Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Led by guitarist/vocalist Gavin Rossdale, Bush became the first post-Nirvana British band to hit it big in America. Of course, they became a hit by playing by the grunge rules -- they had loud guitars, guttural vocals, stop-start rhythms, and extreme dynamics. Formed in late 1992 by Rossdale, Bush landed an American record deal before they had a British label. Sixteen Stone, their debut album produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (producers of early-'80s hits by Madness and Elvis Costello, among others), was released in late 1994 by Interscope Records. By the end of December, Bush's "Everything Zen" video had landed in MTV's Buzz Bin and the album began to take off; by spring of 1995, the record had gone gold, despite a stack of bad reviews. By that time, the band was successful enough in the U.S. to land a British record deal, although they weren't able to match their American success in the U.K. Over the course of 1995, Sixteen Stone became a major hit in the U.S., with "Little Things" reaching number four on the modern rock charts in the spring; later that year "Comedown" and "Glycerine" both reached number one on the modern rock charts, as well as crossing over into the pop Top 40. Despite their success, Bush received scathing reviews from the press and many alternative rock insiders who believed the group was manufactured. To counter such charges, the band asked Steve Albini -- notorious for his abrasive productions for not only Pixies, Nirvana, and PJ Harvey, but also countless indie bands -- to helm its second album. The resulting album, Razorblade Suitcase, was released in time for the Christmas season of 1996. Razorblade Suitcase was greeted with mixed reviews that were nevertheless more positive than those surrounding Sixteen Stone, and the album entered the U.S. charts at number one, as well as made some headway in the U.K. However, by the spring of 1997, the album had stalled somewhat, producing only one major hit in "Swallowed," and reaching only double platinum status. Deconstructed, a collection of electronic remixes, appeared in late 1997, and in the fall of 1999 Bush returned with The Science of Things. In late 2001, they went back to basics with the guitar-driven album Golden State. Although it didn't storm the charts like previous albums, fans still supported Bush, as was evidenced by their sold-out tour across North America. During this time, Helmet guitarist Chris Traynor was added as a touring member. Shifts within the band, however, took a sharp turn several months later when founding member Nigel Pulsford announced his departure in May. Pulsford, who had started a solo career as well as a new family, left without much drama and disapproval. Traynor stepped in to fill his shoes, but the tour would still be Bush's last, and they ultimately disbanded in 2002. Rossdale returned to music in 2004 with a new project, Institute, and issued a solo album in 2008. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Zen X Four [CD & DVD]
Release Date: November 01, 2005
Label: Kirtland

Golden State
Release Date: October 23, 2001

Label: Atlantic

Science of Things
Release Date: October 26, 1999
Label: Trauma

Release Date: November 11, 1997

Label: SPV

Razorblade Suitcase
Release Date: November 19, 1996
Label: Trauma/Interscope

Sixteen Stone
Release Date: December 05, 1994

Label: Interscope

Information from: http://www.starpulse.com/Music/Bush/Biography/

Monday, May 4, 2009

Black Sabbath


Mixing equal parts bone-crushing volume, catatonic tempos, and ominous pronouncements of gloom and doom delivered in Ozzy Osbourne's keening voice, Black Sabbath was the heavy-metal king of the 1970s. Often despised by mainstream rock critics and ignored by radio programmers, the group still managed to sell over 8 million albums before Osbourne departed for a solo career in 1979. The band's original lineup reunited for a two-year tour in 1997.

The four original members, schoolmates from a working-class district of industrial Birmingham, England first joined forces as the Polka Tulk Blues Company, a blues band. They quickly changed their name to Earth, then, in 1969, to Black Sabbath; the name came from the title of a song written by bassist Geezer Butler, a fan of occult novelist Dennis Wheatley. It may also have been an homage to a Boris Karloff film. The quartet's eponymously titled 1970 debut, recorded in two days, went to Number Eight in England and Number 23 in the U.S. A single, "Paranoid," released in advance of the album of the same name, reached Number 4 in the U.K. later that year; it was the group's only Top 20 hit.

The single didn't make the U.S. Top 40, but Paranoid, issued in early 1971, sold four million copies with virtually no radio airplay. Beginning in December 1970 Sabbath toured the States relentlessly. Despite the band members' intense drug and alcohol abuse, the constant road work paid off, and by 1974 Black Sabbath was considered peerless among heavy-metal acts, its first five LPs all having sold at least a million copies apiece in America alone.

