Fans of British singer John Lawton will have a 2CD compilation celebrating John’s life in great music to be issued July 7. John, who passed away June 29, 2021, had been recording for over 50 years, and was best known as the lead singer for German progressive hard rock band Lucifer’s Friend, as well the singer for Uriah Heep in the latter half of the ’70s. He also recorded & toured with The Les Humphries Singers in the ’70s, and later recorded with such bands and projects as Rebel, Zar, Gunhill (a band he formed in the ’90s), The Lawton-Dunning Project, (his own) John Lawton Band, OTR, and The Intelligent Music Project, plus a few solo albums, and various guest appearances (notably with Uriah Heep years after he left). John’s last album was 2019’s Black Moon with Lucifer’s Friend.
Celebrating The Life Of John Lawton is a collection of 33 tracks, spanning his career from the early ’70s until 2015. And it appears to be a well thought out set, as opposed to something predictable. It is actually more about some of the rare recordings he did, singles, guest appearances, and one-off projects and albums he was a part of, including previously unreleased material . I don’t see any Lucifer’s Friend songs, or too many Uriah Heep titles, but this does touch on most of the bands and projects I mentioned above. So, this will be an essential purchase for fans of John’s career. The man put out so much great music, that this will be an excellent celebration of his work.
*Artist royalties donated to British Heart Foundation charity to research “Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm”.
DISC ONE 1 Corner Street Girl 2 Little Chalk Blue 3 Out Here 4 Is There Anybody There? 5 Eloise 6 Me And My Harley 7 Stargazer 8 Broadway Nights 9 Heart Of The Night 10 Dirty Tricks 11 Colgate Gel 12 Set The World On Fire 13 Back To The Highlands 14 Someone Sings 15 Come Together 16 Wise Man 17 I Am Alive
1 Feelings 2 Tonight 3 It’s A Long Way To Go 4 Mama Loo Impromptu Jam 5 I’ll Be Here 6 Written On The Wall 7 Been Away Too Long 8 Mamonama 9 Shine 10 Ride On 11 Salvation 12 River of Dreams 13 Fairytale 14 Rain 15 Rock ‘n’ Roll Is My Thing 16 Things We Can’t Do
When the Intelligent Music Project started, the first albums featured the late John Lawton on them, and they were fantastic. As each album has come along new singers and players have come along as well. My initial interest in the band was John, as I was a fan of what he had did throughout his career. Thus, I kinda didn’t totally keep up with each subsequent release. But the latest (and 3rd) with Ronnie Romero (Blackmore’s Rainbow, Michael Schenker, Lords of Black…) I am nicely reminded that I.M.P. is about well written and produced tunes, regardless who’s exactly in it; this is really good from start to finish. I was not sold on the singer as part of Rainbow, but here Romero is more involved that just doing someone else’s material or a band with a set style. With Unconditioned (released July 27), Romero takes on something new and different, less ‘metal’, and really makes this his own thing. Also on here is Nazareth’s Carl Sentance and legendary drummer Simon Phillips. Plenty of great rock tracks, from the cool riff of “Intention”, “Wait For The Night”, and the more aor-ish “And Stars Never Fall” (dig the drum/slide intro). And as with I.M.P, there’s a good variety of tracks, and use of acoustic guitars, piano, harmonies, etc.. , so you get interesting and excellent songs like “Soulmate”, “Madness”, “New Hero”, and “Sunshine Boulevard” (great heavy solo). I see this is Romero’s 3rd album with the project, so I’ve got some back-tracking to do. Contains 14 tracks, so a bit long (10 tracks is long enough for me for almost any album). But a solid collection of songs.
*For more info check out the press release and links below
Superstar Rock Band Intelligent Music Project To Release 7th Album “Unconditioned” Feat. Members of TOTO, Rainbow & Nazareth
Featuring Simon Phillips (TOTO, Mike Oldfield, Pete Townshend), Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, MSG), Carl Sentance (Nazareth)
The superstar rock band Intelligent Music Project will release its seventh studio album entitled “Unconditioned” in July – just two months after their biggest adventure, called Eurovision Song Contest.
The legendary Simon Phillips (TOTO, Protocol) returns as percussionist and musical co-producer of the new album, while the lead vocalist on this release will again be one of the most popular names in rock music today: Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, MSG). This will be Romero’s third album with Intelligent Music Project, and for the first time the group has expanded its compositional approach: two of the songs and their arrangements are entirely the work of Ronnie, Biser Ivanov and Ivo Stefanov. For the first time on “Unconditioned,” the band’s lead singer shows off his skills as a lyricist, having penned the words to those two songs. All the other songs and lyrics are once again the creation of Intelligent Music Project’s founder and producer, Dr. Milen Vrabevski.
In honor of the tenth anniversary of the band’s first album, “The Power Of Mind,” the seventh album follows its format and also begins and ends with instrumental tracks written by Dr. Milen Vrabevski in collaboration with Biser Ivanov and Ivo Stefanov.
“‘Unconditioned’ is an album dedicated to unconditional love as a deciding factor in normalizing our modern life. This love has to be focused above all on our children, because they are the future, while we are the ones who need to show them the way and teach them to make bold decisions and to live for the people around them. Only with more such people will the world become a better place” – Dr. Vrabevski about the new album
One hit track from “Unconditioned” is “Intention” – the song the band played as Bulgaria’s representative to Eurovision 2022 in Torino. Besides the Eurovision version, the album will also include the original, longer take, which sticks to Intelligent Music Project’s signature melodic progressive style, as well as a backing track version.
“Intention” was the first single from Intelligent Music Project’s seventh album. At the moment, the song has more than two and a half million views/listens on both YouTube and Spotify. The song raises the question of every individual’s personal, internal battle with outdated models of belief and behavior that hold them back. Starting from the title itself, the author underscores the simple fact that it is never too late to start down the right path – the path of your own personal growth, of dignified existence and of life with a mission. The song calls us to turn away from our ego, selfishness and a consumerist attitude on life and instead to live for the people around us.
“Finding the right path, however, often turns into a battle with one’s self, so you need a serious intention to truly make a change!” – Dr. Milen Vrabevski, the author of the music and lyrics of “Intention” notes.
The album’s second single, “New Hero,” came out in early May. The song was accompanied by a striking video that recreated a military atmosphere, where, in sync with the idea behind the album, the main characters were children. In the video’s narrative, it is precisely the children who turn out to be the brave heroes who bring about change.
“Effective action in the present, despite difficulties, is the key to progress. It is crucial for us to know that pretty words get us nowhere. It is easy to stand silently and do what you’re told. The harder but only effective thing is for a person to have their own opinion, their own method of resisting injustice, even if this means they often find themselves alone and misunderstood,” Dr. Vrabevski explains.
In addition to Simon Phillips and Ronnie Romero, the album also includes Carl Sentance (Nazareth), Biser Ivanov on guitar, Ivo Stefanov on keyboards, Slavin Slavchev, Lina Nicole, and Borislav Mudolov-Kosatkata on backing vocals; Dimitar Sirakov on bass; Samuel Eftimov on piano