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Classic Beach Boys Music Prepped John Cusack for Role as Brian Wilson in "Love & Mercy"


James Minchin IIITo prepare for his role as Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson in the upcoming feature film Love & Mercy, actor John Cusack delved into the era of the band's music that is held in high regard by musicians and fans alike.

"To me, the Smile sessions and Pet Sounds sessions were my way in," Cusack tells Billboard.  "I saw his mind and his creativity [and also] found these things to be absolutely revelatory."

With Smile and its outtakes, Cusack adds, "you can hear everything that happens for the next 40 years in music."

The film also stars Paul Dano as a younger version of Wilson, who along with his wife have endorsed Love & Mercy.  It recently screened at the Toronto International Film Festival; director Bill Pohlad is seeking widespread distribution for the movie.

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Pink Floyd Reveals Details of New Album, "The Endless River," Due Nov. 10


Columbia RecordsPink Floyd is spilling all the details about their new album, The Endless River, which will arrive November 10.  The album's artwork -- which depicts a man standing in a shallow boat, traveling across a sea of clouds -- appeared on buildings in 10 cities around the world Monday, including New York and L.A.

As previously reported, The Endless River is a collection of tracks that have been reworked from the 1993 sessions for The Division Bell. Drummer Nick Mason describes the album as a "tribute" to Pink Floyd keyboard player Rick Wright, who died in 2008, adding, "I think this record is a good way of recognizing a lot of what he does and how his playing was at the heart of the Pink Floyd sound.  Listening back to the sessions, it really brought home to me what a special player he was.”

David Gilmour adds, "With Rick gone, and with him the chance of ever doing it again, it feels right that these revisited and reworked tracks should be made available as part of our repertoire.”  Gilmour also describes the disc as "a 21st century Pink Floyd album."

The track listing for The Endless River is conceived as running across "four sides," to recreate what it was like to listen to a double album back in the days of vinyl.  Here are the songs:
 
SIDE 1
"Things Left Unsaid"
"It’s What We Do"
"Ebb And Flow"
 
SIDE 2
"Sum"
"Skins"
"Unsung"
"Anisina"     
 
SIDE 3
"The Lost Art of Conversation"
"On Noodle Street"
"Night Light"
"Allons-y (1) "                       
"Autumn ’68 "                         
"Allons-y (2)"                        
"Talkin’ Hawkin’"
 
SIDE 4
"Calling"
"Eyes to Pearls"
"Surfacing"
"Louder than Words"

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Dave Davies Looks Back for New Solo Album "Rippin' Up Time"


Cleopatra RecordsThe tumultuous relationship of Kinks guitarists Ray and Dave Davies is well documented, but it was a torn photograph of the brothers in happier days that inspired Dave's forthcoming solo album, Rippin' Up Time.


"It seems like a problem we've had all our life," Dave told Rolling Stone.  "We get real close, and then we get ripped apart."

Dave explored his past to came up with many of the songs on Rippin' Up Time, due October 28.  One tune is called "In the Old Days," which was started with Ray, but "the whole meeting went wrong," according to Dave, so he completed the lyrics with his son.

"Songwriting, or really any kind of writing, is the best way to get thoughts or feelings to pop out," Dave said.

Produced by David Nolte, the album was recorded over six weeks in the summer.  Nolte and Dave played all of the instruments.

Dave Davies will kick off a North American tour in Milwaukee on November 11.  He told Rolling Stone that while he may play three or four songs from the new album, the bulk of the set will be devoted to Kinks classics.

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New Band Rated X Includes Former Members of Vanilla Fudge, Deep Purple


Courtesy of Frontiers Music Srl Rated X may be a new band, but fans might recognize some heavy hitters in the lineup.

The hard-rock supergroup, set to release its self-titled debut November 11, features former Rainbow and Deep Purple singer Joe Lynn Turner, Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice, ex-Whitesnake and Firm bassist Tony Franklin, and guitarist Karl Cochran, a frequent Turner collaborator.

The album features 12 new cuts produced by Alessandro del Vecchio, whose keyboard playing on several tracks added a bit of a "Deep Purple thing" sonically, according to Appice.

