Category Archives: music

Yes Move Heaven and Earth And Create A Beautiful Album

A new album from a classic group can often be problematic – nobody sells albums anymore, especially bands of an older ilk who are faced with an aging fan base that solely wants to hear the hits of yesteryear delivered live. Try as I might to convince someone that the Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang was a solid addition to their catalogue, or that The Who’s Endless Wire was a consistently strong piece of art, there’s a good shot it will fall on deaf ears. The same can be said for prog rock masters Yes, who, in 2011, put out Fly From Here, an album I consider to be their best since 1980′s Drama. Some of their unrelentingly vocal fan base may agree with, while others would take the absence of founding member and lead singer Jon Anderson as reason enough to dismiss that effort.

If that’s the case, there’s no way I’ll be able to convince you that the band’s latest album, Heaven and Earth, is even better than Fly From Here. Or that, in my humble opinion, Yes has delivered a modern masterpiece.


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Win A Copy Of Soundgarden’s Superunknown!

soundgarden-superunknownWe want you alive in the superunknown!

One of the greatest albums of the grunge era, Superunknown was a tour de force for Soundgarden, arguably the hardest hitting band of the era. Where would we be without Fell On Black Days, Spoonman, My Wave and Black Hole Sun? Those songs have seeped into the consciousness of music lovers and helped make Soundgarden legends. The band recently released a 2 disc 20th Anniversary edition of the album; the first disc is the remastered album, the second features demos, alternate versions, b-sides and unreleased tracks. We’ve got a few copies for you to win, thanks to our pals at Universal Music Canada.

All you have to do is leave a message in the comments section telling us what your favourite song from Superunknown is. Easy and simple! We’ll choose two random winners and notify them via email. The contest closes Tuesday June 11 at 11:59 pm. So stop reading, and enter now!

Jammin’ in Cali – Deep Purple Live In California 74 Reviewed

Whenever I write about Deep Purple, I always mention that, no matter what classic rock radio would try and have you believe, the band has a rich history that goes way beyond Smoke On The Water. Sure, Machine Head is probably their definitive moment, the album that should have already put them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, there is more to Deep Purple than just one album, or even one line-up.

Live In CaliforniaThe folks at Eagle Rock recently released the 8 track Deep Purple Live in California 1974, capturing the line-up of David Coverdale (vocals), Glenn Hughes (bass/vocals), Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Jon Lord (keyboards) and Ian Paice (drums) at the massive California Jam Festival, where the band played in front of 200,000 fans and more watching on television. This version of Deep Purple had recently released the album Burn, the first with Coverdale and Hughes, and it’s a great rock record, a bit of a hidden classic that deserves a wider audience to this day.

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Eurovision 2014

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It’s that time again. That time when Europe goes a little crazy, it’s Eurovision week. Thirty-seven nations competed in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest held in Copenhagen, Denmark today, one of the biggest music events on the continent. Some folks may notice a resemblance to “American Idol” or “Pop Idol,” but Eurovision did it first, and has been doing it for almost six decades. Check out my thoughts on this year’s competition after the jump.

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Spectacular Sounds: Darrin Cappe on Marillion’s Sounds That Can’t Be Made

Thirty years into a band’s career is hardly the point where one would expect to find adventurous songwriting and career
defining songs, however that is exactly what Marillion have done with their 17th studio album, Sounds That Can’t Be Made. Arriving four years after their last proper studio album, Happiness Is The Road, STCBM took time to fully develop. Due to their solid business model and early adaptation to internet/online based marketing Marillion have developed the ability to work within their own timeframe, never rushing quality for the purpose of meeting release dates. In fact the album was to have been released prior to the band’s North American tour in 2012 but recording was still ongoing at the time. They are perfectionists when it comes to their craft and on this album it shows in all its glory.

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Celebrating 40 Years of KISS

This past week was a big one for those of us in the KISS Army. After 15 years of ignorance and denial by the governing body that runs the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the original line-up of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss were finally in its so-called hallowed halls. Leading up to the ceremony, Paul Stanley was often critical about the band’s treatment by Hall officials, who refused to induct any other member of the band into the Hall of Fame, while also requesting that the original line-up perform in make-up for the induction ceremony. To their credit, Stanley and Simmons held their ground and said no way. At the end of the day, the two founding and current members of KISS stood beside their former bandmates; they were all polite and gracious as they took their rightful place in the Hall.

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Win A Copy Of The 40th Anniversary Edition Of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Elton_John_-_Goodbye_Yellow_Brick_RoadThis year marks the 40th anniversary of one of rock’s greatest double albums, Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. It’s full of classic Elton songs, from the epic Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding to the original Candle In The Wind; there’s the title title track and Bennie and the Jets, and deep cuts like I’ve Seen That Movie Too.

Our pals at Universal Music Canada are helping us celebrate the anniversary by supplying a copy of the new 2 cd deluxe edition for us to give to one lucky Biff Bam Popper! With bonus cuts, tribute renditions of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road tracks and live versions, this is a must have for Elton fans. Want to score a copy. Just tell us your fave Elton song in the comment section. That’s it!

Contest closes Friday April 11th at 11:59 pm ET. We’ll choose one random winner and notify them via email.

Good luck!

Biff Bam Pop Exclusive: Geoff Downes on Asia’s Gravitas, Yes’ Heaven and Earth and more

Geoff DownesProgressive rock giants Yes are currently touring across Canada with their 3 album tour, playing their classics Close To The Edge, Going For The One and The Yes Album (in that order). Reviews have been stellar, and the band is on fire (you can read my review of last year’s Toronto show here). In the meantime, the group have announced a summer tour of the U.S. along with their new album, Heaven and Earth, the first to feature new vocalist Jon Davison and second in a row to include keyboardist Geoff Downes.

Downes has got to be one of the hardest working men in music today. Along with his commitment to Yes, he and his colleagues in Asia have just release their new album, Gravitas, a memorable collection of songs that once again highlight the special songwriting tandem of Downes and bassist John Wetton. Geoff was kind enough to talk to us via email about Asia, Gravitas, being on the road with Yes and much more.

Andy Burns: Thanks for taking the time to talk to Biff Bam Pop again, Geoff! 2014 is already shaping up to be a big year for you – the new Asia album Gravitas is about to drop, you’re continuing the Yes Three Album tour, and there’s a new Yes album in the pipe. First question – how do you manage your time?

Geoff Downes: This year is particularly hectic, and it’s a credit to the management teams of both Yes & Asia for managing my time in this regard. Despite the tough schedule, it’s really exciting for me to have the two albums coming out, and of course performing on the tours as well. I think I can adapt to each band fairly quickly, but this year will certainly raise a few challenges.

Andy Burns: The new Asia album, Gravitas, is big and bold and confident, which is great considering you have a new, young guitarist in the band. How did you discover Sam Coulson?

Geoff Downes: I think it’s a very strong album, and both John & myself are really pleased with the way our compositions turned out. It’s always something of an unknown area when we start writing an album, but eventually the bits all start to fall into place. Having Sam (who was recommended to us) on board has also helped really bring the project to life.

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