Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ultimate Classic Rock's List of 10 albums that almost killed a band's career

Please follow the link to read Ultimate Classic Rock's list of 10 albums that almost killed a band's career.  Music From The Elder tops my list as a KISS fan...what do you say?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Massive Duane Allman Box Set to arrive in March

Mark your calendars and start saving for March 5th as Rounder Records will release a mammoth Duane Allman box set entitled: Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective.

The seven-disc box set will feature 129 songs from his early days as a garage rocker, The Allman Joys through the Hour Glass, and his time with the Allman Brothers Band.

According to Rolling Stone, studio sessions with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and Boz Scaggs are just some of the jewels to be found on Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective.   Also included is Duane Allman’s work with Derek and the Dominoes.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Mars Volta Break-Up

Please follow the link to read more at Relix on the recent announcement that The Mars Volta are calling it quits...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

On the turntable this Sunday...Dare!

Dare (released as Dare! in the U.S.) is the third studio album from British synthpop band The Human League. The album was recorded between March and September 1981 and first released in the UK on 20 October 1981, then subsequently in the U.S. in mid-1982.

The style of the album is the result of the rapid evolution of The Human League from experimental avant-garde electronic group into a commercial pop group under Philip Oakey's creative direction following the departure of fellow founding members Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh. Dare became critically acclaimed and has proved to be a genre-defining album, whose influence can be felt in many areas of pop music today. The album and its four singles were hugely successful commercially, with the album reaching #1 in the UK and being certified Triple Platinum by the BPI.


Dare is the third studio album from the Human League but differs greatly from their previous two, Reproduction and Travelogue. This is due to a split in the original line up, the subsequent reformation of the band with new personnel and the difference in musical style under Philip Oakey's direction.

In January 1981 the Human League consisted of just Oakey and Philip Adrian Wright with newly recruited teenage dancers/backing vocalists Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley. After the acrimonious split of the original band in October 1980 and the subsequent recruitment of Sulley and Catherall, the new band had only just survived a European tour by bringing in session keyboardist Ian Burden to temporarily assist. The band were deeply in debt and only barely commercially viable. Under pressure to produce results from Virgin Records, original members Oakey and Wright returned to Monumental Studios in Sheffield to start recording demo tracks. They recorded the track "Boys and Girls" from the 1980 tour, which Virgin then quickly released as single. The style of "Boys and Girls" belonged to the original, now defunct Human League. Sulley and Catherall who were busy with school, were not used other than for publicity. The synthesiser work was basic as Oakey and Wright admitted they lacked the skill of Marsh and Ware. When "Boys and Girls" peaked at number 47 in the UK, Oakey realised that he would need to bring in professional help to take the band in the more pop and commercial sounding direction he wished.

Oakey's first move was to invite guitarist and keyboard player Ian Burden from the tour back to join the band full-time. As a trained musician, not only were Burden's keyboard skills vastly superior to Oakey and Wright's but he instantly proved to be an adept songwriter and composer as well. Virgin had suggested that Oakey needed professional production and paired him with veteran producer Martin Rushent, an expert on emerging music technologies of the time. Because of the "unhealthy" atmosphere at Monumental Studios in Sheffield caused by the Human League sharing it with new band Heaven 17 (containing ex-Human League members Ware and Marsh), Rushent moved the band to his Genetic Sound Studios in Reading. In addition Rushent's studios were better-equipped for the type of music the band was making. A downside would be that the distance would cause problems for Sulley and Catherall who were taking their final school exams and had to be bussed down from Sheffield regularly.

The first result of their recording sessions was released in April 1981 entitled "The Sound of the Crowd"; it would be a defining moment for the band. With the sophisticated synthesizer work of Burden aided by Wright, Oakey's deep baritone lead vocal and for the first time female backing vocals from teenage dancers (now full vocalists) Sulley and Catherall it would prove to be the band's keystone sound. The final addition to the band would be the experienced guitarist and songwriter Jo Callis formerly of punk rock band The Rezillos, who quickly had to learn the synthesizer.

Oakey accepts that Martin Rushent's adept sequencing and programming skills brought a professional edge to the band's sound, and added many new elements and techniques. Oakey, Burden, Wright and Callis set about writing new material, bringing in Sulley and Catherall from Sheffield as often as they were available. The aim was another album for the Human League within a year. Virgin were at this point lukewarm but keen that the band released another single as soon as possible.

The first release from the now complete new team came in August 1981, "Love Action (I Believe in Love)" was the band's first major critical and commercial success and peaked at number three in the UK. It brought the band to the forefront of public attention and would also see Virgin give the green light for an album release with a 6–12 month timescale. The band now had much new material to work with and set about arranging it into a viable album. By September 1981 the prototype album was ready to go and provisionally entitled Dare, after a Vogue magazine cover. Oakey explained the story behind the album name at the time:
I like it because The Mekons used to have a song called 'Dan Dare'. In fact it (album name) was ripped off from a cover of Vogue about two and a half years ago. They had a whole series of covers which featured just one word like 'Success' , 'Red', and 'Dare'. I shouldn't say that should I?
To set the scene for the album's release Virgin released one of the album tracks immediately in advance of the album. "Open Your Heart" went to number six in the UK singles chart, confirming the band's popularity. Virgin began heavily advertising the release of the new album, set for the end of October 1981. "Open Your Heart" was accompanied by a futuristic looking promotional video, a rarity at the time. Whilst it was still in the charts, Dare premiered to critical acclaim. It was also condemned by the Musician's Union, who believed the new technology employed by the Human League was making traditional musicians redundant and a threat to their monopoly. Soon they would begin a "Keep It Live" campaign believing that bands like the Human League would be able to perform concerts at the touch of a button

Virgin executive Simon Draper's next choice would be the track "Don't You Want Me", the conflicting male/female duet about jealousy and romantic obsession that Oakey had recorded with teenage backing singer Susanne Sulley. Oakey was unhappy with the decision and originally fought it, believing it to be the weakest track on Dare; for that reason it had been relegated to the last track in the B-side of the vinyl album. Oakey was eventually overruled by Virgin. It would go on to become the band's greatest ever hit, selling millions of copies worldwide and becoming the 25th highest ever selling single in the UK (as of 2007). It was also the Christmas number one for 1981.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Showtime to air Eagles' documentary

After making it's debut at Sundance, the Eagle's documentary, 'The History of the Eagles, Part One & Two' will air on Showtime this February 15th and 16th as part of a two-night event.

'Part One' will chronicle the band's early years while 'Part Two' focuses more on each member's solo career after The Long Run and their 1994 reunion.  

-Will Fisher, The Showbiz Kids

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sting announces 2013 tour dates

Sting recently announced dates for the 2013 version of the Back to Bass tour....

On what is being billed as a 'greatest hits tour,' Sting will be joined by his longtime band: keyboardist David Sancious, Dominic Miller on guitar, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, Peter Tickell on electric fiddle and Jo Lawry on background vocals.

For more information on the tour, please visit Sting‘s website.

Sting 2013 Back to Bass North American Tour Dates:

6/2 — San Francisco, Calif.
6/3 — Santa Barbara, Calif.
6/5 — Denver, Colo.
6/7 — Chicago, Ill.
6/8 — Chicago, Ill.
6/12 — Baltimore, Md.
6/14 — Atlantic City, N.J.
6/15 — Atlantic City, N.J.
6/17 — Kitchener, Ontario
6/18 — Kingston, Ontario
6/20 — Bangor, Maine
6/21 — Boston, Mass.
6/22 — Uncasville, Ct.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jimi Hendrix-New Album 2013 Preview (Ultimate Classic Rock)

One of the most anticipated archival releases of the year arrives this March when Jimi Hendrix's People, Hell and Angels hits the shelves.  Follow the link to read more at Ultimate Classic Rock.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

35 Years Ago Journey's 'Infinity' Released (UCR)

Please follow the link to read more about Journey's Infinity album which released 35 years ago this week. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

On the turntable this Sunday...The Innocents

After releasing The Two Ring Circus, a remix album in 1987, The Innocents was the third proper studio release from Erasure, released in 1988. This album, produced by Stephen Hague and released by Mute Records in the UK and Sire Records in the U.S., was the release that catapulted Erasure to super-stardom in their home country and gave them their long-awaited breakthrough in the U.S.

The Innocents became the first in a string of number one albums by Erasure in the UK, turning double platinum, with sales over 600,000. Thanks to heavy exposure on MTV, it also spawned two major Billboard Hot 100 hits, a Top 50 placing on the Billboard 200 and Platinum album certification in the U.S. According To Nielsen Sound scan 23 years after its release the Album Sales Total worldwide selling 5 million copies.  It remains their best-selling album to date.

The album was remastered and re-released on 26 October 2009 (2009-10-26) to celebrate its 21st anniversary. Prefaced by an EP of remixes led by album track "Phantom Bride," the 21st Anniversary Edition came in a couple of editions including a limited edition two CD/DVD set, packed inside a CD-sized 20-page hardback book that includes interviews with Vince Clarke and Andy Bell about the making of the record and their thoughts on all the tracks.

The second CD includes various rarities, including the 7″ version of the duo’s take on "River Deep, Mountain High" and US-specific remixes of "Chains of Love" and "A Little Respect" that weren’t released on the UK singles box set.

Track listing

All tracks by Clarke/Bell unless otherwise noted

1."A Little Respect" - 3:32
2."Ship of Fools" - 4:01
3."Phantom Bride" - 3:32
4."Chains of Love" - 3:45
5."Hallowed Ground" - 4:05
6."Sixty-Five Thousand" - 3:23
7."Heart of Stone" - 3:20
8."Yahoo!" - 3:48
9."Imagination" - 3:28
10."Witch in the Ditch" - 3:45
11."Weight of the World" - 3:40
12."When I Needed You" (Melancholic Mix) - 4:22
13."River Deep, Mountain High" (Private Dance Mix) (Barry, Greenwich, Spector) - 7:00

 21st Anniversary Edition

CD One (same as above)

CD Two

1."Ship Of Fools" (Shiver Me Timbers Mix)
2."When I Needed You"
3."River Deep Mountain High" (7" Version)
4."Chains Of Love" (The Unfettered Mix)
5."Don’t Suppose" (Country Joe Mix)
6."The Good The Bad and the Ugly" (The Dangerous Remix)
7."A Little Respect" (12" House Mix)
8."Like Zsa Zsa Zsa Gabor" (Mark Freegard Mix))
9."Love Is Colder Than Death"
10."Phantom Bride" (BBC 'In Concert' live recording)
11."Heart Of Stone" (BBC 'In Concert' live recording)
12."Hallowed Ground" (BBC 'In Concert' live recording)
13."Witch In The Ditch" (BBC 'In Concert' live recording)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Jim James releases solo tour dates

My Morning Jacket’s front man, Jim James, has confirmed a series of solo shows in February.

These shows are the first headlining shows in support of Jim James’ forthcoming studio album Regions Of Light And Sound Of God, which is scheduled to be released on February 5th.

In addition to club dates in Philadelphia and Brooklyn, NY, James will perform at New York, NY’s The McKittrick Hotel and also at Carnegie Hall as part of the annual Tibet House benefit on February 21st.

More dates are expected to be released soon…

Jim James Tour Dates

Ferbuary 18th  Philadelphia, PA—Johnny Brenda’s
February 19th  Brooklyn, NY—Music Hall of Williamsburg
February 20th  New York, NY—The McKittrick Hotel
February 21st  New York, NY—Carnegie Hall 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Robert Randolph: The Slide Brothers Debut Album and Tour

Robert Randolph will be releasing his debut album with The Slide Brothers in February.  The group will also go on tour later this year.  Read more here

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Music for February 2013

Please follow the link to see Ultimate Classic Rock's list of upcoming releases:

10 Worst Solo Albums by Superstar Band Members (UCR)

Follow the link to read Ultimate Classic Rock's list of the worst solo albums from superstar band members. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Steve Martin and Edie Brickell Announce Album and Tour

Steve Martin and Edie Brickell have recently finished working on a new studio album together and have also made plans to tour later this year.  Read more here

Sunday, January 13, 2013

On the turntable this Sunday: Heaven Tonight

Heaven Tonight is Cheap Trick's third studio album, released in 1978. The album was remastered and released with bonus tracks on Sony's Epic/Legacy imprint in 1998. The album cover features lead singer Robin Zander and bassist Tom Petersson.

Heaven Tonight is considered Cheap Trick's best album by many fans and critics. While their debut album Cheap Trick showed the band's darker, rawer side and In Color showed their lighter, poppier side, Heaven Tonight combined both elements to produce a hook-filled pop-rock album with an attitude. Popular songs from this album include the anthemic "Surrender", "Auf Wiedersehen", the title track, and a cover of The Move's "California Man".

Heaven Tonight is also known as the first album ever recorded with a 12-string electric bass.

This was the second Cheap Trick album to feature Robin Zander and Tom Petersson on the front cover and Bun E. Carlos and Rick Nielsen on the back. While the front cover has Zander and Petersson standing in front of a nondescript background, the back cover portion (part of a continuous, wrap-around shot on the original LP) reveals that they are standing inside a public restroom where Nielsen is brushing his teeth and Carlos is fixing his tie in the mirror. Nielsen has a cassette copy of the band's previous album, In Color sticking out of his back pocket. At the suggestion of the record company, the album was originally to be called American Standard; the cover photography was intended to play upon the secondary association with the well-known manufacturer of plumbing fixtures. The band were less pleased with the idea and opted for the release title, but the cover design remained.[5]

"Surrender" was the only song from this album released on the original version of the 1979 live album Cheap Trick at Budokan. On the 1998 reissue At Budokan: The Complete Concert, three additional songs from this album were included - "Auf Wiedersehen", "High Roller" and "California Man".

"Oh Claire" is a one-minute live jam with "Oh, Konnichiwa" as the only lyrics. The title is a pun on Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where the band used to play frequently in their pre-stardom days. Cheap Trick wrote a similarly titled song, "O Claire," for their 2006 album Rockford. "How Are You" contains, in its second verse, the extract of "The Lord's Prayer", sped up 10 times.

"Surrender" is featured as a playable song on the video game Guitar Hero II with the outro from At Budokan used in the game.

Track Listing

All songs written by Rick Nielsen, except where noted.

 Side One
1."Surrender" – 4:16
2."On Top of the World" – 4:01
3."California Man" (Roy Wood) – 3:44
4."High Roller" (Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson, Robin Zander) – 3:58
5."Auf Wiedersehen" (Nielsen, Petersson) – 3:42

Side Two
1."Takin' Me Back" – 4:52
2."On the Radio" – 4:33
3."Heaven Tonight" (Nielsen, Petersson) – 5:25
4."Stiff Competition" – 3:40
5."How Are You?" (Nielsen, Petersson) – 4:21
6."Oh Claire" (Bun E. Carlos, Nielsen, Petersson, Zander) – 1:10 (not listed on LP label or album cover)

Bonus tracks
(1998 Reissue)
12."Stiff Competition" (outtake) – 4:03
13."Surrender" (outtake) – 4:52

Read more: Wikipedia

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Rare photos of The Beatles to be auctioned in March

A collection of unpublished and unreleased color photos of The Beatles from 1964 will be auctioned in the United Kingdom this March.

The rare photos were taken during the band’s first United States tour, and will be sold to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of their first album Please Please Me.

The pictures were taken by physicist and inventor Dr. Robert Beck, who left an archive of photographs and slides in his home when he died. The 65 photos include close ups of The Beatles from a press conference at the Las Vegas Sahara Hotel as well as stage shots of George Harrison with his red Rickenbacker guitar.

The photos are expected to fetch between $16,000-$25,000.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

On the turntable this Sunday...Raise!

Raise! is the eleventh studio album by Earth, Wind & Fire, produced by the band's leader Maurice White for Kalimba Productions, and released in 1981 on CBS Records. Raise! has been certified platinum in the US by the RIAA for sales of over a million copies and gold in the UK and Canada by the British Phonographic Industry and Music Canada respectively.

Raise! was the bestselling R&B album of 1982. The album featured the #1 R&B and # 3 Pop hit "Let's Groove". The single "Wanna Be With You" won EWF a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group. Raise! also marked the return to the band of rhythm guitarist Roland Bautista, last heard from on 1972's Last Days and Time.

Raise! would be the final EWF album to be released on ARC. The label would be discontinued by Columbia Records the following year.

Ken Tucker of Rolling Stone describes Raise! as a reflection of "street-gritty black pop" and that on "Let's Groove" and the fast, cutting "Lady Sun", the horn section screams like a car running a red light" and music critic Robert Christgau says that on the album (EWF) "felt a show of strength was due".[9][10]

Track listing:

Side one 
1. "Let's Groove"   Wayne Vaughn, Maurice White 5:37
2. "Lady Sun"   Beloyd Taylor 3:39
3. "My Love"   Wayne Vaughn, Maurice White 4:35
4. "Evolution Orange"   David Foster, O'Byrne, Maurice White 4:37

Side two 
5. "Kalimba Tree"   Maurice White 0:25
6. "You Are a Winner"   Beloyd Taylor 4:09
7. "I've Had Enough"   Philip Bailey, Greg Phillinganes, Brenda Russell 4:36
8. "Wanna Be With You"   Wayne Vaughn, Maurice White 4:36
9. "The Changing Times"   Beloyd Taylor 5:54

The album art was designed by Roger Carpenter and Raise! was illustrated by Shusei Nagaoka. The front cover of Raise! features a presumed Egyptian female figure. The name of the band is present on the front cover, but the title is not.

On the back cover there is an illustration of a female figure in a sarcophagus, which is also divided into a purple left side and a blue right side. The sarcophagus appears to be hyper-modern. The title of the LP is presented in the top left corner of the back cover.

Read more at Wikipedia

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Phish Covers Black Sabbath and Steve Miller Band at New Year’s Eve Concert (Ultimate Classic Rock)

Phish wrapped up another amazing New Year's run at Madison Square Garden.  Follow the link to read Jeff Giles' take on Phish covering Black Sabbath and Steve Miller Band on the final night.

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Morning Jacket Go Cover Crazy In Boston (

My Morning Jacket unleashed several covers during the final night of their New Year's run in Boston.  Read more here...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year’s Eve with Widespread Panic (A Relix Gallery)

Widespread Panic returned to the stage to ring in the new year...please follow the link to see Brad Kuntz's photos from Charlotte, NC.

Monday, December 31, Time Warner Arena, Charlotte, NC

Set I:Last Dance > Vacation > Last Dance, Ribs & Whiskey, Party At Your Mama’s House > Stop Breakin’ Down Blues, All Time Low > Rock

Set II: Disco > Greta > Love Tractor, Sell Sell, Machine > Barstools and Dreamers, Up All Night, Midnight Special

Set III: Pigeons, Time Is On My Side, Fishwater, Blue Indian > Ride Me High, Goin’ Out West > Jack > Maggot Brain > Chilly Water, Ain’t Life Grand

E: Driving Song > The Ballad of John and Yoko > Happy Xmas (War Is Over) > Driving Song > Tall Boy

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year from the Showbiz Kids

Here's to our readers-wishing you a safe, blessed and prosperous 2013!  Happy New Year!

-The Showbiz Kids