Friday’s Forthcoming Releases [Part I]


DAVID BOWIE 'VH1 Storytellers' [Release Date 06/07/2009]


VH1 Storytellers began in 1996 with intimate TV performances by Ray Davies and Elvis Costello. Over the next few years many singer/songwriters appeared on the show, performing in front of a live audience while telling stories of their music and memories. Many of the most memorable episodes featured British rock acts, and David Bowie appeared on the show 23rd August 1999. Bill Flanagan, Executive Producer of the show explains, "We were used to dealing with legendary musicians. Still, landing David Bowie was more than a big booking. There's no way to say this without being corny: it was an honor. Bowie has a unique place in rock & roll. He is not only one of the most influential musicians of the era, he does nothing unless he is fully committed. He never phones it in." He continues, "Bowie's Storytellers was a unique theatrical event, a sort of off-Broadway "Evening with the Artist" in which a great songwriter used bits and pieces from his life and career to show us all the roads leading up to a single moment,… a compelling introduction to David Bowie for the uninitiated and a fresh experience for the long time fan. It was a highlight of the series and a good lesson to those of us behind the camera who sometimes think the artist needs our help. When dealing with an artist of the stature of David Bowie, we can help best by getting out of his way."


FLORENCE + THE MACHINE 'Rabbit Heart [Raise It Up]' [Release Date 22/06/2009]



"As charismatic in her own, utterly distinctive way, Welch looks and sounds like a star." The Sunday Times Culture "Florence and the Machine's mad art-pop will be 2009's most beautiful noise." The Guardian Guide After releasing just two limited singles ('Kiss With A Fist' and 'Dog Days Are Over'), the magnetic Florence & The Machine has built up a formidable following of fans and critics alike, even winning this years highly prestigious Critics Choice BRIT Award. Now with the impressive debut album 'Lungs', Florence Welch looks set to exceed all hype and expectation, blowing her contemporaries out of the water. The first single from her new album is 'Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)' released on 21st June. It is a riotous track that brings Florence to the main stage and proves why the critics love her so much but why the charts will love her too.


THE MARS VOLTA 'Octahedron' [Release Date 22/06/2009]


'Octahedron' is the stunning new album from The Mars Volta. An album heady with the emotion and high-drama that has always been the band's trademark, their newfound simplicity and focus has delivered some of the most immediate and powerful songs in their discography. The album opens with the tender ache of 'Since We've Been Wrong', Cedric's keening vocal establishing a mood that's deeply blue, powerfully melancholic, a suckerpunch that hits every bit as hard as Octahedron's unashamed rockers [the gleaming futuristic funk of 'Teflon,' the tense chase-music of 'Cotopaxi']. Pulling back from the full-tilt experimentation of previous releases, the album invests its energies in Omar's gift for songcraft, for swooning guitar runs of high tension and emotive power ('Luciforms'' epic riffage), and for the nagging hooks and melodies that wreath the churning rhythms of 'Desperate Graves'. "For me, all that's important is if something moves you or not," explains chief writer Omar Rodgreguez-Lopez. "I've never tried to be tricky, to be complicated; if it gives me goosebumps, I'll use it. If it's striking, if it hits me as a listener, that's all that matters to me."


CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL '40th Anniversary Editions Box Set' [Release Date 22/06/2009]


* 40th anniversary 'clamshell' box-set. * 7 albums in replica-vinyl, Japanese paper-sleeves. * Includes all six of their classic studio albums. * Also features the hard-to-find 1972 album – 'Mardi Gras'. * Features all the hits – 'Bad Moon Rising', 'Proud Mary', 'Down On The Corner' and many others… * 112-page Booklet. Includes original Album sleeves and feature liner notes by world-class rock music journalists. Although they sounded like no other band, CCR redefined rock and roll. They showed, in the most entertaining way possible, how the music could embrace – and was, in fact, founded on – elements of R&B and the blues, country, folk, and jazz, as well as a world of other musical forms. Creedence were pioneers in the fusion of rock and country. They were 'roots' before roots took hold as a music genre…


VANESSA WILLIAMS 'The Real Thing' [Release Date 22/06/2009]


This is Vanessa Williams' Concord Records debut and her first album in more than four years. In her own words, 'The Real Thing' is "a potpourri of breezy latin rhythms, sultry jazz standards and dreamy pop sketches," and perhaps her most musical record to date. Her first album in more than 4 years, this is her most heartfelt and introspective album yet and delves into sophisticated pop and R&B that have been the hallmark of her dynamic musical career. Features two new songs penned by Babyface ('Loving You' and 'Just Friends'). Also features the new song 'I Fell In' by Phil Galdston, who penned one of Vanessa's all-time biggest hits, 'Save The Best For Last'.


