Ronnie James Dio’s classic 1983 album, Holy Diver will get the re-issue treatment this summer through Rhino Records.
The company is scheduled to re-issue the album July 8, two days before what would have the late, great singer’s 80th birthday. The re-issue will present the album on two separate platforms, one a four-disc set that includes the original album and three discs loaded with rarities, outtakes, and and live content. The other platform 2-LP set.
Among the live recordings featured in the expanded re-issue are live performances of ‘Rainbow in the Dark,’ ‘Stand Up And Shout,’ Rainbow classics ‘Man on the Silver Mountain’ and ‘Starstruck,’ and Black Sabbath hits ‘Children of the Sea’ and ‘Heaven and Hell’.
Among the outtakes featured in the recording are alternate takes of ‘Rainbow in the Dark,’ ‘Invisible’ and ‘Straight Through The Heart’. Additionally, audiences will get an alternate take of ‘Evil Eyes’.
The rarities featured in the expanded re-issue include and are not limited to mono and stereo 7″ single edits of ‘Rainbow in the Dark,’ and ‘Evil Eyes,’ which was a b-side to ‘Holy Diver.’
The full track listing for the forthcoming re-issue is noted below.
HOLY DIVER: SUPER DELUXE EDITION CD Track Listing
CD1: Holy Diver (2022 Joe Barresi Mix) * CD2: Holy Diver (2022 Remaster) 1. “Stand Up And Shout” 2. “Holy Diver” 3. “Gypsy” 4. “Caught In The Middle” 5. “Don’t Talk To Strangers” 6. “Straight Through The Heart” 7. “Invisible” 8. “Rainbow In The Dark” 9. “Shame On The Night”
CD3: Live at Selland Arena, Fresno, CA, 1983 1. Intro * 2. “Stand Up And Shout” * 3. “Straight Through The Heart” * 4. “Shame On The Night” * 5. “Children Of The Sea” * 6. “Holy Diver” * 7. “Heaven And Hell” – including guitar solo * 8. “Rainbow In The Dark” * 9. “Man On The Silver Mountain” * 10. “Starstuck” * 11. “Man On The Silver Mountain” – reprise * 12. “Don’t Talk To Strangers” *
CD4: Outtakes, Singles & B-Sides Tracks 1-7 unreleased 1. “Evil Eyes” – Wyn Davis remix * 2. “Don’t Talk To Strangers” – Take 1 (Joe Barresi mix) * 3. “Invisible” – Take 1 (Joe Barresi mix) * 4. “Invisible” – Take 3 (Joe Barresi mix) * 5. “Rainbow In The Dark” – Alternative Guitar Solo Version (Joe Barresi mix) * 6. “Straight Through The Heart” – Take 2 (Joe Barresi mix) * 7. “Straight Through The Heart” – Take 3 (Joe Barresi mix)* 8. “Rainbow In The Dark” – 7” Mono Edit 9. “Evil Eyes” – 1983 Version. B-Side of “Holy Diver” 10. “Rainbow In The Dark” – 7” Stereo Edit
Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant and country music songstress Alison Krauss returned this month with their second new release in the form of Raise The Roof. The 12-song, standard edition (Target offers the record in a deluxe edition that features two bonus tracks, bringing the total to 14) is the duo’s first new record in 14 years, and will receive support with a tour planned to launch in the new year. The 53-minute record is, at least in the ears and mind of this critic, a mixed bag that maybe was not entirely worth the exceptionally long wait. That is not to say that the album is a failure, but it could have been better at the same time. The record’s main positive (and negative) is its sequencing. This will be discussed shortly. A much clearer negative is the issue of record’s lyrical content. This will be discussed a little later. Another semi-positive comes in the record’s musical content. This will also be discussed later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Raise The Roof. All things considered, they make the album one of the lesser of this year’s new albums that, again, simply proved to not be worth the wait.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ recently released album, Raise The Roof is a record that sadly will not have everyone wanting to raise the roof. It is not a failure, but it is also not a complete success. This is proven through the duality in the album’s sequencing. The sequencing is both positive and negative because it starts off weakly with its brooding opener, ‘Quattro (World Drifts In).’ Honestly, things do not really even start to pick up until the record reaches its fourth song, ‘Trouble With My Lover.’ The song’s arrangement immediately conjures thoughts of Peggy Lee’s rendition of Little Willie John’s classic song, ‘Fever.’ From there, things do finally pick up and remain relatively stable at least until the record’s end. So again, the negative of the sequencing is thankfully only temporary. To that end, it is not enough to be too problematic, but is still unavoidable in talking about the record’s shortcomings even with its more positive side in mind. While the sequencing is mostly a positive, the record’s lyrical content proves negative, but again not to the point that it makes the record a failure.
