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On the Charts: U2 Claim Eighth Number One LP With ‘Songs of Experience’

December 11th, 2017 · Guitar

U2 notched their eighth Number One album as the band’s Songs of Experience debuted atop the Billboard 200.

Bono and company’s 14th studio album and follow-up to 2014′s Songs of Innocence sold 186,000 total copies in its first week of release, the best sales for a rock release since Metallica’s Hardwired… to Self-Destruct back in December 2016, Billboard reports.

Songs of Experience, Number Three on Rolling Stone‘s 50 Best Albums of 2017 list, also marks U2′s first Number One album since 2009′s No Line on the Horizon; as a free Apple giveaway, Songs of Innocence was ineligible for the Billboard 200. From 1987′s The Joshua Tree to Songs of Experience, only one eligible U2 studio album has failed to reach Number One: 2000′s All That You Can’t Leave Behind, which peaked at Number Three.

Two more new releases crashed the Top 10: Chris Stapleton’s From A Room: Volume 2 opened at Number Two with 125,000 total copies, matching the Number Two debut of From A Room: Volume 1 in May. Miguel‘s latest War Leisure entered at Number Nine with 40,000 total copies.

After a three-week reign at Number One, Taylor Swift’s Reputation fell back to spots to Number Three as 2017′s best-selling album added another 112,000 copies to its impressive haul. Ed Sheeran’s Divide moved up one spot to Number Four, followed by Pentatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas at Number Five and Demi Lovato’s Tell Me You Love Me, which rose to Number Six thanks to a deal that packaged album copies with ticket sales.

Sam Smith’s The Thrill of It All (Number Seven), Michael Buble’s Christmas (Eight) and Garth Brooks’ The Anthology: Part I, The First Five Years (Number 10) closed out the Top 10.

Next week’s charts should see a shakeup at the top as Luke Bryan’s What Makes You Country and Big Sean Metro Boomin’s Double or Nothing enter the fray.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/charts-u2-seal-eighth-number-one-with-songs-of-experience-w513711

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The Greatest Tours of 2017

December 10th, 2017 · Guitar

Tom Petty, 40th Anniversary Tour
Petty billed this run of dates with the Heartbreakers as his last “big one.” They ended up serving as his grand farewell before his October 2nd death – a two-hour show mixing beloved hits with lesser-known gems like “Crawling Back to You” and “Forgotten Man,” wrapping on September 25th with a joyous “American Girl” at the Hollywood Bowl.

Brian Wilson, Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary Tour
Wilson swore that Pet Sounds’ third outing would be his final one, and he made it count. Across more than 180 dates, he sang better than he has in years, helped along by original Beach Boy Al Jardine and his golden-voiced son, Matt. Wilson also dug deep into the Beach Boys catalog for rarely heard jewels like “Feel Flows” and “Salt Lake City.”

U2, The Joshua Tree Tour 2017
U2 have never been a band to fall back on past glories. So it was no surprise that they turned a complete performance of their 1987 classic, The Joshua Tree, into an urgent, contemporary experience, using the show’s powerful visuals to update the LP’s Americana themes for the age of Trump.

Travis Scott, Birds Eye View Tour
The Houston MC‘s shows were so off the hook this year, fans dropped from a balcony in New York. In Arkansas, Scott was arrested for inciting a riot. But dude was arguably guilty of that every night. The highlight: a giant glow-eyed model bird “backing” him onstage (he rode a bird above audiences at later shows). Your move, Kanye.

Eric Church, Holdin’ My Own Tour
Over the years, Church concerts have always been parties. But in 2017, they went from merely ass-kicking to epic. For his amusingly named Holdin’ My Own Tour, the guy who wrote “Springsteen” took a tip from the man himself, forgoing opening acts to play shows that ran upwards of three hours a night – complete with covers of Billy Joel and Bruce. 

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/greatest-tours-live-shows-concerts-of-2017-w513575

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Watch Robert Plant, Chrissie Hynde Perform Together in London

December 10th, 2017 · Guitar

Chrissie Hynde made a surprise appearance during Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters’ concert Friday at London’s Royal Albert Hall, where the singers performed “Bluebirds Over the Mountain” and the Pretenders‘ “2000 Miles” together, Led Zeppelin News reports.

Plant’s rendition of Ersel Hickey’s “Bluebirds Over the Mountain” appears on the Led Zeppelin singer’s latest LP Carry Home; Hynde also features on that album version of the track. The Royal Albert Hall show marked the first time the Rock Hall inductees had played the track live together.

“On a wing and a prayer, we have a beautiful song for you that only Chrissie can sing right,” Plant told the audience prior to the Learning to Crawl cut “2000 Miles,” with Plant and the Sensational Shape Shifters providing backup as Hynde took lead.

Plant is in the midst of a trek in support of Carry Fire that the singer anticipates will take him through 2018, as he told Rolling Stone in September.

“Anyone who gets tangled up in music and performance wants to keep it going,” Plant said. “But by which means do you do it? Cramming the stuff into the suitcase again and playing live? Or is it creativity, another adventure, and trying to impress people who often want to hear how it was rather than how it is? That’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/see-robert-plant-chrissie-hynde-perform-together-in-london-w513704

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Inside Otis Redding’s Final Masterpiece ‘(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay’

December 10th, 2017 · Guitar

When the phone rang at the Stax/Volt studios in Memphis in late November of 1967, guitarist Steve Cropper was surprised to hear Otis Redding on the other end, calling from the airport. “Usually Otis would check into the Holiday Inn or whatever hotel he was staying at and then he’d call for me to come over and do some writing,” Cropper recalls. But this time Redding was too excited to wait. “I’ve got a hit,” he told Cropper, so he wanted to come straight to the studio to flesh his idea out into a full-fledged song.

Redding was right. When “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” was released less than two months later, it became the singer’s first million-seller and first Billboard Number One single. But the legendary soul singer never got to hear the finished version of his breakthrough single: He had died in a plane crash on December 10th.

Redding laid down numerous tracks in his final weeks, none more important than “Dock of the Bay.” The roots of the song trace back to June of that year. In the middle of the month, Redding, backed by Booker T. the M.G.’s, left the largely white crowd at the Monterey Pop Festival awestruck, making an impression rivaled only by the Who and Jimi Hendrix. Redding had won over white audiences in Los Angeles at the Whisky a Go Go nightclub the previous year and in Europe that spring, where his admirers included four guys from Liverpool taking a break from recording their new album. But Monterey Pop was on a different scale, and the unabashed adulation confirmed for Redding that he could cross over to become a major star.

“Monterey had a powerful effect on Otis,” recalls Stanley Booth, who interviewed Redding for the Saturday Evening Post during those final sessions. “He saw a huge crowd of white kids going nuts over him, and he began to believe he could follow in the footsteps of Sam Cooke and Ray Charles.”

Al Bell, then a Stax executive, says that he told Redding he was getting pegged as a genre musician and “would have to come up with something different. We talked back and forth on it. I suggested he write something folk-like, saying we could call it Soul Folk. It was the only time I told Otis what to do.”

Redding had begun listening to Bob Dylan, whom he’d met at the Whisky in ’66 but beginning in June, the singer – like the rest of the world – was playing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band over and over.

The Beatles’ album got Redding thinking. He had always relied on the emotion and energy in his vocals to carry his songs, but now he started paying more mind to the words themselves; he’d also recorded most of his songs live in the studio, but the complex layering achieved by the Beatles and George Martin clued him in to other ways of building tracks. Redding had produced (and co-written) Arthur Conley’s hit “Sweet Soul Music” earlier that year and Cropper says he started talking about getting off the road and spending more time producing in the studio.

“Absolutely his style was changing,” Cropper tells Rolling Stone. “One of the main things Otis told me in the car one day was, ‘I’m coming to Memphis and I’m going to get a place and you and I are going to produce and write songs.’ He really enjoyed being in the studio.”

Still, Redding was committed to the road for the rest of that summer, including a six-night gig at Basin Street West in San Francisco in August. When rock impresario Bill Graham made him an offer to get out of downtown, Redding, a country boy at heart, was happy to spend those days on Graham’s houseboat.

It’s here where Redding began writing the song – and where the first of the myths and misconceptions about it began. Marc Myers, in his book Anatomy of a Song: The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits that Changed Rock, RB and Pop, mistakenly noted that Redding went to the houseboat to catch his breath right after playing Monterey. Meanwhile, the city of San Francisco recently put the lyrics on display on a pier in Brannan Street Wharf. But Redding was more than 10 miles away, at Waldo Point Harbor in Sausalito. 

Redding’s Wikipedia page mistakenly claims that the song “was written with Cropper while they were staying with their friend, Earl ‘Speedo’ Simms, on a houseboat in Sausalito.” But while Simms, Redding’s road manager, was there, Cropper was thousands of miles away. 

The fact that Cropper wasn’t there is obvious in his reaction to the song – that fall, when Redding first sang him the lines “Watching the ships roll in/And then I watch ‘em roll away again,” Cropper says he “always envisioned a ship going under the Golden Gate Bridge.”

“Me being a purist kind of guy I said, ‘Otis, did you ever think that if a ship rolls it’s going to take on water and sink,’” Cropper recalls, “and he said about the lyric, ‘Hell, Crop, that’s what I want,’ and Otis always got his way.”

Actually, the Golden Gate Bridge isn’t even visible from where Redding was, but Cropper never saw that spot until years later when he was on tour with Robert Cray; he got a bite to eat overlooking the water and saw ferries going back and forth and realized that “when a ferry goes to park it pushes up a big wake and comes in sideways and looks like it is rolling in. So a ferry was a ship in his mind.”

On the bright side, Cropper’s misunderstanding about the location led him to add the lines, “I left my home in Georgia [Redding grew up in Macon], heading for the Frisco Bay,” which works much better than “heading for Richardson Bay,” where Redding and the dock were. (Cropper says that years later Neil Young told him he stayed in Graham’s houseboat the week after Redding.)

Redding didn’t have much more than the basic chords and his first verse about sitting and watching the ships, and the chorus. And then he put the song aside for a while. “That was Otis,” Cropper says. “He always carried his guitar with him, but not in the case, and he’d have an idea and just start writing – he always had 14 or 15 ideas in his head, totally unfinished.”

