"Time in a Bottle" and Jim Croce, Life and Times
Jim Croce (pronounced CROW-chee) is a musical genius whether you recognize his name or just his classic songs like “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” or “Time in a Bottle”. His ability to capture thematic America in chords and notes is unmatched during his brief rise and tragic fall to a plane crash in 1973 at the age of 30. Here is a review of the life and music of guitarist and songwriter Jim Croce.
Born in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jim Croce began performing at the age of five. He graduated from high school and began working for a construction company and was as student disc jockey later at Villanova in 1964. He carried with him a twelve string guitar he bought for $5.00 which warped immediately in his early days.
He married Ingrid Croce in 1966 that now runs Croce’s restaurant in the gaslight district of San Diego. They sang and performed together on the college circuit driving more than 300,000 playing small venues. He blended folk with blues, rock with country, and stories with feelings.
Jim Croce began his music career on the larger scale in 1970 on Capitol Records. Through three years Croce wrote some of the most memorable American music of all time. Accompanist Maury Muehleisen supported lead riffs and seamlessly became a part of Croce’s performances. His ability to inject the stories of characters he had met on his journeys and the humor of their lives brought a life and reality to his songs that transcends to modern day.
His three record deal with ABC Records produced two LPs, “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim”, and “Life & Times”. “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” became a number one hit in July of 1973 on the American Charts. He was picking up momentum and media attention after years of being far under the national radar. His love of writing and performing is clear in the live DVD released a few years back entitled, “Have You Heard: Jim Croce Live”. These re-mastered videos show the great upbeat stories and moving ballads and love songs that make Croce a songwriting legend.
Less than six feet tall at around 135 pounds, Croce worked physical jobs and somehow carried with him the wondrous ability to bring life to songs blended with the time and culture of America during the 1960’s and early 1970’s. He also taught special education classes at South Philadelphia Junior High.
Croce and Muehleisen died on September 20, 1973 after completing a concert in Louisiana along with his booking agent and the show’s warm-up act. If you have not heard Jim’s music, don’t allow yourself the brilliance to be overlooked. The chilling thoughts of "Time in a Bottle" and never knowing what to do until you find it, is an eerie reminder of how short life can be and to treasure it. His son A.J. carries on the musical gene today with original songs as well.
For more information about Jim Croce and Croce's restaurant in San Diego, listen to my interview with Ingrid Croce from 2008 on my podcast.
This legendary band from Liverpool, England captured the heart of many with their mop-top hair and lovely songs during the 60s. From their first single, Love Me Do to their last album Let It Be, The Beatles were simply a class of their own. Many of their songs have landed number 1 in the music chart. Young and adults have to queue in line just to get tickets for their concerts. They were regarded by music lovers as one if not the greatest band that stamped their class in music industry. The Beatles is composed of John Lennon (vocals, rhythm guitar), Paul McCartney (vocals, bass guitar), George Harrison (vocals, and lead guitar) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals).
Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) was not the original drummer for the Beatles. Pete Best was the first drummer, but continually didn’t show up due to illness. Ringo Starr, a well known drummer for another band, Rory and The Hurricanes in Liverpool, would sit in with the Beatles on many occasions after initially meeting the Beatles in 1959.
On August 18, 1962, Ringo Starr officially joined the Beatles as their drummer, playing in the first gig in Hulme Hall in Birkenhead, England. The producer of the Beatles, George Martin decided at this time to replace Pete Best with Ringo Starr.
Throughout their career, The Beatles have made several albums, among them: Abbey Road, A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles for Sale, Help!, Please, Please Me, With the Beatles, , Help!, Let It Be, Revolver, Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (White Album), and Yellow Submarine. Some of their compositions where McCartney/Lennon collaboration (48 songs), though each member have their fair share of original songs. John Lennon has 72 songs to his credit, Paul McCartney had composed 69 songs, George Harrison had added 22 songs, and even Ringo Starr, Richard Starkey in real life composed two songs, Don’t Pass Me By and Octopus Garden.
To credit, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the lead vocalists and George do the backup vocals. But did you know that Ringo, aside from contributing two songs and did the lead vocal on 11 songs!
For Beatles fans that may not have known this fact and to those who just wanted to reminiscence the old classics Beatles songs, here are the songs for you to enjoy.
11 songs where Ringo Starr did the lead vocals:
1. Boys –the song was written by Dixon/Ferrell and was included in the album Please, Please Me (1963)
2. I Wanna Be Your Man – written by John Lennon from the album With The Beatles (1963)
3. Matchbox – a good pick up song composed by Carl Perkins that was added in the album Long Tall Sally (1964)
4. Honey Don’t – another Carl Perkin composition from the album Beatles For Sale (1964)
5. Act Naturally – a Morrison/Russel collaboration included in the album Help! (1964)
6. What Goes On – Lennon/McCartney song from the album Rubber Soul (1965)
7. Yellow Submarine – a Paul McCartney original featured in two albums; Revolver (1966) and Yellow Submarine (1969)
8. With a Little Help From My Friends – another Paul McCartney classic composition included in the album Sgt. Pepper’ Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
9. Don’t Pass Me By – Ringo Starr original song from the album The Beatles (1968)
10. Good Night – A John Lennon original from the album The Beatles (1968)
11. Octopus Garden – Ringo Starr other original composition from the album Abbey Road (1969)
Ringo Starr continues today to be a real star in the music industry. He has just release as new album in 2017. In the 1980s, he played many times with the Traveling Wilburys, which at times featured many musicians like Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, and Roy Orbison.
Rod Stewart is best known as a solo singer who, throughout the 1970's & 80's and beyond, racked up the hits in the UK. It all started with his debut solo single 'Maggie May' in 1971 which raced to the top of the charts. Rod Stewart reached the top spot in the UK charts on 6 occasions and reached the top 10 many times more.