The lyrical content featured in Raise The Roof is so problematic because it is mostly the same thing from one song to the next – love gained and lost. Throughout the record, those overarching themes are so prominent. Even early on, audiences get the theme in the form of the album’s second song, ‘The Price of Love.’ This is one of the many songs in this record that focuses on lost love. It opens with Krauss singing, “Wine is sweet and gin is bitter/Drink while you can/You won’t forget her/You talk too much/You laugh too loud/That’s the price of love/The debt you pay with tears and pain/The price of love/It costs you more when you’re to blame.” Plant joins in with Kraus in the song’s chorus. The whole statement here is, as noted, one of those oh woe is me songs about love lost. The mood that these lyrics set alongside the song’s musical arrangement is melancholy to say the least. Some will appreciate that mood and the wording in the lyrics, but others will likely be far less receptive, even if they are going through so much of what is in this song. It really does make the song problematic in its own right. Add in that, again, love gained and lost is pretty much all that the songs’ lyrical content presents, and the problems only continue from here.
‘Going Where The Lonely Go’ continues to show the problem with the record’s lyrical content. Herein is yet another song that is just about love lost. That is made clear as Krauss sings in the song’s lead and second verse against the decidedly melancholy honky tonk style musical arrangement, “Rolling with the flow/Going where the lonely go/Anywhere the lights are low/Going where the lonely go/Making up things to do/Not running in all directions/Trying to find you/I’m just rolling with the flow/Going where the lonely go.” Now herein lies even more problem, not just with the lyrics, but with the music, too. The lyrics present the song’s subject as someone who is over that significant other. This is someone who is moving on, yet the song’s musical arrangement is so sad and melancholy. It really does not match. Meanwhile the lyrical theme is again that of a relationship that has met its end. It is anything but unique, but rather more of the same from Kraus and Plant in this record. It further detracts from the engagement and entertainment.
‘Can’t Let Go’ is yet another example of audiences getting more of the same, lyrically from this album. Herein is yet another song whose lyrical content is melancholy as it focuses on a broken relationship. This is made clear as Kraus sings, “Told you, baby/One more time/Don’t make me sit all alone and cry/Well, it’s over/I know it/But I can’t let go/I’m like a fish out of water/And a cat in a tree/You don’t even want to talk to me/Well, it’s over/And I know it/But I can’t let go.” The song’s second verse is similar with the mention of the candle “burning bright” and the subject feeling like he/she has “been shot.” What is so interesting is that in this case, the song’s musical arrangement is in direct contrast what with its energy. In the same breath, that energy helps to translate the sense of denial that the song’s subject feels in this case. To that end, the song works. Yet at the same time, the song’s lyrical content is still so much in the same vein as the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s entries. Keeping that in mind, that audiences get the same kind of lyrical content from one song to the next, it detracts noticeably from the record’s presentation. It is not enough to make the album a failure, but it still certainly does take away from the album’s engagement and entertainment.
While the lyrical content featured in this record detracts noticeably from the album’s presentation, its musical counterpart makes up for that issue at least to a point. As noted in an examination of the songs here, that is made clear. The musical arrangements do well in their own right to help translate the emotion in each song’s lyrical approach. What’s more, the arrangements are unique of one another, too. The record opens with a light, piano-driven neo-folk piece that echoes influences of songs from Fleetwood Mac, what with the harmonies and subtle vocals. ‘The Price of Love,’ which immediately follows, is something of a neo-folk rock composition. Meanwhile, ‘Go Your Way’ bears a sort of country music approach. Plant’s vocal delivery here in its style and sound actually works surprisingly well. As the album progresses into ‘Trouble With My Lover,’ listeners get more of a bluesy style composition before things change again in its immediate follow-up, ‘Searching For My Love.’ In this case, audiences get a light, pop/country/rock style composition a la the Eagles. From there on through to the album’s end, the arrangements continue to change, ensuring together with the noted arrangements, listeners’ engagement and entertainment. Looking at the record’s bigger picture, it is really this item and the sequencing of the arrangements that really keeps things just interesting enough for audiences. Keeping that in mind, those two elements prove to be the album’s saving graces. That is even with the problems that the sequencing poses in mind along with the problems of the record’s lyrical content. Overall, the sequencing and the musical arrangements do just enough to make Raise The Roof a work that won’t leave audiences raising the roof, but will ensure the album is worth hearing at least once.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ new album, Raise The Roof is not a record that will make audiences want to raise the roof. At the same time though, audiences will agree that it is worth hearing at least once. That is thanks in part to the sequencing. While the sequencing causes the record to start off slow, it thankfully does pick things up not too long after the fact, and keeps them moving from then on. It also ensures that the album’s featured musical arrangements keep changing and in turn keep listeners engaged and entertained. These elements do just enough to make up for the shortcoming that is the record’s lyrical content. The record’s lyrical content is problematic because it lacks any real originality. Every single song focuses on either love gained or lost. There is no fun lyrical content, nor anything serious. It is all just that overarching theme of relationships, which really does become boring rather quickly. Even with that in mind, it is not enough to doom the album, but rather keep it from becoming one of the year’s top new albums.
Raise The Roof is available now through Rhino Records. More information on the record is available along with all of Robert Plant’s latest news at:
It goes without saying that Black Sabbath is one of the most important and influential bands in the modern history of music. The same can be said easily of its second front man, Ronnie James Dio. The two sides came together to craft only three albums – Heaven and Hell (1980), Mob Rules (1981), and Dehumanizer (1992) – amid their tumultuous relationship. Now thanks to Rhino Records and Warner Records, the first two of those three records are newly available. Released Friday through Rhino Records and Warner Records, the re-issues will find appeal among audiences, though are imperfect. The imperfection comes from concerns raised through the incongruence of the bonus content between the re-issues’ platforms. This will be discussed a little later. The re-issues’ most important positive comes in the form of their liner notes. They will be discussed shortly. That the re-issues are available on two platforms each is its own important element that will be discussed later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the re-issues’ presentations. All things considered, they make the re-issues mostly positive additions to any hard rock and Black Sabbath fan’s library.
Rhino Records and Warner Records’ new re-issues of Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules are interesting new presentations of the iconic albums. The records’ re-issues stand out positively in large part due to their liner notes. The liner notes featured in the Heaven and Hell re-issue were crafted by Rolling Stone magazine writer Kory Grow and artist Lynn Curlee, who created the album’s original cover art. The duo’s notes create a solid framework for the record. One of the most interesting items that Grow points out in his notes is that apparently, Ronnie James Dio was not immediately on board when the vocalist opening came up with Black Sabbath. Grow cites comments from Dio’s wife Wendy, writing that she said of this item, “When Ronnie went into Sabbath, I don’t think he was elated about the job at first…he was more of a melodic singer and writer.” Grow goes on to note that Dio eventually found his place within the band. This is information that audiences are not going to find on Wikipedia when researching Black Sabbath, and just one of Grow’s most notable reflections. He also points out how the job of firing Ozzy Osbourne from the band ended up on then drummer Bill Ward. Grow cites Ward in the liner notes’ opening page as saying of the unenviable duty, “Sometimes I don’t know if I’ve ever actually gotten over it.” That statement would make sense, considering Ward’s own unceremonious departure from the band. The guilt he felt likely led to Ward’s own alcoholism, and the fight that led to his split from the group. As if all of that is not enough, Grow also points out that Dio’s famed devil horns sign rose to fame during his first-ever live run with Black Sabbath. The story is so interesting because, as Grow points out, the development of the hand gesture was in fact part of Dio’s much bigger attempt to separate himself as a personality from Osbourne. It shows how deeply Dio thought about making sure he was not compared to Osbourne. This is one more item that is sure to engage and entertain audiences in regards to the liner notes. When the rest of Grow’s notes are considered along with the items pointed out here, the whole of his work in this case makes for a fully engaging and entertaining introduction to the album.
Staying on the note of the liner notes, Curlee’s recollection of how she was picked to create the Heaven and Hell cover art makes for its own interest. Curlee points out that until having been commissioned to create the cover art, she had never even listened to Black Sabbath. That admission will generate its own share of laughs and appreciation for her work. Audiences will be just as interested to learn the back story on the art. She points out that it in fact was a painting that she had already created prior to having been commissioned for the Heaven and Hell project. In other words, she did not have to do but so much to create the album’s cover art. Even more interesting here is Curlee’s note that she has only listened to Heaven and Hell maybe twice in her life. There is no disrespect aimed at the band, just admission that she is more a fan of 80s new wave than metal. Curlee’s overall reflections, together with those of Grow, form a solid foundation for Heaven and Hell. They collectively show so much why the record’s liner notes are so important to its whole.
Grow also crafted the primary liner notes for the re-issue of Mob Rules. In the case of these notes, audiences will be interested to learn of the connection between Black Sabbath and The Beatles in this record. Grow tells the story here that in writing the title song for Mob Rules, the band actually used instruments that were themselves used by The Beatles at a house previously used by that band in record. As Grow points out in his liner notes, the instruments were “found lying around.” He later points out that when the band later relocated to the U.S. to finish crafting Mob Rules, the title track had to be redone because as Grow notes in using The Beatles’ old equipment, “the sound of the track was completely different from the rest of the record.” He cites bassist Geezer Butler as saying that the amp that he used at Lennon’s mansion led to sound problems. This story alone is enough to keep audiences engaged and entertained. When it is considered along with the rest of Grow’s notes, the whole makes Grow’s notes in this case just as entertaining and engaging as those that he crafted for the Heaven and Hell re-issue.
Artist Greg Hildebrandt, who created the cover art for Mob Rules adds to the engagement and entertainment through the liner notes. He points out in his commentary that as with Curlee, he knew nothing of Black Sabbath when he was tapped to create Mob Rules’ cover art. The difference here is that being commissioned for the project, his fandom for the band grew. Additionally, Hildebrandt points out in his notes, a nightmare that he had was the inspiration for the Mob Rules cover art. That anecdote will be left for audiences to learn themselves. He explains how that painting went on to become the album’s cover. Here’s a hint: It happened when Black Sabbath’s members made the first move. That will also be left for audiences to learn for themselves. Between these stories and those shared by Grow, no doubt is left as to the importance of this re-issue’s bonus liner notes. Keeping in mind the importance of these notes and those featured with the Heaven and Hell liner notes, the overall liner notes clearly prove to be an important aspect of these re-issues. They do a lot to make these re-issues a joy for audiences. For all the good that the liner notes do for the re-issues, there is one negative to the recordings. It comes believe it or not through the bonus content.
Typically when one thinks of bonus content, such content is considered a good thing. For the most part, the bonus content featured in the re-issues is good. The problem comes in comparing the bonus content featured in the re-issues in their CD and vinyl platforms. The CD platforms present more bonus content than the vinyl presentations. In the case of the Heaven and Hell re-issue, the live tracks recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in London between Dec. 31, 1981 and Jan. 2 1982 are featured in the re-issue’s CD platform, but not the vinyl presentation. Everything else is there on each platform in terms of the primary and bonus content, but that one aspect separates the two platforms’ presentations. In regards to the Mob Rules re-issue, there is a discrepancy in the bonus content here, too. In this case, the discrepancy is even wider. The bonus live content from the band’s Apr. 22, 1982 show is presented only on the re-issue’s CD platform. Why the incongruence happened with the re-issues’ bonus content happened is anyone’s guess. It is not explained in either record’s liner notes. Regardless, it is a limitation that rewards only those who buy CDs versus those who prefer vinyl. It is a weird direct counter to Niji Entertainment’s recent re-issues of Dio’s Evil or Divine: Live in NYC and Holy Diver Live. Those re-issues were clearly aimed more at Dio fans who prefer vinyl to CD. These Black Sabbath re-issues, which feature Dio fronting the band, are aimed more at CD aficionados rather than vinyl fans. That there is a certain bias (intended or not) here detracts from the re-issues’ overall presentations. Of course even as much as it detracts from the re-issues’ presentations, it is not enough to make them failures. To that end, there is one more positive to note here, that being that the re-issues were made available on both platforms.
It would have been easy for officials at Rhino Records and Warner Records to limit these Black Sabbath re-issues to just one platform or another in deciding how to release them. That the decision was made to offer the records to issues on both sides of the “musical aisle” showed that those officials meant to reach as many audiences as possible. This may seem inconsequential on the surface, but the fact of the matter is that there are labels that to this day, release albums, EPs and re-issues strictly on one platform or another. Doing so limits record sales, and in turn, appeal for records and acts. So in providing the re-issues on both platforms means that equal numbers of audiences will get to experience them. It is just too bad that all of the bonus content was not presented in each platform. Even with that one negative in mind, the wide availability of the re-issues in terms of platforms, and the liner notes that accompany the re-issues more than make the re-issues positive presentations. They make the re-issues presentations that hard rock fans and Black Sabbath fans alike will mostly appreciate.
Rhino Records and Warner Records’ brand new re-issues of Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules are largely successful offerings for hard rock and Black Sabbath fans alike. That is due in part to the extensive liner notes that come with the re-issues. While the re-issues’ liner notes make for plenty of engagement and entertainment, the re-issues do have one notable negative, the incongruence of certain bonus content between the platforms on which the albums were re-issued. There is some bonus content featured in the re-issues’ CD presentations that was not featured in their vinyl presentations. Why that is the case is anyone’s guess. Regardless, it is not enough to make the re-issues failures, though it is a matter that one cannot ignore. The very fact that the recordings were re-issued on CD and vinyl ensures a far reaching appeal and potentially high sales for the records. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recordings. All things considered, they make the recordings welcome additions to any hard rock and Black Sabbath fan’s library. The re-issues are available now.
More information on this and other titles from Rhino Records is available online at:
Two classic Black Sabbath albums will get the re-issue treatment this winter.
Heaven and Hell (1980) and Mob Rules (1981) are scheduled for re-issue March 5 through Rhino Records. The albums were the only Black Sabbath records recorded with Ronnie James Dio during what would be his first stint with the band. Dio’s second stint in 1992 was shorter, resulting in the album Dehumanizer.
The forthcoming re-issues of Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules will release on separate 2CD sets and 2LP sets. The 2CD sets will retail for MSRP of $19.98 and the 2LP sets for $31.98. The vinyl sets will feature the same bonus content that is featured in the 2CD sets.
The full track listing for the CD and LP sets is noted below. Audiences can download a live take of the song ‘Heaven and Hell‘ and a previously unreleased live version of the song ‘The Mob Rules‘ as digital singles now.
HEAVEN AND HELL: DELUXE EDITION 2-CD Track Listing Disc One: Original Album (2021 Remaster) 1. “Neon Knights” 2. “Children Of The Sea” 3. “Lady Evil” 4. “Heaven And Hell” 5. “Wishing Well” 6. “Die Young” 7. “Walk Away” 8. “Lonely Is The Word”
Disc Two: Bonus Tracks 1. “Children Of The Sea” – Live B-Side Of “Neon Knights” * 2. “Heaven And Hell” – Live B-Side Of “Die Young” * 3. “Lady Evil” – 7” Mono Edit (unreleased on CD) Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT (August 10, 1980) 4. “Neon Knights” * 5. “Children Of The Sea” * 6. “Heaven And Hell” * 7. “Die Young” * Hammersmith Odeon, London (Dec 31, 1981- Jan 2, 1982) 8. “E5150” 9. “Neon Knights” 10. “Children Of The Sea” 11. “Heaven And Hell”
2-LP Track Listing Side One 1. “Neon Knights” 2. “Children Of The Sea” 3. “Lady Evil” 4. “Heaven And Hell”
Side Two 1. “Wishing Well” 2. “Die Young” 3. “Walk Away” 4. “Lonely Is The Word”
Side Thee 1. “Children Of The Sea” – Live B-Side Of “Neon Knights” * 2. “Heaven And Hell” – Live B-Side Of “Die Young” * 3. “Lady Evil” – 7” Mono Edit (unreleased on CD) 4. “Neon Knights” – Live 1980 *
Side Four 1. “Children Of The Sea” – Live 1980 * 2. “Heaven And Hell” – Live 1980 * 3. “Die Young” – Live 1980 *
MOB RULES: DELUXE EDITION 2-CD Track Listing Disc One: Original Album (2021 Remaster) 1. “Turn Up The Night” 2. “Voodoo” 3. “The Sign Of The Southern Cross” 4. “E5150” 5. “The Mob Rules” 6. “Country Girl” 7. “Slipping Away” 8. “Falling Off The Edge Of The World” 9. “Over And Over”
Bonus Tracks 10. “The Mob Rules” – Heavy Metal Soundtrack Version 11. “Die Young” – Live B-Side Of “Mob Rules” 7” * 12. “The Mob Rules” – New 2021 Mix ** Live At The Hammersmith Odeon London (31/12/81 – 2/1/82) 13. “Country Girl” 14. “Slipping Away” 15. “The Mob Rules” 16. “Voodoo” Live At Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR, April 22, 1982 17. Intro ** 18. “Neon Knights” **
Disc Two: Bonus Tracks Live At Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR, April 22, 1982 1. “N.I.B.” ** 2. “Children Of The Sea” ** 3. “Voodoo” ** 4. “Black Sabbath” ** 5. “War Pigs” ** 6. Drum Solo ** 7. “Iron Man” ** 8. “The Mob Rules” ** 9. “Heaven And Hell” ** 10. Guitar Solo ** 11. “Sign Of The Southern Cross/Heaven And Hell” – Reprise ** 12. “Paranoid” ** 13. “Children Of The Grave” **
2-LP Track Listing Side One 1. “Turn Up The Night” 2. “Voodoo” 3. “The Sign Of The Southern Cross” 4. “E5150” 5. “The Mob Rules”
Side Two 1. “Country Girl” 2. “Slipping Away” 3. “Falling Off The Edge Of The World” 4. “Over And Over”
Side Three 1. “The Mob Rules” – Heavy Metal Soundtrack Version 2. “Die Young” – Live B-Side Of “Mob Rules” 7” * 3. “The Mob Rules” – New 2021 Mix ** 4. “Sign Of The Southern Cross/Heaven And Hell” – Reprise **
Side Four Live At The Hammersmith Odeon London (31/12/81 – 2/1/82) 1. “Country Girl” 2. “Slipping Away” 3. “The Mob Rules” 4. “Voodoo”
* previously unreleased in North America ** previously unreleased
More information on this and other titles from Rhino Records is available online at:
Veteran hard rock band Metallica recently made headlines when its members announced they were working on new music. The announcement came only months after the band released its latest live recording, S&M2. The recording features a performance held by the band and the San Francisco Symphony. The extensive concert was a two-night performance by the band and orchestra that marked the anniversary of the band’s original April 1999 performance with the collective, and of the opening of the symphony’s new Chase Center. The recording likely will find itself appealing mainly to the band’s most devoted audiences. That is due in part to its set list, which will be discussed shortly. That the concert was released through various, separate platforms actually makes the recording appealing to a very targeted audience, too. This will be discussed a little later. The one positive on which all audiences can agree is the recording’s production. It will be discussed later, too. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording. All things considered, they make S&M2 a presentation that Metallica’s most devoted audiences will find more appealing than general audiences.
Metallica’s latest live recording S&M2 is a presentation that will appeal mostly to the band’s most devoted fans. That is proven in part through its set list. The 24-song set list is largely the same as that featured in the band’s 1999 recording S&M. Rather than adding in some deep cuts, such as ‘The God That Failed,’ ‘King Nothing,’ or ‘Dream No More,’ the band largely played it safe here, essentially just cutting and pasting. To the set list’s defense of course, there are four new songs that are likely among the songs that the band members announced it is working on for its next album. There are also some relatively well-known classic compositions that will entertain audiences during a break by the band. The compositions are performed by the members of the symphony. But again, save for those compositions and the four new tracks, the rest of the concert’s set list is essentially a copy and paste from the 1999 show. To that end, yes, the four new songs are motivation, but general audiences will find it potentially not enough motivation considering that they and the classical compositions are really the only changes to the set list. It is just one of the concerns raised by the recording. The varied platforms on which the concert was released add their own concerns.
