Showing posts with label MuzikMan Productions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MuzikMan Productions. Show all posts

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Prog Rock Review: Notion Blue-The Son, The Liar and The Victor

Release Date: May 12, 2020
Label: Digital Self Released


This was an unexpected album for review, The Son, The Liar and The Victor, as I had not heard of the band, Notion Blue before. A little bit of research gave me some info about the 3-piece rock band from Connecticut.

Unfortunately, the unifying force behind the formation of Notion Blue was a tragedy. Brothers, Gabe (drums/vocals), and Luke (vocals/guitar/bass) Chase had often joined Max (vocals/synthesizer/keyboards) and Johny (bass) Barbi for gigs since high school days. Although this happened a lot of the time, they never actually considered forming a band. Everything changed in 2018 when Johny died unexpectedly and in dealing with this loss, the three remaining friends decided to form an official band to produce a concept album about the life and times of Johny Barbi. Over the following 12 months, they worked hard, writing and recording demos and wrestling with rough ideas.

The resulting album, The Son, The Liar and The Victor, is a prog concept album greatly influenced by concept albums from The Neal Morse Band, Dream Theater and Steven Wilson to depict Johny Barbi’s life.

The album is a 10-track release with a total running time of just over 42 minutes. The longest track on offer is track 5, “Keeping Apart” which clocks in at 5:41 minutes, and the shortest is the opening track, “Memories” at under 2 minutes.

Opening the album is “Memories” (1:31) a short introduction to the album with excellent piano, strings joining in around 35 seconds, and a plaintive vocal appearing after 60 seconds. A really good piece of music to set the listener up for the rest of the album.

The fourth track, “The Liar” (5:40) has a stunning keyboard/guitar intro before dropping away to the vocals and then returning to the opening passage. The tempo builds up to another stunning keyboard/guitar interplay which drives the track on until dropping away with the return of the vocals and the opening theme. An interesting guitar riff takes the track towards the finale and a gentle fading away.

The last featured track is track 6, “Doubt Is Not A Destination” (5:36) which commences with a gentle acoustic guitar and vocal, taking the track onwards for the first 1:30 minutes, before the band starts to flow with an excellent section and a great guitar backed passage. By 3 minutes the music has returned to the gentleness of the opening section before building up as the track enters the final quarter with some excellent harmonized vocals and strings again reappearing. The gentle acoustic guitar from the start escorts the track out.


This was a huge undertaking by the three remaining friends and musicians, and they have produced an excellent prog-rock album. If I have one niggle, I do tend to find that in trying to convey areas and happenings in the life of Johny, the flow of the lyrics sometimes doesn’t quite work, but with such excellent music, it is only a niggle. The band provides sensitive lyrics, great vocals, both on lead and on the harmonies, superb bass, guitar, and keyboards going from the delicate to the soaring and the gentle to the driving.

I found The Son, The Liar and The Victor to be an excellent first album and congratulate the three band members on their achievement. Grab a listen to this album, and while I cannot guarantee that everyone will be blown away by it, I feel that many prog followers will find this of sufficient interest to add it to their collection.

Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson – Prog Rock Music Talk Staff
March 16, 2020

Tracks:

01. Memories (1:31)
02. The Gathering/Overture (4.47)
03. Always Tomorrow.\ (4.27)
04. The Liar (5.40)
05. Keeping Apart (5.41)
06. Doubt Is Not A Destination (5.36)
07. I See The Light (4.03)
08. Passing (4.20)
09. Homecoming (3.13)
10. Gates of Heaven (3.11)

 

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Prog Rock Review: Nektar-The Other Side

Release Date: January 24, 2020
Label:  Independent
Website



Early influencers of the ’70s prog-rock movement, Nektar has returned with a satisfying new release. The Other Side reaches into the past and skillfully carries the band’s groundbreaking sound into the modern age. Like many prog-rock pioneers, Nektar took chances. Their debut album, for example, contained a single 40-minute song. As with any early 70s band that is fortunate enough to remain together, Nektar has gone through changes. Today, Nektar consists of three original members (Mo Moore, Ron Howden & Randy Dembo), a returning stint player (Ryche Chlanda), and a new keyboardist (Kendall Scott).

These are experimental rock songs with driving, complex rhythms supporting flights of fancy on keyboard and guitar. Think of Jones & Bonham of Led Zeppelin meeting Rick Wakeman of YES meeting Steve Hacket of Genesis. The most enjoyable moments on this album come when the band flies away from the derivative and predictable choruses and allows Chlanda and Scott to take the listener to new heights.

Case in point is the opening track, “I’m on Fire.” The lyrics Mo Moore wrote in 1978 for his fiancé fall flat against the imaginative underlying sonic texture. “SkyWriter” is a more accessible and reminiscent of an Asia track bridging prog with pop. On the other side of the coin, “Love Is/The Other Side” is a masterful progression of melodies and tempos taking off mid-way and not relenting until the end. “The Light Beyond” and “Look Through Me” are slower, more orchestral, and introspective songs heavy on keyboard with strains of Alan Parsons.

At times it feels as if The Other Side is attempting to combine the experimental and ethereal nature of progressive rock with down-to-earth hard rock sensibilities. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. As a listener, I found myself tuning out for the chorus and turning in for the jams. Overall, the offering is strong, and the experience is worthwhile. The better news is that Nektar is still producing quality albums and is still touring. Legend has it that they do not let their live audiences down, so check out their tour list and go see this iconic band while you have the chance.

Tom Endyke - MuzikMan.net Staff
January 23, 2019

REVIEWS PROVIDED BY:
Rate the Tracks

Tracks:
1. I’m On Fire
2. SkyWriter
3. Love is/The Other Side
4. Drifting
5. Devil’s Door
6. The Light Beyond
7. Look Through Me
8. Y Can’t I B More Like U

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Concert Review: Living The Dream With Judas Priest and Uriah Heep At The Palace Theater In Albany, NY

Living The Dream With Judas Priest and Uriah Heep At The Palace Theater In Albany, NY
MAY 18, 2019
 Pictures Provided By Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck’s Cellphone

This was a double bill that I have waited for months to see. This was also one of many times that I have seen Judas Priest however the first time I had the opportunity to see Uriah Heep.  I have been a fan of Uriah Heep since the 70s and have all the early studio releases along with a few when lead singer Bernie Shaw came into the picture. In addition to that, I had just picked up their most recent studio effort and 25th mind you, titled Living The Dream.  The album is excellent and their strongest in quite some time. I think they decided to reach back and take some of the elements that made them who they are along with more modern technologies and recording tools to come up with a real winner. And yes, it rocks, making them the perfect opening act for Judas Priest.

Mick Box started the band in 1970, bless his soul. He is the only surviving original member left, and it’s a good thing because they are not UH without him. He looks great with his long white hair and energetic guitar playing, which was from start to finish. He captured the audience immediately and that grew as they made their way through the new and the classic tracks.



Bernie Shaw mentioned how hard it was to go through 50 years of music in one hour but they did a fine job. I would love to see a full-length show with them at some point. I brought one of my friends with me that loves metal and has been following both bands forever like myself and you could not wipe the smile off his face all night, it was a beautiful thing to witness and just as satisfying as the music itself from my own perspective. 

Uriah Heep which is a fictional character created by Charles Dickens in his novel David Copperfield. Heep is one of the main antagonists of the novel. His character is notable for his cloying humility, obsequiousness, and insincerity, making frequent references to his own " 'umbleness." So how many of you UH fans remember how that relates to an album title? If you guessed Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble you are correct! There was a time when I had no clue how all this tied into the name of the band and that book.

While the visit was short with Uriah Heep, it was long enough to know that they are still alive and well and rockin’. It gave me the incentive to catch them live again. I really appreciate how they performed the early rockers “Gypsy,” “Stealin’” and “Look At Yourself.” 

So, the standard break started and they prepared the stage for the headliner that everyone was clamoring for. Everyone was chanting “Priest, Priest, Priest.”  That is a tradition at the concerts as all fans of the band know. As Rob Halford acknowledged, heavy metal fans and the overall community are the most dedicated group and they could not do what they do without us. It goes both ways Rob and we love the fact that you are still coming out to bring all that great music to us!

