Procol Harum are definitely not a whiter shade of pale after 50 years

As Procol Harum celebrate the 50th anniversary of their debut and biggest hit A Whiter Shade Of Pale with a UK tour, I can report that a half century on the band live on stage are anything but lack lustre!!

In the very week Procol Harum celebrated the 50th anniversary of the release of their seemingly timeless No1 A  Whiter Shade Of Pale, I went to see them in concert with a certain apprehension that the experience might be a major anti-climax.

The Record Press author should not have worried – it became patently clear after a couple of minutes in the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, that Procol Harum are a band of very accomplished  musicians with an eclectic back catalogue of songs.

I didn’t go into the gig blind or deaf to the fact that the Procol Harum sphere of influence goes well beyond their iconic 1967 No1 A Whiter Shade Of Pale. I’ve always loved their atmospheric, haunting 1975 hit Pandora’s Box in particular, along with Homburg and Conquistador.

What I wasn’t expecting was for lead singer and songwriter Gary Brooker to still be such a fine vocalist. The intervening half century since Procol Harum had such a massive hit with A Whiter Shade Of Pale in the feted “Summer Of Love” have not diminished Gary Brooker’s vocal range in the least.

Gary Brooker’s bluesey vocals were perfectly complemented by the blues drenched lead guitar play of Geoff Whitehorn. Infact Procol Harum delivered a very tight set and if there are tickets still available for their 50th anniversary UK tour I would recommend you go and see them.

Procol Harum’s influence on music cannot be underestimated – along with Pink Floyd, Procol Harum innovated the psychedelic sound in 1967 and as such were the forefathers of “Prog Rock”. If you are only familiar with A Whiter Shade Of Pale and the Prog Rock tag doesn’t put you off, then go onto Spotify and check out this Record Press top 5 best Procol Harum songs. I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!  –

 

Top 5 Best Procol Harum songs

1) A Whiter Shade of Pale ( No1 1967 )

2) Pandora’s Box ( No16 1975 )

3) Homburg ( No6 1967 )

4) Grand Hotel ( Non hit 1973 )

5) Conquistador ( Non hit 1972 )

 

Celebrate your love of Procol Harum by ordering your favourite Procol Harum 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/

 

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/

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/

 

MyFirstRecord.co.uk Pick of Record Store Day 2017 Releases

MyFirstRecord.co.uk is all about vinyl, retro and contemporary, but we are inclined to recommend Record Store Day 2017 releases with a bit of nostalgia attached them.

So here are the MyFirstRecord.co.uk Pick of Record Store Day 2017 Releases –

1) David Bowie: Cracked Actor 

The Record Press author makes no apologies for including David Bowie. He transcended music, art and culture in general. Cracked Actor (Live in Los Angeles 1974) is a three-album set recorded on the “Philly Dogs” leg of his Diamond Dogs tour.

Over five sides of vinyl, you’ll hear material from Diamond Dogs ( 1974 ) and Aladdin Sane ( 1973 ); as well as a handful of tracks intended for (but eventually dropped from) the soul orientated Young Americans ( 1975 ).

The sixth side of the three-album set features an etching of Bowie.

 

2) Sex Pistols: God Save Sex Pistols

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the seminal Never Mind The Bollocks album, this release contains slightly different renditions of the key tracks and completely different artwork.

 

3) The Smiths: Boy With The Thorn In His Side

A prime example of what Record Store Day is all about – The Smiths releasing a previously unheard version of one of their best singles.

The limited edition 7″ also contains an early version of Rubber Ring, the original B-side to Boy With The Thorn In His Side.

 

4) Deee-Lite: Groove Is In The Heart

I make no apologies for nominating this psych-pop disco party song, as a nod to my rave days and love of psychedelic 1960s pop art designs and culture. Album and single sleeve / cover artwork is missed as much as the vinyl records they housed and protected and 50 somethings like me will find this particular record artwork evocative and reminiscent of the 1960s / 1970s TV cartoon Wacky Races.

This record has been out of print on vinyl ever since it was denied the number one spot by the Steve Miller Band’s Joker in 1990. Re-released as a solid pink 12″, the song is backed by the original B-side, What Is Love?

 

Framed vinyl records with a personalised engraved 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!!  ORDER HERE  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.

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 & framed CDs with a personalised engraved 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!!  ORDER @  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

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……

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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.

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 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……

 

 

 

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.”

 

 

Framed vinyl records 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 NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

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!! 

 

Good times as Chic to release first album in 25 years in 2017

Chic are to release their first album in 25 years next year, Nile Rodgers has confirmed.

The Chic album It’s About Time was originally scheduled to be released this year on Warner Brothers. Now the follow-up to Chic-ism will emerge in the year of the group’s 40th anniversary.

Nile Rodgers wrote on his blog: “When Prince suddenly died, it was like I’d been struck by lightning twice. It made me ‘see’ why I named the next Chic album It’s About Time. Time is so important, and what we do with it is everything.”

Rodgers spoke to Rolling Stone and expanded on his remarks. “If we had put out the album last year, it would have been the 39th anniversary of Chic. No one gives a shit about 39 or 37 or 38. And I went, ‘Wait a minute. 2017 is the 40th anniversary of Chic.’ And then it hit me it was the 40th anniversary of Studio 54. No matter what bad stuff goes on in the world, it’s just like your birthday, you still can celebrate and pay tribute to these anniversaries. The fact that it’s 40 years later and we’re still going strong. Our gigs are fun and great. It still feels the same as when we first started, other than the fact that my guitar feels heavier.”

Nile Rodgers also confirmed the album, though written, was not yet finished, and would not be until he was ready to release it. “I purposely didn’t finish stuff off because there are a lot of artists who wanted to do features with us that we just didn’t get to.”

He added that the album would feature 10 songs, and be the length of a vinyl record. His blog post promised a “big surprise” to go with the album, but he didn’t expand on that with Rolling Stone except to say that it is, indeed, “pretty big”.

This is music to the ears of the Record Press author and all Chic fans. Nile Rodgers and Chic brought a finesse and sophistication to disco and dance music in the 1970s, in keeping with and befitting of their name!! As somebody once said, “style is temporary, class is permanent”.

To prove this, here’s a Top 5 Best Chic Songs –

 

Top 5 Best Chic Songs

1)  Good Times ( 1979 )

2)  Everybody Dance ( 1978 )

3)  My Forbidden Lover ( 1979 )

4)  I Want Your Love ( 1979 )

5)  Le Freak ( 1978 )

 

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

Celebrate your love of Chic by ordering your favourite Chic 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/

 

 

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.

 

A rubber ball & a rubber face that won’t be bouncing back!!

Bobby Vee, best known for his hits Rubber Ball, Take Good Care of My Baby and The Night Has a Thousand bobby-vee-rubber-ball-vinyl-singleEyes, has died at the age of 73 of an Alzheimer’s related illness. On the same day Dead or Alive singer Pete Burns, also died aged 57 after having a cardiac arrest.

Two vocalists, a generation apart, who will be remembered for two classic songs: Bobby Vee for Rubber Ball and Pete Burns for his No1 You Spin Me Round ( Like a Record ) with Dead or Alive, although arguably he will be best remembered for his rubbery face post cosmetic surgery!!

Bobby Vee’s big break came in 1959 in unfortunate circumstances when at the age of 15 he deputised for Buddydead-or-live-you-spin-me-round-vinyl-single Holly after the singer’s untimely death in a plane crash. Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper were also killed in the accident in Iowa, along with the pilot, Roger Peterson. A call went out for local acts to replace Buddy Holly at his scheduled show at the Moorhead National Guard Armory. Bobby Vee and his band, which had only formed two weeks previously, volunteered and the rest as they say is history.

Bobby Vee and Pete Burns may have left us but their legacy is guaranteed with their respective hits Rubber Ball and You Spin Me Round ( like a record )…….

