Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Foreigner’s Mick Jones Shares Parkinson’s Disease Battle

Foreigner founder Mick Jones’ ongoing absence from the band’s live concerts since 2022 has been widely noticed and commented on by fans. He’s now revealing that it is Parkinson’s disease that has sidelined him from being on stage with the group, which is in the midst of a farewell tour.

“Fans will have become very aware that for some time now, I have not been performing onstage with the band. Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I want everyone to know that I am doing alright,” Jones said in a statement released on Wednesday (Feb. 21). “However, I’ve always liked to be at my best when performing onstage, and sadly, at present, I find that a bit difficult. I am still very much involved in the background with Foreigner and remain a presence. Parkinson’s is a daily struggle; the important thing is to persevere and remind myself of the wonderful career I’ve had in music. I thank all the fans who have supported Foreigner throughout the years and continue to attend our concerts — I want you to know I appreciate your support; it always means so very much to me, but especially so at this point in my life.”

The English-born Jones, 79, formed Foreigner during 1976 in New York, shortly after playing in the Leslie West Band. He put together a band of British and American musicians, including Ian McDonald of King Crimson fame and Lou Gramm from the band Black Sheep, and hit it out of the box with a self-titled debut in 1977, which reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200, was certified five-times platinum and launched the enduring hits “Feels Like the First Time” and “Cold as Ice.” In its wake Foreigner has released eight more studio albums and sold more than 80 million records worldwide, spawning additional hits such as “Hot Blooded,” “Urgent,” “Juke Box Hero” and “I Want to Know What Love Is” (the lattermost a Billboard Hot 100 topper).

Earlier this month the group received its first-ever nomination for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. After the first week of fan voting, Foreigner ranked third, behind Ozzy Osbourne and Peter Frampton, with well over 100,000 votes.

During his last years of touring with the band Jones would come on for a few songs each night, a bit like a special guest at the shows. Foreigner is currently led by bassist Jeff Pilson, who’s been with the band since 2004, and frontman Kelly Hansen, who joined the following year.

In a previous interview, Jones was asked about the prospect of Foreigner continuing without him on board. “That’s a tough one,” he said, adding that, “I look at it as a team. If you think about…any kind of sports teams, they change players all the time. The thought of my music carrying on in that way has some appeal to me.”

Pilson, meanwhile, said last year that Jones still makes “the final decision” on anything related to the band — including checking off on the farewell tour that began last summer. “I would say it was difficult for him because (Foreigner) is his baby,” the bassist noted. “This is his lifetime achievement. It’s difficult, but I know he endorses the decision.” The tour is slated to finish in North America this summer; dates have been announced through Aug. 28, including a summer run with Styx and John Waite. Band manager Phil Carson says some international dates might take the tour into 2025, however.

There may also be some new Foreigner music in the offing — the band’s first since 2009’s Can’t Slow Down album, save for “The Flame Still Burns” from the 2017 compilation 40. “It is very much in the realm of possibility,” Pilson said last year. “We do have some tracks floating around unfinished, and they’re unfinished for a reason; we haven’t figured out what to do just yet. But they’re good songs, so at some point I’m really hoping they come out.”

Hansen added that Jones has been writing with longtime collaborator Marti Frederiksen. “There’s a whole bunch of stuff in different stages of completion,” he said. “We’ve got stuff going back a long time, so I think that might be something that’s going to happen.”

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

AC/DC Announce Limited Edition Gold Vinyl Legacy Titles

AC/DC played their very first show on December 31, 1973 at Chequers Nightclub in Sydney, Australia. Now, 50 years later, AC/DC has thrilled their millions of fans by announcing the ‘POWER UP’ European tour for Summer 2024.

To honor AC/DC’s 50-year reign, Columbia Records/ Legacy Recordings are proud to announce that the band’s catalog will be available as gold colored vinyl LPs. Each of these limited edition LPs comes with an album-specific 12”x12” print featuring new AC/DC 50 artwork, suitable for framing. Available for pre-order now at AC/DC 50th Anniversary Vinyl

The first wave of releases includes the following nine classic albums. Further drops will follow later in the year.
 

