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Posts Tagged ‘The Beatles’

RIP, Chuck Berry (March 18, 2017) Rock and Roll Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry
October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017

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As one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, Chuck Berry refined the early sounds of rhythm and blues, added catchy teen-centric lyrics, and turned up the volume of his guitar.  By doing so, he became one of the most influential artists pop music has ever known. Launching his recording career during the mid ’50s, Berry created songs that not only became a part of  America’s fabric, but would be played on radios, at parties, in concerts, on television, and in movies for the next 60 years. His remarkable output included such unforgettable songs as  “Johnny B. Goode,” “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” and “Rock and Roll Music.”  On stage, he stood head and shoulders above most of his peers by adding a showmanship that included dazzling guitar solos, and of course, that “duck walk” across the stage.  His direct influence is staggering –  the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Beach Boys, Michael JacksonBruce Springsteen, U2, Prince, Ted Nugent, Tom Petty, and George Thorogood  (to name just a very few) have all cited him as a significant influence or honored him in some way.  In 1986, Berry was deservedly part of the initial class inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he went on to receive countless accolades for the rest of his life.  And of course, a pop music-related “Best Of” list that does not include him or one of his records somewhere near the top, should be taken to the shredder.  Chuck Berry was 90 when he passed away in his home on March 18, 2017. Cause of death was not immediately released.

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Died On This Date (March 8, 2016) George Martin / Legendary Beatles Producer

Posted by themusicsover on March 8, 2016

George Martin
January 3, 1926 – March 8, 2016

george-martinGeorge Martin was a classically trained musician, record producer, and talent scout who most famously took a chance on the Beatles after they had been turned down by most other British record labels at the time.  What followed was a collaboration that changed not only the musical landscape of the era, but also what would become popular music and pop culture for decades to come.  With Martin as producer (and so much more) on the Beatles’ original albums, they scored 30 #1 singles in the UK and 23 in the US – and millions in sales, of course. Of the list of Beatles collaborators who were referred to as “the Fifth Beatle,” it was Martin who actually deserved the title.  That alone on a person’s resume is enough to cruise through the rest of his or her life, but not Martin.  Over the next six decades, he had a big hand in the success of the likes of Elton John, Dire Straits, Cheap Trick, ELO, and Celine Dion, to name a few.  Martin also worked extensively in film, either arranging, scoring or producing. Two of the most famous songs he produced for films were Shirley Bassey‘s “Goldfinger” for Paul McCartney‘s “Live and Let Die” from the James Bond movies of the same name.  He’s been recognized with six Grammys, an Academy Award, and countless other accolades.  George Martin was 90 when he died in his sleep on March 8, 2016.

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Posted in Composer, Early Rock, Easy Listening, Engineer, Musician, Pop, Producer, Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Died On This Date (March 8, 2016) George Martin / Legendary Beatles Producer

Died On This Date (December 28, 2015) Lemmy Kilmister / Motorhead

Posted by themusicsover on December 28, 2015

Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister
December 24, 1945 – December 28, 2015

