New music for 2017

For 2017 thought I’d compile new music and older music discovered onto a Spotify playlist. Already some new albums to look forward to including Deep Purple (not been taken by their last couple of albums but this song and the album artwork bodes well), Blackfield, a covers EP by Halestorm and Battle Beast (anyone remember the PC game of the same name??).

Also included a song by Ulysses and Narrow Plains, both discovered via Bandcamp.

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THRESHOLD new album and tour dates

Threshold have announced their new album will be called ‘Legends Of The Shires‘ and will be released next year on Nuclear Blast. They have announced European tour dates for the end of next year. Production duties will be handled by Karl Groom.

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BAD COMPANY – Stories Told & Untold

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Originally released back in 1996 this album for me is one of the band’s best and most underrated. It features original members guitarist Mick Ralphs and drummer Simon Kirke, along with vocalist Robert Hart, former Foreigner bassist Rick Wills and guitarist Dave ‘Bucket’ Colwell.

The album features seven apiece of reworked Bad Company songs and new songs, including one written by country star Vince Gill, which gives a clue to the country sound on a lot of the songs.

Highlights include ‘Downpour In Cairo‘, which features .38 Special’s Max Carl on backing vocls, and a wonderful version of ‘Oh Atlanta‘, with Alison Krauss guesting on fiddle and backing vocals.

Robert Hart suits the songs down the ground, and although the album is not a hard rocking affair, it is well worth a listen.

 

MICHAEL BOLTON – Everybody’s Crazy

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Originally released back in 1985 this is a classic melodic rock/AOR album from Michael Bolton before he became the housewives’ choice following a more soul/easy listening path. Mind you that way made him very famous and helped sell lots of albums!

Listening to this one again following the announcement of his ‘From The Cinema’ collection due next year on February 10 via Frontiers. The album features a host of top notch session players seen on many a linear note on melodic rock albums of the 80’s. Musicians included sax player Mark Rivera, Mark Mangold (Touch/Drive, She Said), Bruce Kulick (Kiss) and Terry Brock (Strangeways), plus most of cult melodic rock band Balance, namely Denis Feldman, Peppy Castro and Chuck Burghi (Rainbow).

Not a duff song on here from the rocking title track through to the ballad ‘Call My Name’, Michael Bolton shows off his immense vocal talent. The synths/keys are all over ‘Can’t Turn It Off’, complete with some blistering guitar solos from Bruce Kulick – a prime example of classy 80’s melodic rock.

The hair and musical style may have changed, but he still has the voice and maybe one day he will fancy rocking out again…

ELBOW – Leaders of the Free World

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Originally released in 2005, this is Elbow’s third album and for me their best to date. Guy Garvey has a wonderfully emotive vocal, very distinctive and ideally suited to the band’s music. Picks on here are the title tack and ‘Forget Myself’, plus ‘Station Approach’ which is a moving tale of the homecoming of Guy Garvey to his native Bury. ‘Mexican Standoff’ is about the meeting between you, your partner and your partner’s ex set to a musical backing of flamenco handclaps! The band cite Genesis, Radiohead and Talk Talk as influences and you can certainly hear bits of these bands throughout the album.

Elbow are now an arena straddling beast and I must admit I didn’t take to their last album, however they have a fine catalogue of music and this album is a good a place as any to start if you are new to their music.

VANGELIS – Themes

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Originally released back in 1989 this compilation of Vangelis’s movie soundtracks is a wonderful album to immerse yourself in. Soundtrack albums/scores are proving more popular now, the recent ‘Planet Earth 2’ series on BBC1 attributed much of its success in attracting younger audiences due to the musical score by Hans Zimmer.

This collection includes the famous ones like the main theme to ‘Chariots Of Fire’ and the ‘End Titles’ from ‘Blade Runner’. But it is the less well known pieces like ‘Chung Kuo’ or the pieces from ‘The Bounty’ (which are only available on this album), which are a delight to hear over and over again.

If you only ever have one Vangelis album in your collection this is one to track down, mind you I’d add ‘Heaven and Hell’ and ‘The Friends Of Mr Cairo’ (with Jon Anderson) onto that list as well.