Bananarama are to reform for their first ever tour

Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward as Bananarama were the biggest girl band of the 1980s.

Although Bananarama had numerous hits including Cruel Summer, I Heard a Rumour, Venus, Shy Boy and Love In The First Degree, the trio never toured before Siobhan Fahey left the band to form Shakespears Sister in 1988. The split was acrimonious, but the members recently reconciled and have announced a 15-date UK tour for this winter. Having seen Bananarama at the Splendour festival in Nottingham in July 2015, the Record Press author can recommend them wholeheartedly!!

“This is the first time we’ve performed live together – with the exception of getting onstage with a cassette when we were 18!” Keren Woodward explained.

Speaking about the  Bananarama reconciliation, Fahey said: “I was really touched because it wasn’t for any other reason than we love each other and really loved what we did. These were my formative years. I never thought it would happen again.”

Formed in 1979, Bananarama took their name from two of their biggest inspirations: the kids TV show The Banana Splits ( one of the Record Press author’s favourite childhood shows ) and the Roxy Music song Pyjamarama.

Bananarama got their first taste of chart success by providing backing vocals for the Fun Boy Three on the single, It Ain’t What You Do, It’s the Way You Do It. A couple of months later, Fun Boy Three reciprocated the favour by joining the girls on their song Really Sayin’ Somethin, a cover of the 1965 Velvelettes song that was the first of Bananarama’s 26 UK chart hits.

Bananarama went on to sell more than 40 million records, including these in this Record Press Top 5 best Bananarama songs –

Top 5 Best Bananarama Songs

1) I Heard a Rumour ( No14 1987 )

2) Cruel Summer ( No8 1983 )

3) Venus ( No8 1986 )

4) Robert De Niro’s Waiting ( No3 1984 )

5) Love In The First Degree ( N03 1987 )

 

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Beatles Sgt Pepper 50th anniversary launches with a film

It was 50 years ago that Sgt Pepper taught the band to play; the band in question being the Beatles.

As part of the Sgt Pepper 50th anniversary celebrations there’s a new documentary film celebrating the landmark event in popular music history.

It Was 50 Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt Pepper & Beyond is due for release in UK cinemas on 26th May. The documentary film focuses on the 12 months of recording of what is widely debated as the most iconic album ever produced. Director Alan G Parker utilises rare archive footage to tell his story, along with a series of interviews with subjects including original drummer Pete Best, John Lennon’s sister Julia and Hunter Davies.

It Was 50 Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt Pepper & Beyond examines the Beatles disillusionment with touring and the controversies that dogged the Beatles from drugs to blasphemy. The film give several first-hand accounts of what would become the world’s first concept album.

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt Pepper & Beyond is in cinemas from 26th May, including special Q&A previews. It will be released on digital on 1st June and DVD on 3rd July. In the meantime, here’s a taster…… https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/apr/05/sgt-pepper-is-50-new-documentary-beatles-alan-g-parker

Celebrate your love of The Beatles by ordering your favourite Beatles song as a framed vinyl single or CD single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

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Chuck Berry, father of rock’n’roll, dies at age of 90

The legendary guitarist Chuck Berry, who fused blues and swing and thereby created early rock’n’roll, died on Saturday aged 90, according to Missouri police.

St Charles County police said in a post on Facebook they responded to a medical emergency at a home at approximately 12.40pm local time: “Inside the home, first responders observed an unresponsive man and immediately administered lifesaving techniques. Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1.26pm.”

Musicians of all genres and ages paid tribute to the legend: “Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived,” said Bruce Springsteen.

Chuck Berry was born the son of a deacon in a middle-class neighborhood of St Louis in 1926, and picked up the guitar in high school, playing at parties and developing his flourishes as a performer. As a teenager he was arrested for attempted robbery and served three years in reform school, after which he worked on an assembly line at a General Motors factory.

He turned to music full-time in the 1950s. His break came in 1955 when he met blues musician Muddy Waters and producer Leonard Chess, who formed the Chess record label in Chicago. For the remainder of the decade Chuck Berry merged the country and blues songs of the south with pop sensibilities starting to echo on the radio. He recorded some of his most famous hits in the 1950s, including Rock & Roll Music, Roll Over Beethoven, Johnny B Goode, Maybellene and School Days.

Chuck Berry’s music was a hugely influential figure for generations of rock musicians who followed him, many of whom recognised him during their lifetimes. “If you had to give rock’n’roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry,” John Lennon once famously said.

In 1972, he released his only No1 single, the novelty My Ding-a-Ling, which for my generation born in the 1960s is the song most synonymous with Chuck Berry. He continued playing sporadic concerts, often with the most famous rock stars of each era. Alongside his continued success, though, Chuck Berry continued running afoul of authorities.

In 2016, he announced his first studio album since 1979, to be titled Chuck and featuring his children on guitar and harmonica. “My darlin’ I’m growing old,” Chuck Berry said in a press release for the record, speaking to Toddy Berry, his wife of 68 years. “I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”

And a few months later in March 2017 he hung up his shoes and guitar for the last time…..RIP Chuck Berry.

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PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT……

 

 

Kasabian announce new album For Crying Out Loud

Kasabian have announced that their new album For Crying Out Loud will be released on the 28th April.

The new Kasabian album will feature 12 tracks including the first single, ‘You’re In Love With A Psycho’, which is out now.

Serge Pizzorno recently claimed that the album is about “saving guitar music from the abyss”.

He informed Magazine: “I was listening to ESG and Talking Heads and in that kind of world, then it just took on a life of its own. I just wanted to make a guitar record that was relevant and important.”

Kasabian have announced a UK and Ireland tour that will build up to the album’s release. They headline Reading and Leeds Festival this summer.

The Record Press author is a little conflicted about Kasabian. I love the band and still remember the watershed moment when I clapped eyes and ears on the band for the first performing their first hit single Club Foot in 2004. It was one of those defining moments where you go “wow” – the previous time that had happened had come ten years earlier when I first saw the Oasis video for Live Forever.

Of course Kasabian were initially seen as natural bed fellows to Oasis both as guitar based band with attitude, but they quickly forged an identity in their own right.

Kasabian are the only band I have seen twice live – my reasons for being conflicted are very trivial. Basically it comes down to the East Midlands football rivalry!! Kasabian are Leicester City fans; I’m a Nottingham Forest fan. But the good news is that my love for music is greater than my love of football, so I easily overcame my parochial partisanship.

