Saturday, May 30, 2009

Chart Watch: May 29, 2009

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current music charts. Chart highlights:
  • Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood take the veteran artist crown on the U.S. Album Chart with Live at Madison Square Garden. The live set premiered at number 14; however, it didn't do as well in the rest of the world as it started at 40 in Canada and 44 in England.
  • For the first time in many weeks, we have four different veteran artists placing highest in the four different countries that we cover. Clapton & Winwood do it here in the U.S. while Leonard Cohen's Live in London retakes the crown in Canada, moving from 22 to 18. In Britain, the new Madness album, The Liberty of Norton Folgate, starts at number 5 while Bob Dylan retains the spot in Australia, staying at number 16.
  • Lionel Richie's Just Go premiers at number 24 on the U.S. Album chart (66 in Canada), nowhere near the debut of his last studio album, Coming Home, which started at number 6.
  • Behold the wonders of a Amazon MP3 Deal of the Day. Last week, The Definitive Rod Stewart was on sale for three days for $3.99. The sales were enough to push the album, which has been out since late last year, up to 53. That surpasses the number 70 it achieved upon its release.
  • The Oak Ridge Boys return to the top 100 of the Album chart for the first time since 1984's Greatest Hits, Volume 2. The appropriately titled The Boys Are Back premiers at 77. On the Country Album chart, the set starts at 16, their highest since Monongahela went to number 9 21-years ago.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis.

Top 100 Albums

Top 50 Singles
  • #1 (1) - Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
  • #2 (2) - Poker Face - Lady GaGa
  • #3 (3) - Blame It - Jamie Foxx Featuring T-Pain
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

See the rest of the charts below the cut.

Top 25 Digital Songs
  • #1 (1) - Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
  • #2 (-) - Don't Stop Believin' - Glee Cast
  • #3 (-) - New Divide - Linkin Park
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

Top 25 Pop Catalog Albums


Top 50 R&B Albums
  • #1 (-) - Relapse - Eminem
  • #2 (-) - Back on My B.S. - Busta Rhymes
  • #3 (-) - Blackout! 2 - Method Man & Redman
  • #9 (-) - Just Go - Lionel Richie
  • #16 (17) - Lotus Flow3r/MPLSoUND/Elix3r - Prince/Bria Valente
  • #18 (12) - Uncle Charlie - Charlie Wilson

Top 50 R&B Songs

  • #1 (1) - Birthday Sex - Jeremih
  • #2 (3) - Knock You Down - Keri Hilson Featuring Kanye West and Ne-Yo
  • #3 (2) - Blame It - Jamie Foxx Featuring T-Pain
  • #19 (19) - There Goes My Baby - Charlie Wilson
  • #35 (31) - Give You Up - Raphael Saadiq Featuring Stevie Wonder & CJ Hilton
  • #43 (47) - Download - Lil Kim Featuring T-Pain & Charlie Wilson

Top 10 R&B Catalog Albums
  • #1 (8) - The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem
  • #2 (12) - The Eminem Story - Eminem
  • #3 (17) - The Chronic - Dr. Dre
  • #7 (2) - Legend - Bob Marley & the Wailers
  • #10 (4) - Number Ones - Michael Jackson


Top 25 Country Albums

Top 25 Country Songs
  • #1 (2) - Then - Brad Paisley
  • #2 (1) - It Happens - Sugarland
  • #3 (3) - Kiss a Girl - Keith Urban
  • #14 (9) - I Told You So - Carrie Underwood Featuring Randy Travis
  • #15 (16) - Strange - Reba (McEntire)

Top 10 Country Catalog Albums
  • #1 (1) - Some Hearts - Carrie Underwood
  • #2 (2) - Enjoy the Ride - Sugarland
  • #3 (7) - Greatest Hits - Kenny Chesney
  • #4 (3) - Raising Sand - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
  • #9 (8) - 30 #1 Hits - Elvis Presley


Top 10 Rock Albums

Top 10 Hard Rock Albums
  • #1 (1) - Dark Horse - Nickelback
  • #2 (3) - The Sound of Madness - Shinedown
  • #3 (2) - Scars & Souvenirs - Theory of a Deadman
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

Top 20 Mainstream Rock Tracks
  • #1 (1) - Know Your Enemy - Green Day
  • #2 (2) - Lifeline - Papa Roach
  • #3 (3) - Sound of Madness - Shinedown
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

Top 20 AAA Tracks
  • #1 (1) - Funny the Way It Is - Dave Mathews Band
  • #2 (2) - Magnificent - U2
  • #3 (4) - Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
  • #11 (14) - Beyond Here Lies Nothin' - Bob Dylan
  • #12 (9) - We Let Her Down - Chris Isaak
  • #17 (15) - Wrong - Depeche Mode
  • #18 (20) - Complicated Shadows - Elvis Costello

Adult Contemporary

Top 20 Adult Contemporary Tracks
  • #1 (2) - Love Story - Taylor Swift
  • #2 (1) - I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
  • #3 (3) - What About Now - Daughtry
  • #11 (12) - Just Go - Lionel Richie
  • #19 (19) - Where Did I Lose Your Love - Journey

