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7 reasons classic rock fans should look forward to 2013

Another good year for new releases

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2012 brought us more than 50 new studio releases, live albums, and box sets. Already, 2013 is looking like another really good year for new releases from classic rock artists. In January, Steve Lukather. In March, Jimi Hendrix. In April, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. And on dates yet to be announced, Rod Stewart and Elton John.

Jimi Hendrix - 'People, Hell and Angels'

Jimi Hendrix - People, Hell & Angels
Legacy Recordings / Experience Hendrix LLC

Release date March 5, 2013

The next big thing for Jimi Hendrix devotees is the release of another batch of previously unreleased recordings. Like those in 2010's Valleys of Neptune the tracks on People, Hell and Angels were planned for albums that would have been released in the years following Electric Ladyland. And, like its predecessor, most of the album's songs are not new to Hendrix, having appeared on live albums, or in very different arrangements on previous studio releases. Among the collaborators was Stephen Stills, then a member of Buffalo Springfield.

Track List

"Earth Blues"
"Somewhere"
"Hear My Train A Comin'"
"Bleeding Heart"
"Let Me Love You"
"Izabella"
"Easy Blues"
"Crash Landing"
"Inside Out"
"Hey Gypsy Boy"
"Mojo Man"
"Villanova Junction Blues"

Deep Purple - (title to be announced)

Deep Purple

Release date April 26, 2013

Deep People are getting some promotional mileage out of what the title of their 19th studio album will be. A website devoted to the new release features a countdown to release, and a big question mark in the area where (presumably) the actual title will eventually appear. Says lead vocalist Ian Gillan in a news release, "The title of our new album is still a question mark to all of us... We have recorded a new album, and it's a fantastic collection of songs." The album was recorded in Nashville, produced by Bob Ezrin, whose name you may recognize from Pink Floyd's The Wall and dozens of other albums by other artists of similar stature since the early '70s.

Black Sabbath - (title to be announced)

Black Sabbath
Photo by Tim Whitby / Getty Images

Release date April 2013

Part of the reunion of most of the four original members of Black Sabbath was the recording a new studio album, now set for release in April, around the time of their first tour of Australia since 1974. The album, as yet untitled, is being produced by Rick Rubin, who you may remember as the producer of ZZ Top's 2012 "comeback" album, La Futura.

Rod Stewart - 'Love the Life You Live' (tentative title)

Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Release date Spring 2013

Rod Stewart says he's ready to rock again, after a string of recordings of mid-20th century pop standards. Says Stewart to Billboard, "It's all finished, mixed, everything ... just a good, old-fashioned Rod Stewart album (with) a lot of mandolin and acoustic (guitar) and fiddles and good storytelling. The themes are a little more adult now. There's no 'Hot Legs' or 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy.' But they're, I think, songs people can relate to."

Steve Lukather - 'Transition'

Steve Lukather - Transition
Mascot Records

Release date January 22, 2013

Between the time Toto broke up (2008) and their re-formation (2010) their guitarist-vocalist, Steve Lukather recorded two albums and toured as a solo act. Now that Toto are back together (their 35th anniversary comes in 2013) Lukather still has time for solo projects. The latest, Transition "is a turning point for the album and a turning point for me," Lukather says. "As we were writing the songs, I was thinking about everything I've seen — all the people I've lost in my life, the great and the difficult experiences I've had, and how ultimately it was time to get it together and embrace things for what they are, because we've only got one life to live and we've got to make the most of it."

Elton John?

Photo by Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

T Bone Burnett produced Elton John's 2010 collaboration with Leon Russell, The Union. Now Burnett is producing John's latest, The Diving Board, some of which has been recorded, some still being written. "The first batch of songs went incredibly fast and they were powerful, you know, it was an explosion! So, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next. We're gonna record some more songs in January, I think," Burnett tells Rolling Stone.

Fleetwood Mac?

John McVie, Stevie Nicks - Fleetwood Mac
Photo by Rob Loud / Getty Images

As many times as various Fleetwood Mac alumni have all but sworn a new tour and/or album was coming, only to have to walk their comments back later, it's a bit chancy to include them on the list of 2013 releases. The tour has finally been firmed up. It will hit 34 cities beginning April 4. The set list will contain two new songs, but that may or may not signal that a new album is forthcoming.

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