Roadrunner Records sign Rush
Roadrunner Records are pleased to announce a new worldwide partnership with Anthem Records and rock trio Rush. The band will remain on Anthem/Universal Music in Canada only.
“We have tremendous respect for Roadrunner Records and what Cees Wessels and Jonas Nachsin have built on a worldwide level. After years of Roadrunner pursuing the band, Tom Lipsky presented a deal that worked and the timing was right. We wanted to be at a label focused on the rock genre – and that’s Roadrunner,” said Ray Danniels, manager of Rush.
“In another life I worked with Rush and their great management team more than 30 years ago and to have Rush finally on the Roadrunner label is a dream come true. I am grateful for Ray Danniels’ confidence in this new partnership,” said Cees Wessels, Roadrunner Records Chairman.
“Rush has a tradition of excellence and independence, both in the studio and on the live stage, and they remain as prolific today as at any point in their career. We are excited to be their label partners,” said Tom Lipsky, who brokered the significant deal for Roadrunner.
The first release from Rush through this deal will be various live configurations, recorded during their highly successful Time Machine Tour that wrapped earlier this summer. Details of the release will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Primal Fear - Unbreakable
Ralf Scheepers of German power metallers Primal Fear has finished laying down vocals for the band’s forthcoming studio album, “Unbreakable”, which is scheduled for a January 2012 release on Frontiers Records. He states: "I know that every musician will always praise his new work as his best so far, but what the whole team have created here is simply outstanding! I am sure you guys will love what you hear."
“Unbreakable” is being recorded at House Of Music Studios in Winterbach, Germany. The CD, which is being produced by Mat Sinner and engineered by Achim Köhler (Edguy, Masterplan), will feature the following songs: Blaze Of Glory, Marching Again, And There Was Silence, Night Of The Jumps, Give 'Em Hell, Born Again, Where Angels Die, Bad Guys Wear Black, Strike, Metal Nation, Conviction, Raise Some Hell.
Regarding the musical direction of the new PF album, Scheepers recently stated in an interview: “You can really expect an album which is somehow skipping back again to the very basics of Primal Fear, with very rough metal riffs and screaming vocals and good melodies on it. So people can really expect a pure PF album with melody and beating drums and very harsh guitars. Of course, every musician will somehow advertise his own album, but I’m really convinced that people will like this one, because it’s got very catchy hooklines and it’s a really bang-your-head metal album.”
Heartland’s debut album finally re-issued
Heartland originally were the brainchild of singer Chris Ousey (ex-Virginia Wolf) and guitarist Gary Sharpe (ex-Monrie). Released in 1991 on A&M Records, Heartland’s self-titled debut album is regarded as one of the finest releases in British melodic rock history. Produced by Jimbo Barton (Gary Moore, Queensrÿche), “Heartland” includes the classics “Carrie Ann”, “Fight Fire With Fire” and “Walking On Ice”. “Fight Fire With Fire” was released as a single the same year. To promote the record, the UK rockers went on the road together with Mr. Big. Heartland are still active today, with a different line-up, but still centered around singer Chris Ousey. So far the band has released 10 studio albums and one ‘best of’ compilation – via Escape Music.
Due to legal reasons, the ‘best of’ album did not include any tracks from this first record. Therefore the German label YesterRock is even more proud to announce the reissue of the first Heartland album, which has been a long time out of print and became a rare and expensive collector’s item. In co-operation with Universal Music Germany, YesterRock is now (Sept. 9) re-releasing this sought-after album. All songs have been lavishly remastered.
Fergie Frederiksen – Happiness Is the Road
Frontiers Records are particularly pleased to announce the release of Fergie Frederiksen’s new album “Happiness Is the Road” for a release on October 14 in Europe and October 18 in North America.
Mostly known for being the former vocalist of Toto (in the “Isolation” era), Fergie has been involved in a lot of other outstanding musical projects too. Trillion, Le Roux, Frederiksen/Phillips, Mecca, Frederiksen/Denander and David London (solo album, under pseudonym) are simply a few worthy of mention. In 1999 he debuted as a solo artist with “Equilibrium”, an album which garnered great reviews in Europe and Japan. In short Frederiksen is certainly one of the most esteemed singers in the melodic rock scene and his vocal abilities have blessed some real masterpieces of this music.
In June 2010, Frederiksen announced he had been diagnosed with liver cancer. The following months were obviously very difficult for the singer who used music and the recording sessions of this album as a therapy to regain confidence in himself and his strengths. He also found the time and energy to collaborate with Jim Peterik (ex-Survivor) on the songwriting of the album’s title track, a real motivational manifesto for a positive approach to life. Fergie says: “It was hard doing the sessions. I had side effects of the drugs, after the operations and then with the pills I'm taking. I had to stop many days and just go home to bed to try and do it again the next day. It has been a huge victory for myself. When I was first diagnosed with cancer I wanted to stop recording. It didn't feel like I could do it. But my friend Alex Ligertwood said I need to finish it. He was right of course and I thank him for the tough love. I am proud that I did.”
About one year later, in the summer 2011, Fergie had two great things to share with the world: the first being the completion of the recording of the new album and the second is the positive results to the cures he was under, with the cancer now being close to be defeated. “I am feeling great right now”, tells Fergie. “I am close to cancer free. Not what all the doctors thought would happen and they are almost as excited about it as I am. I seem to be an exception to the rule. I am very glad to be because the alternative sucks big time”.
The new album musically shows a different side of Fergie. “It’s hard to compare this new album with Equilibrium”, continues Frederiksen, “That was a CD that I co-wrote most of the songs, so I guess you could say I was more connected because of that. In the same breath I must say that this CD is very important because of where my world is at right now. The title song, ‘Happiness Is The Road’, is the saying I have lived by for the past few years even before I became ill. It means a lot to me to have other people examine its meaning. If you think about it real hard, you will find joy and love in your life you have been missing. At least I hope people do. The songs a real good songs. I co-wrote only one, it is a change for me but a good one. It is what it is, a CD with good songs and hopefully good vocals. Thanks to Serafino at Frontiers for his vision.”
“Happiness is the Road” is a story of love and passion to tell and of course of so many great songs expertly produced by Dennis Ward (House Of Lords, Pink Cream 69, Place Vendome and Angra) and written by Jim Peterik (ex-Survivor), David Roberts (Bad English), Mark Baker (Signal, House Of Lords), Robert Säll (Work Of Art), Joe Vana (Mecca), Dennis Ward and more.
Fergie Frederiksen is involved in raising awareness of hepatitis C, a disease he has been struggling with himself. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States. Fergie has arranged benefit shows for the American Liver Foundation, with the cause of fighting hep C. He went through a successful treatment in 2005, which he is fighting for other patients to receive too.
Well, the future is once again bright for Fergie, so keep going on in your life as “Happiness Is The Road”.
Issa – The Storm
Frontiers Records are pleased to announce the worldwide release of the second Issa album, entitled “The Storm”, on October 14 in Europe and October 18 in North America.
Since her debut, “Sign Of Angels”, the Norwegian rock diva has often been compared to such stars as Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne and Amy Lee (Evanescence). Issa however has created her own style and approach to melodic rock, by mixing her peculiar and unique melodic sensibility with a rocking attitude which is unseen in today’s pop singers. Not metal and certainly not easy listening pop, Issa’s music has everything and more to appeal to the vast masses: real rock with a commercial sheen.
Unlike the self-titled debut album, “The Storm” has Issa taking a shot at songwriting and together with the Martin brothers (Vega, House Of Lords, Khymera, Sunstorm), she offers up tracks on the new album like “Invincible”, “We’re On Fire” and “The Storm”, the album’s title track. Issa explains: “The songs I wrote on this album show more of my personality and direction. Some of them have been written straight from my life and it’s exciting for me to finally show some of my own work for the first time. I knew Tom and James Martin through the last album on which they wrote some fantastic tunes. We’ve worked together a lot since then and these songs are very personal to me. ‘Invincible’ especially is a song that I feel very close to.”
Songwriting contributions also came from Robert Säll (Work Of Art), Randy Goodrum (Steve Lukather, Toto, Steve Perry), Daniel Palmqvist, Johannes Stole (Xorigin), Daniel Flores, Sören Kronqvist (Crash The System, Sunstorm), Chris Laney, Magnus Karlsson (Place Vendome) and more !
“’The Storm’ shows a different side of me”, continues Issa. “I’ve had the most life changing year of my life and this also reflects on the new album in many ways. It’s a more honest performance from me and I think every song captures a feeling or something we all can relate too: everything from the fun times to the deeper side of us. I think its so important to have an album that can touch more than one feeling.”
Produced by Daniel Flores, “The Storm” shows that Issa is a solid rock music star and a true uprising rock diva, who is set to alight hearts and minds of melodic rock fans for the years to come!
The first single, “Looking For Love”, can be listened in full in streaming on the Frontiers Records webradio, http://www.frontiers.it/webradio
Isis Child – Strange Days
Back from the US where he spent 12 years playing with great musicians from New York and New Jersey, Freddy Mazzucco (guitars, songwriting & production) decided to return to the French Riviera and form his own band. Together with rock vocalist Nathalie Pellissier, bass player Christophe Canto and drummer Rob Hirons he founded the classic rock band Isis Child. Their first release, “Ailleurs”, was recorded in 2008. A year later, in 2009, IC started to record their first English album, called “Strange Days”. This record was completed in 2011 and now features 12 songs with performances by Alain Rinallo, Hugo Adam and Mathias Lechartier on bass and David Zecca and Chris Droiun on drums plus Robert Geoffroy and Julien Spreutels on keyboards as well as Magali Luyten (vocal coach plus background vocals on the song “Stop Looking Down On Me”) and Alex from the band Orion (background vocals on the song “Even If”). The recording was handled by Gerald Jans at Noise Factory Studios (Belgium) and the mixing and mastering by Pelle Saether, singer from the band Grand Design and owner of the Underground Studio in Sweden. Designer Mike Lombard was in charge for the cover artwork. YesterRock will release this album on September 30.
A new Shy album in October
Shy have been a mainstay in the melodic rock scene right back to the mid-80s. But one fundamental difference separates Shy and the rest, they have stood the test of time and come shining through time and time again.
Crowned by the success of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Europe, the 80s were the golden era of AOR and for a while every record company craved its own poodle-haired, tight-trousered offspring. Shy made albums for two different major labels and for a while seemed in with a genuine shot at glory, but like all the above ended up biting the dust. Before adopting the name of Shy, their roots lay in the altogether heavier, twin-guitar metal of Trojan. However, even in 1982 they sensed the decade’s wind of change and set out to leave pub-metal behind. They received an offer to make an album for Hull-based independent Ebony Records on the day after a helium-voiced ball of energy called Tony Mills was sacked by his own ex-band. Their debut album “Once Bitten… Twice Shy” was described by Kerrang! as perhaps the greatest English pomp rock album of all time.
Already having gigged with UFO, Magnum, Twisted Sister and Pallas, the band then added high profile supports with Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf and Gary Moore. Before undertaking their all-important third album, 1987’s “Excess All Areas”, RCA relocated Shy to Los Angeles to soak up the Californian hard rock radio vibe. Such was the quality of “Excess All Areas” that just like FM’s “Tough It Out” and “Native Sons” by Strangeways, its inability to make stars of its creators now seems almost unfeasible. “In any genre, there will only ever be a couple of winners”, reflects Steve Harris. “But it’s surprising how many people talk of that album in hushed tones and don’t actually own a copy – or only bought the reissue”.
In the following years a lot of changes occurred and Shy went through many changes. A settled line-up completed by keyboard player Joe Basketts and drummer Bob Richards more recently played one of the sets of the day at the second Firefest show in Nottingham alongside the likes of House Of Lords, Danger Danger and Harem Scarem. The event’s packed attendance confirmed that AOR still has a fiercely devoted niche following in Britain, though strangely Shy claim to still be discovered by new followers.
Frontman Tony Mills has left the band for Norwegians TNT and Lee Small (Phenomena / Surveillance) has taken the mike stand. Shy have lost none of their appeal and this new CD is a burst of fresh air, they sound at their very best and this self-titled release is a crowning achievement that will set the standard for all others.
“Shy” will be released by Escape Music on October 7.
Rock It! # 65 (September-October 2011) out now!
The very best German AOR, hard rock & metal magazine
Contents (92 pages, written in German):
Interviews & Stories
Airrace | Anvil | Axel Rudi Pell | Consfearacy | Crimson Glory | Doc Holliday | Dream Theater | Duff McKagan’s Loaded | Dunkelschön | Edguy | Epysode | Human Zoo | Judas Priest | Kleveland | Love.Might.Kill | Rob Moratti | Roger Glover | Eric Sardinas | Sinner | Skull Fist | StoneLake | Tesla | Victory | Weto | John Wetton | WhoCares | Wolfpakk | XorigiN | Yes
Astral Doors | Brainstorm | D.A.D
Anvil | Black Country Communion | Deep Purple | Doc Holliday | Duff McKagan’s Loaded | Jeff Scott Soto | Judas Priest | Rock In Concert Open Air | Rock The Nation | Scorpions | Sweden Roc k 2011 | Walter Trout
CD - Hear It! Vol. 56
Free 15-track CD featuring songs from Edguy, Sinner, Yes, StoneLake, Powerwolf, Wolfpakk, Toby Hitchcock, Silver Dollar, Epysode, Airrace, Work Of Art, Love.Might.Kill, Consfearacy, Skull Fist & Sabaton
Editorial - News - Reader's Charts - Reviews (albums, books & DVDs) - Tour Dates - Tourtalk, etc.
Next issue (# 66)
October 19, 2011
Postfach 14 02 25
tel 0211-17 80 30 43
Fireworks # 47 (September/October 2011) out now!
One of the best melodic rock mags on the planet, edited by Bruce Mee and designed by James Gaden. 100 pages in full colour, written in English. Highly recommended!
Work Of Art | Toby Hitchcock | Tony MacAlpine | Bitch | Images Of Eden | Roger Glover | Outloud | Rhapsody Of Fire | Mother’s Army | Haven | Night By Night | Theory Of A Deadman | Lionville | Hollowick | Jon Anderson | Fozzy | Cinderella | House Of Lords | Sebastian Bach | Beth Hart | Eric Sardinas | Dream Theater | Mr Big UK | Chickenfoot | Don Airey | Manraze | George Lynch | Rob Moratti | Credo | Mike Tramp | Bai Bang | Torben Schmidt | Andy Brown | Adelitas Way
Free 18-track CD
Featuring songs from Toby Hitchcock, Outloud, Voodoo Highway, Bai Bang, Sahara Rain, Night By Night, Franck Carducci, Fastlane Flower, Zen Rock And Roll, Steve Thorns, Odin’s Court, Lucid Dream, Jamie Allen, Hercules, Güru, Sergeant Steel, 81 dB & The Dudes Terrific
Album Reviews – Reissues – Multimedia – Books – Firin' On All Six! (concert reviews) – The Music Is Out There (Nicky Baldrian’s column) – The Melodic Rock Labels (Festival Music) – Retrospective: Bad Company’s “Holy Water”
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AOR Heaven – October releases
The following two albums will be released by AOR Heaven on October 28.
GRAND ILLUSION - Prince Of Paupers
A year after the release of “Brand New World”, it's time for the 6th Grand Illusion studio album and this time it’s titled “Prince Of Paupers”. On this release, the Grand Illusion core trio consists of Anders Rydholm, Peter Sundell and Per Svensson who are joined by Steve Lukather (Toto), Jay Graydon (Airplay), Tim Pierce (Rick Springfield), Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth), Paul Buckmaster (Elton John & David Bowie), Muris Varajic, Kjell Klaesson and Staffan Stavert. The songs for the new album were, as usual, written and produced by Anders Rydholm and most of the lyrics were penned by Arlene Matza-Jackson.
GRAND DESIGN – Idolizer
Grand Design was formed in 2006 by vocalist/producer Pelle Saether, Peter Ledin (guitars) & Richard Holmgren (drums). During the following years the guys worked hard on capturing that big 80s sound and songs. Grand Design’s 1st album, “Time Elevation”, was completed in early 2009. During the recordings Anders Modd (bass) & Dennis Vestman (guitars) completed the line-up. The release gained massive success and was awarded ‘best album’ and ‘best song’ by BeRockRadio and received numerous top 10 positions for best album of 2009. Several concerts, including the prestigious Firefest in Nottingham, U.K., proved that Grand Design can deliver live. Pelle Saether comments: ”Since we all love Def Leppard, it will always be an influence we use to spice up things.” Now, two years later, it’s time for Grand Design’s second album, “Idolizer”. The recording process was handled similar to the first album, the line-up is intact and the sound and songs are in the same style. Pelle says: “We knew we had found a formula to make an 80s rock record work in the 21st century – so why change it?” The record contains 10 songs and everything from fast pace rock tracks to slow love ballads, all having a larger than life production, and on top, the famous Grand Design big choirs.