Friday, January 31, 2014

Rod Stewart Live Box Set Coming March 18

Rod Stewart is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time and throughout his unprecedented five-decade-long career, the singer-songwriter has also earned the distinction of being one of the most beloved live performers in the world.  The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy Living Legend has entertained countless fans around the world with his passionate and charismatic live performances - even holding the record for the largest-ever free concert, which attracted an estimated 4.2 million in Rio de Janeiro on New Year's Eve in 1996.

Warner Bros. Records shines a spotlight on Stewart's phenomenal legacy on stage with Live 1976-1998: Tonight's The Night, a four-disc collection that spans more than 20 years with 58 unreleased live recordings that include his biggest hits along with some incredible covers. It will be available on March 18

Arranged chronologically, the opening disc is comprised of performances recorded in a variety of venues across England in 1976. Many of the songs are from Stewart's then-current album, the double-platinum A Night on the Town , including the smash, "Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright)," which was a #1 hit in the U.S. for eight weeks. Other memorable performances include "You Wear It Well," "Maggie May" and "(I Know) I'm Losing You" from the #1 album, Every Picture Tells a Story.

The second disc includes two songs recorded in 1976 - "Sailing" and "Stay With Me," a song Stewart originally recorded with the Faces - but the majority of the music comes from a 1979 concert at the Forum in Los Angeles. Performances include "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right" from the triple-platinum Foot Loose and Fancy Free, and the title track from Stewart's #1 album, Blondes Have More Fun. Also featured are several songs from Foolish Behavior recorded in 1980 at Wembley Stadium, as well as Stewart's raucous duet with Tina Turner on "Hot Legs," from a 1981 show in LA.

The third disc spans 1984-89 and features a selection of strong performances from two concerts. One was recorded in 1984 in San Diego and includes "Some Guys Have All The Luck" and "You're In My Heart (Final Acclaim)." The second concert was recorded in 1989 at the Meadowlands, on the tail end of his tour in support of Stewart's double platinum album Out Of Order. Those songs include "Forever Young," "Infatuation," "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" and "I Ain't Superstitious," a song he originally recorded in 1968 with the Jeff Beck Group.

The final disc includes recordings made between 1991-98, beginning with a 1991 show at Wembley Stadium where Stewart mixed "Downtown Train" and "Baby Jane" with classics like "Mandolin Wind." Stewart was riding a massive wave of success from the Unplugged...and Seated album in 1993 when he performed at the Greek Theatre in LA. Several songs taken from that show touch on Stewart's early years, like "Handbags And Gladrags" from his solo debut An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down (1969), "Cut Across Shorty" from Gasoline Alley (1970) and "(Find A) Reason To Believe" from Every Picture Tells A Story (1971).

The final disc closes with covers of Oasis' "Cigarettes And Alcohol" and Primal Scream's "Rocks" recorded in London in 1998. Those are just two of the many covers featured on LIVE 1976-1998, each a showcase for Stewart's unparalleled skill at interpreting other artists' music. Among the highlights are: Bruce Springsteen's "Hungry Heart," the Beatles' "Get Back," Jimi Hendrix's "Angel," Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately," B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby," the blues standard "Baby Please Don't Go" and several songs by Sam Cooke, who had an enormous influence on Stewart.

In a career spanning more than five decades, Rod Stewart has amassed sales of more than 200 million albums and singles worldwide and has countless chart-topping hits and industry accolades - including 18 Grammy nominations, two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2007, he was bestowed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by the Queen of England. Stewart's love of performing still prevails - this year, fans around the world will have an opportunity to see him live in concert when he brings his chart-topping "Live the Life" tour to South America this February and continuing at stadiums throughout Europe this summer. This April, he'll also make his much-anticipated return to his residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Live 1976-1998: Tonight's The Night
Track Listing

Disc One: 1976
1.    "Three Time Loser"
2.    "You Wear It Well"
3.    "Big Bayou"
4.    "Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright)"
5.    "The Wild Side Of Life"
6.    "Sweet Little Rock 'n Roller"
7.    "I Don't Want To Talk About It"
8.    "The Killing Of Georgie (Part I And II)"
9.    "Maggie May"
10.    "Angel"
11.    "Get Back"
12.    "(I Know) I'm Losing You"
13.    "This Old Heart Of Mine"

Disc Two: 1976-1981
1.    "Sailing"
2.    "Stay With Me"
3.    "Born Loose"
4.    "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right"
5.    "I Just Want To Make Love To You"
6.    "Blondes (Have More Fun)"
7.    Medley: "(I Know) I'm Losing You/It's All Over Now/Standin' In The Shadows Of Love/Layla"
8.    Medley: "Twistin' The Night Away/Every Picture Tells A Story"
9.    "She Won't Dance With Me"
10.    "Passion"
11.    "Gi' Me Wings"
12.    "Hot Legs" - With Tina Turner

Disc Three: 1984-1989
1.    "Tonight I'm Yours (Don't Hurt Me)"
2.    "You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)"
3.    "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay"
4.    "Hungry Heart"
5.    "Bad For You"
6.    "Some Guys Have All The Luck"
7.    "Rock Me Baby"
8.    "Infatuation"
9.    "I Ain't Superstitious"
10.    "Every Picture Tells A Story"
11.    "Lost In You"
12.    "Forever Young"
13.    "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?"
14.    "Crazy About Her"
15.    "Try A Little Tenderness"
16.    "You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)" (Reprise)

