In Memorium: Our Hearts

Over the last week, we have lost a few luminaries of Rock.  And although I have become loathe to visit these things unless I seem forced to it, I feel compelled to drop a few lines this morning.  My words would be meaningless against the many that have already been written and so I’ll just say that the Rock atmosphere has compressed with just that much less in our lives that mattered for so many.

Robin GibbBee Gees (May 20), Donna Summer (May 17), Chuck Brown (May16), Donald “Duck” DunnBooker T & The MGs (May 13), Rob Doherty (May 5), Adam “MCA” YauchThe Beastie Boys (May 4), Tommy MarthThe Killers (April 23), and Greg HamMen At Work (April 19).

In many different and diverse ways, these individuals have touched our lives.  And now that they’re gone, they will be missed, especially for what was yet to come from them.

Rest In Peace, my friends…Rest!

TAPSheet: Release Notes – 05/21/2011 – UK Report

Mercury Records (UK) plan to release the new Amy MacDonald album, Life Is A Beautiful Light, on June 11.  If you remember her excellent “Mr Rock and Roll” from her equally captivating 2007 album, This Is The Life, then this release should be great news for you and your calendar.

Decca Records (UK) plan the release of Analog Man by Joe Walsh, expected on June 11.

Frontiers Records (UK) will release XXX from Asia in a several formats that include a CD/DVD configuration that will throw in two bonus songs.  It’s expected on July 2.

Atlantic Records (UK) has scheduled the release of Ill Manors from Plan B, with a planned date of July 16.

Favored UK reissue label, Edsel plans the reissue of three The Beat classics that include I Just Can’t Stop It (1980) in a 2CD/DVD Deluxe Edition set featuring a second disc of 19 bonus tracks, and a DVD with video promos, Top Of The Pops broadcasts, and a live track.  Edsel will also reissue Wha’ppen (1981), with bonus tracks and a DVD of promo videos, and live performances, and Special Beat Service (1982), also with its own collection of bonus tracks, and a DVD filled with cool videos.  All three of these reissues are planned for the UK market on June 25.

EMI Music (UK) has assembled a Blur Box collection, Blur 21, that will gather remastered and expanded editions of the Blur releases as well as include four discs of rarities, three DVDs of live performances, a hard bound book, and a collectible 7″ disc.  This massive set will include download rights to the digital files of all of these tracks as an expanded bonus to purchasers of this Box.  This definitive Blur Box is expected on July 30.  This Box set is also expected in a 13-disc vinyl LP package.

Antenna/Esoteric Records will release Alt, a brand new album of music from Van Der Graaf Generator on June 25.

Mercury UK will release the new album from Gaslight Anthem called Handwritten in both CD and CD deluxe packages on July 23.

The UK division of Dead Oceans Records plan the release of There’s No Leaving Now from The Tallest Man On Earth, with a scheduled date of June 11.

Esoteric Records (UK) will reissue remastered and expanded versions of Victims Of Circumstance (1984), and Ring Of Changes (1983), by the famed Barclay James Harvest, all released on June 25.

DGM Records will release Live In Argentina 1994 featuring King Crimson on June 11.

I’m particularly excited about the reissue and remastering of It’s Better To Travel (1987) from Swingout Sister.  It is being released in a 2CD Deluxe Edition that will be expanded with nine bonus cuts that include “Breakout” in a remixed version, an instrumental version of “Communion”, and a long version of “Another Lost Weekend”.  The UK reissue is scheduled for July 2.  Love it!!

A Box set featuring ELP (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) called Tarkus is being scheduled for July 16.

Now Sounds (UK) plan the reissue and expansion of Come On Down: The Complete MGM Recordings featuring the music of Every Mother’s Son.  It will contain extra tracks.  It is on the calendar for June 25.

Reactive/Esoteric Records (UK) will reissue Tyger (1987) from Tangerine Dream in an expanded/remastered set.  This set will add in two bonus TD cuts.  It arrives on June 25.

And finally, Other Voices Records released a live album from the prime years of Attrition, called The Truth In Dark Corners.  This album contains 10 live performance tracks from the Netherlands in 1985, and is currently available.

Female Greats

As the beginnings of Rock turned corners leading itself through its own aging process, it left behind many legends.  One side of its list of legends is the female performer.  Many of them took the self-named route; names like Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Carly Simon, Janis Joplin, Julie London, Joan Baez, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Barbra Streisand, Petula Clark, Marianne Faithful, and so many more.  But equally, some of them were parts of a larger unit but still known as a superior performer.  Karen Carpenter (The Carpenters), Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), Margo Timmons (Cowboy Junkies), Patti Smith (The Patti Smith Group), Annie Lennox (Eurythmics), Ann Wilson (Heart), Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac/Solo). Delores O’Riordan (Cranberries), and, again, so many more.

On lesser scales, but no less impressive, were talents like Melanie, Maggie Bell, Janis Ian, Gayle McCormick (A Group Called Smith), Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays), Nico (Velvet Underground – oh, yes, who else sounds like her?) and all the many other female performers that have walked this stage called Rock and Roll.

I have a love for so many of them.  Putting together a list of any kind detailing the Top 5 Female Artists is a tough request but one that I’m asking that you think about and do.

Leave your comments about who makes your Top 5 cut.

[This is part one of a loosely connected 3-part idea.  Two polls that segues into a commentary.  Should be fun (I think).]