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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New From Rock Candy Records

The six new Rock Candy titles are all available now from www.rockcandyrecords.com for a discounted price including postage to anywhere in the world for the next two weeks ending on April 7.

Toto ‘S/T’ CANDY 221 / The release of the debut Toto album signalled a significant tipping point in the development of rock. Similar sounding acts such as Foreigner, Journey and Steely Dan had sowed the seeds of melodic AOR but none at that point had truly crafted the definitive role model. Toto took basic elements and turned them into pure gold by crafting a sound that was precise, cultivated and pretty much flawless, blending memorable songs with state of the art production and melodies that would propel their songs onto the airwaves from Los Angeles to London and all points in between. Formed by the cream of the LA session circuit, the band’s credential were further enhanced by keyboard player and composer David Paich, a man who had carved a successful song writing reputation with artists such as Boz Scaggs. Joining him was guitar prodigy Steve Lukather, lead vocalist Bobby Kimball, bassist David Hungate, and two brothers in keyboardist Steve and drummer Jeff Porcaro; all men with their eyes on the prize and talent to burn. Originally issued in 1978, the album produced two massive worldwide hit singles, ‘Hold The Line’ and ‘I’ll Supply The Love’, securing them a top ten album in the Billboard Charts and double Platinum certification. Elsewhere the tracks range from the soulful pop of ‘Georgy Porgy’ to the raging, almost malevolent, hard rock of ‘Girl Goodbye’.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, 1 bonus track, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos.
Track Listing: 1 Child’s Anthem 2 I’ll Supply The Love 3 Georgy Porgy 4 Manuela Run 5 You Are The Flower 6 Girl Goodbye 7 Takin’ It Back 8 Rockmaker 9 Hold The Line 10 Angela Bonus Track: 11 Georgy Porgy (Extended remix)

Toto ‘Hydra’ CANDY 222 / It’s fair to say that Toto’s debut album was one of the surprise events of 1978. It was rammed to the rafters with methodically crafted tracks, and produced two bonafide hit singles; ‘I’ll Supply The Love’ and ‘Hold The Line’. It was these two songs that reshaped the sound of melodic rock, giving rise to the style that forever onwards became known as AOR. Certified double platinum, the future for Toto looked assured or so they thought… When they returned with their second album ‘Hydra’, originally released in 1979, their fans and critics were confronted with a work that although immediately recognisable, was considerably more advanced and complex. Instead of serving up another dish of stylistic pop rock, they reached deep inside and committed to elaborate compositions and intricate arrangements. In many respects the approach could be traced directly back to the band’s progressive rock leanings; something that their musical ability and dexterity had always hinted at. Actually ‘Hydra’ is arguably Toto’s finest hour. It is a record that combines all the positive aspects of a band that not only wrote great songs but also presented them in a format that wasn’t clichйd or pedestrian. The title track, for instance, is a seven minutes plus anthem that has become a career cornerstone, whilst shorter, sharper tracks such as ‘White Sister’ and ‘All Us Boys’ reinforced the AOR backbone in spectacular form.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos.
Track Listing: 1. Hydra 2. St. George And The Dragon 3. 99 4. Lorraine 5. All Us Boys 6. Mama 7. White Sister 8. A Secret Love.

Toto ‘Turn Back’ CANDY 223 / You could say that ‘Turn Back’ is the lost Toto album. Whilst their debut record achieved double platinum sales figures, producing two global hit singles, and it’s follow up ‘Hydra’, was eventually acknowledged as a neo progressive rock triumph, ‘Turn Back’ flew beneath the radar and barely caused a blip on the charts before disappearing from sight. The fact that their follow up album ‘Toto IV’ has won an unprecedented seven Grammys and contained three top 10 hit singles only seems to emphasise the point. But although it is the least well known early era Toto album, to die-hard fans of the band it is regarded as one of their creative highpoints. Originally issued in 1981, it found the band taking a far more aggressive approach, dialling down the keyboards and upping the guitar quota by a considerable margin. This was, for all intents and purposes, an arena rock album designed to stave off their detractors and emphasise that they could hold their own against meatier acts such as Foreigner and Boston. Once again, much of the material was written or co-written by David Paich but the songs are tougher and far more dynamic than their previous work. Much of this was due to the enlistment of renowned British co-producer Geoff Workman who provided a raw, heavy sound. Highlights include ‘Goodbye Elenore’, ‘A Million Miles Away’ and the brilliantly arranged ‘English Eyes’, a candidate for their greatest ever track.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Produced by Geoff Workman,16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos.
Track Listing: 1. Gift With A Golden Gun 2. English Eyes 3. Live For Today 4. A Million Miles Away 5. Goodbye Elenore 6. I Think I Could Stand You Forever 7. Turn Back 8. If It’s The Last Night.

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Fiona ‘S/T’ CANDY235 / During the 1980s women in rock were, in many respects, unfairly treated; often cast aside as little more than irrelevant eye candy whilst their male counterparts were lauded as golden gods. This was the environment that New Jersey born chanteuse Fiona found herself battling against when launching her career. Fortunately her voice and tenacity forced naysayers to admit that she was a major new talent in the making, one that would ultimately record a brace of albums and establish herself as in internationally known figure. Fiona’s path to a career in music started early, singing in night clubs all the time looking for that elusive break. It wasn’t until she hooked up with producer Eddie Offord and members of progressive rock band Dixie Dreggs that she got her first break recording a set of demos that won her a contract with Atlantic Records. This, her debut album, originally released in 1985, was produced by former Good Rats leader Peppi Castro and features a number of prominent East Coast backing musicians including Lou Gramm guitarist Bobby Messano. Containing a blistering selection of quality tracks, Fiona’s strong and confident vocals ram home the message that she was one of the few female vocalists ready to take on the competition at their own game. Check out tracks such as ‘Love Makes You Blind’ and ‘Talk To me’ for clear cut proof.”
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology,16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos.
Track Listing: 1. Hang Your Heart On Me 2. Talk To Me 3. You’re No Angel 4. Rescue You 5. James 6. Love Makes You Blind 7. Over Now 8. Na Na Song.

Fiona ‘Beyond The Pale’ CANDY236 / Fiona’s self-titled debut album certainly introduced a sensational new talent to the world of femme fronted rock. Her striking looks and gilded vocals made for a fascinating combination, giving her an edge comparable to the anthemic styles of Pat Benatar, Patty Smyth and Heart. The debut album made a sure footed impact, nicely setting up her next long playing foray. For ‘Beyond The Pale’, Atlantic Records teamed her up with fast rising production talent Beau Hill, a man who made waves producing a variety of Platinum selling hard rock acts, including Ratt and Winger. It was Beau who recruited a top selection of prominent musicians including Nile Rodgers, Kip Winger and Reb Beach, as well as sourcing a number of key songwriters, including material from the pens of Billy Steinberg, Bob Halligan and Peter Wolf. This time around, the material was rockier and far more contemporary, without losing any of her roughhewn charm or bonhomie. Originally issued in 1986, the record successfully combined clean cut hi-tech production chops with sizeable blasts of anthemic rock, allowing her distinctive vocals to punch home the choruses like a hot knife through butter. Check out songs such as ‘Tragedy’, ‘Thunder & Lightning’ and the up tempo ‘You Better Wait’, for irrefutable proof.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, contains 2 Bonus tracks, Produced by Beau Hill,16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos.
Track Listing: 1. Tragedy 2. Hopelessly Love You 3. Living In A Boy’s World 4. Thunder & Lightning 5. Tender Is The Heart 6. Running Out Of Night 7. In My Blood 8. He’s On My Side 9. You Better Wait 10. Keeper Of The Flame Bonus Tracks: 11. Hopelessly Love You (Vocal Remix) 12. Hopelessly Love You (Dub version).

Fiona ‘Heart Like A Gun’ CANDY237 / You can take the Girl out of the East Coast but you can’t take the East Coast out of the girl. For Fiona’s third album the diminutive singer was transported lock and stock and barrel to Los Angeles in an effort to give her a creative makeover. It was a move that shaped her label’s (Atlantic Records) deep rooted belief in her potential, after recording two albums of top drawer melodic rock that indicated she was on the verge of a major breakthrough. ‘Heart Like A Gun’, originally issued in 1989, was primarily produced by studio wizard Keith Olsen, a man who’d notched up several platinum plus selling albums from a string of artists, including Fleetwood Mac, Whitesnake and Journey. The belief was that Olsen’s magic touch would help craft an album that would catapult her into the spotlight. With help from a number of name players, including noted guitarists Brad Gillis, Mike Slamer, Tim Pierce and Dweezil Zappa, together with key song writing co-writes by Mark Mangold, Aldo Nova and Van Stephenson. Originally issued in 1989, the album exudes class and quality, a tremendous example of rugged yet melodic hard rock, with a polished and accessible sheen. Look out for the album standout, an anthemic duet with hard rock heart throb Kip Winger, ‘Everything You Do (You’re Sexing Me)’, one the most impressive tracks of the entire era.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Produced by Keith Olsen,16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos.
Track Listing: 1. Little Jeannie (Got The Look Of Love) 2. Everything You Do (You’re Sexing Me) (Duet With Kip Winger) 3. Where The Cowboys Go 4. Mariel 5. Draw The Line 6. Here It Comes Again 7. Bringing In The Beast 8. Victoria Cross 9. Look At Me Now 10. When Pink Turns To Blue.

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