Black Sabbath @ 50: The debut album covered!

Rock fans and critics have long debated over what constituted “the birth of heavy metal”. Some will claim its roots stem from Dave Davies’s brilliant power chords on those early Kinks singles. Others suggest that the musical genre began to take shape at the end of 1966 when Jimi Hendrix pushed the boundaries and experimented with the sounds an electric guitar could make. Perhaps metal’s origins lie with Deep Purple, as they took 60s beat group and psychedelic sounds into a much more intense direction…? The speed and power could even derive from ‘Communication Breakdown’ from Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut LP. Although Zeppelin have always been keen to distance themselves from the leather trousered, heavier sounds which came later, there’s an obvious root there.

On February 13th 1970, an album was released that would change the world. Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut album was without question one of the heaviest things the world had heard at the start of a new era for rock music.

Continue reading

SOPHIA MARSHALL – ‘lin-dah’ EP

Kasabian are a huge selling band but, much like Elbow, most of their output hovers somewhere between generic radio filler and just plain dull. The idea of a Kasabian covers EP isn’t necessarily one that should excite: if you love Kasabian – for whatever reason – chances are, you’d want to spin the original tunes; if you hate Kasabian, hearing someone else recycling their often forgettable songs probably isn’t anywhere near the top of your priority list.

The fact that Kasabian are a generic radio filling non-entity didn’t deter singer-songwriter Sophia Marshall. The one time Have-Nots vocalist went to school with three members of the band and uses that as a springboard for her first covers EP of 2018. The cryptically titled ‘lin-dah’ finds the Leeds songstress taking three Kasabian songs and remoulding them in her own image. For something which, on paper, sounds less than pleasurable, the results are…impressive to say the least.
Continue reading

BRYAN ADAMS – Tracks Of My Years

bryan_adamsDuring his earlier years, Bryan Adams released some great albums.  His fourth album (and international breakthrough) ‘Reckless’ remains a cornerstone of any AOR/melodic rock collection, sounding every bit as great as it did in 1984.  Its massive hits – ‘Run To You’ and ‘Summer of 69’ – have stayed in regular radio rotation around the world ever since and deservedly so.  1987’s ‘Into The Fire’ seems overlooked by comparison but is almost equally strong, while 1991’s ‘Waking Up The Neighbours’ – despite a leaning towards a Def Leppard backing vocal sound, courtesy of Mutt Lange – showed The Groover From Vancouver still very much at the forefront of the AOR scene with much to give.

Continue reading

Dance and Sing In Celebration: Led Zeppelin Covered

In early 2014, the announcement finally came that the Led Zeppelin catalogue was to be reissued with bonus material, with the first three albums potentially appearing before the summer.  Prior to this exciting announcement, the only extra material Zeppelin fans had seen officially includes a couple of extra tracks on two box sets, a couple of live recordings and a few extra tracks inserted into the running order of the band’s live opus ‘The Song Remains The Same’.  Meanwhile, almost every other major rock artist saw their catalogues reissued with bonus materials galore, and in some cases – The Who and Hendrix, especially – several times over.  Having been denied this treatment for so long, the idea of the entire Zeppelin catalogue being overhauled and awarded bonus discs of unreleased material provided much cause for celebration.

Continue reading