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Annie Lennox Discusses Making the Classic American Songbook Her Own at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, March 4, 2015 11:13am | Post a Comment

Annie Lennox

With a career spanning over three decades, Annie Lennox has amassed numerous awards, including earning the destinction of "most successful female British artist in UK music history." Known as the "Brit Champion of Champions" Annie Lennox is a living legend. First gaining fame in the '80s as one half of the Eurythmics with bandmate Dave Stewart, the duo led the "Second British Invasion" by way of MTV and their mega hit, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)." That song propelled the band to global stardom and is still a staple in any '80s themed club, DJ set or playlist today. In 1992, Lennox embarked on a solo career and has gone on to release six studio albums.  

Annie LennoxIn support of her latest release, Nostalgia, Lennox visited Amoeba Hollywood to meet fans and sign copies of the new record. Nostalgia finds Lennox reinterpreting classic American Jazz standards and although these songs have been around for decades, it's uncharted waters for the veteran crooner. During this year's GRAMMY Awards broadcast, Lennox joined singer Hozier on stage for a mashup of "Take Me To Church/I Put A Spell On You." The latter is a song by legendary Rhythm & Blues singer Screamin' Jay Hawkins and is featured on Nostalgia. Lennox stole the show with an astounding, powerful performance which earned her a standing ovation from the GRAMMY audience. At 60 years old, Lennox is still a fine tuned singer and an incredibly talented artist.  

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics

Posted by Rachael McGovern, November 28, 2012 01:10pm | Post a Comment

Dave StewartThe ever-busy producer, songwriter, and filmmaker Dave Stewart visited Amoeba Hollywood recently for an episode of What's In My Bag?. I was most familiar with him because of his work in the Eurythmics and his recent project, SuperHeavy, featuring the unlikely combination of Mick Jagger, Indian film composer A.R. Rahman, British soul singer Joss Stone, reggae artist Damian Marley and himself. What I didn't know about Stewart was his extensive history producing albums for other artists, including Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Neville Brothers, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bryan Ferry and many more. In fact, he won a Brit Award in 1986 for Best Producer.

During our shoot, he told a few stories about his experiences filming with R.L. Burnside for his 1991 documentary Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads; Mick Jagger being "Mick Jagger on stage" even in the recording studio; and the genesis for "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)."

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Music History Monday: November 26

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 26, 2012 11:00am | Post a Comment

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

Music History MondayOn this day in music history: November 26, 1962 - The Beatles record "Please Please Me" and "Ask Me Why" in Studio Two at Abbey Road in London. It will be the band's second attempt at recording "Please," having previously recorded it on September 11th (during the session for the second version of "Love Me Do") in a different and slower arrangement, influenced by Roy Orbison's "Only The Lonely." Producer George Martin is initially not fond of the song and suggests that the band's next single be the Mitch Murray-penned "How Do You Do It?" That song had been passed over in favor of "Love Me Do" and is once again up for consideration. In the interim, Lennon and McCartney will  dramatically re-arrange "Please Please Me" and play it again for Martin. Duly impressed, "Please" is issued along with "Ask Me Why" as The Beatles second single on January 11, 1963 (and February 25th in the US). "Please" will reach #2 on the UK single chart. While the song goes on to be a big hit in the UK, it will flop on its original US release. After The Beatles break in the US with "I Want To Hold Your Hand," Vee Jay Records will re-release "Please Please Me" (b/w "From Me To You" on the second issue) in January 1964, peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 on March 14, 1964.
 

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Music History Monday: September 3

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 3, 2012 02:11pm | Post a Comment
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: September 3, 1966 - "Sunshine Superman" by Donovan hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by Donovan Leitch, it is the biggest US chart single for the Scottish-born singer/songwriter. The songs' UK release will be delayed by several months due to a contractual dispute with Pye Records. It also features future Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones providing instrumental support. The record marks a major turning point in Donovan's career, which will see him moving away from his earlier folk oriented material that led the young singer/songwriter to be compared to Bob Dylan by the British press. The two will actually meet in 1965 during Dylan's now-legendary tour of the UK captured in the documentary film Don't Look Back and become friends.


On this day in music history: September 3, 1966 - "You Can't Hurry Love" by The Supremes hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for two weeks, also topping the Hot 100 on September 10th for two weeks. Written by Brian Holland, Eddie Holland, and Lamont Dozier, it is the Detroit-based girl groups' second R&B chart topper and their seventh to reach #1 on the pop charts in just over two years. Following a period when three of the groups' singles either fail to reach number one or miss the top ten (after having six chart topping singles, so far), Motown founder Berry Gordy issues an edict that they will not release anything but #1 hits on their most successful act. The Supremes' writing and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland immediately set about making that happen. HDH will take inspiration from one of their earlier Supremes hits when they begin writing. Initially they begin by playing around with the chord sequence from "Come See About Me," but it eventually evolves into something completely different. The basic track for "You Can't Hurry Love" is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit on June 11, 1966 with The Funk Brothers providing musical support. The Supremes will record their vocals on July 5th. Released on July 25th, it will quickly race up the pop and R&B charts, beginning the groups second consecutive streak of number one hits where their next four releases will all hit #1 on the Hot 100, three of them also topping the R&B singles chart.

Behind the Scenes with Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics

Posted by Rachael McGovern, August 20, 2012 06:33pm | Post a Comment
Dave Stewart shot an episode of What's In My Bag? at Amoeba Hollywood recently. Atlhough he may best be known as half of the Eurythmics, he is an incredibly accomplished producer and songwriter, not to mention being an author and filmmaker on top of all that. The man has worked with legends, from Nelson Mandela (on the 46664 campaign) to Mick Jagger, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks and a ton of others. Oh, did I forget to mention that Mr. Stewart also started a band called Super Heavy with Mick Jagger, A.R. Rahman, Damian Marley, and Joss Stone?

Super Heavy

Needless to say, he had a lot of great stories to share with us, including how Mick Jagger can't help but behave like "Mick Jagger on stage," complete with all his signature dance moves, even when he's in the recording booth. Can't wait to see the video when it's finished!

Dave Stewart

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