Thursday, July 31, 2008

McCartney & Starr Block Release of Let It Be

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have block a planned re-release of the final Beatles' film, Let It Be.

The film was originally released in 1970 and documented some of the last days of the Fab Four while they were recording the tracks for the Let it Be album. There was quite a bit of bickering between the group members, including George Harrison taking exception to Paul criticizing his guitar playing and a disinterested John Lennon who spent much of his time with Yoko Ono.

When complete, the group was so unhappy with the outcome that they returned to the studio to record Abbey Road and ended up releasing Let It Be later, as their final album.

According to a spokesman from within Apple, "There has been talk of Let It Be finally being released but now there has been a change of heart. The Beatles are still a massive global brand and it's felt it won't be helped if the public sees the darker side of the story. Neither Paul nor Ringo would feel comfortable publicising a film showing The Beatles getting on each other's nerves."

"People like to imagine The Beatles were a happy ship but the reality towards the end was very different as this film shows. There's all sorts of extra footage showing more squabbles but it's unlikely it will ever see the light of day in Paul and Ringo's lifetime."

40-Year-Old Johnny Cash Doc to Air, Queen + Paul Rodgers Set Release Date, more

A 40-year-old documentary on Johnny Cash will be shown in early-August as part of the PBS series P.O.V. Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music was shot in late-1968 and early-1969 and concentrates on the positive aspects of his life, including a number of concert performances.

The first Queen + Paul Rodgers album, The Cosmos Rocks, has been scheduled for a September 15 release in Europe and October 14 in the U.S. and Canada. It is Queen's first studio album since 1995's Made in Heaven.

Sirius Radio's Grateful Dead channel (32) will devote nine days to the music of Jerry Garcia from August 1 (his birthday) through August 9 (the anniversary of his death). Not only will there be Dead music, but also tunes from the Jerry Garcia Band, Legion of Mary, Old & In the Way, his solo work and collaborations. In addition, Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia will offer stories and memories.

Ian Hunter will be entering the studio in September to record the follow-up to last year's Shrunken Heads. Hunter says that the album will be "less political".

Mick Fleetwood's six-year-old daughter, Ruby, was discharged from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles Thrusday after being treated for a pool accident.

Fleetwood's wife, Lynn, said "The doctors at Cedars are stunned by our little fighter. Based on the condition Ruby was in when she arrived at the hospital 12 days ago, none of them expected her to have come this far in such a short time. She has blown them away with her strength and her will to survive."
It's hard to tell what year it is on New Zealand's record charts. The number one single, for the second week in a row, is In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins. It was recently used in a Cadbury Chocolate commercial which spurred the sales.

National Public Radio (NPR) will be live streaming and broadcasting (check local stations) select shows from the Newport Folk Festival this weekend and the Newport Jazz Festival next weekend. Shows will also be archived. Among those being covered are Ritchie Havens and Herbie Hancock.

1969 Lost Brian Wilson Album, Commander Cody Records, more

A "lost" album by Brian Wilson is set for release on October 6. A World of Peace Must Come was originally recorded in August of 1969 at Wilson's home. His wife at the time, Marilyn, appears on the album along with two songs co-written with his brother, Dennis Wilson.

Commander Cody has signed with Blind Pig Records and will begin recording his new album, tentatively titled Drunk Dopers and Everyday Losers, in late August.

Steely Dan's Donald Fagan and Walter Becker will each host an hour of radio on Sirius' Pure Jazz station this Saturday at 10 PM. Each will share some of their favorite classic jazz tracks along with stories of the artists.

That makes two this week. After the announcement of MTV's remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Howard Stern comes out to announce his remake of Rock & Roll High School. Alex Winter (of Bill & Ted fame) is scripting while Stern is producing with Larry Levinson, who he is also partnering with on a remake of Porkys.

The Grand Ole Opry is adding a new weekly show to its calendar next year with the premier of Opry Country Classics. Per Steve Buchanen, president of the Grand Ole Opry Group, "We are pleased to introduce this new show that celebrates country music's incredible legacy by showcasing its most familiar and beloved songs performed by the legends that made them famous as well as rising stars. The programming in Opry Country Classics is a perfect complement to our Grand Ole Opry performances featuring the new stars, superstars and legends of country music."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Universal Unveils New Download Service Specializing in Rarities

The Universal Music Group has launched a new download site that specializes in deep catalog, rare and exclusive music from some of the eras great artists.

Lost Tunes ( is based in the U.K. but tracks are available to those in other countries per their terms and conditions. There are also plans to launch international versions in the coming months.

The catalog currently has 134 albums available; however, over 500 more will be made available over the next six months. Labels include Verve, A&M, Motown, Stax, Decca and others. The tracks are encoded in 320kps MP3 format with prices ranging from $1.96 for single tracks to $11.85 and up for albums (thank you poor Dollar exchange rate!).

Genres on the site include Rock (Spooky Tooth, Dave Mason, Jerry Lee Lewis, Blue Cheer), Pop (Walker Brothers, Brotherhood of Man, Gino Vanelli), Dance (Cerrone, Grace Jones), Reggae (Jimmy Cliff), Soul (Sam Cooke, Jerry Butler, Booker T. & the MGs, Eddie Floyd), Blues (Albert King, Little Milton, Otis Spann) and Roots (John Martyn, Nick Drake, Joan Baez) along with Jazz and Spoken Word.

Creedence Clearwater Catalog Being Reissued with Rarities

Six of the seven albums of original material by Creedence Clearwater Revival are being reissued on September 30 on their original label, Fantasy Records, which is now a division of Concord. The expanded reissues will not only include the remastered version of the original albums but also a number of rarities. Only their final album together, 1972's Mardi Gras, is omitted from the schedule.

Five of the six albums were top ten hits (Green River and Cosmo's Factory both reaching number one) with only their debut album coming up short. They are also the albums that included John Fogerty's brother Tom who split from the group between Pendulum and Mardi Gras.

All of the releases will be housed in digi-packs with the original artwork and will include in-depth liner notes from writers such as Robert Christgau, Ben Fong-Torres, Dave Marsh, Joel Selvin and Ed Ward.

The six albums in the release plus their bonus tracks (possibly incomplete list):
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival (1968)
    • Call it Pretending (B-side of their first single)
    • Before You Acuse Me (Bo Diddley cover rerecorded later for Cosmo's Factory)
    • Ninty-Nine and a Half (Live, Fillmore Auditorium, 1969)
    • Suzi-Q (Live)
  • Bayou Country (1969)
    • Bootleg (Alternate Take)
    • Born on the Bayou (Live)
    • Proud Mary (Live)
    • Crazy Otto (Jam recorded at San Francisco's KSAN-FM)
  • Green River (1969)
    • Broken Spoke Shuffle (Instrumental track to unfinished song)
    • Glory Be (Unfinished track)
    • Bad Moon Rising (Live, Berlin, 1971)
    • Green River/Susie Q (Live, Stockholm, 1971)
    • Lodi (Live, Hamburg)
  • Willie and the Poor Boys (1969)
    • Fortunate Son (Live)
    • It Came Out of the Sky (Live)
    • Down on the Corner (Unreleased, Recorded with Booker T. & the MGs for a TV special)
  • Cosmo's Factory (1970)
    • Travelin' Band (Horns-free version)
    • Up Around the Bend (Live, Europe, 1971)
    • Born on the Bayou (Unreleased, Recorded with Booker T. & the MGs)
  • Pendulum (1970)
    • Hey Tonight (Live)
    • 45 Revolutions Per Minute (Parts 1 & 2) (Unreleased)

Cheech & Chong to Tour, New Album For Pete Seeger, more

A Wednesday press conference at L.A.'s Troubadour will be used to announce the first tour in 25 years for Cheech & Chong. Live Nation will be promoting.

Pete Seeger will release his first album of new material on September 30. At 89 is coming from Appleseed Records and will contain 32 tracks ranging from new recordings of old favorites to instrumental pieces.

The Police will be taping an episode of Spectacle: Elvis Costello with... which will include both performances and conversation. The first season starts December 3 on the Sundance Channel and will also air on CTV in Canada and Channel 4 in the U.K. Other guests during the first season will included Tony Bennett, Lou Reed and Elton John.

After a day of rumors, George Michael has announced that he is NOT reuniting with former Wham bandmate Andrew Ridgeley at his final London concert.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Track List Announced for New Boz Scaggs Album

Boz Scaggs first album in five year, Speak Low, will not only mine the world of standards but will also harken back to the old days in it's initial release. Look for the album to come out on vinyl on September 30, while the CD and digital release will be delayed for almost a month to October 28.

As we reported last month, the new album is Scaggs' second forray into the great American songbook but, this time, he will expand the musicians to include some strings and woodwinds.

In an interview at the time of his last standards album (But Beautiful) Scaggs said "I'm going to be around this music for awhile. I love its melodic and harmonic qualities, and it's going to impact what I sing and what I write. The door's been opened."

The track list (with composer(s)):
  • Invitation (Bronislaw Kaper)
  • She Was Too Good to Me (Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers)
  • I Wish I Knew (Mark Gordon and Harry Warren)
  • Speak Low (Ogden Nash and Kurt Weill)
  • Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me (Edward Kennedy Ellington and Keith Sidney Russell)
  • I'll Remember April (Gene De Paul, Patricia Johnson and Don Raye)
  • Save Your Love For Me (Buddy Woodrow Johnson)
  • Ballad of the Sad Young Man (Frances Landesman and Thomas J. Wolf, Jr.)
  • Skylark (Hoagy Carmichael and John H. Mercer)
  • Senza Fine (Campos Cesarea, Gine Paoli, and Alec Wilder)
  • Dindi (Aloysio De Oliveira, Ray Gilbert, and Antonio Carlos Jobim)
  • This Time the Dream's On Me (Harold Arlen and John H. Mercer)

Dylan Releasing Eighth Volume in Bootleg Series

Bob Dylan has announced the pending release of Tell Tale Signs, a 3-CD set of rarities from the last twenty years of his career. The album is scheduled for October 7 via Columbia.

Included are unreleased and alternate tracks from the albums Time Out of Mind, Oh Mercy, Modern Times and World Gone Wrong; music from the soundtracks of Lucky You and Gods and Generals and live tracks from between 1993 and 2004.

The Dylan website is listing three configurations for the release:
  • 2-CD Edition with 27 songs and a 60-page booklet with in-depth notes by author Larry "Ratso" Sloman.
  • Exclusive Deluxe Edition with the 2-CD set, a bonus third CD, a 150-page photo book of Dylan singles from around the world, the 60-page booklet from the standard set and a 7" vinyl single of Dreaming of You and Ring Them Bells.
  • A 4-LP set on 180 gram vinyl that includes the 27 songs from the standard disc plus the booklet.
Early orders at the Dylan website will also get a Theme Time Radio Hour Poster.

