Alex Chilton and Chris Bell were the Memphis whiz kids at the heart of Big Star. They mixed British-pop finesse with all-American hard rock, from the surging “Feel” to the acoustic “Thirteen.” Big Star didn’t sell many records, but the Eighties explosion of poppy garage bands would’ve been unimaginable without them.
CLASSIC ALBUM… IN UTERO, NIRVANA
Nirvana hired hard-nosed Steve Albini to record the follow-up to Nevermind. Geffen asked them to clean up some of the results, and you can hear the tension in white-noise ruckus like “Serve the Servants.” But the only thing that can explain the scalding “Rape Me” is inner pain.
Breakup records are rarely this lovely. Sea Change is the pristine sound of everything falling apart, a glossy take on a bummed-out Sixties folk sound. The music seems to be floating up from the bottom of the ocean; the words were straight from Beck’s broken heart.
Rolling Stones Debut New 50th Anniversary Tongue Logo
Band Commissioned Artist Shepard Fairey to Update Famous Tongue-and-Lip Design
"It’s quite amazing when you think about it," Mick Jagger told Rolling Stone late last year, discussing the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary. In honor of the occasion, the band asked artist Shepard Fairey to update their iconic tongue logo with a sleek new design.
The tongue was first used on the Sticky Fingers album sleeve in 1971 and designed by John Pasche, a student the Royal College of Art in London. Pasche was commissioned in 1969 by Jagger, who was unhappy with the designs provided by the Stones label, Decca Records. “The design concept for the tongue was to represent the band’s anti-authoritarian attitude, Mick’s mouth and the obvious sexual connotations,” Pasche later said. “I designed it in such a way that it was easily reproduced and in a style I thought could stand the test of time.” (More via Rolling Stone…)
Rihanna Escapes London Hotel Fire
Singer was Among 300 People Evacuated During the Blaze…
Rihanna escaped from a London hotel fire early this morning after a blaze started in an elevator shaft, reports the Associated Press.
The singer, who was among 300 people evacuated from Corinthia Hotel during the blaze, tweeted a picture of a fire engine following the incident. The London Fire Brigade reported no injuries in the 7th floor fire. (More via Rolling Stone…)
Exclusive Book Excerpt: Amy, My Daughter by Mitch Winehouse
Late Singer’s Father Recounts the Origins of ‘Rehab’…
After the tragic death of Amy Winehouse last year, her father, Mitch, agreed to write a memoir about his daughter’s brief life. In this exclusive excerpt from Amy, My Daughter, he recounts when Amy switched representation from 19 Management to Metropolis Music, her first meeting with producer Mark Ronson and their early work on the tunes that would form her blockbuster album, Back to Black. “You know, they tried to make me go to rehab, and I told them no, no, no,” she told Ronson during a walk in New York, talking about her family. “That’s quite gimmicky,” he said. “We should turn that into a song.” (More via Rolling Stone…)
CLASSIC ALBUM… BOY DON’T CRY, THE CURE
Before they became a goth-punk group, the Cure were a minimalist, inventive post-punk power trio. Boys is all hummable hooks, choppy guitars and mopey vocals. “10:15 Saturday Night” and “Jumping Someone Else’s Train” are ingenious: You wait for a guitar solo and get a club-footed bass line instead.
CLASSIC ALBUM… LIVE AT THE HARLEM SQUARE CLUB, 1963, SAM COOKE
Cooke was elegance personified, but he works this Florida club until it’s hotter than hell, while sounding like he never breaks a sweat. He croons “For Sentimental Reasons” like a superlover, and when the crowd sings along with him, it’s magic.
CLASSIC ALBUM… SUICIDE, SUICIDE
The New York synth punks evoke everything from the Velvet Underground to rockability. Martin Rev’s low-budget electronics are violent and hypnotic; Alan Vega screams as a rhythmic device. Late-night listening to “Frankie Teardrop,” a 10-minute-plus tale of a multiple murder, is not recommended.
CLASSIC ALBUM… IN COLOR, CHEAP TRICK
They were down-home Midwestern boys from Rockford, Illinois, but Cheap Trick had a rock & roll approach as twisted as guitarist Rick Nielsen’s bow ties. With blond pinup boy Robin Zander on vocals, the Trick rocked Beatles-style melodies such as “Oh Caroline,” “Downed” and “Come On, Come On.”
Elton John Concerned Over ‘Frail’ Lady Gaga
'I Look at Gaga and I Think, 'How Does She Do It?”…
In an interview with The Guardian, Elton John revealed his worries over the health and schedule of close friend and confidante Lady Gaga.
"I look at Gaga and I think, ‘How does she do it?’" said John. "I talk to her mum and dad about it. They worry. She is frail, and she doesn’t eat when she should do, and she’s a girl, and it’s tougher for a girl. (More via Rolling Stone…)
CLASSIC ALBUM… THE WORLD IS A GHETTO, WAR
A badass Latin-funk band doing a song about a Latino TV show from the Fifties - that song was “The Cisco Kid,” and the band was War, L.A.’s answer to P-Funk. But War were serious: The title song is a smoldering reflection on inner-city life.