Saturday, May 16, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

Bad Company - Good Lovin' Gone Bad

Bird & Animal Names In Rock And Roll History- part thirteen

Let’s continue our ongoing series about “bird” and “animal” names in rock and roll history, this time delving into some water-based names:

Amid many personnel changes and band names, the group Blue Oyster Cult finally figured out both and after a couple of albums that were recorded with the record label, Elektra (that were never released), the band signed on with Columbia Records. The group’s self-titled release in 1972 that provided listeners’ with what some say, was the precursor to heavy metal (although pale in comparison to today’s standards) but, nonetheless was filled with expressive lyrics, melodic aggressive rock, overlaid guitars and lead guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser’s high-decibel power chords. The band toured extensively and was shock rocker Alice Cooper’s opening act. Their live shows featured lasers, flash pots and Roeser’s powerful guitar solos and the band’s logo, the ancient symbol of Cronos, who was the Titan God who ate his son, the grim reaper.

But, it was the group’s fifth album release, called “Agents of Fortune” that caught the ear of FM radio, especially the infectious mid-tempo Top 40 hit “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (which was later featured in the classic John Carpenter horror movie Halloween). The cut is a staple for any classic rock radio station and is a mainstay on radio stations around the world.

Their next release did not have a song on it the caliber of “Reaper,” but introduced audiences to the inane hit single “Godzilla” and the raunchy-rocker “R.U.Ready 2 Rock.” After several album releases (including the band’s second “live” LP “Some Enchanted Evening”-1978), the band released “Fire Of Unknown Origin in 1981 that included an eclectic mixture of metal, rock and pop and included the Top 40 hit “Burnin’ For You.”

Subsequent Blue Oyster Cult albums did not have the “swagger” or successful hit singles, but still cemented the group as a pioneering rock force (they disbanded around 1989).

Toad the Wet Sprocket was a R.E.M. derived guitar-pop band from Santa Barbara, California. Their first two albums, 1989's “Bread & Circus” and 1990's album called “Pale” were kind of exploratory sounding efforts, filled with eclectic, graceful folk rock.

But as the band matured and refined their sound, it was the 1991 album called “Fear” that thrust the group into the national spotlight. The single “All I Want” hit the Billboard Hot 100 (peaking at number twenty) and another single from the release, the catchy tune called “Walk On the Ocean” also hit the top twenty and was aided by heavy video exposure. These hits and the musical greatness of the LP helped the album soar to platinum status.

Their popularity increased when the Toad the Wet Sprocket (the name of the group is taken from a Monty Python skit called “Rock Notes”) song “Brother,” was included in the Mike Meyers film “So I Married An Axe Murderer” in 1993. In 1994, after years of constant touring, the band released the album “Dulcinea” and that album produced a number one U.S. Modern Rock chart hit with the single “Fall Down” and a number five Mainstream Rock chart hit with the cut “Something’s Always Wrong.” Like its predecessor, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA.

In 1995, the band released a compilation album of B-sides entitled “In Light Syrup.” It includes the singles “Brother” as well as the single “Good Intentions,” which was featured on the hit television show for NBC “Friends.” The band cut what would be their last full studio album entitled “Coil” in 1997. The album is a well-crafted mix of melodic acoustic pop and featured the single “Crazy Life.” But, despite the success of these singles, the album failed to reach prominent sales figures and ultimately the group formally broke up in July of 1998, citing creative differences.

But, the band has temporarily reunited for special occasions including playing a benefit for the Rape Crisis Center in Santa Barbara as well as opening a few shows for the Counting Crows. In 2004, the group released a live album from a show from 1992 and in the summer of 2006 the band reformed for a thirty-four date national tour. One can only guess if the band will record again, but all the band members are still active in the music business. Glen Phillips started his solo career immediately after the break up and tours constantly and has released three solo efforts “Abulum in 2000,"”Winter Pays For Summer in 2005,”and “Mr. Lemons” in 2006 as well as performing with Nickel Creek.

One of the more interesting characters in rock/soul music is a man named Jerry Williams, better known as Swamp Dog. This eccentric, wear-your-emotions-on-your-sleeve rhythm and blues, rock musician has had an entertaining and brilliant career.

The fact that Williams has created his own legend (he claims he had no proper education and woke up one day to find himself a musical genius) only adds to this Virginia native’s mystique. Outspoken, controversial, yet somehow mesmerizing, this eclectic soul singer and song writer released his debut album “Total Destruction to Your Mind” in 1970. The album is full of rock and funk masterpieces as he cleverly mixes his Zappa-like lyrics about commercialism and capitalism, his bent views of women and his shout-out political views with infectious music and a dash of humor.

And, yes, his albums are obscure (he never went “mainstream” and that may be the alluring attribute that people are attracted to) and he has continued to make records, albeit infrequently, since 1969. His records are hard to come by, but if you are lucky enough to find one you will be lucky enough to hear one of the quirky and seminal musical minds perfect his craft.

Blue Oyster Cult Tidbits:

Due to their unique sound and diversity, Blue Öyster Cult have been very influential to many modern bands that span many genres, and are often viewed as important pioneers of several different styles of rock music that came to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s. Many heavy metal bands have cited them as a major influence, and bands such as Metallica, HIM, and Iced Earth have covered their songs on studio recordings and during live performances. The song "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" has also been covered by many diverse artists, notably The Goo Goo Dolls, The Beautiful South, Wilco, and Big Country. The legendary rockers have sold over 14 million albums worldwide.

In 1983, BOC released the LP "The Revölution by Night." The album's highest-charting single was "Shooting Shark," which was co-written by Patti Smith (it reached #83 on the charts). "Shooting Shark" also featured Randy Jackson, of Earth Wind and Fire, and later American Idol fame, on bass.

The name "Blue Öyster Cult" came from a 1960s poem written by manager Sandy Pearlman. It was part of his "Imaginos" poetry, later used more extensively in their 1988 album Imaginos.

Buy Blue Oyster Cult Music

Toad the Wet Sprocket Tidbits:

Although Toad the Wet Sprocket formally broke up in July 1998 (citing creative differences) they have gotten together many times. Here is a look at some of the concerts:

During the summer of 2007 they played several shows with lead singer Glen Phillips serving as their opening act.

On January 16, 2008, the band reunited once again to play two shows - one in St. Petersburg Florida then the next night at the House of Blues Orlando prior to joining The Rock Boat VIII.

On June 11 & 12, 2008, they played in Philadelphia and New Jersey at the Trocadero and Starland Ballroom respectively.

On June 14, 2008, they played at the 27th Annual Alexandria Red Cross Waterfront Festival.

On June 15, 2008, the band performed at The Norva in Norfolk, VA. One of the show's highlights was the band performing Glen Phillip's solo hit "Everything But You".

On December 19, 2008, the band performed on The Adam Carolla show at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA.

In May of 2009 they played a four show mini-tour including two nights at the intimate 400 seat venue The Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Buy Toad the Wet Sprocket Music

Swamp Dog Tidbits:

The cover of his 1971 album, Rat On! featuring Williams on the back of an oversized white rat, was ranked as one of the worst album covers of all time.

Williams is also a noted songwriter and record producer. Artists he has worked with include Doris Duke, Irma Thomas, Z. Z. Hill, Dee Dee Warwick and Arthur Conley.

This Date In Music History-May 16


Billy Cobham - jazz drummer (1946)

Robert Fripp – King Crimson (1946)

Nirvana bassist Chris Novoselic was born in 1965.

Janet Jackson (1966)

Simon Katz – Jamiroquai (1971)

Ralph Tresvant - New Edition (1968)

Jonathan Richman - Modern Lovers (1951)

Barbara Lee - The Chiffons (1947)

Isaac "Red" Holt of Young-Holt Unlimited and the Ramsey Lewis Trio is 77.

They Are Missed:

Born on this day in 1919 Wladziu Valentinon Liberace. He died on 4th February 1997.

US soul singer Marv Johnson died of a stroke in 1993. He had the US Top 10 single “I Love The Way You Love” and his recording of Berry Gordy's song “Come To Me” became Motown Records first ever-single (released in May 1959).

Born on this day in 1947, Darrell Sweet – Nazareth. He died on April 30, 1999 after suffering a fatal heart attack before a show in New Albany, Indiana.

The late Corinthian "Kripp" Johnson of the Dell-Vikings (sang lead on "Whispering Bells") was born in 1935.

Sammy Davis, Jr. ("Candy Man") died of throat cancer in 1990.

Jim Henson (the voice of the Muppets' Ernie on "Rubber Duckie" and Kermit on "Rainbow Connection") died of pneumonia in 1990.

Ernie Freeman ("Raunchy" and the piano player on B. Bumble & the Stingers' "Bumble Boogie") died of a heart attack in 1981.


Randy Bachman left the Guess Who in 1970.

In 1980, Dr. George C. Nichopoulous was indicted in Memphis on 14 counts of overprescribing drugs to Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and nine other patients.

Mary Wells started a two week run at #1 in 1964 with “My Guy.”

Pete Townshend spent the night in a jail in 1969 for assaulting a man during a Who gig at The Fillmore East. What Townshend didn't know was the man who jumped onto the stage was a plainclothes policeman trying to warn the audience that a fire had broken out. The Who guitarist was later fined $30 for the offense.

U2 started a three week run at #1 in 1987 with the cut “With Or Without You.”

Former New Christy Minstrels member Kim Carnes started a nine week run at #1 on the singles chart with “Bette Davis Eyes.”

Former Buggles members Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes joined Yes in 1980, replacing Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson.

Motown Records was formed in 1960.

In 1965, driving away from a gig at the Civic Hall, Long Beach, California, the limo taking the Rolling Stones back to their hotel was besieged by fans who caved in the roof by standing on it. The band attempted to hold the roof up while their chauffeur drove off with bodies falling onto the road.

The Beach Boys released their "Pet Sounds" album in 1966. The album is now regarded as the masterpiece of composer-producer Brian Wilson, and is often hailed as one of the best and most influential albums in popular music.

Tony Joe White recorded "Polk Salad Annie" in 1968.

The television special "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Forever" aired in 1983. It was a taping of the first time that Michael Jackson performed the moonwalk for a live audience.

The Britney Spears album "Oops!..I Did It Again" was released in 2000.

Crosby Stills Nash & Young went to #1 on the US album chart in 1970 with “Déjà vu.”

Thanks to Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation, in 1990 the former Chess Records Office and Studio at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago was officially recognized as a protected Chicago Landmark.

Buddy Holly signed with Coral Records in 1957.

Vinyl Collective News

Vinyl Collective has some awesome restocks available- stop by and get yours today

Vinyl Collective Restocks

APPLESEED CAST ìMare Vitalisî dbl LP lt blue/white/black/gold vinyl
DREAMEND “The Long Forgotten Friend” dbl LP
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Rumor Laid Waste” 10″
CANCER KIDS “The Possible Dream” LP
FUCKED UP “Let Likes Be Cured By Likes” LP blue/ black vinyl
FUCKED UP “Litany” 7″
GAUZE “Binbou Yusuri No Rizumu Ni Notte” LP
HIS HERO IS GONE “Plot Sickens” LP
IRON LUNG “Sexless/No Sex” LP
KYLESA “To Walk a Middle” LP
PHOBIA “Means of Existence” LP picture disc
SIEGE “Drop Dead” LP
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “This Adultery Is Ripe” LP
TRAGEDY “Nerve Damage” LP gatefold vinyl
TRAGEDY “Vengence” LP
V/A “The Right To Assemble: Vol 2″ LP

Music News & Notes

YACHT Release Limited-Edition 7” Vinyl Single, Tour UK With Patrick Wolf

YACHT is putting out their latest album See Mystery Lights (DFA Records) on July 28th, but as an added treat the duo is releasing a limited-edition 7” vinyl single called DON’T PUT OUT (Marriage Records) on June 16th. YACHT is also pleased to announce a new ten-date tour of the United Kingdom with Patrick Wolf, kicking off May 15th.

DON’T PUT OUT is a small homage to the film Ladies And Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains, a 1981 film by Lou Adler about a fictional all-girl punk band called The Stains. The message of the film, and YACHT’s single: “Don’t be an old man in a young girls’ world.”

The two tracks on the single, “Waste Of Time” and “Professionals” (which features Suzi Corpso) are songs originally performed by The Stains. On DON’T PUT OUT, “Waste Of Time” is re-imagined as an apathetic bubblegum disco track, and “Professionals,” sung by Suzi Corpso with three-chord guitar backing by YACHT’s Claire L. Evans, as the sludgy protest song it was perhaps always meant to be.

Suzi Corpso is longtime YACHT collaborator, the artist Rebecca Carlisle-Healy, sometimes known as RGB by RCH. Carlisle-Healy has recently finished Arrive Maris En Ronde, a beautiful science fiction film which stars Evans as a robot from the future named LITH.

There will be 1,000 copies of DON’T PUT OUT pressed worldwide, and the tracks will be available digitally as well. A dub version of “Waste of Time” and a remix by Hedford Vachal will be featured on the next YACHT 12″ single on DFA Records.


White Rabbits Ready "It's Frightening" For Release

White Rabbits are back with their sophmore album, "It's Frightening." The album was produced by Britt Daniel of Spoon. White Rabbits are set to tour the United States following the May 19th release of "It’s Frightening" via TBD Records. You can also head over to the band's MySpace page now and hear the record in it's entirety.

After spending the better part of two years on the road (including festival stops at Lollapallooza, Glastonbury (UK), Sasquatch, Monolith and tours with The Walkmen, Spoon, Richard Swift, The Cribs, White Denim and Tokyo Police Club) White Rabbits hunkered down in their Brooklyn practice space to set about re-envisioning the dark pop of their debut "Fort Nightly," while adding new sounds and influences to achieve an original work. The result is "It’s Frightening," their second full-length album.


Beach Boys Coming May 19th

The Beach Boys are set to release "Summer Love Songs" on May 19th. This collection features "Fallin' In Love," a song written and recorded by Dennis Wilson during the Beach Boys' Sunflower album sessions in 1970. The track has never before been released in the US and has long been out-of-print in the UK (where it was released as "Lady"). This track has also been mixed in stereo for the first time.


Mellencamp Busy

John Mellencamp has recently released information on his website about two upcoming projects.

The first, "Life, Death, LIVE Freedom" contains eight songs from last year's Life, Death, Love & Freedom album performed in concert. Mellencamp emphasizes that this album is "completely live, by the way, with no studio enhancements."

The track list:

If I Die Sudden
My Sweet Love
A Ride Back Home
Young Without Lovers
Don't Need This Body
Longest Days
Troubled Land
Look for it June 23.

His other big music project is a 4-CD/72-track box set called "On the Rural Route 7609," which is a career retrospective of his music from 1976 to 2009 (thus, the 7609). Included will be alternate takes of classic songs.

"Some of them show me actually in the process of writing them," says John, "so there's a lot of stopping and starting up again-a lot of head-scratching. It's turned into quite a project."