Friday, September 11, 2009

Classic Album Cover Art - Pink Floyd Division Bell

Pink Floyd: ‘The Division Bell’ The Division Bell is the final studio album by Pink Floyd, released in 1994 (March 30 in the UK and April 5 in the US), and also was the second album without original bassist Roger Waters. It was recorded at a number of studios, including guitarist/vocalist David Gilmour's houseboat studio called The Astoria. The album went to #1 in the UK and debuted at the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 album charts in April 1994, spending four weeks as the top album in the country. The Division Bell was certified Gold, Platinum, and Double Platinum in the U.S. in June 1994 and Triple Platinum in January 1999.

The cover artwork, by long-time Pink Floyd collaborator Storm Thorgerson, shows two metal head sculptures sculpted by John Robertson, each over three metres tall and weighing 1500 kilograms. They were placed in a field and photographed under all weather and lighting conditions over a two-week period, sometimes even using visual effects such as lights between them. Ely Cathedral is visible in the background, as are lights (actually car headlights on poles), shown through the sculptures' mouths. The sculptures are now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The cover photograph is slightly different on each format, and between the United States Columbia and British EMI releases. The Braille writing on the EMI CD jewel case spells Pink Floyd.


“We started off by going into Nick's studio, Britannia Row studio in London, in January 1993 with myself, Nick [Mason], and Rick [Wright], and Guy [Pratt], the bass player from our last tour. And we just jammed away at anything for two weeks, just playing anything that we had in our heads or that we made up on the spot. And then we took all that over to Astoria and started listening to all the tapes and working stuff out. We found that we had 65 pieces of music, which we worked on all of to a certain extent, and then we started adding these things. We had a couple of sessions which we called 'The Big Listen' where we listened to all these 65, and all the people involved with it voted on each track, on each piece of music as to how popular it was with them. And so we then arranged these 65 pieces of music in order of popularity amongst the band, and then we dumped 40 of them, and worked on the top 25, which in fact became the top 27 because a couple more got added in. And so the process went on from there with us working away on all these pieces of music and gradually either merging pieces together or scrapping them until we finally were down to about twelve to fifteen things that we all kind of liked. And in the end one or two of them went by the way, and we were left with eleven on the album, I think. ” -David Gilmour, Questions and Answers with David Gilmour.


Pink Floyd took their album on tour in 1994 where most of the songs were played, but never all on the same night. "Keep Talking", "Take It Back" and "High Hopes" were a staple of the performances and were present every night, and "Coming Back to Life" nearly so; others like "Poles Apart", "What Do You Want From Me" and "A Great Day For Freedom" flip-flopped every night.

Additional album artwork. Two additional 7.5 metres tall stone head sculptures were made by Aden Hynes and photographed in the same manner; although they do not appear in the CD artwork, they appeared on the cassette cover, and can be seen in the tour brochure and elsewhere.

The artwork inside the lyric booklet revolves around a similar theme, except the heads are made up of various other objects, such as newspapers ("A Great Day for Freedom"), coloured glass ("Poles Apart"), and boxing gloves ("Lost for Words"). Pages two and three portray a picture from La Silla observatory.

The album was received mostly poorly by professional critics despite its strong sales. Jerry McCully of said of the album in his editorial review that "The Division Bell is not a great Pink Floyd album, but an all-too-fallible simulation".

Tom Sinclair of Entertainment Weekly echoed McCully's sentiment, giving the album a grade of "D" and saying that "avarice is the only conceivable explanation for this glib, vacuous cipher of an album, which is notable primarily for its stomach-turning merger of progressive-rock pomposity and New Age noodling".

Tom Graves of Rolling Stone criticized lead guitarist David Gilmour's performance on the album, stating that his guitar solos "were once the band's centerpieces, as articulate, melodic and well-defined as any in rock, [but] he now has settled into rambling, indistinct asides that are as forgettable as they used to be indelible", adding that "only on 'What Do You Want from Me' does Gilmour sound like he cares.”

Rock/Pop Tidbits

A race running the route described in the song "Dead Man's Curve", from Hollywood and Vine to Sunset and Doheny, would have covered 4.5 miles. If it were extended to the real "dead man's curve" near UCLA, it would have been a drag race of 8.7 miles.

The Beach Boys' 1966 hit, "Caroline, No" was originally titled "Carol, I Know".

After Jan Berry of Jan and Dean was seriously injured in a car accident on April 12, 1966 and could no longer perform, his partner Dean Torrence formed a graphics design company that was responsible for over 200 album covers including "The Turtles Golden Hits", nine for The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and several for Harry Nilsson. He won a Grammy Award for Best Album Cover of the Year in 1972 for the LP "Pollution" by the group of the same name and was nominated on three other occasions.

In 1956, entertainer Jackie Gleason said of Elvis Presley, "He can’t last, I tell you flatly, he can’t last."

The Recording Industry Association of American began certifying recordings as Gold on March 14th, 1958 to recognize records that sold over 500,000 copies. The first Gold plaque was presented to Perry Como for his hit single, "Catch A Falling Star". Four months later, the cast album to "Oklahoma" sung by Gordon Macrae became the first official Gold album. In 1976, because of booming record sales, the RIAA created a new platinum award, for singles that sell in excess of 2 million copies and an album that sells 1 million units. The first platinum single was Johnnie Taylor's "Disco Lady", and the first platinum album went to the Eagles for their "Greatest Hits 1971-1975". On March 16, 1999, the RIAA launched the Diamond Awards, honoring sales of 10 million copies or more of an album or single. Awards were presented to AC/DC, The Eagles, and Metallica.

On February 14th, 1977, singer / songwriter Janis Ian received 461 Valentine's day cards after indicating in the lyrics of her 1975, number 3 hit "At Seventeen", she had never received any. (The valentines I never knew, The Friday night charades of youth, Were spent on one more beautiful, At seventeen I learned the truth)

According to Paul Anka, who appeared with Buddy Holly on some of the Winter Dance Party tour before the plane crash that took Holly's life, Buddy had plans to take flying lessons when the tour was over.

On Sunday, February 10th, 1964, the night that the Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, an estimated 73 million viewers watched on TV, with over 45 percent of all sets in the US tuned in. The crime rate among American teenagers dropped to nearly zero that night.

Friends of The Raiders leader, Paul Revere, say that in high school, his name was Revere Dick and he had a brother named Sly.

Little Richard's 1958 Top Ten hit "Good Golly Miss Molly" says that Miss Molly "sure likes to ball..." At the time it was on the charts, Richard was enrolled a bible college.

Producer Terry Melcher called upon song writers Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil to come up with something for Paul Revere And The Raiders. They sent him a song called "Kicks", which they had originally written hoping it would help get a friend of theirs off drugs.

In 1962, Mersyside Newspaper held a contest to see who was the most popular band in Liverpool. The Beatles were the winners, partly because they called in posing as different people, voting for themselves.

In 1972, David Bowie declared that he was a homosexual, only to deny it in the 1980’s. Finally, Bowie admitted what he really was-a ‘trisexual’. He explained: “I’ll try anything once.”

Shock rocker Sid Vicious died in February, 1979 from an overdose of heroin that was bought for him by his mother, who was present when he injected it.

George Martin, who produced The Beatles most successful recordings, first rose to prominence by recording comedy records.

In 1962, when Johnny Carson took over the NBC "Tonight Show" from Jack Parr, he commissioned Paul Anka for a new theme song. Paul suggested a song that he had already written called "Toot Sweet". After a lyric was added in 1959 it was re-named "It's Really Love" and under that title, was recorded by Annette Funicello on her LP, "Annette Sings". Under a deal with Anka, Johnny became the "author" for copyright purposes and got a piece of not only the publishing but the composer's share too. Both Anka and Carson's names were listed as writers and the two began collecting BMI performance royalties. The pair got $200 in royalties every time the show aired...and it ran for 32 years, 52 weeks a year, 5 nights a week -- which works out to $1,664,000.00 -- not bad for an old tune that had been re-cycled twice before.

There is a five way tie for the shortest title of a song to make it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The songs are: The Jacksons' "ABC", Edwin Starr's "War", Frankie Avalon's "Why", and Michael Jackson's "Ben" and "Bad".

Roberta Flack recorded "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" as an album cut for her 1969 debut LP "First Take". Three years later, Clint Eastwood remembered hearing the song and included it in his film "Play Misty For Me", causing Atlantic Records to re-edit and rush release the song as a single. Six weeks later, it was the number one song in the US, where it stayed for six weeks.

During a December, 1974 interview, TV talk show host Dick Cavett asked David Bowie what his mother thought of his act. He replied "She pretends I'm not hers."

This Date In Music History-September 11


Charles Patrick - Monotones (1938)

Bernie Dwyer - Freddie and the Dreamers (1940)

Mickey Hart - Grateful Dead (1944)

Phil May - Pretty Things (1944)

Leo Kottke (1945)

Dennis Tufano - Buckinghams (1948)

Guitarist Henry Kaiser (1952)

Tommy Shaw - Styx and Damn Yankees (1953)

John Moss - Adam & the Ants, Bow Wow Wow and Culture Club (1957)

Mick Talbot - Style Council (1958)

Moby (Richard Melville Hall) (1965)

Pianist Harry Connick, Jr. (1967)

Richard Ashcroft - The Verve (1971)

Jonny Buckland - Coldplay (1977)

Ludacris (Chris Bridges) (1977)

They Are Missed:

Reggae star Peter Tosh was shot and killed in his home in Kingston, Jamaica in 1987. Police say Tosh was shot in the head after he refused to give money to robbers. He was 42.

Lorne Greene ("Ringo") died of complications of prostate cancer in 1987.

Great tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine died in 2000 (age 66).

American lyricist Fred Ebb died of a heart attack at his home in New York City in 2004. Co-wrote, ‘New York, New York’ and ‘Chicago’ and worked with Liza Minnelli.

Grammy-award winning guitarist and singer Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown died in Texas in 2005 (age 81). Recorded with Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder and Frank Zappa during a career that spanned 50 years.


In 1847, "Oh, Susannah" was sung in public for the first time. Stephen Foster sold the rights to the song for a bottle of whiskey.

In 1952, Ahmet Ertegun began recording his newest signing, 21 year old Ray Charles at Atlantic Records on West 56th St in New York City. Ertegun had purchased the singers contract from the Swingtime label for $2,500.

Police were called to break up a crowd of rowdy teenagers following the showing of the film Rock Around The Clock at the Trocadero Cinema in London, England in 1956. The following day, The Times printed a reader's letter that said: "The hypnotic rhythm and the wild gestures have a maddening effect on a rhythm loving age group and the result of its impact is the relaxing of all self control." The film was quickly banned in several English cities. Damn that rock and roll!

Judy Garland started a 13-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1961 with "Judy At Carnegie Hall."

In 1961, after George Martin insisted that session drummer Andy White took Ringo Starr's place, The Beatles returned to EMI Studios in London for a third attempt at recording their first single. ‘Love Me Do’ was selected to be The Beatles' first A-side, with "P.S. I Love You" on the flip side (a reversal of the original plan). The single that was released on October 5th featured a version of ‘Love Me Do’ with Ringo on drums, but the album ‘Please Please Me’ included a version with Andy White on drums.

A two-record "bootleg" set of Bob Dylan songs, called "The Great White Wonder" first appeared in a Los Angeles record store in 1963. It's believed to be the first bootleg album.

Beatle George Harrison formed his own song publishing company, Harrissongs, in 1964.

In 1964, a 16-year-old youth won a Mick Jagger impersonation contest at The Town Hall Greenwich. The winner turned out to be Mick's younger brother Chris Jagger. Can anyone say Ringer?

The Beatles started a nine-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1965 with "Help!," the group's sixth US chart topper.

The Gentry's "Keep on Dancing" entered the Hot 100 in 1965 where it stays for 13 weeks. It get up to #4. It will be the group's biggest hit.

The Rolling Stones hit #1 in England in 1965 with "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."

Frank Sinatra was denied credit at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas in 1967 and breaks two teeth in the resulting fight.

Filming began for The Beatles ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ in 1967. There was no script, nor a very clear idea of exactly what was to be accomplished, not even a clear direction about where the bus was supposed to go. The ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ bus set off for the West Country in England stopping for the night in Teignmouth, Devon were hundreds of fans greeted The Beatles at their hotel.

The Beatles's "All You Need Is Love" was certified as a million-seller in 1967.

The Beatles recorded 34 takes of "Glass Onion" in 1968.

Donny Osmond started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1971 with "Go Away Little Girl." The singer's only US solo chart topper. The song had also been a #1 for Steve Lawrence in 1963.

Also in 1971, "The Jackson Five" animated TV series debuts on ABC. The show featured the voices of the five brothers.

Janis Ian earns her first gold record in 1975 for the album "Between the Lines." The album contains her single "At Seventeen," which was climbing the charts and ultimately peaking at #3.

KC and the Sunshine Band went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1976 with '(Shake Shake Shake), Shake Your Body," the group's third US #1 (a #22 hit in the UK).

In 1977, David Bowie accepted Bing Crosby's invitation to appear as a special guest on Bing's annual Christmas television special. Bowie and Bing sing duets on "Little Drummer Boy" and "Peace on Earth." The songs were recorded for Crosby's album Merrie Olde Christmas LP.

In 1979, The Who made their first US concert performance since the death of drummer Keith Moon. It's at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey and with Kenny Jones on drums.

"Valley Girl" by Frank Zappa and his daughter Moon Unit peaked at #32 on the singles chart in 1982.

In 1983, John Cougar's American Fool LP topped the charts. Cougar becomes the first artist in over a year and a half to have the #1 album, "American Fool," and two singles in the top ten, "Jack & Diane" and "Hurt So Good," in the same week.

Bruce Springsteen broke the attendance record at Philadelphia's Spectrum in 1984 when 16,800 fans attend the first of six sold-out shows.

In 1988, Michael Jackson appeared at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England on his Bad World Tour. Over 3,000 fans were treated by the St. John Ambulance service for passing out, hysteria and being crushed amongst the crowd of 125,000 fans, the largest concert of the 123-date world tour.

Mariah Carey started a eight week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1993 with 'Dreamlover'.

In 1995, Green Day told a British magazine that they turned down an invitation to perform on "Sesame Street" because "we couldn't handle a mosh pit full of 5 year olds."

Janet Jackson's "Runaway" made history in 1995 by becoming the first single by a woman to make its debut in the top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100.

Noel Gallagher walked out on the rest of Oasis half way through an American tour in 1996 after a fight with his brother Liam in a hotel in Charlotte North Carolina. Noel flew back to London the following day. Babies.....

In 1996, for the first time, a new single by a major recording artist was released exclusively on the Internet. David Bowie's "Telling Lies" was released on Bowie's web site, where it was available for 24 hours.

In 2003, Tommy Chong, one-half of the comedy team of Cheech and Chong, was sentenced to nine months in federal prison and fined $20,000 for selling drug paraphernalia over the Internet. The 65 year-old Chong pled guilty to the charges last May. He remained free until April, 2004, when he went to jail.

In 2006, a study from the University of Leicester found that more than a quarter of classical music fans had tried cannabis. Researchers were trying to find out what people's taste in music revealed about their lifestyles. The UK study also revealed that blues buffs are the most likely to have received a driving penalty. Hip hop and dance music fans were more likely to have multiple sex partners and were among the biggest drug-takers surveyed. More than 2,500 people were interviewed for the study, which was published in the scientific journal Psychology of Music.

Music News & Notes

Rolling Stones Reissuing “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” With Big Bonuses

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ya-Ya’s!, ABKCO is set to release a remastered deluxe and super-deluxe edition of the live album, a three-disc/one-DVD box set complete with five unreleased songs from the MSG shows and a DVD featuring the Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out film directed by the Maysles Brothers — the documentary team behind the Stones’ classic Gimme Shelter. In the film, the Stones hang out with Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead, mess around during the Ya-Ya’s cover shoot, perform the five unreleased songs and much more.

Additionally, one disc in the set will be dedicated to the sets from the MSG shows’ two opening acts, B.B. King and Ike & Tina Turner. The set will also include a replica poster and a 56-page booklet featuring photos, essays, Lester Bangs’ original Rolling Stone review of the album and much more. The “super-deluxe” version of the box set will also house a three picture disc vinyl version of Ya-Ya’s, complete with etched cover images and the Stones’ signatures, as well as an enlarged version of the replica poster and 56-page booklet. To top it all off, the box set will come with a voucher allowing fans to download the Ya-Ya’s version of the Stones’ “I’m Free” for Guitar Hero 5.

The deluxe box will hit shelves November 3rd, while the super deluxe set arrives two weeks later on November 17th. Check out the track list below:

Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! The Rolling Stone In Concert – 40th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set

Disc 1: Get Yer Ya-Ya;s Out (remastered)
1. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
2. “Carol”
3. “Stray Cat Blues”
4. “Love In Vain”
5. “Midnight Rambler”
6. “Sympathy For The Devil”
7. “Live With Me”
8. “Little Queenie”
9. “Honky Tonk Women”
10. “Street Fighting Man”

Disc 2: unreleased Rolling Stones tracks
1. “Prodigal Son”
2. “You Gotta Move”
3 “Under My Thumb”
4. “I’m Free”
5. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

Disc 3:
1. “Everyday I Have The Blues”
2. “How Blue Can You Get”
3. “That’s Wrong Little Mama”
4. “Why I Sing The Blues”
5. “Please Accept My Love”
6. “Gimme Some Loving”
7. “Sweet Soul Music”
8. “Son Of A Preacher Man”
9. “Proud Mary”
10. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”
11. “Come Together”
12. “Land Of 1000 Dances”
Tracks 1 - 5: B.B. King
Tracks 6 - 12: Ike & Tina Turner

DVD: Maysles Brothers’ Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out
1. “Prodigal Son”
2. “You Gotta Move”
3. “Under My Thumb”
4. “I’m Free”
5. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”


Special Edition Swift CD Set For Oct. Release

A new Platinum Edition of Taylor Swift’s Fearless album is headed for stores in time for the holiday sales rush. Big Machine Records will release the CD/DVD set on Oct. 27, containing new music and video extras such as her video collaboration with T-Pain on “Thug Story,” and exclusive new behind-the-scenes photos shot by Taylor’s brother, Austin K. Swift.

Fearless, named 2009’s Album of the Year by the Academy of Country Music, was originally released by Big Machine in November of 2008. Now quadruple-platinum, Fearless has spent more weeks in the No. 1 position atop Billboard’s Top 200 all-genre CD sales chart than any other album this decade. Yesterday, Fearless was nominated for Album of the Year by the Country Music Association. Swift also received CMA nominations for Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, and Music Video of the Year.


Beatles Reissues Sales Figures For UK & US

According to Britain's Official Chart Company, the Beatles will be placing five albums in the top 20 on the British Album charts and 15 albums in the top 75 when the new charts come out next week. While some were expecting that the Fab Four would top the charts, it's unlikely as sales are spread over a number of single releases and the box sets.

Abbey Road and Sgt. Peppers are dominating, but the Stereo Box Set is also selling well, coming in as the fourth biggest after one day on the market.

America's Hits Daily Double released their estimates of first week sales in the U.S. and it's extraordinary, especially for albums that are already in so many people's collections already.

Projecting on retailer reports over the first two days of availability, it is appearing that the 16 titles (14 albums plus two box sets) will sell close to 500,000 copies for the week. Individual titles are headed by Abbey Road with sales of between 70 and 75,000 while Sgt. Pepper and the White Album are looking at 50 to 55,000.

The full list with estimates:

1.Abbey Road (70 to 75,000)
2.Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (50 to 55,000)
3.Beatles (White Album) (50 to 55,000)
4.Rubber Soul (40 to 45,000)
5.Revolver (35 to 40,000)
6.Past Masters (27 to 30,000)
7.Help! (25 to 28,000)
8.Let It Be (24 to 27,000)
9.Magical Mystery Tour (24 to 27,000)
10.Stereo Box Set (24 to 26,000)
11.Hard Day's Night (22 to 25,000)
12.Please Please Me (19 to 22,000)
13.Beatles For Sale (17 to 20,000)
14.With the Beatles (17 to 20,000)
15.Yellow Submarine (12 to 15,000)
16.Mono Box Set (9 to 11,000)

Amazing for a band that broke up 40 years ago.


Paul McCartney: 'The Beatles Took Too Many Drugs'

Sir Paul McCartney has spoken about the copious amount of drugs The Beatles consumed in their career and expressed dismay at how they managed to survive the period.

In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight, he said, 'We were overdoing substances and really getting crazy, as we all were.

"We'd be falling asleep, the kinda thing when you can hardly get your head off the pillow. You go, 'Woah, I'd better get my head off this pillow.'

However some experiences on drugs led to writing The Beatles classic Let It Be.

McCartney said, "I had a dream, where my mother, who had been dead, by then, 10 years came to me in the dream and was very sort of helpful and very calming, and it was lovely just to see her... and she said, 'Don't worry about it... Let it be.'

'I went, 'OK', and I felt so good... and I woke up and wrote Let It Be. I thought, 'That's a good idea for a song.


Phil Collins Reveals He Can No Longer Play Drums

Phil Collins has told the Mirror in the U.K. that, due to recent spinal surgery, he can no longer play the drums or piano and is not sure if he ever will be able to again.

Collins told the paper that, after years of sitting in a certain position to play drums, his vertebrae were crushing his spinal chord. He had surgery for the situation, but the end result is that he cannot hold his drumsticks.

Phil told the paper, It comes from years of playing. I can't even hold the sticks properly without it being painful. I even used to tape the sticks to my hands to get through.

But don't worry, I can still sing."

Collins says that he is very sad over the situation, but is keeping an upbeat attitude. "There isn't any drama regarding my 'disability' and playing drums. Somehow during the last Genesis tour I dislocated some vertebrae in my upper neck and that affected my hands. After a successful operation on my neck, my hands still can't function normally.

"Maybe in a year or so it will change, but for now it is impossible for me to play drums or piano. I am not in any 'distressed' state...stuff happens in life."