Dion new songs appeal gets 4K entries – Springsteen to release scrapped album in ‘River’ box

This file picture taken on Nov 25, 2013 shows Canadian singer Celine Dion performing during her first of seven shows scheduled until Dec 5 at the Bercy’s Palais Omnisports in Paris. (AFP)
This file picture taken on Nov 25, 2013 shows Canadian singer Celine Dion performing during her first of seven shows scheduled until Dec 5 at the Bercy’s Palais Omnisports in Paris. (AFP)

PARIS, Oct 17, (Agencies): A public appeal by Celine Dion for new songs for her next album in French has been met with a flood of offered tunes, according to a former Canadian media boss close to the singer’s manager.

Around 4,000 songs were sent to Dion’s website and management company by the Oct 5 deadline, Charles Benoit, ex-head of the Quebec TV arm of Canadian group Bell Media, told AFP this week.

Dion’s husband and manager, Rene Angelil, and the CEO of the Les Feeling Productions firm managing her career, Aldo Giampaolo, “were surprised by the dimensions this initiative has taken, and they asked me to organise the works’ selection”, he said.

Dion in late August made her appeal for fresh songs, emphasising that it was “open to everyone”.

The 47-year-old Canadian singer, most famous for performing “My Heart Will Go On” as the theme song for the hit 1997 movie “Titanic”, said she wanted new material for an album in French she’s bringing out next year, and for another one in English in 2017.

The current crop of submitted songs are all for the French album and came by letter, social networks and MP3 files from France and other French-speaking countries.


They will be whittled down to just 25 songs by a panel of six French-language broadcast critics, said Pierre Fortier, a Quebec music festival director whom Benoit tapped to be in charge of the selection process.

“Naturally, out of the 4,000 songs received, there aren’t 4,000 hits, but we’ve already found several good ones,” Fortier said.

An online vote open to the public through Dion’s www.celinedion.com website will choose which one of the shortlisted 25 songs will make it on the singer’s album, with the winner announced Dec 1.

A 56-year-old French amateur singer-composer, Gilles Mazetto, said he hoped his submission, “Cicatrice Dedicacee” (roughly meaning ‘autographed scar’), would make the cut.

“It’s a message in a bottle I’m hoping will be picked up by Celine Dion,” he said.

“I think the song fits her repertoire: it talks about passing time, the moments that define our existence, of those that remain.”

Dion’s last album came out in 2013. In August, she resumed regular concerts she has been giving in Las Vegas since 2011 after taking a year-long hiatus to care for Angelil, 73, who has throat cancer.

Bruce Springsteen will release a discarded 1979 album in its entirety for the first time as part of a box set for his influential work “The River.”

The rock legend on Friday announced a Dec 4 release for the long-awaited collectors’ edition, which will include four CDs and three DVDs.

“The River,” released in October 1980, was Springsteen’s first album to reach number one on the US chart.

The double-length album foreshadowed much of Springsteen’s later work, moving beyond energetic rock tunes to offer darker thoughts about the future of the working class in the United States.

“The River” featured the title song — a bleak tale of a worker, based on Springsteen’s brother-in-law, who on his 19th birthday “got a union card and a wedding coat” — as well as the pop hit “Hungry Heart.”

The previous year, Springsteen recorded a standard-length album but discarded it, explaining later that it “lacked the kind of unity and conceptual intensity I liked my music to have.”

The box set will mark the first time the 1979 album is released as it was recorded, although seven of the tracks were incorporated in some form in the double album of “The River.”


The box set will also include a video of a Springsteen concert during his tour for “The River” on Nov 5, 1980 at Arizona State University.

Long described as one of the most intense performances by the famously energetic artist, Springsteen took the stage under a cloud after Ronald Reagan’s sweeping victory a night earlier in the presidential election.

Springsteen has since become open about his left-leaning politics but in the 1980s was a subtle critic of Reagan, with albums “Nebraska” and “Born in the USA” focusing on the plight of workers.

Springsteen, 66, remains active both in the studio and on the road, releasing his 18th studio album last year.

The box set will include four hours of previously unreleased video on three DVDs, including footage from a 1980 show in Tempe, Arizona, tour rehearsals and a new documentary called “The Ties That Bind.”

It also comes with a coffee table book of 200 rare or previously unseen photos and memorabilia,

Fans can pre-oder the album, due for release on Dec 4, on iTunes and Amazon.com, a press release said. It was listed on Amazon for about $130.

It has been a long time coming. Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams says his new album, “Get Up,” is the ideal follow-up record to his iconic “Reckless” album of 30 years ago.

The album, released on Friday, features several fast, catchy tunes like “Brand New Day,” and “You Belong to Me” which harken back to the signature feel-good style that made Adams a household name in the 1980s with hits like “Heaven” and “Summer of ’69.”

“In many ways it is the album I wish I’d been able to make 25 years ago,” Adams said, describing “Get Up,” as carefree, rocking and retro sounding.

His songwriting for Hollywood earlier in his career spawned some of his biggest hits, including “Heaven,” one of the best things to come out of the much-panned movie “A Night From Heaven,” and “(Everything I Do) I Do it for You,” the theme song from the 1991 film “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.”

But Adams, who has sold more than 65 million albums worldwide and won multiple awards, has never paid attention to shifting audience trends. He is all about his art and music.

“I don’t actually know what my target audience is and I don’t know anything about the music business. I just do what I do, which is make music, which is what I’ve always done. I just like making songs that I like and that’s it,” he said.

Produced by Electric Light Orchestra frontman Jeff Lynne and co-written with his long-time collaborator Jim Vallance, “Get Up,” also boasts a few gentler songs, like “Don’t Even Try,” and “We Did it All.”

Adams, a trim father of two who turns 56 in November, also has a passion for photography, with a new book on abstract photography due out soon. It follows “Exposed,” a collection of portraits of entertainment and fashion celebrities, and “Wounded – The Legacy of War,” depicting photographs of soldiers maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Adams has lined up an extensive tour to promote the new album and admits it is challenging to focus on his passions simultaneously.

“I think what’s nice about having another venue to be creative in is you tend to get a break from what you do … And when you come back to it, you have a new perspective for music,” he said, adding: “Music is always the top of the heap. I’m not going to quit my day job.”

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