First announced in 2019, a new Led Zeppelin documentary -- the first in 50 years to feature the band's participation -- has been completed, and now has a title: Becoming Led Zeppelin.
As Variety reports, the director, Bernard McMahon, had what's described as "unprecedented" access to the band for the project. "Becoming Led Zeppelin is a film that no one thought could be made,” Variety quotes MacMahon as saying. “The band’s meteoric rise to stardom was swift and virtually undocumented. Through an intense search across the globe and years of restoration of the visual and audio archive found, this story is finally able to be told.”
Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones all sat for new interviews for the doc, and archival interviews with late drummer John Bonham, who died in 1980, are also included. Never-before-seen pictures and film, plus state-of-the-art audio transfers of Zeppelin's music, round out the project.
McMahon also directed American Epic, a documentary series focusing on American roots music and its impact on the world. According to Variety, when Becoming Led Zeppelin was first announced, Page said that he knew McMahon would be "qualified' to tell their story based on his "remarkable achievement" with American Epic.
So far, the documentary does not have a release date.
A new Beatles tribute album featuring an eclectic variety of well-known artists, including Heart's Ann Wilson, Mr. Mister's Richard Page and late Asia frontman John Wetton performing classic songs by the Fab Four will be released this Friday, August 6.
The album, which can be pre-ordered now, features Wilson's rendition of "Across the Universe," Page teaming up with longtime Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse for a cover of "Here Comes the Sun," and Wetton performing "Penny Lane."
Other artists contributing tunes to the record include Air Supply, '80s synth-pop artist Howard Jones, folk legend Judy Collins, late Cream bassist Jack Bruce, late pop singer/songwriter Andrew Gold, Southern rockers Molly Hatchet and ex-Deep Purple bassist/singer Glenn Hughes.
Here's the full track list of Legends Play The Beatles:
"Here Comes the Sun" -- Richard Page & Steve Morse
"Across the Universe" -- Ann Wilson
"Penny Lane" -- John Wetton
"Back in the USSR" -- Molly Hatchet
"Norwegian Wood" -- Andrew Gold
"The Long and Winding Road" -- Air Supply
"Tomorrow Never Knows" -- Electric Moon
"Rain" -- Sugar Candy Mountain
"Eleanor Rigby" -- Jack Bruce
"And I Love Her" -- Howard Jones
"Yesterday" -- Judy Collins
"Let It Be" -- Glenn Hughes
Following the unexpected death of bassist Dusty Hill earlier last week, ZZ Top returned to the stage on Friday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Billboardreports that the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers honored their late band mate before getting into the thick of their performance.
Frontman Billy Gibbons introduced Elwood Francis -- who has served as the band's guitar tech for the past two decades -- as Hill's temporary replacement. Francis had previously filled in for the late bassist prior to his death.
"We're gonna have a good time in here tonight," promised Gibbons. "Got a new guy up here, as you know. Dusty gave me the directive. My friend, your pal, Elwood Francis is gonna hold it down behind me."
Mid-performance, Gibbons addressed the crowd again on behalf of Hill, shouting at the revelers, "How about that Elwood? Tearing up that bottom there for Dusty."
Gibbons previously confirmed that Hill wanted the band to continue without him, according to tweets shared by rock radio personality Eddie Trunk.
"As Dusty said upon his departure, 'Let the show go on!' and…with respect, we'll do well to get beyond this and honor his wishes," a reported text from Gibbons said.
The 71-year-old singer/guitarist added, "Dusty emphatically grabbed my arm and said, 'Give Elwood the bottom end and take it to the Top.' He meant it, amigo. He really did."
Last Wednesday, ZZ Top announced that Hill "passed away in his sleep at home in Houston" at age 72. No cause of death has yet been publicly revealed.
That's what anyone with cable TV who happened to be up at midnight on August 1, 1981 -- 40 years ago this Sunday -- heard, as MTV: Music Television signed on the air for the very first time. At the time, it wasn't even available in most major markets, including MTV's home base, New York City. And that first day was a little rocky.
"The plan was that Mark Goodman would begin the welcome," recalls original VJ Alan Hunter of MTV's first moments. "After you had the Buggles and Pat Benatar videos, Mark comes on and says, 'Hey, welcome to this thing called MTV and here are my pals'" And it would roll down to JJ [Jackson] and Martha [Quinn] and Nina [Blackwood]. And I was the last guy to say, 'and I'm Alan Hunter.'"
"No one really noticed, it was late at night," Hunter laughs. "There was so many technical glitches that first day...MTV was duct-taped together to start, to be honest."
But MTV soon took hold across the country -- especially in the Midwest, where Hunter and his fellow VJs would find hundreds of people waiting to greet them at in-store appearances.
"They would ask for an autograph and say, 'I watch this 24/7 in the dorm at college,' or, 'in the basement of our friend's house down the street who has cable'...kids [were] going crazy for it," Hunter recalls. "And they were beginning to ask for the music that they were seeing on MTV."
Flooded with requests for songs by MTV faves like U2 and Duran Duran, radio eventually responded and previously unknown bands became superstars. But hey, don't expect any gratitude from Duran Duran, whose stylish videos were a highlight of MTV's early years.
"We tend to look at it the other way around," Duran Duran's Simon LeBon tells ABC Audio. "We think, 'How much does MTV have to thank us for the popularity that they had in the 1980s?'"
Keyboardist Nick Rhodes snarks, "Yes, at least with Duran Duran, we didn't have to resort to game shows in the end. We stuck with the music!"
Indeed, MTV stopped being the place for music videos literally decades ago.
"When I look at MTV's daily schedule, all I see is Ridiculousness," laughs Hunter, referring to the viral video clip show. "I think they're struggling to try to find where they're going."
But whatever MTV is today, its impact is still being felt. Rob Tannenbaum, co-author of the oral history I Want My MTV, explains, "It changed record labels because now a certain type of band was more profitable. It changed the TV industry and the movie industry because they all wanted to emulate the fast cutting [and] bright colors. It changed fashion design. It changed advertising. It had a wholesale effect...all over popular culture."
And the quintessential MTV Video? Tannenbaum says it's Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher."
"It has all the things that are supposed to make a video good. It's got a guitar solo. It's a band with long hair, chicks in bikinis," he says, adding, "If you were trying to illustrate to an alien from another planet what MTV was about, you would show them 'Hot for Teacher.'"
Here were the first 10 videos played on MTV:
"Video Killed the Radio Star" -- The Buggles
"You Better Run" -- Pat Benatar
"She Won't Dance with Me" -- Rod Stewart
"You Better You Bet" -- The Who
"Little Suzi's on the Up" -- Ph.D.
"We Don't Talk Anymore" -- Cliff Richard
"Brass in Pocket" -- The Pretenders
"Time Heals" -- Todd Rundgren
"Take It on the Run" -- REO Speedwagon (interrupted after 12 seconds due to technical difficulties)
"Rockin' the Paradise" -- Styx
On Thursday night at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom, Journey played their first concert since late 2019, and the first since longtime bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith were fired early last year.
The performance was part of a series of Lollapalooza "aftershow" events that select artists also performing at the Chicago festival this weekend are playing at various venues in the Windy City. The Aragon show was a warmup for Journey's Lollaplooza headlining set Saturday.
In addition to guitarist Neal Schon, keyboardist Jonathan Cain and singer Arnel Pineda, Journey's lineup includes drummers Narada Michael Walden and Deen Castronovo, keyboardist/backing vocalist Jason Derlatka and bassist Randy Jackson, although Marco Mendoza is filling in for Jackson at the Chicago shows while Randy recovers from back surgery.
