Friday, 28 April 2017

Now That I’ve Made It Don’t Want To Fade It

Man, can you ever get lost in Status Quo’s 4500 Times.

You're enjoying the groove, and suddenly you realize it's changed but it's still the same song - then it happens again- and again after that …  over and over again, and each change is seamless.

What a tight band, Status Quo was.

Monday, 17 April 2017

The First Cut Is The Deepest

When you’re huge, you’re huge, and after you’ve been around a while, your entire body of work tends to morph into one, uh, huge, thing.

So it begs the question, who would we still view – years later - as huge if they had stopped after only one album?  Hendrix, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, The Cars, Buddy Holly  

After that, I dunno.  Adele?  The Band?  The Byrds?  Crosby Stills and Nash?  Dire Straits?  Eagles?  Elvis?  Jeff Beck?  Steely Dan?  Maybe.

There are a lot of names from the rock pantheon missing, a lot of acts that took a couple or three albums to really establish a place in music history.  The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, U2, Pink Floyd, Chuck Berry, AC/DC …

Maybe we’d remember them all, but more as flashes in the pan than big influencers.  But not many artists nailed it the first time out.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

I Can’t Explain

And it took me a pretty long time, but I finally figured out that, before Led Zeppelin came along, the second best band in the world was The Who.

Why do I keep forgetting that?

Thursday, 30 March 2017

How Many More Times

Sometimes I hear a voice saying, "It's okay to go on about the other guys, but why don't you just admit your second favourite band is Led Zeppelin?"

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Hail! Hail! Rock n Roll!

He might not have invented Rock n Roll, but he defined it.  Everything that’s come after has been built on his foundation.

But don’t read me.  Read Gibson’s lovely tribute to Chuck Berry.  As the article says, “most influential musician ever?  Just ask a Beatle.”

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Getting Better

Part II of my rebuttal to Professor Armand Leroi’s preposterous assertion that The Beatles had virtually no influence on pop music.

Chuck Berry, Elvis, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, the Everlys - played by punks, punks who grew up listening to show tunes, folk songs, sing-alongs, music hall numbers, cowboy movies, and Granny’s weekly performance at the pub.

By the time they had emerged from Hamburg and those 6 hour sets, The Beatles had developed their own unique sound, a sound which incorporated that early rockabilly, 50’s R&B, and yes, their childhood influences.  They had become adept at absorbing other styles and transforming them into their own brand of rock and roll.

Then there was soul music, and the pixie dust of Motown, which had, in its own way, done the same thing.

Dylan, folk-rock, classical, Eastern, psychedelic, singer/songwriter, hard rock, each one studied, re-imagined and grafted on to that ever-expanding base.  Each new experiment set someone else off on another new idea, which looped right back to The Beatles for them to start all over again.  Getting so much better all the time.

There is no scientific way to explain the influence of The Beatles, because it magic.

Friday, 3 March 2017

You Can’t Do That

So, Armand Leroi, a professor at Imperial College London, has concluded that The Beatles had virtually no influence on pop music, having had computers analyze hits from 1960 through 2010.

To which I would say this:  At every step of their career, The Beatles absorbed the music around them, assimilating each style, giving it new life from the raw force of pure rock and roll. Each addition created new opportunities for other artists, which The Beatles then heard and absorbed in turn. And on and on it went.  That’s what you call music evolution.

Computer analysis is irrelevant.  The record shows that all the major artists over that half century have acknowledged the influence The Beatles had on them, and The Beatles freely and frequently acknowledged who they were listening to and learning from.

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

Friday, 24 February 2017

I Wonder What You People Do With Your Lives

Listen to Forever  by The Charlatans.  How did these guys not become huge?

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Scared To Run Out Of Time

Have a listen to Bonnie Raitt’s Nick Of Time.

Now that’s a Grammy performance.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

But I’ve Never Seen It Freeze

Down In The Hole is proof that James Taylor would be a great singer in any genre he chose.  It’s a masterpiece from a masterful artist.