Amoeblog

10 Essential Albums From Blue Note Records

Posted by Billy Gil, September 29, 2014 06:35pm | Post a Comment

10 Essential Blue Note AlbumsSome of our staff have picked out essential albums from Blue Note Records that should satisfy both the purist and the newcomer to go along with Sonos Studio’s brilliant exhibition celebrating the label's 75th anniversary.

A bit about Blue Note’s history: The label was in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis, getting its name from the “blue notes” of blues and jazz, or notes sung a bit lower than the major scale for expressive purposes. Moving from traditional jazz to some bebop (including artists like Thelonious Monk) in the 1940s and hard bop (artists such as Horace Silver) in the 1950s, Blue Note distinguished itself by paying musicians for rehearsals as well as recordings, in order to ensure a better final product. With iconic album artwork by Esquire designer Reid Miles (using photographs of the musician in session, taken by Blue Note’s Francis Wolff), Blue Note made its name as one of the most influential labels in jazz music, later issuing records by free jazz musicians like Ornette Coleman and popular musicians like Herbie Hancock, having records sampled in hip-hop records by the likes of Madlib and, now, seeing massive success with mainstream artists like Norah Jones.

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Music History Monday: October 21

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 21, 2013 11:05am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: October 21, 1957 - "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for seven weeks, also topping the Country singles chart for one week on December 2, 1957 and peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, it is the eighth chart topper for Presley in under a year and a half. Recorded as the title song from his third film, the track recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood on April 30, 1957. The song name checks a number of real people including musician Shifty Henry and the 1920's mobsters The Purple Gang. "Jailhouse Rock" is backed with the song "Treat Me Nice," which is also included in the film. It will peak at #18 on pop singles chart on October 28, 1957. The film will also open on the same date and top the box office charts simultaneously. Presley will also make history as being the only artist to ever dominate the top of the singles chart for 25 weeks during one calendar year. He will do it in both 1956 and 1957.
 


On this day in music history: October 21, 1967 - "To Sir With Love" by Lulu hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. Written by Don Black and Mark London, it is the biggest hit for the Scottish-born singer and actress (born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie in Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire, Scotland). It is the theme song to the Sidney Poiter film about a teacher dealing with social and racial issues in a tough Secondary school in East London. Also co-starring in the film, Lulu will introduce her friend Mark London to the film's producers after they cannot find a suitable song for the main theme. London will write the music in just five minutes, with lyricist Don Black penning the lyrics the next day. When the single is released in the US, Epic Records will place "To Sir With Love" on B-side of "The Boat That I Row" (written by Neil Diamond). American radio DJ's will prefer the flipside and "Sir" will take off quickly. Entering the Hot 100 at #74 on September 9, 1967 it will race up the chart, hitting #1 six weeks later. Certified Gold in the US by the RIAA, "To Sir With Love" will be ranked the top single of 1967 as determined by Billboard Magazine.
 

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Amoeba Bloggers Answer: What Was Your First Album?

Posted by Billy Gil, March 6, 2012 07:09pm | Post a Comment
I recently was at Amoeba Hollywood and overheard a customer telling an employee Davy Jones had died. I hadn’t heard the news yet. She brought it up because she was buying Katy Perry records for her daughter. She said her daughter didn’t even have a record player — she just wanted every bit of Katy Perry merchandise she could get her hands on.
 
The only artist I can ever remember being that obsessive about was The Smashing Pumpkins, but that was in high school. But it got me thinking about those first tapes, records, singles etc. that everyone got as a kid.
 
ace of base the signFor me, the first album I ever bought on my own was Ace of Base’s The Sign on cassette. I had always liked music, but at 11, I had just started to pay attention to what songs were on the radio. A friend made me a tape from the radio and “The Sign” was on it. I loved it. In the coming weeks and months, albums by Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Stone Temple Pilots, Green Day, and my beloved Pumpkins would follow, but really it all started with Ace of Base for me. Though if I’m being technical, I had a cassette single of Paula Abdul’s “Promise of a New Day” that I listened to constantly when I was like 9, but I didn’t buy that — I won it at a cousin’s music-themed birthday party, at which my dad dressed himself and me as Simon & Garfunkel. I had no idea who they were. I think I was Paul Simon.
 
While I’m embarrassing myself, I thought I’d extend the question to the other Amoeba bloggers: What was your first album? Not kids’ music, but not just the cool stuff, either — the tapes we once listened to repeatedly and then put away in a drawer somewhere once we realized how lame they were, though I’m still on the hunt for The Sign on vinyl. Here are their answers:
 
Eric Brightwell
the cure kiss me kiss me kiss meMy first record was Luciano Pavarotti's My Own Story, a compilation of “musical highlights of his spectacular career.” They used to heavily advertise it on TV when I got home from school, and I was hooked. My first cassette was Peter Gabriel's So. I'd liked the singles from it, but when “Big Time” came out, I was obsessed. My first CD was The Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. I was introduced to it by a German exchange student named Ina. Before she left I rode my bike into town to a Wal-Mart to get a blank cassette to dub it. I loved it so much, I thought it warranted being purchased on CD. 
 


According to "Weird Al" Yankovic, Lady GaGa Rejected his Parody of "Born This Way," but Lady GaGa Denies This

Posted by Billyjam, April 20, 2011 01:44pm | Post a Comment
      
"Weird Al" Yankovic's "Perform This Way" lyrics only version (2011)

The above parody of Lady GaGa's "Born This Way" ("Perform This Way"  by "Weird Al" Yankovic), which was uploaded to YouTube earlier today by "Weird Al" himself, will never officially/commercially be released because when the parody artist requested permission from Lady GaGa he was given a firm "NO." He was also given the runaround for several weeks after GaGa insisted he first supply the lyrics (which he did) and then insisted he supply the final recorded masters of the song (which he also did). Read the engaging full story on "Weird Al" Yankovic's blog under the entertaining title The GaGa Saga.

However, since the blog was published earlier today Lady GaGa jumped defend her case and denied that she had rejected the parody of her song. As reported by TMZ around noon today, "sources extremely close to the singer tell us, "There must have been a misunderstanding because [Gaga] is in no way trying to block the release of the parody..."She's busy touring and hasn't heard the song yet. Her manager hasn't had a chance to play it for her yet. She's a huge Weird Al fan." This TMZ report was news to Weird Al, who wrote a follow up blog, GaGa Update, that began with, "Well, this was been a strange day."

WHITE STRIPES, CHARLES NELSON REILLY PARODIED BY "WEIRD AL"

Posted by Billyjam, August 6, 2009 08:21am | Post a Comment



Playing the roles of both Jack and Meg White, the prolific king of music parodies, “Weird Al” Yankovic, channels the White Stripes and their song  “Icky Thump” in his latest song/video “CNR,” his tribute to the late Charles Nelson Reilly. The video, posted to YouTube, premiered a couple of days ago on JibJab.com where those interested have an opportunity to do their own basic remix of the "Weird Al" Yankovic video.