“When things get put onto celluloid, they tend to get bigger than life,” the late guitarist/ singer Alvin Lee told me by way of explanation as to how Ten Years After was catapulted from the second tier of English boogie and blues by their prime spot in the Woodstock Festival movie documentary. The band utilized that momentum to deliver their most popular album ever in late Summer 1971, ” A Space in Time”, which included “One of These Days”, “Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock’n’Roll You”, and what turned out to be their biggest hit, “I’d Love to Change the World”.
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The hottest New Years Eve ticket in Texas twenty-five years ago was The Toadies live at Dallas’ Bomb Factory. The Ft. Worth band’s “Rubberneck” album had just been certified gold on its way to a million in sales, and even though the Bomb Factory held thousands, the concert sold out in advance, so my radio station Q102 broadcast the Toadies live.
For the 35th anniversary of INXS’ breakthrough album “Listen Like Thieves” in 1985 ( Billboard sales peak at #11), the band’s keyboard player/ songwriter Andrew Farriss, guitar-playing brother Tim Farriss, and guitar/sax man Kirk Pengilly, tell of the tough and tender early days forming in the most remote city in the world, Perth Australia; surviving the one-nighters there, in Sydney and in Melbourne; allying with a talented singer from Hong Kong-via-Hollywood, the mercurial snakehipped Michael Hutchence;
Thirty-five years ago ZZ Top’s”Afterburner” came out. But don’t go looking for it in the 2019 ZZ Top rockumentary film “That Little Ol’ Band from Texas” .That otherwise well-done pastiche of just some of the chapters in this colorful trio’s fifty year telenovella implied that all meaningful recording by ZZ Top wrapped at the conclusion of “Eliminator” way back in 1983. Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard join me here In the Studio on the thirty-fifth anniversary of “Sleeping Bag”,”Stages”,”Woke Up with Wood”, and “Planet of Women”.
Debut release Foreigner containing such big hits as “Feels Like the First Time” and “Cold As Ice” became the fastest-selling debut album in Atlantic Records’ long storied history.
Following the international hit “Year of the Cat” in 1976 with “Time Passages” and “Song on the Radio” two years later, Al Stewart became an unlikely mainstream hitmaker…
…on the Crosby Stills Nash sophomore release Déjà Vu, Neil Young only contributed two songs, no doubt saving even stronger material for his own third solo album barely five months later. Entitled After the Goldrush, writer William Ruhlmann calls the title song “…a mystical ballad that featured some of Young’s most imaginative lyrics and became one of his most memorable songs.”
Woodstock Festival was unequaled in sheer scale, still heard fifty years later in the voices of Carlos Santana, Pete Townshend, the late Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane, Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and the late Alvin Lee of Ten Years After,
Grand Funk Railroad Closer to Home
Ten years after redefining what the guitar composer/ performer could be with 1987’s Surfing with the Alien, Joe Satriani had come to a crossroads in his career and knew that he needed a second act. He delivered in a big way in 1998 with Crystal Planet, and I’ll let AllMusic.com’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine make my […]