Pink Floyd wouldn't have been a good bet to survive the 1960s, let alone the century. Original defining songwriter Syd Barrett was a sidelined acid casualty by 1968, when guitarist David Gilmour arrived. The group played to a cult audience until capturing the zeitgeist with 1973's The Dark Side of the Moon, an album about alienation and paranoia that sold millions and charted for over a decade. "Money," the album's surprise hit, opens with ringing cash registers the most famous example of Pink Floyd's fondness for sound effects. Indeed, the rhythms of commerce establish the rigid beat for a song that is paradoxically one of the more soulful in the band's repertoire, with a saxophone wailing above jazzy keyboard and wahwah guitar. A rave-up guitar solo leads into a rocky jam that winds back into a final verse and fades amid chattering voices. With its musical change-ups and tricky production, "Money" became a career-defining single. Money itself was the issue in the 1980s after co-founder Roger Waters departed: he fought his ex-band mates over the rights to the lucrative name "Pink Floyd."
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Preaching a gospel of tolerance set against a heady genre-blending groove, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Sly and the Family Stone were the integrated multi-gender Pied Pipers of the Woodstock generation. The group's message – and inimitable synthesizing of rock, soul, R&B, funk and psychedelia into a danceable music – helped bring diverse audiences together, with their greatest triumph coming at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. During their unforgettable nighttime set, leader Sly Stone initiated a fevered call-and-response with the audience of 400,000–plus during an electrifying version of “I Want to Take You Higher.” Voters around the world ranked that moment as one of the greatest festival moments of all time, and it is included in the Rock Hall's feature exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience.
The group connected with the rising counterculture by means of songs that addressed issues of personal pride and liberation in the context of driving, insistent and sunny-tempered music that fused rock and soul, creating a template for 70s funk. As proof that they were reaching a rainbow coalition among the young, Sly and the Family Stone dominated the late 60s charts with such essential singles as “Dance to ...
It was a weekend of sing-alongs, raves, rappers and rockers. More than 80,000 music fans made a pilgrimage to Manchester, Tennessee for the 13th annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. A diverse lineup boasted EDM artists like Zedd and Skrillex next to classic soulsters like Lionel Richie and Bobby Womack, proving that music festivals allow acts to perform for both new and old audiences. Here are five of the top music moments (in no particular order) from the 2014 Bonnarro Music & Arts Festival.
1. Elder statesmen of Rock Meet the New School: Skrillex & Friends SuperJam
Sonny Moore AKA Skrillex pulled out all the stops for his SuperJam. A few of the highlights included Janelle Monea taking the stage to perform Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and the 1965 James Brown classic "I Feel Good," and later Cage the Elephant's Matt Shultz fronting the Doors' "Break On Through (To The Otherside)" alongside the iconic group's guitarist and songwriter Robby Krieger.
2. Jack White Covers Zeppelin, Electrifying Stage with Mix of New and Old
Just four days after the release of White's second solo studio album Lazaretto, the Nashville resident ...
This summer as rock and roll fans gather at musical festivals around the globe, the Rock Hall is celebrating the the greatest music festivals in history, the biggest and baddest music festivals of today and the fans who make Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience.
From June 12-15, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival takes over Manchester, Tennessee, with a host of performances from some of the biggest names in music. Among the headlining acts and performers at Bonnaroo this year are a number of artists who also feature in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cleveland, Ohio, including four Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees.
Percussionist Mickey Hart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 with his bandmates in the Grateful Dead. When Hart visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 2012, he shared stories about the first time he ever saw the Grateful Dead live and the San Francisco scene in the 60s. Pictured below is his illuminated signature in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
Bobby Womack was born in Cleveland, where he and his ...
Released in June 1984, Born in the U.S.A. remains among the best-selling albums in rock and roll history, with seven Top 10 hits that sent 1999 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Bruce Springsteen's rock stardom into the stratosphere. Its narrative tone had much in common with 1982's stark, somber and critically lauded Nebraska, with many of the songs that comprised Born in the U.S.A. beginning life in the same sessions that produced that album. The root influences of blues, American folk songs and the new cinematic style of directors such as Martin Scorsese and Terrence Malick brought a darker and more introspective view to the characters. “I’m on Fire,” for example, was a song of desire, compulsion and personal struggle that became a Top 10 hit in 1985, despite its intense subject matter.
However, Born in the U.S.A. also traded in more nostalgic storytelling and tongue-in-cheek humor on tracks like "Glory Days" and "Dancing in the Dark" – all of which proved especially resonant with audiences around the country. Thanks in no small part to 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees the E Street Band, the arrangements were ...
This past weekend, we headed for the rolling hills of Southeastern Ohio for the 10th annual Nelsonville Music Festival. Family-friendly, ecologically-minded and produced by the non-profit Stuart's Opera House, the festival aims to have an impact on the region and the attendees who will take those missions home. Here are a handful of the top elements and moments we witnessed at the gathering.
1) Pokey LaFarge
The sound of Pokey LaFarge proves there is no such thing as "revival" music, rather, it lives forever. The Bloomington, Illinoise born musician combines elements of swing, country and folk for a unique blend of authentic Americana. Besides seeing Pokey and his 5-piece backing band (which includes bassist Joey Glynn, guitarist Adam Hoskins, Ryan Koenig on harmonica, washboard, and snare drum; TJ Muller on cornet and trombone; and Chloe Feoranzo on clarinet and saxophone) on the main stage, we witnessed an unplugged set on the front porch of the No-Fi cabin on the back of the festival grounds. It was a scene right out of the earliest of music festivals, where people tightly gathered to hear the songs of troubadours and traveling ramblers.
2) Musicians interacting with ...
Recently, I gave a presentation at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives about my books on 1960s folk-rock. Most of it was centered around rare film clips, but I was also asked to talk a bit about the research I’ve done at the library over the past two weeks (thanks to a grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation). This is for the expanded ebook edition of my two-volume work on 1960s folk-rock, Turn! Turn! Turn! (published as a print edition in 2002) and Eight Miles High (published as a print edition in 2003), which I’m combining into a single ebook, Jingle Jangle Morning: Folk-Rock in the 1960s.
It would take many hours and many pages to cover all of the material I’ve discovered at the library. So I used just a few images to illustrate how rare items could shed some light on folk-rock’s history, even after having written about it for 600 pages in the print editions. All of these are taken from ads that appeared between 1965 and 1967 in Cash Box, the biggest music trade magazine besides Billboard, but (unlike Billboard) very hard to find copies of these ...