Mike Barnes

Mike Barnes  |  Apr 11, 2023  |  0 comments
With a new producer and an all-star lineup of musicians behind her, the one-time disco queen's breakthrough album melded reggae, dance, funk and pop, and reimagined her as 'only possibly from this planet' thanks to its eye-catching cover photography

Befitting an album released by a fashion model, Grace Jones' Nightclubbing features one of the most memorable album covers of all time. Photographer Jean-Paul Goude, Jones' partner and a former art director of Esquire magazine, portrayed her as androgynous, with a look of insouciance that bordered on the intimidating with her flat top haircut, a man's Armani jacket with geometrically padded shoulders and a vertically poised cigarette. Jones would apply purple make-up before going onstage and for this sleeve her skin tone was given an exaggerated dark purplish gloss, which added to the strangeness.

Mike Barnes  |  Mar 31, 2023  |  0 comments
This month we review: Robert Forster, Meg Baird, Billy Nomates and Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs.
Mike Barnes  |  Feb 27, 2023  |  0 comments
This month we review: Robert Coyne, Kitten Pyramid, Unkle Bob and Josephine Oniyama.
Mike Barnes  |  Jan 27, 2023  |  0 comments
This month we review: Arctic Monkeys, Pete Astor, Fractal Sextet and Jack Hues & The Quartet.
Mike Barnes  |  Jan 03, 2023  |  0 comments
For their groundbreaking sophomore album, the West London-based 'space rock' masters doubled down on the electronic audio effects, moved beyond the live jam feel of their free concerts, and invited fans to join them as they set out on a voyage to the stars...

Musicians' fascination with space, and their attempts to evoke its unfathomable vastness in sound, dates back at least as far as Ancient Greece. It was Pythagoras who developed the concept of Music Of The Spheres, a theoretical cosmic harmony produced by the movement of the planets and stars that could translate into music.

Mike Barnes  |  Dec 29, 2022  |  0 comments
This month we review: Clutch, Robyn Hitchcock, Pixies and PVA.
Mike Barnes  |  Dec 06, 2022  |  0 comments
Psychedelic rockers? Punks? Flag-bearers for the New Wave? This fourth album from the UK quartet proved they could be all of the above and now ranks as one of their best, even if it meant their regular producer would walk away, saying they were 'losing it'

In 1976 The Stranglers were a fixture on the pub rock circuit and were also in at the very start of punk, supporting The Ramones on their historic first UK date in July that year. But while they developed in parallel to this new wave in music and were certainly associated with it, they didn't really fit in.

Mike Barnes  |  Nov 29, 2022  |  0 comments
This month we review: Bonny Light Horseman, The Beths, Motorpsycho and William Orbit.
Mike Barnes  |  Oct 31, 2022  |  0 comments
This month we review: Working Men's Club, Tim Bowness, Breathless and Martin Courtney.
Mike Barnes  |  Oct 04, 2022  |  0 comments
Featuring original songs 'I Walk The Line' and 'Folsom Prison Blues', the 1957 debut album from the American singer laid the first foundations for a near 50-year career as The Man In Black. Not bad for a 25-year-old former vacuum cleaner salesman...

One of the legends of American music, Johnny Cash's place in the record industry was hard-won. Born in 1932 in Kingsland in rural Arkansas, he grew up picking cotton on his father's farm and graduated to working on a car assembly line, before eventually joining the US air force in 1950 and serving in Germany as a radio operator at Landsberg airbase.