Classic Rock + Heavy Metal News | VH1

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10 Crappy Recording Contracts That Gave The Music Business A Bad Name

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Artists love their music, they love their fans, but they usually don’t have much love for the music business itself. As a loose confederation of small recording studios gave way to the lucrative music industry of the mid-20th century, shrewd moguls began scamming money out of over-eager musicians via unfair recording contracts. These pinned most of the label’s expenses on the artist while most of the profits ended up in the pockets of greedy label execs. Plenty of musicians have been screwed by the business, but what are some of the worst disputes involving artists and crappy contracts?

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by (@BHSmithNYC)

The $10,000 Led Zeppelin Shirt And More Of The Most Expensive Vintage Rock Tees Of All Time

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Kiss’ Gene Simmons might think that rock is dead but he would be wise to invest in the mementoes of its glory years (though knowing him, he probably already has). Not only are classic rock bands still filling arenas to the tune of over $300,000,000 so far this year, but original concert tees from their heyday can fetch up to $10,000 and sometimes more. Whether on super models or super fans, the market for vintage rock t-shirts has exploded in recent years. Read more…

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Jay Z’s In The Illuminati, Em Is Dead And The 20 Craziest Music Conspiracy Theories Of All Time

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Whatever your belief system, your political affiliation or your education level, there’s one thing we must agree upon. Most conspiracy theories are simply bats**t crazy. The amount of time, elaborate connected dots, and passion that goes into a conspiracy theory, is phenomenal, sometimes saddening, and sometimes simply bemusing. And music conspiracy theories are usually really f***ing crazy. Read more…

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Count Down Which Bands Have Had The Most Ridiculous Amounts Of Lineup Changes

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If rock history has taught us anything it’s that for a band to achieve any longevity they better be prepared to drop members and pick up some new ones along the way. Yes, there are some legendary and long-running groups that still have all their original members, but the pressures of what it takes to succeed in music – the endless tours, the long hours in the studio, the financial stress- leads many to an inevitable split due to personal or “artistic” differences. Those changes have led some groups to amass small armies of past members.
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by (@BHSmithNYC)

INTERVIEW: Motörhead’s Lemmy Recalls Life Before Rock N’ Roll On Eve Of Concert Cruise

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The idea is almost too perfect to be true; rock n’ roll brigand Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead and a rogues gallery of hard rock heavies take to the high seas for a four-day high-decibal concert cruise dubbed Motörhead’s Motörboat. Embarking from Miami, Fl. this Monday and making its way to Cozumel, Mexico, the floating fiesta grande will feature performances from Motörhead, Anthrax, and Down among others and promises to bring chaos to the Caribbean, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Blackbeard flew the Jolly Roger. On the eve of his departure, the consummate hard rock outlaw was kind enough to take our call and talk to us about a lifetime of rock n’ roll memories, and some that even precede rock n’ roll itself. Read more…

by (@BHSmithNYC)

Rock N’ Roll Outlaws And Iron Horses: 15 Badass Photos Of Rockers On Motorcycles

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Here it is Wednesday morning and you’re no doubt suffering PTSD from another nail-biting and horrifically violent episode of everybody’s favorite biker drama, Sons Of Anarchy. But way before SAMCRO brought 1%er culture into people’s living rooms, rock n’ rollers were scaring norms and singing tomes to badasses and their two-wheeled death machines. From Steppenwolf‘s ode to getting out on that highway, “Born To Be Wild,” to Motörhead‘s Hell’s Angels tribute “Iron Horse/Born to Lose,” outlaw rockers have always had a great affinity for outlaw bikers and some of them have been known to mount a steel horse from time to time as well.  Read more…

by (@JordanRuntagh)

Get Back To Mono: Beatles’ Recording Engineer Ken Scott On The Best Way To Hear The Fab Four

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For most music lovers, there can be no such thing as “too much Beatles.” But there have been stray notes of skepticism surrounding the much-hyped Beatles In Mono vinyl box set that hit stores last week. Particularly among millennial fans, the very concept of mono recording conjures images of quaint lo-fi discs intended strictly for purists and those stranded in the past. Surely this 14-record set is a dive into minutiae, an extraneous curio designed solely for the Beatlemaniac audiophile?

This could not be further from the truth. The Beatles In Mono is perhaps the most crucial Beatles release for those who were not privileged to live in a time when the four Fabs roamed the Earth. For a start, just use your ears. Far from a relic, the sound is more alive, full, and frightfully contemporary than ever before. And that’s not just our opinion- it’s also the opinion of Ken Scott, the music industry great who got his start as the Beatles’ recording engineer. Prior to his groundbreaking work with a list of legends including David Bowie, Elton John, Jeff Beck and Supertramp, Scott was in the room when some of the Beatles’ classic recordings were being made, and had his hand on the fader when the original masters were created. Who better to say how these records are meant to sound?

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by (@JordanRuntagh)

10 Music Legends Who Eerily Predicted Their Own Death

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It’s not news to say that rock ‘n’ roll is a pretty dangerous lifestyle. From plane crashes, drug overdoses, murders, freak accidents, and even stage mishaps, it makes sense that many musicians contemplate their own premature demise a little more often than most folks. But some stars have had eerily specific visions that tragically came true.

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Old Is The New New: 10 Classic Artists That Influenced Current Musical Trends

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There’s a common belief among music fans, critics and artists alike that there is nothing completely original in music. Even the most unique artists are influenced by their peers and their sounds can be traced back to the pioneers before them, going so far back as the classical music of Bach and Beethoven. So when we discuss current music trends, it’s only natural that we look to the artists and bands from past decades to see where these sounds and ideas were really first generated. From The Band to Talking Heads, Hall & Oates to Black Sabbath, there’s a multitude of classic artists whose sound, lyrics and overall vibe can be heard amongst the popular music trends of today. Read more…

by (@BHSmithNYC)

The 20 Greatest Eponymous Albums In Hard Rock And Heavy Metal History

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Next to picking a name for your group, choosing an album title is one of the harder things for a rock band to all agree upon. I mean, in a perfect world this is going to be your magnum opus, the album that will elevate you into the stratosphere, and then you ruin it with some lame ass title that sound like something out of Spinal Tap’s imaginary discography? Perhaps it’s no wonder then that so many rockers opt to use their actual band name as their album title (thus doubling down on the importance of picking a super cool band name). In the worlds of hard rock and heavy metal, these are often, though not exclusively, the province of debut records. Led Zeppelin started the trend with their first album from 1969 and the trend continues to this very day. Notable exceptions are Metallica‘s breakthrough “Black Album,” their fifth full length and actually titled Metallica, and Alice In Chains‘ self-titled third release. But really, it’s not the title that makes the album but the music that makes. Anyway, enough of this jibber jabber, check out 20 awesome eponymous (that’s the fancy way of saying self-titled) albums in hard rock and heavy metal history that let the music do the talking.


Hear Metallica singer James Hetfield talk about what influences went into the making of the band’s eponymous fifth album.