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Kool Music News

Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder featured on Tom Morello's new cover of AC/DC's "Highway to Hell"

Commandante LLC

Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello is on a "Highway to Hell," and he's brought Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder along for the ride.

That's right, The Boss and Vedder are featured on Morello's just-released new cover of the classic AC/DC song "Highway to Hell" that's available now via digital formats.

The track will appear on Morello's upcoming second solo album, The Atlas Underground Fire, which will be released October 15.

"Our version of 'Highway to Hell' pays homage to AC/DC but with Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder, brings this legendary song into the future," Morello says in a statement.

Explaining how the cover of "Highway to Hell" came about, Tom notes that he played the song live a few times with Springsteen - and Vedder on guest vocals -- when he was touring as a temporary member of Bruce's E Street Band in Australia in 2014.

"I began to wonder, what does the most ferocious version of this song sound like in 2021?" notes Tom. "I put together a pretty rocking demo and sent it over to Bruce and Eddie with my fingers crossed. This is what we got back: one of the greatest rock 'n' roll songs of all time, sung by two of the greatest rock 'n' roll singers of all time, and then I play a shredding guitar solo. Thank you and good night."

The Atlas Underground Fire, which you can pre-order now, will feature a variety of other guests, including country star Chris Stapleton, reggae artist Damian Marley and many more.

Here's The Atlas Underground Fire's full track list:

"Harlem Hellfighter
"Highway to Hell" -- featuring Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder
"Let's Get the Party Started" -- featuring Bring Me the Horizon
"Driving to Texas" -- featuring Phantogram
"The War Inside" -- featuring Chris Stapleton
"Hold The Line" -- featuring grandson
"Naraka" -- featuring Mike Posner
"The Achilles List" -- featuring Damian Marley
"Night Witch" -- featuring phem
"Charmed I'm Sure" -- featuring Protohype
"Save Our Souls" -- featuring Dennis Lyxzén of Refused
"On the Shore of Eternity" -- featuring Sama' Abdulhadi

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Guns N' Roses reworks "Silkworms" rarity as "new" song, "Absurd"

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation

Guns N' Roses debuted a new song live during their concert in Boston Tuesday. Well, sort of.

During their set, the "Welcome to the Jungle" rockers performed a track titled "Absurd." While it now has a new title, the tune is actually a reworked version of the notably profane GN'R rarity, "Silkworms."

"Silkworms" was one of the many songs written during the sessions for Chinese Democracy, the long-fabled Guns record that finally became reality in 2008 after a 10-year recording process. Though it was performed live in the early 2000s, "Silkworms" didn't make the final Chinese Democracy track list.

You can watch fan-shot footage of the "Absurd" performance streaming now on YouTube.

Guns N' Roses is currently in the middle of a U.S. tour, with support from Wolfgang Van Halen's Mammoth WVH. The outing was originally scheduled for 2020 before being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Video contains uncensored profanity.)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Dee Snider says new solo album 'Leave a Scar' was "inspired by what's going on in the world"

Napalm Records

Dee Snider released his latest solo album this past week, Leave a Scar, which the Twisted Sister frontman says is a true follow-up to his 2018 studio effort, For the Love of Metal.

Like For the Love of Metal, Leave a Scar finds Snider collaborating with Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta and exploring heavier, contemporary metal sounds.

Snider notes that while he left songwriting duties to Jasta and other collaborators for his previous album, with Leave a Scar, he felt motivated to co-write the new tunes, inspired by the state of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It was very much driven by 'I need to say something,'" Snider tells ABC Audio. "This record is of the time. Every song is inspired by what's going on in the world, and what [we're]…all going through."

He adds, "It was the pandemic. It was the social unrest, the political unrest in the world. I mean, our country was a mess, but it was going on in England and Brazil and all around the globe."

While the songs on Leave a Scar tackle some heavy subjects, Snider says he also wanted the tunes to offer messages of hope for people dealing with the frustration of life during the pandemic.

The album kicks off with "I Gotta Rock (Again)," a song in the tradition of Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock," only much heavier, that also serves as an anthem for rock fans itching to go to live concerts again.

"By the middle of COVID, 'I Gotta Rock (Again)' popped in my head and I said, 'Boy, if there was ever a Dee Snider title, that's [one] right there," he explains. "[I]t was supposed to be an anthem. It was supposed to be a sledgehammer. And I'm hoping it achieves its goal."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


The Spinners to release first new studio album in decades, ''Round the Block and Back Again,' this month

Peak Records

Legendary soul vocal group The Spinners will release their first new studio album in over 30 years, 'Round the Block and Back Again, on August 27.

In advance of the album, which you can pre-order now, the band has released a pair of singles, "Cliché" and "In Holy Matrimony," as digital downloads and via streaming services.

The Spinners' current lineup is led by the group's sole surviving original member, Henry Fambrough, and also features Jessie PeckMarvin TaylorRonnie Moss and C.J. Jefferson.

'Round the Block and Back Again was produced by Preston Glass, who started his music career as a staff writer for legendary Philly soul producer Thom Bell. Bell was The Spinners' producer during the group's 1970s heyday and co-wrote a number of their big hits, including "I'll Be Around" and "Rubberband Man."

"I wanted to emphasize to the listener that these guys are the real deal -- still, today, with a virtually new lineup," says Glass. "And the phrase 'Round the Block and Back Again' came to my mind when describing this project and these gentlemen."

He adds, "It was so inspiring for me to produce and write songs for this new album and I was honored that original member, Henry Fambrough, still leading the group through its vocal paces, gave the stamp of approval to do so."

The Spinners have dozens of concerts on their schedule, including a show this Friday, August 6, in South Park Township, Pennsylvania. Visit TheSpinners.com to check out their full itinerary.

Here's the album's track list:

"I'm in My Prime"
"Cliché"
"Bedroom Butta"
"Missing Your Embrace"
"Down for the Count"
"So Much In Love"
"Show Me Your Heart"
"Vivid Memories"
"Love Never Changes"
"Leftover Tears"
"I'm Looking for My Baby"
"Only Want You"
"In Holy Matrimony"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Paul McCartney's 'McCartney III Imagined' remix album hits #1 on 'Billboard' Top Album Sales chart

Capitol Records/UMe

McCartney III Imagined, the new album featuring various interpretations of the songs from Paul McCartney's 2020 solo effort, McCartney III, has reached #1 on Billboard's Top Album Sales chart after being released on physical formats on July 23.

As previously reported, the collection was personally curated by McCartney and includes covers or remixes of 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, Phoebe Bridgers and others.

The album sold 21,000 copies in the U.S. during the week ending July 29, according to MRC Data, driven by its release on CD, vinyl LP and cassette. Of that 21,000 sales figure, 16,100 were vinyl LPs, 4,300 were CDs and about 300 were cassettes.

McCartney III Imagined is the former Beatles legend's third album to peak at #1 on the Top Album Sales tally in the chart's 30-year history, following Egypt Station in 2018 and McCartney III in early 2021.

McCartney III Imagined also is #1 on Billboard's Vinyl Albums chart, and #19 on the Billboard 200.

The album got its initial release in digital formats back in April. During its first week, it debuted at #60 on Top Album Sales, after selling 2,200 downloads.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Duran Duran turned down the chance to work with Michael Jackson in the '80s

Brad Elterman/FilmMagic

In the '80s, when Michael Jackson was the biggest star on the planet, any other star would've jumped at the chance to work with him, right? Well, not so much.

Appearing on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen Monday night, Duran Duran was asked by Cohen if they were friendly with the King of Pop in the '80s, when Thriller was all the range and they were topping the charts with "The Reflex." 

Keyboardist Nick Rhodes revealed that around that time, he'd returned home from a tour and received a call from someone saying they were Michael Jackson.  He initially thought it was one of their crew members pranking him, but he finally realized that yes, it was THE Michael Jackson.

"He was keen to make a record, and I go the next day to everyone...'Hey, Michael Jackson called last night, do you fancy maybe doing a song with him or something?'" Nick recalled. "And they all went, 'Nah!'

The band also insinuated that Princess Diana had a crush on bass player John Taylor, and said they wouldn't mind making a biopic about themselves like Bohemian Rhapsody or Rocketman, with singer Simon LeBon adding, "Can we have a young Brad Pitt play me?"

Duran Duran, who are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their self-titled first album, will release their latest project, Future Past, on October 22.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jennifer Hudson recalls final phone call with Aretha Franklin

Courtesy of MGM

Jennifer Hudson stars as the legendary Aretha Franklin in the upcoming biopic Aretha, out August 13. Unfortunately, the iconic soul singer died in 2018, but Hudson still remembers the last conversation she had with her. 

"I definitely remember our last call," Hudson told E!'s Daily Pop. "I miss hearing from her."

"The last thing we spoke about was what she'd been eating and I was telling her about my son cooking. And he's like, 'Mother, is that Aretha Franklin on the phone?!' I was so glad he was there to share that moment," she expressed. 

Hudson also recalled being hand-picked by the "Natural Woman" songstress for the leading role in Aretha, which she says gave her the "encouragement to get through it."

"But it's still adds pressure because you don't want to let her down. It's personal to me, for that reason," she explained. "One minute it's like, 'oh my gosh, I'm so excited,' and the next second it's a bunch of anxiety."

On Monday, the Oscar winner shared a throwback photo of herself visiting Franklin's childhood home with some of the singer's family members, Diamond FranklinVictorie FranklinTonja FranklinEdward FranklinKecalf FranklinJordan Franklin and Grace Franklin.

"I enjoyed all of Detroit but my favorite moment was sitting on Aretha’s childhood porch with her beautiful family," she wrote alongside a picture of the group. "As we reflected on the Queen, we listened to her grandbaby sing “Ain’t No Way” with her beautiful voice. The world needs to hear more from the Franklin family. I will never forget this sweet moment together!"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Collection of guitars owned by Journey's Neal Schon auctioned for more than $4 million

Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

This past Saturday, the same day Journey rocked Chicago's Lollapalooza festival, the band's co-founder, Neal Schon, auctioned off a collection of his guitars, in the process bringing in a whopping $4.2 million.

More than 90 instruments were sold in total, among them the 1977 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Black Solid Body model that Schon used to record many songs on Journey's chart-topping 1981 album, Escape, including "Don't Stop Believin'."

That guitar was purchased for $268,000, including fees, by Indianapolis Colts owner and renowned memorabilia collector Jim Irsay.

Irsay, who says he plans to include Schon's guitar in a museum hopes to open in the future, previously has purchased historic instruments that have belonged to Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Elton John, Jerry Garcia, and David Gilmour.

"I look forward to sharing this and other pieces of the collection in the hopes that they may educate and inspire others to do great, meaningful things," Irsay said.

The two guitars that brought the most money at Schon's auction were a pair of 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard Sunburst models that sold for $350,000 and $300,000, respectively.

Other high-priced instruments sold during the auction included a 1959 Gibson ES-335 Natural Semi-Hollow Body guitar that fetched $137,500, a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop Solid Body that brought in $131,250, and a 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard Goldtop Solid Body that was purchased for $125,000.

Check out the full results of the auction at HA.com.

Journey's next concert is scheduled for August 20 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Visit JourneyMusic.com for a complete list of the band's shows.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Becoming Led Zeppelin' documentary to be screened at Italy's Venice Film Festival next month

Chris Walter/WireImage

The upcoming official Led Zeppelin documentary Becoming Led Zeppelin has been added to the lineup of the 2021 edition of Italy's Venice International Film Festival, which runs from September 1 through September 11.

The movie will be screened as part of the out-of-competition section of the festival.

As previously reported, Becoming Led Zeppelin features new interviews with band members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, as well as archival interviews with late drummer John Bonham.

The film, which was directed by Bernard McMahon, follows the individual paths of Led Zeppelin's four members through their various groups and musical endeavors en route to becoming part of one of the biggest and most influential rock bands in the world. The documentary ends in 1970, at the height of Led Zeppelin's meteoric rise.

"With Becoming Led Zeppelin my goal was to make a documentary that looks and feels like a musical," McMahon says in a statement. "I wanted to weave together the four diverse stories of the band members before and after they formed their group with large sections of their story advanced using only music and imagery and to contextualize the music with the locations where it was created and the world events that inspired it."

McMahon adds, "I used only original prints and negatives, with over 70,000 frames of footage manually restored, and devised fantasia sequences, inspired by Singin' in the Rain, layering unseen performance footage with montages of posters, tickets and travel to create a visual sense of the freneticism of their early career."

McMahon also directed American Epic, an award-winning documentary series focusing on American roots music and its impact on the world.

Becoming Led Zeppelin was co-written and produced by Allison McGourty, who also co-wrote American Epic.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


New York celebrates Tony Bennett's 95th birthday

Scott Legato/Getty Images

It's Tony Bennett's 95th birthday today, and he'll be celebrating with all of New York.

New York State has officially proclaimed today Tony Bennett Day, with Governor Andrew Cuomo saying in part, "Music and the arts have long been an essential piece of the fabric of New York, and you would be hard-pressed to find someone who has made more of a contribution in this space than Tony Bennett."

Meanwhile, Sony Music Entertainment has bestowed Tony with a bench in Central Park engraved with his name. It's located at the east side of Center Drive when entering the Park at Central Park South and 6th Avenue.

"It is an honor to dedicate this bench to Tony in his beloved Central Park, where he has experienced so much joy and inspiration across the years," Richard Story, President of Sony Music Entertainment's Commercial Music Group, says in a statement.

And finally, Tony will be celebrating his birthday by taking the stage and doing what he does best. Tonight marks the opening night of One Last Time: An Evening with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga at Radio City Music Hall. The second night of the sold-out two-night engagement takes place August 5. It will be Tony's last live concert appearance in New York City.

Earlier this year, Tony's family revealed that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016.

Meanwhile, several celebrities, including The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, have posted birthday messages to Bennett that have been shared on Tony's social media sites.

Richards writes, "Dear Tony, Let me wish you a very happy 95th...Congratulations! I'm here behind you...You lead the way! Love, Keith."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Tito Jackson explains the hold up on a hologram Michael Jackson for a Jackson 5 reunion tour

Gulf Coast Records/Hillside Global

Ahead of the release of his second blues-inspired solo album, Under Your SpellTito Jackson is setting the record straight about the status of The Jacksons. Contrary to the rumors, Tito says he and his brothers JackieJermaine and Marlon are still together and touring, but just not necessarily in the U.S.

"We have always been together and we work tremendously," he tells ABC Audio. "I would say 90 percent of our work comes in other countries. So we're always in Europe or Brazil or Asia or somewhere in Russia doing shows."

In fact, Jackson says The Jackson 5, which included himself, Jermaine, Jackie, Marlon and Michael, would still be touring together today -- if Michael was still alive.

"Sad thing for us all is that when Michael was going to do the O2 [arena shows], we had planned to do another tour of the complete members," Jackson says. "And that never came to fruition... But, we will always sing together as long as we can, as long as the brothers are healthy enough to do so."

While MJ's planned 2009 concert residency at London's O2 Arena, and a subsequent Jackson family tour never took place because of Michael's untimely death, Tito says other options to reunite The Jackson 5 are being discussed.

Tito says the idea of incorporating an MJ hologram into a Jackson 5 reunion tour has "been discussed a few times, [but]...to have it done [takes] a tremendous knowledge, work in technology, what have you."

Jackson adds, "And it's not a cheap process. It's getting cheaper and cheaper as time goes along. But to have a hologram Jacksons show live...would be the next thing." 

Under Your Spell arrives this Friday, August 6, on the usual platforms.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Get Vaxxed: Paul McCartney encourages fans to get the COVID-19 vaccine

©Mary McCartney

Sir Paul McCartney is hoping to encourage more of his fans to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they haven't already done so.

Taking to Instagram on Monday, the 79-year-old music legend shared a photo of him getting the jab and captioned his post in all capital letters, "BE COOL. GET VAX'D."

Sir Paul opted to wear navy blue beanie, navy sweater and a matching face mask for his appointment.

The former Beatles member shared his latest PSA as COVID-19 infections caused by the highly transmissible Delta variant continue to rise worldwide.  

The music legend previously expressed to British publication The Sun that he was eager to be vaccinated, as it will allow him to perform before a live audience in the near future.

"The vaccine will get us out of this," Paul said at the time. "I think we'll come through it, I know we'll come through, and it's great news about the vaccine. I'll have it as soon as I'm allowed."

The British government reports that, as of Monday, nearly 90 percent of its adult population has obtained at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 72 percent of eligible adults are fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 has killed over 153,000 people in the U.K., according to government figures, and has infected nearly six million British citizens.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Lindsey Buckingham says most of Fleetwood Mac "would love to see me come back" to the band

ABC/Eric McCandless

In recent new episode of Marc Maron's WTF Podcast, Lindsey Buckingham says despite his firing from Fleetwood Mac in 2019, "pretty much everyone [in the band] would love to see me come back."

Having said that, Buckingham admits that he's not sure if returning to the group is "doable."

Buckingham reveals that his conflicts with Fleetwood Mac began after he finished a tour with Christine McVie supporting their 2017 duo album when he asked if the band would delay its own planned trek so he could promote a solo album he was preparing.

"[I asked the band,] 'I have this other album that I'm really proud of…and I'd love if you could give me an extra three months to just put it out and do some American dates before Fleetwood Mac goes out,'" Lindsey explains. "And there was certainly one person who did not want to bestow that on me."

The "one person," of course, was Stevie Nicks.

Buckingham adds, "To be fair, everyone was anxious to get on the road. But…we've all made time for each others things. You know, I'd been in the band for 43 years for God's sake."

Lindsey then notes that the touring issue "led to other things that kind of built up around that. And then it just got to the point where someone just didn't want to work with me anymore, and other people were perhaps not feeling empowered enough to stand up for me when possibly they should have or could have."

Buckingham said he feels his firing harmed the band's legacy."

Meanwhile, Lindsey reports that he's still in touch with drummer Mick Fleetwood, noting, "we love each other and we reinforced each other's sensibilities in the band."

Buckingham's new self-titled solo album will be released on September 17.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Listen to alternate versions of The Beach Boys' "Surf's Up" and "This Whole World" from Feel Flows box set

Capitol Records/UMe

The Beach Boys have debuted two more advance tracks from the band's forthcoming box set, Feel Flows: The Sunflower and Surf's Up Sessions 1969-1971, the release of which was recently pushed back from July 30 to August 27.

The tracks, an a cappella version of "Surf's Up" and a newly created reimagined mix of "This Whole World," are available now for download and via streaming services.

As previously reported, the Feel Flows collection, which you can pre-order now, features newly remastered versions of two of the band's underappreciated albums -- 1970's Sunflower and 1971's Surf's Up -- as well as 108 previously unreleased recordings from the sessions for those albums.

The harmony-laden "Surf's Up" was the final song on The Beach Boys' 1971 album of the same name, although the tune dates back to the band's famously aborted late-1960s album, Shine.

"This Whole World" originally appeared on Sunflower, while the new mix features an alternate lead vocal by Carl Wilson, a lead vocal part from Brian Wilson on the bridge that wasn't used on the original track, and an alternate ending previously only heard in an Eastern Airlines commercial that aired in 1971.

Feel Flows, which will be available as a five-CD set and digitally, features the aforementoned remastered versions of Sunflower and Surf's Up, as well as rare live tracks, outtakes, alternate versions and mixes, radio promos, isolated backing tracks and a cappella renditions of songs, and more.

Abridged editions of the collection also will be released, including a two-CD package and a four-LP vinyl set available in standard black vinyl and limited-edition colored vinyl versions.

Check out the Feel Flows: The Sunflower and Surf's Up Sessions 1969-1971 box set's full track list, and more details, at uDiscoverMusic.com.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Billy Gibbons says Dusty Hill recorded vocal tracks for new ZZ Top songs before his death

Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images

After the sudden and unexpected death of ZZ Top's Dusty Hill last week, the group's frontman, Billy Gibbons, revealed that the late bassist had recorded several tracks, including some vocals, that likely will appear on the band's next album.

In a recent interview with Variety, Gibbons noted that the recordings were "gonna require some completion work," while adding that Hill luckily laid down vocal tracks for two tunes.

"I handed Dusty a couple of lyric sheets and I said, 'Hey, see if you can make heads or tails out of this,'" Billy recalled. "He said, 'Can I sing it?' I said, 'Dusty, you could sing the calendar if you wanted to -- people would love it.' He goes, 'Hey, that's not a bad idea. If we ever get back to go to work, can we add the calendar into the show? I know all the words.'"

Gibbons also told Variety that he wasn't sure about Hill's cause of death, while noting that in recent years Dusty had broken a shoulder and a hip, and also had suffered from ulcers.  Dusty's health issues prompted him to leave ZZ Top's current tour after only a couple of shows, and the band tapped its longtime guitar tech, Elwood Francis, to step in for him. Sadly, just a few days later, Hill passed away in his sleep at his home in Houston.

Gibbons said it was a coincidence that Francis had decided to stop shaving during the pandemic, so that when ZZ Top enlisted him to fill in for Hill, he'd already grown a long beard.

"I was looking over the front row and everybody was kind of giving each other the elbow, and they were pointing up and said, 'Look, the ZZ Top circus still rolls on,'" Billy noted. "'There's another freak up there.'"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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