love is the song we sing
Content tagged as love is the song we sing.
Of all those admitted to that illustrious pantheon of Dead Sixties Rock Stars, Janis Joplin has been the one least well served.
Jimi is revered and regularly remarketed; and Jim has his reissued albums, an Oliver Stone bio-pix, a new headstone in Pere La Chaise and people still seem to refer to him as “a poet”.
By the mid Sixties the spirit and style of poetic Bob Dylan was everywhere as singers and writers tried to match his surreal wordplay. Dylan's harmonica, image heavy lyrics and monotone is everywhere in this demo by the Warlocks out of San Francisco.
Of all the Bob-copyists the Warlocks had the best claim to similar territory: they were...
As the 21st century dawned there was considerable argument in New Zealand about whether marijuana should be decriminalist, a debate prompted by a Green MP Nandor Tanczos attempting to bring a bill before Parliamant along those lines. People took positions on the far ends of the spectrum.
As this happened I went to the editor of the New...
When Lou Reed took a bit of flak for writing about street life (drugs, hookers, transvestites) he just picked the wrong idiom. These topics were common enough in literature and pulp fiction, but new to rock music. Dope songs were certainly common in jazz and the blues -- in fact there has been a long tradition of singing about marijuana, cocaine...
The Eighties was probably no more different or diverse than any other decade, but it does seem weird on reflection: Ronald Reagan and the Rubik Cube; the arrival of CDs, CNN and MTV; personal computers and ghetto blasters; Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta; Ozzy eating a bat and suave Duran Duran; cocaine and Jane Fonda's workout videos;...
After a couple of much sought after EPs the London duo of Zeben Jameson and Mo Morris here (with a lot of help from their friends) unveiled their much anticipated debut album last year. And quite some cosmic trip it was.
Their often very lovely and certainly astral-aimed psychedelic sound owed debts to the likes of Pink Floyd (the Meddle...
Somewhere among my old photographs at home is one of me standing beside John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls Royce. It was London in late ‘69 and -- aside from revealing the embarrassing affectation of a black cape -- it‘s most interesting for what is in the background: a Morris Minor of the kind that was considerably more common...
In the age of Cream (mid '66 to late '68), Blue Cheer and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the power trio became an established form and this group from Buckinghamshire -- two brothers and another -- took the hard rock, guitar pyrotechnics sound to the top of the British charts with this single. And that was about it for them.
Older, if not wiser, "heads" will know exactly who Dr Timothy Leary was -- an advocate of the widespread use of LSD to change cultural consciousness and to open individuals to the vastness of the cosmos within and without.
Tune in, turn on and drop out became a mantra in the late Sixties.
His album You Can Be Anyone This Time...
One of the more mindlessly amusing one-liners about the Sixties says that if you remember them t.hen you weren’t there. Duh.
That sitcom aphorism reduces the decade to flakiness and drugs, and bears no serious scrutiny at all.
By rule-of-thumb and common consensus, what are loosely called the Sixties are the five years between She...
Varying the speed of tapes in the studio is not uncommon, but asking that your listener get up and change the speed of their record player on an album is another thing entirely.
Certainly there have been singles which play one side at 45 and the other at 33 (often 12" singles or EPs from the Eighties) -- but in '68 the increasingly...
There are some pretty odd tribute
albums out there lately - and they seem to be getting stranger by the
A couple of years ago it was all sensible kind of stuff, artists getting together to play Byrds songs
or salute Neil Young. That’s cool.
These days, however, we are getting albums like the Manson Family Sings the Songs...
By abandoning the pure pop-economy of
their terrific, 05 self-titled debut for the more embellished and
ambitious sound Those the Brokes in 06, this English outfit of
two sets of siblings lost followers, and momentum.
But where that debut was a radio/car
album, Brokes was a headphones experience.
The openers here – a...
In his rock'n'roll essays and fiction
collection The Boy Who Cried Freebird, the American writer
Mitch Myers traces the notion of “boogie” from its name (having
sex, basically) through the blues (John Lee Hooker's Boogie
Chillun in 48) and boogie-woogie piano a building block of early
rock'n'roll and then into those endless jams...
Classical artists playing the music of Jimi Hendrix is hardly a new idea: the Kronos Quartet had a crowd-pleasing built-in encore of Purple Haze when they first started out, and of course Nigel Kennedy finally made good on his threat/promise to do an album of Hendrix.
Before them however in the mid Seventies Gil Evans arranged some Hendrix...
In the mid Seventies a friend of mine living in West Virginia started sending me cassettes of a programme that beamed out late at night on Public Radio. It was called Now Nordine and all I knew at the time was that it was "made possible by a grant from . . . anonymous".
They were weird half-trips into strange references (snippets...
Ken Nordine's voice -- assured, resonant, clear -- was his passport into radio where he worked as an announcer and narrator.
But he was also of the Jazz Generation and in the Fifties he anticipated the Beats by blending poetry and music and then creating his Word Jazz recordings in which he would recite poems, unusual prose-poems and stories...
Aside from meeting some interesting (and ocassionally odd) people, interviewing musicians gets you into some different places. In another life I doubt I would have ever been backstage at the Village Vanguard and Carnegie Hall in New York, inside Abbey Road, in expensive hotel rooms in places like Tokyo or Los Angeles, or sitting in a BBC studio...
When Kiwi acid-rockers Ticket from the early Seventies re-formed towards the end of 2010 for a couple of gigs it was hoped that this reissue of their trippy classic, Hendrix-inspired album would be available at the door.
But that didn't happen because . . . Lots of reasons I suppose.
But here it is now, remastered and in a gatefold sleeve...
Since Richie Unterberger wrote Unknown Legends of Rock'n'Roll: Psychedelic Unknowns, Mad Genuises, Punk Pioneers, Lo-Fi Mavericks and More in 1998, many of the artists he unearthed (Wanda Jackson, the Chocolate Watch Band, Roky Erickson, Can etc) have enjoyed some considerable cult -- and sometimes even mainstream, success.
Jeez, Sandy Denny...
It is hard to believe -- and somewhat sad -- that the authorship of Whiter Shade of Pale, this group's defining moment (and which also captured the dreamy, surreal English Summer of Love in '67), should only have been resolved in Britain's House of Lords a few years ago.
It's also a shame that -- just as in any film about the war in Vietnam...
Some albums catch a band at a turning point, one foot in the past and the other stepping towards an unknown but promising future.
If the Beatles, through exhaustion and wrung out by the constant pressure to produce, had called it a day in late 1965 their legacy would have been easy to distill down: a few joyfully adolescent pop hits,...
When this song was written, Doug Sahm -- singer, writer and frontman for the Sir Douglas Quintet -- was feeling somewhat jaded about the hippie paradise that had been San Francisco.
He and the band were from Texas and in the mid-Sixties had, like so many, moved to the Bay Area to enjoy whatever was happening there.
But increasingly the...
The New York garageband Blues Magoos'
Psychedelic Lollipop of 1966 was one of the first albums to have the
word “psychedelic” in the title, but it wasn't quite the
spaced-out sweet thing the name suggested.
13th Floor Elevators out of Texas the
same year with their debut The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor
The description “psychedelic music”
– much like “freedom” – can mean whatever you want. The first
albums with “psychedelic” in the title were by 13th
Floor Elevators out of Texas (The Psychedelic Sounds of the
13th Floor Elevators) and
New York's Blues Magoos (Psychedelic Lollipop), both...
By the latter part of the Sixties there was a clear difference between how American and British "hippies" perceived "the psychedelic era". If it's true that no music movement comes without its own new set of clothes then the difference was visible on the streets.
In the US where ponchos, fringed-jackets, tie-dye t-shirts...
There were at least three different versions of this psychedelic classic which is best known in its third incarnation by Jefferson Airplane. But the song dated back to before that '66 single/album track -- back to the band that singer Grace Slick was in before she joined the Airplane.
Her previous group -- with her husband Jerry and his...
After his growling and apocalyptic version of PF Sloan's Eve of Destruction in '65 the former folkie Barry McGuire -- who had been in the New Christy Minstrels and had co-written their big hit Green Green -- was looking for new material to include on his second album.
Producer Lou Adler lined up a number of covers -- the Beatles' Yesterday...
Although they looked kind of clean-cut by the hairy standards of the day and sang such pretty songs, what we would learn later was how fraught and seedy some of the internal workings of The Mamas and the Papas were.
The song Go Where You You Wanna Go for example was less about living your life in the hippie spirit than John Phillips' address...
The great Janis Joplin has been dead for over four decades now but it would be fair to observe that no woman in rock has ever approached her deep understanding of the blues and earthy, powerful delivery . . . let alone her self-destructive approach to life.
Yet she has been largely forgotten and, as this essay notes, no one seems in any mind...
Two things strike you immediately about this much vaunted and Grammy award-winning doco: That Jim Morrison was a man of brooding good looks except when he smiled and then he looked just plain goofy (and there is a lot of him smiling and laughing in the early footage here); and that the script which Johnny Depp reads in a tired monotone seems to...
A decade or so ago there was a major excavation undertaken of New Zealand pop and rock of the Sixties, thanks to enthusiasts like John Baker and Andrew Schmidt, and Chris Caddick at EMI who actioned a series of terrific compilations. Some of the work of these people spilled over into the early Seventies.
Thierry Pannetier at EMI was...
When, in 1946, Bobby Troup wrote what
became his classic song Route 66, he could hardly have
anticipated how popular it would become. After all, he'd really only
written a few words and the hook (“get your kicks on Route 66”,
which may have been his wife's suggestion) and after that he just
filled the song up with the place...
Given his organ playing was such an integral part of
the Doors' sound, it's surprising Ray Manzarek's subsequent four decade
career has garnered so little attention, although to be fair it has
thrown up few decent albums.
I recall trading in his Carmina Burana within a week of getting it in the early Eighties and just last month I paid $5...
For a short while Scorpio Rising out of Liverpool seemed to point a new direction in British rock post-Stone Roses. They formed the year of the Stone Roses' impressive debut and had a similarly psychedelic approach to rock guitars and dance beats.
After their single Watermelon and EP IF, they were in demand on the live circuit, released...
In the late Sixties, when the boundaries
of pop and rock were being extended into jazz and quasi-classical
areas, the Moody Blues were one of the most musically innovative and
productive groups of the period.
Their albums between Days
of Future Passed in 67 and Seventh
Sojourn in 72 – an extraordinary seven albums in five years...
Wooden Shjips (sic) out of San
Francisco once again serve up their particular brand of astral plane
psychedelic drone-rock which sounds filtered through steel wool.
Their appealing tripped-out grunge sits somewhere along the
faultline of their city's Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane and a
full volume, garageband metal overhaul of...
From the moment Jimi Hendrix arrived in London in the early hours of September 24 1966 to his death in the same city just a few days short of four years later, he seemed to be constantly moving, playing and recording.
He played his first jam in London the night he arrived, and a fortnight later -- after jamming with the Brian Auger Trinity,...
Tags related to love is the song we sing
13th floor elevators 1968 a day in my mind's mind a mountain of one aretha franklin barry mcguire bessie smith black mountain blue cheer blues magoos bob dylan bob marley booze in the movies brian wilson british sea power buddy guy can daniel johnston duran duran eddy grant elvis costello endless boogie eric clapton essential elsewhere etta james fleet foxes from the vaults gary numan grace slick grant smithies hawkwind hooked human instinct i want to take you higher janis joplin jazz in elsewhere jefferson airplane jimi hendrix jimi hendrix in my life joan osborne ken nordine kiwi rebel rock lawrence ferlinghetti like, omigod! the 80's pop box loudon wainwright madness magic numbers marijuana mark kurlansky moby grape muddy waters mumford and sons my back pages nick bollinger pet rocks and punk rock pink floyd psychedelia psychedelic psychedelic music ray manzarek richard hawley richard swift robert johnson roky erickson ronnie spector sinister sons and dangerous daughters sky cries mary stornoway stray cats syd barrett the bargain buy the beatles the byrds the committee the cure the doors the grateful dead the gun the mamas and the papas the moody blues the sixties thirteenth floor elevators ticket timothy leary tribute albums u2 victoria spivey writing in elsewhere