  • BACK IN BLACK - Featuring You Shook Me All Night Long, Shoot To Thrill and the title track, it is the ‘best-selling studio album of all time by a band’.
  • HIGHWAY TO HELL – Released in 1980, it was AC/DC’s first hit album in the US.
  • THE RAZORS EDGE – Features the classic single ‘Thunderstruck’, the video for which has been viewed over a billion times on YouTube.
  • POWERAGE – The classic 1976 album contains the single ‘Rock And Roll Damnation’, the band’s first European hit.
  • FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK (WE SALUTE YOU) – The iconic cover features a ‘Twelve-Pound Cannon’ from the 19th Century. The band still incorporate cannons into their live set to deafening effect.
  • HIGH VOLTAGE – The band’s international debut included tracks from their first two Australian albums.
  • DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP – Initially unavailable in the U.S. for five years, the album eventually rose to #3 on the Billboard chart, selling over 6,000,000 copies.
  • WHO MADE WHO – AC/DC provided the songs for the soundtrack for Stephen King’s movie Maximum Overdrive, which included three brand new tracks including the hit title track.
  • LIVE - 1991’s double live album was recorded at Donnington Park & Birmingham in the UK, Edmonton in Canada and Moscow.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Ian Hunter Returns With New Album, 'Defiance Part 2: Fiction'

Ian Hunter has announced a new album, Defiance Part 2: Fiction, via the Sun Records label for release on April 19. The 10-song collection will be available on standard vinyl, CD, and digital download.  A limited edition double LP vinyl edition of Defiance Part 2: Fiction featuring three bonus tracks will be available exclusively on Record Store Day, April 20. Pre-orders are available at https://sunrecords.lnk.to/Fiction.

Defiance Part 2: Fiction sees Hunter following last year’s critically acclaimed Defiance Part 1 with a second collection of mighty new songs as impassioned and powerful as anything in his landmark hall of fame-worthy canon. Like its predecessor, the new album boasts one of the most dazzling all-star lineups ever committed to record, including such close friends and lifelong fans as Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, and Tom Petersson (Cheap Trick), Brian May (Queen), Lucinda Williams, Dean DeLeo, Robert De Leo, & Eric Kretz (Stone Temple Pilots), Joe Elliott and Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Johnny Depp, Billy Bob Thornton and J.D. Andrew (The Boxmasters), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bob Dylan), Waddy Wachtel (Stevie Nicks, Jackson Browne), David Mansfield (Bob Dylan, T Bone Burnett), Tony Shanahan (Patti Smith), Steve Holley (Wings), Morgan Fisher (Mott the Hoople), and – in what proved among their final studio recordings – the late, great Jeff Beck and Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters). Additionally, for the Record Store Day Vinyl the special guests on two tracks include:  Mike McCready and Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam), Chris Robinson and Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes).

Defiance Part 2: Fiction – which features an original cover painting by Depp – includes the first single, “Precious,” featuring Taylor Hawkins on drums, Joe Elliott on background vocals and instantly identifiable guitar from longtime mate Brian May (who began his own road to superstardom when Queen supported Mott the Hoople on their blockbuster 1974 tour of the UK and North America). “Precious” premieres today on all DSPs and streaming services.

“We got on really well with Queen,” Hunter says. “When you’re in a band you can get really bored with each other but they were just normal blokes, it was like being on the road with nine guys instead of just five. Freddie was hilarious and I’ve kept up with Brian to this day.”

Hunter has stood in the spotlight for nearly seven decades, from fronting Mott the Hoople and his renowned partnership with Mick Ronson to his internationally lauded 21st century renaissance with the Rant Band. The Defiance project came together in 2020 as Hunter worked on new songs in his Connecticut basement alongside his longtime collaborator, guitarist/producer/multi-instrumentalist Andy York. With quarantine rules in effect, longtime manager Mike Kobayashi and famed rock ‘n’ roll photographer Ross Halfin suggested Hunter reach out to some of his friends and fellow artists to fill in the tracks. A spectacular selection of stars immediately agreed, building out Hunter’s demos with their trademark talents.

Now Hunter returns with Defiance Part 2: Fiction, again boasting a historic roster of guest artists while evincing a harder lyrical edge and denser musical approach. Having long used his voice to explore and examine contemporary issues, Hunter is once more pointing his passionate pen at a society seemingly more out of control with each passing day.

“I was trying to avoid all that on Part 1,” Hunter says, “but on Part 2, it caught up with me. Most of those were written two or three years back, so I wanted to get it all out before whatever takes hold in November. It would be dated after the fact.”

Songs like the legalization anthem “Weed” – featuring Stone Temple Pilots’ Dean DeLeo (guitar), Robert De Leo (bass), and Eric Kretz (drums) and the epic “Fiction” – with keyboards from Mott the Hoople’s Morgan Fisher and a stirring string arrangement from David Mansfield (Bob Dylan, T Bone Burnett) – are full of righteous fury and vibrant spirit, Hunter’s perspective and gift for protest music as clear-eyed and independent as ever

“I'm neither left nor particularly right,” Hunter adds. “I'm just straight down the middle. And so I tried to write from that point of view. An eagle has two wings and if one falls off it perishes. That's what I'm trying to get at. A bit of common sense, you know, Thomas Paine stuff.”

Countless highlights abound through Defiance Part 2: Fiction, from a pair of irresistibly crunchy rockers (“People” and “Kettle of Fish”) featuring three founding members of Cheap Trick to the raw, emotional “What Would I Do Without You,” the latter of which sees Hunter sharing lead vocals with Lucinda Williams – the first duet in his extensive canon.

“Lucinda and her husband came to one of my shows in Nashville,” Hunter says. “I love her voice, there’s something very childlike, and you just know it’s her straight away. You don’t forget that voice.”

Much to his surprise, Hunter is currently hard at work writing songs for a third installment in the Defiance project. Though born from expediency and quarantine, the communal nature of Defiance has proven a remarkably fruitful creative path for Ian Hunter, still another collaborative milestone in his indefatigable journey through rock ‘n’ roll.

“I never initiated this,” Ian Hunter says. “It just kind of just happened and it turned out great. So I’m going to write some more songs and we’ll see what happens again.”

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Carl Palmer Releasing 'Fanfare For The Common Man', Career-Spanning Box Set

BMG is releasing a comprehensive three CD and single Blu-ray Disc box set around drummer Carl Palmer's impressive career. Fanfare For The Common Man features music and visuals from the Carl Palmer Band, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Asia and various others. 

The Blu-ray Disc comprises The Rhythm of Life, an audio-visual documentary narrated by the drummer that features live and behind-the-scenes footage of ELP, Asia, Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Carl Palmer Band, and ELP Legacy. Also included is a 200-page autobiography illustrated with photos from the drummer’s personal archive.

Fanfare For The Common Man comes out on April 5.

Palmer is currently on tour with his Return of Emerson, Lake & Palmer  show, which combines footage of Keith Emerson and Greg Lake from ELP’s 1992 Royal Albert Hall shows with Palmer and his Legacy band live on stage, all playing together. Tickets available at ELPTickets.com.  

For all things Carl Palmer, visit carlpalmer.com.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Tina Turner’s 'What’s Love Got To Do With It' Gets Reboot For 30th Anniversary

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Tina Turner’s What’s Love Got To Do With It, a brand new suite of special edition albums are to be released on April 26. The four- CD and single DVD boxed set will include the original album remastered on the first disc, with the second disc featuring a collection of edits, remixes and acapella. The third and fourth discs features Turner’s live show at the Blockbuster Pavilion in 1993 remastered, which can also be watched on the DVD along with three music videos. The boxed set also includes a poster and a 24-page booklet. Additional album formats include a single vinyl LP and two CD sets, as well as digitally. You can pre-order at Rhino

