Saturday, November 29, 2008

Michael's Christmas Gift, Richard's Possible Standards, more

George Michael will give a special Christmas gift to his fans when he makes his new song, December Song (I Dreamed of Christmas), a free download.

The song will be serviced to radio on Monday and will be available for download from his website and other digital services on Christmas day.

The original report of a free download said it would be with his version of Nina Simone's Feeling Good, which he recorded for the TV series Eli Stone, but that was not mentioned in the latest announcement.

It's only a rumor right now, but there are stirrings that Keith Richard is planning on recording an album of standards.

Michael Martin Murphey will release his new album, Buckaroo Blue Grass, on February 10 via Rural Rhythm Records. The album is produced by his son, Ryan Murphey, includes both new songs and some of Murphey's classics rearranged for bluegrass.

Joining him on the album are Sam Bush, Rob Ickes, Ronnie McCoury, Andy Leftwich, Pat Flynn and Charlie Cushman with background vocals by Rhonda Vincent.
Soul Tracks has passed the latest along on Angela Bofill's health. Bofill had a stroke in early 2006 and a second last July.

According to her manager Rich Engel, she is now able to walk about two blocks, has been given the OK to travel and will soon be released from the nursing facility. She is looking forward to doing meet and greets next year, although singing may still be awhile away.

Aretha Franklin seems set to sign Terrence Howard to play Smokey Robinson in the biopic of her life.

Franklin says, "I was talking to him about playing Smokey (and) he said he would be delighted with a capital D and Smokey said that he would absolutely love for him to play him."

The son of Canadian music legend Tommy Hunter has plead guilty to assaulting his father last October 17. He will be sentenced in January.

Hunter, known as Canada's Country Gentleman, had his own show on CBC radio and TV from 1960 until 1992.

Live Earth India was canceled on Friday due to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Jon Bon Jovi and David Gilmour were among the artists scheduled to perform.

Chart Watch - November 28, 2008

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current music charts. Chart highlights:
  • Enya takes over the top album by a veteran artist position with her holiday entry, And Winter Came...
  • Holiday music is everywhere on the charts now and we have added the Top Holiday Albums and Singles Charts for the next month.
  • Rod Stewart has the highest debut for a veteran artist as his Definitive Collection starts at number 70. In England, where it's called Some Guys Have All the Luck, it debuts at 19 and in Canada is begins at 26.
  • The only other premier in the U.S. is Sammy Hagar's Cosmic Universal Fashion, which begins at 95.
  • In England, the big premier is Simply Red's 25: The Greatest Hits, which debuts at 9. Also premiering in the U.K. is Tom Jones' 24 Hours at 32 and The Informer by Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra at 48.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis.


Top 100 Albums

Top 50 Singles
  • None

Top 25 Digital Songs
  • None

Top 25 Pop Catalog Albums


Top 50 R&B Albums
  • None

Top 50 R&B Songs

  • None

Top 10 R&B Catalog Albums


Top 25 Country Albums

Top 25 Country Singles
  • #17 (19) - Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire
  • #19 (24) - Down the Road - Kenny Chesney with Mac McAnally
  • #24 (33) - River of Love - George Strait

Top 10 Country Catalog Albums


Top 10 Rock Albums

Top 10 Hard Rock Albums

Top 20 Mainstream Rock Tracks
  • #1 (1) - Rock N' Roll Train - AC/DC
  • #3 (3) - The Day That Never Comes - Metallica

Top 20 AAA Tracks
  • #12 (8) - Boots of Chinese Plastic - Pretenders
  • #16 (17) - Strange Overtones - David Byrne & Brian Eno

Adult Contemporary

Top 20 Adult Contemporary Tracks
  • #16 (16) - What Do I Do With My Heart - Eagles

Top 20 Adult Top 40 Tracks
  • None


Top 25 Dance Club Play
  • #14 (20) - Juliet of the Spirits - B-52's

Top 10 Dance Singles Sales
  • #5 (7) - Give It 2 Me - Madonna


Top 15 Jazz Albums

Top 15 Contemporary Jazz Albums


Top 25 Holiday Albums

Top 30 Holiday Songs

  • #1 (1) - Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
  • #2 (5) - It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams
  • #3 (2) - The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) - Nat King Cole
  • #4 (4) - A Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives
  • #5 (6) - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Johnny Mathis
  • #7 (7) - Jingle Bell Rock - Daryl Hall & John Oates
  • #8 (9) - Happy Xmas (War is Over) - John Lennon & Yoko Ono
  • #10 (8) - White Christmas - Bing Crosby
  • #11 (11) - Feliz Navidad - Jose Faliciano
  • #12 (12) - Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms
  • #13 (13) - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
  • #14 (15) - Sleigh Ride - Leroy Anderson
  • #15 (14) - Winter Wonderland - Amy Grant
  • #16 (17) - Please Come Home For Christmas - Eagles
  • #17 (18) - Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid
  • #18 (16) - Last Christmas - Wham!
  • #21 (19) - Wonderful Christmas Time - Paul McCartney
  • #22 (23) - Little Drummer Boy - Harry Simeone Chorale
  • #23 (24) - Merry Christmas Darling - Carpenters
  • #24 (21) - Carol of the Bells - David Foster
  • #25 (R) - Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
  • #26 (27) - Little Saint Nick - Beach Boys
  • #27 (R) - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Bing Crosby
  • #28 (26) - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - James Taylor
  • #29 (R) - Happy Holiday/The Holiday Season - Andy Williams
  • #30 (R) - Step Into Christmas - Elton John


Music Association Top 40 Airplay

United Kingdom

Top 100 British Albums

Top 100 British Singles
  • #21 (28) - Let Your Love Flow - Bellamy Brothers


Top 100 Canadian Albums

Top 100 Canadian Singles

  • #39 (32) - Rock N' Roll Train - AC/DC
  • #50 (63) - Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire
  • #67 (43) - Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven - Kenny Chesney with the Wailers
  • #73 (89) - Down the Road - Kenny Chesney with Mac McAnally
  • #84 (80) - Miles Away - Madonna


Top 50 Australian Albums

Top 50 Australian Singles
  • None


Top 100 Japanese Singles
  • #14 (6) - Trains and Winter Rains - Enya
  • #58 (-) - Sing the Changes - Fireman (Paul McCartney)

Kinks to Release First Career Retrospective Box Set

The Kinks will release their first ever box set on December 8 when Picture Book becomes available from Sanctuary/Universal.

The 6-CD set contains 130 tracks ranging from their biggest hits to rarities, demos and live tracks. Included are a few tracks from the pre-Kinks band, the Ravens.

Accompanying the discs is a 60-page book with a biography, timeline and numerous previouly unpublished photos.

The track list:
  • Disc 1
    • Brian Matthew Introduces the Kinks
    • You Really Got Me
    • I'm a Hog for You Baby
    • I Believed You
    • Long Tall Sally
    • I Don't Need You Anymore
    • Stop Your Sobbing
    • I Gotta Move
    • Don't Ever Let Me Go
    • All Day and All of the Night
    • Tired of Waiting for You
    • Come on Now (outtake with two false starts)
    • There Is a New World Opening for Me (Kassner publishing demo)
    • Everybody's Gonna Be Happy
    • Who'll Be the Next in Line
    • Time Will Tell
    • Set Me Free
    • I Need You
    • See My Friend
    • Wait Till the Summer Comes Along
    • I Go to Sleep
    • A Little Bit of Sunlight (Kassner publishing demo)
    • This I Know (demo)
    • A Well Respected Man
    • This Strange Effect (With Brian Matthew speaking over intro)
    • Milk Cow Blues
    • Ring the Bells
    • I'm on an Island
    • Till the End of the Day
    • Where Have All the Good Times Gone
    • All Night Stand (Demo)
    • And I Will Love You
    • Sittin' on My Sofa
  • Disc 2
    • Dedicated Follower of Fashion (alternate stereo take)
    • She's Got Everything
    • Mr. Reporter (Ray vocal)
    • Sunny Afternoon
    • I'm Not Like Everybody Else
    • This Is Where I Belong
    • Rosie Won't You Please Come Home
    • Too Much on My Mind
    • Session Man
    • End of the Season
    • Dead End Street (first version)
    • Village Green
    • Two Sisters
    • David Watts
    • Mr. Pleasant
    • Waterloo Sunset (mono mix)
    • Death of a Clown
    • Lavender Hill
    • Good Luck Charm
    • Autumn Almanac
    • Susannah's Still Alive
    • Animal Farm
    • Rosemary Rose
    • Berkeley Mews
    • Lincoln County
    • Picture Book
    • Days
    • Misty Water
  • Disc 3
    • Love Me Till the Sun Shines (Top Gear session with Brian Matthew intro and outro)
    • The Village Green Preservation Society
    • Big Sky
    • King Kong
    • Drivin'
    • Some Mother's Son
    • Victoria
    • Shangri-La
    • Arthur
    • Got to Be Free
    • Lola (mono single version)
    • Get Back in the Line
    • The Moneygoround
    • Strangers
    • Apeman
    • God's Children
    • The Way Love Used to Be
    • Moments
    • Muswell Hillbilly
    • Oklahoma USA
    • Twentieth Century Man
    • Here Come the People in Grey
  • Disc 4
    • Skin and Bone
    • Alcohol Live
    • Celluloid Heroes
    • Sitting in My Hotel
    • Supersonic Rocket Ship
    • You Don't Know My Name
    • One of the Survivors
    • Sitting in the Midday Sun
    • Sweet Lady Genevieve
    • Daylight
    • Mirror of Love
    • Artificial Man
    • Preservation (U.S. single)
    • Slum Kids (live)
    • Holiday Romance
    • Face in the Crowd
    • No More Looking Back
    • Sleepwalker
    • The Poseur
  • Disc 5
    • Sleepless Night
    • Father Christmas
    • Misfits
    • A Rock 'N Roll Fantasy
    • Little Bit of Emotion
    • Attitude
    • Hidden Quality
    • A Gallon of Gas
    • Catch Me Now I'm Falling
    • Nuclear Love (demo)
    • Duke (demo)
    • Maybe I Love You (demo)
    • Stolen Away Your Heart (demo)
    • Low Budget (live)
    • Better Things
    • Destroyer
    • Yo-Yo
    • Art Lover
    • Long Distance
  • Disc 6
    • Heart of Gold
    • Come Dancing (demo remix)
    • State of Confusion
    • Do It Again
    • Living on a Thin Line
    • Summer's Gone
    • How Are You?
    • The Road (live)
    • The Million-Pound-Semi-Detached
    • Down All the Days (To 1992)
    • The Informer
    • Phobia
    • Only a Dream
    • Drift Away
    • Scattered
    • Do You Remember Walter? (live)
    • To the Bone (demo)

Best of 2008: Britain's Uncut Magazine

Britain seems to be way ahead of the game in the "Best Albums" list for 2008 with Q, Mojo and, now, Uncut weighing in vs. the U.S.'s Paste and Amazon.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds continue their perfect run through the end of year lists while Uncut makes the first mention of albums by Brian Wilson and David Byrne & Brian Eno.

Uncut Magazine
  • 1. Third - Portishead
  • 2. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
  • 3. Dear Science - TV on the Radio
  • 8. Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • 1o. 22 Dreams - Paul Weller
  • 14. Harps & Angels - Randy Newman
  • 26. Little Honey - Lucinda Williams
  • 42. Death Magnetic - Metallica
  • 44. Accelerate - R.E.M.
  • 48. Everything That Happens Will Happen Today - David Byrne & Brian Eno
  • 49. That Lucky Old Sun - Brian Wilson

Friday, November 28, 2008

Simmons Confirms New Kiss Album, April Wine Singer Hospitalized, more

Gene Simmons has confirmed to Canada's Sun Media that Kiss is writing new music and will record an album in 2009 with production by Paul Stanley. They will follow it with a short tour.

"We'll do a handful of shows just to keep in the game (next) summer, maybe 10, some Canadian shows."

The salary register that may or may not reveal the identify of the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby sold at auction Thursday for $177,000. That is well below the $7 to 800,000 estimated.

Paul McCartney donated the item to the Sunbeams Music Trust in 1990, who was the benefactor of the auction, but has recently reclaimed that Eleanor Rigby was purely fictitious.

Myles Goodwin, frontman for April Wine, was hospitalized in Montreal on Friday after collapsing at the airport.

The group was on its way to a Halifax radio station holiday concert where they were to surprise the crowd by including original members Richie and David Henman in the performance.

Bob Dylan pulled out a number of rarities during his show last Friday at the United Palace Theater in New York. In the set list was the opener Gotta Serve Somebody (not played live in almost seven years), Tomorrow is a Long Time (not played in New York in 45 years), Desolation Row and Til I Fell in Love With You.

Hip-O Select is about to relaunch their website and, in doing so, make previously sold out albums available again for download.

The company releases compilations and rare, out-of-print albums in limited numbers to the CD market, but is now making available albums that completed their initial run, such as Marvin Gaye's In Our Lifetime: Deluxe Edition and Love's The Blue Thumb Recordings. Also look for exclusive digital-only releases, including rare Chess masters.

Photographer Pennie Smith, who shot the iconic cover of the Clash's London Calling album, received Outstanding Contribution to Music Photography at the Record of the Day awards in London for people working in music journalism and public relations.

A Different Christmas List: Britain's Most Played Xmas Songs

Last week, ASCAP announced their annual list of the most played Christmas songs (licensed by their group) on U.S. radio stations.

Britain's Performing Rights Society (PRS) has released their own list for British radio and the results are astonishingly different. As a matter of fact, only Bruce Springsteen's Santa Claus is Coming to Town is common to both lists.

Wham's Last Christmas is the most played track on British radio over the last five years followed by the original version of Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas?
  1. Last Christmas - Wham
  2. Do They Know It's Christmas (1984 version) - Band Aid
  3. Fairytale of New York - Pogues and Kristy MacColl
  4. All I Want For Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
  5. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Bruce Springsteen
  6. Stop the Cavalry - Jona Lewie
  7. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday - Wizzard
  8. Merry Christmas Everybody - Slade
  9. Lonely This Year - Mud
  10. White Christmas - Bing Crosby

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Simmons Revives Label, Gibb Refuses Search, more

Gene Simmons is planning on reviving his Canadian label, Simmons Records. His aim is to develop five to six Canadian acts per year.

"For years, the only way Canadian acts could make it was to go to the States and more or less become an American band. In the new music marketing age, that doesn't have to happen."

Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees ended up missing his nieces wedding in Las Vegas when he refused a bag search at London's Gatwick Airport. He had been selected randomly for the search but held his sketchbag close to his chest, refusing to let anyone look inside.

Paul McCartney has defended Ringo Starr's decision to no longer sign autograph requests that are mailed to him. “Ringo’s always been like that, God bless him. We love Ringo because he just says what he thinks. If he doesn’t want to sign anything anymore then he doesn’t have to and yeah, he gets in trouble occasionally, but as anyone who has known Ringo as long as I have knows that’s what he’s like. I think it’s a good quality; it’s called honesty actually."

It is being reported that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will be entering the studio again in January to record the followup to their hugely successful Raising Sand. T-Bone Burnett will once again be producing.

The son of , Austin Cregg, is facing a possible jail sentence after being arrested last March for marijuan possession while painting graffiti in the West Village of New York.

Cregg was originally sentenced to ten days community service, but only managed seven days in the allotted time. On November 21, he was given two months to complete the balance of the days or be jailed.

Ozzy Osbourne is lending his voice to the upcoming solo album from Slash.

Van Halen's Concert Rider - 2008 Edition

It looks like the days of fully stocked bars and odd food choices are gone from the Van Halen touring rider. They've been replaced by quiet spots and big gaps between certain band members.

Highlights of this year's rider:
  • A study room for basist Wolfgang Van Halen, now 17, and his tutor.
  • A separate dressing room for each member of the band.
  • No floor covering in David Lee Roth's dressing room because he practices martial arts prior to the show and it can't be on any rugs or carpeting.
  • David Lee Roth's dressing room must be "as far away from" the other musicians dressing rooms as possible.
  • Dressing rooms are stocked with Red Bull, Gatorade, fresh fruit, and Japanese Apple Pears.
  • After-show food for 75 people from a variety of area restaurants that stay open late.
  • Eddie Van Halen's on-stage cooler must contain Gallo Twin Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (red & white label, red cap).
We have no idea if that last one was removed after Eddie postponed the tour for rehab.

No New Metallica for a Few Years, Jones for Secretary of the Arts, more

Lars Ulrich has told fans not to expect another Metallica album for awhile. “I wouldn’t hold my breath for another Metallica record. I’m still decompressing and coming down from the whole experience of the last one, but if we spit one out every four or five years that’s not so bad.”
Quincy Jones is getting interested in government. Specifically, Jones wants to lobby president elect Obama to add a Secretary of the Arts.

Jones has noticed that people in other countries have a higher admiration for the American music than Americans do and feels that the new cabinet position will help preserve the country's arts heritage and emphasize their importance in school curriculum.

If you would be interested in signing an on-line patition urging for the new cabinet post, go to

The recently released New Order reissues have now been officially recalled. The following statement was issued by the band:
"Warner Bros UK, Rhino and New Order regret that the initial pressings of the collector editions of Movement, Power, Corruption And Lies, Low Life, Brotherhood and Technique contain some minor audio problems on the bonus discs.

"We are now in the process of correcting the problems, but it should be noted that due to the age and condition of some of the original source tapes, the sound quality may vary."

This sounds like something that happens in the U.S. when Bruce Springsteen tickets go on sale, but in the U.K. it's Cliff Richard that has fans camping out in front of ticket offices when new shows go on sale.

Now, fans have vowed to fight a ban on camping out at Sheffield Arena, which told fans not to show up until the morning the tickets go on sale out of health and safety fears. Tickets go on sale Sunday across the country for Richard's 50th Anniversary Tour with his original backing group, the Shadows.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sony/Legacy Salutes the Cowboy

One of the more unusual box sets that has hit the stores for this holiday season is Boots, Buckles and Spurs: 50 Songs Celebrate 50 Years of Cowboy Tradition. The Sony/Legacy release is in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) and includes 3-CDs going back to Gene Autry's original 78 RPM version of Back in the Saddle Again and traveling all the way up to this year's NFR official theme song, Cowboy Town by Brooks & Dunne.

