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Monday, May 14, 2007

Velvet Revolver are to release an EP called 'Harmony And The Tyranny' in June. It's to feature two tracks from new album 'Libertad', plus a cover of Talking Heads' 'Psycho Killer' and a video on the making of the album.

Paul Simon is to release a new album on June 25 called 'The Essential Paul Simon'. Warner Brothers will release the package on 2 discs with 36 tracks, and also as a 3 disc set with 45 minute video.

Love featuring the late Author Lee, are to release an album called the 'Blue Thumb Recordings' on June 25 via Hip-O Select. The outfit only ever charted twice in the UK when the legendary Forever Changes made number 24 in 1986 and 'Out Here' made number 29 two years later.

BOSTON news –
"After hearing that Beatlejuice planned to put on one last concert as a tribute to Brad, we decided we would really like to do something similar with Boston. After all, people around the world have listened to Brad singing these songs for thirty years.
We planned to let several well known singers that had a history with Boston cover Brad's lead vocal parts, and invite all our former band members to sit in during the performance. The musicians and crew members of Boston feel like they are a part of a family, the loss affected us all, and we needed to get together again one more time. Boston concerts are what brought us together in the first place, so it seemed like the best thing to do for everyone.
Within a couple of weeks we had acquired a roster of great singers to fill in for Brad, and contacted many of our former band members, who were very excited about sitting in. Our guest vocalists were eager to sing the songs Brad made famous with Boston. All together we had about 20 performers who would be included in various parts of the concert. Since we had begun rehearsing for our spring shows early last winter, we were basically ready to play any time in April or June. We prepared a tentative set about two and a half hours long that included our most popular songs, with the extensive live arrangements we have presented in the past.
A note here about getting ready for a Boston concert - While we do our best to make Boston performances look effortless, in reality the parts are difficult to play and the intricate arrangements are a lot to remember. To be prepared for a typical concert requires both constant drilling so that the changes are automatic, and peak performance level to accomplish playing some of the instrumental passages. Once we have done this, improvisation on themes becomes possible, and concentration can be directed to emotion rather than simply recalling parts.
In my personal case this requires several months of preparation, followed by a time consuming ritual of daily rehearsal. Even during a tour, I practice 2 to 3 hrs a day.
Back to reality. Unfortunately, the local Live Nation promoter, who is the only game in town for putting on a major concert, was not able to give us a date for our Boston concert any earlier than late October. By that time the layers of rust would be very thick, and all those arrangement details long forgotten.
Rather than spending the time necessary to perform up to Boston standards six months from now, we've decided to let go of the idea and return to the studio where I had several projects already in the works. I'm also looking forward to possibly completing an engineering design I've neglected which could improve many people's lives.
Hopefully someday we will be able to resurrect the idea and put on a Boston reunion concert. Meanwhile we are planning to play a few songs along with several other bands at an Aug 19th tribute being put together by Brad's son and daughter. Although this won't be a Boston concert, we will play a few songs, as will Beatle Juice, Sammy Hagar, Extreme, Godsmack, RTZ, Cheap Trick, Ernie and the Automatics, and Charlie Farren, according to the information we have.
A bit of other news I've just finished remastering Boston's Greatest Hits CD which now includes I Had a Good Time. It sounds a lot better than the old 1997 version; we'll let you know when Sony plans to release it. I plan to start mixing live tracks for a Boston Live CD next.
Walk On and Don't Look Back, Tom Scholz."

PRESS RELEASES

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce all details surrounding the release of ROBIN BECK's forthcoming studio album project "Livin' On A Dream" on July 6th 2007.
Robin started writing the songs that would make the follow up to "Do You Miss Me" in late 2006. "I started co-writing back in December and completed the first song "Nothing's Gonna Change Your World" in January 2007" says Robin, who adds "I wanted to write songs that would rock my own personal way. The biggest difference between the new CD, "Livin' On A Dream" and 'Do you Miss Me" is that this new CD is driven by my own story lines. "Do You Miss Me" lacked that aspect... There is a tougher, more edgy melodic/rock foundation to the stories".
Robin was not alone in her powerful new undertaking, "Livin' On A Dream". "There is a strong new member of my writing team, Tommy Denander" states the now Florida-based singer. "Tommy is a powerful player and his input was key to this project becoming my best work as a writer and a singer.. Tommy co-produced with James Christian my partner and husband and we all worked in perfect harmony together. Another one of the highlights of this CD is the collaboration between Chris Pelcer, James Christian, Jeff Kent and my self on the song "Always". I'm also back with my closest writing partner, Jeff Kent who put me firmly back into my truest Rock n' Roll shoes. Jeff and I are an amazing writing team. I also had the privilege of working with "guitar great", Jimi Bell and drummer "extraordinaire" BJ Zampa, both House Of Lords band members. In my opinion, we wrote two of best rockers on the CD. Last, but not least, I will always have a touch of my favorite songwriters Amy Sky and Marc Jordan somewhere in my work. They collaborated on a a song called "Until The Last Teardrop Falls" which brought James and I together for a heart pounding ballad that shows the profound love we share in no uncertain terms. Of course, James is at the helm of everything magnificent about these recordings. He is the only producer I have ever worked with who really knows how to bring the best out in my vocal performances. These are best productions of my career, period!"
"Livin On a Dream" promises to be Robin Beck's most powerful and exciting creation ever! "This CD is what my fans have been asking me to record for years now. An entire CD of my own work realized. I am so proud of these recordings. All the songs you will find have provocative and memorable hooks with monster playing. We all found a unique collaboration of creative energies that made "Living on a Dream" be an artist's dream come true".

"Livin' On A Dream" will include the following tracks:
Livin' On A Dream; Show Me The Way; Love Me Like A Man; Always ; Nothing's Gonna Change Your World; Seventeen Forever; Can't Get Enough Of Your Heart; Runaway; Wrapped Around Your Finger; It's Magic; I Can't Walk The Line; Till The Last Tear Drop Falls: Love Lies. Release date is scheduled on July 6th 2007 on Frontiers Records.

GIG NEWS

PRINCE
1ST AUGUST - O2 ARENA - LONDON
3RD/4th AUGUST - O2 ARENA - LONDON
7TH AUGUST - O2 ARENA - LONDON
10TH/11th AUGUST - O2 ARENA - LONDON
14TH AUGUST - O2 ARENA - LONDON
17TH/18th AUGUST - O2 ARENA - LONDON
28TH AUGUST - O2 ARENA - LONDON
31ST AUGUST - O2 ARENA - LONDON
1ST SEPTEMBER - O2 ARENA - LONDON
9TH SEPTEMBER - O2 ARENA - LONDON
12TH/13th SEPTEMBER - O2 ARENA - LONDON

SUM 41
July
5th London Astoria

KULA SHAKER
12TH JUNE - MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY - MANCHESTER
13TH JUNE - HOXTON BAR & GRILL - LONDON
15TH JUNE - BUSH HALL - LONDON
16TH JUNE - THEKLA SOCIAL - BRISTOL
17TH JUNE - RESCUE ROOMS - NOTTINGHAM

REVIEWS

U.D.O. - Mastercutor (AFM Records) 2007

I don't know what it is that's being added to the drinks of the rock aristocracy but over the past few years the likes of Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Saxon and Motorhead have all produced fine albums that bare comparison to their heyday. Add now to that list the diminutive, uniquely voiced ex-Accept frontman Udo Dirkschneider and his solo band U.D.O. because with Mastercutor they've gone and produced what could well be the old school metal album of 2007.
From the demonic TV show introduction onwards there are more than enough hammering riffs and pounding rhythms for any headbanger. If you want a track that defines the term 'heavy metal' look no further than 'The Wrong Side Of Midnight', if you want 80's style anthemic rocker fare go for 'We Do - For You' or for the real highlight of the album check out the thunderous 'Vendetta'. As with the last Motorhead album there's even a couple of slower tracks and both 'One Lone Voice' and 'Tears Of A Clown' are impressive interludes.
Given the quality of the first eleven tracks it's even possible to forgive the poor closer 'Crash Bang Crash' which is every bit as corny as the title suggests. Overall though this is a fine, heavy album from a band that I for one had long written off.

****
Bill Leslie

THE MISSION re-issues (2007) Universal

Three Mission albums get the revamped treatment with added tracks etc. First up ‘God’s Own Medicine’ (****) the band’s debut album and one with such classics as ‘Wasteland’ (the band’s big hot single) and the full unedited version of ‘Love You To Death’. There is also a good take on the previously unreleased Free’s ‘Wishing Well’ which Wayne Hussey makes his own! This album showed the band’s strength’s – Hussey’s gothic vocals, neat guitar that was never overstated and lyrics that at times made little sense but always retained that mystical, gothic air about them.
‘The First Chapter’ (**1/2) rounded up singles released before the band’s debut album (remember back in the 80’s singles and in particular 12” singles were a real must have for fans). Being honest this is a fans only release as there is a lot of filler on here for the casual fan such as ‘Vagilante Man’ (which picks the lyrics of Nazareth and these are delivered in a very strange vocal)., although their cover of Neil Young’s ‘Like A Hurricane’ and the brooding ‘Wake (RSV)’ are well worth listening to. Also a good live version of ‘1969’, a track recorded by Hussey’s pre-Mission band the Sisters Of mercy.
‘Children’ (***1/2) released back in 1988 was produced by Led Zep’s John Paul Jones and you can hear the Led Zep tinged arrangements on ‘Kingdom Come’ and ‘Beyond The Pale’ in particular. Only slight downside to the album is that a few tracks tend to merge into one, although the cover of Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On’ takes on epic proportions and again is well worth hearing.
Two albums well worth having if you are a casual fan and one just for fans only. Those with vinyl copies of the original will enjoy these re-issues as well as you do get added bonus and unreleased tracks on each album.

Jason Ritchie

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