Battle of the Bands RESULTS: Taxman

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(If you’re looking for my A-Z post, please scroll down to the next post)

It’s Results Day for Battle of the Bands and I’ve tallied all the votes. The Beatles’ Taxman was the song and the contenders were Stevie Ray Vaughan vs. Rockwell.

First of all, the voting was down I think because of the A-Z Challenge. Even so, this was a tight battle with both artists neck and neck throughout the voting. I was hoping for a different outcome though.

My choice did not win. I voted for Rockwell. Overall I liked the sound better. I didn’t care for Stevie Ray’s vocals at all. But it was a close call:

Stevie Ray with 8 votes

Rockwell with 7 votes

So I guess that’s what they call a good battle. I just wish it had turned out the other way around…I really wanted to see Rockwell win this one.

As always, thanks for participating! See you on May 1st for my next battle…

Battle of the Bands – Taxman

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(If you’re looking for my A-Z post, please scroll to the next post)

Today is April 15th, the dreaded deadline for filing U.S. income taxes. I’m always relieved when this day is over because my tax returns are mailed off and I’m done for another year. I thought it fitting for today’s Battle of the Bands to feature the Beatles song, Taxman.

“Taxman” is a song written by George Harrison and released as the opening track on the Beatles’ 1966 album Revolver. Its lyrics attack the high levels of progressive tax taken by the British Labor government of Harold Wilson. I couldn’t find a YouTube version of this song performed by the Beatles but I did find this one of George Harrison and Eric Clapton performing it in Tokoyo, Japan in 1991. This is just provided for your enjoyment and not part of the battle.

 

Taxman has been covered by a number of artists. Presented here today are two versions: one by Blues great Stevie Ray Vaughn and the other by Technopop artist Rockwell. I really like both versions here and it will be a hard choice for me. How about you? Give a listen to the contenders and then vote on which one you like best. I’ll post the results in 6 days.

CONTENDER #1:

Stevie Ray Vaughan: Stephen “Stevie” Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. In spite of a short-lived mainstream career spanning seven years, he is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of blues music, and one of the most important figures in the revival of blues in the 1980s. AllMusic describes him as “a rocking powerhouse of a guitarist who gave blues a burst of momentum in the ’80s, with influence still felt long after his tragic death.”

Stevie covered Taxman on his posthumous Greatest Hits album:

 

CONTENDER #2:

Rockwell: Kennedy William Gordy (born March 15, 1964), better known by his stage name Rockwell, is the son of Motown founder and CEO Berry Gordy and Margaret Norton. His father named him Kennedy William Gordy after John F. Kennedy and William “Smokey” Robinson. To avoid the appearance of nepotism, he secured his record deal without his father’s knowledge. Motown actually came up with the name Rockwell and the young Gordy agreed to the change because he believed he “rocked well.”

In 1984, Rockwell released his biggest hit single, “Somebody’s Watching Me” from the album of the same name. Also featured on that album is his cover of Taxman:

 

 

TIME TO VOTE! Which version do you like better and why?

And when you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

 

 

 

 

 

P is for Percy Sledge, Peter Frampton, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Pure Prairie League, Paul McCartney, Paul Revere & the Raiders, The Police, The Pretenders, Procol Harum, Prince, Paul Simon, Pat Benatar, Patti Smith, Patti Labelle, Peaches & Herb, Poison and Pink Floyd!!! Wowsa!

DISCLAIMER THAT APPEARS AT THE BEGINNING OF ALL A-Z 2015 PAGES:

Welcome to the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life! I have wanted to put something like this together for a long time now and the A-Z Challenge just seemed like the perfect opportunity. I’ve compiled stories, trivia, research, music videos and live concert footage on all the bands and musical artists who have been important to me over the years, especially during my youthful years in the 60s and 70s. At first glance, the posts may seem long – and some of them are due to the number of videos included – but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, see or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and listen to the great music that you’ll find here. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! In addition to individual songs, there are some full albums here for those who may want to enjoy some music while they’re surfing or working. I hope you find that the stories are entertaining, the information educational and the trivia interesting. It would be a tremendous honor if you would bookmark the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life as a resource for great music and music information! Now, let’s get started with…

Wowsa! HUGE LETTER, P!

Let’s start with P is for Percy Sledge (1941-2015) – We lost an all-time great this week. Legendary singer Percy Sledge died this week (Tuesday, April 14, 2015) at his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. From Huffington Post:

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (AP) — Percy Sledge, who soared from part-time singer and hospital orderly to lasting fame with his aching, forlorn performance on the classic “When a Man Loves a Woman,” died Tuesday in Louisiana. He was 74.

His family said in a statement released through his manager, Mark Lyman, that he died “peacefully” at his home in Baton Rouge after a yearlong struggle with cancer. The cause of death was liver failure, Lyman said.

A No. 1 hit in 1966, “When a Man Loves a Woman” was Sledge’s debut single, an almost unbearably heartfelt ballad with a resonance he never approached again. Few singers could have. Its mood set by a mournful organ and dirge-like tempo, “When a Man Loves a Woman” was for many the definitive soul ballad, a testament of blinding, all-consuming love haunted by fear and graced by overwhelming emotion.

The song was a personal triumph for Sledge, who seemed on the verge of sobbing throughout the production, and a breakthrough for Southern soul. It was the first No. 1 hit from the burgeoning Muscle Shoals music scene in northern Alabama, where Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones among others would record, and the first gold record for Atlantic Records…”

In tribute to the great Percy Sledge, here he is performing When A Man Loves A Woman:

 

Rest in Peace Percy Sledge. Thank you for your soulful contributions.

 

P is for Peter Frampton – I’m starting with Peter Frampton because that was one of my earliest concerts. Not my first but probably my second or third. Peter Frampton concert ticket stubI saw him at the Niagara Falls Convention Center and Rick Derringer opened up for him, and Golden Earring opened for Derringer. I remember having floor seats and being all dreamy over Frampton’s hair at the time! He had just released his international breakthrough live album “Frampton Comes Alive!”  Selling more than six million copies in the US alone, the album yielded several hits, including my favorites Do You Feel Like We Do and Baby, I Love Your Way.

Frampton, born in the UK, started young. At age 12 he was already playing in a band. He went to school with David Bowie and the two would sit together at lunch breaks and play Buddy Holly songs, according to history reported at Wikipedia. “At the age of 14, Peter was playing with a band called The Trubeats followed by a band called The Preachers, produced and managed by Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones.

He became a successful child singer, and in 1966 he became a member of The Herd. He was the lead guitarist and singer, scoring several British pop hits. Frampton was named “The Face of 1968” by teen magazine Rave.” At 18 (in 1969), Frampton joined with Steve Marriot to form the band Humble Pie. After 4 studio albums and one live album, he left Humble Pie to strike out on his own with a solo career in 1971. Although he worked diligently, he saw little commercial success until 1976 when Frampton Comes Alive came out. His use of the Talk Box effects unit in Do You Feel Like We Do and Show Me the Way captured my attention and that’s when I discovered him.

Do You Feel Like We Do: Here’s Frampton performing the full version of the song on Burt Sugarman’s the Midnight Special in 1975.

 

Show Me the Way: also from the 1975 appearance on the Midnight Special.

 

Baby, I Love Your Way: In 2011, Frampton, with a lot less hair, embarked on a world tour celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the release of Frampton Comes Alive!

I’m in You – videoclip from 1977:

 

P is for Procol Harum – an English rock band formed in 1967. They contributed to the development of progressive rock, and by extension, symphonic rock. Their best-known recording is their 1967 hit single “A Whiter Shade of Pale”, which is considered a classic of popular music and is one of the few singles to have sold over 10 million copies. (Source: Wikipedia)

A Whiter Shade of Pale  (1967):

 

P is for The Pretenders – The Pretenders are an English-American rock band formed in England in 1978 with front-woman Chrissie Hynde (lead vocals and rhythm guitar). I wasn’t a huge Pretenders fan, per se, but a few songs I really like and one in particular has special meaning for me. My City Was Gone is that song. Originally appearing in October of 1982 as the B-side to Back on the Chain Gang, the song is about Chrissie Hynde’s hometown of Akron, Ohio. “The song was written by Pretenders leader Chrissie Hynde and reflected her growing interest in environmental and social concerns; the lyrics take the form of an autobiographical lament with the singer returning to her childhood home of Ohio and discovering that rampant development and pollution had destroyed the “pretty countryside” of her youth. The song makes a number of specific references to places in and around Akron, Ohio including South Howard Street (line 5), and the historic center of Akron, which was leveled to make way for an urban plaza with three skyscrapers and two parking decks (line 8).” (Source: Wikipedia)

The reason it resonates with me is that when it came out I was living in Ohio at the time, attending Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH. The song was getting a lot of airplay and my friends back home were telling me that every time they heard the song, they thought of me. It also deeply resembled what had happened to Youngstown at the time too, formerly a thriving steel-mill industry closed down and left the city in the depths of despair and depression. During the time I was there, the city was experiencing a startling 13% unemployment rate.

Another interesting tidbit about this song: Rush Limbaugh was using it for his radio talk show! I’ll start off by saying that I absolutely detest, abhor, HATE Rush Limbaugh. He is right-wing radical loudmouth who makes my skin crawl every time I hear his voice! That being said, he deserves mention here because of his use of Chrissie Hynde’s song. Taken from Wikipedia, here is the story:

“The opening bass riff from this song “was something that Tony Butler used to play just as a warm-up,” said Steve Churchyard, the engineer for the record. It has been used as the opening theme ‘bumper’ for Rush Limbaugh’s popular American talk radio program since 1984 during his days at KFBK in Sacramento, California. Even though he didn’t use the lyrics, Limbaugh said in 2011 he chose it because of the irony of a conservative using such an anti-conservative song, though he mainly liked its “unmistakable, totally recognizable bass line.” In 1999, Rolling Stone magazine reported that, according to Hynde’s manager, Limbaugh had neither licensed the song nor asked permission to use it. According to Rolling Stone, EMI took action after Limbaugh told a pair of reporters in 1997 that “it was icing on the cake that it was [written by] an environmentalist, animal rights wacko and was an anti-conservative song. It is anti-development, anti-capitalist and here I am going to take a liberal song and make fun of [liberals] at the same time.” EMI issued a cease and desist request that Limbaugh stop using the song, which he did. When Hynde found out during a radio interview, she said her parents loved and listened to Limbaugh and she did not mind its use. A usage payment was agreed upon which she donates to PETA. She later wrote to the organization saying, “In light of Rush Limbaugh’s vocal support of PETA’s campaign against the Environmental Protection Agency’s foolish plan to test some 3,000 chemicals on animals, I have decided to allow him to keep my song, ‘My City Was Gone’, as his signature tune…”

And here is that fabulous song, which I can listen to over and over and over again!

 

P is for Pat Benatar As a woman, I am a big supporter of female artists. Pat Benatar is a powerhouse female artist! In fact, she was the first female artist to play on MTV, with her hit single You Better Run.

Pat Benatar (born Patricia Mae Andrzejewski in Brooklyn, NY) was an Army wife, marrying her high school sweetheart Dennis Benatar. She worked as a bank teller near Richmond, VA, where her husband was then stationed. In 1973, Benatar quit her job as a bank teller to pursue a singing career after being inspired by a Liza Minnelli concert she saw in Richmond! You can read about her career history at Wikipedia, but it was in 1979 that Benatar saw her first commercial hit with Heartbreaker. This video is Pat and her band on German television show “Rock Pop” during their first European tour. AIRDATE: March 1, 1980:

In August of 1980, Benatar released her album Crimes of Passion featuring her signature song, Hit Me with Your Best Shot. The album won her a first Grammy for “Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.” Here is Pat Benatar performing “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” live as the musical guest on the cult classic comedy show Fridays:

Also on that album was her controversial song Hell is for Children. She was inspired to write that song after reading a series of articles in the New York Times about child abuse in America. Here she is performing the song live at the New Haven Coliseum in 1982:

And Treat Me Right:

Her third album, Precious Time, was released in July of 1981. A month later it topped the Billboard US Top 200 LP charts in the No. 1 spot. It was also her first album to chart in the UK. The lead single, Fire and Ice, won her a second Grammy Award. Here’s the official music video of the song:

Also from Precious Time was her hit Promises in the Dark:

Shadows of the Night earned Benatar her third Grammy:

Love is a Battlefield came next, released in December 1983. Official music video:

Her next hit single, We Belong, was released in October of 1984 and because another Top 10 U.S. hit. Official music video:

In 1985, Benatar released her sixth studio album and her single Invincible (the theme from the movie The Legend of Billie Jean) garnered her a Grammy nomination.

Wow, is Pat Benatar a prolific artist or what??!!! She’s a powerhouse of talent and drive!

 

P is for Paul Revere and the Raiders Going back in time to showcase an American rock band whose main success was in the mid-60s and early 70s. My favorite song that reminds me of summer days back home when I was young is their platinum certified #1 hit single from 1971, Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian):

Kicks – Not sure what show this is from but it must be in the 60s as Kicks came out in 1966 and the show is in black and white. The dancing girls kinda crack me up! They are in need of some serious choreography! J

 

P is for Patti Smith

I was introduced to Patti Smith back in 1978 by my friend Joanne (God rest her sweet soul!) who had her album Horses. I was both intrigued and disturbed by the lyrics of the title track. It was poetic and dark, but very original. As stated in Wikipedia, Patti Smith ‘is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses. Called the “Godmother of Punk”, her work is a fusion of rock and poetry. Smith’s most widely known song is “Because the Night”, which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen and reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978.”

I do like her Because the Night but I’m most drawn to Horses and Gloria. I’ve listed a live performance of Gloria as well as the album version. The other song I like from the Horses album is Free Money. The below video is a fabulous performance of that song.

Horses – In 1975, the Patti Smith Group recorded their first album, Horses. This is the title track:

Gloria – performed live on April 22, 1979 – Patti Smith Group at Rockpalast TV (Germany):

Gloria – the album version:

Because the Night – as seen on Vh1 (1978)

Free Money – Live in Stockholm, 1976

Dancin’ Barefoot (from the Wave album) –

 

P is for Peter Gabriel – “is an English singer-songwriter, musician and humanitarian activist who rose to fame as the lead vocalist and flautist of the progressive rock band Genesis. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel went on to a successful solo career. His 1986 album, “So”, is his most commercially successful, and is certified triple platinum in the UK and five times platinum in the US. The album’s biggest hit, Sledgehammer, won a record nine MTV Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards. Sledgehammer remains the most played music video in the history of MTV.” (source: Wikipedia)

Big Time

Shock the Monkey

In Your Eyes

Games Without Frontiers

Red Rain

 

P is for Phil Collins – English singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actor, Phil Collins gained fame as both drummer and lead vocalist for the rock group Genesis, and he gained worldwide fame as a solo artist. Collins is one of the most successful songwriters and performers of all time, singing the lead vocals on dozens of hit albums and singles in the United Kingdom and the United States between 1976 and 2010, either as a solo artist or with Genesis. … Collins joined Genesis in 1970 as the group’s drummer and became their lead vocalist in 1975 following the departure of original frontman Peter Gabriel. His solo career, which was launched in 1981 and was heavily influenced by his personal life and soul music, brought both himself and Genesis greater commercial success. Collins’s total worldwide sales as a solo artist are 150 million. Collins has won numerous music awards throughout his career, including seven Grammy Awards, six Brit Awards—winning Best British Male three times, three American Music Awards, an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards and a Disney Legend Award in 2002 for his solo work. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010. Collins was listed at number 22 in Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time,” number 10 in a countdown by Gigwise and number 9 by MusicRadar.

Collins is one of only three recording artists (along with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson) who have sold over 100 million albums worldwide both as solo artists and (separately) as principal members of a band.” (source: Wikipedia)

Wow! Impressive. Here are my favorite Phil Collins solo hits:

Easy Lover – Music video with Philip Bailey and Phil Collins performing a duet of Easy Lover. (C) 1984 Sony BMG Music Entertainment

In the Air Tonight – official music video

Another Day in Paradise – Live at Montreaux 2004

I Don’t Care Anymore – official music video

Against All Odds – official music video- the song was recorded for the soundtrack to the 1984 movie of the same name, starring Rachel Ward, Jeff Bridges and James Woods. The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. This was a first number 1 hit for Phil Collins.

Sussudio –  official music video

One More Night – Phil Collins Live at the Reunion Arena in Dallas Texas during his 1985 No Jacket Required world tour! Performed on May 29th 1985.

Take Me Home – official music video

 

Obviously Genesis was indeed the genesis of the incredible solo careers for both Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel! Wow, prolific solo success for these men!

 

P is for Pure Prairie League (Does anyone else always have a hard time spelling ‘prairie’??) – Okay, if this next song comes on when I’m driving, I just have to hit the pedal, go a little faster, find some open highway and roll! Amie is one of those songs that instantly makes me feel free. It’s not necessarily the lyrics but the music itself that moves me to a place of freedom.  Here’s an extended version, with lyrics. You might not recognize the beginning because the extended version seldom gets airplay, but two minutes in, you’ll recognize the strum and harmonies. Crank it up!

Amie was PPL’s first hit and started charting in 1975. The band, formed in the mid-1960s, played many gigs, mainly throughout the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast. “As a result of their heavy schedule, particularly at colleges, their songs became well known; “Amie” (Craig Fuller’s ode to an on-again/off-again relationship), from the second album, became a particular favorite.

As “Amie” grew in popularity, radio stations began receiving requests for it. As a result, RCA re-released [the album] Bustin’ Out and issued “Amie” as a single in late 1974. It peaked at No. 27 on April 26, 1975, just as a minor bluegrass revival was underway on midwestern college campuses.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Although they didn’t achieve great worldwide success, they are still performing today.

 

P is for The Police – an English rock band formed in London in 1977, The Police, for most of their history, consisted of “Sting (lead vocals, bass), Andy Summers (guitar) and Stewart Copeland (drums). The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and are generally regarded as one of the first new wave groups to achieve mainstream success, playing a style of rock that was influenced by punk, reggae, and jazz. They are also considered one of the leaders of the Second British Invasion of the US.

Here’s an interesting bit of trivia that I bet most people don’t realize:

“Prior to his days in the Police, Sting had spent time as a secondary school teacher for English and Mathematics, and his work with the band reflects a literary awareness. For example, material on the album Ghost in the Machine was inspired by the writings of Arthur Koestler, and the Police’s final studio album Synchronicity was influenced by the writings of Carl Jung. Sting also peppers his songs with literary allusions: the song “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” mentions Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita; the song “Tea in the Sahara” alludes to the novel The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles; and the song “Wrapped Around Your Finger” refers both to the sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis, from Greek mythology, and to Mephistopheles, from the German legend of Faust.” Who knew?!

Although I like quite a few Police songs, my favorite has to be Wrapped Around Your Finger:

Every Breath You Take – (“Synchronicity 1983”) – Live in Concert at Baseball Stadium Tokyo Dome 2008 Japan

Synchronicity II

Message in a Bottle – Live in Concert 2008 at the Tokyo Dome, Japan

Every Little Thing She Does is Magic (lyrics video):

Don’t Stand So Close to Me – music video (audio doesn’t start until a few seconds in):

So Lonely

 

P is for Paul Simon – Paul Simon is an American musician and singer/songwriter whose fame and influence began when he was part of the hit duo Simon & Garfunkel, which had formed in 1964 with his musical partner Art Garfunkel. Together they did three songs that reached No. 1 on the U.S. singles charts, with Paul Simon writing nearly all of the pair’s songs, including these three: The Sound of Silence, Mrs. Robinson and Bridge Over Troubled Water. The pair split up in 1970 when they were at the height of their success and popularity and Simon went on to begin a solo career in which he recorded three critically acclaimed albums over the following five years.

In 1972, his first solo studio album, Paul Simon, was released. Simon experimented with world music with the Jamaican-inspired Mother and Child Reunion, “considered one of the first examples of reggae by a white musician.” (source: Wikipedia)

This is a fabulous video posted on YouTube by user L Chang (see it at http://youtu.be/IiMdkY_5Gfw). Here is what the poster said of the video: “People have posted many interesting and very plausible meanings of this song online. But IMHO nothing compares to this short film here. After all , Simon came up with the title after seeing a chicken and egg dish called “Mother and Child Reunion” on the menu at 456 restaurant in Chinatown, New York. At least, the Ostriches in the film are still alive. Enjoy.” (my sentiments exactly!)

Another Top 30 hit around that same time was his Me & Julio Down by the Schoolyard: (this video is from 1992 however):

Simon’s next project was a pop-folk album called There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, released in May of 1973. His hit Kodachrome reached No. 2 in American charts that year.

Kodachrome (Simon & Garfunkel Live in Central Park, NY 1981)

Faring even better was his gospel-flavored Loves Me Like a Rock which topped the charts. Here’s Paul Simon with the Jesse Dixon Singers on the Dick Cavett Show (not sure of the year):

Simon’s third studio album was the highly anticipated Still Crazy After All These Years, released in October 1975. It was a departure in style as it was darker due to the fact that he wrote and recorded it during his divorce. The 18th Grammy Awards names it Album of the Year and named Paul Simon as Best Male Pop Vocal. The album included a Simon & Garfunkel reunion song, My Little Town, and the single on the album that reached the No. 1 spot at the top fo the charts, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.

My Little Town:

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover performed live in 2000:

 

P is for Paul McCartney – Legendary member of the Beatles, McCartney went on to pursue and achieve a very successful solo career after the breakup of the Beatles. “Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in March 1999, McCartney has written, or co-written 32 songs that have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and as of 2014 he has sold more than 15.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States. McCartney, Lennon, Harrison and Starr received MBEs in 1965, and in 1997, McCartney was knighted for his services to music.

McCartney has released an extensive catalogue of songs as a solo artist and has composed classical and electronic music. He has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rights, seal hunting, land mines, vegetarianism, poverty, and music education.”

My favorite McCartney songs are:

Maybe I’m Amazed

Live and Let Die

Band on the Run

Junior’s Farm – Paul McCartney & Wings performing Junior’s Farm at Abbey Road Studios in Westminster, London, England. Performed and recorded live on August 15th, 1974. Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, Denny Laine, Jimmy McCulloch, Geoff Britton.

Jet – a One Hand Clapping rehearsal in 1974

Listen to What the Man Said

Let ‘em In – This song has particular significance for me since it started playing just as my greyhound Harry was making his transition. He was being euthanized by the vet at my house and I had music playing. This song played just as his heart stopped beating. It was perfect timing and I think not coincidental: I truly believe it was my angels letting me know that Harry had made it to his Heavenly home safe and sound. You can read more about Harry, his transition and the lyrics that spoke to me here. The video is a live version of the song from a 1976 concert (unknown location):

Silly Love Songs

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

 

P is for Patti Labelle – How about a little 70’s Disco? Here’s Patti Labelle doing her iconic disco song Lady Marmalade (performing in 1975):

And here she is, ten years later, in 1985 with her hit New Attitude (Music video by Patti LaBelle performing New Attitude. (C) 1984 Geffen Records):

 

P is for Peaches & Herb – a little more Disco for ya! Peaches & Herb performing Shake Your Groove Thing on an episode of Soul Train:

 

P is for Prince – I wasn’t particularly a huge Prince fan but I did see him in concert – in the same week that I also saw Michael Jackson in concert. Was such a fabulous comparison/contrast with the two pop artists! I don’t have my concert ticket stub because I was in a sky suite with one of the Washington, DC television stations. They treated a bunch of us media buyers to a night out. This was for Prince’s Sign “O” the Times Tour in 1987. My four favorite Prince songs are When Doves Cry, Purple Rain and Let’s Go Crazy and Raspberry Beret.

I did see the movie Purple Rain when it came out back in 1984. About the film, Wikipedia reports: “Purple Rain is a 1984 American rock musical drama film directed by Albert Magnoli and written by Magnoli and William Blinn. In it, Prince makes his film debut, which was developed to showcase his particular talents. Hence, the film contains several extended concert sequences. The film grossed more than US$80 million at the box office and became a cult classic. Purple Rain is the only feature film starring Prince that he did not direct. The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score, currently the last film to receive the award.”

When Doves Cry – Prince’s first #1 hit single from the Purple Rain album (click on link to be taken to When Doves Cry video)

Purple Rain (click on link to be taken to Purple Rain video)

Let’s Go Crazy  (click on link to be taken to Let’s Go Crazy video)

Raspberry Beret (click on link to be taken to Raspberry Beret video)

 

P is for Poison – Poison is considered an American glam metal band whose peak success ran from the mid-80s to the mid-90s. I’m not big on metal bands but Poison has a few great sing-along songs. Their Top 100 Number 1 hit is a favorite song of mine: Every Rose Has It’s Thorn

They have another song that is essentially my motto:

Nothin’ But A Good Time – Official Music video:

 

P is for PINK FLOYD – Let’s end this really long blog post on a mellow, mind-bending note. Kick back, smoke a doobie, put on some headphones and let Pink Floyd fill your head with their amazing sounds.

Here are three of my favorite Pink Floyd albums:

Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd’s most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling albums worldwide. “The Dark Side of the Moon is the eighth studio album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, released in March 1973. It built on ideas explored in the band’s earlier recordings and live shows, but lacks the extended instrumental excursions that characterised their work following the departure in 1968 of founder member, principal composer, and lyricist, Syd Barrett. The Dark Side of the Moon ’​s themes include conflict, greed, the passage of time, and mental illness, the latter partly inspired by Barrett’s deteriorating mental state. …

pink-floyd-dark-side-of-the-moon

The group used some of the most advanced recording techniques of the time, including multitrack recording and tape loops. Analogue synthesizers were given prominence in several tracks, and a series of recorded interviews with the band’s road crew and others provided the philosophical quotations used throughout…The album’s iconic sleeve, designed by Storm Thorgerson, features a prism that represents the band’s stage lighting, the record’s lyrical themes, and keyboardist Richard Wright’s request for a “simple and bold” design.” (Source: Wikipedia)

From Dark Side of the Moon:

Breathe, Speak to Me/Any Colour You Like  (click on the link to be taken to YouTube to hear the song)

Money  (click on the link to be taken to YouTube to hear the song)

 

Animals – “Animals is the tenth studio album by English progressive rock group Pink Floyd, released in January 1977. A concept album, it provides a scathing critique of the social-political conditions of late 1970s Britain, and presents a marked change in musical style from their earlier work. …

PinkFloyd-Animals album cover

Animals is the child of a Waters concept. Loosely based on George Orwell’s political fable Animal Farm, its lyrics describe various classes in society as different kinds of animals: the combative dogs, despotic ruthless pigs, and the “mindless and unquestioning herd” of sheep. Whereas the novella focuses on Stalinism, the album is a critique of capitalism and differs again in that the sheep eventually rise up to overpower the dogs. The album was developed from a collection of unrelated songs into a concept which, in the words of author Glenn Povey, “described the apparent social and moral decay of society, likening the human condition to that of mere animals”” (Source: Wikipedia)

Animals album – song: Pigs  (click on the link to be taken to YouTube to hear the song)

Animals album – song: Dogs (click on the link to be taken to YouTube to hear the song)

 

The Wall – “The Wall is the eleventh studio album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd. It is the last studio album released with the classic lineup of Gilmour, Waters, Wright and Mason before keyboardist Richard Wright left the band. Released as a double album on 30 November 1979, it was supported by a tour with elaborate theatrical effects, and adapted into a 1982 feature film, Pink Floyd – The Wall.

Pink Floyd - thewall

As with Pink Floyd’s previous three albums, The Wall is a concept album and explores themes of abandonment and personal isolation. The album is a rock opera that follows Pink, a character whom bassist and lyricist Roger Waters modelled after himself and the band’s original leader, Syd Barrett. Pink’s life begins with the loss of his father during the Second World War and continues with abuse from his schoolteachers, an overprotective mother, and the breakdown of his marriage; all contribute to his eventual self-imposed isolation from society, represented by a metaphorical wall. Waters conceived the album during Pink Floyd’s 1977 In the Flesh Tour, when his frustration with the audience became so acute that he imagined a wall between the audience and the stage.

The Wall features a harsher and more theatrical style than Pink Floyd’s previous albums. Wright left the band during its production but remained as a salaried musician, performing with Pink Floyd during the Wall tour. The album was one of the best selling of 1980, and by 1999 it had sold over 23 million RIAA certified units (11.5 million albums) in the United States. Rolling Stone magazine placed The Wall at number 87 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”  (Source: Wikipedia)

The movie: “Pink Floyd – The Wall” is a 1982 British live-action/animated musical film directed by Alan Parker based on the 1979 Pink Floyd album The Wall about a confined rocker who’s driven into insanity and constructs a wall to be protected from the world around him. The screenplay was written by Pink Floyd vocalist and bassist Roger Waters. The film is highly metaphorical and is rich in symbolic imagery and sound. It features very little dialogue and is mainly driven by the music of Pink Floyd. The film contains fifteen minutes of elaborate animation sequences by the political cartoonist and illustrator Gerald Scarfe.

This is a link to the movie on YouTube:

Pink Floyd-The Wall movie

Also available on YouTube are both discs of the full album. 

 

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS OR BANDS THAT START WITH THE LETTER P? Who did I forget? Who would you have chosen? Please share in the comments section!

 

B is for Bad Company, Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Brownsville Station, Bob Seger, Badfinger, Blackfoot, Billy Squire, Billy Thorpe, Boston, Billy Joel, Billy Preston, Bread, Bruce Springsteen, the Bee Gees, the Band, the B-52s and of course The Beatles!

B

DISCLAIMER THAT APPEARS AT THE BEGINNING OF ALL A-Z 2015 PAGES:

Welcome to the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life! I have wanted to put something like this together for a long time now and the A-Z Challenge just seemed like the perfect opportunity. I’ve compiled stories, trivia, research, music videos and live concert footage on all the bands and musical artists who have been important to me over the years, especially during my youthful years in the 60s and 70s. At first glance, the posts may seem long – and some of them are due to the number of videos included – but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, see or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and listen to the great music that you’ll find here. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! In addition to individual songs, there are some full albums here for those who may want to enjoy some music while they’re surfing or working. I hope you find that the stories are entertaining, the information educational and the trivia interesting. It would be a tremendous honor if you would bookmark the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life as a resource for great music and music information! Now, let’s get started with…

B is for Bad Company – When I look at my iTunes library, probably the most songs that I have by a single artist, besides the Beatles, has to be Bad Company. I absolutely love every single Bad Company song there is, literally. Bad Company was the first concert I ever saw. Back when tickets were $6 (for Bad Company AND Kansas)!

Bad Company concert stub

Bad Company, the title track to their self-titled album “Bad Company”, that simple black and white album cover that is recognized by people the world over, is the first song I ever remember hearing by the band. And still to this day, when it comes on the radio (because so many Bad Company songs are still in regular rotation on radio stations all over America) I crank it up all the way and jam out. You can too, right now:

I guess I would say that my favorite Bad Company album is “Runnin’ with the Pack.” Off the Runnin’ with the Pack album, I love the title track Runnin’ with the Pack and Silver Blue & Gold. Here’s Bad Company performing both of those songs in a 2002 concert:

Another favorite of mine is Sweet Lil Sister. I love dancing to this song! (audio only; video is just a still of the album cover):

“Straight Shooter” is Bad Company’s second album and was released in 1975. One song I really enjoy singing is “Weep No More” (audio only; video is a still of the album cover):

That second album had several hits, including Good Lovin’ Gone Bad and Feel Like Makin’ Love. Their song Shooting Star, which told the story of a rock star dying early, was lyrically inspired by the drug and alcohol-related deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison.

Here’s Vh1 Classic’s “Behind the Music” special on Bad Company. Great documentary on the group:

This is a great song with which to end this Bad Company segment and the perfect little video to go with their song Seagull, from their first album “Bad Company”:

B is for Blue Oyster Cult and Black Sabbath: 2 B bands that I just happened to see TOGETHER! For their Black and Blue tour. The year was 1980.

Black Sabbath Blue Oyster Cult concert stub  I actually wrote about this concert last year in another post so you can skip this part if you already read it (but scroll down to see my other B bands). It was such an epic concert! This is taken from my previous post:

There was the time at the Black Sabbath/Blue Oyster Cult concert –the Black & Blue tour they called it — when Blue Oyster Cult started to play “E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence),” one of their songs that didn’t get a lot of radio play but happened to be my favorite song on their Agents of Fortune album, Agents of Fortune album coverand I shot up out of my seat, arm up over my head, fist pump and a scream Yeeah! And for what seemed like a really long minute, I was the only one standing in the entire convention center because I knew the song from the squeak of the first note while it took the rest of the people a few notes before they figured out what song it was. It was a weird moment, but a cool one.

I had gone to this concert with my friend Chris, one of the funniest guys you’d ever meet, who could keep me laughing for hours. Like the time we were trippin’ and walking around his neighborhood: well, not quite AROUND his neighborhood. We’d walk a few steps and then stop because we were laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe let alone walk; we were out in the street, laughing hysterically for nearly two hours and the farthest we got from his house was three houses down the road, probably in all a total of 180 feet. Anyway, that’s another story. So here we are back at the Black & Blue concert in the Niagara Falls Convention Center and don’t ya know we ended up getting stuck in the middle of what looked like a never-ending row of seats. It wasn’t like that when we sat down. We had great floor seats, 9th row from the stage, dead center. Of course the middle section was flanked by two other sections, one on the right, one on the left (duh!) with walkways separating the three sections. Well, sometime during Blue Oyster Cult’s set, people had moved up to get closer and their chairs filled both walkways. So when the lights went up for intermission, we got up so we could go use the lavatories but stopped short when we saw the row configuration had changed. We looked in both directions and then at each other and both of us, in unison, said, “Nah. We can wait.” We psyched ourselves into believing that we didn’t have to pee THAT bad when really we were just too high to try to navigate through and over the sea of people.

Crazy show. Here’s a little Paranoid from Black Sabbath, video of a 1970 performance. God, I love the 70s!

Iron Man is the iconic classic that I can’t get enough of:

B is for Blue Oyster Cult

Don’t Fear the Reaper:

E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) – Music video by Blue Oyster Cult performing E.T.I. (C) 1978 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT:

Godzilla – Blue Oyster Cult performing “Godzilla” live at the iHeartRadio Theater on December 17, 2012:

Other favorite B bands

B is for Billy Squier – I spent many a night in bars listening to cover bands and dancing to Billy Squier songs! Here are the ones that evoke the fondest of fun memories and make me want to stop whatever I’m doing and dance every time I hear them:

My Kinda Lover:

Rock Me Tonight:

Everybody Wants You – Live in Detroit in 1983 during the Emotions in Motion tour:

In the Dark:

The Stroke:

Emotions in Motion – This song was released as a single in 1982, with Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor lending vocals:

Here’s another Billy that you probably haven’t thought of in awhile:

B is for Billy Thorpe (March 29, 1946 – February 28, 2007) was an English-born Australian pop/rock singer songwriter and musician. Leaving his band, Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs, he relocated to the U.S. and performed as a solo artist: Remember that uber cool song Children of the Sun? He released this “space opera” and it peaked in the Top 40 of the Billboard Pop Album chart in 1979.  Here’s a video that provides a nice visual treat to go along with this very unique song (video produced by the Sandman368 Video Variety Channel on YouTube):

B is for Brownsville Station – an American rock band from Michigan most remembered for their hit Smokin’ in the Boys Room from their 1973 album Yeah!

B is for Boston – I used to listen to this album, and particularly this song, while winding down country roads in my 1971 Monte Carlo, joint in hand, pedal to the medal, flying on long tree-lined roads… Obviously, that was a Long Time ago:

B is for Bachman Turner Overdrive – My cousin Brad, God rest his precious soul, and I used to air-guitar to BTO when we were kids, back in the early 70s.

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet  1974

Roll on Down the Highway  in 1974 

Hey You in 1972 

Here’s Bachman and Turner, just a wee bit older:

Let it Roll  – found this on the YouTube channel of Eagle Rock: “Randy Bachman and C.F. “Fred” Turner were the core members of Bachman-Turner Overdrive throughout their commercial heyday in the 1970s. Between them they also composed the vast majority of the band’s many hit singles.

Reuniting at the end of 2009 they released an eponymous album in 2010 and in November of that year they performed at the famous Roseland Ballroom in New York City as part of their North American tour. This video was filmed at the show.”

B is for Badfinger: How about some Badfinger? They were a British rock band who had some sad tragedy, culminating from the darker side of the music industry, the business side. Here is the story from Wikipedia:

“Badfinger was a British rock band that originally consisted of Pete Ham, Mike Gibbins, Tom Evans and Ron Griffiths. The band evolved from an earlier group called The Iveys that was formed in 1961 by Ham, Ron Griffiths and David “Dai” Jenkins in Swansea, Wales. They were signed by the Beatles’ Apple label in 1968 as The Iveys. In 1969, Griffiths left and was replaced by Joey Molland, and the band renamed itself Badfinger. In 1970, the band engaged American businessman Stan Polley to manage their commercial affairs. Over the next five years the band recorded several albums for Apple and toured extensively, before they became embroiled in the chaos of Apple Records’ dissolution.

Badfinger had four consecutive worldwide hits from 1970 to 1972: “Come and Get It” (written and produced by Paul McCartney), “No Matter What”, “Day After Day” (produced by George Harrison) and “Baby Blue”. In 2013, “Baby Blue” made a resurgence onto the “Hot Rock Songs” Billboard 100 chart at number 14, due to its featuring at the end of the series finale of the hit TV show Breaking Bad. Their song “Without You” has been covered many times, including a Billboard number one hit for Harry Nilsson.

They signed to Warner Bros., but Polley’s financial machinations resulted in a lawsuit by Warner over missing escrow account money. Warner’s consequent withdrawal from market of the 1974 album, Wish You Were Here (seven weeks after its release), cut off the band’s income. Three days before his 28th birthday, on 24 April 1975, Ham committed suicide by hanging himself, leaving a note that included damning comments about Polley.

Over the next three years, surviving members struggled to rebuild their personal and professional lives against a backdrop of lawsuits. The albums Airwaves (1978) and Say No More (1981) floundered, as Molland and Evans see-sawed between co-operation and struggle in attempts to revive and capitalise on the Badfinger legacy. Having seen Ham’s body after Ham’s wife had called him, Evans reportedly never got over his friend’s suicide, and was quoted as saying in darker moments, “I wanna be where he is.” On 19 November 1983, Evans also took his own life by hanging.”

Very sad. I love their music. But now when I hear it, I get an overall feeling of melancholy because of the sadness that surrounded the band. Here they are doing Baby Blue in 1972:

And No Matter What:

Come and Get It:

Day After Day: another performance from 1972:

B is for The Band doing The Weight:

B is for Bob Seger – I had great seats at the Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band concert, and let me tell ya: He just rocks a live show! Bob Seger concert ticket stub  Oh man, it’s hard to pick out a favorite Seger song but I would have to say that Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man is my ultimate favorite. I can play that song over and over and over…and over some more and never get sick of it!

Get ready to get up and dance: here’s Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man:

Beautiful Loser – Here’s a lyric video:

Turn the Page

Fire Down Below – performance on the David Letterman Show:

Fire Lake – this is the only video of Fire Lake I could find! The sound isn’t great (at all) but I love this song so much I didn’t want to leave it off. Not sure where this concert footage came from but it was from a long time ago. If anyone comes across another Fire Lake video that allows embedding, please let me know in the Comments section.

Night Moves

Her Strut

Mainstreet – recorded in 1977 in New Orleans (audio only):

Against the Wind – 1980 concert at the Capital Centre in Largo, MD:

Rock ‘n Roll Never Forgets – Studio version (audio only):

B is for Blackfoot: How about a little Southern Rock? No self-respecting blogger posting about classic rock would leave out that southern rock genre and what better B band than Blackfoot to show us how it’s done! Here’s Blackfoot, Live in 2007:

B is for Billy JoelAmerican pianist, singer-songwriter and composer, his life was changed after seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show and he decided to pursue a career in music. In an interview, Joel commented about the impact of the group: “After seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, Joel decided to pursue a career in music. In an interview he said of the group’s impact, “That one performance changed my life. Up to that moment I’d never considered playing rock as a career. And when I saw four guys who didn’t look like they’d come out of the Hollywood star mill, who played their own songs and instruments, and especially because you could see this look in John Lennon’s face — and he looked like he was always saying: ‘F— you!’ — I said: ‘I know these guys, I can relate to these guys, I am these guys.’ This is what I’m going to do — play in a rock band.”

He went on to have 33 Top 40 hits in the US, all of which he wrote himself. He’s a six-time Grammy Award winner and was nominated an impressive 23 times over the course of his career. Since releasing his first hit song, “Piano Man,” in 1973, Joel has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States. (Wikipedia)

Here’s an interesting tidbit, also found on Wikipedia: “Joel attended Hicksville High School until 1967, but he did not graduate with his class. He had been playing at a piano bar to help his mother make ends meet, which interfered with his attendance at the end of his senior year, Joel did not have enough credits to graduate. Rather than attend summer school to earn his diploma, Joel decided to begin a career in music: “I told them, ‘To hell with it. If I’m not going to Columbia University, I’m going to Columbia Records, and you don’t need a high school diploma over there’.” Joel did, in fact, eventually sign with Columbia. In 1992, he submitted essays to the school board and was awarded his diploma at Hicksville High’s annual graduation ceremony, 25 years after leaving.”

I love hearing someone play piano and there’s no one quite like Billy Joel. I saw him in concert back in 1990 at the Capital Centre in Washington DC. Billy Joel

Music video by Billy Joel performing Piano Man. YouTube view counts pre-VEVO: 4,421,628 (C) 1985 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT:

If you’re a Billy Joel fan – or would like to become one – give a listen right here. He has so many hits that his Greatest Hits comes in three volumes! Here’s a cool 6 minute compilation video of snippets of 12 of his hits:

A great interview with Billy Joel. I believe this is from 1985. He reveals some very intimate details about his life, his troubles, his fears.

B is for Bruce Springsteen: And I can’t visit the B bands without mentioning Bruce Springsteen, who I also saw in concert. The year was 1987, it was his Tunnel of Love tour and I was up in a hospitality box (sky box) as a guest of the CBS affiliate in Washington DC (WUSA). They treated us buyers (I was a media buyer at an advertising agency at the time and a client of the station’s) with a fun dinner, a trip to the stadium and a gift bag with all kinds of cool stuff, including binoculars! That was a super fun night. And of course it was an awesome show. They don’t call Bruce “the Boss” for nothin’!

My favorite Springsteen song? Probably has to be Dancin’ in the Dark: Music video by Bruce Springsteen performing Dancing In The Dark. (C) 1984 Bruce Springsteen

Thunder Road

 

B is for Billy Preston – I didn’t realize that Billy Preston had such a significant relationship with the Beatles! He was an American musician whose work included R&B, rock, soul, funk and gospel. A virtuoso keyboardist, Preston was recognized as a top session musician in the 1960s, during which he backed artists such as Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and the Beatles. He then went on to achieve fame as a solo artist, with hit pop singles including “That’s the Way God Planned It”, “Outa-Space”, “Will It Go Round in Circles”, “Space Race”, and “Nothing from Nothing”. In addition, Preston co-wrote “You Are So Beautiful”, which became a number 5 hit for Joe Cocker. Preston continued to record and perform with other artists, notably George Harrison after the Beatles’ break-up, and Eric Clapton, and he played keyboards for the Rolling Stones on many of the group’s albums and tours during the 1970s.

Preston first met the Beatles as a 16-year-old in 1962, while part of Little Richard’s touring band, when their manager Brian Epstein organized a Liverpool show, at which the Beatles opened. The Washington Post explained their subsequent meeting:

They’d hook up again in 1969, when the Beatles were about to break up while recording the last album they released, Let It Be (they would later record Abbey Road, which was released prior to Let It Be). George Harrison, a friend of Preston, had quit, walked out of the studio and gone to a Ray Charles concert in London, where Preston was playing organ. Harrison brought Preston back to the studio, where his keen musicianship and gregarious personality temporarily calmed the tension.

Preston is one of several people referred to by commentators as the “Fifth Beatle”. At one point during the “Get Back” sessions, John Lennon proposed the idea of having him join the band (to which Paul McCartney countered that it was difficult enough reaching agreements with four). Preston played with the Beatles for several of the Get Back sessions, some of the material from which would later be culled to make the film Let it Be and its companion album. Preston also accompanied the band for its rooftop concert; the group’s final public appearance. In April 1969, their single “Get Back” was credited to “The Beatles with Billy Preston”, the only time such a joint credit had been given on an official Beatles-sanctioned release (as distinct from an unsanctioned reissue of some Hamburg-era recordings on which they were the backing group for Tony Sheridan). The credit was bestowed by the Beatles to reflect the extent of Preston’s presence on the track; his electric piano is prominent throughout and he plays an extended solo. Preston also worked, in a more limited role, on the Abbey Road album, contributing to the tracks “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and “Something.”

In 1978, he appeared as Sgt. Pepper in Robert Stigwood’s film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was very loosely based on the Beatles’ album of the same name, and sang “Get Back” as the penultimate song.

I love this photo of him, visiting the White House in 1974. He has a great smile and happy eyes, doesn’t he?

Billy Preston

Will Go Round in Circles – a 1973 appearance and performance on the Midnight Special:

Nothing from Nothing – Billy Preston’s biggest hit was Nothing from Nothing, stemming from his favorite quote “Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.” This is from a 1975 performance:

B is for Bread – An American soft-rock band whose mellow songs from the early 70s always make me swoon when I hear them:

Everything I Own

Make It With You – 1977 performance on the Midnight Special:

If  – David Gates of Bread performs a live studio performance, taped in 1975, from the BBC’s “Musical Time Machine” TV series.

Baby I’m-A Want You (video with lyrics):

Guitar Man (1972)

It Don’t Matter to Me (1969)

B is for the Bee Gees – “Britain’s First Family of Harmony” consisted of three brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. They had two distinct periods of success: as a rock act in the late 60s and early 70s and as a prominent performer in the Disco era of the late 70s. Who can forget Disco?? While some would prefer to forget Disco, I happen to have fond memories of it. I went to two kind of bars in the 70s: those that had rock cover bands and those with disco balls, strobe lights and cocky DJ’s spinning disco tunes on the turntable while lots of Italian guys wearing flashy silk shirts swaggered and flirted.

The Bee Gees were quite the success, selling more than 220 million records worldwide. According to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame citation, “Only Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees.”

Here are a few of my favorite Bee Gee hits:

Jive Talkin’ – from a 1975 performance on the Midnight Special:

Lonely Days – this is a fabulous 1971 concert performance of the song from the impressive Reelin’ In the Years archive (Reelin’ In the Years Productions, LLC):

or

The soulful Nights on Broadway from a 1975 performance on the Midnight Special:

No Bee Gees reference would be complete without including the song Night Fever, the main song featured in the 1978 movie “Saturday Night Fever”, starring John Travolta. This song remained the number one Billboard Hot 100 Single on the charts for over 2 months after being released.

Stayin’ Alive music video

You Should Be Dancin’ – this is the song that catapulted them to Disco stardom (includes video clips from the movie “Saturday Night Fever” and live performance of the song during the Bee Gees 1979 Spirits Having Flown tour featured the Bee Gees’ younger sibling, Andy Gibb, on backing vocals):

If I Can’t Have You another Saturday Night Fever favorite:

B is for the B-52s:  The B-52s are a new wave band formed in Athens, Georgia in 1976. Rooted in new wave and 1960s rock and roll, the group later covered many genres ranging from post-punk to pop rock.

Like many people, my first experience with the B-52s was their hit Rock Lobster. It was their first single and it became an underground success in 1978, selling over 2000 copies. It was re-released as a single and in Canada, released on the Warner Bros. label, the single went from cult hit to bona fide smash, eventually going on to reach the No. 1 position in the RPM-compiled national chart on May 24, 1980.

Rock Lobster:

Here are my other favorite B-52s hits:

Love Shack:

Roam:

 

B is for Beatles: Okay, I wasn’t going to mention the Beatles because, well, it’s a given that I’m a Beatles fan. Who isn’t?! I’m mostly fond of their psychedelic period and prefer Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the White album and the Magical Mystery Tour albums over the others. I was also quite intrigued by the rumors that Paul McCartney was dead with the release of the Abbey Road album and really got into all the “clues” on the album, including when some songs were played backward. It was quite the mystery back then and everyone was talking about it. I obviously had a very cool school teacher in elementary school because she brought in a record player and shared it with the class. I don’t know what I thought back then, but now I think it was a brilliant publicity stunt! Here are a few of my favorite songs from each of those albums:

From Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album (June 1967):

With a Little Help from My Friends

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – a very creative video including lyrics in both English and Spanish!

From the Magical Mystery Tour album (November 1967):

All You Need is Love – a photo montage video:

Baby You’re a Rich Man – The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour – Song Number 10; theblehedgehog® You- Tube OfficialChannel; New Premium Productions Video.

I Am the Walrus

From the White album (November 1968):

Back in the U.S.S.R. – one of my very favorite Beatles songs:

While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Here I go again, about to say “one of my very favorite Beatles songs”… So many great songs it’s certainly hard to pick one out of the mix to declare as a true favorite!

Revolution

From the Abbey Road album (September 1969):

She Came In Through the Bathroom Window – a lyrics video:

Here Comes the Sun – LOVE this song!

So…After all that: Who are your favorite B bands? What do you think of the music I spotlighted here? What or who would you have picked?