The opening song was “Necromancer” from their latest album Firepower. Rob came out in a new outfit for the number. I just had to get a pic of that and include it with this review. It was a great way to kick things off and the audience was pumped and ready for everything that they were going to dish out. I would say this crowd is very enthusiastic and partiers, I being enthusiastic minus all the partying. There was a couple behind me that polished of their share of alcoholic beverages but were still well behaved even though one of them spilled some of their drink on my head and left an empty cup in my seat. I know it sounds comical actually and that is exactly how I took it and carried on with a smile and enjoyed the entire spirit of the evening. 

Priest covered some ground, going through their early career to promoting the newest release with some cool videos as a backdrop to their juggernaut two-man tag team guitar players of Richie Faulkner and  Andy Sneap. And it goes without saying that the rhythm section of Ian Hill (bass) and Scott Travis (drums) is the foundation of their explosive sound.  The two six-string slingers have turned into admirable replacements for the legendary one-two punch of Glen Tipton and K.K. Downing.  They are great players and have assimilated the Priest cannon with dedication and fire that has kept things moving right along so we all can still enjoy their studio recordings and live shows.



They saved all the fan favorites for their encore which included, "Hell Bent for Leather," "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight."

With another memorable night in the books, it makes me feel blessed to be alive and able to have the privilege of attending these great live events and provide coverage. Another big thanks to my long-time partners at Chipster PR for providing me the great seats to enjoy last night to the fullest. I was fully drenched in sweat and voicing my approval along with three thousand some fans in attendance. And that enthusiasm continued into the streets after, people were buzzing and chanting all over again.

If you’re looking for a dream come true double header metal concert you need to catch this show!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 19, 2019

Setlist:
Uriah Heep:
Grazed by Heaven
Take Away My Soul
Stealin'
Gypsy
Look at Yourself
Easy Livin'

Judas Priest:
Necromancer Intro
Necromancer
Heading Out to the Highway
(Take These) Chains
The Sentinel
Spectre
Judas Rising
Out in the Cold
Traitors Gate
Starbreaker
Steeler
Halls of Valhalla
Prelude
Tyrant
No Surrender
Victim of Changes
All Guns Blazing
Encore:
Hell Bent for Leather
Breaking the Law
Living After Midnight


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Progressive Rock Review: 3.2-The Rules Have Changed

Release Date: August 10, 2018
Label: FRONTIERS MUSIC SRL

If you remember the album The Power of 3(1988) then you will find familiarity with The Rules Have Changed. I remember the album but what really left an impression on me was Robert Berry. I interviewed Robert in March of 1999 in conjunction with the ELP Tribute Encores, Legends and Paradox. I still treasure all of those prog tribute CDs Magna Carta released. It was an exciting time with fond memories.

Robert and Keith Emerson were discussing reforming 3 and ideas were formulating. The unfortunate passing of Emerson put everything into a different perspective for Robert, as one would suspect. Indeed, The Rules Have Changed. After Emerson’s death in 2016, he was left with the keyboard legends final musical ideas for the project. Everything from old cassette tapes, keyboard parts written over the phone and long discussions between the two friends about style, the framework of the album were set and ready to be produced. 

I thought providing some of the back stories would be interesting. I also listened to an interview with Robert discussing everything and what I found was more than a multi-talented musician, but an honest and caring man that lost a dear friend. He was speechless when he visited Emerson’s grave. I can understand why.
So, Robert decided to move forward with the project in dedication to Emerson and in the true spirit of the music decided to create the 3.2 version of the band. The end result is a fantastic eight-track album. Robert said he could feel Keith while he was playing. I do not doubt that for a second. As I was listening, I was asking myself “Which part is Keith playing” not realizing the entire story and that Robert actually played all the parts!
The Rules Have Changed is an excellent recording from beginning to end in my humble opinion. It was not hard for me to appreciate it being a big ELP fan and admirer of Keith’s solo works and Robert’s as well. I saw this listening opportunity as a can’t miss experience. And it most certainly proved to be so.

“Powerful Man” is about Keith being a father from a distance with his son. And on the flip side, his son watching his father on stage and becoming inspired by the power of the music he was creating. I thought it was a great choice for a title and the words are inspirational and uplifting and the music is as well. I watched the video (included here) and got chills.

Two of the more interesting and entertaining tracks are “The Letter,” which starts with an acoustic guitar and Robert singing in uncharacteristic gruff tone (think whiskey-soaked blues like) and then the song continues to build and change into what you would come to expect in a Berry song.