Disc Four: 1991-1998
1.    "Downtown Train"
2.    "This Old Heart Of Mine"
3.    "Stay With Me"
4.    "Sweet Soul Music"
5.    "Mandolin Wind"
6.    "Highgate Shuffle"
7.    "Baby Jane"
8.    "Baby Please Don't Go"
9.    "Cut Across Shorty"
10.    "(Find A) Reason To Believe"
11.    "Handbags & Gladrags"
12.    "Having A Party"
13.    "People Get Ready"
14.    "Have I Told You Lately"
15.    Medley: "Twistin' The Night Away/Chain Gang"
16.    "Cigarettes And Alcohol"
17.    "Rocks"

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Audio Fidelity Releasing Alice Cooper's Billion Dollar Babies On Hybrid SACD

Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity is releasing Alice Cooper's classic album Billion Dollar Babies on Hybrid SACD on February 4, 2014! As a bonus, along with the meticulously reproduced artwork, enclosed in every CD is the very collectible replicated Billion Dollar Bill.

With Billion Dollar Babies, Alice Cooper refined the raw grit of their earlier work in favor of a slightly more polished sound resulting in a mega-hit album that reached the top of the US and UK album charts. It’s impossible to overstate how popular the band had become by the time their sixth album was released. The album, is brilliant, decadent and encapsulated all the celebrity trashiness of the 70's only three years into the decade.

Song for song, Billion Dollar Babies is probably the original Alice Cooper group's finest and strongest. The album's singles “Elected,” “Hello Hooray,” “Billion Dollar Babies” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy” all became hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Also included are a pair of perennial concert standards - the disturbing necrophilia ditty “I Love the Dead” and the chilling macabre of “Sick Things.”

After the album was released, the band embarked on a tour which broke the US box office records previously held by the Rolling Stones. The show climaxed with a guillotine execution of Alice. The album and the tour made the band into the world's preeminent pied pipers of teenage trash culture and the most successful rock band ever to be loathed by American parents.

TRACKS:
1. Hello Hooray
2. Raped and Freezin'
3. Elected
4. Billion Dollar Babies
5. Unfinished Sweet
6. No More Mr. Nice Guy
7. Generation Landslide
8. Sick Things
9. Mary-Ann
10. I Love the Dead

Produced by Bob Ezrin
Mastered by Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering

To purchase, go to http://www.audiofidelity.net/content/alice-cooper-billion-dollar-babies.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Allman Brothers Band To Stop Touring After 2014

According to founding member Gregg Allman, the Allman Brothers Band will stop touring at the end of 2014.

When asked about the group's future, Allman said, “This is it — this is the end of it.”

He went on to say, “45 years is enough and I want to do something else, anyway. Everyone has their own real good perspective bands.”

He does, however, leave the door open to possible reunions down the road. “Whose to say? We may get together every five years,” he said.

As previously reported, guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks are leaving the group at the end of 2014. The Gregg Allman & Friends project will be expanding to include a full horn section and longtime Allman Brothers Band percussionist Marc Quiñones. Keyboardist Ben Stivers and bassist Ron Johnson (Warren Haynes Band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe) also recently joined the outfit.

Monday, January 27, 2014

2014 NAMM Show Keeps The Music Flowing

The music product industry returns to businesses in every corner of the globe with a renewed confidence following the 2014 NAMM Show held in Anaheim, Calif., January 23-26. Promising signs of revitalization brought together more than 5,000 brands from around the world looking to reach the global buying audience found at the NAMM Show. Expanding product categories such as technology-driven music products and emerging brands pushed the show to its one of its largest and most diverse editions ever.

“As the global platform for the music products industry, the NAMM Show is an annual checkup for what is happening in the music marketplace worldwide,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. “A focus on doing business reflected confidence among buyers and manufacturers alike. Fortified with NAMM U education, networking and fun opportunities that only occur at the NAMM Show, NAMM Members expressed to me a renewed spirit for the year ahead. I believe that the stage is set for growth in 2014.”

Emerging brands, growth in pro audio and the music technology category, and an increase in international exhibitors, converged for the second -highest exhibiting company number ever. In total there were 1,533 exhibiting companies representing 5,010 Brands. Meeting those brands was a 2% increase in buyers over 2013. Buyers arrived in Anaheim focused on rebuilding inventory after a strong school music season, and on building up categories currently experiencing strong consumer demand. In total, 96,129 members of the music product industry registered for the 2014 NAMM Show.

Exhibitors noted that crowds arrived eager for new products and ready to get down to business. "I don't know what's going on, but this year is phenomenal; we have been slammed! The buyers are buying!” said Ari Baron, vice president of marketing for Eastman Music Company. Dave Smith of his eponymous instrument brand also saw a lot of traffic, "NAMM is the only trade show we attend. This is it -- the hub of our outreach, our PR, our marketing. We meet with our current dealers, sign up new dealers, and show artists our new instruments so they can play them and hear how they perform. We've been incredibly busy the whole show!"

Retailers large and small return to their businesses with new product lines and categories that will hit shelves in a matter of months. “I’m most focused on meeting up with major suppliers that I’ve done business with or do business with and seeing what they’ve got––new products in particular,” said Richard Ash, CEO of Sam Ash Music. “We are also looking for new companies that come out of the woodwork and have a product that will break through to the marketplace. If you’re a musician, it’s the ultimate kid in a candy store thing.”

In addition to products, retailers search for valuable ideas gleaned from five full days of educational offerings. “I come for inspiration and I always find it,” said Rob Kittle of Kittle’s Music in North Platte, NE. “I find products I never knew were out there. The buying I do and the things I see at the NAMM Show definitely influence my business for the year.”

Rob Joseph, president of the manufacturers’ rep firm the R. Joseph group, saw a renewed interest in buying across the diverse categories they represent. “I saw more traffic on Thursday and Friday than any year that I can remember in a decade. Buyers and manufacturers are substantially more optimistic and that is reflected in the overall tone of the show.”

New entrepreneurs and categories entering the music market brought 303 new exhibiting companies to the show. Video giant GoPro made its NAMM Show debut to introduce a new line of mounts designed to capture musical performances. “We chose to launch our new music products at the NAMM Show because the entire industry is here,” said Neil Dana, GoPro’s director of international sales and music. "This is the place to make a statement in the industry and enter the market."

First-time exhibitor Matsikas Music House found a solid reception for its intricately inlaid Greek bouzoukis. George Matsikas brought his handcrafted traditional instruments to NAMM to explore the potential for growth in the U.S. market. “We’ve met so many musicians curious about the bouzoukis, and dealers intrigued by the possibilities. The United States has so many music people. We’ll certainly come back in 2015,” he said.

NAMM Membership and in turn the NAMM Show is increasingly global, as reflected in the 6% increase in international attendees. Kevin Ross of C.B.I. Professional Wiring Systems exhibited at NAMM specifically to connect with international distributors. “It’s one of the main reasons why we come to NAMM, and we do realize a significant return on our investment.”

The global scope of the NAMM Show is most clear walking the show floor. This year 636 exhibitors from outside of the United States made up more than one-third of the total exhibiting companies. These companies come from 49 different countries to unveil their brands’ new products at the show.

“People have this passion and belief in helping people make music, and it all comes from NAMM,” said Jon Gold of Music Force Distribution, The Academy of Sound and The Music Store in the U.K. “It’s a must-do in the calendar for the year. We’re living in very challenging times, however when you come here on the show floor and you look at people with the passion they have for it, we’ve just got to communicate—we’ve got great products, it’s a great industry, it’s exciting. And so coming to NAMM gives you what you need to get back on the treadmill and do it.”

Traditional instruments of every shape and size share the NAMM Show stage with high-tech wunderkind brands and the latest DJ products. As the way people learn to play and make music in new ways, the two worlds are more interconnected than ever before.

Fretted acoustic instruments and DJ gear are enjoying strong demand at retail, which carried over to vibrancy across categories on the NAMM Show floor. Bruce Weber of Weber Fine Instruments noted that a large segment of customers trying out his fretted, acoustic mandolins were a younger group. “Kids, really” he said. “We’ve noticed the trend to a younger crowd who are turning to back to acoustic music as a creative challenge instead of the gaming. And they’re good! We are having a blast here. Best winter NAMM we have ever had.”

“We are looking to expand our uke offerings and entry acoustic, but also looking for more technology products, especially DJ gear,” said Joe Pritchard of the Pritchard Music Academy in Gaithersburg, MD. “We have realized that we need to have the DJ segment offered.”

The Grand Plaza, unveiled in 2013, was reimagined this year as a more intimate networking area by turning the stage around to face the Convention Center. NAMM Members made good use of the area, soaking in the southern California sunshine and meeting with friends old and new over good food, great music and craft beers.

After dark, performances by Jonny Lang, Sheila E., and Robby Krieger’s Jam Kitchen brought attendees together with rocking live music. Friday’s TEC Awards ceremony welcomed industry insiders to honor sound production and performance pros, while DJ performances, acoustic artists, drum circles and more rounded out the entertaining diversions.

Educational sessions primed attendees for success. “It’s always good to come see what’s new, but it’s also fun to put a face with a name or voice,” said Bob Williamson, owner of Symphony Music Shop in Dartmouth, MA. “We saw some friends at the breakfast sessions we did not expect to see, which was a delight. I’m going home with some new ideas, and some good friendships!”

NAMM Members crowded opening-day’s Breakfast of Champions, where industry leaders spoke about ‘breakthroughs,’ West Music Company President/CEO Robin Walenta gave a heartfelt address, and Music for Life winner Smokey Robinson made a surprise appearance. “There’s nothing more effective than listening to the great leaders of your industry to help you decide what’s working, what’s not, and how to change things up in the pursuit of excellence,” said Menzie Pittman of Contemporary Music Center in Virginia.

Future NAMM events include the Summer NAMM at Nashville's beautiful Music City Center on July 17-19; NAMM Musikmesse Russia on Sept. 11-14, 2014; and ProLight + Sound NAMM Russia on Sept. 11-13, 2014.

The NAMM Show returns to Anaheim on January 22-25, 2015.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Smokey Robinson Honored With NAMM’s “Music for Life” Award

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) honored Motown artist Smokey Robinson with the “Music for Life” award. Robinson is recognized for his five decades of enduring influence in the world of popular music, and his long standing as one of the founders of the Motown dynasty.

