Classic Rock Newswire

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Monday, January 08, 2007

POISON are to record an album of classic rock covers. And they want input from the fans. Go to and leave your song suggestions.

PORCUPINE TREE’s new album is entitled ‘Fear of a Blank Planet’ and is due out in Mid-April.

F2 RECORDS: The label of Magenta, Chimpan A, Abel Ganz, Credo and others also runs a great mailorder website. They are currently selling CD's at reduced prices (GBP 9.99 for a single CD, 14.99 for a double), including pre-orders for the new Neal Morse album Sola Scriptura and Sylvan - Presents.
During the month of January all orders will receive a free F2 records sampler CD with tracks of Magenta, Chimpan A, Ezra and Credo.
For more details, visit

Ian Brown is back in a studio in London recording a new album called The World is Yours.

Paul McCartney is to record his parts on an unfinished Beatles song. Now And Then was abandoned during the band’s original tenure. McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison also weighed up the idea of reviving it a decade ago, though Harrison vetoed the proposal. Starr has yet to offer a public opinion on the decision.

Roger Waters is covering Hello (I Love You) by The Doors for the soundtrack to a movie called The Last Mimzy.

Ex-Wolfsbane/Iron Maiden frontman Blaze Bayley has parted with his backing band whilst preparing the follow-up to 2004’s Blood & Belief album.

CARLY SIMON will promote her new album via a 30 minute programme on shopping channel QVC.


The Answer are shooting a video for 'Be What You Want' on January 10, and they're keen for as many people as possible to be featured as extras. If you wanna be included, here's what you need to do. Get to Heron Quays station in London by noon; this is on the DLR Line, very near to Canary Wharf. The shoot should be over by 3pm at the latest. There will be refreshments, and anyone who comes along will also get a DVD of the video once it has been manufactured. Anyone selected for a cameo role will get a small cash payment. If you're interested, email Helena Gustafsson at and let her know. You can wear what you want, although nothing too offensive and no brands!


Wednesday 11th April 2007 : Budapest - Hungary
Thursday 12th April 2007 : Vienna - Austria
Friday 13th April 2007 : Prague - Czech Republic
Saturday 14th April 2007 : Dresden - Germany
Sunday 15th April 2007 : Poland tbc
Tuesday 17th April 2007 : Berlin - Germany
Wednesday 18th April 2007 : Hamburg - Germany
Thursday 19th April 2007 : Duisburg - Germany
Friday 20th April 2007 : Frankfurt - Germany
Saturday 21st April 2007 : Stuttgart - Germany
Sunday 22nd April 2007 : Zurich - Switzerland
Tuesday 24th April 2007 : Milan - Italy
Wednesday 25th April 2007 : Innsbruck - Austria
Thursday 26th April 2007 : Germany tbc
Friday 27th April 2007 : Belgium tbc
Saturday 28th April 2007 : Holland tbc
Sunday 29th April 2007 : London – England

According to Metal Hammer, IRON MAIDEN, AEROSMITH, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, TOOL, HEAVEN AND HELL and MACHINE HEAD are among the artists that are rumoured to be in talks to play this year's Download festival, set to take place June 8-10 at Donington Park.



Richie Kotzen is best-known for brief stints with Poison and Mr Big, where his laid-back, soulful playing added a totally new dimension to their sounds, but he has also forged an extensive solo career both before and afterwards.
On his new release ‘Into the Black’, he writes, plays and produces the whole thing himself. As my first experience of his solo albums I was struck both by the fact the focus is very much on the songs with the guitar tasteful but kept in check, and that it follows its own path rather than those trod by his previous bands. It is still melodic, but with a contemporary feel- many of the songs having the laid-back flowing grooves of recent Red Hot Chili Peppers. Richie’s own voice is warm and soulful, occasionally sounding like Audioslave’s Chris Cornell, although Till You Put me Down is an uncanny replica of Glenn Hughes!. The CD has a diverse mix of all-out rockers including the expletive-littered opener You can’t save me and Sacred Ground, to the mellow, blues-influenced Doin’ What the Devil says to Do and My Angel.
An album that is not easy to pigeonhole, but brings its rewards if you are open-minded enough to persist with it.

Andy Nathan

ZION-ZION (2006) Frontiers

One of melodic rock’s great vocal talents, Freddy Curci, is back after several years in the wilderness with an eagerly-awaited new project. It really is a travesty that the man who sang on an American No 1 (Sheriff’s When I’m with You) and a No 2 (Alias’ More than Words can Say) has released so little product over the past 25 years.
However this will inevitably be a controversial release. Melodic rock and AOR relies on a polished production more than most other musical genres, but this is the latest and possibly worst in a line of horribly sub-standard productions (Two Fires second album, Blue Tears’ comeback etc). Freddy’s vocals, though a little rougher around the edges, still captivate, but the rest of the music sounds as if it has been recorded in an adjacent room, with a tinny rhythm section and occasionally guitar solos in the background that bear no resemblance to the song (the credits list a cast of several musicians but also Freddy playing nearly every instrument). It took me at least two listens to get over finding fault with the recording and concentrating on the songs.
The material is actually first-rate, although I sense many of the songs were written several years ago for other projects. All it Takes is a Minute is a great opening statement along the lines of Signal’s Eyes of a Stranger, with how Much Longer is Forever not far behind. The diversity of styles is pleasing, ranging from Joe Lynn Turner-era Rainbow (Dangerous; Everybody’s Watching) to laid-back, almost country sounding songs like the gorgeous I’m Coming Home and The Devil’s Dance.
I’m not sure whether the quality of the songs is the saving grace for this release, or whether it adds to my frustration that they are spoiled by such a demo-quality production.

Andy Nathan

THE POODLES ‘Metal Will Stand Tall’ AFM Records (2007)

This album has already proved a smash hit in Sweden and Finland where it was released last year and now it gets a full European release. The line-up features former members of Great King rat, the Zan Clan and Talisman including guitar whiz Pontus Norgren (who has been involved in many melodic hard rock albums through the years). Like Lordi, Big Cock and Gotthard this band take the 80’s hard rock sound and give it an update. I defy anyone not to enjoy the title track, a real metal anthem that puts bands like Edguy to shame. Great guitar solo and a catchy as f**k chorus. The album is chock full of anthems like ‘Song For You’ where vocalist Jakob Samuel really lets rip (he has hints of Mark Slaughter and Michael Flexig of Zeno fame in his vocals). For something with a faster pace try ‘Number One’, whilst the power ballad ‘Crying’ is one a certain Mr Coverdale would love to have written I am sure! A cover of Ultravox’s ‘Dancing With Tears In My Eyes’ seems out of place with the rest of the album but bar that it is pure enjoyment from start to finish.
The Poodles rock and then some! Big choruses, nifty guitar solos and tunes that just won’t leave your head. An upcoming tour with Hammerfall and Krokus should see the band swell their fan base nicely and if you can’t see them live get this album as it is one to delight all fans of hard rock meets metal.

Jason Ritchie

The Revenge Of The Mechanical Dog
Land Speed Records

That guitar pop feeling behind some real rock’n’roll, opening track here ‘Let The Blind Lead The Blind’ also has an uptempo Iron Maiden feel, abeit a pop/punk feel.
‘The Game’ continues in a similar vein, with a touch of grunge in the fast/slow sections.
A touch of The Jam in a disjointed way in ‘Cuts And Bruises’.
An interesting album, largely enjoyable, of guitar pop / punky rock’n’roll with retro influences, pretty typical of what’s out there now, should do well.

Joe Geesin

Sleep Is For The Week
Xtra Mile Recordings

This new album kicks off with the acoustic ‘The Real Damage’, sounds good if typical singer/songwriter pop, vocals and a guitar or two.
Drums come in for ‘Vital Signs’, still that artistic acoustic feel though, with a few bursts of crunchy chords.
The full band acoustic feel continues, guitar pop cum heavy folk. Some nice tunes along the way, but nothing really outstanding.

Joe Geesin

Once Twice Again (CDsingle)
Xtra Mile Recordings

This 2 track affair kicks off with ‘Once Twice Again’, a powerful catchy guitar pop. Quirky, not the reliance of second rate punk that many guitar pop bands do. Just enough to grab your interest.
A new wave feel to ‘Lines’, incredibly some actual guitar notes rather than just strumming. This should have been the lead track!

Joe Geesin

Here & Now (2CD)
Burgundy / Sony BMG

This studio CD (disc 1 of 2) kicks off with the whimsical pop of ‘Chasing The Rainbow’, some nicely layered work, gentle pop without being a ballad.
‘Indian Summer’, with lots of “ooooh’s” in the background and plenty of strumming, mixes 60s pop with the lighter end of Brit-pop.
There’s elements of heavy folk and singer/songwriter in with the whimsical guitar pop. Many tracks lack direction, and the few songs that start off with any balls soon lose them.
Disc 2, recorded live in October 2005, is heavier, rougher, as you’d expect from the live situation, and with the tight playing, is an improvement on the lacklustre drifting of the studio set. That said, it could just be the same drifting whimsical pop with a kick up the backside.
This kind of material is fine as a single or two, but a whole album of it was just too difficult.

Joe Geesin

Angel Air SJPCD231

Second album, dating from 1972 and originally released on MCA. Mix prog rock with 60s pop a la Beatles, add a whimsical fold touch and you get a right mixture.
Opener ‘Lummy Days’ works well, is uptempo, and a lot of fun.
The title track is more drifting, psychedelic, and ‘Anyone For Tennis’, with its string arrangements, is again quite different, before you get the whimsical if posh vocals. Boating at Henley On Thames here we come.
Their live shows were described as “3 Hours of fun, lust and lunacy” which describes the set here too. But the minds drift as much as the songs do, making for an occasionally disjointed mixture.
Well packaged with 4 extra tracks, should please fans and a few more besides.

Joe Geesin

Burning Questions
Angel Air SJPCD217

First solo album from the former Stackridge / Korgis front man, dating from 1986 and now on CD for the first time.
Very new wave, twiddly backing keyboards, electronic drums. The opening title track has touches of Howard Jones and Yazoo, but much more powerful, a mean heavy direction to that kind of new wave pop. There’s a touch of Abba in there too.
The album is strong, if a little dated, but is a good listen. Well annotated and with bonus cuts, it’s worth checking out.

Joe Geesin

In Concert, Germany 1973 (DVD)
Angel Air NJPDVD627

With Jimmy McCulloch now on guitar (original guitarist Leslie Harvey, brother of Alex, had died the previous year), this rock outfit still kicked heavy duty.
Singer Maggie Bell still had lots of energy and power, and a touch of Janis Joplin in her voice; both bluesy and funky.
“Going Down” is a classic, as is “Penicillin Blues” (once recorded by Alex in the 60s). Pianist Ronnie Leahy went on to play with Jack Bruce, Nazareth and a host of others such is his pedigree.
With band interviews, the total running time is over 2 hours, which makes good value.
Classic, in every sense.

Joe Geesin


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