April 24, 2005

FRASER COMES ALIVE

There was no report on this site of alleged Andy Fraser death, as the sources in the know kept silence of it. With much more gladness than sadness, the news came in on the former FREE bassist – ah, that “Mr. Big” three-minute solo! – and co-writer of the perennial “All Right Now” being alive. Not so well but alive and ready to present his new album, “Naked… And Finally Free!”, his first in 21 years, to the public. Where has Toby been for so long is revealed on Fraser’s just-opened website. Andy gracefully agreed to be interviewed, so expect the transcript to appear here.

DRAMATICALLY WHITE

That’s the brief one. WHITE may be not very original name for a band, yet when the band is fronted – or, in this case, backed, perhaps – by YES’ own Alan White. Well, this could be another project for a great drummer if not for another bright star, keyboardist Geoff Downes, who’s to be touring and recording with the group. Most known for the work in THE BUGGLES and ASIA, between these two ensembles Downes played in YES, on 1980’s “Drama”. So here’s a reunion of sorts.

A BUILT-IN REMEDY

This was touched on before, but now the “Live” DVD by Steve Howe’s REMEDY, out on May 23rd, gets a detailed tracklisting for both main features, and it looks like this:

Live
1. Small Acts of Human Kindness
2. Sensitive Chaos
3. Country Viper
4. Diary Of A Man Who Vanished
5. Across The Cobblestone
6. The Nature Of The Sea
7. While Rome’s Burning
8. Wurm
9. Where I Belong
10. Pennants
11. Excerpt from ‘Close to the Edge’
12. So Bad
13. America / Southern Solo
14. Lost Symphony
15. Raga / My White Bicycle
Acoustic
1. Excerpt from ‘The Ancient’
2. J’s Theme
3. Mood For A Day
4. Intersection Blues
5. To Be Over
6. Second Initial
7. Clap

ABANDONED PLACES

Among the artists EMI pride themselves on are DEEP PURPLE – the “Machine Head” 25th anniversary edition has even been released as part of the label’s 100th anniversary series – but now, after classic their classic years spent on EMI in the ’70s and “Live At Olympia”, “Abandon” and “Bananas” released by the corporation in more recent times, the band left their nest. Where the Purple ones will go is not announced yet, but one is for sure: new label is to believe in the group’s strength more than EMI who didn’t risk putting out a new version of “Concerto For Group And Orchestra”, or “Live In Concert with London Simphony Orchestra”, back in 2000.

WHAT A SCENE! WHAT A SCENE!

The promise is kept. EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER release a 1974’s performance from Ontario Speedway, an event known as California Jam, in its entirety. And that’s only a part of marvellous 2DVD-package called “Beyond The Beginning”, to be released on June 13th: there’s a helluva rare and previously unreleased material, like the 1973 rehearsal footage, and newbies such as the story of the band’s record artwork. From the very off to the late ’90s stuff, it’s what no progster can live without.

DVD 1:

Before The Beginning – Promo Videos
1. America (THE NICE, 1969 Beat Club)
2. Fire (THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN, 1969 Beat Club)
3. 21st Century Schizoid Man (KING CRIMSON, 1969)
ELP In Pictures
1. Take A Pebble (1970 The Beat Club)
2. Knife Edge (1970 Belgium)
3. Rondo / Pictures (Isle of Wight 1970)
4. Rondo (1970 Belgium)
5. Lucky Man (1970 Belgium)
6. Tarkus / Eruption (Japanese Promo)
7. Hoedown (1973 Manticore)
8. Tank (1973 Manticore)
9. Still You Turn Me On (1974 California Jam)
10. Karn Evil 9 (1974 Cal Jam)
11. I Believe In Father Christmas (1975 Original Promo)
12. Honky Tonk Train Blues (1976 Oscar Peterson Show)
13. Tocatta (1976 Aquarius)
14. Fanfare For The Common Man (1977)
15. Pirates (1977 Montreal)
16. Tiger In The Spotlight (1977 Pop Rock)
17. Watching Over You (1978 Memphis)
18. Tarkus (1992 Royal Albert Hall)
19. Touch And Go (1997 Budapest)

DVD 2:

California Jam 1974
1. Tocatta
2. Still You Turn Me On
3. Lucky Man
4. Piano improvisations
5. Take A Pebble
6. Karn Evil 9 1st impression part 2
7. Karn Evil 9 3rd impression
8. Spinning Piano
9. Great Gates of Kiev
“Beyond The Beginning”

April 9, 2005

DOIN’ THE STRAND TREND

Live shows of reformed ROXY MUSIC proved they still are a storming success, not a bunch of old tarts as many glam-slanderers considered them to have become. Now the band want to show their strut once again, so they embarked in the studio to record a new album, their first album since 1982’s “Avalon”. More grit to that, the rumors have it as the record will feature not only the quartet of Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay and Paul Thompson who are announced to perform at the Isle Of Wight Festival in June, but also Brian Eno. Well, in every dream home a heartache, yet why not hope?

GOING DOWN THE GLORY ROAD

There’s some anniversary! 2005 marks 40 years of Ian Gillan working his cords in the music business. In order to celebrate it in style, Ian, taking his time while DEEP PURPLE are on hold and their new album yet to be recorded, relocated to the USA to nail down a sort of anthology. Tentatively called “Gillan’s Inn”, it covers all eras of the singer’s remarkable career and will feature some remarkable guests. Among the chosen ones are former bandmates Jon Lord and Tony Iommi, and Uli Jon Roth and Luciano Pavarotti. As much as it is tempting to imagine Lucky Luciano sing BLACK SABBATH’s “Thrashed”, the Italian tenor is to join the English on “Smoke On The Water”. The record is said to be accompanied by a documentary aimed for English TV and a DVD release. Regarding the material, the songs Gillan took to re-recording include:
– I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
– Can I Get a Witness
– Bluesy Blue Sea
– Speed King
– When A Blind Man Cries
– Demon’s Eye
– Hang Me Out To Dry
– Sugar Plum
– Men Of War
– No Laughing In Heaven
– Trashed
– Smoke On The Water

OPPRESSION WITHIN

A fencer, a pilot, a siren, that’s all about Bruce Dickinson. Heavily involved with IRON MAIDEN – soon to venture on the road for their trek to include the OzzFest dates alongside BLACK SABBATH – the singer felt free enough to do a solo album, the previous one being 1998’s “Chemical Wedding”. Out on May 23rd, “Tyranny Of Souls” seems to be another concept record, co-written with a guitarist Roy Z. Nothing extraordinary, then… except for the voice, that is.

1. Mars Within (Intro)
2. Abduction
3. Soul Intruders
4. Kill Devil Hill
5. Navigate The Seas Of The Sun
6. River Of No Return
7. Power Of The Sun
8. Devil On A Hog
9. Believil
10. A Tyranny Of Souls

STILL THE CHAMPIONS

The QUEEN + Paul Rodgers tour moves on with thunderbolt and lightning, and even the world mourning for the Pope didn’t prevent the mighty combo to perform in Rome. After almost a week behind the schedule, the live downloads started to appear in the Queen Store; these can be purchased for only p0.99 per track to be burned later onto either your own CDR or, what’s better, onto a special packaged blank CD available in the said webshop. The delay pushed the fans to do what they would’ve done anyway, which is spread the bootleg audio and poor quality video (there’s the Paris’ one) recording over the web. Judge not the fans, yet judge the music to see what a great job Paul, Brian and Rog do. For the curious: the show opener, “Reaching Out”, isn’t the new song – although new material might come out from the collaboration – but the wonderful charity single Rodgers and May released as “Rock Therapy” way back in 1996.

PRAYIN’ 4 AN “ICON”

With a hatchet of the John Wetton and Geoff Downes – if there ever was one – buried at 2002’s Wetton Fan Convention, the promised new project by the two ASIA founder members finally comes to a fruition. Under their own names, as Downes still leads the Wetton-less band. But that were John’s old friends and collaborators – RENAISSANCE’s own Annie Haslam, Ian McDonald of KING CRIMSON and FOREIGNER fame and Hugh McDowell from ELO, plus JADIS’ Steve Christey on drums and ARENA guitarist John Mitchell – who helped the duo record “Icon”. Out on May 16th, the album looks like this:

1. Overtoure: Paradox
2. Let Me Go
3. God Walks With Us
4. I Stand Alone
5. Meet Me At Midnight
6. Hey Josephine
7. Far Away
8. Please, Change Your Mind
9. Sleep Angel
10. Spread Your Wings
11. In The End
12. I Wish I Could be in Your Bed (bonus track)

Still, there’s a possibility the record will be released without the bonus cut – but will come prefaced with an EP comprised of these songs:
1. Heat Of The Moment (2005 version)
2. I Wish I Could Be In Your Bed
3. Paradox / Let Me Go (alt. version)
4. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (unplugged new version)

ACROSS THE RIVER OF HADES

According to the Greek mythology, those crossing the river of underworld were subject to lose their memories of their living world past. The ancient called the river Styx. Yet those who form the band called STYX don’t forget where they come from and what they were brought up on. Coming back to their pre-fame beginnings, the veterans call their new disc “Big Bang Theory”, though it needs no theorising as the content is cover versions. Done STYX-style, of course.

1. Blue Collar Man 2004 (STYX)
2. I Can See For Miles (THE WHO)
3. Summer In The City (THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL)
4. A Salty Dog (PROCOL HARUM)
5. Can’t Find My Way Home (BLIND FAITH)
6. Manic Depression (Jimi Hendrix)
7. Locomotive Breath (JETHRO TULL)
8. Wishing Well (FREE)
9. I Am The Walrus (THE BEATLES)
10. Find The Cost Of Freedom (Crosby, Stills & Nash)
11. It Don’t Make Sense (Willie Dixon)
12. Talkin’ About The Good Times (PRETTY THINGS)
13. I Don’t Need No Doctor (HUMBLE PIE)
14. One Way Out (ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND)

HERE THEY GO AGAIN

Better late than never, but here they come alive. M3 CLASSIC WHITESNAKE make slow an’ easy yet steady, and after a live album out is going to be a live DVD, titled quite humbly, “Rough An’ Ready”. The show preserved on it in June 2004 features a half of the mighty WHITESNAKE line-up – guitarists Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody and bassist Neil Murray – plus Mark Stanway of MAGNUM fame on keyboards and Jimmy Copley (ex-Paul Rodgers band) on drums. With vocals, it’s more interesting, as there are two singers to be seen, and none of them is former BLACK SABBATH’s frontman, Tony Martin, who was first at it with M3. His temporary replacement was Doogie White, who took sabbatical then from work with Yngwie Malmsteen before stepping out to let in Stefan Berggren, the mic-handler with M3’s predecessor THE COMPANY OF SNAKES. That’s why there are bootleg clips alongside interviews on the DVD. As for the main content, it’s all classic fare.

1. Here I Go Again
2. Trouble
3. Ready An’ Willing
4. Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City
5. Lonely Days, Lonely Nights
6. Hit An’ Run
7. Slow An’ Easy
8. Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues
9. Fool For Your Loving
10. Don’t Break My Heart Again

FROM BEHIND THE VEIL OF MIRAGE

There was a great man called Pete Bardens. Mostly known for his miraculous keyboard work with CAMEL, his was a larger than life personality, and his other bands always featured some good musos, such as Peter Green, Rod Stewart and Mick Fleetwood. Having passed away three years ago, Bardens’ proper anthology was long overdue, so here comes one, “Write My Name In The Dust”, which encompasses the main body of Peter’s work – lacking, strangely, tracks by his ’90s ensemble, MIRAGE. Still, the compilation is a must-have item.

1. Respectable (THE CHEYNES)
2. Soul Dressing (Peter B’s LOONERS)
3. If You Wanna Be Happy
(Peter B’s LOONERS)
4. Outrage (Peter B’s LOONERS)
5. Indian Thing (SHOTGUN EXPRESS)
6. Man In The Moon (VILLAGE)
7. Long Time Coming (VILLAGE)
8. Answer
9. Don’T Goof With The Spook
10. I Can’T Remember
11. I Don’T Want To Go Home
12. Let’S Get It On
13. Homage To The God Of Light
14. Long Ago & Far Away
15. Everything Alright
16. North End Road
17. Write My Name In The Dust
18. Down So Long
19. Sweet Honey Wine
20. Tear Down The Wall
21. Simple Song
22. My House
23. Feeling High
24. Blueser
25. Supertwister (CAMEL)
26. Flight Of The Snow Goose
(CAMEL)
27. Zone
28. Making Waves
29. Spirit Of The Water
30. Take Back Your Power
31. High

April 24, 2005

Category(s): News

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