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Friday, April 27, 2007

Status Quo will release a new album in September. To be called 'In Search Of The Fourth Chord', it's being produced by Pip Williams and will be on their own Fourth Chord label.

ALICE IN CHAINS have started to write new material but have no plans to release an album as yet.

DEEP PURPLE have dropped their idea to play the whole of the ‘Machine Head’ album on their current UK tour and instead are playing a more ‘loser’ set.

ATO Records has set July 10 as the North American release date for Crowded House's "Time On Earth." It's the band's first new studio album in 14 years, and features original, founding members Neil Finn and Nick Seymour, along with former member Mark Hart and new drummer Matt Sherrod.

EPICA have signed to Nuclear Blast.

The Answer are to re-issue their debut album 'Rise' through Albert Productions on June 18.
It has a bonus CD, featuring live tracks, a cover of Aerosmith's 'Sweet Emotion', acoustic versions and singles B-sides.

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CLASSIC ROCK NEWSWIRE FORUM
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http://www.atfreeforum.com/crnewswire/

PRESS RELEASES

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the reissue of Michael Thompson Band's masterpiece How Long on June 8.
In order to coincide with the release of Michael Thompson's new band debut album TRW's Rivers of Paradise, Frontiers and Michael agreed that it was a perfect time to re-release this masterpiece on the same day.
In 1988, after working to try and get a deal with his band Slang for several years, Thompson got signed by Geffen Records to release one album entitled How Long, under the Michael Thompson Band (MTB) moniker.
The singer for this group was Rick 'Moon' Calhoun, previously front man for the AOR cult band The Strand, Michael's long time friend. Completing the line-up were another bunch of highly respected studio professionals such as John Andrew Schreiner (on keyboards), Leon Gaer (bass), John Keane (drums).
On How Long more musicians appeared, in particular drummer-maestro Terry Bozzio, Pat Torpey (of Mr Big), bassist Jimmy Haslip, ex Kansas vocalist John Elefante, Toto's Bobby Kimball and Great White associates Michael Lardie and Wyn Davis (who also produced the album).
As of today How Long is regarded as one of the highest examples of hi-tech AOR / West Coast, with a superb production and immaculate songwriting. During the years it became more and more of a collector's item and the prices paid on E-bay exceeded 80 dollars!
This 2007 reissue comes completely remastered and adds two songs which were recorded during the original sessions and the first fruit of a reunion between Michael, Moon Calhoun and songwriter Jeff Paris entitled Wheelchair, an appetizer for an upcoming brand new album to be expected sometime in 2008!
Final tracklisting of the How Long reissue shall be: Secret Information; Give Love a Chance; 1000 Nights; Wasteland; Never Stop Falling; Can t Miss; Gloria; Stranger; Baby Come Back; How Long; Right To Be Wrong (bonus track); Love Goes On (bonus track); Wheelchair (new song).

In the meanwhile track listing for the highly anticipated album from TRW (the new alliance between Michael Thompson with former Bridge 2 Far members and top-session players John Robinson and Mark Williamson) has been finalized.
The album Rivers of Paradise will include the following tracks: Set My Spirit Free / Rivers of Paradise; Hold On; Indiscretion; Gonna Be Some Changes; Only a Letter; Hard Time Love; One Good Woman; Love Comes Callin'; Alimony Blues.
Don't miss this incredible opportunity to welcome back some great AOR heroes!

