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Courtesy of Billboard

Paul McCartney was interviewed for the cover story of the latest issue of Billboard, which celebrates the publication's 125th anniversary. In the article, the ex-Beatles legend discusses a wide range of topics, including his old band's massive success, a new Fab Four-related project and much more.

In conjunction with Billboard's 125th anniversary, the magazine compiled a new list of the Top 125 Artists of All Time based on chart success, and The Beatles took the top spot. Asked how he felt about the achievement, McCartney responds, "That's fantastic. They were a great group."

He also notes that one of the aspects of The Beatles that propelled them to succeed was the band members' competitiveness, as well as their interest in "trying to get better and develop."

Paul further explains, "That was the force behind The Beatles: We'd do one song, and it'd be a hit, and instead of doing another with the same formula, we'd say, 'OK, we've done that.' You listen to The Beatles' output and no two songs are alike."

McCartney also shares an update about the new film being put together with unused footage shot for the 1970 Beatles flick Let It Be.

"The director [Peter Jackson] tells me that the overall impression is of friends working together," Paul said of the new flick, "whereas because it was so close to The Beatles' breakup, my impression of the film was of a sad moment."

He adds, "It won't be called Let It Be, but there will be something [coming out]."

Meanwhile, McCartney reveals that he's in the process of finalizing a deal in which he'll reclaim his portion of the U.S. publishing rights to Beatles songs from Sony/ATV. At one time during the mid-1980s, Paul was outbid for those rights by Michael Jackson.

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ABC/Randy HolmesThe Antichrist Superstar is joining forces with the Prince of Darkness once more.

Marylin Manson will open for Ozzy Osbourne on the Black Sabbath frontman's upcoming 2020 North American tour, set to kick off May 27 in Atlanta.

"Marilyn is killer live," says Ozzy. "He's so f***ing out there, and if I think that, then look out, we're all f***ed."

"I've toured with Ozzy many times and it's always been f***ing spectacular," adds Manson. "I'm honored to do it again. This is one not to miss."

The 2020 dates are rescheduled from Osbourne's postponed 2019 tour, which he had to scrap after undergoing surgery earlier this year to treat injuries he suffered during a fall in his home. Megadeth had been scheduled to open for those shows.

Following the North American run, which wraps July 31 in Las Vegas, Ozzy will head to the U.K. and Europe for a tour with support from Judas Priest.

For all Ozzy Osbourne's dates, visit

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© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/ Corbis via Getty ImagesIn honor of Billboard's 125th anniversary, the magazine has put together a new chart, the Top 125 Artists of All Time, that's based on appearances on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and Billboard 200 albums tally.

Not surprisingly, The Beatles score the top spot on the all-time chart, followed at #2 by The Rolling Stones and at #3 by Elton John.

Among the many standout chart achievements the Fab Four have amassed: The most #1 hits in the history of the Hot 100 -- 20 -- and the most #1 albums on the Billboard 200 with 19.

Those 19 albums spent a collective total of 132 weeks atop the Billboard 200, 80 more weeks in all than the artist with the second-most weeks at #1 on the tally, Garth Brooks.

The Beatles also are famously the only act ever to hold the top five slots simultaneously on the Hot 100: On April 4, 1964, "Can't Buy Me Love" was number one, "Twist and Shout" was #2, "She Loves You" was #3, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was #4 and "Please Please Me" was #5.

Two individual Beatles, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, also appear on Billboard's all-time chart thanks to their solo accomplishments, with McCartney landing at #12 and Harrison at #124.

Other rock artists featured in the higher portion of the all-time tally: Chicago at #10, Rod Stewart at #15, Billy Joel at #19, Bruce Springsteen at #24, Eagles at #27, The Beach Boys at #29, Fleetwood Mac at #30, Santana at #31, Eric Clapton at #38, Led Zeppelin at #40, Bon Jovi at #45, Phil Collins at #46, Bob Dylan at #48 and John Mellencamp at #48.

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Parlophone/RhinoToday marks the 50th anniversary of the release of David Bowie's second self-titled U.K. album, which was reissued in the U.S. in 1972 as Space Oddity and featured the famous song of the same name.

In honor of the milestone, a new remix of "Space Oddity", created by longtime Bowie producer Tony Visconti using Sony's new immersive 360 Reality Audio music format, has premiered.

The track will be available via Amazon HD using Amazon Echo Studio, as well as via Deezer and TIDAL using headphones. 360 Reality Audio allows you to experience music like you're at a concert, hearing the vocals and instruments virtually positioned in different locations in the room.

In a video interview posted on Bowie's official YouTube channel, Visconti discusses his goal in creating the 360 Reality Audio remix of "Space Oddity."

"The song was written [about] being isolated in this little capsule, but seeing the universe from your window," Visconti explains. "This is what I'm trying to get across in the mix. Therefore, you're going to be traveling through this mix. Things will go by you, things will be around you, behind you…in front of you, coming towards you."

Tony adds that he thinks Bowie would've loved and embraced the 360 Reality Audio format.

The new "Space Oddity" remix arrives one day before the release of Bowie's Conversation Piece box set, a five-CD collection featuring rare home demos and other recordings from 1968 and '69, as well as two mixes of the 1969 David Bowie album.

As previously reported, Conversation Piece includes all of the tracks that appeared on the vinyl Bowie box sets that have been released this year in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of "Space Oddity," plus some additional rare late-'60s recordings.

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ABC/Randy HolmesAlice Cooper, Green Day and Perry Farrell dive into the vile depths of social media in the latest, music-themed edition of "Mean Tweets" on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The shock rocker reads a tweet from one curious music fan who observes, "Alice Cooper looked 65 in 1972. How is he still alive?"

Green Day drummer Tre Cool reads a tweet that asks why he "look[s] like the emo version of Ted Cruz?" That got a big laugh from frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, who adds that bassist Mike Dirnt "looks like [Vladimir] Putin."

Another Twitter user asks Farrell, "How crazy are you on a scale from 1 to Perry Farrell?"

"Oh, I'm one hundred percent Perry Farrell!" the Jane's Addiction frontman animatedly responds.

Other artists who participated in the "Mean Tweets" segment include John Mayer, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Chance the Rapper, Luke Bryan and Cardi B.

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Johnny & Edgar Winter in 2007; Engelke/ullstein bild via Getty ImagesDuring his life, blues-guitar great Johnny Winter served as a musical mentor and inspiration to many, including his younger brother Edgar, who went on to forge a successful music career of his own. Now Edgar Winter tells Billboard that he's putting together a star-studded tribute album to Johnny, who died in 2014 at the age of 70.

The as-yet-untitled album is due out in 2020, and will feature contributions from Joe Walsh, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Joe Bonamassa, Robben Ford, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and blues legends Buddy Guy and Bobby Rush.

"It's really turned out to be a wonderful blessing in my life, doing this," Edgar tells the magazine. "Johnny's my all-time musical hero. If it weren't for him I wouldn't be where I am now. I just feel like I need to acknowledge that and put out a record he would love."

According to Edgar, the album will feature 16 tracks, including original Johnny Winter tunes mixed with some of the well-known cover tunes he often played live, among them Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," The Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited."

The record also will feature a rendition of Rick Derringer's "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo," which Johnny first recorded when Derringer was a member of his band in 1970, three years before Rick scored a solo hit with the tune.

Edgar tells Billboard that while Johnny rightfully was respected for his blue-guitar prowess, he feels his brother's vocal talents have been overlooked.

"[I]n the early years when we were playing together he would sing beautiful ballads like 'Cryin'' by Roy Orbison in a completely clear, beautiful voice," Edgar notes. "So I'm going to do some of those songs that are my personal favorites, too."

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Credit: Jen RosensteinKISS has unveiled the final dates on the iconic band's End of the Road farewell tour.

The newly announced shows kick off February 1, 2020, in Manchester, New Hampshire, and conclude October 2 in Forth Worth, Texas. That will be followed by the 2020 KISS Kruise, taking place October 30 to November 4.

KISS will then play their final, final concert on July 21, 2021 -- four days later than they announced recently on the 2019 KISS Kruise -- at a currently undisclosed venue in the band's hometown of New York City. After that, they'll be KISStory. Or, so they say, anyway.

Tickets to the final dates will go on sale to members of the KISS Army fan club beginning next Wednesday, November 20, at 10 a.m. local time. General on sale begins Friday, November 22, at 10 a.m. local time.

Visit for all ticket info.

Earlier Thursday, KISS canceled the upcoming Australia and New Zealand leg of the End of the Road tour due to Paul Stanley coming down with the flu.

Here are the new End of the Road tour dates:

2/1/20 -- Manchester, NH, SNHU Arena
2/4 -- Allentown, PA, PPL Center
2/5 -- Buffalo, NY, KeyBank Center
2/7 -- Charlottesville, VA, John Paul Jones Arena
2/8 -- Greensboro, NC, Greensboro Coliseum Complex
2/11 -- Columbia, SC, Colonial Life Arena
2/13 -- Lexington, KY, Rupp Arena
2/15 -- Peoria, IL, Peoria Civic Center
2/16 -- Fort Wayne, IN, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
2/18 -- Springfield, MO, JQH Arena
2/19 -- Wichita, KS, INTRUST Bank Arena
2/21 -- Sioux City, IA, Tyson Events Center
2/22 -- Grand Forks, ND, Alerus Center
2/24 -- St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Center
2/25 -- Lincoln, NE, Pinnacle Bank Arena
2/29 -- Laughlin, NV, Laughlin Event Center
3/2 -- Bakersfield, CA, Mechanics Bank Arena
3/4 -- Los Angeles, CA, Staples Center
3/6 -- Oakland, CA, Oracle Arena
3/9 -- El Paso, TX, UTEP Don Haskins Center
3/10 -- Lubbock, TX, United Supermarkets Arena
3/12 -- Tulsa, OK, BOK Center
3/14 -- Lafayette, LA, Lafayette Cajundome
3/15 -- Biloxi, MS, Mississippi Coast Coliseum
8/28 -- Burgettstown, PA, KeyBank Pavilion
8/29 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall
8/31 -- Canandaigua, NY, Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center
9/3 -- Bangor, ME, Darling's Waterfront Pavilion
9/4 -- Mansfield, MA, Xfinity Center
9/5 -- Hartford, CT, XFINITY Theatre
9/8 -- Atlanta, GA, Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood
9/9 -- Raleigh, NC, Coastal Credit Union Music Park
9/11 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
9/12 -- Tinley Park, IL, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Chicago, IL
9/14 -- Dayton, OH, Wright State University Nutter Center
9/15 -- Milwaukee, WI, American Family Insurance Amphitheater
9/19 -- George, WA, Gorge Amphitheatre
9/20 -- Ridgefield, WA, Sunlight Supply Amphitheater
9/22 -- Boise, ID, ExtraMile Arena
9/24 -- Salt Lake City, UT, USANA Amphitheatre
9/27 -- Chula Vista, CA, North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
9/29 -- Phoenix, AZ, Ak-Chin Pavilion
10/1 -- Austin, TX, Austin360 Amphitheater
10/2 -- Fort Worth, TX, Dickies Arena
7/21/21 -- New York, NY, TBA

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Credit: Jen Rosenstein

After postponing the start of their tour of Australia and New Zealand due to Paul Stanley coming down with the flu, KISS has now scrapped the entire tour leg altogether.

According to a post on by the tour promoters, "It was hoped the extra few days rest would allow Stanley the chance for a complete recovery so the tour could proceed as planned. However unfortunately this has not occurred. Stanley has an additional infection in his throat requiring complete vocal rest and medication for at least two weeks and possibly longer."

In a Facebook posting, Paul Stanley said, with a "heavy heart," "Words cannot begin to convey our massive disappointment in having to cancel our End Of The Road tour of your incredible country. Our connection to you is unparalleled and decades deep."

He added, "We waited as long as we could and held out hope to the last minute that my situation would clear up and we would be able to march forward. Doctor's orders ultimately have taken precedence and finally we now find ourselves with no choice but to surrender."

All tickets will be refunded. It's not clear if the eight planned shows will be rescheduled.

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Courtesy of Google

Hey Queen fans, are you ready for the Freddie Challenge? Today, the band has teamed up with YouTube Music to launch FreddieMeter, an Artificial Intelligence-powered singing challenge that rates how closely you can mimic the vocals of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

Fans logging on to the FreddieMeter microsite can choose one of four Queen classics to test their vocal prowess -- "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Don't Stop Me Now," "Somebody to Love" and "We Are the Champions."

The meter was created by Google researchers, and rates pitch, melody and timbre.

After belting out a song and getting your score, you're encouraged to share it on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook social media sites, then nominate three friends to take the challenge using the hashtag #FreddieChallenge. You also can spread the word by retweeting or resharing posts from @youtubemusic, @youtube and @Queen.

Perhaps most importantly, in your post, you can encourage people to donate to Mercury Phoenix Trust, the charity co-founded in Freddie's memory by Queen guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and manager Jim Beach to help in the fight to end HIV/AIDS.

