Christmas is a few days away and already the international music world has begun rolling out the Yuletide tunes and goodies. Luke Kenny gives a sneak preview of what's in store.music Updated: Nov 22, 2010 15:32 IST
It’s going to be that time of the year again when we’ll be jingling bells and opening presents. Yes, Christmas is a few days away and already the international music world has begun rolling out the Yuletide tunes and goodies. I will be reviewing them in the weeks to come, but let me give you a sneak preview of what’s in store.
One such is the new special deluxe re-mastered and restored edition of the classic Bruce Springsteen album Darkness On The Edge Of Town, which is out soon. So all you Springsteen fans should be overjoyed. Classic ‘80s pop band, Duran Duran too has begun re-mastering a few of their hit albums in deluxe double CD editions, but more on that later. Then there is last year’s reality TV phenomenon Susan Boyle, who too joins the ranks of these artists with her new Christmas-themed album.The wonderful John Lennon Signature box set, which is a treasure-box that storing his complete solo career beautifully re-mastered and packaged, has been out for sometime but I have not had a chance to tell you about it.
And last, but not the least, the first and sadly posthumous, Michael Jackson album of all unreleased material of the pop icon, simply titled ‘Michael’, hits the streets in December. For now, carry on reading…if I may say so.
Here’s what you want on your iPod, recommends Luke Kenny
For those extremely hardcore Rolling Stones fans, who collect solo material from individual members as well, this one is a compilation of selections from all the solo Keith Richards albums. Keith has been one of the songwriting partners in the band so it’s only natural that his solo creativity has the verve and swagger of the band’s ouvre as well. The only difference here is Keith is singing. There is some good time fun rock n roll stuff to dance to. Not too serious, not too silly either and it’s always great to hear Uncle ‘Keef’ bring the ‘life’ into his music that just seems to keep him going.
I Feel Like Playing: Ronnie Wood
Eagle Rock Records
From one Stone to another, Ronnie’s seventh studio album comes almost nine years after his 2001 record, ‘Not For Beginners’. And this time he’s loaded up a few stellar guests as well. Slash, Eddie Vedder, Flea, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) and Kris Kristofferson all lend a helping hand to Ronnie as he rolls out those tunes. And as most Stones fans will agree, Ronnie has always been underrated as a guitarist and a songwriter, but here he gets to shine, and shine he does, with some superb songs, such as ‘Sweetness my weakness’ (blues-reggae), ‘Catch You’, ‘Fancy Pants’ (some mean playing here). This is a fine turn from a musician still be seen as one in his prime.
Olympia: Bryan Ferry
Roxy Music has been one of my favourite bands for sometime now. And Bryan Ferry, their one-time vocalist has held an equal sway over my aural faculties. He brings a quiet renaissance melancholy to his music that is unlike any other. He is 65, yet he sounds 25. And with his first solo album of original material in eight years, Bryan keeps that thought going. So with Kate Moss on the cover and fellow Roxy-ians, Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera who lend a hand along with Groove Armada, Scissor Sisters, David Gilmour, Marcus Miller and Flea (again) among others, Bryan has set before us yet another sophisticated work of art that only true connoisseurs will appreciate.
Bold As Brass: Cliff Richard
You may ask, who listens to Cliff Richard anymore? But well, let me tell you, a lot of people! The 70-year-old is one of Britain’s oldest popstars. This year we saw him doing six sell-out shows at London’s Royal Albert hall, while the ageing singer-songwriter was on tour. So we get Cliff, who’s actually bringing the swing to his singing with classic songwriting stalwarts like Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Wille Dixon, Rodgers & Hart, Duke Ellington, Gershwin and others. Songs like ‘Night and Day’, ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’, ‘I Just Wanna make Love To You’ and ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’ are great examples of the ‘Cliff’ treatment on songs. This is Cliff, an institution in himself, who’s still singing while he’s swinging and believe me, he’s winning.