ROCKTOBER-Paranoid

Say what you want about Ozzy Osbourne, but he did perform and sing some truly classic Rock songs.

He was still a teenager when he joined Black Sabbath and was only 22 when they recorded ‘Paranoid’.

As the title suggests, this song is about a man who is paranoid. The driving guitar and bass create a nervous energy to go along with Ozzy Osbourne’s desperate vocal. Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, who wrote the lyric, explained the song’s meaning to Mojo magazine June 2013: “Basically, it’s just about depression, because I didn’t really know the difference between depression and paranoia. It’s a drug thing; when you’re smoking a joint you get totally paranoid about people, you can’t relate to people. There’s that crossover between the paranoia you get when you’re smoking dope and the depression afterwards.”

Although this was the first Black Sabbath-penned single, the band’s debut single was actually a cover of Crow’s “Evil Woman Don’t Play Your Games With Me” a few months before the “Paranoid” release. “Paranoid” was much more successful. It was released six months after their self-titled first album and had a huge impact in their native UK, going to #4 and becoming one of their signature songs.

It is the first single from their second album with the same title, while the B-side is the song “The Wizard”. It reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and number 61 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The group never charted again in the UK Top 10, but that wasn’t a problem since album and ticket sales more than made up for it. Many UK rock bands, including Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, put little emphasis on singles.

sources

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/black-sabbath/paranoid

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoid_(Black_Sabbath_song)

ROCKTOBER-Edge of Seventeen

It is very hard for artists, who are part of an iconic band, to breakthrough as a solo artist. Stevie nicks was able to handle it(maybe that’s what Destiny’s child meant when they asked “Can you handle it?}

Stevie Nicks only became a singer for Fleetwood Mac by chance. The band as looking for a new guitarist after Peter Green left, and they approached Lindsey Buckingham. He agreed provided his girlfriend, Stevie Nicks, could join too. The rest is Rock N Roll history.

When she went solo in earnest 40 years ago, the woman who had been integral to Fleetwood Mac’s transformation into the world’s biggest band carved out an identity as a star in her own right. She didn’t just make a chart-topping album, Bella Donna, but came up with a stunning anthem that only seems to grow more popular with age.

“Edge of Seventeen” was released as the third single from the album on February 4, 1982.The lyrics were written by Nicks to express the grief resulting from the death of her uncle Jonathan and the assassination of John Lennon during the same week of December 1980. The song features a distinctive, chugging 16th-note guitar riff, drum beat and a simple chord structure typical of Nicks’ songs. The song’s title for the single release was “Edge of Seventeen (Just Like the White Winged Dove)”. In the United States, “Edge of Seventeen” just missed out on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 11. Despite this, it became one of Nicks’ most enduring and recognizable songs and has been covered by several artists.

The most successful rendition was done by the aforementioned ‘Destiny’s Child’ The distinctive riff from the song was sampled in their 2001 hit single “Bootylicious”, with Nicks making a cameo appearance in the accompanying music video.

sources

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20210820-edge-of-seventeen-an-anthem-that-stuns-each-new-generation

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/stevie-nicks/edge-of-seventeen

ROCKTOBER-Wake me up when September ends.

This is probably my favourite Rock song of the 21st century. It is often associated with 9/11 and it became symbolic after Hurricane Katrina, where it was dedicated to victims of the disaster.

It was released on June 13, 2005, as the fourth single from Green Day’s seventh studio album, “American Idiot”. The song was written by front man Billie Joe Armstrong about his father Andrew, who passed away in 1982 when Billie Joe was 10 years old.

I think the song resonates with many people, who have lost a father or a loved one. The song’s music video, directed by Samuel Bayer, depicts a couple broken apart by the Iraq War, which was intended to convey the song’s central theme of loss. I understand what they tried to do with that, but I think the story line of the video distracts from the lyrics and actual meaning of the song.

In 2019, Billie Joe spoke to Howard Stern about the song’s title and phrase, explaining, ​“I think it’s something that just stayed with me; the month of September being that anniversary that always is just, I don’t know, kind of a bummer. But it’s weird: when things happen like that when you’re that young, it’s almost like life starts at year zero, or something like that.”

When asked if he still thought about his late dad when performing Wake Me Up When September Ends, Billie Joe replied, ​“Yeah. I think about him every day, really. I kinda avoided writing about him for many years, and then finally having a breakthrough like that felt good. It wasn’t like a negative emotion so much, but it was just kind of like honouring him.”

So this Rocktober blog is not only dedicated to the music I love so much but also to my dad, who died 10 years and 2 weeks after this song was released. 16 years has gone so fast

source

https://www.kerrang.com/the-news/green-day-fans-remind-the-internet-not-to-post-wake-me-up-when-september-ends-jokes/

ROCKTOBER-Zombie

When the Cranberry Saw Us were formed in 1989, they did not know that the changing of the name and lead singer would have such an impact on the band.

When the lead singer Niall Quinn was replaced by Dolores O’Riordan, and the name was changed to The Cranberries, the path was open to global success for this Limerick band.

Their 1st album “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” with the hit singles ‘Dreams’ and ‘Linger’ did get the attention of many music fans.

But it was with the song “Zombie” taken from their second album “No need to argue” that the band established themselves as a genuine, bonafide rock band.

It is a protest song written by Dolores O’Riordan in memory of the two young victims who were killed in the 1993 Warrington bombings, Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry. Three-year-old Johnathan Ball was killed when two bombs hidden in litter bins detonated on a busy shopping street in March 1993. Tim Parry, aged 12, died five days later.

O’Riordan, who was on tour at the time, found herself deeply affected by the tragedy.

“I remember seeing one of the mothers on television, just devastated,” she told Vox magazine in 1994.

“I felt so sad for her, that she’d carried him for nine months, been through all the morning sickness, the whole thing and some… prick, some airhead who thought he was making a point, did that.” The singer was particularly offended that terrorists claimed to have carried out these acts in the name of Ireland.

“The IRA are not me. I’m not the IRA,” she said. “The Cranberries are not the IRA. My family are not. “When it says in the song, ‘It’s not me, it’s not my family,’ that’s what I’m saying. It’s not Ireland, it’s some idiots living in the past.”

Unfortunately Dolores died on January 15.2018. But she left behind a legacy for generations to come.

The American heavy metal band Bad Wolves recorded a cover of “Zombie” in 2017 while they were working on their debut album Disobey. The band’s singer Tommy Vext slightly altered the lyrics, inserting a reference to drones and replacing

The band also added two extra stanzas to the end of the song which were not present in the original. However, Vext said that “we weren’t sure it if was going to make it onto the record. The song is a masterpiece and a massive hit. Some art is sacred — you become afraid to do a rendition of it”.

On Christmas Eve 2017, Waite, the manager of Bad Wolves sent a text message to Vext that said O’Riordan had offered to “sing on it”. Vext described the situation: “it was a dream come true”,[166] while the others musicians “almost didn’t believe it

Bad Wolves released the cover on 18 January 2018, 3 days after Dolores’s death, without Dolores’s voice as a tribute to her.

sources

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-42702781

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie_(The_Cranberries_song)

Playing music for Mengele and the SS.

Gustav Mahler is one of the most famous classical music composers and conductors of all time. Yet, his music was considered as degenerate by the Nazi regime, and was therefore banned in Germany and all the occupies territories. It was not because Mahler was a bad composer but because he was Jewish.

However the Nazis had no issues being musically entertained by Mahler’s niece, Alma Rosé. In fact Alma was selected to play in and conduct the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz.

The orchestra was formed in April 1943 by SS-Oberaufseherin Maria Mandel, supervisor of the women’s camp in Auschwitz, and SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Franz Hössler, the women’s camp commandant. The Nazis wanted a propaganda tool for visitors and camp newsreels and a tool to boost camp morale.

Rosé’s arrival at the camp’s railway siding was in bitter contrast to her previous engagements in nearby Krakow, Poland, just a 45-minute drive away. She had appeared there at least twice – as a violinist appearing with her former husband, the Czech violin virtuoso Váša Příhoda, and in 1935 as a conductor of her celebrated women’s orchestra, the elegant Wiener Walzermädeln which she founded and led throughout Europe.

The orchestra had 20 members by June 1943; by 1944 it had 42–47 musicians Its primary role was to play (often for hours on end in all weather conditions) at the gate of the women’s camp when the work gangs left and returned. They might also play during “selection” and in the infirmary.

They would rehearse for up to ten hours a day to play music regarded as helpful in the daily running of the camp. They also held a concert every Sunday for the SS.

For the orchestra’s concerts the women wore blue pleated skirts, white blouses and lavender-coloured kerchief head coverings.

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch was a cellist in the orchestra and she recalled in her memoirs, and in a documentary called “We want the light” the orchestra being told to play Schumann’s Träumerei for Josef Mengele.

According to one report of a concert in the bath-house, a number of SS women were joking and interrupting the performance in which Alma Rosé was playing a solo. She stopped and angrily said: ‘Like that, I cannot play.’ Silence followed; she then played, and no one disciplined her.

Alma Rosé was even able to convince the Nazis to spare her musicians from selections for the gas chambers. When mandolin player Rachela Zelmanowicz was in the infirmary with typhus,which would be a death sentence for any other prisoner,Josef Mengele was prepared to send her to the gas chambers. “What’s with this one?” he asked during his rounds. “She’s from the orchestra.”

Mengele continued on his way without any further discussion. As a member of Rosé’s orchestra, Zelmanowicz was untouchable even by him. Her life was spared.

Alma Rosé died suddenly on 5 April 1944, possibly from food poisoning, after a birthday celebration for a kapo

On 1 November 1944, the Jewish members of the women’s orchestra were evacuated by cattle car to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, where there was neither orchestra nor special privileges.Three members, Charlotte “Lola” Croner, Julie Stroumsa and Else, died there.

sources

https://holocaustmusic.ort.org/places/camps/death-camps/auschwitz/camp-orchestras/

https://www.facinghistory.org/music-memory-and-resistance-during-holocaust/birkenau-womens-camp-orchestra

https://www.thestrad.com/alma-rose-the-violinist-who-brought-music-to-auschwitz/341.article

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074r0r

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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-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

Donation

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-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.