Friday, October 16, 2009

Music News & Notes

Susan Boyle Cover Art for I Dreamed a Dream Released

Susan Boyle's cover art for her debut album I Dreamed a Dream has been released. It is taken from a photo shoot Susan Boyle did recently for Harper's Bazaar magazine. It is a very simple but effective photo framing her face with her wearing what appears to be a classic sequined dress. The recent release of the album's track list indicates she will be performing an eclectic collection of songs from Madonna to "Amazing Grace." The album will be released November 24, 2009.


Creedence Clearwater Revival: The Singles Collection

Creedence Clearwater Revival's golden era of hit singles (fall of 1968 through spring of 1972) rivals that of any band in rock 'n' roll history. The Southern-flavored quartet from El Cerrito, Calif., turned out 17 hits in a 44-month stretch, nine of them in the Top 10, five of them in the Top 5.

On November 3, Fantasy Records will release The Singles Collection, a two-CD, one-DVD box with a slip case, containing all of the band's U.S. singles - 30 songs in all. Top 5 smashes like "Bad Moon Rising," "Green River," "Down On The Corner," "Travelin' Band," "Who'll Stop The Rain," "Run Through The Jungle," "Up Around The Bend," "Long As I Can See The Light" and "Lookin' Out My Back Door" are joined by seldom-heard singles that never charted ("Porterville" and "Call It Pretending" on Fantasy's Scorpio subsidiary, and later singles "Tearin' Up the Country" and "45 Revolutions Per Minute [Parts 1 & 2]").

The 30 songs, (which are presented in their original single mixes, many of them in mono - are making their CD debut), housed on two CDs, will be joined by a DVD containing four never-before-available, long-pre-MTV music videos: "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," "Bootleg," "I Put A Spell On You" and "Lookin' Out My Back Door." Also included in the package are a poster featuring the dozens of international single sleeves, and a 16-page booklet with liner notes by former Rolling Stone editor Ben Fong-Torres, who lived and wrote in the Bay Area during CCR's golden half-decade.

Fantasy will also manufacture a limited edition collectors' version of The Singles Collection featuring actual vinyl 45 rpm singles with reproductions of the original Fantasy label design and housed in their rare picture sleeves - the ultimate holiday gift for Creedence fans.

The members of Creedence Clearwater Revival, of course, hailed from the suburbs of Oakland the little town of El Cerrito, lappeding up music on the radio through the late '50s and '60s, and eventually signeding to a small, open-minded jazz label in Berkeley called Fantasy Records. Originally known as the Tommy Fogerty & the Blue Velvets and then The Golliwogs, the band's break came with its swampy 1968 cover of Dale Hawkins' "Suzie Q," which notched #11 on Billboard's pop singles chart. Starting on San Francisco's free-form rock radio stations, the song crossed over top Top 40, putting Creedence on the map. As Fong-Torres notes, "radio needed acts like CCR - reliable producers of solid tunes laden with hooks."

Even in the South, radio was taken with CCR. DJ Scott Shannon, then on Memphis' WMPS-AM, was a Dale Hawkins fan and thought Fogerty nailed it. "His voice and his mixes were perfect for Top 40," he said. "It just screamed out of the AM radios."

But it wasn't just the radio. CCR songs began popping up in movies and TV shows - several dozens of them, in fact. "Bad Moon Rising" has shown up the most often (including in An American Werewolf in London), and "Fortunate Son" has been heard in films ranging from The Manchurian Candidate (2004) to Live Free Or Die Hard (2007).

"I used to say in 1968 that I wanted to make records they would still play on the radio in ten years," John Fogerty said in early 1993, on the eve of Creedence Clearwater Revival's induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

Forty years later, the music sounds as fresh and vital as ever.


Alice In Chains Announce Next Single

To coincide with the band's European tour, Alice In Chains will release a new single, "Your Decision", on November 16 in the U.K.

"Your Decision" is the second single to be lifted from band's first all-new album in 14 years, titled "Black Gives Way To Blue", which sold 126,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 5 on The Billboard 200 chart (behind latest albums from Paramore, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand and Breaking Benjamin).

Alice In Chains took part in "Stripped", Clear Channel Music Group's exclusive in-studio performance series created for artists who thrive on performing without the typical studio and video embellishments. The three-song performance, which was taped on September 9 at the PC Richard & Son Theater in New York City, can be viewed here.

Acoustic versions of the following songs are available:

Check My Brain
Your Decision
No Excuses

Alice In Chains will perform on the October 30 edition of NBC's "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien".

Alice In Chains recruited pop legend Elton John to contribute piano to the CD's title track, which is written in tribute to Staley.

"Black Gives Way To Blue" was recorded with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Rush) at the Northridge, California studio of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.


Blink-182's 'Enema of the State' to receive vinyl release

Blink-182's wildly popular 1999 full-length, Enema of the State, will be released on vinyl for the first time by independent punk/hardcore label Mightier Than Sword Records (O Pioneers!!!, Ris Paul Ric, Smartbomb). The news was initially mentioned late last night on Generic Insight Radio, but is ecstatic to now bring you exclusive details on the release.

The album will be the first in a 10 Year Anniversary series by the label, with each release involving a limited pressing of 500 on 180-gram vinyl. They will also feature a gold seal to commemorate the release. In addition to the 500 180-gram copies, Mightier Than Sword will also press 500 each on clear red, clear blue and clear colors.

The official release date is set for December 1, but the label will begin taking pre-orders this coming Monday, October 19th.

You can click Read More for some mock-up previews of the various colors.

Enema of the State was originally released in 1999 on MCA and featured some of Blink-182's biggest hits to date, including "All the Small Things," "What's My Age Again?" and "Adam's Song." It went on to sell 15 million copies worldwide.


Zeppelin, Floyd Get UK Stamp Of Approval

Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Mike Oldfield are among 10 artists whose classic albums will be celebrated by the Royal Mail next year.

On January 7 a new set of stamps will go into circulation, each with the image of a classic album. Among the collection are:

Led Zeppelin – IV

Pink Floyd – The Division Bell

Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells

Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed

David Bowie – The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

The Clash – London Calling

Unfortunately the Royal Mail have blotted their copybook by also including Coldplay’s A Rush Of Blood To The Head in their list. Write and complain now! (Not that your letter will ever reach its destination…)

For further info, go to

A side note, an organization called Vinyl Record Day ( is trying to do the same thing here in the states. Stop by the site and learn how you can support this project.


Tubular Bells Producer Puts Out Album Of Unreleased Songs

Tom Newman (producer of Tubular Bells) and Peter Gibson (frontman of Brett Marvin And The Thunderbolts) have a new double album CD available, called Join Together. This features unreleased songs produced by Newman, at his Argonaut Studios in London, between 1977-1982.

Artists featured on these recordings include Mike Oldfield, David Gilmour, Snowy White and Jade Warrior.

For further info, go to:

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