcome To The Jungle", "Sweet Child O' Mine", "Mr. Brownstone", "November Rain" and "Paradise City.”
At two hours and 47 minutes, the film will be released in theatres as well as in home formats including standard Amaray DVD, 3D Blu-ray DVD, Deluxe 2CD+DVD set, and digital long form. The DVD and Blu-ray sets both feature the full show along with band interviews plus a 3D photo gallery, with 5.1 surround and stereo audio.
The band kicks off their second residency at The Join on May 21 for nine shows.
Michael McDonald is returning to the Doobie Brothers to record an album of collaborations with country artists including Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Zac Brown Band, Toby Keith, Sara Evans and Love and Theft.
According to Billboard.com, Doobie Brother Tom Johnston says there has never been any bad blood between the band and McDonald, who left in 1982. "It amazes me how long that has hung around because it have never been the case, ever," Johnston said. "A lot of people wanted that to be the case because of the two different styles of music, but it never was. I always got along really well with Michael and vice versa.” Johnston also noted that while the two don’t get to see each other often because they’re both on the road so much, they do catch up from time to time. “Michael is a great guy,” he said. “He’s always fun to hang with.”
The track listing for the album is being kept secret at the moment, but the project was inspired by the band’s appearance on CMT Crossroads: The Doobie Brothers and Luke Bryan in 2011. Johnston said he didn’t realise how large their fan base was amongst the country music community: "I'm humbled. I had no idea all these people were into the band.”
An ambitious new Pink Floyd exhibition is set to open in Milan, Italy in September.
Surviving band members Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason are assisting with the project, which gathers together more than 300 artifacts from the group’s history. The event will run chronologically, and will feature interviews about the band, films, architectural and sculptural sets, inflatables, musical instruments, photographs and more.
Aubrey Powell, co-founder of the album-cover design company, Hipgnosis, is acting as curator. “If ever a band lent itself to a major retrospective exhibition, it’s Pink Floyd,” says Powell. “Selecting what to include from such a treasure trove is both a dream and a nightmare. However, there were elements that just had to be included, for example a twenty-meter wide sculpture of The Wall, five-meter high inflatables, and of course, a flying pig. We’ll be aiming for state-of-the-art visuals and sonic delivery, similar to the experience of attending a Pink Floyd concert; you’ll never know what to expect next.” For more information, click here.
Led Zeppelin recordings from sessions for the 1975 double-album Physical Graffiti are being auctioned in March.
According to Rolling Stone, New Hampshire-based RR Auctions says that many of the songs on the tapes differ structurally from the album tracks that came out officially. The group re-recorded the guitar and vocal parts on many of the tapes’ songs, some of which lack vocals altogether, and, in some cases, Zeppelin used only John Bonham’s drum tracks and completely redid the tracks.
The band recorded the songs at the Ronnie Lane's Mobile Studio, which audio engineer Ron Nevison built in a 26-foot Airstream trailer. The tapes are part of the Ron Nevison collection, which is also auctioning rough mixes of Bad Company’s debut and four songs from Eric Clapton’s 1973 album Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert, as well as recordings by the Who, Ozzy Osbourne and Flo and Eddie.
During the Led Zeppelin sessions, Nevison recorded the drum parts for “Kashmir,” which was then titled “Driving to Kashmir.” Bass player and keyboardist John Paul Jones was late to the session, so guitarist and producer Jimmy Page worked out the song’s riff with Bonham.
Nevison recorded the cymbals through a phaser as an experiment, and Page decided he liked the sound and used it on the finished version. “Driving to Kashmir,” as it appears on these tapes, is completely instrumental.
RR Auctions’ March 13-20 sale also includes a signed U.K. first pressing of the Beatles’ “Twist and Shout” EP, the registration for John Lennon’s 1965 Rolls Royce, a pair of Lennon’s glasses that belonged to classical musician Victor Borge and a cape Elvis Presley wore in the 1973 TV special Aloha From Hawaii.
Record Store Day may not be until April 19, but artists are already starting to announce their special releases for the holiday, which supports local record shops. Bruce Springsteen will release a new, four-song EP for this year’s Record Store Day, called American Beauty, featuring a handful of new tracks.
The upcoming EP arrives just about three months following Springsteen’s latest album, High Hopes. Three of the songs – the title track, Mary Mary and Hey Blue Eyes – were recorded during the High Hopes sessions with the E Street Band and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello. The Boss recorded the other song, “Hurry Up Sundown,” just for this Record Store Day set, and it’s likely a cover of Balloon Farm’s 1967 song by the same name, although nothing is confirmed.
Prior to Record Store Day, Springsteen will release a new concert DVD, called A MusiCares Tribute to Bruce Springsteen. That release – out available on DVD, Blu-Ray and as a digital download – was recorded in Los Angeles last February during the show that paid tribute to Springsteen’s contributions to art and philanthropy.
High Hopes was Springsteen’s 18th studio album and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart its first week out.
This Monday (March 3), a new memoir about the life of late Allman Brother Band guitarist Duane Allman penned by Duane’s daughter, Galadrielle, will hit stores. In the memoir, called Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father Duane Allman, Galadrielle opens up about her life as the daughter of the prominent musician, who died in a motorcycle crash when she was only two years old. Galadrielle also shares personal stories and new details about her father that she has gathered from years of talking with family members, his band mates and close friends.
Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father Duane Allman will be available as both a hardcover book and as an ebook. Galadrielle previews the 400-page memoir in a video trailer posted on YouTube, stating, "Duane Allman's story is more than a tragedy, it's a true romance. He fell in love with his guitar and gave his heart away."
She added, “I dreaded pursuing his story as a reporter would, asking uncomfortable questions and following every lead. I couldn't imagine interviewing my family, but I knew that if I didn't, I would never be satisfied.”
For Galadrielle, writing the book was a healing experience. “Learning about him changed my life completely,” she said. “A missing piece that I thought could only be had by knowing him has been returned to me, assembled from all the gathered fragments word by word.”
AC/DC must just be floating out there in the air this week: Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder joined Bruce Springsteen on stage in Melbourne, Australia to perform a cover of the Anglo-Australian icons’ “Highway To Hell” as the first song of Springsteen’s marathon nearly-four-hour set.
Vedder hung around to perform Springsteen’s “Darkness on The Edge Of Town” as well, and later in the night Springsteen performed his 1985 classic Born In The U.S.A. album in its entirety, the first time he’s ever played a complete album in Oz.
Melbourne has a special connection for AC/DC fans, as Gibson.com explored back in 2011, when we toured the city’s AC/DC landmarks, including the Esplenade Hotel where Dave Evans played his last show with the band before he was replaced by Bon Scott; Swanston Street where the “Long Way To The Top” video was filmed in 1976; and AC/DC Lane, home to noted Melbourne rock club Cherry Bar.
Joining the 18-piece E Street Band on this tour is Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello, forming a triple-guitar attack with Little Stevie Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren.
AC/DC plans to hit the studio in May as the band celebrates its 40th anniversary, and live dates may follow.
Vocalist Brian Johnson made a surprise phone call to Andy Preston of 98.7 The Gater in West Palm Beach, Florida on Friday. When Preston asked Johnson if the band had any plans for 2014, the singer said “Well, you'll be the first one to know, really, because we've been denying anything, 'cause we weren't sure. One of our boys was pretty ill, so we didn't like to say anything, and we're very private about things like this, so we didn't wanna say anything. And he's a very proud man. But I think we'll be going into the studio in May in Vancouver. Which means, we should be getting ready.”
Johnson added that because it was the band’s 40th anniversary they were considering playing 40 shows to thank fans for their loyalty. “I mean, honestly, our fans are just the best in the world, and we appreciate every one of them,” Johnson said, “so, like I said, we'll have to go out, even though we're getting a bit long in the tooth.”
The Kinks frontman Ray Davies and folk singer Donovan are among the artists set to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this year.
Rounding out this year’s five inductees are 10cc’s Graham Gouldman, “Midnight Train to Georgia” writer Jim Weatherly, and Mark James, who wrote the Elvis Presley hit “Suspicious Minds.”
As reported by Rolling Stone, while both Dave Davies and Ray Davies wrote hits for The Kinks, all the band’s Top 10 U.S. singles were penned by Ray.
Those songs were “You Really Got Me,” “All Day and All of the Night,” “Tired of Waiting for You,” “Lola” and “Come Dancing.” Scottish singer Donovan is best known for such hits as “Mellow Yellow” and “Sunshine Superman.” Gouldman wrote the 1965 Yardbirds single “For Your Love” before going on to success with 10cc. The Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at New York City's Marriott Marquis Hotel on June 12th.
Bowie was given the Innovation Award in recognition of his 2013 album The Next Day. As expected, the now-reclusive Bowie was not there to accept the award.
His co-producer Tony Visconti was there, telling the crowd, “On behalf of my friend David Bowie it feels absolutely great... No one believed that David Bowie was going to make another album and so the timing was perfect, because everyone kind of gave up on him. There were rumours of bad health and rumours of retirement, and I’m laughing my head off every time I hear them.”
British producer/songwriter Trevor Horn was handed the Outstanding Contribution to U.K. Music award by his collaborator Seal and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich.
Production duo Flood and Alan Moulder landed the U.K. Producer Of The Year prize, which automatically earned them a BRIT Award. International Producer Of The Year went to Rick Rubin.
The jackets worn by George Harrison and Ringo Starr in the 1965 film, Help!, are set to be sold at auction next month, along with approximately 200 other items of Beatles-related memorabilia. As reported by the BBC, the garments came from director Richard Lester’s private collection. Both jackets were also worn by Harrison and Starr on the cover of the Help! soundtrack album. Staff at Omega Auctions estimate that the iconic clothing items will fetch between $82,000 and $115,000. “As Beatles clothing goes, these have got to be amongst the Holy Grail for any Beatles collector,” said auctioneer Paul Fairweather. “They feature on one of their most recognizable album covers and I have a feeling these could really fly off the block.”
Earlier this month it was revealed that a chunk of wall signed by the Fab Four during their debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show will be auctioned off as well. The wall piece—actually a remnant of a stage backdrop—goes up for sale on April 26 in New York, through the Dallas-based auction house Heritage Auctions. The auction of the Help! jackets is set for March 20 at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool.
U2 are up for Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars, and Bono has let it slip that the band will perform at the ceremony. Speaking with The Wrap earlier this week at the Academy’s nominees’ luncheon, Bono said the band will perform their song that’s up for an Oscar, “Ordinary Love,” which is featured in the movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Bono added that this is the one time fans will have the chance to see the song performed live, specifically stating that this will be the “only band performance of the song.”
“After Mandela died, we didn’t think it would be right to release it as a single, because it would seem like we were trying to capitalize,” Bono explained. “So we’re going to do it this once — but it’s a pretty good place to do it.”
Bono is hoping to switch things up at next year’s Oscars. He told the publication that he has pitched an idea to the Oscar telecast producers for the red carpet to have an imprint of the logo for his (RED) charity organization next year. (RED) works to fight AIDS and provide education on the disease. “We’ll have a camera looking down on the parentheses, and then the stars can all stand in the parentheses and look up,” he said.
The Rolling Stones are gearing up for a tour that will take them through United Arab Emirates, China, Japan, Macau, Australia, and New Zealand. Dubbed “14 On Fire,” the tour is yet another mini-tour with only 13 stops, following the successful “50 & Counting” tours of 2012, and 2013. Stones drummer Charlie Watts spoke to The Australian, where he explained the reason for these short tours, rather than a massive world tour: "This is short compared to what we’ve done before – but it needs to be, I think, at our tender age. The thought of doing fifty shows, which was normal at one time for us to sign off on, that’s quite daunting. Now we’re doing that in little bits."
The 72 year old Watts also added: "If we don’t do any more I’ll be quite happy with that." Let's all hope Charlie doesn't get his way on this one, at least not until the Stones have had a chance to tour Europe once more. Aside from the UK, the band have not played any European dates since their “A Bigger Bang” tour, which ended in 2007.
Queen are in talks to bring back former American Idol star Adam Lambert as lead singer for a final tour, confirming that Paul Rodgers’ time with the band was at an end.
In an interview with VVN Music, Rodgers said he was ready to move on from Queen following live releases and a studio album of original material. “I felt, at that point after four years, I was ready to move on, to go back to my own music,” he said. “We had a ball. It was fantastic. We played in some amazing places. I was happy to help them and now they are off and running. I'm happy to see them do their thing.”
May confirmed as much to BBC Radio 2: “Paul has a career of his own and he can’t do the Queen thing indefinitely,” he said. “We’ve been talking to Adam Lambert, you know we’ve already done some gigs with Adam, who is amazing. We are ongoing, we can't help it. I think we all protested too much in the sense when Freddie went and we didn't want to talk about it and didn't want to be Queen for a while. But after a while you realize that people wanna hear the songs and see us do things.” May then hinted that the band was looking at dates in the United States during summer.
The PBS web series “Blank on Blank” has produced an animated video accompaniment to the last-known interview given by Jimi Hendrix. Once week before his tragic death, the legendary guitarist spoke with British journalist Keith Altham on a range of topics—including “psychedelic” music, the “establishment” and contemporary blues. “The way I write is [a] clash between reality and fantasy, mostly,” he says, at one point. “You have to use fantasy to show different sides of reality ... how it can bend. I don't really round it off too good. It's almost naked, you know? I just hate to be in one corner … hate to be put as only a guitar player, or as only a songwriter, or a tap dancer, you know?”
Asked if his music contained “anger” against “establishment principles,” Hendrix essentially said, “No.” He did, however, admit to wishing “the establishment” didn’t exist. “It’s the blues, that’s all I’m singing about,” he said. “Today’s blues.” To watch and listen to the six-minute-plus interview, click here.
The Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side will get its first US showing during South by Southwest’s film festival in March. The movie, which stars André Benjamin (better known as Outkast’s André 3000) as Hendrix, had its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September last year. It was directed by John Ridley, who has recently received acclaim as the screenplay writer of 12 Years A Slave.
All Is By My Side focuses on Hendrix’s rise to fame in 1966-67, wrapping up shortly before the guitarists appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival. Sadly, the late guitarist’s estate said no to the producers using Hendrix’s original music in the movie. Music by the Beatles, Muddy Waters, and The Troggs is used instead.
Ridley says he was inspired to make the movie after hearing Hendrix’s “Sending My Love To Linda,” and wanting to find out who Linda actually was. Benjamin was apparently Ridley’s first choice when it came to who should play the lead. The musician turned actor has said that he prepared for the role by listening to interviews and watching films with Hendrix in order to get his mannerisms right.
Ian Anderson has again revived the fictional Gerald Bostock character whose poetry was said to be the inspiration for 1972’s Jethro Tull classic Thick As A Brick, with plans to release new album Homo Erraticus in April.
The album follows 2012’s Thick As A Brick 2, which looked at child prodigy Bostock later in life. As with the original Thick As A Brick, the new album is said to have been composed by Bostock based on an unpublished manuscript by amateur historian Ernest T. Parritt. “The illustrated document summarizes key historical elements of early civilization in Britain and seems to prophesy future scenarios too,” Anderson says. “Two years before his death, Parritt had a traumatic fall from his horse while out hunting with the Vale Of Clutterbury Hounds and awoke with the overwhelming conviction of having enjoyed past lives as historical characters: a pre-history nomadic Neolithic settler, an Iron Age blacksmith, a Saxon invader, a Christian monk, a Seventeenth Century grammar school boy, turnpike innkeeper, one of Brunel’s railroad engineers, and even Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. This befuddled, delusional obsession extends to his prophecy of future events and his fantasy imaginings of lives yet to come….”
Anderson describes the music as a folk-rock-metal hybrid.
The album will be performed in its entirety, followed by a selection of Tull classics accompanied by video and “onstage embellishments from my increasingly theatrically-motivated troupe of musical thespians. OK – that’s exaggerating a little but they will bring a tear to the eye, a tightening to the heart and a queue for the loo as they utter brave soliloquies, bathed in the spotlight of the gods.”
Roger Daltrey reckons The Who will record a follow-up to 2006’s Endless Wire this year. He says Pete Townshend has the songs.
Daltrey tells the NME: “Pete’s got hundreds of songs, so the only question is whether we get around to it. He wants to make an album and I’m always ready and raring to go. I don’t see why we wouldn’t – my voice is still in good shape. The hearing isn’t so great, but the voice is fine.”
Daltrey is currently working with Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson in the coming months – that album will take priority as Johnson has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, so this will likely be Wilko’s last hurrah. The album is called Going Back Home.
Daltrey is not resting, though. He’s just unveiled most of the bands who’ll appear at this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust fundraiser at London’s Royal Albert Hall on March 29. He hopes to play with Wilko Johnson. The Who will not play.
Despite his hints, Daltrey says there are no firm plans yet to mark The Who’s 50th anniversary in 2014. “I haven’t thought about it, to be honest,” he says. “We didn’t think it was going to last the week, let alone 50 years. We were The Who: we used to break up after every show.”
Brian May has posted on his official website that 2014 is shaping up to be a busy year for Queen.
May says: “It looks like it will be a very busy year for us. We seem to be still hovering on the button as I write, ready to start the engine rolling on the Freddie film. It’s been a long haul as you know, trying to assemble the right team to make the film. And I have learned, in my short time in the movie world, that availability is everything. It’s no use assembling a team whose members are not all available at the same time!
“There are windows of opportunity, when everyone you need is free, but the windows can close unexpectedly, and it's back to the drawing board! But the line-up is looking very exciting ... I think just the announcement will cause a bit of a sensation!”
More unexpectedly, May says he and drummer Roger Taylor are plotting new live shows under the Queen banner. May says: “We’ve also been looking at doing some dates - Roger and myself, and who knows who else! Ha ha! Of course these days nothing is a secret for more than the 5 minutes it takes for Twitter and Facebook to spread rumours. I think we’re up for one more swing out there. In fact, in our Queen meeting today, we drank on it!”
It’s true: Mötley Crüe are plotting their farewell tour, which will take place this summer. While fans are understandably mourning the loss of the legendary ‘80s rock band, there’s some comfort in the fact Mötley Crüe’s members plan to continue with their respective solo projects
During the band’s press conference where the guys announced their final outing, each member also chatted about what’s ahead for him once Mötley Crüe are no longer a band.
For frontman Vince Neil, the future will bring more time for his restaurants and solo music. “I’ve been in the restaurant business for a long time, and so (I’m) just continuing that, and also music,” he said. “I’ll never stop singing on stage and (will) kinda carry that Mötley banner…with me with all the concerts that I perform at… I have to have music in me so…I’ll be continuing that.”
“I just moved to Nashville, so I got lots and lots of musicians to work with,” added guitarist Mick Mars. “I plan on seriously pursuing my solo album now and coming out with a book about myself, but I might write it backwards from death till I was born. I’m not sure on that one yet.”
Drummer Tommy Lee said his future involves some “big surprises” that he can’t reveal yet.
Bassist Nikki Sixx said he also has a ton of different projects going on. “I have a side project, Sixx: A.M., that’s something I’m very passionate about,” Sixx said. “I’m gonna keep doing that. I have a radio show that I do. (I’m) working on a Broadway play (and will) continue to make music.”
The Crüe will kick off their farewell tour July 2 at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. Alice Cooper will open on the entire trek.
It’s a new year, and with that comes a whole bunch of great tours to look forward to during the next twelve months. Veterans like Metallica, and Aerosmith will be on the road, as well as more current acts like Paramore and Halestorm. Since U2 will be coming out with a new album later this year, can we also assume a new tour is in the works? Wishful thinking, I know. Instead let’s take a look at some of the cool tours that have been confirmed for 2014 so far! Please let us know what show you’re most looking forward to this year in the comments section.
1. The Eagles
If you’re only planning to go to one show this year, it might be a good idea to catch the Eagles’ History Of The Eagles tour. “I don’t want to say it’s our last world tour, but it very well could be,” Eagles singer and guitarist Glenn Frey said during a press conference in London last year. So if you haven’t seen one of the greatest American rock bands from the seventies, now might be your last chance.
2. Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam released their Lightning Bolt album in October last year, and have already been busy touring behind it in the States. The band is currently on tour in Australia, and in June they will take on Europe. If you haven’t seen Pearl Jam before, don’t miss this opportunity! You really get your money’s worth at a Pearl Jam show since the band tend to play for upwards of three hours, with setlists comprising of around 30 songs. Aside from Bruce Springsteen, concerts like these are pretty much unheard of nowadays. It will also be interesting to hear some of the new songs, like “Sirens,” and the blues rocker “Let The Records Play” performed live.
Metallica will be touring Europe in the summer as part of the Sonisphere festival package, as well as some local festivals. Along with Iron Maiden the band will be headlining a three-day festival stop at Knebworth Park in the UK on June 4-6. Metallica will be touring under the moniker “By Request,” which means that the fans buying tickets to each show will get to vote on what songs the band will play, so here’s your chance to get to hear some really rare stuff from James Hetfield and Co.!
The Bad Boys from Boston, aka Aerosmith, tend to stick to the US when it comes to touring, so whenever they make it across the pond for a European trek I try to make a point to see them, since you never know when it might be the last time. Aerosmith will be taking their “Global Warming World Tour” to Europe during May and June. As opposed to their most recent European tours, this one is mainly made up of headlining shows, as opposed to festival dates. So be prepared for a full-fledged Aerosmith show, and since the band isn’t out promoting a new album, expect to hear some deep cuts from their classic seventies albums.
5. John Mayer
Having finally recuperated from his vocal problems, John Mayer has been on the road since last summer with two new albums to showcase. Having already toured the States, Mayer will be hitting Australia, and Japan in April, followed by Europe in June. Since Mayer has so much new material to choose from, don’t expect to hear much more than his hits and new songs. Judging by the setlist from the US leg of the tour, it seems as if us blues fans will be a bit short-changed this time around. But for those of you that have seen John Mayer in the past it’s a great opportunity to see a concert made up mostly of songs you haven’t heard live before.