At the 2014 NAMM Show’s Breakfast of Champions held this morning (January 23, 2014), NAMM president and CEO Joe Lamond welcomed the beloved writer, producer, and performer, whom Bob Dylan once called ‘America’s greatest living poet.’ Lamond praised the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s generosity in embracing emerging musicians, his genuine enthusiasm for new musical styles, and his enduring status as an icon that paved the way for so many contemporary artists.

“So much of what we at NAMM stand for is exemplified in the career and life of the legendary Smokey Robinson,” Lamond said. “His influence on musicians, producers, writers and even sound engineers continues to be profoundly felt today. He is a symbol of creativity and a beacon of inspiration to many.  His music is authentic and emotionally real, and it is his ability to touch so many people with this talent that makes Smokey Robinson a true ambassador for music.”

NAMM’s “Music for Life” award recognizes individuals and organizations that demonstrate support for and exemplify NAMM’s vision that the joy of making music is a precious element of daily living for everyone. Past recipients have included Stevie Wonder, Yoko Ono, Quincy Jones, as well as members of Congress, governors, business leaders, the Smithsonian, and Sesame Workshop.

A native of Detroit, Robinson found success early on as a founding member of The Miracles. The group’s success, and Robinson’s considerable vision and influence helped Berry Gordy establish Motown Records as a tidal force in the world of popular music. As vice president of Motown Records, Robinson served as in-house producer, talent scout and songwriter, penning hits for the Miracles as well as acting as writer and producer for The Temptations, Mary Wells, Rick James, Marvin Gaye and others. His accomplishments set the stage for an entire genre of dynamic performers and led a musical revolution that defined the sound of an era.

In 2006, Robinson was selected to be a Kennedy Center Honoree for his contributions to the arts and American culture. He is a member of both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, has earned a GRAMMY Legend Award and been honored with a National Medal of The Arts.

Robinson will release a duets LP in 2014, which will include a line-up of all-star duet partners performing some of his most beloved classic songs with him.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mick Jagger Bringing 20 Feet From Stardom To TV, Broadway

Mick Jagger is in talks to turn Oscar-nominated documentary 20 Feet From Stardom into a one-hour scripted TV series and a Broadway musical.

Jagger and Victoria Pearman would executive produce the TV series through their Jagged Films banner alongside the film's director Morgan Neville.

Like the film, the series and the musical adaptations would follow the lives of backup singers who perform in the shadows of some of the biggest music stars in the business. The film took a look at the history of backup singers, but the TV series would only depict contemporary performers.

Talks are ongoing that would also bring some of the singers featured in the documentary to the Broadway version including Darlene Love and Lisa Fischer. Love is no stranger to Broadway, having appeared in Hairspray. Love and Fischer, Merry Clayton and Judith Hill have been making the rounds during awards season, including singing the national anthem at the Rose Bowl.

20 Feet From Stardom debuted at Sundance last year where it was acquired by Radius-TWC. The crowd-pleasing pic went on to become the highest-grossing documentary of the year and an Oscar nominee for best documentary. Neville is on hand at Sundance this year as a documentary juror.

Though Jagger isn't a producer on the 20 Feet From Stardom documentary, he appears extensively in interviews and footage.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bryan Ferry Announces 2014 North American Tour

Bryan Ferry has announced the opening leg of his first North American Tour in three years. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, January 24th with Fan Presale (password CantLetGo2014) on Wednesday, January 22nd (from 10:00 AM Pacific).

Tour Dates

April 5 - Vancouver, BC @ Queen Elizabeth Theater
April 7 - Seattle, WA @ McCaw Hall
April 8 - Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
April 11 - Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (Sold Out)
April 12 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Pearl Concert Theater
April 14 - Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
April 15 - Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia
April 17 - San Diego, CA @ Humphrey’s Concerts By the Bay
April 18 - Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (Sold Out)
April 19 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl

The North American tour follows on from Ferry’s sold out and critically acclaimed tour of the UK in the fall of 2013. A press release announcing the tour promises, “an incredible set list of hits, rarities and covering 40 years of career highlights.” Ferry is also working on a new studio album said to be inspired by his 2012 release The Jazz Age. Check out Vintage Rock's review of Ferry's Live In Lyon Blu-ray Disc. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Original Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Jeremy Spencer Announces 2014 US Tour & New Release 'Coventry Blue'

Jeremy Spencer’s fans in the US have long been waiting for his return. In fact, except for a few brief US appearances (in 2006 and 2010), 43 years have passed since Jeremy last toured the US (with Fleetwood Mac in 1971). Now, he is scheduled to tour the US in February and March of 2014, initially booking venues in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

Jeremy has launched a Kickstarter Campaign offering advance premiums that will extend his tour to other cities in the US and fund the new CD.  Kickstarter supporters will be eligible to receive pre-release downloads of Coventry Blue, autographed CDs or LPs, original artwork or private concerts. There will also be an exclusive 2014 Tour Club that will provide exclusive video and audio live updates from the tour.

Jeremy Spencer is renowned as a consummate slide guitar player with the years only enhancing his subtlety and taste. He still is the foremost Elmore James stylist alive - bar none. Jeremy can and does tear it up, retaining his verve, passion and devotion to the blues, but now he brings a cultivated maturity, assured conviction and compositional purpose that are truly sublime. His songs come via his intimate journey from the spiritual core of his heart and connect profoundly with listeners. The original Fleetwood Mac were Britain's most authentic blues band during the sixties boom before morphing into mega-million selling pop celebrity. Their beloved alliance remains an historic testament to the era's meeting of generations, melding of continents and shared musical devotion.  

This tour will afford Jeremy the opportunity to display his many facets with a wider evolved guitar pallet as displayed on Bend.  At last he will deliver live on the record with its haunting melodies and exquisite guitar harmonies as well as select mighty Mac blues and rock n' roll in his inimitable style. Expect his alternatively dirty and precise Elmore James slide stings; he'll delve deep into blues nuggets that he discerningly curates and revitalize the primordial rock that he spot on mimicked famously and comically on stage with the Mac. Further treat is his expansive range of influences from Django Reinhardt to Marty Robbins to Mark Knopfler, fingering them effortlessly and seamlessly incorporating them into his own compositions as natural an easy fit as that of his beloved ceramic slides. Jeremy's tour return to these shores at a creative pinnacle makes this a rare opportunity for fans.

Jeremy Spencer tour dates:

Feb 12: Fingerprints Long Beach, CA - In Store
Feb 13: Largo at the Coronet, Los Angeles, CA
Feb 14: LeStats, San Diego, CA
Feb 15: Westwood Music Workshop
Feb 16: Soho, Santa Barbara, CA
Feb 17: The Chapel, SF, CA
Feb 19: Moe's Alley, Santa Cruz, CA
Feb 20: Minor's Foundry, Nevada City, CA
Feb 21: Palm's Playhouse, Winters, CA
Feb 22: Freight & Salvage Workshop, SF
Feb 28: Winchester Hall, Cleveland, OH
Mar 1: Callahan's, Detroit. MI
Mar 2: The Ark, Ann Arbor. MI
Mar 6: Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI
Mar 7: Buddy Guy's Legends, Chicago, IL
Mar 8: Rosas Lounge, Chicago, IL
Mar 9: Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
Mar 12: Love & War, Plano TX
Mar 13: Yard Dog Gallery, Austin, TX
Mar 20: Regatta Bar, Cambridge MA
Mar 21: Black Eyed Sallys, Hartford, CT
Mar 22: Passim Workshop
Mar 22: Bearsville Theater, Woodstock NY
Mar 23: Turning Point, Piermont NY
Mar 24: BB Kings Blues Bar, NY
Mar 25: Blues Alley, Washington, DC
Mar 27: Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, PA
Mar 28: Splatter Concerts, NJ
Mar 30: Jalopy Theater, Brooklyn, NY
Mar 31: Iridium with Les Paul Trio, NYC

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Paul Rodgers Releasing The Royal Sessions

If Paul Rodgers has his way, his upcoming album The Royal Sessions won't be his last visit to Memphis' famed Royal Studios -- or into the even more famous music that was created there.

Rodgers says he recorded "two or three more songs" than the 10 Stax/Volt covers that appear on the album, which comes out Feb. 4; that includes a soulful rendition of Free's "Walk in My Shadow" Rodgers says was recorded at the insistence of producer Perry Margouleff.

"I think I might go back and do another album, depending on how things go with this one, because there were a lot of songs I later thought, 'Wow, I could've one this one. I could've done that one,' " says Rodgers, who recorded primarily in Memphis with many of the session hands from the original Stax and Hi Records recordings. "This is almost like we've found something here, I think. If I can get the guys back together again and they're all willing, I would love to do it."

Rodgers says he'd also like to put together at least one show with those players -- including the Reverend Charles Hodges on organ and his brother LeRoy Hodges, Jr. on bass, guitarist MIchael Tolls and others. "I'd like to do a DVD somewhere in a club in Memphis and see how this material would be in a show with everybody," he notes.

Rodgers says his philosophy for The Royal Sessions was "to show respect for the originals and at the same time take them slightly to somewhere else. You can't really go wrong with these songs; they're tried and true and tested, and I'm not really one for stripping the song down and re-creating it. If I like what I heard originally, that's why I want to sing it. So I'm fairly close to the originals, but you don't want to be just copying." His version of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Walk on By" is an example of that approach, stretched to nearly seven minutes with plenty of space for improvised vamping.

"That was the one song where I did the vocal outside of the studio," says Rodgers, who actually finished his performance in New York. "They had an arrangement I didn't quite follow, so I wanted to take it out and think about it. There's a part in the song where Charles just opens the door; it was kind of like an invitation to do what you feel there, and I wanted to take that away with me and think about how I was going to handle that. It had to be something appropriate, but simple, that you hardly even notice is there and blends into the total arrangement of the song. I think the way we did it really nicely dovetails in to the last, climactic chorus. It was lovely."

Rodgers plans to incorporate The Royal Sessions material into the shows he'll be performing this year, and he's also continuing work on another album of original material, though he describes that project as "a little bit on the back burner at the moment. We have quite a few songs and we're writing constantly between the other events that we're doing. But it's definitely in the cards, probably in the next couple of years." Bad Company is currently back on hiatus after last year's 40th anniversary tour -- "We tend to do things every five years, it seems," -- Rodgers notes -- while a boxed set of Free's complete recordings is looming that Rodgers is not particularly happy about.

"They're just going to open the vault and release the lot, warts and all, and there's nothing we can do to stop them," Rodgers says. "I mean, there's 16 different versions or something of 'All Right Now.' Are you kidding me? Why? Who needs that? It's a little bit like practicing a love letter and throwing away three or four copies and someone coming up behind you and straightening those up and putting them on the Internet or something. Perhaps they'll cut it down a bit, but the ball seems to be in their court."

Check out Paul Rodgers' take on "Walk On By."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Black Sabbath's Studio Albums Spanning 1970-1978 Now On The iTunes Store

When Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Terry “Geezer” Butler and Bill Ward formed Black Sabbath in 1969, they created a signature sound that set the blueprint for heavy music and influenced generations of disciples for years to come. For the first time, the full catalog from the original Black Sabbath lineup is now available digitally in the U.S. and has been mastered specifically for iTunes, ensuring the delivery of the music to listeners with increased audio fidelity, more closely replicating what the artists, recording engineers, and producers intended.  Available exclusively on the iTunes Store worldwide (www.iTunes.com/BlackSabbath), fans now have the ability to download all albums in one newly created bundle (The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1978), eight legendary studio albums, two classic compilations, or simply purchase each song individually.

“It’s about f**king time the first eight Black Sabbath albums were made available on iTunes in the U.S.,” said Ozzy Osbourne.

“Great news, been a long time trying to explain to fans why the music wasn’t available,” Tony Iommi commented.

“It's going to be great to finally have the catalog accessible on iTunes,” Geezer Butler notes.

Black Sabbath: The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1978 features the band’s collected studio works for Warner Bros. Records from the 1970’s, including their iconic eponymous debut (1970), the multi-platinum landmark Paranoid (1970), the platinum albums Master Of Reality (1971), Vol. 4 (1972), and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973), and the gold-certified Sabotage (1975), Technical Ecstasy (1976), and Never Say Die! (1978). Also available is their classic 1976 compilation We Sold Our Soul For Rock ‘N’ Roll as well as 2006’s Greatest Hits 1970-1978, which was released in connection with their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Following wildly successful shows in North and South America, Australia, Asia and Europe, Black Sabbath will kick off another North American tour with dates starting March 31 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.  The trek will hit ten cities in Canada, including stops in Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton, before wrapping April 26 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA.  These dates will be part of the band’s final shows of their 2013-2014 world tour in support of their first studio album in 35 years, 13, which entered the charts at #1 in 13 countries (including their first #1 in the U.S.).  Another run of European festivals and headlining shows will follow this summer.

First formed in Birmingham, England, Black Sabbath’s doom-laden sound pioneered a new kind of heavy rock music, a sound that would later influence hundreds of other bands. Many consider Black Sabbath to be the godfathers of heavy metal, but Sabbath were capable of surprising their fans with songs that showed other facets of their skills besides darkness and monstrous decibels. Thirty years after their initial impact, guitarists are still stunned by Tony Iommi’s jaw-dropping riffs, Geezer Butler’s swooping bass lines, and Bill Ward’s thunderous drums. And, of course, in Ozzy Osbourne the band had one of the most magnetic and unpredictable front men ever in rock, with a maniacal voice like few others before or since.

Black Sabbath: The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1978 is now available at iTunes: www.itunes.com/BlackSabbath.

Monday, January 13, 2014

It's Official: Christine McVie Rejoins Fleetwood Mac

"This is the worst kept secret there is, but Christine McVie will be rejoining Fleetwood Mac," Mick Fleetwood told a Hawaii audience this week, breaking the news that fans had been long awaiting.

The statement follows McVie's performance with the band last September in London, which fueled a flurry of reunion rumors.

According to the website Fleetwood Mac News, band members Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham also confirmed to audiences at the group's Las Vegas new-year shows that they would be touring again in 2014, potentially with Christine McVie.

After leaving Fleetwood Mac in 1998, McVie joined the band on stage at the O2 arena in London in September 2013 for a rendition of Don't Stop. "It was amazing, like I'd never left. I climbed back on there again and there they were, the same old faces on stage," she said last November.

McVie, who had been out of the spotlight since her last solo album in 2004, described herself in that interview as having been "music'd out" before leaving the band. She said that she would be "delighted" to rejoin at some stage, but added: "It's a long way down that path if it ever were to happen."

She said that her former husband, the Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie, who had been diagnosed with cancer, would have to "get well first", adding, "so it hasn't been talked about. We'll have to wait and see.

"I like being with the band, the whole idea of playing music with them. I miss them all. If they were to ask me, I would probably be very delighted."

Following his illness, John McVie also returned to the stage with Fleetwood Mac in the band's new-year shows.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks Leaving Allman Brothers Band

Guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks are ending their run in the Allman Brothers Band at the end of 2014 to spend time with family and pursue other projects.

Haynes has been a member of the blues-rock band for 25 years, and Trucks joined in 1999. Both musicians released statements on Wednesday explaining their departure from the group, which also features Gregg Allman, drummers Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson and Butch Trucks, percussionist Marc Quinones and bassist Oteil Burbridge.

In a joint statement, they explained: “We will be forever grateful for the opportunity and the experience, and for the love, enthusiasm, and support of the incredible fans. We are both preparing to dig even deeper into our various creative and musical endeavors and, as a result, 2014 will be our final year as part of the band.”

