Spotlight Artist: Sheryl Crow

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3NS

Sheryl Crow started out in the late 1980s singing jingles and supporting Michael Jackson on his “Bad” tour. After a scrapped album in 1992 she joined an ad hoc group of  musicians known to themselves as the “Tuesday Music Club”.

Sheryl Crow in 2008

Her first album to be released, Tuesday Night Music Club gradually drew attention, with “All I Wanna Do” becoming an unexpected smash hit in 1994. Other great singles like “Strong Enough” and “Can’t Cry Anymore” led the album to sell 7 million copies, and resulted in her winning several Grammy Awards. Follow up albums Sheryl Crow and The Globe Sessions were huge hits. She also began acting. Although her music since hasn’t been as commercially successful as her 1990s work, she has a great songbook. We look forward to checking out many of her essential tracks this week.

Spotlight Artist: The Byrds

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3N

With a changing lineup, The Byrds evolved through the late sixties, always remaining true to a core folk rock sensibility. Formed in 1964 by Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke, Jim (known as Roger McGuinn from 1967) was the only constant in the lineup through to the end in 1973. Their first album Mr Tambourine Man combined folk influences with the sound of the British Invasion, and the title track was one of my favourite songs when I was young (played on classic hits radio frequently). They evolved however, pioneering psychedelic rock sounds then country rock. This week we’ll enjoy tracks from right through their varied career.

Spotlight Artist: Ben Howard

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3N

Ben Howard is a talented British indie artist. Hard to categorise, we loved his recent album Noonday Dream and decided to feature his work this week. We’ll explore Noonday Dream as well as tracks from his debut album Every Kingdom, EP The Burgh Island and 2014’s I Forget Where We Were.

Spotlight Artist: Bob Seger

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3N

Hailing from Detroit, Bob Seger achieved his first nationwide hit with “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” in 1968. He went on to enjoy a string of hits in the 1970s, forming the Silver Bullet Band in 1974.

This week we’ll enjoy some of his huge hits – Night Moves, Against The Wind … as well as some lesser known hits.

Spotlight Artist: The Eurythmics

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3N

The Eurythmics were an inescapable force in 1980s pop. A duo consisting of vocalist Annie Lennox and musician Dave Stewart, both contributing their songwriting talents. After a less than happy experience in the band “The Tourists” they decided to become a duo in the early 1980s in a hotel in Wagga Wagga, Australia of all places. Their second album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) was a massive smash hit and led to a decade of success. Annie Lennox subsequently released outstanding solo music while Dave Stewart has been an in-demand producer (although they’ve rejoined for a couple of projects since.

We look forward to checking out both their “Greatest Hits” this week as well as some less well known album tracks and covers.

Spotlight Artist: UB40

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3N

UB40 came together in 1978 in Birmingham, the eight band members beginning performing in 1979. From the beginning they played popular reggae songs, and got their break when the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde saw them playing at a pub and offered them the opportunity to play as her backing band. Astonishingly their first single reached no. 4 on the UK charts. We’ll play a few tracks this week from their first album Signing Off.

The band crossed over to US popularity in 1983 with an album of cover songs, Labour of Love. This included the Neil Diamond cover “Red Red Wine” which stayed in the charts for over 100 weeks.

We’ll enjoy tracks from throughout their career this week. The band are performing in New Zealand next year as part of their 40th anniversary tour, and they released a great album earlier this year called A Real Labour of Love.

Spotlight Artist: Steve Winwood

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3N

As a 15 year old he joined the Spencer Davis Group, his talent on the keyboard and amazing vocals resulting in two big hit singles (Gimme Some Lovin’, I’m A Man). At 19 he formed the band Traffic, and worked with Eric Clapton in Blind Faith. The 80s saw another era for his talent to flower in slick pop tracks off albums like Back In the High Life. We look forward to sampling his varied output over four decades through the week.

Spotlight Artist: America

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3N

A band so melodic and talented they attracted the great Beatles producer George Martin to work with them, America exemplified early 1970s smooth breezy sounds. Meeting as Air Force personnel in London, the band released their self titled first album in 1971. After its re-release in 1972 with smash hit “Horse With No Name” added this album hit number 1 in the US and was a worldwide phenomenon.

They had a string of successful albums (Homecoming, Hat Trick, Holiday, Hearts) through to 1977 when Dan Peek left the band. Although some of their songs have been susceptible to overplaying through the years (anyone who listened to Classic Hits (New Zealand) in the 1990s and 2000s might be in this camp) after a break we can appreciate these exquisitely crafted songs. We’ll enjoy the hits but also some lesser known tracks this week.

Spotlight Artist: Led Zeppelin

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3N

Music writer Stephen Thomas Erlewine who wrote many of the articles in the influential All Music Guide (my musical bible in the 1990s) said “What the Beatles were to the ’60s, Led Zeppelin were to the ’70s: a band so successful and innovative they wound up creating the prism through which their entire epoch was seen.” A few words can’t really sum up the legacy of this band, one who surround themselves with influences ranging from blues and folk-rock to psychedelia. Although they might have been the greatest of heavy rock musicians, much of their output transcended that genre. We’ll let the music speak for itself this week as we sample well known and less common tracks from their first album in 1969 through to 1979’s In Through the Out Door.

Spotlight Artist: Tom Petty

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3N

Our spotlight artist this week, sadly departed last year, had a stellar career stretching back to the 1970s. From early bands Epic and Mudcrutch, by the end of 1976 he had released his first album with the Heartbreakers. It did respectably in the charts, with single “Breakdown” hitting the top 40 – it also yielded signature song “American Girl”. For me it was their third album Damn The Torpedoes which marked their creative blossoming. Every track a great listen, it sold over 3 million copies in the US and hit number 2 on the Billboard charts.

Tom Petty was a household name through the MTV era, and his 1991 album Into The Great Wide Open and subsequent Greatest Hits collection really cemented his reputation with a new generation. By this time he had joined Rock royalty with his participation in the Travelling Wilburys project with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynn.

Leaving his original label, he branched out to release his second solo album Wildflowers, an exquisite album that we’ll feature several tracks from. He continued releasing solo and “Heartbreakers” albums through to 2014’s Hypnotic Eye and continued to tour all the while.

He leaves an enormous body of fantastic work, and this week we’ll sample only some of the absolute classics he released, along with a selection of lesser known cuts. What a legend.