Blue Murder were an English rock band led by guitarist-vocalist John Sykes. The group was formed in 1987 following Sykes’s dismissal from Whitesnake. The initial line-up was rounded out by bassist Tony Franklin and drummer Carmine Appice. In its nascent stage, vocalist Ray Gillen and drummer Cozy Powell were attached to the project. In 1989, Blue Murder released their self-titled debut album, which cracked the Billboard 200 chart and spawned a minor hit with “Jelly Roll”. By the early 1990s, however, Blue Murder’s music had fallen out of fashion with the popularity of grunge. Franklin and Appice left the band, while Sykes put together a new line-up and released Nothin’ But Trouble in 1993. After a live album the following year, Blue Murder were dropped by their record label and broke-up. Since then there have been numerous attempts to reunite the band to no avail.
It truly was a super band with great pedigree rock musicians. There best song was by far “Valley of the Kings”
Papa Roach are celebrating 23 years of their legendary album Infest, which was released April 25, 2000. One of the many songs on the album is “Last Resort,”
Papa Roach vocalist Jacoby Shaddix described the song as a “cry for help”. He also said “That song was about one of my best friends, and then 12–13 years later, that song was about me. I found myself in that place, where I was like, ‘I can’t go on this way. I can’t do it anymore.'” Shaddix said that “Last Resort” is about a roommate he had who tried to commit suicide. Shaddix then said: “We caught him and took him to the hospital and he went into a mental facility and then he came out the other side better. He actually found God through the process, which was kind of crazy. So he’s on a whole different path of his life now, which is cool. I’m really proud of him for the changes he’s made in his life.
One of the definitions for music is vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony and expression of emotion, but it is so much more than that. Music brings hope in times of despair, comfort in times of grief and joy in times of sorrow. Music is like a time machine because a song or tune can bring you back to good and bad times. It can also be a tool of torture, a way of creating false hopes.
The power of music was understood, by both the victims and the perpetrators of the Holocaust.
From the time the first concentration camps like Dachau were established in 1933, camp guards routinely ordered detainees to sing while marching or exercising or during punishment actions. This was done to mock, humiliate and discipline the prisoners. As Eberhard Schmidt experienced in Sachsenhausen, inmates who disobeyed the rules or who incorrectly carried them out (‘In even steps! March! Sing!’) gave the SS an excuse for arbitrary beatings:
“Those who didn’t know the song were beaten. Those who sang too softly were beaten. Those who sang too loudly were beaten. The SS men inflicted savage beatings.”
In December 1943, a 20-year-old named Ruth Elias arrived in a cattle car at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and was assigned to Block 6 in the family camp, a barracks that housed young women and the male orchestra, an orchestra of imprisoned violinists, clarinet players, accordionists and percussionists who played their instruments not only when the prisoners marched out for daily labour details, but also during prisoner punishments.
Performances could be impromptu, ordered whenever the SS felt like it. In a postwar interview, Elias discussed how drunken SS troops would often burst into the barracks late at night.
“First, they’d tell the orchestra to play as they drank and sang. Then they would pull young girls from their bunks to rape them. Pressed against the back of her top-level bunk to avoid detection, Elias heard the terrified screams of her fellow prisoners.”
In Westerbork, Max Ehrlich, a prominent performer in the risque pre-war Berlin cabaret scene, teamed up with fellow musician Willy Rosen to create the Camp Westerbork Theatre Group.
“Suddenly, the best cabaret in Europe was to be found in a concentration camp,” said Alan Ehrlich, the performer’s nephew. “Their music became Westerbork hits, with prisoners constantly humming their tunes.”
The camp commandant sat in the front row of all of the troupe’s performances of original songs, jokes, sketches and dance routines. Entranced, he kept the performers’ names off the lists of those destined for the death camps. “They were playing for their lives,” said Ehrlich
Tango in Auschwitz, was written in Polish by a 12-year-old Polish girl named Irka Janowski. Unfortunately, there is not much known about her other than her name and age. We do know she was not Jewish and that she was murdered in one of the Auschwitz camps. The song she wrote was set to a well-known pre-war tango tune and had become popular among the prisoners of the camps in the extermination complex.
Janowski’s song and biography are a reminder to us of an aspect that is often neglected in the recollection of Auschwitz. The complex comprised several extermination camps and many labour camps, and among the prisoners were many non-Jews. Tens of thousands of Poles, Romanis and people of colour, as well as French and Russian war prisoners, were murdered at Auschwitz. Janowski’s lyrics (translated into Yiddish by survivors) speak of the Auschwitz prisoners, but, surprisingly, do not focus on Jews:
The black man soon takes up his mandolin, and will soon start to strum his little tune here, and the Englishman and Frenchman sing a melody, so a trio will arise out of this sadness.
And also the Pole soon takes up his whistle and he will emote to the world – The song will light up the hearts who are longing for the freedom they miss.
The song’s chorus ignites hope in the hearts of the listeners: Our slave tango – under the whip of the beater, Our slave tango in the Auschwitz camp… Oh, freedom and liberty call!
The song was one of the songs recorded by Ben Stonehill after the war. In the summer of 1948, Stonehill arrived at the Hotel Marseilles in New York, a meeting point for Jewish refugees who had arrived in the United States after World War II. He brought with him heavy recording equipment and placed it in the hotel lobby. His purpose was to record the refugees singing songs they remembered from their homelands; folk songs their parents sang; holiday songs from the synagogue; songs from school and youth movements; and also – the songs they sang in the concentration and extermination camps, in the ghettos and in the hiding places, where they had spent the long years of war. The songs that he recorded were stored in the archives of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research dedicated to the documentation and preservation of a rich, pre-WWII Yiddish culture. The recordings eventually made their way to the National Sound Archive at the National Library of Israel.
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You probably think this is going to be a bout Finland’s finest ,Lordi, but you’d be wrong. It is going to be Denmark’s mega band ‘Mabel’ , ok mega band might be a bit of an exaggeration.
Mabel entered the Eurovision in 1978,in Paris, with the song ‘Boom Boom’ where they received a well deserved 13 points, earning them the 16th place out of 20.
The band name Mabel changed a few times. In 1978 Mabel moved to Spain and became ‘Studs’, releasing a debut self-titled album in 1981 and then moved to New York City and became Danish Lions in 1982. After recording demos, the band returned home to Denmark, however, Leader singer Michael Trempenau, who had changed his name to Michael Tramp, decided to remain in the USA. He met guitarist Vito Bratta and the pair decided to form a band named ‘White Lion’
Mike Tramp clearly wanted to put the Eurovision embarrassment behind him, and decided to go a different musical direction.
Their debut album Fight to Survive in 1985. The band achieved success with their No. 8 hit “Wait” and No. 3 hit “When the Children Cry” from their second album, the double platinum selling Pride. The band continued their success with their third album, Big Game which achieved Gold status and their fourth album Mane Attraction which included a supporting tour.
One of my favourite songs of all time is “When the Children cry” .However there is another of their songs I want to focus on.
“Cry for Freedom” is a political song about apartheid in South Africa and was one of many songs from the band that addressed social or political issues such as uprising to oppression. It is from the 1989 album ‘Big Game’
“Still Loving You” is a power ballad by the German hard rock band Scorpions. It was released in June 1984 as the second single from their ninth studio album, Love at First Sting (1984). The song reached number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was most successful in Europe, reaching the top 5 in several countries.
In an interview with Songfacts, Rudolf Schenker explained, “It’s a story about a love affair, where they recognized it may be over, but let’s try again”
“I came up with the composition’s melody and everything. It took about six years of trying to get the song somehow on the album. Matthias Jabs came in with the guitar part, and the feeling was immediately right, so Klaus (Meine) noticed it was right. Therefore, he wanted to write something very special. He told me about how one day he went out into the fields in the snow, and it was then that he came up with the lyrics. He came back home and threw them down, and here we are. It’s a story about a love affair where they recognized it may be over, but let’s try again. It’s the old story; always the old story. I mean, what can we use? We can’t reinvent the wheel. What we always do, is say something which has already been said many times, in our own way.”
Once I had a discussion with a friend. She told me that she didn’t like Heavy Metal, she only liked classical music. I asked her if she had ever listened to Heavy Metal? Because if she had , she would probably would have heard that Metal and Classical are really not that different, The only difference is the choice of instruments and the number of musicians.
I advised her to listen to Yngwie J Malmsteen. A Swedish Heavy Metal Guitarist who is a classically trained musician.
Concerto for Group and Orchestra is a live album by Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Malcolm Arnold, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in September 1969. It consists of a concerto composed by Jon Lord, with lyrics written by Ian Gillan. This is the first full length album to feature Ian Gillan on vocals and Roger Glover on bass. It was released on vinyl in December 1969.
These were just 2 examples, there are a great number of Metal bands whose basis lie in Classical music.
AC/DC will celebrate their 50th anniversary later this year. I was surprised to find out that their first singer wasn’t Bon Scott but, Dave Evans, Although he only recorded one song with the band.
He was the original lead singer for AC/DC in 1973–1974 and sang on their debut single and one other single shortly ,before being replaced by Bon Scott. Evans then went on to join the band Rabbit who were active into the early 1980s. He resumed a solo career shortly after the year 2000.
Dave recorded AC/DC’s first two singles, “Can I Sit Next To You Girl” and “Baby, Please Don’t Go”. But in October 1974, less than a year after AC/DC’s first gig, Evans was out of the band.
On 8 January 1935, two baby boys were born in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Vernon Elvis and Gladys Love—Jesse Garon Presley and 35 minutes later Elvis Aaron Presley. Jesse Garon was stillborn, and Elvis would live to become the Man Who Would be King.
Elvis’ first name comes from his father, Vernon Elvis Presley. However, the origins of Vernon’s middle name remain unclear to this day. One theory is that the name was an homage to a sixth-century Irish saint.
Elvis’ first big hit, “Heartbreak Hotel,” was inspired by a newspaper article about a man who killed himself by jumping from a hotel window in Florida. His suicide note read, “I walk a lonely street.”
On his 11th birthday, Elvis was hoping for a new bike (some say a rifle), but much to his disappointment, was given a guitar instead.
Elvis Presley met Richard Nixon on 21 December 1970—to the shock of just about everyone working at the White House at the time. The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll descended upon Washington, D.C. in the hopes of securing a badge from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
Nixon obliged, giving him an “honorary” badge that didn’t actually hold any power, and Presley declared his full support of Nixon’s presidency.
From 1956 through 1958, Elvis completely dominated the bestseller charts and ushered in the age of rock and roll, opening doors for both white and black rock artists. His television appearances, especially those on Ed Sullivan’s Sunday night variety show, set records for the size of the audiences. Even his films, a few slight vehicles, were box office smashes.
Elvis held a black belt in karate. His karate name was Mr Tiger.
At 19, Elvis was ready to enter the glitzy world of music but was promptly rejected. He auditioned to join a gospel quartet named ‘Songfellows,’ but they turned him down.
Although Elvis recorded hundreds of songs throughout his career, he was not a songwriter. One author, Ken Sharp, noted that Elvis did co-write a couple of songs, including the tune “That’s Someone You Never Forget.” But according to Sharp, Elvis’ true magic lay not in penning song lyrics but in giving songs “his own distinctive personal interpretation.”
“Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,” is a famous line which was used by a character in William Congreve’s 1697 play The Mourning Bride. And sometimes music does soothe the savage beast, but during the Holocaust, some of these ‘beasts’ were so evil that nothing could soothe them.
However, music did play an important role during the Holocaust and not always for the people in the camps or the ghettos. On occasion, it was also used to relay a universal message of tolerance
A Child of Our Time is a secular oratorio (a usually sacred musical work for soloists, chorus and orchestra intended for concert performance) by the British composer Michael Tippett, who also wrote the libretto(the text of an opera or musical). He composed it between 1939 and 1941, it was first performed at the Adelphi Theatre in London on 19 March 1944. The work was inspired by events that affected Tippett profoundly: the assassination in 1938 of a German diplomat by a young Jewish refugee, and the Nazi government’s reaction in the form of a violent pogrom against its Jewish population: Kristallnacht.
Tippett’s oratorio deals with these incidents in the context of the experiences of oppressed people generally and carries a strong pacifist message of ultimate understanding and reconciliation. The text’s recurrent themes of shadow and light reflect the Jungian psychoanalysis that Tippett underwent in the years immediately before writing the work. A Child of Our Time was named after a novel by anti-Nazi writer Odon von Horwath.
This is an excerpt of the text:
A star rises in mid-winter. Behold the man! Behold the man! The scapegoat! The scapegoat! The child of our time.”
Erich Frost was a musician and devout Jehovah’s Witness, he was active in the religious resistance to Hitler’s authority. Caught smuggling pamphlets from Switzerland to Germany, he was imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin where he composed the song “Steht Fest” (Stand Fast) in 1942. Later deported to a labour camp at Alderney, Channel Islands, Frost survived the war and returned to Germany to serve the Watchtower Society. “Fest steht,” reworked in English as “Forward, You Witnesses,” is among the most popular Jehovah’s Witness hymns. This performance, evoking some of the song’s original spirit, took place under Frost’s direction at an event held in Wiesbaden, Germany, during the 1960s.
“Standing firm in a great and difficult time Is a people dedicated to the struggle for their King? He teaches us to fight and win, He teaches us to fight and win. Bright is the eye and calm the blood; Their sword is the truth; they wield it well: What serves the enemy all its lies? What serves the enemy all its lies?
refrain: Jehovah’s Witnesses, undeterred! The struggle is fierce, The battle rages wild. The fetters too are binding, The chains are heavy, But mighty the arm which shields you! Jehovah’s Witnesses in enemy land And far from the homeland, exiled from loved ones; Lift up your gazes to Him, Whose hand is already extended to you!
2. Truth and justice, perverted by men; The name of Jehovah, debased by devils: These must reign once again! These must reign once again! Holy war–from the Highest Mouth– It is called at the right hour For the weak, which, it makes heroes, For the weak, which, it makes heroes.
3. Innocent in their cells, robbed of their freedom! Scornfully the enemies raise up their heads: They would like to rule over us, They would like to rule over us. Yet we, we hear in every place Only the commandments of our King. Only he can safely guide us. Only he can safely guide us!
4. Enemies’ threats, friends’ supplications To desist from the struggle: They can never shake our resolve. They can never shake our resolve. Hunger and beatings and harsh slavery Are the cruel reward for our constancy, And many are they that must grow pale. And many are they that must grow pale!
5. But one day the day will come which liberates All those who are dedicated to the Highest Glory From Satan’s dreary fetters, From Satan’s dreary fetters! Jubilation and singing prevail through the land, Echoing from every mountain. The Kingdom of our Lord has risen, The Kingdom of our Lord has risen.
Gideon Klein was a Czech pianist and composer and was a prize-winning student at the Prague Conservatory. Klein organized the cultural life in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. In 1940 he was offered a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London, but by that time, anti-Jewish legislation prevented his emigration. In Theresienstadt, he wrote works for a string quartet, a string trio, and a piano sonata. He died in unclear circumstances during the liquidation of the Fürstengrube camp in January 1945. In December 1941, deported by the Nazis to the Terezín concentration camp, Gideon Klein, along with Leoš Janáček’s pupils, Pavel Haas, Hans Krása, and Schoenberg’s pupil Viktor Ullmann, he became one of the major composers at that camp.
About a dozen of Gideon Klein’s Terezín compositions and arrangements survived the war. Of these, the brief choral piece “Spruch” (Verdict) has come to light only relatively recently. It was written for and dedicated to Freizeitgestaltung Chairman Moritz Henschel for his 65th birthday, 21 February 1944.
Today marks the 15th anniversary of Dan Fogelberg’s death. I thought it would be appropriate to remember him with one of my favourite Christmas songs.
“Same Old Lang Syne” is a song written and sung by Dan Fogelberg released as a single in 1980.
The narrator is reunited with an old flame at a grocery store on a snowy Christmas Eve. She does not recognize him at first glance and when the two reach to embrace, she drops her purse causing them to laugh until they cry. They decide to talk over a drink but can’t find an open bar, so they buy a six-pack of beer at a liquor store and drank in her car.
Once an hour, the pair toast innocence, and push through their initial awkwardness to discuss their lives. The lover married an architect, for security instead of love. The narrator, a musician, loves performing for audiences, but hates traveling.
After consuming all of the beer, they exchange their goodbyes and the woman kisses him before he gets out of the car and she drives away. He flashes back to school and the pain of their previous breakup; as he walks home, the falling snow turns into rain.
The melody is based on the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky and ends with “Auld Lang Syne” as a soprano saxophone solo by Michael Brecker.
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