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John Lennon: A Time to Remember

September 16, 2010

Posted by Steven S., editorial manager

Seventy years after his birth (on October 9, 1940) and nearly 30 years after his passing, John Lennon shines on as a musical and cultural icon.

The reissue of our Lennon Opus Collection, Remember roughly coincides with the arrival in theaters of Nowhere Boy, a John-as-teen biopic that’s earning strong advance notice, and a star-studded tribute concert at New York’s Beacon Theater. All this activity celebrates a man whose impact transcends his art. That’s quite an accomplishment given that Beatlemania remains the pop craze to eclipse all pop crazes.

Certainly much of Lennon’s towering standing three full decades after his murder rests on the powerful music he created as a Beatle and solo artist (the portion of his career that Remember chronicles). But the force of his personality and reach of his worldview took him to another level.

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John Lennon


Robert Plant: The Joy of Rocking

September 14, 2010

Posted by Steven S., editorial manager

As a lad, Robert Plant was steered toward a career in accounting. Think of that. One of the consummate rock stars from a golden age when Jagger, Daltrey and Mercury reigned over coliseums could have settled into a life recording numbers into a balance sheet.

Bookkeeping is a noble profession, certainly, but Plant was cut out for recording numbers of another stripe. The golden god who prowled stadium stages and hit those unearthly notes was put on this planet to wake late in the afternoon, drink Chateau Lafite ‘til he’d had his fill and wear eye-catching finery that perhaps wouldn’t age so well. (When an interviewer from the Brit magazine Mojo asked him some time back to address a photo of himself from his Led Zeppelin heyday, he dryly replied: “I think he looks like a great guy, but I’m a bit worried about his wardrobe.”)

Plant’s newest project, Band of Joy, is currently available at Starbucks. Its predecessor, Raising Sand, was a counter-intuitive collaboration with bluegrass musician Alison Krauss that wound up being the big winner at the 2009 GRAMMY® Awards. Like that the platinum-selling Raising Sand, Band of Joy is an Americana-flavored triumph marked by artistry and intelligence.

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Robert Plant  

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