Happy Birthday, David Gilmour!

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)

 

Animals (1977)

 

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!

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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.

 

[Appreciation Post] Happy Birthday, George Harrison!

 

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.

 

[Song Appreciation Post] Rainbow – Jealous Lover

Greetings!

Today I decided to pay tribute to (in my opinion) one of the greatest Rainbow songs – “Jealous Lover”. The idea came up to me last night before going to sleep – I was just listening to the playlist I have on my phone and this song was the last one I played before falling asleep. Needless to say, it’s a song I’ve known for many years and a song I truly love and appreciate. Besides, as much as we all love Ronnie James Dio (oh hell yeah, we all just adore him, I know…), I wanted to remind some of you guys about Joe Lynn Turner who also possesses extraordinary vocal abilities and who also performed and wrote great songs such as “Jealous Lover” and many more awesome songs during his Rainbow days, after the departure of Dio. He is indeed, one of the finest voices of rock music and with just one listen of this song we can understand why – he’s beyond talented.

Before getting into it, I just wanted to introduce some background information about the song. “Jealous Lover” was released as a part of a four-track, same-titled EP, back in 1981. Among the songs from the EP, the title song “Jealous Lover” received the most recognition and turned into a fan-favorite. The friendly, unobtrusive but yet solid-rock sound, the lyrics and the vocal performance were just a few of the reasons why this song received a tremendous airplay on AOR radios back in the day. Both Joe Lynn Turner and Ritchie Blackmore are credited as writers of this song – great collaboration between those two right there! Interesting fact, the song runs for 3 minutes and 10 seconds and was recorded on Ritchie Blackmore’s birthday – so it does have some spiritual significance and was destined to succeed, I guess. “Jealous Lover” reached 13 on Billboard, however the EP didn’t performed that well, unfortunately – it only got to #147 on Billboard top 200 albums and honestly I can understand why. The song also features in their greatest collection album.

Furthermore, it is said that vocalist Joe Lynn Turner wrote the lyrics himself for about 5 minutes in a “flash of inspiration” – (I wish I have those…). According to www.songfacts.com, Joe was arguing with the lead guitarist – Mr. Blackmore over a different song. During their fight, Joe thought about a recent quarrel he had with his girlfriend and immediately took a pencil, a piece of paper and wrote the song in an instant. I guess it’s true what they say – some inspirations may be sudden, but they never come without a reason.

In terms of lyrics, the title of the song pretty much sums it up all – it’s about a lover being too jealous to understand the truth and who only sees “black and white”. There is no gender-specification in the lyrics, so anyone can interpret in based on their own situation, relationship or person of interest. The lyrics are very straightforward, catchy, captivating and easy to sing with. In my opinion, the words also manage to create a perfect balance between simplicity and sophistication – especially in the last verse –“… In the day it’s the same, the faces and the names, how long can I go on playing this game, so I live for the night, salt and the lights, to really love you and tomorrow they might…”

What else can I say? – It’s an awesome song and Joe performed it so brilliantly! I’m absolutely inlove with his voice! The guitar riffs remind me a lot about Led Zeppelin and some early Deep Purple works – not so disturbing or perplexed, rather familiar and receptive.

 

Lyrics:

Lost and lonely, clouds hide the sun
Out on a highway, it’s all you can run
Cold empty nights, devils in my head
It’s something I’ve been, oh baby something you said

And it’s hard to discover
That you’re just another jealous lover
And it’s so tough to take
That you’re making no mistake jealous lover
Oh girl don’t want no other

Shades of red, eyes of green
She’s got me waiting, there’s no in between
Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies
Still you keep thinking that it’s all paradise

And it’s hard to discover
You’re like any other jealous lover
And you say I’m afraid
That you’re making no mistake, oh

In the day it’s the same, the faces and the names
How long can I go on playing this game
So I live for the night, salt and the lights
To really love you and tomorrow they might

But it’s hard to face
No one else tales your place jealous lover
And they say that’s the breaks
But I got what it takes jealous lover, oh

I’m a jealous lover
Jealous lover
Don’t need no, don’t need no, don’t need no other
Jealous lover, yeah
Jealous lover, oh
Jealous lover.

P.S I do not own any audio or visual material in this publication. All the credits go to the owners or publishers.
Credits:
“Jealous Lover” by Rainbow, retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com
“Jealous Lover” [Blackmore / Turner] LYRICS by Rainbow, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com

[News] Joe Elliott and Phil Collen of Def Leppard drop by Pawn Stars History!

DLFBPS
Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot and Phil Collen on Pawn Stars (Photo taken from Def Leppard’s Official Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/defleppard

This week, Joe Elliot and Phil Collin of Def Leppard dropped by Pawn Stars History to take a look at a very beautiful Jackson guitar. I was so excited about their appearance because well, they are my favorite rock band of all time, after all… In the episode, a woman brings this gorgeous Jackson guitar, supposedly painted and played by Phil Collen himself. Long story short, Joe and Phil suddenly appear out of nowhere and it was just so fun watching how everyone was left with their jaws open… My favorite part was when Phil took the guitar and started playing in the middle of the shop – pretty much all the customers and employees just stopped doing whatever they were doing and listened to this virtuoso – his riffs were insane! There is a reason why he is one of the most respected guitar players and once again, we were able to bow down to his outstanding technical abilities.
Check out their appearance on the following video – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! Awesome episode and unforgettable appearance by Def Leppard… (I wish Deff Leppard would just come out of nowhere while I just shop but well…)

Album Focus – Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (1975)

Some people say that the era of the CDs is long gone. However believe it or not, there are people like me out there who still purchase and collect CDs. I have this little CD shop near the place I live (I have to take a picture next time) and I just love spending hours and hours there. They have these huge wooden shelves with tons and tons of CDs and even vinyl records. The whole atmosphere just screams my name!
Anyhow, a few days ago I went there to look for some albums and spend some quality “me” time. After hours of literally checking every single album on the shelves and a huge struggle not to buy all the albums I saw, I ended up buying the debut album of one of my most favorite rock bands – Rainbow. The title of the album is “Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow” and it was released on the 4th of August, 1975. Can you believe this? It has been 40 years since this album hit the shelves. It turned out I bought it on its 40th year anniversary – such a pleasant coincidence. Originally I was hoping to come across and buy their “The Very Best of Rainbow” album that came out in 1997, however I couldn’t find it (still not giving up, though). Then, the lady from the CD shop was kind enough to find me the debut album from the storage. The album itself was imported from the USA and of course, it’s a remaster. I just had to buy it – it is such a rare precious and a must for every Rainbow or Ritchie Blackmore or Ronnie James Dio fan. In the following post I would briefly present the album and its songs. This is not a band profile publication, so I would like to focus on the album itself, rather than the members. I decided to dedicate my first publication to this debut album because it is the most recent CD I purchased and because it is the debut of my blog

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Rainbow_-_Ritchie_Blackmore's_Rainbow_(1975)_front_cover

Album Title : Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow
Released: 1975 (Vinyl Record) ; 1999 (CD in remastered form)
Genre: Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Heavy Metal
Record Label: Oyster (UK) ; Polydor (Worldwide)
Members: Ronnie James Dio – lead vocals; Ritchie Blackmore – guitar; Micky Lee Soule – piano, mellotron, clavinet, organ; Craig Gruber – bass; Gary Driscoll – drums
Singles: “Man On The Silver Mountain” ; “Snake Charmer” (October 1975)
Produced by: Ritchie Blackmore, Martin Birch and Ronnie James Dio
Interesting fact: The album was recorded in Germany. It is the first ever project of Ritchie Blackmore after his departure from Deep Purple. Vocalist Ronnie James Dio, consider this album as the best Rainbow album.

Tracklist:
1.Man on the Silver Mountain
2.Self Portrait
3.Black Sheep of the Family
4.Catch the Rainbow
5.Snake Charmer
6.Temple of the King
7.If You Don’t Like Rock n’ Roll
8.Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
9.Still I’m Sad (The Yardbirds cover)

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Firstly, I would like to start with the album cover. It was made by American fine artist David Willardson. Honestly speaking, I am not such a huge fan of cartoon-style album covers. Realistic album covers (photographs) or simplistic designs have always been more striking to me. On the cover we see a castle which also happens to be a guitar and there’s a rainbow behind it. It is very colorful and too Disney-like I would say. It’s only natural since the artist worked for Disney at that time, but still…The trend of putting unique and rather strange, surrealistic art on an album cover was very strong at that time – especially the second part of the 70s. For instance artists such as Roger Dean and Storm Thorgerson were extremely popular with bands like Pink Floyd, YES and Asia. Back to Rainbow’s cover, I do really like it – why? – because it is very distinctive and easy to remember. Also, there’s something very magical and mysterious in the painting itself – I just want to enter into the rock castle and never go out…
Real-life picture of the album cover ~ That’s how it looks; Very distinctive, right?

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Secondly, I would like to talk more about the songs from the album. I am not going to comment on each and every song; rather than that I will focus on the overall picture, as well as on two songs in particular – my favorite songs from the album.
Bottom line is, if you like the combination of hard rock and poetic, fantasy-oriented lyrics – this is the album for you. Most of the songs are a bit gloomy in terms of lyrics, except “If You Don’t Like Rock ‘N’ Roll” which is very upbeat and in my opinion is the perfect 60s rock’n’roll nostalgia song! In terms of vocal and guitar delivery I would say that the album is rather simplistic, not as progressive and innovative as some people would like it to be. However, to me that is exactly why the album is so good! Ritchie’s riffs are not as complicated and aggressive as they used to be back when he was with DP and that is the beauty of it! Ronnie, on the other hand is just perfect – in my book of the greatest male rock vocals of all time, he is definitely in top 10. I don’t think anyone can sing those highs the way he does – just play “Black Sheep Of The Family” or “Sixteenth Century Greensleeves” and you will see what am I talking about!

The two songs I wanted to talk about are “Man On The Silver Mountain” and “Catch The Rainbow”, which in my opinion are the best songs of the album.

One of the most memorable song intros ever (at least to me)! Ronnie said that it’s “a semi-religious song, the man on the silver mountain is a kind of God figure everyone is crying out to.” – rather interesting right? It was co-written by Dio and Blackmore. When Ronnie died in 2010, the words “The man on the silver mountain Ronnie James Dio” were put on his grave. The song is a classic and it defines an era – I don’t have to say more. It’s memorable, catchy and very powerful – the greatest thing is that it delivers that power to the listeners. Ronnie’s vocals are beyond perfect! Personally, my favorite part of the song, as well as lyrics is when Ronnie sings :
“Come down with fire
Lift my spirit higher
Someone’s screaming my name
Come and make me holy again” ….and then we hear the memorable guitar riff! ❤

“Catch The Rainbow” is probably the gloomiest song from the album. However, I don’t think it is that type of song that brings out sad emotions and feelings (at least to me). The song itself was not released as a single, however it remains one of their most famous works. The song is loved that much probably because it is often connected with  “Little Wing” by “The Jimmy Hendrix Experience”. To me personally, its strongest point is the simplistic yet powerful guitar riff and the background choirs that create a very mysterious and a bit psychedelic vibe. Lyrically speaking, the song is very poetic and beautiful. I especially love the chorus:
“We believed we’d catch the rainbow
Ride the wind to the sun
Sail away on ships of wonder”

A real life picture of the CD with the tracklist and the covers of each and every song on the right part of the case. Very well-packaged, indeed!

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Finally, I just want to say that to me, this is one of the most expected and successful debut albums of all time. Ritchie and Ronnie are an amazing team and I wish Ronnie was still with us to continue working together… I am very glad I bought the album and I would recommend it to everyone who enjoy rock music from the 70s. The album possesses an essence…a special and unique atmosphere which is no longer present in today’s music; not to mention quality songwriting and brilliant musicianship… Catch the rainbow!

Me, enjoying the newest addition to my CD collection!

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