Rock critic Ken Tucker says that Beyonce's new album, titled 4, is something of a risk â it's not merely a collection of new songs, but a personal reassessment of the kind of pop star she wants to be.
The guitarist opens up about his music, his legendary journeys on the road with The Rolling Stones and his occasionally contentious relationship with lead singer Mick Jagger in a new memoir called Life.
Bruno Mars is a 25-year-old singer, songwriter and producer who's worked on hit singles for numerous hip-hop and soul artists. Rock critic Ken Tucker says Mars' new album, Doo-Wops and Hooligans, is "an impressive, varied and intense experience."
Critic Ed Ward tells the story of one of the most unusual female soul singers to come out of the early 1960s. Sugar Pie DeSanto, who grew up with Etta James, rose to national prominence when her single "I Want to Know" reached the Billboard charts. Fifty years later, she continues to perform and do her signature move, a back flip, on stage.
Package tours in the early years of rock and soul were varied grab bags. But none were like The T.A.M.I. Show. Filmed in October 1964 in Santa Monica, the lineup included performers who weren't stars yet — like The Rolling Stones — and those at the peak of their fame, like Lesley Gore and Jan and Dean. Critic Milo Miles reviews the concert, just released on DVD.
Wilson Pickett helped define 1960s soul, along with Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and James Brown. Critic Ed Ward reviews Funky Midnight Mover, a new six-disc compilation of Pickett's recordings, released by Rhino Handmade.
While most record companies of the 1940s and 1950s made money in one genre, Cincinnati-based King Records spread the love to R & B, rockabilly, bluegrass, western swing and country. Jon Hartley Fox tells the story in his new book King of the Queen City.