31 years ago today, Duran Duran released their eighth single, asking a question that took them to the top of the UK charts for the first time in their career: “Is There Something I Should Know?”
The band’s eighth single, “Is There Something I Should Know?” was a standalone effort in the UK, not actually attached to an album, but when it emerged in the U.S. several months later, it was tacked onto the reissue of the band’s self-titled 1981 debut. Why? Because the band hadn’t really broken in the States when the singles from Duran Duran were being released, so it proved to be a good excuse for Capitol to milk their newfound popularity a bit more by putting it out again, this time with their latest single thrown into the mix as added incentive for fans to pick up a copy.
Well, our decade-by-decade romp through the music of the 20th century has deposited us in the present. And there’s no time like it! So, here are a few songs that I dig from the last couple years or so. And, anyone who says that there is no good music being made anymore is out of their ever-lovin’ minds, my friends. Here’s the proof…
A great deal of fun was had by the Monkees and their fans during the course of the group’s 2014 official convention this past weekend, including Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork all being on hand to receive their plaques certifying the Monkees’ induction into the American Pop Music Hall of Fame. Arguably the most tantalizing tidbit to emerge from the event, however, was the announcement that the trio would be kicking off a new tour in May, one which would be taking them along the east coast and through the Midwest.
We know you’ve been chomping at the bit to find out if the Monkees will be coming and walking down your street on their way to a venue in your neck of the woods, but you need wait no longer: here’s where the group’s tour schedule will be taking them throughout late May and early June.
THIS DIAMOND RING
You know the Gary Lewis & the Playboys version, but Al envisioned it as a horn-fueled soul number and recorded it on his album "Act Like Nothing's Wrong," check it out.
LIKE A ROLLING STONE
Yes, that's Al's organ on the supposed #1 rock single of all time. He's told the story many times of how he planned to play guitar but was intimidated by Michael Bloomfield and sidled up to the organ when Tom Wilson wasn't looking and Dylan liked what resulted. The saying is "You've got to have friends," even more you've got to have BALLS!
I CAN'T KEEP FROM CRYING SOMETIMES
Back when music was not free, there were certain albums you'd see in bedrooms that you didn't own but realized were important, like the Blues Project's "Projections." Their take on Blind Willie Johnson's composition...was a sixties classic.
But this was the most famous Blues Project song, written by Kooper and featuring Andy Kulberg's flute. This track could be just as successful today. Be sure to check out Seatrain's cover...
45 years ago, the Rascals – formerly known as the Young Rascals – unleashed Freedom Suite, the album that provided them with their third and final #1 hit, “People Got to Be Free.”
Freedom Suite, released on March 17, 1969, was the Rascals’ fifth album, and it was definitely a bit of a departure for the band, but coming as it did on the heels of Time Peace, a greatest-hits collection which topped the U.S. charts, it’s no wonder that they felt like they were in a position to experiment a bit with their sound and lyrical content. Clearly, they were successful at tapping into something that caught the attention of the masses, given that the aforementioned “People Got to Be Free,” a song about racial tolerance, topped the charts, and two subsequent singles, “A Ray of Hope” and “Heaven,” were top-40 hits (at #24 and #39, respectively). The album itself, however, was a double LP, and while the first record was consistently strong, the second record – an all-instrumental affair dubbed “Music Music” that was all instrumental and featured only three tracks, two of which lasted for over 13 minutes each – may have been a bit much for the crowds who came looking for more radio-friendly fare.
We don’t know how many of you caught the premiere of NBC’s new series Crisis last night, but if you did, then you may well have walked away from the proceedings wondering who was responsible for the haunting version of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” that came within an inch of being even creepier than the original.
Say hello to Scala & Kolacny Brothers, a Belgian women’s choir conducted by Stijn Kolacny and arranged and accompanied by Steven Kolacny on piano. Formed in 1996, Scala have actually released five studio albums during the course of their existence, starting with 2002’s On the Rocks, sung entirely in Belgian. (An international version of the album came out in 2005.) While decidedly still more of a cult phenomenon than a mainstream success, they’ve nonetheless had their music spotlighted in several high-profile places, with their cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” earning prominent placement in the trailer for 2010’s The Social Network, their covers of the Police’s “Every Breath You Take” and U2’s “With or Without You” finding their way into trailers for Downton Abbey, and their take on Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People” in TV spots for “Beautiful Creatures.”