Roy Orbison Came On - Terry Kelly (2) - Divided Highway (CD, Album) download full album zip cd mp3 vinyl flac
Both Kevin and Paul had worked with Floyd previously and his knowledge of the music made him the natural choice. The band's appearance at the Misty Moon was a smashing success. Less than a month later the group was asked back to perform at the club in a headline capacity.
In the years that followed, SPICE performed dozens of shows throughout the Maritimes and became the biggest draw everywhere they played, including the seat Misty Moon. Sold out shows became routine and the crowds kept coming month after month. During a live performance, SPICE relied heavily on performing music from the Beatles' catalogue but intentionally stayed away from the theatrics of Beatle tribute bands.
Beatlemania,Rain and Liverpool were all examples of groups that attempted to mimic the Beatles in both appearance and song. From the outset the underlying philosophy behind SPICE was to perform accurate and authentic renditions of Beatle songs with a clear focus on capturing the energy and excitement that is so much a part of the music.
The importance of the Beatles in the history of popular recorded music cannot be overstated. Their succession of creative periods ended with the elimination of the line that divided high art and popular entertainment.
It has been said that not liking the Beatles is as strange as not liking the sun. Essentially, the group captured in music the spirit of the world's best-loved band. Not content to perform only Beatle music, SPICE always included a set of material that highlighted some of the classic record releases from the mid-sixties.
The group's venture into the area of original music resulted in a number of singles entering the charts successfully. The group's last project was to be a show that musically traced the Beatles story from the early days in Liverpool and Hamburg to the end of their career on a rooftop in London. The music would have been contrasted against the major events of the s by means of audio and video clips.
This two hour anthology was titled Off The Beatle Track. An evening with SPICE was always an evening of songs from one of the most important decades in the history of popular music. From the Beatles' formative years through to the period of Beatlemania, from the movies A Hard Day's Night and Help, into the experimentation of the studio years and ending as the sixties draw to a close.
All of this music mixed with presentations of some of the biggest selling records from the era of the British Invasion. This, along with the addition of some SPICE originals, made for a great show as the group rolled back the years with a positive and vibrant delivery of many of the greatest songs written during the twentieth century. The former was the number one record in 19 countries around the world in Kevin is featured as guitarist and co-writer on the recording.
With the release of Fate of Nations, Kevin became the musical director for Plant's touring band. Their summer tour kicked off with dates in Prague, Budapest and Paris. The Fate of Nations tour ended with an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival with a sell-out crowd of more than 90, Toward the end of Kevin decided to leave Plant's band and was replaced by Jimmy Page. After almost nine years of working out of London, England, he chose to return to Canada.
The embarrassment of riches evolved into different versions of "Sun City" for single release and an entire album of outtakes. I had a part for him on the intro, just a few seconds, but he played for seven minutes.
There I was using five seconds on the song, and I thought, 'I can't leave six minutes of Miles on the floor! In addition to the jazz number and Album) "Sun City" single, Davis also appeared on several other of the album's tracks, including the galvanizing rap collage "Let Me See Your I. Less than forty-eight hours before the album was to be mastered, U2's Bono made a surprise appearance at the studio where Van Zandt and coproducer Arthur Baker were working on the final mix.
Bono brought tapes of a newly recorded number, "Silver and Gold"; too good to pass up, the song was tacked onto the completed album, although the title never made it onto the original cover credits because the artwork was already finished. Bono said his involvement in Sun City was humanistically rather than politically motivated.
It doesn't matter what side you're on — this is common sense. For whatever reason, the single never became a radio hit. Some chalked it up to timid radio programmers who were afraid to broadcast the song's strong message. Others believed it was due to the track's aggressive rap attack, which didn't fit neatly into the Top Forty format. Van Zandt is inclined to agree with the latter explanation. Fortunately, the lack of radio airplay didn't stop "Sun City" from reaching the public.
Thanks to a spectacular video clip, directed by Godley and Creme, Jonathan Demme and Hart Perry, the antiapartheid message was heard and seen around the world. More a minidocumentary than a music video, the visually inventive clip featured all the performers on the anthem and also crosscut recent footage of South African unrest with scenes of the Sixties civil-rights struggle in America. Vigorously championed by MTV and other cable outlets, the video raised both consciousnesses and record sales.
Several months later, Van Zandt, Baker and others involved with Sun City were able to donate more than a half million dollars to causes supporting the antiapartheid struggle.
Perhaps more important than the money earned, the album threw an effective political punch: Not only did it discourage musicians from playing the South African resort city, but it also helped spread the word about new sounds like rap.
A deranged painting of a snarling pit bull held back on a short leash adorns the cover of What Up, Dog? And it vindicated the struggling absurdist band from Detroit by proving it capable of commercial success. Formed by two cynical white songwriter-musicians and fronted by the black vocal duo of Sweet Pea Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowens, Was Not Was has always taken a smart, and occasionally smartass, approach. The band's first two albums had achieved critical raves but miserable sales.
Things became so dismal after its second album stiffed that the band came dangerously close to permanent not-was status. With the group in complete disarray, Weiss says he was doing "lamentable" home-video scores, while Fagenson produced "sexual deviants" like transvestite singer Marilyn. Bowen worked with the O'Jays, and Atkinson was "probably watching the soaps and pimping," Weiss says jokingly. After landing a new record deal in England, the band bounced back with What Up, Dog?
With so many deliciously wicked numbers, it might seem tough to pick a single highlight, but for Weiss the album's tour de farce is "Wedding Vows in Vegas," a track included on the CD version of What Up, Dog? The song is a smoky, sardonic number crooned by cocktail-lounge icon Frank Sinatra Jr.
After the late release of What Up, Dog? But however welcome success may have been, Weiss still sounds like a man with more than a few questions about the merits of pop music.
Labour of Loveby Britain's UB40, was exactly that: an enjoyable way of paying tribute to the reggae tunes that meant the most to the band members when they were growing up. The ten numbers they chose to cover from among hundreds they knew and loved were originally recorded between and — a period that corresponded to the band members' early exposure to reggae at weekend-long parties in the ethnic neighborhood of Balsall Heath, in their hometown of Birmingham.
In the Sixties, the term reggae was used interchangeably with bluebeat, ska and rock steady. It was Jamaican pop music, meant for dancing. UB40's lilting rhythms, uncluttered arrangements and sweet, soulful vocals proved irresistible, and Labour of Love helped break UB40, which had been famous in Europe sincein the U.
The album also reentered the charts, doing better the second time around and outselling the band's then-current release, simply titled UB Sax player Brian Travers claims that UB40 may someday do a second volume of reggae covers.
Ambitious and fiercely spare, the album examines the progress of Parker's life in powerful terms, exploring the relative value and meaning of love and loss, work and creativity, success and failure. The trouble started when Parker submitted a thirty-song demo tape to his new label, Atlantic Records.
The label didn't like the songs and asked Parker to work with an outside producer and collaborate with other songwriters. Parker, who felt that his recent albums had been fatally overproduced, refused. Atlantic released him from his contract, and Parker eventually signed with RCA, where he found the autonomy he craved. Parker called in guitarist Brinsley Schwarz and bassist Andrew Bodnar, two members of his original backing band, the Rumour. The Mona Lisa's Sister is one of Parker's most personal records.
The ballad "Success" is a scathing indictment of the ethic that judges people by their material worth. The single "Get Started. It relates to the album's cover, which depicts a modernist Mona Lisa sporting Parker's trademark shades.
I was the sister who didn't get the painting done of herself. Looking back at The Mona Lisa's Sister, Parker says, "What it's given me is an approach that I can always go back to with the right kind of songs.
You can record songs and make them pretty honestly without a circus happening around you and lots of money being thrown away. You really can. When told that Culture Club's Colour By Numbers had been selected as one of the Top albums of the decade, Boy George said, with typical playfulness, "As well it should be.
The band's second LP, Colour by Numberswas released in the fall of while a second British Invasion was dominating the American pop charts. But George insists the album's surprisingly mature pop polish wasn't motivated by competition with his peers. We wanted to be more like the older people we admired. Colour by Numbers does display a respect for pop history. But the familiarity of the group's songs bothered at least one person.
Culture Club made its second album with the same producer Steve Levine and at the same studio Red Bus Studios, in London it had used for its debut. George attributes the band's improvement from the tropical pop of Kissing to Be Clever to the input of outside musicians, notably keyboardist Phil Pickett, who co-wrote two songs with the band, and singer Helen Terry, who electrifies several tracks.
Within months of the release of Colour by Numbers, George's plucked brow was on the cover of Newsweek, followed by a Tonight Show bitch-off with Joan Rivers, a Boy George doll and his infamous acceptance speech at the Grammys, when George thanked the audience for "knowing a good drag queen when you see one.
George said he last listened to Colour by Numbers three years ago, when he was trying to kick his heroin addiction.
Which doesn't mean he's not proud of the band he may — or may not — be re-forming. I've read things where people have said the songs were awful and the only important thing was the way I looked. Colour by Numbers definitely does have a place. Above who or below who, I'm not sure. Scarecrow consolidated the band's rugged, roots-rock thrash and the ongoing maturation of Mellencamp's lyrics. The album is largely about dreams and illusions in America and how the essential character of the nation was being twisted in a government-supported climate of corporate greed.
The most visible manifestation of the problem, from Mellencamp's perch in central Indiana, was the rash of farm foreclosures across the Midwest. Despite the bittersweet, reflective tone of songs like "The Face of the Nation" and "Minutes to Memories" and the sentimental cast of his ode to rural America, "Small Town," the rehearsals that led up to the recording of the songs were nothing but pure fun. When a cousin opened up a bar nearby, Mellencamp christened it by playing an entire evening's worth of cover versions, from "White Room" to "Lightnin' Strikes.
When it came time to cut Scarecrow, the band members employed the lessons they learned from their Sixties studies. The idea, according to producer Don Gehman, was "to learn all these devices from the past and then use them in a new way with John's arrangements. And I want the overall record to have this kind of a tone, like maybe it was a modern-day Dylan record. Ian Curtis, the Manchester group's singer and songwriter, had hanged himself in May The remaining members — guitarist Bernard Albrecht, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris — had taken a new name, added Gillian Gilbert on guitar and keyboards and gone back into the studio with Joy Division producer Martin Hannett.
The album was recorded "in a situation of complete turmoil," according to Albrecht, the band's reluctant new singer and lyricist. After six weeks in the studio, New Order went on tour.
People just stood there. A lot of hard-core Joy Division fans wondered what we were up to. But fortunately, we started creating New Order songs. But this New Yorker with the polished tenor had been in the music business since the early Seventies.
He wrote a song for The Wiz; sang on, co-wrote and arranged David Bowie's "Young Americans" in ; toured as a background singer with Bette Midler, Chaka Khan and Carly Simon; recorded albums as a member of three bands; and did sessions with Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones and others.
He also sang a lot of ad jingles. But when he recorded his own albums, Vandross says he "got tired of going into the same studios, driving up the same streets and going up the same elevators I had gone up during all my years of sessions.
After a few albums, I said, 'There's got to be another way to record, Album). They take off that bulletproof vest they've been wearing and give you the best that they've got. It's magnificent. Outside the control room is a big swimming pool on the side of a gigantic mountain that leads to the ocean. The mood it puts you in gives you a better perspective on your music. Of the album's first single, the finger-popping "'Til My Baby Comes Home," Vandross says, "That was one of the baddest things on radio.
You had a big pop element, without ignoring the soul element. The moody ballad "Wait for Love," Vandross says, "gets the most applause in concert. We tear that thing up. There was something magical about the way everyone responded to it, which to this day I can't account for. With Full Moon Fever, I was lucky in that the songs just kept coming up, and I hit a good period of writing that carried through the Traveling Wilburys.
Full Moon Fever, Petty's first album without the Heartbreakers, fell together almost by accident early in when he and new acquaintance Jeff Lynne wrote and cut a few songs together at guitarist Mike Campbell's garage studio. The result was an album of pop nuggets with a bright, Sixties-style sheen. If you take me away from them, this is what you get. Full Moon Fever was truly a garage record. The sessions were relaxed and unhurried, and Petty credits Lynne, the former leader of ELO, for the upbeat atmosphere.
Boy, what fun! The sessions also led to the Traveling Wilburys, the impromptu supergroup whose knockoff album was a sensation in Petty and Lynne worked up nine songs and then stopped to make the Wilburys record. In his lyrics, Petty strove to say more in fewer words, citing Randy Newman's influence. I just kept thinking I wanted to keep the lyrics real simple, as if it were a conversation. Some songs were personal, others journalistic.
It was the most enjoyable record I've ever worked on. Some of the songs on Lyle Lovett were written as early as Inhe spent his Album) savings as well as a loan from his parents to record eighteen demos; ten of these were finally remixed and released in The wait paid off.
Lyle Lovett — an assured, refined collection of tunes about rocky romances, dubious weddings and sturdy old porches — heralded the arrival of a major songwriter who brought absurdity and wit to a field that was normally earnest and predictable. InLovett, a Texas singer-songwriter with a degree in journalism, hooked up with the J.
David Sloan band at a music festival in Luxembourg. He returned with the members of the band to their native Arizona, and one day in June he cut four songs at Chaton Recordings, in Scottsdale. Lovett then drove to Nashville, looking for a publishing deal, and wound up recording fourteen more demos that August. He sent the tape around to record companies.
They liked the material but wanted him to re-record it, which he refused to do. Aside from some remixing and minor overdubbing, the tapes were virtually released as is. Brown helped Lovett select ten songs the rest have appeared on subsequent albums with an ear to country radio.
There was, he complained, "no new fuel in rock music. Anything will do. Sting's sources ranged from German composer Hans Eisler and Jimi Hendrix a jazz reading of "Little Wing" to a traditional Chilean courting dance in "They Dance Alone," a haunting tribute to the families of Chile's "disappeared," opponents of the government who are believed to have been murdered.
In his lyrics, Sting juxtaposed meditations on death and rebirth — his mother died during the making of the record — with observations on religion, history and, in "Englishman in New York," spiritual and cultural exile. Literally worlds away from the artful simplicity of his hits with the Police and even his jazz-fusion tangents on The Dream of the Blue Turtles, his first solo excursion, … Nothing Like the Sun is as much a vivid reflection of the mushrooming exploratory fervor among many of Sting's middle-aged pop peers, such as Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads and Paul Simon, as it is an expression of Sting's disgust with the state of pop.
Ironically, the eleven original songs on the album were the product not of extensive musical field trips but of five months' concentrated writing in New York City in the winter and early spring of And I had this kind of monkish life. I lived on my own. I cooked my own food. I went to the gym every day. I took piano lessons. The phone was off the hook. And I worked usually from twelve midday to very late at night. I was too bound up in it to make judgments.
Sting's record company initially questioned the wisdom of his musical expeditions on … Nothing Like the Sun. Then he may Album), and it's like 'Who's zoomin' who? The phrase — which Franklin said was an old New York street expression — immediately caught Walden's imagination.
The reclusive Franklin had spent many of the preceding years in her hometown of Detroit, looking after her seriously ill father, the Reverend C. According to Walden, Aretha hadn't sung seriously in two or three years. After her father died inthe singer began thinking about returning to the music scene.
Walden started assembling backing tracks in Los Angeles. Since Franklin doesn't like to travel — she refuses to take airplanes when on tour — Walden brought the session tapes to Detroit, where Franklin added her vocals.
Who's Zoomin' Who? Looking for a male singer to work with Franklin on another duet, "Push," Walden "put out signals, but a lot of people were frightened to death to sing with her. Geils Band vocalist Peter Wolf, however, jumped at the chance. Despite Franklin's awesome reputation as a singer, Walden found her easy to work with. She's so vast and brings so much to her takes that it's more a question of keeping up with her. And when it stops, it stops. So you've got to be on your toes. Before any session with her, I'd jog four or five miles just to be mentally alert.
You have to be — she's the queen. The album was inspired, in part, by visits Browne made to Central America in andthough he had already begun writing "For America" and the title track prior to his trips.
Discussing the song at the time of the video's release, Browne said, "I imply that the truth is kept from us on a regular basis.
I flat out say the government lies. Well, these things are no longer heresy. Other songs examine related aspects of the album's political theme. And, intriguingly, amid all the hard-hitting sociopolitical commentary stands "In the Shape of a Heart," one of Browne's finest love songs.
Lives in the Balance never achieved the commercial success of some of Browne's earlier records. That hardly mattered to him. And whether or not an album succeeds wildly or not, that's intact. That get-together was the make-or-break point for the Rolling Stones ' reunion — a reunion that had been imperiled by Jagger's and Richards's solo records and by a year of public backbiting between the two. Their attitudes in approaching the Barbados session say a great deal about the differences between them.
Jagger, however, admits to having no such doubts about his ability to work with Richards. Keith is very supersensitive about all that sort of thing and worries that maybe it can't happen.
I said, 'Well, we'll just try. If we don't do it, we don't do it. Each man brought material to the session. And Richards says there was something of a rapprochement. Charlie Watts's arrival on the scene also bolstered Richards's sense of possibility for Steel Wheels.
This year's made. Musically, Jagger was concerned that the songs on Steel Wheels not repeat the sort of problems that had made him feel constrained in the Stones. Steel Wheels also seems to have provided Jagger with an opportunity to respond to Richards's public criticism of him.
On the album's first single, "Mixed Emotions," Jagger sings, "Button your lip, baby," and declares, "You're not the only one with mixed emotions.
Jagger moans when told of Richards's remark. His records were FM-radio staples. He sold out coliseums. His live shows were legendary. But byBruce Springsteen had not yet placed a single in the Top Twenty, and he hadn't really made an album that fully captured the bracing live sound of the E Street Band.
The River changed all that. The album is the work of a top-notch rock band playing live in the studio. Over the course of two discs, Springsteen displays a little bit of everything that drew people to him.
And if the sheer giddiness of "Crush on You" and "I'm a Rocker" make The River sound like Springsteen's party record, sobering character sketches like the title track and "Stolen Car" argue otherwise. The album didn't come easily to Springsteen. With The River, man, forget it. It took many months. Years, you know? In the spring ofSpringsteen and the band began cutting songs like "The Ties That Bind" and "Roulette" a savage rocker that would remain unreleased for eight years.
Instead, he was looking for something richer and more expansive — something that would take close to another year to finish. I guess I didn't know where I was going, you know? On The River, Springsteen accepts the fact that contradictions and paradoxes can be part of his music because they're part of everyday experience, and the decision to make a two-record set gave him the space to let his characters go just about everywhere.
The trip encompasses a hard-rocking visit to "Cadillac Ranch" and the disquieting vision at the heart of the stark finale, "Wreck on the Highway. Something that was just me, where there was no persona, no image, no distinctive character like the Bluenotes guy or the guy in Everybody's Rockin'. It's the first time I've felt like doing an album like this in years.
The album is bookended by contrasting versions of the bitter, ironic "Rockin' in the Free World. Young used a similar device on Rust Never Sleeps. When I listen to it, it's almost like listening to the radio — it keeps changing and going from one thing to another. He'd originally planned to release a purely electric rock album — "Nothing but abrasiveness from beginning to end," he says — that he'd recorded in New York. Five songs from those sessions were released on an import EP called Eldorado.
For the album that was eventually released, he mixed in material from some subsequent acoustic sessions, looking to strike a balance. The result is Young's most personal and unguarded set of songs in many years.
But I was at a point in my life where I really closed off my emotions about a lot of things I didn't understand.
I just shut down the whole program and did things that were more on the surface level, because it was safer. Now I feel time has healed whatever was bothering me so much. I feel more open, and I can write songs that are more directly involved with what I'm thinking. Besides the sensual implications, the lyrics could also describe the British performer's make-over from teen idol to mature pop talent with his solo debut. After their split inMichael became intent on finding a fresh start as a solo artist.
Shying away from his persona as a preening dandy who sang drivel like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," Michael cultivated a new approach that was seriously sexy. With torn jeans, perfectly coifed hair and stubble that would make Don Johnson envious, he became the leading progenitor of a style that all but redefined late-Eighties fashion. But the real change was in the lyrics, not the look.
Beyond the beat-crazy dance rhythms, most of the songs on Faith revolve around important issues. Michael spent almost two years writing and recording Faith, influenced, he says, by "a lot of American radio, which kind of seeped into my consciousness. Nevertheless, spurred by an outrageously erotic video clip and all the surrounding controversy, Michael's sassy come-on sold more than 1 million copies in the United States.
After "I Want Your Sex" scored, the catchy single "Faith" was released in October; the entire album was released a month later. Supercharged by four more hit singles — "Father Figure," "One More Try," "Monkey" and "Kissing a Fool" — the album went on to sell 14 million copies worldwide, and Faith became one of the few albums to top the pop and black charts simultaneously.
As further evidence of its broad-based appeal, Faith subsequently captured a Grammy for album of the year and topped Rolling Stone 's annual readers' poll. The progression had to be natural, but I also knew there had to be a progression. A warmer, more open Bowie was evident at every turn on Let's Dance, whose bright, upbeat exterior and approachable lyrics celebrate "modern love" and sensual romance beneath "serious moonlight.
Coming off of four hermitic, experimental and disillusioned albums — from Low to Scary Monsters — Bowie pulled an about-face. His newly found extroversion, complete with a haystack-yellow British-schoolboy haircut, netted him three Top Twenty singles — "Modern Love," "China Girl" and the chart-topping title track.
Let's Dance was a determined move to recapture the spotlight by a musician who five years earlier had told Melody Maker, "I feel incredibly divorced from rock, and it's a genuine striving to be that way. Excluding Texas blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, who was Bowie's suggestion, the musicians were drawn from Rodgers's circle.
Yet the collaboration was nothing like what he had had in mind. Its swift popularity caught the normally unflappable Bowie off guard. I'd be lying in bed, and the phone would ring: 'Hello, Nile? This is David. Look what's happening, did you see Billboard this week? Wow, unbelievable! Joined by keyboardist and singer Paul Carrack in his one-album cameo as a Squeeze member, the group filled the album with smart, uptempo pop tunes whose lyrics scanned, in Difford's words, like "suburban short stories.
Difford and Tilbrook credit Elvis Costello, who coproduced most of the album with Roger Bechirian, for providing inspiration and encouraging the band to move into different areas. He hadn't intended to play it for Costello, who nonetheless liked it right away. When Tilbrook protested that it didn't sound like Squeeze, Costello said, "Let's do it anyway. East Side Story 's best-known song is "Tempted," sung in a husky, soulful voice by Paul Carrack, with Costello and Tilbrook chiming in here and there.
Difford wrote the lyrics on the way to the airport, and "all the things in there are pretty much all the things that were in my mind on that trip," he says. Though "Tempted" became an FM-radio favorite, it didn't crack the U.
Top Forty. Musical touches both playful and artful, ranging from the surreal, wavering keyboards on "Heaven" to the full orchestra on "Vanity Fair," adorn East Side Story. Yet Squeeze maintains that the record was an uncomplicated one to make. The production really involved arrangements, and then just a straightforward recording of the songs. As a side note, the name Lennon cropped up in an unexpected way midway through the sessions.
The foursome had been selling out arenas for more than a decade on the basis of Eddie's virtuosic, fleet-fingered guitar playing, singer David Lee Roth's blunt, raunchy lyrics and the brute force of Michael Anthony's bass and Alex Van Halen's drums. Butabetted by tunes that swirled elements of synth pop into metal — most evidently on the hit single "Jump" — and by a string of campy, low-budget videos that found favor on MTV, carried Van Halen to a new plateau of popularity.
No longer viewed as threatening to those with a chronic fear of metal, the band somehow became amusing and even endearing to middle America. And all the while Van Halen continued to rock like crazy. According to Templeman, who produced all six Van Halen albums prior to and includinghaving time to experiment in the studio made a difference. They got into all kinds of different things, because they were bored doing the same old stuff.
At the time, Eddie was in the process of building his own studio with Don Landee, the band's longtime engineer and now its producer. While boards and tape machines were being installed, the guitarist began fiddling around on synthesizers to pass the time. One night Eddie and Alex laid down an instrumental demo of what would become "Jump," excitedly ringing up their slumbering producer when they finished. It's like three in the morning, but we really came up with something great.
Roth added the lyrics, which he wrote while being chauffeured in his red Mercury convertible, and "Jump" went on to top the charts — heralding the arrival of hard rock and heavy metal in the theretofore impervious Top Forty. The album turned out to be the last recorded by Van Halen in its original configuration, as Roth left — not entirely amicably — to go solo and was soon replaced by Sammy Hagar.
Producer Templeman swears he didn't see it coming: "There were no indicators to signal a breakup at all. Matter of fact, they were really united on that sucker.
Balls to the wall, they were going after the world, man! It wasn't until the release of her second album that Suzanne Vega achieved fame, scoring an unlikely Top Forty hit with "Luka," a song about child abuse. But Roy Orbison Came On - Terry Kelly (2) - Divided Highway (CD singer's debut album, Suzanne Vega, had already awakened listeners to a fresh new voice, reviving the folk-music genre after nearly two decades of dormancy. For Vega, who was then twenty-five years old, the album was cause for uncertainty and isolation as much as triumph.
Vega was certainly an anomaly during the mid-Eighties, softly strumming an acoustic guitar and singing introspective ballads while the rest of the music world was caught up in bigger-is-better events like Live Aid and Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U. In retrospect, however, Vega's intimate first album proved to be a significant milestone in this decade, ushering in a flock of female folk singers, including Tracy Chapman, Melissa Etheridge, Michelle Shocked, Tanita Tikaram and the Indigo Girls.
Having taught herself guitar at the age of eleven, Vega began writing her own songs when she entered her teens. After graduating from Barnard College inshe began playing small coffeehouses in Greenwich Village — the same area of New York City where nearly every Sixties folkie first tuned up his Gibson. But Vega, a child of the Eighties, hardly fit the protest-singer mold. Even though she carried an acoustic guitar, her hero wasn't folk icon Bob Dylan but punk godfather Lou Reed.
There were other differences as well. After years on the Northeastern club circuit, she had developed a direct, emotionally tempered style that she has said was inspired as much by novelist Carson McCullers and painter Edward Hopper as by romantic balladeers Leonard Cohen and Laura Nyro. Weaving these diverse influences into a deeply moving album were producers Lenny Kaye formerly Patti Smith's guitarist and Steve Addabbo Vega's managerwho brought modern touches to Vega's straight-ahead style, enhancing the singer's sparse sound with subtle electric guitars, graceful violins and even New Age synthesizers, all of which added gentle textures to her haunting material.
Vega's prowess with simile and metaphor dominates the entire album, perhaps most effectively on songs like "Undertow," "Freeze Tag" and "Straight Lines. At the time, I felt like a small blue thing. I never expected that people would think that it stood for something. Some people even asked if it's a fetus. It's not that at all — it's a mood. The result was Guitar Town, an album that straddled country and rock to create something startlingly new.
In the words of a fellow artist, John Hiatt, it was "pretty much a darn near flawless record. Great writing, fantastic album. It is a form of literature, but one you can consume while you're driving your car. Guitar Town boasts everything from a rich, orchestral twelve-string to some deep, twangy solos on the Danelectro six-string bass.
It was recorded at an all-digital studio in Nashville. By embracing the latest technology, Earle hoped his hometown would receive its due as an up-to-date music metropolis.
Does Earle see himself as more of a country or a rock artist? Such was the trepidation with which the former Band guitarist and songwriter approached making his long-put-off solo album. But he needn't have fretted so much: Robbie Robertson — released ina full decade after the Band broke up — is ample proof that Robertson's abilities are still very much intact. From the album's ethereal opener, "Fallen Angel," dedicated to Robertson's former band mate, the late Richard Manuel, to "Testimony," its hard-rocking conclusion, Robertson establishes himself as his own man.
I thought that what I was feeling and thinking might be half-baked. Much of the work was done in a studio in Santa Monica that Robertson turned into a kind of workshop-cum-lounge. With guitars and synthesizers at the ready, he spent months and months working on ideas. Although he began the recording sessions with an album's worth of material, many of the songs that showed up on the finished record — "Sonny Got Caught in the Moonlight," "Testimony," "Sweet Fire of Love" and "Somewhere Down the Crazy River" — were written in the studio.
Robertson wrote passionately about saving the planet "Showdown at Big Sky"the price of fame "American Roulette" and romance "Broken Arrow". Now I felt like I couldn't help it. Robertson sees the album as just the start of a new kind of songwriting and record making. Do you know what a skin walker is?
It's a thing in Indian mythology. There are certain people born with this gift, and they're able to actually get inside you and mess with your feelings and with your mind. And if a skin walker chooses to get a hold of you, there's not much you can do. I want a song to get inside me, to feel it did the old skin walker on me. I was kind of discovering that on this album, and now I'm pursuing it.
The British band, after all, sported no guitars, and there was no drummer or bassist in the group, either. Critically acclaimed, both LPs nonetheless possessed largely unfocused attempts at making synth pop an accessible rock style. The band wanted a unique album cover and toyed with ideas such as a sardine can that would require a key not supplied and even what Levene describes as a "sandpaper-type record, which would fuck up all your other records when you put it in your collection.
The tracks weren't listed on the album or the labels, which were at least color coded. Much to the band's displeasure, the album was released in the United States with a cardboard jacket, a different title Second Edition and relatively inferior sound. With Jah Wobble's reggae-drenched bass way up front and Levene's dissonant guitar forays, the band pumps out droning, fragmented dance music — disco, Samuel Beckett style.
Lydon's disembodied Roy Orbison Came On - Terry Kelly (2) - Divided Highway (CD vocals sound like they were phoned in long-distance. Virtually all the songs on the album were improvised in the studio. Bassist Wobble would play until the other two heard something they liked, then structure a track around it, using a clutch of session drummers; Levene says the best work on the record began as mistakes that were then refined and repeated. Many saw in Lydon's lyrics an attempt to bury the Sex Pistols myth significantly, he had changed his name back from Johnny Rotten.
On the opening track, "Albatross," he sings about "getting rid of the albatross," perhaps a reference to former Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren.
Second Edition also features three instrumentals, including the beautiful "Radio 4. She's So Unusual was an appropriate title for Cyndi Lauper 's debut record: From her electric-orange hair and colorful flea-market wardrobe to her squeaky, giddy voice, Lauper hardly appeared an odds-on bet to become one of pop's premier vocalists.
Nor are many of the songs selected for She's So Unusual conventional. But that's precisely what She's So Unusual became. The multiplatinum disc and its four Top Five singles made Lauper an instant star.
Before embarking on a solo career, Lauper sang with Blue Angel, a group she cofounded in The band's debut album, released inbombed, and Blue Angel broke up. Lauper signed a record deal with Portrait, and with producer Rick Chertoff at the controls she began work on She's So Unusual.
Chertoff brought in Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian of the then-unknown Philadelphia band the Hooters to play on the record. Together they opted for a synth-heavy sound that evoked the girl-group era of the early-Sixties and deftly played Lauper's vocals against thick arrangements. Not yet an accomplished songwriter although she co-wrote "She Bop" and the touching ballad "Time After Time"Lauper looked outside for material. That she was able to integrate her zaniness into She's So Unusual without sacrificing the underlying seriousness of the songs or her vocal delivery also meant something to Lauper's career.
Few solo artists have been able to balance such a delicate dichotomy the first time around. Fewer still have made it seem so easy — and so much fun. It began as Dream Factorya two-record set with major contributions from Revolution members Wendy and Lisa, then metamorphosed into Crystal Ball, a three-record extravaganza whose lengthy title track was to be Prince 's masterwork.
But by the time of its release it had once again become a two-disc set, not titled Sign o' the Times. Highlighted by the outstanding Curtis Mayfield-styled title track, one of Prince's strongest social statements, the album is his most diverse work, with material ranging from the steamy funk of "Hot Thing" and the jazzy balladry of "Slow Love" to more esoteric gems such as "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker" and the fanciful "Starfish and Coffee.
Produced, arranged, composed and performed by Prince, Sign o' the Times found him back in complete control of every aspect of his music. He abandoned the neo-psychedelic qualities that had come to the fore on his previous albums, pursuing a tougher soul music, evident on the title track, "Housequake" and "U Got the Look. At first, Dream Factory was to have been another band album like the preceding Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day and Parade, but along the way Prince disbanded the Revolution and put existing band tracks on the shelf.
Instead, he holed up in the basement of his new house and began cutting solo tracks. About half the album was recorded at home; the rest was recorded at Sunset Sound, in Los Angeles. Prince played or sang nearly everything, although there were some contributions from Sheila E.
The three-record Crystal Ball concept was followed all the way through to the mastering stage and included a suitelike twelve-minute title track. But Prince and Warner Bros. What became the new title track was written toward the end of the recording sessions. Feel like singing? Why can't we be friends too? In retrospect, Sign o' the Times looks more and more like Prince's Exile on Main Street, one of the few two-disc sets by any artist that holds up through all four sides.
The Seventies were the favored habitat of the Eagleswhose tales of "livin' it up at the Hotel California" vaulted the West Coast rockers to superstardom. In the wake of their unannounced breakup around the turn of the decade, the individual members faced the Eighties with a much less certain hold on their audience. While his band mates — especially his erstwhile writing partner, Glenn Frey — have steered a safe, commercial course, Don Henley has written and recorded songs with a sociopolitical conscience, working at a painstaking pace.
He has made only three solo albums in this decade. Building the Perfect Beast is a meticulously crafted and programmed set of songs about love and politics. The first side is given to personal reflections on love and loss, such as the wistful, gorgeous "Boys of Summer. Kortchmar wrote or co-wrote nine of the ten compositions on Building the Perfect Beast.
The arrangements are more varied and generally edgier than the Eagles' easy-rolling songs — a development consistent with Henley's growing politicization. After all, only a few years before making his big splash, Crenshaw had been touring the United States as an ersatz John Lennon in various national companies of the successful pseudo-Fab Four musical Beatlemania. Tiring of that well-paying gig, Crenshaw decided to leave the show and work on his own music.
By the summer ofCrenshaw — who hails from the Detroit area — was playing his own tunes around New York City as part of a trio, with his brother Robert on drums and Chris Donato playing bass. One of those covers, "Someday, Someway," became a minor hit reaching Number Seventy-four on the pop charts and helped create a buzz about Crenshaw. Before long that buzz led to a record deal with Warner Bros. Initially, Crenshaw wanted to produce his own first record, but he later agreed to bring in Gottehrer as co-producer.
When Gottehrer suggested session drummer Anton Fig and bassist Will Lee for the sessions, Crenshaw insisted on sticking with his own group. There were also disagreements over what material to put on the album.
Gruppenzwang - Second Version - Gruppenzwang (CD), Im All About You - Carl Anderson - Heavy Weather Sunlight Again (CD, Album), Constrobuz - The Great Struggle (File), Organ Donor (Extended Overhaul), Epilogue (Dont Know), Haben Yakir Li - Various - Songs Of Israel (Vinyl, LP), Full Throttle - Dynamic Intervention / DJ M - Full Throttle / So Hard (Vinyl), Firefly - American Music Club - United Kingdom / California (CD, Album), Bug A Boo - Destinys Child - The Writings On The Wall (Cassette, Album), Nu Är Det Slut
Published in Alternative