Just because you’re a famous musician doesn’t mean you have carte blanche to do whatever you want. The power of a record contract keeps musicians in check, and sometimes forcing them to do things they’d rather not. From Van Morrison to the Strokes; David Bowie to the Rolling Sones; Marvin Gaye to Meat Loaf, some of the biggest musicians of all time have been forced by duty (and the risk of being sued!) to make albums to fulfil their contractual obligations.
For most music lovers, there can be no such thing as “too much Beatles.” But there have been stray notes of skepticism surrounding the much-hyped Beatles In Mono vinyl box set that hit stores last week. Particularly among millennial fans, the very concept of mono recording conjures images of quaint lo-fi discs intended strictly for purists and those stranded in the past. Surely this 14-record set is a dive into minutiae, an extraneous curio designed solely for the Beatlemaniac audiophile?
This could not be further from the truth. The Beatles In Mono is perhaps the most crucial Beatles release for those who were not privileged to live in a time when the four Fabs roamed the Earth. For a start, just use your ears. Far from a relic, the sound is more alive, full, and frightfully contemporary than ever before. And that’s not just our opinion- it’s also the opinion of Ken Scott, the music industry great who got his start as the Beatles’ recording engineer. Prior to his groundbreaking work with a list of legends including David Bowie, Elton John, Jeff Beck and Supertramp, Scott was in the room when some of the Beatles’ classic recordings were being made, and had his hand on the fader when the original masters were created. Who better to say how these records are meant to sound?
Reinvention. It’s part of an artist’s nature. Start out sounding and looking one way, get bored, evolve into something different. But for a lot of artists, this evolution is pretty subtle from album to album.
There’s only one kind of fighting we truly encourage, and that’s dance fighting! We love a good old fashioned dance-off to settle a score, and music videos feature some true dance-battle gold. So put your fists away — all you really need to sort out an argument is a great body roll!
Beach Boys on a Pink Floyd classic? The Beatles on a Rolling Stones disc? Whitney Houston backing Chaka Khan?! No, these aren’t our picks for the best fantasy duets ever -They really happened! And what’s more, you’ve been listening to them for years and probably NEVER EVEN NOTICED! Get your headphones ready, because we might just blow your mind.
Companies are always approaching rock stars to lend street cred and coolness to their products. It’s an uneasy alliance, but it does mean serious exposure…and a serious paycheck. Hey, those private jets aren’t going to pay for themselves! Sometimes it’s a passive partnership, with the musicians handing over their classic songs for use in television commercials. But other times the star plays a more active role -singing a jingle, or even penning a whole new song!
Recently, Frank Ocean very nearly became the spokes-singer for Chipotle, but pulled out of the deal before he recorded the tune. Honestly, we had kind of a hard time imagining the rapper shilling for a burrito chain (although we love the guac, don’t get us wrong). Although we guess it wouldn’t have been any weirder than these 15 OTHER megastars who turned jingle-singers…
Rock stars are invading the small screen! We aren’t sure what’s in the air, but lately some legendary musicians have been popping up on prime-time TV shows. Just last week we were blown away when Prince appeared as a guest star on The New Girl (apparently he’s a huge fan), and now we’ve got news that Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy is set for a stint on Parks & Rec. This got us thinking about other times when worlds collided and our favorite music makers turned up on our favorite sitcoms. Sometimes it was pretty weird, but it always made for GREAT television. Read on for more! Read more…
70 years ago today, James Patrick Page was born into this world…and rock has never been the same. His name would be secure in the history books even if he only penned “Stairway To Heaven”, but that’s just the first step on the journey to appreciating Jimmy Page‘s guitar brilliance. Long before selling out stadiums in the seventies with Led Zeppelin, Page had already made a name for himself a decade earlier as one of the most sought after session musicians in Britian. He played on literally hundreds (if not thousands) of records from 1963 to 1966, admitting in later years that “At one point I was playing on three sessions a day, six days a week.” Known for his diversity as well as his virtuosity, these tracks ran the gamut from hard-edged R&B, easy-listening Burt Bacharach standards, and Top 40 pop like “Downtown” by Petula Clark, “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones, and even the James Bond theme “Goldfinger”! Of course, he also played for future legends like the Who, the Kinks, Van Morrison and David Bowie…
Page did so many dates that even he has difficulty recalling exactly what he did and who he did it for. As a result, his session-man days have taken on an almost mythical quality, leading diehard fans to endlessly debate which songs have been graced by Jimmy’s strings. In honor of the man’s 70th birthday, we’ve done our very best to separate fact from fiction and sift through hundreds of tracks to bring you our picks for his most badass session work ever. It’s a mix of incredible yet little-heard deep cuts, and beloved classics you probably never knew he had a hand in creating. Read on and rock on, friends!
Every year there’s always a crop of breakout stars but what about those who have been around for awhile? 2013 saw the return of a number of artists who raced back to prominence by topping the charts. Among the most notable returns are Justin Timberlake and Daft Punk, both of who released new albums after nearly almost a decade of no new music. The easily dominated the year in music thanks to their radio-friendly jams and diehard fans’ zealous appetite.
Forget the drugs, the cars, the Grammys, the stadiums of hysterical fans. The real reason musicians even pick up a guitar in the first place? The girls. Since the beginning of the rock era, groupies (or muses, or band-aids) are what make the music world go around, kids! From classy chicks with a penchant for rock star boyfriends/husbands to the quintessential tour bus broads, these ten groupies are the most celebrated of all time.