As a bonus, fans taking the Freddie Challenge can take a video of their performance and include that in their social media posts.

The launch of the FreddieMeter coincides with the 44th anniversary of Queen's first live performance of "Bohemian Rhapsody," which took place at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool, U.K.

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ABC/Randy HolmesThe 53rd Annual CMA Awards aired Wednesday night on ABC, and later on, so did a sixth installment of Jimmy Kimmel Live!'s Mean Tweets: Music Edition.

As always,a variety of artists opened themselves up to some of the meanest, nastiest comments currently on the internet, procured especially by host Jimmy Kimmel. This time around, Billie EilishAlice CooperChance the RapperLuke PerryLizzoLuke Combs and a host of others took their licks.

As for the latter, one Twitter user accused Combs of making "music for people who taste the gas before they fill up their truck," while another noted, "Midland looks like they have a white van with 'free candy' written on the side" -- to which Cameron Duddy corrected, "It's a black van."

One of the biggest insults, however, was aimed at Cooper.  "Alice Cooper looked 65 in 1972.  How is he still alive," he read before shooting an equally confused look into the camera.  

The overall best reaction came from Cardi B, who read in a pointedly soft voice, "I just watched a muted performance of Cardi B and that b**** just looks loud without any sound on.  Like no thank you."

"How I look loud?  How I look loud??  I'm loud?"  She asks while looking around in bewilderment before deadpanning, "I don't even think I'm like loud.  Suck my a***"

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ABC/Randy HolmesIn 1996, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong sent a 15-year-old fan a VHS tape of himself thanking her for all the letters she sent him. Now, thanks to the wonder of the internet, you can watch it yourself 23 years later.

As Reddit user Jmsmnn explains, his wife is a big Green Day fan, and, when she was younger, she'd send Armstrong letters. In order to thank her, Armstrong called her, but she thought it was a prank and hung up. Armstrong's wife then called back to try and convince the fan that she was talking to the real deal -- only for her to hang up again.

To convince her of his identity, Armstrong then sent her a VHS tape showing him reading her letters. You can watch that now via Instagram.

"She still guards this VHS tape with her life," the caption reads.

Green Day will release their new album Father of All... on February 7. They'll spend next summer on the Hella Mega tour with Fall Out Boy and Weezer.

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Credit: Mads PerchRobert Plant says he and members of his backing band The Sensational Space Shifters have been amassing material for a potential follow-up to his 2017 studio album, Carry Fire, and they may soon be hitting a recording studio to start the project.

"Between The Sensational Space Shifters' guitarists Justin Adams and Liam 'Skin' Tyson and everybody, we've got about 40 different instrumental ideas already," the Led Zeppelin legend tells Classic Rock magazine.

Robert also reports that he and the group may work on the album in Nashville.

"[T]here are some things in the air, possibly in Nashville. I'm supposed to be going there in two weeks' time," he notes. "There's nothing going on at all at the moment, but there will be."

Plant points out that in recent years, he and The Sensational Space Shifters have been working on their recordings with Tim Oliver, the manager of Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios.

"[W]e can mess about in there," Plant says of the facility, which is located in Wiltshire, U.K. "I can spend an afternoon with Tim and really shift styles and stems of music in preparation to shape them as songs."

He adds, "We've recorded the last two records [Carry Fire and 2014's Lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar] with Tim and it's a great way of doing things. It's a good combination. We all know where we're going."

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Credit: Myriam SantosJoe Walsh has been added to the list of performers for the Country Music Association Awards, which airs live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

The Eagles guitarist will participate in a tribute to Kris Kristofferson, who will be presented with the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony. Walsh will hit the stage alongside previously announced performers Sheryl Crow, Dierks Bentley, Chris Janson and John Osborne. Coincidentally, Walsh and Kristofferson both make guest appearances on separate tracks on Crow's recent collaborative album, Threads.

Walsh also is listed among the evening's presenters.

The 53rd CMA Awards ceremony is centered around the women of country music, with co-hosts Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire set to lead a medley of hits by many female country legends that will open the show.

This past Sunday, Walsh hosted his third annual VetsAid concert, which raises fund for various veterans organizations. The lineup for this year's show, held in Houston, included Crow, ZZ Top, The Doobie Brothers and country star Brad Paisley. Next up for Joe will be The Eagles' Hotel California 2020 Tour, which kicks off with a February 7-8 stand in Atlanta.

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Liberation Hall Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke and original Santana drummer Michael Shrieve are among the musicians who've contributed to Born in the Bronx, the debut solo album by Handsome Dick Manitoba, the longtime frontman of the New York City proto-punk band The Dictators.

The album was produced by Jon Tiven, whose credits include recordings by B.B. King, Nick Lowe, Frank Black and soul legends Wilson Pickett and Don Covay.

Born in the Bronx's first single is a cover of "Eve of Destruction," a chart-topping 1965 hit for folk singer Barry McGuire that was written by the late P.F. Sloan, who also penned the Johnny Rivers classic "Secret Agent Man." Tiven incorporated some archival audio of Sloan playing harmonica and guitar and singing background vocals into Manitoba's version of "Eve of Destruction."

You can check out an official video for the track now on Manitoba's YouTube channel.

Born in the Bronx also features contributions from longtime Bryan Adams drummer Mick Curry, and a variety of respected Nashville session musicians, including Robert Plant collaborator Buddy Miller.

In addition, the album includes a Beach Boys homage titled "Surfside," featuring lyrics by Stephen J. Kalinich, who co-wrote a handful of Beach Boys songs.

Born in the Bronx is available now on CD at A limited number of signed copies can be purchased at

Here's the Born in the Bronx full track list:

"Back to My TV"
"Eve of Destruction"
"The Cooker & the Hit"
"Big Army Brass"
"Layers Down"
"Callie May"
"Thicker Than Blood"
"Magenta Street"
"8th Avenue Serenade"
"Sour Punk King of NYC"
"Born in the Bronx"

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Ben Gibson © HST Global Limited, courtesy of Rocket EntertainmentElton John continues to expand his massive Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

He's just announced 24 new North American dates, which together will complete the second year of the planned three-year trek.

The new concerts span from a March 28-29 stand in Toronto through a July 8 show in Kansas City, Missouri, and include an April 2-3 engagement in Montreal, and stops in cities like Hershey, Pennsylvania; Columbus, Ohio; Knoxville, Tennessee; and St. Paul, Minnesota, as well as in Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, Houston and St. Louis.

Elton's 2020 itinerary will include 43 concerts in all.  The tour is set to wrap in 2021.

American Express card members can purchase tickets for the new dates starting Thursday, November 14, at 10 a.m. local time.  The general public on-sale starts Friday, November 22, at 10 a.m. local time.  Tickets and VIP packages can be purchased via 

The VIP packages will be available starting Thursday at 10 a.m. local time.  They include special merch, backstage tours and onstage photo ops with Elton's piano.

Here are the new dates:

3/28 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Scotiabank Arena
3/29 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Scotiabank Arena
4/2 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Bell Centre
4/3 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Bell Centre
4/20 -- Hershey, PA, GIANT Center
4/25 -- Columbus, OH, Schottenstein Center
5/22 -- Columbia, SC, Colonial Life Arena
5/23 -- Greensboro, NC, Greensboro Coliseum
5/26 -- Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
5/28 -- Orlando, FL, Amway Center
5/30 -- Miami, FL, AmericanAirlines Arena
6/6 -- Knoxville, TN, Thompson-Boling Arena
6/9 -- Lincoln, NE, Pinnacle Bank Arena
6/13 -- Fargo ND, Fargodome
6/15 -- St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Center
6/16 -- St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Center
6/19 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
6/20 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
6/24 -- New Orleans, LA, Smoothie King Center
6/30 -- Houston, TX, Toyota Center
7/1 -- Houston, TX, Toyota Center
7/3 -- North Little Rock, AR, Simmons Bank Arena
7/7 -- St. Louis, MO, Enterprise Center
7/8 -- Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center

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ABC/Travis BellRock is coming to Boston in a big way next year, thanks to the 2020 Boston Calling festival.

Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers will headline the three-day event, held May 22-24 at Beantown's Harvard Athletic Complex.

The full lineup will be unveiled in January. Tickets go on sale beginning Thursday, November 14 at 10 a.m. ET via

Both the Foos and the Chili Peppers are supposedly working on new music to follow up their respective latest albums, 2017's Concrete and Gold and 2016's The Getaway.

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Round Hill/Triumph CatalogIn honor of its 30th anniversary, Canadian power trio Triumph's 1989 best-of compilation Classics will be reissued as a two-LP colored-vinyl set on December 13.

