Legendary bluesman, member of The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominos and many more, Eric Clapton, celebrates his birthday today! One of the most prolific and influential artists of all time, turns 72 so nothing but good wishes are in order! Happy Birthday, Mr. Clapton! Thank you for your devotion, hard work and exceptional music I grew up with and still can’t live without! Thank you for making me fall in love with the blues and learn how to appreciate great guitar work and technicality. Thank you for bringing peace to my life with your music!
Not many musicians can brag with a career, as long, fruitful and impressive as Eric Clapton’s. From his strong debut as a young guitar virtuoso in The Yardbirds, to recording one of the most important blues albums of all time with John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers; from a never-ending struggle with alcoholism to self-rediscovery and a powerful comeback in the ’80s, Eric Clapton’s life is surely one fascinating roller-coaster that keeps getting more and more exciting with each step of the way.
To celebrate Clapton‘s birthday, I have chosen 10 of his most beloved classics, including songs from his time as a member of The Yardbirds, Cream and Derek and the Dominos. There is certainly no better excuse to play Clapton all day long than commemorating his birthday! Let’s listen to the blues and forget about everything else!
The Yardbirds – “For Your Love” (1965)
Cream – “Sunshine of Your Love” (1967)
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers (with Eric Clapton) – “Ramblin’ on My Mind“ (1966)
Derek & The Dominos – “Layla” (1970)
Derek & The Dominos – Bell Bottom Blues (1970)
“Wonderful Tonight” (1977)
“Bad Love” (1989)
“My Father’s Eyes” (1998)
“Riding With the King” (2000)
+ “Spiral” (2016)
… Or play the entire playlist here:
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers. The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment. Cheers~
Today we celebrate the 71st birthday of none other than Mr Eric Clapton – one of the most brilliant rock musicians in the world and one of my personal favorite rockstars of all time. He is such an inspirational figure and I don’t know any other musician that possesses so much talent, passion and devotion to music. Despite being 71 years old, he keeps on making music and touching the souls of millions of people around the world. Clapton is very special to me as I grew up listening to songs such as “Wonderful Tonight” and “Let It Rain”. In the spirit of his birthday, I decided to make a little publication, in appreciation of the limitless talent of this guitar God! I hope you guys would enjoy it and remind yourself of some of his most remarkable tunes throughout the years.
Eric Clapton was born on the 30th of March 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England. His early career is associated with the infamous blues-oriented rock band – The Yardbirds. He stayed with them from 1963 till 1965. During that time, Clapton developed his own signature style and quickly became one of the most talked-about guitarists in the British music scene.
The Yardbirds’ manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, was actually the one who gave Eric Clapton his famous nickname “Slowhand” in early 1964.
In Clapton – The Autobiography (2007), Eric said, “On my guitar I used light-gauge guitar strings, with a very thin first string, which made it easier to bend the notes, and it was not uncommon during the most frenetic bits of playing for me to break at least one string. During the pause while I was changing my string, the frenzied audience would often break into a slow handclap, inspiring Giorgio to dream up the nickname of ‘Slowhand’ Clapton.”
The following year, Clapton undertook numerous projects with bands, such as John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and the Glands. By 1966 – the time he formed his new band Cream, Clapton was already a well-established and extremely influential guitar player. Everyone was captivated by his talent and wanted to hear more and more… The years he spent with Cream helped him reach his full song writing potential, which grabbed the attention of the American audience – something that was not achieved before that. Despite the Cream’s commercial success in both USA and Europe, the band had a relatively short life due to conflicts between the members and alcohol abuse. Nevertheless, they are still considered as one of the most influential rock bands of the era. Songs such as “Sunshine of Your Love” and “Crossroads” keep on living and reminding us of their musical virtuosity.
During the autumn of 1967, an admirer of Clapton spray-painted the famous slogan “Clapton is God” on an Islington Underground station. There a very famous photograph of this wall, capturing a dog that pees on the same wall…
“I never accepted that I was the greatest guitar player in the world. I always wanted to be the greatest guitar player in the world, but that’s an ideal, and I accept it as an ideal, ” he says…
Eric Clapton’s next musical project was the supergroup Blind Faith (1969). In addition to being a member of Blind Faith, he was also participating in various other acts in bands such as Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, thePlastic Ono Band, playing lead guitar in some of Lennon’s songs and many others. He was probably the busiest guitarist at that time. In 1970, he finally released his first self-titled album, including masterpieces such as “Let it Rain”, “After Midnight” and “Blues Power”.
Originally called “Eric Clapton and Friends”, his next band – “Derek and the Dominos” was the first step towards a decade full of love and turbulence, mixed with rehab and immense commercial success. His deep infatuation for George Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd inspired the band’s first and only album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” (1970) and gave birth to one of Clapton’s most famous and loved tunes of all time – “Layla”.
ERIC CLAPTON IN THE 70S ~
ERIC CLAPTON IN THE 80S~
The beginning of the 90s was very emotional for Clapton, as he lost his four-year old son. His sadness was channeled into the song “Tears in Heaven” for which he received six Grammy awards.
Since then, Clapton has released 11 studio albums and we are waiting for his 12th one which is going to be released on May 20th this year. Personally, among all the albums he made throughout the years, an honorable mention should receive “Riding with the King” (2000), “Me and Mr. Johnson” (a tribute to the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, 2004), “Back Home” (2005), “Clapton” (2010) and “Old Sock” (2013). If you are a fan of Clapton, those albums are a must!
Needless to say, Eric Clapton is a true legend – one of the most respected and appreciated guitarists and music-writers of all time. People love him for what he is – a talented and passionate musicians and a true role model. Throughout his life, he had to fight with alcohol and drug abuse, see the death of his son and go through so many other personal and professional challenges. However, his love for music was always there to bring happiness, joy – a little bit of every feeling possible to the people all over the world. His spirit is unbreakable and his career is unstoppable. Thank you, Eric for all the songs and emotions you brought to this world. I hope you never stop making music! We love you…
“The 80’s is it, it belongs to Van Halen.” – David Lee Roth, 1980
On the 26th of this month, we celebrate the 36th anniversary of Van Halen’s third studio album – “Women and Children First”. Released back in 1980, the album marked the beginning of a very special and important era – both for Van Halen, as well as for the rock music in general. In the spirit of the upcoming birthday of the album, I decided to prepare a little publication, focusing on the album and its songs. I have to say, it’s most certainly not my favorite Van Halen album – and as a matter of fact it’s not even in my personal top 3 Van Halen albums. However, I cannot deny how incredibly well-written and influential this album is. Not only “Women and Children First” was the first album to feature music written solely by Van Halen themselves, but this album brought to the world a different and more striking feel of the band – their sound, theme and image became heavier and much “darker” than before.
“I love it. I think it’s our best one yet because it’s got more variety. It’s not too guitar dominated; it’s just got a little bit of everything on it. It’s got acoustic, it’s got piano, it’s got the ball-bustin’ rock. It’s got it all.” – Eddie Van Halen
The album was produced by Ted Templeman – a notable American record producer. Throughout his career, he has worked with numerous outstanding musicians, such as the Doobie Brothers, Van Morrison, Carly Simon, Eric Clapton, Aerosmith and many others. He is actually the mastermind behind a few other Van Halen, as well as Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth solo albums. Furthermore, “Women and Children First” spawned one single – “And the Cradle Will Rock…” – a song that is very significant to me and this blog (I will explain myself later…). The song performed quite well on the charts, not as much as one might predict, though – it only got to 55th place on Billboard Hot 100. As far as album sales are concerned, it is certified 3 times Platinum by the RIAA and 2 times Platinum by Music Canada. Overall, it did achieve considerable amount of success, however it wasn’t until 1984 that Van Halen reached their commercial peak and worldwide recognition. Nevertheless, this album is excellent – from its first to its last song, no second opinion about it. It’s a must for your record collection!
Now let’s talk songs!
The powerful party-rock anthem which also happens to be the opening track and my personal favorite song from the album is called “And the Cradle Will Rock…” and has a few interesting background details worth mentioning. First of all, it’s the first song that featured the keyboard playing of Eddie Van Halen. Eddie’s new ideas and visions for the band’s music and future directions were already making a strong statement. Instead of being driven by a guitar, the song’s dominant instrument is the keyboards – something that was considered a bit too experimental and not “as rock ‘n’ roll” as one might say back then. Later on, Eddie’s creative ambitions and insights on the issue of the band’s musical angels would clash with David Lee Roth’s lust and endless desire for fun and partying while playing the rock ‘n’ roll. Nevertheless, this piece of music provides a very interesting beginning for their 80s style. In addition, the song begins with very mind-boggling sounds which many of you guys might think come from a guitar; however that’s not the case. It’s actually a “phaseshifter-effected Wurlitzer electric piano played through Eddie Van Halen’s 1960s model 100-watt Marshall Plexi amplifier” – how cool is that? In terms of lyrics – the song is mainly about how younger generations misbehave and all they want to do is party and rock ‘n’ roll. A “cradle” in the context of the song, is a metaphor for “home” – no wonder the cradle is rocking – the kids are out of control.
One last thing – I thought of the name of this blog “that mixtape will rock” while I was listening to “And the Cradle Will Rock…” I absolutely adore the song and the lyrics – they inspired me to come up with the name and that says a lot really.
And this right here might be indeed the worst lip-sync in history…
The other party anthem of the album would be “Everyone Wants Some” which in my opinion, has to be one of the heaviest songs of Van Halen, along with “Loss of Control”. I get a lot of hardcore punk vibes coming out of those two songs (especially from “Loss of Control”) and that can’t but make me super happy, having in mind the fact that I am and always will be a punk rock kid. Those two songs became an absolute staple for any of Van Halen’s upcoming life concerts and tours and we can clearly understand why. The pure hard rock energy that comes out of them is just too strong to handle. Not to mention the richness and speed Eddie displays in those two masterpieces…Just have a listen…
“Everybody Wants Some” still remains one of David Lee Roth’s favorite Van Halen songs – even when he left Van Halen, he still kept on playing it during his concerts…
Van Halen’s growth in terms of musicianship, song-writing and technical improvement is probably most evident in “Fools”. To me, this song has one of the most powerful and captivating intros. The guitar riffs are pure gold and I just can’t but think of Eddie as some sort of an alien who came to this world to hypnotize us with his guitar… In addition, I really enjoy the brilliant lyrics and the message behind them – even when society wants you to follow and obey all the rules, people have personal desires and dreams that might not fit into the predetermined picture. Different people are good at different things – why should we hide our ambitions?
“They say I’m crazy from the wrong side of the tracks I never see them but they’re always so far back”….
“My teachers all gave up on me No matter what they say, I disagree”
In addition to the heavy sounds and dynamic guitar riffs, the album offers a few low-key, acoustic country-blues feelings with song such as “Could this be Magic” and “Take Your Whiskey Home”. I have to say, those two songs are most certainly not in my “greatest Van Halen songs of all time” list – I find them a bit too silly and frivolous. However, they do provide the necessary balance in the album.
By the way, “Could This Be Magic” features the only female backing vocal ever to be recorded on a Van Halen song. Nicolette Larson – an American country/pop singer who worked with musicians such as Neil Yong sings during some of the chorus.
Van Halen’s first attempts at a power-ballad resulted in the closing song of the album, titled “In a Simple Rhyme”. Their desire for a more graceful and soft melody however is quickly cut off by their rock driven nature, though. It took Van Halen a few more years before they finally refined their perfect rock ballad sound, at least in my opinion.
This is a life performance from last year…David’s voice might not be what it used to be, however we still appreciate it!
The album’s other two songs – “Romeo Delight” and “Tora! Tora!”, also deserve an honorable mention. Those high-speed metal sounds are the reason why I said that the album has a bit of a “black hart” situation. Just listen…
Well, this is it for now. I hope my readers got the chance to remind themselves of this brilliant album which features some of the most unforgettable Van Halen tunes ever. In conclusion, I would say that if you are a Van Halen fan, this album is a must for your record collection. “Women and Children First” is the album with which Van Halen gloriously stepped into the 80s – it was a perfect statement that the decade is theirs to conquer. With a more refined and original sound, the band proved that they matured and got more serious about their music. I hope you guys love and appreciate it as much as I do!
Cheers! …And the cradle will rock!
Van Halen Lyrics, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/ Van Halen “Women and Children First”, retrieved from http://www.allmusic.com/ Van Halen, “And the Cradle Will Rock”, retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/ P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers. The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment. Cheers~
Today we celebrate the 70th birthday of Mr. David Gilmour – one of the most talented and fascinating rock music icons. With his outstanding vocal abilities, musicianship, guitar and song-writing skills, he became one of the most essential elements of the development of progressive rock music and also one of the main reasons behind Pink Floyd’s distinctive sound and success throughout the years.
David Gilmour is one of the few rockstars who can brag about having a career that lasted for more than 50 years. Not to mention that he’s still making music and even last year, he released a phenomenal album called “Rattle That Lock”. Naturally, I assume that the majority of people know him for being the charismatic and mysterious co-lead vocalist and guitarist of Pink Floyd. However, in addition to his work with PF, over the years he has collaborated with numerous musicians and participated in countless projects with Eric Clapton, Tom Jones, The Who, Paul McCartney, David Crosby and many others. Also, he’s famous for producing the English folk rock band called The Dream Academy. Furthermore, the list of his accomplishments doesn’t end here. In 2008, he was awarded with the Outstanding Contribution award at the 2008 Q Awards and Rolling Stones magazine ranked him #14 in their list of the greatest guitarists of all time. It goes on and on…this man is not only a versatile music genius but a much respected visionary who knows how to make a statement.
David Gilmour has a very characteristic musical style. His memorable solos in some of Pink Floyd’s most famous songs such as “Money”, “Time” or “Comfortably Numb” perfectly illustrate what I’m saying – he is very expressive, “colourful” and passionate in his music. He is carefully mixing progressive thought with blues-influenced phrasing and then adds a note of melancholy. Maybe it’s just me – but the music of Pink Floyd always had a very perplexed impact on me – it’s like I’m both despondent and elevated at the same time…
Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
Wish You Were Here (1975)
The Wall (1979)
So far, David has released four solo studio albums, all of which welcomed with adoration and respect from his devoted fans. I have to say, among those four albums, his latest one “Rattle That Lock” is my favorite. I believe the reason behind it lies in the fact that this album gives us a personal and autobiographical glimpse of his life, filled with the usual presence of love, happiness and pain. It’s most certainly very far away from his golden days as a member of Pink Floyd. However, creating something so beautiful, real and majestic at this age – I cannot but be impressed and bow down to his talent…
David Gilmour (1978)
About Face (1984)
On an Island (2006)
Rattle that Lock (2015)
Once again, Happy Birthday to one of the most glorious and outstanding musicians of all time – David Gilmour. We can’t but thank him from the bottom of our hearts for his long and productive career that spawned so many songs we love, cherish and can’t stop listening to. Hope he has a good one today!
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the credits go to the owners, publishers and/or rights holders.
Today marks a very special occasion – on this day, in 1943, one of the greatest musicians was born – our beloved George Harrison. He was one of those brilliant artists without whom the world would’ve been a very different place, now. Throughout his career, he achieved unbelievable success, touched the hearts and souls of millions of people and left a legacy that can never be matched. In honour of George, I decided to prepare a little publication, dedicated to some of his major achievements in music. He was an outstanding artist – every word and note he wrote was revealing a part of him – his music was special, personal and unforgettable. That’s why many people say that he was the heart of the Beatles… I don’t know about that, but what I’m sure of is the fact that his artistic persona and exceptional music is truly missed…
George Harrison and the Beatles…
George became a member of the Beatles, back when they were still a skiffle band with only John Lennon and Paul McCartney being the other two members. At the beginning, his position was still uncertain – he was too young to be in their band. However, after some auditions and filling in on guitar when needed, he eventually became a full member of the band.
The band spent the following years in Hamburg, Germany. There Harrison kept on working hard and giving his all into polishing his talents on the guitar by taking lessons and learning as much as he could. He was too young, so unfortunately he had to be deported along with the Beatles who followed him back home to UK. In 1961, Brian Epstein – one of the most brilliant managers, took matters into his own hands and helped the guys establish their grounds, looks and image. A recording contract with EMI was also placed on the table. From that moment on, the career of the Beatles, with Harrison as their lead guitarist, turn into the biggest success story ever! Beatles changed the music industry, people’s perception of rock ‘n’ roll and conquered the world…
“Norwegian Wood” – a song from Harrison’s favorite Beatles’ album – “Rubber Soul”. At that time, he was beginning to take immense interest in Indian music culture and introduced the sitar to the Beatles.
Harrison was responsible for composing some of Beatles’ major hits during the first half of the 60s – “Taxman”, “Love You To”, “I Want to Tell You”, “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” and many more. However, by 1966, his focus of interest has shifted dramatically. In addition to his desire to write more songs, featuring Indian instruments and express himself through a different kind of music, George also took a long path of self-realization. At that time, all the creative decisions in the band were made, of course, by Lennon and McCartney – basically, there was no equality in terms of what kind of music the Beatles should make. Eventually, tensions escalated and in 1969, Harrison left the band.
Their last LP – “Abbey Road”, included George Harrison’s most famous works – “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something”.
The following years were quite productive for George – he released new albums, organized charity events in Bangladesh, toured over North America and basically didn’t stop writing, producing and performing the way he wanted it. One of his biggest successes was the album “Dark Horse”, released in 1974 – a record about “change and loss”.
Harrison’s song “All Those Years Ago” was written as a tribute to Lennon whose death really affected George’s life.
In 1987, Harrison released the platinum album “Cloud Nine” which spawned one of George’s most famous and loved hit songs – “Got My Mind Set on You”. (it was a rendition of James Ray’s “Got My Mind Set on You”)
The following step of his career was a project called “the Traveling Wilburys” with Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty.
Harrison died of cancer on November 29th, 2001 in Los Angeles at the age of 58. His final album – “Brainwashed” was completed by his son.
Once again, Happy Birthday to George Harrison – one of the greatest musicians and rockstars of all time. His talent was limitless, his heart was made of gold and his music changed the lives of everyone.
Thank you, George.
“There never was a time when you or I did not exist. Nor will there be any future when we shall cease to be.”
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the credits and rights go to the owners and publishers.
Today we celebrate the 54th birthday of non-other than Axl Rose! There’s no self-respecting rock music fan who doesn’t know who Axl Rose is! However, for the record I still need to say that he is the charismatic and eccentric frontman of Guns N’ Roses and one of the most controversial rockstars of all time! Since today is his birthday, I decided to prepare a little appreciation publication that will acknowledge and present a few of my favorite photos of him, as well look through some of his best works as a musician throughout the years. Furthermore, since Guns N’ Roses recently announced a long-awaited comeback with tour dates this year, it seems like to me this is the perfect time to talk about Mr. Rose.
Before forming the infamous rock band Guns N’ Roses, Axl Rose was a member of other rock bands such as L.A. Guns and Rapidfire and was making a name for himself in the rock music scene. However, his major recognition and success came with GNR, of course. The band quickly gained an enormous fan base and grabbed the attention of so many people all around the world. Their commercial peak was reached with “Appetite for Destruction” which later on becomes the best-selling debut album of all time! That surely speaks volumes! Undoubtedly, one of the reasons why this album became such a major accomplishment is Axl Rose’s vocal delivery – it was most certainly not the conventional male rock star voice – it was something that people back then never really had the chance to hear before. His raw and high vocals were also accompanied by his bizarre, erratic and even crazy personality. This combination made all the girls crazy about him. He was indeed a quite handsome fellow… Let’s watch some of the videos from the album…I mean just look at him, do I even need to say more?
After becoming this huge rock sensation, the band started recording a new album and embarked on a long tour, which became a huge success, of course. The tour itself may have been a financial win, but Axl Rose had his numerous moments of irrationality and being all late-arriving, canceling-at-the-last-minute, super-famous ego-driven rockstar and all. He had his moments in many of the band’s live concerts. I’m not going to go into details about the things he did because I believe he was quite young and people do make mistakes… I think fans forgave him a long time ago – after all he is Axl Rose and we still love him!
The following two albums – Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II also reached high positions in the charts and made Axl and the band even more famous.
The problems within the members of the band were too large and too many to overcome which was very unfortunate for all the fans hoping to see them work together on more projects. Nevertheless, Axl Rose committed himself to a new album – “Chinese Democracy” which was released in 2008 as the band’s sixth studio album after “The Spaghetti Incident?” (1993). The album was long-awaited and it did have a major success and positive critical reviews, however it was nothing compared to what things used to be. Working alone without the original members of the band, Axl Rose crafted a very different, electric driven album which was most certainly not the same as the well-known previous hard rock sound we were used to.
Finally, I would like to finish by saying that Axl Rose is a true rockstar and indeed a voice of a generation that continues to spark and trigger our interest and admiration with pretty much everything he does on and off stage. I respect him for his success and greatness back in the 80s and 90s and wish to go back in time and see the band performing live – his stage persona is very intriguing to me and I’m sure I would’ve had so much fun. For what he did, the way he performed and his musical talents as a whole, he did receive numerous awards and recognitions, such as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Ronnie James Dio lifetime achievement award and you know…selling more than 30 million copies of a single album worldwide…
Happy Birthday, Mr. Axl Rose – the rockstar that changed the game and put a new meaning into the word “controversial”! P.S We, the fans, cannot wait for the comeback of the band this year! I’m sure it’s going to be something amazing! Please, don’t come late or forget to show up, otherwise… fans might start rioting again…and we don’t want history to repeat itself now, do we…?
oh I love this so much….
p.s I do not own any photo or video material that was used for this publication. All the credit goes to the photographers and the uploaders!
James Douglas “Jim” Morrison was born on December 8th, 1943 and died on July the 3rd, 1971! He was one of the most legendary and notable American singers, songwriters, showmen and poets and most certainly one of the biggest rockstars on the world! He is of course mostly famous for being the frontman of The Doors – one of the bands that defined rock music in the late 60s and that popularized psychedelic rock. Not only was he influencing people with his music, but he was also one of the most beloved cultural icons who stood for young people and counterculture!
He died at the age of 27 and became one of the members of the infamous “27 club”, along with artists such as Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
What I mostly admire about him was the ability to improvise and include poetry in his music, especially during life performances. I am not going to talk about the way he lived because for sure – he was out of control and was a heavy drug user. What I want to focus on is his legacy. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest male singers of all time -with that distinctive sensual, delicate and rather sexual vocal delivery you can’t but admire him and lose yourself in his music. Also, the music he and his band played set grounds for progressive rock and eventually punk rock music. He had a wild stage persona and that is what made him so unique. He was most certainly not one of those humble musicians – he was feeling the music with all his body and soul and was showing it rather freely and explicitly. Through his lyrics, he wanted to open the minds and the hearts of people. Also, the disaffected young generation of the 60s was able to find themselves in his songs! For that and for many other reasons, today I decided to write a little post about this great rockstar! Sadly, we lost him at a very young age and who knows what could’ve happened if he was still alive…
Happy Birthday, Jim!