Sep 072010

Quick, name a classic Jerry Lee Lewis album. Okay, now try Chuck Berry. Little Richard? Bo Diddley? Fats Domino?

How’d you do? Bet you came up empty. Don’t feel bad. After all, these artists didn’t make albums; they made singles. Sure, labels collected those singles on any number of mix-and-match LPs, but the artist never intended them for that medium. Singles mean to grab you by the lapel for two minutes before the disc jockey switches to someone else. The end result: artists recycled proven formulas. But who cares if “Johnny B. Goode” is basically a “Roll Over Beethoven” rewrite? They weren’t meant to be listened to together.

On The Baseballs Strike! Back, the expanded re-release of their 2009 debut Strike!, the nostalgic trio rips off Domino, Jerry Lee, and all their Brylcreem-slick peers. Their sound isn’t particularly innovate, but that’s the whole idea. These guys adapt that early rock and roll style to current pop hits. Ever wonder what Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” would sound like as skiffle? Probably not, but they’ll show you anyway. Continue reading »

Jul 192010

John Legend named his album with the Roots Wake Up! after an Arcade Fire song they recorded. Sadly, that one landed on the cutting room floor. However, the similarly-themed “Wake Up Everybody,” originally by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, made it. It’s the first single and it indicates that this collaboration just might live up to the mile-high expectations. Canadian soul singer Melanie Fiona joins Legend in the uplifting duet and Chicago rapper/actor Common lends his skills with a new verse. Download it below.

The album features ten covers of power-to-the-people songs (full tracklist below) from the ‘60s and ‘70s along with on Legend original. “If you can kind of transport your mind to what everyone was feeling at that time, there was a lot of energy in the country, a lot of feelings that we could all do something to make the country better and the world better,” Legend said.
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