Sunday, September 30, 2012

ROCK Sex: "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" - Ray Charles > Gerry And The Pacemakers

ROCK Sex brings you two variations on good advice.

Today, same title, different song.


Here's Ray Charles, singing a song written by Joe Greene.

RAY CHARLES -"Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'" (1959)

And here's Gerry Marsden writing and singing his own original classic.

GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS -"Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" (1964)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Saturday, September 29, 2012

ROCK Sex: 'A Spooky Little Girl Like You' - Classics IV + Francoise Hardy = Barry Adamson

ROCK Sex shows how creative culture works.

Today's relay, A + B = C.


One cool thing...

CLASSICS IV -"Spooky" (1968) another cool thing...

FRANCOISE HARDY -"Le Temps des Souvenirs" (1965)

...equals a new cool thing!

BARRY ADAMSON -"Something Wicked This Way Comes" (2006)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Friday, September 28, 2012

ROCK SEX: "Way of the World" - Cheap Trick > R.E.M.

ROCK Sex says the world goes round and round and life goes on and on.

Everything that goes around comes around, that's just the way.


Here's Cheap Trick in 1979...

CHEAP TRICK -"Way of the World" (1979)

...and here's an early R.E.M. song written in 1980.

R.E.M. -"All the Right Friends" (rel. 2001)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Thursday, September 27, 2012

ROCK Sex: "Uh Huh Her" - P.J. Harvey > Uh Huh Her

ROCK Sex says this is not the same song.


UH HUH HER is a 2004 album by P.J. Harvey.

It inspired the band name for the duo of Leisha Hailey and Camila Grey.

UH HUH HER -"Not A Love Song" (2008)

(This is not a Public Image Ltd. song.)

PUBLIC IMAGE LTD. -"This Is Not A Love Song" (1983)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ROCK Sex: "Charlie Don't Surf" - APOCALYPSE NOW > The Clash > Tears For Fears

ROCK Sex says Uncle Sam don't think but we think he should.


APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) is Francis Ford Coppola's epic meditation on the insanity of the Vietnam War.

He particularly skewers military imperialism in a sequence where U.S. soldiers seize a beach just for some surfing recreation. When asked why, the off-sane Officer (Robert Duvall) scoffs that the Vietcong (called the VC, or 'Victor Charlie') are no threat because "Charlie don't surf."

Joe Strummer, who traveled the world as a child with his diplomat father, put the political consciousness into Punk music.

He used the line as the title of a song mocking American Imperialism with such lines as,

"Everybody wants to rule the world
Must be something we get from birth"

THE CLASH -"Charlie Don't Surf" (1981)

A few years later, Strummer amiably approached Roland Orzabal, saying he'd nicked the title for Tears For Fears own hit, "so give us a fiver".

Roland smiled and paid up.

TEARS FOR FEARS -"Everybody Wants To Rule the World" (1985)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

ROCK Sex: Astounding Science Fiction > Queen

ROCK Sex says, 'That guy thinks he's the Queen of the universe. (I got news of the world for you, he is.)'.


Frank Kelly Freas painted this cover for the pulp anthology magazine "Astounding Science Fiction" in 1953.

Queen's drummer Roger Taylor owned a copy, and the band commissioned Freas to repaint his iconic work as their album cover in 1977.

This is the gatefold cover.

Here is the artist (second from left) showing the band his celebrated work.

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Sunday, September 23, 2012

ROCK Sex: "Fuel My Fire" - Cosmic Psychos > L7 > The Prodigy

ROCK Sex has fingerprints that belong to you.

Today, the hand-off that kindled "Fuel My Fire".


An Aussie Punk band gets the riff and chanting chorus simmering.

COSMIC PSYCHOS -"Lost Cause" (1989)

Then the ever-brilliant L7 throw gasoine on it.

L7 -"Fuel My Fire" (1994)

And here's The Prodigy reheating a Punk Electronica cover of L7.

THE PRODIGY -"Fuel My Fire" (1997)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Saturday, September 22, 2012

ROCK Sex: "Fell In Love With a Girl/Boy" - The White Stripes > Joss Stone

ROCK Sex dosen't consider it cheating!

Today, it's double-plus-good with two variations of "Fell In Love With a Girl".


Here's the Garage-Punk original...

THE WHITE STRIPES -"Fell In Love With a Girl" (2002)

...and here's the Funky Soul update!

JOSS STONE -"Fell In Love With a Boy" (2003)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Friday, September 21, 2012

ROCK Sex: "PHYSICAL GRAFFITI" - Led Zeppelin > Branford Marsalis > Rolling Stones

ROCK Sex sees the writing on the wall.

Today, the timelss cover for PHYSICAL GRAFFITI.


Here's the iconic cover for Led Zeppelin's double-album PHYSICAL GRAFFITI (1975), featuring a New York tenement building at 96 and 98 St. Mark's Place.

Jazz trumpeter Branford Marsalis, a Led Zeppelin fan, homaged this cover for his 1984 album, SCENES IN THE CITY.

It's on the same steps of the Zeppelin tenement that Mick and Keith meet up in this famous video, an early hit on MTV.

THE ROLLING STONES -"Waiting On a Friend" (1981)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Thursday, September 20, 2012

ROCK Sex: "She's Not There" - Bessie Smith + The Zombies = Malcolm McLaren

ROCK Sex says, "Her voice was soft and cool/ Her eyes were clear and bright".

Today, how A = B = C.


One cool thing...

BESSIE SMITH -"St. Louis Blues" (1925) another cool thing...

THE ZOMBIES -"She's Not There" (1964)

...equals a new cool thing.

MALCOLM McLAREN -"About Her" (2004)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


ROCK Sex says possession is 9/10 of the law.

Today, how a fine artist inspired THE EXORCIST poster.


Belgian Surrealist painter Rene Magritte provoked creative tension by combining familiar things in unfamiliar combinations.

In a series of paintings called "The Empire of Light / L'Empire des Lumières" (1950-'54), the jarring tension comes from a daylight sky resting over a night street scene.

Director William Friedkin saw these images in a book shared by actor Ellen Burstyn while filming THE EXORCIST (1973).

It inspired this classic scene in the film and the iconic poster that came from it; a subtly transgressive image of the forces of light (a shadowed priest, below) confronting the forces of darkness (a lit window, above).

That poster clearly haunts this poster for THE POSSESSION (2012).

The Magritte painting also inspired the cover for the Jackson Browne album, LATE FOR THE SKY (1974).

The scene from the film was also homaged on THE EXORCIST TV series (Season 1, 2016).

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

ROCK Sex: "Lady Madonna" - Fats Domino > The Beatles > Fats Domino / + More!

ROCK Sex listens to the music playing in your head.

Today, the parents and children of "Lady Madonna".


The Beatles' "Lady Madonna" is often said to be influenced by the specific sound and intro of this '50s song.

HUMPHREY LYTTELTON & And His Band -"Bad Penny Blues" (1956)

The sound resemblance is there, but in a wider context, the boogie piano sound had been there for four decades.

Jimmy Blythe's "Chicago Stomp" (1924) is considered the first full Boobie-Woogie piano recording. In that legacy came other greats like Big Joe Turner & Pete Johnson, Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis, and Hadda Brooks.

From the 1920s to the '50s, Boogie Woogie strolled its way from Jazz to Country to Rock'n'Roll music, where it propelled artists like Fats Domino.

FATS DOMINO -"I'm Walkin'" (1957)

Paul McCartney says he was specifically homaging Fats Domino with his song.

THE BEATLES -"Lady Madonna" (1968)

So how great is it when your hero then sings your song?

FATS DOMINO -"Lady Madonna" (1968)

Other songs inspired by this tradition (and quite possibly by "Lady Madonna") include:

STEVE MILLER BAND -"Space Cowboy" (1968)

THE MOVE -"When Alice Comes Back to the Farm" (1970)

REDBONE -"Tennessee Girl" (1970)

SUBLIME -"What I Got (Instrumental)" (1996)

BILLY BRAGG And WILCO -"Hoodoo Hoodoo" (1998)

PAUL McCARTNEY -"Fine Line" (2005)

ROBBERS ON HIGH STREET -"Bring On The Terrors" (2005)

COTTON MATHER -"Waters Raging" (2016)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Saturday, September 15, 2012

ROCK Sex: "The Only One I Know" - The Byrds > The Charlatans UK

ROCK Sex says, "The only one I see has carved her way into me.

Today, the cultural relay ricochet that led to "The Only One I Know".


"Everyone has been burned before, everybody knows the pain."

One great song...

THE BYRDS -"Everybody's Been Burned" (1967)

...leads to another.

THE CHARLATANS (uk) -"The Only One I Know" (1990)

And other great songs had lead to them.:

-The Byrds song borrows the James Bond theme for its intro.

-The Charlatans song vibes its groove off of Deep Purple's version of "Hush", (which is a descendant of The Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love").

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Friday, September 14, 2012

ROCK Sex: "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" - Horace Silver > Earth Wind & Fire > Steely Dan > Stevie Wonder > Madlib

ROCK Sex says any major groove compels you.

Today, the relay hand-off that led to "Rikki Don't Lose That Number".


"Send it off in a letter to yourself."

Influenced by Bossa Nova from Brazil, Jazz pianist Horace Silver did this tribute to his heritage.

HORACE SILVER -"Song for My Father" (1965)

One great turn deserves another... or five.

Listen for its influence on the bass in this song.

EARTH WIND & FIRE -"Clover" (1973)

And the Piano intro of this song.

STEELY DAN -"Rikki Don't Lose That Number" (1974)

And the horns of this song.

(This has one of the funniest Stevie intro skits ever!)

STEVIE WONDER -"Don't You Worry About a Thing" (1974)

And the groove of this Raggamuffin HipHop track.

US3 -"Eleven Long Years" (1993)

And full circle with this Hip Hop/ Jazz cover version.

MADLIB -"Song For My Father" (2003)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

Thursday, September 13, 2012

ROCK Sex: JIM STERANKO, Agent of S.T.Y.L.E.! - His Inspirations and His Influence

JIM STERANKO is a powerhouse of graphics innovation whose legacy is continually reflected today.

One of his most iconic works is the cover to Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D #4 (September, 1968).

This has become a classic work of Pop Art. It came from varied inspirations, and continually inspires many tributes.

Today, we look at what had inspired him and what he has inspired.

Chapter quick links:

- - - - - - - I N F L U E N C E S - - - - - - -

Steranko looked for inspiration in all other media to expand the comics palette.

He was responding to the latest advances made in the arts, film, magazines, and graphics.


- - - POP ART - - -

From the fine arts scene he admired Pop Art, Op Art, and collage.

Robert Rauschenberg, "Retroactive I", 1964.

Eduardo Paolozzi.

Bridget Riley, "Britannia" (1961)

Op artist Bridget Riley>.


- - - JAMES BOND - - -

One certain influence on his Nick Fury work -and the entire era- is the James Bond films, with their stylish Mod opening titles (Maurice Binder), gargantuan layered sets (Ken Adam), and male power fantasies.

Maurice Binder, GOLDFINGER main titles, 1964.

Maurice Binder, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE main titles, 1967.


- - - MOVIE POSTERS - - -

He favored the bold modernist graphics of film posters.

Saul Bass, VERTIGO (1958).

VERTIGO Main Titles, by Saul Bass (1957)

if... (1968)



- - - BOB PEAK - - -

All of these influences were also reflected in the magazine and poster art of the celebrated illustrator Bob Peak.

Bob Peak, Modesty Blaise illustration.

Bob Peak, MODESTY BLAISE poster (1966)

Bob Peak, "Save the Mark".

The AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Cover

And Its Continuous Influence

Distill this Molotov cocktail, shaken not stirred, and you get a unique Pop Art masterpiece.

See bigger here


- - - S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents - - -

Steranko's cover has been homaged many times by artists since.

1 - Dave Johnson (2000); John Cassaday (2000)
2 - Danny Miki (2005); Greg Horn (2007)
3 - Adi Granov (2007); Obama support (2008)
4 - Tomm Coker (2009); Mariano Laclaustra (2017)

STERANKO at Marvel

The prime visual force that defined Marvel Comics in the 1960s was Jack Kirby. (And Steve Ditko, to less degree, with Spider-Man and Dr. Strange).

But the prime force who redefined Marvel Comics was Jim Steranko. He was Stan Lee and Jack Kirby combined and amplified.

Because his stylistic innovations are too numerous for anything outside of a coffee table book, here are some varied highlights.

More than any other comics artist in the '60s, Steranko thought like a cinematographer and a graphic designer at the same time.

With the smash success of the campy Batman TV series (1966), the media described the show as a visual expression of Pop Art. Both Marvel and DC Comics tried to cash in on this cache, but no one came close to combining the potential of graphic comics with fine arts like Steranko did.

In the '40s, Jack Kirby had created the first double-page spreads with his Captain America comics. Steranko pushed that to new extremes with a modernist design sense.

See bigger here

His ambition was so boundless that he actually had a double-double page spread, opening to a vista of four pages!

See bigger here


When Steranko stepped in for two issues of The X-Men, he redesigned their logo while he was at it, creating this iconic masthead.

His cover for a Hulk annual has also been homaged many times by later artists.


Steranko is most known for his runs on Nick Fury and then Captain America. Because of him, these characters have become intertwined since the '60s.

During his issues, he created Madame Hydra.

There was a rule at Marvel Comics: "Bucky has died, and he can't come back." Steranko was the first to play with the idea of what if the 1940s sidekick did, in this celebrated hallucinatory sequence with Dali influence (1969). This planted the seed for The Winter Soldier three decades later.

Although he only worked in comics for a couple years, Steranko opened up wide possibilities that every creator has been exploring ever since.

- - - MASTER - - -

The television Westerns of the '50s and '60s were deconstructed in the early '70s by the final Western, an Eastern called "Kung Fu" (1972-1975), which challenged manifest destiny and colonialist hegemony with the heterogenous outlooks of those marginalized by it, using the hybrid perspective of Kwai Chang Caine. The Nick Fury, Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D. comic, a product of the '60s spy boom, was likewise radically inverted and reconstructed by its direct heir, Master Of Kung Fu (1974).

The celebrated run of artists -Jim Starlin, Paul Gulacy, Mike Zeck, and Gene Day- used Steranko's techniques of cineramic scope and intense graphic design, while Doug Moench's scripts replaced the gung-ho patriot (or imperialism avatar, depending) with the introspective and spiritually conflicted hero Shang Chi, who called into question the ties of violence, honor, tradition, loyalty, and dogma that bound his soul. At their best, Fury was an honorable soldier while Shang was an ethical philosopher.

Paul Gulacy's art synthesized Bob Peak, Hitchcock, and Steranko.

Paul Gulacy (#38, 1976)

Paul Gulacy (#48, 1977)
See bigger here.

Gene Day's art blended Will Eisner and Steranko.

His double-paged spreads were more ambitious and hyper-detailed than anyone, and he had a direct influence on Moore, Bissette, and Totleben's revolutionary revisal of Swamp Thing directly after. (The first Alan Moore issue of ST was illustrated by his similar brother, Dan Day.)

Gene Day (#116, 1982)
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Gene Day (#117, 1982)
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✭ Gene Day's criminally-overlooked art (MOKF #101-120) will finally be reissued and remastered after three decades of legal stasis within the Master Of Kung Fu Omnibus #4 (October 2017).

Without this chain of iconoclasts, J.H. Williams III's legendary art for Batwoman would have been impossible.

J.H. Williams III (2009)
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J.H. Williams III (2012)
See bigger here

[Nick Fury was further deconstructed and critiqued as The Comedian in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' WATCHMEN (1986).]

- - - S.T.Y.L.E Agents - - -

Will Eisner created the CITIZEN KANE of comics with his series The Spirit (1940-1952). His use of noir lighting, skewed perspective, nuanced dramedy, and dramatic splash pages and much more set the standard for all mature innovations to follow.

In 1976, Steranko's hardboiled graphic novel CHANDLER: RED TIDE refined film noir into full-contrast black and white.

The combination of Eisner and Steranko's works is reflected in Frank Miller's SIN CITY series.



George Lucas called in Steranko for design art for his homage to 1930s movie serials, who then added George's bomber jacket into the mix.


- - - OUTLAND - - -

Steranko adapted the SciFi movie OUTLAND (1981), now a cult classic, for Heavy Metal magazine by distilling it into a cutting-edge series of double-page panoramas.


- - - THE ESCAPIST - - -

In his early years, Steranko was an escape artist in the mode of Houdini. This inspired Jack Kirby to create this New God for DC Comics.

Jack Kirby (1972)

For his book "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier And Clay", author Michael Chabon combined Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, and Jim Steranko into the protagonist artist and his character, The Escapist. The acclaimed novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001.


When Captain America (literally) returned from deep freeze in the '60s, his acclimation to the modern world became irrevocably intertwined with Steranko's innovations and amplifications in the Nick Fury and Captain America books.

In the cinematic version of the same return, this is why Steranko is so strongly homaged by the iMax poster and the film's end credit design.

Watch the credits video here.

© Tym Stevens

See Also:

-Four Color Films, THE Comic Movie Review Site!

-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

-JOHN BARRY: The Influence Of The JAMES BOND Sound On Pop Music, with 2 Music Players

- THE CANON 1: 50 Books That Created Modern Culture, with Music Player
- THE CANON 2: 50 More Books That Created Modern Pop Culture, with Music Player
- THE CANON 3: 50 Recent Books That Created Modern Culture, with Music Player