Spotlight Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd

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

With a name that must frustrate spell-checkers everywhere, Lynyrd Skynyrd have achieved recognition for bringing “Southern Rock” to the forefront in the early 1970s. Their hard rocking image was backed by the songwriting talents of leader Ronnie Van Zant. They formed in high school, their name being a mockery of teacher Leonard Skinner (who didn’t like long hair). They played live for a few years without much success before they were spotted by producer Al Kooper who produced their first album Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd. “Free Bird” off that album was a big success. Dedicated to Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers (who had died in a motorbike crash in 1971) the song became legendary through radio airplay. Their second album (Second Helping, 1974) went multi-platinum and featured the 70s standard “Sweet Home Alabama”.

The band released several more albums over the next few years until on October 17 1977 band members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and his sister Cassie were tragically killed in a plane crash. In those few short years however they produced quintessential Southern Rock. We look forward to enjoying a selection this week.

Spotlight Artist: Fleet Foxes

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

The Fleet Foxes are an ‘indie folk’ band from Seattle, USA. Their first big impression was with their 2008 EP Sun Giant. Since then they’ve gained a great reputation building a body of beautiful melodic folk. To celebrate the recent release of their box set First Collection 2006-2009 we’ll be enjoying great music from across their musical career.

Spotlight Artist: The Eagles

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

The Eagles have certainly had their share of compilations over the year. Recently they released a big box set of all their studio albums, three live disks and a collection of single cuts and b-sides. It seems a good excuse to enjoy revisiting the band from Los Angeles. Formed in 1971 the band went on to release six albums in the 1970s, spawning five number one singles, six Grammy’s and five number one albums. After breakup in 1979 (saying they would only perform together again if “hell froze over”) they got back together for 1994’s ‘Hell Freeze’s Over’ tour, which yielded a number one live album and video.

Some don’t like them – perhaps too smooth, or just too overexposed/successful, but there is no doubt that we love their body of great music. Let’s enjoy some this week.

Spotlight Artist: John Mellencamp

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

Born in 1951, John began performing in the mid 1970s, however his manager insisted he use the name Johnny Cougar, believing the German name Mellencamp was too hard to market. Following albums grew in popularity but his breakthrough came in 1982 with American Fool (featuring “Hurts so Good” and “Jack & Diane”), after which he was allowed to use his own name. Mellencamp’s brand of heartland rock went on to generate 22 Top 40 singles and 13 Grammy Award nominations.

We’ll enjoy some hits and deeper cuts from this legendary artist this week.

Spotlight Artist: J. Geils Band

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

One of the biggest touring rock and roll bands in the US during the 1970s, you don’t really hear much from this band now, apart from their ubiquitous single “Centrefold”. Peter Wolf led a tough bar band who were hugely popular live but struggled to win in the singles chart. Often good songs like “Give It To Me” didn’t quite turn out to be as strong in the studio as they were live.

“Centrefold” changed all that, hitting no. 1 in the US singles charts in early 1982 and staying there for six weeks. Unfortunately tensions between Wolf and Seth Justman (the main songwriter) led to the band’s demise soon after. We’ll check out some of their lesser known tracks this week as well as big ones like “Love Stinks” (later featured in the film The Wedding Singer).

Spotlight Artist: Florence + The Machine

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

Florence + The Machine formed in 2007, featuring Florence Welch on lead vocals, with Isabella “Machine” Summers and other collaborators. Archetypal Indie rock, Florence’s belting vocals are an outstanding feature. This week we’ll enjoy music from their initial 2009 album Lungs, Ceremonials (2011) and How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015). Their most recent album High As Hope from a couple of months ago is still in rotation and was an Album of the Week a couple of months ago. A very consistent band with a great repertoire already.

Spotlight Artist: Chris de Burgh

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

Most of us probably know Chris de Burgh solely for his smash hit “Lady In Red”. This hit the top ten in at least nineteen countries in 1986 and has been a staple of Adult Contemporary radio and ‘Love Song’ compilations ever since. “Don’t Pay The Ferryman” from 1983 saw him make his first foray into the Top 40 in the UK and USA, yet Chris had been plying his trade since he signed his first recording contract in 1974, gaining exposure supporting Supertramp on tour. Intriguingly his 1970s albums were pretty successful in Europe and South America, but he failed to make much progress in the UK and USA. He was actually born in Argentina to a British Dad and Irish Mum, and lived in a variety of countries before settling in Ireland. He is described as an ‘art rocker’ who occasionally writes some pop material. We think you’ll enjoy listening to a selection of his quality music this week, from through his career.

Spotlight Artist: The British Invasion

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

This week something a little different – instead of concentrating on a single artist, we’ll explore the phenomenon known as “The British Invasion”.

British acts started getting some exposure in the US in 1962, with three acts including “Telstar” by The Tornados reaching No 1 on the Hot 100. The term really belongs to the era beginning in late 1963 when disk jockeys began playing “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles. This spawned a massive craze known as Beatlemania, surfed by other British acts including The Animals, The Rolling Stones, Searchers and Zombies. We’ll enjoy a range of great songs from this era this week in our “Spotlight Artist” slot.

Spotlight Artist: Phil Collins

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

Phil Collins is a giant of popular music. Deeply uncool to some, complex to others, his reputation has undergone a bit of a resurgence with his latest tour. Personality aside we think his music is great – the main crime was that it was vastly overplayed on radio at his height. This week we’ll celebrate his songs but with a focus on the lesser played album tracks that stand out – songs like “Who Said I Would” and “Inside Out” from No Jacket Required. 

Spotlight Artist: Fleetwood Mac

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

Fleetwood Mac are a massive group with a huge body of work. This week we’re going to focus in on a particular aspect – Stevie Nicks’ vocals with the group. Nicks joined the group in late 1974. After several personnel changes Mick Fleetwood had invited Lindsey Buckingham to join the group – he agreed on condition that his then girlfriend Stevie could as well. The rest as they say is history – the ensuing album Fleetwood Mac broke the band through to mainstream success and sold over 5 million copies. We’ll enjoy some of the big hits such as “Rhiannon” but also some great album tracks such as “Storms” and “That’s Alright” this week.