Friday, November 27, 2009

Aerosmith


Legends. Icons. Idols. These are the words used to describe those rare bands that have been adored for a lifetime and immortalized as distinct creators of rock and roll. But what these reverent words are missing is the notion of now. How do you reconcile a generation-spanning word like icon with the quick beat of the present? Aerosmith does it. The band members are legends, icons and idols, dynamic in the present; as cool and innovative now as they were thirty years ago. They are a phenomenon, a force of nature, trail-blazing, unstoppable, showing no signs of slowing down.Unique even among the select handful of rock bands who are still active after their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Aerosmith has sold over 100 million albums.

Think for a second about how big a number that is and how many people have heard their music. Huge! Steven Tyler on vocals, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford on guitars, Tom Hamilton on bass, and Joey Kramer on drums. They’ve outdone the trends and fads of rock and roll to become one of the most powerful and electrifying forces in popular music.

Rewind for a minute to the early ‘70s, when the phrase “sex, drugs and rock & roll” was a rebellious teenager. Enter Aerosmith with a sexy swagger and thrusts ofmetal, glam and boogie woogie. Tyler’s lyrics laced with double entendres and witty humor perfectly complimented by the entire group cool urban charisma. Beyond driving rock and roll tunes, Aerosmith created quintessential power ballads such as Dream On. This dual skill set gave the band a string of gold and platinum albums, including Get Your Wings, Toys in the Attic and Rocks.

The early ‘80s were rockier times, with Perry and Whitford temporarily leaving the Aero fold to pursue solo projects. The guitarists returned in 1984 and soon after, Aerosmith was back in the saddle again. And they have been on top of the charts ever since. Albums like Permanent Vacation, Pump, Get a Grip and Nine Lives, Just Push Play, and their latest release, the blues-inspired 'Honkin' on Bobo', have all been huge successes. And the killer videos – a driving force of the video medium, these Boston rockers led the look, style and attitude of the ‘80s MTV generation. Videos for Dude Looks Like a Lady, Livin’ On the Edge and Crazy (starring Liv) are solid MTV classics. And later, with videos like Pink and Jaded, Aerosmith continued to cut the edge.

Always a step ahead of the pack, Aerosmith’s Just Push Play is the first album to be produced by band members Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (along with Mark Hudson and Marti Frederiksen). The unforgettable pop melodies and bone-shaking rock riffs that are Just Push Play sent Aerosmith even further on their path to musical immortality.

'Honkin' on Bobo' was released in March 2004, and as one Rolling Stone review put it: "Aerosmith don't have much time for pain on Honkin' on Bobo. The songs are mostly about gettin' some, then gettin' outta there -- Dixon's "I'm Ready," Bo Diddley's "Road Runner" -- and the attack is heavy Sixties shindig: snarling guitars, thunderclap drumming, Steven Tyler's 3-D snake hiss and widescreen yowl. Bobo is really a combined tribute: to the originators of the blues' core repertoire and the explosive, electric inventions of 1960s British bands such as the Yardbirds, Mayall's Bluesbreakers and the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac." (David Fricke, Rolling Stone)

With such an unstoppable passion for creating great music, a unique creative vision and an unyielding appreciation for their fans, there are no limits to what the future holds for Aerosmith.

Danger Danger


For Danger Danger, good things seem to come in twos.
Formed in 1987 by Bruno Ravel and Steve West, and rounded out by
Ted Poley, Andy Timmons and Kasey Smith, it didn't take long for the
band to be noticed by Epic Records' Lennie Petze. Petze, who had earlier
discovered Boston, Cyndi Lauper and Aldo Nova, to name a few, made
Danger Danger the first signing to his newly minted Imagine Records.
Released in 1989, the self-titled Imagine/Epic release struck gold. While touring with
Kiss, Alice Cooper, Warrant and Extreme, the band smashed out two hit singles
at both radio and MTV - the classic Naughty Naughty, and highly infectious
Bang Bang. Good things for Danger Danger did indeed, come in twos.

1991 saw the release of Screw It! With extensive touring and overwhelming
press coverage, Screw It! actualized two hits, Monkey Business and
I Still Think About You. Another tour with Kiss, this time in Europe, and a
second sold out headlining tour of Japan, solidified Danger Danger’s place in the rock world.
Now a hot commodity, success could be seen night after sold-out night,
whether they were opening for the biggest rock acts or headlining venues on their own.

In 1993, Danger Danger recorded their 3rd disc for Sony titled Cockroach, however,
due to legal wrangling, the album wouldn’t see the light of day until eight years later.
Upon completion of the album, the band parted ways with lead singer Ted Poley.
Needing a replacement, friend and former Elektra recording artist, Canadian
Paul Laine stepped in. The lead vocals were re-recorded with Laine and the album
was back on the release schedule. The band and Sony were both soon hit with lawsuits
from the departed singer, thus causing Sony to decide it was in their best interest to
shelve the record. Eventually the band amicably parted ways with the label.

In 1995, Bruno Ravel and Steve West formed Low Dice Records, and released
their first album for the label - Dawn. Conceived during this dark chapter for the
band, the record was somewhat of a departure from their earlier work, reflecting
a somber and introspective tone, both musically and lyrically.

1998 saw the release of Four The Hard Way, a return to the band’s original melodic rock roots.
The album was heralded as a classic in the genre, receiving rave reviews throughout the world.

The Return Of The Great Gildersleeves followed in 2000. It too, was greeted with stellar
reviews from critics and fans the world over, further helping cement the band's reputation.

In 2001, the long awaited, and eagerly anticipated Cockroach was finally released.
In a joint venture with Sony Music, Low Dice Records issued a 2 CD set featuring
both versions of the album. Disc one features then current vocalist Paul Laine,
while disc two features original lead vocalist Ted Poley.
The response was overwhelming. The album consistently landed on top ten lists
everywhere. It has been hailed as Danger Danger’s finest album to date.

In 2002, VH1 voted the group one of the “Top 40 Hairbands Of All Time,” landing at
number 25, and featuring them in their hit special VH1’s “Top 40 Hairbands Of All Time.”
Later that year, the band scored another coup when their song Naughty Naughty Xmas
was featured in the #1 movie in America – Disney’s "The Santa Clause 2."

2003 was filled with many highlights, beginning with the release of Rare Cuts, a
collection of unreleased and rare tracks. Following the success of the album, the
band triumphantly returned to the UK (after a ten year absence) and Spain, wowing
fans and critics alike. The end of the year also saw the release of the critically
acclaimed We Wish You A Hairy Christmas, a collection of Christmas songs
featuring some of the biggest “hair bands” of all time. Singling out the band,
Rolling Stone had this to say: “Danger Danger’s Naughty Naughty Xmas affirms
that beneath all the hair spray, the Eighties-metal boom included a bunch of totally
rocking Cheap Trick tribute bands.” More praise came as
Guitar For The Practicing Musician magazine declared Danger Danger’s
self-titled debut one of the “50 Greatest Guitar Albums Of The ‘80s.

2004, looks to be an even more exciting year with the return of original vocalist
Ted Poley after an eleven-year absence. The band will return to the road this summer
with an extensive tour. Sweden Rock will be one of their first shows in Scandinavia,
with many dates to follow throughout Europe, Brazil, Canada and the USA.

Source : dangerdanger.com

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Anthrax


Nearly as much as Metallica or Megadeth, Anthrax were responsible for the emergence of speed and thrash metal. Combining the speed and fury of hardcore punk with the prominent guitars and vocals of heavy metal, they helped create a new subgenre of heavy metal on their early albums. Original guitarists Scott Ian and Dan Spitz were a formidable pair, spitting out lightning-fast riffs and solos that never seemed masturbatory. Unlike Metallica or Megadeth, they had the good sense to temper their often serious music with a healthy dose of humor and realism. After their first album, Fistful of Metal, singer Joey Belladonna and bassist Frank Bello joined the lineup. Belladonna helped take the band farther away from conventional metal clichés, and over the next five albums (with the exception of 1988's State of Euphoria, where the band sounded like it was in a creative straitjacket), Anthrax arguably became the leaders of speed metal. As the '80s became the '90s, they also began to increase their experiments with hip-hop, culminating in a tour with Public Enemy in 1991 and a joint re-recording of PE's classic "Bring the Noise."

After their peak period of the late '80s, Anthrax kicked Belladonna out of the band in 1992 and replaced him with ex-Armored Saint vocalist John Bush -- a singer who was gruffer and deeper, fitting most metal conventions perfectly. Subsequently, their sound became less unique and their audience shrank slightly as a consequence, and after signing to Elektra for 1993's Sound of White Noise, the group left the label after just one more album, 1995's Stomp 442. At that point, Anthrax -- now a four-piece consisting of Ian, Bush, Bello, and drummer Charlie Benante -- built their own studio in Yonkers, NY, and after a three-year hiatus returned with their Ignition label debut, Volume 8: The Threat Is Real. Anthrax's very first "hits" collection was released in 1999; titled Return of the Killer A's: The Best Of, it was also their first release for the Beyond label. The album included a cover of "Ball of Confusion," which featured a duet between current frontman Bush and former vocalist Belladonna. A proposed tour that was to include both vocalists was announced, but on the eve of its launch, Belladonna pulled out, reportedly for monetary reasons. The tour carried on, as Anthrax signed on to participate in a package tour during the summer of 2000 with Mötley Crüe and Megadeth, but left the tour after only playing a handful of dates.