“Your Mark on The World” is a track that I am sure Keith would have loved. It is a crazy prog rock track with a circus-like atmosphere. It made me think of one thing. Who can forget (if you were alive at the time) Keith spinning around in the air at ELP’s performance at the first California Jam? Man, that was unbelievable, but then again so was ELP and Mr. Emerson.

After hearing The Rules Have Changed, I felt inspired to write about it as soon as I could. I felt joy, elation, and some sadness while listening. But after all isn’t that what music is all about, people, the human condition. 

Thank you, Robert Berry, for a wonderful tribute to one of the greatest ivory ticklers the world has had the pleasure to enjoy. The beauty of the memories will carry on forever thanks to what he left behind.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 22, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

Tracks:
1. One by One
2. Powerful Man
3. The Rules Have Changed
4. Our Bond
5. What You’re Dreaming Now
6. Somebody’s Watching
7. This Letter
8. Your Mark on The World
 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Concert Review: Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY

Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY
December 13, 2018



With winter upon us in the great Northeast, it was just another night. We never have a reason to stay in because of the weather, we just go. It so happened that it was a nice evening for a drive to a Ghost concert.  We secured our tickets months ago and have been anticipating this night for months on end.

Last July I attended a “bucket list” concert, the great Iron Maiden was coming to Mansfield, MA. Opening for them was Ghost. This was a turn of a friendly card for the band, a great way to get worldwide exposure otherwise not afforded by a lesser band. They were already on the rise and the lead singer Papa Emeritus had a helluva a band (no pun intended there). At that time my prediction was that when the new year began Ghost would be headlining their own shows. So, then it happened, here we are tonight watching this incredible metal band headlining their own show, with no opener may I add.

For those of you unfortunate, tortured, misled souls that may not be familiar with Ghost, here is a bit of information I grabbed from Wikipedia.


Tobias Forge obscured his identity behind the character "Papa Emeritus". The character, which consists of Forge in a prosthetic mask and makeup can be best described as a 'demonic anti-pope'. The Papa Emeritus Character has gone through four incarnations - I, II, III, and Nihil. As of the 2018 album Prequelle and subsequent world tour, Forge portrays a character known as "Cardinal Copia," who is described as being unrelated to any of the Papa Emeritus characters and whose costume consists of either Cardinal vestments or a black or white tuxedo alongside a prosthetic mask with black eye makeup and the multi-colored eyes which had been present in each Papa character.

Ghost is quite theatrical and I expected much of what I saw. What I did not anticipate was a 7-piece band! Now the lead singer has 3 guitar players, and two ladies, who are referred to a Lionesses, on keyboards and of course the Nameless Ghouls. As with any bands rise to popularity a culture is created within and this is no exception. There were people there in the audience with the full Papa makeup and Santa Claus stocking caps and one dude was fully decked out as the Cardinal. It reminded me of the days when Kiss were on their meteoric rise and people would go out on Halloween as one of the band members. This is entertainment at its highest level as far as I am concerned.

The Ghost band is like a well-oiled machine. Seeing them two dates before the tour ends surely showed how well versed they were with their musical acumen and stage presence. Speaking of presence, Cardinal Copia has become masterful at playing to the crowd and getting a response. Many times, during each song he would yell “Are you with us Albany!” That would always get a rise in the decibel level of voices and whistles.

They opened with the raucous “Rats.” That was a perfect tone-setter for the night. I have included the official video which has over 15 million views and counting right now! There is one guitar player who is the lead, and second, that is a good match to exchange riffs with, they stand on either side of the Cardinal. In the back, you have the third guitar player who is there for a lot of background vocals, tambourine, posturing, and some electric guitar playing to accentuate the other two. The addition of the two ladies on keyboard adds that extra layer of music that at times pushes their music to the border of progressive metal. Do not fear metalheads, I did say “border,” and it is one that they have not crossed over, not yet anyway. Who knows what the future holds in the creative mind of Tobias, the master of disguise?



The setlist encompassed 3 hours and they certainly have enough material to fill that time. 28 songs were covered and it was a great mix with older material and great versions of songs from the amazing Prequelle album. My belief is that they will win the Grammy for the best metal album of 2018. They are spot and precise as any band I have heard live going their list of studio recordings.

The musicianship was outstanding all night and the transitions from the heavier songs like “Mummy Dust,” the real ass wobbler as the Cardinal coined, to the most recent rock-oriented tracks like “Life Eternal,” we got all the different aspects of this talented group encapsulated into one exciting package.

Ghost is at the top of their game now and is taking full advantage of their popularity. I do not mind paying $40 for a souvenir t-shirt to support a band that truly deserves it and they most certainly do! I hope their success continues and I would expect it would.

The difference last night and what I saw a year ago was a band with more punch, precision and extra oomph with the added members. If you like theatrical music and love heavy metal, Ghost is a sure bet to please that preference. I cannot think of a better band in the metal genre right now and would see them again without a second thought.

Set List

Act 1:
Klara stjärnor (Jan Johansson song)
Miserere Mei, Deus (Gregorio Allegri song)
Ashes
Rats
Absolution
Idolatrine
Ritual
Con Clavi Con Dio
Per Aspera ad Inferi
Devil Church
Cirice
Miasma (with Papa Nihil saxophone solo)
Jigolo Har Megiddo (acoustic)
Pro Memoria
Witch Image
Life Eternal

Act 2:
Masked Ball (Jocelyn Pook song)
Spirit
From the Pinnacle to the Pit
Majesty
Satan Prayer
Faith
Year Zero
Spöksonat
He Is
Mummy Dust
If You Have Ghosts (Roky Erickson cover) (with band introductions)
Dance Macabre
Square Hammer

Encore:
Monstrance Clock
The Host of Seraphim (Dead Can Dance song)

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

"The original internet “MuzikMan” Reviewer since 1998!”

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Rock Review: Jason Becker-Triumphant Hearts

Release Date: December 7, 2018
Label: Music Theory Recordings
Jason Becker suffers from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). A fatal condition with a life expectancy of maybe five years. He was diagnosed in 1989 at 19 years old. He is still cranking out music to this day!
He was and still is a six-string slinger with plenty of energy to create music, his personal testament to the power of music and positive thinking. He never stopped working. I think that is the reason he is still with us today, he never gave up and feels empowered to make music on a very high level regardless of physical limitations.

The man also has a great sense of humor, he released a documentary on his life in 2017 titled I’m Not Dead Yet. In the video I have provided, which runs over 9 minutes, gives a good overview of how people in the music business feel about Becker. Everyone is filled with respect and admiration for this man and for good reason. I actually interviewed Jason in 2001 in regards to the tribute album Warmth In The Wilderness II on Lion Records. At that time, I had asked what he would like to do next and he said “I haven't thought about it lately, but it would either be a symphony or funky and possibly devotional stuff. Whatever there would be lots of guitar on it.” So here we are in 2018 and we are on the heels of the new release Triumphant Hearts. It looks as though those thoughts and expectations have been realized with the new release. It is pretty cool that I go that far back with Jason and I had the opportunity to interview him.

So, guitar fans get ready for one amazing onslaught of guitar magic on Triumphant Hearts. The first song to be released from the album is the 9 minute and 5 second instrumental “Valley of Fire” (check out the video provided). The song features The Magnificent 13 – Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, Paul Gilbert, Neal Schon, Marty Friedman, Michael Lee Firkins, Mattias IA Eklundh, Greg Howe, Jeff Loomis, Richie Kotzen, Gus G, Steve Hunter, and Ben Woods. That is one phenomenal line up to put together on one track! It works very well for having that many guitar players contribute. Actually, I am surprised it did not go any longer than 9 minutes and 5 seconds and I am sure it could have with all that talent available.

There is a lot of orchestrations in the tracks which makes the listening experience rich and full. Jason composed all the music and he gets his work done by controlling a computer with his eyes. The technology that is available today is truly amazing and because of that we still have the opportunity to hear this amazing artist and his creations.

For all of the rockers out there, be patient when popping the CD in because the first track may give you the wrong idea of what you are about to hear. It is classical music but just wait, things really getting rolling after that. The mix of instrumentals, mainly guitar parts, and tracks with vocals, is just what the doctor ordered for my music tastes. There is a boatload of ear candy on the longer tracks like the aforementioned “Valley of Fire” and “River of Longing” and “Taking Me Back.” There actually is only one track under 4 minutes on the entire album, the curtain closer “You Do It,” which last 55 seconds. 

If you are in the mood for some six-string fireworks and want to hear some of the best guitar players in the world on one release, then Triumphant Hearts is your one-way ticket to musical bliss. Hell, you may be so inspired after hearing this music that you will pick up your own guitar and start playing, and if you don’t have one, go out and buy one!

Jason Becker is an incredible human being with a very talented musical mind. Triumphant Hearts is an amazing event that every music fan needs to hear. The man and his music will make an impression on you one way or another, I can promise you that.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 30, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews & News

Tracks:
01. Triumphant Heart (feat. Marty Friedman, Glauco Bertagnin, Hiyori Okuda)
02. Hold On To Love (feat. Codany Holiday) 07:27
03. Fantasy Weaver (feat. Jake Shimabukuro)
04. Once Upon A Melody  
05. We Are One (feat. Steve Knight)  
06. Magic Woman (feat. Uli Jon Roth & Chris Broderick)
07. Blowin' in the Wind  
08. River of Longing (feat. Joe Satriani, Aleks Sever, Guthrie Govan, Steve Morse)
09. Valley of Fire (feat. Michael Lee Firkins, Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, Paul Gilbert, Neal Schon, Mattias IA Eklundh, Marty Friedman, Greg Howe, Jeff Loomis, Richie Kotzen, Gus G., Steve Hunter, Ben Woods)
10. River of Longing (feat. Trevor Rabin)
11. Taking Me Back
12. Tell Me No Lies
13. Hold On To Love (feat. Codany Holiday) [Chuck Zwicky Remix]  
14. You Do It
   



Saturday, October 6, 2018

Rock-Prog-Pop Vinyl Review: ELO (Electric Light Orchestra)-The UK Singles Volume One 1972-1978

Release Date: September 21, 2018
Label: Sony

Electric Light Orchestra, better known as ELO for brevity purposes, has a large body of work dating back to the 70s. The first album I ever bought was Eldorado. I remember how different that album sounded the first time I heard it. At that time, I enjoyed it but not as much as I do now. With the passing of time, great music reaches a different level as heard through the ears of a more mature listener (like everything it is a matter of time). 

Over the last few years, I have immersed myself in purchasing and listening to all kinds of vinyl, actually a lot of it is what I used to own and subsequently got rid of in my foolish youth.

So along comes The UK Singles Volume One 1972-1978 offering an opportunity to reminisce and hear all those big hits and tracks that were previously only available in the UK. 

For this listener, it was a complete joy to hear all this music and watch it spin around on my turntable. That whole experience of having the vinyl to hold in your hand with the artwork for each individual 45, is what it is all about. The sound is incredible, vinyl has CDs beat by a long shot. The sound of vinyl is more natural and warmer - take away the digitizing, downloading and iTunes and what do you have? Not only something physical but music as it was meant to be heard. This was remastered from the analog source tapes. That fact should get audiophiles salivating.

Jeff Lynn has been and always will be the main cog in the wheel that keeps ELO rolling along. In fact, they are going on tour for the first time in 30 years as Jeff Lynn’s ELO. The music stands on its own. Well put together packages like The U.K. Singles Volume One: 1972-1978 do not come around on a regular basis so it immediately becomes a treasure trove of delights for any vinyl junkie or ELO fan. Check off both boxes for me in regards to those two points. 

The Beatles influence in the ELO cannon has always been obvious and their leader has always acknowledged that influence. For my ears, that works just fine as I love the Fab Four without question and I can spot their influence in anything I hear. Make no mistake about it, this band proved unequivocally that you could rock and add orchestra related instruments to the mix and it all would sound killer if done well. It goes without saying that Jeff and his band really had that formula down straight away. It has taken some years to really appreciate this music more as I mentioned earlier but you cannot deny the string of radio-friendly hits that were blaring out of the radio back in the 70s. I was there and heard it all which makes getting this set that much sweeter and more memorable. 

Some of the highlights in a box set jammed with them were “538 Overture b/w First Movement (Jumping Biz) * (1972 – U.K. No. 9),” which reminded me fondly of the great instrumental from the 60s titled “Classical Gas.” There are some riffs in that track that sounded unmistakable as far as my ears were concerned. This is not unusual at all it just made me smile inside to feel that recognition so quickly.

“Showdown b/w In Old England Town (Instrumental) (1973 – U.K. No. 12)” was so good to hear again on vinyl and “Old England Town (Instrumental)” was an odd bird but certainly quite original and a step away from the ELO norm. It is one track I will not forget.

“Can't Get It Out Of My Head b/w Illusions In G Major (1974)” features a great rocker on the B side “Illusions In G Major,” so don’t be fooled by the track titles that may imply you are going hear something complex and progressive, you may hear a flat-out rocker like this one.
 
Of course, there is the all-time classic “Evil Woman,” no doubt one of their most recognized hit singles. To sweeten the pie, it is backed with “10538 Overture (live) (1974 – U.K. No. 10),” which is excellent.

On to the surprises I found in the set…All along I was thinking it was standard black vinyl. “Livin Thing” and “Mr. Blue Sky,” turn out to be that beautiful translucent blue vinyl. That was the icing on the cake for this collector/music freak. 

When all is said and done The UK Singles Volume One 1972-1978 is a must-have for any ELO fan or music fan for that matter. So, snag it up and put under the tree this year for the music lover you know, that is if you can stand waiting that long to crack the seal and give it an ear yourself!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 5, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews & News


Tracks:

Electric Light Orchestra

The U.K. Singles Volume One: 1972-1978

Disc 1: 10538 Overture b/w First Movement (Jumping Biz)* (1972 – U.K. No. 9)
Disc 2: Roll Over Beethoven** b/w Queen Of The Hours (1973 – U.K. No. 6)
Disc 3: Showdown b/w In Old England Town (Instrumental) (1973 – U.K. No. 12)
Disc 4: Ma-Ma-Ma Belle b/w Oh No Not Susan (1974 – U.K. No. 22)
Disc 5: Can't Get It Out Of My Head b/w Illusions In G Major (1974)
Disc 6: Evil Woman b/w 10538 Overture (live) (1974 – U.K. No. 10)
Disc 7: Nightrider b/w Daybreaker (live)(1976)
Disc 8: Strange Magic b/w Showdown (live) (1976 – U.K. No. 38)
Disc 9: Livin' Thing b/w Fire On High (1976 – U.K. No. 4)
Disc 10: Rockaria! b/w Poker (1976 – U.K. No. 9)
Disc 11: Telephone Line b/w Poor Boy (The Greenwood) / King Of The Universe
(1977 – U.K. No. 8)
Disc 12: Turn To Stone b/w Mister Kingdom (1977 – U.K. No. 18)
Disc 13: Mr. Blue Sky b/w One Summer Dream (1978 – U.K. No. 6)
Disc 14: Wild West Hero b/w Eldorado (1978 – U.K. No. 6)
Disc 15: Sweet Talkin' Woman b/w Bluebird Is Dead (1978 – U.K. No. 6)
Disc 16: The ELO EP: Can't Get It Out Of My Head / Strange Magic b/w Ma-Ma-Ma Belle / Evil Woman (1978 – U.K. No. 34)


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Concert Review: Judas Priest and Deep Purple Co-Headline at Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center

Judas Priest and Deep Purple Co-Headline at Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center
Opening Act Temperance Movement

Bethel Woods New York
September 2, 2018




Thousands of people made the trek to the mountains in Bethel Woods NY to see a triple header rock concert. It was one of those nights you would never forget. Deep Purple, whom I never saw live, Judas Priest and a relatively new band on the scene, Temperance Movement, would entertain for over 3 hours.

 
It was a long ride for us but well worth the trip by the time we got back home in the wee hours of the morning. This would be the fourth time I would see Judas Priest. I am also aware that Deep Purple is likely on their last tour and recorded their last studio album From Here To Infinite. This placed some urgency on the event for me personally. I was there to cover Judas Priest so everything else was icing on the cake.


I have to say that the venue at Bethel Woods, which sits directly across the field where Woodstock was held, is the most beautiful venue I have ever been to. I have been to a few in my day and this place is so scenic and peaceful, well not for long though. There is a little stream that runs alongside the path to the stage and a beautiful water fountain as well.  There are all kinds of food and drink vendors and some very interesting booths for memorabilia of the site and of course the swag booths to give every fan a chance to buy something from the event. I picked up a signed CD from The Temperance Movement. It is a fantastic new album titled A Deeper Cut.

So, we just made it there before the concert started and had to walk quite a way from where we parked, which would later prove to work to our advantage when leaving.  My son and I ran to our seats to catch The Temperance Movement’s opening song.

The Temperance Movement are a British blues rock band formed in 2011 by Phil Campbell and guitarists Luke Potashnick and Paul Sayer. The rhythm section consists of bassist Nick Fyffe and drummer Damon Wilson. This was a pleasant surprise to have them open for the two rock heavyweights as I have appreciated their recorded output since their inception. They really came on strong and maintained the energy level with some great playing. The lead singer is a little dynamo, jumping all over and waving his arms. I think he must have watched Jagger on stage a bit before he took the stage himself and I can hear the influence of the Rolling Stones in their sound. They had a short stay but they really made the best of every moment and think left a lasting impression on an audience that was likely unfamiliar to them.


Faulkner and Halford
Judas Priest was up next and they started things off with the title track of their new album Firepower. Rob Halford is now sporting his completely white beard and looking like the elder rocker but sounding strong as ever. Every time I see this band I am simply amazed how Halford keeps his pipes in such good shape and the range and screams he still commands are awesome.

Ritchie Faulkner is now the veteran guitar player of the band. He trades licks with Andy Sneap who fills in now for Glen Tipton. Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I was very saddened to hear this news.  It seemed strange not seeing Glen on stage with his red leather pants and guitar blazing away. Faulkner certainly has reached another level as a guitar player and he has risen to the occasion taking over a lion’s share of the lead runs. 

                   
Halford and Sneap
So as Priest made their way through their set list I realized that this was the first time I had felt the sheer power of their set so up close. We had some great seats. When I would sit down for a few minutes I could feel the bass drum hammering away at my chest. It really was an amazing feeling. They were very loud but that is the only way to experience a Priest concert with the decibel level pinning in the red. If it hurts the eardrums well that will eventually wear off and you will be so glad you went again.
     
Then came rock legends Deep Purple. Ian Gillan (vocals), Ian Paice (drums), Roger Glover (bass), Steve Morse (guitar) and Don Airey (keys) are a solid veteran unit that is very comfortable on stage and in the studio.
Ian Gillan has naturally lost some range with his voice; however, he is very distinctive and he gets the numbers across quite well. Some of the fan favorites were covered like “Highway Star,” “Space Truckin,” “Lazy” and of course “Smoke on the Water” and the incredible oldie “Hush.” 

Deep Purple Bass Player Roger Glover
Deep Purple can still be a force to be reckoned with onstage and if they were not I am sure they would not be sharing a bill with the metal legends Judas Priest. There is likely a mutual respect there between the two bands. I have to give the nod to Steve Morse for still playing magnificently even though he has some wrist issues and has to wear a brace. I know the feeling and really appreciate his efforts to keep playing all of that great music.

What an amazing night and I was there. What an honor and privilege it was to attend such an event and have the opportunity to provide some coverage to perspective concert goers.

My final thought is if this show is coming to a town near you I highly recommend your attendance as this may be your last chance to see these bands play together!

September 5, 2018
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

"The original internet “MuzikMan” Reviewer since 1998!”

(All the pics I took with my phone so they are not professional, I have provided them to give people an idea of what I was watching and enjoying)

Judas Priest Setlist:
Firepower Intro
Firepower
Delivering the Goods
Sinner
Lightning Strike
Desert Plains
Turbo Lover
Guardians
Rising From Ruins
Freewheel Burning
You've Got Another Thing Comin'
Hell Bent for Leather
Painkiller

Encore:
Metal Gods
No Surrender
(first time w/o Glenn;… more )
Breaking the Law
Living After Midnight

Deep Purple Setlist:
Mars, the Bringer of War
(Gustav Holst song)
Highway Star
Pictures of Home
Bloodsucker
Strange Kind of Woman
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming
Uncommon Man
Lazy
Knocking at Your Back Door
Keyboard Solo
(incl. "The Star-Spangled Banner")
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin'
Smoke on the Water

Encore:
Hush
(Joe South cover) (incl. "Peter Gunn Theme" intro)