Recently by Donald Gibson

Now that Phil Collins is evidently retired from making any new music, his solo back catalog has benefitted from a bit of reevaluation—and rightly so. Personifying the old adage of “go with what you know” Collins turned out a staggering amount of adult-oriented-pop music that seemingly everyone of a certain age knows whether they like his music or not. Achieving and maintaining that level of pop-culture saturation ain’t easy, and the glass-half-full perspective would say it’s because he possessed an uncanny talent for writing infectious, indelible hits. 1985’s No Jacket Required is the go-to record for those seeking the biggest
Haley Reinhart had pretty much gotten used to rehearsing and recording songs at a whirlwind pace last year while performing on American Idol as well as on the Idol Live! concert tour that followed. However, when it came time to begin work on her debut album, Listen Up! (out today on 19/Interscope), she didn't want to rush it—and she let her label know. Reinhart remembers, "I told them, 'I want to wait ‘til after the tour to write part of my first album. You guys are giving me the experience of a lifetime, the opportunity of a lifetime. So
The seeds had likely been sown long before they surfaced in his songwriting, yet to various degrees throughout his career Lionel Richie has shown he has a soft spot for country music. In Commodores songs like “Easy” and the underrated gem “Lucy” the influence was evident; whether in his down-to-earth, say-what-you-feel lyrics—“I gave you my heart and I tried to make you happy, but you gave me nothing in return,” he sang in “Sail On,” another one that sounded more Music City than Motown—or in the earthy, Southern drawl in Richie’s delivery. Upon going solo, however, Richie branched out beyond

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The seeds had likely been sown long before they surfaced in his songwriting, yet to various degrees throughout his career Lionel Richie has shown he has a soft spot for country music. In Commodores songs like “Easy” and the underrated gem “Lucy” the influence was evident; whether in his down-to-earth, say-what-you-feel lyrics—“I gave you my heart and I tried to make you happy, but you gave me nothing in return,” he sang in “Sail On,” another one that sounded more Music City than Motown—or in the earthy, Southern drawl in Richie’s delivery. Upon going solo, however, Richie branched out
As a teenager first learning to play the guitar, Adam Levy wasn’t bent on mastering the signature riff to “Purple Haze” or the chord sequence in “Stairway to Heaven.” Instead he practiced stuff like Paul McCartney & Wings’ “Junior’s Farm,” or “China Grove” by the Doobie Brothers. “I wasn’t really interested in the things that people often turn to,” Levy recalls. “I still can’t play ‘Purple Haze’ or ‘Little Wing’ or any of that.” His six-string instincts and musical curiosities have served him well over the years as a sideman and session player—Levy’s credentials include studio work with the