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Music History Monday: March 3

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 3, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: March 3, 1972Music of My Mind, the fourteenth studio album by Stevie Wonder is released. Produced by Stevie Wonder, Bob Margouleff, and Malcolm Cecil, it is recorded Media Sound Studios and Electric Lady Studios in New York City, and Crystal Industries in Los Angeles from mid 1971 - early 1972. After recording for Motown since the age of 12, Stevie Wonder's contract with the label expires when he turns 21 years old on May 13, 1971. In spite of millions in record sales and earnings generated, he will find that there is only $1 million held in trust for him. Instead of renewing his contract with Motown, he'll move to New York and begin working with Bob Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil of Tonto's Expanding Head Band who will assist him in taking his music to the next level. Experimenting with synthesizers, Wonder will block book studio time and record for several months before re-emerging with a new sound and career direction. Having fielded several offers from rival record companies, he will re-sign with Motown Records but strictly on his own terms. He will negotiate a deal that gives him complete artistic control, his own music publishing company, and one of the highest royalty rates in the music business. Released as the first album under his new deal, Music of My Mind will be a major turning point for Stevie Wonder, beginning an era that will produce some of his most critically acclaimed and commercially successful work. Spinning off two singles including "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)" (#13 R&B, #33 Pop), and "Keep On Running" (#36 R&B, #90 Pop), Music Of My Mind will peak at #6 on the Billboard R&B album chart and #21 on the Top 200.
 

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Music History Monday: August 12

Posted by Jeff Harris, August 12, 2013 12:55pm | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: August 12, 1968Cheap Thrills, the second album by Big Brother And The Holding Company is released. Produced by John Simon, it is recorded at Columbia Recording cheap thrills big brother & the holding company janis joplinStudios in New York City (studio tracks) and the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco (live tracks) from March - May of 1968. Following the band's breakthrough performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967, they will be approached by Clive Davis, then the head Columbia Records, who is eager to sign them. At the time, Big Brother is signed to independent label Mainstream Records, who will release their self titled debut album in August of 1967. It will take several months for the band to be extricated from their Mainstream contract and sign with Columbia, which will take place in early 1968. Once freed from their prior obligations, they will be paired with producer John Simon (The Band), and they will begin work on their second album. The initial plan is to record Big Brother in concert, producing an album that captures the band's electric live performances. When the results are lackluster, they will record much of the album in Columbia's New York recording studio, with the closing track "Ball And Chain" being recorded at Winterland in San Francisco (though the original release will erroneously credit it being recorded at the Fillmore East in New York). Originally titled Sex, Dope, and Cheap Thrills, Columbia Records will refuse to release it with that title, and make the band revise it. The album's iconic cover art by underground artist Robert Crumb (Zap Comix) is first intended to appear on the back of the LP jacket with a photo of Janis Joplin on the front. Joplin is so enamored with Crumb's artwork that it will be put on the front instead. Anchored by the hit single "Piece Of My Heart" (#12 Pop), it will be major success. When Columbia originally issues the LP along with the standard stereo version, the label will press a very limited amount of the mono version (an estimated 3,000 - 5,000 copies only), before quickly deleting it, turning it into a highly priced and sought after collector's item. The mono version of the album will be reissued in November of 2012 as a limited edition 180g vinyl LP pressing. Cheap Thrills will spend eight weeks (non-consecutive) at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, and to date has been certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA.
 

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Albums Out Dec. 11: Jawbreaker, Green Day, Bruno Mars and More

Posted by Billy Gil, December 10, 2012 07:03pm | Post a Comment

Jawbreaker – Bivouac [20th Anniversary Edition]

Jawbreaker BivouacCD $12.98

LP $18.98

Unlike some of its alt-rock contemporaries (call it emo or whatever, Bivouac is firmly 1991 in sound), Jawbreaker’s Bivouac is ripe for reissue because A) it can’t be found in your average record store, B) it was overlooked during its time and C) it has aged better than your average album of the era. Beginning with the roaring “Shield Your Eyes,” the album still hits hard, thanks to Blake Schwarzenbach razor vocals and the band’s scrappy attack. “Chesterfield King” echoes the boozy swagger of their elders in The Replacements, while “Sleep’s” sheet of guitars and hushed melodies place them as both Husker Du’s heir and as a band making music akin to their shoegazing brethren across the pond. For new listeners, especially those interested in some of the roots of emo, the brutal “Parabola” and the title track, which balances delicate passages with high-octane chunks of ferocious noise for 10 breathtaking minutes, should be elucidating in and of themselves. If only emo had stayed as good as Bivouac, we’d all be better off! The LP has four fewer tracks than the CD (as it did in the original pressing); the Chesterfield King EP also is reissued, including those four tracks (“Tour Song,” “Face Down,” “You Don’t Know…” and “Pack it Up”).

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100 Famous Rock Guitar Riffs Offers Concise History of Rock N' Roll

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment
      

Rock music has way too many incredibly memorable guitar riffs to limit a best of list to just one hundred, but the 100 riffs that guitarist Alex Chadwick of The Chicago Music Exchange came up with for the above video performance ain't half bad, and it is a nice informal overview of the history of rock n' roll. Sure it's a subjective selection that includes a lot of mega hits of the genre, and no doubt every rock fan could come up with their own unique list of a hundred best guitar riffs. But I like what Alex has done: from his playing to his choices of riffs, and from how he segues from song to song, to how he plays it on his 1958 Fender Strat all in chronological order. Below is that list of songs and artists in order with the artist names that are blue highlighted linking back to the Amoeba Online Store. where you can find their respective music (CDs, LPs, DVDs) including (in near all cases) the song played by Alex.

SONG/ARTIST PLAYLIST & AMOEBA SHOP LINK OF ALEX'S 100 GUITAR RIFFS (IN ORDER):


1 "Mr. Sandman"  Chet Atkins
2 "Folsom Prison Blues" Johnny Cash
3 "Words of Love"  Buddy Holly
4 "Johnny B Goode"  Chuck Berry
5 "Rumble"  Link Wray

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Metallica To Play "Black Album" When They Headline Two Day Orion Music + More Festival

Posted by Billyjam, February 7, 2012 08:53pm | Post a Comment
       

This morning Metallica announced that they will throwing a two-day Metalica headlined festival titled Orion Music + More in Atlantic City NJ this summer when, joined by approx two dozen of their favorite artists, they will play their self titled 1991 album, better known as the Black Album in its entirety. Joining them in this festival, planned for June 23rd and 24th in the New Jersey seaside casino/resort town at an abandoned airport space, will be such acts as Modest Mouse, Arctic Monkeys, Gary Clark Jr. Avenged Sevenfold, Fucked Up, The Gaslight Anthem, Roky Erickson, Cage The Elephant, Best Coast, Hot Snakes, Titus Andronicus, Lucero, The Black Angels, The Sword, A Place to Bury Strangers, and Liturgy. There will also be some non-music entertainment including several comedy acts. Above is a video containing parts of their UStream announcement of the festival from earlier today. Ticket prices range from $125 for two days general admission to $225 for the two day "Met Club Ultra Pass." For tickets, which go on sale Saturday Feb 11th, and more info, including updates on more to be announced acts, go to the OrionMusicAndMore website. Below is a live version of "Enter Sandman" from the band's Black Album from the same year it was released.

              Metallica "Enter Sandman" (live in Moscow, 1991)
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