Monday, September 28, 2015

In Concert: Mark Knopfler

image from diffen.com

Venue: Midland Theater; Kansas City, MO
The Players: Mark Knopfler (vocals, guitar), Guy Fletcher (keyboards), Richard Bennett (guitar), Glenn Worf (bass), Jim Cox (piano, organ, accordion), Ian Thomas (drums), John McCusker (violin, Cittern), Michael McGoldrick (whistles, uilleann pipes), Nigel Hitchcock (saxophone)
Opening Act: none

The Set List:

1. Broken Bones 25
2. Corned Beef City 24
3. Privateering 24
4. Father and Son 6
5. Hill Farmer’s Blues 19
6. Skydiver 25
7. She’s Gone 16
8. Your Latest Trick 8
9. Romeo and Juliet 3
10. Sultans of Swing 1
11. Haul Away 24
12. Postcards from Paraguay 20
13. Marbletown 19
14. Speedway at Nazareth 17
15. Telegraph Road 4

Encore:

16. So Far Away 8
17. Going Home (Theme from Local Hero) 5

Album Discography:

1 Dire Straits (with Dire Straits, 1978)
2 Communiqué (with Dire Straits, 1979)
3 Making Movies (with Dire Straits, 1980)
4 Love Over Gold (with Dire Straits, 1982)
5 Local Hero (soundtrack, 1983)
6 Cal (soundtrack, 1984)
7 Comfort and Joy (soundtrack,1984 )
8 Brothers in Arms (with Dire Straits, 1985)
9 The Princess Bride (soundtrack, 1987)
10 Last Exit to Brooklyn (soundtrack, 1989)
11 Missing…Presumed Having a Good Time (with the Notting Hillbillies, 1990)
12 Neck and Neck (with Chet Atkins, 1990)
13 On Every Street (with Dire Straits, 1991)
14 Golden Heart (1996)
15 Wag the Dog (soundtrack, 1998)
16 Metroland (soundtrack, 1999)
17 Sailing to Philadelphia (2000)
18 A Shot at Glory (soundtrack, 2002)
19 The Ragpicker’s Dream (2002)
20 Shangri-La (2004)
21 All the Roadrunning (with Emmylou Harris, 2006)
22 Kill to Get Crimson (2007)
23 Get Lucky (2009)
24 Privateering (2012)
25 Tracker (2015)


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sept. 22-23, 1965: Junior Wells recorded his Hoodoo Man Blues album

First posted November 13, 2008. Last updated September 10, 2018.

Hoodoo Man Blues

Junior Wells

Recorded: September 22-23, 1965

Released: November 1965


Sales (in millions):
US: --
UK: --
IFPI: --
World (estimated): --


Peak:
US: --
UK: --
Canada: --
Australia: --

Quotable: “One of the truly classic blues albums of the 1960s” – Bill Dahl, All Music Guide


Genre: blues


Album Tracks:

  1. Snatch It Back and Hold It
  2. Ships on the Ocean
  3. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
  4. Hound Dog
  5. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
  6. Hey Lawdy Mama
  7. Hoodoo Man Blues
  8. Early in the Morning
  9. We’re Ready
  10. You Don’t Love Me Baby
  11. Chitlin Con Carne
  12. Yonders Wall

Singles/Hit Songs:

Click here for the chart codes for singles/hit songs.

Review:

Junior Wells debut album, Hoodoo Man Blues, is “one of the truly classic blues albums of the 1960s, and one of the first to fully document the smoky ambience of a night at a West side nightspot in the superior acoustics of a recording studio.” BD

Bob Koester, the founder of Delmark Records, “liked Wells’ music enough to give the musician considerable freedom on the album in spite of concerns of commercial response.” WK “Wells was given the liberty to select his own…track list, without the usual limitation of songs two or three minutes long.” WK The result was Delmark’s best-selling album. WK

Wells was also allowed to select his own sidemen. WK The blues singer and harmonica player tapped “his usual cohorts,” BD including Jack Myers on bass and Billy Warren on drums. BD Guitarist Buddy Guy also appears, although he was originally billed only as “Friendly Chap” due to Koester’s incorrect assumption that Guy was contractually tied to Chess Records. WK

In 1993, Wells told the Chicago Tribune that the title cut nearly didn’t make the album. He’d recorded it as a single, but when presented to radio “for possible rotation they had rejected it violently, throwing it on the floor and stomping on it.” WK

The album established the blues singer and harmonica player’s career and is acclaimed “as being among the best albums Wells ever produced and even among the greatest blues albums ever made.” WK


Review Source(s):

Awards:


Related DMDB Link(s):


Friday, September 18, 2015

Lukas Graham releases “7 Years”

Updated 2/15/2021.