In spite of their name, the crosses erected onstage, and songs dealing with apocalypse, death, and destruction, the band members insisted their interest in the black arts was nothing more than innocuous curiosity (the sort that led Ozzy Osbourne to sit through eight showings of The Exorcist), and in time Black Sabbath's princes-of-darkness image faded. Eventually, so did its record sales. Aside from a platinum best-of, We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll (1976), not one of three LPs from 1975 to 1978 went gold. Osbourne, racked by drug use and excessive drinking, quit the band briefly in late 1977 (ex–Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Dave Walker filled his shoes for some live dates). In January 1979 he was fired. Ronnie James Dio, formerly of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, replaced Osbourne.

Although Dio could belt with the best of them, Sabbath would never be the same. Its first album with Dio, Heaven and Hell (1980), went platinum; its second, Mob Rules (1981), gold. But thereafter, the group's LPs sold fewer and fewer copies, as Black Sabbath went through one personnel change after another. Ill health forced Bill Ward out of the band in 1980; Carmine Appice's brother Vinnie took his place. Friction between Iommi and Dio led the singer to quit angrily in 1982; he took Appice with him to start his own band, Dio. Vocalists over the years have included Dave Donato; Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan; Glenn Hughes, another ex-member of Purple; Tony Martin; and Dio again.

By 1986's Seventh Star, only Iommi remained from the original lineup. He had to wince when Geezer Butler teamed up with the phenomenally successful Osbourne in 1988, though the bassist did return to the fold three years later. Despite bitterness expressed in the press between Osbourne and Iommi, the original foursome reunited in 1985 at the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia, and again in 1992, at the end of what was supposedly Osbourne's last tour. Throughout 1993 word had it that Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, and Ward would tour, but by year's end Osbourne had backed out, allegedly over money. The indefatigable Tony Iommi went right back to work with Butler, rehiring vocalist Tony Martin and adding former Rainbow drummer Rob Rondinelli. That lineup proved as unstable as the previous one, with drummers coming, going, and returning over the following years. Despite hiring Body Count's Ernie C to produce 1995's Forbidden (and inviting guest vocalist Ice-T to sing on a track), Black Sabbath seemed increasingly out of touch with the times, and at the end of the Forbidden Tour, the band unofficially went on hiatus.

But not for long, as Iommi, Butler, and Osbourne reunited to headline 1997's Ozzfest. Ward was not invited (he was replaced by Faith No More's Mike Bordin), but he did participate in two shows in the band's hometown of Birmingham, England, in December 1997. The resulting live album, Reunion (Number 11, 1998), also featured two new studio tracks, including the single "Psycho Man." The album went platinum in the U.S., and the live version of "Iron Man" earned the band its first Grammy for Best Metal Performance — nearly 30 years after the song was originally released. The ensuing tour lasted two years and ended in December 1999. Tony Iommi released his first solo album in 2000; a prestigious roster of guest singers (Osbourne, Billy Corgan, Henry Rollins, Dave Grohl) handled the vocals. Among metalheads, Iommi is something of a guitar god, due in part to the fact that he plays spectacularly despite having lost the tips of two right fingers in a welding accident at age 17. His hero was the great jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, who also lost two fingers and yet continued to play. In mid-2001 it was announced that all original members were writing material for a new Black Sabbath album.

In mid-2001 it was announced that all four original members were writing material for a new Black Sabbath album to be produced by Rick Rubin. The band scrapped all the material and the album never materialized, although Sabbath performed one new song, "Scary Dreams," on that year's Ozzfest. The band was put on hold throughout 2002 as Osbourne refocused on his solo music and new MTV reality show, The Osbournes, in which his family was portrayed as a sort of real-life Munsters. The band came back together for the 2004 and 2005 Ozzfest tours. In 2005, Black Sabbath was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, and the following year, after many years of eligibility, the band made it into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2007, Iommi and Butler reunited with Appice and Dio to record new material for the compilation Black Sabbath: The Dio Years (Number 54); that configuration of the group toured as Heaven and Hell (to avoid being confused with the Osbourne-fronted Black Sabbath) into the year 2008. A new Heaven and Hell album is slated for 2009.


Main Releases
The Rules Of Hell - 2008
The Dio Years - 2007
Reunion - 1998
Dehumanizer - 1992
The Eternal Idol - 1987
Seventh Star - 1986
Born Again - 1983
Live Evil - 1983
Mob Rules - 1981
Heaven And Hell - 1980
Never Say Die - 1978
Technical Ecstasy - 1976
We Sold Our Soul For Rock & Roll - 1976
Sabotage - 1975
Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath - 1974
Black Sabbath Vol.4 - 1972
Master Of Reality - 1971
Paranoid - 1971
Black Sabbath - 1970

