Randy Bachman’s Latest LP Is A Whole Different And Enjoyable Kind Of Heavy

Courtesy:  Linus Entertainment/Paquin Entertainment Group/Ontario Media Development Corporation

Courtesy: Linus Entertainment/Paquin Entertainment Group/Ontario Media Development Corporation

Veteran musician Randy Bachman has spent the better part of his adult life crafting songs that are known today as some of the rock realm’s greatest compositions. Whether as a member of Bachman Turner Overdrive, The Guess Who, or as a solo musician, Randy Bachman’s music is considered by rockers of all ages to be some of rock’s greatest even to this day. And with his latest solo effort Heavy Blues Bachman continues to justify that reputation even more. Heavy Blues will hit store shelves on Tuesday, April 14th. it is an aptly titled record considering the blues-based rock that makes up most of the album’s eleven total tracks. Perhaps the only exception to that rule is the album’s deeply emotional closer ‘We Need To Talk.’ That song aside, Heavy Blues still stands as a record that every rock purist should add to his or her own music library. From its straight forward, seemingly Steve Miller/The Who-inspired opener ‘The Edge,’ to the gospel and blues-infused ‘Oh My Lord’ to that much deeper, more moving closer, there is plenty for rock purists to appreciate in this album. That includes the pieces not noted here, either. All eleven tracks taken fully into consideration, Heavy Blues proves itself to be a record that is a full breath of fresh air and reminder of all that once made rock great and always will.

Randy Bachman’s latest full length effort Heavy Blues is, as already noted, a breath of fresh air in an age in which rock seems continually dominated by cookie cutter bands dominating mainstream rock radio stations and equally sound-alike acts dominating the heavier side of the rock realm; bands whose songs consist of indecipherable, cookie monster-like growls, machine-gun speed drumming, and crunching, down-tuned guitars. It is a reminder of all that once made rock great and always will regardless of which bands dominate the airwaves and the underground. This is exhibited right off the top in the album’s bombastic opener ‘The Edge.’ The song boasts quite the similarity to works from the likes of both The Who and The Steve Miller Band among others stylistically speaking. Whether or not that was intentional is known only by Bachman himself. Regardless, the combination of those influences in this song serve to make it the perfect choice for Heavy Blues’ opener and a great addition to the album overall. That bombastic style is an equally fitting match for the song’s lyrical side. Lyrically speaking, the song presents a figure that is looking at the world with eyes wide open and a bright spirit. He is someone that is ready to break out and explore the big, wide world with so much gusto. He sings to his mother, “Goodbye mama/I ain’t comin’ home/There’s a big world out there/I’m goin’ it alone/Leave behind the knockers/I just gotta chase the dream/I wanna be somebody and I gotta be free.” He goes on to sing in the song’s closing verse, “I might be wrong/But I’ll take that chance/Falling down and getting up/Is part of the dance/Wanderin’ in circles/Trying to find a place to be/I wanna be somebody and I gotta be free.” Whether male or female, such mindset and energy is something to which even today’s youths can relate. The song’s ability to reach across the generations with such lyrics and musical power makes it a great opener for Heavy Blues and just one of many examples of why every rock purist should have Heavy Blues in their music library.

‘The Edge’ is a great start for Randy Bachman’s new album. It is a song that stretches across generations both with its music and its equally positive and explosive lyrics. It isn’t the only positive boasted by Heavy Blues, either. The hybrid blues/gospel-infused ‘Oh My Lord’ is another great example of what makes this record such a standout opus. Fellow veteran musician Robert Randolph (Robert Randolph and the Family Band) joins Bachman on this song to make for a piece that is one of the highest of the album’s highs. While Randolph provides no vocals for the song, his added talents on the steel pedal add quite a bit of spice to the song. Lyrically, it offers just as much depth for listeners. It notes that for all the bad times in life, a person has to endure and push through, no matter what. As Bachman sings, “Young and restless, outta control/You gotta let the bad times roll/Be careful what you wish for, diamonds or gold/You gotta let the bad times roll/Life is just a gamble, you gotta take control/You gotta face the storm and let the four winds blow/When you roll the dice, it’s all about the throw/You gotta let the bad times roll.” Bachman comes across as saying that people have to take the bad with the good and just face it all rather than try to run and hide from it. Hiding from the bad times only makes things worse. Facing the bad times is tough, but it makes a person stronger for having done it. As with ‘The Edge,’ these are lyrics that cross generations. They are words that are just as relevant to today’s youths as to those that were youths when Bachman was himself younger. Once more, that combination of infectious blues and gospel-infused music coupled with equally substantive lyrics shows why Heavy Blues is such an enjoyable record for rock purists of every age and why it in whole proves to be potentially one of this year’s best new rock records.

