The Bonus Track: Alabama Shakes, Dave and Ansell Collins, The Carole King Musical, Public Service Broadcasting

New music from Alabama Shakes, the problem with pop success and Carole King takes to the stage

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Future’s so bright

Difficult second-album syndrome? In fact, sometimes, it takes that unexpected burst of success and critical validation to bring out the best in a band. And so it would appear to be with Alabama Shakes (above), whose 2012 debut album Boys & Girls sold over a million copies worldwide and led to four Grammy ­nominations. How do you follow that? All will be revealed on 20 April when Brittany Howard and crew release Sound & Color. In the meantime, check out Howard’s new-found falsetto on the track “Future People” here:

Tough at the top

Can a pop song be too successful? When it comes to assessing our favourite hits of this decade will the seven weeks that Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” spent at number one work against it? I only ask because in a few weeks’ time ITV will screen the results of its Nations Favourite 70s Number Ones poll. The ­accompanying three-disc album features all the contenders: Abba’s “Dancing Queen”, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the Bee Gees’ “Night Fever” … you get the idea. Conspicuous by their absence, however, are the two songs that spent the longest (nine weeks each) at the top of the charts in the 1970s: John and ­Olivia’s “You’re the One that I Want” and Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Mull of Kintyre”. Still, the album does find room for Dave and Ansell Collins’ “Double Barrel”, which you can remind yourself of here:

Life’s rich tapestry

While we’re in nostalgia mode, the Tony-Award-winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is now previewing at the Aldwych Theatre in London. If the London show can match the energy of the Broadway production, prepare to feel the earth move under your feet. Watch the trailer here:

Next week’s biggie

Kevin Harley reviews Public Service Broadcasting’s The Race for Space. Watch some funky spacemen dancing to “Gagarin” below.