Archive for September, 2019

The hype is on (2)

Posted: September 29, 2019 in Babymetal, Classic Rock, Cool stuff

A 35 second YouTube ad for the upcoming Babymetal album “Metal Galaxy” just popped up and that is yet another sign that they are really going for it this time around. I managed to paus it so I could take a quick snapshot of the screen. Good to see.

(My image of captured moment of said ad)

Advertisements

Out of the Blue

Posted: September 28, 2019 in Comics, Cool stuff

Added these Out of the Blue volumes by Garth Ennis and Keith Burns to the old collection. Published by Aftershock Comics, they depict war in a more realistic way than the old school stuff. Artist Keith Burns is doing work for Commando as well these days. Bit of a rising star. Garth Ennis is brilliant, as always.

(My image of said titles)

The hype is on

Posted: September 26, 2019 in Babymetal, Classic Rock, Cool stuff

Babymetal will add another video on YouTube today, this time for the song “Shanti Shanti Shanti” (the Bollywood sounding track that I love), and this will actually be the sixth video to support the upcoming album “Metal Galaxy”. The US Tour is going well and the hype for the Forum show in Los Angeles on October 11 is on. In the UK, Metal Hammer has two Babymetal covers to chose from and the issue (#327) is for sale now. The album goes on sale in Japan on October 8 (three days ahead of us, probably to avoid import copies), and 21 Shibuya stores all over the country will launch a huge Babymetal offensive starting around midnight. 17 of these stores will have Babymetal exhibitions and there will be special prizes etc in some stores if you get lucky. The album is set to be released in several versions, Su-metal and Moametal get special limited editions in Japan with weird cover art (have ordered these, and will showcase them when I get them). The next few weeks will be very expensive, but it will be worth it.

Mark October 11 on your calendar.

Lee Aaron

Posted: September 26, 2019 in Classic Rock, Cool stuff

The new Lee Aaron live CD/DVD turned out to be quite decent. She is backed by a good, solid band and they are all enjoying the moment. She is a fine singer and there is plenty of enthusiasm on display here. I have nothing bad to say about this release, it takes you back to the good old days but the new songs are just as good.

(My image of said CD/DVD)

GEORGE LAZENBY

Spotted a drama documentary about George Lazenby (the guy that originally replaced Sean Connery in the James Bond franchise) called “Becoming Bond” and I just had to see that. Turned out to be a fantastic movie, one of these feel good things that you just take to your heart immediatly. George is giving an interview about his life on camera and then they shot a movie of sorts on top of that, so what you get is chapters of his life. The James Bond bit is hilarious, but the man did walk out on an offer that few would have denied (an additional six movies and a shitload of cash). So what we have left is his one shot at Bond, “On Her Majesty´s Secret Service” (1969). And not only was it a huge success back in the day, but it still stands as one of the best in the series. The guy did Bond very well. You will love this if you are anything like me (hey, Jane Seymour is in it!).

CRYSTAL VIPER

Polish Heavy Metal outfit Crystal Viper has put out a new video for a song called “Still Alive”. They have a new album in the pipeline.

MÖTLEY CRUE

There will be a 30th Anniversary edition of Mötley Crue´s “Dr Feelgood” coming out in late November. Several versions, including one hell of a box. No sign of a DVD release of “The Dirt” though. I know it was a Netflix thing, but it would be criminal not to let the fans buy this film.

(My shot of the Lazenby DVD)

Here is an article I wrote for US publication Metal (Creem Close-up) in 1987. It was published in the July issue over five pages. Europe was making waves with “The Final Countdown” and it was a fun story to write. It was basically a follow-up to an earlier piece, but now things were really happening.

EUROPE – RETURN OF THE SUPERGROUP?

By Michael Eriksson

Remember the “Scandinavian Metal” feature in the November issue of METAL? Well, everything we predicted about them Swedish boys (apart from the somewhat hysterical Alexandra Staunton-James album review, that is) is coming painfully true.

In fact, Joey Tempest and his cohorts in Europe are now Big Business all over the globe and, as they begin their first American tour in support of the successful “The Final Countdown” album, mega status is in the cards. If American audiences accept this band they may well end up being one of the three most successful acts in the world before the end of this year!

Bold talk, huh?

Nope – in fact, there´s every chance they´ll be even bigger. And here´s why: The title track of the album has been a #1 hit all over the European continent, including the weird UK market, and sales are going through the roof. And another single (along with the videos shot in Stockholm and London), “Rock The Night”, is scheduled to follow “Carrie” as we go to press. In fact, Europe-mania is the only word I can think of to really justify what´s going on here.

In Europe, CBS hasn´t seen anything like this since that Michael Jackson “Thriller” album, and these kids are outselling Bruce Springsteen himself. And we are talking about a heavy rock band here – not the latest Wham! Goes To Hollywood spectacle… so let´s all cry out in unision: what the hell is this!?

Well, ladies and gentlemen (and others!), I think we are witnessing the Return of the Supergroup Era here! And we just love a supergroup, don´t we?

A true Purple, Zeppelin, Van Halen or Boston – it really doesn´t matter who it is, we just love it when the entire neighborhood goes to war for tickets, don´t we? It reminds us of the lost ´70s days of Rock Dinosaurism, and it sure as hell gets the media to stand at attention! And, it feels good. No wimps are in sight (certainly not on stage!) – no green hair, no Elvis Costello T-shirts. Just good music, cocky stage antics, beers and bad hamburgers made of dead horses (unable to get a parking lot I´m sure!)… Big Time Rock the way we want it!

Here´s another amazing thing about Europe: they´ve never opened up a show for anyone else! Two continents conquered without compromise. Amazing.

If they manage to go down in the US as headliners as well, they´ll go down in rock history as the band that never knew what an opening “special guest” slot is! Now that´s more than unique – it´s weird!

Weird, but not very surprising.

Lead singer Joey Tempest (no, you don´t want to know his real name!) has a definitive star-approach – in fact, when meeting the guy you just know he´s destined for greater things.

His talent (writing nearly all the material for the band´s three albums so far) is rather obvious to the casual observer, and the musicians around him are so good you can´t complain, anyway. The band: John Leven (bass, once in the embryo-version of Yngwie Malmsteen´s Rising Force), Mic Michaeli (keyboards), Ian Haugland (drums, possibly with the funniest stage act you will ever see) and new recruit Kee Marcello (guitars, former Easy Action member) is, in a word, outstanding.

Kee actually replaced John Norum in late October 1986, a somewhat uneasy move, considering the current mega-success. Word has it that John was pushed out of the band as he insisted on a harder edge to the music. Well, I guess The Voice of Europe has read the Ritchie Blackmore book on how to behave and deal with “problems”. Chapter 346 – “if they bother you, get rid of them”.

Although Blackmore´s Deep Purple offered Europe an opening act slot – an offer they, of course, refused – the Purple offer is not the first these boys have had. The very first came from none other than Ronnie James Dio, who spotted their show in Tokyo and left being very impressed with the new wonder. So a Europe/Dio package seems like another strong possibility right now.

What´s left to say?

Well, hats off to Joey and his friends for giving the First Wave of Scandinavian Metal such a great start. And remember who put you on the right track to begin with… it sure wasn´t the Washington Post.

And, concerning that historical review, dear Alexandra, I don´t think these guys will ever have to worry about quitting the Volvo plants or whatever. Giveém some time and they may well buy he thing, offering you a job you can´t refuse (blowing oxhygene into empty tires or something), ´cause you were darn right about one thing – the mother did sell a billion!

(Photos for this article came from Star File, Bliss Morris and George Bodnar – I thank them all)

(Top image of said magazine by me)

Shindig! 94

Posted: September 19, 2019 in Classic Rock, Cool stuff, Magazines

Never bought a copy of UK publication Shindig! before, but this Sweet cover was way to temptatious to ignore. Sweet was good back in the day and I am trying to recall having seen a magazine cover in recent years. Possibly in Germany, but this is probably the first in the UK for decades. A bit unfair if you consider how good they were and how influential. Shindig! turned out to be a very good publication and I will get more issues in the future. With one leg in the past and the other in the present, they hit a lot of boxes. I certainly enjoyed the writing and the layout, just a cut above the competition. And yes, the Sweet story was very well written (and illustrated). I also found out about a new book on Sweet and that is worthy of some attention too.

(My shot of said publication)