lørdag 30. april 2011

Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive

Is this the ultimate Saturday night record? Quite possibly, and that's not only because it features in the movie Saturday Night Forever. It's just impossible not to get up and dance your ass off when this begins at a party. Bee Gees at their absolute best and how they will be remembered most of all!

Watch and listen

Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill

"Running Up That Hill" was Kate Bush' biggest hit single of the 80's, not strange perhaps, when you "make a deal with God". It's a mighty song, showing Bush in her usual adventurous form, as well as being incredibly catchy with a few irresistable hooks here and there. It was released in August 1985 as the first single of her most successful album to date, Hounds Of Love.

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TLC - Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg

Let's head back to 1992 and TLC's debut hit, "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg". Fun, fun and fun, that's all I have to say!

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Sade - Your Love Is King

To celebrate the release of Sade's fabulous new compilation, the double CD + DVD The Ultimate Collection, I feel like sharing the first song on it, her debut single and first hit, "Your Love Is King". It was released in February 1984, but sounds pretty much like it could have been recorded today. In other words, a timeless masterpiece in class and cool!

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fredag 29. april 2011

Elton John - My Father's Gun

Elton John is a natural wedding guest today, and was seen singing among the rest of the people inside Westminster Abbey. He's pretty good on his own too. "My Father's Gun" is an incredibly moving song from one of his earlier records, the masterpiece Tumbleweed Connection (1970).


The Beatles - All My Loving

An old friend pointed out that The Beatles' "All My Loving" is, in fact, the best love song ever. I'm inclined to agree, so here we go!

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Sondre Lerche - Domino

Here's Bergen singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche's new single from his forthcoming self-titled seventh album. "Domino" is a beautiful pop song that should further cement Lerche's international reputation. That Elvis Costello is a fan is no surprise as he's obviously been quite important for Lerche as a songwriter, but he certainly does his own, impressive thing.

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Owen Paul - My Favourite Waste Of Time

Scottish singer Owen Paul became a one-hit wonder in 1986 when he succeeded with this fantastic version of Marshall Crenshaw's "My Favourite Waste Of Time", a super catchy pop song. I love the original, but I actually think Paul's slicker, better produced version is the superior one. It's a great summer song as well, impossible not to get in a good mood when you hear it.


Dionne Warwick - I Say A Little Prayer

Another great love song, Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "I Say A Little Prayer" is always a pleasure to hear. Dionne Warwick's version was written for her specifically by the songwriting giants and became a huge hit in 1967. There are more than one great cover of this song though, the most famous being by Aretha Franklin.


New Jim White album next week

Monday sees the release of Jim White's new album. The eclectic American singer/songwriter is back with Sounds Of The Americans, his fifth "proper" album, I believe. You can listen to the entire album and download the track "Rambler" for free, by going here.

Sounds of the Americans

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell - Ain't No Mountain High Enough

This goes out to Prince Kate and Kate Middleton who're getting married today. I wish them all the best, hope they'll be happy together, and that this song sums up how they'll still feel for each other in the years ahead. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" was written by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson for the Tamla Motown label in 1966, and became a huge hit for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell the following year. The ultimate love song? I like to think so!

Watch and listen

torsdag 28. april 2011

Veronica Maggio - Jag kommer

Tomorrow sees the release of Swedish singer Veronica Maggio's glorious third album, Satan i gatan. Although she sings in her native tongue her incredible pop sensibility should earn her international exposure. And if that happens, I really hope she'll stick to her wry and sometimes quirky Swedish lyrics which are great. To sum it up, Veronica Maggio is a great talent, and "Jag kommer" (I'm coming) is the first single off her new album.


Gavin Friday finally returns with new album

The Irish artist Gavin Friday used to be in the exciting avantgarde/post-punk band Virgin Prunes - ages ago - and has since released a few solo albums with some truly excellent songs on them. He's also written film music, most famously with childhood pal Bono on the soundtrack to In The Name Of The Father, where their song "You Made Me The Thief Of Your Heart" sung by Sinéad O'Connor is especially memorable. Friday's last solo album Shag Tobacco were released in 1995, and now he's finally returning with a new one, Catholic. You can listen to the beautiful song "Able" by clicking here.


