July 18, 2008


I had no idea that the write-up about radio in Wednesday’s post would have generated the email response that it did.  And it came in with every sort of thought and position that you could imagine.  I wasn’t overwhelmed by email, of course, but I did receive over 40 responses and every one was a well thought out discussion.  Some felt that the commentary was a pipe-dream – wonderful but unobtainable.  Others wrote that the industry was already too near an inescapable death.  Still others felt that the radio is too mechanized and corporate structured that it would shy away even if such formats were tested.

I still feel that radio is well-positioned to be a better multi-genre distributor of music, just as it was decades ago.  Music has changed, no doubt, but it has also grown.  There are so many dimensions to music, with so much of it out there that we actually NEED a medium that would give us a TOP 40 of hits, the cream of the crop.  Yeah, there will be an Avril Lavigne in there, and a Britney Spears, and even a Mariah Carey.  But we have had those from the beginning.  Mass audience radio reflected the tastes of the masses at any point in time.  In short, it represented a wide cross-section of fans.

And I can see it being successful once again in a cross-genre TOP40 format just like we have enjoyed in the past.

I’ll ask the question.  How many have clicked through to the Amy MacDonald (bear with me – this is hardly a PR campaign for Amy MacDonald although her lead-off single is quite good) MP3 of “Mr Rock and Roll” when we ran it?  I’m fairly certain that many of you would say that it is a very good song and certainly would have enjoyed some excited movement on the TOP40 of the past.  But today, a song like that has little chance.  It will do better than many, but a radio exposure would catapult it to better sales.

With so much music out there, we need a barometer of the best.  The internet fails at so little these days as it literally swallows up everything but it CANNOT do radio right.  Sure, it can be a repository of music, even sell it or allow you to steal it.  It just sucks at introductions and guiding.  Ahhh, but that is what terrestrial radio does pretty well at or at least used to do pretty well.  It may currently be faltering and stumbling at it.  But if it gets its act together, I think that we could witness a renaissance in radio.

More responses?

We have received a lot of ideas for our band polls. But the one that we have received the most of is on ethat I fear the most. It will be decisive, no doubt. We're going to do The Beatles. And so now, your job is to let me know whcih is the best Beatles album - or your favourite...whichever gets the job done. Tell me here.

We have two new reviews for you that include the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for The Dark Knight, scored by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. I have also reviewed an anticipated album that isn't in release until August but we wanted to get your excitement up. It is Cheat The Gallows by Bigelf.

We'll see you again on Monday.

If you have missed the last As The Disc Spins (updated), check it out here.

To access the previous site and catch up, click here.





Mercury Records will be reissuing Destroyer (1976) from KISS, scheduling the disc for release on September 9.  In addition, Island will be re-releasing The Very Best of KISS on August 26.  Other reissues and re-released ‘best of’ comps will be for Lynyrd Skynyrd with Second Helping (1974) scheduled for September 9, and All Time Greatest Hits planned for August 26 (Geffen Records); Marvin Gaye with Let’s Get It On (1973), and What’s Going On (1971) (Remastered) for September 9, and Every Great Motown Hit for August 26 (Motown); a reissued Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell (1993) from Meatloaf, scheduled for September 9; and two other ‘best of’ collections planned for August 26 with Gold for Michael Jackson, and Greatest Hits – The Road Less Traveled for Melissa Etheridge.

You should also watch for Hair of the Dog (1975) from Nazareth (A&M Records) on September 9.  Watch for Rush reissues of 2112 (1976); Moving Pictures (1981); and Spirit of Radio – Greatest Hits: 1974-1987 (2003), all planned for September 9 (except the the ‘best of’ Spirit of Radio, which is coming on August 26 in the blitz of ‘best of’ re-releases) from Mercury Records.

A&M Records will release DD versions of A Place in the Sun (1977), and Worlds Away (1978) from LA Pop band, Pablo Cruise in just a few days (July 22).

Interscope will release various versions of The Block from New Kids on the Block, scheduling the release for September 2.  There will also be DD versions as well.

BMG and Sony Recordings will release a batch of new Playlist titles, all scheduled for September 2 (is September coming THAT quickly – ohhh boy!!).  Those will include ‘best of’ collections for A Flock of Seagulls (Epic); Yolanda Adams (Zomba); Tony Bennett (Columbia); Bow Wow Wow (RCA); Mary Chapin Carpenter (SBME Nashville); David Allen Coe (Columbia); Electric Light Orchestra (Epic); Aretha Franklin (RCA); Merle Haggard (Epic); Billie Holiday (Columbia); Kenny G (RCA); Loverboy (Columbia); The Lovin’ Spoonful (Legacy); and Charley Pride (SBME Nashville).  All are titled Playlist: The Very Best of <artist name>.

While I told you that Matthew Sweet would be having a new album in release on August 26, (Sunshine Lies), I failed to tell you that there would also be an LP available on the same date.  There!  Slight corrected.

MCA Nashville will re-release a ‘best of’ for Patsy Cline called Greatest Hits on September 9.

Hip-O Records will re-release Bad for Good: The Very Best of The Scorpions, while A&M Records will re-release The Very Best of Sheryl Crow, both planned for August 26.

Razor and Tie will release Promised Land on September 9 from Dar Williams.

One of our favourite violinists, Joshua Bell, will have his next released on September 2 of Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, a popular orchestral piece.  If you’re like me and you have an affinity for violin, this is one to pick up.  This Joshua Bell title is coming from Sony Core Classical.

Fuel plans the release Live at the Louisiana Hayride, a 2CD, 33-track Limited Edition Box set for two of Country’s greatest performers, Johnny Cash and George Jones.  The songs found on this set represent periods of the artists’ works between the years of 1955 through 1969.  It is planned for release on August 12.

On August 12, Hip-O Select will release a second volume of works by Bo Diddley called Road Runner/The Chess Masters: 1959-1960.  This 2CD set nuzzles up to the previous Hip-O Select volume that spanned the periods of 1955-1958.  The set will contain 52-tracks of home and Chess Studios cuts including alternate takes, separate takes, unedited versions, speed-change versions, and more.

Hip-O Select will also release Volume 10 of The Complete Motown Singles covering the year 1970 with Various Artists.  There are lots of classics here as well as some interesting ones like R Dean Taylor’s “Indiana Wants Me.”  This installment of this continuing and exhaustive classic series is planned for August 12.

Here’s an interesting release coming to you.  It is called Old School by East Village Opera Company and is a collection of opera arias re-imagined as if they were Pop songs.  Full symphony orchestras were used as well as the traditional rock components of guitars, drums, keys, etc.  This should be interesting for sure.  Old School releases by Decca Records on August 12.

Decca Records will also release the next album from David Sanborn called Here & NowHere & Now will feature guest musicians like Eric Clapton, Sam Moore, Joss Stone, and Derek Trucks.  Here & Now is slated for release on August 12.

Fania Records will release a 2CD collection of rare 78-rpm recordings from Tito Puente on August 12.  The set will contain 40 tracks and is called The Complete 78s.


Review - Hans Zimmer / James Newton Howard - The Dark Knight OMPS - CD

Every one in the world is waiting for the release of this movie, which is expected to break all of any standing records. Bill Hunt has already scored a sitting last Tuesday and he is overwhelmed by the greatness of it. The IMAX nearest us is running this film around the clock...that's right, AROUND THE CLOCK. I've scored tix for 6:15a along with Bill and my nephew. AND then, another viewing in the afternoon with my son. This score for The Dark Knight is created by returning composer, Hans Zimmer, who had done Batman Begins. He is joined on this outing by James Newton Howard.



Review - Bigelf - Cheat the Gallows - CD
We - and a whole lot of others - have been anxiously awaiting this new album by retro-rockers, Bigelf. The album, Cheat the Gallows, is the follow-up to last effort, Hex. And it is good, maybe even better than that. In any case, it is slated for August 12 but we thought that we'd whet your appetite for it by posting an early review.  






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212 Frech

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