In America, The Dream Academy tends to be best known for one song: “Life in a Northern Town.” Thankfully, this is an instance where one can safely say that if you're going to be known for one song, that's a pretty great one to be known for, but it in no way comes close to telling you who the group really was, how they came about, or what sort of legacy they've left behind beyond that one song. For example, did you know they actually had two top-40 hits? True story. History tends to forget that “The Love Parade” actually hit #37. We here at Rhino, however, have not.
Last year, The Dream Academy released The Morning Lasted All Day: A Retrospective , a two-disc collection of their best work, via Real Gone Music. Earlier this year, we released the digital version of the compilation. Given that this year also happens to be the 30th anniversary of the group's self-titled debut album, we thought it would be a fine time to chat with a member of the Academy - Nick Laird-Clowe - in hopes of further introducing the world at large to the work of this highly underrated group.
Stand in the place where you are and you could find a whole lot of R.E.M. coming your way! We're celebrating the release of R.E.M. BY MTV on DVD & Blu-Ray by giving away a deluxe R.E.M. package comprised of the 6-DVD REMTV box, a 27"x40" R.E.M. BY MTV theatrical movie poster, 2-LP vinyl copies of UNPLUGGED 1991 and UNPLUGGED 2001 & a Blu-Ray of R.E.M. BY MTV. R.E.M. BY MTV is the critically acclaimed feature-length documentary that captures 30 years of the band through the eyes of MTV, including interviews, TV appearances, award shows, live performances and more. All you have to do is enter here.
Turning 56 today: the man who’s been behind the drum kit for Spandau Ballet since the band first began and – in case you missed the memo – is still sitting there even now. Well, maybe not right at this precise moment, but if he’s gotten up for a restroom break, rest assured that he won’t be gone long: the band has shows in Cornwall, Westonbirth, and Henley on Thames this very week!
Born in Hampstead, London in 1959, John Leslie Keeble was there at the very beginning of Spandau Ballet’s career, stuck it out through all the hits, including “True,” “Gold,” “Only if You Leave,” and “Through the Barricades,” just to name a few, and kept at it all the way through 1990, when the band’s Heart Like a Sky album seemingly impressed neither fans nor critics. (It’s actually not bad at all, but you know how it goes: times change and so do tastes in music.) When frontman Tony Hadley embarked on a solo career, Keeble signed on to play in his band, showing a level of dedication to Hadley both in that capacity as well as when Hadley and fellow member Steve Norman filed a lawsuit against Gary Kemp seeking additional songwriting royalties.
35 years ago today, Jean-Luc Ponty released his first album of his third decade of recording, an effort which once again found him taking a top-five placement on Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart.
We’ll kick things off with the quick caveat that Wikipedia suggests that Civilized Evil was actually released in September 1980, but all things being equal, we tend to trust AllMusic’s researchers, so if they say it came out on July6, 1980, that’s what we’re taking as the truth. Either way, this year still marks the 35th anniversary of the album, so it’s still worthy of celebration.
If you've glanced at your calendar at all this week, then you know that tomorrow is the Fourth of July, which means that this piece that you're reading was posted yesterday, because we're off today. Woo-hoo! Three-day weekend!!!
Fresh tracks from Heartless Bastards, Elle King, Kacey Musgraves, John Prine, Emmylou, Linda, & Dolly... just in time for the 4th of July. God bless 'Murica!