Many of you reading this might know Popdose as one of your favorite pop-culture hangouts on the Internet. Recently, our good friends at Popdose have curated a special digital-only release that not only features an array of remarkable artists, but helps a great cause, too.
You Can’t Live on Love Alone: Songs for the Fight Against Multiple Myeloma arrived on Amazon last week, on June 2. This 19-track compendium is headlined by artists ranging from veterans (Jim Peterik of The Ides of March and Survivor; Justin Currie of Del Amitri; Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr, a.k.a. Blue Sky Riders) to talented up-and-comers who might just become your favorite artists. Venerable songwriter Jules Shear (writer of Cyndi Lauper’s “All Through the Night” and The Bangles’ “If She Knew What She Wants”) contributed a previously unreleased song, as did songwriter-producer Don Dixon (R.E.M., The Smithereens).
The seeds of the project were planted in March 2014 when former music publicist Pigeon O’Brien, a longtime friend of Popdose, was diagnosed with this incurable yet treatable disease. Popdose founder and Editor-in-Chief Jeff Giles hit upon the notion of releasing a benefit album to help pay for Pigeon’s medical bills. The initial idea was to draw acoustic performances from The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, the interview podcast hosted at Popdose by Giles and Matt Wardlaw. The team reached out to many of their favorite musicians for permission, and also contacted other talents for contributions, simply asking each artist that the song not be a sad one.
Wardlaw explains, “This was a true labor of love for a wonderful friend in need. We both knew that we were sitting on a nice archive of live performances from our podcast that we could easily get permission to use. Beyond that, Popdose reached out to some of those longtime favorite artists that had become friends and connections over the years.” Their hard work has added up to an upbeat collection of new songs, rare and previously released favorites, and some surprises.
There are plenty of highlights among these 19 tracks. Jim Peterik sounds to be having a blast with his solo acoustic take on The Ides of March’s signature song “Vehicle.” Don Dixon’s demo of “Swallowing Pride” reveals a would-be hit, while a couple of bona fides 1980s hits – Starship’s “We Built This City” and Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” – are stylishly reinvented by Joshua Jesty and the band Scout, respectively. The contribution from Cleveland musician Jesty was recorded specifically for this project, while the Scout track resurfaces from a long out-of-print maxi-single. New York-born singer-songwriter Julian Velard’s hypnotically melodic “Rock Paper Scissors” from 2007, nicely dovetails with the collection’s themes. Blue Sky Riders’ anthemic “Dream” makes a welcome reprise from the band’s Live at the Rutledge EP. Daytime television star Roscoe Born (One Life to Live, Santa Barbara, The Young and The Restless) contributes the touching, intimate “I Take It on Faith.” Justin Currie’s stirring piano-and-voice demo of “You Can’t Live on Love Alone” lends this collection its title. Mastering engineer Jacob Detering of Red Pill Entertainment has seen to it that the diverse tracks all sound crisp and consistent.
The immediate proceeds from sales of You Can’t Live on Love Alone will go directly to Pigeon O’Brien to help defray the cost of her medical expenses. In the long-term, they will be donated to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Matt Wardlaw sums up the project: “We just wanted to create a good collection of music that people would enjoy and, hopefully, send them away with a few new groups and artists to learn more about. That’s a pretty appropriate goal, considering that Pigeon spent part of her career similarly seeking to introduce music fans to bands that she loves.”
You Can’t Live on Love Alone is available now from the amazing team at Popdose. You can download this collection of great music for a great cause at Amazon U.S. and U.K. as well as iTunes and Bandcamp via the links below!
Various Artists, You Can’t Live on Love Alone: Songs for the Fight Against Multiple Myeloma (2015)
- “Let Me Be Your Witness” — Brandon Schott. Previously unreleased live track recorded in 2009 during Schott’s dates in support of his album Dandelion, which was recorded over the one-year anniversary of Brandon’s own diagnosis, treatment and recovery from cancer.
- “Swallowing Pride” — Don Dixon. Previously unreleased demo recorded in 1983 for the Me & Dixon project featuring Dixon on bass, Parthenon Huxley on guitar and Rob Ladd on drums.
- “Little to the Left”– Nat Osborn. Previously unreleased. Recorded live for the Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour on 03/22/13.
- “No Rest for the Wicked” — Donnie Iris & the Cruisers. Released on the Ellwood City
- “Home”– Jason Myles Goss. Demo of a track from Jason’s 2012 release, Radio Dial.
- “Honky Tonking Tonight” — Philip Gibbs. Released on the Box Canyon Blues
- “Blame It All on the Wind” — Jay Nash. Previously unreleased. Recorded live for the Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour on 02/12/13.
- “I Take It on Faith” — Roscoe Born. Previously available only on YouTube. One of many recordings from the Emmy-nominated actor and songwriter.
- “Do What You Gotta Do” — Don Rosler & Jay Ward. Recorded in 2007 and previously only available on their websites.
- “Vehicle” — Jim Peterik. Previously unreleased acoustic version of the Peterik-penned No. 2 hit for the Ides of March. Recorded live for the Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour on 12/06/12
- “Dream” — Blue Sky Riders. Released on the Live at the Rutledge EP
- “Any Way You Want It” – Scout. Cover of the Journey hit from the out-of-print All I Want Is You CD maxi-single.
- “Cut and Dry” — Patti Rothberg. Released on the Overnight Sensation
- “Good Will” — Emily Hurd. Released on the Any Given Day
- “You Can’t Live on Love Alone” [Demo] — Justin Currie. Previously unreleased demo recorded during sessions in between What Is Love For and The Great War.
- “Rock Paper Scissors” — Julian Velard & Bleu. Recorded in 2007 and released on the 15 Years of B-Sides
- “Do You Wrong” — Jules Shear. Previously unreleased song from the Longer to Get to Yesterday
- “Conversations with the Moon” — Steve Poltz. Previously unreleased. Recorded live for the Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour on 06/05/12.
- “We Built This City” — Joshua Jesty. Cover of the Starship hit recorded specifically for this compilation.