Trip Hop: Influence Of Electronic Music Beyond Boundaries

A look at the brief peak of trip-hop in mainstream culture.

When people talk about their favorite music genre, answers vary. Yet, they usually aim to one of two directions. Either to a rock & roll kind of genre, or an electronic-based genre. Though, not many people will end up saying; “Trip Hop”.

Sitting firmly on the electronic side of music, trip hop is one of the most unique of genres. Beginning in the early 90’s, it blends England’s house and hip hop scenes. Adding hints of acid jazz and psychedelic rock, all into a down tempo, chill-out vibe. Being influenced by the Bristol Underground, trip-hop spread all round Europe by the decade’s close. With such a fusion of groovy genres, they all get blurred into one cool whole.

As DJ'ing and MC'ing were emerging during the 80’s, electronic genres were reaching prominence in culture. Hip hop and reggae became popular, reaching mainstream consciousness. Towards the end of the decade, Massive Attack signed their first record deal. Starting off as The Wild Bunch, they helped kick start what would become trip hop.

Opening with their debut Blues Lines, they reached enormous success upon its release in 1991. Tracks were seen to be unique to the British hip hop scene, although not in any conventional way. By the time of their sophomore project Protection, they became influenced by also the dance scene of the time. The re-mix of all these genres, with a down tempo beat, expanded to the mainstream. Musical acts like Howie B, Naked Funk and Portishead have all played their own part growing this genre.

Massive Attack’s rapper Tricky, formerly Tricky Kid, released his debut solo record. As oppose to the ubiquitous rapping style hip hop tends to have, his vocals were whispered. His lyrics come almost like murmuring, in an abstract stream-of-consciousness way. After that success, he helped produce alongside new acts and bands.

After trip hop’s dizzying peak, many bands surfaced as post-trip-hop. Bands, such as Morcheeba, Cibo Matto and Sneaker Pimps, pushed trip hop into jazz, R&B, ambient, amongst other genres. Though the term trip hop was coined as Massive Attack were rising, post-trip-hop was not acknowledged until 2002. It was not until newspaper The Independent coined it for Second Person, and their distinctive hybrid sound. Through diversity of genre influences, trip hop was becoming not as dark as its initial years.

Trip hop has gone onto influence as many genres as genres influenced it. Progressive rock, psychedelic rock, and even industrial genres were influenced by trip hop. For a relatively contemporary genre, it sure has turned music as a whole on its head.

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11 Beatles Songs Where Ringo Starr Did the Lead Vocal

Ringo Starr history with the Beatles. And Amazing facts about the songs that Ringo Starr did the lead vocals in these 11 Beatles songs.

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.

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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)

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2. I Wanna Be Your Man – written by John Lennon from the album With The Beatles (1963)

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3. Matchbox – a good pick up song composed by Carl Perkins that was added in the album Long Tall Sally (1964)

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4. Honey Don’t – another Carl Perkin composition from the album Beatles For Sale (1964)

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5. Act Naturally – a Morrison/Russel collaboration included in the album Help! (1964)

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6. What Goes On – Lennon/McCartney song from the album Rubber Soul (1965)

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7. Yellow Submarine – a Paul McCartney original featured in two albums; Revolver (1966) and Yellow Submarine (1969)

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8. With a Little Help From My Friends – another Paul McCartney classic composition included in the album Sgt. Pepper’ Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

With a Little Help From My Friends / YouTube

9. Don’t Pass Me By – Ringo Starr original song from the album The Beatles (1968)

Don't Pass Me By

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)

Octopus Garden

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.

Nine Bands That Rod Stewart Was In

What is less known about Rod Stewart is that throughout the 1960's he was very active on the music scene. Here we will take a look at the nine bands that Rod Stewart was in before his solo career took off.

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.

5. Steampacket

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:

YouTube / Gasoline Alley

  • 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.  

Facts About the Classical Period in Music

The Classical Era spanned roughly 80 years in music history and gave us 3 of the most famous composers of all time: Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn.

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.

Time Period

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.

Style

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.

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Form

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.

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.

60 Interesting Facts About the Beatles: The Greatest Rock and Roll Band Ever

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.

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.

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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.

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McCartney

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”.

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Lennon

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.

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Starr

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.

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Harrison 

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. 

20 Facts About U2

U2 has been doing it since the late 1970's and are still performing today, they really are one of the hardest working bands ever. Throughout their career, and what a long career it has been, U2 have kept their fans rocking with their music. Here we will take a look at 20 facts about U2.

U2 have been ‘doing it’ since the late 1970's and are still performing today, they really are one of the hardest working bands ever. Throughout their career, and what a long career it has been, U2 have kept their fans rocking with their music. Here we will take a look at 20 facts about U2.

(U2 - Image via Wikipedia)

  1. U2 released their album 'War' in 1983, later on that year, the band War included a medley called U2 on their 1983 record 'Life (Is So Strange)'.
  2. U2 have never performed the song, from the Joshua Tree album, 'Red Hill Mining Town' live.
  3. Bono may be one for 'saving the world' but he thought nothing of having his favourite hat flown from London to Italy before performing at a charity concert with Luciano Pavarotti in 2003.
  4. During U2's first dates outside Ireland, they played a gig at the Islington's Hope and anchor to a crowd of only 9 people.
  5. U2 was only the fourth music group to appear on the front cover of Time magazine, after the Beatles, the Band and the Who.
  6. Bonos' real middle name is David.
  7. Bono was awarded an honorary knighthood from the Queen in 2007.
  8. Bono is taken from the Latin 'bono vox' which translates as good voice, it was a nickname given to him by a group of friends.
  9. The band came about after Larry Mullen had posted a notice on his school notice board seeking other musicians to start a band.
  10. The first name the band was going to use, before they became U2 was the Larry Mullen Band.
  11. At one stage, U2 toyed with the idea of calling themselves 'Feedback' or 'the Hype' before settling on U2.
  12. Bono and the Edge are co-owners of the Clarence Hotel in Dublin.
  13. A suitcase that had been stolen in 1981 was returned to Bono in 2004 which contained the original lyrics for U2's October album.
  14. Members of U2, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton provided the theme tune for the 1996 movie Mission Impossible.
  15. The previous year, U2 had given their song 'Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me' to the Batman Forever movie.
  16. In the early 1990's U2 was the biggest export from Ireland.
  17. U2 won a talent contest on Saint Patrick's Day in 1978, winning £500 and, more importantly, studio time to record a demo.
  18. Bono sang as a guest vocalist on the 2001 Mick Jagger album Goddess in the Doorway.
  19. The U2 song 'Beautiful Day' was used s the official song of the German team at the 2000 Olympics.
  20. U2 have won a total of 20 Grammy Awards.

Beatles Songs About Liverpool

A look at the Beatles song that make reference to their hometown of Liverpool.

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.

Penny Lane

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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

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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

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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.

Eleanor Rigby

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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.

Yellow Submarine

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"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.

10 Most Beautiful Pieces for Piano

10 Most Beautiful Pieces for Piano

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 Review of Slicethepie.com

Slicethepie is a music review site. People who review the music can earn money which is paid into their paypal account after the minimum $10.00 is reached. Slicethepie.com also allows new artists to be heard and potentially sign a record deal. What could be better than earning money simply by listening to music.

Slicethepie.com is a music review site where you can actually earn money for listening to music.

Of course it isn't quite as simple as that, but there isn't much hard work involved. In order to earn money on Slicethepie.com, you have to review songs. You do this by listening to approx 90 seconds of a song and then writing a review on it, as well as giving the song/music a score from 1 - 10.

Slicethepie.com pay earnings into your Paypal account and the minimum earnings is $10.00, which is fairly easy to achieve if you write good reviews. They usually pay you within 5 days of requesting your earnings. Earning more than a few dollars a day can be hard, especially if you're reviewing songs that are essentially quite poor. However, the better your reviews, the more money you will earn per review.

Slicethepie.com distinguish how much you get paid per review by certain factors. These include your rank, experience and energy levels.

The higher your rank is, the higher your base payment per review will be.

You also go up levels, with experience, which will improve your rank.

You also have an energy bar. If this runs out, then you have to wait 3 minutes before you can submit another review. That's not too long to wait though.

They do have a system in place so that you can't copy and paste reviews, or write the same review over and over again. It has to be a review that will be beneficial to the artist that submitted it.

The songs you review on Slicethepie are usually songs submitted by unknown artists who are trying to get noticed. If the music they submit gets a lot of good reviews and feedback, then they are more likely to be exposed and be heard by record labels and radio stations. The artists can also be eligible for financing if they are good enough. This is done through another site that Slicethepie.com works along side, which is called PledgeMusic.  To be eligible for financing, the artist must also have their music uploaded to SoundOut. Together the three sites bring us some of the best music and new artists.

Another great feature of Slicethepie.com, is that if you are reviewing a song that you like, you can add it to your playlist so that you can listen to it again.

You can join Slicethepie.com here and check the site out for yourself.

Slicethepie.com has already paid out over $1,000,000 to people submitting reviews. 

Be warned though, if you do join, don't try to cheat the system as they will check your reviews before paying you and will not pay anyone with suspicious account activity. They will email you to inform you why you haven't been paid though.

I have personally been paid by Slicethepie.com more than once.

Slicethepie.com is also a fun way of earning money online and makes a change from content writing and blogging.

10 Best Selling Love Duets

Best Selling Love Duets of the times

Time and again we will be awestruck by the lines on a song aired on the radio or played on TV. I have here 10 of the best selling love duets which may help you refresh your memory just in case you need some break out of mental block owing to too much blogging. I hope you will like them.

You Don’t Bring Me Flowers (1978)– Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond

Originally a song written by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman for an ill fated TV show, it was later unfitted to be performed and Neil Diamond and other contributors expanded the song. This song made a hit for Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand making it to the top of Billboard Hot 100 Chart in 1978. The song took the # 1 slot on the Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks in December of the same year.

With You I’m Born Again (1979)- Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright

This song immortalizes the successful team up of Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright. It had been the former’s biggest hit in 5 years and the latter’s biggest pop hit in her career. The song became an international hit for the two making it to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and # 2 on the UK singles chart. Syreeta Wright died of congestive heart failure in July 2004 as a result of chemotherapy and radiation treatments owing to breast and bone cancers. Billy Preston died of complications of malignant hypertension that resulted to kidney failure in June of 2006.

I Can’t Help It (1980)– Olivia Newton John and Andy Gibb

This song duet between Olivia Newton John and Andy Gibb made it to # 12 in US charts and # 8 as Adult Contemporary single in the US the same year it was released. Andy died 10 March 1988 of myocarditis after a planned reunion with his brothers in joining Bee Gees.

Suddenly (1980)– Olivia Newton John and Cliff Richard

This song was actually the theme song for the movie Xanadu. This was rendered as a duet with Olivia Newton John and Cliff Richard with lyrics written by John Farrar. The song has positively achieved market success making it to # 15 in the UK and # 20 in the US the same year it was released.

Up Where We Belong (1982)- Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes (From an Officer and a Gentleman)

This song was the theme for the 1982 movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” and performed by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. Released the same year, it became # 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in November and stayed there for 3 weeks. This song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1983. A Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group was also granted to Cocker and Warnes for the rendition of the song.

Islands in the Stream (1983) – Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

Originally written by the Bee Gees, this song was performed by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton as a duet country and pop single in 1983. It eventually gained two times platinum in the US and eventually was ranked # 1 song of the year in 1983.

All of You (1984) –Julio Iglesias and Diana Ross

Included in Julio Iglesias’ album “1100 Bel Air Place” released in 1984 which sold 8 million copies worldwide, this song also made it to # 19 in US Billboard Hot 100, #2 in US Adult Contemporary Chart, # 38 in US Hot R&B/ Hip Hop Songs and # 43 in UK Singles Chart on the same year.

On My Own (1986) – Michael Mc Donald and Patti LaBelle

Released in 1986, this song duet by singers Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald was part of the former’s platinum album titled “The Winner in You”. The feature of this duet was that the parts for both singers were recorded separately and only “married” through mastering. Despite of this the result was flawlessly achieved accounting for the song’s success making it at #1 on Billboard magazine pop for 3 weeks, #2 in the UK singles chart and eventually as the 22nd best-selling single of 1986 in the UK.

Friends and Lovers (1986) – Glora Loring and Carl Anderson

Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson stunned the world with this song duet back in 1986. Loring being a singer actress and a cast in the TV soap opera “Days of our Lives” and Anderson best remembered for a part played in the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar”. The two performed the song as required in a scene at “Days of Our Lives” which popularized it among viewers before it was officially released commercially as part of Gloria Loring’s self titled album (after being turned down by most recording studios). The song remained on Top 40 for 14 weeks and made it to # 1 on Billboard sales chart. Carl Anderson died after a long time battle with leukemia in 2004.

Especially for You (1988)- Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan

This song was included in Jason Donovan’s 1989 debut album titled “Ten Good Reasons” and later on Kylie Minogue’s US version of her second album “Enjoy Yourself”. The song stayed at #2 for 4 weeks during Christmas of 1988 and rose to #1 in 3 weeks in early 1989.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Especially_for_You

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friends_and_Lovers_(song)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_My_Own_(song)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julio_Iglesias

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islands_in_the_Stream

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Gibb

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivia_Newton-John

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_Where_We_Belong

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/With_You_I'm_Born_Again

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Don't_Bring_Me_Flowers_(song)

10 Bands Who Took Their Name From The Novel A Clockwork Orange

Here we will take a brief look at ten bands who took their name from the novel 'A Clockwork Orange'

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.

3. Devotchka

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.

7. Malchicks

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.

8. Moloko

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.

10.Ultra Violence

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.