The Lonely Ones Front Man Talks Touring, Making Music In New Interview

Photo Credit: O’Donnell Media Group
The Lonely Ones is preparing to head out on tour later this month. Front man Marty McCoy took some time ahead of the tour to talk with Phil’s Picks about touring and making music.

Independent hard rock band The Lonely Ones has been making waves in the past year or so with a series of hit singles. The band’s growing popularity is only sure to grow even more as it prepares to launch a new tour Aug. 19. The band’s tour includes performances in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and at the upcoming Metal in the Mountains concert festival in Pipestem, WV.

Front man Marty McCoy took some time to talk to Phil’s Picks about its tour plans and making music ahead of the tour’s launch. The transcript of that interview is featured here.

PP: The Lonely Ones is gearing up to hit the road for its upcoming summer/fall tour.  What is going through each of your minds as you prepare to get out in front of audiences again after live music was put on hold for such a long time due to the COVID-19 pandemic? 

MM: We are excited, nervous, but very prepared. We’ve been rehearsing six hours a day seven days a week, but everything changes when we hit the stage for the first time.

PP: I’ve tried to do my research for this interview, but haven’t seen any sign of albums from you guys.  That aside, the singles that you have released seem to have really gained traction among audiences and music outlets.  The songs that you have released have also taken on some very serious and relatable topics.  Talk to me if you will about what specifically people are saying about your songs?  Are people finding inspiration?  Are they saying they’ve been in these situations with drug abuse, or abusive relationships?  What do those reactions mean to you?

 MM: The songs come from personal experience. When you write from the heart, people listen from the heart. I’ve heard a lot of comments on the tune “Eternal Sadness” specifically. The pandemic left a lot of us lost and let dark thoughts creep into our minds. We as humans need each other to survive. People have told us that the song let them know they were not alone. 

PP: Staying on the matter of your singles, your cover of Queen’s song from the Flash Gordon movie has really garnered you some respect.  Queen guitarist Brian May and Flash Gordon himself, Sam J. Jones, have each offered words of support.  Considering the cult status of the movie and the worldwide support of Queen to this day, what does that support from them mean to you all? 

MM: For Brian May to say we did a great job covering his song is a dream come true. Sam J. Jones He’s a super nice guy and we met him face-to-face, we thanked him over and over again for sending it to Brian. Sam is a hero in my book.

PP: Additionally, what was the inspiration for taking on that song from Flash Gordon?  It seems like such a random song to take on.  Also, your take on that song came very close to Arrow Video’s Blu-ray re-issue of Flash Gordon.  Was that timing just coincidence.  Have you seen the movie’s latest re-issue?

MM: We were a brand new band at the time and we wanted to do something a bit different. Everyone’s doing covers, so we wanted to do a cover not everyone could do. It was scary, but I think we pulled it off. We’ve heard years ago that they were going to do a remake of Flash Gordon. The plan was always to be a part of that. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time.

PP: Since we’re talking movies right now, what are some of your favorites movies?  What is it that makes them your favorites?  Do you all stream more content in terms of movies nowadays or do you prefer watching in theaters?

MM: I still love going to the theater. Of course I do the streaming thing that’s just the way it is these days. My favorite movie of all time is The Exorcist. That movie scared the hell out of me, still does.

PP: Getting back on the topic of the upcoming tour, talk to me if you will, about how the tour schedule came about.  In looking at the tour, which has two distinct legs, the first leg is specifically throughout the Midwest while the second leg (with Seven Year Witch) is more directly throughout the southeast, in states such as West Virginia, Florida, and here in North Carolina.  So how was it all planned?

MM: 2021 is a traffic jam out there. Every musician in every band is trying to get back to what they do best. So it was definitely difficult trying to book a tour. Our agency TKO has done a fantastic job at navigating through such a heavily saturated battlefield.  

PP: Speaking of the North Carolina dates, one of those shows is close to me at Hooligan’s in Jacksonville.  Have you ever played in North Carolina previously?  How did you come to choose Hooligan’s? 

MM: We’ve played Hooligans for years. It’s a wonderful venue and the promoter is a good friend of ours. We will always play that club. It’s a good vibe and the town is full of wild ones.

PP: Expanding a little more on the tour, Sunflower Dead and Co-op are scheduled to join The Lonely Ones for the first leg of your upcoming tour.  My understanding is that they will share time as support for the tour.  What is it about these two bands, which themselves are largely independent, that drew you all to them?

MM: They write great music. We did our research and every band that’s talked with them previously said they were wonderful to be on the road with. Our fans told us about them as well. Word on the street they put on a great show. That’s the type of bands we want to tour with.

PP: Let’s stay on the topic of other bands for a moment since we’re on that matter.  There are obviously a lot of great acts out there from one genre to the next that could easily be one of the next big names within its given genre.  So what are some of the bands that you all have really picked up on that you think others might enjoy?

MM: There are so many great bands right now. Ohio alone has many. Beartooth, The Violent, Starset, South of Eden, just to name a few. Check those cats out and you’ll have plenty to listen to for the next 6 months. 

PP: Bringing everything full circle as we wind things down, you all are signed now to Imagen Records.  So with that deal in place, when can audiences expect an album or even EP from The Lonely Ones?  You all have really built excitement and anticipation, again, with all of the singles you’ve released.  So is there a time table on that matter?

MM: Not yet. We’re not sure if albums make sense right now. It’s a singles world, not my favorite world but that’s how it goes these days. We have enough songs for two albums, but I don’t think we are getting enough awareness about the band yet to drop an album.

The Lonely Ones’ full tour schedule is noted below.

The Lonely Ones Tour Dates:

Thu, Aug 19, 2021 Indianapolis, IN Hi-Fi

Fri, Aug 20, 2021 Battle Creek, MI The Music Factory

Sat, Aug 21, 2021 Keokuk, IA L-Treyns

Sun, Aug 22, 2021 Mishawaka, IN Smokestack Brew

Sat, Aug 28, 2021 Columbus, OH The Basement

Sun, Aug 29, 2021 Pipestem, WV Metal In The Mountains

Tue, Aug 31, 2021 Louisville, KY Diamond Pub Concert Hall

Fri, Sep 3, 2021 Akron, OH Empire Concert Club

Sat, Sep 4, 2021 Huntington, WV V Club

Tue, Sep 7, 2021 Iowa City, IA Gabe’s

Wed, Sep 8, 2021 Des Moines, IA Lefty’s

Thu, Sep 9, 2021 Sioux Falls, SD Bigs Bar

Fri, Sep 10, 2021 Janesville, WI Back Bar

Sat, Sep 11, 2021 Chippewa Falls, WI Joel’s 4 Corners

Sun, Sep 12, 2021 Braidwood, IL Top Fuel Saloon

With Seven Year Witch

Sat, Oct 2, 2021 Virginia Beach, VA Scandal’s

Sun. Oct 3, 2021 Jacksonville, NC Hooligan’s

Tue. Oct 5, 2021 Gainsville, FL High Dive

Thur. Oct 7, 2021 Punta Gorda, FL Bert’s Back Porch

Fri. Oct 8, 2021 Tampa, FL Brass Mug

Sat. Oct 9, 2021 Sanford, FL West End Trading Co.

Sun. Oct 10, 2021 Jacksonville, FL Archetype

Mon. Oct 11, 2021 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade

Tue. Oct 12, 2021 Greenville, SC The Radio Room

Wed. Oct 13, 2021 Charlotte, NC Amos Southend

Thur. Oct 14, 2021 Greensboro, NC The Blind Tiger

Fri. Oct 15, 2021 Pipestem, WV Pipestem Event Center

Sat. Oct 16, 2021 Winchester, VA Blue Fox

The Lonely Ones has made waves since 2020, releasing a cover of Queen’s ‘Flash Gordon/The Hero‘ (from the 1980 big screen adaptation of the Flash Gordon comic strip), and the singles, ‘Change The Station,’ ‘Real Big Trouble, ‘Eternal Sadness,’ and ‘The Lonely One.’

More information on The Lonely Ones’ new tour plans is available along with all of the band’s latest news at The Lonely Ones’ official Facebook page.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks 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.

The Lonely Ones Debuts New Single, ‘Change The Station,’ Companion Video

Courtesy:Imagen Records

Independent rock band The Lonely Ones is giving audiences their first preview of its upcoming debut EP.

The band debuted the as-yet-untitled EP’s lead single, ‘Change The Station‘ Friday along with the song’s companion video. The song boasts a modern rock style musical arrangement that is akin to works from the likes of Small Town Titans. One can also argue there is a comparison to some songs from the likes of Shinedown and other similar acts in the arrangement.

The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement is a clear statement about everything that has taken place across America in recent months. It is a gripping commentary whose content works well with the song’s musical arrangement.

The video that accompanies single mirrors the energy and urgency in the song’s collective musical and lyrical content. It features the band performing its single in a studio setting. Each member performs his respective part to the song while cameras spin — almost to dizzying lengths — around the group.

‘Change the Station’ is just the latest single from The Lonely Ones. The band gained acclaim last year for its cover of Queen’s ‘Flash Gordon/The Hero‘ and its original tune ‘Real Big Trouble‘ as well as its other originals, ‘Eternal Sadness‘ and ‘The Lonely One.’

Queen member Brian May and Flash Gordon himself — Sam J. Jones — praised The Lonely ones for its take on ‘Flash Gordon/The Hero.’

May said of the cover through a prepared statement, “What a fantastic cover! I didn’t realize they were going to go into The Hero and the whole reprise…magnificent!”

Jones had the following to say of the cover.

“This is one of the best covers I have ever heard and seen,” he said. “What a gifted group – The Lonely Ones are for everyone of us, from the 1980’s to right now!”

It is unknown if the band’s cover of ‘Flash Gordon/The Hero’ or ‘Real Big Trouble’ will feature in The Lonely Ones’ upcoming EP. Other than the fact that ‘Change the Station’ will feature in the record, all that is known about the record is that it is expected for release this year through Imagen Records.

Front man Marty McCoy recently spoke about the EP’s upcoming release.

“We’re very excited to partner with Imagen Records in 2021,” he said. “They put a deal on the table that was very artist friendly and their excitement about the band has been contagious. It’s a great team with Bob Winegard, Shauna O’Donnell, Steven Nathan and Morgan Rose. The music industry is constantly changing and these cats have their ears to the ground. We are looking forward to this new adventure with Imagen on our side.”

Winegard spoke warmly of The Lonely Ones in his own statement.

“I am very excited to have The Lonely Ones on the Imagen Records roster,”  said  Winegard. “I knew from the moment I heard their songs that this band was something special. They are hit makers!”

Rose, who is the head of A&R at Imagen Records and is also the longtime drummer for Sevendust also shared his thoughts on the band’s signing.

‘I’ve known Marty and the boys for most of my career,” he said. “When the opportunity to sign them came up, I jumped at it. This band is stacked with hooks and tons of attitude. I can’t wait for the world to hear what they have to say,”

More information on The Lonely Ones’ new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at The Lonely Ones’ official Facebook page.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks 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.

May, Jones Praise The Lonely One’s ‘Flash Gordon Theme/The Hero’ Cover

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

The Lonely Ones’ cover of Queen’s Flash Gordon theme song/’The Hero’ is getting some high praise.

The song, which the band debuted in July has received praise from Queen guitarist Brian May and Flash Gordon himself, Sam J. Jones.  A comment from May on the song was released Wednesday, noting of The Lonely Ones’ cover, “What a fantastic cover! I didn’t realize they were going to go into The Hero and the whole reprise…magnificent!”

Jones also praised the band’s cover.

“This is one of the best covers I have ever heard and seen,” he said. “What a gifted group – The Lonely Ones are for everyone of us, from the 1980’s to right now!”

The band’s take on the song pays full tribute to Queen’s version of the classic work.  The Lonely Ones’ rendition is longer than that of Queen, with the original clocking in at just under three minutes and the cover coming in at five-and-a-half-minutes.  Even with that in mind, the band’s cover is still very much in line with Queen’s original work.

The band talked about its take on the song in a collective statement.

“We recorded Flash in 2019 – a pretty dark year for the four of us on all fronts,” the statement reads. Our original musical output reflected that darkness, so recording a cartoonishly triumphant, heroic cover song seemed like a good counter-balance. Fast forward to spring 2020 and the impending COVID-19 Stay at Home order. With limited time and help from some fans we got our friends together to film a music video while we were still able. It’s July now and, with the future more unclear than ever, it seems like the perfect time to release the most positive song we have.  I hope you enjoy it. “Flash/The Hero. A Queen Cover.”

The Lonely Ones’ cover of the Flash Gordon theme song/’The Hero’ is available to stream and download here.

 

Courtesy: Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment Group

The debut of The Lonely Ones’ cover of the song came less than a month ahead of the Blu-ray and 4KUHD re-issue of the classic movie Flash Gordon.  Arrow Video re-issued the movie on the noted platforms last month.  The debuts are not connected, however.

The new re-issue features a companion booklet with new liner notes on the movie penned by a variety of film critics and historians; separate feature length audio commentaries by Mike Hodges and Brian Blessed; cast interviews; a behind-the-scenes making of featurette; archival interview with Mike Hodges, screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr. and comic book artist Alex Ross as well as much more.

More information on The Lonely Ones’ cover of ‘Flash Gordon’/’The Hero’ is available along with all of the band’s latest news at The Lonely Ones’ official Facebook page.

More information on Arrow Video’s forthcoming re-issue of Flash Gordon is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.arrowfilms.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks 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.

Queen’s New Archived Live Show Will Have Audiences Saying “Oh What A Night!”

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

On Christmas Eve 1975 Brian May, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon (Collectively known as Queen) brought audiences in London a very special hometown show when they performed live at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. The seventeen-song set was a fiery set to say the very least as the band drove through each song almost seamlessly. Even as fast as it passed by, there’s something about that fire that exemplifies everything that was once and still is right with live performances. Now thanks to the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment, audiences of all ages will get to see just how enjoyable it is for themselves as that concert has been made available in a number of formats including SD-Blu-ray. The band’s previously noted stage presence in this performance is undeniably important in its own right to the overall concert experience. It is just one part of what makes this recording so enjoyable, though. It will be discussed at more length later. The most important element to examine here is the concert’s set list. The set list featured in this performance is quite interesting. That is because while the band’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera had been released only a few weeks ahead of the presented performance, the band opted not to touch on that album by and large. That will be discussed shortly. Again, the band’s stage presence over the course of the concert is just as important to note in its overall presentation. Last but not least of note in this recording’s presentation is the bonus documentary “Looking Back At The Odeon.” Each of the recording’s noted elements plays its own important part in the whole of the recording. Altogether they make this recording one more of 2015’s top live recordings and another must have for both Queen fans and classic rock aficionados alike.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s latest archived live Queen recording is one of 2015’s top live recordings and yet another must have for any Queen fans and classic rock aficionados alike. The main reason for this is the concert’s set list. Unlike the case with so many other live recordings released by Queen and Eagle Rock Entertainment overall the set list featured in this recording stands out quite starkly. That is because it features all of one song from what was the band’s latest album at the time, 1975’s A Night At The Opera. The rest of the show’s seventeen total songs are lifted from what were the band’s previous albums at the time. That’s ironic to say the absolute least. It is so ironic because the band had released A Night at The Opera only weeks before this special Christmas Day show. What’s more, the show was the closer of what was then the band’s current tour, too. So simply put, the juxtaposition of the show’s set list to the timing of the show and the release of A Night At The Opera really makes the show’s set list stand out as a key part of this recording. It is only one part of what makes this concert well worth the watch, too. The band’s stage presence throughout the course of the concert is just as important to note as the show’s rather intriguing set list.

The set list that makes up the body of A Night At The Odeon is an interesting part of the recording’s whole. That is to say the very least. Being that only one of the featured songs comes from A Night At The Opera the recording’s title doesn’t seem entirely fitting. That aside, it still presents its own share of fan favorites throughout the course of its seventeen total songs. Having noted that, the songs are just one part of what makes this recording another must have for fans of both Queen and classic rock in whole. The band’s stage presence is just as important to the recording’s overall presentation as the show’s set list. What is so interesting to note of the ban’s stage presence in this performance is the fire that seems to be burning hot and bright beneath each member. The show runs a total of seventeen minutes and a little more than an hour (an hour and three minutes to be exact). But the pace at which the band attacks each of the featured songs is incredible. It makes that hour-plus run time seem to fly by in the blink of an eye. It also shows the band’s collective energy. Of course one need only watch each of the band’s members to see just how much energy each had. It translates quite well to home viewers, too. So much so that home viewers may even end up feeling their own energy as they take in the concert. That says quite a bit especially considering the fact that the concert was originally recorded some four decades ago. It shows why Queen is just as much of a fan favorite today as it was when this concert was originally recorded.

Both the band’s stage presence throughout the course of its concert at the former Hammersmith Odeon and the set list featured in this concert are important elements in their own right to A Night At The Odeon. The set list presents a number of fan favorites from what was then Queen’s earlier releases. And the band’s stage presence over the course of the show’s hour-plus run time is just as certain to keep audiences of all ages engaged from beginning to end. For all of the importance presented by the show’s set list and the ban’s performance of said songs, they are not the recording’s only key elements. The bonus documentary that is included with the concert is just as important to the recording as the show itself. That is because it isn’t necessarily a documentary in the traditional sense of the word. Rather it is more of a general interview with two of the band’s members–Brian May and Roger Taylor–than a documentary. May and Taylor discuss the tour that included the concert in this recording as part of their interview. There are also discussions on the band’s legendary front man Freddie Mercury and his ability to hold a crowd in the very palm of his hand. Just as interesting to note is the discussion on the band’s financial issues at the time of the tour. One would be surprised to hear just how little the band was actually being paid for its shows at the time. Considering how popular Queen has become in the decades since and the money that Queen brings in to this day, it’s quite the stark statement. These are just a few of the subjects that are tackled in the concert’s bonus documentary. The pair has much more to say in its interview. And audiences will hear all of it when they pick up A Night At The Odeon for themselves. Those discussions together with the show’s set list and the band’s performance of said set list make A Night At The Odeon a recording in whole that the band’s fans and classic rock fans in general will equally enjoy.

Queen: A Night At The Odeon — Hammersmith 1975 is another must have for any of Queen’s legions of fans around the world. It is also just as much of a must have for classic rock fans in general. In examining the whole of this recording, it can be said just as much that it is one of 2015’s top live recordings. That is thanks in large part to the concert’s rather ironic set list. The set list features only one song from A Night At The Opera, which had been released only weeks ahead of the concert. Most of the show’s set list was pulled from the band’s then older material. The band’s fiery stage presence throughout the course of the concert’s hour-plus run time is just as important to note. The band’s stage presence shows why it is still one of the music community’s most respected bands even four decades after this concert was originally recorded. The bonus “documentary” that is included with the concert is just as important to the whole of the concert as the show’s set list and the band’s stage presence. Audiences get first-hand insight into the concert from two of the band’s members as well as insight into other, related topics. Each element shows to be its own important part of the recording in the long run. Altogether they make A Night At The Odeon — Hammersmith 1975 a recording that is, again, more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leading name in live recordings and why this recording is one of 2015’s top live recordings. They also collectively serve to show why this recording is another must have for any of Queen’s fans and any classic rock aficionados in general. It is available now in stores and online on a number of platforms. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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

 

Eagle Rock Marks Queen Anniversary With New Live Recording

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

This past Saturday marked a very special anniversary in the annals of rock and music history in whole. It was on October 31st, 1975 that legendary rock band Queen released its timeless hit ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ In honor of the song’s debut forty years ago and its lasting impact, the band’s remaining members were awarded the Classic Single Award at the Q Awards last week. It is just one way in which the song and the band are being honored.

The classic tune will be released on a special edition 12-inch black vinyl with the song’s original B-side ‘I’m In Love With My Car’ on Friday, November 27th. Also on November 20th, the special edition vinyl will be accompanied by the separate release of Queen: A Night at the Odeon—Live at Hammersmith ’75. Queen: A Night at the Odeon—Live at Hammersmith ’75 will be released on CD via Hollywood Records and on standalone DVD and SD Blu-ray platforms via Eagle Rock Entertainment. The concert presented in the recording was the finale of the band’s twenty-six date “Queen Invite You To a Night at the Opera” UK tour. It was the first tour in which the band had performed ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ live.

All three presentations of the concert feature the band’s complete performance at the Hammersmith including the never-before-heard “second encore” of ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’ and ‘See What a Fool I’ve Been.’ The concert’s DVD and SD Blu-ray presentation will each feature a pair of bonuses for fans, the first of which is a twenty-two minute retrospective documentary titled “Looking Back at the Odeon.” The second is the rarely-seen Live at Budokan—a three-song set filmed during the band’s 1975 performance from Japan. The songs in question that are presented are ‘Now I’m Here,’ ‘Killer Queen,’ and ‘In The Lap of the Gods…Revisited.’ The documentary includes previously unseen interviews with Brian May and Roger Taylor by Old Grey Whistle Test presenter Bob Harris about the 1975 Hammersmith Odeon show. The complete track listing for the DVD and SD Blu-ray recording of Queen: A Night at the Odeon—Live at Hammersmith ’75 is noted below.

Queen – A Night At The Odeon, Live At Hammersmith ’75 released November 20th

Full Tracklisting (CD/Vinyl/Digital)

  1. Now I’m Here
  2. Ogre Battle
  3. White Queen (As It Began)
  4. Bohemian Rhapsody
  5. Killer Queen
  6. The March Of The Black Queen
  7. Bohemian Rhapsody (Reprise)
  8. Bring Back That Leroy Brown
  9. Brighton Rock
  10. Guitar Solo
  11. Son And Daughter
  12. Keep Yourself Alive
  13. Liar
  14. In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited
  15. Big Spender
  16. Jailhouse Rock Medley
  17. Seven Seas Of Rhye
  18. See What A Fool I’ve Been
  19. God Save The Queen

 

*DVD and SD Blu-ray formats do not include Seven Seas Of Rhye or See What A Fool I’ve Been.

 

More information on Queen: A Night at the Odeon—Live at Hammersmith ’75 and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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

Live At The Rainbow ’74 Is A Must For Any Queen Fan

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Eagle Rock Entertainment released the latest addition to its ongoing series of archived live Queen concerts last month.  Queen: Live at the Rainbow celebrates the 40th anniversary of the band’s 1974 performances at the famed Rainbow Theatre at London’s Finsbury Park.  The concert contained on the newly-released recording documents the band’s November 1974 performance at the theater.    There is a lot to like about this new recording beginning with the concert’s set list.  Unlike Eagle Rock’s previously released Queen concert recordings, this concert focuses on the band’s earlier days.  Another reason that this concert is so enjoyable is the quality of the recording from its original masters.  And last but most definitely not least of all worth mentioning is the band’s stage presence.  Even so early on, the band proved why it was a fan favorite.  That applies especially to legendary front man Freddie Mercury.  Each of the factors noted here are equally important to the overall enjoyment of Queen: Live at the Rainbow ’74.  Together, they make the concert yet another must for any classic rock fan and any fan of what is one of the greatest bands in rock and roll.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recently released archived Queen concert recording Live at the Rainbow ’74 is a must for any fan of the band and of classic rock in general.  It isn’t the first of the recordings from the band’s career that Eagle Rock has released.  However, most of the band’s recordings that Eagle Rock has released in recent years have focused largely on the band’s later years as is evident through the concerts’ set lists.  Live at the Rainbow ’74 presents the band in its earlier days.  The band had only released its first two albums prior to this concert.  That means that obviously it didn’t have a lot of hits yet.  The most well-known songs included in the band’s set here are the likes of: ‘Stone Cold Crazy,’ ‘Killer Queen,’ and ‘Seven Seas of Rhye.’  There are plenty of audiences out there that probably are familiar with the other songs included in this recording.  But for just as many, it could very well be the first introduction to the band’s older and lesser-known material.  That alone especially makes this recording a must.  Simply put it is a music history lesson in itself.  It is even more so a history lesson than previously released archived Queen concerts.  Being such a rarity of a history lesson, it becomes even more of a must have for fans of Queen and of classic rock in general.

The focus on Queen’s earlier days in Queen: Live at the Rainbow ’74 is key to the enjoyment and overall importance of this recording.  Many of the band’s current archived concert recordings focus on its later years.  So this latest release is a welcome new addition to the band’s history.  Thanks to the painstaking efforts of those behind this release, the concert looks and sounds just as good as it did when the band first performed at the Rainbow Theatre four decades ago.  Anyone that knows anything about Queen knows that Freddie Mercury is one of the most respected vocalists in the music industry even though he is no longer with us.  That is because of his vocal prowess.  And it balanced expertly with the talents of his band mates in this show.  The end result is a recording in which not one member overpowers the other at any point from start to finish in its near hour and a half run time.  The concert’s video quality is just as impressive as its audio quality.  Especially considering how far video recording technology has come since 1974, the quality of the original recording itself from the angles to the concert’s overall look makes for even more enjoyment.  Thanks to the efforts of those charged with restoring said footage, audiences can once again (or for the first time) see just how talented the concert’s original camera crew was.  It is one more reason that this latest recording will impress any Queen aficionado and any lover of classic rock in general.

The overall audio and video quality in Queen’s latest archived concert together with its set list makes it a must have for any fan of Queen and of classic rock in general.  It is one more example, too of why Eagle Rock Entertainment to this day retains the title of the leader in live recordings.  One more important factor worth noting in this concert’s enjoyment is the band’s stage presence.  It has already been noted that Freddie Mercury is to this day one of the greatest vocalists in rock history.  He is also one of the industry’s most prolific front men period.  As audiences will see and hear in this concert recording, that wasn’t something that happened over time.  It is something that was the case from early on.  He was just as charismatic here in the band’s early days as he was in his waning days with the band.  Brian May kept the audience just as happy with his solid guitar playing.  This includes his driving solos.  Much the same can be said of Taylor’s drumming and John Deacon’s bass work.  The four musicians together exhibit so much energy and enjoyment throughout the course of the concert.  The band’s audience feeds off of that energy and gives it back just as much.  It translates so well on screen that it leaves home viewers feeling just as excited watching the concert as those that were in attendance for the original performance.  The reason that that positive energy translates so well is the work of those charged with restoring the concert from its original masters.  Add in a set list full of largely lesser-known songs, and audiences get in Queen: Live at the Rainbow ’74 a concert that is just as enjoyable today as it was forty-years ago.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

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May & Ellis’ Candlelight Concerts Recording Another Huge Hit For Eagle Rock

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Eagle Rock Entertainment and its visual division, Eagle Vision, have been at the front of the line in live recordings in recent years thanks to releasing so many big, bombastic concerts on DVD and Blu-ray. So it goes without saying that Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts is quite the departure for Eagle Rock and Eagle Vision. That’s not a bad thing, either. While it features Queen guitarist Brian May alongside one of the most powerful voices in Broadway’s modern history, the references to Queen are kept to a minimum throughout the course of the concert. That is the most important factor in what makes this latest release from Eagle Rock and Eagle Vision so worth the time. Another reason that audiences will appreciate this new recording is its audio and video mix. The high quality video and audio mix (both on the Blu-ray and CD) maintain Eagle Rock and Eagle Vision’s long-held standard of releasing only the best quality concerts to audiences. And making everything complete for this latest recording is its packaging. Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts has been made available to consumers in a double-disc Blu-ray/CD combo pack in a single package. This allows audiences to take in the performance in whole without having to choose which one they would want more. It may be a slightly higher price. But in the long-term, it’s more cost effective for those wanting the full concert experience. All of the factors noted here make Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts yet another huge success from the leader in live recordings.

Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts is not a Queen concert. That’s not to say that there are no Queen songs featured throughout the course of the set’s CD and Blu-ray. As a matter of fact, some of Queen’s biggest hits including ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Somebody To Love’, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young)’ are part of the performance. But by and large, this performance features covers of other songs, and even a couple original tunes. One of the most powerful of the performance’s moments comes in Ellis’ cover of ‘The Way We Were.’ The song, made popular by singer/actress Barbara Streisand in the 1973 movie by the same name. As Ellis notes before performing her take on the song, it’s more commonly performed with a full orchestral backing, even in the movie’s soundtrack. It gains a whole new identity in this completely stripped down setting. On the other end of the spectrum, May and Ellis presented a stripped down song in ‘The Kissing Me Song’ that absolutely cries out for a full band setting. Any drummers and percussionists out there will agree with this drummer that there is a stunning polyrhythmic drum track just waiting to come out in this piece. One can even hear a tambourine part echoing in the background. Making the song even more interesting is that it is an original piece, instead of a cover. It would be interesting to see if the pair ever re-works the tune for a full band setting. Moving on, there is at least one more high point in this performance in terms of the show’s set list that audiences will appreciate. That last high point is the duo’s take on ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’ Despite being in a stripped down setting, it is just as enjoyable in this setting as on record. And experiencing the audience’s enthusiastic reaction to the song makes it all the more enjoyable for viewers watching it in their homes. It has just as much energy here as in any other setting. As enjoyable as this moment is, it isn’t the last of the show’s many high points. There are plenty more moments from which audiences will get to choose when they purchase or order the combo pack for themselves.

The set list chosen for this penultimate performance of May and Ellis’ “By Candlelight Tour” is central to the enjoyment of this recording. Those hoping for a stripped down Queen set will be sadly disappointed since it isn’t a Queen set. For those more open-minded, they will deeply appreciate the variety of songs included in the show. The songs would be nothing without the expert work of those behind the cameras and soundboard. Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Vision have maintained a high standard for their live recordings for some time. And this recording is no exception to that rule. The picture and sound are both crystal clear. And the angles used in the camera work expertly capture the emotion of both performers in the rather intimate setting. It adds so much depth to the overall presentation, making it even more worth checking out.

The set list and overall production values of Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts are both pivotal elements to the overall presentation of this recording. Both go hand in hand in making the whole thing worth the time and money. There is still at least one more element worth noting about this set. That aspect is the recording’s packaging itself. Eagle Rock, Eagle Vision, and Eagle Records have come together to make the set available to the masses not as separate release, but as one entire package. On the surface, this might drive up the price of the set a bit. But in the long run, it actually saves money and the time trying to decide which is more important. Eagle Rock is actually serving its customers by combining the CD and Blu-ray into a full double-disc set. What’s more, each of the two discs gets its own spot on either side of the Blu-ray’s case. That saves space and in turn, helps to keep the cost of the set down. And that combined with the show’s outstanding production values, and equally outstanding set list makes it one more huge success from the company that more than deserves the title of being the leader in live recordings.

Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Candelight-Concerts-Live-Montreux-Blu-ray/dp/B00I60VY56/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1396512611&sr=1-1&keywords=brian+may+kerry+ellis. More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment, Eagle Vision, and Eagle Records is available online at http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt and http://www.eagle-rock.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock’s Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert Re-Issue An Amazing Way To Finish Off The Year

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Freddie Mercury, the late front man of the legendary rock band Queen, was in his time one of the single most charismatic vocalists in the music industry.  Many vocalists have tried to emulate the legendary singer’s energy and style.  Few if any have succeeded.  Sadly, Freddy Mercury was taken from the world in 1991, one of so many victims of the then emerging AIDS epidemic.  The music world paid tribute to his legacy and memory in 1992 with a special live tribute concert.  The concert, held at London’s Wembley Stadium has become one of the biggest and most  powerful live concert events of the Twentieth Century, even after more than two decades since it was originally held.  The only concert event that could compare to this event is Woodstock ’94.  And now thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment, the legacy of Freddie Mercury lives on once again thanks to the Blu-ray release of The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.  While this SD Blu-ray release of The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert is not the first time that the concert has been released to the masses, this release is the concert’s best yet.    There is so much to be said of this latest re-issue.  The best place to start is the overall audio and video presentation.  Those charged with resurrecting the original footage are to be commended as the concert is presented here in its full original glory.  Audiences get to see the show as it looked in its original recording.  The audio sounds just as good.  This is especially the case for those with home theater systems.  The cinematography is incredible to say the least.  The crowd shots and shots of the crowd from the stage are collectively the epitome of the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words.  And of course, there is also the show’s set list and list of performers.  Both by themselves and collectively, they make a bold statement that puts the finishing touch on this incredible latest re-issue from Eagle Rock Entertainment.

The first and most obvious factor to investigate in Eagle Rock’s new re-issue of The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert is the audio and video mix.  This concert was recorded almost twenty-two years ago.  April 20th, 2014 will mark the twenty-second anniversary of this landmark concert.  Being that high definition recording was still years away when this concert was recorded, it’s obvious that the quality of the footage would not be crystal clear in this presentation.  But Eagle Rock openly noted on the recording’s case that this presentation is a Standard Definition Blu-ray.  That means that Eagle Rock openly notes that the presentation contained therein is a standard definition recording.  Those expecting pure 1080 quality video have only misled themselves.  Eagle Rock Entertainment is not to blame here.  That the footage still looks as good as it does over two decades later is a testament to those charged with maintaining and resurrecting it.  And having the option to set one’s TV to “Cinema” to gain the full concert video experience only serves to make it even better.

The quality of the concert’s video footage is impressive to say the very least.  It is presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio.  Though, with the advent of high definition televisions, most viewers can set their monitors to present the concert in full “Cinema” mode.  That mode shows better than any how well the footage has stood the test of time.  The audio mix is just as impressive as the video in terms of its quality.  Every riff, every beat, and every chorus from the crowd of thousands is enhanced on this re-issue.  In comparison to the concert’s previous releases, the audio mix has never sounded better.  It has been enhanced so much that at times, the echoes of Brian May’s voice as he talked will make audiences think they are actually there in person.  It has been mixed that well.  That is quite the testament to those charged with restoring this concert to its former glory.  And along with the footage, it is one part of a very strong cornerstone of this recording.

The video and audio mixes serve collectively as a solid base for The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.  The concert’s cinematography adds an extra element of enjoyment to the recording, too.  Much as was the case with Eagle Rock’s release of The Rolling Stones’ Hyde Park Live this Fall, the camera shots obtained over the course of this concert are extraordinary.  There is something to be said about an entire stadium full of people singing in unison, arms high in the air, clapping in time. The visual effect both from the stage and from high above the sea of bodies is something that cannot be put into words.  It is something that must be seen to be fully appreciated.  Even seeing the shots in question from one’s own sofa, bed, etc. is awe inspiring.  They collectively go to show the love that so many people had for Freddie Mercury and for Queen.  While the concert’s audio and video mixes are the foundation on which the concert rests, the shots obtained by the camera crews give the show its shape.  And what a shape those crews give the concert.

As one should be able to tell from everything noted already, there is much to like about Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new re-issue of The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert on SD Blu-ray.  Much has already been examined with this latest release from the leader in live recordings.  But it would not be complete without making mention of the concert’s set list and its equally diverse lineup of performers.  The show itself is set up into two separate segments.  The first of those segments is the “Opening Acts” segment.  This segment allows some of the acts tapped to perform at the concert to perform their own music and warm up the crowd at the same time.  This segment runs the gamut to say the very least.  It opens with a trio of songs from Metallica and follows that up with a medley of Queen hits courtesy of Extreme.  Guns N’ Roses (the original Guns N’ Roses) closes out the opening acts segments.  Def Leppard is also one of the opening acts.  Their front man, Joe Elliot, joins Elton John, George Michael, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, and so many other acts from across the music industry for the “Main Show” segment of the recording.  Having such a wide array of artists covering the music of one band is a bold statement.  It shows the impact that Queen had on them as bands and artists.  It also goes to show the respect that those bands and artists had for Freddie Mercury.  It goes to show the kind of person he was and how important he was to so many around him.  Keeping that in mind while watching the incredible shots, and hearing the equally incredible song selections is sure to bring a smile and maybe even a tear to some viewers’ faces.  If it does one, the other, or both, then it has most certainly done its job.  It means that Eagle Rock is that much more justified in once again unearthing this important piece of music history.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other live recordings from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Hungarian Rhapsody Is Queen’s Career Defining Performance

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Eagle Rock Entertainment has done it yet again.  This is not a company that rests easily on its laurels.  Every live recording that the company has released this year has been just as good as or better than the previous.  And now with the year winding down, Eagle Rock has released what is one of its best releases so far this year in Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest.

Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest is Queen at its finest.  For any classic rock lovers and Queen fans in general, this new deluxe set is important not just for the performance itself but for what the performance meant.  It was a victory not just for Queen and for rock music as a whole, but it was a major turning point, politically speaking.  As Rhys Thomas writes in the liner notes of the set, “It was the first stadium show by a Western act to be held behind the ‘Iron Curtain.’”  Some might ask about that, why that is important.  It’s important because it represented the opening up of certain groups of individuals to Western influence of any kind.  It represented a political shift in that side of the world.  For Queen to be able to say it was the first band to do so had to have been an honor.

Having been invited as the first band to perform behind the ‘Iron Curtain’, the band showed its appreciation to the people of Hungary for the invitation as a whole with an absolutely amazing show.  The band’s energy spread throughout the Nepstadion throughout its more high energy pieces such as ‘Tear It Up’, Tie Your Mother Down’, and the show’s opener, ‘One Vision.’  And even in the concert’s more reserved moments such as ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’, Under Pressure’ and ‘I Want To Break Free’ received highly positive response from the audience in attendance.  They are of course, just a small sampling of everything that the band had to offer in its landmark performance.  The set list also includes the band’s perennial favorites, ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘We Are The Champions.’  There’s even a cover of ‘Tutti Frutti’ that exemplifies the band’s ability with other styles of music, too.  The first half of the song is a full-on acoustic cover, while the second half absolutely rocks out.  It shows the band’s abilities with other styles and will have audiences of any age moving and dancing in their own living rooms, bedrooms, and cars.

Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest is stunning from the set list itself.  Every band has shows that every fan considers to be the band’s best.  With the case of this recording, there is no doubt that this performance is the band’s best.  Mr. Thomas is correct in writing in the accompanying liner notes that this performance is Queen at the top of its game.  There is something about the band’s performance that stands out from any of its others.  It could be the band’s energy.  It could be the response of the audience.  It could be both together.  Regardless, this performance is the prime performance from Queen.  Add in that Mr. Thomas also states in the liner notes that the band did this show although there was no profit to be made from it, and audiences gain a whole new respect for the band not just as musicians, but also as people.  It makes this performance that much more important in the career of Queen.  Needless to say it makes this concert that much more of a career defining performance.  Sure, that term is thrown about a lot with musical acts.  But there can be no argument about it with this performance.

Nearly three decades have passed since this performance was originally recorded.  In that time, the importance of the concert hasn’t been lost on its audiences both for its set list and for what it meant to the world.  For home audiences it will mean even more considering the quality of the footage transfer from its original 35mm format to Blu-ray and CD.  Both the video and audio qualities of this performance are just as impressive as the set list and its energy combined.  Again, thanks to Eagle Rock, audiences can enjoy that high quality transfer as it has been put to both a double-disc CD set and single-disc Blu-ray in a complete triple disc Deluxe set that’s available both in stores and online now.  For the Queen fan in anyone’s house, it can be ordered direct online at Eagle Rock Entertainment’s website, http://www.eagle-rock.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.