Spotlight on veterans

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Jan 16 2008, 22h08

Today brought of the news of the lay-off of somewhere between 1500 and 2000 of EMI's employees. Well, was it news? Not really, we knew business in tjhe recording industry wasn't doing well, and we all know why. So no news at all.

Although most of us (including myself) probably applaud the decreasing power of the companies, it of course has some drawbacks as well. Not only for the people that lose their job, but also because it has been difficult for some artists to get sufficient airplay for their music, and earn money out of their music. It might be possible for the Radioheads of this time, but not all are as successful.

At the same time I know some artists that have been quite successful in their time, but now they are released of the burdens of their major contract, make pretty nice music. I thought it was time to put the spotlights on some of those artists, most of which are available on the very good download site www.emusic.com. (I know, I mentioned them before, and be prepared for a lot more attention to them as well...)

Fans of 80ies hit machine Tears for Fears, I'd like to point to a solo album by Roland Orzabal, the creative genius of the band. The album is called Tomcats Screaming Outside. I think this solo album easily outperforms the last few albums by the band.

These people might also be interested in the work of The Wonder Stuff. They made a come back a few years ago with a double live album, and made two studio albums after that. The live album is quite good, a nice trip down memory lane, and I just downloaded one of those studio albums, Escape From Rubbish Island, but I haven't listened to it enough to have a judgement about it yet.

Anyone remember Fischer-Z? Also still going strong. The band still makes a record every few years, and John Watts also makes solo recordings. I downloaded Fischer-Z's Stream, and it sounds OK-ish. No need to rush out to get it, but it's quality work nevertheless.

An artist from a later period is Green Gartside from Scritti Politti. He didn't record for quite some years, but now has produced another record, White Bread Black Beer. Not as overproduced as he sounded before, although that partly was what attracted me to him, and it's also a little less urgent.

Other artists that come to mind are Robert Lamm of Chicago-fame; a live recording by Thomas Dolby and a solo recording by Mark King, the bass player of Level 42. I might write about them in a future edition of the journal. I also heard that Karl Wallinger is working on another World Party record; I hope that will be available online as well, as maybe the last group effort,..

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