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Saturday, January 24, 2009

SLY & THE FAMILY STONE : Everyday People (1968/9)

Why not give 2009 a boost with some Sly? Here is a multi-racial group singing one of the most positive messages ever put in a pop song; all in 2.5 minutes!

Here's allmusic:
Perhaps Sly & the Family Stone's most universal message, "Everyday People" is sort of Sly Stone's own "All You Need Is Love." A simple, direct comment on discrimination, the literate and concise words come through to any listener, whatever their creed or color. Musically, the song is built around an almost nursery rhyme melody and rhythm, and this suggests that perhaps Sly had the lyric idea at the outset of the creation and attempted (successfully) to make the overall song as accessible as possible.

And from the wiki blurb:
The song is one of Sly Stone's pleas for peace and equality between differing races and social groups, a major theme and focus for the band. The Family Stone featured Caucasians Greg Errico and Jerry Martini in its lineup, as well as females Rose Stone and Cynthia Robinson; making it the first major integrated band in rock history. Sly & the Family Stone's message was about peace and equality through music, and this song reflects the same.

Unlike the band's more typically funky and psychedelic records, "Everyday People" is a mid-tempo number with a more mainstream pop feel. Sly, singing the main verses for the song, explains that he is "no better/and neither are you/we are the same/whatever we do."
Sly's sister Rose Stone sings bridging sections that mock the futility of people hating each other for being tall, short, fat, skinny, white, black, or anything else. The bridges of the song contain the line "different strokes for different folks," which became a popular catchphrase in 1969.

For the chorus, all of the singing members of the band (Sly, Rosie, Larry Graham, and Sly's brother Freddie Stone) proclaim that "I am everyday people," meaning that each of them (and each listener as well) should consider himself or herself as parts of one whole, not of smaller, specialized factions.
Song : "Everyday People" by Sly & The Family Stone
Single A-side (Nov. 1968); also from the LP "STAND!" (Epic) May 3, 1969

Sly Stone : vocals
Rose Stone : vocals, backing vocals, piano
Little Sister (Vet Stone, Mary McCreary, Elva Mouton) : backing vocals
Freddie Stone : guitar, backing vocals
Larry Graham : bass, backing vocals
Greg Errico : drums
Jerry Martini : tenor sax
Cynthia Robinson : trumpet
Get it here : Everyday People

Saturday, January 17, 2009

THE STOOGES : No Fun (1969)

R.I.P. Ron Asheton (Jul. 17, 1948 - Jan. 6, 2009)
From The Ann Arbour News :
Famed rock-and-roll guitarist and longtime Ann Arbor resident Ronald "Ron" Asheton was found dead in his home on the city's west side, police said.
Asheton, 60, was an original member of The Stooges, a garage-rock band headlined by Iggy Pop and formed in Ann Arbor in 1967.

Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton was found dead early today in his Ann Arbor home.His personal assistant contacted police late Monday night after being unable to reach Asheton for days, Detective Bill Stanford said.
Officers went to the home on Highlake Avenue at around midnight and discovered Asheton's body on a living-room couch. He appeared to have been dead for at least several days, Stanford said.
Detective Sgt. Jim Stephenson said the cause of death is undetermined but investigators do not suspect foul play. Autopsy and toxicology results are pending.
Asheton was born in Washington, D.C. His brother, Scott, who lives in Florida, is the band's drummer.
In 2007, The Stooges reunited and released "The Weirdness," their first album in three decades.

Asked how it felt to be back with The Stooges, Asheton told The News in an interview that year that it was "great to be back on the road."
The Stooges were part of a 1960s music scene in Ann Arbor that included such bands as the MC5, Bob Seger, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, and The Rationals.
And time moves on. Here's their great song, "No Fun", with Iggy Pop in full 'f-you' glory. This was later covered many times by The Sex Pistols, which proves punk's lineage to this group.

Song : "No Fun" by The Stooges
From the LP "THE STOOGES" (Elektra) Aug. 5, 1969

Iggy Stooge (Iggy Pop) : vocals
Dave Alexander : bass
Ron Asheton : guitar
Scott Asheton : drums
John Cale (from The Velvet Underground) : producer

Get it here : No Fun

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Other R.I.P.s of 2008

Here is a small list of other musicians I didn't get a chance to post in 2008; perhaps in the future!

Slamowir Kulpowicz (Feb. 8, 2008) - Polish keyboard player, was a member of Zbigniew Namyslowski's band

Niel Aspinall (Mar. 24, 2008) - road manager of The Beatles (considered the fifth Beatle). Appeared on "Yellow Submarine" (vocals), and "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite" (harmonica)

Mel Galley (Jul. 1, 2008) -guitar player for '70s band Trapeze, and later in Whitesnake!

Phil White (Sep. 6, 2008) - bass, keyboard player of the '70s prog band Space Opera

Richard "Popcorn" Wylie (Sep. 7, 2008) - piano player, worked with The Funk Brothers. Also had some funky solo releases

Marc Moulin (Sep. 26, 2008) - jazz musician

Miriam Makeba (Nov. 9, 2008) - S.African singer

Kenny MacLean (Nov. 24, 2008) - bass player for Platinum Blonde

Pekka Pohjola (Nov. 27, 2008) - Finnish bass player/musician, had some great fusion releases in the '70s. Worked with Made In Sweden, Mike Oldfield, Jukka Tolonen, Wigwam

Odetta (Dec. 2, 2008) - American folk, blues, jazz singer

Saturday, January 10, 2009

HERBIE HANCOCK : Cantaloupe Island (1964)

R.I.P. Freddie Hubbard (Apr. 7, 1938 - Dec. 29, 2008)
Freddie Hubbard, who died (complications of a heart attack) aged 70, was one of the finest and most influential jazz trumpeters of his age during a career that spanned half a century.

Although most at home in the genre of hard bop, in which he made his name in the 1960s, Hubbard was never afraid to experiment – he collaborated with, among others, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins – and in the 1970s he moved into rock-influenced fusion and later funk before finally returning to his roots. His playing was notable for its quicksilver exuberance and its fine range of tone and pace.

This guy was one of the greatest jazz trumpet players, on par with Miles, and he's appeared on too many albums to mention. One notable session, however, is his performance on Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island". This track was funky before 'funk' was invented; it also boasted an all-star lineup with greats Ron Carter and Tony Williams. The rest of the band soon joined Miles Davis as his second quintet in 1965. The song was revived by Us3 in the '90s (called "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)", and their album became Blue Note records best-selling disc of all time.

Song : "Cantaloupe Island" by Herbie Hancock
From the LP "EMPYREAN ISLES" (Blue Note) 1964

Herbie Hancock : piano
Freddie Hubbard : cornet
Ron Carter : bass
Tony Williams : drums

Get it here : Cantaloupe Island

Saturday, January 03, 2009


R.I.P. Mitch Mitchell (Jul. 9, 1946 - Nov. 12, 2008)
From Oregon-live:
Mitch Mitchell, the iconic drummer who provided the explosive heartbeat of the Jimi Hendrix Experience on rock classics including "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" and "Purple Haze," was found dead in a Portland hotel room.
Mitchell, 61, who pioneered a fusion style that allowed him and one of history's greatest guitar players to feed off each other, died of natural causes, the Multnomah County medical examiner said. He was found about 3 a.m. in his room at the Benson Hotel in downtown Portland.
Considered one of rock's greatest drummers, Mitchell was behind the kit at Hendrix's legendary sets at Woodstock, Monterey and the Isle of Wight.
This means now that ALL the members of The Jimi Hendrix Experience have died, the first time an entire '60s rock group has passed away. This is an obvious track to post, as it showcases just how intense a drummer Mitchell was. The song is short enough, but Mitchell filled every second with blistering percussion!

Here's the wiki blurb:
Despite its sexual overtones, the song had an innocuous origin, stemming from a cold New Years Eve in England after a gig, Noel Redding, bass player for The Jimi Hendrix Experience came up with the idea to have Jimi and Cathy as guests at his mother's house. Jimi asked her if he could stand next to her fireplace to warm himself, she agreed, but her Great Dane was in the way, hence the line, "Aw, move over, Rover, and let Jimi take over..." ("Electric Gypsy")

Originally, the album version of the song contained a very short and simple solo, but through several live performances, Hendrix expanded it to become one of his best. The song also features dextrous drumset work by drummer Mitch Mitchell. "Fire" was later covered by many artists, ranging from Alice Cooper to...The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Song : "Fire" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
From the LP "Are You Experienced" (MCA) May 12, 1967 (UK)

Jimi Hendrix : vocals, guitar (RIP 1970)
Noel Redding : bass, backing vocals (RIP 2003)
Mitch Mitchell : drums, backing vocals (RIP 2008)

Get it here : Fire