Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall Of The Rock Stars – David Hepworth

I’ve come to respect how prolific and authoritative David Hepworth is as a music journalist. I published a blog post last year about his earlier book, 1971: Never A Dull Moment. A pivotal year in rock music.

His new book is titled, Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall Of The Rock Stars.

The latest book, “Uncommon People,” takes in the genre through a broader lens, 1955 to 1995, charting the rise and fall of the rock star as a species over that time.

An elegy to the age of the Rock Star, featuring Chuck Berry, Elvis, Madonna, Bowie, Prince, and more, uncommon people whose lives were transformed by rock and who, in turn, shaped our culture

The age of the rock star, like the age of the cowboy, has passed. Like the cowboy, the idea of the rock star lives on in our imaginations. What did we see in them? Swagger. Recklessness. Sexual charisma. Damn-the-torpedoes self-belief. A certain way of carrying themselves. Good hair. Interesting shoes. The talent we wished we had. What did we want of them? To be larger than life but also like us. To live out their songs. To stay young forever. No wonder many didn’t stay the course.

 

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ECM Streaming!

I am thankful that ECM Records has decided to stream their catalog of artist recordings on the major streaming services. I am an Apple Music subscriber who will enjoy playing this rich library of sound through my Sonos One and elsewhere. I always respected that ECM sought to support the direct sale of the music they distribute to music fans. But the times they are a changing and ECM is doing the right thing in following suit.

In recent years, ECM and the musicians have had to face unauthorized streaming of recordings via video sharing websites, plus piracy, bootlegs, and a proliferation of illegal download sites. It was important to make the catalogue accessible within a framework where copyrights are respected.[18]

I’m convinced this will increase ECM Records sales as it widens the lens of sampling ECM artist’s creations. Personally, I found five-plus decades of ECM music totally overwhelming. Now at one’s leisure, you can listen to some of the most innovative music on the planet through the sky.

ECM Records, may your decision to stream be beneficial to your artists and your stature as a leading purveyor of quality sound. It’s a wonderful gift you share with all of us.

Thank You for reaching this conclusion!

Signed,

A  loyal listener and purchaser

 

Bob Seger – I Knew You When (Deluxe Edition)

teaser video below features five songs from the next Bob Se album: “Busload of Faith”, “I Knew You When”, “Blue Ridge”, “Democracy” and “Gracile”.  The album will be available in stores and via streaming services this Friday, November 17th.

It is his 18th studio album in 49 years for Capitol Records.

The cover shot may be from the photo sessions for his second album, Noah, as I notice its the same suit 😉

 

Earlier this year, Seger’s GREATEST HITS album was certified diamond by the RIAA for achieving 10 million units sold in the U.S.

BOB SEGER
I KNEW YOU WHEN
(Capitol Records)

Release Date: November 17th
Produced by Bob Seger

TRACKLISTING

  1. Gracile (2:48)
  2. Busload of Faith (4:32)
  3. The Highway (3:38)
  4. I Knew You When (3:53)
  5. I’ll Remember You (3:48)
  6. The Sea Inside (4:14)
  7. Marie (3:26)
  8. Runaway Train (4:10)
  9. Something More (3:47)
  10. Democracy (6:32)
  11. Forward Into The Past (4:12) (Deluxe Album only)
  12. Blue Ridge (3:50) (Deluxe Album only)
  13. Glenn Song (2:49) (Deluxe Album only)

Elton John’s Diamonds 3 CD Box Set

I’ve listened to Elton John’s Diamonds Deluxe Edition on Apple Music.  It has 51 songs and close to 4 hours of music.

The 3 CD limited edition box set has 34 tracks over two discs, plus 17 bonus tracks of personal favorites curated by Elton himself. It also includes a set of 5 postcard illustrations of Elton as well as exclusive annotations for each track and specially chosen 7” or CD-single picture sleeve graphics from various territories around the world in a 72-page hardback book.