In between is a who's who of great country artists from Eddy Arnold to Willie Nelson to Merle Haggard. Notably, there are not a lot of cowboy songs sung by women, but the set does include such notables as Patsy Montana, Lynn Anderson, Jessi Colter, Tanya Tucker and Suzy Boggus.

Neil Reid, editor of ProRodeo Sports News, writes in the liner notes, "Music has inspired world champions and NFR contestants from the time they first swung a rope or got on a bucking animal to the time they competed on the sport's grandest stage. Songwriters have turned to cowboys, especially the rodeo cowboy, as a source of inspiration as well."

The track list for Boots, Buckles & Spurs:
  • Back In The Saddle Again (78rpm Version) - Gene Autry
  • I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart (78rpm Version) - Patsy Montana
  • Patent Leather Boots - Elton Britt & The Skytoppers
  • Dusty Skies - Bob Willis & His Texas Playboys
  • Tumbling Tumbleweeds - Sons Of The Pioneers
  • The Cattle Call - Eddy Arnold
  • Stampede - Roy Rogers & Sons Of The Pioneers
  • Rodeo Hand - Johnny Cash
  • The Strawberry Roan - Marty Robbins
  • Ride, Ride, Ride - Lynn Anderson
  • Ride 'Em Cowboy - David Allan Coe
  • Wildfire - Michael Murphy
  • Let's All Help The Cowboys (Sing The Blues) - Waylon Jennings
  • Rita Ballou - Guy Clark
  • Bandy The Rodeo Clown - Moe Bandy
  • Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys - Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson
  • Cowboy's Last Ride - Jessi Colter
  • Bull Rider - Johnny Cash
  • (We Are) The Cowboys - Billy Joe Shaver
  • My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys - Willie Nelson
  • I Was Born To Be A Cowboy - Red Steagall
  • Leavin' Cheyenne - Ian Tyson
  • The Wayward Wind - James Galway
  • Oklahoma Borderline - Vince Gill
  • (Ghost) Riders In The Sky (Digitally Remastered, 1996) - Outlaws
  • Texas In 1880 - Foster & Lloyd
  • Silver Stallion - Waylon Jennings
  • Caballo Diablo - Charlie Daniels Band
  • Hooked On An 8 Second Ride - Chris LeDoux
  • Hold On Partner - Roy Rogers & Clint Black
  • Rainbow Rider - Tanya Tucker
  • Coyotes - Don Edwards
  • Someday Soon - Suzy Bogguss
  • All American Cowboy - Merle Haggard
  • Even Cowgirls Get The Blues - Rodney Crowell
  • Ropin' Pen - Trent Willmon
  • Cowpoke - Don Walser
  • Mesquite Cowboy Mind - Doug Supernaw
  • No Ordinary Man - Tracy Byrd
  • Farr Away Stomp - Riders In The Sky
  • I Can Still Make Cheyenne - George Strait
  • When Cowboys Didn't Dance - Lonestar
  • That Buckin' Song - Robert Earl Keen
  • One Ride In Vegas - Deryl Dodd
  • Bull Ridin' Son Of A Gun - Charlie Daniels Band
  • Wanted Dead Or Alive - Montgomery Gentry
  • Cowboy And Clown - Craig Morgan
  • Good Horses To Ride - Trent Willmon
  • Cowboy Town - Brooks & Dunn
  • Born To Buck Bad Luck - Michael Martin Murphey

Concord Starts Ray Charles Reissue Program

Concord Records has announced that they have entered an agreement with the Ray Charles Foundation to begin releasing the singer's catalog, covering his work on the ABC and Tangerine labels. The program will include both physical and, for the first time on many titles, digital media.

The first reissue will be Charles' 1985 release The Spirit of Christmas. This year, it will be made available only as a digital release which began yesterday on iTunes. A physical copy will be out next year for the Christmas season.

Next, in March, will come a new 21-track retrospective containing many of Charles' great 60's hits (Georgia On My Mind, Hit the Road Jack, Unchain My Heart, etc.).

The balance of 2009 will see reissues of Modern Sounds in Country Western Music Volumes 1 & 2, The Genius Hits the Road, Genius + Soul = Jazz and Berlin, 1962. In addition, Starbucks will get an exclusive, Starbucks Opus Anthology, and a few digital-only exclusives.

John Burk, Concord Music Group exec VP of A&R stated, "Ray Charles is one of America's most iconic and treasured voices. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to once again present Ray's music with the reverence and respect it deserves and continue our dynamic partnership with Val Ervin and everyone at the Ray Charles Foundation."

Christie's Auctions Rock and Punk Memorabilia

243 lots of punk and rock memorabilia were sold on Monday night by Christie's New York office, raising a total of $747,300.

Topping the sales was a Vox Continental Portable Organ used by John Lennon at both the Shea Stadium concert and on the Ed Sullivan show. Unlike many recent auctions, the big lots were spread over many artists, including Jimi Hendrix, Metallica, Elvis Presley, Louis Armstrong, the Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin, Blondie and others.

Here are the top sellers from veteran artists at the auction:
  • Vox Continental Portable Organ used by John Lennon at the August 15, 1965 Shea Stadium show and the August 13 Ed Sullivan Show - $182,500
  • Three original Jimi Hendrix reel-to-reel tapes from the Electric Ladyland sessions - $47,500
  • Original artwork for the cover of Metallica's Master of Puppets - $35,000
  • Black star sapphire & diamond ring designed & worn by Elvis Presley during his last tour - $32,500
  • Selmer trumpet owned by Louis Armstrong - $27,500
  • Collection of photos and audio material from John Lennon's stay at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Toronto during the Bed In for Peace - $22,500
  • Gold record award for the Beatles' I Want to Hold Your Hand - $15,000
  • Collection of 36 early Hip-Hop posters from the late 70's and early 80's - $12,500
  • Drawing and signature from John Lennon during the Toronto Bed In for Peace - $11,875
  • Beatles' White Album number 0000005 - $9,375
  • Large photo of Debbie Harry signed and inscribed with the lyrics to Blondie's One Way or Another - $8,750
  • Collection of four Sex Pistols posters - $8,750
  • 1959 Fender Musicmaster guitar signed by over 170 musicians including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Elton John, David Bowie, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, B.B. King, more - $7,500
  • Quote written on Las Vegas postcard by Elvis Presley from 1976 - $7,250
  • Handwritten set list by Elvis Presley on Taking Care of Business stationary - $6,250
  • Bob Dylan's first album inscribed and signed on the back - $6,250
  • Promotional poster for Sex Pistols' God Save the Queen - $6,250
  • Signed paper with all four Beatles from about 1963 - $6,250
  • Led Zeppelin's first album signed by all four members on the front - $6,000
  • Concert Poster for the Jimi Hendrix Experience in Toronto on May 3, 1969 - $6,000
  • Concert Poster for the Jimi Hendrix Experience in Hallandale, Florida on May 18 & 19, 1968 - $6,000
  • Four sample sheets of Paramount blues record advertisements from the 1930's - $5,000
  • Vaccination Certificate of Paul McCartney's from May 1, 1968 needed for return to U.S. - $5,000

Jones to Produce More Bluegrass, U2 Shelves Rick Rubin Tracks, more

Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones will produce the debut album for ex-Nickel Creek singer and fiddle player Sara Watkins. Jones has been very active in the bluegrass scene over the last few years.

U2 have shelved all of the music produced for their new album by Rick Rubin. Guitarist the Edge said that "He gave us great advice as much as anything.”

The group has 50 to 60 songs recorded from which to select and feel they are within one or two of having a complete, cohesive album. No Line on the Horizon is expected early next year.

Robert Lucas, a former member of Canned Heat, passed away at a friend's home in Long Beach, California on Sunday from an apparent drug overdose. He was 46.

Lucas played with the band during two separate periods between 1994 and 2006. He had recently left to go solo.

A Colorado judge has a unique sentence for those who come before him in court for playing their music too loudly. He makes them listen to Barry Manilow for an hour at a high volume (although they can opt for the theme from Barney & Friends). He says that repeat offenders have decreased greatly.

Stevie Wonder will re-release the single For Once in My Life in digital and vinyl single on December 8 via Tamla Motown. The song was a hit forty years ago, reaching number two in the U.S. and number three in the U.K.

The concert film Cheap Trick Live at Budokan will be shown theatrically on December 4th in Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angles, Chicago, Santa Fe, New York, Philadelphia, Burlington (VT), Redmond (WA), Succasunna (NJ) and Chula Vista (CA). The film was part of the recently released 30th Anniversary Edition.

A major point in the move from CD to digital has been reached as Atlantic Records announced that 51% of its revenue came from digital downloads. They are the first major label where the CD has taken the backseat to downloads.

Enya becomes the biggest selling veteran artist on this week's Billboard Albums chart even though her And Winter Came falls from eight to nine on sales of 83,000. Just below her at ten is the leader for the last four weeks, AC/DC's Black Ice, which sold 73,000.

Total sales for the week was 9.45 million, down 32% from the same week a year ago.

