Music: Upcoming Q4 Releases to Watch Out For

We are well into the final sales quarter for the year and so begins the slew of artists hoping to cash in on Christmas sales with new releases. Given there is such a multitude of releases hitting shelves during this period, we have filtered through these and compiled a list of the music releases to look out for this Winter – as well as some of the year’s earlier releases that may have slipped you by.

Bette Midler – It’s The Girls
Release: 17th November 2014

Cover albums normally fill us with dread, but when The Divine Miss M is behind one, we cannot help but succumb to her gusty vocal charms. Covering a variety of female vocal-group classics, It’s The Girls sees Bette tackle everything from The Shirelles’ Baby It’s You to TLC’s Waterfalls. Other standouts include a country update of The Supremes’ You Can’t Hurry Love and an infectiously joyous take on He’s Sure the Boy I Love (featuring Darlene Love).

David Bowie – Nothing Has Changed
Release: 17th November 2014

Spanning fifty years (from 1964 to 2014), Nothing Has Changed gives a comprehensive snapshot of the best of David Bowie’s back-catalogue. Alongside more obvious tracks like Let’s Dance and Heroes to the forgotten brilliance of the likes of Jump They Say, the compilation also contains new tracks like Sue (or in a Season of Crime).

Bryan Ferry – Avonmore
Release: 17th November 2014

Following the generally pleasing Olympia, Bryan Ferry is back with a new ten track set entitled Avonmore. Lead by the funk-tinged Loop De Li, Avonmore mixes eight brand new compositions and two intriguing covers. Early highlights appear to be Drive Me Wild and One Night Stand (which the former Roxy Music frontman performed on Later With Jools Holland). We are also eagerly anticipating a listen to Ferry’s rendition of Send in the Clowns.

Dame Shirley Bassey – Home Like Before
Release: 17th November 2014

If the 17th of November wasn’t camp enough before thanks to Bette Midler’s latest opus, it certainly will be with the help of Dame Shirley Bassey’s latest collection Home Like Before. A selection of the Welsh diva’s ultimate favourites, the set boasts such delicious sounding covers as An Englishman In New York and MacArthur Park – as well as DSB’s previously released dance anthem We Got Music. Thank God she’s not like Tina and she has the range, darling.

Trisha Yearwood – Prizefighter: Hit After Hit
Release: 17th November 2014

Part compilation, part-new album, Prizefighter showcases a selection of country star Yearwood’s work from past to present. Tracks like XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl) and Wrong Side of Memphis head up the ‘Best of’ section, new country anthems like Kelly Clarkson duet Prizefighter spearhead the six new tracks.

Boyzone – Dublin To Detroit
Release: 24th November 2014

We cannot resist the Irish charm of Ronan and the Boyzone lads and we succumb to their latest releases every time. Boasting a more upbeat set than we usually get, Boyzone tackle some of the most-loved soul and Motown tracks on their new LP from You Can’t Hurry Love to Higher and Higher. We just have one demand, and that’s that Ronan goes shirtless in the next music video.

Mary J. Blige – The London Sessions
Release: 24th November

R&B icon Mary J. Blige teaming up with the young and bright stars of the UK music industry sounds like a slice of heaven. After all, who wouldn’t want to hear what the soul star has been cooking up with Disclosure, Emeli Sande, and Sam Smith? Dance track Right Now has got things off to a good start, so we are eager to hear the full album later in the month.

Olly Murs – Never Been Better
Release: 24th November 2014

Fresh from his scintillating Attitude Magazine cover shoot, British pop heartthrob Olly Murs is back with his fourth LP, Never Been Better. Preceded by the infection disco-throwback sound of lead single Wrapped Up, the album also boats collaborations with the likes of Demi Lovato.

Donna Summer – The Collection
Release: 1st December 2014

A selection of the late, great Donna Summer’s harder-to-find eighties LP’s get the rerelease treatment in this gorgeous box set. This is worth buying not simply for the gorgeous artwork, but simply for the special edition of Another Place and Time – Donna’s album with British pop-production royalty Stock Aitken and Waterman, which resulted in gems such as This Time I Know It’s For Real.

Take That – III
Release: 1st December 2014

Despite now running as a three-piece pop act Take That show no signs of slowing down – having just announced a UK tour and new LP. The album III is lead by infectious soaring pop anthem These Days which proves to be one of the band’s most enjoyable carefree singles yet.

Out now:

Nick Jonas – Nick Jonas

Don’t let the sexiest Jonas Brother’s crotch-grabbing, scantily-clad photo shoots, and barage of television sex scenes distract you from his recently-released, self-titled LP. Comprised of a blend of sultry R&B and disco-themed anthems, Nick’s album is one of pop’s most pleasant surprises. Standouts include hit single Jealous, and album tracks Teacher and Wilderness.

Cheryl – Only Human

After making UK chart history (stealing Geri Halliwell’s crown as the Brit female with the most number ones), Chezza is back with her fourth solo album Only Human. The joyously trashy Crazy Stupid Love got things off to a fun start, but tracks like I Don’t Care, Firecracker, and It’s About Time assert Cheryl as one of the nation’s brightest pop stars.

Amanda Lear – My Happiness

Another camp cover album makes the list, this time it’s androgynous Disco Queen, Amanda Lear’s latest set – a tribute to Elvis Presley. Lear shines on sultry renditions of (You’re the) Devil in Disguise and Suspicious Minds – but it’s the Deluxe Edition’s Almighty remixes that her fans will be clambering to hear.

Billy Idol – Kings and Queens of the Underground

King of Punk, Billy Idol’s seventh solo album hit shelves last month after a nine year wait. Produced by the ever-reliable Trevor Horn, Kings and Queens of the Underground boast a more approachable pop-rock sound, best encapsulated on the wonderful Can’t Break Me Down and Bitter Pill. Billy sounds edgy and as fresh as ever.

Lady Antebellum – 747

America’s favourite country trio return with the recently-released 747 – lead by the group’s best single since Need You Now – Bartender. Mixing country heartbreak ballads with their upbeat country sound, 747 is Lady Antebellum’s most consistently enjoyable album in recent years. Stanouts include Freestyle and All Nighter.

Maroon 5 – V

The inventively titled fifth album from Maroon 5 is an all out pop spectacular – and our new favourite ‘going out’ album. The infectiously upbeat Feelings, Sugar, and It Was Always You, present a band at their most polished. That said, we could listen to lead-singer Adam Levine sing the phonebook, so proceed with caution.

Sam Hunt – Montevallo

Country’s man of the moment Sam Hunt has just broken one million sales of single Leave the Light On – the single which leads his debut LP. Showcasing more depth than much of the bro-country that bogs the industry at the moment, Hunt has managed to craft an album that is personal, fun, and presents him as an original artist. Check out Ex to See and House Party. He’s also incredibly handsome. Like really handsome.

Aretha Franklin – Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics

The penultimate camp cover album on our Q4 hit list sees Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin tackle her favourite diva anthems. Whilst the tracklist lacks any real surprises, Aretha manages to show some variety on her version of the likes of Alicia Keys’ No One (now a reggae anthem) and a ‘unique’ take on Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. More traditional covers appear in the form of Teach Me Tonight, At Last, and People.

Holly Johnson – Europa

The Frankie Goes to Hollywood frontman released his much-anticipated fourth solo album which feels like a glorious trip back to the eighties heyday of electronic pop. Filled with euphoric, upbeat pop anthems like In and Out of Love, Dancing With No Fear, and Heaven’s Eyes, as well as a few emotive ballads (e.g. the gorgeous Lonesome Town) – Johnson has never sounded better.

Marianne Faithfull – Give My Love To London

Marianne Faithfull delivers a richly atmospheric set of dark alternative pop tracks on Give My Love to London which boats collaborators like Anna Calvi, Roger Waters, and Nick Cave. Faithfull’s theatrical annunciation and earthy gravitas, help make this a stirring listen. Particular highlights include Sparrows Will Fly, Falling Back, and the album’s title track.

Jane McDonald – The Singer Of Your Song

The nation’s favourite Loose Woman’s latest LP is the final camp cover collection to maker our hit list. The Singer of Your Song is bonafide camp epic – with Jane’s versions of God Only Knows, Here Comes the Sun and the majestic I’ve Never Been To Me shining up alongside the originals. Original track Love Is All also gets a Hi-NRG remix as well, which can only be describes as a small slice of euphoria.

Kris Allen – Horizons

Free from the shackles of his American Idol past, hunky Kris Allen continues to carve a career for himself as an original singer-songwriter. The excellent Horizons might just be his best LP yet, with tracks like Prove It To You, Beautiful & Wild, and Everybody Just Wants To Dance showcasing the singer’s charm and personality.

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