Rhino’s rolling out a box set today that collects Black Sabbath’s studio albums from 1970 through 1978... and if that announcement is giving you a strange sense of déjà vu, allow us to freely acknowledge that, yes, we have done this before. But it’s been awhile since we released the so-called Black Box, which collected the band’s output from the same time frame, and that was also a set designed to appeal to both to fans and collectors. This set, meanwhile, is more for those who want the kick-ass music but don’t necessarily care about the kick-ass packaging offered by the previous box. (Also, the other one’s out of print, so if you missed out on that one, this is the only way to get all of the albums in one handy-dandy package.)
There’s a new box set hitting stores today that’ll thrill fans of Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb while also serving to offer a fuller picture of the Bee Gees’ chart comeback after the death of disco, a seismic shift in mainstream music tastes which led the record-buying public at large to mistakenly believe that the group’s career had died, too.
It hadn’t, of course. But it took awhile for the band to convince American audiences of that fact.
Prior to beginning their stint at Warner Brothers, the last real Bee Gees album to be released was 1981’s Living Eyes, although they subsequently contributed five new songs to the soundtrack of the sub-par Saturday Night Fever sequel, Staying Alive, released in 1983. After taking a bit of time off as a group, with Barry and Robin doing some time as solo artists, the Bee Gees reunited and recorded their Warner debut, 1987’s E.S.P., an album which took them into the UK top five for the first time since 1979’s Spirits Having Flown and gave them a chart-topping single with “You Win Again.”
It's April. For me, that means one thing - JAZZFEST SEASON is here. And by that I am, of course, referring to one of the our country's longest running music festivals, The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Or, if brevity is your thing, just, Fest. Spanning two weekends, while the fest indeed boasts national touring acts the focus (and beauty) is the celebration of "the indigenous music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana." And then there are the night shows.
This week's playlist highlights said NOLA indigenous music. Get a plane ticket. I'll see you on the fairgrounds, outside the gospel tent, with an Abita in one hand and a bowl of Crawfish Monica in the other.
Today marks the day that bassist Pete Farndon, a founding member of the Pretenders, left us far, far sooner than he ought to have, and in highly depressing fashion, passing out after a heroin overdose and drowning in his bathtub. Even though he was only with us for a short time, Farndon nonetheless made his mark on rock ‘n’ roll by contributing to songs that are still being spun today, most notably “Brass in Pocket.”
Born in Hereford, England on June 12, 1952, Farndon spent some time in the early ‘70s playing with the band Cold River Lady, subsequently going on a tour with an Australian folk-rock band called the Bushwackers, but in the spring of 1978, he got a call from Chrissie Hynde, inviting him to join her new band. Indeed, Farndon was the first person Hynde called for her new endeavor, recalling in a 1980 Rolling Stone interview how he blew her away in their first rehearsal.
We’re not trying to dismiss an entire gender and several age demographics with the statement we’re about to make as much as we’re trying to zoom in and speak straight to the people who’ll care most about this post, but…if you were a teenage girl in 1990, you may be interested to know that Tommy Page’s “I’ll Be Your Everything” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 24 years ago today.
Sad word comes to us that singer/songwriter Jesse Winchester has died at the age of 69, having succumbed to esophageal cancer.