1979: Hot Stuff by Donna Summer
1978: Shadow Dancing by Andy Gibb
1977: Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
1976: Silly Love Songs by Paul McCartney & Wings
1975: Love Will Keep Us Together by The Captain & Tennille
1974: Billy, Don’t Be a Hero by Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods
1973: My Love by Paul McCartney & Wings
1972: Candy Man by Sammy Davis, Jr
1971: It’s Too Late/I Feel the Earth Move by Carole King
1970: The Long and Winding Road/For You Blue by The Beatles
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:
Here Comes the Sun
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”
Okay, so today might not be your birthday, but it is mine. So, happy birthday to me and my fellow May 23rd people.
Here are some tunes to help me celebrate. Feel free to use when it’s your birthday.
“Today is Your Birthday”- The Beatles (performed here by Paul McCartney)
“Happy Birthday” – Stevie Wonder
“Happy Birthday to You” – Mariah Carey (performed for Muhammad Ali)
“Snuffy’s Birthday Song” – Sesame Street Gang
Here in NYC, it’s been raining, and raining. So, in honor of all the water that keeps falling from the sky, let’s enjoy some “rain” songs.
“Here Comes The Rain Again” – Eurythmics
“Rain King” – Counting Crows
“Rain” The Beatles
“It’s Raining Again” – Supertramp
“The Rain Song” – Led Zeppelin
“Rhythm of the Falling Rain” – The Cascades
“Purple Rain” – Prince
“Blame It On The Rain” – Milli Vanilli
“A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” – Bob Dylan
“Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” – Creedence Clearwater Revival
And my favorite rain song: “November Rain” – Guns N’ Roses
Today, Feb. 25, 2009, would’ve been George Harrison’s 66th birthday. He was the lead guitarist of The Beatles and crafted some of the group’s songs, including While My Guitar Gently Weeps, the love song Something, the psychedelic Blue Jay Way, Within You Without You (no other Beatle performs on this song; George plays the sitar), and the gem Here’s Comes The Sun.
His solo work showed off his song writing skills and his stellar guitar talent. His triple album masterpiece All Things Must Pass includes such hits as My Sweet Lord, If Not For You, What Is Life, Isn’t It A Pity, and the title track.
His posthumously-released album Brainwashed and his work as part of the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys are highly recommended as well.
Today marks the 5th anniversary of Johnny Cash’s passing. He was 71, and had only three months prior, suffered the loss of his wife, June Carter Cash. Despite being sick since 1997 with Autonomic Neuropathy, the Man in Black continued to perform until just two months before his death.
American IV: The Man Comes Around is the fourth album in Johnny Cash’s American series. Most songs are covers which Cash performs in his own simple style. The Eagles’ “Desperado,” Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” The Beatles’ “In My Life,” Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” and Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” are included on this album. American IV: The Man Comes Around was the first of Cash’s albums to go gold in thirty years, and the last album he released during his lifetime.
The most popular song from this collection is Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.” The video for “Hurt” was nominated in seven categories at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards and won for Best Cinematography. The video also won a Grammy for Best Short Form Video in 2004. This video is now known as Johnny Cash’s epitaph, since he expressed his view of his past and feelings of regret in this rendition.
Watch some of the videos from American IV below.
And here are some of his classics:
The Man in Black
In honor of…in respect for, or in fear of the IRS on this 15th of April, here are my Top 10 songs about money. Click on the song titles for the videos or live performances of these songs.
Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems – Notorious B.I.G. with Puff Daddy and Mase
Money’s Too Tight to Mention (To Mention) – Simply Red
Take The Money And Run – Steve Miller Band
Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) – Pet Shop Boys
You Never Give Me Your Money – The Beatles
Money – Pink Floyd
Money, Money, Money – ABBA
Money – The Beatles
Money For Nothing – Dire Straits
Money Talks – AC/DC
Early on, John Lennon loved rock ‘n’ roll, and formed his first band when he was sixteen. Paul McCartney attended a performance in 1957 and became a band member soon after that. Paul and John shared mutual admiration for each other’s musical abilities and intelligence. They knew they could create magic together, and agreed that everything written by either of them would be credited to Lennon-McCartney, a promise they managed to keep for almost fifteen years.
As the 60s were fading and the U.S. morale was too, the Beatles captured the essence of the time. The White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be, released in ’68, ’69, and ’70 were the beginning of the end for the group.
When the group broke up, Lennon switched his loyalty from McCartney to Yoko Ono, and suffered because of it. His public statements and behavior insinuated as much. However, the difficulty proved to bring forth his most fascinating and enduring works: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, released in 1970 and 1971.
Those emotionally-driven albums set the tone for Lennon in the 70s, his last decade. He spent the first half fighting the U.S. Immigration Department for his green card, drinking too much, and begging for peace. He spent the second half in seclusion and being a househusband caring for his son Sean. His sentiments come to life on one of my favorite songs, Watching The Wheels.
A creative frenzy emerged in 1980, and Double Fantasy was released a month prior to his death. On the evening of December 8, 1980, John and Yoko were already at work on their next project when, coming home from a recording session, Lennon was shot to death by a young man to whom he’d given an autograph that same afternoon – Mark David Chapman.
The death of John Lennon was perhaps the most emotionally felt of rock deaths. He, in many ways, represented the soul of the Beatles and of 60s rock. Yes, there was an equal outpouring of emotion for Elvis Presley in 1977, which still continues today. John Lennon’s death was equally as shocking, but also violent, and came at a time when he was emerging from a period of silence and at a time when the world really needed his voice.
Click on the songs below for their videos:
Ringo Starr was born Richard Starkey Jr. on July 7, 1940, making him the oldest Beatle, only thee months older than John. He was also the last to join The Beatles in 1962, replacing Pete Best as drummer.
Starr is left-handed, but plays a right-handed drum kit. His left-handedness contributes to his distinctive drumming style. He’s had an influence on modern drumming techniques and now-famous drummers, while still being underrated. He uses the matched grip – the method of holding both sticks in the same way. He also tunes the drums lower. His unique style is especially effective on Hello, Goodbye, Hey Jude, and the dynamic bass drumming in Lady Madonna.
Aside from keeping the beat, Ringo’s baritone voice took the lead on one song per album, most notably on With A Little Help From My Friends, Yellow Submarine, and Octopus’s Garden, which he composed.
While I am too young to have seen the Fab Four perform as a group, I was able to see Ringo playing drums for the Beach Boys after they lost Dennis Wilson.
His best known solo hits include Photograph, It Don’t Come Easy, and You’re Sixteen.
Here’s an article entitled “13 Reasons To GIve Ringo Some Respect.”
Watch the colorful, fun video for You’re Sixteen here.
George Harrison, born February 25, 1943, was the youngest of The Beatles and the composer of the group’s Here Comes The Sun, Something, While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Blue Jay Way, among others.
His first solo album, the majestic All Things Must Pass – a triple LP – was made up mostly of songs he had written during his time with The Beatles. It was remastered and expanded in 2001, making it even easier to appreciate the talent of Harrison. My Sweet Lord, What is Life, Isn’t It a Pity, If Not For You and the title track are his greatest songs and all appear on this highly recommended album.
Click here for a tribute to George Harrison with All Things Must Pass as the backdrop.
For George’s acoustic version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, click here.
In honor of the upcoming December 8th anniversary of John Lennon’s passing, the next few posts will be Beatles-related. I’ll be remembering the Fab Four – the group that changed the look and sound of music forever.
To start things off, click here for an introduction to the Beatles prior to the Ed Sullivan Show.
And here, on their first visit to America and The Ed Sullivan Show, The Beatles sing I Want To Hold Your Hand.
Vote for your favorite Beatle below: