Thursday, October 08, 2015

Olivia Newton-John Hits the Dance Club Top Ten With Daughter Chloe Lattanzi

by Newsdesk

Singer/actress Olivia Newton-John thinks her daughter Chloe Lattanzi is “an amazing talent” and couldn’t wait to work with her.

The 67-year-old joined forces with Chloe to record a reworking of her ‘80s hit Magic. The track has landed in the top 10 of the Billboard dance chart and the pair couldn’t be more thrilled.

“It was Chloe’s idea to redo Magic,” she told ET Online. “I think she has amazing talent - a beautiful voice, a great songwriter - I’ve been chomping at the bit so everyone could see her. It’s a great opportunity for me to say ‘Yay! Chloe, go!’ And to do one of my songs is a real special treat.”

The family worked with producer Dave Audé on the track, as Chloe wrote a new verse alongside him and Australian songwriter Vassy. John Farrar, who produced and wrote most of Olivia’s big hits, let the pair use the original chorus of Magic and completed the sound they were going for. For Chloe, who was born out of her mother’s first marriage to Matt Lattanzi, it was an honour to get to be part of Olivia’s music history.

“It"s really fun for me to sort of combine my mom"s energy and my energy together,” she added to the outlet. “It makes something completely new because we"re so different creatively. It"s funny too, because my mom says she"s back on the charts because of me. That was a huge compliment.”

Olivia has had many hits during her career including 1981 song Physical. The star performs her back catalogue as part of her Las Vegas show.

“I’m really loving doing my show in Vegas and we’ve extended that into the new year,” she gushed. “I also have a new album coming out next year with my friends, Amy Sky and Beth Nielsen Chapman, designed to uplift hearts burdened by grief. It’s very special. I continue to raise funds for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Australia! Oh! And I’m very excited that my Gaia Retreat and Spa just won the ‘World’s Best Day Spa’ at the World Spa Awards!”

Green Day to Finally Release the Documentary "Heart Like a Hand Grenade"

by Newsdesk

Green Day has announced Heart Like a Hand Grenade, an unprecedented behind the scenes look at the writing and recording of their legendary album American Idiot.

The film will release theatrically in the United States on more than 135 screens on October 15, followed by an exclusive Vimeo On Demand release the next day, October 16th.

On November 11 the film will be released in theaters in multiple countries around the globe including Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom and Uruguay. On November 13th, the film will be available for purchase digitally and on DVD via Reprise Records.

“We can’t believe this was shot over a decade ago. Little did we know that this was only the beginning of the adventure this record would go on to be,” said Billie Joe Armstrong. “We are stoked for our fans to see this footage for the first time and watch us try and figure it all out.”

Captured on film by director John Roecker, Heart Like a Hand Grenade is considered by many to be a “lost film”. More than 10 years after the release of American Idiot, the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees present this time capsule rock doc that takes us inside the songwriting and recording process of their Grammy Award-winning punk rock opera. American Idiot achieved Multi-Platinum status worldwide and became a hugely successful Broadway show. Looking back on the band in the studio is both nostalgic and insightful—the band knew they had something good, but even they didn’t know how good.

The film will be available for digital pre-order (12.99 download) beginning today at

Chicago, Yes, the Cars, Deep Purple, Miller Leading the Rock Hall Fan Vote; Who We Would Pick

We're only about fifteen hours into the fan voting on the nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and there are already clear cut leaders.

Fifteen artists were nominated earlier today for possible inclusion in the hall with five eventually getting the nod and the fans are adamant about their five choices.

Chicago leads the list with 15.91% of the vote (866,000 count) but Yes is just slightly behind at 15.56% followed by the Cars (15.44%), Deep Purple (15.35%) and Steve Miller (15.16%).

Then there are the also rans, with Janet Jackson being the only one even close with 9.78%. None of the other nine nominees have more than 3%.

As of 6:05 PM:
  1. Chicago 15.91% (866083 votes)
  2. Yes 15.56% (847078 votes)
  3. The Cars 15.44% (840491 votes)
  4. Deep Purple 15.35% (835526 votes)
  5. Steve Miller 15.16% (825680 votes)
  6. Janet Jackson 9.78% (532524 votes)
  7. Chaka Khan 2.90% (157862 votes)
  8. The Smiths 2.29% (124460 votes)
  9. Cheap Trick 2.00% (108662 votes)
  10. N.W.A 1.37% (74531 votes)
  11. The Spinners 1.33% (72213 votes)
  12. Chic 1.02% (55589 votes)
  13. Nine Inch Nails 0.90% (49146 votes)
  14. Los Lobos 0.58% (31333 votes)
  15. The J.B.'s 0.44% (23721 votes)
The fans are given one vote as if they were any of the other voting members.

