German guitar hero Axel Rudi Pell has issued the following update:
"Here's the first small mp3 sample from the upcoming 'Diamonds Unlocked' cover album. It is the opener and the fastest song on the record, titled 'Warrior'. The original version was done by RIOT from New York City. That band always was one of my favorite when it comes to pure metal style. They wrote a lot of good songs and 'Warrior' is one of them. Fits perfectly to all our other opening tracks... Enjoy!"
Download the "Warrior" one-minute sample at this location.
For over 25 years, Axel Rudi Pell has counted as one of Germany's most versatile guitarists. With over a dozen studio albums, he has a record of brilliant productions, loved by his fans and greeted with respect and praise by the press. Alongside numerous original compositions, cover versions of his favourite songs have always taken a special place in his work. The musician from Wattenscheid, Germany, has not only covered the work of his own idols, such as DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW, but also numbers by acts such as ALPHAVILLE, FREE, JIMI HENDRIX and URIAH HEEP. Now Pell is scheduled to release "Diamonds Unlocked" on October 1, 2007 (Germany: September 28; USA: to be announced), his first album consisting exclusively of compositions by other musicians, proving his expertise when it comes to the history of rock and pop music. Axel Rudi Pell has recorded ten cover songs, among them surprising new versions of real classics. "I have always stressed that I don't have a hard rock and metal fixation," he points out. "I don't think in terms of pigeonholes. If I like a track for whatever reason, I don't care about its stylistic direction. Every song on this album made me want to cover it at some stage when I heard the original."
Pell is referring to tracks such as the PHIL COLLINS megahit "In The Air Tonight", his own version sounding tailor-made for the ARP band. "Of course we rearranged some of the songs to suit our style 100%," the maestro explains. "'In The Air Tonight' features an extra drums and percussions part, plus added speed towards the end. And I don't suppose I have to mention that the guitar solo is longer than on the original." Equally surprising, although certainly logical in this context, is the extremely catchy U2 number "Beautiful Day" ("a timeless classic, absolutely wicked, an ingenious melody and a great chorus"), and the CHRIS REA song "Stone", which Pell discovered in a rather roundabout way. "It wasn't Chris Rea's original that convinced me but the cover version by THE LAW, a project initiated by FREE/BAD COMPANY/QUEEN vocalist Paul Rodgers and ex-THE WHO drummer Kenny Jones, from their 1991 debut album." Talking of FREE and THE WHO: the ARP version of "Won't Get Fooled Again" sounds extremely classy and fast-paced, and "Heartbreaker" sees Pell present a classic by a band that has had a lasting influence on him. "FREE inspired me to learn to play the guitar," he said. "Their guitarist Paul Kossoff had this extremely singing, melancholy blues sound that set him apart from thousands of other guitarists."
"Diamonds Unlocked" was recorded by the tried-and-tested lineup consisting of Axel Rudi Pell, vocalist Johnny Gioeli, keyboardist Ferdy Doernberg, bassist Volker Krawczak and drummer Mike Terrana. Pell produced the album single-handedly, and Charlie Bauerfeind took care of the mix.
"Diamonds Unlocked" track listing:
01. The Diamond Overture
02. Warrior (RIOT)
03. Beautiful Day (U2)
04. Stone (CHRIS REA/THE LAW)
05. Love Gun (KISS)
06. Fools Game (MICHAEL BOLTON)
07. Heartbreaker (FREE)
08. Rock The Nation (MONTROSE)
09. In The Air Tonight (PHIL COLLINS)
10. Like A Child Again (THE MISSION)
11. Won't Get Fooled Again (THE WHO)