PRETENDERS “Back on the Chain Gang” (off the album, Learning to Crawl)
When Roxy Music first appeared in the early 70s, they were the consummate art-rock combo.
80s music powerhouse Tears For Fears return with a greatest hits compilation which includes two new songs viz. the anthemic “I Love You But I’m Lost” and the balladic “Stay”.
The story of the ascent of rock music is lovingly told by the author, who turned 21 that year. The context behind many of the classic rock artists and albums is vividly described. Well researched with detailed accounts, the reading enjoyment is enhanced by a Spotify playlist of course!
… still there’s more …
Last time out, we took a closer look at POWER POP in our analysis of the key genres that make up our preferred musical styles. Next, we look at POP.
We love analysing our favourite music, which as it now stands, we apply the all-encompassing term POWER POP ROCK N ROLL to define. We do not believe that any artist or band worth their salt would create music that could be pigeon-holed so easily, which is why our term POWER POP ROCK N ROLL comprises quite a few key genres that we will spend a fair bit of time to discuss. We begin with POWER POP!
Like most artists that emerged during the post-punk/new wave era, Elvis Costello suffers from the same dilemma, that is, of being perpetually branded as a product of the 80s music scene.
Considering that rock legend Bruce Springsteen is famous for his lyrical genius, the very idea of a Springsteen memoir is exciting and intriguing. Would an autobiography match up to the cinematic lyrics found in classics like “Born in the USA”, “The Promised Land” and of course, “Born to Run”?
Back in 1980, singer-songwriter Billy Joel was already railing against the stratification of rock & pop music.
The legendary David Bowie passed away on 10th January 2016, mourned by music lovers worldwide. On what would have been his 70th birthday (i.e. 8th January), the No Plan EP was released.
Rhythm & Blues is the bedrock of much of modern rock and pop music. Basically R&B is a genre of popular African-American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was coined in the post-war years to replace “Race Music”, meaning – “a catchall term referring to any music that was made by and for black Americans”.
The 80s was a special time for rock music as the aftermath of punk in the late 70s resulted in bands reinventing rock music by infusing many different musical styles into traditional rock forms inspired by world music, the avant garde and also more significantly, the technological advances in synthesisers.
As the title of his autobiography Not Dead Yet suggests, singer/drummer/producer/actor/film composer Phil Collins is a bit of a joker. This 400-page book is written in a breezy style and it would not be too difficult to finish it all off in a couple of days.
2016 will forever be notorious for the number of celebrity deaths that occured during its 12 months. We are not of the view that there is anything too distinctive about the number of deaths this year, except to opine that this seeming increase in celebrity deaths may be down to a function of age and perhaps drug/alcohol abuse – though that does not quite explain Keith Richards’ remarkable longevity. We want to take this time to look back in rock history and remember the musicians who died much too young – before even turning 30 (the end of youth perhaps).
The Kinks is a band that deserve more recognition than they have received. Although never quite valued in the same manner as many of their 60s peers, in many ways, The Kinks contributed as much to the development of rock music as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who & Pink Floyd.
A furious debate typically surrounds the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame when it announces its annual inductees. In 2017, the likes of Tupac, Pearl Jam, Joan Baez, Electric Light Orchestra, Journey and Yes have been added to the list.
With the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President-Elect of the USA, commentators have remarked that perhaps this era will also see the return of the protest song, prevalent during the tenure of hardline conservative leaders like Ronald Reagan (USA) and Margaret Thatcher (UK) in the 1980s.
In the 1950s, at the dawn of rock ’n’ roll and the apex of hipster jazz music, album covers were functional and intended as a pure marketing tool. To wit,
A light-hearted post ‘celebrating’ the album covers which for some reason were set in the lavatory! Check ’em out!!
MILLIE JACKSON – BACK TO THE S__T!
In our humble opinion, the Nineties represented perhaps the final great rock decade before being utterly overwhelmed by hip-hop music as the defining modern cultural zeitgeist. But what is interesting to note is that in many ways, much of the rock music made in the Nineties reflected nostalgically the pop music of the Sixties. Here are some examples for your consideration.
The album cover is a lost art now. In this feature, we celebrate some of our favourites (and the people behind them) over the course of rock history.
Although the legendary British rock band Queen effectively ended with the tragic death of lead singer Freddie Mercury over 20 years ago, the legacy of the band remains vital and strong. Now, add this previously unreleased set of recordings to the must-have with list of every diehard Queen fan.
Punk. 1977. Ground zero.
The torn t-shirts, the spiky coloured short hair, the spitting and most of all the back-to-basics retro-pop caused a seismic shift in musical tastes and styles that was not fully felt till the early 80s. US bands like The Stooges and New York Dolls paved the way ultimately for British punks like The Sex Pistols, The Clash and the Damned. In the wake of punk, a new approach to pop-rock (variously labelled ‘post-punk’ or ‘new wave’) emerged making superstars of the likes of Blondie, The Cars, The Police et al.
But what about the 70s prog rockers? Well, they had to adapt to stay relevant. Here are examples of 80s pop songs made by progressive rockers.