If you’ve been following along my musical album odyssey over the past few months, you’ll have noticed that a lot of inspiration for the choices recently has come from the time shifted repeats of Top of the Pops that are available via the BBC. Currently they’re airing episodes from 1994, and I’m loving (almost) every minute of it.
It’s one of the biggest problems with streaming music, the vast amount of choice that is out there and how best to curate it.
P!nk recently appeared on the Graham Norton Show on the BBC to sing her latest release TRUSTFALL and promote her new album of the same name. It was an incredible live performance. You can rely on P!nk to add a bit of gymnastics or circus skills to her sets and this time it was all about the trampoline. P!nk was focused on vocals rather than bouncing off the mat, but it’s all the better for it.
In my recent round up of movies to look forward to, I didn’t notice or consider 80 for Brady, which is a film about a group of older friends travelling together to see their idol Tom Brady do what he does best on the football field. It’s got a great cast and is bound to be one of those charming movies where a handful of brilliant female actresses gel together and have a bit of a riot.
It’s no secret how much I love Kellyoke - the moment on Kelly Clarkson’s talk show where she covers a popular song, usually doing a much better job than the original! Another thing I love is behind the scenes info about music, tv and production, which makes this set of videos absolutely perfect. Called the Kellyoke Afterparty, this series of three videos features music director Jason Halbert and guitarist Jaco Caraco sharing a drink and some gossip after the live show.
Apple have released a comprehensive round up of their 2022 entertainment and services - inevitably happy about how successful they have been - with wisdom from VP of the sector, Eddy Cue. There are lots of facts and figures, as you might imagine, but I do like the summary from Mr Cue:
It’s remarkable how much great content is at our fingertips; that’s a testament to the extraordinary work of creators worldwide.
I was so busy watching Sam Ryder do his thing on New Year’s Eve for the BBC that I totally missed what was happening in other corners of the world - in particular Miley Cyrus pulling out all the stops and performing with a variety of guests for NBC. Dolly Parton was one of the featured friends, and the pair cruised through Wrecking Ball and Jolene and a few other hits.
My seventh year of listening to albums has drawn to a close and it’s that agonising time where I need to decide on a top five. Each year I listen to 100 albums, one new and one old each week for fifty weeks, and they each get two listens to make sure I really get a feel for the sound. Then, at the end of the year, I pull together my top five from the new albums.
Apple released a press release announcing they have hit 100 million songs on their Apple Music streaming service yesterday, which, by my calculations, is quite a lot. The release is your traditional back-patting piece but there are some interesting little nuggets in there that caught my attention. The first is about the history of music and how it’s possible we even have this many songs to play with in the first place.
Last year, the American country music singer Eric Church released a triple part album, entitled Heart & Soul. Each of those three words was the title of one part of the album, and they were released over the course of about a week. At the time, I listened to the albums a little bit reluctantly. Heart came first, and then & was released only as a vinyl release, so I said: “Already I’m on the back foot as I’m not going to be able to hear the middle part of this trilogy… nevertheless, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give the first part a go, and I’m glad I did.
Somehow another year of music has flown by, I’ve banked another 100 albums, both new and old, and now I have to decide which were the cream of the crop and which weren’t worth the download speeds. Each week, for fifty weeks, I’ve listened to one new album (usually from this year, or 2020 at a push), and one older album (any time before that), and have listened to each twice because I’ve found just one listen through isn’t always enough to full appreciate what’s going on.