In his upcoming tome, Confess: The Autobiography, Judas Priest iconic frontman, Rob “The Metal God” Halford, revealed that he once tried to unsuccessfully seduce former Iron Maiden frontman Paul Di’Anno.
In the book, the singer admits to inviting Di’Anno back to his hotel room in an attempt to seduce Di’Anno when Maiden supported Priest on 1980’s British Steel tour.
Relations between the two bands became tense after Di’Anno cockily proclaimed Maiden would “blow Judas Priest off stage every night,” with Priest guitarist KK Downing threatening to have the band thrown off the tour.
“We didn’t really hang out and banter with Maiden much on that tour,” writes Halford in Confess, “but maybe I took Di’Anno’s comment that he would blow Priest off stage too literally… because the one night we got drunk together, I tried to seduce him. We went to my room to carry on drinking, but I was too pissed to try anything, and he was too pissed to even know what I wanted to try. I think that was definitely for the best.”
Halford promises that Confess: The Autobiography, which is published on September 28th, is “going to shock you.”
Greg Prato for Songfacts spoke with guitarist Ace Frehley about his top guitar solos in KISS and explains what drew him to some of the songs he covered on his Origins Vol. 2 album.
Good Times Bad Times by Led Zeppelin:
That was the first Led Zeppelin song I ever heard on record because it was the first song on Led Zeppelin I. I was lucky enough to see Led Zeppelin’s first New York appearance at the Filmore East when I was a teenager – they were opening for Iron Butterfly. They just blew me away. I knew from the minute I saw them that they were going to be huge. And of course, we all know the history behind Led Zeppelin.
Jumpin’ Jack Flash by The Rolling Stones:
I’ve done several covers of Rolling Stones songs over the years. I probably could have sang it, but I wanted to get a different twist on that song, so I called up Lita Ford, who is a good friend of mine. She sang Wild Thing on Origins Vol. 1. She came over for the weekend, and I coached her on that vocal. I got a really good vocal performance out of her. I was just thrilled with the end result.
That was a song I always loved by the Beatles because it was not really that indicative of a Beatles song. Most of the Beatles songs had three-part harmony and were well put together and well-written, but I’m Down was more of just a kick-ass rock n’ roll number more in the vein of Chuck Berry.
I gravitated towards that song. I didn’t realize it was written in 1965… it’s a long time ago. But I got John 5 to play the guitar solo on the opening and he did a wonderful job.
Manic Depression by the Jimi Hendrix Experience:
I’ve been friends with Bruce Kulick for years. We did the Kiss Kruise several years ago together – his band was on the cruise with my band and several other bands. When Bruce found out I was doing Origins Vol. 2, he expressed interest in performing on it. We’re both Hendrix fans. He picked Manic Depression and we tracked it, we sent it to him, and he did a great guitar solo on it. Then we “riffed out” towards the end of the song, during the fade. I was really happy with what he did.
She by KISS:
My live band had been performing She before the pandemic hit. My record company called and said, “We need a KISS bonus track,” so that was the first song that came to mind. The guys in my band all sing lead, so I let them sing lead on that song live. It gave me a chance to showcase my touring band on this record. I was really happy about that – they did a great job.
Songfacts: Which are your top five guitar solos in KISS?
Ace Frehley: The solo in Deuce, Shock Me, Strange Ways. I like the solo I did in God Of Thunder – it was just a different type of solo. Gene used to call it “dinosaur bends” when I would bend the strings really heavy – the low string. And maybe the solo in the live version of Rock And Roll All Nite – it’s just a nice, Chuck Berry kind of solo. Reminiscent of older rock n’ roll songs.
Ace Frehley’s Origins Vol. 2 will be released tomorrow (September 18th) . Pre-orders are available at acefrehleyorigins.com. Origins Vol. 2 is the followup to 2016’s Origins Vol. 1, which hit #23 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, and was his second highest-charting solo album and his 4th Top 40 album.
Vertigo, the Black Sabbath tribute album by Zakk Sabbathfeaturing legendary guitarist & vocalist Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne), bassist Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie), and drummer Joey Castillo (Danzig, Queen Of The Stone Age) has entered charts around the globe in the first week after its release on September 4th. Magnetic Eye Records congratulate Zakk Sabbath for this well deserved sucess from the bottom of their hearts.
Jadd Shickler comments, “When the guys from Zakk Sabbath came to us with the idea to commemorate Black Sabbath’s 50th anniversary by re-creating the first album from start to finish but limiting it to just 500 copies with no digital release, we were enthusiastic, supportive, but also a little bummed that a lot of metal fans would probably miss out on something really special with it being so limited”, reveals the label director. “We were beyond stoked when Zakk, Blasko and Joey changed their minds and we were able to present this record as a worldwide release, and based on the chart positions we’re now seeing in Germany, France, and the USA, it seems like the world of metal fans agrees! ‘Vertigo’ is an amazing tribute to the originators of metal and doom, and it’s exactly the kind of record that validates our existence as a label and fulfills us as heavy music fans.”
USA: #3 Top New Artist Albums #5 Hard Music Albums #5 Internet Albums #7 Current Rock Albums #14 Emerging Artist Albums #15 Heatseekers #23 Tastemakers Albums #21 Current Album Sales #27 Billboard Top Albums #37 Top Vinyl Albums
Germany: #3 Top 100 Album Charts #3 Midweek Album Charts
UK: #9 Top 40 Rock/Metal Chart #34 Top 100 Independent Chart
France: #1 Metal Album Charts #157 French National Charts
Switzerland: #29 Album Top 100
Belgium: #146 Album Charts
To read more about Vertigo, view a track list and to listen to Zakk Sabbath’s cover of Black Sabbath, please click here. To listen to The Wizard, go here.
On October 23rd, Armored Saint will release their eighth full-length, Punching The Sky, via Metal Blade Records. For a preview of the album, a video for the new single, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, can be viewed below.
A video for the first single, End of the Attention Span, can be seen here.
Punching The Sky is available for pre-order in the following formats:
– digipak-CD – ltd. digibook-CD/DVD (incl. 3 bonus tracks) – 180g black vinyl (EU exclusive) – clear purple / white marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 500 copies) – dark violet marbled vinyl w/ 7″ & patch (Kings Road exclusive – limited to 300 copies) – signal orange marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 200 copies) – white w/ purple & red splatter vinyl (EMP exclusive – limited to 200 copies) – purple / red melt vinyl (Kings Road exclusive – limited to 100 copies) – deep purple marbled vinyl (US exclusive) – lavender marbled vinyl w/ 7″ & patch (US exclusive)
On Saturday, October 10th at 1PM PST//4PM EST//10PM CET, Armored Saint will host a live record release show online for Punching The Sky. Set to take place at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, CA, Armored Saint will be performing a full set, including 4 new songs from Punching the Sky. Additionally, the band will be answering select questions from fans who submit them via a post on their Facebook page.
$10 tickets, plus exclusive event merch bundles, are available now at: armoredsaint.veeps.com. Fans who purchase a ticket can access the footage and bundles until November 9th. See below for all ticket-bundle options:
–ticket + signed CD of Punching the Sky [$30 (USA/EU)] –ticket + exclusive event tee [$50 (USA/EU)] –ticket + exclusive event tee and signed CD of Punching the Sky [$65 (USA/EU)]
Punching The Sky track listing:
1. Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants 2. End Of The Attention Span 3. Bubble 4. My Jurisdiction 5. Do Wrong To None 6. Lone Wolf 7. Missile To Gun 8. Fly In The Ointment 9. Bark, No Bite 10. Unfair 11. Never You Fret
Vocalist Jeff Scott Soto has announced that his new solo album, Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) will be released on November 6th, through Frontiers Music Srl. Produced by and written with Alessandro Del Vecchio, the release is the best of all the combined worlds of Soto’s previous solo albums and will delight his loyal melodic rock following. “Alessandro and I made sure to revisit the best of what my overall fans love and expect of me while adding some other influences and contemporary sounds. This lucky number seven for me is one of my favorite releases to date.’ says Soto. Listen to the new single, Love’s Blind below.
CD versions of the album also include a bonus live album recorded at Frontiers Rock Festival in 2019, Live At Frontiers Rock Festival 2019, which was released in digital format only this past April.
Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) is the seventh official solo album by hard rock veteran Jeff Scott Soto. The singer, who has more than 85 albums under his belt as a lead vocalist, along with numerous collaborations and recordings, has established himself as a consummate professional who manages to expertly deliver with his vocal performances across multiple musical genres, from Metal to Hard Rock to Progressive Rock and even Funk. For Wide Awake (In My Dreamland), Jeff has incorporated many of his past influences and blends melodic rock/AOR with hard rock influences throughout. The album was recorded and written together with (and produced by) Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Jorn, Revolution Saints, etc).
Soto’s career spans over thirty-five years, beginning as the vocalist for guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen in 1984 before fronting bands such as Talisman, Soul SirkUS, SOTO, Sons of Apollo (featuring Billy Sheehan, Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinian and Bumblefoot), as well as an ongoing membership in Trans-Siberian Orchestra and a stint as the lead singer for the legendary classic rock band Journey.
In 1995, Soto released his first solo album, Love Parade, followed years later by the acclaimed Prism (2002), then Lost In The Translation (2005), Beautiful Mess (2009), Damage Control (2012), and Retribution (2017).
Soto is an extraordinary performer and amazing vocalist. He delivers on hard rocking tracks with incredible energy and easily transitions to a powerful performance on epic ballads.
Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) tracklist:
CD 1: 1. Someone To Love 2. Mystified 3. Love’s Blind 4. Without You 5. Lesson Of Love 6. Paper Wings 7. Love Will Find A Way 8. Between The Lines 9. Living In A Dream 10. Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) 11. Desperate
CD2: 1. Drowning (live) 2. 21St Century (live) 3. Believe In Me (live) 4. Look Inside Your Heart (live) 5. Eyes Of Love (live) 6. Band Intros (live) 7. Soul Divine (live) 8. Our Song (live) 9. Holding On (live) 10. I’ll Be Waiting (live) 11. Stand Up – feat. Dino Jelusick (live)
Line-up: Alessandro Del Vecchio – Bass, keys, guitars, backing vocals Fabrizio Sgattoni – Guitars Edu Cominato – Drums Jeff Scott Soto – Vocals August Zadra – backing vocals, lead guitar on Between The Lines
Ozzy Osbourne kicked off 2020 with his critically acclaimed number one rock album Ordinary Man–his first new solo album in ten years–and a planned return to the road. And then came the pandemic. Now, fans of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy®-winning singer and songwriter can enjoy a variety of projects celebrating his legacy this fall. First up was the September 7 premiere of A&E Network’s Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne. He’ll also wrap the year by releasing the 40th anniversary expanded digital edition of his landmark debut album Blizzard Of Ozz and digital versions of two classic longform videos, Live & Loud and Live At Budokan.
Initially released on September 20th, 1980 in the UK, Blizzard Of Ozz marked Ozzy’s debut studio album (following his departure from Black Sabbath); the expanded digital 40th anniversary edition is set for release September 18th on Sony/Legacy. The new package includes Ozzy hits: Crazy Train, which will hit certified 5x platinum status to coincide with its September release date; the gold-certified (in four countries) Mr. Crowley (both of which feature Randy Rhoads on guitar); along with Suicide Solution, plus live versions of seven tracks that are currently unavailable digitally. The record was ultimately certified 5x platinum and was ranked #9 on Rolling Stone’s list of “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time” in the U.S.; platinum (or multi-platinum) in another 12 countries and gold in an additional 13 countries. Blizzard Of Ozz was the first of two studio albums recorded with guitarist Randy Rhoads. The album’s Crazy Train went on to become one of Osbourne’s signature tracks; the song has also become one of the most played sports anthems frequently heard at NFL, NBA, MLB & NHL games. It peaked at #9 on Billboard’s Top Tracks chart upon release–and in 2009, the song achieved a 5× platinum certification. The live tracks–IDon’t Know,Crazy Train, Mr. Crowley, Revelation (Mother Earth),Steal Away (The Night)andSuicide Solution—were recorded on the Blizzard of Ozz tour and were previously found only in the Blizzard Of Ozz/Diary Of A Madman 30th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set. You Said It All (live)was originally found on the 1980 Mr, Crowleylive EP, recorded in 1980 at the Gaumont Theater, Southampton, UK and was also not previously available digitally.
Next up are two digital releases of two classic Ozzy video releases: Live & Loud and Live At Budokan. The Live & Loud home video–originally released on June 28th, 1993–was issued alongside the CD. The collection is a compilation of live footage from several shows rather than a single concert. The Live & Loud DVD includes guest appearances from Ozzy’s Black Sabbath bandmates (Geezer Butler, bass, Bill Ward, drums and Tony Iommi, guitar), along with his own band from that era (Michael Inez, bass; Randy Castillo, drums; Zakk Wylde, guitar; and Kevin Jones, keyboards). The Live At Budokan DVD–released June 25, 2002–was shot earlier that year as part of the 2002 world tour. It features the song Suicide Solution and Zakk Wylde’s accompanying guitar solo. Running in excess of 13 minutes, this track was cut from the CD version because of time restraints. Ozzy is backed by his 2002 touring band on Live At Budokan DVD: Zakk Wylde, guitars; Robert Trujillo, bass; Mike Bordin, drums; and John Sinclair, keyboards.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, A&E Network debuted Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne which delves into the many lives and incredible career of the man who has personified rock and roll rebellion for decades. Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne traces Ozzy’s life from his childhood in poverty and time in prison, to fronting the iconic Black Sabbath and a successful solo career, to one of rock’s elder statesman and a loveable 21st century television dad. The two-hour documentary explores howOzzy has continually reinvented himself and his career to propel himself toward greater success. As the Grammy-winning artist turns 70, he reflects on the intimate details of his successes, failures, and his unique ability for survival and perseverance–including never-before-seen interviews about his recent Parkinson’s diagnosis. The documentary, a selection of the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, also features interviews with Sharon, Kelly and Jack Osbourne as well as friends and fellow musicians including Rick Rubin, Ice-T, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Jonathan Davis, Post Malone and more.
Earlier this year, Ozzy’s Ordinary Man album–released in February–marked his first new solo music in almost 10 years. It was the #1 rock album in the world, topping multiple charts in its triumphant first week of release. Worldwide, Ordinary Man entered the charts in the Top Ten in seven countries making it the highest-charting album of Ozzy’s career. Recorded in Los Angeles, the album features producer Andrew Watt on guitars, Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses) on bass and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) on drums. Beyond the core band, Ordinary Man, features a who’s-who of Ozzy friends and collaborators including Elton John, Slash, Post Malone, and Tom Morello.
The 40th anniversary edition of Blizzard Of Ozz track listing is as follows:
1. I Don’t Know
2. Crazy Train
3. Goodbye to Romance
5. Suicide Solution
6. Mr. Crowley
7. No Bone Movies
8. Revelation (Mother Earth)
9. Steal Away (The Night)
10. You Looking at Me, Looking at You (current bonus track – originally the b-side to “Crazy Train”)