Unless you’ve been living under a rock (no pun intended), you’ve probably noticed that Guns N’ Roses is back in the spotlight. Following an April 2016 reunion between key members Axl Rose and Slash, the band has been on tour more or less without interruption. In fact, that tour – dubbed “Not In This Lifetime” – has been one of the most successful ventures in the music industry over the past two years.
There have been innumerable reviews of GNR’s shows, as well as articles about the general trajectory of the comeback. But to get a little closer to the action, and to put the scope of the comeback in perspective, we’re writing up some of the best individual quotes about it, courtesy of everything from critical commentary to band member comments, and even a game review.
If there’s a progressive musician in a literal sense of this expression, it’s Steve Hillage. For all his pioneering work with the likes of KHAN and GONG, let alone the guitarist’s solo career, Hillage has never cared about sticking to whatever template he created and managed to stay on the cutting edge of artistic aspiration. While occasionally performing with fellow travelers such as Nik Turner, Steve’s other activities keep the veteran occupied on other fronts. His and wife Miquette Giraudy’s electronic/dance project SYSTEM 7 and its chill-out sibling MIRROR SYSTEM are going strong, and June 1st will see their new record. “Café Seven” is a grooves-filled offering where fresh tracks mingle with remixes of pieces by the bands’ friends – running from 135 bpm to no beats at all to encompass the entire gamut of emotions.
It’s been three decades since Jeff Berlin recorded “Joe Frazier” that would become one of the legendary bassist’s signature pieces. Actually the track that appeared on his “Pump It!” album was subtitled “Round 2” as there had been an earlier cut which Berlin submitted in 1980 for “Gradually Going Tornado” by BRUFORD whom Berlin played with. That’s why Jeff’s new take on it bears a “Round 3” tag.
Out on May 11th in variety of formats – vinyl, CD, download – with demos and alternative mixes attached, it’s a fresh reimagining of the classic as delivered by an ensemble featuring, among others such luminaries as David Sancious and Steve Vai; apparently, Chester Thompson – said to be included in the line-up – didn’t make it to the final result. Anyway, the release looks enticing.
It’s difficult to believe that Judy Dyble hasn’t release a solo album for five years now. Yes, there was a live recording in the wake of "Flow And Change" and there was some live performances, including ones with the briefly reformed TRADER HORNE, and session work, yet – apart from the singer’s collaboration with Andy Lewis last year, “Summer Dancing” (not made available for review)– there’s been a half-hiatus on creative front. The more welcome is “Earth Is Sleeping”: scheduled to hit the shelves on July 6th, this record should be a worthy continuation of Judy’s creative renaissance.
An unsung hero of British rock, Paul Raymond may be most renowned for his long-term stint with U.F.O. yet the veteran’s guitar is also prominent on classic records by CHICKEN SHACK and SAVOY BROWN to name but a few ensembles he was in. There are solo albums, too, as well as those credited to PAUL RAYMOND PROJECT – and it’s the latter that will release “High Definition” in the nearest future. One may assume the covers collection would be a continuation of "The Salentino Cuts" which Paul’s main band issued in 2017, although Raymond implemented such an approach back in 2005 on his own “Secret Life” where jazz readings of standards and rock numbers were offered. The new one should be a bit heavier and just as interesting, as the axeman presents personal takes on pieces from artists as varied as Andy Fraser and Irving Berlin, THE YARDBIRDS and Bill Withers, SMALL FACES and David Bowie – and more.