The Monday’s Music Moves Me today is a freebie so we can do anything we’d like to for this musical blog hop post. A few months back I started a series called the Kaleidoscope of Color Songs and I still have a few colors to go before its conclusion. (If you missed any of the previous Kaleidoscope of Color Songs posts, you can find them here). Continuing on with the series, today’s 4M post is the RED EDITION, in which I’ve put together a playlist of my favorite songs that have Red in the title. As with the other editions, at the end is some interesting info about the color itself.
Without further ado, here is my RED Edition playlist, along with some facts about each song. Enjoy!
Panama Red by New Riders of the Purple Sage – New Riders of the Purple Sage is an American country rock band. The group emerged from the psychedelic rock scene in San Francisco, California, in 1969, and its original lineup included several members of the Grateful Dead. Their best known song is “Panama Red”. The band is sometimes referred to as the New Riders, or as NRPS.
New Riders of the Purple Sage performed with the Grateful Dead in the beginning of their career, and Jerry Garcia playing pedal steel guitar early on in the band. Originally this was played by Jerry Garcia with Peter Rowan in Old and In the Way in 1973. After Jerry Garcia stopped performing with New Riders of the Purple Sage, they recorded and premiered it on The Adventures of Panama Red. That Nelson-sung cover of Peter Rowan’s “Panama Red” steadily gained traction as an enduring FM radio staple. The album peaked at No. 55 in Billboard and, albeit as a sleeper hit, marked the band’s commercial zenith; in 1979, it was certified gold by RIAA.
As much as this song is commonly mistaken to be about a disease, it is actually about a type of marijuana during the ’70s. The song mentions the story of “Panama Red” who comes into town and starts to make people act crazy. Panama Red is the marijuana. And I must say, I remember it well! Ah, the 70s…
Redneck Friend by Jackson Browne – “Redneck Friend” (or, alternately, “Red Neck Friend”) is a song written and performed by American singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, released as the first single from his 1973 album, For Everyman, and notable for its double entendre lyrics and guest appearances by Glenn Frey and Elton John, as well as the first appearance of David Lindley on a Jackson Browne single. The song, Browne’s third single, reached #85 on Billboard’s Oct. 20, 1973, Hot 100 chart, spending 10 weeks on that chart after debuting at #99 on September 29, 1973. It was also released as a single in France and Japan, and as a promotional single in the United Kingdom and Germany.
In this song Jackson Browne sings about letting loose his fun-loving, country side in an effort to improve relations with his lady. This alter ego was based on his real “Redneck Friend” – Gregg Allman. Browne was a huge fan of The Allman Brothers Band.
Elton John played piano on this track. He didn’t have a US work permit at the time so he was credited on the album as “Rockaday Johnny.” Other musicians on the song were Doug Haywood on bass, Jim Keltner on drums, David Lindley on slide guitar, and Glenn Frey on harmony vocals. The previous year, Brown gave Frey the song that became the first single for the Eagles: “Take It Easy.”
Red, White & Blue (Love It or Leave) by Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Red White and Blue (Love it or Leave)” is a song by southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd released on its 2003 album Vicious Cycle. It was written shortly after the September 11 attacks by Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special brothers Johnny and Donnie Van Zant and another pair of rock brothers, Brad and Brett Warren. It reached number 27 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.
Lead singer Johnny Van Zant discussed the tune in a track-by-track commentary to promote the band’s 2010 CD/DVD Live from Freedom Hall: “We’re big supporters of our troops and we’ve always felt that’s a Skynyrd crowd; we always go back to our fans, we write about our fans and we love our fans. We’ve been blessed to have fans with us for years and years and years for multi-generations now and we’re supporters of our troops and our families. That song is basically written about our fans.”
My hair’s turning white,
My neck’s always been red,
My collar’s still blue,
We’ve always been here
Just trying to sing the truth to you.
Yes you could say
We’ve always been,
Red, White, and Blue
Songwriters on the “Red White & Blue” lyrics: Brad D. Warren / Brett D. Warren / Donald N Van Zant / Johnny Roy Van Zant © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Red Rain by Peter Gabriel – “Red Rain” is the first track on English rock musician Peter Gabriel’s 1986 solo album So. In the USA, it was the second single from the album and reached number three on Billboard magazine’s Mainstream Rock chart in 1986, where it stayed for three weeks between July and August. In the rest of the world it was not released until 1987 and received less airplay and sales, peaking at 46 in the UK singles chart after entering the chart in July of that year. A live version also charted in the US and the UK in 1994.
This was inspired by a recurring dream where Gabriel was swimming in a sea of red water. Gabriel explained to Mojo magazine September 2013: “‘Red Rain’ was written after a dream I’d had about the sea being parted by two walls. There were these glass-like figures that would screw themselves into each wall, fill up with red blood and then be lowered across the sand, as it were to the next wall, where they’d unload the blood on the other side. I used to have these extremely vivid dreams that scared the hell out of me.”