When S&M2 was released, it was done so on a wide range of platforms. There is the standard, least expensive 2CD platform; the standalone Blu-ray platform, the slightly more expensive 2CD/DVD platform and even a combo pack. Considering all of the platforms on which the concert was made available, outlets, such as Target and Walmart only made the standard 2CD platform available in stores. Audiences who wanted to hear and see the concert in full have to order the Blu-ray platform and 2CD/DVD combo pack. That means spending extra money on shipping and handling as well as sales tax versus just paying a little bit of extra sales tax in store. To that extent, it decrease motivation to purchase the full concert unless one is, again, among the most devoted fans of Metallica. Considering that most major retailers are charging a maximum of approximately $15 for the Blu-ray, one cannot help but wonder why that was not made available in store along with the 2CD set or even in place of that set. To that extent, the multiple platform availability of the recording does seem like a positive on the surface, but looking at the costs and availability in store versus online, it actually becomes more of a concern. Together with the limitation in new material in the concert, again, general audiences become even less motivated to purchase this recording. For all of the concerns that are raised by the concert’s set list and its availability, one positive can be noted of the recording. That positive is its production.
Audiences who watch the full audio-visual presentation on Blu-ray or DVD will agree that the audio was balanced well in post production. There have been some complaints about the 5.1 surround sound, but odds are the people who raised those concerns had their TVs improperly set up. Many TVs are created nowadays so that audiences need just set their TVs to surround sound setting and they can enjoy the concert’s audio for live setting. In the same breath, the cinematography is impressive in its own right. Considering the construction of the symphony’s new facility, the cameras had to be adapted. Audiences are often presented with wide angle shots, and even right up on stage with the band. The transitions are stable from one to the next while the shots themselves give a positive view of just how expansive the concert hall is. The cinematography also does well to capture the impact of the lighting, which helps to set the mood for the concert. Keeping all of this in mind, those responsible for capturing the performance in person and in post production are to be commended for their work. That is because it provides home viewers the best seat in the house and fully immerses those audiences in the concert experience. Keeping that in mind, this is the one true saving grace for S&M2. Together with the concert’s honestly limited set list and equally limited availability, it serves to make this presentation appealing mainly for the band’s most devoted audiences.
Metallica’s latest live recording S&M2 is an intriguing new presentation from a group that is one of the most respected bands in the music industry today. It is a presentation that will appeal mostly to the band’s most devoted audiences. That is due in large part to the concert’s set list. The set list is a near mirror image from the band’s 1999 recording S&M save for four new tracks and a small handful of well-known classic compositions. That the band and its label made the concert available only in its 2CD platform in stores, and made the rest of its platforms available online only detracts even more from its appeal. Had the standalone Blu-ray and/or the 2CD/DVD platform been made available in store, that might have helped the recording’s appeal at least somewhat, but that did not happen. To that end, that division detracts even more from the recording’s presentation. The one saving grace to this recording is its production. Those who recorded the concert in person and those who handled its post production are to be commended for their work. It gives home audiences the best seat in the house. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording. All things considered, S&M2 proves to be a presentation that will appeal most to Metallica’s most devoted fans. It is available now.
More information on S&M2 is available along with all of Metallica’s latest news at:
Legendary guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck will release his latest live recording this fall. The recording, Live at the Hollywood Bowl, will be released Oct. 6 via Eagle Rock Entertainment. Considering that this is still August, that is a while to wait. Beck’s fans do have something to satiate themselves while they wait for that recording’s release, though in the form of his most recent recording Loud Hailer. The 11-song studio recording was released July 15, 2016 via Rhino Records, and was his first full-length studio recording – at the time – in six years. While more than a year has passed since its original release, it still speaks just as loudly (yes, that awful pun was fully intended) today as it did in its original release. That is due to the songs’ diverse musical arrangements and their equally diverse range of lyrical topics. The record’s opener, ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ supports that statement. The same can be said of the deeply moving ‘Scared For The Children’ and of the funky ‘O.I.L.’ Each song in its own way shows why this record stands out. When set alongside its other eight songs, the whole of the songs proves that this record speaks volumes about not only Jeff Beck but also his fellow musicians.
Jeff Beck’s latest live recording Live Hailer is a work that speaks volumes about the legendary guitarist’s place in today’s music community. It says loud and clear that he is still one of the industry’s elite artists. That is made evident from the album’s outset in the form of ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.’ This infectious blues-rock composition is a slow but heavy and is a solid starting point for the album. That is thanks to the pairing (in this critic’s view) of Beck with fellow guitarist Carmen Vandenberg. The pair’s work conjures thoughts of some of rock’s greatest blues-based works past and present. Drummer Davide Sollazi and bassist Giovanni Pallotti partner to add even more depth to the song’s arrangement. Singer Rosie Bones’ vocal delivery (and the effects used to enhance that delivery) put the finishing touch to the song’s arrangement. When all of the noted parts are joined as one, they make this arrangement a work that easily sticks in listeners’ minds. With this in mind, the song’s arrangement is only one part of what makes it stand out. Its lyrical content is just as important to note.
