Tag Archives: Def Leppard

New Album! Joe Elliott’s Down ‘n’ Outz

Joe Elliott is a Mott The Hoople fan. A big fan.

Goes without saying, I guess, since the Def Leppard frontman has worn that on his sleeve his whole career. It’s refreshing to see a rocker who has attained the level of global success that he has still be a rock fan at heart. Elliott grew up loving Mott The Hoople and still does.

Elliott has often put his money where his mouth (and heart) is with his support of Ian Hunter and Mott; he was a driving force in organizing the memorial tribute for Mick Ronson and has always touted the music of his favorite band in interviews. So when Mott The Hoople reunited to make their historic stand at the Hammersmith they called Joe in for support, and he assembled a group of like-minded Mott devotees to perform some songs off the family tree that Mott fans probably never thought they’d get to hear from a stage ever again. The success of that gig led to what I can happily say is one of 2010’s best surprises.

I’ve never been a huge Def Leppard fan but have enjoyed some of their work; the overproduction by Mutt Lange usually tempered any enthusiasm I had for the songs themselves. That’s probably why I enjoyed their covers album Yeah! more than their own material; even though that was a bit bombastic I was halfway there before cracking the shrink-wrap because I was already into the songs. On My Regeneration, it’s inverted; I was familiar with the players but not all the tunes, as I never paid much attention to Widowmaker and British Lions after Mott imploded.

I think the wisest move here was using members of The Quireboys in the backing band, and I hope this project brings much attention to them as well. As a lifelong Faces fan, discovering the Quireboys back in the 90s was a godsend (they were The London Quireboys then), since they wallowed in the same loose menagerie of blues, glam and rock that makes my hair stand on end. If there are torch-bearers for the post-Faces era, surely The Quireboys and The Diamond Dogs are at the front of the pack.

So with Paul Guerin, Guy Griffin, Keith Weir, Ronnie Garrity and Phil Martin in tow, Joe lit into a litany of post-Mott cuts, some of which (“Who Do You Love”, “By Tonight”) might be better than the originals. His voice sounds spectacular, but it’s Weir’s tinkling piano and Griffin’s guitar tone that might share MVP honors here as the predominantly hard-rocking album reinvents these twelve tracks with pristine clarity and crisp power:

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY
STORM
OVERNIGHT ANGELS
CAREER (NO SUCH THING AS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL)
ENGLAND ROCKS
SHOUTING AND POINTING
BY TONIGHT
APOLOGIES
WHO DO YOU LOVE
ONE MORE CHANCE TO RUN
3000 MILES FROM HERE
GOOD TIMES

A ten track version of this album was included with a recent issue of Classic Rock Magazine, but if you missed it, My Regeneration is available on CD with twelve MTH family cuts (plus a thirteenth track, a puzzling oddity from Elliott and producer Ronan McHugh). And yes, it’s subtitled “Volume 1”!

Listen to clips here.

In  the liner notes, Elliott says “we did this for all the right reasons; for the love of the music and to celebrate the fact that from the ashes of the then defunct MTH came some amazing music, much of it criminally ignored for far too long…” I know that it’s intrigued me enough that I’m going to pull out my post-Hunter Mott records and find out what I missed with Widowmaker and British Lions. I’ve already got Ian’s career locked and loaded.

I want to have a pint of beer with Joe Elliott – and I’m buying!

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T.G.I.F. – Ten Righteous Rockers

jukebox

Ten reasons why rock’n’roll will never die at my house...

 True BlueRon Wood and Rod Stewart from the good old days – always better together than apart.

Generation Upstart – The Diamond Dogs, the closest thing we have to The Faces these days.

Mona Lisa SmiledThe Quireboys are no slouches either. Spike rules!

Natural Born BoogiePeter Frampton and Steve Marriott were great together in Humble Pie.

White Lies – I’m glad that Jason and the Scorchers are still rocking!

Big TimeWebb Wilder covers the Ian Hunter song.

All The Way From Memphis – …and from Queen and Def Leppard as well, Ian!

Pretty Vacant – Sex Pistols, with Glen Matlock and on television! Something is wrong here.

Radio RadioElvis Costello and The Beastie Boys re-enact one of the best moments in rock television history.

Under My Thumb – In the early days, Brian Jones was The Rolling Stones

Party on, Garth!

Party on, Garth!

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Blast From The Past: City Boy

Talk about your unknown classics? Try this one!

Talk about your unknown classics? Try this one!

City Boy is on that list of bands that woulda/shoulda/coulda been way bigger than they were, but for some reason only touched the high bar for a brief period of time. They combined impeccable vocals and vocal harmony with inventive arrangements and first-rate musicianship, and reaped the benefit of having multiple songwriters in the band. Their one bonafide hit single, “5.7.0.5.”, was from their fourth album Book Early, and while it was stuffed with great tunes it didn’t hold favor over time. Their next two albums sailed under the wavelength of everyone except their fans and remain underrated albums to this day.

Young Men Gone West, their third release, was probably the album that floated closest to a commercial pop sound; I’m still stunned that there weren’t multiple hits jumping off the record. It’s a loosely threaded concept album about a bad journey baja way, written with an enormous sense of humor.

City Boy was unusual for the time in that Steve Broughton and Lol Mason both sang lead vocals, although Broughton also played guitar. It wasn’t odd to see them trading lead and background vocals simply as dual front men, and the arrangements dabbled in jazz, soul and even prog as well as pop and rock. The high falsetto harmonies and intricate vocal parts brought them comparisons to Queen, Supertramp and 10cc, recent post-mortem comments cite Jellyfish and Def Leppard, among others. Compliments all. Multi-instrumentalist Max Thomas also pitched in with songwriting and vocals and producer Mutt Lange worked his magic. City Boy indeed forged these elements into something of their own.

“She’s Got Style” and “I’ve Been Spun” (the latter contains several brilliant turns of phrase) are short sharp pop songs, while the rockers among us cue up “Dear Jean” and “Bad For Business” ; both boast monster guitar work from Mike Slamer. (The former makes me pull out the air guitar to this day.) The rest blend a parade of sounds so that song-to-song it sounds fresh, various tempos and styles evenly distributed in perfect array.

After four albums on Mercury they moved to Atlantic for two more, then finally to Vertigo for the last one, It’s Personal. By then the band was a quartet and most fans (read: me) were unaware it existed until it was too late. And another great one bit the dust. The first six albums are commercially available, reissued by Reniassance Records; the seventh only if you hunt and peck on Al Gore’s Internet if you know what I mean and I think you do.

Young Men Gone West” is available alone or as part of a 2-fer with Book Early, although the 2-fer is out of print and expensive on the used market. But if you don’t know the band, don’t stop here ! You will be richly rewarded by checking out their vastly underrated catalogue.

city boy patch

City Boy wiki.

City Boy homepage. Lyrics, clips, bio, etc. thanks to a great fan.

Wolfgang’s Vault members can stream a live show here.

And no, don’t confuse them with this guy.

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Hello There, Ladies And Gents…

…are you ready to rock? Are you ready to rock?

That’s right, there is a new Cheap Trick album on the way. Order it here! Listen to the first single “Sick Man Of Europe” here.

The album will be available on CD, vinyl…and even 8-Track (sonnng…..ka-CHUNK….sonnnng). And the band will be playing the summer shed and amphitheatre tour with Def Leppard and Poison. (I hope they Scotchguard that tour bus, because I see a Petri dish in the making…)

No, those are not canes.

No, those are not canes.

Far more on Cheap Trick another time; I’m just thrilled they’re releasing another studio album 32 years after the debut. I was a record store guy at the time, and cracking that puppy open was a revelation. By In Color, it was madness. (And we all know what happened after Budokan.)

Cheap Young Trick

Cheap Young Trick

Cheap Trick’s YOUTUBE Channel.

Cheap Trick’s  official website

He’s A Whore“…one of the reasons I was onto this band from the jump.

One of my favorite Cheap Trick songs, “Oh Candy

Practice Makes Perfect.

Cheap Trick with…James Burton? Now you know…the rest of the story.

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NEW ALBUM! The Coolest Songs In The World, Volume 8

Next one is "Number 9, Number 9..."

Next one is "Number 9, Number 9..."

Little Steven’s Underground Garage is in full swing, and along with the well-selected bands he has chosen to sign to his label, I always look forward to the “coolest songs” collections that are frequently issued. How great is it to get a quarterly mixtape from one of the most knowledgeable music fans on the planet? Those of you who listen to the Underground Garage radio show know about Steven’s long-time tradition of dubbing a current favorite track “the coolest song in the world this week“, so you can imagine the breadth and scope of the material eight volumes in and counting.

The latest release features old and new, with veterans like Pete Best and David Bowie sharing disc time with young pups like The Skybombers. There are also old vets in new surroundings, like Man Raze (who knew Steve Cook from The Sex Pistols and Def Leppard‘s Phil Collen have a band??).  Speedo – late of Rocket From The Crypt – rips through “Jump In The Fire” like a sore-throated Graham Parker. And if you think you recognize that organ playing on The Krayolas‘ cut, you’re right – that is Augie Meyers! Other standouts include tracks from The Broadway Calls and one of the most undearrated bands around, The Bleeding Hearts.

But this collection really belongs to the ladies. Anyone who’s a regular visitor to this site knows I’m all over Nicole Laurenne and The Love Me Nots, and Vibeke Saugestad‘s “Tonight” is irresistable girl-group Brill Building pop. And the 1-2 punch that opens the album is killer. Palmyra Delran‘s “Baby Should Have Known Better” will immediately send you to the racks looking for her EP (I bought one online as the disc was still spinning) and The Cute Lepers sound like The Clash via Joan Jett (not that it’s much of a stretch – the band is signed to Blackheart Records). Jen D’Angora (now there is a rock’n’roll name) and The Downbeat 5 light Tommy Boyce‘s “Dum Dum Ditty” on fire as the icing on the cake.

Little Steven’s mission is simple and straightforward – find great music, get it out there into the public ear, and hopefully get these bands some well-deserved attention (that hopefully translates into sales, gigs and the ability to sustain a career). Like always…game, set and match. Little Steven wins again.

All 8 volumes are available as physical CDs or digital downloads.

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