hmv.com previews... - January 3, 2016

hmv.com presents… 70 Albums to get you excited for 2016! #5 Legends & Icons
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

hmv.com presents… 70 Albums to get you excited for 2016! #5 Legends & Icons

2015 was a brilliant year for albums, but 2016 is going to be even better and we're going to prove it. Over the seven days we're going to be previewing 70 albums, most will definitely come out, some probably will, and some we really hope finally see the light of day (we’re looking at you Tool…). 

We continue today with a series of legends and icons...

 

David Bowie

 

A little background...

A little less than two years after David Bowie suddenly emerged from a decade-long hiatus and released The Next Day on an unsuspecting public, reports began surfacing that Bowie might be getting ready to release a 25th studio album. By the end of October, Bowie confirmed via a press release that the rumours were true – at least partially; the statement bemoaned the 'inaccurate reporting' regarding the album's sound, but did confirm that a new album would be arriving soon and would include some of the Bowie-penned music featured on Jack Thorne's drama series The Last Panthers.

 

What's it called?

It's called ★ (pronounced 'Blackstar')

 

Any radical changes in sound planned?

This is Bowie we're talking about, so what might be consodered radical for some is pretty much par for the course for an artist like David Bowie. That said, where The Next Day seemed to quite deliberately recall elements of Bowie's past – not least in its recycled cover artwork – this time around the aim has been “to avoid rock & roll”, according to Bowie's longtime collaborator Tony Visconti, even revealing that he and Bowie has been listening to Kendrick Lamar for inspiration. The tracks that have surfaced so far, namely the title track and another called 'Lazarus', which features in his musical of the same name, reveal an expansive and genre-bending sound to the new album.

 

Who's producing it? Any special guests?

As with the vast majority of his records, Tony Visconti will once again be manning the controls. There are no big name guest appearances, although the previously released single 'Sue (or In A Season of Crime)' does feature the Maria Schneider Orchestra.

 

Will it really come out this year? And when?

It'll be out on Bowie's birthday, January 8th, exactly two years to the day after the release of The Next Day. You can pre-order it here. 



Elton John



A little background...

Back in September, Elton John began hitting the headlines for all  the wrong reasons when he was the subject of a prank call purportedly from Vladimir Putin to discuss gay rights, before getting another call from Putin – for real this time – a few days later. Elton seemed to take it all in his stride, pointing out that anything raising awareness of attitudes towards LGBT communities in Russia could only be a good thing. Then in October, just over two years on from the release of his last full-length offering, the well-received The Diving Board, the veteran singer-songwriter announced that a new album – his 33rd in a long and distinguished career – would arrive early next year, as well as releasing the album's lead-off single, 'Looking Up'.

 

What's it called?

It's called Wonderful Crazy Night. 

 

Any radical changes in sound planned?

Not if 'Looking Up' is anything to go by. Elton doesn't have much to prove to anyone and here he's just revelling in the kind of thing he does best, so don't expect anything too radical.

 

Who's producing it? Any special guests?

T Bone Burnett, who worked with Elton on The Diving Board, returns to produce the new record, giving a rootsy feel to proceedings that has proved a good fit for Elton's music. There are no guests to be seen here though, it's Elton all the way.

 

Will it really come out this year? And when?

It's schedule to be released on February 5th, you can pre-oder it here. 




Pearl Jam

 

A little background...

Since the band's last full-length offering, 2013's Lighting Bolt, Pearl Jam have been touring extensively, playing dates in Europe, North America and South America, as well as several members working on side projects of one type or another, including frontman Eddie Vedder's onstage appearances with The Who. In August, bassist Jeff Ament gave the first indication that a new album might be in the works soon, telling Vice magazine in an interview that “the band will probably try and get another record going in the next year”.

 

What's it called?

There's been no news of a title for the next album as yet.

 

Any radical changes in sound planned?

It's not clear whether or not the band have begun working on it, despite Ament's assertions that they intend to do so, so it's difficult to say. Ament didn't mention any particular aims in terms of direction or what they wanted to do, but going on their most recent output it seems unlikely they'll be making anything massively removed from their usual style of music.

 

Who's producing it? Any special guests?

It's too early to say on both fronts, but it's worth noting that the last two albums have seen the band return to working with producer Brendan O'Brien, who worked on many of the band's earlier albums such as Vs. and Vitalogy, so it seems as though he's re-established himself as the band's producer of choice. Whether that continues with the next record remains to be seen.

 

Will it really come out this year? And when?

It seems like very early days with this one, so while we could be looking at a release towards the end of 2016, it's not clear how much progress – if any – has been made since Jeff Ament's Vice interview. Pearl Jam do tend to produce a new album every three to four years though, so we're due another sometime soon...



Metallica

 

A little background...

For fans of Metallica, it must seem like a long wait for a new album - their last, Death Magnetic, arrived back in 2008. Since then the band has toured all over the world and released a handful of live EPs, as well as a collection of offcuts from the Death Magnetic sessions to mark the band's 30th anniversary. The only other releases in the last eight years have been a collaboration album with the late Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed entitled Lulu, and a soundtrack album from Metallica Through The Never, their project for Imax 3D cinemas that's part concert film, part fictional account of a roadie stuck in a street riot.

However, a recent interview with Kirk Hammett offered a ray of hope for fans, with the guitarist telling New York radio station The Edge that they had begun recording new material and that he expected a new album to arrive relatively soon.

 

What's it called?

We don't know yet. If there is a title, Hammett didn't reveal it.

 

Any radical changes in sound planned?

Hammett stated in the interview that the new material was progressing “along the same lines as Death Magnetic”, so it seems as though they'll be picking up pretty much where they left off.

 

Who's producing it? Any special guests?

James Hetfield confirmed Hammett's comments about working on a new record in a recent interview with the band's fanzine So What?, adding that the recordings were being produced by Greg Fidelman, who worked with the band on Death Magnetic. There has been no mention of guest appearances though.

 

Will it really come out this year? And when?

Hammett's guess is that a new album release will “most likely be in 2016, and at the very worst, at the beginning of 2017." So there you have it.




PJ Harvey

 

A little background...

Ever one to do things differently, last year saw the two-time Mercury Prize winner take the novel approach of announcing that the recording sessions for next album would be open to the public. For a month between January and February, visitors to London's Somerset House were invited to watch PJ Harvey and her band working on her new album in a structure designed by London architects Something & Son, which featured one-way glass which allowed visitors to peer in on the creative process without distracting the musicians at work. On October 9th, the singer's 46th birthday, Harvey and her band performed the first of two live shows, playing as many as 10 new tracks thought to be included on the new album. The second of these shows was the official launch for her project The Hollow of the Hand, a collaboration between the singer and war photographer Seamus Murphy comprising his photographs and poems written by Harvey on the pair's tour of war-torn countries, including Afghanistan and Kosovo.

 

What's it called?

No title for the album has been confirmed as yet.

 

Any radical departure in sound planned?

We're working on the assumption that the new tracks performed at the London shows are indeed among those to be included on the new album, in which case it doesn't seem as though there's anything too radical happening in terms of the record's direction, but there's a range of influences and instrumentation at work on the new songs, including everything from saxophones and a Mellotron to autoharp and bouzouki.

 

Who's producing it? Any special guests?

The album is being produced by Mark Ellis, better known to most simply as Flood, and John Parish. As for guests, it looks like it's just Ms. Harvey on this album.

 

Will it really come out his year? And when?

Although no official release date has been confirmed, PJ Harvey did post a video recently suggesting the album would arrive in the Spring, so it looks like this one's coming sooner rather than later.



Primal Scream

 

A little background...

Primal Scream's most recent album, 2013's More Light, was heralded by many as a return to form, receiving some of the best reviews since 2000's XTRMNTR. Produced by David Holmes, this was an album that recalled many of the best things about Primal Scream, thick with psychedelic grooves and big, gospel-fuelled tracks like single 'It's Alright, It's OK', the album's parting shot. The two years that have elapsed since have seen the band touring extensively, but also brought sad news concerning their former guitarist, Robert 'Throb' Young, who was found dead at his flat in Hove, Sussex, at the age of just 49.

Up until December there had been no news of any new recordings, but then a tweet from Primal Scream's official Twitter account announced a new album would be arriving soon, while a short trailer also appeared on their Youtube channel shortly afterwards.

 

What's it called?

It's going to be called Chaosmosis.

 

Any radical departure in sound planned?

There's not much to go on at the time of writing – the teaser clip is only seven seconds long – but it does indicate that the band will continue to occupy the middle ground between dance music and rock, with the clip featuring a pulsing guitar riff over a four-to-the-floor kick drum, but not much else.

 

Who's producing it? Any special guests?

We don't know who's been producing just yet – the band have yet to confirm this at the time of writing – but one artist that could be involved is Sky Ferreira; the model turned singer-songwriter posted the link to the album trailer the day after the band announced the new record, leading some to speculate that the silhouetted figure dancing in the video is Ferreira herself, and there had been rumours circulating earlier in 2015 that she and Bobby Gillespie had been working together.

 

Will it really come out this year? And when?

The new album is set to be released on March 18th.



Gwen Stefani

 

A little background...

It's been a full decade since the former No Doubt singer released a solo album and fans of the 'Hollerback Girl' singer could have been forgiven for wondering if they'd ever see another. It's not all been downtime though – in 2010, after a hiatus of their own, No Doubt reunited with the singer to begin writing for a new album, Push and Shove, which eventually emerged in 2012. In between Stefani has raised three boys with former husband Gavin Rossdale (she and the former Bush frontman divorced in 2015) and been a regular appearance as one of the judges on the U.S. version of The Voice. In the last couple of years though the singer has tentatively begun to release new music of her own, releasing two singles in 2014 – 'Baby Don't Lie' and 'Spark The Fire' – as well as guesting on tracks by Maroon 5 and Snoop Dogg, before releasing a third single, 'Used To Love You', in 2015, which she announced was the first single from an upcoming third solo album.

 

What's it called?

The title hasn't been revealed yet.

 

Any radical changes in sound planned?

It has been a decade since her last album, so you'd expect some sort of evolution, but it has to be said that the first two singles did sound like a bit of a throwback to the mid-noughties. Stefani is understood to have scrapped a bunch of tracks from the first writing sessions, so perhaps she felt the same way, but she's recently commented that the new album is “very honest” and her latest single does seem to hint at the breakdown of her marriage, so this could be her most personal record yet.

 

Who's producing it? Any special guests?

Various producers are rumoured to have been working on new tracks for the album, including Major Lazer's Diplo and Taylor Swift producers Justin Tranter and Mattman & Robin, while longtime friend and collaborator Pharrell is also likely to make a contribution, but none of the above have been confirmed and Stefani herself is playing her cards close to her chest. No guests have been revealed yet either.

 

Will it really come out this year? And when?

It's expected to arrive in the first half of 2016 – possibly even January or February - but there's no release date as yet so we'll have to wait and see on this one, but it does feel like activity around Stefani is beginning to ramp up a little so watch this space...



Red Hot Chili Peppers

 

A little background...

It's been five years since the Chilis' last full-length offering, 2011's I'm With You, the first to feature new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer after the departure – again – of John Frusciante. The band spent the next couple of years touring the album around the world, as well as joining Bruno Mars for his appearance at the 2014 Superbowl. As far back summer that year, Klinghoffer was talking up a new album, saying in August that the band had recorded as many as 30 new songs. Early 2015 saw the release of a live album recorded in Cardiff, then the band announced a string of summer shows across Europe for 2016, including a headline slot at Reading & Leeds, sparking rumours that the new album could be on the way soon.

 

What's it called?

The band have yet to reveal a title for the new album at the time of writing, so we don't know yet.

 

Any radical changes in sound planned?

You wouldn't have thought so – the Chili's have spent most of their careers ploughing their own unique funk-rock furrow, so we wouldn't expect anything radically different from the formula that has served them so well over the last couple of decades. There are a couple of hints that we might be looking at something a little different though; firstly, all of the recordings have been done in Flea's studio this time around, but perhaps most significantly it was announced that Rick Rubin would not be involved, marking the first time the band have recored an album without the Def Jam co-founder since 1989.

 

Who's producing it? Any special guests?

The band have confirmed that Danger Mouse will be replacing Rubin as producer for the new album, but there hasn't been any talk of guest slots and we wouldn't be surprised if there aren't any.

 

Will it really come out this year? And when?

It seems very likely given that they've obviously been working on new material for a couple of years now, and with a raft of summer gigs already booked we'd imagine it'll be here before then. There's no release date yet though.



Radiohead

 

A little background...

After the Radiohead's lengthy tour in support of 2011's King of Limbs was all wrapped up, the band were ready for a break and have been on hiatus ever since. Johnny Greenwood and Thom Yorke have been busying themselves with side projects in the meantime, with the former penning soundtracks for two Paul Thomas Anderson films – The Master and Inherent Vice – while the latter has released an album with the band's longtime producer Nigel Godrich under the Atoms for Peace banner. By summer 2015 though the first murmurs of a new record were beginning to surface, firstly with drummer Phil Selway revealing that the band were aiming to finish an album by the end of the year, then with Greenwood confirming in a Russian radio interview that lots of material had been recorded and that the band were “hoping” to tour a new record in 2016.

 

What's it called?

We don't know yet – Greenwood seemed to suggest they were still in the process of figuring out which if the new tracks would make up the album, so until that's done we wouldn't expect a title.

 

Any radical changes in sound planned?

Difficult to say with Radiohead; this is a band with plenty of previous form in terms of making a sudden left turn and confounding fans and critics alike – Kid A being a case in point – but the band have yet to unveil any of the new recordings.

 

Who's producing it? Any special guests?

We have no reason to believe it won't be Nigel Godrich manning the controls as usual, but there have been one or two subtle hints that the band might also be working with outside collaborators. It's all rumours and conjecture at this point through...

 

Will it really come out this year? And when?

The last we heard was from Thom Yorke himself in October, disputing a Consequence of Sound article saying the album was finished. It wasn't, at least not at that point, but barring a total rethink on the tracks they've done so far it looks likely we'll see this one at some point in 2016.



Bon Jovi

 

A little background...

2015 saw Bon Jovi release the first album in the band's history without former guitarist Richie Sambora, who decided to call it a day in 2013. The album, Burning Bridges, also marked the last release on their label Mercury, home to the band for the last 30 years, as well as being the first album not to include a songwriting credit for Desmond Child, who has contributed at least one track on every one of their LPs since Slippery When Wet. Less than a month after the album's release, Bon Jovi were already back at it and have confirmed that another new album is set to be released in 2016.

 

What's it called?

It's called This House Is Not For Sale.

 

Any radical changes in sound planned?

Highly unlikely, even with all the aforementioned changes. Bon Jovi have been around long enough to know which side their bread is buttered and they're not about to start messing with that now. Indeed, the band have stated that they've taken a 'back to basics' approach with the new album.

 

Who's producing it? Any special guests?

The producer is yet to be revealed, although rumours have been doing the rounds of fan forums that former Eurythmics keyboardist Dave Stewart is involved. No guests have been mentioned though.

 

Will it really come out this year? And when?

Jon Bon Jovi says yes, but there's no release date yet.

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