Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rock/Pop Tidbits

Many listeners believed that Bjork’s song “Humanbehavior” contained lyrics sang in Icelandic. Not true, say Bjork, People think it’s Icelandic, she quipped. But actually whatever noise it feels naturally to sing. Uh, have you met Yoko Ono?

In the first two years after the Beatles fired drummer Pete Best, they would gross over 24 million dollars. Best went to work as a baker, earning 8 pounds a week.

In the Spring of 1969, The Cowsills had the number two song on Billboard's Hot 100 with Hair. The changing music scene soon left them hopelessly outdated and by 1970, guitarist Bob Cowsill had a job sweeping a parking garage.

When Jerry and the Pacemakers returned to England following their first tour of America in 1964, they were shocked to find that not only did the band not make any money, they actually owed over three thousand dollars in expenses, thanks to lavish dinners and limousine rides.

Question Mark and The Mysterians 1966, number one US hit 96 Tears was recorded in the living room of their manager's house.

None of The Beatles were invited to attend the private funeral of their manager Brian Epstein. They did however hold a memorial service for their former leader a few weeks later.

The song writing team of Holland - Dozier - Holland wrote "Where Did Our Love Go" for The Marvelettes, who hated the song and turned it down. It was then offered to The Supremes, who reluctantly recorded it. By mid-July, 1964, it became their breakthrough hit, climbing all the way to number one on Billboard's Hot 100.

Phil Collins was an extra during the filming of the first Beatles' movie, "A Hard Days Night".

Although the term teeny-bopper came to mean a young teenager in the 60s and 70s, the original term bopper was a street gang term for one who was always looking for a fight.

On The Beatles 1970, #1 hit, "The Long and Winding Road", Paul McCartney played the piano, and John Lennon played bass. George and Ringo do not appear on the track at all.

Bill Haley and His Comets recorded "Rock Around The Clock" as a B side for their first Decca Records recording session. The "A" side was a song called "Thirteen Women And Only One Man In Town." The song is one of the founding cuts of rock and roll. Not bad for a B-side.

It’s ironic that of the members of ZZ Top, Dusty Hill, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard-Beard is the only member of the classic trio not to sport a beard.

Boy George once admitted that he wanted to be reincarnated as Matt Dillon’s underwear. No comment from Dillon.

Elvis' girlfriend, Ginger Alden, found him dead, lying on the floor of his bathroom. He had been seated on the toilet reading The Scientific Search For Jesus.

Twenty years after his death, a report showed that Elvis Presley was the world's best selling posthumous entertainer, with world-wide sales of over 1 billion dollars and 480 active fan clubs. He died owing $3 million.

Classic Album Cover Art

I have struggled as to exactly how to get this feature going, do I do it in some sort of chronological order, by band name, year of release..etc. I have just decided to 'wing it' and pick some of my favorites first, and go from there. I would welcome any suggestions and requests. Here is one of the classic covers of all time,and one of my favorites:

Led Zeppelin- Houses of The Holy (1973)

The concept for the cover was taken from Arthur C Clarke’s Childhood’s End. It is a collage of several photographs which were taken at the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland, by Aubrey Powell. The two children who modeled for the cover were siblings Stefan and Samantha Gate. The photo shoot was a very frustrating affair and took ten days. Shooting was done first thing in the morning and at sunset in order to capture the light at dawn and dusk, but the desired effect was never achieved due to constant rain and clouds. The photos of the two children were taken in black and white and were multi-printed to create the effect of 11 individuals that can be seen on the album cover. The results of the shoot were less than satisfactory, but some accidental tinting effects in post-production created an unexpectedly striking album cover. The inner sleeve photograph was taken at Dunluce Castle near to the Causeway.

Jimmy Page has said that the album cover was actually the second version submitted by Hipgnosis. The first, by artist Storm Thorgerson, featured an electric green tennis court with a tennis racquet on it. The band was furious that Thorgerson was implying their music sounded like a "racket", the band fired him and hired Powell in his place.

In 1974, the album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of best album package. The cover was rated #6 on VH1's 50 Greatest Album Covers in 2003.

Although Houses of the Holy initially received mixed reviews, it has since become regarded by critics as one of Led Zeppelin's finest albums. The album provided notable additions to the band's catalogue, including "Over the Hills and Far Away", "Dancing Days", "The Song Remains the Same", "D'yer Mak'er", "No Quarter" and "The Ocean", and it has sold over 11 million copies in the United States. In 2003, the album was ranked number 149 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
It was the first Led Zeppelin album to not be, at least unofficially, titled after the band. The album represents a musical turning point for Led Zeppelin, as they began to use more layering and production techniques in recording their songs. It is also the first Led Zeppelin album to be composed of completely original material.

Music News & Notes

Barry White Saluted With Two New Releases

The deep soulful voice of Barry White will be remembered over the next two months through a pair of new releases from Hip-O and Universal Music Enterprises (UME).

September 15 will see the release of Number Ones, a compilation of all the chart toppers not only by White but also his Love Unlimited Orchestra and his girl group Love Unlimited. Filling out the album are five bonus tracks that just missed the number one spot and/or have become hip-hop sample standards.

Then, on October 27, the 4-CD/1-DVD box set Unlimited will be released. The set spans his entire career from his 1972 debut with Love Unlimited through his final album, 1999's Staying Power. In between are "extended and/or rare versions of his hits, never-compiled personal favorites and LP tracks, and rare BW productions from a dozen different artists, including Gloria Scott, Tom Brock, Love Unlimited, Love Unlimited Orchestra, White Heat and others."

The DVD includes every video from his A&M Record days along with rare bonus clips, including a live duet with Luciano Pavarotti. Commentary on each clip is provided by White's co-producer and musical director Jack Perry. An included booklet has notes originally written by White along with commentary by Perry and Quincy Jones.


John Doe of "X" Re-masters "Wild Gift" at Bernie Grundman's
Record Exec Steve Kravac Oversees Prep for Premium Vinyl Release

John Doe of the proto-punk group "X" joined Porterhouse Records president Steve Kravac and mastering engineer Brian "Big Bass" Gardner for the re-mastering of 1981's "Wild Gift" at Bernie Grundman Mastering. The album was praised by Rolling Stone magazine as "the finest American punk album ever." "Wild Gift" has long been considered one of the most significant recordings of its time and stands as a testament to the originality and creativity of the Los Angeles quartet.

X was formed in 1977 after songwriter and bassist John Doe met (and later married) Exene Cervenka at a poetry workshop with rockabilly guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer D. J. Bonebrake. Ray Manzarek "discovered" the group and produced their first album, "Los Angeles," which established the band as LA's preeminent punk band.

In 1981, the group released "Wild Gift," which has been out of vinyl print for over 15 years. For the remastering at Bernie Grundman's, original 1/4" analog tape stereo masters were used for re-mastering at today's highest standards using Grundman's vintage cutting lathes. The 12" LP features 180 gram premium vinyl with original artwork and lyric sheet reproductions as per the original Slash and Elektra releases

The band's label, Porterhouse Records has created a new imprint, Prime Vinyl, specifically for the release of legacy artists and out-of-print classics in the 12" vinyl format. "Wild Gift" will be in stores on October 6, followed in spring 2010 by 1982's "Under the Big Black Sun" and 1983's "More Fun in the New World." All four original members of X are overseeing the re-issues with the help of Porterhouse Records president Steve Kravac.

For more info, visit:




THE ATLAS MOTH - A Glorified Piece Of Blue Sky
Release Date: 10.6.2009
Following up their highly regarded 2008 Pray For Tide EP, Chicago’s THE ATLAS MOTH unveil this their epic full-length debut. An awesome metal hybrid, the quintet unites sludge, doom, psychedelia, blues and more into a musical adventure few bands can deliver. With influences ranging from the Deftones to Neurosis, Cave In to Quicksand, and pulling in pieces from all that is heavy in between, THE ATLAS MOTH, Punknews says “gives me shivers... a band to watch.”

Formed in early 2007, THE ATLAS MOTH have carefully perfected their bone-shaking heaviness. “This is heavy music for heavy thinkers,” says guitarist/vocalist Steven. The band’s swamp-worthy sludge epics are heavier than sin, a call for cleansing and nothing short of brutally honest. “If most doom bands are the journey to the war, we are the battlefields,” they proclaim. A Glorified Piece Of Blue Sky is a jaw-dropping debut that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Release Date: 8.11.2009
England's XERATH make US landfall with the support of Terrorizer, Kerrang! and other critical European media. The quartet’s distinctive, self-penned "orchestral groove metal" will appeal to fans of Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Soilwork, Dimmu Borgir etc. Winners of 2008's "Fear Candy" (Terrorizer's Best of the Unsigned), the band uncage a slick and piercing sound that destroyed all other contenders for the title. Together less than two years their sound is far more seasoned than most.
A “must-watch” band for 2009.

"Invoking the spirit of Meshuggah, the bombast of Strapping Young Lad and the orchestral theatrics of Dimmu Borgir, while adding a twist of soundtrack-style composition to the mix, the four-piece have created this bomb of a debut that is sure to blow all the competition out of the water. Ones to watch" -- Kerrang

FOREST STREAM - The Crown Of Winter
Release Date: 8.11.2009
FOREST STREAM was founded in 1995 in a small Russian town called Chernogolovka, 40 km north-east of Moscow. From the very beginning, their goal was to create the music that would capture the beauty and magic of existence at the same time showing its triviality, misery, and despair. Their first new full-length in five years, the Russian metallers break a long silence with the release of The Crown Of Winter. Newly signed to Candlelight, the album’s lush and powerful sound recalls the greatness of early (and classic!) My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and Anathema while simultaneously presenting a blackend/extreme side that many will compare to latter day Emperor. FOREST STREAM opened for Katatonia on their recent tour of Russia. The dates allowed the band to connect with a new audience through much coverage of the dates on YouTube and other social networking outlets.

IMPERIAL VENGEANCE - At The Going Down Of The Sun
Release Date: 8.11.2009
IMPERIAL VENGEANCE is a British extreme metal act originally formed as a studio-based collaborative between C. Edward Alexander (vocals/guitars/orchestration) and David Bryan (bass/lyrics) in 2007. A concept band of sorts, IMPERIAL VENGEANCE's themes are firmly rooted in the glory days of the British Empire exploring a wide range of subjects influenced by its colorful social and military history, theater, literature and mythology. Debut album At The Going Down Of The Sun was largely written by gas-light and fueled by absinthe and cigar smoke. The album represents an uncomfortable meander through British history, with the title track featuring a specially recorded passage from Harry Patch, who at the age of 110 was the last surviving tommy to have seen combat in the trenches of Passchendaele.

ONSLAUGHT - Live Damnation
Release date: 8.11.2009
Bristol-based ONSLAUGHT released their debut in 1985. Quickly rising to popularity, the band would tour and record but disband in only six years time. After years of constant requests the band reformed in 2005. Returning to the stage as a warm up to writing their first new songs in nearly 15 years, the quintet performed at several of Europe's popular Christmas Festivals before entering the studio to lay down their Candlelight debut, the mega-sounding Killing Peace. Since that release, ONSLAUGHT have enjoyed a successful return to activity and popularity. Live Damnation was captured at 2008’s Damnation Festival. This special CD/DVD is a must-have for longtime fans and a great introduction to those who've yet to experience the band’s classic thrash sounds.

VIATROPHY - Viatrophy
Release Date: 8.25.2009
In a scene saturated with over-produced and uninspired bands, the UK's VIATROPHY are a metal band with a point to prove. Chaos, detritus, broken ceilings, torn carpets, spilt pints, broken limbs, and of course, epic fucking metal, these are the things you can expect from VIATROPHY live. The band's Candlelight released, self-titled debut was recorded at Fortress Studios and traces the band's brutal, bloody-minded path. Its creation has seen numerous band members come and go, and a variety of all T-shirt-and-no-tunes bands do much the same. One thing has remained the same however and that's VIATROPHY's dedication to crafting the hardest, most progressive metal music this side of hell. It’s an album that will quite literally create shockwaves of seismic proportions with one gentle tap of a play button.

Please contact Liz and Dave at EARSPLIT PR for review copies, interview requests or further info on any of the above Candlelight artists.

PO Box 142 . Congers NY 10920 .

This Date In Music History-September 5


Joe "Speedo" Frazier - Impalas (1943)

Al Stewart ("Year of the Cat")(1945)

Loudon Wainwright III ("Dead Skunk") (1946)

Dave "Clem" Clemson - Humble Pie (1949)

Jamie Oldaker - Tractors (1951)

Dweezil Zappa (1969)

Terry Ellis - En Vogue (1966)

Brad Wilk - Rage Against The Machine (1968)

They Are Missed:

Texas blues guitarist Zuzu Bollin was born in 1922. Died October 2, 1990.

Folk/bluesman Josh White died in 1965 (age 61).

Joe Negroni died in 1978 (age 37). He was the third member of the 1950s R&B group Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers to die prematurely.

John Cage, one of the most influential and controversial American experimental composers of the 20th century, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1912. Died August 12, 1992.

Born on this day in 1936, Willie Woods, Junior Walker and the All Stars. Woods died of lung cancer on May 27, 1997.

Born today in 1939, John Stewart, singer/songwriter with The Kingston Trio. He also wrote The Monkees hit "Daydream Believer." Stewart died on Jan 19, 2008 (age 68).

Born on this dayin 1946, Buddy Miles drummer with The Ink Spots, Wilson Pickett, Electric Flag and Jimi Hendrix. Featured on the 1970 album Band Of Gypsies. Miles died on Feb 28, 2008 after struggling with a long-term illness (age 60).

Born today in 1946, Freddie Mercury singer, Queen. Mercury died of bronchio-pneumonia on November 24, 1991 aged 45, just one day after he publicly announced he was HIV positive.


"And I Love Her" by the Beatles peaked at #12 on the pop singles chart in 1964.

Manfred Mann's "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" was released in 1964.

The Animals started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1964 with "House Of The Rising Sun." When first released the record company printed the time of the song on the record as three minutes feeling that the real time of four minutes was too long for radio airplay. They are also the first British group to top the US charts with a song not written by Lennon and McCartney.

The Rolling Stones recorded their eighth single "Get Off Of My Cloud" at RCA studios in Hollywood in 1965. The song peaked at #1 in the US and the UK.

In 1966, John Lennon started work in Germany on his role as Private Gripweed in the film "How I Won The War." He began to wear the granny glasses of his character, Pvt. Gripweed.

Working at Abbey Road studios, London, in 1967, the Beatles began recording John Lennon’s new song "I Am the Walrus," recording 16 takes of the basic backing track.

On their first ever visit to the UK in 1968, the Doors appeared on Top of The Pops performing "Hello I Love You" live on the TV show.

The Stooges made their New York debut in 1969 at The Pavilion.

In 1968, Tiny Tim (real name Herbert Khaury) sued Bouguet Records for $1 million in damages when the record label releases early recordings of him without his permission.

In 1972, the London Art Spectrum, held at the Alexandria Palace, was the showcade for five of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's avant-guarde films: "Cold Turkey," "The Ballad of John and Yoko," "Give Peace a Chance," "Instant Karma" and "Up Your Leg."

Dean Martin "reunited" with Jerry Lewis on Jerry's muscular dystrophy telethon in 1976, ending a 20-year separation.

"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" by Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks peaked at #3 on the singles chart in 1981; The Greg Kihn Band's "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)" peaked at #15 and Foreigner's "Urgent" peaked at #4.

In 1986, Mary Wells says she, her husband and baby were kidnapped in Michigan and held captive for two days by fans eager for her to record a song they wrote. They were released in Mojave, CA. Police say the kidnapping was never reported.

Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" won the MTV award for Best Video in 1986.

In 1987, "American Bandstand," hosted by Dick Clark, was canceled after 30 years on television.

Ian Astbury of The Cult was arrested after a show in Vancouver in 1987 ended in a riot. Staff at the concert claimed they were assaulted by Astbury, who spent the night in the local police cells.

Metallica released "And Justice For All" in 1988.

R.E.M. wins 5 MTV Video Music awards in 1991, including video of the year for "Losing My Religion."

Guitarist Dave Navarro joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1993.

Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) released his first album in 18 years in 1995. Holding to his religious beliefs, the recording is 80 percent talk and includes a Muslim hymn. The musician says most of his 1970s love songs are "impure." No word on what he did with all the money the songs made him....

Capitol Records released "The Beatles Anthology" video tape set in 1996 which consists of 10 hours of material.

Aerosmith scored their first US #1 single in 1998 with the Diane Warren written song "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing."

After spending 58 weeks on the UK album chart, Shania Twain went to #1 in 1999 with "Come On Over." It gave the Canadian singer the biggest selling UK album of the year. The album became an unprecedented blockbuster success, breaking many sales records around the world and becoming the biggest-selling album of all time by a female artist (surpassing Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill), the biggest-selling country music album ever, the biggest-selling album of the 1990s and one of the biggest selling albums in music history.

"Junichiro Koizumi Presents: My Favorite Elvis Songs" was released exclusively in Japan in 2001. The collection of Elvis Presley songs were picked by Japan's prime minister.

Bob Dylan's "Modern Times" moves more than 192,000 copies in its first week to land at #1 on the Billboard 200 in 2006. This is the fourth time a Dylan album has topped the chart. But it’s been 30 years since his last #1, ‘76 release "Desire." "Modern Times," Dylan’s first album in five years, is also #1 in seven other countries.

In 2006, Iron Maiden unleashed “A Matter Of Life And Death.” Recorded in London, the album is produced by Kevin"Caveman" Shirley.

In 2008, a study of more than 36,000 people from around the world concluded that musical tastes and personality type were closely related. The research, which was carried out by Professor Adrian North of Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh in the UK suggested classical music fans were shy, while heavy metal fans were gentle and at ease with themselves. Fans of Indie music had low self-esteem and were not hard working, fans of Rap music had high self-esteem and were outgoing. Country & Western fans were hardworking and outgoing, Reggae fans were creative but not hardworking, and fans of chart pop had high self-esteem, were not creative, but where hardworking and outgoing. Yeah, heavy metal fans are gentle....