More than anything, the Who craved success in America. Despite overwhelming success in their native England, the band had trouble selling records in the States. They had reached the American Top 10 with their singles “I Can See for Miles” and “Magic Bus,” but their album sales were abysmal with many of their early releases languishing in the cutout bins for a buck or two.
Concept albums had been all the rage since the release of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper LP. Yet the Who’s own concept album The Who Sell Out could get no higher than #48 on the Billboard LP chart. Clearly, the Who needed something more.
Then Pete Townsend had the brilliant idea to write a “rock opera.”
The Doors (1967)
Was there ever a debut album as brilliant as the Doors?
Recorded in the summer of 1966, released in January of 1967 and on almost every rock radio station and Baby Boomer’s turntable during the “Summer of Love,” the album spawned the monster hit “Light My Fire” and helped reshape the parameters of rock radio, killing the 45 single and paving the way for longer album cuts to finally start getting airplay.
There is not one wasted track on the album. Side 1 open with “Break on Through,” establishing the album’s goal. The energy continues unabated through the appropriately-titled last track, “The End.”
Stevie Nicks’ song “Landslide,” recorded by Fleetwood Mac, has been a fan favorite since it appeared on the band’s breakthrough album in 1975. But it had been written two years before.
The first (and only) Buckingham Nicks album had come out and was met by massive indifference. The duo had been dropped by their label (Polydor) and had gone to Aspen so that Lindsey Buckingham could rehearse for a tour with Don Everly. This was during the time that the Everly Brothers had split up and Lindsey was recruited to take Phil’s place.
When Don and Lindsey hit the road, Stevie stayed behind to contemplate whether she wanted to continue with her music career. It was during this time that she wrote “Landslide” about her decision to stay with music.
As Stevie herself tells it: “So, during that two months, I made a decision to continue. ‘Landslide’ was the decision. ‘When you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills’—it’s the only time in my life that I’ve lived in the snow. But looking up at those Rocky Mountains and going, ‘Okay, we can do it. I’m sure we can do it.’”
And she was right. Within a year, Mick Fleetwood had heard their debut album and had called the pair with an invitation to join Fleetwood Mac. They were paid the princely sum of $800 a week, each. Within another year, their contributions would complete Mac’s evolution from British blues band to international pop sensations.
Probably rock’s most famous muse, Pattie Boyd was the inspiration for 3 of the greatest love songs of the last half of the twentieth century: George Harrison’s “Something,” Eric Clapton’s “Layla” and Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.”
Pattie shot to fame in the early 1960s, becoming an international success as a model. Her work on a potato chip commercial (called “crisps” in the UK) led that commercial’s director, Richard Lester, to cast her as a schoolgirl in the first Beatles film, A Hard Day’s Night.
Boyd was 19, George Harrison was 20. He was instantly smitten and began pursuing Ms. Boyd – proposing to her before they even had their first date. The couple were wed in 1966.
In the course of things, George introduced her to his new best friend, Eric Clapton. Clapton also became infatuated with Boyd. The fact that she was married to his best friend only made things worse. Someone then gave Clapton a 12th-century Persian poem called “The Story of Layla and Majnun.” (I bet you can guess where this story is going.)
We’re all part of the great big rock & roll family, but today, let’s look at some of the actual brothers who have made up some of rock’s biggest acts...
Everly Brothers – Of course, Don and Phil
Beach Boys – 3 of the 5 founding members were the Wilson brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis
Jackson 5 – Last seen on their “Victory” tour after brother Michael really hit it big
Isley Brothers – With hits spanning multiple decades, these are the brothers who gave us “Twist & Shout” among so many more
Bee Gees – Which stands for “The Brothers Gibb
Allman Brothers Band – Duane and Gregg
Van Halen – Eddie and Alex
The Kinks – With battling brothers Ray and Dave Davies
Dire Straits – Mark and David Knofler
Creedence Clearwater Revival – John & Tom Fogerty
AC/DC – Malcolm and Angus Young
Cowsills – Not only 5 brothers, but sister Susan as well
2016's simultaneous release of Eight Days a Week and Live at the Hollywood Bowl reignited interest in the Beatles live shows. But these are not the only places you can find Liverpool’s favorite sons performing live.
Here’s an overview of all the ways you can experience the Beatles in concert:
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Made Your Summer Getaway Plans Yet?
Remember when life was this simple (BTW - The band seems to have had terrible taste in albums)?
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