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The CircleIt's an interesting question to ask: Is that a fair dose of motivation or is that a chip on your shoulder? Jon Bon Jovi posed that question to himself, and it's worth pondering. You might think that a man whose band has sold more than 120 million records and played before tens of millions of fans in the course of an illustrious 26-year career would be content to rest on his considerable laurels, at least for a while.
You might think that, but you'd be wrong, and the new Bon Jovi album, The Circle, provides irrefutable proof. As its title suggests, The Circle marks a powerful reassertion of Bon Jovi's commitment to the hard-hitting, uplifting rock & roll that has been the band's indelible signature since it began. The band share an abiding bond that informs and defines their music. It is a circle that remains unbroken.
The album title, Bon Jovi explains, has several meanings. Some may say that with this album we have come full circle. Others may see The Circle as never ending. I see it as very hard to get in to and even harder to get out of, the singer says with a laugh. Having had 5 studio records in this decade, there are songs on each record that represent the world around us. And while they don't always like what they see, they try hard not to see the cup as half empty. From the new single We Weren't Born To Follow to the powerful When We Were Beautiful, the songs are as uplifting and anthemic as anything Bon Jovi and Sambora have ever written.
Another reason for the anthemic sound of THE CIRCLE is the re-emergence of Richie Sambora. This is meant to be a stadium, turn-the-guitars-back-up record, and that's a testament to having Richie at my side, Jon says. I can't tell you how much that's meant. With me and Richie, one and one makes three.
That flame burns at the heart of The Circle. When We Were Beautiful shares its title with the superb Bon Jovi documentary by filmmaker Phil Griffin. Like the film, the song is atmospheric and haunting. It opens with a sense of crisis: The world is cracked/The sky is torn. Jon Bon Jovi hears the song as a true departure for the band. That's a unique song, he says, We've written hits, but this is something more, this is something different. I didn't want to sugarcoat things. Those lyrics are factual. As a country and as people, we hit a wall. But the idea is to try to get back to `when we were beautiful.'
The new studio album, The Circle, was produced by John Shanks, who also worked with the band on the two preceding Bon Jovi albums, Lost Highway (2007) and Have a Nice Day (2005). The album has an underlying positive theme that is apparent throughout the songs. Whether it's questioning your vitality in Fast Cars, or asking what the future holds in Work for the Working Man, the songs are about the prospect of people having to find new directions in their lives. In these trying times every word relays the truth.
So The Circle, then, like all of Bon Jovi's best music, stares down the troubles that afflict our lives, and offers a bracing vision for overcoming those obstacles. It's stirring, and it's an emotion that, strong as the album is, will find its most convincing expression on the concert stage. And this is why Bon Jovi have managed to play over 2600 concerts to over 34 million fans in over 50 countries. I can't believe I'm even saying this, but I can't wait to go on the road again, Jon Bon Jovi exclaims.1. We Weren't Born to Follow
2. When We Were Beautiful
3. Work for the Working Man
4. Superman Tonight
6. Thorn in My Side
7. Live Before You Die
9. Love's the Only Rule
10. Fast Cars
11. Happy Now
12. Learn to Love$34.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Lost HighwayThe album influences the band's rock sound with that of country music following the success of a country version of the band's 2006 single Who Says You Can't Go Home, a duet with Jennifer Nettles, which reached No. 1 on the U.S. country chart in May 2006. Following the success had with the duet version of Who Says You Can't Go Home, there are two songs on the album produced in collaboration with other artists, namely We Got It Going On featuring Big & Rich and Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore featuring LeAnn Rimes.
Described by Jon Bon Jovi as a Bon Jovi album influenced by Nashville, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, becoming Bon Jovi's first ever album to debut at No. 1 and their third album to reach that position in United States. The album was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2008 Grammy Awards.1. Lost Highway
3. (You Want To) Make A Memory
4. Whole Lot Of Leaving
5. We Got It Going On
6. Any Other Day
7. Seat Next To You
8. Everybody's Broken
9. Til We Ain't Strangers Anymore
10. The Last Night
11. One Step Closer
12. I Love This Town$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Slippery When WetSlippery When Wet was an instant commercial success. The album features songs that are today considered Bon Jovi's most well-known tracks, such as You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin' on a Prayer and Wanted Dead or Alive.
The album spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart and was named by Billboard as the top-selling album of 1987. Slippery When Wet is the band's best-selling album to date, with an RIAA certification of 12× Platinum. The album was featured in the 2005 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.1. Let It Rock
2. You Give Love A Bad Name
3. Livin' On A Prayer
4. Social Disease
5. Wanted Dead Or Alive
6. Raise Your Hands
7. Without Love
8. I'd Die For You
9. Never Say Goodbye
10. Wild In The Streets$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Mastered From Original Chicago Records Master Tapes
Mastered by Friday Music's Joe Reagoso With Chicago's Lee Loughnane
Ballads were a big part of 17 -- in fact, these hits and album cuts like Remember the Feeling are among the first power ballads, ballads that were given arena rock flourishes and dramatic arrangements but never took the focus off the melody, so housewives and preteens alike could sing along with them. Power ballads later became the province of hair metal bands like Bon Jovi and Poison, but Foster's work with Chicago on 17 really helped set the stage for them, since he not only gave the ballads sweeping rock arrangements, but the harder, punchier tunes here play like ballads.
Even when the band turns up the intensity here -- Stay the Night has a spare, rather ominous beat that suggests they were trying for album-oriented rock; Along Comes a Woman has a stiff drum loop and a hiccupping synth bass that suggests dance-pop -- the music is still slick, shiny, and soft, music that can appeal to the widest possible audience. 17 did indeed find the widest possible audience, as it ruled radio into late 1985, by which time there were plenty of imitators of Foster's style. There may have been plenty of imitators -- soon, solo Cetera was one of them, making music that was indistinguishable from this -- but nobody bettered Foster, and Chicago 17 is his pièce de rÉsistance, a record that sounded so good it didn't quite matter that some of the material didn't stick as songs; as a production, it was the pinnacle of his craft and one of the best adult contemporary records of the '80s, perhaps the best of them all.
Certainly, it's hard to think of another adult contemporary album quite as influential within its style as this -- not only did it color the records that followed, but it's hard not to think of Chicago 17 as the place where soft rock moved away from the warm, lush sounds that defined the style in the late '70s and early '80s and moved toward the crisp, meticulous, synthesized sound of adult contemporary pop.1. Stay the Night
2. We Can Stop the Hurtin'
3. Hard Habit to Break
4. Only You
5. Remember the Feeling
6. Along Comes A Woman
7. You're the Inspiration
8. Please Hold On
9. Prima Donna
10. Once In A Lifetime$31.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
The Ladder is a synthesis of the best traits of the experimental Fragile era and the pop-oriented 90125 era. Producer Bruce Fairbairn completed The Ladder shortly before his death in 1999, and unlike some of his work with Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Kiss, and others, he didn't overproduce it. Vocalist Jon Anderson, lead guitarist Steve Howe, and bass guitarist Chris Squire all have fine moments, and drummer Alan White is consistent. The roles of keyboardist Igor Khoroshev and, in particular, guitarist Billy Sherwood are less clear. It occasionally seems the purpose of Khoroshev's keyboards is providing a variety of sonic textures instead of functioning as a lead instrument. Sherwood's second guitar tends to flesh out the sound. Homeworld (The Ladder) is a tight band performance, but the supple vocals/acoustic guitar/piano coda is the best part. Howe's bouncy acoustic guitar drives Lightning Strikes, yet the biggest surprise is the addition of a horn section. The energetic Face to Face is the strongest track, and Squire lets loose with a sputtering bassline. If Only You Knew is a sweet, straightforward love song Anderson wrote for his wife. The Messenger has a smooth, funky feel -- a remarkable feat considering prog rock is usually considered the whitest rock genre. New Language is the best long song on The Ladder, thanks to a clever arrangement giving all six members an opportunity to demonstrate their talents.1. Homeworld (The Ladder)
2. It Will Be A Good Day (The River)
3. Lightning Strikes
4. Can I?
5. Face To Face
6. If Only You Knew
7. To Be Alive (Hep Yadda)
9. The Messenger
10. New Language
11. Nine Voices (Longwalker)$37.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
FeelThe LP version of "Feel" comes with a bonus CD.
