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.

Celebrate your love of Chuck Berry by ordering your favourite Chuck Berry 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…… ORDER HERE  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

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/

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/

 

 

Half the Beatles reform for a whole album

The two surviving members of the Beatles have recorded music together for the first time in seven years.

Clearly suffering from a classic case of the seven year itch Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are collaborating on a new project. The pair released photos of themselves in Ringo Starr’s home studio over the weekend. Apparently Paul McCartney will be making a guest appearance on Ringo Starr’s latest record, a follow-up to 2015’s Postcards from Paradise.

Ringo Starr appeared on Twitter to thank Paul McCartney for joining him in the recording studio, saying: “Thanks for coming over man and playing great bass. I love you man – peace and love.”

Also joining the former Beatles in the studio was Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, who Ringo Starr said had “come out to play”.

Bruce Sugar, who is producing Starr’s latest album, posted a photo of him with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on Facebook, with the caption: “Magical day in the studio today with these two.”

It is the first time since 2010 that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have collaborated on a music project, when McCartney played bass on Ringo Starr’s track Peace Dream, and contributed his vocals to Walk With You.

What are your favourite old Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr / Beatles songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate your love of the Beatles by ordering your favourite Beatles 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……

 

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……

ORDER HERE  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

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.

Celebrate your love of John Lennon by ordering your favourite John Lennon 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……

 

David Bowie to be commemorated on Royal Mail stamps

The life and work of David Bowie is to be commemorated with a full set of ten postage stamps issued by the Royal Mail.

The David Bowie stamps, which go into circulation from the 14th March, commemorate six Bowie album covers as well as four of his tours.

Explaining the decision for the tribute to David Bowie, Philip Parker of the Royal Mail commented: “For five decades David Bowie was at the forefront of contemporary culture, and has influenced successive generations of musicians, artists, designers and writers. Royal Mail’s stamp issue celebrates this unique figure and some of his many celebrated personas.”

 

The Royal Mail has paid tribute to musicians before, when last summer it featured Pink Floyd on a set of stamps, which also featured six album covers and four performances.

The David Bowie album covers featured on the stamps are Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, Heroes, Let’s Dance, Earthling and Blackstar. The tours marked are the 1973 Ziggy Stardust tour, the 1978 Stage tour, the 1983 Serious Moonlight tour, and the 2004 Reality tour.

You can pre-order various presentation packs of the stamps from the Royal Mail now.

 

If you love David Bowie memorabilia, you can get a favourite David Bowie song as framed vinyl single to hang on your living room wall. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque. ORDER HERE…….. 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 NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

The Carpenters sue Universal Music 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……

 

 

 

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!! 

 

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/

 

 

Turn-tables turn as vinyl record sales pass digital purchases for first time

Last week vinyl record sales passed £2.4million eclipsing the £2.1million for digital music purchases, giving further proof that vinyl record shopping in the UK has gone mainstream.

vinyl-album-on-turntableThe interest in buying a physical format of music on vinyl has experienced a resurgence in the past 12 months. This time last year, the sale of vinyl albums reached £1.2m while digital sales were £4.4m. Vinyl records have now experienced eight consecutive years of growth, despite almost dying out around 2006.

Kim Bayley, chief executive of the Entertainment Retailers Association, attributed the increase in vinyl record sales across the UK to being down to a greater number of retail outlets. An increasing number of independent and national vinyl record only shops ( like Rough Trade ) have opened, whilst supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco now stock vinyl records, making them easily accessible.

The top ten records sold this week reflect the variety of people now buying vinyl. Kate Bush, Amy Winehouse and Busted are in the chart, alongside the Guardian of the Galaxy film soundtrack and Now That’s What I Call Christmas compilation album.

Kim Bayley added: “We have a new generation buying vinyl, lots of teenagers and lots of people under 25, who now  vinyl-record want to buy their favourite artists on vinyl and have something a bit more tangible, a bit more collectible. People have become keen to support their favourite artists by buying into that ownership concept. It’s very difficult to demonstrate your love of an artist if you don’t have something to hold on to.”

This is music to the Record Press author’s ears, if you will pardon the appalling pun!! As an unabashed “Vinyl Record Ambassador”, long may this trend for vinyl record buying continue and grow……

Celebrate your love of the vinyl record by getting your favourite 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 framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or originalFramed Vinyl Single MFR 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 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.

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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/

 

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…….

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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/

 

 

 

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.

 

framed pink floyd vinyl single imageYou can celebrate 50 years of Pink Floyd, by ordering your favourite Pink Floyd album as a framed and mounted CD and cover. ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Alternatively get your favourite Pink Floyd song as a framed and mounted 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/

 

 

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.”

framed david bowie vinyl single

 

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…….