Top 20 Adult Top 40 Tracks
  • #1 (2) - Gives You Hell - All-American Rejects
  • #2 (1) - You Found Me - The Fray
  • #3 (3) - Sober - Pink
  • No Veteran Artists Charting


Top 25 Dance Club Play
  • #1 (2) - Beautiful U R - Deborah Cox
  • #2 (3) - Spaceman - The Killers
  • #3 (5) - I'm Not Getting Enough - (Yoko) Ono
  • #12 (1) - Wrong - Depeche Mode
  • #24 (33) - Magnificent - U2

Top 10 Dance Singles Sales
  • #1 (1) - Boom Boom Boom - Black Eyed Peas
  • #2 (-) - Magnificent - U2
  • #3 (2) - Halo - Beyonce


Top 15 Jazz Albums

Top 15 Contemporary Jazz Albums

  • #1 (1) - In Boston - Chris Botti
  • #2 (-) - Rock Steady - Richard Elliot
  • #3 (3) - Rebound - Wayman Tisdale
  • #10 (8) - Down to the Wire - Spyro Gyra


Music Association Top 40 Airplay

United Kingdom

Top 100 British Albums

Top 100 British Singles
  • #1 (-) - Bonkers - Dizzee Rascal / Van Helden
  • #2 (1) - Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
  • #3 (2) - Number 1 - Tinchy Stryder featuring N-Dubz
  • #11 (7) - Tiny Dancer (Hold Me Closer) - Ironik/Chipmunk/Elton John
  • #63 (40) - Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
  • #77 (-) - They Don't Care About Us - Michael Jackson
  • #87 (97) - Don't Stop Believin' - Journey


Top 100 Canadian Albums

Top 100 Canadian Singles

  • #1 (1) - Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
  • #2 (2) - LoveGame - Lady Gaga
  • #3 (4) - Halo - Beyonce
  • #51 (53) - Strange - Reba (McEntire)
  • #64 (51) - I Told You So - Carrie Underwood Featuring Randy Travis
  • #77 (76) - Anything Goes - AC/DC
  • #86 (71) - Magnificent - U2


Top 50 Australian Albums

Top 50 Australian Singles
  • #1 (1) - Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
  • #2 (2) - We Made You - Eminem
  • #3 (4) - Breakeven - The Script
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

Cheap Trick Go Indie for New Album, U2 Surprise Island Records Crowd, more

Cheap Trick have gone totally indie, selling their new album (The Latest) via their own website and Release is set for June 23 with Amazon getting a one month exclusive on the album. It will also be available as a limited edition LP and (get ready for this) 8-Track.

Also look for the group on the soundtrack of the new Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen with their take on the Transformers theme.

U2 surprised the crowd Thursday night at London's Shepherds Bush Empire during the latest of the Island Records 50th Anniversary concerts.

Appearing at the end of Baaba Maal's set, they joined in on One and went on to perform Vertigo. Bono returned later in the evening to introduce Yusuf (Cat Stevens).

Also in London, the Specials will play a warm-up gig at the small 100 Club on June 25, the day before they appear at the Glastonbury festival. Tickets are only available by winning them on the band's website.

Koko Taylor underwent an operation for a gastrointestinal bleed back on May 19 at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Word is the operation was successful and the 80-year-old is expected to make a full recovery.

The Telluride Blues and Brews Festival announced their line-up for their 16th annual event on September 18 through 20. Include are Joe Cocker, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal and Buddy Guy along with modern artists like Umphrey's McGee, Ruthie Foster, Carolyn Wonderland and Saint Jude.

Brenda Lee is set to host this year's Sunday Morning Country at the Grand Ole Opry on June 14 during the annual CMA Music Fest. This is the 30th year for the gospel celebration and joining Lee for the show are Linda Davis, Bill Anderson, Charlie McCoy, the Whites, Margo Smith and more.

Beatles Museum Opens in Hamburg, McCartney May Open Citi Field

A brand new museum dedicated to the Beatles has opened in Hamburg, Germany. Beatlemania has over 4,200 square feet of space over five floors with all sorts of memorabilia and special interactive exhibits.

Visitors to the museum have the chance to walk through the career of the Beatles, use interactive computer tables to listen to and see various stages of their career and virtually walk across Abbey Road and record in the studio.

The following video (yes, there's a commercial at the beginning) shows just a little of the exhibit space.

In the U.S., there are rumors that Paul McCartney will perform the first show in Citi Field, the replacement for Shea Stadium in New York. Last year, McCartney made a guest appearance at the end of Billy Joel's Last Play at Shea show, giving the ex-Beatle the honor of being the first and the last act to play at the old venue.

All of this is coming from who reported that "various reliable touring executives" have said that McCartney will play two shows on July 17 and 18 with a possible third to be added on the 21st.

The Album Artists of the 2000's (with Seven Months to Go)

It's been an interesting decade for music. With only seven months to go, the biggest selling artists are spread across a wide range of genres from country and rock to pop and rap.

The most interesting, though, is that the second biggest selling album artist of the decade hasn't been together in 39 years and, to date, has not joined in the digital revolution. The Beatles have sold over 27 million albums this decade, about 3.5 million less than the decade's leader, Eminem (who will surely be extending that lead in the coming weeks with the release of Relapse last week).

The second biggest selling veteran artists, Metallica (#14 overall), also was late to the digital world but have now embraced it with what is, most likely to-date, a small portion of their 18.5 million sales.

The top 20 selling artists of the decade through this week:
  1. Eminem (31,127,000)
  2. Beatles (27,591,000)
  3. Tim McGraw (24,295,000)
  4. Toby Keith (24,189,000)
  5. Britney Spears (22,937,000)
  6. Kenny Chesney (21,396,000)
  7. Nelly (21,206,000)
  8. Linkin Park (21,125,000)
  9. Creed (20,398,000)
  10. Jay-Z (19,379,000)
  11. Nickelback (19,158,000)
  12. Josh Groban (19,115,000)
  13. Rascal Flatts (18,831,000)
  14. Metallica (18,490,000)
  15. Alan Jackson (18,479,000)
  16. *NSYNC (18,402,000)
  17. Dixie Chicks (18,293,000)
  18. Johnny Cash (17,860,000)
  19. Kid Rock (17,606,000)
  20. Celine Dion (17,579,000)
Source: Nielsen/Soundscan, Yahoo! Music Chart Watch

Friday, May 29, 2009

Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire Record Together, May Go For Full Album

They've been on the road together for two separate tours in the last few years, so it seems natural that 70's/80's giants Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire would take the next step and record together.

In fact, the two groups have already done that on a charity single that includes Chicago doing EW&F's I Can't Let You Go, EW&F doing Chicago's Wishing You Were Here, and the whole ensamble doing a new EW&F song, You. The group's are asking fans to bring three cans of non-perishable food or make a $3 donation for a download card at their live shows this summer.

That's not the end of it, though. Once the tour is over, there is talk of getting together for a full length album. Robert Lamm told Billboard, "Both bands kind of separately and together said, 'Wouldn't it be great to do an album together, so that's something that's just kind of flying around. I think the guys that write are thinking that could possibly be the next project."

Lamm also said the album "would sound big. It obviously has to genetically reflect where the two bands are coming from sonically and writing-wise, but I'm hoping that something new could emerge, something modern, something contemporary that the sum of the two bands is greater than that, so that's my fantasy of what it could be."

Between the two groups, they've had 26 top ten singles (19 for Chicago and 7 for EW&F) and 21 top ten albums (13 for Chicago and 8 for EW&F).

Spector Sentenced to 19 Years to Life

Judge Larry Fidler has made his ruling in the Phil Spector murder trial, sending the legendary producer to jail for a term of 19 years to life. The sentence is made up of a mandatory 15 years to life sentence for the murder of Lana Clarkson plus four additional years for the use of a gun.

When all is said and done, Spector will not be elegible for his first parole hearing until he is 88.

Clarkson's sister was also awarded $16,811.82 for the actress' funeral costs. Donna Clarkson spoke for the family during the pre-sentence hearing, saying “All of our plans together are destroyed. Now, I can only visit her at the cemetery.”

Spector was also ordered to pay $9,740 to a state restitution fund.

Finally, Fidler denied a request for a new trial. This does not mean that Spector's lawyers cannot file further appeals.

Fight Over Woodstock Settled, Long Beach Blues Festival Line Up, more

Country Joe McDonald, Larry "The Fish" Melton and Lester Chambers of the Chambers Brothers were all on hand in San Francisco on Wednesday with concert promoter Boots Houghton to announce that an agreement had been made between Houghton and Michael Lang allowing him to use the name West Fest: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock.

The concert is set for October 25 in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco which is the anniversary of the Human Be In, and event that preceded Woodstock.

Houghton told Pollstar, "
It’s back to peace, love and tranquility; the real deal.”

Those in the L.A. area are in for a real treat the weekend of September 5 and 6 when the Long Beach Blues Festival hits Rainbow Lagoon Park. Among this year's performers are Kenny Wayne Sheppard, the Funky Meters with original members Aaron Neville and George Porter, Jr., Johnny Winter, Bettye Lavette, Bobby Womack, Mavis Staples, the Blind Boys of Alabama and Sonny Landreth.

This year's A Capitol Fourth celebration will include performances from Barry Manilow, who will open and close the show, Aretha Franklin, Natasha Bedingfield, Michael Feinstein and the cast of Jersey Boys. Jimmy Smits hosts.

The Oak Ridge Boys have covered the White Stripes (Seven Nation Army), John Lee Hooker (Boom, Boom), and Neil Young (Beautiful Bluebird) on their new album, The Boys are Back. The set was released on May 19 by Spring Hill Music Group.

