Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Music News & Notes

Sadly, The Beatles Now Available Digitally

I am torn whether to even post this, but it is the world we live in, and hopefully some one can be 'turned on' to the band's music with this new format. I say, if you want to hear the music the way it is supposed to be heard, BUY VINYL!

The legenday group's entire catalog can be purchased in Apple's iTunes Store. Each album comes with iTunes LP, which features additional content including lyrics, photos, and album art. A digital version of the Fab Four's entire body of work is also available for download for $149, and that comes with exclusive access to a video of the band's first U.S. concert, "Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964." Single albums are priced at $12.99, double albums at $19.99. Singles will cost $1.29 each.

However, as bad as this may seem, there are several artists who take the album concept seriously and do not want them chopped up into singles.  Some of them include AC/DC, Def Leppard, Garth Brooks, Kid Rock, Bob Seger and Tool.  Kudos to them all!  But there is money to be made and I would imagine these holdouts will give in at some point in time.

A couple major acts bucked the digital trend for a while, Led Zeppelin and Radiohead, however Zeppelin finally relented in 2007, and Radiohead held out until 2008.


British Sea Power To Release Fifth Album in January

British Sea Power have recently announced the details to their latest album. The fifth album from the six-piece group, 'Valhalla Rising,' will be released on Jan. 10 (a day later in the US - Rough Trade)

The LP will consist of 13 tracks and boast cover art featuring a nifty horse and triangle motif. Lead single "Living Is So Easy" is set to hit digital stores on Nov. 29. The track contains some typically eclectic lyrical themes along with hints of a new, synth-flavoured direction for the band. The group themselves describe the tune as offering "electronic keyboards, plus some Louis Vuitton and clay pigeons. It's a mixture of Serge Gainsbourg and Ralf and Florian-era Kraftwerk with a sprinkle of Stock, Aitken and Waterman. It's our most electronic song to date. This is the high life."


Motion City Soundtrack Re-Release Album On Vinyl

Minneapolis pop punk outfit Motion City Soundtrack are set to release their classic album 'Commit This To Memory' on special edition vinyl.  The 2005 album was the band's sophomore full-length, and was produced by Blink 182 and +44's own Mark Hoppus. The 12" release is now available on a limited edition pink vinyl at, limited edition white vinyl at the official Epitaph Records webstore and on limited edition clear vinyl at Hot Topic stores in the US.


A Skylit Drive reveal album title and artwork

Californian post-hardcore band A Skylit Drive have revealed some of the details of their upcoming album. The album, 'Identity On Fire,' and will be released in February 2011 (Fearless Records).

The band recorded the album with producer Cameron Webb (30 Seconds To Mars, Silverstein).


The Boxer Rebellion To Release New Album

London-based alt-rockers The Boxer Rebellion are scheduled to release their third studio album on February 8, 2011. Created in conjunction with legendary producer Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne), 'The Cold Still' is an exercise in master class performances and dark, sophisticated songwriting from a band that embodies the very definition of "independent."


Madball To Release empire On Special Red Vinyl

New York City hardcore legends MADBALL will be releasing Empire in a special red vinyl format on November 22nd, 2010. MADBALL unleashed Empire on CD on October 12th, 2010. Empire is available for purchase on disc and pre-order on vinyl now through the GOOD FIGHT MUSIC webstore, and a new limited edition Reaper Records 7” supporting Empire (only 2,000 copies being made), is available now!


Macabre announce new album

Chicago metal band Macabre have announced a title and release date for their new album to celebrarate the 25th Anniversary of all original members. The record, 'Grim Scary Tales,' is set to be released on January 31st, 2011 (Hammerheart Records). The cover art will be an original concept by Scott Jackson from Monsterman Graphics & Rock N Roll Comics.

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I remember that Curtis Mayfield died on or near Christmas many years ago, somewhere in Georgia, but to this day I never heard even a peep as to the cause of his death. I don't think it was foul play.

Did they not know or were they just not saying?

Please look into this. Maybe you can come up with an answer.
—Ryan Gooding, Macon, Ga.

DEAR RYAN: When Curtis Mayfield's life ended December 26, 1999, he was a patient at the North Fulton Regional Hospital in Roswell, Georgia.

The gradual shutdown of his body that culminated in his death began with a tragic accident nearly a decade earlier.

For that we backtrack to Monday, August 13, 1990. Curtis performed in New York that day on an outdoor stage at Wingate Field, a popular Brooklyn venue well-known for their free summer concerts.

Suddenly, portions of the overhead lighting equipment came crashing down on Curtis, leaving him permanently paralyzed from the neck down.

After the accident, his mind and vocal skills — speaking and singing — functioned normally. The rest of his body was deadened.

Death came as the result of progressively declining health overall, especially with his vital organs — all directly attributed to his paralysis.

Considering his dreadful condition, Curtis amazed everyone by composing and then recording 13 songs for what would be his final album.

Necessity being the mother of invention, the engineers fashioned a remote setup that allowed them to record Mayfield's vocals from his bed, then return to the studio and piece everything together.

This worked so well that the resulting collection, “New World Order,” is flat-out indistinguishable from anything made before the accident.

It also put Curtis back on the charts, for the first time since 1985. “New World Order,” released in October 1996, made the Top 30 R&B LPs, and remained on the charts for nearly one year.

The album also yielded three hit singles: “New World Order”; “No One Knows About a Good Thing (You Don't Have to Cry)”; and “Back to Living Again.” The latter carries a message Curtis must have felt deeply:

“It's best to get back on track
Ain't no need in lookin' back
Try, then try again
Sometimes you lose
Sometimes you win”

Most music aficionados know about the 70 or so hits Curtis Mayfield wrote, either for the Impressions when he sang lead for them, or for himself when he went solo.

What is not such common knowledge is that about 65 other Mayfield songs became chart hits for other artists.

Here are a few prime time examples, and those who made them popular:

“He Will Break Your Heart” (Jerry Butler; Righteous Brothers; Tony Orlando & Dawn)
“Find Another Girl”; “I'm a Telling You” (Jerry Butler)
“Need to Belong” (Jerry Butler; Laura Lee)
“Just Be True”; “Rainbow”; “Man's Temptation”; “Nothing Can Stop Me”; “What Now” (Gene Chandler)
“Mama Didn't Lie” (Jan Bradley)
“The Monkey Time”; “Hey Little Girl”; “Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um”; “It Ain't No Use”; “Girls”; “Rhythm”; Sometimes I Wonder”; “Come See”; “Ain't It a Shame” (Major Lance)
“It's Too Late” (Walter Jackson)
“Gotta Get Away”; “Nevertheless”; “I Can't Work No Longer” (Billy Butler)
“Say It Isn't So”; “Girls Are Out to Get You”; “I'm in Love” (Fascinations)
“Danger! She's a Stranger”; “Don't Change Your Love”; “Baby Make Me Feel So Good”; “We Must Be in Love” (Five Stairsteps)
“Long, Long Winter” (Linda Clifford)
“Curious Mind (Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um)” (Johnny Rivers)
“On and On” (Gladys Knight and the Pips)
“Let's Do It Again”; “New Orleans” (Staples Singers)
“Jump”; “Hooked on Your Love”; “Look Into Your Heart” (Aretha Franklin)
“Giving Him Something He Can Feel” (En Vogue)

IZ ZAT SO? Apart from all of the above are three Curtis Mayfield compositions, each a huge hit for the Impressions, that sold as well or better when revived by other artists:

“Gypsy Woman” (Brian Hyland)
“I'm So Proud” (Main Ingredient; Deniece Williams)
“People Get Ready” (Jeff Beck & Rod Stewart)

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368 E-mail:  Visit his Web site:  

All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

This Date In Music History - November 17


Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot (1938)

Bob Gaudio - Royal Teens (1942)

Martin Barre - Jethro Tull (1946)

Rod Clements - Lindisfarne (1947)

Robert Antoni - Nazz, Utopia with Todd Rundgren (1947)

Jim Babjak - Smithereens (1957)

Ronald Devoe - New Edition, Bell Biv De Voe (1967)

Ben Wilson - Blues Traveler (1967)

Clarke Isaac Hanson - Hanson (1980)

Sarah Harding - Girls Aloud (1981)

They Are Missed:

In 1979, Jethro Tull bass player John Glascock died at the age of 28, as a result of a congenital heart defect. Had also been a member of Chicken Shack.

Born on this day in 1944, Gene Clark, singer, songwriter, The New Christy Minstrels, The Byrds, Solo. Died of a heart attack on May 24, 1991 (age 49).

Born today in 1966, Jeff Buckley, singer songwriter. His singer songwriter father Tim Buckley, died on June 29, 1975 of a heroin and morphine overdose. Jeff drowned while swimming on May 29, 1997.

Born on this day in 1937, Geoff Goddard, songwriter, wrote "Johnny Remember Me," played keyboards on The Tornadoes 1962 #1 hit "Telstar." He died on May 15, 2000 (age 62).

In 2003, soul singer Arthur Conley died of intestinal cancer in Ruurlo, The Netherlands at the age of 57. He first recorded in 1959 as the lead singer of Arthur & the Corvets.

Country music legend Don Gibson died of natural causes in 2003 (age 75). Scored the 1958 US #7 single "Oh Lonesome Me," (covered by Neil Young on his After The Gold Rush album). His song "I Can't Stop Loving You," has been recorded by over 700 artists, most notably by Ray Charles in 1962.


Gene Vincent made his national television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1957. He performed "Dance To The Bop." "Be-Bop-A-Lula" has already come and gone.

In 1957, Harry Belafonte was at #1 on the UK singles chart with "Mary's Boy Child," the first single to sell over 1 million copies in the UK. It stayed at #1 for seven weeks. The first Christmas song to hit #1 in two different versions - the other was Boney M's version in 1978.

The Kingston Trio led the US hit parade in 1958 with a century-old folk song called "Tom Dooley." Although this popular group would place nine more songs in the US Top 40, this would be their only number one.

The Beatles played a lunchtime show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1961. That night they played at the Village Hall, Knotty Ash, Liverpool.

In 1962, the Four Seasons' "Big Girls Don't Cry" reaches the top spot on the Billboard singles chart, just as their first hit, "Sherry" did earlier in the year. Songwriters Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio were inspired to write the song after they heard Clark Gable use the phase "big girls don't cry" in a movie.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (Rolling Stones) met singer Gene Pitney at the taping of ITV’s Thank Your Lucky Stars in 1963. They give him “That Girl Belongs To Yesterday” which becomes a major Pitney hit in both the U.S. and U.K.

Also in 1963, John Weightman the Headmaster of a Surrey Grammar School, banned all pupils from having Beatle haircuts saying, "this ridiculous style brings out the worst in boys physically. It makes them look like morons." Who was the moron?

Pink Floyd released their third single in 1967 "Apples And Oranges," however the song failed to chart.

The Who kicked off their second North American tour supporting The Buckinghams at Shawnee Mission South High School in Kansas City in 1967.

Davey Jones of the Monkees opened a boutique, Zilch I, in Greenwich Village, NY in 1967.

Elton John recorded a show in New York City in 1970 which was later released as his 11-17-70 album. The best tracks are “Take Me To The Pilot” and “Burn Down The Mission” (hot piano work).

In 1971, Rod Stewart and The Faces release 'A Nod Is As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse,' their third LP together. The album contains the band's biggest US hit, "Stay with Me," which reaches #17. The LP goes into the US Top Ten.

In 1973, 13-year-old Tony DeFranco lead Canada's The DeFranco Family to the top of the Cashbox Best Sellers list with "Heartbeat - It's A Lovebeat." The song would reach #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, but did not chart in the UK.

ABBA kick off their first European tour in Copenhagen in 1974, playing outside of Sweden for the first time.

In 1974, John Lennon scored his second solo US #1 album with 'Walls And Bridges.'

The Commodores went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1979 with "Still," the group's second US #1 single.

John Lennon's album "Double Fantasy" was released in 1980.

Wham! Were at #1 on the UK album chart in 1985 with "Make It Big" and #1 on the US singles chart with "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go."

David Crosby from Crosby Stills Nash & Young was admitted to hospital in 1990 after breaking a leg, shoulder and ankle after crashing his Harley Davidson motorbike. Speed was a factor.

In 1992, at the end of a long battle to claim royalties Jimmy Merchant and Herman Santiago ex of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, received an estimated $4 million in back payments from the song 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love'.

Metallica released the album 'ReLoad' in 1997.

Garth Brooks released 'Garth Brooks: Double Live' in 1998.

Jewel released 'Spirit.' in 1998.

In 1999, Mariah Carey was forced to abandon a performance on Rome's historic Spanish Steps after crowds of tourists swamped her. She took shelter in a local shop before been given a police escort to safety.

It was reported in 2000 that Andy White, who played drums on The Beatles track "Love Me Do" which was featured on the new Beatles Greatest Hits album, would not earn enough from it to buy his own copy. White would get no more than his original session fee of £7. (around $10)

The Beatles released 'Let It Be… Naked' in 2003. It is a remastering of the original 1969 album with Phil Spector’s production removed. Spector, hired to salvage the project, added strings to several tracks – much to Paul McCartney’s displeasure.

In 2003, 21 year-old Britney Spears became the youngest singer to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The only other performer to get a Hollywood star at her age was Little House on the Prairie actress Melissa Gilbert.

In 2003, George Michael signed a new contract with the record company he took to court in 1993. The singer re-signed to Sony in a deal that included his extensive back catalogue. Michael had failed in his court wrangle with Sony after accusing it of "professional slavery"; his contract was bought out by Virgin Records.

U2's Bono and the Edge joined Pearl Jam onstage in 2006 for a cover of Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World" at the Make Poverty History concert in Melbourne, Australia. About 14,000 people attended the event, timed to coincide with the G-20 summit in that fair city. "The politicians have to do what you tell them to do," Bono tells the crowd. Yeah, right.....

The Eagles were at #1 on the US album chart in 2007 with ‘Long Road Out Of Eden,’ the bands seventh studio album and first since 1979. Nearly six years in production, the album is the band's first studio release since 1979's "The Long Run" and would make the Top Ten in 26 countries around the world.

John McCain may have lost the ’08 presidential race but he’s still swinging. During the campaign Jackson Browne sued the candidate for using "Running On Empty" in a commercial without permission. Now, McCain’s lawyer files two lengthy motions claiming that the candidate was within his rights to use the song, and the other seeks damages from Browne for apparently “interfering with the politician's free speech.” It all gets settled in Browne's favor in 2008.

Them Crooked Vultures (Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, Foo Fighters Dave Grohl and Queens Of The Stone Age founder Josh Homme) released their self-titled debut album in 2009. With that, the band launched a tour in support of the album at the Wiltern Theater in L.A.

Justin Bieber's EP "My World" was released in 2009.