Crowes go disco

3 11 2009

I finally picked up the Black Crowes’ new album Before the Frost… I’ve not listened to it all the way through yet, but so far I like it a lot.

What really jumped out at me was the song “I Ain’t Hiding.”  My jaw almost dropped when I heard the funk/disco beat and the lyrics about club life in NYC, surrounded by songs awash in their typical southern rock din.

Listening to the Black Crowes do neo-disco took me back to the Rolling Stones work of the late 70’s/early 80’s.  Save for Mick Jagger’s exaggerated falsetto yelps, “I Ain’t Hiding” has a strong “Emotional Rescue” vibe.

It’s a good song.  It’s nice to see the Crowes move out of their musical comfort zone and experiment with other styles.  You can hear the song at the link below.


Brian Jones’ death investigation reopened 40 years hence

31 08 2009

Not wasting any time to act on information, law enforcement officials have decided to re-open the investigation into the death of Rolling Stones founder and guitarist, Brian Jones.

Delicious Vinyl

25 08 2009

Looking for some Rolling Stones tunes on youtube, I stumbled across this user, WABC77.   He has a really interesting approach: he plays great old songs on vinyl, recording the removal of the disk from the sleeve and it spinning/playing on the turntable.   More interesting than his gimmick, if you will, is the amazing sound of the vinyl.  I’ve not heard music on vinyl in a decade at least.  I don’t profess to be an audiophile.  So the crispness, clarity and warmth of these records really took me by surprise.   The Stones’ song, “19th Nervous Breakdown” is one of my favorite among his collection.

If you’d like to check out the rest of his youtube videos, look here.

How’d they get away with this one?

31 07 2009

Since they broke big in 1994, Oasis has never been able to escape a rap that they, truth be told, played to the hilt: stealing from the Beatles.  I’ve got all of Oasis’ stuff, save a few of the b-sides and remixes from the Dig Out Your Soul, and I tend to think the Beatles-Oasis thing is way overstated and isn’t very accurate.

A rap that I think the Gallagher brothers deserve, but haven’t really gotten in the music press, is that they’ve pinched a fair amount of material from the Rolling Stones.  One huge is example is “Whatever,” a song that’s a blatant rip-off of the Rolling Stones’ “I’m Free.”  You might remember that “I’m Free,” a Stones b-side, was a huge hit for the Soup Dragons back in the early 90’s.

Here are the songs.  Compare them yourselves.

Sure, Noel took the tune in a slightly different direction, but unabashedly stole the lyrics if not the spirit of the song.  The tune’s similar enough to catch the influence.

My favorite Rolling Stones song: “Gimme Shelter”

12 03 2009

Brilliant! Masterpiece! Fantastic! Love it!

I’m not a huge Stones fan, but I could listen to “Gimme Shelter” for hours straight.

December 1, 1962

1 01 2009

fab621Having returned from Hamburg Germany, taken over the Liverpool music scene, and secured a manager, the next (and obvious) step for the Beatles was to get a recording contract.  Brian Epstein began shopping the Beatles for a record deal and got them an audition with Decca Records in London.  The audition took place this day 47 years ago.

The Beatles, in an hour, ran through a 15 song set (12 covers, 3 Lennon-McCartney originals), recorded in this order:

  1. Like Dreamers Do” (Lennon/McCartney)
  2. Money (That’s What I Want)
  3. Till There Was You
  4. “The Sheik of Araby
  5. To Know Her Is to Love Her
  6. Take Good Care of My Baby
  7. Memphis, Tennessee
  8. “Sure to Fall (In Love with You)”
  9. Hello Little Girl” (Lennon-McCartney)
  10. Three Cool Cats
  11. Crying, Waiting, Hoping
  12. Love of the Loved” (Lennon-McCartney)
  13. September in the Rain
  14. Bésame Mucho
  15. Searchin’

At that time, Pete Best was the drummer.  Ringo wasn’t to join the band for at least another 6 months or so.

The audition was quite good.  The full version of it exists and can be found on CD.  My copy is about 20 years old and is called Raw Energy.  Some of the audition turned up on the Beatles Anthology 1.  It really captured the Beatles as they might have sounded in the clubs and dance halls.

Famously, Decca Records executive, Dick Rowe, turned down the Beatles telling Brian Epstein that “guitar groups are on the way out.”  Decca signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes in the Beatles’ place.  As laughable as that all seems now, Decca did make up for it by signing (at George Harrison’s urging) the Rolling Stones.

Had the Beatles signed with Decca everything about their careers would’ve been different.  As fate were to have it, the Beatles signed with EMI, a class-act record company, and had the benefit of recording with a fantastic musical mind, George Martin.  Decca’s loss was really everyone else’s gain.