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The sounds of summer

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The biggest-selling album of the summer and later of the entire year of 2006 was the original soundtrack of High School Musical, the sensational TV movie from Disney. A year later you can expect history to repeat itself because the big album to watch out for this summer is no other than High School Musical: The Concert CD and DVD.


What we are getting this year is a two-disc set with every song from the quadruple-platinum soundtrack, which is just fine because most of us, particularly the kids, have already worn out their first copies. It comes with a DVD that has live concert footage filmed during the recent 42-city High School Musical Tour and interviews with the cast. Also included in the audio CD are several live-recorded tracks from the same concert plus some new songs available only in this album.


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I am sure fans of High School Musical will love to have concert versions of Start of Something New, Stick to the Status Quo, We’re All in This Together and others. There are also When There Was Me and You by Vanessa Hudgens, Bop to the Top by Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel and other favorites from the film.


The only thing about this album fans will not approve of is the fact that Zac Efron is not part of the concert. This was probably because the young man who became a big star, thanks to High School Musical, was busy working on Hairspray, another big musical with John Travolta. I know that is just too bad but replacement Drew Seeley is cute in his own way and makes for a good Troy as he sings and dances to Get’cha Head in the Game, What I’ve Been Looking For and Breaking Free.

Minutes to Midnight

Another big album to watch out for this summer is Minutes to Midnight, said to be Linkin Park’s best work so far. The CD will hit the market worldwide on May 14 but the first single What I’ve Done and its accompanying video came out last April 2 and is already making a lot of waves. In fact, the latest Billboard Magazine has the song listed as a Hotshot debut at No. 7 in the Hot 100 singles chart.


One of the world’s biggest rock bands today, Linkin Park is made up of Chester Bennington on vocals; Rob Bourdon on drums; Brad Delson on guitar; Joe Hahn as disc jockey; Dave "Phoenix" Farrell on bass; and Mike Shinoda on vocals. It has sold nearly 40 million albums with 18 million of these from the massive sales of the phenomenal Hybrid Theory alone. Makes you wonder how many millions more will they add to their tally with the arrival of Minutes to Midnight.

Diamonds II for the romantics

For romantic but budget-conscious souls, here’s a way to have all those beautiful love songs, new and old at your beck and call, but without draining your pocket. Get a copy of Diamonds II, a collection sub-titled Love Songs are Forever, which has 36 cuts in two CDs but sells for just the price of one. There are classics, standards, current pop hits. But no matter from where they come from, you can count on the songs as among the best you have ever heard.


Among these are You Give Me Something by James Morrison; Patience by Take That; It’s All Coming Back to Me Now by Meatloaf; Stickwitu by the Pussycat Dolls; On Bended Knees by Boyz II Men; Anytime by Bryan McKnight; Truly by Lionel Richie; Ben by Michael Jackson; Cherish by Kool & the Gang; You are Everything by Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross; You’re the First, the Last, My Everything by Barry White; Words by Boyzone; Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer; Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word by Elton John; Bridge Over Troubled Waters by Simon & Garfunkel; It Might be You by Stephen Bishop; and many others.


For an even more romantic mood but of the trendy sort, there is Love, another collection of timeless love songs. Nothing jars the atmosphere in this one. It’s just one sweet love song after another. Coincidentally, Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer also appears in this one. But it’s a good song I don’t mind hearing again and again.


Other cuts are We Belong Together by Mariah Carey; You’re Beautiful by James Blunt; Home by Michael Bublé; To Where You Are by Josh Groban; When You Say Nothing at All by Ronan Keating; Don’t Love You No More by Craig David; What Can I Do by The Corrs; Pretty Boy by M2M; I Swear by All-4-One; I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston, How Do I Live by Leann Rimes and others.

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