Robert Smith marks 40th anniversary of The Cure as Meltdown Festival Cure-ator

Robert Smith has revealed to the NME that he’ll be performing at his own curated Meltdown Festival this summer, which has also inspired him to write new material for The Cure.

Following in the well-trodden footsteps of distinguished figures like David Bowie, Patti Smith, David Byrne, Nick Cave and Jarvis Cocker, Robert Smith has hand selected the acts heading to the Meltdown Festival at London’s Southbank Centre this June. Last month the initial line up was revealed, including Deftones, The Libertines, Manic Street Preachers, My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Placebo, The Psychedelic Furs, 65daysofstatic, Alcest, The Anchoress, Kristin Hersh, Kathryn Joseph, MONO, and The Notwist all announced for the 25th edition of the iconic Meltdown Festival.

Recently the reclusive Robert Smith gave a rare interview to Matt Everitt on BBC 6 Music, where he discussed the Meltdown Festival, and what the future holds for The Cure: “It might just be a reaction to the fact that in the modern world, people talk endlessly about nothing,” Robert Smith said to explain his media silence in recent years. He said that he was simply waiting for a “focal point to a new project”, claiming that without that “the whole notion of doing an interview becomes redundant” without new material to discuss.

Robert Smith’s research into acts to play the Meltdown Festival has inspired him to go back into the studio. The process of curation has “reinvigorated his creativity and made him want to do something new.” Robert Smith explained: “I’ve listened to more new music in the last six months than I ever have. I’ve suddenly fallen in love with the idea of writing new songs, so it’s had a really good effect on me. I booked some time to do some demos next month. Some of it’s really good, some of it not so good.”

Robert Smith will be performing on the closing Sunday of the Meltdown Festival with a selection of collaborators. He elaborated: “It will be me and four other people that I know really well, and some others,” he said, adding that they’d be playing “primarily Cure songs” and interpretations of tracks by the band with “different instrumentation”, with a set “completely different to the Hyde Park show” and “a little bit more weird.”

The Record Press author can’t believe that it is 40 years since Robert Smith and The Cure released their first single. My introduction to Robert Smith and The Cure was their 1980 single “A Forest”, which was one of the few songs guaranteed to get me on the dancefloor in the early 1980s, along with “Sanctuary” by The Cult and New Order’s “Blue Monday”. For me Robert Smith and The Cure were two sides of the same coin with Siouxsie Sioux and The Banshees. I’m sure Robert Smith and Siouxsie Sioux were separated at birth.
Since 1980 I have always adored the tortured, melancholic and morose vocals of Robert Smith and for this reason I can forgive him for accidentally smudging his red lipstick every morning!! Lest we forget the brilliance of Robert Smith and The Cure, here is our Record Press Top 5 Best The Cure Songs –
Top 5 Best The Cure Songs
1) A Forest ( No31 1980 )
2) The Love Cats ( No7 1983 )
3) Friday I’m In Love ( No6 1992 )
4) Fascination Street ( Non hit 1989 )
5) In Between Days ( No15 1885 )
6) A Strange Day ( Non hit 1982 )
7) Boys Don’t Cry ( No22 1986 )
8) Killing An Arab ( Non hit 1978 )
9) Let’s Go To Bed ( No44 1982 )
10) Close To Me ( No24 1985 )
What are your favourite The Cure songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Fans of Robert Smith and The Cure can order your favourite song as a framed and mounted vinyl single like this one. If it’s intended as a gift, it can  be personalised further with an inscribed / engraved plaque. ORDER NOW….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

Framed 7″ records / framed 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 NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

 

 

To cover or not to indulge in cover versions: that is the question?

Can you imagine the music business without cover versions? Yes, many  new releases are fresh, original songs, but many are also reworked  versions of someone else’s former hit – or miss. Some are fresh and  original covers, that do something new with the tune; sometimes so  much so that it becomes almost unrecognisable. Others are just a  rehash, and barely indistinguishable from the original.

A typical example of the latter is ‘Uptown Girl’, first recorded in  1983. It is something of an anthem of my youth and the uplifting  melody and simple premise are very appealing. It was a big hit, making  the top 20 bestselling singles list – of the entire decade. To date,  well over a million copies have been sold worldwide.

‘Uptown Girl’ was covered by Westlife, who released it in 2001. Now, I  can see why Westlife would want to record it, it’s a great tune. But  why we would want to buy it, I have no idea. The song is sung in the  same way as Joel’s original, but the vocals, and backing music, seem  to me to be lacking in a certain something that made the Joel version  sing with quality.

Why cover a song, if you’re not going to do anything new with it?  What’s the point? For Westlife, the point, presumably, was money.  Maybe, they’d also lay claim to attempting to bring a great song to a  younger audience. Fair enough, I guess. That doesn’t quite cut it for  me, but perhaps that’s my problem, not theirs.

We all seem to claim that the music we grew up with was the best –  well, my parents certainly did, singing the praises, in particular, of  the Beatles and Deep Purple – among many others – all of whom came  from the swinging sixties and glaring, flare-clad seventies.  Apparently, my Dad saw Jimi Hendrix perform in Newcastle in the early  1970s. Really? He barely mentions it…

I favour the eighties and nineties, no doubt because I grew up with  the music of those decades. Florence and the Machine’s 2009 cover of  ‘You Got the Love’ annoyed me intensely; from the get-go I much  preferred Candi Staton’s first version from 1986. I was 12 in 1986; by  2009 I was 35. Too old for very much new music perhaps, by then, let  alone for substandard (as I saw it) new versions of the tunes that  accompanied me, like old friends, through puberty, school, exams and  university and into the grown-up worlds of work, travel, relationships  and flat sharing.

Cover versions certainly don’t have to be good to be successful.  Robson and Jerome’s version of ‘Unchained Melody’ had some sort of  appeal that is invisible to the naked, suspecting eyes of many people,  yet it was the top-selling single of 1995. ‘Good’ is clearly in the  ear of the beholder. No offence Robson, who’s from my own stomping  ground – I do love your ‘Tales from Northumberland’, but that hit was  just altogether too cheesy for my tastes. But give me pudding over a  cheese-fest any day; each to their own. Either way the 1990 re-release of the Righteous Brothers’ far superior 1960s rendition of ‘Unchained Melody’ ( as part of the movie soundtrack from “Ghost” ), made the version by Robson and Jerome redundant.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate all cover versions. I am fond of  Alien Ant Farm’s 2001 cover of Michael Jackson’s 1988 hit ‘Smooth  Criminal’. It’s a far rockier, grungier version, and I like both  more-or-less equally. Both have their own merits, and Alien Ant Farm  made the song their own by covering it from a whole new angle.

Only relatively recently, did I discover that The Communards’  chart-topping hit, ‘Don’t Leave me this Way’ was not an original. The  song was in fact first recorded in 1975, and was a hit both then and  shortly after, in 1997. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ version, the  original, reached the top 10 in both the UK and America, peaking at numbers 5 and 3 respectively. Thelma Houston’s rendition was far more  popular across the pond than here in Britain; it failed to reach our  top 10, peaking at number 13 here, while in America it made number 1.  I’m not familiar with the earlier versions, but The Communards’ cover  is an absolute triumph. Praise be to the Reverend Coles and Mr  Somerville.

The late, great George Michael even experimented with cover versions. He sang  ‘Killer’, which had previously been a huge hit for Adams and Seal, in  1991 at Wembley, and it was later released as part of the ‘Five Live’  EP, along with Michael’s rendition of ‘Papa was a Rollin’ Stone’ and  two duets – ‘Somebody to Love’ with Queen, and ‘These are the Days of  our Lives’ again with Queen and also featuring Lisa Stansfield. All  but the latter appeared on ‘Ladies and Gentlemen: The Best of George  Michael’, as well as ‘Don’t Let the Sun go Down on Me’, another duet,  this time with Elton John. Michael also, of course, could be said to  have covered one of his own songs, when he recorded ‘Freedom ’90’,  following Wham’s ‘Freedom’ in 1984. Though the 2 songs are very  different, both in terms of tune, lyrics and subject matter, the ’90  in the second title was added to differentiate between them.

Not a lot of time separates The Zutons’ ‘Valerie’ and Amy Winehouse  and Mark Ronson’s version, but the renditions are very different  indeed. I’m a fan of both the 2006 original and the 2007 cover, so  perhaps all is not lost. I didn’t stop liking all new music after the  1990s ended, and in fact I liked the cover very much, too. It would be  very hard to pick a favourite: both The Zutons and Ms Winehouse’s  renditions feature in my personal music collection.

As for a song that sounds like it must be the original, I can’t think  of a better example than The Mike Flowers Pops cover of ‘Wonderwall’.  Even Noel Gallagher was reportedly asked by the media whether he had  indeed penned the ditty. The cover is in the easy listening genre and,  although I grew up during the 1990s indie, ‘Madchester’ and Britpop  years, I do respect the Flowers version, simply because he dared to  put his own spin on a veritable pop classic from one of the UK’s  biggest bands ever.

