ROCKTOBER-Young Elvis

No Rock blog could be without mentioning the King of Rock ‘N’ Roll ,Elvis Presley. He may have been one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. But it wasn’t always the case.

When he was just 10 years old he tried to become a star by entering a talent show. It was on October 9th 1945, just a few months after World War 2. Maybe the world wasn’t ready yet for him.

Standing on a chair at a microphone, he sang “Old Shep” at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, held in Tupelo. The show was broadcast over WELO Radio, though no recording of it now exists.

Some reports say that he came second and won a prize of five dollars in fair-ride tickets. Interviewed years later, however, Elvis recalled that he came fifth and his most vivid memory of the day was receiving “a whipping from my Mama” for misbehaving.

A photograph taken of some of the contestants seems to bear out his recollection of the result. Wearing glasses, Elvis is standing empty-handed next to two other youngsters, both proudly clutching a trophy.

His next known public performance was on 6 November 1948 when he played guitar and sang Leaf On A Tree as a farewell to his fellow students at Milam Junior School in Tupelo. The poverty-stricken Presleys then packed their belongings into a trunk, strapped it to the roof of their 1939 Plymouth car, and headed for Memphis, Tennessee, in search of a better life..

On January 8,1946,Elvis received his first guitar for his birthday; he had hoped for something else, by different accounts, either a bicycle or a rifle. Over the following year, he received basic guitar lessons from two of his uncles and the new pastor at the family’s church. The rest is Rock N Roll history.

On July 18, 1953, he paid $3.98 for a recording studio time at the Sun Studio in Memphis, a recording studio that was also home to the Sun Records label. Elvis recorded a double-sided acetate demo single, though he was not yet signed to the Sun Records label. On the A-side, he recorded “My Happiness”, For the B-side, he recorded “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”.

source

https://www.onthisday.com/articles/elvis-comes-fifth-in-talent-show

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ROCKTOBER-I love Rock ‘n’ Roll

You’re a teenager, you are still experimenting with different types of music. One day you turn the TV, tune in to the Dutch music show TopPop, and you see this lady with a guitar, There are a few drumbeats at the start and then a kick ass guitar riff. You are hooked, you found the music you like. That’s basically how I started my lifelong addiction to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, and it was all because of a lady called Joan Jett.

“I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” is a rock song written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker and first recorded by the Arrows, a British rock band, in 1975.

It was originally recorded and released by Arrows in 1975 on Rak Records, with Merrill on lead vocals and guitar and Mickie Most producing. Merrill wrote both the music and lyrics but gave a co-writer credit to Hooker as part of settling a debt. In an interview with Songfacts, Merrill said he wrote the song as “a knee-jerk response to the Rolling Stones’ ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)’.” This version was first released as a B-side, but was soon re-recorded and flipped to A-side status on a subsequent pressing of the record. Arrows performed the song in 1975 on the Muriel Young-produced show 45, after which Young offered Arrows a weekly UK television series, Arrows, which was broadcast on ITV starting in March 1976.

Joan Jett saw the Arrows perform “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” on their weekly UK television series Arrows while she was touring England with the Runaways in 1976.She first recorded the song in 1979 with two of the Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook. This first version was released on vinyl in 1979 on Vertigo records as a B-side to “You Don’t Own Me”. In 1981, Jett re-recorded the song, this time with her band, the Blackhearts. This recording became a U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single for seven weeks, being the only one for the band.

The rest as they say is history. To those of you who had to endure the many hours of rock music I played throughout the years, you can blame Joan Jett for that.

Finishing up with the aforementioned performance om TopPop.

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ROCKTOBER-November Rain

I know I am a bit early, it is only early October so why talk about November Rain. I am of course talking about the epic song by Guns N Roses with the title “November Rain”

Slash states in his autobiography that an 18-minute version of “November Rain” was recorded at a session with guitarist Manny Charlton (of rock band Nazareth) in 1986, before the recording sessions for Appetite for Destruction began. There were actually a few demo versions of the song. A 10 minutes Piano version.

It was also tried out as a far shorter acoustic guitar demo, lasting just over five minutes.

Neither version made the cut to get on to “Appetite for Destruction”. It would take another 5 years before the song would be released. It was released as a single in 1992 from their third studio album, Use Your Illusion I (1991).

At 8:57 minutes long, it is the second-longest song on the album, the longest being the 10:14 “Coma”. It is the third-longest song by Guns N’ Roses, behind the 9:24 “Estranged” from Use your illusion 2

It is the longest song ever to reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s composition was influenced by Elton John’s 1973 opus “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding”

The music video, directed by Andy Morahan,[17] portrays Rose marrying his then-girlfriend Stephanie Seymour and later grieving at her funeral, intercut with a live performance in Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theater.[18] It is one of the most expensive music videos ever.

With a budget totaling around $1 million, the “November Rain” video ranks among the most expensive music promos ever made. While it might not have had the same career-boosting impact of the “Welcome To The Jungle” video, at the time of its release, “November Rain” quickly became MTV’s most-requested video of all time.

source

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ROCKTOBER-Paradise by the Dashboard light.

The career of Michael Lee Aday aka Meat Loaf, has been a turbulent one, to used an understatement. It went from filling huge stadiums with adore fans, to barely getting people to see him perform in small community halls in Ireland, and back to stadiums.

His most iconic song though has to be “Paradise by the Dashboard light” written by Jim Steinman. It was released in 1977 and was taken from the album “Bat out of Hell”

“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is one of the longest songs to be released uncut on one side of a 45 RPM record. The only difference between the single and album versions is that the single version fades out almost immediately after the final line is sung. Jim Steinman had stated that he wanted to write “the ultimate car/sex song in which everything goes horribly wrong in the end.” The album version of the song lasts 8.28 minutes, which is probably a lot longer then the car sex he envisaged.

Although Ellen Foley is recorded on the album, another singer, Karla DeVito, was used for the music video and for live performances.

The single had modest success in the United States, peaking at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100. In Belgium, the single stalled at number 2 where it stayed for 5 weeks, being blocked from the Number 1 position the whole time by “Y.M.C.A.” from the Village People whilst in the Netherlands, the single became Meat Loaf’s biggest all-time hit, reaching number one at the end of 1978, going on to be a hit there again in 1988. In the United Kingdom the song did not chart at all but is well known and is a classic rock staple.

Brotherhood of Man also recorded the song under the title “Let Me Sleep on It”. But that is a cover which probably never should have been released.

ROCKTOBER-Bohemian Rhapsody

It’s a song you have all heard a great number of times. And to those who heard it when it was first released it was probably not like anything you’ve heard before.

Bohemian Rhapsody is probably the most unlikely title for a Rock song and yet it became a classic , if not THE classic Rock song for many generations.

This musical masterpiece lasted 5 minutes and 55 seconds, another reason why it should not have become a hit. Because prior to that, 3 minutes was the magic number for Rock hits. It was first released on Halloween 1975, October 31.

The song is so well known and there is not much I can add to the narrative, except for one little fact which is probably forgotten. Queen held the number 1 position in the UK with Bohemian Rhapsody, maybe they should have followed their own advice and ‘tied their mothers down’ because on January 31,1976,ABBA knocked Queen of the number 1 spot, with Mamma Mia. In a way that was the most logical take over, There were only 2 super groups to emerge from the 70’s Queen and ABBA.

Leaving you with the 5.55 minutes opera called “Bohemian Rhapsody”

ROCKTOBER-Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime

It is rare that a song gets better when it has been re-released , but this is the case with “Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime”. It was originally released as “Irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann” on October 5,1984 by Nena, written by Jörn-Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen and Carlo Karges.

The original song was a commercial success in Europe and it reached number 3 in the German charts in 1984.

It was the last top-five entry Nena was to have in her homeland for 19 years until in 2003 she reprised the song as the duet “Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime” with another 80s icon, Kim Wilde. as part of Nena’s 2002 career revival brought about by the triple platinum Nena feat. Nena album. The song also featured in all three seasons of the 2017-2020 Netflix German science fiction thriller series Dark.

There is a slight musical twist to the 2003 version.

The twist is not so much relating to the song but rather to the person who wrote the English lyrics, Lisa Dalbello.

Lisa Dalbello had a hit single in 1987 titled “Tango” .But that is not the twist I am talking about. She also wrote and released “Gonna Get close to you” which was covered by Seattle based Heavy Metal band Queensryche, it was their version that really got ne interested in the band and I have been a fan ever since. It is also a case where the cover version was better then the original.

I am ending the blog with Queensryche’s version of the song.

ROCKTOBER-Love is all

When you hear “Love is all” you are probably more reminded of something the Beatles may have done rather then a bunch of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal artists. Yet that is exactly who were involved in the creation of this beautiful, colourful even fairytale like tale and melody.

The song was released in 1974 and was written and composed by Jon Lord of Deep Purple and Eddie Hardin of the Spencer Davis group. The song was taken from the concept album “The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast” which featured artists like David Coverdale(Whitesnake) Glenn Hughes(Deep Purple & Black Sabbath) Les Binks(Judas Priest) Jon Lord(Deep Purple) and many more.

In 1973 Roger Glover left Deep Purple because of work pressure and tensions between him and Ritchie Blackmore. Together with Jon Lord he worked on a solo project. Their plan was to make a rock opera based on William Plomer and Alan Aldridge’s book The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast , in itself based on the eponymous poem by British historian William Roscoe.

Eddie Hardin wrote the song Love Is All based on a song featured in The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast named Love’s all you need, which was inspired by The Beatles’ song All You Need Is Love (1967). The song was sung by Ronnie James Dio, although the single was credited to Glover. The B-side was Old Blind Mole/Magician Moth.

I always presumed that the song had been a global hit, but it only reached the no 1 position in the Dutch and Belgian charts.

The song came with an animated music video featuring a guitar playing frog gathering animals in the forest for the upcoming ball. The animation was created by the Halas and Batchelor studio and one of the animators was Harold Whitaker. The video received a lot of airplay over the decades, particularly as a fill-in during technical difficulties, such as on the French TV channel Antenne 2, and in the United States in children’s TV programs such as The Great Space Coaster and Nickelodeon morning shows. Those random airings, together with the psychedelic tone of the clip and the lack of subtitles, made it very popular amongst young viewers.

In 1980, the video was featured on the Australian music show Countdown, and the song entered the Australian Top 10.The video was also used regularly as an interstitial program on Australia’s ABC TV.

The song was covered by Sacha Distel in 1976. In 2002, Flemish singer Dana Winner released a cover version. Other artists who covered the song have been Gonzales (2008), Keedz (2010) and Playing for Change (2013).

But the original is still the best.

ROCKTOBER-One

In today’s edition of ROCKTOBER you get two for the price of ‘One'(see what I did there?) Starting of with Metallica’s epic song “One”

Metallica thrashed into the MTV mainstream with this nightmarish tale of a World War I soldier who steps on a landmine and wakes up to find he’s lost his arms, legs, sight, hearing and speech—left only with the torture of being trapped in his own mind.

The lyrics are largely inspired on Dalton Trumbo’s 1939 anti-war novel “Johnny Got His Gun,” and subsequent 1971 movie of the same name.

“One” was written in November 1987 by Metallica’s principal composers James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. The song was released in 1989 as the third and final single of the album “And justice for all….” For the first 20 seconds of the song there are a series of sound effects with a battle theme, an artillery barrage and helicopter are heard and continues slightly over a clean tone guitar intro by Hetfield before Kirk Hammett comes in over the top with a clean-toned solo.

“One” was the first Metallica song for which a music video was created. The music video, directed by Bill Pope and Michael Salomon, debuted on MTV on January 20, 1989. The video, shot in Long Beach, California, is almost entirely in black and white, and features the band performing the song in a warehouse. It features dialogue and several scenes from the 1971 film adaptation of Johnny Got His Gun. Timothy Bottoms can be seen starring as Joe Bonham.

The second ‘One’ is U2’s classic hit from the album “Achtung Baby” in my opinion the last good album that U2 produced. Ironically it is the album that stopped them from breaking up.

During a Dublin show on December 31, 1989, Bono took a minute to air his band’s dirty laundry. U2 had entered the final stretch of the Lovetown Tour, launched earlier that year to help promote Rattle And Hum, and the guys were beyond exhausted. There were family issues to deal with; Bono’s wife had given birth to the couple’s first child earlier that year, and the Edge’s marriage to his high school sweetheart had started to crumble. There were creative problems, too, which had manifested themselves on Rattle And Hum and spilled over into the current tour.

“This is just the end of something for U2, and that’s why we’re playing these concerts,” Bono told the crowd during an encore performance of “Love Rescue Me.” “It’s no big deal. It’s just … we just have to go away and dream it all up again.”

Looking for some new inspiration, the guys wrapped up their tour, spent several months at home and headed to Berlin in October 1990, flying into town the day Germany officially reunited. The sessions were fraught with conflict, as the band argued over their musical direction and the quality of their material. After tension and slow progress nearly prompted the group to disband, they made a breakthrough with the improvised writing of the song “One”.

“At the instant we were recording it, I got a very strong sense of its power. We were all playing together in the big recording room, a huge, eerie ballroom full of ghosts of the war, and everything fell into place. It was a reassuring moment, when everyone finally went, ‘oh great, this album has started.’ It’s the reason you’re in a band – when the spirit descends upon you and you create something truly affecting. ‘One’ is an incredibly moving piece. It hits straight into the heart.”

—The Edge, on the recording of “One”

Bono recalls that “the melody, the structure, the whole thing was done in 15 minutes”. He also stated that the lyrics “just fell out of the sky, a gift”; the concept was inspired by the band members’ fracturing relationships, the German reunification, and Bono’s scepticism of the hippie idea of “oneness”. Bono later sent a note to the Dalai Lama declining an invitation to a festival called Oneness, incorporating a line from the song: “One—but not the same”. The song’s writing inspired the band and changed their outlook on the recording sessions. Mullen said the song reaffirmed the band’s “blank page approach” to recording and reassured the band that all was not lost.

“Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blameYou say one love, one life (One life)
It’s one need in the night
One love (one love), get to share it
Leaves you darling, if you don’t care for it”

“One” was released as a benefit single, with proceeds going towards AIDS research. The song topped the Irish Singles Charts, the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart and the US Billboard Album Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks charts. It also peaked at number three in New Zealand, number four in Australia, number seven on the UK Singles Chart and number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. In promotion of the song, the band filmed several music videos, although they were not pleased until a third was created.

sources

https://www.bigedition.com/s/meanings-stories-pop-songs-lyrics-a727257e0a5a43c2

https://www.loudersound.com/features/the-real-story-behind-one-by-metallica

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_(Metallica_song)

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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ROCKTOBER-In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

I have to be honest but “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” would not be one of my favourite Rock songs. However it is a classic Rock song nonetheless.

A friend once asked me if I knew the song “In the Garden of Eden” . He had heard it in the 1986 film “Manhunter” I corrected him and told him that the title was in fact “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly.

It was only later that I discovered that we were both technically correct, in relation to the title.

One of the most blissfully indulgent rock songs, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is animal-instinct rock and roll, playing out for 17:05 in its unabridged form and taking up an entire album side. The mysterious title is one of the great legends in rock. You might think it has a deep, mystical meaning, but it’s really a translation error.

Released in 1968, “In a Gadda Da Vida” is Iron Butterfly’s one and only hit. And this 17-minute song was recorded when the singer was not completely sober. The words ‘in a gadda da vida’ occur at the beginning and the end — in the middle it’s mostly instrumental. Which is a good thing because apparently the singer was drunk or high or both, and slurred the words ‘in the garden of eden.’ What you’re hearing, in fact, wasn’t supposed to be recorded, it was only meant as a soundcheck. The producer hadn’t arrived and the band was just kind of messing in the studio, but the engineer was rolling tape. At the end of it he decided it was actually pretty good. Their record company was OK with the title because it sounds exotic and Eastern spirituality was big at the time, with The Beatles going to India and The Rolling Stones experimenting with Indian instruments.

As for the meaning of the song, it’s just a guy affirming his love for his special girl.

“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” was Iron Butterfly’s only song to reach the top 40, reaching number 30,though the album containing the full-length song was far more successful, reaching number four on the album chart and selling over a million copies. An 8-minute-20-second edit of the song was included in the soundtrack to the 1986 film Manhunter, the first movie to feature the character Hannibal Lecter. In 2009, it was named the 24th-greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1. It is also often regarded as an influence on heavy metal music and one of the firsts of the genre.[

My favourite version of the song featured in a 1995 episode of The Simpsons, “Bart Sells His Soul”, in which Bart Simpson tricks Reverend Lovejoy’s church into singing the song as an opening hymn by handing out sheet music titled “In the Garden of Eden” by “I. Ron Butterfly”. Lovejoy describes the hymn as “sounding like rock and/or roll”. The church organist, an elderly woman, collapses after playing for the entire seventeen minutes.

sources

https://www.pri.org/stories/2015-06-06/gadda-da-what-accidental-inspiraton-these-six-hit-songs

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/iron-butterfly/in-a-gadda-da-vida

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ROCKTOBER- Child in Time

As you can see I renamed October to ROCKTOBER- Throughout the month I shall be posting classic Rock songs and the stories behind them. Starting with Deep Purple’s “Child in Time”

It is the 3rd track on the a side of Deep Purple’s classic 1970 album “Deep Purple in Rock”

Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan has said that “Child in Time” is based on It’s a Beautiful Day’s psychedelic song “Bombay Calling”.

It’s a Beautiful Day in return borrowed Purple’s “Wring That Neck” and turned it into “Don and Dewey” on their second album Marrying Maiden (1970). The song started with organist Jon Lord playing “Bombay Calling”, which the band then re-arranged and changed the structure. Gillan had never heard the original song, and created lyrics about the Cold War to fit the music, later saying it “reflected the mood of the moment”. The band then worked out instrumental lines to accompany this.

With themes of war and inhumanity, the song is regarded as a heavy metal anthem and an example of art rock.

A staple of the Deep Purple live concerts in 1970–73 and later after their initial reunion tours of 1985 and 1987–88, the song was not featured regularly at concerts after 1995. It was re-added to the setlist for the band’s 2002 European tour, with its final appearance in Deep Purple’s live set was at Kharkiv’s Opera Theatre’s scene in March of that year.

A live version later appeared on the 1972 live album Made in Japan.

Ian Gillan said in an interview in 2002: “There are two sides to that song – the musical side and the lyrical side. On the musical side, there used to be this song ‘Bombay Calling’ by a band called It’s A Beautiful Day. It was fresh and original, when Jon was one day playing it on his keyboard. It sounded good, and we thought we’d play around with it, change it a bit and do something new keeping that as a base. But then, I had never heard the original ‘Bombay Calling.’ So we created this song using the Cold War as the theme, and wrote the lines ‘Sweet child in time, you’ll see the line.’ That’s how the lyrical side came in. Then, Jon had the keyboard parts ready and Ritchie had the guitar parts ready. The song basically reflected the mood of the moment, and that’s why it became so popular.”

Lars Ulrich of Metallica cites this as one of his favorite songs of all time. He says that when he was 9 years old, his father took him to a Deep Purple show, and it changed his life. “This is their most iconic moment,” he told Rolling Stone regarding the song. “I’ve heard it 92,000 times, and it never sounds anything less than great.”

I have to agree with Lars on this one.

sources

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/deep-purple/child-in-time

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