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YOUR TOP 20
IS LEGENDARY
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Critics' Choice
ARTISTS PAY RESPECTS TO KRAFTWERK'S FLORIAN SCHNEIDER
5/6/20

Online tributes have been posted around the globe for Florian Schneider, who co-founded the influential German band Kraftwerk with Ralf Hütter. He died Wednesday from cancer at the age of 73.

Kraftwerk issued its debut album in 1971 and after several lineup shifts, released a string if influential electronic albums such as Ralf und FlorianAutobahn and Trans-Europe Express in the mid-1970s.

Schneider, a flutist who also played violin, guitar and synthesizers, was key to the band’s forward-looking approach to technology and creating new sounds via electronic drums and their synth-vocal processor Robovox. Schneider appeared on 10 Kraftwerk albums, leaving the band in 2008 prior to a reunion tour.

Parlophone Records Co-Presidents Nick Burgess and Mark Mitchell said in a statement, “Florian Schneider was a pioneering figure in the history of modern music. It is no exaggeration to say that countless artists would not sound the way they do today if not for Florian’s revolutionary compositions and innovative musicianship. The band’s experimental courage and enormous influence crossed a myriad of genres, from electronic to dance to hip-hop.

“Consummate multi-media artists, Kraftwerk not only broke new musical ground, but created a unique and inspiring visual universe, from their album covers to their state-of-the-art stage productions. All of us at Parlophone and Warner Music Group are honored to be stewards of Kraftwerk’s incredible body of work, and we send our deepest condolences to Florian’s family, friends, and countless fans across the globe. He will be deeply missed.”

 

BLAST FROM BRIGHTMAN'S PAST TO BENEFIT COVID-19 CHARITIES
5/5/20

Sarah Brightman performed with the English National Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London in in September 1997. That performance, not commercially available, will be streamed on YouTube Saturday to raise funds for COVID-19 relief charities.

Brightman sang pieces by a wide range of composers—Puccini, Gershwin, Bernstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber, who backs her on piano while she sings his “Whistle Down the Wind.” Andrea Bocelli duets with Sarah on “Time to Say Goodbye”; Adam Clarke joins her for “Pie Jesu.”

“For many of us during lockdown these are reflective and introspective times, so I thought viewing a concert chosen from my performing past would be appropriate and bring you back to a special comforting moment in time,” Brightman said. “For me then, it was a pivotal period of transition, after which I experienced 20 years of an incredible life and career journey which I wasn’t expecting. Hopefully my performance of many hits and favorite pieces, along with special guests Andrea Bocelli and Andrew Lloyd Webber, will inspire many of you to contribute to one of these fine charities, who are both doing so much for people all over the world at this time.”

The full performance will premiere exclusively on Sarah's YouTube channel beginning 5/9 at noon PT/3pm ET and will be globally available for 72 hours. 

THE COVID-19 BLUES: A PLAYLIST
FOR THE ISOLATED
4/3/20

On 3/14, the first day it was apparent people in New York and Los Angeles were going to be spending a lot of time at home indoors, I created a list of songs about isolation and being alone with loved ones, illness and health, hope and danger. In the weeks since, I’ve been adding as a new one is tipped on social media or in a story or just crosses my mind. Some of the songs rely on metaphors or a stretch in the meaning: Thunderclap Newman’s “Something in the Air,”  The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” and Talking Heads’ “Warning Sign.” Others hit the nail on the head: Rev. Gary Davis’ “Death Don’t Have No Mercy,” Warren Zevon’s “Don’t Get Sick” and Spirit’s “Nature’s Way.”  - Phil Gallo