According RollingStone.com, the Aragon Ballroom show was an extra-long, two-set extravaganza that included classic hits like "Open Arms," "Faithfully" and "Separate Ways," along with deep cuts like "Suzanne," "Just the Same Way" and "Feeling That Way." You can check out fan-recorded video of the band performing the 1978 gem "Wheel in the Sky" on YouTube.
Walden, Jackson and Derlatka joined the band last year, while it was announced earlier this week that Castronovo, who previously played who Journey from 1998 to 2015, was once again a member of the group.
Meanwhile, Schon tells ABC Audio that he's excited that popular rapper-singer Post Malone will be headlining Lollaplooza alongside Journey on Saturday.
"I think he's a very good guitar player…and I heard he's a fan of mine as well," says Neal. "And he plays many different styles."
Schon adds, "Maybe he'll get done before we do, 'cause I think we're playing a longer show, and I'd like to invite him to our show to come…and sit in."
According to Billboard, CSNY's Déjà Vu Alternates, which features alternate versions of the songs from the group's classic 1970 album, Déjà Vu, was the second-best-selling album released on July 17.
At #6 was Cat Stevens' Harold & Maude: The Songs from the Original Movie soundtrack album, one ahead of The Rolling Stones' yellow-vinyl reissue of their classic 1971 two-LP compilation, Hot Rocks.
The Allman Brothers Band's live album The Final Note was #8 on the tally.
The top-selling RSD album was Foo Fighters' Hail Satin, released under the name the Dee Gees. The project sold 12,000 vinyl LPs, plus another 3,000 downloads when it was made available digitally on July 19.
The 10-song album includes covers of four number-one Bee Gees hits and a cover of "Shadow Dancing," by the Bee Gees' younger brother, Andy Gibb.
Billboard reports that according to MRC Data, RSD resulted in 1.14 million U.S. vinyl album sales overall.
As for the top-selling singles, a vinyl disc featuring two remixed tracks from Bob Dylan's 1983 album, Infidels -- "Jokerman" and "I and I" -- was #3 on the list, while a single by Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell's current group The Dirty Knobs, featuring a cover of JJ Cale's "Humdinger" and the non-LP B-side "Feelin' High," was #10.
The top-selling RSD single release was Pearl Jam's "Alive," which was issued on both 12-inch vinyl and cassette, along with the rare B-sides.
Here are the top-selling RSD 2021 July 17 drop albums at independent record stores, according to MRC Data:
1. Dee Gees/Foo Fighters, Hail Satin
2. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Deja Vu: Alternates
3. Beastie Boys, Aglio e Olio
4. Amy Winehouse, Remixes
5. Miles Davis, Champions: Rare Miles from the Complete Jack Johnson Sessions
6. Cat Stevens, Harold & Maude: The Songs from the Original Movie (Soundtrack)
7. The Rolling Stones, Hot Rocks 1964-1971
8. Allman Brothers Band, The Final Note: Painters Mill Music Fair, Owings Mills, MD 10-17-71
9. John Prine, Live: At the Other End, Dec. 1975
10. The Ramones, Triple J Live at the Wireless: Capital Theatre, Sydney, Australia, July 8, 1980
And here are the top-selling singles:
1. Pearl Jam, "Alive"
2. Fleet Foxes featuring Resistance Revival Chorus, "Can I Believe You"/"Wading in Waist-High Water"
3. St. Vincent, "Piggy "/"Sad but True "
4. Bob Dylan, "Jokerman"/"I and I " (Remixes)
5. Karen O & Willie Nelson, "Under Pressure "
6. Dio, "God Hates Heavy Metal "
7. Denzel Curry & Robert Glasper, "So Incredible"/"This Changes Everything" (Live from Leimert Park)
8. "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Beat on the Brat"
9. Jxdn, "Angels & Demons"/"Drivers License"
10. The Dirty Knobs, "Humdinger"/"Feelin' High"
Earlier this year, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts launched a partnership with the nugs.net live-music platform making available previously unreleased concert recordings and video performances spanning the band's 40-plus-year career.
Three new archival concerts recently were made available in both audio and video formats: a 2013 performance at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, California; a 2015 show at the Toyota Center in Houston; and a 2016 event at the Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York.
These three shows join previously released concerts from 1983 in Houston; 2015 in Columbus, Ohio; and 2018 in Clisson, France.
The audio versions of the shows are available for download in MP3 and two high-res formats.
Meanwhile, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts begin their 2021 tour itinerary with a show this Sunday, August 1, in San Francisco at the Stern Grove Festival. Check out the band's full schedule at JoanJett.com.
A new track that Paul McCartney recorded in collaboration with famed DJ/producer Mark Ronson and synth-pop veteran Gary Numan has been released as part of the soundtrack album for a new Ronson-hosted Apple+ series that premiered today.
Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson is a six-part series that follows Ronson as he "uncovers the untold stories behind music creation and the lengths producers and creators are willing to go to find the perfect sound." To do that, he interviews artists including McCartney, Numan, Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, Beastie Boys members Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz and "Mike D" Diamond, and more.
Each episode ends with Ronson debuting a new piece of original music created with the guest artist using various groundbreaking techniques and technology.
McCartney and Numan are featured in an episode focusing on the synthesizer, and the tune they created with Ronson is called "I Know Time (Is Calling)."
The six-track soundtrack is available now as a digital download and via streaming services.
Here's the full track list of Watch the Sound (Original Soundtrack):
Autotune: "Show Me" -- Mark Ronson
Sampling: "Why Would I Stop" -- DJ Premier featuring Wale
Reverb: "One Life" -- Mark Ronson featuring Diana Gordon & Jónsi
Synth: "I Know Time (Is Calling)" -- Mark Ronson featuring Paul McCartney & Gary Numan
Drum Machine: "You'll Go Crazy" -- Mark Ronson featuring King Princess
Distortion: "Do You Do You Know" -- Mark Ronson featuring Santigold & Kathleen Hanna
A previously unreleased alternate version of George Harrison's classic song "Isn't It a Pity" that will appear on the upcoming deluxe reissue of the late Beatles legend's landmark 1970 solo album, All Things Must Pass, is now available as an advance digital track.
Two versions of "Isn't It a Pity" are featured on the original album, while the expanded reissue offers three additional renditions -- a demo recording and two alternate takes.
The newly released "Take 27" version features a slower and simpler arrangement than the best-known version of of "Isn't It a Pity," which was issued as a double-sided single with "My Sweet Lord."
An animated music video for "Isn't It a Pity (Take 27)" has debuted at Harrison's YouTube channel in conjunction with the track's release. The melancholy clip brings surreal and evocative painted images to life, including a windmill, grandfather clocks, hot air balloons, and a man rowing a boat followed by an old sailing ship, all inside of a bottle.
The Super Deluxe reissue features a new mix of the original 23-track album, as well as 30 demos and various outtakes, alternate takes and studio jams. Forty-two of the tracks are previously unreleased.
The collection comes with a 60-page scrapbook curated by Harrison's widow, Olivia, that features rare images and memorabilia, handwritten lyrics, diary entries and more. A replica of the original album poster also is included.
Released in November 1970, All Things Must Pass spent seven weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200.
Just as Journey starts playing live again for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, the band has announced that Deen Castronovo, who was the group's drummer from 1998 to 2015, has rejoined its lineup as a second drummer alongside Narada Michael Walden.
Schon's post featured the Twitter tags of the Aragon Ballroom and most of Journey's current members, plus Marco Mendoza -- who will be filling in on bass for Randy Jackson this week -- and Deen.
Also, Castronovo tweeted on Wednesday a message that reads, "It's ON!! STOKED to be playing with my brothers in Journey this weekend!! Let's DO THIS!," along with the hashtags #deencastronovo, #teamdeeno, #lollapalooza, #aragonballroom, #journeyband and #journeyfamily. The post also featured photos apparently taken at the group's rehearsals for the concerts.
Then, on Thursday, Schon chatted with fans via a Facebook thread and was asked if Castronovo was back as an official member of Journey, to which he replied, "Yes." He also noted that both Deen and Narada will be playing drums, adding, "JOURNEY AS YOU'VE NEVER HEARD US BEFORE!!!!"
Castronovo was fired from Journey in 2015 after he was arrested on domestic violence charges involving his then-girlfriend, to whom he's now married.
In 2019, Castronovo took part in Schon's short-lived Journey Through Time project, which celebrated Journey's early music and also featured founding Journey singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie and, interestingly, Mendoza.
Walden, Jackson and keyboardist/backing singer Jason Derlatka all joined Journey in 2020 after drummer Steve Smith and bassist Ross Valory were fired from the band.
When your shoes clash with your wine...ugh, so embarrassing, right? Well, Jon Bon Jovi is here to save you from that fashion faux pas.
As Wine Spectator reports, Hampton Water rosé, the acclaimed wine created by the New Jersey rocker and his son, Jesse Bongiovi, is teaming with the Italian sportswear brand Superga to create Hampton Water-branded shoes. According to Jesse, he first encountered the Superga team at a wine event; they "hit it off," he says, and that led to the idea for the footwear.
The limited-edition "Superga x Hampton Water 2750 Cotu Classic 2021" is a canvas sneaker with a hand-painted Hampton Water logo. It also has the words “Hampton Water” stitched across the heels and comes with two colors of dip-dyed shoelaces -- one in "rosé pink," of course, and the other in "Mediterranean blue."
Two hundred pairs are now available for pre-order, via Superga’s website for $99. The official release date is August 30, which means you won't be able to spend Summer 2021 sipping Hampton Water in your Hampton Water sneakers. But there's always 2022, and maybe Bon Jovi will be back on the road by then.
Previously, Hampton Water teamed with the high-end candy brand Sugarfina to sell a line of branded rosé-flavored gummies.
Rick Astley is never gonna give up being happy about the success of his video for "Never Gonna Give You Up."
As previously reported, the video for the 1987 number-one hit has just hit one billion views on YouTube, making it only the fourth clip from the '80s to reach that milestone. In a video reacting to the news, Astley says, "I've just been told that 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been streamed a billion times on YouTube. That is mind-blowing. The world is a wonderful and beautiful place and I am very lucky."
Then, in another post, the British singer announced, "To celebrate 1 Billion views for Never Gonna Give You Up I’m releasing a limited & numbered 7” blue vinyl of the song, 2500 of them and I’ll be signing them all!"
You can pre-order your copy now at Rick's official online store.
But wait, Rick's not gonna let you down: There's also a mini-documentary coming about the video, which was filmed in London and features the singer dancing in an oversized raincoat. The doc will feature new interviews with the singer, as well as Pete Waterman and Mike Stock of Stock Aitken Waterman, the songwriting and production team that created the track.
The video's producer will also be interviewed, as well as Simon West, who directed the video before going on to make feature films like Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and The Expendables 2. More participants will be announced soon. So far, there's no release date for the doc.
Meanwhile, Rick has a U.K. arena tour planned for October, which will include free shows for health care and front-line workers.
Following Wednesday's sad news of the death of longtime ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, the band's frontman, Billy Gibbons, has revealed that the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers plan to continue.
Yesterday, rock radio personality Eddie Trunk took to his Twitter feed to share a text message Gibbons sent him that reads, "As Dusty said upon his departure, 'Let the show go on!' and…with respect, we'll do well to get beyond this and honor his wishes."
The 71-year-old singer/guitarist added, "Dusty emphatically grabbed my arm and said, 'Give Elwood the bottom end and take it to the Top.' He meant it, amigo. He really did."
The "Elwood" Billy mentions is Elwood Francis, ZZ Top's longtime guitar tech, who'd been filling in for Hill on bass at recent concerts by the band.
Before Hill's death, ZZ Top announced on their Facebook page that Dusty had to exit the band's tour and return home to Texas "to address a hip issue," and that Francis was stepping in "with his slide guitar, bass guitar, and harmonica playing in full swing."
ZZ Top canceled their show on Wednesday, July 28, in Simpsonville, South Carolina, but the band is still slated to play its next scheduled gig this Friday, July 30 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
On Wednesday, ZZ Top announced that Hill had "passed away in his sleep at home in Houston." He was 72. No cause of death has yet been publicly revealed.
The upcoming archival Joni Mitchell compilation Archives Vol. 2: The Reprise Years (1968-1971) includes a full unreleased live performance Mitchell gave in March 1968 at Le Hibou Coffee House in Ottawa, Canada, that -- amazingly -- was recorded by Jimi Hendrix.
Hendrix had been performing at another Ottawa venue at the same time that Mitchell was playing a residency at the coffee house and he decided to catch her show there on March 19, 1968, and record it on a reel-to-reel tape machine he owned. The guitar legend documented his plan in a diary entry that reads, "talked with Joni Mitchell on the phone. I think I'll record her tonight with my excellent tape recorder."
After Joni's two-set show, Jimi wrote about her, describing her as a "fantastic girl with heaven words."
In a new interview featured in the Archives Vol. 2 liner notes, Mitchell recalls giving Hendrix permission to record the concert. "He beautifully recorded this tape," Joni remembers. "Of course I played part of the show to him. He was right below me."
Unfortunately, Hendrix's tape was stolen a few days later, but the recording recently was rediscovered in a private collection that was donated to the Library and Archives Canada. The recording was then given to Mitchell, and it now will be released on Archives Vol. 2.
The five-CD collection features numerous previously unreleased live, studio and demo recordings from Joni's early career, leading up to the release of 1971's Blue.
The studio version of "The Dawntreader" appeared on Mitchell's 1968 debut album, Song to a Seagull.
With Genesis preparing to kick off its The Last Domino? Tour soon, the band has announced plans to release a new companion compilation that will coincide with the launch of the North American leg of the trek.
The 27-track collection, titled The Last Domino?, will be released on November 19, four days after the North American out begins in Chicago.
The compilation, which you can pre-order now, will be available as a two-CD set or a four-LP 180-gram-vinyl package.
The Last Domino?'s track list features songs spanning from 1973's Selling England by the Pound album, which featured original frontman Peter Gabriel, through 1991's We Can't Dance, the last studio effort released by the group's classic -- and current -- trio lineup of Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford.
The band is planning to play the majority of songs featured on The Last Domino? on its upcoming tour. Familiar Genesis tunes featured on the retrospective include "Turn It On Again," "Land of Confusion," "Hold On My Heart," "That's All," "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway," "In Too Deep," "Follow You Follow Me," "Throwing It All Away," "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight," "Invisible Touch," "I Can't Dance," and "Abacab."
The four-LP version of the compilation will feature hardback gatefold book-style packaging, and will include rare and unseen archival images of the band, as well as photos taken during rehearsals for the new tour.
The Last Domino? Tour kicks with a series of shows in Ireland and the U.K. in September and October. The North American trek is plotted out from a November 15-16 stand in Chicago through a December 15-16 engagement in Boston. Check out all the dates at Genesis-Music.com.
Here's the full The Last Domino? track list:
"Turn It On Again"
"Land of Confusion"
"Home by the Sea"
"Second Home by the Sea"
"The Cinema Show"
"Hold On My Heart"
"Jesus He Knows Me"
"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"
"In Too Deep"
"Follow You Follow Me"
"No Son of Mine"
"Firth of Fifth"
"I Know What I Like"
"Throwing It All Away"
"Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
"I Can't Dance"
"Dancing with the Moonlight Knight"