Saturday, October 31, 2015

the rocky horror picture show

Madness took its toll on creatures of the night when they went to lab to see what was on the slab in this outrageous erotic nightmare.   Richard O'Brien wrote The Rocky Horror Show while in London as a tribute to the science fiction and horror b-movies he loved.  With director Jim Sharman, they developed it into a successful stage show.   They filmed  'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' with some of the original London cast at a Victorian Gothic country house in Berkshire, England called Oakley Court, as well as  Bray Studios  and Elstree Studios.  The film was panned at the time; but went on to become a cult classic, being shown at midnight with local actors miming the action on the screen.   Audience members would dress up and yell at the screen and continue to come back for the experience, bringing more friends.  'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' continues to be shown in limited release and is the longest running theatrical release in film history.  

O'Brien says:  "I wrote a musical I thought I would like to go and see ... I’ve never been ambitious. I never wanted to be a star, make a lot of money or be famous.  If you’re on your deathbed and you’ve gained the world, you’ve got everything, and there’s nobody there, nobody gives a f*** whether you’ve lived or died. Is that success?...[The nice thing about Rocky is] it was a slow burner in small theatres. I’m actually truthfully very grateful that I didn’t get a wodge of money right at the beginning. If I had, I wonder whether I’d still be here. I think I probably would be a creature of excess...I hope what I’ve done professionally on stage has entertained and made people feel a little bit better when they leave the theatre. I’ve never done anything for back-slapping purposes, to make myself feel elevated in any kind of way ... It’s just a very nice light, frothy Rock N Roll evening out where you don’t have to take your brain along, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s pure good entertainment and value for money on that level to cheer you up. But if it was just that I doubt it would have lasted as long as it has. And I think it taps into root fairytales and pleases on a subconscious level or subliminal level, that once again we don’t have to think about it, but we feel satisfied, because it really is a retelling of the fall and rites of passage; Adam and Eve are Brad and Janet and the serpent is Frank-N-Furter. So from that point of view I think it works as well. It’s also a parable or analogy for the fall of the American Empire; Brad and Janet have walked out of the past of the American Dream of Eisenhower’s America of the 50s, slap bang into the present and the trouble with sex and drugs and Rock N Roll and depravity, and you know, all the confusion… it’s as if America had been living in a perpetual state of childhood and suddenly - the Vietnam War was probably a part of this as well – you step out of the 50s into the 60s and the disaffected youths at university, the students protesting against the war, and dope coming in and peace and light… you know it was an interesting period and I think Rocky kind of charts that as well. But once again, not as agit-prop, it doesn’t bring it along and force anybody to listen to a message, that’s all kind of invested into the subtext isn’t it."

Tim Curry as Dr. Frank N. Furter, a scientist
Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss, a heroine
Barry Bostwick as Brad Majors, a hero
Richard O'Brien as Riff Raff, a handyman
Patricia Quinn as Magenta, a domestic
Nell Campbell as Columbia, a groupie
Jonathan Adams as Dr. Everett V. Scott, a rival scientist
Peter Hinwood as Rocky Horror, a creation
Meat Loaf as Eddie, an ex-delivery boy
Charles Gray as The Criminologist, an expert
Jeremy Newson as Ralph Hapschatt
Hilary Labow as Betty Hapschatt (née Munroe)


"Time Warp" 

"Sweet Transvestite"
The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Tim Curry en "Sweet Transvestite" from maru on Vimeo.

"Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me"

"Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul" 

full album:

All songs written and composed by Richard O'Brien.

Side one
1. "Science Fiction/Double Feature"   Richard O'Brien 4:30
2. "Dammit Janet"   Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon 2:51
3. "Over at the Frankenstein Place"   Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, Richard O'Brien 2:37
4. "Time Warp"   Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Little Nell 3:15
5. "Sweet Transvestite"   Tim Curry 3:21
6. "I Can Make You a Man"   Tim Curry 2:07
7. "Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul"   Meat Loaf 3:00
8. "I Can Make You a Man (Reprise)"   Tim Curry 1:44
Side two
1. "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me"   Susan Sarandon, Little Nell, Patricia Quinn, Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Trevor White 2:27
2. "Eddie"   Jonathan Adams, Little Nell, Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry 2:44
3. "Rose Tint My World":
a. "Floor Show"
b. "Fanfare/Don't Dream It"
c. "Wild and Untamed Thing"   Little Nell, Trevor White, Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry, Jonathan Adams 8:13
4. "I'm Going Home"   Tim Curry 2:48
5. "Super Heroes"   Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, Jonathan Adams 2:45
6. "Science Fiction/Double Feature (Reprise)"   Richard O'Brien 1:26

'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'
full film:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) Film... by imigliorifilm

Friday, October 30, 2015

different class

Something changed when Pulp came out of the side-lines with a thirst for knowledge to sort out a case of haves against haven'ts in the triumphant glam mess of this semi-naked misfit manifesto .  After more than a decade of struggles releasing three albums  (It in 1983,   Freaks in 1987,   and   Separations in 1992) with three different lineups, the band had found success with His 'n' Hers in 1994, riding the rising wave of Britpop.  

Front man Jarvis Cocker came up with a dramatic new song that would catapult them further:   "I realised that we had written something that had pretensions to being anthemic.  It was an anthem. A class anthem...It all started with me getting rid of a lot of albums at the Record And Tape Exchange in Notting Hill. With the store credit I went into the second-hand instrument bit and bought this Casio keyboard. When you buy an instrument, you run home and want to write a song straight away. So I went back to my flat and wrote the chord sequence for 'Common People', which isn’t such a great achievement because it’s only got three chords. I thought it might come in handy for our next rehearsal...Part of the tension in that song is that I might have been repelled by what she was saying, but I was sexually attracted to her and wanted to cop off with her. I never did make a move. But I changed the song so she was attracted to me and wanted to sleep with me. Which was, you know, a lie. It was an anthem. We wanted to find someone to produce it who would give us a big sound but not make us sound like twats. Which is what brought us to Chris Thomas. He produced the Sex Pistols."

The song took nine days to finish and the band convinced Island Records to put it out as a single immediately.  It was released in May of 1995 and became a runaway hit, going to number two on the UK singles chart.  Mark Webber:   "When we recorded that song, it had become inevitable that what we did next would be really successful, and that continued right through that album. There was this feeling of urgency within the group."

As the sessions for  'Different Class' continued at The Town House in London, the band was tapped to replace The Stone Roses at the Glastonbury Music Festival in June.  Candida Doyle:   "We heard that John Squire had been injured. We were recording Different Class at the time, so we went that day and stayed that night. And we had to stay in tents, because we’d turned up so late. It was like, 'God, we’ve made it'.”

The show was a triumph; and the momentum carried them through the remainder of the album.   'Different Class' features  Jarvis Cocker on vocals, vox marauder guitar, ovation 12 string guitar, sigma acoustic guitar, roland vocoder plus vp-330, roland sh-09, mellotron, micromoog, and synare;    Russell Senior on fender jazzmaster guitar and violin;    Candida Doyle on farfisa compact professional ii organ, ensoniq asr 10, korg trident ii, minimoog, fender rhodes piano, roland juno 6, and roland sh-09;    Steve Mackey on musicman sabre bass;    Mark Webber on gibson es 345 guitar, gibson les paul guitar, gibson firebird guitar, sigma acoustic guitar, casio tonebank ct-470, fender rhodes piano, and roland juno 6;   and Nick Banks on yamaha drums, zildjian cymbals, and percussion;     with   programming by Matthew Vaughan and Olle Romo,  additional programming by Anthony Genn and Mark Haley;   additional guitar and keyboards by Chris Thomas;    orchestral arrangement and conducting by Anne Dudley;   and Gavyn Wright as orchestra leader.

Banks:   "A lot of the lyrics at that time were about a class divide. “Common People” was the pinnacle of that idea. And you thought, ‘It’s reaching out to people who do feel pissed off you get these poncey knobs poncing about. The audience are getting into that angry, us and them feeling, that idea of upstarts working their way up’."

When it was released in late October,  'Different Class'  went straight to number one in the UK.  The album also charted around the world at number ninety-one in Japan, seventy-one in Germany, sixty-nine in the Netherlands, forty-seven in Belgium, forty-four in Australia, thirty-seven in Finland, thirty-six in Canada, thirty-four on the US heatseekers album chart, twenty-four in Austria, nineteen in Norway, seventeen in New Zealand, and number seven in Sweden.     'Different Class' went on to win The Mercury Prize the next year.

Cocker contends:   "It's quite strange when suddenly you feel locked into synch.  I always think it's like - I haven't got my watch on, so I can't do a mime - people say, 'Your watch has stopped', at least it's right twice a day. It's like that. Somehow there's a congruency or whatever the proper word is, and for two or three months you're in tune with the times. It's funny, because for a long time we were completely out of step with what was going on. Painfully so...It's what I always wanted, right back to the time when I felt I was marginalised," he says with some relief. "For a start, it makes you feel that you haven't wasted the last 15 years of your life, that you were right to have carried on. It makes you feel you weren't mentally ill at that time."


"Common People" 

"Sorted for E's & Wizz"

"Disco 2000" 


"Something Changed"

 'Different Class' 
full album:

All lyrics by Jarvis Cocker, all music written by Pulp (Cocker, Nick Banks, Steve Mackey, Russell Senior, Candida Doyle and Mark Webber), except tracks 3 and 10 music by Cocker, Banks, Mackey, Senior, Doyle.

"Mis-Shapes" – 3:46
"Pencil Skirt" – 3:11
"Common People" – 5:50
"I Spy" – 5:55
"Disco 2000" – 4:33
"Live Bed Show" – 3:29
"Something Changed" – 3:18
"Sorted for E's & Wizz" – 3:47
"F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E" – 6:01
"Underwear" – 4:06
"Monday Morning" – 4:16
"Bar Italia" – 3:42

Glastonbury 1995

Do You Remember the First Time? 
Monday Morning 
Sorted for E's & Wizz (Live Debut)
Disco 2000 (Live Debut)
Acrylic Afternoons 
Mis-Shapes (Live Debut)
Pink Glove 

Common People

Thursday, October 29, 2015

tumbleweed connection

Elton John and Bernie Taupin burned down the mission to find country comfort in this tribute to the spirit of the American frontier.  The British songwriting duo of lyricist Taupin and pianist John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight) had graduated quickly from staff writers for DJM Records to making their own albums.  After recording two albums  ('Empty Sky'  in 1969 and  'Elton John' in early 1970), they returned to Trident Studio in London with producer Gus Dudgeon to record 'Tumbleweed Connection' before the second album was even released.  The album features Elton John on piano, organ, keyboards, and vocals;   Caleb Quaye on guitars;  Roger Pope and Barry Morgan on drums;  Dave Glover and Jason Barnhart on bass guitar and backing vocals;  Herbie Flowers and Dee Murray on bass guitar;  Nigel Olsson on drums and backing vocals;   Gordon Huntley on steel guitar;  Brian Dee on organ;  Ian Duck on harmonica;  Lesley Duncan on acoustic guitar on backing vocals;   Mike Egan on acoustic guitar;   and   backing vocals by Kay Garner, Tammi Hunt, Tony Burrows, Dusty Springfield,  and  Madeline Bell.   Paul Buckmaster was the conductor and arranger;  Robin Geoffrey Cable the engineer,  and Bernie Taupin the  lyricist.  

Taupin:   "We never really did studio recordings with the original trio. It was always much more a band situation. On things like Madman Across the Water,
  Tumbleweed and especially Elton John, which had a full-on orchestra on it, those records were more band-oriented records...Everybody thinks that I was influenced by Americana and by seeing America first hand, but we wrote and recorded the album before we’d even been to the States. It was totally influenced by The Band’s album, ‘Music From Big Pink’, and Robbie Robertson’s songs. I’ve always loved Americana, and I loved American Westerns. I’ve always said that ‘El Paso’ was the song that made me want to write songs, it was the perfect meshing of melody and storyline, and I thought that here was something that married rhythms and the written word perfectly...When I got here, it really was a case of thinking 'I've come home'...I wanted to be a cowboy.  I wanted to really just bury myself in that whole lifestyle, not as a plaything."

John:    "If you listen to the album, if ya dig it, you should know its Steve Brown as much as me, Gus Dudgeon as much as me, Paul Buckmaster as much as me, it's a team effort, God knows, I'm so untogether, it has to be ...  My roots are ... listening to records. All the time. I live, eat, sleep, breathe music. Neil Young, the Band, the Springfield, the Dead, the Airplane. I feel more American than British. Really...Over here the scene is all these people slaggin' Ten Years After week after week for makin' so much money and being no good. I don't like them myself but they must get pretty pissed off after a while...The States is a whole other feeling. Leon Russell is my idol – ever since the Delaney and Bonnie albums. He came to see us and I went to his house in L.A. He's got a whole recording studio there, and he told me he wanted to record Burn Down The Mission. His house is called the mission and his record company won't grant him insurance on it because it's in a fire area. So I don't think he'll be recording it soon...This album, Tumbleweed Connection, is the funky one. Wait till you see the clothes I'll be wearing this tour. I'm glad it's out of the way. They wanted me to do another one with an orchestra but I said no, the country one comes first. The next one is going to be more classical and orchestral."

At the same time that 'Tumbleweed Connection' was released, the second single from "Take Me To The Pilot" came out; but it was the b-side that DJ's preferred, resulting in a top ten hit with "Your Song" on both sides of the pond.  Both albums sold well, with 
'Tumbleweed Connection' going to number five in the US, four in Australia and Canada, and number two in the UK, without any chart singles.  'Tumbleweed Connection' has been certified platinum in the US.  


"Burn Down the Mission" 

full BBC show

Your Song  0:00 - 3:53      
Border Song  4:16 - 7:35      
Sixty Years On  8:10 - 12:05          
Take Me To The Pilot  12:17 - 15:44        
Bernie Intro  16:08 - 16:25        
The Greatest Discovery  16:41 - 20:16       
I Need You To Turn To   20:36 - 22:40        
Burn Down the Mission   23:33 - 28:01           

'Tumbleweed Connection'
full album:

All songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, except where noted.

Side one
"Ballad of a Well-Known Gun" – 4:59
"Come Down in Time" – 3:25
"Country Comfort" – 5:06
"Son of Your Father" – 3:48
"My Father's Gun" – 6:20
Side two
"Where to Now St. Peter?" – 4:11
"Love Song" (Lesley Duncan) – 3:41
"Amoreena" – 5:00
"Talking Old Soldiers" – 4:06
"Burn Down the Mission" – 6:22

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

all that you can't leave behind

U2 got themselves together and walked on through heartbreak and hopelessness to find grace in this soulful pop elevation.  Despite charting at number one and selling over seven million copies each, their previous two albums ('Zooropa'  and  'Pop') had alienated many fans with their experimental sounds and ironic presentation.  Bono reveals:   "We spent most of the '90s experimenting and I think we finally realized on the PopMart tour that it was time for us to start stripping back again...We got into Washington, D.C., before all our equipment arrived and rehearsed with just guitar, bass and drums--none of the loops or samples that we had been attaching to the songs. Howie B. came in during the middle of the rehearsal and he said, 'Wow, what a sound. What is this?' We told him it was us, it was what U2 sounds like. I think that's when we realized that it was time for us to get back to the essence of what we do."

Edge says that they were revitalized by a return to their 'classic' sound:  "It sounded fresh again.  We had been exploring the fringe of what we could be and what rock 'n' roll was all about, and that was essential. I think the group would have died creatively if we hadn't moved into uncharted territory. But eventually we needed to return to the center. I don't know if we've made a great record or not, but it is our record. It's us standing there naked, if you will...Why are you still around?...You know, you made some great records. But why are you still making records?' Part of what we decided is that we had a sense or belief that we can still make the album of the year." 

Bono:  "There was a moment that had to do with one's mortality...It was a time when I saw how you could suddenly lose everything, and it woke me up in a way...Suddenly the person in the bar who was very interesting before becomes boring. You want to spend more time with your family, with your kids. You also realize you don't have the time anymore for things like the irony and the masks. There was never any irony in the songs, just the way we presented them..."

'All That You Can't Leave Behind' saw the band reunited with the production team of Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno for the first time since their blockbuster 'Achtung Baby' album nearly a decade before.  They began working in late 1998 on new material in the studio at Hanover Quay Studios in Dublin; but sessions were delayed with Bono's political work on debt relief.   During the summer of 1999, the members of the band relocated to the south of France to continue the creative process; which continued in Dublin at  Windmill Lane Studios,  Westland Studios,  and  Totally Wired.   Some additional production work was done by Mike Hedges, Richard Stannard, Julian Gallagher, and  Steve Lillywhite.  The sessions were engineered by  Richard Rainey with  Bono on vocals, guitar, and synthesisers;   The Edge on guitar, piano, vocals, synthesisers, and strings;    Adam Clayton on bass guitar;   and  Larry Mullen, Jr. on drums and percussion;   with   Brian Eno on synthesisers, programming, backing vocals, and string arrangement;   Daniel Lanois on backing vocals, and additional guitar;  and  Paul Barrett on brass.   

Mullen mused:    "Bono did something recently that he probably shouldn't have done.  He did a book as a favor for a friend of his in Ireland that 'explained' all the lyrics. I think that was a mistake because one of the most valuable things about his lyrics is that you can adapt them to any particular situation." 

Released in October of 2000 on Interscope Records, 'All That You Can't Leave Behind' made its debut at number one in over thirty countries.  In the US, it debuted (and peaked) at number three.  In 2001, the album received three Grammy Awards for the song "Beautiful Day":  Song of the Year, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and Record of the Year.  In the wake of the tragedy of September 11, 2001; the album struck a responsive chord with the American public and began to sell again (rising to number twenty-five on the album chart) as the band incorporated a tribute to the fallen police, firefighters, and victims to their live performances.   Mullen says:   "There was anger, rage, patriotism, sadness.  Everything became frighteningly extreme." 

Clayton confesses:    "I have to say I wasn't sure about it at first.  It seemed like we were really pushing a button. But Bono is a pretty unique individual, and he's got great judgment. He's able to perform open-heart surgery and zap people with a bit of brain surgery at the same time." 

In 2002, 'All That You Can't Leave Behind' won four more Grammys:   Record of the Year for  "Walk On",  Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "Elevation", and  Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of", as well as Best Rock Album.  It is the only album ever to have two singles win Record of the Year in two consecutive years.  It has sold over twelve million copies worldwide.  

Bono:    "It's funny.  When people kept making fun of us as this band that wanted to change the world, we'd say, 'No, no, we just want to be musicians.' The truth is we really did want to change the world...Megalomania, if you will, set in at a very young age with us. But it wasn't just megalomania. We came out of punk rock, but not the [outrageous] Sex Pistols. We bought into the [politically minded] Clash. We have always been ideologues. We were in the back of the bus reading Bibles instead of Playboy when we were 19 or 20...I'm tired of dreaming. I'm into doing at the moment. It's, like, let's only have goals that we can go after. U2 is about the impossible. Politics is the art of the possible. They're very different, and I'm resigned to that now. Music's the thing that stopped me from falling asleep in the comfort of my freedom. I learned about South America from listening to the Clash. I learned about Situationism from the Sex Pistols. But that's a long way from budget caps and dealing with a Congress that is suspicious of aid because it has been so misused...When you sing, you make people vulnerable to change in their lives. You make yourself vulnerable to change in your life. But in the end, you've got to become the change you want to see in the world. I'm actually not a very good example of that -- I'm too selfish, and the right to be ridiculous is something I hold too dear -- but still, I know it's true...[We're] reapplying for the job. What job? The best band in the world job...Initially, I felt that it would be difficult for U2 to be relevant.  The only way to puncture the indifference out there toward rock bands was to make each song a single,,,This was no time to waffle, no time for art. That was the only way we could deal with the competition. At times we feel these are the best songs we've ever written...I hope it's a soulful record, but it's also a rock record. I always like to say, 'It kicks ass.'"


"Beautiful Day"  was a number one smash around the world; but in the US, where it won three Grammy Awards, it peaked at number twenty-one.  

"Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of"  was another international hit (number one in Canada and Ireland) that didn't even make the top forty in the US; yet, it still won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.  

"Elevation" didn't chart in the US; but won a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.  Around the world it was another big hit, going to number one in Canada, Ireland, and the Netherlands.  

"Walk On"  won their second consecutive Grammy for Record of the Year.  It was a number one hit in Canada; but didn't even chart in the US.    This song got the album banned in Burma for its dedication to imprisoned activist Aung San Suu Kyi.  

Peace On Earth/Walk On (from "America: A Tribute to Heroes")

'All That You Can't Leave Behind' 
full album:

All lyrics written by Bono except where noted, all music composed by U2.

1. "Beautiful Day"     4:06
2. "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of"  (Bono, The Edge) 4:32
3. "Elevation"     3:45
4. "Walk On"     4:55
5. "Kite"    (Bono, The Edge) 4:23
6. "In a Little While"     3:39
7. "Wild Honey"     3:47
8. "Peace on Earth"     4:46
9. "When I Look at the World"    (Bono, The Edge) 4:15
10. "New York"     5:28
11. "Grace"     5:31

bonus tracks

"The Ground Beneath Her Feet"   Salman Rushdie Lanois, Eno 3:44


"Summer Rain" 

"Big Girls are Best"

live in Boston 2001 Elevation tour

1 - Elevation 0:00
2 - Beautiful Day 05:10
3 - Until the End of the World 09:50
4 - Stuck in a Moment 15:07
5 - Kite 20:50
6 - Gone 26:12
7 - New York 31:09
8 - I Will Follow 37:00
9 - Sunday Bloody Sunday 42:08 
10 - In a Little While 50:35
11 - Desire 56:40
12 - Stay 59:45
13 - Bad 1:04:35 
14 - Where the Streets Have No Name 1:11:15
15 - Bullet the Blue Sky 1:17:45
16 - With or Without You 1:25:40
17 - The Fly 1:31:09
18 - Wake Up Dead Man 1:38:45
19 - Walk On 1:40:30