Not all cover versions are released as singles, or make it into the  charts, of course. Many covers have a place in popular culture, and  our lives, though other means. One of the very best covers I’ve ever  heard was an uptempo, swing rendition of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’, which  featured on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, performed by Dave Arch’s orchestra. ‘Wonderful!’, as Brucie himself would have proclaimed.

In the press recently, I read an interview with a semi-professional  heavy metal guitarist, who claimed that one of his band’s stock covers  was Britney Spears’ ‘(Hit me) Baby One more time’. The mind boggles.

Are cover versions a good or a bad thing? It very much depends on the  rendition – and the listener. If I really like the artist, then I’ll  probably like the cover. I was never going to dislike George Michael  singing any decent song, for example. The best covers, I think, are  those that do something fresh and new with the original material.  After all, isn’t that what being an artist is all about?

Check out this BBC4 documentary on the best cover versions – “Better than the Original: the Joy of the Cover Version”  https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06n9q8y/better-than-the-original-the-joy-of-the-cover-version?suggid=b06n9q8y

 

This article was written by our guest blogger Polly Taylor @ BloggerByTheSea.com

Check out Polly’s blog……There are some very entertaining and informative articles on a diverse range of subjects & topics. For instance her home made recipes are mouth watering and delicious!!

The Smiths are not the Smiths without Morrissey & Johnny Marr

Former members of The Smiths will reunite on stage for the first time in more than 30 years this summer.

Original members Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce and Craig Gannon have collaborated with Manchester Camerata Orchestra on the Classically Smiths performances. They have been reworking the band’s catalogue for a series of concerts.

All three Smiths members will perform with the orchestra on three planned gigs.  Former drummer Mike Joyce commented: “I’m massively excited to be playing with Andy and Craig again, but introducing a full orchestra into the mix takes this to another level.” He hinted at a cocktail of Smiths classics and songs that the band never performed live, “in a way they’ve never been heard before”.

Notable absentees from this so called reunion of The Smiths are lead singer Morrissey and lead guitarist Johnny Marr. Smiths’ songs will be performed by guest vocalists, who are yet to be announced.

The Smiths without Morrissey and Johnny Marr are not the Smiths

In the words of one of The Smiths’ best songs, what difference does it make? Well a hell of a lot as far as the Record Press author is concerned. What’s the point? The Smiths without Morrissey and Johnny Marr are not the Smiths. Just as Oasis without Noel Gallagher and Liam Gallagher would simply be an arid desert – in other words Oasis-less!! Maybe I’ll be proved wrong, but Smiths’ songs without Morrissey’s trademark melancholic vocals and Johnny Marr’s signature twanging guitar chords amounts to no more than karaoke.

What are your favourite Smiths songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Fans of The Smiths can order your favourite song as a framed and mounted vinyl single. If it’s intended as a gift, it can  be personalised further with an inscribed / engraved plaque.

ORDER NOW….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

 

Framed 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 NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

AC/DC: From Pacific Highway To Highway To Hell

This is the Record Press tribute to Malcolm Young who passed away on the 18th November 2017 – RIP Rock & Roll Man……

AC/DC were the pioneers of Australian rock and pop music: created in Sydney and exported via the Pacific Highway to the USA and the rest of the world.

Yes you could argue that the Easybeats as forerunners were technically the pioneers of Australian rock and pop music. The Record Press author would argue that the Easybeats were the catalyst with their international 1965 hit Friday On ACDCMy Mind, but beyond that did not have the longevity or sustained impact to really be classed as Australian rock and pop music pioneers.

No the Australian rock band AC/DC, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, brothers of Easybeats guitarist George, should take the plaudits for Architects of Aussie Rock. If the Record Press author were being a provocative “Pom”, I might argue that brothers Malcom, Angus and George Young emigrated to Sydney from Glasgow in 1963 and therefore the real architects of Australian rock and pop music were “Poms”. However I would not be that churlish!!

Although AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album High Voltage on the 17th February 1975, Malcolm and Angus Young were always the lynchpins in the band. For five years AC/DC had a settled line up until months after recording the album Highway To Hell lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on the 19th February 1980 after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. AC/DC had achieved so much in those five short years but there was much more to come.

Such was Bon Scott’s charisma and influence, AC/DC considered disbanding, but encouraged by Bon Scott’s father, acdc highway to hellthey decided to find a new lead vocalist. Ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson was auditioned and selected to replace Bon Scott. Later that year, the band released the new album, Back in Black, which was recorded as a tribute to Bon Scott. The album launched them to new heights of success and became their all-time best-seller.

AC/DC’s next album For Those About to Rock We Salute You was their first album to reach No1 in the USA where they were to forge incredible success over the years: AC/DC have sold more than 200 million records worldwide but of those  71.5 million albums have been sold in the USA alone, making them the tenth-best-selling band in the US. Back in Black has sold an estimated 50 million units worldwide, making it the fifth-highest-selling album by any artist and the third-highest-selling album by any band.

And to think AC/DC were the original Aussie pub rock band who with no precedent to model themselves on became one of the world’s largest rock bands: For That Reason, AC/DC We Salute You………

Here’s a reminder why we salute AC/DC, with this Top 5 Best AC/DC Songs –

 

Top 5 Best AC/DC Songs

 

1) Rock N Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution 

2) Highway To Hell 

3) Hells Bells 

4) Rock and Roll Damnation

5) You Shook Me All Night Long 

 

What are your favourite AC/DC songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate your love of AC/DC, by ordering your favourite AC/DC 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

framed acdc vinyl single

Framed vinyl singles 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 NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

 

The Definitive Top 20 Best Psychedelic Songs of the 1960s

For the Record Press author the three abiding passions in terms of music genres throughout my life have always been heavy rock, soul and funk and that most niche of all niches, psychedelia.

It is almost impossible to say which band launched the psychedelic music movement but as the influence of the drug LSD took a vice like grip on the cultural counter movement emanating from the UFO Club in Tottenham Court Road, Soho in 1966,  it meant that psychedelic music spectacularly peaked in 1967.

What I love about psychedelic songs is that they take you on a surreal, mystical, magical journey that otherwise could only be gained in the fantasia of childhood novels or dreams…..Or through mind altering drugs, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to go down that route.

The psychedelic path was well trodden by the majority of the leading bands of the time like the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Small Faces, Rolling Stones and Traffic. They all appear in this definitive Record Press Top 20 Best Psychedelic Songs of the 1960s –

Top 20 Best Psychedelic Songs of the 1960s

 

1) Procol Harum – Whiter Shade Of Pale ( No1 1967 )

2) Beatles – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds ( Non hit 1967 )

3) Small Faces – Tin Soldier ( No9 1967 )

4) Traffic – Paper Sun ( No5 1967 )

5) Pink Floyd – See Emily Play ( No6 1967 )

6) Rolling Stones – Paint It Black ( No1 1966 )

7) Small Faces – Ichy Coo Park ( No3 1967 )

8) Beatles – A Day In The Life ( Non hit 1967 )

9) Move – I Can Hear The Grass Grow ( No2 1967 )

10) Rolling Stones – She’s A Rainbow ( Non hit 1967 )

11 ) Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever ( No2 1967 )

12) Who – I Can See For Miles ( No10 1967 )

13 ) Yardbirds – For Your Love ( No3 1965 )

14 ) Simon Dupree & Big Sound – Kites ( No8 1967 )

15 ) Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze ( No3 1967 )

16) Moody Blues – Nights In White Satin ( No9 1967 )

17 ) Donovan – Sunshine Superman ( No2 1967 )

18) Pink Floyd – Arnold Layne ( No20 1967 )

19 ) Move – Flowers In The Rain ( N02 1967 )

20 ) Zombies – She’s Not There ( No12 1964 )

 

Framed vinyl singles 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 Day or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!! PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT…..ORDER HERE www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

It’s the 50th anniversary of the best year for music: 1967

As we all know music taste is a very subjective thing but from a relatively young age the Record Press author has had a close infinity with 1967.

There are several reasons for this – my younger brother Dominic arrived in the family brood and all my earliest recollections only go back as far as 1967. The five year old me had a total obsession and love affair with John Steed and Emma Peel’s adventures in the TV series The Avengers – Patrick MacNee was suave and urbane, only matched by the debonair Simon Templar aka The Saint.

The impact of TV programmes often diminish with time; so often when you see  repeats years later they are an anti climax and don’t measure up favourably to your cherished memories of them. This is not true of music, especially the psychedelic sound of the late 1960s and specifically the chart music of 1967.

