Column from November 1st, 1999 issue

Thanks for the reaction to last week's column. Seems that my thoughts echo how many of you out there feel right now.... It's a strange feeling of the whole melodic rock scene kind of being in suspended animation neither developing nor improving. And, you've still got too many people too content to have melodic rock be their own little secret. It won't survive much longer in a viable form if it continues to be the plaything of a conceited in-crowd!

Been looking down the up-and-coming releases in Japan this week and there's some interesting stuff on the way over the next six weeks. Don Henley finally has a new solo album coming out under the title "Otherwise", by the look of it Japan will get that release slightly earlier than the rest of the world on November 11th. Greg Howe's excellent recent album "Ascend" finally gets a Japanese release on November 26th - Greg originally had that one available by mail order on his own label and it's well worth hearing. MR. Big drummer Pat Torpey is turning out is second solo album in double quick time with "Y2K" coming out November 25th in Japan, with an exclusive bonus track. Slightly earlier in November, the 20th to be exact, with see Paul Rodgers sticking out a new one by the name of "Deep Blue" and a new Paul Gilbert/Racer X album (!!!) is also due on December 8th.

For those of you so inclined, Rik Emmett now has a series of MP3 files available for download from his official web site at The tracks are "Beyond Borders" and "Between the Dreams of You and I". Rik is also working on a Christmas album with Sam Reid under the title of "The Spirit of Christmas" - advance MP3 tracks from that project will also be available for download for the web site very soon....