Sunday, January 2, 2011

What do the following pop legends have in common?

They all have brand new albums with brand new material.

Yes, it's 2011 and it seems a cluster of distant planets in the pop firmament have come into freakish alignment. Despite it being a whole three decades now since new wave 80s pop entered its imperial phase, a select few survivors from that era are still recording, bless them. It’s as if Lady GaGa was just a bad dream.

Duran Duran – All You Need Is Now
Produced by in-demand Mark Ronson and featuring collaborations with Kelis and Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic. Released on iTunes December 21, it shot straight to number 1 in US (pop albums), UK and Italy. Lineup includes all original members except Andy Taylor. February 2 marks the 30th anniversary of the band’s first single Planet Earth.

OMD – History of Modern
Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys resurfaced in September 2010 after a 14-year absence with a shimmering, contemporary-yet-retro sound. Sister Marie Says, the second single, is Enola Gay reincarnate. Track down the iTunes-only bonus mashup with Aretha Franklin.

Bryan Ferry – Olympia
Featuring Kate Moss on the sleeve in a recreation of the Manet painting after which the album is named. Includes co-writes with Dave Stewart (ex-Eurythmics), Scissor Sisters and Groove Armada, plus inputs from former Roxy Music members Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera and Andy Mackay. The bonus album includes Fred Falke’s sumptuous take on You Can Dance. It's been FORTY YEARS since the formation of Roxy Music!

The Human League – Credo
Much anticipated February release features the eerily vintage-sounding Night People. Includes the original vocal lineup of Phil Oakey, Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley. It's been 30 years since the release of Dare, one of the most influential albums in pop music.

Blondie – Panic Of Girls
Back with a promisingly Killers-like rock-synth sound, Blondie release a new studio album in the coming months. Mother was made available as a free download and two other tracks surfaced last month in the UK's Mail On Sunday CD. Debbie Harry is joined by original 1975 members Chris Stein, Clem Burke and Jimmy Destri, among others. December marked the 34th anniversary of the release of their debut album Blondie.

Also worth noting... Kim Wilde’s Come Out & Play (August 2010) includes collabs with Nik Kershaw and Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory. Blancmange are set to release their first studio album since 1985, titled Blanc Burn on March 7.

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