The track list for the album:
  • Disc One
    • Mississippi (Unreleased, Time Out of Mind)
    • Most of the Time (Alternate version, Oh Mercy)
    • Dignity (Piano demo, Oh Mercy)
    • Someday Baby (Alternate version, Modern Times)
    • Red River Shore (Unreleased, Time Out of Mind)
    • Tell Ol' Bill (Alternate version, North Country soundtrack)
    • Born in Time (Unreleased, Oh Mercy)
    • Can't Wait (Alternate version, Time Out of Mind)
    • Everything is Broken (Alternate version, Oh Mercy)
    • Dreamin' of You (Unreleased, Time Out of Mind)
    • Huck's Tune (From Lucky You soundtrack)
    • Marchin' to the City (Unreleased, Time Out of Mind)
    • High Water (For Charley Patton) (Live, August 23, 2003, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada)
  • Disc Two
    • Mississippi (Unreleased version #2, Time Out of Mind)
    • 32-20 Blues (Unreleased, World Gone Wrong)
    • Series of Dreams (Unreleased, Oh Mercy)
    • God Knows (Unreleased, Oh Mercy)
    • Can't Escape from You (Unreleased, December 2005)
    • Dignity (Unreleased, Oh Mercy)
    • Ring Them Bells (Live at The Supper Club, November 17, 1993, New York, NY
    • Cocaine Blues (Live, August 24, 1997, Vienna, VA)
    • Ain't Talkin' (Alternate version, Modern Times)
    • The Girl on the Greenbriar Shore (Live, June 30, 1992, Dunkerque, France)
    • Lonesome Day Blues (Live, February 1, 2002, Sunrise, FL)
    • Miss the Mississippi (Unreleased, 1992)
    • The Lonesome River (With Ralph Stanley, from the album Clinch Mountain Country)
    • 'Cross the Green Mountain (From Gods and Generals Soundtrack)
  • Disc Three (Deluxe Set Only)
    • Duncan & Brady (Unreleased, 1992)
    • Cold Irons Bound (Live at Bonnaroo, 2004)
    • Mississippi (Unreleased version #3, Time Out of Mind)
    • Most of the Time (Alternate version #2, Oh Mercy)
    • Ring Them Bells (Alternate version, Oh Mercy)
    • Things Have Changed (Live, June 15, 2000, Portland, OR)
    • Red River Shore (Unreleased version #2, Time Out of Mind)
    • Born in Time (Unreleased version #2, Oh Mercy)
    • Tryin' to Get to Heaven (Live, October 5, 2000, London,England)
    • Marchin' to the City (Unreleased version #2, Time Out of Mind)
    • Can't Wait (Alternate version #2, Time Out of Mind)
    • Mary and the Soldier (Unreleased, World Gone Wrong)
  • 7" Vinyl ( Exclusive)
    • Dreamin' of You (Unreleased, Time Out of Mind)
    • Ring Them Bells (Live at The Supper Club, November 17, 1993, New York, NY)

New Releases - July 29, 2008

Beatles Laugh It Up, AC/DC Tours, more

A rare tape from the recording session of the Beatles' I'll Follow the Sun will be auctioned off next month by Cameo Auctioneers in England. The reel-to-reel tape contains a number of covers by the group along with an extended period of on-going laughter from Paul McCartney and John Lennon as they try to get a track on tape. The item is estimated to bring in around $16,000.

According to reports, AC/DC will embark on an 18-month world tour starting this October in support of their new album Black Ice (or whatever it ends up being called).

From the way-out file, gossip columnist Liz Smith is reporting that Barbra Streisand is set to become a mentor on next year's American Idol. Streisand's press rep, though, says he know nothing about it.

Guitarist Hiram Bullock, who was a member of Paul Schaffer's World's Most Dangerous Band, passed away on July 25 at the age of 52. His credits included guitar work on Paul Simon's album Still Crazy After All These Years and Steely Dan's Gaucho.

Monday, July 28, 2008

McCartney Comments on Shea Appearance

A number of sources across the web (Rolling Stone, NME) are reporting on Paul McCartney's hectic night two weeks ago in New York to close out Billy Joel's last concert at Shea Stadium.

Even as Joel started the show, McCartney was still on a plane from London to New York. “Billy had asked me if I could join him a while back when he was planning the show. The thing is that I already had my own show in Quebec City that weekend. With all the rehearsing and traveling it didn’t look logistically possible.

"I really wanted to do it as Billy is a mate and I have such special memories of Shea. I had to fly to New York city to get to Quebec and it kind of dawned on me that as I was flying Friday evening I might just be able to make it to Shea by the end of the show. So I made a few calls and the rest was to be left to fate. I knew it was going to be close though.

“It was crazy. I’d been on a plane for hours and had no idea how far into the show Billy was. The pilot had been keeping us informed of how we were doing time-wise and we found out later that air traffic control had worked hard to ensure we landed on time, but then there was still going to be the traffic to negotiate in order to make it for the show. When the plane doors opened I was met by the police and airport security, who rushed me straight through all the arrival procedures and then got me out as quickly as possible.”

McCartney arrived at the stadium at 11:20 PM and not only surprised the audience, but also Joel. “I didn’t have a chance to soundcheck or warm up in any way and Billy had no idea I was there. We had just about enough time to find me a guitar strap as I walked on to the stage. I heard the band count the song in and bang there I was, in front of thousands of people playing away. I just about managed to get to the microphone for the opening line of the song.”

The song was I Saw Her Standing There and, to close the show, the pair played Let it Be. "Standing out there on stage and hearing the crowd, all the memories came flooding back of being there all that time ago with the band when we first toured the US.

