Recently by Chris Gerard

The Billboard Hot 100 for this week 28 years ago, in the edition published on April 5, 1986, was a particularly good one.  Nine of the fifteen tracks would eventually peak in the Top 3, so a lot of mid-80s classics here. 15. Starship – “Sara” During the mid-‘80s, the ever-evolving Starship (which had very little to do with its ... [Read]

If anybody had told me when I was 12 years old and listening to Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual incessantly on my bedroom turntable that I’d still be playing it on vinyl 30 years later, I suspect I would have just laughed incredulously. After all, to a 12-year old, 30 years is an eternity -- an unimaginably vast expanse of ... [Read]

On Friday, March 21, 2014, British musical icon Kate Bush made a casual announcement on her website that caused shockwaves of disbelief and feverish anticipation within the music industry and her devoted fan-base: after a 35-year absence from touring, she will return to the stage this coming August for a series of shows entitled Before the Dawn at the London ... [Read]

Legendary singer and actress Diana Ross turns 70 today. Her career in the music industry and legacy of success is untouchable. As a solo artist and with The Supremes -- including soundtracks, live albums and compilations -- Diana Ross has registered an amazing 59 albums on the Billboard Top 200, and 72 singles on the Hot 100 pop chart (41 ... [Read]

Sir Elton John is often recognized by fans and critics more for his long string of classic singles than for his albums. It is true that during certain periods of his career -- the 1980s leap to mind immediately -- his albums tended to have a couple great singles and then loads of filler. That said, it is also a ... [Read]

The legendary British musical icon, Kate Bush, is never predictable, but nobody could have imagined the news that hit this morning and sent shock waves through the music industry: the reclusive artist will perform live for the first time in 35 years with a series of 15 shows at the London Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith starting April 26, 2014. Ticket ... [Read]

As the ‘80s faded into the ‘90s, many so-called 'Children of MTV' and fans of punk, post-punk and new wave bands turned away from the Top 40, which had become increasingly dominated by hip-hop, R&B and dance-pop. College radio had always been an important factor for many music fans, but by the time the ‘90s rolled around there were major ... [Read]

Twelve Outstanding Albums to start 2014

Posted by Chris Gerard
March 20, 2014 10:53 AM |
2013 was a terrific year for music -- there were dozens of outstanding releases, 30 of which we compiled in a list of last year's best.  So far 2014 is starting out at least as strong. There have been some outstanding albums issued already in the first three months of the year. Below is a selection of 12 of the ... [Read]

Twenty-four years ago this week, on March 19, 1990, British synth-pop titans Depeche Mode released the most successful and acclaimed album of their career:  Violator. Depeche Mode had been scoring Top 10 singles in their native UK since their debut album Speak and Spell in 1981, but in America they were largely relegated to college radio and, in some cases, ... [Read]

George Michael hasn’t released a new studio album in a decade, and it seems fans yearning for one will need yet a little more patience. Michael’s new album Symphonica, out this week, is a document of his 2011-2012 tour in which he performed a mixture of covers, jazz standards and selected nuggets from his own back catalog with an orchestral ... [Read]

The latest CD by NYC-based Indie-rockers Cat Dail & The Magnets, The Wonder, most definitely lives up to its name. Dail is a veteran of the New York City music scene -- her former band, distant cousins, enjoyed some success in Indie circles during the ‘90s around the NYC area. Her latest project with The Magnets is a thoroughly enjoyable ... [Read]

This week 24 years ago the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart was an eclectic mix of rock, pop and R&B. The list features hits by pop legends and newcomers alike. It was the dawn of a new decade and a transition period in pop music as the MTV-dominated '80s faded in the rear-view and the prominence ... [Read]

Twenty-five years ago this March, after months of feverish anticipation, one of the most successful pop albums of the ‘80s hit stores with a whiff of patchouli and a heavy dose of controversy.  Madonna’s commercial and artistic momentum had been building steadily since her first hit, “Holiday,” reached a modest #16 six years earlier. By the time 1989 had arrived ... [Read]

With the escalating tensions between Russia and the US and Europe over the developing situation in Ukraine, thoughts of the Cold War surge back into focus for those of us who lived through it. Tensions between the Soviet Union and United States were particularly high in the late ‘70s well into the ‘80s. In response to the massive buildup of ... [Read]

There have been some outstanding albums released since the turn of the new millennium, and many have become at least reasonably successful. But, as in every era, there are those which slip through the cracks and don’t become reach a large audience and are overlooked. There are a variety of reasons why a great album that is also strongly commercial ... [Read]