The late, lamented Janis Joplin’s final album, Pearl, was released posthumously in January. Under the guidance of Doors producer Paul Rothchild and supported by her new Full Tilt Boogie band, the album was tighter and more polished than Joplin’s previous work. It was also noticeably funkier right out of the gate on “Move Over”, owing […]Read more "1971, Part One – Love It To Death"
Much has been written about the beauty of autumn, its welcome arrival after the summer as a reminder that all things come to an end, only to be reborn again a few months hence. Autumn 1970, however, proved to be a most cruel season for American rock, and sadly, in this case there could be […]Read more "1970, Part Three – Death of an Era"
So, I’ve made a bit of a decision. With the dawn of the Seventies, rock exploded and splintered into numerous subgenres. The liberation the Sixties generation gave it meant that nothing would be off limits, and there would be something for everybody. The result is that there is just too fucking much rock to enable […]Read more "1970, Part Two – Get Big or Get Back"
A shotgun blast ended his life at the age of 27 a quarter century ago today. Few people in our world of billions manage to etch themselves into history; far fewer still can be considered a generation’s voice. Kurt Donald Cobain managed to achieve both, in less than three years after bursting into the popular […]Read more "Kurt Cobain, 25 Years On"
In our never-ending quest for stirring mythologies and shining examples of heroism, when it comes to the events of sixty years ago today, we long ago handed the wheel over to Don McLean. And to be clear, that’s not cynicism, but rather an acknowledgment: the song that birthed the sobriquet in this post’s title is […]Read more "February 3, 1959: The Day The Music Died"
A few decades from now, nobody is going to speak of Kiss in reverential tones as a band of great musicians whose songs spoke to the anxieties, fears and dreams of a generation. The Beatles, they ain’t. Their oeuvre has always been simple rock songs about girls and sex and loving it loud and shouting […]Read more "Kiss: End of the Road (Again)"
It’s clear that, in terms of popular music, if the Sixties were about breaking out of the cage, the Seventies were about smashing the cage and running off in all directions. The decade would witness the death of psychedelia early on; in its place would ascend prog rock, country rock, hard rock, southern rock, glam […]Read more "1970, Part One – What Is This That Stands Before Me?"
All good things must come to an end, they’ve told us. And it’s long been observed that each decade of the twentieth century tended to extend itself into the one that followed by a few years (the Fifties didn’t really end until the Kennedy assassination, the Seventies stuck around through the gloom and doom of […]Read more "1969, Part Four – And In The End, The Love You Take… "
The fabled “Summer of ’69” began well enough with the Rolling Stones’ free concert in London’s Hyde Park on July 5, joined by established band Family and the up-and-coming King Crimson. The Stones hadn’t performed in public in over two years and they’d shelved their plans to release Rock And Roll Circus, but they had […]Read more "1969, Part Three – The Guns Of August"
I know a guy who estimates he goes to something like a hundred and fifty rock concerts each year. From stadiums to bars, he sees them all. That’s his thing – it’s what he does. Much as I love rock music, historically I’ve tended to be a bit discriminating, stingy even, about where I spend […]Read more "Guns N’ Roses – Yesterdays and Today"