"It was mad the first time round because we didn't really know what to expect, as no-one had ever played a stadium show before. Like a lot of things we did, it was going into the unknown. The technology was so different. We couldn't really hear ourselves when we played there as the crowd were so loud. Vox had specially designed us 100-watt amplifiers but they were nowhere near loud enough.

"The crowd were just as loud this time round but technology has moved on now so we can hear what we are playing. This stadium is such a special place to us. We’ll never forget it and its memory will live on."

Rolling Stone Readers Pick Best Sibling Bands

Some families are lucky to have one talented offspring while a few rare ones have two or more. Rock, though, is full of sibling pairs and groups from the Beach Boys to Van Halen. This week, Rolling Stone asked their readers to pick the best bands that contained at least one set of siblings.

While the following is not a ranked list, the magazine did announce that the Kinks were the top vote getters. After looking at the list, let us know if there are any groups (not duos, lest we be beelyaching about the lack of Everly Brothers) that they left out.
  • Kinks (Ray & Dave Davies)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival (John & Tom Fogerty)
  • Jackson 5 (Jackie, Tito, Marlon, Michael & Randy Jackson)
  • Allman Brothers (Duane & Gregg Allman)
  • Beach Boys (Brian, Carl & Dennis Wilson)
  • Van Halen (Eddie & Alex Van Halen)
  • AC/DC (Angus & Malcolm Young)
  • Heart (Ann & Nancy Wilson)
  • Replacements (Bob & Tommy Stinson)
  • Jesus & Mary Chain (Jim & William Reid)
  • Iggy & the Stooges (Scott & Ron Asheton)
  • Pantera (Vinnie Paul Abbott & "Dimebag" Darrell Abbot)
  • Radiohead (Jonny & Colin Greenwood)
  • Black Crowes (Chris & Rich Robinson)
  • Hanson (Issac, Taylor & Zac Hanson)
  • Oasis (Noel & Liam Gallagher)
  • Stone Temple Pilots (Dean & Robert DeLeo)
  • Kings of Leon (Nathan, Caleb & Jared Followill)
  • My Chemical Romance (Gerard & Mikey Way)
  • Breeders (Kelley & Kim Deal)

Sly & the Family Stone Biography, Ron Wood Wants to Stay With the Stones, more

A new biography of Sly & the Family Stone is coming this October from Backbeat Books. I Want to Take You Higher: The Life and Times of Sly & the Family Stone is written by Jeff Kaliss who was able to not only interview most of the band, but also the reclusive Sly Stone himself. As it was the first in-depth interview with Stone in almost twenty years, the publisher is stating that it is the closest that there may ever be to an authorized biography.

Ron Wood telephoned Mick Jagger from rehab on Saturday for Mick's 65th birthday and reaffirmed his committment to the Rolling Stones. A source said that "They want to keep touring as long as they physically can and Ronnie doesn't want to let the others down.

"He is doing really well in rehab and everyone close to him hopes he will make a full recovery and quit drinking once and for all. Mick has been really supportive and is delighted Ronnie has finally seen sense."

It's been confirmed that Chris de Burgh will play the first concert by a pop star in Iran in thrity years. He will play with the Iranian band Arian.

According to an Iranian officaial, The concert is scheduled to be held in the last week of November at Azadi Indoor Stadium in Tehran which seats 12,000 people."
British singer Tony Christie, who had a run of hits from 1971 to 2006, is releasing a new album on November 3. Made in Sheffield is being produced by Richard Hawley and features appearances by other modern artists like Jarvis Cocker, Alex Turner and Phil Oakley. Christie will be hitting the road in the U.K. in November with Hawley's band for a series of shows.

Possible New Cream Reunion in the Making

Jack Bruce plans on getting together with Eric Clapton for the October 3 awarding of the Drummers Achievement Award to the third member of Cream, Ginger Baker. Bruce says that there are no firm plans, but that there's a "good chance" that the three will play together at the ceremony which is being held at Royal Albert Hall in London.

As far as further touring by the group, Baker said "I think there might be a chance of some more. I would like to do some more, 'cause I enjoyed it. It was very emotional. I would like another shot at it.

"It's quite difficult for us, 'cause it's all very separate. Ginger's living in South Africa. Eric's this mega-star, and it's difficult for us to keep in communication. But as soon as we do it's wonderful."

Rocky Horror Getting Remade, Madonna Ghostwrites, more

Some things just aren't sacred. MTV has entered into an agreement with BermanBraun, Fox Television Studios and producer Lou Adler to remake the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Jim Sherman and Richard O'Brien are writing the script and there may be new music included. The partners are aiming for a Halloween 2009 premier.

The New York Post's PageSix is claiming that a source has told them that Madonna had a hand in writing her brother's book Life With My Sister Madonna. According to the source, "The supposed scandal about Christopher Ciccone's book is bullshit. She actually ghost-wrote parts of it with him, the way Princess Diana helped Andrew Morton write his book on her. That's why there's nothing too devastating in Chris' book. He's mean to others, but not so much to his sister."

In other reports from London, Madonna and Guy Ritchie are planning on renewing their wedding vows at a Kabbalah ceremony in August.

Earl Nelson, of Bob and Earl, passed away on July 12 at the age of 79.

Nelson got his start with friend Bobby Day in the Hollywood Flames who had the 1958 hit Buzz, Buzz, Buzz. At the time, Day was branching out into his own solo career with hits like Rockin' Robin and Little Bitty Pretty One, but reformed with Nelson in 1960 as Bob and Earl.