Here at VVN, we went through the list and selected our five choices as if we were voting members (we're not) and ranked the rest as to their worthiness in future years.  Our choices:
  • Chicago
  • Chic
  • Yes
  • N.W.A.
  • Deep Purple
Forget the 80's easy listening stuff, the first seven Chicago albums were the epitome of jazz rock. Yes, Blood, Sweat and Tears beat them to the initial punch (as did, to some extent, the Buckinghams) but it was Chicago who established the style and gave the genre it's most impressive music.

It's also time for Chic to get in although it would probably be a much easier choice if the nomination was just Nile Rodgers. The Chic sound was some of the most sophisticated to come out of the disco years and Rodgers took that sound and molded it to such artists as David Bowie, Madonna and Duran Duran. 

We've been championing art/progressive rock artists for inclusion in the hall for a number of years. It is a crime that artists like the Moody Blues, Yes, King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer are not already members. It looks like the nominating committee prefers Yes out of those four, handing them their second nomination in so many years. Beyond the fact that the band recorded some of the most iconic albums of the genre, the group should also be honored for the career contributions and influence by the individual members like Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Tony Kaye, Rick Wakeman and Alan White. 

N.W.A. is the most controversial of our picks but, once again, it is the contributions of the individual members as much as the original group that demands their inclusion. N.W.A. only recorded two albums but they are two of the most important of the rap/hip-hop genre. Now include the influence and work of Dr. Dre and Ice Cube on the genre as a whole and the ongoing work by DJ Yella, MC Ren, Arabian Prince and the late Eazy-E and there is an important body of work that can't be ignored. 

Deep Purple. What can we say. They should have been included years ago.

As far as the rest of the field, we think that Nine Inch Nails, the Smiths, Steve Miller, the Spinners and the Cars most definitely merit inclusion in the hall, just not in a year that has so many worthy candidates. Miller and the Cars are no brainers. The Spinners are one of the best and most enduring groups to come out of 70's soul. The Smiths have influenced more artists than any of the other five at this level and Nine Inch Nails' were the very pinnacle of industrial rock. 

Someday down the road, it would be nice to Janet Jackson and Los Lobos in. Jackson is an undeniable hitmaker but much of her cannon has a similar sound. Los Lobos are the undeniable leaders in Latin rock and should be recognized but, when you have areas like art/progressive rock and much of metal still unrepresented, the priority for Latin rock must wait. 

In our opinion, neither Cheap Trick or Chaka Khan are worthy candidates at this time. Cheap Trick was more of a rock follower than a leader and to have Khan in the hall before Patti LaBelle would be a travesty.

Finally, the JB's. Yes, they deserve to be in but not this way. Like Yes and N.W.A., it is hard to ignore a band that produced such talents as Bootsy Collins, Bobby Byrd, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker but they shouldn't have been nominated with headlining names. The JB's should go in as a backing group like the the Famous Flames, the Midnighters, the Miracles, the Comets, the Crickets and the E-Street Band.

Passings: Hugh Wright, Drummer For Country Band Boy Howdy

Hugh Wright, the drummer for the country band Boy Howdy, died from natural causes at his home on Friday at his home in Great Fall, MT from what was described as "natural causes". He was 63.

Born in Des Moines, IA, he received a bachelors of music degree from the University of Iowa with a concentration in drumming before moving to Los Angeles.

In L.A., Wright became a studio drummer working with a number of big names including John Lee Hooker. He also played in a band with brothers Larry and Cary Park and another with Jeffrey Steele. Hugh admired the musicians from both groups and often said that they should play together but it wasn't until Larry Park needed a quick substitute for his bassist for a 1989 gig that Wright got him to pick up Steele.

The four musicians began writing their own material and playing at L.A. clubs that would allow originals, leading to a 1990 show at the Foothill Club in Signal Hill, CA where they were heard by an executive of Warner Brothers.

Before they even released their first album, the group, now known as Boy Howdy, appeared in the film Pure Country with George Strait. They recorded their first album, Welcome to Howdywood, in early 1992 but, before it was released, tragedy struck the group. Wright and manager Alan Hopper were driving outside of Dallas, TX when they saw a pickup truck that was broken down on the side of the road. The two went back to help but, while they were on the side of the road, a car ran into the truck, killing two people and leaving Wright with leg and head injuries.

Wright spent five months in a coma in the hospital recovering from his injuries and benefit concerts were held to help pay the medical expenses. Four days after one of those concerts in late-July 1992, the band's debut album was released on Curb Records. While the first single, Our Love Was Meant to Be, only got to 43 on the Country Singles chart, the followup, A Cowboy's Born With a Broken Heart, went to number 12.

After coming out of the coma, Wright had to relearn how to walk and play drums and, because of impaired speech, had to give up any singing with the group. He rejoined them in mid-1993.

Boy Howdy's career really took off with the 1994 EP She'd Give Anything. Only six songs long, the album produced the band's only two top ten singles, She'd Give Anything (1993 / #4 Country) and They Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore (1994 / #2 Country).

A final album, Born That Way (1995), included four singles, none of which went higher than 25 on the Country Singles. By the next year, the band had disbanded.

Wright moved to Great Falls, MT soon after the breakup where he played in a number of local groups until his death.

Glenn Hughes Assembles New Band For Solo Tour

by Newsdesk

Glenn Hughes, nicknamed the ‘Voice of Rock’, has unveiled details of his new band that he has put together for his European and UK 2015 Solo tour. Alongside Hughes will be Pontus Engborg who has toured extensively with Hughes solo projects and ex-Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich.

The band’s UK leg of the European tour stars on October 17 at the Southampton Engine Rooms and ends at London’s Electric Ballroom on November 1. Special guest on the tour is Jared James Nichols who recently released his critically acclaimed debut album Old Glory & The Wild Revival.

The concerts will showcase highlights from Glenn"s career including Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Country Communion, California Breed, along with his solo material.

Hughes told Music-News that after a number of superstar projects with Black Country Communion and California Breed that it was time for a solo tour where he could concentrate on his music without any of the problems that come from having to dovetail with others projects and requirements.

"I felt it was time for me to start touring with my solo band," says Glenn, who is currently on tour in Brazil. "I called my drummer Pontus Engborg , and guitar player Soren Andersen. Soren had made a contractual commitment to do an autumn Tour in Scandinavia, so I had to find a replacement. There was only one man on my mind... Doug Aldrich."

"I’ve known Doug from his time with Ronnie Dio, and of course Whitesnake. Doug played with me on a couple of Purple songs at a festival the night before Ronnie passed away. We had great chemistry, and talked about playing together again, when schedules permitted.

Continues Hughes, "Doug is a welcome addition to my Band, and is a dear friend, both loving and nurturing, and is a rock phenomenon. I"m beyond grateful to return to a Solo Band touring cycle, that will see me travel across many continents these next 12 months. See you down the front. "

Glenn Hughes tour dates with special guest Jared James Nichols:
10/17 - Southampton, U.K. - Engine Rooms
10/19 - Norwich, U.K. - Waterfront
10/20 - Newcastle, U.K. - Tyne Theatre
10/22 - Belfast, U.K. - Limelight
10/23 - Glasgow, U.K. - The Garage
10/25 - Holmfirth, U.K. - Picturedrome
10/26 - Bilston, U.K. - Robin 2
10/29 - Manchester, U.K. - Club Academy
11/01 -  London, U.K. - Electric Ballroom

Picture credit Mike Prior

The Soundtrack For "Roger Waters The Wall" to Be Released November 20

One of the biggest tours in history, Roger Waters The Wall, has been turned into a documentary film and, on November 20, the soundtrack for that movie will be released by Columbia / Legacy.

Available physically on 2-CDs, 3 vinyl LPs, and digitally, the set captures Waters' sold-out 2010-2013 "The Wall Live" tour, the first complete staging of the classic Pink Floyd concept album since 1990. A tour-de-force of rock & roll stagecraft anchored in a powerful message of peace and compassion, "The Wall Live" became a must-see concert event for music fans everywhere. It played to over 4.5 million people at more than 200 shows across four continents, making it the most successful worldwide tour by a solo artist in history.

Roger Waters The Wall is produced by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck, Paul McCartney) and is a perfect concert souvenir, not only for the fans who saw the show, but for those who weren't there or who may be discovering The Wall for the first time.

Roger Waters The Wall also serves as a companion piece to the feature film of the same name. Directed by Sean Evans and Roger Waters, Roger Waters The Wall fuses the epic and the personal to operate on three levels simultaneously: as an immersive concert experience; as a road movie of Waters' reckoning with the impact of war on his own family; and as a stirring antiwar film about the human cost of conflict. The film premiered in a "one night only" global cinema presentation in September, drawing hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide.

Originally released in 1979, Pink Floyd's The Wall was the band's first narrative concept album. Waters drew from personal history to chart the life and times of the central character, a mentally disintegrating rock star haunted by the wartime death of the father he never knew. The album's thematic content and musical mastery, exemplified by worldwide chart-topper Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) and radio staples Run Like Hell and Comfortably Numb, struck a chord with audiences worldwide. Pink Floyd's subsequent 1980-81 tour for the album was unprecedented in its use of sets and theatrics, but the scale of production limited it to 31 dates in just four cities. The Wall wouldn't be seen again until 1990, when Waters and an all-star cast performed a benefit production on the site of the no-man's-land that had until recently divided West and East Germany. Twenty years later, concertgoers had the opportunity to experience The Wall anew, and millions of fans affirmed that its message and music remain potent and relevant as ever. With Roger Waters The Wall, that opportunity lives on.

The film, Roger Waters The Wall, will be released on DVD, Blu-Ray, Digital Download, and 2-disc Blu-Ray Special Edition by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on December 1.

The band members:
  • Vocals, Guitar and Bass: Roger Waters
  • Guitars: Dave Kilminster
  • Guitars: Snowy White
  • Guitars: G.E. Smith
  • Keyboards: Jon Carin
  • Hammond & Piano: Harry Waters
  • Drums: Graham Broad
  • Vocals: Robbie Wyckoff
  • Background Vocals: Jon Joyce
  • Background Vocals: Pat Lennon
  • Background Vocals: Mark Lennon
  • Background Vocals: Kipp Lennon
The track list:

Disc 1
  • In the Flesh?
  • The Thin Ice
  • Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1
  • The Happiest Days of Our Lives
  • Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2
  • The Ballad of Jean Charles de Menezes
  • Mother
  • Goodbye Blue Sky
  • Empty Spaces
  • What Shall We Do Now?
  • Young Lust
  • One of My Turns
  • Don't Leave Me Now
  • Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 3
  • Last Few Bricks
  • Goodbye Cruel World
Disc 2
  • Hey You
  • Is There Anybody Out There?
  • Nobody Home
  • Vera
  • Bring the Boys Back Home
  • Comfortably Numb
  • The Show Must Go On
  • In The Flesh
  • Run Like Hell
  • Waiting for the Worms
  • Stop
  • The Trial
  • Outside the Wall

Passings: James Cruickshank of Australia's The Cruel Sea (1962 - 2015)

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

James Cruickshank, the guitarist for The Cruel Sea, has died after what friends on social media have said was a battle with cancer.

Cruickshank was born in Melbourne in 1962. He was 27 when he joined The Cruel Sea in 1989.

After two alternative albums with Down Below (1989) and This Is Not The Way (1991), The Cruel Sea released one of 1993’s greatest Australian albums The Honeymoon Is Over.

At the ARIA Music Awards of 1994, The Cruel Sea won Single of the Year and Song of the Year for The Honeymoon Is Over, Album of the Year, Best Group and Producer of the Year (Tony Cohen) for The Honeymoon Is Over and received five further nominations including ‘Best Cover Art’ by Kristyna Higgins and Jan Manby.

The Honeymoon Is Over reached number 4 on the ARIA chart of 1993. That lead to the use of the track Reckless Eyeballin' from the first album, Down Below, being used as the theme for the hit TV show Blue Heelers (1994-2006).

The Cruel Sea released six albums, the most recent being Where There’s Smoke in 2001.

James went solo after the break-up of The Cruel Sea and released his album Hymn For Her in 2002. In 2005 he collaborated with Gyan and Michael Leunig for Billy Boy Rabbit, recorded another record Hello Human in 2005 and then toured with Mick Harvey and Kill Devil Hills.

Robbie Williams Wants Another Duet With Kylie Minogue

by Newsdesk

Robbie Williams wants to duet with Kylie Minogue again.

The Angels singer collaborated with the Can"t Get You Out Of My Head hitmaker on Kids in 2000 and has revealed he'd love to team up with her again on a new song he's written for his next album.

He said: "The Kylie duet might not come off and that would be very embarrassing now that I've said too much already. Maybe I used up that token of the duet thing. I've got this great tune that's incredibly camp and I would love her to sing on it with me. Maybe she will, maybe she won't, watch this space."

Robbie also expressed an interest in working with Grace of Monaco actress Nicole Kidman again following their duet on his album Swing When You"re Winning, Something Stupid in 2001.

Meanwhile, the 41-year-old star opened up about embracing fashion and keeping in shape when it comes to performing on stage. He told "I am taking a leaf out of Elton John and Rod Stewart's book. In the past I thought, "Who do I think I am by wearing that?" but now I have my big boy pants on so they might as well be Versace and Louboutins."

Speaking about his decision to give up sugar, red meat, pasta and bread, he added: "I am professional, I've got to do this s**t and I'm a "pop star", so for me to go out there and not feel ashamed, then I have to look a certain way and I'm a bit of a dancer, I move on stage and I need to be lithe. Or at least more lithe than I have been."