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Archive for the ‘Music – Albums’ Category

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Faith Album to be Reissued End of January

Posted by Big Boo on January 17th, 2011

Last Autumn I reported that George Michael’s hugely successful first solo album, Faith, was to be remastered and reissued. The release unfortunately had to be put back, but I can now reveal that it is due for release on January 31st 2011, so in a couple of weeks at the time of writing!

There are two versions of the album being made available. The first is the Special Edition 2 CD/DVD version which contains the remastered album, a bonus CD featuring instrumental versions of some of the songs and a DVD with even more special footage. The, for the real fans, there is the Limited Edition Numbered Box Set which contains all the above plus a Vinyl version of the album and lots of other goodies.

To celebrate the reissue I’ve been given the opportunity of giving away three copies of the remastered album, so if you fancy winning a copy pop on over to the Faith competition entry page now!

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George Michael’s Faith Album To Be Reissued

Posted by Big Boo on September 1st, 2010

George Michael FaithGeorge Michael may have had great success as one half of Wham!, but it wasn’t until he went solo that he could truly claim to have become a superstar of the pop world. George left Wham! because he was fed up with catering to a mainly teenage audience, and spurred on by the success of Careless Whisper, arguably a more mature sounding song than most of their repertoire, he finally decided to go it alone in 1986.

1987 then saw the release of his first solo album, entitled Faith, which was entirely written, arranged and produced by George, further cementing the fact that he was a very talented singer and musician. Faith hit the number one spot in the album charts of the UK, USA and several other countries, and went on to sell over 20 million copies!

That impressive sales figure is set to increase now that the album has been remastered and is to be reissued on 27th September 2010. Containing ten tracks, six of which managed to reach the top slot in the singles chart, I’m sure you’ll recognise most of the songs instantly. As well as the song that forms the title of the album, Faith, there’s also Father Figure, Monkey and I Want Your Sex. That last one can probably be played on the radio without any problems these days, but on release many radio stations played the alternative version I Want Your Love instead.

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Grange Hill – The Album

Posted by Big Boo on December 22nd, 2008

It seems that despite the fact that Grange Hill may have disappeared from our screens after all these years the BBC are not quite ready to turn their backs on it yet, as they’ve just released a three disc CD set comprising over 60 classic eighties tracks entitled Grange Hill – The Album.

Obviously Grange Hill’s was at its most popular during the 1980’s, so despite the show running up until recently this album is firmly rooted in the eighties. As well as the obligatory Grange Hill theme tune (apparently officially called Chicken Man fact fans) you’ll find hits from such acts as Adam and the Ants, Queen, Madness, The Human League, Shakin’ Stevens, Wham!, Culture Club, David Bowie and many more (as they always say on the adverts for such albums). You’ll even find Toni Basil’s Mickey and Rupert and the Frog Song on there too!

However, be aware! Make sure you don’t get the confusingly same titled Grange Hill – The Album by mistake. This is actually the album made by the cast of the show in 1986 and is usually available for bargain bucket prices. It’s only highlight is probably the Zammo’s-drug-taking inspired single Just Say No, and even then I’m not sure highlight is the correct word to use.  It’s easy to tell the difference.  The one you want has a picture of the classic sausage on a fork comic book scene, whilst the other has the lame Danny Kendall created “GH” school badge on the front.  Speaking of which, does anyone know why the original Grange Hill school badge looked like two letter S’s made out of knotted rope?  That always confused me…

Buy Grange Hill - The Album at Amazon.co.uk

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Raiders of the Pop Charts

Posted by Big Boo on August 8th, 2008

Raiders of the Pop ChartsBefore the Now That’s What I Call Music albums grabbed the pop music compilation market by the throat and refused to let go, compilation albums tended to be released by companies such as Ronco or K-Tel and were basically one off affairs bringing together a number of popular songs. One of the strongest examples of this was the rather good Raiders of the Pop Charts, which was produced by Ronco, also well known for their household gadgets.

In 1983 Indiana Jones fever had yet to subside, so the marketing men decided to piggy back on the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark by putting a guy in a leather jacket and holding a whip on the front cover. They even unashamedly stole the logo from Indy as well!

Despite all this though the compilation was actually very good, with a large number of well known and well loved songs. It featured hits by bands such as Culture Club, The Pretenders, Madness and Heaven 17. It even found room for a few of the more novelty songs of the time, including Tony Basil’s Mickey. Probably the most bizarre feature of this compilation though was that it was split into two parts which were sold separately.

The compilation did very well, and I reckon the makers of the Now albums at least used it partially as a model for their own efforts. Raiders of the Pop Charts hit the top of the UK album charts in January 1983, and also holds the current record for the largest jump up the UK album charts, when it climbed 37 places from number 40 to number 3 at the very beginning of 1983.

Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Thriller – Michael Jackson

Posted by Big Boo on February 21st, 2008

Thriller - Michael JacksonLove him or hate him, there’s no denying that Michael Jackson is one of the worlds most successful music stars, and his sixth solo album, Thriller, has a lot to do with that. Thriller was released in 1982 and to this day is the album that has sold the most copies worldwide, clocking in at 104 million copies!

The number of sales is set to get larger since the album has also just been re-released as the Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition, which has some remixed versions of the songs on it and also comes with a DVD packed with extras, including the much loved 15 minute video to the single Thriller.

It’s no wonder the album was so popular as it is packed with many of Jackson’s best loved hits, including the titular Thriller, Beat It, Billie Jean and Girl Is Mine, one of his duets with Paul McCartney. In many ways these songs are probably the most representative of Jackson at the height of his fame, before his nickname of Wacko Jacko started to over shadow his reputation as one of the greatest singers, and dancers for that matter, of the decade.

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Now That’s What I Call Music Compilations

Posted by Big Boo on October 11th, 2007

Now That’s What I Call MusicThe first Now That’s What I Call Music compilation album was released in 1983, and it’s appearance completely changed the way compilation albums were viewed. It wasn’t the first compilation album by any means. I remember my Dad having several Top of the Pops albums (I don’t think this had anything to do with the BBC TV show) which he had bought when he was growing up. However, the NOW albums, as they are generally called today, changed the way such compilations were viewed from being a selection of tunes you may have heard of to a collection of current hits that you were most likely familiar with.

One of the biggest problems facing compilation albums was the number of songs you could fit on an album. Remember this was before compact discs and downloadable MP3s music had taken over from vinyl records and cassette tapes, so all the NOW albums were sold on two records or tapes. Double albums had existed before, but they were few and far between and rarely were compilations of songs by many different bands and singers – or “various” as most compilations now get classified! The biggest step NOW made was to release on two albums, giving the average teenager access to 30 or so top songs for little more than the price of a regular album.

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