Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
This time around, we’ve got blues-rock from Saint Jude, an Irish bunch called Million $ Reload, a collection of Quo recordings from the Beeb, The Orb meteing up with David Gilmour and Twisted Sister getting all Wacked out.
Words: Malcolm Dome
We’ve raved about it before, but it is worth repeating. Saint Jude’s debut album Diary Of A Soul Fiend (Cargo) finally gets a proper release, and it really is one of the albums of the year. If you love the idea of The Faces fronted by Janis Joplin, then this record is definitely for you, Vocalist Lynne Jackaman is right up there with the best female singers on the planet right now, and things will get better in 2011. That is gonna be their year. Oh, Saint Jude are playing the Bush Hall in London on October 29. They’re a ‘must ee’ band live. Check ‘em now, before they become huge. Worth the effort.
Million $ Reload have been around a short while, and vocalist Phil was once strongly linked with Velvet Revolver, as the latter scoured the globe in search of kickstarting the post-Weiland era. But this is the first time many will have heard them. The re-release of debut album Anthems Of A Degeneration (Powerage) shows why Velvet Revolver were so interested in the singer. He can really belt with the best. But the quality here – in a remastered, remixed fashion – goes beyond just the frontman. This Irish write big songs and deliver them with even bigger performances. There’s a real future ahead for these Millionaires.
On the surface the idea of The Orb teaming up with David Gilmour is both fascinating and repulsive. It could either be a stunning combination, or a disaster. In the end Metallic Spheres (Sony) is neither. It’s a good ambient and atmospheric record, although Gilmour himself struggles to find a niche within The Orb sound. In the end, this is a good Orb album, with the Pink Floyd great almost sidelined.
Those who believe that Black Sabbath went through a dark period after Ronnie Dio left post-Mob Rules might be surprised by the latest Sabs reissues. Seventh Star (Universal) from 1986 has Glenn Hughes on vocals and really is incandescent with great hard rock songs and performances. From 87, The Eternal Idol (Universal), with Tony Martin fronting, isn’t too far behind. Both are in the Dio era tradition, and deserve a lot more respect than they usually get.
Nelson, twins Matthew and Gunnar, have made a storming return with Lightning Strikes Twice (Frontiers), the natural follow-up to 1990’s AOR classic After The Storm. The one-time Timotei Twins (copyright Alison Joy) prove they’ve still got a lot of class, and a few crackling tunes.
Status Quo’s Live At The BBC (Universal) is a massive collection of every recording – live and studio – the band have ever done for the Beeb. The quality of some of these sessions might be variable, but it’s something every true Quo fan will certainly want. Heads down no nonsense mindless boogie – gotta love it.
The Outcast Band are from Berkshire, and tailor themselves as folk rockers. On The Longest Mile (Thirstydog/Universal), they come across as The Waterboys with a passion for hard rock. And it’s certainly a winning formula. If you recall The Hooters, this lot could be the British equivalent.
David R Black are a band. From Manchester. And, yes, there is a David R Black in the band. Well , he’s known as David R, anyway. Often compared to the Pixies and Husker Du, these influences are obvious on Secret City (Watt Recordings). But that’s not to say the band are submerged by these signposts. They’ve enough about them to make the album an individual statement, with some dark power at work.
Twisted Sister stormed the Wacken Festival in Germany on their reunion in 2003. Live At Wacken – The Reunion (Eagle Vision) is all the proof you need. The band literally jump out of the DVD. Proving yet again that there are few to touch them onstage. There’s also loads of bonus footage, including live stuff and interviews across the years. There’s also a CD, which features live tracks from 1980 and 1982 (the celebrated Marquee show in London), as well as Wacken. SMFs everywhere will treasure this Twisted trove.
Personally, I don’t think Helloween have made a good album since Kai Hansen quit over 20 years ago. Not that 7 Sinners (Spinefarm) is up there with the two Keeper Of The Seven Keys albums. but at least it’s decent metal. They’ve even got a track called Are You Metal?, which is gloriously silly. And The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner is so catchy it could become an epidemic. A long way short of their halcyon days, at least Helloween sound like they mean it this time.
Tags: Black Sabbath, David Gilmour, David R Black, Glenn Hughes, Gunna Nelson, Helloween, Husker Du, Janis Joplin, Kai Hansen, Lynne Jackaman, Matthew Nelson, Million $ Reload, Nelson, Pink Floyd, Pixies, Ronnie James Dio, Saint Jude, Status Quo, The Faces, The Hooters, The Orb, The Outcast band, The Waterboys, Tony Martin, Twisted Sister, Velvet Revolver