Music News 1.31.17

Remembering Bassist John Wetton

Asia co-founder and former King Crimson bassist John Wetton passed away in his sleep early this morning after battling cancer. Born in 1949, Wetton rose to fame in 1972 after joining the revamped King Crimson line-up as the group’s frontman, bassist and chief composer. Wetton was a member of King Crimson for just two years before the group’s temporary disbandment, after which he served stints with Roxy Music and Uriah Heep, eventually co-founding the band U.K. with Bill Bruford and embarking on a solo career. In the early 80s, Wetton joined forces with former Yes members Geoff Downes and Steve Howe as well as ex-Emerson, Lake, and Palmer drummer Carl Palmer to form the prog-rock supergroup Asia. Wetton eventually parted ways with Asia to reignite his solo career, but joined forces once more with Geoff Downes in the early 2000s to release a series of duo albums under the name Icon, which eventually led to a reunion of Asia’s original lineup in 2006. Wetton battled a number of health issues in his last years, opening up about his addiction to and struggle with alcohol and having major surgery for a heart condition. Earlier this month, Wetton’s cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy caused him to pull out of the first several dates of Asia’s tour with Journey, though he was dedicated to jumping in part-way through the tour that is set to take off later this year. John Wetton was 67.


New Project by Harvard Library will Curate “Standards of the Culture” Hiphop Records 

Harvard Library has teamed up with the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute and former fellow 9th Wonder to curate the library’s Classic Crates project. Starting this year, 10 albums will be archived annually, eventually totaling 200 albums overall. Each chosen album is described by 9th Wonder as a “the standard of culture.” Each album with be archived with liner notes and the vinyl used in the original production, “to be forever placed in the canon.” Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Miss Lauryn Hill, A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory, and Nas’ Illmatic are four among the original 10 to be archived this year.

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