Lest we forget the energy and power of Kasabian, here is a top 5 best Kasabian songs –


Top 5 Best Kasabian songs

1) Club Foot ( No19 2004 )

2) Empire ( No9 2006 )

3) Shoot the Runner ( No17 2006 )

4) Cutt Off ( No8 2005 )

5) Fire ( No3 2009 )

 

Celebrate your love of Kasabian by ordering your favourite Kasabian song as a framed vinyl single or CD single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT…… ORDER HERE  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

We are less of a family as Joni Sledge, of Sister Sledge, dies

Joni Sledge, who with her sisters recorded the definitive dance anthem We Are Family, has died.

Joni Sledge, 60, was found dead in her home in Phoenix, Arizona, by a friend on Friday, the band’s publicist, Biff Warren, said on Saturday. A cause of death has not been determined. The statement read: ” yesterday, numbness fell upon our family. We welcome your prayers as we weep the loss of our sister, mother, aunt, niece and cousin.”

While it celebrated their sisterhood, the 1979 hit so also became an anthem for female empowerment. It would become their signature song and was nominated for a Grammy. Both the song and album sold more than 1million copies.

Sister Sledge also had hits with Lost in Music, which for me is one of the definitive dance tunes of all time ( along with the Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers penned Good Times for Chic )  and Thinking of You – the latter in particular revered by critics. In 1985, their song Frankie became their only British No 1, though it fared less well in America, only reaching No 75.

But for most of us Sister Sledge will be defined by We are Family and Joni’s sisters will be truly “lost in grief”. Our thoughts are with you……

 

Top 5 Best Sister Sledge songs

 

1) Lost in Music ( No4 1984 )

2) He’s The Greatest Dancer ( No6 1979 )

3) We Are Family ( No8 1979 )

4) Mama Never Told Me ( No20 1975 )

5) Frankie ( No1 1985 )

 

 

Celebrate the life of Joni Sledge and your love of Sister Sledge by ordering your favourite Sister Sledge  song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

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Duran Duran to resume legal battle over US song rights

Duran Duran are to renew their legal battle over US rights to some of their most famous songs, including Hungry Like the Wolf and Girls on Film.

In December, Duran Duran lost their fight against publishers Gloucester Place Music, part of US business Sony/ATV, to prevent them terminating copyright agreements related to their first three albums.

Mr Justice Arnold in the high court ruled that English laws of contract prevented the band from reclaiming the copyright of their songs. Somewhat bizarrely the same judge has now given permission for an appeal against his decision. One of the many peculiarities of the legal system – who was it who once said “the law is an ass”?!! No date has yet been set for the hearing.

Duran Duran have issued a statement saying they were “particularly pleased to get the go-ahead as the ruling had an impact on the wider creative community and particularly their song writing peers.”

Duran Duran founding member and keyboardist Nick Rhodes said: “It was enormously disappointing that Sony/ATV decided to mount this aggressive and unexpected action against us to try to prevent the simple principles and rights afforded to all artists in America regarding their copyrights after 35 years. We are relieved and grateful that we have been given the opportunity to appeal this case because the consequences are wide-reaching and profound for us and all other artists.

Nick Rhodes added: “In his judgment Mr Justice Arnold stated that his decision was not made without hesitation; we were heartened by this sentiment because we felt it was an acknowledgement that something was truly flawed about the premise and reality of what is at stake. We remain hopeful that the ultimate outcome will be fair and measured to take into account and support our case and all artists’ rights.”

Whatever happens, nothing will detract from the brilliance of Duran Duran. Lest we forget here’s a top 10 best Duran Duran songs –

Top 10 Best Duran Duran Songsduran-duran-save-a-prayer-vinyl-single

1)  Save a Prayer

2)  Rio

3)  Girls on Film

4)  New Moon on Monday

5)  A View to a Kill

6)  The Wild Boys

7)  Hungry Like the Wolf

8)  Is There Something I Should Know?

9)  Union of the Snake

10)  The Reflex

 

Celebrate your love of Duran Duran by ordering your favourite Duran Duran song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT……

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John Lennon and Yoko Ono love story movie to be made

The relationship of John Lennon and Yoko Ono will form the basis of a new film from the writer of the Stephen Hawking movie, The Theory of Everything.

“The story will focus on ripe and relevant themes of love, courage and activism in the US – with the intention of inspiring today’s youth to stand up for and have a clear vision for the world they want,” said producer Michael De Luca, whose previous credits include The Social Network, Captain Phillips and Moneyball.

It is thought that the film script is likely to depict John Lennon and Yoko Ono  as a celebrity couple throughout the 1970s, Lennon’s drifting away from the Beatles, the couple’s music together ( which began with the anti Vietnam War anthem Give Peace A Chance ) and John Lennon’s murder in 1980.

In 2009, the life of John Lennon as a youth growing up in Liverpool was brought to the screen by Sam Taylor-Johnson in Nowhere Boy, where he was played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Yoko Ono was supportive of the finished product and was “flabbergasted” at how good it was, as was the Record Press author. If you haven’t seen it, I would definitely recommend Nowhere Boy.

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Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT……

 

The Carpenters are getting “chippy” over unpaid royalties

Richard Carpenter has said he is owed at least £1.6m in royalties for the hits he wrote and recorded in The Carpenters, including Yesterday Once More.

He claims Universal Music have only paid the band a “miniscule fraction” of the money they were owed from downloads on sites like iTunes and Amazon. The musician is suing for compensation, according to legal documents filed in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The claim is also filed on behalf of his sister, Karen, who died in 1983.

Richard Carpenter hired accountants to examine financial statements from Universal Music and its subsidiary, A&M Records, which has released The Carpenters’ music since their debut album in 1969.

He says they found multiple errors, and that the labels “improperly classified” revenue from digital downloads of The Carpenters’ music as sales of physical records – which attract a lower royalty rate. He also claims that digital downloads were undercounted.

In a statement, Richard Carpenter said he had been unable to resolve the dispute without suing: “The Carpenters recordings are among the best sellers in the history of popular music, and after 48 years continue to contribute a substantial amount to [Universal’s] annual bottom line. It seems only fair that these companies account fairly to my sister’s estate and to me.”

Specialising in radio-friendly soft rock, The Carpenters sold millions of records in the 1970s. The brother-sister duo won three Grammy Awards in 1970 and 1971, including best new artist and best vocal performance for the ballad (They Long to Be) Close to You. The Carpenter’s career was cut short when Karen developed anorexia nervosa in 1975. Although they continued to record, the condition eventually led to her death, from heart failure.