7 Years

Lukas Graham

Writer(s): Lukas Forchammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Ristorp, Morten Pilegaard (see lyrics here)


Released: September 18, 2015


First Charted: February 6, 2016


Peak: 2 US, 13 AC, 13 A40, 17 AAA, 26 MR, 15 UK, 14 CN, 18 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 1.71 UK, 10.4 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1201.4 video, 1036.0 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Despite the implication, Lukas Graham is not an individual but the name of a Danish soul-pop band. They were quite successful in their native Denmark, releasing two #1 singles and two more top-five hits from their debut album. However, they pretty much weren’t making a dent anywhere else. It was looking like they would experience the same fate with their second album – they’d released two songs which hit #1 in Denmark, but didn’t make a dent on the international market.

However, their fate would change with the third single from their second album. “7 Years” was an introspective song inspired by lead singer Lukas Forchhammer’s experiences growing up in a Copenhagen commune, smoking weed for the first time when he was 12, and dealing with his father’s death in 2012. SF The “piano-led, mid-tempo track” follows the progression of a lifetime, from age 7 to 60. SF Forchammer described the song as being “about his life so far and what he hopes to achieve in the future.” WK

He told Radio.com that “the song’s basically just about becoming a good father and being such a good father that your children would want to come and visit you when you’re an old, boring man. I had a really, really cool father, so that’s what I wanna be too.” SF Forchammer believed people connected with the song because, as he told ABC Radio, “I’m being blatantly honest about the mistakes I’ve made in my life.” SF

The song topped the charts in Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. WK It was the highest-charting song in the U.S. by a Danish act since 1961’s “Apache” by Jørgen Ingmann. WK It was the best-selling song in the UK in 2016. WK It was nominated for Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. WK


Resources and Related Links:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Justin Bieber debuted at #1 with “What Do You Mean?”

What Do You Mean?

Justin Bieber

Writer(s): Justin Bieber, Jason "Poo Bear" Boyd, Mason Levy (see lyrics here)


Released: August 28, 2015


First Charted: August 30, 2015


Peak: 11 US, 14 AC, 14 UK, 17, 14 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 1.85 UK, 10.81 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2225.1 video, 1086.0 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

“What Do You Mean?” was the lead single from Justin Bieber’s fourth album, Purpose. The song debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 making for Bieber’s first U.S. #1. It was also his first time to ascend to the top in the UK and Australia. The song also hit #1 in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Norway. WK While the song only spent one week on top in the U.S., it logged 21 weeks in the top ten, tying Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” and Maroon 5’s “Sugar” for most weeks in top ten from its debut. Bieber surpassed himself when “Love Yourself” spent 23 weeks in the top 10. WK

The track was produced by MdL, who had collaborated with Beiber on his 2012 single “Boyfriend.” WK The tropical house song included “instrumentation consisting in light flourishes of panpipes, looped vocal samples, piano chords, fervent synths, bass and ‘slick beat’ elements…while Bieber uses a smooth, soulful vocal.” WK In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, described the song as “fun” and “summery.” WK

Lyrically, the song focuses on not being able to comprehend the opposite sex. Bieber told Seacrest, “Girls are often like, they’re just flip-floppy…they say something and then they mean something else, you know? So it’s like, I want to, like, ‘What do you mean?’” SF Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, one of the song’s co-writers, had also worked with Whitney Houston, Usher, and Pink. SF

USA Today’s Carly Mallenbaum described the song as “a catchy dance track for the club.” WK A writer for The Daily Beast said the track was “a slow-burner that…swells into a Bieber banger.” WK Vanity Fair’s Josh Duboff said “Bieber sounds more relaxed and confident than perhaps ever before.” WK MTV News’ Gil Kaufman said it was “seductive, earnest, pleading, and just the right amount of sexy.” WK Idolator’s Mike Wass said Bieber “has never sounded better.” WK NME named it “the perfect pop confection.” WK


Resources and Related Links:

Last updated 4/2/2021.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

50 years ago: Otis Redding’s Otis Blue released

First posted 4/7/2008; updated 12/1/2020.

Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul

Otis Redding


Released: September 15, 1965


Charted: October 16, 1965


Peak: 75 US, 11 RB, 6 UK


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: R&B


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Ole Man Trouble (Otis Redding) [2:55]
  2. Respect (Redding) [2:05] (9/4/65, 35 US, 4 RB)
  3. A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke) [4:17]
  4. Down in the Valley (Bert Berns, Solomon Burke, Babe Chivian, Joe Martin) [3:02]
  5. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (Redding, Jerry Butler) [3:10] (5/15/65, 21 US, 2 RB)
  6. Shake (Cooke) [2:35] (5/20/67, 47 US, 28 UK, 16 RB)
  7. My Girl (Smokey Robinson, Ronald White) [2:52] (11/25/65, 11 UK)
  8. Wonderful World (Cooke, Lou Adler, Herb Alpert) [3:00]
  9. Rock Me Baby (B.B. King) [3:20]
  10. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) [2:45] (3/5/66, 31 US, 33 UK, 4 RB)
  11. You Don’t Miss Your Water (William Bell) [2:53]


Total Running Time: 32:22

Rating:

4.398 out of 5.00 (average of 18 ratings)


Quotable: “A virtual template for soul music.” Blender Magazine


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Otis Redding never made a bad album. Hell, Otis Redding never cut a bad song. But most of the LPs released in his tragically short career were, in the manner of the times, patched and cobbled together. Otis Blue is the Big O’s one album that most plays like an album.” TL When he recorded it, he “had a vocal maturity beyond his mere 24 years.” CS “The self-proclaimed Mr. Pitiful sang of longing and civil injustice like a man who had suffered them for at least 50 years.” CS

“Recorded in just three days, it’s a virtual template for soul music,” BL It “presents his talent unfettered, his direction clear, and his confidence emboldened, with fully half the songs representing a reach that extended his musical grasp.” BE

“More than a quarter of this album is given over to Redding’s versions of songs by Sam Cooke, his idol, who had died the previous December, and all three are worth owning and hearing. Two of them, A Change Is Gonna Come and Shake, are every bit as essential as any soul recordings ever made, and while they (and much of this album) have reappeared on several anthologies, it's useful to hear the songs from those sessions juxtaposed with each other, and with Wonderful World, which is seldom compiled elsewhere.” BE

“Two originals that were to loom large in his career, are here as well.” BE “The pain of love was one of Redding’s favorite subjects, and he expresses that torment brilliantly on” CS “soul-stirrer I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” TL in which he is “seemingly about to implode.” BL Meanwhile, Respect, “a classic long before Aretha Franklin made it immortal, is a musical call to arms” CS in which Redding “channel[s] the energy of the civil rights movement.” CS

There’s also “Redding’s spellbinding renditions” BE of the Temptations’ My Girl and William Bell’s You Don’t Miss Your Water. Most notable is his cover of the Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction, “a song epitomizing the fully formed Stax/Volt sound and which Mick Jagger and Keith Richards originally wrote in tribute to and imitation of Redding’s style.” BE “Using horns and bass guitar on the infamous riff, …[Redding] mines a conviction about which Mick Jagger only dreamed.” CS

“Among the seldom-cited jewels here is a rendition of B.B. King’s Rock Me Baby that has the singer sharing the spotlight with Steve Cropper, his playing alternately elegant and fiery, with Wayne Jackson and Gene ‘Bowlegs’ Miller’s trumpets and Andrew Love's and Floyd Newman’s saxes providing the backing.” BE In fact, throughout the album “the Stax house band – Booker T and the MGs, augmented by Isaac Hayes and the Mar-Key horns – crackles and Redding’s voice was never better. Which is truly saying something.” TL “Redding’s powerful, remarkable singing throughout makes Otis Blue gritty, rich, and achingly alive, and an essential listening experience.” BE He “was never more sweatily persuasive.” BL


Notes: A 2008 Collector’s Edition added live tracks from the Whisky a Go Go, alternate versions of tracks, a stereo version of the album, and selections from Live in Europe on a 2-disc version.

Resources and Related Links:

Friday, September 4, 2015

50 years ago: The Beatles hit #1 with “Help!”

First posted 3/17/2021.

Help!

The Beatles

Writer(s): John Lennon, Paul McCartney (see lyrics here)


Released: July 19, 1965


First Charted: July 29, 1965


Peak: 13 US, 13 CB, 11 HR, 1 CL, 13 UK, 11 CN, 18 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.99 UK, 1.99 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 114.4 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

This wasn’t just the title song for the Beatles’ second film; this “was John Lennon in the psychiatrist’s chair.” KL Writer Ian MacDonald called it “the first crack in the protective shell Lennon had abuilt around his emotions during the Beatles’ rise to fame.” WK As Lennon said in a 1980 Playboy interview, “The whole Beatles thing was just beyond comprehension. I was subconsciously crying out for help.” WK “I didn’t realize it at the time; I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie.” KL

John Lennon and Paul McCartney had agreed at the onset of the Beatles to share writing credits on their compositions, but this was primarily by John. Paul did, however, provide the countermelody arrangement. WK Paul has also said he didn’t realize until years later that the song was actually John calling out for help. SF In a 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon said of this and “Strawberry Fields Forever” that “they were the ones I always considered my best songs. They were the ones I really wrote from experience and not projecting myself into a situation and writing a nice story about it.” BR1

trailer for the movie

However, he also said, “I don’t like the recording that much; we did it too fast trying to be commercial.” BR1 Critic Dave Marsh disagreed, saying, “’Help!’ isn’t a compromise; it’s bursting with vitality…[Lennon] sounds triumphant, because he’s found a group of kindred spirits who are offering the very spiritual assistance and emotional support for which he’s begging. Paul's echoing harmonies, Ringo's jaunty drums, the boom of George's guitar speak to the heart of Lennon's passion, and though they cannot cure the wound, at least they add a note of reassurance that he's not alone with his pain.” WK For an idea what the song could sound like slowed down, check out Tina Turner’s recording on her 1984 Private Dancer album.

The song was nominated for Grammys for Contemporary Rock & Roll Group Performance and Vocal Group Performance as well as an Ivor Novello Award. It didn’t win any of them, but was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for The Beatles
  • DMDB page for parent album Help!
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 182.
  • KL Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh (2005). 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press. Page 114.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia