Classic movies are the focus of Ted Turner's TCM label (released with the help of Rhino Records). This summer, the label has reissued the Henry Mancini/Leslie Bricusse soundtrack to Victor Victoria with 10 previously unreleased songs, as well as the soundtrack to James Cagney's 1942 George M. Cohan musical biography, Yankee Doodle Dandy. The latter features patriotic fare like "Yankee Doodle Boy," "You're a Grand Old Flag," "Give My Regards to Broadway," "Over There," and more
Also out on TCM/Reprise is a lush, six-CD box set covering Frank Sinatra's movie musical excursions. Frank Sinatra in Hollywood (1940-1964) includes 160 tracks, with virtually every performance available for the first time on CD. It features the original film versions of standards like "Night and Day," "All or Nothing at All," "Time After Time," "New York, New York," "Young at Heart," "(Love Is) The Tender Trap," "Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)," "The Lady Is a Tramp," and more. It also includes Sinatra's Academy Award acceptance speech and outtakes from his first film. The liner notes, contributed by Sinatra historians, are collected in a four-color, 120-page accompanying hardbound book.
The Irish family vocal group The Corrs released a live album as a companion to their VH1 special this spring. VH1 Presents The Corrs Live in Dublin mixes both Corrs' hits like "Breathless" and "Runaway," with classic cover songs and famous guests. Rolling Stones' guitarist Ron Wood helps cover the Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" and Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" and Bono duets on Ryan Adams' "When the Stars Go Blue" and the Lee Hazelwood/Nancy Sinatra hit "Summer Wine."
Grey Eye Glances
A Little Voodoo
(Sojourn Hills/Grey Album LLC)
You probably have never heard of Grey Eye Glances…which is a shame, since they’ve now released seven discs, two of them on Mercury Records in the ‘90s, the rest on their own independent label. Fronted by the golden-voiced Jennifer Nobel, Grey Eye Glances spins intricate pop excursions that lend comparisons to Sarah McLachlan and Cowboy Junkies. Their latest disc was produced in a unique partnership with a record company funded by their fans, many of whom discovered the band over the past 10 years through its frequent promotional tours of Borders Book Stores.
A Little Voodoo is more rhythmic than their ethereal major label releases, Eventide and Painted Pictures, and finds the band working with a flurry of producers. In writing the 50 songs that were winnowed down to the 10 that made the final cut, the band created a wish list of producers and engineers – studio mavens who’d produced Aimee Mann, Tori Amos, Paula Cole, Indigo Girls, Mariah Carey and many more. Rather than choosing one team to do the whole album, they recorded tracks with eight producers and engineers. While that might lead some bands to a set of songs that all sound radically different, A Little Voodoo manages to cover a range of moods while still holding together well as a cohesive sounding recording. It opens with a song that’s made for pop radio play — the McLachlan-esque anthem "Close Your Eyes," where Nobel sings of "dreams left in shadow." The disc then moves into the bouncy "oo-hoo" jaunt of "Oh No" and then the pounding horn-and bluesy keyboard augmented bar-rocker "If I Was."
"The One," a dreamy love ballad, offers another perfect adult contemporary single that sounds like it could have been a hit from Shawn Colvin, and "Big Red Boat" gets almost disco in its shuffling "na-na-na" vocals, moving bass rhythms and upbeat mood. "Good Folks" and "Even" bring out the band’s richly evocative contemplative side, sounding reminiscient of some of the moody songs from Eventide. It closes with "All Because of You," a dramatic, slowly building ballad that ends with a musical nod to Neil Young’s "Only Love Can Break Your Heart."
There are few artists on the major labels crafting music with this much skill and depth. Track this down for a rare pop treat. (www.greyeyeglances.com)
The only "disastrous" thing about the Green Day/Blink 182 "Pop Disaster" tour (which hit the Tweeter Center last weekend) was that security was so tight, at the 6:30 p.m. start time, half the audience was still standing in lines waiting for a "pat down" when newcomer Simple Plan took the stage (the line of police cars that stretched all the way down the entry road showed just what the city was expecting for the evening).
The band got the early birds who did make it inside moving, and played loud enough that those on the other side of the lawn could hear their sharp poppy-punk riffs loud and clear. In fact, for some reason, Simple Plan sounded more loud-and-clear on the always-hard-to-hear hill, than the headliners did!
California indie punksters Save The Day brought things down to a slower punky jam for a half hour, and then finally Green Day exploded (literally) on the stage just past 8:30 p.m. The band quickly proved why it racked up hit after punk-pop hit in the '90s, performing its standards "Longview," "Welcome to Paradise" and "When I Come Around," with fierce energy, and a host of lighting props ranging from firepots to changing logo banners. At one point, the band even brought up three members of the audience, taught them how to play a basic three-chord drum, bass and guitar riff and let the "new Green Day" play while they sang. That moment, alone, was worth the price of admission.
At the end of its set, after smashing guitars and burning the drum set, singer Billy Joe took the stage alone to sing the band's biggest hit (ironically, a ballad) "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." And then it was time for Blink 182, which continued Green Day's flames- and effects-attack and revaved things up with its first sing-song Generation Y hit "What's My Age Again," and the rest of its short catalogue of fast-spitting rappish punk for the next hour, until the Tweeter Center closed its gates.
A lot of catchy punk, but no disaster here!