Adeli’s Music Blog

Love Potion Number 9

Posted in music by adeli on August 25, 2009

Chris Curtis, a drummer with the Searchers , was born in Oldham, England on this day in 1941. The Searchers’ biggest hit “Love Potion Number 9” is one of my favorite oldies.

Another video option:

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Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)

Posted in music by adeli on August 23, 2009

On this day in 1972, Looking Glass hit the top of the Billboard singles chart with “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl).” I’ve loved this song since I was a child, but never new anything else about this band. And I definitely imagined the singer differently, as this song and his voice have an R&B feel to it.

Here are the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing “Brandy”

“Two Guys From the 70’s” doing a fun analysis of this song.

Kind of Blue, 50th Anniversary

Posted in music by adeli on August 17, 2009

Miles Davis’ masterpieces was released on August 17, 1959. It was recorded in only two days earlier that year. The sessions featured Davis’s sextet, which consisted of Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly on piano, Jimmy Cobb on drums, Paul Chambers on bass, and John Coltrane and Julian Adderley on sax.

Here’s Davis performing “So What,” the first track on the album:

Listen to what musicians have to say about this classic album.

Woodstock

Posted in music by adeli on August 17, 2009
Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

It was 40 years ago that the original Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in rural Bethel, New York. The festival took place from Aug. 15-18, 1969.

Thirty-two acts performed for about half a million concertgoers during the weekend. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest moments in popular music history and was listed on Rolling Stone’s 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.

Among the performers: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Santana, Jefferson Airplance, CCR, The Who, Grateful Dead, Sly & the Family Stone, Blood Sweat and Tears.

Joe Cocker’s memorable Woodstock performance of “A Little Help From My Friends”

Santana “Soul Sacrifice”

Jimi Hendrix “Purple Haze”

Bill Evans

Posted in music by adeli on August 16, 2009

Bill Evans, born on August 16, 1929 (80 years ago today) was an one of America’s most influential jazz pianists. His inventive interpretation of traditional jazz influenced and inspired a generation of pianists and jazz musicians. He worked with several jazz artists, including Charles Mingus, and most notably with Miles Davis. He was with Miles’ sextet for less than a year, but returned to the band in 1959 to work on the jazz masterpiece Kind of Blue.

Later that year, Evans formed a trio, which included bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian, and recorded four albums: 1959’s Portrait in Jazz, and Explorations, Sunday at the Village Vanguard, and Waltz for Debby, which were all recorded in 1961.

Below are some of Bill Evans’ performances:

Elvis: The Fashionista

Posted in music by adeli on August 15, 2009

Elvis was a true American Idol and the King of Rock and Roll and… a fashionista? Yes. Elvis perfected, or at least took, the 1970’s jumpsuit phenomenon to new levels! The jumpsuits he wore for his performances were specially made for him, and often, the idea for their designs came from Elvis himself.

At Graceland, there is a hall with Elvis’s jumpsuits and some of his other outfits on display. The one he’s wearing in the photo shown above is on display as well. His gold lamé suit and the black leather outfit from his 1968 Comeback Special can also be viewed.

Below, are some photos I took at Graceland last year. Everything was behind glass cases, so unfortunately, there’s some glare in the photos.

The Gold Lamé Suit

The Gold Lamé Suit

Red Velvet Jacket

Red Velvet Jacket


1968 Comeback Special: Black Leather Outfit

1968 Comeback Special: Black Leather Outfit

Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits

Memphis '74 Suit and Cape

Memphis '74 Suit and Cape

Elvis: The Ed Sullivan Show Classic Performances

Posted in music by adeli on August 14, 2009

Elvis Presley’s early TV performances, with his hip gyrations, high energy, and soulfulness, fascinated young people and shocked the adults of a repressed nation. Elvis changed the world with his historic performances on The Ed Sullivan Show; his first performance on September 9, 1956 drew an unprecedented record-breaking viewing audience of about 72 million. His style of singing and performances were revolutionary at that time. For all these reasons, and many more, Elvis: The Ed Sullivan Show – The Classic Performances DVD is a great treat to watch.

On the DVD, you’ll get all three of Elvis’s headlining performances from September 9, 1956, October 28, 1956, and January 6, 1957, each provoking more ecstatic screams from the ladies in the audience. His movements on the stage were considered indecent at the time and, unbeknownst to him, he was only filmed from the waist up during his third appearance. Elvis performed his hits of the time: Don’t Be Cruel, Hound Dog, Heartbreak Hotel, Too Much, Love Me Tender, When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again, Love Me, along with the gospel song (There’ll Be) Peace in the Valley (For Me).

During his performances, Elvis’s sense of humor shines through, as he doesn’t know what to make of the hysterics from the audience. Between songs, Elvis is the humble Southern gentleman many people have said he was by thanking the audience in the studio and at home for “the success you’ve let us have” and for the 282 Teddy bears he had received from fans.

This 47-minute DVD is packed with Special Features, including an Ed Sullivan bio, home movies from Presley’s friend Jerry Schilling, interviews from Sam Phillips (Sun Studios’ head, where Presley first recorded), Marlo Lewis (Ed Sullivan Show producer), Wink Martindale (TV host), and George Klein (a DJ and Presley’s high school classmate) and more. This collection of Elvis performances and commentary is an excellent way to get a feel for what he was like as a performer early in his career and during the start of the Elvis frenzy. His performances are in black in white, while many of the extras are in color..

The world had never seen or heard anyone quite like Elvis before. No one had that look or that voice that could sing rock and roll, love songs, gospel, or country. Elvis was so unique that his music and his persona still live even thirty-two years after his passing. This DVD is a great way to remember the King of Rock and Roll.

Elvis: The Gospel Side

Posted in music by adeli on August 11, 2009

Growing up, Elvis knew everything about gospel music and it was the type of music he enjoyed singing the most. He was very spiritual, and you can tell by listening to his inspirational and religious songs. They weren’t all serious songs though; many were uplifting and upbeat, as lively gospel revivals were a huge form of entertainment in the South during the 50’s.

Below are a few of my favorite gospel songs performed by Elvis:

Swing Down Sweet Chariot

(There’ll Be) Peace in the Valley (For Me)

Milky White Way

I’ve Got Confidence

Crying in the Chapel

Amazing Grace

For more on Elvis’s gospel and inspirational performances, click here.

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Elvis Week ’09

Posted in music by adeli on August 10, 2009

Elvis Week happens twice a year. In Memphis, flocks of fans descend on Graceland to celebrate his birthday on January 8th and in August to commemorate his passing on August 16th.

Elvis Week is packed with events and tributes at Graceland and around Memphis. Here, on Adeli’s Music Blog, I do my best to entertain and inform my readers about the King of Rock n’ Roll, and to celebrate his music.

Last year, I gave you a small tour of Graceland and wrote about the different sides of Elvis (country, gospel, rock). This year, I’ll show you more of what you might see if you visit Graceland, including displays of his awards, his cars, and his famous jumpsuits, a review of the newly-released DVD of Elvis’s classic performances on the Ed Sullivan show, and of course, more music!

Let’s begin by watching a new (new to most) video (mixed with classic footage) of one of Elvis’s earliest hits from 1956.

Happy Birthday, Whitney!

Posted in music by adeli on August 9, 2009

Today is Whitney Houston’s 46 birthday! From her recent appearances, she looks better than ever. And after hearing her new single “I Look To You,” I can say she is sounding just as great.

Whitney, we’ve missed you and we are counting down to the arrival of your new album at the end of this month. Happy Birthday!

I’m Every Woman

Happy 40th Anniversary, Abbey Road!

Posted in music by adeli on August 8, 2009

The famous photo that graced the cover of the Beatles’ Abbey Road, the last album recorded together, shows the Fab Four walking purposefully across the zebra-striped asphalt. It remains one of music’s best-known album covers, often imitated and parodied. Many music fans name this album as their favorite Beatles record and/or favorite album of all-time.

Here’s the track list:

Side One
Come Together
Something
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
Oh! Darling
Octopus’s Garden
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

Side Two
Here Comes the Sun
Because
The Medley: “You Never Give Me Your Money,” “Sun King,” “Mean Mr. Mustard,” “Polythene Pam,” “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window,” “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight,” and “The End”
“Her Majesty”

Music from John Hughes’s movies

Posted in music by adeli on August 6, 2009

John Hughes, the producer, writer and director of 1980s films such as “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club” and “Some Kind of Wonderful” offered an inside look at teens and their social habits and anxieties, died today. His teen protagonists were portrayed with such honesty, unlike other comedies of the time.

Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall and Jon Cryer were featured in his films. In particular, Ringwald, became a star, thanks to her lead performances in “Sixteen Candles,” “”Pretty in Pink,” and “Breakfast Club.”

What also stood out in these films was the music. Of these films, the soundtracks with the best music were “Pretty in Pink” and Some Kind of Wonderful.” While, the Breakfast Club soundtrack was a dud, “Don’t You Forget About Me” still sounds great today. Here are musical highlights from those films.


Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink – The Psychedelic Furs

Wouldn’t It Be Nice -Danny Hutton Hitters

Shell Shock – New Order

If You Leave – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Bring on the Dancing Horses – Echo & the Bunnymen


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Twist and Shout -The Beatles


Some Kind of Wonderful

I Go Crazy – Flesh For Lulu (Some kind of Wonderful)

Miss Amanda Jones – March Violets


Breakfast Club

Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds

John Mellencamp: Life, Death, LIVE and Freedom

Posted in music by adeli on August 1, 2009

John Mellencamp’s 2008 Life, Death, Love and Freedom was loaded with introspection, pessimism, and heavy lyrics; quite prophetic for the times we rolled into soon after. It wasn’t aimed for the general audience though. Only one, “Sweet Love,” would get radio play like Mellencamp’s lighter classics.

While Mellencamp hasn’t always been a singer of happy songs, he always sounded lively enough. His tone has changed though, along with the nation’s, since the beginning of this decade with Trouble No More, Freedom’s Road, and Life, Death, Love and Freedom. His latest release Life, Death, LIVE and Freedom is a collection of live versions of songs from last year’s release, the eight best, including If I Die Sudden, A Ride Back Home, Jena, Longest Days, and Sweet Love.

When Life, Death, Love and Freedom was released last year, I bought it immediately, as any loyal Mellencamp fan would. I remarked that it was a good album but a bit depressing. At the time, I was unhappily working at a café and two songs from LDLF would come up consecutively almost daily, “Longest Days” and “Sweet Love.” Thank goodness, the latter song is peppy and helped me recover from “Longest Days.” When Mellencamp sang: “Nothing lasts forever. And when your best efforts don’t always pay. Sometimes we get sick and we won’t get better…” I wanted to take a knife to my veins (luckily, only plastic was available) or drown in a large vat of frappuccino mix. But there’s good news: The live version of that song doesn’t sound so somber on this new album.

So, now you’re thinking: “If that album was so depressing why dredge up those songs again?” Here are a few reasons. John Mellencamp has one of the best bands out there; it’s commanding and gritty, especially live. Mellencamp is a passionate and energetic live performer. Unlike so many artists who sound better when their voices are “remastered” in the studio because they can’t sing live or otherwise, Mellencamp’s raspy voice belts out his songs with equal power in both mediums. And here, the songs sound better than on their studio-recorded counterparts. These songs are presented just as they were performed, with no overdubs or enhancements. It certainly sounds like Mellencamp’s audience is having a great time. The low price of $7.99 is a nice treat too. Each one of these tunes is definitely worth at least a buck. It’s a solid rock concert album.