By Gordon Durich
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 12/1/23 – The Four Seasons may have crooned “Oh, what a night (December 1963)” but Oh what a year this has been, musically. The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and more hit the charts after decades.
2023 also saw the passing of music legends including Tony Bennett, Burt Bacharach and stars such as Jeff Beck, Gordon Lightfoot, David Crosby and Sinead O’Connor.
One of the mega album releases of this year was the highly anticipated Stones’ record “Hackney Diamonds.” With international publicity, the infamous Jagger lips logo was projected everywhere from the Sydney Opera House to the Brooklyn Bridge; it was all worth the wait. A track list featuring outstanding new material such as “Angry” and collaborations with the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga, “Hackney Diamonds” is one of the best rock and roll albums of 2023. Stones’ former bass player, the late Bill Wyman, even joined the fold, thanks to the wonders of modern technology.
Then there was Paul, and Ringo. And unbelievably John and George. The Beatles’ lush “Now and Then” single was finally released over 40 years since it was first developed. Dubbed The Beatles “last” song, it appeared circa 1962 on a double A-side single (remember that old technology, a 45-record with one song on one side and another song on the flip side). “Now and Then” was paired with a new stereo remix of “Love Me Do.” the band’s debut single.
In other news, Taylor Swift was dubbed a millionaire due to her Eras tour. Not only did she tour but Swift also appeared on the big screen. Madonna returned to the road after a near fatal illness and Aerosmith announced their final tour “Peace Out!” this year after 50 years together. The Eagles announced (another) farewell tour which is expected to last until 2025.
Cher joined the Rolling Stones in scoring a new number one single for seventh straight decade with “DJ Play A Christmas Song.”
Barbra Streisand came out with a new memoir “My Name is Barbra” and other notable books published this in 2023 included “The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music” by Dave Grohl; “Madonna: A Rebel Life” by Mary Gabriel.
Dolly Parton, country superstar turned rock star released an album of 30 tracks including “Satisfaction” and “Stairway to Heaven.” She collaborated with legendary artists Elton John, Pink, Sting and Ringo Starr.
What will 2024 bring? A tour by those gems, The Rolling Stones …and I can’t jolly wait!