Their partnership did not produce any significant hits and Day went back out on his own where he reworked the group with Bobby Reif. The two had a minor hit with Harlem Shuffle (produced by Barry White), which has since gone on to be an R&B classic. It's rerelease in 1969 went on to become a major hit in Britain.

In the mid-60's, Reif left and was replaced by Bobby Garrett, who stayed with Nelson in the duo well into the 70's.

Nelson also recorded as Jackie Lee and had a hit in 1966 with The Duck.

Jon Bon Jovi added to his trophy cabinet this weekend when his Philadelphia Soul won the Arena Football League title.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Rock's Sign of the Horns Creates Controversy

For many years, the Sign of the Horns, the holding up of one's hand with the index and little fingers extended, has been used by heavy metal and hard rock bands and their fans. It's origins go long before rock, with it having a particularly vulgar meaning in Mediterranean countries and it is known to have originated in Ancient Greece.

The question of it's original use in rock music, though, is currently under debate started at the MySpace page of Jinx Dawson, lead singer of Coven who had a 1971 hit with One Tin Soldier (The Ballad of Billy Jack). Dawson recently had a heart attack and hasn't been updating her page, but a Nevoc Minions posted the following today in reference to a Yahoo! music list:
"We have tried to keep Jinx off the PC since her heart attack, but she saw the "Metal List" at Yahoo and about had another heart attack, the author again giving DIO the credit for the "Horned Hand Salute" in pop culture...It was indeed Jinx in 1968 on stage and then seen on Coven's 1st album in 1969 and every COVEN album after that.......DIO used to hang out at the Hollywood "Rainbow Bar" where COVEN used to have the main booth for years from 1970 to 1976....And copied them shamelessly, including even naming his band after that bar....And as for Black Sabbath, Kiss and Mercyful Fate-Well those are other interesting stories, the true history yet to be revealed...Please comment at this new Yahoo List on your opinions...Many Thanks...Nevoc Minions"
The album that used the gesture that is referenced is Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls which was released in 1969 on Mercury records. Here is the back cover for that album which clearly shows the members on the left and right using the sign.

This slightly predates Ronnie James Dio's breaking nationally. Even though he played in local bands in the 60's, it wasn't until 1972 that the first national album on which Dio participated was released, Elf by the group of the same name. Three years later, Dio would have his first true hit album as a member of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow.

Dio himself even has commented that he wasn't the first. In an interview with, he said:
"I doubt very much if I would be the first one who ever did that. That's like saying I invented the wheel, I'm sure someone did that at some other point. I think you'd have to say that I made it fashionable. I used it so much and all the time and it had become my trademark until the Britney Spears audience decided to do it as well. So it kind of lost its meaning with that. But it was…I was in Sabbath at the time. It was symbol that I thought was reflective of what that band was supposed to be all about. It's NOT the devil's sign like we're here with the devil. It's an Italian thing I got from my Grandmother called the "Malocchio". It's to ward off the Evil Eye or to give the Evil Eye, depending on which way you do it. It's just a symbol but it had magical incantations and attitudes to it and I felt it worked very well with Sabbath. So I became very noted for it and then everybody else started to pick up on it and away it went. But I would never say I take credit for being the first to do it. I say because I did it so much that it became the symbol of rock and roll of some kind."
That would date Dio's use to about 1979, but it was used at least three other times prior to that year, most likely intentionally in two.

John Lennon is seen with the gesture on the cover of the soundtrack album for Yellow Submarine; however, this is most likely an artist's error. It is theorized that the artists was supposed to be showing Lennon giving the sign language gesture for love which is to extend the same two fingers but with the thumb out to the side.

On Kiss' 1977 album Love Gun, Gene Simmons appears to be giving the sign with his outstretched left hand.

Finally, Frank Zappa can be seen giving the gesture in the 1977 film Baby Snakes.

We would be interested if any of our readers have other examples of the use of the "Devil's Horns" in rock prior to 1979. Please feel free to drop us a line at

Chart Watch - July 25, 2008

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current music charts. Chart highlights:
  • It took them 34 years to do it, but ABBA finally has a number one album in the U.S. Gold, released in 1993, makes it to the top of the Pop Catalog. The group also takes three more spots on that chart's top 25 this week as the Broadway cast album of Mamma Mia! moves 47 to 8, The Millennium Collection comes in at 13 and Number Ones enters at 24.
  • ABBA is also the highest ranking veteran artist on the comprehensive album chart as the Mamma Mia! soundtrack moves 7 to 3.
  • In England, ABBA's Gold moves 12 to 5 while the Mamma Mia! soundtrack goes 35 to 19. Another greatest hits collection, 18 Hits, rises 54 to 48. On the singles side, the original recording of the song Mamma Mia is at 57 while the Meryl Streep version from the movie is at 96. Two other ABBA songs are also charting in England while the original Mamma Mia also returns to the Australian charts.
  • There are other artists making chart news other than ABBA. John Mellencamp's new album premiers at number 7 on the comprehensive album and number 3 on the rock album charts.
  • Randy Travis' Around the Bend begins at number 14 on the comprehensive and 3 on the country album chart.
  • Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band pull off a first as their Magic Tour Highlights EP premiers at number 48 on the strength of only digital sales. The album is not available in physical form.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis.