The lyrical content at the center of ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ is presented in more spoken word fashion than singing. It finds Bones stating, “The revolution will be televised/You can watch in HD/You talk like a weekend warrior/From the safety of your city/The graphics won’t be as realistic as Grand Theft Auto 3/Guess that makes the wheel unwheelable/This s**** real baby/I think you’d better turn the volume down/So you can’t hear them plea/Suppose you’d better change the channel…the revolution will be televised and you can choose to watch or not/But if we all just talk from the safety of our sofas there won’t be much of a revolution to watch.” Bones comes across as making a social commentary here, saying the revolution will only happen, but only if people get out and get involved instead of sitting at home hiding behind keyboards and in front of their televisions. That is just this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation. When this is set against Bones’ spoken word style delivery of that seeming message, it makes the song that much heavier. When her delivery and statement join with the song’s already heavy musical arrangement, the whole of those elements shows clearly this song is a solid starter for Loud Hailer and – in itself – why Loud Hailer speaks so loudly. It is just one of the songs that stands out in this record. ‘Scared for the Children,’ which comes a little later in the record’s sequence, shows just as much why Loud Hailer speaks volumes.
‘Scared For The Children’ stands out just as much as ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ because it is so in a way that is completely unlike its counterparts on this album. Musically speaking the song is another blues-based composition. But its gentile, ethereal melody – driven largely by Beck – is one that evokes such powerful emotions in itself. If not for the obvious social commentary at the heart of its lyrics, the song’s musical arrangement could be interpreted as a romantic work or something meant to evoke thoughts of other innocence. When it is joined with the noted commentary, it makes the song in whole one of those works that is heavy without having to be heavy. The commentary in question addresses how far the world has fallen over time. That is evident as Bones sings in the song’s lead verse, “Billy skipped school again/Lookin’ like a fool again/What a little waste/For a taste of a big boy’s life/I’m scared for the children/Computer screens and magazines/Manufactured hopes and dreams/Playin’ in a comfy box/Cause mother’s got her shows to watch/I’m scared for the children/This is the end of the age of the innocent/One more game before they go/This is the end of the age of the innocent/What do we leave them with/I suppose we’ll never know. The concern continues as Bones sings about “little boys having too much fun playing with a big boy’s gun’ and an old man “kissing the last blade of grass” as “the last bird dies.” Again, Bones makes a very heavy statement here. What is so interesting here is that in so many cases, one might expect such powerful statements to be more forceful and coupled with a much harder-edged composition. Yet even in this setting both elements work so well alone and partnered. When they are joined, they make ‘Scared For The Children’ a song that will most definitely stick with listeners just as much as ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised,’ proving yet again why Loud Hailer speaks so loudly to Beck’s continued place in the musical universe. It is not the last of the record’s songs that serves to support that statement, either. ‘O.I.L.,’ the album’s penultimate composition is one more example of what makes Loud Hailer another bold statement from Jeff Beck.
‘O.I.L.,’ like ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ and ‘Scared For The Children’ is another clear example of why Jeff Beck’s latest full-length studio recording is another bold, loud statement from the veteran guitarist. That is evident in part through the song’s infectious old-school funk-based arrangement. The arrangement plays out like the best works from Sly and the Family Stone, Parliament Funkadelic and other similar acts. Even more interesting is the infusion of Beck’s blues influence into that arrangement. The coupling of those styles works surprisingly well. The song’s lyrical content adds even more interest for listeners as Bones seems to sing about celebrating life, but in a clean way, even going so far as to say she doesn’t want to use drugs to celebrate. It’s a simple statement, but a positive one nonetheless. Bones’ seeming celebratory lyrics, coupled with the song’s equally celebratory arrangement, is certain to put a smile on any listener’s face and have any listener dancing along. Keeping that in mind, that whole stands out from the previously discussed songs and the rest of the album’s songs. That being the case, that continued diversity and originality (musically and lyrically), shows once more why Loud Hailer is such a standout album. When the song is joined with its counterparts, the whole of those songs makes Loud Hailer a work that says loud and clear that Jeff Beck is still one of the most important names in the musical universe today.
Jeff Beck’s latest full-length studio recording Loud Hailer is a work that proves from start to finish was well worth the — at the time – long six-year wait. That is due to the diversity displayed throughout in its musical and lyrical content. From the musically heavy to the emotionally heavy to points in between, this record offers plenty for every listener. That is proven in part through the songs discussed here. That is not to discount the other eight songs that make up the rest of the record’s body. All things considered, the musical and lyrical content presented in this record makes it a work that says loud and proud that Jeff Beck is still one of the musical universe’s elite artists. Loud Hailer is available now in stores and online. More information on the album (as well as his upcoming live recording Live in Hollywood – set for release Oct. 6 via Eagle Rock Entertainment) is available online along with Beck’s latest news and more at:
ZZ Top is set to release its first ever live recording next month.
Live – Greatest Hits From Around The World will be released on Friday, September 9th via Rhino Records. In anticipation of the recording’s release Rhino is streaming the band’s performance of Merle Travis’ song ‘Sixteen Stones’ online now here. After Travis wrote and recorded the song, it would go on to be made famous by Tennessee Ernie Ford. The band’s performance of the song features a guest appearance by fellow veteran rocker Jeff Beck.
Live – Greatest Hits also includes performances of a number of ZZ Tops biggest hits including: ‘La Grange,’ ‘Sharp Dressed Man,’ ‘Legs,’ ‘Gimme All Your Lovin,’’ and a number of others. The full track listing for the recording is noted below. Pr-orders for the record are open now at Amazon on CD, vinyl, and via iTunes.