In April Halestorm will be touring Europe, including seven dates in the UK. It seems like the hardworking Pennsylvania rockers are constantly on the road, and it suits them well. Lead singer and Gibson Explorer player Lzzy Hale has great stage presence and knows how to command an audience.
7. Journey & Steve Miller Band
Now here’s a really cool concert package for the summer of 2014: Journey is going out on a double headlining tour with Steve Miller Band, and they’re bringing along Tower Of Power as the opening act! The tour starts in Chula Vista, CA on May 15, and travels through most of the US for the next couple of months.
8. Paramore & Fall Out Boy
For those of you that were too young (or not even born yet) when Journey and Steve Miller Band were in their prime, here’s something that might interest you instead: Paramore and Fall Out Boy are teaming up for a double headlining tour this summer. The tour, which starts on June 19 in Hartford, CT, will take the two bands on a two-month trek through the US before finishing up in Concord, CA, on August 17.
9. Rolling Stones
Fans in Japan, New Zealand, and Australia can look forward to seeing the Rolling Stones this year. The legendary rockers are set to play three dates in Tokyo, followed by an Australian tour in March, and a show in Auckland, New Zealand on April 5. It makes sense that the band extend their tour to other parts of the world, having already played quite a few dates in the US, and the UK over the past year or so. But the question remains - when will the Stones treat the rest of Europe to some shows?
10. Mötley Crüe
Sadly, it seems like the glam rock veterans Mötley Crüe are getting ready to throw in the towel. Various band members have been talking about the impending end of the band during the past year, with drummer Tommy Lee citing guitarist Mick Mars’ ailing health as the main reason. The band is now advertising an event for January 28 on their website, which is believed to be the announcement of Mötley’s farewell tour. So if you’ve ever wanted to hear “Kickstart My Heart” live, now’s probably your last chance! The tour is expected to cover most of the globe and last for about two years.
“He's had one of the most perfect lives of anybody I know.” That's how filmmaker Jim Brown once described Pete Seeger, when asked why he decided to profile Seeger for a PBS “American Masters” documentary. Seeger, who passed away yesterday (Jan. 27) at age 94, certainly experienced one of the great artistic journeys in American culture. In a career that spanned three quarters of a century, he also embodied the idealism that once defined the American spirit.
The trajectory of Seeger's life is dazzling. Born May 3, 1919, he first wanted to become a journalist. Music beckoned, however, and following a period during which he assisted folk-song archivist Alan Lomax, he teamed with legendary songwriter Woody Guthrie to form the politically oriented Almanac Singers. Drafted into the Army in 1942, Seeger served out his duty and then co-founded the folk group, The Weavers. In addition to popularizing the Guthrie classic, “This Land is Your Land,” The Weavers topped the charts in 1950 with their version of Leadbelly's “Goodnight, Irene.”
Blacklisted during the McCarthy era, The Weavers disbanded in 1953. Informally banned from TV programs and radio shows--as well as from many concert stages--Seeger began performing at high schools and on college campuses. During the folk boom of the early ‘60s, his songs became better known to the public at large. Thanks to hit versions by The Kingston Trio, Peter Paul & Mary and The Byrds, the Seeger-written songs “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” became part of the American lexicon.
Even into his ‘90s, Seeger remained vibrant, creative and deeply attuned to social and environmental issues. He and his wife, Toshi—who passed away last July, at 91--lived on a wooded hillside overlooking the Hudson River, in a cabin they built with their own hands decades ago. From 1969 onwards, Seeger worked closely with the Clearwater organization, an environmental group that sought to protect the Hudson River, its tributaries and related waters.
Seeger was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1994. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction came in 1996, the same year he earned a Grammy Award for best traditional folk album. His 2008 album, Pete Seeger at 89, also won a Grammy. Indeed, throughout his life Seeger recorded dozens of albums and records, and compiled a series of instructional songbooks. In memoriam, we’re pleased present this in-depth interview, conducted in 2009 with the man once called “America’s tuning fork.”
“Turn! Turn! Turn!” is one of your best-known songs. Do you remember writing it?
Well, I got a letter in 1959 from one of my publishers, saying, “Pete, can't you write another song like ‘Goodnight, Irene’? I can't market these protests songs that you keep writing.” (laughs) I was a little angry. My first thought was that I needed to get a different publisher, since that was the only type of song I knew how to write. But then I pulled these words out of my pocket, where I had copied them onto a piece of paper, and improvised a tune off the top of my head. I had a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and I recorded it and sent it to him. A week later I got a lovely letter saying, “This is just what I was looking for. Thanks.” It was that same publisher who got the song into the hands of The Byrds. They made a few slight changes, and came out with that terrific record.
Do you remember your impressions the first time you heard The Byrds' version?
Well, they changed one or two notes. Originally I thought, “Did they have to do that?” Later, though, I felt they were right to have done it.
You and Lee Hays also wrote “If I Had a Hammer.” Did you sense at the time that that song would become a classic?
No. We knew it was a good song, and a good idea. Lee wrote the four verses, and mailed them to me in the last days of December 1948, I believe. I sat down at the piano and worked out the tune. The Weavers had just gotten together. We sang it at various places, but we were just a bunch of lefties back then. We recorded it for a tiny little company, and I think it sold about 500 copies. Our tune never caught on as widely as it did when Peter, Paul, and Mary re-wrote the melody. My melody was slower and lower-pitched. Actually my favorite version is the one done by Sam Cooke.
You once said that being blacklisted was a blessing in disguise, in that it steered you away from the commercial world. Can you elaborate?
I never liked the commercial world. I felt it was a bunch of hypocrisy. I don't drink, and I don't smoke. I don't like nightclubs and I never went to them. Around 1953, I got a letter from some students at Oberlin College, asking if I could come there and sing. They said they couldn’t pay much, but they had a basement in the art department that held about 200 people, and they said they were sure if they passed the hat, they could cover my bus fare. So I took a bus out to Ohio, and sure enough they passed the hat, and I made about $200. The following year I came back and sang in the chapel, for 500 people. And then the next year I sang in the school auditorium, which held about 1000, and we filled it. By the '60s, I was singing in big state colleges. That, probably, is the most important work I ever did. It showed that in order to make a living, as a musician, you didn't have to go to nightclubs or hotels or radio stations. You could go to schools and colleges instead.
This took place long after you had formed The Almanac Singers, with Woody Guthrie. Had you written any songs before you met Guthrie?
I had written a few poems when I was in school. My father had tried writing songs, and I had an uncle who was a poet during World War I. One of his poems--"I Have A Rendezvous With Death"--was reprinted widely. It's often cited as one of President Kennedy's favorite poems. But it was Woody, as much as anything, who inspired me to write songs. Also, Alan Lomax was four years older than I was, and vastly more experienced, in many areas. Lomax was really my mentor until I met Woody. After that, Woody became my mentor, as a songwriter and as a performer.
What was the most important lesson you learned from Guthrie?
He was a genius at simplicity, and a great lyricist. He rarely made up melodies, although occasionally he did. There's a story involving the song “The Sinking of the Reuben James.” When the American destroyer ship, the Reuben James, was sunk off Greenland in October 1941, Woody wrote about 20 verses. He wanted the names of every person who drowned to be in that song. We said, “Woody, no one except you is going to sing a song that's this long. Can't you at least give us a chorus, that we can join in on?” He grumbled, but within a week he had pared the song down to five verses, and written a very strong refrain. That song is still being sung today. It attests to his ability to write something simple and powerful.
How did you come to write “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”?
I had been reading a long novel--And Quiet Flows the Don--about the Don River in Russia and about the Cossacks who lived along the river back in the 19th century. It describes the Cossack soldiers galloping off to join the Czar's army, singing as they go. Three lines from a song are quoted in the book: “Where are the flowers? The girls plucked them / Where are the girls? They're all married / Where are the men? They're all in the army.” I never got around to looking up the song, but I wrote down those three lines.
Later, in an airplane, it occurred to me that the line “long time passing”--which I had also written in a notebook--would sing well. Then I thought of, “When will we ever learn.” Suddenly, within 20 minutes, I had a song. There were just three verses. I scotch-taped the song to a microphone and sang it at Oberlin College. This was in 1955. One of the students there had a summer job as a camp counselor. He took the song to the camp and sang it to the kids. It was very short. He gave it rhythm, which I previously hadn't done. The kids played around with it, singing “Where have all the counselors gone? / Open curfew, everyone.”
The counselor added two actual verses: “Where have all the soldiers gone / Gone to graveyards everyone / Where have all the graveyards gone / Covered with flowers every one.” Joe Hickerson is his name, and I give him 20 percent of the royalties. That song still brings in thousands of dollars in royalties, from all around the world.
People still talk about the controversy occurred in 1965, when Bob Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival. You allegedly threatened to pull the plug on his performance. What really happened?
Dylan was singing a wonderful song—“Maggie's Farm”--but you couldn’t understand a thing he was singing, because they had the sound system so distorted. I ran over to the guy managing the controls, and said, “Fix the sound, so we can understand the words." And he shouted back, “No! This is the way they want it!” They wanted it loud enough that all these folkies would “boo,” because this was Bob's chance to show them he's bidding “Bye Bye Baby Blue” to them. I was so mad, I said, “Damn it, if I had an ax, I would cut the cable.” I wanted the lyrics to be understood. That's my main complaint about a lot of singers. I hear so much of the accompaniment, I can hardly understand the words.
What are your feelings in general about electric guitars?
I don't know how to play the electric guitar, although I'm fascinated by it. I'm fascinated listening to people like B.B. King, how he can make a note sing out. It's a relatively new instrument, and quite different from an acoustic guitar. If there's a human race 200 years from now, the electric guitar might well be remembered as the most popular instrument of the folk music of the late 20th century.
All your life you've been an advocate for social causes and the environment. Do you feel songs have a special power to bring attention to these issues?
If there's a human race here a hundred years from now, music will have been one of the many things that saved us. Other arts will help, whether it be dancing, or cooking, or painting, or sculpting. Sports may help as well. I'm reading a book right now that discusses how Nelson Mandela used the love of rugby in his effort to pull South Africa together. All South Africans came together to cheer on their team. Communication is good, and we need to encourage our tradition of talking. That's why the human race has survived as long as it has.
Backstage during the Grammy festivities, Black Sabbath dropped tantalizing hints that more original music might be forthcoming in the not-too-distant future. Rolling Stone reports that when asked about potential recording projects, frontman Ozzy Osbourne said, “We’re going back on the road. We haven’t really spoken about it beyond that. I’m down for it.” “Absolutely,” said guitarist Tony Iommi, echoing the same sentiment. Osbourne went on to add that he, Iommi and Geezer Butler came together to record 13, their reunion album, because they realized they were “were running out of time.” “We were getting on a bit,” said Osbourne, who’s 65. “It's now or never." Added Iommi, "We were all into it. This time everything fell into place and it felt great." Sabbath was awarded the Grammy for “Best Metal Performance” for their single, “God is Dead?” The trophy marked the second instance in which they’ve won a Grammy in that category.
