Tag: Pop and Rock Music

Goodbye Yellow Lycra: See Elton John’s ‘Rocketman’ Looks Up Close

To say that Elton John is unmasked in the biopic “Rocketman” would be a grave understatement. He’s dehorned, his wings cut off, feathers plucked and rhinestones popped off, until, at the end of this musical romp through the rock star’s early career, we’re left looking at a man in a simple black Puma tracksuit and […]

Read More

The Playlist: Taylor Swift Seeks Harmony, and 10 More New Songs

ImageTaylor Swift announced her seventh album, “Lover,” with a perky track, “You Need to Calm Down.”CreditMario Anzuoni/Reuters [embedded content] Taylor Swift looks around and sees enemies everywhere on the aggrieved but not triumphant “You Need to Calm Down.” Tsk-tsk is a familiar mode for her, and typically she inhabits it with cheekiness and a raw […]

Read More

In ‘Rolling Thunder Revue,’ Scorsese Tries to Capture a Wild Dylan Tour

Throughout “Rolling Thunder Revue,” the new film by Martin Scorsese chronicling Bob Dylan’s celebrated barnstorming tour in the fall of 1975, the participants struggle with how best to describe the event. It was like a “con man, carny, medicine show of old,” says Allen Ginsberg; “a circus atmosphere, dog and pony show,” says Sam Shepard; […]

Read More

Elton John and Bernie Taupin on How ‘Rocketman’ Captures an R-Rated Life

Elton John is not a nostalgist. Neither is his songwriting partner of more than 50 years, Bernie Taupin, who supplies the lyrics that inspire John’s melodies. “I think one of the keys that has driven us all these years, it’s the fact that we never look back,” Taupin said. But now the world can witness […]

Read More

Mark Ronson, a Party Boy No More, Tries on Melancholy After a Parade of Hits

For going on five years now, the record producer Mark Ronson says he has been known by no small number of casual music fans, if they can identify him at all, as “the white guy from the Bruno Mars video.” The fact that “Uptown Funk,” one of the most successful and recognizable pop smashes of […]

Read More

A Billboard No. 1 Is at Stake, So Here’s an Album With Your Taylor Swift Hoodie

For decades, the phrase “No. 1 with a bullet” has referred to a song or album that zooms to the top of the Billboard charts. Given current music industry practices, “No. 1 with a T-shirt” may be more accurate. Lately, many artists — and their record companies — have been trying to game the system […]

Read More

Bob Dylan’s Glam Hootenanny: Returning to Rolling Thunder

How distant the mid-1970s seem now. They were unkempt, hairy, hedonistic, improvisational, analog, inefficient — anything but neatly calculated and Instagram-ready. Post-psychedelic and pre-AIDS, they were a continuation of the idealistic, natural 1960s, yet they were also an immediate precursor to the polymorphous, synthetic, role-playing disco era. The bitterness of Vietnam and Watergate lingered; hippie […]

Read More

Hootie & the Blowfish, Great American Rock Band (Yes, Really)

ImageHootie and the Blowfish, from left: Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, Darius Rucker and Jim (Soni) Sonefeld. After a 10-year hiatus, the band is recording again and touring for the 25th anniversary of its breakthrough album, “Cracked Rear View.”CreditBryan Derballa for The New York Times Hootie & the Blowfish remember all the slights. Trent Reznor saying […]

Read More

Next Out of Prince’s Vaults: The Hits He Gave Away

Questlove, the drummer for the Roots who has a side career as a D.J. specializing in Prince tracks, is eagerly awaiting the arrival of “Originals,” a collection of 15 demos “the Purple One” made for songs that he gave away to other artists — fascinating rough drafts of genius for a supremely polished musician. But he […]

Read More

‘Rocketman’ Review: The Fantastical Tale of Elton John, Survivor, Rock God, Camp Icon

The first album I ever bought with my own allowance was “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy,” one of two studio LPs Elton John released in 1975. Nestled inside the sleeve was a graphic-novel-style booklet about the singer’s life, a source of great fascination to me at the time. I spent many hours that […]

Read More

Annie Lennox Cleans House

Annie Lennox is talking about death. It isn’t morbid, nor is it vain, a celebrity’s ponderous concerns about her legacy. Instead, the former Eurythmics singer is matter-of-fact about being a woman of a certain age — 64 — and thus someone who has begun to look backward rather than forward. She is simply reminding me, […]

Read More