Sad news this week, with two legendary disco pioneers passing away. Donna Summer and Robin Gibb of Bee Gees both lost their respective battles with cancer over the last week. Tributes have been paid to both stars, who were leading lights in the birth of disco music in the 1970s.
Robin Gibb's struggle with cancer has been well-documented in the last few months. He passed away on Sunday night (May 20, 2012), having suffered a serious decline in his health, caused by cancer of the colon. As a member of the Bee Gees with his brothers Barry and Maurice, Robin was a hugely respected songwriter and singer. The band were characterised by their water-tight harmonies and their music became globally popular, aided by their recording of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
Stevie Wonder has paid tribute to both Robin and Donna, saying "'We live in a world with changes happening more rapidly. We won't see them ever again. That's a heartbreak. The blessing is we're able to feel the pain, which means we were able to feel some love from that person; feel the experiences the music gave us."
Donna Summer died of lung cancer on May 17, 2012. She had been working hard on recording a new album and had concealed the extent of her illness from all but her closest friends and family. In the 1970s and 1980s, her work with Giorgio Moroder, on tracks such as 'I Feel Love' and 'On the Radio.'
Videos of the Week...The Jezabels - 'City Girl'...'City Girl' is the latest single to be taken from The Jezabels' album 'Prisoner.' The Aussie band are already a hit in their native country and are starting to make waves across the globe with their morose guitar pop. With a distinctive '80s sound, the video to 'City Girl' shows a young girl walking the streets of the city at night, soundtracked by this atmospheric number from The Jezabels.
Blood Red Shoes - 'Lost Kids'...'Lost Kids' is the second single from Blood Red Shoes' 2012 album 'In Time To Voices.' Steve and Laura can be seen thrashing away at their instruments, in a dark warehouse space, doused in red, black and white. The song encapsulated a sense of frustration, without hanging on a specific event.
Fractures - 'Ride'...This South London band release their debut single 'Ride' via Distiller Records. The video sees them in theatrical mode, a dark and dramatic shoot, playing up to the band's image. They've already been tipped as ones to watch by NME this year and this radio friendly tune should certainly see them getting some attention.
Album Recommendations... Best Coast - The Only Place...The latest full length offering from Wichita's indie darlings Best Coast looks set to add to the success of 'Crazy For You.'
Songwriter Bethany Cosentino has been explaining in interviews that she's trying to expand on her subject matter, having built herself a reputation for writing songs about relationships and heartbreak. That said, 'The Only Place' is still rife with the "underbelly of heartbreak and dysfunctional relationships," underneath the California sunshine.
Metric - Metric Music International...Making as much of a statement with the music as they are with their choice of album title, this latest album from Metric proves that "after 14 years together and nine years after the release of their debut album. Metric are still as good and relevant as ever."
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.