Monday, November 30, 2009

Preview: David Bowie - David Bowie: Deluxe Edition (Early Decca Album)

Artist: David Bowie
Title: David Bowie: Deluxe Edition
Release Date: January 25, 2010 (U.K.), February 9, 2010 (U.S. Availability Through Amazon)
Label: Universal UK/Zoom
Format(s): 2-CDs

David Bowie’s 1967 debut album for Decca finally receives the Deluxe Edition treatment. Disc One features the original stereo and mono mixes of the album stunningly remastered by Peter Mew and Tris Penna at Abbey Road Studios . This is the first time that the mono mix has been available in any format since the late ’60s and is obviously the first time on CD. Disc Two features the singles, unreleased stereo mixes, the legendary unreleased single London Bye Ta-Ta and 5 Previously Unreleased tracks recorded for John Peel’s Top Gear programme in 1967. All in all, there are a total of 26 tracks appearing on CD for the very first time. Comes with sleeve notes by Tris Penna and Kevin Cann.

The full track list is after the cut.

This Is It Gets DVD Release Date, Vinny Appice to Undergo Surgery, more

Sony Pictures has announced a January 26 release date for the DVD version of Michael Jackson's This is It. The date was moved back to give theaters additional time to show the film and to tie it in with the Grammy Awards.

The DVD version will have an hour of extra footage while the Blu-Ray will have 1-1/2 hours extra along with a Smooth Criminal film that was to show prior to Jackson's performances and a making of for the short film. Both will have two making-of pieces on the full film and shorts on costumes, dancer auditions and Jackson himself.

Marc Rashba, VP of marketing for Sony, said "We're thrilled with the date that we ended up with, where it's at an opportune time in the market. The Grammys follow right after the release date (on Jan. 31). There will be a lot of Grammy areas in stores, and we can play into that."

It's not a good time right now for members of Heaven and Hell. Ronnie James Dio announced last week that he has stomach cancer and we have no learned that drummer Vinny Appice will undergo surgery on his right shoulder on Monday. The shoulder was injured during the band's last tour. His doctor's expect him to be back at the drums in about five months.

On a brighter side, the group's guitarist, Tony Iommi has gotten back together with former Black Sabbath bandmate Ian Gillan to write a new song. The two had been on the outs since 1984 when Gillan left Sabbath to return to Deep Purple. The pair are also talking about starting a charity band with a few other musicians.

London's Mail Online recently published a story saying that David Bowie had been asked to play at next summer's Glastonbury festival. A posting on set the record straight.
Rumours and lies and stories they made up...Part 386

The Mail Online has posted a piece suggesting that David Bowie is "considering an offer" to appear at next year's 40th anniversary Glastonbury Festival.

Sadly, there is absolutely no substance to this story.

Discovery Bay Games and Debbie Gold have published Grateful Dead-opoly, an officially licensed version of Monopoly but, instead of buying streets, you purchase Dead albums. The playing pieces include the bands bus and a drum while the "Chance" cards reference different things that happened in the band's history. More information is available at

The movie Nowhere Boy is covering the teenage years of John Lennon, so now it's time to move forward a bit in his life with the BBC drama Lennon Naked. The film, scheduled for a 2010 airing, starts in 1967 with the death of Brian Epstein and goes up to 1971 and the release of the Imagine album.

Christopher Eccleston, who previously played Dr. Who and has appeared on Heros, will play Lennon. Naoko Mori, who was in the same series of Dr. Who, will play Yoko Ono.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chart Watch Australia: November 29, 2009

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current Australian music charts. Chart highlights:
  • Beyond the obvious big story in music, Susan Boyle's sweeping of the album charts around the world, there is very little new in Australia. Most albums slipped just slightly from last week with Them Crooked Vultures holding on to the top charting album by a veteran artist even though they fell 4 to 11.
  • The only new album on the Albums chart is The Best of Enya, not out in the states until this Tuesday, which premiers at 40.
  • On the R&B Albums, Janet Jackson debuts at 19 with The Best which is the international version of Number Ones.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis. (N) indicates new entry. (R) indicates re-entry.

Top 50 Albums

Top 50 Singles
  • #1 (1) - Tik Tok - Ke$ha
  • #2 (N) - Black Box - Stan Walker
  • #3 (2) - Down - Jay Sean Featuring Lil Wayne
  • #4 (3) - Meet Me Half Way - Black Eyed Peas
  • #5 (6) - Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
  • No Veteran Artists Charting
The Urban/R&B and Country charts are after the cut.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Best of the Decade: Popdose Top 100 Albums and Songs

Popdose, the website that covers most forms of popular media, has come out with their Top 100 albums and singles of the decade, providing the first published lists that acknowledge all eras of artists, modern and veteran.

