Universal Pop Discovery - Episode 2 - February 4, 2017

This week marked the 58th Anniversary of the death of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. Richardson "The Big Bopper."  February 3rd, 1959.  A tragic plane crash in an Iowa field took the lives of three of the biggest music stars of the period.  Their pilot also lost his life.  To pay a tribute some recent covers of their music:

2011 Buddy Holly cover by;
Stevie Nicks "Not Fade Away"

2004 Richie Valens cover by:
Wyclef Jean "La Bamba"

1972 "Big Bopper" cover by:
Jerry Lee Lewis "Chantilly Lace"

Now, hope you enjoy my Episode 2 playlist with some of the latest releases and other tracks you gotta check out...
(You can purchase and download any track at Apple Music)

Depeche Mode
"Where's the Revolution"

Written by Martin Gore, this is Depeche Mode's first release in four years and provides a taste from the upcoming "Spirit" album to be releases in March.  Speaks of the volatility in society, possibly reflecting the climate in the U.K. and U.S.  Enjoy..

A.R. Rahman, Arjun Chandy, Haricharan and Jonita Gandhi

Some of you may remember A.R. as spokesman for our Worldspace Satellite radio or as the composer of brilliant soundtracks.  This track, just released earlier this month is already #1 in India and it is truly representative of the global appeal of Bollywood. The track is a mix of Tamil and English. A.R. Rahman was a great voice for Worldspace and a brilliant talent.

Milky Chance

This is first single from Germany's Milky Chance forthcoming album "Blossom."  Their first global hit "Stolen Dance" topped multiple global charts including the US.

London Grammar
"Big Picture"

The British trio London Grammar released Big Picture via their Facebook page earlier this month.  Already charting in multiple countries. Big Picture features the lead vocals of Hannah Reid.

Digital Farm Animals (Featuring Hailee Steinfeld)
"Digital Love"
Digital Farm Animals is British DJ Nicholas Gale.  Digital Love is sung by American actress Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit/Pitch Perfect). The single Digital Love was released in Early February.

Universal Pop Discovery - Episode 1 - January 20, 2017

Episode 1 features music from Rag "N" Bone Man, Sia, The Weeknd, Amy Shark and Ed Sheeran. We all know there has been a lot of great music that continues to be made since UPOP left Satellite Radio and it's so much easier for us to purchase or stream great music now that labels have one global release date. (Something Scott Weimer, Zach Overking and I had been lobbying labels for since 2001!) Each Week I'm going to share some of the global tracks and artists that come onto my radar.  Some of them you may know, some you may discover and some of the tracks that I plan to share hopefully will come from your suggestions. I always appreciated and shared your songs and artist suggestions on UPOP.  So let me know what you have found and I'll share it with a few thousand of our closest friends.

For the first episode, gonna share some of the tracks from 2016 that you may or may not know and some cool new stuff too.

Rag'N'Bone Man

Back in July, Rag n' Bon Man (official link here) released HumanBorn in the U.K., Rory Graham took on the name Rag 'N' Bone as the MC for his original drum and bass band in Uckfield, East Sussex, England after watching repeats of the 70s British sitcom Steptoe and Son. Human hit #1 in Austria, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland and has been certified Gold in Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. Very little terrestrial radio play in America. In March 2017 by his debut album will be released.

Amy Shark

You are going to like New Zealand’s Amy Shark. (official link here) Her latest single is “Adore.” In 2016 Amy won her first Queensland Music Award, taking the Best Pop Song for her song 'Golden Fleece'.

Ed Sheeran
"Castles on the Hill"

Ed Sheeran, from Halifax, Yorkshire released the single "Castle On The Hill" on January 13. The single debuted at number two on the UK Singles Chart, selling over 193,000 copies in its first week. 1/13-1/20. Sheeran also debuted at number one with "Shape Of You", making him the only artist in UK chart history to debut in the top two positions."Castle On The Hill" also debuted at No. 1 on the Scottish Singles Chart behind "Shape Of You". The theme of the single surrounds Sheeran's home town of Framlingham, and he reminisces tales of 'smoking hand-rolled cigarettes' and getting 'drunk with friends' at this place. The castle mentioned in the song is Framlingham Castle, and in January 2017, Sheeran was invited to perform at the Castle.  Ed's new album "Divide" (here) will be released in March. 

The Weeknd

“The Weeknd (official site here) born; Abel Makkonen Tesfaye is the only child of Makkonen and Samra Tesfaye, who were Ethiopian migrants to Canada in the 1980s.  "Starboy" was recorded by the Canadian singer for his third studio album of the same name. It features French electronic duo Daft Punk and was written by the trio and produced by Daft Punk and co-produced by The Weeknd. Daft Punk was a staple artists on UPOP.  "Starboy" topped the charts in countries such as Canada, France, Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden. 

"Move Your Body"

"Move Your Body" is the fourth single from Australia's Sia seventh studio album “This is Acting.” “Move Your Body" was originally intended for Shakira, but was rejected.