Freddie Mercury – The Great Pretender

PRESS RELEASE

EAGLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS FREDDIE MERCURY – THE GREAT PRETENDER DVD, BLU-RAY, AND DIGITAL VIDEO

There’s another unseen interview from 1985 filmed on set of ‘I Was Born To Love You.’ Very funny, Freddie tells us how Queen was in a lift when they found out they were no.1 with Bohemian Rhapsody, jumped for joy and the lift stopped. ‘We thought we’d all suffocate in the damned lift.’

Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to announce the release of the Freddie Mercury DVD and Blu-ray, The Great Pretender.  Created by the same team behind the widely acclaimed Queen: Days of Our Lives BBC documentary, The Great Pretender, in similar vein, presents a compelling insight into its subject matter, unearthing previously undiscovered or rarely seen footage and presented for the first time in High Definition.

Produced and directed by Rhys Thomas, life-long Queen fan and expert (to the extent that Rhys famously broke the Mastermind all time record points score with a specialist subject of Queen), Rhys has this time turned his attention to the Freddie archive, going back as early as 1976 in search of vintage gems which reveal more than ever before the inside story of Freddie’s life and career and the solo projects he worked on outside of Queen.  Read More …

The ultra-ultimate Queen documentary

Whoa. The ultimate mega spectacular Queen documentary is coming to Blu-Ray – a great opportunity to steal licks from the incredible Brian Harold May, CBE. Here’s all the info!

PRESS RELEASE

Queen – Days Of Our Lives 

THE DEFINITIVE DOCUMENTARY ON THE WORLD’S GREATEST ROCK BAND IS COMING TO DVD AND BLU-RAY 

~On January 31~

To Be Released by Eagle Rock Entertainment through Eagle Vision.

“This fantastic and moving two-parter tells the story of the finest live band in the history of rock. There’s archive footage of past performances, interviews with the members and, best of all, plenty of insider anecdotes; the choicest being Elton John’s reaction to Bohemian Rhapsody: “Are you off your head? You’ll never get that played.” The Guardian/UK.

In 1971, four college students got together to form a rock band. Since then, that certain band called Queen have released 26 albums and sold over 300 million records worldwide. The popularity of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon is stronger than ever 40 years on. On November 6, 2011, in front of an estimated TV audience of 1.2 billion they were honored with the Global Icon Award at the 2011 MTV EMA.

But for Queen the journey was no bed of roses. No pleasure cruise. Queen had their share of kicks in the face, but they came through – and this is how they did it.

Set against a backdrop of brilliant music and stunning live performances from every corner of the globe, Queen: Days of Our Lives – available in both Blu-Ray and standard DVD formats, brings Queen’s 40th Anniversary year to a close in suitably regal style.

Read More …

REVIEW: Extreme – Saudades de Rock

Extreme may always be best known to the world at large for the acoustic hit ‘More Than Words,’ but rock fans know the band’s real bread and butter was a funky, harmony-driven rock sound which was equal parts Van Halen, Aerosmith and Queen, capped off with the tasteful shred of guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. Nuno was one of the best of the post Van Halen guitarists, and what made him stand out most was his sense of groove and rhythm. Nuno was never content to phone it in until it was time to solo, and as a result his rhythm guitar parts were always a finely balanced concoction of technicality and danceability.

Thirteen years have passed since Extreme’s last album, the raw and underrated ‘Waiting For The Punchline.’ Since then, singer Gary Cherone fronted Van Halen (he put in a valiant effort, but it was just not to be); drummer Paul Geary, who split halfway through the ‘Punchline’ sessions, managed Godsmack; bass player Pat Badger raised alpacas; and Nuno released a whole bunch of albums, mostly under various band names but still all amounting to “Nuno + backing band.” Now the band feels the time is right to return, and although Geary is assisting with band management matters, the drum stool is now occupied by Kevin Figueiredo from Nuno’s last band, Dramagods.

Saudades de Rock (the name loosely translates as ‘nostalgic homesickness for rock’) has a lot in common with ‘Punchline’ – raw production, ambient drum sounds, a minimum of overdubs – but it sounds tighter, sharper, and altogether more powerful than that album’s dark, muffled tone. The album opens with Star, draped in Queen-inspired harmonies over a rhythm section slightly reminiscent of the big Van Halen shuffles like ‘Hot For Teacher.’ Lyrically, the song is similar to ‘Hip Today’ from ‘Punchline,’ but while that song offered an ominous warning to the here today, gone tomorrow grunge bands of the day, ‘Star’ expands the scope to the world of instant stardom through reality TV and paparazzi frenzy.

‘Comfortably Dumb’ has a killer groove and tight vocal harmonies, while the lyrics flow on from Frank Zappa’s famous comment that the most plentiful element in the universe is stupidity. The protagonist of the song has become jaded and desensitised due to multimedia oversaturation. A parallel can again be drawn to a ‘Punchline’ track, ‘Cynical,’ but in that song the subject was left negative and pessimistic by the state of the world, in ‘Comfortably Dumb’ they’ve shut down completely.

‘Take Us Alive’ has a rockabilly-influenced, country edge complete with some twangy guitar noodling. ‘King of the Ladies’ is reminiscent of Nuno’s solo work, and is one of several moments on the album where Nuno lets his Octave pedal do the talking, to great effect. ‘Last Hour on Earth’ picks up where Van Halen’s ‘A Year To The Day’ left off, in both structure and feel, and ‘Flower Man’ picks up the pace with more clever harmony colouring. ‘Ghost’ has drawn many comparisons to Coldplay, and if radio was to find this song it would be a certain hit. And while the album concludes with ‘Peace (Saudade),’ it feels more like a low-key encore because it’s the second last track, ‘Sunrise,’ that really feels like the closer to the album proper.

Some fans are calling Saudades de Rock the best album of Extreme’s career. Others aren’t quite won over by the continued use of the live-sounding recording techniques of the ‘Punchline’ album, hoping instead for a return to the more produced sounds of ‘Pornograffiti’ and ‘III Sides to Every Story.’ Personally I freaking love this album and, after living with it for about a month, I still find myself drawn to it several times a week, when usually I’ve moved on from an album by that time. It’s for that reason that I’m naming Saudades de Rock my favourite album of the year so far.

Open E Records

LINKS:

Extreme website
Extreme Myspace
Open E Records
Saudades de Rock at Amazon.com

Washburn Nuno Series N4ESA Electric Guitar Natural Matte

Washburn Nuno Series N4ESA Electric Guitar Natural Matte

Nuno Bettencourt signature series electric guitar with L500 and Seymour Duncan humbucking pickups, locking tremolo and the Buzz Feiten tuning system – Made in the USA. Includes GC31R hardshell case, a $130 value.