ABC Classic Hits

Credit: Desiree PrietoBee Gees legend Barry Gibb's new solo album, Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers' Songbook (Vol. 1), has debuted at #1 on the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart.

The album, which features country-flavored renditions of select classic Bee Gees tunes on which Barry collaborated with a variety of country and pop artists, notched more than twice the amount of sales during the past week than the #2 U.K. album. Eighty-three percent of the album's sales were of physical copies.

Among the many guest singers on Greenfields are Olivia Newton-John, Dolly Parton, Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Alison Krauss and Little Big Town.

In celebrating his chart achievement, Gibb tells OfficialCharts.com, "There is no such thing as too much heaven. I couldn't be more thrilled. The past is unpredictable. Today is unbelievable. The greatest moment of my life! Thank you to all of our fans in the UK and all the folks at [my label] EMI. You've changed my life."

Barry's previous highest-charting solo album in the U.K. was in 2016 with In the Now, which peaked at #2. With The Bee Gees, Gibb reached #1 on the U.K. tally once before, with 1979's Spirits Having Flown.

In a video message, Barry gushes, "This is 40 years since my brothers and I had our last #1 record, so it's pretty outrageous. And I can't believe it."

By Matt Friedlander
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Credit: Kate IzorRoger Waters has re-teamed with his Us Them tour backing band for another remote performance video: a rendition of "The Gunner's War."  The track is an anti-war-themed song from Pink Floyd's 1983 album The Final Cut, which Roger posted to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

You can watch the video now at Waters' official YouTube channel and social media sites. Roger also has written an accompanying note in which he discusses a 2013 documentary called The Man Who Saved the World and reflects on how the film reminded him of the theme of "The Gunner's War."

The movie focuses on Stanislav Petrov, a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Air Defence Forces. In 1983, he played a key role avoiding a major nuclear incident, after an early-warning defense system falsely reported that the U.S. had launched a nuclear missile.

"The year before Stanislav saved the World…In the year 1982 I wrote…'The Gunner's Dream,'" Waters writes. "It's weird to think that had Stanislav not been…In the right place at the right time…None of us would be alive…No one under the age of 37…Would have been born at all."

Roger continues, "It is acknowledged by all but the cretins amongst us…That nuclear arms have no value…It is also acknowledged that…They are a ticking bomb…And we ignore them at our peril…Accidents happen."

He adds, "If I ruled the world, I would heed the words of the wise…I would get rid of nuclear weapons…First thing tomorrow morning…On Dr. King's name day…Of course no-one can rule the world…The world cannot be ruled…It can only be loved and respected and shared…If we're still here in the morning."

By Matt Friedlander
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Dante MarshallOn Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Stevie Wonder has posted an emotional video message reciting an open letter to the late civil rights leader commenting on the continued racial troubles plaguing the U.S., particularly in light of the recent storming of the Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Trump.

"Dear Dr. King, I met you when I was 14 years of age. You were a true hero and you became an inspiration," Wonder begins. "I've been blessed to write songs of love, hope and motivation, many of them inspired by your life...I want you to know that I'm thankful how you influenced my place of love, which allowed me to try to push the needle of love and equality forward."

Stevie, who was involved in the campaign to make King's birthday a federal holiday, then laments, "It is painful to know that the needle has not moved one iota. For 36 years, we've had a national holiday honoring your birthday and principles, yet you would not believe the lack of progress."

Wonder then lists a number things that he's "sick of," including "some people using God for a convenience rather than a commitment," "lies and deceit that dominate our reality" and "that truth is struggling to be heard and defended."

Later on, Stevie declares, "We need a truth commission that forces this country to look at its lies. I'm calling on President Biden and Vice President Harris to launch a formal government investigation to establish the truth of inequality in this country."

He adds, "We cannot be afraid to confront a lie and a liar. Those in leadership who won't or don't acknowledge the truth should be held accountable."

Wonder then pledges "to have the courage to say what I see and acknowledge what I hear."

By Matt Friedlander
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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagicGeddy Lee has been rather quiet of late, but the founding Rush frontman has signed on to take part in a virtual fundraiser for Canada's Vancouver Symphony Orchestra that will be streamed TheConcertHall.ca on February 18 starting at 6:30 p.m. PT.

The event, dubbed "The Show Must Go On: Stories of Resilience," will feature a gala concert by the orchestra, as well as a guest appearances by a variety of artists who will share anecdotes and talk about staying resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to Lee, the event will include appearances from k.d. lang, former Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page, lauded classical violinist Itzhak Perlman and many others.

The benefit will raise funds for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and its School of Music. Tickets are required and can be purchased at TheConcertHall.ca, with prices starting at 100 Canadian dollars.

By Matt Friedlander
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A&M/UMeSting's third solo album, The Soul Cages, was released 30 years ago this week, and to mark the milestone anniversary, the former Police frontman has issued an expanded digital-only version of the record.

Originally released in January 1991, The Soul Cages peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 and at #1 on the U.K. album chart. It includes the single "All This Time," which reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped Billboard's Mainstream Rock and Modern Rock tallies. The album's title track went on to win a Grammy for Best Rock Song in 1992.

The general theme of The Soul Cages focuses on Sting's sense of loss following the death of his father. Among the musicians who contributed to the record were Sting's longtime guitarist Dominic Miller, keyboardists David Sancious and the late Kenny Kirkland, and sax player Branford Marsalis. Sting sang lead on all of the songs and also played bass, mandolin and synthesizer.

The reissue features the album's original nine songs, as well as 13 bonus tracks. Among the extra tracks are four alternate versions of "Mad About You," including an Italian version and three remixes; as well as a Spanish version and extended mix of "Why Should I Cry for You."

Other bonus cuts include single edits of "All This Time" and "The Soul Cages," a live cover of Squeeze's "Tempted," and a rendition of Elton John's "Come Down in Time" that originally appeared on the 1991 tribute album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin.  Seven of the 13 extra tracks have never been released digitally.

Here's the full track list of the expanded edition of The Soul Cages:

"Island of Souls"
"All This Time"
"Mad About You"
"Jeremiah Blues (Part 1)"
"Why Should I Cry for You"
"Saint Agnes and the Burning Train"
"The Wild Wild Sea"
"The Soul Cages"
"When the Angels Fall"

Bonus Tracks:
"I Miss You Kate" (Instrumental)
"Come Down in Time"*
"Tempted" (Live)*
"Ne Me Quitte Pas" (Live)*
"Oo La La Hugh"*
"Mad About You" (Original Remix)*
"Mad About You" (Remix Edit)*
"Mad About You" (12" Remix)*
"Mad About You" (Italian Version)
"Why Should I Cry for You" (Spanish Version)
"Why Should I Cry for You" (Extended Mix)
"The Soul Cages" (Edit)
"All This Time" (Edit)

* = not previously available digitally.

By Matt Friedlander
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Courtesy of Ocean Spray

Now here he goes again: Nathan Apodaca has just landed a very presidential gig, thanks to his fame as the "Dreams" TikTok skateboard guy.

Nathan's video of himself chugging Ocean Spray juice and cruising on his skateboard while lip-syncing to the Fleetwood Mac classic sent "Dreams" and its parent album, Rumours, back up the Billboard chart last year.  It also spawned thousands of copycat clips, including three by current and former members of Fleetwood Mac.  Now, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Apodaca will be part of President-elect Joe Biden's virtual inauguration parade this week.

The parade will be hosted by Tony Goldwyn and will feature various celebrities, marching bands, dance troupes, honor guards, and the reunion of the alt-rock band New Radicals, best known for their song "Get What You Give."

According to TMZ, Nathan was invited to participate in the January 20 event because his TikTok helped to uplift people during the misery of 2020.  The idea was for him to incorporate skateboarding into the parade, and TMZ says he's already filmed something from his home in Idaho.

After his "Dreams" video went viral, Nathan was gifted a new truck by Ocean Spray, launched a merch line, was able to buy a house, and got engaged to his girlfriend.

By Andrea Dresdale
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DSDK ProductionsFounding Buffalo Springfield and Poco singer/guitarist Richie Furay has unveiled plans to release a new live album and concert video titled 50th Anniversary Return to the Troubadour on April 2.

The album and video, which will be available as a two-CD set and on DVD, document a special show that Furay played with his solo band in November 2018 at Los Angeles' famed Troubadour venue and that featured a full performance of Poco's 1971 live album DeLIVErin'.

The concert featured two sets, with the first -- which is dubbed "Still DeLIVErin'" -- offering a mix of Buffalo Springfield tunes, Poco gems and songs from Furay's solo catalog. The second set, titled "DeLIVErin' Again," showcased the DeLIVErin' performance, plus an encore rendition of Poco's enduring 1972 song "A Good Feelin' to Know."

Longtime Eagles and former Poco bassist Timothy B. Schmit, who played on DeLIVErin', joined Furay and his solo group at the 2018 concert for two songs -- "Hear That Music" and the aforementioned "A Good Feelin' to Know."

In advance of 50th Anniversary Return to the Troubadour's arrival, Furay has released a recording of one of the songs, a version of his 1968 Buffalo Springfield tune "Kind Woman," as a digital single and via streaming services. Richie also has posted a video clip of the performance at his official YouTube channel.

In the forthcoming release's liner notes, Furay writes of the project, "In many respects it was a labor of love because I knew how important the original album was to Poco fans and if [Richie Furay Band] didn't meet the standard, it would be a disappointment. I do not believe you are going to be disappointed. From my viewpoint, we have met and exceeded any expectations."

Here's the full CD track list:

CD1: "Still DeLIVErin'"
"On the Way Home"
"Let's Dance Tonight"
"We Were the Dreamers"
"Don't Let It Pass By"
"Go and Say Goodbye"
"Wake Up My Soul"
"Hard Country"
"Wind of Change"
"Anyway Bye Bye"
"Someday"

CD2: "DeLIVErin' Again"
"I Guess You Made It"
"C'mon"
"Hear That Music" (with Timothy B. Schmit)
"Kind Woman"
"Hard Luck"
"Child's Claim to Fame"
"Pickin' Up the Pieces"
"You Better Think Twice"
"A Man Like Me"
"Just In Case It Happens, Yes Indeed"
"Grand Junction"
"Consequently So Long"

Encore:
"A Good Feelin' to Know" (with Timothy B. Schmit)

By Matt Friedlander
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Mailboat RecordsSammy Hagar and his band The Circle have premiered an official music video for their cover of David Bowie's classic "Heroes," which is featured on their recently released album Lockdown 2020.

The clip features remotely shot footage of Hagar and his Circle band mates -- bassist Michael Anthony, drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson -- performing their parts separately and incorporated into the front page of an interactive newspaper dubbed The Lockdown Times that boasts headlines celebrating frontline workers and others who have helped out people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can watch the video now at the Red Rocker's official YouTube channel.

"Recording the song and creating the music video for 'Heroes' gave us a chance to tip our hats to all the Frontline workers on every level our of communities," Sammy notes in a statement. "From the doctors and medical workers, to the grocery stores, police, firefighters, scientists, and more who've put their own lives on the line to do their jobs and help others. For us, their contributions kind of sum up the best of 2020."

Hagar and The Circle are donating all proceeds raised from "Heroes" to food banks and relief efforts across the U.S. The track and the Lockdown 2020 album are available for purchase and streaming now.

As previously reported, Lockdown 2020 features the audio of performances from Hagar and his group's series of "Lockdown @Home Sessions" videos that have been posted on Sammy's YouTube channel since March 2020.

