BRUCE JUICE — “Letter To You” is the new single and forthcoming album, dropped Thursday by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band this week.
First off, I have to say that Bruce’s album Western Stars, of last year, contained the song “There Goes My Miracle” and is one of the best songs I think I’ve ever heard. To me, that composition and production of the song was on the level of any classic Burt Bacharach or Jimmy Webb composition. Sprawling; luxurious; and, magnificent. I listened to it again yesterday and my feelings haven’t changed. Just an amazing song and production.
“Letter To You” is classic Bruce, with his classic line-up. And, while it may not be Bruce’s best work, it’s an instant-classic.
Says the Boss: “I love the emotional nature of ‘Letter to You,’ and I love the sound of the E Street Band playing completely live in the studio, in a way we’ve never done before, and with no overdubs. We made the album in only five days, and it turned out to be one of the greatest recording experiences I’ve ever had.”
I conferred with an industry taste-maker yesterday about the song and he said, while it’s not a home run; who is hitting home runs these days. On point for sure!
TRUE JOEY — I had the pleasure of talking to Badfinger’s Joey Molland several times last year on his 50 Years Ago tour, with Christopher Cross, Todd Rundgren, Micky Dolenz and Jason Sheff. Though the tour was highlighting the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ landmark White Album; all of the featured names got to perform several of their solo hits; Molland performed “Baby Blue” and “No Matter What” to just ecstatic response.
Molland’s group, Badfinger, has one of the saddest epitaphs ever and while I won’t go into it here, I have to say Molland was a pure delight. At one show, we were discussing the classic Straight Up album (released in 1971) and my favorite track, the sumptuous “Name of the Game,” which Rundgren produced and has George Harrison, no less, on background vocals. We were in the middle of a deep dive on the song, when literally out of nowhere stepped in Rundgren eager to join in the dialogue. It was one of those uncanny magical moments.
This is Molland’s first solo album since the 2013 effort, Return to Memphis. Be True To Yourself is out and it’s just gorgeous. With cover photos from Julian Lennon , who assists on several of the cuts, it’s a stunning project. Produced by Mark Hudson, the lead off track “This Time” is just a standout. Reminiscent of Badfinger in many ways, Molland’ s album is a driving tour de force.
The track “Shine” has Micky Dolenz on background vocals and is a joyous track. The album’s title’s track is also a home run. Also present are: former Wings drummer Steve Holley and ex-Chicago singer/bassist Jason Scheff
Hudson’s production is simple and to the point. I like the album because it’s Molland in his wheelhouse. After major exposure on the 50 Years tour last year; this is a most welcomed prize.
SHORT TAKES — The hot boy-band-of-the-moment BTS performed their latest release of Thursday’s Today Show, “Dynamite.” Terrifically underwhelming. If this is what the kids are listening too, I’d love to recommend something new. Utterly embarrassing. Even Lou Pearlman had more class than this … We’ve been listening to the re-worked Flaming Pie, album from Paul McCartney (his tenth solo effort) and am just loving it. What a terrific album and Steve Miller, of all people, is on two of the cuts (“Just A Boy” is the standout). when the album first came out in 1997, we truly missed its impact. Enjoying it immensely … SiriusXM’s Jim Meyer said he’s “optimistic” about striking a new deal with the company’s star property Howard Stern, whose contract expires at year end. The renewal has been a focus of Wall Street and the press for months as the deadline approaches. “I am personally deeply engaged in conversations with Howard’s team. I am very optimistic about those conversations. We continue to make progress,” Meyer said this week. “We have had Howard for 15 years and I am sure that every penny we paid Howard our shareholders have benefited. And, I have been really clear, I want Howard Stern to work at SiriusXM as long as Howard Stern wants to work, I can’t speak for him but I can speak for me. Howard loves working at SiriusXM. We love having Howard at SiriusXM. I think the quality of the show is the best it’s ever been. The lineup of the guests he’s getting is the best it’s ever been. I don’t see why that would slow down.” Last week, the company, which owns Pandora and more recently acquired podcast group Stitcher, hit a positive note, boosting its full-year 2020 guidance for SiriusXM self-pay subscriber net additions to about 700,000 — up from the 500,000 previously anticipated. My take: Despite an over-abundance of love from Meyer (chill down Jim and get a room!) Howard will walk and return to terrestrial radio … Via Roger Friedman in Showbiz 411: The Ellen Show has postponed its return for a new season again. Ellen DeGeneres’s embattled talk show was supposed to debut on September 14th, after scandal after scandal forced out three executive producers and sent summer rerun ratings to their lowest ever. Now The Ellen Show will resume on September 21st, with Tiffany Haddish as a guest. Ellen will explain to the viewers at home what the heck has been going on, and how she’ll be a better person. That may not be so easy. A new report today suggested that DeGeneres and partner Portia Del Rossi have treated their home staff miserably, too. “I can’t wait to get back to work and back to our studio. And, yes, we’re gonna talk about it,” the 62-year-old talk show host, who has been accused of creating a toxic work environment backstage. Will we make it to the 21st without any more upheaval? Not so sure. And meantime, the ratings are dismal for the reruns. DeGeneres will have to fight her way back, or wrap up the series next May one way or another …
Diana Rigg has passed at 82. If you’re of a certain age, her portrayal of Emma Peel is an indelible memory. Short skirts; leather catsuits; and, always graceful … she was indeed the original Avenger and an inspirational to hundreds. The 60’s series The Avengers (1961-1964) was amazing in every way. Her antics with John Steed (aka Patrick Mcnee) were always awesome. RIP! … Have you seen the trailer for the re-booted version of Dune; directed by Denis Villeneuves? I went back to the director’s trailer for Bladerunner 2049 and they both looked very similar. The man does have style. Here it is:
Started on Netflix’s Away with Hilary Swank and Josh Charles. Riveting plot for sure about man’s first mission to Mars.
Didn’t expect to hear Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic” in episode 2. What’s next? Elton’s “Rocket Man?” … HAPPY BDAY Vinny Rich and Joyce Moore!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Cary Baker; Randy Alexander; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; James Edstrom; Mark Bego; Freda Payne; Nancy Berk; William Schill; Jim Yukich; Andrew Fuhrman; August Darnell; Adam Pollock; Samantha Ryan; and, BELLA!