Monday 24 March 2014



Down ‘n’ Outz
are pleased to announce the release of a brand new album The Further Adventures Of…, which is the third instalment of the project fronted by Def Leppard’s lead singer Joe Elliott, and features tracks connected to Mott the Hoople.

  The project was born in 2009 when Mott The Hoople reformed and asked long-time friend and fan Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) to get involved. Joe formed the Down ‘n’ Outz with The Quireboys' Paul Guerin (Guitar), Guy Griffin (Guitar) and Keith Weir (keyboards), plus Phil Martin (drums). Together they looked to bring songs by Mott The Hoople and spin off projects of Mott, Ian Hunter and British Lions to a wider audience.

  In 2009 Down ‘n’ Outz supported Mott The Hoople at one of the band’s five Hammersmith Apollo shows, which garnered much interest with fans. The fan demand eventually led to the bandlooking to create an album. 2011 saw the release of the critically acclaimed debut My Re-Generation through Bludgeon Riffola via Mailboat Records (Joe Perry, Walter Becker, Chris Isaak, Jeff Bridges). My Re-Generation included the singles “England Rocks” and “Overnight Angels,” that reached No 4 and No 1 respectively on the US Media Base Rock chart -keeping Eric Clapton’s new single off the top of the chart for 2 weeks. The band then released a live DVD taken from those initial shows called “Live At Hammersmith Apollo.” The new album The Further Adventures of… picks up where the live DVD left off and features the driving groove of album opener - and first single - “Rock And Roll Queen”(pre-order the album and get "Rock And Roll Queen" instantly). The collection also includes the good time of rock-n-roll tune “One Of The Boys,” and ballad “The Journey,” plus the drum heavy song “Violence.” This LP is set to bring out a rich and much loved seam of British songwriting to a whole new audience. The album was produced by Joe Elliott with co-production by Ronan McHugh. The album was recorded at Joe Elliott’s own studio Joe’s Garage.

  Joe Elliott says, “These songs make up a huge portion of who I am and I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to record them and hopefully give them a new lease of life, which, quite frankly, is long overdue.”

  Morgan Fisher (keyboardist Mott The Hoople 1973/1974 and also Mott and British Lions) expresses, "It's like Joe and the boys have taken some vintage films and slapped them onto a big, bright Technicolor screen. A great, in-your-face new way to experience some of Mott's finest songs!"

  Ian Hunter says, “I’m blown away by these recordings. The solo by Paul Guerin on ‘The Journey’ is one of the best I’ve heard. These songs really suit Joe’s voice also. It’s a whole different side to him and the project gets my approval!”

  After supporting Mott The Hoople in 2009, Down ‘n’ Outz played the main stage of inaugural High Voltage festival at Victoria Park, London during the Summer of 2010. Following this memorable performance, they toured the UK as main support to Paul Rogers in 2011. The band is currently working on live dates for 2014/2015.

Track listing is as follows:
  1. Rock And Roll Queen
  2. Stiff Upper Lip
  3. Marionette
  4. One Of The Boys
  5. Whizz Kid
  6. Violence
  7. The Journey
  8. Drivin' Sister
  9. The Original Mixed-Up Kid
  10. Crash Street Kidds
  11. Broadside Outcasts
  12. The Revenge Of The Shipwrecked Hedgehog
  13. Sea Diver (iTunes Bonus Track)
  14. One Of The Boys –radio edit – (iTunes Bonus Track)

Alongside their fast-selling string of UK dates with Europe and FM this April that already includes sold out shows in Newcastle and Bristol, FOREIGNER today add a special "An Evening With Foreigner: Unplugged" show at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London on Saturday 12th April. A Q&A session with the band, hosted by Team Rock’s Kylie Olsson (presenter of The AOR Magazine Show), will also take place on the night with fans invited to submit questions.


·         Thursday 3rd April - Manchester O2 Apollo
·         Friday 4th April - Newcastle City Hall ***SOLD OUT***
·         Saturday 5th April - Glasgow Clyde
·         Monday 7th April - Nottingham Royal Centre
·         Tuesday 8th April - Sheffield City Hall
·         Wednesday 9th April - Portsmouth Guildhall
·         Friday 11th April - Bristol Colston Hall ***SOLD OUT***
·         Saturday 12th April - O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire (An Evening with Foreigner Unplugged)
·         Sunday 13th April - London Hammersmith Apollo
·         Tuesday 15th April - Wolverhampton Civic Hall

Tickets for Foreigner’s UK tour with EUROPE and FM are priced £38.50 regionally and £39.50 in London and are available from: 


Yes American Tour Plus New Album "Heaven and Earth Released July 8th

Prog-rock legends Yes have just announced a 35-date U.S. summer tour. For their 2014 dates, Yes will perform 1971's Fragile in its entirety as well as every track from 1972's Close To The Edge, followed by an encore of the band's greatest hits and material off their new studio album, Heaven and Earth, which is due on July 8.

Bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, keyboardist Geoff Downes and singer Jon Davison will kick off the tour in Boston on July 8. The 35-show run is currently scheduled to come to a close on August 24 at the Greek in Los Angeles. Tickets go on sale beginning Friday, March 28.

YES Tour Dates - Summer 2014:
7/8 Boston, MA Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
7/9 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
7/11 Wallingford, CT Toyota Oakdale Theatre
7/12 Westbury, NY NYCB Theatre at Westbury
7/13 Newport, RI Newport Yachting Center
7/15 Washington, DC Warner Theatre
7/16 Hampton, NH Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
7/18 Salamanca, NY Seneca Allegany Casino
7/19 Philadelphia, PA Tower Theater
7/20 Munhall, PA Carnegie Music Hall
7/22 Rochester Hills, MI Meadow Brook
7/23 Northfield, OH Hard Rock Live Northfield Park
7/25 Madison, WI Overture Hall
7/26 Chicago, IL Copernicus Center
7/28 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
7/29 Louisville, KY Louisville Palace
7/30 Atlanta, GA Symphony Hall
8/1 Hollywood, FL Seminole Hard Rock Live
8/2 St. Petersburg, FL Mahaffey Theater
8/3 Orlando, FL Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre
8/5 Houston, TX Bayou Music Center
8/6 Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
8/7 Kansas City, MO Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
8/9 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre
8/10 TBA TBA
8/12 Mesa, AZ Ikeda Theatre at Mesa Arts Center
8/13 Albuquerque, NM Legends Theater at Route 66 Casino
8/15 Las Vegas, NV The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
8/16 Anaheim, CA City National Grove of Anaheim
8/18 San Diego, CA Humphrey’s Concerts By the Bay
8/19 San Jose, CA City National Civic
8/21 Tulalip, WA Tulalip Amphitheatre
8/22 Grand Ronde, OR Spirit Mountain Casino
8/23 Lincoln, CA Thunder Valley Casino Resort
8/24 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre

Official Yes Website

Saturday 22 March 2014

Uncle G's Concert Review
Event: Sons Of Hippies at The White Swan Live (Houston Texas USA)
Date: 21 Feb 2014

I'm a little late getting this one out there. Reason being a few days after the show, one of Houston's best medical surgeons, put yours truly on bed rest. Instructed to do as little as possible until surgery was arranged, in which he said would be as soon as possible. Paperwork takes time as we know, so just about two weeks later, I had a hernia operation. 

