The World’s End Soundtrack A Fun Musical Trip Back In Time

Courtesy:  ABKCO Records

Courtesy: ABKCO Records

Writer/Director Edgar Wright notes in the liner notes of the soundtrack of his movie, The World’s End that in writing the movie’s script alongside actor Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Room on the Broom), that the pair listened to a playlist consisting of some three hundred songs.  He writes in the very first page of the soundtrack’s liner notes, “When Simon Pegg and myself wrote the screenplay for the film, we listened to a 300 strong playlist of songs, mainly from 1988 to 1993…It powered our writing as much as it power’s Gary’s [King] quest.”  King is the character played by Pegg in the new movie in question.  This single statement from Wright in the very first page of the soundtrack’s liner notes perfectly explain why the songs included in the compilation bear influences from 80’s Brit-pop and synth-pop.  Right off the top, Primal Scream’s ‘Loaded; conjures thoughts of George Michaels’ hit, ‘Freedom’ with its mix of horns and piano.  It’s not a direct lifting of Michaels’ song.  But the similarity is obvious.  It’s just the start of things on this compilation.

The energy established by Primal Scream on the soundtrack’s opener is kicked up another notch as Blur picks up where Primal Scream left off.  Blur’s entry, ‘There’s No Other Way’ is a fitting track for this soundtrack considering the story behind the movie.  Front man Damon Albarn sings in the song’s only verses, “You’re taking the fun out of everything/And making me run when I don’t want to think/You’re taking the fun out of everything/I don’t’ want to think at all…You’re taking the fun out of everything/You’re making it clear when I don’t want to think/You’re taking me up when I don’t’ want to go up anymore/I’m just watching it all.”  This is so fitting in that the plot of the movie centers on Pegg’s character, Gary King.  Gary doesn’t want to have to be an adult and face the adult world, which ends up leading to everything that happens in the story.  Keeping this in mind, it actually becomes quite clear how this song would fit so well into the movie, even with its high energy.  Suffice it to say that it’s just one of so many songs that fans of the old school synth-pop and Brit-pop sounds will appreciate on this compilation.

Just as Blur’s ‘There’s No Other Way’ is a fitting addition to the soundtrack of The World’s End, so is the Soup Dragons’ ‘I’m Free.’  The song, from the Scottish band’s 1990 album, Lovegod, is just as catchy as the compilation’s first two songs.  And in the same fashion, it’s just as fitting lyrically.  The band sings in this song, “I’m free to do what I want/Any old time.”  This would seem to once again mirror Gary’s mindset.   It would be easy to see this song used as part of the pub crawl originally undertaken by Gary’s friends in the movie’s two prequels of sorts, Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead.

If the songs noted here aren’t enough for fans of the old school Brit-pop and synth-pop sounds of the late 80s and early 90s, then there is no reason to worry.  The World’s End soundtrack has more than its share of classics for fans of that genre including the likes of Pulp’s ‘Do You Remember the First Time?’, The Stone Roses’ ‘Fools Gold’, and British rapper Silver Bullet’s ’20 Seconds to Comply (World’s End Bomb Squad Mix Re-edit’, which in its own way shows where The Prodigy might have gotten the influence for its first big hit, ‘Firestarter.’  Whether for these songs, the previously mentioned songs or any of the others included in this compilation, it offers something for any music lover that grew up in the late 80s and early 90s.  It will prove to be a fun musical trip back in time for those listeners when they pick it up now in stores or order it online.

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Eric Burdon’s New LP A Solid Blues Record

Courtesy:  ABKCO Records

Courtesy: ABKCO Records

Eric Burdon’s latest release, ‘Til Your River Runs Dry, is a solid outing from the Animals front man from start to finish.  This latest record boasts twelve tracks of pure blues.  It offers listeners pure substance both through its music and its lyrics.  The album as a whole is a no nonsense record that covers topics from politics to religion and areas in between as noted in the songs, ‘Memorial Day’ and ‘Old Habits Die Hard.’  It all comes together to make a whole that any blues and rock aficionado will appreciate and enjoy more with each listen.

The album’s opener, ‘Water’ is quite the opener.  It instantly grabs listeners’ attention with its blues/rock hybrid and straight forward social commentary.  Burdon sings, “This world is not for me/I’ll make a new one/Wait and see/Hopelessness has seized the land/I will not beg/I will demand/Water, water, water/To drink/To put down the fire/Water, water, water/The truth/To shame the liar.”  That in itself is blatantly scathing commentary.  It comes across as someone who sees what the world has come to but he’s not going to go down without a fight so to speak.  That’s especially clear when he reaches the song’s chorus.  His forceful, gritty tone exhibits his attitudes about the point to which things have reached.  Most interesting about not just this portion of the song, but the song itself is that Burdon sounds like a peculiar hybrid of Jim Morrison and Joe Cocker here.  That’s especially the case in the song’s chorus.  It also comes across in the follow-up song, ‘Memorial Day.’

‘Memorial Day’ is just as scathing both musically and lyrically as ‘Water.’  This song features Burdon voicing his opinion about war.  He writes in this song, “It’s a rich man’s war/But the poor will pay/Since the logic never comes to mind/Innocence is lost and guilt will fade in time/You turn around to face your death/You wish your mother could be there/To share your last breath/Another good one has gone down/And we mourn the lost.”  Burdon obviously makes no bones about his thoughts here.  The song’s musical side adds to the less than happy feeling that Burdon must have felt (as do likely so many Americans) at the thought of war and what it does.  Perhaps as interesting as his commentary on war itself is what comes across as commentary on how people in general want to avoid the topic as a whole.  He writes later in the song, “Turn on your TV/Watch a movie/And lay back/Pollute your mind/You’re next in line/Insanity is just a matter of time.”  Considering the possibility that Burdon is going after not just one group but the public in general, ‘Memorial Day’ turns out to be one of the best songs on this new album.

For all the scathing commentary that opens the album in its first two songs, Eric Burdon offers more light hearted fare on this album, too.  For starters, there is the gospel styled song, ‘The Devil and Jesus’ in which Burdon writes about the inner struggle between good and bad.  He writes, “The devil and Jesus/I have to agree/Each one/In my heart/Has planted its seed/But I’m no different from any of you/I look at myself/I see them there, too.”  While it might not have been entirely intentional, the vocal contrast of how he sings “the Devil” and “Jesus” makes for its own statement.  As he sings the words, “The devil”, Burdon’s voice is bass heavy and has something of an ominous sound about it.  On the other hand, he hits a rather high note when he makes mention of Jesus.  The vocal contrast of the two figures adds to the song’s interest in that it almost seems to serve as a musical representation of how people view each figure.  It’s such a subtle factor.  But there’s no denying that it’s there, regardless of whether or not it was intentional. 

As can already be seen, Eric Burdon offers something for everybody in just the first three songs of his new release.  For fans of simple pure blues, Burdon offers that too, in the form of ‘Old Habits Die Hard.’  Both in its musical and lyrical side, this song is pure blues at its best.  Burdon offers fans what can best be described as a modern blues line as he sings, “When it comes to trouble/I got me a good head start/Nothing’s changed/I’m still the same/Old habits die hard…They got a file on me over at Scotland Yard/Nothing’s changed/I’m still the same/Old habits die hard.”  This is a song that any blues purist will enjoy with every listen.  And it’s only the beginning of the album’s enjoyment.  The album boasts eight more tracks from which listeners will be able to find their very own favorite songs when it hits store shelves and online outlets next Tuesday, January 29th

After picking up Burdon’s new album, fans will get their chance to hear his new material live as he’ll be performing a number of dates beginning March 1st in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Even more dates are already scheduled after that performance.  Fans can get a full listing of tour dates and all the latest news from Eric Burdon online at http://www.facebook.com/OfficialEricBurdon and http://www.ericburdon.com.

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Eric Burdon Announces Album Release, Tour Dates

Courtesy:  ABKCO Records

Courtesy: ABKCO Records

Iconic front man Eric Burdon will release his latest solo record later this month.  The singer, who rose to fame with WAR and The Animals, will release his new album, Til Your River Runs Dry on Tuesday, January 29th.  The album is considered to be Burdon’s most personal record yet.  Burdon tackles topics such as religion, politics, and the environment on this record, just to name a few song topics.  The first single off of the new album, ‘Water’ is also the album’s lead track.  It starts running at radio stations across the country next Tuesday, January 15th.  He even includes a cover of the blues classic, ‘Before You Accuse Me’ to close out the album.

In anticipation of the album’s upcoming release, Burdon is hitting the road to show off some of his new songs.  His tour kicks off with a very special performance the night before the album’s release on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.  Burdon will also be performing at this year’s annual SXSW Festival in support of his album, too.  To get Burdon’s full tour lineup and all the latest news from Eric, fans can go online to http://www.EricBurdon.com, http://www.facebook.com/OfficialEricBurdon, http://twitter.com/EricBurdon, and http://www.YouTube.com/EricBurdonInc.  Fans can pre-order ‘Til Your River Runs Dry online both on CD and vinyl at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AGKH7K0/?tag=httpwwwabkcoc-20 and http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AO7HNFY/?tag=httpwwwabkcoc-20 respectively.

The complete track listing for the upcoming album is as follows:

‘Til Your River Runs Dry

1.  Water

2.  Memorial Day

3.  Devil and Jesus

4.  Wait

5.  Old Habits Die Hard

6.  Bo Diddley Special

7.  In The Ground

8.  27 Forever

9.  River is Rising

10. Medicine Man

11. Invitation to the White House

12. Before You Accuse Me

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New Stones Set Is 2012′s Best Music Box Set

Courtesy: ABKCO Records

It goes without saying that The Rolling Stones is one of the greatest and most iconic rock bands in the history of modern popular and rock music.  This band of Brits has been rocking audiences for half a century now.  And in honor of its fiftieth anniversary, the band is celebrating with concerts and a variety of newly re-issued releases.  Among those new releases is the brand new release of the band’s 1965 show from Ireland, Charlie is My Darling.  The show has been released in a variety of formats.  But for anyone who is a true hardcore fan of The Rolling Stones, the best way to go is the Super Deluxe edition of this concert/documentary.  Especially with the holidays right around the corner, this mega set is the perfect gift for the Stones fan in anyone’s family.The Super Deluxe box set of Charlie is My Darling includes everything that is featured by itself and some bonus material all combined into one big box.  Fans get the concert documentary from the band’s 1965 Ireland show along with the show itself on both CD and vinyl.  To sweeten the deal, ABKCO Records has also included the documentary’s soundtrack on CD and a bonus book offering extra photos and background on the show.  Among the most interesting facts to consider about this event is that the Stones being a British band playing in the notoriously split nation showed in a big way, the power of music.  It didn’t matter whether the audience was Protestant or Catholic, British or Irish.  This concert brought the audience together as one unit, proving true the adage that music truly is the universal music.

Getting to hear the concert on CD and vinyl is one thing.  But getting to see the footage brings everything home, and really makes the entire show that much more powerful.  It’s wild to see the audience so overwhelmed by the then very young band that concertgoers were rushing the stage.  The audience members that rushed the stage meant no harm to the band.  They were just that excited.  Even wilder is that the fans were so overcome (as was the band by the fans), that the band had to cut its show short for their own safety and for that of the fans.  It says quite a bit about a band that has obviously gone on to be the biggest band in the world.  It’s especially interesting considering that even Mick Jagger himself notes in interviews that he didn’t expect the band to be big.  That was back then.  He noted that he figured the band would be big and then fade.  How wrong was he?  That’s really something for discussion.  The band was so young in its age and career.  Yet fans were already going absolutely crazy for The Rolling Stones.  How many bands, fans, and/or critics can say that they’ve seen such a powerful impact from any musical act so early in its career?  Experiencing this impact firsthand through this new set shows how important the Stones were then and how much more important they are now, especially considering this release.

The CD’s, DVD, and Blu-ray are excellent additions to this set, as is the accompanying behind the scenes book.  But what really seals the deal here is the bonus vinyl.  The double sided vinyl presents the concert as it would have been presented in 1965.  There’s even the static that old school vinyls had.  There are so many vinyls that somehow lack that old static feeling, somewhat taking away from the nostalgic feel that they should be imparting.  This vinyl isn’t one of them.  Audiences get that nostalgic feel, making for the final piece in what is one of 2012’s best musical box sets, hands down.  Charlie is My Darling is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered direct via the ABKCO Records website, http://www.abkco.com/index.php/store/release/253.

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