Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Kanye West and Paul McCartney collaborate on new single

via KanyeWest.com

On New Year’s Eve, Kanye West released a new single, “Only One.” Collaborating on the track is none other than Paul McCartney, who plays keyboard. The tender track, a tribute to both Kanye’s daughter and his late mother, is what a spokesperson calls the first “publicly available recording from what has become a prolific musical collaboration between these two legendary artists.” (Rolling Stone)

In a long statement on U2‘s website (“Little book of a big year: Bono’s A to Z of 2014”), Bono reveals that after the severe cycling accident he recently suffered, he now has a titanium elbow (below) and may never play guitar again. “The band have reminded me that neither they nor Western civilization are depending on this.” Bono also touches on an alphabet of other subjects ranging from bandmate Larry Mullen (“The cover of the [new] U2 album is, I think, our best”) to the Millennial generation (“I call them Generation Z… because they can take us into the zero-tolerance zone for a lot of the awfulness in the world.”)

Final numbers are in, and 2014 was yet another record-setting year for vinyl sales, which grew by a remarkable 52% (compared to 2013) to hit the highest sales number recorded in the SoundScan era—that is, since 1991. The top-selling vinyl release of the year was Jack White‘s Lazaretto. Still, vinyl accounted for only 3.6% of all albums sold, and other formats continued to sharply decline. (Billboard) In the UK, sales of digital downloads declined for the first year ever, with a decline of 15%—even faster than the decline of CD sales. (NME)

This year’s Kennedy Center Honors were broadcast on Tuesday night. A Sting tribute included performances by Bruce SpringsteenLady Gaga, and Bruno Mars; while Mavis StaplesSam Moore, and Usher paid homage to Al Green. (Rolling Stone)

Blues horn player Melvin Jackson has died at age 79. The saxophonist and trumpeter was known for his work with B.B. King and Bobby “Blue” Bland. (Billboard)

Dolly Parton‘s theme park Dollywood has been sued by a woman who experienced a brain injury after falling headfirst from the Waltzing Swinger ride in December 2013. The ride, in which riders swing 25 feet above the ground, was “dangerously slick” due to sleet and rain, the lawsuit alleges. (Billboard)

2014 made history for women having chart success, including a record-breaking run of women occupying every slot on the top five of Billboard’s Hot 100. With Taylor Swift‘s “Blank Space” currently remaining at number one for a seventh week, a second record is within reach: women have now occupied the top slot for 19 weeks, tying a record set in 2005 with songs by Mariah CareyGwen Stefani, and Carrie Underwood. (Billboard)

  • Alex Avedikian

    It’s unfortunate that an icon like Paul McCartney would lend legitimacy to a rampant narcissist like “Yeezus”. This song is just another piece of over-produced auto-tune audio subterfuge disguised as real music. Would this even be on the current if not for Sir Paul?

    • yes I agree. Paul does not need to blemish his great legacy — @ mixley.com

  • M J Gold

    Sorry Alex & other Haters that just Do Not Get It-No matter what you think of Kanye’s galaxy-like ego, he is a Hip-Hop & overall music Virtuoso,& this song which is uplifting & sweetly UN-cynical, means so much more when it’s realized that it is Kanye’s mother’s voice after she left this world so tragically-it’s quite healing when heard in that context & including his young daughter’s future, so your sour hang-ups about Kanye’s “Image” are fortunately NOT shared by esteemed music lover’s the current & Icon Sir Paul- ask Questlove-it’s about the Music not the Hype!(follow the music NOT pre-conceived Images!) Thanks current for your mostly open-minded style!

    • Alex Avedikian

      The term hater has become synonymous with trying to dismiss legitimate criticism. Kanye has indeed found a cult-like following for his brand of hyper-promotion, much like those who were snowed into thinking Warhol was an artist. But a “Virtuoso”, is hyperbole that although worthy of his ego, hardly comes close to reality outside his microcosm of deciples. As far as the epiphany of singing from another’s POV, that’s hardly original. This song is sophomoric, amateurish predictable, over-produced, and just another vehicle for him to wallow in his own self-importance. Fortunately, like everything else he does it will dissipate like a fart in the wind, leaving no indelible mark on anything but his own inflated view of himself.

      Kanye’s legion of geniuses…
      http://entertainthis.usatoday.com/2015/01/05/genius-alert-kanyes-fans-thank-him-for-discovering-unknown-artist-paul-mccartney/

  • M J Gold

    So happy that we have Alex to define what is “Legitimate” & a “Fart in the Wind”(the latter is what seems to be coming out of both ends of Alex & his snobby, venomous output) Yes Alex, the large “Legion” of us “Microcosmic Deciples” that are curious about what Kanye creates & hip-hop music in general, have been “snow-jobbed” into a “Hyper-Promotional” “Cult” that we just cannot resist without the genius insight that is Alex(by the way, the current pointed out that the “Who is Paul McCartney?”comments were a total joke-but go ahead Alex,try & smear & stereotype anyone who would give Kanye’s music a chance) Thank Goodness Alex is not music programmer at the current-although it would be so appreciated if Alex could save us from all the Warhol-like art out here! I guess it’s so unfair that music history is made by ” sophomoric”,”self-important” factors like the current & Sir Paul that those of us in the “Cult” like to wallow in! We’ll always fall for “Over-produced Audio Subterfuge” because we cannot see through it’s disguise as “Real Music” that Alex’s genius ALWAYS exposes-so grateful for his “epiphany” & enlightenment!