“Light and shade,” Jimmy Page once told me, speaking to the secret of Led Zeppelin’s universal popularity, and never was that combination more on display than on the title song to Jethro Tull’s September 1975 “Minstrel in the Gallery”.
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“The Principle of Moments”, Robert Plant’s second solo album, first convinced us that Plant could sustain a viable solo career outside of the legendary Led Zeppelin, which he fronted for twelve fabled years, but for me personally it was “Shaken ‘n’ Stirred” in 1985, served pre-release on a Walkman at 40,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, that began my professional relationship with the complicated singer.
The top 10 list of rock game-changing debut albums is short but breathtaking. Among them : Are You Experienced? , Led Zeppelin 1 , Music from Big Pink , Ramones , Please Please Me , Never Mind the Bollocks …(more)
The mid-Eighties was a most difficult time for the titans of rock’s Second Generation. The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and The Who were no longer recording, touring, and in some cases even SPEAKING together. Rock’n’roll was officially in full-blown midlife crisis …
For its thirtieth anniversary, “Metallica” (affectionately known as “The Black Album” in the same way The Beatles had been dubbed “The White Album”), Metallica’s lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and lead throat James Hetfield show how the band sits atop the family tree of hard rock/heavy metal evolution.
with 100,000 people for Live Aid US, I stood back of center stage about ten feet behind Phil Collins who was seated at a black grand piano. Beside me looking over his 3″x 5″ recipe cards with notes for stage announcements stood Jack Nicholson. Collins, fresh off the Concorde supersonic jet which had conveyed him from his earlier performance at the London Live Aid concert, sang his surprise movie hit “Against All Odds” and then “the other song I know on piano”…
It is the fiftieth anniversary of The YES Album , a progressive rock touchstone. If the British Invasion bands led by The Beatles and Rolling Stones wanted to be rock’n’roll’s second verse after “Be Bop a Lula” and “Maybe Baby”, then London’s King Crimson, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and YES were determined to be rock’s “C” section, the musical bridge which takes the listener somewhere unexpectedly before returning to the familiar refrain.
Showco introduces the concept of the portable custom P.A., commissioned by and traveling with the bands; John Tedesco‘s pneumatic lighting towers; Kirby Wyatt, Randy Blair, Steve Jander, & Led Zeppelin play with lasers; the “gel-change project”; after ten years of non-stop expansion and reinvestment back into the company, double near-disasters force a fires sale and […]
Simple Minds broke from performing the hit “Don’t You Forget About Me” in the soundtrack rolling under the end credits of the John Hughes Brat Pack movie “The Breakfast Club” in early 1985. But that’s just the beginning of the story of Simple Minds breakthrough album “Once Upon a Time” we have lead singer/ lyricist Jim Kerr here In the Studio.
For the story 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;