Both ‘The Edge’ and Oh My Lord’ serve in their own way as prime examples of why every rock purist should hear Heavy Blues if not have it in his or her own music library. Both songs present wholly different sounds yet sounds that will impress rock fans of all ages. The lyrical content of each song makes each one even more enjoyable and impactful. While both songs provide a certain amount of substance to the album in whole, they certainly are not all that make Heavy Blues so impressive. The album’s closer ‘We Need To Talk’ stands out completely from the rest of the album’s compositions. Yet it shows in its own way one more way that this album shines. Given it probably should not have served as the album’s closer considering the energy exuded by the rest of the album’s songs. But stylistically and lyrically speaking, it is a powerful and moving song in its own right. The song’s musical side presents a figure going through the sadness and uncertainty that comes with an impending breakup. The gentility in Bachman’s voice coupled with the song’s reserved sound set against its 3/4 time signature makes it a song that will tug at listeners’ heart strings like no other. The song’s lyrical side will tug at listeners’ emotions just as powerfully as Bachman sings, “I braced myself for the worst/Whenever you hear those words/Something don’t fit/Something went wrong/Something don’t work and something’s all gone/That’s just the way it is, we need to talk, she said.” Just as with ‘The Edge’ and ‘Oh My Lord,’ the lyrical content presented here is content that transcends generations. Bachman paints a vivid picture of a young woman trying not to hurt a man as she tells him that their relationship has come to its end. There are thousands of songs about breakups that have been crafted by acts across music’s many genres throughout the modern history of music. But few tell the actual story of the breakup. And just as few tell the story of that moment with such clarity and emotion. Because of that, ‘We Need To Talk’ proves itself to be one more of the most important moments of Heavy Blues even as much as it stands out from the rest of the album’s songs. It isn’t heavy in the traditional sense. But its combination of moving lyrics and music make it a heavy song in its own right. And it makes it one more great examples of what makes Heavy Blues such an important addition to any rock purist’s music collection regardless of said listeners’ age. Together with the likes of ‘The Edge’ and ‘Oh My Lord,’ the combination of all three songs( and those not noted here) shows exactly why this record could potentially be one of the year’s best new rock records.

Randy Bachman has proven time and again throughout his career why he remains one of the most respected figures in the rock community decades after he first rose to fame. And as the songs noted here show, he has proven yet again exactly why he is held on one of those pedestals of rock’s greatest icons. The songs not noted here prove that just as much, not to ignore them, either. The combination of those songs with the compositions noted here show Heavy Blues as an example of how rock can be heavy without being heavy metal. It shows why this record is one that every rock purist should have in his or her music library. And it shows why it is potentially one of the best new rock records of the year. Randy Bachman will tour in support of Heavy Blues beginning April 1st in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The tour includes a stint on the 2016 installment of the Rock Legends Cruise. His current tour schedule is available online now along with all of his latest news at:

Website: http://randybachman.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Randy-Bachman/186355994906457

Twitter: http://twitter.com/randysvinyltap

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Eagle Rock Entertainment Going Back To Ronnie Scott’s With Jeff Beck In June

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release another new archived performance from legendary guitarist Jeff Beck this summer.

Officials with Eagle Rock Entertainment announced today that the label will release Performing This Week…Live at Ronnnie Scott’s–Special Edition on Tuesday, June 2nd. The concert, originally recorded in 2007, comes on the heels of its 2009 release on DVD and Blu-ray, and the 2014 release of Live in Tokyo. It features some of Beck’s biggest hits including: ‘Beck’s Bolero,’ ‘Led Boots,’ ‘Scatterbrain,’ ‘Where Were You,’ ‘Angels (Footsteps),’ ‘Cause We Ended As Lovers,’ and what has become one of his most famous takes of ‘A Day in the Life’ among a number of others. Along wth the extensive set list, the appearance of guest musicians Imogen Heap, Eric Clapton, Joss Stone, and Big Town Playboys makes the show even greater. The Big Town Playboys make a special appearance for a 7-song set with Beck in the second of the recording’s two discs. The full track listing for the upcoming double-disc recording is noted below:

TRACK LISTING:

Disc One:

1) Beck’s Bolero

2) Eternity’s Breath

3) Stratus

4) Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers

5) Behind The Veil

6) You Never Know

7) Nadia

8) Blast From The East

9) Led Boots

10) Angels (Footsteps)

11) Scatterbrain

12) Medley: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat / Brush With The Blues

13) Space Boogie

14) Big Block

15) Day In The Life

16) Where Were You

Disc Two:

1) People Get Ready (w/ Joss Stone)

2) Blanket (w/ Imogen Heap)

3) Little Brown Bird (w/ Eric Clapton)

4) You Need Love (w/ Eric Clapton)

5) Rollin’ And Tumblin’ (w/ Imogen Heap)

Jeff Beck & The Big Town Playboys Set:

6) Race With The Devil

7) Crazy Legs

8) Train Kept A Rollin’

9) My Baby Left Me

10) Matchbox

11) Baby Blue

12) Honky Tonk

The Jeff Beck Band will hit the road next month ahead of the release of Performing This Week…Live at Ronnnie Scott’s–Special Edition beginning with a performance at The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY on Monday, April 13th. From there the band will hit ten other cities on its own tour before joining up with ZZ Top in Cedar Park, Texas on Thursday, April 30th. The bands’ joint tour includes a total of eight dates and winds down on Sunday, May 10th in Alpharetta, Georgia. The Jeff Beck Band’s full upcoming spring tour schedule is listed below:

Tour Dates:

                                                          The Jeff Beck Band:

April 13 – Port Chester, NY – The Capitol Theater

April 15 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount

April 16 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount

April 17 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount

April 18 – Port Chester, NY – The Capitol Theater

April 19 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre

April 21 – Kingston, NY – Ulster Performing Arts Center

April 22 – Englewood, NJ – Bergen Performing Arts Center

April 24 – Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre

April 25 – York, PA – The Strand – Capital Performing Arts Center

April 26 – Greensburg, PA – The Palace Theatre

with ZZ Top:

April 30 – Cedar Park, TX – Cedar Park Center

May 1 – Thackerville, OK – Winstar Casino

May 2 – The Woodlands, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

May 3 – Corpus Christi, TX – Concrete Street

May 7 – Tampa, FL – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater

May 8 – West Palm Beach, FL – Cruzan Amphitheater

May 9 – St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre

May 10 – Alpharetta, GA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

Performing This Week…Live at Ronnnie Scott’s–Special Edition will be released on Tuesday, June 2nd via Eagle Rock Entertainment. It will retail for MSRP of $17.98. A special three-LP is expected to follow soon after the concert’s double-disc CD release. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online 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.

Lamb of God’s Chris Adler Tapped For Megadeth’s New Album

Courtesy:  Adrenaline PR

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

The rumors have finally been confirmed and one piece of the puzzle is now in place for Megadeth’s album.

Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler has officially confirmed as the drummer for Megadeth’s next album. The confirmation comes after rumors swirled around whether or not Adler would take the place of recently departed drummer Shawn Drover. This is not the first time that Adler has been the center of some major rumors. His name was recently thrown into the mix after former Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison was replaced by a then-unnamed drummer. It was widely speculated that Adler was the man responsible for the drums on Slipknot’s new album .5 The Gray Chapter. But it was later revealed that drummer Max Weinberg’s son Jay Weinberg had taken over drumming duties for the band.

Megadeth front man and founder Dave Mustaine released a statement in regards to the announcement noting his outlook for the new album with Adler on board even in a studio-only position saying, “Chris is a tremendous talent, and an amazing person. He is going to bring a new level of excitement and energy to MEGADETH that the fans are going to lose their minds over.” He also noted his respect for Megadeth’s former drummers in the grand scheme of things saying, “I have nothing but respect for my previous drummers, but this is going to absolutely KILL! Along with these sentiments, Mustaine also gave a big thanks to Adler’s band mates in Lamb of God for allowing Adler to lend his talents to Megedeth’s new album noting, “I want to thank the other members of Lamb Of God for allowing this opportunity to take place for all of us in the metal community.”

