ROCK ‘N’ ROLL ICON DION HONORS HIS HEROES
CD AND BONUS DVD CAPTURE VIBRANT, PERSONAL STORIES OF ROCK’S EARLY DAYS AND THE GUITAR GREATS THAT HAVE INFLUENCED GENERATIONS
DUE SEPTEMBER 30th ON SAGUARO ROAD RECORDS
Fairfax, VA (July 25, 2008) – Indisputably one of the greatest voices in rock n’ roll, Dion casts the spotlight away from himself and onto the first generation of rockers on a new album, Heroes: Giants of Early Guitar Rock. Specially packaged with a bonus DVD, Heroes will be released on September 30th on Saguaro Road Records, formed in June 2008 by Direct Holdings Americas Inc. Direct Holdings also markets and sells audio and video entertainment products under the Time Life brand, which uses it under license from Time Warner Inc. Hand-selected by Dion, the songs of Heroes includes 15 early rock classics and all of artists he pays tribute to have been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
“It is a privilege for all of us to be working with Dion,” says Saguaro Road A&R executive Bas Hartong, “who both played a significant role in and watched the birth of rock and roll on and from the wings of many stages. These are groundbreaking songs, which have had a profound influence on several generations of major rock stars. Dion’s great voice, his stories and the exciting music will speak to the rock purist, the newest fan and everyone in between.”
Heroes is Dion’s own personal tome of an era that shattered all conceptions of music that came before it. The specially packaged CD and DVD set are alive with his vivid stories of the early days of rock n’ roll, and his reverence for the musicians is palpable. “I put a collection of my favorite songs and stories together,” says Dion modestly. “These are my Heroes.” Together, they play like a history lesson of the most exciting kind, bringing new life to the work of the greatest guitar innovators whose mark is still felt today. On the 50th anniversary of his first hit single, Dion felt compelled to tell the story of these musicians beyond just the notes on a page or the licks in a familiar tune.
Heroes is an homage to the innovators and pioneers of this era. “The band and I set out to capture the original intent, essence and passion of these first generation rockers,” explains Dion. “While we stayed true to the arrangements, approach and sounds, we let it rip – we didn’t copy the solos or simply take a snapshot of the songs. I want to give people a glimpse of who Cliff Gallup was; James Burton; and Scotty Moore, guitar innovators who infused fire into the music of Gene Vincent, Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley.”
There is no denying that Dion does his heroes proud; the performances are strong and riveting, with signature guitar work by Bob “Crow” Richardson and Dion himself, lovingly displayed on every song.
The accompanying bonus DVD reveals the deeply personal mission of the album. “Most of the songs on this CD I heard firsthand night after night and sometimes five times a day at the Brooklyn Paramount or the Apollo Theater,” reflects Dion. “I toured the Midwest for two weeks with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens – we jammed in the back of the bus for hours on end. These guys were not only great singers and writers – above all they were great guitar players.” A masterful storyteller, Dion’s memories of these heroes come to life in his dynamic narratives of time spent with and in awe of the guitarists.
Few can match Dion’s career that has taken him through five decades, amassing 20 Top 40 hits, 13 of them in the Top 20 and seven in the Top 5 including “A Teenager In Love,” “Runaround Sue,” “The Wanderer and “Ruby Baby.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.