Thursday, December 11, 2008

Breaking Rock News Again

John Fogerty understands, better than say Guns N Roses, the value of waiting a long time to release an album. This coming year he's releasing The Return Of The Blue Ridge Rangers, a "sequel" of sorts to a 1973 album he did called, appropriately, Blue Ridge Rangers. While this album was apparently 36 years in the making, he did the smart thing - in between, he released several albums of other stuff. Clever guy. This will be, like the first one, a collection of roots and country covers, produced by uber-producer T-Bone Burnett, and I think it'll be pretty darn good. Fogerry's on fire. No track listing has been made avaialble, but there will be a Merle Haggard cover. That's all we know right now.

Rolling Stone has come out with their annual lists - best albums of 2008, and best singles. As usual, I don't know most of the top albums, because they are done by bands that irritate me. Like My Morning Jacket. (Although TV On The Radio, the #1 album, is really really good.) But the best surprise on the list was Bob Dylan, coming in at #2 with the latest installment in his brilliant Bootleg Series, Tell Tale Signs - The Bootleg Series Vol. 8. This series is absolutely amazing, all eight volumes of it, and should be on everyone's top ten list every year. Surprisingly, Chinese Democracy made it in at #12, even though it sucks. Well, that's just one man's opinion. But since that one man is the Emperor of Breaking Rock News, then that is the opinion of ALL of Breaking Rock News. Which, I know, counts for just about nothing.

In their other list, the "singles of the year", predictably no classic rock artists cracked the top ten. Or fifteen. Dylan was on here again, with "Someday Baby" at #37. Breaking Rock News (me) is of the opinion that this is one of his weaker songs. But it is still better than "Better", the Chinese Democracy song that made it in at #19. In a list with 100 songs, how did Springsteen not make it with some of the coolest tunes of the year? Maybe the list was compiled too early to get his latest stuff.

Pearl Jam might have the largest volume of unnecessary recorded music of any artist. Remember a few years ago, when they released "bootleg" CDs from every single show they did all year? So the rabid Pearl Jam fanatics had an extra 197 CDs to buy, at $23.95 apiece? OK, I'm exaggerating. But only a little! Now they are going to be re-issuing their classic album, Ten. Which was indeed a truly great album from 1992. However, they are releasing four different versions, including a 2-CD, 4-LP set that comes with a cassette tape. Imagine all the different music playing devices one would need to take full advantage of such a set! How many people still have a cassette deck? Let alone a turntable and a CD player as well? Couldn't they have gone all-out and included a DVD, a laser disc, an 8-track, a reel-to-reel and a Beta tape? Oh...they did include a DVD as well. And I will probably buy this, because I'm a nerd with a tape deck and a turntable.

Paul Stanley wants to record a new KISS album, as long as he has "complete creative control". Beucase...he wants to make sure it's...good? Music? Or maybe he wants to keep Gene Simmons out of the way, knowing full well that Simmons won't care at all if it's good or not. Knowing full well that money, in Simmons' world, trumps music by a 4,000-1 margin. Simmons, after all, doesn't really want to release or record another album, because he thinks there will be little money in it. He would rather release a new line of KISS bathroom tiles. There is more money there. He now cries himself to sleep, nightmares of Radiohead swiming through his head. Damn Thom Yorke! He thinks. He ruined it for everybody! What amazes me is that Paul Stanley is still deluded enough to think that KISS makes music.

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