Archive for the ‘Morrissey’ Category

New albums from Springsten, Morrison, Morrissey, and maybe Dylan and Young: Encore #1

February 18, 2009
Thank to Pat Kenny:

“Like you, I prefer to celebrate rather than knock the output of great musicians – as all those listed above undoubtedly are.

“But, having bought the three albums already released, I have to admit I’m underwhelmed.

“Springsteen’s CD sees him treading water… Van the Man should have resisted the temptation to update his untouchable masterpiece… and does Morrissey have anything left to say?

“I’m not optimistic that the new Dylan or Young albums will be Earth-shattering, either.

“Time for me to take a rest from rock, and catch up on some recent jazz releases. I feel a Miles/Coltrane/Herbie/Wayne period coming on.”

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The big beasts in the rockpop jungle are stirring, with new albums from Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison, Morrissey, and maybe Dylan and Neil Young.

Springsten kicked off the season with Workin’ On A Dream. I’ve yet to hear it. Please let me know what you think.

Van Morrison was the second to stir with Astral Weeks Live last week. The original is one of my top three albums in any genre. After half a dozen plays of the new version, I’m suspending judgment.

Morrissey followed yesterday with Years Of Refusal. What do you think of it?

New Dylan album rumours are flying fast. Some have a new 10-track studio album already in the can and due for release at the end of April.

And it seems that Neil Young’s eternally delayed Archives box has been put back yet again to accommodate an original new CD, Fork In The Road, on 30 March.

Great days for grown-up rockpop fans!

All of these musicians are profiled in my new book, Music For Grown-Ups. For full details, please click on the book cover at the top left of this page/

the Home Page of the master website:

www.musicforgrown-ups.com

Gerry Smith

New albums from Bruce Springsten, Van Morrison, Morrissey, and maybe Dylan and Neil Young

February 17, 2009
The big beasts in the rockpop jungle are stirring, with new albums from Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison, Morrissey, and maybe Dylan and Neil Young.

Springsten kicked off the season with Workin’ On A Dream. I’ve yet to hear it. Please let me know what you think.

Van Morrison was the second to stir with Astral Weeks Live last week. The original is one of my top three albums in any genre. After half a dozen plays of the new version, I’m suspending judgment.

Morrissey followed yesterday with Years Of Refusal. What do you think of it?

New Dylan album rumours are flying fast. Some have a new 10-track studio album already in the can and due for release at the end of April.

And it seems that Neil Young’s eternally delayed Archives box has been put back yet again to accommodate an original new CD, Fork In The Road, on 30 March.

Great days for grown-up rockpop fans!

All of these musicians are profiled in my new book, Music For Grown-Ups. For full details, please click on the book cover at the top left of the Home Page of the master website:

www.musicforgrown-ups.com

Gerry Smith

Morrissey, Dylan, Beethoven

February 6, 2009
FREE! Music for grown-ups on the BBC in the next 7 days

Hidden among its vast TV and radio output, the BBC broadcasts some magnificent music for grown-ups every week of the year. And it’s all free – well, sort of….

Nearly all of these musicians are profiled in my new book, Music For Grown-Ups. For full details, please click on the book cover at the top left of the Home Page of the master website:

www.musicforgrown-ups.com

Sat 7 Feb
2200 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC Radio 2

Sun 8 Feb
2100 Folk America (3/3) – Blowin’ In The Wind – BBC4
2400 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC 6Music

Mon 9 Feb
1200 & 2200 Beethoven (last 12 years), Composer Of The Week
– BBC Radio 3 (1/5, continues Tues-Fri)

Wed 11 Feb
2000 Morrissey (interview/live gig) – BBC Radio 2

Thurs 12 Feb
1400 Handel’s opera Teseo – BBC Radio 3
2300 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC Radio 2

Fri 13 Feb
2000 Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Sound Of The Sixties – BBC4
2010 Festival (Newport Folk, 1963—6) – BBC4
2140 Sings Dylan (cover versions) – BBC4
2230 Roger McGuinn et al, Folk America At The Barbican – BBC4

Online access: many BBC radio programmes are broadcast live online – please see the channels’ web sites for details. Some BBC radio and TV programmes are also accessible online via iPlayer for a short period after transmission:

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer

Gerry Smith

Handel, Dylan, Morrissey

January 6, 2009
FREE! Music for grown-ups on the BBC in the next 10 days

Hidden among its vast TV and radio output, the BBC broadcasts some magnificent music for grown-ups every week of the year. And it’s all free – well, sort of….

Wed 7 Jan
1200 & 2200 Purcell, Composer Of The Week – BBC Radio 3
(3/5, continues Thurs-Fri)

Thurs 8 Jan
2300 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC Radio 2

Sat 10 Jan
2300 Roy Orbison, Legends – BBC4
2400 Roy Orbison And Friends: A Black & White Night – BBC4
(2350, Morrissey, new single video – C4)

Sun 11 Jan
2400 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC 6Music

Mon 12 Jan
1200 & 2200 Handel, Composer Of The Week – BBC Radio 3
(1/5, continues Tues-Fri)

Thurs 15 Jan
2300 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC Radio 2

Fri 16 Jan
2000 Karajan: Beauty As We See It – BBC4

Online access: many BBC radio programmes are broadcast live online – please see the channels’ web sites for details. Some BBC radio and TV programmes are also accessible online via iPlayer for a short period after transmission:

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer

And nearly all of the musicians listed above are profiled in my new book, Music For Grown-Ups, published on 15 Jan 2009 – details at:

www.musicforgrown-ups.com

Gerry Smith

Great rockpop lyricists – new series of collectable free booklets

June 23, 2008
Bob Dylan was the launch title of Great Lyricists, a new series of collectable booklets given away with Saturday 21 June’s edition of The Guardian, the London liberal-left daily newspaper.

The nicely designed booklet, running to 26 pages, includes the lyrics of eight Bob songs, six from the 1960s, plus Tangled Up In Blue and Blind Willie McTell.

The series of eight freebies continued in yesterday’s sister paper The Observer, with Broooooooooce Springsteen, and today’s Guardian with Morrissey.

Remaining subjects include Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, as well as Chuck D, Patti Smith and a young lad from the Arctic-Something-or-Others.

I’ll be buying all bar two, filing the beautifully designed but unwanted rag in the bin, on my out of the filling station shop.

Gerry Smith

Lovely gigs in 2008

April 4, 2008

After a couple of years in which my gigging became a bit narrowly focussed and predictable – mainly opera, with a bit of jazz, world and rock – 2008 is promising to be rather more richly eclectic. 

Having already seen three compelling gigs – Morrissey at the Roundhouse, Dorothea Roschmann singing Lieder at Vienna’s Musikverein, and Salome at Covent Garden, I’m keenly anticipating lots more varied shows, including several key musicians for grown-ups who’ve been on my must-see list for years:

 

April: Bjork     

 

May: Roberto Alagna; John McLaughlin

 

June: Don Carlo; Ariadne; Pentangle

 

July: Leonard Cohen; Marriage of Figaro

 

Dec: Cecilia Bartoli

 

Having re-found the taste for eclectic gigs, I’m eagerly looking for others – top live music for grown-ups is one of the greatest thrills of all.

   Gerry Smith

Morrissey – a post-Punk Dylan?

March 31, 2008

A couple of weeks before a Morrissey gig, a thirty-something friend had defined Mozza as “a post-Punk Dylan”.   

Though a recent convert, I’m a great admirer of Morrissey (and The Smiths).  I went to see Mozza solo at his enthralling recent London Roundhouse gig with the challenging Dylan comparison in mind – it had had me ruminating for days.  Morrissey, ex-front man of English post-Punk indie pioneers The Smiths and a solo artist for over twenty years, is certainly the nearest musician there is to a Dylan for a younger generation. 

Like Dylan, Morrissey’s main strength is as a writer: he’s a superior pop lyricist to anyone of his generation.  Like Dylan, Morrissey is revered by a large, loyal fanbase.  Like Dylan, Morrissey/Smiths had a profound impact on the direction of popular music.  And, like Dylan, Morrissey has a charismatic stage presence. 

But comparisons stop there.   

Dylan has far more depth and breadth than the Mozz.  His writing and music draws on far more sources than Morrissey’s.  Both his artistic canvas and his palette are far richer than Mozza’s. 

In a nutshell, Dylan is a great artist with universal resonance: he explores what it is to be human.  Morrissey is a great entertainer with a narrower focus: he explores what it is to be Morrissey.  

Gerry Smith

Asda supermarket keeping me out of HMV

February 20, 2008

I used to be a habitual HMV customer – and a strong advocate of the retailer on this site – but I gradually kicked the habit.  Because, while CD prices have been plummeting from online suppliers and supermarkets, HMV’s prices look stubbornly high. 

I was reminded of the gap last weekend after leaving my local HMV branch empty-handed (again), after recently visiting Asda, Wal-Mart’s English subsidiary. 

Sample price comparisons of product currently interesting me were startling: 

* Morrissey Greatest Hits De Luxe: HMV £19, Asda £14 

* Van Morrison Best Of v3: HMV £13, Asda £5 

* Morrissey Who Put The M in Manchester DVD: HMV £18, (has been widely available elsewhere @ £5)   

* Led Zeppelin DVD: HMV £30, (has been widely available at Asda and elsewhere @ £13)  

HMV might well manage to turn round its ailing chain, but until its prices are back in line with the marketplace, I won’t be contributing.   

Gerry Smith