Redding stopped touring that fall when polyps on his vocal cords required surgery, sidelining and even nearly silencing him at first. He had to communicate by writing notes, though he also wrote more songs. By late November, he was turned loose and Cropper says his voice sounded better than ever. He recorded more than 30 new songs in a burst of creativity at the end of that month and the beginning of December. Most would end up on posthumous releases including “Hard to Handle,” “The Happy Song” and “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember,” which he wrote based on a poem by his wife Zelma. Some, like “I’m a Changed Man,” reflect the new emphasis on lyrics, while others, though still recognizably soul songs, feature more of Cropper’s guitar and hint at a move toward rock.

“Otis was a hard worker and he grew as an artist with each record,” Stax co-founder Jim Stewart tells RS. “Each time he came in he took more and more responsibility and more control of his sessions. The musicians respected him and loved him. He really lit up the studio when he was there.”

That desire for more control and responsibility had actually led Redding to chafe at some of Stewart’s decisions. Some biographers say Redding was considering entering into a partnership with Atlantic, feeling he’d need a new home as he looked to expand his sound and his audience, instead of being sent out to headline yet another tour.

“Stewart and Stax were somewhat limiting musically and Stewart was opposed to changes,” says keyboardist Booker T. Jones. He adds, though, that if Redding had firm plans, he “kept them to himself.”

“I was in somewhat the same place after the Europe tour and Monterey,” Jones continues. “We hung with rock stars and I was headed away from Memphis. I felt restricted at Stax. I was heading to California.”

There is debate about when Redding and Cropper wrote “Dock of the Bay” and when it was recorded. Rob Bowman, author of Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records, says he found the American Federation of Musicians session sheet for “Dock of the Bay” in the files of Fantasy Records, which bought Stax in the 1970s and that it places the recording session as November 22nd, the day before Thanksgiving. Tim Sampson, communications director for the Soulsville Foundation, which runs the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, trusts Bowman’s research, and suggests that this sheet may be the most reliable source available.

That date fits with the idea of an excited Redding calling Cropper about his new song from the airport the day before the session started and it also allows enough time for Redding and his band to lay down all those new tracks.

Cropper isn’t certain of the date but remembers recording the song “a week to 10 days” before he laid down his electric guitar part on December 8th, which puts the recording (if not the writing) at the tail end of November. In his article, Booth describes Cropper and Redding writing the song closer to that time period, although now he says it may have transpired during the final week of Redding’s life.

Jonathan Gould, author of Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life, claimed Redding recorded the song over two sessions, finishing on December 8th, but Cropper says that while he added his electric guitar part on that day and played it for Redding, the singer was already done with his vocals.

In Mark Ribowsky’s book, Dreams to Remember, he cited that the Atlantic session logs give the recording date as December 7th. But he also mistakenly identifies that as a Wednesday (not a Thursday) and writes that the log says the band included Cropper, drummer Al Jackson, organist Booker T. Washington (rather than Booker T. Jones), bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn, trumpeter Wayne Jackson and saxophonist Joe Arnold. Arnold told Rolling Stone he definitely was not on that song; the sax part was actually played by Wayne Jackson’s Memphis Horns partner Andrew Love.

Rolling Stone learned that two more horn players – Mickey Gregory and Tommy Lee Williams – dubbed additional parts on the track on Friday December 8th. Gregory says they were not in the union so Cropper paid them cash. Gregory also recalls hitting up Redding for a loan. “Otis said he just gave away $200, but he gave me his last 20,” he says.

“The Atlantic log book is riddled with errors,” Bowman says in an email, explaining that “most of the Stax entries in that book are the dates when Atlantic received the final tapes from Stax, not when the sessions actually occurred,” although in this case Atlantic did not receive the tapes until December 13th.

(Some books and articles say Redding recorded the song on the same day he and Cropper wrote it, but this may be based on a misreading of Booth’s narrative article; both Cropper and Booth insist they were two discrete events.)

As for the writing of the song, Cropper says he and Redding were alone in the studio when they wrote the song – Redding said, “Crop, get your gut-tar,” as he pronounced it, and they got right to work. But Booth says he was there too. He had just interviewed Al Jackson when Redding pulled up in his limo. Booth says he went inside with Redding and watched as he and Cropper hammered out the song.

Booth’s story describes the musicians “sitting on folding chairs, facing each other, in the dark cavern-like grey-and-pink studio” and depicts Redding playing his “bright red dime-store guitar strumming simple bar chords” and that “the front of the guitar is cracked as if someone has stepped on it.” (Cropper explains that Redding always kept his acoustic open tuned to an E chord so he could easily play major chords.)

Most stories credit Cropper with the “Frisco Bay” line while Booth’s original narrative reported Redding coming up with it.

Cropper came up with the chords for the bridge, which also changed the song’s tempo. “It was a thing I had in my head, real simple – 1, 5, 4; 1, 5, 4; 1, 5, 4, 1; 6, 7, 5 – and Otis just kind of ad-libbed those lyrics. It felt good and we kept it.”

Redding did make one change in the recording session: on take one, he sings that he “can’t do what 20 people tell me to do,” before halving that number for the second and third takes.

“We didn’t put stuff down when we were writing, we just put it in our head,” Cropper says.

On whatever day it was that the band recorded, Cropper played a Gibson acoustic rhythm guitar, which he describes as a “country western flat-top round-hole guitar.” He strummed the chords until Dunn found a bass groove and then Al Jackson kicked in with his part.

Jones says he “tried giving the piano parts a marine feeling, building on fourths.” Then Redding and Cropper created horn parts for Love and Wayne Jackson by singing the notes they wanted.

At the end of the first take, Redding started whistling, poorly enough that engineer Ron Capone joked that he wasn’t “going to make it as a whistler.” Redding nailed it on the third take.

The whistling has been the subject of much debate. Cropper says that he always left space at the end of a song for Redding to add extra vocals, frequently ad-libbed on the spot. On this day, Cropper says, Redding simply forgot what he wanted to sing and whistled instead, merely as a placeholder to be fixed at a later date.

“If he had come back that Monday, it would definitely have been different,” Cropper says.

While Redding and Cropper planned more work on the song, the fact that Redding whistled on all three takes gave many the impression that this was an intentional touch that perfectly suited the song’s mood.

“That was no placeholder,” says Al Bell. “That was Otis – the very essence coming out of him.”

Later, a rumor began swirling that Redding’s whistling wasn’t good enough and that Cropper used musician Sam “Bluzman” Taylor to dub in a stronger take. Cropper vehemently denies that. “I don’t even know where that story came from,” he says.

While “Dock of the Bay” is now hailed as an influential classic – placing at number 26 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time – the initial reaction to the song was mixed. Cropper says he played the song for Zelma Redding and Johnny Lee “Blue Moon” Odom, the major-league pitcher who hailed from Redding’s hometown of Macon, Georgia, and was hanging out during some of those sessions. Zelma Redding didn’t like the new approach.

She reportedly felt his post-surgery songs were too strongly Beatles-influenced and has been quoted as saying that her husband told her, “Boy, when I go back out there, I’m gonna be the new Otis Redding,” to which she replied with a hint of dismay, “Oh, God, you are changing.” Redding responded, “It’s time for me to change in my music.”

Cropper and Jones loved the tune, but Dunn was unimpressed. “It has no RB whatsoever,” the late bassist said in interviews, adding that he thought it “might even be detrimental” to Redding’s career. Redding’s manager Phil Walden thought it was “too pop” and Jim Stewart didn’t love it either.

Jones believes Redding would not have been deterred. “It wasn’t consequential what they thought,” he says. “Otis was determined to do what he was going to do.”

Redding did brush off their concerns with a confident aura, telling Walden, “This is my first million-seller,” but it seems the doubters did get to him somewhat. On Friday, December 8th, he had lunch with labelmates David Porter and William Bell; Bell says they ate at the Four Way, a popular Memphis restaurant, and then went back to Stax to listen to the preliminary mix. Without the masterful touches Cropper would later add, the drums and the horns are more prominent, undermining the song’s wistful vibe.

“I think he was just a little bit unsure of himself and how it would turn out,” William Bell says, adding that he loved the song in part because it was different. “He wanted confirmation from all of us.”

The same day, on December 8th, Cropper laid down the electric-guitar track, using his Fender Esquire that he has since donated to the Smithsonian Museum. “The last time I saw Otis, I was setting up with my guitar in the control room. I’d face the amp away from the speakers so I wouldn’t get any crosstalk or feedback. Otis popped his head in and said, ‘I’ll see you Monday.’”

Booth now tells a story that doesn’t jibe with the facts, writing in an email, “The day after the song was recorded, I went in the control room, where it was being played back. All of a sudden there were seagulls on it! ‘Steve,’ I said, ‘Where’d you get them birds?’ He gave me a blank look. ‘Sound effects,’ he said.”

But Cropper says he hadn’t yet even conceived of adding the sound of birds and waves that now feel so intrinsic to the song. Instead, he says, he and Redding felt the track was missing some special something and had a plan to give “Dock of the Bay” a more traditional soul feel. Cropper suggested background vocals and told Redding that the Staple Singers were coming in shortly, adding that “I know if I asked them they’d be more than happy to sing on the song. Otis said it was a great idea. He planned on being there.”

Two days later, Redding was dead. Unwilling to no-show for a gig, he boarded his small plane for Madison, Wisconsin, from Ohio. The plane plunged into a lake near Madison, killing the pilot, Redding and his entire road band except trumpeter Ben Cauley.

Unfortunately for Cropper, a tragic death meant a business opportunity for the record labels. Redding died on Sunday and on Monday, according to Cropper, Atlantic Records executive Jerry Wexler called Jim Stewart demanding a new song. “Jim asked, ‘What do you have ready,’ but I said, ‘I don’t have anything mixed,’” Cropper remembers.

So, on Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m. he entered the studio, devoting the next 24 hours to finishing “Dock of the Bay.”

“One of the hardest things I ever had to do was mix that song,” says Cropper.

There was no time for background vocals but Cropper knew the song “really needed something.”

“I got to thinking about Otis clowning around on some of the outtakes. He was trying to make seagull sounds but he sounded like a dying crow.”

As homage to his friend and partner, Cropper went to a local jingle company and recorded an extended loop of seagulls and ocean waves on separate tracks. He then used trial-and-error to figure out where to bring the sounds up in the song.

“I stayed up 24 hours mixing the song. The next morning I went out to the airport, went out on the tarmac and a stewardess came down to the bottom of the steps and I handed her that master,” Cropper recalls. The tape was flown to New York and disc jockeys had preview copies in their hands by Christmas.

A story has circulated in books like Gould’s that Wexler sent the tape back demanding the vocals be mixed higher – this was a constant source of friction between Atlantic and Stax executives – and that the change was made. That never happened, Stewart says. “It was released in its original form.”

“No way I could have mustered up the energy to mix that record again,” Cropper says, adding that Wexler often took credit for the remix but that the executive may have later listened to the mono version created for a posthumous album, which would have naturally brought the vocals higher, and thought he had gotten his way.

The song was released on January 8th, 1968. Redding’s death certainly fueled interest, but the song’s lyrics spoke to every working man who wanted to get away from the bosses and just relax a little. Those lyrics also resonated powerfully with soldiers in Vietnam, according to Doug Bradley and Craig Werner’s We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War.

The single topped the charts on March 16th and eventually sold more than 2 million copies. “I remember giving the gold record to Zelma in a presentation,” Stewart says. “But I kept thinking about how Otis never got to experience this.” 

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/inside-otis-reddings-sittin-on-the-dock-of-the-bay-w511338

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Breaking Down the Best Albums of 2017: Trends, Surprises and Methodology

December 10th, 2017 · Guitar

How did Kesha’s Rainbow end up near the top of the top of Rolling Stone‘s list of the top 50 albums of 2017? Why is Jay-Z’s 4:44 ranked below Migos’ Culture? Who are Open Mike Eagle, Code Orange and Songhoy Blues? Why did 2017 see so many pop acts embracing rock, and rock bands going pop? These questions and more are answered in the latest episode of Rolling Stone Music Now, which dives deep into our albums list, as well as some of the thinking behind it.

Rolling Stone‘s Jon Dolan, Brittany Spanos and Chris Weingarten join the show’s host, Brian Hiatt, to explain the list, play some choice music samples, and take a look at the year’s broader trends in music. Listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Spotify and tune in Fridays at 1 p.m. ET to hear the show live on Sirius XM’s Volume Channel.

For more on the 2017′s best albums, check out our round-up below of the first half of the year, in which Hiatt, Spanos and Dolan go deeper on Drake, Kendrick Lamar and much more. And tune in Fridays at 1 p.m. ET to hear Rolling Stone Music Now broadcast live on Sirius XM’s Volume, channel 106.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/50-best-albums-of-2017-breakdown-of-trends-methodology-w513588

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Watch Gregg Allman’s Poignant ‘Song for Adam’ Video

December 10th, 2017 · Guitar

A biker reflects on an old friendship in the poignant new video for Gregg Allman‘s take on Jackson Browne‘s “Song for Adam.” Browne lends his vocals to the track, which closes the late Allman’s final album, Southern Blood. Allman died in May and the “Song for Adam” video arrives on what would have been his 70th birthday.

The emotional acoustic ballad, about a friend who is suddenly gone, provides a fitting soundtrack for the Erica Silverman–directed video. The clip stars Zach Chance (of Jamestown Revival), Yates Robertson, Zoe Graham and Johnny McPhail, and the narrative jumps between past and present. In the flashbacks, two friends ride motorcycles down sprawling country roads, but in the present, one of them, now an old man, trudges through a quiet but uneventful life on his own.

Silverman tells Rolling Stone that the character in “Song for Adam” “really reminded me of my father. He was a motorcycle riding badass, who lived and died in Florida. I pulled a lot of the narrative from his life. He and Gregg were born the same year and probably would’ve been buds.”

Of the clip, she adds: “We worked hard on this little video, shooting in multiple cities all over Texas. I grew up listening to the Allman Brothers, and couldn’t believe the opportunity. Gregg and his music represent so much to so many different people. I hope the video carries an ounce of his spirit. This is for you Gregg, I miss you, we all miss you. And congrats on that Grammy nomination! Some legends never die.”

Southern Blood was released posthumously in September. In an interview with Rolling Stone, producer Don Was reflected on the making of the album and the emotional session that produced “Song for Adam.” Was said Allman chose the song because it reminded him of his late brother, Duane, and when he arrived at the line “Still it seems he stopped singing in the middle of his song,” Was said the rocker began to choke up. 

“He wasn’t able to finish the verse,” Was said. “He never got the last two lines. I know he was thinking about his brother. We all decided, ‘Let’s not fix it.’”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/premieres/watch-gregg-allmans-poignant-song-for-adam-video-w513549

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Roxy Music Plan Massive 45th Anniversary Reissue of Debut LP

December 10th, 2017 · Guitar

Art rock pioneers Roxy Music will revisit their 1972 self-titled debut album in early 2018 with a 45th anniversary reissue packed with unreleased demos, outtakes, radio sessions and more.

Roxy Music: 45th Anniversary Edition will arrive February 2nd in a variety of formats, including a 3CD/DVD Super Deluxe Edition that also comes packed with a 136-page book.

In addition to the remastered original album, the reissue also features alternate versions of every Roxy Music song, whether in the form of their introductory demo tape and studio outtakes. Roxy Music’s BBC performances from the era, including a pair of Peel Sessions and a March 1972 radio concert, are also housed in the deluxe reissue.

The DVD will boast a 5.1 surround sound remix courtesy of Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson as well as live performances from 1972, including the band’s “Virginia Plain” performance from Top of the Pops and four songs played on French TV at Paris’ Bataclan.

Roxy Music arrived in June 1972 after the band had roughly 10 shows under their belt. At the time, the band was comprised of singer Bryan Ferry, saxophonist Andy Mackay, guitarist Phil Manzanera, drummer Paul Thompson and Brian Eno, who handled synthesizers and “treatments” early in Roxy Music’s tenure.

Ferry said of reaction to the band’s self-titled album in a statement, “We never really felt accepted, I can see how the old guard would have felt threatened by it, because it was so jammed full of ideas and a massive amount of energy. But we hadn’t paid our dues, not in the same way. And we’re still not a part of it, not really, even to this day. That’s been very hard over the years, to try and make it work without being one of them. The ‘them’ is always different, but we’re not part of it. It’s been one of the triumphs, that we’ve managed to stay sane. Or sane-ish. We’re a part of it all, somehow, but still on the outside.”

Mackay added, “Late ‘71/‘72 Roxy was our Arts Lab. The place where we exchanged ideas and dreams freely and created and explored a new sound landscape. We stepped into Command Studios with a complete album in our heads (and half the next one) and it only needed the tape to start running … no album was as easy to record again.

Roxy Music 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition

1. “Re-Make/Re-Model”
2. “Ladytron”
3. “If There Is Something”
4. “Virginia Plain”
5. “2 HB”
6. “The BOB (Medley)”
7. “Chance Meeting”
8. “Would You Believe?”
9. “Sea Breezes”
10. “Bitters End”

EARLY DEMOS April/May 71
“2 HB”
“Chance Meeting”
“The BOB (Medley)”

“If There Is Something”
“2 HB”
“The BOB (Medley)”
“Chance Meeting”
“Sea Breezes”
“Bitters End”
“Virginia Plain”

“If There Is Something”
“The BOB (Medley)”
“Would You Believe?”
“Sea Breezes”

“2 HB”
“Chance Meeting”

“Virginia Plain”
“If There Is Something”

“The BOB (Medley)”
“Sea Breezes”
“Virginia Plain”
“Chance Meeting”


The full album remixed in 5.1 by Steven Wilson

“Re-Make/Re-Model” The Royal College Of Art, 6/6/72
“Ladytron” The Old Grey Whistle Test, 20/6/72
“Virginia Plain” Top Of The Pops, 24/8/72
“Re-Make/Re-Model” Full House, 25/11/72
“Ladytron” Full House, 25/11/72
“Would You Believe” French TV, Bataclan, Paris, 26/11/72
“If There Is Something” French TV, Bataclan, Paris, 26/11/72
“Sea Breezes” French TV, Bataclan, Paris, 26/11/72
“Virginia Plain” French TV, Bataclan, Paris, 26/11/72

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/roxy-music-plan-massive-45th-anniversary-reissue-of-debut-lp-w513650

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Rapper Dave East on Prison, Islam, Reviving Nineties-Style Skits

December 9th, 2017 · Guitar

Dave East may be the least likely member of New York’s new rap aristocracy to conquer the charts. The East Harlem native’s peers, like Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, French Montana and A$AP Rocky, all crested via genre-blending songs that blur the line between electronic pop and clubby trap anthems and boast hooky, unforgettable choruses. By contrast, Dave East hearkens to the height of Rotten Apple rap, a Nineties aesthetic of grizzled street themes, thug bravado and, as J Cole once put it, “when you could get a platinum plaque without no melody.”

Still, that didn’t keep the 29-year-old rapper’s debut project for Def Jam Records, Paranoia: A True Story, from landing at Number Nine on the Billboard charts upon its August release. It’s his second Top 40 release; last year, his mixtape Kairi Channel, which he named after his newborn daughter, peaked at number 38. Dave East’s career has soared despite little attention from urban pop radio. Instead, East has earned cosigns from hip-hop OGs – including Nas, who signed him to Mass Appeal Records. His biggest smash so far may be “Wrote My Way Out,” a gritty, piano-inflected track he recorded with Nas, Aloe Blacc and Lin-Manuel Miranda for the chart-topping Hamilton Mixtape. He has also hit the studio with Lil Uzi Vert, Drake, Emeli Sande, and Trey Songz.

“You’re going to hear a lot more artists that are actually rapping, that’s actually focused on their lyrics, from New York City,” East tells Rolling Stone during a recent phone interview. He’s rumored to be dropping a sequel, Paranoia 2, sometime in the next few months. 

East hasn’t been entirely absent from online rap chatter. He polished his acting chops on Gabrielle Union’s soapy, smart BET drama Being Mary Jane, and his 1.3 million Instagram followers often speculate on his personal life. Yet, contrary to recent trends, Paranoia eschews melodramatic pop crooning in favor of reflective, nuanced rhymes. And it’s stitched together with the kind of old-school, hilariously unfunny skits that were widely used during hip-hop’s golden era.

“Nobody uses skits at all anymore, so it seems like I use a lot,” he says, adding that they helped shape Paranoia into a fully-fledged album with a conceptual framework, not just an assemblage of demos and would-be singles. “That’s how I grew up on tapes. Biggie tapes, Biggie albums would have skits. The Lox would have skits. Mase would have skits. All the dudes I grew up on in Nineties rap would have skits on their projects, just to make you feel like you were right there with them.”

East launched his rap career after a tumultuous childhood and adolescence as an elite basketball player. While attending high school in Maryland, he excelled in AAU tournaments, where he faced off against future NBA stars like Kevin Durant and Ty Lawson. But after stints at the University of Richmond and Towson University, he “was running around in the streets,” and was eventually imprisoned for six months, where he submitted himself to Islam. “It’s a balance. Nobody’s perfect,” he says. “When I’m out of town, I always try to get some readings or some type of new information to where I’m learning more about Islam, just to become the best Muslim I can become.”

Beginning with his debut mixtape, Change of Plans, East has lyrically documented his life. He spends plenty of time on his ascent from thug to a rap star who trades bars with Rick Ross and Jeezy. But he’s also introspective, particularly on Paranoia’s “Wanna Be Me,” where he admits, “Wish I was closer with my nephew, so much to show my niece/Trying to make way, don’t go shopping, this nigga know he cheap/Trying to learn the music industry the way I know the streets.”

“Growing up in Harlem, growing up in Queens, living in Baltimore, being locked up, going to college, playing ball, trying to sell weed, then trying to rap. I’ve just been through a lot in 29 years, so I got a lot to talk about,” he says. “I always tell people, I never get writer’s block because it’s coming straight from my brain, like, real-life experiences. I’m like the news. I’m just reporting it for myself.”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/rapper-dave-east-on-prison-islam-nineties-style-skits-w513539

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Beach Boys Unearth Rare Studio, Live Tracks for New ‘Sunshine’ Sets

December 9th, 2017 · Guitar

The Beach Boys unearthed more archival material, including dozens of previously unreleased songs, with their two new retrospective sets, 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow 2: The Studio Sessions and Live Sunshine – 1967. The digital audio collections, available to purchase or stream now, follow the June-issued double-LP, 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow.

All three of the releases document the group’s pivotal post-Pet Sounds period – including sessions for Smiley Smile and Wild Honey, the two 1967 albums they recorded after shelving the famously ambitious SMiLE LP. 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow 2: The Studio Sessions includes 29 studio session recordings, and Live Sunshine – 1967 features 109 live recordings, most of which are previously unreleased.

Highlights from the Studio Sessions set include an a cappella version of “Heroes and Villains,” the previously unreleased “Tune L” and outtake “Good News.” The live set includes recordings from Hawaii, Detroit, Washington D.C.; White Plains, New York; Pittsburgh and Boston.

The Beach Boys oversaw the creative process for all three collections, which Mark Linett and Alan Boyd co-produced. 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow included Linett and Boyd’s first-ever stereo mix of Wild Honey; the previously unreleased “live” album Lei’d in Hawaii, studio recordings from the Wild Honey and Smiley Smile sessions and concert recordings spanning 1967 to 1970.

The Beach Boys: 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow 2: The Studio Sessions Track List

All tracks previously unreleased

1. “Heroes And Villains” – A Cappella
2. “Vegetables” – Track And Background Vocals
3. “She’s Going Bald” – Track And Background Vocals
4. “Little Pad” – A Cappella
5. “With Me Tonight” – Session Highlight
6. “Wind Chimes” – Track And Background Vocals
7. “Gettin’ Hungry” – Track And Background Vocals
8. “Whistle In” – Track And Background Vocals
9. “Aren’t You Glad – Stereo Single Mix
10. “I Was Made To Love Her” – Track And Background Vocals
11. “Country Air” – Track And Background Vocals
12. “Darlin’” – Track And Background Vocals
13. “I’d Love Just Once To See You” – Track And Background Vocals
14. “Here Comes The Night” – A Cappella
15. “Let The Wind Blow” – A Cappella
16. “How She Boogalooed It” – Track And Stereo Last Verse
17. “Lonely Days” – Session Highlight And Track
18. “Time To Get Alone” – Backing Track
19. “Cool Cool Water” – Alternate Mix
20. “Can’t Wait Too Long” – Alternative Mix With Tag
21. “Tune L – Session” – Unreleased
22. “Good News” – Outtake
23. “Surfin’ – Lei’d In Hawaii / Studio Backing Track
24. “Heroes And Villains” – Lei’d In Hawaii / Studio Version
25. “With A Little Help From My Friends” – Session Highlight And Track With Background Vocals
26. “Barbara Ann” – Lei’d In Hawaii / Studio Backing Track
27. “California Girls” – Lei’d In Hawaii / Studio Stereo Mix
28. “God Only Knows – Lei’d In Hawaii / Studio Stereo Mix
29. “Surfer Girl” – Lei’d In Hawaii / Studio Stereo Mix – Alternate Take

The Beach Boys – Live Sunshine – 1967 Track List

* = track previously released on 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow / all other tracks previously unreleased

1. “Heroes And Villains” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
2. “God Only Knows” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
3. “Good Vibrations” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
4. “The Letter” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
5. “You’re So Good To Me” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
6. “Hawaii – Rehearsal” / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
7. “All Day All Night” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
8. “California Girls” – Rehearsal Take 1 / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
9. “Surfin’” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
10. “Sloop John B” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
11. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
12. “California Girls” – Rehearsal Take 2 / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
13. “The Letter” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
14. “Hawaii” – Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
15. “You’re So Good To Me” – Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
16. “Surfer Girl” – Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
17. “Surfin’” – Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
18. “Gettin’ Hungry” – Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
19. “Sloop John B” – Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
20. “California Girls” – Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
21. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
22. “Heroes And Villains” – Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
23. “God Only Knows” – Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
24. “Good Vibrations” – Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
25. “Barbara Ann” – Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
26. “The Letter” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
27. “Hawaii” – Rehearsal” / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67 [new edit mix]
28. “You’re So Good To Me” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
29. “God Only Knows” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
30. “Help Me Rhonda” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
31. “California Girls” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
32. “Good Vibrations” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
33. “Heroes And Villains” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67 [new edit mix]
34. “Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
35. “The Lord’s Prayer” – Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
36. “Hawthorne Boulevard” – Instrumental / Live in Honolulu / 1967 *
37. “Hawaii” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
38. “You’re So Good To Me” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
39. “Help Me Rhonda” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
40. “California Girls” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
41. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
42. “Gettin’ Hungry” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67 [new edit mix]
43. “Surfer Girl” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
44. “Surfin’” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67 [new edit mix]
45. “Sloop John B” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
46. “The Letter” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67 [new edit mix]
47. “God Only Knows” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
48. “Good Vibrations” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
49. “Heroes And Villains” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
50. “Barbara Ann” – Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
51. “Barbara Ann” – Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
52. “Darlin’” – Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
53. “Country Air” – Live In Detroit / 11/17/67 *
54. “I Get Around” – Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
55. “How She Boogalooed It” – Live In Detroit / 11/17/67 *
56. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
57. “God Only Knows” – Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
58. “California Girls” – Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
59. “Wild Honey” – Live In Detroit / 11/17/67 *
60. “Graduation Day” – Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
61. “Good Vibrations” – Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
62. “Johnny B. Goode” – Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
63. “Barbara Ann” – Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
64. “Darlin’” – Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
65. “I Get Around” – Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
66. “Surfer Girl” – Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
67. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
68. “God Only Knows” – Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
69. “California Girls” – Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67 *
70. “Wild Honey” – Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
71. “Good Vibrations” – Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
72. “Graduation Day” – Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67 *
73. “Johnny B. Goode” – Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
74. “Help Me Rhonda” – Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
75. “Barbara Ann” – Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
76. “Darlin’” – Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
77. “Surfer Girl” – Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
78. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
79. “God Only Knows” – Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
80. “California Girls” – Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
81. “Wild Honey” – Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
82. “Graduation Day” – Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
83. “Good Vibrations” – Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
84. “Help Me Rhonda” – Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
85. “Barbara Ann” – Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
86. “I Get Around” – Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
87. “Darlin’” – Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67 *
88. “Surfer Girl” – Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
89. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
90. “God Only Knows” – Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
91. “California Girls” – Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
92. “Wild Honey” – Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
93. “Good Vibrations” – Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
94. “Johnny B. Goode” – Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
95. “Graduation Day” – Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
96. “Sloop John B” – Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
97. “Help Me Rhonda” – Live In Boston / 11/23/67
98. “Barbara Ann” – Live In Boston / 11/23/67
99. “Darlin’” – Live In Boston / 11/23/67
100. “Surfer Girl” – Live In Boston / 11/23/67
101. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – Live In Boston / 11/23/67
102. “God Only Knows” – Live In Boston / 11/23/67
103. “California Girls” – Live In Boston / 11/23/67
104. “Wild Honey” – Live In Boston / 11/23/67
105. “Good Vibrations” – Live In Boston / 11/23/67
106. “I Get Around” – Live In Boston / 11/23/67 *
107. “Sloop John B” – Live In Boston / 11/23/67
108. “Graduation Day” – Live In Boston / 11/23/67
109. “Johnny B. Goode” – Live In Boston / 11/23/67

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/beach-boys-unearth-rare-studio-live-tracks-w513652

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Watch Sia’s Festive ‘Ho Ho Ho’ Video

December 9th, 2017 · Guitar

Sia has unveiled the new video for “Ho Ho Ho,” the second chapter in a Claymation trilogy showcasing songs from her seasonal LP Everyday Is Christmas.

Picking up where the “Candy Cane Lane” video left off, “Ho Ho Ho” finds Sia’s yarn-haired Claymation character pursuing a snow monster into a secluded house in the middle of the woods.

After befriending the creature, the little girl discovers the root of the snow monster’s anger – an icy Midas touch – and, with the help of gloves, helps the monster string up Christmas lights and celebrate the holiday.

The trilogy, inspired by bygone Claymation specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, will conclude next Friday with the video for “Under the Mistletoe.”

Sia first unwrapped her Everyday Is Christmas with an all-star video for “Santa’s Coming for Us,” starring Susan Lucci, Kristen Bell, J.B. Smoove, Henry Winkler and many more.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-sias-festive-ho-ho-ho-video-w513705

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