Nearly 55 years since they landed in America, the Beatles are still leading the pack in terms of record sales. 2018 saw vinyl album sales reach their 13th straight year of growth, with the "Fab Four's" 50th anniversary single of "Yellow Submarine" and "Eleanor Rigby" ranked the biggest selling single by Nielsen's Music. In all, the Beatles sold an impressive 321,000 copies of its catalog solely on vinyl. The band's top seller for 2018 was 1969's Abbey Road, which ranked as the overall fourth biggest selling vinyl album with 76,000 copies sold. The Beatles' 1968 double album, the "White Album" came in at Number 11 with 56,000 units, and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band made the list at Number 13 with sales of 50,000 copies.
The Top 10 biggest selling vinyl acts of 2018 were: Pink Floyd (177,000), David Bowie (150,000), Panic! At The Disco (148,000), Fleetwood Mac (139,000), Led Zeppelin (138,000), Michael Jackson (131,000), Jimi Hendrix (119,000), Metallica (116,000) and Queen (113,000).(Billboard)
The inductees for the 2019 Songwriter's Hall of Fame (SHOF) have been rolled out, with the SHOF gala induction ceremony will take place on June 13th at Manhattan's Marriott Marquee. Entering the Hall this year are Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Eagles songwriter and Glenn Frey collaborator Jack Tempchin, John Prine, Dallas Austin, Tom T. Hall, and Missy Elliott. (Press release)
Among the shortlisted songwriters who missed the cut this year are: ELO's Jeff Lynne, Beach Boys co-founder Mike Love, the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, Vince Gill, Tommy James, Mariah Carey, P.F. Sloan & Steve Barri, Roger Nichols, Lloyd Price, Jimmy Cliff, Monkees songwriters/producers Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, and Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham.
Billy Joel has just announced a July 11th show as part of his ongoing residency at New York's Madison Square Garden. The announcement comes on the heels of the "Piano Man" rolling out 2019 baseball stadium gigs in Baltimore; Milwaukee; Denver; Boston; and Arlington, Texas.
UPDATED: Billy Joel tour dates (subject to change):
January 24 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
February 14 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
March 9 – Phoenix, AZ – Chase Field
March 21 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
April 12 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
April 26 – Milwaukee, WI – Miller Park
May 9 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
May 24 – Philadelphia, PA – Citizens Bank Park
June 2 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
June 22 – London, England – Wembley Stadium
July 11 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
July 26 – Baltimore, MD – Camden Yards
August 8 – Denver, CO – Coors Field
September 14 – Boston, MA – Fenway Park
October 12 – Arlington, TX – Globe Life Park
On Saturday night (January 12th), Carole King made a surprise appearance during the fifth anniversary performance of the Broadway musical based on her life, Beautiful, now playing at Manhattan's Steven Sondheim Theatre. During the second to last number of the Tony and Grammy Award-winning show, instead of actress Chilina Kennedy performing the musical's title song recreating King's 1971 Carnegie Hall concert, King herself surprised the crowd by performing it herself. She stayed on with the cast to sing the encore of "I Feel The Earth Move" and afterwards addressed the crowd, saying, "What a night! It was amazing to be a part of this. This musical has been such a magical experience. To be here and celebrate our fifth anniversary with so much joy and love is amazing." (Deadline)
Jack White's reactivated Raconteurs will release a three-inch single this Record Store Day (April 13th). It will be part of a series of three-inch singles, which will apparently be accompanied by a special Crosley turntable to play them. The song that appears on the single — at least in the image that was released — is an older track called "Store Bought Bones" and not something from the Raconteurs' upcoming new LP. This isn't the first time White has released three-inch records. In 2005, the White Stripes released a miniature record player called a "Triple Inchophone," along with a series of three-inches that now fetch big bucks through online marketplaces. (Exclaim)
Faith No More singer Mike Patton has announced his participation in the upcoming benefit concert in memory of late Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell. Billed as "I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell," the event will take place in Los Angeles on January 16th and feature performances by Foo Fighters and Metallica, plus appearances from members of Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple Of The Dog and other surprise guests. Patton was supposed to sing the U.S. national anthem at Saturday’s (January 12th) Los Angeles Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys NFL game in Los Angeles, but bowed out due to ill health. (The PRP)