Check out demo of previously unreleased George Harrison song from upcoming ‘All Things Must Pass’ reissue

Credit: Barry Feinstein

A demo of a previously unreleased George Harrison song called “Cosmic Empire,” from the sessions for his landmark 1970 solo effort All Things Must Pass, has just been made available in advance of the upcoming deluxe reissue of the late Beatles legend’s classic album.

“Cosmic Empire” has been released digitally and via streaming services, and an animated lyric video for the track has premiered on Harrison’s YouTube channel. The clip features a kaleidoscopic montage of collages celebrating the natural and cosmic worlds, and including photos of Harrison and depictions of animals, plants, planets and much more.

The track was recorded on the second day of a prolific two-day session for All Things Must Pass, during which Harrison recorded demos of 30 songs. “Cosmic Empire” features George accompanying himself on acoustic guitar.

As previously reported, an expanded 50th anniversary edition of All Things Must Pass will be released August 6, and can be pre-ordered now.  It’s available in multiple formats and configurations, including a Super Deluxe eight-LP or five-CD/Blu-ray-audio set.  The Super Deluxe reissue features a new mix of the original 23-track album, the 30 aforementioned demos, and various outtakes and studio jams. Forty-two of the tracks are previously unreleased. The Blu-ray disc features three high-res versions of the album.

The collection comes with a 60-page scrapbook curated by Harrison’s widow, Olivia, that features rare images and memorabilia, handwritten lyrics, diary entries, studio notes and more. A replica of the original album poster also is included.

Released in November 1970, All Things Must Pass spent seven weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200. It features George’s chart-topping spiritual anthem “My Sweet Lord,” plus “Isn’t It a Pity,” “What Is Life,” “Wah-Wah” and many other memorable songs.

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Def Leppard’s sophomore album, ‘High ‘n’ Dry,’ celebrates its 40th anniversary this weekend

Mercury Records

Def Leppard‘s second album, High ‘n’ Dry, was released 40 years ago this Sunday, July 11.

The album helped establish the band in the U.S. in advance of its massive 1983 breakthrough, Pyromania, peaking at #38 on the Billboard 200.

The best-known song from High ‘n’ Dry is “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak,” which garnered the band a lot of attention in the States when a performance video for the tune went into heavy rotation on MTV.

The album also featured the song “Let It Go,” which reached #34 on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

Both “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” and “Let It Go” were co-written by frontman Joe Elliott and guitarists Steve Clark and Pete Willis. Willis, who struggled with alcoholism, was fired from the group in 1982 and replaced by Phil Collen.

“‘Bringin’ On the Heartbreak’…when that came out on MTV, I think that kind of blew the doors off the place,” Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen tells ABC Audio. “If anything, that record really set up Pyromania perfect. And then…once Pyromania came out, you know, with MTV and everything that was going on at that time, I think that was a big reason for our success. But…I think that was probably one of the most important songs off of [High ‘n’ Dry].”

Allen adds that he also was a fan of the rocking “Let It Go,” which he says was “the closest we’ve ever got to sounding like AC/DC.”

A remix of “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak,” with new guitar parts by Collen replacing Willis’ original licks, was released in 1984, and made it to #61 on the Billboard Hot 100.

High ‘n’ Dry went on to sell over 2 million copies in the U.S.

Here’s the full High ‘n’ Dry track list:

“Let It Go”
“Another Hit and Run”
“High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)”
“Bringin’ On the Heartbreak”
“Switch 625”
“You Got Me Runnin'”
“Lady Strange”
“On Through the Night”
“Mirror, Mirror (Look into My Eyes)”
“No No No”

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The lightning flash in the middle: AC/DC’s Bon Scott would’ve turned 75 today

Credit: Philip Morris

Late AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott would’ve celebrated his 75th birthday today.

Born Ronald Belford Scott on July 9, 1946, the rocker replaced original AC/DC vocalist Dave Evans in 1974, and sang with the future Rock & Roll Hall of Famers up until his tragic death in 1980 at age 33.

Scott’s tenure with AC/DC was among the band’s most prolific periods, having produced six albums in five years, including the classics High Voltage, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap and Highway to Hell. His studio output was matched by a tenacious live presence, and he’s now considered to be among the greatest frontmen in rock history.

“Fond memories of our ‘lightning flash in the middle’ Bon, who would be 75 today,” says AC/DC guitarist Angus Young, referencing Scott’s assertion that he was represented by the lightning bolt in the middle of the band’s now-iconic logo.

Following Scott’s death, a distraught AC/DC considered calling it quits but ultimately decided to press on, and found a new singer in Brian Johnson. Their first album with Johnson was the instantly legendary Back in Black, which became one of the best-selling albums in history. Johnson remains AC/DC’s vocalist to this day.

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Scott’s birth, his family has launched a dedicated website, BonScottOfficial.com, that includes testimonials, history, merchandise and more.

“This is an invitation for Bon’s fans and friends to gather and share their memories and observations of him and his music,” the Bon Scott Estate says. “His legacy lives in the hearts and minds of those who love him.”

Also in conjunction with Scott’s birthday, a Spotify playlist has premiered featuring all of his available recordings with AC/DC, as well as with such pre-AC/DC groups as The Valentines and Fraternity.

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John Fogerty “really happy” CCR scored first #1 song on a ‘Billboard’ chart with “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”

Credit: Joel Selvin

Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s classic 1971 hit “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” is spending its second week at #1 on Billboard‘s Rock Digital Song Sales chart.

Amazingly, CCR had never had a song reach #1 on any Billboard chart before.

Founding Creedence frontman and main songwriter John Fogerty tells ABC Audio that he’s very pleased, and a bit baffled, by his old tune’s sudden chart resurgence.

“[I’m] not really sure how to react,” Fogerty admits. “I mean, a 50-year-old song becoming #1 is kind of astounding. You know, there’s no movie release or…no cataclysmic event to pin this to.”

He adds, “I guess people all at the same time started liking this song, and I’m really happy about it…I’m very happy that there is attention being given to the song. I’ve always thought it was certainly one of my best songs.”

“Have You Ever Seen the Rain” was featured on CCR’s next-to-last studio album, 1970’s Pendulum, and was released as a two-sided single with “Hey Tonight,” which peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Fogerty recalls that when he wrote the song, tension between him and his band mates was leading CCR toward breaking up, even though the group was at the height of its success.

“The picture that I got in my head was…there can be a sunny day and yet rain is falling,” he explains to ABC Audio. “It’s a weird atmospheric event…caused by a cloud far away from your view, but yet the wind is carrying the rain from that cloud…over to where you’re standing…And that seemed to be kind of what was happening [figuratively with CCR].”

Pendulum was reissued as a 180-gram vinyl LP in February.

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Play the game: Queen launches Alexa-activated interactive trivia challenge

Photography by Snowdon/© Queen Productions Ltd.

Queen fans can now take a crack at becoming a champion at a new interactive trivia game that focuses on the band’s music and history.

The Queen Trivia Challenge was created by Amazon in partnership with the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers as the latest interactive skill experience for the Alexa voice-activated search program.

While taking the challenge, fans will be able to discover some some surprising facts and insights into the legendary U.K. group.  The game features more than 400 questions, and includes audio clips of some of Queen’s biggest hits, as well as footage from documentaries and concerts. The video footage will be viewable on Alexa-enabled devices with screens.

To access the Queen Trivia Challenge on your device, visit Amazon.com.

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Fender announces signature Kurt Cobain Jag-Stang guitar to celebrate 30th anniversary of ‘Nevermind’

Courtesy of Fender

Fender has announced the signature Kurt Cobain Jag-Stang guitar to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Nirvana‘s iconic 1991 album, Nevermind.

As its name suggests, the Jag-Stang is a combination of two popular Fender models: the Mustang and the Jaguar. Cobain used both guitars throughout his career before coming to Fender in 1993 to create the first Jag-Stang, featuring his favorite elements of both instruments.

The 2021 Jag-Stang replicates the specs of Cobain’s original model and comes in two colors: Fiesta Red and Sonic Blue. It’ll be available this October for $1,249.99.

For more info, visit Fender.com.

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The Go-Go’s releasing pink-vinyl 40th anniversary version of ‘Beauty and the Beat’ in September

Capitol Records/UMe

The Go-Go’s released their classic debut album, Beauty and the Beat, 40 years ago today, and in conjunction with that milestone anniversary, the famed all-female band has announced plans to issue a special limited-edition pink-vinyl version of the record on September 10.

The reissue features new cover art: a previously unseen image from the same photo shoot that produced Beauty and the Beat‘s original cover, showing the group wearing bath towels and face cream.

Each copy of the Beauty and the Beat vinyl reissue will be numbered, and the LP is available exclusively at the group’s official store, at uDiscoverMusic.com and at The SoundofVinyl.com. You can pre-order the album now.

Released on July 8, 1981, Beauty and the Beat spent six consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 in March and April of the following year. To date, it’s the only Billboard 200 number-one album by an all-female band who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments.

Beauty and the Beat featured two of the group’s biggest hits: “Our Lips Are Sealed,” which peaked at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “We Got the Beat,” which reached #2.

Earlier this year, The Go-Go’s were chosen for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the band will be welcomed into the hallowed institution at an October 30 ceremony in Cleveland.

The group also recently lined up a five-date series of late-2021 and early-2022 concerts, running from a December 28 show in San Francisco through January 3 in San Diego.  Those dates also include a December 31-January 1 stand in Las Vegas.

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Watch short documentary on Foo Fighters’ MSG reopening show

ABC

Madison Square Garden has released a short documentary about Foo Fighters‘ show at the famed New York City arena last month, marking its first full-capacity concert since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020.

The nine-minute film, titled The Day the Music Came Back, includes live footage from the sold-out performance, as well as interviews with fans and various MSG employees and crew members.

“This is one of those events, those dynamic events that are gonna stand in the history of New York,” says food vendor Gerard Cerda, who’s worked at MSG since 1993. “People are gonna know, first concert back after COVID: MSG, Foo Fighters. They’re part of history, and I’m glad to part of it as well.”

You can watch The Day the Music Came Back streaming now on YouTube.

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Heart’s Ann Wilson scheduled brief US tour in August; issues new digital EP, ‘Sawheat 8’

Credit: Criss Cain

After playing a handful of shows in Florida last month, Heart singer Ann Wilson has now lined up a brief U.S. trek dubbed The Howl Tour, which currently features eight East Coast concerts taking place in August.

The outing kicks off with an August 14 performance in Alexandria, Virginia, and winds down with an August 23-24 engagement in New York City at the City Winery.

Ann will be joined by her solo backing band, which now has been dubbed The Amazing Dawgs.

One of the events Wilson is scheduled to play is a star-studded benefit show called the Never Forget Concert that will be held August 21 in Wantagh, New York. The show is being presented by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, pays homage to firefighter Stephen Siller, who died while trying to save others during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and also honors military members and first responders who continue to serve the U.S.

In addition to Wilson, the concert’s lineup also features John Fogerty, Journey, the Steve Miller Band, Jesse Colin Young, Wyclef Jean and others.

In other Wilson news, Ann recently released a digital EP titled Sawheat 8 that gathers together four tracks she issued individually over the last year — “Tender Heart,” “The Hammer,” “Black Wing” and her rendition of country-rocker Steve Earle‘s “The Revolution Starts Now” — as well as a cover of Alice in Chains‘ “Rooster,” which previously was only available as the B-side of a limited-edition vinyl single.

Here are all of Wilson’s upcoming solo shows, according to AnnWilson.com:

8/14 — Alexandria, VA, Birchmere
8/15 — Annapolis, MD, Maryland Hall
8/17 — Albany, NY, Hart Theatre at The Egg
8/18 — Hampton Beach, NH, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
8/20 — Atlantic City, NJ, Sound Waves at Hard Rock Hotel
8/21 — Wantagh, NY, Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater – Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Never Forget Concert
8/23 — New York, NY, The City Winery
8/24 — New York, NY, The City Winery

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Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell says current band The Dirty Knobs will release second album in 2022

Credit: Pamela Littky

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell has revealed that The Dirty Knobs, the current band he fronts, will be back with their second album next year, when the group also is scheduled to return to touring.

In a recent message on his Twitter page, Campbell announced, “The Dirty Knobs are coming to your town next year with some special guests and a brand new album…Our second!”

The band’s debut album, Wreckless Abandon, was released in November 2020, and the group initially had a run of headlining dates in small venues, as well as a stint opening for country star Chris Stapleton, lined up for this year, but both were pushed back until 2022.

According to TheDirtyKnobs.com, the headlining concerts are scheduled from a March 9 show in Tampa, Florida, through an April 30-May 1 stand in Austin, Texas. The group then will lend support to Stapleton starting with June 2 performance in Nampa, Idaho, and mapped out through a July 23 event at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

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