I figured it was time to change the title of the column into something a little less…you know, boring. Anyhow, here’s what you should be expecting to see on store shelves and in your trusty little iTunes browser this week:
AC/DC: Black Ice:
Those rascally Aussies have pretty much made the exact same album for thirty + years now, but damn if people don’t go out and buy tons of it each time. Black Ice is their first album of new material in almost a decade, and it’s receiving a little extra notice not only because they’re crisscrossing the globe in support of it, but because, much like The Eagles album from last year, this album is being released exclusively at Wal-Mart and walmart.com (actually, the album went on sale yesterday, but who’s counting). If you’re anywhere near rock radio or VH-1, I’m sure you’ve already heard the first single “Rock & Roll Train”.
Kenny Chesney: Lucky Old Sun:
Repeating a trick that worked quite successfully for SugarLand earlier this year, Chesney’s new album was first released last week in a bonus/special edition dealie. This week marks the release of the regular edition of the album. Lucky Old Sun is sure to contain more sun-kissed good vibes from a guy who can alternately be considered Jimmy Buffett’s musical sun or Jack Johnson with a cowboy hat on. Guests on this album include Dave Matthews (!) and The Wailers (!!!).
Various Artists: High School Musical 3 Soundtrack:
How about those crazy kids at Disney? The first “HSM” soundtrack was a sales blockbuster, becoming the top selling album the year it was released. The sequel was no slouch, either. Now, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Corbin Blue (what kind of name is that??) and the others graduate (heh, punny) to the big screen as they reach their senior year in high school. I will admit to not having heard a single peep from any of the movies or their attendant soundtracks, so I’ll plead ignorance here and assume it all sucks. However, you can certainly expect this and AC/DC to duke it out for the top spot on the charts next week.
LaBelle: Back To Now:
It’s almost hard to imagine nearly thirty-five years later, but the now-matronly Patti LaBelle used to be pretty risque back in the day. Joining forces with soul sisters Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash in LaBelle, Patti belted out numbers like “Lady Marmalade” and “Going Down Makes Me Shiver” while dressed in the freakiest looking costumes in musical history. Well, after an absence of…well, my entire lifetime of 32 years, LaBelle is back, with the same costumes and looking pretty damn good for a trio of women in their Sixties (especially the ageless Hendryx). Back to Now features production from the indefatigable Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, as well as Wyclef Jean and Lenny Kravitz.
Elsewhere, all you country rebels with a little bit of punk in you will be picking up the new Hank Williams III CD (as Hank III) entitled Damn Right, Rebel Proud. The more sedate country fan will opt to go with Craig Morgan‘s That’s Why, the fourth set from the balladeer. Want to make a joyful noise unto the Lord? Well, pick up Mary Mary‘s new album. The gospel duo returns with The Sound, featuring a guest appearance from occasionally raunchy (but not on THIS album) rapper David Banner. Also, look out for new albums from country mainstay Lee Ann Womack, hipster faves Of Montreal and those guys that had a hit with “Gay Bar” a couple years ago, Electric Six.Oh, for the eleven of you that care, there’s a new Montell Jordan album out.
On the re-issue front, the vinyl resurgence continues with 180-gram (that’s high quality for you non-audiophile folks) releases like Van Morrison‘s Astral Weeks, Prince‘s Purple Rain, The Eagles‘ Hotel California and Van Halen‘s 1978 debut. Those of you with fond memories of the vinyl era who have graduated to CD might be interested in the new 4-disc Philly Soul box set in stores today. Speaking of box sets, Rhino is releasing every Doors album in a handy-dandy box set with a bonus DVD, and there’s also a new multi-disc live set being released from Sting.
Get the full list of this week’s releases here.