You know how hectic things can get during the holidays. Interestingly, it is during the holiday season that Tuesdays (the traditional day of the week on which new albums are released) become quiet. Really quiet. Crickets. But this can be good for artists who don't have to stand out from the crowd of other new classic rock releases. Hey, wait a minute. Isn't that an oxymoron? Since it has to be really old to be defined as classic rock, how can there be "new" classic rock releases? Read on for the answer to that and other mysteries of the universe.
The new release highlight in December will be the new studio album from Boston -- something we haven't seen for about 11 years. Life Love and Hope has been in the works for several years, long enough that the band's original lead vocalist, Brad Delp had recorded several songs for the album before he committed suicide in 2007. The first single from the new album was released this week. Lead vocalist on "Heaven on Earth" is David Victor, who joined Boston in 2012. LISTEN: "Heaven on Earth" from Boston's upcoming album, Life Love and Hope In addition to Delp and Victor, lead vocalists will also include Boston "regulars" Kimberly Dahme, Tommy DeCarlo and Tom Scholz, the only original member of the band still on the roster. Three of the 11 songs on the album are remastered and/or rearranged versions of tracks on previous Boston albums. Album release date is 12/3/13. Cover image courtesy Frontiers Records
That Christmas is the most highly commercialized holiday of all is not news. I've been hearing the fact bemoaned since I was a youngster. Mind you, I'm not advocating that it should be this way, but it is what it is, and since we can't change it, we might as well take advantage of this annual burst of free enterprise to browse the large number of new classic rock audio and video releases, remasters, reissues, rarities, box sets, and "super deluxe" special editions. For vinyl collectors, there's even a Black Friday edition of Record Store Day on the day after Thanksgiving. I could tease you with a list of the artists on the November new release list, but then you wouldn't have any reason to read the article. I don't think you'll be disappointed after you do. READ: Classic rock new releases November 2013 Cover image courtesy Experience Hendrix/Sony Legacy
You only have until December 3 to count on the fingers of one hand how many studio albums Boston have released in their 37 year history. Life, Love and Hope will be their sixth. A rather large group of vocalists are featured on the album, including Boston's original lead singer, Brad Delp, who committed suicide in 2007, but had recorded several tracks for the new album prior to his death. Three of the 11 songs on the album are remastered and/or rearranged versions of tracks on previous Boston albums. It has been 11 years since the band's last album. Eight years passed between each of the three releases before that. Boston's track record suggests that emphasizing quality over quantity is a formula that works well for them. Classic rock catalog: Boston discography Album cover image courtesy Frontiers Records
A familiar formula for big time theatrical plays is that they take the show out on the road for a few weeks to work the bugs out and make changes based on audience reactions, then open the show in a Broadway theater. What follows is the story of an exercise in just the opposite: a show that played a few weeks on Broadway, then went out on the road.
As a kid, the narrator of our story used to race home after school to catch one of the teen-oriented afternoon TV shows that featured the hot bands of the moment. This was the mid '60s, and the object of this young man's fancy was The Rascals, a high energy band whose music was a fusion of blues, soul, and a touch of psychedelia. The boob tube was the closest our hero could get to them.
But then one day 45 or so years later, our not quite fictional character (we'll call him Jim Smith, primarily because that was and is our guest reviewer's name) finally got the opportunity he'd been waiting for. As of today, he still hasn't stopped grinning.
Review: The Rascals Once Upon a Dream Tour
The Rascals at their Broadway opening on April 16, 2013
Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images
They were one of rock's first supergroups -- Steve Marriott (Small Faces) was joined by Peter Frampton (The Herd,) Greg Ridley (Spooky Tooth) and Jerry Shirley (The Apostolic Intervention, an influential psych rock band) to form Humble Pie. Between 1969 and 1971 they toured relentlessly, but managed to produce four studio albums and one live album. From 1972-81 there were six more studio releases, including those that were their biggest commercial successes.
Songs like "I Don't Need No Doctor," "Black Coffee," "Natural Born Bugie" and "30 Days In The Hole" built them a substantial audience in the UK and North America. Albums like "Eat It" and "Smokin'" solidified their status in the top tier of classic rock bands.
Humble Pie's only live album during this period, Rockin' the Fillmore was a double LP with performances from two shows in May 1971. A four-CD box set, Performance: Rockin' the Fillmore - Complete Recordings will, for the first time, include performances from all four of the band's Fillmore shows that weekend. Release date is October 29.
Classic rock catalog: Humble Pie discography
Photo by NBC Television/Courtesy of Getty Images
The original Humble Pie lineup in 1970, l-r: Greg Ridley, Steve Marriott, Peter Frampton (with Jerry Shirley barely visible behind the drums)