Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ROCK Sex: 'You Are So Beautiful': Billy Preston> Dennis Wilson> Joe Cocker

BILLY PRESTON is known as 'the fifth Beatle' and 'the sixth Stone', but who knew he was an adjunct Beach Boy?

In 1974, Billy jammed with Beach Boy Dennis Wilson at a party, and their ad-lib became the song, "You Are So Beautiful".

BILLY PRESTON -"You Are So Beautiful" (1974)

Later that year, JOE COCKER transformed it into his signature song.

JOE COCKER -"You Are So Beautiful" (1974)

For the next eight years, until his untimely death, Dennis Wilson closed out Beach Boys concerts with the ballad.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

ROCK Sex: 'The Dreams that You Dare to Dream': The Wizard of Oz> ELO

"Somewhere over the rainbow,
skies are blue..."

In "THE WIZARD OF OZ" (1939), the Wicked Witch of the West gets a shock when she goes for the ruby slippers.

Jeff Lynne made a concept album with the ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA about a man escaping his dull life through dreams. So what's a better cover photo than this?

Electric Light Orchestra,
"El Dorado" (1974)

Friday, October 19, 2012

ROCK Sex: 'Early In the Morning': Louis Jordan> Elmore James> Emitt Rhodes> Nilsson> Gap Band

Well, if you've gotta face the new day, you might as well sing!

Here's varied songs with the same theme.

Blues lament by the great SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON.

SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON -"Early In the Morning" (1937)
Amazon preview

A different song, swaying between Barrelhouse and Mambo, by the devious LOUIS JORDAN.

LOUIS JORDAN -"Early In the Morning" (1947)

Fierce guitar workout of the Sonny Boy Williamson song by Rock pioneer ELMORE JAMES.

ELMORE JAMES -"Early In the Morning" (1953)

A Gospel-soaked Pop original by BOBBY DARIN, that had to compete with Buddy Holly's cover version!

BOBBY DARIN -"Early In the Morning" (1957)

A pretty folk ode.

PETER, PAUL, and MARY -"Early In the Morning" (1962)

Perfect Pop by Emitt Rhodes and company.

THE MERRY GO ROUND -"Early In the Morning" (1968)
Amazon preview

A Baroque Pop hit.

VANITY FARE -"Early In the Morning" (1969)

An ethereal cover of the Louis Jordan song by the One-Man-Beatles.

HARRY NILSSON -"Early In the Morning" (1971)

Electro Funk by the mighty dance masters, with Blues licks.

THE GAP BAND -"Early In the Morning" (1982)

A fiery Garage Punk cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's song.

THE GORIES -"Early In the Morning" (1990)

A song as bright as a new day should be.

JAMES VINCENT McMORROW -"Early In the Morning, I'll Come Calling"" (2010)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ROCK Sex: 'Love Is the Drug': Roxy Music> Chic> Grace Jones> Duran Duran

in the mid-70's, ROXY MUSIC began intersecting their Art Rock with Funk, through Bryan Ferry's love of Soul music.

The quintessential "Love Is the Drug" was the game-changer.

ROXY MUSIC -"Love Is the Drug" (1975)

Nigel Rogers loved the tight terse bass sound so much that it inspired this classic by CHIC.

CHIC -"Good Times" (1979)

(Many other songs were then catapulted by this song.)

The combination of angular pop with martial disco influenced PostPunk, Mutant Disco, and New Wave bands to follow.

In the nexus of Reggae Dub, Disco, and New Wave was GRACE JONES with her cover version.

GRACE JONES -"Love Is the Drug" (1980)

And if you combine the two songs by Roxy Music and Chic, you have the template for DURAN DURAN.

DURAN DURAN -"Planet Earth" (1981)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

LADIES FIRST: 'Kultes Klares Wasser': Malaria!> Chicks On Speed

LADIES FIRST celebrates classics that 'she did first'.

The great original...

MALARIA! -"Kaltes Klares Wasser (Cold Clear Water)" (1982)

...and the great cover...

CHICKS ON SPEED -"Kaltes Klares Wasser" (2001)

Monday, October 8, 2012

ROCK SEX: 'Too Many People!': The Hollies> The Leaves> McCartney> Pet Shop Boys

Same title, different songs!

British Invasion!

THE HOLLIES -"Too Many People" (1965)

(There's also a Manfred Mann song somewhere.)

Garage Rock!

THE LEAVES -"Too Many People" (1965)

Garage Rock!

LITTLE JOHN & THE MONKS -"Too Many People" (1965)
iTunes preview

Boogie Rock!

PAUL & LINDA McCARTNEY -"Too Many People" (1971)

(Paul is playing all the music.)

Gospel Soul!

REVELATION -"Just Too Many People" (1975)

(Remade by Melissa Manchester.)

Glam Metal!

VARDIS -"Too Many People" (1983)

Alt Pop!

PET SHOP BOYS -"Too Many People" (1993)

Recently Wet Wet Wet had a big Soul Pop hit with the same title.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

ROCK Sex: 'Amen Break': How 6 Seconds From 1969 Propels All Modern Music

The Winstons

Refine the past to redefine the future.

This is the catalyst for culture and creativity. Nate Harrison breaks it all down in his video thesis.

    "I find this quite interesting. Hundreds of tracks, dozens of DJs, a number of clubs and events, in effect an entire subculture- based on this one drumbeat. I mean, based on six seconds from 1969."

-"Video explains the world's most important 6-second drum loop" (2004)

    "During the 80's, when DJs plundered old Jazz and R'n'B records looking for samples, HipHop music in particular and Electronic music in general were not the Pop phenomena and moneymakers we know them as today.

    There seemed to be a brief few sort-of glory years back then, when the novelty of sampling and the rate at which it was being employed as a new technique proved faster than the rate at which any sort of copyright bureaucracy could maintain the law. Older bits of sampling were appropriated, perhaps under the assumption of their being able to be freely used, in the spirit of a pledge to new forms.

    In other words, sampling was not seen as simply rehashing past sounds, but as an attempt to make new from something old, an artistic strategy as time-honored as creativity itself.*

    Only when these Urban forms started receiving a lot of attention and making a lot of money did people and -more importantly- Corporate bigwigs who held the copyrights to much of the back catalog of contemporary American music start cracking down on copyright violation."

© Nate Harrison, 2004.

*(italics mine)

Nate Harrison's thesis and installation

Thursday, October 4, 2012

JAZZ Sex: 'How High the Moon': Les & Mary> Sarah> Bird> Miles> Trane

"HOW HIGH THE MOON" came from a Broadway revue called "Two For the Show" (1940) and quickly became a standard.

One of the greatest versions was by LES PAUL and MARY FORD. The sonic wizards multi-tracked their angel chorals and electronic tones in a way that sounded otherworldy to 1950's radio audiences.

Paul's quicksilver and fierce leads influenced all the Jazz and Rock'n'Roll that would follow.

LES PAUL and MARY FORD -"How High the Moon" (1951)

Ella Fitzgerald did the song many times, and here SARAH VAUGHAN does a fun homage to Ella's adventurous scatting.

SARAH VAUGHAN -"How High the Moon" (live, 1957)

Bebop pioneers often played the standards straight at dancehalls, and free-associated radically off of their chord structures in bebop nightclubs.

New songs rose out of "How High the Moon" like these varied classics.

CHARLIE PARKER -"Ornithology" (1946)

MILES DAVIS -"Solar" (1954)

JOHN COLTRANE -"Satellite" (1960)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

LADIES FIRST: 'Mind Your Own Business': Delta 5> Chicks On Speed> Pigface

LADIES FIRST respects the classics
that 'she did first'.

Straight out of Leeds, with Funk-influenced PostPunk like their compatriots GANG OF FOUR, here is DELTA 5.

DELTA 5 -"Mind Your Own Business" (1979)

Here's CHICKS ON SPEED getting into their business.

CHICKS ON SPEED -"Mind Your Own Business" (2000)

Also getting busy with it are PIGFACE, a rotating supergroup centered around Martin Atkins and William Rieflin.

PIGFACE -"Mind Your Own Business" (2003)