One of the Greatest Albums You May Have Never Heard Yet
It had been one of the biggest and most public break-ups in rock history.
During a summer appearance at Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California, Phil Everly smashed his guitar and stormed off-stage, leaving his brother Don to finish the set.
And that was the end of the Everly Brothers.
Or so it seemed. But in the years that followed neither of the brothers could get much of a solo career going. And they were family, after all. Tempers cooled, time passed and in 1983, after a ten-year absence, the Everly Brothers decided to reunite.
At the age of 22 in 1969, Tommy James had a string of 14 TOP 40 hits and was riding high. By 1972 at the age of 25, he was washed up.
What happened to one of the 1960’s most prolific rockers?
In the first place, Tommy James (born Thomas Jackson) hit recording pay dirt almost by accident.
Tommy and his first band, the Shondells, were a local sensation in the Niles, Michigan area. They recorded a Jeff Barry-Ellie Greenwich tune called “Hanky Panky” for a small label owned by Niles DJ Jack Douglas. The record got some local airplay and promptly sank from sight. The Shondells, like most young bands in the mid-sixties, broke up and went their separate ways.
Stories Behind Classic Rock Songs
At the height of her career, Joni Mitchell took a trip to Paris with a small group that included the head of her record label, David Geffen. She wrote “Free Man in Paris” about the music mogul shortly after their return.
For his part, Geffen always claimed the lyrics made him sound more unhappy with the music business than he really was.
As comeback albums go, you can’t do much better than EB ’84, a return to recording greatness for Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, Don and Phil Everly.
One of early rock’s most reliable acts, the Everly Brothers had watched their career go into reverse following the British Invasion. Several prominent Brits would help power this totally satisfying album.
Are You Experienced (1967)
This is the album that changed everything. Music was never the same after Jimi Hendrix’s debut album, Are You Experienced, hit record stores like a proverbial bombshell.
Nobody had sounded like this before. The first time you heard, it sounded loud, ugly, and discordant. By the third or fourth listening, you were hooked.
If your parents thought the Beatles and Rolling Stones were “noise,” here was an album that would really piss them off! What a great reason to buy it and play it loud.
The band’s line-up was unique, too. Two Brits and one American. Two white guys and one black guy.
But the album you were listening to was not the same album listeners in other countries were hearing.
Surrealistic Pillow - Jefferson Airplane (1967)
If someone were to ask us what is was like during the summer of love, we’d be tempted to just give them this album, “Surrealistic Pillow” by Jefferson Airplane and leave it at that. With the possible exception of “Sgt. Pepper,” there is no other single LP that could capture the feeling of that magical summer season.
This wasn’t the Airplane’s first album. That honor goes to “Jefferson Airplane Takes Off,” which was released on the RCA label in August, 1966. But that album gained very little altitude, not even charting on the Billboard Hot 100 Albums. Soon after, the band’s drummer Skip Spence and female singer Signe Toy Anderson departed. They were replaced by experienced jazz drummer Spencer Dryden and the former lead vocalist for the Great Society, Grace Slick. Together with male vocalist Marty Balin, guitarist Paul Kantner, lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Cassidy, they formed the classic Airplane line-up until Dryden departed in 1970.
It is with great sadness that we report that Paul Revere, leader of the classic rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders has passed away at 76 after what was reportedly a long battle with cancer.
The Raiders were among the most popular bands in America during the mid-to-late 1960's with an impressive string of hits that included "Kicks," "Hungry," "Steppin' Out," and many more.
Cat Stevens announced this week that he will begin a six-city tour of North America this December. The singer/songwriter said he will be touring under that name rather than the name Yusef Islam that he has used in the years since he converted to Islam. Stevens also assured his fans that the concert will be filled with the songs that made him a pop music superstar in the 70’s.
It marks Stevens’ first U.S. tour in 38 years. Prior to the tour, he is also releasing a new albums of blues tunes, Tell ‘Em I’m Gone (due out Oct. 27th).
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