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Top 5 stories for first half this week

Velvet Revolver Found A New Singer?
BW&BK reports: Matt Sorum, drummer for Velvet Revolver, has revealed the following to Artisan News Service about the next chapter of his band, following the recent departure of vocalist Scott Weiland, who returned to his former outfit Stone Temple Pilots.

"We're coming out with something in a couple of weeks and I think it's going to surprise everybody. It's exciting. We're moving forward. We're going to keep going and play rock n roll and get a new guy singing so, we did it before we'll do it again."

Sorum went on to say, "We're really seriously thinking about doing something online. Yeah, we got offered a couple of different television ideas you know. Mark Burnett called us and asked us to do that Rockstar thing and we basically said 'No!' to that. We didn't feel it was right for us. No disrespect to him but it just didn't feel right for what we want to do. - more on this story

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Zeppelin Gigs Denied
Jam! reports: Led Zeppelin will not be performing in Toronto in August, despite speculative reports to the contrary. A blog posting last week on MuchMusic.com said Zeppelin would reunite for the second time in as many years to play four shows at the Rogers Centre (the former SkyDome) in August. A Globe and Mail report yesterday said that preliminary discussions were taking place with the dome.

Yesterday, though, two sources in the position to know both said they were unaware of any discussions involving Led Zeppelin playing in Toronto at any venue, with one source completely dismissing the speculation. [wish those damn sources would get their story straight]

Music industry magazine Billboard inquired into the report "at the highest level" and, according to the magazine's news editor Jonathan Cohen, was "fairly confident there's nothing to it." - more on this story

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Emo Suicide Protest
idolator reports: Offended by the Daily Mail's portrayal of My Chemical Romance as a "suicide cult band," following the death of 13-year-old fan Hannah Bond, an ever-increasing number of the band's fans are planning a peaceful protest outside of the newspaper's offices on May 31.

Fans are being advised to bring placards that say "MCR SAVES LIVES" or "I AM NOT AFRAID TO KEEP ON LIVING," the latter also being the name of the organizers' site. And on the fashion tip, those organizers would rather you left your "emo attire" at home.

Please don't bring signs which you hold above your head in a picketing protest (the standard ones which are on a wooden stick and have slogans on them). The reason for this is that there is a small chance we will could get in trouble with the law if we have these signs.
- more on this story

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Slipknot Made Nothing From Millions in CD Sales?
antiMusic reports: Slipknot percussionist M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan made a pretty shocking statement in an interview with Radio Iowa. Slipknot has two platinum and one double platinum album to their credit, which means that they have sold at least 4 million CDs in the U.S. but Clown claims he never made a dollar from those sales. No wonder bands appear bitter after they leave Roadrunner (Slipknot's label).

According to Blabbermouth, Crahan said, "I'll just be honest. I've never made a dollar on a record. We make our money on the road." Crahan's band plays a lot of shows in Europe where the festival scene appears to be much more vibrant.

"I think America needs to look toward Europe and see what they're doing because over there they all get crazy and they need to have festivals and they just go and they take, like, weeks off and everybody it doesn't matter if it's your boss or your mom or whatever it's festival time," Crahan said. - read more from the interview

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Hagar Satch Supergroup to Rival Zeppelin
Sleazeroxx reports: Sammy Hagar has a new supergroup that includes a virtuoso guitarist and a fellow Van Halen alumnus, but fans eager to see the so-called Red Rocker sing alongside the six-string hero he's most famously associated with shouldn't hold their breath.

It seems a peace settlement in the war of wills between Hagar and Eddie Van Halen could be years away, if it arrives at all. "I love Eddie, but we don't love each other," Hagar said during an interview Thursday. "But like I said, people have to be level-headed and have to be healthy before you can settle a feud."

