You may have seen in the news lately that Joni Mitchell was honoured with The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from The Library of Congress. This award was first presented to Paul Simon in 2007, it is to recognize “the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world’s culture”. Mitchell is the 15th honouree. They haven’t updated the honoree profiles yet so I can’t tell you what The Library of Congress has to say about her, but as you may have guessed I have a few things for you on Joni Mitchell.Read More »
The 1970’s Pt. 3
I received some feedback on the first two 1970’s posts citing that there were “some forgotten songs mentioned, and yet they came back immediately in my head” which is all part of the fun.
Music of the 1970’s
Parts one and two focused on three major sources; the Billboard charts, Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs and from The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. A few other references were used and I will try not to repeat myself as I would like to give an overview of the decades music. It was a time of much social change and we saw the introduction of many new music styles that still impact the music of today.Read More »
The 1970's Pt. 2 (75-79)
The 1970’s Pt. 2 (75-79)
This is the 1970’s continued from Pt. 1 and just a reminder that I have short formed the Rolling Stone Magazines 500 Greatest Songs of All Time to 500 Greatest . The Rolling Stone list has been revised three times and to maintain the 500 number, songs have been subtracted from prior lists. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 500 Songs that Shaped R&R (500 Shaped) has been updated, no songs were dropped and it now includes another 160 songs and is simply referred to as ‘The Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll’. On the expanded list I found the 1970’s only had minor additions, hence my reference to the original titles as it just makes an easier comparison, at least for my purposes.
On the Pop charts we had Elton John with three #1 songs “Philadelphia Freedom” being one, KC and the Sunshine Band had two #1’s “That’s the Way (I Like It)” hit two different times, Neil Sedaka had “Laughter in the Rain” and “Bad Blood” and he co-wrote and originally recorded “Love Will Keep Us Together” in 1973 and the cover version hit #1 for four weeks, sung by The Captain & Tennille. Read More »
The 1970's Pt. 1 (1970-74)
|Tapestry from my collection|
There is too much to talk about for the 1970’s so I’ll split this one up. Parts one and two will largely focus on songs and charts by year and part three I will look at genres, key artists, trends and cultural impact. I have touched on this decade in many of my posts, for me personally the 70’s is the more formative era for my musical experience. Many of us cling to the music of our youth, for me talking about this time takes me from late elementary, then high school through to college.
If you read my post on The 60’s I described it as the decade with the greatest change and the most impactful era of Popular music, and I stand by that assessment. However if you take any stretch of 10 years of music you will see if not a new genre, then several sub and sub sub genre. The 1970’s produced some of the greatest music of any era. Staying true to my mandate I have to point out that cover songs play an important part. They sometimes appear on the charts years after the original, as a result when tracking cover song statistics there are a number of data points that alter a songs place in history. Read More »
As I have discussed in previous posts trying to pigeon hole bands into genres and subgenres in particular is a tough task at times. That said when we think of Southern Rock there are certain names that come to mind. Most likely those would be ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’ (LS) and ‘The Allman Brothers Band’ (ABB). I’ve read that the late Ronnie Van Sant who was the lead singer of LS said they were “a rock band who just happen to be from the South” and this is certainly true. But there are some characteristics of the subgenre which set it apart in more ways than just geography. The all too obvious songs we can point to are “Sweet Home Alabama” by LS (1974) and Charlie Daniels “The South’s Gonna Do It” (1975). The former I touched on a bit in my post on Neil Young as his “Alabama” and “Southern Man” both struck a nerve in the south and prompted LS to strike back with an ‘answer song’ both eschewing his view of the south and calling him out by name in the lyrics. They promoted their ‘southern pride’ all the way to a #8 hit song. While the latter from Charlie Daniels was only a minor hit, it lists the names of the some of the Rock bands from the ‘South’ like LS, Grinderswitch, ZZ Top, Elvin Bishop and a few others. Here he is promoting a resurgence of the music and putting the ‘South’ back on the Rock & Roll map. Incidentally a song covered by …no one, while “Sweet Home Alabama” ironically was first covered in 1981 by Charlie Daniels . I should mention here that R&R started in the ‘South’ and perhaps the “British Invasion” made some forget that fact, hence I think that’s why this subgenre is so important.Read More »
What is now referred to as ‘Classic Rock’ was just plain ole R&R when I was growing up, so while the music is now ‘classic’, me…not so much. In part thanks to baby boomer parents like myself who exposed their children to the songs, 1970’s and 80’s Rock is alive and well. What has really kept it alive though (apart from demographics) is the music itself, a lot of really talented artists making great tunes. Everyone I think has some songs from their youth that hold a lot of meaning, but few era’s of music have the staying power these bands produced.Read More »
So a few years after the songs release in the late fall of 1978 I purchased two tickets to see Queen play in my hometown of London Ontario. We didn’t get a lot of big names in London and being a fan, this was pretty exciting. They were playing Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens December 3 and 4 and I guess tacked on the London date as it was not on the official tour schedule. I don’t remember how much I paid for the tickets, but I seem to recall somewhere in the $8-15 per range, but “nothing really matters, anyone can see, nothing really matters, nothing really matters to me” because the concert was cancelled. Something about Freddie’s voice -being strained I believe, more like Freddie saying to the booking agent something like …so we are in Canada in the bloody cold? And now we’re playing a place called London, Ontario? In the winter Ya? Not bloody likely!
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