Sleeping With Sirens has turned into a monster of a band. As the band prepares to release their 3rd full length album, they
are selling a combined 4,000+ albums a week of catalog, with all 3 titles (2 full lengths and 1 Ep) fast approaching 100k sales
apiece. The EP hasn't been out a full year and has sold over 84,000 units. While the band is on a steep climb up, it's been
something Sleeping With Sirens has worked towards for years, creating a large, rock solid foundation of loyal fans who are
eagerly awaiting the new album. For the past few years Sleeping With Sirens has been touring non-stop, with bands such as
Of Mice & Men, Pierce the Veil and Memphis May Fire, including a stint on the Vans Warped Tour. The band is currently
doing a full US headliner that has been 100% sold out and will be on the Main Stage of The Vans Warped Tour this summer
after doing a sold out UK and European Tour in May.
The band's 3rd album is their best material yet. Teaming up with Cameron Mizell who they've worked with
on a previous full length, and enlisting mixer Dan Korneff (Breaking Benjamin, My Chemical Romance,
Mayday Parade) and masterer Ted Jensen (Green Day, Bon Jovi, The Offspring) to complete the
team creating the album, Sleeping With Sirens was able to deliver their best, most heartfelt album,
sonically more superior than anything they've done to date. With tracks like the radio friendly single
Alone (featuring rapper MGK) to the hard hitting anthems like Congratulations (featuring Matty
Mullins of Memphis May Fire), Feel is sure to instantly please their current fans while winning over
countless new people!1. Feel
2. Here We Go
3. Free Now
4. Alone (FEAT. MGK)
5. I'll Take You There (FEAT. Shayley Bourget)
6. The Best There Ever Was
8. Congratulations (FEAT. Matty Mullins)
9. Deja Vu
10. These Things I've Done
12. Satellites$14.99Vinyl LP With CD - Sealed Buy Now
DigTaking up from where iconic bands like Deep Purple and Bad Company have left off, Heaven & Earth is on a mission to resurrect the sanctity of classic rock in its purest, most accessible form on their third studio album titled Dig. Dig was produced by Dave Jenkins-who's turned the knobs for everyone from Metallica to Tower of Power-and features special guests Howard Leese (Heart, Paul Rodgers), Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi) and David Paich (Toto).
Heaven & Earth-guitarist Stuart Smith, singer Joe Retta, bassist Chuck Wright, drummer Richie Onori and keyboardist Arlan Schierbaum-fuse elements of hard rock, blues and bits of classical with bravado and a razor-sharp focus.
As the band's founder and visionary, Smith says about Dig, "I feel that with the crafting of the songs on this album, the incredible band we've put together, especially with powerhouse vocalist Joe Retta and the unwavering support of Quarto Valley Records' President, Bruce Quarto, we really have a shot at getting Heaven & Earth the attention it deserves. This album is by far, the best thing I have ever done in my life!"
The British-born guitarist spent the 70's bending strings with numerous groups before he distinguished himself by making the acquaintance of Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore, who mentored the up-and-coming musician. "I'm probably one of the few people in the world who grew up with a poster of someone on their wall, ended up meeting them, becoming friends with them, and getting mentored by them," Smith notes. At the urging of Blackmore, Smith migrated to Los Angeles where the seeds for Heaven & Earth were planted. The band released two critically acclaimed albums-Heaven & Earth Featuring Stuart Smith (1994) and Windows to the World (2000)-which helped advance Smith's musical vision. Now, with Dig complete, the guitarist says Heaven & Earth is a true band, an energized collective of like-minded musicians who are excited at bringing its unique, celestial brand of rock to audiences all over the world in 2013. "All the pieces are in place," he explains with graceful candor. "We're ready to make this our year."
All the backing tracks on Dig were recorded at Ocean Studios in Burbank, California, and all the overdubs were done at the band's own Wine Cellar Studios in Woodland Hills, California. To further refine the record's sonic reach, Jenkins used a Closed Loop Analog Signal Processor (CLASP), a device that integrates real analog tape recording into digital tools like Pro Tools to create a warm and vintage sound. Both Van Halen and Aerosmith enlisted a CLASP on their most recent albums.1. Victorious
2. No Money, No Love
3. I Don't Know What Love Is
4. Man & Machine
5. House of Blues
6. Back in Anger
7. Waiting for the End of The World
8. Sexual Insanity
9. Rock & Roll Does
10. A Day Like Today
11. Good Times
12. Live as One$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now