Instead of waiting for that friendship to be repaired, Hagar has teamed with acclaimed guitarist Joe Satriani, Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer Chad Smith, and former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony. The group, code-named Chickenfoot, will enter the recording studio just before Labour Day. "We've written eight, nine songs. We just got to go in the studio Sept. 1," Hagar said. "When people hear the music, it's Led Zeppelin. It's as good as that. I know that's a mighty bold statement... We could rival Zep." - more on this story

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Ban Your Own Pet, Phishy Justice, Spector Trial II, Aiden Down a Member, DMX Catches a Break, Winehouse Wins, Axel Gigs Wacked, Armored Saint and more
antiMusic reports: We won't have a regular report on Monday due to the holiday weekend here in the US but we will have updated through out the weekend. But before you go off and celebrate the coming of summer, here are some Friday quicks for you: The Be Your Own Pet songs that were deemed too "violent" and subsequently removed from the US version of their 'Get Awkward' album, will now be available in the States. XL Recordings - the band's European home - will release the 3 offending songs as a digital single on June 3rd, followed by a CD and 7" more

Former Phish frontman Trey Anastasio received a reduced sentence of three years' probation for a drug conviction after he successfully completed a counselling and treatment program. more

A judge who is waiting for a state Supreme Court decision on whether he will preside over Phil Spector's second murder trial went ahead Thursday and scheduled it to begin in September. more

Aiden have posted an explanation for their recent tour cancellation which includes the news that guitarist Jake Wambold has parted ways with the band: We have been consistently on the road traveling for the past 4 years. In those 4 years we have been in seattle a total of maybe 5 months. That's including time we spent in the studio making the "Rain in Hell" ep and our new album "Conviction". It's enough to make anyone crazy, and bring almost any kind of personal relationship to the brink of disaster. So we all felt inclined to take a breather for the first time in what seems like forever. And with that, we are announcing that Jake W is no longer apart of Aiden. more

A judge has vacated a $1.5 million judgment awarded to a woman who filed a defamation suit against rapper DMX after he alleged that she raped him. Prince George's County Circuit Judge Thomas Smith ruled last week that DMX (real name: Earl Simmons) was not properly served with court papers in the casemore

British singer Amy Winehouse has won a song-writing award. The song "Love Is a Losing Game" won the Ivor Novello award for best song musically and lyrically more

German guitarist Axel Rudi Pell has issued the following update: "Unfortunately we have to cancel our appearances at both summer Festivals, the Rock Of Ages and the Wacken Open Air, due to a schedule conflict of singer Johnny Gioeli in the USA. more

Although Lindsay Lohan is being sued by a student who claims Lindsay stole her $11,000 fur coat from someone else's bar, John JE Englebert has decided to not only pay the lawsuit settlement on Lindsay Lohan's behalf, but to also buy her a fur coat identical to the one she allegedly stole. more

Nonpoint has lined up a handful additional show dates on the Cage Rattle's Most Wanted Tour with The Exies, Deepfield and Under The Flood, including some new stops on Cage Rattle's "The Most Wanted" tour. dates

The organizers who have put together the "Summer Slaughter" tour, which will feature Vader, The Black Dahlia Murder, Crytopsy, Aborted and others, and is being called the "summer's most extreame tour," have come together to make the "Thrash and Burn" tour possible.more

BW&BK has received the following press release from Armored Saint: "(We) regret to announce the postponement of their upcoming show in Mexico City (on Saturday, May 31st at Circo Volador). As the show was booked on short notice, this caused us to miss advertising deadlines and not have enough time to properly promote the show. more

Born From Pain (Metal Blade Records) was recently rejoined by original member Rob Franssen, who replaces departed vocalist, Kevin Otto. - more on this story

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Death By Green Day
PR reports: Orange County's favorite hardcore punks Death By Stereo are back in the studio working on their fifth studio album with professional songwriter and musician Jason Freese at the soundboard.

After amicably parting ways with Epitaph Records in mid-2007, Death By Stereo has collaborated with old friend and confidant, Jason Freese, to revolutionize their approach to music. On the cutting edge of a new industry model, Death By Stereo is spending time at NRG Recording Studios in Hollywood and working to create the project of their career without the limitations that can develop within a traditional record label relationship.

"We were all so excited to get the opportunity to work with Jason on this project, he is a musical genius," said Death By Stereo front man, Efrem Schulz. "We wanted the ability to make this album to the best of our ability, without the restrictions of a record label and with Jason's help, we have produced something more amazing than I even expected." - more on this story

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Weiland Gave Exbandmate New Respect for Axl
antiMusic reports: Artisan News Service spoke with Matt Sorum (Velvet Revolver/Guns N' Roses) asked him if dealing with Scott Weiland made him have a newfound appreciation for one Axl Rose.

He responded: "Yeah. (laughs) No, no... Both... I actually have a newfound liking and love for Axl Rose (laughs). You can print that (laughs). I've said a couple of bad things about Axl, and I think they've come back to bite me in the ass. The one thing I know about Axl Rose, as much as a dick as he was at times, the stadium was usually sold out (laughs)! A little difference between those two guys. I'm talking 50,000 not 5,000 (laughs). I could deal with that. A jet, I'm not talking just a Jet, a 727, my own limo and a guy to carry my ---- (laughs)."

He also discussed Weiland rejoining Stone Temple Pilots: "Yeah, then it got personal. It's a drag. We're relieved as Slash said (laughs). Hey man, it was great while it lasted, sort of like a relationship. It's over. It's all good. We're moving on. I guess they're doing fine, the STP. That's his original band, and he probably feels more at home there. That's cool." - more on this story

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Emergency Skynyrd Surgery
PR reports: Billy Powell, one of the original members and keyboard player for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members Lynyrd Skynyrd, has underwent an emergency partial revision hip replacement surgery in Jacksonville, Florida on Wednesday, May 21.

"Billy's hip had continued to give him dislocation problems and it was determined that a revision was the only possible solution," says Lynyrd Skynyrd manager Ross Schilling of Vector Management.

Billy will be recovering over the next 3-6 weeks and will have to wear a hip brace for the next 3 months. It is expected that Billy will re-join Lynyrd Skynyrd on tour sometime in July. The band will tour with an interim keyboardist in the mean time, while Billy recovers. - more on this story

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Van Halen and Other Half Tour Ruled Out
antiMusic reports: Ross Cat of Best of WNY recently spoke with Sammy Hagar about his current outing and they discussed what role his former bandmate Michael Anthony will play as well as the possibility of the "The Other Half" teaming up with Van Halen for a tour.

Sammy told Ross, "Mike will be popping in and out of the tour for sure. He really wants to play with us at the stadium shows that we are doing with Kenny Chesney. At this time I'm not exactly sure when he's going to be playing; one things for sure knowing Mikey he can't stay home when Sammy and the Wabo's are out on tour, we've found that out over the last ten years. He's played on about 90% of our gigs since the last VH reunion; he's usually around by hook or by crook."

Ross then asked, "you toured with David Lee Roth back in 2003 any chance you'd be willing to set aside differences and give Van Halen fans the 'Best of Both Worlds' with all 5 guys touring together?" Sammy Responded, "As far as that goes that's just not something I'm really interested in doing again right now, Eddie would have to be able to bring himself back to ground zero; by that I mean he'd have to be completely clean." - more on this story

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Poison Rape Charge Dropped
Rikki Rockett Blog reports: Poison drummer Rikki Rockett was exonerated of a felony rape charge filed in Mississippi stemming from a September 23, 2007 incident in which a Neshoba County, Mississippi woman claimed that Rockett had forcibly raped her. Rockett was not in Mississippi during September 2007. The Neshoba County District Attorney refused to prosecute the case after determining that Rockett was not the person who committed the alleged rape. The charges carry a potential life sentence. Rockett said, "I want to sincerely thank my lawyers Barry Tarlow and Mi Kim for their commitment to my case and their terrific legal work that exonerated me of any wrongdoing."

The warrant, issued on December 18, 2007, sought the arrest and extradition of "Rockett, Rikki A" a/k/a "Minskosf, John" to Mississippi for "strong arm rape." News stories shortly disclosed the correct spelling of the name John Minskosf as "John Minskoff." Rockett has never used the Minskoff name. It is now believed that Minskoff used Rockett's name to convince the complaining witness to sleep with him.

"I think it was a case where the woman and her husband unfortunately believed they could extort money from me and my band," Rockett said, "This is a gross example of people attempting to abuse the law for personal profit. They tried to subvert and make a mockery of the criminal justice system. It is abhorrent and disgraceful." - more on this story

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Tommy Lee Officially A Cartoon
antiMusic reports: Motley Crue's Tommy Lee is finally getting paid to do what he does best: act like a cartoon character. In fact, he'll lend his voice to new half-hour "toon" which is based loosely on his life and is titled "The Life and Times of Jimmy Jaxx." Variety has some more details: Smart Entertainment ("Blades of Glory") is behind the project, currently in the early stages of development at Fox.

"I've always loved the animated world," Lee said. "How fun and kooky is this gonna be, to combine some real-life experiences with some seriously over-the-top humor."

The project revolves around a rocker who attempts to balance his crazy lifestyle on the road with a calmer existence at home. The character is distracted, however, by his tattoos which come to life and are constantly trying to lead him down the wrong path. - more on this story

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Jager Tour
Metal Underground reports: This summer will see the Jagermeister summer tour head out on the road.

On the bill will be Kittie, Dope, Anew Revolution and Panic Cell with Dirge (featuring ex-SOiL guitarist Shaun Glass) will also be appearing at selected shows.

July 2 - Springfield VA @ Jaxx
July 3 - Springfield VA @ Jaxx (sold out)
July 4 - Spartanburg SC @ Ground Zero
July 5 - Fayetteville NC @ Jesters
July 6 - Jacksonville NC @ Hooligans
July 8 - NYC NY @ Blender Theater
- more dates

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more stories including: Zeppelin Gigs Denied- Emophobia Suicide Cult Protest- Ban Your Own Pet, Phishy Justice, Spector Trial II, Aiden Down a Member, DMX Catches a Break - more


Simple Minds Reunion
PR reports: The original members of Simple Minds are due to work together for the first time in 27 years when they enter a recording studio in the middle of June '08. In an event that many never thought would happen again, Brian McGee, Derek Forbes, Mick McNeil, Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill, have set their aim on producing at least two new tracks that could be released later this year.

Regarded by both Jim and Charlie as a 'nice experiment', particularly as it falls within their 30 year anniversary, the week-long reformation is being viewed as one of many 'let's see what happens' ideas that they look forward to working on over the course of the next year.

Jim Kerr said "Of course I am excited with the prospect of working with the original line - up once more. I had always believed that the day would come when we would get the opportunity to do so. The last time we worked together was on our Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call album, featuring songs like The American, Themes for Great Cities, Love Song etc, and it is still considered by many as among our best ever work. We have a lot to live up to, but we intend to have some fun attempting to do just that." - more on this story

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Smashing Anniversary, Stone Temple Kimmel Replay, Ratt Solo, Danny Ross, Sinatra Still A Top Seller, RIAA Drop Suit
antiMusic reports: Some afternoon quicks for you: The Smashing Pumpkins will be playing select U.S. cities in August and September of 2008. No dates or cities have been announced but expect the band to revisit a few specific places that were missed during the last U.S. tour.

Stone Temple Pilots' performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live is set to re-air Tonight May 27th! Check out the band celebrating the announcement of their highly-anticipated reunion and first tour in almost eight years.

Ratt singer Stephen Pearcy will release his third solo album, "Under my Skin", on July 22 via Airline Records. The CD finds Pearcy returning to the early RATT roots, featuring material that is positive and aggressive when needed. more

Danny Ross, the NYC piano based singer-songwriter who is a staffer for Congressman Jerrold Nadler by day, and musician by night has just released a new video that plays on the 80's dolls My Buddy and Kid Sister. Check it out here

Frank Sinatra is having a very good week. Buoyed by a cavalcade of marketing and advertising surrounding multiple products tied to the 10th anniversary of his death, "Nothing but the Best" (Reprise), a collection of remastered classics, has debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 99,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. more

The RIAA last week dropped its lawsuit against AllofMP3.com, the Russian digital music service that shut down last July. The trade group told Bloomberg that the move was due to the fact that the site is no longer operational - more

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Deaf Radiohead, Harry Potter Actor Killed, Golf Can Save The World, KISSer on Ludacris Reality Show, Russian Eurovision, Top Ting Tings, The Vines 4th and more
antiMusic reports: We're giving you the morning quicks early. The whole 3 day weekend thing kind screwed up our equilibrium. So let's hop right back into things!: Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood went deaf during the recording of the band's latest album In Rainbows. Greenwood revealed all in an interview with Word, saying his deafness was due to using the wrong type of headphones in the studio. more

A Brit teen set to appear in the next "Harry Potter" flick was killed yesterday after being stabbed in a fight -- over one little phone. 18-year-old Rob Knox died early Saturday morning after being shivved outside a bar in southwest London, say coppers, when he tried to defend his little brother over a missing cell phone.

Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan; Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer of Aerosmith; Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick; Frank Beard of ZZ TOP; and Andrew WK are among the musicians who are expected to participate in the inaugural Save the Planet Invitational golf tournament hosted by longtime and popular PGA Tour member Peter Jacobsen. The tournament will be at the private Members Club at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Monday, June 2 more

Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 and Plus-44 fame has announced that he will be producing the next full length from New Found Glory. more

Gene Simmons will appear in an upcoming episode of "Battleground Earth", a reality competition that features Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and hip hop superstar Chris "Ludacris" Bridges more

At first it seemed like overkill, being able to download American Idol performances from iTunes the day after they aired. Until we realized we could pay 99 cents and listen to David Cook's version of "Hello" as many times as we wanted! And thousands of people are clamoring for more, giving the newly crowned Idol winner four out of the five top spots on iTunes' list of Top Songs. more

Paul McCartney received an honorary degree from the university at the commencement ceremony at the University's Old Campus. Curiously, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair mentioned Paul in his Class Day speech Sunday. "Be prepared to fail as well as to succeed, and realize it is failure, not success, that defines character. Sir Paul McCartney reminded me that the first record company the Beatles approached rejected them as a band no one would want to listen to," Blair told the students. Read more and check out video at Abbeyrd's Beatles Page

Dima Bilan has brought Russia its first Eurovision song title with a glitzy performance that included a famous ice skater. Bilan beat Ukraine's Ani Lorak and Greece's Kalomira with an R&B ballad "Believe" before thousands of flag-waving fans of Europe's most glamorous pop song festival. more

The Ting Tings scored a UK Number One album with their debut album, 'We Started Nothing', going straight in at the top spot on its first week of release. more

Hurt has parted ways with their label, Capitol Records. The band is currently on tour with Course of Nature in support of their latest album 'Vol. II' which was released in September 2007 via Capitol. more metal news

Sonic Youth are releasing a hits compilation disc, but rather than choose the songs themselves, Universal solicited the help of 14 celebrity curators including Radiohead, Beck, and The Flaming Lips among other heavy hitters. The compilation titled Hits Are For Squares also features an exclusive bonus track called "Slow Revolution." The disc will only be available at Starbucks retailers starting June 10. more

The Vines will release their fourth album, 'Melodia', in July. The album was produced in Los Angeles by Rob Schnapf, who produced the band's first two albums. more

Folk singer Bruce (U. Utah) Phillips, a freewheeling storyteller and Grammy-nominated musician known for his extensive touring over nearly 40 years and strong support of peace groups and labour unions in his works, has died. He was 73. Phillips died of congestive heart failure on May 23 at his home in Nevada City, Calif.more

KISS made the following announcement: The legendary KISS are back on the road and this time Concert Live are going with them! KISS live performances are renowned across the globe so it's with great pleasure and excitement that we're announcing the KISS Alive 35 limited edition series of live CDs. With ten dates being recorded throughout their European tour this is sure to be an exhilarating few weeks with many a memorable performance captured forever. This series is strictly limited edition so be sure to bag yours before they go! Don't miss out! Grab your KISS Visa and feed the beast here

Here is WYSP's Monkeyboy with today's Red Lasso clip of the day: Gavin Rossdale performs 'Love Remains the Same' live on Ellen
- Check it out here

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Earl Root RIP
Blabbermouth reports: On Friday, May 23, metal guitarist, independent label and record store owner and metal radio DJ Earl Root passed away due to complications from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a cancer he has been battling for over 10 years.

Earl was best known as guitarist for Aesma Daeva, God-Awful, Disturbed (not the Chicago multi-platinum band, but the original), and much earlier with Morticia, among others.

He was also the owner of Root Cellar Records and the Root of All Evil independent record label as well as the host of 35-year-running "Root of All Evil" radio show. - more on this story

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Hanoi Rocks Add Member
Sleazeroxx reports: Hanoi Rocks are finally announcing their new drummer! Hailing from Sweden, the new member is George Atlagic, nicknamed "Jolle" among friends.

More than 200 drummers applied and five of them were invited to audition with the band. George Atlagic stood out from the five candidates, not only for his talent, but also because of his personality and for being a kindred spirit with the band. Hanoi Rocks comment on the decision: "Jolle is technically a very skillful drummer and his style is greatly in the vein of the former Hanoi Rocks drummers, Gyp Casino and Razzle. He also already looked like he was playing in a successful rock band."

Hanoi Rocks are releasing a new single Teenage Revolution/Self Destruction Blues on May 28th, 2008. The single is already a collectors item since it includes the original arrangement of Self Destruction Blues, previously unreleased in Europe by Hanoi Rocks. - more on this story

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Mayhem Too Expensive For Sevendust
Metal Underground reports: Sevendust members Morgan Rose and Lajon Witherspoon have been interviewed for next months issue of Revolver magazine. In it, Rose explains why the band were unable to perform on the Mayhem tour.

"We would've loved to be on that tour, but plain and simple, we couldn't afford to do it. I'm not going to say how much money we were offered, but at the end of the day the numbers didn't make any sense.

"It was like, 'If we borrow Machine Head's gear for every show, ride in a car with no crew guys, and don't bring any suitcases because they won't fit in the car anyway, we may be able to pay our bills at the end of this. But probably not.' So that was the bottom line. We would've lost our houses. And I'm not letting my kid and my wife live on the street just so I can go do some shows." - more on this story

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more stories including: Velvet Revolver Found A New Singer?- Nelly and Fergie- Rev Theory- Earl Root RIP- Hanoi Rocks Add Member- DiAnno Signs on for CliveAid- Eric Sardinas - more

Top Reviews of the Week

. Lonn Friend: Phantom Takes Flight
In Lonn Friend's latest column he recalls some of his favorite memories of Michelle Meldrum, the Phantom Blue guitarist who lost her life to a brain tumor earlier this month. Join Lonn as he pays tribute to his friend. - Read the full Phantom Takes Flight op/ed

. Classic Albums: The Doors
The Doors are omnipresent on classic rock radio, so chances are you've heard all twelve songs off of their debut album more times than you can count. But if you're unconvinced The Doors is a true classic, you may be a believer after watching this fact-filled DVD. (4 stars) - Read the full Classic Albums: The Doors review

. Iron Maiden - Somewhere Back in Time
If you've heard of Iron Maiden's rewarding legacy and wish to understand why they have remained one of the genre's best for such a long period, this compilation will rightfully be the proper choice when deciphering the essential songs of the metal masters. - Read the full Iron Maiden - Somewhere Back in Time review

. Liquid Jungle - Tiny Heaven
This is an extremely thoughtful, well-crafted album with incredible instrumentation and very complex melodies and rhythms. If the band erred anywhere in Tiny Heaven, it was perhaps in making the album a little too long. At seventy minutes, it's a lot to take in. (3.5 stars) - Read the full Liquid Jungle - Tiny Heaven review

. Duffy - Rockferry
Duffy's soulful vocals will undoubtedly be compared to those of Dusty Springfield, especially on torch songs like "Hanging on Too Long," but Rockferry's first single, "Mercy," is clearly a message to fans of Amy Winehouse, you've got a new girl now. (5 stars) - Read the full Duffy - Rockferry review


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