Posts Tagged ‘Capitol Records’

Travelin' Man by Bob Seger on Amazon Music - Amazon.com

Bob Seger knew all about disappointment, after years of struggling to find a wider audience. the album “Beautiful Loser”, released in April 1975, unfolded as a rumination on those feelings.

The title track, a microcosm of hopelessness, speaks to all of it: “The original concept came from Leonard Cohen’s line, ‘He’s reaching for the sky just to surrender,'” Seger told Rolling Stone in 1976. “You know, people who set their goals so low that they’ll never be disappointed.”

Seger’s hard-charging brand of heartland rock had already attracted a locally fervent audience in Michigan, But the next six studio projects never got any higher than No. 171. (Seger’s most recent release, 1974’s Seven, hadn’t charted at all.) His life in music was at a crossroads, and Seger had clearly begun to worry about about giving in.

As that worry took root, he struggled to move forward with the title track. A key voice of reason got things back on track. “I wrote five different ‘Beautiful Loser’s before I settled on one for the record, There was a ballad, a blues – I couldn’t find the right tone for the song. So, I played it for Glenn Frey, an old friend, to get some advice. He was the first person to ever hear it. And he loved it, so I stuck with the song until it all got pieced together.”

More than that, Frey convinced Seger to remain true to this quieter, more personal tack. “If he hadn’t come, seriously, I probably would have put out another record like Seven – basically all rock ‘n’ roll, with maybe one ballad,” said Seger. “But Frey liked it all. He said, ‘Go with it, man. Do something diverse.'”

The version of Bob Seger ultimately embraced by the masses first came into focus here, with reflective ballads like the title cut claiming just as much prominence as rockers like “Katmandu.” This is the record Seger was touring on when the game-changing ‘Live Bullet’ was recorded

Seger recorded the ballads with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and the rockers with the Silver Bullet Band, setting a new pattern. Either way, he rarely went off topic on Beautiful Loser, taking a notable breather with a furious one-take update of Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limits.” Even “Jody Girl” a character sketch that had nothing to do with his career struggles, is almost unbearably quiet.

“It’s a concept album, to a degree,” Seger acknowledged in a 1975 radio interview. “The other seven songs all have a connected theme: It’s basically life on the road and my concept of what a winner or a loser is in life, as opposed to just the music business. Some of the songs talk about how we maintain our sanity – some of the songs are darker, about the loneliness.”

Beautiful Loser ended up opening a whole new area of introspection in Seger, not just thematically but in the way he approached every part of his craft. Already emerging as one of rock’s most heartfelt songwriters, he began re-thinking his approach on stage, too. “The worst thing that happened to me,” he told Marsh, “was that I got blown away by guitar – and for about four years, I lost myself in lead guitar. I sort of stopped being a songwriter, stopped being creative and just tried to be a lead guitar player more than anything else.”

After a four-album career-opening run on Capitol, Seger signed with Palladium Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. run by his manager Punch Andrews. Three underperforming albums later, Warners rejected the downbeat Beautiful Loser out of hand. He returned to Capitol Records, setting the stage for a huge breakthrough.

Along the way, Seger tacitly admitted that the answers might remain elusive. On “Fine Memory,” he leaves the final lyric unsung – never repeating “I think I’m gonna take it with me.”. “Sailing Nights” found him feeling utterly adrift. Still, Seger seemed more resolute than ever on escapist-themed tracks like “Travelin’ Man” and “Katmandu.”

Why “Katmandu”? Seger he later told the local magazine that the capital city of Nepal, located in the Himalayas between China and India, was “a very mysterious and beautiful place in a lot of ways, like another planet for me.”

Beautiful Loser appeared set to live up to its name. The album had only middling sales, and the title song failed to reach the Top 100. But the material found new life out on the concert trail, setting the stage for Seger’s career-making moment with 1976’s classic album “Live Bullet”.

Some 300,000 of the first half-million copies sold in Detroit alone,  Live Bullet just kept going, eventually becoming certified platinum five times. As its star rose, so did Beautiful Loser, whose songs dominated the setlist.

 

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Quicksilver Messenger Service – 1968 – The original band formed in 1965 featured revered lead guitarist John Cipollina, Gary Duncan (guitar), David Freiberg (bass), Greg Elmore (drums) – (with Jim Murray and Skip Spence added on guitars). Dino Valenti, who may have had a hand in the band’s formation, was arrested on marijuana possession and spent two years in prison. Spence left to drum on Jefferson Airplane’s debut album in 1966 and was co-founder of Moby Grape, and Murray left after the Monterey Pop Festival. Quicksilver Messenger Service was the best Acid Rock dance band of the 60s honing their skills at the Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore West.