JEWEL 'Perfectly Clear' [Release Date 22/06/2009]


Finally released in the UK, the album originally went Top 10 in US charts and was a No.1 Country album It comes as no surprise that Jewel, an acclaimed American singer, songwriter, actress, poet, painter, philanthropist and daughter to an Alaskan cowboy singer-songwriter, found herself in the embrace of country music for the release of her seventh career album, 'Perfectly Clear'. Jewel's personal odyssey, partly chronicled on one of the best selling debut albums of all time, the twelve-time platinum 'Pieces of You', comes full circle with her country album, 'Perfectly Clear'. "I've been writing country songs my whole career; some of the songs on this record date back to when I was 18. I've been hanging on to them until now. They were meant for a record like this one." The record's first single 'Stronger Woman' is a powerful and positive message. 'Perfectly Clear' is produced by Jewel and John Rich of Big and Rich fame.


ALI CAMPBELL 'Flying High' [Release Date 22/06/2009]


Following the worldwide success of 2007's 'Running Free', June sees the release of Ali Campbell's much anticipated third solo album 'Flying High', his first to be recorded since splitting from UB40. Ali has one of the UK's most distinctive and recognisable voices and as lead singer with the world-renowned group UB40, he has sold over 60 million records worldwide toured across the globe, notched up four number No. 1 world-wide singles, over forty Top 40 UK singles, released 24 studio albums and received an Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement. Recorded in London's legendary Sarm Studios 'Flying High' is an exquisitely arranged and produced infectious reggae-pop record, made up of a mixture of original material and interesting covers, thoroughly exploring all genres of reggae music, with a release date that makes it a potential soundtrack to the summer. An Ali Campbell record wouldn't be an Ali Campbell record without exciting collaborations, superbly written original material and some well chosen, transformed covers and 'Flying High' won't disappoint. Ali restructures and shapes old pop classics with his inventive, artistic vision that only he could convincingly execute and the record includes appearances from an exciting cast of international artists including Craig David, Sway, Jamaica's Lady Saw and Shaggy, Germany's Gentleman and South Africa's Danny K & The Soweto Gospel Choir. Speaking about recording the song 'Everways' with Craig David, Ali recalled: "It was a joy working with Craig, he is totally professional and has done a great job on the track. He is one of the UK's best R'n'B talents and a lovely guy." Similarly Craig enjoyed the experience saying "It was great working with Ali, the man is a legend and a consummate professional. 'Everways' captures everything that we've all come to love about his writing. I look forward to working with him again in the future." A song written and performed by Ali and British rapper Sway is 'It's A Crime': "Sway is one of Britain's finest. His rap on the track is so good, I was blown away with his lyric and phrasing – he is a big talent" praised Ali. Coming from a family of UB40 fans Sway was thrilled to be working with Ali: "It was a great honour working with Ali, I'm a big fan of UB40 and so are my parents, my mum couldn't believe it. The fact that someone of that stature would even consider or acknowledge talent from a younger generation to be worthy of appearing on his album is amazing." Soaring melodies and reggae rhythms glide and bounce along throughout the album with themes that include conspiracy theories, politics and love. The moving rendition of 'Out From Under' highlights Campbell's world class vocal ability – the first single to be taken from the new album, this beautiful ballad evokes strong emotions and lyrically may help to shed some light on his departure from UB40. 'She's A Lady', a cover of Tom Jones' Seventies smash, sees a pair-up with dancehall superstar Shaggy, whose raspy Jamaican rhymes entwine with Campbell's huge soulful vocals so fluently and with such kick that you're left wondering why the two haven't collaborated before. True reggae lovers will be excited to learn that there is a cover of John Holt's 1970 lost dub classic 'My Heart Is Gone'. The haunting original track 'Nothing Ever Changes (Pierrot)' sees the pairing of German reggae star Gentleman with Ali and leaves its mark on the listener with its thought provoking lyric, whilst 'Visions', another Campbell penned track, sees Danny K and the Soweto Gospel choir join Ali on what is an anthemic and uplifting look at South Africa's future. From his days in UB40 to his time pursuing his successful solo career, Ali has always stayed true to his love of reggae and its ongoing capacity for innovation, experimentation and pure enjoyment. 'Flying High' is testament to his continuing desire to create and deliver innovative reggae and dub to the world in the shape of an album that, young or old, reggae enthusiast, or not, you definitely won't want to miss. Ali and his new band, The Dep Band, will be playing a selection of these new songs, solo material from previous albums, 'Running Free' and 'Big Love', and old UB40 favourites such as 'Red Red Wine' across the UK throughout June and July.

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