Anthrax appeared on the Twisted Sister tribute album Twisted Forever in 2001 (covering the track "Destroyer"), and began recording their next album the same year. In addition, guitarist Ian found time to regularly host the metal television program Rock Show on VH1, plus he appeared as part of the fictional metal band Titannica in the film Run, Ronnie, Run. VH1 programming heads eventually replaced Ian with Sebastian Bach, but the band was ready to head back into the studio anyway. New guitarist Rob Caggiano joined in the spring of 2002, just in time for the recording. A year later, Anthrax made their Sanctuary debut with We've Come for You All. The band's dynamic hadn't changed, and touring in support of that album was met with overwhelming success. The CD/DVD set Music of Mass Destruction: Live in Chicago, which arrived in spring 2004, celebrated Anthrax's two decades in the business. Then, in 2005, Anthrax's entire original lineup of Ian, Spitz, Belladonna, Benante, and Bello reunited for a tour and the CD/DVD retrospective Anthrology: No Hit Wonders 1985-1991. Anthrax also issued Alive 2, recorded during their summer 2005 reunion tour. Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Greg Prato, All Music Guide

Source : starpulse.com

New Release Yngwie Malmsteen's Album


YNGWIE MALMSTEEN release an all-instrumental acoustic album, "Angels Of Love". "'Angels Of Love' is the instrumental version of the best Yngwie Malmsteen love songs played on acoustic guitar and keyboards only.
"Angels Of Love" track listing:

01. Forever One
02. Like An Angel
03. Crying
04. Brothers
05. Memories
06. Save Our Love
07. Ocean Sonata
08. Miracle Of Life
09. Sorrow
10. Prelude To April

Source : roadrunnerrecords.com

Herman Li


Position
Lead/Rhythm Guitars & Backing Vocals

Biography
Herman Li is the guitarist, songwriter and producer of the Grammy nominated metal act DragonForce.

Having recently released their fourth album, 'Ultra Beatdown', DragonForce is currently bouncing around the globe on a World Headline Tour.

'Inhuman Rampage', the band’s international breakthrough album, featured the U.S. & Canadian Gold Single ‘Through the Fire and Flames’, also a hit in the video game Guitar Hero III. However, ‘Ultra Beatdown’ is the album that has taken DragonForce to new heights, crashing into the Top 20 national album charts in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore and the Top 10 in Japan.

In the last few years, Herman has established himself as one of the most recognized and influential guitarists of the new generation. Accolades starting pouring in, starting with the 2005 'Best Shredder' award at the annual Metal Hammer Golden Gods. Herman also won four categories in Guitar World's 2007 Readers Poll for 'Best New Talent' (winning by 70%), 'Best Metal', 'Best Riff' and 'Best Shredders'. He also won 'Best Guitar Solo' for ‘Through the Fire and Flames’ in Total Guitar's readers' poll in 2007, as well as numerous other polls in printed and online press around the world. Outside of DragonForce, Herman has been invited to perform with guitar legends such as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Paul Gilbert, just to name a few.

Between intensive world tours with DragonForce, Herman found time to write a monthly guitar column in UK's Total Guitar magazine as well as becoming involved in guitar clinics around the world. Always continuing to evolve as a guitar player, Herman likes to understand his instrument as much as possible. He is heavily involved in electric guitar development, working on new ideas to improve the instrument as much as possible. After 3 years of hard work, and dedication, the result is the Ibanez E-Gen guitar, Herman’s signature model.

Outside of music, Herman's interests includes technology and martial arts. He enjoy training in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu and MMA. He also speaks three languages fluently.

In 2009, Herman will be appearing at a limited number of special clinics and exclusive events to help showcase his own approach to the instrument and continue to inspire other guitarists worldwide. Recently, Herman won the 'Best Shredder' awards at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods for the second time.

Source : dragonforce.com

Kiss


Rooted in the campy theatrics of Alice Cooper and the sleazy hard rock of glam rockers the New York Dolls, Kiss became a favorite of American teenagers in the '70s. Most kids were infatuated with the look of Kiss, not their music. Decked out in outrageously flamboyant costumes and makeup, the band fashioned a captivating stage show featuring dry ice, smoke bombs, elaborate lighting, blood spitting, and fire breathing that captured the imaginations of thousands of kids. But Kiss' music shouldn't be dismissed -- it was a commercially potent mix of anthemic, fist-pounding hard rock driven by sleek hooks and ballads powered by loud guitars, cloying melodies, and sweeping strings. It was a sound that laid the groundwork for both arena rock and the pop-metal that dominated rock in the late '80s. Kiss was the brainchild of Gene Simmons (bass, vocals) and Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar, vocals), former members of the New York-based hard rock band Wicked Lester; the duo brought in drummer Peter Criss through his ad in Rolling Stone and guitarist Ace Frehley responded to an advertisement in The Village Voice. Even at their first Manhattan concert in 1973, the group's approach was quite theatrical; Flipside producer Bill Aucoin offered the band a management deal after the show. Two weeks later, the band was signed to Neil Bogart's fledgling record label, Casablanca. Kiss released their self-titled debut in February of 1974; it peaked at number 87 on the U.S. charts. By April of 1975, the group had released three albums and had toured America constantly, building up a sizable fan base. Culled from those numerous concerts, Alive! (released in the fall of 1975) made the band rock & roll superstars; it climbed into the Top Ten and its accompanying single, "Rock 'N' Roll All Nite," made it to number 12. Their follow-up, Destroyer, was released in March of 1976 and became the group's first platinum album; it also featured their first Top Ten single, Peter Criss' power ballad "Beth." A 1977 Gallup poll named Kiss the most popular band in America. Kiss mania was in full swing and thousands of pieces of merchandise hit the marketplace. The group had two comic books released by Marvel, pinball machines, makeup and masks, board games, and a live-action TV movie, Kiss Meet the Phantom of the Park. The group was never seen in public without wearing their makeup and their popularity was growing by leaps and bounds; the membership of the Kiss Army, the band's fan club, was now in the six figures. Even such enormous popularity had its limits, and the band reached them in 1978, when all four members released solo albums on the same day in October. Simmons' record was the most successful, reaching number 22 on the charts, yet all of them made it into the Top 50. Dynasty, released in 1979, continued their streak of platinum albums, yet it was their last recorded with the original lineup -- Criss left in 1980. Kiss Unmasked, released in the summer of 1980, was recorded with session drummer Anton Fig; Criss' permanent replacement, Eric Carr, joined the band in time for their 1980 world tour. Kiss Unmasked was their first record since Destroyer to fail to go platinum, and 1981's Music From the Elder, their first album recorded with Carr, didn't even go gold -- it couldn't even climb past number 75 on the charts. Ace Frehley left the band after its release; he was replaced by Vinnie Vincent in 1982. Vincent's first album with the group, 1982's Creatures of the Night, fared better than Music From the Elder, yet it couldn't make it past number 45 on the charts. Sensing it was time for a change, Kiss dispensed with their makeup for 1983's Lick It Up. The publicity worked, as the album became their first platinum record in four years. Animalize, released the following year, was just as successful, and the group had recaptured their niche. Vincent left after Animalize and was replaced by Mark St. John; St. John was soon taken ill with Reiter's Syndrome and left the band. Bruce Kulick became Kiss' new lead guitarist in 1984. For the rest of the decade, Kiss turned out a series of best-selling albums, culminating in the early 1990 hit ballad "Forever," which was their biggest single since "Beth." Kiss was scheduled to record a new album with their old producer, Bob Ezrin, in 1990 when Eric Carr became severely ill with cancer; he died in November of 1991 at the age of 41. Kiss replaced him with Eric Singer and recorded Revenge (1992), their first album since 1989; it was a Top Ten hit and went gold. Kiss followed it with the release of Alive III the following year; it performed respectably, but not up to the standards of their two previous live records. In 1996, the original lineup of Kiss -- featuring Simmons, Stanley, Frehley, and Criss -- reunited to perform an international tour, complete with their notorious makeup and special effects. The tour was one of the most successful of 1996, and in 1998 the reunited group issued Psycho Circus. While the ensuing tour in support of Psycho Circus was a success, sales of Kiss' reunion album weren't as stellar as anticipated. Reminiscent of the band's late-'70s unfocused period, few tracks on Psycho Circus featured all four members playing together (most tracks were supplemented with session musicians), as the band seemed more interested in flooding the marketplace with merchandise yet again instead of making the music their top priority. With rumors running rampant that the Psycho Circus Tour would be their last, the quartet announced in the spring of 2000 that they would be launching a U.S. farewell tour in the summer, which became one of the year's top concert draws. But on the eve of a Japanese and Australian tour in early 2001, Peter Criss suddenly left the band once again, supposedly discontent with his salary. Taking his place was previous Kiss drummer Eric Singer, who in a controversial move among some longtime fans, donned Criss' cat-man makeup (since Simmons and Stanley own both Frehley and Criss' makeup designs, there was no threat of a lawsuit) as the farewell tour continued. With the band scheduled to call it a day supposedly by late 2001, a mammoth career-encompassing box set was set for later in the year, while the summer saw perhaps the most over-the-top piece of Kiss merchandise yet -- the "Kiss Kasket." The group was relatively quiet through the rest of the year, but 2002 started with a bang as Gene Simmons turned in an entertaining and controversial interview on NPR where he criticized the organization and berated host Terry Gross with sexual comments and condescending answers. He was promoting his autobiography at the time, which also caused dissent in the Kiss camp because of the inflammatory remarks made towards Ace Frehley. Frehley was quite angry at the situation, leading to his no-showing of an American Bandstand anniversary show. His place was taken by a wig-wearing Tommy Thayer, but no one was fooled and the band looked especially awful while pretending to play their instruments during the pre-recorded track. The appearance was an embarrassment for the group and for their fans, but Simmons was quick to dismiss the performance as another in a long series of money-oriented decisions. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Greg Prato, All Music Guide

Source : artistdirect.com

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Obituary


Upon switching their name from Xecutioner to Obituary, the career of one of the most successful and influential Death Metal bands began. Hailing from Florida and featuring John Tardy (vocals), brother Donald Tardy (drums), Trevor Peres (guitar), Allen West (guitar), and Daniel Tucker (bass), the band signed to Roadracer Records, a now defunct division of Roadrunner, for the recording of their debut album—the immense and immeasurably heavy “Slowly We Rot” (1989). The album was engineered by the legendary Scott Burns at Morrisound Studio, which would come to be the most sought after facility for production of albums during 1990’s rise of the Death Metal genre. Unlike much death metal preceding it, the album had a sludgy feel and integrated devastatingly slow passages along with obliterating overtures that reached far beyond any point of mayhem that metal had yet to reach; the result was a carnal pleasure for doom, death and thrash fans alike coupling the adrenaline of a speedball with the slow, degrading measures of a sewer at dusk. Like them or not, Obituary was unlike anything anyone had heard before.

“Slowly We Rot” was chaotic, bass heavy mix of manic guitar solos and crashing drums, but it was undeniably characterized by vocalist John Tardy’s disarmingly horrific, gargling style, that created guttural chasms of dread which though often strived for, to date have been paralleled by none. The ability to augment tempo so drastically became the band’s trademark along with Tardy’s unique vocal style, which distinguished them clearly from the rest of the emerging Florida Death Metal bands; nowhere is this more apparent than on the prophetic title track of their debut. The fact that Obituary refrained from printing lyric sheets with their albums led people to believe that they didn't actually write any lyrics. Some may question the verbosity or absence of documented lyrics, however, any true fan has each grunt, growl and howling grimace committed to memory like an utterance from God in painstaking form—what does not exist can not be remembered, and an Obituary show is testimony to the re-creation of what your ears couldn't believe in the first place. Once again bringing augmentation to irony, Live and Dead worked quite well for the quintet, dividing your conscience yet leaving much to the imagination; not since birth have your senses been so graphically assaulted yet pleased at the same time. While such differing sensations once seemed incongruous, Obituary have proven the ability to merge unlikely dichotomies, from their slow-as-hell-yet-fast-as-fuck style to the non-evil, homegrown approach to what would largely become the satanized, bastardized, make-up wearing movement known as Death Metal.

The maturation of the musicians into songwriters taking more visionary and complex forms would soon be heard world wide as Obituary took metal by storm in 1990. Despite their youth upon release of their sophomore offering, “Cause of Death” embodied the confident swagger of the most fearsome pack-leading hound. From the insidious growls of John’s vocals to the barrage of Donald Tardy’s thunderously-metered explosions of double bass, “Cause of Death” was the intention and method as promised by the early threat of “Slowly We Rot”; for Obituary, Death was just the beginning. Accordingly, the title track alone (“Cause of Death”) would be heard, regurgitated, manipulated, complimented and collapsed—but never duplicated—on third and forth generation death metal albums for years to come. Lovecraftian imagery and aural morbidity aside, even a deaf man found fear when confronted by the formidable visage of guitarist Peres; entering Frank Watkins, the hulking henchman of a bassist from South Florida, finally provided long-needed and powerful rhythm stability to the line up. However, the grinding of the axes would not be complete until the return of Xecutioner veteran Allen West, who, along with Peres and Tardy, crafted the foundation for most of Obituary’s most primordial and historic moments. Attack now whole, Obituary had given birth—sight, sound and feel—to a true horror greater than metal had ever known.

The paradox herein lies that Obituary was anything but a summation to and end, but more an exploratory journey into the infinite dehumanization of all that is known, as confronted brazenly by their best selling release yet, “The End Complete” and later followed by the cynical and dark expedition of “World Demise”. Reunited with songwriter West, the band was conjoined like quintuplets sharing life and a name. Though finality was possibly inferred by these titles, Obituary was anything but finished. Ironically, the images conjured by songs such as “Don’t Care”, “Platonic Disease” and “World Demise” seemingly foretold of the millennium as can now be seen daily, displayed plainly across the screens of CNN and reality TV programs world wide; not bad for a bunch of rednecks from Florida with Budweiser dreams and bongwater nightmares.

2004 brings reason for Obituary fans to rejoice, the sunken eyes and heaving cries have all but abated. Obituary has only aspired to live up to the standard they have set for themselves, one that numerous bands have strived to duplicate, but never attained, falling short both creatively and in lack of the unique talent that each member contributes to the near indescribable Obituary sound. Like a forgotten corpse in the basement, Obituary are back to haunt, taunt and fully pollute your senses. Fermenting like waste in the hot Florida sun, Obituary return from hiatus with the voracity of a starven wretch. The forfeiture of time brings blessings of brutality, and assurance that the Dead shall indeed rise again. Such aural abrasion can only be heard on an Obituary album or the live circumcision of a thirty-year-old man, the choice is yours...

Source : obituary.cc

King Diamond


A year after breakup of legendary Mercyful Fate, in 1986 King Diamond and two other ex-MF members - Michael Denner and Timi Hansen formed a new band. This is the beginning of King Diamond - the band. The original line-up was completed by two ex-Geisha musicians - guitar player Floyd Konstantin and drummer Mikkey Dee. Actually Floyd was far from the standards King wanted for his musicians, so he was replaced by EF Band's guitar player Andy La Rocque on the first day of recording. That made up the classic line-up that recorded the famous debut single with No Presents For Christmas song. Soon the first LP, Fatal Portrait, was recorded.

Next year Abigail was recorded. Soon after this Michael left the band and was replaced for the tour by Mike Moon. Later Timi also resigned and he and Mike were replaced by two new members - Pete Blakk and Hal Patino. The new line-up recorded 1988 "Them" which was the band's best selling LP. After that Mikkey left the band and was replaced by Chris Whitemier. Chris didn't perform good enough for LP recording, so King hired Mikkey to record one more LP. The LP, Conspiracy, continued the story from "Them" but wasn't that popular.

The new drummer to replace unfortunate Whitemier was Snowy Shaw. The new line-up recorded the next LP, "The Eye". Strangely, Snowy didn't perform then - a drum machine was used for recordings. Even while Snowy co-composed one of the tracks and was present in the studio then. Soon after that Blakk and Patino were fired because of lack of enthusiasm and also some drug problems. Their replacements were guitar player Mike Wead and bass player Sharlee D'Angelo.

Unfortunately the band went into a dispute with the record label (Roadrunner) which caused the new material not to be released. Following years were filled by 1987 live recordings released on In Concert 1987 - Abigail LP and greatest hits collection - A Dangerous Meeting. And then the band didn't release anything for another 3 years, until 1995 when Spider's Lullabye, written sometime around 1990 or 1991 was released. In the meantime all members (except King himself and Andy) left the band (they all met King later in Mercyful Fate) and new members - guitar player Herb Simonsen, bass player Chris Estes and drummer Darrin Anthony replaced them. The new line-up recorded also the next (and currently last) LP The Graveyard.

Recently Darrin Anthony left the band after having a serious car accident and were replaced by John Hebert. This line-up recorded the "Voodoo" LP, released in February 1998.

King Diamond toured USA and Canada in April and May 1998. Herb Simonsen was replaced on tour by Glen Drover due to personal reasons. Later he completely left the band and Glenn is the new member. The next new member is Dave Harbour, who is a new bass player, after Chris Estes left the band due to personal reasons. Dave is a long time friend of John Hebert, who recommended him.

