I recently interviewed Rita Coolidge, who has two Grammy awards to her name and decades of songs and albums along the way. We talked about her time touring with Joe Cocker, being in the studio with numerous legendary artists, singing a famous James Bond theme song, and much more.
2012 was a great year and now that it’s coming to a close, here are a few of my favorite things.
Kindle Fire HD & Kindle Paperwhite
Having spent countless hours with my Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Paperwhite, I can easily say these are two of my favorite things to come out of 2012. If you’re a lover of books and entertainment, I highly recommend you check them out.
Joe Cocker – Hard Knocks
Ken Follet – The Pillars of the Earth
Yes, this book didn’t come out in 2012. But it is still one of my favorite things because I didn’t read it until this year. The Pillars of the Earth is a terrific book and the miniseries wasn’t too bad either.
The Dark Knight Rises
This year saw the Dark Knight Trilogy come to an end with The Dark Knight Rises. It was my second favorite film in the series, with Batman Begins being the first, and it brought this masterfully executed trilogy to a satisfying conclusion. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend you do; it’s a great film from start to finish.
Parks and Recreation
My new favorite TV comedy is Parks and Recreation. I’ve been catching up with it on Amazon Prime Instant Video, and it’s amazing. It starts off slow, but continues to build into an addictive show where you love nearly all the characters for their own quirky traits. There’s crude humor, wild stories and ridiculous one-liners. I’m on season three, and it keeps getting better with each episode.
Barry Manilow – My Favorite Things
What would a list of my favorite things be without Barry Manilow? Considering it’s the holiday season, I feel the following video is a fitting way to cap things off.
Joe Cocker is one of the most enduring artists in the music industry, and one of my favorites. His last album, Hard Knocks, was fantastic. It was filled with well crafted pop/rock songs that fit Cocker’s gravely voice like a glove.
Cocker is following up Hard Knocks with Fire It Up. Similar to his last album, it’s initially being released internationally and it was produced by Matt Serletic. The lead single is the title track “Fire It Up,” and it sounds great. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album when it’s released in the U.S., more than likely, sometime next year.
Below you’ll find two videos: the official lyrics video for “Fire It Up” and the album’s electronic press kit (i.e., EPK).
Over the past year, I’ve fallen in love with Spotify, which has allowed me to enjoy artists I know and love as well as discover new ones. While I’m a fan of all kinds of music, melodic rock is my favorite.
Below are three albums I’ve been listening to over and over again:
JOHN WAITE – ROUGH & TUMBLE
John Waite’s newest album, Rough & Tumble is simply awesome. His signature voice is as strong as ever, and his lyrics are quite impressive. I’ve always been a fan of his music, everything from The Babys to Bad English, and, of course, his amazing solo albums. My favorite track from this album is “Evil.” It has a killer guitar riff and a funky groove that will get you moving around the room in no time. But don’t take my word for it, check out the video below.
JOE COCKER – HARD KNOCKS
Joe Cocker has a legendary voice and a unique stage presence. His latest album, Hard Knocks, is filled with a wide variety of music, and it’s all good. One of my favorite tracks is “Thankful” because it’s a soulful number that builds to an outstanding climax featuring a choir and Cocker’s signature scream. As you’ll see from the video below, it’s a spine-chilling song about the importance of being grateful.
MICHAEL DES BARRES BAND – CARNABY STREET
For those of you that read my recent post about Murdoc, you know how I admire the talented Michael Des Barres. Well, his new band just released its first album, Carnaby Street, and it’s excellent. Listening to it conjures up visions of Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones. If you like no-nonsense rock n’ roll, then this album is for you. While there are many great tracks, one of my favorites is “Please Stay.” It’s a slow, soulful number that’s full of emotion. Below is a live version of the song.