Tag: rock

So fresh — 10 Billy Joel songs that will never get old

So fresh — 10 Billy Joel songs that will never get old

Music
If you came here expecting or hoping to find an article bashing Billy Joel as an overrated, mediocre pop songwriter, you've come to the wrong place friend. I happen to love the man's music -- most of it anyway -- and think he takes an unfair slagging from hipper-than-thou music critics and fans. Sure, he hasn't exactly helped his case with his less-than-stellar later material and his troubled personal life. But buried in 13 studio releases are some of the best pop music of the '70s and '80s. I've gone through those albums -- having listened to them for years -- and picked ten songs that represent Joel at his best. I've tried to avoid including his biggest hits, although in some cases those are his best songs. Enjoy! 1 -- "Don't Ask Me Why" (from Glass Houses, 1980) This is the tune...
Album cover of the week: Mystery to Me

Album cover of the week: Mystery to Me

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Maybe someone more versed in Fleetwood Mac lore can explain this cover to me. But until then, I'll just enjoy the weirdness of it. It's the cover to the group's eighth studio album, 1973's Mystery to Me. OK, so it's a baboon on the beach, crying while eating a cake and... a book? Well that's confusing. Perhaps the answer to this mystery is on the back cover. Nope! Well except for the penguin, which was a band mascot of sorts (as well as being the name of Fleetwood Mac's previous album). Anyway, this cover was designed by Modula, who designed a bunch of Camel's coolest album covers from the same period. Related articles 10 Great Fleetwood Mac Songs That Are Written &/or Sung by Christine McVie (thewildheart1983.wordpress.com) Fletwood Mac - 1971-02-19 - San Berna...
30 for 30 — Our Favorite MTV Music Videos of All-Time

30 for 30 — Our Favorite MTV Music Videos of All-Time

Featured Posts, Music, TV & Radio
It seems like forever since watching videos on MTV was a regular part of our lives, but once upon a time it was. We could go on and on about how the station -- which turns 30 on August 1 -- turned to crap years ago for one reason or another, or about how the "M" in MTV seems to stand for Mook now, but let's not go there. Let's make this post a happy remembrance, one in which we celebrate what was rather than lament what isn't. So in that spirit of celebration, here is a list of our 30 favorite music videos of the MTV era (which kicked off on August 1, 1981). Not the best videos, necessarily, but the ones that had the most impact on us. Oh, and for you ranking junkies -- sorry, this is strictly in alphabetical order. 1. Daft Punk, "Around the World" In college we had a primitiv...
Album cover of the week: Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus

Album cover of the week: Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus

Album Cover of the Week, Music
There's a long list of bands that deserved to make it huge but just couldn't quite get all the stars to align in their favor. Case in point -- Spirit. The original lineup of this progressive/psychedelic/pop/rock outfit issued four outstanding albums before fracturing. This is the fourth -- 1970's Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, originally released on Epic Records. There's just enough to make this image freaky, without it being over the top. I dig that distorted, fun house mirror effect. It's a little hard to tell who is who, but I'm guessing that's guitarist/vocalist Randy California in front with the hat. Behind him appear to be (l-r) Ed Cassidy (drums, percussion), John Locke (keyboards), Mark Andes (bass, vocals), and Jay Ferguson (percussion, keyboards, vocals). The photogra...
Listening booth — Wings, “Must Do Something About It”

Listening booth — Wings, “Must Do Something About It”

Listening Booth, Music
Today's listening booth is inspired by a recent posting on Popdose, which highlighted Denny Laine's gems during his solo career and his time with Paul McCartney's Wings. One of the gems mentioned was "The Note You Never Wrote," which is indeed one of the best cuts from Wings at the Speed of Sound. But I'd like to focus on a non-Laine number now. Tucked away on the lesser second side of the album is a rather doleful pop ditty called "Must Do Something About It." Although Macca wrote it, he handed lead vocal duties over to drummer Joe English, whose less polished delivery lent the song the extra bit of pathos it needed. English, who had joined Wings in 1975, left the group during the recording sessions for 1978's London Town. So anyway, enjoy "Must Do Something About It." I sure do. ...
Album review: Chicago — Live in ’75

Album review: Chicago — Live in ’75

Music
To read the Ben Edmonds-penned essay that accompanies Rhino Handmade's 2011 Chicago offering -- Live in '75 -- you'd get the impression that the two handsomely packaged discs contained therein contained a glimpse of the band at its apex. This is true to an extent, as Chicago was on a hot streak when they rolled into Maryland to play a series of shows in Largo's old Capital Centre. That tour -- which saw the group join forces with the Beach Boys -- marked the band's graduation to the Big Time, aka stadium and arena concerts. But artistically, the band was straying further and further from their jazz/rock roots and was on the precipice of Cetera Ballad Country. So in a sense, Live in '75 does offer diehard fans a service in that it presents Chicago as they were right before the bad times ...
Album review roundup: The Zombies, Build, and the Cars

Album review roundup: The Zombies, Build, and the Cars

Music
The Zombies -- Breathe Out, Breathe In (Red House) Well this was surprisingly pleasant, although nowhere near the greatness of the original incarnation of the group. The opening title track is a dead ringer for latter day Steely Dan, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But that's not really the Zombies that people are expecting to hear, is it? Still, it's clear that founding Zombies Colin Bluntstone and Rod Argent -- who receive featured billing status on Breathe Out, Breathe In -- still have plenty of songwriting gas left in the tank, as evidenced by strong songs like the prog-tinged rocker "Another Day," the delicate and melodic "Any Other Way," and the surprisingly effective and overtly religious "Christmas for the Free" -- the last of which comes damn close to recreating the vinta...
Album Cover of the Week: Morrison Hotel

Album Cover of the Week: Morrison Hotel

Album Cover of the Week, Music
The Doors' 1967 debut LP is easily the most popular and acclaimed record they released, but my favorite has always been Morrison Hotel. It has the most substance and the least weirdness of any of their releases to date. It also features perhaps the most iconic album cover of any Doors record. The building that gave the album and Side B their name, the Morrison Hotel, was located at 1246 South Hope Street in Los Angeles, California. According to photographer Henry Diltz, he and the band asked the desk clerk if they could shoot some pictures but were told they couldn't without the owner's permission. Since the owner wasn't around to give permission, they had to improvise. When the clerk left and got in the elevator, Diltz told the group to run into the hotel and pose. He managed to...