SCORPIONS have released the first in a three-part series of short documentaries directed by Thomas Noehre focusing on the making of the band’s 19th studio album, “Rock Believer”.
Says the band: “For our new album ‘Rock Believer’, we all came back together in the studio like in the old days and captured that journey on camera. Today we release the first part 1 of 3. Maybe you discover some unreleased music snippets from our new album in it…”
Last month, SCORPIONS released the official music video for their new single, “Peacemaker”. The track, which features music courtesy of guitarist Rudolf Schenker and bassist Pawel Maciwoda and lyrics by singer Klaus Meine, is taken from “Rock Believer”, due on February 25, 2022.
Asked in a new interview with Chile’s Radio Futuro what fans can expect to hear on “Rock Believer”, Meine said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Well, you can expect an album that is dedicated to all the rock believers in the world.
And we’re very excited after all these years. We thought, when you think about all the touring we did the last 10 years, after the release of ‘Return To Forever’ in 2015, the time was right to go back into the studio, to write new material, to write new songs and check out if the creativity is still working.
The big aim was, the goal was to make a rock album to make an album with lots of attitude, power and focus on the good old times and really enjoy the music and have some fun with the music. And that feels really good.”
Speaking about the “Rock Believer” album title, SCORPIONS guitarist Rudolf Schenker said: “Look, we are around the world since 50 years or more. And when somebody can say he’s a rock believer, then this is us. And of course, we meet our rock believers in front of us, our audience.
“So many people said rock is dead. It’s not dead,” he continued. “It’s always coming back sometimes, okay, stronger [or] less strong — but in the end, it’s great to play around the world in over 80 countries we’ve played so far, and all rock believers. It was always great to share the music with them together and be in connection with them. I mean, that’s so amazing and so fantastic, that we are very happy to come out with a new album. And yeah, let’s see what’s happening.”
Asked if “Peacemaker” is representative of “Rock Believer” as a whole, Klaus said: “It is an up-tempo rock song, and this album really rocks. There are some heavy songs on the album, like when you think about ‘China White’ and ‘Animal Magnetism’, there’s a track on the record that is really in the best way of those songs. There are many up-tempo songs and, believe it or not, there are even faster songs than ‘Peacemaker’.
[Laughs] There’s also a very beautiful ballad on the album, and I’m sure there are fans out there especially love the SCORPIONS ballads, and they will enjoy this record as well very much. ‘Peacemaker’ is the appetizer for what the album is all about. It rocks.”
“Rock Believer” was recorded primarily at Peppermint Park Studios in Hannover, Germany and was mixed at the legendary Hansa Studios in Berlin, Germany with engineer Michael Ilbert, who has earned multiple Grammy nominations for his mix work with producer Max Martin on albums by Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.
“The album was written and recorded in the SCORPIONS DNA with core Schenker/Meine compositions,” said Klaus. “We recorded the album as a band live in one room, like we did in the ’80s.”
SCORPIONS’ new album will mark their first release since 2017’s “Born To Touch Your Feelings – Best Of Rock Ballads”, which was an anthology of new and classic material.
SCORPIONS originally intended to record the new album in Los Angeles with producer Greg Fidelman, whose previous credits include SLIPKNOT and METALLICA. However, because of the pandemic, some of the initial work was done with Greg remotely, after which SCORPIONS opted to helm the recordings themselves with the help of their engineer Hans-Martin Buff.
Meine previously told Talking Metal that the goal with using Fidelman to produce “Rock Believer” was to bring “the old vibe from albums like ‘Blackout’, ‘Love At First Sting’ or even ‘Lovedrive’. We try to focus on those albums and this attitude,” he said. “If we get there, who knows — it’s so many years later. But it’s the spirit and it’s the whole vibe around this album. This time, the focus is on the harder songs.”
According to Meine, SCORPIONS’ new LP features “no outside writers at all,” unlike 2015’s “Return To Forever”, which was largely co-written by the album’s producers, Mikael Nord Andersson and Martin Hansen.
SCORPIONS will kick off their “Rock Believer” world tour in March 2022 in Las Vegas where the band will play nine shows as part of their residency at Planet Hollywood Hotel. Afterwards they will cross the Atlantic to Europe where they will play six concerts in France and six shows In Germany supported by Wolfgang Van Halen’s new band MAMMOTH WVH.
SCORPIONS’ last full-length collection of new recordings was the aforementioned “Return To Forever”, partially comprising songs the band had in the vault from the ’80s. It was the final recorded appearance of SCORPIONS’ longtime drummer James Kottak, who was dismissed from the band in September 2016. He has since been replaced by Mikkey Dee, formerly of MOTÖRHEAD.
On stage together for the first time in over two decades Remember when Dave Navarro pissed off every Red-Hot Chili Peppers fan by replacing John Frusciante? Well, over two decades after Navarro’s infamously tumultuous departure from the band, the guitarist made an unexpected onstage reunion last night (December 20th) with none other than the lead Chili Pepper himself, Anthony Kiedis, for a rendition of Lou Reed’s classic “Walk on the Wild Side.”
This reunion was fairly spur of the moment; Navarro recently put together a charity concert called Above Ground benefiting MusiCares at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles, with performances paying tribute to the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks and Lou Reed’s Transformer. The roster of high-profile guests included Billy Idol and Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins, but they both had to back out of last night’s show on short notice due to illness.
So, having promised a big surprise in their place, Navarro somehow managed to get Kiedis on stage with him for the first time since 1997 (Navarro only played on one Chili Peppers album, 1995’s polarizing One Hot Minute). While the song is much mellower than the flashy guitar riffs Navarro is known for, Kiedis’ voice is a good fit for Reed’s laidback drawl.
Navarro even savored the moment with a sweet shoutout to “[his] brother Anthony” on Instagram after the gig. Looks like distance really does make the heart grow fonder, after all. See a fan-shot video of Navarro and Kiedis performing “Walk on the Wild Side” below. With Frusciante back in the band (again), Red Hot Chili Peppers are going on a massive world tour next year, head over to Ticketmaster for tickets. Meanwhile, Navarro’s usual band, Jane’s Addiction, will head to Florida in May for Welcome to Rockville 2022.
Credits: Abby Jones – consequence.net
Pink Floyd have announced the release of a restored and re-edited version of their P.U.L.S.E. concert film (shot Oct. 20, 1994, at London’s Earls Court). The new edition arrives on February 18, 2022, as a 2-Blu-ray or 2-DVD deluxe box set. It will also mark the return of the flashing LED on the spine (as seen on the original 1995 CD release) powered by replaceable AA batteries. The deluxe packages include music videos, screen films, documentaries, rehearsal footage and more, along with a 60-page booklet. It continues the band‘s overhaul of its catalog. See the complete track listing below.
In the Dec. 16 announcement, the group shared a quote from a 1995 interview with drummer Nick Mason about the flashing LED. “Essentially, it’s a device which we thought was entertaining. It’s an idea of [designer] Storm Thorgerson’s which related to Dark Side and the pulse, and it’s a live album so the box is ‘alive’. After that, in terms of seriously deep meanings, one might be struggling a bit.”
A vinyl edition of their 1995 live album, Pulse, was released in 2018 as a 4-LP set on 180-gram vinyl from Pink Floyd Records (via Sony’s Legacy Recordings division). The collection had long been unavailable, and (like the original cassette) contains “One of These Days,” which wasn’t included on the CD version.
The original 1995 2-CD release topped the sales charts in the U.K., U.S., and many other countries around the world. The 4-LP Pulse set includes four different inner sleeves, each inside individual outer sleeves, plus a 52-page hardback photo book, all encased in a thick card slipcase. The 2018 release was remastered from the original tapes by James Guthrie, Joel Plante and Bernie Grundman
Pulse was compiled by Guthrie, using various performances from the band’s 1994 Division Bell tour across the U.K. and Europe featuring David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright. Gilmour performs all lead vocals except for “Astronomy Dominé,” “Time” and “Comfortably Numb,” which were sung by Wright.
The album includes The Dark Side of the Moon performed in full live, as well as a whole side dedicated to the show’s encore. Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis and Peter Curzon, who worked on the original art with the late Hipgnosis co-founder, Storm Thorgerson, recreated the art package.
CREDITS: Best Classic Bands Staff
In 1971, the stadium-shaking, diaphragm wobbling rock band Led Zeppelin travelled to East Asia for their first Japanese tour during what was an exciting time to be young in Japan. After the US occupation of the country in the years immediately following the Second World War, the country was divided. But, by the 1970s, a sense of optimism was in the air. A new generation had come of age and looked forward to a bright future.
That sense of optimism is abundantly clear from this footage of Led Zeppelin’s performance at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan venue. Japan was changing. By the late ’60s, it had absorbed the consumer culture of America and was looking to establish itself as an uber-modern nation.
Led Zeppelin’s performance is symbolic of a fascinating period in Japanese history, during which it was metamorphosing from a fractured nation to one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world.
As Jimmy Page recalled, when Led Zepellin arrived in Tokyo, they were struck by the sheer momentum of the place: “It was a city with such a new vision towards the future,” Page began. “The technology boom was really going on, even then… It seems odd now with Nikon everywhere, but at the time they were just really breaking the market, and you could get cameras over here really, really inexpensively, and hi-fi and little cine cameras… We came here and went away loaded with cameras and I started documenting the rest of my travels with Led Zeppelin for a bit.”
The archival footage below captures the band’s show of their 1971 Japanese tour. It’s clear that they felt the need to prove themselves to the crowd, playing with an energy and frantic virtuosity you would expect of a finale rather than an opening number. Indeed, Page goes so hard during ‘Heartbreaker’ that he has to pause to re-string his guitar. Aside from that, the band didn’t pause for a moment’s breath. Instead, they powered through the setlist in under 40 minutes, ending with one of the most intense versions of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ on record. The crowd was so taken by Led Zeppelin’s performance that the band had to pause during ‘Communication Breakdown’ to avoid starting a riot.
The unrestrained mood of the band’s first show on Japanese soil would set the tone for the entire tour. Before one notable gig, John Bonham punched Robert Plant in the face following an argument. But, as the band’s manager, Peter Grant, explained, this was not the only incident on the tour: “There were rows. One bloody amazing one happened in Japan when Robert came off stage with a split lip. It was over some dispute over some money from some tour. He still owed Bonzo some petrol money for 70 quid or something, but that’s how it was.”
This footage grants us access to one of the most memorable tours in Led Zeppelin’s career. Their shows in Tokyo were followed by a benefit concert in Hiroshima – a city devastated by a nuclear bomb 26 years earlier. As an expression of gratitude, Hiroshima’s mayor granted Plant, Page, Jones, and Bonham with the city’s medal. But that was all to come.
Sam Kemp / https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/