They say if you remember 1991, you weren’t really there…but I was there, and I remember this. (Well, most of it.)
Turning 55 today: the man behind the synthesizers in Bronski Beat, Larry Steinbachek. Yes, we know, Jimmy Somerville was such much of the matinee name of the group that you didn't actually know Larry's name, but we can assure you that he provided almost as much to their sound as Mr. Somerville's vocals did.
29 years ago today, The Cure released a compilation of singles which would serve as a primer for a generation of Goth kids, alt-rockers, and college rock devotees, even if the song which provided it with its title has since been dropkicked into oblivion due to political correctness concerns.
The smooth, soulful vocalist behind such songs as “You Sexy Thing,” “Every 1’s a Winner,” and “Emma” has been silenced: Errol Brown, the lead singer of Hot Chocolate has died at the age of 71 from liver cancer.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica in either 1943 or 1944 (the date seems to fluctuate depending on which source you check), Lester Errol Brown moved to the UK just before entering his teens, but his gateway into a career in music came as a result of Brown and his longtime musical companion, Tony Wilson, deciding to try and make some money by reggae-fying popular songs. Brown wanted to cover John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” with some tweaks to the lyrics, but to do so, he needed the songwriter’s permission. As it turned out, Lennon was entertained by the cover and not only gave Brown the go-ahead but also helped score Brown and Wilson a deal with Apple Records. Unfortunately, their band – which also featured Tony Connor, Larry Ferguson, Harvey Hinsley, and Patrick Olive – didn’t really have a name, so a secretary at Apple called them The Hot Chocolate Band, which was soon shortened to Hot Chocolate, reportedly by producer Mickie Most.
Given the sales figures, it’s a fair bet that most people who’ve invested in a Seals & Crofts album for their collection in recent years have gone with the duo’s greatest-hits collection, but if you’ve ever toyed with the idea of digging a little bit deeper into the career of the guys who brought you “Summer Breeze,” now’s your big chance: this week marks the release of an Original Album Series set by Seals and Crofts, one which collects the duo’s studio output from 1972 through 1976.
The past year has been a good time to be a Jethro Tull fan: in July we released the so-called “Extended Performance” of A Passion Play, in November we delivered the 40th anniversary “Theater Edition” of Warchild, and this week brings another 40th anniversary edition – and a La Grande Édition, no less – of another classic Tull album.
Originally released in 1975 (as you may have guessed from that whole 40th Anniversary thing), Minstrel in the Gallery was one of Jethro Tull’s strongest efforts of the decade, delivering an instant classic with its title track as well as songs like “Requiem,” which scored some airplay as a single, and the absolutely epic “Baker St. Muse.” But if you think you know the album, you may be surprised when you check out this new and extremely elaboration anniversary edition, which includes:
Spring has sprung. Everyone has there own persona; signifier, but mine has long been the annual ritual that is one of our country's longest running music festivals: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Or, Jazzfest. Spanning two weekends, while the fest indeed boasts national touring acts the focus (and beauty) is the celebration of "the indigenous music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana." And then there are the night shows. This week's playlist highlights the latter -- New Orleans indigenous music. Laissez les bons temps rouler.
Today marks the 45th anniversary of the event which inspired Neil Young to write one of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s most iconic songs: the Kent State University shooting.
The whole thing started on April 30, 1970, when President Richard M. Nixon revealed that American combat forces had commenced the so-called “Cambodian incursion.” It would be fair to say that many an educated college student did not take this news well, and their dissatisfaction with these actions was expressed through rallies and protests throughout the United States. Unfortunately, many of these protests were not nearly as non-violent as they perhaps should’ve been, resulting in a state of emergency being declared on May 1 by Kent’s mayor, LeRoy Satrom, and by the following day, Satrom had grown antsy enough from various threats, rumors, and actions to call Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes and put in a request for a National Guard presence in the city.