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<p>Lionel Richie</p>
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Lionel Richie


Credit: AP Photo

Interview: Lionel Richie talks country, a Las Vegas residency and much more

New album, 'Tuskegee,' pairs him with Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney and more

Lionel Richie now knows what it feels like to give birth. The superstar expected it to only take a few weeks to record “Tuskegee,” his new album out Monday  (March 26) that pairs him with a number of top country acts on new versions of his classic tunes. Instead, the process dragged on for nearly 10 months.

“We had a baby, and by the way it was the most painful baby I got in my whole life, but in the end, look at the baby,” he says, glowing with pride. And what a baby it is— with many, many parents. Among the acts recording both his solo and Commodores hits with Richie are Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, Blake Shelton, Jimmy Buffett, Shania Twain and Willie Nelson. The album also reunites Richie with Kenny Rogers, who took Richie's "Lady" to the top of three Billboard charts in 1980: country, Hot 100 and adult contemporary. Rogers' version also reached No. 42 on the Top Black Singles chart.

Before the first volume has even been released, Richie is already hoping for a volume two and there’s plenty of hits left off “Tuskegee,” including “Still,” “Three Times A Lady,”  and “Sweet Love,”  to warrant one. “They’ll be a part two with more new songs,” Richie predicts.

Richie has been stumping for the new album harder then the Republican presidential candidates and his enthusiasm about the project is infectious. He recently held a party at his Beverly Hill mansion for select radio program directors and press. It’s as gorgeous and lovely a home as you would imagine (my whole apartment would fit into the drive way). He played each of the album’s 13 songs and gave amusing anecdotes about recording each one.

The acts picked their own songs, many made their selections based on memories a certain tune triggered for them. Richie encouraged them to make the tune their own. “They’d say, ‘But Mr. Richie that will overshadow you,’ and I’d say, ‘Exactly. What a wonderful thing’,” he said when I interviewed him at the end of the evening. “What I’ve found in artistry sometimes is there’s an ego that happens where I have to out sing you or outperform you. That’s if you’re purely a singer. I’m purely a writer.”

By approaching the project as the writer, his attitude was. “How can you make my kids shine?  We’re going to buff up my babies... Someone said to me tonight, which I thought was the best compliment ever, ‘Why am I thinking that this version of your songs is better than the old version?’ I said, ‘Because it’s the new version’.”

The boldest artist was Darius Rucker, who flatly told Richie that he was singing Richie’s part on “Stuck On You.” “By the way, he was dead serious,” Richie recalls with a laugh. “Can you imagine telling Frank Sinatra  ‘I’m singing your part and you have to find your part.’ Frank would be out of there. [I said], ‘You guys, I want you to make this songs yours and I’ll kind of scat in between. I’ll be around.”

Most of the album was recorded in Nashville, but Richie traveled to the Bahamas to record an island-flavored “Endless Love” with Shania Twain, who was recording for the first time after going through a debilitating vocal paralysis that left her unable to sing.

“I think the one that was the most rewarding was pulling Shania out of that thing she was in. I didn’t realize it, she was gone,” he recalls. “By the way, she’s still gone because I need to talk to her more to get her back, but the more she performs, the more she’s going to get it back. But she was scared to death. I think [Vegas] will help her.” Twain starts a residency at Caesars Palace in December.

Speaking of, is Richie the next artist, following in the footsteps of Elton John, Cher, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks and Twain, to start a concert residency in Las Vegas? He seems a natural fit given his raft of hits and his wide appeal.

“I would love to do that “ Richie says, and admits he’s been approached already. He thinks it will happen eventually, but it is likely a ways off.

"It would be a great thing after a while, probably a couple more years, where I’ll have a [residency] where I can stay here, hang out, go there... commute or even what’s happening right now with Garth Brooks: he flies in and out [after each weekend’s shows].  I’m still a songwriter. There’s something about flying around the world. By the time I get home, I know the next album, I know the next song.”

Richie will be hitting Vegas the weekend of March 31 for the Academy of Country Music Awards, which air live April 1. The following night, CBS will tape “Lionel Richie and Friends: A Lifetime of Hits.”  The special, which will air later this Spring, will feature many of the artists who appear on “Tuskegee,” as well as several others, including The Band Perry and Lady Antebellum.

Follow Melinda Newman on Twitter @HitfixMelinda

"Tuskegee" Tracklisting

“You Are” with Blake Shelton
“Say You, Say Me” with Jason Aldean
“Stuck On You” with Darius Rucker
“Deep River Woman” with Little Big Town
“My Love” with Kenny Chesney
“Dancing On The Ceiling” with Rascal Flatts
“Hello” with Jennifer Nettles
“Sail On” with Tim McGraw
“Endless Love” with Shania Twain
“Just For You” with Billy Currington
“Lady” with Kenny Rogers
“Easy” with Willie Nelson
“All Night Long” with Jimmy Buffett

 

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<p>Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in &quot;The Hunger Games.&quot;</p>

Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in "The Hunger Games."

Credit: Lionsgate

Tell us what you thought of 'The Hunger Games'

The long-awaited adaptation opens today

It's heeeeeere. "John Carter" may have got blockbuster season off to a false (if unseasonally early) start, but the real deal arrives today -- Gary Ross's adaptation of Suzanne Collins' young-adult publishing phenomenon "The Hunger Games" has been breathlessly anticipated for months, if not years, and early box-office numbers (not to mention a broad swathe of reviews) already suggest the hype has not been misplaced. I confess I haven't seen it yet. Ill health got in the way of press screenings this week, plus I've been dutifully catching up on the book -- which, rather to my surprise, I found entirely captivating. So I'll be queuing with all the other excited punters this weekend; in the meantime, if/when you've seen it, be sure to share your thoughts here.

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<p>&quot;Archer&quot;&nbsp;edged out &quot;Louie&quot;&nbsp;last week; can it beat &quot;Modern Family&quot;&nbsp;in this round?</p>

"Archer" edged out "Louie" last week; can it beat "Modern Family" in this round?

Credit: FX

Hulu's Best in Show moves into round 3

Can Walter White take out SAMCRO? Can Sterling Archer defeat Phil Dunphy?

I've been working on the road the last couple of days (which is also why I'm skipping "30 Rock" reviews this week; I haven't seen the episodes), and a few things get lost in the shuffle when you're on the move. One of those is my weekly check-in on Hulu's Best in Show contest, which I continue to serve as guest judge for, and which has just moved into the third round.

Among last week's notable results: "Archer"(*) edged out "Louie," "Community" solidly beat "Parks and Recreation," and "The Walking Dead" beat "Fringe." 

(*) Which I am many weeks behind on, and will catch up on eventually when I am in need of several hours of concentrated, explosive laughter.

Thus far, "Archer" is beating "Modern Family," when "MF" has to this point done very well against various cult-y competition, "Community" is thumping "New Girl," "Game of Thrones" is losing by a good margin to "Sons of Anarchy" and "Breaking Bad" is neck-and-neck with "The Walking Dead" 

If you are displeased with any or all of those results, now is the time to go vote, and we'll be back next week (and hopefully on Thursday morning again) to discuss the final four.

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<p>&quot;Ziggy Stardust,&quot;&nbsp;&quot;I Get Wet&quot;&nbsp;and &quot;RAM.&quot;</p>

"Ziggy Stardust," "I Get Wet" and "RAM."

Reissues: Bowie's 'Ziggy Stardust,' My Bloody Valentine, Paul and Linda McCartney

'Yellow Submarine' gets a remaster and DVD release, plus Andrew W.K. and Uncle Tupelo

This week has been a blitz for re-issue announcements, what with the added incentive of a "holiday" right around the corner. Record Store Day seems to be an impetus for catalog-combing, so there are David Bowie, My Bloody Valentine, Paul and Linda McCartney, Beatles, Andrew W.K. and Uncle Tupelo reissues on the way.

No, Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy didn't get back together again for RSD. But their entire album output is getting revisited, with heavyweight vinyl of 1990's "No Depression," 1991's "Still Feel Gone" and 1992's "March 16-20, 1992." Super fans may have noticed "Anodyne" in there, with the only current explanation of its absence being that the world is a lonely and unfair place. Have no fear, though, there's also a single's box with "I Got Drunk" b/w excellent cover "Sin City," "Gun" / "I Wanna Destroy You" and "Sauget Wind" /"Looking for a Way Out," plus previously unreleased single "This Year" with instrumental "Pickle River."

Those alt-country heroes may have been done for 20 years, but now just imagine one of your greatest works having been released 40 years ago. That's the word on David Bowie's "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars," which will get remastered and re-released on all sorts of formats -- CD, vinyl, mix 5.1 DVD -- for a June 5 drop.

You may remember it was (yup!) 10 years ago that the 30th anniversary edition was out. The 2002 version was a double-disc set, with a few remasters, left and right speaker mixes, and other little changes. This 40th anniversary edition features remasters from the original London-based Trident Studios engineer Ray Staff. Check out the tracklist below for full details.

While Bowie reissues can often be in abundance, My Bloody Valentine has only really touched "Loveless" in any revisited capacity. Now, they've bundled up that groundbreaking album with old original tapes, the rock act's multiple EPs and 1988 album"Isn't Anything" for a May 7 drop of "painfully remastered" CDs. No, no vinyl, nerds. Sad. The four-EPs have been put into a double-disc format for the box, with three (!!!) previously unreleased tunes. That tracklist is below Bowie's. "Loveless" will also arrive in double-disc, with the original tape version and the really-really-old tape version.

Andrew W.K.'s "I Get Wet" celebrates its 10-year-old birthday with a 2-disc set of previously unreleased live, demo, alternate and rarely recorded versions of tracks from the set. A limited run of deluxe CD collections will come packaged with Andrew W.K.'s stuff -- literal stuff -- like a lock of hair or a ticket stub. There will be a double-gate folded vinyl drop as well. All this, with details to come, due on July 17.

The "Party Hard" dude also tours hard, as usual, you can check those dates at his website.

For the first time ever, the Beatles' 1968 animated film "Yellow Submarine" ermerges on DVD and Blu-Ray on May 28, with accompanying "Songtrack" CD if you want it; but Beatle Paul McCartney also has a reissue of his own up his sleeve. He and Linda McCartney's "RAM" will perhaps take you back to your hippie days:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is an album from a long, long time ago, when the world was different. This is an album that is part of my history - it goes back to the wee hills of Scotland where it was formed. It's an album called RAM. It reminds me of my hippie days and the free attitude with which was created. I hope you're going to like it, because I do!

That McCartney's press statement on May 22's multiple formatted reduxes -- mono, stereo, box, single, deluxe, CD, vinly, digital you get the picture. He and Linda wrote the songs out of their Scottish farm back in 1970, putting it out in 1971.

Here are the tracklist details on the various "Ziggy Stardust" reissues:

CD

"Five Years (2012 - Remaster)"
"Soul Love (2012 - Remaster)"
"Moonage Daydream (2012 - Remaster)"
"Starman (2012 - Remaster)"
"It Ain't Easy (2012 - Remaster)"
"Lady Stardust (2012 - Remaster)"
"Star (2012 - Remaster)"
"Hang On to Yourself (2012 - Remaster)"
"Ziggy Stardust (2012 - Remaster)"
"Suffragette City (2012 - Remaster)"
"Rock 'N' Roll Suicide (2012 - Remaster)"
 
180-gram vinyl with DVD featuring a new 2012 stereo remaster and 2003 5.1 and stereo mixes (audio only)
LP 180G heavyweight vinyl


Side 1
"Five Years (2012 - Remaster)"
"Soul Love (2012 - Remaster)"
"Moonage Daydream (2012 - Remaster)"
"Starman (2012 - Remaster)"
"It Ain't Easy (2012 - Remaster)"
Side 2
"Lady Stardust (2012 - Remaster)"
"Star (2012 - Remaster)"
"Hang On to Yourself (2012 - Remaster)"
"Ziggy Stardust (2012 - Remaster)"
"Suffragette City (2012 - Remaster)"
"Rock 'N' Roll Suicide (2012 - Remaster)"

DVD Audio only

"Five Years (2012 - Remaster)"
"Soul Love (2012 - Remaster)"
"Moonage Daydream (2012 - Remaster)"
"Starman (2012 - Remaster)"
"It Ain't Easy (2012 - Remaster)"
"Lady Stardust (2012 - Remaster)"
"Star (2012 - Remaster)"
"Hang On to Yourself (2012 - Remaster)"
"Ziggy Stardust (2012 - Remaster)"
"Suffragette City (2012 - Remaster)"
"Rock 'N' Roll Suicide (2012 - Remaster)"
"Five Years (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"Soul Love (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"Moonage Daydream (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"Starman (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"It Ain't Easy (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"Lady Stardust (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"Star (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"Hang On To Yourself (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"Ziggy Stardust (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"Suffragette City (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"Rock 'N' Roll Suicide (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"Moonage Daydream (Instrumental) PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED MIXES (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"The Supermen PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED MIXES (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"Velvet Goldmine PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED MIXES (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"
"Sweet Head PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED MIXES (5.1 mixes: DTS 48/24 and Dolby Digital / Stereo mixes: 48/24 LPCM stereo)"

 

Here is the My Bloody Valentine "EPs 1988-1991" tracklist:

Disc 1:
1. You Made Me Realise #
2. Slow #
3. Thorn #
4. Cigarette in Your Bed #
5. Drive It All Over Me #
6. Feed Me With Your Kiss $
7. I Believe $
8. Emptiness Inside $
9. I Need No Trust $
10. Soon %
11. Don’t Ask Why %
12. Off Your Face %

Disc 2:
1. To Here Knows When ^
2. Swallow ^
3. Honey Power ^
4. Moon Song ^
5. Instrumental no. 2 !
6. Instrumental no.1 !
7. Glider [full-length version] &
8. Sugar +
9. Angel *
10. Good for You *
11. How Do You Do It *

# from You Made Me Realise EP
$ from Feed Me With Your Kiss EP
% from Glider EP
^ from Tremolo EP
! free 7-inch w/ first 5000 copies of Isn’t Anything
& B-side, “Soon (The Andrew Weatherall Mix)” 12-inch
+ promo-only B-Side on “Only Shallow” (France only)
* previously unreleased

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Listen: Four new songs from Adam Lambert's 'Trespassing' emerge
Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Four new songs from Adam Lambert's 'Trespassing' emerge

What's the new release date for the 'American Idol's' set?

Adam Lambert's "Trespassing" will now come out May 15. The "American Idol's" sophomore post-show set had originally been slated to come out this week, on March 20, but the album was pushed back.

Lambert calls "Trespassing" "an exciting journey through the past two years of my life.  It's been a transformative period and I really wanted to make music from what I've experienced.  All these songs honestly explore the ups and downs of my reality."

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Bryan Cranston feels uneasy with the way the new film 'Detachment' treated the screenplay that originally attracted him to work on the film.</p>

Bryan Cranston feels uneasy with the way the new film 'Detachment' treated the screenplay that originally attracted him to work on the film.

Credit: Appian Way/Tribeca Film

Bryan Cranston talks about on-set turbulence with 'Detachment' director Tony Kaye

Cranston doesn't feel the script for the Adrien Brody film was honored

Bryan Cranston spent the last two weeks on the set of the new film 'Get A Job,' and was just getting ready to leave for the set of "Breaking Bad" when a group of reporters sat down with him to discuss his role in the film.  In the middle of the interview, he confessed to having serious disagreements with director Tony Kaye, most famous for fighting with Edward Norton on the set of "American History X."

In trying to frame a question about how Cranston picks his projects now that he's not worrying about financial stability, one of the reporters brought up the example of "Detachment," a new film that is on VOD now, and rolling out in a limited release this week in a few cities theatrically.  He told Cranston he loved the movie and then started to ask his question.

"Wait," Cranston said, "did you like 'Detachment'?"

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<p>Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are both on their way to Albuquerque right now to start work on a new season of 'Breaking Bad'</p>

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are both on their way to Albuquerque right now to start work on a new season of 'Breaking Bad'

Credit: AMC

Bryan Cranston discusses the excitement of starting a new year of 'Breaking Bad'

The actor also discusses directing a recent episode of 'Modern Family'

Bryan Cranston may have been sporting a full head of hair on the set of the new film "Get A Job" this week, but that won't last long.  The actor is on a plane today to return to the Albuquerque location of his critically-acclaimed hit show, "Breaking Bad," and sounds thrilled to be getting back to work as Walter White.

During a conversation with a group of reporters visiting the set of the comedy, Cranston was asked about the difference between building a character like White over several years of a television show and on a film where he has significantly less running time to make an impression.  "I'm so excited.  I finish this Thursday night, my last day, and then I'm on a plane Friday morning.  I buzz my head over the weekend.  And then we're in front of the cameras on 'Breaking Bad' on Monday."

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<p>Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell in &quot;Mad Men.&quot;</p>

Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell in "Mad Men."

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' co-star Vincent Kartheiser

How has Pete changed since 1960? And why didn't anyone join him in pranking Jon Hamm?

I published my spoiler-free review of the "Mad Men" season premiere yesterday. Earlier this week, I got a chance to interview creator Matthew Weiner and co-star John Slattery about the events of the premiere, and those interviews should run sometime Monday morning. But I decided that, given the appetite for "Mad Men" info after 17 long months between episodes, I should conduct at least one interview in a way that it could be safely published before the premiere. And our lucky winner was Vincent Kartheiser, aka Pete Campbell (of the Dyckman-Campbells).

After the jump, Kartheiser and I talk about Pete's evolution from corporate weasel to unsung hero of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, about how Pete feels these days about Peggy, and also about how the rest of the cast hung him out to dry when Jon Hamm directed an episode this season. Enjoy, and I'll see you all here on Sunday night to discuss the premiere.

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Album Review: Madonna finds beauty in the beat on 'MDNA'
Credit: Interscope Records

Album Review: Madonna finds beauty in the beat on 'MDNA'

Can the Material Girl still shock and surprise?

For all her success, there’s always seemed to be something remote about Madonna, as if she’s behind glass. So it comes as a bit of a shock at first that tucked within “MDNA’s” often sterile beats, she shows the most emotion that we’ve heard from her. Talk about confessions on a dancefloor...

Madonna’s 12th studio album, out March 26,  touches on two of her favorite go-tos: religion and dance, but she’s added scorned spouse to the mix.  “MDNA” is triptych into her psyche and there’s a lot going on in that platinum head of hers, most of it set to throbbing beats per minute.

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<p>Disney fans may know the film 'The Emperor's New Groove,' but not all of them know the story behind the film, detailed in the long-unavailable documentary 'The Sweatbox'</p>

Disney fans may know the film 'The Emperor's New Groove,' but not all of them know the story behind the film, detailed in the long-unavailable documentary 'The Sweatbox'

Credit: Walt Disney Company

One Thing I Love Today: Disney behind-the-scenes documentary 'The Sweatbox' shows up online

It may not last long, so watch it while you can

I would assume that for some people, the kick that comes from seeing "The Sweatbox" is because they know Walt Disney Pictures really doesn't want you to see the film.

I'm excited to see it show up online today because I think it offers a rare honest look at a development process that is anything but easy.  So often, even when you see what is called a "detailed" making-of film, what you're seeing has been sanitized to show you the triumphs of filmmaking without dwelling on the defeats.

That's nonsense, though, and it does a disservice to the people who work on these movies.  You have to be willing to get things wrong in service of eventually getting them right, and that means you have to be willing to make mistakes and try some bad ideas and, in general, screw things up.  That's really the only way to get to the great stuff, no matter how talented a team you're dealing with.

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<p>Rachel Weisz in &quot;The Deep Blue Sea.&quot;</p>

Rachel Weisz in "The Deep Blue Sea."

Credit: Music Box Films

An early FYC plea for Rachel Weisz

The Oscar winner gives the performance of her career in 'The Deep Blue Sea'

First off, apologies for the slow business around here this week. As some of you may know, Kris is on leave, occupied with the small matter of his wedding on Saturday. And while I'm supposed to be keeping things on track in his absence, I've been hit by a mystery illness this week that hasn't done much for my posting efficiency. Unfortunate timing on my part, but things are looking up -- do bear with me.

One item I've been meaning to write that got unduly waylaid this week is a review of Terence Davies' "The Deep Blue Sea," which I saw at the London Film Festival last October and has been waltzing in and out of my mind ever since. It finally lands in US theaters tomorrow, and while I'm still hoping to finish an appraisal of the film as a whole -- which, as you'd expect from as rigorously mannered a stylist as Davies, is as fascinating in the ways it doesn't quite coalesce as in the instances it quite gloriously does -- I'd like to pre-empt that discussion with an unqualified endorsement of its standout feature: the astonishing lead performance of Rachel Weisz.

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<p>Rex (Dylan Minnette)&nbsp;gets into a fight on &quot;Awake.&quot;</p>

Rex (Dylan Minnette) gets into a fight on "Awake."

Credit: NBC

'Awake' - 'Kate Is Enough': Don't tell mom the babysitter's red

NBC airs an episode out of order, but it mostly works anyway

A review of tonight's "Awake" coming up just as soon as I make you a paper airplane...

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