Original Jack Kirby storyboard for Fantastic Four cartoon

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Coming up: Saved By The Bell: The Collected Works Of Robin Gibb 1968-1970

Out June 2, 2015.
The collection captures the entire musical output of Robin Gibb at 19 years old, over a 12 month period from 1969 and 1970. The extensive 3 disc set features the critically acclaimed hit solo album Robin s Reign, rebooted to include nine alternate takes and full-length versions, as well as the previously unreleased, and much sought-after Sing Slowly Sisters album, which comes exactly 45 years after it was recorded. 

Coming up: Classic Quadrophenia

Out June 9, 2015.

As a leading icon of the British music revolution of the 1960s, Pete Townshend made his name by creating the power chord, smashing guitars onstage, and penning anthems of teenage rebellion like My Generation.

Now, at almost 70 years old and half a century after he penned the archetypal rock lyric Hope I die before I get old, Townshend has created a classical version of one of The Who s landmark albums Quadrophenia for a symphony orchestra, opera singer and choir.

The new symphonised version of Quadrophenia, an album originally released by The Who in 1973, was orchestrated by Rachel Fuller, a professional composer, orchestrator and singer-songwriter in her own right and also the partner of Pete Townshend.
It will be released by the Deutsche Grammophon label, internationally renowned for its repertoire of classical and opera music, and launched next summer with a world premiere concert at the Royal Albert Hall, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and London Oriana Choir.

The project is the latest chapter in Townshend s lifelong mission to break the three-minute mould of the traditional pop song and take rock music to a higher artistic level. In the 1960s he defined the concept of the rock opera with Tommy, taking it a stage further with Quadrophenia.
Conceived and written by Townshend in 1973, Quadrophenia went on to become a feature film and a theatre production, and was performed in its entirety on The Who s most recent live tour. For the last three years Townshend has worked closely with Rachel Fuller on brand-new arrangements for orchestra, soloists and choir.

Recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2014 at London s legendary Air Studios, the new incarnation of this classic rock opera is conducted by Robert Ziegler and features popular British tenor Alfie Boe on vocals, with Townshend himself on electric guitar and performing cameo vocal roles. Townshend will reprise his roles at the live world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 5 July 2015, alongside the RPO, Ziegler, Boe and other star guests.

The rock superstar began work on the project as part of his plan to leave a legacy of all his work arranged for orchestra as sheet music, for future generations to enjoy. Townshend hopes the new work will go on to become a regular part of the orchestral repertoire and boost attendance at classical concerts.

A lot of major symphony orchestras are in trouble because their audience is getting old and the younger audiences prefer softer stuff, such as film soundtrack music, he explains. I think that Quadrophenia would reinvigorate their audiences and bring in people who might not otherwise go to see a symphony orchestra perform without lights and fireworks and a movie screen.

Rachel Fuller, who was born in the year Quadrophenia was first released, admits she had never heard The Who s album until several years after she first met Townshend in a London recording studio, while he was rehearsing for The Who s 1996 tour of that album and she was working with Ute Lemper.

I loved it as soon as I heard it about ten years ago, she says. For me it s been an act of love to orchestrate it for Pete. It s also been a joy to work on because it is very orchestral by nature, even as a rock album, so it was very easy to arrange for an orchestra. And I've remained really faithful to the original tracks because he s the composer and I want to honour his work.

Coming up: Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection: Cinderella

Out June 16, 2015.
A 2-disc set including the original restored soundtrack, 7 lost chords recordings and 9 bonus tracks.

On February 15 1950, the Walt Disney Company released Cinderella. Walt Disney Records will celebrate its anniversary by releasing the Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection: Cinderella; a charming album that every music collector will enjoy.

Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection: Cinderella is part of the overall Legacy collection line. Each one of the albums in this line is meant to be a collector's piece in terms of the album content and packaging art. To achieve the latter, each album will feature newly created artwork from Lorelay Bove, a visual development artist at Walt Disney Animation.

Read my review of 1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music

Up now at Something Else!

See the new Star Wars cover for Vanity Fair!

More pics here.

Pop artifacts: Vintage Marvel Comics Cracker Jack stickers

Music new releases May 5, 2015: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night; Tracey Thorn; Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry; Van Der Graaf Generator, more!

Click the links to order discounted CDs, vinyl and downloads from Amazon.

Tracey Thorn: Songs from 'The Falling'

DVD and Blu-ray new releases May 5, 2015: Astro Boy; Father Brown; Jamaica Inn; Cheers, more!

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Fugitive: The Complete Series