It has been forty-five years since legendary Progressive-Rock group YES released their first studio album. They’re back at it this month with Heaven & Earth, eight tracks of sweeping orchestration and layered harmonies that will please fans old and new.
For a band that has been in the business for over forty years, and has sold almost 40 million records, creating an album is like riding a bike. YES know what they’re doing, and they continue to show that with the collaborations on this latest album. Produced by Grammy winner Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, Guns N’ Roses) and mixed by Billy Sherwood (Toto, Paul Rodgers), Heaven & Earth won’t disappoint.
For the “Rock Brigade,” “It Don’t Matter.” Def Leppard continues to go “On Through The Night,” saying “Hello America” and hello to the rest of the world.
If Def Leppard is not on the road, it is only to refuel for their next string of gigs. The legendary band played a series of shows in the U.K. through December of 2011 with Motley Crue and Steel Panther. A few months later, in the Summer of 2012, they were on the road with Lita Ford and Poison throughout the U.S. for over 40 dates. Most recently, Def Leppard played a residency at The Joint in Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to celebrate their hit album Hysteria. Fans had the opportunity to relive mega-hits such as “Love Bites,” “Animal” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” The “Viva! Hysteria” concert series ran from March 22nd to April 13th and was a huge success.
To commemorate the series, Def Leppard has released an exclusive live album/movie pack by the same name. The film was shot during one of the concert performances, and was screened in select theaters around the world. The whole thing is quite an experience, and to back it up, the record killed it on the charts, making it the band’s 16th charting album:
Whitesnake played a set during Japan’s Loud Park Festival in 2011, which was recorded and originally only intended to be broadcast for Japanese TV and Loud Park promos. However, after three songs were heard on Loud Park promotions, the band received an overwhelming number of requests to make the entire set available for general release.
Made in Japan features classics as well as new material for which fans everywhere have been starving. Ax slingers Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach, who are both celebrating their 10th anniversary with the band this year, bring the blazing riffs and the face-melting solos we all know and love. Whitesnake‘s rhythm section (aka “The Wrecking Crew”), featuring Michael Devin on bass and Brian Tichy on drums, bring the pain with the hard-hitting beats and deep bass lines, further adorned by the lush atmosphere created by special guest keyboardist, Brian Ruedy. Of course, all this harmonic and rhythmic alchemy gives way to lead singer/founder David Coverdale and his powerfully seductive vocals.
In addition to the live tracks featured on Made in Japan, the band decided to include soundcheck recordings from the various venues at which they played during their 2011 Japanese tour.
The release of the record falls just in time for the commencing of Whitesnake‘s “Year of the Snake 2013″ World Tour, on which it’s certain the band will play even more historic, awe-inspiring shows.
To prepare yourself for the awesomeness (if that’s even possible), check out this video:
Player, the chart-topping American Rock band that brought you the 1977 smash hit “Baby Come Back,” has heeded its own advice — after a nearly 20-year absence, the group is coming back to drop a new album, Too Many Reasons, via Frontiers Records. Slated for a February 26 release, the record is sure to deliver the band’s signature groove-laden, dreamy sounds that blasted their self-titled debut to platinum status.
If you’re unfamiliar with these infectious rockers, here are some statistics for you: three Top 40 hits, two Top 10 singles, and one No. 1 hit with “Baby Come Back.” The group originally formed in the late 70s, touring extensively with acts like Eric Clapton, Heart, and Kenny Loggins, and this new release will hopefully spark a litany of live performances in the coming year.
In lieu of the new album, Player “redux” — led by two of the founding members, Peter Beckett and Ronn Moss — premiered the music video for “I Will,” the first single. The acoustic-led track has a retro style that is sure to please all Player faithful. With an anthematic chorus hook and summery, soft rock sounds, it’s clear that the time off hasn’t affected the band’s catchy songwriting abilities. And that makes sense, as Beckett, a seasoned songwriter that has credits ranging from Janet Jackson to Vanessa Hudgens, has composed music for “The Bold and the Beautiful,” myriad film scores, various artists, and his own solo music during the group’s hiatus.
Ronn Moss has kept busy as well, starring as Ridge Forrester, the male lead on “The Bold and the Beautiful” for the past 25 years. He’s also appeared in numerous other film and TV roles, and took second place on the Italian version of “Dancing With The Stars.” But in the wake of the new reformation of Player, he left his iconic television character on “B&B” to devote full attention to the group (and maybe also some attention to his side project, the web series Ronn’s Garage – don’t let the website deter you, we’re sure it’s epic.)
For more information on the new album as well as all things Player related, visit the group’s website. For your viewing pleasure… see below:
As Jools Holland put it himself, the “one and only Jeff Lynne” was invited to chit chat last week with the popular pianist/composer/bandleader turned TV host on his show Later… with Jools Holland. What he didn’t know is there were actually several more Jeff Lynnes — 3 more to be specific — to come join him by the end of the chat, by way of a snippet performance of “Mercy Mercy.”
The legendary Jeff Lynne also spoke about his two latest releases, Long Wave and Mr. Blue Sky – The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra, which both hit stores this week on Frontiers Records. In the interview, Jeff Lynne shared how he went from hating some of the old songs that feature in Long Wave, a collection of covers Jeff used to hear on the radio back in the day, to wanting to give them his own feel in the new record (hint: there might be some living room kidnapping involved).
Check out the interview below:
In addition to appearing on Later… with Jools Holland, Jeff Lynne was also the highlight of a dedicated night on BBC, where they aired a documentary about him. If you’re in the UK, you can view the whole thing here.
Now you know what’s left to do! Go get your copy now of Long Wave by clicking here if you’re in the U.S. or here if you’re anywhere else. And be sure to check out Jeff Lynne’s amazing website for previews, videos and maybe a spaceship or two.
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