The new line-up recorded the new Kind Diamond LP "House Of God", due to be released this summer.

Source : king-diamond.coven.vmh.net

AC/DC


More than three decades into a career that shows no signs of slowing down or letting up, AC/DC, like electricity itself, provides the world with an essential source of power and energy. Since forming in 1973, AC/DC's high voltage rock 'n' roll has flowed out into the world via consistently sold-out concert tours and global sales totaling more than 150 million albums and counting. Sony BMG Music Entertainment's #1 best-selling catalog act worldwide, AC/DC has sold nearly 70 million albums in the U.S. alone, making AC/DC one of the five top-selling bands in American music history. One of the group's best-loved works, the enormously successful and influential "Back In Black," has achieved RIAA "Double Diamond" status, for sales in excess of 22 million copies in the United States, and is the U.S.'s fifth largest-selling album ever.

But the roots of AC/DC lie back in Australia, and before that Glasgow, Scotland, where Angus and Malcolm Young, the musical core of the band (and still the most formidable guitar team in rock history), were born (in 1958 and 1953, respectively). In 1963, the Young family migrated to Sydney, Australia, where music would make its mark on the brothers. (As a member of the Easybeats, Angus and Malcolm's older sibling, George Young, was responsible for one of Australia's first international hits, "Friday On My Mind," in 1966. From 1974 through 2000, George and musical collaborator, Harry Vanda, produced a number of AC/DC albums including "High Voltage,," "T.N.T.," "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," "Let There Be Rock," "If You Want Blood You've Got It," "Powerage," "'74 Jailbreak," "Who Made Who," "Blow Up Your Video," and "Stiff Upper Lip.")

Taking a cue and encouragement from their older brother's musical success, Angus and Malcolm Young formed their own rock 'n' roll combo and premiered their inimitable interlocking guitar sound on December 31, 1973 at a New Year's Eve gig at Sydney's Chequers Club.

Calling their new rock band "AC/DC" (from the back of a sewing machine owned by their sister, Margaret), Angus and Malcolm moved from Sydney to Melbourne and began plowing through numerous line-ups searching for a solid rhythm section and a lead singer whose voice could match the manic assault of the Young brothers' guitars. The newly-christened AC/DC found its spiritual sparkplug in Bon Scott, a hard-living, hard-loving, hard-playing wild-eyed rabble-rousing singer who'd once "auditioned" for the band when he'd worked for them as a roadie and driver back in Sydney. With Bon Scott, another born Scotsman who'd relocated to Australia as a lad, in place as co-frontman to Angus's trademark raffish schoolboy-in-knickers, AC/DC was ready to electrify the world.

Quickly signed by George Young to the Albert Records label in Australia, AC/DC kicked out its first Australian album releases, 1974's "High Voltage" (a somewhat different album from the US "High Voltage") and 1975's "T.N.T." With each album achieving silver, gold, and platinum status in Australia, AC/DC embarked on a regime of relentless touring that would become one of the most enduring hallmarks of the band's career.

In 1976, having conquered their very first continent, AC/DC set off for Great Britain. When the band's no-holds-barred double-barrel rock 'n' roll landed them a residency at the prestigious Marquee Club, AC/DC promptly broke the venue's all-time house attendance record. AC/DC's days in clubland would not last much longer. Within a year, "Let There Be Rock," the band's first simultaneous world release and first to use the unmistakable AC/DC logo -- raised metallic Gothic lettering separated by Zeus's own lightning bolt -- would catapult them into the stadium strata. AC/DC was ready to take on America.

The summer of 1977 found AC/DC performing a dizzying crisscross of American gigs, ranging from clubs like the Palladium and CBGB in New York and the Whiskey in Los Angeles to sprawling venues like the Jacksonville Coliseum. By 1978, AC/DC was one of the hottest concert attractions in the world. For the group's next studio album, they teamed up with producer Mutt Lange to create the undeniable hard rock masterpiece, 1979's "Highway To Hell," the first AC/DC album to break into the US Top 100 and the first to go gold in America. In November of that year, the band went to Paris to film the monumental "Let The Be Rock" concert film, a quintessential document of a golden moment in the band's rise to world fame.

On February 19, 1980, with the band finding genuine success around the world, lead singer Bon Scott died in London at the age of 33. Reeling from the shock of the loss of their boisterous soulful lead singer, the surviving members of AC/DC decided there was only one way to pay proper tribute to Bon Scott: carry on and create the music he'd want them to make.

The group found an incredibly simpatico new lead singer and frontman in Brian Johnson, a Newcastle native who'd sung in a band Bon Scott raved about called Geordie. Returning to the studio with Mutt Lange, AC/DC and the group's new vocalist created "Back In Black," one of the best-selling albums, in any musical genre, of all-time. Powered by the title track and the anthemic "You Shook Me All Night Long," "Back In Black" hit #1 in the UK and #4 in the US, where it has gone on to achieve 22x platinum (double Diamond plus) status.

AC/DC continued releasing best-selling albums through the 1980s and 1990s accompanied by strings of sold-out tours and major headlining concert and festival performances -- including attendance-record-smashing concerts on the "Monsters of Rock," Castle Donington, "Rock In Rio," and 1991's "Rock Around The Bloc" festival at Tushino Airfield in Moscow, a free concert attended by close to one million fans.

On September 15, 2000, AC/DC was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame and had their hands imprinted in the cement in front of the Guitar Center on Hollywood Boulevard.

On March 10, 2003, AC/DC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Aerosmith's Steve Tyler performed the induction, sang "You Shook Me All Night Long" with AC/DC during the ceremony and described the group's signature power chords and timelessly enduring rock 'n' roll as "...the thunder from Down Under that gives you the second-most-powerful surge that can flow through your body."

--Tim Holmes
Source : acdc.com

Monday, November 23, 2009

Guns N' Roses


The Early Days
It all begun in Los Angeles in 1985 when William Bailey (Axl Rose - vocals) formed a rock band with Jeffrey Isbell (Izzy Stradlin - guitar), Tracii Guns (guitar) and Rob Gardner (drums) called in turn Rose, Hollywood Rose and L.A Guns. Soon Guns and Gardner were replaced by Saul Hudson (Slash - guitar) and Steven Adler (drums) and with the addition of bass player Duff McKagan the band was renamed to Guns N' Roses. Playing a unique sound incorporating punk, blues and metal, the band released a self-produced live album called "Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide" in 1986. Having received some interest from the music industry the band signed to Geffen Records.

The Appetite For Destruction Masterpiece
The following year the band released their debut album "Appetite For Destruction" which, despite being the best selling debut album of all time, it only started selling a year latter when MTV started playing "Sweet Child O' Mine"! The album shoot to number 1 and Guns N' Roses became overnight one the biggest bands in the world. During their performance at the legendary 1988 Monsters Of Rock Festival in Donnington that also featured the likes of Iron Maiden and Kiss two fans died during crowd disturbances.

At the end of 1988 the band released "Lies" which featured four new acoustic songs and tracks from "Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide". The album hit number 2 of the charts but controversially the song "One In A Million" sparked intense controversy for its violent and racist lyrics. Also when in 1989 Guns N' Roses were awarded at the annual award show for best heavy metal album and best heavy metal song for "Appetite For Destruction" and "Paradise City", McKagan and Slash used strong language on live television. As a result all subsequent award shows were broadcasted with a five second delay!

Use Your Illusion Global Domination
Shortly after the release of "Lies" drummer Steve Adler was fired and replaced by Matt Sorum from the Cult and during the recording of their long-awaited second studio album the band added keyboardist Dizzy Reed. Under the new lineup Guns N' Roses released "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II" which simultaneously shoot at the two top spots of the charts.

The band then went on a colossal 28-month long world tour which was hugely successful but also very eventful. The most famous incident took place in the summer of 1991 when during a show in Missouri Rose jumped into the crowd injuring a fan and then left the stage. The angry crowd begun a riot in which many people were injured. During this period Stradlin quit the band due to differences with Rose and was replaced by Gilby Clarke.

Spaghetti Decline
In 1993 the new lineup released a collection of punk covers named "The Spaghetti Incident?" which received some good reviews, however, it did not match the brilliance of their previous three studio albums. In conjunction with a number of other events, including the release of the "Nevermind" album that shifted musical interest to Nirvana and internal disputes between Rose and the rest of the band, Guns N' Roses gradually declined. By 1997 the band disintegrated leaving Rose the sole original member of the band.

In the years that followed Guns N' Roses remained relatively unnoticed, occasionally making the headlines for the wrong reasons including riots in their gigs, cancelled shows and the long delayed fifth studio album "Chinese Democracy". The only releases from the band since 1993 were the two compilation albums "Live Era '87-'93" (1999) and "Greatest Hits" (2004).

A notable attempt from previous Guns N' Roses members came in 2003 when Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum formed the band Velvet Revolver with Scott Weiland formerly with the Stone Temple Pilots. Their debut album "Contraband" released in June 2004 received good reviews and went straight to the top of US charts.

Legacy
When it comes to living dangerously, few bands can claim they have done more so than Guns N' Roses. From creating musical masterpieces to causing riots in their gigs, no other band managed to cement such an untouchable legendary status with just four studio albums. The absolute encapsulation of "Sex, Drugs And Rock N' Roll" was to rise and fall in less than a decade.

"Nothing lasts forever, even cold November Rain"
Guns N' Roses - 1991

Source : therockradio.com

Bad Company


One of the most acclaimed bands of the classic rock era, England's Bad Company has put its indelible stamp on rock 'n' roll with a straight-ahead, no-frills musical approach that has resulted in the creation of some of the most timeless rock anthems ever. Led by the incomparable singer and songwriter Paul Rodgers, arguably the finest singer in rock 'n ' roll and a huge songwriting talent.

Formed in 1973, Bad Company came to life when Rodgers was looking to start anew after the disintegration of his legendary band Free. His powerhouse vocals and songwriting were a main ingredient during Free's impressive five-year run; a period of time that saw the release of seven extremely influential albums that featured Free's minimalist blues-rock approach. Included among Free's dynamic body of work is the 1970 smash, "All Right Now," one of the most recognizable rock anthems ever recorded. Lyrics and melody by Rodgers. He was Free’s main songwriter.

Rodgers had met Mott The Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and after jamming together and listening to new songs that Ralphs had penned and songs that Rodgers had penned, Ralphs made the decision to leave Mott and form a new band with Rodgers. The duo recruited former King Crimson bassist/vocalist Boz Burrell, added drummer Simon Kirke and christened themselves Bad Company, the name inspired by Rodgers. Rodgers’ brought in Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant and Bad Company became the first band signed to Zeppelin's Swan Song label. "I had to fight to get the management and the record company to accept the name Bad Company," explains Rodgers. "They thought it was a terrible name. Peter Grant called a meeting and the band met beforehand. I told them that I had been through this before with Free as Island Records had wanted to call us the Heavy Metal Kids. We agreed to go in and tell them that we were going to be called Bad Company and that was the end of the story. As soon as Peter heard how strongly I felt about the name, he became very supportive and he and I turned the record company around."

Bad Company was an instant hit worldwide. Their 1974 self-titled debut went platinum five times over and featured the smash hits, "Can't Get Enough," (a Number One single) and "Movin' On" along with electrifying rock anthems like "Ready For Love," "Rock Steady" and the title track. Because of their association with Grant, a unique opportunity arose for them when it came time to record that classic first album in November 1973. "We were bursting at the seams to get into the recording studio," says Rodgers. "Led Zeppelin had a mobile studio together at Headley Grange all ready to go, but they were delayed for two weeks. Peter told us that if we were quick, we could probably use the studio to lay a couple of tracks down. We steamed in and put the entire album down. Headley Grange was very atmospheric. We had the drums set up in the hallway and the guitars in the living room. We did interesting experiments like placing the vocal microphone way out in the fields for the song 'Bad Company.' We recorded that track late at night underneath a fall moon."

The eight tracks recorded at Headley Grange clearly defined the band's stripped-down sound. Rock, blues and even country influences were skillfully layered within songs such as the beautiful Rodgers-penned ballad "Seagull," the straight-ahead rock of "Movin' On" and "Rocky Steady." Also featured from those fertile sessions at Headley Grange are "Little Miss Fortune," the brooding blues rock classic "Ready For Love" and the previously unreleased "Superstar Woman." While "Superstar Woman" ultimately did not become part of Bad Company's catalog, Rodgers' belief in the song never diminished. He would eventually record a new version of the song for "Cut Loose," his 1983 solo album.

"We were influenced by people like Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and, to a certain extent, the Beatles," explains Rodgers. "I don't think that Bad Company was particularly blues influenced as a band, although I probably brought that in as I'm such a huge blues fan. We were just trying to play what felt good and natural. I think that is what gave us our identity as a band." “We always tried to be natural,” says Ralphs. “We would play soul and blues favourites at rehearsals instead of learning new songs. My favourite guitarist, the man inspired me to play, was Steve Cropper. I guess we wanted to be the MG’s with Otis Redding. Basically, we played like a bar band but soon it was clear that the bars were getting very large indeed!”

Taking full benefit of Swan Song's visibility and Grant's press and marketing skills. Bad Company made their formal debut at Newcastle City Hall in March 1974. The rousing response they enjoyed from fans and critics in the UK propelled the group to America on a high note, brimming with confidence. "In America, remembers Rodgers, "the response to Bad Company was overwhelming, night after night. When we started out on tour, the album had just broken into the charts. Three months later, we were at number one. We were received with open arms."

In the United States, Bad Company's popularity soared. While some fans had recognized Rodgers' voice from "All Right Now," the group's energetic stage shows wowed audiences largely unfamiliar with the work of Free or Mott The Hoople. FM radio devoured their debut disc, ultimately working "Can't Get Enough," "Rock Steady," "Bad Company," "Ready For Love" and "Movin' On" into regular rotation. Rodgers' passionate, soulful vocals were reminiscent of one of his idols, Otis Redding, and struck a chord with the group's rapidly expanding fan base.

With a number one album to their credit in America, Bad Company returned to London triumphant. "The end of our first tour, the four of us were summoned to Peter Grant's suite," remembers Kirke. "We thought we had done something wrong. We all went up to his room, coming in like toe-scuffing schoolboys. Peter said, 'Now listen guys, it's been a long tour and you've worked your asses off.' Then he paused for dramatic effect and we thought, what the fuck have we done. He pulled back this sheet that had been on the ground and said, 1 hope there will be a lot more of these in the future.' Our gold albums for Bad Company were there.

Heartened by the response to Bad Company, the group hired Ronnie Lane's mobile studio and had it installed at Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire, England in September 1974. "That was an interesting place to record," states Rodgers. "Where next after Headley Grange but an old haunted castle! We had been touring very hard but we were still able to come up with the goods in the end. By comparison, we hadn't done any touring before our first record."

Bad Company followed up their initial success with the 1975 release of the triple-platinum album Straight Shooter which contained the Top Ten smash ballad "Feel Like Makin' Love" which was Grammy nominated. "I started writing ‘Feel Like Makin Love’ when I was 18 and felt it needed an extra something. When I played it for Mick he added the big guitar bada ba bada ba then I felt the song was finished.” Other tracks from the album, such as "Shooting Star" have long since become concert and radio staples. "I remember Paul was singing a few of the verses for that song in the airport as we were going over to America to start our second tour," remembers Kirke. "He had taken his guitar on the plane with him and was tinkering around with the song on the flight over."

"I just started singing the lyric, 'Johnny was a schoolboy...,' and I was thinking’ continues Rodgers. "Where had I heard it? Then it dawned on me that I hadn't heard it anywhere before. I quickly grabbed a pen and paper and wrote the lyrics and chords down. The song flowed out of me. “Sometimes a song begins life on the piano, guitar or even the bass guitar and often I hear the whole song structure in my head.” ” Since then, people have asked me who it is about including whether it's about (former Free guitarist) Paul Kossoff. Actually, the song is about all of the casualties of rock music because there have been way too many."

Ralphs says, "I tend to write more simplistic songs, but believe me, it's very hard to write a simple rock song on guitar that has something special without sounding ordinary."

Eagerly anticipated by the group's fans. Straight Shooter enjoyed international success, reaching number three on both the UK and US album charts. The ecstatic response to the album accelerated the group's momentum and their standing as one of the most popular concert attractions in the world. "In 1975, we were able to come back and tour America as a headliner," recalls Kirke. "It had been an amazing year."

"There was quite a bit of pressure on us being the first artists signed to Zeppelin's Swan Song label," states Rodgers. "Behind the scenes, we did take the mickey out of each other mercilessly. We would stand on their side of the stage and yell 'Rubbish!' and the like at them. We never did shows together, but we did jam quite a bit. There was a real rapport between the two bands."

"There is no doubt in my mind that without Peter Grant we would not have reached the level of success we achieved," echoes Ralphs. "His clout and insights were essential to our elevated status. He was a great manager and a lovely man."

The wildly successful Run With The Pack in 1976 was the band's third consecutive platinum seller, fueled by the infectious Top 20 single success of the Coasters' classic "Youngblood." The band met in Grasse, France in September 1975 to begin recording the album. Upon its release, it soared to number five in both the US and the UK. With three albums now to their credit, the central ingredient to the group's remarkable success was their steady stream of first rate original material. Rodgers and Ralphs were the group's composers. "I always thought it was important for the group to have more than one writer," states Rodgers.

Coupled with the strength of the group's song writing was the clarity and unmistakable power of Rodgers' voice. Rodgers moved with ease among a wide range of emotions and musical styles. Rodgers "Silver, Blue & Gold" celebrated the group's skills for ballads, highlighting a softer, more introspective vocal performance by Rodgers.

The expanded arrangement of the album's title track effectively incorporated strings. The group had previously experimented with strings on Straight Shooter's "Weep No More," but Rodgers composed "Run With The Pack" with a string arrangement in mind from the outset. "I wrote that song on the piano and when I played it to the guys they fell right in," detail Rodgers. "In my head, the strings were always a part of the song. Jimmy Horowitz came around to the studio and he was to do the scoring. Jimmy came to the session with a tape recorder in hand and while the track was playing asked me how I wanted the strings in the background. I sang the part that I had been hearing in my head and he went off and wrote it up."

Burnin' Sky, with its moody and atmospheric title track, reached gold status in 1977, followed by the double-platinum wallop of Desolation Angels in March 1979.

Next Bad Company gathered at Ridge Farm Studios in Dorking, Surrey to record the superb Desolation Angels. "Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy opened the album and set the tone for what was to follow. "I remember walking into the studio and Paul was playing this huge riff on the guitar," remembers Kirke. "He had an octave divider device on his guitar and the riff was great. We recorded the song that day."

"I wanted to write an anthem which expressed my feelings about everything in rock 'n' roll," explains Rodgers. "I wanted to cover the whole spectrum, particularly that rock 'n' roll was a magical illusion of colour, sound and light."

Another of the album's highlights was Ralphs’ rollicking "Oh Atlanta." "We always had a great time in Atlanta and I think you can hear a bit of the country influence in that song." States Kirke.

The group's affinity for country music was evident throughout Desolation Angels. The western-flavored "Evil Wind" was a noteworthy example. "'Evil Wind' was a strong track," states Kirke. "That was fall of Paul's tumbleweed-across-the-plains imagery. I think Paul was a cowboy or one of those bounty hunters in another life."

The wide approval enjoyed by Desolation Angels reaffirmed Bad Company's commercial status. The album spawned the gold selling classic, "Rock & Roll Fantasy," a staple on classic rock play-lists everywhere. The band toured the globe countless times during this period, playing to enthusiastic sell out crowds everywhere.

But there would be a price to pay for all of this success. According to Rodgers, "at this same time there came a point when I felt the band and its commitments had completely overtaken my life. I needed to get my feet on solid ground and spend some time watching my children grow, no one else had children at the time so they could not comprehend what I was living or feeling. I never left music, I left the band." After the release of the Top 30 album Rough Diamonds in 1982, Rodgers left the band to take time off and to eventually pursue a Grammy nominated acclaimed solo career.

"Looking back, we stopped at the right time," recalls Ralphs. "Paul wanted a break and truthfully we all needed to stop. Bad Company had become bigger than us all and to continue would have destroyed someone or something. From a business standpoint, it was the wrong thing to do, but Paul's instinct was absolutely right."

In 1986, Ralphs and Kirke resurrected the Bad Company name. Rodgers who was forming The Firm with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page was asked for his permission to use the name. “I felt pressured into allowing them to continue using the name I felt that they should form a new band, with a new name and write their own catalogue of songs.” Precisely what Rodgers did with The Firm. “But in the end I agreed thinking that they would move forward with integrity, I was wrong.” Over a six -year span from 1986 to 1992, this version of the band released four albums including Fame and Fortune, Dangerous Age, the platinum selling Holy Water and Here Comes Trouble. The band released two more albums, 1995's Company of Strangers and Stories Told and Un told in 1996. While the music was fairly well played on tours, nothing could replace the writing, stage presence and, of course, those one-of-a-kind vocals that Rodgers brought to the equation. Fans and critics alike began to clamor for a reunion of the original band and finally, it happened when Rodgers got together with Ralphs and Burrell in England to discuss the release of an Anthology of music. Rodgers suggested adding 4 new songs and went to work writing two “Hammer of Love” and “Tracking Down a Runaway” while Ralphs wrote “Hey Hey”, and “Ain’t it Good”.

The long awaited reunion came together in 1999 and saw the band not only complete a rousing 30-date U.S. tour that drew sell out crowds and much critical acclaim, but also oversee the release of the acclaimed Original Bad Company Anthology that year as well, a dynamic two-CD, 33-song overview of the band's career released on Elektra Records.

It features six B-sides and outtakes including "Easy On My Soul" and "Whiskey Bottle" that were recorded during the Straight Shooter sessions along with an alternate recording of "Do Right Woman" that, according to Rodgers, was recorded live around a campfire. "The fire was sparking and crackling so we decided to go with the clean studio version for Run With The Pack, says Rodgers. "But with hindsight, it's a great track." Another previously unreleased track is the Boz Burrell-composed "Smokin' 45" that was recorded during the "Burnin' Sky" sessions. The Anthology also contains four new tracks including the Anthology's two charting singles, new songs "Hey Hey" by Ralphs and "Hammer of Love," by Rodgers which received significant radio and chart action exemplifying just how timeless Bad Company's music is. Only the Bad could be this good.

Source : badcompany.com

Europe


THE VISIONARIES

WHEN I WAS 15 YEARS OLD, I DISCOVERED A GUITAR PLAYER, ONE YEAR YOUNGER THAN MYSELF, WHO PLAYED HIS INSTRUMENT WITH HEART AND SOUL, AND WITH A BLUES FEELING WHICH I'D NEVER HEARD FROM A SWEDISH MUSICIAN. HIS NAME WAS JOHN NORUM, AND AFTER THAT DAY THINGS WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. TOGETHER WE FORMED THE BAND 'FORCE', STARTED REHEARSING FREQUENTLY AND PLAYING LOCAL GIGS. I HAD FOUND A NEW LOVE FOR WRITING SONGS AND TOGETHER WE HAD A VISION TO BECOME A TOURING ROCK BAND, JUST LIKE THE BANDS WE LOOKED UP TO LIKE THIN LIZZY, UFO AND MANY, MANY MORE.

AROUND THE SAME TIME ANOTHER YOUNG MAN, JOHN LEVEN, PLAYED BASS AND GUITAR IN VARIOUS LOCAL BANDS WITH A SHORT STINT IN YNGWIE MALMSTEEN'S 'RISING FORCE'. MIC MICHAELI PLAYED KEYBOARDS IN THE BAND 'AVALON' AND IAN HAUGLAND SANG AND PLAYED DRUMS IN A BAND CALLED 'TRILOGY'. WE ALL KNEW AND RESPECTED EACH OTHER. IT WASN'T LONG BEFORE THE CLASSIC LINEUP OF EUROPE WAS FORMED.

THE WORKERS

OVER 1000 CONCERTS LATER, WE ARE STILL ADDICTED TO TOURING THE WORLD AND PUSHING OUR LIMITS IN THE RECORDING STUDIO. EVER SINCE OUR FIRST RECORD IN 1983, WHICH CAME OUT AS A RESULT OF WINNING A ROCK BAND COMPETITION, WE'VE NEVER LOST OUR FOCUS. EUROPE STARTED TOURING IN SCANDINAVIA IN 1983-84 AND BY THE TIME OF THE RELEASE OF OUR FIRST TWO RECORDS "EUROPE" AND "WINGS OF TOMORROW", WE ALSO ESTABLISHED OURSELVES IN THE JAPANESE MARKET.

MANAGING TO LAND A RECORDING CONTRACT DIRECTLY WITH CBS NEW YORK (NOW SONY) PAVED THE WAY FOR OUR THIRD ALBUM "THE FINAL COUNTDOWN". FOR THE FIRST TIME WE WERE WORKING WITH AN AMERICAN PRODUCER, KEVIN ELSON, WHO EARLIER PRODUCED THE BAND 'JOURNEY'. THAT IS WHEN IT REALLY STARTED TO KICK OFF. RADIO AND MTV BEGAN PLAYING OUR MUSIC WORLDWIDE. WE COULD FINALLY DO WHAT WE HAD ALWAYS DREAMED OF - 'TOUR THE WORLD', AND AS A BONUS, SELL MILLIONS OF RECORDS. WHEN WE WERE NOT ON THE ROAD WE WERE IN THE RECORDING STUDIO.

"OUT OF THIS WORLD", THE FOLLOWUP TO "THE FINAL COUNTDOWN", WAS RECORDED AT OLYMPIC STUDIOS IN LONDON. SOON AFTER, WE FOUND OURSELVES ON A MASSIVE WORLD TOUR THAT LASTED MORE THAN A YEAR. FROM 1989-90 WE SET UP BASE IN CALIFORNIA FOR THE WRITING AND RECORDING OF OUR FIFTH ALBUM "PRISONERS IN PARADISE". OUR AMERICAN MANAGEMENT MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO LIVE AND WRITE IN SAN FRANCISCO AND RECORD IN LOS ANGELES. AFTER THE RELEASE OF "PRISONERS IN PARADISE", WE EMBARKED ON ANOTHER WORLD TOUR; ONE THAT WOULD PROVE TO BE THE LAST BEFORE TAKING OUR "BREAK".

THE BREAK


WE ALL KEPT IN TOUCH DURING THE YEARS THAT THE EUROPE MACHINE WAS DOWN. WE HAD NEVER OFFICIALLY DISBANDED AND I THINK WE ALL KNEW WE WOULD GET TOGETHER AGAIN. THE BREAK TURNED OUT TO BE A BIT LONGER THAN WE EXPECTED. EACH MEMBER OF EUROPE WAS PLAYING OR RECORDING WITH OTHER PROJECTS, AND AFTER A WHILE I STARTED MISSING MY PARTNER IN CRIME, JOHN NORUM. IN OCTOBER '86, JOHN DECIDED TO FOCUS ON SOLO MATERIAL AND LEFT THE BAND TO LIVE IN L.A. THIS IS HOW STEVEN TYLER MUST HAVE FELT WHEN JOE PERRY LEFT AEROSMITH FOR A FEW YEARS. EVEN THOUGH KEE MARCELLO DID A GREAT JOB PLAYING GUITAR ON "OUT OF THIS WORLD" AND "PRISONERS IN PARADISE", WHEN JOHN WAS NOT AROUND I ALWAYS FELT THAT SOMETHING WAS MISSING.

WHEN WE TEAMED UP WITH NORUM TO PERFORM IN STOCKHOLM ON THE MILLENNIUM EVE IN FRONT OF 500,000 PEOPLE, THERE WAS NO TURNING BACK! THERE WERE JUST A FEW SOLO CONTRACTS THAT NEEDED FULFILLING BEFORE WE COULD RETURN TO OUR "MASTER PLAN".

THE SURVIVORS

THE COMEBACK ALBUM "START FROM THE DARK", WAS RECORDED IN STOCKHOLM, AND RELEASED IN 2004. OUR DECISION TO WORK TOGETHER AGAIN WAS BASED ON A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT AND TO RECORD "RELEVANT" MUSIC TO SLOWLY ESTABLISH THE BAND AGAIN. WE KNEW THIS WOULD TAKE TIME AND WE WOULD HAVE TO WORK AS HARD AS, IF NOT HARDER, THAN EVER BEFORE. THE REACTION TO THE "START FROM THE DARK TOUR" EXCEEDED ALL EXPECTATIONS AND SOON AFTER WE RETURNED TO THE STUDIO TO RECORD OUR SEVENTH ALBUM "SECRET SOCIETY". THE EUROPE MACHINE WAS NOW IN FULL MOTION.

TRIUMPHANT MOMENTS, PERSONAL TRAGEDIES, A MUSIC BUSINESS THAT'S FOREVER CHANGING AND THE EUROPE FANS THAT HAVE NEVER GIVEN UP ON US - ALL THESE THINGS HAVE LED US HERE TODAY AND HAVE GIVEN US INSPIRATION FOR OUR NEW ALBUM "LAST LOOK AT EDEN".

IT FEELS LIKE WE HAVE FINALLY MADE A RECORD THAT HAS THOSE SPECIAL INGREDIENTS - CLASSIC EUROPE MELODIES WITH GUITAR AND KEYBOARD RIFFS THAT WILL GROW AND STAY WITH YOU. WITH EXPERIENCE, HOPEFULLY,SOME OF THE LYRICS WILL REFLECT WHATS GOING ON IN OUR WORLD - PERHAPS THIS TIME WITH A TOUCH OF HUMOUR AND IRONY.

AFTER ALL, IT'S ONLY ROCK 'N' ROLL.

- JOEY TEMPEST, JULY 14TH 2009

Source : europetheband.com

WASP


W.A.S.P. is and has always been the brainchild of Blackie Lawless. Formed in 1982, after both he and co-founder Randy Piper had taken a first run at Heavy Metal on a band called Sister Sister. Chris Holmes and Tony Richards. The band stayed in the bar scene until late 1983, when Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood saw the band live and was so impressed that he decided to get involved with them. This produced the signing of the band to Capitol Records. The first single from the band, “Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)” was not included in the first release on Capitol because it would have meant it banned from major stores. There were plans to release it in Europe only, packaged in a plastic bag with a warning sticker. In the end, it is through a one off deal with Music For Nations that the single gets released in its original format and packaging. In August the self-titled debut album is released. Just before the start of the British Tour, Tony Richards leaves the band. Ex-Keel drummer Steve Riley replaces him. After the 1985 release of their second album, the band continues to tour through the year, and it is until 1986, that they are faced with two major issues. First, Randy Piper leaves the band and is replaced by bassist Johnny Rod (King Kobra). Also, the P.M.R.C. (Parents' Music Resource Center) began to run a campaign against W.A.S.P. and Blackie, whom they called sick. The summer of 1986 saw the band in the studio recording their third release, and in September of that year, “Inside The Electric Circus” was released. Before the start of their European Tour, the band flies in a few days early to appear at the "Town and Country Club" for a BBC2 special called "Rock Around The Clock". Their usual grand finale with Blackie's codpiece exploding in a shower of sparks was deemed to be unsuitable and was not filmed or aired. Also around this time there were bomb threats at arenas were W.A.S.P were playing and Blackie had his life threatened by gunshots. The following year say the band touring and playing in many festivals. They were billed as fifth at the “Monsters of Rock” festival at Castle Donington. “Live…In The Raw” is released. The following year, a live version of “Animal…” is released by “Music For Nations”. The band goes in the studio to record their next album. Steve Riley leaves the band, and Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali fills in for the album recording sessions. Ken Hensley (ex-Uriah Heep) is added on keyboards. A tour is planned for start of1989; but it is postponed due to the inability of the band to find a suitable drummer. In May of that year, the tour gets under way, when Banali is free to join W.A.S.P. on stage. Rumors begin spreading that Chris Holmes is leaving the band. This is confirmed, along with news that Blackie is working on a rock opera to be entitled “The Crimson Idol”. The new opera is released in 1992, and the band tours extensively. Many changes in the lineup happen at this time, including Frankie Banali leaving and Johnny Rod being recruited for the tour to fill in the guitar work of Bob Kullick, who was only present for the studio sessions. After the “Monsters of Rock” in Castle Donington and a best of release, Lawless officially announces the dissolution of the band to pursue a solo career. The next release is billed as Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P. According to the man himself, it would not have been accurate to disassociate the band from such an album. There is no tour, but Blackie does personal appearances to promote the record. In 1997, the band is reinstated with the return of Chris Holmes, Stret Howland, and Mike Duda to the line up and the release of a new album. A deal is signed with CMC International Records and Lawless wins a court case, giving him control over the band’s back catalogue. The entire catalogue is released with B-sides and live performances included in the packages. Following albums and tours continue. In April 2001, W.A.S.P. puts together a Netcast show at the Key Club in Los Angeles. This show is broadcast all over the world via the Internet and marks a historic event for the band. The show is later compiled and released as an album entitled “The Sting”. In October, “Unholy Terror” was released. The album dealt with socio, religious, and political hypocrisy. The presence of charisma as one of the thematic targets of the songs precludes the future conception of “The Neon God”. In 2002, letters from soldiers fighting the Gulf War inspired Lawless and the group to create “Dying For The World”. Newcomer Darrell Roberts makes his first appearance in a studio recording after joining the band for the Unholy Terror U.S. Tour. The album is based on actual letters the band received from combatants in the war, and was triggered by the events of 9/11. The band canceled the U.S. tour for this album that was scheduled for fall 2002. They needed to concentrate efforts on the creation and conclusion of their next venture, a double album rock opera called “The Neon God” “The Neon God Part 1 – The Rise” was released in April 2004. The second installment, “The Neon God Part 2 – The Demise” saw the light on September 2004. Extensive touring has followed, as the albums have accumulated critical and fan acclaim.

Source : the-metal-head.com

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Poison


In a time when most music is manipulated, copied, pasted and auto tuned in digital recording studios, the question that always begs to be answered now more than ever is, "But, can they play it live?" Well, Poison can and always have. But, in the case of Poison, to just expect the music to sound good live is to short change the entire phenomenon. While nothing replaces actually being at an open air concert, today's technology does allow us to capture the experience like never before. Hi Def cameras, state of the art lighting, mind-blowing camera stabilizers and top notch recording technology now can capture the action like never before. Live, Raw & Uncut is like a journey into the radical world of Poison's live show.

Professional performing musicians are never satisfied with their entire performance and so many of these recorded concerts are performed and recorded several times to find the best of the batch. Not so in the case of Live, Raw & Uncut. Poison decided that what you get live is what you get on the DVD. So, what do you get? Passion! Fun! Fury! Intensity! All in all, you get what you get at a Poison concert! What don't you get? You get no predictability and Poison likes it that way!

Playing live is what Poison is all about. The music acts as a soundtrack to their live show. If you are an avid Poison fan, this gem is a must have for your collection. If you have never seen Poison live, you'll be convinced that this is a band to be reckoned with.

Recorded live in St. Louis on the Poison 2007 Summer tour, Live, Raw & Uncut serves as time travel through Poison's 21-plus year career. All the hits are here: From their first hits, "Talk Dirty To Me," "Ride The Wind," and "Fallen Angel," to remakes like "Your Momma Don't Dance"and "What I Like About You," to their power ballad hits like "Every Rose Has It's Thorn"and "Somethin' To Believe In," along with heavy rockers like "Look What The Cat Dragged In."

Yes, Poison is alive, well and most certainly "Live, Raw & Uncut". Enjoy the experience!!!

Poison
Bret Michaels: Vox, Acoustic Guitars & Harp
Rikki Rockett: Drums, Percussion & Backin' Vox
CC DeVille: Guitars & Backin' Vox (Lead Vox on "I Hate Every Bone")
Bobby Dall: Bass 'N' Backin' Vox

Source : poisonweb.com

Def Leppard


Def Leppard are a band from Sheffield, England, that emerged in the late 1970s as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Rick Savage (bass), Pete Willis (guitars) and Tony Kenning (drums) formed the band in 1977 in Sheffield (see 1977 in music). Joe Elliott joined as the vocalist, and brought the name of the band with him, originally they were called Atomic Mass. Elliott had thought of the name Deaf Leopard in school and the band changed the name to Def Leppard based on the way Led Zeppelin spelled their name. They began playing locally and soon added Steve Clark before recording the underground hit 'Getcha Rocks Off' for Bludgeon Riffola, their own label. Rick Allen was added as the permanent drummer, to replace Kenning. They signed to Mercury Records.

Source : 8notes.com

Their major label debut was On through the Night (1980 in music). High 'N' Dry (1981 in music) was their first album to be produced by Robert John 'Mutt' Lange. From it, 'Bringin' on the Heartbreak''s video was one of the first 'metal' videos played on MTV video. Phil Collen, former guitarist from the band Girl, replaced Pete Willis who was fired on July 11, 1982 due to alcoholism. Pete Willis later recorded with the bands Gogmagog and Roadhouse. This personnel change took place during the recording of their next release, Pyromania (January 20, 1983). Lange was again the producer. Aided by the singles 'Photograph', 'Rock of Ages', and 'Foolin'', Pyromania sold six million copies in 1983 & 84.

The period after the album's success, however, was difficult: on December 31, 1984, Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car crash in which his Corvette veered off the road into a concrete wall. While recovering in the hospital from his accident, Rick was committed to continuing his role as Def Leppard's drummer. He practiced drumming with pillows, and realized that he could use his legs to do some of the percussive work previously done with his arms. He then worked with Simmons to design a custom electronic drum kit.

Leppard's next album, Hysteria, (yet again produced by Lange), was released in 1987 (see 1987 in music). The first released single, Women, was not very successful. Album sales were slow until the fourth single, 'Pour Some Sugar On Me', became a hit. The album included a total of six Top 20 singles. The seventh and last single to be released from this album was Rocket in early 1989 (see 1989 in music).

Much of Leppard's success in the 1980s is credited to their producer, Robert John 'Mutt' Lange, who was considered by the band to be its sixth member.

After Hysteria 's release, internal problems (including the death of guitarist Steve Clark from a drug and alcohol overdose on January 8, 1991) resulted in a long delay before the follow-up.

Adrenalize was finally released in 1992, the only album recorded by Leppard as a four-piece (Elliott, Collen, Savage, and Allen). The album entered the US charts at number 1. It remained there for five weeks, selling six million copies, and the first single, 'Let's Get Rocked,' was on MTV's video countdown for a long time. It was also nominated for Best Video of the Year at the 1992 9th MTV Video Music Awards. However, it did not have the longevity of their previous albums, and in retrospect many fans consider it one of their weakest albums.

Retroactive was released in 1993 and is a collection of songs which, although not new, were either rare or never previously released. Some of this album's songs were written as B-sides for Hysteria singles. Retroactive was followed by the release of Vault 1995, Def Leppard's Greatest Hits, which sold 3.5 million copies.

In 1992, guitarist Vivian Campbell joined Def Leppard. (Vivian had been a member of Dio from 1983 - 1986, and a member of Whitesnake in 1987 and 1988.) He collaborated in the songwriting for Slang, which was released in 1996. Next came the album Euphoria in 1999.

X, Def Leppard's tenth album, was released in 2002. The band has stated that they are very satisfied with this album, and that in many ways they wish it had been the follow-up to Hysteria.
Contents

Cinderella


This Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA-based band was formed in 1983 by Tom Keifer (guitar/vocals), Eric Brittingham (bass) and Michael Kelly Smith (guitar) and Tony Destra (drums). The latter pair soon left to form Britny Fox, and it was a line-up comprising Keifer, Brittingham, Jeff LaBar (ex-White Foxx) and Jody Cortez that signed to PolyGram Records. The label acted on Jon Bon Jovi’s recommendation after the singer had witnessed a particularly wild Philadelphia club gig by Cinderella. Fred Coury replaced Cortez after the recording of Night Songs, which, while hardly original, ably demonstrated Keifer’s songwriting abilities. The band’s style, which blended elements of AC/DC and Aerosmith, proved highly popular, with raucous live shows helping to make ‘Nobody’s Fool’ a number 13 hit, as the debut album climbed to number 3 in the US charts. Long Cold Winter established a more individual sound, as Cinderella adopted a classy blues rock style that ideally suited Keifer’s throaty tones; ‘Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)’ (US number 12), ‘The Last Mile’, ‘Coming Home’ and ‘Gypsy Road’ continued their ascent. Heartbreak Station, featuring R&B elements that gave the album a Rolling Stones feel, was less successful, although ‘Shelter Me’ provided another Top 40 hit. Coury’s departure to Arcade (ex-Shadow King drummer Kevin Valentine and then Ray Brinker replaced him) and throat problems for Keifer necessitated a lengthy break before Still Climbing, a strong comeback that built on the more powerful approach of Long Cold Winter. The band’s retirement was prematurely ended when Keifer, Brittingham, LaBar and Coury were reunited in November 1996 at a benefit show in Oaklyn, New Jersey. Following further surgery on Keifer’s troublesome vocal chords, the quartet embarked on their Unfinished Business tour in autumn 1998 and signed a new recording contract.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

Kansas


Founded in 1970, Kansas inspired contemporary progressive rock/metal bands with tracks such as “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry on Wayward Son,” two of their well-known hits.

Formed in Topeka, Kansas in 1970, the founding members of the group — guitarist Kerry Livgren, bassist Dave Hope, and drummer Phil Ehart — first played together while in high school; with the 1971 addition of classically trained violinist Robbie Steinhardt, they changed their name to White Clover, reverting back to the Kansas moniker for good upon the 1972 arrivals of vocalist/keyboardist Steve Walsh and guitarist Richard Williams. The group spent the early part of the decade touring relentlessly and struggling for recognition; initially, their mix of boogie and prog rock baffled club patrons, but in due time they established a strong enough following to win a record deal with the Kirshner label.

Kansas’ self-titled debut LP appeared in 1974; while only mildly successful, the group toured behind it tirelessly, and their fan base grew to the point that their third effort, 1975’s Masque, sold a quarter of a million copies. In 1976, Leftoverture truly catapulted Kansas to stardom. On the strength of the smash hit “Carry On Wayward Son,” the album reached the Top Five and sold over three million copies. 1977’s Point of Know Return was even more successful, spawning the monster hit “Dust in the Wind.” While the 1978 live LP Two for the Show struggled to break the Top 40, its studio follow-up, Monolith, the band’s first self-produced effort, reached the Top Ten. That same year, Walsh issued a solo record, Schemer-Dreamer.

In the wake of 1980’s Audio-Visions, Kansas began to splinter; both Hope and Livgren became born-again Christians, the latter issuing the solo venture Seeds of Change, and their newfound spirituality caused divisions within the band’s ranks. Walsh soon quit to form a new band, Streets; the remaining members forged on without him, tapping vocalist John Elefante as his replacement. The first Kansas LP without Walsh, 1982’s Vinyl Confessions, launched the hit “Play the Game Tonight,” but after only one more album, 1983’s Drastic Measures, they disbanded. In 1986, however, Kansas re-formed around Ehart, Williams, and Walsh; adding the famed guitarist Steve Morse as well as bassist Billy Greer, the refurbished band debuted with the album Power, scoring a Top 20 hit with “All I Wanted.” When the follow-up, 1988’s In the Spirit of Things, failed to hit, seven years passed before the release of their next effort, Freaks of Nature. Always Never the Same followed in 1998. Seeing the return of founder singer/songwriter Kerry Livgren, Somewhere to Elsewhere was released in 2000.

Source : last.fm

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