Paul Gambaccini profiles the British-born keyboard player and songwriter Rod Temperton, who enjoyed big disco-era success as part of Heatwave before writing hits for American R&B/pop stars like Donna Summer, George Benson, Aretha Franklin, James Ingram, Patti Austin, Herbie Hancock and, most lucratively, Michael Jackson.
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.
Ever since Zayn Malik left One Direction, he’s been pretty quiet about the reasons behind his exit and how he felt as a member of the group. But now, in an interview with Beats 1’s Zane Lowe, the former band member has admitted it: “I never really wanted to be there.”
“I think I always wanted to go, from the first year. I never really wanted to be there, like, in the band. I just gave it a go because it was there at the time and then when I realised the direction we were going in -– mind the pun –- with the music, I instantly realised it wasn’t for me.
“I realised I couldn’t put any input in, I couldn’t give my opinion on this or not, because it didn’t fit the grain of what we were as a band and what we represented. That’s when it became frustrating for me.”
Voted by Melody Maker as The Most Rock ‘n’ Roll Rock ‘n’ Roll Band in the World, The Black Crowes were just complete badasses, complete with a stunning 1992 album The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. But first, their debut album Shake Your Money Maker brought them into the limelight. Funny, they played the song live many times over the years, but it is not included on this album.
The band, fronted by vocalist Chris Robinson and brother guitarist Rich literally flew off the stage with their 1960’s psychedelic pop and classic southern rock, and later evolved into a revivalist band dedicated to 1970s-era blues rock. Here’s some of Chris’ best isolated vocals.
She Talks To Angels from Shake Your Money Maker
She Talks To Angels original
Remedy from The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
Remedy original (go on, you try and look this cool in a video)
Producer Mark Saunders has shared audio from a 1985 session where David Bowie sings an outtake in voices imitating Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Neil Young, Tom Waits, and more.
I was lucky enough to work with Bowie in 1985 at Westside Studios in London. My bosses, Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (Madness, Dexys Midnight Runners, Elvis Costello, Bush) were producing the soundtrack for the movie Absolute Beginners, for which Bowie was acting and writing songs (it was a better soundtrack than it was a movie!) and I was graduating from assistant engineer to engineer at that time.
The day Bowie was first due to show up at Westside, we were all a bit nervous — Bowie was the biggest star client for Clive and Alan at that point in time. We kept looking out the windows, waiting for a stretch limo to show up and an entire entourage to walk in, but then a black cab showed up and out popped the unaccompanied Bowie. He walked in, announced in what seemed a more cockney voice than I remembered, “Hi, I’m David Bowie,” and shook our hands. He seemed smaller than I imagined he would be in person. A bit later I noticed that the cockney had dissipated somewhat and he also seemed to have grown more upright and taller, too. I thought, “Wow, he really is a chameleon,” and wondered if the earlier exaggerated cockney was his way of reducing his superstar status temporarily to put people at ease on first meeting him.
The impersonations on this YouTube posting were recorded in August ’85, when Bowie came in to do the lead vocal. At the end of the session, he broke into the impersonations and I realized that these might get erased at some point, so I quickly put a cassette in and hit “record.” I wish we could hear the other side of the dialogue between Bowie and Clive and Alan, but unfortunately that wasn’t being recorded.
From David Bowie’s 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mar, here’s the isolated Vocal, Acoustic Guitar and Bass for Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide. It’s the closing track on the album, detailing Ziggy’s final collapse as an old, washed-up rock star and, as such, was also the closing number of the Ziggy Stardust live show. In April 1974, RCA issued it as a single.
“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” by The Beatles was written by John Lennon, and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song closes side one on the group’s 1969 album Abbey Road, and it quite unusual song, even for them. It’s nearly eight minutes long, 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. Its’s so heavy (pun intended), that Classic Rock magazine commented that “the song pre-dated Black Sabbath’s creation of doom rock by several months”.
ORGAN: Billy Preston, BASS: Paul McCartney, DRUMS: Ringo Starr
This year has started off badly, with the deaths of Lemmy from Motorhead and David Bowie, both of cancer. In “Ace of Space“, Los Angeles musician and composer Andy Rehfeldt has created a striking tribute to two late music legends by mashing together the Motörhead anthem “Ace of Spades” with the iconic “Space Oddity” by David Bowie.
On a flying visit to London, Glen Hansard, the singer-songwriter and actor (Once, The Commitments) talks with Paul Stokes about his latest solo album, busking, life choices, The Frames and more.
When Sam Phillips sold Elvis’ contract in 1955 he used the money to start an all girl radio station in Memphis, TN. Set in a pink, plush studio in the nations’ third Holiday Inn, it was a novelty — but not for long. He hired models, beauty queens, actresses, telephone operators. Some were young mothers who just needed a job. WHER was the first radio station to feature women as more than novelties and sidekicks. The WHER girls were broadcasting pioneers. From 1955 into the mid-1970s they ruled the airwaves with style, wit and imagination. “WHER was the embryo of the egg,” said Sam Phillips. “We broke a barrier. There was nothing like it in the world.”
Part 2 is set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, Vietnam, and the death of Martin Luther King — the story of WHER continues following the women who pioneered in broadcasting as they head into one of the most dramatic and volatile times in the nation’s history.