Where our intrepid editorial team takes an askance look at the weird and wonderful world of music and media.

Our nomination for the most attention-grabbing advert of the year goes to US indie Patriot Records. Their new metal compilation, 'Premium' featuring Barren Cross, Neon Cross, P K Mitchell and Red Sea makes interesting reading. Headed 'Typical Compilation Album" it goes on, "Cuts that nobody wanted on their real album! Rehashed material! Stale! Didn't have any new material, but needed the money! ...NOT!"
The design editor of US trade paper Billboard laying out the 2 October issue clearly had a problem in where precisely to put this ad. However, his choice, the Gospel section, must have made many a Christian wince.

Still with Billboard, if you think Cummings is prone to obscurationist jargon in his reviews try this review in Billboard of an album by Janet Jackson: "Jackson also broadens her musical scope on 'Janet' by layering deep house, swing-jazz, hip-hop, rock and Caribbean elements on top of a radio-minded jack/funk foundation."

Back in the '70s someone came up with the bright idea of doing a pop version of Handel's Messiah. Pop session singers, none of them Christians, like Madeline Bell and George Chandler were brought in to form the New London Chorale. The album was made and it sold by the bushel. Years after it had been deleted from the pop catalogues Word (UK) reissued 'Young Messiah' for the Christian market with considerable success. But of course it didn't stop there. Having got a taste for pop-religious classics it seems Christendom couldn't stop. First there was 'Handel's Young Messiah' with Sheila Walsh, Russ Taff, Sandi Patti and others. Then there was 'Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration' with Commissioned, Take 6 et al. And now America's CCM industry has come up with 'New Young Messiah'. It features Steven Curtis Chapman, BeBe And CeCe Winans, Carman etc if anybody's interested. Have they never heard of hammering a good idea into the ground?

Tip to all new bands; check out that your name is original BEFORE you record your first album. In America there's been a spate of acts who've had to re-adjust their moniker because another band got there first. So Pray For Rain have had to become PFR, Legend are now Legend 7, In Reach have changed to Brett Williams And In Reach and Dakoda are now Dakoda Motor Company.

Finally, something on our beloved editor. At the Roots And Branches festival he introduced Midlands roots band Nuffsed, stepped back and promptly fell down a hole in the stage! He recounts lying dazed in the hole gazing up at drummer Lee Paul valiantly attempting to keep the tempo of the opening song while convulsed with laughter. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.