Results for Guns N' Roses

specials

The Dawn of Metal

At this point in the show Jim and Greg take a trip back to The Dawn of Metal. Heavy Metal isn't always taken seriously, but it warrants critical, even scholarly analysis. Before there was Metallica or Guns N' Roses, there was a group of rockers that birthed the genre. Jim and Greg trace the history, primarily back to England in the late '60s. Here are the bands the credit with giving us the metal we know and love today.

  • Steppenwolf
  • Blue Cheer
  • Hawkwind
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Black Sabbath
  • Deep Purple
  • Uriah Heep
  • Judas Priest
  • Motörhead

Fans of this early metal period will be happy to know that many of these bands are still rocking out live.

Go to episode 422
reviews
Chinese DemocracyChinese Democracy available on iTunes

Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy

Some fans thought this day would never come, but Guns N' Roses has finally released Chinese Democracy, their first album in 17 years. But, perhaps by Guns N' Roses we should say Axl Rose, since he is the sole surviving member. It would be hard for any album to live up to this many years of expectation, so Jim and Greg try to stick to the music when giving their review. Greg explains that Axl has gone farther on this album than he ever has before, and that is what is most aggravating as well as endearing about the singer. He's certainly a risk taker, but with great risks, of course, come great falls. Greg was impressed by some of the experimentation, but describes the record as sort of a Frankenstein monster. He recommends listeners Try It. Jim says there are so many elements — Spanish guitars, mellotrons, and even movie clips — that it's hard to just hear songs. But, he admits that with the exception of the ballads, half of the record isn't bad at all. He also gives it a Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 156
features

The Dawn of Metal

At this point in the show Jim and Greg take a trip back to The Dawn of Metal. Heavy Metal isn't always taken seriously, but it warrants critical, even scholarly analysis. Before there was Metallica or Guns N' Roses, there was a group of rockers that birthed the genre. Jim and Greg trace the history primarily back to England in the late '60s. Here are the bands they credit with giving us the metal we know and love today.

  • Steppenwolf
  • Blue Cheer
  • Hawkwind
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Black Sabbath
  • Deep Purple
  • Uriah Heep
  • Judas Priest
  • Motörhead

Fans of this early metal period will be happy to know that many of these bands are still rocking out live.

Go to episode 144
news

Music News

Since August of 2005, the Rolling Stones have pulled in a whopping $437 million from their most recent tour, "A Bigger Bang." They played 110 concerts in front of 3.5 million fans. It is not much of a shocker they are #1, considering the average ticket price is $135. Greg points out that fewer people are seeing shows by big acts, but bands are making higher profits. He feels we should be championing acts that still charge reasonably priced tickets like the Dave Matthews Band did on their recent tour. (Their average ticket price was $47.) This is really saying something, considering neither Jim nore Greg is exactly crazy about the DMB. Jim is amazed that the Stones still came in at #1 despite Keith's palm tree mishap, Ronnie checking in to rehab, Mick catching laryngitis, and Mick's father passing away. Mick's laryngitis even prompted a class action lawsuit from a disgruntled fan.

Axl Rose is back on tour this fall fronting the latest incarnation of Guns N' Roses. Greg went sans Jim to the Chicago leg of GN‘R’s tour. After having Sebastian Bach and burlesque troupe The Suicide Girls warm up the crowd, Axl and his new gang came on stage to play a smattering of songs from the much delayed Chinese Democracy album, as well as the GN'R standards. Greg feels that Axl has created a brand more than a band, and thinks the songs from Chinese Democracy already sound dated. Apparently the GN'R brand wasn't so friendly with The Eagles of Death Metal who were originally slated to open prior to last week's Cleveland gig.

Go to episode 53

Music News

The digital music era began years ago for most music consumers. But, the labels have been slow to catch up. Now Atlantic Records has announced that over half of its last quarter revenues are from digital sales. But, the bad news is that even though digital songs make up more than half the pie, the pie itself is much smaller than it used to be. In just a few years the music industry's total revenues have dropped from $15 billion to $10 billion. Jim and Greg predict these numbers will continue to dip.

One of the most disappointing selling records this year is proving to be Guns N' Roses new release Chinese Democracy. Fans have been waiting 17 years for the album, but it only reached number 3 on the Billboard chart with 261,000 copies sold. Lackluster album sales aren't the only thing on Axl Rose's mind. Now his thoughts are focused on Dr. Pepper. The soda company promised a free soda to everyone in America provided Guns N‘ Roses actually released an abum. They were prepared to make good on this offer, but their web server was a different story. After their site crashed, Axl and company took it upon themselves to act as consumer advocates and are threatening to sue Dr. Pepper. It appears that Axl has a litigious itch that he just can’t scratch.

Next up in the news Jim and Greg discuss the passing of singer and civil rights activist Odetta. The classically trained vocalist found her voice in the folk music movement of the 1950's. She inspired countless musicians including Joan Baez and Bob Dylan and sang at the historic 1963 March on Washington. To honor Odetta's memory Jim and Greg play "Jack O'Diamonds."

Go to episode 158

Music News

The Payola investigation conducted by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is making some headway. Universal Music Group, the world's biggest music company, has agreed to pay $12 million to settle accusations that its executives paid radio programmers to play certain songs. This is the largest settlement of its kind. Warner Music Group and Sony BMG made similar deals last year, and Mr. Spitzer is still in the process of investigating EMI, as well as radio companies like Clear Channel and CBS Radio. And, as we heard a couple of weeks ago, the FCC is conducting a similar inquiry. As always, Sound Opinions H.Q. will keep you posted.

Another story in the news this week suggests that record company lawyers won't be taking a break any time soon. All four of the major record labels have just launched a lawsuit against XM Satellite Radio. Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI all claim that a new XM device called the "Inno" violates music copyright law by allowing people to not only listen to satellite radio, but record it. Therefore, according to the labels, XM has become a digital retailer, like iTunes, and should be required to pay similar fees. It's yet another example of the recording industry scorning new technology rather than embracing it.

Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose is also making news, though Jim and Greg are wondering why. The buzz is that his long-awaited album Chinese Democracy is forthcoming — but our hosts are skeptical. Rose has been saying that he's on the brink of finishing for years (15 to be exact), and in the process he's become one of the long-running jokes in the music industry. But fans can take solace in the fact that the singer recently performed some Chinese Democracy tracks in New York. A good sign indeed.

Go to episode 25

Music News

The first story in the news this week is a sign of things to come according to Jim and Greg. They have been reporting on power shifts in the music industry for years, and now they're seeing two giants come together: Ticketmaster and Irving Azoff. For listeners not familiar with that second name, Azoff, a longtime tastemaker and power broker in the record business, is behind the careers of New Kids on the Block, Van Halen and Guns 'N Roses, and brokered the recent deals between AC/DC, The Eagles and Wal-Mart. Now he'll be helming Ticketmaster Entertainment, and Jim and Greg think consumers should beware.

The next two stories showcase two new ways the industry is trying to curb file-sharing. As reported on the show previously, the U.K. is going after Internet service providers, since no one has had much luck putting the fear in consumers. Now we know who will be heading this war on downloading: punk rocker Feargal Sharkey. The former Undertones lead singer is being unveiled as the chief executive of UK Music, an umbrella organization that will represent songwriters, promoters and other members of the music industry.

Back in the States, Universal Music has struck a deal with Dell Computers to provide consumers with a bundle of tunes along with their computer purchase. They believe that if people have legal music on their hard-drive, they won‘t try to get more illegally. But Jim and Greg don’t think this deal factors in the importance of choice. In 2008, with so many ways to hear and consume music, fans don't want label executives curating their listening for them.

A recent survey shows that indie labels still don't have access to radio airplay despite the FCC's effort to equal the playing field. Part of 2007's payola settlement was to insure that 8,400 half-hour segments of airtime should be dedicated to indie labels and local bands. This was to help cease any pay-for-play practices. But, organizations like The American Association of Independent Music and the Future of Music Coalition are saying that, unfortunately, things are as grim as ever.

Go to episode 153

Music News

The first story in the news this week involves that age-old practice of“pay-for-play,”or payola, in the music industry. In recent years, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has been investigating major record labels like Sony and Warner who engaged in this practice. But now, the FCC has joined the battle against this unethical behavior by launching an investigation of the four major radio corporations: Clear Channel Communications, CBS Radio, Citadel Broadcasting and Entercom Communications. The FCC's enforcement unit is looking into accusations that broadcasters illegally accepted cash or other compensation in exchange for airplay of specific songs without telling listeners. As per usual, the federal government is late to the game — but this investigation is admittance of a problem. And as we all know, that's the first step.

Also making news recently are some major acts from the early 1990s. It seems that people are already nostalgic for the music of the alternative era, and many of the surviving bands are cashing in on it. Alice in Chains announced tour dates for this summer, despite the fact that their original lead singer, Layne Staley, died of a drug overdose in 2002. Like the members of Queen and The Doors, the surviving Alice in Chains bandmates don't seem fazed by this loss, and will continue with the addition of Guns 'N Roses bassist Duff McKagan and Comes With the Fall vocalist William DuVall. Former Jane's Addiction members Dave Navarro and Stephen Perkins will also tour this summer under the name Panic Channel, though their lead singer has not passed on. Rather, he's now the impresario of what may prove this summer's big moneymaker: Lollapalooza.

In the typical fashion, Neil Young is stirring up some controversy. The prolific rocker finished recording music for an upcoming album mere days ago and will have it in stores within a couple of weeks. Young is just coming off his last release, Prairie Wind (featured in Jonathan Demme's recent concert film), but on Living With War, he will shift gears completely. According to Greg, this release is a completely political, guerilla-style protest album. Young wrote and recorded songs like "Let's Impeach the President," in just one day in response to the current administration and its failed war in Iraq. Jim points out that Young works well in this situation. Less than two weeks after the Kent State shootings in 1970, Young was inspired to write "Ohio," and it was on the radio within a week. Almost 40 years later, the classic rock icon shows no sign of slowing down — neither his writing, nor his politics.

Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins are also in the headlines again. Nirvana widow Courtney Love sold 25% of her share of the band's publishing rights to Larry Mestel, a former executive at Virgin Music. She reportedly received over 50 million dollars for this settlement. That should help alleviate Love's financial woes, though not necessarily the woes of Nirvana fans who worry that Cobain's legacy will be boiled down to Teen Spirit ads. Smashing Pumpkins fans are also a bit curious about the fate of that band. Lead singer (and Love ex) Billy Corgan has stated that the Chicago group will reunite, but no one is quite sure in what incarnation. That really just leaves Pearl Jam, who you'll hear about later in the show.

Go to episode 22

Music News

Jim and Greg talk about some surprising numbers Nielsen SoundScan recently released. According to the sales trackers, 40% of the albums old in 2006 were catalog sales. While there were a number of successful new releases from acts like Mary J. Blige, The Dixie Chicks and High School Musical, it seems that music fans still have a lot of nostalgia for the hair metal era of the 1980s. AC/DC's 1980 album Back in Black sold 444,000 copies last year, a figure that would make a contemporary CD a success. Also faring well was Metallica's 1991 self-titled album, Guns 'N Roses' Appetite for Destruction and Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits collection. The New Jersey band is also having success with their new release Lost Highway, though this is one figure Jim really can't wrap his head around.

Next the hosts discuss their recent experiences at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. The three day festival organized by the Chicago-based Internet music magazine pitchforkmedia.com and indie music promoter Mike Reed was attended by 48,000 people in Chicago's Union Park. In fact, both Jim and Greg worry that the concert is getting too big for its britches, and the park. There were a number of highlights including performances by Yoko Ono, Mastodon and Clipse and full-album performances from Sonic Youth, Slint and GZA. But, one of the problems with a festival that celebrates the underground is that eventually things move above ground. Even Third Stage acts like electronic artist Dan Deacon demanded a huge crowd. In addition a number of artists from previous Pitchfork Festivals are appearing at this year's Lollapalooza. One thing this proves is how big the Pitchfork tastemakers are now. More than MTV play or radio play, it's coverage on indie sites like pitchforkmedia.com that thrust an artist into the spotlight.

Go to episode 86