In 1996 Def Leppard released what is undoubtedly the band's most experimental album to date. Spurned on by the emergence of grunge, Def Leppard decided to abandon their tried and trusted formula of melodic hooks that had become their trademark over the past decade. Gone was the polished production by Mutt Lange, a man largely responsible for Def Leppard reaching massive success in the first place. Although Slang wasn't a hit in the same way as their previous releases, it was still very well received among the band's hard-core fan base.
Almost two decades after its release, the eleven songs on Slang have stood the test of time, and the album is regarded as one of Def Leppard's best. Now Joe Elliot, Phil Collen, Rick Savage, Rick Allen, and Vivian Campbell are preparing the release of a Deluxe Edition of the album. The 2 CD release will contain unreleased material and alternate takes, and will also be available in a vinyl version as well as on iTunes. Slang Deluxe Edition is scheduled for a February 10 release. Check out the tracklisting of the various formats:
It has been nearly fifty years since the Beatles conquered America, yet their popularity – and their mystique – remain unrivaled in popular culture. Beatlemania was in full-force Wednesday evening at Gibson Brand’s Beverly Hills Showroom as stars of the stage and screen, as well as music industry swells and a flock of media, came to view never-before-seen photos of the Fab Four.
Attendees were also treated to an eclectic mix of musical icons performing Beatles classics. Brian Wilson kicked the music off by performing snippets from both the Beatles and Beach Boys catalog. He was followed by the band America, Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, and what was easily one of the evening’s finest, albeit surreal, moments when Kris Kristofferson on a Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar performed “Hey Jude.” The crowd went ballistic.
The music world has descended on Southern California this week with both the Grammys and NAMM 2014 taking place just miles apart, and Gibson will have a huge part in all of the festivities. Stay tuned to Gibson’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages for full coverage!
Beginning with Boston’s mega-selling 1976 self-titled debut, the pioneering guitarist has always insisted on creative autonomy, hunkering down in his basement studio, often for years, to craft the songs, sounds and arrangements that meet his exacting standards. Seemingly interminable gaps between albums have been common, but the musical riches on each Boston release have always been worth the wait.
Life, Love & Hope , Boston’s first album in 11 years, offers perfect proof of that fact. Rife with Scholz’s majestic guitar work—distinguished by one of the most recognizable tones in rock—the album hews close to the classic style that first put Boston on the map all those years ago. Roiled by the tragic death of lead singer Brad Delp in 2007, Scholz settled on a vocalist-by-committee approach for the disc, even stepping up to the microphone to sing one song himself. And, as always, he turned exclusively to his legendary ’68 Les Pauls to produce those glorious guitar sounds.
“These are all songs from the heart,” he says, “each of them taking many months of effort to write, arrange, perform and record, always up to the demands of Boston's harshest critic, me. They have all been meticulously recorded to analog tape on the same machines and equipment used for Boston's hits for the past 35 years.”
Scholz spoke with us recently about the making of the album, his distinctive guitar sound, and why he regards the guitar as a “symphonic” instrument. He also talked at length about the new Tom Scholz 1968 Les Paul signature guitar--#10 in Gibson’s Collector's Choice™ series—which he and Gibson worked together to produce last year.
Did you approach making this album any differently from previous Boston albums?
Actually I approached this album in the same way I made all the albums except the last album, Corporate America. I’ve always worked pretty much alone in the studio, which gives me the freedom to go in whatever direction my musical ideas take me. But with Corporate America there were other players, other writers, and even other people working in production. It was an experiment, and it just didn’t work. After that album was released, I immediately went back to work on one of the songs, “Someone.” I wasn’t happy with it, and I was bound and determined to re-record it, with the idea that someday it would be re-released. For this new album, I went back to what has worked for me for all these years, which is doing it as a DIY project, working in my basement.
Your songs go through lots of permutations and arrangements before they see the light of day. How do you know when you’ve gotten it right, when it’s time to stop?
One of two things happens. Either I become so burnt out on the song that I just can’t work on it anymore, or I’m afraid that if I change anything else I’ll ruin what I’ve got. That’s when I stop. Sometimes when that happens I’m really thrilled with how it’s turned out, and other times I’m not so sure. In the latter case I put it on the shelf, and come back and listen to it months later. Anything can happen at that point, when I listen to it again. The one that sticks in my mind most is “The Launch,” from Third Stage, back in the ‘80s. After it was finished I thought it was just a piece of junk, that it had been a waste of my time. But when I put it on the shelf, and listened to it six months later, I was shocked. I thought, “My God, how did I get all these sounds? It’s amazing.” So that can happen, but the opposite can also happen. Many times I’ve spent six months working on a song, and then I go back and listen and think, “Yep, I was right. This is crap.” And so I throw it away.
Does that process not drive you nuts?
Well, it would be nice if everything always worked out, if everything I did turned to gold. But that’s not the world we live in. Everybody has their successes and failures, and I’ve had lots of failures. I’m just thrilled when something actually does work out.
You’ve always used your ’68 Les Pauls for recording. Was that true for this album as well?
That’s right. That’s basically the guitar I use. I rarely use any other guitar on a recording.
The story behind how you came to own those guitars is fascinating.
I still can’t believe it happened the way it did. The first one I bought just happened to be a ’68 reissue, which was made for only a short period of time. And then, even more amazingly, I just happened to see another one when I was passing by a used guitar store. I bought it, and it was virtually identical to the first one. It turned out that the second guitar was another ’68 reissue. It was statistically almost impossible that that would happen. By pure coincidence I stumbled onto these two guitars, not knowing they were any different from any other Les Paul. In fact, I was shocked when I found out that the neck on those guitars was completely different from the neck on the ones that were being made later in the ‘70s. I discovered that when I went to buy a backup. I was also surprised to find that those ’68 Les Pauls were made from parts left from the ’59 production run. I bought one of the ’68 Les Pauls for $300, and the other for $350. It still amazes me.
Tell us about the process of making the Signature model?
Gibson went to a lot of trouble to get it right. My original Les Paul has a blond finish—I had the gold removed at one point. It’s known as my Mighty Mouse guitar, because it has the “Mighty Mouse” swoop across the front of it. Gibson first measured that guitar very carefully, which took quite a while. And then they built a “first shot” prototype and sent it to me. I played it to see how it felt, and went back to them and told them it was very close, but not exactly right. And then I got out my tools and made all sorts of corrections to the dimensions. I checked everything—not just fret height and obvious things, but details about the shape of the neck, all up and down the neck. Then I went back to Gibson a second time. The guitar came back many months later, and it was exactly like my original guitar, so much so that I couldn’t distinguish the prototype from the original. I also sounded almost exactly like the original.
What initially made that particular model Les Paul so special for you personally?
It was simply the sound of the guitar. I bought the first one because I heard it being played in a performance, and was immediately struck by its tone. And as luck would have it, that particular guitar came up for sale and I jumped on it. I was pretty shocked the first time I played it. Up to that point, I had a pretty cheesy practice guitar with a neck that was completely different. It took me about six months to get used to the shorter scale of the ’68 Les Paul, and the different size neck. Now, of course, it’s more or less the only guitar I can play.
Does it give you comfort knowing you’re no longer limited to your two originals?
(laughs) Of course every guitar has its own unique audio characteristics, but the [Collector's Choice™] guitar is very close—just surprisingly close to the original.
Looking back, how surprised were you by the success of the first Boston album?
I was shocked. I was expecting abject failure. In fact, I had been warned by people in the industry—people who were supposed to know about these things—that I shouldn’t expect too much. They said disco was what was happening, and the kind of music I was doing had nowhere to go. After I finished mastering that album I actually went back to work full-time at Polaroid. The first time I heard “More Than a Feeling” on the radio was when someone at the company came running into my office shouting, “They’re playing your song! We’re listening to it in the drafting department!” (laughs) I was like, “Really?” I didn’t even resign from work when I went on the first Boston tour. I just took a leave of absence. I was sure that this would all blow over and I would once again be working a regular job, like everyone else.
Are you surprised that no one has successfully mimicked your sound, that it remains so distinctive after all these years?
I don’t know the reason for either of those things—why it hasn’t been exactly copied, and also what makes it unique. Whenever I go into the studio, each time, I don’t have that sound set up, or cast in stone so that it never changes. It’s true that I always plug into the same equipment, but I’m always changing the sound, and I’m never quite satisfied with it. It’s always a new challenge. Still, somehow I always seem to end up sort of in the same place, with the sound. It’s interesting. Whenever I walk into a place where rock and roll is being played in the background, I can tell if it’s a Boston song even before I know which song it is. I can’t explain it, but I do feel very lucky things turned out that way. It probably has something to do with working alone, with working in isolation for such a long time. Being left completely to my own devices, I suppose I gravitate toward that same sound every time, as I’m dialing things in. It also doesn’t hurt that I use the same two Les Pauls every time I record.
You’ve often said one goal you have, with your guitar playing, is to elicit emotions in the listener. Can you elaborate?
I think that’s the job of a musician, to get the most feeling out of the music and create emotion in the listener. Certainly all types of music can do that. My first experience with that was in childhood, listening to big symphonies. Most of the time that was on an early high fidelity record player, but I was also taken several times to see a symphony orchestra in Toledo, Ohio. I remember being thrilled with the power of that experience. I realized you don’t necessarily need lyrics—or anything of that sort--to create emotions in people. You just need the right person putting the sounds together in the right way. That’s always my goal when I’m working on a song.
What pushed you toward the guitar as the instrument to accomplish that?
I heard that same symphonic power in the guitar when it was played by the right people. The first time I heard it was in The Kinks, The Yardbirds and Iron Butterfly. I’m not talking about “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”—I’m talking about Iron Butterfly’s first album. There was a cut on that album called “Iron Butterfly Theme” that was in a weird time signature. That song got me turned onto the whole idea of playing guitar. The power that was at your fingertips was extraordinary. And of course that hasn’t changed. A guitar player, with modern equipment set up the right way, has phenomenal power on-hand for anything he or she wants to do.
You have lots of live recordings of Boston, many with Brad Delp on vocals. Is there any chance a live Boston album might soon see the light of day?
That’s a project that’s always in the back of my mind. That’s why I make the live recordings, and I do have a lot of them. But every time I think, “Well, I think it’s time to start putting that together,” something happens and life gets in the way. I’m concentrating on the new studio album for now, and the next thing on the agenda is a tour, for this year. A live album will have to wait a little longer.
A few major rock names have been added to the lineup of performers at this weekend’s Grammy Awards: Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age. The three artists will perform together at the show’s finale, along with Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, who performed on Nine Inch Nails’ latest studio album, Hesitation Marks.
Grohl, Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails are all up for Grammy Awards this year. Grohl is in the running for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media for the soundtrack to the Sound City documentary, Sound City: Real to Reel, and for Best Rock Song for "Cut Me Some Slack." Queens of the Stone Age are nominated for Best Rock Album for their current full-length, …Like Clockwork, and Best Rock Performance for “My God is the Sun.” Nine Inch Nails are up for Best Alternative Music Album for their current release, Hesitation Marks.
