Back in 1976, when Paul McCartney & Wings’ live album ‘Wings Over America’ was released, the band was coming off a string of four No. 1 records. The triple-album set, culled from various concerts the group performed on their 1976 U.S. tour in support of ‘Wings at the Speed of Sound,’ soon became their fifth straight No. 1. (The last three-record LP to reach the top spot was by one of McCartney’s old bandmates: George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass.’)
Since 2002, Rod Stewart has released eight albums. Each and every one of them includes songs that were written before ‘Maggie May’ hit No. 1 in 1971. A lot of them, in fact, were written before the 68-year-old rock legend learned to walk. Five ‘Great American Songbook’ albums, a rock oldies collection, an R&B oldies collection and a Christmas album – that’s pretty much how Stewart has spent the past decade.
The last time Fleetwood Mac made an album together, they were minus Christine McVie and enough good songs to fill its 75-minute running length. They’re still without McVie on their new four-song EP, but they fixed ‘Say You Will’’s biggest problem by keeping ‘Extended Play’ at an economical 17 minutes. And if it sounds more like a Lindsey Buckingham record than an actual band one at times, at least ‘Extended Play’ is the best thing released under the Fleetwood Mac moniker since 1987’s ‘Tango in the Night.’
Who would have ever guessed that in 2013, we would be talking about a new Stooges album? The odds were certainly not in that column, but then in 2003, the unexpected happened and Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton and brother Scott plugged in once again. They toured and wowed young and old fans alike with their brutal rock and roll assault, and even released a reunion album, although 2007's 'The Weirdness' was hardly the stuff of legend and kind of a false-start comeback.
On Oct. 3, 2012, less than six months after Levon Helm lost his long battle with cancer, a large and eclectic group of his friends, family, and peers assembled on stage at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., paying tribute to the man and his musical legacy in front of nearly 20,000 fans. The result, fittingly enough, was dubbed 'Love for Levon.'
John Fogerty’s ‘Wrote a Song for Everyone’ falls somewhere between a tribute record and a duets album. The former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman appears on all 14 songs, most of which come from his legendary catalog that spans 40-plus years. And on all but a couple of cuts, he performs with some big-name genre-crossing artists, including Foo Fighters, Kid Rock and Miranda Lambert.
There comes a point in most artists’ careers where they just don’t care about making records anymore. Or at least they don’t care about making records that their fans want to hear. They tour sporadically, playing the old songs to pay the bills. And they release new albums every five years or so because they feel it’s something they should do. Eric Clapton got to this point years ago, but on his 21st solo album, ‘Old Sock,’ he settles into not caring like it’s his full-time job these days.
Thrash metal icons Anthrax ushered in 2013 with the typical blend of accomplishments (a well-deserved Grammy nomination) and setbacks (yet another departing band member) that, of late, have defined their career; but they’ve also gone about the business of surviving, performing and recording, as indicated by the release of an eight-song EP named 'Anthem' on March 19.