Mustaine’s band mate, bassist David Ellefson, added his own thoughts on the announcement of Adler helping the band record its next new album saying, “Chris has been an endearing friend to us in MEGADETH for many years now, and he truly appreciates our music and its legacy. His drumming has forged such an innovative and ferocious path for metal music and I’m very proud that he is anchoring our rhythm section with us on this new album. I can clearly see a new dawn of ‘utmost heaviness’ unfolding in MEGADETH’s next chapter.”

In speaking with the media about the announcement, Adler explained Megadeth’s influence on his own decision to follow a path in the music industry. “MEGADETH was the game changer for me. Growing up, there was no other band that meant as much to my musical interest and direction,” he said. “There is no doubt I would not be doing what I have been doing for the past three decades had I not stumbled across ‘Killing Is My Business’ and the bible of all metal, ‘Peace Sells’ in my formative years.” He went on to explain how a tour between Lamb of God and Megadeth roughly a decade ago is what initially might have gotten the wheels rolling on this partnership. “About 10 years ago, LAMB OF GOD toured with MEGADETH and I was able to share that story with Dave and David, and we have kept in touch ever since,” he said. “When Dave called me a while ago and asked if I was interested in making a thrash metal album with him, I felt like I must’ve been on a hidden camera show. “I was trying to play it cool, but I was speechless other than YES! Once I called my wife and my band guys to let everyone know, I had some time to really think about it and how I can best fit into this situation. I’m coming into this on fire. There is an incredible amount of respect, but the goal here is to make the very best thrash album we can. Together, I believe we can do something very special! Get ready for a very exciting chapter in the MEGADETH legacy.”

For all of the optimism and openness in these statements, there was also a slightly cryptic comment in regards to departed Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick from Mustaine. Mustaine noted subtly in his comments that “Back in 1989, MEGADETH originally worked as a three piece – guitar, bass and drums – when we laid down the framework to our GRAMMY® nominated platinum album Rust In Peace.” Whether or not this was meant to leave some discussion, it leaves a question mark as to whether or not there are plans to replace Broderick or keep Megadeth a three-piece. When and if an update on this happens, it will be announced online along with other Megadeth news at:

Website: http://www.megadeth.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Megadeth

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.

Otherwise Announces Spring Tour Schedule With Nonpoint, Scare Don’t Fear

Courtesy:  Street Smart Marketing

Courtesy: Street Smart Marketing

Fans of the Las Vegas-based hard rock band Otherwise are going to get more chances to see the band live this spring.

The members of Otherwise announed this week that the band will continue its current tour into the spring. The band will join Scare Don’t Fear as a support act for veteran rock bad Nonpoint on its current tour. The new slate of tour dates are in support of Otherwise’s latest full-length studio effort Peace at All Costs (Century Media). Front man Adrian Patrick spoke on behalf of the band noting that it Nonpoint was one of the first bands to offer support to Otherwise, so it’s just fair to repay the favor. He expanded explaining that Nonpoint’s willingness to take chances and set itself apart from all of the mainstream acts out there, which is another reason that the members of Otherwise have always admired Nonpoint. “The Wise Guys are excited to go out on the road with Nonpoint for this new tour,” he said. “They were one of the first bands to support us and they’ve continued to find success for as long as they have by doing something unique in this Active Rock genre which we strive to set ourselves apart in as well. Add in the fact that they’re cool cats and we can’t wait to hang out!”

‘Coming for the Throne,’ the latest single from Peace at all Costs, is currently making waves at radio stations across the country. As Patrick explains, the song is self-explanatory. “Our latest single has been at radio for a few weeks now and has been doing very well; getting picked up by stations all over the country,” he said. “The message of the song is crystal clear: we are here to take the crown… the world needs to know that. And now with my son here in this life, it holds a deeper meaning in what I want to share with him. I want him to always believe in himself, just as my parents taught my brother & I to do.” The video for ‘Coming for the Throne’ can be viewed online now via YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu6MfEMVtdo&feature=youtu.be.