1967 was of course the year that gave us the hippie movement, coalescing into the “Summer of Love”. It was a year inevitably dominated by The Beatles who provided the signature anthem for that summer with their global telecast song “All You Need Is Love”. The Beatles provided the greatest high and greatest low of that summer 50 years ago with the release of their seminal, ground breaking album “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in early June and the death of their charismatic manager Brian Epstein at the end of August. The Beatles bookended the “Summer of Love”.

However lest younger generations think that the Beatles completely dominated 1967, that could not be further from the truth. Although the “Fab Four” may have laid the pavement, the psychedelic path was being well trodden by bands like Pink Floyd, Small Faces, Rolling Stones and Traffic. They all appear in this Record Press Top 10 best songs from 1967 –

Top 10 Best Songs from 1967 

 

1) Kinks – Waterloo Sunset ( UK Chart Position No2 )

2) Procol Harum – Whiter Shade Of Pale ( No1 )

3) Small Faces – Tin Soldier ( No9 )

4) Traffic – Paper Sun ( No5 )

5) Pink Floyd – See Emily Play ( No6 )

6) Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever ( No2 )

7) Small Faces – Ichy Coo Park ( No3 )

8) Move – Flowers In The Rain ( No2 )

9) Simon Dupree & Big Sound – Kites ( No8 )

10=) Rolling Stones – Dandelion ( No8 )

10=) Rolling Stones – She’s A Rainbow ( Non hit )

 

What illustrates the sheer depth of chart music in 1967 is that only one song in this top 10 was a No1 in the UK charts ( Procol Harum “Whiter Shade Of Pale”), although many would argue, including myself, that No2 hits, Beatles “Strawberry Fields Foreverand “Waterloo Sunset” by the Kinks merited No1 status.

1967 may now be half a century ago, but the music from that year remains just as vibrant and relevant – well certainly to this listener.

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 Day or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!! PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT…..ORDER HERE www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Saturday Night Fever was a better disco jukebox than film

Is it really 40 years since Saturday Night Fever was released on an unsuspecting cinema audience?

I say unsuspecting because Saturday Night Fever introduced  a mass audience to the phenomenon of disco and John Travolta ( making his film debut ). As the film opened to Tony Manero aka John Travolta strutting down a sidewalk in New York carrying a pot of paint, there was little to suggest that John Travolta would paint the “Big Apple” red on the dance floors of New York night spots. In fairness he looked more like a lothario than a “DIY Dad”, but nevertheless nothing prepared us for his moves on the dancefloor!!

Nor was there any hint that Saturday Night Fever would become a cultural and music phenomenon that would ingratiate it’s way into the hearts and souls of my generation and generations to come. The film plot / storyline is thin at best but where the movie excelled was in John Travolta’s dancing and athleticism, but most of all the musical score / soundtrack, spearheaded by the Bee Gees.

So let’s celebrate the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever, with this top 5 best songs from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack –

Top 5 Best Songs from Saturday Night Fever

 

1) Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive

2) Bee Gees – How deep is your love?

3) Trammps – Disco Inferno

4) Yvonne Elliman – If I can’t have you

5) Tavares – More than a woman

 

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever by ordering your favourite Saturday Night Fever 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 does not mask the hype!!

It was 50 years ago today on the 1st June 1967 that the Beatles and EMI / Parlophone released the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band album.

For most of the intervening years Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band has been lauded as the Beatles’ seminal and most iconic album. At the risk of being controversial ( God forbid!! ) the Record Press author does not concur with this viewpoint.

Undoubtedly Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band has three of the Beatles finest songs on it – the dream-like “A Day In The Life”, the psychedelic “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and the atmospheric “She’s Leaving Home”.

These superlative tracks are backed up by good songs in the form of the title track “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band” and “With a Little Help from our Friends”. At best I would suggest the remaining songs on the album are mediocre and almost feel like album fillers.

 

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band would have been far stronger for the inclusion of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” which EMI decided not to include on the album, preferring to release them as a “Double A” side single. This decision backfired horrendously when the single was kept off the No1 spot by the cheesy “Release Me” by Englebert Humperdinck!!

I would argue that Rubber Soul and Revolver completely overshadow Sgt Pepper and are far superior albums……On this basis Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band would not get into this Record Press Top 5 best albums of all time –

 

 

Top 5 Best albums of all time

1)  Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon ( 1973 )

2)  Genesis – And Then There Were Three ( 1978 )

3)  David Bowie – Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust ( 1972 )

4)  Beatles – Revolver ( 1966 )

5)  Meatloaf – Bat Out Of Hell ( 1978 )

 

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band and 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…… ORDER HERE  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

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