Other inspiration accounts: The song is a combination of several inspirations. The lyrics directly reference a recurring dream Gabriel was having where he swam in his backyard pool drinking cold red wine. Another version of the dream had bottles in the shape of people falling from a cliff. Once they smashed with impact onto the ground, the people-shaped bottles had red liquid coming out, and then it began to rain the same red liquid.
Gabriel: “If feelings of pain do not get brought out, not only do they fester and grow stronger but they manifest themselves in the external world.”
Hi-hat cymbals were used to simulate rain.
Red Skies by The Fixx – “Red Skies” is a song by new wave/rock band the Fixx. Released in 1982, it was the third single from the group’s debut album, Shuttered Room. It reached #13 on Billboard’s Album Rock Tracks but peaked at #101 in Billboard in early 1983. The song also charted in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. It was later re-recorded for the band’s 1987 album, React.
This song finds The Fixx lead singer and lyricist Cy Curnin singing about the aftermath of a nuclear fallout. In a Songfacts interview with Curnin in 2012, he said that this tune, along with “Stand or Fall,” echoed “back to that sense of impotence that I felt after 9/11.” He explained: “I was feeling that sense of impotence back then in the early ’80s or late ’70s when Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were getting in bed together, metaphorically speaking, and designing a whole defense system that involved Europeans’ lives without asking us – it was never on any electorate ballot that I can remember. That struck a chord.”
The band performed the song on Saturday Night Live on February 18, 1984.
“Red Skies” peaked at number 13 on the U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, number 44 in the Netherlands and number 57 in the UK. Winda Benedetti of The Spokesman-Review said it was one “of the more cutting-edge pop [songs] of the time.” Mark Spinn of The Orange County Register called it “the best of the band’s moodier material.” Bill Locey of the Los Angeles Times complimented the song’s “memorable chorus”.
Red River by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – “Red River” is a song from the 13th and final studio album Hypnotic Eye by American rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released on July 29, 2014, by Reprise Records. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, becoming the only Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album to ever top the chart. Hypnotic Eye was nominated for the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. It turned out to be the band’s final studio album, as it was the last released prior to Petty’s death on October 2, 2017.
The first sessions for the album occurred in August 2011 at the band’s Los Angeles-based rehearsal space, the “Clubhouse,” where the song “Burnt Out Town” was recorded. The album marks a stylistic return to the band’s first two albums, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1976) and You’re Gonna Get It! (1978).
Promotion for the album: On June 10, 2014, the song “American Dream Plan B” was released as the lead single from the album, along with two additional tracks, “Red River” and “U Get Me High,” from the band’s website and digital stores. A month later, a CD single with “American Dream Plan B” and “U Get Me High” and a coupon for $2 off the price of the album were released. The tracks “Forgotten Man” and “Fault Lines” were released for streaming by the band’s website in early July 2014. Additionally, all five tracks released in promotion of Hypnotic Eye were released on an “interactive radio” with a tuning dial that finds the tracks for listeners.
All tracks on the album were written by Tom Petty, except “Fault Lines” which was written by both Petty and Mike Campbell. All songs were arranged by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Red Velvet Car by Heart – “Red Velvet Car” is the title track from Red Velvet Car, the fourteenth studio album by American hard rock band Heart, released worldwide on August 31, 2010. It was Heart’s first set of new material since 2004’s Jupiter’s Darling. It peaked at No. 10 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and at No. 3 on the US Rock Albums Chart, making it Heart’s first top 10 hit in 2 decades. It contains the Billboard US Adult Contemporary Chart hit single “Hey You” (No. 26) and the Top Selling Rock Singles Chart hit “WTF” (No. 16).
During an in-the-studio interview with Billboard magazine, guitarist Nancy Wilson explained the recording process of the record was organic. “We’re recording with just a real woodshed, small acoustic element, people playing together at the same time and (in) the same room – like what they used to call a hootenanny,” she said “There’s no ProTools feel to it at all. We’re just sitting around playing guitars together and going for a performance that is on the spot.”
Nancy Wilson told the story of this song on the band’s website: “When I first said those words, I knew it right away that it was a phrase worth using in a song. Sue Ennis – our friend and our co-writer from way back – was in town and really needed a rescue from the Hollywood hotel where she was attending a seminar. I said, “Are you kidding me? I’d come get you in a red velvet car. I wrote it down immediately. Ann took that title and ran it.”
Lead singer Ann Wilson added: “Nancy is like Ringo in that sense. She’s always been great at coming up with cool turns of phrase that don’t really need to be explained because they communicate something powerfully. Musically, I’ve got to give it to Ben Mink, because I wanted the song to have that R&B sensuality to it, but also something fresh, and I think together, we got it.”
In 2010, Heart teamed up with Toronto-based animation producer Jodi Sandler to create a video for the title track “Red Velvet Car.’ Throughout their US tour to promote the album, the music video played on a large screen behind the band when they played this song. It’s awesome and I included it in my playlist videos so be sure to check it out.
