Category Archives: Music News

Susan Boyle Duets With Elaine Paige On ABBA Penned “I Know Him So Well”

Elaine Paige Susan Boyle IKHSWWhen Susan Boyle knocked the socks off Simon Cowell, she soon after stated that one of her dreams was to sing a song with her idol, Elaine Paige. Within days of the hubbub, Elaine Paige, who is not nearly as well known appeared on US Cable Network, CNN’s, Larry King Live program and gave an interview about Susan Boyle and said she would be open to singing with Susan. Now that dream has become a reality.

Sadly, the duet does not appear on Susan’s recently released album (which gets it’s name from the song Susan sang on Britain’s Got Talent, “I Dreamed A Dream”) but made it’s debut on UK television. The song selected for the two ladies to sing together is hardly an original choice, especially for Elaine. The duet selected was “I Know Him So Well” from the musical CHESS, which was a hit for Elaine Paige and her original duet partner Barbara Dickson way back in 1984. In fact, the song still holds the record in the UK for the longest running #1 song in the UK charts sung as a duet between two women. The song is a staple for Elaine whenever she goes out on tour and it’s a special song for ABBA fans as well as the song was co-written by ABBA’s song writing team, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus along with lyricist Tim Rice.

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Join Me And See Kylie Minogue At The Hollywood Bowl

Kylie Minogue Hollywood BowlOn October 4th, Kylie Minogue plays the Hollywood Bowl. In her only Southern California appearance, I decided I am going to take opportunity to see the global megastar live in concert. This may be my only chance to see Kylie Minogue in concert on “my turf” so to speak.

While Kylie plays Europe and Australia every time she releases an album, the United States rarely gets more than a television appearance. Granted she doesn’t have the same popularity here in the United States as she does abroad. But I think it’s awesome that she’s coming to the United States and Canada (does it really count as including Canada when its just a single show in Toronto?). I have several of her concert DVDs from past tours and they’re always enjoyable to watch. Welcome to California to perform Kylie.

I wonder if she’ll incorporate an ABBA song or two as she was recently at the BBC2 concerts in London paying tribute to the music of ABBA.

If you’d like to join me, tickets are still available from TicketMaster. Click here to visit TicketMaster and let me know if you’re coming. I’m not getting fancy seats. I managed to get $30 tickets in section N1 which is pretty close to center albeit pretty far from the stage. I just bought my tickets this morning too. The show is not yet sold out.

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Awesome Remix Of “Story Of A Heart” By Benny Andersson Band

Benny AnderssonThe release of Benny Andersson’s latest album entitled “Story Of A Heart” earlier this year featured a very pop like song also entitled “Story Of A Heart” this song was released to radio stations to promote the album. With the song being the most ABBA-like song, Benny Andersson and his lyrical partner in crime Björn Ulvaeus have written in more than a decade, it was really just a matter of time until some home made remixes of the Benny Andersson Band’s “Story Of A Heart” got made.

One such remix that has popped up that I’ve actually been quite addicted to listening to over the last week is one by someone who just simply goes by the name “DJ Matt” The Matt Mix of “Story Of A Heart” speeds up the song a little bit to give it a bit of urgency, additionally a really well done drum beat has been added to help set and maintain the pace, and just for some fun at the end, the final time through the chorus, the Swedish language version of the song is used to close out the mix. The mix is really quite fun to listen to. Whoever this DJ Matt is, he’s done some really good work. If the number of times I’ve played it hasn’t already cracked the top 25 most played songs on my iPod, it soon will. I’ve really been enjoying it on repeat for hours at a time. Who knew Helen Sjöholm’s amazing voice would sound great on a dance mix? (She is mostly known for show tunes style songs.)

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9 To 5 Cast Album Now Available

9 To 5 Cast AlbumOne of the cast albums I’ve most been looking forward to has finally been released – sort of. Last week, the cast album for “9 To 5” got released digitally, next week it gets released on CD. It seems a little unprecedented to stagger the releases for a Broadway show, but it seems to allow the label to double dip where the gotta-have-it-now crowd can get their instant gratification and those that prefer to have the physical product can wait a couple weeks longer or get both.

In the case of “9 To 5” I fall into the crowd that will double dip. I saw the stage production last September when it premiered in Los Angeles for it’s Pre-Broadway trial run. The show written by Patricia Resnick, the original screenwriter of the classic film, along with songs written by one of the original film’s stars, Dolly Parton, have come together to bring the classic to life in a new form. One of the disadvantages of seeing the show early is that the cast album wasn’t readily available to purchase following seeing the show, so I’ve had to wait from September until now. So the early digital release version, was a no brainer for me, and because I will want the physical edition, I’ll be getting that too.

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Download A New Chantal Kreviazuk Song From Garnier Canada

Chantal KreviazukGarnier Nutrisse Cream hair coloring has partnered with Chantal Kreviazuk for her upcoming tour that will support her new album, called “Plain Jane” coming out later this September in Canada. As part of the promotion where Chantal has filmed a commercial promoting the hair coloring, fans have the opportunity to enter a contest to win tickets to the upcoming tour, and can vote for the Garnier Nutrisse Hair color that Chantal will wear during the tour. The best part for entering the contest is for the first 5,000 people who enter the contest, they will have the chance to download “Ordinary People” a song that will appear on Chantal’s upcoming album.

To enter enter the contest, just point your web browser to http://garnier.ca/extraordinary/ and fill in all the required entry blanks. Technically the contest is limited to Canadian residents as you’re suppose to enter your Canadian postal code, so if you aren’t a Canadian and want the song, you’ll need to have a postal code to enter. (Just Google any business in Canada.) Fortunately, I still have family in Canada and just entered one of their postal codes. I doubt I’ll win tickets and it’s unlikely I’d be able to go anyway. As for the required phone number entry I just entered my cell phone’s number and it took it just fine despite the number originating from the San Diego area. I just want the song as Chantal is one of my favorite artists. (In fact, she’s playing in Los Angeles next week on July 13th, at the Hotel Cafe).

Chantal is also previewing her lead single, “Invincible” from the album which gets released to Canadian radio next week. It’s available to be listened to on her Myspace page, which you can get to by clicking here. And she’s also previewing a video clip showing the recording of another upcoming song called “Today” on her Facebook page, click here to visit her Facebook page. Continue reading Download A New Chantal Kreviazuk Song From Garnier Canada

Elaine Paige Interviews ABBA’s Benny & Björn on BBC Radio 2

Elaine Paige BBC Radio 2Elaine Paige, often dubbed, “The First Lady Of British Theatre,” for her impressive stage career as one of Britain’s musical theatre stars. Some of the highlights of her career include being the first woman to star as Eva Peron in “Evita” and was the first to ever belt out the song “Memory” from London’s stages in “Cats.”

In addition to her stage career, she hosts a BBC Radio 2 program highlighting music from theatrical shows. On the April 5, 2009 broadcast to mark the 10th anniversary of “Mamma Mia!” on London’s West End, Elaine interviewed Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus ABBA to talk about “Mamma Mia!” as well as 25th Anniversary of “Chess” (Benny and Björn’s musical from the 1984 that they co-wrote with Tim Rice and coincidentally also starred Elaine Paige). Elaine joined Benny and Björn at Benny’s Mono Music Studio in Stockholm for the interview portion of the program.

In addition to spending time discussing both “Mamma Mia!” and “Chess” with the boys from ABBA, Elaine also got them to discuss their other musical “Kristina Från Duvemåla.” which up until now has only been in Swedish. One of the highlights from the discussion was the first presentation of “Du Måste Finnas” in English as performed by Helen Sjöholm, who played Kristina in the original Swedish cast. In English, the song is entitled, “You Have To Be There” and the lyrics were said to be a draft version and are not yet set in stone as the final version of it. If everything goes according to plan, New York audiences will be treated to a concert version of the new English translation of the show on September 23 and 24th at Carnegie Hall.

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First Look – Mamma Mia! The Movie Deluxe Edition Soundtrack

Due to one of my local retailers putting out their stock of new releases on Sunday instead of Tuesday, I am able to offer a sneak peak to Tuesday’s US release of the new Mamma Mia! The Movie Deluxe Edition Soundtrack.

The Packaging

The Deluxe Edition Soundtrack is housed in a hardbound book that’s roughly the size of a standard DVD plastic case. When the “book” style packaging is opened it reveals a printed book attached the the front part of the cover and a heavy duty 2 disc clear plastic tray glued down the the back side. As the book tends to look more like a booklet that’s just glued to the front side of the cover, when you open it, you’ll see the back cover of the booklet and you’ll have to manually flip to the pages you want.

The discs included are a soundtrack CD that features different screen printing on the actual disc from the previously released version. Instead of a photo from the “Voulez-Vous” scene, the disc now features a shot of the main cast in their “Waterloo” scene outfits lined up with sparks flying in the background. The track listing of the CD is also printed on the disc below the image. The bonus DVD that’s exclusive to this package, also features the same “Waterloo” image except the text below the image indicates it’s a bonus DVD.

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Mamma Mia! Soundtrack Has New “Deluxe Edition”

Amazon.com has the new “Deluxe Edition” of Mamma Mia! The Movie’s soundtrack scheduled to come out on November 25, 2008 in the United States. Although the soundtrack portion will remain the same as it was when it was released in July of this year, it comes with a hard cover booklet featuring lyrics to the songs as well as housing some unseen photos as well as commentary regarding the film and the soundtrack. Additionally the set will include a DVD with approximately 30 minutes of footage of the recording sessions as well as interviews with Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, and original ABBA members, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. It will serve as a “making of” for the soundtrack.

The “Deluxe Edition” of the soundtrack comes out in the US, the same week that the DVD of the movie comes out in the United Kingdom. However, US DVD buyers have to wait until December 16th to get a US released copy of the movie on DVD and Blu-Ray. Australian and New Zealand consumers will be the first to get the DVD when it releases in those territories on November 6rd, however they have to wait until December 3rd for the Blu-Ray edition.

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ABBAMAIL Closes Down After Nearly 12 Years

It was a bit of bittersweet sad news today when Graeme Read and Grant Whittingham decided to shut down both ABBAMAIL.com and the ABBAMAIL mailing list which has been a big part of my life for almost 12 years now. The closing was just under three months shy of ABBAMAIL’s 12th birthday.

ABBAMAIL wasn’t so much just a bunch of ABBA fans as it was a living, breathing community. While in the late 1990’s, a lot of online fan communities consisted of lists, fairly impersonal message boards, and fairly simple webpages, I personally was a member of a quite a number of them for various hobbies and interests. And it seemed without fail that as soon as the subjects of the list seemed to disappear off the pop culture radar, so did the people in these communities and many of them fade out and disappeared. ABBAMAIL was different.

Unlike any other forum I had been a part of from the same era, ABBAMAIL was quite a unique beast. A lot of that is due to the community’s founders, Graeme Read and Grant Whittingham, who fostered a true sense of community, simply being an ABBA fan was something all of us on the list had in common, but for Graeme and Grant that simply wasn’t enough. Members of the list were expected to introduce themselves and share that person behind behind the letters that make up our names.

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Go See Arrival – The Best ABBA Tribute Band Ever

Arrival is an ABBA Tribute Band that originates from Sweden. They are currently touring the US in a show entitled “The Music of ABBA Featuring Arrival” and I just had the pleasure of seeing them Saturday night in Austin, Texas where they performed with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. And Arrival were absolutely amazing. They definitely earn the title of best ABBA tribute band in the world that my friends at the headquarters of ABBAMAIL.com have bestowed upon this tribute band.

I was so moved by their performance that I opted to write about their show for my October column for ABBAMAIL.com and if you want to read a more in depth review of my experience, click here to read my ABBAMAIL column. If you want just a nutshell version, just keep reading here.

While there are many ABBA tribute bands out there, the one thing you’re guaranteed is a chance to see a bunch of people dress up in costumes and perform a concert of ABBA songs. However, the quality of that experience varies greatly. There are some very good ABBA tribute bands (such as Arrival and Waterloo) and some very bad ABBA tribute bands (such as Björn Again).

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