The Rolling Stones Offer Audiences One More Of 2022’s Top New Live Recordings In ‘Licked Live In NYC’

Courtesy: Mercury Studios

The Rolling Stones has another new live recording out this week.  It comes in the form of Licked Live in NYC.  The recording is another wonderfully enjoyable presentation for any fan of The Rolling Stones.  That is due in part to its featured set list which will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content that accompanies the recording makes for its own engagement and entertainment.  It will be discussed a little later.  The companion booklet rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined a little later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the recording another presentation that is sure to appeal to any rock purist and fan of The Rolling Stones.

Licked Live In NYC, the latest live recording from The Rolling Stones, is another thoroughly impressive presentation from the band and from Mercury Studios.  It is a work that will appeal to any fan of what is in this critic’s mind, the best rock and roll band in the world.  The recording’s success comes in part through its featured set list.  The set list is largely composed of so many familiar songs from The Rolling Stones.  ‘Gimme Shelter,’ ‘Tumbling Dice,’ ‘and Honky Tonk Woman’ are all there.  The latter of the group features a guest appearance by Sheryl Crow.  Also included in the set list are the likes of ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It),’ ‘Angie’ and ‘Street Fighting Man.’  At the same time though, the set list also pulls in what many might consider some deep cuts.  They come in the form of  ‘Happy,’ ‘If You Can’t Rock Me,’ ‘Don’t Stop,’ ‘Monkey Man,’ Thru and Thru’ and Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.’    The latter of that group of songs was performed by guitarist Keith Richards.  ‘Don’t Stop’ is a single featured in the band’s compilation record, 40 Licks.  ‘Monkey Man’ takes audiences back to 1969 and the band’s beloved album, Let It Bleed while ‘Thru and Thru’ is lifted from the band’s 1994 album, Voodoo Lounge.  On a side note, Mercury Studios has released a live Rolling Stones performance previously that was part of a tour in support of Voodoo Lounge in the form of Voodoo Lounge Uncut.  That recording was released in 2018.  Getting back on topic, ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ is lifted from the band’s hit 1971 album, Sticky Fingers but has rarely been featured on any of the band’s live recordings.  So it is its own treat for audiences.  ‘Happy’ reaches back to 1972 and the band’s album, Exile on Main Street while ‘If You Can’t Rock Me’ comes from the band’s 1974 album, It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll.  Simply put, what audiences get from this concert’s set list is a fair balance of familiar songs and some that are less familiar in a live setting from the band.  They also pull from a relatively healthy swath of some of the band’s most well-known and beloved albums.  In other words, audiences get the best of both worlds in more ways than one here.  To that end, the set list forms a solid foundation for the recording’s presentation.

Resting firmly on that foundation is the band’s performance of the set list.  The band’s performance, which took place on stage at Madison Square Garden Jan. 18, 2003, is everything that audiences have come to expect from Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, and the now late great Charlie Watts, as well as their fellow musicians and performers.  Jagger’s swagger is just as energetic and prevalent as ever throughout the concert.  Even his interaction with his fellow performers, including the backing singers, is just so real.  Watts’ energy is on full display as he keeps the beat in each song while Wood and Richards bring their own familiar yet unique energy to each performance.  Late great saxophonist Bobby Keys’ solo work and backing work throughout the show even added its own great touch to the whole.  The energy that he and everybody else brough from the whole unit is fully engaging and entertaining.  It makes the overall group’s performance just as immersive and enjoyable as ever.  There really is no one bad thing to say about the band’s performance at any point in the concert.  To that end, the set list and band’s performance thereof collectively make for so much enjoyment in this concert.  They are just a portion of what makes the recording so enjoyable, too.  The bonus content that accompanies the concert adds even more to the overall experience.

The bonus content comes in the form of a n extensive documentary about the band’s tour, a group of “studio rehearsal performances” and some live extras.  The extra live content comes in the form of live clips of ‘Star Star,’ ‘Street Fighting Man’ and ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You.’  Between those songs, the full “rehearsal” performances of ‘Well Well’ and Extreme Western Grip’ brings the recording’s full song list to 26 songs.  So in other words, audiences not only get some extra performances, which are engaging and entertaining in their own right, but audiences also get in these performances some more enjoyable live performances, some in studio and some on stage.  It’s the best of both worlds, so to speak. 

The bonus documentary that comes with the presentation is important in its own right because it really makes audiences the proverbial fly on the wall.  Audiences get to watch as the band members plan the tour from which the featured concert was included.  From planning the stage show to rehearsing together to even Jagger preparing his vocals and dancing skills.  Yes, he even trains in regards to the dancing that he does on stage.  Audiences will be pleasantly surprised to watch him train for that aspect.  It shows just how seriously the band members take the preparations for its shows.  At the same time, in listening to the band members talk about working together and to see them interacting with fans, family, and friends, audiences gain even more appreciation for the band.  That is because of how easygoing the band members appear throughout the show.  That easygoing nature shows through just as much on stage, so in essence, audiences get a definite vibe of what you see is what you get from the band.  It really shows that this veteran band, even at that point in its career, did not seem to have the ego of so many bands out there today, veteran and otherwise.  Between that and the appreciation that audiences will have watching the band prepare for the tour, the documentary presents its own engagement and entertainment.  When the enjoyment generated through the documentary is paired with that generated through the bonus performances, the overall bonus content more than makes for reason to take in this concert.  That bonus content is just one more part of what makes Licked Live In NYC so enjoyable.  The liner notes featured in the recording’s companion booklet rounds out the most important of its elements.