On the album side, the editors give the top two spots to Green Day and Wilco but it's the third place LP (Raising Sand) that sets them apart from other sites. This widely acclaimed album had not shown up on any other list of the best of the decade, nor had Bruce Springsteen's The Rising which is at number 7. Overall, they acknowledge 23 albums by veterans, far more than anyone else has to date.

The same goes for the songs. While you have to get to number 6 before a track by a veteran appears (Johnny Cash's Hurt), a total of 14 songs by veterans are listed including a few that are a bit of a surprise by Prince, Paul McCartney and Joe Strummer.

Popdose's Top 100 Albums of the 2000's
  • 1. American Idiot - Green Day
  • 2. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco
  • 3. Raising Sand - Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
  • 4. Sea Change - Beck
  • 5. Kid A - Radiohead
  • 7. The Rising - Bruce Springsteen
  • 9. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots - Flaming Lips
  • 13. O Brother, Where Art Thou? - Soundtrack
  • 14. Love and Theft - Bob Dylan
  • 18. Bachelor No. 2 or the Last Remains of the Dodo - Aimee Mann
  • 19. Smile - Brian Wilson
The rest of the album list and the entire song list is after the cut.

Links: Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Bryan Ferry, more

  • Paul McCartney on touring, the Beatles and Christmas (via The Sun)
  • Annie Lennox talks about HIV/Aids and why there will not be a Eurythmics reunion (via The Guardian)
  • Former Cocteau Twins singer Elizabeth Fraser's first interview since the band split in 1998 (via The Guardian)
  • Interview with Alison Moyet on her solo career and Yazoo (Yaz) (via Wales Online)
  • Watch Pee Wee Herman's 1988 Christmas Special with guests Frankie Avalon, Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers, Charo, Del Rubio Triplets, Annette Funicello, Magic Johnson, Dinah Shore, Grace Jones, Oprah Winfrey, k.d. lang, Little Richard and Zsa Zsa Gabor plus series regulars Laurence Fishburn (Cowboy Curtis) and S. Epatha Merkerson (Reba the Mail Lady) (via Pee Wee's site, click on the present at the bottom of the screen)

Lita Ford Wants Reality Show, Ex-Cocteau Twin Elizabeth Fraser Releases Single, more

Lita Ford may not have wanted anything to do with the upcoming Runaways biopic Cherry Bomb, but that isn't stopping her from trying to do a bit of promotional tie-in. She's shopping a reality show around on her hectic family life while keeping up on her touring and career. It actually sounds like the Osbournes Part II.
"My eight year old is in the top bunk and he's got Elmo on his hand and he's peeking over the door with Elmo but the language that is coming out of Elmo's mouth is not appropriate for children that are eight years old.

"Rocko is in the top bunk, and he's eight years old, and he's got Elmo and he is going, 'Hey, you a**holes! Hey I'm up here,' and he's sneaking over the door. So I'm thinking to myself, 'Reality show.' This is really f**king funny."

Elizabeth Fraser, formerly of the Cocteau Twins, is about to release a new single. Moses is being released as a tribute to her friend Jake Drake-Brockman of Echo and the Bunnymen who died in a motorcycle accident in September. Drake-Brockman recorded the track with Fraser prior to his accident.
Marie Osmond has told Fox News that she was approached to star in the film version of Grease before eventual lead Olivia Newton-John but didn't want to play a part where she had to go bad.

"The script came to me, and (it) was much edgier then what Olivia came up with, but I was at a place in my life where I wanted to have children and I didn't like the fact that the girl had to turn bad to get the guy. I think the guy has to work hard to get the girl, that's what I believe."
Al Alberts, one of the founding members of the Four Aces and, later, a Philadelphia TV show host, passed away on Friday at the age of 87. Alberts was not only in the original lineup but, when they couldn't get a label to release their first record, (It's No) Sin, he started his own company. The release got the attention of Decca who signed the group that went on to release hits like Tell Me Why, Three Coins in the Fountain, Love is a Many Splendored Thing and Melody of Love.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Chart Watch America: November 27, 2009

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current American music charts. Chart highlights:
  • It is the week of upheaval on the Album chart as the LPs that have been previously relegated to the Catalog Album chart get reintroduced. Still, when all was said and done, Michael Jackson returns as the highest charting veteran artist with This is It settling in at number 7.
  • Last week's chart topper, The Circle by Bon Jovi, takes a major drop down to number 19, going from 163,000 copies in week one to 50,000 last week. That drop from number one is the third biggest in chart history with only albums by Incubus and Marilyn Manson falling farther.
  • The top debut by a veteran artist easily goes to Them Crooked Vultures (John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl & Joshua Homme) who start at number 12 on the Album, 4 on the Rock Album and 1 on the Hard Rock Album charts. That's the highest John Paul Jones has been on an original studio album since 1979's In Through the Out Door by Led Zeppelin (we aren't counting Coda which was a compilation of oddities from Zeppelin's career).
  • Premiering at number 16 on the Album and 5 on the Rock Album charts is the new live set from Paul McCartney, Good Evening New York City. His last live album, 2002's Back in the U.S., debuted at 8.
  • Janet Jackson's Number Ones starts out at 22 on the Album and 3 on the R&B Album charts. That's better than the peak of her last hits collection, 1995's Design of a Decade, on the R&B chart where it went to number 4, but much worse than the Album chart peak which was number 3.
  • The other veteran artists debuting this week are Motley Crue with a new Greatest Hits (Albums #94/Hard Rock Albums #10) and Barry Manilow's In the Swing For Christmas (Albums #142).
  • The real story is the 22 albums that return to the charts after the change in Billboard's charting rules. Previous to this week, albums that had been out at least 18 months, had dropped below number 100 and had no charting single were removed from the regular Album chart and put on the Catalog Album chart. This became a problem last summer when Michael Jackson albums were outselling all new product but were not showing up on the regular Album chart. Everything is now integrated into one comprehensive chart that reflects all U.S. album sales.
  • We are going to stop coverage of the Catalog Album chart, which would be redundant, and have added two new charts. The first, Top 40 Radio Airplay, reflects the changes that are going through not only the radio industry but also the general tastes of U.S. listeners. Country is making inroads everywhere and it's reflected in this weeks airplay chart where Reba McEntire's Consider Me Gone places at 27. The record is not only getting country airplay but is also crossing over into some adult contemporary formats.
  • The second new chart is the Folk Music Albums which gives the music of some fine veterans and new acoustic artists some exposure in their specific sub-genre.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis. (N) is a new entry. (R) is a re-entry. Grayed charts were not available for update at time of publication.

Top 200 Albums

Top 100 Singles
  • #1 (1) - Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z + Alicia Keys
  • #2 (11) - Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
  • #3 (2) - Fireflies - Owl City
  • #4 (3) - Whatcha Say - Jason DeRulo
  • #5 (10) - TiK ToK - Ke$ha
  • #39 (39) - Consider Me Gone - Reba (McEntire)
  • #89 (68) - We Weren't Born to Follow - Bon Jovi

The Digital, Radio Airplay, R&B, Blues, Country, Bluegrass, Folk, Rock, Adult Contemporary, Dance, Jazz and Americana charts are after the cut.

Who Officially Playing Super Bowl Halftime, Wood's Girlfriend Leaks Stones Tour, more

It's now official. The Who will be playing the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLIV Halftime Show on February 7. While already internationally known, the exposure from the appearance is staggering as the game is shown in 230 countries and territories. Last year's show by Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band was viewed by an estimated TV audience of 151 million.

Could Ronnie Wood's 20-year-old girlfriend be letting the cat out of the bag on a 2010 tour by the Rolling Stones? Britain's Sun says that Ekaterina Ivanova has been saying more than she should. "She's not supposed to talk about it, things haven't been finalized but she couldn't resist telling a few friends."

Wood has also told the British papers that he has been in contact with Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts which could also be an indication of an impending road trip.

Motley Crue is taking 2010 off to work on individual projects. Lead Vince Neil told Fox News, "I go out and do my solo record and tour (and) I’ve got a book coming out. 2010 is my year. I’m writing about all the stuff you don’t know about.”

Annie Lennox say we shouldn't be looking for a Eurythmics reunion. "I'm not really keen on comebacks. Eurythmics was an incredible thing. When I look back on that work, I feel very satisfied by it but I'm not in that headspace now. I'm 54, I have teenagers. What's always been important to me is not struggling to keep going round the same groove. I want to go forwards, and I want to take risks."

AC/DC took home the Best Rock Album and Highest Selling Album at Australia's ARIA Awards for Black Ice.

Preview: The Best of Bryan Ferry - Bryan Ferry

Artist: Bryan Ferry
Title: The Best of Bryan Ferry
Release Date: Available Now (U.K.), December 1, 2009 (U.S. Availability Through Amazon)
Label: Phantom Sound & Vision
Format(s): CD, CD/DVD

This new compilation of Bryan Ferry's solo career contains 19 singles and two previously unreleased tracks. The first of the new tracks, I Don't Want to Go On Without You, is a cover of a song originally recorded by the Drifters and released as the B-Side of Under the Boardwalk. Ferry says on his website that he has been working on this track for a number of years with a wide group of musicians, producers and engineers. The second new track is an alternate version of A Fool For Love, the third time he has interpreted the song.

A deluxe version is also available with a DVD of all of Ferry's promo videos and a number of live performances. Be aware that the DVD is in the European PAL format.

