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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.


Friday 18th August 2006

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!

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