After hearing snippets of The Great Gatsby’s soundtrack in the trailers, the full studio recording of Andre 3000 and Beyonce’s “Back To Black” cover is now out! In case the track doesn’t make it clear with its irritating radio mark playing overtop the recording floating around the internet, the song premiered on EastVillage.com’s radio station.
When you are covering a song made iconic by a talent as tremendous as Amy Winehouse, it is difficult to live up to expectation – something the two cover artists have learned the hard way.
While the song hasn’t exactly been getting glowing reviews so far, I think Beyonce deserves some kudos for taking on a difficult song. Her soulful voice is well suited for the famous Amy Winehouse song. On the other hand, the production of the song falters as Andre 3000′s intro sounds very forced and the arrangements sound to over-done. It’s unfortunately the result of trying to introduce new and unique arrangements, and which ultimately doesn’t help to showcase André 3000′s talents.
It could be better, but it could be worse. The attempt was made. While it’s disappointing that a track so many were excited for failed to meet expectations, we can still look forward to Lana Del Rey’s contribute to the highly anticipated soundtrack.
Listen to the Andre 3000 and Beyonce cover of “Back To Black”:
You might think depressing songs are reserved for the iPods of angsty teens, but they play among us everyday, even if you don’t realize it. They’re lurking on the TV and radio, waiting for you to stop and go “hold up? What did they just say?” Here are some of the worst offenders that trick us into dancing until we have that “what the what?” moment.
(Note: If I was a complete sadist, this would just be a list of ten songs by The Smiths and by the end you would be a weeping mass laying on the floor but I think andPOP enjoys having readers so…)
1. Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People
This was the chillest song from last summer, and definitely has to be the most popular song to ever feature whistling. I mean what’s not to like? It’s clearly about cool kids who have fun wearing nice sneakers, right? Lol jk it’s about a school shooting. The lyrics are as follows: “all the other kids with the pumped up kicks / better run, better run / faster than my bullets” and the song is from the perspective of a kid named Robert who finds his dad’s gun. I think we may have been better off just whistling along idly.
2. Small Bump – Ed Sheeran
Aww how cute, Ed Sheeran is singing a song to his future child. Plot twist: the child is dead. This songs starts off as a really cute message from a young, would-be dad to their unborn baby. He goes through all the lessons that the baby will learn during its life, and how it will look as it grows. Once we get to the end of the song however, we realise that Ed/the dad is singing about the child he would have had, had it made it to term. Ouch. Right in “the feels” with this one, Ed.
3. Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Glee Cast
This one is a bit of a reversal: It uses the very upbeat original lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and makes them depressing as hell. Finn sings this song to Santana because she’s being bullied after he forcibly outs her (or something along those lines… I watch Glee, but just barely). Glee’s cover puts a more melancholy spin on the 80s classic, and makes me feel that sometimes girls yearn for fun because it’s something that they just can’t have right now.
4. Valerie (ft. Amy Winehouse) – Mark Ronson
This song has an amazing jazzy and upbeat tempo that will have you looking for the nearest person that you can learn to Charleston with. But the narrator is actually pining for the troubled Valerie who has outstanding fines and a recent stint in prison. He’s actually physically pining for her (“since I’ve come on home, well my body’s been a mess”) and it’s a bit sad because you get the sense that Valerie kind of messed him up. The fact that it’s sung so amazingly by Amy Winehouse makes it even sadder because parts of it seem like it could be about her life.
5) Little Lion Man – Mumford & Sons Read more…
It’s been four years since New York rapper Nas released a solo album, so his new record Life Is Good serves as a re-introduction to his fans. In a phone interview with ANDPOP’s Azra Kassam, Nas talked about collaborating with Amy Winehouse and his best prank ever (it involves a blow up doll).
Life is Good was his daily mantra before becoming his album title: These last few years have been difficult for Nas, particularly because of a high profile divorce from singer Kelis. But he rose above it all and bared his soul for his eleventh studio album Life Is Good. “Instead of looking at all the losses, I started looking at them as blessings,” he said. “I started saying ‘Life is Good’ and it became a daily mantra… It was the obvious thing to do when it was time to title my album.”
So there you have it kids, the next time you’re feeling blue, try creating a positive, daily mantra for yourself. You can thank Nas later.
He and Amy Winehouse share the same birthday: Nas recently released “Cherry Wine,” a collaboration with Amy Winehouse, which appears on Life is Good. He said it was amazing to collaborate with Winehouse before her tragic death. “She was an incredible artist, she was a pure artist, and she was someone who loved music more than most people I meet,” he said. “She had a spirit that was about being honest and being raw and not caring about what anybody thinks.” In fact, Nas said when he was putting “Cherry Wine” together, he felt Winehouse’s presence as an angel.
Coincidentally, both Nas and Winehouse shared the same birthday, Sept. 14, though he was born ten years earlier.
Listen to it here:
His best prank involved a blow up doll: Read more…
“Sweet Life” — Frank Ocean
A few days ago, Frank Ocean posted an extremely vulnerable story on his blog about his first time falling in love with a man — an unprecedented step for a newcomer, or really any musician, in the hip hop industry. Since then, there has been a flurry of tweets, statuses, blog posts, and the like, regarding the R&B crooner’s unexpected move. However, Ocean has already moved on, releasing a new track from his upcoming, highly anticipated album Channel Orange, called “Sweet Life.” Produced by Pharell, the retro inspired track lays a jazzy keyboard over a whimsical bassline to complement Ocean’s smooth harmonies. Channel Orange drops on July 17th.
“Cherry Wine” — Nas and Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse fans will be happy to know they can hear a brand new track featuring the songstress who suddenly passed away last year. “Cherry Wine,” off rapper Nas’ upcoming album Life is Good, was recorded in 2008 when Nas and Winehouse were working on a different track, “Like Smoke.” The song stayed hidden for four years and Nas himself wasn’t keen on releasing the record. Thank goodness he decided to go ahead with it, because it really is a gem. The oldschool beat, Winehouse’s laidback vocals, and Nas’ on-par rhymes are beautiful together. The only complaint I have about the record is that Winehouse will never be able to perform it live. A bittersweet release, but a great first posthumous jam for Winehouse. Catch Cherry Wine on Nas’ Life is Good, released on July 17.
“Distance” — Christina Perri ft. Jason Mraz Read more…
While most people count fabled farm animals jumping over picket fences when they’re trying to sleep, these piglets are dreaming about Amy Winehouse. Every time this family makes a peep their little pink ears twitch. Then when they start singing Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” their ears start dancing to the rhythm. I think they like her.
Sorry for the Louis Tomlinson fans out there who want to be serenaded with an acoustic rendition of “What Makes You Beautiful.” The One Direction member was seen strolling through Los Angeles after a Starbucks coffee date with his girlfriend Eleanor Calder. The two were walking arm-in-arm, which is the proper protocol for an early courtship.
Way to go Louis Tomlinson! Way to raise our expectations way up and then dash them with a single photo. I wonder how his pretty lady feels about the rumoured One Direction sex ban or the fact that everyone is in love with her boyfriend.
In other news, who can resist Louis singing this Natalie Imbruglia/Amy Winehouse mashup with the other 1D guys?
Tony Bennett’s comeback season has been luring for several years, it continues to reign with his John Mayer collaboration on “One For My Baby (And One More for the Road)”
It’s a tasteful cover of a classic, but what is most fascinating is their mutual love and respect for the music and eachother. The clip is a part of Bennett’s upcoming DVD special that also features his duets with Aretha Franklin, Lady Gaga, Willie Nelson, Michael Buble and many others.
Bennett’s follow up to his triple-Grammy winning “Duets I” album is closer to his jazz and classic repertoire and also features one of the last recordings and music videos from Amy Winehouse, “Body and Soul,” before her death on July 23, 2011. It has plenty of surprises like Lady Gaga taking on “The Lady is a Tramp.”
“Duets II: The Great Performance” DVD is set for release on March 6.
In order to preserve Amy Winehouse’s memory, Mitch Winehouse plans to hold a star filled concert every year in Amy’s honour. The concerts will be used to raise money for the Amy Winehouse foundation.
“We need to make sure the money keeps coming in,” the Daily Star quoted him as saying.
“We are definitely planning a memorial concert for this year. We are hoping to have one here and in America and we’ll do that every year and alternate doing it in LA and New York,” he said.
“I’d love to have Tony Bennett on the bill as he is a friend of the foundation and has donated $100,000 dollars which is incredible… We’d also love to have Lady Gaga there,” he added.
1. Most memorable story of 2011: The passing of Jack Layton
The charismatic leader of the NDP passed away from cancer on August 22, leaving a deep void in Canadian politics.
2. Best pop album: Cher Lloyd “Sticks + Stones”
This album from X Factor contestant Cher Lloyd has a bit of everything: rap, pop, 80s samples and even dubstep.
3. Best movie: Bridesmaids
I can’t remember the last time I laughed like a hyena in a movie theatre. Kristin Wiig and the rest of her female cast members made this movie the success it is today.
4. Best t.v. show: Parks and Recreation
This show has some of the most eccentric characters on television: The bacon obsessed Ron Swanson, the overly optimistic Leslie Knope and the sarcastic and dark April Ludgate.
5. Best dressed: Florence Welch
The lead singer of Florence + the Machine always manages to look like she came straight out of a Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino painting.
6. Best blog (other than our own, of course!): Cute Overload
7. Which male and female celeb owned 2011: Justin Bieber and Zooey Deschanel
Justin not only escaped the hyped baby mama drama, he dropped a hit Christmas album and countless of music videos, won a ton of awards for his musical efforts, and got a haircut! He was literally everywhere this year. Zooey Deschanel finishes much of 2011 as a single lady but she can celebrate her new sitcom “New Girl” being a huge enough success to warrant her a Golden Globe nomination. Take that, Ben Gibbard!
8. Shocking celebrity moment: Amy Winehouse found dead
When the 27 year old was found dead from a drug overdose in July, it made a lot of people rethink their choices for doing drugs and drinking alcohol. If her death has taught us anything, it’s that we’re not alone in overcoming our demons.
9. Biggest surprise of 2011: Lindsay Lohan didn’t go to jail
We all thought a little time in the slammer would do Lindsay some good. Although she did complete her community service hours at a morgue, she escaped being placed behind bars for all her wrong-doings. Then she posed for Playboy!
10. Who to watch in 2012: Lana Del Rey
The gangster version of Nancy Sinatra made a big splash in late 2011 with her songs “Video Games” and “Born to Die”. With her debut album finally out in 2012, we’ll be seeing a lot more of the buxom blonde.
Three of the biggest divas (and I use this word as a compliment, not an insult) in music have gotten together to pay tribute to their fallen colleague, Amy Winehouse.
Sharon Jones, of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings joined rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson sing “You Know I’m No Good”. Then, ginger goddess Florence Welch graced the stage to sing “Back To Black”, taking our breath away.
Florence, Sharon and many, many other outstanding female singers performed for the annual VH1: Divas television special last night. Perez Hilton is the source for the video we’ve posted below.
2011, like any other year, was full of sex, drugs, violence and even some dancing monkeys. Music videos from such artists like Bruno Mars and Britney Spears have kept us entertained from January until December. Here at andPOP, we can’t wrap up a fantastic year without discussing our top ten music videos.
10. Dr. Dre and Eminem – “I Need a Doctor”
Dr. Dre’s first official single in over a decade and we love how the video walks us through the rapper’s life.
As mentioned in a recent article, a record of unreleased songs by the late Amy Winehouse will be released before the year’s over.
The lead single, Like Smoke is a duet the singer did with rapper Nas. It’s a soulful retro song produced by Amy’s longtime friend and collaborator, Salaam Remi.
This song is incredibly beautiful and listening to it will only make you miss AMy even more. Yes, she was troubled and had a lot of addictions to conquer but you can’t deny she was one of our generation best singers and she could have been a living legend if her life wasn’t cut short.
Her final album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures will be out a month from now. Listen to Like Smoke here.
When jazz & soul singer Amy Winehouse passed away last July, she only had two studio album under her belt. When the 27-year-old died due to alcohol poisoning, it was clear her record label would put out an album of her unreleased material.
E! reports the new album, appropriately titled Lioness: Hidden Treasures, is hitting shelves December 6. The 12-track album will include original songs written and recorded before her death, cover songs and a duet with Tony Bennett.
Lioness was produced by Amy’s long-time friend and collaborator Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi. Amy’s family gave them heir blessing when approached with the idea.
“If the family had felt that this album wasn’t up to the standard of Frank and Back to Black, we would never have agreed to release it and we believe it will stand as fitting tribute to Amy’s musical legally,” her father Mitch Winehouse told E! Entertainment.
London coroner Suzanne Greenaway has finally revealed Amy Winehouse was 4.5 over the legal alcohol level when her body was found at home in July.
Amy’s parents have released a statement saying “It is some relief to finally find out what happened to Amy…It underlines how important our work with the Amy Winehouse Foundation is to us, to help as many young people and children as we can in her name.”
The foundation was set up by the Winehouses in their daughter’s memory to help young people dealing with addiction.
The singer had been battled substance abuse for many years before she died at the age of 27.
Mitch Winehouse is saying that Amy’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil was “scared” of him and the Winehouse family.
He told RTE’s Late Late Show: “He [Blake] was scared of me and the family, he wanted to keep control. The first time I met him he was charming and the next time not so charming.
“He spoke about how he introduced her to drugs and said she took to it like a duck to water. A nice thing to say about his wife.
“I got the news in New York and it was like an icy cold calm came over me. In my mind was the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
“We have good days we have bad days. It comes in waves.
“I can look at photos of Amy’s but I find it difficult to listen to the music, that’s the grieving process.
“If you have a day when you don’t cry is a good day. Today is not a good day.”
Mitch also says that Amy was becoming tired of performing towards the end of her life.
He said: “Certain things she was uncomfortable with. She was kind of moving away from the stage work, she did not enjoy it all actually.”
Reg told The Sun newspaper: “We had spoken about getting married. She had spoken to members of my family about it. It is something that was going to happen.”
The day of Amy’s death, Reg was supposed to attend a wedding with Amy.
He added: “I had appointments on Saturday morning – normal things. A haircut, pick up shoes and my suit for the wedding. I was thinking it was a bit strange she hadn’t called.
“As I left the hairdresser, I saw I had a missed call from Amy’s security guy. She was always misplacing her phone, so I thought she had probably just borrowed his. When I got to the office I rang and spoke to the security guy. He just said, ‘Reg. Something terrible has happened.’ You could tell in his voice. He said, ‘You better get here straight away’. And that was it. I dropped everything and went.”
While talking to Anderson Cooper, Mitch explains however he doesn’t blame Amy’s death on Blake. Blake is also serving time in prison for a burglary and firearm offense. Nevertheless, Mitch is adamant Amy’s life starting getting out of control when Blake hit the scene.
Mitch explained to Anderson Cooper that the autopsy found traces of Lithium in her body. She was also trying to beat her alcohol addiction.
“Everything Amy did, she did to excess,” Winehouse said during the taping of Cooper’s new show, Anderson, debuting Monday. “She drank to excess and did detox to excess.”
Amy apparently was also having seizures from alcohol withdrawal prior to her death.
He tweeted on Tuesday, “On @anderson sept 12. Amy Winehouse’s family – her dad, mom, stepmom, boyfriend – speak for the 1st time since her death.” He added, “I’m really looking forward to speaking with Amy Winehouse’s family. They’ve been through so much, and her talent was so great.”
He told the Hollywood Reporter, “We want it to be a look at what happened to her and the struggles that she was facing and the struggles that the family was facing in trying to get [her] help and her incredible talent and career.”
This interview is the first time Amy’s family has spoken since her tragic death.
“Amy’s new Fred Perry collection out now,” her father, Mitch Winehouse, tweeted Thursday. “It is fabulous. All profits to Amy’s foundation.”
Perry posted a similar statement on the collection’s website, saying, “After much consideration and with the blessing of Amy’s family, we have decided to release the AW11 Amy Winehouse for Fred Perry Collection. Amy was passionate and dedicated to the collaboration and her signature style is clearly stamped across each piece. In such circumstances, the usual royalties and fees from the collection will be donated to the soon to be established Amy Winehouse Foundation.”
What do you think about the line?