Almost two weeks AFTER THAT, and I can report that I'm just kind of getting around to where I could say I'm starting to feel the benefits of the surgery. At first, all I felt was the pain one gets from getting themselves cut open at several locations. Oh yeah, plus the nausea from the drugs they put you to sleep with. Out Patient Surgery – I was home a mere few hours after the procedure. My lovely Sandra braving Houston highways safely getting me home, and on the mend. Everyday better feelin' somewhat then the day before. I put aside the pain pills eight days after. Not that it still don't hurt. Having a few bad habits in my past, I learned over the decades that I had best self police myself when necessary. Nowadays I consume pharmaceuticals like Vicodin, only when completely necessary. The pill did as it was designed to do, and that's to minimize the severity of the pain. In my case, what was felt after being opened up (microscopic surgery) and having my insides rearranged back into what I hope to be, perfect working order. The pain killers one imagines needing after surviving that procedure can in some cases, be too easy to abuse. Explains why something like Vicodin can be purchased on the streets of Houston for about three dollars a pop. Makes it a road one should proceed down with caution.

Really, the ONLY thing to give me trouble the night Sons Of Hippies made their Houston debut, was my belly. The otherwise innie belly button I was born with in Winterhaven Florida all those full moons ago, now looking more like an outie. A beer stomach that was never earned. Explains the extra large tee-shirts I'm always wearing. The umbilical hernia, about a decade in the making. Maybe I should have gotten it taken care of earlier? Now that I had the procedure, my belly has gone down a tad, and the continual pain I was having the last month or so before getting the hernia taken care of, has subsided. So the cool Sons Of Hippies tee-shirt I purchased at the show, will look even better on me, the more into recovery I am. I also got a bumper sticker off the SOH merchandise table that reads; “Sons Of Hippies Stole My Drugs.” Damn those Sons Of Hippies I tell myself every time now I pass that sticker. Displayed at home within our music collection, along with another sticker which is a shelf away by our movie DVDs that reads; “I Love Tromaville High.” OH...and I almost forgot. I got a pack of blotter art also from the SOH merchandise table. Coolest shit you ever want to see. Everything reasonably priced by the way.

So, how cool is it when a musician or band you want to see play live, headlines the evenings festivities playing last on the bill that including them, consists of FOUR bands? Not that cool at all you say? Been there, done that, got the overly priced tee-shirt. I know...believe me I know. Anything more then an opening act, can wear concert attendees patience. It's happened to me before going to see Ozzy or Dream Theater. Time itself usually drags because the bands playing before the headliner, most times suck thru a long ass straw, and are just riding on the coattails of the headliner, for fame and lunch money. This time around at the White Swan Live on a Friday night, music wise it WASN'T so bad. My favorite out of the three acts that played before Sons Of Hippies was the opening act; Seanster McDaniel Band. The music was good, and the stage banter interesting. I wish them well in their further endeavors, as I also do the two other bands that played that evening.

My second time seeing Sons Of Hippies in concert. My first time as a four piece band. Since July of 2013, when my lovely wife and myself saw them play in Fort Worth Texas, and now, they added a bass player; Morgan Soltes. Something the bands been wanting to do, singer Katherine Kelly told me before the band took the stage. One reason, to expand and pick up on the keyboard parts guest musician Billy Sherwood played on their debut record with Cleopatra Records; Sons Of Hippies – Griffons At The Gates Of Heaven (2013). Besides that, a natural progression for the group. Next comes a trombone player...only kidding.
Once on stage, the band begins with the third track from their 'Griffons At The Gates Of Heaven' offering called 'Dark Daisies'. The beginning sounds capture those in attendance almost immediately. A cool opener for the Sons Of Hippies have not only taken the stage at The White Swan Live, they now commandeered it.

Within the crowd were a lot of musicians. From what I could tell all were paying close attention. As the Sons Of Hippies played on, I occasionally get a glance from one of them, like a sign of approval. An unspoken acknowledgment of sorts understanding my purpose for attending.
The Sons Of Hippies had it going on not only with their rocking audio, but their visuals as well. Center stage is a VERY cool, state of the art, visual display. Imagine this...O being the base drum of the coolest drum set you ever want to see (if the bands visual presentation is considered part of the kit). The letters S & H on each side of drummer, and co-founder of the group; Jonas Canales. One looking at the stage while the band rocks sees TV screens in the shape of letters. A twenty-first century special effects projection unit. An upgrade from the 1960's psychedelic artwork / projections one would see at the acid rock shows of time gone by. Shown along with the music, the combination of the two is very hypnotic, especially if having a slight buzz. Be warned...try to look all around and not just focus on the cool imagery. Not only are SOH outstanding musicians, but very good performers as well. Acting wise, SOH have a few videos to their ever growing catalog of eye and ear candy. Uncle G recommends you (the reader) checking them out, if you have not done so already. Then you can make your friends HIP, by sharing / turning them on. Shows you care (ready it does).

Sons Of Hippies – The White Swan Live – Houston Texas live debut (21 Feb 2014)
Dark Daises / Blood And Wine / Spaceship Ride / Minute x Minute / Omni / Fire / Man Or Moon / Jet Black Vipers / Blood In The Water / Mirrorball / High Plains Drifters.
The set seemed over so fast. A sign as to how good it was. Billy Sherwood who saw the band at The Viper Room sometime after the Houston gig said on his official Facebook page recently;

Katherine is really fun to watch...they rocked”.
I totally agree with Mr Sherwood (ex-Yes / Cirra:) when it comes to assessing the performance I just witnessed; Sons Of Hippies – besides just Ms. Katherine, rocked indeed !! A cool modern day Psychedelic rock band that I'm certain will reach great heights in the music world as long as they stay on track, and remain focused on where it is they want to go. After hanging with them some, I can say I seriously believe all four members, are truly dedicated to spreading joy and cheer where ever they may wonder (for hippies are inclined to do just that, and being children of hippies it certainly makes sense that they would do the same).