This weekend’s show marks the first time Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails will perform at the Grammys. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will also perform, while Black Sabbath, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and 30 Seconds to Mars’ Jared Leto will present.
The Grammy Awards ceremony will air Sunday (Jan. 26) on CBS.
Grohl recently celebrated his 45th birthday. Check out our birthday tribute to the renowned drummer and frontman here.
A super-deluxe version of Bob Dylan’s legendary 30th anniversary concert is set for release on March 4. The star-studded event—which was originally broadcast on Pay-Per-View—took place at New York’s Madison Square Garden on October 16, 1992. Participating in the celebration was a massive assemblage of music royalty, including Neil Young, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Lou Reed, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty and other acclaimed artists.
“That gig was one of the highlights of my career,” says guitarist/music director G.E. Smith, speaking to Rolling Stone. “There aren't a lot of people that can attract a lineup like that, and everyone was on their best behavior. Lou Reed and Neil Young [could] be prickly, but not in the three days we were prepping that show. I also got to talk to Johnny Cash. What's cooler than that?” The concert, which was shot in early high definition, will be available on DVD/Blu-ray and CD.
Tracklist for Bob Dylan – The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration – Deluxe Edition:
"Like A Rolling Stone" - John Mellencamp
"Blowin' In The Wind" – Stevie Wonder
"Foot of Pride" – Lou Reed
"Masters of War" – Eddie Vedder/Mike McCready
"The Times They Are A-Changin'" – Tracy Chapman
"It Ain't Me Babe" – June Carter Cash/Johnny Cash
"What Was It You Wanted" – Willie Nelson
"I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" – Kris Kristofferson
"Highway 61 Revisited" – Johnny Winter
"Seven Days – Ron Wood
"Just Like a Woman" – Richie Havens
"When the Ship Comes In" – The Clancy Brothers and Robbie O'Connell with special guest Tommy Makem
"War" – Sinead O'Connor
"Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" – Neil Young
"All Along the Watchtower" – Neil Young
"I Shall be Released" – Chrissie Hynde
"Love Minus Zero, No Limit" – Eric Clapton (Track Only Available on DVD/Blu-Ray Format)
"Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" – Eric Clapton
"Emotionally Yours" – The O'Jays
"When I Paint My Masterpiece" – The Band
"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" – Mary Chapin Carpenter/Rosanne Cash/Shawn Colvin
"Absolutely Sweet Marie – George Harrison"
"License to Kill" – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
"Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
"Mr Tambourine Man" – Roger McGuinn
"It's Alright, Ma" – Bob Dylan
"My Back Pages" – Bob Dylan/Roger McGuinn/Tom Petty/Neil Young/Eric Clapton/George Harrison
"Knockin' On Heaven's Door" – Everyone
"Girl of The North Country" – Bob Dylan
DVD Bonus Tracks :
"Leopard-Skin Pill-box Hat" - John Mellencamp
"Boots of Spanish Leather" – Nanci Griffith with Carolyn Hester
"Gotta Serve Somebody" – Booker T. & the M.G.'s
CD Audio Bonus Tracks :
"I Belive in You" – Sinéad O'Connor (from soundcheck, previously unreleased)
" Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" – Eric Clapton (from soundcheck, previously unreleased)
On Monday night (Jan. 20), Ringo Starr was presented with a “Lifetime of Peace and Love Award," an honor bestowed by the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. Talking backstage at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, the former Beatle reminisced about the Fab Four’s 1964 debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
“Incredible,” mused Starr, as reported by Rolling Stone. “It was Ed Sullivan, and it was a big show, and we didn't know while we were playing that 70 million people were watching, but it was being in America that was so exciting. All the music we loved was in America; it came from America to England. Where we come from, Liverpool, it was great because it was a port, so all of the guys from New York would bring the tracks over. Vinyl in those days, the LPs, and it was just great. I could feel the buzz, even on the plane, it was so exciting.”
Starr was also asked if he recalled The Beatles’ “Best New Artist” Grammy win that same year. “No,” he responded. “I remember they had them in Nashville once, and Harry Nilsson and I went up. The Beatles had won, like, 19 Grammys. They brought them on a tray. There were so many Grammys, it was hard to lift.”
U2 are scheduled to be the first musical guest when Jimmy Fallon takes over The Tonight Show on February 17. Actor Will Smith will also be a guest on the premier episode. The Irish quartet are presumably on the show to promote their next album, which supposed to come out some time in the first half of the year.
The band has confirmed they will be debuting new music in conjunction with a Super Bowl ad on February 2. ATU2 reports that the band was recently in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, shooting a promo for the (RED) project, where a song called “Invisible” was used. However, it has not been confirmed whether or not this song will be included on the upcoming U2 album.
Last week U2 received an Oscar nomination for their song “Ordinary Love” from the Nelson Mandela biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Metallica’s “One” combined with a classical piano - that can’t work can it?
Actually it can, according to Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett. The band is currently in the process of preparing for a special performance at the upcoming Grammy Awards of their song “One” together with Chinese pianist Lang Lang.
Says Hammett in an interview with Rolling Stone: “Lang Lang has interjected himself into the song in a way I don't think anyone else has ever done in the course of our career. He's going to be playing major parts of the song. He's going to be playing through the melody.”
The band has reportedly recorded a demo with Lang Lang’s parts, and Hammett is very excited by the project: “He's going to be weaving in and out of my guitar solos, which is amazing for me, because I've never played with another instrument that's been able to do that so effortlessly.”
The Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on Sunday January 26 on CBS.
Just in time for his upcoming tour Bruce Springsteen has announced that he will start offering audio downloads of each show. Fans will be able to purchase a USB wristband at the show, and within 48 hours they will be able to download a top quality audio copy of the concert to the wristband. Springsteen is following in the footsteps of Pearl Jam, who have given fans the opportunity to buy a live bootleg of the show they just saw for years.
Talking to NPR, Springsteen said: “I'd like to make things more available through the Internet," he said. "The Internet has become our friend . . . I think we live more in a Grateful Dead touring idea, that everything you do is recorded now. And that's OK with me, you know. As a matter of fact, I believe on this tour, we're starting to do something like you can come in, you can buy a [wrist] band, and you can get a copy of the night's show. So hopefully we're gonna do that at a really nice-quality level.”
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are starting their next tour on Sunday, January 26, with four shows in South Africa. The band then heads over to Australia and New Zealand. The only scheduled US appearance so far is New Orleans Jazz Fest on May 3.
Departed Fleetwood Mac vocalist/keyboardist Christine McVie will be returning to the group in the not-too-distant future, drummer Mick Fleetwood has revealed.
Fleetwood broke the news at a concert by in Hawaii over the weekend, telling the audience "This is the worst kept secret there is, but Christine McVie will be rejoining Fleetwood Mac."
The concert was Uncle Willie K's BBQ Blues Fest on Maui at the Maui Tropical Plantation, where Fleetwood and Willie K. performed an acoustic rendition of McVie's composition "Songbird" (one of four songs written solely by McVie for Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album).
Fleetwood Mac News reports that both Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham had told audience members at the band's recent Las Vegas shows that the band planned to tour again this year (possibly in the summer) with McVie back in the group.
McVie departed the band in 1988 but performed with Mick Fleetwood and his blues band on Maui in February 2013 and with Fleetwood Mac in London in September 2013, and a few months later she confirmed she was hoping to rejoin the band.
Guitarist and singer Warren Haynes and slide guitarist Derek Trucks are leaving the Allman Brothers Band. The two announced on Wednesday (Jan. 8) that this will be their last year as part of the band.
“For 25 years and 15 years respectively, we've had the honor and pleasure of playing, living, learning, and traveling with the Allman Brothers Band, one of the truly legendary rock and roll bands,” Haynes and Trucks said in a joint statement.
“We will be forever grateful for the opportunity and the experience, and for the love, enthusiasm, and support of the incredible fans,” they added. “We are both preparing to dig even deeper into our various creative and musical endeavors and, as a result, 2014 will be our final year as part of the band.”
In a separate statement, Haynes – who in 1989, at the age of 28, joined the group simply for a reunion tour – said he didn’t have any expectations of going forward with the Allman Brothers in the beginning, but “based on the success of the tour and the uncanny chemistry between the original members and the new members, we decided to continue and see where it all led. Now, here we are, 25 years later, and it has been an amazing experience.”
Trucks recalled getting the call to join the group while he was touring with his own band. He was 19 years old at the time. “It was out of the blue and felt surreal,” he said in a separate statement. “I leapt at the chance. This was the music that I had cut my teeth on and it was the distinctive sound of Duane (Allman's) guitar that inspired me to pick up the instrument in the first place.”
The Allman Brothers Band’s next show will take place Friday (Jan. 10) at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. For more on the band’s 2014 plans, go here.
The Allman Brothers Band have announced plans for their 45th anniversary in 2014, including their annual concerts at New York City’s Beacon Theatre. Ten shows start on March 7. The Allmans have performed at the Beacon over 220 times since they began the tradition in 1989.
“It’s always good to get back on stage with the Brothers,” says ABB co-founder Gregg Allman. “Man, beyond the Brothers, that Beacon audience is like our family. You can look into their eyes—they’re right on top of you…there’s no other room like it.” All 11 of their 2013 Beacon Theatre shows sold out.
In February, the group’s own Allman Brothers Band Recording Company will issue Boston Common 8/17/71, which was recorded 10 weeks before the death of co-founding guitarist Duane Allman. It is “one of the few Duane Allman-era shows that no fan has heard or owns,” they say.
In addition, on February 18, Epic/Legacy Recordings will release the two-CD set Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992 and a live DVD from 1991, Live at Great Woods.
In April 2014, the group will return Florida for the 10th annual Wanee Festival, which they have curated and headlined since 2005 - a full line-up will be announced soon. Major acts who have joined the ABB at Wane in past years include Gov’t Mule, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Black Keys, Furthur, Widespread Panic, Robert Plant, Dr. John, Steven Stills, Steve Miller Band, O.A.R., Robert Randolph, Bob Weir & Ratdog, Levon Helm, Buddy Guy and many more.
And that’s not all. A movie of Gregg Allman’s memoir starts filming in spring 2014. William Hurt is set to star as the adult Gregg in a movie based on his book My Cross to Bear. The movie will be called Midnight Rider and will tell the story of Allman’s earliest days through the success of the Allman Brothers Band.
Rolling Stone magazine quote Gregg Allman as saying he is hands-on with the script. Already he’s vetoed a scene with his late brother Duane Allman which featured dialogue that Gregg deemed inappropriate for containing too much profanity. “It’s time consuming and tedious work to get it all right,” Allman says. “I don’t know first-hand because it hasn’t started yet, but I know I need to be there every single day if I want it done right.”
Wyatt Russell will portray Duane Allman in Midnight Rider.
