AOR and Melodic Rock News on 03/05/2014

ALIEN LAND ON SWEDISH CHART:
Reformed Swedish AOR legends Alien have entered #75 at the official national Swedish sales charts and #4 at the Swedish metal charts with their critically acclaimed comeback album “Eternity” which was released on AOR Heaven on April 25. Well done guys!
The album also gets fave rave reviews – here are some quotes:
“A melodic rock masterpiece!” (Rock Hard, Germany) 
“”Eternity” ist ein bдrenstarkes Melodic-Rock-Album mit enorm hohem Wiedererkennungswert geworden und bringt die Herren wieder dorthin, wo sie vor einem Vierteljahrhundert schon einmal waren: nach ganz oben!“ (powermetal.de, Germany, 9/10 points)
“It deserves to be placed between Signal’s 1989 Loud And Clear and Survivor’s 1984 Vital Signs in the record collection of every self-respecting AOR fan.” (Hardrockhaven.net, USA) 
“Released on the aptly titled AOR Heaven label, “Eternity” attests to the love and passion that never fades over time or distance like it sez in the Survivor like ‘Burning Heart’ – Alien are truly back and with a number one album!” (Battle Helm)
ViriAOR (Spain, 10/10 points); Metal4all.net (Spain, 9,5/10 points); Nu Rocks (Spain, 5/5 points); Rock Angels (Spain, 5/5 points); Metal-integral.com (France, 8,5/10 points); Rockmeeting.com (France, 5/5 points); Metal-temple.com (Greece, 9/10 points); Melodicrock.it (Italy, 9,5/10 points); Planet AOR (Sweden, 9,5/10 points); Metal Underground (Austria, 5/5 points)…and many more!
WebLinks: www.facebook.com/alientheband / www.facebook.com/aorheaven.

EAGLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT READIES PETER GABRIEL BACK TO FRONT – LIVE IN LONDON:
New York, NY (May 1, 2014)—Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to announce the release of Back to Front – Live in London from Peter Gabriel on June 24, 2014. Simultaneously available on DVD, Blu-ray and DVD / Blu-ray Deluxe Editions, this release captures the complete live performance of the So album from start to finish.
Back To Front includes the classics: “Sledgehammer,” “Solsbury Hill,” “Don’t Give Up,” “Shock The Monkey,” “Big Time,” “Digging In The Dirt,” “Mercy Street,” “No Self Control,” “In Your Eyes,” “Biko,” and many more. The stunning DVD / Blu-ray Deluxe Editions offer a 60-page hardback photobook which includes a second disc containing the theatrical version of Back To Front, featuring additional interviews and montage versions of “Solsbury Hill” and “Sledgehammer” utilizing footage from live shows across the years. The Deluxe Editions also contain a double CD of the complete Back To Front show.

This spectacular live concert, filmed at London’s O2 using the latest Ultra High Definition 4K technology, captures Peter Gabriel’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of his landmark album So. To mark the event Gabriel reunited his original So touring band from 1986/87 and for the very first time fans saw them play the multi-platinum selling album in its entirety. As a bonus, Back To Front includes ‘The Visual Approach’, a fascinating feature on the creation of the live show, the track “This Is The Picture” as filmed by fans on the night, and a montage version of “In Your Eyes”.
While the core of the performance is the So album, there is so much more to the concert with unfinished, previously unreleased and re-imagined songs sitting effortlessly alongside classic hits reflecting what a multi-dimensional artist Peter Gabriel is. With innovative lighting and staging, Back To Front – Live In London offers a visual and narrative feast that puts the viewer inside a concert like never before.

Track Listing: 1) Daddy Long Legs 2) Come Talk To Me 3) Shock The Monkey 4) Family Snapshot 5) Digging In The Dirt 6) Secret World 7) The Family And The Fishing Net 8) No Self Control 9) Solsbury Hill 10) Show Yourself 11) Red Rain 12) Sledgehammer 13) Don’t Give Up 14) That Voice Again 15) Mercy Street 16) Big Time 17) We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37) 18) This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds) 19) In Your Eyes 20) The Tower That Ate People 21) Biko.

DIRTY DIAMONDS TO RELEASE LET’S GET LOUD THROUGH VANITY MUSIC GROUP IN THE UK:
(1 May 2014 – Limerick, Ireland) The Irish mob known as Dirty Diamonds will release their debut full length effort, Let’s Get Loud in the UK via Vanity Music Group on 5 May 2014. A heart pounding twelve song affair of melodic hard rock fury meant to take your head off, the album is the band’s follow-up to their ‘Leaving Town’ Ep in 2013.
Let’s Get Loud encompasses everything Dirty Diamonds love about rock and metal music. “We decided from the get go that it should be something that is reflective of all our influences,” states Jonathan. Songs such as “Want You to Want Me” and “Wakin’ Up the Neighbourhood” are reminiscent of Def Leppard and then you have tracks like “Crash & Burn” and “Against the Grain” which stray much further into the heavier territories of Pantera and Megadeth and “Paradise & Tropicana” features Foo Fighters and Journey as influences. “It wasn’t that we were trying to please everybody it was more like there is so much more to Rock n Roll as a genre than just pedal to the metal straight ahead rock all the time and we are big fans of the genre.”

