In 1976, hidden behind lush Victorian drapes, atop a black velvet bed in the back studio of Sausalito’s Record Plant, a devastated Stevie Nicks sat alone at a Fender Rhodes piano. The master lyricist, beloved as a folk-rock matriarch, spilled her heartache into “Dreams.” The classic track became one of four US Top 10 singles from Fleetwood Mac’s eleventh studio album, Rumours.
The hit record was excruciatingly revealing. The masterful collection elevated the influential rock quintet to the iconic group whose music would forever mark the evolution of folk. While Rumours climbed charts in 1977, the walls were crumbling around them.
This was U2‘s breakout hit in America, where they had only modest success until The Joshua Tree album. They had long been stars in their native Ireland, and with their previous album, The Unforgettable Fire, they broke through in the UK, but until “With Or Without You” their biggest US hit was “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” at #33. When they did conquer America, they did so swiftly and thoroughly; “With Or Without You” went to #1, and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” followed to the top spot.
“Live is Life” is the 1984 track by Austrian band Opus. The song has a positive beat and message, discussing the beauty of life when everyone gets together and looks out for one another.
The track was created during a concert in Oberwart on the 2nd September 1984, while the group was celebrating their eleventh anniversary. In 1994, the group released another version of “Live is Life” for the FIFA World Cup. In 1989, the song was played during the warm up between FC Bayern Munich and S.S.C. Napoli.
There is no official music video for the song, however on Opus‘ YouTube channel there is a video of the group performing the song at the Arena Vienna in Austria in January 1985. The video was directed by Anders Stenmo and was produced by Opus. Since its upload to YouTube in August 2012, as of the 21st August 2021, the video has received over 40.3 million views and over 310 thousand likes.
Bob Dylan, whose real name is Robert Zimmerman, is an American artist (singer, songwriter, composer, painter, poet …) known worldwide and emblematic of folk music.
In 1976, the singer released his album Desire, in collaboration with lyricist Jacques Levy, which included the controversial song ‘Hurricane’, written in 1975. This song, which is particularly long (8 minutes and 32 seconds), can be described as a ‘protest song‘. In other words, it is an artistic way of defending a cause, of making one’s voice heard on a societal theme. In this case, the artist is outraged by the injustice suffered by the boxer Rubin Carter, who was convicted in 1966.
The Spin Doctors are a New York group led by Chris Barron, who rocked a very disheveled look at the time. They were tagged an “alternative” band, which was good for marketing purposes, since it made them sound edgy. Really, they were a rock band with pop appeal, and in 1993 there was a huge demand for their sound, especially among Top 40 radio stations who were pushing back against the tide of hip-hop.
Their first single, “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong,” was a modest hit, climbing to #17 in the US. “Two Princes” did far better, becoming their biggest hit and best-known song. Both songs were composed by the entire band: Baron, Aaron Comess, Eric Schenkman and Mark White.
Between 1919 and 1943, pianist/composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart wrote many timeless songs – including the likes of “The Lady Is A Tramp,” “Blue Moon,” and “Have You Met Miss Jones – but “My Funny Valentine” is undoubtedly their crowning glory.
The song was written in 1937 for 17-year-old to sing in Rodgers & Hart’s musical, Babes In Arms; although the stage show enjoyed a successful 289-week run on Broadway, “My Funny Valentine” outlived it, going on to achieve a notable life of its own from the mid-1940s onwards when many pop and jazz singers began including it in their repertoire.
It was in the 1950s, though, that “My Funny Valentine”‘s popularity skyrocketed; there were 38 recordings of it that decade, the most notable, perhaps, by Chet Baker, a sublimely lyrical trumpeter who also sang in a dreamy, androgynous voice. His 1952 recording of the tune – when he was part of baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan’s quartet – transformed him into the poster boy of West Coast cool jazz.
“A Hard Day’s Night” is a song by the English rock band The Beatles. Written by John Lennon, and credited to Lennon-McCartney, it was released on the movie soundtrack of the same name in 1964. It was later released as a single, with “Things We Said Today” as its B-side.
The song featured prominently on the soundtrack to the Beatles’ first feature film, A Hard Day’s Night, and was on their album of the same name. The song topped the charts in both the United Kingdom and United States when it was released as a single. Featuring a prominent and unique opening chord, the song’s success demonstrated that the Beatles were not a one-hit wonder in the US.
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