Thursday, November 12, 2009

Music News & Notes

Beatles TV for Thanksgiving Eve

In 1962, an unknown group from Liverpool walked into Abbey Road Studios in London to record their debut single. Over the next eight years, they would create what many consider to be the greatest collection of studio recordings of the 20th century.

The Beatles On Record, a new documentary premiering on History on Wednesday, November 25 at 10pm, charts The Beatles' extraordinary recording journey from Please Please Me to the epic Abbey Road LP and reveals how they developed as musicians, matured as songwriters and created an enduring body of work that pushed the boundaries of studio recording, changing the course of musical history and popular culture. There will be additional airings of the special at later dates across A&E Television Networks (AETN).

Narrated entirely by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Sir George Martin, THE BEATLES ON RECORD features over 60 songs, rarely seen footage and images from The Beatles' archives along with never-before-heard outtakes of conversation from the original recording sessions.

The result is an intimate look at the creative process behind each of the band's Abbey Road Studios masterpieces. The documentary is directed by Bob Smeaton, who directed the landmark Beatles Anthology series and created mini-documentaries for The Beatles' recently released re-mastered albums on CD.


Music Stats

Nielsen SoundScan sent over some info about vinyl and digital sales as well as news that Rihanna's digital sales record from last year has been broken by not just one, but 4 artists this year. Here is the breakdown from Nielsen SoundScan, followed by news of another big development.

VINYL: We are now over 2 million Vinyl Albums sold, breaking the previous record of 1.9 million (which was the total sold in all of 2008). 2008 YTD was 1.5 million.

DIGITAL: Four artists have broken Rihanna's Digital Tracks sales record (she sold 9.9million tracks in all of 2008) and three have surpassed 10 million in sales. -Michael Jackson - 11.3 million Total Digital Tracks YTD. -Lady Gaga - 11.1 million YTD -BEP - 10.3 million YTD -Taylor Swift - 9.98 million YTDNOTE: 1) Next week we will break the 2008 year-end digital album sales total of 65 million. We are at 63.9 million this week. 2) Next week will also be the week we break the 1 billion track sales mark. We are at 998.3 million this week.

But even bigger news came from Reuters on Wednesday, "The compilers of the Billboard 200, the benchmark pop albums chart in the United States, said on Wednesday they would dramatically overhaul the listing later this month to include catalog recordings as well as current releases."

What that means that the album chart will no longer be limited to albums released in the past 18 months, and this could dramatically alter the album charts as we know them and give us a REAL picture about which albums are selling in a given week.


Ramones Book

New Ramones book entitled Ramones: Soundtrack Of Our Lives is the result of nearly 5 years worth of work. It is full of poignant stories that reflect what Joey Ramone (RIP 2001), Dee Dee Ramone (RIP 2002), Johnny Ramone (RIP 2004), as well as the rest of the Ramones family have impacted their fans worldwide.

Ramones: Soundtrack Of Our Lives has interviews and text written by 90 contributors and has 224 pages, and 295 photos/drawings. This book brings together the Ramones fa mily as never before, there are interviews by every surviving Ramones member: Ramones drummers (Tommy Ramone, Marky Ramone, and Richie Ramone), bassist CJ Ramone, and Johnny Ramone's wife Linda Cummings. The introduction is written by Tommy Ramone.

Reluctant to offer fans stories which have been relayed thousands of times before, author and Ramones webmaster Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone provides new information about the band. His focus is on the Ramones impact on the history of Rock N'Roll.


Aerosmith Soap Opera

Joe Perry talked to Billboard earlier today and said that Steven Tyler "never said he was leaving the band" but that he want to take two years off to work on other projects. This isn't sitting well with Perry and, presumably, the other band members.

"Aerosmith wants to work. The band's been playing together for 40 years. It's a really powerful rock band, and I don't want to see it just go to waste and I don't think any of the other guys do, either. We're gonna work and we're gonna do something -- I'm not exactly sure what yet, but the band's too good to let it sit around. We're not going to wait for Steven."


Tindersticks Announce New Album

The eighth album from noir-soul group Tindersticks is called Falling Down a Mountain, which sounds rather painful. The record will see release January 25 on 4AD in Europe and February 16 on Constellation in North America). It was recorded in France and Belgium and features a guest vocal from Canadian songstress Mary Margaret O'Hara.


Rammstein Album Cover Banned From Display In Germany

Rammstein seem to be completely open to causing trouble and controversy with Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da, their recently released sixth studio album.

So far they've raised eyebrows with a box set that includes six dildos and handcuffs and a pretty raunchy video for a track dubbed "Pussy." But now, the German government has deemed the cover art for Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da too racy to be shown in stores because it depicts sado-masochism.

German retailers will not be able to display the album as of Wednesday (Nov. 11). After that, they won't be able to advertise it or show it in any way so anyone under the age of 18 can see it, according to

The website reports Petra Meier, deputy president of the Federal Office For The Examination Of Media Harmful To Young People (Phew! That's a mouthful!) cited the album cover, which shows guitarist Richard Kruspe with a masked, nude lady on his knees, in the ruling. Meier also said the track "Ich Tue Dir Weh" ("I Want To Hurt You") was also problematic and promoted sado-masochism.

The German Federal Office For The Examination Of Media Harmful To Young People in Bonn, Germany also said "Pussy" was potentially problematic since it seemed to encourage young people to have unprotected sex. It wasn't part of the ruling against the album cover, though.


Mnemic Reveal Album Cover Art

Danish modern metal heroes MNEMIC just revealed the artwork for their highly anticipated new album, Sons Of The System. MNEMIC will release the entire artwork/booklet etc. early next week in a digital flip book! Sons Of The System will be unleashed in January 2010

Mainman Mircea Gabriel Eftemie states: "Since late 2008 we started looking into artwork for the album, but it was not before we entered the studio in October, we actually found a solid idea. We wanted something simple, yet strong and something archetypal, for this release, and we wanted to do it the right way this time. On the last release we never had any artistic control over our artwork, we just hired a name, a company that worked for majors, where our visions never converged into what we really wanted. This time around we reached out to hundreds of designers only to find out that we could do it our selves and even better! The artwork portrays the "Sons Of The System" symbol. Its the symbol of the united, the symbol of the outcast, the symbol of the people in revolt of a greater evil. The real deal lies in the booklet artwork, which has been conceived by Rune Stigart and Me... more on that later."


Man Jailed For Stabbing Guy Who Didn't Like AC/DC

A 37-year-old Winnipeg man has been sentenced to four years in jail and three years of probation after he stabbed a man who insulted AC/DC.

According to the Winnipeg Sun, James Ivison invited a 22-year-old man to his room at a Furby Street rooming house in October 2008. After they had a few beers, the man started insulting AC/DC, which Ivison was playing at the time. He then started questioning Ivison's sexual orientation.

Ivison responded by stabbing the victim, who had grabbed a frying pan, three times in the chest and two times in the stomach with a kitchen knife.

The 22-year-old victim was hospitalized in critical condition, but was discharged the next day because none of his major organs were damaged, according to the newspaper.

And how was your day?



Glee's cultural stronghold continues to grow as the massively popular Fox comedy's first soundtrack soars to the top of album sales charts. Glee: The Music, Volume 1, which was released on November 3, has sold in excess of 113,000 units in its first week alone garnering an astounding #4 spot on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart. Prior to this physical release the music from Glee was only available for purchase digitally where it sold over 2.5 million single downloads, spawning a Gold single for the cast's version of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." Glee: The Music, Volume 1 has been celebrated by critics for its originality and ability to take popular music and make it innovative and fresh. The New York Daily News proclaimed, "Glee's singers have a greater feel for what's brilliant about these songs than even their creator, or first interpreters, did." While NY Newsday went on to boast, "it re-imagines songs with grand, inventive new arrangements." And Associated Press noted, "the vocal performances are top notch." The talented cast met fans and signed copies of the soundtrack at four major in-store appearances in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas last week allowing fans to get up close and personal. Each event went beyond capacity and the gracious cast stayed beyond the allotted time to meet all the fans who turned up.

And for fans who just can't get enough of Glee's high spirited music, Glee: The Music, Volume 2 hits stores on Tuesday December 8. This second volume features the casts take on such pop powerhouse tunes as Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You," Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors," Van Halen's "Jump" and a really special version of John Lennon's "Imagine" (See below for full track listing). Glee is infectious and the music is sure to bring joy, which is exactly why the Chicago Tribune exclaimed "Any TV show soundtrack that induces people of all ages to dance around the kitchen is doing something right."

The full track listing for "Glee: The Music, Volume 2" is as follows:

1."Proud Mary"
2."Endless Love"
3."I'll Stand By You"
4."Don't Stand So Close To Me / Young Girl"
6."(You're) Having My Baby"
7."Lean On Me"
8."Don't Make Me Over"
10."True Colors"
12."Smile" (cover of Lily Allen)
13."Smile" (cover of Charlie Chaplin)
14."And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"
15."Don't Rain On My Parade"
16."You Can't Always Get What You Want"
17."My Life Would Suck Without You"

This Date In Music History-November 12


Pop machine Bob Crewe, responsible for the classic 1967 single "Music to Watch Girls By," was born in Newark, NJ in 1931. He also wrote and produced many of the Four Seasons' hits.

Terry Johnson - Flamingos (1935)

Ruby Nash Curtis - Ruby & the Romantics (1939)

Brian Hyland - "Itsy Bitsy Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" (1943)

John Maus - Walker Brothers (1943)

Booker T. Jones - Booker T and the MG's (1944)

Neil Young - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Buffalo Springfield (1945)

Donald Roeser - Blue Oyster Cult (1947)

Errol Brown - Hot Chocolate (1948)

Arthur Tavares - Tavares (1949)

Laurence Juber - Wings (1952)

Les McKeown - Bay City Rollers (1955)

David Ellefson - Megadeth (1964)

Tony Montana - Great White (1965)

R&B singer Omarion (1984)

They Are Missed:

The late Jo Stafford ("Suddenly There's A Valley") was born in 1920 (died July 16, 2008).

Mort Shuman, who provided the lyrics to hits like "Save the Last Dance for Me" and "Teenager in Love" as well as translating the work of Jacques Brel, was born in New York in 1936 (died January 2, 1991).

Billy Guy of the Coasters passed away in 2002.

Tony Thompson drummer with Chic died of cancer in 2003. Also worked with David Bowie, Madonna and appeared at Live Aid drumming with Led Zeppelin.

Mitch Mitchell, the British drummer with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was found dead in his US hotel room in 2008 (age 61). Mitchell had been working with Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames when in 1966 he was invited to audition for a new band being formed to back Jimi Hendrix.


The Abbey Road recording studio in London opened in 1931.

In 1955, Billboard published the results of its annual disc jockey poll. The most played R&B single was Johnny Ace's "Pledging My Love," most promising artist was Chuck Berry and the favorite R&B artist was Fats Domino. In the pop category, rock and roll was barely present. In fact, Elvis Presley was voted the most promising country & western artist.

"Jamboree," the first movie starring Jerry Lee Lewis, opened in Hollywood in 1957. Among those featured in the flick are Fats Domino [with whom Lewis shares top billing], Carl Perkins, Frankie Avalon, Slim Whitman and Connie Francis.

Shirley Ellis recorded "The Name Game" in 1964.

The Velvet Underground made their live debut in 1965 when they played at Summit High School, New Jersey. The band was paid $75 for the gig.

The Monkees debut album started a 13-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1966, selling over 3 million copies in three months.

Johnny Rivers went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1966 with "Poor Side Of Town."

The Grateful Dead performed at a Hell's Angels dance held at San Francisco's Sokol Hall in 1966.

Hollywood's Sunset Strip riots on this date provided the inspiration for Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth."

Donovan's trippy cut "Mellow Yellow" was released in 1966.

Jerry Lee Lewis' career starts anew as a country artist in 1967. He recorded "To Make Love Sweeter for You" today. The song goes on to be his first country #1 since "Great Balls of Fire."

In 1968, UK book and record chain W.H. Smiths refused to display The Jimi Hendrix Experience album "Electric Ladyland" due to the naked girls featured on the sleeve. The album was then made available as two albums with changed artwork after the complaints.

The Doors made their last appearance in New Orleans in 1970. Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger and John Densmore later recall watching Jim Morrison lose "all his energy" as the show comes to a close.

The Sex Pistols went to #1 on the UK album chart in 1977 with their debut LP "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols," the punk group's only #1 album.

Jefferson Starship singer Marty Balin's rock opera "Rock Justice" opened a four-day run at San Francisco's Old Waldorf night club in 1979. Balin starred in and co-directed the musical, about a rock star who dreams he's on trial for not having a hit record.

Lionel Richie started a four week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1983 with "All Night Long," becoming Motown's biggest seller to date.

Madonna released her breakthrough album "Like A Virgin" in 1984 .

A bad day for Sly Stone in 1987. First he shows up over an hour late for his "comeback" concert in Los Angeles. When he gets there he was arrested for nonpayment of child support.

U2 started a six-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1988 with "Rattle And Hum."

In 1999, British glam-rocker Gary Glitter was sentenced to four months in a UK jail after pleading guilty to charges of child pornography. In a separate trial hours earlier, Glitter was acquitted of sexually assaulting an underaged fan almost two decades before.

Destiny's Child started an eleven week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 2000 with "Independent Women Part 1." Taken from the group's third studio album, "Survivor," the song first appeared on the soundtrack to the 2000 film Charlie's Angels.

Also in 2000, R Kelly started a two week run at #1 on the US album chart with "TP- 2.Com."

In 2002, die-hard Beatles fans were enraged after Paul McCartney altered the song writing credits on his 'Back In The US 2002' album, changing them to McCartney and Lennon from Lennon and McCartney.

New Jersey radio station WCHR pulled all Jethro Tull music from its playlist in 2003 after flute-waving frontman Ian Anderson criticizes excessive displays of the American flag, arguing, "It's easy to confuse patriotism with nationalism."

Paul McCartney was the first musician to broadcast live music into space when a segment of his Anaheim show was beamed, via NASA, to the International Space Station 220 miles above the Earth in 2005.

In 2007, E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt launches a program to educate middle-school and high-school students about the history of Rock music. The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation partners with the National Association for Music Education and Scholastic publishers for Little Steven's Rock and Roll High School. "Our joint efforts will ensure that future generations will continue to be inspired, motivated and enlightened by the worldwide common ground communication of Rock & Roll," says Van Zandt.

In 2007, former Culture Club frontman, Boy George was charged with the false imprisonment of a 28-year-old man. Police said the offence was alleged to have taken place at the 47-year-old's home in Hackney, in London on 28 April of this year.