Yes, the Rumors are True: We’ve Got Another CD Up for Grabs, and the Winner Could Be You!

Hey! It's Pure Pop Radio's pile of CDs!

Hey! It’s Pure Pop Radio’s pile of CDs!

See, the way it works is we’ve got this pile of CDs and every time we look at that pile, we’ve got to give one of those CDs away. And so we shall.

The Longplayer Orchestra's How's Life on Earth?

The Longplayer Orchestra’s How’s Life on Earth?

Up for grabs this rainy Tuesday morning is the latest album from one of Pure Pop Radio’s favorite melodic pop collectives, a group from Sweden that mixes their love for the music of Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra with a mastery of contemporary, hook-laden tunes. How’s Life on Earth? is the Longplayer Orchestra’s second album, released last November. You can sample a few of the songs from this spectacular album by clicking on the links below.

It's a whole lot of the Longplayer Orchestra!

It’s a whole lot of the Longplayer Orchestra!

We would love to send a copy of How’s Life on Earth? straight to your mailbox, but you’ve got to be in it to win it. Simply fill in the form below and make sure to type “Excellent!” in the Comment field. Contest ends this coming Sunday, April 20, at midnight. Enter only once. Have fun and good luck!

“In the Corner of My Dreams” – http://open.spotify.com/track/7pwUGg2DeSKm5mEumlMn2B

“New Dreams” – http://open.spotify.com/track/65ZE2SrgYWqWGOVEB6SE9G

“If it ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It” – http://open.spotify.com/track/51FqE0oIUjKpqGDk1ndtuo

 

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

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Listen! Download! How About Doing Both? Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation with Andy Klingensmith and Riley Smith is Now Posted on Our PodOMatic Podcast Page

Andy Klingensmith's Bright Again

Andy Klingensmith’s Bright Again

Missed it last week? No worries: Our exclusive Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interview with Andy Klingensmith and his pal and drummer Riley Smith is now posted on our PodOMatic podcast page. Listen! Download! Do both! We all love ya either way!

Andy and Riley talk exclusively to us about Andy’s latest smash EP, Bright Again. This is another hall-of-fame release from one of pop’s brightest new lights. Don’t miss our sit down with Andy and Riley!

Enjoy!

 

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Listen to Andy Klingensmith and Riley Smith on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation on PodOMatic!

Listen to Andy Klingensmith and Riley Smith on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation on PodOMatic!

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Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! It’s Early Lennon and McCartney Tonight on Every Little Thing!

Ken Michaels' Every Little Thing...For the Beatles Fan Who Craves All Things Fab! Airs Every Monday at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio!

Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing…For the Beatles Fan Who Craves All Things Fab! Airs Every Monday at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio!

Ken Michaels has a real corker of a show for you tonight–a fab kind of corker, if you will! It’s Every Little Thing night on Pure Pop Radio tonight at 9 pm ET–another in our series of celebrations of all things fab!

Ken has Anthology kind of tracks on his mind tonight, along with a Paul McCartney song written for none other than the great vocalist Peggy Lee. But wait–there’s more! In the third segment of tonight’s program, he’s bringing seven very cool, early Lennon and McCartney songs to your ears–from “Hello Little Girl” to “Catcall.” You don’t want to miss this!

Set your Ringo alarm clocks for tonight’s hour-long, can’t-miss edition of Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing, right here on your home for the melodic pop hits–the original 24-hour pure pop music Internet radio station!

 

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

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In Conversation is Taking a Weeklong Siesta, But Just Wait ‘Til Next Week!

When in the air, Scott Brookman flies in his Smellicopter!

When in the air, Scott Brookman flies in his Smellicopter!

Our hardworking, nose-to-the-grindstone staff–our dedicated Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation writers, engineers and general do-this, do-that folks–are checked in at some high-end hotel this week–one of the ones that have those fluffy, white bathrobes you can buy for a whole lot of coin. They’re taking a break for whatever reason, meaning that there will not be one of those wonderful, new-to-you shows this week.

But next week, and here’s your aha moment for the day: Next week, we’ll be bringing you a lively, no-holds-barred session with the one and only Scott Brookman. It’s a good one, you betcha.

So have a great week–have a siesta and a cocktail on us–and be here next Wednesday and Thursday for another classic back-and-forth on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation! Until then!

 

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

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We’ve Got a Winner! The Tor Guides’ CD Will Soon Be On Its Way to…

The Tor Guides' superb 2013 melodic pop album is up for grabs, and you could be the winner!

The Tor Guides’ superb 2013 melodic pop album will soon be on its way to…

Congratulations and salutations to Dermott Carr, who is the latest winner of a real, honest-to-goodness certified melodic pop music CD from Pure Pop Radio. Watch your mail, for soon the wonderfully vibrant sounds of the Tor Guides will be filling your house with melodic goodness.

