Stop The Presses!

Nov. 10-17: Baby Come Back

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

It was another week full of comebacks--successful ones, and thwarted ones--plus one sad, sad goodbye to someone who now can never come back. Let's get started...

First, Britney Spears has been making a comeback lately--both in her professional life, with a string of VMA victories and her single "Womanizer" topping the charts, and in her personal life, as she continues to rebuild her relationship with sons Sean Preston and Jayden James (of whom she no longer has full custody). But this week, when Britney was finally allowed by the court to travel outside of California with Sean and Jayden, she suffered another setback: What should have been a happy vacation visiting her family in Louisiana was marred when 2-year-old Jayden had to be rushed to the hospital with what People magazine descried as a "terrible allergic reaction" to something he ate. Luckily, the boy was discharged two days later, allowing him have more quality time with his recovering mother. Chances are he won't have much private time with her in the near future, if her latest comeback attempt goes as planned: Britney's new album, Circus, comes out December 2 (her 27th birthday) in conjunction with a new tell-all documentary, with a rumored concert tour to follow.

One comeback album that probably won't be out in December as planned is Eminem's Relapse, his first full studio effort in four years. Although several music retail websites list the album as set for release next month, an anonymous "record company insider" has informed the New York Post that Eminem is "completely obsessive-compulsive about this album. There's a 50/50 chance it will be done by the end of this year, but most likely it'll be the first quarter of next year." Since the release of 2004's Encore, Shady has all but disappeared from the music scene, mainly making headlines for non-musical exploits like his 2005 rehab stint, his brief 2006 remarriage to on/off wife Kimberly, the shooting death of his D12 bandmate Proof, and rumors of his enormous weight gain. His only musical endeavors have been a best-of compilation (Curtain Call), a mixtape (The Re-Up), and a guest spot on Akon's "Smack That," so fans are definitely eager to hear some new Marshall Mathers material by now. But will Shady have as difficult a time making a comeback as did Britney, who also took a four-year hiatus--between albums In The Zone and Blackout--and suffered the consequences? Perhaps that pressure is causing Relapse's delay. So it looks like fans will have to wait a bit longer for the real Slim Shady to stand up again.

One recording artist who certainly enjoyed a successful comeback of sorts this week was country goddess Shania Twain. Shania's chiefly been in the spotlight lately for personal problems of her own--specifically the dissolution of her marriage to record producer Mutt Lange, who was allegedly unfaithful--but when Shania re-emerged at the Country Music Association Awards this week, her dazzling appearance surely must have had Mutt realizing the error of his ways. She looked positively stunning as she presented the Entertainer Of The Year award to Kenny Chesney, who upon laying eyes on Shania immediately blurted out, "You look really good!" But it remains to be seen if and when Shania, who has not released a studio album since 2002, will launch a full-scale musical comeback anytime soon, now that she's split from the man who made all the magic happen for her in the studio.

Another welcome comeback this week came from Rod Stewart (who, believe it or not, actually used to rock pretty hard long ago, way before his Songbook era) and Rolling Stones axe-slinger Ronnie Wood (who's recently been in rehab himself). The pair officially announced that they are reforming their classic '60s/'70s rock band, the Faces; Rod the onetime Mod confirmed to the press this week that all the original Faces members (aside from late bassist Ronnie Lane, who died in 1997) are beginning to rehearse all the old Faces hits in preparation for a full reunion tour. A reason for classic rock fans to put on a happy face indeed!

But there was reason for sadness in the classic rock world as well this week, when rock 'n' roll lost another one of its beloved icons: Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, who died Thursday. Mitch was the last surviving member of the pioneering Experience rock group, and one of the greatest rock drummers of all time. "He was a wonderful man, a brilliant musician, and a true friend," said Janie Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix's stepsister and chief executive of this year's Experience Hendrix Tour (which featured Mitch and had only wrapped up last week). "His role in shaping the sound of the Jimi Hendrix Experience cannot be underestimated." Mitch Mitchell was 61 years old.

And on that sad note, thus concludes another week in music news. And on the subject of comebacks, do come back next Friday for another news fix. Until then, goodnight, and good music.

THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 NEWS STORIES:

1) A Very Sad Experience - Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell dies.

2) More Britney Baby Drama - Spears's son is rushed to the hospital during a family vacation.

3) Shania Comes On Over To The CMAs - The reclusive country beauty makes a rare post-divorce public appearance.

4) Straight-Up Awful News - A stalker is found dead outside Paula Abdul's home.

5) Welcome To The Jail - A blogger pleads guilty to leaking Guns N' Roses' music online.

6) Eminem Loses Himself In The Music - A label employee alleges that Eminem will not finish his new album by year's end.

7) Rod Stewart & Ron Wood Face The Music - They're reforming their old band the Faces.

8) Suge Knight A Gold Digger? - He's suing Kanye West for thousands of dollars.

9) *N-Shrink - Lance Bass says he is two inches shorter after space-training.

10) "Eleanor Rigby" Identity Revealed - Now we at least know where this lonely person came from.

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