The pianist said he was looking for a significant day to release his new album, Solo. But rather than spring for a surprise release – which is becoming more and more common, especially in popular music – he decided to create his own holiday.
A one-time video stream of the concert was broadcast tonight, so I thought I’d scribble down some impressions as I watched it. This is a summary of those impressions.
What goes through your head when you hear the term: singer-songwriter? Is your mind filled with images of ginger-haired Ed Sheeran, innocent Nina Nesbitt and boyish-looking George Ezra? Or perhaps passionate Laura Marling, the watchful Bob Dylan or a smiling Carole King?
All of these musicians are frequently described as singer-songwriters. But the degree to which they are responsible for the creation of their songs – in other words, songwriting – is where the real distinction lies.
Atlantic Records, 1980
The first total solar eclipse in the UK since 1999 took place on Friday. A significant event, I’m sure you’ll agree. And this rare celestial event will now be even more significant in the history of music, for it marks the release of Chic’s ‘I’ll Be There’, the first single from Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards’s defining dance group for 23 years.
So what better time to (re)introduce you to, Real People, Chic’s fourth LP, an album of exceptional sonic grooves and lyrical quality that goes largely overlooked, thanks to changing music tastes at the tail end of the 1970s.
Coinciding with Friday’s solar eclipse and the spring equinox, Chic returned with their first new material in 23 years in the form of ‘I’ll Be There’. Nile Rodgers, one half of the songwriting genii behind the likes of ‘Le Freak’ and ‘Everybody Dance’, is the only member of the original group alive today. He’s in the UK now for a series of live shows to celebrate the release of the new single, which also precedes an upcoming long player of unreleased Chic material – something which Rodgers’ describes as the reason for the band’s unexpected return.
As naïve as it maybe, I was expecting most of Britain to be plunged into noticeable darkness during its first total solar eclipse since 1999. That didn’t happen, of course. Instead, thanks to rampant cloud cover, myself and many others, were forced to watch what we could of this astounding, once-in-a-generation event via live news feeds over the web.