Posts Tagged ‘ABC Wednesday’

NevilleBrothersThe Neville Brothers, an American soul/funk/rhythm and blues group, was formed in 1977 in New Orleans, Louisiana, consisting of Art (b. 1937), Charles (b. 1938), Aaron (b. 1941), and Cyril (b. 1948).

But long before then, the brothers were involved in music. The Meters formed in 1965, led by Art on keyboards and vocals, and later including percussionist/vocalist Cyril. They had some R&B hits Read the rest of this entry »

Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie

Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie

The group Fleetwood Mac was named for drummer Mick Fleetwood, who helped found the band in 1967, and bassist John McVie, who, I did not know until recently, actually declined to join the group initially, but eventually came on board. The early iterations of the band were of classic British blues.

Early on, one Christine Perfect joined the band, initially as a session musician, and after marrying John McVie, as a full-fledged member. Read the rest of this entry »

JohnandYokoJohn Lennon met Yoko Ono at an art gallery in November 1966. Very soon, the thing that would really bug Paul, George, and Ringo was that SHE was in the studio with John and them; this had been the Beatles’ nexus, but now he’s bringing in his girlfriend?

Her vocals would eventually show up on Beatles songs, notably Revolution 9 from the white album, and the very strange song What’s The New Mary Jane [LISTEN, if you want] which actually never made it onto a legitimate record until the third Beatles Anthology album, released in the 1990s.

They did a number of albums together, including a couple avant garde albums called Unfinished Music. Two Virgins had the infamous nude cover; the CD release added the Yoko song Remember Love [LISTEN], the B-side to the Plastic Ono Band single Read the rest of this entry »

Kinks_-_Muswell_HillbilliesThe Kinks, commercially, went from being a rather successful rock band, to not so much, several times in its career arc. One of the latter was the 1971 album Muswell Hillbillies, “named after the Muswell Hill area of North London, where band leader Ray Davies and guitarist Dave Davies [his younger brother] grew up and the band formed in the early 1960s.” I have alluded to this album so often I figured I must have written about it before, but I had not.

It was their ninth album, but their first for RCA. It was also the first one I ever bought. Even though it came from a particularly English POV, there was something quite universal about the feelings of alienation. It’s also sonically quite diverse.

Also in the band at that time were original drummer Mick Avory Read the rest of this entry »

L-R: Tito, Marlon, Michael, Jackie, Jermaine

L-R: Tito, Marlon, Michael, Jackie, Jermaine

My sister Leslie, who’s a little younger than I, had each of the first four non-Christmas LPs of the Jackson Five (or Jackson 5ive, as Motown sometimes cutely designated the group). I wanted to write them off as a silly piece of “bubblegum soul”. The problem with that were twofold:
1) I rather liked many of the songs, and
2) I discovered that my vocal range was quite compatible with Jermaine, who had the second lead on many of the songs (Tito sang low harmonies, Jackie high harmonies, and Marlon somewhere in the middle)

Oh, there was a third thing:
3) that preteen Michael was pretty darn good

The first album had I Want You Back [LISTEN], a #1 hit in 1970, but also Who’s Lovin’ You [LISTEN], a cover of a Smokey Robinson song that, when I listened to it, I thought, “How old IS this guy?” Read the rest of this entry »

The+Isley+Brothers+Greatest+Hits+of+the+Early+YearYou may not think you know the Isley Brothers, siblings out of Cincinnati, but it’s likely that you’ve heard at least some of their music, even if it was performed by someone else.

O’Kelly Jr., Rudolph, Ronald, and Vernon started out in gospel until Vernon’s early death from a bike accident. The remaining trio moved to the New York City area in the late 1950s. Their first significant song was Shout [LISTEN] in 1959, written by the brothers, which only went to #47, but eventually sold a million copies, and was heavily covered.

In a similar vein, Twist and Shout [LISTEN] got all the way to #17 in 1962. It was originally recorded by the Topnotes, and produced by Phil Spector, who was still learning his craft. The Isleys version spurred other covers, notably by a band from Liverpool, England.

The trio spent three or four years with Motown, but like other groups that weren’t developed in house, such as the Spinners, they would fare better elsewhere. They did have one Top 40 hit Read the rest of this entry »

button_heartThe roots of the band Heart actually go back over forty years. While there have been a number of members of the group over the years, including, briefly, brothers Roger and Mike Fisher, it’s been sisters Ann Wilson on vocals, and guitarist Nancy Wilson, who have been at the heart of the group since 1974. Their careers have had lots of ups and downs, but they survive. They were, rightly, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

One of my colleagues loves Red Velvet Car, their 2010 album, which was the group’s first Top 10 album in 20 years. I probably should check out that collection because it’s supposed to be “a return to the melodic hard rock and folk sound of early Heart albums.” And I loved early Heart.

The Dreamboat Annie album from 1976 Read the rest of this entry »

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