Quicksilver Messenger Service  eventually signed on with Capitol Records in 1967. The core group made only two albums together, its finest: “Quicksilver Messenger Service (1968), and “Happy Trails,” (1969) with stellar songs such as “Pride of Man,” “Dino’s Song,” “The Fool,” “Who Do You Love,” and “Mona.” Cipollina’s ravishing improvisations on “The Fool,” and “Who Do You Love,” for example, set him apart from most other guitarists of the late 1960s. If you ever saw the band live at the Avalon or Winterland, you know that Cipollina could slay you with his spires of tremolo. He had a unique tone that could not be duplicated… Duncan left in 1969 owing to substance abuse issues and general exhaustion and was replaced by ace British session man Nicky Hopkins who contributed masterful piano work on the band’s third and most successful album” Shady Grove,” (1970). Valenti and Duncan returned in 1970 playing on “Just for Love,” (1970) with Valenti taking lead vocal on Fresh Air,” the group’s biggest hit single, and “What About Me,” (1971).

After Cipollina and Nicky Hopkins departed later in the year, Quicksilver carried on with Duncan, Elmore, Valenti, and Freiberg, adding Mark Naftalin (Freiberg was replaced by Mark Ryan when the former was arrested for illegal possession of marijuana).

There were two less successful albums with this configuration: “Quicksilver,” (1971)) and “Comin’ Thru,” (1972). A reunion album “Solid Silver,” (1975) included Cipollina and Hopkins and a host of other Bay Area musicians. The band made one final appearance at Winterland in late December – Cipollina’s last hurrah with the band he founded. Quicksilver Messenger Service carried on for another four years before disbanding… But the band will be remembered for its first two albums – and the wonderful chemistry sparking Cipollina and Duncan’s sublimely beautiful guitar improvisations.

In 1967 – “Dino’s Song,” Live unreleased version recorded at the Fillmore. One of the finest, achingly beautiful, love songs ever written (by Dino Valenti), Originally on the band’s self-titled 1968 debut, one of the finest of the era. This band had few peers and it’s, always a delight to hear Gary Duncan and john Cipollina play in tandem. But a little sad now with their passing.

Beck

Beck has announced the upcoming release of his new album “Hyperspace”, accompanied by the release of a brand new single ‘Saw Lightning’.  The track is an eclectic, percussive-heavy alt-pop ditty with some lovely slide guitar, riddled with melancholic harmonica and schizophrenic lyricism – another incredible addition to Beck’s extensive back catalogue of experimental jams.

Co-produced by Pharrell, who also contributed drums and mumbles, the track sets a seriously hyper-energetic tone and will satiate the hunger of any Beck fanatic in the lead up to the album release.

Hyperspace will mark Beck’s 14th album release, following the success of his Grammy-winning 2017 record Colours. No release date is set yet however, you can expect it to arrive at “some point in the space-time continuum”, according to Capitol Records

The Decemberists  have shared the second single from their forthcoming eighth studio album, I’ll Be Your Girl, out on March 16th via Capitol Records.

Their first single, “Severed,” saw the band taking on a radical new electronic, synth-pop sound as they name dropped unexpected influences like Roxy Music, New Order and Depeche Mode, and they even said it started as a punk song. Synths follow the band into their new single “Once In My Life” though the acoustic guitar-led intro and outro give off the familiar comfort of a traditional Decemberists track. However, sandwiched in between the song’s edges is a spacey, synth-driven track that somehow manages to coexist with the indie-folk balladry of front man Colin Meloy’s lead vocals.

Meloy said the track was elevated by the band in the studio and he commented, “We were playing that on the road as a folk-rock anthem thing, but bringing in that obliterating synth really took it somewhere different. The whole band really stepped up and transformed these arrangements.”Image may contain: shoes

New album ‘I’ll Be Your Girl’ available March 16th:

This thing, this molten piece of spectacular extravagance, is available for pre-order now and will ship no later than June 15th, 2018. No fear: each pre-order will come with a digital download of the album that can be redeemed on March 16 (the four extra tracks will be available for digital download on the shipping date).

FEATURES:
• Sixteen songs — all eleven of the album tracks + four exclusive tracks from the IBYG sessions
• Eight  7” vinyl records, each a different color
• Nine sleeve pinwheeling, heavy duty cardstock book with slide-out record jacket pockets, full color art from Carson Ellis and paper engineered pop-up elements
• Full color booklet SIGNED BY THE BAND
• Lives tidily inside a hefty chipboard slipcase.

(Plus a few special secrets)

“Once In My Life” is the first song on I’ll Be Your Girl. I imagine you’ve felt this way, or are maybe feeling this way right now. It’s a pretty universal sentiment, I think. Embrace it. Hope you enjoy the song. – Colin Meloy

The Decemberists are back! Their band members include drummer Joen Moen, guitarists Chris Funk and Colin Meloy who takes lead vocals, multi-instrumentalist Chris Funk and Nate Query playing bass.

This year sees the release of their latest album; I’ll Be Your Girl. And so, you can catch them showing off their new material Fans are all very excited to get their hands on The Decemberists tickets,

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Quicksilver Messenger Service Follow The ‘Happy Trails’

This was the day 49 years ago that San Francisco rock band Quicksilver Messenger Service unveiled their finest hour, at least in commercial terms. March 17th, 1969 marked the release of ‘Happy Trails,’ their second album for Capitol Records and their one LP to win gold certification in America. When it comes to groups graced with two lead guitarists, one often earns more ardor than the other. Sometimes that’s understandable, like when one player takes more of the solos. But in a case like Quicksilver Messenger Service, it’s a mystery. In their heyday, John Cipollina tended to get more attention than Gary Duncan, though they both made dazzling contributions to their albums and concerts.

Cipollina’s distinctly ringing tremolo, a kind of sonic special effect that achieved a shivery resonance on the highest notes. In fact, Duncan has his own distinct tone and his overall work showed nearly as much invention and scope as his partner’s. You can hear their interplay best in the band’s oceanic jams,

Quite unusually for a sophomore record, ‘Happy Trails’ was a live album, taken from performances by the band at the famed Fillmore East and Fillmore West venues. Even more ambitiously, the first side of the disc was a suite of songs, running more than 25 minutes in total, based around the theme of Bo Diddley’s ‘Who Do You Love?’, in no fewer than six episodic interpretations. Quicksilver’s version divided into seven sections, with different sub-titles. One dubbed When You Love, featured a long, and highly creative, five-minute jaunt from Duncan that drew from jazz as well as psychedelia, underscored by a Latin-influenced bass line. It’s forceful and ruminative at once. Cipollina took the reins during the How You Love segment, letting his chilling tremolo spin through loop-de-loops, broken by distinct cries phased to shoot back and forth between the speakers.

The first and last of these were versions of the song itself, with notable roles for the band’s guitarists John Cipollina and Gary Duncan. The first even nudged into the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 91. But the middle passages were all written by the members of QMS themselves, titled (with a hint of humour) ‘When You Love, ‘Where You Love,’ ‘How You Love’ and ‘Which Do You Love.’

Quicksilver goes into it at full speed,” wrote Greil Marcus in his Rolling Stone review at the time, “John Cipollina’s guitar alternately harsh and sweet, clashing with Gary Duncan’s rhythm, Greg Elmore’s drumming simple and solid, never an iota of sloppiness, not a note missed.”

Who do you love and Mona are excellent examples of QMS live , the audience interaction is exciting and enervating, Cipollina’s guitar playing is ecstatic and moving. Calvary is like a psychedelic spaghetti western and is quite in place and a good ol’ boys yippee ay yay ending in Happy Trails means a great trip is guaranteed for all you heads out there

This is simply the San Francisco live,’acid rock’, sound at its best. Obviously comparisons with the Dead will be made but for reasons well expressed by the other reviewers here they are pretty meaningless. I can understand why opinions are divided over this album, It is one of the great, maybe the greatest, guitar album(s) flowing in a way that no other has ever equalled. Don’t look for structured songs here just, to quote the Airplane,”ride the music”. One of the two or three albums that would be in my top ten whenever you asked me.

The second side of ‘Happy Trails’ started with another gem from the Bo Diddley catalogue, ‘Mona,’ and three more band compositions including Duncan’s 13-minute instrumental ‘Calvary.’

The album artwork was designed by Globe Propaganda, described as “an advertising agency specializing in hip, progressive material.” Soon afterwards, Globe designed covers for the Charlatans and It’s A Beautiful Day. 23 years after its release, in 1992, ‘Happy Trails’ went gold, testament to the lasting contribution of Quicksilver Messenger Service as was the fact that it landed at No. 189 on Rolling Stone’s all-time top 500 albums.