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MIDYEAR VINYL TOP 50
The world is turning at 33 RPM. (7/23a)
PAUL GETS BACK
Hit series doesn't let us down. (7/23a)
HITS LIST IN GLORIOUS
BLACK-AND-WHITE
The inner circle of Outer Limits (7/23a)
THE HITS INTERVIEW WITH JAY MARCIANO
AEG chief's shares his packed 2022 calendar. (7/21a)
2021 MIDYEAR MARKETSHARE
The winner and still champ (7/22a)
NEW & DEVELOPING ARTISTS
From tender shoots to mighty oaks.
MARKETSHARE MANIA
Let's do the numbers.
DELTA VARIANT
It is not the name of a Henry Miller novel.
IS IT TIME FOR ANOTHER ROCK STORY?
Could be. Dunno.
Critics' Choice
A SURPRISE FROM RHIANNON GIDDENS
2/11/21

Rhiannon Giddens has a surprise new album They're Calling Me Home (Nonesuch) featuring Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi that will be released 4/9. Giddens has released a video for the title track.

Giddens and Turrisi have been holed up in Ireland since March due to the pandemic. Drawn to the music of their native and adoptive countries of America, Italy and Ireland, Giddens and Turrisi decamped to Hellfire, a small studio on a working farm outside of Dublin, to record 12 songs over six days.

TOWER OF POWER: FUNKY AT 50
2/11/21

Tower of Power’s celebration of its 50th anniversary—a two-night performance in Oakland in June 2018—will be released on video and various audio formats via Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group.

The Hi-Res digital edition of 50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theater–Oakland, CA–June 2018  will be available for streaming and download on Qobuz on 2/26; a three-LP set, a two-CD/DVD combo, a standalone DVD and digital offerings are set for 3/26.

For the shows, band leader/saxophonist Emilio Castillo invited several ToP alumni, among them saxophonist Lenny Pickett, keyboardist Chester Thompson, guitarist Bruce Conte and singer Ray Greene, who showed off his trombone prowess. The current lineup includes co-founder Stephen “Doc” Kupka on baritone sax and longtime drummer David Garibaldi.

The setlist includes the classics “You’re Still a Young Man,” “So Very Hard to Go,” “What is Hip?” and “Don’t Change Horses” to songs from recent albums on Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group, Soul Side of Town (2018) and Step Up (2020).

“You can take the boy out of Oakland, but you can't take the Oakland out of the boy,” Castillo says. “We always called the East Bay, where we were from, the dark side of the Bay. It was more ethnic, with a lot of blacks, Hispanics and Asians, and soul was the thing there. So, we called our first album East Bay Grease and put a map of Oakland on the cover, which proved to be a really smart move. People all over the world started saying that we represent the Oakland soul sound.”

ELVIS COSTELLO'S FORCES
TO BE RECKONED WITH
10/2/20

Elvis Costello has long been personally involved in reissues of his catalog, but he takes it to a new level by enhancing his revered and essential 1979 album, The Complete Armed Forces.

UMe is releasing on 11/6 a super deluxe edition box set with nine pieces of vinyl—three 12-inch LPs, three 10-inch LPs and three 7-inch singles—that includes a new remaster of the album, B-sides, alternate versions and outtakes, demos, and live recordings. Costello’s shows in ’78 and ’79 with The Attractions were explosive and the set includes –23 unreleased live tracks from three concerts.

Available today are three live performances—“(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?,” “Goon Squad” and “Pump It Up.”

The lavish box set embraces Barney Bubbles’ epic pop-art packaging, including the paint-splattered cover artwork by Bubbles and Bazooka (used for the American release and included in the fold-out U.K. version) and features a unique origami cover that folds out to display the bold art and graphics and the six vinyl LPs.

This set contains seven custom notebooks with newly updated liner notes from Costello, facsimiles of first-draft, handwritten lyrics and rare photos, memorabilia and concert ephemera.

“Most of this record was written in hotel rooms or on a tour bus, scribbled in a notebook which rarely left my side or failing this, from fragments and phrases scrawled on paper cocktail napkins or hotel notepaper,” Costello writes in the liner notes.

The comprehensive set also includes a print of the vintage grenade and gun poster and the four original postcards of each band member. Additionally, Costello commissioned acclaimed artist Todd Alcott to create pulp novel book covers of songs from Armed Forces starring himself as the protagonist in a variety of precarious situations.