Saturday, March 31, 2012

franz joseph haydn

Franz Joseph Haydn
(March 31, 1732 – May 31, 1809)

The "Father of the Symphony" spent thirty years as a court musician on a remote estate in Austria unaware that he was a famous composer throughout Europe. Franz Joseph Haydn showed such musical talent in his youth that he was given an opportunity to study under choirmaster Johann Matthias Franck. He left the choir to work as a freelance musician until he became court conductor for Prince Esterhazy who his own orchestra. During the three decades that he spent working for the royal family, he composed furiously and his fame grew. The Prince preferred to remain at the remote Esterháza estate, which, while it had two opera houses and access to the orchestra, left Haydn lonely and depressed. He met Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart during a visit to Vienna and they developed a friendship. After the death of his benefactor, Haydn travelled to London where he was hailed as one of the greatest composers of his time. He also taught the young Ludwig van Beethoven. During his seventy-seven years, Haydn produced over seven hundred and fifty musical works including one hundred and eight symphonies, sixteen overtures, eighty-three string quartets, twenty-nine dances, fifty-two sonatas, fifty-seven canons, and thirteen operas. He is also called the "Father of the String Quartet".

Symphony 92, 'Oxford'
The Oxford Symphony was completed in 1789 as one of a set of three symphonies that Haydn had been commissioned by the French Count d'Ogny. It is called the "Oxford" because Haydn reportedly conducted it at a ceremony in 1791 in which he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Oxford University.

1. Adagio - Allegro spiritoso (0:00)
2. Adagio (7:27)
3. Menuetto: Allegretto (13:36)

4. Finale: Presto (18:44)

Symphony 94, 'Surprise', 2nd movement
Composed during his first visit to London in 1791, it is called 'the Surprise' because of the musical joke where the quiet music is suddenly interrupted by a loud fortissimo chord before going back to the original music as if nothing happened. In German it is called the Symphony "mit dem Paukenschlag" ("with the kettledrum stroke").

Quartet No.2 in D minor, Opus 76 "Quinten"
The Opus 76 quartets were the last complete set Haydn completed. These ambitious chamber works were composed in 1796 and 1797 and dedicated to Hungarian Count Joseph Erdödy. Number 2 is known as Quinten (or Fifths) which refers to the falling perfect fifths that start the quartet.

String Quartet in C major, Op.20, No.2, Fuga a 4 Soggetti
Haydn wrote his Opus 20 string quartets in 1722 and with them earned the title "the father of the string quartet." The finale is a fugue with four subjects.

String Quartet in C major. Op.33, No 3 "The Bird" Allegro moderato and Scherzo
Written in 1781, it is the third of of the "Russian" quartets dedicated to the Grand Duke Paul of Russia. It is called "The Bird" for the avian quality of the first movement.

The Creation, The representation of Chaos
The Creation (German: Die Schöpfung) is an oratorio written between 1796 and 1798 and considered by many to be his masterpiece. The oratorio depicts and celebrates the creation of the world as described in the biblical Book of 'Genesis' and in 'Paradise Lost'. In the prelude, Haydn depicts Chaos by withholding musical cadences from the ends of phrases.

Friday, March 30, 2012

sign "☮" the times

Prince left the Revolution behind to produce a minimalistic manifesto with this double-album patchwork quilt of funk, soul, rap, pop, rock, jazz, blues, and gospel. 'Sign “☮” the Times' combines music from 'Dream Factory' which was conceived for the Revolution, his 'Crystal Ball' project, and a solo project called 'Camille'. Prince wanted to make it a triple-album; but Warner Brothers forced him to trim it down. Utilizing drum machine loops and digital samplers to produce the sped up voice of his alter ego Camille; as well as working with Sheena Easton, Sheila E, as well as Wendy & Lisa; he runs the gamut from his apocalyptic vision of the state of the world through an exploration of personal identity and ultimately finding redemption through love and spirituality. 'Sign “☮” the Times' went to number six on the US album chart and number four in the UK.

'I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man' went to number ten on the US pop chart.

"It hurt me so bad when she told me
with tears in her eyes
He was all she ever had and now she wanted 2 die
He left her with a baby and another one on the way
She couldn't stop cryin'
Cause she knew he was gone 2 stay
She asked me if we could be friends
And I said, oh, honey baby that's a dead end
U know and I know that we wouldn't be satisfied
And I said, baby don't waste your time
I know what's on your mind
U wouldn't be satisfied with a one night stand
And I could never take the place of your man"

'The Cross'
"Black day, stormy night
No love, no hope in sight
Don't cry, he is coming
Don't die without knowing the cross"

'Sign “☮” the Times' 
full album:'+The+Times

Sign 'O' the Times from PRINCE on Myspace.

All songs written and composed by Prince, except where noted

Side 1
"Sign o' the Times" – 4:57
"Play in the Sunshine" – 5:05
"Housequake" – 4:42
"The Ballad of Dorothy Parker" – 4:01
Side 2
"It" – 5:09
"Starfish and Coffee" (Prince, Susannah Melvoin) – 2:50
"Slow Love" (Prince, Carole Davis) – 4:22
"Hot Thing" – 5:39
"Forever in My Life" – 3:30
Side 3
"U Got the Look" (featuring Sheena Easton) – 3:47
"If I Was Your Girlfriend" – 5:01
"Strange Relationship" – 4:01
"I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" – 6:29
Side 4
"The Cross" – 4:48
"It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night" (Prince, Doctor Fink, Eric Leeds) – 9:01
"Adore" – 6:30

Thursday, March 29, 2012

machine head

Deep Purple endured hepatitis, eviction, mazes of wires, and a casino fire to record this seminal heavy metal magnum opus. 'Machine Head' was recorded at various locations in Montreux, Switzerland. Despite lead singer Ian Gillan's hepatitis, the band was determined to get started on the new project and ready to start recording at Montreux Casino once the place closed for winter refurbishments. Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention played the last show on December 4; but during the concert a member of the audience shot a flare gun into the ceiling, which ignited the facility in flames. There were no casualties; but the band had to find a new location to record. They moved to the Pavilion; but complaints about the noise led to the police forcing them to move. The bulk of the recording was done at the Grand Hotel, which was problematic as well. 

Ritchie Blackmore recalls: "We had the Rolling Stones' mobile recording unit sitting outside in the snow, but to get there we had to run cable through two doors in the corridor into a room, through a bathroom and into another room, from which it went across a bed and out the veranda window, then ran along the balcony for about 100 feet and came back in through another bedroom window. It then went through that room's bathroom and into another corridor, then all the way down a marble staircase to the foyer reception area of the hotel, out the front door, across the courtyard and up the steps into the back of the mobile unit. I think that setup led to capturing some spontaneity, because once we got to the truck for a playback, even if we didn’t think it was a perfect take, we’d go, 'Yeah, that’s good enough.' Because we just couldn’t stand going back again." 'Machine Head' went to the number one spot on the British album chart and reached number seven in the US.

The classic 'Smoke on the Water' was inspired by the casino fire at the Montreux Casino.

"We all came out to Montreux
On the Lake Geneva shoreline
To make records with a mobile
We didn't have much time
Frank Zappa and the Mothers
Were at the best place around
But some stupid with a flare gun
Burned the place to the ground
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

They burned down the gambling house
It died with an awful sound
Funky Claude was running in and out
Pulling kids out the ground
When it all was over
We had to find another place
But Swiss time was running out
It seemed that we would lose the race
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

We ended up at the Grand Hotel
It was empty cold and bare
But with the Rolling truck Stones thing just outside
Making our music there
With a few red lights and a few old beds
We make a place to sweat
No matter what we get out of this
I know we'll never forget
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky"

'Highway Star'

'Space Truckin''

'Machine Head' 
full album:

All tracks written by Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.

Side one
1. "Highway Star" 6:05
2. "Maybe I'm a Leo" 4:51
3. "Pictures of Home" 5:03
4. "Never Before" 3:56
Side two
5. "Smoke on the Water" 5:40
6. "Lazy" 7:19
7. "Space Truckin'" 4:31

full concert:

classic albums part 1:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

here's little richard

Little Richard was already a star when the primal fury of his debut album was released in 1957. 'Here's Little Richard' compiles singles recorded and released more than a year before with new songs made just for the album. The album was produced by Bumps Blackwell for Specialty Records. It peaked at number thirteen on the Billboard album chart. His outrageous wail and thunderous boogie-woogie piano helped to define rock and roll for a generation. It still sounds raucous today.

Richard's first national single,'Tutti Frutti' was recorded in September of 1955. It hit number seventeen on the pop chart and number two on the R&B chart. In the UK, it went to number twenty-nine.

"A-wop bop-a loo-mop, a-lop bam-boom! Tutti Frutti, aw-rooty"

'True Fine Mama' was released in 1958 and charted at number sixty eight.

'Ready Teddy' was released in 1956. It went to number forty-four on the pop chart and number eight on the R&B chart.

'Slippin' and Slidin' (Peepin' and Hidin')' snuck its way to number thirty-three on the pop chart and number two on the R&B chart in 1956.

'Miss Ann' went to number fifty-six on the pop chart and number six on the R&B chart.

'Rip It Up' hit number seventeen on the pop chart and number one on the R&B chart when it was released in 1956.

'Jenny, Jenny' rose to number ten on the pop chart and number one on the R&B chart.

'She's Got It' charted at number nine on the R&B chart in 1956.

full album:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

rich girl

Hall and Oates struck gold with this slice of Philly soul that was originally about a rich boy. Daryl Hall says: "'Rich Girl' was written about an old boyfriend of Sara’s from college that she was still friends with at the time. His name is Victor Walker. He came to our apartment, and he was acting sort of strange. His father was quite rich. I think he was involved with some kind of a fast-food chain. I said, 'This guy is out of his mind, but he doesn't have to worry about it because his father's gonna bail him out of any problems he gets in.' So I sat down and wrote that chorus. 'He can rely on the old man’s money/he can rely on the old man’s money/he's a rich guy.' I thought that didn’t sound right, so I changed it to 'Rich Girl'. He knows the song was written about him." 'Rich Girl' became the first of six number one singles for Hall and Oates on the Billboard Hot 100. Son of Sam killer David Berkowitz claimed that the song (among other things) instigated his killing spree, even though the song came out after the murders began. Hall and Oates later made reference to this in 'Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)': "Charlie liked The Beatles, Sam he liked Rich Girl."

You're a rich girl, and you've gone too far
'Cause you know it don't matter anyway
You can rely on the old man's money
You can rely on the old man honey
It's a bitch girl but it's gone too far
'Cause you know it don't matter anyway
Say money money won't get you too far,
Get you too far
And don't you know, don't you know
That it's wrong to take what he's giving you
So far gone, on your own
You can get along if you try to be strong
But you'll never be strong
You're a rich girl, and you've gone too far
'Cause you know it don't matter anyway
You can rely on the old man's money
You can rely on the old man honey
It's a bitch girl and it's gone too far
'Cause you know it don't matter anyway
Say money money won't get you too far,
Get you too far
High and dry, and out of the rain
It's so easy
To hurt others when you can't feel pain
And don't you know that a love can't grow
'Cause there's too much to give,
'Cause you'd rather live
For the thrill of it all, oh
You're a rich girl, and you've gone too far
'Cause you know it don't matter anyway
You can rely on the old man's money
You can rely on the old man's money
It's a bitch girl and it's gone too far
'Cause you know it don't matter anyway
Say money but it won't get you too far,
Say money but it won't get you too far,
Say money but it won't get you too far,
Get you too far
And you say
You can rely on the old man's money
You can rely on the old man's money
You're a rich girl, a rich girl
Oh, you're a rich, rich girl, yeah
Say money but it won't get you too far,
Oh, get ya too far

Monday, March 26, 2012

beethovan's ninth

Ludwig van Beethoven
(17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827)

His last words were, "Pity, pity—too late!", after he heard about a gift of twelve bottles of wine from his publisher. Beethovan's death was witnessed by his sister-in-law and by his friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner. A. W. Thayer recorded Hüttenbrenner's account of Beethoven's death:
"There remained in the room only Hüttenbrenner and Mrs. van Beethoven. The storm passed over, covering the Glacis with snow and sleet. As it passed away a flash of lightning lighted up everything. This was followed by an awful clap of thunder. Huttenbrenner had been sitting on the side of the bed sustaining Beethoven's head--holding it up with his right arm
His breathing was already very much impeded, and he had been for hours dying. At this startling, awful peal of thunder, the dying man suddenly raised his head from Huttenbrenner's arm, stretched out his own right arm majestically--like a general giving orders to an army. This was but for an instant; the arm sunk back; he fell back. Beethoven was dead."

The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is Beethovan's final complete symphony and considered by many to be the greatest musical composition of all time. It was the first time he used voices in a symphony. The lyrics were taken from 'Ode to Joy', by Friedrich Schiller.

1st movement:
2nd movement:
3rd movement:
4th movement:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

happy together

The Turtles made their slow and steady climb to the top of the charts and found their greatest success with the shimmering harmonies and obsessive wishful thinking of this unrequited love song. Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan met in their high school choir, where Volman heard about Kaylan's band the Nightriders. Kaylan recalls: "He started coming to our shows and carrying our instruments. The first night we played, it was a fraternity party and Mark carried the instruments down the stairs of the frat house. He fell down the stairs with all the drums and the amps and everything — a preview of things to come. He's kind of been falling down ever since. All he did that night was sing dirty lyrics to 'What I Say' and play tambourine."

They changed their name to the Crossfires during college and then to the Tyrtles, scoring a top ten hit with their cover of Dylan's 'It Ain't Me, Babe'. They floundered on the charts until they heard a worn out demo of a song written by Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon. According to Gordon: "I had nearly half a song already written, mostly lyric ideas, but couldn't find the right melodic concept. The Magicians were in the middle of a week-long engagement at the Unicorn Club in Boston, and one early morning I was visiting my divorced father in nearby Ayer, Massachusetts after being up all night. I had stopped to have breakfast at the Park Street Diner in the town and was miserable with no sleep, the endless dumb gigs we were playing and having a songwriter's block. About the only melody that was throbbing in my tired, fried brain at that hour was the time-immemorial repeated open string pattern that Allen (Jake) Jacobs, the Magician's lead guitarist, would use as he incessantly tuned and retuned after, before, and frequently during each piece we played. Suddenly, some words began to fit and literally minutes later music and lyrics started to take shape. I excitedly and in fairness asked Jake to complete the song with me as co-writer, but he refused, saying it was all 'too simple' for him to be involved, so my regular partner Gary then helped me with the finishing touches. When Gary Klein at the Koppleman/Rubin office heard the result, he immediately knew the song would be perfect for the new and upbeat image being created for the Turtles, and it was his continued enthusiasm that convinced the group to record it."

Session man Ralph Casale remembers the recording of the demo: "Music business success stories always fascinate me. One session that comes to mind is the 'Happy Together' session. Two unknown writers (Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon) were sent into Regent Sound studio by their publishing company after their song was turned down by a number of groups. They obviously didn't have the right concept for the song or it would have already been recorded by someone. A chord sheet was placed in front of the musicians and we immediately proceeded to put this song together. I came up with what I considered and called a Lovin' Spoonful feel. I created the figure and all the other musicians including Bonner and Gordon immediately understood the direction. The vocal arrangements fell into place very nicely. Regent Sound was an excellent studio so the demo sounded like a finished product. I later told everybody, 'I just heard a hit record.' No one really knows for sure if a song is going to be a hit but if you hear recordings on a daily basis you sometimes can sense a hit record. I thought the writers were going to be the artists. Apparently they had the Turtles in mind. The Turtles added their sound to the arrangement and the rest is history. "

Mark Volman says, "The Turtles had been together four years before we made “It Ain’t Me Babe”, and it would take almost six years as a band to get to 'Happy Together'." The single went to number twelve in the UK and in the US knocked the Beatles 'Penny Lane' off of the top spot, staying there for three weeks.

Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night, it's only right
To think about the girl you love
And hold her tight, so happy together

If I should call you up, invest a dime
And you say you belong to me and ease my mind
Imagine how the world could be, so very fine
So happy together

I can't see me loving nobody
But you for all my life
When you're with me, baby
The skies will be blue for all my life

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they tossed the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you and you for me
So happy together

I can't see me loving nobody
But you for all my life
When you're with me, baby
The skies will be blue for all my life

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they tossed the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you and you for me
So happy together

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they tossed the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you and you for me
So happy together
So happy together

How is the weather
So happy together
We're happy together
So happy together

So happy together
So happy together
So happy together

Saturday, March 24, 2012

the name of this band is talking heads

Talking Heads showcased their development into one of the greatest live acts of all time with this generous collection of incendiary concert performances. 'The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads' was originally released as a double-album during the time that the band was on hiatus. The first side of the album was recorded for WCOZ broadcast at Norther Studios in Maynard, MA in 1977; Side two came from a concert at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ in 1979. Side three and side four combine shows from Emerald City in Cherry Hill, NJ in 1980, Central Park in New York during 1980, and Sun Plaza Concert Hall in Tokyo, Japan in 1981.

The album shows them evolving from the jerky, new-wave punk of their early days through their experimental post-punk funk phase and into the dynamic polyrhythmic layers of their twelve-piece touring collective. There are too many highlights to mention, and even more with the recent re-issue that doubles the music. 'The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads' went to number thirty-one in the US and number twenty-two in the UK.

"The name of this song is 'New Feeling'. That's what it's about."

'A Clean Break' segues almost too easily from 'New Feeling' on the album. It doesn't appear on any other Talking Heads release.

"Even now we remember what we used to say
We'll be together if we wash that love away"

'Love -> Building on Fire' was originally a single released before Jerry Harrison joined the band.

'I Zimbra'

'Life During Wartime'

'Crosseyed and Painless'

full concert

0:00:00 - Psycho Killer
0:05:45 - Warning Sign
0:11:34 - Stay Hungry
0:15:25 - Cities
0:20:10 - I Zimbra
0:24:41 - Drugs
0:29:23 - Once In A Lifetime
0:35:11 - Animals
0:39:28 - Houses In Motion
0:45:56 - Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
0:53:05 - Crosseyed And Painless
0:59:30 - Life During Wartime
1:04:56 - Take Me To The River

1:11:02 - The Great Curve

'The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads'
full album

All songs written by David Byrne except as noted. Dates and places are for the first and following tracks.

Disc one
"New Feeling" – 3:09 for WCOZ broadcast, Northern Studio, Maynard MA, November 17, 1977 
"A Clean Break (Let's Work)" – 5:05
"Don't Worry About The Government" – 3:03
"Pulled Up" – 4:04
"Psycho Killer" (Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz) – 5:31
"Who Is It?" – 1:44
"The Book I Read" – 4:22
"The Big Country" – 5:09 for WXRT broadcast, The Park West, Chicago, August 23, 1978
"I'm Not in Love" – 4:57 for KSAN broadcast, The Boarding House, San Francisco, September 16, 1978 
"The Girls Want to Be with the Girls" – 3:44 at The Agora, Cleveland, December 18, 1978 
"Electricity (Drugs)" – 3:28
"Found a Job" – 5:35
"Mind" – 4:56 for WBCN broadcast, Berklee Performance Center, Boston, August 24, 1979 
"Artists Only" (Byrne, Wayne Zieve) – 3:49 at The Capitol Theater, Passaic NJ, November 17, 1979 
"Stay Hungry" (Byrne, Frantz) – 4:05
"Air" – 4:01
"Love → Building on Fire" – 3:47
"Memories (Can't Wait)" (Byrne, Jerry Harrison) – 3:44
"Heaven" (Byrne, Harrison) – 4:31
Disc two
"Psycho Killer" (Byrne, Weymouth, Frantz) – 5:33 at Sun Plaza Concert Hall, Tokyo, Japan, February 27, 1981 
"Warning Sign" (Byrne, Frantz) – 5:40
"Stay Hungry" (Byrne, Frantz) – 3:56
"Cities" – 5:00 at Emerald City, Cherry Hill, NJ, November 8, 1980-November 9, 1980 
"I Zimbra" (Byrne, Brian Eno, Hugo Ball) – 3:30
"Drugs (Electricity)" (Byrne, Eno) – 4:41
"Once in a Lifetime" (Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison, Weymouth) – 5:57 at Sun Plaza Concert Hall, Tokyo, Japan, February 27, 1981 
"Animals" – 4:05
"Houses in Motion" (Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison, Weymouth) – 6:54 at Emerald City, Cherry Hill, NJ, November 8, 1980-November 9, 1980
"Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)" (Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison, Weymouth) – 8:24 at Sun Plaza Concert Hall, Tokyo, Japan, February 27, 1981 
"Crosseyed and Painless" (Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison, Weymouth) – 5:58 at Emerald City, Cherry Hill, NJ, November 8, 1980-November 9, 1980; truncated version from original release 
"Life During Wartime" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison, Weymouth) – 4:54 at Central Park, New York City, August 27, 1980 
"Take Me to the River" (Al Green, Mabon Hodges) – 6:33

"The Great Curve" (Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison, Weymouth) – 6:42