The band is accompanying the release with the following dates:
2 May – Dumfries – The Venue
3 May – Dumfermine – Monty’s Bar
4 May – Glasgow – 13th Note Cafe
5 May – Edinburgh – Bannermans
6 May – Sunderland – The Corner Flag
7 May – Newcastle – Dog & Parrot
8 May – Manchester – Grand Central
10 May – Nottingham – The Salutation Inn
WebLinks: www.dirtydiamonds.ie / www.facebook.com/dirtydiamondsrock.

BASSIST ERIK SCOTT TO RELEASE SECOND WORLD MUSIC ALBUM ‘AND THE EARTH BLEEDS’:
“A rocking bassist takes trips down unconventional musical roads, with apparently no rules or signposts. Medieval gypsy violin, Celtic melodies, steel guitars….. surprises.”

San Francisco, CA – Much to the excitement of music aficionados worldwide, bassist/composer Erik Scott will be releasing his sophomore CD ‘And The Earth Bleeds’ on May 8, 2014. Best known for his work with Alice Cooper, Sonia Dada, and Flo & Eddie, Erik’s newest release takes the listener on an aural voyage through ethereal and otherworldly musical landscapes. ‘And The Earth Bleeds’ adds some vocals, gypsy violins, Celtic melodies, a dash of steel guitar, a wisp of French horns and other surprises to the soulful and mystic brew of his first ‘solo’ album, ‘Other Planets’. And Erik continues to stretch convention with his melodic playing and bass-generated SFX.

Says Erik, “There are people who carefully plan out the direction of their music…smart. Then there’s me. I pretty much have no idea at the start. I get in the music room and start messing around on something; bass guitar, chord changes on the keyboard, or a beat on the beat programmer. If I like something, it just starts to build. The lyrics on the five songs with lyrics on this CD…well, they happened later, when it seemed that the music alone wasn’t saying all that I wanted.”ќ
Among the eclectic mix, there is a definite Scottish influence in the music – especially on the tracks “Free”, “The Battle For Neverland”ќ and “Run”. Erik explains, “I went to the Scottish Highlands and Edinburgh last August 2013. I had completely written and recorded ‘Free’ as an instrumental, when I was reminded of the price some people have paid for their freedom, in this case William Wallace of Scotland. It seemed that I needed to say a few words…not a lot…just a few. After returning from the Highlands, I found the trip had helped me complete the Scottish inspired pieces. The melody, originally played on bass, took on such a haunting beauty when played on the veille (medieval violin) by Shira Kammen, that I decided it was the music to which I should write the lyrics that became ‘Free’.”ќ

“Free”ќ is inspired by, and dedicated to William Wallace. “The Battle For Neverland”ќ is inspired by J.M. Barrie, the Scottish creator of ‘Peter Pan’, and “Run”ќ is decidedly influenced by traditional Celtic melodies. Also the bridge to “Battle”ќ is inspired by a traditional Scottish melody “The Haughs of Cromdale”ќ. Watch the promotional video for “Free”ќ: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mjAUnayIb8.
Erik Scott’s first real break in the music business came in mid-1974 when he was hired to play bass for former Turtles/Frank Zappa’s Mothers members Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan). Erik recalls, “We toured and recorded constantly for about three years, making the ‘Illegal, Immoral and Fattening’ and ‘Moving Targets’ records. Flo and Eddie shows were known for alot of great hit songs from their career as ‘The Turtles’, cool stuff from the Flo & Eddie albums, some stuff from the Zappa years, and their usually profane and hysterical tirades about the excesses of pop stars and the music business in general. That’s how I first met Alice, onstage with Keith Moon at the Troubadour in LA singing ‘Happy Together’ (Turtles Hit) and ‘Wooly Bully’. We went out in ’75 with Jefferson Starship, whose ‘Red Octopus’ album went to #1 five different times, and in ’76 we were out with the Doobie Brothers, whose ‘Takin’ It to The Streets’ was also #1. In between we did a tour with Steven Stills, and gigs with Fleetwood Mac, among others. These tours, and the albums with Flo & Eddie, still stick in my memory.”ќ