Greatest Hits From Around The Worldtracklisting with location of each track’s recording
Got Me Under Pressure New York
Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers Las Vegas
Cheap Sunglasses Paris
Waitin’ For The Bus Chicago
Jesus Just Left Chicago Chicago
Sharp Dressed Man Los Angeles
Rough Boy (with Jeff Beck) London
La Grange Dallas
I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide Vancouver
Tube Snake Boogie Rome
Gimme All Your Lovin’ Houston
Sixteen Tons (with Jeff Beck) London
More information on Live – Greatest Hits From Around The World is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:
A Decade of Dio: 1983 – 1993 is officially available now on CD box set. The six-disc box set features Ronnie James Dio’s first six solo albums—Holy Diver (1983), The Last in Line (1984), Sacred Heart (1985), Dream Evil (1987), Lock Up The Wolves (1990), and Strange Highways (1993) in one complete collection. It is retailing for $34.98.
Pre-orders for the collection’s vinyl platform, which is expected to retail for $99.98, are currently available now here. Pre-orders can be placed here. The vinyl collection will be available Friday, October 4th. It will come with a bonus 7” vinyl single containing the original 1983 take of ‘Evil Eyes’ on one side and ‘Time To Burn’ on the other. The take of ‘Evil Eyes’ that is presented in the vinyl set’s bonus 7” disc was originally released as the b-side to the title track from Holy Diver. As an added note, it is completely different from the take presented in Dio’s 1984 album The Last in Line. ‘Time To Burn’ was the only studio track to be included in Dio’s 1986 live recording Intermission.
Both versions are presented in boxes featuring new artwork by Marc Sasso. Sasso was the man behind the artwork on a number of Dio’s original albums. More information on these upcoming box sets and other titles from Rhino Records is available online now at:
Rhino Records is releasing a very special new box set this year for fans of legendary rocker Dio.
A Decade of Dio: 1983 – 1993 will be released this year. The multi-disc set culls Dio’s first six solo albums: Holy Diver (1983), The Last in Line (1984), Sacred Heart (1985), Dream Evil (1987), Lock Up The Wolves (1990), and Strange Highways (1993). The CD set will be released in stores and online via Rhino Records on Friday, July 22nd and will retail for MSRP of $34.98. It will also be available as a multi-disc vinyl box set on Friday, October 4th. The vinyl box set will retail for MSRP of $99.98. It will come with a bonus 7” vinyl single containing the original 1983 take of ‘Evil Eyes’ on one side and ‘Time To Burn’ on the other. The take of ‘Evil Eyes’ that is presented in the vinyl set’s bonus 7” disc was originally released as the b-side to the title track from Holy Diver. As an added note, it is completely different from the take presented in Dio’s 1984 album The Last in Line. ‘Time To Burn’ was the only studio track to be included in Dio’s 1986 live recording Intermission.
Pre-orders for both the CD and vinyl box set are available now. Both versions are presented in boxes featuring new artwork by Marc Sasso. Sasso was the man behind the artwork on a number of Dio’s original albums. The CD Pre-orders are open here and the vinyl pre-orders here.
More information on these upcoming box sets and other titles from Rhino Records is available online now at:
Jeff Beck has a new album on the way and new tour dates to boot.
The veteran guitarist announced this week that he will release his new album this summer. The as yet untitled album is currently scheduled to be released Friday, July 15th. He will also release his new book Beck01 the same week on Tuesday, July 12th. It will be published by Genesis Publications. The upcoming album will be Beck’s first full-length studio recording in more than six years. His last full-length album was Emotion & Commotion. It was released in spring of 2010. Cover art, track listing, and more information on Beck’s new album will be announced as the album’s release date nears.
Courtesy: Genesis Publications
Beck01 isn’t just another music memoir. Rather it traces Beck’s music and cars—more specifically hot rods—and will feature some 400+ rare and previously unseen photographs and items of memorabilia. The whole thing is narrated by a nearly 20,000 word manuscript. The limited edition book will also be signed by Beck himself. It can be ordered online via Genesis Publications’ online store.
Both Beck’s new album and book will be supported by a handful of live performances beginning Tuesday, July 19th in Port Chester, New York. Fellow guitar legend Buddy Guy will join Beck on a number of those dates. The tour also includes a special performance on Wednesday, August 10th at the Hollywood Bowl to celebrate Beck’s now five decades-long career. The first leg of the tour is a run of dates in the northeast and runs through July 26th in Holmdel, NJ. On July 27th and 29th Beck will be in Vienna, VA and Canandaigua, NY respectively before playing a pair of dates in the Midwest to close out July. He will open August with a performance in Nashville, TN on Wednesday, August 3rd. A new group of tour dates was announced this week. It includes performances in the Midwest and west coast. The complete tour schedule, including newly announced dates, is available via Beck’s official website and Facebook page. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 8th for all dates EXCEPT Kansas City (available Saturday, April 16th), Seattle, WA (available Friday, April 22nd), and Saratoga, CA (Available TBA).
More information on Beck’s upcoming live dates is available online now along with updates on his new book and album, news, and more at: