Friday, December 31, 2010

are you lonesome tonight?















The King had his eleventh American chart topper with this revision of an old tune with a soliloquy that riffs on the Bard. It was written in 1927 by Lou Handman and Roy Turk and had been recorded many times before Elvis made it his own. The spoken word portion refers to a speech in Shakespeare's As You Like It:

"All the world's a stage, and all men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts."







Are you lonesome tonight?
Do you miss me tonight?
Are you sorry we drifted apart?
Does your memory stray to a brighter sunny day
When I kissed you and called you sweetheart?

Do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare?
Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there?
Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?

I wonder if you're lonesome tonight?You know someone said that the world's a stage
And each must play a part.
Fate had me playing in love you as my sweet heart.
Act one was when we met, I loved you at first glance
You read your lines so cleverly and never missed a cue
Then came act two...
You seemed to change and you acted strange
And why I'll never know.

Honey, you lied when you said you loved me
And I have no cause to doubt you.
But I'd rather go on hearing your lies
Than go on living without you.

Now the stage is bare and I'm standing there
With emptiness all around
And if you won't come back to me
Then they can bring the curtain down.

Is your heart filled with pain?
Shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?








Thursday, December 30, 2010

sixty minute man


It's been sixty years since Billy Ward and his Dominos rocked us and rolled us all night long. It was co-written by Ward and talent agent Rose Marks. They formed this doo-wop group with Clyde McPhatter (who later left to form the Platters and was replaced with Jackie Wilson) as lead singer, Charlie White singing tenor, Joe Lamont as baritone, and Bill Brown handling bass vocals. It was Brown who sang the lead on this landmark single that melded gospel and blues. Not only was it one of the first big Rhythm and Blues hits to cross over to the pop charts, it is considered one of the first "rock and roll" records. The double-entendre of the lyrics pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable for radio and was banned by many stations.

Sixty minute man
Sixty minute man

Look a here girls I'm telling you now
They call me "Lovin' Dan"
I rock 'em, roll 'em all night long
I'm a sixty minute man

Yeah yeah yeah

If you don't believe I'm all that I say
Come up and take my hand
When I let you go you'll cry
"Oh yes, he's a sixty minute man"

There'll be fifteen minutes of kissing
Then you'll holler "please don't stop"
There'll be fifteen minutes of teasing
And fifteen minutes of squeezing
And fifteen minutes of blowing my top

If your man ain't treating you right
Come up and see ol' Dan
I rock 'em, roll 'em all night long
I'm a sixty minute man
(Sixty) minute man(Call him) Lovin' Dan
I rock 'em, roll 'em all night long
I'm a sixty minute man
Sixty (minute man)They call me (Lovin' Dan)
I rock 'em, roll 'em all night long
I'm a sixty minute man

There'll be fifteen minutes of kissing
Then you'll holler "please don't stop"
There'll be fifteen minutes of teasing
And fifteen minutes of squeezing
And fifteen minutes of blowing my top

If your
man ain't treating you right
Come up and see ol' Dan
I rock 'em, roll 'em all night long
I'm a sixty minute man, oh yeah

Sixty
Minute
Man

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

frenesi








The King of the Clarinet drove everyone into a frenzy with this fox trot. Disgusted with the dance crowds and miserable playing the same old requests, Artie Shaw had suddenly quit his high-paying gig as a bandleader and lived for several months in the remote seaside village of Acapulco. This was the first session after his return and was recorded with his new orchestra which included a string section. The playful Cancion Tropical was written by Mexican composer Alberto Dominguez.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

my generation







The Mods had a band who spoke for them with maximum R&B when the Who released their debut album.
The sneering title track provided a template for punk attitude while the pure power pop of 'The Kids Are Alright' showed their sweeter side.

It was the only Who album produced by Shel Talmy, who subsequently won a breach-of-contract suit (after being "fired" by one of their managers) and held up a re-release for decades. He remixed the compact disk version that was finally released in 2002 with another disk of bonus tracks.







http://www.thewho.com/










The ferocious classic 'My Generation' went to number two on the British charts. The tongue-tied tumult spoke to the rebellious youth and was the first rock song to feature a bass solo. This performance on the Smothers Brothers show ends with a bang. Pete has since blamed his hearing loss on "an exploding drum prank."

"I hope I die before I get old!"






The soaring harmonies and chiming guitar make 'The Kids Are Alright' a shimmering pop classic that describes the Mod scene and provides a counterpoint to the title track that is just as culturally significant.

"Sometimes
I feel I've got to get away
Bells chime
I know I've got to get away
And I know if I don't I'll go out of my mind


Better leave her behind with the kids are alright."




The rock and roll fun of 'The Good's Gone' makes it a forgotten Who classic. The photograph is the cover of the British version of the album.




Perhaps the fact that Pete sings lead vocals on this one is...ahem...'A Legal Matter'.




The instrumental musical mayhem of 'The Ox' was improvised by Townshend, Entwistle, Moon, and keyboardist Nicky Hopkins. It was the last track on the British version of the album.




The psychedelic raver 'Instant Party (Circles)' was the last song on the American version 'The Who Sings My Generation' and featured Entwistle on french horn.







'My Generation'
full album:



All songs written by Pete Townshend, except where noted.

Side one
1. "Out in the Street"   2:31
2. "I Don't Mind" (James Brown) 2:36
3. "The Good's Gone"   4:02
4. "La-La-La-Lies"   2:17
5. "Much Too Much"   2:47
6. "My Generation"   3:18
Side two
7. "The Kids Are Alright"   3:04
8. "Please, Please, Please" (Brown, Johnny Terry) 2:45
9. "It's Not True"   2:31
10. "I'm a Man" (Bo Diddley) 3:21
11. "A Legal Matter"   2:48
12. "The Ox" (Townshend, John Entwistle, Keith Moon, Nicky Hopkins) 3:50





Monday, December 27, 2010

(just like) starting over

In the weeks following his murder, John's first single in five years took over the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK it had fallen from a peak of number three to twenty and then shot up to number one.

"All through the taping of 'Starting Over,' I was calling what I was doing 'Elvis Orbison': 'I want you I need only the lonely.' I'm a born-again rocker, I feel that refreshed, and I'm going right back to my roots. It's like Dylan doing Nashville Skyline, except I don't have any Nashville, you know, being from Liverpool. So I go back to the records I know - Elvis and Roy Orbison and Gene Vincent and Jerry Lee Lewis. I occasionally get ripped off into 'Walruses' or 'Revolution 9,' but my far-out side has been completely encompassed by Yoko."


"People are always judging you, or criticizing what you're trying to say on one little album, on one little song, but to me it's a lifetime's work. From the boyhood paintings and poetry to when I die - it's all part of one big production. And I don't have to announce that this album is part of a larger work; if it isn't obvious, then forget it. But I did put a little clue on the beginning of the record - the bells... the bells on 'Starting Over.' The head of the album, if anybody is interested, is a wishing bell of Yoko's. And it's like the beginning of 'Mother' on the Plastic Ono album, which had a very slow death bell. So it's taken a long time to get from a slow church death bell to this sweet little wishing bell. And that's the connection. To me, my work is one piece."





Our life together is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let's take a chance and fly away somewhere alone

It's been too long since we took the time
No-one's to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It's like we both are falling in love again
It'll be just like starting over, starting over

Everyday we used to make it love
Why can't we be making love nice and easy
It's time to spread our wings and fly
Don't let another day go by my love
It'll be just like starting over, starting over

Why don't we take off alone
Take a trip somewhere far, far away
We'll be together all alone again
Like we used to in the early days
Well, well, well darling

It's been too long since we took the time
No-one's to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It's like we both are falling in love again
It'll be just like starting over, starting over

Our life together is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let's take a chance and fly away somewhere...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

earth song

Fifteen years ago, the Prince of Pop had his biggest UK hit with this desperate prayer for the whole planet. The lyrics were some of his most outspoken and this was the first time he directly addressed concerns over the environment and animal welfare. He sought to create a song that could transcend language with a deep emotional message. His anguished, inarticulate refrain seems to speak for all of us as well as our troubled sphere and climaxes into a powerful gospel call and response with AndraƩ Crouch's Choir. For some reason, it was not released as a single in the US.

This thought-provoking video was directed by Nick Brandt (who was so inspired by the wildlife and topography of Eastern Africa that he went on to release a trilogy of groundbreaking photography books of the region) and filmed on location in the Amazon rain forest, Croatia, Tanzania, and New York State depicting scenes of deforestation, war, animal cruelty, and pollution. Michael joins with suffering people around the globe in an anguished cry digging at the soil which stirs up winds of change that begin to reverse the destruction. The video ends with a request for donations to the Heal the World Foundation, which was set up years earlier to provide medicine to children and fight world hunger, homelessness, child exploitation and abuse. It received a Best Video Award at Le Film Fantastique, the Doris Day Music Award at the Genesis Awards, and a Grammy nomination for Best Music Video, Short Form.




What about sunrise
What about rain
What about all the things
That you said we were to gain...
What about killing fields
Is there a time
What about all the things
That you said was yours and mine...
Did you ever stop to notice
All the blood we've shed before
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores?

Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah
Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah

What have we done to the world
Look what we've done
What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son...
What about flowering fields
Is there a time
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine...
Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores

Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah
Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah

I used to dream
I used to glance beyond the stars
Now I don't know where we are
Although I know we've drifted far

Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah
Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah
Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah
Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah

Hey, what about yesterday
(What about us)
What about the seas
(What about us)
The heavens are falling down
(What about us)
I can't even breathe
(What about us)
What about the bleeding Earth
(What about us)
Can't we feel its wounds
(What about us)
What about nature's worth
(ooo, ooo)
It's our planet's womb
(What about us)
What about animals
(What about it)
We've turned kingdoms to dust
(What about us)
What about elephants
(What about us)
Have we lost their trust
(What about us)
What about crying whales
(What about us)
We're ravaging the seas
(What about us)
What about forest trails
(ooo, ooo)
Burnt despite our pleas
(What about us)
What about the holy land
(What about it)
Torn apart by creed
(What about us)
What about the common man
(What about us)
Can't we set him free
(What about us)
What about children dying
(What about us)
Can't you hear them cry
(What about us)
Where did we go wrong
(ooo, ooo)
Someone tell me why
(What about us)
What about babies
(What about it)
What about the days
(What about us)
What about all their joy
(What about us)
What about the man
(What about us)
What about the crying man
(What about us)
What about Abraham
(What was us)
What about death again
(ooo, ooo)
Do we give a damn

Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah

Saturday, December 25, 2010

my sweet lord












George turned a song of prayer into gold. The guitar riff and chanting background vocals are dynamic and uplifting. It is liberating in its use of religious terminology from Judeo-Christian and Hindu practice, uniting all faiths as one universal connection with deity. Released as the first single from his triple-album opus, 'All Things Must Pass', it was a worldwide number one smash and was the first song by a solo Beatle to hit the top spot. It's similarity to the Chiffon's 'He's So Fine' led to a lawsuit that ended with Harrison surrendering most of his royalties. He eventually bought the rights to the song that the judge claimed he had "subconsciously copied."







My sweet Lord
Hm, my Lord
Hm, my Lord
I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you Lord
But it takes so long, my Lord
My sweet Lord
Hm, my Lord
Hm, my Lord
I really want to know you
Really want to go with you
Really want to show you Lord
That it won't take long, my Lord (hallelujah)
My sweet Lord (hallelujah)
Hm, my Lord (hallelujah)
My sweet Lord (hallelujah)
I really want to see you
Really want to see you
Really want to see you, Lord
Really want to see you, Lord
But it takes so long, my Lord (hallelujah)
My sweet Lord (hallelujah)
Hm, my Lord (hallelujah)
My, my, my Lord (hallelujah)
I really want to know you (hallelujah)
Really want to go with you (hallelujah)
Really want to show you Lord (aaah)
That it won't take long, my Lord (hallelujah)
Hmm (hallelujah) My sweet Lord (hallelujah)
My, my, Lord (hallelujah)
Hm, my Lord (hare krishna)
My, my, my Lord (hare krishna)
Oh hm, my sweet Lord (krishna, krishna)
Oh-uuh-uh (hare hare)
Now, I really want to see you (hare rama)
Really want to be with you (hare rama)
Really want to see you Lord (aaah)
But it takes so long, my Lord (hallelujah)
Hm, my Lord (hallelujah)
My, my, my Lord (hare krishna)
My sweet Lord (hare krishna)
My sweet Lord (krishna krishna)
My Lord (hare hare)
Hm, hm (Gurur Brahma)
Hm, hm (Gurur Vishnu)
Hm, hm (Gurur Devo)
Hm, hm (Maheshwara)
My sweet Lord (Gurur Sakshaat)
My sweet Lord (Parabrahma)
My, my, my Lord (Tasmayi Shree)
My, my, my, my Lord (Guruve Namah)
My sweet Lord (Hare Rama) (hare krishna)
My sweet Lord (hare krishna)
My sweet Lord (krishna krishna)
My Lord (hare hare)