Little Red Corvette by Prince – “Little Red Corvette” is a song by American musician Prince. Released as a single from the album 1999 in 1983, the song was his biggest hit at the time, and his first to reach the top 10 in the US, peaking at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It was also his first single to perform better on the pop chart than the R&B chart. Following Prince’s death, the song re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at number 29. It rose to number 20 one week later. It has sold 1,080,601 digital copies in the United States.
The song combines a drum machine beat and slow synth buildup for the verses and a full rock chorus. The lyrics use car imagery as a double entendre for sex also making use of horse related imagery for similar purposes. Slate has noted that the song is about “ambivalence, vulnerability, and fear” of casual sex. With the site also noting that the lyrics possess post disco themes, stating “Disco lived by the myth that Saturday night never ends. “Little Red Corvette’ not only insists that it does, it reminds us that a lot of what took place in the darkened corners of clubs and alleys was shadowy, fumbling, detached, or often worse.”
In the song, Prince narrates a one-night stand with a beautiful but promiscuous woman (the “Little Red Corvette” of the title); although he enjoys the experience, he urges her to “slow down” and “find a love that’s gonna last” before she destroys herself. In addition to the title, he uses several other automobile metaphors, for example comparing their lovemaking to a ride in a limousine.
Prince got the idea for this song when he dozed off in backup singer Lisa Coleman’s 1964 Mercury Montclair Marauder after an exhausting all-night recording session. The lyrics came to him in bits and pieces during this and other catnaps. Eventually he was able to finish it without sleeping
Coleman’s car was often reported to be a pink Edsel, but she later explained that it was a Marauder (far more sexy than an Edsel) that Prince helped her buy at a 1980 auction.
The song is about sex, but it’s just ambiguous enough not to offend most listeners. The line, “She had a pocket full of horses, Trojans, some of them used,” refers to Trojan condoms. The “Jockeys” represent men who have previously slept with the girl. These were veiled sexual references that not enough people got to make the song be considered offensive. Many of Prince’s earlier songs, like “Head,” “Dirty Mind,” and “Soft and Wet,” were blatantly sexual, which scared off radio stations.
This was Prince’s his first Top 10 US hit. It helped propel him to superstar status, a title he lived up to with electrifying live shows and a startlingly prolific output of material, including music, movies and videos.
1999 was Prince’s fifth album. He had just modest success to this point, his biggest hit being the #11 “I Wanna Be Your Lover” four years earlier. The title track was issued as the first single in September 1982, about a month before the album was released. That song reached #44 US in December, and “Little Red Corvette” was released as the second single in February 1983. The song made a slow climb up the charts, reaching #6 in May.
From November 1982 to April 1983, Prince toured behind the album. As “Little Red Corvette” rode up the charts, he drew far larger crowds – the early dates proved to be some of his last theater shows, as he was a clear arena headliner by the end of the tour.
The music video for “Little Red Corvette” was one of the first videos by a black artist to get regular airplay on MTV. Michael Jackson was the first to break the color barrier on MTV with “Billie Jean,” and “Little Red Corvette” came soon after. The band shot the clip during a tour stop in Jacksonville; the song was already a radio hit when they made it.
In concert, Prince would do some impressive James Brown-style dancing during the instrumental break in this song, complete with an array of spins and splits. These moves are seen in the video, which captures one such performance.
In 2001, Chevrolet put up billboards with a picture of a red 1963 Corvette Sting Ray that said, “They don’t write songs about Volvos.” In 2003, Chevrolet used this in a commercial that aired for the first time during the Grammys. The ad showed old footage of The Beach Boys performing “My 409” followed by Don McLean singing “American Pie” (“drove my Chevy to the levee”), and then Prince performing this. The camera then goes outside the club to show Chevy’s latest model.
There was a Billboard for the Chevrolet Corvette made from this song as well. It had the lyric “Little Red Corvette, baby ur much 2 fast” and Prince’s logo over the Corvette. It was displayed behind the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2003.
FUN FACT: Stevie Nicks got the idea for “Stand Back” from this song. She heard it in her car, drove to the recording studio, and put down some tracks. “It just gave me an incredible idea, so I spent many hours that night writing a song about some kind of crazy argument, and it was to become one of the most important of my songs,” she remembered in the liner notes for “Timespace”.
Prince came in and added the keyboard bit. As Nicks tells it, he came up with the riff as soon as he started playing it.
Red Barchetta by Rush – This was the second song from Canadian rock band Rush’s best-selling album to date, Moving Pictures, released in 1981.
This is a futuristic song about a farmer (the narrator’s uncle) who keeps a Red Barchetta in pristine condition for some “fifty-odd years” in his barn at his secret country home even after motors are outlawed (Before the “Motor Law”). Every Sunday, the narrator sneaks out to this location and goes for a drive in the countryside. During one such drive, he encounters a “gleaming alloy air car” (assume police) that begins to chase him along the roads. A second such vehicle soon joins the pursuit, which continues until the narrator drives across a one-lane bridge that is too narrow for the air cars. He outruns and ditches the law and returns to the barn, hides the car and safely returns to his uncle’s farm. During the Moving Pictures Tour, Rush used a video to bring the story to life.
The song was inspired by the futuristic short story “A Nice Morning Drive”, written by Richard Foster and published in the November 1973 issue of Road and Track magazine. The story describes a similar future in which increasingly stringent safety regulations have forced cars to evolve into massive Modern Safety Vehicles (MSVs), capable of withstanding a 50-mile-per-hour (80 km/h) impact without injury to the driver. Consequently, drivers of MSVs have become less safety-conscious and more aggressive, and “bouncing” (intentionally ramming) the older, smaller cars is a common sport among some.
Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart made several attempts to contact Foster, the author of the story, during the recording of Moving Pictures, but Road and Track did not have an up-to-date address, and Rush were forced to settle for a brief “inspired by” note in the lyric sheet mentioning the story. (In July 2007, Foster and Peart finally made contact with one another. Foster later posted on his website an account of their journey by motorcycle through the backwoods of West Virginia between stops on Rush’s 2007 Snakes & Arrows Tour).
Barchetta, literally “small boat” in Italian, is a term used by Italian car manufacturers for two-seat sports cars with either an open top or convertible roof. The term was originally used for lightweight open-top racing cars of the late 1940s through the 1950s. Since the 1950s, the name barchetta has been revived on several occasions, mostly for cars with convertible roofs that are not specifically intended for racing.
The Barchetta is a classic example of a car built for speed, a hot rod, made by Ferrari. The first car to leave the Maranello factory in 1947 was a red, V12-engined Barchetta. From the beginning it was designed as a racing car and it went on to win at its second outing in the Grand Prix of Rome. Alongside the racing cars, development continued apace for a road-going version. This is how the 166 MM – the first Ferrari to win the Le Mans 24 Hours and also see use as a high-performance, road-going two-seater – was created. The history of the V12 front-engine Ferraris started here.
According to the book The Complete Ferrari by Godfrey Eaton, the name of the car is pronounced “Barketta” [barˈketta], although it is sung with a “ch” sound by Geddy Lee. He admitted that he had incorrectly pronounced the word after an Italian friend pointed out the correct pronunciation.
The harmonics in the intro were played by Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson. In talking about the Moving Pictures album and “Red Barchetta” in particular on “In The Studio” with Redbeard, Alex Lifeson explains: “That was the intention with Red Barchetta – to create a song that was very vivid, so that you had a sense, if you listen to it and listen to the lyrics, of the action. It does become a movie. I think that song really worked with that in mind; it was successful with that intention. It’s something that I think we’ve tried to carry on– become a little more visual with our music, since then. But that one in particular was very satisfying. It was always one of my favorites. I think it’s probably my favorite from that album. I like the way the parts knit together. I like the changes. I like the melody of the song. I love the dynamics of it, the way it opens with the harmonics and creates a mood, then gets right into the driving, right up to the middle section where it’s really screaming along, where you really feel like you’re in the open car, and the music’s very vibrant and moving. And then it ends as it began with that quiet dynamic, and lets you down lightly. So it picks you up for the whole thing and drops you off at your next spot.”
On the Exit Stage Left DVD, guitarist Alex Lifeson says, “Well it seems to me that a car has been one of the standard metaphors and volumes have been written about the sociological and cultural impact of the car and what it represents, but, it also has a very fundamental, sensual appeal, and it’s a metaphor for sexuality and for freedom.”
Red Red Wine by UB40 – “Red Red Wine” is a song originally written, performed, and recorded by American singer Neil Diamond in 1967. It is included on Neil’s second studio album, Just for You. The lyrics sing the praises of wine and its ability to make you forget your problems. It’s sung from the perspective of a person who finds that drinking red wine is the only way to forget his woes.
The song was covered by several artists shortly after Diamond’s recording was released. In 1968, the Dutch singer Peter Tetteroo (from the band Tee Set) had a hit with a cover of the song in Netherlands. Tony Tribe covered the song in 1969 in a reggae-influenced style. In 1983, UB40 recorded perhaps the best known version of the song, in a lighter reggae style. The UB40 version topped the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. Diamond later performed a UB40-inspired version of the song while on tour.
UB40 recorded their rendition for their album of cover versions, Labour of Love. According to the band, they were only familiar with Tony Tribe’s version (they apparently didn’t realize that the writer, credited simply as “Diamond”, was in fact Neil Diamond), and their version featured a lighter, reggae-style flavor compared to Diamond’s somber, acoustic ballad. Lead singer Ali Campbell recalls in the book 1000 UK #1 Hits: “The funny thing about the song is we only knew it as a Reggae song. We had no idea that Neil Diamond wrote it.” Terence “Astro” Wilson, confirmed: “Even when we saw the writing credit which said N. Diamond, we thought it was a Jamaican artist called Negus Diamond or something.”
The Labour Of Love album is a collection of covers comprised of reggae songs the band grew up listening to; other tracks include “Many Rivers to Cross” by Jimmy Cliff and “Cherry Oh Baby” by Eric Donaldson. It was UB40’s fourth album, and the group was eager to expose their expanding fan base to the reggae classics they loved. “Before we come along, people just looked on reggae as Rastaman, and half the white English people don’t want to know,” the group’s rapper Astro Wilson told NME. “To some degree that alienated people from getting into reggae. When we came out – just the fact that half the band are white when reggae was supposed to be for Rastas only – they started to realize that reggae is just music and it’s there for whoever wants to listen to it, and whoever wants to play it.”
The UB40 version adds a toasted verse by UB40 member Astro, opening: “Red Red Wine, you make me feel so fine/You keep me rocking all of the time”, which was edited from the single that reached number one on the UK Singles Chart in August 1983 and number 34 in the United States in March 1984 but not from the version that reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 a few months after being performed at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Concert in 1988. In September 2014, the Official Charts Company announced that sales in the UK had reached one million. The song also reached number one in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
Songwriter Neil Diamond has stated that it is one of his favorite covers of his songs. Diamond frequently performs the song live using the UB40 reggae arrangement as opposed to the original version.
In the music video, lead singer Ali Campbell is actually drinking beer, and not red wine. The video was filmed in a local Birmingham, England pub where you wouldn’t want to be caught drinking wine.
To avoid hiring extras, the band invited guys from a nearby factory to join them at the pub, graciously paying the bar bill in exchange for their services. It was shot in the morning, and by noon, most of these hired hands were blotto. According to various accounts, when they staggered back to work, they were fired on the spot, although later given their jobs back.
The black-and-white clip was directed by Bernard Rose, who worked on many of UB40’s videos and also directed the original, bacchanalian “Relax” clip for Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
I’ve included in my playlist both music videos mentioned here, the B&W one by Bernard Rose and the live performance at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Concert (1983) is the final video in the playlist.
I Saw Red by Warrant – “I Saw Red” is a song by American rock band Warrant. Warrant is an American glam metal band formed in 1984 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, that experienced success from 1989 to 1996 with five albums reaching international sales of over 10 million. The band first came into the national spotlight with their 2× platinum debut album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich, and one of its singles, “Heaven,” reached No. 1 in Rolling Stone and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The band continued its success in the early 1990s with the 2× platinum album Cherry Pie which provided the hit album titled song and music video.
“I Saw Red” was released in December 1990 as the second single from the Cherry Pie album. The song was one of Warrant’s most successful singles, reaching number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1991, number fourteen on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and #36 on the Australian charts and spawning a music video.
The song was inspired by a true story of betrayal. It was written after Warrant lead vocalist Jani Lane had walked in on his girlfriend in bed with his best friend, resulting in Lane’s nervous breakdown and the delayed release of the band’s first record Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. It’s a good song.
Jani Lane had an impressive background. He was born John Kennedy Oswald (later changed to John Patrick Oswald), on February 1, 1964 in Akron, Ohio. His musical career started quite early. In 1983 he adopted the stage name “Jani Lane.” The name came from his German grandparents’ pronunciation and spelling of Johnny as “Jani.” They said it as Yay-nee and that stuck. Jani had quite a varied career, including a solo one, but sadly, on August 11, 2011, it was announced by the Los Angeles Police Department, that Jani Lane had been found dead of acute alcohol poisoning at a Comfort Inn hotel in Woodland Hills, California. It was confirmed that Lane was officially pronounced dead by fire department personnel who responded to a call shortly before 5:30 p.m. He was 47 years old.
A public memorial concert, with performances by fellow rockers Great White, Quiet Riot and L.A. Guns, was held on Monday, August 29, 2011 at the Key Club in Hollywood.
Red by Taylor Swift – “Red” is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for her fourth studio album of the same name (2012). Musically, “Red” is a country song, and its lyrics uses colors and metaphors to describe an intense and tumultuous relationship.
Taylor previewed this upbeat track on the October 1, 2012 episode of ABC’s Good Morning America. The song finds the Country-Pop star playing with the idea of colors in relation to her emotions about a former beau, as she sings: “Losing him is blue, like I’d never known. Missing him was dark grey, all alone. Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met. But loving him was red.” Before playing the track, Swift explained its meaning: “I wrote this song about the fact that some things are just hard to forget,” she said, “because the emotions involved with them were so intense and, to me, intense emotion is red.”
This seems like a good time to point out that Taylor’s ex, John Mayer (likely the subject of her song “Dear John”), has synaesthesia, which means he sees music as colors.
Taylor first announced the title of the album during a web-chat on August 13, 2012. The Country star explained that she decided to name the LP after this song, as its lyrics encompass the entire theme of the project. “Thinking about what that means to me and all the different emotions that are written about on this album – they’re all pretty much about the tumultuous, crazy, insane, intense, semi-toxic relationships that I’ve experienced in the last two years,” she noted. “All those emotions – spanning from intense love, intense frustration, jealousy, confusion – in my mind, all those emotions are red. There’s nothing in between; there is nothing beige about any of those feelings.”
The Red album was based around one particular romance which ended badly, so Swift was surprised to receive a phone call from the ex in question after he heard the tracks. She told New York Magazine, “(I) heard from the guy that most of Red is about. He was like, ‘I just listened to the album, and that was a really bittersweet experience for me. It was like going through a photo album.’ That was nice. Nicer than, like, the ranting, crazy emails I got from this one dude. It’s a lot more mature way of looking at a love that was wonderful until it was terrible, and both people got hurt from it – but one of those people happened to be a songwriter. So what are you going to do? Did you not Wikipedia me before you called me up (for a date)?”
Red sold 1.208 million copies in its debut week, which was more than any album since 2002, when Eminem sold 1.322 million copies of The Eminem Show in its first seven days. This meant that Taylor became the first woman ever to have two million-selling weeks since SoundScan started keeping track of album sales in 1991. (2010’s Speak Now, sold 1.047 million copies in its first week).
The Red album topped the sales charts in 42 countries.
A music video for the song was released on July 3, 2013, the video features footage from Swift’s Red Tour. Crowd cheers in the concert can be heard in the background as well. As of September 2017, the video has over 128 million views on YouTube.
Forever Red by Omar Lopez – OMAR PHOENIX (formerly Omar Lopez) is an award-winning jazz, rock and world music electric violinist, dog trainer, and civil and human rights activist based in Austin, Texas.
“Forever Red” is from the 2005 Forever Red album. It is my favorite Omar Lopez album. I have seen Omar perform several times here in Austin. He is absolutely the most incredible violinist I have ever heard. He rocks the electric violin like no other.
His shows are amazing, his musical talent with the violin are beyond measure and his vocals are powerful. A classically trained violinist, Omar dazzles with surprising riffs and grooves in his contemporary style. I hope to see him perform again soon.
The following are some online write-ups on this musician:
OMAR LOPEZ (aka OMAR PHOENIX) is earning a reputation as the Jean-Luc Ponty of this millennium for his explosive style and refined technique on the violin. A true entertainer, he combines his classical training with rock, Latin-jazz, dance, electronica, and world music to create a unique and inspired sound. Moreover, his soulful and uninhibited vocals are reminiscent of pop and R&B greats like George Michael and Stevie Wonder, with a Spanish-language suave comparable to that of Latin stars such as Luis Miguel and Enrique Iglesias. Omar has opened for Latin superstar Jose Feliciano, Broadway legend Jennifer Holliday, and rock icon Pat Benatar, and he recently began touring with Emmy Award-winning Spanish flamenco guitarist and composer BENISE.
I found this announcement of Omar’s return to Austin last year, from the Broadway World Austin website: In January 2017, “world-jazz” electric violinist, singer and entertainer OMAR PHOENIX will return to performing after a five year absence with a three-night engagement at the City Theatre in Austin, Texas.
Omar’s self-taught style has made him an undisputed entertainer with a passion for the stage and a technique and showmanship on the electric violin, combining a classical influence with a Latin-jazz and Middle-Eastern flair and a sizzling hard-rock vibe.
During the time between his last local concert in December 2011, Omar toured with nouveau flamenco guitarist and PBS staple BENISE on a three year world tour from Beirut, Lebanon to Beijing, China. He is also recognized as the violinist for local Latin-jazz sensation THE BREW and Austin’s “Queen of Soul” TAMECA JONES. However, and most surprisingly to longtime fans of his music, he has also received local recognition as the four-year owner and operator of Phoenix K9 Training and Totally Pawz Dog Walking, helping the owners of dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages realize the best potential for their relationships with their pets.
Despite his recent successes with work based around his love for dogs, Omar recognized a resurgent need for a musical message which celebrates a love for humanity, spiritual unity, and LGBT equality and, after spending a year working in the studio on new music, decided that the time was right to bring his show back to the stage. He will be joined by his five-piece band and backup singers for a concert event showcasing his classic originals from his albums “FOREVER RED” and “MIRRORS AND MEMORIES” as well as new music from his next album, due for release in Summer 2017.
OMAR PHOENIX is an undisputed entertainer with a passion for the stage and a technique and showmanship on the electric violin that earned him recognition as one of Austin’s Top String Musicians for seven years in a row by the Austin Chronicle. As an openly gay artist, he got his start performing at clubs such as THE FORUM and RAIN and is also known for his work with local Latin-jazz sensation THE BREW and Austin’s “Queen of Soul” TAMECA JONES. Moreover, he has shared the stage with artists such as Jose Feliciano, Spanish and pop superstar Enrique Iglesias, Broadway legend Jennifer Holliday (“Dreamgirls”), and 80s rock icons Cyndi Lauper and Pat Benatar. Omar’s self-taught style, which combines a classical influence with a Latin-jazz and Middle-Eastern flair and a sizzling hard-rock vibe, earned him a spot as featured soloist with Dreamsound Orchestra on its world tour from 1998 to 2000. Most recently, Omar was also the violinist and singer for nouveau flamenco guitarist BENISE, performing all over the US as well as internationally from Beirut, Lebanon to Beijing, China.
To date, Omar has produced and released three full-length albums of original music, backed by an impressive roster of studio and live musicians and vocalists who also join him onstage as his live band. His catalog includes a “FOREVER RED” (released in 2005), “EXPERIENCE” (2007), and “MIRRORS AND MEMORIES” (2010), and he is now working on his fourth studio album, a pop rock due for release in SummER 2017.
His Forever Red album is by far my favorite. Here is an online review of that album:
Forever Red album review: Omar Lopez and his band are on the cutting edge of something great. Taking from inspirations in various ethnic and world-style music, and borrowed at times from the influence of Yanni, Omar’s class and style put forth a very pleasing project. The songs are energetic and punchy, with plenty of electronic beats to provide the driving rhythm for his stunning violin solos. This album is a must have. His live performances are phenomenal, and there’s always a line to purchase one of his CDs. Guaranteed to impress.
Red Rubber Ball by The Crykle – “Red Rubber Ball” is a pop song written by Paul Simon and Bruce Woodley of The Seekers and recorded by The Cyrkle, whose version reached #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and in New Zealand. In Canada, the song reached number one.
In 1964, Simon & Garfunkel’s released their debut album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., which was a flop. Paul Simon relocated to England before returning to the US a year later after finding out that the song “The Sound Of Silence” had been overdubbed with electric instruments and was a now a huge hit. It was in this period when Simon was pursuing a solo career that he met Bruce Woodley, who was a songwriter and member of the Seekers, and the two wrote this song. It was intended for The Seekers, but Woodley’s bandmates turned it down.
This was The Cyrkle’s first hit. The Cyrkle were known as the Rondells before Brian Epstein became their manager and renamed them. John Lennon came up with the new name.
The song was recorded when the band was in danger of disbanding over creative differences. Tom Dawes (the band’s bassist) was touring with Simon & Garfunkel, when Simon offered his band this song. When Simon & Garfunkel finished their tour, The Cyrkle recorded it, and their manager, Brian Epstein (who also managed the Beatles), hired them to open for the Beatles’ 1966 summer tour, which had audiences of up to 70,000 people.
The Seekers finally recorded a version of this song for their 1966 album Georgy Girl. A live version by Simon & Garfunkel can be found on their 1997 collection Old Friends. Other artists who have covered this song include Del Shannon and Mel Torme.
99 Red Balloons by Nena – “99 Luftballons” (German: Neunundneunzig Luftballons, “99 balloons”) is an anti-war protest song by the German band Nena from their 1983 self-titled album. An English-language version titled “99 Red Balloons”, with lyrics by Kevin McAlea, was also released on the album 99 Luftballons in 1984 after widespread success of the original in Europe and Japan. The English version is not a direct translation of the German original and contains somewhat different lyrics.
While at a June 1982 concert by the Rolling Stones in West Berlin, Nena’s guitarist Carlo Karges noticed that balloons were being released. As he watched them move toward the horizon, he noticed them shifting and changing shapes, where they looked like strange spacecraft (referred to in the German lyrics as a “UFO”). He thought about what might happen if they floated over the Berlin Wall to the Soviet sector.
Also cited by the band was a newspaper article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal about five local high school students who in 1973 played a prank to simulate a UFO by launching 99 (one was lost from the original 100) aluminized Mylar balloons attached with ribbons to a traffic flare. The red flame from the flare reflected by the balloons gave the appearance of a large pulsating red object floating over Red Rock Canyon outside the Las Vegas valley.
A direct translation of the title is sometimes given as “Ninety-Nine Air Balloons”, but the song became known in English as “Ninety-Nine Red Balloons”. The title “99 Red Balloons” almost scans correctly with the syllables falling in the right places within the rhythm of the first line of lyrics: “red” partially replacing a flourish of the singer before “Luft”. Neunundneunzig (99) has one syllable more than “ninety-nine”, so the last syllable and “Luft” are blended in the English translation and become “red”.
The lyrics of the original German version tell a story: 99 balloons are mistaken for UFOs, causing a General to send pilots to investigate. Finding nothing but child’s balloons, the pilots decide to put on a show and shoot them down. The display of force worries the nations along the borders and the Defence ministers on each side bang the drums of conflict to grab power for themselves. In the end, a 99-year war results from the otherwise harmless flight of balloons, causing devastation on all sides without a victor. At the end, the singer walks through the devastated ruins and lets loose a balloon, watching it fly away.
According to David Frum, the political context of the song was the protests against NATO nuclear missile deployments.
Music Video: The promotional video was shot in a Dutch military training camp, the band performing the song on a stage in front of a backdrop of fires and explosions provided by the Dutch Army. Towards the end of the video, the band are seen taking cover and abandoning the stage which was unplanned and genuine since they believed the explosive blasts were getting out of control.
In 2006, the video was used for a $200,000 fundraising campaign for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. VH1 Classic played the English and German versions for an hour straight as part of Mercy Corps’ campaign.
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So that’s my RED playlist. I was thinking of including the very first Red song I ever heard in my life but I thought it might be better suited as a stand-alone. Here’s an old Red song that is maybe the most recognizable Red song of all time:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Gene Autry – is a song by songwriter Johnny Marks based on the 1939 story Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer published by the Montgomery Ward Company. Gene Autry’s recording hit No. 1 on the U.S. charts the week of Christmas 1949. You can read more about how the song and the character came to be at Rudolph’s Wikipedia page.
Here’s a 1949 recording of this Christmas classic known the world over. It’s a lovely matchup with Gene Autry and The Pinefores.
WHAT IS RED ALL ABOUT ANYWAY??
So how do you feel about the color Red? It seems to be one of those colors for which people have strong opinions. Here is some fun information on the meaning of the color red, taken from the Bourn Creative’s Color Meaning Blog Series:
Red, the color of blood and fire, is associated with meanings of love, passion, desire, heat, longing, lust, sexuality, sensitivity, romance, joy, strength, leadership, courage, vigor, willpower, rage, anger, danger, malice, wrath, stress, action, vibrance, radiance, and determination.
Red is assertive, daring, determined, energetic, powerful, enthusiastic, impulsive, exciting, and aggressive. Red represents physical energy, lust, passion, and desire. It symbolizes action, confidence, and courage. The color red is linked to the most primitive physical, emotional, and financial needs of survival and self-preservation.
The color red is an intense color that is packed with emotion ranging from passionate, intense love to anger and violence — representing both cupid and the devil. It is a hot, strong, stimulating color that represents excitement and energy. Studies show that the color red can create physical effects such as elevated blood pressure, enhanced libido, increased respiratory rates, enhanced metabolism, increased enthusiasm, higher levels of energy, and increased confidence.
The color red is a highly visible color that is able to focus attention quickly and get people to make quick decisions, which is one of the reasons fire trucks and fire engines are usually painted red. Flashing red lights mean danger or emergency, while stop signs and stop lights use the color red to alert drivers about the dangers of the intersection.
Red represents power and courage. The color red is the basis of the traditional red power tie or red suit in business, and the red carpet for celebrities and VIPs. Red’s association with courage and bravery makes it a color that is used often in national flags, on shields, and in achievement patches.
Too much red causes loss of temper, agitation, anger, and overbearing, demanding, and oppressive behaviors. Too little red causes lethargic, cautious, whiny, and manipulative feelings. To get out of control emotions under control add green, the opposite of red. To get rid of exhaustion, add more red.
In different cultures red carries different meanings. In some cultures, red represents purity, joy, and celebration and is a traditional color worn by brides. In China, red is used for good luck and represents happiness and prosperity. In South Africa, red is the color of mourning and in Russia red is associated with communism because in history, used a red flag when they overthrew the Tsar. In the United States, red, when combined with white and blue represent patriotism and pride of country.
Red gemstones are believed to increase enthusiasm and interest, boost energy, create confidence, and offer protection from fears and anxieties.
Other meanings associated with the color red:
- When the color green and the color red are combined, they traditionally represent Christmas and the joyous holiday season.
- Red is often associated with the fortieth wedding anniversary, as the red ruby is the traditional fortieth wedding anniversary gift.
- Barns and large structures have been traditionally painted red because the red paint was the most inexpensive paint to purchase and the easiest paint to manufacture.
- A red rose without thorns is a symbol of passion, love, and romance. While a red rose with thorns typically exemplifies the struggle and challenges associated with journey of love, meaning that it can be both joyous, fulfilling and delicate, as well as painful and cruel.
- The saying “in the red” means losing money, no money, or overdrawing your account at the bank and is thought to come from the feelings of stress and anxiousness and the physical symptoms they cause such as elevated blood pressure and often anger or danger.
- The term “red herring” is used when referencing something that is deceiving, dishonest, or distracting from the truth.
- The phrase “paint the town red” is associated with celebration, partying, abandon, fun, and excitement.
- The expression “seeing red” is thought to be based on the physical characteristic of anger, including redness of the cheeks, physical exertion, and elevated blood pressure.
- The term “red eye” is associated with overnight airline flights due to the perceived lack of sleep passengers receive and the appearance of red in the whites of their eyes as a result.
- The saying “red carpet treatment” refers to making someone feel special and pampered as if they are a VIP or high profile person.
- The phrase “red flag” is often used in reference to a warning of danger, problems, fighting, and war.
Additional words that represent different shades, tints, and values of the color red: scarlet, crimson, vermillion, carmine, maroon, burgundy, ruby, rose, madder, rouge, brick, blood red, blush, fire engine red, cinnabar, russet, rust, Venetian red, flame, Indian red, tomato.
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Hope you all have enjoyed my Red edition of the Kaleidoscope of Color Songs series. Do you have any favorite Red songs? I only have a few colors left to explore in this series, four to be exact. Although for one of the colors I have such a big list of favorite songs it’s going to have to be split into two (freebie) posts. Can you guess which color that is??
Monday’s Music Moves Me (4M) is a blog hop hosted by Marie of X-Mas Dolly, and co-hosted by Cathy of Curious as a Cathy and Stacy of Stacy Uncorked Two other co-hosts recently joined the fun: Alana of Ramlin’ with AM and Naila Moon of Musings & Merriment with Michelle. Be sure to stop by and visit the hosts and the other participants listed below: