Written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s, Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) really made its mark in late 1965 when it was covered by The Byrds. The lyrics, except for the title which is repeated throughout the song, and the final verse of the song, are adapted word-for-word from Chapter 3 of the Book of Ecclesiastes, set to music and recorded in 1962. The recording of the song reputedly took 78 takes, spread over five days of recording and likely created a few Biblical-sized arguments of their own in the studio.
Check out what they used to call “magic” in the studio from Gene Clark, David Crosby, Jim McGuinn.
American Woman by Canadian rock band The Guess Who, was first released in January 1970 on the album of the same name and later in March as a single, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Backed with “No Sugar Tonight,” Billboard ranked it as the No. 3 record of 1970.
Shortly after its release, The Guess Who were invited to play at the White House. Because of its supposed anti-American lyrics, Pat Nixon asked that they not play “American Woman”.
Twenty One Pilots released single “Stressed Out” off their album Blurryface, released in 2015. The track went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. The track was recorded at Can Am in Tarzana, California and produced by Mike Elizondo.
The Beatles “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” appeared on the 1969 album Abbey Road. This song is an unusual Beatles composition for a variety of reasons, namely its length (nearly eight minutes), few lyrics (the title makes up most of the lyrics, aside from two more phrases; only 14 different words are sung), a three-minute descent through repeated guitar chords (a similar arpeggiated figure appears in another Lennon contribution to the album, “Because”), and abrupt ending. It is the first song recorded for the Abbey Road album but one of the last songs that the Beatles mixed as a group, on August 20, 1969. It was recorded at EMI, Trident and Olympic Studios in London and produced by George Martin. This special mix highlights the somewhat buried organ work of oft-appearing Beatles sideman Billy Preston. –
Yes’s first track and single from their eleventh studio album (and still great) 90125, Owner Of A Lonely Heart was released in 1983. Written primarily by guitarist Trevor Rabin, contributions were made to the final version by lead singer Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire and producer Trevor Horn. This was the album that, like Genesis and Moody Blues around this time, gave the veteran band an extended life and a fascinating listen still to this day.
The Who’s “Going Mobile” is a track from their 1971 album Who’s Next. The track helped drive the album, which also contained the classics “Baba O’Riley” “Behind Blue Eyes” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” to #1 in the UK and #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums charts. It was recorded at Olympic Studios in London and produced by The Who with Glyn Johns. Rolling Stone’s John Mendelsohn described the song as “inane”. However, in The Rolling Stone Record Guide, John Swenson described “Going Mobile” as one of “Townshend’s most beautiful songs”, so, yeah.
The classic AC/DC track “Back In Black” appeared on their same-titled album in 1980 although this seems to be a live version from the 1992 Live At Donington release given the crowd noise at the end. While the original was produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lang, this Donington version was produced by Bruce Fairbairn.
No offence to the drummers out there, but think of it this way – you can use it to practice!
The Doors’ The Crystal Ship is from their 1967 debut album The Doors. It was also the B-side of the number-one hit single “Light My Fire”. According to Doors drummer John Densmore it was a love song to Jim Morrison’s former girlfriend, Mary Werbelow.
Bonus fact: The TV show Breaking Bad references the song in the second episode of season 5, “Madrigal”, when Jesse Pinkman refers to his and Walter White’s Crystal Methamphetamine Lab Recreational Vehicle as “The Crystal Ship”, a name that Pinkman christened himself.
Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up, released in 1987 was written and produced by Stock Aitken Waterman. The song was released as the first single from his debut album, Whenever You Need Somebody. The song was a worldwide number-one hit, initially in the singer’s native United Kingdom in 1987, where it stayed atop the chart for five weeks and was the best-selling single of that year. It eventually topped the charts in 25 countries, including the United States and West Germany.
Despite the video garnering millions of hits on YouTube due to Rickrolling, Astley has earned almost no money from the meme, reportedly receiving only $12 in royalties from YouTube for his performance share, as of August 2010.
Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” from her second studio album, Born to Die, reached the top ten in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. In the spring of 2013, “Summertime Sadness” became a number-one hit in Poland and Ukraine. Trap and house remixes of “Summertime Sadness” helped Del Rey break into the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart. That chart is where Del Rey’s song became a modest hit and marked her first foray into the chart. On the accompanied Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart, the single gave Del Rey her first US number-one single in August 2013. Earlier in 2012, the song also managed to become a rock hit in the US.