You can get a preview of the new Crosby, Stills & Nash Demos album over at NPR.

13th Floor Elevators to Be Chronicled in 10-CD Set

The 13th Floor Elevators came out of Texas in the mid-60's and the world of rock was never to be the same. The group, fronted by Roky Erickson, challenged the listener with mixes of songs running from folk-rock to what is considered an early version of acid rock. Peter Buck of R.E.M. once commented that "They kind of sounded like Buddy Holly but on acid!"

The band only released three studio albums, but the folks at International Artists (the label that originally released the albums in the 60's) have tracked down hours of outtakes, unreleased tracks and live recordings to produce the 10-CD set Sign of the 3 Eyed Men. The company has been taking pre-orders at their website for the set, limited to 4,000 copies, and will be shipping within the next couple of weeks.

The CDs contain the band's three studio albums including rare mono versions, two "lost" albums of unreleased material and previously unreleased live recordings. Along with the ten CDs, the set also includes a 72-page hardcover book written by Paul Drummond with group information, rare photos and a full discography. Also included is reproduction memorabilia including photo prints, reproduction posters, stickers and handbills.

The important part, though, is the music. Below the cut is the complete track listing for Sign of the 3 Eyed Men.

  • Headstone: The Contact Sessions
    • You're Gonna Miss Me
    • Tried to Hide
    • Everybody Needs Somebody to Love
    • Take That Girl
    • You Can't Hurt Me Anymore
    • I'm Gonna Love You Too
    • Monkey Island
    • Roller Coaster
    • Now I'm Home (Splash 1)
    • Where Am I? (Thru the Rhythm)
    • Fire Engine
    • You Can't Hurt Me (Take 1)
    • Fire Engine (Take 8)
    • Tried to Hide (Take 7)
    • I'm Gonna Love You Too (45 RPM)
    • Bad Seeds
    • All Night Long
    • You're Gonna Miss Me
  • Live! In Texas
    • Monkey Island
    • Roller Coaster
    • Gloria
    • You're Gonna Miss Me
    • Interview
    • Fire Engine
    • You Really Got Me
    • Roll Over Beethoven
    • Gloria
    • Fire Engine
    • You're Gonna Miss Me
    • Roller Coaster
    • Mercy Mercy
    • Tried to Hide
    • I'm Down
    • (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
    • I'm Gonna Love You Too
    • I Feel Good
    • Gloria
    • MC/Everybody Needs Somebody to Love
  • Psychedelic Sounds (Mono)
    • You're Gonna Miss Me
    • Roller Coaster
    • Splash 1
    • Reverberation
    • Don't Fall Down
    • Fire Engine
    • Thru the Rhythm
    • You Don't Know (How Young You Are)
    • Kingdom of Heaven (Is Within You)
    • Monkey Island
    • Tried to Hide
    • Reverberation (45 RPM)
    • Fire Engine (45 RPM)
    • Reverberation (Acetate)
    • Fire Engine (Alternative Mono Mix)
  • Psychedelic Sounds (Alternative Stereo)
    • You Don't Know (How Young You Are)
    • Through the Rhythm
    • Monkey Island
    • Roller Coaster
    • Fire Engine
    • Reverberation
    • Tried to Hide
    • You're Gonna Miss Me
    • Splash 1
    • Don't Fall Down
    • Kingdom of Heaven (Is Within You)
    • You Don't Know (How Young You Are) (Backing Tracks)
    • Roller Coaster (Backing Tracks)
    • Don't Fall Down (Backing Tracks)
    • Larry Kane/Don't Fall Down/Band Introductions
  • Live! In California, Avalon Ballroom (Stereo)
    • Everybody Needs Somebody to Love
    • Before You Accuse Me
    • You Don't Know (How Young You Are)
    • Splash 1
    • I'm Gonna Love You Too
    • You Really Got Me
    • Fire Engine
    • Roll Over Beethoven
    • The Word
    • Monkey Island
    • Roller Coaster
  • Easter Everywhere (Mono)
    • Slip Inside This House
    • Slide Machine
    • She Lives (In a Time of Her Own)
    • Nobody to Love
    • Baby Blue
    • Earthquake
    • Dust
    • (I've Got) Levitation
    • I Had to Tell You
    • Postures
    • (I've Got) Levitation (45 RPM)
    • Before You Accuse Me (45 RPM)
    • She Lives (In a Time of Her Own)
    • Baby Blue (45 RPM)
    • Slip Inside This House (45 RPM)
  • Easter Everywhere (Alternative Stereo)
    • Slip Inside This House
    • Slide Machine
    • She Lives (In a Time of Her Own)
    • Nobody to Love
    • Baby Blue
    • Earthquake
    • Dust
    • (I've Got) Levitation
    • I Had to Tell You
    • Postures (Leave Your Body Behind)
    • Fire in My Bones
    • Dust (Alternative Mix)
    • Right Track Now
    • Splash 1
    • Before You Accuse Me
    • (I've Got) Levitation (Take 1)
    • (I've Got) Levitation (Take 2)
  • A Love That's Sound (Lost 3rd LP)
    • Wait For My Love
    • It's You
    • May the Circle Remain Unbroken
    • Livin' On
    • Never Another
    • Dr. Doom
    • Sweet Surprise
    • Moon Song
    • Livin' On (Acetate)
    • Never Another (Rehearsal/Demo)
    • It's You (Rehearsal/Demo)
    • Moon Song (Rehearsal/Demo)
  • Bull of the Woods (Remastered 4th LP)
    • Livin' On
    • Barnyard Blues
    • Till Then
    • Never Another
    • Rose & the Thorn
    • Down By the River
    • Scarlet & Gold
    • Street Song
    • Dr. Doom
    • With You
    • May the Circle Remain Unbroken
    • Livin' On (45 RPM)
    • Scarlet & Gold (45 RPM)
    • May the Circle Remain Unbroken (45 RPM)
    • Livin' On (Alternative Brass Arrangement)
    • Bull of the Wood (Radio Spot)
  • 13th Floor Elevators Live: Death in Texas (1967 & 1973)
    • (I've Got) Levitation
    • Reverberation
    • Don't Fall Down
    • Kingdom of Heaven (Is Within You)
    • She Lives (In a Time of Her Own)
    • Rock 'n' Roll (Jam 1)
    • Jam 3
    • Baby Blue (Jam 4)
    • She Lives (In a Time of Her Own) (Jam 5)
    • Maxine
    • (I've Got) Levitation
    • Shake Your Hips
    • Roky on KAUM Radio
    • Stumble (Smoke the Toilet)
    • You're Gonna Miss Me