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/

 

 

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.

Framed Vinyl Single MFRFramed vinyl singles 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/

Secret David Bowie art collection unveiled for the first time

The private art collection of David Bowie is to be revealed to the public for the first time.

Art collecting was something David Bowie kept as a secret during his lifetime. But now, nearly 300 works by artists including Damien Hirst, Henry Moore and Marcel Duchamp will go on display at Sotheby’s in London, before being sold at auction in November.

The works of art are collectively expected to generate more than £10million. Most of the works are by 20th Century British artists, with pictures by Stanley Spencer, Patrick Caulfield and Peter Lanyon.

Born and raised in South London, David Bowie was also drawn to chroniclers of the capital’s streets such as Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach. In 1998 Bowie told the New York Times, “My God, yeah – I want to sound like that looks,” david bowie secretin response to the work of Auerbach.

Oliver Barker, chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, summarised: “David Bowie’s collection offers a unique insight into the personal world of one of the 20th Century’s greatest creative spirits.” The artist and writer Matthew Collings says the collection reflected Bowie’s personality, commenting: “I would characterise it as bohemian, romantic, expressive, emotional art. Art that’s filled with feelings,” he said, adding it was “vivid and exciting” and was “art that calls for a gut reaction, that’s visceral, that’s immediate, that you feel excited by straight away”.

David Bowie informed the BBC in 1999: “The only thing I buy obsessively and addictively is art. Very little had been known about his life as an art collector. David Bowie did not buy on the basis of reputation or for investment, but was motivated by taste and his own personal response to each artist and their work.

As well as 267 paintings, more than 120 items of 20th Century furniture and sculpture from David Bowie’s collection will also be auctioned. Among them, a striking 1960s stereo cabinet created by the Italian designers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni.framed david bowie record

If you cannot afford to buy any of his art you can collect your own David Bowie memorabilia, by ordering your favourite David Bowie song in a vinyl single format; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. If it’s intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

Queen Greatest Hits top seller after 60 years of album chart

Queen’s Greatest Hits is the biggest-selling album in the UK.

To celebrate 60 years of the official album chart OfficialCharts.com has released the 60 biggest-selling albums of all time in UK, with Queen reigning at the peak of the list.queen-greatest-hits

In 2014 Queen’s Greatest Hits became the first to sell 6m copies of an album in the UK, having now sold 6.1 million copies, with Queen’s Greatest Hits II also shifting enough sales to enter at No 10, with almost 4m copies sold.

Just behind Queen is another best-of – Abba’s Gold: Greatest Hits, which is the UK’s second-biggest-selling album, shifting 5.2m units since its release in 1992. At No3 is the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with 21 by Adele at No4 (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis completes the Top 5, with sales of 4.7 million.

The Top 60 chart is part of the Official Chart Company’s month-long anniversary celebrations. The first ever chart was published in the Record Mirror on the 22nd July 1956, and featured Frank Sinatra’s Songs for Swingin’ Lovers in the top spot.abba gold
Martin Talbot, chief executive of Official Charts commented: “In celebration of 60 years of the UK’s official album chart, it is fantastic that we can crown Queen as the kings of the anniversary Top 60. With seven albums by British acts in the all-time Top 10, and Adele’s 21 now challenging the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper to be the biggest-selling studio album of all time, it is a great list for home-grown talent. And the fact that Adele’s latest album 25 is riding into the overall Top 30, along with Ed Sheeran’s X, underlines the power of the official albums chart in championing great British talent, young and old.”
The full Top 60 list is available here

Celebrate your love of music, by ordering your favourite album in a framed CD format. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque… ORDER NOW…. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/Framed CD 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/

 

Which 1980s male solo act would you like to see return?

1980s pop star Rick Astley has returned to the top of the UK album chart after an interval of 29 years.

The Rick Astley comeback album, 50, beat new releases by Tom Odell, Paul McCartney, ELO and Drake to take the No1 spot. Rick commented: “It’s amazing, it’s incredible. It’s been a very, very, very long time.”rick astley

Rick Astley was an integral part of the Stock, Aitken, Waterman hit factory in the late 1980s and the Record Press author was not a fan. Although I recognised his undoubted talent and the quality of his vocals, I detested the songs Pete Waterman foisted upon him in the name of commercial “art”!! However 30 years on Rick Astley has finally arrived, fulfilling his potential and promise, with new material of a much more mature, thoughtful and soulful sound as you might expect of a middle aged man!!

Rick Astley has been in a fierce battle for the number one slot over the last week, changing places with Tom Odell on several occasions. In the end, he outsold the Tom Odell by 3,700 copies. According to the Official Chart Company, Rick Astley sold more physical CDs, while Tom Odell secured more digital sales and streams.

Rick Astley joked: “I like Tom Odell. I bought his last album, and I’m going to buy this one as well, but I’ve held off from buying it this week!” To put his achievement into perspective, Rick Astley last topped the chart in 1987, three paul youngyears before Tom Odell was born, with his debut album Never Gonna Give You Up.

Rick Astley added: “Elton John’s sent a few texts over the last couple of days and just called me now to celebrate and said ‘just make sure you enjoy it. He’s one of those people I’ve always respected… so it was a nice moment to get that congratulations.”

I know many of you loved Rick Astley in the 1980s and with better song choices I would have been a member of his fan club. In terms of a 1980s white solo singer with a velvety soulful voice, my choice would have to be Paul Young. He had the voice and backed it up with great songs like Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home), Love of the Common People and Love Will Tear Us Apart. My favourite Paul Young songs have to be Come Back and Stay, I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down and Everytime You Go Away.

 

Which 1980s male solo act would you like to see return to the charts? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate your love of 1980s music, by ordering your favourite 1980s song in a vinyl single format; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque… ORDER NOW…. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/framed jam single

Framed vinyl records and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion ie 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 masked ball at Isle of Wight festival

Music fans wore David Bowie masks at the Isle of Wight festival, the first of a series of tributes to the late singer at outdoor music events and festivals throughout the UK this summer.

David Bowie’s last festival appearance was at the Isle of Wight in 2004. He died in January after a battle with cancer.David Bowie – Young Americans

The tribute on Saturday was organised by Stand Up to Cancer, a joint fundraising campaign by Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, which is the Isle of Wight festival’s official charity partner for 2016.

The festival’s chief, John Giddings, commented: “David was a true musical icon, an immense talent who as a performer was incredible. His energy, creativity and passion were incomparable and I feel very lucky to have spent so many years working with him.”

He added: “His set at the Isle of Wight festival in 2004 was one of the highlights of my career, and sadly his last UK festival show. I was hoping he’d play this year so our tribute will be a very emotional moment for me.”

framed david bowie record

You can celebrate your love of David Bowie, by ordering your favourite David Bowie song in a vinyl single format; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. If it’s intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

Tonight Rod is the Knight……

After a seeming eternity, Rod Stewart has finally been knighted in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours list.

The 71-year-old rock star who was awarded a CBE in 2007, has been honoured for his music rod stewartand charity work. But you don’t simply get a knighthood for being able to sing and giving time to philanthropic and altruistic causes. Longevity is a key ingredient – hence we have Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mick Jagger and Sir Elton John and not Sir Ed Sheeran, Sir James Bay and Sir George Ezra.

Rod Stewart has survived for nearly 50 years in a rock and pop music landscape, scattered with the corpses and casualties of self-destructive souls who foundered on the rocks of drink and drugs. And the reason Rod Stewart has survived unscathed, is that he is a remarkably uncomplicated, straight forward man. As a younger man and rock star, he quite naturally had a penchant for beautiful women, epitomised by his torrid relationship with Britt Ekland, and it’s fair to say that he was more focused on philandering than philanthropy in those early years. But for the past twenty five years, beyond a few beers his life is a clean and healthy one.

The overriding reason for Rod Stewart’s success over five decades is that he is a fantastic vocalist androd stewart & britt ekland songwriter, who served a long apprenticeship from his early years as a beatnik and mod and on through arguably his best period, with his short lived blues collaboration with Long John Baldry and the Jeff Beck Group and onto the Faces years, where in tandem with their legendary hell raising and partying, the band produced some sublime songs.

Post The Faces, Rod Stewart’s early solo work between 1975 and 1977 was excellent before he fell foul to the disco era and the 1980s, the decade that taste, style and sophistication  forgot. But then who didn’t come unstuck in that decade – just look at Elton John’s mediocre output in the 1980s!! After a period recording classic standards, Rod Stewart has recently recorded his first album of his own songs in 20 years, called “Can’t Stop Me Now”. Many of the tracks are excellent, but for now let’s reflect on his back catalogue, with this Record Press Top 10 Best Rod Stewart Songs

Top 10 Best Rod Stewart Songs

 1) You’re In My Heart ( 1977 )

2) The Killing of Georgie ( 1976 )rod-stewart-youre-in-my-heart-vinyl-single

3) Maggie May ( 1971 )

4) Tonight’s The Night ( 1976 )

5) Sailing ( 1975 )

6) Oh! No, Not My Baby ( 1973 )

7) Young Turks ( 1981 )

8) Cindy Incidentally ( with The Faces ) ( 1973 )

9) In A Broken Dream ( with Python Lee Jackson ( 1972 )

10) You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything ( with The Faces ) ( 1974 )

 

Which are your favourite Rod Stewart songs and why? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate your love of Rod Stewart, by ordering your favourite Rod Stewart song in a vinyl single format; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque… ORDER NOW…. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed Vinyl Single MFRFramed vinyl records and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion ie 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/

 

Queen’s top 10 favourite songs unveiled for her 90th birthday

Show tunes and songs by Gary Barlow, George Formby and Vera Lynn are among the Queen’s favourite pieces of music, it has been revealed.

Her Majesty’s relatives discussed her music taste in BBC documentary Our Queen: 90 Musical Years.

Lady Elizabeth Anson, the Queen’s cousin, informed the programme: “The Queen loves the theatre the queenand musicals like Showboat, Oklahoma! and Annie Get Your Gun. These were the tunes that remained in one’s head and were very danceable to.” She added: “The Queen is a fantastic dancer. She’s got great rhythm.”

Speaking to the Radio Times, the programme’s presenter, Eve Pollard, described the Queen’s music taste as “mainstream, no airs and graces.” A playlist featuring the Queen’s 10 favourite songs has been unveiled as part of the BBC Radio 2 documentary.

In addition to songs from musicals, they include The White Cliffs Of Dover by Vera Lynn and Cheek to Cheek by Fred Astaire. More recent songs on the list include Sing, performed by Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band featuring the Military Wives – which was co-written by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The Queen’s 10 favourite pieces of music include: Oklahoma! by Howard Keel, Anything You Can Do (Annie Get Your Gun) by Dolores Gray and Bill Johnson, Sing by Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band featuring the Military Wives, Cheek to Cheek by Fred Astaire, The White Cliffs Of Dover by Vera Lynn and Leaning on a Lamp-post by George Formby.

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You can order your favourite song in a vinyl single or CD single format; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. If it’s intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Ian Dury was so much more than Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

Andy Serkis absolutely nailed Ian Dury in the 2010 biopic film, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.

Not only did Andy Serkis look like Ian Dury, but he captured his abrasive, mercurial and tortured soul, borne out the bitterness and frustration that the artist understandably felt as a result of contracting polio as a boy. All those frustrations with being a cripple bubbled up to the surface in Ian Dury and the The Blockheads’ first hit single “What a Waste” and set the tone for all the music that was to come.

What Andy Serkis’ portrayal of Ian Dury succeeded in doing, was to remind us not only of the man’s ian durygreat talent as a songwriter and charismatic frontman, but also what a flawed, complex character he was as a father and a lover. As much as he was angst ridden, belligerent, abrasive and anarchical; he was also kind, caring, compassionate, sensitive and vulnerable. In truth the latter attributes were generally well concealed in Ian Dury’s songs, but what was never concealed was his innate ability as a storyteller. At the end of the 1970s, Ian Dury was almost peerless when it came to being a raconteur and storyteller in the music world – probably only equalled by the Jam’s Paul Weller and Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze.

Ian Dury was a tempestuous tour de force, who burned brightly, but sadly for too short a time. The Record Press author considers himself privileged to have seen Ian Dury & The Blockheads live………I can even remember the date and place………It was Sunday 9th August 1992 at Finsbury Park, North London…….Ian Dury and the band were supporting Madness at the first ”Madstock” concert. I wouldn’t say that Ian Dury & The Blockheads stole the show, but they certainly were not eclipsed by headliners Madness!!

Lest we forget Ian Dury & The Blockheads’ anarchical brilliance and wit, here is the Record Press Top 10 Best Ian Dury & The Blockheads songs –

Top 10 Best Ian Dury & The Blockheads songsian dury What a Waste

 

 1) What a Waste ( No9 1978 )

2) Reasons to be Cheerful Part 3 ( No3 1979 )

3) Hit me with your Rhythm Stick  ( No1 1979 )

4) Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll  ( Non hit 1977 )

5) There ain’t half been some Clever Bastards ( Non hit 1978 )

6) Billericay Dickie (Non hit 1977 )Ian Dury Hit me with your Rhythm Stick

7) Profoundly in Love with Pandora ( No45 1985 )

8) Crippled with Nerves (Non hit 1975 )

9) New Boots & Panties (Non hit 1977 )

10) Spasticus ( Autisticus ) ( Non hit 1981 )

 

Framed Vinyl Single MFR

You can celebrate your love of Ian Dury, by ordering your favourite Ian Dury song in a vinyl single format; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. If it’s intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/