You too can be a winner. Keep an eye out for the next cool contest here at the home of the melodic pop hits–the original 24-hour pop music radio station, Pure Pop Radio!

 

 

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

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Apples, Apples, Everywhere

(Here is a look at XTC’s wonderful, unfortunately out-of-print, Apple Box. It originally appeared on the buhdge website on November 6, 2005. Note that the two new songs discussed below were also available on a single, promotional CD entitled Apple Bite and as part of the also-no-longer-available Apple Set, which also came with two t-shirts and a badge.)

XTC's Apple Set

XTC’s Apple Set

Just released by XTC’s Idea Records, Apple Box brings together the entirety of the Apple Venus project as originally envisioned by the band: a two-record set, one acoustic, the other electric–Apple Venus and Wasp Star all in one place, with their respective demos discs, Homespun and Homegrown, in tow. Apple Box rights the wrongs, and then some.

Along with all of the music, you get a spiffy, well-designed 64-page book sporting all of the lyrics to the songs and new notes from Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding (who also provide their autographs on the cover). There’s a surprise that bursts out at you when you open the box; I won’t spoil it here, though (it’s very unexpected and very cool). There’s another surprise: a coupon you mail in so the folks at Idea can send you a heretofore unknown goodie. That’s perfect. I love surprises!

But wait…there’s more! You also get a plastic card with a little scratch-off area on the back. Rub a penny over it and, voila, a number is revealed that you use to download two brand-new XTC songs, the first such numbers since Wasp Star. And, boy, are they wonderful. (You can also download a ringtone for your cell phone from any country.)

XTC's Apple Bite

XTC’s Apple Bite

Colin’s wistful, breezy melodic masterpiece, “Say It,” is an instant classic, with a warm, affecting vocal performance from Moulding and an extremely satisfying, natural chord progression. Beautiful harmonies, too, adorn this sweet tale of spreading the gospel of love before it’s too late. The lyrics are among the bassist’s best. For example, this tasty verse: “Say it very soon/When you take your tea and toast/Don’t leave the house without saying/Whose toast you love the most.” Very, very endearing, very clever, and very English.

Andy’s new song, the lively, poppy “Spiral,” a groovy love letter to the 45 rpm disc and all its magical qualities, is fun all the way, adorned with unique chord changes and varied connecting musical tissue, not to mention a generous sense of humor. The ending is a happy, smiling surprise. Instantly memorable and catchy and classic. A real toe-tapper, this is.

Yes, you have to buy Apple Box to get these very cool and indispensable new songs, and, yeah, I know, you already have all the music, but you don’t have this very nifty collectable, and you don’t want your collection to have a hole in it, do you?

Enough said. Plunk down yer cash already.

Alan Haber
November 6, 2005

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

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The Warbles: They’re Still Fuzzy

(The following review appeared July 4, 2005 on the buhdge website. It appears here with only a few changes made.)

Andy Partridge's Fuzzy Warbles 5

Andy Partridge’s Fuzzy Warbles 5

With the release in 2002 of the first few volumes of Fuzzy Warbles discs, another cottage industry–that of illicit Andy Partridge demo collecting–was crushed in its tracks. Suddenly, here were great sounding recordings straight from the man himself–everything from demos to songs offered to, and rejected by, other artists; instrumental weirdness; and other groovy musical trinkets. No more trading of ninth generation dubs necessary. Here was the real thing, and lots of it.

Six volumes in, and two more to go to complete the series, Partridge is continuing to come up with collections stuffed to the gills with pearls and diamonds and all manner of heretofore undiscovered treasure. There seems to be no end to the delights being unearthed and passed on, and we are all the better for it.

If you’re a Partridge fan (and, of course, you are), you’ll dig these discs without me having to convince you of their worth. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out a few highlights per volume, so here I go:

On Volume 5, “I Defy You Gravity” is the keeper, a hit song if ever there was one. Written for, and rejected by, as Partridge calls her, “disco lite chanteuse” Sophie Ellis-Bextor, this vaguely dance-oriented pop song has one of those XTC-ish melodies that defy classification, other than to say it’s catchy as catchy can. And it includes a lyric line that is typically inventive: “Isaac Newton’s annoyed with me.” Of course he is! A keeper of the highest order.

More Volume 5 highlights: a fine, tambourine-heavy, four-track demo of Skylarking’s “Earn Enough for Us,” the 007-meets-underwater marching chorus instrumental “Aqua Deum” from the film Ocean’s Daughter; and the majestic, previously-unheard “My Land is Burning,” a criticism of government set against a old-folkish melody.

Andy Partridge's Fuzzy Warbles 6

Andy Partridge’s Fuzzy Warbles 6

As good as Volume 5 is, Volume 6 is even better per pound. Try on for size the sprightly song written for, but not used in, the film James and the Giant Peach. “The Stinking Rich Song” finds Partridge in fine child-esque mettle, adopting a variety of voices perfect to communicate the thoughts of those who might be…stinking rich. Very clever and fun to listen to.

Why XTC didn’t record the wonderful, seemingly-effortless pure pop delight “I Can’t Tell What Truth is Anymore” is anyone’s guess. Scribed for the band’s Nonsuch album, it would have fit well there, or on the second Dukes of Stratosphear release. You won’t be able to get this one out of your head. “Tiny Circus of Life” was used as the title for an XTC greatest hits CD in France, and, lo and behold, here it is the title of a lively, previously-unheard song sporting lots of cool changes and a typically offbeat approach.

But wait: There’s more! “In My Hand,” written by illustrator friend Mark Thomas and Martin “Woody” Wood, was recorded by Partridge at the behest of Thomas’ wife for Mark’s birthday. A song that fits snugly in what Partridge calls “masturbators corner,” comprising this and three other demos appearing side by side by side by side here (including Oranges and Lemons’ “Pink Thing”), it’s a well-written, hooky tune with an instantly memorable chorus. You’ll swear Partridge wrote it using a pseudonym. The closing song on Volume 6, “End of the Pier,” yet another orphan from the Nonsuch writing sessions, shines with dance band underpinning and some of Partridge’s best lyrics, and another wish-I’d-written-it melody for the ages.

Once again accompanied by booklets featuring Partridge’s song-by-song commentary and adorned by smartly designed, postage-stamp covers magically created by Andrew Swainson, the Fuzzy Warbles series continues to delight. Partridge says volumes 7 and 8 will put an end to the gravy train. I, for one, hope he decides to let the gravy continue to flow.

Alan Haber
July 4, 2005

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

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Win! Win! Win! A Great CD is Up for Grabs and It Could Be Yours!

The Tor Guides' superb 2013 melodic pop album is up for grabs, and you could be the winner!

The Tor Guides’ superb 2013 melodic pop album is up for grabs, and you could be the winner!

We’ve got a sealed copy of one of the best melodic pop albums of 2013, and we’re fixing to give it away. And, yes, it could wind up being yours!

One of Pure Pop Radio’s favorite spins of 2013, the Tor Guides’ Lots of the Pops! Volume 1: Caught in a Sweet Refrain sports a baker’s dozen catchy songs with hooks that grab hold of you and don’t let go. From the straight-ahead bubblegum pop of “Happy” to the lovely mid-tempo ballad “If I Didn’t Love You” and the remarkable, gorgeous opening track, “Dynamo,” a dynamic pop song with one of those hooks we just mentioned, this is a fantastic, classic album that you need in your collection. (Check the album out on Spotify; we’ve provided links to a couple of songs below.)

So, it’s lucky we have a copy to give away. All you have to do to win is enter your name and email address in the fields below (type “The Tor Guides” in the Comment section). We’ll announce the winner this coming Monday, April 14. Contest ends midnight ET, Sunday, April 13. Enter only once, please.

Have at it! Good luck!

The Tor Guides – “Happy” http://open.spotify.com/track/6O5y5YNKq8QpxfPJ5EOypU

The Tor Guides – “If I Didn’t Love You” http://open.spotify.com/track/6Kcrkn8UyN8Rhd6mUosgpu

 

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Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

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I Love that Song! #4: “All Together Now” by the Beatles

The Beatles in Yellow Submarine

The Beatles in Yellow Submarine

When the soundtrack to the Beatles’ animated film Yellow Submarine was released in January 1969, fans were gifted with four brand-new songs and two they already had–”Yellow Submarine,” which originally appeared on Revolver in 1966; and “All You Need is Love,” which was included on 1967′s Magical Mystery Tour, released in the U.S. as an album on November 27, 1967 and in England as a double-pack EP on December 8, 1967.

Although one of the new songs (“Hey Bulldog”) was finished in February 1968, the other three were recorded in 1967. One of those songs was a seemingly simple and catchy little ditty from Paul McCartney entitled “All Together Now.” It served as the closing number to the film, beginning hot on the heels of the only scene in which the actual, human Beatles appeared. After George, Paul and Ringo show off souvenirs they picked up on their journey (George had the submarine’s motor, Paul had a little “Love,” and Ringo had a hole in his pocket (“Well, half a hole, hanyway”). Then, the Beatles gave the enthusiastic countdown–Ringo: “One!”, Paul: “Two!”, George: “Three!”, John: “Four!”–and, as they gave their shout out, the acoustic strum of “All Together Now” began.

Using “All Together Now” as the closing number of the movie was a masterful stroke by the filmmakers. Following a lively, if brief, onscreen appearance by the Beatles, the song seemed more important and, perhaps, mysterious. “Newer and bluer meanies have been sighted within the vicinity of this theater,” John warned. “There’s only one way to go out.”  “How’s that?” asked George. “Singing!” said Lennon, smiling a deeply, broad smile.

“All Together Now” is basically a children’s song full of nonsense lyrics (“One, two, three, four/Can I have a little more?/Five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten/I love you”), although a later verse is aimed directly at the adults in the audience: “Black, white, green, red/Can I take my friend to bed?”, which is followed by the psychedelic wash of nine simple words: “Pink, brown, yellow, orange and blue/I love you.”

"Newer and bluer meanies have been sighted within the vicinity of this website!"

“Newer and bluer meanies have been sighted within the vicinity of this website!”

On screen, the song’s title is translated into a variety of languages and, at the song’s end, the tune honks and the movie is over. The song speeds up a bit towards its finale, engaging the audience and inspiring them to applaud, to stand up and cheer, which is what I remember doing way back in 1968 when my family went to see Yellow Submarine at a movie theater in Syosset, Long Island. I was 13 and a, b, c, d and all of the other letters swirled around me. I had just seen a wonderful film, full of wonderful Beatles music, and the real, honest-to-God Beatles were actually on the screen! I looked around to see if any Blue Meanies had indeed infiltrated the theater. I might have looked under the seat! Thankfully, they had not. They had, however, infiltrated my imagination. Would my father have known how to defend us against their bluish attack? I don’t think so.

When the question is asked–”What are your favorite songs that Paul McCartney wrote while in the Beatles?”–I would highly doubt that “All Together Now” is listed very often. It would be on such a list if I were making it, though. It takes a whole lot of natural talent for a songwriter to put pen to paper and create a song so seemingly simple yet utterly complex–a song that people would be singing to themselves on the way out of a movie theater and then again at home, singing along with the record. “All Together Now” is magically catchy–a song that sinks its hooks deep into your soul. It showed another side to McCartney’s talents, and let’s face it, to go from the rough-and-tumble wildness of “Helter Skelter” to a catchy children’s song is no easy task.

For people of a certain age, the experience of seeing Yellow Submarine was quite special. Mom and Dad may not have “gotten it,” by the kids did. And after the pace of the film ramped up as “All Together Now” reached its final seconds, and the theater lights brightened and the crowd started heading for the exits, entered their cars with the kids in the back seat, there was quiet in the vehicle. The vinyl upholstery was quiet as a mouse, in fact, as the parents wondered if their kids were going to be good citizens and go to bed with little or no fuss. Secretly, on the ride home, and as they fell asleep in their beds, the kids were singing the songs to themselves, reveling in some of the best scenes swirling around in their head. All, actually, was  great and so spectacular.

After so many years of crawling inside the Beatles’ golden catalog, I never get tired of reliving the thrill and majesty of the first time I heard, say, “Lady Madonna” or “Hey Jude.” “All Together Now” reminds me of being in that movie theater, going on such a wild and imaginative adventure along with my favorite group in the whole wide world. Even now, as I type these words, in my mind I am munching on popcorn and singing along.

Alan Haber | April 8, 2014

 

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Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

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Scott Gagner Interview from In Conversation Now Posted on Our Podcast Page

Scott Gagner's marvelous Rise and Shine

Scott Gagner’s marvelous Rise and Shine

Now added to the most comprehensive body of interviews with melodic pop music’s biggest stars is our exclusive talk with the great Scott Gagner, whose new album Rise and Shine is a hall-of-fame-worthy collection of sweetly-realized balladry and one of the best records of 2014. If the stars are properly aligned at the end of the year, this album will wind up on many best-of lists. Yes, it’s that good.

Scott spoke to us about his travels along his musical path, writing songs, and having master drumsmith Prairie Prince (The Tubes) lay down the beat on his album Rhapsody in Blonde.  And what of Rise and Shine? There, you’ll find Posie Ken Stringfellow multi-instrumentalizing and singing. Oh yeah, that Prairie Prince. That Ken Stringfellow. Pretty cool, huh?

Listen to Scott’s interview from last week’s Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation by surfing on over to our PodOMatic podcast page. And while you’re there, why not listen to some of the other classic chats we’ve had with some very cool musical customers? Have fun!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Listen to Scott Gagner on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation on PodOMatic!

Listen to Scott Gagner on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation on PodOMatic!

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