The Tuesday Playlist No.62: Early Rock Gems

The Tuesday Playlist No.62: Early Rock Gems

This week’s playlist is a journey through obscure(ish) rock from the early 70’s, or thereabouts… …a time when rock music had a particular flavour, caught between it’s blues-boogie and rock n’ roll roots and it’s more muscular uber-masculine high-voltage future. It was the age that spawned the power trio (for whom Cream were the model) amply represented here by Budgie, Grand Funk Railroad, Speed, Glue & Shinki, ZZ Top, Atomic Rooster, and the supergroup Beck, Bogert, and Appice, all featured alongside killer cuts from the likes of Humble Pie, Steppenwolf, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, and Ipissimus. Enjoy!  

‘Pills, Thrills & Bellyaches’ by Happy Mondays

‘Pills, Thrills & Bellyaches’ by Happy Mondays

Revisiting the classic days of Madchester with the band who crashed genres and helped define an era. There are in any music lover’s life a handful of moments where hearing something for the first time acts as a kind of epiphany; when a piece of music grabs you, shakes you, shocks you even and nothing in your world of music is ever quite the same again. I can clearly remember the moment when, as a 17 year old working in a shop, the opening chords of a particular song caused me to almost involuntarily stop what I was doing, walk Read more »

Burning Out, Not Fading Away: Neil Young’s Rust Never Sleeps

Burning Out, Not Fading Away: Neil Young’s Rust Never Sleeps

We take a look at a classic concert movie which captures a moment in history where rock’s old guard was bumping up against the aftermath of punk… The late 1970’s were a strange time for the generation of rock royalty that had emerged so brightly from the previous decade. No longer the vanguard, the likes of Dylan, the Stones, The Who et al found themselves increasingly out of step especially when the twin explosions of punk and disco shook the cultural landscape to its core. Neil Young weathered that particular storm better than most. In part this was because Young Read more »

Unforgettable Live Performances: Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival

Unforgettable Live Performances: Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival

Newport Folk Festival is an annual folk festival in Rhode Island, Bob Dylan played there successfully in 1963 and 1964, so no one expected what happened on July 25th, 1965. Mr. Tambourine Man (Live at the Newport Folk Festival. 1964) The Newport Folk Festival is a mainly folk oriented festival in Newport, Rhode Island. It was founded in 1959 as counterpart to the famous Newport Jazz Festival and it still going on strong today. In 1963 and 1964 Bob Dylan was a most popular draw playing to hugely appreciative audiences everywhere, but that was not the case for his performance in 1965. Read more »

Hunky Dory by David Bowie

Hunky Dory by David Bowie

As David Bowie releases a storming new album and celebrates his 69th birthday we look back at an lp many regard as one of his finest. With the benefit of hindsight 1971 can be seen as a make-or-break year for the young Bowie. Still only 24, he was already something of a music business veteran having released his first tentative singles in 1964-65 and his first, now largely forgotten, long-player in 1967. In those years Bowie was an artist struggling to find a voice of his own despite his undeniable talent. Comparisons with the singer and entertainer Anthony Newley are Read more »

Blood Sugar Sex Magik by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Blood Sugar Sex Magik by Red Hot Chili Peppers

This week we celebrate this cornerstone funk rock record which many see as Red Hot Chili Peppers’ finest hour. I was 19 back in 1991, an age where music as much as at any time in my life defined who I was. I was also sharing a flat for a while with a guy who is still my closest male friend. We were both rock music fans, both drummers, and both pot-heads, so as you can imagine there were many late nights spent talking stoned bollocks and obsessing over music. And at that time one album more than any other Read more »

Back In Black by AC/DC

Back In Black by AC/DC

We celebrate an album that has become a supreme heavy rock classic and one of the biggest selling albums of all time. Whilst we certainly will be getting to more obscure and less lauded albums as this new feature grows and grows there are certain albums that are too big to ignore, too gargantuan even such is the sheer weight of their presence in contemporary culture. Back In Black is one of them, and its particular presence in my life runs long and deep. When I was about 10 years old I was going along happily enough with music I Read more »

New Reels: “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” by Chris Cornell

New Reels: “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” by Chris Cornell

The Soundgarden singer has released the official video for his new single and it sees him sentenced to hang in the wild west. I’ll be honest, when the whole grunge thing was kicking off in the early 90’s I bought in to just about every one of the big bands with the exception of Soundgarden. I think they strayed just a little too close to being a straight-up heavy metal band for me. Funny that, because growing up I’d listened to plenty of metal and Black Sabbath, an ackowledged primary influence on Soundgarden’s dark, heavy sound, were one of my Read more »

New Reels: “Friday I’m In Love” by Yo La Tengo

New Reels: “Friday I’m In Love” by Yo La Tengo

The American indie trio return with a nifty cover of the classic single by The Cure. Yo La Tengo are one of those bands who’ve never been fashionable but have been around so long now they’ve kind of bypassed the need for such things and created their own niche by simply staying there (The Fall are another prime example of such an act). Throughout their 30-odd year career husband and wife team Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley along with James McNew (bass player since 1992) have ploughed their own unique furrow making music that often defies easy categorization but I Read more »

One On One Banned! Special: Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” and Aerosmith’s “Janie’s Got A Gun”.

One On One Banned! Special:  Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” and Aerosmith’s “Janie’s Got A Gun”.

We continue our Banned! series with a One On One special bringing together two giants of American rock music and two videos with dark subject matter and violent endings. Quite often the One On One’s are done in an almost entirely facetious manner but for this one we’re actually dealing with pretty heavy subject matter. In fact both of these videos were and are important for exactly that. I don’t want to to the usual point scoring compare-and-contrast thing here, but rather talk about two videos that were censored for trying to deal with difficult subject matter. For obvious reasons Read more »

Unsung Figures No.5: Terry Reid

Unsung Figures No.5: Terry Reid

We take a look at the life and career of a singer and songwriter who had things turned out differently could have fronted either of two of the biggest rock bands of the 70’s. I’m not sure it’s fair or even accurate to call Terry Reid one of the unluckiest men in rock music. Here is a man who recorded his first album as a teenager, toured America as a headliner not long after, has worked with, toured with, and befriended everyone from the Rolling Stones to CSNY, from Jackson Browne to Bonnie Raitt. And yet the feeling that pervades Read more »

Unforgettable Live Performances – Johnny Cash and his prison concerts

Unforgettable Live Performances – Johnny Cash and his prison concerts

The country music legend and footage of some of his unforgettable performances in different prisons throughout the years. He may have been the man in black, but his heart had stripes and rebellion at it´s center. John R. Cash was born on February 26, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas. His parents Ray and Carrie Rivers Cash were Baptist and farmers. Apparently when his voice dropped his mother discovered he could sing and encouraged him to follow that path, telling him he had “the gift” and paying for his first singing lessons. It turns out that after just 3 lessons his teacher Read more »

Fight For Your Right: How the Beastie Boys crashed the party.

Fight For Your Right: How the Beastie Boys crashed the party.

Following on nicely from our post on Run DMC and Aerosmith we look at the other big rap-rock hit of the 80’s and the Jewish trio who changed hip-hop, the Beastie Boys. In 1986 hip-hop was still in it’s infancy, barely 10 years old and still viewed by many as a bit of a novelty, notwithstanding the success of ‘Walk This Way’ and the role it played in bringing the sound of guys rapping in to the mainstream. However, Run DMC hadn’t managed to sustain the level of success and in commercial terms at least their career would be one Read more »

Walk This Way: How Run DMC & Aerosmith smashed through the wall.

Walk This Way: How Run DMC & Aerosmith smashed through the wall.

The genius of two musical genres merged into one: Rap and Rock and the magical video that is “Walk This Way” – Aerosmith Ft.  Run DMC. 1986. Hip-hop and rap were crossing over to mainstream. Run DMC needed a new hit. Rick Rubin (American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records) suggested sampling Aerosmith´s “Walk this Way”. The result? It was the first rap song to get into  the Billboard 100. And today, it is music video history. RUN-DMC – Walk This Way The song was written by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, and it was the second single Read more »

Unsung Figures No.4: Jobriath

Unsung Figures No.4: Jobriath

“The hairy beasts who wrote for the music press laughed Jobriath off the face of the planet. He was, at best, merely considered to be ‘insane’. It was clear that Jobriath was willing to go the gay distance, something that even the intelligentsia didn’t much care for. Elton John knew this in 1973; Jobriath didn’t. Surrounded on all sides by Journey, Styx, and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Jobriath was at society’s mercy. Yet it could have worked so well.” – Morrissey. “There’s no success like failure” sang Bob Dylan some 8 years before Jobriath’s debut lp was released, “and failure’s no success Read more »