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Showing posts from October, 2014

Rocktober 31, 2014 White Zombie

Wrapping up the month of Rocktober with a Zombie... White Zombie 

The title, as well as lyrical references, are taken from the film Blade Runner, which was the slogan of the Tyrell Corporation, manufacturers of the replicants in the film. The moaning in the intro to the song was sampled from a post-apocalyptic porn movie called Café Flesh directed by Stephen Sayadian.

"More Human than Human" quickly became the band's highest-charting and most recognizable single in the entirety of their career. The song earned them their second Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance in 1995. The song was named the 68th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.

Rocktober 30, 2014 Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin is an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. Their heavy, guitar-driven sound, rooted in blues on their early albums, has drawn them recognition as one of the progenitors of heavy metal, though their unique style drew from a wide variety of influences, including folk music.

Kashmir is a concert staple, being performed by the band at almost every concert since its release.

The lyrics to Kashmir were written by Robert Plant in 1973 immediately after Led Zeppelin's 1973 US Tour, in an area he called "the waste lands" of Southern Morocco, while driving from Goulimine to Tantan in the Sahara Desert. This was despite the fact that the song is named after Kashmir, a region in the northwestern part of the Himalayas. As Plant explained to rock journalist Cameron Crowe:
The whole inspiration came from the fact that the road went on …

Rocktober 29, 2014 Queen

 Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality...

"Bohemian Rhapsody" is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was written by Freddie Mercury for the band's 1975 album A Night at the Opera. The song consists of several sections: a ballad segment ending with a guitar solo, an operatic passage, and a hard rock section. At the time, it was the most expensive single ever made and it remains one of the most elaborate recordings in popular music history.

Although critical reaction was initially mixed, "Bohemian Rhapsody" remains one of Queen's most popular songs. The single was accompanied by a promotional video, which many scholars consider ground-breaking. In 2004, "Bohemian Rhapsody" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2012, the song topped the list on an ITV nationwide poll in the UK to find "The Nation's Favourite Number One" over 60 years of music.

Freddie Mercury wrote most o…

Rocktober 28, 2014 - The Yardbirds

Today I'm going to dig deep into the archives of music history to tell you about a band that was responsible for starting the careers of three of rock's most famous guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck.

The Yardbirds were a blues-based band that broadened its range into pop and rock, the Yardbirds had a hand in many electric guitar innovations of the mid-1960s, such as feedback, "fuzztone" distortion and improved amplification. After the Yardbirds broke up in 1968, their lead guitarist Jimmy Page founded what became Led Zeppelin.

Eric Clapton replaced the original guitarist in 1963. the Yardbirds signed to EMI's Columbia label in February 1964. Their first album was the "live", Five Live Yardbirds, recorded at the legendary Marquee Club in London. Clapton, at the time a blues purist, left the group in protest on 25 March 1965 and joined John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. He recommended Jimmy Page, a prominent young studio session gu…

Rocktober 27, 2014 Deep Purple

I cant let the month of Rocktober slip by without mentioning one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in the history of music.

"Smoke On The Water" is a song written and performed by the English rock band, Deep Purple

The lyrics of the song tell a true story: on 4 December 1971 Deep Purple were in Montreux, Switzerland, where they had set up camp to record an album using a mobile recording studio (rented from the Rolling Stones and known as the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio—referred to as the "Rolling truck Stones thing" and "a mobile" in the song lyrics) at the entertainment complex that was part of the Montreux Casino (referred to as "the gambling house" in the song lyric). On the eve of the recording session a Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention concert was held in the casino's theatre. In the middle of Don Preston's synthesizer solo on "King Kong", the place suddenly caught fire when somebody in the audience fired…

Rocktober 26, 2014 Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd (pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd) is an American rock band best known for popularizing the southern hard-rock genre during the 1970s. Originally formed in 1966 as the The Pretty Ones in Jacksonville, Florida, they then went through two name changes: The Noble Five and One Percent, before coming up with Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1969. The band rose to worldwide recognition on the basis of its driving live performances and signature tunes "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird". At the peak of their success, three members died in an airplane crash in 1977, putting an abrupt end to the band's most popular incarnation.

The surviving band members re-formed in 1988 for a reunion tour with lead vocalist Johnny Van Zant, the younger brother of lead singer and founder Ronnie Van Zant. The re-formed band continues to tour and record with co-founding member Gary Rossington and core members Johnny Van Zant, along with guitarist Rickey Medlocke, wh…

Rocktober 25, 2014 The Black Crowes

The Black Crowes are a band that was formed in 1989 by brothers Chris and Rich Robinson. In 1989, the band, who have been heavily influenced by The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Faces, Buddy Guy, Otis Redding, and Humble Pie, made a demo that led to their signing with Def American.

"She Talks to Angels" is a song that is the eighth track on their 1990 debut album Shake Your Money Maker and was released as the album's fourth single. The song made it to 30 on the US Hot 100. The song hit number one on the US Album Rock Tracks chart and number 70 on the UK Singles Chart in 1991.
In 2010, Chris Robinson explained in a webisode (part of a promotional internet series for their 2010 Croweology album) that the song is loosely based on a "goth girl" he was acquainted with in Atlanta who was "into heroin".

I've always enjoyed this acoustic version.  Do you have a favorite song that is performed by The Black Crowes?

Rocktober 24. 2014 Harvey Danger

I'm not sick but I'm not well And I'm so hot cause I'm in hell I'm not sick but I'm not well And it's a sin to live so well
Harvey Dangerwas an American indie rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1993, and rose to prominence in 1998 with the single "Flagpole Sitta", which is also used as the theme tune to the British sitcom "Peep Show". On August 29, 2009, the band played its final show at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle. The band's debut album, Where have all the merrymakers gone?, has sold over 500,000 copies, with "Flagpole Sitta" still receiving regular airplay around the world. On July 29, 2014, 17 years to the day after its initial release, Where have all the merrymakers gone? was re-released on vinyl as an LP by the independent record label No Sleep Records.
"Flagpole Sitta" has been used in other media, such as Comedy site CollegeHumor also made a lip dub of their employees singing the song. The …

Rocktober 23, 2014 - The Blue Velvets

Today I'm going to tell you a little bit about a band that started out under the name "The Blue Velvets".

The band was a trio of - John Fogerty, Stu Cook, and Doug Clifford. A little while later, John's older brother, Tom Fogerty joined in on vocals.  Their band wasn't getting a lot of sales on their records, even though famed Casey Kasem had put their music into rotation.

Changes were made within the band. Tom took up guitar, but remained lead vocalist, and Stu switched from piano to bass. The band was eventually signed by Fantasy Records. With their first release, Mark Weiss, co-owner of Fantasy Records, changed the band's name to The Golliwogs. Band roles changed again. John became the band's lead vocalist and primary songwriter, and Tom remained as backup vocalist and guitarist.

In 1966, John and Doug were drafted into military service, and in 1967, Fantasy Records was bought by Saul Zaentz. Saul never liked the name "The Golliwogs" and insi…

Rocktober 22, 2014 Linkin Park

From our previous post on Stone Temple Pilots, we learned that their current lead singer came from the band Linkin Park.

Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005 and multi-platinum in several other countries. Their following studio album Meteora continued the band's success, topping the Billboard 200 album chart in 2003, and was followed by extensive touring and charity work around the world. In 2003, MTV2 named Linkin Park the sixth-greatest band of the music video era and the third-best of the new millennium.

Having adapted nu metal and rap metal to a radio-friendly yet densely layered style in Hybrid Theory and Meteora, the band has taken on other genres in their future albums, quite successfully.

"Crawling" is the second track that was released as single from their debut album Hybrid Theory. It was released in 2001 as their second single and won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock…

Rocktober 21, 2014 Stone Temple Pilots

 "Does anybody really know how the story goes, or do we all just hum along?"
I cant just talk about Red Hot Chili Peppers (see archives), and not mention Stone Temple Pilots. I guess this mostly due to the fact that when I saw RHCP in concert in 2000, STP opened for them. So in my mind, the two bands go hand in hand.

Stone Temple Pilots (often abbreviated STP) is an American rock band from San Diego, California, that currently consists of brothers Robert (bass, backing vocals) and Dean DeLeo (guitar), Eric Kretz (drums, percussion), and Chester Bennington (lead vocals). Since its formation, STP's line-up had remained unchanged until the dismissal of lead vocalist Scott Weiland in 2013, who was replaced with Chester Bennington of Linkin Park.

The band formed in 1985, under the name Mighty Joe Young, but when they signed with Atlantic Records, they changed their name to Stone Temple Pilots. They have been fairly successful in their own right.

"Big Bang Baby",  is…

Rocktober 20, 2014 Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers have been together as a band since 1983. Their original style was more of a rap/funk, but has recently taken on a more melodic style, with a strong funk influence.

"Scar Tissue" is about the Red Hot Chili Peppers' singer Anthony Kiedis and his battles with drugs, as well as the quarrels he had with friends and bandmates as a result of his addiction. The line "sarcastic mister know it all" was directed at the band's former guitarist Dave Navarro, who Kiedis referred to as the "king of sarcasm", while the line "make it to the moon if I have to crawl" is a reference to Kiedis' heroin addiction, which made him desperate to get high.

The lyrics for "Scar Tissue" were written by Anthony Kiedis probably because of the return of guitar player John Frusciante. Frusciante left the Peppers in 1992, uncomfortable with the band's success. He developed a severe drug addiction, but returned in 1998 to w…

Rocktober 19, 2014 Would?

Would? is a song by the band Alice In Chains. It was written by guitarist/co-vocalist Jerry Cantrell in tribute to Andrew Wood, the late lead singer of Mother Love Bone (which later became Pearl Jam), who died of a heroin overdose in 1990. In the liner notes of 1999's Music Bank box set collection, Jerry Cantrell said of the song:
 "I was thinking a lot about Andrew Wood at the time. We always had a great time when we did hang out, much like Chris Cornell and I do. There was never really a serious moment or conversation, it was all fun. Andy was a hilarious guy, full of life and it was really sad to lose him. But I always hate people who judge the decisions others make. So it was also directed towards people who pass judgments."

Know me broken by my master
And teach thee on child of love hereafter

Into the flood again
Same old trip it was back then
So I made a big mistake
Tried to see it once my way

Drifting body, its sole desertion
Flying not yet quite the notion

Into the fl…

Rocktober 18. 2014 Doobie Brothers

"I'd like to hear some funky Dixieland, pretty mama come and take me by the hand"

One of my favorites performed by The Doobie Brothers was their first #1 single, Black Water.

The Doobie Brothers (who aren't really brothers at all!) got their start in Northern California in the early to mid 1970's. Their first real fans were members of local chapters of Hells Angels. The Doobie Brothers had a recurring gig at one of the Hells Angels favorite venues, Chateau Liberte. The band would show up unannounced, and impromptu, and frequently without all of the band members present.

Black Water was originally the B-side (remember when there was such a thing? remember vinyl records?).. er um, sorry got distracted..

Black Water was originally the B-side to Another Park, Another Sunday, but radio stations stopped playing Another Park, Another Sunday because of the lyrics ".. radio brings me down .. ", and Black Water ultimately became the more popular song.

Enjoy the vi…

Rocktober 17, 2014 Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones were formed as a band in 1962, and while they have had a few members come and go, they are still currently performing as a band.

"Beast of Burden" is credited as being written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones.  The music and some of the lyrics were written by Keith Richards, while Mick Jagger filled in the verses. The song was released in 1978 on the Some Girls album.

Mick Jagger said of the song, "Lyrically, this wasn't particularly heartfelt in a personal way. It's a soul begging song, an attitude song. It was one of those where you get one melodic lick, break it down and work it up; there are two parts here which are basically the same." The song can be seen as allegorical, with Richards saying in 2003, "When I returned to the fold after closing down the laboratory [referring to his drug problems throughout the 1970s], I came back into the studio with Mick... to say, 'Thanks, man, for shouldering…

Rocktober 16, 2014 BTO

Bachman Turner Overdrive, also known as BTO,  is a band founded by Randy Bachman (also founded the musical group The Guess Who) and Fred Turner.  The band was very successful in the 1970's.  In 2005, the band went on hiatus, but reunited again in 2009 and continued to tour until just recently when they announced they were splitting up for good. Something about bucket lists to take care of, was the reason give for this latest split. Fred Turner turns 71 today. (Happy Birthday, Fred!)

The fans of BTO are referred to as 'Gearheads'. This is derived from the band's gear-shaped logo.

"Takin' Care of Business" is a song written by Randy Bachman and first recorded by  Bachman–Turner Overdrive (BTO) for their 1973 album Bachman–Turner Overdrive II. The song is widely considered to be one of the driving anthems of rock, and features one of the most well known riffs in rock and roll.

Randy Bachman had sung what would later become "Takin' Care of Busines…

Rocktober 15, 2014 Jimi Hendrix

Purple Haze was in my brain,
lately things don't seem the same,
actin' funny but I don't know why
'scuse me while I kiss the sky.

Purple Haze all around,
don't know if I'm coming up or down.
Am I happy or in misery?
Whatever it is, that girl put a spell on me.

Purple Haze was in my eyes,
don't know if it's day or night,
you've got me blowing, blowing my mind
is it tomorrow or just the end of time?

"Purple Haze" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience for their second single. It has been referred to as "one of the archetypical psychedelic drug songs of the sixties", although Hendrix described it as a love song. It features Hendrix's inventive guitar playing and a driving rhythm. On March 17, 1967, the single was released in the UK and quickly rose to number three in the British record chart. In the US, "Purple Haze" became the opening track on the American Are You Experienced album.


Rocktober 13, 2014 Foghat

Foghat is a British rock band. Slow Ride appears on their fifth album Fool for the City, which was released in 1975. It also appears on Foghat Live, which was released in 1977. Foghat Live was their best selling album at over 2 million copies. In 2009, Slow Ride was named the 45th "Best Hard Rock" song of all time by VH1.

There are 5 versions of this song on the market. The original LP version from Fool For the City lasts 8 minutes and 14 seconds. The single version, found in several compilations was truncated to 3:56 with a fade-out ending. The 1977 live version is 8:21, the King Biscuit Flower Hour Foghat version is 10:37 and the 2007 live version is 9:44.

Rocktober 12, 2014 Paul Revere & The Raiders

Paul Revere & The Raiders is a band that originated out of Boise, Idaho, and had considerable mainstream success in the mid 1960's thru the early 1970's.

As a young child growing up in Idaho, my older siblings were fans and as a result I was indoctrinated into enjoying the band as well.  Later, in my 20's, I recall attending the Eastern Idaho State Fair where Paul Revere & The Raiders would perform free matinee shows during the afternoon.

Their manager suggested they record a song, "Louie, Louie", for which they were paid a mere $50, but the recording ultimately lead to them being signed with Columbia Records. It is uncertain whether The Raiders or the Kingsmen recorded the song first, but both groups recorded it at the same studio in Portland, Oregon in April 1963.

Paul Revere Dick recently passed away on Oct 4, 2014 from cancer. "Louie, Louie", 'Kicks" and "Indian Reservation" each played a role in my formative years. While …

Rocktober 11, 2014 The Cranberries

Rounding out the week of Women Who Rock..

"Zombie" is a protest song by the Irish rock band The Cranberries. It was released in September 1994 as the lead single from the album No Need to Argue. The song was written by Dolores O'Riordan, the singer of the band, and reached No. 1 on the charts in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, and Germany.

This song was written during the Cranberries' English Tour in 1993, in memory of two boys, Jonathan Ball and Tim Parry, who were killed in an IRA bombing in Warrington.

Rocktober 10, 2014 Joan Jett

Midnight, gettin' uptight. Where are you?
You said you'd meet me, now it's quarter to two
I know I'm hangin' but I'm still wantin' you.
Hey, Jack, It's a fact they're talkin' in town.
I turn my back and you're messin' around.
I'm not really jealous, don't like lookin' like a clown.
I think of you ev'ry night and day.
You took my heart, then you took my pride away.
I hate myself for loving you .
Can't break free from the the things that you do.
I wanna walk but I run back to you, that's why
I hate myself for loving you .
Daylight, spent the night without you.
But I've been dreamin' 'bout the lovin' you do.
I won't be as angry 'bout the hell you put me through.
Hey, man, bet you can treat me right.
You just don't know what you was missin' last night.
I wanna see your face and say forget it just from spite.
I hate myself for loving you .
Can't break free from the the things that …

Rocktober 9, 2014 Brass in Pocket

Chrissie Hynde is best known as the leader of the rock/new wave band the Pretenders. She is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and has been the only constant member of the band throughout its history. She has also released a number of collaborations with other musicians - two of which reached No.1 in the UK Charts.

The Pretender's third single, Brass in Pocket,  was their first big success, scoring number one on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in January 1980 (making it the first new number-one single of the 1980s), number one in Australia during May 1980, and number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. The song takes its title from an expression Hynde heard from a member of Strangeways, a support band, who was looking for his money (or 'brass').

Rocktober 8, 2014 Stevie Nicks

Continuing this week's theme of  Women in Rock 

"Edge of Seventeen", is a song written and recorded by Stevie Nicks. It was the third single from her 1981 solo debut album, Bella Donna.

According to Nicks, the title came from a conversation she had with Tom Petty's first wife, Jane, about the couple's first meeting. Jane said they met "at the age of seventeen", but her strong Southern accent made it sound like "edge of seventeen" to Nicks. The singer liked the sound of the phrase so much that she told Jane she would write a song for it and give her credit for the inspiration. Although Nicks had originally planned to use the title for a song about Tom and Jane Petty, the deaths of both her uncle Jonathan and John Lennon during the same week of December 1980 inspired a new song for which Nicks used the title. Nicks's producer and friend, Jimmy Iovine, was a close friend of Lennon, and Nicks felt helpless to comfort him. Soon after, she …

Rocktober 7, 2014 Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox started her music career in the late 1970's. In the 1980's, she paired up with a fellow musician to create the Eurythmics. In the 1990's, she split off from the duo to start a solo career.

"Why" is the first solo single by the Scottish singer Annie Lennox, released in 1992. It was taken from her debut solo album Diva and reached no.5 in the United Kingdom and number thirty-four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The single also reached no.6 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart.

Rocktober 6, 2014 Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin first rose to fame in the late 1960s as the lead singer of the psychedelic-acid rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company, and later as a solo artist with her own backing groups, The Kozmic Blues Band and The Full Tilt Boogie Band. Her first ever large scale public performance was at the Monterey Pop Festival; this led her to becoming very popular and one of the major attractions to the Woodstock festival and the Festival Express train tour.

Joplin charted five singles, and other popular songs from her four-year solo career include "Down on Me", "Summertime", "Piece of My Heart", "Ball 'n' Chain", "Maybe", "To Love Somebody", "Kozmic Blues", "Work Me, Lord", "Cry Baby", "Mercedes Benz", and her only number one hit, "Me and Bobby McGee".

I love Janis' raw, gravely voice. The sound she creates lets you know she puts her heart and soul into her music…

Rocktober 5, 2014 Pat Benetar

Let's give some love to the Women of Rock! This week we will be playing music from women musicians. Today's addition to Rocktober is Pat Benetar's "Heartbreaker".

During the 1980s, Pat Benatar had two RIAA-certified Multi-Platinum albums, five RIAA-certified Platinum albums, three RIAA-certified Gold albums and 15 Top 40 singles, including the Top 10 hits, "Hit Me with Your Best Shot", "Love Is a Battlefield", "We Belong" and "Invincible". Other popular singles include "Treat Me Right", "Fire and Ice", "Promises in the Dark", "Shadows of the Night", and "All Fired Up". Benatar was one of the most heavily played artists in the early days of MTV. She was the first woman to play on MTV, performing "You Better Run".

Rocktober 4, 2014 Skid Row

It's the weekend. Time to really let our hair down! Today's song was the B-side to Youth Gone Wild. It was difficult finding more info to share with you about this song. When I think of the music done by Skid Row, I instantly think of this song, followed by Rattlesnake Shake, Youth Gone Wild, and then finally 18 And Life. But this song sticks out the most in my memory.

Rocktober 3, 2014 Peter Frampton

There was some deliberation at my house as to which Peter Frampton song to play for you today. The song with the most votes was Do You Feel Like We Do, but I overruled and picked a song that I have loved for many years.

Baby I love Your Way was released in September 1975 and was first featured on Frampton's 1975 album, Frampton. The song segues from the previous track "Nassau". A live version of the song was later released on his 1976 multi-platinum album Frampton Comes Alive!, where it gained popularity as a hit song, peaking at number 12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and making the top 40.

Now excuse me while I close my eyes and recapture that memory of my first slow dance...

Rocktober 2, 2014 "Let There Be Rock"

"Let There Be Rock" is a song by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It is also the title track of their Australian album Let There Be Rock, released in March 1977, and was written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Bon Scott. It similarly featured on the international version of Let There Be Rock, released in October 1977.Let There Be Rock" is a play on the third verse of the Book of Genesis, in which God created heaven and earth. God's demand of "Let there be light" is echoed in the song, and is extrapolated to calls of "Let there be sound... drums... guitar... Let there be rock". In the studio recording, Scott called for sound before light, whereas this is switched during live performances of the song.The song is influenced by Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven", specifically the lyric "go tell Tchaikovsky the news", which is referenced in Scott's lyric "but Tchaikovsky had the news.""Let Th…

Rocktober 1, 2014

My nephew has this great idea that every October is Rocktober, and he shares a song or video on his social media sites. I wanted to expand upon this and share music and information about artists throughout the year. So, while this is a somewhat stolen idea... I promise not to let you down.

I thought I would start out with a fabulous video that feature two great bands that I truly enjoy.  Ann and Nancy Wilson of  Heart perform an amazing rendition of Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin at the Kennedy Center.  I  hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)