Jeremy Spencer: Heart Beats Like A Hammer
January 14th, 2012
It takes being a true DEEP PURPLE fan to know who was that mysterious "Funky Claude" from the band's mighty anthem "Smoke On The Water", the man who "was running in and out, pulling kids out the ground" from the burning Casino down in Montreux. But genuine music aficionados have always had immense respect towards Claude Nobs, the founder of Montreux Jazz Festival. Since 1967, the annual event has been expanding to embrace not solely titular genre but all the spectrum of high quality popular music - thanks to Claude whose tastes knew no stylistic boundaries. Sadly, the great man died on January 10th, aged 76, having spent some time in coma after skiing accident. A whole era's gone with Nobs, yet his memory is to be kept alive.
DEVIL'S DOZEN AND A MARK
This year two cornerstones of hard rock are to release new albums, both with strange, if not stupid, titles. OK, DEEP PURPLE's April release, produced by Bob Ezin, makes an exciting prospect for this reason, yet not for its online teaser, which is nothing more than a synthesizer line with a question mark in the place of the record's title... that, some suggest, is the title. Meaning, the title is "?". Meanwhile, BLACK SABBATH informed the public their freshly cooked work would be called also quite simple: "13". That might be quite devilish, but senseless too, as it's neither the band's thirteenth release, nor their thirteenth record with Ozzy Osbourne at the front. Not that anybody cares, of course.
It's been almost 30 years since the day Pete Haycock invited fellow guitar-slinging Brit, Robin George, to join his CLIMAX BLUES BAND, yet the "Sample And Hold" album was released without the latter. Now, there's no former in the current line-up as well, but when Pete took part in Robin's "The LovePower And Peace" charity album, the sparks flew and now the two formed CLIMAX BLUES BAND II, where Haycock plays slide and George displays his techno rock skills. Rounding off the group are the prog reedsman supreme Mel Collins, Jacquie Williams who sang with SISTER SLEDGE, Charlie Morgan who played drums with the likes of Elton John and bassist Charley Charlesworth from Robin's DANGEROUS MUSIC. Their debut album is ready for release and the band are ready tour.
TO HELL AND BACK
It was slated for 2012 release but the delay made a new abum by THE MANNY CHARLTON BAND, now scheduled for March, a vintage thing. Manny, of course, is the original guitarist with NAZARETH, yet his new compadres who recorded "Hellacious" are no less legendary, being the VANILLA FUDGE bassist Tim Bogert drummer Walfredo Reyes Jr. whose chops spiced up the music by SANTANA among others. Fronting the vets is Robin DeLorenzo: her bluesy voice is perfect for this mix of songs old and new, some from the NAZ catalogue. If that wasn't enough, the record features at least three special guests - Vivian Campbell from DEF LEPPARD, QUIET RIOT's Robert Sarzo, brother of more famous Rudy, and Steven Adler from GUNS N' ROSES. Should be mighty.
The golden dust from their recent "New York Connection" hasn't settled down yet, but UK's version of SWEET, led by guitarist Andy Scott, get to cover their own material - live. Well, the original version of 1974's "Desolation Boulevard" already featured two covers, Elmer Bernstein's instrumental "The Man With The Golden Arm" and THE WHO's "My Generation", but anyway... "Desolation Boulevard Revisited", a new album available exclusively as download, sticks to the original variant, though, with slight digressions from old tracklist, which doesn't diminish its appeal. On the band's site it's represented as "Sweet Fanny Adams Revisited", so don't get confused.
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