Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Top 50 Albums of 2013

image from hindicinenglish.blogspot.com

According to 30+ lists (see bottom of page for links) aggregated by Dave’s Music Database, these are the best albums of 2013. Be sure to also check out the DMDB post of the top 50 songs of 2013.

1. Daft Punk Random Access Memories
2. Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City
3. Kanye West Yeezus
4. My Bloody Valentine MBV
5. Haim Days Are Gone
6. Disclosure Settle
7. Arcade Fire Reflektor
8. David Bowie The Next Day
9. Savages Silence Yourself
10. Queens of the Stone Age Like Clockwork

11. Chance the Rapper Acid Rapper
12. Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer, Different Park
13. The National Trouble Will Find Me
14. Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience
15. Drake Nothing Was the Same
16. Arctic Monkeys AM
17. Kurt Vile Walkin’ on a Pretty Daze
18. Janelle Monae The Electric Lady
19. Deafheaven Sunbather
20. Lorde Pure Heroine

21. The Knife Shaking the Habitual
22. Chvrches The Bones of What You Believe
23. Laura Marling Once I Was an Eagle
24. Waxahatchee Cerulean Salt
25. Run the Jewels (El-P with Killer Mike) Run the Jewels
26. Jon Hopkins Immunity
27. Neko Case The Worst Things Get the Harder I Fight. The Harder I Fight, the More I Love You.
28. James Blake Overgrown
29. Danny Brown Old
30. Rhye Woman

31. Phosphorescent Muchacho
32. Earl Sweatshirt Doris
33. Eminem Marshall Mathers LP 2
34. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Push the Sky Away
35. Bill Callahan Dream River
36. Deerhunter Monomania
37. Sky Ferreira Night Time, My Time
38. Ashley Monroe Like a Rose
39. Oneohtrix Point Never R Plus Seven
40. Tegan & Sara Heartthrob

41. Tim Hecker Virgins
42. These New Puritans Field of Reeds
43. Autre Ne Veut Anxiety
44. Foxygen We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
45. Julia Holter Loud City Song
46. M.I.A. Matangi
47. Jason Isbell Southeastern
48. Boards of Canada Tomorrow’s Harvest
49. Pusha T My Name Is My Name
50. Speedy Ortiz Major Arcana


Resources and Related Links:

Q Magazine: Songs of the Year, 1953-2013

Originally posted 4/15/2019.

Q is a British music magazine which has published numerous best-of lists over the years. Based on those lists (sources at bottom of page) and year-end lists, here are the best songs from each year.

  • 2013: Arctic Monkeys “Do I Wanna Know?”
  • 2012: Plan B “Ill Manors”
  • 2011: Adele “Someone Like You
  • 2010: Plan B “Stay Too Long”

  • 2009: Kasabian “Fire”
  • 2008: The Fall “Senior Twilight Stock Replacer”
  • 2007: Amy Winehouse “Rehab
  • 2006: Gnarls Barkley “Crazy
  • 2005: Arctic Monkeys “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor”
  • 2004: Franz Ferdinand “Take Me Out
  • 2003: OutKast “Hey Ya!
  • 2002: Coldplay “The Scientist”
  • 2001: The Strokes “Last Nite”
  • 2000: Eminem with Dido “Stan

  • 1999: Pharoahe Monch “Simon Says”
  • 1998: Britney Spears “Baby One More Time
  • 1997: The Verve “Bittersweet Symphony”
  • 1996: The Prodigy “Firestarter”
  • 1995: Underworld “Born Slippy”
  • 1994: Oasis “Live Forever”
  • 1993: Nirvana “Heart-Shaped Box”
  • 1992: Radiohead “Creep
  • 1991: Massive Attack “Unfinished Sympathy”
  • 1990: The Charlatans “The Only One I Know”

  • 1989: The Stone Roses “Fools Gold”
  • 1988: The La’s “There She Goes”
  • 1987: Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine
  • 1986: Run-D.M.C. with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler & Joe Perry “Walk This Way
  • 1985: Madonna “Into the Groove”
  • 1984: The Smiths “How Soon Is Now?”
  • 1983: New Order “Blue Monday”
  • 1982: The Jam “A Town Called Malice”
  • 1981: The Specials “Ghost Town”
  • 1980: Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart

  • 1979: The Specials “Gangsters”
  • 1978: Kate Bush “Wuthering Heights”
  • 1977: David Bowie “Heroes”
  • 1976: Sex Pistols “Anarchy in the U.K.”
  • 1975: Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody
  • 1974: Kraftwerk “Autobahn”
  • 1973: Slade “Cum on Feel the Noize”
  • 1972: Stevie Wonder “Superstition
  • 1971: John Lennon “Imagine
  • 1970: Black Sabbath “Paranoid”

  • 1969: The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”
  • 1968: The Beatles “Hey Jude
  • 1967: The Kinks “Waterloo Sunset”
  • 1966: The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations
  • 1965: Bob Dylan “Like a Rolling Stone
  • 1964: The Kinks “You Really Got Me
  • 1963: The Beatles “She Loves You
  • 1962: The Tornadoes “Telstar”
  • 1961: Ben E. King “Stand by Me
  • 1960: The Shadows “Apache”

  • 1959: Ray Charles “What’d I Say
  • 1958: Cliff Richard & the Drifters “Move It”
  • 1957: Wee Willie Harris “Rockin’ at the 2 I’s”
  • 1956: Lonnie Donegan “Rock Island Line”
  • 1955: Fats Domino “Ain’t That a Shame”
  • 1954: Elvis Presley “That’s All Right, Mama”
  • 1953: Hank Williams “Your Cheatin’ Heart”


Q Magazine Lists:

Monday, December 30, 2013

Top 50 Songs of 2013

image from hindicinenglish.blogspot.com

With more than 40 best-of song lists aggregated (see links at bottom of page), here are the songs which rank as the best 2013 has to offer. Interestingly, the song list is very slanted toward the big pop hits of the year while the album list (see it here) is very geared toward less-commercial, independent releases. Admittedly, the use of multiple Billboard lists below has a great deal to do with that, but I also believe song lists tend to lean more toward the commercial while album lists incorporate the more obscure. Anyway, here’s the list:

Get Lucky

1. Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams “Get Lucky”
2. Lorde “Royals”
3. Robin Thicke with T.I. and Pharrell Williams “Blurred Lines”
4. Justin Timberlake “Mirrors”
5. Drake with Majid Jordan “Hold on, We’re Going Home”

Royals

6. Katy Perry “Roar”
7. Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball”
8. Kanye West “Black Skinhead”
9. Imagine Dragons “Radioactive”
10. Miley Cyrus “We Can’t Stop”

Blurred Lines

11. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Ray Dalton “Can’t Hold Us”
12. Haim “The Wire”
13. Arcade Fire “Reflektor”
14. Taylor Swift “I Knew You Were Trouble”
15. Pink with Nate Ruess “Just Give Me a Reason”

Mirrors

16. Bruno Mars “When I Was Your Man”
17. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Wanz “Thrift Shop”
18. Drake “Started from the Bottom”
19. The Lumineers “Ho Hey”
20. Rihanna with Mikky Ekko “Stay”

Hold on, We’re Coming Home

21. Kanye West with Frank Ocean “New Slaves”
22. Ciara “Body Party”
23. Disclosure with AlunaGeorge “White Noise”
24. Bruno Mars “Treasure”
25. Jay-Z with Justin Timberlake “Holy Grail”

Roar

26. Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven”
27. Avicii “Wake Me Up”
28. Zedd with Foxes “Clarity”
29. Florida Georgia Line with Nelly “Cruise”
30. Phosphorescent “Song for Zula”

Wrecking Ball

31. Vampire Weekend “Diane Young”
32. Justin Timberlake with Jay-Z “Suit & Tie”
33. Big Sean with Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica “Control”
34. Maroon 5 “Daylight”
35. Kacey Musgraves “Follow Your Arrow”

Thrift Shop

36. Taylor Swift “22”
37. Tegan & Sara “Closer”
38. Migos with Drake “Versace”
39. Lady Gaga “Applause”
40. Anna Kendrick “Cups (When I’m Gone)”

Radioactive

41. Kurt Vile “Wakin’ on a Pretty Day”
42. Fall Out Boy “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up)”
43. Capital Cities “Safe and Sound”
44. Rich Homie Quan “Type of Way”
45. Mumford & Sons “I Will Wait”

Cruise

46. Haim “Falling”
47. Phillip Phillips “Gone, Gone, Gone”
48. Maroon 5 “Love Somebody”
49. Vampire Weekend “Ya Hey”
50. Janelle Monae with Erykah Badu “Q.U.E.E.N.”

Black Skinhead


Resources and Related Links:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2014

image from nydailynews.com

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its inductees for the 2014 class. Artists are eligible for the Hall 25 years after the release of their first single or album. The newest slate will be inducted on April 10, 2014, at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in New York City. HBO will air the event in May. Here are the inductees:

Peter Gabriel: He was inducted into the Hall in 2010 as a member of Genesis. As a solo artist since the ‘70s, he has explored electronic and world music. His video for #1 hit “Sledgehammer” ranks as one of the best videos of all time.

image from details.com


Daryl Hall & John Oates: This blue-eyed soul duo has the most successful Billboard chart run of any twosome in music history. They started in Philadelphia in the early ‘70s, but hit their peak in the early ‘80s with #1 hits “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” and “Maneater.” They’ve sold more than 13 million albums.

image from nydailynews.com


Kiss: Miracles never cease. Members of the Hall induction committee swore they’d never let the mother of all hair bands in while fans have raised a stink in the 15 years the group have been eligible and been passed up. Critics have never liked the band, but the KISS Army represents one of the most loyal fan bases in the history of rock. They’ve sold over 20 million albums on the strength of rock classics like “Rock and Roll All Nite” and power ballads like “Beth.”

image from blabbermouth.net


Nirvana: The group most associated with grunge enters the Hall in its first year of eligibility, 25 years after the release of the single “Love Buzz” in 1988. Three years later, they would take over the world with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and parent album Nevermind. The group’s heyday was short-lived when lead singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide months after the release of the 1994 follow-up, In Utero, but their influence had been cemented.

image from coolcleveland.com


Linda Ronstadt: She emerged from the folk scene in Los Angeles in the 1960s and became one of pop music’s biggest successes in the 1970s with a blend of country and rock, selling more than 30 million albums and winning a slew of Grammy awards. She regularly covered classics from rock’s pioneers – among them were the Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved,” Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day,” and Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou.”

image from fanart.tv


Cat Stevens: This British folk singer/songwriter made a name for himself in the 1970s with hits like “Wild World” and “Peace Train.” He converted to Islam in 1977, changed his name to Yusuf Islam, and stepped out of the spotlight for more than two decades. He has sold more than 15 million albums.

image from pianosheetmusiconline.com


E Street Band: Bruce Springsteen was inducted into the Hall in 1999. Now his backing band since 1973 is inducted with the Award for Musical Excellence.

image from morrisonhotelgallery.com


Brian Epstein: He receives the Ahmet Ertegun Award (for non-performers) for his work as the manager of the Beatles. He signed them and then sheparded them until his death in 1967. Paul McCartney said, “If anyone was the fifth Beatle it was Brian.”

Epstein in white hat, image from efemeridesdelamusica.blogspot.com


Andrew Loog Oldham: He also receives the Ahmet Ertegun Award (for non-performers) – and also for producing one of rock music’s most acclaimed bands – The Rolling Stones. He was with them for their formative years, helping to push Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to write original material.

Oldham (second from left) with the Rolling Stones, image from zombiesenelghetto.tumblr.com


Resources and Related Links:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Grammy Nominations 2014

image from grammy.com

The nominations for the 2014 Grammys were announced on Friday, December 6, 2013. Below are the nominees for the major awards. The full listing is available here. The 56th Grammy Awards will be held January 26, 2014. Album of the Year:

  • Sara Bareilles The Blessed Unrest
  • Daft Punk Random Access Memories
  • Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist
  • Taylor Swift Red

Record of the Year:

  • Daft Punk with Pharrell “Get Lucky”
  • Imagine Dragons “Radioactive”
  • Lorde “Royals”
  • Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven”
  • Robin Thicke with T.I. & Pharrell “Blurred Lines”

Royals

Song of the Year:

  • Lorde “Royals”
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Same Love”
  • Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven”
  • Katy Perry “Roar”
  • Pink “Just Give Me a Reason”

Roar

Best New Artist:

  • James Blake
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Kacey Musgraves


Resources and Related Links:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Grammy Hall of Fame’s Newest Inductees

image from hayspost.com

In 1973, the Recording Academy (more widely known as the Grammys) established a Hall of Fame to, as it says on their website, “honor recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old.” 40 years later, nearly 1000 albums and songs have been inducted (see the full list here). Here are this year’s inductees: Albums:

  • Chicago Chicago Transit Authority (1969)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival Cosmo’s Factory (1970)
  • Miles Davis Relaxin’ (1958)
  • George Harrison All Things Must Pass (1970)
  • Kris Kristofferson Kristofferson (1970)
  • U2 The Joshua Tree (1987)
  • Doc Watson Doc Watson (1964)
  • Neil Young After the Gold Rush (1970)
  • Various Artists Mary Poppins (soundtrack, 1964)
  • Various Artists Woodstock (soundtrack, 1970)

The Joshua Tree and After the Gold Rush ranked in the DMDB’s Top 100 Albums of All Time already. All Things Must Pass, Cosmo’s Factory, Mary Poppins, Woodstock, and Chicago Transit Authority all ranked in the top 1000.

Songs:

  • Louis Armstrong “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” (1938)
  • James Brown “Get Up – I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine” (1970)
  • Hoagy Carmichael & His Orchestra “Georgia on My Mind” (1930)
  • Sam Cooke “Wonderful World” (1960)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival “Fortunate Son” (1969)
  • The Drifters “Under the Boardwalk” (1964)
  • Robert Johnson “Sweet Home Chicago” (1937)
  • B.B. King “3 O’Clock Blues” (1952)
  • Charlie Parker “Yardbird Suite” (1946)
  • Dolly Parton “Jolene” (1973)
  • The Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Women” (1969)
  • Run-D.M.C. with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler & Joe Perry “Walk This Way” (1986)
  • Gil Scott-Heron “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” (1970)
  • Sugarhill Gang “Rapper’s Delight” (1979)
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe “Strange Things Happening Every Day” (1945)
  • B.J. Thomas “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” (1969)
  • War “Low Rider” (1975)

Six of the songs were already listed in the DMDB’s Top 1000 of All-Time: “Honky Tonk Women,” “Walk This Way,” “Rapper’s Delight,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” “Fortunate Son,” and “Under the Boardwalk.” “Honky Tonk Women” also ranks as one of the Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era.

Honky Tonk Women


Resources and Related Links:

Friday, November 29, 2013

Charles Bradley released “Changes”

First posted 5/7/2020.

Changes

Charles Bradley

Writer(s): Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward (see lyrics here)


Released: November 29, 2013


First Charted: --


Peak: -- (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 19.2 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

I’m a sucker for a good cover. It’s even better if the performer seems to be from such a different genre that one can’t imagine how he or she was even exposed to the song. When it comes to that criteria, it’s hard to outdo an obscure soul singer opting to cover a heavy metal song by none other than the kings of the genre – Black Sabbath.

Black Sabbath originally released the song “Changes” on their 1972 album Vol. 4. The song was a rare foray into ballad territory for the band. Guitarist Tony Iommi reportedly stayed up all night snorting cocaine SF and composed the song’s piano melody while experimenting in the studio WK1 learning to play piano. SF Bassist Geezer Butler added lyrics inspired by drummer Bill Ward’s split with his wife. The band’s singer, Ozzy Osbourne, has called the song “heartbreaking” and critic Barney Hoskyns described it as “forlornly pretty.” WK1

In 2003, Ozzy recorded the song again as a duet with his daughter, Kelly. The song with some revised lyrics about a father and daughter drifting apart, SF reached #1 in the UK. Critics weren’t as enamored with their version. In a 2009 Village Voice article, it was ranked one o the worst songs of the decade. WK1

A decade later, soul singer Charles Bradley recorded a version which was released as a single on Record Story Day Black Friday. He said, “That song is very emotional to me. I didn’t want to learn that song…but…the story…made me think about talking with my mother, bonding…The last 12 years of her life, she actually told me things that got me stronger.” SF

Kitty Empire of The Observer compared Bradley’s voice to Al Green WK2 while Pop Matters’ Steve Horowitz called him “the closest living equivalent to [James] Brown.” WK2 The song was featured as the theme song for Big Mouth, an animated Netflix series and appeared in the first season of Big Little Lies, an HBO series. WK2


Resources and Related Links:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Frozen Soundtrack Released

Last updated March 2, 2019.

Frozen Soundtrack

various artists

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Frozen Heart (Cast of Frozen)
  2. Do You Want to Build a Snowman? (Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn, and Katie Lopez) (#51 US, #61 CAN, #45 AUS, #26 UK)
  3. For the First Time in Forever (Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel) (#57 US, #70 CAN, #62 AUS, #38 UK)
  4. Love Is an Open Door (Kristen Bell and Santino Fontana) (#49 US, #89 AUS, #52 UK)
  5. Let It Go (Idina Menzel) #5 US, #18 CAN, #16 AU, #11 UK, worldwide sales: 8.085 million)
  6. Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People (Jonathan Groff)
  7. In Summer (Josh Gad) (#90 AUS, #84 UK)
  8. For the First Time in Forever (Reprise) (Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel)
  9. Fixer Upper (Maria Wilson and Cast of Frozen)
  10. Let It Go (Demi Lovato) (#38 US, #31 CAN, #25 AU, #42 UK)
  11. Vuelie (Christophe Beck, Frode Fjelheim, & Cantus)
  12. Elsa and Anna *
  13. The Trolls *
  14. Coronation Day *
  15. Heimr Arnadair *
  16. Winter’s Waltz *
  17. Sorcery *
  18. Royal Pursuit *
  19. Onward and Upward *
  20. Wolves *
  21. The North Mountain *
  22. We Were So Close *
  23. Marshmallow Attack! *
  24. Conceal, Don’t Feel *
  25. Only an Act of True Love *
  26. Summit Siege *
  27. Return to Arendelle *
  28. Treason *
  29. Some People Are Worth Melting For *
  30. Whiteout *
  31. The Great Thaw (Vuelie Reprise) (Christophe Beck and Frode Fjelheim)
  32. Epilogue

* score by Christophe Beck

Released: November 25, 2013


Peak: #113 US, #1 UK, #12 AU, #17 CN


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 1.0 UK, 10.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: Disney soundtrack


Review:

Disney’s Frozen was a “welcome return to form” AMG in the tradition of animated musicals in which characters broke into song. AMG The story was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen. The movie took home the Oscar for Best Animated Featured Film and the soundtrack proved to be a monster. It became only the fourth soundtrack from an animated film to top the U.S. album charts. WK With 13 weeks logged on top, it became the biggest soundtrack since 1998’s Titanic. WK It became the best-selling album of 2013 with more than 10 million albums sold worldwide.

Robert Lopez Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon), one of twelve people to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony, AMG teamed up with Kristen Anderson-Lopez (In Transit, Winnie the Pooh) to write original Broadway-style songs for the soundtrack. Idina Menzel’s version of Let It Go won the Oscar for Best Song, sold more than 8 million worldwide, and garnered over 400 million views on YouTube.

The soundtrack offered a balance of songs with comic relief (In Summer, Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People) alongside musical interplays (For the First Time in Forever) between the two leading ladies, sisters Anna and Elsa, voiced respectively by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel.

In addition, Christophe Beck, fresh off an Oscar win for short Paperman, provided the score. His instrumentals provided “much of the soundtrack’s drama and suspense…[incorporating] orchestral, choral, and folk-inspired elements.” AMG


Review Source(s):


Awards:


Sunday, November 24, 2013

American Music Awards 2013

image from neontommy.com

Here are the 2013 winners from the American Music Awards:

  • Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift
  • Icon Award: Rihanna
  • New Artist of the Year: Ariana Grande
  • Single of the Year: Florida Georgia Line with Nelly “Cruise”
  • Top Soundtrack: Pitch Perfect

Cruise

POP/ROCK

  • Favorite Male Artist : Justin Timberlake
  • Favorite Female Artist : Taylor Swift
  • Favorite Band, Duo or Group : One Direction
  • Favorite Album: One Direction Take Me Home

COUNTRY

  • Favorite Male Artist : Luke Bryan
  • Favorite Female Artist : Taylor Swift
  • Favorite Band, Duo or Group : Lady Antebellum
  • Favorite Album: Taylor Swift Red

SOUL/R&B

  • Favorite Male Artist : Justin Timberlake
  • Favorite Female Artist : Rihanna
  • Favorite Album: Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience

RAP/HIP-HOP

  • Favorite Artist : Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Favorite Album: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist

FAVORITE ARTISTS – OTHER GENRES

  • Alternative Rock: Imagine Dragons
  • Latin: Marc Anthony
  • Electronic Dance Music (EDM): Avicii
  • Adult Contemporary: Maroon 5
  • Contemporary Inspirational: Matthew West


Resources and Related Links:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kevin Gilbert was born: November 20, 1966

First posted Nov. 20, 2011.



While my posts typically focus on songs, albums, and events which significantly impacted the music world, this entry focuses on a little-known performer who ranks as one of my favorite singers. “Sometimes genius comes and goes without much notice or fanfare. Such is the case with the late Kevin Gilbert,” P “a musical prodigy” JS who “colleagues invariably called…‘the most talented musician I ever met.’” JS He “spent several years on the edge of stardom [but] could never capitalize on his talents.” DE He “might be the most talented American musician to be involved with progressive rock, with the possible exception of Frank Zappa. Although all of his work contains a very strong pop element, there’s usually a lot of prog underneath it.” DN

NRG/Giraffe (1984-89): In the mid-‘80s, while still in high school, Gilbert released his first album, No Reasons Given, with the group NRG. That album is free to download at KevinGilbert.com. In the late ‘80s, Gilbert spent a year as a film student at UCLA and took a gig as Eddie Money’s touring keyboardist before launching the group Giraffe. Between the release of their two albums, the band entered and won a national unsigned-bands competition.

Giraffe “Because of You”



Toy Matinee (1989-91): In the competition, Gilbert caught the attention of Patrick Leonard, a producer who had worked with Madonna and others. Leonard suggested a collaboration and the group Toy Matinee was born. “The lone Toy Matinee album was released in 1990 but effectively shelved by the record company.” WK “Gilbert assembled a new backing band [including an unknown Sheryl Crow as his keyboardist] to promote the album, eventually getting two [moderately] successful singles released: The Ballad of Jenny Ledge and Last Plane Out.” WK

Toy Matinee “Last Plane Out”



After the official Toy Matinee group imploded, Gilbert put together a touring group to perform the songs. He and Marc Bonilla did radio interviews and performances, such as this one for KTYD in which they played cover songs and showcased their knack for wittiness and fun.

He also did session work for established pop musicians, including Madonna and Michael Jackson. He also produced Keith Emerson’s album Changing States. Throughout the ‘90s, Gilbert worked as “a producer, film scorer, and session musician.” DN

Tuesday Night Music Club (1992-95): In 1992, Gilbert and producer Bill Bottrell, who’d helmed the Toy Matinee project, assembled a loose collective of musicians dubbed the Tuesday Night Music Club. They gathered weekly at Bottrell’s studio to hang out and make music. Gilbert brought Crow, with whom he’d struck up a relationship, and the gang carved out what would become her multi-platinum selling debut named after the crew. Gilbert had co-writing credit on many of the the song’s albums, including 1995 Grammy Record of the Year All I Wanna Do. “Crow later acrimoniously split with most of the musicians in the collective…[The rest of the TNMC’ers] worked with singer-songwriters Susanna Hoffs and Linda Perry on two more albums.” WK

Sheryl Crow “All I Wanna Do”



Thud/Tribute Work (1994-96): Gilbert worked tirelessly to open his own studio and, in 1995, released a solo album called Thud.

Kevin Gilbert “Joytown”



He also contributed songs to tribute albums of some of his favorite progressive rock artists as well – Genesis, Yes, and Gentle Giant. In 1994, Gilbert even performed Genesis’ rock-opera masterpiece The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway with a newly assembled version of Giraffe. Gilbert’s manager, Jon Rubin, “sent a copy of the recording to Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford who were searching for a new Genesis front man to replace Phil Collins.” WK Gilbert was supposedly set “to fly to London to audition for [the] vacated slot as Genesis’ lead singer” DE when tragedy struck.

Giraffe “Back in N.Y.C.”



Kevin’s Death (1996): On May 17, 1996, Rubin found Gilbert dead at his home just outside of Los Angeles. “The coroner listed the cause of death as ‘asphyxia due to partial suspension hanging.’ Friends and MTV more explicitly reported the cause as autoerotic asphyxiation.” MA The Los Angeles County coroners’ office reports four or five such deaths a year.

One can only imagine the possibilities of what Kevin Gilbert could have continued to contribute to the music world. Rubin, who once fronted ’70s pop band the Rubinoos and is now the executor of Gilbert’s estate, says, KG’s “death was tragic, but his life was not a tragedy.” RS As friend Tim Van Den Berg said, “I would like to believe that he is now blessing another world with his beautiful music.” TV

Posthumous Releases (2000-2009): At the time of his death, KG was working on a second solo album, the rock opera The Shaming of the True (which you can listen to here. It “was largely incomplete, but Gilbert’s estate asked Spock’s Beard drummer Nick D’Virgilio to complete it based on the extant tapes and Gilbert’s notes. A live album (composed mostly of songs from Thud), and a compilation of Giraffe material that Gilbert had been working on and an ‘industrial’ album with Gilbert’s latest group, Kaviar have also been released in the years since his death.” WK

Kevin Gilbert “Suite Fugue (Dance of the A&R Men)” (audio only)



The next seven years saw no activity, but three archival projects were released simultaneously in 2009 – the CD/DVD rerelease of Live at the Troubadour, now called Welcome to Joytown: Thud Live at the Troubadour, and the archival collections Nuts and Bolts collecting previously unreleased works from throughout Gilbert’s career. In 2010, Kevin Gilbert’s widely bootlegged 1991 Live at the Roxy was officially released as Toy Matinee Live. Check out all these albums at KevinGilbert.com.

Kevin Gilbert “Tired Old Man”



I have said that if I were a musician, Kevin Gilbert best represents the kind of music I would want to make. His lyrics go beyond clichĂ©d love songs and are infused with witticism. His musicianship showcase the tireless hours he spent in the studio perfecting his craft. It was a shame to lose such an astonishing talent at 29. His work, however, lives on and for those uninitiated in his music, I hope this blog leads you down the same musical journey where KG’s music has taken me.


Resources and Related Links:



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Neil Young's Top 40 Songs

image from wallpapersfolder.com

Happy birthday, Neil Young! Born November 12, 1945, in Toronto, Canada, this rock singer/songwriter and guitarist is one of the most recognized classic rockers in history. He first gained notice with Buffalo Springfield and also has worked with Crosby, Stills & Nash over the years. The brunt of his work, however, has been his solo output. In those three configurations, he has amassed ten albums which rank in the top 1000 of all time according to the DMDB.

In June 2011, a list of Neil Young’s top 20 songs of all time was posted on the DMDB Facebook page in response to a Rolling Stone poll. That list has now been expanded to a top 40 list. As always, DMDB lists are determined by creating an aggregate list from multiple other best-of lists and factoring in chart success, sales, airplay, and awards. More than 30 best-of Neil Young lists were factored in.


