Thankfully, the improvisation plays second fiddle to the melodies and arrangements on Deep Forbidden Lake, which allows this incarnation of the Jazz Mandolin to shine in a new, yet familiar setting.
This spring, archivist David Lemieux got a call from Donna Jean Godchaux-Mackay. It seems that in the late summer of 1971, just before Keith Godchaux began rehearsals with the Dead, Garcia handed him a big box of tapes and said,
RCA Records is gearing up for a busy fall schedule of anticipated rock releases, including as-yet-untitled new albums from Irish singer/songwriter David Gray (Sept. 13) and Kentucky-based quintet My Morning Jacket (Sept. 20), New York outfit Stellastarr*’s “Harmonies for the Haunted
Guitar legend Les Paul will celebrate his 90th birthday with his first new studio album since 1978’s “Guitar Monsters,” a collaboration with Chet Atkins. Les Paul & Friends’ “American Made, World Played” is due Aug. 30 via Capitol/EMI.
The album will boast such collaborations as “Love Sneakin’ Up on You” with Sting and Joss Stone, “Fly Like an Eagle” with Steve Miller, Eric Clapton on “Somebody Ease My Troublin’ Mind,” Jeff Beck on “Good News,” ZZ Top’s Billy F. Gibbons on “Bad Case of Lovin’ You” and Buddy Guy, Keith Richards and Rick Derringer on “Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl.”
Among the various certifications issued by the Recording Industry Association (RIAA) in May is a truly notable achievement for Australian hard rock act AC/DC. The group’s 1980 breakthrough “Back in Black” was certified for U.S. shipments of 21 million copies, tying it for fifth place on the RIAA’s all-time best-sellers list.
The group’s first album with lead singer Brian Johnson, who replaced Bon Scott following his alcohol-related death, “Back in Black” was originally released by Atco and was reissued in 2003 by Epic along with the rest of the band’s catalog. The set was certified platinum (1 million U.S. copies shipped) just months after its August 1980 release.
“Back in Black” is now tied on the all-time list with Billy Joel’s “Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & II,” which reached 21 million in 2000. The leader of the list remains “Eagles/Their Greatest Hits” (Asylum), last certified in 2002 at 28 million. In second is Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (Epic), which reached 27 million in an April RIAA accounting, followed by Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” (23 million/1999; Capitol) and “Led Zeppelin IV” (22 million/1999; Atlantic).
AC/DC also earned a triple-platinum certification in May for 1976’s “High Voltage.”
Others tipping new multi-platinum heights include Usher, whose latest album, “Confessions” (LaFace) has shipped nine million U.S. copies. Gwen Stefani’s solo debut “Love, Angel, Music, Baby” (Interscope) hit the double-platinum mark, as did Rascal Flatts’ “Feels Like Today” (Lyric Street) and Chicago’s “The Very Best Of: Only the Beginning” (Rhino).
Newly minted platinum titles in May were “Barrio Fino” by Daddy Yankee (VI Music), Jack Johnson’s “In Between Dreams” and “On and On” (Universal), Los Tigres Del Norte’s “Jefe de Jefes” (Fonovisa), Jason Mraz’s “Waiting for My Rocket To Come” (Elektra), Rob Thomas’ “Something To Be” (Atlantic) and Queen’s now-aptly titled “The Platinum Collection” (Hollywood).