Cold As Ice – Foreigner – 1977

February 14, 2017

foreigner-cold-as-ice-single-coverA couple of Brits and an American walk into a band and form, Foreigner; a band who go on to have multiple hit records including 1977’s, Cold As Ice. And, the next minute… it’s in an NFL Super Bowl advertisement!

foreigner fax

  • Foreigner formed in New York back in 1976. Original members were Englishmen, Mick Jones (not to be confused with The Clash guitarist) and Ian McDonald (ex-King Crimson) and American vocalist, Lou Gramm, another Englishman, Dennis Elliott, and a couple more Americans, Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi.  That’s quite a line-up – within a year they had a #4 US hit with Feels Like the First Time.  A couple of decades later, they are still going strong (with a few line-up changes) and have become one of the world’s best-selling bands with over 80 million records sold worldwide.
  • Included in their successes is the huge hit I Want to Know What Love Is, which reach the top of both the US and UK charts. Add to that, Cold As Ice (1977), Hot Blooded (1978), Double Vision (1978), Urgent (1981), and Waiting for a Girl Like You ((1981), and you got the potential for a pretty strong Greatest Hits album!
  • Foreigner have released ten studio albums and 47 singles. The singles release in recent years have failed to achieve great chart success and one would have to conclude, the band’s heyday was in the 70s and 80s.  Having said that, Foreigner continue to tour and play to large and adoring audiences.

cold as ice fax

  • Cold as Ice was a 1977 hit for British-American band Foreigner. It was lifted from their eponymous debut album.
  • Written by Foreigner members, Mick Jones and Lou Gramm, Cold as Ice was originally the B-side of some versions of the single, Feels Like the First Time.
  • Cold As Ice peaked at #6 on the US singles chart and #24 on the UK singles chart.
  • Kanye West sampled Cold As Ice as part of the intro for his song Cold at Glastonbury 2015.
  • A cover version of Cold As Ice was used in a Wendy’s advertisement commercial during the 2017 NFL Super Bowl.
  • Cold As Ice lyrics.

cold as ice – foreigner – 1977 – video

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Leon Russell 1942 – 2016

November 14, 2016

leon-russellLeon Russell died in his sleep in at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 13, 2016, at the age of 74, his wife said in a statement on his website. In 2010, he underwent surgery to stop leaking brain fluid, and he suffered a heart attack in July 2016. He was recovering from heart surgery.

Elton John, who had once been Russell’s opening act, said “He was my biggest influence as a piano player, a singer and a songwriter.”  On hearing of Russell’s death, he said “My darling Leon Russell passed away last night. He was a mentor, inspiration and so kind to me.”

Click here to read the New York Times press release.

 


I Want You To Want Me – Cheap Trick – 1977 & 1979

September 23, 2016

cheap-trick-i-want-you-to-want-me-1977Perhaps Cheap Trick’s best known song, I Want You To Want Me didn’t even tickle the charts first time around—then came the live version (1979), and a #7 hit in the US and #29 in the UK. 

cheap trick fax

  • Tom Petersson, Randy “Xeno” Hogan (replaced very early on by Robin Zander) and Bun E. Carlos formed Cheap Trick in Rockford, Illinois back in the 60s.  After going through several band names, the boys went to a Slade concert.  Tom noted that the band used “every cheap trick in the book” as part of their act.  That became the band’s new name – one which has been used since 1973 through to today.
  • Tcheap-trick-1he band’s first album, Cheap Trick, was released in early 1977.  Two more followed and, while acclaimed by fans, had little real success in the US with none of them making it to the Top 40.
  • In Japan it was a different story, however.  All three albums went gold and, when Cheap Trick toured there for the first time in April 1978, their reception was reminiscent of Beatlemania.  While in Japan, the band recorded two concerts and Cheap Trick at Budokan was born.  Initially intended for release in Japan only, it was released in the US in 1979 and launched the band into international stardom—the album went triple platinum in the US.
  • The biggest hit from the album was I Want You to Want Me.  It had previously been released on the album, In Color.
  • The band’s next studio album, Dream Police, was a hit, as was the title track.
  • By 1980, Cheap Trick was headlining arenas and engaged George Martin to produce their album All Shook Up – another gold record.
  • Band members recorded tracks for John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s album Double Fantasy – their cuts were never used on the original album with John favouring a lighter sound. They can be found on bootlegs and various anthologies, however.
  • After four decades, Cheap Trick continues to tour and can now lay claim to over 5,000 live performances.cheap-trick-2

i want you to want me fax

  • Written by Rick Nielsen, I Want You to Want Me first appeared on Cheap Tricks second album In Color.  Released in 1977, it was the first single from that album, and it did not chart in the United States.
  • I Want You to Want Me was, however a #1 single in Japan paving the way for Cheap Trick’s Budokan concerts and their subsequent international success.
  • The live version of I Want You to Want Me, released in 1979, became Cheap Trick’s biggest selling single, reaching #7 US charts. It was also the band’s highest charting UK single, peaking at #29.
  • Bass player Tom says:

My recollection is that Rick did that song as a bit of a joke, because at the time when we had done that song there was a lot of pop music on the radio—ABBA, and all sorts of things, disco, Rick thought, ‘I’m just going to do an over-the-top pop song. I just want to do one that’s so silly—total pop—and then we’ll do a heavy version of it.’ He didn’t know what was going to happen with it. The idea was to have it like a heavy metal pop song. Cheap Trick doing ABBA—except a very heavy version.

  • I Want You To Want Me has been covered by an eclectic mix of artists including: Dwight Yoakam, Lindsay Lohan, and Chris Isaak.

I Want You To Want Me lyrics.

i want you to want me – cheap trick – 1977 – video

i want you to want me – cheap trick – 1979 at the budokan – 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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Come and Get Your Love – Redbone – 1974

July 3, 2016

Redbone Come and Get Your Love 1974The first Native American band to have a #1 hit either at home or internationally! Redbone’s best known hit, Come and Get Your Love, peaked at #5 on the US charts in 1974.

redbone fax

  • Redbone was formed in 1969 by brothers Pat and Lolly Vasquez-Vegas and became the first Native American band to have a #1 single in the US and internationally – their first single The Witch Queen of New Orleans topped the charts in Belgium in 1971.
  • The brother’s music career began with Pat winning a singing contest sponsored by Coca-Cola.  With it came a recording contract.
  • redbone 1The brothers moved to LA, formed their band and began playing in clubs around Hollywood and Sunset Blvd.  They worked hard writing material and playing guitar and bass on records by some familiar 60s and 70s icons such as, Tina Turner, Sonny & Cher, James Brown, Little Richard, and Elvis.
  • Peter DePoe and Robert Anthony Avila (aka Tony Bellamy) joined the band and they signed to Epic Records.
  • Pat always said it was Jimi Hendrix – himself part Cherokee – who inspired them to form an all-Native American band.  Meanwhile, Jimi once said Lolly was his favourite guitar player, and Pat his favourite bass player!  That’s pretty high praise.  Jimi also cited the Vegas brothers as his greatest musical influence!!
  • Redbone is cajun term for a mixed race person.
  • Redbone released their first album – Redbone – in 1970.  By 1977, they had produced seven albums and achieved five hit singles, including the #5 hit, Come and Get Your Love.
  • Redbone 2In 2008, Redbone was inducted into the Native American Music Association Hall of Fame.  Then, in 2013, inducted into the NY Smithsonian.  In 2014, Pat was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement “Legend” Award from the West Coast American Indian Music Awards.
  • Tony died in 2009 and Lolly died in 2010.  Pat continues to tour as Redbone using an array of musicians.

come and get your love fax

  • Come and Get Your Love was written by Lolly Vegas and featured on the 1973 album Wovoka by Native American band Redbone.
  • Come and Get Your Love peaked at #5 on the US singles chart in April 1974, spending 18 weeks in the Top 40 – it was the 4th most popular song of 1974.
  • It is Redbone’s highest charting song.
  • Come and Get Your Love exists in two versions; the shorter radio version and a longer version, with an introductory slow part, plus a longer repeated coda.  The song also features the use of an electric sitar.
  • In 1995, German band Real McCoy released a cover version.  It peaked at #19 on the US singles chart and #18 on the UK charts
  • Cyndi Lauper samples the main hook of Come and Get Your Love on her remix of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun which features on the soundtrack to the movie To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.
  • Other movies to use Come and Get Your Love include: Dance Me Outside, Dick, and Guardians of the Galaxy.  It is the opening theme for Netflix’s animated-comedy series F Is for Family and featured in Sky UK’s advertisement for their superfast fibre broadband.
  • Come and Get Your Love lyrics.

come and get your love – redbone – 1974 – video – short version

come and get your love – redbone – 1974 – video – long version

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Take Me to the River – Talking Heads – 1978

June 29, 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 – the first being 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 3The 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 1Talking 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.
  • These 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

  • Talking heads 2For 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 – 1978 – video

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