March 15, 2007

A REASON TO BE LEAVING

Why the site’s not been updated for some time and what DME’s been up to during February? The answer’s here. Now everything’s back!

ABOUT TIME

Some people are two lazy to be sitting comfortably and enjoy their days-off. Such is the YES drummer Alan White who, having put out the first album< of his WHITE project in 2005, wasn’t keen of waiting until his main collective are back into action. So Alan joined forces with YES’ first keyboard player, Tony Kaye, Billy Sherwood, another YES collaborator and singer Jimmy Haun in a band called CIRCA: – sic, with a colon, in order to add a year to the name. Which means it’s supposed to be a long-playing thing. And the group’s first long-player, “Circa: 2007” is ready now. With no idea as to what their “dynamic new sound” is, you can be sure, it’ll be interesting.

HOW SWEET THE SOUND

Joint tour with Jon Anderson over – sadly and strangely not committed to tape – Rick Wakeman steps back onto the God’s way with “Amazing Grace”, a collection of traditional hymns such as the titular one and popular songs like “Morning Has Broken” that Wakeman first recorded when backing Cat Stevens. Out on April 2nd, to coincide with the Easter festivities, it’s a DVD and CD package which finds Rick recording live in the studio on the grand piano – set to nice visuals on the DVD. Full tracklisting still a mystery, but among the compositions are new arrangements of, besides those aforementioned, “All Things Bright And Beautiful”, “Ode To Joy”, “Jerusalem” and “Abide With Me”. Both audio and video versions of the programme will be made available for digital download.

Once this is through with, the caped crusader is going to start laying down the tracks for “Retro 2”, a follow-up to the last year’s album on which Rick employed his old keyboard machinery that sometimes dictated how the things should be done.

Yet meanwhile, there’s a new archive recordings by Wakeman are out, on the “Live At The BBC” double-CD set. Two concerts, both previously unreleased and only partly broadcast. The ENGLISH ROCK ENSEMBLE on the shows were, alongside Rick, Ashley Holt on vocals, Tony Fernandez on drums and John Dunsterville on guitar, plus Martin Shields and Reg Brooks on trumpet and trombone respectively. This is something that every fan needs – now bring on the complete “King Arthur” live recording!

Disc 1:

BBC Radio 1 ‘In Concert’
Hammersmith Odeon, London
June 17th, 1976 

1. Music Reincarnate –
Part III, The Spaceman
2. Catherine Howard
3. Sir Lancelot And The Black Knight
4. Arthur
5. Music Reincarnate –
Part IV, The Realisation
6. The Forest
7. Catherine Parr
8. The Prisoner
9. Merlin The Magician

Disc 2:

BBC TV ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’
The Maltings, Farnham, Surrey
April 27th, 1976

1. Recollection
2. Music Reincarnate –
Part IV, The Realisation
3. Sir Lancelot And The Black Knight
4. Music Reincarnate –
Part III, The Spaceman
5. Catherine Parr
6. The Prisoner
7. Merlin The Magician

THE SHELTER SEEKERS

Great prog trios have always been in short supply, and REFUGEE were really great – yet not so much appreciated. They were THE NICE alumni Brian Davison and Lee Jackson, the famous Davjack, on drum ‘n’ bass, and Swiss keyboard maestro Patrick Moraz. Having come into the world in 1973, the following year the band yielded their eponymous album – and split when Moraz was called into the YES fold as a Rick Wakeman replacement. No further recordings have been made but recently a concert tape surfaced, which is now, with full co-operation of all three musos is out as “Live in Concert – Newcastle City Hall 1974”. A document of great importance…

1. Outro – Ritt Mickley
2. One Left Handed Peter Pan
3. The Diamond Hard Blues Apples of the Moon
4. Someday 5. Papillon 6. She Belongs To Me
7. Grand Canyon Suite:
a) The Source
b) Theme For The Canyon
c) The Journey
d) Rapids
e) The Mighty Colorado
8. Refugee Jam

CRASH LANDING

His records often has spaceships on the covers, and his music was cosmic, too. Nobody knows what happened at Bred Delp‘s home on March 9th but it seems the BOSTON singer decided he didn’t want to live no more. If there was more than a feeling, he just went over to the other side. A tragic loss at just 55.

ON TO THE ISLAND AVALON

It’s better to repeat the old interview preface than to find new words when the words slip away:
What do KING CRIMSON and Bob Dylan have in common? At the first glance, it seems not much – perhaps, a word “legend” will do nicely. Look closer still, and you will see one more thing, although calling so a man with a renown like Ian Wallace‘s would be insulting. His name – and, what’s more important, his drumming – enhances many great records, CRIMSO’s “Islands” and Bob’s “At Budokan” being just two. But there’s much more to the man, who has been doing his work for thirty five years …”
There was more. On February 22nd, Ian Wallace, a genuine soul man aged 60, passed away after a battle with cancer he’d been in for about a year. Already taken ill, Ian still played – and CRIMSON JAZZ TRIO will be a lasting testament to his gentle touch and pure feeling. God rest ya merry gentleman.

STRONG ENOUGH TO FIGHT AND WIN

It was a strange – and sad – sensation back in January when Lee Kerslake left URIAH HEEP due to deteriorating health. On board since 1972 and on leave only in 1980-1981 when Lee banged the skins for Ozzy Osbourne, he’s been a HEEP backbone column. So let’s wish the big man with a big heart to get well and enjoy life as Kerslake used to.

His absense, though, created a big hole in the band’s ranks. Mick Box and Co having to find no less great hiiter who’s a nice personality to boot. Cue Russell Gilbrook, who previously played with Van Morrison, Pete Bardens and Chris Barber to name just a few. That’s what Mick said about him, “Once Russell started playing we just knew he was the man for the job. There were smiles all around and he made the drum stool his”. Now, the band are on their way to studio to start recording HEEP’s first album since 1998, later this month.

On the sadder note, URIAH HEEP’s early drummer Keith Baker who also was a member of BAKERLOO, with Clem Clempson, is fighting prostate cancer at the moment. There’s a chance to send Keith an encouraging note through Mike Taylor at [email protected] – just put a “Message for Keith Baker” in the subject line.

SENSUAL HEALING

The band that SLADE are now ain’t the SLADE the fans used to love. Without Noddy Holder siren it’s void of erstwhile appeal – but no less instrumental in the quartet tremendous success was their bassist and violin player, Jim Lea who co-wrote most of the group’s material. Holding bitter feelings after leaving the ensemble, he released a handful of singles, most recently “I’ll Be John, You Be Yoko” in 1999 under his second name, Whild. But now Jim’s back and as James Whild Lea has released his real debut album, “Therapy”, available for download at his new web site. Gathering mixed reviews, Lea’s a welcome comeback anyway.

1. Heaven Can Wait
2. Big Family
3. The Smile Of Elvis
4. Dead Rock U.K.
5. Could God Be A Woman
6. Go Out In Style
7. Universe
8. Time And Emotion
9. Your Cine World
10. The Valley Of The Kings
11. Why Is Youth Always Wasted On the Young
12. Notice
13. Let Me Be Your Therapy

LIVING ON BORROWED TIME

Always a dependable thing, a new album from Joe Lynn Turner“Second Hand Life”, holds a real surpise in it. Perhaps, the only singer who worked and remained friends with volatile Ritchie Blackmore – lending his voice to RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE and even BLACKMORE’S NIGHT – he’s cut a new version of the song co-written with Ritchie, Roger Glover and SURVIVOR’s Jim Peterik for the “Slave And Masters” follow-up that never were in the form they wanted. Instead, “Stroke Of Midnight” appeared on 1993’s “The Battle Rages On”, which featured Ian Gillan on vocals, as “One Man’s Meat”. But that’s only one of the tracks on this fine new record.

1. Love Is Life
2. Got Me Where You Want Me
3. Second Hand Life
4. In Your Eyes
5. Blood Red Sky
6. Stroke Of Midnight
7. Over The Top
8. Cruel
9. Sweet Obsession
10. Love Is On Our Side
11. Two Lights (European bonus)

MORNING HAS BROKEN

There’s been many albums that got shelved and only recently started seeing the the light of day but it’s not that often that it’s the first album destined to be gathering dust. But it was that way with WISHBONE ASH. Before thay gained attention and acclaim for their eponymous debut LP in 1970, , Ted Turner, Martin Turner and Steve Upton laid down – over one night – the tracks for what’s gone down in the band’s myth as “First Light”. The aim was to demo their skills and grab a good record deal. And what might be better than a contract with The Fabs’ Apple Corps? Sent there for mastering, though, the tapes remained there for three and a half decades until they were bought at the Christie’s recently. The Apple deal didn’t happen, of course, WISHBONE ASH signed with MCA yet the band have always had a soft spot for that lost record which will be out on April 2nd, still fresh and raw. Some compositions that are there found their way into the quartet’s catalogue, some will be new for the fans’ ears. Here’s what’s in store:

1. Lady Whiskey
2. Roads Of Day To Day (unreleased)
3. Blind Eye
4. Joshua (unreleased)
5. Queen Of Torture
6. Alone (with vocals)
7. Handy
8. Errors Of My Way

REALLY YING

John Lennon cover album isn’t a rare thing, yet it’s not so often when the one’s being done for such noble matter as battling the catastrophe in Darfur province, Sudan, where death reigns. That’s why Amnesty International embarked on a project called “Instant Karma”. Out on June 12th, the record will feature such luminaries as Christina Aguilera and Regina Spektor, SNOW PATROL and GREEN DAY. Who’ll be singing what didn’t still leaked out into the known – save for “#9 Dream” cut by the original R.E.M. quartet. This songs is available already as digital download.

THE ENDING IS JUST THE BEGINNER

HEAVEN AND HELL – that’s Messrs Tony Iommi, Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice – are on the road now, playing the material from all three albums BLACK SABBATH laid down with Dio plus three new songs they recorded last year for the “Black Sabbath: The Dio Years” compilation, out on April 3rd: “The Devil Cried”, “Shadow Of The Wind” and “Ear In The Wall” that sound more like their latter day efforts rather than classic fare. To coincide with the tour, Rhino Handmade is putting out a live recording, “Black Sabbath: Live At Hammersmith Odeon”, on May 1st. This previously unreleased document from 1981 featuring rare on-stage renditions of “Slipping Away” and “Country Girl” will be available from Rhino Handmade as an individually numbered limited edition of 5,000 copies. Time to hurry!

1. E5150
2. Neon Knights
3. N.I.B.
4. Children Of The Sea
5. Country Girl
6. Black Sabbath
7. War Pigs
8. Slipping Away
9. Iron Man
10. The Mob Rules
11. Heaven And Hell
12. Paranoid
13. Voodoo
14. Children Of The Grave

A HANDFUL OF HOLLERS

Strange but Ennio Morricone as popular a tunesmith as he is didn’t become a part of the rock idiom and, save for the BABE RUTH’s “First Base” that featured two spaghetti-western-meister’s compositions, it’s not that easy to recall other versions of his melodies played by rockers. Now that’s something to remember: an album called “We All Love Ennio Morricone” where tribute to the great Italian is paid by loud names including METALLICA, Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters. The street date is for the record is February 23rd.

1. I Knew I Loved You – Celine Dion
2. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – Quincy Jones feat. Herbie Hancock
3. Once Upon a Time in the West – Bruce Springsteen
4. Conradiana – Andrea Bocelli
5. The Ecstasy of Gold – METALLICA
6. Malena – Yo-Yo Ma
7. Come Sail Away – Renee Fleming
8. Gabriel’s Oboe – Ennio Morricone
9. Conmigo – Daniela Mercury feat. Eumir Deodato
10. La Luz Prodigiosa – Dulce Pontes
11. Love Affair – Chris Botti
12. Je Changerais d’Avis – Vanessa and THE O’s
13. Lost Boys Calling – Roger Waters
14. The Tropical Variation – Ennio Morricone
15. Could Heaven – Denyce Graves
16. Addio Monti – Taro Hakase
17. Cinema Paradiso – Ennio Morricone

May 15, 2008

Category(s): News

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