John Wetton, Geoff Downes say success nearly killed Asia: ‘The pressure got to some of us’

John Wetton, Geoff Downes say success nearly killed Asia: ‘The pressure got to some of us’

March 16, 2015

Released this week in 1982, ‘Asia’ heralded a sure-fire supergroup. By 1983, they’d split. John Wetton and Geoff Downes tell us what went wrong.

Bjørn Solli – Aglow: The Lyngør Project Volume 1 (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

Bjørn Solli – Aglow: The Lyngør Project Volume 1 (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

March 16, 2015

Watch out for Bjørn Solli’s ‘Aglow: The Lyngør Project Volume 1′ (out May 4, 2015), conceived on a small island in South Norway and birthed with a crackerjack band in NYC.

Ross Hammond, “You Are My Sunshine,” from Flight (2015): Something Else! exclusive stream

Ross Hammond, “You Are My Sunshine,” from Flight (2015): Something Else! exclusive stream

March 15, 2015

Ross Hammond’s bare interpretation of “You Are My Sunshine” is an intimacy that comes from stark simplicity.

The Thing – Garage (2004; 2015 vinyl reissue)

The Thing – Garage (2004; 2015 vinyl reissue)

March 15, 2015

These sessions may have been recorded more than a decade ago, but the Thing’s ‘Garage’ is still one of the best albums I have heard this year.

David Gilmour, “Out of the Blue” from About Face (1984): On Second Thought

David Gilmour, “Out of the Blue” from About Face (1984): On Second Thought

March 27, 2015

Combine David Gilmour’s “Out of the Blue” – released March 27, 1984 – with the best of The Final Cut, and you’d get the next great Pink Floyd album.

David Gilmour, “Out of the Blue” from About Face (1984): On Second Thought

David Gilmour, “Out of the Blue” from About Face (1984): On Second Thought

March 27, 2015

Combine David Gilmour’s “Out of the Blue” – released March 27, 1984 – with the best of The Final Cut, and you’d get the next great Pink Floyd album.

Fussy and overwrought, Kiss’ Destroyer tried to out think itself

Fussy and overwrought, Kiss’ Destroyer tried to out think itself

March 15, 2015

Released on March 15, 1976, Kiss’ ‘Destroyer’ found producer Bob Ezrin at his too-busy worst. Kiss is (or it should be) too visceral for that.

Ringo Starr – Postcards from Paradise (2015)

Ringo Starr – Postcards from Paradise (2015)

March 26, 2015

His current All-Starrs buoy everything that surrounds them — including, it’s clear, Ringo Starr himself. The ultimate bandmate, Starr sounds whole again.

Steve Hackett, “Wolflight” from Wolflight (2015): One Track Mind

Steve Hackett, “Wolflight” from Wolflight (2015): One Track Mind

March 27, 2015

“Wolflight” is a colloquialism for the time just before dawn, when the world is rousing itself. Steve Hackett seems to be similarly coming alive again.

Little Walter – The Blues World of Little Walter (1988): Forgotten Series

Little Walter – The Blues World of Little Walter (1988): Forgotten Series

February 15, 2015

Remembering lesser-known sides from Muddy Waters harpist Little Walter, who hurtled his instrument forward before dying today in 1968.

The Band, “Let the Night Fall” from Islands (1977): Across the Great Divide

The Band, “Let the Night Fall” from Islands (1977): Across the Great Divide

March 26, 2015

The Band appeared to be turning toward a kind of modernity that might clear the way for new explorations. But night was, indeed, falling.

Steely Dan Sunday: Katy Lied turns 40 this month

Steely Dan Sunday: Katy Lied turns 40 this month

March 8, 2015

This month, Steely Dan’s ‘Katy Lied’ turned 40 years old. Here are some reasons why it’s good enough to overcome an infamous mixing fiasco.

The Beatles, “Baby You’re a Rich Man” from Magical Mystery Tour (1967): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Baby You’re a Rich Man” from Magical Mystery Tour (1967): Deep Beatles

March 20, 2015

The B-side to “All You Need Is Love,” “Baby You’re a Rich Man” stands as one of the Beatles’ most innovative, funky, and underrated tracks.

Bruce Springsteen’s Working On A Dream remains deeply misunderstood

Bruce Springsteen’s Working On A Dream remains deeply misunderstood

January 27, 2015

With ‘Working On A Dream,’ released six years ago today, Bruce Springsteen continued an intriguing journey back to the music of his formative years.

Yes, “Yesterday and Today” from Yes (1969): YESterdays

Yes, “Yesterday and Today” from Yes (1969): YESterdays

March 17, 2015

“Yesterday and Today,” from Yes’ 1969 debut album, finds the world’s greatest progressive rock band sounding anything but progressive.

Toto, “Manuela Run” from Toto (1978): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Manuela Run” from Toto (1978): Toto Tuesdays

March 24, 2015

“Manuela Run” contains all the strengths discussed so far in our new Toto Tuesdays series, adding in lead vocals by David Paich for the first time.

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Offramp” (1981)

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Offramp” (1981)

June 7, 2014

Some think Metheny is joking around, that he couldn’t possibly like “all of this noise.”

The Blues Brothers insisted on lifting legacy artists: ‘We did not grab a share of it’

The Blues Brothers insisted on lifting legacy artists: ‘We did not grab a share of it’

March 27, 2015

The Blues Brothers fought their label to make sure early heroes like Floyd Dixon, Steve Cropper and Isaac Hayes received royalties.

The Band, “Let the Night Fall” from Islands (1977): Across the Great Divide

The Band, “Let the Night Fall” from Islands (1977): Across the Great Divide

March 26, 2015

The Band appeared to be turning toward a kind of modernity that might clear the way for new explorations. But night was, indeed, falling.

The Blues Brothers insisted on lifting legacy artists: ‘We did not grab a share of it’

The Blues Brothers insisted on lifting legacy artists: ‘We did not grab a share of it’

March 27, 2015

The Blues Brothers fought their label to make sure early heroes like Floyd Dixon, Steve Cropper and Isaac Hayes received royalties.

Mickey Newbury, “Summertime” (1993): One Track Mind

Mickey Newbury, “Summertime” (1993): One Track Mind

March 17, 2015

When Mickey Newbury covered a song, he did it with such intensity that it’s hard to imagine it done any other way. Here’s another example.

David Gilmour, “Out of the Blue” from About Face (1984): On Second Thought

David Gilmour, “Out of the Blue” from About Face (1984): On Second Thought

March 27, 2015

Combine David Gilmour’s “Out of the Blue” – released March 27, 1984 – with the best of The Final Cut, and you’d get the next great Pink Floyd album.

Fighting Songs by the Rolling Stones, Pat Benatar, the Ramones + others: Odd Couples

Fighting Songs by the Rolling Stones, Pat Benatar, the Ramones + others: Odd Couples

March 20, 2015

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have finally agreed to fight. Here’s a special edition of Odd Couples to whet your appetite.

Calling From a Star: The Merrell Fankhauser Story, by Merrell Fankhauser (2015): Books

Calling From a Star: The Merrell Fankhauser Story, by Merrell Fankhauser (2015): Books

March 13, 2015

Merrell Fankhauser’s contributions to the music scene are priceless, and I’m thrilled to say his memoir is just as worthy.

Meet ‘The Wrecking Crew': Largely anonymous studio geniuses behind countless hits

Meet ‘The Wrecking Crew': Largely anonymous studio geniuses behind countless hits

March 14, 2015

‘The Wrecking Crew’ is an intriguing look at the typically anonymous musicians who helped complete so many hits of the Baby Boomer era.

How a Beatles song got into the final Monkees TV show: ‘I was so wiped out’

How a Beatles song got into the final Monkees TV show: ‘I was so wiped out’

March 25, 2015

Micky Dolenz shares insights into the impact of the Beatles on the Monkees’ last television episode, which aired on March 25, 1968.

Alan Parsons Project’s ‘I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You,’ ‘Lucifer,’ others: Gimme Five

Alan Parsons Project’s ‘I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You,’ ‘Lucifer,’ others: Gimme Five

March 18, 2015

On the anniversary of late member Eric Woolfson’s birth, we return to a radio favorite and then go deeper into the legacy of the Alan Parsons Project.