Jeff Beck is reportedly working on a new album, according to a post on his website : “After taking a very short well earned break post his recent tour with Brian Wilson. Jeff has been spending most of his time with his new band (Rhonda Smith – Bass, Nicholas Meier – Guitar, Jonathan Joseph – Drums and Lizzie Ball – Violin) in the studio. We won’t say too much at present. Suffice to say -Watch this space – It will be Epic!!!”
The album will be his first since Emotion & Commotion in 2010, which earned Beck a Best Pop Instrumental Performance Grammy for his cover of the Puccini aria “Nessun Dorma.” Since the album is scheduled for a spring release, one can assume that recording and producing will be finished before Jeff Beck goes out on tour, starting April 7 in Tokyo.
As the posting says, Beck has been busy touring with Brian Wilson during the fall. He will also be appearing on Wilson’s yet-to-be-named upcoming album that has “the flavor of Pet Sounds,” according to Beck in an interview with USA Today .
The London apartment that Jimi Hendrix and his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham lived in from 1968 and onward will be turned in to a permanent Hendrix museum, according to Uncut.
Hendrix lived in the attic of the Georgian townhouse located at 23 Brook Street, for which he paid £30 (about $50) a week in rent.
The Heritage Lottery Fund is restoring the apartment to how it would have looked at the time when Hendrix lived there. The interior will include memorabilia and items from Hendrix’ life. In the mid 18th century, famous composer George Frideric Handel used to live next door at number 25 Brook Street. The Handel House Museum has had their offices in the Hendrix apartment for the past thirteen years.
Def Leppard are getting ready to record the follow up to their 2008 album Songs From The Sparkle Lounge early this year. The band has found new inspiration stemming from their Las Vegas residency back in March of 2013 when the band would play their mega-hit album Hysteria in full each night.
Lead guitarist Phil Collen told Billboard that the band plan on recording as much as possible of the album live, just like they did in 1996 with Slang. The album, which was nowhere near as popular as their '80s material, has matured well over time and is coveted by the band’s hard-core fans. Rhythm guitarist Vivian Campbell spoke on the delicate balance between Def Leppard’s classic polished sound, and wanting to spread their wings: “I think sometimes you just got to let it happen. The other side of the equation is the band is successful for a certain sound. It's a brand like Coca-Cola and you've got to give the people what they expect. At the same time you have to move on.”
The band also plan on returning to Las Vegas later in the year for another residency. “We're also going to be doing Viva Pyromania at some point at the end of next year,” says Phil Collen. Pyromania from 1983 was Def Leppard’s major breakthrough, as well as the album where they truly developed their trademark sound.
Phil Everly, one half of legendary rock n' roll duo The Everly Brothers, has passed away at the age of 74.
Everly died in Los Angeles on January 3 from what his wife Patti Everly said was complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease due to a longtime smoking habit.
The Everly Brothers' first hit was 1957's "Bye Bye Love," one of 15 top 10 hits between 1957 and 1962 including "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have to Do Is Dream," "Cathy’s Clown" and "When Will I Be Loved."
The duo was among the first acts to ever be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its maiden year, 1986.
The Eagles' Hotel California is now the biggest record of all time. Literally. A 407-ft version has been placed on top of the refurbished Forum in Los Angeles ahead of the band's performance at the venue's reopening on January 15.
The band will then play a residency at the Forum on January 17, 18, 22, 24 and 25.
The record, which took 45 days to build from concept to completion, contains a whopping 250,000 square feet of vinyl (yes, it's still actually made of vinyl), is around 5.7 acres (or 4.5 football fields for those who like sporting analogies) in size, weighs 25 tons, contains 15,000 LEDs and will rotate on the roof of the venue at 17 miles per hour.
The gigantic Hotel California vinyl will stay in place throughout the month of January and will be taken down in the first week of February. No word on whether it will end up at a record fair but good luck to whichever LP collector tries to explain that to their spouse.
Here's a short film released by The Forum showing the structure being built:
Back in January 2012, the Black Sabbath guitarist was diagnosed with early-stage lymphoma, and even as the band toured in 2013 he continued to undergo treatment.
Now, in a message posted on his website, Iommi says the worst effects of those treatments should soon be over. “We’ve some good things lined up for the coming year,” Iommi writes, “firstly the Grammys, then some dates in the U.S. and Canada, and in the summer a quick trip round Europe. I should also be finishing my regular treatment and I’m hoping to not get so tired, all positive.”
Iommi also conveyed his best wishes to fans during the coming year. “… After such a brilliant 2013, it's going to be difficult to match it this year but we’ll be having a go,” he promises. “Many thanks to you all for your continued support, we’d be nothing without you.”
Since 1989 the Allman Brothers Band has played more than 220 shows at New York’s Beacon Theatre. On March 7, the southern rockers will begin yet another 10-show residency at the legendary venue. Still, Gregg Allman’s enthusiasm for the Beacon gigs remains as strong as ever. “These last few years, we do the Beacon and then we do one month on the road in the summertime and that’s about it,” says the veteran singer, speaking to Rolling Stone. “And then everybody goes off to their own respective solo bands. It's getting more seldom that we get together, you know? It makes you really look forward to it.”
2014 is shaping up to be an eventful year for Allman fans. In February, the Allman Brothers Recording Company will release Boston Common 8/17/71, a live album that captures a show staged less than three months before Duane Allman’s tragic death. On February 18, Epic/Legacy will issue the 2-CD live set Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992, plus a DVD titled Live at the Great Woods featuring a show from 1991. In addition, shooting begins this month for Midnight Rider, the film adaptation of Gregg Allman’s 2012 memoir, My Cross to Bear. The film stars All-American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter as Gregg and Wyatt Russell as Duane. “The two of them and the director flew out to my house for a couple of days and they’re coming on the road with me when I go on tour,” Allman told Rolling Stone. “[I said] ‘Just watch and take notes.’”
Jimmy Page is ringing in 2014 with exciting news for Led Zeppelin fans. It’s been known for months that the legendary guitarist was remastering the band’s back catalog.
Now, Page says the first fruits of those labors will definitely see the light of day this year. “It's good news for the New Year,” Page writes, in a message posted on his website. “The first of the Led Zeppelin releases-- comprising of Led Zeppelin I, Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin III and their companion discs--will be released this year. I've also been working on some of my own material from the archives that will be unleashed in 2014.”
It’s speculated that graphic artist Shepard Fairey—the man behind the artwork for the Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day film and live album—will redesign the original artwork for the new releases. In addition, Robert Plant recently told BBC 6 Music he had unearthed never-before-released Zeppelin music that will likely be included with the reissues. “There’s some very interesting bits and pieces,” Plant said.
Former Cream singer and bass player Jack Bruce will release his first solo studio album in over a decade this March. The album, Silver Rails, was recorded at a famous spot: Abbey Road Studios in London.
Bruce is just starting to promote the upcoming album and recently posted video featuring footage from recording sessions on his official YouTube channel. His daughter, Kyla Simone, produced the clip, which shows Bruce alongside a variety of musicians, laying down tracks.
Some of the musicians pictures in the video include Martin & Wood keyboard player John Medeski and drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, both of whom play with Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid in the band Spectrum Road.
Silver Rails will be Bruce's follow-up to 2003’s More Jack than God.
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards recently turned 70 years old, and many musicians from the early era of rock music are also getting up there in age, including Dave Davies, Ray Davies, and Mick Avory of the Kinks. The former bandmates are fully aware that if a reunion is to take place, it has to be soon.
“I think it would be nice to do something all together,” says the band’s original drummer Mick Avory in an interview with Uncut. “Because the chances are diminishing as we talk. Hopefully me, Dave and Ray can meet before it happens. We’d have to knock our heads together and rehearse, if we meant to do it properly. We haven’t played together for God knows how long.”
Dave Davies admits that a reunion is definitely something that’s on his mind: “I said to Ray I thought that it’d be a great shame if we don’t try and do something. I don’t think our love has diminished. I think the stage-play has played itself out a bit, the pretense and the acting. I think it’s time reality took over, and started directing the last years of… whatever it is. It’s like Cain and Abel,” the guitarist said.
Avory left the band in 1984, and the Kinks disbanded in 1996. How about a 2014 reunion to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the band’s debut album?
According to Hennemusic, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry says he will publish his autobiography next year. Rocks: My Life In And Out Of Aerosmith sees Perry team up with author David Ritz, who has written books with B.B. King, Jerry Wexler and Bettye LaVette.
Perry posted a message: “Another Christmas gift to all. I finished ALL the edits on my autobiography last night. Due out on Simon & Schuster Oct 5th 2014.”
“I expect there will be a fair amount about me and Steven [Tyler], considering I’ve spent a good part of my life with him and three other guys," Perry told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the memoir while he was still in the early stages of the project.
Perry’s memoir follows similar works by bandmates Tyler (2011’s Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?) and drummer Joey Kramer’s 2009 book, Hit Hard: A Story Of Hitting Rock Bottom At The Top. Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton is also working on his autobiography. Brad Whitford is seemingly staying silent, for now.
Beatles guitarist George Harrison refused an OBE on the New Year’s Honours list for 2000, paperwork has now suggested.
OBE means Order of the British Empire and is a high award from U.K government and the U.K. monarchy. But it didn’t match the knighthood given to “Sir” Paul McCartney three years previously.
The U.K. Government’s Departure for Culture, Media and Sport recommended Harrison be given the Order of the British Empire, saying: “He was a member of a band that many people would say is the best thing that Britain has ever produced, and possibly the best in the world, The Beatles.”
But the Daily Mail newspaper quotes journalist Ray Connolly saying: “Whoever it was who decided to offer him the OBE and not the knighthood was extraordinarily insensitive. George would have felt insulted – and with very good reason.”
All four Beatles were awarded MBEs (Members of the British Empire) in 1965. John Lennon returned his medal to Queen Elizabeth II four years later, in protest against the war in Vietnam.
George Harrison died a year after the possible award, in 2001.
Clapton’s new touring group features a mix of some familiar faces from recent tours and some old friends. He will be joined by Nathan East (bass), Steve Gadd (drums), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Paul Carrack (keyboards), Sharon White (backing vocals) and Michelle John (backing vocals).
Clapton starts a Japanese tour on February 18 at Tokyo’s Budokan; he’ll play three shows there and another four in Japan before dates in Singapore and U.A.E. More dates are expected to be added, with two additional “small tours” predicted.
Clapton recently released a new live DVD, 2013 Crossroads Guitar Festival. The set features nearly 5 hours of music across 45 tracks, plus conversations with the artists and other behind-the-scenes footage from Clapton’s now-regular guitar event.
Eric Clapton (and his band) in 2014
Feb 18 - Nippon Budokan - Tokyo, Japan
Feb 20 - Nippon Budokan - Tokyo, Japan
Feb 21 - Nippon Budokan - Tokyo, Japan
Feb 23 - Yokohama Arena - Yokohama, Japan
Feb 25 - Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium - Nagoya, Japan
Feb 26 - Osaka-Jo Hall - Osaka, Japan
Feb 28 - Nippon Budokan - Tokyo, Japan
Mar 04 - Singapore Indoor Stadium – Singapore
Mar 06 - Dubai Media City Amphitheatre - Dubai, UAE
According to The Globe And Mail, a reissue of Rush’s 1974 debut album will be out in 2014. It will mark the 40th anniversary of Rush as a recording band.
The source of the information is Universal Music Canada’s VP of catalog marketing Ivar Hamilton, who says the members of Rush are “very involved” in the process of putting the package together. No details regarding the reissue are currently available, but it will likely include a remaster of the album, and new and expanded liner notes.
Rush featured the late drummer John Rutsey, who died in 2008. Rutsey was replaced after Rush by Neil Peart, who continues to be the band’s drummer and lyric writer. But Rush includes a fan-favorite, “Working Man,” that the Canadian trio continue to play live to this day.
A trailer for the forthcoming “lost” Johnny Cash album, Out Among the Stars, has been posted. See it below. The album comprises 12 previously unheard tracks and will be out on March 24, 2014. The songs, which were recorded in Nashville, Tennessee in 1981 and 1111 Sound Studios in 1984, were discovered by his son John Carter Cash at the Sony Music Archives.
John Carter Cash says: “When my parents passed away, it became necessary to go through this material. We found these recordings that were produced by Billy Sherrill in the early 1980s… they were beautiful.” He pressed the tracks despite Cash’s then label Columbia’s original refusal to release the tapes in the '80s. “We were like, ‘My goodness, this is a beautiful record that nobody has ever heard.’”
The songs include duets with Johnny’s wife June Carter Cash and Waylon Jennings, while Marty Stuart – a member of Cash’s backing band – has been quoted as saying that he was “in the very prime of his voice for his lifetime” and that Cash sounds “pitch perfect” on the recordings.
The tracklisting for Out Among the Stars is:
“Out Among The Stars”
“Baby Ride Easy” (featuring June Carter Cash)
“She Used To Love Me A Lot”
“I'm Movin' On” (with Waylon Jennings)
“If I Told You Who It Was”
“Call Your Mother”
“I Drove Her Out Of My Mind”
“Rock And Roll Shoes”
“Don’t You Think It’s Come Our Time' (featuring June Carter Cash)
“I Came To Believe”
The entire Led Zeppelin catalog is now available for streaming via Spotify. And Jimmy Page has also been talking about his work on newly-remastered Led Zeppelin albums due in 2014.
Via The Pulse Of Radio, Page explains, “I’ve done my bit. Technology has moved on since the last set of remasters and you can hear the difference in these new versions. They’re quite something.
“Obviously there’s not that much material that we could add from the first two albums, but from Led Zeppelin III there is.”
Alternative takes and outtakes are all apparently part of the releases. No date is scheduled yet – Page is renowned for his methodical approach – but there will be remastered Led Zeppelin out in 2014.
Led Zeppelin are already up for two Grammy awards in 2014 — “Best Rock Performance” for “Kashmir (Live)” from Celebration Day, and the album, itself, Celebration Day, in the “Best Rock Album” category. Read about the making of Celebration Day.
Paul Stanley is getting ready to follow in the footsteps of the other original members of Kiss. Shortly after it was announced that Kiss will be inducted in to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next year, Stanley announced that he will release his autobiography around that same time.
During an interview on Nikki Sixx’ radio show Sixx Sense in November last year, Stanley spoke of the book, which was then in the process of being written. Judging by his comments it does sound like Paul approached the project with a bit of self awareness (via Blabbermouth): “Autobiographies, for the most part, to me, are like writing a love letter to yourself,” Stanley said, before stating “How objective can you be when you are writing about yourself.”
Regarding the other three original Kiss members’ books, Stanley jokingly said: “It’s kind of like, 'OK, have you all said your piece? OK? Now let me tell you what happened.'”
Whether the “Starchild” comes off as more honest in his approach is up to the reader to decide when Face The Music: A Life Exposed is released on April 22nd.
Canadian rockers Rush have announced that they are getting ready to release a six part comic book series through Boom! Studios starting in March.
Clockwork Angels is based on Rush drummer Neil Peart’s lyrics for the band’s 2012 album of the same name. “It's just a beautifully painted world in the music that I tried to capture in the novel and now tried to turn into a different direction,” said author Kevin J. Anderson about writing the comic book in an interview with USA Today.
Apparently the idea of a comic book was something Peart and Anderson had been kicking around for quite some time: “Kevin and I had talked for years about combining a novel and an album in some fashion, but I guess the idea had to grow up as Kevin and I did - gaining maturity and confidence in our own separate crafts, while gaining the life experience necessary to give the story its scale and depth,” said Peart.
According to Anderson the comic book will contain “Easter eggs” with references to various Rush albums in its illustrations: “We think Rush fans are attentive and intelligent,” said Anderson. “It just gives them the extra thrill of seeing that this isn't just a straightforward story. There's a lot of interconnected things, too.”
Longtime KISS fans may be in for a special treat. Both Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley say they would be amenable to a reunion of KISS’s original lineup at next year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. In separate interviews with Rolling Stone , the rock veterans agreed that a reunion performance would befit the occasion. “[Peter Criss and Ace] were equally important in the formation of the band,” said Simmons. “When you have kids with your first wife, you give kudos. The fact you got remarried doesn't delete or minimize the importance.” Simmons later added there was no “bad blood” among the four musicians. “There’s never been bad blood,” he said. “I love [Ace and Peter] as people.”
As regards Frehley, when asked if he would be reluctant to take the stage with his former bandmates, he said, “Not at all. I think it [would] be great for the fans to witness, and a lot of fun. I recently performed with Peter at the Hard Rock Café in New York…. We all still have it.”
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
2014 is shaping up to be a busy year for Def Leppard. Having completed a successful residency this past spring in Las Vegas, where they performed their Hysteria album in a series of 11 “Viva Hysteria!” shows, the veteran British rockers are looking forward to giving their 1983 Pyromania album the same treatment.
“The Vegas thing was amazing,” says guitarist Phil Collen, speaking with Billboard. “We’re also going to be doing ‘Viva Pyromania!’ at some point at the end of next year.” Collen added that Def Leppard is also preparing to record an album of new material, utilizing a live-in-the-studio approach similar to that used for their 1996 disc, Slang—at least in part. “You paint yourself into a corner with a certain writing style when you have a huge album,” observes Collen. “Slang [was] very raw--us playing live--and everyone hated it. You learn from that. You don't want to cop out too much.”
Richie Sambora is open to reuniting with Bon Jovi, saying he harbors no bad feelings toward his former band mates. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the veteran guitarist said he would consider rejoining the group, if asked. “I would think about it for sure,” he revealed. “There’s no malice here. You get along for 30 years, that’s a damn good marriage. ... I was coming out of something a little bit different with my solo record, Aftermath of the Lowdown, and it just didn’t go in the right direction for me artistically, which is not to say it’s a bad thing.”
Sambora was also quick to discredit reports that his split from the band was rooted in disagreements about money. “[That’s] baloney,” he said. “You look at your bank account, and you see the currency of love and happiness is more important than the currency of money.”
Much of Sambora’s downtime has been spent with his 16-year-old daughter Ava, who’s an aspiring actress, and tending to his mother, who’s recovering from a recent hip fracture. He dropped strong hints, however, that he’s preparing to jump back into music with renewed vigor. “I want to get together with people that I like, who I have relationships with, and try to build a brand,” he said. “Go out and gig on my own and make a living.”
Queen’s upcoming studio release will offer a mix of the band’s older, lesser-known material and some newer tunes, according to guitarist Brian May.
“We were looking at putting together a compilation of the more unusual and yet memorable Queen tracks,” he told Rolling Stone . “Things that weren’t singles that have become or stayed popular through the years. That’s the way it started and then we unearthed a few tapes of Freddie singing and us in the studio that we never finished off.”
He added, “We thought we got to the end of it with Made in Heaven. But there are a few other things which have turned up. So the album may turn out to be a mixture of some unusual things from the past and some very unusual things which no one has heard at all.”
When asked about the forthcoming Freddie Mercury biopic, May described the script as something that “depicts Freddie in a very lifelike way, but in the context of Queen, which was a kind’ve family. So it’s about what happens in families, in a sense, and I think people will find it very touching.”
Nirvana, Kiss, Cat Stevens Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates and Linda Ronstadt are among the acts that will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, and the artists are starting to respond to the honor.
"For once ... I'm speechless,” former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl said in a statement. “From the basements, to the dingy clubs, to the broken down vans, to ... the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I'd like to thank the committee not only for this induction, but also for recognizing Nirvana for what we were: pure rock and roll."
"Thank you most of all to Kurt Cobain," Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic added. "And to everyone who's kept rock music going strong for 60 years and counting."
Kiss’ Paul Stanley tweeted out a “thank you” to the Rock Hall and the band’s fans: “I'm honored to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame knowing we've remained true to ourselves and our fans.”
The latest class of acts will be inducted into the Rock Hall on April 10, 2014, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
What do you think of this year’s Rock Hall picks? Give you thoughts in the comments section below!
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first real meeting was at Dartford Station on October 17, 1961. Richards was carrying his guitar and the pair recognized each other from having attended the same primary school. A year after this chance meeting, the pair formed the Rolling Stones.
Now the spot for this most important meeting will be commemorated with a plaque. “Fate was sealed and they started talking about playing their music together,” saidDartford council leader Jeremy Kite to the BBC . Kite added “They went off and recruited Brian Jones next, and the rest is history.”
In related news, Rolling Stones recently announced a number of tour dates for 2014. The tour, which goes by the name 14 On Fire, will take the band to Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Macau, Australia, and New Zealand.
Kiss will finally be inducted in to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2014 - some fifteen years after becoming eligible. According to the rules, a band can be considered for inclusion twenty-five years after the release of their first album, which in the case of Kiss would have been back in 1999. Just like with Rush, who were inducted this year, fans have been calling for Kiss’ inclusion for years.
Rock Hall executive Joel Peresman commented on the overwhelming fan support of the band (via Classic Rock ): “The Kiss Army has descended on us in recent years, and we’ve gotten thousands of letters. They also did extremely well in the public vote.” Paul Stanley said of the honor: “For 40 years KISS has built an army that apologizes to no one and I'm honored to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame knowing we have remained true to ourselves and our fans.”
It remains to be seen if the original lineup of the band will perform together at the induction ceremony. Gene Simmons have made comments earlier in the year indicating that he is not interested in that. But who knows, there’s plenty of time for the bassist to change his mind, and maybe the mighty Kiss Army can persuade him to put his ego aside just this once.
Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Linda Ronstadt, and Cat Stevens will also be inducted at the ceremony, which will be held in New York in late April.
As we approach the end of the year, it is time to take a look at all the new music we can look forward to during the next twelve months. Here we list our ten most anticipated releases for 2014. Some of these bands are confirmed to release new music, as early as January, others are more wishful thinking based on statements from various band members. So let’s see what 2014 (hopefully) has in store for us! Be sure to post your own top ten in the comments section.
1. Bruce Springsteen
For someone at his level, Bruce Springsteen is way more productive than he needs to be, having released five albums in the past ten years. On January 14 it is time for High Hopes, a collection of covers, and reworked unreleased material. Some of the recording for the album took place while on tour in Australia earlier in the year when Tom Morello was filling in for Steven Van Zandt. Morello is reportedly playing on eight of the album’s twelve tracks, which also feature late E Street Band members Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons.
Could this be the biggest release of 2014? U2 bassist Adam Clayton has said that he hopes the band will wrap up recording for their next studio album before the holidays. “We're in the studio. We're trying to get these 12 songs absolutely right and get them finished by the end of November, and then we can kind of enjoy Christmas,” Clayton said on 98 FM’s Dermot and Dave show. Rumor has it that the band will announce the new album for an April release during a Super Bowl commercial. If the new U2 song “Ordinary Love” is any indication of the band’s sound for the upcoming album we are in for something very special.
It’s been five years since Metallica released their latest studio album, Death Magnetic. In the years since its release, James Hetfield and the boys have been busy doing extensive touring, and working on their 3D movie Metallica Through The Never that came out in September. But both Hetfield, and bassist Robert Trujillo have hinted at 2014 being the year that the band record their next album. Said Hetfield in an interview with Oakland Press : “Hopefully it happens soon. I'm itchin'. We have tons of material to sift through. That takes a lot of time, because there's a lot of great stuff,” said Hetfield. In terms of a timeframe for when recordings will start, Hetfield said: “We go full-throttle into something and multitasking is not what we're after. So the next record will hopefully start some time in the spring.” Trujillo told Classic Rock: “In 2014 it’ll be all about getting new music – without any interruptions, hopefully.” Does this mean we can expect a new Metallica album to hit the shelves in late 2014? In any case we’re keeping our fingers crossed.
4. Foo Fighters
After what was probably the shortest hiatus in history, workaholic Foo Fighters main man Dave Grohl revealed back in August that the band’s next album has already been written. “It's a little way off – it's not ready to happen right now, but I think next year is going to be a really big year for the Foo Fighters without question. It's going to be great, I can't wait.“ Grohl told XFM when asked about when recording will start. Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett echoed Grohl’s statement in an interview with Rolling Stone, saying: “We're going to start recording the new Foo Fighters record at the beginning of next year.”
Despite Myles Kennedy being busy touring with his band Alter Bridge at the moment, it looks as though the singer will get together with Slash to record a new album during 2014. Back in July Slash told The Salt Lake Tribune that he had started working on demos for his third solo album: “We’re actually working up the next one as we speak. Myles has a new album coming out and then a tour, so it’ll be after that. But I’m working on material, I’ll send it to him, and he’ll come in and record. It’ll be out early next year.” Myles Kennedy confirmed the plans in an interview with Billboard: “We'll probably get together here later with the other guys, start chipping away at some things, and the goal is to record it next year.”
It seems as if Slipknot will begin work on album number five in 2014. It will be the first album since the death of bassist Paul Gray. “We’re just getting demos together right now, and [we're] hoping to get into the studio in the summer next year,” said Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor during the Bass Player LIVE! Concert and Awards Show (via Metal Hammer). “ Taylor also shared some insight as to what we can expect the new music to sound like: “It’s very heavy. I mean, just based on the stuff that I’ve been demoing and the stuff that I’ve been working with Joey [Jordison, Slipknot drummer] on, honestly, it’s like Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) meets Iowa. It’s really dark, but there’s some really good esoteric stuff to it, a lot of good melody without taking away from the heaviness. It’s gonna be pretty rad.”
7. Linkin Park
Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park spoke of the band’s follow up to 2012’s Living Things during a fan Q&A (via Ultimate-Guitar). According to Shinoda the band is still evolving sonically: “I think that we're still in the changing mode,” said Shinoda. “Our first two records were really like brother albums, they were similar in style and then after that we just really tried to branch away - try different things, stretch ourselves creatively, learn new things in the studio, play with new styles of music.” Mike had some really positive news regarding the next Linkin Park album, saying: “We're in the studio working right now, I was with Chester just last night - Chester and Brad and Joe - and we were writing some new stuff," said Mike. “So hopefully we would like to get something out to people next year.”
8. Band of Skulls
British blues rock trio Band of Skulls have announced the release of their third album in 2014. Himalayan will be released on March 31, and it’s preceded by the first single “Asleep At The Wheel” on January 5. The album is produced by Nick Launay who has worked with Arcade Fire, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs in the past. Band of Skulls have a UK tour lined up in conjunction with the album release, as well as a few dates around Europe. Since Band of Skulls tend to have a heavy touring schedule, it is probably safe to assume that the band will make their way Stateside sometime during 2014 as well.
9. The Darkness
British retro glam rock act The Darkness are supposed to release studio album number four during 2014. This is according to an interview with guitarist Dan Hawkins in Billboard earlier in the year: “It'll be out in 2014,” says Hawkins. “This year we'll be touring (to support Hot Cakes) and writing, then early 2014 we'll hopefully be recording it or continuing to write it, and get it out later that year.”
10. Manic Street Preachers
Fresh off their 2013 release Rewind the Film Manic Street Preachers announced they will be releasing yet another new album in 2014, entitled Futurology. As opposed to the acoustic sound of Rewind the Film, Futurology is supposed to be a rock record. Manic singer and guitarist James Dean Bradfield spoke about the upcoming release in an interview with NME: “It's a lot spikier and shinier. It's much more band-based, a tiny bit of krautrock influence. It's not like 'The Holy Bible' but there's a bit of the same intent and threat.”
Hot on the heels of the US Top 40 chart result for brand new album Life Love & Hope, classic rockers Boston have unveiled their version of the Christmas carol "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," titled 'God Rest Ye Metal Gentlemen."
As well as Boston mastermind Tom Scholz, the song features Kimberley Dahme on bass and lead vocal, Gary Pihl and Scholz on vocals and guitars, along with Tom Hambridge on drums. "This was my chance to Boston-ize one of my favorite Christmas carols," Scholz says. "I had so much fun with this one, I think I'll have to try a few more."
Live Love & Hope was more than a decade in the making, and it debuted at number 37 on the Billboard 200 chart following its December 3 release.
Def Leppard’s 2013 concert film, Viva! Hysteria, will be the centerpiece of 12 hours of special programming on December 29 on AXS TV. Shot earlier this year during the band’s multi-show residency in Las Vegas, Viva! Hysteria features a performance of Def Leppard’s multi-platinum 1987 album, Hysteria, in its entirety. As indicated on the band’s website, members of Def Leppard will also provide “exclusive commentary” throughout the day during broadcasts of other seminal concert films, including performances by KISS, Bon Jovi, the New York Dolls, Sammy Hagar and Friends, and the TV premiere of Cheap Trick at Budokan – The 35th Anniversary Performance Live From the El Rey. Speaking with Rolling Stone this fall, Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen described the Viva! Hysteria concert as “the best live performance we’ve ever captured, and better than most other bands.” He added: "We sounded 20 years younger [with] an aggression that for some reason we haven't had on previous live recordings. It had a punk ethos."
A generous collection of rare Beatles material is slated for release exclusively on iTunes next week. As reported by NME.com, the 59-track album will be comprised of 15 studio outtakes and 44 live BBC tracks that were not included on 1994’s Live at the BBC, or on On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2. Various sources have reported the new album will be titled The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963, but that information is not confirmed. News of the rarities album comes fast on the heels of the announcement that the band’s 13 American-version albums will be released as part of a box set called, simply, The U.S. Albums. Slated to hit stores in North America on January 21, the box set begins with 1964’s Meet the Beatles! and concludes with 1970’s Hey Jude. Many of the Fab Four’s American albums featured songs, mixes and album art that were different from their U.K. counterparts.
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich is a bit queasy about the band’s upcoming tour. It’s not the playing live part that has Ulrich nervous, but the fact fans will get to pick Metallica’s set list for each night.
Speaking with BBC Radio 1, Ulrich says even though he doesn’t know what to expect from the fans’ picks, he’s glad someone else is making the call on what to play on the trek.
“It certainly gives me butterflies in the stomach in a good way and I think it should be a lot of fun for the fans,” he said. “This at least put a stop to the whining about the set list because it’s basically the fans that’s picking it.”
Ulrich also said he’s excited to play a new song during the tour, even if he’s not quite sure which tune they’ll pick.
“Since 2014 is basically about the next Metallica record and we’re so excited about writing and getting all that off the ground that it only is right to bring a new song out there,” he said. “Obviously we haven’t quite figured out what that’s gonna be, but as we get a little closer, hopefully we’ll come up with something cool.”
The tour, dubbed the “Metallica by Request” tour, will kick off May 28 and travel through a collection of European countries through July 11.
New York City will host a four-day event this February in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ famed first trip to the U.S.
The event, dubbed NYC Beatles 50, is set for Feb. 6 through 9 and will feature a collection of Beatles-friendly tribute shows at different venues around New York City.
A few of the planned shows include a star-studded concert, called “America Celebrates The Beatles, All-Star Concert,” on Feb. 7 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and a two-day event, named the "Across the Universe" Beatles Music Festival, on Feb. 8 and 9 that will feature an all-day series of performances by a variety of artists.
The folks behind the event have invited 50 bands from 50 different countries to be a part of the festivities. Admission to most events is $50 or less. Proceeds raised during the four days will go towards the Food Bank for New York City.
Black Sabbath’s return is not slowing down. The group have earned Grammy nominations for “Best Rock Album” for their album 13, along with “Best Metal Performance” and “Best Rock Song” for “God Is Dead?”
The band have won a Grammy before, for “Best Metal Performance” in 2000 for “Iron Man” from the band's Reunion live album. But Sabbath still appreciate the nod after all these years.
“We are ecstatic, surprised and very happy!” singer Ozzy Osbourne said about the latest Grammy nomination. But whether there is time for another new Sabbath album, who knows. Ozzy said, “I don’t want to say there’s going to be another album, because I don’t want you to ask me in another year, ‘What happened when you said you were going to do another record?’ I’ll leave it open. I’m open for anything. I have three albums to deliver of my own solo thing to my record label.”
The 56th annual Grammy Awards will take place January 26, 2014, at the Los Angeles Staples Center.
Metallica are now the first band that to play all seven continents. The show, which was dubbed “Freeze ‘Em All” took place inside a small dome at the Argentine Antarctic base Carlini Station. The audience of 120 people consisted of scientists as well as fans who had won a trip to the gig through Coca Cola Zero.
Due to rules set forth to protect the local environment, Metallica played without amplification, and the sound of the instruments was transmitted to headphones worn by all audience members. Fans around could watch the show via a live stream, and it was also filmed for a later release.
Metallica said about the show on their Facebook page: “This was the most unique show Metallica has ever done. The band, contest winners, research station scientists (from Russia, South Korea, China, Poland, Chile, Brazil and Germany), and the ship crew, all crammed in this little dome out on the helipad of Carlini Station in ANTARCTICA! The energy in the little dome was amazing! Words can not describe how happy everyone was.”
Metallica played a ten song set that lasted about an hour. Here’s the setlist: