[Song Appreciation Post] Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love

I dedicate the following publication to a special someone…

 

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Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love Vinyl Sleeve (credits to the owner of the photo)

 

 

These past few months I’ve been listening to Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” so many times – I don’t really know why, how and when it became one of those songs you call “yours” and that you just have to play every day! I’ve known this song since I was in middle school but I never really paid much attention to it. I adore LZ but this song was definitely not one of my all-time favorites – maybe I was too young to appreciate it and get it. Years later, things changed and now I think it is one of my most favorite LZ songs. Not to mention that there’s a personal reason behind it, which I’m not going to reveal, of course. Anyhow, I decided to dedicate this publication to “Whole Lotta Love” and try to give some more insight about it, as well as to simply remind everyone of this classic masterpiece by the greatest of them all – Led Zeppelin.

I’m going to start with the basics. This song was released back in 1969 and it is the lead single from LZ’s second album. It quickly became a major hit and topped the charts in the USA, Germany and many other European countries. Also, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it 75 on their list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It was indeed a huge phenomenon and we can understand why – I mean just listen to this inhumane slide guitar…

Moreover, the song was produced by non-other than Mr. Jimmy Page (of course). How come these people just come up with riffs like this one – saying that he is a genius does not even begin to cover it… I was able to find an interview with him from The Wall Street Journal, talking about the song and the memorable riff:

“I came up with the guitar riff for “Whole Lotta Love” in the summer of ’68, on my houseboat along the Thames in Pangbourne, England. I suppose my early love for big intros by rockabilly guitarists was an inspiration, but as soon as I developed the riff, I knew it was strong enough to drive the entire song, not just open it. When I played the riff for the band in my living room several weeks later during rehearsals for our first album, the excitement was immediate and collective. We felt the riff was addictive, like a forbidden thing.”

I’m not sure I can find the right words to properly describe the guitar riffs and the brilliance of this song because when it comes to legends like Jimmy Page it is indeed very difficult. He was the brain behind the production and the recording of the song which clearly shows his abilities to construct brick by brick a true work of art. The famous riff itself is very monstrous and it builds up some sort of energy and excitement inside of you which just wants to go out. Also, with this song it’s all about the intro…I’ve said it before – a rock song needs to have a mighty and compelling intro. “Whole Lotta Love” is the perfect example of how a strong and mind-blowing rock song intro should sound like.

In addition to Jimmy Page’s excellence, the vocal delivery of Robert Plant is another reason why this song has such a strong influence on me. This song is one of the perfect examples of how expressive, capable and “heavy” his voice is. Also, he sings quite suggestively and evocatively which also contributes to the whole “experience”.

“Robert’s vocal was just as extreme. He kept gaining confidence during the session and gave it everything he had. His vocals, like my solos, were about performance. He was pushing to see what he could get out of his voice. We were performing for each other, almost competitively.” (The Wall Street Journal)

In terms of lyrics, the song is quite easy to remember and sing with. The chorus are repeated and the verses include just a few lines. I should mention that there was a dispute going on concerning the words of “Whole Lotta Love” – the lyrics turned out to be quite similar with lyrics written by Willie Dixon for another song, recorded by Muddy Waters. Eventually, after a few lawsuits, Willie Dixon got the co-credit that, in my opinion, just had to be given a lot earlier. Overall, I truly enjoy the lyrics – nothing so deep, nothing so unreasonable and just simply talking about how we need love…

You need coolin’, baby, I’m not foolin’,
I’m gonna send you back to schoolin’,
Way down inside honey, you need it,
I’m gonna give you my love,
I’m gonna give you my love.

Wanna Whole Lotta Love (X4)

You’ve been learnin’, baby, I’ve been yearnin’,
All them good times, baby, baby, I’ve been yearnin’,
Way, way down inside honey, you need it,
I’m gonna give you my love… I’m gonna give you my love.

(Chorus)

You’ve been coolin’, baby, I’ve been droolin’,
All the good times I’ve been misusin’,
Way, way down inside, I’m gonna give you my love,
I’m gonna give you every inch of my love,
Gonna give you my love.

(Chorus)

Way down inside… woman… You need… love.
Shake for me, girl. I wanna be your backdoor man.
Keep it coolin’, baby.

It’s an awesome song – no other opinion about it. It’s one of LZ’s early works, so it does mean a lot nowadays – it was a beginning of an era and proved that Led Zeppelin were a true rockstars. I hope I reminded some of you about this song and now you will play it and hopefully enjoy it as much as I do. I’m not a huge fan of the “futuristic”, “trippy”, “lusty” and yes – crazy middle part of the song in which Robert makes those weird sounds and John Bonham accompanies him with his drums BUT – that’s probably its biggest charm. I’m so gonna play it right now… I hope I can click the “stop” button because with this song it’s somehow quite difficult to do it… Cheers

~~~

Credits:
1.       “Jimmy Page Describes the Creation of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”, retrieved from http://www.openculture.com
2.       Led Zeppelin – “Whole Lotta Love” lyrics, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com
3.       “Whole Lotta Love” – Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com
P.S I do not own any photo or video used in this publication. All the credit goes to the uploaders and the photographers of the materials.

 


 

[90s] [Album Focus] Best-Selling Soundtrack Of All Time – The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album

Greetings!

So I’ve been meaning to dedicate a publication to the greatest soundtrack albums of all time, however due to busy schedule I’m afraid I cannot do it at this point. Instead, I decided to focus on just one for the – the best of the best, the greatest of the greatest and the best-selling soundtrack albums of all time – Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard”.
As I always do, I’m going to start the post with some background information…Back in the day, especially in the 80s and in the 90s there was a heavy cross-media promotion. Unlike today, in the past a media product was usually heavily tight with other media products such as books and music. The movie industry started relying heavily on soundtrack in order to boost the popularity of the movie – it was the other way around as well – soundtracks were relying on the movies to boost their sales. Basically, films and music were together in an inseparable marriage. I don’t know what actually happened, however… – nowadays I feel like movies don’t really invest much in memorable and grandiose soundtracks the way they did before. Time has surely changed…
The practice of cross-promotion between a movie and a soundtrack became a trend since the introduction of Television back in the 50s and 60s. It was a brilliant win-win strategy which left us with the most memorable movie themes and songs ever! Helping the other industry out and capitalizing heavily at the same time became a major business model. Simply all the movie and music producers were working together in order to create a unique and memorable artistic product. In addition, 70s and the 80s marked the rise of blockbusters – you know, those high budget and incredible movies featuring all the famous stars and great effects. Blockbusters have always relied on promotions and heavy exposure to the public in order to obtain revenues – that’s only natural. One way to gain additional promotion was to use music – which of course became the most powerful tool! I’m not sure what the correct line of events is though – one could argue – is the soundtrack promoting the movie or the movie was promoting the soundtrack!? See, that’s what I’m talking about – those two media products were inseparable and had a huge impact on one another! The music of a movie simply represents the spirit and the identity of the movie itself – it is as equally important – no second opinion about that! Little by little, from just one or two theme songs, the idea of a whole album became a cultural phenomenon –producers started investing on whole albums filled with music from the movie. I believe it all started with Saturday Night Fever – one of the greatest soundtrack albums of all time, that’s for sure (kudos to BeeGees). Once it was established that such albums are extremely popular and well-accepted from the audience, everyone just simply jumped on the bandwagon – soundtrack after soundtrack – great albums after great albums. I mean, who can ever forget the original soundtrack albums of “Flashdance” or “Footlose” or “Dirty Dancing”? – no one that is…

Going back to the greatest soundtrack of all-time… I don’t think the album or the movie needs much introduction. It’s one of the all-time classics which will simply remain in history for their brilliance…I will focus on the soundtrack album because it’s an album-related publication, after all. So here we go…the best-selling soundtrack of all time by the princess of pop herself…


 

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Released: November 17th, 1992
Genre: Pop, RnB
Label: Arista
Producer: Clive Davis, Whitney Houston, Jazz Summers, Tim Parry
Tracklist:
*“I Will Always Love You”
*“I Have Nothing”
*“I’m Every Woman”
*“Run to You”
*“Queen of the Night”
*“Jesus Loves Me”
*“Even If My Heart Would Break” (performed by Kenny G and Aaron Neville)
*“Someday (I’m Coming Back)” (performed by Lisa Stansfield)
*“It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day” (performed by the S.O.U.L.S.Y.S.T.E.M.)
*“(What’s so Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” (performed by Curtis Stigers)
*“Waiting for You” (performed by Kenny G)
*“Trust in Me” (performed by Joe Cocker, featuring Sass)
Singles: “I Will Always Love You”, “Someday (I’m Coming Back)”, “I’m Every Woman”, “I Have Nothing”, “Run to You”, “Queen of the Night”, “It’s Gonna Be a Lovely Day”


 

The album features a bunch of  other artists – many people think it’s just her songs; however that’s not the case. We have Lisa Stansfield and Kenny G and of course, Joe Cocker…all brilliant musicians and voices. The album was co-executive produced by Whitney Houston and the great Clive Davis – the person behind ARISTA records. Whitney had full control over the album – she chose specifically each and every song. The theme song was supposed to be a completely different one; however they lost it to another movie.Can you imagine that – one of the greatest ballads of all time – the ballads of the ballads, the most powerful and tear-breaking performance by a female artist almost didn’t happen….Whitney’s male co-star – Mr. Kevin Costner was actually the one who suggested that they should record “I Will Always Love You” as the theme song. Maybe some of you don’t know but the original song was written and performed by Dolly Parton – the famous country diva. How did they manage to transform such a slow, rather boring and I’d say “background” music to this amazing and powerful composition, I have no idea. Kudos to the brilliant producers!
The success of the album was almost immediate. Whitney became the first act to sell more than a million copies of an album within a single week period! This makes the album the fastest-selling album in the history of music! She also won a Grammy and for the album of the year and the RIAA certified the album 17 times Platinum. Over 44 million copies have been sold worldwide to day, which makes the album the best-selling soundtrack of all time – well, how can it not be?

Of course, the album is mostly remembered by the phenomenal ballad we all know and love with all our hearts – “I Will Always Love You”. The song appealed to all markets and to people of all ages – it was a mixture of soul, RnB, pop and contemporary music. It also received huge airplay. The single spent fourteen weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The album itself topped the Billboard 200 for 20 weeks. The following singles that were released from the album followed the success of the theme song – with “I’m Every Woman” (a Chaka Khan cover) and “I Have Nothing”, Whitney Houston became the first female act to have three songs in the Top 20 at the same time.

Not only was the soundtrack a musical phenomenon and a complete triumph, but the movie itself simply became one of the greatest romance stories of all time. This whole project once again proves my point – cross-promotion is needed and it should be very well thought of! In this case, the movie promoted the soundtrack and vice-versa. The results – smashing box-office success and the greatest and most memorable ballad of time… In my opinion, the powerful an unmatched vocal delivery of Whitney Houston and the success of the album completely overshadowed the movie. However, in this case it turned out just great!

There’s absolutely no point in talking about the quality and excellence of this soundtrack – just listen to the songs and lose yourself to the feeling… Every song is so inspirational and so well-crafted that you just can’t stop replaying. That’s the magic of Whitney’s voice and her aura in general – she is able to convey so many emotions with her voice that at one point you just don’t know whether to cry, smile or be happy. I grew up listening to this album (yes, I have it in my CD collection, of course) and it just means the world to me! I am extremely sad that we lost this gorgeous queen and will always wish I could go back in time and enjoy her projects all over again…
One thing I have to say, she was also a brilliant actress and we can most certainly see it in “The Bodyguard”. I miss her and I will always love her…
Also, I wish they could make great soundtracks like this one nowadays – I’ve been waiting and waiting but so far all we have does not deserve to even be mentioned… Let’s wait and see….

Velina

xoxox


Credits:
“The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album” by Arion Berger, November 13, 2013, retrieved by Rolling Stones Magazine
“Top 10 Best Selling Movie Soundtracks”, retrieved by http://www.sky.com
“The Bodyguard (soundtrack)”, retrieved from Wikipedia

 

Top 5 Best-Selling Debut Albums of All Time

Debut Albums collage!with link

Greetings!

For today’s publication I decided to make another informative (hopefully) list which this time is going to be dedicated to albums, rather than singes or songs. The publication won’t be based on my personal opinion; rather I would like to list the top 5 best-selling debut albums of all time.

First impressions count! The following albums made such great first impressions that they not only launched successful careers but also became a cultural landmark. The success of a debut album may give us some sort of idea how popular an artist/band can be. It also works as a key to set up a fan base and make impressions in the music industry. In my opinion, the initial impact has to be for sure the strongest one. Smash hit album release is a MUST in order to grab the audience and establish a name for yourself in the industry. Also, a debut album is important because it sets some sort of standards and expectations from the musician/s and the following projects. Many musicians are remembered by their unbelievably good debut albums. Unfortunately, some of them were not able to live up to those high standards in their second albums or following projects. Such are the cases with some of the following musicians – Guns ‘n’ Roses for instance – great debut album but where are they now? My point is that, in music industry, especially nowadays with the development of media, artists need CONSISTENCY – which also happens to be one of the most difficult things to achieve! That’s why musicians such as Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson were so great (and still are). Album after album they completely proved to their fans and to the industry that they most certainly are not a one-album-wonder.
Back to the debut albums, the following is a list of 5 best-selling debut albums. I am considering a part 2, which hopefully can happen sooner. I hope you enjoy the music and learn something new!
Here we go…


Guns ‘N Roses – Appetite For Destruction

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The ultimate game changer for Guns ‘n Roses and in my opinion the main and only reason why they are so famous and loved by fans all over the world. It also happens to be the best-selling debut album of all times! It is also the 11th best-selling album in the United States alone! The album sold more than 30 million copies worldwide – such an impressive number! The album was released on July 21st, 1987 and it spent more 147 weeks on Billboard chart! Axl, Slash and the boys spawned 7 singles from the album. Four of those singles – “Sweet Child O’ Mine“, “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City” each peaked top 10 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 (#1, #5, and #7). Producer Mike Clink deserves nothing but huge applause! The album was released under the Geffen Records label – do I have to say more? This is probably one of the greatest record labels in history! The album became one of the most powerful forces in rock music history and its songs will always be a hit! Unfortunately, the only member left in the band is Axl and nowadays things are just not working well for him. The rest of the members departed and pursued solo careers. This is a perfect example how a band can have a tremendous success and in time gradually but steadily fall from its grace~ Too bad, the guys were rockin’ it!


 Boston – Boston

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It saddens me that so many people are not aware of this amazing band and the legacy they left. Their self-titled album “Boston” was released back in 1976 and the success of the album was a surprise to so many people. Indeed, this unknown band came literally out of nowhere and dropped this amazing album which still remains the second best-selling debut album of all time! The album was released under the label of Epic Records and was produced by the great John Boylan and Tom Scholz, The album produced three singles, each of them absolute and smashing hits – “More Than a Feeling”, “Foreplay/Long Time” and “Peace of Mind”. Interesting fact, till today the songs from this album are constantly being played on radios all around the world, mostly in the USA, of course. The style of the album is often referred as “Boston style” rock, however in my opinion if I have to place a genre or style of music, I would say radio-friendly rock with classic elements and melodic guitar hooks! The influence and trend this album created was enormous. They were blamed for the creation of so called “corporate” rock and for the “transition of mainstream American rock from blues-based proto-metal to power pop”.


 Hootie and the Blowfish – Cracked Rear View

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On number three, we have the debut album of Hootie & the Blowfish – Cracked Rear View, which was released back in 1994 under the label of Atlantic Records. Till today, it remains their most successful album. It was also the best-selling album of 1995! The album spawned five hit singles – “Let Her Cry,” “Hold My Hand”, “Only Wanna Be with You”, “Time” and “Drowning”, four of which became ultimate smashing hits. There was some sort of controversy – they were sued by Bob Dylan for unauthorized use of his lyrics in the song “Only Wanna Be With You”. Regardless, the album became a total hit! It appealed to both young people and the older generation – one of the reasons why it was such a success story. Another reason may be the catchy but soulful lyrics. The sound of the album is more alternative, pop oriented rock rather than heavy-sounding like the previous two albums.


Britney Spears – …Baby One More Time

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Oh my…Remember when Britney was like 18 years old and became this huge global phenomenon back in the late 1990s? The popularity of this debut album was unimaginable! Oh and yes, I also had it – I was a kid once! I was 7 years old when this album came out and I remember how happy I was the moment I got my hands on it. She was the perfect pop star and quickly became my idol – only because of this influential debut album! The album came out on January 1999 and it quickly won the hearts of many young fans all over the world! The album is fourteen times platinum, according to the RAA and it turned into the 5th best-selling album of all time in the USA. She released five singles from the album – “…Baby One More Time”, “Sometimes”, “(You Drive Me) Crazy”, “Born to Make You Happy” and “From the Bottom of My Broken Heart”. Needless to say, the title song of the album was the most successful one among these songs, even though each one of them broke the records! The songs were catchy, rhythmic, easy to dance to and so innocent – they immediately reached to the hearts of the teenagers of the 90s! Britney got tons of nominations, Grammys and pretty much all the acknowledgements you can imagine – people and the music industry simply fell in love with this pop sensation! Interesting fact, the title song – “…Baby One More Time” was originally supposed to be given to the famous girl trio TLC, however they rejected it – such a huge mistake, if you ask me. In conclusion, I have to say this album is everything! It gave a new meaning to pop and it changed the music industry! This is one perfect example of how powerful a debut album can be! It was the ultimate revival of teen pop! Rolling Stone wrote: “Britney Spears carries on the classic archetype of the rock & roll teen queen, the dungaree doll, the angel baby who just has to make a scene.”


Backstreet Boys – Backstreet Boys

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Backstreet Boys! The famous boyband we all love and grew up listening to! I’m 100% sure that all of the 90s girls had a crush on them – they were those perfect, talented and handsome guys, singing about love and romance. My favorite one was Nick – he was just so adorable! Anyhow, back to the album – it is a bit confusing because internationally, the album was released in 1996 in Canada, Europe and Asia. However, their debut in the USA was one year later – in 1997 and they repackaged the initial international album and released a new version with some new songs. The USA release coincided with their second international album, titled “Backstreet’s back” so it contained songs from both the original 1996 debut and the 1997 follow-up “Backstreet’s Back“…It was always so puzzling to me and difficult to follow which album was where and when… Bottom line is, the debut album became one of the most successful debut albums of all time. It reached number four on Billboard and has been certified fourteen times Platinum by the RIAA for sales. The numbers are beyond impressive…but how can they not be? – the album produced some of their most famous and signature songs – songs we still know by heart and sing. I mean, who doesn’t know “Quit Playing Games with My Heart” or “As Long As You love me”… or of course…”Everybody”! The debut album also established their names and crafted their special and unique sound and style. I just want to go back in time…… too many memories!


This is it for now! The top 5 best-selling debut albums of all time! We have rock, alternative and pop artists who did so well with their career-launching albums that they simply made history!
I deeply recommend you guys listen and enjoy the albums because they have really beautiful and meaningful songs – they are best-selling for a reason!
Enjoy~

Velina

xoxoxo

 


Credits:
“Top 10 Best Selling Debut Albums in US History” by Adriano Valente, retrieved from http://www.therichest.com
“List of best-selling albums”, retrieved from Wikipedia

5 Classic Rock Christmas Songs

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Greetings!

Christmas is coming soon, so it was only natural do dedicate a publication to some of the most classic Christmas rock songs. I love Christmas and I’m sure pretty much everyone else in this world does –but what is Christmas without music? The spirit of the holidays is perfectly captured in the following songs I would present to you. In terms of lyrics, vocal and instrumental deliveries I have chosen five songs that I believe are the best Christmas rock songs! Of course, this is just my personal opinion and I don’t want to make any claims, however those five songs are going to be played on my Christmas days for sure! Also, I would like to say that in my opinion, the bands nowadays are not really investing much of their time or resources into creating memorable Christmas songs. I honestly wish I could include some new and more recent Christmas songs, however somehow I can’t think of any – they are just too forgettable and meaningless compared to the classic songs from 30-40 years ago. So once again, I will dive into the past to dig up some of those great and memorable Christmas songs and I hope you’d enjoy them as much as I do. With no further due, here they are…


 

Eagles – Please Come Home For Christmas

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This is probably one of the most famous Christmas classic songs ever! It was first released back in 1960 by American blues singer Charles Brown. Then, later in 1978, Eagles covered and released the song during the holiday season. The song has very beautiful lyrics which of course are related with Christmas, Christmas traditions and spending the season with the people you love. I should say that I respect and admire Charles Brown with all my heart but I decided to include Eagles’ cover instead simply because the first time I heard this song was their version so it somehow connects more with me. The song was also covered by Bon Jovi and included in his Christmas album in 1992. However, I prefer the Eagles version – it somehow creates a much warmer and cozy atmosphere – you just want to grab a cup of hot choco and sit down next to the fireplace with the song on the background.
But this is Christmas, Christmas my dear
The time of year to be with the ones you love
So won’t you tell me you’ll never more roam
Christmas and New Year’s will find you home


 

Queen – Thank God It’s Christmas

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Then we have this brilliant song by Queen… It’s no cover this time – the song was written by lead guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. It was released back in 1984. The song has no official music video and that’s probably one of the reasons why not so many people are familiar with this Christmas classic rock song. However, to me it is one of the best ever! Freddie’s voice fits just perfectly! What I mostly adore about this song (besides the brilliant vocals of Freddie) are the lyrics. To me they create the perfect atmosphere and are so easy to sing with… There’s some kind of sadness however, at least to me… But still I have to say it is one of my most favorite songs about Christmas…
The moon and stars seem awful cold and bright
Let’s hope the snow will make this Christmas right
My friend the world will share this special night
Because it’s Christmas
Yes it’s Christmas
Thank God it’s Christmas
For one night


 

George Thorogood – Rock And Roll Christmas

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We have another oldie – this song was released back in 1981 – can you imagine? I’m including it in my list because it is just so uplifting and so spirited. Of course, I don’t think people nowadays would enjoy listening to such music during their Christmas celebrations. The song itself carries the spirit of a long-gone time. It’s very blues and piano oriented song and I love it. It’s a song to dance to and even do the twist to! It heavily reminds me of the 60s and the Chuck Berry/Elvis sound that’s actually the whole idea of the song. Just enjoy the funny video and have a rock and roll Christmas!
Let’s have a rock and roll Christmas,
Just like we used to know
Yeah, a rock and roll Christmas,
And I’ll meet you by the mistletoe
We’ll rock around the tree,
Go Santa, go, go, go
I want a Chuck Berry record, and a picture of Elvis too
A pair of ice skates for my baby, Peggy Sue
Yeah, and a phonograph player so I can rock and roll with you


Lynyrd Skynyrd – Christmas Time Again

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I love love love this Christmas song. It was released back in 2000 which make it the newest favorite Christmas rock song on the list. I wasn’t sure whether I should include it or not since I’m talking about classics here, but it was released 15 years ago so i decided that it’s perfectly fine…In addition to the song title, Christmas Time Again is also the name of the seventh studio album of Lynyrd Skynyrd which was released during the holiday season. I want to include each and every Christmas song from the album; however I will go with just this one for now. I deeply recommend you guys listen to the entire album because it is that good! It is to me one of the most well-crafted Christmas albums ever! The vocals are beyond perfect and the atmosphere that the song creates is so sweet and loving! The lyrics are also brilliant!
Well, its in your eyes and in your smile it shows
That this very special time of year
It seems to set your heart a glow
Oh, sing it with me, baby
Oh, its Christmas, you know its Christmas
And its our favorite time of year
Bells will be ringin, our hearts are singin
Well, Im glad its Christmas time once again


 

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Little Drummer boy

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The song comes from Joan Jett’s second studio album titled I love Rock ‘n’ Roll. The album was released right before the holiday season so I guess the album had to have a Christmas song! After the holidays however, “Little Drummer Boy” which was also the last song of the album, was replaced by a new one. We all know the famous song – it is a very popular and classic Christmas carols which was written back in 1940s by Katherine Kennicott Davis . The cover of Joan Jett however is most certainly very different, unique and it had that special rough rock ‘n’ roll vibe that made it so popular! I love her voice and I think she did such a good job with her own version of the song! I love the back vocals and the guitar riffs as well. The pa rum, pum, pum, pum part is so catchy!!
I have no gift to bring
Pa rum, pum, pum, pum
That’s fit to give a king
Pa rum, pum, pum, pum
Rum, pum, pum, pum
Rum, pum, pum, pum
Shall I play for you
Pa rum, pum, pum, pum
On my drum?


So, this is it for now – a small part of my most favorite Christmas rock songs! Some of them are covers of other famous Christmas carols but I included the versions I like the most! I’m planning on making a publication about newer artists and their contribution to the Christmas song fever! Stay tuned for more! Happy Holidays!

Velina

xoxoxo

 

[Saturday Night Song Focus] Daryl Hall & John Oates – Out Of Touch

Greetings!

Due to busy schedule unfortunately the blog had to be left without a daily publication for a few days. For that I am sorry and I would definitely try my best to post things regularly from now on! The first few posts were a bit here and there – I am still experimenting and establishing the blog’s identity and what types of publications I would like to have on here. I was thinking about it and decided to make something like a weekly program – a consistent publication that will appear every week and will deal with a similar issue. I was wondering what it could be and then I decided that I’m gonna turn Saturday night into a song analysis/focus night! Every Saturday from now on, there will be a publication dedicated to a song. Of course, needless to say, the song would be chosen based on my personal preferences and views. I would also like to emphasize on variety – I will try to include different genres, eras, styles, etc. Those weekly song focus publications will also present additional song related media materials such as music video, artwork, lyrics and others. Most importantly, however, the aim of this publication would be to give some background, historical overview and significance of the song. I hope by doing so, my readers can learn something interesting about a song while listening to it!

*drumroll* ….
The first song I am going to talk about is Daryl Hall & John Oates’s “Out of Touch”. I know it is supposed to be a song review; however I cannot just say nothing about those two! Their story began from Philadelphia – the place where soul music bloomed. The duo was heavily influenced by 60s Motown soul artists and we could most certainly hear it in their work. In terms of production and signwriting they were considered simply as white people copying Motown sound. However, in the 1980s they finally established their own style. Believe it or not, they soon invented a very distinctive fusion between rock ’n’ roll and soul music. They called this genre “ROCK AND SOUL” – sounds cool, right? Their sound was carefully crafted by heavy use of electronic elements and they even experimented with funky and futuristic styles. “At their best, Hall & Oates’ songs were filled with strong hooks and melodies that adhered to soul traditions without being a slave to them by incorporating elements of new wave,” – said critics Stephen Thomas Erlewine and J. Scott McClintock. One of their first big successes was the song “I can’t go for that” which topped the Billboard chart in 1981. The song was covered by numerous artists. Personally, my favorite cover of this song is Simply Red’s “Sunrise”. Their success continued with songs such as “Maneater” which also topped the chart in 1982. If I have to be honest, “Maneater” is probably one of my most favorite pop songs from the 80s – it’s just so good! Their sound however was becoming way too soft, so they called Mr. Neil Kernon – a notable heavy metal producer who worked with bands such as Scorpions and Judas Priest. He helped them enhance their sound and make it a little bit heavier. The result was the song I want to present today – “Out of Touch”. Furthermore, I wanted to say a few more things about Hall & Oates before focusing on the song. When we think about the most successful duos of all time, many of you would probably say Righteous Brothers or Simon & Garfunkel or Tina & Ike or Everly Brothers or even Daft Punk. Surprise! According to the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) Hall & Oates is the most successful duo in popular music! They have seven RIAA platinum albums and six RIAA golden albums. They have sold more than 40 million records which makes them the second best-selling duo of all time (the Carpenters hold the record with more than 150 million records sold). Those two were unstoppable! Great innovators and probably the most definitive blue eyed soul artist of the era!

About the song itself, “Out of Touch” was released in 1984 and was the lead single from their 1984 album Big Bam Boom. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks in December 1984. Just a quick reminder that back in the 80s it was very difficult for a song to top the charts –since there were so many ground-breaking and prolific artists, a song rarely stuck on top of the charts for a long period of time. As writers and producers of the song, both guys are being credited. Also, if I have to place a specific genre next to the song I would say pop rock, definitely.
The video is just hilarious! Every little element of it just perfectly illustrates what a wild, crazy and irrational decade the 80s was! The MV begins with the “Dance on Your Knees” intro, which is the opening song of the album. Daryl Hall manages to quite well embrace the spirit of the song and as we can see he is totally feeling it – the funny leopard costumes, jumps, awkward dances, overly dramatic gestures and of course – the definitive hairstyle of the era! I just love his style of delivery in the MV. John Oates is also bringing it – he and his extremely odd and bizarre dancing moves are so entertaining to watch. It was obvious that they don’t really know what’s going on but they don’t even care – the musicians of the 80s were all about having fun, feeling good, free and dance crazily. My favourite element of the MV has to be the huge drums and the huge drumsticks! Watching Oates sitting behind those enormous drums and trying to play with the huge drumsticks is absolutely hilarious! The Music Video was also heavily featured on MTV back in the day when MTV actually played music!
I will wrap things up by saying that this is one of my most favorite songs from the 80s! The lyrics are extremely catchy and you can’t but sing with them! The value of the song, at least in my opinion, lies with the distinctive drum and bass elements and in the funky, new wave sound. In terms of vocal delivery, Hall is just perfect!
Nothing more to say! Just enjoy the song!

(Oh and by the way, I am not going to talk about the dreadful cover that was made a few years ago by United Nations. To me it was just one huge mess and the only thing it managed to achieve is to insult the work of Hall and Oates. Not to mention the tasteless and horrible music video.)

Single Cover

daryl-hall-and-john-oates-out-of-touch-rca

MUSIC VIDEO

 

LYRICS

Shake it up is all that we know
Using the bodies up as we go
Waking up to fantasy
The shades all around aren’t the colors we used to see
Broken ice still melts in the sun
And times that are broken can often be one again
We’re soul alone
And soul really matters to me
Take a look around

You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
x2

Reaching out for something to hold
Looking for a love where the climate is cold
Manic moves and drowsy dreams
Or living in the middle between the two extremes
Smoking guns hot to the touch
Would cool down if we didn’t use them so much
We’re soul alone
And soul really matters to me
Too much

You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
x2

Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
(Out of touch)
(Out of touch)

You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around

Songwriters: HALL, DARYL / OATES, JOHN
Out Of Touch lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.