What is less known about Rod Stewart, to the casual music fan anyway, is that throughout the 1960's Rod Stewart was very active on the music scene (with rather limited success it has to be said). During that decade, Rod Stewart performed with no less than nine different bands. Here we will take a look at the nine bands that Rod Stewart was in before his solo career took off.
(Rod Stewart during the 1970's - Image Source)
1. The Ray Davies Quartet
In the days before the final line up of the Kinks came about, Ray Davies was trying to get a band together. In 1962, Rod Stewart joined the band but didn't last too long. The reason for Rod Stewart being kicked out by Ray Davies was that the mother of then drummer John Start had complained about Stewart's voice not being good enough.
2. The Dimensions
It was in October 1963 that Rod Stewart joined the band called 'The Dimensions', his initial role was of lead singer and harmonica player. Gigs were rather hard to come by though until Jimmy Powell joined the band as singer. Renaming themselves as Jimmy Powell & the Five Dimensions, Rod Stewart soon found his role in the band lessening and he soon left.
3. Cyril Davies All-Stars / The Hoochie Coochie Men
It was Long John Baldry, who after hearing Rod Stewart busk the song 'Smokestack Lightning', asked him to become part of Cyril Davies' popular R 'n' B combo. Things got off to the worst possible start when Davies died on the night that Rod Stewart made his gig debut. Baldry somehow managed to keep the rest of the band together, under the name of 'The Hoochi Coochie Men' but not for long. They did manage to release one single - Rod Stewart taking lead vocals on a renditon of 'Good Morning Little Schoolgirl' - on release in 1964, it failed to chart.
4. Soul Agents
Rod Stewart was a member of this band for a period of 6 months from late 1965 to early 1966. Success did not really come along for the band but they did gig quite a bit in their native city of Southampton.
Steampacket were a band that was created somewhat out of the ashes of 'The Hoochie Coochie Men'. The band featured Rod Stewart, Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger. The band became popular enough to support the Rolling Stones on tour but split up in 1966. Although no albums were released during the time that Rod Stewart featured in the band, a posthumous album was released in 1970.
6. Shotgun Express
Shotgun Express only ever released one single, 'I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Round' in 1966 - it failed to chart. The band featured Rod Stewart sharing lead vocals with Beryl Marsden and also featured future Fleetwood Mac stars Mick Fleetwood and Peter Green on drums and guitars.
7. The Jeff Beck Group
The Jeff Beck Group boasted the cream of British rock, or so they were quick to say. In the latter years of the 1960's Jeff Beck was helped out by Nicky Hopkins on piano, Micky Walker on drums, Ron Wood on bass and Rod Stewart on vocal duties. Rod Stewart stayed with the group long enough to record the 1968 album 'Truth' and the 1969 album 'Beck-Ola'. It was not to be the last time that Rod Stewart and Ron Woods would appear in the same band.
8. Python Lee Jackson
Python Lee Jackson were an Australian band who were pretty much unheard of in the UK when they roped Rod Stewart in to doing the lead vocals for the song 'In A Broken Dream' in 1970. Money was quite tight for the band and they ended up paying Rod Stewart with a set of seat covers for his car. The song was released in the UK in 1973 and, because of Rod Stewart's fame by then, raced up the charts to a peak position of number 3.
9. The Faces
The Small Faces slit up in 1969 but Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones were not finished with music. They hired Rod Stewart and Ron Wood (who had played together in the Jeff Beck Group) and set about recording new material. One of the reasons given for dropping the 'small' from their name was because of how tall Ron Wood and Rod Stewart were - anyway, they band were now known as simply 'The Faces'.
Rod Stewart launched his solo career after the breakup of the band Faces with numerous top 10 hits in the 1970s. Some of Rod Stewart's hit songs include:
- Maggie May was one of his most popular songs after leaving Faces. It remained #1 on the hit charts for 5 straight weeks in 1971.
- Reason To Believe became one of the most jukebox songs of the 1970s.
- Tonight’s The Night was right up there with other so-called erotic singers of the late 1970s such as Marvin Gaye and Donna Summer. Tonight’s The Night remained #1 on the hit charts for 8 weeks in 1978.
- Da Ya Think I’m Sexy was considered as a rock / disco song and stayed on the charts at #1 for 4 weeks.
- You Wear It Well, considered a classic Rod Stewart song released in 1972.
- Hot Legs that was released in 1977 became another hit.
- Some Guys Have All the Luck released in 1984 is a cover song that was first released in 1981 by Robert Palmer.
- Young Turks is a song that shows how easily Rod Stewart evolved into the 1980’s as this song was released in 1981.
- Stay With Me
- You’re In My Heart is a song that was released in 1977 and reached #4 in 1977.
Other great Rod Stewart Songs and favorites of many of that generation include:
- Gasoline Alley was from Rod Stewart’s second solo album, released in 1970 on the album Gasoline Alley.
- (I Know) I’m Losing You, which was a cover song first recorded by the Temptations as a # hit in 1968. Rod Steward and Faces covered this song in 1970. Because of contractual agreements, the band, Faces, could not given be credit to. Even though Rod Stewart did many cover songs, this cover song is one of the best he ever did.
Today, Rod Stewart is still performing, and will be at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in June 2018.
The classical era spans roughly 80 years in music history during the 18th and 19th centuries and is often associated with the movement called the Age of Reason. It is defined by a return to symmetry and simplicity not only in music, but also in architecture and fine art. The excavation of Pompeii began in 1748, and the visible remains which were drawn and engraved became a template for the aesthetics of the time. The best known composers from the Classical period are Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn.
