It has been 90 days since I posted my unmistaken disappointment in Taylor Hicks taking the role of Teen Angel in the Broadway production of Grease. I vowed that if this turned out to be a good thing that I would happily admit that I was wrong.
Well, I have to say that I am floored that this whole Grease thing has been nothing but positive for Taylor. Somewhat magically, once he donned the sparkly blue suit and descended the ice cream cone for the first time, substantial and positive press surrounded him. Of course, this is the total opposite reaction I was anticipating from the less than kind industry press.
While I think that Taylor made chicken salad out of the proverbial chicken shit and seems to have virtually saved the production from closing early, I have to wonder about the sudden shift from cowpies continually flung in his direction (if he was even talked about at all) to the literal toast of the town (a really big one).
I don’t know if this gig was his idea or not; if he finally acquiesed to AI minions; or if he just wanted to summer in NYC, but he certainly has embraced the role and seems to be having a high time. Again, I still don’t really “get it”, as I’d prefer that he be doggedly working on a “real” CD, however I must admit that this part has given him some definite positive traction.
With the demanding schedule, I highly doubt that he’s been recording anything. So, I think it’s unlikely that we’ll see the new CD before Christmas. Particularly since the Early Works CD is being released today in an exclusive Target offering.
For $9.98 you can own re-mastered tracks from In Your Time and Under the Radar. While not the normal CD price, I think the $9.98 deal through Target is a great distribution deal that will end up saving Taylor money and ensuring that the CD is highlighted in a very effective channel. (For example, EW makes it’s debut alongside the very popular Jonas Brothers CD ^^^^). It’s also “priced to sell”, which means more people will consider buying it.
In case you’re wondering about which songs are included on the Early Works CD, here you go:
1. Soul Thing
2. The Fall
3. Hold On to Your Love
4. The Deal
5. Heart and Soul
6. In Your Time
7. West Texas Sky
9. Tighten Up
10. Son of a Carpenter
11. My Friend
12. Georgia (with Billy Earl McClelland)
While these are well known to many who have followed Taylor for a while, there are many who have never heard the early stuff, i.e., the good stuff. Hopefully, this CD will show those who are unfamiliar, Taylor’s grittiness, talent and range.
It appears that some fan groups are doing a bit of guerilla marketing, as well…
I’ll be glad when the Grease thing is done and a new CD with new tracks hits the street. Will we finally see that collaboration with John Mayer? How about Robert Randolph? Norah Jones?