Why is BOSTON’s Debut Album One Of The Greatest Albums Of All Time

boston-bostonIt’s a cold November morning and I am sitting here, at my university, waiting for my next classes to come. My headphones are on because well, music is basically the only thing besides the warm coffee in my hands that actually gets me going through the day. You can find all sorts of treasures on my music player – mostly ‘70s and ‘80s hard rock and the occasional new wave/pop retro tune. After a series of glam rock favorites, suddenly I hear the stunning intro of Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” and just like that, a little smile appears on my face as I silently start singing along with the haunting vocals of Brad Delp. It was this gorgeous song that introduced me to Boston and their debut album. I had no idea who they were as musicians or what they did – all I wanted was to listen and dive as deep as I can into the album, I was simply entranced… The song was over way too soon, but my thoughts kept on sending me back to that glorious year – 1976. I, of course, wasn’t born during the ‘70s but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate or truly feel the magic and impact of such brilliant music.

Boston are definitely not the most prolific band in the world but they can freely brag with splendid records like “Don’t Look Back” (1978) and “Third Stage” (1986). It was their monstrous self-titled debut album however, what most people will remember them by. The tremendous strength with which the record smashed into the music world in the mid-70s could easily be justified with the 25 million copies sold worldwide. Not only that, but “Boston” was actually the best-selling debut album of all time before Guns N’ Roses released “Appetite for Destruction” in 1987. There should be a reason for such enormous recognition, right? Well, the album is just that good! It traveled all the way from the ‘70s to my tiny little rock heart and completely conquered it. I am sure many people feel the same way as I do – especially those of you who were actually there to witness how one debut album became the ultimate staple of American rock music (not just in the ‘70s but in general). Here’s why I think this album should be heard and acknowledged by every self-respecting music fan!

Tom Scholz

Behind every great record, there’s a hardworking mastermind with a clear vision, a special touch and a lot of persistence.

tomWho could’ve thought that Tom Scholz – a MIT graduate who worked at the Polariod Corporation would come up with the perfect sonic formula and craft rock music that will change history? It all started as a mere fascination but it didn’t take him that long to realize that his connection with music goes way beyond a simple hobby. He assembled a little cozy record studio in his basement where he would spend countless of sleepless nights in an attempt to create the perfect song. Tom was a persistent, goal-driven visionary who knew his way around the studio and didn’t let anyone else take that away from him. Even when the band was finally signed to EMI and the album was about to be released, Tom always stayed true to himself. He wrote or co-wrote (with the exception of “Let Me Take You Home Tonight,” written by Delp) all the songs on the debut album, played all the instruments, recorded, engineered and pretty much did everything by himself. Mad genius, working in a basement or not, it was his demons that changed the rules of the game at the end.

The Sci-Fi Logo

boston-bostonAfter they changed the name of the band from Mother’s Milk to Boston, it was time to come up with a revolutionary album artwork that could perfectly represent the concept of the album. Again, the idea was given by Scholz who wanted a “spaceship guitar”, symbolizing “escape”. Three people participated in the design, illustration and lettering, before we were finally presented with the final product. The eye-catching and highly intriguing sci-fi logo became an absolute landmark and one of the most instantly-recognizable album covers.

The Boston Sound”

There was a reason why Boston and this album completely took control over the radio stations and haven’t actually left their spot ever since. The record found the perfect balance between pop and rock by crafting a splendid mixture of gorgeous vocal harmonies, gentle, yet rough guitar riffs, spellbinding melodic hooks and dreamy lyrics, all wrapped up under the influence of the classical music, Tom grew up listening to. Each musical segment was crafted carefully, with strict precision and dedication to achieve the ultimate impact. Because of its universal appeal, great production value and adoption of quite accessible, easy to digest sounds, the debut album marked the beginning arena rock – a pivotal and unavoidable moment in the development of rock music.

Magical – that’s the word I would use for the Boston sound. I was under its influence the moment I heard the first track…

“More Than a Feeling”

“More Than a Feeling” is probably the main reason why Boston and their debut record became one of the most popular rock acts of the late 70s. Each and every second of this song was designed to instantaneously crawl under your skin, inject its blessing and leave you in a state of trance. Tom Scholz is a genius and if you haven’t figured it out yet, listen to the track one more time.

From Brad Delp’s killer vocals, relentlessly playing with your senses to the mind-shivering guitars, “More Than a Feeling” is the crown jewel of Boston’s career. For them it was way more than an opening track – it was their first single and first attempt to make a name for themselves. Well, after selling a couple of million records, we can somehow conclude that they did in fact make history.

 

You can listen to the whole album here:


“Boston” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_(album)

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~

[Rock History] Today in 1967, The Beatles released “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

beatles s

The 8th studio album of The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released today in 1967! This is one of those records that don’t really need an introduction, accompanied by a bunch of words expressing how great and impressive it is. What do we need to understand and remember, though, is that this record is one of the most essential and unsurpassed albums ever made and its influence, contributions and success will forever remain unmatched. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is simply the holy grail of rock music; an absolute breakthrough masterpiece that features adventurous elements of rock&roll, classical music, psychedelia and art rock, all racing together on superior studio technology. The Beatles were fearless; boundaries were demolished and the ultimate achievement was reached. It’s been almost 50 years since its release but this record still remains the greatest musical statement of all time!

Let’s look through some facts about Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and listen to some music!

beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is #1 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band spent 27 weeks at the top of the album charts in the UK and 15 weeks at #1 on the USA charts as well. It’s also the third best-selling album in the UK with over 5.1 million copies being sold.
  • Sgt. Pepper band is the name of the alter ego group they chose to present themselves as. This alter ego band gave them freedom and flexibility to experiment and explore new musical directions.
  • The Beatles spent over 129 days and 700 hours on the LP which was 30 times more than they did on their debut album “Please Please Me”.
  • George Martin – the producer of the record explained that Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was an attempt to match Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. “Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper never would have happened … Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds,” Martin stated.
  • The album cover art cost more than £3000 which was quite expensive at that time. It was designed by British pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth. The collage includes 57 photos and 9 waxworks of famous people, such as actors, scientists and writers, including Bob Dylan, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Stan Laurel, Oscar Wilde, Lewis Caroll and many more. Lennon wanted to include Jesus and Hitler, however his ideas were rejected.
  • Time magazine described the record as “a historic departure in the progress of music”.
  • The lyrics were printed in full on the back cover of the record. This was done for the first time on a rock LP.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band back cover

  • Paul sings five lead vocals; John sings three; John and Paul share the lead on two; Ringo sings lead on one song and George, Paul and John share the lead on one song as well.
  • ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ was thought to be a reference to LSD. However, John stated that it was from a drawing made by his 4-year old son Julian.
  • All the songs were written and composed by Lennon–McCartney except “Within You Without You”, which was written by George Harrison
  • The total length of the album is 39:52 as it includes 13 songs.
  • Paul wrote and sang lead on the title track “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. Three days after the record came out, the Jimi Hendrix Experience opened a show with their interpretation of the track.
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is a record with songs designed in a way so that they couldn’t be performed live. The Beatles were embracing the studio experience and adopted numerous experimental approaches that simply cannot be adjusted for a live performance.

beatles sgt


References:
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sgt._Pepper’s_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band
“50 Sgt. Pepper Facts”, retrieved from http://www.udiscovermusic.com/the-beatles-sgt-pepper
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~

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] ASIA – ASIA

Asia - Asia


ASIA

Asia - AsiaReleased: March 18, 1982
Recorded: June – November 1981, Townhouse Studios, London
Genre: AOR, Progressive Rock, Rock, Pop Rock
Length: 44:22

Label: Geffen
Producer(s): Mike Stone
Singles: “Heat of the Moment”, “Only Time Will Tell”, “Soul Survivor”
Personnel: Steve Howe – guitars, backing vocals, Geoff Downes – keyboards, backing vocals, John Wetton – bass guitar, lead vocals, Carl Palmer – drums, percussion

Certified: 4xPlatinum (RIAA)

TRACKLIST:

“Heat of the Moment”
“Only Time Will Tell”
“Sole Survivor”
“One Step Closer”
“Time Again”
“Wildest Dreams”
“Without You”
“Cutting it Fine”
“Here Comes the Feeling”

aSIA - ASIA - CD

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OVERVIEW:

This monstrous debut record by the supergroup Asia was released back in 1982 and proved that there was indeed a reason why those immensely talented and versatile musicians from YES, ELP, King Crimson and The Buggles got together in the first place. “Asia” spawned one of the most distinctive rock tunes of the 80s – “Heat of the Moment” which became their ultimate signature song. That was not the end of it, though – the record is full of catchy hooks and fine melodies, perfectly designed to fit the demands of the commercial radio stations. If you are looking for some traces of YES or ELP on this album, you won’t find them. “Asia” doesn’t really impress with lengthy instrumentals or heavy lyrics but it does impress with its style and class. We cannot deny the excellent collaboration of Steve Howe‘s guitar Carl Palmer’s drums and Geoff Downes’ keyboards. Plus of course, John Wetton’s vocals which are the essence of the record! They created a much needed spark with this record and it’s quite sad that they couldn’t live up to this album in their following endeavors.

“Heat of the Moment” sets the tone for the record by definitely kicking things off with the biggest bang ever. It’s one of those songs that leave a lasting memory and definitely one of the most memorable and enjoyable classics from the 80s. “Only Time Will Tell” is one of the fines moments of the record as it demonstrates the perfect fusion between pop and rock. The track can’t but affect us with its harmonies and perfect little details, such as Palmer’s powerful drums and layered chorus. “Sole Survivor” is the absolute rocker from the record, combining excellent Hammond organ playing and a basic straight-up rock ‘n’ roll fashion. Some other fine moments from the record include the intriguing and quite fierce guitar intro of “Time Again” which definitely has the “wow” effect on listeners. The essential melancholic track comes in the form of “Without You”, which again demonstrates fine keyboard playing and smoky vocals.

Many people have rather conflicting opinions about this album; however I believe the above mentioned songs are good enough to make it up for the lack of substantiality that could be felt in the rest of the album. Overall, it’s a “modern-classic” record that brought together extraordinary people and spawned hit singles which we still love and listen to even today! Good job~

HEAT OF THE MOMENT

SOLE SURVIVOR

TIME AGAIN


 

Credits:
“ASIA” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia_%28Asia_album%29
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.
Cheers~

Axl Rose’s First Concert With AC/DC: Videos, Setlist

AXL with ACDC

axl with acdc

On May 7th, Axl Rose had his first live performance alongside his new bandmates of AC/DC during their concert at Lisbon, Portugal. The concert marked the beginning of a series of European dates which are scheduled into next month.

Rose replaced Brian Johnson, after the long-time frontman was advised not to perform live events due to his serious hearing issues.

The band began their set with “Rock or Burst” and continued with some of AC/DC’s ultimate hits like “Back in Black”, “Thunderstruck” and many more.

Setlist from Axl Rose’s Debut Concert with AC/DC:

“Rock or Bust”
“Shoot to Thrill”
“Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be”
“Back in Black”
“Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder”
“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation”
“Thunderstruck”
“High Voltage”
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Train”
“Hells Bells”
“Given the Dog a Bone”
“Sin City”
“You Shook Me All Night Long”
“Shot Down in Flames”
“Have a Drink on Me”
“T.N.T.”
“Whole Lotta Rosie”
“Let There Be Rock”
Encore:
“Highway to Hell”
“Riff Raff”
“For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)”


 

Watch the videos below:

Thunderstruck

Back in Black

Hells Bells

You Shook Me All Night Long

Highway To Hell

Shoot To Thrill


 

AC/DC posted a video on their official Facebook page, featuring Lisbon fans talking about their experience. Watch below:

 

Credits:
See Video, Setlist from Axl Rose’s First AC/DC Concert, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com/axl-rose-acdc-first-concert/?trackback=tsmclip

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction

Appetite for Destruction 4

After endless years, full of hope and anticipation, the long awaited reunion of Guns N’ Roses is finally a fact! Fans were more than thrilled to welcome the legends back on stage and experience true rock ‘n’ roll alongside their favorite band from the 80s. Furthermore, we just got the news that Axl Rose is joining AC/DC as their frontman so definitely, this year a lot of interesting and exciting things are happening for the members of Guns N’ Roses and their fans, of course. In the spirit of these awesome events, I decided to prepare a publication, focusing on Guns N’ Roses’ greatest album from the 80s – Appetite for Destruction”. Some might disagree, however to me personally this is also their most impressive record among all and probably the main reason why they reached such a phenomenal success and became the ultimate fan-favorites. The album is a true masterpiece – no second opinion about it. I believe it’s also one of those albums you just HAVE to have regardless whether you are a fan of the band or not. “Appetite for Destruction” is an absolute era-defining album and if you love classic rock music and you don’t have it yet – just go and buy it right now!
Let’s talk more about the album!


 

Appetite for Destruction

Appetite for Destruction 4Released: July 21, 1987
Recorded: March–April 1987
Genre: Hard Rock, Rock, Heavy Metal, Glam Metal
Length: 53:51
Label: Geffen
Producer(s): Mike Clink
Singles: “It’s So Easy”, “Welcome To The Jungle”, “Sweet Child o’ Mine”, “Break It Up”, “Paradise City”, “Nighttrain”
Personnel: Axl Rose – lead vocals, backing vocals, synthesizer; Slash – lead guitar; Izzy Stradlin – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, co-lead guitar; Duff “Rose” McKagan – bass guitar, backing vocals; Steven Adler – drums;

TRACKLIST:

1. Welcome To The Jungle
2. It’s So Easy
3. Nightrain
4. Out Ta Get Me
5. Mr. Brownstone
6. Paradise City
7. My Michelle
8. Think About You
9. Sweet Child O’ Mine
10. You’re Crazy
11. Anything Goes
12. Rocket Queen

png CD

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VINYL


 

Overview:

In 1987, Guns N’ Roses blew up the music industry by exploding onto the national scene with their first and best album! In addition to being one of the best-selling albums of all time, “Appetite for Destruction” also happens to be the best-selling debut album in history of music! What a debut that was! Not only did it peaked at the number one spot on the Billboard 200 Chart, but it also reached top 10 positions in Australia, Canada, Norway and Sweden.

Needless to say, the album was an absolute turning point for the hard rock/metal genre and its direction. Ferocious rock anthems such as “Paradise City”, “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Nightrain” have been clogging the airwaves ever since the release of this rock tornado. Guns N’ Roses crafted something extremely dangerous, raw and quite nasty that actually brought nothing but fun and great time to the public. The sound is rough, the lyrics are vulgar and fierce but it’s the 80s we’re talking about – the ultimate time to be as outrageous as you want to and enjoy it to the max! The success of the album was somehow contributed to its hedonistic “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” theme which greatly appealed to the mass. The band incorporated elements of punk rock, glam metal, hard rock and metal music to come up with this primal sound that reached the absolute level of breakthrough. I personally don’t think the band will ever reach such highs, such speed or such level of musicianship. Bottom line is, “Appetite for Destruction” is the record that proved that people can’t really escape from themselves but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

guns

AXL


 

The album makes its clear statement right from the beginning. The first track, “Welcome to the Jungle” is a symbolic door through the brutal, nasty, drug-infested and dark world of L.A. The track sends us on a journey to the city’s most awful secrets. The story, told by Axl and his exceptional but rather ghostly howls, quickly brings out to the surface our deepest fears.

Personally, I think this song has one of the most powerful intros in rock music! The MV is also a classic.

Welcome to the jungle
It gets worse here everyday
Ya learn ta live like an animal
In the jungle where we play
If you got a hunger for what you see
You’ll take it eventually
You can have anything you want
But you better not take it from me….


 

“Paradise City” is probably the single track they owe their success to. With an exceptional mixture of blues, punk and hard rock motives, the song is everything but your ordinary 80s rock tune. “Paradise City” captivates right from the beginning with its unique rhythm, escalating guitar riffs and Axl’s aggressive, quite forceful but energetic vocal delivery. The theme of the song is similar to that of “Welcome to the Jungle” – they knew how to convey a message using the proper tools and words!

This is my personal favorite song from the album and I’m particularly fond of the music video! Can we please go back and attend such concerts??

Strapped in the chair of the city’s gas chamber
Why I’m here I can’t quite remember
The surgeon general says it’s hazardous to breathe
I’d have another cigarette, but I can’t see
Tell me who you’re gonna believe

Take me down
To the paradise city
Where the grass is green
And the girls are pretty
Take me home…


 

In the power ballad “Sweet Child o’ Mine”, Axl, Slash and company prove that they can be vulnerable and deliver something romantic and atmospheric with no efforts. This song perfectly demonstrates the outstanding guitar abilities of Slash and surprises us with a very catchy hard-rock beat and beautiful lyrics.

She’s got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky

Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stared too long
I’d probably break down and cry

Sweet child o’ mine…


 

“Nightrain” is another song I would like to focus your attention at. Yet again, we are transferred to the sinful, alcohol and drug-fuelled world of L.A. Axl’s vocal delivery, in combination with metallic hard rock guitar riffs give us a little bit of an AC/DC vibe.


 

“Think about You” is in my opinion a very underrated track. By including it in this publication, I only wish more people would realize and experience its true value. It’s a sweet love song that creates the perfect mood! The rhythm and the lyrics absolutely do it for me!

There wasn’t much
in this heart of mine
There was a little left
and babe you found it
It’s funny how I never felt so high
It’s a feelin’ that I know
I know I’ll never forget
Ooh it was the best thing
I can remember
Ooh and the love we shared-
is lovin’ that’ll last forever

I think about you
Honey all the time
my heart says yes….


 

Many people will agree with me when I say that “Appetite for Destruction” is one of the best metal albums of the 80s! As good as Axl Rose’s shrilling voice is, the effect of the album wouldn’t have been so strong if it weren’t for the exceptional guitar skills of Slash and Izzy. The brutal and nasty world, Guns N’ Roses invite us in with this album can’t but fascinate you. I am truly happy we were blessed with this masterpiece and I wish they kept on with their winning streak. Unfortunately, after the phenomenal success of the record, the band couldn’t top themselves and  till today, “Appetite for Destruction” remains their greatest work and in my opinion, the reason why they were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

Nevertheless, some people consider it as the “record of the 80” and as such, we should appreciate it! Now go listen to the other crazy tracks!

 

My copy of the album ~

20160301_202218


 

[ Playlist ] Weekly MIXTAPE

Mixtape-Mondays-LargeUp.png-

 

Happy New week!

Now let’s listen to some rock ‘n’ roll and try to forget that it’s Monday and we have to go to work…
This week, I have collected some memorable classic rock tunes, to help you kick things off with the proper mood and in proper spirits! I have gathered 10 favorite rock songs from my music library and came up with this lovely “mixtape” which is my present for you… I hope you get reminded of some awesome tracks and get the much needed energy boost!

Let’s rock…

Playlist:

Def Leppard – Let’s Get Rocked ( 1992 )
Guns N’ Roses – You’re Crazy ( 1987 )
Led Zeppelin – Kashmir ( 1975 )
Pink Floyd – Have a Cigar ( 1975 )
Whitesnake – Love Ain’t No Stranger ( 1984 )
Rolling Stones – Start Me Up ( 1981 )
George Harrison – Devil’s Radio ( 1987 )
Icehouse – Electric Blue ( 1987 )
Toto – Can’t Stand It Any Longer ( 1986 )
Alannah Myles – Black Velvet ( 1989 )


Def Leppard – Let’s Get Rocked ( 1992 )


Guns N’ Roses – You’re Crazy ( 1987 )


Led Zeppelin – Kashmir ( 1975 )


Pink Floyd – Have a Cigar ( 1975 )


Whitesnake – Love Ain’t No Stranger ( 1984 )


Rolling Stones – Start Me Up ( 1981 )


George Harrison – Devil’s Radio ( 1987 )


Icehouse – Electric Blue ( 1987 )


Toto – Can’t Stand It Any Longer ( 1986 )


Alannah Myles – Black Velvet ( 1989 )


 

Saturday 16/04 ~ Today in Song Lyrics…

music is my escape

 

~~~~

 

“…Now I’ve got that feeling once again
I can’t explain, you would not understand
This is not how I am
I have become comfortably numb…”

( Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb )

~~~~

“…It feels so right, so warm and true
I need to know if you feel it too

Maybe I’m wrong
Won’t you tell me if I’m coming on too strong
This heart of mine has been hurt before
This time I want be be sure…”

( Foreigner – Waiting for a Girl Like You )

~~~~

“…Another night slowly closes in
And I feel so lonely
Touching heat freezing on my skin
I pretend you still hold me…

I’m going crazy, I’m losing sleep
I’m in too far, I’m in way too deep over you
I can’t believe you’re gone
You were the first, you’ll be the last…”

( Cheap Trick – The Flame )

~~~~

“…Time, time will never be a friend of mine again
It tries to make your memory fade but I won’t let it end
Let the sun go down, so I can drift away
Let me close my eyes and live another day
You keep comin’, you keep comin’ back, you keep comin’ back for more

I’ll see you in my dreams
There we’ll be safe tonight
From the lonely days of memories
I’ll see you in my dreams…”

( Giant – I’ll See You In My Dreams)

~~~~

“…it’s hard to tell what you’re going through
you kept your feelings locked inside of you
open your heart and chances are
what you’re feeling…
I’m feeling too…”

( Winger – Miles Away )

~~~~

“…Have you ever needed someone so bad…
Have you ever wanted someone
You just couldn’t have
Did you ever try so hard
That your world just fell apart
Have you ever needed someone so bad…”

( Def Leppard – Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad )

~~~~

“…They passed me by, all of those great romances,
You were, I felt, robbing me of my rightful chances,
My picture clear, everything seemed so easy,
And so I dealt you the blow
One of us had to go
Now it’s different, I want you to know

One of us is crying
One of us is lying
In her lonely bed
Staring at the ceiling
Wishing she was somewhere else instead…”

( ABBA – One of Us )

~~~~

“…I could never live without
The heaven that you showed me
I’ve been waiting all my life
Just to look into your eyes
I live for the time alone with you
And when I climb
The stairs to find you
And we reach for the light
I thank God I’ve got
This time alone with you…”

( Bad English – The Time Alone With You )

~~~~

“…This is how it ends…Each on our own
Unless we pretend
Meanwhile our hearts turn to stone
Shaped by wind
Boulders slowly molded over time
Here within…”

( A-ha – Under the Makeup )

~~~~

“…Each Time The Wind Blows
I Hear Your Voice So
I Call Your Name . . .
Whispers At Morning
Our Love Is Dawning
Heaven’s Glad You Came . . .

You Know How I Feel
This Thing Can’t Go Wrong
I’m So Proud To Say
I Love You
Your Love’s Got Me High
I Long To Get By
This Time Is Forever
Love Is The Answer…”

( Michael Jackson – I Just Can’t Stop Loving You )

~~~~

 

The Story of PINK FLOYD’s “MONEY”

Dark_Side_of_the_Moon“The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd is one of those records that not only changed the face of the industry but became a synonym of brilliance in music-writing by combining together art, progressive sound and abstract lyrics. The two singles from the album – “Money” and “Time” will always be epitomized as two of the greatest masterpieces in rock music, being loved by fans and critics all over the world. It’s difficult to measure the legacy of the album, as its uniqueness and conceptualism influenced so many aspects of modern music and encouraged countless artists. Indeed, the album is an absolute “pivotal point” in rock music history.
Going back to the two singles of the album, I thought that it’s high time I explored the history of a song by Pink Floyd. As I said before, I really enjoy digging up some background information and facts about the songs I love and appreciate so much. Naturally, when I think of Pink Floyd, the first song that comes to my mind is “Money” because it’s probably my favorite PF song. So for today’s “The Story of…” publication, we are going to learn more about “Money” and enjoy its absolute excellence. Here we go…


“Money” was written by Roger Waters and was released in 1973 as a single from Pink Floyd’s album “The Dark Side of the Moon”. ( It’s essential to say that the album was engineered by the mastermind Alan Parsons at Abbey Road Studios. You might know him as the leader of his own band called The Alan Parsons Project. He remains as one of the most notable music engineers and producers in the music industry.)

– The lead vocals are performed by David Gilmour who is also responsible for the acclaimed guitar solo.

– The song became the band’s first USA hit – it peaked at #13 on US Billboard Hot 100 In France, the song was able to climb up to #6 and in Austria, it got to #10. (P.S. – The song was released as a single only in the USA – in the UK, singles were not as common, due to people perceiving them as a sellout.)

“Money” is noted for the tape loop of a cash register which plays throughout the whole song. Roger Waters was the one who put together all the money-related sounds, cutting the tape in a rhythmic pattern so that we can get the “cash register” loop effect.

– Various studio effects were used on this song. At that time – 1973, there weren’t any digital recorders or samplers, or computers – so the layering of sounds was indeed very complicated. Pink Floyd used a new 16-track recorder but still – in the 70s, if you want to copy and paste something, the only way to do it is with a razor blade and splicing tape.


“Money”, along with another song from the album – “Us and Them”, are the only two songs from “The Dark Side of the Moon” to use saxophone, played by Dick Parry. At that time, the band was experimenting with different sound combinations. (The results were pretty awesome, though!)


– The song has very unusual time signatures. It begins with 7/4, then it changes to 4/4, then it returns to 7/4 and it ends in 4/4. In 1993, David Gilmour said, “It’s Roger’s riff. Roger came in with the verses and lyrics for ‘Money’ more or less completed. And we just made up middle sections, guitar solos and all that stuff. We also invented some new riffs – we created a 4/4 progression for the guitar solo and made the poor saxophone player play in 7/4. It was my idea to break down and become dry and empty for the second chorus of the solo.”

– The song had to be re-recorded for the 1981 Pink Floyd release – A Collection of Great Dance Songs, because Capitol Records was refusing to license the track to Columbia Records in the United States.

MONEY PINK FLOYD 2
Cover of the French Single

– Lyrically, the song is about all the bad things money can bring to you. Ironic, isn’t it? – The record made Pink Floyd tons of cash as it sold over 34 million copies.

– People might often misinterpret the song as a tribute to money. The famous line “Money, it’s a gas,” made people believe that they sing about money being a good thing.

– The lyrics were written as a reflection of British economy back in the 70s. However, I believe that the words are applicable nowadays more than ever.

“Share it fairly, but don’t take a slice of my pie,” is also one of the most famous lines of the song. I think it really represents people’s selfishness when it comes to fighting for equality.

“Money, it’s a hit,” – a line referring to money as being like a drug. People can become addicted and can’t really get enough of it. We simply spend our lives trying to get more and more…

“Money, so they say, is a root of all evil today” is a paraphrased line, taken from the New Testament – 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

– The lyrics of “Money” are briefly referenced in the film “Pink Floyd – The Wall”, when Pink – the main protagonist is being caught writing poems in his class. The teacher reads some lines from the poem book out loud – those lines are the verse of “Money”.

– Pink Floyd are trying to show how greedy the world has become…A theme that will always be relevant, especially since nowadays we live in a materialistic society, which only cares about possessions and status.

– Personally, I think the song fits perfectly to the album and its concept. Also I really admire how the lyrics bring together insanity, addiction, greed and money. When you feel the smell of money, people instantly change and are willing to do whatever it takes for more money. Throughout the years, Pink Floyd were labelled as hypocrites, because they sing about money being evil, when in fact they earned millions of dollars. I don’t necessarily agree with this statement but I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Let me here what you guys think?

LYRICS:

Money, get away
Get a good job with good pay and you’re okay
Money, it’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I’ll buy me a football team

Money, get back
I’m all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack
Money, it’s a hit
Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit
I’m in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet

Money, it’s a crime
Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a raise it’s no surprise
That they’re giving none away
Away, away, way
(Away, away, away, away)

– The Music Video for “Money” features numerous scenes, showing how people make and spend their money. In addition, there are many scenes, including coins spinning, money being count, etc. It just makes you think – what a huge mess can this little thing cause.

– In 2015, Roger Waters was asked by Uncut whether there’s a song that reminds him of Roger Waters. He replied, “Money.’ I’m not talking about the lyric. Just the quirky 7/8 time reminds me of Roger. It’s not a song I would have written. It points itself at Roger.”

“Money” has always been a “must-play” song for any of Pink Floyd’s live concerts. David Gilmour even played it last year, during the first date of Rattle That Lock Tour.

(Notice the difference in the “live experience”…Is it just me or nowadays the audiences are too stiff….)

I would like to finish by saying that it’s been more than 30 years since the song was released, but fans still can’t get the “cash register sound” or the guitar riff out of their heads – the song is just that good. Every time I think of the 70s, this is the first song that comes to my mind. It’s not like I was born in the 70s, but to me, this song represents the era and the direction many musicians started taking at that time – more progressive, art-driven and experimenting by combining various instruments. The lyrics of the song are very essential and I really appreciate it when musicians are so skillfully conveying a message with just so few words… Furthermore, can we talk about the guitar solo of the song? I mean, we all know that Dave is a guitar virtuoso, but this right here gets things to a whole new level…
I do hope you guys love the song as much as I do and you learned a thing or two from this publication. Stay tuned for more “The Story of…” publications to find out more about our most favorite classic rock tunes.
Cheers.


References:
Money by Pink Floyd, retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1689
Money by Pink Floyd, retrieved from http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/2811/
Money by Pink Floyd Lyrics, retrieve from http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/2811/
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~

[Playlist] The 10 Best Ramones Songs

I present to you guys, the fathers of punk rock and the ultimate rockstars, without which the history of rock ‘n’ roll would have been completely different – the Ramones. I started listening to Ramones when I was in high school and since then, they have been an inseparable part of my life. I remember my friends asking me why do I enjoy listening to this “noise” and how come all of their songs sound exactly the same…Probably, to many people they do, however to me, their songs, as well as their style, image and influence were (and still are) so different, so unique, so hardcore, so dangerous, so me…

Needless to say, Ramones are one of my favorite bands of all time. At first, I fell for their music, their easy to sing-along lyrics, speedy guitar riffs and hard-edge melodies. Then, I fell for the whole concept and movement of punk rock – the style, the fashion, and of course the ideas behind it. What I really liked about Ramones was the fact that they were not so strict anti-politics extremists, like Sex Pistols, for instance. They were simply rock ‘n’ roll! The oddness of their lyrics is what actually attracted me to Ramones – I mean, at some point you just get sick and tired of listening to music about love and you just want “to be sedated”.

Many people are unfamiliar with the immense influence Ramones had on the music scene and the rock musicians back in the day (believe me, they still do). Their music and image marked the beginning of the 1970s and 80s punk rock movement in the USA, as well as in the UK and all over Europe. Their sound inspired artists such as Blonde, The Strokes, The Misfits, Nirvana, Arctic Monkeys and many many more. Their music was so effective, powerful and durable. “The band’s first four albums set the blueprint for punk, especially American punk and hardcore, for the next two decades.” (Erlewine, Stephen Thomas, “The Ramones: Biography”) They also never stopped producing music and touring – their whole career was a concert, after concert, state after state, arena after arena… Until, they disbanded in 1996.

With all my respect, appreciation and love for their one-of-a-kind sound and enormous impact, I decided to prepare a list of 10 favorite Ramones songs. Plucking just 10 songs out of their enormous catalog is definitely a challenge, but for now I’m just going to focus on the following ten. The list is based on a subjective selection made by me. I hope you can enjoy it and get reminded of some of their classic punk rock songs! Let’s go!

“I Wanna Be Sedated” (1978)

 

“Blitzkrieg Bop” (1976)

 

“Judy Is a Punk” (1976)

 

“Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio” (1980)

 

“Baby I Love You” (1980)

 

“Sheena is a Punk Rocker” (1977)

 

“Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” (1980)

 

“Pet Sematary” (1989)

 

“Beat on the Brat” (1976)

 

“Rockaway Beach” (1977)

 

Who took a Grammy for “Best Rock Song” in the 90s

The 2016 Grammy Awards ceremony is happening as we speak! Probably many of you guys are super excited to find out who will win big time this year…not to mention the awesome live performances we are just dying to see.
As we all know, there are plenty of categories, however to me personally (for rather obvious reasons), the nominations and winners for “best rock performance”, “best metal performance”, “best rock album” and in particular “best rock song” have always triggered tremendous emotions in me, which include both happiness and appreciation, as well as criticism and dissatisfaction.

Anyhow, since the Grammy Awards Ceremony is happening today – 15th of February, I thought it’s only natural to prepare a little publication dedicated to some of the past winners of this prestigious award. In particular, I would like to remind my readers of the best rock songs that won a Grammy. I decided to include winners only from the 90s because – well, after that (at least to me), things just changed drastically. Besides, I think the 90s were a very good decade for rock music and throughout this period of 1992 to 1999, some of my favorite rock tunes have emerged as winners. I was born in the 90s and I grew up listening to those songs – this makes this publication even more special to me.

The first time a Grammy for a best rock song was given in 1992 (which also happens to be the year I was born in) and the first one to grab the gramophone trophy was Sting, with the song “The Soul Cages”. I should mention that the award is given not to performers (singers) but the writers of a song, even though I’m sure most of you guys already know that. In some cases, the songwriter and the performer are two different people; however they may also be the same person – such as the case with Sting and Eric Clapton, for instance. This time, as I said, I will be focusing on the quality of the song itself (lyrics, technicality, complexity, excellence, impact, etc.), rather than the vocal or live performance of it (despite those elements being probably the most important reasons for its success, I believe). This award is also given regardless of a rock song’s chart position or previous awards (yeah, right…). Interesting fact, our favorite Mr. Bruce Springsteen actually holds the record for most wins and nominations in this category ever, not just in the 90s – he has nine nominations and won four times – he deserves it and we all love his music! (He said goodbye to the 80s and entered the 90s with such a tremendously successful jump!)
The following is a list of songs that, as I already said won a Grammy award for “best rock song”. I won’t be focusing on each song individually; however I am going to include the names of the songwriters, performers and the year it won the award. I hope by doing so, some of you guys may get reminded of those long-lost tunes from when we were a little bit younger. Also, while you are checking those songs out, try to detect the difference between the way rock songs were made 20 years ago and the way we do it nowadays. I am sure many of you would easily spot the contrast – in pretty much every aspect of the rock song. Here we go!

Sting – The Soul Cages (1992)
Songwriter(s): Sting
Performer(s): Sting

Eric Clapton – Layla (Unplugged Version) (1993)
Songwriter(s): Eric Clapton, Jim Gordon
Performer(s): Eric Clapton

Soul Asylum – “Runaway Train” (1994)
Songwriter(s): Dave Pirner
Performer(s): Soul Asylum

Bruce Springsteen – “Streets of Philadelphia” (1995)
Songwriter(s): Bruce Springsteen
Performer(s): Bruce Springsteen

Alanis Morissette – “You Oughta Know” (1996)
Songwriter(s): Alanis Morissette, Glen Ballard
Performer(s): Alanis Morissette

Tracy Chapman – “Give Me One Reason” (1997)
Songwriter(s): Tracy Chapman
Performer(s): Tracy Chapman

The Wallflowers – “One Headlight” (1998)
Songwriter(s): Jakob Dylan
Performer(s): The Wallflowers

Alanis Morissette – “Uninvited” (1999)
Songwriter(s): Alanis Morissette
Performer(s): Alanis Morissette

All of the above listed songs have one thing in common – they were all exceptionally well-written, composed and possess a special aura – a distinctive character, if I may say. Obviously, they were awarded for a reason. I don’t necessarily agree with the winners (especially from the last few years of the decade), however it is what it is. I hope you guys got reminded of some of those classics! Let’s wait and see what happens this year! Cheers!