Today would’ve been Andy Gibb’s 57th birthday, and the fact that it isn’t – he died in 1988 at only 30 years of age – makes it a highly bittersweet celebration, indeed. We shouldn’t forget, however, that the youngest of the Gibb brothers released quite a few great pop songs during the course of his all-too-brief career, which is why we’ve spotlighted a number of them in the playlist below.
23 years ago today, R.E.M. could easily have been described as the most popular band in America and find little in the way of argument after receiving a six-pack of honors from the Rolling Stone Music Awards.
Now, when we say “Rolling Stone Music Awards,” we’re not talking about some glitzy ceremony. In fact, we’re not talking about a ceremony at all: we’re referring to the awards designated by the magazine within its pages. Still, even after all these years, there are few music publication which have as much street cred as Rolling Stone, and when a band manages to take home – virtually speaking – Artist of the Year, Best Band, Best Guitarist (Peter Buck), Album of the Year for Out of Time, and Best Single and Best Video for “Losing My Religion,” you certainly can’t say that they’re unpopular, that’s for sure.
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
Collapsing Lungs, Colorblind: If the name “Olivia Newton Bundy” doesn’t mean anything to you, then it’s likely the band Collapsing Lungs won’t ring a bell, either, but Bundy – a stage name, of course – was one of the founding members of Marilyn Manson back when Marilyn Manson was a proper band rather than just a guy. (You know, kind of like Alice Cooper.) After departing the Manson family – see what we did there? – Bundy started Collapsing Lungs, an amalgam of hip-hop and heavy metal which caught the ears of critics but did very little from a commercial standpoint. If either the musical concept or the background of its creator strikes you as intriguing, then consider giving it a shot. It’s pretty infectious stuff.
Last month, Ride made their long-awaited comeback after 20 years away. At the legendary 100 Club venue in central London, Andy Bell and Mark Gardener took to the stage for a 75 minute set all in aid of the War Child charity, playing to a tiny number of lucky fans. There are more Ride shows to come this summer so get in the mood with the setlist from their comeback gig.
Screw it. I’m sticking with the ‘90s again this week. 1990, suit up.
26 years ago today, Debbie Gibson earned the second #1 hit of her career with a ballad that served as the soundtrack to many a first kiss in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, even if it might be better remembered by Family Guy fans as the song Stewie sang when he auditioned for American Idol.
As the first single for her sophomore album, Electric Youth, a tremendous amount of weight was placed on the shoulders of “Lost in Your Eyes,” but given that her previous #1 hit had also been a ballad (“Foolish Beat”), there was certainly reason to believe that following in its footsteps wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world…and, indeed, it wasn’t.
Gibson, however, had already gotten a feel for how well audiences liked the song from having introduced it to her live set during the Out of the Blue tour, and in a 2014 interview with Billboard, she recalled the crowds’ reactions.
Van Halen’s First Six Albums to be Remastered Directly from the Analog Master Recordings and Set for Release in Spring
Van Halen will release its first-ever live album to feature original singer David Lee Roth. Recorded on June 21, 2013 at the famed Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, TOKYO DOME LIVE IN CONCERT includes 23 songs, spanning all seven of the band’s albums with Roth. It will be released as a double CD; four-LP set on 180-gram vinyl; and digitally beginning March 30/31, 2015.
35 years ago today, Roberta Flack released an album which – given its title – you’d think was an album’s worth of duets with Donny Hathaway, but it isn’t. There are a couple, yes, but the reason it isn’t filled with them from start to finish…well, that’s a sad tale, to be sure.
The album entitled Roberta Flack featuring Donny Hathaway was, as you’d expect, intended to be a sequel to the 1972 collaboration between the two R&B singers, an effort which earned the duo a #1 R&B hit (“Where Is the Love”), a top-10 R&B hit (“You’ve Got a Friend”), and an additional top-30 R&B hit (“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”). The two had known each other since attending Howard University together, creating a comfort level which was evident when they were singing together, but Hathaway’s struggle with depression – later diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia – led to estrangement between him and Flack at various points during their careers. It wasn’t until 1978 that they recorded together again, but given the success of the end result, “The Closer I Get to You,” they decided to take another shot at recording a full album.