LemmyLemmy Kilmister was the lead singer, bassist, primary songwriter, and only original member of Motorhead, the legendary English rock band he formed in 1975.  Over the course of four decades, the band, which was equal parts punk rock and heavy metal, released over 22 albums, which sold upwards of 30 million worldwide.  Kilmister was born in Straffordshire, but spent most of his early years in North Wales.  After leaving high school early, he worked various menial jobs while learning to play the guitar.  When he was 16, he saw one of the Beatles‘ iconic Cavern Club shows and instantly knew he wanted to make music.  The next day, he bought Please Please Me and learned to play the guitar while playing along with it.  After performing in a series of local bands, Kilmister moved to London where he shared a flat with Noel Redding of the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the band’s manager.  They hired him to roadie for them throughout the UK in 1967.  In 1968, Kilmister joined Hawkwind, a space rock band that would later prove to be highly influential to countless prog rock, metal and punk bands.  He sang lead on several Hawkwind records, including their biggest hit, “Silver Machine,” which reached #3 in 1972.  He was ultimately fired from Hawkwind after being arrested trying to carry drugs across the Canadian/US border in 1975.  He ended up not being charged or convicted of a crime once it was determined that he was holding speed, which was legal in Canada at the time.  Kilmister soon formed Motorhead, who quickly found a cult following for its hard, fast, and loud rock – a sound that appealed to the growing punk scene of the UK as well as the older hard rock fans of Hawkwind and such. Motorhead, and particularly Kilmister’s fierce playing and vocal delivery has been credited for laying the foundation for what would be called thrash and speed metal.  On the other side of the metal spectrum, Motorhead was arguably flash point of what would later be known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.  Over the next 40 years, the band’s lineup changed several times, while their music fell in and out of favor as tastes around the world changed.  But Kilmister forged on and seemed indestructible in spite of his vices.  In 2010, the documentary film, Lemmy was released to both critical and fan acclaim.   The poignant film focused on Kilmister’s private life, which was mostly spent either on tour or sitting at the bar at the Rainbow Bar & Grill on the Sunset Strip.   The documentary introduced and reintroduced Motorhead to fans around the world, leading to the two critically acclaimed and commercially successful late-career albums, Aftershock (2013) and Bad Magic (2015).  And although he suffered a few health setbacks over the past few years, Kilmister seemed as if he’d continue to outlive many of his peers.  On December 26, 2015, he reportedly learned he was suffering from a very aggressive form of cancer.  Lemmy Kilmister was just eight days past his 70th birthday when the cancer took his life on December 28, 2015.

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Died On This Date (December 27, 2015) Stevie Wright / The Easybeats

Posted by themusicsover on December 27, 2015

Stevie Wright
December 20, 1947 – December 27, 2015

Stevie-WrightStevie Wright was an English-born singer and songwriter best remembered as the lead singer of Sydney, Australia’s Easybeats.  The band, and Wright in particular, are widely regarded as Australia’s first international pop stars. Formed in 1964, the Easybeats quickly rose to the top of the heap of local bands that were direct byproducts of the British Invasion.  In fact, the group first found its footing in a tiny hangout in pub basement that was dubbed Beatle Village.  Within a year, the Easybeats were signed to Parlophone Records and quickly built a sizable following throughout Australia.  By the end of 1965, they were playing to sell-out crowds and sparking their own Beatlemania-like hysteria coined, “Easyfever.”  The band’s hits included “She’s So Fine,” “Come And See Her,” “Sorry,” and most notably, “Friday On My Mind,” their only true international hit.  After the band split up in 1969, Wright fronted a handful of other bands and launched a solo career.  In 1972, he performed as Simon the Zealot in the Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar.  In 1986, Wright reunited with the Easybeats for a brief Australian tour.  He ultimately retired in 2009.  On December 27, 2015, Stevie Wright died of pneumonia.  He was 68.

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Died On This Date (February 7, 2015) Joe B. Mauldin / Bassist For The Crickets

Posted by themusicsover on February 7, 2015

Joe B. Mauldin
July 8, 1940 – February 7, 2015

At right with The Crickets

At right with The Crickets

Joe B. Mauldin is best remembered as the influential double-bassist for Buddy Holly & the Crickets. Born in Lubbock, Texas, Mauldin’s first band of note was the Four Teens, which he joined in 1955. Two years later, he joined up with Holly and the Crickets who went on to record some of the most iconic songs in the history of music, among them, “That’ll Be The Day,” “Rave On,” and “Peggy Sue.”  The Crickets have been rightfully acknowledged as a direct inspiration to many important bands to follow, including the Beatles.  After Holly died in 1959, Mauldin performed with various incarnations of the Crickets.  He also became a recording engineer, contributing to the sound of such artists as Brian Wilson, Phil Spector, and Herb Alpert.  Joe B. Mauldin died of cancer on February 7, 2015.  He was 74.

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