The dates for Otherwise’s dates with Scare Don’t Fear and Nonpoint are listed below:

OTHERWISE Dates on Nonpoint Tour

4/20: Fat Cat’s Music Lounge – Modesto, CA *

4/28: Hard Times – Hagerstown, MD

4/29: Schmitt’s Saloon – Morgantown, WV

5/1: Altar Bar – Pittsburgh, PA

5/3: Hard Times – Fredericksburg, VA

5/6: Rockpile West – Toronto, ON

5/7: Lost Horizon – Syracuse, NY

5.8: Jewel Nightclub – Manchester, NH

5/12: Bullshooters – Philadelphia, PA

5/13: The Broadberry – Richmond, VA

5/16: Music Factory – Battle Creek

5/18: Green Bay Distillery – Ashwaubenon, WI

5/19: Q & Z Expo Center – Ringle, WI

5/20: Spicoli’s Grill – Waterloo, IA

5/30: Rock Fest – Kansas City #

* – w/We Are Harlot (no Nonpoint)

# – Radio Festival (no Nonpoint)

All of the latest updates on Otherwise’s tour schedule are available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.weareotherwise.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/weareotherwise

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.

Prong’s First-Ever Covers Record Is A Must For Long-Time Fans And The Metal Masses Alike

Courtesy:  Steamhammer Records/SPV

Courtesy: Steamhammer Records/SPV

Tommy Victor has spent the better part of his adult life in the music industry. For nearly thirty years, Victor has been releasing music under the moniker of hard rock/metal band Prong. Through all of the band’s ups and downs, Victor has pushed on releasing new material from Prong. He has released, over the course of that time nine full length studio albums, two live albums, one remix album, four EPs, and a number of singles and music videos. For all of those releases, there is still one item that until now Victor hasn’t handled under the Prong moniker. That item is the obligatory covers album. Next week, Victor will release Prong’s first ever covers album in the form of Songs From The Black Hole. The ten track album will be released via Steamhammer/SPV. This collection of covers is a great addition to any long-time Prong fan’s music collection. That is obvious right off the top with the band’s cover of Discharge’s ‘Doomsday. The high adrenaline song grabs listeners instantly and refuses to let go. Sisters of Mercy’s ‘Vision Thing’ follows ‘Doomsday’ and is one more example of what makes this album a must have for any long-time Prong fan. Those fans that are familiar with Prong’s body of work will hear the influence of SOM on Tommy Victor when listening to this song. And much the same can be said of Prong’s cover of Black Flag’s ‘The Bars.’ Stylistically speaking, it’s easy to hear Black Flag’s influence on Victor throughout Prong’s albums. It’s not the only obvious influence either. The inclusion of songs from the likes of Killing Joke, Bad Brains, ad Butthole Surfers shows Prong’s roots just as clearly. And much the same can be said of the compilation’s remaining four tracks. The entire record taken into consideration, it proves to be more than just another obligatory collection of songs flung together to fulfill a contractual obligation. Rather it is a record that celebrates some of rock’s greatest bands and at the same time one of the industry’s most important and influential yet least known bands. If not for the fact that it is indeed a covers album, it would have otherwise been justifiably named by this critic as one of the best new hard rock and metal albums of the year.

It’s incredible to think that roughly twenty-seven years after the release of its debut album Force Fed, Prong has not released even one covers album. In comparison to the countless covers albums released by Prong’s counterparts in both the mainstream and underground, it becomes even more incredible. For that reason alone, founder and sole original member Tommy Victor is to be commended for holding his ground. Audiences that pick up this record will agree in listening to Songs From The Black Hole that Victor is just as worthy of applause for the covers chosen for this record. Right off the top, the album grabs listeners and refuses to let go with its cover of Discharge’s ‘Doomsday.’ The song title sounds ominous, like a Soundgarden song or a piece from some black metal band. But the reality of the song is that it is actually a high-energy war protest piece that will have any metal purist wanting to get a circle pit started in their own home all while making audiences really think. Tommy [Victor] sings, “And now the end is near/The end is near/It’s time to say our last goodbyes…Is it a reality or just a nightmare…/Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide/No escape, no escape/Is it reality or just a nightmare?” The song’s seemingly politically charged lyrics coupled with the talents of Victor’s band mates–bassist Jason Christopher and drummer Art Cruz–make ‘Doomsday’ a great addition to this record regardless of regardless of its placement in the album’s sequencing. It isn’t the only song worth noting that makes this record so enjoyable for Prong’s fans and the metal masses, either. The album’s second song, Sisters of Mercy’s ‘Vision Thing’ is another solid addition to the record.

