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The RockIt Scientist
on 1485 Radio Today

1485 Radio Today
Also on DStv
Audio Channel 70

The RockIt Scientist is a very diverse music programme that features Progressive/ Hard/ Classic Rock, Blues, Brass Rock, Latin/ African Rock, Jazz and Metal music.

As "non-commercial/ non-Top 40" music ranging from the mid sixties to the present day is featured, the intention is to cater for the more discerning music listener, with no age limits or restrictions imposed or implied. An open mind and a love of music is mandatory!

The programme, which is broadcast on 1485am Radio Today, every Friday evening between 10pm and 1am, is presented by Leon Economides, who has worked with radio greats such as Tony Sanderson (Chuckle and Chat Show on Radio 5), Chris Prior (The Priority Feature on Radio 5), Phil Wright (The Dinosaur Days on 5fm), and Rafe Lavine (Rock Classics and The Great Unknowns on Radio 5, and the original RockIt Scientists on SAfm).

Radio Today is also available nationwide on the DStv Audio Channel 70.

The RockIt Scientist went live on air on Wednesday the 31st August 2005.

Rock On Radio Today

Rockfest on 1485 Radio Today


Marq Vas ("Ride Hard Ride South African!") - 09.00pm to midnight

Rosemary Royeppen ("Rock 'n Rhythm") - midnight to 01.00am

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am


David Blood ("In Your Vein") - 10.00pm to midnight

Rosemary Royeppen ("Rock 'n Rhythm") - midnight to 01.00am

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am


Lesley Chase ("In Hot Pursuit") - 08.00pm to 10.00pm

Melanie Walker and Nicole de Gruchy ("Solid Blonde") - 10.00pm to midnight

Rosemary Royeppen ("Rock 'n Rhythm") - midnight to 01.00am

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am


Rosemary Royeppen ("Rock 'n Rhythm") - 09.00pm to 10.00pm

Steve Kirker ("The Eternal Apprentice") - 10.00pm to midnight

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am


Rafe Lavine ("Hot Dog Radio") - 08.00pm to 10.00pm

Leon Economides ("The RockIt Scientist") - 10.00pm to 01.00am

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am


Andrew Levy ("Rock Roots") - 08.00pm to 09.00pm

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am


Chris Prior ("The Rock Professor") - 08.00pm to 10.00pm

Phil Wright ("The Metalhead") - 10.00pm to midnight

Rosemary Royeppen ("Rock 'n Rhythm") - midnight to 01.00am

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am

Visit RockFest On Radio Today for more info.

Rockfest on 1485 Radio Today

All the news is archived in the News Archive


Hi again

Welcome to the latest newsletter and playlists for the last two Friday's RockIt Scientist shows.

This newsletter contains the usual info about new releases, upcoming interviews (Natalie Chapman, Gordon's Suitcase, Linda Tucker), etc. It's also a tad longer as it contains TWO playlists!

Just in case you didn't know, (or didn't care!), The RockIt Scientist on 1485 Radio Today will be exactly one year old on August 31st! I'd like to take this opportunity to thank CEO Ivan May and station manager Sanele Sobantwana for the faith and confidence. One whole year with no playlists or restrictions - that doesn't happen too often on radio in South Africa! To webmaster Brian Currin and colleague Rosemary Royeppen, thanks for your support and encouragement. To the listeners, all five of you, thanks for tuning in!

From The RockIt Scientist came The Rockfest - grateful thanks to all the guys and girls for their time and for their contributions to The Rockfest and to 1485 Radio Today.

Tune in during the course of the next few weeks for a few give-aways to celebrate the occasion.

New face/voice on 1485 Radio Today

As mentioned previously, Marc Latilla left The Rockfest on 1485 Radio Today a few weeks ago.

We're very happy to introduce you to Greg Tucker, who will be presenting his first "The Deconstruction Hour" show this coming Thursday between midnight and 01.00am. Greg has a long career in the music industry and has a very varied and interesting musical taste. This will be his first experience on radio, so please be gentle with him and treat him as you would any virgin! As is the case with all the presenters on The Rockfest, you can read up on Greg's profile and see his mug shot on the Rockfest website (www.rock.co.za/rockfest).

Thanks to Playgirl Wannabe Centrespread reject archives and Farmer's Weekly for the loan of Greg's photo.

Upcoming Interviews

You might recall the earlier days of The RockIt Scientist (on that other radio station - you know, the one that felt that they were better off without the services of professional broadcasters such as Rafe Lavine. Their loss, 1485 Radio Today's gain!), when Rafe and I had an interview with Linda Tucker, the lovely author of the book "Mystery Of The White Lions - Children Of The Sun God". Linda, who founded The White Lion Trust, has done a fantastic job in securing the protection and survival of the white lions, one of this country's many beautiful treasures.

The subject of white lions? On a rock music show? What's the connection, you might ask? Well, apart from Mike Tramp's US hard rock band of the same name, and the fact that both Rafe and I deplore canned lion hunting, white or otherwise, the musical connection to the subject lay with our very own Duncan Mackay, one of the world's most respected keyboard players, having featured with The Alan Parsons Project, Kate Bush, Camel, Budgie and others. Duncan and vocalist Greg McEwan formed a group called Re'Union a few years ago. The music was featured in a documentary on the white lions. Both Duncan and Greg joined Linda on the interview.

To cut a long story short, as Linda's passion for and efforts towards this worthy cause are as strong today as they were a few years ago, I hope to have another interview with her in the near future. If you haven't heard Re'Union's music yet, you're in for a treat!

On the subject of interviews, this coming Friday night (01 September), I'll be having a chat with very classy songwriter/singer/musician Natalie Chapman. She's a real find with enormous talent and an amazing voice. A few of the tracks from her recently released debut album "Between The Lines" will be featured on the night.

The long awaited interview with Gordon's Suitcase will be on Friday, 15th of September.

If you have or know of any gigs you'd like me to promote, on air or on The RockIt Scientist's website's gigs page, please email the info to me at leon@rock.co.za.

The same goes for any requests you might have.

Some new/recent (re)releases you can expect to hear on The RockIt Scientist in the near future:

The Allmans Brothers Band - Eat A Peach (Deluxe Edition)

Blodwyn Pig - Ahead Rings Out

Mott The Hoople - Live Fillmore West

Saxon - The Eagle Has Landed Part 3

Paul Dianno - The Living Dead

Walter Trout - Full Circle

Axel Rudi Pell - Mystica

Bad Company - Live Albuquerque 1976

...plus a whole bunch of other goodies.

Remember to join The Rockfest Club. You can download the application form via the Rockfest website (www.rock.co.za/rockfest). Your support in helping to keep The Rockfest on 1485 Radio Today on the airwaves is really needed and appreciated.

Check out last week's playlist (which will also be posted on the "Playlists" page)

All the best.


Playlist for Friday 18/08/2006 - 10.00pm to 01.00am

What a way to start off! Three classic tracks covered by the most unlikely bands/artists:

01. Helloween - Hocus Pocus, from ''Metal Jukebox", in 1999

Great version of the Focus classic by this famous German metal outfit. The secret to hitting the high yodelling notes is to wear really tight leder hozen! A G-string made out of barbed wire and smothered with Deep Heat could also do the trick. They also cover classics tracks by Montrose, Mahogany Rush, Babe Ruth and others.

02. Therion - Summer Night City, from "A Tribute To Abba", in 2001

Abba? I kid you not! You heard Therion last week - I've since had a few request to play something else from the powerful Swedish operatic metal outfit. This Nuclear Blast release features all the classic Abba tracks performed by some really heavy bands. Very interesting and different!

03. Pat Boone - Enter Sandman, from "In A Metal Mood - No More Mr. Nice Guy", in 1997

Unbelievable stuff from one of the real crooners! This may seem as unlikely as Demis Roussos doing a Sepultura cover, but Boone gives the famous Metallica track, and many other metal classics, the big band treatment. Highly recommended, if you can find it.

Happy Birthday, Glenn!

The Voice of Rock, Glenn Hughes, turned 54 years old on Monday, 21st August. Unquestionably one of the finest vocalists in rock, he's featured with scores of bands and artists, as well as enjoying a successful solo career spanning many years. Born in Staffordshire, England, he first started out by playing guitar with a band called "The News" in 1967. Changing to bass, he was a great fan of the Tamla Motown scene and his idols were the likes of Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and others, and these influences would become quite apparent later on in his career.

His first major band, Trapeze, which he formed with guitarist Mel Galley, drummer Dave Holland, together with vocalist/trumpet player John Jones and guitarist/flautist Terry Rowley, later became one of the UK's best hard/blues rock trios (Jones and Rowley having left after 1970's debut album). Declining an offer to join ELO, Hughes later moved to Deep Purple, and he played an important part in the release of their fantastic "Burn" album. (Many felt that he rivalled lead vocalist David Coverdale in every way. Hear, hear!). After leaving Deep Purple, he worked with Black Sabbath, Gary Moore and a host of other bands/artists, and is still very active today.

The following three tracks are a tribute to a man who certainly deserves the title "Voice of Rock":

04). Trapeze - What Is A Woman's Role, from "You Are The Music, We're Just The Band", in 1972

The second album to feature Trapeze as a trio. On a par with the previous album, "Medusa", this album had a slightly more soulful/funky feel. Hughes' fantastic vocal range, not to mention his great bass style, are well demonstrated on this emotive song.

05). Black Sabbath - Heart Like A Wheel, from "Seventh Star", in 1986

A kind of solo album from Tony Iommi. He found a great partner in Hughes on this offering. Iommi, as the only original member of the Sabs, kept the name flying high and proud with this fantastic album. The two would collaborate in the 90's with "Eighth Star", (aka as "The 1996 Dep Sessions") and Hughes would also feature on Iommi's recent solo album, "Fused".

05. Glenn Hughes - Too High, from his brand new solo album, ''Music For The Divine"

Arguably his best solo album, featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers members, Chad Smith on drums and John Frusciante on guitars and vocals, together with longtime guitarist J.J.Marsh. He even does a stunning version of the Moody's "Nights In White Satin". Glenn Hughes still sounds as good today as he did back in the day. What an album, what a great musician!

06. Jim Peterik & World Stage - Eye Of The Tiger, from "Rock America - Smash Hits Live", in 2004

Vocalist Jim Peterik is probably best known as one of the founding members of US outfit Survivor. He'd previously featured with Ides Of March, Chase and Mariah, just to name a few. This album features him working with members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Two Fires, .38 Special, Storm, Night Ranger and others. Their cover of the famous Rocky theme is awesome!

07. House Of Lords - These Are The Times, from "World Upside Down", in 2006

A welcome return from the US outfit that were formed by ex-Angel keyboard player Greg Giuffria in the late 80's. Original vocalist James Christian is still involved with the band.

08. From Behind - What You're Doing, from "Game Over!", in 2006

Although a Swedish outfit, this great band features ex-Samson/Mammoth/Hackensack/Megaton vocalist Nicky Moore and ex-Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton. A group with fantastic potential. Really good to hear Nicky Moore is still around - surely one of the "unsung" heroes of the blues/rock world!

09. Gordon's Suitcase - Lilly's Peach, from "Good Girls Like Good Music", in 2006

One of the better South African jazz fusion outfits. A very popular live act, and on listening to their album, you can understand why. The band will be interviewed on The RockIt Scientist on Friday, 15th September.

10. Tony Cox - Karoosin', from "China", in 2002

A really classy and respected South African musician. Cox plays a great steel string acoustic guitar. The album features contributions from Joe Arthur, Neil Etteridge, McCoy Mrubata and Bones Brettell (check out his fantastic B3 on the featured track!)

11. Rik Emmett - Swizzle Stick, from "Swing Shift", in 1997

Difficult to believe that someone can master his instrument as well as the ex-Triumph guitarist/vocalist does. Emmett, who is highly regarded by rock, blues, classical and jazz lovers, is the closest you'll get to "the perfect guitarist". This track is from one of his many solo albums.

12. Malo - Momotombo, from ''En Vivo/Live", in 2005

Led by charismatic founding member and vocalist, Arcelio Garcia, who co-founded this famous Latin Rock outfit in the early 70's, together with guitarist Jorge Santana, the modern Malo are sounding absolutely amazing. This live album also features a few new tracks. Check out www.malomusic.com

13. Mandrill - Fencewalk, from ''Live at Montreux 2002", released in 2004

Maybe not as well known as Earth, Wind & Fire, Sly & The Family Stone, Santana and others, this jazz/blues/funk/Latin/rock outfit, formed and led by the Panamanian-born Wilson brothers, is equally as good, if not better than their more illustrious contemporaries! The band had been dormant for a while, so you can imagine the utter joy at discovering that they're back, and with a bang! The CD is also available as a fantastic CD/DVD combo. Seeing Mandrill live in concert, even if it's just on DVD, is a dream come true! Awesome stuff, although so far only available via their website (www.mandrillis.com)

14. El Chicano - El Ojo Rojo (The Red Eye), from "Latin Legends Live", in 1997

This hard-to-find double CD features the reformed Malo, Tierra and El Chicano, three of Latin Rock's heavyweights. Oddly enough, both Malo and Tierra occupy the lion's share of the tracks on the album. Although El Chicano are not as well represented as one would have liked, the tracks they perform are out of this world. Guitarist Mickey Lespron is still ridiculously good, and founder member/keyboard player Bobby Espinosa still knows how to get the best out of his B3! (www.elchicanomusic.com)

Happy Birthday, Ginger!

The next tribute is for a highly regarded drummer who now lives right here in South Africa. Peter "Ginger" Baker turned 67 years old on the 19th of August. Born in Lewisham, London, Baker had featured in The Storyville Jazzmen and Alex Korner's Blues Incorporated before he formed Cream with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce in July 1966. During Cream's short lifetime, they became one of the most important blues/rock outfits of all time, influencing many other bands and artists.

When Cream split in 1968, Baker joined Clapton, Steve Winwood and Rick Grech in the short-lived Blind Faith. Baker later featured with his own band, Airforce, Atomic Rooster and many others. He's released a number of solo albums, and he also appeared with the reformed Cream in 2005.

The following three tracks are a tribute to one of the truly great drummers.

15. Baker Gurvitz Army - Help Me, from "Baker Gurvitz Army", in 1974

Baker formed this band with the Gurvitz brothers, Adrian (guitar) and Paul (bass), both ex-Gun and Three Man Army, with ex-Sharks vocalist Snips joining a bit later on. Duncan Mackay almost joined the band too! They released three albums plus a few live albums that surfaced years later.

16. Hawkwind - World Of Tiers, from "Levitation", in 1979

Baker's trademark drumming give this track by the Masters of the Universe a seriously beefy feel. He replaced Simon King and remained with Hawkwind for a short while, appearing on the band's 1980 tour.

17. Blind Faith - Sea Of Joy, from 'Blind Faith", in 1969

A must-have addition for anyone into classic Brit blues/rock. A mooted supergroup, it was a great pity that they only released one album. Taken from the "expanded" version, a double CD featuring previously unreleased tracks. A live DVD of a concert at London's Hyde Park, was released recently.

18. Judas Priest - Beyond The Realms Of Death, from "Stained Class", in 1978

Classic Priest at their finest, with some fantastic vocal work from Rob Halford. This is the track that apparently "encouraged" a few spaced out kids to take their own lives. Fortunately the law prevailed (even though Priest were "breaking it!") and the case was thrown out. Sanity prevailed!

19. Tygers Of Pan Tang - Mirror, from "Spellbound", in 1981

Next to Demon, Maiden, Saxon and Diamond Head, the Tygers were one of the best bands of the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) scene. The band featured a young John Sykes, later to join Thin Lizzy and form Blue Murder. Guitarist Robb Weir went on to own Neat Records.

20. Silent Force - Hear Me Calling, from 'Infatuator", in 2001

Great German metal outfit fronted by vocalist D.C. Cooper. Fantastic musicianship from a band that unfortunately don't appear to be that well known.

21. Moses - I'm Coming Home, from "Moses", in 1971

Hard/blues rock trio from Denmark. Basic stuff, but they do it well. Based on the title of the track, they regarded Alvin Lee and Ten Years After quite highly, although theirs is not a cover of the classic TYA number.

22. Pappo's Blues - Cementario, from "Pappo's Blues 2", in 1970

Argentinian blues rock guitarist Norberto "Pappo" Napolitano became one of the country's most famous blues guitarists. He's released quite a few albums. Oddly enough, not that easy to find outside Peron's homeland.

23. Aunt Mary - Stumblin' Stone, from ''Janus", in 1973

Great blues/prog outfit from Norway, drawing influences from Jethro Tull, Traffic and Zeppelin. They released three albums between 1971 and 1973 before folding. They reformed in the late 70's and again in the 90's.

24. Toad - Who Knows, from "Open Fire - Live in Basel 1972"

Powerful stuff from guitarist Vic Vergeat, drummer Cosimo Lampis and bassist Werner Froehlich. This Swiss blues/hard rock outfit's debut album is one of the rarest records of all time. Starting out as a quartet, they slimmed down to a trio and released a further five albums before splitting. They reformed in the 90's. This great cover of the Hendrix classic was taken from this recently unearthed live album, recorded in April 1974, and released on Akarma Records.

25. Beck, Bogert & Appice - Boogie, from "Live", in 1973

Jeff Beck, together with bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice (both ex-Cactus), formed this impressive trio in the early 70's. This double live album aside, they only released one studio album before splitting. The circle has turned: Bogert and Appice are back together in the reformed Cactus! Jeff Beck recently stated that he would play with Motorhead, if asked!

26. Livin' Blues - I Wonder, from "Live ' 75", in 1975

One of Holland's best ever groups. Formed in the mid 60's, they were internationally regarded as one of the great blues/rock outfits of the era. Golden Earring's drummer, Cesar Zuiderwijk, was one of the early members of the band. All of their albums are great, but their "Blue Breeze" album is a classic!

Playlist for Friday 25/08/2006 - 10.00pm to 01.00am

Nothing like starting the show off on a relaxed, calm note.......

01. Motorhead - The Chase Is Better Than The Catch, from "Ace Of Spades", in 1980

Ain't it just, unless you're the one being chased! Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister formed Motorhead when he was fired from Hawkwind ("Motohead" was in fact the title of the last song he wrote for Hawkwind). Recruiting ex-Pink Fairies guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox, they formed this legendary metal outfit in 1975. The featured album had "Fast" Eddie Clark on guitars and "Philthy" Phil Taylor on drums. The band are still very much around today.

02. Budgie - Superstar, from ''Nightflight", in 1981

Second last studio album from the Welsh hard rockers. The album featured new guitarist John Thomas (ex-George Hatcher Band), together with bassist/vocalist Burke Shelley and drummer Steve Williams. Budgie went on to feature at the 1982 Reading Festival, alongside Whitesnake, UFO, Stampede, Twisted Sister and others. The band then folded, but Shelley revived Budgie in the late 90's.

03. Iron Maiden - Wasted Years, from "Somewhere In Time", in 1986

The band were at the height of their career and this great album reached number 11 in the US. Featuring the classic Maiden line up of Bruce Dickinson (vocals), Steve Harris (bass), Adrian Smith & Dave Murray (guitars) and Nicko McBrain (drums). Since then, Maiden have gone through numerous changes, one of them being the addition of third guitarist, Janick Gers (ex White Spirit/Gillan). Still one of the finest metal bands of all time!

04. Breed 77 - Blind, from ''In My Blood - En Mi Sangre", in 2006

Formed in Gibraltar and based in the UK, this fantastic band have released three awesome albums to date. Their Flamenco-inspired metal style is pretty unique and very pleasing on the ear. They're one of the really great "new era" metal bands that are destined to take the genre well into the future.

The album is due to be released and distributed in South Africa shortly. Give it a listen - you'll be mucho impressed-o.

05. Puya - Whatever, from "Fundamental", in 1999

Very different Latin Metal band from Puerto Rico. They can be quite confusing at times, and their music has an intensity and sensuality that'll soothe you and get you all glassy-eyed on the one hand and then rattle your cage and give you heart palpitations on the other, all within the confines of the same song. If you're trying to get laid to Puya's music, be careful - their sudden chord changes and mood swings from romantic Latin interludes to full on headbanging is liable to put your family jewels in a precarious position! They're tremendously good, though.

06. Tribe of Gypsies - Puro Party, from "Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants", in 2000

The undoubted kings of Latin Metal! You (hopefully) know them quite well, if you listen to The RockIt Scientist regularly. Featuring guitarist/producer Roy Z (of Bruce Dickinson fame), together with a bit of help from Warrior's Joe Floyd. If you're a fan of hard rock, metal and Latin rock, you need to check out this extremely talented US outfit. They have a brand new album, "Dweller On The Threshold", which should be available shortly.

07. Son Of a Bitch - No-One's Getting Over, from ''Victim You", in 1996

This UK hard rock/metal outfit were formed in Yorkshire in the early-to-mid 70's by guitarist Graham Oliver and bass player Steve Dawson. Recruiting vocalist Peter "Biff" Byford from a band called "Coast", SOB eventually evolved into the band we know and love as Saxon. Saxon's history has been well documented elsewhere on The RockIt Scientist, so we'll leave them alone for now. Oliver and Dawson reformed SOB, without Byford, in the mid 90's. Featuring a tremendously good hard rock/metal vocalist in the form of Ted Bullet (ex-Thunderhead), together with Saxon/Motorhead drummer Pete Gill and Saracen guitarist Hayden Conway, they released this great album on Angel Air Records.

08. Krokus - Long Stick Goes Boom, from "One Vice At A Time", in 1982

Long stick goes boom....could've been Linda Lovelace's signature tune! Sorry - couldn't resist. This Swiss metal outfit actually started out as a prog outfit in the early 70's, believe it or not. Their first two prog-ish albums weren't that well received. They then recruited Maltese (the island, not the dog) singer Marc Storace from prog/hard rock outfit Tea, changed their style to a more AC/DC- style boogie rock and took off like crazy. Their history had it's fair share of ups and downs and tragedies, but they released some great music in their day. This album reached number 28 on the UK charts. They're still around today.

09. Mother's Finest - Do Me Right, from "Live at Villa Nerg - Right Here, Right Now", in 2006

Step aside Living Colour, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lock Out, Extreme and all the other funk/rock outfits, because Baby Jean Kennedy and her band are back! There is/are none better than Mother's Finest. They've been around since the early 70's and they know their stuff so well it's scary! If the idea of a really tight band rocks your boat, you need to get this fantastic double live album (which also features four new tracks, one of them being the featured number). Recorded live in Germany, the band still features Moses "Mo" Moore on guitars, Wyzard on bass and Glen Murdock on vocals. And Baby Jean? Knockout stuff!

10. Riot - Hard Loving Man, from "Restless Breed", in 1982

This was the first album to feature new vocalist Rhett Forrester, who replaced founding member Guy Speranza. (Forrester was tragically killed in an argument in his car in 1994). Formed in the US in 1976, Riot's debut album was released in 1977. Their follow up, "Narita"(1979), earned them accolades in the UK and they appeared at the 1980 Donnington Festival. The band went on to release albums well into the late 90's and they're still around today.

11. Quiet Riot - Loaded Gun, from their great come-back album, "Terrified", in 1993

Popular US outfit Quiet Riot are sometimes best known for their cover of Slade's "Cum On Feel The Noize" in 1983. Formed in the mid 70's by guitarist Randy Rhoads (yes, he of Ozzy fame, tragically killed in that aircraft accident), vocalist Kevin DuBrow, bassist Kelly Garni and drummer Drew Forsyth. The band, incidentally, took their name from a suggestion made by Staus Quo's guitarist, Rick Parfitt! Later members included Rudy Sarzo (bass), Frankie Banali (drums) and Carlos Cavazo (guitars). The band folded in the late 80's and reformed in the early 90's.

12. Rhino Bucket - Dead & Well, from "And Then It Got Ugly", in 2006

Unashamedly inspired and influenced by AC/DC, this US boogie rock band are back with this great new album. Formed in California, they released three albums between 1990 and 1994 and then disappeared. The new album features original members Georg Dolivo (vocals) and Reeve Downes (bass), together with hot lady drummer Jackie Enx and ex-Kix guitarist Brian Forsythe. Good old fashioned balls to the wall rock and roll!

13.The Answer - Under The Sun, from their fantastic debut album, "Rise", in 2006

The Answer is one of the hottest new young blues/rock bands in the world today. Drawing influences from Led Zep, Free, Bad Company and others, The Answer are doing today what Cry Of Love and Thunder were doing all those years ago when blues rock was making a big comeback. These young Brits, together with bands such as Tokyo Dragons, Glyder, Wolfmother and others, are keeping the genre alive and popular. Bands like The Answer are proof that rock music, irrespective of what some radio stations would have you believe, is well, thriving and gaining many fans, worldwide.

The Answer, like Breed 77, are now being distributed in South Africa.

As you probably well know, you can expect to hear most kinds of music on The RockIt Scientist. Jazz and jazz fusion is no exeption. So, having said that, I thought I'd feature some of the best in their class.

14. Alphonse Mouzon - Golden Rainbows, from "Mind Transplant", in 1974

Drummer and multi-instrumentalist Alphonse Mouzon, who'd also featured with Weather Report, recorded a number of great albums for the famed Blue Note label. The pick of the bunch was this awesome album which featured a very young Lee Ritenour, together with another sensational guitarist, Tommy Bolin. Bolin had previously worked with Zephyr, The James Gang and Energy (with flautist Jeremy Steig). It was a busy year for Bolin, who had just completed work on Billy Cobham's acclaimed "Spectrum" album. His contributions to this much sought after album are legendary. Bolin later went on to feature with Deep Purple before tragically dying of substance abuse. Alphonse Mouzon later worked in the disco field before becoming CEO/chairman of Tenacious Records. More of Mouzon to follow below.

15. Eleventh House - The Funky Waltz, from "The Eleventh House, featuring Larry Coryell", in 1974

Another jazz/fusion outfit that featured Alphonse Mouzon. Larry Coryell was, and still is, one of the most respected jazz guitarists around. Also featuring Mike Mandel (keyboards), Randy Brecker (trumpet) and Danny Trifan (bass). They released a number of good albums during the 70's. Rumour has it that Mouzon and Coryell are collaborating and touring again under the Eleventh House name.

16. John McLaughlin - Marbles, from "Devotion", in 1969

Another highly respected jazz guitarist. UK born John McLaughlin cut his teeth playing with the likes of blues greats Alexis Korner, Graham Bond, Georgie Fame and others. He then moved in a more free-form jazz direction, working with Tony Williams, John Surman and Dave Holland. McLaughlin's main claim to fame, apart from the fact that he's released many solo albums and he also worked with Carlos Santana, (in the days when they both looked like respectable, clean cut cricket players and used words like "Om" regularly), was his collaboration with Billy Cobham, Jerry Goodman, Rick Laird and Jan Hammer in the groundbreaking Mahavishnu Orchestra. "Devotion" featured Billy Rich on bass, Buddy Miles on drums and Larry Young on keyboards.

17. Upp - Nitto, from "This Way", in 1976

Thanks very much to Martin Simpson for reminding me about this fantastic UK jazz/funk/rock outfit, who I used to feature regularly in various clubs I used to play in during the mid to late 70's! Formed by members of the obscure Clark-Hutchinson and Spreadeagle outfits, the band featured Stephen Amazing on bass, Jim Copley on drums and Andy Clark on keyboards. Jeff Beck was involved in production and he also played some his best guitar pieces with this band. Unfortunately, after two great albums, the band folded in the mid to late 70's. Jim Copely later appeared with Tears For Fears and Go West.

18. Billy Cobham/George Duke Band - Hip Pockets, from ''Live On Tour In Europe", in 1976

Drummer Billy Cobham and keyboard player/vocalist George Duke were two of the most accomplished and respected jazz musicians in the world during the 70's and 80's. Cobham, previously with brass/rock outfit Dreams, and Duke, who'd worked with Frank Zappa, formed their band with Alphonso Johnson on bass and John Scofield on guitars, themselves no slouches in the genre either. The band's summer 1976 European tour started in Norway and ended in England.

19. Al Di Meola - Race With Devil On Spanish Highway, from "Tour De Force - Live", in 1982.

The studio version of this classic Al Di Meola track was featured on The RockIt Scientist a few months ago. I've since had many requests to play it again. This time, though, you can hear how good he is performing the track live!

It's easy to run out of supertlatives when it comes to describing this unbelievably talented guitarist. Born in New Jersey in the USA in July 1954, Al Di Meola was inspired to take up the guitar at the age of nine, after listening to the Beatles. He later attended the Berklee College of Music (in 1971) and he joined keyboard player Barry Miles' fusion group. Chick Corea invited him to join his increasingly popular Return To Forever, where he remained for a few years. He elected to embark on a solo career in 1976, which has proved to be very successful. He's worked with the likes of Paco Da Lucia, Jean Luc Ponty, John McLaughlin and a host of others. Electric or acoustic, slow or fast, it doesn't matter - there aren't many guitarists in the world today who can hold a candle to Al Di Meola.

20. Jean Luc Ponty - Aurora Parts 1 & 2, from "Live", in 1979

French born violinist Jean Luc Ponty was brought up in a musical home environment, his mother being a piano teacher and his father a violin teacher. He visited the UK and USA in the early 70's and he met up and recorded with Frank Zappa (on Zappa's "Hot Rats" album). Zappa produced Ponty's "King Kong" album in 1970. Ponty then joined George Duke's band and he had a short stint with John McLaughlin and The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Ponty's solo albums are always of a very high standard, and he's always surrounded himself with some of the best musicians in the business.

Tribute time, this time to a blues guitarist who is sadly no longer with us.

Stevie Ray Vaughan was born in Dallas, Texas on October 3rd, 1954. He was taught the tricks of the trade by his older brother, Jimmie, later of the Fabulous Thunderbirds fame. Stevie joined The Nightcrawlers, with Marc Benno, and then The Cobras, which evolved into Triple Treat, an R & B outfit. Stevie then formed Double Trouble in 1981, with bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton.

He became one of the most respected bluesmen in the world, even impressing Jackson Browne and David Bowie, who spotted him at The Montreux Jazz Festival in July 1982. Bowie asked Stevie Ray to play on his "Let's Dance" album in 1983. He earned nine Grammy nominations during his lifetime.

Stevie Ray Vaughan was tragically killed in a helicopter crash in Wisconsin on August 27th, 1990.

21. Stevie Ray Vaughan - Chitlins Con Carne, from "The Sky Is Crying", in 1992

This stunning version of Kenny Burrell's classic is given the full Stevie Ray treatment, giving him the opportunity to also showcase his jazzier side. This posthumously released ten track outtakes collection has proved to be one of the legendary blues guitarist's best selling albums. The songs were recorded in various sessions from 1984 to 1989. There are also a number of Stevie Ray Vaughan dvds available.

22. Megaton - Niagara, from "Megaton", in 1971

Next to Leaf Hound's "Growers Of Mushroom" and Mellow Candle's "Swaddling Songs", this is one of the rarest albums ever released on the Deram label. The album features vocals by Nicky Moore (Hackensack, Samson, Mammoth, From Behind etc). It's basically guitar-orientated hard rock with Moore showing touches of the brilliant vocalist he would later become.

23. Bang - Questions, from "Bang", in 1972

Bang were a very powerful US hard rock trio, formed by guitarist/vocalist Frank Glicken, bassist/vocalist Frank Ferrara and drummer Tony D'Iorio (later replaced by Bruce Gary). They released three albums between 1972 and 1973. A fourth, previously unreleased album called "Death Of A Country", was released on CD about five years ago.

24. Tapiman - No Control, from "Tapiman", in 1971

Considered to be one of the best heavy progressive recordings from Europe during the early 70's, this album by Spain's Tapiman is extremely rare. The band featured guitarist Max Sunyer, who was undoubtedly influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Leslie West. Tapiman released three albums between 1971 and 1979. Sunyer later featured with Spanish jazz/rock outfit Iceberg.

25. Warhorse - Woman Of The Devil, from "Warhorse", in 1970

You should know them pretty well by now - I've been featuring both of this legendary British prog/hard rock outfit's albums on radio since day one, back in the early 80's. This fantastic debut album featured Ashley Holt on guitar, Mac Poole on drums, Ged Peck on guitar (later replaced by Peter Parks), Frank Wilson on keyboards and founder Nick Simper on bass. Refer to previous write-ups on this legendary band on the RockIt Scientist website.

25. Beggar's Opera - I've No Idea, from "Waters of Change", in 1971

The same goes for Scotland's Beggar's Opera, undoubtedly one of the finest prog bands of all time. This album features Virginia Scott on mellotron, together with Gordon Sellar (bass), Ricky Gardiner (guitar), Martin Griffiths (vocals) and Ray Wilson (drums). Repertoire Records have recently released this classic album in a limited edition mini-cardboard cover, alongside "Act One" and "Pathfinder". Ideal purchases, collector or not. Musically, you don't get much better!

26. Titanic - Dying Sun, from "Eagle Rock", in 1973

Titanic were a Norwegian outfit who evolved out of The Beatnicks, who moved to Denmark in 1969. They then moved to Germany and were joined by English vocalist Roy Robinson. They then moved to France and changed their name to Titanic. The band had a number of major hits, but hits aside, they were a very good and powerful organ and guitar based progressive rock band. The featured track is a case in point, with some fantastic Hammond playing by Helge Groslie. The band released six albums between 1970 and 1978 and folded. They mysteriously reformed in the early 90's and released a largely unheralded, almost metal-ish album, called "Lower The Atlantic".

27. Hillow Hammet - Come With Me, from "Hammer", in 1969

A serious rarity, this is! They were a US hard rock sextet based in Maryland. Not much info available - nice tracks, though! The album was released on CD by Dodo Records, which is part of Comet Records, who specialize in bands that are best described as NOT being common or garden!

28. Omega - A Jovendomondo, from "Omega 5", in 1973

One of Hungary's best and best known bands. They're also probably the most famous rock band from the whole of Eastern Europe, with a career now spanning in excess of four decades. Formed in 1968, they started out as a beat group, moving to psychedelia and prog rock in 1970. They later adopted a decidedly more symphonic rock approach, with the use of keyboards. They released around 20 albums.

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