Greece’s Rock Overdose spoke to German guitarist Axel Rudi Pell. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
SPV/Steamhammer has set a September 27 release date (one day earlier internationally) for “The Ballads IV”, the new compilation from Axel Rudi Pell. In addition to all of the group’s ballads since the release of “The Ballads III” (which came out in 2004), the disc includes three newly recorded songs.
“The Ballads IV” will be released as standard version, double gatefold LP in colored vinyl and as a digital download.
“The Ballads IV” track listing:
01. Where The Wild Waters Flow (5:34) (new recording)
02. Holy Diver (4:49) (new recording)
03. Hallelujah (4:16) (new recording)
04. Northern Lights (6:22)
05. Noblesse Oblige (Opus #5 Adagio Contabile) (4:08)
06. Love Gun (4:03)
07. Glory Night (5:44)
08. In The Air Tonight (8:37)
09. Touching My Soul (6:32)
10. Like A Child Again (4:47)
11. No Chance To Live (6:17)
12. Haunted Castle Serenade (Opus #4 Grazioso E Agresso) (3:51)
13. The Curse Of The Damned (9:57)
“Where The Wild Waters Flow”, “Holy Diver” and “Hallelujah” were recorded, mixed and co-produced by Charlie Bauerfeind at Twilight Hall Studios in Grefrath, Germany, in May 2011. The CD was mastered by Ulf Horbelt at DMS Mastering Studios in Marl, Germany. The cover illustration was created by Martin McKenna and can be seen below.
Pell‘s commentary on the three new recordings:
“Where The Wild Waters Flow”: “My own composition in the true AXEL RUDI PELL ballad style. This song is not about love, it has a more mysterious content and it captures the long and hopeless journey of human beings trying to get away from some dark mights. One can apply this to many different thoughts and situations nowadays. I definitely think that this song is one of the strongest ballads I’ve ever written with a hookline that will stick to everyone’s ears!”
“Holy Diver”: “As everybody knows, my soulmate and friend Ronnie James Dio sadly passed away last year. It was very clear to me using one of his songs to pay him tribute. It had to be a song, which was very easy recognizable as one of his tunes and therefore I picked ‘Holy Diver’. Of course, the original track isn’t a ballad, so I decided to re-arrange the song completely and we made a piano version out of it, featuring some orchestra — strings, a cello and a clean and melodic guitar solo. Johnny [Gioeli] gave his very best vocal performance and after the track was finished, there were lots of tears in some eyes…”
“Hallelujah”: “At least one of the best ballads around. Originally written and released by Leonard Cohen in 1984, it wasn’t his version giving me the idea to cover this tune. Actually it was all the good and bad performances of some TV casting show participants, who gave me the real kick to create one of the, hopefully, ultimate versions of this song. We recorded a children’s choir for this, which fits perfectly to Johnny‘s emotional and soulful voice. There are two different versions of this track: the CD album version which features a slightly wilder guitar solo and the ‘single’ (and downloadable) version which features a calmer guitar solo.”
“The Ballads IV” recording lineup:
Johnny Gioeli – Lead and Backing Vocals
Axel Rudi Pell – Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars
Ferdy Doernberg – Keyboards
Volker Krawczak – Bass
Mike Terrana – Drums