Lest we forget their brilliance, here’s a Top 5 Best Carpenters Songs –

Top 5 Best Carpenters Songs

 

1) Yesterday Once More ( 1973 )

2) ( They Long To Be ) Close To You ( 1970 )

3) We’ve Only Just Begun ( 1970 )

4)  Only Yesterday ( 1975 )

5) Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft ( 1977 )

 

Which are your favourite Carpenters songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

 

Celebrate your love of the Carpenters by ordering your favourite Carpenters song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT……

 

 

 

Ed Sheeran greets new year with new material

Ed Sheeran has announced the end to his sabbatical from music, with new material due to be released this Friday.

Ed Sheeran posted a video on Twitter in which he waves to fans while smiling and holding up a piece of white A4 paper with the words “New music coming Friday!!” scrawled on it. He then puts the sheet of paper in his mouth and drops it.

Ed Sheeran announced a year ago that he was “taking a break … to travel the world and see everything I missed”, but promised fans he would be back with his third album, which he called “the best thing I have made so far”. He also announced he would disappear from “my phone, emails and all social media for a while”, saying he had started to “see the world … through a screen and not my eyes”.

Ed Sheeran penned this year’s X Factor winner’s single, When Christmas Comes Around, which debuted at number three in the charts.

Ed Sheeran gave his first official return performance for a charity gig at the Natural History Museum at the end of November, days after it was reported that Princess Beatrice had accidentally lacerated his face when a prank went horribly wrong as she pretended to knight the singer James Blunt with a ceremonial sword.

Showing off a scar on his cheek, Ed Sheeran told the audience: “It’s nice to be back. I’ve had a whole year off. I went to Japan for about a month and hung out with Japanese people. Got my face cut open, anyone read about that?”

Which are your favourite Ed Sheeran songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate your love of Ed Sheeran by ordering your favourite Ed Sheeran song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!! 

 

UK sales of vinyl records peak with a 25-year high in 2016

UK sales of vinyl records in 2016 reached a 25-year high as consumers continue to embrace physical music formats .

More than 3.2m vinyl albums sold in 2016, a rise of 53% on the previous year and the highest number since 1991 when Simply Red’s Stars was the bestselling album. This was also the first year that spending on vinyl records outstripped that spent on digital downloads.

The deaths of some music world giants such as David Bowie and Prince was a key driver in vinyl sales, as people invested in records as mementos. After David Bowie’s death he became the bestselling vinyl artist of 2016, with five albums posthumously featuring in the UK top 30. His album Blackstar, which was shortlisted for a Mercury prize, was the most popular selling album of the year, while The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory, Nothing Has Changed and Changes One were also popular vinyl album purchases.

The statistics, compiled by BPI, show that this is the ninth consecutive year that vinyl record sales have increased, in part due to events such as Record Store Day, and the increase in national chains and independent shops selling vinyl records. Supermarkets such as Tesco now stock vinyl records and both HMV and Rough Trade have created extra floor space to accomodate more vinyl records.

At least 30 albums sold more than 10,000 copies in 2016, a stark contrast to 2007 when digital downloads began to take hold and a meagre total of 200,000 LPs were sold overall.

Geoff Taylor, the chief executive of the BPI and the Brit Awards, said: “Growth in UK music consumption in 2016 was fuelled by the explosive rise in audio streaming, which has increased 500% since 2013, and relative resilience from physical formats … We believe this performance is indicative of the promise of a new era for music, where recorded music’s investments in a digital future fuel compelling benefits for fans, artists and the entire music ecosystem.”

Simon Sterland, Record Press Blog author and owner of online framed vinyl record gift retailer MyFirstRecord.co.uk, points out: “The vinyl record industry is going from strength to strength, year on year. This is comprehensive proof, if it were needed, that there is a growing customer base for old school physical copies of music in a technology driven world. I can only see this trend for vinyl record buying continuing as clearly the music download is a poor substitute for the tactile warmth of the vinyl single or album, not to mention the decorative album cover artwork. Put simply, vinyl has a personality all of its own.”

 

 

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Sadly 2016 proves to be “Last Christmas” for George Michael

The “Curse of Musicians” in 2016 continues right to the end of the year, now claiming George Michael.

In a statement, George Michael’s publicist said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period. The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”

Ironically I was only talking with my brother about George Michael a few hours before  his death was announced, commenting on the trade off between creativity and fragility and how vulnerable that made George Michael ( which of course was what made him a great songwriter ). How prophetic that turned out to be!!

The future for George Michael was looking good after a quiet year or two. His 1990 album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 had been set to be reissued, accompanied by a new film featuring Stevie Wonder, Elton John and the supermodels who starred in the video to his hit single Freedom!

The movie, with the working title Freedom: George Michael, was to be narrated by George   Michael and set to feature Mark Ronson, Mary J Blige, Tony Bennett, Liam Gallagher, James Corden and Ricky Gervais. The record was his second solo album, after the hugely successful Faith, and was arranged produced and almost entirely written by George Michael, but did not feature him on the album cover.

It featured hits including Cowboys And Angels, Mother’s Pride and Praying For Time and outsold Faith in the UK, where it went platinum four times but led to a court case with US record label Sony about Michael’s frustration over how the album has been marketed. Michael lost the case.

For the  Record Press author, George Michael was part of the soundtrack of my youth. I remember a friend gave me a copy of the first Wham album as a gift for my 21st birthday. I subsequently gave it away, not wanting to be associated with a girly band like Wham!! A year younger than me,  George Michael was part of my generation; the “New Romantic” generation.

However unlike many “New Romantic” stars George Michael had the talent and vision to evolve beyond the teeny bob status with Wham, becoming a great songwriter. Lest we forget, here is the Record Press Top 10 best George Michael songs –

Top 10 Best George Michael Songs

 

1) A Different Corner ( 1986 )

2) Fast Love ( 1996 )

3) Outside ( 1998 )

4) Careless Whisper ( 1984 )

5) Last Christmas ( 1984 )

6) Praying For Time ( 1990 )

7) Freedom ( 1984 )

8) Jesus To A Child ( 1996 )

9) Club Tropicana ( 1983 )

10) I’m Your Man ( 1985 )

 

Which are your favourite George Michael songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate your love of George Michael by ordering your favourite George Michael song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!! 

 

Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt dies at 68

Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has died in hospital in Spain aged 68.

Rick Parfitt’s musical partnership with Francis Rossi, which spanned five decades, made Status Quo one of the UK’s most most enduring and significant rock bands.

Rick Parfitt had been due to launch a solo career with an album and autobiography planned for 2017. In October, he announced he would no longer be performing with Status Quo after suffering from a heart attack in the summer.

Drummer Jeff Rich, who played in Status Quo with Rick Parfitt for 16 years, paid tribute saying he was “just a really good musician, very under-rated, great rhythm player, but his health problems were a big issue for him. I’m sure he wanted to give his all on stage and eventually he just couldn’t do it any more.”

Queen guitarist Brian May tweeted: “Shocked and so sad to hear of the passing of Rick Parfitt. Hard to find words, You truly joyfully rocked our world. RIP dear buddy.” whilst former Ultravox frontman Midge Ure tweeted: “Dreadfully sad. Lovely man. Thoughts go out to his family and friends.”

Midge Ure co-organised Live Aid in 1985, which was memorably opened by Status Quo performing Rockin’ All Over The World.

With his flowing blond locks, denim gear and Fender Telecaster, Rick Parfitt was one of rock’s most recognisable guitarists. His partnership with Francis Rossi became the nucleus of Status Quo, one of Britain’s most enduring bands.

Having cashed in on the psychedelic sound in the late 1960s, Status Quo then settled on their distinctive brand of boogie-woogie rock – a signature sound that transcended the changes in musical fashion over the decades and made them one of the best-loved live acts of their generation. As well as driving the Status Quo signature sound, Rick Parfitt wrote many of the band’s biggest hits to be found in this Top 10 best Status Quo songs –

 

Top 10 Best Status Quo Songs

 

1) Rockin’ All Over The World ( No3 1977 )

2) Living on an Island ( No16 1979 )

3) Pictures of Matchstick Men ( No7 1968 )

4) Paper Plane ( No8 1972 )

5) In The Army Now ( No2 1986 )

6) Down Down ( No1 1975 )

7) Whatever You Want ( No4 1979 )

8) Rain ( No7 1976 )

9) Roll Over Lay Down ( No9  1975 )

10) Break the Rules ( No8 1974 )

 

Which are your favourite Status Quo songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate your love of Rick Parfitt and Status Quo by ordering your favourite Status Quo song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!! 

 

 

Greg Lake, creator of the best xmas song of all time, passes away

Greg Lake, who fronted both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died aged 69.

One of the founding fathers of progressive rock, the British musician will arguably be best remembered for the Christmas standard I Believe in Father Christmas, which in the “humble” opinion of the Record Press author is the best Xmas song of all time.

Greg Lake died on Wednesday after “a long and stubborn battle with cancer” nine months after his Emerson, Lake and Palmer band-mate Keith Emerson passed away. Greg Lake’s manager Stewart Young wrote on Facebook: “Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer. Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been.”

Greg Lake who was born in Bournemouth, was given his first guitar at the age of twelve and took lessons from a local tutor called Don Strike. He went on to form a close friendship with fellow student Robert Fripp, with whom he formed King Crimson in 1969. Their debut album In the Court of the Crimson King featured such songs as 21st Century Schizoid Man. It set a standard for progressive rock and received a glowing, well-publicised testimonial from The Who’s Pete Townshend.

Sadly King Crimson were short-lived. Within a year, founding member Mike Giles quit and Greg Lake refused to work with the band. He stayed around long enough to sing on their critically reviled second album, In the Wake of Poseidon.

The singer and bassist was then approached by Keith Emerson, who had supported King Crimson on a North American tour and needed a singer for his new band which became Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Joined by Atomic Rooster drummer Carl Palmer, Emerson, Lake and Palmer made their live debut at the Guildhall in Plymouth in 1970 before giving a career defining performance at the Isle of Wight Festival  in the same year.

Characteristically Emerson, Lake and Palmer combined heavy rock riffs with a classical influence. They scored hit albums with Pictures at an Exhibition, Trilogy and Brain Salad Surgery – many of them produced by Greg Lake himself. For many the seminal Emerson, Lake and Palmer album was Tarkus, released in 1971, featured an opening track inspired by the fictional Tarkus character ( a half-tank, half-armadillo creature that would appear on stage at gigs that lasted more than 20 minutes ). ELP sold more than 48 million records.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer went on to enjoy chart success with a in 1977 with their version of Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, which reached No2 in the UK top 40.

ELP’s ambitious light shows and on-stage theatrics were the epitome of ’70s rock excess and their days were numbered. ELP’s reputation was irreparably damaged by the punk movement of the late 1970s that railed and rallied in particular against the pomposity and pretention of prog rock, and they finally broke up in 1979.

To non-prog fans, though, Greg Lake was best known as the architect of one of the UK’s most enduring Christmas hits, I Believe in Father Christmas, which reached No 2 in 1975. Greg Lake told the Guardian only last month in an article about Christmas songs to be published next week: “When Pete Sinfield and I wrote I Believe In Father Christmas, it was about how Christmas had deteriorated and was in danger of becoming yet another victim of crass corporate financial exploitation,” he said.

For the Record Press author I Believe In Father Christmas is unquestionably the best Xmas song of all time. It perfectly captures the essence of the magic and awe of Christmas as a child. Any other year than 1975 and it would have been a deserved Xmas No1, but sadly it came up against an immoveable object in the form of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

It is like no other festive song – Slade and Wizzard might win the accolades for nostalgia but I Believe In Father Christmas by Greg Lake oozes style and class. So much so, it appears atop the Christmas song tree in this Record Press TOP 15 Best Xmas Songs from the 1970s Golden Era of the Xmas Hit Single……. http://www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/recordpress/retro-music/top-15-christmas-songs-from-the-1970s-golden-era-of-the-xmas-hit-single/

You can get I Believe In Father Christmas by Greg Lake as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a Xmas gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque… ORDER NOW…. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

David Bowie Ziggy Stardust statue to go ahead

A David Bowie Ziggy Stardust statue will be erected following the success of a crowdfunding campaign, in the best traditions of the Blue Peter Appeal.

The statue will be put up in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, where David Bowie launched his Ziggy Stardust character and two albums, after more than 650 people pledged in excess of £100,000, 19 hours ahead of the deadline. More than 650david-bowie-ziggy-stardust people pledged sums, from £10 to £6,000, for the bronze sculpture, enabling it to beat the deadline to raise the cash.

Campaigner David Stopps said it was an exciting moment: “We are very grateful to everybody. It’s been a Biblical 40 days. The bottom line now is that the statue will happen.”

Adele’s record company and 80s musician, Howard Jones were among six donators giving £6,000. David Bowie’s booking agent, John Giddings born in nearby Hertfordshire pledged £5,000.