The Devil Cried - 2007

Rhino Hi-Five: Bang Your Head 2 - 2006
Rhino Hi-Five: Metal - 2006
Rhino Hi-Five: The Gods Of Metal - 2006
Rhino Hi-Five: Bang Your Head - 2006
Lords of Dogtown: Music From the Motion Picture - 2005
Stand Up And Shout: The Dio Anthology - 2005
The Dio Anthology: Stand Up And Shout - 2003
Sabbath In The Suburbs... Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne - 2002
Awaken The Lair - 2002
Ozzfest 2001: The Second Millennium - 2001
Tales From The Crypt: Monsters Of Metal - 2000
No Boundaries: A Benefit For The Kosovar Refugees - 1999
Detroit Rock City - 1999
Speak of the Devil - 1995
Dazed And Confused - 1993

The Ozzman Cometh Ozzy Osbourne - 1997

All information from Rolling Stone - http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/blacksabbath/biography

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Band for the day - Alice in Chains

1987. The wonderful year marked with the birth of Alice in Chains. It all started in Seattle,WA at a party. It just so happened that an extremely talented guitarist named Jerry Cantrell was attending this party along with the man that sings like a lark, Layne Staley. At that time, Layne was involved in a glam band which was growing stale. When he met and hit it off with Jerry that night, Jerry threw out the brilliant idea that they should start a band together. Layne agreed. Now there were two. Jerry knew a man by the name of Mike Starr who agreed to play bass for the new band. Now all they needed was a drummer. (Layne could play of course, but as you know, he enjoys vocals) Luckily, Mike introduced the others to Sean Kinney, a crazy drummer who was dating Mike's sister.

They decided to call their band Alice 'n Chains. (The name was supposedly spawed from a crazy idea about the group dressing in drag and playing). The monumental date of their first gig was on August 5, 1987.
After that, they were briefly known as Diamond Lie and played a few shows sparking the takeoff of their music. Of course they ended up calling themselves Alice In Chains.

Later in 1987 they signed with Columbia Records. Their first EP titled "We Die Young" was released in 1990 and is currently a rare collectors item. A few months after that, they released their first full length album called "Facelift".The release of this album sent their debut song "We Die Young" to the top.
Westminister, CA was their first U.S. tour date which happened a few months after Facelift's release. In Seattle, the December 22 show sold out. It was, though, filmed and released as Live Facelift.

Their first American Music Award nomination happened in January of 1991 when they were up for Favorite Heavy Metal Artist. Sadly, they lost."Man In The Box" was their first single which they released. This was their first exposure on MTV.
Alice In Chains made a movie debut in the film "Singles" where they played the song "Would?" in a bar. They then toured with Megadeth in Europe for the first time. They received a Grammy nomination for the "Best Heavy Metal Performance". Sadly, they lost again. Next up for AIC was the "Clash of the Titans" tour with Slayer. They then had time to make their television debut with ABC for their "In Concert" show.

After that they accompanied Van Halen on a 4 month tour.Facelift went gold around September of 1991. During their tour break in November, they recorded their second EP. The album was titled SAP, a name given to it by Sean Kinney. He had a dream about the group making an album and naming it SAP because it was "sappy". Spring 1992 was some well deserved off-time for AIC. They soon began recording Dirt, though. It was released in September. "Would?" was the first single released. "Angry Chair" followed. At this point,Layne broke his foot, but completed the tour with Ozzy using a wheelchair or crutches. (He didn't miss a date!) A tour shirt had an X-ray of Layne's fractured foot on it. Lollapalooza was the main focus of the summer 1993.

After this, they recorded their new EP- Jar Of Flies.They then began the Down In Your Hole tour- a six week speedy tour. At this point, "Down In A Hole" was released as a single. A video was shot for this song as well. Finally, "Them Bones" was released as single number four from "Dirt". The cool film "Last Action Hero" was in theatres along with two unreleased Alice in Chains songs- "What The Hell Have I?" and "A Little Bitter". A video was shot for "What The Hell Have I?"
AIC recorded their third full length album in April of 1995.

After nearly four months, the result was a harder heavier album originally named "Tripod". (third full length album, three legged dog and man) The dog on the cover was inspired from a dog that would chase Sean when he was delivering papers as a child. The album ended up self titled. It was released in November 1995 and debuted number one on the Billboard chart. They were nominated for a Grammy once again, and once again they lost.
1996 found AIC performing on Saturday Night Special, David Letterman, and a show for MTV Unplugged.They opened four shows for KISS on their reunion tour as well.


The Unforturnate Death of Lead Singer Layne Staley -- 1967-2002

Alice in Chains' Layne Staley died from a mixture of heroin and cocaine, an autopsy and toxicology report revealed Monday. Laboratory results determined the singer died April 5, according to a spokesperson for the King County medical examiner's office, the same day fellow grunge pioneer Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994. Staley was found dead two weeks later, surrounded by intravenous drug paraphernalia in his Seattle apartment.

The death certificate reads Staley's death resulted from "an acute intoxication due to the combined effects of opiate (heroin) and cocaine." The death was classified as "accidental."
The lethal combination goes by the name "speedball" in drug circles. The same ingredients contributed to the deaths of comedian John Belushi in 1982 and actor River Phoenix in 1993.

Information from - http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Alice-In-Chains-Biography/6803A1B9C38301A24825688F000AF985


Reunion (2005-present)

In 2005, Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez, and Sean Kinney reunited to perform a benefit concert in Seattle for victims of the tsunami disaster that struck south Asia. The band featured Damageplan vocalist Pat Lachman, with other special guests including Wes Scantlin of Puddle of Mudd, Maynard James Keenan of Tool, and Ann Wilson of Heart.

On March 6, 2006, the surviving members performed at VH1's Decades Rock Live concert, honoring fellow Seattle musicians Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. They played "Would?" with Pantera and Down vocalist Phil Anselmo, and Duff McKagan of Guns n' Roses and Velvet Revolver, then they played "Rooster" with William DuVall and Ann Wilson. The band followed the concert with a short United States club tour, several festival dates in Europe, and a brief tour in Japan. To coincide with the band's reunion, Sony Music released the long delayed third Alice in Chains compilation, The Essential Alice in Chains, a double album that includes 28 songs.

Comes with the Fall vocalist William DuVall joined Alice in Chains as lead singer during the band's reunion concerts. Velvet Revolver and ex-Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan also joined the band for the reunion tour, playing rhythm guitar on selected songs. Before the tour, Kinney mentioned in an interview that he would be interested in writing new material, but not as Alice in Chains.

However, AliceinChains.com reported that the band has begun writing new material, with DuVall on lead vocals. Blabbermouth.net reported in September 2008 that Alice in Chains would enter the studio that October to begin recording a new album for a summer 2009 release. On October 23, 2008, the band began recording it at the Foo Fighters' Studio 606 in L.A. with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Rush, Stone Sour, Trivium, Shadows Fall, Death Angel). Guitarist Jerry Cantrell recently told Revolver Golden God Awards that Alice in Chains had finished recording the album on March 18th, which happened to be his 43rd birthday, and were in the process of mixing it for a September release.

On April 25, 2009, it was reported that the new Alice in Chains album would be released on their new label Virgin/EMI, making it the band's first label change in their 20-plus year career. In April, the band confirmed that the album would be released in September, with a blog post from the band expressing the hope that "these songs will strike a chord and make a similar impact on all of you out there that were moved by this band in the first place."

In September 2008, it was announced that Alice in Chains would headline Australia's Soundwave Festival in 2009, alongside Nine Inch Nails and Lamb of God. In February 2009, it was also announced that Alice in Chains would play at the third annual Rock on the Range festival.

Info from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_in_Chains

Upcoming Performance Dates:

  • May 16 2009 - 12:00p Rock on the Range Columbus, Ohio
  • Aug 1 2009 - 8:00p Marlay Park Dublin
  • Aug 2 2009 - 8:00p Sonishpere Festival Knebworth, East

Merchandise, updates, blogs, etc at their website : http://www.aliceinchains.com/

Facelift -1990

Dirt - 1992

Sap - 1992

Jar of flies - 1994

Alice in Chains - 1995

Unplugged - 1996

Music Bank - 1999

Nothing Sage - 1999

Greatest Hits - 2001

The Essential Alice in Chains - 2004

Next album coming soon in 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

A sad ending...

Everywhere you look these days you see kids dressed in neon colors, skinny jeans and t-shirts that are too tight for them.... and that's just the guys. It's the anime hair and contacts, the "emo" bands, the generation that seems to cry about their poor little lives and then sing about it.

I don't know when all of this became cool, in fact i remember that back in my days in school, someone who looked like that would have gotten their butt kicked. But to each his own i guess. I'm not here to say the music i listen to is better than anything else, and as far as I'm concerned you can like what you want. However, there is something that needs to be addressed and that is that my generation, is the last generation to like what I call "good music". And when i say "good music" i mean the bands that helped shape rock music into the greatness that it is. There are kids these days who don't know even the most known bad ass bands that are still around.

It's hard to think about how in 10 years, the only people who are going to know who Alice in chains are, are going to be the kids of the people who know and love them. An era of good music is ending to be replaced by a bunch of ghetto nonsense, crappy pop and crybaby, emo, screamo bullshit. (please excuse my language)
Anyway, I am creating this blog to help keep alive all the greatest of the great bands that have ever made their way into existence. And there are so many who deserve recognition, i just hope that my info, concert updates, merchandise and other things help in even a small way to keep good music alive.... in honor of the great ones. :)