More Top Stories: The Beatles, Jay-Z, Wayne Coyne

August 11, 2010 1:00 PM ET

The Beatles' classic greatest hits collections — 1962-1966 (better known as the Red Album) and 1967-1970 (the Blue Album) — will be reissued on October 19th. The new editions will be digitally remastered to match the sound of the original analog recordings and feature rare photos of the band. [Press Release]

Jay-Z is auctioning off 5 pairs of Nike Air Force 1s that the rapper designed for charity. The money will benefit his Shawn Carter Scholarship Program. [eBay]

•The latest edition of the Classic Albums DVD series will revisit Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 1979 LP Damn the Torpedos. Tom Petty and the band candidly discuss the origins of the tracks, including "Don't Do Me Like That," which Petty had originally written for the J. Geils Band. [Reuters]

Wayne Coyne will take over as guest DJ on Sirius XM for a week starting next Monday, sharing his favorite songs and playing deep cuts from the Flaming Lips catalog on the Sirius XMU channel. Coyne will also discuss plans to write a musical inspired by the band's song Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robot with artist Damien Hirst and writer Dave Eggers. [Press Release]

•This week, Weezer unveiled the cover art for their new LP Hurley, which features Lost's Jorge Garcia. Now, the actor has responded to the tribute, saying "When I look at the picture, I notice that there's something going on with my hair, like it's starting to come loose or something. But I'm happy with it." [MTV]

•Police have released audio of Fantasia Barrino's 911 call, following her drug overdose on Monday in North Carolina. The American Idol winner is recovering after being discharged from the hospital yesterday. [CNN]

Kanye West will perform at the 2010 MTV VMAs on September 12th, just one year after he infamously hijacked Taylor Swift's acceptance speech. Drake and Florence and the Machine are also the first few artists confirmed to perform. [MTV]

Gene Simmons has revealed that Kiss has recorded a cover of Paul McCartney's "Venus and Mars," the title track from Wings' fourth album, for an upcoming McCartney tribute album. [ The Weekender]

•Check out the cover art for Elvis Costello's new album National Ransom, due out November 2nd. Costello recorded the album in Nashville, Tennessee with producer T-Bone Burnett. [Direct Current]

George Michael will face charges for driving under the influence and possession of marijuana following a car crash last month. [Reuters]

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

More Song Stories entries »