The full track lists for both the CD and DVD are after the cut.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lists: Music Radar's Top 50 Guitar Riffs of All Time

Music Radar, who bills themselves as the number one website for musicians, asked their readers to name their favorite guitar riffs of all-time. The compiled list shows a pretty astute readership. The classics are well represented with no wasted listings just because it's the "latest flavor." It says a lot about the readership of the site, who are obviously musicians who know their music.

Topping the list is the Jimi Hendrix classic Voodoo Child, one of three riffs he has on the list, but he isn't the reader's favorite. That would go to Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin with a total of five out of the top 50 and not one of them is Stairway to Heaven. Veteran artists also scoring multiple riffs are John Lennon with the Beatles (4), Angus Young of AC/DC (3), James Hettfield of Metallica (2), Keith Richard of the Rolling Stones (2), Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath (2), Eric Clapton (2) with Derek & the Dominoes and Cream and Eddie Van Halen (2) with Van Halen and Michael Jackson.

Here are the top five from the list along with every other entry by a veteran musician:
  • 1. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix Experience (Jimi Hendrix)
  • 2. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses (Slash)
  • 3. Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page)
  • 4. Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple (Ritchie Blackmore)
  • 5. Layla - Derek & the Dominoes (Eric Clapton, Duane Allman)
  • 6. Back in Black - AC/DC (Angus Young)
  • 7. Enter Sandman - Metallica (James Hetfield)
  • 8. Day Tripper - Beatles (John Lennon)
  • 10. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Rolling Stones (Keith Richard)
  • 11. Paranoid - Black Sabbath (Tony Iommi)
  • 13. Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love - Van Halen (Eddie Van Halen)
  • 14. You Really Got Me - Kinks (Dave Davies)
  • 16. Highway to Hell - AC/DC (Angus Young)
  • 17. Heartbreaker - Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page)
  • 18. Iron Man - Black Sabbath (Tony Iommi)
  • 19. Black Dog - Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page)
  • 20. Beat It - Michael Jackson (Eddie Van Halen)
See the rest of the list after the cut.

Chart Watch Canada: November 26, 2009

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current Canadian music charts. Chart highlights:
  • Them Crooked Vultures (John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl & Joshua Homme) debut at number 5 on the Canadian Album and number 1 on the Hard Rock Album charts.
  • Also scoring well are hard rockers Motley Crue with their latest Greatest Hits collection, premiering at 39 on the Album and 3 on the Hard Rock Album charts.
  • Other veteran acts debuting this week include Paul McCartney with his live album, Good Evening New York City, at 23 and Janet Jackson's Number Ones at 43 on the Album and 5 on the R&B Album charts. On the Hard Rock Album chart, Queen's Absolute Greatest premiers at 14 while Rush's Working Men hits the charts at 26.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis. (N) indicates a new release. (R) indicates a record that is re-charting. There can be ties in chart positions.

Top 100 Canadian Albums

Top 100 Canadian Singles
  • #1 (1) - Sexy Chick - David Guetta Featuring Akon
  • #2 (7) - Fireflies - Owl City
  • #3 (2) - 3 - Britney Spears
  • #4 (4) - Already Gone - Kelly Clarkson
  • #5 (3) - You Belong to Me - Taylor Swift
  • #28 (31) - Consider Me Gone - Reba (McEntire)
  • #42 (43) - We Weren't Born to Follow - Bon Jovi
  • #52 (58) - New Fang - Them Crooked Vultures
  • #58 (71) - Twang - George Strait
  • #93 (92) - This is It - Michael Jackson Featuring the Jacksons
The R&B, Country and Hard Rock charts are after the cut.

Britain Wants ABBA to Reform, Monkees Have Half Reunion, more

PRS for Music, the British performance rights organization, polled 1,500 people to find out what act they would like to see reform. 25% of the respondents said they would like to see ABBA followed by the Police (13%), Pink Floyd and the Smiths (11%), Oasis (10%), the Jam (9%), Dire Straits (8%), the Clash (6%), the Spice Girls (4%) and the Sex Pistols (3%).

Peter Tork of the Monkees performed at the Boston Super MegaFest this past weekend and brought a special guest on stage to end his set, Mickey Dolenz. Tork had already run through a number of Monkees hits, so the pair talked about meeting the Beatles before playing Oh, Darling and closing with Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode.

Also in attendance at the festival was Terry Sylvester of the Hollies.

Elvis Costello has announced that the second season of Sundance Channel show, Spectacle, will be the last. "I wasn't looking for a career in TV. It's something I did as a side project from my real career."
Artists working with Bryan Ferry on his next album include Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Greenwood from Radiohead, and Nile Rodgers from Chic.

BBC6 News Twittered earlier today that Martin Gore of Depeche Mode has been summoned by a U.S. court to testify as an expert witness on being "sad and lonely" in the trial of a man suing the makers of World of Warcraft.

The next CMT Crossroads will be Jimmy Buffett with newcomers the Zac Brown Band. For those who know Buffett's music and the current Zac Brown hit, Toes, this seems like a perfect pairing. The show will be shot in December for an March airing.

Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi has had a street named after him in his hometown of Woodbridge, New Jersey. Richie Sambora Way was dedicated on Tuesday with the guitarist in attendance.

REEL Good Productions, LLC has acquired the rights to the book My Name is Love: The Darlene Love Story with eyes towards making it their first independent film production. REEL founder Karen Braithwaite said "REEL Good Productions is thrilled to be working with Ms. Love on this, our first independent film project. Her story and its historic significance culturally and musically, should be shared with a wider audience. It is particularly thrilling in light of the fact that she is being recognized this year as a 2010 nominee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

Links: Beatles Treasures, Petty: The Early Years, more

  • Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion on this weekend's Guthrie Family appearance at Carnegie Hall (via
  • 10 unsung guitar heros including Bonnie Raitt, Ray Parker Jr. and George "Lightnin' Licks Johnson of the Brothers Johnson (via
  • 9 guitar heros pick their favorite riffs (via Music Radar)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Best of the Decade: NME's Top 100 Tracks

Last week, Britain's NME announced their choices for the 100 Best Albums of the decade. Today they move on to the 100 Best Tracks.

Like their album list, most of the entries are built around modern acts (the Yeah Yeah Yeahs get two tracks in the top twenty), giving only four picks to artists who have been around for 25 years or more. Unlike the album list, where Primal Scream placed at number 3, you have to go all the way down to 70 on the tracks before you get a veteran artist which is, once again, Primal Scream.

Here are the top five along with all other entries from veteran musicians:
  • 1. Crazy in Love - Beyonce
  • 2. Time to Pretend - MGMT
  • 3. Hard to Explain - The Strokes
  • 4. Paper Planes - MIA
  • 5. Hey Ya! - Outkast
  • 70. Accelerator - Primal Scream
  • 92. Hurt - Johnny Cash
  • 98. Irish Blood, English Heart - Morrissey
  • 99. Do You Realize? - Flaming Lips
To see the whole list with commentary and YouTube videos, go to the NME site.

Ronnie James Dio Diagnosed With Stomach Cancer

Ronnie James Dio, legendary vocalist for Dio, Heaven and Hell, Black Sabbath and Rainbow, has been diagnosed with early stage stomach cancer. Late last week he canceled his European Tour, with his wife Wendy telling that "Ronnie has been hospitalized and we are waiting for further news."

Today, Wendy released the following statement:
"Ronnie has been diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer. We are starting treatment immediately at the Mayo Clinic. After he kills this dragon, Ronnie will be back on stage, where he belongs, doing what he loves best, performing for his fans.

"Long live rock and roll, long live Ronnie James Dio.

"Thanks to all the friends and fans from all over the world that have sent well wishes. This has really helped to keep his spirit up."

Recording Academy Adds 25 to Their Hall of Fame

The Recording Academy has announced this year's 25 new inductees to their Grammy Hall of Fame. The Hall "serves as a celebration and reminder of the triumphs and achievements of the recording arts. Selections are drawn from all categories of music, acknowledging the diversity of musical expression for which The Recording Academy has become renowned."

This years pack goes as far back as 1923's Dipper Mouth Blues by King Oliver and His Jazz Band up to 1977's Birdland by Weather Report. All told, the new class brings the total number of inducted recordings up to 851 (see past inductees at the Grammy site).

Neil Portnow, President and CEO of the Recording Academy, said "This year's GRAMMY Hall Of Fame inductees highlight a diverse array of masterpiece recordings that have had a profound impact on our musical history. The selections are timeless staples that span six decades and represent a wide range of genres from comedy to rock, reggae, jazz and R&B. They all greatly deserve to be memorialized."

This year's inductees:
  • As Time Goes By - Dooley Wilson (1944/Single)
  • Birdland - Weather Report (1977/Single)
  • California Girls - Beach Boys (1965/Single)
  • Catch a Fire - Bob Marley & the Wailers (1973/Album)
  • Crazy He Calls Me - Billie Holiday (1949/Single)
  • Dipper Mouth Blues - King Oliver & His Jazz Band (1923/Single)
  • Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Never No Lament) - Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra (1940/Single)
  • Ella and Basie! - Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie (1963/Album)
  • Feliz Navidad - Jose Feliciano (1970/Single)
  • For Me and My Gal - Judy Garland and Gene Kelly (1942/Single)
  • His Eye Is On the Sparrow - Mahalia Jackson (1958/Single)
  • I Feel Like Going Home - Muddy Waters (1948/Single)
  • It's a Man's Man's Man's World - James Brown (1966/Single)
  • Jazz Samba - Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd (1962/Album)
  • Kansas City Stomps - Jelly Roll Morton (1928/Single)
  • Lazy River - Louis Armstrong (1931/Single)
  • Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy - Louis Armstrong and His All-Stars (1954/Album)
  • Mr. Bojangles - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1970/Single)
  • Pearl - Janis Joplin (1971/Album)
  • Riders on the Storm - Doors (1971/Single)
  • Twist and Shout - Isley Brothers (1962/Single)
  • Who Do You Love - Bo Diddley (1956/Single)
  • You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It) - Harry James and His Orchestra (1941/Single)
  • Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah - Johnny Mercer (1946/Single)

Chart Watch Britain: November 22, 2009

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current British music charts. Chart highlights:
  • It's was a week of change on the British charts. For the first time in months, there are no Beatles in the Top 100 Albums and no Michael Jackson in the Top 100 Singles. They have been replaced, though, by the onslaught of Queen. Their new Absolute Greatest album premiers at number 3 while the Top 100 Singles contains three Queen songs and the Rock Singles has eight.
  • Them Crooked Vultures also premiered well at number 13 on the Album and 1 on the Rock Album charts.
  • The only other debut by a veteran artist is the album 40/40 by the Carpenters which starts at 21. That's the same spot that their Gold: Greatest Hits album premiered back in 2000 although it has gotten as high as 4 in subsequent reissues.
  • That doesn't mean there weren't other big changes. Albums that were flying high one or two weeks ago have taken big drops on the charts, including Bon Jovi's The Circle which hits 25 in its third week.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis. (N) is a new entry. (R) is a re-entry. Grayed charts were not available for update at time of publication.

Top 100 British Albums

Top 100 British Singles

  • #1 (N) - You Are Not Alone - X-Factor Finalists 2009
  • #2 (1) - Meet Me Halfway - Black Eyed Peas
  • #3 (N) - Whatcha Say - Jason Derulo
  • #4 (2) - Happy - Leona Lewis
  • #5 (4) - Fight For This Life - Cheryl Cole
  • #28 (19) - Million Dollar Bill - Whitney Houston
  • #39 (28) - Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
  • #63 (N) - Who Wants to Live Forever - Queen
  • #82 (N) - Don't Stop Me Now - Queen
  • #83 (45) - We Weren't Born to Follow - Bon Jovi
  • #85 (160) - Fairytale of New York - Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl
  • #93 (R) - Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
The R&B, Rock and Dance Charts are after the cut.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Preview: So Long Bannatyne & Rockin' Deluxe Editions - Guess Who

Artist: Guess Who
Title: So Long, Bannatyne & Rockin'
Release Date: December 8, 2009 (So Long, Bannatyne), January 12, 2010 (Rockin')
Label: Iconoclassic
Format(s): CD

So Long, Bannatyne (1971) and Rockin' (1972) showed the Guess Who flexing their muscles and branching out into new and, sometimes, less radio friendly music. Gone was Randy Bachman, who left before the album Share the Land, and in his place were two guitarists, Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw.

The Iconoclassic releases include two bonus tracks each, the double sided single Albert Flasher/Broken on Bannatyne and the unreleased Sea of Love and Lost Sheep on Rockin'. Each also has extensive liner notes with interviews and song commentary from all living members of the band. Production is limited to 3,000 copies each.

Track List:

So Long, Bennatyne (1971/#52 Albums)
  • Rain Dance (1971/#19 Pop)
  • She Might Have Been A Nice Girl
  • Goin’ A Little Crazy
  • Fiddlin’
  • Pain Train
  • One Divided
  • Grey Day
  • Life In The Bloodstream
  • One Man Army
  • Sour Suite (1972/#50 Pop)
  • So Long Bannatyne
  • Albert Flasher (Bonus Track) (1971/#29 Pop)
  • Broken (Bonus Track) (1971/#55 Pop)
Rockin' (1972/#79 Albums)
  • Heartbroken Bopper (1972/#47 Pop)
  • Get Your Ribbons On
  • Smoke Big Factory
  • Arrivederci Girl
  • Guns, Guns, Guns (1972/#70 Pop)
  • Running Bear
  • Back To The City
  • Your Nashville Sneakers
  • Herbert’s A Loser
  • Hi Rockers!: Sea Of Love, Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday, Don’t You Want Me
  • Sea Of Love (Bonus Track - Previously Unreleased)
  • Lost Sheep (Bonus Track - Previously Unreleased)

Sade's First Album in Ten Years Announced, Stones Battling Boyle, more

Epic Records has announced a February 8 release of Soldier of Love, the first studio album in ten years of Sade.

Little is known about the album other than it was recorded in England and produced by Mike Pela who has helmed most of Sade's recordings.

This will be Sade's sixth studio album since her debut in 1984 and her first since Lovers Rock in 2000.

The Rolling Stones must not want Susan Boyle digging into their sales. Boyle's first single from her debut album is a version of the Stones' classic Wild Horses. Not to be left behind, the band has released a digital package of the song including the original version, a simpler version from their album Stripped and a video of a live performance of the song from Knebworth in England (1976).

As if Dolly Parton doesn't already have enough going on in her life, she is opening Dolly Parton's Trickets and Treasures in downtown Nashville. The store features Parton's music along with t-shirts, hats and jewelry for adults and younger shoppers.

Colin Hart, the man who kept Deep Purple together through their many lineup changes, will publish his autobiography next year titled Hart of the Purple Rainbow. The book will be published by Wymer, who says it's "a tale of excess in terms of greed, petulance, anger and devotion… counter-balanced by extremes of pure talent, showmanship and, of course musicianship."

Hart also managed the group Rainbow.

Jon Bon Jovi announced that the group would be putting out a new greatest hits album sometime next year. The set will update 1994's Cross Roads which remains a big catalog seller.

Bon Jovi told The Rock Radio, "It'll be a new greatest hits because the last one was 15 years ago. It was '94. So you had everything from These Days forward. And what is this my fifth album in this decade? So at least six studio records and a solo thing. And then I'm sure you'll still end up having to put Living On A Prayer on it but there won't be Runaway on it. It won't have the early early stuff because we'll have had more hits since then."

The Moody Blues are offering fans a special VIP package for some 2010 shows that will include the band's version of "Story Tellers." VIP ticket holders will be able to go to a special meet-and-greet with the group where they will tell stories about their career. More information is at

New Releases: November 24, 2009

November 23, 2009

November 24, 2009

Go to releases for December 1, 2009.

Little Richard Has Hip Surgery

Little Richard has undergone hip surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

In a posting on his MySpace page, a spokesman wrote:
Little Richard went through with the surgery on his hip this past week. He's in quite a bit of pain right now, so please be praying for a quick and full recovery. He may have a long road ahead of him (i.e. physiotherapy) because he waited so long to have the surgery.

He is thankful to the LORD for the blessing of longevity and greatly appreciates the kindness and caring of all of the faithful warriors who have been uplifting him in prayer. PLease continue to pray and remember that GOD loves and truly cares for you!! GOD bless you all in JESUS mighty name, amen!
Family friend Rev. Bill Minson said that Little Richard wanted him to tell his fans "to get ready to rock 'n' roll with him in the new year because he's coming back strong."

U2 to Headline at 2010 Glastonbury Festival

U2 has been confirmed as a headliner at the 2010 version of England's Glastonbury Festival. They will close the first night of the festival on June 25.

Festival organizer Michael Eavis said in a statement "The 26-year-old rumour has finally come true. At last, the biggest band in the world are going to play the best festival in the world! Nothing could be better for our 40th anniversary party. And there are even more surprises in the pipeline...

"I promised the best possible lineup for the show next year and the confirmation that U2 will play their first ever Glastonbury, and their first major festival gig since the early 1980s, is fantastic news. We've been trying for years ... And now we've finally made it happen. I'm sure they will pull out all the stops to make next year's Glastonbury the most memorable ever."

The festival, arguably the highlight of the British summer season, is already sold out.

ASCAP Announces the Top 25 Holiday Songs of the Decade

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has released their list of the 25 most played holiday songs over the last decade. ASCAP tracks the number of plays each song on the radio receives so it knows how to pay out to the composers and publishers.

Topping the list for the decade is one of the oldest songs, Winter Wonderland, which was first recorded in 1934, followed by The Christmas Song and Sleigh Ride.

Most notable is that all except two of the songs in the 25 would be considered holiday standards and those two songs, Wonderful Christmastime and Do They Know It's Christmas?, land at numbers 24 and 25.

ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams commented on how hard it is to get new music on the list. "This is a tough list for any of us to break into. There's a sense that people tend to gravitate towards tradition, especially at the holidays, and our top 25 list confirms this. So, whether you're listening to holiday music on an iPod or a vintage record player, these time-honored favorites are sure to evoke the magic of the season and memories of holidays past."

There are a couple of changes on the list of the artist with the most performed version. After decades of hearing Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms, the Daryl Hall and John Oates version has taken over as the most played. Also changing leading performer is Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let is Snow! (Aaron Neville to Michael Buble), I'll Be Home for Christmas (Amy Grant to Josh Groban), Silver Bells (Kenny G to Anne Murray) and Frosty the Snowman (Ronettes to the Beach Boys)

Remember that ASCAP is one of two performance rights organizations in the U.S. If there are songs that you are sure you hear every year yet aren't on the list, they are most likely by songwriters affiliated with Broadcast Music, Incorporated (BMI).

Here's the top 25 of the decade with each entry followed by the songwriter and the aretist who recorded the most played version.
  1. Winter Wonderland - Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith (Eurythmics)
  2. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) - Mel Tormé, Robert Wells (Nat King Cole)
  3. Sleigh Ride - Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish (Ronettes)
  4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin (Pretenders)
  5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie (Bruce Springsteen)
  6. White Christmas - Irving Berlin (Bing Crosby)
  7. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne (Michael Buble)
  8. Jingle Bell Rock - Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe (Daryl Hall & John Oates)
  9. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - Johnny Marks (Gene Autrey)
  10. Little Drummer Boy - Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, Harry Simeone (Harry Simeone Chorale & Orchestra)
  11. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - Edward Pola, George Wyle (Andy Williams)
  12. I'll Be Home For Christmas - Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, Buck Ram (Josh Groban)
  13. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Johnny Marks (Brenda Lee)
  14. Silver Bells - Jay Livingston, Ray Evans (Anne Murray)
  15. Feliz Navidad - José Feliciano (Jose Feliciano)
  16. Frosty The Snowman - Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins (Beach Boys)
  17. A Holly Jolly Christmas - Johnny Marks (Burl Ives)
  18. Blue Christmas - Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson (Elvis Presley)
  19. It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Meredith Willson (Johnny Mathis)
  20. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Tommie Connor (PRS) (John Mellencamp)
  21. Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) - Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman (Elvis Presley)
  22. (There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays - Bob Allen, Al Stillman (Perry Como)
  23. Carol Of The Bells - Peter J. Wilhousky, Mykola Leontovich (David Foster)
  24. Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney (Paul McCartney)
  25. (24) Do They Know It's Christmas? (Feed the World) - Midge Ure (PRS), Bob Geldof (PRS) (Band Aid)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Michael Jackson Wins Four American Music Awards: So What? - A Look at Award Shows

Last night, Michael Jackson took home four American Music Awards for Pop/Rock Favorite Male Artist, Soul/R&B Favorite Male Artist and Favorite Album in both genres for the album Number Ones. That's two awards on the night for an album that was released in 2003.

The real question is "so what?" The American Music Awards were created in 1973 by Dick Clark as a response to the Grammy Awards but unlike the Grammys, it is based solely on popularity and not artistic merit. The nominations are based on the biggest selling record or artist in each genre and the winner picked by the public in a (now) on-line poll.

That means that only those things that sell, whether they are good or not, get nominated and the one that is currently most popular wins. People tend to "love" the latest, being unable to put their current musical lust into perspective against older artists/songs. Taylor Swift is the current "it" artist, so she naturally takes home five awards. Michael Jackson has been foremost in the news for months, so he takes four (even though, a year ago, he couldn't have bought a nomination much less an award).

Thus, we tend to consider the American Music Awards as a "tier three" bottom of the barrel awards show with little long-term significance. To explain further, here is how we breakdown awards of the four major groups, music, movies, TV and theater.

Tier 1 - The Majors

There is one major award for each area of entertainment, the Academy Awards/Oscars (movies), the Grammys (music), the Emmys (TV) and the Tonys (theater). They carry the most prestige and generally get the most publicity. There are flaws in most of their systems as the entire membership for each gets to vote in most categories, so rappers vote for country artists at the Grammys and sound editors vote for actors at the Oscars. Overall, though, these awards allow the widest group of professionals to evaluate the other professionals in their industry.

Tier 2 - Genre, Guild and Critics Awards

The next most important groups include a wide range of award shows that recognize and are voted on by a specific subset of each industry. In the field of music, there are the genre specific awards like the CMA and Acaedmy of Country Music Awards, both recognizing achievements in country music. Fellow industry people nominate and vote for others in their specific genre. In Soul/R&B/Hip Hop there are the BET Awards and revived Soul Train Awards. Even smaller genres get in the act with the Americana Awards, Bluesgrass Awards and others.

In the film industry, the various guilds have their own awards, including the Director's Guild, Writer's Guild and Screen Actor's Guild. In all cases, the voting members are others of the same vocation who, presumably, are the best people to judge the work of their piers.

Finally, there are the critics awards. As they say, if you can't do, be a critic but the fact is that many of those who write about movies, theater, etc. for a living are knowledgeable in their field and may have seen the widest array of productions to be able to evaluate what truly is the best of a year. Critic's awards include the Golden Globes for movies and TV and the Drama Desk and New York Theater Critics awards for Broadway and Off-Broadway.
Tier 3 - The Junk

The American Music Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, the People's Choice Awards, the Teen Choice Awards. They all have one thing in common. They are voted on by the public. Not that the public shouldn't have an opinion but, don't they already choose their "favorites" through record sales, TV viewership and movie and theater box office? These awards are nothing more than another way to promote the latest projects, be seen on another red carpet, get personalities that have nothing to do with a genre to present awards ("...and now, to present the award for Best Actor in a Drama, here's Carrot Top") and get egos stroked in one more way.