Prong’s cover of ‘Vision Thing’ is just as solid an addition to SFTBH as the record’s opener, Discharge’s ‘Doomsday.’ Sisters of Mercy’s original take on ‘Vision Thing’ has a decidedly 80s rock sound. Yet despite this, it still manages to stand out from all of the songs churned out by the hair metal bands of its age. Its sound is more similar to that of Billy Idol than say Poison stylistically speaking. Victor and compay somehow managed to keep the song’s original style all while mixing it with the band’s own updated sound to make for yet another solid addition to this surprisingly enjoyable collection of covers. As with SFTBH’s opener, this song is just as apt to leave audiences thinking as deeply as rocking out. Victor sings about what sounds like a drug addict in a hotel room getting high in the song’s first verse, singing, “Two thousand hamburg four/And colours I ain’t seen before/It’s a small world and it smells funny/I’d buy another if it wasn’t for the money.” This definitely comes across as a commentary of sorts about someone getting high on something. The seeming reference to JFK’s assassination that follows will generate just as much discussion as the verse’s opening lines if not more. The song’s closing lines say plenty, though seeming to clear up any questions that might have been left. Victor sings in the song’s closing lines, “What do we need to make our world come alive/What does it take to make us sing/While we’re waiting for the next one to arrive/One million points of light/One billion dollar vision thing.” These lines come across as a statement concerning the need for things to change considering the state of the world (I.E. drug users everywhere, murderers, etc.). Again, this song’s mix of musical and lyrical substance makes this piece another solid addition to a record that is surprisingly enjoyable for Prong’s first-ever covers LP.

Both Prong’s cover of ‘Doomsday’ and of ‘Vision Thing’ are solid additions to SFTBH. By themselves, both songs present their own element of enjoyment. When taken into consideration with the record’s other covers, both songs combine with those covers to show why for a first-time effort, Prong’s new covers record is a must have for any of its long-time fans. ‘Doomsday’ and ‘Vision Thing’ aren’t proof enough of this argument, then the band’s cover of Black Flag’s ‘The Bars’ is sure to convince audiences. PRong’s cover of this hardcore classic is a near spot on re-working. What’s more, there’s a certain element to it that harkens back to the days of Prong’s 1994 album Cleansing. Lyrically speaking, ‘The Bars’ is a rather dark song. It seems to focus on a figure with some rather troubling inner turmoil. As Victor sings, “Everytime I see I got my hands wrapped around the bars/I can’t shut off my mind/And now I’ve waited/My hands are wrapped around the bars/The bars, the lies, the lies, lies, lies/Are trapped behind the bars/My mind hates my body/My body hates my soul/I close my eyes and fight/Inside my own black hole.” The figure’s own torn feelings apparently seem to center around a young woman that took her own life by jumping out of a window. It is hardly the most positive lyrical content. But it is deep and deeply moving. Prong’s take on the song, musically speaking is a perfect match for those lyrics. The combination of both elements exhibit exactly why ‘The Bars’ is one more great addition to SFTBH.

‘The Bars,’ ‘Doomsday,’ and ‘Vision Thing’ are all positive additions to SFTBH. They are just a small glimpse into what makes this first-ever covers collection from Prong a must have for the band’s long-time fans. The record’s other seven covers each offer their own enjoyment for fans, too. All ten of the compilation’s songs taken into consideration, SFTBH proves in the end to be a record that was well worth the wait whether listeners are fans of Prong or the band’s covered by Prong here. SFTBH will be available in stores and online next Tuesday, March 31st. Beginning April 17th, Prong will hit the road in support of SFTBH with a sixteen-date European tour that runs through May 3rd. After wrapping the European leg of its tour Prong will take off the rest of the summer to charge up for a U.S. tour that kicks off October 23rd in Ramona, California. The 41-date North American tour will take the band across America and Canada throughout the summer and into the winter, wrapping up December 7th at the famed Whiskey a Go Go in West Hollywood, California. The band’s full tour schedule is available online along with all of the latest updates from the band at:

Website: http://prongmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/prongmusic

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.