‘Diamonds’ coincides with the 50th anniversary of Elton’s phenomenal songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin. Meeting in 1967 through a music magazine advert seeking songwriters, Elton and Bernie went on to become one of the most enduring songwriting duos of all time, achieving a sustained level of success that puts them head and shoulders above the competition. Catapulted into the limelight as a songwriting force in 1971 with ‘Your Song,’ the duo never stood still creatively, defining an era with their run of back-to-back classic 1970’s albums. While ‘Candle In The Wind’ topped the charts in three different decades and 2016’s critically acclaimed ‘Wonderful, Crazy, Night’ was a top ten hit in the US, their legacy is one that is unrivaled in terms of longevity, creativity, and commercial success.

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe

I was recently listening to the Joni Mitchell box set, The Studio Albums, 1968-1979, tuning in to her jazz period with bassist Jaco Pastorius. Specifically, the recordings, Hejira, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter, Mingus and the live concert double LP, Shadows and Light which represents a lucrative jazz interval.

This created a strong desire for me to dig deeper into Joni’s extensive muse. I wanted to learn more what motivated her to transition from folk singer/songwriter to intricate jazz phrased poetry.

A new biography, Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe. provides many more revelations about that creative era.

Yaffe was granted extraordinary access to the famously standoffish Mitchell, as well as to many of her closest friends and collaborators, including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Joan Baez, David Crosby, Judy Collins, and the late Leonard Cohen. Making the most of his proximity, he pulls off the feat that has eluded so many of his predecessors: He forges an intimacy with Mitchell on her own, uncompromising terms by truly listening to her, as closely and as generously as she’s always deserved.

This is a book I can’t wait to savor. I’m appreciative of David Yaffe sharing the artistic wealth.

Kentucky Music Issue – Issue 99, Winter 2017

I look forward to this publication every year 🙂

The Oxford American’s 19th annual music issue explores the Music of Kentucky. The magazines comes with a 27-song CD + free download with bonus tracks. The Commonwealth gave us musicians like Loretta Lynn and Nappy Roots, Richard Hell and Bill Monroe—just to name a very few—and beloved writers like Crystal Wilkinson, Ronni Lundy, Silas House, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and our own poetry editor, Rebecca Gayle Howell. You’ll see those names (and many, many others) in our Kentucky Music Issue—“the greatest mixtape accompanied by the best liner notes ever,” according to Beale Street Caravan. 

Order the issue

The Music of Kentucky

Notes on the songs, including: 
Minda Honey on James Lindsey
Jay Ruttenberg on King Kong
Nathan Salsburg on the Booker Orchestra and two Kentucky octets
Elyssa East on Sarah Ogan Gunning
Joe Manning on Rachel Grimes


Points South

Marianne Worthington falls for Loretta Lynn’s TV-screen glow 

Eric Reece on when a Freakwater song walks into a bar

If God Had a Name, by Jason Howard

Michael L. Jones digs up the black roots of “Happy Birthday”

Leesa Cross-Smith shares her unlikely love of Sturgill Simpson

Living Too Close to the Ground, by Will Stephenson

Jewly Hight sees Brandon Godman’s bluegrass pride

Real People Radio Stories, by Jeffrey A. Keith

Rebecca Gayle Howell remembers Lexington’s Narcotic Farm

Three previously unpublished poems by Thomas Merton

J. D. Daniels has an ear for Jimmy Raney’s genius

John Thomason visits John Prine’s Paradise lost

Fire in My Bones, by Ashley Blooms

Harmony Holiday talks with Les McCann

How Dwight Yoakam dialed up Ronni Lundy

Cleo, Cleo Black as Coal, a story by Crystal Wilkinson


Features

BLANK PLACE
Richard Hell after Lexington 
by Amanda Petrusich

WATERSHED
Southeastern Kentucky’s Phipps Family legacy 
by Silas House 

BORDER WARS
When the South is everywhere and nowhere
by Zandria F. Robinson 

TUNED UP IN THE SPIRIT
The Old Regular Baptists and the joyful sound 
by David Ramsey  

DEATH RATTLE
Searching for the old jawbone
by John Jeremiah Sullivan