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Depeche Mode's Gahan Diagnosed with "Low Grade" Bladder Cancer

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23:  (FILE PHOTO)  Sin...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

One of the luckiest days of Dave Ganan's life may have been May 12 when he canceled a Depeche Mode show to go to the hospital with a bad case of gastroenteritis.

In treating the flare up, doctor's detected a low-grade malignant tumor in the singer's bladder. It has since been removed and the prognosis is excellent, although he has been told to take time off until June 8 to fully recover.

That means that the group's London O2 Arena appearance is postponed along with those at the Pinkpop Festival in Holland on May 31, Hamburg, Germany on June 2, Dusseldorf, Germany on June 4 and 5 and the first show in Leipzig, Germany on June 7. The tour is scheduled to resume on June 8 with the second Leipzig show.

The official statement from the group's website:

Depeche Mode are pleased to announce they will restart their interrupted Tour Of The Universe in Leipzig, Germany on June 8th. On May 12th, lead singer Dave Gahan suffered a severe bout of gastroenteritis, leading to his hospitalization and the cancellation of the Athens concert. While in hospital, further medical tests revealed a low-grade malignant tumour in Dave's bladder, which has since been successfully removed. At doctors' orders Dave Gahan must take a break until June 8th, to ensure that he makes a full recovery. The Leipzig show on June 8th will be the first concert following Dave's recovery.

Dave Gahan sincerely thanks his fans for their support, understanding and patience. Depeche Mode deeply regret any problems or inconveniences the cancellations and postponements may have caused.

Ticket holders for the previously cancelled shows listed below are encouraged to hold on to their tickets pending a further statement. Every effort continues to be made to reschedule these shows and more time is needed to resolve venue availability and routing. A final decision is expected early next week, at which time a statement will be made with regards to either a rescheduled date or final cancellation.

Spector Attorney Asks for 18 to Life, Depeche Mode Tour Still Up in the Air, more

Phil Spector's attorney, Doron Weinberg, says that Spector still maintains his innocence in the killing of actress Lana Clarkson; however, that's a moot point right now as he has been convicted and will be sentenced on Friday.

Weinberg has asked that the sentence be 18 years to life, made up of a mandatory 15 years for the murder and three years for the use of a gun. The L.A. Deputy District Attorney had asked for 19 years to life. Weinberg also stated that the conviction would be appealed.

There is still no confirmation that Depeche Mode will start their tour again on Saturday at London's O2 Arena. They have cancelled a number of shows in Europe due to Dave Gahan's gastrointestinal issues.

The company that is promoting the group's shows in Germany, where they are scheduled to start touring on June 2, has won a preliminary injunction against Smartfox Media, which owns a secondary Internet ticketing business, to stop it from selling tickets to the shows, most of which were at inflated prices.

Now that his stint with Queen is over, Paul Rodgers is just waiting for the end of his current Bad Company tour to spend the rest of the year relaxing and writing new material for a solo project.

"Frankly, I have a fantastic happy home and I overlook the lake. And I actually want to spend some more time creating the music. Y'know, one of my dreams was always to have a piano -- a room with a piano overlooking the ocean or a lake. Well, I have that and I'd like to spend some time on it if I may, please. So that's what I plan to do this year."

A-ha will precede the release of their new album, Foot of the Mountain, on July 13 with an appearance at the 2009 Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards in London.

Nick Cave was nominated for Song of the Year at the APRA (Australian Performing Arts Association) Music Awards for his song Dig Lazarus Dig.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Don't Stop Believin' This Song Will Go Away

For years, it was just another one of Journey's hits. Between 1979 and 1986, the group had a total of 11 top twenty hits, six of which went top ten. Open Arms was the biggest, staying at number two for six weeks in early 1982. Who's Crying Now went to number four in mid-1981, but it was the middle single from the album Escape, released between the group's biggest hits and only reaching number nine, that appears to be Journey's legacy tune.

Don't Stop Believin' had its first resurgence in popularity on June 10, 2007 when the song was used in the final scene of The Sopranos. The family meets at a diner, assuming that most of their troubles are behind them, when a number of questionable characters enter. The song plays on the jukebox and, just when you think something might happen, Steve Perry sings out "Don't Stop...", the picture goes black and the music ends. Fans were left to speculate on the fate of the characters and, suddenly, Don't Stop Believin' was being downloaded at a faster rate then ever before.

As of last August 2008, the song was the most downloaded record that was released before the year 2000 in music history. To be fair, only 10 songs out of the top 200 downloads were from that period, but Don't Stop Believin' was the king with a total of 1,821,000 (and who knows how many more since).

Which brings us to today. On this week's Billboard Hot 100, Don't Stop Believin' will enter at number four but this time it's not by Journey. The new hit is by the cast of the Fox program Glee which was previewed after the final American Idol performance show last Tuesday night. In the final scene, the rag-tag group of theater enthusiasts are on stage and perform the song to the amazement of those that doubted their talent. It must have struck a chord because 177,000 downloads were sold in the week since the broadcast.

Don't fear for Journey, though. 42,000 people preferred the original, which increased sales 48% from the week before.

Rundgren Assembles Classic Band for A Wizard, A True Star Performance

It was announced recently that Todd Rundgren would be performing his album A Wizard, A True Star in its entirety on September 6 at the Akron Civic Center in Akron, Ohio (another performance is scheduled for early 2010 in London).

Last night on his talk show, he detailed the artists who would be making up his band for the show:
  • Kasim Sulton (Bass) - Former member of Utopia along with doing session work for the likes of Meat Loaf, Joan Jett, Hall & Oates, Patti Smith and Mick Jagger. As a producer, he worked on Meat Loaf's VH1 Storytellers.
  • Prairie Prince (Drums) - Founding member of the Tubes and a major player in the forming of Journey.
  • Jesse Gress (Guitar) - Toured with Rundgren and the Tony Levin Band. Former music editor for Guitar Player magazine.
  • Greg Hawkes (Keyboard) - Founding member of the Cars.
  • Roger Powell (Keyboard) - Member of Utopia from 1974 to 1985. A protoge of Robert Moog, he created the Powell Probe, the first remote, hand-held polyphonic synthesizer controller.
A Wizard, A True Star was the followup to Rundgren's Something/Anything? which had been the singer's most commercially successful album. Fans were surprised by how different the album was, going from Something's very accessable pop to Wizard's totally experimental sounds. Still, over time, the album has been recognized as a heavily influential work for the world of electronic music.

Todd's manager, Eric Gardner, said “It was Todd’s 180 degree turn after Something/Anything?
much to the dismay of the record company and much to the dismay of radio. Back then they were hoping for a follow up of Something/Anything? something in the same vein. A Wizard, A True Star is actually a record that’s near and dear to Todd’s heart because it was so contrary”.

Patti Smith's New Daughter-in-Law, Brian Eno Lights Up the Sydney Opera House, more

Patti Smith officially became Meg White's mother-in-law on Friday in Nashville when White married Patti's son (with MC5 guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith) Jackson. The couple were married in Meg's former husband Jack's backyard and was part of a double wedding with the other couple being Jack Lawrence of the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather and Jo McCaughey.

The Sydney Opera House is awash in the artwork of Brian Eno. During the cities Sound & Light Festival, Eno's works are being displayed on the famous "sails" of the building, described by the BBC as "a canvas for audio-visual work 77 Million Paintings which uses 'self-generating software' to manipulate 300 of Eno's drawings." The display runs through June 14.

That rumored Paul McCartney/Bob Dylan collaboration we reported on earlier today has been branded as just "speculation" by a McCartney press spokesperson.

The Styx/REO Speedwagon/.38 Special concert at Konocti Harbor Resort on Saturday night was called off after a lighting fixture fell from the roof during .38 Special's opening song. While the light did not hit the stage, venue officials decided to call off the show to further examine the rigging.

A six mile section of North Carolina Highway 103 will be redesignated the Donna Fargo Highway later this fall. Fargo was born in Mount Airy, where the highway will be located, and is planning on donating several dresses she wore at awards shows in the 70's to the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History.

Lionel Richie has blasted artists who lip sync during their shows. "What it used to be, believe it or not, it wasn’t technology at all. You couldn’t hide behind the lights... You had to walk on stage, they’d turn on enough lights to see you, four spotlights. And you had to play your record.

"Now everything, down to you singing, may be not true! That part I don’t like is we’ve kind of trained a generation now where it’s OK if you’re not singing live. And we’re easily fooled because people are so amped up in studio on the recordings."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

McCartney & Dylan Ready to Enter Studio, AC/DC Sell Half-Million Tickets in a Day Down Under, more

According to England's Daily Express, the duet between Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan is a go. The pair are planning to go into the studio sometime over the summer.

A source said, "Paul has a home in California not too far from Bob's so the idea is for the two to meet when Paul is in California over the summer. They'll obviously want to work in privacy and it's felt one of their homes will be the best bet.

“Getting these two together for any length of time is difficult schedule-wise but they both want this to work out. The music that comes out of this will be fascinating to hear."

Australians proved there is still a little discretionary income down under by purchasing 500,000 tickets for AC/DC's concerts scheduled for February and March of 2010. That translates to about one out of every 40 people in the country now holding a ticket for the shows.

The sales set a new record for amount in one day with, at one point, 3,400 tickets being sold a minute. Additional shows had to be added in Sydney and Melbourne after the first dates sold out in ten minutes. Perth sold out in seven.

A South Carolina judge may have finally put the legacy of James Brown to rest. In a Tuesday ruling, Judge Jack Early has divided the late-singer's estate approximately 50% to his cheritable trust, 25% to his last wife and young son and 25% to the singer's adult children.

The true value of Brown's estate is not known, although there have been many rumors and court hearings over the fact that his fortune had pretty much been drained. A recent auction netted $850,000, but the true value is most likely in future sales and royalties.

Natalie Cole has left the hospital and is now home "doing well under the circumstances." Cole underwent a life saving kidney transplant last Monday; however, her older sister, Carol "Cookie" Cole, passed away from cancer while Natalie was in the operating room.

Cole will recover for the next three months before going on the road to promote her latest, Still Unforgettable.

Suzi Quatro is planning on recording a new album with Mike Champan.

Chapman recently said "I always got on well with Suzi Quatro and had a long and successful friendship and collaboration with her. Suzi was the first real female rock and roll player...

We're about to start on a new project and I've said to her, 'Let's go back to basics - let's make a kick-ass record that has the same attitude that we had in 1971-2'."

Also readying a new album is Sade, who has not released new material in nine years. According to Sony, the set will be out on November 24.

New Releases: May 26, 2009

Classic Albums & Woodstock Performances Paired in New Sony Albums

Sony Music Entertainment and Woodstock Ventures have teamed to release albums from five key artists from the 1969 Woodstock Music & Arts Festival. Each 2-CD set will contain a classic album by the artist that was released in 1969 along with their performance from the festival. Release is set for June 30.

The albums by Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Santana, Sly & the Family Stone and Johnny Winter will be housed in eco-friendly (that means cardboard) mini-CD sleeves with inner paper sleeves and housed in a slipcase jacket. Also included is a 16x20 inch fold-out poster with a picture of the artist performing on one side and a crowd shot on the other.

The following are each of the sets, including the track list from the Woodstock performances:
  • Jefferson Airplane: The Woodstock Experience
    • Volunteers
    • Woodstock Performance
      • The Other Side of This Life (previously unissued)
      • Somebody To Love
      • 3/15 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds (previously unissued)
      • Won't You Try / Saturday Afternoon
      • Eskimo Blue Day
      • Plastic Fantastic Lover
      • Wooden Ships (previously unissued)
      • Uncle Sam Blues
      • Volunteers
      • The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil (previously unissued)
      • Come Back Baby (previously unissued)
      • White Rabbit
      • The House At Pooneil Corners (previously unissued)
  • Janis Joplin: The Woodstock Experience
    • I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!
    • Woodstock Performance
      • Raise Your Hand (previously unissued)
      • As Good As You've Been To This World (previously unissued)
      • To Love Somebody
      • Summertime
      • Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)
      • Kozmic Blues
      • Can't Turn You Loose (previously unissued)
      • Work Me, Lord
      • Piece Of My Heart
      • Ball & Chain
  • Santana: The Woodstock Experience
    • Santana
    • Woodstock Performance
      • Waiting
      • Evil Ways (previously unissued)
      • You Just Don't Care
      • Savor
      • Jingo
      • Persuasion
      • Soul Sacrifice
      • Fried Neckbones

  • Sly & the Family Stone: The Woodstock Experience
    • Stand!
    • Woodstock Performance
      • M'Lady (previously unissued)
      • Sing A Simple Song (previously unissued)
      • You Can Make It If You Try (previously unissued)
      • Everyday People (previously unissued)
      • Dance To The Music
      • Medley: Music Lover / Higher
      • I Want To Take You Higher (previously unreleased)
      • Love City
      • Stand! (previously unissued)
  • Johnny Winter: The Woodstock Experience
    • Johnny Winter
    • Woodstock Performance
      • Mama, Talk To Your Daughter (previously unissued)
      • Leland Mississippi Blues
      • Mean Town Blues
      • You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now (previously unissued)
      • I Can't Stand It (with Edgar Winter) (previously unissued)
      • Tobacco Road (with Edgar Winter) (previously unissued)
      • Tell The Truth (with Edgar Winter) (previously unissued)
      • Johnny B. Goode (previously unissued).

