Big 95 Music News: U2, Steely Dan

U2:  Highlight classic artists in Rolling Stone's 'Best Albums of 2017' list

Several classic artists appear in Rolling Stone magazine's just-released list of the the 50 Best Albums of 2017.

  • U2's Songs of Experience is number-three. The band is praised for "coming to terms with a world closer to the brink than at any time during their career. They meet the moment with precisely the right balance of grandeur and grace, harnessing their earnest post-punk past to their remarkable facility for modern pop gestures." The album comes out Friday.
  • Randy Newman's Dark Matter comes in at 13. "Three songs play the end of Western civilization for laughs – starting with a Marx Brothers version of the Scopes Trial and culminating with a Vladimir Putin variety show – and then..."Lost Without You," in which a husband listens in the shadows as his dying wife tells her kids to take care of him after she's gone."
  • Robert Plant's Carry Fire ranks 32nd. The onetime singer in Led Zeppelin "nuanc[es] the mystic stomp of yore for darkening times... The overall feel is at once ancient and new... the patient power of Plant's golden-god-in-winter singing can be astonishing." The magazine singles out a duet with Chrissie Hynde on the old rockabilly number "Bluebirds Over the Mountain."
  • Bob Dylan's Triplicate is number 35. Tapping the Great American Songbook, "Dylan doesn't shy away from tunes as familiar as 'As Time Goes By' and 'Stormy Weather' -- it's almost as though he tackles the well-known tunes so you can hear how he's Dylanized them."
  • Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie is a notch below Dylan, at 36. "With Mick Fleetwood and John McVie serving as rhythm section, all that keeps this album from being a Fleetwood Mac reunion is the absence of Stevie Nicks... The duo showcases the effortlessness of pop-rock veterans doing what they do best."
  • Gregg Allman's final album, Southern Blood (number-41), "is a moving a farewell statement" that is favorably compared to career-ending projects from Leonard Cohen and David Bowie.

Kendrick Lamar's Damn and Lorde's Melodrama rank first and second on the RS list.

STEELY DAN:  Becker estate responds to Donald Fagen lawsuit

The estate of Walter Becker is not backing down from the lawsuit filed by his Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen over the rights to the band's name.

A representative for the estate says the agreement that Becker and Fagen shook hands on in 1972, in which one member of the duo would purchase all shares of Steely Dan if the other member quit or died, was "not in effect at the time of Walter's death... Mr. Fagen's lawsuit, riddled with half-truths and omissions, misleadingly fails to state that the day after Walter died, Mr. Fagen had his lawyer send a demand letter to Walter's estate, thus beginning a legal campaign against Walter's family immediately after his death."

According to Fagen, Becker's widow Delia says that as a director or officer of Steely Dan, she is entitled to 50 percent ownership of the band. But her representative says the idea that she's taken any legal action to that end "is simply untrue."

This is the third time Fagen has tried to take control over the name. The Becker estate claims that a compromise was reached the first two times, only for Fagen to terminate his legal teams.

Becker died on September 3rd from cancer at age 67.

MORE BIG 95 MUSIC NEWS HEADLINES:  November 28th

Yusuf Cat Stevens closed his show in Perth, Australia Sunday with a medley of his 2006 song "Maybe There’s a World" and The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love."

U2 have posted their performance of "Get Out of Your Own Way" from the MTV EMAs on YouTube.

Phil Collins will tour Mexico and South America in February and March. He still has nothing set for the U.S. or Canada.

The documentary Brian Wilson Songwriter 1962 - 1969  is now streaming on Amazon.

Eric Clapton will headline the British Summer Time outdoor show July 8th at London's Hyde Park. Santana and Steve Winwood will also be on the bill.

Wayne Cochran, the flamboyant soul singer who wrote the classic "death rock" song "Last Kiss," died November 21st in Florida at age 78. His signature song became a Top 5 hit for J. Frank Wilson in the ’60s and was revived by Pearl Jam in the ’90s. Known for his sky-hi blond pompadour and wild stage shows, Cochran quit the music industry after a religious conversation became an evangelist based in South Florida.

Katie Cassidy tweets that her father David Cassidy's final words before his death last Tuesday were "So much wasted time.” She calls it “a daily reminder for me to share my gratitude with those I love as to never waste another minute.”

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