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2010 REVIEWED: COMING AROUND AGAIN
How often does Carly Simon get quoted in a prophetic sense? Anyway, the joy of being a relic born in 1950 is having a backlog of experience to draw from-especially relating to pop music. Way back when, one could always turn on the radio and hear an impressive array of tunes (key word). Beatles, Stones, Elvis, Creedence, Four Tops, Supremes. The list was endless but the point was that it was real music played on real instruments with definable melodies, catchy hooks and inventive breaks. That trend modified itself with the advent of FM radio. It was still real music but it allowed the disc jockeys to play longer and deeper cuts. Locally, KQ was innovative and fun-a direct contrast to what passes for pop music these days.
The ultimate irony is that country music is now what pop was then. True, many artists have kept the pedal steel guitar from the old days but the songs are more upbeat, more polished and closer to rock than most rock. Releases in 2010 by Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Lady Antebellum illustrate that fact more vividly than words. If further proof is needed, check out Darius Rucker who defected from the rock format of Hootie and the Blowfish to become a story-telling country boy with a more mature outlook. Even Kid Rock is steering dangerously close to that direction. Current country(pop) princess Taylor Swift is still whining about horrible boys who break her heart but she’s showing signs of breaking away from that silliness. (Hint: Taylor-boys don’t like whiners. Suck it up, girl. You’ll have better luck).
What brings it all home is the release of Beatles’ tunes on iTunes. People couldn’t click in their tunes fast enough and the boys from Liverpool are atop the charts again, so to speak. Add to that the specially packaged reissues of material from each individual Beatle and it’s the ’60’s and ’70’s all over again. The Who, Springsteen, Dylan, the Stones, Elvis, King Crimson, John Fogerty and Jefferson Airplane all dug into their vaults and authorized re-releases of some of their more obscure stuff. That’s what makes Carly Simon’s words so prophetic. Music and movies are cyclical. 2010 may not have been the best year in music history but it was a great year for music history, a great year for rebuying one’s past. Later. The disc’s just ending…”Band on the Run, Band on the Run”… (Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!).
NEW RELEASES, TUES., 4 JAN. 2011
MUSIC MILESTONES: ROLLING STONES: “GET YER YA YA’S OUT” SRP: $18. www.rollingstones.com Few details but this was one of the Stone’s better live recordings. The Stones have not announced a tour for 2011 as yet. There have been the usual age-based rumors that they have hung it up but others feel that the tour bus is running and the equipment is ready to be packed aboard. Stay tuned.
MUSIC MASTERS: PINK FLOYD www.pinkfloyd.com SRP: $45. 6 dvd’s. Again, few details but hopefully this is a concert package not another long-winded rock-doc. Check the Fetus or Cheapo for this and the Stones.
BON JOVI: “LIVE AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN” www.bonjovi.com. This is from the “Lost Highway Tour” from 2008. Always good in concert. Bon Jovi’s tour begins on Jan. 27, 2011, but no MN dates have been listed as yet. Check Best Buy, Fetus or Cheapo.
URIAH HEEP: “SINGLES COLLECTION” on 101 Distribution SRP: $21. This once popular band faded to cult status. They are recording a new album for release later this year and are touring extensively in the UK and Europe beginning Jan. 29, 2011. No US dates as yet. This is listed as an import so it may not be available locally right away. Check amazon.com if you can’t wait as it’s vinyl only.
TINY TIM: “LOST AND FOUND ’63-’74” SRP: $21. www.tinytim.org/letters/tinytimprojectidea.html. Most of the 17 trax are from his pre-Tulip days. Tiny had some good moments beyond the ones too annoying for words. This set includes “Maggie May”, “My True Love” & “Delilah”. It’s also available on limited edition vinyl (500 copies). Check the local stores for the discs but you may have to use amazon.com for the vinyl.
CLIFF RICHARD & THE SHADOWS: “MOVE IT-BEST OF THE EARLY YEARS” on 101 Distribution. www.CliffRichard.org 75 trax on 3 discs, listed as an import. Richard still tours but has not announced a tour for 2011. Should he come to Mpls., don’t miss his show. He still sounds great and tells funny stories about his career. Fetus or Cheapo.
ELVIS: “WOODEN HEART” on Indie Europe/Zoom. www.elvis.com Again, 75 trax of 3 discs. A fairly inclusive hits package with a few obscure numbers. Fetus or Cheapo, amazon.com as a last resort for an import.
JOHNNY CASH: “TROUBADOR” on 101 Distribution. www.johnnycash.com. 75 trax on 3 discs. Johnny’s career spanned 1954-2003, including 96 LP’s and 153 singles. This package contains a lot of live stuff with versions of songs not usually included on packages like this. There are a lot of hits as well but this is not the status quo.
JIM CROCE: “ALL TIME CLASSICS” on Timeless. SRP: $37. www.jimcroce.com This man, like Buddy Holly, died in a plane crash just as his career was hitting full stride. His wistful, yearning voice eases its way inside your emotional core and stays there. This collection will enhance any collection. Best Buy should carry this but check Cheapo or the Fetus.
SPECIAL NOTE: It’s the purpose of these articles to encourage local collectors to shop locally, especially at stores like the Fetus, Cheapo, Mr. Zero’s Entertainment Shop, etic. Because some of these entries are imports, they may not be as readily available. Local merchants might be successful specially ordering these items but you might have to resort to amazon.com if these appeal to your hardcore sense of collecting. After all is said and done, it’s all about the music…