New Music Tuesday: 5.23.06

A little bit of a retro theme to this weeks featured new releases.

Def Leppard released an album of cover tunes. They pay their tribute to the 70’s rock that they helped put out of business with their hair and their “hey hey” drum machine. On Yeah!, Def Leppard tackle Bowie, Blondie, and Badfinger. Among others, they also try to do justice to T. Rex’s “20th Century Boy” and The Faces’ “Stay With Me.”

Huey Lewis released a greatest hits album this week. If you grew up in the 80’s like I did, you will appreciate some of the gems on this one. Yes, he, like my friend Eric Clapton, has already released a greatest hits album. This one has all the greats on it. You’ve got your “Heart of Rock n’ Roll,” your “Hip to Be Square,” and of course “The Power of Love.” And if your mind hasn’t already taken you back to pegged pants and poofy mullets, he’s also included some of my personal favorites in “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Back in Time,” and “Doing it All For My Baby.” I wish timeless were a word I could use to describe Huey Lewis’ music, but it drips with 80’s cheese…nacho cheese, pump cheese, accessible cheddar cheese.

So, apparently John Carter Cash was digging through the House of Cash studios and stumbled upon some tapes of his dad of previously unreleased work. It sounds very much like what he and Rick Rubin accomplished with the American Recordings. Some covers, some traditional songs all stripped down to just the man in black and his guitar. Johnny Cash recorded this material between 1972 and 1982. Personal File reflects a premonition of where his career would go in 20-30 years later.

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