Rob Halford Signs New Deal With SME, Legacy

Courtesy:  Sony Legacy

Courtesy: Sony Legacy

Sony Music Entertainment and Legacy Recordings made a big announcement today that involves Judas Priest front man Rob Halford. And for fans of both Judas Priest and Rob Halford, it is a very exciting announcement.

Officials with SME and Legacy Recordings have announced that they have inked a deal with the Judas Priest front man that will allow much of the material from his side projects to finally see the light of day. The precise terms of the deal were not released. However it is known that the deal guarantees that virtually all of his work with Fight Two, and his own eponymous recordings from 1992 forward will see proper releases. There will also be an “Essentials” compilation along with a “Playlist” compilation and definitive “Complete Albums” box set. The Essential Rob Halford will be released March 31st via Columbia/Legacy as part of the deal. The double-disc compilation will feature thirty tracks. A pair of live recordings in the form of War of Words: The Film and Live in Phoenix are also expected for eventual release as part of the deal.

Rob Halford’s catalogue includes the following releases:

Fight

Albums
War of Words
Mutations
A Small Deadly Space
K5 – The “War of Words” Demos

Audio/Visual
War of Words: The Film
Live in Phoenix

Two

Voyeurs

Halford
Metal God Essentials: Volume 1
Resurrection
Live Insurrection
Crucible
Live at Rock in Rio 3 (album and audio/visual)
Live in Anaheim (album and audio/visual)
Winter Songs
Made of Metal
Live at Saitama Super Arena (album and audio/visual)
Live in London
Live 2010 North & South America Tour (album and audio/visual)
Metal God Essentials: Volume 2

Rob Halford’s fans can keep up with his latest news online via Twitter at http://twitter.com/halfordmetal. 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.

Priest’s DOTF 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Is A Must Have For Every Metal Purist And Judas Priest Fan

Courtesy:  Columbia Legacy

Courtesy: Columbia Legacy

Judas Priest. The very name is synonymous with metal. Regardless of whether or not audiences are familiar with the work of Judas Priest, they know the band’s name and its reputation among rock’s elite acts. The band has been making music together for almost half a century as of this year. To be more specific, the band has been making music for roughly forty-six years. Though its first full length album wasn’t actually released until 1974. Since that time, Judas Priest has churned out a surprising seventeen full-length studio albums. Those albums have sold millions of copies the world over including its most recent release Redeemer of Souls (2014). Considering that, it speaks volumes of the band’s longevity and its popularity. Now as the band comes another year closer to its fiftieth anniversary–this year marks the band’s forty-sixth year–it celebrates yet another important anniversary that just recently passed with the 30th Anniversary Edition of its 1984 album Defenders of the Faith. 2015 actually marks thirty-one years since Judas Priest originally released Defenders of the Faith. So why Columbia and Legacy would wait until this year to release the album’s 30th Anniversary Edition is anyone’s guess. It would have made more sense to have released it last year. That aside, Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is still a must have for metal purists and Priest fans alike. The central reason that it is a must have for audiences is the very fact that it presents Defenders of the Faith in its entirety exactly as it was presented way back in 1984. All ten tracks are here and they sound just as they did in the album’s original release. The addition of a two-disc, twenty-one song performance from the band’s 1984 tour in support of DOTF makes this re-issue all the more valuable for metal purists and Priest fans alike. And while it may seem like a minimal element to some, the album’s packaging is just as important to the presentation as the original album and its newly included concert. By itself, the re-issue’s packaging plays its own important part in the album’s enjoyment and success. Together with the album’s extensive bonus live recording and its full presentation of the original album, all three elements together prove why every metal purist and Priest fan should have Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition.

Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Edition is, as already noted, a must have for any metal purist and Judas Priest fan out there that does not already own his or her own copy of the album whether on CD or vinyl. The presentation of the original album in its entirety is just one reason for this. Thirty-one years have now passed since DOTF was first released to the metal masses around the world. Since that time, it has gone on to earn platinum status, selling over a million copies worldwide. Even selling so many copies, there are still those that do not own the album whether on vinyl or on CD. Now those same audiences and a whole new generation can finally enjoy this album including its hugely controversial track ‘Eat Me Alive.’ For those that don’t know, ‘Eat Me Alive’ became a point of contention for Tipper Gore and the then PMRC because of Mrs. Gore’s interpretation of said song. The band’s musical response to that song was pretty interesting in its own right. That’s a story for another time. But the fact that that song is present along with each of the album’s others, and that they still sound so clear to this day makes for plenty of reason for audiences to add this album to their music libraries.

The presentation of DOTF as it was originally presented thirty-one years ago in its new re-issue is within itself plenty of reason for metal purists and Judas Priest fans alike to add this re-issue to their music libraries. This applies to both the generation that might already own the album whether it be on vinyl or CD and to the current generation of metal legions around the world. The addition of the bonus concert recording to the package makes even more reason for metal legions and Priest fans alike to pick up this re-issue. The concert’s set list totals twenty-one tracks and comes in at just under two hours. More specifically, it clocks in at an hour and forty-three minutes. Thanks to the concert’s set list and the band’s stage presence, that near two-hour run time feels to be far longer. And that is meant in the best possible way. Simply put, the concert’s set list and the band’s stage persona leaves audiences not even realizing that so much time has passed. At the same time, it doesn’t leave audiences feeling short-changed in the end, either. Full discretion, there are some points throughout the concert in which the audio mix is a bit dicey. Simply put, at some points, it seems as if the dual attack of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing overpowers front man Rob Halford’s vocals. It’s not terrible. But it is noticeable. And luckily this doesn’t happen throughout the performance. It only happens at points. So considering this, one can forgive whomever was originally at the audio boards. Even more Richard Kayvan and Tom Allom are to be commended for their efforts in remastering both the concert’s audio and the audio from the original album’s songs. The total of that work on both sides still makes Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition well worth adding to every metal purist and Judas Priest fan’s music collection.

The presentation of DOTF in its full, original entirety in its new 30th Anniversary Edition makes for reason within itself for metal purists and Judas Priest fans alike to add this re-issue to their music libraries. The addition of a never-before-released two-hour concert to the package makes for even more reason for those same audiences to add this re-issue to their music libraries. While both elements together do plenty to make this re-issue enjoyable, they still are not all worth noting that makes it a success. Believe it or not the re-issue’s packaging actually plays a part. So may record labels, when handling multi-disc sets, tend to use the case for a single album and add a plastic insert on which one or even two discs are placed, depending on the number of discs. This does help save space on CD racks. but it is also very problematic. The problem with this form of packaging is that the plastic insert in question can very easily be broken either at the hinge or on the insert itself when it is flipped out and pressure is placed on the insert to either remove or replace the CD(s). Columbia Legacy didn’t take that path with Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. Instead they presented the album’s re-issue in a gatefold package. This places each of the re-issue’s three discs into their own trays. This practice protects not only the discs but the trays, too. This actually preserves the album and its companion concert discs for far longer than the standard plastic insert formula. While it may be slightly more bulky, it is also much smarter. Not only that but it also creates a certain sense of nostalgia especially among those that might have owned the original album on vinyl thirty-one years ago before the advent of CDs. People generally take for granted the packaging of CDs. But hopefully in reading this, audiences will see that packaging sometimes can indeed help make or break an album. And this is an instance in which the packaging has greatly helped the album in its re-issue. It is one more way that Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition proves itself a must have for any metal purist and Judas Priest fan around the world. Together with the bonus full-length concert and the re-mastered original album, all three elements are more than enough reason for every member of the Metal Nation worldwide to add this re-issue to their music libraries regardless of whether or not they already own the original album.

Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition boasts plenty of reasons for audiences to add this re-issue to their libraries. The original album is presented in its entirety. And thanks to the work of those charged with re-mastering it, it sounds as good as ever if not better. The addition of a full-length concert that comes in at nearly two hours makes this re-issue eve better even with the occasional audio imbalances between Rob Halford’s vocals and the guitarists K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton. The packaging is just as important to the whole of the re-issue. Despite being slightly bulky, the packaging protects the discs and their trays and even creates a sense of nostalgia among some audiences. The combination of all three elements together makes clear why every metal purist and Judas Priest fan should add this re-issue to their music libraries. It is available now in stores and online. More information on DOTF: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is available online along with all of the latest news from Judas Priest at:

Website: http://www.JudasPriest.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/judaspriest

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