Archive for the pop Category

Albums of the Year 2017

Posted in Albums of the Year, AOR, Folk, Folk rock, hard rock, indie, Melodic rock, metal, pop, Pop rock, Power metal, Power pop, Prog metal, Progressive rock, rock n roll with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

1  CATS IN SPACE Scarecrow
Their debut was pretty damn fine, so high expectations and they delivered! A marvellous mix of 70s’ rock, pomp, pop and more melodies than you can shake a stick at.

2  THRESHOLD Legends of the Shires
Returning vocalist Glynn Morgan helps the band to make one of the finest albums to date. A real return to form.

3  LONELY ROBOT The Big Dream
Part two of the trilogy and another fine set of musical adventures. No name guests this time as John Mitchell does it all bar the drums and some backing vocals.

4  BOULEVARD IV
Finally we get a new album from Boulevard. Fantastic tunes and production, deserves a place in every melodic rock/AOR fans collection.

5  THE YOUNG ‘UNS Strangers
Folk acapella from this talented three piece. Each song is based on a true story and the songs are all positive and uplifting.

STEVE WALSH Black Butterfly former Kansas vocalist returns with an album chock full of melodic rock treats.

7 SONS OF APOLLO supergroup featuring Jeff Scott Soto, Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinan and Billy Sheenhan. Fantastic joining of music talents and the music lives up to expectations.

8 LIONHEART only 20 odd years since their last album…with Lee Small (Shy/Phenomena) on vocals, Lionheart deserve a place in any melodic rock fans collection.

9 IT Home thought provoking and timely progressive rock backed by oodles of melody.

10= H.E.A.T. Into The Great Unknown they have changed their sound a bit which may upset some fans, but for me they are heading onwards and upwards.

10= PUGWASH Silverlake the power pop album of the year. If you like ELO, Duckworth Lewis grab a copy of this.

Honorable mentions…

HAREM SCAREM United they keep on churning out classy melodic hard rock and long may that continue.

THE BITERS plenty of retro on this one, with the T Rex sounding songs

JEFF SCOTT SOTO Retribution not as instant but stick with it

BIGFOOT one of the debuts of the year. Modern hard rock and the singer doesn’t half sound like Tyketto’s Danny Vaughn at times!

THE NIGHTS more classy Scandi melodic rock with hook filled choruses big enough to land a whale.

THE NEW ROSES One More For The Road good time hard rock, no frills and plenty of riffs.

NIGHT RANGER Don’t Let Up they show no sign of letting up quality wise, another ‘must have’ for fans.

DANKO JONES Wild Cat if you like 70’s rock, Thin Lizzy and foot tapping tunes look no further.

THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Amber Galactic like Brother Firetribe their ‘day bands’ are heavy yet here they show their love of 80’s melodic rock and AOR.

Fellow GRTR! reviewers choices can be found here

Some Fantastic Place by Chris Difford

Posted in Authors, Books, Classic albums, Netgalley, pop, Pop rock with tags , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

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W&N [Publication date 31.08.17]

Chris Difford is the lyricist to Glen Tilbrook’s music and arranging in Squeeze, a band who have split up twice and now since reforming again in 2007 seem to be enjoying a purple patch both in terms of touring and making new music.

Chris’s memoir is very much written from the heart as he describes his struggle with alcohol and bouts of depression, and the effect this had on his personal life. However, he comes across as a positive soul and one that is grateful for what he has. There are of course plenty of tales of Squeeze and how they rose to fame in the late 70’s and early 80’s with a string of hit singles.

His musical life outside of Squeeze is given insight including his time as helping coral the lyrics for Bryan Ferry. He also felt like Bryan Ferry’s chauffer at the time! He also worked on lyrics with Elton John and became good friends with him, which helped a band Chris was mentoring the Strypes, who signed to Elton’s Rocket Music Management in their early days. His solo career is covered, although not as extensively as Squeeze.

You do get a little insight into the relationship between him and Glen Tilbrook, something that has remained constant throughout the years since when they first met back in 1973.

Reading about Squeeze it is pretty amazing they are still going, as at one time in the 90’s they seemingly had a revolving door on drummers and keyboard players. Luckily for music fans the Difford and Tilbrook axis on which Squeeze turns remained and the Squeeze story continues as they have a new album ‘The Knowledge’ out in October.

