December 11, 2013 |
GARTH Brooks' eight-disc "Blame It All On My Roots" debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard album chart last week, underscoring that there's still significant interest in musical box sets, especially around this holiday gift-buying/giving season. And for sure, plenty more are aiming to lure you in - lavish new packages that preserve a celebrated artist's career (or period thereof) in musical amber - CDs and DVDs enhanced with rare, revamped and previously unheard treasures. Plus, these gift-minded boxes boast fancy packaging and often copious album notes that help tell a story or reveal a history, making the bundle almost as exciting as finding a fossil treasure buried in your back yard.
April 18, 2011
It's a marvelous night for a womb dance . . . Two British tabs have published evidence that they say proves that singer Van Morrison fathered a child out of wedlock with one of his U.S. tour promoters. Morrison flatly denied a relationship with the Texas mother, GiGi Lee , when his own website (which his people claim had been hacked into) published an announcement on Dec. 29, 2009, of the birth of "little Van. " Big Van, 65, instructed his Irish publicist to say that he didn't even know the purported mother, identified incorrectly as "his wife GiGi.
July 12, 2008 |
"It's all one song," Neil Young once famously said in response to a heckler who accused him of making music that all sounded alike. The same could be said of the songs of Van Morrison, the Irish singer with a reputation as an uneven live performer. Not that there's anything wrong with that. For more than 40 years, Morrison, 62, who played the Tower Theater on Thursday and concludes his current six-date North American tour at the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City tonight, has been blending American rhythm and blues, jazz, and country into a Celtic soul stew.
August 7, 2006 |
Advance word suggested that Van Morrison's first Philadelphia show in 16 years would be a full-blown homage to country music, much like his new album, Pay the Devil. And indeed, both pedal-steel guitarist and fiddler were allotted plenty of solo space at the Spectrum on Saturday. Then again, so was the trombonist. A stout man in a dark suit and hat, Morrison huddled with 11 other musicians center stage during a late afternoon performance that got under way a little after 5 and wrapped up before 7. His heart obviously belonged to oldies like the New Orleans funeral march "St. James Infirmary," yet he didn't slight fan favorites like "Moondance.
June 13, 2005 |
Van Morrison is a legend with a deserved reputation as an erratic live performer, a Celtic soul mystic whose latter-day music can reach incandescent heights or be soothingly somnambulant. The 59-year-old singer's show at the Trump Taj Mahal's Mark G. Etess Arena on Saturday certainly qualified as an event - and not just because The Donald himself attended, celebrating his own 59th. It was Morrison's first Philadelphia-area appearance since 1990, and the last date of a U.S. tour limited to stops in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Calif.
January 15, 2003 |
Luciano Pavarotti's companion gave birth prematurely by cesarean section Monday to a girl, but a male twin was born dead after a complicated pregnancy, a doctor at a Bologna, Italy, hospital said. Nicoletta Mantovani's daughter was breathing on her own, and the doctors said her condition was good considering she weighed only 3.8 pounds at birth. Mantovani, 33, also was doing well. A cesarean was performed after tests on Mantovani, in her 31st week of pregnancy, showed that the male twin was suffering from reduced oxygen flow via the blood.
July 5, 1998 |
There are rock legends who have been anthologized six ways to Sunday, legends who don't have 10 minutes of tape left in the vault, and legends who have authorized elaborate "collector's edition" reissues of albums that were marginal from the start. And then there's Van Morrison. Though he could generate a 10-disc set without a speck of filler, the Irish bard has avoided anything, except the obligatory hits albums, that could be viewed as a cash-in on his catalog. He's been incredibly cagey about his unreleased material and apparently doesn't care that his public would be thrilled even to hear songs he rejected.
June 20, 1997 |
We don't think this involved any disgruntled passengers defecating on a drinks cart - last year's golden standard for airplane shenanigans - but singer Van Morrison's entourage did create a ruckus on a recent flight from London to New York. The Irish rocker's music might be getting mellower, but his friends got rowdier and rowdier during the flight, so much so that police were summoned to greet the arriving plane. Two of Morrison's buddies "had obviously been drinking and had gotten into a dispute," a spokesman for Virgin Atlantic airlines told the New York Daily News.
October 5, 1995 |
For us rootsy, FM radio, baby-boomer types, today's news is as shocking as hearing that Bruce Springsteen would wed Julianne Phillips, that Lyle Lovett would wed Julia Roberts. Van Morrison will wed Michelle Rocca, known in her homeland as Miss Ireland 1980. Yet another craggy, cranky, spot-light-shunning musician decides to settle down - and he passes on the regular women he's saluted in song, like Bruce once passed on a Jersey girl. He passes, like Lyle passed on some lil' country gal. And goes for the beauty queen.
June 2, 1993 |
School's out, the heat is on and it's time to party. June is busting out all over with choice new music for your listening and dancing pleasure, including new releases by Robert Plant, Luther Vandross, Pete Townshend, Van Morrison and Barbara Streisand. Released yesterday, Robert Plant's sixth solo set "Fate of Nations" fills the bill for Led Zep style balladry and Middle Eastern-flavored kozmic rock. Also on the docks this week: Luther Vandross' urban/pop crossover set "Never Let Me Go," singer/songwriter/piano man Marc Cohn's sophomore effort "Rainy Season," the second set of sunny pop rock from Sun 60 called "Only," Cheap Trick singer Robin Zander's self-named first solo album and industrial rocking New Model Army's "The Love of Hopeless Causes.