Big 95 Music News: Beach Boys, U2

THE BEACH BOYS:  Two new digital releases from the archive

The Beach Boys reach back into their archives for a pair of digital releases.

1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow 2: The Studio Sessions offers 29 studio recordings, including a cappella and alternate mixes, background vocals and backing tracks for "Heroes and Villains," "Darlin'," "Here Comes the Night" and a cover of Stevie Wonder's "I Was Made to Love Her."

Live Sunshine – 1967 collects 109 live recordings, most of them previously unreleased. Drawn from rehearsals as well as various performances that year, it features concert renditions of such Beach Boys standards as "Help Me Rhonda," "God Only Knows" and "Good Vibrations" as well as The Box Tops' "The Letter" and Chuck Berry's "Johnny B Goode," which provided the melodic inspiration for their own "Fun Fun Fun."

And for vinyl fans, the recent stereo mix of Wild Honey is now available in a 180-gram vinyl 50th Anniversary Edition.

U2:  #1 album in the U.S.

Songs of Experience becomes the eighth U2 album to top the Billboard 200 this week.

Its 186,000 equivalent album units, including 180,000 in traditional album sales, give it the biggest debut for a rock album this year.

Billboard also notes that the band:

  • Is now the only group with number-ones in the '80s, '90s, 2000s and 2010s, and only the fourth act, after Janet Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand.
  • Is now tied with Kenny Chesney and Madonna for the sixth-most chart-topping albums (third-most among groups), behind The Beatles (19), Jay-Z (14), Springsteen and Streisand (11), Elvis Presley (10) and Garth Brooks and The Rolling Stones (nine).
  • Had the biggest chart debut of any rock band since Self-Destruct by Metallica bowed a year ago this month with more than 100,000 more units.

U2's other number ones are No Line on the Horizon (2009), How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), Pop (1997), Zooropa (1993), Achtung Baby (1991), Rattle and Hum (1988) and The Joshua Tree (1987).

THE MOODY BLUES:  Rock Hall no biggie

Justin Hayward is not getting his hopes up that The Moody Blues will be elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He tells, "We haven't made any plans around that. I'd be foolish to. There's a big difference between being nominated and being inducted..."

The band's nomination this year came late in the story -- they've been eligible since 1990. Hayward says, "I'm not going to get excited about it. In truth, that belongs to the American fans. It's hugely important to them. I live in Europe and it doesn't resonate like it does in America. For the American fans, I think it would be wonderful. But my reaction is, 'We'll see.'"

The Moody Blues came in second in the Fan Vote, behind Bon Jovi but ahead of Dire Straits, The Cars and Judas Priest in the Top 5.

The Class of 2018 will be announced Wednesday morning, with the 33rd annual induction ceremony set for April 14th in Cleveland.

ELTON JOHN:  Major announcement coming soon

What's going on with Elton John?  An E-mail arrived last Friday morning saying, "Save the date - From the office of Elton John," followed by, "January 24th, 2018 - New York" and a lyric from "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road": "I've finally decided my future lies..."

Whatever he's up to, it's taking place during Grammy Week. So it could be:

  • He's finally retiring.
  • Cutting back to spend more time with his two young sons.
  • Announcing a New York residency similar to what his friend Billy Joel does -- one show a month at Madison Square Garden.
  • A new album.
  • A Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 45th anniversary tour in which he performs the album in its entirety.
  • The official launch of the Elton John bio-pic that has been in production.

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