Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross: Episode One Hundred Thirty-Six

Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross:  Episode One Hundred Thirty Six

The first show following the Thanksgiving holiday was, admittedly, an up-and-down emotional roller coaster.  It was difficult, as the world had to say goodbye to Lil’ Bub, the beloved feline internet star; a horrific racist attack in Jersey City; the baseball winter meetings have some stunning surprises; the post-holiday weekend results were interesting for retail; once again, certain “political” figures shoot their mouths off, alienating even more same-party members; the Patriots show clear signs of decline; yet another Big Star announcement for the season and, of course, “In Our Heads”…

You know the score – you join us; you take the ride and you experience all the feelings of what Rob and Jon are trying to put across, which is why we’re glad you’re with us for each episode of Radio City…

Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross:  Episode One Hundred Thirty Six

The podcast will be on the site as well as for subscription via iTunes and other podcast aggregators. Subscribe and let people know about Radio City, as well as Popdose’s other great podcasts David Medsker’s Dizzy Heights and In:Sound with Michael Parr and Zack Stiegler.

The Worst of the Best: “Shakespeare in Love”

The 2019 Oscar ceremony is upon us and already people are expressing their dissatisfaction with AMPAS. After years, if not decades, of being a white boy’s club, AMPAS finally started being more inclusive after the #Oscarssowhite campaign in 2015. This year, the Academy seemed to take two steps backwards. Originally, the lack of nominations for women and minorities were merely a symptom of the larger problem of institutionalized racism in major Hollywood studios. If black actors and female directors weren’t being nominated, it was because they were not given the same chances their white counterparts were.

This year, there’s no excuse. One of my favorite films from 2019 is Waves. Sterling K Brown seemed like a shoo-in for a Best Actor nomination to me. But the movie walked away with no nominations at all. Greta Gerwig took Little Women, a novel that has been around for 150 years, and managed to create a movie that felt fresh and exciting. (Full disclosure – I have not gotten a chance to see it yet but those who have that I’ve talked to can’t praise it enough.) Yet she wasn’t rewarded with a Best Director nomination for her accomplishment.

Instead, we got a slew of middle-aged white men monopolizing almost every category. It’s hard not to feel that AMPAS has fallen completely out of touch with not only audiences, but filmmakers.

But they’ve always been out of touch. More often than not, AMPAS will make the most conservative choice possible. It’s why Forrest Gump beat Pulp Fiction for Best Picture. Whether you like Forrest Gump or not, Tarantino’s indie masterpiece made a crater-sized impact on the world. Everyone wanted to emulate it and, more importantly, it officially signaled the arrival of Gen X filmmakers and showed that they could – and would – outdo their predecessors. Forrest Gump was a nostalgia piece designed to make aging Baby Boomers smile. Which of the two do you think was really the “best picture” of 1994?

But despite seemingly every Oscar ceremony being controversial, there are a few Best Picture winners that draw more ire than most. The decision seems to be so wrong, so misguided, so incredibly insulting to the losing films, that they forever bear the same mark some of the worst movies of all time get. I’m talking about stuff like the forgotten Going My Way and The Greatest Show on Earth. I’m talking about the 1956 version of Around the World in 80 Days. Chariots of Fire. Out of Africa. Driving Miss Daisy. Crash. Green Book. All those films “beat” much better works that still make a lasting impact with audiences. When was the last time anyone legitimately argued Ordinary People is a better movie than Raging Bull?

But unlike traditional cinematic train wrecks, these winners can’t be dismissed outright for incompetence. The fact is, there is a lot of skill that went into making these movies and that skill is still apparent. Additionally, it would also be foolhardy to claim that these “wins” were based on rigged votes or conspiracies among the studios. There had to be a reason AMPAS voters selected every Best Picture winner as the deserving film to receive the award. They don’t want people yelling at them over stupid decisions more than anyone else.

With that in mind, let’s look at one of the most infamous Best Picture upsets in history – 1998’s Shakespeare in Love.


The concept of Shakespeare in Love isn’t terrible. The 1990s saw several alternate versions of classic Shakespeare plays, including a version of Richard III set in an alternate fascist Britain and a Felliniesque version of Titus Andronicus. (Not to mention the version of Romeo + Juliet that took place in some alternate reality where music videos are documentaries.) The script was written by playwright Tom Stoppard, who had already demonstrated with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead he was capable of reinterpreting Shakespeare. (Plus, he’d previously been nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the classic Brazil.)

And the film was released by the studio that defined the 1990s – Miramax. Today, Harvey Weinstein is far more famous for being an accused rapist than for being a movie producer. But twenty-two years ago, Harvey and his brother Bob were among the most powerful people in Hollywood. The films they released popularized the independent film boom and studios today are still modelling their business models after Miramax’s strategy. By 1998, a Miramax film had already won Best Picture once with The English Patient. It seemed obvious that the studio would win the award again.

Yet Shakespeare in Love’s win remains enormously maligned. It somehow managed to win Best Picture over more enduring films like The Thin Red Line and especially Saving Private Ryan. And while the film received good reviews from contemporary critics, it has also been labelled one of the least deserving winners of the 1990s. While the Normandy landing scenes in Saving Private Ryan are still quoted today, Shakespeare in Love remains most famous as the inspiration for Prince Edward’s royal title of the “Earl of Wessex.”

So, what happened? The answer is obvious – the film doesn’t work as a revisionist Shakespeare piece. Time and time again, I was reminded of the film’s fantasy elements were exactly that – historically false stories that have absolutely no bearing on reality. Additionally, the film is nowhere near as intelligent as it thinks it is.

Both elements can be observed in the basic plot summary. Shakespeare is suffering writer’s block as he tries to write a comedy about a pirate king. But he enters a relationship with a noblewoman who has disguised herself as a man to audition for his play. He uses this relationship as inspiration for his work in progress, which morphs into the story of a doomed romance between his protagonist Romeo and the newly created Juliet character.

Sounds fine – except William Shakespeare DIDN’T invent that story. Shakespeare only wrote four completely original plays in his career. The rest were based on historical events or popular existing works. Romeo and Juliet is based on a narrative poem published in 1562. He can no more lay claim to inventing Romeo and Juliet than Ted Tally and Johnathan Demme can for Hannibal Lecter.

What’s supposed to be a revealing look at Shakespeare ends up being nonsensical. Nominally, Shakespeare in Love is all about how Shakespeare took incidents from his life and repurposed them for his plays. Part of the fun is supposed to be about how many references you can spot. But, in practice, there a.) aren’t that many references to other Shakespeare plays and b.) what references there are come with a giant sign next to them to ensure that the audience gets everything.

For example, I mentioned earlier that the main female character, Viola de Lessepps (played by seller of dubious “health products” and occasional actress Gwyneth Paltrow) disguises herself as a man to audition for Shakespeare’s new play. Characters disguising themselves was a common thing for The Bard and Twelfth Night tells the same story Viola is living in the movie. Clever, right? Except the film ends with Shakespeare starting to write that play and openly saying that her story is inspiring him to write the play.

Besides, it’s very difficult to sustain that premise for an entire movie. The third act is basically just the characters performing Romeo and Juliet for the first time at the Globe Theater, the original concept long since forgotten. It may have worked better as a comedy sketch or a short film than a feature. Actually, I know it would have worked better as a short film and a comedy sketch, because just a year after  Shakespeare in Love was released film student Joe Nussbaum made George Lucas in Love. This nine-minute short takes the same premise and sets it around George Lucas being inspired to write Star Wars based on the people he observed at the University of Southern California. It’s far more subtle, far funnier, and far more satisfying than Shakespeare in Love. The film’s successful because it doesn’t go out of its way to congratulate itself for being so clever.

Is there anything I like about Shakespeare in Love? Sure – the acting is quite good. I particularly liked Geoffrey Rush as Philip Henslowe. He is constantly in debt with money lenders and the film opens as he is being tortured over his unpaid debts. He acts like he’s in a completely different film, one that feels more realistic than the main plot. Henslowe doesn’t concern with Shakespeare’s plays will be held up as the ruler by which all English literature is measured. He has bills to pay and treats Shakespeare and his actors as an inconvenience at best. Even the stunt casting is inspired. Ben Affleck as Ned Alleyn is a very clever portrayal of the modern Hollywood movie star. Affleck plays Alleyn as a man who is only concerned with his ego and with the publicity surrounding him. Any talent he has is almost irrelevant. (Maybe that would have been a better movie? How the Globe Theater and the troupe aren’t very far removed from the Hollywood studio star-making machine? We can only wonder.)

Even Paltrow does the best she can with the material. Her role isn’t strong – she’s essentially another noble woman trapped in an arranged engagement with someone she doesn’t love and is bored with her idle lifestyle. It’s the same character every woman seemingly plays in every costume drama and Stoppard borrows her character arc from Rose in Titanic. Still, Paltrow is memorable in the role and can successfully execute Juliet’s scenes at the Globe. I can understand how she won an Oscar. (Even if I think Cate Blanchett deserved it more.)

But I just cannot understand why everyone thought the premise would work. Everyone is convinced the film is a work of absolute genius (except Stoppard, who seems to treat the assignment as just another job). Everyone seems to be patting themselves on the back throughout the film. What’s supposed to be a profound exploration of artistic drives ends up feeling more like a high school student feeling so happy with themselves for pronouncing all the lines in Julius Caesar correctly in front of their class.


So how did Shakespeare in Love win Best Picture? What about it attracted AMPAS voters so much?

A big part of the victory was based around the unprecedented influence campaign Harvey Weinstein launched to persuade AMPAS to vote for the film. This campaign remains the stuff of Hollywood legend and showed the public just how the awards like the Oscars are chosen. Weinstein, among his many, many sins, forever cemented the public’s skepticism toward AMPAS and practically lead to future campaigns like #OscarsSoWhite. It also helped that Miramax’s parent company Disney was still hurt over Jeffrey Katzenberg’s departure and was only too happy to see his new company Dreamworks fail to win Best Picture with Saving Private Ryan.

But the movie appeals to AMPAS voters because it stokes their egos. Saving Private Ryan was a very effective story about war and successfully combined modern film techniques with an old-fashioned Hollywood attitude about soldiers. But Shakespeare in Love is the story of how AMPAS voters view themselves. All of them believe they are living the story depicted in the film, no matter how close to reality it is. And they all dream of a muse like Viola. And they imagine that their personal stories will influence people for generations.

The average movie goer can imagine themselves as being part of the company that looks for Private Ryan. In fact, there are many, many people who have lived that story. That’s why people ended up scratching their heads when Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan. They didn’t realize that, in Hollywood, this story is what everyone fantasizes about. Having a film that serves their desires back to them stokes the most important thing in any AMPAS voter – their ego.

Shakespeare in Love is definitely not the best film of 1998. But it’s easy to see why AMPAS voters were tricked into thinking so. It’s their story told in a way that not only makes them feel happy but intelligent. It’s a shame that they couldn’t predict or even understand how other people saw it.

The Worst of the Best (Pictures) – Shakespeare in Love

The 2019 Oscar ceremony is upon us and already people are expressing their dissatisfaction with AMPAS. After years, if not decades, of being a white boy’s club, AMPAS finally started being more inclusive after the #Oscarssowhite campaign in 2015. This year, the Academy seemed to take two steps backwards. Originally, the lack of nominations for women and minorities were merely a symptom of the larger problem of institutionalized racism in major Hollywood studios. If black actors and female directors weren’t being nominated, it was because they were not given the same chances their white counterparts were.

This year, there’s no excuse. One of my favorite films from 2019 is Waves. Sterling K Brown seemed like a shoo-in for a Best Actor nomination to me. But the movie walked away with no nominations at all. Greta Gerwig took Little Women, a novel that has been around for 150 years, and managed to create a movie that felt fresh and exciting. (Full disclosure – I have not gotten a chance to see it yet but those who have that I’ve talked to can’t praise it enough.) Yet she wasn’t rewarded with a Best Director nomination for her accomplishment.

Instead, we got a slew of middle-aged white men monopolizing almost every category. It’s hard not to feel that AMPAS has fallen completely out of touch with not only audiences, but filmmakers.

But they’ve always been out of touch. More often than not, AMPAS will make the most conservative choice possible. It’s why Forrest Gump beat Pulp Fiction for Best Picture. Whether you like Forrest Gump or not, Tarantino’s indie masterpiece made a crater-sized impact on the world. Everyone wanted to emulate it and, more importantly, it officially signaled the arrival of Gen X filmmakers and showed that they could – and would – outdo their predecessors. Forrest Gump was a nostalgia piece designed to make aging Baby Boomers smile. Which of the two do you think was really the “best picture” of 1994?

But despite seemingly every Oscar ceremony being controversial, there are a few Best Picture winners that draw more ire than most. The decision seems to be so wrong, so misguided, so incredibly insulting to the losing films, that they forever bear the same mark some of the worst movies of all time get. I’m talking about stuff like the forgotten Going My Way and The Greatest Show on Earth. I’m talking about the 1956 version of Around the World in 80 Days. Chariots of Fire. Out of Africa. Driving Miss Daisy. Crash. Green Book. All those films “beat” much better works that still make a lasting impact with audiences. When was the last time anyone legitimately argued Ordinary People is a better movie than Raging Bull?

But unlike traditional cinematic train wrecks, these winners can’t be dismissed outright for incompetence. The fact is, there is a lot of skill that went into making these movies and that skill is still apparent. Additionally, it would also be foolhardy to claim that these “wins” were based on rigged votes or conspiracies among the studios. There had to be a reason AMPAS voters selected every Best Picture winner as the deserving film to receive the award. They don’t want people yelling at them over stupid decisions more than anyone else.

With that in mind, let’s look at one of the most infamous Best Picture upsets in history – 1998’s Shakespeare in Love.


The concept of Shakespeare in Love isn’t terrible. The 1990s saw several alternate versions of classic Shakespeare plays, including a version of Richard III set in an alternate fascist Britain and a Felliniesque version of Titus Andronicus. (Not to mention the version of Romeo + Juliet that took place in some alternate reality where music videos are documentaries.) The script was written by playwright Tom Stoppard, who had already demonstrated with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead he was capable of reinterpreting Shakespeare. (Plus, he’d previously been nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the classic Brazil.)

And the film was released by the studio that defined the 1990s – Miramax. Today, Harvey Weinstein is far more famous for being an accused rapist than for being a movie producer. But twenty-two years ago, Harvey and his brother Bob were among the most powerful people in Hollywood. The films they released popularized the independent film boom and studios today are still modelling their business models after Miramax’s strategy. By 1998, a Miramax film had already won Best Picture once with The English Patient. It seemed obvious that the studio would win the award again.

Yet Shakespeare in Love’s win remains enormously maligned. It somehow managed to win Best Picture over more enduring films like The Thin Red Line and especially Saving Private Ryan. And while the film received good reviews from contemporary critics, it has also been labelled one of the least deserving winners of the 1990s. While the Normandy landing scenes in Saving Private Ryan are still quoted today, Shakespeare in Love remains most famous as the inspiration for Prince Edward’s royal title of the “Earl of Wessex.”

So, what happened? The answer is obvious – the film doesn’t work as a revisionist Shakespeare piece. Time and time again, I was reminded of the film’s fantasy elements were exactly that – historically false stories that have absolutely no bearing on reality. Additionally, the film is nowhere near as intelligent as it thinks it is.

Both elements can be observed in the basic plot summary. Shakespeare is suffering writer’s block as he tries to write a comedy about a pirate king. But he enters a relationship with a noblewoman who has disguised herself as a man to audition for his play. He uses this relationship as inspiration for his work in progress, which morphs into the story of a doomed romance between his protagonist Romeo and the newly created Juliet character.

Sounds fine – except William Shakespeare DIDN’T invent that story. Shakespeare only wrote four completely original plays in his career. The rest were based on historical events or popular existing works. Romeo and Juliet is based on a narrative poem published in 1562. He can no more lay claim to inventing Romeo and Juliet than Ted Tally and Johnathan Demme can for Hannibal Lecter.

What’s supposed to be a revealing look at Shakespeare ends up being nonsensical. Nominally, Shakespeare in Love is all about how Shakespeare took incidents from his life and repurposed them for his plays. Part of the fun is supposed to be about how many references you can spot. But, in practice, there a.) aren’t that many references to other Shakespeare plays and b.) what references there are come with a giant sign next to them to ensure that the audience gets everything.

For example, I mentioned earlier that the main female character, Viola de Lessepps (played by seller of dubious “health products” and occasional actress Gwyneth Paltrow) disguises herself as a man to audition for Shakespeare’s new play. Characters disguising themselves was a common thing for The Bard and Twelfth Night tells the same story Viola is living in the movie. Clever, right? Except the film ends with Shakespeare starting to write that play and openly saying that her story is inspiring him to write the play.

Besides, it’s very difficult to sustain that premise for an entire movie. The third act is basically just the characters performing Romeo and Juliet for the first time at the Globe Theater, the original concept long since forgotten. It may have worked better as a comedy sketch or a short film than a feature. Actually, I know it would have worked better as a short film and a comedy sketch, because just a year after  Shakespeare in Love was released film student Joe Nussbaum made George Lucas in Love. This nine-minute short takes the same premise and sets it around George Lucas being inspired to write Star Wars based on the people he observed at the University of Southern California. It’s far more subtle, far funnier, and far more satisfying than Shakespeare in Love. The film’s successful because it doesn’t go out of its way to congratulate itself for being so clever.

Is there anything I like about Shakespeare in Love? Sure – the acting is quite good. I particularly liked Geoffrey Rush as Philip Henslowe. He is constantly in debt with money lenders and the film opens as he is being tortured over his unpaid debts. He acts like he’s in a completely different film, one that feels more realistic than the main plot. Henslowe doesn’t concern with Shakespeare’s plays will be held up as the ruler by which all English literature is measured. He has bills to pay and treats Shakespeare and his actors as an inconvenience at best. Even the stunt casting is inspired. Ben Affleck as Ned Alleyn is a very clever portrayal of the modern Hollywood movie star. Affleck plays Alleyn as a man who is only concerned with his ego and with the publicity surrounding him. Any talent he has is almost irrelevant. (Maybe that would have been a better movie? How the Globe Theater and the troupe aren’t very far removed from the Hollywood studio star-making machine? We can only wonder.)

Even Paltrow does the best she can with the material. Her role isn’t strong – she’s essentially another noble woman trapped in an arranged engagement with someone she doesn’t love and is bored with her idle lifestyle. It’s the same character every woman seemingly plays in every costume drama and Stoppard borrows her character arc from Rose in Titanic. Still, Paltrow is memorable in the role and can successfully execute Juliet’s scenes at the Globe. I can understand how she won an Oscar. (Even if I think Cate Blanchett deserved it more.)

But I just cannot understand why everyone thought the premise would work. Everyone is convinced the film is a work of absolute genius (except Stoppard, who seems to treat the assignment as just another job). Everyone seems to be patting themselves on the back throughout the film. What’s supposed to be a profound exploration of artistic drives ends up feeling more like a high school student feeling so happy with themselves for pronouncing all the lines in Julius Caesar correctly in front of their class.


So how did Shakespeare in Love win Best Picture? What about it attracted AMPAS voters so much?

A big part of the victory was based around the unprecedented influence campaign Harvey Weinstein launched to persuade AMPAS to vote for the film. This campaign remains the stuff of Hollywood legend and showed the public just how the awards like the Oscars are chosen. Weinstein, among his many, many sins, forever cemented the public’s skepticism toward AMPAS and practically lead to future campaigns like #OscarsSoWhite. It also helped that Miramax’s parent company Disney was still hurt over Jeffrey Katzenberg’s departure and was only too happy to see his new company Dreamworks fail to win Best Picture with Saving Private Ryan.

But the movie appeals to AMPAS voters because it stokes their egos. Saving Private Ryan was a very effective story about war and successfully combined modern film techniques with an old-fashioned Hollywood attitude about soldiers. But Shakespeare in Love is the story of how AMPAS voters view themselves. All of them believe they are living the story depicted in the film, no matter how close to reality it is. And they all dream of a muse like Viola. And they imagine that their personal stories will influence people for generations.

The average movie goer can imagine themselves as being part of the company that looks for Private Ryan. In fact, there are many, many people who have lived that story. That’s why people ended up scratching their heads when Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan. They didn’t realize that, in Hollywood, this story is what everyone fantasizes about. Having a film that serves their desires back to them stokes the most important thing in any AMPAS voter – their ego.

Shakespeare in Love is definitely not the best film of 1998. But it’s easy to see why AMPAS voters were tricked into thinking so. It’s their story told in a way that not only makes them feel happy but intelligent. It’s a shame that they couldn’t predict or even understand how other people saw it.

Exit Lines: “Sing Street”

Broadway-bound this spring once its run downtown at the New York Theatre Workshop ends, Sing Street has been touted as the hope of a musical season that could use a little cheer.  On paper it has a lot going for it. Like Once, which went from being an Oscar winner in 2007 to a Tony winner five years later, it’s based on a musical-ish film by writer-director John Carney, who with Gary Clark contributes music and lyrics to fill out the stage adaptation. Enda Walsh returns on book. Directing is Rebecca Taichman, whose musical-ish staging of the excellent Indecent won her a Tony in 2017. 

But lightning hasn’t struck…twice.

While Once the movie was a crowdpleasing indie hit, Sing Street came and went in the U.S. in 2016. That’s not disqualifying, and in fact not having the burden of “living up to” the source can be a plus. But having the spine of a film, successful or unsuccessful, to build from doesn’t guarantee something fully formed or organic for the stage will emerge. (Case in point: the recent dud musical Scotland, PA, from an even more obscure flop.) What’s so frustrating about Sing Street is that it doesn’t really try. 

The show is set in Dublin in the early ’80s, with teen characters in conflict with a society that has barely changed with the times. Best known for offing Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, Brenock O’Connor here plays sixteen-year-old Conor, whose life is an impasse, what with his architect dad perpetually underemployed and feuding with his mom, his know-it-all if agoraphobic older brother Brendan (Gus Halper) nagging him, and the seductive and enigmatic Raphina (Zara Devlin) seemingly unattainable. Music, at it is so often in this brand of coming-of-age story, is his only balm. Packed off to a strict Christian Brothers school when the family finances nosedive Conor bands with the usual assortment of mildly colorful misfits, all of whom sling guitars and plink their way through New Wave hits by Depeche Mode and Duran Duran. Conor begins to find his voice, and with his mates crafts his own songs. Love ditties like “Riddle of the Model” and “Up” he pitches to Raphina, who starts to warm to him…but a mean priest (Martin Moran) threatens to pour cold water on his aspirations.

If this all sounds familiar…well, it is, and then some. That doesn’t mean it can’t work again, as an adolescent companion to say School of Rock. But inspiration is lacking, from the modestly catchy original music to the uninspired set and projections (were the crashing waves borrowed from The Rose Tattoo?). Leaning against a lamppost Devlin makes the biggest impression singing “Rio” but that bygone hit and a few others woven into the show upstage the new material. Everything works out predictably, as the boys cloud themselves in hairspray and go androgynous for a final rebel yell of a concert. Risk, however, is in short supply here, and other than throwing its 11 o’clock number to a supporting character it’s disappointing that Taichman hasn’t smashed a few staging norms in one of the more pedestrian productions I’ve seen at NYTW, a venue that lends itself to experimentation. (Hadestown began there in New York.) Given iffy reviews more work is promised before Broadway, as Sing Street in its present state of construction isn’t much of a destination.

 

 

 

 

Reissue Reviews: Four Gorgeous Superdeluxe Editions Bring the Retro Sexy Back

Kim Wilde and Wendy James, much like Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde, and Poly Styrene before them, and Shirley Manson, Miley Cyrus, and Charli XCX later on, run in an elite pack of rock and roll’s sexiest, most powerful, and badass lead singers. At first, they came to break your heart, kick your ass, and penetrate your earholes; now they’re back to finish the job with a deluxe stack of premium reissues that also includes landmark albums by Neneh Cherry and Republica.

Kim Wilde • The RAK Era Cherry Pop Expanded Editions

Green thumb aficionados may be shocked to hear that one of the UK’s most beloved gardeners, noted author, and host of BBC’s Garden Invaders, used to be a pop star; just as new wavers and pop purists might be gobsmacked to discover the iconic singer behind hits like “Kids in America” and “Chequered Love” not only has a “View From A Hill”, she’s landscaping it too. These mysteries, and others, are explored in detail with three new Kim Wilde reissues: Kim Wilde (1981), Select (1982), and Catch as Catch Can (1983). 

For years, Cherry Red Records’ Cherry Pop imprint has done a bang-up job of keeping Kim Wilde’s discography in print. Her first three albums, originally released on RAK Records, came out just before the dawn of the CD; for ages, only Catch as Catch Can was available on CD as a pricey Japanese import until the expanded re-releases began in 2009. The new series further ups the ante by adding more tracks, plus a DVD filled with promo videos, TV appearances and more. The Kim Wilde reissue even features a “Shower Scene” version of the ‘Chequered Love’ video that survived for decades sitting on a VHS tape in Kim’s personal collection. In the single-take scene, Kim “takes one for the team” by lip syncing through an entire run of the song, fully clothed while in the shower (in the iconic outfit from the album cover no less). We’re not sure if the spritz was ticklish or just outright freezing, but Kim holds back the giggles several times while trying her best to look sexy and sultry while getting drenched — and let’s just say, in the verses where she gets the sexy back, she nails it. In the song’s original clip, you’ll see the rest of the band gets soaked too, so turnabout is fair play.

Since Kim’s first two albums preceded the 12-inch singles boom that went mainstream in the subsequent years, the 2020 reissues of Kim Wilde and Select take the very bold step of each introducing a full disc — respectively called the 19:81 and 19:82 Mixes — imagining what her extended dance versions may have sounded like using the source tapes and the remixing styles of the era. The results are utterly fantastic; revisionist history never sounded so good. The Catch album features a few 19:83 re-imagined mixes in addition to official dance versions by Nile Rodgers and Ricky Wilde. One highlight is a previously unreleased track from the original sessions, ‘Rain On’, that features a huge pop chorus, giving hints to the mainstream direction that her career would soon take on subsequent albums leading up to her smash cover of ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (on 1986’s Another Step). One box set highlight doesn’t even feature Kim’s vocals; I assumed the ‘Kids in America Popfidelty Allstars Instrumental’ would be a filler track; but it is in fact, quite killer. 

All three titles are anchored by new editorial from Marcel Rijs, taking readers through the white knuckle highs and lows of Kim’s wild ride during the RAK Records era. I had no idea her father, Marty Wilde, was a pop star on his own, and how Kim’s records were a family collaboration with her dad and brother Ricky. Marcel’s insightful essays are buoyed by press images, photo outtakes, handwritten lyrics, and other Kim Wilde memorabilia. 

Prior to owning these, most of my Kim Wilde collection came in the form of low fidelity cassettes. The much-needed sonic upgrade of these new issues will help longtime fans appreciate the incredible music Team Wilde created at the dawn of the 1980s, and with any luck, expose new generations to their new wave classics. Kim’s music came at a pivotal time in my life when MTV was the gateway between mainstream pop radio and the edgier artists to be found left of the dial on college radio. She was “just dangerous enough” to expand my palate beyond current faves at the time (ABBA, Laura Branigan and Quarterflash) to seek out the likes of Kate Bush, Lene Lovich, Danielle Dax and Propaganda — setting the stage for Transvision Vamp (see below). 

 

The new Kim Wilde expanded gatefold wallet editions, out January 31 in the UK and available globally by import, are available for preorder at your local record store, or via Amazon. Beeline to Cherry Red’s online store to claim a limited edition postcard with your order. 

One side note, these DVDs are coded PAL “All Region”, so they may not work on all DVD players in the States. They did not play on my component system, but played fine on my computer.

For further listening, check out expanded editions of Teases and Dares, Another Step, and Close while they’re still in print. Kim’s rocking latest, Here Come The Aliens, is available everywhere. Her voice has not aged or weathered a bit, just like Wendy James of Transvision Vamp…

Transvision Vamp • I Want Your Love (aka: Vampbox)

When the first vinyl copy of Pop Art, heralding the arrival of Transvision Vamp, landed in the new releases stack at my college radio station, we didn’t know what to make of it. They looked like the sexy sidekicks of Lords of the New Church, but the packaging was so slick, the graphics so polished, it had to be a pop album. When we spun it in the production booth, jaws hit the floor. It was just edgy enough to be considered alternative, yet every track on the album was destined to be a smash hit on radio. Sadly, in less time than it took most of us to graduate, the band soared to the heights of fame and glory only to crash and burn into oblivion. I Want Your Love, a lush new 6CD/1DVD box set (out now), empties the Vamp Vault and gives Transvision Vamp’s pitch perfect, albeit brief discography, its proper place in pop culture history.

This is the latest deluxe reissue from Edsel, the people behind exquisitely packaged box sets for Dead or Alive (Sophisticated Boombox), Debbie Gibson (We Could Be Together) and Blancmange (The Blanc Tapes). Except for the last one, these 12x12x1-inch box sets were designed to display with your best vinyl records instead nesting on the CD rack. People who have given up on buying physical product may not care about this, but baby I don’t care; Vampbox is aimed at collectors (and once you’re done here, be sure to read Paul Sinclair’s excellent commentary on CD collecting over at Super Deluxe Edition). Streamers will have to wait for it’s not yet available online. If and when that happens, Spotify, Tidal and the like can’t capture the essential elements of this box: the sonic upgrade of the recordings; the gorgeous 58-page book filled with photos, editorial, and memorabilia; and a DVD containing the band’s 10 promo videos and some odd but fascinating rarities.

The DVD, which for the record (compared to the Wilde discs) was compatible with my clearly dated DVD player, provides a brief but memorable romp through the band’s 10 official promo clips, plus a truly odd, fascinating, and utterly essential 15 minutes of infamy montage of archive scaps. We’re talking lo-fi, often wobbly and discolored footage, likely sourced from dusty VHS, that mixes concert excerpts and camcorder vignettes shot backstage and in the studio. Throughout outtakes from an interview Wendy James tries to give to her publicist, she cracks herself up while providing some ah-ha! insights into where the band stood going into their final album. As the consummate vamp in her videos and music, it’s a delight to see her break the 4th wall and have fun. No matter how grainy this footage is, interviewee James is more exquisite than even her most glamourous videos and press pictures — she appears to have dropped to Earth straight from an Andy Warhol daydream, which is apropos because Andy Warhol is dead

The music is why we’re here; Edsel did a gangbuster job on the selection, sequencing, and sonic upgrade. The tracks sound heavenly, and now all of the remixes and b-sides that have been so hard to track down all these years are neatly bundled together. Prior to this set’s arrival (I picked up mine for $80 USD on Amazon), I had already owned the original pressings of all three albums. The upgrade is well worth it, and in fact, for the first time in my fandom, I am now really, really into the Little Magnets album, a disc I bought on day one but rarely listened to. I guess sometimes it takes 29 years for an album to truly find you.

The gorgeous 58-page 12×12 booklet includes glamorous press pics, memorabilia, single and album artwork, lyrics, and 10-pages of in-depth editorial by Alan Robinson, based on new interviews with James and elusive co-founder Nick Christain Sayer who has all but disappeared from the pop culture planet since the band’s demise. Vamp bassist Dave Parsons wound up doing just fine, thank you for asking, having co-founded the band Bush; a rocket he rode through the rest of the 1990s.

What’s Missing:

Live tracks found on the previous reissues. Pop Life Re-Presents included four Andy Kershaw BBC sessions; Velveteen Re-Presents included two live cuts. Both of these 2-disc sets are now out of print and each one costs as much as this box set. Thankfully, completists can easily pick up those six tracks ala carte as MP3s (they are also streaming). The new DVD could have also used some live concert footage and/or TV appearances, but we guess the licensing would have likely been a nightmare, so they stuck to the studio stuff and go all-in in terms of completeness. 

Once this box has you head over heels for James again, head to her official site to pre order her new album, Queen High Straight — due out May, 2020. In the meantime, her 2016 outing, The Price of the Ticket (an all-star collaboration with punk legends and one of our top albums of the year), and 2011’s charming I Came Here to Blow Minds are well worth tracking down — as is her first solo album, Now Ain’t The Time For Your Tears, penned for her by Elvis Costello. 

Other notable reissues:

Republica • S/T (Super Deluxe Edition)

Samantha Marie Sprackling, aka Saffron, never achieved the name recognition of Kim Wilde or Wendy James, but she did make a brief, brilliant impact inside sports arenas, on the radio, in the movies, at the clubs, and on the global dance charts with her band, Republica. Boffo hits like ‘Ready to Go’ and drag staple ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ are essential elements of any 90’s alternative pop playlist (Elastica, Sleeper, Echobelly), and the success of their dance/punk sound paved the way for Goldfrapp and The Ting Tings in the following decade. The band is putting the finishing touches on their first album since 1998’s sophomore outing, Speed Ballads, by revisiting the well and expanding their 1996 self-titled debut to a rousing 3 discs.

This reissue plays like a party hosted by Saffron herself. In the self-penned liner notes, she walks you through every step of her hustle from rags to riches — often doing things in reverse of tradition: get label interest THEN find a band THEN write songs; not to mention, hail from the UK, but make it in America first. While the ill-fated Deconstruction label signed the band in England, RCA wooed them in the US and committed to making them a top priority. As both singles blew up just about everywhere around the world, and the band toured like hell to promote the self-titled album, the fact they were dropped as quickly is almost dizzying to conceive. Against the band’s wishes, RCA put out a greatest hits epitaph and for more than 20 years, it looked like that was the end of story. But now they are ready to go once more, and to prime fans for the new material, Cherry Red helps us appreciate just how great that first album was. Unlike the Kim Wilde era, by the time Republica came around, authorized and unauthorized remixes were the calling cards of most DJs, so there’s no shortage of dancefloor fillers to pack onto the bonus discs along with a few worthy random tracks. Buy it now from Cherry Red.

Neneh Cherry • Raw Like Sushi (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

If you really want to blow your mind, head to the wikipedia page for Neneh Cherry — it was there I learned more than 101 fascinating things I never knew about the iconic singer/rapper — in fact, everything I thought I knew about her all these years was wrong. We’re now more than 30 years past her worldwide breakthrough with the album, Raw Like Sushi, so it’s high time the set gets the deluxe reissue treatment. Out January 31, the 3-disc collection neatly packages the original album, and clusters a ton of remixes, including six for ‘Buffalo Stance’ and five for follow-up, ‘Manchild’. The set, complete with a 48-page booklet, arrives in both 3CD and 3LP heavyweight vinyl box sets, as well as in special edition alternative gold vinyl and digital formats.

 

While most people (myself included) primarily associate Cherry with her massive single, the album was a landmark connection between polished 80s pop and hip hop and the new underground dancefloor sound that was emerging including Inner City, Technotonic and Black Box. Arthur Baker and Massive Attack are among the icons contributing remixes on the bonus discs. Preorder though UDiscover or Amazon.

Popdose Tribute: Remembering Terry Jones

The death of any creative person with a long and distinguished body of work — and writer, actor, director and Monty Python co-founder Terry Jones qualifies if anyone does — naturally prompts those of us left behind to catalogue and quantify their legacy, isolating those particular fragments of brilliance that lodge most immovably in our memories. Rhys Darby mentioned a throwaway gag from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (“What, the curtains?”) as “the funniest thing I can always instantly picture in my mind.” Every fan has their own. Yours might be projectile-vomiting Mr. Creosote, nitwit-genius Sir Bedevere, Cardinal Biggles or Mandy Cohen (“He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!”). You may even, as many did, hail him as the brilliant director of Monty Python’s masterpiece, Life of Brian (he shared the job on Holy Grail with Terry Gilliam, an arrangement that didn’t work for anyone involved), the screenwriter of Labrynth, beloved children’s author, insightful historian and so on.

Yet Terry Jones’ legacy is greater, and harder to quantify, than even that. It was not his idea to join with Michael Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Gilliam to form Monty Python back in 1969; that impetus came either from Cleese or a BBC producer named Barry Took, depending on whose account you believe. But Jones harbored ambitions that none of the other Python members had. He wanted to make something, you might say, completely different: a show that was not a university revue filmed for television but a new kind of comedy altogether, something that could exist only on television and which turned the medium’s clichés — the visual language of title sequences, montages, news programs, chat shows and man-in-the-street interviews — inside out.

At its best — which it very often was — Monty Python’s Flying Circus was a once-in-a-generation triumph of both content and form, substance and style. The former was the result of the six group members working as equals; the latter was driven almost entirely by Jones, who spent hours working alongside Python directors John Howard Davis and Ian MacNaughton, obsessively cutting and recutting each half-hour episode into a mini-masterpiece of free-flowing comic inspiration.

Having arguably done more than any other single member to shape the Python comedic style, Jones was the most enthusiastic about the group’s potential and the most reluctant to leave it behind. Naturally ebullient and brimming with ideas, his enthusiasm remained the chief engine driving Monty Python throughout the group’s working life. For a group famously distrustful of outside meddling, his capacity to direct was essential in making Holy Grail and, especially, Life of Brian not only possible, but the well-crafted triumphs they are. The unproductive writing sessions for Meaning of Life might have scuttled the project completely had it not been for Jones, who realized how much strong material the group had managed to assemble and essentially pitched the movie’s final concept to his own teammates — and won them over.  

The totality of Jones’ legacy beyond Python — the books, screenplays, television series, editorials and articles and more — is too vast to properly summarize here. Instead, it’s worth remembering that Jones’ contribution to Monty Python’s extraordinary longevity goes far beyond the words of his sketches or the characters he played. He saw their potential from the very earliest days and had the ambition and determination to bring that vision to life, shaping the visual language of television comedy in the process. And he proved an able and far-seeing caretaker, insuring the team retained ownership of their programs (as unheard of then as it is today) as well as complete creative control of any project they undertook. In a sense, it doesn’t matter which Terry Jones moment from Python is your favorite: his stamp is on every one of them.

 

4 Gorgeous Super Deluxe Editions Bring The Retro Sexy Back

Kim Wilde and Wendy James, much like Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde, and Poly Styrene before them, and Shirley Manson, Miley Cyrus, and Charli XCX later on, run in an elite pack of rock and roll’s sexiest, most powerful, and badass lead singers. At first, they came to break your heart, kick your ass, and penetrate your earholes; now they’re back to finish the job with a deluxe stack of premium reissues that also includes landmark albums by Neneh Cherry and Republica.

Kim Wilde • The RAK Era Cherry Pop Expanded Editions

Green thumb aficionados may be shocked to hear that one of the UK’s most beloved gardeners, noted author, and host of BBC’s Garden Invaders, used to be a pop star; just as new wavers and pop purists might be gobsmacked to discover the iconic singer behind hits like “Kids in America” and “Chequered Love” not only has a “View From A Hill”, she’s landscaping it too. These mysteries, and others, are explored in detail with three new Kim Wilde reissues: Kim Wilde (1981), Select (1982), and Catch as Catch Can (1983). 

For years, Cherry Red Records’ Cherry Pop imprint has done a bang-up job of keeping Kim Wilde’s discography in print. Her first three albums, originally released on RAK Records, came out just before the dawn of the CD; for ages, only Catch as Catch Can was available on CD as a pricey Japanese import until the expanded re-releases began in 2009. The new series further ups the ante by adding more tracks, plus a DVD filled with promo videos, TV appearances and more. The Kim Wilde reissue even features a “Shower Scene” version of the ‘Chequered Love’ video that survived for decades sitting on a VHS tape in Kim’s personal collection. In the single-take scene, Kim “takes one for the team” by lip syncing through an entire run of the song, fully clothed while in the shower (in the iconic outfit from the album cover no less). We’re not sure if the spritz was ticklish or just outright freezing, but Kim holds back the giggles several times while trying her best to look sexy and sultry while getting drenched — and let’s just say, in the verses where she gets the sexy back, she nails it. In the song’s original clip, you’ll see the rest of the band gets soaked too, so turnabout is fair play.

Since Kim’s first two albums preceded the 12-inch singles boom that went mainstream in the subsequent years, the 2020 reissues of Kim Wilde and Select take the very bold step of each introducing a full disc — respectively called the 19:81 and 19:82 Mixes — imagining what her extended dance versions may have sounded like using the source tapes and the remixing styles of the era. The results are utterly fantastic; revisionist history never sounded so good. The Catch album features a few 19:83 re-imagined mixes in addition to official dance versions by Nile Rodgers and Ricky Wilde. One highlight is a previously unreleased track from the original sessions, ‘Rain On’, that features a huge pop chorus, giving hints to the mainstream direction that her career would soon take on subsequent albums leading up to her smash cover of ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (on 1986’s Another Step). One box set highlight doesn’t even feature Kim’s vocals; I assumed the ‘Kids in America Popfidelty Allstars Instrumental’ would be a filler track; but it is in fact, quite killer. 

All three titles are anchored by new editorial from Marcel Rijs, taking readers through the white knuckle highs and lows of Kim’s wild ride during the RAK Records era. I had no idea her father, Marty Wilde, was a pop star on his own, and how Kim’s records were a family collaboration with her dad and brother Ricky. Marcel’s insightful essays are buoyed by press images, photo outtakes, handwritten lyrics, and other Kim Wilde memorabilia. 

Prior to owning these, most of my Kim Wilde collection came in the form of low fidelity cassettes. The much-needed sonic upgrade of these new issues will help longtime fans appreciate the incredible music Team Wilde created at the dawn of the 1980s, and with any luck, expose new generations to their new wave classics. Kim’s music came at a pivotal time in my life when MTV was the gateway between mainstream pop radio and the edgier artists to be found left of the dial on college radio. She was “just dangerous enough” to expand my palate beyond current faves at the time (ABBA, Laura Branigan and Quarterflash) to seek out the likes of Kate Bush, Lene Lovich, Danielle Dax and Propaganda — setting the stage for Transvision Vamp (see below). 

 

The new Kim Wilde expanded gatefold wallet editions, out January 31 in the UK and available globally by import, are available for preorder at your local record store, or via Amazon. Beeline to Cherry Red’s online store to claim a limited edition postcard with your order. 

One side note, these DVDs are coded PAL “All Region”, so they may not work on all DVD players in the States. They did not play on my component system, but played fine on my computer.

For further listening, check out expanded editions of Teases and Dares, Another Step, and Close while they’re still in print. Kim’s rocking latest, Here Come The Aliens, is available everywhere. Her voice has not aged or weathered a bit, just like Wendy James of Transvision Vamp…

Transvision Vamp • I Want Your Love (aka: Vampbox)

When the first vinyl copy of Pop Art, heralding the arrival of Transvision Vamp, landed in the new releases stack at my college radio station, we didn’t know what to make of it. They looked like the sexy sidekicks of Lords of the New Church, but the packaging was so slick, the graphics so polished, it had to be a pop album. When we spun it in the production booth, jaws hit the floor. It was just edgy enough to be considered alternative, yet every track on the album was destined to be a smash hit on radio. Sadly, in less time than it took most of us to graduate, the band soared to the heights of fame and glory only to crash and burn into oblivion. I Want Your Love, a lush new 6CD/1DVD box set (out now), empties the Vamp Vault and gives Transvision Vamp’s pitch perfect, albeit brief discography, its proper place in pop culture history.

This is the latest deluxe reissue from Edsel, the people behind exquisitely packaged box sets for Dead or Alive (Sophisticated Boombox), Debbie Gibson (We Could Be Together) and Blancmange (The Blanc Tapes). Except for the last one, these 12x12x1-inch box sets were designed to display with your best vinyl records instead nesting on the CD rack. People who have given up on buying physical product may not care about this, but baby I don’t care; Vampbox is aimed at collectors (and once you’re done here, be sure to read Paul Sinclair’s excellent commentary on CD collecting over at Super Deluxe Edition). Streamers will have to wait for it’s not yet available online. If and when that happens, Spotify, Tidal and the like can’t capture the essential elements of this box: the sonic upgrade of the recordings; the gorgeous 58-page book filled with photos, editorial, and memorabilia; and a DVD containing the band’s 10 promo videos and some odd but fascinating rarities.

The DVD, which for the record (compared to the Wilde discs) was compatible with my clearly dated DVD player, provides a brief but memorable romp through the band’s 10 official promo clips, plus a truly odd, fascinating, and utterly essential 15 minutes of infamy montage of archive scaps. We’re talking lo-fi, often wobbly and discolored footage, likely sourced from dusty VHS, that mixes concert excerpts and camcorder vignettes shot backstage and in the studio. Throughout outtakes from an interview Wendy James tries to give to her publicist, she cracks herself up while providing some ah-ha! insights into where the band stood going into their final album. As the consummate vamp in her videos and music, it’s a delight to see her break the 4th wall and have fun. No matter how grainy this footage is, interviewee James is more exquisite than even her most glamourous videos and press pictures — she appears to have dropped to Earth straight from an Andy Warhol daydream, which is apropos because Andy Warhol is dead

The music is why we’re here; Edsel did a gangbuster job on the selection, sequencing, and sonic upgrade. The tracks sound heavenly, and now all of the remixes and b-sides that have been so hard to track down all these years are neatly bundled together. Prior to this set’s arrival (I picked up mine for $80 USD on Amazon), I had already owned the original pressings of all three albums. The upgrade is well worth it, and in fact, for the first time in my fandom, I am now really, really into the Little Magnets album, a disc I bought on day one but rarely listened to. I guess sometimes it takes 29 years for an album to truly find you.

The gorgeous 58-page 12×12 booklet includes glamorous press pics, memorabilia, single and album artwork, lyrics, and 10-pages of in-depth editorial by Alan Robinson, based on new interviews with James and elusive co-founder Nick Christain Sayer who has all but disappeared from the pop culture planet since the band’s demise. Vamp bassist Dave Parsons wound up doing just fine, thank you for asking, having co-founded the band Bush; a rocket he rode through the rest of the 1990s.

What’s Missing:

Live tracks found on the previous reissues. Pop Life Re-Presents included four Andy Kershaw BBC sessions; Velveteen Re-Presents included two live cuts. Both of these 2-disc sets are now out of print and each one costs as much as this box set. Thankfully, completists can easily pick up those six tracks ala carte as MP3s (they are also streaming). The new DVD could have also used some live concert footage and/or TV appearances, but we guess the licensing would have likely been a nightmare, so they stuck to the studio stuff and go all-in in terms of completeness. 

Once this box has you head over heels for James again, head to her official site to pre order her new album, Queen High Straight — due out May, 2020. In the meantime, her 2016 outing, The Price of the Ticket (an all-star collaboration with punk legends and one of our top albums of the year), and 2011’s charming I Came Here to Blow Minds are well worth tracking down — as is her first solo album, Now Ain’t The Time For Your Tears, penned for her by Elvis Costello. 

Other notable reissues:

Republica • S/T (Super Deluxe Edition)

Samantha Marie Sprackling, aka Saffron, never achieved the name recognition of Kim Wilde or Wendy James, but she did make a brief, brilliant impact inside sports arenas, on the radio, in the movies, at the clubs, and on the global dance charts with her band, Republica. Boffo hits like ‘Ready to Go’ and drag staple ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ are essential elements of any 90’s alternative pop playlist (Elastica, Sleeper, Echobelly), and the success of their dance/punk sound paved the way for Goldfrapp and The Ting Tings in the following decade. The band is putting the finishing touches on their first album since 1998’s sophomore outing, Speed Ballads, by revisiting the well and expanding their 1996 self-titled debut to a rousing 3 discs.

This reissue plays like a party hosted by Saffron herself. In the self-penned liner notes, she walks you through every step of her hustle from rags to riches — often doing things in reverse of tradition: get label interest THEN find a band THEN write songs; not to mention, hail from the UK, but make it in America first. While the ill-fated Deconstruction label signed the band in England, RCA wooed them in the US and committed to making them a top priority. As both singles blew up just about everywhere around the world, and the band toured like hell to promote the self-titled album, the fact they were dropped as quickly is almost dizzying to conceive. Against the band’s wishes, RCA put out a greatest hits epitaph and for more than 20 years, it looked like that was the end of story. But now they are ready to go once more, and to prime fans for the new material, Cherry Red helps us appreciate just how great that first album was. Unlike the Kim Wilde era, by the time Republica came around, authorized and unauthorized remixes were the calling cards of most DJs, so there’s no shortage of dancefloor fillers to pack onto the bonus discs along with a few worthy random tracks. Buy it now from Cherry Red.

Neneh Cherry • Raw Like Sushi (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

If you really want to blow your mind, head to the wikipedia page for Neneh Cherry — it was there I learned more than 101 fascinating things I never knew about the iconic singer/rapper — in fact, everything I thought I knew about her all these years was wrong. We’re now more than 30 years past her worldwide breakthrough with the album, Raw Like Sushi, so it’s high time the set gets the deluxe reissue treatment. Out January 31, the 3-disc collection neatly packages the original album, and clusters a ton of remixes, including six for ‘Buffalo Stance’ and five for follow-up, ‘Manchild’. The set, complete with a 48-page booklet, arrives in both 3CD and 3LP heavyweight vinyl box sets, as well as in special edition alternative gold vinyl and digital formats.

 

While most people (myself included) primarily associate Cherry with her massive single, the album was a landmark connection between polished 80s pop and hip hop and the new underground dancefloor sound that was emerging including Inner City, Technotonic and Black Box. Arthur Baker and Massive Attack are among the icons contributing remixes on the bonus discs. Preorder though UDiscover or Amazon.

Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross: Episode One Hundred Thirty-Five

 

Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross:  Episode One Hundred Thirty Five

To get away from what could be seen as “routine” or “scripted”, Jon and Rob decided to do one of their well-received/well-loved improvised episodes, where everyone gets to just listen in to a conversation between two good friends.  Except these two have that little extra pizzazz…  But to be fair, among the subjects that come up are the disaster of the latest “Charlie’s Angels” cinematic incarnation; the most recent (and abhorrent) of the endless Democratic debates, Motley Crue going back on tour (?)(!), plus an outstanding “In Our Heads” and even more.

All it takes is a little of your time and comfort – so come join the “Radio City”-verse and dig…

Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross:  Episode One Hundred Thirty Five 

The podcast will be on the site as well as for subscription via iTunes and other podcast aggregators. Subscribe and let people know about Radio City, as well as Popdose’s other great podcasts David Medsker’s Dizzy Heights and In:Sound with Michael Parr and Zack Stiegler.