Glen Campbell is a true hero of American music: from being a member of the infamous ‘Wrecking Crew’ set of musicians in the 1960s, to replacing Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys on tour for six months, to becoming a country music legend in his own right.
Sadly, Glen Campbell is no longer the man he once was: two years ago he embarked on a farewell tour of the world after it was announced he was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. More sadly, it would be a tour he could not complete. Even with the help of his family on tour, and the use of tele-prompters and technology to help him perform, he was deemed unable to continue and his tour of Australia was cancelled.
In conjunction with a soon-to-be released documentary on his life, Glen Campbell has released what will no doubt be his final song, I’m Not Gonna Miss You. It’s a beautiful yet harrowing which deals with his struggle with Alzheimer’s straight on. The opening lyric – “I’m still here, but yet I’m gone” – is a brilliantly succinct summary of the effect of the disease. The lyrics are poignant and delivered with passion from Campbell, which makes the track all more harrowing.
He pays tribute to his wife in the song, who has appeared at his side in all of his public appearances since his diagnosis. The lyrics once again tackle the effects of Alzheimer’s:
“You’re never gonna see it in my eyes
It’s not gonna hurt me when you cry
I’m never gonna know what you go through”
It’s such an incredible song, and it is impossible not to be moved by it. It’s simply remarkable, and a fitting farewell from one of America’s biggest legends.
“I’ve a new album coming out with my good friend Lady Gaga at the end of September… I ask you to go out and buy it. She needs the money.”
Tony Bennett, iTunes Festival – London.
Lady Gaga, the singer who has sold in the region of 25 million albums, and who has had critical and commercial success with tracks like ‘Poker Face’, ‘Bad Romance’, and ‘Just Dance’, is now trying her hand at, er, jazz. And, in order to do so, she has teamed up with her new bestie, the 88-year-old jazz and easy listening singing legend, Tony Bennett.
Tony Bennett – who is most famous for singing Fly Me To The Moon originally, and for his 1962 signature song ‘I Left My Heart In San Francisco’ – has had nothing but praise for Lady Gaga, while in return it is clear that she is in total awe of him. Now, for the legendary crooner recording an album of duets with famous friends is nothing particularly new, and is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, the rise of the duet-album-format is largely in part due to the impressive recent success that Tony Bennett has had with his ‘Duets’ and ‘Duets II’ albums, which has seen him singing with an impressive number of outstanding vocalists, from Aretha Franklin to Michael Bublé.
For Tony, then, this album is not much of a risk at all: he’s 88, no doubt incredibly loaded, still got the voice and is still in demand on tour and in the studio (and at the iTunes Festival he had his fair share of younger lady fans too, the old dog). Yet, for Lady Gaga however, it does appear to be somewhat of a risky venture. After all, she is only 28 years of age, yet is singing love songs with a man who could be her grandfather. Indeed, some her most refined and most rational ‘little monsters’ have taken to social media to express their distain for her latest project in a most articulate way:
“I am sorry but Lady Gaga is oveeeer.”
“GO AWAY GAGA YOUR CAREER IS OVER.”
“S***** song. Gaga’s gasping for attention using Tony Bennett. Damnn gaga, you are irrelevant now. Artpop flopped, no hit single since born this way. Just focus on your f”art” thingy please.”
Worthwhile contributions, I’m sure you’ll agree. But such sentiment has not stopped Lady Gaga becoming best friends with the man Frank Sinatra labeled ‘the best singer in the world’. Indeed, she’s been posting photos and selfies with Tony on Twitter for months, made several high profile public appearances with him, and for Tony’s 88th birthday she flew a plane over San Francisco with a banner attached, reading ‘Happy Birthday Tony [Heart] Gaga’ – which Tony later called ‘the best birthday ever’. Much time and effort has gone into crafting an image of the pair together, including the shooting of a special concert to be aired in the States shortly. Even fashion retailer H&M have come on board with the ‘Cheek to Cheek’ concept by hiring the two for their Christmas advertising campaign: Lady Gaga wore H&M designs, whilst suits similar to Tony’s will be available for purchase.
So, what about the music they’ve made together? Two singles have been released so far, the first being a cover of the Cole Porter song ‘Anything Goes’, which is a light, up-tempo jazz stomper which sees both Tony and Lady Gaga trading lyrics off each other with ease and style, and both resist the temptation to try and out-sing the other.
The second single release is cover of the jazz standard ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’ – a song every man and his proverbial dog appear to have recorded. Nonetheless, there’s something more to this version than many of the others, with Lady Gaga powerfully taking the opening lead over an exquisite organ intro. This song is much slower than ‘Anything Goes’, but the chemistry between the two stars is still evident, and also demonstrates that Lady Gaga’s singing abilities are not just limited to overproduced pop-songs.
Whether or not you’ll enjoy these duets depends, I guess, on your musical taste – I love jazz, and I love Tony Bennett – but if you’re a diehard Lady Gaga fan its understandable that you might be confused about her latest career choice. Alternatively, you could embrace it and enjoy the form of music that nearly every other musical genre is based upon: jazz.
‘Cheek to Cheek’ is available from 23rd September, with both a standard release and deluxe release. The singles ‘Anything Goes’ and ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love are out now.
Tony Bennett is currently on a UK tour – 9th September, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall; 11th September, Birmingham Symphony Hall.
Lady Gaga is returning to the UK on tour this autumn, playing the Newcastle Metro Radio Arena on 22nd November.
London’s finest alternative pop-rock duo THUMPERS released their fantastic debut album Galore earlier this year and are currently undertaking a UK tour. To mark the occasion we have a signed copy of the album and a free t-shirt to give away!
To be in with a chance to win, viagra 100mg all you have to do is Tweet us your question for the boys to @NSRLive using here "type":104}”>#AskThumpers– and one lucky winner will be picked by the band when we interview them next Wednesday!
You can post your question on our Facebook page if Twitter scares you a little too!
Whether you want to know – “Who they would love to duet with?”, “What’s the last thing they do before they go on stage?” or simply “Which was their favourite Teletubby?” – #AskThumpers now to find out!
THUMPERS are playing in Newcastle at the Cluny on Wednesday 28th May.
The debut album is out to buy now.
On 30th March 2014, viagra 60mg Radstock festival comes to the O2 Academy in Newcastle. The second Radstock festival in which Yashin, viagra 40mg who performed last year at the same festival, shop return after their rise to fame over the past 12 months. They will be sharing the stage with bands like Kids In Glass Houses, upcoming Essex band The Hype Theory, Me vs Hero who once supported Elliot Minor at the academy, Heights, Fearless Vampire Killers and more! The headline band for this festival of up and coming bands is none other than Welsh post –hardcore band Funeral For a Friend, I personally am most exicted for these and the Hype Theory. Radstock Festival 2014 is definitely not to be missed, and one which will certain rocket these bands to an even higher level!
So James Blake won the Mercury Prize this year. Okay – I like James Blake I do. But I don’t think he should have won. No no no. He shouldn’t have won.
The list of nominees this year was very strong, I’m not sure what Rudimental was doing on there, but still. When you look at the list, how can you not help but feel proud of the phenomenal output being put out by British artists. It’s excellent!
‘Overgrown’ is a good album. It’s certainly better than Rudimental’s ‘Home’. But lets be serious now, does anybody really think it’s the best album on the shortlist? DAVID FRICKIN BOWIE is on the same shortlist! Even fellow nominees Disclosure spoke out and said that Bowie deserved to win. If anyone can spend a decade out of the business, then just pop up willy nilly when they feel like it and still make the general public drivel over their genius, you probably deserve to win something!
I’m not saying that Bowie should have won the Mercury Prize either, it’s just important to recognise that the man is (that over used word) AWESOME! Also, speaking of important things to recognise, I think that Laura Marling is not getting the attention she deserves. Sure, she has been nominated several times for the Mercury Prize and all of her albums relish in critical acclaim – but how often do people really sit down and appreciate Marling? I don’t think often enough. Why isn’t Marling more popular? Once I Was An Eagle is phenomenal. It’s intelligent and beautiful and I love it. And it’s easily better than Rudimental’s Home too.
And it makes me really happy to be able to say that Once I Was An Eagle isn’t the best album on the shortlist either. (We Brits are pretty good at this music thing huh?). There is Jake Bugg, Disclosure, Villagers, Savages, Jon Hopkins and the favourite Laura Mvula. Now all of these artists are great, so is there really any point in me harping on at you about what they sound like? Wouldn’t that be a bit boring? If you want to have some fun, listen to all of these guys. I promise you a good time. You won’t be disappointed.
Arctic Monkeys. AM. I could heap praise upon this album for decades. But if you’ve paid any attention to AM (and how couldn’t you??) you will have already heard every bit of praise which is possible to be said, being said about this album. Some critics call it the best album released this century. Controversial yes. But they might be right. Nevertheless, AM is definitely one of the best albums released this year. I’ve had it on repeat since it was released back in September now, and I fall in love with a new song every time I listen. There are NO ‘bad’ songs on the album – do I hazard to call it perfect?
But it still wasn’t the best album on the shortlist. You may have guessed where I’m going with this by now, so let me stop stalling and be out with it. James Blake didn’t deserve to win the Mercury Prize – because Foals did. When Foals released Inhaler in 2012, I was blown away. ‘Inhaler’was the best song released that year, and when the band came hurtling in with ‘Holy Fire’ earlier this year, my oh my. What an album. Primal, stripped back and utterly deserving of your love – Holy Fire is the best British record released this year. It is a balls-to-the-wall canon ball of energy. On the back of this album they have had the biggest year of their careers so far – culminating in a headline slot in front of a 60,000 strong crowd at Latitude Festival this summer. Rumours are already circulating about a possible headline slot at the mammoth Reading & Leeds festivals – and I sincerely hope they get it. Foals haven’t put a foot wrong in their career yet, creating three albums which sounds unique and totally distinctive when compared next to each other. I think that Foals are the most exciting rock band in the world right now. I can’t wait to see what happens next!