Monday, May 25, 2009

Beastie Boys Name Album, Donovan Writes Musical, Andersson & Ulvaeus Broadway Bound Again

The Beastie Boys have announced that their new album is finished and will be called Hot Sauce Committee. Back in October, Adam Horovitz told Billboard "It's a lot of vocals, a lot of words, very wordy. And it's political, depending on what you call political. You know, if toilet talk and fart jokes are political, which they can be, in that sense yeah, very."

Morrissey has canceled more shows over illness. He managed to play at 50th Birthday show in Manchester but then called off shows tonight at Salisbury City Hall and tomorrow at Troxy Ballroom in East London. A spokesman said "Morrissey is on doctor's orders to postpone the show, to ensure a complete recuperation."
Donovan has written a musical about the fictional son of novelist Virginia Woolf. The Dark Root of the Dreams will premier June 6 at Largo at the Coronet Theater in Los Angeles.

According to the singer, "This musical is a complete departure from me. I have taken my exploration of the unconscious through dream therapy and married it to the soul clutching sounds of gypsy music."

Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus' musical Kristina will have it's English language and Broadway debut this fall.

Veteran Acts at Glastonbury Festival

The Glastonbury Festival announced its full lineup on Monday which includes literally hundreds of modern acts playing on eleven stages over three days. This year's festival runs Friday, June 26 through Sunday, June 28.

Among the many modern acts are a few veterans, including the Friday night headliner (Neil Young) and the Saturday headliner (Bruce Springsteen). Below is the dates when those veteran acts are performing:
  • Friday, June 26
    • Neil Young
    • Specials
    • Ray Davies
    • Fairport Convention
    • Blockheads
  • Saturday, June 27
    • Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band
    • Crosby, Stills & Nash
    • Spinal Tap
  • Sunday, June 28
    • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
    • Madness
    • Tom Jones
    • Tony Christie
    • Status Quo
    • Linda Lewis
    • Echo & the Bunnymen
    • Georgie Fame
    • Roger McGuinn
    • Steve Hillage Band
    • Robyn Hitchcock
For full information on the festival, go to their site.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Estefan & King Tour Together, British Biopic of Joe Meeks, more

Gloria Estefan and Carole King are touring together in what is being called Estefan's farewell tour, but it isn't one opening for the other. It's Estefan's show all the way with King inserted in the middle and end for duets and a few solos. The two singers are playing off each other on King's biggest hit, It's Too Late, while they have melded Estefan's Anything for You with King's You've Got a Friend as a single number. The 15-piece Miami Sound Machine is in support.

Another music biopic is coming, this time about....Joe Meek. Many will probably ask who he is as musical history has not been kind to his legacy.

Meek was a English record producer from the 60's who became famous for the strange sound of the records he produce, whether it be sped-up vocals, super compression or sound effects. His two big hits were the Tornados' Telstar and the Honeycombs' Have I the Right, but he also produced for many other British artists of the time including Screaming Lord Sutch, John Leyton and the Outlaws (British group featuring Ritchie Blackmore). In early 1967, he killed his landlord and then himself.

Telstar stars Con O'Neill, Kevin Spacey, Pam Ferris and JJ Feild and is written and directed by Nick Moran who was in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

According to Concord Records, James Taylor has been confirmed as the musical guest on the last Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Friday.

A 1972 documentary of B.B. King's appearance at Sing Sing Prison will be released on June 16 via Music Video Distribution. Along with King's performance, there are also those of Joan Baez and The Voices of East Harlem along with a documentary on the creation and filming of the concert.

It seems Pat Boone is trying to become a mouthpiece for the extreme right in American politics. He has been making regular appearances on Sean Hannity's FoxNews program and recently wrote a scathing attack on the American Civil Liberties Union on WorldNetDaily.

Joel Drummer Suing for Back Royalties

Liberty DeVitto had been part of Billy Joel's band and one of his closest friends for 30 years. They started playing together in 1975 and fell out in 2005 when, according to DeVitto, he tried to talk to his friend about his drinking. Soon, Joel was in rehab and DeVitto was on the outside, which included a bit of owed royalties.

DeVitto told the New York Post "People get fired, they get severance or insurance for a certain period of time. I didn't even get a phone call. It was cold."

According to the article, DeVitto does not have songwriting credit on any of Joel's songs, but feels he was a major part of the singer's style. "If Billy sang Only the Good Die Young like he wanted to, it would have been a reggae song."

DeVitto filed suit against Joel and Sony Music last Tuesday in a Manhattan court for an unspecified amount. According to his lawyer, they would have specified something, but they have no idea what the figure should be since it is ten years since DeVitto received any accounting.