If you love the era of the vinyl record Framed Vinyl Single MFRthen a framed vinyl single with a personalised plaque, makes a unique gift 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/

 

 

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/

 

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/

  

 

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

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/

 

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/

 

 

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/

 

 

David Bowie vinyl album breaks Discogs price record

An original vinyl copy of the David Bowie second album has become the most expensive vinyl record ever sold on the record collectors’ site Discogs.

bowie discogs albumThe original vinyl UK pressing of the 1969 album David Bowie, which was later retitled Space Oddity, sold for £4,722, beating the record set in 2015 by Chung King Can Suck It, a limited-edition 12in by the New York band Judge, a copy of which sold for £4,183.

Ron Rich, Discog’s marketing director indicated that the high price unsurprisingly is related to the death of David Bowie earlier this year, stating: “As morbid as it sounds, there is usually a bump in sales in the marketplace for a given artist when they pass. Collectors look to grab that piece of history, they want to own that a piece of the story. There are a finite number of that album and even fewer that were released under the title David Bowie – find one in good condition and you can relive that moment when you first listened to it. It’s tough to put a monetary value on that.”

framed david bowie vinyl single

You can celebrate your love of vinyl records and 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/

 

 

Was 1971 a golden year for pop & rock music?

There’s a new book out that suggests that 1971 was the best and definitive year for music in the 1970s: 1971 – Never a Dull Moment: Rock’s Golden Year by David Hepworth.

Goodreads.com rates it very highly in its review: “A rollicking look at 1971 – the busiest, most innovative and resonant year of the 70s, defined by the musical arrival of such stars as David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Joni david hepworth book never a dull momentMitchell.”

The review continues: “On New Year’s Eve, 1970, Paul McCartney told his lawyers to issue the writ at the High Court in London, effectively ending The Beatles. You might say this was the last day of the pop era. The following day, which was a Friday, was 1971. You might say this was the first day of the rock era. And within the remaining 364 days of this monumental year, the world would hear Don McLean’s “American Pie,” The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar,” The Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May,” Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” and more.”

David Hepworth, author of “1971 – Never a Dull Moment: Rock’s Golden Year”……was twenty-one in 1971, the same age as many of the legendary artists who arrived on the scene. In the book he takes the reader on “a tour of the major moments, the events and songs of this remarkable year, he shows how musicians came together to form the perfect storm of rock and roll greatness, starting a musical era that would last longer than anyone predicted.”

Goodreads.com concludes its review: “1971 – Never a Dull Moment is more than a love song to the music of 1971. It’s also an homage to the things that inspired art and artists alike. From Soul Train to The Godfather, hot pants to table tennis, Hepworth explores both the music and its landscapes, culminating in an epic story of rock and roll’s best year.”

For the Record Press author, 1971 will always be synonymous with my childhood. It was the year that the Raleigh 1970s 1 munch bunch pencil topsChopper and its junior version the Raleigh Chipper were launched and revolutionised transportation for my friends and I. In the school playground the Munch Bunch pencil tops were all the rage. For those of a certain vintage who are struggling to remember them – they were the fruit and vegetable people who were impaled on our pencils in the classroom!!

My favourite TV shows were Catweazle, Land of the Giants, Banana Splits and The Persuaders. I have to say I hadn’t discovered pop and rock music at the time. Retrospectively I have developed a fondness for the music of 1971, without being overly enamoured with the year as a musical chapter. So I have to disagree with David Hepworth – I would opt  for 1974, 1975 ( years where  Glam Rock collided colourfully with the advent of Disco ) or 1979 ( where New Wave, Electro-pop, Reggae and Ska co-existed in the UK charts ) as being better years for music in the 1970s.

However 1971 produced some classic songs and hits as illustrated by this Record Press Top 10 Best Songs of 1971 –

Record Press Top 10 Best Songs of 1971marvin gaye what's going on

 

1) Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On?

2) John Lennon – Imagine

3) Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up

4) Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven

5) Carole King – It’s Too Late Babyled zeppelin stairway to heaven

6) George Harrison – My Sweet Lord

7) Elton John – Your Song

8) Diana Ross – I’m Still Waiting

9) Elvis Presley – I Just Can’t Help Believin’

10) Rod Stewart – Maggie May

 

Which is your favourite year for music and why? Tell us about your memories from that year in the Reply Box below.

Framed Vinyl Single MFRFramed vinyl singles, framed CDs & framed book covers 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@ www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/