December 31, 2014

Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne  is traditionally sung at midnight when horns are blown, confetti is thrown, and a general party atmosphere is created to ring in the New Year with happiness and hope for a bright and prosperous year. The outgoing year is often represented by an elderly man known as Father Time and the new year is represented by a baby known as Baby New Year.

Auld Lang Syne
Robert Burns (circa 1700)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pou'd the gowans fine;
we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin' auld lang syne

We two hae paidled i' the burn,
Frae mornin' sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne

And here's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Happy New Year, Everyone! May each of you have a happy and prosperous 2015. Please remember to ring in the new year safely... I've got many more stories to share with you :)

December 30, 2014

Ghost Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend

Continuing on with the Cowboy Song theme for this week...

This particular song stands out as one that I was fascinated with. I loved it whenever it played on the 8-track.

"(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend" was written in 1948 by Stan Jones. A number of versions were crossover hits on the pop charts in 1949. The ASCAP database lists the song as "Riders in the Sky", but the title has been written as "Ghost Riders", "Ghost Riders in the Sky", and "A Cowboy Legend".

The song tells a folk tale of a cowboy who has a vision of red-eyed, steel-hooved cattle thundering across the sky, being chased by the spirits of damned cowboys. One warns him that if he does not change his ways, he will be doomed to join them, forever "trying to catch the Devil's herd across these endless skies". Jones said that he had been told the story when he was 12 years old by an old cowboy friend.

More than 50 performers have recorded versions of the song. The melody is based on the song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." According to Robby Krieger, it inspired the classic Doors song "Riders on the Storm."

The song was also the inspiration for the Magazine Enterprises' horror-Western comic-book character the Ghost Rider. After the trademark to the character's name and motif lapsed, Marvel Comics debuted its own near-identical, non-horror version of the character in Ghost Rider #1 (Feb. 1967), drawn by Ayers. This character was renamed the Phantom Rider when Marvel debuted its demonic motorcyclist character Ghost Rider.

Stan Jones
 Stan Jones (June 5, 1914 - Dec 13, 1963)

Stan Jones was born and raised on a ranch in Douglas, Arizona. When his father died, his mother moved the family to Los Angeles. While attending the University of California at Berkeley, he competed in rodeos to make money. He dropped out of university in 1934 to join the US Navy. After his service in the Navy, he worked many jobs, including as a miner, a fire fighter, and a park ranger. In his free time he wrote songs, and eventually more than 100 were recorded. His most famous, "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky", was written in 1948 when he worked for the National Park Service in Death Valley, California. Assigned as technical advisor to the filming of The Walking Hills, he became friends with director John Ford, who opened his way into Hollywood.

Jones wrote almost entirely Western music. He composed songs for several Western movies by Ford and others producers, including The Searchers and Rio Grande. He also played small parts in several westerns.

In 1955 Jones began writing for Disney Studios. He was co-writer of the theme song for the television series Cheyenne, and in 1956 was hired to play Deputy Harry Olson in the syndicated television series Sheriff of Cochise (1956–1958), which starred John Bromfield as law enforcement officer Frank Morgan. After its first season, Sheriff of Cochise was renamed by Desilu Studios owner Desi Arnaz, Sr., as U.S. Marshal. Jones wrote again for John Ford's Civil War film The Horse Soldiers, in which he made an uncredited appearance as Ulysses S. Grant. The following year, he returned to working for Disney Studios. One major role for him was in playing the part of Wilson Brown, a Union soldier and locomotive engineer who was a member of the Andrews Raid depicted in Disney's film The Great Locomotive Chase. In his final film, Ten Who Dared, Jones appeared as Seneca Howland, a member of John Wesley Powell's 1869 expedition. He also is credited for song writing for this film.

December 29, 2014

Introducing: Cowboy Songs

One of my longer-known friends (notice I didn't say 'OLD') challenged me recently to blog about Old School Country Music. He had a specific artist in mind. This particular artist is one that I have enjoyed listening to in my much much younger days. (I think we wore out the record) But before I can write about this specific artist, I need to go back even further in Country Music, back to a time when it was simply called "Western Music" or "Cowboy Songs" So, apologies to my dear friend, Arnold, but please indulge me while I take us back in time before I talk about you know who ;)

1949 My Dad and Grandfather @ Fort Owen Ranch, Stevensville, Montana
1949 My Dad and Grandfather
Fort Owen Ranch, Stevensville, Montana

You know how some songs just take you to a favorite memory? Well, I was listening to some tunes from the 'mystery' artist referred to in the above paragraph, and I was transported to a place in time. Life was so much simpler when I was younger.

We weren't really farmers, per se. But my parents grew up on a ranch, and my dad worked closely with farmers in his profession as District Soil Conservationist. My dad loved to go for car rides to 'wherever'. We'd just get in the car and go. No real destination in mind. My dad also loved to sing. Sometimes we'd listen to the 8-track tape (now I'm making myself sound old) and sometimes, he would just sing. And he would encourage us to sing along.

So, this week I'll be taking you down my own memory lane talking about some of the Cowboy songs my dad taught me to learn and love.

The Old Chisholm Trail
"The Old Chisholm Trail" is a cowboy song that dates back to the 1870s, when it was among the most popular songs sung by cowboys during that era. Based on an English lyrical song that dates back to 1640, "The Old Chisholm Trail" was modified by the cowboy idiom. It has been recorded by the world's most popular Western singers, including Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Bing Crosby, Randy Travis, and Michael Martin Murphey. Yodeling Slim Clark recorded a yodeling version in 1957 for his album Cowboy Songs. The song was partially covered in the now-defunct Disneyland attraction "America Sings".

In 2001, author Rosalyn Shanzer wrote a children's book based on the song. It follows the adventures of some cowboys and their cattle as they travel the Old Chisholm Trail from Texas to Kansas.

Slim Clark's version

Intruducing: Cowboy Songs
 "Git Along, Little Dogies" is a traditional cowboy ballad, also performed under the title "Whoopie Ti Yi Yo". The melody and lyrics were collected and published in Carl Sandburg's 1927 American Songbag. Artists who have played the song include Roy Rogers, the Sons of the Pioneers, The Kingston Trio, Charlie Daniels, David Bromberg, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Holly Golightly, and Nickel Creek. It was adapted in the cartoon Animaniacs as "The Ballad of Magellan".

Many people think the song's lyrics are doggies (i.e. puppies) but a dogie actually refers to a motherless calf.

December 27, 2014

Dave Grohl Week: Taylor Hawkins

This week I've been blogging about Dave Grohl and the various bands/projects that he was/is involved with. 
Today we wrap up the week with  -  Taylor Hawkins

Dave Grohl Week: Taylor Hawkins #TaylorHawkins

Okay, sure. Taylor isn't Dave. But He's on topic, as he is a Foo Fighter. But did you also know this about Taylor?

  • Prior to joining the Foo Fighters in 1997, he was the touring drummer for Alanis Morissette on her Jagged Little Pill and Can't Not Tour, as well as the drummer in a progressive experimental band called Sylvia. His cousin, Kevin Harrell, introduced him to Dave Grohl after camping with him for several weeks in the Ozarks.  He was voted "Best Rock Drummer" in 2005 by the UK drumming magazine Rhythm.
  • In 2004, Hawkins formed his own side project, Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, in which he plays drums and sings.
  • He occasionally plays with a Police cover band alternately called "The Cops" and "Fallout."
  • At Live Earth in 2007, Hawkins was part of SOS Allstars with Roger Taylor of Queen and Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  • Taylor played "YYZ" with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush on stage at a concert in Toronto on March 22, 2008.
  • Hawkins recorded the drum tracks for the Coheed and Cambria album "Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow" as the band's regular drummer, Chris Pennie, was not able to record due to contractual reasons. Also, Hawkins toured with Coheed and Cambria shortly during the months of the album. 
  • Hawkins can also be heard drumming on Eric Avery's (formerly of Jane's Addiction) first solo effort, Help Wanted and on Kerry Ellis's album, "Wicked in Rock." 
  • Hawkins and Grohl split drumming duties on Harmony & Dissidence, the latest album by Foo Fighters bandmate Chris Shiflett's own side project, Jackson United.
  • Taylor Hawkins recorded the drum for the track "Anche se," from Vasco Rossi's demo.
  • Hawkins played on the track "Cyborg," from Queen guitarist Brian May's 1998 solo album, Another World; he also played drums at VH1's Rock Honors 2006 while Queen performed "We Will Rock You." He sang backing vocals on the Queen + Paul Rodgers single, "C-lebrity."
  • Hawkins was commissioned to complete an unfinished recording of a song by Beach Boys' drummer Dennis Wilson titled "Holy Man" by writing and singing new lyrics. The recording was released in June 2008 as part of a deluxe edition of Wilson's lone 1977 solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue.
  • While the Foo Fighters were on break, Hawkins played in a three-piece cover band, Chevy Metal, that played lesser known tracks by ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Van Halen, Queen, and Black Sabbath. Hawkins continues to play in Chevy Metal, except with fellow Foo Fighters bandmate Chris Shiflett now on guitar.
  • Taylor Hawkins appears on Slash's solo album Slash, released in 2010, providing backing vocals on the track "Crucify the Dead," featuring Ozzy Osbourne.
  • In 2011, Taylor recorded drums for songs by Vasco Rossi.
  • In June 2012, it was announced that Hawkins was cast in the role of Iggy Pop in the rock film CBGB.
  • Taylor recorded the drums on Vasco Rossi's last song, "L'uomo più semplice." This song was released on January 21 in Italy.
  • In March 2014, Taylor announced his new side project called The Birds of Satan. It features Hawkins' drum technician and bandmate from Chevy Metal, Wiley Hodgden on bass guitar and vocals as well as guitarist Mick Murphy also of Chevy Metal. The band's self-titled debut album was released in April 2014, with a release party at 'Rock n Roll Pizza' featuring the Foo Fighters guesting on some of the cover tracks.

Taylor Hawkins is chock full of talent.

Here is Taylor singing with Foo Fighters (Dave Grohl traded him places for this night)

And this is my favorite Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders song:

This is a close runner-up:

December 26, 2014

Dave Grohl Week: Foo Fighters

This week I've been blogging about Dave Grohl and the various bands/projects that he was/is involved with. On today's docket  -  Foo Fighters

After the death of Kurt Cobain and dissolution of Nirvana in 1994, Dave Grohl set out to do a one-man project. The group got its name from the UFOs and various aerial phenomena that were reported by Allied aircraft pilots in World War II, which were known collectively as foo fighters.

The debut album is unique in that Dave Grohl played and recorded each of the instruments for the entire album. Before the album was released, Grohl recruited bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith (both formerly of Sunny Day Real Estate), as well as guitartist Pat Smear (who formerly toured as a bandmate with Nirvana) As a band, they began performances in Portland, Oregon. Goldsmith quit during the recording of the group's second album, The Colour and the Shape (1997) when most of the drum parts were re-recorded by Grohl himself. Smear's departure followed soon afterward.

Goldsmith and Smear were replaced by Taylor Hawkins and Franz Stahl, although Stahl was fired before the recording of the third album. The band briefly continued as a trio until Chris Shiflett joined as the band's lead guitarist after the completion of the third album.  During 2006 and 2009, Pat Smear toured with the band as an unofficial member, but in 2010, it was confirmed that he had re-joined the band in an official capacity.

Over the course of the band's career, four albums have won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album. Dave Grohl likes to keep the band fresh with new ideas and innovations. For example, the Wasting Light album was recorded in Dave's garage using only analog equipment. For their latest album, Sonic Highways, the band visited 8 cities. They met with local musicians and various landmarks in the cities and then sat down and recorded a song inspired by their visit to that city, They often invited a local musician to collaborate and join in the recording of each song. They also documented this album making with an HBO TV series aptly named, Sonic Highways.

Between the Wasting Light and Sonic Highways albums, Dave Grohl directed and produced a documentary about the history of recording studio Sound City Studios. Sound City Studios was located in the San Fernando Valley, amidst rows of dilapidated warehouses. The little-known recording studio housed a unique analog Neve recording console and had a reputation for recording drums. Artists such as Nirvana, Kyuss, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Rick Springfield, Tom Petty and Slipknot recorded groundbreaking music at the studio. The film tells the story of the studio from its early days in 1969 until its closing in 2011. It then follows Dave Grohl's purchase of the studio's custom analog Neve console, which he moved to his personal studio, Studio 606. Rupert Neve is an English engineer who founded Neve Electronics in 1961, designed and manufactured the Neve 8028, "one of four in the world", and is interviewed by Grohl in the film. Famous musicians who recorded at Sound City reunite at Studio 606 for a jam session and to make an album of "all-new all-original songs, each one composed and recorded exclusively for the film within its own 24-hour session on that console." It also shows album covers by some bands: Red Hot Chili Peppers's One Hot Minute, Nirvana's Incesticide and Nevermind, Rage Against The Machine's self-titled album and many others.

It's no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Dave Grohl. Not only is he multi-talented, he also has a great sense of humor. Sometimes you get to see this in the music videos. But usually, you see the humor in various sound bites found strewn about the internet.

As I write this, I'm trying to narrow down my favorite Foo Fighters song. And I have to be honest and tell you that this is a difficult task. So many of his songs speak to me and bring out the emotions. Some make me laugh, some make me sad, some make me ponder the meaning of life.

Breakout - is a song about a young boy who has fallen for a girl, but he is so nervous that every time he is near her, he breaks out in hives.

Wheels - reminds me of a certain friend whose husband had been working hard at trying to make a better life for them, but was killed in a small aircraft accident.

Hey Johnny Park - Not sure what it is about this song, but it gets me emotional. Perhaps it's not so much the words as the overall mood of the song.

New Way Home - a song about Dave Grohl's divorce from his first wife, Jennifer Youngblood. And he's found a new way home (the lyrics refer to passing boats and the King Dome - which was a dome shaped stadium just outside of Seattle - the King Dome was demolished in 2000, 3 years after the song was released)

Best of You - "I've got a confession to make... I'm your fool. Everyone's got their chains to break... Holdin' you. Were you born to resist, or be abused? Is someone getting the best of you?" Powerful lyrics.

Everlong - "And I wonder... If everything could ever feel this real forever...If anything could ever be this good again...The only thing I'll ever ask of you...You've got to promise not to stop when I say when" Just a straight up awesome song.

Walk - "To keep alive a moment at a time, but still inside a whisper to a riot, To sacrifice but knowing to survive, The first to climb another state of mind. I'm on my knees, I'm praying for a sign. Forever, whenever, I never wanna die. I never wanna die. I'm on my knees, I NEVER wanna die. I'm dancing on my grave, I'm running through the fire. Forever, whenever. I never say goodbye. I'm learning to walk again. I'm learning to talk again.I believe I've waited long enough, Can't you see I've waited long enough." I think perhaps this one is my most favorite to date of the Foo Fighters song catalog. It reminds me that when times are tough to never give up.

Do you have a favorite Foo Fighters song? Tell me about it in the comments.

December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! 
Taking the day off to enjoy the holiday.
Regular postings will return tomorrow. 
Stay Tuned and keep Rockin' !

Just a little fun for the day :)

Home Free is an American a cappella group of five vocalists, Austin Brown, Rob Lundquist, Chris Rupp, Tim Foust and Adam Rupp. Starting as a show group, they toured around 200 shows a year across the United States. The group competed in and won the fourth season of The Sing-Off on NBC in 2013; singing an arrangement of Hunter Hayes' "I Want Crazy," as their final competitive song; earning the group $100,000 and a recording contract with Sony.

Home Free released their first album "Crazy Life" on February 18, 2014. It was released digitally on January 14, 2014.

December 24, 2014

Dave Grohl Week: Them Crooked Vultures

This week I'll be blogging about Dave Grohl and the various bands/projects that he was/is involved with. Next up on the docket  -  Them Crooked Vultures

Dave Grohl is the drummer and co-founder of the rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures. Formed together with John Paul Jones (former member of Led Zeppelin) and Josh Homme (of Queens Of the Stone Age and Kyuss), and guitarist Alain Johannes (joins during live performances)

The band began recording in February 2009, and performed their first gig on August 9, 2009, in Chicago, followed by a European debut on August 19. On October 1 the group embarked on a worldwide tour titled Deserve the Future with dates going into 2010. The band's first single "New Fang" was released in October 2009, followed by the group's self-titled debut album the following month, debuting at number 12 on the Billboard 200. The group won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance for "New Fang".

In December 2012, when asked about the band's future, Dave Grohl stated: "We've talked about it, I know that someday we'll get back together and do stuff, because we love playing with each other."

For the longest time, I had regarded "Dead End Friends" as my favorite Them Crooked Vultures song, but after recently listening to their album again, I find that I am really liking "No One Loves Me, and Neither Do I". Dave Grohl is a BEAST on the drums!  For your enjoyment, I've included videos for both songs.

December 23, 2014

Dave Grohl Week: Queens of the Stone Age

This week I'll be blogging about Dave Grohl and the various bands/projects that he was/is involved with. Next up on the docket  -  Queens of the Stone Age.

Queens of the Stone Age began with Josh Homme in 1996. After the breakup of Kyuss in 1995, Homme had briefly joined Screaming Trees as a touring guitarist, before deciding to form a new band of his own. Originally naming his new project 'Gamma Ray', Homme changed the name in 1997, as German power metal band Gamma Ray, who have been around since 1989, was threatening to sue.

The band's second album "Rated R" garnered positive reviews and received a lot more attention than their debut, despite the fact that the lyrics to "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" were deemed by mega-retailer Wal-Mart to promote drug use, almost causing the record to get pulled from store shelves. The success of the record also earned the band notable opening slots with The Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, Hole, and a place at Ozzfest 2000. 

During the 2001 Rock in Rio show, bassist Nick Oliveri was famously arrested after performing on stage naked, with only his bass guitar covering his dangling genitals. Oliveri apologized to officials, saying that he did not know it was a crime in Brazil.

Towards the end of the Rated R tour, the band's performance at the 2001 Rock am Ring festival in Germany was, according to Homme, "the worst show we've ever played and it was in front of 40,000 people." The band decided to tattoo themselves with the starting time of the performance, "Freitag 4:15" so they would never forget how bad they sucked.

Dave Grohl joined the band in late 2001/early 2002 to record their third album, Songs for the Deaf. Although Songs for the Deaf gained major attention, Grohl returned to his other projects and was replaced on the European leg of the album's supporting tour by former Danzig drummer Joey Castillo, who joined the band full-time. Also featured on Songs for the Deaf for the final track Mosquito Song were former A Perfect Circle bassist Paz Lenchantin (on viola and piano) and Dean Ween on guitar.

On July 2, 2008, Queens of the Stone Age's former keyboardist Natasha Shneider died of lung cancer at the age of 52. The news broke with a message posted on the MySpace page of the band Sweethead, of which Natasha's close friend and former band-mate Troy Van Leeuwen is a member. The band performed a concert in celebration of Natasha Shneider's life at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles on August 16, 2008, . They were joined on stage by Shneider's husband Alain Johannes, Jack Black and Kyle Gass, Matt Cameron, Brody Dalle, Jesse Hughes, Chris Goss and PJ Harvey, playing a variety of QOTSA and non-QOTSA songs, including covers of songs from bands such as Cream and The Doors. Tenacious D and PJ Harvey also performed acoustic sets at the show. Proceeds from the concert went to defray the costs associated with Natasha’s illness.

On August 22 and 23 2008, Queens of the Stone Age performed the last shows of their Era Vulgaris tour at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK, and Josh Homme announced in an interview with the BBC and during the show that he would be returning to the studio to work on the next album.

In autumn 2010, Homme suffered from a botched knee operation during which his heart stopped for a short time due to asphyxiation. Following this, he was bedridden for three months and plunged into a deep depression, during which he considered giving up his music career altogether. He elaborated on this experience further in an interview with Marc Maron. He told Maron he contracted a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection which his immune system could not fight due to stress. Doctors eventually had to use a defibrillator to revive him following the asphyxiation. Homme has since said that the experience contributed greatly to the writing and recording of ...Like Clockwork.

In November 2012, Homme informed BBC's Zane Lowe that Joey Castillo had left the band and that drums on the new album would be performed by Dave Grohl. Homme also confirmed with Lowe that the album would be released prior to their performance at the Download Festival in June 2013. In addition to Grohl, other former members contributing to the album include former bassists Nick Oliveri and Johannes, and vocalist Mark Lanegan. A number of collaborations from different musicians have been announced for the new album, including Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears, Brody Dalle and Elton John.

December 22, 2014

Dave Grohl Week: Nirvana

This week I'll be blogging about Dave Grohl and the various bands/projects that he was/is involved with. First up on the docket  -  Nirvana. I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty sure if there were no Nirvana, Dave Grohl may or may not have become the person he is today. 

Nirvana literally means "blown out", as in a candle. It is most commonly associated with Buddhism. In Indian religions, the attainment of nirvana is moksha, liberation from the repeating cycle of birth, life and death (reincarnation).

In the Buddhist context nirvana refers to the imperturbable stillness of mind after the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion have been finally extinguished. In Hindu philosophy, it is the union with the divine ground of existence Brahman (Supreme Being) and the experience of blissful egolessness.

Nirvana was an American rock band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, the longest-lasting being Dave Grohl, who joined the band in 1990.

With the lead single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from the group's second album Nevermind (1991), Nirvana entered into the mainstream, bringing along with it a subgenre of alternative rock called grunge. Other Seattle grunge bands such as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden also gained popularity, and, as a result, alternative rock became a dominant genre on radio and music television in the United States during the early-to-middle 1990s. As Nirvana's frontman, Kurt Cobain found himself referred to in the media as the "spokesman of a generation", with Nirvana the "flagship band" of "Generation X". Cobain was uncomfortable with the attention and placed his focus on the band's music, challenging the band's audience with its third studio album In Utero (1993).

Nirvana's brief run ended with Cobain's death in April 1994, but the band's popularity continued in the years that followed. More than eight years later, "You Know You're Right", an unfinished demo from the band's final recording session, topped radio playlists around the world. Since their debut, the band has sold over fifty million albums worldwide. Nirvana are often credited with being one of the most popular and important rock bands of recent years.

"Lithium" is a song written by frontman Kurt Cobain. Veering between quiet verses and loud choruses, "Lithium" is about a man who turns to religion amid thoughts of suicide. Nirvana biographer Michael Azerrad described the song's title as a reference to Karl Marx's statement that religion is the "opiate of the masses." Cobain said the song is about a man who, after the death of his girlfriend, turns to religion "as a last resort to keep himself alive. To keep him from suicide." While Cobain said the narrative of "Lithium" was fictional, he said, "I did infuse some of my personal experiences, like breaking up with girlfriends and having bad relationships." Cobain acknowledged that the song was possibly inspired in part by the time he spent living with his friend Jesse Reed and his born-again Christian parents. He explained to Azerrad, "I've always felt that some people should have religion in their lives [. . .] That's fine. If it's going to save someone, it's okay. And the person in ['Lithium'] needed it."

December 20, 2014

Bands we love to hate (justified or not): Taylor Swift

If you are just joining us...I'm tackling the bands/artists that everyone loves to hate - justified or not.

Taylor Swift

This one I have mixed feelings about. Taylor first came to mind due to her collection of songs based on her past relationships. It became a running joke - Don't date Taylor Swift or you'll end up being her next song! But let's face it. Taylor started out as a pop/country music artist, and what country music artist hasnt written about love gone wrong? To that, I give her credit.  What I don't understand is why she pulled all of her music from Spotify.

A quick Bio...
Swift moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 14 to pursue a career in country music. She signed with the independent label Big Machine Records and became the youngest songwriter ever hired by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house. The release of Swift's self-titled debut album in 2006 established her as a country music star. "Our Song", her third single, made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a number one song on the Hot Country Songs chart. She received a Best New Artist nomination at the 2008 Grammy Awards.

Swift's second album, Fearless, was released in 2008. Buoyed by the pop crossover success of the singles "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me", Fearless became the best-selling album of 2009 in the U.S. The album won four Grammy Awards, with Swift becoming the youngest ever Album of the Year winner. Swift's third album, 2010's Speak Now, sold over one million copies within the first week of its U.S release. The album's third single, "Mean", won two Grammy Awards. In 2012, Swift released her fourth album, Red, which sold over one million copies in its first week of U.S. release. The singles "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "I Knew You Were Trouble" were worldwide hits. Her fifth album, the pop-focused 1989, was released in 2014. It sold more copies in its opening week than any album in the previous twelve years, and made Swift the first and only act to have three albums sell more than one million copies in a week. The singles "Shake It Off" and "Blank Space" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

Swift is known for narrative songs about her personal experiences. As a songwriter, she has been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Swift's other achievements include seven Grammy Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards, eleven Country Music Association Awards and seven Academy of Country Music Awards. To date, she has sold over 30 million albums and 80 million digital single downloads. In addition to her music career, Swift has appeared as an actress in the ensemble comedy Valentine's Day (2010), the animated film The Lorax (2012) and The Giver (2014). As a philanthropist, Swift supports arts education, children's literacy, natural disaster relief, LGBT anti-discrimination efforts, and charities for sick children.

listen if you have to...

December 19, 2014

Bands we love to hate (justified or not): Justin Bieber

If you are just joining us...  this week I'm tackling the bands/artists that everyone loves to hate - justified or not.

Justin Bieber

Oh my... Another one that I can completely understand. So many reasons to dislike this dude. And frankly, I just dont have the time to list them all. Let's just say he is an ego-centric self-righteous elitist.  What I will do, is leave you with this article found at

Justin Bieber seems to be hated by everybody. He was punched by none other than the Lord of the Rings star, Orlando Bloom, when Bieber went to taunt him about his alleged affair with Bloom’s ex-wife. Orlando is said to have shot from his seat and gone straight for the uber-brat before anybody could stop him — not that anybody tried very hard.

It has been reported that there were and still are more celebrities applauding Orlando’s punches, directed at Bieber, than those who are opposed to Bloom’s actions. This drama was played out at Ibiza where most celebrities, as well as the rich and the famous, had gone to blow a percentage of their wealth in exchange for great weather, good times and celebrity side-shows. In short, all of Hollywood’s biggest stars were in town.

According to what has been revealed, other celebrities such as Diddy Combs, Paris Hilton as well as Lindsay Lohan, just coming from rehab, were present. They all witnessed the one-way blow that raining down on Bieber.

Apparently the blow Orlando Bloom threw at Bieber was linked to the fact that Bieber had flirted with Miranda Kerr, Orlando’s ex-wife. Others think  that  Bieber, sore from the fact that Orlando had flirted with Selena Gomez, Justine Bieber’s former girlfriend, provoked Bloom.

The diverse torrent of versions that have been reported from various sources are making it hard to put a finger on what really occurred. However, what is as clear as daylight and beyond dispute is that Orlando threw a punch and a shocked Bieber, according to witnesses, only managed to blurt a profanity. after which he ran for his dear life.

Some celebrities, while commenting on this brawl, could not hide their delight at the thought of someone finally boxing sense into Bieber. Others, like Leonardo DiCaprio, went further by egging Orlando on, while at the same time rubbing their hands in glee.

One possible cause behind the fight, Selena Gomez, denied there is any dating going on between herself and Orlando, who is currently starring in the recycled Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet calamity. However, there are those who swear that something romantic is going on between Bloom and Gomez.

Going back to the subject of Justin Bieber, famous for rubbing everyone the wrong way, if he is waiting for Selena Gomez, his ex-girlfriend, to provide him protection from the blows then he can talk to her hand or possibly kiss her bum.

Speaking of Selena’s bum, the Internet is awash with images of her bare bum hanging out for all and sundry to see. She has not commented on the Ibiza tussle or why she has decided to expose her bare bum to the public.

Orlando, who is said to be entangled in a relationship with his ex-wife’s boyfriend’s ex girlfriend, said his blow was encouraged by comments Bieber reportedly made about having flirted with Bloom’s ex-wife Kerr. This might not have angered Bloom if he and his ex had been divorced at the time Bieber allegedly flirted with Kerr, but it reportedly happened while the two were still married.

It was not immediately clear if the punch aimed at Bieber hit its target or if the Canadian pop star managed to duck it. The punch, when video footage of it was replayed, seems to indicate it might have been deflected by one of Bieber’s bodyguards. What is clear is that talk and rumors about the incident have become big news that will be discussed by celebrities and fans alike in the next few weeks.

The whole fiasco of Orlando’s bout with Bieber was summarized by Mara Wilson, who said “Orlando Bloom punched Justin Bieber, my teenage crush punched this generation’s teenage crush!” There are many people, it seems, who do not like Justin Bieber.

listen if you have to...

December 18, 2014

Dear Fans

Hello fans of Jingle Jangle Jungle!

I'm writing this note because in just a few hours I will be having majory surgery. Don't worry, you wont miss out on any posts. I've pre-written them and they are scheduled to post daily.

It would be most helpful to me if you could continue to comment and share the blog with your friends and social medias.

If you have stopped by the blog lately, you will see that I've made some changes. I de-cluttered the main page, and added a tab that lists the artists & bands that I have written about in alphabetical order. So if you missed any previous posts - be sure to check that out.

Thank you for your continued support. I'll be back in a day or two to respond to your comments.

Bands we love to hate (justified or not): Lady Gaga

If you are just joining us...  I'm tackling the bands/artists that everyone loves to hate - justified or not.

Lady Gaga

This one I understand. Her style is so far-fetched and over the top that it is overly distracting. Her meat dress and other outlandish outfits leave anyone with any kind of fashion sense wanting to scratch their eyes out. Unfortunately for her, once seen has destroyed all abilities to listen to the music, even with the eyes closed.

Lady Gaga is the stage name for Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Gaga rose to prominence with her debut album The Fame (2008), a critical and commercial success which produced global chart-topping singles such as "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". A follow-up EP, The Fame Monster (2009), was met with similar reception and released the successful singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone", and "Alejandro". Her second full-length album Born This Way was released in 2011, topping the charts in more than 20 countries, including the United States, where it sold over one million copies in its first week. The album produced number one single "Born This Way". Her third album Artpop, released in 2013, topped the U.S. charts and included the successful singles "Applause" and "Do What U Want". In 2014, Gaga released a collaborative jazz album with Tony Bennett titled Cheek to Cheek, which debuted at number one in the United States and became her third consecutive number one album in the country.

Go on.. give her a listen (but don't look!)
(sorry, I just couldn't bring myself to share the real thing...)

December 17, 2014

Bands we love to hate (justified or not): Hoobastank

If you are just tuning in... I'm tackling the bands/artists that everyone loves to hate - justified or not.

Hoobastank is best known for their hit "The Reason", which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2004. They formed in 1994 in Agoura Hills, California, with singer Doug Robb, guitarist Dan Estrin, drummer Chris Hesse, and original bassist Markku Lappalainen. They were signed to Island Records from 2001 to 2012 and have released five albums and one extended play to date. Their sixth studio album, Fight or Flight, was released on September 11, 2012. They have sold 10 million albums worldwide.

Hoobastank is also another band that I just dont understand the hate toward, and again, I needed to hit up my social media to find out why. Here are the reasons (no pun intended):
  • They cant sing live. The music is ok but the vocals suck!
  • They are bland and have nothing different to offer the world of music.
  • They're very generic and dull.  They don't really have an original tone, an amazing tone, and the lyrics arn't great.
  • When they first came out, the singer was trying too hard to be Brandon Boyd... and because Brandon Boyd is the coolest person EVER, that pissed me off
  • Okay their singer tries to be all Incubus like, which I like because I love Incubus. When I think about it though if they both sound like Incubus id rather listen to Incubus.
  • I just hate his voice and their style
  • They've just never really done it for me. I'll listen to a few of their songs, sure, but I'm not a big fan
  • "The Reason" was overplayed

In "The Reason" the band members stage a diversion so they can carry out the elaborate theft of a ruby gem from a pawnshop, but those facts are only clear after enough of the action unfolds, because nothing is as it seems. In the beginning of the video, a girl gets hit by a car and then turns out to be an accessory to the crime. After the "accident", while everyone's attention is diverted, the band members execute the heist. The viewer then realizes that she was in on the operation, as she gets up and rides off with an accomplice on a motorcycle at the end. The presumed owner of the pawnshop displays a look of realization, and the song ends with the band admiring their new acquisition, holding it up to the light and projecting red light-rays onto the ceiling. The accident "victim" is also present. They then hear police sirens from above, and the video fades out.

So tell me, dear reader, do you love 'em, like 'em , or hate 'em?

Go on.. give them a listen (if you must!)

December 16, 2014

Bands we love to hate (justified or not): Nickelback

This week I'm tackling the bands/artists that everyone loves to hate - justified or not.


Personally, I've never understood the hate for Nickelback. I actually like them (don't stone me!) I've always thought of their music as 'Angry White Girl Music' and I don't mean this in a racist way, either.  It's the kind that you listen to when you are mad at the world.

Because I just don't understand why everyone loves to hate on Nickelback, I took my question to various groups of social media. The response was interesting. While many were like me, and didn't quite understand the hate, I did get these responses:
  • All their music sounds the same and is formula (Yes, but so does Rihanna, Linkin Park, Katy Perry, Disturbed and MOST artists today)
  • Chad Kroeger is a douche (So is Kanye West, but... okay, I'll give you this one)
  • Chad Kroeger looks like a rapist. His goatee looks like even it’s embarrassed to be stuck to his chin, and his mustache is in second place for worst facial hair ever (trailing slightly behind his goatee). His hair, reminiscent of terrible 90s perm/bleach combos, billows salaciously at the slightest breeze. And his face is fixed in an expression that just reeks of “hey little girl, want to see the inside of my van?” (okay... so he's creepy looking)
  • They're sellouts. (Well anytime any artist becomes hugely popular, the entire world calls them a sell out. So that's stupid)
  • Their music sucks. Their lyrics arent creative or deep enough. (Again, MOST music today lacks creativity and depth)
  • They’re Canadian. (Not everyone gets to choose where they are from, and plenty of decent music has come from Canada)
  • They just suck! (I'm really starting to think it IS a bandwagon effect)

So tell me, dear reader... Are you on the Love 'em or Hate 'em Bandwagon? How about the Just 'meh' Bandwagon?  Tell me your thoughts...

Go on.. give them a listen (if you must!)

December 15, 2014

Bands we love to hate (justified or not): Metallica

This week I'm going to tackle the bands/artists that everyone loves to hate - justified or not.

Let's start with Metallica

Metallica was probably one of the first successful underground bands. They became well known by their underground marketing methods - their music shared by others without the means of mainstream marketing. Copies of cassettes were made and passed around with a wink and a nod. It was everybody's secret.  This is how Metallica literally became a household name among music lovers, especially those who enjoy the metal genre.


 Napster Happened
In 2000, Metallica discovered that a demo of its song "I Disappear", which was supposed to be released in combination with the Mission: Impossible II soundtrack, was receiving radio airplay. Tracing the source of the leak, the band found the file on the Napster peer-to-peer file-sharing network, and also found that the band's entire catalog was freely available. Legal action was initiated against Napster; Metallica filed a lawsuit at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, alleging that Napster violated three areas of the law: copyright infringement, unlawful use of digital audio interface device, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)

Though the lawsuit named the University of Southern California, Yale University, and Indiana University for copyright infringement, no individuals were named. Yale and Indiana complied and blocked the service from its campuses, and Metallica withdrew the universities' inclusion from the lawsuit. USC, however, had a meeting with students to decide how it should deal with Napster. School administrators wanted it banned because its use accounted for 40% of the bandwidth that was not being used for educational purposes.

Metallica hired online consulting firm NetPD to monitor the Napster service for a weekend. A list of 335,435 Napster users who were believed to be sharing Metallica's music was compiled, and the 60,000-page document was delivered to Napster's office. Metallica requested that the users be banned from the service. The users were banned. Rap artist Dr. Dre joined the lawsuit against Napster, resulting in the banning of an additional 230,142 Napster users.

Lars Ulrich provided a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding copyright infringement on July 11, 2000. Federal Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ordered the site to place a filter on the program within 72 hours or be shut down. A settlement between Metallica and Napster was reached when German media conglomerate Bertelsmann BMG showed interest in purchasing the rights to Napster for $94 million. Under the terms of settlement, Napster agreed to block users who shared music by artists who do not want their music shared. On June 3, 2002, Napster filed for Chapter 11 protection under U.S. bankruptcy laws. On September 3, 2002, an American bankruptcy judge blocked the sale of Napster to Bertelsmann and forced Napster to liquidate its assets according to Chapter 7 of the U.S. bankruptcy laws.

At the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, Lars Ulrich appeared with host Marlon Wayans in a skit that criticized the idea of using Napster to share music. Marlon played a college student listening to Metallica's "I Disappear". Ulrich walked in and asked for an explanation. Ulrich responded to Wayans' excuse that using Napster was just "sharing" by saying that Wayans' idea of sharing was "borrowing things that were not yours without asking". He called in the Metallica road crew, who proceeded to confiscate all of Wayans' belongings, leaving him almost naked in an empty room. Napster creator Shawn Fanning responded later in the ceremony by presenting an award wearing a Metallica shirt, saying, "I borrowed this shirt from a friend. Maybe, if I like it, I'll buy one of my own."

So basically... Metallica got to where they were by underground sharing, but slapped all of their fans in the face by taking away their ability to share.  Seems a bit ungrateful, doesn't it?

If you must listen:

December 13, 2014

Who Are The Mighty Mighty BossToneS?

Wrapping up the week of Reggae/Hip Hop/Ska...

Who are the Mighty Mighty BossToneS?

Since their inception in 1984, The Mighty Mighty BossToneS have been one of rock music’s most prolific touring and recording bands. During their 27 year career they have played thousands of shows all over the world and released a slew of ground breaking albums.

Since their inception in 1984, The Mighty Mighty BossToneS have been one of rock music’s most prolific touring and recording bands. During their 27 year career they have played thousands of shows all over the world and released a slew of ground breaking albums.
The BossToneS formed when Cambridge, Massachusetts high school chums Joe Gittleman, Nate Albert and Ben Carr approached Dicky Barrett about fronting their new band. Barrett agreed and brought in his pals Tim Bridwell and Tim Burton on horns. They were joined by drummer Josh Dalsimer. In early 1984 the band played its first gigs in several clubs and barrooms around Boston. Barrett, Gittleman, Burton and Carr have remained constant members. The current line-up also includes drummer Joe Sirois, who replaced Dalsimer in 1991, Saxaphonist Kevin Lenear, an early member who left the band in 1998 and returned in 2008, and guitarist Lawrence Katz and trombonist Chris Rhodes, both of whom joined in 2000.

The BossToneS are credited as a progenitor of the ska-punk genre, and the creators of its sub-genre ska-core, a form of music which mixes ska with punk and hardcore. Since the release of their 1989 debut album Devil’s Night Out, the band has toured and recorded extensively. They were a key figure in the development of the mid-90’s “Third Wave” ska scene and one of the first bands to popularize the genre in the musical mainstream with their platinum-selling 1997 album Let’s Face It, and its hit single “The Impression That I Get.” They have also earned the reputation as one of the hardest touring bands in rock. The band released seven studio albums, three EPs and a live album by the time they announced a hiatus in December 2003.

In the fall of 2007 the BossToneS reunited to resume touring and recording, releasing their eighth studio album, Pin Points and Gin Joints, in December 2009. Their newest album, The Magic of Youth, was released on December 6, 2011.

Since their inception in 1984, The Mighty Mighty BossToneS have been one of rock music’s most prolific touring and recording bands. During their 27 year career they have played thousands of shows all over the world and released a slew of ground breaking albums.

The Impression That I Get
In the lyrics, the singer asks listeners if they have "been close to tragedy" necessitating "a strength most don't possess". The singer says while he has not faced such a daunting situation himself, he "know(s) someone who has" and makes the understatement that he is "sure it isn't good." The singer also expresses doubts about his own mettle and wonders how he would perform in such a situation himself. While stating "I like to think that if I was I would pass" he confesses "I'm afraid of what I might find out."

The opening line of the chorus states "I never had to knock on wood." This may mean "I never had to...(knock on wood)" referring to something that the singer has never had to do (i.e. face a huge crisis) and utilizing the superstitious phrase "knock on wood" -- said in the hopes that a good thing will continue to occur after it has been acknowledged. Alternatively, it may simply be a statement he has not had to "knock on wood" for good luck, in the face of a challenge.

The lyrics have been interpreted by some to be in reference to AIDS, and the anticipation of blood results, but the group's official website denies this.

December 12, 2014

No Doubt

Continuing the theme of  Reggae/Hip Hop/Ska...

With the return of the punks in the mid-'90s came a resurgence of their slightly more commercial rivals, new wave bands. No Doubt found a niche as a new wave/ska band, on the strength of vocalist Gwen Stefani's persona -- alternately an embrace of little-girl-lost innocence and riot grrrl feminism -- exemplified on the band's break-out single, "Just a Girl."

No Doubt
Formed in early 1987 as a ska band inspired by Madness, the lineup of No Doubt initially comprised John Spence, Gwen Stefani, and her brother Eric. While playing the party-band circuit around Anaheim, the trio picked up bassist Tony Kanal, born in India but raised in Great Britain and the U.S. Hardened by the suicide of Spence in December 1987, No Doubt nevertheless continued; Gwen became the lone vocalist and the group added guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young.

The Beacon Street Collection
No Doubt's live act began to attract regional interest, and Interscope Records signed them in 1991. The band's debut a year later, an odd fusion of '80s pop and ska, sank without a trace in the wake of the grunge movement. As a result, Interscope refused to support No Doubt's tour or further recordings. The band responded by recording on their own during 1993-1994; the result was the self-released Beacon Street Collection, much rawer and more punk-inspired than the debut. Eric Stefani left just after its release, later working as an animator for The Simpsons.

No Doubt
Tragic Kingdom
By late 1994, Interscope allowed recordings to resume, and Tragic Kingdom was released in October 1995. The album served as a document of the breakup of Gwen Stefani and Kanal, whose relationship had lasted seven years. Thanks to constant touring and the appearance of "Just a Girl" and "Spiderwebs" on MTV's Buzz Bin, the album hit the Top Ten in 1996. Stefani, who has made no secret of her pop ambitions, became a centerpiece of attention as an alternative to the crop of tough girls prevalent on the charts. By the end of the year, Tragic Kingdom hit number one on the album charts, almost a year after its first release; the record's third single, the ballad "Don't Speak," was the band's biggest hit to date.

Return of Saturn
No Doubt's much-anticipated follow-up, The Return of Saturn, was released in the spring of 2000, and "Simple Kind of Life" and "Ex-Girlfriend" were both critically successful at the mainstream and college levels. A year later, Stefani also hooked up with rap chanteuse Eve for the single "Let Me Blow Your Mind" (it went on to earn a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2002); however, Stefani also joined her band for the release of their fifth album. The ska revival and new wave sounds of Rock Steady were issued hot on the heels of debut single "Hey Baby" in December 2001.

No Doubt
The Singles 1992-2003
Rock Steady generated several major hits -- the heavy synths of "Hella Good" and the seductive reggae of "Underneath It All" being the biggest -- and the group continued touring the record over the next couple of years, all leading to the release of the hits collection The Singles 1992-2003 in 2003. The following year the band took a hiatus of undetermined length as Stefani launched a solo career with 2004's Love.Angel.Music.Baby. This hiatus wound up lasting the better part of a decade, during which Stefani stayed in the spotlight via two hit solo albums (the second, The Sweet Escape, arriving in 2006), while the other bandmembers pursued other projects, the most prominent being Tony Kanal's collaborations with P!nk in 2008. No Doubt eased back into action in 2009 with a reunion tour accompanied by the announcement of an impending new album. That new record took a while to complete, but it was finally finished in 2012, and released as Push and Shove that fall. It was preceded by the single "Settle Down."
(bio provided by AllMusic)

December 11, 2014

Who is responsible for Red Red Wine?

UB40 are a British reggae/pop band formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England. The band has had more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, and has also achieved considerable international success. They have been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album four times, and in 1984 were nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Group.

UB40 are a British reggae/pop band formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England. See them featured at

Their hit singles include their debut "Food for Thought" and two U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number ones with "Red Red Wine" and "Can't Help Falling in Love". Both of these also topped the UK Singles Chart, as did the band's version of "I Got You Babe".

The ethnic makeup of the band's original lineup was diverse, with musicians of English, Scottish, Irish, Yemeni and Jamaican parentage. Ali Campbell left the band in 2008 after 30 years with the band, and has since released four reggae-themed solo collections, along with Virtue, who left UB40 soon after Ali, joining him on keyboards. Astro remained with the original band until November 2013, when he left to team up again with Campbell and Virtue in a new version of UB40.

UB40 are a British reggae/pop band formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England. See them featured at
"Red Red Wine" is a song written, performed and originally recorded by Neil Diamond in 1968. The lyrics are sung from the perspective of someone who finds drinking red wine the only way to forget his woes.
UB40 made their rendition for their cover versions album Labour of Love. According to the band, they were only familiar with Tony Tribe's version (they apparently didn't realise that the writer, credited simply as "Diamond", was in fact Neil Diamond), and their version featured a lighter, reggae-style flavor compared to Diamond's somber, acoustic ballad. The UB40 version adds a toasted verse by UB40 member Astro, opening: "Red Red Wine, you make me feel so fine/You keep me rocking all of the time" — which was edited from the single that reached number one in the UK chart in August 1983, and number 34 in the United States in March 1984.

In 1988, the song was re-released as a single in the U.S., this time including the Astro toast, and climbed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In September 2014 the Official Charts Company announced that sales in the UK had reached 1 million. Songwriter Neil Diamond has stated this as one of his favorite covers of his songs.

Neil Diamond Version

UB40 Version

December 10, 2014

The Cultural Influences of Bob Marley

One can not simply have a reggae/hip hop/ska week and not mention this guy!

Bob Marley as featured at

I had a hard time paring down his biography, so please let me indulge you with what is written on his website

The Bob Marley biography provides testament to the unparalleled influence of his artistry upon global culture. Since his passing on May 11, 1981, Bob Marley’s legend looms larger than ever, as evidenced by an ever-lengthening list of accomplishments attributable to his music, which identified oppressors and agitated for social change while simultaneously allowing listeners to forget their troubles and dance.

Bob Marley as featured at
Bob Marley was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994; in December 1999, his 1977 album “Exodus” was named Album of the Century by Time Magazine and his song “One Love” was designated Song of the Millennium by the BBC. Since its release in 1984, Marley’s “Legend” compilation has annually sold over 250,000 copies according to Nielsen Sound Scan, and it is only the 17th album to exceed sales of 10 million copies since SoundScan began its tabulations in 1991.

Bob Marley’s music was never recognized with a Grammy nomination but in 2001 he was bestowed The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor given by the Recording Academy to “performers who during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.” That same year, a feature length documentary about Bob Marley’s life, Rebel Music, directed by Jeremy Marre, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video documentary. In 2001 Bob Marley was accorded the 2171st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame by the Hollywood Historic Trust and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, in Hollywood, California. As a recipient of this distinction, Bob Marley joined musical legends including Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder and The Temptations.

Bob Marley as featured at
In 2006 an eight block stretch of Brooklyn’s bustling Church Avenue, which runs through the heart of that city’s Caribbean community, was renamed Bob Marley Boulevard, the result of a campaign initiated by New York City councilwoman Yvette D. Clarke. This year the popular TV show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon commemorated the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley’s passing with an entire week (May 9-13) devoted to his music, as performed by Bob’s eldest son Ziggy, Jennifer Hudson, Lauryn Hill, Lenny Kravitz and the show’s house band The Roots. These triumphs are all the more remarkable considering Bob Marley’s humble beginnings and numerous challenges he overcame attempting to gain a foothold in Jamaica’s chaotic music industry while skillfully navigating the politically partisan violence that abounded in Kingston throughout the 1970s.

Bob Marley as featured at
One of the 20th century’s most charismatic and challenging performers, Bob Marley’s renown now transcends the role of reggae luminary: he is regarded as a cultural icon who implored his people to know their history “coming from the root of King David, through the line of Solomon,” as he sang on “Blackman Redemption”; Bob urged his listeners to check out the “Real Situation” and to rebel against the vampiric “Babylon System”. “Bob had a rebel type of approach, but his rebelliousness had a clearly defined purpose to it,” acknowledges Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, who played a pivotal role in the Bob Marley biography by introducing Marley and the Wailers to an international audience. “It wasn’t just mindless rebelliousness, he was rebelling against the circumstances in which he and so many people found themselves.”

Just as with his lengthy bio, I had trouble picking songs to share from his discography. I'm thinking I may need to post on this guy again to share more of his music.