“And the smallest streams, run to the
And every river, runs to the sea
And every little bit of love I give to another
You know what I believe, it comes back to me”
- Rick Springfield, Karma
and usr - Kurt Torster
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Martin Hennessy III (80's
Ian McIntosh (AOR
Mark Orsted (Heavens
Alex Richter (Hard N' Fast)
George Thatcher (Heart
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OK labels…here ya go…the most
requested AOR albums that need to be reissued…are ya listening?
Airrace – Shaft Of Light
Black N’ Blue – Without Love
Desmond Child & Rouge - S/T & Runners in the Night
Gary Hughes – Strength Of Heart
Kick Axe – Welcome To The Club
Jeff Paris – Race To Paradise
Dan Reed Network – B-sides Compilation
Streets – S/T & Crimes In Mind
Waysted – Save Your Prayers
Danny Wilde – The Boyfriend
As Christmas approaches, one thing I have
always loved about this time of year is the music. Here is my list of my 15
favorite rock/pop holiday tunes:
 Band Aid – Do They Know It’s
 The Eagles – Please Come Home For Christmas
 U2 – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
 Billy Squier – Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You
 Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
 John Mellencamp – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
 Extreme – Christmas Time Again
 Trans Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24
 Bon Jovi – I Wish Everyday Could Be Christmas
 Brian Setzer Orchestra – Jingle Bells
 Bryan Adams – Reggae Christmas
 Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
 The Kinks – Father Christmas
 John Lennon – Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
 Ronnie Spector/Darlene Love – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
Of course, no holiday season is complete
without THE most essential Christmas album, “A Christas Gift For You” from
Phil Spector and friends.
Sorry if this issue feels a little
shortchanged but I was sick as a dog over the weekend and didn’t have much of
a chance to tidy things up.
Now $10 off a $39.95 order
& Flutter” will now be distributed by Universal Music and Varese
Sarabande in North America. Next spring the album will be issued in Australia
with the bonus track “Invisible Man” (and a tour to boot!).
across this rather interesting release. Fans of Dann Huff, he has release
a disc called “Solos”, which is exactly what the title implies, a
collection of his solo leads. More info at the Home
Sweet Home website.
32 concerts, Ringo Starr And His All-Starr Band will release a 3CD box
set culled from the various shows, including SFK fave Eric Carmen and his
hits “Hungry Eyes” and “All By Myself”.
release the 2CD “Anthologyland”, a 32 song retrospective containing
many unreleased tracks, including “Mystery DJ” (written by Elton
for Paul McCartney’s “Live At The Cavern” to air throughout
the month of December on PBS stations as part of their yearly pledge drive. The
hour-long show is comprised of covers from the 50s and 60s.
official bootlegs will be available in January from their fanclub, and in
supergroup TransAtlantic will release a live CD and video next year
through Radiant Records.
album is tentatively titled “Kiss My Mule”.
perform at Cornerstone 2001 in
Bushnell, IL on July 6. Michael Sweet will also perform solo.
Ian on Limp Bizkit: "I can't
believe that got big, to tell you the truth. Not that I consider it a novelty to
cross over rap and metal, because for me, it always seemed like the obvious
thing. My problem with the whole scene these days is that all the bands suck.
Sometimes it makes me think like, God, if I would have had a crystal ball in
1985 when we were writing 'I'm The Man', maybe I would have said, 'You know
what, we really shouldn't do this'. Limp Bizkit for instance, they're the
biggest band on the block right now, and I think the worst band on the block.
It's N'Sync with guitars. That's what it is, and I don't understand why people
don't see that. I don't understand how anyone buys their record or goes to see
them live and thinks, 'this is heavy'. It's not heavy. It's little kid pop boy
band music with guitars and tattoos."
Guns N’ Roses
will perform at the House of Blues in Las Vegas on New Year's Eve. The Goo
Goo Dolls will ring in the New Year at the venue with a separate show.
Check out this lineup for the Rock Stock
Festival, August 23-26 at Wendover Airport in Utah: Bad Company, Joan Baez, Pat
Benatar, Elvin Bishop, Ambrosia, Edgar Winter, Little River Band, The Animals,
38 Special, Cheap Trick, Doobie Brothers, Todd Rundgren, Mitch Ryder, Styx,
Jetro Tull, Three Dog Night, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Gary U.S. Bonds, Canned
Heat, Chicago, Joe Cocker, Creedence Clearwater, The Guess Who, Peter Frampton,
Bruce Hornsby, Grand Funk Railroad, Kansas, Air Supply, Fleetwood Mac, Leon
Russell, Santana, Iron Butterfly, Queen, Reo Speedwagon, Carole King, Rick
Springfield, Stephen Stills, Jimmy Messina, Steve Miller Band, The Moody Blues,
Steppenwolf, Spencer Davis Group, Firefall, Poco, Boston, Pure Prairie League
And Randy Meisner. Tickets for the festival, produced by Alexas USA, go on sale
February 1st, 2001. For more info contact Kelly Hammett of Rock Solid
Entertainment Inc. at (818) 788-7197 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Samantha 7's debut
is being released in Europe on Feb 1st with bonus “Hanging On To Jane”
(acoustic) as a bonus track.
started writing and recording the follow-up to “Q2K”. Also, the bands
“Building Empires” home video will be released on DVD, with bonus
tracks, expected to be from the group’s appearance on MTV Unplugged.
Got an email from Robin George about his new website: Hi Again, I've put edited versions of "Rock of Ageists" at http://listen.to/robingeorge. It's only a rough site, but better than nothing. I've been offered a few deals on the album, and want to sign before the end of the year so I can get on with my new solo project...I'll keep you informed. The Phil Lynott tribute album is still scheduled for release in Feb on Record Heaven Music (Sweden) I've been asked to do another track for it, so I am recording a version of "Kings Call" at the moment. The company has asked me to headline a few gigs in Europe and the UK around the album release, which could be good. They have a website dedicated to the tribute http://www.rhcd.net/parris.htm.
guests on The Tour Bus:
12/16/00 Sat. Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) performs live
12/23/00 Sat. The Tour Bus Holiday Call-In Show - Tons of past guests call-ins: Sebastian Bach, Danger Danger, CC Deville, Cinderella, Ratt, Dokken, and more!
12/30/00 Sat. The Tour Bus – Best of Show
1/6/01 Sat. Cory Glover (former lead singer of Living Color) performs live
Bon Jovi has
recorded an as yet untitled tune for the upcoming Sun Records tribute
disc. Tour dates for for next summer in Europe:
May 31 Olympic Stadium - Stockholm, Sweden - on sale December 13
June 6 Arena - Amsterdam, Netherlands - on sale December 16
June 8 Hampon Park -Glasgow, Scotland - on sale December 15
June 13 McAlpine Stadium - Huddersfield, England - on sale December 15
June 15 Milton Keynes Bowl - Milton Keynes, England - on sale December 15
June 20 Muengersdorfer Stadium - Koln, Germany - on sale December 11
June 22 Comstatter Wasen - Stuttgart, Germany - on sale December 11
June 24 Tranbrennbahn - Hamburg, Germany - on sale December 11
Some tour dates for Rik Emmett:
-Orchestra London Christmas Show, Centennial Hall, London, Ontario on December 22, 2000 and will be performing 3 or 4 songs with the Orchestra. Tickets: $25.00 Available by calling (519) 679-8778
-Friday February 02, 2001 - Jeans And Classics, An Evening With Rik Emmett and Orchestra London. Centennial Hall, London, Ontario. Tickets: $35.00, $32.00, $25.00 Available by calling (519) 679-8778.
recently began preproduction on its new album in New York. Recording was
scheduled to begin December 2 at Milbrook Recording Studios. Platypus is now a
trio -- vocalist/guitarist Ty Tabor (Kings X), bassist John Myung (Dream
Theatre) and drummer Rod Morgenstein (ex-Winger, Dixie Dregs) -- due to the
departure of keyboardist Derek Sherinian. The new material will be more
guitar-driven and have a heavier edge than the band's two previous releases.
Platypus' new CD is tentatively scheduled for a mid- to late-spring release.
Aaron Small, Senior Writer for Brave
Words & Bloody Knuckles, has launched his own website.
The site, designed and maintained by JohnnyEBIZ.com will be updated the first
week of each month and features Current News, a Features Archive, a list of
Interviews Aaron has done, Album Of The Month, Metal Concert Listings for all of
Canada, information about BW&BK and of course Links.
The latest update from Catchy
Hooks is up now: VISION - The Best of (Conny Lind from Amaze Me & Guitar
hero Lars Eric Mattsson),STEVE WALSH - Glossolalia (first solo album in 20 years
from Kansas vocalist),LAMORNA - The Rainhorse (Great AOR from Germany) ,W.A.S.P
- The Sting ,21 GUNS - Nothing´s real ,YNGWIE MALMSTEEN - War to end all wars,
ALYSON AVENUE - Precence of mind (Swedish AOR at its best/eat yer heart out Tone
Norum), Oliver/Dawson SAXON - Re://Landed ,LOST IN TWILIGHT - Planeeter
+ at least 300 more ! Interviews, News, Radio, AOR Poll´s etc. Check also out :BON JOVI - Live report from Holland,Germany,Belgium & England !!! You´re all Welcome to CATCHY HOOKS.
Harmonies MP3 Of The Week: Whaddaya do when you just can't choose between a
couple of songs? Give the people more than one! I never heard of the band
Atlantic before a couple of weeks ago. Excellent melodic AOR in the vein of
Dare. If the production were just a little bit sharper, this album would be a
scorcher. Even so, the album stands up well on its musical merits. So, have a
two-fer this week! From their 1994 album Power, here are Power Over Me and
Rare MP3 Of The Week:
From a recent CDR tree from the fan club
comes a very cool cover of Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” by Michael
[Five discs kicking old school on the SFK
Deck O’ Death this week:]
Stryper – Can’t Stop The Rock, Starship – Best Of, Corey Hart – Singles, Bruce Springsteen – Greatest Hits, Billy Joel – Greatest Hits
Ice – Hybrid Ice, Escape
reissue, 2000 (1982)
[Similarities: Dakota, Styx, Aviator]
Say what you will about Escape, but one thing is hard to fault them on is their impeccable reissues. This Pennsylvania mob released this pomp semi-classic back in 1982. With two freshly recorded bonus tracks (more on those in a second) and nine from the original release, they all blend together pretty well. What that means is that either the band still sounds dated or they threw together some great tunes that stand up well to time. I’ll choose the latter, as songs like “On We Go”, “Magdalene” (with it’s larger than life harmonies on the chorus) and “Please Tell Mary Anne” hold their own against any modern AOR release. I could have done without such rah-rah dreck like “Rock And Roll Forever” or the equally inspid “Do You Believe In Rock And Roll”, but it WAS 1982 so it’s easy to overlook. As for those two bonus tracks, the Xenon-like “Looking Glass” and “Test Of Time” both show the promise that the band can remain relevant in the genre. A nice find in the ‘lost classics’ category.
Jones – Pefawn, Dtox,
[Similarities: Marillion, Genesis, Mr. Mister]
Simply incredible. I’ve always considered HoJo to be something of a musical genius, but I can see where some may find his brand of pop a little too slick or overproduced. But a great song is a great song, and his acoustic album of a few years back proved that. This 2CD set (a single CD version is also available under the title “Perform.00”) is twenty of his songs rerecorded “live in the studio” with a proper band. Howard spends most of the time playing a Hammond or electric piano. And in this manner, many of the songs take on a whole new power and passion that, in almost every case, best the original by a long shot. Some even become about as close as AOR as you can possibly get. Though each and every song is great, the highlights are the expected like “No One is To Blame” or “What Is Love” as well as lesser-known songs like “Tomorrow Is Now” and “Love Is A Good Thing”. If this weren’t a reissue of sorts, this would easily be my best album of the year. But though I have disqualified it from that, if these past two weeks are any indication, it is certainly becoming my most listened to set. If you were not a fan, or even just a casual one, this can make you a believer.
Norgren – Damage Done, Z
[Similarities: Badlands, Blue Murder, King’s X]
I was ready to dismiss this all too easily as just another riff heavy hard rock release. But, as the story always goes, shit happens. Gotta give credit where credit is due, Pontus and crew are blistering and heavy BUT also surprisingly melodic. While the lyrics are pretty bad the music itself is as catchy as anything in recent memory and the playing/singing (can Mats Levin do any wrong?)/producing of all involved is top notch. For me personally though, sometimes the lyrics are the make all/break all, and they just didn’t cut it in this combo. For those who look past such things, this is a great release. For me…that’s a whole other story.
Machine – After School
[Similarities: Cheap Trick, Sweet, Candy]
At first look, I honestly thought this was a joke, or even some bad nostalgia trip. But one spin of this beauty convinced me otherwise. A brilliant slab of glam and power pop that, for lack of a better phrase, kicks some serious bubblegum ass. An amalgamation of all that was good in the 70s, from power pop to glam to AM Gold, tunes like “Bitchin’ Camaro”, “I’m Gonna Steal Your Girlfriend” and “Hot Mom” (sung by one of the Tube Tops, their backup singers) put the likes of Poison and their ilk to shame (remember too that I like Poison!). And songs like “Sugarland” and an unbelievable cover of Abba’s “Does Your Mother Know?” are pure pop heaven…songs so sugary and infectious that they defy further description. With some pretty good guitar solos (remember them?) from Jim Bacci and the incredibly hooky and witty songwriting of Bacci along with vocalist Cody Garrett, who would have thought that a band with a name so goofy like Teen Machine would throw forth one of the year’s most enjoyable listens. But that’s exactly what they have done. Damn this is good stuff…
(Re)Views From The Hill:
[Note: these are reviews done by outside contributors and not myself – Kurt]
Geddy Lee: My Favorite Headache,
[similarities: Rush duh!]
With Rush in hiatus due to the personal traumas of his bandmate, frontman, Geddy Lee has gathered a few high-profile musicians together and made a solo album. Grunge-meister Matt Cameron, John Freisen (Guns & Roses (ex?)) appear on this disc. The main band is a trio, funnily enough. So is this an old rocker trying to sound modern and cutting edge? Nope. Not a chance. This is the greatest Rush album Rush never made. It is one of the best things Lee has done in many a year.
Geddy's voice seems to be in perfect form,
sounding much less strained than it has in the past. This is some of the best
singing he has ever done. This new quality most apparent on the stunning
acoustic/strings dominated piece called "The Angel's Share" and one of
the best things that Lee has ever written. This is the type song that stops you
in your tracks the first time you hear it. It's a very haunting track.
"Working at Perfect" is another great mellow haunting track with
strings and a Faith No More type piano piece. Piano shows up again in
"Slipping" as well, a very beautiful love song, or rather it could be
such, great sing-along chorus as well.
The CD opens with a heavy bass title track called "My Favorite Headache", great rock track that mentions the word nihilistic, can't be bad. There are other rockers such as "Moving to Bohemia." This track would not be out of place on a classic Rush album of old. The same could be said for "The Present Tense," "Home of the Strange" and "Grace to Grace."
Every track on this one is a bloody corker and it gets better with every listen. I am sure every Rush fan already has this disc, but anyone who had a passing fancy for Rush needs this album. Ditto, anyone who likes hard rock of any kind. This is an essential album of 2000, 11 tracks of utter brilliance. - Marty
Basement (Ian McIntosh):
Actually read something from a record
industry executive this week! One of the head guys at Universal was saying that
he expected the CD to still be the main music media carrier "for a
generation". Not sure how many years that's supposed to mean, but it does
sound like a sensible approach. By the point that the last CD is pressed,
Universal expects that physical distribution of music will have ended, replaced
by electronic downloads from the internet. Fair enough, but sound quality issues
still need to be addressed....
Universal says that, to survive, all the record labels need to make money out of electronic downloads but "they they haven't figured out how". But much of it will be working hard just to stand still. Studies show that few people believe they should pay as much for a downloaded album compared with a CD. A price of 50% of a CD is being mentioned and only a value of 20 or 30 cents per individual song. To stay where they are, record companies will have to sell a lot more music via digital downloads just to maintain their current revenues. Refreshingly, Universal sees that on-line sales might stimulate extra sales, but importantly it's promoting the idea of "communities built around specialist music that may push up the online sales of the 95% of albums that do not make the charts". Wow, that sounds like it could "rock" music!
Online stores are already finding that sales of back-catalogue releases are way higher than traditional brick-and-mortar stores ever hope to achieve. The online store is seen as far less intimidating to the "older buyer" that a hip shop on the high street.....
One swallow does not make a summer, but it almost sounds like some record label executives might understand that promoting diversity can help their business!
|From: "OVERLORD" firstname.lastname@example.org|
Subject: Ufo tour debacle
Hi Kurt; Love your reports.
I noticed your words re the Ufo saga. Well
let me tell you my story briefly. I saw the ad in Classic Rock for the gigs and
saw Uli Jon Roth was supporting and decided "yes...I MUST go!" So I
indeed did travel all the way from Melbourne, Australia to check out 3 gigs
but....needless to say the day before I went I read on the UFO/Michael Schenker
website that there was major conflict in Manchester and the tour was likely to
be cancelled. Sure enough it was. Still I had a great time in Uk but was
absolutely gutted to not see two of my favorite acts together- it should have
been great but.....Maybe next time!!!!!!!!!
|From: Jerry email@example.com|
Subject: David G Eisley
No, you're not the only one who hates the new DGE, i was sorely disappointed, song writing is atrocious, with the exception of a couple of tracks.....War Dogs, on the other hand, is fabulous!!
|From: "Roger Brosel" firstname.lastname@example.org|
Subject: you are not alone
Once again we share similar tastes. You are not alone in this... I can't stand the David Glenn Eisley cd either.
I guess you already know this band but in
case you don’t here's the link: www.invertigo.com.au
These guys sound truly great and their
debut album is a release that I am really looking forward along with the next
album by Goo Goo Dolls and Vertical Horizon
Subject: SFK Digest
Hey bud....i have to say...that was one of the best digests i've ever read. Way cool...tons of info in this one and great reviews. Keep it up bro.
[Oh go on…erm, really…go
on! Thanks bro. Sorry I missed your show the other night.]
Subject: the best
I just wanted to drop a line to say thanks for the work. Between your email and Andrews Melodicrock website, there really is nowhere else to go for the AOR fan. The two of you strike a nice balance between the pure and the fringe. I’m going broke but I don’t mind! I took a chance on Evan & Jaron, and Keith Urban and would up loving them both. Thanks.
|From: Freddy Aries Freddy_Aries@dims.net|
Subject: Rhythm Corps
I just saw the new track on the webpage and did a little internet browsing for you. For more info on Rhythm Corps, check out these links:
|From: Greg A.Bur email@example.com|
Subject: Rhythm Corps
I can't tell you a whole lot about Rhythm Corps other than they're a band from Michigan who released two albums, Common Ground and The Future's Not What It Used To Be. They used to tour around here (northern Michigan) quite a bit in the late 80s early 90s but then they just disappeared. Their first album is by far their best in my opinion. I think they caught a bad case of the sophomore jinx on their second(last?) album. Anyway, that's what I know about them, I don't know if that helps you at all. ubl.com has a little more info on them but not a whole helluva lot.