“See, if I were to write Billy Joel’s ‘Just The Way You Are,’ I’d wreck it,” he said, explaining why his instincts run contrary to pop music. “I’d have written ‘I love you just the way you are, you stupid little bitch.’ Which really isn’t as good.”
Of course, he’s joking. But he’s also serious. And it’s that’s precise blend of humor and gravity that has distinguished the songs of Randy Newman from the start. He’s both one of the most hilarious and most serious of all songwriters. A compositional genius, he’s the only great American songwriter to become an accomplished film composer (with some 26 films to date, each with a fully orchestral score he wrote and conducted himself). But he’s also a lyrical genius who has done more than created a style; he’s created his own school of songwriting.
Newman’s songs use the novelistic technique of the untrustworthy narrator, a sometimes funny, often dark, always effective way of shaping a song.
Asked why he chose this indirect method of songwriting, he said: “Maybe it’s a psychological defect. I don’t want to stand up ...
The consistency with which John Mayer combines word craft and melody has earned him rarefied status as a respected songwriter and musician. As one of few musicians to achieve both critical acclaim and popular appeal, the seven-time Grammy Award winner has earned accolades for each album release while selling more than 17 million albums worldwide.
Known as a musician who defies genre boundaries, Mayer is well known for collaborations with a range of artists. From rock to blues, hip-hop to jazz to country, Mayer has performed and/or recorded with Hall of Fame inductees Eric Clapton, BB King and Buddy Guy, as well as T-Bone Burnett, Herbie Hancock, Dixie Chicks, Jay Z and Alicia Keys.
On April 18, 2013, John Mayer will induct legendary blues man Albert King into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 28th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Mayer will also perform a tribute to Albert King with Gary Clark Jr.
In this interview with John Mayer, the musician reflects on the lasting influence of Albert King, including how King's music first resonated with him and why King belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Rock Hall: What's your ...
2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Rev Run of Run-DMC recently visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, where he sat down with the Rock Hall to discuss what it was like to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and his impressions of 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Public Enemy.
Public Enemy will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on April 18, 2013, in Los Angeles. The 2013 Hall of Fame inductee exhibit opens at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 16, 2013!
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will offer a free showing of U2 3D with the purchase of an adult admission on Sunday, March 17 or Monday, March 18 to enjoy Ireland's most popular rock band. Print or show this post to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame box office for your free U2 3D ticket. Click here for U2 3D showtimes.
From the Northern Ireland counties to the southern cities of the Republic, Ireland has been – and continues to be – home to some of the world's best known and most-beloved musicians. With a diverse cast of voices and music, Ireland's contributions to rock and roll have expanded the boundaries of the genre. Artists have acted as a force for change and forward thinking, while providing a record of tradition. Songwriters have delivered uniquely Irish narratives, though rich with universal themes and the human experience.
In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum shares its 10 essential Irish rockers.
Released in 1964 as the b-side to "Baby, Please Don't Go" (itself a smoldering cover of the Big Joe Williams ...
For someone who wasn’t a star in the Motown stable of artists, Bobby Rogers was a recognizable figure among fans and commanded the respect of his peers. Tall, strapping and bespectacled, Rogers was a founding member of the Miracles, who distinguished himself through his role as a foil to his better-known band mate, Smokey Robinson, and as a collaborator in the only group on Motown that wrote and produced the bulk of its own material.
Bobby Rogers and Smokey Robinson were fated to be friends and musical partners. They were born on the same day – February 19, 1940 – at the same hospital in Detroit, and grew up together singing. Their first musical group, the Five Chimes, formed in the basement of Rogers’ cousin Claudette’s home. With her, Pete Moore and Ronnie White, they became the Matadors. Eventually taking the name the Miracles, they were spotted at a local talent show by Berry Gordy Jr., then a fledgling songwriter with dreams of his own record label. He saw potential in the suave nature of the group. Gordy produced their debut single, “Got a Job,” an answer record to the Silhouettes “Get a Job,” and licensed it to United ...
On February 26, 1983, Michael Jackson’s Thriller hit Number One on the Billboard 200 chart. The 1982 release was revolutionary, a watershed moment in the history of rock and roll. It earned a record-breaking number of Grammy awards, sold in record numbers, resulted in music videos that changed promotional possibilities, broke down racial barriers and left a legacy of influence that continues to this day.
Thriller was recorded with a production budget of $750,000 in 1982 and was produced by 2013 Hall of Fame Inductee Quincy Jones. Jackson and Jones combed through more than 700 demos – some Jackson had committed to a voice recorder – to find songs for his new album, eventually settling on a handful of tracks that included Jackson originals “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “The Girl is Mine,” “Billie Jean” and “Beat It.” All four of the songs that Jackson composed were reflections of both personal and social issues surrounding the "King of Pop": In “Billie Jean,” Jackson speaks about an obsessive fan who alleges that Jackson has fathered a child with her; “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” was a rebuttal against gossip surrounding his life and the media; “The Girl is Mine,”was a song ...
Born in Liverpool on February 25, 1943, George Harrison was the more subdued, pensive – "quiet" – Beatle, and he carried this persona with him into his solo career. With 11 studio albums, including his sprawling masterwork 1970's All Things Must Pass and a late-career gem, 1987's Cloud Nine, Harrison's rock and roll legacy is enduring. Deft at seamlessly bridging his immersion in Hindu religion, Krishna consciousness and Vedic philosophy, with pure pop sensibility, Harrison's solo oeuvre resulted in such hits as “My Sweet Lord” (from All Things Must Pass), ”Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)" (from 1973's Living in the Material World), "All Those Years Ago" (from 1981's Somewhere in England) and the infectious soul remake "Got My Mind Set On You" (from Cloud Nine).
"He often said he wasn't pursuing a solo career at all – he never hired a manager or had an agent," recalled Tom Petty at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, when he and Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra inducted Harrison. "He just loved playing music with his friends. And he loved guitars. And he loved rock and roll. And he loved ...
On Friday, February 22, 2013, Hall of Fame Inductee Bobby Womack will perform live at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Joined on stage by his full band, including horn section and backup singers, Cleveland native Womack promises a setlist brimming with fiery classics from his storied recording career, as well as cuts from his 2012 release, The Bravest Man in the Universe.
In advance of Womack's concert and interview in the Museum's Foster Theater, the Rock Hall looks at six brilliant Womack songs covering the period of 1964 to 2012.
The Valentinos – “It’s All Over Now”
Bobby Womack sings lead on this 1964 song he wrote with Shirley Womack, and recorded with his brothers Friendly, Jr., Curtis, Harry and Cecil. Within a month of its release, the Rolling Stones had their first Number One hit in the UK with a cover of this song. Womack continued to make the song his own in later years as a solo artist.
Bobby Womack – “That’s the Way I Feel About ‘Cha” from Communication (1971)
This song was ...