With a short US tour planned for Summer of 2018, it’s only right that the newly formed Craft Recordings re-introduce Violent Femmes back into the consciousness of past fans, and any potential new fans. Recently (2017), Violent Femmes released an unplugged travelogue of live tracks called 2 Mics + The Truth: Unplugged and Unhinged in America, providing long time fans 24 radio-broadcast live tunes on LP, 19 if you opted for a CD edition.
On June 8. Craft Recordings will re-release Violent Femmes’ strong self-titled Violent Femmes debut, and their second album, Hallowed Ground. Originally released back in 1983, and 1984 on the legendary Slash Records label (remember that label?), these albums were variable as Hallowed Ground caused a slight disruption for the band, swerving them away from the Platinum status of their debut. These new re-releases will be bare-bones. The debut will provide two previously available bonus tracks (“Ugly”, “Gimme The Car”) no previously available on the original album.
Additionally, the 2005 Rhino-issued ‘best of’ for Violent Femmes, Permanent Records, will also be re-released just as Rhino originally released it (with the hidden live track).
The last new Violent Femmes album was back in 2016, We Can Do Anything. If you’re a fan, it’s a nice opportunity to update the quality of your current collection pieces.
In many bands, there’s an unsung hero. Although there are steps to recognize the talents of the individual, often the shadow cast by the big star is far too dark to allow much light to shine for recognition. One of the easy ones to recognize is Mick Ronson.
Mick Ronson played for David Bowie in Bowie’s early fame, Ziggy era. Afterwards, Mick Ronson took calculated steps to become a star in his own right. Certainly, he possessed the guitar skills. Mick Ronson released two RCA albums, Slaughter On 10th Avenue (with an interesting cover of “Love Me Tender”), and Play Don’ Worry (with an equally interesting cover of “White Light, White Heat”).
On June 8, a somewhat unbalanced but well-intentioned overview of the career of Mick Ronson will be released. It is (unfairly and for market’s sake) called Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story. There are fourteen tracks found here that draw from sessions work, his tenure with Bowie, and with Ian Hunter, and a dose of music from his posthumous release of Heaven and Hull. To be fair, Ronson’s reach scattered further than this collection would have you believe.
I say all this as I’m a fierce Mick Ronson fan who believes that he deserves better a remembrance than this weak set delivers, soundtrack or not. Nevertheless, while I might advise against this purchase (and I would), it is better than nothing, recognition-wise. While an enclosed booklet might do better justice, the musical offerings (and album/documentary title) are merely a marketing undercurrent designed to pull you in.
In the end, you have to choose as you will if Mick Ronson’s story interests you. Otherwise, I’d say wait for a better collection (something that Omnivore, Real Gone Music, Cherry Red, or another dedicated label could provide.
Despite all this, it is, in the end, a soundtrack to a documentary that airs on Hulu, and Amazon Prime. It’s also available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story
01 – All The Young Dudes (Live) – with Queen, Ian Hunter, David Bowie, Joe Elliott, Phil Collins at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert For AIDS Awareness, April 20, 1992 at Wembley Stadium, London
02 – Soulful Lady (with Michael Chapman on Fully Qualified Survivor (1970))
03 – Madman Across The Water (with Elton John on Rare Masters (1992))
04 – Moonage Daydream (with David Bowie on The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972))
05 – Cracked Actor (with David Bowie on Aladdin Sane (1973))
06 – Time (with David Bowie on Aladdin Sane (1973))
07 – Once Bitten, Twice Shy (with Ian Hunter on Ian Hunter (1975))
08 – I’d Give Anything To See You (Just Like This (1999))
09 – Hard Life (Just Like This (1999))
10 – Midnight Love (Heaven and Hull (1994))
11 – Like A Rolling Stone (Heaven and Hull (1994))
12 – This Is For You (with Joe Elliott) Previously Unreleased
13 – Heroes (live) (with Queen, David Bowie, Joe Elliott at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert For AIDS Awareness, April 20, 1992 at Wembley Stadium, London
14 – Tribute To Mick Ronson (Mike Garson) Previously Unreleased
One of the great pioneer bands to the genre of heavy metal was easily Black Sabbath. By the release of their first and second albums, both in 1970, just a mere six months in separation, both albums easily captured the rapt attention of a generation propelling both embryonic albums into platinum status throughout the world. No one can forget the strength of “Paranoid” and “Iron Man” from their second, and perhaps best celebrated of the band’s issues. Nevertheless, Black Sabbath persevered for decades even after the departing of Ozzy Osborne, who crafted an equally successful solo career.
On June 8, Rhino delves into the Warner Bros vaults to create a boxed set of ten 7″ vinyl singles, all from the band’s years between 1970 though 1978. Of the carefully selected singles, some were only issued in other countries besides the US.
The boxed set is being called Supersonic Years: The Seventies Singles Box Set. It will be a limited run so don’t wait too long to collect yours if you have intention to own it. All songs are newly remastered. A booklet exploring the history of the singles and of the band, along with rare photos, credits, and other memorabilia is guaranteed to add value to the box.
Supersonic Years: The Seventies Singles Box Set – Black Sabbath
7″ Single Vinyl 1
Side A – Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games With Me)
Side B – Wicked World
7″ Single Vinyl 2
Side A – Paranoid
Side B – The Wizard
7″ Single Vinyl 3
Side A – Iron Man
Side B – Electric Funeral
7″ Single Vinyl 4
Side A – Tomorrow’s Dream
Side B – Laguna Sunrise
7″ Single Vinyl 5
Side A – Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath
Side B – Changes
7″ Single Vinyl 6
Side A – Am I Going Insane (Single Edit)
Side B – Hole In The Sky
7″ Single Vinyl 7
Side A – Gypsy
Side B – She’s Gone
7″ Single Vinyl 8
Side A – It’s Alright
Side B – Rock ‘N’ Roll Doctor
7″ Single Vinyl 9
Side A – Never Say Die
Side B – She’s Gone
7″ Single Vinyl 10
Side A – Hard Road (Single Edit)
Side B – Symptom Of The Universe (German Single Edit)
Following Richard Lloyd of Television fame, I first ran into Matthew Sweet with his 1989 album, Earth. Since that album, Matthew Sweet has released a healthy display of music including his well-received covers sets with Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles).
On May 18, Matthew Sweet will release a brand new album, his follow-up to 2017’s Tomorrow Forever. The new album is being called Tomorrow’s Daughter and will contain twelve Sweet compositions that were written and recorded during the Tomorrow Forever sessions. It could be called an extension of that album. The recently released “I Belong To You” single comes out ahead of the album (hear below). Megaforce is the releasing label.
Tomorrow’s Daughter will be issued on CD, DD, and vinyl LP. There are no proper artwork for the new album to see.
Matthew Sweet has a lot of musical history since his debut from 1986 (Inside). If you like this track, then you have plenty to backtrack with.
Ry Cooder is a name well known for his quality roots music, and his guitar work, especially his slide guitar. He’s had more than a few solo albums amid his sessions works and involvements (he was essential to the stunning Crossroads soundtrack to the Ralph Macchio film (don’t knock it until you’ve seen it). His sessions work is a veritable grocery list of great Rock bands and singers. To date, he has sixteen solo albums out including the immensely popular Bop Til You Drop (1979). Needless to say, his involvement is immeasurable and essential to Rock,
On May 11, Fantasy Records will release a new Ry Cooder album, The Prodigal Son. His last, Election Special, was released in 2012, so it’s time.
The Prodigal Son will contain eleven new songs, a collection of covers and originals. It is planned to be released on CD, DD, and 180g-weight black vinyl LP. You can enjoy the title track below.
MusicTAP covered this ‘new’ Midge Ure release back in early November of 2017 when it was only planned as a UK release. Things have changed and now this Orchestrated album is now also planned for the US.
On June 8, via BMG Records, Midge Ure’s reimagined collection of Ultravox and Midge Ure tunes will release on CD, DD, and vinyl 2LP sets.
The late ’70s and early ‘8os were a rich fertile ground for Rock and Roll when its greatest level of evolution occurred. Sounds were simplified, music was crafted in different ways than they were previously. And for fans, there were a wealth of great bands like Talking Heads, Buzzcocks, OMD, Joy Division, Tears For Fears, Simple Minds, Skafish, The Police, Elvis Costello, and hundreds more. One of the bands of the late ’70s was Ultravox!
Ultravox! released their first album for Island Records. For vocals, there was John Foxx. That incarnation was a post-punk styled sound that was exciting and quite listenable. This lineup lasted through the first three albums before Island dropped them for poor sales. (Yeah, it surprises me, too!). But after Foxx, along with Robin Simon, went on to other things, the remaining members refused to die. Instead, they brought in Midge Ure, the singer from Rich Kids, and Visage. Drawing interest from Chrysalis Records, Ultravox released Vienna, essentially remaking the band into something more powerful. And for five magnificent albums (Vienna – 1980, Rage In Eden – 1981, Quartet – 1982, Lament – 1984, U-Vox – 1986), the band thrived.
Midge Ure will revisit some classic Ultravox songs – including “Vienna”, “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes”, “Hymn”, and “Lament”, and reimagine those songs in a uniquely orchestrated way. In addition, Midge Ure also revisits songs from his own solo works, songs that include “Breathe”, “If I Was”, “Fragile”, along with a brand new Midge Ure tune, “Ordinary Man”.
The new album is being called Orchestrated. It’s promised to be different than you might expect.
Orchestrated – Midge Ure
02. Dancing with Tears in My Eyes
04. Man of Two Worlds
05. If I Was
07. The Voice
08. Ordinary Man
09. Death in the Afternoon
11. Reap the Wild Wind
The last time that Florence Welch graced us with great new original music was back in 2015 with How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. With that album, we were given “What Kind of Man”, “Ship to Wreck”, and “Queen of Peace” to enjoy and return to periodically. (Today’s playlisting trend typically doesn’t allow for return trips to songs other than a ‘catch’ on YouTube or radio.) Today, I still frequently return to “Dog Days Are Over”, and “Drumming Song” from her first album, Lungs (2009).
Recently, it’s been rumored that the new Florence + The Machine have a new album arriving. The sources are credible and so, with that, I’ll simply repeat the ‘rumors’ for you, just so you’re aware.
On June 29, a new Florence + The Machine album is expected to be released. The new album is being called High As Hope, and will deliver ten new songs in the standard release, leaving speculation to an expanded Deluxe Edition. A new song, “Sky Full of Song” is expected this week.
I’ll be sure to keep a sharp eye out for official announcements!
If you listened to AM Radio back in the early ’70s, there is little doubt you do NOT remember the infectious Latin Rock of Malo with their unforgettable “Sauvecito” tune, both the single edit, and the longer LP track. Both could be listened to forever without tiring. In fact, I listen to the debut Malo album from 1972 to this day.
They released new albums until about 1998 but none had the attention that “Sauvecito” (AKA The Chicano National Anthem) gave the band. Of course, that does NOT mean that Malo didn’t have the ability to revisit such exquisite territory. They did often, releasing three more charting albums (Dos – 1972, Evolution – 1973, Ascención – 1974). All of those albums were gold musically. Plus, they enjoyed a strength (in addition to the already strong talents in the band), in Jorge Santana, who happened to be a brother of Carlos Santana. Needless to say, all iterations of Malo albums and singles were hypnotic and candy to listen to.
On May 25, Omnivore Records will release a collection of fourteen A and B sides from Malo in a newly remastered set. All songs are single edit releases from Warner Brothers, with no extended LP tracks (sigh…but understandable). The set is being called Latin Bugaloo – The Warner Bros. Singles.
The CD will contain a booklet with new notes from Jorge Santana, who recognized that “Malo was pretty much a jam.” A beautiful and timeless jam at that!
To me, this is a highly anticipated collection, one that I have on my buy list! And in case you’ve forgotten “Sauvecito”, listen to the single edit below (but seek out the extended 6-min+ LP track :
Latin Bugaloo – The Warner Bros. Singles – Malo
05. Just Say Goodbye
07. I’m For Real
08. Oye Mamá
09. Latin Bugaloo
10. Midnight Thoughts
11. I Don’t Know
13. Love Will Survive
14. Think About Love
Arctic Monkeys have been delivering great music since 2006 when their best-selling debut set, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not released to strong acceptance. From an independent perch, there really aren’t that many alternative bands with that kind of movement. Since then, they have five studio sets out with their last issued in 2013 (AM). It delivered six singles.
On May 11, the new Arctic Monkeys album will arrive. Called Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, it will provide eleven new songs and is planned for CD, DD, and three colors of vinyl editions including standard black, and limited editions of silver color, and a clear vinyl.
The album will be released with an expansive 16-page booklet. Watch for the band to tour the album for the summer months. Currently, many of the shows are already sold out.
Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino – Arctic Monkeys
01 – Star Treatment
02 – One Point Perspective
03 – American Sports
04 – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
05 – Golden Trunks
06 – Four Out of Five
07 – The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip
08 – Science Fiction
09 – She Looks Like Fun
10 – Batphone
11 – The Ultracheese
The Smiths are a revered UK band from the early ’80s. Not that you didn’t know that, but since their retirement in 1987, both Johnny Marr, and Morrissey have gone on to measured success with solo outings. Although late in his career, Johnny Marr has previously released two albums (The Messenger – 2013, Playland – 2014). Previously, Marr had occupied himself with session work.
On June 15, Johnny Marr will release his third solo album, Call The Comet. This new album will feature twelve new songs. A listen to the first single from the album (below) will confirm that Johnny Marr fits well within the framework of today’s Rock and Roll.
The new album is scheduled for release on CD, DD, Cassette, and vinyl LP (a limited edition silver vinyl, and standard black). There will be a 7″ vinyl single for sale as well. (See all that here.)