JOE LYNN TURNER’s ‘Belly Of The Beast’ Album Will Be Released In October.
Joe Lynn Turner (RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE) and Music Theories Recordings / Mascot Label Group have announced that his new album, “Belly Of The Beast,” will be released worldwide on October 28. They’ve released the album’s first single, a lyric video for the title track, today.
The most wild times demand the most free-spirited voices. After selling millions of records, performing in front of countless fans, and fronting some of the most influential rock bands in history, award-winning songwriter and vocal dynamo Joe Lynn Turner speaks his mind as loudly as he can on “Belly Of The Beast,” his eleventh full-length release and Mascot Label Group debut. The New Jersey-born powerhouse teams up with producer Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY, PAIN, LINDEMANN) to create heavy metal that not only makes you throw your fist in the air, but also makes you think.
“‘Belly Of The Beast’ is a phrase we’ve heard many times throughout history,” he observes. “Cults and corruption can be traced back to Bible prophecies all over the world. It appears to be coming to fruition these days. It’s right there in the book of Revelation. I’ve always been interested in esoteric knowledge, hermeticism, occultism, Bible study, and eclectic philosophy. I’ve always been intrigued by the discovery of hidden mysteries. We are currently engaged in a spiritual battle. It’s all about good versus evil. Every one of us has an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. We’re trapped in the system, in the belly of the beast, and there’s no way out. This is addressed in the album.”
A five-decade career had prepared him to make such a declaration. Joe founded FANDANGO in 1977 and sang for the band for four albums before being approached by RAINBOW guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. His vocals propelled the seminal “Difficult To Cure” to gold status in the United Kingdom, France, and Japan, as well as a spot in the Top 50 of the Billboard 200 and the Top 3 of the UK albums chart. A year later, he ignited RAINBOW’s “Straight Between The Eyes,” which Guitar World named one of the “25 Greatest Rock Guitar Albums” of 1982. It also gave birth to the Hot 100 hit “Stone Cold.” During 1988, a Polygram VP asked Turner to expand his writing and singing abilities in order to work with legendary shred virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen on his project RISING FORCE. Their album, “Odyssey,” charted in the Top 40 of the Billboard 200, marking Malmsteen’s highest debut on the chart and going gold in Sweden. Soon after, he re-joined Blackmore for DEEP PURPLE’s “Slaves And Masters” (1990), which went gold in Switzerland and Japan.
He has also co-written and performed on classics such as Mick Jones’ “Mick Jones” (1989), RIOT’s “The Privilege Of Power” (1990), and Lita Ford’s “Dangerous Curves” (1991), to name a few. He also provided background vocals for Michael Bolton’s double-platinum “The Hunger” (1987), Cher’s platinum “Cher” (1987), Billy Joel’s Grammy Award-nominated quadruple-platinum “Storm Front” (1989), and many others. From 2001 to 2004, he formed HTP with his friend and counterpart Glenn Hughes (HUGHES TURNER PROJECT). The release of two critically acclaimed original albums, as well as two world tours in support, increased his profile. Other collaborations range from dazzling on stage with “Raiding The Rock Vault” at the LVH Hotel and Casino to an unforgettable performance on “X Factor Bulgaria” to two tracks on MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP’s 2021 album, “Immortal.”
He first met Peter in 2017 after performing at his brother’s private birthday party. Soon after, Joe and Peter worked together on their first song, “Don’t Fear The Dark,” cementing their creative partnership and putting together what would become “Belly Of The Beast.”
“It happened completely by chance, but some of the best things happen by chance,” Joe observes. “I was unfamiliar with Peter’s bands PAIN and HYPOCRISY, but when we met, I liked his personality and felt we had chemistry. To mature as a writer, you must change and grow. This was something I was capable of. In terms of pushing into a heavy vein, Peter stated that ‘Joe adapted his voice,’ which is correct. But it’s still me. I kept it gritty, dirty, and metallic.”
“Belly Of The Beast,” the album’s title track and first single, storms out of the gate with a barrage of airtight guitars and pummeling double bass. It crashes into a plea before a skyscraping solo, “Heaven help us shall we be released, ’cause we can’t break free.”
“It’s all about the ritual and Lucifer, the serpent god of fear,” he observes. “Who casts the spell on humanity? You must believe in evil if you believe in good. It’s life’s yin and yang. It’s simple physics that they must coexist. The story line was obvious to me after listening to this track, which had an evil flavour. Peter surprised me with the double-time chorus, and we went for it.”
In this chapter, he also made an important personal decision. He began wearing a wig at 14 years old after being diagnosed with alopecia at three years old and dealing with “emotional and psychological damage from cruel bullying in school.” So he wore the hairpiece throughout his career before deciding to ditch it. “It’s both a blessing and a curse,” he admits. “I have nothing to prove, and I have the option of wearing a wig or not. I can do whatever I want. I’m a grown man who is approaching middle age. Many men in this industry eventually decide whether to ‘wear hair’ or shave their heads, which is very fashionable today. In either case, it requires a great deal of personal courage. Assholes in high school who tried to kick me around made me stronger and provided me with the motivation and strength I needed to rise above the rest. Anger and pain are powerful tools. It has the potential to help you become the best version of yourself if used correctly. Rather than fleeing, I was ‘hiding in plain sight.'”
Finally, Joe has something to say in “Belly Of The Beast’s” pit. “Of course, rock ‘n’ roll is about entertainment, but I hope you hear the message as well,” he concludes. “Everyone appears to have sold their souls to major corporations. When people become wealthy and well-known, they become part of the establishment. Where are the insurgents? Who will say, “Fuck you!” ‘Are we going to take this nonsense?’ I am.”