Sons Of Hippies reminds me of another band, back in the 1990's. Madonna's label Maverick signed them. A friend and myself got their debut CD, and stayed part of their fan base ever since. Every new tour...they get more popular. Now they play in stadiums. The band I am referring to is; Muse. SONS OF HIPPIES display the same energy – different grooves – they share some of the same vibes. If not already on your music radar, they need to be.
I want to THANK the two Houston professional photographers I had with me; Mr. Art Garza (color digital), and Mr. Charlie Morris (black and white film). All photos taken were spectacular. The ones included with this story, just a few. Still, should give the reader of this review, a sense of being there with me. Easily done with photographs shot as well as these.
HANKS to The White Swan Live in Houston Texas for booking Sons Of Hippies. Enjoyed myself while there, and welcome the opportunity to spend another evening hanging out. Cool clientele, and the ones running the joint could not be any nicer.

The Sons Of Hippies Are:
Katherine Kelly – Singer, Guitarist, Song Writer (Co-Founder of SOH)
Jonas Canales – Drums, Song Writer (Co-Founder of SOH)
David Daly – Guitar, Keyboards.
Morgan Soltes – Bass Player (was playing a cool looking Rickenbacker)

Cool Sons Of Hippies Trivia: John Wesley (brilliant musician / solo artist mostly known for his association with Porcupine Tree) gets official credit for discovering Sons Of Hippies, and bringing them to the attention of Cleopatra Records.

For more information...Official Sons Of Hippies Website

Gary Brown

American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (Dot EU)
California Breed Release Debut Album In May!!!

Former Black Country Communion stars, singer-bassist Glenn Hughes and drummer Jason Bonham, have formed their new band California Breed, featuring the astounding talents of 23-year-old singer-guitarist Andrew Watt, the fact that their first album has been produced by Dave Cobb, whose spectacular work with Rival Sons has received so much acclaim, gives a big clue as to what they sound like.
“It’s proper rock,” says Hughes, “but at the same time it’s very now. Andrew is as influenced by Mick Ronson as he is Jimmy Page.”

“I grew up listening to all the grunge bands,” says Watt, “but my dad always played me The Who, the Stones and Led Zeppelin so that became my music too.
“This kid is amazing,” says Bonham. “The first time we met I thought he looked like the white Jimi Hendrix. And he plays in the studio likes he’s onstage!”

The three-man line-up got together as California Breed for the first time last year after Hughes was introduced to the newcomer from New York by their mutual friend Julian Lennon. “Julian was having an exhibition of his photographs at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in LA,” Glenn recalls, “and he said, ‘You must meet this guy, he’s the most fantastic guitarist – who turned out to be Andrew.”

Reconvening at Hughes’ Hollywood home a few days later, “The chemistry was just instant,” says Hughes. “We immediately wrote two songs together, Chemical Rain and Solo, both of which have ended up on the album. That’s when I called Jason and said you’ve gotta come down right now.”
“The energy when I walked in the room was crackling,” recalls Bonham. “I was so pleased. Glenn and I had not only really locked in as a rhythm section in BCC but we’d started writing together and we both really wanted to keep that good feeling going.”

Indeed, all 12 tracks on the as-yet untitled forthcoming California Breed album – the band have signed a deal with signed a deal with the Frontiers label - have equal co-writing credits among the band. Recorded at Cobb’s Nashville studio, “Everything was done more or less live,” says Hughes, “including the vocals. Which is the reverse of how I’ve always done things”.

The end result is a sound that combines all the classic rock elements of BCC – big, meat-cleaver riffs and heart-rending vocals – but with a 21st century gloss that comes from working with someone as up-to-the-minute and talented as Watt (whose previous music can be heard at his Soundcloud page and on the track below, with video directed by Mick Rock).

Look out for Midnight Oil, a raunchy Stones-esque rocker with breathless female backing vocals, deep groove rhythms and face-smacking guitars. The other breakout track is All Falls Down, the kind of spine-tingling pop-rock-who-knows-what that starts all colour and light and finishes all towering harmonies, back-arching guitars and epidemic-sized catchiness.

There are others but, as Hughes says, “This, I promise, is going to be something special.”
New Band, New Album From Three Lions!!!

“Three Lions” is the sensational eponymously titled debut album from this new British 3 piece rock band. The band consists of Vinny Burns (Dare, Ten, Asia) on guitar, Greg Morgan (Dare, Ten) on drums and introduces Nigel Bailey on vocals and bass guitar.

“Three Lions” features 12 brand new tracks, written by the band and also in collaboration with producer Alessandro Del Vecchio on 2 songs. Recorded at The Viper Room, Coil Tap Studios in the UK and Ivory Tears Studio in Milan, this album combines massive guitar riffs and great hooks alongside driving rhythms and powerful, yet emotional vocals.

The band was formed when Vinny, Greg and Nigel were introduced by Serafino and Alessandro at Firefest in October 2012. The guys hit it off straight away and immediately set about writing new material for the album. The first single, Trouble In A Red Dress, captures the energy of the band and is a classic foot stomping rock song with an infectious groove, soaring guitars and a chorus you have to sing along with.

The album is made up of songs that were written without an agenda. “We set out to write good songs, the only criteria was that all of us liked them” said Nigel, “Working with Vinny and Greg has been a blast and we were all determined to make the best album possible and are immensely proud of the songs that have made it onto the final record”. From the eastern influenced Kathmandu, to the driving power of Hellfire Highway and Twisted Soul, to the heartfelt ballads Made For One Another and Don’t Let Me Fall. This album delivers passionate performances from the guys. Vinny’s trademark guitar work is, as you would expect, filled with emotion and feel. “I wanted to start with a blank canvas for the guitars” says Vinny. “This album allowed me to show a different side to my playing whilst retaining the familiar sound and feel fans of Dare and Ten will recognise”. “Working with Vinny again has been great fun and Nigel brings something new to the table” said Greg. “This is definitely a record made by a band, not just a studio project, and that really comes across in the songs. We had an instant connection as musicians but also as people and we cannot wait to get out and perform these songs live soon”.

Hear The Roar!!!

