Friday, 26 October 2018

NEW MUSIC EAR'S PERSONAL PLAYLISTS - "QUEEN"

A NEW FEATURE ON NEW MUSIC EAR.  THE PLAYLISTS ON MY IPOD FEATURE LOTS OF VARIOUS ARTISTS SO I THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE MY PLAYLISTS WITH YOU.  HOPE YOU SEE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITES!

QUEEN


PLAYLIST


From the band's 1973 self titled debut album, when they were just a great Classic Rock band I chose the one outstanding track for me, "Keep Yourself Alive".  There was actually a first version of "Seven Seas Of Rhye" on the album but it was a very short instrumental, I didn't include this one!.



From 1974's "Queen II" there was only one track I could pick, the superb "Seven Seas Of Rhye", as previously mentioned this was half written at the time of their debut so the instrumental version was included there.  This version is totally different to what they initially thought it would be come, a blistering Rock track with a comedic style ending of "I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside".  Class!



"Sheer Heart Attack" released later that year gave me three tracks for my playlist.  The atmospheric and anthemic "Now I'm Here" plus the the manic, almost Punk sound of "Stone Cold Crazy".  The brilliant piano-led "Killer Queen" completes the trio of tracks.



1975's album "A Night At The Opera" (the first of two albums named after Marx Brothers' films!) I chose two songs, one is probably the best known and best loved of all Queen songs, the incredible, monumental, epic "Bohemian Rhapsody".  The second is the first single written by John Deacon, "You're My Best Friend", its a cool Electro Rock ballad and quite an emotive but positive song.



I added three tracks from the 1976 album, "A Day At The Races", one of my favourites "Somebody To Love", and the quirky Pop style of "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy".  The third track is the Glam Rock/Bues style of "Tie Your Mother Down".



From 1977's sixth Queen album, "News Of the World" I chose the two most anthemic Queen songs, the absolute gems "We Are The Champions" and "We Will Rock You".  Nothing more to be said about these two, just immense.



1978 saw "Jazz" reelased to both critical acclaim and scorn on both levels.  Such as the varying musical styles on the album.  However, I still managed to pluck three of my all time favourite Queen songs for my playlist.  One of their most famous songs "Don't Stop Me now" and two of their quirkiest but most fabulous songs, "Bicycle Race" and "Fat Bottomed Girls".  
Four songs chosen for the playlist from 1980's release "The Game", like most of my favourite artists the Eighties' music always sticks in my memory.   From the Pop Rock ballad "Play The Game" to the funky, electronic pumping sound of "Another One Bites The Dust".  The Elvis Presley Rock N' Roll style of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" completes the quartet with the emotional and brilliant "Save Me".



I just had to choose "Flash" from the movie Soundtrack of 1980, it was one of the first singles somebody bought me.  Always remember Brian Blessed's "Gordon's alive!".  Would have been a better film if the lead role wasn't so badly played by Sam Jones.  The makers missed a trick there, bad casting for the big role.  Great movie soundtrack though.



After "The Game" came the disappointing (for me) 1982 album, "Hot Space", a little more Disco sounding than Rock and the only track I could pick was the fantastic "Under Pressure", a duet with David Bowie.  A memorable and superb track by two incredible music acts.



1984 saw the band back to their best and conquering the world with the extravagant videos and catchy Rock songs like "Radio Ga Ga" and "I Want To Break Free", both just had to be included on my playlist.  The lesser known but by no means inferior tracks "Hammer To Fall" and "It's A Hard Life" are also here.  This is the Queen I remember fondly.



The 12th studio album by Queen released in 1986, "A Kind Of Magic" was again a masterpiece, and again I chose four tracks to appear on my playlist.  After Live Aid in 1985 the band could do no wrong.  The big, loud and proud "One Vision" accompanies "A Kind Of Magic", a "bit of everything" song that is quite experimental but works to a treat! Completing the four tracks is the emotive and powerful "Friends Will Be Friends" and the quite beautiful "Who Wants To Live Forever".
Sadly, with Freddie Mercury becoming more and more ill and Brian May's marital problems, I kind of sensed it with this album that things were going off the rails.  Only "I Want It All" was Classic Queen and is included on my playlist.  The rest of the tracks just didn't register with me at all, lightweight and poor quality.




1991 saw the release of "Innuendo", nine months after this release Freddie sadly passed away.  This album was much like the last, the band's writing and musical creativity were obviously hampered by Freddie's condition.  I did manage to pick two songs "These Are The Days Of Our Lives" and "The Show Must Go On", two very poignant tracks.



The final studio album from Queen was released in 1995.  Four years after Freddie's death the remaining members re-worked songs recorded with the frontman's vocals to unifinished tracks.  Two of the songs were masterpieces, "I Was Born To Love You" and "Too Much Love Will Kill You".  Both end my Queen playlist in style.



I AM SURE MANY FANS WILL BE DEBATING THE INCLUSIONS AND THE TRACKS NOT INCLUDED, BUT I HOPE YOU FOUND THIS PLAYLIST INTERESTING, CHECK BACK FOR MORE ON NEW MUSIC EAR!








Friday, 12 October 2018

NEW MUSIC SINGLE REVIEW - BO JOHNSON (Featuring Emma Persson) - "FIELDS OF GOLD"

MUSIC ARTISTS? WANT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE(S) REVIEWED TRACK BY TRACK PLUS FREE PROMOTION ON NEW MUSIC EAR AND SHARED TO TWITTER, LINKEDIN, INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK? IF YOU LIKE THIS REVIEW, PLEASE CONTACT ME :)

BO JOHNSON


(Featuring Emma Persson)

"FIELDS OF GOLD" 


By Andrew Goodwin for NEW MUSIC EAR www.newmusicear.com.

SUMMARY - Bo hails from Sweden and has been around the music business for some time.  After learning a variety of instruments he founded his own label, BJ Music in 2003.  He got into the art of DJing and also developed his own composition and production techniques.  After a shocking injury and being told by doctors he would never walk again, he battled back and took titles in bodybuilding! A remarkable man, looking after his son and daughter and halting his dreams he bounced back and has since claimed much chart success. "I don't want to dream my life, I want to live my dreams" is his motto and he is doing just that!


"FIELDS OF GOLD" - The track was originally composed and released by Sting on his 1993 album, "Ten Summoner's Tales" and has been recorded by other artists such as Eva Cassidy, Maxi Priest and Katie Melua.  Bo has cleverly hidden EDM into this track but still keeping the melancholy emotive content at the fore.  The track features the gorgeous breathy vocals of Emma Persson.  The first 30 seconds lead you to believe it is a usual softly sung Pop ballad but then the Electronic sounds and clicks kick in and it steadily becomes an Electropop ballad. After a 60 seconds the vocals become distorted and atmospheric, almost wildly ambient before returning back to the first 30 seconds intro style and finishing with Electropop.  It's a brave move to re-invent  a popular song by a well known artist but I think Bo has achieved it.  The emotions of the lyrics are still there and the powerful inspiring vocals by Emma.  The added Electropop segments don't detract from the song it just makes it more unsusual away from the norm.  Being a fan of Prince I like experimental recordings, some work, some don't.  Personally I think this is a refreshing listen and the guy sure deserves a break and to express himself in any way he chooses.  Give this song a try even if you are fan of the other versions, it is unique and new.  







NEW MUSIC ALBUM REVIEW - ALEXIS - "THE DEBUT ALBUM"

MUSIC ARTISTS? WANT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE(S) REVIEWED TRACK BY TRACK PLUS FREE PROMOTION ON NEW MUSIC EAR AND SHARED TO TWITTER, LINKEDIN, INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK? IF YOU LIKE THIS REVIEW, PLEASE CONTACT ME :)

ALEXIS


"THE DEBUT ALBUM"



By Andrew Goodwin for NEW MUSIC EAR www.newmusicear.com.

ALBUM SUMMARY - Alexis has appeared in several West End musicals but this album wouldn't be what you would expect from such a star.  It is in fact a great Pop Rock album coming with catchy choruses, ballads, emotive and anthemic vocals with lots of guitars thrown in for good measure! All the songs were written by the man himself and it has been created by the help of crowdfunding by fans.  Included here are nods to Bon Jovi, Fleetwood Mac, Goo Goo Dolls and Fall Out Boy.  After reviewing his debut single, "Sweet Angel" and loving it I was hoping for more of the same rocky fare and I wasn't disappointed.  Awesome debut by a genuine guy who loves music and loves making it.  I hope this propels him to where he belongs, he's got a great talent and deserves it.  The best first album I have heard in a long time.  It is set for Digital Release on 26th October, 2018.

01 SWEET ANGEL - Opening like a soft ballad but building into a Bon Jovi style crescendo after the one minute mark.  Great Rock Pop with a little U2-esque instrumental break in the middle.  I can definitely hear a Goo Goo Dolls influence, being a fan of the band.  Its about unconditional support and love from his parents throughout his life, everybody needs a sweet angel to stop them from falling.

02 FACE THE CROWD -  Kicks off with a pumping plucking guitar and drumbeat which for some reason reminds me of Van Halen.  Then it powers into a great Pop Rock track similar to the likes of Glass Tiger and Goo Goo Dolls with a little Berlin thrown in! It builds up to a blistering catchy chorus that I have to say, I was soon singing along to!

03 HOLD YOU CLOSE - Alexis' promise to his own children that he will never break and hopefully give the same support and guidance his parents gave to him.  This track is a sweet, lilting Acoustic Pop ballad with a Country twang.  Alexis' soulful voice reminds me of one of his infuences, the late George Michael.  The song is filled with emotion and says "don't let anyone take your dreams, stay true to you".

04 RULE THE WORLD (Featuring Danielle Stears) - A powerful, inspiring and uplifting Rock ballad featuring a duet with West End leading lady, Danielle Stears.  Her voice reminds me of Cher in her Rock phase and Alexis' vocal is similar to Jon Bon Jovi.  If you can imagine a duet between these two stars then you will love this.  Classic Rock anthemic ballad.

05 SAVE ME - An Acoustic Rock Pop ballad, emotive and with Alexis' heartfelt vocals takes me back to some of George Michael's classic slow tempo tracks on the albums "Faith" and "Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1".  Another uplifting track and showcases Alexis' fine vocals on centre stage.

06 DON'T LET IT GO - Another surprise, this is funky Pop Punk akin to Fall Out Boy and some of the 80s classic New Wave Punk bands.  Great track, love this, showing that this guy is no one trick pony.  This powers through for the whole track and keeps you head bobbing and your foot tapping! Brilliant.

07 HOME (Featuring Liv Austen) - Guest vocalist here is Norwegian singer songwriter Liv Austen.  This is a gorgeous song.  It's a little Folk, a little Country and a little Rock duet that is atmospheric and fabulous.  Total chill out, beautiful harmonies, it's just a lovely song.  I defy you not to keep playing this once you have heard it.  Definitely my favourite on the album.  Should be a single.

08 ROAD TO REDEMPTION - Superb Classic Rock track, almost bluesy Bon Jovi style.  Fuse the New Jersey boys with some funky Red Hot Chili Peppers and you have this fantastic track..  Searing guitars with a stomping beat similar to the "Keep The Faith" style of Jon and the boys.  Yet another catchy chorus.

09 THE LUCKY ONES - Piano led Pop ballad, again similar in vein to George Michael.  Lovely vocals from Alexis, giving his vocals the full echo effect to power out that emotion in the lyrics.  Ballads, funk, rock, pop, punk? Is there nothing this man can't do? Top stuff.

10 NO ORDINARY GIRL - Goo Goo Dolls meets Foreigner.  Another catchy chorus, which shows Alexis' keen ear for a hook and also his lyric writing talent.  As a lyricist and writer myself I always listen hard to to the lyrics and this guy knows how to write a song. This track glides along nicely then bursts into a powerful singalong chorus.  Great end to a great debut offering!



Wednesday, 3 October 2018

NEW MUSIC EAR'S PERSONAL PLAYLISTS - "ADAM ANT/ADAM & THE ANTS" PART 2

A NEW FEATURE ON NEW MUSIC EAR.  THE PLAYLISTS ON MY IPOD FEATURE LOTS OF VARIOUS ARTISTS SO I THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE MY PLAYLISTS WITH YOU.  HOPE YOU SEE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITES!

ADAM ANT/ADAM & THE ANTS


PLAYLIST PART 2


I must admit I wasn't very fussed on this album but when compiling tracks for this playlist I found that it was a great Pop Rock album.  I eventually found more than the famous "Apollo 9" "rockers in space" track and the anthemic "Vive Le Rock".  Both had to be on the list but I found more.  The big and bouncy Doors' like "Miss Thing", the chug-a-chug 60s style of "Razor Keen" and the Billy Idol style of "Rip Down".  Also here are the mysterious, atmospheric "Scorpio Rising" and the quirky Rock of "Hell's Eight Acres".  Completing the tracks is the almost Acoustic jam of "No Zap".



1990's "comeback" album "Manners & Physique" came as a shock to Antfans with its superb production and electronic and funky dance elements.  With the help of Andre Cymone, one of Prince's Minneapolis buddies it was a great album in my opinion.  I absolutely loved "Room At The Top", it was funky and Adam's voice sounded better than ever.  "Rough Stuff" was pure Electronic Dance Pop, it grew on me eventually.  The tracks "If You Keep On" and the title track could have easily been included on "Strip", great songs.  "Can't Set Rule About Love" was his best ballad to date (before "Wonderful" came), a really nice love song.   "Piccadilly", "Anger Inc." and the brilliant almost Punk Pop of "Young, Dumb And Full Of It" complete this album's contribution.



The planned 1992 release of "Persuasion" was never released for whatever mysterious reasons.  However, copies have been found in various places.  I was lucky to find one and the lead track "Persuasion" is included in my playlist.  The album is like a rockier version of "Manners & Physique" and was obviously the way forward to the 1995 album, "Wonderful".  The album is ok but the tracks haven't quite grown on me as much as the others on this playlist, hence the one track.



A compilation yes, but also the first time the 1978 Decca debut single "Young Parisians" appeared on an album. I added this to the playlist, it is a pity that the B-side "Lady" has never appeared on CD but maybe one day I can add that as well if that ever happens.  The early singles, the frenetic "Zeroz" and second re-working of "Cartrouble" were certainties here.  Also, the single version of "Antrap" which is far superior than the version on "Prince Charming" with the memorable chorus.  The "name dropping" stars past and present in the quirky "Friends" and the barnstorming monster that is "Kick" from the B-side of the "Cartrouble" single is included.  "Deutscher Girls" is also here, the track from the "Jubilee" soundtrack.  



Another compilation arrived in 1994, "B-Side Babies" incorporated a load of great Ant B-Side tracks that fans love.  The majestic Punk Pop of "Fall In" and "Beat My Guest" are just classic Ant music.  The rocky re-workings of old Ant tracks such as "Greta X" and two of my favourites "B-Side Baby" and "Christian D'Or" are just superb.  The two flipsides of the "Strip" singles may divide opinion here but I really like them, "Kiss The Drummer" and "Yours Yours Yours".



So 1995 brought the long awaited "second coming" of Adam Ant in the form of "Wonderful".  It was half inspired and brilliant and half patchy.  I managed to choose 6 tracks of the 11 on the album.  The title track is a tour de force, a wonderful (excuse the pun) Rock ballad, Adam's voice sounded great, mature and more accomplished than ever before.  His best ballad (and he doesn't do ballads often) since "Can't Set Rules About Love".  A monster of a track.  The awesome "Gotta Be A Sin" and "Vampires" takes you back to the "Vive Le Rock" album which shows Adam hasn't forgot his past.  "Won't Take That Talk", "Image Of Yourself" and "Alien" are just great Pop Rock.



Following the success of "Wonderful" there was a little mini album of B-sides and songs from the "Wonderful" sessions, "Goes Around" is a track I chose from that album.  A proper Punk rocker Ant style.



Before the albums were remastered 5 years later, in 2000 came the magnificent Antbox, a 3cd collection of demos, tracks and outtakes from the Ant archives.  The classic "Y.M.C.A" parody "A.N.T.S" is simply brilliant and funny in equal measures.  Originally given away with a Flexipop magazine in the 80s this is a treasured recording.  Two old Ant Punk classics are included in the playlist, "It Doesn't Matter" and "Whip In My Valise", the B-side to the "Zerox"single.  The more recent "Saigon" and "Brand New Torso" are also here.  I would have liked to have added "How To Steal The World" and "Bruce Lee", but like "Lady", I can't seem to find them on CD.  If anyone is reading this and can tell me how to find these gems pleas elet me know!



In 2013 Adam's third comeback came with the supposed sequel to "Kings Of The Wild Frontier".  The album was "Adam Ant Is The Blueblack Hussar In Marrying The Gunner's Daughter".  I have seen fans praising this album and some not really getting it.  I am afraid I didn't get it, in my mind every Ant album had a different sound and a different look.  To go back to another time and look is not the creative genius we know and love.  It didn't work, some songs are just "ok" and some are just not up to the standard we expected.  I chose the single "Cool Zombie" as I actually quite like it, this track works.  I also chose "Vince Taylor" as it reminded a little of a hybrid between a "Wonderful" track and a "Vive Le Rock" track.



I AM SURE MANY FANS WILL BE DEBATING THE INCLUSIONS AND THE TRACKS NOT INCLUDED, BUT I HOPE YOU FOUND THIS PLAYLIST INTERESTING, CHECK BACK FOR MORE ON NEW MUSIC EAR!



NEW MUSIC EAR'S PERSONAL PLAYLISTS - "ADAM ANT/ADAM & THE ANTS" PART 1

A NEW FEATURE ON NEW MUSIC EAR.  THE PLAYLISTS ON MY IPOD FEATURE LOTS OF VARIOUS ARTISTS SO I THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE MY PLAYLISTS WITH YOU.  HOPE YOU SEE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITES!

ADAM ANT/ADAM & THE ANTS


 PLAYLIST PART 1


From the original 1979 Adam And The Ants' debut album, "Dirk Wears White Sox", arguably the most innovative Punk Pop album, comes quite a few tracks.  Nine of the album's 12 tracks are on the playlist.  The Punk ballad "Digital Tenderness", the dark "Nine Plan Failed" and the rip roaring darkly comical religious rocker "Day I Met God", one of my favourite Ant tracks are all here.  The unusual emotive love song "Tabletalk" and a kind of humorous homage to "Cleopatra" all couldn't be ignored.  Also included is the Ants' take on Kennedy's assassination in "Catholic Day" and the weird and wonderful aliens story "Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face)".  The manic "Animals And Men" and the almost Pop style of "Family of Noise" make it onto the list.



1980 saw a new Ants lineup after Malcolm McLaren took Adam's band to form Bowwowwow.  With it came a new songwriting partneership between Adam and guitarist Marco Pirroni.  "Kings Of The Wild Frontier" was the breakthrough album with its double drumming, "burundi beat" tribal sound.  One of the best albums of the 80s and possibly one of the most original.  Again nine of the 12 tracks appear on my playlist, such was the quality of the set.  The singles, "Antmusic", "Dog Eat Dog" and "Kings Of The Wild Frontier" are all famous from 80s playlists and Top of the Pops' appearances.  The first "cowboy" twang Ant song, "Los Rancheros" name checking Clint Eastwood and the quite brilliant "Feed Me To The Lions" take places.  Also here are the two "Ant anthems", "Ants Invasion" and "Don't Be Square (Be There)".  The fun pirate shanty song "Jolly Roger" and the dark, but superb "Killer In The Home" finish this set's tracks.  



A year later in 1981, came in quick succession another Ants' album and another image change.  "Prince Charming" brought a little more orchestral and Adam said it was rushed, which is why its probably not high on Antfans' best albums list.  I only could choose my ultimate favourites tracks so there are only 4.  The singles, obviously, the brilliant title track and another Ant anthem, "Stand And Deliver".  The other two tracks are "Scorpios", a track which did work with the brass backing and the extremely quirky "Picasso Visita El Planeta De Los Simios" or Picasso Visits The Planet Of The Apes, sounds mad and it is, but sounds great!



Keeping hold of just Marco, Adam decided to make a solo career, and his first album was "Friend Or Foe" released in 1982.  After experimenting with brass instruments on "Prince Charming" he took it to a new level with this album.  One of my favourite albums to chill out to.  After the disappointment of the previous album, nine tracks were plucked from this one to my playlist.  The fabulous singles "Goody Two Shoes", "Friend Or Foe" and the slow ballad "Desperate But Not Serious" had to be included.  The mid tempo half ballad singalong "Something Girls" and the uptempo chugging of "Place In The Country" take places with the fantastic cover version of The Doors' "Hello I Love You".  Making up the nine are the almost dark "Here Comes The Grump" and two brilliant Pop singalongs in "Made Of Money" and "Try This For Sighs".



This is probably not one of the fans' favourite albums, "Strip" released in 1983 was also poorly received by critics.  However, I chose 8 of the 10 tracks for my playlist as I love this album, it showed a more mature writing and singing for Adam.  The single "Puss 'N Boots" was the stand out track and is obviously here, another great video and even "Strip" was a great video with the lovely Mary Stavin.  Both songs had catchy choruses.  "Baby Let Me Scream At You" and "Playboy" are classic Pop while "Libertine" and "Spanish Games" are a little more quirky.  "Navel To Neck" is one of my favourite tracks while "Vanity" and "Playboy" show Adam's more mature vocals.


I AM SURE MANY FANS WILL BE DEBATING THE INCLUSIONS AND THE TRACKS NOT INCLUDED, BUT I HOPE YOU FOUND THIS PLAYLIST INTERESTING, CHECK BACK FOR MORE ON NEW MUSIC EAR!


 

Monday, 1 October 2018

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - ELECTRONIC DANCE POP ARTIST ALEX MARIE BRINKLEY

Alexandra Marie Brinkley was born in Fort Worth, Texas in USA.  Alex says she wants people to relate to her music and not be alone with their problems.  The first song she wrote called " Fly" was about her being bullied at school, she went on to perform for other people and though only young she listens compassionately to her friends and other people and writes from her point of view of their troubles.


Her influences include Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato.  She is apparently a down to earth personality and very humble of her talent. When I first heard about Alex I instantly thought of Vanessa Carlton's style who is also an influence of hers along with singer pianist Sara Bareilles.  Alex has a single on iTunes called "Tell Me" and has recently released an E.P. entitled "Love Everything" which features the lovely Acoustic number "Hello Heartbreak".


Alex has since released her debut single, "Broken" to rave reviews and an E.P. "The Other Side".  From singing the National Anthem at various sporting events to playing her ukulele with Kala Brand Music, Alex is a busy lady of many talents.   She is also a featured artist for the House Of Blues' "Chick Singer Night" which raises money for a Dallas women's shelter.


Since winning the Singer/Songwriter contest at the Wildflower Arts And Music Festival she has been blazing a trail around the Fort Worth, Dallas and even Nashville music scenes.  So much so that The Nashville Songwriters Association international have labelled Alex as "one to watch".  Mixing EDM with sprinkles of Country and Acoustics and a stunning voice, Alex Marie Brinkley is a name we may be hearing a lot of in the next few years!