http://melodicrock.com/articles/news-feed/2017/10/13/mecca-demos-audio-preview-pre-order  

  

Mr. Big

Mon
31
Jul

MR. BIG - Defying Gravity (Review)

information persons: 
content: 
85%
Produced By: 
Kevin Elson
Release Date: 
2017
Released: 
Worldwide
Musical Style: 
Melodic Hard Rock
Score: 
85
Label: 
Frontiers
Artist: 
 
Reviews are back! And they’re staying back. With more than 200 albums to catch up on, the first on the block is the latest from one of my favourite groups ever – Mr. Big.

 
Let’s cut right to the chase. This is without doubt the worst sounding Mr. Big album ever. I’m not sure why this ultra-toned down bass heavy style was chosen – but with the combined talent of the 4 guys plus production genius Kevin Elson, it had to of been a conscious decision.
 
The sound gives the impression of a really muddy mix, but everything can be heard clear enough. This took a good while to appreciate, the nature of the music is quite different from the usual Mr. Big sound and quite diverse also. It reminds me of the raw energy and tempo of the debut, which I put a long way ahead of this album.
But there are some real gems here – even if the guys did seem to run short towards the end of the album.
 
The man in control of this album appears to be Paul Gilbert, as his guitar is truly the driving force, not just in the riffs, but also in the song melodies as best exemplified with the two best songs of the album, the title track Defying Gravity and also the head turning ripping flurry of notes driving Mean To Me.
 
The album sits in mid-tempo mode for the majority of it’s 11 songs. The groove is, as usual, one of the highlights of playback, I just love these guys when going at it on the opening Open Your Eyes, Everybody Needs A Little Trouble and the two aforementioned tracks.
 
Interspersed between the grooves is the glorious feel good acoustic rocker Damn I’m In Love Again and one of the band’s finest ballads ever in Forever & Back. It’s a real gem with a killer Eric Martin vocal.
Its followed immediately by another melodic track She’s All Coming Back To Me Now, before a trilogy of groovers. Sadly I could probably have stopped the album here as while 1992 is average, the next two are slow and dull, with only the last 90 seconds of Be Kind proving worthy. If only the instrumental flurry here was more prevalent throughout the album.

Well, there’s several typically fantastic tracks here, which I will add to my Mr. Big playlist, but also several fillers and that production sound.
So while there’s magic to be heard, it’s in the individual tracks rather than the album as a whole.
Categories: 
 
Mon
19
Jun

FIREWORKS Issue 75 Out Now - MR. BIG Cover

Artist: 
 
MASSIVE 148 PAGE ISSUE #79 OF FIREWORKS OUT NOW!!
 
Not only do we have some great interviews with the likes of Mr Big, Kobra & the Lotus, Warrant, Jethro Tull, Harem Scarem, Ritchie Kotzen, Jorn Lande, Ten, Seether, Dragonforce, Bonfire, Iced Earth and many more, we also have OVER FIFTY pages of reviews, the largest reviews section of any music magazine in the UK, with in-depth, intelligent discussions and opinions.
 
Do you remember the 80s and early 90s, in a time before the internet dominated our lives, when there was a large number of Rock fanzines giving us all the latest news and reviews that you wouldn’t find in the majors? Titles like AOR Basement, Boulevard, Voltz, Frontiers, Hard Roxx and many more. We surely do, and in this issue Rob Evans takes a look back at those titles and chats with some of those involved, in Part 1 of ‘Read ‘Em And Weep’.
 
Keeping Rob company on Memory Lane is Dave Reynolds as he takes a detailed look back into 1974, a year that saw debut releases from the likes of KISS, Rush, Bad Company and Kansas!
Add in our usual features:  Sisters In Rock, Breaking Bands, The Vinyl Countdown, Unsung Heroes, Take 5, The Expert’s Guide and Bands That Time Forgot, along with our free 52 page pdf on our CD (download link for outside UK) then there is an insane amount of reading packed into 200 pages … plus 90 mp3 songs to listen to – and all for the crazy low price £5.99 plus postage!
 
 
 
Categories: 
 
Mon
19
Jun

Noize In The Attic Podcast - ERIC MARTIN (Mr. Big)

Artist: 
 
Weekly syndicated US radio show Noize In The Attic - Where Your Past Comes Back To Haunt You (www.noizeintheattic.com) goes in-depth with Eric Martin of Mr. Big.  We discuss the new record, early Eric Martin Band history, the current drama with Journey and much more!
 
On the new Mr. Big album "Defying Gravity";
 
"I was frustrated as hell because I didn't feel I had enough pre-production for these songs"..
 
Listen to the full episode here (interview starts at 16 minutes)
 
 
 

 

Categories: 
 
Wed
14
Jun

MR. BIG 'Defying Gravity' Formats Announced, Release Delayed

Artist: 
 
MR. BIG ‘Defying Gravity' New Release Date
 
7.21.17 - CD / Deluxe CD/DVD / Digital
8.18.17 - LP / Deluxe Collector’s Edition Box Set 
 
 
 
June 13, 2017 -- Frontiers Music Srl announced full format details and a slightly delayed release date for MR BIG’s new album, ‘Defying Gravity’, pushing it back from the previously announced street date of July 7.
 
The album will be available on CD, LP, deluxe CD/DVD, digitally and a deluxe Collector’s Edition box set that includes: deluxe CD/DVD, LP, poster, numbered lithograph, T-Shirt, sticker. The box set is strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide. See artwork below.
 
The CD and LP contain the following tracklisting: 
Open Your EyesDefying GravityEverybody Needs A Little Trouble / Damn I’m In Love Again / Mean To MeNothing Bad (About Feeling Good) / Forever And Back / She’s All Coming Back To Me Now1992Nothing At All / Be Kind
 
The DVD contents are:
Defying Gravity [music video] / Everybody Needs A Little Trouble [music video] / Making of Defying Gravity [video] / Making of Everybody Needs A Little Trouble [video] / Track by track interview. Total length is approximately 65 minutes.       
 
 
The Box set includes: CD/DVD deluxe edition, Vinyl, Lithograph, Poster, Sticker and exclusive T-Shirt (L size only).
 
The first video from the new record, for ‘Everybody Needs A Little Trouble’, was made available on June 5 and can be seen here:  http://bit.ly/2s8c60k . The group are currently on tour in the U.S. and are planning European dates in the autumn.
 
MR. BIG - ‘Defying Gravity’: press release
 
“OK, we’re rolling.” With those three declarative words (spoken by producer Kevin Elson right after the music kicks in on ‘Open Your Eyes’, an instant callback to the beginning of ‘Addicted to That Rush’, the hard-charging lead track on the band’s self-titled 1989 debut), Mr. Big plants the flag between past, present and future with ‘Defying Gravity’, the band’s ninth original studio album.
 
Recorded in just six days at Ocean Studios in Burbank, California, the album reunites Mr. Big with the aforementioned Elson (Journey, Europe, Lynyrd Skynyrd), who is back behind the boards for the first time since helming the band’s first four albums. ‘Defying Gravity’ deftly showcases that patented Mr. Big blend of crunch and melody, from the freight-train ride of opening cut ’Open Your Eyes’ to the harmony-laden wonderment of ‘Damn I’m In Love Again’ to the nostalgia trip of ‘1992’ (recalling the days when the band was flyng high atop the singles charts with their international smash ‘To Be With You’) to the barnstorming slide-blues closing track, ‘Be Kind’. Overall, the album is prime evidence that the only thing Mr. Big remains tethered to is their ongoing pursuit of achieving creative excellence.
 
“It’s inspiring to work with Mr. Big,” observes guitarist/songwriter Paul Gilbert, who penned much of the material on the new album. “I know that any ideas I bring into the studio have to go through our long-established band filter, which means the songs all have to rock, have melody, and put a grin on the faces of all of my bandmates to make the final cut.” What that means is Gilbert, lead vocalist Eric Martin, bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Pat Torpey all have to agree collectively on the finished product — as does touring drummer Matt Starr, who also joined in on the studio proceedings this time around.
 