Both Haynes and Trucks released individual statements, too. "While I've shared many magical moments on stage with the Allman Brothers Band in the last decade plus, I feel that my solo project and the Tedeschi Trucks Band is where my future and creative energy lies,” said Trucks. “The Tedeschi Trucks Band tour schedule keeps growing, and I feel the time has finally come to focus on a single project, which will allow me to spend that rare time off the road with my family and children.  It’s a difficult decision to make, and I don’t make it lightly.”

Haynes added, “As someone who's been fortunate enough to juggle a lot of musical projects and opportunities I look forward to maintaining a vigorous schedule which will include many more years of touring and recording with Gov't Mule in addition to my solo projects and to enjoying more family time as well. Being part of the ABB has opened a lot of doors for me and that's something I don't take for granted nor do I take for granted the friendship and musical relationships I have with each of the members. The 45th Anniversary of the ABB is a milestone amidst too many highlights to count and I'm looking forward to an amazing year creating music that only the Allman Brothers Band can create.”

The Allman Brothers Band will take the stage Friday, January 10, in an all-star tribute to Gregg Allman at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Ga. The band will also host its annual residency at the Beacon Theatre in New York in Mach, celebrating its 45th anniversary.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Celebrating 50 Years, The Beatles' U.S. Albums Collection Rolls Out


To commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first U.S. visit and the band’s history-making debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, The U.S. Albums, a new 13-album collection spanning 1964’s Meet The Beatles! to 1970’s Hey Jude, will be released January 21 by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol.  

The Mastered for iTunes LP collection, including a 64-page booklet with Beatles photos and promotional art from the time, as well as a new essay by American author and television executive Bill Flanagan, is available now for digital pre-order exclusively on iTunes. All of the Mastered for iTunes albums (with the exception of The Beatles’ Story, an audio documentary album) are also available now for individual pre-order on iTunes.

The Beatles’ U.S. albums differed from the band’s U.K. albums in a variety of ways, including different track lists, song mixes, album titles, and art. The albums are presented in mono and stereo, with the exception of The Beatles’ Story and Hey Jude, which are in stereo only.  All of the albums, including the U.S. versions of A Hard Day’s Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Help! (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Rubber Soul, and Revolver, make their digital debuts with these iTunes releases.

On February 7, 1964, The Beatles arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, greeted by scores of screaming, swooning fans who rushed the gate to catch a glimpse of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as they took their first steps on American soil.  Two nights later, on Sunday, February 9, 74 million viewers in the U.S. and millions more in Canada tuned in to CBS to watch The Beatles make their American television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.  In this cultural watershed moment in American history and one of the world’s top-viewed television events of all time, The Beatles performed five songs on the live broadcast.  “Beatlemania,” already in full, feverish bloom in The Beatles’ native U.K., was unleashed with blissful fervor across America and around the world.  The British Invasion had begun.

By the end of 1963, before The Beatles’ American arrival, “Beatlemania” had already sprung forth across the Atlantic to take root in the U.S.  In early December, The New York Times published a Sunday magazine feature and “CBS Evening News” aired an in-depth report about the unprecedented frenzy over the young band from Liverpool.  Radio stations in the U.S. began playing The Beatles’ latest U.K. single, ““I Want To Hold Your Hand,” in heavy rotation, trying to meet an insatiable listener demand.  Capitol Records rushed out the American single for “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (with B-side “I Saw Her Standing There”) on December 26, three weeks ahead of schedule and one month after the single’s U.K. release.  More than one million copies of the U.S. single were sold within 10 days.

In early January 1964, Vee-Jay reissued "Please Please Me" (with B-side "From Me To You"), and Swan reissued “She Loves You.”  The Beatles’ first Capitol album, Meet The Beatles!, followed on January 20.  After achieving the No. 1 chart position for five consecutive weeks in the U.K., “I Want To Hold Your Hand” reached the top of the U.S. singles chart on February 1, holding the No. 1 position for seven consecutive weeks, and within two months, more than 3.5 million copies of Meet The Beatles! were sold in the U.S.

The excitement of The Beatles’ February 7 arrival in New York, where they were met by an estimated 3,000 ecstatic fans at the airport, was documented by the world’s leading media outlets, beamed around the world in a blitz of news bulletins and photos.  Every move The Beatles made, and seemingly every word they uttered, was captured – melting hearts of young fans everywhere who simply could not get enough of these charming, witty and stylish British boys and their electrifying new songs.  America’s biggest star of the day, Elvis Presley, sent The Beatles a telegram wishing them well for their national television debut.

Ed Sullivan spoke of the unprecedented frenzy in his memorable first introduction of The Beatles, saying, "Now, yesterday and today our theater's been jammed with newspapermen and hundreds of photographers from all over the nation, and these veterans agreed with me that this city never has witnessed the excitement stirred by these youngsters from Liverpool who call themselves The Beatles."

After captivating North America with their Ed Sullivan debut, The Beatles traveled to Washington, DC, performing their first Stateside concert on February 11 at the Washington Coliseum to 8,000 fans in the round.  The Beatles then returned to New York for two sold-out Carnegie Hall concerts on February 12.  On February 16, they made their second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in a live broadcast from The Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida.  Viewership for the episode was nearly as strong as for their debut one week prior, with an estimated 70 million people -- 40% of the American population -- tuned in to watch their performances of six songs.  On February 22, The Beatles returned to England in triumph, welcomed home upon their 7am landing at London’s Heathrow Airport by an estimated 10,000 fans.

The Beatles were now firmly in place as the world’s favorite and most famous band.  Their third Ed Sullivan Show appearance, a three-song performance taped prior to the band’s live debut on the program, was broadcast on February 23.  Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart for April 5, 1964 was graced by 12 Beatles songs, including the chart’s Top 5 positions, a sweep of the chart’s summit that has not been achieved by any other artist since.  The band’s meteoric rise to unparalleled fame continued as “Beatlemania” swept the globe, a singular and boundless cultural marvel. The Beatles now belonged to the people, as they have ever since, with their universally-loved music and unflagging respect for humankind, advocating peace and love for all people around the world.

The Recording Academy®, AEG Ehrlich Ventures and CBS have announced The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY® Salute To The Beatles, a two-hour primetime entertainment special to air Sunday, February 9 at 8pm ET/PT, precisely 50 years to the day, date and time of The Beatles’ groundbreaking debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.  The special broadcast will feature performances of Beatles songs by many of music’s biggest stars in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Deep Purple's NOW What?! Rebooted As Golden Deluxe Edition

NOW What?!, the 19th studio album from Deep Purple and one of Vintage Rock's Top 10 Studio Albums of 2013, reached Gold status in Germany, Russia, Czech Republic and Poland, not to mention that the band has made a very much deserved return to the British Top 20 for the first time in 20 years.

To celebrate the success of the album and the support of one of the greatest fan bases known in rock history, NOW What?! will be released on January 21, 2014 as a Golden Deluxe Edition, with a goodie-filled box set available exclusively via Amazon.

The double-CD Gold Deluxe edition of NOW What?!, packaged in a luxurious gold cover, will include two bonus songs -- a stunning cover of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “It’ll Be Me,” and the rare B-side “First Sign Of Madness,” previously only available digitally and on the CD single “Vincent Price” -- plus an extra disc called The NOW What?! Live Tapes with over 70 minutes of unreleased live music recorded during the summer shows.

The discs are sold together with the inclusion of a brand new booklet to support the second disc, with notes by Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan.

The NOW What ?! box set includes The NOW What?! Live Tapes, a DVD with a 20-minute interview, NOW What?! The Singles (“All The Time In The World,” “Vincent Price,” “Above And Beyond”), exclusive T-shirt (large), exclusive poster, and collectible sticker. The full track listing for both disc is listed below.

CD 1
1. A Simple Song
2 . Weirdistan
3. Out Of Hand
4 . Hell To Pay
5 . BodyLine
6 . Above and Beyond
7. Blood From A Stone
8 . Uncommon Man
9. Après Vous
10. All The Time in The World
11. Vincent Price

BONUS TRACKS
12. It’ll Be Me
13. First Sign Of Madness

CD 2
1. Strange Kind Of Woman (Live in Rome)
2. Hard Loving Man (Live in Aalborg)
3. Vincent Price (Live in Aalborg)
4. Contact Lost (Live in Aalborg)
5. All The Time in The World (Live in Milan)
6. No One Came (Live in Gaevle)
7. BodyLine (Live in Rome)
8. Perfect Strangers (Live in Gaevle)
9. Above And Beyond (Live in Milan)
10. Lazy (Live in Gaevle)
11. Black Night (Live in Rome)
12. Smoke On The Water (Live in Rome)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Don Everly On Losing His Brother Phil Everly

Don Everly has released a statement on the passing of his little brother Phil, who died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on Friday, January 3.

The elder Everly writes that the love they shared "will always be deeper than any earthly differences we might have had" during their wildly successful career together.

"I loved my brother very much. I always thought I'd be the one to go first. I was listening to one of my favorite songs that Phil wrote and had an extreme emotional moment just before I got the news of his passing. I took that as a special spiritual message from Phil saying good-bye. Our love was and will always be deeper than any earthly differences we might have had. The world might be mourning an Everly Brother, but I'm mourning my brother Phil Everly. My wife Adela and I are touched by all the tributes we're seeing for Phil and we thank you for allowing us to grieve in private at this incredibly difficult time."

On Friday, Phil Everly's wife, Patti, told the Los Angeles Times that the singer's lung disease was contracted through a lifetime of smoking and that the family was "absolutely heartbroken."

Vintage Rock interviewed Phil Everly in 2012. To see the video, go to http://bit.ly/1lg3SHL.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Surviving Members Speculate On Possible Kinks Reunion

In the upcoming issue of Uncut, three original, surviving members of the Kinks – Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory – talked about the band reuniting.

All three are mainly positive about the potential reformation, with Ray Davies stating: “It’s as close as it’s ever been to happening.”

“I said to Ray I thought that it’d be a great shame if we don’t try and do something,” guitarist Dave Davies added. “I don’t think our love has diminished. I think the stage-play has played itself out a bit, the pretense and the acting. I think it’s time reality took over, and started directing the last years of… whatever it is. It’s like Cain and Abel.”

“I think it would be nice to do something all together,” says original drummer Mick Avory, who left the band in 1984. “Because the chances are diminishing as we talk. Hopefully me, Dave and Ray can meet before it happens. We’d have to knock our heads together and rehearse, if we meant to do it properly. We haven’t played together for God knows how long.”

The Davies brothers have some reservations, though, with Dave claiming, “I don’t want to see the legacy of The Kinks soured by two miserable old men doing it for the money.”