Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Nominees for the 54th Grammy Awards

The nominees for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards were announced on Wednesday night, the big four during  the CBS television special and the balance on-line.

Kanye West received the most nominations with seven while Adele, Bruno Mars and Foo Fighters took six each and Lil Wayne and Skrillex received five.

As far as veteran artists go, it was a very light night. Even in categories where there is normally a good showing such as Rock/Metal, only Megadeth received a nomination. Only three veterans received multiple nominations, Tony Bennett, Charlie Wilson and Weird Al Yankovic each had two.

Here are the nominees in each of the Pop, Rock, R&B, Country, Folk, American and Blues categories (veteran artists shown in bold):

Record Of The Year
  • Rolling in the Deep - Adele
  • Holocene - Bon Iver
  • Grenade - Bruno Mars
  • The Cave - Mumford and Sons
  • Firework - Katy Perry
Album Of The Year
  • 21 - Adele
  • Wasting Light - Foo Fighters
  • Born This Way - Lady Gaga
  • Doo-Wops & Hooligans - Bruno Mars
  • Loud - Rihanna
Song Of The Year
  • All of This Light - Jeff Bhasker, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West, songwriters (Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie)
  • The Cave - Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford & Country Winston, songwriters (Mumford and Sons)
  • Grenade - Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
  • Holocene - Justin Vernon, songwriter (Bon Iver)
  • Rolling in the Deep - Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth, songwriters (Adele)
New Artist
  • The Band Perry
  • Bon Iver
  • J. Cole
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Skrillex

See the rest of the nominees after the cut.

Eric Bibb Signs With Stony Plains Records

Critically acclaimed folk-blues singer Eric Bibb has signed a new contract with Stony Plains Records who will release his new album, Deeper in the Well, in March. Joining Bibb on the album are multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell, guitarist Cedric Watson, drummer Danny Devillier and harmonica player Grant Dermody. Special guests on the CD include Michael Jerome Browne, Jerry Douglas and Christine Balfa.

Eric’s last CD, Troubadour Live, recorded at a 2010 concert in Stockholm , Sweden , was released earlier this year and recently was voted fourth in the Downbeat magazine Readers Poll for blues albums. A prior album, Booker’s Guitar (2010), paid tribute to blues artist Bukka White and featured Bibb playing the actual guitar of the blues icon.

Eric Bibb was born into a musical family and raised in New York City . His father is noted folk singer Leon Bibb, and his uncle was John Lewis, the world-famous jazz pianist and composer of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Legendary actor/singer/activist Paul Robeson was Eric’s godfather, and some of the musical friends who could be seen and heard around the Bibb household in those days included Pete Seeger, Odetta and Bob Dylan.

Eric got his first guitar at age seven and by 13 had entered New York City ’s famed High School of Music and Art, studying several instruments, as well as vocals. When he was 16, his father asked him to play guitar in the house band for his local TV talent show.

In 1970, Eric left New York City ’s Columbia University for Paris , meeting legendary guitarist Mickey Baker, and began to focus on blues guitar. He later moved to Sweden and travelled extensively throughout Europe , writing and performing his own songs in festivals and clubs all around the Continent.

Over the course of many album releases in the intervening years, Eric Bibb has been nominated for multiple Blues Music Awards in several categories. In addition to the Grammy-nominated Shakin’ a Tailfeather children’s album (which also featured Taj Mahal), some of his other noted albums during this period included A Family Affair, which teamed him up with his father for a series of duets and solo tunes; and Friends, which included special guests Taj Mahal, Odetta, Charlie Musselwhite and Guy Davis.

Eric Bibb will support the release of Deeper in the Well with extensive touring in the U.S. and around the world.

Interview: Paul Young Talks With

Paul Young is best known in the U.S. for his number 1 hit Every Time You Go Away along with I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, Come Back and Stay and Oh Girl. had the chance to get an update on his career.

Paul Young lit the fuse for his solo career in 1983 with the release of his classic debut album Ne Parlez, prior to that he was a member of Streetband and of course the Q-Tips.

His soulful silky smooth voice has carried him ever since through an ever-changing musical world of which he will always be a part. were lucky enough to catch up with the lovely man that is Paul Young at the exclusive private members club Black's and talk frankly about the time in-between which will soon culminate with the no expense spared spectacle Paul Young Live at The Plaza on December 11th where he will be backed by a 16-piece big band.

Review: Led Zeppelin IV Being Celebrated With Original Poster Exhibit

by Claudia A

Portion of Black Dog Poster
To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s legendary (and untitled) fourth album, The Flood Gallery in Greenwich launched a new exhibition displaying eight original art prints, created by some of the most talented artists around.

Guests from the world of media, art and music gathered in excitement to see what the exhibition (put together by Chris Marksberry of Flood) might hold in store, and they weren’t disappointed! Special guests included renowned Led Zeppelin author Dave Lewis (he’s also the editor of Led Zep mag Tight But Loose) and Justin Hampton, who is one of the artists whose work is on display. Only the gentlemen Page and Plant were nowhere to be seen, although the generous offering of complimentary wine, prosecco and freshly whipped-up paella softened the disappointment.

Led Zep’s landmark album, released in November 1971, contains eight classic tracks which have been given a visual interpretation for the IV At 40 exhibition:

  • Black Dog by Seattle based Justin Hampton
  • Rock & Roll by Minnesota based Kii Arens
  • The Battle Of Evermore by Denver based John Vogl
  • Stairway To Heaven by Brooklyn based Jermaine Rogers
  • Misty Mountain Hop by Boston based Nate Duval
  • Four Sticks by Chicago based Dan Grzeca
  • Going To California by Portland based Gary Houston
  • When The Levee Breaks by Portland based Mike King

The official and striking Led Zeppelin IV At 40 exhibition poster (using metallic gold and silver inks onto Matte Black French paper stock) is designed by The Flood Gallery’s own Tom Warner and seems to be the only British contribution.

Portion of Stairway to Heaven
With the exception of Kii Arens, whose interpretation of Rock & Roll uses photography and who used actress Rose McGowan to pose for his picture, all the other artists opted for screen print / foil print techniques to creatively express their idea of the album’s songs. The result are eight prints that give a real feel for '70s poster artwork, with a strong retro vibe oozing from every picture. You can check it out on

The Flood Gallery launched in July 2011 as a celebration of gig posters, along with movie posters and art prints. The posters are strictly limited edition, signed and numbered by the artist making them collectable, yet affordable and a gateway for music fans wishing to bring more art into their lives. So if you’re stuck for a truly awesome present this Christmas, check out what this rockin’ gallery has to offer!

British Drummer & Woodstock Alum Keef Hartley Passes Away

Keef Hartley, who played with a number of great British blues groups and whose band played at Woodstock, passed away on Sunday from complications after surgery at the age of 67.

John Mayall wrote on his website:
I got the sad news (27Nov11) that Keef Hartley died of complications
from surgery last Sunday. When I think back to all the adventures we
had over the years, both on and off the road, it seems hardly possible
that my friend of so many years will not be showing up to sit in with
any of my bands in the future. His sense of fun and love of life will
always remain in my thoughts as special memories. Boy did we have fun!
So long my friend, I will miss you.
Hartley's music career started in 1961 when he joined a local group called the Thunderbeats. Two years later, a Liverpool promoter convinced him to become the drummer for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes replacing their current drummer, Ringo Starr.

After going through a series of other bands, Keef ended up with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers whose 1967 lineup also included Mick Taylor, John McVie, Chris Mercer and Rip Kant. During his time with the band, they recorded the albums The Blues Alone, Crusade and Looking Back.

In 1969, Hartley formed The Keef Hartley Band who made their U.S. debut during the Saturday show at the Woodstock Festival. Through a revolving door of lineups, the band lasted for three years, releasing five critically acclaimed albums along the way including the classic Halfbreed (1969).

After the breakup of the band, Hartley released a solo LP (Lancashire Hustler (1973)) followed by another attempt at a group, Dog Soldier (Dog Soldier (1975)).

For most of the next thirty years, Keef led a quiet life outside of music, at first refurbishing recording studios and then working as a cabinet maker.  before returning in 2003 with the album Not Foolish, Not Wise followed four years later by his autobiography Halfbreed (A Rock and Roll Journey That Happened Against All Odds).

It was reported that Hartley had been in poor health for a number of years before his passing.

Louise Harrison, Sister of George, Writing Book to Set the Record Straight

"So much garbage has been written about George and the Beatles." That's per Louise Harrison, the older sister of George Harrison, in an interview with the Sarasota Times.

Harrison, 80, is a former resident of Florida and now lives in Branson, MO where she overseas a Beatles tribute band. For years, people have asked her to write a book on George and she finally decided to do so, saying most of the text is complete and she hopes to have it out next year or in 2013.

She told Gerry Galipault of the Harold Tribune "Half of the stuff has been written by people who spent maybe an hour on a plane with the Beatles. Now I think it’s my duty to get the truth out. There’s been all kinds of myths and fantasies written about them. At least I have some facts to go on, because I was there — from even before they were the Beatles."

Within the article, she talks about her family life when she and her brother were young and being the U.S. "feed" for Brian Epstein during the group's early days.

See the full story at

Preview: Tank Full of Blues - Dion

Artist: Dion
Title: Tank Full of Blues
Release Date: January 24, 2012
Label: Blue Horizon
Format(s): CD, DD

Dion has defied all odds by being one of the few early rock artists to keep evolving fifty years after their debut. In 2007, he moved into the blues with Bronx in Blue, an album of mostly covers. On January 24, he will visit the blues again on Tank Full of Blues but, this time, he has recorded mostly originals. According to a Facebook post, the band for the album will include two guitars, a bass and a drum but no information yet on who the identity of the musicians.

Tank Full of Blues is being released by Blue Horizon, the legendary blues label that was relaunched last year by Richard Gottehrer and Seymour Stein, the founders of Sire Records.

Per Dion, "“I’m excited… Great Lyrics, Great Feel, Great Groove, Rock on!!!"

Track List:
  • Tankful Of Blues
  • I Read It (In The Rolling Stone)
  • Holly Brown
  • Ride's Blues (For Robert Johnson)
  • Two Train
  • Do You Love Me Baby
  • You Keep Me Cryin'
  • My Michelle
  • My Baby's Cryin'
  • I'm Ready To Go
  • Bronx Poem

George Michael Update: Doctors Say He Is Improving

After a string of negative reports out of the U.K., George Michael's doctors have come forward with a bit of good news.

Michael is ‘improving steadily’, his doctors have said.

The 48-year-old singer fell ill with pneumonia in Vienna, Austria, last week. He then reportedly developed a secondary breathing condition and has been treated in intensive care.

There has been speculation that George is gravely ill, but the medical team treating him have assured fans he is getting better.

"The latest development in Mr. Michael’s case – which has evolved from a severe pneumococcal infection – necessitated intensive care due to its severity and extension, " Professors Gottfried Locker and Christoph Zielinski said in a statement.

"We are happy to announce that Mr. Michael is improving steadily with an impressive regression of pneumonic symptoms and follows a steady rate of improvement as hoped.

"As we said previously, complete rest and peace and quiet are mandatory."

George was forced to postpone the rest of his Symphonica world tour after his hospitalisation.

A statement on his website has assured concert-goers that ‘discussions and preparations’ are already being made to reschedule the dates, although they won’t happen until the star is fully recuperated.

When he first fell ill there were rumours George had a heart condition, but his doctors have been keen to allay people’s fears about it.

"There are no other health issues with regards to the patient other than the underlying pneumonic disorder, and no further measures had to be taken," the statement continued.

"Mr. Michael is receiving precisely the same treatment as any ordinary patient in Austria would receive at the hospital for this disease."

New Version of Crosby, Stills & Nash's Debut Finally Corrects Guinnevere's Name

It only took 42 years to fix a spelling error on the debut album from Crosby, Stills & Nash. The classic Guinevere has always been spelled with two n's but is now going to be released as intended with one.

A new limited edition deluxe version of the Crosby, Stills & Nash album will be released on December 6 and for the first time they will correct the mistake they made on the original pressing with the correct spelling of the name.

Part of the preparation of the reissue, explains Marshall Blonstein, head of Audio Fidelity “had to do with the ‘n’ in Nash’s song Guinnevere. Since 1969, every vinyl, cassette and CD version of the album had it spelled with two n’s. But recently the group decided to take out the [historically inaccurate] extra ‘n.’ So our CD booklet, tray card and even the original LP labels now show the title with just the one ‘n.’”

Crosby, Stills & Nash was the hit album of the summer of ’69. It featured Graham Nash’s Marrakesh Express and Stephen StillsSuite: Judy Blues Eyes and stayed on the US chart for 107 weeks.

Chart Watch Australia: November 28, 2011

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current Australian music charts. Chart highlights:
  • Now it is six weeks for Cold Chisel as the biggest selling veteran artist in Australia. This week they drop 7 to 10. 
  • Dolly Parton's album Better Day finally makes it to the top albums, debuting at 29. It also moved to number 1 on the Country Albums where it has been on the chart for nine weeks. Her Very Best of album falls 1 to 2.
TW = This Week, LW = Last Week, N = New, R = Returning to Chart.  The highest charting entry by a veteran artist is shown in red.  There can be ties in chart positions.

    Top 50 Australian Albums
    TW LW Title Artist
    1 N Here and Now Nickelback
    2 3 21 Adele
    3 2 Christmas Michael Buble
    4 1 Someone to Watch Over Me Susan Boyle
    5 N Talk That Talk Rihanna
    10 7 The Best of Cold Chisel: All of You Cold Chisel
    13 11 Duets II Tony Bennett
    25 24 The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac
    26 21 Beyond the Sun Chris Isaak
    28 27 A Foot in the Door: The Best of Pink Floyd
    29 N Better Day Dolly Parton
    38 R Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits Elton John
    39 30 Greatest Hits Bon Jovi
    41 38 Recollections k.d. lang
    42 34 The Very Very Best of Crowded House
    43 41 The Acoustic Chapel Sessions John Farnham
    44 44 Crystal Visions…The Very Best of Stevie Nicks

    The balance of the Australian charts are after the cut.

    Short Takes: Runaways, Genesis, Motley Crue, Public Image Ltd., Buzzcocks, Tom Roady

    Lita Ford and Joan Jett, formerly of the Runaways, met up recently for the first time in years. When asked about a reunion of the group, Ford told the Naperville Times "I would love it. I can't answer that question, but I would love it. We were ahead of our time. Now, people are realizing we were ahead of our time. We inspired so many different artists, and not just girls."

    The first album by Genesis will be getting the reissue treatment next year. From Genesis to Revelation, which was originally issued in 1969, will be out on January 23.

    Tomorrow night (Thursday) Motley Crue will be on Piers Morgan (CNN) to make a "big announcement."

    John Lydon has told BBC 6 Music that the new Public Image Limited album will most likely be called This is PiL. It will be their first album of new material since 1992.

    He also addressed why it took so long to get to another album. "I was always full of ideas, but I had to wait until I had enough money to release an album. Everybody thinks I made such a fortune with the Sex Pistols. Well, unfortunately that is not true, to make this record we had to tour extensively for two years."

    The Buzzcocks are reuniting for two shows with their original singer Howard Devoto who was with the group only long enough to record their first EP, Spiral Scratch. They will appear at the Apollo in Manchester, England on May 25 and the Brixton Academy in London on May 26.

    It looks like both Bob Seger and Michael Jackson will debut in the top 50 albums this week, but the sales are certainly lackluster.

    According to Hits Daily Double, Seger's Ultimate Hits: Rock & Roll Never Forgets will debut in the low teens with sales of about 52,000. Jackson's Immortal will come in four to six spots lower with a very lackluster total of 45,000 in sales.

    Nashville veteran percussionist Tom Roady passed away from cancer on Sunday at the age of 62. He died while traveling to the next date on the Skaggs Family Christmas Tour with Ricky Skaggs and the Whites.

    Roady was known for his innovative use of different percussion instruments on recordings by the likes of Emmylou Harris, the Dixie Chicks, Bob Seger, Wilson Pickett, Art Garfunkel, James Brown, Etta James and Kenny Chesney. 

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Watch: Jimmy Cliff and the Roots Perform The Harder They Come on Jimmy Fallon

    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Jimmy Cliff performed on The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday with the house band, The Roots.

    Best of 2011: Q and Uncut Magazine

    ...and here we go. It's time for our annual review of the various magazines, critics, and websites choices for the best music of the year. That means it is also time for our annual rants of how many of these sources tend to focus on releases by the "hottest" or "trendiest" modern artists, leaving out outstanding new recordings by the veteran artists who have been making great music for years.

    Up first are the lists from the British magazines Q and Uncut. As usual, we will list the top five on each list along with all placings by veteran artists.

    Q Magazine Top 50 Albums of 2011
    • 01. Ceremonials - Florence & the Machine
    • 02. Let England Shake - P.J. Harvey
    • 03. 21 - Adele
    • 04. Bon Iver, Bon Iver - Bon Iver
    • 05. Mylo Xyloto - Coldplay
    • 31. Hot Sauce Committee, Part 2 - Beastie Boys
    • 01. Let England Shake - P.J. Harvey
    • 02. The Harrow & the Harvest - Gillian Welch
    • 03. The English Riviera - Metromony
    • 04. D - White Denim
    • 05. Last of the Country Gentlemen - Josh T. Pearson
    • 13. Bad as Me - Tom Waits
    • 20. Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down - Ry Cooder
    • 23. Demolished Thoughts - Thurston Moore
    • 29. So Beautiful or So What - Paul Simon
    • 32. We're New Here - Gil Scott Heron & Jamie XX
    • 40. 50 Words for Snow - Kate Bush

    Billboard Announces the Ten Biggest George Harrison Hits

    Whether with the Beatles or as a solo artist, George Harrison produced some of the most sophisticated music to come from any member of the Fab Four.

    In remembrance on the tenth anniversary of his passing, Billboard has published a list of his ten biggest hits based on chart performance.
      1. My Sweet Lord/Isn't It a Pity (from All Things Must Pass, 1970)
      2. Got My Mind Set On You (from Cloud Nine, 1987)
      3. Something (from the Beatles' Abbey Road, 1969)
      4. Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) (from Living in the Material World, 1973)
      5. For You Blue (from the Beatles' Let It Be, 1970)
      6. All Those Years Ago (from Somewhere in England, 1981)
      7. What is Life (from All Things Must Pass, 1970 )
      8. Dark Horse (from Dark Horse, 1974)
      9. Blow Away (from George Harrison, 1979)
      10. You (from Extra Texture, 1975)
    To see Billboard's commentary and videos for each of the songs, go to the magazine's website

    What is George Michael's True Condition? Reports of Special Beds & Long-Term Voice Damage

    Reports on the health of George Michael from Britain are all over the place as to his current condition and prognosis.

    Spokespeople for the singer are keeping their "getting better every day" status; however, a number of other British newspapers are making other reports.

    The Telegraph is reporting that Michael is responding to treatment and "slowly improving" adding that he has been joined at the Vienna hospital by his father, two sisters and current boyfriend Fadi Fawaz. They also say that his last partner, Kenny Goss, is expected to arrive soon.

    The Sun says that Michael is being treated in a $150,000 bed that is used for critically ill lung patients. The Triadyne Proventa kinetic therapy bed was necessitated by what is said to be a secondary situation that is making it difficult for oxygen to get into the blood. Dr. Carol Cooper, consultant for the Sun explained:
    The bed has probably saved his life so far. But he is far from out of the woods yet. These beds are lifesavers and exceptionally expensive, even to use.

    With the lungs not functioning well, the heart has to pump harder to shift the blood around the body, which would make it harder to survive. This bed tries to get the lungs functioning as best they can.

    The movement helps shift secretions inside the lung to make sure they don't collect and make you worse. But if he is still being cared for like this, he is very seriously ill.

    He is in a critical condition, which means he could die. We still don't know why pneumonia affects some people more than others. But if you are middle-aged, and maybe with other problems such as with your immune system, your outlook is not so good.
    Today, it is being reported by the Mirror and the Sun that Michael is now on a ventilator with the possibility of long term vocal damage being the result. Dr. Gerrit Wohlt, Michael's ear, nose and throat specialist, said "In the worst case scenario, being on a ­ventilator could harm his vocal cords. He could end up with a hoarse voice, so a new year comeback is unlikely. He will needs months of rest."

    As far as long-term damage, Wohlt said "It depends how long he spends on the ventilator, but in the worst case his illness could seriously affect his singing capacity. The pressure is very close to his vocal cords and it could affect them."

    Dr. Conrad Murray Sentenced to Four Years in the Death of Michael Jackson

    Dr. Conrad Murray has been sentenced to the maximum four year jail sentence for the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson.

    In sentencing Judge Michael Pastor called Murray’s use of drugs “medicine madness” and said he “violated his sworn obligation for money, fame, prestige.”

    The Jackson family responded with the statement, “The Bible reminds us that men cannot do justice, they can only seek justice. That is all we ask as a family, and that is all we ask here. We are not here to seek revenge. There is nothing you can do today that will bring Michael back”.

    In June 2009, Michael Jackson was rehearsing for his 50-date This Is It London residency when he died a victim of a drug overdose at the hands of Conrad Murray.

    Murray administered the drug Propofol into Jackson. The drug is only meant to be used in hospitals and under supervision but is not used for sleeping problems. The court heard how Murray gave Jackson the drug on the morning of his death and then left the room.

    Jackson hired Murray exclusively for a fee of $150,000 a month.

    The court noted that Murray blamed everyone but himself for the singer’s death.

    His mother was present in the courtroom when the sentence was handed down.

    Prior to sentencing, family friend Brian Parish read the following statement:
    There’s no way to adequately describe the loss of our beloved father, son, brother and friend. We still look at each other in disbelief: is it really possible he is gone?

    As brothers and sisters, we will never be able to hold, laugh or perform again with our brother Michael. As his children, we will grow up without our father, our best friend, our playmate and our dad. We are not here to seek revenge. There is nothing you can do today to bring Michael back.

    We respectfully request that you impose a sentence that reminds physicians that they cannot sell their services to the highest bidder and cast aside their Hippocratic oath to do no harm.
    After the sentencing, the estate of Jackson issued the following statement:
    Michael Jackson’s death was a huge loss to his children, his family, and his fans worldwide. A jury determined Michael’s untimely passing was caused by Conrad Murray. Dr. Murray in pre-trial statements and in a post-trial documentary expressed no remorse or responsibility for Mr. Jackson’s death. The Estate of Michael Jackson believes that the sentence imposed on Conrad Murray by Judge Pastor was appropriate and called for. The egregious conduct of Dr. Murray when 'treating' Michael Jackson was bad enough but when coupled with his outrageous lies in trying to cover up his wrongdoing after Michael was dying and/or had died only served to magnify his criminal actions. Michael Jackson was the one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived and he will be missed by millions.

    A Remembrance of George Harrison on the Tenth Anniversary of His Passing

    Ten years ago today, George Harrison passed away at the age of 58.'s Tim Cashmere has written the following remembrance of his life.

    Harrison gained a reputation for himself as “the quiet Beatle”, often preferring to leave the spotlight to his more vocal band mates. During this time, however, he was the songwriting master behind some of the most highly regarded songs of the band’s career including While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Here Comes The Sun and the cheeky stab at the tax department who were, at the time, taxing the band 95% because they found themselves in the top earners in the country, Taxman.

    “When you think about it, the four egos, it’s amazing they did anything because they’re all very strong people,” producer George Martin said in a BBC Radio Documentary on Harrison.

    “He got a bit fed up because his own music wasn’t recognised, by me as well, I’m guilty. I took the two geniuses and ignored the third,” he regretfully admitted.

    Harrison didn’t start out writing such hugely influential numbers though. In 1958, when the band was known as The Quarrymen, he wrote the band’s very first original song with Paul McCartney (who would later split all of his songwriting royalties with John Lennon). The song In Spite Of All The Danger was a Buddy Holly-inspired tune with Lennon on lead vocals.

    George’s solo career started before the demise of The Beatles, with his first album Wonderwall Music, recorded partially in Bombay. It was the soundtrack to a 1968 film Wonderwall, directed by Harrison himself.

    In 1969 he released the experimental album Electronic Sound, which was entirely composed on the Moog synthesiser, but it was in 1970 after the split of the Beatles, when he began to use his solo career as a vehicle for his pop songs releasing the first triple album ever released by a solo artist: All Things Must Pass which features some of his most iconic solo songs, including All Things Must Pass and My Sweet Lord.

    During The Beatles, Harrison had twenty two of his songs recorded by the band, which made the seventeen songs included on All Things Must Pass seem quite overwhelming for fans of the quiet one.

    After the madness that was The Beatles split in 1970, Harrison was the first of the four to step out of the rubble and hit the stage again, organising the Concert for Bangladesh at the suggestion of his friend Ravi Shankar. The concert was to raise money and awareness of the violent Bangladesh Liberation War in which West Pakistan launched an attack on what was then East Pakistan after the Bengali people began to demand independence. The Concert for Bangladesh was one of the first all-star shows where musicians from different bands performed together creating supergroups.

    The concert was held twice – once at midday and once later that night – on August 1, 1971 and featured performances from George, his former band mate Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Ravi Shankar and more.

    In 1973, on the album Living In The Material World, Harrison took a stab at the litigious breakup of the Beatles in the song Sue Me, Sue You Blues where he sang about the ludicrous situation they all found themselves in. “I’m tired of playing the sue me, sue you blues,” he concludes the song with.

    That year also saw him collaborate with Ringo Starr, cowriting two songs for his album Ringo. The lesser known Sunshine Life For Me (Sail Away Raymond) invokes a bluegrass influence, while Photograph – which was a single – sounded more like a “traditional” Beatles song.

    His next explosion was with a cover of Rudy Clark’s I Got My Mind Set On You on his 1987 album Cloud Nine, but it was a year later when he united with Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty to become The Traveling Wilburys.

    Their debut album Vol. 1 (1988) wowed audiences who, until and since then, had never even fathomed a band loaded with such talent.

    His final album Brainwashed was released posthumously in 2002. It was produced by his son Dhani and E.L.O.’s Jeff Lynne. The final song he had ever recorded was Horse To Water and appeared on Jools Holland’s album Small World Big Band in 2001. It was recorded two weeks before his death.

    Following Harrison’s death thousands of fans turned out across the world to publicly grieve. In London, where I had lived at the time, fans had descended on the famous Abbey Road studios.

    The most spectacular tribute came on November 29, 2002 – nine years ago today. Spearheaded by Eric Clapton, George’s friends converged on London’s Royal Albert Hall to commemorate the first anniversary of his death.

    During this night, musicians as diverse as Joe Brown – who took The Beatles on their first tour of the U.K. – Eric Clapton, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jeff Lynne, Billy Preston, Ravi Shankar’s Orchestra, Jools Holland and Sam Brown, Jim Keltner, Klaus Voorman and many more.

    In 2011 Living In The Material World, a documentary on Harrison’s life was released into cinemas. It was directed by Martin Scorsese and has once again succeeded in putting George Harrison in the front of everyone’s minds.

    On hearing of his death, Paul McCartney described him as “a very strong loving man [who] didn’t suffer fools gladly, as anyone who knew him will know. He’s a great man, I think he’ll be remembered as a great man in his own right.”

    “I love him. He’s like a baby brother to me,” he added.

    Ten years later, George Harrison is remembered for exactly that.

    R.I.P. George Harrison, 1943 – 2001.

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    Short Takes: Ace Frehley, Michael Jackson, Sonic Youth, Elvis Costello, John Prine, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

    Ace Frehley has been forced to cancel his upcoming U.K. tour after falling in his home on Sunday and breaking his left wrist. He has been told by doctors not to play for at least ten days.

    Dr. Conrad Murray returns to court tomorrow (Tuesday) to receive his sentence in the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson. Even if he gets the maximum four-year sentence requested by the prosecution, he would serve, at most, two years due to California prison overcrowding.

    Rolling Stone spoke with Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, who will release his first solo album in March, and they broached the subject of the future of the band now that Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon are getting divorced.
    I'm feeling optimistic about the future no matter what happens at this point. I mean, every band runs its course. We've been together way longer than any of us ever imagined would happen and it's been for the most part an incredibly pleasurable ride. There's still a lot of stuff we're going to continue to do. There's tons and tons of archival projects and things like that that are still going on, so there are so many ways in which we are tied to each other for the future both musically and in other ways. I'm just happy right now to let the future take its course and I guess I'm kind of thankful that I've got this other project that kind of came about on its own.

    Ross MacManus, the father of Elvis Costello, passed away last Thursday at the age of 84. He was a trumpeter and vocalist in a number of popular bands and orchestras in the U.K., including a long stint with the Joe Loss Orchestra.

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced that they will announce their inductees for 2012 on December 15 at 10:30 AM. The nominees are the Beastie Boys, the Cure, Donovan, Eric B. & Rakim, Guns N' Roses, Heart, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Freddie King, Laura Nyro, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rufus with Chaka Khan, The Small Faces/Faces, the Spinners, Donna Summer and War.

    John Prine's latest album, The Mailman Delivers, contains tapes of sessions and performances from before his 1971 debut on Atlantic. He told Spinner he had no idea the tapes still existed until his wife made him clean out boxes in the garage.
    I only found this stuff because my wife made me, totally against all objections I had. It took me a month and a half to clean my garage out when I moved from our last house to this one. I had to sit there every day and go through boxes from three marriages. I just never bothered to unpack a lot of it, unless I had any appliances or clothes [laughs] Anything else my ex-wives boxed up for me I never unpacked. I had to sit there and go through each thing to see if it was worth saving. My wife had rented a dumpster for me and I sat there each day, cursing, going through each box. These tapes came out of having to clean the garage. My wife doesn't want to hear it from me when she has a chore for me.
    Spinners full interview can be seen on their website.

    Red Hot Chili Peppers Announce First Dates of U.S. Tour

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers are preparing to hit the road in North America for the first time in five years to promote their new album, I'm With You.

    The group is currently touring Europe with upcoming dates in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Spain. They then break for the holidays before staring up on January 25 in Charlotte, NC. While only six dates have been officially announced, there is a large gap in their schedule, from February 3 to June 23 when they return to Europe, so expect many more dates in the near future.

    Tickets for the first six shows go on sale December 3.
    • 01/25 - Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Arena
    • 01/27 - Raleigh, NC - RBC Center
    • 01/28 - Columbia, SC - ColonialLife Arena
    • 01/30 - Duluth, GA - Gwinnett Arena
    • 01/31 - Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum
    • 02/03 - Memphis, TN - FedEx Forum

    New Releases by Veteran Artists for November 29, 2011

    The complete list of new releases by veteran artists is after the cut.

    LL Cool J to Perform with the Grandmaster Flash at the Grammy Nominations Concert

    In its fourth time on the air, The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! - Countdown to Music's Biggest Night special is moving from a showcase for new music to a mix of old and new.

    While it still is not known if there is going to be a performance, the Recording Academy has already tweeted the news that Van Halen will be appearing on the show for some announcement. Now, they have added a special performance of a rap classic to the broadcast.

    Two-time Grammy winner Common, two-time  Grammy winner LL Cool J, Grammy winner Lupe Fiasco, and rap star Rick Ross will join hip-hop innovator Grandmaster Flash, Grammy winning hip-hop artist Melle Mel, and rapper Scorpio for a special performance of The Message, the seminal rap recording by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five Featuring Melle Mel and Duke Bootee. The recording is newly inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame.

    The show is scheduled for this Wednesday night (November 30) at 10 PM ET (CBS). LL Cool J will serve once again as host.

    Ken Russell, Director of the Movie Version of Tommy, Passes Away at 84

    Ken Russell, who challenged Hollywood throughout his career with his off-beat visions on film, has passed away at the age of 84.

    Ken Russell, one of the most controversial directors of our time, was born on 3 July, 1927.

    His movies included the Oscar winning Women In Love (1969), The Devils (1971), Tommy (1975) and Altered States (1980).

    Women In Love was a ground-breaking film in its day and the first mainstream movie to show male genitalia. It won an Oscar and made a name for Glenda Jackson.

    In 1975, Russell made his first musical, a film version of The Who rock opera Tommy. His cast included Elton John, Eric Clapton, Jack Nicholson, Ann Margret, Oliver Reed and Roger Daltrey as Tommy.

    This next movie was Lisztomania, also starring Roger Daltrey, a movie about composer Franz Liszt.

    Tommy was the forth album for The Who. Australian Robert Stigwood was behind bringing the movie to the screen with Russell.

    Session musicians on the movie in movie included Ronnie Wood, Nicky Hopkins and Kenney Jones.

    Has David Bowie Licensed His Songs for Theater or Not?

    There seems to be quite a bit of confusion at the moment as to whether David Bowie has licensed his catalog, or a portion of it, to screenwriter and producer Deep Singh for the new jukebox show Heroes: The Musical.

    Singh originally reported that licensing was in place in the U.K.'s Guardian, saying that the show would not be a biography but a fictional piece using Bowie's music, much like ABBA's was used in Mamma Mia and Queen's in We Will Rock You.

    Unfortunately, the agreement has evidently been shot down by Bowie, EMI Music and Chrysalis. A statement was released by Bowie's people on Sunday saying "Neither the David Bowie Organization, nor its co-publishers EMI Music and Chrysalis, has issued a license for a Bowie musical at the O2, as has been reported in the UK. There are no negotiations pending for a long-running musical featuring the music of Mr. Bowie."

    Does Bowie really not want his songs to be used in a musical or did Singh let the agreement out too soon? We will see how this develops over the coming weeks.

    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    Short Takes: George Michael, AC/DC, Allman Brothers, Nikki Sixx, Gary Glitter, Don Devito

    A friend of George Michael has shot down rumors that the singer is in grave condition with pneumonia. Fadi Fawaz told Britain's Daily Star that "He is improving every day. There is nothing to be concerned about. He is doing fine. We are very happy. He is doing extremely well and coming back from everything. We are very pleased."

    Only one veteran artist won a prize at this years ARIA Awards, the Australian equivalent to the Grammy. Best Music DVD went to Live at River Plate by AC/DC. Album of the year was Moonfire by Boy & Bear and single was Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye featuring Kimbra. The full list of winners can be seen at

    Gregg Allman says to expect at least one more Allman Brother Band album. He told the Boston Herald "Absolutely, we have another album in us. I’ve had to spend a lot of time healing up from these surgeries with nothing to do but write songs. So don’t listen when you hear there will never be another album. ‘Never say never’ is something I’ve learned recently."

    Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue and Sixx: A.M. is already a three-time best selling author and he's putting together two more books for release. While Sixx is not letting on about subject matter, other than they will be different from the three previous, he is saying one should be out next May or June while the second is for 2013.

    Scotland Yard has made it possible for Gary Glitter to once again leave England by not asking the courts to continue his travel ban; however, he remains on the sex offender's registry so he will have to ask permission to leave the country for more than three days and he may find bans on his entering many countries around the world. 

    Don Devito, an executive at Columbia Records who produced much of Bob Dylan's output during the 70's, passed away on Friday from prostate cancer. The two turned out Desire (1976), Street Legal (1978) and the live albums Hard Rain and At Budokan. He later worked on the Bootleg Series Volumes 1 through 3. He also worked with Billy Joel and Aerosmith, among others.

    Set List: Prince @ Air Canada Centre, Toronto (3+ Hours & 7 Encores)

    Prince opened his Welcome 2 Canada tour on Friday night at Air Canada Centre in Toronto with a spectacular, hits and covers laden, three-plus hour show that included, depending on the report, six or seven encores.

    Along with hitting the majority of his career highlights, he covered the Cars, Michael Jackson, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Wild Cherry, Sylvester and The Time, the latter of which he introed with "I wrote these songs, too!"

    Throughout the show, he played with special guest Maceo Parker.

    The following set list was assembled from a number of sources, all of which called out seven encores although many of the reviews of the show only mentioned six.

    Main Set
    • Introduction
    • We Live (2 Get Funky)
    • D.M.S.R.
    • Pop Life (including part of Scrapple From the Apple)
    • Musicology (including part of Tighten' Up)
    • A Million Days
    • Let's Go (Cars cover)
    • Take Me With U > Raspberry Beret > Cream
    • Cool (including part of Don't Stop Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson cover))
    • Yesterday (Beatles cover, sung by Elise Dease)
    • Nothing Compares 2 You
    • Let's Go CrazyDelirious / Let's Go Crazy
    • 1999
    • Little Red Corvette
    • U Got the Look
    Encore 1
    • Make You Feel My Love (Bob Dylan cover)
    • Purple Rain
    Encore 2
    • Kiss
    Encore 3
    • When Doves Cry > Nasty Girl > Sign of the Times > The Most Beautiful Girl in the World > Hot Thing > I Would Die 4 You > Housequake > Darling Nikki > Mr. Goodnight > Shockadelica
    • If I Was Your Girlfriend
    Encore 4
    • Sometimes It Snows in April
    • The Bird / Jungle Love (The Time covers)
    • Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry cover)
    Encore 5
    • Dance (Disco Heat) (Sylvester cover)
    • Baby I'm a Star
    Encore 6
    • Adore
    Encore 7
    • Let's Work

    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    Interview: Judith Durham of the Seekers

    The achievements of The Seekers are overwhelming. The band was one of Australia’s most successful groups of all-time, selling more than 60 million records worldwide.

    The Seekers were the first Australia act to have a number one record in England. They were the first Australian act to simultaneously have a top 5 hit in the UK, USA and Australia. They still hold the record for the biggest crowd ever at a concert in the Southern Hemisphere – Over 200,000 at the Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne.

    Judith Durham was an original member of the band and can be heard on such major hits as A World of Our Own (1965/#19 Pop/#2 Adult Contemporary), I'll Never Find Another You (1965/#4 Pop/#2 Adult Contemporary) and Georgy Girl (1967/#2 Pop/#7 Adult Contemporary). Durham left the band at the peak of its career and talks about why in this interview.

    She has a new album, Epiphany, and a companion album to her biography, Colours of My Life and talks about it all at with Paul Cashmere.

    Chart Watch America: Chart of December 3, 2011

    Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current American music charts. Chart highlights:
    • Classic crooner Tony Bennett is replaced by another veteran pop singer as Frank Sinatra debuts at 23 with Sinatra: Best of the Best. The album is the first to include tracks from both his Capitol and Reprise catalogs.
    • Two various artists albums debut well with the Starbucks exclusive Let It Snow starting at 45 and the U2 tribute album  (Ahk-toong Bay-bi) Covered premiering at 53. 
    • The R.E.M. career retrospective  Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011 debuts at 55. Like the Sinatra set, it is the first time that tracks from both their I.R.S. and Warner Brothers catalogs have appeared together on an album. 
    • Someday we will understand how Billboard determines what is new and one is a return to the charts for an album. The recent deluxe edition of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon came on as a return, adding to the existing number of weeks for the album. This week, though, the Who's Quadrophenia, now in a deluxe edition, is considered a first time debut at 100. 
    • Tony Bennett scores a second album on the Top 200 as The Classic Christmas Album debuts at 169. 
    • The last debut for the week is down at 197 with the first appearance in 23 years on the top 200 for Betty Wright. The new album,  Betty Wright: The Movie, is her collaboration with the Roots and her first charting album since 1988's Mother Wit.
    TW = This Week, LW = Last Week, N = New, R = Returning to Chart. The highest charting entry by a veteran artist is shown in red.


    Top 200 Albums
    TW LW Title Artist
    1 N Take Care Drake
    2 2 Christmas Michael Buble
    3 5 21 Adele
    4 N Concerto: One Night in Central Park Andrea Bocelli
    5 6 Under the Mistletoe Justin Bieber
    23 N Sinatra: Best of the Best Frank Sinatra
    27 27 Duets II Tony Bennett
    42 69 Christmas Symphony Mannheim Steamroller with Members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    45 N Let It Snow Various Artists (Starbucks Exclusive)
    46 64 NOW That's What I Call Christmas 4 Various Artists
    53 N (Ahk-toong Bay-bi) Covered Various Artists
    55 N Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011 R.E.M.
    74 71 Here For a Good Time George Strait
    78 82 It's Christmas Time Elvis Presley
    79 35 The Goat Rodeo Sessions Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edger Meyer, Chris Thile
    81 48 Bad As Me Tom Waits
    82 113 A Holiday Carole Carole King
    86 50 A Foot in the Door: The Best of Pink Floyd Pink Floyd
    88 R Greatest Hits Bon Jovi
    89 38 'Til the Morning Keith Sweat
    93 81 I'm With You Red Hot Chili Peppers
    96 109 Elvis Christmas Elvis Presley
    100 117 Christmas Extraordinaire Mannheim Steamroller
    104 159 Number Ones Michael Jackson
    105 57 Th1rt3en Megadeth
    108 158 Christmas With the Chipmunks Chipmunks with David Seville
    109 86 Guitar Slinger Vince Gill
    110 N Quadrophenia Who
    121 33 Wish You Were Here Pink Floyd
    123 152 James Taylor at Christmas James Taylor
    124 200 Christmas: 20th Anniversary Collection Mannheim Steamroller
    125 145 The Greatest Holiday Classics Kenny G
    126 197 A Charlie Brown Christmas Vince Guaraldi Trio
    131 143 Holiday Collection Kenny G
    133 95 Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd
    139 121 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Lynyrd Skynyrd
    142 126 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Eric Clapton
    144 198 The Christmas Collection Amy Grant
    156 140 An Afternoon in the Garden Elvis Presley
    162 135 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Lionel Richie
    166 124 Beyond the Sun Chris Isaak
    169 N The Classic Christmas Album Tony Bennett
    176 155 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Three Dog Night
    183 156 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Barry White
    186 R The Essential NOW That's What I Call Christmas Various Artists
    189 R Once Upon a Christmas Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
    192 162 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Temptations
    194 N Live: Made in Stoke 24/7/11 Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy
    197 N Betty Wright: The Movie Betty Wright and the Roots
    200 192 Extended Versions Creedence Clearwater Revisited

    The balance of the American charts are after the cut.

    Short Takes: Sex Pistols, Bruce Dickinson, Tony Bennett, Stevie Nicks, Alice Cooper, Bret Michaels

    The University of York in England is moving to make a house once rented by the Sex Pistols as a historical site. The reason for the move is that Johnny Rotten drew on the walls inside the home and they have been preserved.

    Dr. John Schofield of the archaeology department said "This is an important site, historically and archaeologically, for the material and evidence it contains. But should we retain it for the benefit of this and future generations? In our view, with anti-heritage, different rules apply. The building is undoubtedly important, and could meet criteria for listing or for a blue plaque, if not now then in time."

    Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden may have lost his piloting job earlier in the week, but that's not going to keep him out of the sky. He is planning to either reviving Astraeus Airlines or starting his own airlines.

    A little more of the private side of Tony Bennett was revealed on Thursday night's Lady Gaga special, A Very Gaga Thanksgiving. Not only did she record with the singer, but she also stripped down for Bennett to do a sketch for an upcoming issue of Vanity Fair. The sketch was the idea of photographer Annie Leibovitz.

    Stevie Nicks could be a part of music chart history. She does a narration on the video for Katy Perry's latest single, The One That Got Away, a song that Nicks says very much reminds her of her breakup with Lindsey Buckingham.

    If The One That Got Away makes it to number 1, it will be the sixth from Perry's album California Dreams and she will set a new record, surpassing the five number 1's on Michael Jackson's Bad.

    Alice Cooper recently talked with NME and the subject of Lou Reed/Metallica's Lulu came up. He said, if it was proposed to him "I would have gone, 'What?' It's like Iggy Pop making a record with ABBA. You're sitting there going, 'Where's the connection here?' So I really wanna hear it. Lou Reed's lyrics are as dark as can be. And Metallica is this gigantic, steroid metal band. How does this gel? I can't wait to hear it."

    Finally, last week was the end of Regis Philbin's time on Live! With Regis and Kelly and, to salute his final show and more than 16,000 hours on television over the years (a record), Bret Michaels performed a special version of Every Rose Has Its Thorns. Below is the video of the performance which is also available on iTunes.

    Friday, November 25, 2011

    If You Are Doing New Years in Oklahoma City, Spend it With the Flaming Lips and Yoko Ono

    No, we didn't make that up. The Flaming Lips will be on the same bill as Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band for New Year’s Freakout 5 which will take place in the Lips hometown of Oklahoma City.

    Yoko and the Plastic Ono Band and The Flaming Lips will perform two shows on New Years Eve and New Years Day.

    Flaming Lips have had a big 2011 including their Gummy Fetuses and Gummy Skulls with USB featuring three new songs.

    There was also the world’s first 24-hour long song 7 Skies H3. The song was available on a hard drive installed into a genuine human skull. Cost $5000. Don’t even try and buy one. They were an instant sell-out.

    The Lips will also perform on December 27 ay Belly Up in Aspen, Colorado.

    Interview: Talks to Pete Townshend

    After an acoustic performance at the Royal Albert Hall for The Prince's Trust Rock Gala concert to raise funds for disadvantaged young people, managed to get an exclusive interview with Pete Townshend in his dressing room just below the main stage.

    On Johnny Rotten being his first choice for Quadrophenia he said: "I knew him as he'd been using my studio in Soho, what a f**king diamond, and so smart but unfortunately we went out with the director...

    "Johnny Rotten liked to drink and so did I, and we went out and got pissed and I drove my car the wrong way around a roundabout. We went to Camden Palais together and I got stopped by the police and they hauled us out.

    "Anyway I think he decided not to do it. I don't think it was us. I really wanted him. I don't know how good he would have been, but he's very very intense he could have been good."

    Talking about the economy he said: "When Won't Get Fooled Again was written there were 3 million unemployed in Britain, there are 2.4 now but 40% of those are young people. So 1 million young people unemployed now it's not a good place to be."

    Watch the whole uncut interview below.