Trouble In A Red Dress; Hold Me Down; Twisted Soul; Winter Sun; Just A Man; Holy Water;  Two Hearts Beat As One; Kathmandu; Made For One Another; Magdalene; Don’t Let Me Fall; Hellfire Highway; Sicilian Kiss.
“Better Days Comin’” Brand New WINGER  Studio aAlbum !

Once again the band offers an exciting mixture of the melodic and commercial approach of the first 2 albums, which catapulted Winger in the Hair Metal stardom with the more technical and almost Progressive feel of such album as “Pull” or “IV”. The logic follow up to the critically acclaimed “Karma” which was hailed as one of the band’s highlight releases ever.

“Better Days Comin’” is an amazing new record where the four band members: Kip Winger (ex Alice Cooper), Reb Beach (Whitesnake), Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs, Steve Morse) and John Roth (Starship, Giant) shine with an incredible instrumental and vocal prowess at the service of superb Hard Rock songs but with an uncanny sense of melody.

Look out for WINGER tour dates in the spring and summer in support of the new album!
Sebastian Bach "Give 'Em Hell" Released In April

Iconic singer Sebastian Bach new studio album "Give 'Em Hell" is the follow-up to 2011's "Kicking & Screaming" and was once again produced by Bob Marlette (ROB ZOMBIE, BLACK SABBATH and SHINEDOWN).

Sebastian managed to involve in the writing and recording some very special friends and guest stars, including none other than Duff McKagan (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES), and not one but two top-class guitar players: John 5 (MARILYN MANSON, ROB ZOMBIE) and Steve Stevens (BILLY IDOL). Rounding out the lineup on the CD are Devin Bronson (AVRIL LAVIGNE, PINK) on guitar and Bobby Jarzombek (HALFORD, RIOT, FATES WARNING) on drums.

The cover for "Give 'Em Hell" is once again being handled by Richard Villa, who worked on "Kicking & Screaming". Incorporated into the album design will be one of the paintings by Sebastian's late father David Bierk, who painted the artwork for SKID ROW's "Slave To The Grind", inside artwork for SKID ROW's "Subhuman Race", and Bach's solo albums "Angel Down" and "Bring 'Em Bach Alive!".

Bach stated about "Give 'Em Hell": "We have captured some kick-ass rock and roll magic and producer par excellence Bob Marlette is the wizard behind the board. It is such an awesome feeling to be able to say to the planet if you like the music I have put out before, I can guarantee you will dig this one! I cannot stop listening to it and that is the whole intention. For those of you who dig my high crazy-ass screams of the other records, well, I am proud to say this new disc features all the ranges and textures I have been known for, clean soaring melodic ballads and blood-curdling death screams from hell."

Sebastian Bach has sold in excess of 20 million records worldwide as lead singer with his former band, Skid Row and as a solo artist.  Far from just being a multi-platinum recording artist, the singer/songwriter/actor/entertainer has expanded his career over the past decade to include episodic television with a 5-season recurring role on the CW’s hit series “Gilmore Girls”, starring roles on Broadway (“Jekyll & Hyde”, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”) and national touring companies (“Jesus Christ Superstar”), and has appeared regularly on MTV and VH1.

Hell Inside My Head; Harmony; All My Friends Are Dead; Temptation; Push Away; Dominator; Had Enough; Gun To A Knife Fight; Rock N Roll Is A Vicious Game; Taking Back Tomorrow; Disengaged; Forget You.

Thursday 20 March 2014

Hispanic Blues Rock Legends,Vargas Blues Band to release” Heavy City Blues” 
via Off Yer Rocka Recordings

Its hard to believe that’s such an artist as Javier Vargas, who’s recorded & performed with some of the worlds heavy weights such as Santana, Double Trouble, Jack Bruce, Devon Allman, Larry Graham, Carmine Appice, Tim Bogert, Junior Wells, Glen Hughes @ Chris Rea to name a few, is still expanding his Blues n Swamp rock spectrum with outstanding results.
The Jams and the collaborations will never end as far as Javier is concerned & Heavy City Blues, which featured Carmine Appice, Paul Shortino @ Bobby Alexander is just another stepping stone forward for this Blues Rock phenomena,…namely the Vargas Blues Band.
The VBB have been rolling around the globe for nearly 22 years now and with 20 albums in the vault, it seems as this wont be stopping anytime soon. Ask anyone in the world blues rock circuit of what they know about Javier Vargas and they’ll have nothing but praise n admiration for this true Blues Rock legend, with a unique unrivalled guitar style and a set of balls that are ready to take on the world, the mind can only boggle as to what he’ll get up to next.
Heavy City Blues will be released physically via Off Yer Rocka Recordings, worldwide…(except Spain / Portugal) on 1st May 2014. This will be preceded by a new single & lyrics video on 22nd April covering the Everly Brothers Classic, ”Love Hurts” but injected with the signature Vargas guitar licks.
As for touring, he never stops and constantly plays, North & South America, Europe and Russia full cycle.
Catch The Vargas Blues Band live in the UK @

Fri-Sat 21st / 22nd Mar                      North Wales, HRH Blue                                             
Sun 23rd Mar                                     London, Borderline        

To view some concerts click here:


British blues pioneer, John Mayall, is celebrating his 80th birthday year by sharing it with his fans. He has just begun a run of 59 live dates, across Europe, in just 64 days and releases 'A Special Life', his first new studio album in five years, on Forty Below Records on Monday 19th May 2014.

As 2013 came to a close and with his 80th birthday mere weeks away, the godfather of British blues quietly entered a North Hollywood studio with his band, special guest and accordion legend, C.J. Chenier and co-producer/engineer, Eric Corne.  He walked out with one of the finest and most personal records of his career.
The aptly titled 'A Special Life' serves as further testament to John's boundless talent, vitality and ever-dynamic personality.  Along with his accomplished band, Rocky Athas (guitar), Greg Rzab (bass) and Jay Davenport (drums), Mayall goes back to his roots with an eclectic album centred in the blues but with diversions into rock and Americana.

There are three new songs penned by John and one from band members Greg Rzab and Rocky Athas, as well as blues favourites from some of the greats, including Albert King and Jimmy Rogers. C.J. Chenier came to join the party on a couple of tracks (including one written by his father, Grammy award winning, Clifton Chenier), adding an extra dimension with his vocals and accordion.

'A Special Life', also boasts original cover art and design by John, himself.

Track Listing:
1. Why Did You Go Last Night
2. Speak Of The Devil
3. That's All Right
4. World Gone Crazy
5. Flooding In California
6. A Big Town Playboy
7. A Special Life
8. I Just Got To Know
9. Heartache
10. Like A Fool
11. Just A Memory

Wednesday 19 March 2014

US Singer Patti Russo Announces Her Forthcoming UK Tour.

Patti was the powerhouse female vocalist for the legendary Meat Loaf during previous World tours, creating some of the most memorable stage performances for that famous mini  opera ‘Paradise By The Dashboard Light’.

For decades, she has performed alongside some of the world's most finest Artists including Queen, Cher, Roger Daltrey and Jeff Beck.

Her theatrical credits include the lead role of Esmeralda in the London West End production of ‘Notre Dame De Paris’ and none other than the Killer Queen in the Las Vegas run of ‘We Will Rock You’, after being personally asked by show producers Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen.

Tour Dates: 

April 10th - The Brook, Southampton
April 13th - 02 Birmingham
April 17th -  02 Sheffield
April 19th -  02 Oxford
April 21st - Komedia, Brighton
April 23rd -  02 Leicester
April 27th -  02 Islington

Patti Russo has spent her career to date performing alongside some of the world's best known artists, including Queen, Cher, Roger Daltrey and Jeff Beck. However, her best-known work has been as the powerhouse female vocalist for Meat Loaf, playing an integral role in both his touring and recording career for almost two decades and cementing a reputation as the perfect foil for his bombastic and over the top theatrical stage persona. Appearing on all his recordings since the mid-90’s, she also co-created some of the most memorable stage performances for the famous mini opera ‘Paradise By The Dashboard Light’.

Patti has also featured on albums such as ‘Frantic’ by Bryan Ferry,  ‘Beethoven’s Last Night’ by Trans-Siberian Orchestra and the movie soundtrack to Ron Howard’s ‘The Grinch’., while her songwriting credits include ‘Running For The Red Light (I’ve Gotta Life)’ with Meat Loaf  (which was a Top 20 UK hit) and ‘Take Good Care Of My Heart’, which featured as the theme song for the film ‘South Beach Dreams’.

Meanwhile, her numerous theatrical credits include the lead role of Esmeralda in the London West End production of ‘Notre Dame De Paris’ and none other than the Killer Queen in the Las Vegas run of ‘We Will Rock You’, after being personally asked by show producers Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen.

Now, after two decades working alongside numerous iconic performers, Patti is ready to take her life experiences - and her own music - out on the road. Why now, you may ask? "Why not?" she replies. "I started my professional career after answering an advert in the Village Voice newspaper in New York City and a month later I was touring for a number one album all over the world. I'd often warm up using Queen songs before each show, only to later meet Brian May and Roger Taylor and end up singing with them in front of 90,000 people. I've never studied acting before, but I ended up as the leading lady in shows in London’s West End and Las Vegas. Another day I casually mentioned my admiration for Cher and next I get a call asking me to come and sing with her."

Continuing, she explains: "I've done this all on my own, without representation - it's been pretty amazing, to say the least, but I've never taken that giant leap to start my own solo career and for me it's like an itch that needs to be scratched! Yeah sure, I am late joining the game, very late compared to others, but then again I've never followed the rules and I'm not about to start now! I am a grown woman and through living a full life I have been able to write about my experiences and now people are listening! I get letters every day telling me that my songs have opened their eyes to problems they have been afraid to face or that a song of mine has stirred something up inside them that encourages them to want to be a better person. That's some pretty amazing feedback, isn't it?”

Patti’s very first solo dates take place in the UK, where she plays seven shows during April on what she has dubbed the ‘How Are Ya 5-0H’ tour. “I am turning 50 this year. That’s right – put up the bright lights! I am proud to have lived through lots of BS and am still standing! The timing is perfect for me. I have some great musicians to work with and a good team working with me. I truly believe there is an audience out there for me and I can't wait to get out there and perform for them."

Tuesday 18 March 2014


This year marks the 40th Anniversary of rock and roll giants KISS and in true KISS fashion, the band plan to make 2014 the biggest and loudest, non-stop rock and roll party of the century.
Rock legends KISS were the first signing to Neil Bogart’s newly formed Casablanca Records label after he saw and recognized their talent and showmanship during their spectacular performance at a showcase concert at New York City’s Le Tang’s Ballet Studio in 1973, offering them a contract on the spot. Four decades after releasing their self-titled, major label debut, KISS will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April, proof of the unparalleled devotion and loyalty of the KISS Army to the “Hottest Band in the World” as they rallied together to have the band included in this year’s induction ceremony.
Having earned 28 U.S. gold albums along with 40 million U.S. and 100 million in world sales, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, with long-time members guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, are stronger than ever with a legacy that continues to grow, generation after generation. Their last album, Monster, proved that they are still at the top of their game with impressive sales and topping the charts worldwide debuting at No. 3 in the U.S. on the Billboard 200 best-selling albums chart and Top 10 in twenty other countries.
To celebrate their incredible 40-year recording career and their upcoming, long-overdue induction to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Universal Music will kick off the celebration on March 31, 2014 with the first batch of 10 individual KISS remastered albums on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl with 18 more vinyl titles coming through the first half of 2014. In May, fans can look forward to a 2 CD KISS 40 compilation with one track from every major album release, live selections and an unreleased demo from 1977. And finally, starting today, the definitive KISS vinyl box set, KISSTERIA – The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case, featuring 34 KISS LPs –  including titles never-before issued on vinyl, six exclusive albums to the box set and a plethora of collectibles only available in KISSTERIA will be available exclusively for D2C pre-order at
Millions of people around the world originally discovered KISS when they brought home an album and put it on their turntable for the first time. Now, those original KISS albums will be available remastered and on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl prior to KISS’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
A new compilation KISS 40, a 2 CD set featuring forty tracks spanning KISS’s incredible forty-year recording career. This set includes one track from every major album release (studio, Alive & hits collections) plus three live selections from the 2000-era and features the band’s biggest songs including rock and roll anthems such as “Detroit Rock City,” “Love Gun,” “Beth,” “Rock And Roll All Nite,” “Beth,” “Psycho Circus,” “Forever,” “I Was Made For Lovin’ You.” “Lick It Up,” “Heaven’s On Fire” and “Hell or Hallelujah.”  First time commercial CD release live recordings of “Deuce” (from 2004 tour), “Cold Gin” (from 2009 Alive 35 tour), “Crazy Crazy Nights” (from 2010 Sonic Boom Over Europe tour) and the previously unreleased 1977 demo of “Reputation” round out the set for the KISS Army.
And for a ultimate KISS collector, with only 1000 copies being produced worldwide, KISSTERIA – The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case is a highly-collectible vinyl road case box set featuring 34 KISS LPs including nineteen studio albums, all five of the Alive releases, the four original KISS solo albums, each with exact replicas of the original inserts, plus six exclusive vinyl titles that will not be made available individually. All albums are pressed onto audiophile 180g vinyl and are newly remastered from the ultra-high definition Direct Stream Digital transfers from original analog tapes to bring out maximum fidelity of these iconic albums.
Exclusive KISSTERIA extras include eleven 11”x17” archival posters, including the band’s very first promo poster; a KISS vinyl cleaning cloth; a KISS turntable mat; a set of KISS dominoes; four band lithographs highlighting four decades of the band; and a certificate of authenticity displaying the limited edition number for each of the individual box sets.  Reserve your KISSTERIA road case
Forty years ago KISS released their eponymous debut album, which would propel the band to the top of the rock and roll hierarchy where they have reigned for the past four decades making the KISS legacy a global brand with more than 3,000 licensed merchandise products, including a recent partnership with the Arena Football League as owners of the Anaheim-based expansion team LA KISS. 

Release date: March 31, 2014
·      Alive!
·      Animalize
·      Destroyer
·      Dressed To Kill
·      Dynasty
·      Hotter Than Hell
·      KISS
·      Lick It Up
·      Revenge
·      Unmasked
Release date: May 5, 2014
·      Asylum
·      Creatures Of The Night
·      Love Gun
·      MTV Unplugged
·      Psycho Circus*
Release date: May 26, 2014
·      Rock And Roll Over
·      Alive III
·      Music From The Elder – First Vinyl Release in Concept Album Sequence
·      Crazy Nights
·      Hot In The Shade
·      Alive: The Millennium Concert*
·      Carnival of Souls:  The Final Sessions*
Release date: June 23, 2014
·      Alive II
·      Ace Frehley
·      Gene Simmons
·      Peter Criss
·      Paul Stanley
*First Time on Vinyl

KISS – 40
Unless indicated all selections are album versions
CD 1
1.     Nothin To Lose
2.     Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
3.     C’mon and Love Me
4.     Rock And Roll All Nite (Live)
5.     God Of Thunder (Demo)
6.     Beth
7.     Hard Luck Woman
8.     Reputation (Demo) – PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
9.     Christine Sixteen
10.  Shout It Out Loud (Live)
11.  Strutter ‘78
12.  You Matter To Me (Peter Criss)
13.  Radioactive (Gene Simmons)
14.  New York Groove (Ace Frehley)
15.  I Was Made For Lovin’ You (Single Edit)
16.  Shandi
17.  A World Without Heroes
18.  I Love It Loud
19.  Down On Your Knees
20.  Lick It Up
21.  Heaven’s On Fire
CD 2
1.     Tears Are Falling
2.     Reason To Live
3.     Let’s Put The X In Sex
4.     Forever (Remix)
5.     God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll To You II
6.     Unholy (Live)
7.     Do You Love Me? (MTV Unplugged)
8.     Room Service (Live)
9.     Jungle (Radio Edit)
10.  Psycho Circus
11.  Nothing Can Keep Me From You
12.  Detroit Rock City (Live)
13.  Deuce (Live 2004) – UNRELEASED COMMERCIALLY
14.  Firehouse (Live – 1999/2000)
15.  Modern Day Delilah
16.  Cold Gin (Live 2009) – UNRELEASED COMMERCIALLY
17.  Crazy Crazy Nights (Live 2010) – UNRELEASED COMMERCIALLY
18.  Hell or Hallelujah

KISSTERIA – The Vinyl Road Case
Custom ANVILTM Road Case to house 34 KISS LPs and a plethora of extras.
·      KISS
·      Hotter Than Hell
·      Dressed To Kill – Includes Embossed Front & Back Jacket Covers
·      Alive! – Includes 8 Page Color Booklet
·      Destroyer
·      Rock And Roll Over – Includes Sticker Sheet
·      Love Gun – Includes Paper Gun with “Bang” Sheet
·      Alive II – Includes Tattoo Sheet & 8 Page Color Booklet
·      Ace Frehley (Solo Album) - Includes “Ace” Interlocking Poster
·      Gene Simmons (Solo Album) - Includes “Gene” Interlocking Poster
·      Peter Criss (Solo Album) - Includes “Peter” Interlocking Poster
·      Paul Stanley (Solo Album) - Includes “Paul” Interlocking Poster
·      Dynasty – 22” x 33” Poster
·      Unmasked – 22” x 33” Poster
·      Music From The Elder – First Vinyl Release in Concept Album Sequence
·      Creatures Of The Night
·      Lick It Up
·      Animalize
·      Asylum
·      Crazy Nights
·      Hot In The Shade
·      Revenge
·      Alive III
·      MTV Unplugged - Includes 24” x 24” Poster
·      Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions – First Vinyl Pressing Ever 
·      Psycho Circus – First Vinyl Pressing Ever will include a 12”x12” Lenticular Cover
·      Alive: The Millennium Collection – First Vinyl Pressing Ever
·      Monster
Exclusive vinyl titles for the Road Case:
·      Double Platinum – Includes Embossed front & back jacket covers + Embossed platinum award insert
·      Greatest KISS – Includes First Vinyl Pressing Ever.  Will combine all exclusive tracks used worldwide into one package
·      KILLERS - Includes First U.S. Release Ever. Will combine both Japan and Australia track lists into one package
·      You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best
·      Smashes, Thrashes & Hits
·      KISS Symphony: Alive IV
Exclusive Bonus Items for Vinyl Box:
·      Eleven 11”x17” Archival Posters in a poster tube:
Ø  First Band Promo Poster
Ø  Hotel Diplomat Concert Poster
Ø  Asylum Promo Poster
Ø  Lick It Up Promo Poster
Ø  KISS 1984 Promo Poster
Ø  Alive III Promo Poster
Ø  You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best Promo Poster
Ø  Smashes, Thrashes & Hits Promo Poster
Ø  MTV Unplugged Promo Poster
Ø  Live 1996 Tour Poster
Ø  Psycho Circus Promo Poster
·      KISS Vinyl Cleaning Cloth
·      KISS Turntable Mat
·      KISS Dominoes
·      Four Band Photo Lithographs
·      Certificate of Authenticity with Exclusive Box Number

Sunday 16 March 2014

Spotlight: Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies 
(2014 Audio Fidelity)

If I had a list of Uncle G's Top Twenty-Five All-Time Favorite Rock Albums, then Alice Cooper's 1973 hit album Billion Dollar Babies would certainly be towards the top of it. Here's an album that as a teen gave me my own identity. Out of everyone in my inner circle of friends back then, it was I that was into Alice Cooper. Instead of getting turned on, I turned on others. My introduction to Alice Cooper was their 1972 hit song ‘School's Out’. What's not to love about getting rid of teachers and text books? Check it out, age-wise I was barely out of my single digits. Due to lyrics I identified with and a steady rock beat, I'm like a pat of butter on freshly baked bread. My mind is open and I'm absorbing all I can.

