ABC Classic Hits
Criss Cain; Jeremy Danger

Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson have been working on separate solo projects recently, with Ann releasing a series of new singles over the last half year, and Nancy preparing to put out her first studio album, You and Me, next month.

Ann tells ABC Audio that she fully supports her younger sister's decision to work on an album outside of their famous group.

"I welcome it. I think it's really good for her," the frontwoman maintains. "She's a fine musician, and she's right in line to start to express herself outside of Heart. She's got a lot to offer."

Ann adds, "I'm really glad to see her do it. I'm glad we're both doing it. And then, when we get back together and play in Heart, then we're much fuller musicians…because of it." (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)

Last year, Ann revealed to ABC Audio that Heart had planned to tour during 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic postponed all live events. No word yet, when the group might hit the road again, but it recently was announced that Ann will join Gov't Mule as a special guest at the jam band's socially distanced outdoor concert on May 2 concert in New Haven, Connecticut.

Ann released her latest solo single, "Black Wing," on April 12. It's the fourth standalone single she's issued last October, when she released a cover of the Steve Earle song "The Revolution Starts Now." That was followed by the original tunes "Tender Heart" and "The Hammer," in January and February, respectively.

Nancy, meanwhile, has released three advance tracks from You and Me, including an acoustic instrumental called "4 Edward" that she wrote in tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen, which came out this past Friday.

You and Me, which can be pre-ordered now, arrives on May 7.

 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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UMe

An expanded digital reissue of Lionel Richie's 1996 studio album Louder than Words has just been released in honor of the record's 25th anniversary.

Originally released on April 16, 1996, Louder than Words was Richie's fourth solo studio effort, and his first full-length album since 1986's Dancing on the Ceiling. The album peaked at #28 on the Billboard 200, and yielded one top-40 single, "Don't Wanna Lose You," which Lionel co-wrote with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

The bonus tracks featured on the expanded reissue include rare Spanish and Italian versions of "Still In Love," the radio edit of "Don't Wanna Lose You," and the non-album tunes "What Do They Know" and "Now You're Gone." All of these tracks have just been made available for streaming for the first time.

Louder than Words is one of a series of deluxe expanded Richie reissues that will be released digitally this year. Next up, on May 4, will be Lionel's 2004 album Just for You, followed on June 25 by his 1998 release Time.

In addition, Richie's 2008 live album, Symphonica in Rosso, will be released digitally in North America for the first time on May 21. The album captured a performance that Lionel gave at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, Netherlands, backed by his band and an orchestra.

Here's the full track list of Louder than Words deluxe reissue:

"Piece of Love"
"Still In Love"
"I Wanna Take You Down"
"Can't Get Over You"
"Change"
"Nothing Else Matters" -- featuring Toots Thielemans
"Ordinary Girl"
"Say I Do"
"Paradise"
"Don't Wanna Lose You"
"Lovers at First Sight"
"Climbing"
"What Do They Know"*
"Now You're Gone"*
"Don't Wanna Lose You" (Radio Version)*
"Still In Love" (Italian/English Version)*
"Still In Love" (Italian Version)*
"Still In Love" (Spanish Version)*

* = bonus tracks.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Credit: Blain Clausen

Billy Gibbons has released a second advance track from his forthcoming third solo album, Hardware.  It's a brooding, atmospheric story song called "Desert High" that features a spoken-word narrative by the ZZ Top singer/guitarist accompanied by reverb-drenched guitar.

As previously reported, Hardware, which will be released June 4, was recorded last summer at a studio in California's high desert with ex-Guns N' Roses member Matt Sorum on drums and a second guitarist, Austin Hanks.

The lyrics of "Desert High" clearly were influenced by the location of the sessions, with mentions of rattlesnakes, cactus, coyotes and scorpions, as well as California's Joshua Tree park and the Salton Sea.

Gibbons also throws in some interesting music references, such as "The Lizard King," the nickname of late Doors singer Jim Morrison, as well as Keith Richards and Keith's late friend, Gram Parsons of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Parsons died of a drug overdose in 1973 in a motel in Joshua Tree, California.

"The song is, perhaps, not typical of Hardware as a totality but it gives indication of the album's desiccated sonic sensibility," Gibbons says of "Desert High." "The desert is a truly mysterious place and we were privileged to have spent all that time there absorbing the heat, the vibe and cranking it out."

"Desert High" is available as a digital download and via streaming services, with a companion music video expected to be released soon. The first advance track released from Hardware was a surf-rock-inspired tune called "West Coast Junkie."  You can pre-order Hardware now.

Meanwhile, Gibbons recently launched a YouTube series called Hardware: Under the Hood that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the album. You can check out the first episode now.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

It may be hard to believe, but Cher has yet to make an appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the singer says she’d be down to guest on the Emmy-winning competition show.

"I'm going to have to go on it at some point," Cher tells EW.

Her fans have certainly been clamoring for it, plus Cher has a longtime friendship with Ru.

"I've known him for a long time. He's such a cool guy," she says. "I would consider it! I have watched it…. He's smart and I love him. He's the coolest guy ever. What he's been able to do is amazing."

While Cher hasn’t appeared on the show herself, her presence has definitely been felt. Her son, Chaz Bono, and her mom, Georgia Holt, both participated in an interview challenge on season six of the show. In addition, season four runner-up Chad Michaels was a Cher impersonator and season 10 featured a challenge called Cher: The Unauthorized Rusical.

Cher’s new documentary, Cher & the Loneliest Elephant, premieres Thursday on Paramount+.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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BMG

Cheap Trick's latest studio effort, In Another World, has become the band's first album to debut at #1 on the Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart.

In celebration of the milestone, the band posted a message on its social media sites that reads, "In Another World is officially the #1 ROCK ALBUM! Thanks for listening, sharing, and rocking out with us in this new chapter. We’re blown away by your support."

As previously reported, In Another World is Cheap Trick's 20th studio effort. The 13-track collection features 12 original songs, plus a cover of the 1971 John Lennon gem "Gimme Some Truth," which includes a guest appearance from Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

The album is available now on CD, black vinyl and digitally, while a limited-edition vinyl LP pressed on blue-and-white-splattered vinyl will be released on June 4 and sold at independent record shops across the U.S. In addition, Target is offering an exclusive limited-edition picture-disc version of the album that also will arrive on June 4.

Cheap Trick launches an Australian tour dubbed the Under the Southern Stars 2021 trek on April 30. The outing also features Bush, Stone Temple Pilots and Rose Tattoo.

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L-R: Norm Sundholm, Lynn Easton, Dick Peterson, Mike Mitchell and Barry Curtis of The Kingsmen in 1964; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Guitarist Mike Mitchell, a founding member of the Portland, Oregon, garage-rock group The Kingsmen, best known for their hit 1963 cover of the rock 'n' roll party anthem "Louie Louie," died Friday, April 16, according to a post on the band's official website.

Mitchell passed away on his 77th birthday.

"We are deeply saddened by Mike's passing. He was the kindest and most generous man on the planet," the message reads. "Mike is irreplaceable and he will be greatly missed not only by us but the fans as well. Mike was a favorite for his kindness, comedic nature as well as his musicianship."

The Kingsmen formed as a teenage combo in 1959, and in '63 they recorded a raucous version of doo-wop singer/songwriter Richard Berry's 1955 tune "Louie Louie." The track shot up the Billboard Hot 100 chart to #2 and helped make the group a popular touring act.

The Kingsmen scored a few follow-up hits, most notably with a cover of "Money (That's What I Want)" and the original tune "The Jolly Green Giant," which reached #16 and #4 on the Hot 100, respectively, in 1964.

Countless artists have covered "Louie Louie" over the years, inspired by The Kingsmen's version, and the band's recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Mitchell continued to perform with The Kingsmen, through various lineup changes, up until his death. He was the last surviving founding member still in the group.

Mike is survived by two children, Max and Samantha.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Credit: Kate Izor

Roger Waters has teamed up remotely again with the members of his solo touring band for a video featuring a performance of a song from his back catalog: this one a rendition of "The Bravery of Being Out of Range."

The tune originally appeared on the founding Pink Floyd singer/bassist's 1992 solo album, Amused to Death, while the version he and his band performed includes an updated third verse.

You can watch the video now at Waters' official YouTube channel and social media sites. Accompanying the clip is a long message from Roger explaining what he wrote each verse about.

The video begins with a segment of the speech President Ronald Reagan gave as he was leaving office.

"I include the speech because the first verse of the song is about Reagan," Waters explains. "Reagan is still revered by many, even though he is a mass war criminal who, among his many other crimes, knowingly supported the genocide of the Mayan people of Guatemala when he was president."

Roger then suggests that people watch a documentary called Journeyman, which he says tells the story about what happened with the indigenous group in Guatemala.

Waters continues, "The second verse is about 'Desert Storm' [and President George H.W. Bush], who slaughtered all those disarmed Iraqi troops retreating from Kuwait on Bush's orders on the road to Basra."

He says he wrote the third verse because he was disgusted "that 'thirty years later' the U.S. is still dealing death to innocents in the name of freedom."

Waters ends his message by declaring, "Come on AMERICA, it's time to MAN UP and say NO MORE KILLING THE CHILDREN TO GET OUR OWN WAY, NO MORE IMPERIAL WARS. LETS GO HOME AND PUT OUR OWN HOUSE IN ORDER! BECAUSE IT'S F***ED UP."

(Video contains uncensored profanity.)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Elektra Records

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the release of The Doors' sixth album, L.A. Woman.

L.A. Woman was the last album The Doors recorded with their iconic frontman, Jim Morrison, who died in Paris on July 3, 1971, at age 27.

The album reached #9 on the Billboard 200 chart, and yielded two hit singles, "Love Her Madly" and "Riders on the Storm," which peaked at #11 and #14, respectively, on Billboard's Hot 100. Among the record's other memorable songs is the title track, which remains a classic-rock radio staple.

Doors drummer John Densmore tells ABC Audio that he thought it was brilliant how Morrison "wrote metaphorically of L.A. as a woman" in the song.

John explains that with the L.A. Woman album, The Doors continued their return to their blues roots that began with 1970's Morrison Hotel, which followed the more orchestrated and layered 1969 release, Soft Parade.

The Doors recorded L.A. Woman at their rehearsal space in Santa Monica, California, in just two weeks.

Regarding the band's approach to making the album, John recalls, "We purposely just said, 'We're not gonna do more than a couple takes on everything. We're going for the passion.'"

Densmore says that "Love Her Madly" was chosen as a single by Jac Holzman, president of The Doors' label, Elektra, although guitarist Robby Krieger, who penned the tune, though it was too commercial.

After "Love Her Madly" became a hit, the atmospheric, serial-killer-themed "Riders on the Storm" was picked as its follow-up.

Densmore says "Riders" came together while the band was jamming on the old country-western song "Ghost Riders in the Sky," which, he notes, had the "same kind of moody, mysterious [feel]."

John adds that "Riders" "still gives me chills."

Here's L.A. Woman's full track list:

Side One
"The Changeling"
"Love Her Madly"
"Been Down So Long"
"Cars Hiss by My Window"
"L.A. Woman"

Side Two
"L'America"
"Hyacinth House"
"Crawling King Snake"
"The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)"
"Riders on the Storm"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Rick Guest/Interscope Records

The Who's Pete Townshend recently told U.K. magazine Uncut that he'd amassed ideas for a lot of fresh songs that potentially could be part of a follow-up to the band's 2019 studio album WHO, but in a new Rolling Stone interview, Townshend backtracks on his remarks.

"I'm not working on the next Who record," he tells Rolling Stone, explaining that since his Uncut interview, he read that singer Roger Daltrey had expressed to the press that he wasn't enthusiastic about a new Who album, which has made him question whether to move forward with the project.

"I think [Roger and I] really need to have another proper conversation," Pete notes. "Until we have that conversation, I don't think there's any real prospect of a Who album developing."

Townshend adds, "I need to know that I'm facilitating Roger's needs as a singer. There's only two of us now. And these days, he insists on having music to sing [that] he believes in, completely and utterly…Unless he can inhabit the story of the song, he can't do a good job. And so it means that I have to, in a sense, work as a tailor."

Pete reveals that he does "have a number of ideas," noting that he's been "working on a variety of things" during the last year, including music for a project based on his 2019 novel The Age of Anxiety.

Meanwhile, the latest in a series of free three-song digital EPs featuring advance tracks from the upcoming deluxe reissue of The Who Sell Out was released today. The tracks are combined multiple outtakes of "Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand," an early take of the rarity "Melancholia" and an early version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

The reissue will be released on April 23.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Epiphany Music

Alanis Morissette is missing the road in her new song, "I Miss the Band." 

The Grammy winner offers fans a behind-the-scenes look at life on the road touring with her band, before the COVID-19 pandemic led to mass shutdowns of live events. 

The video features fast-paced clips from the stage, with the camera panning cheering fans while the band smiles as they pose in front of an arena-sized crowd.  Bus rides, rehearsal shots and Alanis and her crew pulling together for a loving photo backstage all convey the passion they have for the road. 

"I miss the band/And there's not a day that goes by where I don't hear our music in my head," Alanis sings in the musical homage. 

"Deeply yearning to play live music again…the sweat, the rapture, the movement, the love…i miss seeing your faces & being with my bandmates," she shares on Twitter. "Soon...we’ll be back together." 

Alanis' defining 1995 album, Jagged Little Pill, is the subject of a musical of the same name. It was the most nominated production at the 2020 Tony Awards and was named Best Musical Theatre Album at the 2021 Grammys.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Hachette Books; BMG Books

A pair of Rock & Roll Hall of Famers who recently released memoirs, Doors drummer John Densmore and Byrds bassist Chris Hillman, will discuss their respective books during upcoming installments of the hallowed institution's Virtual Interview Series.

Both events are free, and will be viewable at the Rock Hall's YouTube and Facebook channels.

The Q&A with Densmore will take place this Monday, April 19, at 7 p.m. ET. The interview coincides with the 50th anniversary of the release of The Doors' classic sixth studio album, L.A. Woman.

John will chat about his book The Seekers: Meetings with Remarkable Musicians (and Other Artists), which features his reflections and stories about various creative people he has encountered over the years, including music legends like his late Doors band mates Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek, Janis Joplin, Van Morrison, Bob Marley, Lou Reed and others.

Hillman's interview is scheduled for May 26 at 7 p.m. ET. Chris will talk about his autobiography Time Between: My Life as a Byrd, Burrito Brother, and Beyond, which delves deeply into his life story and his long, influential music career.  In addition to his tenure with The Byrds, Chris' musical journey included stints with The Flying Burrito Brothers, the Stephen Stills-fronted Manassas, Souther-Hillman-Furay and The Desert Rose Band, as well as work as a solo artist.

After Hillman discusses the book, acclaimed country artist Marty Stuart will join the chat as a special guest. In 2018, Stuart and his group the Fabulous Superlatives teamed with Hillman and his Byrds band mate Roger McGuinn for a tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Byrds' pioneering country-rock album Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

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Sailor/Capitol/UMe

The Steve Miller Band has offered a new preview from its upcoming archival concert album, Steve Miller Band Live! Breaking Ground: August 3, 1977: a rendition of the group's catchy 1973 "Shu Ba Da Du Ma Ma Ma Ma."

The track is available now as a digital download and via steaming services.

As previously reported, Breaking Ground featured a previously unreleased recording of a 1977 concert that Steve Miller and his band played at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland. The album will be released on May 14 digitally, on CD and as a two-LP vinyl set.

In addition, an accompanying concert film featuring the full performance will premiere the same day as part of The Coda Collection on the Amazon Prime Video streaming service. You can check out a trailer for the video at Miller's official YouTube channel.

"Shu Ba Da Du Ma Ma Ma Ma" is the second advance performance released from Breaking Ground; the first was a version of "Jet Airliner." You can pre-order the album now.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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UMe

The Peter Frampton Band has released a rendition of the late George Harrison's 1970 hit "Isn't It a Pity," another advance track from their forthcoming instrumental covers album, Frampton Forgets the Words.

The track is available now as a digital download and via streaming services.  A companion music video also has premiered on Peter Frampton's official YouTube channel.

Frampton played guitar on Harrison's 1970 debut album, All Things Must Pass, which includes "Isn't It a Pity."  He explains that he chose to cover the song now because it "was the track I could hear playing when I first arrived at Abbey Road to record [with George]."

The "Isn't It a Pity" video offers a funny and poignant dramatized look at what Peter's life has been like quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic. The clip begins with footage of Frampton and his band playing the last concert of the 2019 U.S. leg of his farewell tour, then shows him flying home.

The clip then proceeds to show Peter looking at the dates for his planned European tour on his computer and watching them literally disappear before his eyes. The video goes on to illustrate Frampton's boredom and frustration as he tries to keep busy while stuck at home, interspersed with scenes of him playing "Isn't It a Pity" on an electric guitar.

He's eventually shown exercising, happily chatting with his children via Zoom, and getting his second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Frampton Forgets the Words will be released on Friday, April 23, and can be pre-ordered now. Prior to "Isn't It a Pity," Peter released three other advance tracks from the album: versions of Radiohead's "Reckoner," Roxy Music's "Avalon," and David Bowie's "Loving the Alien."

Here's the full track list:

"If You Want Me to Stay" (Sly and the Family Stone)
"Reckoner" (Radiohead)
"Dreamland" (Michel Colombier featuring Jaco Pastorius)
"One More Heartache" (Marvin Gaye)
"Avalon" (Roxy Music)
"Isn't It a Pity" (George Harrison)
"I Don't Know Why" (Stevie Wonder)
"Are You Gonna Go My Way" (Lenny Kravitz)
"Loving the Alien" (David Bowie)
"Maybe" (Alison Krauss)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Carry On Music

Heart guitarist/singer Nancy Wilson recently revealed that she'd recorded an acoustic instrumental called "4 Edward" in tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen for her upcoming debut solo studio album, You and Me.  Now she's released the track as an advance single.

Explaining the inspiration behind the tune, which is available now digitally, Wilson says, "When Heart toured with Van Halen I asked Eddie why he never played acoustic guitar, his response 'I don't have one'…[So] I gave Eddie one of mine and he immediately wrote a song on it that stole my heart. After he passed, it hit me so hard I felt it was time to pay tribute to him."

The song, which clocks in at just one minute, 43 seconds, features some delicate strumming, picking and harmonics, and includes a segment where Nancy tips her hat to the classic Van Halen hit, "Jump."

As previously reported, You and Me will be released on May 7. The 12-track collection features eight originals, plus covers of Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising," Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer," Pearl Jam's "Daughter" and The Cranberries' "Dreams."

Wilson recorded You and Me remotely while in lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with help from members of Heart's current touring band and some special guests. Sammy Hagar contributed to her rendition of "The Boxer"; Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan lent their talents to a song called "Party at the Angel Ballroom"; and former Prince backing vocalist Liv Warfield, who also was a member of Nancy's recent Roadcase Royale side project, appears on "Dreams."

Wilson already has released "The Rising" and the album's title track as advance singles, along with accompanying videos. You can pre-order You and Me now.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Capitol Records/UMe

McCartney III Imagined, the new album featuring various artists' interpretations of the songs from Paul McCartney's latest solo album, 2020's McCartney III, got its digital release today.

As previously reported, the collection was personally curated by McCartney and includes covers or remixes of the McCartney III tracks by Beck, Blur's Damon Albarn, Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, Radiohead's Ed O'Brien, Anderson .Paak, St. Vincent, Blood Orange, Phoebe Bridgers, Khruangbin, Massive Attack's 3D RDN, and Dominic Fike.

To accompany each of the updated tracks, a stop-motion "visualizer" video was created; you can watch all of them now at McCartney's YouTube channel.

McCartney is celebrating the release of McCartney III Imagined by talking with a selection of his collaborators via his Instagram Live. Later today, he'll be speaking with Bridgers at 5:30 p.m. ET and Homme at 6 p.m. ET.

In addition, singer/rapper/songwriter Fike, who contributed a cover of "The Kiss of Venus" to the album, will perform the song on the May 3 episode of CBS' The Late Late Show with James Corden.

Physical versions of McCartney III Imagined, featuring a bonus remix by actor and DJ Idris Elba, will be released July 23 on CD and vinyl. Multiple colored-vinyl editions are available for pre-order from various retailers and PaulMcCartney.com.

Here's the McCartney III Imagined track list:

"Find My Way" (featuring Beck)
"The Kiss of Venus" (Dominic Fike)
"Pretty Boys" (featuring Khruangbin)
"Women and Wives" (St. Vincent Remix)
"Deep Down" (Blood Orange Remix)
"Seize the Day" (featuring Phoebe Bridgers)
"Slidin'" (EOB Remix)
"Long Tailed Winter Bird" (Damon Albarn Remix)
"Lavatory Lil" (Josh Homme)
"When Winter Comes" (Anderson .Paak Remix)
"Deep Deep Feeling" (3D RDN Remix)
"Long Tailed Winter Bird" (Idris Elba Remix)*

* = exclusive to physical versions.

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