Among the other songs featured on Lockdown 2020 is a new original called "Funky Feng Shui," and covers of tunes by The Who, Bob Marley, AC/DC, Buffalo Springfield, Little Richard, Van Halen and Hagar's solo group The Wabos.

Here's the album's full track list:

"Funky Feng Shui"
"Won't Get Fooled Again" (The Who)
"Good Enough" (Van Halen)
"Three Little Birds" (Bob Marley)
"Whole Lotta Rosie" (AC/DC)
"For What It's Worth" (Buffalo Springfield)
"Keep A-Knockin'" (Little Richard)
"Right Now" (Van Halen)
"Don't Tell Me What Love Can Do" (Van Halen)
"Sympathy for the Human" (Sammy Hagar & The Wabos)
"Heroes" (David Bowie)

By Matt Friedlander
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Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images

Phil Spector, the famed music producer and songwriter who was later convicted of murder, has died, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed. He was 81.

Officials said Spector died of natural causes Saturday at an outside hospital.

Back in 2003, Spector was convicted of shooting and killing actress Lana Clarkson at his mansion in Alhambra, California. In 2009, he was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.

Dubbed "The First Tycoon of Teen," Spector became famous for his pioneering and legendary "Wall of Sound" production method that helped shape pop music in the 1960s and remains influential to this day.

Born in The Bronx, New York, Spector first found success as a member of the pop-vocal group The Teddy Bears, who scored a #1 hit in 1958 with "To Know Him Is to Love Him," which he wrote.

He soon began developing his skills as a record producer, and in 1961 he co-founded the Philles Records label. Spector began producing recordings for a series of popular artists, including Darlene Love and the all-female vocal groups The Crystals and The Ronettes, the latter of which was fronted by Phil's future wife Ronnie Spector.

Among the memorable hits Spector produced were The Crystals' 1962 chart-topper "He's a Rebel" and 1963 smashes "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me," and The Ronettes' 1963 singles "Be My Baby" and "Baby, I Love You."

Spector also produced one of the most beloved holiday albums of all time, 1963's A Christmas Gift for You, which featured many now-classic renditions of holiday tunes recorded by four acts on the Philles label: The Ronettes, The Crystals, Love and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans.

In 1966, Spector produced and co-wrote The Righteous Brothers' enduring chart-topper "You've Lost that Loving Feelin.'" That same year, Phil produced and co-wrote Ike & Tina Tunrer's "River Deep -- Mountain High."

His later album-production credits include The Beatles' Let It Be, George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, John Lennon's Imagine and Rock 'n' Roll, Leonard Cohen's Death of a Ladies' Man and The Ramones' End of the Century.

Spector was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1997.

Outside of his successful career in the music business, Spector apparently had a volatile personal life. He married Ronnie Spector in 1968, but the couple divorced in 1974. In her 1990 memoir, Be My Baby, Ronnie claimed that Phil was psychologically abusive and that he sabotaged her career by not allowing her to perform. Over the years, many artists accused Phil of erratic behavior, including multiple occasions where he threatened people with guns.

By Andrea Tuccillo, Andrea Dresdale and Matt Friedlander
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Cleopatra RecordsRick Springfield lends his talents to the latest in a series of digital singles pairing Badfinger guitarist Joe Molland with various pop and rock musicians on new versions of songs by the famed U.K. power-pop band.

The new track, which is available now, is an updated rendition of "Love Is Gonna Come at Last," a Molland-penned tune from Badfinger's 1979 album Airwaves. Springfield sings lead and plays guitar on the tune, while Molland contributes backing vocals and bass.

"Badfinger has always been one of my all-time favorite bands," says Springfield in a statement. "In fact, I am often asked by journalists, 'What is the one song you had wished you had written?' and my answer is [Badfinger's 1972 hit] 'Baby Blue.' What a perfect song! Their music was and is immortal."

You can check out the track now on YouTube.

A full-length album featuring "Love Is Gonna Come at Last" with Springfield, as well as other updated Badfinger songs boasting such special guests as Todd Rundgren, ex-Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman, power-pop artist Matthew Sweet, blues guitarist Sonny Landreth and more is due out later in 2021.

By Matt Friedlander
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Warner MusicFifty years ago this Saturday, January 16, rock fans got their first taste of that little ol' band from Texas, ZZ Top, when the trio -- singer/guitarist Billy Gibbons, bassist/singer Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard -- released its debut album.

The record, which was aptly titled ZZ Top's First Album, was produced by the band's manager, Bill Ham, and recorded at Robin Hood Studios in Tyler, Texas, outside of Dallas. Ham went on to produce the group's first 10 albums.

The album failed to chart on the Billboard 200, and yielded one, albeit unsuccessful, single, "(Somebody Else Been) Shakin' Your Tree," but it established the trio's trademark musical mix of blues boogie, hard rock and Southern rock with lyrics packed with attitude and humor.

Reflecting on the album in a 2013 interview with MusicRadar, Gibbons said, "We were three guys, we had three chords, and the future was wide open. We called the record ZZ Top's First Album because we wanted everyone to know that there would be more. We weren't certain if we'd get another chance in the studio, but we had high hopes."

Gibbons wrote or co-wrote all 10 songs on the album, with Ham contributing to five of the tunes, Hill to three and Beard to one.

Here's the ZZ Top's First Album track list:

"(Somebody Else Been) Shaking Your Tree"
"Brown Sugar"
"Squank"
"Goin' Down to Mexico"
"Old Man"
"Neighbor, Neighbor"
"Certified Blues"
"Bedroom Thang"
"Just Got Back from Baby's"
"Backdoor Love Affair"

By Matt Friedlander
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Reprise RecordsMore than a year after first mentioning the project on his Neil Young Archives website, Neil Young has announced full official plans to release an archival concert album and video called Way Down in the Rust Bucket on February 26.

The previously unreleased album and film document a November 1990 show Young played with Crazy Horse at the Santa Cruz, California, club The Catalyst. The concert featured Neil and his famous backing group playing three sets, and included eight of the 10 tunes from their then-new album Ragged Glory, which was released two months earlier. The performance also included classics such as "Cinnamon Girl," "Like a Hurricane" and "Cortez the Killer," as well as several deep cuts.

Young played his 1975 song "Danger Bird" and his 1981 tune "Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze" live for the first time at the gig.

Way Down in the Rust Bucket will be available as a two-CD set, a four-LP package and a deluxe box set containing the CDs, the LPs and a DVD featuring footage of the full show, including a 13-minute version of "Cowgirl in the Sand" that doesn't appear on the audio versions. The album also will be available in multiple digital formats.

Fans who pre-order Way Down in the Rust Bucket will receive an instant free download of a live, nine-minute version of the Ragged Glory tune "Country Home." The song also is available for streaming now, including at Neil's official YouTube channel, while a video of the performance has been posted at NeilYoungArchives.com.

Here's the Way Down in the Rust Bucket track listing:

"Country Home"
"Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze"
"Love to Burn"
"Days That Used to Be"
"Bite the Bullet"
"Cinnamon Girl"
"Farmer John"
"Cowgirl in the Sand"*
"Over and Over"
"Danger Bird"
"Don't Cry No Tears"
"Sedan Delivery"
"Roll Another Number (For the Road)"
"F***in' Up"
"T-Bone"
"Homegrown"
"Mansion on the Hill"
"Like a Hurricane"
"Love and Only Love"
"Cortez the Killer"

* = exclusive to the DVD.

By Matt Friedlander
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Gabe Ginsberg/Getty ImagesYoko Ono has informed a federal judge in New York that she has reached a settlement with her late husband John Lennon's former personal assistant that would end her lawsuit that alleged copyright infringement.

The deal ends 20 years of litigation and requires Frederic Seaman to pay $5000 and stop speaking about Lennon.

"Seaman is precluded from making any statements to a third party concerning or relating to John Lennon individually or as a member of the Beatles, Yoko Ono Lennon or Sean Lennon other than an attorney-client discussion," the settlement agreement said.

In February 1979, Seaman was hired as an employee of the Lennon household helping to care for their son Sean, running errands for the Lennon family, and accompanying Lennon, Mrs. Lennon and their son in many of their travels, court records said.

"That Seaman is a miscreant and self-promoter is incontrovertible: his first instinct after the horrific murder of John Lennon was to rob the Lennon Family for the purpose of gaining fame and fortune from exploiting a 'self-created' celebrity status," according to Ono's lawsuit that accused him of stealing personal items and defaming her.

"He would not only profit financially from Lennon's death, but he would also defame Mrs. Lennon and falsely attempt to portray himself as Lennon's only true confidante by falsely enhancing his status as a gofer," the lawsuit said.

By Aaron Katersky
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UMeIn 2015, KISS frontman Paul Stanley launched his side project, Paul Stanley's Soul Station, to explore his love of R&B and soul music. Now the group is set to release its debut album, Now and Then, on March 5.

The 14-track collection, available for pre-order now, features nine classic soul and R&B covers, plus five originals. In advance of the album, Soul Station has digitally released its rendition of The Five Stairsteps' 1970 hit "O-O-H Child." You also can check out the track at the group's official YouTube channel, along with a making-of documentary about the album.

Soul Station is a 15-piece ensemble that includes includes KISS drummer Eric Singer, as well as a guitarist, a bassist, two keyboardists, a percussionist, three backing singers and multiple horn and string players.

"Long before I ever heard the great British bands, I grew up listening to Philly Soul, Motown and so much more," Stanley says of his inspiration for Soul Station. "That music and its storytelling gave me strength and hope even in some tough days. The great classics of that era are magical medicine for most and I felt myself drawn back to that era for some sorcery I think we could all use."

Among the other covers featured on Now and Then are songs by The Spinners, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Temptations, Al Green, The Delfonics, The Styistics and The Four Tops.

Regarding the new material, Paul notes, "Between us doing some great Soul Station shows and starting the album, I started to think that neither the band or the music we love should depend only on the past so I started writing with the goal of seamlessly taking songs into the present."

Here's the Now and Then track list:

"Could It Be I'm Falling In Love"
"I Do"
"I, Oh I"
"Ooo Baby Baby"
"O-O-H Child"
"Save Me (From You)"
"Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)"
"Whenever You're Ready (I'm Here)"
"The Tracks of My Tears"
"Let's Stay Together"
"La-La – Means I Love You"
"Lorelei"
"You Are Everything"
"Baby I Need Your Loving"

 

By Matt Friedlander
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Polygram/UMe/Mercury StudiosJust a reminder: That recent documentary focusing on The Go-Go's will be released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats on February 5, and the film also will be available via rental services the same day.

The film, aptly titled The Go-Go's, charts the history of the all-female band, from its start as part of the Los Angeles punk scene and its fast rise to stardom in the early 1980s, to its 1985 breakup and subsequent multiple reunions. The doc was directed by Alison Ellwood, and features new interviews with all five Go-Go's -- Charlotte Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine and Jane Wiedlin -- as well as with Police drummer Stewart Copeland and others.

The movie premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival last January and got its television debut on Showtime in July. Coinciding with the documentary's TV premiere, a brand-new song by The Go-Go's called "Club Zero" was released. The movie features footage of the group working on the tune and playing it at the famed L.A.-area club The Whisky a Go Go.

You can pre-order the DVD and Blu-ray of The Go-Go's now.

Meanwhile, the band had been scheduled to launch reunion tour last year, which was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The trek now is slated to kick off on June 18 with a concert in San Francisco.

As previously reported, The Go-Go's will be among the honorees at the 2021 She Rocks Awards, which will be held virtually on Friday, January 22, and will be livestreamed at Parade magazine's official website and BelieveInMusic.tv, starting at 6:30 p.m. PT.

By Matt Friedlander
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Sylvain Sylvain with David Johansen of New York Dolls in 2011; Marc Broussely/RedfernsSylvain Sylvain, founding rhythm guitarist of the influential glam-punk band New York Dolls, died Wednesday of cancer, according to a message on his official Facebook page. He was 69.

The note reads, "Sylvain battled cancer for the past two and 1/2 years. Though he fought it valiantly, [Wednesday] he passed away from this disease. While we grieve his loss, we know that he is finally at peace and out of pain. Please crank up his music, light a candle, say a prayer and let's send this beautiful doll on his way."

Sylvain, born Sylvain Mizrahi in Cairo, Egypt, co-founded New York Dolls with drummer Billy Murcia, guitarist John "Johnny Thunders" Genzale, bassist Arthur Kane and singer David Johansen in 1971. The band's influences included The Rolling Stones, The Stooges, classic R&B and '60 girl groups.  Inspired by then-emerging glam-rock artists David Bowie and T. Rex, they took to wearing trashy androgynous outfits and women's clothing on stage.

Johansen paid tribute to Sylvain in a Facebook message that reads, "My best friend for so many years, I can still remember the first time I saw him bop into the rehearsal space/bicycle shop with his carpetbag and guitar straight from the plane after having been deported from Amsterdam, I instantly loved him. I'm gonna miss you old pal. I'll keep the home fires burning."

Murcia died of drug-related causes in 1972 and was replaced by drummer Jerry Nolan, solidifying the band's classic lineup. New York Dolls' self-titled debut album was released in 1973 and while the record wasn't commercially successful, it's gone on to influence countless groups, thanks to songs like "Personality Crisis," "Trash" and "Jet Boy." In 2020, Rolling Stone ranked the album at #301 on its "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list.

New York Dolls released one more studio album, 1974's Too Much, Too Soon, before the lineup started to splinter. Johansen and Sylvain continued to lead the band until its 1976 breakup.

Sylvain then launched a solo career and also collaborated with various artists over the years. Thunders and Nolan died of drug-related causes in 1991 and 1992, respectively, but in 2004, surviving New York Dolls Sylvain, Johansen and Kane reunited to perform at the U.K.'s Meltdown Festival, organized by Morrissey.

Sadly, Kane died of leukemia one month after the concert, but Sylvain and Johansen continued on with a new Dolls lineup that went on to record three more studio albums and tour frequently through 2011, when the band broke up again.

By Matt Friedlander
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Slaven Vlasic/Getty ImagesRob Thomas is preparing to say goodbye to his best friend Samy, his ailing senior dog, and is going above and beyond to make sure he's comfortable.

"So our Samy has a host of problems. But the one that is the most pressing is his kidneys are failing," the Matchbox Twenty frontman explained. "We know that this is what we are going to lose him to but we know we can buy some real time and give him a good quality of life."

To keep Samy comfortable, Thomas gives his Pomeranian "IV fluids twice a day."

"He just sleeps like an angel while we do it so it’s not something that makes him scared or feel bad and it truly helps and we see a more happy and engaged little guy when we do it," said Thomas. 

The "Lonely No More" singer went onto explain the other health issues afflicting Samy, such as epilepsy, liver cancer and partial blindness, saying his pup has had special needs since the beginning.

Thomas, 48, then attested that a pet being labeled special needs is not necessarily a death sentence.

"If you have a special needs little guy or girl at home just know if you’re willing to put in some time you can keep them around and happy longer than you think," the three-time Grammy winner encouraged.

Sidewalk Angels, the animal rescue Matthews and wife Marisol Maldonado founded in 2003, also offered words of encouragement to pet owners looking after elderly or sick animals.

"When many people hear that their pet is special needs, they become very scared and fear it’s a lost cause.   That couldn't be further from the truth," the foundation stressed. "With a little extra work and love, a special needs pet can have a long and happy life."

By Megan Stone
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Credit: Danny ClinchBruce Springsteen has joined President-elect Joe Biden's Inauguration Day festivities.

The Boss has been added to the lineup of performers for Celebrating America, an upcoming TV special airing the night of January 20. Foo Fighters and John Legend also have joined the event's bill.

According to a press release, Springsteen, the Foos and Legend will be performing from "iconic locations across the country." The concert also will feature previously performers Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, and singer-songwriter Ant Clemons. Additional performances will be announced leading up to Inauguration Day.

Tom Hanks will host the special, and Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington also will make appearances.

Celebrating America will air January 20 starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on a variety of different networks, including ABC, as well as a number of streaming and social media platforms.

By Josh Johnson
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Credit: Julie FogertyEx-Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty's Fogerty's Factory album, which was issued on CD and digitally in November, gets its vinyl release today.

The 12-track collection features mostly of new versions of CCR tunes and Fogerty solo songs that John recorded with his three youngest children -- sons Shane and Tyler, and daughter Kelsy.

Most of the performances were recorded at Fogerty's Los Angeles-area home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many debuted as part of a series of videos posted on John's YouTube channel.

John tells ABC Audio that his wife, Julie, suggested that he and the kids start recording performance videos together, and he says he realized from the first song they played it was a special opportunity.

"[T]o do one of my songs with my kids was…it doesn't get any better than that," Fogerty gushes. "I recognized what this was when we were rehearsing. This was priceless…You know, in the past, I never envisioned a whole family band. And right at the outset, the fact that we were playing one of my songs together as a family was unbelievably cool."

Tyler Fogerty tells ABC Audio that he was pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction fans had to the performance videos.

Tyler and Shane have both performed with their dad on his recent tours, but Tyler says he was glad the Fogerty's Factory project gave him the chance to play with Kelsy too. He adds, "And it was cool just to do it in a very informal way…[It] was very at home and comfortable and friendly."

Shane echoes Tyler's sentiments, noting that the Fogerty's Factory performances were "a homegrown thing that started kind of naturally and…people reacted really well to it."

Here's the Fogerty's Factory track list:

"Centerfield" (Dodger Stadium version)
"Have You Ever Seen the Rain" (from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)
"Lean on Me" (Bill Withers cover)
"Hot Rod Heart"
"Blue Moon Nights"
"Tombstone Shadow"
"City of New Orleans" (Steve Goodman cover)
"Proud Mary"
"Blueboy"
"Bad Moon Rising" (from satellite-radio special)
"Fortunate Son" (from satellite-radio special)
"Don't You Wish It Was True"

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/CRAIG SJODIN2020 was a big year for Elton John: Even if he wasn't able to tour, he won an Oscar, did a lot of online charity events, released his autobiography in paperback, put out his archival Jewel Box collection, and collaborated with artists ranging from Lady Gaga to British alt-rockers Gorillaz.  And 2021 will bring us even more Elton stuff.

Orla Lee-Fisher, the EVP head of strategic marketing at Elton's record label, tells Music Week that 2021 will be a big one for anniversaries of some of the legendary star's most beloved songs -- and she hints that there may be new releases to go along with them.

"It's the 50th anniversary of Madman Across the Water," she says of Elton's 1971 album, that gave us classics like "Tiny Dancer" and "Levon."

"We're about to enter 50th anniversaries of a lot of Elton's big tracks...we just had 'Your Song' and [in 2021] we've got 'Tiny Dancer.' There are always some big events that would be big for any artist," says Lee-Fisher.  "But for Elton, he's got multiple moments that we work to celebrate."

And all those anniversaries, of course, add up to major streaming numbers for Elton's catalog. According to Music Week, Elton's one of the veteran artists whose old hits are massively popular on digital.  In fact, his 2017 hits collection, Diamonds, was one of the biggest-selling albums last year in the U.K.

As Lee-Fisher puts it, "The great joy of Elton is that anything he does works across all areas of his catalog and repertoire."

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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