In 1980, Erik began working with the legendary Alice Cooper after a short stint with drummer Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Erik Scott, first hired as bass player on the ‘Flush The Fashion’ tour, later became a co-writer on ‘Special Forces’ and co-producer as well on ‘Zipper Catches Skin’, touring extensively behind the ‘Special Forces’ album.
After Alice, Erik spent some years as a session player in LA, with artists as diverse as Kim Carnes, Peter McIan, Franne Golde, Tonio K, and others. He also found time to co-write and play on the title song from Pops Staples’ ‘Father Father’ album, which won the Grammy as Best Contemporary Blues album in 1994. He also played on the title song from Mavis Staples’ album ‘Have A Little Faith”, which was recognized by the WC Foundation in the Gospel-Blues category for the year 2004.

In 1989, Erik formed the rock band Signal and released the album ‘Loud and Clear’ on EMI Records. The album was largely lost in a regime change at EMI USA, but gathered acclaim as an AOR melodic rock hit internationally…a bbit of a classic actually. Three commemorative packages were released overseas: Japan, France (Axe-Killer Records), and South Korea. ‘Loud and Clear’ made many 1989 year end Top Ten and Top Twenty charts for AOR and melodic rock.
In the early 90’s Scott became an original member of the band Sonia Dada. The group featured eight members: three African-American soul singers and five European-American players with backgrounds ranging from rock, folk, jam, psychedelic, jazz and R&B, all of which brewed up quite a genre-busting stew. Erik spent 15 years, and recorded 6 albums with the ensemble, “where a diversity and collision of styles awakened all kinds of possibilities in me, probably helping to inspire the unconventionality of my solo work”ќ.
Although Erik is originally known for his work in the rock field, he has recently pursued a path in ‘world’ music. In 2009, he released the critically acclaimed solo album ‘Other Planets’. John Diliberto, producer/host of the radio show ‘Echoes’, is quoted: “To say that his solo debut ‘Other Planets’ is a bass guitar album is to miss what a powerful, cinematic release he’s created. It’s an album that is more Pink Floyd than Jaco Pastorius.”ќ

And now, Erik has taken his enchanting and mystical music a step further with the release of ‘And The Earth Bleeds’. He explains, “Again, no plan… I premeditated nothing. The melodic nature of it, any chilled out nature of much of it, came mostly from the fact that the music was birthed in my studio with just me. Rock music generally happens when you have more than one person…a gang…a rock gang. These solo projects come more from a melodic and chilled-out rhythmic place, and a desire to experiment with the potential of the electric bass as a major melodic voice, in combination with violin, steel guitar, and other less-expected partners.”ќ
In closing Erik has this to impart to his fans and listeners, “I guess I hope that listeners appreciate the soulfulness, nuanced performances, and spacey honesty that probably leaks all over the stuff.”ќ
For more information: erikscottbass.com.
To purchase Erik Scott’s And The World Bleeds CD: www.cdbaby.com/cd/erikscott3.

STRANGE KARMA TO STREAM LIVE PERFORMANCE IN CONJUNCTION WITH NEW SINGLE:
With their latest killer single, “Devil from the Moon,” just issued via iTunes on Tuesday, April 22nd (on Flexitone Records), Strange Karma will be celebrating its release by streaming a live performance (of the album in its entirety) on the internet. On Sunday, May 4th at Top End Studios in Sydney, Australia, the group (which is led by the brother duo of Martin and Paul Strange, who supply vocals and guitar, respectively) will be performing at the USA Times of 12:30 AM Pacific/3:30 AM Eastern and the Australia Time of 5:30 PM. Click here to stream it live on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFrRjrAihNI.
Fans can also give a listen to “Devil from the Moon” and purchase it for $.99 via iTunes, via this link: itunes.apple.com/album/devil-from-the-moon-single/id853946945.

“Devil from the Moon” also serves as a prelude to the group’s upcoming, yet-to-be-titled album, which was produced and engineered by Grammy nominated David Ivory“Working on the new album with David was an unforgettable experience,” the brothers recall. “He instinctively recognized what was necessary to manifest the essence of Strange Karma and mould it into something that appeals to a worldwide audience. During our collaboration, David connected with us both on a musical and personal level. His intrinsic ability as a producer to bring out the best in us as musicians has led to the creation of an authentic live performance experience and an honest representation of the Strange Karma sound.”

Judging from “Devil from the Moon,” Strange Karma’s upcoming sophomore disc will expand on the promise of their debut effort. And soon, fans will be able to experience the band on a nearby computer screen, when they perform live from Sydney.
For More Info, Visit: www.strangekarma.net / www.facebook.com/pages/Strange-Karma/157783670932214.

MRX UPDATED:
It’s Aussie rock week with MRX – 3 killer live recordings to check out:
– Rose Tattoo – Live Reading Festival 1981
– Dragon – Live One (1985)
– AC/DC – Austin1985
Join MRX now.

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Upcoming From AOR Heaven In April (New Releases: Alien and Sunstrike) (Videos)

AOR Heaven’s upcoming April 25 releases have been announced. They are Sunstrike and Alien. Read on –

Alien, one of Sweden’s finest Melodic Rock band have released genre classics such as “Alien” (1988/89) and “Shiftin’ Gear” (1990) including chart and platinum hits like “Only One Woman”, “Tears Don’t Put Out The Fire” and “Brave New Love”. The original line-up was split up in 1989 and when reunited in 2010 a handful of festivals were booked to coincide with the return including performances at Sweden Rock Festival, Getaway Rock and Firefest a.o. The release of the brand new single “Ready To Fly” (Manora Rec) went down great with the fans and especially the response from the crowd at the Firefest. 2011 made the band really consider making this new album.
In 2013, the No Remorse/EMI CD re-issue (ltd 1000 copies) of the debut album “Alien” (s/t Scandinavian) reached no.1 in the Import Album Chart in Japan and was quickly sold out. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the debut EMI Music Sweden re-mastered and released the back catalogue digitally including some previously unreleased demos as bonus. To top it off the “Alien – 25th Anniversary” 2CD deluxe limited edition was put out and soon sold out as well. The re-release of the “Shiftin’ Gear” CD (AOR Heaven) including four bonus tracks shed some light on the fact that the original line-up wrote and pre-produced a sophomore album, before disbanding in late 1989. Recordings of the new album started Aug 1st at Bohus Sound and continued throughout 2013, taking a break only to perform at the Firefest 10th Anniversary show.
Alien decided to add a song, “I’m a fighter”, written back in the 80’s by their L.A. co-writers Pam Barlow and Janet Morrison Minto, as an homage to their co-work on the debut album. The regained contact with Pam and Janet led to them writing lyrics for this album as well.
WebLinks: alientheband.com / facebook.com/alientheband.

Line-up: Jim Jidhed – vocals, Tony Borg – guitars, Jimmy Wandroph – keyboards, Ken Sandin – bass, Toby Tarrach – drums.
Track list: In Love We Trust; Unbroken; Love Will Lead Me Home; I Believe; Summer Of Love; What Goes Up; I’m A Fighter; Wildheart; Liar, Liar; Look At Us Know; Burning Heart; In Truth.

Sound clips in advance: In Love We Trust / Unbroken / What Goes Up.

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SunStrike: A glare in the road that can temporarily blind drivers. But SunStrike will blind you with catchy melodies and big choruses! The band was formed by guitarist Joachim Nordlund and the drummer Johan Lindstedt together with singer Christian Hedgren (Twilight Force, The Theander Expression) by the fall of 2012. You also find Joachim and Johan in the Swedish metal act Astral Doors. Right from the start the three guys had a very clear image in how the music should sound like: pure melodic hard rock was on the agenda! When only a handful of songs were written they felt that the songs needed the touch of a real keyboard player. Up until then Joachim had done the keyboard parts on one or two songs. Christian knew a guy that would be perfect for the job, and after a cup of coffee and a handshake Fredrik Plahn (Prey) joined the force. They all felt that this is far too good to be just a project and after a couple of weeks a second guitar player, Mats Gesar (Thalamus) and bass player Bjцrn Lundqvist (Twilight Force) joined the band that now got the name SunStrike.
Two demo songs were posted on the band’s facebook page in the summer of 2013, and immediately the word was out about this new melodic rock outfit from Sweden. Radio stations started to play those songs and a couple of record companies showed their interest in the band. The song-writing/recording continued through 2013 in Joachim’s Big Turn Studio until they had 12 songs that were strong enough for the album ”Rock your World”. For the mixing and mastering process SunStrike chose Erik Mеrtensson (Eclipse, W.E.T). Cover art and the booklet design was done by no one else but Carl-Andrй Beckston (Monowasp).
WebLink: www.facebook.com/sunstrikeband

Track list: 1. Power of the Dreams, 2. Rock Your World, 3. Fireball, 4. Right Track, 5. Roll The Dice, 6. Rock It Out, 7. Never Let You Go, 8. Higher, 9. Scream And Shout, 10. Into The Light, 11. Edge Of Life, 12. Heat Of The Night.
Line-up: Christian Hedgren – Lead and background vocals, Joachim Nordlund – Guitars and background vocals, Johan Lindstedt – Drums and background vocals.

Sound clips in advance: Power Of The Dreams / Rock Your World / Roll The Dice.

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