Saturday, 15 April 2017
The Kids Are Alright/It's Not True/ A Legal Matter/La-La-La Lies
The Who are an English rock band that formed in 1964. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide and holding a reputation for their live shows and studio work.
The Who's major contributions to rock music include the development of the Marshall stack, large PA systems, use of the synthesizer, Entwistle and Moon's lead playing styles, Townshend's feedback and power chord guitar technique, and the development of the rock opera. They are cited as an influence by hard rock, punk rock and mod bands, and their songs still receive regular exposure.
Thanks To Mr. Purser
David Watts/Two Sisters/Lazy Old Sun/Situation Vacant
The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, in 1964 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. They are regarded as one of the most important and influential rock bands of the era. The band emerged during the height of British rhythm and blues and Merseybeat, and were briefly part of the British Invasion of the US until their touring ban in 1965. Their third single, the Ray Davies-penned "You Really Got Me", became an international hit, topping the charts in the United Kingdom and reaching the Top 10 in the United States. Between the mid-1960s and early 1970s, the group released a string of hit singles; studio albums drew good reviews but sold less than compilations of their singles. Their music was influenced by a wide range of genres, including rhythm and blues, British music hall, folk and country. They gained a reputation for reflecting English culture and lifestyle, fuelled by Ray Davies' observational writing style. Albums such as Something Else (1967), The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968), Arthur (1969), Lola Versus Powerman (1970), along with their accompanying singles, are considered among the most influential recordings of the period.
The group had five Top 10 singles on the US Billboard chart. Nine of their albums charted in the Top 40. In the UK, the group had seventeen Top 20 singles and five Top 10 albums. Four of their albums have been certified gold by the RIAA and have gone on to sell over 50 million albums worldwide. Among numerous honours, they received the Ivor Novello Award for "Outstanding Service to British Music". In 1990, the original four members of the Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the UK Music Hall of Fame in November 2005.
Sunday, 9 April 2017
If I Were A Carpenter/Rainin'/The Ballad of Cat Ballou/The Sweetheart Tree
If I Were a Carpenter is an album by American singer Bobby Darin, released in 1966. It was a significant change in direction for Darin considering his previous album (In a Broadway Bag) was a collection of show tunes.
Having previously built his career recording mainstream pop music, Darin's musical output became more "folky" as the 1960s progressed. In 1966, he charted with folksinger Tim Hardin's "If I Were a Carpenter". It was Darin's return to the Top 10 after a four-year absence (the single peaked at No. 8 in the US and No. 9 in the UK in 1966). The tracks leaned heavily towards songs by Hardin and John Sebastian — seven of the songs were written by these two songwriters and Darin's next album would follow a similar process. The song "Red Balloon" had not yet been released by Hardin. It would appear on his album 1967 album Tim Hardin 2. In his Allmusic review, Richie Unterberger, stated "Hardin himself was convinced that Darin had copied his vocal style by listening to his yet-to-be-issued version and the album as a whole boasts a production similar to the orchestrated folk-rock heard on the debut album in question, though it sounds like an inferior copy." Both Darin's If I Were a Carpenter and Hardin's Tim Hardin 2 were produced by Charles Koppelman and Don Rubin and Koppelman had originally signed Sebastian's band, The Lovin' Spoonful.
The album reached number 142 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. Darin's cover of "Lovin' You" reached the Top 40. If I Were a Carpenter was reissued in 1998 on the Diablo label combined with Darin's next release, Inside Out.
Monday, 3 April 2017
Detroit City/It's Been A Change/Take Me (Just As I Am)/I Stayed Away Too Long
Soul-R&B pioneer Solomon Burke never gained the level of fame afforded to contemporaries James Brown, Al Green, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, or Sam Cooke. Rather, artists such as the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, and the Blues Brothers introduced him to a wider audience through their cover versions.
The Stones’ early versions of “Cry to Me” and “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” especially stand out. In fact, the former appeared over 20 years later in the 1987 blockbuster Dirty Dancing, garnering renewed interest in the singer.
Born above Philadelphia’s Solomon’s Temple church, Burke was an ordained minister throughout his life as well as a mortician. He certainly led a very colorful life, as evidenced by a revealing Rolling Stone profile. Always full of life, the singer never actually slowed down even in the face of obvious weight gain and immobility, recording, touring, and often preaching from the pulpit of his Los Angeles church, the House of Prayer for All People and World Wide Center for Life and Truth (the church must have a wide sign). He passed away suddenly on Oct. 10, 2010, of natural causes after arriving in Switzerland by jet for a live performance with Dutch rock band De Dijk. Hold on Tight, a final, collaborative studio album featuring the decidedly odd couple, was ultimately released one year later.
Burke wasn’t strictly pigeon-holed as a soul music interpreter. During his early Atlantic years, the singer was usually backed by a full orchestra with a decidedly pop sound, vocally resembling Sam Cooke on his first Atlantic single in 1961, the non-charting, yet very charming “Keep the Magic Working.” Burke was a masterful interpreter of pop standards, including one of his most neglected performances, a 1969 rendition of “That Lucky Old Sun,” which idiosyncratic Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson revived almost 40 years later.
Artists such as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, to producers ranging from Don Was and Willie Mitchell, all contributed songs to Burke’s 21st century discography. Burke’s penultimate album, Nothing’s Impossible, was the epitaph for producer Willie Mitchell, and it also serves as a fitting almost-finale for Burke. Listen to the opening song, “Oh What a Feeling,” cut in Memphis at Royal Studios with Mitchell’s trademark strings, organ, and rich rhythm section anchoring Burke’s longing vocals.
Sixty-eight years old when that performance was tracked, Burke’s singing had lost nothing with the passage of time. When he moans, almost preaching the lines “One night’s sleep is never enough, it feels so good, I don’t wanna wake up, oh what a feeling, I can’t help myself, I’ve just got, what a feeling I have inside for you,” you know he’s singing from plenty of hard-earned experience.
Stranger In Town/Do You Wanna Dance/Keep Searchin' (Follow The Sun)/Handy Man
One of the best and most original rockers of the early '60s, Del Shannon was also one of the least typical. Although classified at times as a teen idol, he favored brooding themes of abandonment, loss, and rejection. In some respects he looked forward to the British Invasion with his frequent use of minor chords and his ability to write most of his own material. In fact, Shannon was able to keep going strong for a year or two into the British Invasion, and never stopped trying to play original music, though his commercial prospects pretty much died after the mid-'60s.
Born Charles Westover, Shannon happened upon a gripping series of minor chords while playing with his band in Battle Creek, MI. The chords would form the basis for his 1961 debut single, "Runaway," one of the greatest hits of the early '60s, with its unforgettable riffs, Shannon's amazing vocal range (which often glided off into a powerful falsetto), and the creepy, futuristic organ solo in the middle. It made number one, and the similar follow-up, "Hats Off to Larry," also made the Top Ten.
Sunday, 2 April 2017
Goodbye/Those Were The Days/Water, Paper And Clay/Knock Knock Who's There
Mary's story has been told many times over. At some point we may write a sheer unadulterated biography for this website, but for now, here are the basics, pulled from Wikipedia:
Mary Hopkin (born May 3, 1950) is a Welsh folk singer. She is best known as one of the first artists to sign to The Beatles' Apple Records label.
Alongside playing solo gigs and with her band around the local clubs, Mary released an album of Welsh language songs on a label called Cambrian who were based in her home town of Pontardawe, before signing to the Beatles' Apple Records. The model Twiggy saw her winning the British ITV television talent show Opportunity Knocks and recommended her to Paul McCartney. She became one of the first artists to record on The Beatles' Apple record label.
Mary's debut single, 'Those Were the Days', produced by Paul McCartney, was released in the UK on August 30, 1968. On 21 February 1969 her debut album, 'Postcard', also produced by McCartney, was released.
She represented the United Kingdom in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest singing 'Knock Knock, Who's There?', coming second in the competition. If you mention Eurovision to Mary now, she pulls a disgusted face, not because she came second, but because this represents the pinnacle of the sugary sweet pop world that she hated.
Her second album, 'Earth Song, Ocean Song', was released by Apple on October 1, 1971. The record was produced by Tony Visconti and included cover versions of songs written by Cat Stevens, Gallagher and Lyle, and Ralph McTell. This is by far Mary's favourite album and she regrets being unable to promote it properly, being tied up in a summer season. Her Apple releases have now been remastered and are available on CD and downloads.
She was in a band called Sundance with Mike Hurst and Mike de Albuquerque of ELO, and then she made an album with the original band called Oasis (nothing to do with those naughty brothers) which also featured Julian Lloyd Webber and Peter Skellern. In 1989 she recorded "Spirit" with Benny Gallagher. Now being re-released on MHM.
Her daughter, Jessica Morgan, released 'Live at the Royal Festival Hall 1972' in 2005 under the label Mary Hopkin Music. When Jessica opened Space Studios later that year with her partner Christian Thomas (the other one, not the Pink Floyd record producer), Mary Hopkin Music was incorporated into the studio which now provides a haven where Mary can record. The discovery of yet more unreleased tracks recorded with Tony Visconti has led to our release of the "Archive" albums on Mary Hopkin Music. Additionally, Mary has since found a huge stash of other songs written by herself. We are working on releasing these too.
Mary lives a nomadic lifestyle, flitting about between countries. Rumour has it that she lives in a chateau in France where she can only be reached by carrier pigeon. While not strictly true, she still values her privacy.
Summer Wine/Shades/I Can't Grow Peaches On A Cherry Tree/The More I See You
"Summer Wine" is a song written by Lee Hazlewood. It was originally sung by Suzi Jane Hokom and Lee Hazlewood in 1966, but it was made famous by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood in 1967. This version was originally released as the B-side of "Sugar Town" the previous year, before featuring on the Nancy & Lee LP in 1968. It was the first of Sinatra and Hazlewood's string of popular duets.
Lyrically, "Summer Wine" describes a man, voiced by Hazlewood, who meets a woman, Sinatra, who notices his silver spurs and invites him to have wine with her. After heavy drinking, the man awakens hungover to find his spurs and money have been stolen by the mysterious woman; the subtext of which being they experienced intercourse and as payment she took his "silver spurs, a dollar and a dime". He then declares a longing for more of her "wine". One interpretation is that the man singing the song was seduced by the woman in order to steal his money and belongings. Another interpretation, sometimes cited, is that the song contains an allegorical description of drug use and that the lyric "she reassured me with an unfamiliar line" specifically refers to cocaine though that is anomalous for the apparent period setting. Thanks to Sunshine
Get it On (Bang a Gong)/Hot Love/Debora/Ride a White Swan
T. Rex were an English rock band, formed in 1967 by singer-songwriter and guitarist Marc Bolan. The band was initially called Tyrannosaurus Rex, and released four psychedelic folk albums under this name. In 1969, Bolan began to shift from the band's early acoustic sound to an electric one. The following year, he shortened their name to T. Rex. The 1970 release of the single "Ride a White Swan" marked the culmination of this development, and the group soon became a commercial success as part of the emerging glam rock scene.
From 1970 until 1973, T. Rex encountered a popularity in the UK comparable to that of the Beatles, with a run of eleven singles in the UK top ten. One of the most prominent acts in British popular culture, they scored four UK number one hits, "Hot Love", "Get It On", "Telegram Sam" and "Metal Guru". The band's 1971 album Electric Warrior received critical acclaim as a pioneering glam rock album. It reached number 1 in the UK. The 1972 follow-up, The Slider, entered the top 20 in the US. Following the release of "20th Century Boy" in 1973, which reached number three in the UK, T. Rex began to experience less commercial success but continued recording one album per year.
In 1977, Bolan died in a car accident several months after releasing their final studio album Dandy in the Underworld. Since then, T. Rex have continued to exert a vast influence on a variety of subsequent artists.