News Roundup: Virgin Records, Ultrarista, Bob Dylan and More

Richard Branson (you know, that guy with all that broadband speed and the blonde facial hair) has revealed he may be buying back Virgin records. A statement on his blog (accompanied by the thumbnail pic) said:

Looking into buying back Virgin Records – a wonderful opportunity to recreate a dynamic independent label…

Branson sold the label back in 1992 and it is currently owned by EMI/Universal Music Group. Maybe he sense the shift from the Big 3 (was four until the absorption of EMI into UMG to indie labels and is interested in being apart of that movement again. We can only hope. Also, in the thumbnail, you can see Branson sat inside the building just behind the glass.

Nigel Godrich (The Fifth Beatle, the sixth Radiohead) and his band Ultrarista have announced their debut album. Two singles have been released so far, Static Light and Smalltalk. It is out in October and the track list is as follows.

  1. Bad Insect
  2. Gold Dayzz
  3. Static Light
  4. Strange Formula
  5. Our Song
  6. Easier
  7. Smalltalk
  8. Party Line
  9. Wash It Over
  10. You’re Out
Speaking of Radiohead and Godrich, Atom’s for Peace (Thom Yorke’s band named after a track on the almighty ‘The Eraser’) are still yet to release their album, however they are releasing a vinyl record at the end of July. Featuring a remix of Other Lives (they supported Radiohead earlier this year) as well as a remix of the AFP track ‘Other Sides’, the vinyl is hopefully a look at what is to come.
Bob Dylan’s 35th release, ‘Tempest’ has been announced. The announcement coincides with the 50th Anniversary of his debut. The album drops in September, featuring 10 tracks and produced by Jack Frost.

New Hot Chip video has been released too

We’ll conclude this post with some tributes to 3 artists who have died.

Jon Lord and Bob Babbitt both died yesterday. Lord was the organist and keyboardist to Deep Purple and White Snake. His defining Hammond organ use made him a contender to any guitarist, as Lord fed the Hammond through a marshall amp making him a gnarling beast of a soloist too. He helped carve the sound of Deep Purple and succoured himself in history as a great player.

Bob Babbit may be less well known by name, but his importance and significance is staggering. He was, to quote, ‘the only bassist who could replace James Jamerson’. Babbit (as with Jamerson) was a member of the Motown backing group ‘The Funk Brothers’ and he played on various classic songs with artists spanning from Stevie Wonder to Edwin Starr.

This morning Kitty Wells also died at the grand old age of 92. She was a pioneer in the country music scene for female vocalists and her songs have been covered by other artists, Dolly Parton being one such advocate.

Bob Dylan announces new album: Tempest
Thom Yorke’s Atoms For Peace remixes Other Lives