Wednesday, August 9, 2017

OMD/The Punishment Of Luxury album reviewed!

     
OMD
THE PUNISHMENT OF LUXURY

9.1.17

BRONSKI BEAT: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A with Steve Bronski!






THE ANSWERS YOU SEEK:

An EXCLUSIVE Q&A
 with 
BRONSKI BEAT’s 
Steve Bronski

     It has been 33 years since Bronski Beat arrived on the music scene with their remarkably emotional debut single “Smalltown Boy.” Jimmy Somerville’s soaring falsetto was quite a wonder to behold but the music performed by Steve Bronski and Larry Steinbachek was equally enthralling. Equally enchanting, the band’s debut album THE AGE OF CONSENT was Synthpop at it’s finest. Inspired by classic Disco and the Electronic Music scene that was sweeping the UK, the trio blended their influences into a wondrous brew. Add in their thought-provoking lyrics that focused on gay-related issues and you had a band that not only made you dance but also made you think. Surprisingly, in 1985, at the height of the band’s popularity, Somerville abruptly quit, leaving Bronski and Steinbachek to carry on without him. The following year, the band returned with new vocalist John Foster and released the Pop-errific sophomore album TRUTHDARE DOUBLEDARE. Although “Hit That Perfect Beat” and “C’mon! C’mon!” were hits, the album didn’t fare as well as their debut and the band left their label (London Records).  Foster left the fold and Bronski and Steinbachek’s continued to work together throughout the rest of the ‘80s and into the ‘90s. They released their third album, RAINBOW NATION, with new vocalist Jonathan Hellyer and additional musical assistance from Ian Donaldson. However, the band quietly split in 1995 shortly after that album’s release.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Country Pride:

An EXCLUSIVE interview 
with 
Charley Pride


     For half a century, Charley Pride has been one of Country Music’s hardest working and most beloved entertainers.  Ever since his 1966 debut single on RCA, “The Snakes Crawl At Night,” he has forged a path that has been consistent and rewarding to his fans and those that love traditional Country Music. With over 50 Top Ten Country singles to his credit – 29 of those reaching #1 – Charley is one of the most successful Country vocalists of all time. Against all odds, he has outlasted nearly all his contemporaries from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s and he shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. MUSIC IN MY HEART, his first album in six years, is an album steeped in Country tradition yet still sounds fresh and invigorating. With this album, Charley has delivered one of the most consistently excellent albums of his career. Now, if only Country radio still celebrated the traditional sounds of artists like Charley Pride…  
     Produced by Billy Yates and featuring songs written by Merle Haggard (“The Way It Was In ‘51”), Bill Anderson (“You Lied To Me”) Ben Peters & Justin Peters (“Natural Feeling For You”) and many others, MUSIC IN MY HEART is an essential listen for those that love Charley’s classic recordings as well as his more recent output on the Music City Records label. Tracks like “It Wasn’t’ That Funny,” “New Patches,” “I Just Can’t Stop Missing You” and the previously mentioned titles will remind you of the days when Country Music was about life, love and loss and less about glamor and gloss. MUSIC IN MY HEART is an instantly lovable and timeless collection of songs that will no doubt be considered a classic in Charley’s catalog.
     Stephen SPAZ Schnee was able to catch up with Charley Pride and spend a few minutes chatting about the album and more.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

HOWARD JONES/Best 1983-2017 (3CD) reviewed!

     

     While he achieved a lot of chart success early in his career (1983 to 1989) and still tours and releases new music, Howard Jones’ musical legacy has been somewhat overlooked since his heyday. While he certainly hasn’t been forgotten, he has become increasingly difficult to categorize… which is both a good and bad thing. He’s been labelled a Synthpop artist, a teen idol, a New Waver and an Electropop pioneer while also being lumped into the Adult Alternative category. Some have even pointed out his Jazz-influenced chord progressions and R&B leanings. In all honesty, Howard Jones is all of this and more.  And thankfully, Cherry Red has just released the three CD BEST 1983-2017, which really showcases Howard’s many talents. A set this comprehensive reminds the listener that Howard Jones is much more than an “’80s relic”. He was never a one-trick pony and this release backs that statement up.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

THE INMATES/The Albums 1979-1982 (3CD set) reviewed!



     In the late ‘70s, the Rock world was being turned on it’s head by Punk and New Wave. The pretentious ‘old guard’ (i.e. Prog rockers, Folk singer/songwriters, Pop stars, etc.) were handed their walking papers by the press, who latched onto the shouty, belligerent Punk kids. By ’79, you were more likely going to read about the exploits of Sex Pistols, The Damned and The Clash before you’d stumble upon a review of ELP’s latest live gig. And by that time, reviews of ELP, Yes and the like were leaning towards scathing.  However, while the press fell over themselves to discover the latest Punk craze, Pub Rock and British Rhythm & Blues was also a happening thing.  Dr. Feelgood were already established and Nine Below Zero were on their way to becoming legendary. While not always recognized as such, The Inmates were certainly one of the best of the Pub/R&B bunch (in fact, they still are!). With Cherry Red’s three CD box set, THE ALBUMS 1979-1982, The Inmates are finally receiving the credit and attention that they deserve. Containing the band’s first three studio albums (plus bonus tracks), this is a long over-due look at the band’s excellent early output.

Friday, July 7, 2017

THE VAPORS: Ten Reasons...

    

Ten Reasons Why You Should Love:

THE VAPORS


     UK Power Pop/Mod/New Wave quartet The Vapors are back!  Three of the four original members – singer/songwriter/guitarist David Fenton, lead guitarist Edward Bazalgette and bassist Steve Smith – have reunited and are playing a run of live dates in the UK!