Music News Digest: Week Of December 31, 2017

January 8, 2018 by Amy Gold

During the week of December 31, 2017, it was announced that The Beatles took the two top spots in Nielsen's 2017 list of top-selling vinyl LPs with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Abbey Road." Coming in third was the "Guardians Of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1" soundtrack which includes songs by 10cc, David Bowie, Norman Greenbaum, The Runaways, and other 1970s artists. Other top contenders included Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Legend: The Best Of," Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side Of The Moon," and Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

Rhino Records will soon kick off the New Year with its annual "Start Your Ear Off Right" campaign which will feature a number of limited-edition vinyl recordings by Alice Cooper, Aretha Franklin, ZZ Top, and other bands and artists for the rest of January. Toto will release a new greatest hits compilation titled "40 Trips Around The Sun" which is due out in February. "Procol Harum: Still There'll Be More - An Anthology 1967-2017," a career-spanning box set that includes 69 songs, an illustrated book, and over three hours of previously unreleased footage, is due out in March. Coming out in April is a new box set titled "The Who And I" that includes the same-titled book by Tony Klinger plus various Who memorabilia.

Roger Daltrey announced a series of solo concerts in the U.S. for early 2018, with the first show confirmed so far to take place in March. The Stray Cats will reunite onstage for the first time in 10 years at a concert to take place in April at the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend in Las Vegas.

ABBA, Elton John, and Queen are among the bands and artists to be featured in a series of upcoming documentaries that will premiere later this month on the REELZ cable channel. The series will kick off January 20, 2018 with "ABBA: When All Is Said And Done."

Also that week, an intersection in Los Angeles was renamed to honor John Densmore of The Doors as part of an ongoing appreciation week in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the release of the band's self-titled debut album.

Finally, fans bade a final farewell to Rick Hall, a celebrated producer and the owner of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, famous for his work with such top R&B artists as Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, and Etta James, as well as many pop and rock acts.

(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links.)

On January 12, 2018, PBS will air an all-star tribute to Tony Bennett, the 2017 recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.