Streisand, Kiss Battle It Out In New Release Frenzy!

Page 2 of 2

Ellie Goulding: Halcyon (Cherrytree/Interscope) In years gone by, record labels would stick with an artist for one, two, maybe three albums before giving up on them if they didn't click. But no more. So kudos to Interscope Records here, who stuck with Brit singer Gouldingówho, to be fair, was quite successful in Britain and even sang at the Royal Weddingóuntil she finally made her mark over here. Pity about the label's mandatory head-shaving rule, but commerce is commerce! Still, the talented, visually appealing, personable singer now seems perfectly situated to break into the big-time US-style, is ready to cross all genres with the stylistic mish-mash here, and may be the biggest singer ever to title her album after a well-known sleeping pill! As always, UK residents have spelling issues!

John Cale: Shifty Adventures In Nookie Wood (Double Six/Domino) One never knows what to expect from John Cale, but this new effort from the former Velvet Underground mainstay displays the same adventurousness – melodically, lyrically, and arrangement-wise – that has colored his very best work and is an engaging, highly-textured listen. Appearances by Danger Mouse and an actual vocoder (or whatever) unexpectedly pop up--but never to the point of overuse, or to convey the dreaded sense of a major artist floundering. It's good stuff, a nice addendum to his repertoire, and aside from a 5.1 remix of Nico's The Marble Index, to which he was integral – which would be absolute godhead--about as good as any longtime fan could ever hope for in 2012. Recommended!

Gary Lewis & The Playboys: The Complete Liberty Singles (Real Gone Music) Issued briefly and the swiftly deleted, this 2-CD collection of '60s hitmakers Gary Lewis & company is tuneful, memorable, and surprisingly substantial. Looked upon now as the breeding ground for other talents – first hit "This Diamond Ring" was co-penned by Al Kooper, Leon Russell & crew played much of the great music, etc. – the band was enormously successful in the States, though never particularly a critical fave, and their actual albums – of which there were many – had a heavy supply of merely OK covers. But as for the hits themselves, all of which are included here, the group had an enormously successful run and deserve a critical reappraisal. Hits include "Count Me In," "Save Your Heart For Me," Everybody Loves A Clown," "She's Just My Style," "Sure Gonna Miss Her" and many, many more. To several people out there, it will serve as a reminder of what '60s pop radio – at least in the States – was all about. Get it while you can!

Django Django: Django Django (Ribbon Records) Like Duran Duran, Medium Medium, Guru Guru and Talk Talk before them, Django Django are an intriguing musical combo with – aww, let's just say it – a stuttering problem! Still, who can deny the musical merit of this superb debut set, one of the UK's better imports that has been critically lauded in its homeland and is being similarly critically lauded in this very review! Melodic, subtly textured and, in a stunning twist, including a song with a redundant title – that would be you, "Zumm Zumm" – Django Django is not just a great new band, but precisely the sort of group writers who get paid by the word should cozy up to!

The Supremes: I Hear A Symphony (Motown/Hip-O Select) Have to hand it to the people at Hip-O Select, who continue to do remarkable work with the Universal Music catalog, and here – via another top-notch classic Motown reissue – provide two discs showcasing this classic pop album in mono and stereo versions and, as is their comparatively new tradition, give them the contextual treatment they deserve as true pieces of vital pop culture. Aside from the title track, this includes "My World Is Empty Without You" and a previously unreleased show recorded at Detroit's Roostertail club, and is good stuff through and through.

Follow me on Twitter.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Yahoo New This Week Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »