Things change with time, as my very close friend likes to say. Here’s my New Year’s wish: that things change for the better in 2021. A new year brings new possibilities.
We’re saddened by the loss of Gerry Marsden (78) of British Invasion legends Gerry and the Pacemakers. Their first single, “How Do You Do It,” hit number one on the British charts in 1963 – before the Beatles ever accomplished that feat – and they went on to have other smash records like “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying,” You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “I Like It” and “Ferry Cross the Mersey.” These songs are woven not just into the fabric of the 1960s, but our lives.
In this issue: Anne E. Johnson covers the career of John Legend and rediscovers 17th century composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Larry Schenbeck gets soul and takes on “what if?” Ken Sander goes Stateside with The Stranglers. J.I. Agnew locks in his lockdown music system. Tom Gibbs looks at new releases from Kraftwerk, Julia Stone and Max Richter. Adrian Wu continues his series on testing in audio. John Seetoo mines a mind-boggling mic collection.
Jay Jay French remembers Mountain’s Leslie West. Dan Schwartz contemplates his streaming royalties. Steven Bryan Bieler ponders the new year. Ray Chelstowski notes that January’s a slow month for concerts – with a few monumental exceptions. Stuart Marvin examines how musicians and their audiences are adapting to the pandemic. I reminisce about hanging out with Les Paul. We round out the issue with single-minded listening, the world’s coolest multi-room audio system, mixed media, and a girl on a mission.