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Anyone who feels that “they don’t write ‘em like they used to any more” is advised to just go back to Derek and the Dominos, one of the best blues rock band formed in the spring of 1970 by guitarist and singer Eric Clapton, keyboardist and singer Bobby Whitlock, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon. All four members had previously played together in Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, during and after Clapton’s brief tenure with Blind Faith. Dave Mason supplied additional lead guitar on early studio sessions, while another guy – George Harrison, participated in the sessions for the album since his own album All Things Must Pass marked the formation of Derek and the Dominos.

The band released only one studio album, the Tom Dowd-produced Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, which also featured notable contributions on slide guitar from Duane Allman. A double album, the release stalled at first in sales and in radio airplay. It wasn’t until March 1972 that the album’s single “Layla” made the top ten in both the United States and the United Kingdom, and started the whole “Capton Is God” for the 6th time and forevermore.

1. The song was inspired by the classical poet of Persian literature, Nizami Ganjavi’s The Story of Layla and Majnun. The book moved Clapton profoundly, as it was the tale of a young man who fell hopelessly in love with a beautiful, unavailable woman and who went crazy because he could not marry her. Clapton could relate – he had a then-unrequited love for Pattie Boyd, the wife of his friend and fellow musician George Harrison.


2. Two versions of “Layla” made the charts – a rare feat. The first time was in 1972 and the second (without the piano coda) 20 years later as an acoustic “Unplugged” performance by Clapton. Clapton introduced this version to the unsuspecting live audience by stating “See if you can spot this one.”

3. Clapton’s “Unplugged” version of “Layla” won the 1992 Grammy Award for Best Rock Song, beating out “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, one of the ten biggest upsets in Grammy history, according to Entertainment Weekly.

4. THAT riff. One of the glorious in all of rock. Here’s the first 5 bars, so you can play at home.


5. Shortly after recording the first part of the song, Clapton returned to the studio, where he heard Gordon playing a piano piece he had composed separately. Clapton, impressed by the piece, convinced Gordon to allow it to be used as part of the song. Though only Gordon has been officially credited with this part, Whitlock claimed, “Jim took that piano melody from his ex-girlfriend Rita Coolidge.

Originally inspired by a police brutality incident witnessed by Renaldo “Obie” Benson, “What’s Goin’ On” was composed by Benson, Al Cleveland and Gaye and produced by Gaye himself. Bassist James Jamerson was pulled into the session after Gaye located him playing with a band at a local bar. Respected Motown arranger and conductor David Van De Pitte said later to Ben Edmonds that Jamerson “always kept a bottle of [the Greek spirit] Metaxa in his bass case. He could really put that stuff away, and then sit down and still be able to play. His tolerance was incredible. It took a hell a lot to get him smashed.” The night Jamerson entered the studio to record the bass lines to the song, Jamerson couldn’t sit properly in his seat and, according to one of the members of the Funk Brothers, laid on the floor playing his bass riffs.

Find yourself submerged into the voyage depths of hell, and deep into the mind of Kurt Cobain. The tape was made on a 4-track cassette recorder grabbing cuts from Cobain’s own record collection, the radio, band demos and sounds he made or recorded himself and uploaded by Vimeo user SpaceEcho (who claims Cobain gave the tape to him personally). Presenting the full version of Kurt Cobain’s “Montage Of Heck” mixed-tape from 1986.

Kurt Cobain’s “Montage Of Heck” from SpaceEcho on Vimeo.

Montage of Heck Track List:
“The Men In My Little Girl’s Life” by Mike Douglas
“The Sounds of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel
“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” by The Beatles
“A Day In The Life” by The Beatles
“Eruption” by Van Halen
“Hot Pants” by James Brown
“Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” by Cher
“Go Away Little Girl” by Donny Osmond
“Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver
“Everybody Loves Somebody” by Dean Martin
“The Candy Man” by Sammy Davis, Jr.
“In A Gadda Da Vida” by Iron Butterfly
“Wild Thing” by William Shatner
“Taxman” by The Beatles
“I Think I Love You” by The Partridge Family
“Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?” by The Barbarians
“Queen Of The Reich” by Queensryche
“Last Caress/Green Hell” covered by Metallica
“Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin
“Get Down, Make Love” by Queen
“ABC” by The Jackson Five
“I Want Your Sex” by George Michael
“Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden
“Eye Of The Chicken” by Butthole Surfers
“Dance of the Cobra” by Butthole Surfers
“The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave” by Butthole Surfers
“New Age” by The Velvet Underground
“Love Buzz” by Shocking Blue
Orchestral music from 200 Motels by Frank Zappa
“Help I’m A Rock” / “It Can’t Happen Here” by Frank Zappa
“Call Any Vegetable” by Frank Zappa
“The Day We Fall In Love” by The Monkees
“Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath (intro)
Theme from The Andy Griffith Show
Mike Love (of The Beach Boys) talking about “Transcendental Meditation”
Excerpts of Jimi Hendrix speaking at the Monterey Pop Festival
Excerpts of Paul Stanley from KISS’ Alive!
Excerpts of Daniel Johnston screaming about Satan
Excerpts from sound effects records
Various children’s records (Curious George, Sesame Street, The Flintstones, Star Wars)

“Shiver” is a track off Coldplay’s debut album, Parachutes, released in 2000. The track followed “Yellow” as the second single released and rose to #35 on the UK Singles chart and #26 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. The album was recorded at Matrix and Wessex in London, Parr Street in Liverpool and Rockfield Studios in Rockfield, UK and was produced by Ken Nelson and Coldplay.

Chris Martin admitted that “Shiver” was written for a specific woman, but hasn’t revealed a specific name. Martin actually wrote the song in a “glum” day, when he felt he would never find the right woman for him. He described it as something of a “stalking song”, admitting he wrote it for a specific woman. In addition, Martin wrote the song while listening to music of Jeff Buckley, and had claimed it is their “most blatant rip-off song”.

Here’s a collection of NASA sounds from historic spaceflights and current missions. You can hear the roar of a space shuttle launch or Neil Armstrong’s “One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” every time you get a phone call if you make our sounds your ringtone. Or, you can hear the memorable words “Houston, we’ve had a problem,” every time you make an error on your computer.

Legend has it Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain wanted to call this song Heart-Shaped Coffin, and the lyric of this rough demo features that very line. This demo is pretty close to what would be slightly cleaned-up for their In Utero album when he decided to call it “Heart-Shapped Box” instead.

Listen for the swapping “I wish I could catch your cancer” to “I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black” for the official version. You’ll also notice Cobain humming along to the music – something more than a few artists do in the studio before committing to actual lyrics.

From WFMU:

Back in the days before Clear Channel owned every other station in the country, record labels were forced to do a little bit of legwork in order to promote their releases. Throughtout the 70’s and 80’s, one technique in their arsenal was to mail an “interview records” to every station in the country. Interview records were essentially spoken word karaoke interviews with rock stars, so that a local station could pretend that its own jocks had landed the big one. Stations received a record with the rock star giving answers to interview questions, which were supplied to the station on a script.

An hour or so in the production room with reel to reel tape and a razor blade, and voila! even the lowliest station in the country could air that exclusive interview with Jimmy Page! We still have one such interview record in the mighty FMU record library, “Collins on Collins,” in which Phil Collins knowingly chuckles to your insighttful questions, and waxes philosophical on “Philmania” and the difference between “pop fans” and “music fans.” Here is an MP3 of the Collins on Collins record which came out in 1985. If you really want to play along at home and ask Phil the questions so he can knowingly chuckle and reply to you, here is a pdf document of the script that accompanied the record.

Rod Stewart In the Studio performing the ‘Demo’ of the Hit Single ‘Maggie May’. Making up the words as he goes along, the words that Rod sings bear no resemblance and are completely unrecognisable to ones in the eventual No.1 Hit. The title and word ‘Maggie’ does not get mentioned anywhere in the song. The backing track is still in it’s early Mix stages also. Rod’s lyrics get interesting about 2 minutes in to the song. I’ve also added the subtitles of the words. Regardless of this Demo, the record is still a timeless ‘Classic’.