Best of 2008: Britain's Mojo & Q Magazine

Two of Britain's leading music magazines, Mojo and Q, have announced their lists of the 50 best albums of 2008.

It appears, at this early date, that Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds album Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! may be the front runner for most acclaimed album of the year by a veteran artist. Time will tell as more of the U.S. sources weigh in.

Paul Weller's 33 Dreams makes the top three in Mojo's list while it sits at 28 in Q. Neil Diamond's Home Before Dark also makes both lists at number ten in Mojo and 27 in Q. Other artists getting doubles include Randy Newman, Metallica and AC/DC.

The top three albums on both lists along with all other mentioned albums by veteran artists:

Mojo Magazine
  • 1. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
  • 2. The Age of the Understatement - The Last Shadow Puppets
  • 3. 33 Dreams - Paul Weller
  • 5. Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • 10. Home Before Dark - Neil Diamond
  • 25. Harps & Angels - Randy Newman
  • 45. Death Magnetic - Metallica
  • 48. Black Ice - AC/DC
Q Magazine
  • 1. Only By the Night - Kings of Leon
  • 2. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
  • 3. Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends - Coldplay
  • 10. Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • 25. Death Magnetic - Metallica
  • 27. Home Before Dark - Neil Diamond
  • 28. 22 Dreams - Paul Weller
  • 29. Black Ice - AC/DC
  • 36. Accelerate - R.E.M.
  • 38. Life, Death, Love & Freedom - John Mellencamp
  • 41. Gift of Screws - Lindsay Buckingham
  • 47. Harps & Angels - Randy Newman
  • 49. All I Intend to Be - Emmylou Harris

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Browne & Friends for Hurricane Relief, Jones Thanks Winehouse, more

Jackson Browne & Friends will play a benefit for hurricane relief this Saturday night, November 7 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Browne's friends include Bonnie Raitt, Joan Baez, Ry Cooder and Ben Harper & the Relentless 7. Money goes to Operation USA, which is providing relief efforts to the U.S. Gulf Coast, Cuba and Haiti.

Tom Jones tells Spinner that he looked to Amy Winehouse for his influence while recording his new album, 24 hours.

"I wanted to record an album that got the same vibrant feeling I used to get when I first started recording. I loved a lot of the songs I did on Decca. When I heard [Back to Black], it reminded me of the stuff that I had done before. She did inspire me, but it's not like I heard that and I knew what I wanted to do. It just sort of reassured me that an album could be done like that."

The website, specializing in autograph collecting, posted a video clip on Monday of Brian Johnson from AC/DC being asked if he ever asked for autographs.

"Yes, I did ask Chuck Berry once — in 1975. He was the biggest piece of shit I've ever met in my life — the rudest man I've ever met. He told us he signed one autograph a day and he'd already signed it. I don't wanna be an asshole like he was."

A low-numbered copy of the Beatles' White Album has sold on eBay for $29,000. The limited edition number 0000005 was sold to an Austrian buyer. The first four numbered copies of the album were given to each of the Fab Four.

Grateful Dead Productions, Carlos Santana, Led Zeppelin and the estate of Janis Joplin have all come to an agreement with Wolfgang's Vault over the sale of memorabilia and merchandise.

Michael Lee, who played drums for Robert Plant in the early-90's and, later in the decade for Plant and Jimmy Page, has passed away at the age of 39. Cause of death is unknown. Lee is given co-writing credit on all of the songs on the Plant/Page album Walking to Clarksdale.

Campaign Started to Reinstate Hank Williams to the Grand Ole Opry

It is turning into a pretty great year for Hank Williams. First, a major effort is being put forth by Time-Life to release performances from a 1951 radio show that Williams hosted, showing off some of his greatest songs and a number of other songs never before heard performed by the singer.

Now, the Reinstate Hank campaign has been started ( to attempt to right the expelling of Williams from the Grand Ole Opry in 1952. Williams became a member of the Opry on June 11, 1949 with his first performance including six crowd-demanded encores.

Three years later, Williams was dismissed from the Opry until he was able to beat his alcoholism. He would then be welcomed back to the stage. A couple of months later, he passed away and never saw his reinstatement.

According to the website, "Despite being one of the most powerfully iconic figures in American music, Hank Williams has yet to be reinstated to the Opry. Now, your help is needed to honor and preserve his legacy. Join the campaign and add your signature to the petition to Reinstate Hank Williams to the Grand Ole Opry."

One of the organizers biggest complaints is that the Opry is using William's likeness and voice in many of their promotions, yet he is not a member in good standing. Blake Judd, the director of the site, writes "The circumstances surrounding the issue are based on policy and discrepancies. Why can't banned members be reinstated post-death? The wheels were turning to reinstate Hank, so why didn't they? Why are dead members technically not considered members once they have passed? Also, what about the Opry's treatment of elder members; the ones' who have kept the Opry alive all these years? Is it right that the Opry can bring them back to the stage as much or as little as they feel "necessary"? Would Hank even want to be a part of the Opry if he were still alive today? These are issues that the Opry needs to address and needs to be addressed to the Opry."

A Reinstate Hank film is also in the works.

New Releases - November 25, 2008

Thin Lizzy Moves to Stop Biopic of Phil Lynott

Members of Thin Lizzy have moved to stop a biopic of late frontman Phil Lynott. Guitarist Scott Gorham told the director that he would not receive the group's approval until their was a complete rewrite of the script.

"It's an ongoing saga because when we looked at the script, it was full of truths and half-truths and Hollywood's take on Phil's life was all about drugs.

"Of course there were drugs - that's the sensational side of Thin Lizzy - but when the movie absolutely centred on that it became a problem.

"We want to veer people towards the music of Phillo and Thin Lizzy because he was a remarkable songwriter, musician and performer.

"There was a lot more to Phil and the band than just taking drugs. It irritates me that the personal stuff overshadows the musical legacy. You only get one shot at getting a movie right. We won't give it the green light until everyone is happy."

Hendrix' Electric Ladyland Gets Reexamined on December 9th

What is arguably Jimi Hendrix greatest album, Electric Ladyland, will get the full historical treatment on December 9 through Universal Music Enterprises. The album will be examined on the new DVD At Last...The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland along with a CD/DVD combo set.

Electric Ladyland was Hendrix' third and last album with the original Experience and was the apex of the sound that he was trying to create with the group. With such well known songs as Crosstown Traffic, All Along the Watchtower and Burning the Midnight Lamp, the album is the only one by the artist ever to make it to the top of the Billboard Album chart.

Not only was the album the ultimate amalgamation of psychedelic and funk, but it also contained numerous special techniques in echo, backward tape and flanging that had previously not been combined in such a way.

The DVD documentary contains interviews with many of Hendrix associates from forty years ago, including Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, Buddy Miles, Jack Cassady, Steve Winwood and Dave Mason. The recording techniques are demonstrated by original engineer Eddie Kramer, showing examples of how they were created using the original multitrack tape. The documentary is based around the original Classic Albums show on Electric Ladyland with over 40 minutes of additional program.

The CD track listing:
  • ...And The Gods Made Love
  • Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)
  • Crosstown Traffic
  • Voodoo Chile
  • Little Miss Strange
  • Long Hot Summer Night
  • Come On (Let The Good Times Roll)
  • Gypsy Eyes
  • Burning of the Midnight Lamp
  • Rainy Day, Dream Away
  • 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)
  • Moon, Turn The Tides...Gently Gently Away
  • Still Raining, Still Dreaming
  • House Burning Down
  • All Along The Watchtower
  • Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
The DVD track listing:
  • Prologue
  • Burning of the Midnight Lamp
  • ...And The Gods Made Love
  • All Along The Watchtower
  • Rainy Day, Dream Away
  • Still Raining, Still Dreaming
  • Voodoo Chile
  • Crosstown Traffic
  • Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
  • Little Miss Strange
  • Gypsy Eyes
  • South Saturn Delta
  • House Burning Down
  • 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)
  • Long Hot Summer Night
  • Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)
  • Epilogue

Monday, November 24, 2008

Q Doesn't Have Time For Michael, B.J. Thomas Goes Brazilian, more

Quincy Jones set the record straight on working with Michael Jackson on new material when he talked to BET. "I didn’t state that I didn’t want to work with Michael Jackson. I stated that I have too many projects to work with Michael. Big difference.”

B.J. Thomas is in the studio finishing up a new album of Brazilian music with producers Bob Mann and Allan Schwartzberg. Thomas just signed a new deal with Universal Brazil for the release of the album.

Marcia Ball got back together with the other four members of Freda & the Firedogs, a progressive-country group in which she was a member back in the early 70's. The group recorded one album, which was produced by Jerry Wexler, and spent some time backing up Doug Sahm.

The reunion was for Sahm as they recorded his song Be Real for an upcoming tribute CD, Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm. Also set to be on the album are Jimmy Vaughn (Why, Why, Why), Shawn Sahm (Mendicino) and others.

Casino mogul Steve Wynn says that he is putting a Frank Sinatra themed restaurant in his news Las Vegas resort, the Encore. The restaurant will include Sinatra's Academy and Grammy Awards, on loan from his family, along with Paul Anka's gold record for My Way.