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Bob Marley & The Wailers – Easy Skanking in Boston ’78

Bob Marley & The Wailers - Easy Skanking in Boston '78

"Bob Marley & The Wailers - Easy Skanking in Boston '78" features a previously unreleased show captured at the Boston Music Hall on June 8, 1978.

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Elvis Presley’s first recording sells for $240,000

Elvis Presley's first recording sells for $240,000

The acetate of Elvis Presley's first recording, "My Happiness," has sold for $240,000 at an auction held at Graceland in Memphis.

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Musicians we lost in 2014

Musicians we lost in 2014

As 2014 comes to an end, we remember some of the many musicians who passed away over the last 12 months.

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“Bob Dylan and The Band – The Basement Tapes Complete” box set

Bob Dylan and The Band - The Basement Tapes Complete box set

Check out an unreleased song from the highly anticipated 6-CD box set, which brings together all of the recordings from Bob Dylan's so-called "Basement Tapes".

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New releases

New releases

Check the new and upcoming CD, Blu-ray and DVD music releases.

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“The Beatles: All These Years Volume  1: Tune In” – Review

The Beatles: All These Years Volume 1: Tune In - Review

George Smith reviews the first of Mark Lewisohn's three-volume biography of The Beatles.

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Conan O’Brien interviews music historian Peter Guralnick

Conan O'Brien interviews music historian Peter Guralnick

Watch Conan O'Brien's in-depth interview with music historian Peter Guralnick.

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Song of the week

Song of the week

Each week we showcase a classic track as Song of the Week. Check the current and past choices.

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Before they were famous – high school yearbook photos

Before they were famous - high school yearbook photos

See if you can identify these stars before they were famous.

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New CD, DVD and Blu-ray releases

Errol Brown of Hot Chocolate dies aged 71

Written by admin on May 6, 2015 – 9:54 pm -

Errol Brown, the lead singer of Hot Chocolate, passed away at his home in the Bahamas today (6 May). The 71-year-old had been battling liver cancer for some time.

Errol Brown

Brown’s death was announced by his manager, Phil Dale, who said:

Errol Brown MBE passed away in The Bahamas this morning with his wife Ginette and daughters Colette and Leonie by his side of liver cancer. Errol was a lover of life and obviously ‘music!’ I never went into his home, car or a hotel room without music playing.

Errol was a ‘Gentle Man’ and was a personal friend of mine who will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him. His greatest legacy is that his music will live on!

Brown will be best remembered for his distinctive vocals on the string of great hits he achieved with Hot Chocolate in the 1970s and 1980s, including “Every 1’s a Winner,” “So You Win Again,” “It Started With a Kiss” and “You Sexy Thing”. The latter, which Brown co-wrote, was a UK Top Ten hit again in 1997 when it was featured in the movie “The Fully Monty”.

“You Sexy Thing” – Hot Chocolate

Born in Jamaica in 1943, Brown moved to the UK with his mother when he was 12. His musical break came in 1969 when he sent a reggae version of “Give Peace a Chance” to John Lennon, who signed him to Apple record label.

After a short-lived association with Apple, Hot Chocolate signed with Mickie Most’s RAK record label. Their first single, “Love is Life,” reached number six on the UK charts in 1970 and began a 15 year run of hits. Brown and Hot Chocolate co-founder, Tony Wilson, were also writing songs for other artists in this period, including Mary Hopkins (“Think About Your Children”) and Herman’s Hermits (“Bet Yer Life I Do).

Hot Chocolate reached their commercial peak in the mid-1970s, achieving hits around the world, including the US where both “You Sexy Thing” and “Every 1’S a Winner” both hit the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100. The band’s only UK number one came in 1977 with “So You Win Again”.

“So You Win Again” – Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate disbanded in 1986 and Brown embarked on a solo career, releasing a number of albums and singles between 1987 and 2002. The singles “Personal Touch” and “Body Rockin'” were moderate hits in 1987 and his final album “Still Sexy – The Album” reached number 44 in the UK in 2001.

Brown was made an MBE by the Queen in 2003. The following year he received an Ivor Novello award for his outstanding contribution to British music.

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Percy Sledge – 1940-2015

Written by admin on April 15, 2015 – 8:52 am -

Percy Sledge died yesterday morning (April 14) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana aged 74. The American soul singer, best known for his classic number one hit “When a Man Loves a Woman,” had battled cancer for years.

Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge got his break in the music industry when a patient at a hospital where he was working as an orderly introduced him to Atlantic Records producer, Quin Ivy. His first recording for Atlantic was “When a Man Loves a Woman” which would top the pop and R&B charts in the US and become one of the best loved soul ballads of all time. It was also a hit in the UK, peaking at number four on its original release and reaching number two when re-released in 1987.

Sledge claimed that he had been singing the melody for the song for years, but unfortunately for him he made no claim for songwriting credit and so all royalties would go to his bandmates, Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright. Given the huge success of the original and the popularity of covers, including Michael Bolton’s hit 1991 recording, this was an expensive mistake.

“When a Man Loves a Woman” is ranked at number 53 by Rolling Stone on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Sledge wouldn’t repeat the success of his debut hit, but did achieve a number of smaller hits on Atlantic, including “Warm and Tender Love,” “It Tears Me Up,” “Love Me Tender,” “Cover Me” and “Take Time to Know Her”. There were also four original albums on Atlantic from 1966 to 1968.

The 1970s were less kind to Sledge, but he did chart with “I’ll Be Your Everything” and “Sunshine” and played many live shows annually around the world.

In 1994, Sledge worked with producers Saul Davis and Barry Goldberg on his “Blue Night” album, which included collaborations with the likes of Bobby Womack and Steve Cropper. The album received Grammy nominations for Best Contemporary Blues Album, Vocal or Instrumental, and won the W.C. Handy Award for best soul or blues album in 1996. Sledge reunited with the same producers for his 2004 album “Shining Through the Rain”.

Percy Sledge was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Other honours included the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Career Achievement Award in 1989 and inductions into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

Sledge is survived by his wife, Rosa Lee Sledge, and 12 children.

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The Beach Boys vinyl reissues out now

Written by admin on April 3, 2015 – 11:11 am -

Capitol/UMe has reissued five Beach Boys albums on 180-gram vinyl. The titles are “15 Big Ones” (1976), “M.I.U. Album” (1978), “L.A. (Light Album)” (1979), “Keepin’ The Summer Alive” (1980) and “The Beach Boys” (1985).

Beach Boys vinyl reissues

The band’s 1972 album, “Carl & The Passions – So Tough,” will be reissued on 180-gram vinyl on May 12.

Beach Boys fans will also be interested to know that the band’s classic 1966 album, “Pet Sounds,” will be released on Blu-ray Audio on June 16, complete with bonus content.

The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds on Blu-ray audio

The album will be presented with six bonus tracks in high resolution (192kHz/24-bit) and in three distinct mixes, including Brian Wilson’s original mix in PCM Mono, Dolby True HD Stereo and new DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround mixes. The new mixes were produced by Mark Linett, under the supervision of Brian Wilson.

“Pet Sounds” is one of the most critically-acclaimed albums of all time, ranking at number two on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” in 2003, and topping Mojo’s similar list in 1995.

The vinyl reissues can be ordered now via the links below:


15 Big Ones (LP)

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M.I.U. Album (LP)

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L.A. (Light Album) (LP)

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Keepin’ The Summer Alive (LP)

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The Beach Boys (LP)

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Carl & The Passions – So Tough (LP)

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David Bowie working on stage version of “The Man Who Fell to Earth”

Written by admin on April 3, 2015 – 9:23 am -

The New York Theatre Workshop has announced that David Bowie will collaborate on a stage version of his 1976 movie “The Man Who Fell to Earth” with playwright Enda Walsh. The show will be titled “Lazarus”.

David Bowie - The Man Who Fell to Earth

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Julian Lennon posts video tribute to mother, Cynthia

Written by admin on April 2, 2015 – 5:47 pm -

Cynthia Lennon, the former wife of John Lennon, passed away yesterday after a short battle with cancer. The 75-year-old died at her home in Mallorca, Spain, with her son Julian by her side.

Cynthia met John Lennon when she was 18 and the pair were both students at the Liverpool College of Art. They were married in 1962, just before the Beatles hit it big, and would remain married for six years. Their son, Julian Lennon, posted a moving video tribute to his mother on YouTube today titled “In Loving Memory”:

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