Inside Music with Melinda Newman
With two songs in the Top 11, no word on McGraw's new album
So maybe now Taylor Swift can sing with Tim McGraw instead of singing about him.
The two became label mates today, when Big Machine announced that McGraw would be joining its roster after 20 years on Curb. One of Swift’s first hits was “Tim McGraw.”
No word on when McGraw’s first album for Big Machine will come out. Up first will be his stadium tour with pal Kenny Chesney this summer. “The Brothers of the Sun” tour kicks off June 2 in Tampa.
McGraw, who Nielsen BDS named artist of the decade in 2010, is in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart right now with his last single from Curb, “Better Than I Used To Be,” which is bulleted at No. 7, and with his and Chesney’s duet, “Feel Like A Rock Star,” which is bulleted at No. 11.
Big Machine Label Group has had luck signing artists who have left other labels to its various imprints, including Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride and Reba McEntire.
Looks like none of his songs with the country star made the final cut
As the endless drip of information about Justin Bieber’s new album “Believe” surfaces, today we get the track listing. Interestingly, his duet with Taylor Swift looks like it didn’t make the final cut. The two wrote a few songs together for the set, Bieber told UK’s CapitalFM last month. “We worked together on a couple of things so we're just figuring out what we can use," he told the British radio broadcaster.
There are three bonus tracks on the deluxe physical package, but none of them have Swift’s name attached. From the track listing below, the guests are Ludacris, Bieber’s former partner on breakthrough hit, “Baby”; Big Sean, Nicki Minaj, and Drake. The album comes out June 19.
Track Listing for deluxe version of "Believe"
1. “All Around The World” featuring Ludacris
3. “As Long As You Love Me” featuring Big Sean
4. “Catching Feelings”
5. “Take You”
6. “Right Here” featuring Drake
8. “Die In Your Arms”
9. “Thought Of You”
10. “Beauty And A Beat” featuring Nicki Minaj
11. “One Love”
12. “Be Alright”
BONUS DELUXE TRACKS:
14. “Out Of Town Girl”
15.“She Don’t Like The Lights”
'American Idol' contestant's new set, 'Listen Up,' streets Tuesday
“American Idol” season 10 contestant Haley Reinhart thrilled fans with her jazzy, smoky vocals. On her new album, “Listen Up,” out Tuesday, May 22, she recalls sultry vocalists such as Amy Winehouse and Dusty Springfield, both of whom she considers major influences: “I come from a lot of ‘60s, ‘70s classic stuff and that’s definitely the sound I want to have,” she tells Hitfix in this video interview taped at her management company’s office in West Hollywood.
But it was another influence, Britney Spears, that inspired the 21-year old's performance in her video for first single “Free,” during which she gets a boy all hot and bothered at a diner. “I grew up with my generation looking at people like Britney Spears. She oozed sex appeal so effortlessly.”
As the video shows, Reinhart has acting chops and she admits she has some aspirations in that area: “I’d love to make it a big part of my career...there’s already opportunities coming up.”
Reinhart talks about duetting with her season 10 pal, Casey Abrams, here.
Will anyone ever sound as heartbreaking as on 'I Started A Joke?'
Robin Gibb, who died today at 62 after a long battle with cancer, had a unique voice so filled with trembling, pure beauty that it had the ability to pierce your heart and break it in half.
As a third of the Bee Gees, and twin to Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb and his other brother Barry, shared lead vocals in the group that started in their native Australia in the late ‘50s, but it is Robin’s voice that dominated those early singles that so clearly set the brothers on their path to superstardom.
How does String Cheese incident make the list?
1. Bono: As if he weren’t rich enough, with the Facebook IPO, the U2 frontman becomes a billionaire, and the world's richest musician. If he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for, we’re sure he can buy it now.
2. Taylor Swift: Swifty donates $4 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the largest ever by an artist. In perhaps a sign of the times, Eonline.com’s headline about the generous gift?: “Taylor Swift Grabs Dinner with Dianna Agron, Donates $4 Million to Country Music Hall of Fame.” If she had made the donation in a bikini would that have been enough to top Agron?
3. Jay-Z: As if being a new dad weren’t enough, he gives birth to his own event, the Budweiser Made In America festival, to be held over, appropriately enough, Labor Day.
4).Britney Spears: She confirmed her position as a judge for “The X Factor” for a reportedly $15 million. Simon Cowell continues to go after the youth audience by also enlisting teenager Demi Lovato, who’s not a girl, not yet a woman.
5. One Direction: The British band is about to start on its sold-out summer tour in the U.S. Also sold out? The group’s US summer tour is already sold out and the band just sold out a dozen shows at London’s 02 Arena.The only direction this boy band knows is up.
6. String Cheese Incident: The jam band, who is feuding with TicketMaster, gave 50 fans (presumably very trusted ones) $20,000 to buy tickets , which the band will now sale through its website at face value so fans don’t have to turn to scalpers. That’s how you have a loyal following without ever having a huge radio audience.
7. American Idol: For all the word about the show losing its prominence, it’s about to have back-to-back No. 1s on the Billboard 200 as Adam Lambert’s “Trespassing” gets ready to take the place of Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” on the Billboard 200.
8. Amanda Palmer: We were raving about her a few weeks ago when she’d raised nearly $400,000 through Kickstarter, now she’s passed $750,000. That’s quite the recording budget...or the equivalent of what Dr. Dre has spent per month on "Detox."
9. Justin Bieber: The teen titan invests in Spotify. Is he the next Sean Parker?
10. Donna Summer: She took her last dance on May 17, but her music will live on forever.
Who else enters the Top 10 next week?
Adam Lambert will likely land his first No. 1 album next week as “Trespassing” enters at the top spot on the Billboard 200. His previous set, "For Your Entertainment," peaked at No. 3. Read our review here.
The “American Idol” season 8 runner up does so with one of the lower opening tallies of the year for a charttopper as his sophomore 19/RCA is set to sell around 75,000 copies. (We’ll see how the season 8 champ, Kris Allen, fares in a two weeks: his second set, “Thank You Camellia,” drops on Tuesday, May 22.
The only other bows in the Top 10 belongs to Jack Black and Kyle Gass’s Tenacious D, whose new album, “Rize of the Fenix” comes in at No. 5 and “Glee Cast: The Graduation” at No. 6, with sales of around 45,000, according to Hits Daily Double.
Adele’s “21” is at No. 2 with up to 65,000 copies sold, while Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” drops to No. 3 after two weeks at the summit. “Now That’s What I Call Music 42” looks good for No. 4, although it and “Fenix” may flip flop by the time the chart closes on Sunday night.
Lionel Richie’s “Tuskegee” continue to have staying power at No. 7, with Norah Jones’ “Little Broken Hearts” at No. 8, One Direction’s “Up All Night” at No. 9 and the “Smash” cast album at No. 10.
Barely missing a top 10 bow are Beach House’s “Bloom” at No. 11. Garbage’s “Not Your Kind of People” at No. 14.
Plus, the two keys to keeping his marriage going
“American Idol’s” season eight winner Kris Allen returns with his sophomore set, “Thank You Camellia” on Tuesday, May 21.
The album is chockful of tunes the singer/songwriter crafted about his journey, with many of them expressing the optimism contained in first single “The Vision of Love.” (see his thoughts about that song here)
[More after the jump...]
The veteran band gives no explanation
Was it only a matter of time? Van Halen has cancelled more than 30 concert dates, including gigs in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Memphis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Detroit.
The last date on the tour, which reunited the Van Halen brother, Alex and Eddie, with original lead singer David Lee Roth, will pull up wheels on the June 26 gig in New Orleans. No word on rescheduling the gigs or how fans can get refunds has been offered.
Pollstar originally reported the news following stories about individual cancelled gigs in Salt Lake City and El Paso, Texas appeared in those cities’ newspapers. Rolling Stone picked up the story and added that the concert promoter, Live Nation, declined to comment, but sources told Rolling Stone that infighting between the band (i.e. between the Van Halen(s) and Roth) were brutal. They “hate each other... band is arguing like mad,” the source told Rolling Stone.
Hey, it’s a relief to hear (though it's unconfirmed) that infighting rather than that Eddie Van Halen’s health is causing the cancellations, but it’s a shame that grown men in their 50s and 60s can’t figure out a way to make it on stage every night (for which they are paid millions of dollars over the course of the tour, by the way). If Aerosmith can do it, why can’t Van Halen?
It would also appear that the old lack of ticket sales would not be an issue. The tour was selling very well in most markets, if not completely selling out arenas.
The band was supporting its first new album with Roth in more than two decades, “A Different Kind of Truth,” which came out in February.
Hitfix attended Van Halen's warm-up gig in Los Angeles and found the on-stage chemistry engaging and there were no hints of problems. Is this nothing that separate buses or planes can’t fix?
Her glorious musical explosions fueled the clubs and the charts
“Last Dance” was a tough song to dance to. The Donna Summer smash started slow, so if a boy asked you do dance to it, the request felt way more significant than if he asked you to dance to a fast song. But then it transitioned into a fast song, so you and your partner had to know how to navigate the switch from slow to fast. And if you weren’t fond enough of each other to actually slow dance together through the opening you just had to awkwardly sway separately through that part until the fast part came in.
I was never very good at that.
Dancing to that song with a boy whose name I’ve long since forgotten was one of my first memories this morning when I heard of Summer’s passing from cancer. She was 63. My second was that her music had informed much of my teen years.
The five-time Grammy winner got labeled Queen of Disco during the late ‘70s, but a more appropriate title would have been Queen of Pop. Between May 1978 and January 1980, she scored eight Top 5 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including four No. 1s —the first female to do so in that short time span. The musical style may have been disco (now, of course, rebranded dance) and born out of the clubs, but the truth is no one had to step into a disco to hear a Summer song during her heyday. Her music played in the supermarket just as much as in the clubs...and she dominated radio.
During that time, I was solely into Top 40. While I was keyed into music like nothing else in my life from the time I was four or so, in my mid-teens, my tastes were dictated by Top 40 radio. My parents are probably the last generation to not be influenced musically by the birth of rock in the ‘50s, and my older sister, while also a music fan, didn’t start straying outside of the pop lines until she went to college, like me.
So while the cool kids —of which I never have been one— were already getting into the Clash, the Ramones, and other punk acts (all of whom I came to love later), I was totally in my Top 40 bubble and Donna Summer was a big part of that bubble.
Summer’s hits were glorious explosions that often started slow and then burst into beat-driven fireworks propelled by her stellar, powerhouse voice (underrated by critics at the time, who were too busy hating on disco to truly acknowledge her talent). Listen to the notes she sustains on “Dim All The Lights” or how she goes toe to toe with Barbra Streisand on “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” and holds her own with one of the greatest voices of all time. That’s a great voice, born from her gospel background, no matter what genre you want to pigeonhole her into (watch for the encomiums coming the next few days stressing just that from writers who denounced her the first time around).
If there was ever an artist who seemed to wrestle with her fame, her talent and her audience, it was Summer. As a born-again Christian, she later denounced her first hit, 1975’s orgasmic “Love To Love You Baby.” She told Vanity Fair that she looked at the song as a “joke”: “I originally recorded ‘Love to Love You Baby’ on a dare from [producer] Giorgio [Moroder] that I couldn’t be sexy. It was a joke that worked. All that orgasmic stuff … I thought they were kidding—I desperately tried to get them to get someone else to sing the song. Then I made them turn the lights off, get some candles, have some atmosphere. I was going closer and closer to the floor and finally I was lying on the floor.”
History has looked back on Summer as a pioneer, as someone who helped usher in a new musical format that, although hated by critics, delighted millions of fans and also was the first genre to be embraced by the gay community and claimed as their own —though they were always delighted to share with the world at large. (Summer was later accused of voicing anti-gay comments, which she denied making).
She has been up for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but did not receive enough votes to make it into the Hall— yet. That’s likely to change in coming years. Listen to “I Feel Love,” which is basically Kraftwerk crossed with disco, and tell me why she doesn’t deserve inclusion. Plus, the songs have worn far better than they should have. There will never be a time now or 20 years from now or beyond when “Bad Girls” or “Hot Stuff” doesn’t pack a dance floor. If you're still not convinced she was beyond disco, that's a pretty crunchy guitar solo in "Hot Stuff" for a disco song, isn't it?
I still find myself listening to Summer as a great pick-me up on occasion and her songs never fail to bring a smile to my face. “Heaven Knows” will always remind me of riding around with my boyfriend in high school in his black Cutlass Supreme (with red interior). When one of my best friends was going through a divorce a few years ago, we packed up her apartment to Summer’s greatest hits, dancing around, filling boxes, and waiting for the movers, often as tears streamed down her face.
If you’re too young to remember her in real time, check her out with an open mind and open ears. And don’t forget your disco whistle.
Will Maroon 5 spoil Gotye's party next week?
Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” featuring Kimbra continues its residence atop the Billboard Hot 100, logging its fifth week at the top.
Its run gives the song the longest reign by a solo male since Eminem’s “Love The Way You Lie” featuring Rihanna spent seven weeks at No. 1 in 2010, according to BIllboard.
Maroon 5’s “Payphone” featuring Wiz Khalifa flips spaces with fun’s “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae, with the Adam Levine-led group rising one spot to No. 2.