By the Winter of '73, the album Billion Dollar Babies by the group Alice Cooper is in my record collection. It was purchased for me by adults who later on pretended to be repulsed because I was a fan of Alice Cooper's music. I’ve remained a listener, pressing on after the band’s demise and until after Alice's third solo effort Lace & Whiskey came out. If I played Alice Cooper after that, it was original band material only. Alice's solo records, I really didn't begin to appreciate except Welcome To My Nightmare in which I consider to this day, one of his best efforts, until he released Trash (1989). After that, I re-evaluated my opinion of what Alice has done since splitting with the original group. From his debut solo record Welcome To My Nightmare (1975), to the year 2014, there are more pluses than minuses. The man known as Alice Cooper is considered an elder statesman in heavy metal nowadays. Age wise, is well into his sixties and to this day is still more than capable of teaching the younger bands how to rock out as well as putting on one of the highest energy metal shows being offered. There is an occasional ballad thrown in the set list, which is more than welcome seeing how some of his best known songs are just that, ballads. Classics like Only Women Bleed, or I Never Cry. Alice Cooper is currently in the process of releasing a cover / tribute album, and performing shows with Aerosmith and Motley Crew. Not to mention this is right off the heels of charting an original band reunion of sorts with a studio album again produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin called Welcome 2 My Nightmare (2011).

Alice Cooper's Billion Dollar Babies (1974) album, and the original band’s last album together Muscle Of Love (1974), is what seriously caught my attention. These records got the repeat plays at social functions. At least the ones I attended. For the record, Uncle G thinks anything in the original band’s catalog is worth having, especially the stuff they did for Warner Brothers. I fell into the albums Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle Of Love likely because they were new at the time when I was seriously focused. I can still remember Alice making the promotional rounds for Billion Dollar Babies on TV. One such time had Alice performing ‘Sick Things’ on a drama / mystery program called The Snoop Sisters. A show about two old tough broads solving crime, Alice was perfectly cast as the leader of a cult. It definitely motivated me to play the album more.

And yes, first it was wax in which I played on an early 1970's record box. This was modified with the original speakers being disconnected, and then the player being hooked up with better speakers and separated on each side of a bedroom I shared with two older cousins (one in which was a pothead). Why this even matters is that this ended up being one of my first lessons in what stereo really was, and how different sounds were heard from each speaker. Remember, I first grew up with mono.

In the song ‘Elected’, Alice's vocals mainly come out of one side (left), while the bands actual music, comes out the other (right). The music could sometimes overpower the vocals. So another lesson learned early on; it was important where and how the speakers were located, as well as how the the balance button on the stereo receiver was set.

Next comes the wonderful world of headphones and a company whose headphones I absolutely fell in love called Sennheiser. Now I could hear every detail. Over the decades, the record player was replaced by better and better stereos. Sound was important to me. I grew up when transistor radios were all the rage. A rock song filled with different sounds, all coming out of this shitty little speaker. Two words, fuck that.

I purchased Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies after first having it on wax, cassette, 8-track, and now I have three different versions on CD, with one being the new SACD mastered by a man with a reputation for being the best at what he does in today’s music world, Mr. Steve Hoffman.

Self confession, I'm NOT a committed one-hundred percent audiophiliac. Due to having too much on my plate as a rule, when I have the free time, I come close. I don't like to be anal...not as a rule. Sometimes I think they go hand in hand. I'm glad the purists are out there. Needed for archival reasons the most, so many good recordings that now sounded dated, only because they were mastered at a time when technology was at it's best for being in the twentieth century. My review here might sound slanted a bit. I admit to being an old time Alice Cooper listener, and also to digging better sounding stereo equipment. I’m still dragging my feet in MP3 Land. The only thing I feel should be compressed is waste products, not music. MP3 music brings back the memories of transistor radios with a crappy speaker (broadcast in wonderful mono).

I know the words and music to Alice Cooper's Billion Dollar Babies by heart. I also probably know more then the average Sick Thing when it comes to the band Alice Cooper, and the original bands music catalog. I’ve never seen myself as a fanatic though. My association with Sick Things (fans of Alice Cooper) has gone from rather well to horribly wrong. In all that time, I had a few entertaining moments meeting members of the original group and hanging out with them for a spell. I’ve conducted / coordinated interviews with Michael Bruce and Neal Smith. I also did a beer and a cigarette run for Glen Buxton (RIP). I'd like to meet Dennis Dunaway and Alice (formerly Vincent Damon Furnier) one day. So, before you are my credentials for reviewing this SACD. A story that needed to be told, especially if you the reader were so inclined as to like and follow up after reading by buying if you have not already, this new SACD.

For the record, the Alice Cooper band sixth studio album, Billion Dollar Babies, was a team Alice project. All involved from Shep Gordon in management, to the albums producer Bob Ezrin, deserve credit in this being as successful as it was. Plus some additional musicians that played shall we say, a tad under the radar, and contributed to the best of their abilities, such as Donovan, Steve Hunter, Dick Wagner, and the much underrated talents of Mick Mashbir and Bob Dolin, who went on a few years later to form a band called Billion Dollar Babies, with original Cooper members Bruce, Dunaway, and Smith. They did one album called Battle Axe. It would be wonderful if Steve Hoffman could re-master Cooper’s Muscle Of Love and the band Billion Dollar Babies Battle Axe in the same way. Anyway, the BIG secret at the time was that lead guitarist was having health issues. Explains the other hands in the BDB project. All that mattered was the end result, with everyone being a team player focused on making the best Alice Cooper record they could. In a imagined That Metal Show showdown, Billion Dollar Babies would surely be a contender as one of Alice's best, with or without the original band.

