lobal superstar George Michael will release his first album in seven years whenSYMPHONICA, arrives in stores March 18th on Island Records in the U.S. SYMPHONICA is available for pre-order now in a Standard version: http://smarturl.it/isymphonicaSTD and Deluxe version: http://smarturl.it/isymphonicaDLX. The album, produced by the legendary Phil Ramone, and George Michael, was recorded during the wildly successful 2011-12 ‘Symphonica’ tour of the UK and Europe. The first single released to support the album will be the dramatic ballad “Let Her Down Easy.”
A studio version of “Let Her Down Easy” is the subject of a provocative new video directed by Vaughan Arnell, one of the UK’s most innovative music video directors. To view the “Let Her Down Easy” video, go to: www.vevo.com/watch/george-michael/let-her-down-easy/GBUV71400065.
The universally acclaimed ‘Symphonica’ tour found George performing a selection of songs from a remarkable career which has spanned over 30 years, as well as covering some of his favorite songs. Such beloved signatures as “A Different Corner,” “Praying For Time” and “One More Try” blossom in their concert setting, alongside such intriguing gems as “John And Elvis Are Dead” and the gorgeous “Through.” George breathes new life into the swing era standard “My Baby Just Cares For Me” and the Oscar-nominated “Wild Is The Wind,” popularized by a host of artists from Johnny Mathis to David Bowie.
The ‘Symphonica’ tour made history in September 2012 when George became the first contemporary pop artist to play the prestigious Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris. A television special documenting that historic concert performance will air worldwide. It will be seen in the U.S. on Sunday, April 13th on AXS TV at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).
During a career which began in 1959, 14-time Grammy Award®-winner Phil Ramone produced legendary artists includingTony Bennett, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Luciano Pavarotti, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and Stevie Wonder, among many others. Ramone and George Michael enjoyed a magical working relationship, prior to SYMPHONICA they worked on George’s 1999 album, Songs From The Last Century. SYMPHONICA was the final work of Phil Ramone, who died in March 2013, at age 79.
George Michael has been a pop music superstar for over 30 years. He has sold over 115 million records from the earliest days of the much-loved Wham! in the 1980s, through a solo career which has transformed him from teen idol to icon, via a succession of superlative albums and groundbreaking tours. After his 1987 debut solo album Faith sold over 25 million copies, George went on to craft a substantial body of work. Along the way, he has worked with such greats as Stevie Wonder,Elton John, Aretha Franklin, and Beyonce.
TRACKLISTING FOR SYMPHONICA:
1. Through (Live)
2. My Baby Just Cares For Me (Live)
3. A Different Corner (Live)
4. Praying For Time (Live)
5. Let Her Down Easy (Live)
6. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Live)
7. Feeling Good (Live)
8. John and Elvis Are Dead (Live)
9. One More Try (Live)
10. Cowboys and Angels (Live)
11. Idol (Live)
12. Brother Can You Spare a Dime (Live)
13. Wild is the Wind (Live)
14. You’ve Changed (Live)
15. I Remember You (Live) – digital pre-order bonus track
This video documents the story of Wounda, one of the more than 160 chimpanzees living at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo.
Thanks to the expert care provided at Tchimpounga, Wounda overcame significant adversity and illness and was recently relocated to Tchindzoulou Island, one of three islands that are part of the newly expanded sanctuary. Dr. Jane Goodall was on hand to witness Wounda’s emotional release, and now you can too.
The emotional hugging begins at about 2:50.
David Bowie has reportedly offered to write new music with Claudia Lennear, a former backing singer and star of Oscar winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.
Lennear revealed that Bowie, with whom she was romantically linked in the 1970s, called her “out of the blue” to offer his services and that she intends to take him up on the proposal. The backing singer, who is said to have inspired Bowie’s song “Lady Grinning Soul“, told the New York Post that she has been shocked by the success the film in which she stars has brought.
“I got a call from David Bowie out of the blue two days ago,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it when I first heard his voice. We haven’t seen each other in 20 years… He told me he wanted to write my next project.”
“This is bringing so many gifts back from my past,” she added, before saying that she “will definitely hold David [Bowie] to his promise”.
Here’s a cool find circulating on the net – it’s one of 5 songs recorded by an early incarnation of Pink Floyd, which was at the time named The Tea Set back in 1965. Guitarist Bob Klose was part of the band at the time. Here’s Lucy Leave, aka Lucy Lee in Blue Tights: download MP3
This song was released in 1996 on a two track mini-CD that came bundled with an Italian, now-withdrawn, 96-page book “A Fish Out of Water”.
Just when you think all can be said about The Beatles, here comes a huge two-volume chronicle of The Beatles’ official American tours by Chuck Gunderson Some Fun Tonight: The Backstage Story of How The Beatles Rocked America: The Historic Tours of 1964-1966. Collectors Weekly has excerpts from the book, in which each city has its own chapter. One great story is about how Kansas City was not on the original tour schedule…
But Charlie Finley, who owned the Kansas City Athletics baseball team, had promised his city a Beatles concert, so he started working on the band’s manager, Brian Epstein, from the moment the tour began in San Francisco. Finley was prepared to pay top dollar to bring The Beatles to Kansas City, which is saying a lot, since they were already the best-paid act in show business.
“At that time,” says Gunderson, “the big stars were Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland, who were each getting between $10,000 and $15,000 a show. When The Beatles came around in 1964, Brian was getting them anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 per show. Finley offered $100,000, and Epstein essentially said, ‘No. They’re having a day off; the tour is booked. Go away.’”
Used to getting his way, Finley was not so easily brushed off. “His ego was huge,” says Gunderson, “and he had the money to spend. So he went to Brian again when The Beatles were in Los Angeles to play the Hollywood Bowl and wrote out a check for $150,000. Reportedly, Brian took it to this private mansion in L.A. where The Beatles were staying and said ‘What do you want me to do with this?’ And they basically said ‘We’ll do anything you want.’ And so The Beatles were booked to play Kansas City on the 17th of September, at just under $5,000 a minute.”
Canadian Music Week is pleased to announce that on Thursday, May 8, 2014, Ian Greenberg will be inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place during the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards gala being held at the Kool Haus (132 Queens Quay East) in Toronto.
“I am deeply honoured to be inducted in the Canadian Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame and to be recognized by the industry I’ve dedicated my career to,” said Ian Greenberg. “I am very proud to be joining all of the remarkable men and women who have contributed to the Canadian broadcasting system – one of the world’s best and most diverse.”
One of four brothers who founded Astral, Greenberg played an integral part in Astral’s 50-year history by gradually transforming the company, from a photographic specialty business into one of Canada’s leaders in pay and specialty TV, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. As President and Chief Executive Officer of Astral from 1995 until BCE’s acquisitionin July 2013, Greenberg oversaw the company while it achieved 16 years of consecutive profitable growth. Greenberg has been a director of the BCE board since July 2013.
A Harvard Business School Advanced Management graduate, Greenberg is an active supporter of a number of industry and charitable associations. He and his brothers were awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award in 1993. In 2007, Greenberg received the prestigious Ted Rogers and Velma Rogers Graham Award for his unique contribution to the Canadian broadcasting system. He was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2008, and into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2013.
The Downward Spiral, the magnificent second album from Trent Reznor, aka Nine Inch Nails, features 14 recordings showcasing Reznor’s rich, emotive voice and some of the strongest and melodic negative energy ever put on wax. Its creation, its impact and the traumatic past and present of Reznor is all there to hear. It not only crysalized everything Reznor might have felt about his past, but it changed his future to something he fought against for years – a household name. It’s hard to believe 20 years has passed since the release of the album, so let’s take a look at 20 Facts about The Downward Spiral.
1. Co-produced by Trent Reznor and Flood (U2, Depeche Mode,) The Downward Spiral was conceived after the Lollapalooza 1991 festival tour as a human release for the negative energy felt in the concerts.
2. His record label, TVT, also had him angry, so Reznor co-founded Nothing Records with his former manager John Malm, Jr. and signing with Interscope for distribution. This was pivotal, as Reznor could now take all the time he wanted to record the album without record label suits watching him.
3. Reznor was so depressed that his friends suggested that he should be on Prozac. Reznor felt it would be better to channel the energy into his music.
4. Reznor began renting a house at 10050 Cielo Drive, Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles in Beverly Hills, California to record the album in 1992 and had a recording studio built inside.
5. This was the same house Charles Manson visited in late 1968, when it was occupied by couple Terry Melcher (the son of actress Doris Day) and Candice Bergen with roommate/talent manager Roger Hart. In February 1969, Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate began renting the home from Altobelli. On August 9, 1969, the home became the scene of the murders of Tate, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring and Steven Parent at the hands of the Manson “Family.”
6. Reznor’s home studio, dubbed Pig (sometimes called Le Pig) is a reference to murderer Susan Atkins writing “Pig” in Tate’s blood on the front door of the house.
7. In December 1993, Reznor was confronted by Patti Tate, who asked if he was exploiting Sharon Tate’s death in the Tate house. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Reznor recalled:
While I was working on [The] Downward Spiral, I was living in the house where Sharon Tate was killed. Then one day I met her sister [Pattie Tate]. It was a random thing, just a brief encounter. And she said: ‘Are you exploiting my sister’s death by living in her house?’ For the first time, the whole thing kind of slapped me in the face. I said, ‘No, it’s just sort of my own interest in American folklore. I’m in this place where a weird part of history occurred.’ I guess it never really struck me before, but it did then. She lost her sister from a senseless, ignorant situation that I don’t want to support. When she was talking to me, I realized for the first time, ‘What if it was my sister?’ I thought, ‘Fuck Charlie Manson.’ I went home and cried that night. It made me see there’s another side to things, you know?
8. That same studio was also used for the recording of Marilyn Manson’s debut album Portrait of an American Family, which Reznor co-produced. Marilyn Manson was the first band other than Nine Inch Nails to sign with Nothing Records.
9. Adrian Belew, who played in several bands, including King Crimson and the live band for David Bowie, recorded what became the odd ending of “Mr. Self Destruct,” the opening song of the album.
10. In 1996, a remix of “Mr. Self Destruct” (“The Art of Self Destruction, Part 2″) was used in a Levi’s television advertisement, which was directed by David Fincher. Reznor and Fincher would later collaborate for the soundtracks to the films The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
11. The frantic drumming “Piggy” is Reznor’s only attempt at performing drums on the record, and one of the few “live” drum performances on the album. The recording was from him testing the microphone setup in studio, but he liked the sound too much not to include it.
12. Go on, YOU try drums for “March of the Pigs” with it’s unusual meter. It alternates three bars of 7/8 time with one bar of 8/8 time, making in effect, a 29/8 time signature. The song’s Beats Per Minute? 269.
13. 13 years after its release, “March Of The Pigs” debuted at #9 and peaked at #6 on the Canadian Singles Chart. Chalk it up to record stores carrying the physical single CD again.
14. “Closer”‘s drum track features a heavily modified bass drum sample from the Iggy Pop song “Nightclubbing” from his album The Idiot. In 2006, “Closer” was voted number one in a VH1 Classic poll titled “20 Greatest Music Videos of All Time.” Strangely enough, Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra have played it a number of times on the Late Show with David Letterman.
15. Senator Bob Dole, then head of the Republican Party, sharply criticized Time Warner (who distributed the album) after a meeting between Michael J. Fuchs (head of the Warner Music Group), William Bennett, and C. Delores Tucker, at which Tucker and Bennett demanded that Fuchs recite lyrics from “Big Man with a Gun” because they thought the lyrics were an attack on the United States Government. Reznor denied any political interest, and that “Big Man With A Gun” was a satire of the gangster rap genre.
16. “Hurt” received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Song in 1996 but lost to Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know”.
17. In 2002, Johnny Cash covered the song for his album, American IV: The Man Comes Around. Not only did Cash remove the swear words in the song, but he used his tone more directly to reference Christ and Cash’s devout Christianity. Its accompanying video, featuring images from Cash’s life and directed by Mark Romanek, was named the best video of the year by the Grammy Awards and CMA Awards, and the best video of all time by NME in July 2011. The cover was released on a single with the B-side ‘Personal Jesus’, a cover of the Depeche Mode single.
18. When Trent Reznor was asked if Cash could cover his song, Reznor said he was “flattered” but worried that “the idea sounded a bit gimmicky.” He became a fan of Cash’s version, however, once he saw the music video.
“I pop the video in, and wow… Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps… Wow. [I felt like] I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn’t mine anymore… It really made me think about how powerful music is as a medium and art form. I wrote some words and music in my bedroom as a way of staying sane, about a bleak and desperate place I was in, totally isolated and alone. [Somehow] that winds up reinterpreted by a music legend from a radically different era/genre and still retains sincerity and meaning — different, but every bit as pure.”
19. Before the Columbine High School massacre, two Columbine High School student mass murderers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold referenced lyrics from Nine Inch Nails multiple times in their journals, with the latter specifically naming The Downward Spiral as a symbol of his depression.
20. The critics loved the record from the start. Entertainment Weekly says “Reznor’s pet topics (sex, power, S&M, hatred, transcendence) are all here, wrapped in hooks that hit your psyche with the force of a blowtorch.” Rolling Stone gave the album five out of five stars and called it “a powerful statement, and one of the landmark albums of the Nineties.” The album entered the Billboard 200 at number two and was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of four million copies in the United States.
Meredith Shaw visited and performed at the Music Canada office today! Meredith played a short set of songs from her new EP, ‘Hardest Goodbye,’ including the title track and ‘Slide.’ A few dozen people took in the mid-afternoon set including the neighbours from the Liberty Village business community.
‘Hardest Goodbye’ is Meredith’s second EP in a series of three 3-song EP recordings, and was released just yesterday via eOne Music Canada. The EP was produced by John-Angus Macdonald of the multi-platinum certified band The Trews, and follows 2013’s release of ‘Trouble,’ which was produced by acclaimed artist Joel Plaskett.
Via Music Canada
Yonge St Media recaps the inaugural meeting of the Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council. I’m proud to be on the Council, so here’s how it all began, and what we hope to accomplish.
The idea for a Toronto music advisory board was first floated in a 2012 Music Canada report entitled “Accelerating Toronto’s Music Industry Growth – Leveraging Best Practices from Austin Texas”. Among its many suggestions, the report suggested that Toronto should create a music advisory board similar in structure to the one in Austin, Texas. Completed for music industry advocacy group Music Canada by a third-party researcher, “Accelerating Toronto’s Music Industry” became the basis for the 4479 campaign.
MAC, a board of 30 music industry professionals, includes musicians, venue owners, and studio executives. It’s co-chaired by Toronto-based singer/songwriter Amanda Martinez and Councillor Michael Thompson and will meet once a month to discuss strategies for promoting Toronto as a “music city.”
Last week’s inaugural meeting included discussion on how to incorporate more musical performances in major event like the Toronto International Film Festival and the 2015 Pan/ParaPan Games and a bold suggestion from Graham Henderson, president of Music Canada, that the city needs to “look at economic development throughout a music lens.”
In a letter sent this week to members of City Council, Music Canada said of new advisory group, “MAC will provide unprecedented opportunity for dialogue between the entrepreneurs and artists who make up our music cluster and City Council and city departments that interact with music on a regular basis. It will provide regular engagement of organizations like Tourism Toronto and TABIA who are critical partners in our city building efforts. In short, it will help us work together to build on potential areas of growth and improvement and to create new opportunities for jobs and investment.”
4479 (the numbers refer to city’s longitude and latitude points) was announced as part of this year’s NXNE festival. A coalition led by Music Canada–and made up of members from the music industry, tourism, municipal government and business–the campaign’s avowed goal is “to position Toronto as one of the greatest music cities in the world.”
In related Toronto music industry news, Toronto City Council has approved funds for the Host Showcase celebration programme that will take place during the 2015 Pan/Parapan Games. The city’s contribution is $2.5 Million and is being matched by the TO 2015 Local Games Operating Committee. The host city showcase will be co-programmed and co-produced by the city and the TO 2015 Pan Am arts and culture office.