What once was old is new again. Bon Jovi’s 1987 rock anthem, “Livin’ On a Prayer,” has re-entered the “Billboard Hot 100” more than a quarter century after the song first topped that same chart.
As reported by Billboard, the song’s return to the chart was triggered by a surge in the number of times it’s being streamed online. The streaming is mostly attributable to user-generated clips spurred by renewed interest in a video, originally posted in 2009, of Boston Celtics fan Jeremy Fry dancing to the song during stoppage of play at Boston’s TD Garden. Fry’s dance routine was freshly uploaded to Utrend.tv on October 17, and has since drawn 11 million worldwide views and garnered more than 1.6 million Facebook “shares.”
Bon Jovi last appeared on the Hot 100 chart in 2009, when “We Weren’t Born to Follow,” from the band’s album The Circle , reached Number 68.
Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson is set to release his third solo album. Titled The Ceaseless Sight, the album will be issued in the spring of 2014 by The End Records, a Brooklyn-based indie label that’s home to such artists as Cradle of Filth, Badly Drawn Boy, Anvil and Fatboy Slim.
Robinson apparently chose the label in part because of his high regard for The End founder Andreas Katsambas. “[Katsambas] is a long time music fan and has some very forward ideas on how to get music out there,” Robinson told Billboard, “but more importantly for me, [he knows] how to allow the artist to create pure music without the inevitable ‘commercial versus art’ clash that comes from a more traditional approach. All of Andreas' team shares these qualities.”
Robinson has been on the road this year with the Black Crowes, as part of the band’s “Lay Down with Number 13” world tour. The guitarist will undertake a U.S. tour in 2014 in support of The Ceaseless Sight.
Rush have been busy on the road in support of their 2012 studio album “Clockwork Angels,” and now, it’s time for a break.
“We’ve committed to taking about a year off,” guitarist Alex Lifeson told Billboard. “We all agreed when we finished this tour we were going to take this time off and we weren’t going to talk about band stuff or make any plans.”
If you’re worried that means Rush will permanently go away, don’t. “We haven’t stopped or quit,” Lifeson said. “Right now we’re just relaxing.”
Even though the band plans to take the time off, Lifeson says band mates may find some spare moments to start working on Rush’s next album.
“[We] typically get a little bored, and so we enjoy writing and working together,” he explains, “and I wouldn’t doubt that some time in the New Year we’ll probably gravitate towards each other and start doing some writing.”
He added that Rush’s next album will probably different quite a bit from Clockwork Angels.
“The album is dying as a format,” he maintains. “We’re so used to it…but will we get more mileage by doing a few new songs at a time, or do we do another album? It’s hard to say what the future holds.”
James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo have announced they will release a special, vinyl edition of their Through the Never Soundtrack on Nov. 29, limited to just 4,000 copies.
The release is in conjunction with Record Store Day‘s “Back to Black Friday” releases, which arrive on Black Friday exclusively at local record shops.
“Since its inception we have always been very proud to be a regular part of Record Store Day, including kicking off the very first one with an autograph signing at the Bay Area’s own Rasputin Music in April of 2008,” the band said in a statement. “So we’re psyched to confirm that on Nov. 29 (yes, that’s Black Friday!) your favorite North American independent music retailer and the Metallica.com Store will have the Through The Never soundtrack available in all its vinyl glory as a limited edition deluxe four LP set, 45 RPM on 180 gram vinyl. Only 4,000 of the special box sets will be made and they will all be numbered.”
Check back next week for Gibson.com’s Record Store Day Black Friday gift guide.
Coldplay scored the highest among rock talented, landing at No. 5 on Forbes’ list and earning roughly $64 million this year, much of it coming from the band’s world tour in support of the group’s current album, Mylo Xyloto. Former Pink Floyd singer and bass player Roger Waters did pretty well for himself, too, landing at No. 15 on the list and pulling in $44 million from his “The Wall Live” trek. That tour has actually raised almost half a billion dollars over the past three years—how crazy is that?
Another rock name, Muse, is neck-and-neck with Rihanna for the No. 16 place on the roster, with each earning about $43 million. Likewise, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dr. Dre are tied for the No. 20 spot, with both of them pulling in $40 million, the Peppers from their tour in support of their latest full-length, I’m With You.
Forbes bases its standings on estimates of gross income brought in by each musician or band between June 1 of 2012 and June 1 of 2013.
The Rolling Stones have something special lined up for Back to Black Friday, which takes place on November 29.
The band plan on releasing a 7-inch vinyl version of their 1965 live EP Got Live If You Want It!.
The EP was recorded between March 5 and 7 during the Rolling Stones’ fifth tour. The six-track EP contain covers of Solomon Burke’s “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” and Nat King Cole’s “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66,” as well as the Jagger/Richards penned “I’m Alright.”
Back to Black Friday is a complement to Record Store Day, which is held annually on the third Saturday of April each year. Its purpose is to celebrate, and help support independently owned record stores, who have seen dwindling sales in the past decade with the advance of digital music.
So whether you plan to pick up the Stones record or not, make sure you visit your local record store next Friday and show some support!
Bob Dylan has just released a video for "Like a Rolling Stone," a song that doesn't need a video. Why release one after 50 years? Why do you need a video for such an iconic song? Well, for one it's to promote his new "The Complete Album Collection Vol. 1" It's 35 studio albums, 6 live albums, 2-CD "Side Tracks," and a book. The other reason? A brilliant way to attack today's modern day lifesyle. A fantastic idea with an interactive function that allows you to change the channel, and have the song perfectly lip synced on the next channel. Whether it be fashion, a cooking channel or some real housewives show. This you should check out. Watch it here.
Classic rockers Journey have donated $350,000 to support the relief effort in the Philippines following the devastating typhoon which ripped through the country last week.
More than 615,000 people were displaced by Super Typhoon Haiyan, the largest storm to ever make landfall. Manila native and Journey lead singer Arnel Pineda said the money would help to provide emergency food relief to those affected by the typhoon by supporting the United Nations World Food Programme.
The funds are being donated by Pineda, Journey and their team - promoter Live Nation Entertainment; Creative Artists Agency (CAA); and Manager John Baruck. Journey is calling on fans to join them and make urgent donations to support life-saving food relief for millions of Filipinos. Donations can be made at wfpusa.org/journey or by texting the word AID to 27722 to instantly donate $10.
“We're honored to have Journey's support and Arnel Pineda's leadership on this incredible donation for WFP's emergency relief in the Philippines," Hunter Biden, Board Chair of World Food Program USA, said. “Their support is going to make a real difference for so many Filipino children and families in need.”
One of rock and roll's greatest guitar riffs is receiving special recognition. On Jan. 28, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville will posthumously honor legendary musician Roy Orbison with the Iconic Riff Award for his classic song, "Oh, Pretty Woman." Co-written by Orbison and Bill Dees, "Oh, Pretty Woman" was released as a single in 1964 and spent three weeks at Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the midst of Beatle-mania, the single also topped the British charts for three weeks.
Artists as diverse as Al Green and Van Halen have covered the song, with Van Halen scoring a hit with their searing version in 1982. The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum honors musicians from all genres and eras of recorded music, and inductees are nominated by current members of the American Federation of Musicians and by other music industry professionals. Orbison has the distinction of being the first-ever recipient of this newly created award.
Black Sabbath were the big winners at this year’s Classic Rock Roll of Honor ceremony in London. The heavy metal pioneers picked up three prizes, including the coveted Living Legend award, reports NME.com. "I didn’t even expect to live this long,” said Ozzy Osbourne, accepting the awards. “When I was 21 I thought I would be dead by 40. That was alright until I was 39." He later added: “I never thought 43 years ago I'd be standing here. We're in shock--this year has been an incredible event for us.”
Guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler attended the event as well. “It's fantastic to get the awards,” said Iommi. “When we started out we never thought about it, you just wanted to play. Even this time, we never thought for a minute [the new album] would get to number one. We just wanted to make an album.”
In other Sabbath news, the band has just announced another round of North American live dates, kicking off at the end of March. See the schedule below:
Roger Waters reflected on the legacy of original Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett at the recent Billboard Touring Conference , describing the troubled songwriter as “very talented” but “only incandescent for a year or two maybe.”
During the 80-minute discussion, Waters also recalled Floyd’s 1967 U.S. debut performance at San Francisco’s Winterland, saying Janis Joplin pilfered a pint of Southern Comfort he had just purchased just before the show.
Earlier this week, Waters spoke with Rolling Stone about his forthcoming solo album--his first “rock” effort in 20 years. “I finished a demo of it last night," he revealed. “It's 55 minutes long. It's songs and theater as well. I don't want to give too much away, but it's couched as a radio play. It has characters who speak to each other, and it's a quest. It's about an old man and a young child trying to figure out why they are killing the children.” The veteran rocker went on to say he isn’t sure whether he’ll support the disc with a tour.
The 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ debut performances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” will be marked by a two-hour TV special on CBS. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, “The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles” will air Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time. The show—which will highlight the musical, cultural and historical impact of the band and its Sullivan appearance—will be taped the day after the Grammys, on Monday, Jan. 27.
“That night 50 years ago on the Ed Sullivan stage, the Beatles delivered a momentous performance, and America witnessed a historic television event and the beginning of a new era in music,” said Jack Sussman, CBS Entertainment executive VP of specials and events.
Neil Portnow, president and CEO of The Academy, added: "As the Grammy Awards are music’s biggest night, it's only fitting that we recognize this milestone moment in music history and pay tribute to this larger-than-life group and their enduring music and legacy.”
A new college course offered by New Jersey’s Rutgers University is set to study the religious themes found in Springsteen’s music.
You read that right. “Bruce Springsteen’s Theology” is a one-credit, one-semester course that is currently available to first-year students. Azzan Yadin-Israel, an associate professor of Jewish studies, came up with the idea for the course. Of course, he’s a big fan of The Boss.
In an interview with Rutgers Today, Yadin-Israel explained that he doesn’t expect “that (any of his students) will become a Springsteen scholar” but hopes they “gain an appreciation for a particular way of thinking about texts, an attentive engagement of an author’s work and an understanding of the broader contexts -- political, literary, theological, etc. -- that inform a work.”
He also stated that examples of biblical references are found in many of Springsteen’s lyrics, explaining that “the seminar includes lyrics of songs from Greetings from Asbury Park, New Jersey, Springsteen’s first album, all the way through Wrecking Ball.”
“Bruce Springsteen’s Theology” falls under the school’s Byrne Seminars label, a series of introductory classes with a maximum of 20 students.
The Beatles archive collection On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2 is just out. But there may be even more Fabs music in the vaults.
“There are no plans at the moment,” says Kevin Howlett of Apple Corps. He tells Billboard , “I think these two albums [inc Volume 1] are wonderful from the point of view of presenting the real highlights of the Beatles' BBC sessions.”
The new BBC volume also contains a pair of songs The Beatles never recorded for release during their regular sessions for the E.M.I label - covers of Chuck Berry's “I’m Talking About You” and a revved-up version of the pop standard “Beautiful Dreamer.”
You think The Beatles’ well must be dry by now? Maybe not. There are more Beatles archives being worked on, says Howlett. “There is something, but I don’t think we’re allowed to talk about it yet. If you’re involved in these Beatles projects, you have to be very discreet. It’s all top secret.”
Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant took a fascinating journey to Mali in 2003 to play in the Festival of the Desert and learn more about the music of Africa. Now, Plant is ready to give fans a glimpse into his travels with an eight-part documentary, called “Zirka.”
The film has a homemade feel, with Plant shooting most of the footage himself with a small camera. Fans can check out the first episode via Planet’s official YouTube channel.
In a news post on his official website, Plant calls the trip “a journey of revelation…one of the most illuminating and humbling experiences of my life.” He added that it was “a journey that took us from the scurry and bustle of our world into the homeland of the Tuareg..the Sahel of Mali, Timbuctoo and north to Essakane.”
Plant also says the trip brought him more in tandem with his love for music: “A journey that could only reinforce the power and the great gift of music across and between cultures..sharing outside of language. A world where for awhile, at least borders, boundaries and barriers once again fell away..as it was long ago.”
Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood and his band took over New York’s Cutting Room for a handful of shows over the past weekend. With him on stage was the man whom Wood replaced in the Rolling Stones - Mick Taylor.
Rolling Stone magazine report that Wood kicked off the evening with the Jimmy Reed shuffle “Shame, Shame, Shame.” Taylor took care of the solo on his Gibson Les Paul. It might seem like an odd pairing, that there would be resentment between the two guitarists being how they’re both closely linked to the same position in the most successful rock band in the world. But Wood’s and Taylor’s relationship go back to both musicians pre-Stones days when Wood would fill in for Taylor in his band The Gods when the latter’s stage fright got the best of him.
Jimmy Reed songs made up the backbone of the show, which aside from the opening track included Wood’s and his band’s take on “Bright Lights Big City,” and “Going To New York.” Wood relished the spotlight and getting the chance to be the main focus for once, while Taylor was content standing to the side delivering solos.
David Crosby will release Croz, his first solo album in twenty years, on January 28.
Crosby began recording the album two years ago with help from his son James Raymond and co-producer Daniel Garcia. The sessions took place at Jackson Browne’s Groove Masters studio in Santa Monica, California as well as at James Raymond’s home studio. "We didn't have any money," Crosby explained to Rolling Stone. "None. We could have gone and gotten a deal, but everybody in the music business is very leery about the big companies and what kind of lifespan they might have. Most people are doing it on their own, so that's what we did."
The album includes a guest appearance from Mark Knopfler on album opener “What’s Broken.” As Crosby explains, “We sent him the song and he just [expletive] killed it. He did me a huge favor and we don't even know each other. He's just brilliant.” And jazz great Wynton Marsalis plays trumpet on the track “Holding on to Nothing."
Croz will be supported by a North American tour which begins on January 28 in New York City. The shows will be divided into two parts: the first set will feature Croz played in its entirety, while the second will take in material from throughout Crosby’s career, including songs by The Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash, CSNY and his solo works.
Croz tour dates:
1/28 New York, NY — City Winery
1/29 New York, NY — City Winery
1/31 New York, NY — City Winery
2/3 Vienna, VA — The Barn
2/4 Vienna, VA — The Barn
2/8 Chicago, IL — City Winery
2/9 Chicago, IL — City Winery
2/20 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
2/21 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
2/23 Los Angeles, CA — Troubadour
2/24 Los Angeles, CA — Troubadour
2/25 Los Angeles, CA — Troubadour
The U.K’s album charts could be interesting next week – both Elvis Presley and The Beatles have “new” albums out. In the age of individual-track downloads, “heritage” artists have been recently been doing very well in the U.K. album charts.
A new Elvis best-of album, The Nation's Favourite Elvis Songs, is just out, and there’s a big sales-driving documentary on the U.K’s ITV this weekend.
The second Beatles BBC collection, On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2, is out Monday. The Beatles’ first collection of BBC recordings was released in 1994, hitting #1 in the U.K. charts and selling more than five million copies worldwide within six weeks.
The Beatles release is more significant. The double album contains 63 tracks in total – none of which appear on the original collection. Some 37 previously unreleased performances feature, as well as 23 previously unreleased recordings of in-studio chat between the band and BBC radio hosts.
Commenting on the release, Paul McCartney said in a statement: “There's a lot of energy and spirit. We are going for it, not holding back at all, trying to put in the best performance of our lifetimes.” Between March 1962 and June 1965, 275 Beatles performances were broadcast by the BBC in the UK. The group played live on 39 radio shows in 1963 alone. One day in 1963, the band recorded 18 tracks for three editions of their Pop Go The Beatles show.
Two debut songs are a performance of Chuck Berry’s “I’m Talking About You” and a cover of “Beautiful Dreamer.”
The Beatles: On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2 tracklisting:
“And Here We Are Again” (Speech)
“Words Of Love”
“How About It, Gorgeous?” (Speech)
“Do You Want To Know A Secret”
“Hey, Paul…” (Speech)
“Anna (Go To Him)”
“Please Please Me”
“I'm Talking About You”
“A Real Treat' (Speech)”
“Absolutely Fab” (Speech)
“Ask Me Why”
“Till There Was You”
“Lend Me Your Comb”
“Lower 5E” (Speech)
“The Hippy Hippy Shake”
“Roll Over Beethoven”
“There's A Place”
“Bumper Bundle” (Speech)
“P.S I Love You”
“Please Mister Postman”
“Devil In Her Heart”
“The 49 Weeks” (Speech)
“Sure To Fall (In Love With You)”
“Never Mind, Eh?” (Speech)
“Twist And Shout”
“Bye, Bye” (speech)
“John - Pop Profile” (Speech)
“George - Pop Profile” (Speech)
“I Saw Her Standing There”
“Glad All Over”
“Lift Lid Again” (Speech)
“I'll Get You”
“She Loves You”
“Happy Birthday, Dear Saturday Club”
“Now Hush, Hush” (Speech)
“From Me To You”
“Money (That's What I Want)”
“I Want To Hold Your Hand”
“If I Wasn't In America”
“I Got A Woman”
“Long Tall Sally”
“If I Fell”
“A Hard Job Writing Them” (Speech)
“And I Love Her”
“Oh, Can’t We? Yes We Can” (Speech)
“You Can't Do That”
“I'll Follow The Sun”
“Green With Black Shutters” (Speech)
“That’s What We’re Here For” (Speech)
“I Feel Fine” (Studio outtake)
“Paul - Pop Profile” (Speech)
“Ringo - Pop Profile” (Speech)
Elvis Presley currently holds the record for the most top 10 albums on the UK chart and for the most number one singles in the U.K, with 21 hits. The Beatles are the best-selling band of all time and have had the most number one albums in the U.K, with 15.
Three months ago, guitarist Joe Satriani said he was “keeping Christmas and the first couple of months of next year open” for recording the next Chickenfoot album.
Now, frontman Sammy Hagar has confirmed that January 2014 is the target month to begin work. “It looks like January is on the agenda,” Hagar tells M Music & Musicians, in a just-published interview. “Joe’s been writing, and I’m writing lyrics at all times. He’s going to start sending me stuff and I’ll send him lyrics, and we’ll walk in with five or six ideas. As for the rest of the songs, we’ll create them on the spot with the four of us in a room.”
Hagar also talked about his new solo album, Sammy Hagar and Friends, gushing that one track, “Father Sun,” was his favorite among all the songs he’s written. “It’s the new Sammy Hagar!” he said. “It takes in the Montrose and Led Zeppelin influences on the heavy part, and on the other side it’s my island lifestyle with my feet in the sand. It’s who and what I am today.”
Kinks guitarist Dave Davies is working on a film documentary based on his life as a musician. The project, titled Dave Davies’ Rock N Roll Journey, is in its beginning stages.
“Me and [son] Martin [Davies] had been thinking about it for a while,” Davies tells Radio.com. “We did a film called Mystical Journey a few years ago … about my spiritual interests, and all my alternative ideas about the world and life. So, we thought we’d do a similar thing about rock ‘n’ roll, and the journey of being in a rock ‘n’ roll band on the road. We want to interview old colleagues, other celebrities and fans.”
Asked about the chances for a 2014 Kinks tour, Davies said he’s not optimistic, but he’s hopeful other Kinks projects will come to fruition. “I spoke to Ray [Davies] last week when he was in New York and we had a chat,” he said, “…I’ve written a few songs with that in mind. I’m sure Ray has some ideas, of course. So we’re going to meet up in the U.K. [in December]. I’m looking forward to that.”
Neil Young’s summer tour 2013 was cut short after Young’s long time guitarist and Crazy Horse member Frank “Poncho” Sampedro fractured his hand after a gig in Oslo, Norway, on August 7.
Now Young is ready to hit the road once again, or at least he’s setting up camp in New York City. Young is getting ready to do a four-night residency in Carnegie Hall on January 6, 7, 9, and 10. As of right now, these are the only tour dates announced for 2014.
We recently reported on Young’s next release in his Archives series, titled Live At The Cellar Door, which was recorded during the musicians six shows at the Cellar Door in Washington D.C. in 1970. All songs were performed solo on either acoustic guitar or piano. Can we perhaps assume that Young is going for the same setup at Carnegie Hall in January?
Late Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed's will was filed with a New York City court on Monday (November 4). According to a report by Billboard the estate will befall Reed's wife - musician Laurie Anderson, as well as Reed's sister.
Anderson inherit Reed's NYC penthouse, and their home in East Hampton, NY, as well as most of his estate. Reed's sister inherit about a quarter of the estate, along with an additional $500,000 which is supposed to be used to take care of their elderly mother. Licensing and copyrights of Lou Reed's music will be handled by his manager and accountant.
Reed passed away on October 27 following complications from a liver transplant he underwent in May. We recently reported on the many tributes to Reed following his death by some of the world's most famous musicians.
U2 have revealed that they will release two new tracks that will be included in the upcoming Nelson Mandela biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. The songs will be released on November 29 in conjunction with Record Store Day's Black Friday.
The tracks, titled "Ordinary Love" and "Breath" will be released on 10-inch vinyl. However, the title “Breath” may be a misprint since the first version of the U2 song “Breathe” from their 2009 album No Line on the Horizon was written about Nelson Mandela. Modern Vinyl report that only 10,000 copies of the single will be pressed. Meanwhile U2 are said to be close to finishing the recording of their next studio album. U2 bassist Adam Clayton recently told Irish radio that he hopes the band will be able to wrap up the recording sessions before the holidays.
Check out the trailer for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom in the link below. At the one-minute mark, U2‘s "Ordinary Love" can be heard:
Every generation has a soft spot for the decade in which it came of age. For rock and roll fans, however, it’s hard to argue that any decade surpassed the ’70s, on a number of fronts. Post-Beatles and pre-MTV, the ’70s occupied a sweet spot where rock and roll was played out on wide-open terrain, and on a field where “genre” had yet to become a catch-word. Below are 10 other factors that made that decade rock and roll’s best.
Riffs, Riffs, and More Riffs
“Walk this Way,” “Black Dog,” “Iron Man,” “Smoke on the Water”… the list goes on and on. So ubiquitous were great guitar riffs in the ’70s, it sometimes seemed bands were drawing from a bottomless bucket of memorable six-string figures. It’s hardly surprising that, to this day, aspiring guitar players often look first to the ’70s for riff-oriented material that’s relatively easy to cover.
Tune to any rock station in the ’70s, and in the span of a half-hour you might hear artists as diverse as The Raspberries, Al Green and Conway Twitty. Contrast that with today, when radio is rigidly segmented and disc jockeys have about as much discretion as someone who’s incarcerated. Plus, there were all the glorious one-hit wonders – Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky,” Blues Image’s “Ride Captain Ride” and Shocking Blue’s “Venus,” among them.
Sure, rock and roll originated in the South, but in the ’70s legions of groups emerged who gave “southern rock” its own distinctive flavor. With The Allman Brothers Band leading the charge, groups such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Marshall Tucker Band and Wet Willie offered up a feast of deep-fried guitar-rock steeped in country and blues. So powerful was southern rock as a communal force, it helped elected a president, thanks to rallies staged by The Allman Brothers for then-candidate Jimmy Carter.
Great Album Cover Art
From Roger Dean’s fabulous Yes covers to H.R. Giger’s ambitious packaging of ELP’s Brain SaladSurgery to Storm Thorgerson’s elegant work for Pink Floyd, album-cover art and packaging reached a zenith in the ’70s. Today’s rockers often speak of the lost thrill of tearing the shrink-wrap from an LP, and then musing over the elaborate packaging while listening to a treasured new disc. Notwithstanding the resurrection of vinyl, online access to music has, for the most part, deprived today’s listeners of that experience.
By 1976, rock and roll was showing signs of becoming stodgy, “disco-fied,” and (thanks to prog bands) somewhat elitist. Punk rock changed all that. Taking their cues from The Stooges and The Ramones, bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Clash reminded us that rock’s visceral energy had less to do with virtuosity than with amped-up barre chords and a snarling spirit. From the sidelines, even old-school rockers like Neil Young cheered the punks on.
Artist-Friendly Record Labels
It was common practice, in the ’70s, for record companies to simply allot a budget to a band, and then turn them loose in the studio to make whatever type of album they wanted to make. Furthermore, artists such as Alice Cooper, Sly and The Family Stone, and Peter Frampton were nurtured along until commercial success came their way. Such freedom and nurturing would be unthinkable today.
John Lennon famously described glam rock as simply “rock and roll with lipstick on.” Mascara and rouge aside, the genre yielded music that shines with a glittery resonance to this day. Powered by the likes of Mick Ronson, Phil Manzanera, and – in the case of T.Rex – Marc Bolan, the best of glam rock packed an incendiary wallop. Even The Rolling Stones, for a time, couldn’t resist jumping on board.
MTV Didn’t Exist
Video may not have killed the radio star, but it certainly sapped the mystique from rock and roll. Prior to the advent of MTV, rock fans looked to music publications and weekly installments of The Midnight Special or Don Kirshner’sRock Concert to keep tabs on (and see) their favorite artists. Today’s media saturation brings artists and fans together as never before, but at the expense of the sublime kick that rarer access provided.
Who would have imagined, when they unleashed their debut album in early 1969, that Led Zeppelin would become the preeminent band of the ’70s? Over the course of 10 studio albums, Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham crafted a body of work that rivals that of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in terms of far-reaching impact. Reflecting a purity of spirit that was in some ways unique to their decade, Led Zeppelin rightly called it quits when their beloved Bonzo died in 1980.
Exile on Main St.
Everyone makes a big deal out of The Beatles’s Sgt. Pepper’s, and rightly so. But no album matches The Rolling Stones’s two-disc masterpiece in terms of assimilating rock and roll’s primal ingredients. From fiery country-blues to sizzling barnhouse stomps to searing gospel and beyond, Exile has it all. If rock and roll can be said to have a bible, it’s this album.
The reason The Beatles endure is because their music appeals to pretty much everybody. We’ve all known this instinctively, of course, but Beatle fandom needn’t be confined to humans: Sir Paul McCartney has revealed that the band went out of their way to include a special nod to their four-legged friends too.
In an interview with BBC’s Zane Rowe, Sir Paul revealed that the band added a sound to “A Day In The Life” which only dogs would be able to hear: a dog whistle, in fact. It’s a 15-kilohertz tone which sits above the range of human hearing but which is perfectly audible for our canine friends.
McCartney made the revelation when discussing the merits of vinyl. “I think vinyl is the best,” he said. “It just sounds good. I asked my engineers why it sounds good and they explained that there are frequencies above and below that you can’t hear. We got into a rap with George Martin a long time ago. We’d talk for hours about these frequencies below the sub that you couldn’t really hear and the high frequencies that only dogs could hear. We put a sound on Sgt. Pepper that only dogs could hear. If you ever play Sgt. Pepper watch your dog.”
So there you have it. Pop on “A Day In The Life” (on vinyl of course) and see if your dog sings along.