Pop Music

Prefab Sprout’s lost Steve McQueen was a perfect slice of synth-pop heaven

Prefab Sprout’s lost Steve McQueen was a perfect slice of synth-pop heaven

‘Steve McQueen,’ released this month in 1985, should’ve hurtled Prefab Sprout to fame in MTV-era America. Instead, they remained curiously anonymous.

Chicago’s two musical eras were bridged by the sweet, complex ‘Just You ‘N Me’

Chicago’s two musical eras were bridged by the sweet, complex ‘Just You ‘N Me’

Released this week in 1973, Chicago’s “Just You ‘N Me” combined their now-familiar easy-listening vibe with cool earlier-period improvisational asides.

Another landmark Supreme Court decision nearly derailed Seals and Crofts

Another landmark Supreme Court decision nearly derailed Seals and Crofts

One of the 1970s’ most controversial Supreme Court cases sparked an emotional new song from Seals and Crofts. And it cost them.

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best of 2015 (Reissues + Live): Rolling Stones, John Oates, Yes + others

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best of 2015 (Reissues + Live): Rolling Stones, John Oates, Yes + others

This Mid-Year Best of 2015 list also includes Emerson Lake and Palmer, Gov’t Mule, Jeff Beck, Lead Belly, the Knack and the Staple Singers.

The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go to San Francisco [Pts. 1-2]” (1967): One Track Mind

The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go to San Francisco [Pts. 1-2]” (1967): One Track Mind

The Flower Pot Men’s very name, of course, says much about the era. Still, “Let’s Go to San Francisco (Pts. 1-2)” remains a stunningly produced song, and a flower-power classic.

Cretones – Thin Red Line (1980): Forgotten Series

Cretones – Thin Red Line (1980): Forgotten Series

Cretones’ ‘Thin Red Line’ certainly tanked in its time. But hindsight, through the courtesy of a 35-year rearview mirror, offers a different perspective.

John Howard and the Night Mail – John Howard and the Night Mail (2015)

John Howard and the Night Mail – John Howard and the Night Mail (2015)

Rife with balance, strength and commanding images, ‘John Howard and the Night Mail’ keeps the ears open and the mind awake.

Preston Frazier’s Mid-Year Best of 2015 (Pop, Jazz + Rock): Yes, Richard Page, Toto + others

Preston Frazier’s Mid-Year Best of 2015 (Pop, Jazz + Rock): Yes, Richard Page, Toto + others

This Mid-Year Best of 2015 list also includes J.D. Souther, Jose James, Luke Reynolds, Kevin Gilbert, Leslie Johnson, Joni Mitchell, Marc Cary and others.

Act unnaturally: The Beatles’ Ringo Starr in the movies

Act unnaturally: The Beatles’ Ringo Starr in the movies

When you ask Ringo Starr about his movie career, he’s happy to talk about ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and ‘Help!’ Bill DeYoung’s look back shows that’s probably for the best.

Taylor Penrose, “Gives Me Everything” (2015): One Track Mind

Taylor Penrose, “Gives Me Everything” (2015): One Track Mind

Driven by Taylor Penrose’s southern-shaded soul-pop vocals, the Initiative’s “Gives Me Everything” evokes a cross between Jackie DeShannon and Freda Payne.