Comparison: I enter as exhibit A the original Billion Dollars Babies CD that Warner Brothers first offered. Exhibit B is the Rhino 2001 two CD re-mastered version. Exhibit C is the new SACD put out just recently by Audio Fidelity. Exhibit A has been played in the presence of Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, and Neal Smith without them saying anything bad about the audio. All discs are in near mint or mint condition. The Uncle G Music Collection is kept up nicely and stored in a dry and cool place. Playback of each disc was done on a real home stereo (Sony – Phillips) and on a Blu-ray player (was lunch time and the living room was more convenient having a meal in then our home office). I would like to make clear...NEVER ONE TIME...was any of these versions of Billion Dollar Babies heard via a computer. Am sure the iTunes version is cool and all, but that's not really what this is about. First off, it's considered an honor that a company like Audio Fidelity would be interested in re-issuing any CD. I see it as a way to properly preserve and recreate with newer technology what was not available at the time. In my mind, there is no improving the work Bob Ezrin or all those that helped make this brilliant album did. What Steve Hoffman and Audio Fidelity materialized forty years after the Billion Dollars Babies release, let’s find out.

Uncle G reviews Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies (2014 Audio Fidelity)

The first thing I did was listen to the Warner Brothers CD of Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies. My earliest comparison would be that of the CD to the memories of the Billion Dollar Babies album I grew up listening to. The CD had its advantages. No flipping the album over from Side A to Side B. No skipping anywhere. The stereo mix was the same as I remembered from the album. No difference in clarity that I could remember. I took care of my turntables and records. Back in the 80's / 90's my home stereo was made up of either Pioneer or Kenwood equipment. I admit, more convenient to have on Compact Disc. Seems to play / sound the same each and every time.

The original released CD to the Rhino version, I found interesting. Of course, the Rhino edition is presented LOUDER. The re-mastering process isn't bass-friendly all the time. That can be evident on the albums closing number, ‘I Love The Dead’. The plus side is a fuller sound in parts, especially in the piano lead homage to transvestites, a show-tune called ‘Mary Ann’.

Wake the kids and gather the folks from the hood, it's Hybrid SACD Time!! First off, I took care in opening it. Artwork from the album is re-created, and much to my surprise and approval, so is the BILLION Dollar bill that came inside the album that I of course, taped to my teenaged self’s bedroom wall. The one included today is suitable for framing. My SACD was numbered; “Limited Edition 1101.” I took pictures, I was so impressed.

Pressing the play button, the first song on Billion Dollar Babies ‘Hello Hooray’ begins to play. My hand reaches for the volume knob. I turn it up from 2 to 3, and then 4. No distortion. It's not as much in the red as Rhino's re-mastering job. At this point, I have all three versions of BDB in separate CD trays and can pause and play from any of the three, at any time. It's obvious the SACD is superior and that's just hearing the first song.

The second track ‘Raped and Freezin' proves it more. Keyboards in the background are clearer after the 2 minute mark, as is Alice's vocals all throughout.

Track three is ‘Elected’. Alice's vocals mostly come out the left speaker and the music mostly on the right. Listening in any format, it was always due to a placement of speakers as to if I could clearly make out every lyric, and even the political banter at the end. It's all good here on the SACD release. Remember we have two vital ingredients to Alice Cooper; audio and visual. Every word Alice sings is important, for they paint a visual in which the music helps to project. These songs are like tiny plays. It's theater for the mind. Some might have labeled Alice Cooper art rock because of this, but most just saw them as a hard rock act, even when touring with a guillotine and an electric chair as props. Not exactly the same as Deep Purple being a real hard rock act. KISS was Alice on steroids times four. And what drama they ended up being.

I noticed when all three CDs were in my players that I had three different total times on display. The Rhino / Warner Archives comes in at 41:05 – original Warner Brothers version at 41:08, and the new SACD leads the pack at 41:14. I asked myself why that was.

Easy explanation concerning the extra five seconds between original BDB and the Steve Hoffman mastered one. The Hybrid SACD version kept in the studio banter found before the song, ‘Billion Dollar Babies’. It goes something like this:

OK I need one more. Tape four Dolby version.”

Could it be Mr. Ezrin in the control booth? I LIKE rarities, and it sure does sound RARE, for it didn't appear on the BDB album I had as a teenager. Don't know why it was included here on the hybrid SACD, but as a purist, I don't really dig it being there. So much for a perfect 5 star review. The song itself sounds GREAT!! It's a real hard-rocking drum song, and Alice Cooper's drummer Neal Smith simply smokes on this one. I CRANKED the volume up listening to it. When I listen to Alice Cooper, so do my neighbors. I can report no other audio ID surprises. I feel weird bitching, but it is what it is. I’m just not used to that being inserted before hearing Neal's drum intro after the lapse of silence in-between songs. Maybe I’m a tad anal? Because of the type of record this is, I feel it ruins the atmosphere that the songs played before this one set up. The mind should be fully focused, and it kills the concentration. Saying that I must point out that it's easily re-established once the number starts up.

No More Mr. Nice Guy’ gives me the opportunity to say that without the song writing ability of Michael Bruce, the successful writing team of Bruce / Cooper would not have ever existed. Michael Bruce's real talent is to write music that remains in your head long after the song had stopped playing. Alice knew / knows how to make a song his own by creating words and phrases his onstage character could react to. And here's how you got one hit composition after another. The same formula is used on Welcome 2 My Nightmare with the newest Bruce / Cooper composition (with the additional help of Bob Ezrin) being ‘When Hell Comes Home’. This is the FIRST a Alice Cooper record charted in the Top 25 since Trash. Congratulations to all involved.

Also worth mentioning in the song ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’ is Dennis Dunaway's bass and how clear one can hear his playing, not only on this song but throughout the whole SACD release. Dennis' bass work is simply superb. Explains why he was consistently at the top of the best bass player polls in those 1970 rock magazines year in and year out.

Generation Landslide’ is the next song and sounds as crisp as I’ve ever heard it. Followed by The Cooper's heartfelt appreciation to their fans, a rather darker number called ‘Sick Things’. Pay attention, for the work of Glen Buxton can be heard, as can be said on the albums closer ‘I Love The Dead’. Minor contributions but important ones nevertheless. Would be Glen's last time working on a Cooper project. Dude's really no where to be found on the originals band next, and last Alice Cooper album, Muscle Of Love.

For the louder I played this CD, the clearer the music became. Enjoyed it to its last lyric and closing note.

Rating: Using the one to five star rating system, Uncle G gives Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies (2014 Audio Fidelity) – mastered by Steve Hoffman, 4.75 stars. It's perfect in every way except know (see above).

Gary Brown
American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (Dot EU)