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-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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ROCKTOBER-The story behind Innuendo.

Some of you may not realize this but Queen only had 3 number 1 hits in the UK; Bohemian Rhapsody in 1975,Under Pressure in 1981 and 10 years later with Innuendo in 1991. Ironically their previous number one hit had been brutalized by a certain Mr. Vanilla Ice who used it for his Ice Ice Baby which only had been released a few months before Innuendo. Vanilla Ice completely denied that he used Queen and David Bowie’s ‘Under Pressure’ for his single. He must have realized though that even a deaf person could have heard he sampled the song.

Innuendo is one of Queen’s epic songs and their longest ever released as a single, exceeding “Bohemian Rhapsody” by 35 seconds.

Much like David Bowie’s Blackstar, to listen to Innuendo isn’t to be confronted with the sorrow of a man with one foot in the grave. Rather, the song and indeed the album comes off as the work of an artist staring sickness right in the eye and vowing to “keep working until I fucking drop,” as Mercury was once quoted as saying.

And from the sound of Innuendo, he meant exactly what he said. In many ways, Innuendo looked to be a triumphant continuance of the return to Queen’s early-Seventies hard-rock roots that began on 1989’s underrated The Miracle. Innuendo is also the only studio cut of the group’s to feature another guitarist: Steve Howe of Yes joined May in the song’s meticulously designed middle section.

On a break from a recording session in Geneva, Howe drove to Montreux and stopped to have lunch. There he ran into Martin Groves who had worked for Yes before and by this time was Queen’s equipment supervisor. Groves told him that Queen were in the studio at the moment.

As soon as Steve Howe went into the studios, Mercury asked him to play some guitar (according to producer David Richards, who had worked with Yes in the past as well). Another version is that Brian May was the one who asked him to play the flamenco bit.[5] When the members of Queen asked if Howe wanted to play on the title track, Howe politely suggested they’d lost their minds. It took the combined weight of Mercury, May and Taylor to persuade him.

According to Steve Howe:

“Inside, there’s Freddie, Brian and Roger all sitting together. They go: ‘Let’s play you the album’. Of course, I’m hearing it for the first time […] And they saved “Innuendo” itself until last. They played it and I was fucking blown away. They all chimed in: ‘We want some crazy Spanish guitar flying around over the top. Improvise!’ I started noodling around on the guitar, and it was pretty tough. After a couple of hours, I thought: ‘I’ve bitten off more than I can chew here’. I had to learn a bit of the structure, work out what the chordal roots were, where you had to fall if you did a mad run in the distance; you have to know where you’re going. But it got towards evening, and we’d doodled and I’d noodled, and it turned out to be really good fun. We have this beautiful dinner, we go back to the studio and have a listen. And they go: ‘That’s great. That’s what we wanted’.”

“Innuendo” began as a jam session in Switzerland amongst Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon in spring 1989. Freddie Mercury was upstairs and heard them playing the beat, and turned it into a song, creating the melody and starting off the lyrics. From then on all four worked on polishing the track and Taylor took over the lyrics (which were written as a tribute to Led Zeppelin and their song “Kashmir”)

The single was released on January 14,1991, hard to believe it has already been 30 years since I first heard that song. 10 months later Freddie Mercury died from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.

There will never be a singer and entertainer like him again.

sources

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/queen/innuendo

https://brianmay.com/reviews/innuendo.html

Funky Claude was running in and out.

Deep-Purple-Smoke-On-The-Water-1973

Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple is one of if not ‘the’ most iconic Rock anthems of all times, from the 1st nano second it starts you know what song it is. First the Guitar riff, followed by the Hi Hat, then the drums and the pounding bass, It just doesn’t get better then that.

Smoke_on_the_Water_riff

The song is the tale of a recording session in Montreux, Switzerland which didn’t go as planned.

Deep Purple were going to use a mobile recording studio which was in the Casino in Montreux. The were going to record straight after a live concert by ‘Frank Zappa and the Mothers of invention’ but a fire started and the place burned down, after a Zappa fan had fired a flare into the casino’s ceiling

FZ MOI

Now rather then listing all the events in the song, I will have the song at the end of this blog. I will however pick out 1 event. The heroic actions of Claude Nobs, he is the ‘Funky Claude’ mentioned in the song.

Claude Nobs who was the founder and the promoter of the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Nobs saved several young concert goers who did hide in the Montreux Casino , thinking they would be sheltered from the flames. Nobs, who had served as a volunteer fireman, knew that the casino wasn’t  a safe place and acted immediately to get them out. ‘Funky Claude was running in and out pulling kids out the ground’

Claude_Nobs

Nobs not only rescued concertgoers from the blaze, but also helped Deep Purple regroup afterwards, offering them a new place to record. Deep Purple wrote the song about that day and it became one of their biggest hits.

 

 

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Sources

Gibson

21st Century Rock Anthems

rock-anthems-splash-screen

This is probably one of my more difficult articles to compile. After having watched a documentary on the BBC on great American Rock anthems where they basically finished with ‘Smells like Teen spirit’ by Nirvana. I found it hard to think of any anthems that came after that iconic rock track.But I think I came up with a few.

Below are some essential 21st Century Rock Anthems, at least in my opinion.

Green Day-American Idiot

 

Arcade Fire-Wake Up

 

Queens of the Stone Age-No One Knows

 

Elbow-Grounds for Divorce

 

Rammstein-Ich Will

 

Cold Play-Fix you

Linkin Park-Somewhere I belong

 

Finishing up with one of my all time favourites, from the brilliant Swedish/Danish crime drama the Bridge -Bron/Broen.

The Choir of Young believers-Hollow Talk

 

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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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