The statue will be sited under arches in the Market Square which Bowie referenced in Five Years, the opening track of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders from Mars album. David Bowie performed as Ziggy Stardust during gigs at the town’s Friars music venue in the early 1970s. Bowie also played a gig at the club in September 1971 where he debuted the album Hunky Dory.

The David Bowie Ziggy Stardust statue is being designed by sculptor, Andrew Sinclair, who has also made commissions for the Queen. Speakers above the statue will play a Bowie track every hour.

framed david bowie vinyl single

 

If you don’t fancy a singing David Bowie Ziggy Stardust statue in your garden, you can always opt for a favourite David Bowie song as framed vinyl single to hang on your living room wall. ORDER HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

David Bowie final five years to be featured in BBC documentary

The last five years of the life of David Bowie will be explored in a BBC documentary, to be broadcast to coincide with the first anniversary of his death on the 8th January 2017.

The BBC documentary will focus on the final two David Bowie albums, The Next Day and Blackstar, alongside the stage musical Lazarus, which recently opened in London.david bowie

It will be directed by Francis Whately as a follow-up to his acclaimed 2013 documentary, David Bowie: Five Years, which the Record Press author saw recently and thoroughly enjoyed.

The BBC Two documentary will be part of a BBC season marking the anniversary of David Bowie’s death from cancer in January 2016. An unreleased a capella vocal David Bowie recorded for Lazarus will form part of the film, called David Bowie: The Last Five Years.

Among the contributors are David Bowie’s long-time producer Tony Visconti and the musicians who played on The Next Day and Blackstar, who will recreate some of the star’s final studio sessions.

Francis Whately explains: “I always hoped that I would make another film about Bowie as we were only able to david bowie heroesscratch the surface in the first film, but I just didn’t expect it to be this soon. However, looking at Bowie’s extraordinary creativity during the last five years of his life has allowed me to re-examine his life’s work and move beyond the simplistic view that his career was simply predicated on change – Bowie the chameleon. Instead, I would like to show how the changes were often superficial, but the core themes in his work were entirely consistent – alienation, mortality and fame.”

The season will also see BBC Four broadcasting Bowie at the BBC, a compilation of rarely-seen archive of the star’s performances and interviews at the BBC, spanning more than 40 years. Radio 2 will dedicate an entire documentary to the star’s seminal hit Life On Mars, while 6 Music will mark what would have been the 70th birthday of on Sunday 8th January with a day of special programming.

framed david bowie record

Order your favourite David Bowie song as framed vinyl single as a picture disc souvenir to hang on your wall. If it’s intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Elvis Presley appeal endures as he breaks album chart record

Elvis Presley has broken the record for the most number one albums by a solo artist in the UK.

Elvis Presley’s new album The Wonder Of You has held off stiff competition from Lady Gaga and Michael Buble to become his 13th album to top the chart. Up until now Elvis Presley and Madonna were tied record holders with 12elvis-album-wonder-of-you-album number one albums each to their names.

Elvis’ ex-wife Priscilla Presley told the Official Charts Company he would have been “so thankful” for the achievement. She said: “I am incredibly proud of all he has accomplished and so grateful to the UK fans who have kept his legacy alive with all of their support. I hope they continue to listen and love his music as much as I do.”

On Elvis’s latest album, his original vocal performances are accompanied by music from The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The singer, who died in 1977, is now second only to The Beatles, who have 15 number one albums to their name.

 

As a reminder of the brilliance of the man and his music, here’s the Record Press Top 10 Best Elvis Presley Songs –

Top 10 Best Elvis Presley Songs

1) My Boy ( 1974 )

2) Just Can’t Help Believing ( 1971 )

3) Always On My Mind ( 1972 )

4) Moody Blue ( 1977 )

5) In the Ghetto ( 1968 )

6) The Wonder Of You ( 1970 )

7) Heartbreak Hotel ( 1955 )

8) Blue Suede Shoes ( 1955 )

9) Suspicious Minds ( 1969 )

10) Jailhouse Rock ( 1957 )

 

Which are your favourite Elvis Presley songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.framed-elvis-vinyl-single

Celebrate your love of Elvis Presley aka “The King”, by ordering your favourite Elvis Presley song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!! 

 

For further information, merchandise or memorabilia, go to the Elvis Presley website…… http://www.elvis.com/    http://www.elvisthemusic.com

 

 

Abba to reform in virtual reality in 2018

Four months after they performed together for the first time in more than 30 years  ( at a private gala event in Stockholm in June ), Abba have announced that they will launch a “virtual and live experience” next year.

The Abba project, in partnership with Spice Girls svengali Simon Fuller and Universal Music Group, is being billed as “a groundbreaking venture that will utilise the very latest in digital and virtual-reality technology … which will enableabba-in-all-white a new generation of fans to see, hear, and feel Abba in a way previously unimagined”.

Benny Andersson from Abba announced: “We’re inspired by the limitless possibilities of what the future holds and are loving being a part of creating something new and dramatic here. A time machine that captures the essence of who we were. And are.”

Singer Frida Lyngstad added: “Our fans around the world are always asking us to reform and so I hope this new Abba creation will excite them as much as it excites me!”

At this juncture it is unclear exactly how the Abba project will unfold. Further details are to be announced in 2017, with the launch taking place in 2018.

 

Elton John to chronicle his Circle of Life in autobiography

Elton John is to release an autobiography, promised to be a “no-holds-barred account” of his colourful life.

In a statement Elton John commented: “I’m not prone to being a nostalgic person. I’m often accused of only looking forward to my next gig or creative project. It’s come as quite a surprise how cathartic I am finding the process of writing my memoirs. As I look back, I realise what a crazy life I have had the extreme privilege of living. I have grown up in a period of extraordinary change in our world – and have had the joyful honour of rubbing shoulders and working with so many of the people at the heart of these changes. My life has been one helluva rollercoaster ride and it’s still lumbering on. I hope readers will enjoy the ride too.”

It will be the first and only official autobiography of the 69-year old Elton John, who released his 33rd studio album earlier this year. Throughout his career, he has sold more than 300million records.elton-john-daniel

Stephen Rubin, president and publisher at Henry Holt & Company, commented: “Elton John is an extraordinary pop culture figure whose celebrity transcends his music. Sure we know the lyrics to all his signature songs, but we love him just as much for his charity work, for his wide circle of friends, including royalty, for his supremely unforgettable outrageousness and sense of style and humour, and for his irresistible likability.”

A big-screen biopic, to star Tom Hardy as Elton John was announced in 2013 but has yet to begin production.

 

You can get your favourite Elton John song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can Framed Vinyl Single MFRalso personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque… ORDER NOW…. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Michael Buble to host the 2017 Brit Awards ceremony

Michael Buble has confirmed he is going to be the new host of the Brit Awards, starting with the 2017 ceremony.

In a statement to the BBC Michael Buble said: “It’s a huge honour for me to host such a big night in music. Even michael-buble-everything-cd-single-imagethough I didn’t grow up as a Brit I’ve always been well aware of the Brit Awards and their impact globally.”

Michael Buble continued: “As a fan of music this is the perfect gig. I’m very much looking forward to February and celebrating the success stories of a great year in music. So to be able to be honoured by being asked to do something like the Brits, it’s a privilege, it really is.”

Brits chief and Sony Music chairman Jason Iley commented: “This is a huge coup for the Brit Awards and we are delighted to announce Michael as our host for 2017. He is an extremely talented and charismatic world-class entertainer, much loved by the British public.”

 

You can get your favourite Michael Buble song as a framed CD single. If intended as a gift, you can Framed CD MFRalso personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque… ORDER NOW…. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

1980s boyband Bros are to reform for 30th anniversary

Bros, one of the biggest boy bands of the 1980s, are reuniting to mark their 30th anniversary.

Although the Record Press author once nicknamed Bros “Dross”, I acknowledge their huge popularity for a month or two at the end of the 1980s!!

Twin brothers Matt and Luke Goss will play London’s O2 Arena next August, although original bassist Craig Logan will not take part in the reunion. Bros had eight top 10 hits between 1987 and 1989 with songs like When Will I Be Famousbros and I Owe You Nothing.

Bros have stated that they have no plans to release any new music ahead of the shows. “We’re going to honour the songs, some of the key sounds,” according to Luke. So that’s a merciful outcome!!

Craig Logan left Bros at the height of their fame after suffering ME. He later became a successful music impressario, managing the likes of Sade and Tina Turner and playing a key role in the success of Robbie Williams.

Matt and Luke Goss have indicated that he is “welcome” to return. Matt said: “I’m very proud of Craig’s success but we started the band in school and Bros is Matt and Luke, without question.”

The Bros reunion show will take place on 19th August 2017 – exactly 28 years after the brothers played to 77,000 fans at Wembley Stadium. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.

You can get your favourite Bros song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque… ORDER NOW…. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed Vinyl Single MFR

Framed vinyl records and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

As Cliff Richard & Elvis team up here’s a Top 20 Best Duets

Cliff Richard is performing a “duet” with none other than the late Elvis Presley on his new album, albeit posthumously ( for Elvis not Cliff!! ).

Sir Cliff, 75, sings Blue Suede Shoes with the late Elvis Presley on his latest album release, Just… Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll which is to be released in November.cliff-richard

News of the forthcoming album comes days after the Crown Prosecution Service upheld a decision not to prosecute Cliff Richard over claims of historical sex offences. Sir Cliff, who always denied the allegations, said he was “pleased” with the decision and said he hoped the review “brings this matter to a close”.

Cliff Richard recorded the album in the Blackbird studio in Nashville, Tennessee, fulfilling his boyhood dream of a “duet” with Elvis Presley. The album also includes Cliff Richard’s rendition of songs recorded by his “heroes”, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke and John Lee Hooker. Tracks on the album include Roll Over Beethoven, Great Balls Of Fire and Sweet Little Sixteen, as well as a new, original track, cliff-richard-fabulous-rock-n-roll-imageIt’s Better To Dream, and Sir Cliff’s debut single Move It, first released in August 1958.

Cliff Richard commented that the album reflected “a happy, creative, and in many ways an innocent time”, adding: “Not only do I find it hard to believe that my career has spanned this length of time, but also that I still get the chance to do the thing I love best, and that is to get into a studio.”

This got the Record Press author musing over the greatest duets in pop and rock history. There really have been some classic duets, where the fusion of two vocals, especially male and female, have combined to create the perfect harmony. Most of the time it comes down to great chemistry between the two artists in the duet, although ironically the No1 in the following Record Press Top 20 Best Duets is an exception to the rule as Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye loathed each other so much, that their vocals were recorded separately!! However this does not stop “You Are Everything” being the perfect duet!!

Top 20 Best Duets

 

1) Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye – You Are Everythingpet-shop-boys-what-have-i-done-to-deserve-thisvinyl-single

2) Neil Tennant & Dusty Springfield – What have I done to deserve this?

3) Jay-Z & Alicia Keys & – Empire State Of Mind

4) Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

5) Kate Bush & Peter Gabriel – Don’t Give Up

6) Simon & Garfunkel – Sound of Silencekate-bush-peter-gabriel-dont-give-up

7) Righteous Bros – You’ve lost that loving feeling

8) Ozzy & Kelly Osbourne – Changes

9) Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers – Islands In The Stream

10) Shane McGowan & Kirsty MaColl – Fairytale of New York

11) David Bowie & Freddie Mercury – Under Pressure

12) Diana Ross & Lionel Richie – Endless Lovesimon-garfunkel-sound-of-silence-vinyl-single

13) Barry Gibb & Barbara Streisand – Guilty

14) Ike & Tina Turner – Nutbush City Limits

15) Jennifer Warnes & Bill Medley – I had the time of my life

16) John Travolta & Olivia Newton John –You’re the one that I want

17) Aretha Franklin & George Michael – I knew you were waitingjennifer-warnes-bill-medley-i-had-the-time-of-my-life

18) Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

19) Sam & Dave – Soul Man

20) Billy Preston & Syreeta Wright – With you I’m born again

 

You can get your favourite duet song as a framed vinyl single or framed CD single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque… ORDER NOW…. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed Vinyl Single MFR

Framed vinyl records and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

Hull City of Culture to honour Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson

The life and times of David Bowie’s backing band, Spiders From Mars, guitarist Mick Ronson is to be celebrated in his home town as part of Hull’s City of Culture celebrations next year.mick-ronson

Turn and Face the Strange is a live show written by Rupert Creed and Garry Burnett, both of whom hail from Hull. The performance will include film, audio, storytelling and live music.

Mick Ronson grew up in Hull, where he formed the band that went on to become the Spiders From Mars, an integral part of David Bowie’s early success between 1970 and 1973 when they were his backing band. He died in 1993 aged 46 from liver cancer.

A spokesman for the project said Turn and Face the Strange would go “beneath the known narratives of Mick Ronson’s partnership with David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars”. He added: “It will tell the story of how a working class boy from Greatfield Estate came to challenge the norms and expectations of his time and place of origin, to play a pivotal role in creating a new music and social culture.”

Rupert Creed commented: “The project will engage and connect Hull residents from Greatfield Estate and across the city, recording and sharing audio stories and memories, personal photographs and memorabilia.” The performance will be accompanied by an exhibition of photographs and memorabilia at the Freedom Centre.

In the humble opinion of the Record Press author, Mick Ronson was one of the great unsung British rock guitarists. For me he is in a top five with Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Dave Gilmour and Keith Richards. I would even suggest that mick-ronson-2without Mick Ronson,  David Bowie’s ascent to stardom would have taken a slightly more circuitous, slower route  to the top: such is Mick Ronson’s influence on the David Bowie 1971 album Hunky Dory and his seminal album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust in 1972.

As well as working with David Bowie, Mick Ronson recorded several solo albums, the most successful of which was Slaughter on 10th Avenue, which reached No9 on the UK album chart. He also played on, produced or arranged songs for artists including Lou Reed ( co producing the Transformer album & the song Perfect Day ), Bob Dylan and Morrissey.

However as his epitaph, as far as I am concerned The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust has to be Mick Ronson’s finest hour…….

framed david bowie vinyl single

As a tribute to Mick Ronson, order any song he collaborated on with David Bowie as framed vinyl single i.e. Life On Mars, Starman, Jean Genie, Drive-In Saturday, Changes or John, I’m Only Dancing. It will make a great picture disc souvenir to hang on your wall. If it’s intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

 

Top 10 Madness & Specials songs as a Prince Buster tribute

The ska pioneer Prince Buster, who shaped the course of Jamaican music, has died at his home in Miami at the age of 78.

Like most of the reggae and ska pioneers, Prince Buster was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He became a centrepiece and prince-buster-imagelegend of the burgeoning ska music genre in 1960s Jamaica. According to the BBC, the decision by Prince Buster to use a syncopated beat on tracks such as Little Honey, They Got to Go and Thirty Pieces of Silver is credited as pivotal and the launchpad in ska music’s development and as a result Prince Buster gave himself the moniker “King of Ska”.

The Record Press author was too young to embrace Prince Buster, but not too young to love his protegees Madness and The Specials in the British ska revival of the late 1970s. Prince Buster inspired Madness and The Specials and those  bands inspired my generation, so quid pro quo Prince Buster inspired me and my mates!!

Therefore it is my pleasure to offer this Top 10 best Madness & Specials songs as a Prince Buster tribute –

Top 10 best Madness & Specials songs as a Prince Buster tribute madness-embarrassment-vinyl-single

 

1)  Madness – Embarrassment ( No4 1980 )

2)  Specials – Gangsters ( No6 1979 )

3)  Madness – Night Boat To Cairo ( No6 1980 )

4)  Madness – One Step Beyond ( No7 1979 )

5)  Specials – Do Nothing ( No4 1980 )

6)  Specials – Ghost Town ( No1 1981 )specials-rat-race

7)  Madness – House Of Fun ( No1 1982 )

8)  Specials – Rat Race ( No5 1980 )

9)  Specials – Stereotype ( No6 1980 )

10)  Specials – Too Much Too Young ( No1 1980 )

 

Pay your own tribute to Prince Buster, by getting your favourite Madness or Specials song as a framed vinyl single or framed CD single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque… ORDER NOW…. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/Framed Vinyl Single MFR

Framed vinyl records and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

  

 

Teenagers invited to premiere Busted stage musical

Pop band Busted have invited teenagers to a theatre summer school to premiere their new jukebox musical, before it is performed in the West End.

Busted guitarist James Bourne has co-written the musical What I Go To School For about the group’s rise to fame and fortune. The first performances will be staged by around 40 members of Youth Music Theatre (YMT) in Brighton this weekend.busted

James Bourne, who recently reformed Busted, explained: “Our aim is to try and create a show that can last forever.” The musical will showcase songs like Air Hostess, Crashed the Wedding and Year 3000, which were among the eight singles Busted released between 2002-04, all reaching the top three in the UK.

James Bourne has written the show with collaborator Elliot Davis. The pair’s first musical was Loserville, which was staged by YMT in 2009 before going on to the West End and being nominated for an Olivier Award. According to Bourne: “The show quite accurately tells the story of the band from 2001 to 2005, though some characters are real and some characters are made-up versions of real people. Eventually it would be nice to open in the West End after we’ve had more time to develop.”

As well as working on the musical, James Bourne has been back in the recording studio with Busted after a break of 10 years, with a new Busted album due for release later this year.

If you cannot wait for the Busted musical, you can get your favourite Busted song as a framed vinyl single or framed CD single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque… ORDER NOW…. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/Framed Vinyl Single MFR

Framed vinyl records and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

Ed Sheeran sued for plagiarising Marvin Gaye song

Ed Sheeran stands accused of copying Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye for his hit single Thinking Out Loud.ed sheeran thinking out loud vinyl single

Pink Floyd become national relics with V & A exhibition

You know when you are an intrinsic part of the national cultural fabric when you become the focus of an exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum. On that basis Pink Floyd have truly arrived as a venerable British institution, finally embodying the title of their 1971 album Relics.

Formed in 1965, Pink Floyd featured lead vocalist and guitarist Syd Barrett, bassist Roger Waters, drummer Nick pink floyd vegetable men 1967Mason and keyboard player Rick Wright. Guitarist David Gilmour joined shortly before Syd Barrett’s departure in 1968. Syd Barrett and Rick Wright died in 2006 and 2008 respectively.

The Pink Floyd exhibition will also pay homage to the genius of Syd Barrett, who become a casualty of the late-1960s fascination with LSD. The Dark Side of the Moon is believed to have been partly inspired by Syd Barrett’s mental-health struggles with the follow up album Wish You Were Here chronicling the fall out of his demise on the band.

Some of the ground work for the V&A show has already been done. In 2014, a Pink Floyd retrospective organised by one of Italy’s biggest music promoters was abandoned following a reported dispute over fees and intellectual property rights. A worldwide tour of hundreds of exhibits, including designs and recordings, had been planned. A giant inflatable pig, featured on the cover of Animals, and the stage sculpture of The Wall are among artefacts that are now likely to come to the V&A instead.

 

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Can you believe Pink Floyd are to release a 27 disc box set?!

Pink Floyd have announced the imminent release of a new box set, The Early Years 1965-1972, which will comprise 27 discs – both CDs and DVD/Blu-ray discs.

Pink Floyd: The Early Years 1965-1972 will contain seven hours of previously unreleased live audio, and more than 15 hours of video. The Record Press author is a big fan of Pink Floyd but it strikes me that this massive box set is one for the anoraks – if you laid all the components of the box set out end to end they would stretch around the circumference of the world twice!!

Joking aside this is a must for Pink Floyd fans, for the amount of unreleased material included. For the first time, the pink floyd vegetable men 1967much-bootlegged Syd Barrett-era songs Vegetable Man and Scream Thy Last Scream get an official release. Arguably more exciting for Pink Floyd fans is the release of what has been described on message boards as “the most obscure Pink Floyd recording of all” and “the Floyd holy grail”.

The Pink Floyd holy grail is the eight tracks the Sud Barrett-era band recorded for the film-maker John Latham on 20th October 1967 in London, but which he decided not to use in his short film Speak. It is believed that these tracks have never been bootlegged.

Another collector’s item is the release of In the Beechwoods, a Syd Barrett song recorded at the same time as Jugband Blues, from the second Pink Floyd album A Saucerful of Secrets, which has previously surfaced in low-quality abridged form.

The box set also comes replete with the inevitable posters, pictures and replica 7″ vinyl singles.

If you are not a millionaire and can’t afford a 27-disc set, you can settle for a 2CD highlights compilation. Needless to say, that does not feature Vegetable Man or Scream Thy Last Scream, or the John Latham session. So if you’re serious about the Syd Barrett era, I’m afraid you will have to buy the complete box set.framed pink floyd vinyl single image

Pink Floyd: The Early Years 1965-1972 will be released on the 11th November.

As an alternative to the box set, you can order your favourite Pink Floyd song as a framed and mounted 7″ vinyl single. If it’s intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

David Bowie musical Lazarus to open in London

Lazarus, the uncannily named stage musical showcasing the songs of David Bowie, is to open in London this autumn after a successful run in New York.

Inspired by the book, The Man Who Fell To Earth, the show premiered last November in the New York Theatre, just a matter of weeks before David Bowie’s death in January of this year.David Bowie musical Lazarus 2

David Bowie co-wrote Lazarus with Irish playwright Enda Walsh, the award-winning writer of Once. The London production will run at the Kings Cross Theatre from 25th October to 22nd January 2017.

Reprising their roles from the original New York production are Michael C Hall, who starred in hit TV series Dexter, Michael Esper and Sophia Anne Caruso.

Lazarus recounts the story of a human-looking alien who comes to Earth. The production has real pedigree, directed by Ivo van Hove the Belgian director behind the acclaimed A View From the Bridge, starring Mark Strong, which ran in London and New York.

When it opened in New York, The Guardian described Lazarus as “unapologetically weird… and oddly intriguing” whilst Rolling Stone summarised the show as a “surrealistic tour de force.”

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Order your favourite David Bowie song as framed vinyl single as a picture disc souvenir to hang on your wall. If it’s intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Unreleased David Bowie album The Gouster available soon

A previously unreleased David Bowie album is soon to be released.

The Gouster, recorded in 1974, was David Bowie’s experiment in soul and funk, which later evolved into Young Americans, released in 1975. It will be released later this year in a box set, Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976).

The new David Bowie album release was announced via Bowie’s official Facebook page, which also printed an excerpt from the sleeve notes, written by David Bowie’s go to producer Tony Visconti. Tony Visconti wrote:David Bowie Young Americans era

“Gouster was a word unfamiliar to me but David knew it as a type of dress code worn by African American teens in the 60s, in Chicago. But in the context of the album its meaning was attitude, an attitude of pride and hipness. Of all the songs we cut, we were enamoured of the ones we chose for the album that portrayed this attitude.

David had a long infatuation with soul, as did I. We were fans of the TV show Soul Train. We weren’t ‘young, gifted and black’ but we sure as hell wanted to make a killer soul album, which was quite insane, but pioneers like the Righteous Brothers were there before us.

So The Gouster began with the outrageous, brand new, funkified version of David’s classic John, I’m Only Dancing, a single he wrote and recorded in 1972, only this time our version sounded like it was played live The Gousterin a loft party in Harlem and he added (Again) to the title. It wasn’t the two-and-a-half-minute length of the original either.

We maxed out at virtually seven minutes! With the time limitations of vinyl (there was a big volume drop with more than 18 minutes a side), we could only fit two other long songs on side one, Somebody Up There Likes Me and It’s Gonna Be Me, both about six and a half minute songs. We had hit the 20-minute mark. Technically that worked because It’s Gonna Be Me had lots of quiet sections where the record groove could be safely made narrower and that would preserve the apparent loudness of side one.

Side two also hit the 20-minute mark, with Can You Hear Me saving the day with its quiet passages. Forty minutes of glorious funk, that’s what it was and that’s how I thought it would be.”

Great news for all David Bowie fans. I for one cannot wait for its release…….

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Order your favourite David Bowie song as framed vinyl single as a picture disc souvenir to hang on your wall. If it’s intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

Led Zeppelin to release BBC Sessions compilation

A Led Zeppelin session for the BBC from 1969 that was believed to have been lost when archives were erased has been recovered from a recording made by a fan.

The Led Zeppelin set went out on the BBC World Service as part of Alexis Korner’s Rhythm and Blues programme and was tape recorded from an AM radio in Europe. It includes the band’s only known recording of the track Sunshine jimmy page & robert plantWoman and two other unreleased tracks I Can’t Quit You Baby and What Is And What Should Never Be.

The Led Zeppelin session recording has been restored with help from guitarist Jimmy Page for inclusion on a new compilation. The Complete BBC Sessions, which will be released in September, is a remastered update of a 1997 collection of tracks recorded for the BBC between 1969 and 1971. Arguably it includes eight previously unreleased recordings, including the first broadcast of Stairway To Heaven ( from the BBC Paris Cinema in London on 1 April 1971 ) but in reality, it is only three tracks that are technically unreleased.

As much as I’m a Led Zeppelin fan, I cannot help feeling that despite the inclusion of three previously unreleased tracks, the new 3 CD or 5 vinyl LP “deluxe edition” box set will cost a lot of money for predominantly old rope. Much better to have released them as a three track EP in a vinyl single or CD single format. However no doubt dedicated, purist Led Zeppelin fans will want to add this latest release to their collection.

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