The liner notes featured in the companion booklet were penned by journalist/broadcaster Paul Sexton.  Sexton outlines the show in his notes, giving audiences a preview of the concert before audiences even take in the show.  It is a thorough description highlighting many of the extensive number of high points throughout the concert.  He also cites guitarist Ron Wood  as saying that the band rehearsed no less than 120 (yes, 120) songs in preparation for the tour.  That tidbit, while minimal, is still powerful.  It adds even more to the documentary, showing even more just how seriously the band took its preparations for the tour.  That the band had that many songs to rehearse is in itself shocking and in a good way.  It makes for even more appreciation for the band and the overall presentation here.  AS if that is not enough, there are comments from Richards and from Watts about how the band came to decide on the venues for the concert.  Their insights are deep as they talk about the constraints of performing at larger venues and at theaters and smaller venues.  All of these discussions and the previous that Sexton offers audiences makes for its own engagement and value to the recording, too.  When that engagement and value is paired with the impact of the concert’s set list and the band’s performance thereof, and with the bonus content featured here, the whole makes Licked Live in NYC yet another fully successful live offering from a group that is one of the greatest rock and roll bands in the world if not the best.

Licked Live in NYC, the latest live recording from The Rolling Stones, is an impressive new offering from the group that rock purists and fans of The Rolling Stones alike will find appealing.  Its appeal comes in part through its featured set list and the band’s performance thereof.  The set list gives audiences plenty of familiar content while also bringing some deep cuts that have rarely appeared in any of the band’s existing live recordings.  That best of both worlds approach and the enjoyment of the songs themselves makes for so much enjoyment.  The band’s performance of each song makes for its own engagement and entertainment.  That is because even being 40 years into its life at the time of the concert, it shows the band was still at the very top of its game.  That includes the core group’s backing performers.  The bonus content that accompanies the concert adds to the overall enjoyment.  That is because it gives audiences even more live content, both on stage and in studio.  The documentary that is also used as bonus content will keep audiences engaged and entertained in its own right.  That is because it shows the time and effort that the band put into preparing for its 40th anniversary tour.  The liner notes crafted by Paul Sexton do well to compliment the documentary while also previewing the concert through his own descriptions.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered they make Licked Live in NYC one more of the year’s top new live recordings.

Licked Live in NYC is available now. More information on Licked Live in NYC is available along with all of its latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.rollingstones.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/therollingstones

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/RollingStones

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available at:

Websitehttps://mercurystudios.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MercuryStudiosCo

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/mercurystudios

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

ABKCO Announces Details For New Singles/EP Collection From The Rolling Stones

Courtesy: ABKCO

The Rolling Stones is celebrating its 60th (yes, 60th) anniversary this year, and in celebration of the historic mark, ABKCO will release a new collection of the band’s singles next month in the form of The Rolling Stones Singles 1963-1966.

The new limited edition box set of singles is scheduled for release June 10. It features reproductions of the band’s first 18 7″ vinyl singles and EPs. Those records were originally released through Decca Records and London Records. The music was remastered by 12-time Grammy award-winning engineer Bob Ludwig.

A 32-page booklet will accompany the new box set. It will feature liner notes by Rolling Stones authority Nigel Williamson, as well as rare photos. A poster and five exclusive cards are also included in the hard shell box.

The full record/track listing for the collection is noted below. A companion box set, dubbed The Rolling Stones Singles 1966-1971 is scheduled for release next year.

The Rolling Stones Singles 1963-1966 tracklist:  

“Come On” (originally released June 1963) 
Side A: Come On 
Side B: I Want To Be Loved 

“I Wanna Be Your Man” (originally released November 1963) 
Side A: I Wanna Be Your Man 
Side B: Stoned 

The Rolling Stones E.P. (originally released January 1964) 
Side A:  
Bye Bye Johnny 
Money 
Side B: 
You Better Move On 
Poison Ivy 

“Not Fade Away” (originally released February 1964) 
Side A: Not Fade Away 
Side B: Little By Little 

“Tell Me” (originally released June 1964)  
Side A: Tell Me 
Side B: I Just Wanna Make Love To You 

“It’s All Over Now” (originally released June 1964) 
Side A: It’s All Over Now 
Side B: Good Times, Bad Times 

Five by Five E.P. (originally released August 1964) 
Side A: 
If You Need Me 
Empty Heart 
2120 South Michigan Avenue 
Side B: 
Confessin’ The Blues 
Around and Around 

“Time Is On My Side” (originally released September 1964) 
Side A: Time Is On My Side 
Side B: Congratulations 

“Little Red Rooster” (originally released November 1964) 
Side A: Little Red Rooster 
Side B: Off The Hook 

“Heart Of Stone” (originally released December 1964) 
Side A: Heart Of Stone 
Side B: What A Shame 

“The Last Time” (originally released February 1965) 
Side A: The Last Time 
Side B: Play With Fire 

Got Live If You Want It! E.P. (originally released June 1965) 
Side A: 
We Want The Stones (Live) 
Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Live) 
Pain In My Heart (Live) 
Route 66 (Live) 
Side B:  
I’m Moving On 
I’m Alright 

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” 

(US version, originally released June 1965) 
Side A: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction 
Side B: The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man 

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction)” (UK version, originally released August 1965)
Side A: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction 
Side B: The Spider And The Fly 

“Get Off Of My Cloud” (US version, originally released September 1965)
Side A: Get Off Of My Cloud 
Side B: I’m Free 

“Get Off Of My Cloud (UK version, originally released October 1965) 
Side A: Get Off Of My Cloud 
Side B: The Singer Not The Song 

“As Tears Go By” (originally released December 1965) 
Side A: As Tears Go By 
Side B: Gotta Get Away 

“19th Nervous Breakdown” (US version, originally released February 1966) 
Side A: 19th Nervous Breakdown 
Side B: Sad Day 

More information on this and other titles from ABKCO is available along with all of the label’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.abkco.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/abkco

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ABKCO

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

Udo Dirkschneider’s New Covers Collection Is A Rare Set Worth Hearing

Courtesy: Atomic Fire Records

Udo Dirkschneider is among the most well-known and respected front man in the rock and hard rock communities. That is due to his work with Accept and with his namesake band, U.D.O. Considering everything that Dirkschneider has done over the course of his career — between records recorded with each band and even compilations of the bands’ hits — there is still one item that to this point, Dirkschneider has not checked off from his list. That item is a covers collection. This Friday, he will get to check off that item when he releases his first-ever covers collection, My Way. Running 17 songs deep, the compilation is a unique collection of songs, pulling in takes of hit songs from the likes of Rainbow, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Led Zeppelin, Billy Squier, and even Tina Turner. They and their songs are just some of the notable entries in this presentation. The Led Zeppelin, Billy Squier and Motorhead covers stay largely true to their source material while amping them up slightly. The Tina Turner cover is unique in its own right, building on the original and making it even more interesting. Among the more notable covers featured in the collection is that of The Rolling Stones’ timeless classic, ‘Paint It Black.’ This cover will be discussed shortly. The cover of AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T’ is near perfection. It will be discussed a little later. Any review of Dirkshchneider’s new record would be incomplete without a discussion on the cover of ‘My Way,’ the collection’s title track. It will also be discussed later. All three songs noted here are important in their own way to the whole of My Way. When they are considered with all of the record’s other covers, the whole makes My Way a presentation that rock and hard rock fans will find just as appealing as those of Dirkschneider.

My Way, the first-ever covers collection from veteran hard rock front man Udo Dirkschneider, is quite the unique presentation. It is a work that his fans and casual hard rock and rock fans alike will find appealing. That is proven throughout the record in each and every tribute that Dirkschneider and his fellow musicians pay here. Sadly those fellow musicians are not credited in the streaming copy of the record provided to this critic. If names were provided, those musicians would get their due credit. Getting back on the topic at hand, the record offers audiences plenty of notable songs from acts that are themselves equally notable (and some less notable, making for even more engagement and entertainment). One of the most notable of the covers is that of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black.’ The song is known to every rock fan out there. That opening guitar line from Keith Richards and the companion drumming from the late great Charlie Watts are iconic to say the least. Front man Mick Jagger’s slightly gritty vocals add even more to the whole. Where the original song gives audiences an upbeat albeit contemplative work, Dirkschneider and his fellow musicians on the other hand turn the original on its ear by giving it a power metal facelift of sorts. Dirkschneider’s familiar gritty near growling vocal delivery adds its own unique punch to the composition alongside the power metal style and sound presented here. It gives the song a whole new sense that still hits hard in its own fashion while still keeping as true as possible to the source material. It is a take that is sure to impress The Rolling Stones, their fans, and those of Dirkschneider alike. It is just one of the song featured in this set that makes the collection worth hearing. Dirkschneider and company’s take of AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’ is another notable addition to the record.

As with the band’s cover of ‘Paint It Black,’ Dirkschneider and company strive to stay true to the source material in its cover of ‘T.N.T.’ while still giving the original song a welcome amped up new treatment. Instead of a power metal approach in this case, the collective instead just gives the song a rich, bluesy almost late 80s hair metal approach (right down to the bombastic guitar solo at the songs’ end) and blends that with the song’s original edge. What’s really interesting here is that Dirkschneider’s trademark vocal delivery style is actually an interesting blend of the vocals of AC/DC’s original front man Bon Scott and his replacement, Brian Johnson. That blend of sounds and styles within his one delivery makes his vocals all the more important to the whole. In turn, it makes the song that much more enjoyable and in turn, the album, too.

As much as the covers of AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’ do to make My Way worth hearing, they are just two of the record’s most notable tracks. No examination of the record would be complete without an examination of the collection’s title track. Originally composed by the team of Jacques Revaux, Gilles Thibaut, and Claude Francois, it was made most popular by American singer Frank Sinatra in 1969 after Paul Anka secured the rights for the song from the group. Ironically it is well-known that Sinatra hated the song the more popular it became because he got tired of having to hear and perform the song. That aside, it still remains a fan favorite to this day among thousands of audiences, apparently including Dirkschneider. One would not think Dirkschneider, a metal head, would find inspiration in Sinatra, but apparently he has some respect for the famed singer and what is one of his most beloved songs. Dirkschneider actually does a surprisingly impressive job here, his more familiar gritty vocal delivery gone in favor of a much more controlled approach and sound. The control that he uses here along with the use of the piano, strings, and subtle time keeping throws directly back to the composition that made Sinatra such a star. Even as the song builds to its peaks in its choruses, Dirkschneider and his fellow musicians exercise so much control, making the song stand out so starkly from all of the other covers featured throughout the record. It honestly serves to create a whole new respect for Dirkschneider in the end because it shows that he is more than just the metal head that so many people think they know. It makes the song a wonderful final accent to this record. When it is considered alongside the other songs examined here and with the rest of the record’s entries, the whole makes the overall presentation a rare covers set that is actually worth hearing if only every occasionally.

My Way, the first ever collection of covers from Udo Dikschneider, is an interesting compilation. It brings together a relatively wide swath of rock and hard rock songs, as well as some more pop oriented content for a while that makes a person rethink what they think they know of the famed former Accept and current U.D.O. front man and his tastes in music. The covers themselves vary in style and sound but still strive to stay as true as possible to their source material. That is made clear through the songs examined here. When those songs are considered along with the rest of the record’s entries, the whole makes My Way a rare covers collection that is actually worth hearing.

My Way is scheduled for release Friday through Atomic Fire Records. More information on the collection is available along with all of Dirkschneider’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.udo-online.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/udoonline

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/udoonline

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

Mercury Studios Announces Details For Another Live Show From The Rolling Stones

Courtesy: Mercury Studios

Mercury Studios is reaching into The Rolling Stones’ live vault once again.

The company, formerly Eagle Rock Entertainment, announced Wednesday, it is scheduled to release Licked Live in NYC June 10. A trailer for the recording is streaming here.

The concert presented in the package was held January 18, 2003 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden for an HBO special. It was the second of two dates that the band performed at the venue that month, with the first date having been held two days prior on Jan. 16.

Mercury Studios will release the concert on DVD/2CD and SD Blu-ray/2CD combo packs, as well as 2CD and 3 LP standalone sets. It features performances of many of the band’s greats hits, such as ‘Brown Sugar,’ ‘Gimme Shelter,’ and ‘Sympathy for the Devil.’ Additionally, Sheryl Crow made a guest appearance on the band’s performance of ‘Honky Tonk Women.’

As an added bonus, the package’s DVD and BD packages will feature the band’s rehearsal footage and three extra performances not featured in the original HBO performance. Also, the SD Blu-ray package will feature the 51-minute documentary, “Tip of the Tongue,” which follows the band as it prepares for the tour.

The full concert set list is noted below for each of its platforms.

Track listing:
Screen Shot 2022-04-12 at 12.35.30 PM
Courtesy: Mercury Studios

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available at:

Website: https://mercurystudios.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MercuryStudiosCo

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/mercurystudios

More information on Licked Live in NYC is available along with all of its latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.rollingstones.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/therollingstones

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/RollingStones

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

Sunflower Dead Takes On INXS Hit For Its Latest Single

Courtesy: New Ocean Media

INXS’ classic song, ‘Never Tear Us Apart‘ is getting renewed attention thanks to Sunflower Dead.

Sunflower Dead premiered its take on the INXS classic Friday. The cover’s premiere comes almost a month after the band premiered its then latest single,  ‘Falling Down‘ and its companion lyric video. SFD’s take on the song is available to stream and download here.

Sunflower Dead’s take on the classic (which itself bears some musical and stylistic similarity to songs from The Rolling Stones) gives the song an interesting hard rock update. In this case, it bears more similarity to works from the likes of Saliva and other similar acts. The gritty sound of the vocals and infectious guitar solo pairs with the richness of the bass and drums

Front man Michael Del Pizzo talked about the band’s take on the song in a prepared statement.

“SFD really doesn’t like doing covers,” he said. “I guess we are too lazy to learn how others correctly play their songs which is funny because our new cover of INXS’ Never Tear Us Apart is our second cover in 4 albums.  Go figure! We did The Police’s Every Breath You Take on our debut album and to this day it remains one of our most requested songs and it had no radio play, no video and no promotion.  For us to do a cover we have to completely rewrite our way.  To do that, we have to be inspired by some kind of killer idea (in our heads at least) in a direction to take the song. With ‘Never Tear Us Apart,’ we started talking about doing this back in 2014 because we just loved the song. The thing is though, it is a very romantic and major scale type of sound. So yeah, there was no way we were doing this unless it was completely redone.”

Added Del Pizzo of the song’s cover, “I heard it in my head a certain way and rewrote the song in a minor key with crushing guitars and accordion added in.  Once I showed [guitarist] Jaboo the approach, he was on board and we tracked it and fell in love with our dirty, dark, sexy and heavy version of the track. Oh and instead of doing a sax solo on the bridge, we had Jaboo rip up a guitar solo that expands upon the original sax melody.  Love the original and now are extra happy with our dark rewrite of such a classic song.”

In other news, Sunflower Dead has announced a new slate of live dates. Dubbed “The Black Pilled Tour,” the run is scheduled to launch Oct. 22 in Des Moines, IA and to run through Nov. 14 in Huntsville, AL. The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Oct/Nov Tour Dates:

“The Black Pilled Tour”

Sunflower Dead will be supporting Smile Empty Soul (also on the bill is Tommy Gibbons)

10/22 Des Moines IA, Lefty’s
10/23 Saint Joseph MO, Cafe Acoustic
10/27 Wichita KS, Barleycorns
10/28 Oklahoma City OK, Kendall’s Bar
10/30 Fort Worth TX, The Rail Club
11/1 Austin TX, Come and Take it Live
11/2 Shreveport LA, 516 Soundstage
11/3 New Orleans LA, Southport Hall
11/4 Tallahassee FL, The Warrior
11/5 Jacksonville FL, Archetype
11/6 Sanford FL, West End Trading Co
11/7 Tampa FL, The Brass Mug
11/10 West Palm Beach FL, Propaganda
11/11 Fort Myers FL, Buddha Night Club
11/12 Gainesville FL, Highdive
11/13 Savannah GA, The Wormhole
11/14 Huntsville AL, Sidetracks

SFD’s take on ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ is the third single from the band’s forthcoming album, March of the Leper, which is expected for release in early 2022. The band premiere the album’s lead single, ‘The Underneath‘ and its video in August.

March of the Leper will release on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.

March Of The Leper is available for pre-order and is available in 7 packages at this location: Pre-order

1. Signed CD

2. Signed Vinyl

3. Signed Limited Edition Cassette

4. Signed CD/T-Shirt Bundle

5. Signed Vinyl/T-shirt Bundle

6. Signed Cassette/T-Shirt Bundle

7. Everything Bundle

More information on Sunflower Dead’s new single, video, album and tour is available online now along with the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.sunflowerdead.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sunflowerdead

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sunflowerdead

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Steve Conte Debuts New Single, ‘Overnight Smash’

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Steve Conte premiered the latest single from his new album this week.

Conte debuted his new single, ‘Overnight Smash‘ Thursday. The song is the fourth single from Conte’s forthcoming album,  Bronx Cheer, which is scheduled for release Nov. 5 through Wicked Cool Records. Conte premiered the album’s third single, ‘Dog Days of Summer‘ last month. Its premiere was preceded by that of the singles,  ‘Recovery Doll‘ and ‘Gimme Gimme Rockaway.’

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Overnight Smash’ is a classic rock-infused composition. There are hints of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and others interspersed throughout the course of the approximately three-minute opus. Listeners can even argue there is a slight influence from The Rolling Stones in the mix, too. The energy in the straight-driving composition is certain to keep audiences engaged and entertained in its own right.

The lyrical theme that accompanies the new song takes on a rarely discussed matter, but one that is relevant to everyone, and Conte talked about that topic during a recent interview.

“‘Overnight Smash’ is about professional jealousy,” he said. “Once somebody starts ‘getting somewhere’ in their career, there is always that crowd that, for whatever reason, got left behind in the dust, and then they like to s***-talk about ya.”

More information on Steve Conte’s new single and album is available along with all of his latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.stevecontenyc.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/SteveConteNYC

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/SteveConteNYC

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

Mercury Studios, The Rolling Stones’ Re-Issue Of ‘A Bigger Bang: Live On Copacabana Beach’ Is An Improvement On The Original

Courtesy: Mercury Studios/Universal Music Group

Mercury Studios (formerly Eagle Rock Entertainment) and The Rolling Stones have brought quite a bit of enjoyment to fans of the legendary rock band over the course of almost the past decade.  The two sides have partnered since 2012 to release no less than 18 archived live recordings from The Rolling Stones.  The shows have come from points around the globe, from England to Japan to Cuba to the United States.  Now Friday, the two sides will revisit one of The Rolling Stones’ “older” live recordings when they re-issue the band’s 2007 live recording, A Bigger Bang: Live on Copacabana Beach.  While it is a re-issue, this recording is still a presentation that will appeal to any fan of The Rolling Stones.  That is due in no small part to the recording’s featured set list, which will be discussed shortly.  The re-issue’s companion booklet is also of note.  It will be discussed a little later.  The recording’s production values round out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the re-issue.  All things considered, they make the re-issue another wonderful new addition to the library of any fan of The Rolling Stones.

Mercury Studios and The Rolling Stones’ forthcoming re-issue of its 2007 live recording, A Bigger Bang: Live on Copacabana Beach, is a re-issue done right.  It will no doubt appeal to all of the band’s audiences.  That includes those who might already own the recording’s original release.  This is proven in large part through the recording’s set list.  The set list features a total of 20 songs, one of which – ‘Night Time is the Right Time – is a cover of a song made famous by the equally legendary singer/songwriter, Ray Charles.  Four others – ‘Sympathy for the Devil,’ ‘This Place is Empty,’ ‘Oh No, Not You Again,’ and ‘Tumbling Dice’ – were not featured in the original recording.  This despite the fact that the band performed said songs at the 2006 concert, held in Rio De Janeiro.  Mercuty Studios and The Rolling Stones are to be especially commended for the inclusion of the noted songs as part of the recording because it would have been just as easy for each side to just make the songs “bonus content.”  This is something that many labels and acts do with live recordings.  Even Mercury Studios has taken this route in past recordings from other acts.  So to make the previously unreleased songs part of the main feature makes the recording whole.  This, again, will appeal not only to those audiences who maybe do not already own the recording’s 2007 presentation, but also to those who do own that recording.  It will certainly make replacing that recording all the easier.

