Beatles enthusiasts rejoice! Early versions of “Sgt. Pepper” songs and new Fab Four tracks have been discovered…
When you think of The Beatles' Revolver, 12th-century religious music is probably not the first thing that leaps to mind. Here's one reason why it should.
The Zombies' 1968 masterpiece Odessey and Oracle - recorded at Abbey Road Studios - is more than just the big hit "Time of the Season." It shows just how deep Zombies really were. If you only know the hits, you need to check this out.
When we suggested a Hendrix connection to "A Day in the Life," you had A LOT to say about it. Here are some responses to the most frequent questions and comments.
The chord changes in "Hey Joe" may have helped Paul McCartney write the clever transition in "A Day in the Life." Plagal cadence, anyone?
The Next Beatles. It’s a phrase that has gotten tossed around a lot since the breakup of the world’s most famous band. For those bestowed with this accolade, it was a considerable compliment. Sometimes, it was also a curse. After all, who could possibly match the songwriting and musicianship of The Beatles, let alone their humor, camaraderie, and cultural influence? There never will be another Beatles, but there are bands that are “Beatlesque.” What makes a band “Beatlesque?” Almost every rock group (not to mention modern jazz and classical musicians) has been influenced by The Beatles, so we need to narrow the criteria. First of all, let’s eliminate other British Invasion bands that were coming up around the same time as The Beatles. That leaves out The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The Zombies, and numerous others. Second of all, they’ve got to be a band — not just a singer/songwriter with a backing band. We’re looking for multiple songwriters and multiple vocalists. Three guitars and drums are ideal, although we’ll accept the occasional keyboard
There’s been a huge response to our post on 31 Concept Albums You May Have Missed. Many of you wrote in to suggest concept albums that we may have missed. So, if you haven’t had your fill of concept albums yet, here are the top readers’ choices based on the comments we received.
In February of 1967, The Beatles released a groundbreaking double A-side single. On one side was a Lennon song, “Strawberry Fields Forever,” that had been transformed in the studio thanks to the contributions of the other Beatles along with producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick. On the other side, was McCartney’s imaginary stroll down one of Liverpool’s main thoroughfares, “Penny Lane.”
Forty years ago, Stevie Wonder released a sonic masterpiece, Songs In The Key Of Life. Songs was one of the most ambitious albums ever with a gestation period of two years. The double album and bonus EP are a collection of thought-provoking lyrics, perfect performances, intricate arrangements, unforgettable melodies, and hooky choruses. Its existence is even more amazing when you consider that most of the instruments and vocals on the album were performed by the 26-year-old Wonder himself, working days without food or sleep
As long as there have been records, there have been concept albums. As early as Frank Sinatra’s In the Wee Small Hours, with its songs about lost love, Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass’ themed albums (Going Places, Whipped Cream and Other Delights), and Ella Fitzgerald’s Songbook albums, each dedicated to a specific songwriter or songwriting team, music lovers have always been drawn to an album with a unifying concept.
During the recording of Beatles for Sale, Paul McCartney was making polite conversation with his driver. “How’s it going?” asked Paul. “I’ve been working eight days a week,” responded the driver.
Love him or hate him, no one can deny that Frank Zappa was one of the most interesting and complex musicians to grace our planet. Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer, enemy of the Parents Music Resource Center, monster guitarist, respected composer, stern bandleader, avant-garde filmmaker — Frank Zappa was all of this and more. In the recently released documentary Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words, director Thorsten Schütte attempts to give some insight into this multi-faceted man.
On the cover of Paul Simon’s new album, Stranger to Stranger, the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter stares mysteriously through a veil of colored glass painted by photorealist Chuck Close. The painting seems to filter Simon’s image through a prism, a perfect metaphor for the unique timbres on his latest album. On Stranger to Stranger, Simon’s 11th solo album since the breakup of Simon & Garfunkel, it’s Simon’s music that is filtered — through electronics, rare instruments, and multiple layers of percussion.
Break out your miniskirts and bell-bottoms. The Monkees are back! Their new release, Good Times!, is filled with their special brand of pop. It may feel a bit like the Sixties; but this isn’t simply an exercise in nostalgia.
In the annals of forgotten albums, no album deserves to be forgotten more than the debut album from the Zambronis, Greet the Zambronis. Sounding like a cross between the semi-classical musings of Gentle Giant, the free jazz of Ornette Coleman, and Tuvan throat singing, the Zambronis were a staple of AM radio for one day: April 1, 1974. For some reason, Rhino Records decided the album warranted another look. So they just released Greet the Zambronis: Extra Gassy Edition, remastering the original album and adding a second CD of bonus tracks. I’ll get to the extras in a moment. But first, let’s examine this epic recording.
An album by William Shatner? You mean Captain Kirk? T.J. Hooker? The Priceline guy?
Yes. That William Shatner.
It’s one of the most famous album covers ever produced — The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. On the cover of this 1967 masterpiece, the Beatles stand in front of a Sgt. Pepper bass drum dressed in colorful costumes. They are holding brass and woodwind instruments and are surrounded by images of other celebrities, flower formations, and other assorted objects, including wax figures of their earlier selves. New information has recently surfaced that may reveal the inspiration for this memorable album cover.
With the recent passing of Maurice White, it’s a good time to take a closer look at the first hit single from White and his band Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star.”