September – Earth, Wind & Fire – 1978

August 31, 2016

EWF September 1978Originally The Salty Peppers, Maurice White’s band, Earth, Wind & Fire went on to huge success which included the 1978 hit, September

 earth, wind & fire fax

  • Rolling Stone Magazine declared Earth, Wind & Fire to have “changed the sound of black pop”.
  • Founded in Chicago in 1971 by Maurice White, Earth, Wind & Fire grew out of a previous band with the very uncool name of The Salty Peppers.
  • EWF 1aOther band members included Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Ralph Johnson, Larry Dunn, Al McKay and Andrew Woolfolk.
  • Earth, Wind & Fire has received 20 Grammy nominations, winning six awards.  Maurice and Philip have won Grammys as individuals.  The band has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • With over 100 million records sold, the band is one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.
  • But it doesn’t stop there, incredibly, five band members, Maurice White, Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Larry Dunn and Al McKay, have been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
  • Throughout the ‘70s and early ‘80s, Earth, Wind & Fire had a number of funk/disco hits, including: Shining Star, Devotion, Can’t Hide Love, September, Boogie Wonderland, and After the Love Has Gone.  Despite a plethora of hits, the band hit the #1 spot on the US singles charts only once – with Shining Star in 1974.  September was their highest charting UK hit (#3).
  • Earth, Wind & Fire have influence many artists with three in particular, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, and Dionne Warwick, heaping praise on the band.
  • Maurice passed away in February 2016 but the band continues to perform with Philip Bailey still leading the vocals (which he previously shared with Maurice).EWF 2

earth, wind & fire trivia

  • Earth, Wind & Fire was the first African-American act to sell out Madison Square Garden.
  • President Barack Obama invited Earth, Wind & Fire to perform at the White House for the first social event of his administration.

september fax

  • SEWF 1eptember was released as a single by Earth, Wind & Fire on November 18, 1978. 
  • It was written by Earth, Wind & Fire members, Maurice White, Al McKay, and Allee Willis.
  • It was recorded during the I Am sessions and featured on the band’s The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1.
  • September reached #1 on the US R&B chart, #8 on the US singles chart, and #3 on the UK singles chart.
  • The song was also later released as December.  Chord changes andmelody remained identical, with the lyrics re-written for the “…Twenty-fifth of December…”
  • September has been covered and sampled by numerous artists and appeared in dozens of movies and television programmes.
  • September lyrics.

september – earth, wind & fire – 1978 – video


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Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad – Meat Loaf – 1977

August 20, 2016

Meat Loaf Two out of Three Ain't Bad coverGreat singer – great song – Meat Loaf’s 1977 hit, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.

 meat loaf fax

  • With over 80 million records sold, Michael Lee Aday is one of the highest selling music artists of all time.
  • Born in Dallas, Texas, Michael is better known as Meat Loaf.  Meat Loaf’s music career began in Los Angeles with his band, Meat Loaf Soul, named after his mother’s favourite dinner.  Their first gig was in Huntington Beach opening for Van Morrison’s band, Them.
  • Meat Loaf 2By the 1970s, Meat Loaf had gone solo although his first album was on a Motown subsidiary label as a duet with Shaun “Stoney” Murphy.  The album’s production team wrote and selected the songs while Meat Loaf and Stoney were invited to lay down their vocals, nothing more.  The album, titled Stoney & Meatloaf (Meatloaf being shown as one word), was released in 1971 and left the charts untouched.
  • Then came the trilogy of Bat Out of Hell albums.  Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose.  The first sold more than 43 million copies worldwide and continues, 40 years after its release, to sell around 200,000 copies each year.  It stayed on the charts for a phenomenal nine years.
  • Meat Loaf won the 1993 Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for the song I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).  That song being his only #1 single, hitting the top of the charts in over ten countries around the world, including USA and UK.
  • Alongside his singing career, Meat Loaf has appeared in over 50 movies and television shows.
  • Meat Loaf 3It was in the early 1970s while touring with the musical Hair that Meat Loaf auditioned for a musical named, More Than You Deserve, that he met his future collaborator Jim Steinman.  Jim wrote most the material for the Bat Out of Hell trilogy.  He also wrote or co-wrote hit songs for: Bonnie Tyler (Total Eclipse of the Heart), Air Supply (Making Love Out of Nothing at All), and Boyzone, No Matter What.  Meat Loaf and Jim subsequently fell out and ceased working together.
  • Meat Loaf continues to perform – with varying reviews – today, although it is amazing that he’s lasted this long.  It’s said that he’s cheated death on numerous occasions, including: a serious car crash, being struck on the head with a shot during a shot put event, jumping off a stage during a concert and breaking both of his legs, and being afflicted with Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, a heart condition.  In October 2006, his private jet had to make an emergency landing at Stansted Airport, London, after the plane’s landing gear failed.  In 2011, he fainted on stage in Pittsburgh; in June 2014, he collapsed while on stage in Edmonton – his vocal double track continuing while he lay unconscious on the stage.

Meat Loaf 1two out of three ain’t bad fax

  • Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad was written by Jim Steinman and recorded by Meat Loaf for his 1977 Bat Out of Hell album.
  • The song peaked at #11 on the US singles chart and 32 on the UK singles chart.  It earned a million-selling Gold single.
  • Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad was the final song written for Bat Out of Hell.  In 2003, Jim said of the song:

“I remember Mimi Kennedy [a cast member of Jim’s then-current musical Rhinegold] telling me, “Steiny, your stuff is so complicated. Can’t you write something simple?”  And while she was saying that the oldies station was on the radio and it was playing that old Elvis song, ‘I Want You, I Need,’ whatever it was. ‘I Want You, I Need You, I Love You’, you know. I just started singing my own song but it was ‘I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.’ She said, “Why don’t you write something simple like that, ‘I want you, I need you, I love you’?” I said, “Well I’ll try.” I don’t try to make them complicated. I remember going home and I tried so hard but the best I could do was: I want you, I need you but there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you, don’t be sad, ’cause two out of three ain’t bad. So it was still a twist but it was my closest to a simple song, and one Elvis could have done.”

  • Two versions of the song exist; one timed at around 5:27 and one at around 3:50.
  • Todd Rundgren produced the Bat Out Of Hell album. On this song, he used the other three members of his band Utopia: Kasim Sulton on bass, Willie Wilcox on drums, and Roger Powell on synthesizer. Todd played guitar and sang BVs on this one.
  • Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad lyrics.

two out of three ain’t bad – meat loaf – 1977 – video

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Take Me to the River – Talking Heads – 1978

August 11, 2016

Talking Heads Take Me to The RiverFor all their brilliance, Talking Heads only once cracked the top ten singles charts in the US and the UK.  The former, in 1983 with Burning Down the House, the latter in 1985 with Road to Nowhere.  Take Me to the River was their second top 100 US hit, a follow-up to 1977’s Psycho Killer. 

talking heads fax

  • Formed in New York in 1977, Talking Heads were pioneers of the New Wave music scene.
  • Talking Heads In Concert

    HOLLYWOOD, CA – CIRCA 1980s: (From L to R) Jerry Harrison, David Byrne, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth of the Talking Heads perform at a concert circa the early-1980s in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

    The band was made up of Chris Frantz (drums), Tina Weymouth (bass), Jerry Harrison (keyboards, guitar), and, of course, the amazing David Byrne (lead vocals, guitar).

  • The band produced eight studio albums, two live albums, nine compilation albums, one remix album, one video album, thirty-one singles and fifteen music videos.
  • Four of the band’s albums appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and three of their songs (“Psycho Killer”, “Life During Wartime”, and “Once in a Lifetime”) were included among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll – that’s pretty good going!
  • Talking Heads officially disbanded in 1991, before Tina, Chris, and Jerry reunited in 1996 for a one-off album called No Talking, Just Head under the name The Heads in 1996.  Without David as vocalist, the band commandeered the vocal talents of a number of artists including, Debbie Harry, Gordon Gano (Violent Femmes), Michael Hutchence, and Maria McKee.
  • Talking Heads 3These days, David continues his solo career, Jerry is a record producer with work by bands such as the Violent Femmes’, the Fine Young Cannibals, General Public, Crash Test Dummies, and No Doubt to his credit.  Chris and Tina married in 1977 and have been recording as Tom Tom Club since 1981.
  • In 2002, Talking Heads was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  At the ceremony they played, Life During Wartime, Psycho Killer and Burning Down the House.

take me to the river fax

  • For all the great songs written by Talking Heads, Take Me to the River is not one of them.  Take Me to the River was written in 1974 by Al Green and his guitarist Mabon  Hodges.
  • At least three well-known versions exist; Al Green, Syl Johnson and Talking Heads all had hits with the song.  Al Green’s version was, in 2004, ranked #117 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • Talking Heads’ version peaked at #28 on the US charts.
  • In 2000, the tune was used in the popular animatronic singing toy Big Mouth Billy Bass. According to Mabon Hodges, he made more money in royalties from that toy than from any previous versions.
  • Take Me to the River lyrics.

take me to the river – talking heads – 1974 – video

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