Sunday, June 28, 2015

Chris Squire dead at 67

Christopher Russell Edward Squire
March 4, 1948 - June 28, 2015

Chris Squire, bassist and co-founding member of legendary progressive rock band Yes, passed away last night in Phoenix, Arizona after a short battle with acute erythroid leukemia- a rare form of leukemia. Squire was 67. Squire had announced his diagnosis on May 19 of this year and planned to take a break from performing while he underwent treatment. At the time of his passing, Squire was the only constant member in Yes- playing on all 21 of their studio albums. 

Squire was born in London, England in the suburb of Kingsbury. Even in his youth. Squire already had his future set on music as he sang in one or two boys' choirs. When it came to picking up the bass, Squire cited the Beatles and Paul McCartney as his inspiration. Sometime in the late 1960s, Squire met singer Jon Anderson. The two made a connection in their love for rock music, as well as vocal groups. In 1968, Yes was formed by Anderson and Squire, along with guitarist Peter Banks, drummer Bill Bruford and keyboardist Tony Kaye. Although Banks and Kaye would leave shortly into the beginning of the 1970s, the band went on with Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. The band were at their peak in the early 1970s with progressive rock classics such as Fragile and Close to the Edge. The band even scored a few hit singles with "Roundabout," "Long Distance Runaround," "I've Seen All Good People" and later in the 1980s- "Owner of a Lonely Heart." Throughout their near five decade career, Squire was the only member in Yes who had never left. Aside from Yes, Squire released one solo album- 1975's Fish Out of Water

It's sad to hear of Chris' passing. I can't say I'm too surprised, given how his peers who were diagnosed at his age didn't survive. What frustrates me the most about Chris' passing is that the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame have still NOT inducted Yes. They've been nominated a few times in the last few years but nope: they had to induct the young and healthy members of Green Day and Nirvana first. Chris is just one of several dozen musicians who've been screwed and didn't get to see themselves inducted. However, maybe it doesn't really matter: Chris stayed with his band till the very end. That's something to be proud of. 

Rest in peace, Chris. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Iron Maiden to release The Book of Souls in September

Heavy metal legends Iron Maiden have announced the release of their next studio album. The album, The Book of Souls, wil be Iron Madien's sixteenth studio album. Not only is it the band's first album since 2010's The Final Frontier but it's also the band's first ever double studio album. Consisting of 11 songs and clocking in at 92 minutes, it's the longest album Maiden have ever made. The album is slated for release on September 4.

It's good to hear that Maiden are releasing a new album. I really wanted to like The Final Frontier but it was difficult. It was okay but it was the production that made it hard to listen to. I've said it many times before: it wasn't because of any "loudness war." This was weird: the music sounded like it kept changing the volume manually. So this makes not want to get Maiden's new album However, there's been nothing else to listen to from this year so I will consider getting it or listen to it streaming.

The tracking list is as follows...

Disc 1
1. If Eternity Should Fail
2. Speed of Light
3. The Great Unknown
4. The Red and the Black
5. When the River Runs Deep
6. The Book Of Souls

Disc 2
7. Death or Glory
8. Shadows of the Valley
9. Tears of a Clown
10. The Man of Sorrows
11. Empire of the Clouds

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rock Recap: The Doors and David Gilmour

Post Jim Morrison albums to be reissued 

After years of being out of print, Elektra Records will finally be releasing the Doors' two post Jim Morrison albums- Other Voices and Full Circle- on CD. The albums will be released together as a two-CD pack. In terms of the sound, the albums have been newly remastered by Doors engineer Bruce Botnick. Along with the two albums will be one bonus track called "Treetrunk," a single-only release that was the B-side to "Get Up And Dance" from Full Circle. No word on if there'll be any new liner notes but it is known that albums will receive vinyl reissues. The vinyl reissue of Full Circle will included the original foldout zoetrope  packaging. The two-pack set is set for release on September 4.

David Gilmour announces new solo album

Former Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour has officially announced the release of a new studio album. The album, Rattle That Lock, will be released in September of this year. It will be Gilmour's first studio album since 2006's On An Island. Overall, this is Gilmour's fourth solo album. With the release of the new album, Gilmour plans to tour starting in September. However, Gilmour doesn't plan to come to North America until 2016.  

Note: I'm aware I've been inactive on my blog for a month now. That's because of two reasons: one is that I've been focusing on selling records, as well as trying to deal with a lousy job at CVS. The other reason is that there really hasn't been any news lately on classic rockers that's worth posting here. Every day, I have the habit of checking Rolling Stone and Ultimate Classic Rock for news. In these last few months, there hasn't been anything.  For the last few months, there's been little to no news. Okay, so the Zeppelin reissues are still going but I usually post about things only if I'm going to buy them. I know that sounds stupid but in my defense, a lot has been written about the Zeppelin remasters- and even as a Zeppelin fan- I'm just not interested in spending money on something I already have. I've heard the remasters and I just don't hear any difference. The same goes for the Sticky Fingers remaster: I'm quite happy with the 1994 remaster and there's nothing incredible on the second disc.  For the last few months,   I have not forgotten about this blog and I will try my best to keep posting, for those who even read it.