Neil Young’s Top 40 Songs

Heart of Gold

  1. Heart of Gold (1972)
  2. Ohio (with Crosby, Stills, & Nash; 1970)
  3. Cinnamon Girl (1969)
  4. Rockin’ in the Free World (1989)
  5. Old Man (1972)

    Ohio (with Crosby, Stills & Nash)

  6. Down by the River (1969)
  7. Hey Hey My My (Into the Black) (1979)
  8. The Needle and the Damage Done (1972)
  9. Like a Hurricane (1977)
  10. Harvest Moon (1993)

    Cinnamon Girl

  11. After the Gold Rush (1972)
  12. Cowgirl in the Sand (1969)
  13. Cortez the Killer (1975)
  14. Southern Man (1970)
  15. Helpless (with Crosby, Stills & Nash; 1970)

    Rockin’ in the Free World (with Pearl Jam)

  16. Tonight’s the Night (1973)
  17. Mr. Soul (Buffalo Springfield, 1967)
  18. A Man Needs a Maid (1972)
  19. Sugar Mountain (1968)
  20. Ambulance Blues (1974)

    Old Man

  21. Only Love Can Break Your Heart (1970)
  22. Powderfinger (1979)
  23. Thrasher (1979)
  24. Unknown Legend (1992)
  25. Expecting to Fly (Buffalo Springfield, 1967)

    Down by the River

  26. The Loner (1968)
  27. I Am a Child (Buffalo Springfield, 1968)
  28. This Note’s for You (1988)
  29. Walk On (1974)
  30. Tell Me Why (1970)

    Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)

  31. Don’t Be Denied (1973)
  32. Tired Eyes (1973)
  33. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)
  34. Long May You Run (Stills-Young Band, 1976)
  35. Change Your Mind (1994)

    The Needle and the Damage Done

  36. Crime in the City (1989)
  37. Philadelphia (1994)
  38. Borrowed Tune (1973)
  39. Sleeps with Angels (1994)
  40. Out on the Weekend (1972)


Awards:


Resources and Related Links:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lou Reed, 1942-2013: He Taught Rock to Walk on the Wild Side

image from Lou Reed’s classic 1972 Transformer album

Rolling Stone reports that rock iconLou Reed has died. According to TheGuardian.com, the death has been confirmed by Reed’s UK music agent, Andy Woolliscroft. While no official word has been offered on the cause, he underwent a liver transport earlier this year. He is survived by his wife, performance artist Laurie Anderson, who he married in 2008. He was 71.

Reed was born Louis Firbank on 3/2/1942 in Long Island, New York. Sometimes dubbed “The Godfather of Punk,” the experimental singer/songwriter’s influence dates back to the 1960s when he helmed the Andy Warhol-produced art-rock group, The Velvet Underground. They never sold much, but their impact on the music world was immeasurable. Producer and musician Brian Eno famously quipped, “The first Velvet Underground album onl y sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.”

The group was short-lived, but Reed embarked on a 40-year-plus solo career marked by classic albums like Transformer and Berlin, both of which rank in the top 1000 albums of all time according to Dave’s Music Database. DMDB Top 1000 song “Walk on the Wild Side” became an ode to the seedier and trampled-upon outsiders of society who populated Reed’s world. In regards to Reed’s impact on the music world, RollingStone.com’s Jon Dolan said, “Glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example.”

Alternative-music website SlicingUpEyeballs.com posted tweets from various musicians. The Pixies’ Black Francis simply said, “Rock and roll forever.” Lloyd Cole said, “Without Lou…I’d probably be a maths teacher.” Dave Navarro called him “one of my all time heroes.” Billboard.com also reported tweets from The Who: “R.I.P. Lou Reed. Walk on the peaceful side” and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea: “I love Lou Reed so much. Always.” Jim James, frontman from My Morning Jacket, said, “You made the world a better place. We are forever grateful.” Russell Simmons, who co-founded the Def Jam label, said, “New York lost one of our greatest gifts today.”

Walk on the Wild Side


Awards:


Resources and Related Links: