Sunday, February 28, 2010

ABBA - Intermezzo No. 1

Intermezzo No. 1 was the B-side from the well known Mamma Mia single disc. It was an instrumental piece, in which you can especially listen Benny's skills with the keyboards.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pulp - Like A Friend

From the Great Expectations soundtrack.

I've done this before.
And I will do it again.
Come on and kill me baby,
while you smile like a friend.
And I'll come running,
Just to do it again.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Metallica - Muster of Puppets

Probably one of the best metal songs ever!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Average White People - Pick Up the Pieces

"Pick Up the Pieces" is a 1974 song by the Average White Band from their album AWB. It was the group's most successful song, and features one of the most recognizable grooves in funk music. It is essentially an instrumental, apart from the song's title being shouted at several points in the song.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Uriah Heep - The Magician's Birthday

The Magician's Birthday was originally meant to be a full concept album, but Heep's busy touring schedule made it impossible to finish. Therefore, the concept had to be squeezed into this song, with the other songs being lyrically and musically different.

The song was mainly written by keyboardist Ken Hensley, and the lyrics were based on a fantasy novel of his. The novel was basically about a good and an evil wizard challenging each other to a duel after meeting during the former's birthday party. The long instrumental section, with the dueling guitars and drums and the dissonant keyboard playing, was supposed to depict the battle.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

AC/DC - Back In Black

Known for its opening guitar riff, "Back in Black" was AC/DC's tribute to their former singer Bon Scott. His replacement Brian Johnson recalled to Mojo magazine in 2009 that when the band asked him to write a lyric for this song, “they said, ‘it can’t be morbid-it has to be for Bon and it has to be a celebration.’” He added: “I thought, ‘Well nae pressure there, then‘ (laughs). I just wrote what came into my head, which at the time seemed like mumbo, jumbo. ‘Nine lives. Cats eyes. Abusing every one of them and running wild.’ The boys got it though. They saw Bon’s life in that lyric.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

Agnetha Fältskog - Past, Present And Future

For those who don't know Agnetha is the "blonde girl from ABBA. My Colouring Book (2004) is Agnetha's first album in 17 years, after ABBA breaking up. From this album, Past, Present And Future:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Neil Diamond - Forever in Blue Jeans

"Forever in Blue Jeans" is a song by Neil Diamond which was co-written with his guitarist Richard Bennett. This up-tempo track, released as a single in February 1979, was taken from the previous year's Neil Diamond album You Don't Bring Me Flowers.

Neil Diamond might have been right when he named his 1979 #1 hit "Forever in Blue Jeans": 81% of women are planning their next jeans purchase to be some shade of blue. The song has been used to promote the sale of blue jeans, most notably Will Ferrell, impersonating Neil Diamond singing, for The Gap. Ironically, Diamond himself did radio ads for H.I.S. brand jeans in the 1960s, more than a decade before he sang this song.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Temptations - Papa Was a Rollin' Stone

This was written by the Motown songwriter Norman Whitfield. It was first recorded by The Undisputed Truth, but Whitfield also had The Temptations record it, with much greater success.

At first, lead singer Dennis Edwards hated the song. His father, who was a preacher, died on September 3rd, the date in the first line of the song. He was irate at Whitfield for choosing that date, and convinced it was not a coincidence.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Stranglers - Always the Sun

It is widely considered as the Stranglers' finest song from the Dreamtime album. It was considered by the band, the record company, radio stations and music publications as a sure-fire hit. Despite radio play and much hype, it only reached number 30 in the UK singles chart.

However, it was a hit throughout Europe (#15 in France, #16 in Ireland) and nearly broke the Stranglers in America due to radio play. Dreamtime was the only Stranglers album to chart in the USA and did so due to the success of "Always the Sun."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Phoenix - Cocoșii negri

Phoenix (known in Western-Europe as Transsylvania-Phoenix) is considered to be one of the best Romanian rock bands of all times.

Based on folk Romanian music from Valea Almăjului (Almaj Valley) this song was composed by Nicolae Covaci and Josef Kappl, was recorded in 1974 and it was intended for the "Cei ce ne-au dat nume" album. (The ones who have given us names). Re-recorded in 1998 for the Cantafabule remix album (listen to it below), the song has never been released on any album, but is still played in concerts.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pink Floyd - Echoes

"Echoes" is a song by Pink Floyd, including lengthy instrumental passages, sound effects, and musical improvisation. Written by all four members of the group "Echoes" provides the extended finale to Pink Floyd's album Meddle. The track has a running time of 23:31 and takes up the entire second side of the vinyl recording.

As an interesting thing, it is rumoured that "Echoes" synchronizes with Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey when played concurrently with the final segment (titled "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite").

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rainbow - The Temple of the King

Although Ritchie Blackmore played guitar for both Rainbow and Deep Purple, Rainbow's music was different from Deep Purple's. The music was more directly inspired by classical music and Dio wrote lyrics about medieval themes. Dio possessed a versatile vocal range capable of singing both hard rock and lighter ballads. Although Dio never played a musical instrument on any Rainbow album, he is credited with writing and arranging the music with Blackmore in addition to writing all the lyrics himself.

Written by Ronnie James Dio and Ritchie Blackmore, The Temple of the King:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jeff Wayne - The Eve of the War

Jeff Wayne is a musician mostly known for his 1978 musical version of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. With this album Wayne has won two Ivor Novello Awards along with The Best Recording in Science Fiction and Fantasy, (the judges included Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Alfred Hitchcock). Eve of the War is the first track on the album. The album is composed as a story, but one should listen to it all to find The Epilogue.

No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space.

No one could have dreamed we were being scrutinized, as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Connells - '74-'75

Although The Connells are an American band, they had more success in Europe with this '74-'75 celtic influenced ballad.

The Connells were formed by two brothers David Connel (bass) and Mike Connel (guitar). One of the Connell brothers finished school in 1974/1975, maybe both of them. So they wrote this song about the reunion of the class of 1974/1975.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Iggy Pop - In the Deathcar

In 1992 Iggy Pop collaborated with Goran Bregović for the soundtrack of the Arizona Dream movie by Emir Kusturica. This is one of the four songs on the soundtrack, In the Deathcar.

Goran Bregović is a Bosnian musician and one of the most internationally known modern composers of the Balkans. Bregović's music carries both Serbian and Romani themes and is a fusion of popular music with traditional polyphonic music from the Balkans, tango and brass bands.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Maywood - Friday Night

Maywood was a Dutch pop group in the 1970s and 1980s. Their biggest hit was in 1980 "Late At Night". However, today's song comes from 1984 and was covered in the opening for the "Psihologul muzical" ("The Music Psychologist") program broadcasted friday night on Radio Romania Actualitati.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Accept - Metal Heart

Now this is heavy metal. From 1985 by the German band Accept, "Metal Heart" is well known for containing the cover of two famous classical themes: Tchaikovsky's Slavonic March (in the intro) and Beethoven's Für Elise (in the main riff and solo).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Although most of The Beatles' songs were written by Lennon and McCartney, While My Guitar Gently Weeps was written by George Harrison for the 1968 The Beatles album (aka The White Album).

The day after recording the song, during a ride from Surrey into London, Harrison asked Eric Clapton to add a lead guitar solo to the song. Clapton was reluctant—he said, "Nobody ever plays on the Beatles' records"—but Harrison convinced him and Clapton's solo was recorded that evening. Harrison later said that in addition to his solo, Clapton's presence had another effect on the band: "It made them all try a bit harder; they were all on their best behaviour."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Scorpions - Rock You Like a Hurricane

"Rock You Like a Hurricane" is one of the most famous songs by the German hard rock band the Scorpions. The song was released as the second track of their 1984 album Love at First Sting. A new version was recorded in 2000 as "Hurricane 2000" in the album Moment of Glory, featuring Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra backing the track. In the same way, it was titled "Hurricane 2001" when played in the follow-up Acoustica.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Judas Priest - Breaking The Law

From the 1980 British Steel album, one of the band's better known singles. It is now considered one of the most famous Hard Rock/Heavy Metal songs ever and the main guitar riff is considered to be one of the greatest in the history of Heavy Metal.

