“And the smallest streams, run to the
And every river, runs to the sea
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You know what I believe, it comes back to me”
- Rick Springfield, Karma
and usr - Kurt Torster
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Next week there will be the usual news but no reviews. I will be recapping the best of 2000 though. And we’ll be a day late to boot.
Hey it's Christmas next week...just so you
know, it's not too late to mail me a present.
Hey it's Christmas next week...just so you know, it's not too late to mail me a present.
Now $10 off a $39.95 order
The Corrs’ “Breathless”
was ranked the #1 single of 2000 on the European Top 50.
Howard Jones hopes
to have his new album out next summer. He plans to use the orchestra that he has
been touring with on The Night Of The Proms European tour on a few
tracks. The general direction of the music will be back to the more hi-tech AOR
of his 80s sound.
and Oni Logan are reuniting for another Lynch
touches are being put on the long awaited Journey
edition of VH-1’s
Behind The Music. The band addresses this themselves on their website
latest on House Of Lords? Check
out their website for a very
often you come across a website that just defies description. This is one of
those sites…rock and roll is the music
of the devil, ‘nuff said. The scary thing is, these guys are serious. A
quick warning, do not visit unless you have a lot of time to kill…you will
read and read and read.
"May the best thing that happened to
you last year be the worst thing that happens to you this year" Lots of
Love- Chip, Donnie, Ricky and Monaco and all of us in the background of the
"Z'nuff family". Check out this holiday
card from Enuff Z’nuff.
Kip Winger has
the latest tour dates on his site.
The message board over at Marcie
Free’s website is up and running
along with some really cool MP3s. Look for the reissue of “Tormented”
early next year.
Vertical Horizon and
been added to the lineup for Dick Clark’s Rocking New Year’s Eve. They
join Third Eye Blind and
others, to play for the 400,000 in Times Square. Kiss
is also the
subject of the first Fan Club, a new documentary style show on music fans
airing on VH-1 this Friday night.
Queen, Aerosmith, Michael Jackson and
Steely Dan will
be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in March.
Robbie Williams is
denying that he will tour with Queen in
the US next year in a bid to get a foothold Stateside.
ordered the Doobie Brothers new
album, “Live Millennium”, may have discovered a glitch on some of the
intros and outros while being re-sequenced. According to a spokesperson for IMIX,
this was an unavoidable problem, as the company was not allowed to make any
edits to the music.
is the release date for “Superstars And Cannonballs: Live On Tour”,
the new DVD/video from Savage Garden. The
Best Thing, Break Me Shake Me, To The Moon & Back, The Lover After Me, I
Don't Know You Anymore, Santa Monica, Two Beds And A Coffee Machine, You Can
Still Be Free, The Animal Song, Hold Me, Gunning Down Romance, Crash And Burn,
Truly Madly Deeply, Chained To You, I Want You, I Knew I Loved You and
& Then has signed ex-Journey/Vinnie Vincent singer Robert Fleischmann. Those
rumored to be involved in the album are Stuart Smith, Jim Vallance, Bryan Adams
and Neil Schon.
manager for Guns N’ Roses has said that the band’s long awaited next
album should be out in June of next year.
single from the Marvelous 3 will be “Get Over”.
an acoustic performance from Michael McDermott at Yahoo!
two songs this past Friday on the KLOS Mark & Brian Christmas show. "I
did it because they asked me and they weren't some big-hair reunion tour,"
Coverdale joked. His new single, "Slave," is at No. 26 on the
Radio & Records Rock Airplay chart. He was backed by members of the band
Dragonchoir, including guitarists Marc Bonilla and Mike Wallace, keyboardist Ed
Roth, bassist Bob Birch (Elton John), drummer Troy Luccketta (Tesla), and
session giant Steve Porcaro (Toto), also on keyboards. Look for a review of “Into
The Light” next week in SFK.
anyone care about Metallica suing a perfume maker over a Metallica scent?
Nah, didn’t think so.
2000: Scenes From New York” video will be out the last week of February.
Besides the entire August 30, 2000 performance from New York City, the DVD will
also contain audio commentary, one extra hour of live material, behind the
scenes and a tour photo gallery.
new Platypus album is in the can. Platypus is made up of Ty Tabor, John
Myung, Rod Morgenstein and Derek Sherinian. Ty and Derek have another project
going with Gregg and Matt Bissonette that should start recording in January.
release “1001 Nights” in February through Z Records. Members of the
Long Island, NY bases band include John Blaze, Dennis St. James, Bobby Marks and
will reissue “Welcome To The Club” from Kick Axe on February
The Heavy Harmonies MP3
Of The Week: When one hears the name Van Zant, one tends to think of
southern rock, Good Ole' Boys, and "The South Will Rise Again". Well,
let's put a twist on that. Johnny Van Zant put out an album in 1985 that, unlike
what you would expect, has all the trademark hooks and melodies of AOR and
melodic hard rock. Here from the album Van Zant is the track I'm a Fighter.
Rare MP3 Of The Week:
The dance club remix of Bon Jovi’s “It’s
My Life”…need I say more?
[Five discs kicking old school on the SFK
Deck O’ Death this week:]
John Mellencamp – Rough Harvest, Various Artists – Lost In The 70s (3CD set of my personal fave AM Gold), Bee Gees – Greatest, Whitesnake – Greatest Hits, Nuclear Valdez – I Am I
– The Crown,
[Similarities: Guild Of Ages, Dream Theater, Deep Purple]
Well played, well produced…boring as hell. I’m sorry, but I just don’t get these guys. There’s no doubt that what they do, they do very well but this whole style or genre is lost on me. It all sounds so hopelessly dated. It seems, at least personally, that every time the band gets going they just fill the song with endless passages that don’t compliment the tune very well. “Together We Fly” could have been a tasty slice of arena rock but it just lingers on and on towards the end and outstays it’s welcome. As for the rest, songs like “Fire And Water” or “Children’s Memory” just come across as very flat and lifeless. Always though, there are exceptions and “Restless Angel”, as clichéd as it is, is a soaring ballad that is easily the highlight here. Previous fans of Axe and GOA will no doubt go ga-ga here but frankly, this just ain’t for me.
Ray Cyrus – Southern Rain, Sony,
[Similarities: Bob Seger, Bryan Adams, Lynyrd Skynyrd]
The line between new country and classic rock blurs more and more with each passing release. Eventually an artist would come through and not just ride the fence, but bust right on through. Who would have thought it would be Billy Ray Cyrus (yup, he of “Achy Breaky Heart” fame)? With a nice mix of incredibly heart felt ballads (the gorgeous “You Won’t Be Lonely” and “Love You Back”) and balls out rockers (the arena rocking “We The People” and the Garth-like “Burn Down The Trailer Park”), this is one very listenable and enjoyable album. Dann Huff lays down some scorching guitar leads, something which he hasn’t done is some time. And, Billy Ray can sing with the best of them. Granted, this is still packaged/labeled as country (as you will find a tiny bit of twang here and there) but this is much more born from the sounds of Bob Seger and the like then it is from Nashville. A huge surprise and one hell of an album. Classic rock fans willing to take a chance will enjoy this…a lot.
– In The Valley Of Dying Stars, Arena
[Similarities: The Raspberries, Foo Fighters, Cheap Trick]
I must have listened to this disc about a dozen times but if pressed, I could barely remember a thing about it. Very smooth Brit sounding power pop that’s too easily digestible. It all sounds pretty good when playing it, but the second the disc ends, so does any recollection of what you just listened to. And it’s sad really because some of these songs seem like they could have been scorchers just became nothing more than pleasant background music (whether it was the production (which seemed to lack punch) or something else more sinister I do not know). The band seems at it’s best, surprisingly, when it slows things down to a Beatlesque style, with “The Warmth Of A Tomb”, the only song that stuck when thrown to the wall.
Thin Lizzy – The Boys Are Back
In Town, Vertigo,
[Similarities: UFO, old Whitesnake, Bruce Springsteen]
Is it me or is there a new Thin Lizzy compilation out each holiday season? This one is a little different and probably the most complete and defining collection you’re likely to find. Besides containing all the usual suspects (like “Jailbreak” and “The Boys Are Back In Town”) you also get some gems from Phil Lynott’s solo work as well as a second disc of rare tracks. What this all goes to show is that Phil was simply one of THE finest songwriters to ever grace the planet. It’s genius how he can switch gears from the swank (“Dancing In The Moonlight”) to the blistering (“Bad Reputation”) to the lightweight (“Old Town”) without missing a step. Lizzy fanatics will no doubt want the rarities and for the uninitiated, this is a fine place to start. Every CD collection needs at least one Lizzy disc and you might as well make it this one. [From what I gather, the 2CD set is limited to 20,000 copies so get yours pronto.]
Winger – Songs From The
Ocean Floor, Frontiers/Now
& Then, 2000
[Similarities: Duncan Shiek, Martin Page, Howard Jones]
I have never been the biggest Winger (the band) fan. Other than “Pull”, I found most of their songs clichéd and generic beyond belief. Odd considering how much talent the band had, and for what it’s worth, Kip is sounding vocally better than ever. Kip’s first solo outing was a mature, yet depressing, singer/songwriter album that was decent if a touch boring. The songwriting was great though. This time out, the songwriting is even better and what’s more, so are the songs. Thankfully still sounding nothing like Winger (the band), this is more along of the lines of say Duncan Shiek or similar adult pop, which is fine by me. I don’t think I could pick out a highlight (or lowlight) yet as I’m still taking it all in, but I know I like what I hear. Off the top of my head, the upbeat and off rhythm “Faster” (which reminds me of Corey Hart), the acoustic swagger of “Broken Open” and the soulful “Resurrection” have become fast favorites. An album full of layers and textures that take multiple listens to sort out, it feels like it will be worth it in the long run. Nothing here rocks the arenas but that’s just not where Kip is at these days, and we either have to choose to go along on his journey or ignore him altogether. Those that chose the latter will be missing out on an artist growing into his talent.
(Re)Views From The Hill:
[Note: these are reviews done by outside contributors and not myself – Kurt]
Ayreon - Universal Migrator Part 1: The
Dream Sequencer, Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Navigator, Spitfire
[similarities: Pink Floyd, Planet P Project, Dream Theater, Iron Maiden]
Arjen Lucassen, never one to do things according to normal methods has decided to release these 2 discs separately, ala Guns & Roses Use Your Ilusion I, II. Unlike GnR, which was a mish-mash of music on both, Arjen has decided to separate his music into two categories. The first CD is very atmospheric in the Pink Floyd (with a bit of Sgt Pepper as well) sense, while the second album is more a prog-metal album. Rather than jumbling the two types of music you know what you are getting when you put in the CD. Many of us just listen to them one after the other.
For this huge rock/metal opera Arjen has
assembled an impressive list of top tier hard rock and metal musicians from
bands as diverse as Spock's Beard and Gorefest. Leading luminaries such as Bruce
Dickinson, Andi Deris (Helloween), Lana Lane and Neal Morse lend their vocal
talents to the music on each of the two discs. The cast of contributors is truly
international ranging from the Scandinavian to the Japanese. Not all musicians
appear on both albums, but they tend to be on the one most suited to their
individual talents. Let's put it this way, there is a whole page of musicians in
the press release. Arjen's arrangements seem to be very good at using musicians
and vocalists for right part of his vision.
The Story of UM is one of the last
surviving human in the solar system and his quest to get back to earth from his
home on Mars. He is aided by a computer system which allows him to travel back
in time and experience life as it was. The storyline of these albums is
impressive, but not at the expense of the music, which is outstanding. As one
would expect from this sort of thing, the tunes blend one into the other to
create an overall landscape. Far from being ponderous or boring, the music never
bogs down and continues to take the listener along as it progresses the story.
As you can expect from this sort of
release, there is nothing on either disc that would work as a single, per se.
Highlights are even harder to find, both albums are "session"
listens". With a combined total of almost 150 minutes, these two discs are
perfect for a long journey. The patient are rewarded with an amazing tapestry of
hard rock music that is quite brilliant.
Personally I think one needs to buy both
of these discs as they are both amazing. Try something new and unique, you wont
be disappointed. Kudos to Spitfire for releasing this sort of the thing in the
US. - Marty
Basement (Ian McIntosh):
The stock market is getting tetchy: what's
taking the Bertlesmann deal to take-over EMI so long to get done? Bertlesmann
has even been working hard to cool stock market anticipation that a deal was
"imminent". Talks between the two have been underway since
mid-November but it is now expected to be the end of January before a deal is
reached, or not.
Bertlesmann says it has a lot to check out
and analyze about the deal. Knowing how EMI has operated over the years there's
probably some skeletons in some closets! However, BMG says that "slow but
steady" progress has been made and the main things it is addressing are:
price (obviously!); management structure (how to get rid of the EMI suits
without paying them too much, I'd wager!); and perhaps more importantly, a
strategy for getting the deal pass anti-trust and competition regulators. The
management issues are said to be "sensitive", I guess because some of
the EMI bigwigs will still want some semblance of power even though it's their
company getting taken over by BMG, not the other way round.
The antitrust issues are what will really
prove whether the deal will fly. If the deal is done, the European Commission
seems to have recognized that the major music groups will have decreased from
five to four (like duh!), which is just the right number to dominate the entire
market, even more.
At this stage the way to getting past the
antitrust regulators would appear to be disposing of one of the EMI-owned
labels. The Virgin label has already been highlighted, but whether the geezers
at EMI will be able to bear parting with that remains to be seem. Then again,
their company is falling about around their ears and looking like the playground
It's all about money, pure and simple.
Making money not music seems to be prime directive for the music industry -
isn't everything now back to front?
|From: "Peter Edwardson" email@example.com|
Subject: Jaime Kyle
Hi Kurt, Last year I bought a copy of "The Best of My Heart" by Jaime Kyle released on Frontiers Records which I thought was superb, one of the best albums I've bought recently - excellent songwriting and stunning vocals.
I believe Jaime has released a new album this year called "Untangled", which is apparently less AOR and more country/West Coast. However, this hasn't made its way over here to the UK yet. Has anyone heard it? Is it any good?
Kurt, Thanks for the sfk yet again.
Noticed one classic AOR tunes missing from your all-time fav. Christmas songs, but then again I can understand how you haven't heard it: Whiteheart (Little drummer boy) Simply awesome AOR!
1 CHRISTMAS WRAPPING THE WAITRESSES
2 LET'S MAKE CHRISTMAS MERRY BABY BROTHER CANE
3 RUN RUDOLPH RUN DAVE EDMUNS
4 FATHER CHRISTMAS THE KINKS
5 ROCK N' ROLL CHRISTMAS GEORGE THOROGOOD & DESTROYERS
6 CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEAS COME HOME) U2
7 I SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS JOHN MELLENCAMP
8 CHRISTMAS IT THE TIME TO SAY I LOVE YOU BILLY SQUIRE
9 CHRISTMAS ALL OVER AGAIN TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS
10 ROCKIN' AROUND THE CHRITMAS TREE RONNIE SPECTOR/DARLENE LOVE
11 THANK GOD IT'S CHRISTMAS QUEEN
12 MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
13 LITTLE SAINT NICK BEACH BOYS
14 BACK DOOR SANTA BON JOVI
15 ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS FOGHAT
16 CHRISTMAS IN HOLLIS RUN DMC
17 CHRISTMAS WITH THE DEVIL SPINAL TAP
18 SANTA CLUSE IS COMING TO TOWN BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
19 SANTA CLAUS AND HIS OLD LADY CHEECH & CHONG
20 THE RAMONES - MERRY CHRISTMAS I DON'T WANNA FIGHT TONIGHT
|From: "Georgios Sidiropoulos" firstname.lastname@example.org|
Hi! Try this one:
1. Spinal Tap - Christmas With The Devil
2. T-Rex - Christmas Bop
3. Monty Python - Christmas In Heaven
4. Fear - Fuck Christmas
5. Ramones - Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)
6. TVTV$ - Daddy Drank Our Christmas Money
7. The Frogs - Here Comes Santa's Pussy
8. 220 Volt - Heavy Christmas
9. Wild man Fischer & Dr. Demento - I'm A Christmas Tree