Niji Entertainment’s Latest ‘Magica’ Re-Issue Will Appeal To RJD’s Most Devoted Audiences

Courtesy: Niji Entertainment

Ronnie James Dio’s classic concept album Magica has gotten the re-issue treatment again.  Originally released in 2000 through Spitfire Records, the 13-song concept album was re-issued again Feb. 21 through Niji Entertainment, as with its 2013 and 2018 re-issues.  Yes, the album has now been re-issued no less than four times since its original release, and each re-issue has presented something different for audiences.  That extra content on the album’s latest re-issue is one of its most important elements.  It will be discussed shortly.  The concept at the core of the original album is something well worth noting, too, and will be addressed a little later.  The sequencing of each portion of the re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of this recording.  All things considered, they make Niji Entertainment’s latest re-issue of Magica another intriguing tribute to a true rock legend.

Niji Entertainment’s latest re-issue of Ronnie James Dio’s 2000 album Magica is an intriguing presentation.  That is due in part to the bonus material that is featured with this latest re-issue of the album.  The bonus content featured with the album this time is the most important of the presentation’s elements.  In comparison to the album’s 2018 re-issue, that presentation was extremely limited on any bonus content.  It featured only live takes of the songs ‘Fever Dream’ and ‘Magica Theme.’ The 2007 re-issue included Dio’s 2002 album Killing The Dragon.  That album is also among Niji Entertainment’s latest round of Dio re-issues, and will be discussed another day.  Getting back to the latest re-issue of Magica, its 2013 re-issue was a bit heavier in the way of bonus content, featuring eight official bootlegs that were recorded during Dio’s 2000-2002 Magica World Tour.  This latest re-issue pulls from that tour again.  What is important to note though, is that the live material featured this time is not just a re-hashing of the live material featured in the album’s 2013 re-issue.  Rather, audiences get not eight, but 10 (yes, 10) of the 13 songs featured in the original recording.  The only difference here from the actual album is the omission of the songs ‘Turn To Stone,’ ‘As Long As It’s Not About Love’ and the album’s closer, the reprise of ‘Lord of the Last Day.’  Other than those omissions, what audiences get in this live recording is almost the entirety of Magica live in its original sequence.  This is crucial because of the general effect that it has for listeners.  This was an artist performing an album virtually in its entirety before it became the cool thing for acts to do.  What’s more getting to take in the album nearly in whole in a live setting makes the experience that much more special.  As any one can tell a person, live shows are special experiences for audiences.  So getting to experience the album in two different settings in nearly the same order makes for quite the extraordinary experience for audiences.

Now, keeping this in mind, the automatic rebuttal to this statement becomes why should one own the same album twice over just because the bonus content is different (I.E. the 2013 and 2020 re-issues).  The answer there is that while this latest re-issue may feature Magica almost in its entirety in its near exact sequencing both times, the album’s 2013 re-issue does feature the live take of ‘As Long As It’s Not About Love.’  Given, ‘Turn To Stone’ and the reprise of ‘Lord of the Last Day,’ it does feature a live version of the primary take of that song.  The 2013 re-issue also features a hint at what would have been Magica 2 & 3 in the form of the song ‘Electra.’  To that end, that content, along with a telling of the Magica story by RJD himself adds even more interest to that presentation.  So, keeping all of this in mind, the album’s 2013 and 2020 takes feature varying bonus content, the 2020 re-issue proves enjoyable in its own right for the most devoted RJD fans just as much as the album’s 2013 re-issue.  The 2007 and 2018 re-issues meanwhile prove less valuable and worth replacing among those listeners who may have one or both of those re-issues.

The bonus content featured in the new 2020 re-issue of Magica is clearly important in its own way to the re-issue’s overall presentation.  It is just one of the re-issue’s key elements.  Looking at the concept behind the album itself, that item is well worth discussing.  Dio actually discussed the album’s concept prior to his death.  He pointed  out in an interview that the album focused on a standard battle between good and evil.  The twist is that while so many stories of good and evil are told from the vantage point of the heroes, this story was told from the vantage point of the villain; something which is rarely if ever past and present.  He pointed out during the noted interview that he left the album ending how he did because “evil always exists, good doesn’t always triumph, and that’s the universal balance.”  Given, LucasFilm’s Star Wars franchise did have some chapters in which the bad guys won.  That was a movie, though.  In the real world, we are seeing daily that evil does win considering who is running America today in the form of a crooked businessman who is also a xenophobe, homophobe, misogynist and racist.  So while the concept at the center of Magica might still be very rare to this day in the world of music and entertainment in general, it is something that is very much real in the real world.  Now, Dio was not advocating for the bad guys to win in making the noted statement.  That needs to be clarified here.  Rather, he was pointing out that the concept that the good guys always win is not a reality.  For that reason, RJD is to be commended highly for taking what was then and is still today, the road less traveled.  Keeping this in mind with the bonus content featured with the album’s re-issue, the two elements go a long way toward making this latest re-issue of Magica a welcome addition to the libraries of the most devoted RJD fans.  They are not the album’s only notable entries.  The production and mixing of the bonus live content is worth its own mention.

The production is important to note because of the resultant sound quality of the live material.  The term bootleg is used for these recordings, but the production and mixing used in these official live bootlegs has left the sound just as clear, engaging and entertaining as any other act’s live recording past or present.  The guitars, the symphonic elements, the drums, everything is balanced so well throughout each performance.  RJD’s vocals are perfectly clear, too.  In other words, while the recordings may be marketed as “official bootlegs,” they are anything but bootleg.  If any one thing can be said of the bonus content, it would be that to this day, RJD’s 2000-2002 “Magica World Tour” has  seemingly never has received one full live recording either on CD or on DVD or even Blu-ray.  If Niji Entertainment wants to truly impress RJD’s fans, that would be a wise choice.  Again, going back to the previous discussion on bonus content, Magica’s 2013 and new 2020 re-issues each features content from that tour, but it is all spread against two different recordings.  Why has no single recording been released featuring nothing but that performance content?  Officials at Niji Entertainment and other companies need to keep that in mind.  That aside, the production and mixing that went into the official live bootlegs featured in this recording – as with the album’s 2013 re-issue – resulted in a wonderful experience that will appease any rock fan pining for a live experience in this age of bacterial spread.  To that end, it proves its own importance to the recording’s latest presentation.  When it is considered along with the re-issue’s other elements, the whole of the re-issue proves to be its own positive presentation for the most devoted fans of Ronnie James Dio.

Niji Entertainment’s latest re-issue of Ronnie James Dio’s 2000 album Magica is a presentation that is certain to appeal to the legendary performer’s most devoted fans.  That is proven in part through the re-issue’s bonus content, which is distinct from that of the album’s previous re-issues, as is noted here.  The very concept at the heart of the album is important in its own right to the presentation.  The production and mixing that went into the presentation of the re-issue’s bonus content is important in its own way to the whole of this re-issue, too.  Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of the set.  All things considered, they make Niji Entertainment’s latest re-issue of Magica a work that the most devoted Dio fans will appreciated.  The record is available now.  More information on the album is available online along with all of the latest RJD-related news at:

 

Website: http://ronniejamesdio.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialRonnieJamesDio

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OfficialRJDio

 

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Chatham County Line Debuts ‘Strange Fascination’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: YepRoc Records

Chatham County line debuted the lyric video for its latest single this month.

The band debuted the lyric video for the title track from its forthcoming new album Strange Fascination March 18.  The song’s musical arrangement lends itself to comparisons to works from similar acts, such as Nickel Creek and Reckless Kelly.  Its lyrical content meanwhile accompanies that simple, soft arrangement, seemingly presenting a message about wanting love and the simple things in life. The song features guest vocals from Sharon Van Etten.

‘Strange Fascination’ is the second single from its eponymous album.  The band debuted the album’s lead single ‘Station to Station‘ last month.

The band’s ninth full-length studio recording, Strange Fascination is the final record featuring Chatham County Lines’ founding member and banjo player Chandler Holt.  It marks the band’s first lineup change since 2001 and the first time that any of the band’s albums has ever featured drums on every track, provided by longtime CCL friend Dan Hall.

Band member Dave Wilson (guitar/vocals/songwriter) talked about that stylistic change in a recent interview.

“We’ve had drums on several albums, most notably 2010’s Wildwood, and our audiences always responded well to those tunes,” he said..

Wilson and his band mates — John Teer (mandolin/fiddle/vocals) and Greg Readling (bass/pedal steel/piano) — self-produced Strange Fascination at Mitch Easter’s Fidelitorium Recordings in Kernersville, NC.  Yan Westerlund (Mipso, Phil Cook” assisted with drum recordings for the album in-studio.Chris Boerner (Hiss Golden Messenger, The Foreign Exchange) mixed the album.

Strange Fascination was originally scheduled for release May 15 through YepRoc Records. Events happening around the world have led the band to push up that date to April 24. A record release show is scheduled to take place June 6 at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Pre-orders are open now for Strange Fascination.  The album’s track listing is noted below.

 

Strange Fascination Tracklisting:
1. Oh Me Oh My
2. Station to Station
3. Strange Fascination
4. Free Again
5. The Eagle and The Boy
6. Leave This World
7. Guitar (for Guy Clark)
8. Queen Anne’s Gold
9. Nothing

More information on Chatham County Line’s new album, tour and more is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://www.chathamcountyline.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/chathamcoline

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/chathamcoline

 

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Ratchet Dolls Debuts ‘Parasite!’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Independent rock band Ratchet Dolls debuted the video for its latest single last week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Parasite!‘ Thursday. The song presents an upbeat musical arrangement whose heart is in its guitar work.  That work will appeal to fans of 80s hair metal from the likes of Poison and Motley Crue.

While the song’s driving musical arrangement will appeal to a very targeted audience base, its all-too-familiar lyrical content will connect with an even broader range of listeners.

Front man Kevin Sauceda explained the song’s lyrical theme in a recent interview.

“Although the song has a very uplifting feel, the lyrics themselves are rather dark,” he said.  “Parasite!’ speaks to us from the perspective of a person whose mental  health has deteriorated from trying to meet the standards of a non-committed partner.  One-sided relationships can lead to vulnerability…my goal is to try to help prevent others from having to walk that road; even if its just one person.”

‘Parasite!’ is available to stream and download through Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon and Google Play.

‘Parasite!’ is the second single from Ratchet Dolls’ upcoming as-yet untitled sophomore album.  The video for the album’s lead single ‘Out Of Control‘ was unveiled in September 2019.  Upon its release, ‘Out Of Control’ gained traction through major outlets, such as Loudwire’s “Weekly Wire Playlist” and KNAC Pure Rock.

More information on Ratchet Dolls’ new single, video, album and more is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.ratchetdolls.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RatchetDolls

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ratchetdolls

 

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Another Day Dawns Debuts ‘Beautiful Suicide’ Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Another Day Dawns is giving audiences another taste of its new album.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Beautiful Suicide‘ March 25. The video features footage of the band performing its new single in a forest setting crossed with footage addressing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The song’s musical arrangement is a fiery, upbeat composition that is driven largely through its edgy guitar work.

The energy in the song’s musical arrangement is accompanied by a biting sociopolitical commentary in the song’s lyrical content, as explained in a recent interview by front man Dakota Sean.

“When we wrote the song, it had to do with a political climate o fear and control,” he said.  “The song indirectly was essentially how fragile everything is and when it falls apart, it leaves anarchy.  This day and age with the current situations we have at hand, we thought it was best to have a video about what happens when fear and greed have taken control and how they prey on us.”

‘Beautiful Suicide’ is the second single from Another Day Dawns’ EP Stranger, which the band released independently Jan. 31.  The album has also spawned the single ‘Taste of Heaven.’

Stranger is available to download and stream here.  The EP’s track listing is noted below.

 

Track List:
1. Stranger
2. Beautiful Suicide
3. Am I
4. Taste of Heaven
Never Okay
6. Forget Me Not

 

More information on Stranger is available online along with all of ADD’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://anotherdaydawns.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/AnotherDayDawns

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/an0therdaydawns

 

 

 

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Slave Revolt Debuts ‘Devil In Jeans’ Lyric video

Independent hard rock band Slave Revolt debuted the video for its latest single this month.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new song ‘Devil In Jeans‘ March 8.  The song, which boasts a melodic hard rock style musical arrangement, is featured in the band’s forthcoming debut album Journey to the Other Side.  The album is scheduled for releae April 24 through The Label Group/INgrooves.

The song’s melodic hard rock arrangement is accompanied by a lyrical theme that centers on those people who do little to make this world better, according to a brief, collective statement from the band about the work.

“‘Devil in Jeans’ is a song about the monsters who walk among us and the trail of pain they leave behind,” the statement reads.

‘Devil In Jeans’ is available to stream and download here. The song is the latest single to come from Slave Revolt’s forthcoming album.  The band debuted another of the album’s singles, ‘Organic Robot‘ Feb. 21.

The video, which crosses footage of the band performing its new single in what looks like a run down, graffiti-laden building with footage of mechanical parts running.  The musical arrangement echoes influences from Fear Factory, but the lyrical content is not explained in the press release distributed about the video’s debut.

‘Organic Robot’ is available to stream and download here.

The debuted of the ‘Organic Robot’ video comes two months after the band debuted the lyric video for its then latest single, ‘Open The Heavens.’

The full track listing for Journey to the Other Side is noted below.

Track List:
1.Spartacus
2.Open the Heavens
3.Happy
4.Devil in Jeans
5.Journey to the Other Side
6.Facing the waters
7.Ready To Go
8.Light in the Dark
9. Organic Robot feat. Jim Acevedo
10.Embers

More information on both singles is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://www.slaverevoltrock.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/slaverevolt

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/SlaveRevoltRock

 

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The Story Changes Debuts ‘Golden Age’ Video

Courtesy: Earshot Media/Magnaphone Records

Emo-punk outfit The Story Changes debuted the video for its latest single last week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Golden Age‘ March 25. The video pays tribute to George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy while also presenting the song, which is featured on the band’s 2019 album To Hell With This Delicate Equation.

Front man Marc McMillon talked about the video in a recent interview.

“We grew up enamored with a galaxy far, far away, and had a great time working with our friend Chris from Punchline to put together this animated parody video,” he said.  “Hopefully this can provide some laughs right now when I’m sure everyone could use a little distraction while staying at home.”

The Story Changes features members of Hawthorne Heights and The stereo in its lineup.

More information on The Story Changes’ new video, its latest album and more is available online at:

 

Websitehttp://www.theStoryChanges.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/thestorychanges

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/thestorychanges

 

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Wyldlife Debuts New LP’s Third Single

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records/The Orchard

Indie punk rock band Wyldlife recently unveiled the third single from its new forthcoming album Year of the Snake over the weekend.

The band debuted its new single ‘Automatic’ Friday. The catchy, upbeat composition is available to stream and download here.  It was influenced by famed indie rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain, according to front man Dave Feldman.

“This song is for my friend Therese, who works for a florist and who also shares a huge love for The Jesus and Mary Chain,” he said.  “I also happened to work there every Valentine’s Day for five years or so, delivering flowers. But this one is about her love life’s trials and tribulations.My close friend Sasha Cibic lent her voice on the chorus.  I love them both so much.”

The debut of Wyldlife’s new single comes less than a month after the band debuted the second single from YOTS, ‘Kiss and Tell.’

Feldman talked about the song’s lyrical content in a recent interview.

“After listening to ‘Definitely Maybe’ more times than we can count, [guitarist] Sam [Allen] an I wanted to make a song that was tough and angry, but still confident and cool,” he said.  “The lyric, ‘I’d rather be ignored than adored’ was another riff on another favorite Macnhester band, The Stone Roses.  Obviously, we as a band want to be celebrated and have an impact on people’s lives, but most times, I just want to be left the f*** alone.  Wyldlife tends to have a larger than life personality, but most people don’t actually know anything about us.  I’ve said “Good to see you” to more people I don’t know than I’m comfortable with.”

Wyldlife debuted the lead single from Year of the Snake, ‘Neon Nightmare’ late last year.  The full track listing for Year of the Snake is noted below. Pre-orders for the LP are open now.

 

 

Year Of The Snake Track Listing:

1 Deathbed

2 Neon Nightmare

3 Get Well

4 Kiss and Tell

5 Automatic

6 Crime of the Scene

7 Sacré Bleu

8 Year of the Snake

9 Tulsa Superstar

10 Keeping up with C.T.

11 The Falcon

 

The band has two concerts scheduled to take place this summer.  Both shows — July 4 and 5 — are scheduled to take place at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver, CO.

More information on Wyldlife’s upcoming concerts, its album and singles is available online at:

 

Websitehttp://www.wyldlife.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/wyldlifeband

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/wyldlifeband

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.