In 1989, with the Travelling Wilburys having recently made the idea of super-groups seem cool again and Dire Straits having been formally dissolved, Mark Knopfler decided to fill the musical void in his life by teaming up with Guy Fletcher, Brendan Croker, Steve Phillips, and pedal steel player Paul Franklin to form a new band: the Notting Hillbillies.
Granted, Knopfler’s fellow Hillbillies might not have been household names, but their CVs were far from shabby: Fletcher had worked with Steve Harley and Roxy Music and had been playing with Dire Straits since ’84, Phillips and Franklin had their own street cred, and Croker and his band – the Five O’Clock Shadows – had been recording and releasing albums since the mid-‘80s.
New Order’s debut single, “Ceremony,” was released 33 years ago today, and although it’s still considered one of the band’s signature songs, to say that it was a transitional record doesn’t really do the situation justice.
Can you believe that the ‘90s were pretty much 20 years ago? Heck, it seems like only yesterday that I was rolling my eyes at everything, whilst acquiring a fashionable drug problem. The guitars were loud, the beats were bangin’ and the economic growth was unfettered, my friends. We were truly alive and, if it weren’t for these tunes, I wouldn’t remember a stitch of it. Enjoy!
As we celebrate Andy Gibb’s birthday today, it’s difficult to look back on the life of the youngest of the brothers Gibb without wishing that it had lasted longer, but at least he left behind a trio of albums – not to mention a few additional singles, B-sides, and demos – which conclusively confirm that he could croon just as well as Barry, Maurice, and Robin when given the opportunity.
Born in 1958 in Manchester, England, Andrew Roy Gibb was only six months old when his family made the big move to Australia, where he lived until returning to the UK in 1967 in the wake of his brothers breaking it big in the music business. As the Bee Gees’ stock continued to rise, Andy unsurprisingly began the process of following in their footsteps, forming his own band – Melody Fayre, a name which will be familiar to anyone who owns the Odessa album – and, although it ultimately went unreleased, recording his first song, Maurice’s “My Father Was a Reb,” in 1974.
Later that year, Andy took heed of Barry’s advice to return to Australia, which had done wonders for the Bee Gees in the embryonic stage of their career. Teaming with Australian rock legend Col Joye, Andy released his first single, the self-composed “Words and Music,” in November 1975, which was a minor hit in Australia (#78) and slightly bigger in New Zealand (#29). Although he actually recorded an album’s worth of material, only the one single – which was backed with another original entitled “Westfield Mansions” – ever saw release, but the material was enough to sell the Bee Gees’ manager, Robert Stigwood, on signing Andy to his label, RSO Records.
Every week, a few more releases join the Rhino digital catalog. Here’s a quick look at the latest LPs to join the club!
Hank Crawford, Introducing Hank Crawford: Despite its title, this isn’t the debut album by the noted Ray Charles sideman: it’s actually a compilation of high points from his solo recording career. (We can certainly understand how people could get confused, though: the photo on the cover is, in fact, the very same photo that emblazons his actual debut album, 1960’s More Soul.) If you’ve been curious about Crawford’s career but found the double-disc Heart & Soul compilation too intimidating, this is definitely the way to go.
Kenny Garrett, Happy People: This 2002 album found Garrett doing his best to straddle the worlds of contemporary jazz, i.e. the material that actually sells (it’s no coincidence that the smooth “Song for DiFang” was the first thing listeners heard when they put on the record), and the old-school stuff that caused him to fall in love with the genre in the first place, best exemplified by the tellingly-titled “Monking Around.”
Rickie Lee Jones, Rickie Lee Jones: This classic 1979 debut from the so-called Duchess of Coolsville doesn’t need any help from us to make you see it a must-download: “Chuck E.’s in Love” does that all by itself. (There’s plenty of other great material, too.)