That tried-and-true “all for one, one for all” mentality is one of the main things that fuels Mr. Big to reach for new heights whenever they are recording. “That’s what makes a band a band,” believes Torpey. “I think we all feel that way. It’s not one guy’s vision that the other guys all just follow. We’re always kicking ideas around to come to some kind of consensus. And that makes Mr. Big music what it is.”
 
Adds Sheehan, “I like recording with a sense of urgency. Put a mic in front of us, roll tape, and that should sound like what you’re hearing from us live. When you can create that kind of pressure in the studio in a short amount of time, it makes for better songs — and better performances.”
 
Once Martin got in sync with Gilbert, the album took shape in a relatively short amount of time. “My music tells you more about me than I can actually tell you myself,” the vocalist admits. “And ‘Defying Gravity’ is about ignoring everybody in life who tells you it can’t be done; that it’s impossible to do what you love. You have to stand your ground whenever someone tells you to give up your dream to do anything your heart desires — whether it be as a musician, painter, dancer, or whatever you want to be — in favour of a life that’s safe and conventional.”
 
To a man, Mr. Big couldn’t be more pleased to be working with Elson again. “Kevin Elson is really good at steering the ship through rough waters and making it seem like they’re not rough waters,” Gilbert notes. “He’s a very even-keeled guy — mellow, but he still gets it done.” Concurs Sheehan, “It was glorious and fantastic. Kevin creates an atmosphere of ease and creativity. He’s full of so many ideas. Really a wonderful man.” Torpey adds. “We’ve got a lot of history with him. He’s a great guy, super-talented. It’s not like having a dictator for a producer, just somebody who barks commands. He’s got so much experience, history and pedigree — and he’s also a really good friend, so the vibe in the studio was perfect.” Sums up Martin, “I always loved Kevin because of his musical sense, and I love singing in front of him. Kevin has a different approach that’s more cerebral. He has a lot of ideas like a musician and a songwriter would. Kevin’s a huge piece of our recording puzzle. He’s a musician’s friend. He gets good sounds, and I trust his insight and his criticism. Kevin has the golden touch, and he knows how to make great voices sound even greater.”
 
One of the key tracks on the album, ‘1992’, hearkens back to the glories of much headier days for Mr. Big - albeit with tongue planted firmly in cheek. “That was an incredible period in our lives, right when the rumblings of grunge were starting to happen,” Gilbert points out. “So here I am writing about and tweaking something that was so positive in just about every way, but it did open the world to us. Suddenly, we were playing stadiums in Indonesia, just going all over the place. And to this day, whenever we start a  tour, we end up going all around the world. That whole era, back when we all still had giant hair(!), really opened the door for us. Thankfully, people still gravitate toward the underlying thing that is still important, and that’s the music.”
 
Sheehan adds his own spin: “It’s a song about its own history. It reminds me of Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’, a song where a band looks back and talks about how it all went down in a clever way. And ‘1992’ certainly pops for me from a philosophical point of view.” Muses Torpey, “Who would have thought we would actually be talking about something like this 25 years later? But I’ve had those thoughts myself. It’s really interesting to reflect back like that and actually have it come out in a song. It’s an epic kind of song that’s got the classic rock stuff, the crazy guitar-and-bass stuff, and the big vocals from Eric. It’s a Mr. Big song, no doubt.”
 
Speaking of the band’s inherent instrumental virtuosity, there is plenty of it on display during the middle section of ‘Mean to Me’, where Paul and Billy trade a score of hot licks back and forth. “That song came about very quickly,” Gilbert reports, “and the solo was a first take with no overdubs at all; it was done live with the band. The delay I used helped make it twice as fast, but you still have to be dead-on accurate, and play the notes super-staccato so that it doesn’t get sloppy. Billy, however, does it all for real where no effects were necessary. He battles my technology-aided solo with the pure fire from his hands.” Observes Torpey, “The songs themselves are always important, but we always want to come up with the right vehicle to have some gymnastics between those twin towers of rock, Billy and Paul. That’s a big part of what we do, and we utilise it. I hope the fans like it.”
 
Martin is proud that ‘Defying Gravity’ showcases the best of what Mr. Big has to offer. “There’s something about this band. We’ve been through a lot of stuff together,” he notes, “but there’s a spiritual bond we all share, no matter what. And that raises you up to give the best performance you can for a record that came together so quickly, like this one did.” Adds Sheehan, “This record really seems to fit in with some of my favourite times in music, which were right around ’68 to ’74. The other thing is, Mr. Big is really a singing band, and I love the fact we have that here with the background vocals we were able to add to some of the songs.”
 
For his part, Gilbert is very much looking forward to bringing ‘Defying Gravity’ to life for Mr. Big fans the world over: “We’re aware that we’re going to be playing this music onstage, and we’re no longer just going to be looking into each other’s eyes — we’re going to be looking into the eyes of the audience. We know our audience quite well, and we’re looking forward to seeing their reactions to the album.”
 
Torpey has the final word: “The title says it all: 'Defying Gravity'. We’re still here, and we’re still keeping the ball rolling down that hill. We’re still doing it. The album has a positive message, and that’s what I like about it. We can still fly, even after all these years.”
 
Indeed, Mr. Big’s keen combination of their virtuosic nature with a DNA-infused sense of melody continues to enable listeners the ability to sing along to every word they hear. Not a lot of acts can do that as deftly as Mr. Big does, and ‘Defying Gravity’ finds this still-hungry band collectively leaning into it to push their music into new stratospheres. Climb aboard.
 
MR. BIG:
Eric Martin - Vocals
Paul Gilbert - Guitar
Billy Sheehan- Bass
Pat Torpey- drums
with Matt Starr - drums
Produced by Kevin Elson
 

 

Categories: 
 
Tue
09
May

MR. BIG Return With 'Defying Gravity' Out July 7

Artist: 
Mr Big's new album, "Defying Gravity" will be released on July 7, 2017 on CD, CD/DVD and Digital.
A vinyl edition will be released as well at a later date to be announced soon.
 
DEFYING GRAVITY deftly showcases that patented MR. BIG blend of crunch and melody, from the freight-train ride of opening cut "Open Your Eyes" to the harmony-laden wonderment of "Damn I'm in Love Again" to the grateful/wistful nostalgia of "1992" (recalling the days when the band was flying high atop the singles charts with their international #1 smash "To Be With You") to the barnburning slide-blues closer, "Be Kind." Overall, DEFYING GRAVITY is prime evidence that the only thing MR. BIG remains tethered to is their ongoing pursuit of achieving creative excellence.
 
Original members Eric Martin (singer) (lead vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitars), Billy Sheehan (bass) and Pat Torpey (drums) reunited with producer Kevin Elson (who was behind the boards for the band’s 1989 self-titled debut, 1991’s LEAN INTO IT and 1993’s BUMP AHEAD) for an intensive six-day recording session in Los Angeles. While Torpey was unable to perform some of the songs on DEFYING GRAVITY due to a recent diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, Matt Starr has been filling in for him on a majority of the album. Starr also been touring with the band for the past couple of years, with Torpey able to play a couple of songs at each stop.
 
“It was great to get back in the studio with our original producer, Kevin Elson,” says guitarist Paul Gilbert. “Kevin recorded all of our original classic albums from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and we immediately felt that magic chemistry with him on DEFYING GRAVITY. We basically played live in the studio. Over the years, we’ve all had a chance to experiment with every recording technique possible, but it’s still always the best just to play together as a band. Most of my guitar solos were tracked live with the band. I’ve worked hard on my improvisation in the last few years, and it really paid off on this record…both melodically, and on the face-melting stuff.”
 
DEFYING GRAVITY is the follow-up to 2014’s THE STORIES WE COULD TELL (Frontiers Music Srl), which Ultimate-Guitar.com described as “An exceptional offering of accelerated hard rock from one of the more dominant ‘supergroups’ of the late 1980s, MR. BIG return with a vengeance on THE STORIES WE COULD TELL.”
 
An official trailer for DEFYING GRAVITY can be seen here:
 

 
MR. BIG is gearing up for the launch their latest worldwide tour which starts May 31 in Milwaukee, WI at the Potowatami Casino. For all the latest tour dates, fans should check the band’s official website: www.mrbigsite.com
 
“2017 is filling up quickly with tour dates all around the world,” proclaims Gilbert. “I can’t wait to play the new songs, and of course our favorites from the old days like ‘Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy’ ‘Just Take My Heart,’ ‘Green Tinted Sixties Mind,’ ‘Wild World,’ and ‘To Be With You.’”
 
Here’s the complete track listing for DEFYING GRAVITY:
 
1. Open Your Eyes
2. Defying Gravity
3. Everybody Needs a Little Trouble
4. Damn I’m In Love Again
5. Mean to Me
6. Nothing Bad (About Feeling Good)
7. Forever and Back
8. She’s All Coming Back to Me Now
9. 1992
10. Nothing At All
11. Be Kind
 
Check out MR. BIG at any of the following tour stops (MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED):
 
Leg 1:
5/31 Milwaukee, WI Potowatami Casino
6/2 St. Charles, IL Arcada Theatre
6/3 Wetland, MI The Token Lounge
6/6 Warrendale, PA Jergel’s Rhythm Grille
6/7 Newton, NJ Newton Theatre
6/9 Uncasville, CT The Wolf Den/Mohegan Sun
6/10 New York, NY B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
6/12 Nashville, TN Basement East
6/14 Lexington, KY Manchester Music Hall
6/16 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey Live
6/17 Houston, TX Scout Bar
6/19 Kansas City, MO Knuckleheads Saloon
6/22 Tempe, AZ Marquee Theatre
6/23 Agoura Hills, CA Canyon Club
6/24 Pasadena, CA The Rose
 
Categories: 
 
Fri
10
Feb

RICHIE KOTZEN ‘Salting Earth’ 21st Solo Album Due April 14

Artist: 
RICHIE KOTZEN
‘SALTING EARTH’ 21st SOLO ALBUM
SET FOR RELEASE APRIL 14 VIA HIS OWN HEADROOM-INC LABEL;
 
WORLDWIDE TOUR STARTS IN THE U.S.
APRIL 21 IN AGOURA HILLS, CA
 
February 9, 2017 -- RICHIE KOTZEN has never been an artist known for playing by the rules. And for this ever-adventurous triple-threat songwriter/guitarist/vocalist, that meant putting on the brakes after a nonstop flurry of band-related activity in order to refuel the creative process for the ten heartfelt and hard-hitting songs that comprise his new, vibrant 21st solo album, SALTING EARTH, out April 14 via his own custom label, Headroom-Inc.
 
KOTZEN tossed convention on its ear by actually taking one step back in order to move two steps forward. “It’s something I really needed to do in order to reset myself,” he explains.
 
Kotzen’s “charge to recharge” was officially put into play following the mega-success of the 2015–16 tour behind his band The Winery Dogs’ sophomore effort, the oh-so-appropriately named HOT STREAK. And the man’s reset manifesto wound up hitting all the right buttons too. The proof is on display deep within the grooves of SALTING EARTH, which veers from the balls-out, heads-up declaration of the opening track and first single, “End of Earth,” to the burning-sky harmonic thrust of “Thunder” to the Prince-like funk-jazz swing of “This Is Life” to the acoustified take-me-as-I-am self-reflection of the album’s final song, “Grammy.”
 
The majority of SALTING EARTH is the result of KOTZEN’s one-man production machine, with the exception of Julia Lage adding background vocals to “Make It Easy,” a tasty, sing-along groove stew. “It’s really not deliberate when the record is finished and suddenly I’m the only performer on it,” Kotzen admits. “It actually comes out of my process of writing and documenting my ideas. It started back in the late-’80s when I had a makeshift studio in my parents’ barn. I grew up fairly isolated, and I soon realized in order to get this music out of my head and onto a format where I could listen to it, I’d have to figure out how to do it alone.”
 
KOTZEN’s previous solo release, 2015’s diverse, far-reaching CANNIBALS, was a well-received hit among his core fan base, and SALTING EARTH cuts like the aforementioned “End of Earth,” “Thunder,” and “Divine Power” all showcase the scorching guitar solos and soaring vocals that one would expect from a KOTZEN solo album. That said, there’s also quite a vulnerable side on display here that’s perhaps best demonstrated in the stripped-down approach to the album’s closing salvo, “Grammy.”
 
“That song came to me in the oddest way at the most inconvenient time,” he reveals of the track that can be filed in the “first thought, best thought” category. One night when he was home alone, “I basically woke myself up with the chorus melody in my head, and in my haze, I knew that if I didn’t at least record the idea, it would be forever lost. I ended up programming a simple drum beat, and then recorded the acoustic guitar. The lyrics pretty much wrote themselves. By 6 in the morning, the song was finished. I was going to do more overdubs, but I kept playing it over and over, and I just felt like there was something so personal coming out of the speakers. By messing with it, I’d likely destroy the magic — so I left it as it is.”
 
Bringing SALTING EARTH live to the people is KOTZEN’s next holy mission. “My real outlet is touring — playing live as much as I can, wherever I can, whenever I can,” he says enthusiastically. “It’s one of the few things you can’t copy, steal, or download. It’s an engaging human experience that’s a give-and-take between both the performer and the audience, and there is nothing else like it on this earth.”
 
KOTZEN will launch his “Salting Earth Tour” on April 21 at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA. He and his band are planning to tour extensively throughout the U.S. and continue their journey into Mexico, South America, and Europe. A complete list of international tour dates will be posted on KOTZEN’s official website and social media pages.
 
Here’s the complete track listing of SALTING EARTH:
 
1. End of Earth
2. Thunder
3. Divine Power
4. I’ve Got You
5. My Rock
6. This Is Life
7. Make It Easy
8. Meds
9. Cannon Ball
10. Grammy
 
Check out RICHIE KOTZEN at any of the following U.S. stops:
 
DATE               CITY                                         VENUE
 
Fri 4/21             Agoura Hills, CA                        Canyon Club
Sat 4/22            Pasadena, CA                           The Rose
Sun 4/23           San Juan Capistrano, CA           Coach House
Tue 4/25            San Diego, CA                          Brick By Brick
Fri 4/28             Las Vegas, NV                          Vamp’d
Sat 4/29            Scottsdale, AZ                          BLK Live
Mon 5/1            Denver, CO                               Oriental Theatre
Wed 5/3            Moline, IA                                 Rascal’s Live
Thu 5/4             St. Charles, IL                           Arcada Theatre
Fri 5/5               Westland, MI                             The Token Lounge
Sun 5/7             Whitesburg, KY                         Appalshop Theater
Tue 5/9             Pittsburgh, PA                          Altar Bar
Thu 5/11            New York, NY                           B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
Sat 5/13            Annapolis, MD                          Rams Head On Stage
Sun 5/14           New Hope, PA                          Havana New Hope
Wed 5/17          Bethlehem, PA                          Musikfest Café
Categories: 
 
Tue
19
Apr

PAUL GILBERT Will Destroy on May 27

Artist: 

It's no accident that I CAN DESTROY cuts a wide swath of styles and textures, from the full-frontal assault of  'Everybody Use Your Goddamn Turn Signal' to the jazz-blues lament of 'One Woman Too Many' (which also features GILBERT's patented four-pick Makita drill-bit riffery) to the radio-friendly balladeering of 'Love We Had' to the smoking-hot gut/heart punch of 'I Am Not the One (Who Wants To Be With You),' the latter track's title a playful reference to the ubiquitous #1 hit PAUL GILBERT enjoyed as part of his gig as lead guitarist for the still-going-strong Mr. Big.
 
'My guitar playing was born from playing in my teenage heavy rock bands,' GILBERT explains. 'After playing for 40 years, I've been able to evolve the way that I see the fretboard, and how I hear the guitar in my head. This opens up my soloing, and also my writing. I couldn't have written this music when I was a kid. I couldn't have written these lyrics either. I needed time to live'to experience joy, and anger, and love, and frustration at people who don't use their turn signals.'
 
GILBERT knew that I CAN DESTROY producer Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Rush, Joe Bonamassa), whom he previously collaborated with on Mr. Big's 2011 release WHAT IF, would push him to do his best from the get-go. 'One thing I knew about working with Kevin as a solo artist is that there weren't going to be that many overdubs on the record ' not that many takes, and not many fixes,' he reports. 'As a musician, that puts the fear into you. It's a good fear, and it made me want to prepare in a pretty healthy way.'
 
With Shirley onboard to get behind the board, GILBERT next had to cull together some top-drawer musicians to bring into the studio. 'On drums, we've got Thomas Lang, who's somewhat of a drumming legend, and on bass is Kevin Chown,' details Gilbert. 'He was the only guy I'd never worked with before, and he was great. He played all the right stuff. He's played with everybody from Chuck Berry and Little Richard to Sebastian Bach.'
 
Ultimately, the joy GILBERT expresses all throughout I CAN DESTROY celebrates the freedom and creativity he enjoys as a solo artist. 'I do my best. It's pretty incredible to have been living the dream and putting food on the table by banging it all out on an electric guitar,' he concludes. 'This is actually my 30th year as a recording artist, and I still enjoy the search. I like looking around, trying to find things I haven't done yet, and then seeing if I can do them.'
 
Here's the complete track listing of I CAN DESTROY:
 
1. Everybody Use Your Goddamn Turn Signal
2. I Can Destroy
3. Knocking On A Locked Door
4. One Woman Too Many
5. Woman Stop
6. Gonna Make You Love Me
7. I Am Not The One (Who Wants To Be With You)
8. Blues Just Saving My Life
9. Make It (If We Try)
10. Love We Had
11. I Will Be Remembered
12. Adventure and Trouble
13. Great White Buffalo (bonus track)
 
Categories: 
 
Thu
24
Dec

MelodicRock REVIEWS IN BRIEF December 2015

 
90% CATS IN SPACE – Too Many Gods (Harmony Factory/Cargo Records)
What a fun album. The whole album could have been released anytime in the mid-late 70s and you wouldn’t have known any different. Listening to this is like walking into a drive-in diner in 1978 and hitting random selections on the jukebox.
The album is consistently strong, but quite varied also.
There’s ELO (Too Many Gods, Mr Heartache); Queen (Stop); Styx/ELO/Queen (Last Man Standing – easily the most memorable song); Elton John meets The Who meets Queen (Unfinished Symphony) and even 70s Meatloaf (Only In Vegas); The Who (Five Minute Celebrity).
It is really quite an impressive and very accomplished piece of work - especially for a debut album. I can’t imagine 70s rock fans hearing anything better than this in 2015.
 
 
87% C.O.P – State Of Rock (AOR Heaven)
This has the obvious musical comparisons to Grand Illusion and the glorious, over the top, high pitched pomp that band delivered. Why? Vocalist Peter Sundell is front and center here along with his brother Christian Sundell. For those missing the pomp/AOR of Grand Illusion and Peter’s unbelievably high vocals, then jump on this!
It’s like Grand Illusion, but it also has its own personality and delivers some outstanding Scandi-AOR material, while the production is top notch (thanks to Ola af Trampe).
Another memorable, high quality release.
 
 
93% ANBERLIN – Never Take A Friendship Personal & Cities – Live In New York City (Tooth & Nail)
I absolute love these two Anberlin albums – easily the best of their career and here they are, faithfully reproduced in their entirety in a farewell live performance. Both albums are stacked with great tunes, but these versions are even more electric, as the atmosphere captured here is truly compelling. Great recordings – live, raw and honest, and overflowing with emotion and energy.
 
 
90% MR. BIG – Raw Like Suchi 113 – Sendai Japan 2014 (Wowow Entertainment)
Another month, another Mr. Big release! Cashing in on their legendary status in Japan and their anniversary year, this new live album is every bit as essential as any of the band’s other live releases. Packed with songs from the last two studio albums and various other classics, the recording is overdub free and live as on the night – which is the usual engaging, high energy excellence these great musicians deliver every time they hit the stage.
Definitely recommended for Mr. Big fans.
 
 
88% DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES – Live In Dublin (Eagle Rock)
The unquestionable brilliance of Hall & Oates is captured on this double live concert, recorded in July 2014. As expected it is a hits rich set that covers many of the bands’ hit singles, but at 15 tracks over 2 discs, it feels a little underdone and I have heard so many great live sets from these guys that this one just doesn’t have the same wow factor for me as other have. It may be down to the actual set list – there’s at least 4 tracks I’d sub out in favor of others (Do What You Want, Las Vegas Turnaround, Back Together Again & It’s Uncanny). It makes for a pretty laid back mid-concert run of tracks. But the rest – magnificent as always.
Thankfully the glorious Out Of Touch, plus mega-hits Family Man, Maneater, Say It Isn’t So, Kiss On My List and Private Eyes are all included. And what can you say about a 15 minute version of I Can’t Go For That?!
The DVD is certainly more engaging and I’ve always loved the way the guys interact with the crowd (who are very enthusiastic on this occasion). And the band is incredible of course, as are the harmonies.
And man…it has to be said – Daryl Hall’s voice is beyond unbelievable. He hasn’t lost anything over the years, he sounds freeking crazy good. What a voice!
 
 
85% NEAL SCHON – Vertex (Mascot)
Not to be restricted by any conventions over how much music one should record or be limited by any one style, guitar legend Neal Schon delivers 90 minutes of whatever he wants…in this case, inspired and diverse instrumental music. 18 songs over two discs, with tracks ranging from 2 to 7 minutes in length, Vortex is Neal in his favourite setting – just letting go.
And what’s even better – he’s backed by Steve Smith on drums, providing the intelligent, musically complex drum and percussion needed for such a bold musical statement such as this.
There’s fast, slow, rock, jazz, electric, acoustic….you name it. Guitar instrumental fans will love, no question about it.
 
 
75% GUN – Frantic (Caroline)
Gun seem to have made the transition from the angst driven melodic rock/hard rock of their past with original vocalist Mark Rankin, to the new lineup with Dante Gizzi now up front. The sound change is vast – the guys are now a power/pop outfit with a feel-good uptempo vibe. This is the second album in this format. The songs are pretty consistently good once again, but the style is hard to accept after such brilliance previously.
There are some very catchy tunes here, some more guitar driven than others, but overall not as many highlights as the last album for me. I miss the old days but don’t see Mark returning to singing. What a waste.
 
 
90% PAT BENATAR & NEIL GERALDO – 35th Anniversary Tour Live (Indie)
Now this is a ‘greatest hits’ set I can live with. The talented duo of Pat and Neil shred through some of their most iconic hits in a (all) fired up, live raw setting.
The rocked up set includes the brilliant Shadows of the Night, Invincible, Sex As A Weapon, Promises in The Dark, We Belong, Love is A Battlefield (8 minutes in length) and an even longer Heartbreaker to close the set.
The only thing that bugs me is Pat’s slightly tweaked chorus vocal in the mega-anthem All Fired Up. Doesn’t work. Whatever though….the rest is brilliant and a great tribute to the songs included. Boy can that Neil guy play guitar…
 
 
84% ELEMENTS OF FRICTIONS – Pride Music Sampler
Great way to introduce your new label to the world – gather some of the best melodic rock artists around and compile a bunch of unreleased tracks. Kicking off with one of the best rock anthems you’ll ever hear – a new Marcello Vestry track When You Grow Up. Elsewhere it’s a little hit and miss, but the highlights are Area 51 (Matti Alfozetti), Don’t Leave Me Lonely (Matti again), Make You Mine (Larry Baud, written by, yes…Matti), Without Your Love from Snakes In Paradise, the Matti written Only My Heart (sung by Mats Levin), Another Me (Paul Laine) and Somebody Up There (Tommy LaVerdi), which rocks pretty hard.
 
 
86% MARK SLAUGHTER – Reflections In A Rear View Mirror (Thunder Spirit Records)
Slaughter frontman Mark delivers his debut solo album here – which rocks seriously and surprisingly hard. Not sure what I was expecting, but it’s heavier than I figured. It’s also more diverse. Some of the songs are screaming rockers (Away I Go, Miss Elainious); some are more reflective (Carry Me Back Home, Baby Wants).
Others are closer to the anthemic rock of Slaughter (Never Giving Up, The Real Thing, Somewhere Isn’t Here) and some are just something new altogether (Don’t Turn Away, In Circle Flight, Velcro Jesus).
Some of it works – some of it doesn’t. I’ll let the listener decide, but this is an interesting journey and does what a solo album does – offer the artist and excuse to try different things.
 
 
85% CAGE – Ancient Evil (The Metal Masses)
Traditional American metal at its loudest, fastest, intensest (no, that’s not a word…). San Diego based Cage have been doing the metal circuit for a long while now and they don’t let up with age. This is the heaviest thing I’ve reviewed here in a long while. You know what to expect. Fast, furious, screaming high pitch vocals and some of the most brutal double kick drumming this side of thrash metal. Did I mention the ear blasting guitar demotion?
All you need to know is that it’s well produced, features a balanced mix and sounds huge.
 
 
84% 7TH HEAVEN – Next (NTD Records)
The hardest working band in Chicago America never fails to deliver quality music. On their new album Next they introduce new vocalist Adam Heisler after Keith Semple left to chase bigger dreams. Adam changes the tone a little bit – his vocal is a little deeper than the very AOR-friendly Semple.
Song wise the band continue to pursue the modern pop direction set up by the last album, moving further away from AOR/melodic rock into dance/pop with a commercial power pop base.
Some hugely catchy tunes here, but a few others that I don’t feel have the spark of the last 2-3 albums. Not sure if it’s the songs or the singer to be honest. Maybe a little of both.
Still, you won’t find a better example of the genre should modern pop be of appeal. These guys are an industry unto themselves and if you don’t like this album (or any other), then you know they’ll always be back next year with more!
 
 
86% HUNGRYHEART – Dirty Italian Job (Tanzan Music)
Italian rockers Hungryheart deliver their third studio album and continue to grow as songwriters and performers, not to mention also in the production stakes.
Each album has improved upon the last, which is all you can ask of any band. This album features some catchy melodic hard rock songs with a strong European flavor. There are some hard rockers and a nice variety of moodier melodic tunes too and just the one ballad – Nothing But You.
Tracks like You Can Run, There Is A Reason For Everything and Time For Letting Go show real promise and give hope that the guys might be able to cut through the plethora of releases out there to find some new fans. Well worth checking out.
 
 
89% DENNIS DRIES – I (AOR Heaven)
White Sister’s Dennis Dries finally delivers a long awaited solo album and it doesn’t disappoint. He’s joined by the great Paul Sabu to create a very likable pomptastic classic rock release that’s quite diverse, yet very focused at the same time.
Diversity comes in the shape of the pomptastic Heard It On The Radio; to the sentimental AOR of “I”; to the acoustic lead Home; and back to the melodic hard rock of Unbroken.
Focus comes in the form of the precision and thought put into the music and the production. A lot of time and energy has gone into this record, no doubt.
This may not be for everyone, but White Sister and classic pomp/rock fans will surely delight in Dennis’ unique vocals and writing style.
Best thing about this album is how it stands out from the pack by being different than most other titles out there, yet familiar at the same time.
 
 
50% LIPSTICK – Lipstick (Indie)
At lot of great releases about this year, this is not one of them. Unless you are into really average mid-80s glam, cowbell and all. There’s 16 tracks and 65 minutes of music to get through here, all featuring the unremarkable vocals of Greg Troyan.
These tunes are apparently “Super Demos”. I’d agree with the ‘demos’ part if not the ‘super’, but otherwise I’d use the old analogy, some albums/songs remain unreleased for a reason.
It will take a very dedicated glam rock/Poison groupie to appreciate the contents of this disc.
 
 
80% KICKIN VALENTINA – Super Atomic (Target Records)
American sleaze/hard rockers Kickin Valentina released their debut album earlier this year. You’ve got a strong Guns N Roses/LA Guns/Ratt type vibe going on here, with heavy, dirty blues riffs, a driving rhythm and raspy, gravelly vocals all combining to form a pretty credible, high energy rock outfit.
Musically this is all in your face hard rock with bar room swagger and some impressive guitar soloing to match the screams of vocalist Joe. Not an album for fans of big hooks or big harmonies, this one is better suited for fans of the bands mentioned and the whole LA late 80s LA sleaze scene.
 
 
92% ROMEOS DAUGHTER – Spin (RD Records)
A long overdue review here for this new gem from one of the UK’s premiere female fronted AOR bands.
Once again Leigh Matty delivers a silky smooth vocal over a very tight performance form the band and guitarist/producer Craig Joiner.
Anyone who picked up and enjoyed the band’s comeback album Rapture will be able to slide this album right alongside.
Perhaps a little lighter/more laid back than the 2012 album and moving a little more into modern pop style, it doesn’t matter in the end. It’s just filled with beautiful songs and warm, inviting melodies such as the born for radio Already Gone and Love Will Come To Those That Wait, plus the moody Enemy and the haunting acoustic beauty of Didn’t See You Coming.
The driving All Because Of You and the closing Tall Buildings add a little fire at the end of the album.
 
 
77% POWERPLAY – All Those Years (Target Records)
The debut album from Danish pop/rockers Powerplay ranges from Alien style Euro-AOR through to Chicago/State Cows styled Westcoast pop.
I definitely prefer the AOR flavored tunes, of which there are several fine examples (City Of Love, Climb A Mountain, All Those Years). There’s a little Work Of Art/Toto in the mix also, but to be honest, I’m not entirely sold on the vocalist and sometimes the album crosses over into ‘too pink and fluffy’ territory. Worth a listen, but more work needed to bring themselves into the wider fan base this music has.
 
 
69% ST. PROSTITUTE – Glorified (Target Records)
Another big sleazy hard rocking album on show here – this time from Denmark’s answer to Hanoi Rocks. Well maybe not, but you get the idea. It’s all guitars and all gravelly, sleaze drenched vocals. This one isn’t as memorable as a couple of other reviewed, but it probably packs a more powerful guitar punch and there’s certainly isn’t any issue with the monster sound.
 
 
90% DIEMONDS – Never Wanna Die (Napalm Records)
These guys are being compared to Halestorm and the immediate reaction to the female lead vocalist and the classic-meets-modern hard rock approach seems to match.
But this is a different type of album to Halestorm. More traditional hard rock and definitely a step heavier than Halestorm. Vocals are great, riffs are fast, furious and frequent and the production is huge.
This deserves a longer review, but time is of the essence. It’s a really strong album that gets better and better. Highly recommended for fans of powerful female fronted hard rock and metal.
 
 
78% PRETTY WILD – Pretty Wild (Dead End Exit)
Pretty Wild are, well…pretty decent! Take the old school melodic hard rock approach, add in some Scandi sleaze, mix it up with Bon Jovi, Johnny Lima and Reckless Love and you will get a pretty fair idea of the sound of this album. Not quite as immediate or as essential as those named, but still pretty worthwhile.
 
 
85% REACH – Reach Out To Rock (Sunhill Productions)
Reach are… yes! Swedish! And they produce solid, high quality melodic rock. Who would’ve thought? These guys lag behind the front runners of the genre though. They feature a more guitar heavy sound with less keyboards. Plus the vocalist isn’t quite as engaging as some of the others in the Swedish melodic rock gang.
There’s a moody feel to this album, a darker undertone than the likes of BFT, Art Nation or Wigelius. Not bad by any means and one for fans of guitar driven melodic hard rock with a Scandi-accent. Well produced and packing a decent punch – just not as immediate or as hook driven as their compatriots.
Still some good choruses here though – especially You Called My Name, We Are and Fortune & Fame.
 
 
55% ROB MORATTI – Tribute To Journey (Escape Music)
I’m a big Rob Moratti fan. I’ve featured him here many times across the years and his various projects and he’s a terrific guy. Which is why this is hard to say – but I simply don’t see any point to this release at all. In fairness, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it and no one is expecting it to match the impact of an original studio album. Rob has a fantastic high pitch voice well suited for paying tribute to the great band Journey and vocalist Steve Perry. Nothing wrong with that!
However, I just don’t see any point in compiling 12 very very over-played, over-covered, over-done Journey classics and doing absolutely nothing different to them. This is a note for note tribute, which is always going to come off second best to the originals.
That’s a brave move by Rob as he’s only going to draw comparisons with Steve MF Perry afterall!
Perhaps there would have been some greater point to doing this if the songs were deep cuts or less recognizable hits. Or perhaps changed them up a little; make them heavier or acoustic in places….anything! Sorry Rob – I’ll hang out for the all-new studio album mate.
 
 
83% SHADES & PETERS – Let The Record Spin (Indie)
This album came out late in 2014 and has a similar musical play to the recent Tom Cochrane album.
Two rockers – you know them well – Rene Shades and Martie Peters, changing things up and creating something new – an acoustic driven, fairly laid back album touching on country, pop, blues as well as a little rock for good measure.
Despite my not so favourable verdict on the Cochrane album, Shades & Peters come out better off for delivering better quality songs.
Not everyone that has followed Push or MPG is going to be into this. And some that weren’t into those groups might indeed prefer this. It’s different that’s for sure.
 
 
Categories: 
 
Fri
11
Sep

ERIC MARTIN 'Live Over Japan' Set Due November 4

Artist: 
 
ERIC MARTIN will release a new live CD/DVD set 'Live Over Japan' in Japan November 4. The 2CD and 1DVD set features Eric's solo concert held on July 14, 2015 at Akasaka Blitz. This edition features digibook packaging with a live photo book.
 
When asked about the release, Eric gave me this exclusive quote: “I played a 7 night acoustic tour in Japan a month ago. And one the shows at the Akasaka blitz (like a theatre/ night club ) in Tokyo was recorded and filmed. They also filmed a road documentary with interviews and filmed pieces of the other shows. Pat Torpey played percussion/vocals and my mate John McNamara from Australia (Clunes) on guitar/vocals.”
 
The track listing for the show is:
 
01           Sucker For A Pretty Face
02           Don’t Stop
03           Fly On A Wall
04           Wink And A Smile
05           Everyday
06           A Rose Alone
07           Voodoo Kiss
08           Superfantastic
09           Ain’t Seen Love Like That
10           Kisses Stain
11           Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy
12           Gotta Love The Ride
13           To Be With You
14           Take Cover
15           What If We Were New
16           Goin’ Where The Wind Blows
17           My New Religion
18           Dancin’ With My Devils
19           Alive And Kickin’ - Encore
20           East/West – Encore
 
Pre-order the set via CD Japan: 
 
Categories: 
Release Year: 
2015
 
Mon
01
Jun

Double Stop Podcast - ERIC MARTIN

Artist: 

This week on the Double Stop Podcast is a 2 part interview with Eric Martin. At the end of Part 2 he reveals that he has a new project/band with Warren DeMartini from Ratt.
 
[Eric reveals in the conversation that he has a huge man-crush on Warren's playing and would like to create a side project as Billy has with The Winery Dogs. The style he says would be something like 70s Aerosmith, The Black Crows and The Faces...]

Part 1:

https://soundcloud.com/thedoublestop/ep-61-eric-martin-solo-mr-big

http://thedoublestop.com/ep-61-eric-martin-solo-mr-big/

In Part 1 Eric shares how he got his start in music, and discusses his early solo albums "Sucker For A Pretty Face", "Eric Martin" and "I'm Only Fooling Myself". He also covers his contribution to the Teachers soundtrack (a song he wrote with Neal Schon from Journey), as well as his near miss in Toto. We discuss the formation of Mr. Big (and the role Mike Varney had), and the recording of the first Mr. Big album.

Part 2:

https://soundcloud.com/thedoublestop/ep-62-eric-martin-part-2-mr-big-solo

http://thedoublestop.com/ep-62-eric-martin-part-2-mr-big-solo/

In Part 2 Eric discusses the first Mr. Big tour with Rush, the success of "Lean Into It", the reformation in the 90's with Richie Kotzen (and sharing lead vocals on some songs), the reunion with all original members, the Mr. Vocalist series of cds in Japan, and he announces his new project with Warren DeMartini (Ratt).

Categories: 
Release Year: 
2015
 
Tue
21
Apr

MR. BIG's Anniversary Year Gets Big With Second New Live Release Due

Artist: 
 
MR. BIG's cult status and their 25th Anniversary year keeps gettign bigger with the massive The Vault Box Set just released and now 2 double live albums due out May 27.
 
The first release has alreadybeen reported on - Raw Like Sushi 114+112 (http://melodicrock.com/articles/news-feed/2015/04/09/japan-lines-new-liv...)
 
Now 'Official Bootleg' can be added to the lost - due out the same date as Raw Like Sushi, May 27. 
 
This release is from the same tour, just two days earlier (November 8, 2014). 
 
The track listing is: 
1. Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song) 
2. Gotta Love the Ride 
3. American Beauty 
4. Undertow 
5. Alive and Kickin' 
6. I Forget to Breathe 
7. Take Cover 
8. Green-Tinted Sixties Mind 
9. Out of the Underground 
10. Guitar Solo (Paul Gilbert)
11. The Monster in Me 
12. Rock & Roll Over 
13. As Far as I Can See 
14. Wild World
15. East/West 
16. Just Take My Heart (Pat Torpey on drums)
17. Fragile (Pat Torpey on drums)
18. Around the World 
19. Bass Solo (Billy Sheehan)
20. Addicted to That Rush 
 
Encore:
21. To Be With You 
22. Colorado Bulldog 
23. Living After Midnight (Judas Priest cover)
24. Mr. Big (Pat Torpey on drums)
25. The World Is on the Way 
 
 
 
 
Additionally, you can now get some additional copies of The Vault via the CD Japan link below:
 
FULL review and feature on The Vault coming soon to MelodicRock.com
 
Mr. Big The Vault 25 Web Limited Edition /
 
Categories: 
Tags: 
 
Thu
09
Apr

Japan Lines Up New Live MR. BIG Release 'Raw Like Sushi 114+112'

Artist: 
 
MR. BIG are never far from the spotlight in Japan and now on top of the huge box set ‘The Vault’ due any day now, the band has announced another official live release – ‘Raw Like Sushi  114+112’.
 
The release features MR.BIG's concert held on November 10, 2014 at Nippon Budokan.
There are various configurations set for release, including Blue-ray, DVD and CD and variations of all 3 packaged together.
 
The deluxe box set has it all for about US$150:
 
Blu-ray disc (incl. entire footage of the concert),
2 DVD discs (incl. entire footage of the concert)
DVD disc (tour documentary)
2 CD discs with K2HD remastering and HQCD format (incl. entire footage of the concert)
2 CD discs with HQCD format, and a CD disc (incl. audio tracks from concert venues).
Plus - a 80-page booklet (plastic case inside, subject to change).
 
Out May 27 in Japan, the concert setlist was:
 
01. Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy
02. Gotta Love The Ride
03. American Beauty
04. Undertow
05. Alive And Kicking
06. I Forget To Breathe
07. Take Cover
08. Green Tinted 60's Mind
09. Out Of The Underground
10. Paul Gilbert Guitar Solo
11. The Monster In Me
12. Rock & Roll Over
13. Aa Far As I Can See
14. Wild World
15. East / West
16. Just Take My Heart
17. Fragile
18. Around the World
19. Billy Sean Bass Solo
20. Addicted To That Rush
 
- Encore -
21. To Be With You
22. Colorado Bulldog
23. Living After Midnight
24. The Light of Day
25. Mr. Big
 
To pre-order the album in any format, use CD Japan with confidence: http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/aff/click.cgi/ZRcokempdVE/514/A867157/detailvie...
Categories: 
 
Fri
20
Mar

MR. BIG 'The Vault' Expanded & Release Date Delay

Artist: 
 
Japanese label Wowow Entertainment have updated the release date for the amazing MR. BIG Box Set The Vault, which is now due for release April 8 (and that may still be pushed back!)
 
 
The company has warned that the announcement cannot be re-printed or translated (who knows why), but that doesn't prevent interested folks taking a look for yourself! The UPDATED AND EXPANDED press release and track listing is here: http://wowowent.co.jp/news/detail/134 
 
A Google translation of that page can be seen here: https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?act=url&depth=1&hl=e...
 
 
 
To summerize, the Box Set will contain a 100 page color book, a laminate pass, a neck strap and other replica items from the band's history. It also contains 20CDs and 2DVDs, featuring original demos, instrumentals, outtakes and unreleased tracks from across the band's history, including demos for the debut album, Lean Into It, Bump Ahead, Hey Man and What If!
 
Then there are several live CDs from shows not previously released and rehersal/soundcheck recordings.
 
It's realy an incredible set of material for Mr. Big fans.
 
 

 

Categories: 
 
Thu
29
Jan

MR. BIG Details Of The 'The Vault' Released

Artist: 
 
Japanese label Wowow Entertainment have released initial details of the amazing MR. BIG Box Set, now titled The Vault and due for release March 18.
 
The company has warned that the announcement cannot be re-printed or translated (who knows why), but that doesn't prevent interested folks taking a look for yourself! The press release is here: http://wowowent.co.jp/news/detail/134 
 
A Google translation of that page can be seen here: https://translate.google.com.au/translate?sl=ja&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en...
 
 
To summerize, the Box Set will contain a 100 page color book, a laminate pass, a neck strap and other replica items from the band's history. It also contains 20CDs and 2DVDs, featuring original demos, instrumentals, outtakes and unreleased tracks from across the band's history, including demos for the debut album, Lean Into It, Bump Ahead, Hey Man and What If!
 
Then there are several live CDs from shows not previously released and rehersal/soundcheck recordings.
 
It's realy an incredible set of material for Mr. Big fans.
 
 

 

Categories: 
 
Wed
10
Dec

EXCLUSIVE - First Info on MR. BIG Anniversary Box Set

Artist: 
 
Mr. Big will celebrate 25 years as a band with a huge Japanese only exclusive box set to be released on ***NEW DATE*** JANUARY 28.
 
Details of this 18CD + 2 DVD set have been sketchy so far, but I have uncovered a little exclusive information!
 
First of all – the label blurb reads:
 
“Special box set release from MR. BIG commemorating the 25th anniversary of the band's career. Consists of 18 CDs and 2 DVDs, including unreleased studio takes, rare tracks, live tracks, and plenty more (subject to change).
Japanese original release. Features hardcover packaging (30cm x 25cm) with a slip case.
Contains lots of reproductions of their tour collectibles such as laminated pass, flyer, and ad materials for press. Comes with lyrics and a Japanese description.
*The DVD disc is encoded for region 2 (Japan, Europe, and Middle East), and no subtitles are included.”
 
One other description: “precious sound, live recordings, rare footage, archive the Goods…”
 
Ok, now to add to that – I have confirmed that the box is still being compiled but will feature only material from the band’s reunion in 2009 onwards!
It will feature (amongst other things), quote: “Live stuff from two tours, rarities, demo's etc…”
 
Quite frankly, this could be the best box set ever released (and the biggest!).
The set is VERY limited in numbers and is priced at approx US$260. I need one!
 
You can pre-order with confidence from CD Japan, who I use all the time via this link:
 
 
Meanwhile, Eric Martin’s ‘Sucker For A Pretty Face’ and ‘Somewhere In The Middle’ are all being reissued on HQCDs November 19.
Categories: 
 
Thu
04
Dec

Check Out 'Chasing MR. BIG' Animated Tour Opener Video

Artist: 
 
You have to check out this awesome animated short that was created by David Calcano for MR. BIG and their recent tour.
 

 
 
ABOUT FANTOONES TV:
 
David used to be a Systems Engineer, until he went nuts and dropped his career to start a small animation ad agency called NoseCode in the United Kingdom. Today, he works in Los Angeles, where he creates animated content, using 2D and 3D animation. He’s the man behind Fantoons, a comic strip and animated series about the craziness of the greatest rock n’ roll bands and their fans. David’s latest comic book compiles more than 100 rock n’ roll parodies from the likes of Rush, Kiss, Metallica, etc… getting rave reviews from industry luminaries like Tone Rodriguez (KISS comics, Simpsons comics and many more!); but more importantly, receiving a ton of love from rock and prog fans from all over the world (Almost 40K Facebook Fans!). Fantoons is specially popular amongst Rush fans… one of David’s favorite bands! There’s nothing cooler than making fellow fans smile.
 
You can find all about fantoons at: www.fantoons.tv & www.facebook.com/fantoons including a store to buy our book and funny prints.
 
Mr. Big’s involvement…
 
In a fairy tale type story, David approached Mr. Big with his Fantoons project, including a story to feature the band in one of his animated episodes, to his surprise the band loved it and invited him to spend time backstage! He got to meet the band, and after about two years, he got a call to create visuals for their current 2014 tour in Japan! They hired us to produce six pieces for the tour using all kinds of animation styles, from retro-video games to animating Paul Gilbert’s drawings! We got to work with the band during production with was a fantastic experience. Coincidentally Fantoons’ Mr. Big animated short was ready at this point after working with an unbelievable team of artists. The short ended up opening the shows for their 2014 ‘Stories we could tell’ Japan tour! In David’s own words “I still cannot believe this” He got to see one of his all-time favorite bands play at the legendary Budokan, with the opening act being his animated short. The single greatest moment in his career… and a dream come true for any rock fan.
 
Like I said, a fairy tale type story, but this one… is full of rock n’ roll.
 
Do you want to know more? Ok…
 
Fantoons - the animated series - has earned more than forty film festival nominations around the world, including screenings at San Diego Comic Con and winning the best animation short at London’s Portobello Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the world. Every episode is produced in full 2D animation. David’s vision is to bring back that cartoon style into fashion. His influences go from John K’s Ren & Stimpy to Hanna-Barbera, Go Nagai, Loonie Tunes and Walt Disney animation.
 

 

Categories: 
Tags: 
 
Fri
31
Oct

MR. BIG - The Stories We Could Tell (Review)

information persons: 
section name: 
TRACK LISTING
content: 
- Gotta Love The Ride
- I Forget To Breathe
- Fragile
- Satisfied
- The Man Who Has Everything
- The Monster In Me
- What If We Were New
- East / West
- The Light Of Day
- Just Let Your Heart Decide
- It's Always About That Girl
- Cinderella Smile
- The Stories We Could Tell
section name: 
SCORE
content: 

 

94%
Produced By: 
Pat Regan
Running Time: 
61
Release Date: 
2014
Released: 
Worldwide
Musical Style: 
Melodic Hard Rock
Score: 
94
Label: 
Frontiers Records
Artist: 
 
It is an emotional time for Mr. Big as drummer Pat Torpey recently announced he was dealing with the onset of Parkinson’s disease as the band regrouped for their second post-reformation studio album.
But they managed to do it, adding another chapter to the Mr. Big story, and delivering a different beast to the last album What If…
 
There’s a different vibe to this album, most likely down to the change of producer, from Kevin Shirley (who likes recording live in the studio) to Pat Regan, who takes the more traditional route.
A couple of interesting facts from the recording sessions explain the vibe of this album – one was that the guys were all individually busy, so many parts were recorded without the others present as schedules permitted time to record, and the other was the revelation from Billy Sheehan that drummer Pat doesn’t actually play live drums on the album. Instead, the two Pat’s worked together on programming drum parts to match Torpey’s style and energy.
In fact, that part of the process held up the release of the album, forcing a slight reschedule and some last minute deliveries of the master.
But I’m impressed with the job done here. Both from Pat Regan for the overall sharp, traditional Mr. Big style production (he also worked with the guys on ‘Get Over It’ and the side project ‘Influences & Connections’); and also from Pat Torpey, who delivers perhaps the best programmed drums ever.
Eric Martin sounds fabulous as always as does Paul Gilbert with his flawless master class of riffing and soloing that continues throughout.
I don’t think Billy Sheehan’s bass is as prominent in the mix as last time around. The technical flair and authority is there, just not as promiinent in the mix as on What If.
 
The hour long album touches on a few aspects of the band’s sound and career to date. There’s definitely some of the bluesy ‘Get Over It’ influences here, despite that album not featuring guitarist Paul Gilbert; there is also some touches of the debut from way back in ’89 as well as Bump Ahead and of course the most recent release What If.
There is also a strong influence of 70s rock n roll throughout, a loose bluesy vibe that blends into the band’s sound.
All in all, it’s Mr. Big and its good!
 
I think the album runs a little long as there’s a couple of tracks in the back half of the album that more or less repeat what’s come before, if the album had been cut to 11 tracks it might have been a little more concise.
 
Gotta Love The Ride is a bombastic bluesy rocker. A solid groove, nice guitar solo and a chorus that seems restrained but gets better each listen. A cool track!
I Forget To Breathe is another up-tempo blues based rocker with a big groove. Billy's bass not nearly as prominent in mix as last album. Another pretty simple chorus....but it rocks and I like it. I'm hearing some 'Get Over It' here. Great guitar solo.
The wonderfully melodic Fragile was my pick of the album from day 1 and continues to be. A real Mr. Big sounding track with the same type of vibe as the equally brilliant "Undertow".
Satisfied took some time to grow on me. Back to the 70s blues rock again and I'm a 80s guy, so I wasn’t sure, but it has grown into a fine track. A very melodic vocal bridge that hints at a big chorus that doesn't arrive.
Its ballad time. The Man Who Has Everything is a familiar Mr. Big acoustic driven ballad. Still carrying that 70s feel though. Big soulful vocal by Eric Martin - another possible single here I'd expect. Some orchestral backing makes it fuller in sound.
The Monster In Me still has that bluesy 70s sound going through it. The mid-tempo, heavy rocker was another track that grew on me and it’s jerky, abrupt chorus is cool.
What If I Were New sees the band is sounding like The Rolling Stones. A different vibe for sure and perhaps one of the lesser quality tracks on the album. Interesting chorus. I wouldn't call it catchy, but it's original and the choppy Paul Gilbert guitar work is cool.
East/West features acoustic intro and first 30 seconds before band comes to life. Acoustic base, but electric also. A feel good song this and a traditional Mr. Big commercial pop/rocker.
The Light Of Day is a fast rocker with a big groove, big guitars and bass, fast moving vocal and chorus, with Eric in fine voice as ever.
Just Let Your Heart Decide - ballad time again. Deep sultry vocal from Eric and an extremely good chorus. Just like 'What If', the second big ballad on the album is the better one. No Mr. Big fan is going to dislike this one.
It's Always About That Girl - this is another mi-tempo 70s groover. Not as into this as earlier tracks and sees the band repeating themselves a little here.
As is the case with the slow/mid-tempo groove based track Cinderella Smile. Simple chorus, stop/start slow groove and a track that brings a slow tempo to the closing part of the album.
The Stories We Could Tell is unfortunately another slow-mid-tempo 70s groover.
Interesting track, but not the most instant or catchy tune out there and similar to a couple of others on the album. A good chorus, some nice bass fills from Billy and more classy playing from Paul. But three slowish 70s groove tracks in a row to close the album is too many.
I would have cut Cinderella Smile and It’s Always About That Girl.
 
For the European release there is the bonus track Addicted To That Rush (Live)Now, being the musical snob I am, I just can’t endorse live tracks tacked onto the end of studio albums. It just doesn’t sit right with me that an all-new studio album closes with an old live track.
Add to that the fact the quality of this live track is horrible. The instrumentation is clear enough, but the vocals sound as if they were piped in from the lavatory backstage. Very hollow and low in volume. It’s a real shame as the sheer energy of Pat Torpey and world class guitar soloing from Paul and Billy throughout is otherwise stunning.
The Japanese release adds the bonus track 30 Days In The Hole (Live). Again, the playing is nothing short of exquisite, but next to studio material it just doesn’t sound right or match the production values.
 
The Japanese Special Edition sees the band add a bonus disc of 10 re-recorded classics. The Japanese are becoming increasingly generous with their extra features to entice a shrinking market into buying and it worked for me!
The tracks covered include the fan favorites Addicted To That Rush, Colorado Bulldog, Daddy Brother Lover Little Boy, Green Tinted Sixties Mind and Take Cover.
There’s not a dramatic overhaul of these tracks in any way. More or less, they are just an updated sound, consistent with the production of the new material and the odd tweak here and there with vocals, backing vocals and guitar and bass riffs. Long time Mr. Big fans will hear the differences, casual fans won’t. But it’s well worth getting.
 
The Stories We Could Tell is a big, groovy, rocking album, but not the chorus heavy style of Mr. Big's most commercial tracks.
It is also not an instant album, but it has the same Mr. Big appeal as always for me and has been on high rotation now for many weeks. I’m still loving the tracks I love and still not warming to the last few.
The guys’ individual performances are as special as we always expect from these phenomenal musicians.
Be prepared for a different sound and a more retro groove based style.
 
Another great Mr. Big album, but it's going to have to appeal to people's individual tastes a little more than past albums.
Categories: 
 
Wed
29
Oct

MR BIG: "...The Stores We Could Tell" Limited 12" Vinyl Edition Announced

Artist: 
 
MR BIG: "...THE STORES WE COULD TELL" LIMITED 12" VINYL EDITION ANNOUNCED

Inner Wound Recordings are proud to announce the release of a limited 12" double gatefold vinyl edition of the MR BIG album "...The Stories We Could Tell". A deal was inked with Frontiers Records, and the release dates are set to January 16th for Europe and February 17th for North America. The edition is strictly limited to 600 copies worldwide.

"...The Stories We Could Tell" is available for pre-ordering at the Inner Wound Store: http://www.innerwound.bigcartel.com

Track listing

Side A
01. Gotta Love the Ride
02. I Forget To Breathe
03. Fragile

Side B
01. Satisfied
02. The Man Who Has Everything
03. The Monster In Me
04. What If We Were New?

Side C
01. East/West
02. The Light Of Day
03. Just Let Your Heart Decide
04. It's Always About That Girl

Side D
01. Cinderella Smile
02. The Stories We Could Tell
03. Addicted To That Rush (Live)

For more information:
http://www.innerwound.com
http://www.facebook.com/innerwoundrecordings

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Mon
13
Oct

One on One with Mitch Lafon - MR. BIG, TOTO

Artist: 

http://www.spreaker.com/user/talkingmetal/one-on-one-57-mr-big-gentle-giant

Episode 57 - In this week's episode of One On One with Mitch Lafon. Mitch is joined by Eric Martin of Mr.Big, GENTLE GIANT's Ray Shulman and TOTO's Joseph Williams. FOUR BY FATE's Sean Kelly co-hosts.

In the episode's first interview Eric Martin and Mitch discuss the Mr. Big's brand new album '...The Stories We Could Tell', Richie Kotzen's time with the group, Pat Torpey's recent medical news and his replacement (former Ace Frehley band drummer) Matt Starr, their remarkable popularity in Japan and much more.

In our second interview, Ray Shulman of Gentle Giant discusses the recent special edition re-release of the band's landmark album The Power And The Glory, the involvement of Porcupine Trees' Steven Wilson, the band's history and much more.

We end this episode with a chat with TOTO's Joseph Williams who discusses the band's most recent DVD (Toto - 35th Anniversary - Live In Poland) as well as his involvement with the Intelligent Music Project II - My Kind Of Loving album - http://intelligent-music.com/productions/mykindoflovin/

For More Mr. Big visit: http://www.mrbigsite.com and on TWITTER: @mrbigmusic

For more Gentle Giant visit: http://www.blazemonger.com/GG/Gentle_Giant_Home_Page

For more Toto visit: http://www.totoofficial.com and on Twitter: @toto99com

For more Sean Kelly and Four By Fate visit: http://www.facebook.com/FOURBYFATE and find Sean on Twitter: @SeanKellyGuitar

Listen to the One On One With Mitch Lafon Podcast on iHeartRadio, iTunes, Spreaker, TuneIn and Stitcher.

Follow Mitch Lafon on Twitter: @mitchlafon

One on One With Mitch Lafon's Official Twitter is: @1On1WithMitch

And Official Facebook page is: http://www.facebook.com/OneOnOneMitchLafon

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