Adding to the importance of the set list is that while the band once again features many of its timeless hits here, it also lifts from its then new album, 2005’s A Bigger Bang.  The set list is not necessarily career-defining in the purest sense of the word, but it does pull from nin (almost half) of the albums that the band had released up to that point.  A Bigger Bang and Exile on Main Street each get the most nods at three while Sticky Fingers and Let It Bleed each get two.  Along the way, other records, such as It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll, Voodoo Lounge, Some Girls, and Tattoo You each get one nod along with other records from the band’s extensive catalog. 

As if everything noted is not enough, there is still one more aspect of the set list worth noting.  That aspect is that the set list is presented in the same sequence on each of its available platforms.  Those platforms are: DVD/2CD, SD BD/2CD, 2DVD/2CD, and 3LP.  The Deluxe 2DVD/2CD platform will feature a 40-page book and the concert on DVD and CD.  The bonus second DVD features the band’s 2005 Salt Lake City, UT concert in whole.  That concert was also in support of A Bigger Bang.  Now, keeping in mind all that the positives that the recording’s set list offers audiences, it is just a part of what makes this re-issue successful.  The companion booklet that accompanies the recording adds its own appeal to the presentation.

The companion booklet that accompanies this re-issue is important because of the liner notes featured therein.  Crafted by journalist Paul Sexton, the liner notes set the stage (pardon the pun) for the concert featured on the noted platforms.  Sexton points out in his notes, front man Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards’ 1968 vacation to the region was at least partially responsible for the samba beat featured in ‘Sympathy for the Devil.’  He also notes that the free concert, which is estimated to have had an audience in excess of 1.5 million people, was not just something that the band did on a whim.  He points out that a lot of thought and planning went into the event beforehand.  That whole story will be left for audiences to discover for themselves just as much as that of the region’s impact on some of the band’s older material.  Additionally, Sexton cites the band members themselves as they recall fondly, the experience of playing before one of the largest audiences ever for a free concert by any act.  Between everything noted here and so much more pointed out by Sexton, the whole makes the liner notes just as important as the set list to this re-issue.  It is easy to argue, considering this, that audiences should really read the liner notes before taking in the concert.  Keeping that in mind, the overall content featured in this recording gives audiences much to appreciate.  The collective content is only a portion of what makes the recording successful.  The recording’s production values round out its most important elements.

The production values in this recording are just as appealing as the concert’s content.  While 4KUHD might not have been a reality in 2006, recording technology from the early 2000s was still a huge improvement in comparison to that of the 80s and 90s.  Keeping that in mind, the audio and video mix in this re-issue is solid throughout the course of the concert’s approximately two hour run time.  The sound balance is expert from beginning to end.  The camera work captures the concert from so many great angles.  Staying on that note, the direction is to be commended for having such an eye for those angles.  Thanks to that collective work, audiences are taken on stage with the band and above the crowd with various crane cam shots.  The shots change at a pace that is just right to accent the energy within each song.  This in itself is important because it means at no point will audiences be left feeling dizzied or even bored.  The mixes make the transitions just as smooth, too.  Simply put, everything incorporated in to the production makes the concert’s presentation just as successful as the concert’s content.  All things considered, the concert proves to be a prime example of a re-issue done right.

Mercury Studios and The Rolling Stones’ forthcoming re-issue of A Bigger Bang: Live on Copacabana Beach is a presentation that every fan of The Rolling Stones will appreciate.  That is proven in part through its featured set list.  The set list runs 20 songs deep and is presented in whole.  That is in comparison to the set list featured in the recording’s 2007 presentation, which was lacking four songs featured in the then 2006 concert.  The set list is also featured in the same sequence on each of its available platforms.  It is also an extensive presentation of the band’s catalog at that point.  Given it might not be career-spanning per se, but still does a good job of representing the band’s catalog.  The liner notes featured in the recording’s companion booklet add their own appeal because of the foundation that they form.  That foundation is formed through the background information that the notes provide.  The recording’s production rounds out the presentation’s most important elements.  The sound and video are expertly balanced while the cinematography does its own share to keep viewers engaged and entertained.  It is a tribute to the work that was put in to remaster and re-edit all of the featured content.  Each element examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make the recording a presentation that every fan of The Rolling Stones will enjoy and a prime example of a re-issue done right.

A Bigger Bang: Live on Copacabana Beach is scheduled for release Friday through Mercury Studios and Universal Music Group. More information on Steel Wheels Live is available along with all of its latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.rollingstones.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/therollingstones

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/RollingStones

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

Eagle Rock, UMe’s New Lynyrd Skynyrd Live Recording Is A Must For The Band’s Fans, Even With Its One Concern

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/UMe

When Lynyrd Skynyrd released its debut live recording, One More from the Road in September 1976, no one knew that it would go on to be the only live recording from the band (at the time) featuring the group’s original lineup.  More than a year after the recording’s release, on Oct. 20, 1977, a plane crash claimed the lives of then front man Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines (who was Steve Gaines’ sister).  The crash happened during the band’s tour in support of One More from The Road and ironically, only days after the band released what would be its fifth album, Street Survivors.  After the tragedy of that incident, more than a decade would pass before the band reformed with a new lineup and album.  More than three decades would pass before any other live recording featuring the band’s original lineup would see  the light of day in 2009’s Authorized Bootleg: Lynyrd Skynyrd Live: Cardiff   Capitol Theater and Authorized Bootleg: Live at WinterlandSan Francisco Mar 07, 1976.  Every live recording that followed (and those in between) have all featured the band’s post crash lineup.  Now Friday, Eagle Rock Entertainment and UMe will release another rare fully official recording featuring the band’s original lineup in the form of Live at Knebworth ’76.  The concert captured in this rare recording took place Aug. 21, 1976 at the Knebworth as part of the day-long festival headlined by none other than The Rolling Stones.  This is an important piece of information about the concert.  It plays directly into the recording’s presentation and will be discussed later.  The most important of the recording’s elements is its set list, which will be discussed shortly.  For all that this concert offers audiences to appreciate, it is an imperfect presentation.  That is due to one key limitation, which will be discussed a little later.  Even keeping that one negative in mind, it is not enough to make the recording a failure.  Keeping this in mind, the recording proves for the most part, to be a work that most Lynyrd Synyrd fans will appreciate.

Very few official recordings featuring live performances of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s original lineup have ever seen the light of day over the decades.  In all, only three of those recordings have ever been released.  That is saying a lot.  Now Friday, what will be only the fourth ever live recording featuring the band’s original lineup will be released in the form of Live at Knebworth ’76.  This 11-song recording is a mostly successful presentation, too.  Part of the recording’s success comes through its set list.  The set list pulls from all of its then four studio recordings, and even from its debut live recording, One More from the Road.  What is truly interesting to note is just how balanced the set list is.  The band’s 1973 debut album Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd receives three nods as does its follow-up, Second HelpingThat record’s follow-up, 1975’s Nuthin’ Fancy, was represented with two songs while the band’s then latest album, 1976’s Gimme Back My Bullets is represented by one song.  One More from the Road got two nods here.  Simply put, it is easy to say that this rare live recording’s set list was at the time, career-defining.  Adding to the interest here is that research into the band’s tour in support of One More from the Road, compared to this concert’s set list, mostly lines up.  Comparisons show that the majority of the songs most commonly played by the band during its tour at the time are featured here.  There is some variance between the band’s average set list from the tour and this concert’s set list, but for the most part, audiences got the set list presented in most of the band’s shows.  To that end, the set list featured in this presented concert forms a solid foundation for the recording’s presentation.  Now,  for all that the concert’s set list does to establish appeal for the overall presentation, the recording does suffer from one negative.  That negative comes from the limitation of the availability of the authorized Lynyrd Skynyrd biography, If I Leave Here Tomorrow.  The last time this documentary was released was in 2018.  The 97-minute documentary recounts Ronnie Van Zant’s upbringing, how that played into his song writing, and the band members’ relationships.  It is itself a rarity, being that it is so difficult to find at any of America’s major retailers.  In the case of its presentation here, it is made available as part of the recording’s Blu-ray/CD platform, but not its separate DVD/CD platform.  Who made such a decision and why is anyone’s guess.  Regardless, that limitation means that audiences who want to watch the documentary will either have to buy the Blu-ray player and HDMI cable, and Blu-ray/CD package (if they do not already own said product) or just try to find it streaming online.  It really is a disservice to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s fans that the documentary would be so limited in its availability.  Of course in defense of Eagle Rock and UMe, maybe not everyone is such a devotee and some people care more about the concert.  To that end, that limited availability is not enough to make this recording a failure.  Regardless, again, it is still a concern that audiences cannot ignore.

Going back to the topic of the concert and those audiences who perhaps prefer that more than the documentary, they and all other audiences receive in the concert, quite the presentation. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s performance here is considered by critics and fans alike to be a defining moment for the band.  That is even considering that it was hardly the band’s first ever performance outside the United States.  The band played Europe well before the tour that included its Knebworth show.  There really is something special in this performance.  The band keeps the energy high throughout the course of the 66-minute (one hour, six minutes) concert, wasting little time between songs with any amount of talking.  Rather, the band allowed its performance to talk.  In all honesty, the performance moves so fluidly that audiences are left feeling like it has reached its midpoint and even finale before they realize it.  That is meant in the most complimentary fashion possible.  It means that the band uses its songs and performances to make audiences completely forget about the time and just enjoy the show.

One big part of what makes that full immersion happen is the collective performance of drummer Artemis Pyle, guitarists Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, and Steve Gaines, and bassist Leon Wilkerson.  The quartet’s talent is on full display throughout the show.  The manic energy from the group throughout is so powerful as it pulls in audiences.  Meanwhile, Van Zant’s own eclectic performance made for its own interest.  His general lack of real emotion and motion throughout the show made for quite the contrast to the power in his vocals.  Those moments in which he just stands there on stage as his band mates play their solos immerses audiences even more.  That is because it makes audiences want to know what is going on in his mind.  That mystery in itself makes for so much interest in his performance.

The audience’s reaction to this overall performance will engage and entertain home viewers just as much as the band’s performance.  Some of those in attendance at the concert were decked out in Rolling Stones apparel – The Rolling Stones headlined the Knebworth show, but most critics agree Lynyrd Skynyrd even outperformed them, which speaks volumes — dancing just as energetically in time with the music.  It clearly shows the band’s popularity at that early point in its life.  Even in the more contemplative opening minutes of ‘Freebird’ audiences remained just as engaged, the camera at times showing the almost intense focus and attention from the audience as the band performed.  At yet other points, the cameras capture a Confederate flag waving in the air as the band performed.  This was not a flag that the band had in the crowd, either.  It was brought by the audience.  As a reminder, this was a show in England.  It made the moment one of the weirdest moments in live music history, even as simple as it was.  Yet at the same time, it shows the reach of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s appeal at that point in time. Between the interest that it creates and that generated through the rest of the audience reaction and through the band’s performance, the whole of that interaction makes clear why the actual recording featured in this package proves so important and enjoyable.  When the appeal generated through the interaction between the band and audience is considered along with the recording’s equally rich set list, those elements make this recording a presentation that will appeal to any Lynyrd Synyrd fan.  That is even with the one negative concerning the documentary’s limited availability in mind.

Eagle Rock Entertainment and UMe’s forthcoming presentation of Lynyrd Skynyrd: Live at Knebworth ’76 is a presentation that audiences will agree is a mostly successful presentation, especially being such a rare presentation.  The recording’s success comes in part from its set list.  The show’s set list is a presentation in itself that was at the time of the concert, career-defining.  It pulled from all of the band’s studio recordings at the time and from its debut live recording.  That live recording and this latest are technically the only two fully official live recordings featuring the band’s original lineup.  Two “official bootlegs” were released in 2009 by Geffen Records, but are again, “bootlegs,” so considering this along with the career-defining set list in this recording, the set list gains even more importance.  While the set list is undeniably important to the recording’s presentation, the limitation on the availability of the companion authorized documentary detracts from the recording’s appeal to a point.  Luckily its negative impact is not enough to make the recording a failure, though it cannot be ignored, regardless. Moving on from there, the band’s performance and the audience’s reaction to that performance pairs with the set list to make the recording all the more enjoyable.  That performance leaves no doubt about critics’ statements that the band outplayed The Rolling Stones, who were stars in their own right at that point.  All things considered here, Lynyrd Skynyrd: Live at Knebworth ’76 proves itself a presentation that is for the most part, a successful new offering from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eagle Rock Entertainment, and UMe.

Pre-orders for Live at Knebworth ’76 are open. A trailer for the concert is streaming here.

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available at:

Websitehttps://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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

Saxon Takes On A Classic From The Beatles For Its Latest Single

Courtesy: Silver Linings Music

Saxon is giving audiences yet another preview of its forthcoming covers compilation.

The band debuted its take on The Beatles’ ‘Paperback Writer’ Friday, along with the cover’s companion lyric video. The cover is the third single from Saxon’s forthcoming covers compilation, Inspirations, which is scheduled for release March 19 through Silver Linings Music. The collection also features covers of Deep Purple’s ‘Speed King‘ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint it Black.’

Saxon front man Biff Byford noted during a recent interview, his appreciation for The Beatles is far-reaching.

“I saw The Beatles on TV for the first time in 1963,” he said. “It was a very inspirational moment for me to think maybe I could be in a band!”

Saxon’s take on ‘Paperback Writer’ stays true to its source material, but amps it up considerably. The song takes on more of an arena rock type work here versus the more pop rock approach taken in The Beatles’ original.

The track listing for Inspirations is noted below.  Pre-orders are open.

Track Listing:

  1. Paint It Black
  2. Immigrant Song
  3. Paperback Writer
  4. Evil Woman
  5. Stone Free
  6. Bomber
  7. Speed King
  8. The Rocker
  9. Hold The Line
  10. Problem Child
  11. See My Friends

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

Websitehttps://www.saxon747.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/saxon

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/SaxonOfficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

Saxon Announces Title, Release Date, Specs For New Covers Collection

Courtesy: Silver Linings Music

Saxon will open the new year with a new covers record.

The band is scheduled to release its new collection, aptly titled Inspirations, March 19 through Silver Linings Music. The 11-song record features covers of songs from bands, such as The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, and Thin Lizzy. Audiences can hear the band’s cover of The Rolling Stones’ famed song ‘Painted Black,’ which is featured in the compilation, here.

Front man Biff Byford, who released his own solo record School of Hard Knocks this year, talked about the band’s new compilation during a recent interview.

“We wanted to do an album based on our influences, the songs and bands that inspired us to write what we did and still do, and it was also interesting to see what my voice could do as I haven’t sung many of these songs before,” said Byford.  “We didn’t want to change any of the songs too much, just play them more like Saxon.  And we also think it’s very important to have – and share with the fans – some fun in these dark times.”

Alongside the noted covers, Saxon’s forthcoming compilation also features covers of songs from other acts, such as Motorhead, Toto, and Led Zeppelin. The collection was recorded at Brockfield Hall near York, in the United Kingdom. the structure was constructed in 1804 and houses the largest collection of paintings from Yorkshire’s impressionist artists — The Staiths.

Byford talked about recording in the facility during his noted interview.

“The warmth and feel of Inspirations had so much to do with being together in this magnificent place and doing it ‘old-school’ style,” said Byford. “This is how many bands back in the day -including some of the ones covered here- made such great albums, so it just felt really good to be able to do this somewhere like Brockfield Hall.”

Inspirations‘ track listing is noted below. The album will release on CD, vinyl, and digital outlets. Pre-orders are open.

Track Listing:

  1. Paint It Black
  2. Immigrant Song
  3. Paperback Writer
  4. Evil Woman
  5. Stone Free
  6. Bomber
  7. Speed King
  8. The Rocker
  9. Hold The Line
  10. Problem Child
  11. See My Friends

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

Websitehttp://www.saxon747.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/saxon

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/SaxonOfficial

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.