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Showing posts from January, 2015

Sounds from the UK: Kaiser Chiefs

Let it never be said that the romance is dead
'Cause there's so little else occupying my head
There is nothing I need except the function to breathe
But I'm not really fussed, doesn't matter to me

Due to lack of interest, tomorrow is canceled
Let the clocks be reset and the pendulums held
'Cause there's nothing at all except the space in between
Finding out what you're called and repeating your name

Could it be, could it be that you're joking with me
And you don't really see you with me?
Could it be, could it be that you're joking with me
And you don't really see you with me?

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby
Aha-aha-aaa
Do ya, do ya, do ya, do ya
Aha-aha-aaa
Know what ya doing, doing to me?
Aha-aha-aaa
Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby
Aha-aha-aaa-aaa




"Ruby" is a song by English rock band Kaiser Chiefs and is the lead track on their second album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob. It became the band's first ever #1 single on 25 February 2007 and ended 2007 as the year's 10th…

Sounds from the UK: Coldplay

Day 6 of the Sounds from the UK series brings us to the band: Coldplay

Coldplay is a British alternative rock band, formed in London, United Kingdom in 1997. The band comprises vocalist and pianist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland – who met each other in September 1996 at Ramsay Hall (halls of residence) at University College London - bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion.

Coldplay’s early material was often compared to that of Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, while also drawing comparisons to U2 and Travis. Since the release of the band’s debut album, Parachutes (2000), Coldplay has also drawn influence from other sources, including Echo And The Bunnymen, George Harrison, Johnny Cash, and Kraftwerk.

Frontman Chris Martin credits 1980s Norwegian pop band a-ha for inspiring him to form his own band.

Coldplay never intended to become England’s favorite rock & roll sons when their signature rock melodies ruled the charts throughout 2000. The quartet yearned to mess around…

Sounds from the UK: The Clash

The Clash were a punk rock band from London, England, United Kingdom, active from 1976 to 1985. One of the most successful and iconic bands from the first wave of punk in the 70s, they incorporated rock and roll, reggae, rockabilly, and eventually many other music styles into their repertoire. They were legendary for their uncommonly intense stage performances.

From their earliest days as a band, The Clash stood apart from their peers with their musicianship as well as their lyrics, the passionate, left-wing political idealism in the lyrics by frontman Joe Strummer and guitarist Mick Jones contrasting with the lyrical nihilism of the Sex Pistols and the musical minimalism of the Ramones. Their 1979 album ‘London Calling’ is considered by critics as one of the greatest albums in the history of rock music. Rolling Stone declared it the best album of the 80s, even though it was released near the end of 1979 at first (technically, Jan 1980, in the United States).

The Clash’s attitude and s…

Sounds from the UK: Sex Pistols

Day 4 of Sounds from the UK bring us to: Sex Pistols

The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. They were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians. Although their original career lasted just two-and-a-half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, they are believed by some commentators to be one of the most influential acts in the history of popular music.

In their first incarnation, the Sex Pistols included singer Johnny Rotten, lead guitar player Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bass player Glen Matlock. Matlock was replaced by Sid Vicious in early 1977. Under the management of Malcolm McLaren, a visual artist, performer, clothes designer and boutique owner, the band provoked controversies that garnered a significant amount of publicity. Their concerts repeatedly faced difficulties with organi…

Sounds from the UK: Muse

Muse are an alternative rock band from Teignmouth, England. The band consists of Matthew Bellamy on lead vocals, piano, keyboard and guitar, Chris Wolstenholme on backing vocals and bass guitar, and Dominic Howard on drums and percussion.

They have been friends since their formation in early 1994 and changed band names a number of times (such as Gothic Plague, Fixed Penalty, and Rocket Baby Dolls) before adopting the name Muse. Since the release of their fourth album, Morgan Nicholls has also appeared with the band at live performances to provide keyboards, samples/synth, and backing vocals.

Their sound is a blend of alternative rock, classical music, electronica, metal, spanish guitars, and progressive rock. Usually they use the bass line as the driving force, often with the guitar providing only an extra layer to the song rather than carrying the melody, the bass has distortion and other effects applied to it to achieve a greater weight, allowing the guitar to digress from the main …

Sounds from Europe: U2

Today's Sounds from Europe take us to Ireland.

U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards, and vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion). U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group's musical pursuits, they have maintained a sound built on melodic instrumentals. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal themes and sociopolitical concerns.

On November 16, 2014 Bono sustained multiple injuries in a bicycle accident in New York City, in which the singer broke his arm in six places and fractured his eye socket. Bono has stated that he may never play guitar again.

"I broke my hand, my shoulder, my elbow and my face but the real injury this year was to my Irish pride as it was discovered that under my tracksuit I was we…

Sounds from the UK: Eurythmics

This week I'll be showcasing bands and artists from the UK.

Eurythmics are a British music duo consisting of members Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart. They are associated with the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the US.

Stewart and Lennox were both previously in the band The Tourists (originally known as The Catch), who split up in 1980; Eurythmics were formed that year. The duo released their first album, In the Garden, in 1981 to little fanfare, but went on to achieve global success with their second album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), released in 1983. The title track was a worldwide hit, topping the chart in various countries including the US. The duo went on to release a string of hit singles and albums before they split up in 1990. By this time Stewart was a sought-after record producer, while Lennox began a solo recording career in 1992 with her debut album Diva. After almost a decade apart, Eurythmics reunited to record their ninth album, Peace, released in late 1…

Sounds from Down Under Blog Series: John Farnham

Day 7 is by special request from my good friend Pandora who is an Aussie living in the land of the Kiwis.  I almost combined this with yesterday's post, but felt he deserved his own post, as LRB was just a blip on his radar.

In a country of 22 million people, John Farnham is the one Australian artist who stages arena-sized concerts whenever he tours to satisfy the demand. He is, without challenge, Australia's most successful solo artist, on-stage and on record. His Whispering Jack album was the first album to sell over a million copies in Australia alone.

In September 1967 at the age of 18, he was signed to a recording contract and in December of that year released the novelty single "Sadie the Cleaning Lady," which became the biggest-selling single in Australia at that time. As a song, the record's success almost defies logic. What fans were responding to was "Johnny" Farnham's bright boy-next-door personality. He was someone both teenage girls an…

Sounds from Down Under Blog Series: Little River Band

Little River Band (abbreviated as LRB) was originally an Australian rock band, formed in Melbourne in 1975. The band continues to tour and performs around 100 concerts in the U.S. each year.

The band chose its name after passing a road sign leading to the Victorian township of Little River, near Geelong, on the way to a performance. Little River Band enjoyed sustained commercial success, not only in Australia but also in the United States. They have sold more than 25 million records and achieved 13 U.S. Top 40 hits, besides many music awards gained in Australia.

The band's original members were: Glenn Shorrock (born in England, 1944), Graham Goble (born in Australia, 1947), Beeb Birtles (born in The Netherlands, 1948), Ric Formosa (born in Italy, 1953), Roger McLachlan (born in New Zealand, 1954) and Derek Pellicci (born in England, 1953). This line-up toured Australia from 1975-76. The music and lyrics for most of the group's songs were mainly written by Goble and Shorrock, w…

Sounds from Down Under Blog Series: AC/DC

I couldnt let this week long blog series slip by without mention of this next band.

AC/DC are an Australian hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm's illness and departure in 2014. Commonly referred to as a hard rock or blues rock band, they are also considered pioneers of heavy metal and are sometimes classified as such, though they have always dubbed their music as simply "rock and roll". To date they are one of the best-selling bands of all time, with a total of more than 200 million albums sold worldwide.

AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, on 17 February 1975; Malcolm and Angus were the only original members left in the band. Membership subsequently stabilized until bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams in 1977 for the album Powerage. Within months of recording the album Highway to Hell, lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott d…

Sounds from Down Under Blog Series: INXS

Sounds from Down Under Blog Series: Day 4


INXS (pronounced "in excess") is an Australian rock band, formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney, New South Wales. They began playing covers in Western Australian pubs and clubs occasionally mixed with some of their own original music. Mainstays were main composer Andrew Farriss on keyboards, Jon Farriss on drums, Tim Farriss on guitar, Kirk Pengilly on guitar and saxophone, Garry Gary Beers on bass, and main lyricist Michael Hutchence on vocals For 20 years, INXS were fronted by Hutchence, whose "sultry good looks" and magnetic stage presence made him the focal point of the band. Initially known for their new wave/ska/pop style, they later developed a harder pub rock style, including funk and dance elements.


In the early 1980s, INXS first charted in their native Australia with their debut self-titled album, but later garnered moderate success elsewhere with Shabooh Shoobah and a single, "The One Thing". …

Sounds from Down Under Blog Series: Men at Work

Sounds from Down Under Blog Series: Day 3

Men at Work was an Australian rock band who achieved international success in the 1980s. They are the only Australian artist to have a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single in the United States. They achieved the same distinction of a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single in the United Kingdom. The group won the 1983 Grammy Award for Best New Artist, and have sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

"Down Under" (also known as "Land Down Under") is a platinum-certified single recorded by Men at Work. It was originally released in 1980 as the B-side to their first local single titled "Keypunch Operator", released before the band signed with Columbia Records. Both early songs were written by the group's co-founders, Colin Hay and Ron Strykert. The early version of "Down Under" has a slightly different tempo and arrangement than the later Columbia release. The most well known version was then releas…

Sounds from Down Under Blog Series: Bee Gees

The Bee Gees were a pop music group that was formed in 1958. The group's line-up consisted of brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. The trio were successful for most of their decades of recording music, but they had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a rock act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as prominent performers of the disco music era in the late 1970s. The group sang recognizable three-part tight harmonies; Robin's clear vibrato lead vocals were a hallmark of their earlier hits, while Barry's R&B falsetto became their signature sound during the late 1970s and 1980s. They wrote all of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists.

Born on the Isle of Man to English parents, the Gibb brothers lived in Chorlton, Manchester, England, until the late 1950s, and formed the Rattlesnakes. The family then moved to Redcliffe, in Queensland, Australia, and then to Cribb Island. After achieving their first chart suc…

Sounds from Down Under Blog Series: Olivia Newton-John

Sounds from Down Under Series: Day 1

Olivia Newton-John is a British-born Australian singer, songwriter, and actress. She is a four-time Grammy award winner who has amassed five No. 1 and ten other Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 singles and two No. 1 Billboard 200 solo albums. Eleven of her singles (including two platinum) and 14 of her albums (including two platinum and four double platinum) have been certified gold by the RIAA. Her music has been successful in multiple genres including pop, country, and adult contemporary, and has sold an estimated 100 million records, making her one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. She co-starred with John Travolta in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Grease, which featured one of the most successful soundtracks in Hollywood history.

Newton-John has been a long-time activist for environmental and animal rights issues. Since surviving breast cancer in 1992, she has been an advocate for health awareness becoming involved with …

Blame Canada Series: Sum 41

Day 7 of the Blame Canada series brings us: Sum 41

Sum 41 is a Canadian punk rock band from Ajax, Ontario, Canada, active since 1996. The current members are Deryck Whibley (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Jason McCaslin (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Tom Thacker (lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboard). They’ve released five studio albums.

Sum 41 released their debut album, All Killer No Filler, in 2001 and achieved mainstream success through the album’s first single, “Fat Lip”, which reached number-one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart; it remains the band’s most successful single to date. They have since released four more studio albums: Does This Look Infected? (2002), Chuck (2004), Underclass Hero (2007), and Screaming Bloody Murder (2011).

The band was formed by singer-songwriter Deryck Whibley and drummer Steve Jocz, after Whibley convinced Jocz to join his band. Jocz was a drummer in another band and Whibley was convinced that “he was the best drummer around”. The duo t…