The Zombies - This Will Be Our Year

A very pretty song from The Zombies' 1967 classic Oddesey And Oracle album, written by Chris White. This is just lovely British pop music, a song of its time but also for the ages. It sounds as good today as ever.


Sade - Love Is Found

Here's the last of the four new tracks from Sade's new compilation album, The Ultimate Collection, in shops tomorrow. "Love Is Found" may be the most surprising of the four, quite different from what she's ever done, a sort of sequel to "Soldier Of Love" from last year, but bolder, more dramatic and edgier. Let's hope she will record a new album a bit quicker than between the previous two which took her and the band ten years.


The Ultimate Collection

Louis Armstrong - Hello, Dolly!

"Hello, Dolly!", written by Jerry Herman, was the title song from the 1964 musical of the same name, sung by Carol Channing. It's Louis Armstrong's version that is the most famous though, and this was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. It's simply great fun!

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The Hollies - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

One of pop music's big, beautiful ballads, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" was written by Bob Smith and Bob Russell, and originally recorded by Kelly Gordon in 1969. But in September of that same year British group The Hollies recorded the song and gained immortality at the same time for their incredible version. Having said that, there is absolutely not one thing wrong about Neil Diamond's 1970 version.

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Electric Light Orchestra - Evil Woman

ELO's breakthrough hit "Evil Woman" was first released on the band's fifth album, Face The Music (1975). According to Jeff Lynne, the song was the quickest he'd ever written, in about thirty minutes, needing a track to flesh out the album. Pretty amazing, really. It's a wonderful song.

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Del Shannon - Runaway

Let's go back to the earlier days of rock'n'roll for a bit. Del Shannon's huge 1961 hit "Runaway", written by himself and keyboardist Max Crook, is amazingly enough 50 years old, and it still sounds great. The clip you'll see is from 1965 though. Finally, here's some useless pop trivia for you: Del Shannon's real name was Charles Weedon Westover. Doesn't sound quite as cool as Del Shannon, does it?

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Roxy Music - Love Is The Drug

The pirate/nazi/airline pilot look of Bryan Ferry in this clip is weirdly appropriate, and the song is of course a true classic. Roxy Music's biggest US hit and second biggest in the UK, "Love Is The Drug" is from the 1975 album Siren, and is silky smooth and typically Roxy, but still with some of the edge which went missing when they released the follow-up album Manifesto in 1979.

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onsdag 27. april 2011

OH NO! Peter Hook revisits Closer. The horror... the horror...

It's only a few weeks ago that I heard former Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook do his utmost in trying to kill the classic Unknown Pleasures album at a gig in Oslo. It's probably the worst concert I've ever been to. Now it's revealed that he will also revisit Closer, Joy Division's 1980 follow-up album to Unknown Pleasures. At present he has only planned two shows, charity shows at that, but still - this is not good news. With his band The Light he will continue touring Pleasures for a while yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he will eventually tour Closer as well.

As if this is not enough, he will release a brand new EP featuring the unrecorded Joy Division song "Pictures In My Mind", singing it himself, in addition to new versions of "Atmosphere", "Insight" and "New Dawn Fades" featuring former Happy Mondays singer Rowetta on lead vocals. Strange, but not necessarily as bad as if Hook did vocal duties himself.

Didn't read about the Unknown Pleasures show? Go here to read about the man who murdered Unknown Pleasures.

Manchester Helps Japan… and Peter Hook releases a new EP and plays Joy Division’s Closer live.

Then go here to read a short interview with "Hooky" at the Mojo website.

New edition of Q featuring Arctic Monkeys and more

While we're waiting for Arctic Monkeys' forthcoming fourth album Suck It And See (June 6th) we can read a major interview with the band in Q #299, in UK shops now, elsewhere soon. Click here to check out what else is featured in the magazine.


Uncut celebrates Dylan's 70th birthday

Bob Dylan turns 70 on May 24th, and British music mag Uncut celebrates the occasion by publishing their latest Dylan-packed edition in four different covers for those crazy enough to buy the same magazine four times. The features in the magazine will almost certainly be brilliant though, and apart from extended Dylan coverage, the June edition of Uncut also includes stories on Ringo Starr, Iggy Pop, Roger Waters, Josh T. Pearson, Danger Mouse and Thin Lizzy. Click here to read more and see the different covers.

Uncut Magazine cover

Stevie Wonder - Master Blaster (Jammin')

An ode to Bob Marley, "Master Blaster (Jammin')" is my favourite Stevie Wonder track, surpassing "Superstition", "Sir Duke" and what have you. It was the lead single off Wonder's 1980 Hotter Than July album, and 31 years after its release it still moves me. Marley died a year later so this is not a retrospective tribute to the reggae legend, but meant as a homage from Wonder to Marley in his lifetime.


Hugh Masekela - Grazing In The Grass

Summer's in the air, and here's a fine slice of instrumental summery fun. South African trumpet maestro Hugh Masekela's 1968 hit "Grazing In The Grass" is, literally, an evergreen. It just radiates sunshine.


DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Summertime

This may be my all time favourite summer song. The fact that we're playing it today is due to the incredibly nice weather here in Oslo. Walking to work in the sunshine is a joy now, and the days and weeks and months in front of us promises more of the same. So let's celebrate with "Summertime", DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince's most memorable moment, released in 1991. The background track is of course similar to Kool & The Gang's 1974 hit "Summer Madness", the words are The Fresh Prince's own - or Will Smith's, if you will... Anyway, there's not one single note or one single word here that doesn't smell of summer. Enjoy it, and enjoy the day ahead!

Watch and listen

tirsdag 26. april 2011

Big Smashing Pumpkins reissue campaign starting this autumn

Rolling Stone report on the magazine's website today that a major Smashing Punpkins reissue campaign is on its way, starting this autumn. You can read the full report here.

Depeche Mode - Puppets (Röyksopp Remix)

Early June sees the release of the Depeche Mode album Remixes 2: 81-11, featuring reworkings of tracks from throughout the band's career, including this wonderful remix of "Puppets" from their debut album Speak And Spell. Norwegian electronica duo Röyksopp has worked wonders on the track. Unfortunately you can't say the same about the Stargate remix of "Personal Jesus" which is, sadly, awful. Former bandmembers Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder are also among the contributers for the new album.

Listen to the Röyksopp remix

Remixes 2: 81-11

Kate Bush - Deeper Understanding (now with music video)

Now here's the music video for the new Kate Bush single "Deeper Understanding" off her forthcoming album Director's Cut, featuring reworked versions of songs from the albums The Sensual World (1989) and The Red Shoes (1993). This song is from the former, but the new version is two minutes longer, with new vocals, a lengthy harmomica solo and more. The video has Robbie Coltrane in the lead role, and the computer programmer at the end is Kate's son Albert.

Watch and listen

Listen to the entire new Fleet Foxes album

Fleet Foxes' eagerly awaited new album Helplessness Blues is in the shops this Friday, but you can listen to it in its entirety here. And to be honest, it sounds fantastic. As Dagsavisen's Geir Rakvaag points out, it's the sound of summer - ca. 1967.

New Bon Iver album slated for June release

Justin Vernon's Bon Iver project was hailed by both critics and the public upon its 2008 debut, For Emma, Forever Ago. Now the follow-up is slated for a June release, according to Billboard, entitled Bon Iver, Bon Iver. Whereas the debut was more or less a solo record, this time Vernon has recruited a host of musicians to help him perform the songs. You can read Billboard's full report here.

Lindsey Buckingham performing new songs live

In a concert in L.A. Friday night Fleetwood Mac guitarist and songwriter Lindsey Buckingham performed six songs off his upcoming solo album Seeds We Sow, due in September. The show was filmed for broadcasting and a DVD release, according to Billboard. The 19 song set also included a few Fleetwood Mac classics, as well as songs from Buckingham's other solo albums. Read the full report here.

Emmylou Harris - Six White Cadillacs

Another song from Emmylou Harris' new album, an exclusive video premiere on the website of Garden & Gun magazine, a magazine about, as far as I can tell, all the things that are great about the American south. Strange indeed, but "Six White Cadillacs" is a good song.

Watch and listen

Jeff Tweedy discusses new Wilco album

Wilco will be releasing their eighth studio album some time this year, and Jeff Tweedy talks about it on the Rolling Stone website. Click here to read more.