Monday, September 5, 2011

Take 5: Britney, Bieber, Prince and more

Monday, September 5, 2011

USA TODAY's music staff offers a weekend tip sheet of sound recommendations spanning the media landscape:

  • Do you miss your classic vinyl Prince albums? You can now get three of them in a box set from Rhino.

    Lester Cohen, WireImage

    Do you miss your classic vinyl Prince albums? You can now get three of them in a box set from Rhino.

Lester Cohen, WireImage

Do you miss your classic vinyl Prince albums? You can now get three of them in a box set from Rhino.


Old-school Prince is back

Want to party like it's 1982? Rhino just issued high-grade vinyl editions of three landmark Prince albums, including double LP 1999 ($35), the '82 disc named after its dated but still funky apocalyptic party jam. Also out are 1980's Dirty Mind and 1981's Controversy ($25 each). Prince, in the midst of his 21-date Los Angeles concert series, is no longer performing the more lascivious tunes on these early releases, a decision prompted by his conversion to the Jehovah's Witness faith. So 1999's Let's Pretend We're Married isn't likely to make the set list, but he could flirt with the pop diamond (and less overtly racy) Little Red Corvette. Likewise, Mind's Head and Do It All Night may be off limits, but new waver When You Were Mine and dance blast Uptown have a shot. Controversy's Sexuality won't pass Prince's new standards, but will he pull out the sociopolitical Ronnie, Talk to Russia? Doubtful. A turntable lets you hear it all unfiltered. Details at — Edna Gundersen


Rod Stewart gets 'Sexy' in Vegas

Rod Stewart is going back to Las Vegas, baby. Tickets go on sale Sunday at 10 a.m. PT for the first 18 dates of a planned two-year residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace that starts Aug. 24. The eternally blond Brit performed eight shows at the swank venue back in November. His program, simply titled The Hits, is set to feature big hits from throughout the R&B-loving rocker's career, including old fan faves such as Maggie May, Hot Legs and You Wear It Well— along with "surprise rarities and sizzling covers." Tickets can be purchased at the box office, if you're in Vegas, or by calling 1-800-745-3000 or visiting — Elysa Gardner


Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

Justin Bieber may only be 16, but his life's story has already made it to the big screen. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011, Paramount, G, $31; DVD+Blu-ray, $41) is available to own this week, just three months after its theatrical release. The documentary tells of how the small-town kid beat the odds to become an international pop sensation. Concert footage and interviews with everyone from his mother — who brought attention to her talented son by posting home videos on YouTube — to hot producer Scooter Braun help explain the phenomenon that is Bieber Fever. — Steve Jones


Britney Spears' life story retold

What don't we already know about Britney Spears? Her every move has been documented since she sashayed into the annals of pop culture with naughty schoolgirl video Oops! ... I Did It Again. We've seen her skyrocket to superstardom, tumble spectacularly from grace, and climb slowly back to the top. Now, fans can read about her life in a 32-page comic book bio, Fame: Britney Spears. While the comic hits all the milestones, it also explores Britney the person. "There is a real human being there, struggling for a real life, struggling to connect with her art, and struggling to be understood," says issue author Patrick McCray in the press release. The title, penciled by Ricardo Jaime, sells for $3.99 and is available at and local comic bookstores. — Korina Lopez


American Idol singers go on the road

From top to bottom, this season's slate of American Idol finalists has been one of the most solid in years — strong enough that the Idol powers opted to take 11 singers on the road instead of the usual 10. The American Idols Live 2011 tour kicks off July 6 at the Maverik Center in Salt Lake City and wraps Sept. 10 at Rochester, N.Y.'s Blue Cross Arena. This year, Idols Live has added a $250 VIP package option, which includes an autographed tour photo and a meet-and-greet with some of the singers. Tickets go on sale Friday for all 45 dates. — Brian Mansfield


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