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jerryking : rock-'n'-roll   21

Why Hotel California marked a watershed for rock
Peter Aspden

APRIL 3, 2017

It started, as things did in the heyday of rock music’s golden era, with a few strums of a guitar on a beach sofa in Malibu. Don Felder, guitarist of The Eagles, improvised a chord progression that he recorded on to a cassette, and handed to the rest of the band.
Don Henley started to write a lyric, set in a West Coast hostelry, and addressing the issue of America’s slow implosion into decadence. “Hotel California” was born.

The song was the title track of an album of the same name, released in December 1976, which represented The Eagles’ finest hour. They started as a wannabe country rock band with great hair and sumptuous harmonies. After Hotel California, they lost their touch. The release of “Hotel California” as a single marked a watershed for the band, but also for the course of popular music.
music  California  '70s  songwriters  country_rock  the_Eagles  rock-'n'-roll  songs  golden_age  turning_points 
january 2018 by jerryking
Legendary rocker Tom Petty dies at 66
October 3, 2107 | The Globe and Mail | BRAD WHEELER.

Mr. Petty and the Heartbreakers – as capable a backing band as ever assembled – made music destined for open-road listening. As with fellow classic-rock troubadours Mr. Springsteen and John Mellencamp, he wrote about outcasts and broken dreams, albeit with a mellower, stoned aesthetic.

American Girl, the Heartbreakers' dark second single, led like a novel: "Well, she was an American girl, raised on promises."

In the prosperous Fifties and the summers-of-love Sixties, the promises of America were bankable and often fulfilled. The 1970s, on the other hand, was a time of gas shortages, Watergate and rude awakenings. Mr. Petty's early material (sometimes co-written with band members) reflected the dim, grim era, yet offered glimmers and prospects.......Beyond 13 studio albums with the Heartbreakers and three solo albums, Mr. Petty released a pair of albums with the good-natured supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. Along with Bob Dylan, George Harrison and the Electric Light Orchestra's Jeff Lynne, the Wilburys perhaps introduced younger listeners to the group's fifth member, Roy Orbison (who only lived long enough to appear on Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1).

Mr. Petty's best solo work is likely found on 1989's Full Moon Fever, a record that found the songwriter working with well-acquainted collaborators from the Heartbreakers and the Wilburys, while lyrically touching upon familiar themes of regret (Free Fallin' ), defiance (I Won't Back Down) and open-road existentialism.
obituaries  music  musicians  guitarists  Brad_Wheeler  rock-'n'-roll  classic-rock  singers  songwriters 
october 2017 by jerryking
Foo Fighters Stand Up for the Power of Rock (Again) on ‘Concrete and Gold’
SEPT. 13, 2017 | The New York Times| By JON PARELES.

A turbocharged Foo Fighters blast through “Concrete and Gold,” the ninth studio album by a rock band that has been working since 1994 and can still headline arenas. The album is a tenacious attempt to retain the classic-rock virtues that Foo Fighters cherish while using all the flexibility of a digital era.....In the 1990s, grunge and its radio-friendly “alternative rock” descendants were at the center of both rock and pop. But more recently, the old rock paradigm — a fixed band making albums together, year after year — has been destabilized and pushed aside by the free-floating collaborations of dance music, hip-hop and pop, while the electric guitar was dethroned, to be treated more like an accessory than a cornerstone. What once was a vanguard, and then a mainstream, is now a subset of classic rock. Yet Foo Fighters have been proud to be classicists, keepers of the flame.......On “Concrete and Gold” Foo Fighters reflect the entire timeline of the classic-rock format; there are clear homages to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, glam, thrash and grunge. But the band has a new producer, Greg Kurstin, who has collaborated with Adele, Pink and Beck. And with him, Foo Fighters now shuffle genres, even within songs, more suddenly and whimsically — more digitally — than ever. Previous albums have presented studio-enhanced versions of the band onstage, while on “Concrete and Gold,” Foo Fighters can switch configurations in an instant, from brute-force riffing to platoons of multitracked vocals.
Foo_Fighters  music_reviews  music  Pink_Floyd  rock-'n'-roll  songwriters  singers  classic-rock 
september 2017 by jerryking
Twilight of the Rock Gods -
March 25, 2017 | WSJ | By Neil Shah.

As rock ‘n’ roll loses its founding megastars—and sales juggernauts—the music industry faces pressure to revamp.....As rock's founding fathers and mothers get older, the music industry faces a problem: can younger artists replace their sales?

Of the 25 artists with the highest record sales in the U.S. since 1991, when reliable data first became available, just one—Britney Spears—is under 40, Nielsen data show. Nineteen of the 25 are over 50 years old.....In terms of concert-tour revenue, artists over 50 represent half of the $4.5 billion generated by last year’s top 100-grossing tours, excluding non-music acts and comedians, according to a WSJ analysis of data from Pollstar, the trade magazine. Of the top 10, five were over 50, including Bruce Springsteen (67), Guns N’ Roses (average age 53), Paul McCartney (74), Garth Brooks (55) and the Rolling Stones (73), Pollstar data show.......the number of celebrity deaths last year wasn’t exceptional, according to a study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, though the number of “mega famous” celebrity deaths was. Because of their penchant for hard living, rocker deaths are likely to stay consistently high. .....Rock has an outsize influence on music sales. It was responsible for 41% of total U.S. album sales last year, far higher than hip-hop and R&B (15%), country (13%) or pop (10%), according to Nielsen......Much of rock’s commercial success was possible because of the way the industry was structured. By the 1980s, cash-rich major labels were helping finance tours, throwing money at fledgling acts and investing huge sums in veteran stars even when their careers floundered.

Such investments—equivalent in spirit to the R&D expenditures of pharmaceutical firms—helped artists build enduring brands and transformed superstars into major corporations that overshadow young pop/rock acts even today.......WILL YOUNGER STARS FILL THE VOID?

Probably not. Because of the multiplicity of entertainment options today, reduced attention spans, personalized tastes and less record-label support, most of today’s artists will never be as big as yesterday’s rockers.

Radio used to have the power to make even a lower-quality rock release popular. However, the fragmentation of the music industry—fans using multiple formats and splintering across rock, hip-hop, country and electronic music—means most acts will never find the same big audiences......WHAT ABOUT CONCERTS?

Young megastars like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and country acts like Carrie Underwood make most of their money on tour. And there will be a successive generation of touring veterans like Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Nicki Minaj, along with unexpected reunions and area headliners.

But many acts today from rapper Future to rockers Japandroids don’t generate colossal sums compared with older stars.......WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

The concert business is going in two directions: diversifying into festivals and smaller venues, to focus on younger audiences, while continuing to squeeze every opportunity out of the boomer market.

Joe Edwards, a St. Louis music-venue owner, sees the industry shifting focus from big venues such as amphitheaters to the smaller 1,000 to 3,000-seat venues suited to today’s artists. “I see more acts loving those sizes,” he says, since the artists don’t have to wait to play bigger stages. “Smaller venues will be very popular,” he says.

To reach younger audiences, Live Nation, the country’s biggest concert promoter, has been on a music-festival-buying spree. Last spring, the company bought a majority stake in Founders Entertainment, which runs New York’s Governors Ball festival, part of a strategy that diversifies its business away from the 40-plus amphitheaters it runs.
aging  artists  attention_spans  celebrities  concerts  deaths  golden_oldies  legacy_artists  Live_Nation  live_performances  music  music_industry  music_festivals  music_venues  rock-'n'-roll  small_formats  small_spaces  superstars  touring 
march 2017 by jerryking
Gord Downie’s Canada: Barstool bard has a lasting legacy of enigmatic erudition - The Globe and Mail
BRAD WHEELER
The Globe and Mail Last updated: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Although it’s one of the most successful rock bands in Canadian history, the Tragically Hip’s true-north appeal has never been matched outside the country; the lack of American validation, however, is seen by fans as a point of pride – a Canadian success story on its own terms.
Brad_Wheeler  music  cancers  Canadiana  Canadian  Gord_Downie  songwriters  singers  legacies  patriotism  authenticity  Tragically_Hip  poets  rock-'n'-roll 
may 2016 by jerryking
Glenn Frey, Eagles Founding Member, Dies at 67 - The New York Times
By BRUCE WEBERJAN. 18, 2016

The band’s hit songs included yearning, battle-of-the-sexes musings like “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Heartache Tonight,” and the cool-cat lifestyle statements “Take It Easy” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” all of which featured Mr. Frey’s light, casual, relaxed lead vocals, as well as the No. 1 hit “Hotel California,” the band’s signature song from its 1977 album of the same name.

Its imagistic, vaguely mystical lyrics — the song was written by Mr. Frey, Mr. Henley and Don Felder — hint at a drug-fueled state of being, perhaps promising rapture, perhaps not, and have supplied fuel for countless interpretations:
singers  music  obituaries  California  '70s  songwriters  country_rock  the_Eagles  rock-'n'-roll 
january 2016 by jerryking
Glenn Frey, Founder of The Eagles, Dies at 67 - Speakeasy - WSJ
January 18, 2016 | WSJ | By JOHN JURGENSEN.

Glenn Frey, a founder of the Eagles who helped create some of rock’s biggest hits with fellow songwriter Don Henley, including “Hotel California” and “Lyin’ Eyes,” died Monday in New York at age 67....Frey, who would help define the California sound of the 1970s with the Eagles’ tight vocal harmonies and country-inflected rock, had his roots in the Midwest.
obituaries  singers  songwriters  '70s  music  the_Eagles  country_rock  rock-'n'-roll 
january 2016 by jerryking
Was Kurt Cobain the last real rock star? - The Globe and Mail
Geoff Pevere

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Apr. 04 2014
music  anniversaries  suicides  rock-'n'-roll 
april 2014 by jerryking
Lou Reed, Rock ’n’ Roll Pioneer, Dies at 71 - NYTimes.com
By BEN RATLIFF
Published: October 27, 2013

Lou Reed, the singer, songwriter and guitarist whose work with the Velvet Underground in the 1960s had an impact on generations of rock musicians, and who remained a powerful if polarizing force for the rest of his life, died on Sunday at his home in Southampton, N.Y., on Long Island. He was 71.

....Not too long after his first recordings, made at 16 with a doo-wop band in Freeport, N.Y., Mr. Reed started singing outside of the song’s melody, as if he were giving a speech with a fluctuating monotone in his Brooklyn-Queens drawl. That sound, eventually heard with the Velvet Underground on songs like “Heroin,” “Sweet Jane” and in his post-Velvets songs “Walk on the Wild Side,” “Street Hassle” and others, eventually spread outward to become one of the most familiar frequencies in rock. He played lead guitar the same way, hitting against the wall of his limitations.
musicians  obituaries  rock-'n'-roll  singers  songwriters  guitarists  '60s 
october 2013 by jerryking
Troggs lead singer Reg Presley dies of lung cancer at 71 - The Globe and Mail
Feb. 05 2013 | The Associated Press | GREGORY KATZ.

They faded in the 1970s but their songs were revived in the 1990s when REM and Wet Wet Wet released covers of the Troggs’ Love Is All Around.
obituaries  singers  rock-'n'-roll  songwriters 
february 2013 by jerryking
'Not Fade Away': The Making of a Killer Soundtrack - WSJ.com
December 6, 2012 | WSJ | By STEVE DOUGHERTY.

The Making of a Killer Soundtrack
David Chase, creator of 'The Sopranos,' and Steven Van Zandt, of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, used dozens of 'needle drops' in the new movie 'Not Fade Away.' How it stacks up against the great rock-'n'-roll movies of yore....[the] use of recordings by name artists—called "needle drops" in the trade—is nothing new...the first one was in a James Cagney movie. But nearly half a century after the Beatles stormed America, needle drops are still used somewhat sparingly; they are the exception in Hollywood, not the rule. Finding the right songs is time-consuming and expensive. A conventional film score, perhaps with a couple of single songs thrown in, is far easier to construct, and adapt to plot situations.

Steven Spielberg, for one, works almost exclusively with his "Lincoln" composer John Williams. "Songs are great and they can have huge emotional impact, but they're not flexible," says indie film composer Jonathan Hartman. "Scores are like tailored suits—they're custom-made to precisely fit."...It's still a bit daring and subversive to buck this tradition, and some critics are likely to chide Mr. Chase for putting more care into the music than the character development. By filling the soundtrack with nothing but actual songs, he joins a small group of filmmakers who are upending the way movies are made.

"The right song can evoke a time and a sensibility and an entire world," says composer Alan Silvestri, whose collaborations with director Robert Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump," "Flight") avidly mingle rock songs with original music.

Idea for Sunny Zaman
filmmakers  movies  music  rock-'n'-roll  songs  soundtracks  subversion  television 
december 2012 by jerryking

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