Top 100 Albums

Top 50 Singles
  • None

Top 25 Digital Songs
  • None

Top 25 Pop Catalog Albums


Top 50 R&B Albums

Top 50 R&B Songs

  • None

Top 10 R&B Catalog Albums


Top 25 Country Albums

Top 25 Country Singles
  • #16 (17) - Troubedour - George Strait

Top 10 Country Catalog Albums


Top 10 Rock Albums

Top 10 Hard Rock Albums

Top 20 Mainstream Rock Tracks
  • #6 (6) - Saints of Los Angeles - Motley Crue

Top 20 AAA Tracks
  • #8 (7) - Hollow Man - R.E.M.
  • #16 (13) - My Sweet Love - John Mellencamp
  • #18 (18) - Burn You Up, Burn You Down - Big Blue Ball featuring Peter Gabriel

Adult Contemporary

Top 20 Adult Contemporary Tracks
  • #12 (12) - Busy Being Fabulous - Eagles
  • #14 (14) - After All These Years - Journey

Top 20 Adult Top 40 Tracks
  • None


Top 25 Dance Club Play
  • #2 (7) - Give It To Me - Madonna
  • #3 (6) - Give Piece a Chance - (Yoko) Ono
  • #9 (8) - Stamp Your Feet - Donna Summer
  • #15 (16) - The Dance - Evelyn "Champaign" King
  • #19 (38) - Into the Nightlife - Cyndi Lauper

Top 10 Dance Singles Sales
  • #2 (-) - Give It 2 Me - Madonna
  • #8 (6) - 4 Minutes - Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake


Top 15 Jazz Albums

Top 15 Contemporary Jazz Albums


Music Association Top 40 Airplay


Top 100 British Albums

Top 100 British Singles
  • #7 (17) - Give it 2 Me - Madonna
  • #22 (20) - 4 Minutes - Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake
  • #52 (55) - Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • #57 (86) - Mamma Mia - ABBA
  • #68 (-) - Sleep When I'm Dead - Cure
  • #69 (-) - Honey Honey - Original Cast of Mamma Mia!
  • #80 (80) - Don't Stop Me Now - Queen
  • #81 (81) - Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
  • #82 (90) - Dancing Queen - ABBA
  • #85 (76) - I Don't Want to Miss a Thing - Aerosmith
  • #91 (95) - Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight) - Original Cast of Mamma Mia!
  • #96 (-) - Mamma Mia - Meryl Streep from Mamma Mia!

Top 100 Canadian Singles
  • #18 (16) - 4 Minutes - Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake
  • #19 (32) - Give it to Me - Madonna
  • #77 (72) - Saints of Los Angeles - Motley Crue

Top 50 Australian Singles
  • #18 (15) - 4 Minutes - Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake
  • #48 (-) - Mamma Mia - ABBA

Top 100 Japanese Singles

  • #86 (92) - Miles Away - Madonna

Connie Francis Hospitilized, Hank Williams, Jr's Rowdy Friends, more

Connie Francis was hospitalized on Wednesday after becoming ill with dangerously high blood pressure. She had been scheduled to perform with Neil Sedaka at the Capitol One Bank Theater in Westbury but was, instead, taken to the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York.

Her agent, Mike Church, reports that she is doing "very well" but is remaining in the hospital for observation.

Hank Williams, Jr. has signed on for his twentieth season of singing the opening theme for Monday Night Football. Since 1989, he has recorded on-going new versions of his song All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight to reflect the weeks match-up.

Former Iron Maiden member Blaze Bayley is in the middle of a family medical crisis after his wife, Debbie, collapsed at their home and fell into a coma.

In a statement, Bayley said, "She has had three neurosurgeries; each one has been a success. Debbie is now in a coma that could last days, weeks or even months. She is breathing on her own and she is stable, but she is still in critical condition.

"I visit her every day that I am not out with the band [a reformed Wolfsbane], and talk to her about what is going on with the band and how well the new album is doing. Her family and close friends are also at her bedside every day."

Heaven & Hell (aka Black Sabbath Version 2) Working on New Material

Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler have said that they are six or seven songs into writing the first album of new material for Heaven & Hell, their version of Black Sabbath. It's the first new material from this take on the group since 1992's Dehumanizer.

Also out this week is the 5-CD box set, The Rules of Hell, which chronicles the Dio years of the group. Even with the release, they've decided to stick with the Heaven and Hell name.

Iommi told Billboard, "It does get confusing that way. It really is Black Sabbath, whatever we do. We just choose to go out as Heaven & Hell so everyone knows what they're getting [and] so people won't expect to hear Iron Man and all those songs. We've done them for so many years, it's nice to do just all the stuff we did with Ronnie again."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stones Jump Ship from EMI to Universal

Speculation that the Rolling Stones were going to leave EMI turned out to be correct, but they didn't go to Live Nation as rumored, but to Universal Music Group.

The Stones have been with EMI, in one form or another, for 20 over years. Their entire catalog, from 1971's Sticky Fingers album forward, is part of the deal. The move is another major blow to EMI who have lost a number of significant acts over the last two years, including Radiohead and Paul McCartney, and are in danger of losing others like Coldplay.

The group tested the waters with UMG earlier in the year with the release of the Shine a Light soundtrack, which has sold over 100,000 copies so far in the U.S. New Stones material will be released on Polydor and will include both physical and digital product. UMG is also already working on a strategy to digitize the catalog.

The Stones said in a statement, "Universal are forward-thinking, creative and hands-on music people. We really look forward to working with them."

Evening Update - Led Zeppelin, Leon Russell, Randy Newman, more

The British press is reporting that Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Jimmy Page have had a falling out over Page's acceptance speech at this year's Mojo Awards.

During the speech, Page didn't refer to Plant once even though the award was for the O2 Reunion Show. A source said, “Robert was really disappointed that he didn’t merit a mention. The award was for the band’s performance, so he thought he should have at least been thanked.”
Leon Russell is being sued by his ex-wife, Mary Bridges (Mary Russell), who he divorced in 1980. According to papers, part of their divorce agreement was that they would split the proceeds from their joint recording projects (Wedding Album, Make Love to the Music) along with other activities (i.e., performance now on the Saturday Night Live DVDs), which Bridges contends has not been happening. She is looking for in excess of $75,000.

Randy Newman kicked off the promotion for his new album, Harps and Angels, by playing to an industry crowd at Los Angeles' Largo. Newman played the album, which includes his controversial Let's Impeach the President, in its entirety along with a few of his standards like I Love L.A. and You Can Keep Your Hat On.
Nana Mouskouri ended a fifty year career in music on Thursday night with a concert at the Odeon of Horodes Atticus near the foot of the Acropolis in Athens. The 73-year-old singer played for 10,000 people.

She told Reuters why she was retiring. "I have been known to sing in a certain way and my fear is to lose this way of singing which will disappoint a lot of people."

Over her long career, Mouskouri has recoreded over 1,500 songs and sold 300 million records worldwide.

You'll know you are getting old after this one. Ringo Starr's grandaughter, Tatia Starkey has started a band in London called Balakis. Although her grandfather and father play drums (Zak Starkey for Oasis and the Who), Tatia has chosen to go with the bass.

Arts Alliance Media is re-releasing the 1977 film ABBA - The Movie into selected British and European theaters to capitalize on the success of Mamma Mia! The film was directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who went on to direct What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, The Cider House Rules and Chocolat.

People attending Elvis Week in Memphis (August 9 to 17) will get a treat on Monday, August 11 when Jailhouse Rock is screened on the lawn of Graceland along with a special preview of the new Elvis: Viva Las Vegas DVD.

Also being unveiled that evening is a special ZVUE media player which will come preloaded with ten songs from Presley's '68 Comeback Special and Aloha From Hawaii.

Smithereens Play the Beatles Part 2

Last year, the Smithereens paid tribute to the Beatles by recording their own version, track-for-track, of the album Meet the Beatles.

On September 2, they pay tribute once again with B-Sides, a twelve-track set of some of their favorite Beatles flip sides.

Co-producer Kurt Reil said, "The project started while we were making demos in preparation for the next new original Smithereens album. As the band warmed up on obscure Beatles B-sides they used to play in clubs, we soon realized there was some unfinished Beatles business for The Smithereens, especially in light of the success of Meet The Smithereens, and the idea for a follow up was born."

The group even added a bit of authenticity to the session by bringing in drummer Andy White who played on the original Beatles session of Love Me Do and P.S. I Love You while Ringo, new to the band, played tambourine and maracas.

Jack Davis, who has done work for Mad Magazine along with covers for artists like Johnny Cash and the Cowsills, created the cover for the album.

The track list:
  • Thank You Girl
  • There`s A Place
  • I`ll Get You
  • You Can`t Do That
  • Ask Me Why
  • Cry For A Shadow
  • P.S. I Love You
  • Happy Just To Dance With You
  • If I Fell
  • Slow Down
  • I Don`t Want To Spoil The Party
  • Some Other Guy

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jack Bruce to Play Rare Show at Rock Hall Benefit Concert

Jack Bruce, former member of Manfred Mann and Cream, will be making a rare concert appearance on September 20 at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, North Carolina. The two day concert event is a benefit for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the John Entwistle Foundation.

The festival is booked full of Hall of Famers and classic rockers with Dave Mason opening the festivities on the night of Friday, September 19.

Saturday's day-long event opens with a number of emerging groups, including Arrogance which was co-founded by R.E.M. producer Don Dixon. Jefferson Starship with Marty Balin and Paul Katner along with Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten opens the headliner part of the show, followed by Dennis DeYoung of Styx.

A number of classic band members take the stage next as members of the former John Entwistle band are joined by Joe Lynn Turner (Deep Purple, Rainbow), Buck Dharma (Blue Oyster Cult) and Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad) for a set of music from all of their respective bands.

Bruce, along with the Entwistle band members, close the show with the music of Cream followed by a gathering of the headlining artists for a salute to Entwistle and the music of the Who.

"We are so pleased that Jack Bruce, whose concert appearances have been quite rare over the years, has agreed to play the final set of this extraordinary two-day benefit concert," said Benefit Concert Chairman and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame National Trustee, Rick French.

The concert will benefit both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's educational outreach and the John Entwistle Foundation's program of providing musical instruments and music lessons to disadvantaged youths through the public library systems in communities across the U.S.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Catalog Getting Deluxe Reissues

Mute Records has announced that they will be issuing remastered versions of all of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' rather extensive catalog.

Each will be two-CD sets with the remastered stereo version of the album plus a new 5.1 surround sound mix, rarities and new liner notes. In addition, each will contain one film from the series of shorts made in the U.K. by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard under the name of Do You Love Me Like I Love You?

The first four titles, which will be available later this year:
  • From Her to Eternity (1984)
  • The Firstborn is Dead (1985)
  • Kicking Against the Pricks (1986)
  • Your Funeral...My Trial (1986)
The group has recorded a total of thirteen albums with the latest being 2003's Nocturma.