The album, which will be pressed on 180-gram silver vinyl, will feature the original 11 tracks, as well as two bonus live performances: a rendition of "Never Surrender" from the 1983 US Festival and a medley of "Blinding Light Show" and "Moon Child," from Triumph's 2008 reunion at the Sweden Rock fest.

Classics features the two Triumph songs that cracked the Billboard Hot 100's top 40 -- 1979's "Hold On" and 1986's "Somebody's Out There" -- as well as such rock radio hits as "Lay It on the Line," "Magic Power," "A World of Fantasy," "Spellbound" and "Follow Your Heart."

Founded in 1975, Triumph featured singer/guitarist Rik Emmett, drummer/vocalist Gil Moore and bassist/keyboardist Mike Levine.

"We are excited to showcase our career on the Classics reissue," says the band in a joint statement. "It's a beautiful package and sounds awesome!"

In other news, Triumph will be inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame at a November 23 ceremony at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto. The event will be broadcast in December on CTV.

Here's the track list for the Classics reissue:

"Lay It on the Line"
"I Live for the Weekend"
"Magic Power"
"Somebody's Out There"
"A World of Fantasy"
"Follow Your Heart"
"Fight the Good Fight"
"Rock & Roll Machine"
"Hold On"
"Never Surrender" (Live at the US Festival)
"Blinding Light Show"/"Moon Child" (Live at Sweden Rock)

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Credit: Zach HymanDave Grohl is helping bringing the rock to Sesame Street.

The Foo Fighters frontman guest-starred on a recent episode of the long-running children's TV program, and joined Big Bird and Elmo for a song about traveling the country and making new friends called "Here We Go."

You can watch the performance streaming now on YouTube.

Grohl's Sesame Street appearance follows his recent guest spot on the Nick Jr. show Ryan's Mystery Playdate. He'll be back to playing with his Foo Fighters band mates when they headline Las Vegas' Intersect festival in December.

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Craft RecordingsR.E.M. recently released a 25th anniversary reissue of its chart-topping 1994 album, Monster.

The album found the band moving in an edgier, louder direction after the massive success of its two mellower predecessors -- 1991's Out of Time and 1992's Automatic for the People.

In an interview taped for an upcoming episode of the PBS series Speakeasy, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and Mike Mills share some recollections about Monster.

Stipe points out that, following Out of Time and Automatic for the People, "We were really at the top of our game…but they were really quiet records, and we were about to go on a tour and we needed louder songs. So we embraced…our collective love of glam rock from the early '70s."

Mills notes that guitarist Peter Buck, after focusing on acoustic instruments on the previous two records, "had rediscovered the electric guitar… [and] was ready to turn it back up."

Echoing what Stipe said, Mills notes that as R.E.M. prepared for its first major tour in several years, "[we decided we] needed songs that will fill up a big space, and be joyous and loud and silly and fun."

Not all the songs on Monster were silly and fun, however. The album also includes "Let Me In," a tribute to their friend Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, who killed himself while R.E.M. was making the record.

Stipe says in writing the song's lyrics, he found himself "crying out and feeling hopeless in the face of what he was facing and the...sadness and the depth of his depression, and trying to reckon with it."

Monster also includes R.E.M.'s last top 40-hits in the U.S. -- "Bang and Blame" and "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"

Check out full details about the 25th anniversary Monster reissue at

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Courtesy of the Keith Emerson EstateA new book of transcriptions of 25 compositions by late Emerson, Lake and Palmer keyboardist Keith Emerson has just been released.

The arrival of the publication, titled Selections from Emerson Plays Emerson and Other Works, marks the completion of a project that Keith had been in the process of approving at the time of his passing in March 2016.

The transcriptions were created by a group of fans of Keith's music and the book initially was intended to focus specifically on the compositions from the 2002 Emerson Plays Emerson album. However, the project eventually expanded to include other pieces, including "Piano Concerto No. 1" from the 1977 ELP album Works, Vol. 1.

The Keith Emerson Estate commissioned its own quality control to look over the transcriptions and approve them for the book.

The book features a foreword put together using emails Emerson had written with regard to the project, as well as an unpublished poem he wrote about composing.

A portion of the foreword reads, "So imagine my delight when news reached me that people had felt moved enough by my compositions to create transcriptions of them! Hopefully the Emerson Plays Emerson transcriptions will, in some small way, be useful to the next generation of composers to play and practice upon. I am humbled."

Emerson died by suicide at the age of 71.

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