June 10, 2009


It was almost bound to happen in June as this month looms large in the SOFT MACHINE legend, but everybody hoped Hugh Hopper, the band’s earth-shattering yet supple bassist, would overcome his illness. Unfortunately, unlike all the music battles Hugh endured, this one the 64-year-old Canterbury scene veteran lost. On June 7th Hopper passed away. But the artiste’s legacy – and SOFT MACHINE LEGACY – lives on, and that’s the way to be remembered, not only sorely missed.


After 25 years of glorious operation – mainly in the field of hard ‘n’ heavy but also with such artists as Loreena McKennitt on the roster – German record company SPV GmbH declared themelves bankrupt on May 25th. Still, the management informed the public that “normal business will continue even after the application for insolvency” and the label continue working in the areas of production and distribution in the usual way whatever it means. So is the ship really sinking?


This year will see a welcome return of German heavyweights ACCEPT who were in limbo since 2005’s reunion of the classic line-up. Recently, though, bassist Peter Baltes and guitarist Wolf Hoffmann found such pleasure in each other’s company that they decided to get to the studio and on-stage again in 2009. Udo Dirkschneider won’t be a part of this, as his U.D.O. band get ready to unleash a new album in August, releasing the limited edition “Infected” EP on June 26th. So ACCEPT’s new frontman is Mark Tornillo who sang previously with the ’80s headbangers TT QUICK. The Deutsch veterans and their American vocalist have already tried the new combination on a version of the band’s master smash “Balls To The Wall”.


It seems Ozzy Osbourne‘s greedy side, or best half, can’t be tamed. First, there were royalties-related lawsuits and replacing Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake’s parts on the singer’s first solo albums. Now, he files a lawsuit against Tony Iommi demanding to share the BLACK SABBATH copyright which, allegedly, the founding guitarist used illegally. What a lie! Having jumped ship in 1979 and produced only two songs with the band twenty years later, Ozz has never been too much interested in al things SABS save for singing the odd hit live, while Iommi has led the ensemble through all these years and reached new hights with other vocalists, including Ronnie James Dio.  This, 1981’s incarnation of the group tours now as HEAVEN AND HELL to distinct themselves from original SABBATH, yet Osbourne’s still irritated and infuriated; but, perhaps, it was Tony’s decision to change his current band’s name that made his old Nemesis take action?


There was a hint when, on 2007’s  Revival John Fogerty set a connection back to his CREEDENCE times, but now he’s linking to his first solo album, 1973’s “Blue Ridge Rangers” – a pure solo record, with John playing not only guitar but all the instruments. Late summer of 2009 will see the release of “The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again”, a real follow-up to Fogerty’s classic LP in the full sense of the word as, like on that record, there’s only country rock covers on it – plus a new take on the veteran’s own “Change In The Weather”, greatly covered in 1993 by Buddy Guy on his Grammy-snatching “Feels Like Rain”. But here’s one big difference: this time, John called to arms some heavy friends including Bruce Springsteen duetting with Forgerty on THE EVERLY BROTHERS’ “When Will I Be Loved” and two EAGLES, Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmit on Rick Nelson’s “Garden Party”. Rootsy! And that’s what makes the new album.

1. Paradise
2. Never Ending Song Of Love
3. Garden Party
4. I Don’t Care (Just As Long As You Love Me)
5. Back Home Again
6. I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)
7. Change In The Weather
8. Moody River
9. Heaven’s Just A Sin Away
10. Fallin’, Fallin’, Fallin’
11. Haunted House
12. When Will I Be Loved


There was the Million Dollar Quartet comprised of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, but price can be tagged on the Paul McCartney  and Bob Dylan collaboration that’s rumored to take place soon with none other than Ringo Starr on drums? Looks quite unlikely, but lately we saw many unlikely things happen, including the remastering of THE BEATLES’ catalogue…


For July, the good folks of Angel Air have something great to offer.

What’s the best hour for Verden Allen to come up with a new, his fourth solo, album if not now, that the keyboardist’s name is the talk of the town with regards to the MOTT THE HOOPLE’s October 2009 reunion? Not that the veteran recorded it on the occasion – it’s been in the works for some time – but, together with Mick Ralphs tour with BAD COMPANY, the album will help get in the mood for some bovvering.

1. My Masochistic Side
2. Find Yourself
3. It’s A Funny Old World
4. Don’t Do This To Me
5. Affected
6. Baby
7. Apollo 09
8. In The City
9. Long Time No See
10. Sweet, Sweet Girl

Another goodie is “Animal Instinct 2” from the roaring ranks of TYGERS OF PAN TANG, a new album laid down in 2008 and updated with five bonus tracks in 2009. This, the label’s 300th, release comes augmented with a concert DVD taped at Berlin Studios in England last year. Quite a package to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary!

Disc 1 – CD
Animal Instinct

1. Rock Candy
2. Cry Sweet Freedom
3. Live For The Day
4. Let It Burn
5. If You See Kay
6. Hot Blooded
7. Devils Find A Fool
8. Winners & Losers
9. Crusin’
10. Bury The Hatchet
11. Dark Rider
bonus tracks:
12. Don’t Say Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Gonna Die
13. Love Potion No 9
14. Raised On Rock
15. Gangland
16. Live For The Day

Disc 2 – DVD
Live From Berlin Studios

1. Intro
2. Hellbound
3. Take It
4. Live For The Day
5. Raised On Rock
6. Suzi Smiled
7. Bury The Hatchet
8. Interview
9. Rock ‘n’ Roll Man
10. Slave To Freedom
11. Euthanasia
12. Love Potion No 9
13. Gangland
Scrapbook Footage Europe 2008



Willie Dixon’s protege, born in Memphis but coming to bluesy age in Chicago, Koko Taylor didn’t get to be portrayed in “Cadillac Records” but the Chess story wouldn’t be full without her name. Moving to Alligator later on, the singer has eight Grammy nominations for the nine albums recorded for the label and, unlike many of her contemporaries, never really slid into obscurity. The last track on the lady’s last record, out in 2007, was Dixon’s “Young Fashioned Ways”; that’s how she lived. Sadly, on June 3rd the 80-year-old veteran passed away. Now all that’s left is her voice preserved for eternity.


Having just bought MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP‘s new, star-sprinkled album, the blonde devil fans will have to shell out some more money on June 22nd, when “Walk The Stage: The Official Bootleg Box Set” is to see the light of day. It’s four CDs and a DVD from the former UFO guitarist’s band’s golden period of early ’80s. While two shows from the same date in Japan might be one too many, as there’s obviously more material which could have been used out there, there’s much to rock out to here.

CD1 – Hammersmith, 25.9.1980

1. Armed And Ready
2. Cry For The Nations
3. Victim Of Illusion
4. Natural Thing
5. Feels Like A Good Thing
6. Into The Arena
7. Looking Out From Nowhere
8. Rock Bottom
9. Tales Of Mystery
10. Lost Horizons
11. Shoot Shoot
12. Doctor Doctor
13. Lights Out

CD2 – Osaka Festival Hall, 19.8.1981
(afternoon show)

1. Armed And Ready
2. Cry For The Nations
3. Attack Of The Mad Axeman
4. But I Want More
5. Victim Of Illusion
6. Into The Arena
7. On And On
8. Never Trust A Stranger
9. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
10. Tales Of Mystery
11. Lost Horizons
12. Doctor Doctor
13. Ready To Rock

CD3 – Osaka Festival Hall, 19.8.1981
(evening show)

1. Armed And Ready
2. Cry For The Nations
3. Attack Of The Mad Axeman
4. But I Want More
5. Victim Of Illusion
6. Into The Arena
7. On And On
8. Never Trust A Stranger
9. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
10. Tales Of Mystery
11. Courvoisier Concert
12. Lost Horizons
13. Doctor Doctor
14. Ready To Rock

CD4 – Reading Festival, 29.8.1982

1. Armed And Ready
2. Cry For The Nations
3. Attack Of The Mad Axeman
4. But I Want More
5. Rock You To The Ground
6. Bijou Pleasurette
7. Feels Like A Good Thing
8. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
9. Courvoisier Concert
10. Lost Horizons
11. Doctor Doctor

DVD – Hammersmith Odeon, 1983

1. Intro
2. Captain Nemo
3. Rock My Nights Away
4. Ready To Rock
5. Cry For The Nations
6. Rock You To The Ground
7. Attack Of The Mad Axeman
8. Into The Arena
9. Courvoisier Concert
10. Rock Will Never Die
11. Desert Song
12. I’m Gonna Make You Mine
13. Red Sky
14. Looking For Love
15. Armed And Ready
16. Doctor Doctor


June 10, 2009

Category(s): News

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