The lyrics tell of someone who gets tired of everything that comes with an ordinary life - that life has become boring. This leads the person to take a chance and start breaking the law.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra

This is a catchy Pop song from 1982 with mild sexual innuendo (what rhymes with Abracadabra? Of course, I wanna reach out and grab ya). Also the song has a very interesting guitar solo in its second half.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Beautiful South - Song for Whoever

Song for Whoever is a song by The Beautiful South, written by band members Paul Heaton and David Rotheray.

The song is a satire on the double standards of the Pop music industry. It is about a cynical songwriter who has relationships with women in order to get material for the love songs he writes: “I’ll love you till my pen runs dry.” If it weren’t so damned self-reflexive and unromantic, Song For Whoever could be a beautiful love song.

As it was, the track turned Heaton and co into one of Britain’s best-loved pop bands.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Queen - Innuendo

The recurring theme (with the Boléro-esque beat) was started off as a jam session by Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon jamming in the studio in Montreux. From then on Freddie Mercury composed the song and added the long interlude. The melody is Mercury's as well. Lyrics were started off by Mercury but completed by drummer Roger Taylor.

Yes guitarist Steve Howe played the Spanish guitar solo in the middle because, admittedly, Brian May couldn't do it. Steve dropped by in the studio to say hi to producer David Richards, then Freddie invited him to join them on the track.

The middle section was primarily Mercury's work. It features a flamenco guitar solo, followed by a classically influenced bridge, and then the solo again but performed with electric guitars. This section is especially complex, featuring a pattern of three bars in 5/4 time (reasonably uncommon in popular music) followed by four bars in the more often used 3/4 time. Plus the end of the flamenco-guitar style is based on the 5/4 bar, but is in 6/4 time.

An innuendo is an indirect or subtle reference, especially one made maliciously or indicating criticism or disapproval.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Uriah Heep - Easy Livin'

Again from the 1972 "Demons and Wizards" album, after "The Spell", from the same Ken Hensley, Easy Livin'

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit

Written during either late 1965 or early 1966, it includes comparisons of the hallucinatory effects of psychedelic drugs such as Magic Mushrooms with the imagery found in the fantasy works of Lewis Carroll: 1865's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Events in these books, such as changing size after eating mushrooms or drinking an unknown liquid, are referenced in the song.

Set to a rising crescendo similar to that of Ravel's famous Boléro, and having a strong Spanish influence to it, the music combined with the song's lyrics strongly suggest the sensory distortions experienced with hallucinogens and the song was later utilized in pop culture to imply or accompany just such a state.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mary Hopkin - Those Were the Days

"Those Were the Days" is credited to Gene Raskin, who put English lyrics to the Russian gypsy song "Dorogoi dlinnoyu" ("By the long road"). The song is best remembered for Mary Hopkin's 1968 recording, which was a top-ten hit in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Hopkin's version was produced by Paul McCartney under the Apple label. McCourtney also recorded Hopkin singing "Those Were The Days" in four other languages for release in their respective countries: Spain (Que Tiempo Tan Feliz), West Germany (An jenem Tag), Italy (Quelli Erano Giorni) and France (Le temps des fleurs).

The song deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism.

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.

Monday, February 1, 2010

T. Rex - Children of the Revolution

Children of the Revolution is a 1972 song by T. Rex (formed as Tyrannosaurus Rex). The song is about teenage rebelion, although some believed it was pro-communism propaganda, based on the title alone.