It's the statement few in the Internet age expected to type: today, Adam Ant releases his first album in nearly 20 years. Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunnar's Daughter (try saying that three times fast) features brand-new original compositions by Ant with longtime collaborators/guitarists Marco Pirroni and Boz Boorer, and is the first album on his new label, the eponymous Blueblack Hussar Records. Early critical notes indicate an album that's weird and urgent - fair

May 20, 2012: We're deeply saddened to report that Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees passed away this morning in England at 10:47 a.m. (5:47 a.m. ET) at the age of 62.  Gibb's passing comes following a brave battle with cancer, courageously fought in the public eye.  Robin Gibb will always be remembered for his great gift of song, with his angelic voice having provided comfort to so many of us in our saddest times and pure joy in our most upbeat moments.  Robin, we will miss you.  In honor of this

With the heartbreaking news of the passing of Adam "MCA" Yauch of The Beastie Boys, who'd been battling cancer for several years, we invite you to enjoy this Back Tracks special from October 27, 2010, in which we revisited the band's discography and its reissues. The slightly bizarre news that The Beastie Boys' upcoming album Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2, slated for release this coming spring, will feature virtually every track recorded for the delayed Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 1 is classic Beastie

The sudden, recent news of the passing of Greg Ham, saxophonist/flautist and founding member of Australian rock band Men at Work, comes at a strange and sad time. Yesterday in fact marked the 30th anniversary of the release of the band's breakthrough debut, Business As Usual, in America. More importantly, though, it's the sad loss of a figure who contributed a lot to early '80s rock music. Ham, who was 58, was the spice that set Men at Work's hard driving, New Wave-inspired sounds apart from

Music was in both the bloodline and the spirit of Whitney Elizabeth Houston (1963-2012).  The native of Newark, New Jersey called Cissy Houston of The Sweet Inspirations her mom, while Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick were her beloved cousins.  Her godmother was none other than Aretha Franklin.  Following in her mother’s footsteps, she began performing at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church, singing in the gospel choir as a featured soloist, and began to make inroads in the music business as a

Tucked between album opener “Taxman” and “I’m Only Sleeping” on Side One of The Beatles’ 1966 LP Revolver, “Eleanor Rigby” heralded an explicit attempt by the pop giants at pushing the musical envelope, both with its despairing lyrics and classical-inspired arrangement for a string octet.  Primarily the composition of Paul McCartney, “Eleanor Rigby” defied the odds to hit the top spot on the British charts (a double A-side single with “Yellow Submarine”) and hit the No. 11 spot in the United

It's a crime that when you talk about CHIC, many of the players who made up arguably the greatest band of the disco era aren't alive to hear your words of praise. Bernard Edwards, CHIC's bassist and co-producer, died in 1997; drummer Tony Thompson passed away in 2003. Nile Rodgers, guitarist, co-producer and keeper of the CHIC flame, could easily have met the same early fate had he not been lucky enough to discover the cancer that he's been since late last year. (Rodgers, one of the best users

Today being the Fourth of July, there are few better reasons to give a spin to Sly and The Family Stone's Greatest Hits, arguably one of the best single-artist compilations in pop history. Those danceable grooves will get you moving at any barbecue, family reunion, pool party or whatever you might be celebrating this holiday weekend. But revisiting Sly has another purpose as of late: to get set up for one of the most unexpected comebacks in contemporary American music. Next month, Stone is

The late Arthur Laurents wrote many of the most beloved musicals and films in entertainment history including West Side Story, Gypsy, The Way We Were and Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope.  He passed away on May 5, but today’s special Back Tracks celebrates this great writer’s legacy in music. “If you have a good strong finish, they’ll forgive anything!” So implores stage mother Madame Rose to her daughter Louise, the future Gypsy Rose Lee, in the 1959 musical Gypsy.  Rose’s bon mot was one of many

Diana Ross, Martha Reeves and Mary Weiss – and even Joan Jett, Victoria Beckham and Nicole Scherzinger – all owe a debt to Shirley Owens, Doris Coley, Addie Harris and Beverly Lee. That quartet doesn’t have the name recognition of those that followed them, but those four young women from Passaic, New Jersey ignited the girl group phenomenon when they joined forces as The Poquellos, soon to be renamed The Shirelles. Were The Shirelles the first girl group? Probably not. Were they the first to