Posts Tagged ‘EMI Records’

“Discover Effortless Living” is the much-hyped debut LP from young ones-to-watch Bull. Heavily influenced by Pavement and YLT without flying too close to them.

Since signing to EMI Records in conjunction with, York based label, Young Thugs the band have been growing apace. At radio the band are already being championed by the likes of Chris Hawkins and Steve Lamacq at 6Music, Huw Stephens at BBC Introducing Clara Amfo, as well as being acclaimed by fellow musicians like Elton John on his Beats 1 show and Declan McKenna during his recent appearance on the Radio 1 Future Artists mix tape.

The album combines the new title track with Bull’s three 2020 singles: the fuzz-rocking Disco Living, the noisy pop of Bonzo Please and the summer high of Green. 

Billed as a “brilliant slice of indie maximalism”, Love Goo hooks sweet pop melodies onto a ramshackle jangle rock template, with spritely xaphoon lines (a kind of pocket saxophone), tin whistle and piano to the fore.

“It’s a song about getting along with people,” explains wry-humoured Bull songwriter and singer Tom Beer. “It looks at my relationship with my family as well as my own feelings of ‘sticky love goo’, when thinking about people in my life and from my childhood.

“It’s about the difference between people, universal truth, gender fluidity, peace and love, understanding and all of that stuff.”

Tom penned Love Goo in 2018. “It’s one of my more recent songs on our upcoming album, in fact it’s the newest one on there. Out of the 13 songs, it’s the freshest,” he says. “It was written before all of what’s gone on this year but that now adds to it.

Formed in 2011 by vocalist and songwriter Tom Beer and guitarist Dan Lucas, Bull’s mission is simply to make the music they wanted to listen to, inspired by their 90’s heroes such Pavement, Yo La Tengo and the Pixies. The rest of the band came together through a mix of friendships and happenstance. Drummer Tom Gabbatiss joined after he and Tom jammed together in bars while they were back-packing around Thailand, and Kai West had previously used to jump up on stage with the band and “Bez” (verb meaning to dance badly while intoxicated) before they eventually let him play bass.

Looking ahead, the album is scheduled for March release and a tour is booked in for April for Beer, Lucas, West and drummer Tom Gabbatiss. “We’ve decided to go ahead, even if the gigs have to be socially distanced. We’ll be headlining at The Crescent [in York] and we’re going to play Leeds Brudenell Social Club, which is a dream come for me. It’s my favourite venue,” says Tom.

A unique group within the city’s already eclectic scene, the band’s sound mixes together their alt-rock influences along with Tom’s down-to-earth song writing and a particularly wry sense of humour that comes naturally to the four Yorkshiremen.

Released 26th March 2021

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Formed in 2011 by vocalist and songwriter Tom Beer and guitarist Dan Lucas, Bull’s mission is simply to make the music they wanted to listen to, inspired by their 90’s heroes such Pavement, Yo La Tengo and the Pixies. The rest of the band came together through a mix of friendships and happenstance. Drummer Tom Gabbatiss joined after he and Tom jammed together in bars while they were back-packing round Thailand, and Kai West had previously used to jump up on stage with the band and “Bez” (verb meaning to dance badly while intoxicated) before they eventually let him play bass. A unique group within the city’s already eclectic scene, the band’s sound mixes together their alt-rock influences along with Tom’s down-to-earth song writing and a particularly wry sense of humour that comes naturally to the four Yorkshiremen.

The Yorkshire four-piece deliver up this alt-rockin’ set, fully primed to send you into the weekend on a high note.

Our album ‘Discover Effortless Living’ is out on the 26th March on EMI Records.

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“Sheer Heart Attack” is the third studio album by the rock band Queen, released in November 1974 by EMI Records in the United Kingdom and by Elektra Records in the United States. Digressing from the prog rock themes featured on their first two albums, the album featured more pop-centric and conventional rock tracks and marked a step towards the “classic” Queen sound. It was produced by the band and Roy Thomas Baker and launched Queen to mainstream popularity in the UK and throughout the world. In the May of 1974, having completed their third concert at the Uris Theatre in New York City as support band for Mott the Hoople, Queen should have been moving on to the next of 20 additional dates booked on their first tour of the United States. But their guitarist Brian May had been diagnosed with hepatitis two weeks earlier, and his health was failing. (He  possibly contracted the disease from a contaminated needle when he received mandatory vaccinations before traveling for Queen’s one-off Australian festival date in January.) The American tour in support of their “Queen II” LP had been a rousing success, but all momentum had now ground to a halt.

Brian May say’s: “When I was in the hospital, I found plenty of time to read the press cuttings that some of friends of mine had been keeping for me, and that really depressed me,” he later told journalist Rosemary Horide. “It was about that time I began wondering whether it was worth going on with music and the group. The thing about hepatitis is that it takes away all your drive and I was left feeling as if I didn’t have anything to contribute, as if it just wasn’t worth it.”

Without May, singer/keyboardist Freddie Mercury, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon prepared new songs for a third Queen album, with rehearsals and initial recording sessions at Trident Studios in London. Mercury told Melody Maker’s Caroline Coon about his grace under pressure, with a two-week deadline: “Well, ‘Killer Queen’ I wrote in one night. I’m not being conceited or anything, but it just fell into place. Certain songs do. Now, ‘March of the Black Queen’ [from Queen II], that took ages. I had to give it everything, to be self-indulgent or whatever. But with ‘Killer Queen,’ I scribbled down the words in the dark one Saturday night and the next morning I got them all together and I worked all day Sunday and that was it. I’d got it. Certain things just come together, but other things you have to work for.”

In July, May was feeling well enough to join them at Rockfield Studios in Wales, The band would record ten backing tracks at Rockfield Studios, finishing on 28th July, completing most of the  tracks with producer Roy Thomas Baker and engineer Mike Stone. But when they moved to Wessex Sound Studios in London, May was hospitalized again and required surgery, for yet another serious ailment: “When they found out I had a duodenal ulcer, I really thought that was the final straw. You see, instead of getting better after the hepatitis I just got sicker and sicker, and eventually they found out what was wrong. I was very down then.” But he came back to the group more committed than ever.

The resulting album “Sheet Heart Attack”, released November. 8th, 1974, by Elektra in the U.S. and EMI worldwide, was Queen’s commercial breakthrough. “Killer Queen” became a hit single. Wildly theatrical, straddling the worlds of hard rock, pop, prog and Broadway, the album was an eclectic triumph. May later said it was the first album on which Queen sounded like a true band rather than four individuals; he felt the experience gained on tour in America made the whole sound gel. He hadn’t been able to write as much as usual for the sessions, but that didn’t matter, because, as he said in a 1975 interview, “I play my best guitar on other people’s songs.”

The opener “Brighton Rock” had been written by May during the Queen II sessions. It opens with the sounds of the holiday pier in Brighton before the band enters at a frantic pace, and Mercury at the top of his range screams the lyrics: “Happy little day, Jimmy went away/Met his little Jenny on a public holiday/A happy pair they made, so decorously laid/’Neath the gay illuminations all along the promenade.” Mercury then does an impressive sweep down to a lower octave, a trick he returns to several times during the track. A section of stacked vocals looks forward to “Bohemian Rhapsody” before May leads Deacon and Taylor into a swirling collage of metal-like chord slams and psychedelic ambiance. (How Baker and Stone captured the detailed sonic mayhem of Queen throughout their years of work with the band is amazing.)

At 2:40 of “Brighton Rock,” one of the greatest guitar solos ever recorded begins. May’s use of Echoplex delay and his alteration of light and heavy touch is jaw-dropping, and sets the template for every hard rock guitarist to come (listen to Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption” for Exhibit A). When Mercury re-enters for the concluding verse, May sings with him, and the guitar pyrotechnics end it all with a thunderclap.

“Brighton Rock” was written by Brian May during the Queen II sessions, but was not recorded at that time as the group felt it would not fit with the rest of the album. Lyrically, it tells the story of two young lovers named Jenny and Jimmy meeting in Brighton on a public holiday.  Mods travelling to Brighton on bank holidays was a popular narrative at the time, such as The Who’s Quadrophenia.  Jenny cannot linger because she is afraid her mother will find out “how I spent my holiday”, but afterwards “writes a letter every day”; Jimmy, eager on the day, is not so happy with her “nothing can my love erase”: now he is the one afraid of discovery by “my lady”.

The song includes an unaccompanied guitar solo interlude, which makes extensive use of delay to build up guitar harmony and contrapuntal melodic lines. It grew out of May’s experimentation with an Echoplex unit, as he had been attempting to recreate his guitar orchestrations during live performances of “Son and Daughter”. He had made modifications to the original unit so that he could change the delay times, as he felt that it wasn’t the length he needed, and ran each echo through a separate amplifier to avoid interference. The studio version only contains one “main” guitar and one “echoed” guitar for a short section, but live, May would usually split his guitar signal into “main” and two “echoed”, with each going to a separate bank of amplifiers.

The guitar solo on this song has been performed live at most concerts by Queen or May, either as part of this song, in a medley with another, or as a standalone piece. May also performed some of the solo at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.  It is considered to be one of Brian May’s finest solos,

The song was notably used in the 2017 film Baby Driver, being one of the favourite songs of the main character Baby and played during the film’s final action scene.

A bigger contrast to the next track, “Killer Queen,” can hardly be imagined. Finger-snapping and tack piano begin, with a stately mid-range Mercury vocal that owes its hybrid sangfroid to the British music hall and French chanson traditions. Expertly designed backing vocals swoop, “caviar and cigarettes/well-versed in etiquette/extraordinarily nice” is done in falsetto, and then the super-catchy chorus arrives.

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Mercury revels in his tale of a high-priced prostitute who is “dynamite with a laser beam,” throwing in fancy words that rarely make it into pop lyrics: insatiable, gelatine, baroness. There are occasional phasing effects on the vocals, and May tries out a half dozen different guitar tones, with a middle overdubbed section that is a marvel. This is where Mercury’s fascination with the “spirit of extravagance” that is “camp” blossoms. It is one of the few songs by him for which he wrote the lyrics first, which are about a high class prostitute. 

Another change of pace is Taylor’s folky “Tenement Funster,” which he sings very much in the style of Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter. Deacon played the acoustic guitars in May’s absence, but May added electric parts later. It segues into Mercury’s “Flick of the Wrist,” which perhaps echoes Alice Cooper in its opening bars, and has a wonderfully unhinged middle section where frenetic drumming, multiple guitars and stacked vocals collide.

The joyful over-the-top antics yield to the third part of the medley, “Lily of the Valley,” a short, tender Mercury ballad that he sings the hell out of. This is another example of Baker’s production expertise: listen how the “sound of the room” caresses May’s guitar lines and keeps Mercury’s piano in front of your ears. (Queen albums, like Pink Floyd’s, pay dividends with good headphones.)

May closes out the first LP side with the massive “Now I’m Here,” which he wrote in the hospital. His chunky guitar riff is worthy of Led Zeppelin, even if it yields to a chugging feel that owes something (again) to Mott the Hoople. Mercury really sells it, and at 3:15 Deacon, Taylor and May give a master class in how to lock in a groove and wail. As it ends, May goes into a fervid Chuck Berry-style solo, which Mercury verifies by singing “go, go, go little Queenie” before the fade.

The second side of Sheer Heart Attack is a mixed bag with some real clunkers. “In the Lap of the Gods” starts it off with an operatic scream, stacked guitars and heaps of harmony vocals (by Taylor and Mercury) sputtering in the mix before a very arch, highly-processed Mercury lead vocal emerges. He absolutely revels in the nuttiness, while May again pulls out a wide variety of sonic colours and combinations.

“Stone Cold Crazy” was one of the earliest tracks that Queen performed live, and had several different arrangements before being recorded for “Sheer Heart Attack”. No band member was able to remember who had written the lyrics when the album was released, hence they shared writing credit, the first of their songs to do so. The lyrics themselves deal with gangsters, making a reference to Al Capone. The track has a fast tempo and heavy distortion, presaging speed metal. Music magazine Q described “Stone Cold Crazy” as “thrash metal even before the term was invented”. The song was played live at almost every Queen concert between 1974 and 1978

The two-minute blast of “Stone Cold Crazy” is next, sounding like the bastard child of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” and Golden Earring’s “Radar Love.” The song had been kicking around the band for years, in various arrangements, and nobody could remember who wrote the lyrics by the time they tried it again for Sheer Heart Attack, It was also the first album in which all four band members contributed songs; “Stone Cold Crazy” was the first song in which all four band members would receive a writing credit. It’s magnificently goofy. (A cover by Metallica won a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1991.)

May’s short ballad “Dear Friends” is beautifully sung by Mercury and leads into Deacon’s only solo writing credit, “Misfire,” which seems to have escaped from a Doobie Brothers album, “Misfire” was John Deacon’s first individual composition for the band, and featured him playing most guitars.

“Bring Back That Leroy Brown” had 70 vocal tracks and had to the mixed down to accommodate with the 24-track mixer. Deacon’s on double bass and May strums a banjo-ukulele, an instrument popular in the 1920s that fits Mercury’s retro lyrics and rhythm. In concert, the tune was most often treated as a throwaway instrumental; maybe it ultimately exceeded Mercury’s quotient for silliness. 

“Bring Back That Leroy Brown” is a Charleston that was written by Mercury and features him playing grand piano and jangle piano, as well as multiple vocal overdubs. May played a short section on ukulele-banjo and Deacon played a line on the double bass. DRUM! Magazine commends Taylor’s drum work, calling it a good example of his versatility. “It really shows off Taylor’s versatility. He nails dozens of kicks throughout this fast and tricky song and proves that he could’ve been a big band drummer or ably fit into any theatrical pit band if Queen hadn’t worked out so well for him. Honky-tonk piano, upright bass, ukulele-banjo, and a smokin’ drummer all add up to a rollicking good time.” The song’s title alludes to the then-recent hit “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” by American singer-songwriter Jim Croce who had died in a plane crash the previous year. The song was played live in an arrangement that shortened the song and was, except for the very end and one other line, purely instrumental. May’s ukulele-banjo was brought onstage especially for this song. An a cappella version was released as part of the 2011 remaster of the album.

“She Makes Me (Stormtrooper in Stilettos)” is written and sung by May, with Deacon on acoustic guitar along with him. There are echoes of the Who, the Association and the Eagles, and not a lot of Queen. There’s not much of interest here; the tempo drags, and the track really overstays its welcome at 4:08. There are some “New York nightmare” sounds, sirens and heavy breathing, that are just weird. Thankfully, “In the Lap of the Gods…Revisited” concludes the album in high style, a fantastic showcase for Mercury and May. It was Mercury’s first try at writing a melody line that audiences would enthusiastically sing along to, and he placed it as a show closer for many gigs in the next three years. Its role as a sing-along eventually was supplanted by a little ditty called “We Are the Champions.”

“Sheer Heart Attack” established Queen as a major force in most parts of the world and Mercury as one of rock’s most flamboyant frontmen. They did a world tour of 77 dates, and audiences loved them, from Manchester to Munich, Trenton to Tokyo. Most critics praised the album’s recording dynamics and the audacity of the conception, and admitted no matter how pretentious or bombastic, Queen were consummate entertainers. The triumphs of A Day at the Races and A Night at the Opera were still to come, but they have their roots in Sheer Heart Attack’s total bravado.

NME wrote, ‘A feast. No duffers, and four songs that will just run and run: “Killer Queen”, “Flick of the Wrist”, “Now I’m Here”, and “In the Lap of the Gods…Revisited”. The Winnipeg Free Press commended ‘Brian May’s multi-tracked guitar, Freddie Mercury’s stunning vocalising and Roy Thomas Baker’s dynamic production work’, calling the album ‘a no-holds barred, full-scale attack on the senses’. Circus Magazine referred to the album as ‘perhaps the heaviest, rocking-est assault on these shores we’ve enjoyed in some time’. Rolling Stone wrote, ‘If it’s hard to love, it’s hard not to admire: this band is skilled, after all, and it dares.’  As 1974 drew to a close, the album was ranked by Disc as the third best album of the year. 

From 30th October 1974 to 1st May 1975, the album was promoted on tour. The tour consisted of three legs and 77 individual shows, and was the band’s first world tour.

Released November 1974

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The-Beatles-Revolver

(It was 50 years ago today! August. 5th in 1966: The Beatles ‘Revolver’ album was released in the UK (August. 8th in the US); it was the band’s 7th studio release featured the likes of “Taxman”, “Eleanor Rigby”, “I’m Only Sleeping”, “Here, There & Everywhere”, “She Said She Said”, “And Your Bird Can Sing” & “Tomorrow Never Knows”; it reached #1 on both the UK (seven weeks) & US (six weeks) charts; in a 1967 article for ‘Esquire’, music journalist Robert Christgau called the album “twice as good & four times as startling as ‘Rubber Soul’, with sound effects, Oriental drones, jazz bands, transcendentalist lyrics, all kinds of rhythmic & harmonic surprises, & a filter that made John Lennon sound like God singing through a foghorn”; Rolling Stone ranked it #3 on their list of ‘The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time’…

“Revolver” is the seventh studio album by the English rock band The Beatles, released on the Parlophone label and produced by George Martin. Many of the tracks on Revolver are marked by an electric guitar-rock sound, in contrast with their previous LP, the folk rock inspired Rubber Soul (1965). In Britain, the fourteen tracks from Revolver were released to radio stations throughout July 1966, “building anticipation for what would clearly be a radical new phase in the group’s recording career”. The album was remastered 9th September 2009 for the first time since its 1987 digital compact disc release. the album is often regarded as one of the greatest achievements in music history and one of The Beatles’ greatest studio achievements.

We’d had acid on Revolver. Everyone is under this illusion… even George Martin saying ‘Pepper was their acid album,’ but we’d had acid, including Paul, by the time Revolver was finished. … Rubber Soul was our pot album, and Revolver was acid.  John Lennon, Sept 1971, St. Regis Hotel, NYC

Unlike our previous LPs, this one is intended to show our versatility rather than a haphazard collection of songs. We use trumpets, violins and cellos to achieve new effects. George has written three of the tracks. On past LPs he never did more than two and Ringo sings, or rather talks, a children’s song. This is all part of our idea of being up-to-date and including something for everybody. We don’t intend to go back and revive ideas of twenty years ago. Paul McCartney, 1966

The Beatles had initiated a second pop revolution – one which while galvanising their existing rivals and inspiring many new ones, left all of them far behind.
~Ian MacDonald (Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties) ….. Either way, its daring sonic adventures and consistently stunning songcraft set the standard for what pop/rock could achieve. Even after Sgt. Pepper, Revolver stands as the ultimate modern pop album and it’s still as emulated as it was upon its original release.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

Recorded on 6th April – 21st June 1966, at EMI Studios, London

All the rules fell by the wayside with Revolver, as the Beatles began exploring new sonic territory, lyrical subjects, and styles of composition. It wasn’t just Lennon and McCartney, either — Harrison staked out his own dark territory with the tightly wound, cynical rocker “Taxman”; the jaunty yet dissonant “I Want to Tell You”; and “Love You To,” George’s first and best foray into Indian music. Such explorations were bold, yet they were eclipsed by Lennon’s trippy kaleidoscopes of sound. His most straightforward number was “Doctor Robert,” an ode to his dealer, and things just got stranger from there as he buried “And Your Bird Can Sing” in a maze of multi-tracked guitars, gave Ringo a charmingly hallucinogenic slice of childhood whimsy in “Yellow Submarine,” and then capped it off with a triptych of bad trips: the spiraling “She Said She Said”; the crawling, druggy “I’m Only Sleeping”; and “Tomorrow Never Knows,” a pure nightmare where John sang portions of the Tibetan Book of the Dead into a suspended microphone over Ringo’s thundering, menacing drumbeats and layers of overdubbed, phased guitars and tape loops…

It may seem like an odd introduction to one of the Beatles’ more important and experimental albums. Written as a children’s song, “Yellow Submarine” made an impression at the time, but my fondness for Revolver only grew as I did and learned about what it really meant, about the impact it had for the band and for music. Now that I’m a music writer and proudly own their albums—on vinyl, Revolver offers an entirely different listening experience. Hearing it now, “Yellow Submarine” doesn’t quite fit, and yet it somehow does. Revolver is an amalgamation of different styles and genres, and the Beatles excelled at all of them.

The band was heavily involved with drugs at the time—the most mild being marijuana with Lennon becoming more interested in LSD—and questioning their musical identities among other more existential inquisitions. Pair that metaphysical exploration with three months in the studio after they retired from touring and the result is an album that defies the limits often ascribed to music genres.

If one thing in particular defines Revolver, it’s the fact that it evades the Western notion of meaning; of a definitive beginning, middle and end. “Tomorrow Never Knows,” the first song the Beatles recorded for the album and the final track on it, served not as the period to a complete sentence but as a pathway back to the start again. As Ian MacDonald noted in his book Revolution in the Head, part of the song’s instrumental break contains Paul McCartney’s guitar solo (chopped up and played backwards) from “Taxman,” the album’s opening track.  However minutely, the album’s last song references its first, and in doing so presents something closer to a cyclical chant that’s meant to go on and on and on.

Even Revolver’s title referred to a continual loop, but with a keener self-referential touch. McCartney observed that albums “revolved,” so Revolver became an album about albums—about making them and defying what that typically entailed. The now oft-quoted lyric from “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream,” which John Lennon pulled from Timothy Leary’s LSD drug manual The Psychedelic Experience (which itself is an adaptation of The Book of the Dead), presents a challenge to listeners used to albums being a certain way. Are you willing to let go of any preconceptions you have of pop music? Are you willing to do away with any clear categorized notion of “the Beatles?”

How influential was “Tomorrow Never Knows” exactly? It’s always celebrated by rock and pop magazines, but even dance music magazine Muzik ranked it as one of the most influential records of all time, saying “Every idea ever used in dance music exists in this song. ” Again, this is on the same album with “Yellow Submarine,” the string octet of “Eleanor Rigby” and the garage rock of “Taxman.”

By the time of Revolver, Paul McCartney had developed an interest in more classical sounds, which arise in the French horn on “For No One” and the orchestration in “Eleanor Rigby.” But George Harrison went in a different direction. He preferred sounds that lay farther East. “Love You To” integrates Hidustani classical instrumentation and juxtaposes McCartney’s sound at the time as well as the other two songs Harrison contributed to Revolver, “Taxman” and “I Want to Tell You.” Harrison said in 1980, “’Norwegian Wood’ was an accident as far as the sitar part was concerned, but [‘Love You To’] was the first song where I consciously tried to use the sitar and tabla on the basic track.”

That the world’s most popular pop band could explore such varying and digressive ideas in one album signalled the possibilities involved in letting loose rather than keeping an album to one strict idea, be it thematic or melodic. Songs like “Doctor Robert” and “Got to Get You Into My Life” seemed like the natural progression from Rubber Soul, but paired next to such strange and singular songs as “I’m Only Sleeping” and even “Yellow Submarine,” Revolver showed what the Beatles could really do when someone loosened the reigns a little. “We were really starting to find ourselves in the studio,” Starr said of their recording sessions, according to biographer Bob Spitz.

Even though McCartney’s “For No One” feels closer to the typical pop structure the Beatles had followed up to Revolver, it too is an exercise in meditation a la “Tomorrow Never Knows.” At two minutes, it’s the briefest of thoughts with a French horn serving as the harmony John and George would’ve normally provided. Their absence allows McCartney to weave his narrative, but he isn’t concerned with an ending. “And in her eyes, you see nothing/ No sign of love behind the tears, cried for no one/ A love that should have lasted years,” he sings before the horn ends the song. It would make more sense to include an ellipses at the end of his last line, because the fade away is so sudden. There is no grand finale, no punctuative moment that marks its finish. The song merely ends before a silent beat stars the next track and listeners are on to “Doctor Robert.”

For Beatles fans across the globe, “What’s your favourite album?” serves as the ultimate litmus test. No matter the answer, Revolver can’t be ignored, even if, like me, your appreciation for it started off far differently than  it did for a Beatles fan in 1966. It changed the game quite literally for the Beatles and for pop music, and continues to resonate to this day, gaining new fans every year, myself included.

Perhaps if my second grade teacher had played “Taxman” or “Tomorrow Never Knows” (the latter probably would have gotten her in trouble), I wouldn’t have been drawn in at such an early age. And maybe that’s the genius of “Yellow Submarine”: it was an invitation to children, then and now, to enter a world that they would love for the rest of their lives.

Voormann’s history with the Beatles dates to Hamburg, and later living with George Harrison and Ringo Starr in the band’s flat after Lennon and McCartney moved out to be with their ladies.. Voormann who divided his time between graphic arts and playing bass, provided Manfred Mann with a bottom in in the late ’60s, worked as a session musician for Lou Reed, James Taylor and others, and on the Beatles’ Lennon, Harrison and Starr’s solo work. As a graphic artist, he designed a host of album covers for a variety of artists and was enlisted by Lennon to create the cover for the Beatles’ 1966 classic “Revolver.” This is one of the many variations before the final version evolved. His black and white collage style was the perfect complement to the Beatles‘ zany style at the time. Voormann left a lasting mark on the graphic arts and is still busy as he approaches 82. Most people who know his work will forever associate him with his classic “Revolver,” album design.

In the long spectrum of the Beatles’ work, Revolver serves as the dividing line. It marked the boundary between the light-hearted fare that helped the band rise to worldwide fame, and the more serious song writing and experimentation that would define the latter half of their career. Released on August 5th, 1966 in the UK (with the U.S. release following three days later), Revolver signified a meditative moment that would not only change the face of pop music, but continues to impact listeners as powerfully as it did upon its arrival 50 years ago.

The Beatles
John Lennon – lead, acoustic and rhythm guitars, lead, harmony and backing vocals, piano, Hammond organ and harmonium, tape loops and sound effects, cowbell, tambourine, maracas, handclaps, finger snaps
Paul McCartney – lead, acoustic and bass guitars, lead, harmony and backing vocals, piano, clavichord, tape loops, sound effects, handclaps, finger snaps
George Harrison – lead, acoustic and rhythm guitars, bass, lead, harmony and backing vocals, sitar, tamboura, sound effects, maracas, tambourine, handclaps, finger snaps
Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, maracas, handclaps, finger snaps, lead vocals on “Yellow Submarine”

The-Beatles-Revolver back

Track Listing:

Side one
1. “Taxman” (Harrison)
2. “Eleanor Rigby”
3. “I’m Only Sleeping”
4. “Love You To” (Harrison)
5. “Here, There and Everywhere”
6. “Yellow Submarine”
7. “She Said She Said”

Side two
1. “Good Day Sunshine”
2. “And Your Bird Can Sing”
3. “For No One”
4. “Doctor Robert”
5. “I Want to Tell You” (Harrison)
6. “Got to Get You into My Life”
7. “Tomorrow Never Knows”

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Dexys Midnight Runners ‎– “Searching For The Young Soul Rebels” is the debut studio album by Dexys Midnight Runners, released on this day (11th July) in 1980.

Led by Kevin Rowland, the group formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, and formed a strong live reputation before recording their first material. Recorded during April 1980, the album combines the aggressiveness of punk rock with soul music, particularly influenced by the Northern soul movement.

Searching for the Young Soul Rebels has been widely acclaimed by critics. AllMusic critic Ned Raggett remarked that on the album, Rowland “takes a role that Morrissey would have in 1985 and Jarvis Cocker in 1995 – the unexpected but perfect voice to capture a time and moment in the U.K – the return of ‘soul’ to English rock music at the dawn of Thatcherism.” The album cover features a photograph of a 13-year-old Irish Catholic boy carrying his belongings after being forced from his home in Belfast, Northern Ireland because of civil unrest in 1971. The photo was included in the Evening Standard the next day and was picked up by the band nine years later. The boy later identified himself as Anthony O’Shaughnessy.

When “Come On Eileen” first became a hit in the U.K. In retrospect, it fits with what I now know to be Dexys’ R&B roots. But at the time, you just saw these people dressed in Dickensian street-Dockers clothes, doing this kind of fiddle song that had a number of catchy hooks, with a singer, you know, yelping. “Searching for the Young Soul Rebels”, released on 11th July 1980, through EMI Records.

That particular record, “Too-Rye-Ay”, was a bit of an apotheosis of where the band had been moving. Kevin Rowland is a singer of Irish descent from Birmingham my home city, and they had this whole Celtic-soul kind of thing from the punk era, with a little bit of that energy and edge. And I think the pinnacle of this earlier incarnation of Dexys is the song “Geno.”

It was a huge hit in the U.K.  It’s just a really great, horn section-driven song; I think it’s in this song that I started to realize what Kevin Rowland was doing with his warbly, emotive soul yelp — this Jackie Wilson, Wilson Pickett kind of shout-singing. In many ways, Rowland’s voice was the embodiment of that straddled position but you would be hard pressed to find a voice more emotive. It conveys alternately and simultaneously determination and desperation and, through all of the changes Dexys would go through (in both line-up and music), gives continuity to an otherwise schizophrenic catalogue. The sobbing style was conceived specifically by Rowland to set him apart, and though it may have put him up for parody to a degree, it is a small price to pay for the instant recall and nostalgia now evoked by his timbres in whatever setting they appear.

Released to numerous glowing reviews, the album went on to become a staple in the Top 100 British Albums of all time and has rightfully earnt a place in the ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’ series.

The record opens with ‘Burn It Down’, the reworking of original Dexys single ‘Dance Stance’, which kicks off with squealing radio frequencies after which Kevin shouts at Jimmy (Paterson, trombone) and Al (Archer, also called Kevin, but alas there could only be one!) to “burn it down” before launching into a soul-inflected ode to the Irish victims of ignorance – dropping names like Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and Laurence Sterne.

Instrumental ‘The Teams That Meet in Caffs’ goes on a bit, but is worth enduring as the following ‘I’m Just Looking’ proves itself an absolute jewel in Kev’s madcap crown. Never are his sobs more shoulder shifting or the brass interjections more dramatically staccato. Icy organ sends chills as Rowland moves from eerie whispers to rolling Rs and exasperated bellows, giving the warning “Don’t come any closer”

The only track coming close to being this moving is album closer ‘There There My Dear’, an open letter to what Rowland perceives to be a dishonest music scene. “Perhaps I’d listen to your records but your logic’s far too lame,” Rowland laments. “And I’d only waste three valuable minutes of my life with your insincerity”. Although the track begins akin to a Bar Kays jam sesh, horns build melodrama amongst another dabbing of literary name dropping until it culminates in a breakdown of rising action where Rowland bewails the vanishing of the young soul rebels.

The influences showcase continues with a cover of Northern Soul classic Chuck Wood’s ‘Seven Days Too Long’ that would not have been out of place spinning at the Wigan Casino, chugging along at speeds allowed by the Dexys’ namesake amphetamine.

‘Thankfully Not Living in Yorkshire It Doesn’t Apply’ is another beast entirely from the rest of the album. It’s completely incomprehensible, but irresistibly fun with playful organ, daft falsetto and a lovably silly “ooh ooh, aah aah” chorus.

“Young Soul Rebels – fierce, raging and passionate – remains one of the greatest debut albums of all time,” wrote Daryl Eslea for BBC Music.

“Ultimately, the myth-making around Kevin Rowland tends to obscure the fact that he’s been responsible for some truly soul-scorching music,” wrote Graeme Thomson of Uncut.

Mojo called ‘Searching for the Young Soul Rebels’ “the most incandescent and refreshing record” of 1980.

A rousing anthem delivered with passion – Rowland’s paean to the ‘greatest soul singer that every lived’ – “Geno” had such dance-drive that it was easy to overlook the sentiment: concealed within was a song about a kid bunking into a gig and experiencing his first musical epiphany.

This romantic vision was vibrant, deep and begat one of the greatest modern soul records of its day – and one that continues to deliver on the dancefloor.

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Doves have announced details of their first album in 11 years as well as sharing new single ‘Prisoners’. Having recently shared the Tony Allen-sampling comeback single ‘Carousels‘, the indie veterans have now revealed that they’ll be dropping their fifth album ‘The Universal Want’ in September. Speaking about the cosmic new track ‘Prisoners’, Goodwin said that it held a lot of the band’s “DNA” of hoping for a better tomorrow.

“‘Prisoners’ is about that yearning that Doves have always had,” said Goodwin. “Just over the horizon, there’s always something better. Sometimes we get trapped by our own behaviour. You can be a prisoner of your own thoughts. They can take you to some pretty dark and unexpected places if you let them. It’s a song about checking yourself. It’s not to do with lockdown or the pandemic, it’s just the day to day wellbeing. A lot of Doves lyrics are shot through with that notion of having a word with yourself.”

The frontman continued: “Self care is getting easier, and it should never have been taboo to speak about mental health. People are more inclined to show their emotions a bit more these days. A problem shared is a problem halved. There’s nothing wrong with saying, ‘This life caper is hard’.” “It’s probably the most organically-made Doves record,” he said. “No one was second-guessing it. It was born out of chatting to each other over email. I was meant to be doing my next solo record and they were supposed to be doing a new Black Rivers album. We started pooling all our material and the material that we couldn’t work into shape on the last record ‘Kingdom Of Rust’.”

We are excited to announce that our new album ‘The Universal Want’ will be released on Friday September 11th on EMI Records.

Released on vinyl, CD, limited edition box set and exclusive signed formats available from the official Doves store. The album has got the stamp of ‘the time’ all over it. Everything on the album is an echo. It’s an echo of what we were going through at the time. Getting back together, the Royal Albert Hall and everything else. “Time really does fly and I can’t believe it’s been 11 years,” he said. “We’re friends at the end of the day, and we just clicked back into place like it was yesterday. It’s nice to have had that space between the records. It was starting to feel like punching the clock a little bit before we took a break.”

Describing last year’s comeback shows as “absolutely wonderful”, Goodwin explained how the band were planning to hit the road again in 2021 and share more new music with fans.

“We’re rehearsing songs from the new album so we’ll be ready when we’re allowed to play live again next year,” he said. “There was originally talk of doing a theatre tour this September, but the pandemic came along and put that to bed. Our first gig back at the Royal Albert Hall was so special, and we couldn’t have dreamed of a better cause or a better building to play for people who wanted to see us operate.” Goodwin added: “We find ourselves in the middle of such strange world events. It’s still exciting to be releasing music, because I’m dead proud of what we’ve managed to pull together after 11 years. It’s like what Picasso said when German troops marched into Paris. He was painting an apple at the time and said, ‘Keep drawing your apple’. Keep doing what you do.”

the The Universal Want will be released on Friday September 11th on EMI Records.

On this day (October. 8th) in 1979: influential Leeds, UK post-punk band Gang Of Four (singer Jon King, guitarist Andy Gill, bassist Dave Allen & drummer Hugo Burnham) released their groundbreaking debut album, ‘Entertainment!’, on EMI Records (UK)/Warner Bros. (US); it featured the tight, sparse playing & driving rhythms that made such tracks as “Natural’s Not In It”, “I Found That Essence Rare”, “At Home He’s A Tourist” & previous single “Damaged Goods” live favorites; it reached UK #45 & Australia #39 on the album charts;’Entertainment!’ was an important release and voted the #8th best album of the 1970s; Rolling Stone ranked it #483 on their list of ‘The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time’…

Tracklist:

01. Ether (00:00)
02. Natural’s Not In It (03:50)
03. Not Great Men (06:57)
04. Damaged Goods (10:03)
05. Return The Gift (13:30)
06. Guns Before Butter (16:36)
07. I Found That Essence Rare (20:22)
08. Glass (23:37)
09. Contract (26:06)
10. At Home He’s A Tourist (28:47)
11. 5.45 (32:17)
12. Anthrax (36:01)
13. Outside The Trains Don’t Run On Time (40:26)
14. He’d Send In The Army (43:42)
15. It’s Her Factory (47:24)
16. Armalite Rifle (50:34)

Here is a clip of the band performing the most well known track LIVE NYC 1980