Originally released on June 15, 1993, What’s Love Got To Do With It was a commercial and critical success. The album was the soundtrack for the Tina Turner biographical film of the same name and reached No.1 in the UK, also making the top 10 in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Canada, and the top 20 in the US. The album went on to be a platinum record across the world, including the US, UK and Switzerland. It was a collection of songs, some of which were re-recorded from Turner’s ‘Ike & Tina Turner’ period, including “A Fool In Love,” as well as five brand new songs, one of which - “I Don't Wanna Fight" - became a top 10 hit in both the US and UK. 

The album also includes Turner's version of The Trammps' disco classic "Disco Inferno," a song she had often performed live in concert in the late 70s but never previously recorded in the studio. Two tracks from her 1984 breakthrough solo album Private Dancer are also included - the title track and a different re-mixed version of "I Might Have Been Queen."


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Neil Young & Crazy Horse Hitting The Road For First Time In Five Years

 

Neil Young & Crazy Horse are mounting a comeback via the Love Earth Tour 2024. Their first tour since 2019 features 16 concerts spanning April 24 through May 23.

The lineup for the tour has not been confirmed. Young was backed at 2023 Crazy Horse shows by multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren, drummer Ralph Molina, bassist Billy Talbot and guitarist Micah Nelson. However, Lofgren will probably not be there as he heads to Europe for Bruce Springsteen‘s tour of the continent which begins on May 5.

The group start the trek with two nights at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre in San Diego on April 24 and 25. The Horse then hits Phoenix on April 27 before Texas shows in Austin on May 1 and Dallas on May 2.

After their Jazz Fest appearance in New Orleans, Neil Young & Crazy Horse continue the excursion on May 5 in Huntsville, Alabama. From there, the group makes stops in Franklin (Tennessee) on May 8, Bristow (Virginia) on May 11, Camden (New Jersey) on May 12 and New York City on May 14. The tour also includes performances in Mansfield (Massachusetts) on May 17, Bridgeport (Connecticut) on May 18, Toronto on May 20, Clarkston (Michigan) on May 22 and Chicago on May 23

Tickets go on sale this Friday, February 16 at 10 a.m. local time at Ticketmaster.com

Monday, February 12, 2024

'Ringo Starr: The PHOTOGRAPH Portfolio 2024' Signed Prints Available From Genesis Publications

Celebrating 60 years of The Beatles in the USA and the 50th anniversary of Genesis Publications, Ringo Starr has collaborated with the publisher to present 12 signed prints of his photographs including new additions to The PHOTOGRAPH Portfolio.

“We always had a professional photographer to take photos of us, but I just loved taking pictures and I still do” said Starr.

The Beatles drummer shot on black-and-white and vibrant color films and experimented with flash photography and infrared effects, all of which can be seen in this new and updated collection. The photographs are now being reproduced from the negative for the first time as large-format, museum-quality prints. Only 25 numbered copies of each image will be created worldwide.

The PHOTOGRAPH Portfolio includes images of John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording at Abbey Road Studios, George Harrison smiling on a yacht in Cannes, and the first-ever photo of Ringo Starr behind the drums at the Cavern Club, Liverpool.

Stunning landscape pictures, taken during Starr's travels across the world, join these intimate portraits. 

All of the drummer's proceeds will go to benefit the Lotus Foundation, the charity he founded with his wife Barbara Starkey. The publishers are also making a donation from every purchase to the same charity.

The aims of the Lotus Foundation are to fund, support, participate in and promote charitable projects aimed at advancing social welfare. You can find out more at lotusfoundation.com.

For more information on The PHOTOGRAPH Portfolio, visit RingoStarrPrints.com.

Foreigner’s Mick Jones Shares Parkinson’s Disease Battle

Foreigner founder Mick Jones’ ongoing absence from the band’s live concerts since 2022 has been widely noticed and commented on by fans. He’...