Chris Difford has penned an honest account of his life in and out of Squeeze, where he is very honest about his past mistakes and his struggles with depression and drinking. Highly recommended for both fans of the band and anyone wanting to see how the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle isn’t all glitz and glamour.

Review by Jason Ritchie

 

Rockin’ Chair forum

Posted in Books, Classic albums, Classic rock, Melodic rock, metal, News, pop, theatre, theatre royal hanley on September 1, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

New faces always welcome over on the Rockin’ Chair forum – a place for music and books, plus a board dedicated to memories of the Theatre Royal, Hanley.

Fifty Gigs In A Day

Posted in Fundraising, gigs, indie, Melodic rock, metal, Modern rock, pop, Pop rock, rock n roll with tags , , , , on June 16, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

I am doing a different idea for my fiftieth birthday next year, combining my loves of music, books & fundraising. You can find out more here

If you only by a few albums this month…

Posted in Albums of the Year, AOR, Blues rock, hard rock, Music for 2016, pop, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Hard to pick one single ‘must have’ album from the April releases as there are a lot…

Tax The Heat released their debut on Nuclear Blast and it is chock full of catchy blues/hard rocking tunes with a modern edge.

The Dowling Poole return with their second album ‘One Hyde Park’, a delight from start to finish. If you like quirky pop with a message – think XTC, Squeeze, the instant appeal of ELO songs – this is for you.

Left With Pictures new album ‘Afterlife’ took me by surprise, with its sparse, yet melodic arrangements and haunting vocals. Not for everyone but if like me you love  music regardless of its ‘genre’, have a listen.

And finally the new Cheap Trick ‘Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello’…the band have continued their fine run of form since 1997’s self-titled album (I still can’t get into their 1992 release ‘Woke Up With A Monster’), with their first new album since 2009. It really does hark back at times to their classic 70’s/early 80’s sound. If you are a fan doubtless you will already have this, if not try this album and then work your way back through their fine back catalogue.

Five bands I would love to see reform…

Posted in AOR, hard rock, Melodic rock, Modern rock, pop, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , , , , , on April 23, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

I was thinking with all these recent big name musicians passing away it must make sense for some of these bands to make-up and do at least one more show.

Top of that list for me has to be Journey reuniting with Steve Perry. Perry has changed his stance to ‘never say never’ and Carlos Santana could prove a unlikely catalyst to this happening.

Slade, one of the few 70’s rock bands with all the original members still with us. Not likely I know and we do have Dave Hill and Don Powell touring as Slade II, but wouldn’t Noddy Holder and Jim Lea fancy just one more gig maybe? I doubt it sadly.

XTC were down just to Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding by the time they called it a day. A falling out between the two seemingly put paid to any more XTC, however with Steven Wilson adding his sonic magic to the XTC back catalogue could the two make-up?

Semisonic – great band on album and live. Made a brief splash in the late 90’s/early 00’s then stopped. Dan Wilson does his solo thing, maybe time for a new Semisonic album/tour? Please 🙂

Skagarack, okay not top of may people’s lists being a relative obscure Danish melodic rock band. But given the interest in 80’s rock and recent reunions the time is right! Frontiers Records make it so 😉

The music is out there…

Posted in Blues rock, Classic albums, Classic rock, Folk, Folk rock, Get Ready To Rock!, gigs, hard rock, Heavy metal, indie, Melodic rock, metal, Mix tape, Modern rock, Music for 2016, pop, Pop rock, Power metal, Power pop, Prog metal, Progressive rock with tags , , , , on February 28, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

I love discovering and listening to new music, be it actual new music or older music that I listen to for the first time. I know many music fans my age or older get very set in their tastes and say nothing new is as good as the older, established bands, however that misses the point a little for me. Yes bands like say the Temperance Movement or Inglorious, to name but two, are nothing new musically yet they take the music they love and give it their own twist. Heck, bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple borrowed and were influenced by established artists in their day to create the music that still resonates today.

Just this week I picked up a Richard Hawley CD after reading a rave gig review on GRTR! On Twitter I have been picking up on new music and currently loving Broken Witt Rebels (their new EP is superb!) and the indie rock of Mountain Jam. The joy and thrill of hearing new music and championing the musicians is one of life’s great joys for me and many others.

Go on, listen to at least one new band/musician this week, be they new or old…