Beatles fans, rejoice: Box set from the Beatles
“On Air ― Live At the BBC, Vol. 2”
Beatles fans, rejoice: More live rarities from the Fab Four are on the way to stores.
Nearly 20 years after the first volume of long-lost BBC recordings sold millions of copies, a second volume is here, and with it, a coffee table book with rare photos and heretofore unseen historical documents chronicling the band’s interaction with the BBC.
Like the first volume, “On Air - Live at the BBC, Vol. 2” is chock full of live covers of other acts’ hit recordings, including Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins. The sound quality ranges from crystal clear to exceedingly rough. Not all of the 275 performances the Beatles did were preserved by the broadcaster. Some had to be tracked down from fans’ home recordings, but the raw exuberance of Paul McCartney screaming a hyper rocked-out version of the ballad “Beautiful Dreamer” is a historical nugget in its own right.
There’s tons of on-air banter between all four mop tops and their radio hosts, showing John Lennon’s wry wit and irreverence at an early stage in the band’s career. (AP)
Kellie Pickler continues evolution
“The Woman I Am”
(Black River Entertainment).
Kellie Picker, on her new album “The Woman I Am,” merges the tradition-minded sound of her previous album with contemporary country touches in a manner that proves how well the two can blend and still speak to the modern world.
Continuing to mature into a top-class country singer, the former “American Idol” competitor has grown from a competent interpreter of others’ songs into an artist with her own vision and style. As a songwriter and vocalist, she’s held onto the charm of her backcountry personality while growing into a confident stylist who can adapt to the glossy entertainment world that sometimes has tried to push her aside.
The title song references Patsy Cline as a salve for difficult nights, then cites all the personal weaknesses, quirks and strengths that make her who she is. She leans on current themes in country music in “Closer To Nowhere,” about drinking with a friend and disappearing into a rural hideout, but makes it believable. (AP)
One Direction to the rescue with LP
One Direction / “Midnight Memories” / (Columbia)
What’s the mother of the average American tween to do as the holidays approach? Miley has twerked her way out of the stocking, for sure. Justin Bieber invites too many questions. And most of the women of pop are exploring very adult themes that are rated at least PG-13.
One Direction steps into that giant void just in time for Black Friday, providing nervous mothers with the perfect gift: “Midnight Memories.” The album is full of positive choruses and playful ― not pornographic ― takes on love and life. Smartly promoted around release, the third album from the British boy band is definitely mom bait.
It’s a pretty good record, too. The quintet has released a lot of music in a short period of time, usually a challenge for young acts.
Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson take baby steps forward from their two platinum-selling 2012 releases, “Up All Night” and “Take Me Home,” adding some musical edge and variety, mostly through the use of turned-up guitars and hit surfing through the mom-friendly 1980s.
The music is inclusive, too, as the group often paints itself as a refuge of sorts. “If you ever feel alone, don’t/ You were never on your own/ And the proof is in this song,” they sing on “Don’t Forget Where You Belong.” And that’s the kind of message every mom can get behind. (AP)