March 21, 2010


While getting ready to release his new album, his first after his comeback and the follow-up to  "Naked... And Finally Free", Andy Fraser presents an EPK for “This Is The Big One”, an environmental awareness-upping song which sees the veteran getting as close as possible to his FREE roots, music-wise. And it’s getting back – and forth, to the present day – that’s the subject of the video posted here for all to see and share the idea of the global climate change impact. It’s a short visual biography highlighting Fraser’s history as a bassist par excellence and a songwriter of the highest calibre whose compositions became hits for the likes of Robert Palmer, and there’s a a recent interview with Andy.

“Coming out of the classic rock era, I grew up with music that carried messages of activism”, says Andy Fraser. “Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and a host of others – they all created music that entered the social consciousness and helped to spark change. I am excited to see a new generation of artists doing the same – and I am happy to be a part of that movement”.

An amazing man – a survivor of both cancer and AIDS, the veteran ain’t gonna stop with his profile on the rise again, as suggested by one of his bass guitars going on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum recently. Expect a new interview with Mr. Big once his new record’s out.


If LED ZEPPELIN were the most famous spin-off of THE YARDBIRDS, the most exquisite are RENAISSANCE who came back recently with two original members. But in this case, “original” wouldn’t be the right word, as after only two albums the band broke up, with its founders Jim McCarthy and Keith Relf leaving the name to their tour guitarist, Michael Dunford. It was him who gathered a new line-up which, fronted by the fabulous Annie Haslam, found the favors of the fans all over the world. With the officially released footage of that new ensemble scarce on the ground, it’s really amazing there’s a visual document of the earlier RENAISSANCE incarnations to be released soon on a DVD titled “Kings & Queens”.

The first two cuts on it capture the first line-up with Jane Relf as the lead singer live on German TV, but the rest is curiosier still, as Alice would say: the four tracks feature the transitional line-up that lasted just three months, with Mike Dunford and keyboard player Jon Tout already in place for the fame quest – joined by the famous drummer Terry Slade and bassist Neil Korner, plus a pair of vocalists, Terry Crowe and Binky Cullom. Alongside songs from the band’s two albums, they perform “Widdicombe Fair” which RENAISSANCE never came to record in a studio. A real treat.

1. Island
2. Kings & Queens
3. Kings & Queens
4. Golden Thread
5. Mr. Pine
6. Face Of Yesterday
7. Widdicombe Fair


It’s sad. It’s a tragedy. Having suffered a heart attack in New Orleans, Alex Chilton died aged only 59. But it’s even impossible to think of him as someone nudging 60, as Chilton belonged to the “forever young” category – both in his heart and his music. A teenage prodigy, Alex scored big with a blue-eyed soul combo THE BOX TOPS, “The Letter” heard by everyone including those who never heard the name of the singer. Yet the man’s main claim to fame – if there was such a claim – lay with BIG STAR, arguably the most English band to have come out of the ’70s America. From “#1 Record” on, Chilton had been pursuing his singular vision of music that made him slow down the pace in later times – but the legend blossomed. It’s only in 2009 that all the BIG STAR albums were re-issued and the band’s output was anthologized in a box set. On the forefront again, many expected something new from the veteran – but not the news of this kind. R.I.P.


With Sharon’s iron grip on all things Oz, it’s hard to imagine this can be possible, yet Voiceprint has announced the forthcoming release of the “Blizzard Of Oz: Diary Of A Madman Tour 1982” DVD and CD, a package which will a reproduction programme from the tour that saw Ozzy Osbourne coming to grips with the death of his sidekick Randy Rhoads. Having killed himself on the fly, the guitar wiz had been replaced by Brad Gillis, and it was him that the cameras captured for posterity at the Irvine Meadows on June 12th, 1982. It’s this concert the subject of the new release which will see the light of day soon to please those who didn’t see this widely circulating tape – if Sharon won’t get in the way, that is.

1. Over The Mountain
2. Mr. Crowley
3. Crazy Train
4. Revelation (Mother Earth)
5. Steal Away
6. Suicide Solution
7. Goodbye To Romance
8. I Don’t Know
9. Believer
10. Flying High Again
11. Children Of The Grave
12. Paranoid


On March 10th, the MAN band lost one of its founders, Micky Jones, the guitar playing stalwart of the Welsh psycho legends and a sparring partner of Deke Leonard’s. Jones’ licks and riffs are the carcass of many MAN’s records, from their 1968 debut and – on the on-off basis – until 2005, when Micky had to retire due to ill health. He’d been bravely battling these problems for five years but, sadly, lost his last battle.


The folks at Voiceprint love to arrange official bootleg series, although they got it royally screwed up with the John Wetton and Jon Anderson ones. Now, the time has come to raide the archives of the legendary Ginger Baker who sanctioned the CDs, starting with three interesting items.

The first is “Live in Offenbach, Germany 1970” by the skinsman’s AIRFORCE. This mighty band that, at various times, included Gragam Bond and Stevie Windwood produced only two albums, yet the collectors have some live tapes, and the ones to be out soon on a double CD look very enticing with CREAM’s “Sunshine Of Your Love” and BLIND FAITH’s drum-feast “Do What You Like” sharing the space with the AIRFORCE numbers.

Disc 1

1. 12 Gates In The City
2. I Got The Answer
3. What A Day
4. Free Kings
5. Aiko Biaye
6. Don’t Care
7. Early In The Morning
8. Sunshine Of Your Love
9. Toady
10. Let Me Ride

Disc 2

1. 12 Gates Of The City
2. What A Day It’s Been
3. Aiko Biaye
4. Do What You Like

The second in the series comes “Live in Milan ’75” by BAKER GURVITZ ARMY, a band that Ginger came up with Adrian and Paul Gurvitz of GUN fame. Here, GBA promoted their final studio album, “Hearts On Fire”, but somehow dismissed some of their own output in favor of two CREAM classics and the blues standard “Smokestack Lightning”.

1. Hearts On Fire
2. People
3. Night People
4. White Room
5. Mystery
6. Thirsty For The Blues
7. Neon Lights
8. Inside Of Me
9. Memory Lane
10. Drum Solo
11. Sunshine Of Your Love
12. Time
13. Smokestack Lightning
14. Hearts On Fire (reprise)

The third title is the missing link between the previous two. “Live in Munich, Germany 1972” was recorded for TV and features Ginger Baker extemporizing with SALT, an Afro jazz rock combo with a special guest, another great drummer Art Blakey.

1. Improvisation No. 1
2. Improvisation No. 2

March 21, 2010

Category(s): News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *