Archive | December, 2012

The Book of Revelation looms large on John Wesley Harding

27 Dec

The Book of Revelation looms large on John Wesley Harding. The album’s best-know track, “All along the Watchtower” (of Jimi Hendrix fame) begins with the ominous rationalization, “There must be someway out of here,” but there is no way out of here.

John Wesley Harding is the eighth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan,[1] released in December 1967 by Columbia Records. Produced by Bob Johnston, the album marked Dylan’s return to acoustic music and traditional roots, after three albums of electric rock musicJohn Wesley Harding shares many stylistic threads with, and was recorded around the same time as, the prolific series of home recording sessions with The Band, finally released in 1975 as The Basement Tapes.

The track durations cited here are those of the remastered version released September 16, 2003, and re-released June 1, 2004. Previous versions differ.

All songs written by Bob Dylan.

Side one
  1. John Wesley Harding” – 2:58
  2. As I Went Out One Morning” – 2:49
  3. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine” – 3:53
  4. All Along the Watchtower” – 2:31
  5. The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest” – 5:35
  6. Drifter’s Escape” – 2:52
Side two
  1. “Dear Landlord” – 3:16
  2. I Am a Lonesome Hobo” – 3:19
  3. “I Pity the Poor Immigrant” – 4:12
  4. The Wicked Messenger” – 2:02
  5. Down Along the Cove” – 2:23
  6. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” – 2:34

Chart positions

Year Chart Position
1968 Billboard 200 2
1968 UK Top 75 1

Personnel

Additional musicians
Technical personnel

Telstar

22 Dec

“Telstar” was written and produced by Joe Meek. It  became the first #1 record in the U.S. by a British group on December 21 1962. On that day, the Tornadoes topped the singles chart with this iconic rock instrumental.

This song was meant to suggest the dawning of the space age.

Happy Birthday Frank

21 Dec

Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer,and performer.  Zappa composed music in the genres of rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète .  Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. While in his teens, he acquired a taste for 20th-century classical composers such as Edgard VarèseIgor Stravinsky, and Anton Webern along with 1950s rhythm and blues  and doo wop.He began writing classical music in high school, and at the same time he played drums in rhythm and blues bands. He would soon switch to electric guitar.

Frank Zappa

Celebrate by listening to Civilization Phaze III is the sixty-third album by Frank Zappa, released posthumously as a double album on October 31, 1994.

The album marks the third part of a conceptual continuity that started with We’re Only in It for the Money (1968), with the second part being a reedited version of Zappa’s 1967 album Lumpy Gravy. The storyline of Civilization Phaze III involves a group of people living inside a piano, and the menacing reality of the outside world. The album’s themes include personal isolation and nationalism.

Ravi Shankar 1920- 2012

12 Dec

Labeled “the godfather of world music” by  George Harrison, Ravi Shankar inspired many professional musicians as well as millions of lovers of music to explore the traditions of Indian music.

“He was legend of legends,” Shivkumar Sharma, a noted santoor player who performed with Shankar, told Indian media. “Indian classical was not at all known in the Western world. He was the musician who had that training … the ability to communicate with the Western audience.”

I am one of many that met Ravi Shankar through the Beatles, and Shivkumar Sharma has a point. But I rather think this notion is more accurate for popular music and it’s audience. All types of  music from the east was making inroads into the western sound-scape. Many composers in the west were influenced by Asian and middle eastern music long before George Harrison of the Beatles became entranced with it.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)  was one western composer of many. Debussy’s principal influences included the music of Russia, the exotic colors of Asian music (which he first heard at the Paris International Exposition in 1889), and the ideas of writers and poets like Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Verlaine, and Charles-Pierre Baudelaire.

An introduction to Indian music by Ravi Shankar.

Shankar on music.

Chants of India. George Harrison produced Shankar’s album Chants of India (1997), in which classical Indian forms (mantras and chants based on Sanskrit prayers) were combined with a choir and Western instrumentation including vibraphone, harps, violins and cellos. Harrison also edited Shankar’s autobiography, Raga Mala (Garland of Ragas, 1999), and once dubbed him “the Godfather of world music”.

Marty Robbins Hits It With “That’s All Right”!

7 Dec

 

On December 7, 1954, Marty Robbins became the first major artist to cover an Elvis Presley hit. He recorded Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right.” and it turned into a Top Ten hit on the Billboard Country chart.

 

Marty Live

 

Arthur Crudup’s Original

“Monday morning feels so bad/Coming Tuesday I feel better”

2 Dec

Friday on My Mind is a 1966 song by Australian rock group The Easybeats. Written by band members George Young and Harry Vanda the song became a worldwide hit, reaching #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 1967 in the States,  reaching #1 on the Dutch Top 40 chart,[3] #1 in Australia and #6 in the UK, as well as other countries. In 2001, it was voted “Best Australian Song” of all time by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) as determined by a panel of 100 music industry personalities.

Original Release

Written by band members George Young and Harry Vanda.

Best Australian Songs of all time.

Monday morning feels so bad,
Ev’rybody seems to nag me
Coming tuesday I feel better,
Even my old man looks good,
Wednesday just don’t go,
Thursday goes too slow,
I’ve got Friday on my mind

Chorus

Gonna have fun in the city,
Be with my girl she’s so pretty,
She looks fine tonight,
She is out of sight to me,
Tonight….I spend my bread,
Tonight…I lose my head,
Tonight…I got to get tonight
Monday I have Friday on my mind.

Do the five day drag once more,
Know of nothing else that bugs me
More than working for the rich man,
Hey I’ll change that scene one day,
Today I might be mad,
Tomorrow I’ll be glad,
I’ve got Friday on my mind,

A Live Version

The great Richard Thompson covers it..

David Bowie Cover