Visit the Nick Cave Store at

Evening Update - Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Willie Nelson, more

Lindsey Buckingham has said that Fleetwood Mac will be touring in 2009, but not with the previously mentioned Sheryl Crow as a fifth member.

In talking with Billboard, Buckingham said, "I think the good side has been, for Stevie [Nicks], she came to a point of clarity where she realized the most appropriate thing we could do as a band was to create what needs to be created in the context of the four of us. That's been a real positive, and it's been a real rallying point for all of us, too."

Also look for a possible new album from the group later this year.

Led Zeppelin fans in England will have the chance to see rare band memorabilia from August 1 to September 3 at Knebworth House. The site is where the band played their last gig in August 1979.
There is a movement afoot to write-in Willie Nelson this November for President. A song, written and performed by former Pirates of the Mississippi vocalist Bill McCorvey, states "Let's write in Willie Nelson for president/ Someone we can trust to run the government /I'll bet he could fix this/And get rid of the IRS."

Nelson isn't that keen on the idea, though. He says, "If nominated, I wouldn't run. If elected, I wouldn't serve. However if served, I would drink."
George Clinton celebrated his 67th birthday at L.A.'s Zune with a few friends like Sly Stone, Freda Paine, John Frusciante from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and almost twenty members of Parliament-Funkadelic. The group took to the stage during the celebration to play some of their best known songs while Clinton's artwork was on display on the second floor.
Sammy Hagar told the crowd at an Englewood, New Jersey concert that his next album will be titled Cosmic Universal Fasion. While a release date has not been set, it is expected sometime before the end of the year.
Howard Stern announced on his Sirius radio show that Phoebe Snow would be singing at his wedding along with Natalie Maines and Train lead vocalist Pat Monaghan.

Twisted Sister Releasing DVD of 2004 Live Show

Guitarist Jay Jay French of Twisted Sister announced the impending release of a new live DVD recorded in 2004 at the Astoria in London. On the front page of the group's site is the following:
Recorded in London, in August 2004, the critics hailed Twisted Sister's performance as one of their greatest ever. If you're an SMF, and have wondered what Twisted Sister thought about any of their live shows throughout their 35 year history, you should know this: while certain band members remember certain shows, and relate tales of particular performances as being their favorite, rarely does the band universally agree that any particular show is about as good as it gets. I can say this without hesitation or ambiguity: each band member considered that night to be amongst the most special of our careers. This concert was filmed and kept in a vault for the past four years. When the band had the opportunity to look at the footage, it brought back the heat, passion, intensity and audience participation that was at a level far above all expectations. The DVD will be released worldwide through Demolition Records, our UK based label, and we look forward to sharing this magical performance with all of you.
-Jay Jay

While the track listing for the DVD has not been announced, it is known (thanks to that the set list for their August 1, 2004 appearance at the Astoria was:
  • What You Don't Know (Sure Can Hurt You)
  • The Kids Are Back
  • Under The Blade
  • Destroyer
  • Like A Knife In The Back
  • Burn In Hell
  • Ride To Live
  • Shoot 'Em Down
  • You Can't Stop Rock N' Roll
  • The Fire Still Burns
  • We're Not Gonna Take It
  • The Price
  • I Am, I'm Me
  • I Wanna Rock
  • Come Out & Play
  • S.F.M

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Classic Rock Magazine Announces Nominees for 2008 Classic Rock Awards

Britain's Classic Rock magazine has announced their nominees for the 2008 Classic Rock Awards. The awards are voted on by readers of the magazine and will be given out on November 3 at London's Park Lane Hotel.

One of the night's special presentations is the Living Legend award which will be given to Ozzy Osbourne. In hearing that he was this year's recipient, Osbourne said, "I hear I'm a Living Legend, which is something I am grateful for. I couldn't be happier to know that Classic Rock haven't yet written me off!"

Def Leopard and Whitesnake are nominated for three awards, including a nomination for their world tour as Event of the Year. Led Zeppelin is also nominated for three gongs.

This year's nominees:

Album Of The Year
  • Big Linda – I Loved You
  • Black Crowes – Warpaint
  • Joe Bonamassa – Sloe Gin
  • Alice CooperAlong Came A Spider
  • Def LeppardSongs From The Sparkle Lounge
  • Journey – Revelation
  • Opeth – Watershed
  • Stone Gods – Silver Spoons And Broken Bones
  • Uriah HeepWake The Sleeper
  • WhitesnakeGood To Be Bad

Band Of The Year

  • Def Leppard
  • Foo Fighters
  • Kiss
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Whitesnake

Reissue Of The Year

  • LoveForever Changes: Collector’s Edition
  • Lynyrd SkynyrdStreet Survivors: Deluxe Edition
  • Metallica – 1st Three Albums: Vinyl Reissues
  • Pink FloydPiper At The Gates Of Dawn 40th Anniversary Edition
  • Wishbone Ash Argus
  • Yardbirds Over Under Sideways Down

DVD Of The Year

  • AC/DC – Plug Me In
  • Doors Classic Albums
  • GenesisWhen In Rome
  • Jimi Hendrix Experience At Monterey
  • Led ZeppelinThe Song Remains The Same
  • WhoAmazing Journey
  • ZZ TopLive From Texas

Event Of The Year

  • Hard Rock Hell
  • Iron Maiden’s World Tour
  • Kiss @ Download Festival
  • Led Zeppelin @ The 02 Arena
  • Whitesnake/Def Leppard Tour

Best New Band

  • Airbourne
  • Big Linda
  • Endeverafter
  • Pride Tiger
  • Stone Gods
  • StoneRider