15 years ago today, The Darkness – yes, the band that once ordered you to get your hands off of their woman, mother***er – performed their first concert.
Hailing from Suffolk, England, The Darkness rose from the ashes of a band called Empire, which Justin Hawkins once summed up with the words, “Great drummer, great guitarist, great bassist, terrible keyboard player.” Both Justin and his brother Dan were in Empire, but – believe it or not – Dan was the singer in that particular outfit, and it’s been said that Justin’s shift into the role of frontman came after he attended a New Year’s Eve bash in 2000 and blew everyone away during a karaoke competition with his performance of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
14 years ago today, Coldplay officially became a big deal on the British music scene by taking home the awards for both Best British Group and Best British Album – for Parachutes – at the 2001 BRIT Awards, a ceremony generally described as the UK equivalent of the Grammy Awards.
Now, when we say that they officially became a big deal that night, it’s not to say that Coldplay weren’t well on their way to achieving prominence on the pop charts. Indeed, by that point, they’d already secured two top-10 singles in the UK – “Yellow” (#4) and “Trouble (#10) – and Parachutes had long since proved to be an unqualified success. Still, there’s a whole new level of credibility that comes with being named Best British Group, and there’s little question that Coldplay took their new street cred and ran with it.
I want to paint a picture
Botticelli * style
Instead of Venus on a clam *
I'd paint this flower child
And paint she does! In fact, she considers herself "a painter who writes songs." We're honoring her artistry by giving away a signed and framed self-portrait giclee taken from the cover of Love Has Many Faces. Limited to a numbered run of 50 prints worldwide, you'll most certainly want to enter to win the only one we've got here.
This week, we’ve got a plethora of albums getting the 180-gram vinyl treatment…probably. Once you get into double digits, you’re safe in calling it a plethora, right? Because we’re talking about 10 albums here, and that certainly seems like it should be plethora-worthy, even if there are only two artists represented within those 10 albums.
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
Faze-O, Riding High: They came the funk out of Dayton, Ohio in the late ‘70s, recorded three albums, and then called it a day, but if you’ve got to pick one of their albums to add to your collection, then it’s this one, their debut. Why? First and foremost, it’s because of the title track, an oft-sampled ditty that’s a dance-floor filler in its own right, but the whole album is strong stuff, really.
Sol Kaplan, The Victors – Original Soundtrack Recording: War film aficionados will immediately be familiar with The Victors, which followed a group of American soldiers through Europe during the course of World War II. It’s an all-star cast, to be sure, including Vince Edwards, Albert Finney, George Hamilton, Jeanne Moreau, George Peppard, Elke Sommer, Eli Wallach, and Peter Fonda, who earned a Golden Globe nod for Most Promising Newcomer, but the score by Sol Kaplan – who also scored the 1953 film Titanic, is top-notch, too. (It also doesn’t hurt that Frank Sinatra’s take on “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is included in the mix as well.)
The Nippon Budokan indoor arena in central Tokyo – built for the 1964 Olympic Games – has hosted a vast number of huge artists over the years, with many including Deep Purple, Eric Clapton and Iron Maiden using it as the venue of choice for recording live albums and DVDs. In February 1983, it was the turn of David Coverdale and Whitesnake to pay the venue a visit – here’s the setlist from that evening.
1995 was a great year to be alive! Listen to this and tell me I’m wrong…
If you’re an American music fan whose only frame of reference to the name “Dr. Feelgood” is that of a 1989 Motley Crüe album…well, actually, that’s not too surprising, given that it’s the Crüe’s best-selling album by a pretty wide margin. In fact, it’s gone platinum six times over at this point, which means that it’s sold so many more copies in the U.S. than the combined discography of the band called Dr. Feelgood has sold on these shores that we’re not even going to bother to do the math, because it would just make us sad.
For the record, though, the band called Dr. Feelgood was formed in 1971, released their first single (“Roxette”) in ’74, and issued their debut album, Down by the Jetty, the following year. They were known as one of the defining bands in the so-called “pub rock” movement in the UK, and they could bash out some seriously bad-ass British R&B back in the day.