Most musicologists mark the death of J.S. Bach in 1750 as the end of the Baroque era and the dawn of the Classical era. There is less consensus on when it ended: some consider the death of Beethoven in 1827 to be the boundary line whilst others cite 1800 as the beginning of the Romantic era. The Oxford Companion to Music marks the end of the Classical era as "sometime between 1800 and 1830". Few disagree that there was an overlapping of classical and romantic ideals by the early 19th century.
The style of music from the Classical Era is predominantly homophonic, consisting of a single melody line with accompaniment as opposed to the polyphonic style of the Baroque Era which weaves together a number of melodic lines. Composers of the Classical Era rejected the elaborate styles of the Baroque Era, which they considered self-indulgent and vulgar. They simplified harmonic structures, shortened musical phrases and applied symmetry that was often lacking in the music of their predecessors. The Classical Era also saw a shift to more instrumental genres, particularly the symphony and the string quartet.
Great emphasis was placed on developing musical forms in the Classical era, the most important and overarching being sonata form. Sonata form consists of 3 clearly defined sections: the exposition (and introduction), the development section (a contrasting section in a different but related key) and the recapitulation (a return to the introductory material but remaining in the original key). Sonata form had a direct impact on the development of instrumental music types, particularly the symphony, concerto, sonata and string quartet. All of these types are still used by contemporary composers.
The Classical period produced fewer enduring composers than any other musical period from the 1600s onwards. The Emphasis on form was to have a lasting impact on musical composition but in its infancy it had a rather stifling effect on musical substance and expression. Although there were hundreds of successful and revered composers during that time, only three of them composed music which would truly stand the test of time. They were Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791), Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809) and Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827). They were to rise above the confines of stylistic regulations and create music that was never forgotten and continually revered.
The Beatles, composed of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, is undoubtedly the most popular and most successful rock and roll group in the history of popular music and entertainment. This British rock music group revolutionized popular music around the world in the 1960s with their stimulating songwriting and vibrant performances. Here are some entertaining and interesting facts about this magnificent and extremely famous band.
1.) The Beatles are the “best-selling band in history.
2.) All the members of The Beatles were born in Liverpool, England, in the early 1940s.
3.) Both McCartney and Starr are left-handed. They are the only two surviving members of the Beatles.
4.) James Paul McCartney, the second youngest member of the Beatles, who was born on June 18, 1942, is listed in the Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history".
5.) McCartney had 60 gold disc and sales of 100 million singles in the United Kingdom alone.
6.) He is one of the wealthiest people in the United Kingdom with an estimated fortune of 475 million pounds as of 2010.
7.) McCartney was named the "greatest composer of the millennium" by BBC News online readers.
8.) His Beatles song “Yesterday” has been covered by over 2,200 artists — more than any other song in the history of recorded music.
9.) The song “Yesterday” which was released in 1965 has been played more than 7 million times on American television and radio.
10.) McCartney is the most successful songwriter in UK singles chart history.
11.) As a performer or songwriter, he was responsible for 31 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, and has sold 15.5 million RIAA certified albums in the United States alone.
12.) Musical instruments played by McCartney include bass guitar, guitar, organ, piano, keyboard, mellotron, drums, ukulele, recorder and mandolin.
13.) John Winston Lennon, the pioneering member of the Beatles, was born on October 9, 1940 and was assassinated on December 8, 1980 in New York. After marrying Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon.
14.) Musical instrument played by Lennon include guitar, piano, harmonica, harmonium, electronic organ and six-string bass.
15.) John Lennon is by nature jealous, possessive and physically violent.
16.) John Lennon and Paul McCartney met in 1957 while Lennon was performing with his band called The Quarry Men.
17.) Lennon and McCartney shared a love of American rhythm-and-blues and rock music and became the core songwriting pair.
18.) McCartney joined Lennon’s band later in 1957 and in 1958, guitarist George Harrison became a member.
19.) The Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership is regarded as one of the most influential and successful of the 20th century
20.) Ringo Starr was born Richard Starkey on July 7, 1940. He is the oldest but the shortest member of the Beatles.
21.) He is the group’s drummer. He also plays several musical instruments such as guitar, keyboards, piano and percussion.
22.) Starr is the most documented and critically acclaimed actor-Beatle, playing a central role in several Beatles films, and appearing in numerous other movies, both during and after his career with The Beatles.
23.) George Harrison was the youngest member of the Beatles. He was born on February 25, 1943. He is the band’s lead guitarist.
24.) Harrison is often referred to as "the quiet Beatle" and was an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other Beatles.
25.) He is listed at number 11 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of “100 Gratest Guitarists of All Time”.
26.) Some of his compositions which were included in the Beatles album were “Something”, “Here Comes the Sun” and “While My Guitar Gently Sweeps”.
27.) Harrison is the only Beatle to have published an autobiography – I Me Mine (1980). The singer/guitarist Eric Clapton was a close friend of Harrison.
28.) Harrison played different musical instrument aside from the guitar such as sitar, harmonica, ukulele, tambura, sarod, mandolin, swarmandal, keyboards and bass guitar.
29.) George Harrison is also known as Carl Harrison, L'Angelo Misterioso, Hari Georgeson, Nelson/Spike Wilbury, George Harrysong and George O'Hara-Smith.
30.) In January 1960, Stuart Sutcliffe, joined as bass player, and the band changed its name, after several variations, to the Beatles. So the original members of the band The Beatles per se were – Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Best and Sutcliffe
31.) In 1960, Pete Best, a drummer, accompanied the group to Hamburg, Germany where they performed more than three months and returned four more times in the following three years.
32.) The band’s bass player, Sutcliffe, left the band in early 1961, causing McCartney to change from rhythm guitar to bass.
33.) Brian Epstein, a local businessman, became the Beatles’ manager in 1961.
34.) Rejected many times, Epstein finally secured the group a record deal with Parlophone, a subsidiary of EMI Records, in June 1962.
35.) Ringo Starr, who was born Richard Starkey, replaced Best as the permanent drummer of the group in August 1962.
