Thursday, April 19, 2018

Original 'Nothing Compares 2 U' gets a special release, plus more Prince-related activity

photo: The Prince Estate/Nancy Bundt
The Prince Estate, in collaboration with Warner Bros. Records, has now released the original version of the iconic song "Nothing Compares 2 U".

This previously unreleased version was recorded in 1984, six years before 1990’s classic reimagining by SinĂ©ad O'Connor and before Prince started performing the song live. The track was recorded at the Flying Cloud Drive 'Warehouse' in Eden Prairie by Prince’s long-time engineer Susan Rogers, and originally composed, arranged and performed in its entirety by Prince, aside from the backing vocals by Susannah Melvoin and Paul "St. Paul" Peterson.

Also featured on the original track is saxophone work by Eric Leeds. The new version of the song will be available to stream, to purchase via digital retailers and as two 7” vinyl singles (in picture disk and standard black vinyl formats). Download or stream the track HERE.

As remembered by Michael Howe, long-time industry A&R executive, Prince expert, and the Prince Estate’s official Vault Archivist, “I spotted the 2" multitrack reel in the Vault some weeks back while doing a 1984-era inventory. After retrieving my jaw from the floor, we took the reel upstairs, analyzed it, put it up on the Studer 24 track machine, and digitized it to 24/192. Even our 'faders up' rough mix was compelling enough to indicate that this was something very special indeed.”

Howe continued, “No Prince-penned song performed by another artist has enjoyed more chart success (#1 in over a dozen countries) and overall cultural impact than Sinead O'Connor's 1990 recording, so hearing the song in its original context performed in its entirety by the author makes it particularly noteworthy.”

The song is accompanied by a video featuring never before seen rehearsal footage of Prince & The Revolution practicing their choreography in that same Eden Prairie warehouse during the same summer of 1984. Captured for Prince as a part of his rehearsal process, the footage is presented for the very first time in a video directed by Andrea Gelardin and Ruth Hogben. The video offers a glimpse into Prince’s total commitment to his art and its emotional impact, even when no audience is present. Watch the video HERE.

After the successful launch of the Prince HitNRun online pop-up store last November, the Prince Estate is bringing back the concept(, where the limited edition, picture disk vinyl will be sold exclusively. In addition to the limited edition picture disk vinyl, fans will also be able to purchase a variety of official Prince merchandise, including pieces that draw from his iconic Dirty Mind and Lovesexy eras. The black vinyl 7” will be available for pre-order from major physical retailers and will be released on Friday May 25.

The Prince Estate has also launched a new site for fans to showcase what Prince means to them. Prince2Me ( is an interactive fan experience that explores what Prince means, individually and collectively to his fans. The Prince Estate has also announced that this will be the first of many online experiences to come, each will shine a new light on his artistry.

When fans visit thePrince2Me site they will be able to craft their own message using Prince vocabulary, an array of images and videos provided by the Estate. Once a fan creates their desired message they can share their post across social media and spark the conversation of who Prince is to them. Fans who use Twitter to share their Prince2Me messages using #Prince2Me or #NothingCompares2U will be able to activate an exclusive Prince Love Symbol Twitter emoji.

In addition to the Prince2Me site, the Estate has launched an immersive annotated discography website highlighting the incomparable breadth and depth of Prince’s recorded catalogue. Featuring audio previews, photos, videos, quotes and editorial commentary, the discography site provides a rich platform for fans old and new to immerse themselves in the creative genius ofPrince. Visit the discography website here:

Limited Edition 7” picture disk and black vinyl tracklisting and credits:

Recorded in July 1984 at Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse, Eden Prairie, MN
Mixed by Tony Maserati at Mirrorball Studios, North Hollywood, CA
Assistant mix Engineer: Tyler Scott
Written, Arranged, Performed and Produced by Prince
Saxophone by Eric Leeds
Backing Vocals by Susannah Melvoin and Paul Peterson
Engineered by Susan Rogers

Lykke Li update

LA-based Swedish vocalist, producer, and songwriter Lykke Li today releases new single “Deep End” and additional track “Hard Rain.” The songs mark the coming of So Sad, So Sexy, Lykke Li’s fourth full-length album and follow-up to 2014’s critically-acclaimed I Never Learn, due June 8 via RCA Records, her first release with the label.

It is available for pre-order now including the album’s lead single, “Deep End,” produced by Jeff Bhasker, Malay, and T-Minus and “Hard Rain,” produced by Rostam Batmanglij.

Listen to ‘deep end’ – 
Listen to ‘hard rain’ – 

This summer, Lykke will be performing at the BBC’s Biggest Weekend Festival in Belfast, All Points East in London, Chicago’s Lollapalooza and more. Visit for schedule.

Track listing:

01 Hard rain 

02 Deep end 

03 Two nights (feat. Aminé) 

04 Last piece 

05 Jaguars in the air 

06 Sex money feelings die 

07 So sad so sexy 

08 Better alone 

09 Bad woman 

10 Utopia

John Mellencamp Chicago concert due on home video next month

On May 11, John Mellencamp fans will get a deeper look at the artist when Eagle Rock Entertainment puts out Plain Spoken: From The Chicago Theatre on DVD+CD, Blu-ray+CD, and digital formats.

Outside the boundaries of a normal concert film or documentary, Plain Spoken used voiceovers from Mellencamp with live footage of him performing with his full band at the historic theatre, just 250 miles from his native Indiana.

In addition to the full film with Mellencamp’s commentary, this audio visual release offers a “non-commentary” option (available in the menu) in which viewers can watch the concert on its own. The audio visual set is completed with a component CD of concert audio.

The set, which includes special guest Carlene Carter, showcases Mellencamp performing various hits, album cuts including ones from his most recent album Sad Clowns And Hillbillies.

With a career spanning more than 35 years, the Rock and Roll Hall Of Famer will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 14. He has achieved 22 Top 40 hits in addition to earning the record for the “Most #1 tracks by a solo artist on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks” chart.

Track listing:

Lawless Times
Troubled Man
Minutes To Memories
Small Town
Stones In My Passway
Pop Singer
Check It Out
Longest Days
The Full Catastrophe
My Soul's Got Wings
Rain On The Scarecrow
Paper In Fire
Authority Song
Pink Houses
Cherry Bomb

Long-awaited new English Beat album details revealed

I saw the band live last year in Riverside and Irvine, Calif. and the one or two new songs that were played sounded solid. And his toaster King Schascha was impressive as well. Can't wait to hear the album... 

The English Beat featuring Dave Wakeling have announced their first new studio album since 1982. Scheduled for release on June 15, Here We Go Love includes 13 songs (see track listing below). It was made over the last two years between tours.

On "The One And Only," Wakeling examines “the Donald Trump in all of us. It is too easy for us to just point fingers.” Besides music performed by the live band, there are special guests like Roddy "Radiation" Byers of The Specials and The Skabilly Rebels, Train guitarist Luis Maldonado and backing vocalists Durga McBroom, Kevin Williams and Jelani Jones.

Wakeling even sought input from The English Beat’s late saxophonist Saxa, who had a tendon injury, but still hummed some saxophone melodies which Wakeling incorporated into the album to maintain a taste of his musical flavor.

Track listing:

1. How can you stand there?
2. The one and the only
3. Redemption time
4. If killing worked
5. Here we go love
6. Never die
7. The love you give
8. You really oughtta know
9. You're stuck
10. Every time you told me
11. Dem call it ska
12. Drive her away
13. Be there for you

Tour dates: 

May 04 Saint Rocke (Hermosa Beach, CA) 
May 11 Libbey Bowl (Ojai, CA) 
May 12 The Canyon Santa Clarita (Santa Clarita, CA) 
May 18 The Coach House (San Juan Capistrano, CA) 
Jun 21 The State Theatre (Falls Chuck, VA) 
Jun 22 Underground Arts (Philadelphia, PA) 
Jun 24 The Bell House (Brooklyn, NY) 
Jul 06 The Metro (Chicago, IL) 
Jul 07 The Kent Stage (Kent, OH)
Jul 11 The Slowdown (Omaha, NE) 
Jul 13 The Gothic (Denver, CO) 
Jul 16 The Complex (Salt Lake City, UT) 
Jul 18 Park (Salem, OR) 
Jul 19 Irvine Regional Park (Irvine, CA) 
Aug 04 Pershing Square (Los Angeles, CA) 
Aug 07 The Chicken Box (Nantucket, MA) 
Aug 08 The Chicken Box (Nantucket, MA) 
Aug 09 Payomet PAC (Truro, MA) 
Aug 10 Ocean Mist (Kingstown, RI) 
Aug 17 The Boardwalk (Santa Cruz, CA)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

News on Glen Phillips from Toad the Wet Sprocket

Compass Records Group, home of Colin Hay, the Infamous Stringdusters, Nicki Bluhm and others, is proud to welcome Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) to their roster.

On May 4, Compass will deliver the commercial release of Phillips’ introspective, intimate 2016 solo album, SWALLOWED BY THE NEW, with the addition of a bonus track co-written with Lori McKenna,“Nobody’s Gonna Get Hurt.” The song recently premiered at No Depression. Listen to "Nobody's Gonna Get Hurt"

“Lori McKenna and I wrote ‘Nobody’s Gonna Get Hurt’ at her home just outside of Boston," Phillips says. "I’d been reading and listening to a lot of David Whyte and was taken by his assertion that heartache is the inevitable byproduct of loving anything deeply, a sign of a life well lived instead of something to be avoided. I came in with the title and an idea that the song should be entirely lies. Lori jumped in and we finished it all in under two hours. That was a good day.”

"I’m excited to be partnering with Compass Records for the broad release of SWALLOWED BY THE NEW," Phillips says. “I’m proud of this piece of work and am excited to have their expertise and support in helping it be heard by a broader audience."

SWALLOWED BY THE NEW will be available worldwide on CD, vinyl and all digital service providers followed by tours in the US and abroad. It’s the most intensely personal album of Phillips' career, reflecting his mastery for converting raw emotion into sound. Taking on life’s difficult transitions -- the album was written following his divorce from his wife of 23 years -- Phillips delivers some of his most vulnerable songs to date.

“This album was written to give myself a set of tools to deal with transitions that big and to understand that just because something hurts doesn't mean it's injurious," Phillips told Billboard. "It can hurt, but it can also be a sign of growing and learning to allow change and have some fundamental trust that what's happening is what needs to happen.”

Tour dates:

Apr 20 - Red Clay Music Foundry - Duluth, GA *
Apr 21 - Hendershot’s - Athens, GA *
Apr 22 - Balch Residence - Morganton, GA *
Apr 25 - The Armory - Fort Collins, CO **
Apr 26 - eTown Hall - Boulder, CO **
Apr 28 - Daniel’s Hall - Denver, CO **
Apr 29 - Friend’s HC - Colorado Springs, CO **
May 04 - Bell’s Eccentric Cafe - Kalamazoo, MI **
May 06 - Yellow Cab Tavern - Dayton, OH **
May 07 - Club Cafe - Pittsburgh, PA **
May 09 - Music Box Supper Club - Cleveland, OH **
May 10 - The Ark - Ann Arbor, MI **
May 11 - The Ludlow Garage - Cincinnati, OH **
May 12 - Colectivo - Milwaukee, WI **
May 13 - City Winery - Chicago, IL **
Jun 02 - HopMonk Tavern - Novato, CA **
Jun 03 - Hopmonk Tavern - Novato, CA** 

* acoustic trio
** solo acoustic 

A new album on the way from Jim James of My Morning Jacket

photo: Justin Close
My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James announced his third solo album Uniform Distortion, will arrive June 29 via ATO Records. First track "Just a Fool" premiered through NPR's All Things Considered.

While flipping through the pages of The Last Whole Earth Catalogue, a resource that was in 1971 basically the internet before the internet, Jim James stumbled upon a distorted photo of "The Illuminated Man' by Duane Michals.

Immediately moved by the photo, he asked for permission to to use the image as the album cover of Uniform Distortion. The first request to Michals was rejected. In hopes of changing his mind, James wrote a letter to Michals personally and was ultimately allowed to use the image.

The letter, which sheds some light on the album and James current state of mind, reads in full below:

"hello duane- your piece "the illuminated man" was used in "the last whole earth catalogue" in 1971. i wasnt even born yet. i was born in 1978...but i found my copy of "the last whole earth catalogue" about 6 months ago in a thrift store and it blew my mind. i have been feeling increasingly overwhelmed by the speed of technology and its place in our lives and here was this beautiful book/catalogue from the past showing me me all these beautiful things and amazing images to help one learn different ways to look at the world... or "get off the grid?" funny they had no idea back then just how crazy "the grid" would get. or did they?

so i am trying to put down my phone... use the computer and social media less... and just focus on real life and the people i love and my art. of course i am not fully "off the grid" because i am sending you this email in hopes of you changing your mind about letting me use your image as it appeared in "the last whole earth catalogue" in 1971 because when i saw it on the page there it spoke to me so deeply of how my head feels like it is exploding with the amount of information we are forced to consume on a daily basis and how that information is so DISTORTED there is almost no longer any tangible truth. the name of my new record is "UNIFORM DISTORTION" because i feel like there is this blanket distortion on society/media and the way we gather our "news" and important information...and more and more of us are feeling lost and looking for new ways out of this distortion and back to the truth...and finding hope in places like the desert where i write this email to you now...finding hope in the land and in the water and in old books offering new ideas and most importantly in each other and love.

i feel like there was a reason i found "the last whole earth catalogue" and there was a reason your art spoke to me... and i really think it would speak to others who would see it exploding out at them illuminating from the record store shelf or the glow of their phone or computer screen and feel its organic mind blowing distortion connect with this new music.

i also like the natural "distortion" that time and the pulp of the paper meeting the ink from "the last whole earth catalogue" add to your original image and that is why i am asking your permission to use this "distorted" version of your original beautiful image.

i hope you are well and thanks for listening-
jim james"


5/20 - Brooklyn, NY -David Lynch's Festival of Disruption at Brooklyn Steel
6/21 - Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre Berkeley *
* solo acoustic w/Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters

Track listing:

Just A Fool
You Get To Rome
Out Of Time
No Secrets
Yes To Everything
No Use Waiting
All In Your Head
Better Late Than Never
Over and Over
Too Good To Be True

Record Store Day '18 news: The Alarm to skip across continents

Sounds like a very ambitious undertaking from Peters, who never shies away from a challenge. Can't wait to hear the latest music. Read below for the latest...

To celebrate this year's Record Store Day (April 21), THE ALARM's MIKE PETERS will undertake a massive feat: a three-stop transcontinental trip within 24 hours, hitting record stores in London, New York and Los Angeles.

For RSD, the band will issue a limited edition eight-song EP, WHERE THE TWO RIVERS MEET. It's the latest release from the Welsh band who've had 17 Top 50 UK with over five million in album sales worldwide in their 35+ year career.

This is an official exclusive release for World Record Store Day 2018. "I'm so proud of the new music that is being made in the name of The Alarm right here and now," says singer, songwriter and guitarist MIKE PETERS.

Born out of the intense Blood Red Viral Black sessions (2017), the new release stands alongside some of the best work to carry the hallmark of The Alarm. It is a vital piece of music that features an electric contribution from Billy Duffy of The Cult and songs that will only be available in this limited edition format for #RSD18.

The day will kick off with a sold-out listening party in the UK hosted by Diverse Music in Newport, Wales before PETERS crosses the Atlantic for stops in New York at Looney Tunes Records in Babylon, Long Island and Los Angeles at Fingerprints Records in Long Beach.

Armed with an acoustic guitar and a camera, creating an "on the run" video, PETERS adds, "It's probably a good idea to make sure your favorite Alarm t-shirt is clean and ready to be worn on Record Store Day!" As PETERS explained on THE ALARM's website, "the 24-hour Transatlantic Tour marks the start of a very exciting new era for all of us in the Alarm community, and I hope each and every fan will enter into the spirit of the times and step forward to take part in these new Alarm adventures."

To commemorate the day, the band have created a limited-edition t-shirt that is available for pre-order now. Throughout the day on April 21, the band is asking all Alarm fans to take a picture wearing their favorite Alarm t-shirt sharing the photo on social media using the #RSD18thealarm and #RSD18 hashtags. Those who share their photos online (and using the appropriate hashtags) will automatically be entered into an online Alarm lottery that will entitle the winner to a unique and special 7" vinyl single that will recorded and pressed by PETERS at the beginning of the day. The winning entry will be announced by PETERS following his final appearance of the day.

Next up, PETERS and the ALARM are prepping a new album that's due out this June and world tour, which kicks off June 1 in Europe with North American dates to follow. PETERS promises "that we will blow the roof, the doors and the fences down at each and every gig."

Stay tuned for additional details on the album and tour.