"I believe we wanted to keep it a bit retro with a modern edge," adds Turner.  "The songs are classic rock, but then that's an understatement."

The track listing is as follows:

"Get Back My Crown"
"This Is Who I Am"
"Fire And Ice"
"I Don't Cry No More"
"Lhasa; Devil In Disguise"
"You Are the Music"
"Peace of Mind"
"Maybe Tonight"
"On the Way to Paradise"
"Our Love Is Not Over"
"Stranger in Us All"

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New Publishing Deal Aims to Spread Grateful Dead Music Through Song Placements


Tim Mosenfelder/Getty ImagesThe Grateful Dead's catalog is now part of a new publishing deal that is expected to result in song-placement opportunities, but not all of the material from the band's long, strange trip will be made available.


The agreement, struck between Universal Music Publishing Group North America and the Dead's publishing company, Ice Nine, includes using the band's songs in film and television.  However, placement of Dead tunes in commercials is restricted to material not involving Robert Hunter, a longtime lyricist for the Dead.  Hunter had a hand in composing some of the group's best-known songs, including "Truckin'," "Uncle John's Band" and "Casey Jones."  Surviving Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann are among those with rights to the group's song catalog.

"We will bring them everything for them to review," UMPG president Evan Lamberg tells Billboard, "and we will learn more about what they want."

Lamberg is confident this new deal will expand the legendary San Francisco jam band's reach to a different demographic.

"Young people may know the name Grateful Dead, but not be as familiar with their music," he said.  "If you're not putting yourself into relevant areas where your music can be discovered, your music could be lost to the younger [generation]."

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Paul Simon Added to Performers for George Harrison Week on "Conan"


Mark SeligerPaul Simon has been added to the list of performers scheduled to honor late Beatles guitarist George Harrison on Conan O'Brien's late-night talk show.


Simon will join previously announced guests Beck, Norah Jones and Harrison's only child, Dhani, for Conan's George Harrison Week, a four-night musical salute beginning today, September 22.

Beck will kick off the celebration Monday, Simon will take the stage on Tuesday, Dhani Harrison and friends will appear on Wednesday and Jones will complete the festivities on Thursday.

As previously reported, the Conan event coincides with the release of George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75.  The deluxe eight-disc box set -- which features reissues of Harrison's first six solo albums, plus bonus material -- will be available September 23 on CD and digital download.

Jones and Dhani will also participate at George Fest, a star-studded tribute concert set for September 28 at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles.

Conan airs Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. on TBS.

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Jimi Hendrix Immortalized in Wax at Madame Tussauds in San Francisco


Beck Diefenbach/Madame TussaudsJimi Hendrix fans can now take a selfie with the guitar god -- in wax-statue form, that is.

A wax likeness of the legendary musician was unveiled Friday by his brother Leon Hendrix at Madame Tussauds San Francisco.  The ceremony coincided with Jimi Hendrix Day, honoring the 44th anniversary of his death, which occurred September 18, 1970.

A team of 20 artists worked for more than three months to create the lifelike figure, with painstaking detail to Hendrix's guitar.  The figure got a thumb's up from Hendrix's brother, who praised the museum's work.

"The representation and detail of his figure is uncanny," he said.  "It's an honor to see him immortalized in this fashion."

Madame Tussauds San Francisco is in the city's Fisherman's Wharf district.

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"Queen Forever" to Include Freddie Mercury-Michael Jackson Duet


Hollywood RecordsIn 1981, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson came together in the studio for a once in a lifetime duet that inexplicably never saw the light of day.  That's about to change, however, when when Queen releases a new compilation, Queen Forever, on Nov. 10.

The song, titled "There Must Be More to Life than This," was originally recorded for the band's Hot Space sessions, but the backing track was never completed.  Enter producer William Orbit, who was tasked with completing the job, an assignment he said was like opening a "a trove of delights provided by the greatest of musicians."