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the signing of Swedish Melodic Metal hopefuls Seven Tears!
Previously known as Atlantica (their demo received a great review on Sweden Rock Magazine in early 2006) the band is now formed by Jonathan Carlemar on guitars, Fredrik Lager on bass, Kristofer von Wachenfeldt on keyboards (Platitude), Michael Sjöö on drums (Spearfish) and singer Zoran Djorem. With this line-up Seven Tears recorded the demo "The Story Unfolds" which was sent in early 2007 to the attention of Frontiers Records who immediately liked the music and offered a recording deal to the guys in February 2007.
"It is absolutely fantastic to get a deal with Frontiers. A dream come true!" said guitar player Jonathan Carlemar, who presents Seven Tears music as "Evergrey meets Journey an unique mixture of Melodic Metal and an AOR-feeling with some prog-elements. The mixture of different styles from the members musical past gives the band a unique sound towards today's rock/metal bands."
Seven Tears are currently busy recording the debut album under the direction of Peter Lundin (Spearfish) at Teknik Kompaniet Studios in Vetlanda, Sweden. Frontiers hopes to release the album during the fall 2007.
www.myspace.com/seventearsmusic www.frontiers.it


Press Release / Vancouver, British Columbia, April 25 - One of Canada's most popular bands, Loverboy, is back, and has just released a new single to radio exclusively through Destiny Media Technologies' Play MPE digital distribution system on Tuesday, April 24.
Loverboy rocked the world in the 1980s with several platinum hits, including "Working for the Weekend," "Turn Me Loose" and "When It's Over" among others. A new album, entitled Back For More, is due out from RockSTAR Music in June.
Loverboy's new single; The One That Got Away is one of the first tracks to utilize the Play MPE system since its fresh launch in Canada. "We have seen the power and reach of Play MPE in its application in the US, and for our brand new single we wanted to hit the ground running," said Loverboy lead singer, Mike Reno. "This album is going to blow our fans away -- both old and new alike!"
"When we needed to get this huge new single out for Loverboy, going with Play MPE was the obvious choice," said Michael Hektoen, President, RockSTAR Music. "No other service has the radio industry's loyalty like MPE. We wanted to be positive that our contacts at stations get this track, and this was the surest path." Play MPE launched in Canada on Monday, April 23rd. The Canadian launch followed several years of exponential growth and success of MPE in the US market as well as adoption by major record labels and radio in every format.
"Having Loverboy release their new Canadian single exclusively through our service is a great honor," said Dean Ernst, VP of MPE Operations. "With the Play MPE System, radio stations across Canada will have immediate access to one of the most anticipated tracks in the year." The Play MPE system delivers extremely high quality music, graphics and song data directly to authorized computers in a locked format that recognizes whether the machine has been registered with the system. If the labels allow the content to be burned to CD or exported, a proprietary patent pending forensic watermark, which survives analog duplication and compression is embedded into the song. This mark identifies the original source if copies are made.
The MPE system is used by over 800 record labels, including Universal Music Group, EMI Music Group, Sony BMG and Warner Music Group. 42,000 songs have been sent to radio stations and other trusted recipients since launch.
RockSTAR Music is an International Music and Media Company. RockSTAR Music has become the "it" independent Record Company in Canada continuously releasing hit song after hit song from artists including; Rosette, Bianca, Marika, Sy'Rai and Live on Arrival.
RockSTAR will be releasing the upcoming highly anticipated new album by Loverboy in June 2007.


Press Release / Tune into any Classic Rock station in America and you'll hear their hits—“Lady,” “Renegade,” “Come Sail Away,” “Fooling Yourself,” “Babe.” With record sales surpassing 54 million, including a record-setting four consecutive triple platinum albums, Styx is one of the biggest rock bands of the 20th century. What's more, after almost four decades together, Styx is still touring and thrilling sold-out crowds.
A founding member of Styx and its iconic bass player, Chuck Panozzo remembers what it was like on the road to success, riding between local gigs in the back of a station wagon, and at the peak of his fame, playing before thousands of screaming female fans and torrents of panties, bras, and propositions. He also recalls the loneliness and gnawing fear of being found out and exposed as a gay man. He tells the story of his struggle to come to terms with himself while navigating a rock 'n' roll odyssey in The Grand Illusion: Love, Lies, and My Life with Styx (Amacom; May 15, 2007; $24.95 Hardcover).
“Fortunately, I am now comfortable enough in my own skin to take a stand on my own behalf,” Panozzo reflects. “But I know that there are thousands of others who are not. For them, I hope to be an example. For them, I hope to help break down the stigma and stereotypes that still surround not only the gay community, but also many other groups and individuals who feel disenfranchised.”
The Grand Illusion begins on the South Side of Chicago. Born in 1948 to hardworking and devoutly Catholic second-generation Italian-immigrants, Chuck was his mother's only son for exactly 20 minutes. Then his twin brother, John, made his entrance. Growing up, Chuck was reserved and compliant, while John routinely raised hell. Teased at school for “running like a girl,” Chuck felt worthless—until he discovered his talent for making music. At age 10, the Panozzo twins started music lessons, taught by their Uncle Tony. John was a natural drummer. Though it took Chuck a few months, he found his instrument: the rhythm guitar. At age 13, the Panozzo twins formed a trio with their neighbor, 15-year-old Dennis DeYoung, and quickly became popular on the local wedding/party circuit. Thanks to a bit of almost divine intervention—savvy advice from a nun—the boys dumped their Sinatra repertoire to focus on playing rock 'n' roll. After an unlikely detour—a year in the seminary—Chuck came back playing bass guitar with John and Dennis and working on building a rock band.
The Grand Illusion presents a backstage pass to the journey of one of the world's most successful bands, while tracing the awakening of a gay man to his own sexual identity.
Still the [occasional] bass player for Styx, Chuck Panozzo now lives as an openly gay man, in a committed loving relationship, and is an activist for HIV/AIDS education and gay rights. “I've been given the opportunity to make a difference,” says Panozzo. “I do not take that opportunity lightly.”
Filled with insider revelations, The Grand Illusion will strike a chord with fans of Styx and anyone fascinated by the true tales of rock legends. At its heart, however, Chuck Panozzo's memoir is a testament to the power and peace of self-acceptance, certain to resonate with not only gay and lesbian readers, but anyone who has ever felt different or had difficulty accepting their true identity.
www.amacombooks.org

REVIEWS

FATE - Fate (2007) MTM

The second of the Fate albums to be reissued this year following the April release of Cruisin' For A Bruisin' and this time it's the self-titled debut album in the spotlight. Created and lead by ex-Mercyful Fate guitarist Hank Shermann this is considerably more guitar-centric than the later more keyboard oriented albums but still displays a definite melodic edge.
Opener 'Love On The Rocks' displays this immediately sounding much less polished and harder than the revisited version on Cruisin' would. Further riff heavy matter in the shape of 'Danger Zone' and 'Tracks' confirm the bands initial positioning as a melodic metal band underlined by the dark lyrics of 'Fallen Angel'. Possibly a carry over from Mercyful Fate its light years away from the party rock of 'Underneath Da Coconuts'! 'She's Got The Devil Inside' stands out as a really good track and hints at an Alice Cooper influence although reminds me of Golden Earrings' Twilight Zone during the chorus. Unfortunately the quality of songs dropped somewhat toward the end of the album and the final four tracks see the metallic edge blunted and a sound more akin to early Poison takes over, perhaps hinting at the future direction for the band. This release adds a bonus 12" mix of 2nd album opening track 'Won't Stopp'.
Again a decent album that will serve to replace an earlier poor sounding release and maybe stop some of the original CDs changing hands at high prices at auction. I actually preferred the heavier sound of this debut album however the later release in this pair of reissues has the greater amount of better songs.

***
Bill Leslie

FATE - Cruisin' For A Bruisin' (2007) MTM

The first of two digitally remastered reissues scheduled for melodic rock act Fate sees their 1988 vintage third album get the makeover treatment. Initially formed by ex-Mercyful Fate axeman Hank Shermann he had jumped his own ship by the release of Cruisin' and possibly down to this fact this album saw the band move further away from the guitar fuelled debut sound and develop a party rock approach along the lines of David Lee Roth's early solo output.
The likes of "Cupid Shot Me", "Dead Boy, Cold Meat" and a remake of debut album track "Love On The Rox" all borrow something from the ex-Van Halen frontman's style. "Babe, You Got A Friend" is a decent if cliche ridden quota filling big ballad whilst the likes of the rocking "Lock You Up" and "Diamond In The Rough" best reflect the bands harder rocking credentials. Standing out above all though is the track "Lovers"; a fine keyboard driven number that was given the 'promo video' treatment back in the day.
The original CD commands high prices on eBay currently therefore for that reason alone this is a worthwhile release there is clearly some demand for and there is enough high quality pop-metal on here to understand why its so sought after. It's not the absolute classic the marks on some sites would have you believe though and even after numerous listens there isn't that much to set Fate apart from so many other late 80s bands.

3.5/5
Bill Leslie

ASIA ‘Live In Nottingham’ The Store For Music Ltd (2007) www.thestoreformusic.com

Asia have many live CD’s out there and here is another one recorded back in 1990 when the original trio of John Wetton, Geoff Downes and Carl Palmer were joined by guitarist Pat Thrall. This line-up also recorded some songs for the ‘Now & then’ compilation which came out in the same year. The set list contains all the Asia classics including ‘Don’t Cry’, ‘Heat Of The Moment’ and ‘Heat Of The Moment’ plus ‘Days Like These’ of the aforementioned ‘Now & Then’ compilation album. The sound quality is varied with Carl Palmer’s drums very low in the mix at times. Three bonus tracks including a truly awful recording of ‘Heat Of The Moment’, all tinny drums and muffled vocals, a Geoff Downes solo tune and ‘In The End’ from the first Wetton/Downes Icon album. A very eclectic mix of bonus material!
One for collectors/avid fans only…

**1/2
Jason Ritchie

MANFRED MANN’S EARTH BAND ‘Live In America’ The Store For Music Ltd (2007) www.thestoreformusic.com

Recorded in the US back in 1977 this live album has a classic set (with the band’s classic line-up including vocalist Chris Thompson and drummer Chris Slade) from the band including ‘Blinded By The Light’, ‘Davy’s On The Road Again’ and the 60’s hit ‘Mighty Quinn’. Some decent live bonus songs as well including a cover of the Stones track ‘Ruby Tuesday’.
A good, solid live album from a band who often get overlooked but are one of the better 70’s classic rock bands.

***1/2
Jason Ritchie

LITTLE RIVER BAND ‘Re-arranged’ The Store For Music Ltd (2007) www.thestoreformusic.com

Recorded in 2006 this sees the band re-record their classic tunes although with a relatively new line-up bar guitarist Stephen Housden who has been with the band for over 25 years now. So really this is a tribute band in all but name! Only ‘Lady’ with its more guitar orientated sound and ‘Man On Your Mind’ are on par with the originals, otherwise it is okay but after you’ve heard the original versions so many times these re-recordings are a pale imitation…
Get the originals as the vocals are stronger and that was how the songs were meant to be.

**
Jason Ritchie

JOHNNY MONACO ‘Overrated’ Cargo Records (2007) www.johnnymonaco.com

Johnny Monaco is the guitarist and now also vocalist with Enuff Z Nuff (he seems to have replaced original vocalist Donnie Vie certainly as far as touring goes). On this his first full solo album he has penned, produced and played all the instruments on the fourteen songs on here. The songs are very much in the Enuff Z Nuff mould being for the most part up tempo pop rockers like the excellent ‘The Wrong Crowd’, the driving guitars on the title track and ‘The Model Of A Woman’ where Monaco sounds like Donnie Vie crossed with Elvis Costello! Only slight criticism is that some songs do tend to sound similar, especially in the guitar and drum sound.
Definitely one for Enuff Z Nuff fans and short, spiky pop rock tunes a la Butch Walker or Ginger’s solo output.

***1/2
Jason Ritchie

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