36.) The Beatles released their debut hit single, “Love Me Do,” in England in October 1962, and followed that with “Please Please Me” in early 1963.
37.) Other early hits of the band were “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963), “She Loves You” (1963), and “I Saw Her Standing There” (1963).
38.) After several hits in the UK, the Beatles went to the United States. Their first appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” on February 9, 1964 was watched by an estimated 73 million people.
39.) By the end of March 1964, the Beatles held the top five positions in the Billboard magazine U.S. singles charts, an unprecedented feat.
40.) Most of the band's releases from March 1964 onward sold in phenomenal numbers.
41.) The Beatles made two successful feature films in the mid-1960s - A Hard Day's Night in 1964 and Help in 1965.
42.) The Beatles most popular albums in the mid 1960s were Rubber Soul (1965), The Revolver (1966) and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967).
43.) Other popular albums before the group finally broke up include The Beatles (1968) and Abbey Road (1969) - their final Beatles studio album.
44.) Paul McCartney formally announced the group’s breakup on April 10, 1970.
45.) After the breakup, each member pursued another chapter in their music lives either as solo artist or bandleaders.
46.) John Lennon’s most popular songs as a soloist include Imagine, Give Peace a Chance, Happy Christmas, Love, Jealous Guy, and many others.
47.) Paul McCartney established his band called “The Wings” with his wife Linda. Among their popular hits were Band on the Run, Silly Love Songs, and many more.
48.) As a solo artist, left-handed McCartney’s popular songs were “No More Lonely Nights”, and many more.
49.) McCartney also staged series of successful huge concerts in major cities of the world.
50.) The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
51.) John Lennon was murdered by an obsessed fan in 1980.
52.) George Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001. One of his most famous hit songs as a solo artist is “My Sweet Lord”.
53.) The “Anthology” album, which was released in 1995 – is one of the fastest-selling albums in the history of popular music.
54.) A compilation of their biggest hits, Beatles 1, became one of the most popular albums of 2000.
55.) The Beatles have had more number one albums on the UK charts and have held the top spot longer than any other musical act.
56.) The band also sold more albums in the United States than any other artist.
57.) The Beatles other feature films aside from “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help” were “Magical Mystery Tour” in 1967, “Yellow Submarine” in 1968 and “Let It Be” in 1969.
58.) The group had 9 albums in all – Please, Please Me (1963); With the Beatles (1963); A Hard Day’s Night (1964); Help (1965); Rubber Soul (1965); Revolver (1966); Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967); Magical Mystery Tour (1967); The Beatles – White Album (1968); Yellow Submarine (1968) Abbey Road (1969) and Let It Be (1970).
59.) The Beatles have been awarded 6 Diamond albums, 24 Multi-platinum albums, 39 Platinum albums and 45 Gold albums in the United States.
60.) The Beatles hold the record for most number one hits on the Hot 100 chart with 20 as of 2011.
Update on Beatles Albums
Actually, the Beatles had many more albums than just nine. There were different versions of their albums that were released in the United Kingdom and the United States. The first Beatles album in the United States was titled, “Meet The Beatles.” This was on the Capitol label. Before this, they released “Introducing The Beatles” on the VJ label.
In the United States, other albums including “The Beatles Second Album” in 1964, “Beatles VI” in 1965, and “Something New” in 1964. It is still to this day, an interesting argument as to what the last album, “The White Album” or “Let It Be.”
Even today, the Beatles and their estates continue to release different types of box sets on CD that also include different versions and lost songs.
Looking Back at the Beatles
Even today in 2017, the Beatles have still had the most number 1 hits in history a mark that is unlikely to ever be beat.
The Fifth Beatle
Who is considered the fifth Beatle? Many consider George Martin the fifth Beatle as the Beatles producer. Some also think of the band’s original drummer, Pete Best, as the fifth Beatle. And some others think of Brian Epstein as the fifth Beatle as their original manager.
Other mentions include Billy Preston, who played on many of the songs on keyboard like “I Want You”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, “Get Back”, and “Let It Be.” Billy Preston is credited on several songs with the Beatles.
What The Beatles Make Today
It is amazing just how much money The Beatles have made over the years and how they and their estates still make today. It is hard to get the actual figures, but from various sources, the two living Beatles along with the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison, made $71 million during the year of June 2012 through June 2013. That is pretty amazing.
Latest figures show that Paul McCartney made $56.5 million during the year of 2016, much of this because he continues to tour and do concerts.
The estate of John Lennon made $12 million in the same period due to royalties.
And they are worth every bit of it actually, as the most prolific songwriters of our time. Ringo Starr continues to tour with concerts and the estate of George Harrison also continues to make money through royalties. Their music will live forever and they all worked very hard to get where they or their estates stand today.
When it comes to songwriting, the Beatles are right up there at the top. In their time, they composed well over 200 songs - many have been covered many times by many different bands or artists. The Beatles, and especially John Lennon and Paul McCartney, drew influence for their songwriting from their personal experiences.
Considering that they all came from Liverpool, one would think that their hometown would feature quite heavily in their songwriting. The truth is though; there are not many Beatles songs about their hometown of Liverpool.
Here we will take a look at the Beatles songs that do have some kind of reference to Liverpool in the lyrics.
The lyrics to this Beatles song were nothing more than Paul McCartney taking a look at a suburban shopping street in Liverpool; albeit with a pair of psychedelic glasses firmly on. Originally meant for the Sgt Peppers album, instead it was released as a double A side with Strawberry Fields Forever was kept off the number one spot by Please Release Me by Engelbert Humperdink. The pretty nurse selling poppies on a tray in the song lyrics was a real person; it was Beth Davidson, who had been a childhood friend of John Lennon.
Strawberry Fields Forever
There is a Strawberry Field in Liverpool, it is a Salvation Army house located near to Menlove Avenue (where Lennon used to live). This Beatles song was written by John Lennon while he was busy 'acting' in the film How I Won The War, perhaps it was a pining for home that made him write about his hometown of Liverpool.
In My Life
The original lyrics to this song, written by John Lennon, described the bus ride he would take in his youth from Menlove Avenue into Liverpool centre. John Lennon decided to change the lyrics into something a bit less specific, turning it into less of a personal story and more of a song about general nostalgia. Interestingly, the original lyrics made reference to Penny Lane, an idea that was to be later used by Paul McCartney as the title for a song.
In St. Peter's churchyard in Woolton lies the grave of Eleanor Rigby (1895-1939). Paul McCartney, responsible for the song Eleanor Rigby, had visited St. Peter's church at a memorable garden fete in 1957 - perhaps he inadvertantly remembered the name he saw on the gravestone and when the time came he had a ready made song title.
"In the town where I was born." - that's pretty much it in this Beatles song as far as a link to Liverpool.goes.
So there you have it. Eleanor Rigby could be put down as nothing more than coincidence, Yellow Submarine doesn't really count and In My Life only counts based on original lyrics - that leaves only two Beatles songs that make any sort of reference to their hometown of Liverpool in any way shape or form. Considering the Beatles often wrote about their own life and experiences, two songs about Liverpool from over 200 songs written seems very low indeed. It could be worse though, the Beatles never wrote any songs about their time in Hamburg.
The piano, indeed, is one of the most popular musical instruments around the world - for its beautiful sound and the countless number of pieces one can compose with it. There are many famous pieces out there, and for the little pianists, I have selected ten most beautiful pieces (in my opinion) which sound great. The key to playing well regardless the difficulty, is practising. The more you practise, the better you will play. Hope you enjoy this list:
1. Ballade pour Adeline
Ballade pour Adeline (French for "Ballad for Adeline") was composed by Paul de Senneville and Olivier Toussaint as a 1976 instrumental. Paul de Senneville composed the piece as a tribute to his newborn daughter whose name was Adeline. The first recording was made by Richard Clayderman, a well-known pianist, and world-wide sales have now reached 22 million copies in 38 countries. Probably my most favourite piano piece, it sounds peaceful and soothes one's feelings; really a must-learn for all pianists.
Listen to it here:
2. Mariage d'Amour
Mariage d'Amour (French for "Wedding in a Dream") was also composed by Paul de Senneville. By the same composer, this piece has a similar style to that of "Ballade pour Adeline". It sounds really romantic and somehow sad though. A really remarkable piece I should recommend everyone to play.
Listen to it here:
3. Für Elise
Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor for solo piano, commonly known as "Für Elise" (English: "For Elise"), is one of Ludwig van Beethoven's most popular compositions. The score was not published until 1867, 40 years after the composer's death. Ludwig Nohl discovered the piece and affirmed that the original autographed manuscript dated back to 27 April 1810.
Despite being called a bagatelle, the piece is in rondo form. The first theme is not very difficult and is often taught alone for practising piano pedalling techniques. However, a much greater technique is required for the B section and the rapid rising A minor figure in the C section.
Listen to it here:
4. Canon in D Major
Pachelbel's Canon, also known as Canon in D major, is the most famous piece of music by German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel. It was originally scored for three violins and a bass and paired with a gigue in the same key.
The arrangment for solo piano is in fact not exactly a canon, unlike the original composition. This piece is actually quite easy to play and suitable for beginner / intermediate level pianists or as an exercise. Also sounds really great!
Listen to it here:
5. Rondo alla Turca (Turkish March)
Rondo alla Turca, also known as Turkish March, is the third movement of Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major. It is often heard on its own and is one of Mozart's best-known piano pieces. It imitates the sound of Turkish Janissary Bands. This piece perhaps has a higher level of difficulty, but it can be mastered if practised sufficiently. It also sounds quite playful.
Listen to it here:
6.Waltz in D? Major
The Waltz in D? Major, popularly known as the Minute Waltz, is a waltz for solo piano composed by Frédéric Chopin. It is dedicated to the Countess Delfina Potocka. Chopin wrote the piece in 1847 and it was published by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig the same year.
The piece is given the tempo Molto vivace; although it has been known as the "Minute Waltz", meaning a "small" waltz, Chopin did not intend for this waltz to be played in a minute, but between 1 ½ to 2 ½ minutes. It is a playful piece and is more difficult to learn than an average piece, especially the fingerings and its tempo.
Listen to it here:
7. The Entertainer
The Entertainer is a classic piano rag written by Scott Joplin in 1902. Tt returned to top international prominence as part of the ragtime revival in the 1970s, when it was used as the theme music for the 1973 Oscar-winning film The Sting. The Recording Industry Association of America ranked it #10 on its "Songs of the Century" list.
"The Entertainer" was described as "the best and most euphonious" of Joplin's compositions. "It is a jingling work of a very original character, embracing various strains of a retentive character which set the foot in spontaneous action and leave an indelible imprint on the tympanum."
Listen to it here:
8. Fantasie Impromptu
Fantasie Impromptu is a solo piano piece composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1834 and probably one of his best-known pieces. It was dedicated to Julian Fontana, who publised this piece despite Chopin's request not do to so, as some aspects of it are similar to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.
This piece is much more difficult than other pieces mentioned here, mainly because of the running notes and the cross-rhythms. It concludes in an ambiguous fantasy-like ending, in a quiet and mysterious way. A wonderful piece, although requires much skill to master.
Listen to it here:
9. If We Hold On Together: Land Before Time
"If We Hold On Together" was the first song used in The Land Before Time film series, and the only lyrical song used in the original film. The song was written and originally performed by singer/songwriter Diana Ross. It was later arranged for piano solo.
A very touching song, and quite easy to learn. Hope everyone likes this piece!
Listen to it here:
10. Love of A Lifetime
A piano piece from the album "Rock on Piano" (Singapore) arranged by Chester Tan. Calm and peaceful, sounds great. I like it very much!
Thank you for reading this article. If you have any comments, feel free to write them :)
A Clockwork Orange was a novel written by Anthony Burgess in 1962. The novel has gone down in history as being one of the most popular stories of all time. It has been adapted into TV, radio and the stage but the most renowned adaptation must have been the 1971 film 'A Clockwork Orange', directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick.
The novel itself has been the basis from which many different bands have taken their name from - countless others have made reference to the novel in their song lyrics. Here we will take a brief look at ten bands who took their name from the novel 'A Clockwork Orange'. It has to be said that most of the bands named below had very limited success on the music scene; perhaps taking your band name from this novel is not the best of ideas.
1. Clockwork Orange
Taking their name from the title of the novel, Clockwork Orange were a progressive rock band that hailed from Bangalore in India.
2. The Clockwork Oranges
Another band who took their name from the title of the novel, The Clockwork Oranges were a relatively un-successful surf-rock band from the 1960's.
In the Nadsat language used by Alex and the Droogs in the novel, Devotchka transaltes as 'girl'. It is also the name of a gypsyish indie-folk group from Denver.
4. The Droogs
The Californian garage rock band, The Droogs, took their name from the collective name of Alex and his pals in the novel A Clockwork Orange.
5. Heaven 17
Seminal 1980's band Heaven 17 took their name from the fictional band Heaven Seventeen who, in the novel, Burgess describes as being at number 4 in the charts with a song called 'Inside'.
6. Korova Milk Bar
In the novel, this was the bar where the droogs often drank. In the music scene, it is the name of a French band.
In the Nadsat language used by Alex and his droogs in the novel, Malchicks is a word meaning 'boys'. The Malchicks were a short lived British teenage blues band.
In the novel, Moloko means 'milk' and, when mixed with drugs, is the droogs tipple of choice. It is also the name used by Roisin Murphy and Mark Brydon when they perform in their electric-pop duo.
9. Orange Mecanique
This French punk band took their name from the French translation of the novels' title.
In the novel, this was Alex and his droogs' favourite pastime - it also leant its name to a synth-pop band who hail from Flint, Michigan.
Just recently, I was asked what the official first hit single by a solo ex-Beatle was? Something in my memory sprang to the fore and made me say it was ‘My Sweet Lord’ by George Harrison, but at the first opportunity, I had to go and check.
The first thing to consider before working out the answer is where the parameters lie – at what point did the Beatles become ex-Beatles? Their final single release (in the UK) was ‘Let It Be’ in March 1970, their final album release (in the UK) was ‘Let It Be’ in May 1970 but the band itself did not officially disband then. It is important to note that all subsequent dates refer to releases in the UK only.
(The Beatles in happier times! - Image Source)
The act of dissolution of the band known as the Beatles began on the 31st December 1970, when Paul McCartney raised a legal suit. It was to be a rather long drawn-out process. Although it took until 1975 for every legal dispute to be ‘ironed’ out, the official dissolution of their partnership was sealed in the Chancery Division of the London High Court on 12th March 1971. Each member of the Beatles was now an ex-Beatle.
Solo recording careers for members of the Beatles had started long before the Beatles themselves had split. During the 1960’s, both Paul McCartney and George Harrison had written soundtrack’s to films (‘The Family Way’ and ‘Wonderwall’ respectively). John Lennon had released three singles, under the ‘Plastic Ono Band’ pseudonym, before the 1971 cut off date. During 1970, both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr had solo albums riding high in the charts, neither of which saw the release of a single.
My Sweet Lord, concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden
Moving into 1971, George Harrison released the song ‘My Sweet Lord’ on 23rd January – within a fortnight it had climbed to the number one spot, knocking off Clive Dunn’s ‘Grandad’. The following month saw the first non-album single released by Paul McCartney; ‘Another Day’, released on 27th February 1971. Both of these songs were still in the UK charts on the 12th of March, which was the date that the Beatles officially were not Beatles anymore.
Another Day - Paul McCartney
If 12th March 1971 was the point when the Beatles were officially no more, it is rather interesting to note that John Lennon released the song ‘Power To The People’ the very same day. Perhaps it was nothing more than coincidence, but perhaps it was a deliberate move on Lennon’s part.
Power To The People - John Lennon
There are two schools of thought as to why ‘Power to the People’ should not be known as the first hit single by an ex-Beatle: 1) Being released on the same day implies that it didn’t come after the split of the Beatles. 2) The writing credits on the song goes to John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band.
So what was the first solo single release by an ex-member of the Beatles?
In the strictest of terms, the honour goes to Ringo Starr who released ‘It Don’t Come Easy’ on 17th April 1971.
It Don't Come Easy - Ringo Starr
There is of course the argument that the Beatles broke up in April 1970, and if that is the time frame everyone looks at as to who had the first solo release by a former Beatle, that changes things.
Many people just look at what the first Beatle solo releases showed up on the Billboard Top 100 charts.
The following Beatle solo releases in chronological order are.
Interestingly, John Lennon, with his release of “Give Peace a Chance” on July 26, 1969, before the Beatles even announced they were breaking up.
This was followed up by Ringo Starr, with his song, “Beaucoup Of Blues”, hitting the charts November 7th, 1970.
George Harrison, hot the Billboard Top 100 with “My Sweet Lord” on November 28th, 1970.
Paul McCartney released the single, “Another Day” hitting the charts on March 6th, 1971. Another interesting story about the song Another Day was that he wrote it when he was with the Beatles, and even played it at Apple Studios with the rest of the Beatles listening to it. John Lennon said to Paul McCartney, “You’ve been holding out on us”.
It all depends on the criteria someone used for the first Beatles solo release.
The number of artists with the surname Brown that have had hits in the UK charts is rather large compared to many other surnames. Granted, some of them have had limited chart success but some have scored plenty of hits. Here we will look at all the artists with the surname Brown that have charted in the UK charts.
First up in the list is Bobby Brown. The ex New Edition singer first hit the UK charts in August 1988 with the song Don't Be Cruel, but it failed to make the top 40, peaking at number 42. The follow up single from Bobby Brown, My Prerogative, did much better, climbing to a peak of number 6 in late 1988 and spending at total of 10 weeks on the UK charts - it hit the number one spot in the US. Over the next 8 years, Bobby Brown had a further 17 chart hits in the UK including 10 top 10 hits.
If Bobby Brown had a rather long chart career in the UK then the next Brown on our list was the polar opposite. Arthur Brown, under the name of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, scored his one and only chart hit in the summer of 1968 with the song Fire. It was a great example of a proper one hit wonder as it hit the number one spot and was the only chart hit from Arthur Brown.
In more recent years Chris Brown, former beau of Rihanna, has been racking up the chart hits in both the US and the UK. His debut chart appearance in the UK happened in February 2006 when Run It, featuring Julez Santana, reached a peak of number 2, it remains his highest ever chart hit in the UK. Run It did hit the number one spot in the US, Australia and New Zealand.
In 1979 Dennis Brown, a Jamaican singer, scored a UK number 14 hit with the song Money In My Pocket, but he found follow up chart hits hard to come by. His song Love Has Found Its Way only managed to make it number 47 in July 1982 and Halfway Up And Halfway Down only made it to number 56 in September 1982.
Next up on the list of Browns is Diana Brown who released songs with Barrie K. Sharpe in the early 1990's. Their debut single was the highest chart hit they would enjoy and it was The Masterplan which reached a peak of number 39 in June 1990. Their 3 follow up singles (Sun Worshippers (Positive Thinking), Love Or Nothing and Eating Me Alive) all failed to make the top 40 in the UK charts.
Lead singer of Hot Chocolate, Errol Brown, launched his solo career in the Summer of 1987 with the release of the song Personal Touch which hit a peak of number 25 in the UK charts. Later that same year, follow up single Body Rockin' only made it to number 51.
US singer Foxy Brown has had a number of chart hits in the UK but they are normally as a featured singer on someone else's hit or one of his with another featured artist. The only time that Foxy Brown has broken in to the top in the UK charts was in June 1997 when he teamed up with Jay-Z for the number 9 hit I'll Be.
If Arthur Brown had a proper one hit wonder then Gloria D Brown had anything but! Well it was one and only one song that she charted with but it didn't chart very high. Released in the Summer of 1985, Gloria D Brown scored a number 57 hit with a song called The More They Knock, The More I Love You.
In 1995 Horace Brown released the song Taste Your Love which only made it to number 58 in the UK charts. The following year he managed to take the song One For The Money to number 12 and Things We Do For Love to number 27, but he was to have no more chart hits in the UK.
Howard Brown may not be a familiar name to many, but, for those of you reading this in the UK, if I told you that Howard Brown was the Howard from the Halifax adverts you will know exactly who it is. He managed to bank a number 13 hit in March 2005 with his version of the Barry White song You're The First The Last My Everything.
Ex Stone Roses front man Ian Brown launched his solo career in early 1998 with the song My Star which reached a peak of number 5 in the UK charts and a decent chart career followed. Having said that, he only made it back in to the top 10 twice with the songs Be There and Dolphins Were Monkeys.
Next up is the Brown that is arguably most famous - James Brown. In a UK chart career that has spanned 5 decades (with re-releases) big hits have been rather hard to come by. In fact, the only top 10 hit that James Brown has enjoyed in the UK was Living In America in early 1986.
Swedish singer Jennifer Brown had her one and only UK chart hit in May 1999 with the number 57 hit Tuesday Afternoon.
Wikimedia / public domain
If James Brown is the most famous Brown on this list, it is Jocelyn Brown who has had the best UK chart career of all the Browns. She first hit the UK charts in 1984 with the number 13 hit Somebody Else's Guy. Two more singles followed in 1984 and 1986 that failed to make the top 40. Fast forward to 1991 and Jocelyn Brown's chart career in the UK really got going as guest vocalist on the Incognito song Always There which hit number 6 in the UK charts. Since then she has appeared as guest vocalist on a large number of tracks, many of them going top 10.
Joe Brown was a UK singer who, between 1960 and 1963, scored 9 top 40 hits in the UK charts. The highest placing song was A Picture Of You which reached number 2 in early 1962. In the summer of 1967 he scored a number 32 hit with his version of the Beatles song With A Little Help From My Friends, and in April 73 scored his final UK chart hit with the number 33 hit Hey Mama.
The chart career of Kathy Brown has been somewhat hit and miss. Of her first 5 chart hits only 2 broke in to the top 40, but her last chart hit, as guest vocalist on the Soul Central track Strings Of Life (Stronger On My Own), hit a peak of number 6 in January 2005.
US singer Mark Brown teamed up with Sarah Cracknell to score a number 11 UK chart hit in early 2008 with the song The Journey Continues.
Miquel Brown released two songs in the UK that managed to only reach numbers 68 and 63 respectively!
Another US singer who only charted twice in the UK was Peter Brown but his ones did slightly better than those from Miquel Brown, hitting number 43 and 57 respectively.
In September 1974 Polly Brown had her one and only UK chart hit when Up In A Puff Of Smoke hit number 43.
UK comedian Roy Chubby Brown teamed up with Smokie to score a number 3 hit in August 1995 with the song Living Next Door To Alice (Who The F**k Is Alice). He did attempt a follow up single the following year with Rockin' Good Christmas but it stalled at number 51.
The early chart career of Sam Brown showed much promise when his debut song Stop evenutally hit a peak of number 4 in the UK charts in Feburary 1989. But later releases failed to live up to the early promise and his chart career soon petered out.
In April 1982 Sharon Brown scored a number 38 hit in the UK charts with the song I Specialize In Love. It was her only chart hit, but it did get remixed in early 1994 and hit number 62 in the charts.
And that concludes the list of all the artists whose surname is Brown that have charted in the UK charts.
Songs are more fun when they tell stories. Getting creative for good songwriters isn’t all that hard. Even when they are talking about relationships, they can tell millions of stories. And since cheating is very common, why not get their creative juices flowing for that theme, right? It might be as innocent as not being able to help falling for someone unavailable or not so sweet as in sleeping with someone all the while they know they are being involved and not caring at all. Here we go:
Artist: Bryan Adams, Song: Fearless - Album: On a Day Like Today (1998)
Fearless has good music and brilliant vocals. I mean, it is Bryan Adams we are talking about. But the song is about a girl who is with someone else and Bryan wants to be with her no matter what. Sure, he would love it if the girl left the other guy. Of course we can’t know whether it is good fiction or Bryan really fell for someone attached in real life as well. Great song. If you do ignore the fact that the girl is two-timing, it is pretty romantic too. Fearless is listed among Bryan Adams songs.
“It's 3 am - and i'm lying here next to you what cha gonna do?
Will you tell a story - when he asks you where the hell you've been or will you tell the truth?
I ain't holdin' back - i know where i stand
You just want to be with you
Ya gotta face the fact - bay i'm your man
I've gotta get it through to you
You don't have to hide - you don't have to share half your lifewith some other guy”
Band: Bon Jovi, Song: Damned - Album: These Days (1995)
These Days is one of the most rock Bon Jovi albums. Bon Jovi has done their share of pop-rock and slow rock songs but These Days is a treasure of guitar riffs, mature lyrics and a much more depressive point of view than any other Bon Jovi album released. I should know, I own all of them.
It is safe to say the songs aren’t happy-go-lucky, not even the fast ones. Damned is an energetic, quality rock song and it is one of the least romantic and sensitive the band members have written. The guy in the song is sleeping with a girl who is either engaged or married . He is not exactly thrilled about the situation but he is not getting out. It is especially recommended for those who associate Bon Jovi with love songs such as Always and Bed of Roses.
“I'm lying here beside you in someone else's bed
Knowing what were doing's wrong
But better left unsaid
Your breathing sounds like screaming
It's all that I can stand
His ring is on your finger
But my heart is in your hands
Damned if you love me
Damned if you don't
It's getting harder holding on, but I can't let you go
Damned if you don't need me
Damned if you do
God, I wish it wasn't me standin' in these shoes
Enjoy the concert performance:
Artist: Bon Jovi, Song: Bed of Roses - Album: Keep The Faith (1992)
On my Bon Jovi trivia on Factoidz, I mentioned the story behind this song. The lyrics say:
“Sitting here wasted and wounded
At this old piano
Trying hard to capture
The moment this morning I don't know
'Cause a bottle of vodka
Is still lodged in my head
And some blonde gave me nightmares
I think that she's still in my bed
As I dream about movies
They won't make of me when I'm dead”
It is much more subtle than the previous songs I mentioned but if you add the story to the “blonde” in the song and the other girl the song is dedicated to, it is safe to say there are some complications here.
Band: Bon Jovi, Song: Always - Album: Cross Road (Greatest Hits, 1994)
Up until I saw the Always video, I didn’t think the song was about cheating. Because after all, the lyrics don’t mentions anything like that. It simply says “I made mistakes, I am just a man” in some parts. But the video is all about cheating-what it implies for a relationship and whether it can be salvaged afterwards. The video is like a tasteful little movie. It features actress Keri Russell (Waitress, August Rush, Leaves of Grass), a good emotional story and Jon Bon Jovi looking and sounding amazing as always. The song is written by Jon Bon Jovi. If you forget about the video, it is a very romantic song. But for me it loses all the romance if you think the “mistake” is sleeping with someone else. Especially with that particular someone in the video…
Band: Bon Jovi, Song: Dirty Little Secret - Album: Have a Nice Day (2005)
I guess this factoidz shows two things: I love Bon Jovi and Bon Jovi members love writing and singing about cheating. This is a fast song, in the spirit of the damned. Have A Nice Day is a solid rock album and this one is one of the best. And I am honestly more into great electric-guitar riffs and solos than romantic lyrics. And let’s not forget sexy vocals.
“I light a candle
In the garden of love
To blind the angels
Looking down from above
I want, I need
The fruit of your VINE
It tastes so bitter sweet
Cause I know it's not mine
I want to come inside
Hit the lights
And I'll come crawling through your window tonight
Come on and send the sign
I'll be your dirty little secret and you'll be mine
You got me knock knock knocking at your door
And I'll be coming back for more
We made a promise and we'll keep it
Our dirty little secret
We act like strangers
When you're holding his hand
Cause there's a danger
That we both understand
We run like thieves
Through the temple of sin
Till we fall on our knees then you go back to him
I want to feel alive”
Artist: KISS, Album: Dressed to Kill, Song: Two Timer (1975)
This song is a perfectly characteristic KISS song: it is fun, it rocks and the lyrics are really entertaining. This time the song’s hero is being two-timed but he doesn’t seem to mind.
“And she tells me she likes fast cars
She says she likes mine the best
And just because of that, baby
You think she'd forget the rest, no, no, no
Just call me a three time loser
That's all I'll ever be
'Cause my baby's such a two timer
You know she's two timing, she's a-two timing me”