In a statement released by the band, Orbit says, "Hearing Michael Jackson's vocals was stirring. So vivid, so cool, and poignant, it was like he was in the studio singing live. With Freddie's vocal solo on the mixing desk, my appreciation for his gift was taken to an even higher level."

While Mercury released a more stripped down-version of "There Must Be More to Life than This" on his 1985 solo album, Orbit went in the opposite direction, adding full instrumentation to give the song more kick.

In addition to "There Must Be More to Life than This," two other gems appear on the compilation.  There's "Love Kills," a Mercury song from the soundtrack to the 1984 restored version of the 1927 sci-fi film classic Metropolis, performed with American Idol alum Adam Lambert on Queen's summer tour; and "Let Me In Your Heart Again," another unfinished composition from the 1984 Queen album, The Works.

Queen Forever will be available as a 20-track single CD and as an extended 36-track, two-CD set.  Here's the track listing:

Single CD
"Let Me In Your Heart Again"
"Love Kills -- The Ballad"
"There Must Be More to Life than This" (William Orbit Mix)
"It’s a Hard Life"
"You’re My Best Friend"
"Love of My Life"
"Drowse"
"Long Away"
"Lily of the Valley"
"Don’t Try So Hard"
"Bijou"
"These Are the Days of Our Lives"
"Las Palabras De Amor"
"Who Wants to Live Forever"
"A Winter’s Tale"
"Play the Game"
"Save Me"
"Somebody to Love"
"Too Much Love Will Kill You"
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"

2-CD SET
CD1

"Let Me In Your Heart Again"
"Love Kills -- The Ballad"
"There Must Be More to Life than This" (William Orbit Mix)
"Play the Game"
"Dear Friends"
"You’re My Best Friend"
"Love of My Life"
"Drowse"
"You Take My Breath Away"
"Spread Your Wings"
"Long Away"
"Lily of the Valley"
"Don’t Try So Hard"
"Bijou"
"These Are the Days of Our Lives"
"Nevermore"
"Las Palabras De Amor"
"Who Wants to Live Forever"

CD2
"I Was Born to Love You"
"Somebody to Love"
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
"Friends Will Be Friends"
"Jealousy"
"One Year of Love"
"A Winters Tale"
"‘39"
"Mother Love"
"It’s a Hard Life"
"Save Me"
"Made in Heaven"
"Too Much Love Will Kill You"
"Sail Away Sweet Sister"
"The Miracle"
"Is This the World We Created"
"In The Lap of the Gods…Revisited"
"Forever"

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Classic Rock Christmas Compilation, Featuring Jeff Beck, Neal Schon and Other Guitar Greats, Due in October


Ross HalfinWho says that classic rock and Christmas can't coexist peacefully?  Certainly not the folks at Legacy Recordings, which will unveil eight new seasonal titles on October 7, including The Classic Christmas Hard Rock Album.

This 11-track disc features holiday favorites from a number of world-class guitarists, among them Jeff Beck, Ted Nugent and Journey's Neal Schon.  The album will set you back $10.46.

Here is the full track listing for The Classic Christmas Hard Rock Album:

"Amazing Grace" -- Jeff Beck

"The Little Drummer Boy" -- Alex Lifeson (Rush)

"Silent Night/Holy Night Jam" --  Joe Satriani  

"Christmas Time Is Here" -- Steve Vai

 "The Christmas Song" -- Steve Lukather (Toto)

"O Come, O Come Emmanuel" -- Neal Schon  

"Sleigh Ride" -- Stuart Hamm (session bassist and solo artist)

"O Come All Ye Faithful" -- Trevor Rabin (Yes)

"Deck the Halls" -- Ted Nugent

"O Little Town Of Bethlehem" -- Robin Trower

"We Three Kings" -- Halford

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Ronnie James Dio Cancer Fund Donates 100 Grand to World-Renowned Treatment Center


Rhino Records/Adrenaline PRThe Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, founded in memory of the late, beloved metal singer, has presented a check for $100,000 to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

 

Dio -- who in addition to fronting the band that bore his name, sang with Black Sabbath, Rainbow and Heaven & Hell -- died of stomach cancer in May of 2010. During the last six months of his life, the singer was treated at the Anderson Cancer Center.

Though it's existed fewer than four years, the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund has already raised more than 800 thousand dollars for cancer research and education. Wendy Dio, the late singer's widow, said that her husband's treatment at the world-renowned center gave him hope and added, quote, "The most important thing for a cancer patient to have is hope."

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Marianne Faithfull to Release New Disc in November


Force Field PRMarianne Faithfull will return November 11 with Give My Love to London.  It's the follow-up to her 2011 album, Horses and High Heels, and this disc also has the distinction of being Faithfull's 20th studio effort.

Artists who either appear on or wrote songs for the album include Roger Waters, Brian Eno, alt-country legend Steve Earle and young singer-songwriter Anna Calvi.  The album's 11 songs include "The Price of Love," "Going Home," "Late Victorian Holocaust" and the title track.

Faithfull will support Give My Love to London with a fall tour, but U.S. dates are not expected until 2015.

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Paul McCartney Supports Meat-Free Mondays In New Environmental Campaign


Courtesy of Concord Music GroupPaul McCartney has teamed up with the folks at Meat Free Monday and U.K. Energy and Climate Adviser Greg Barker to raise awareness of the global footprint that meat production has on the environment, reports Rolling Stone.

A longtime vegetarian, Sir Paul is urging people all over the world to give up meat -- if only for one day a week.  In a video message, he says, "All I want you to do is just log in on pledge.meatfreemondays.com and pledge your support. ... We'll send all these pledges to politicians and then they'll do something about it."

The Meat Free Monday initiative is one of the subjects that will be discussed September 23 at the Climate Summit in New York City.  For more information, go to the official Meat Free Monday website.

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Led Zeppelin Argues That "Stairway" Lawsuit Should Be Moved to L.A. or Dismissed


Soren Solkaer StarbirdThe members of Led Zeppelin say that the lawsuit filed against them earlier this year regarding their epic "Stairway to Heaven" should either be moved to a California court or dismissed completely.

As previously reported, Francis Alexander Malofiy -- a Philadelphia-based attorney who represents late Spirit guitarist Randy California -- filed a copyright suit against Zeppelin on May 31, claiming that the opening of "Stairway" was cribbed from an obscure instrumental called "Taurus" from Spirit's 1968 debut.  At the time, Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page said, "This is ridiculous.  I have no further comment on the subject."

Now, according to Business Week, Page and Zeppelin's other two surviving members -- singer Robert Plant and bassist John Paul Jones -- are arguing that the Philadelphia federal court where the lawsuit was filed is an inappropriate venue.  In a statement filed September 17, Page wrote, "I have not performed as part of the musical group known as Led Zeppelin in the state of Pennsylvania since 1985 ... That performance was without fee as one of many participants in a Live Aid charity concert."  Page, Plant, Jones and lawyers for their label, the Warner Music Group, have filed a motion to either dismiss the case or move it to U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, where they claim that many relevant records and possible witnesses exist.

"Stairway to Heaven," though never released as a single, stands as perhaps Led Zeppelin's most popular song.  Coincidentally, the record it appeared on -- alternately known as Led Zeppelin IV and the untitled album -- is due to be reissued on October 28.

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Stevie Nicks to Mount Show of Selfies...from the Seventies?


Stevie Nicks (Courtesy of Artist's Personal Collection)You probably think of selfies as a modern phenomenon, but it turns out Stevie Nicks has been taking them for years.  Now, the singer is mounting an exhibition of her self-portraits, which she snapped with a Polaroid camera from 1975 to 1987.

According to the New York Times, the show, called 24 Karat Gold -- which is also the name of the singer's new album -- is being curated by Eurythmics guitarist Dave Stewart, who produced her last solo record, In Your Dreams.  Nicks took the photos late at night, while at home and on tour because, as she tells the Times via her publicist, "I wanted to learn how to become a photographer."

"I don't sleep at night, so I thought, 'Who am I going to ask to stay up all night [and take pictures of me], and then do a show tomorrow? So I'm not going to get Christine,'" she says, referring to her Fleetwood Mac band mate Christine McVie.  

So Nicks took the photos herself, using a variety of props and costumes.  "I did everything," she tells the Times.  "I was the stylist, the makeup artist, the furniture mover, the lighting director -- it was my joy.  I was the model."

Eventually, Nicks stopped taking the photos because, she says, "Polaroids were just almost impossible to use ... there was no more film and they all broke down."  The photos in the exhibit have never been seen before -- in fact, Nicks says she's kept them in shoeboxes all these years.  Many will also be featured in a book that's being released along with the deluxe version of her album.

24 Karat Gold will open October 10 at a Manhattan art space called 201 Mulberry Street.  Two days later, the show will move about a half mile across town to the Morrison Hotel Gallery, which specializes in music photography, where it'll be on display for the rest of October.

Nicks' album 24 Karat Gold -- Songs from the Vault will be in stores October 7.  Her tour with Fleetwood Mac begins September 30 in Minneapolis.

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Gregg Allman to Receive "Classic Rock" Magazine's Living Legend Award Rock


Danny ClinchGregg Allman will receive this year's Living Legend Award from Classic Rock magazine, it was announced today.

Even though Classic Rock magazine is based in the U.K., the event will take place at The Avalon in Hollywood, California, on November 4 as part of the publication's Classic Rock Roll of Honor ceremony.  This marks the first time the ceremony has taken place outside of London in its 10 years.

Classic Rock editor Sian Llewellyn says, "Where can you start with Gregg Allman?  As a founding member and guiding light of the Allman Brothers Band and a hugely influential solo artist, Gregg has touched the lives of rock fans all over the globe for over four decades."

For his part, Allman responds, "I am so very honored to be receiving this award from Classic Rock.  The magazine is one of my favorites, and they are always so generous to me and the Brothers."

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U2's Digital Music Project with Apple Will be Interactive and Audiovisual


Image Courtesy Time Inc.

News broke earlier today that U2 is working on a top-secret project with Apple to develop a new digital music format that will, in effect, save the music industry.  A few additional details have emerged, giving a rough sketch of what we can expect, and when.

According to a recent interview in the international version of Time magazineBono says the team is working on something that will be "very exciting for the music business."  The singer described the new technology as "an audiovisual interactive format for music that can’t be pirated and will bring back album artwork in the most powerful way, where you can play with the lyrics and get behind the songs when you're sitting on the subway with your iPad or on these big flat screens.  You can see photography like you’ve never seen it before."

The as-yet-unnamed new platform is "about 18 months away," says Bono, which would place its release right around the same time as U2's next album.  "I think Songs of Experience will be released in a new format." 

The full interview is available in Time's international edition, on newsstands now.

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Sammy Hagar, Joe Perry to Take Part in Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp


Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy CampAre you a would-be rocker hoping to jam with Sammy Hagar and Joe Perry? If that's your rock and roll fantasy, your dream is about to come true.

Fans who attend the upcoming editions of Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp, taking place this winter at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, and the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, can do just that.

Hagar, Perry, Lou Gramm, and Cheap Trick were all announced as the newest participants in the camp, which schools campers in a multitude of ways to turn their careers up to 11.

Fantasy campers will also write and record music with rock star "counselors," including Lita Ford, Rudy Sarzo, Gary Hoey, Jaimoe of the Allman Brothers, Simon Kirke of Bad Company, Rick Derringer and more. Tickets for the four-day camps are on sale now at RockCamp.com.

Here are the upcoming camps:

Jan. 15-18, 2015, Foxwoods Resort, CT
Joe Perry of Aerosmith
Steve Morse of Deep Purple
Lou Gramm of Foreigner
Bumblefoot of Guns and Roses

Feb. 12-15, 2015, Mandalay Bay and RRFC Studios, Las Vegas
Sammy Hagar
Pat Travers         

March 5-8, 2015, Foxwoods Resort, CT
Cheap Trick
Blue Oyster Cult

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U2 Developing New Digital Music Format with Apple


Image Courtesy UMusicDon't let the fact that U2 gave away their new album, Songs of Innocence, to roughly half a billion iTunes subscribers last week make you think they believe in free music.  Just the opposite -- which is why the band has partnered with Apple to develop a new digital music format.

The idea, Bono tells Time magazine, is to create a new digital format that's so fresh, cool and irresistible, folks will want to pay for songs and albums, which in turn will make it possible for songwriters to once again make a living from their craft.  Bono says it'll not only help established artists, like U2, but also the little guys. "Songwriters aren’t touring people," he says. "Cole Porter wouldn’t have sold T-shirts. Cole Porter wasn't coming to a stadium near you."

No details yet about the new technology, or when it might be available.

U2 is featured on the cover of Time's next issue.

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Classic Rolling Stones Shows Hitting Stores in November


Eagle Rock EntertainmentTwo vintage Rolling Stones concerts will be released on DVD, CD, vinyl and via digital formats in November.


Eagle Rock Entertainment's new From the Vault series will kick off with Hampton Coliseum -- Live in 1981 on November 4, followed by L.A. Forum -- Live in 1975 on November 18.

Footage from both concerts has been carefully restored, with the sound newly mixed by producer Bob Clearmountain, whose previous credits include the Stones albums Tattoo You and Still Life.

The two-and-a-half-hour Hampton Coliseum show features footage from the December 18, 1981, tour stop in Virginia that was also guitarist Keith Richards' birthday.

The L.A. Forum show from 1975 was from the group's Tour of the Americas '75 -- its first trek with then-newcomer Ronnie Wood on guitar.

Check out the track listings below:

From the Vault: Hampton Coliseum — Live in 1981

"Under My Thumb"
"When the Whip Comes Down"
"Let's Spend the Night Together"
"Shattered"
"Neighbours"
"Black Limousine"
"Just My Imagination"
"Twenty Flight Rock"
"Going to a Go Go"
"Let Me Go"
"Time Is on My Side"
"Beast of Burden"
"Waiting on a Friend"
"Let It Bleed"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
"Band Introductions"
"Happy Birthday Keith"
"Little T & A"
"Tumbling Dice"
"She's So Cold"
"Hang Fire"
"Miss You"
"Honky Tonk Women"
‘Brown Sugar"
"Start Me Up"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
"(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction"

From the Vault: L.A. Forum — Live in 1975

"Introduction"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"All Down the Line"
"If You Can’t Rock Me" / "Get Off of My Cloud"
"Star Star"
"Gimme Shelter"
"Ain’t Too Proud to Beg"
"You Gotta Move"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
"Happy"
"Tumbling Dice"
"It's Only Rock 'n' Roll"
"Band Intros"
"Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)"
"Fingerprint File"
"Angie"
"Wild Horses"
"That's Life"
"Outta Space"
"Brown Sugar"
"Midnight Rambler"
"Rip This Joint"
"Street Fighting Man"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
"Sympathy for the Devil"

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Rod Stewart Is "Halfway" Finished with a New Album


Credit: Penny LancasterRod Stewart's most recent album, Time, marked the first album in years that featured any new original material written by the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.  Now, Stewart's in the middle of writing a new album.  He says of his songwriting, "The flood gates have been reopened."

Speaking to an Australian entertainment news website, Stewart says, "I'm actually halfway through a new album.  I was very encouraged by the success of Time; it was a very long period where I wasn't writing any songs."  He adds, "It's encouraged me to take another step forward and come up with more songs, and I'm finding it quite easy.  The flood gates have been reopened."

Even so, Stewart is reluctant to perform many new songs from Time in his live shows, because he knows that fans want to hear the hits.  "It is a struggle," he says.  "I've got a unique method.  I'll say, 'Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to have to put you through the misery of a new song...just pretend you're listening to "Tonight's the Night" and give it a big round of applause at the end!'"

"Usually they fall for that ploy and they do," he adds with a laugh. "It's hard work selling new songs with the vast catalog I've got that people want to hear.  They pay the money, and they want to hear what they want to hear.  It's pointless being self-indulgent."

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