In a new interview with Allure, Janet Jackson opened up about the 2004 Super Bowl scandal. She said, "What's really important is going back to having that foundation. Not just family, but God. That's what really pulled me through." She continued, "It's tough for me to talk about that time."
During the interview, Janet also talked about aging, saying, "Everyone would always want to stay young and this and that but it's inevitable. I mean, we're all going to get there. There's another road. It's a little bit of zhuzh. I don't know when my day is coming, but at some point it's going to come and I can choose which path I want to take."
She continued, "I do hope I age gracefully. It's either a little bit of zhuzh or gracefully," she added.Continue Reading
James Mtume, R&B singer, jazz percussionist, producer and more, most commonly known for his 1983 hit "Juicy Fruit," which was sampled by The Notorious B.I.G. on "Juicy," has passed away at the age of 76.
Lisa Lucas, the daughter of Mtume's late creative partner, Reggie Lucas, shared the news via Twitter, "So much loss. So much grief. Rest in power to Uncle Mtume. My late fathers partner in crime, the co-creator of the songs of my life (and about my birth!). He was essential part of the life of the man who made me, therefore me too. Gone now. He will be dearly, eternally missed."
His cause of death has not been revealed.
According to Deadline, Mtume appeared on countless albums (80) with a variety of artists including Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Roberta Flack and Lonnie Liston Smith.
Mtume, who was a part of a group named after himself, wrote songs for Stephanie Mills ("Never Knew Love Like This Before") and received a Grammy for Best R&B Song Writing and Producing.
He also wrote the Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway hits "The Closer I Get to You" and "Back Together Again."Continue Reading
Cher recently revealed that she has no desire to embrace her natural hair color.
The 75-year-old Grammy and Oscar winning icon recently told People, "Going gray is fine for other girls. I'm just not doing it!"
However, she did admit that other aspects of her look have "had to morph" over the years, adding that these days you're more likely to see her with a freshly washed face and "hair in a knot, because I'm going to the gym."Continue Reading
A&E and Lifetime announced that the first part of Janet, the upcoming documentary about Janet Jackson's life and career, will air on January 28th at 8 p.m, ET.
A new, extended trailer released on January 1st shows archival footage, home videos and interviews with stars like Missy Elliot, Whoopi Goldberg, Mariah Carey and Ciara.
The preview promises that the documentary will touch upon her relationships with her late father Joe and brother Michael and the infamous Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction with Justin Timberlake.Continue Reading
Madonna publicly called out Tory Lanez for “illegal usage” of her song, “Into The Groove.”
Madonna posted on Instagram that she’d already tried to message him privately regarding the fact that his new track “Pluto’s Last Comet” sounding like “Into the Groove.”
In an attempt to get his attention, she wrote: “Read your messages for illegal usage of my song get into the groove!”
It remains unclear whether Lanez, who’s also in the headlines due to his trial on felony assault and gun charges for allegedly shooting Megan Thee Stallion in 2020, has read Madonna’s message or responded to her.
Representatives for both artists did not immediately respond to Billboard‘s request for comment.
- Madonna publicly called out Tory Lanez for “illegal usage” of her song, “Into The Groove.”
- Regarding his new track “Pluto’s Last Comet.”
- She wrote: “Read your messages for illegal usage of my song get into the groove!”
Madonna publicly called out Tory Lanez for "illegal usage" of her song, "Into The Groove."
Madonna posted on Instagram that she'd already tried to message him privately regarding the fact that his new track "Pluto's Last Comet" sounding like "Into the Groove."
In an attempt to get his attention, she wrote: "Read your messages for illegal usage of my song get into the groove!"
It remains unclear whether Lanez, who's also in the headlines due to his trial on felony assault and gun charges for allegedly shooting Megan Thee Stallion in 2020, has read Madonna's message or responded to her.
Representatives for both artists did not immediately respond to Billboard‘s request for comment.
- Madonna publicly called out Tory Lanez for "illegal usage" of her song, "Into The Groove."
- Regarding his new track "Pluto's Last Comet."
- She wrote: "Read your messages for illegal usage of my song get into the groove!"
Happy Birthday to Rolling Stones co-founder Keith Richards, who turns 78 on Saturday (December 18th)!!! Richards, a man who due to his previous penchant for hard street drugs wasn't expected to see 30 -- let alone 50 -- has often infamously topped numerous "Most Likely To Die Lists" over the years. Today also marks the 37th anniversary for Richards and wife Patti Hansen, who married in 1983 on the guitarist's 40th birthday -- with Mick Jagger serving as best man.
The Stones wrapped their 2021 "No Filter" tour dates this past November 23rd at Hollywood, Florida's Hard Rock Live. The 15-show run marked the band's first without Charlie Watts on drums. Watts, who died on August 24th at the age of 80 from cancer, was replaced by Keith Richards' longtime collaborator and drummer, Steve Jordan.
Back in 2019, Keith Richards grabbed headlines by revealing that -- barring the occasional glass of wine or bottle of beer -- he's essentially sober. Richards -- whose primary poison for years was Stoli and Sunkist -- told Rolling Stone: "It’s been about a year now. I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it. It was time to quit. Just like all the other stuff." When asked if it was an adjustment for him, Richards laughed and said, "You can call it that, yeah. But I don’t notice any difference really -- except for I don’t drink. I wasn’t feeling (right). I’ve done it. I didn’t want that anymore. . . It was interesting to play sober."
Stones guitarist Ron Wood, who's been sober since 2010 explained, "It just wasn’t working anymore, y'know? I think the Keith that we used to know and love had this cutoff point where if he had one more, he’d go over the top and he’d be nasty. The cutoff point became shorter and shorter, y'know, and he realized that."
Richards, along with Mick Jagger, has written some of the most enduring and important songs of the rock era, including "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Under My Thumb," "Gimme Shelter," "You Can't Always Get What You Want," "Ruby Tuesday," "Get Off My Cloud," "Brown Sugar," "Let's Spend The Night Together," "As Tears Go By," "Street Fighting Man," "She's A Rainbow," "19th Nervous Breakdown," "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Honky Tonk Women," "Angie," "Paint It, Black," "Tumbling Dice," "Waiting On A Friend," "Miss You," "Emotional Rescue," "Fool To Cry," "Wild Horses" "Sympathy For The Devil," "It's Only Rock N' Roll," "Start Me Up," and literally hundreds of others.
Although many songs that were primarily written by Richards were sung by Jagger, over the years several of Richards' vocal turns have become classics of their own, including "You've Got The Silver," "Happy," "Before They Make Me Run," "All About You," "Little T&A," and "Thru And Thru," which was featured on The Sopranos.
March 2020 saw the six-disc 30th anniversary super deluxe edition of Keith Richards' 1988 solo debut, Talk Is Cheap. Richards' co-producer, drummer, and songwriter collaborator Steve Jordan remastered the 1988 set, which includes six unreleased bonus tracks featuring Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, bassist Bootsy Collins, and legendary Chuck Berry pianist Johnnie Johnson.
Keith Richards chatted at the time with The Sydney Morning Herald and was asked about the particularly toxic vibes between him and Mick Jagger in the mid-1980's that led to the recording of Talk Is Cheap. Richards responded by saying, "You mean how many difficult times? We’re brothers, y'know? We fight and that’s when people hear about our relationship. The other 99 per cent nobody’s interested in, because we get along fine. But when Mick and I do have a disagreement, we really have one (laughs)."
In January 2018, the Stones' 2016 return to their roots, Blue & Lonesome, won the Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. Although it topped the charts in no less than 10 countries, including Britain -- Blue & Lonesome -- the Stones' first studio set in over a decade, fell short Stateside, peaking at Number Four. In addition to England, the album went all the way to Number One on the Australian, Belgian, Dutch, German, Norwegian, Scottish, Swedish, and Swiss album charts.
September 2015 saw the release of Keith Richards’ third solo album -- and his first in 22 years -- titled, Crosseyed Heart. Joining him on the set were his X-Pensive Winos bandmates -- guitarist Waddy Watchel, drummer Steve Jordan, the late-Sara Dash, and Ivan Neville -- along with longtime Stones associates Blondie Chaplin and Bernard Fowler. Crosseyed Heart marked the highest charting album of Richards’ solo career, hitting Number 11 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The album's lead single, "Trouble," went all the way to Number 20 on the Billboard Adult Alternative chart. Crosseyed Heart, which sailed to Number One in Austria, reached the Top 10 on the Belgium, Danish, Dutch, Italian, New Zealand, Norwegian, Swedish, Swiss, and UK album charts.
Today is bound to be a bittersweet one for Richards, as it would have also marked Stones saxophonist Bobby Keys' 77th birthday. Keys, who was among Richards' best friends, died on December 2nd, 2014 from cirrhosis of the liver at age 70. Keys, who met the band back in 1964 recorded and toured with the Stones frequently over the past 45 years, playing on such classics as "Brown Sugar," "Bitch," "Can't You Hear me Knocking," "Emotional Rescue," and dozens of others.
In 2014, Richards and daughter Theadora published the children’s book, Gus & Me: The Story Of My Granddad And My First Guitar.
Not too long ago, Richards spoke to Australia's Triple M radio's Lee Simon and touched upon his favorite Stones tunes to play live, saying, "I always love to play 'Jumpin’ Jack Flash.' I still haven’t nailed him and every time I say, 'tonight I'm gonna kill that mutha.' He is always the beautiful challenge to play. 'Tumbling Dice' is another one that I just love to play. It is just a sweet thing to play and you are never short of just finding different ways of doing it. As long as the song lives for me I love them all. 'Street Fighting Man' is an incredible thing to play. 'Beast Of Burden,' when it comes down to it I love them all."
He went on to admit that he often has felt as a conduit for the song -- rather than being its composer: "I never really felt like I wrote them or created them. They come to you and you order it up a bit and then you put it on. I feel like a medium when it comes to songwriting as if I’m receiving, I sort it out and then I transmit."
In October 2010, Richards released his critically acclaimed autobiography, called Life -- which has now sold over one million copies.
In 2006 the Stones had to delay a portion of their European tour after Richards fell out of a tree while vacationing in Fiji, which resulted in two operations to relieve and drain the swelling from his brain.
In 2007, Richards, whose drug use is legendary in the rock world, again shocked readers when he told the New Musical Express that, following his father Burt's 2002 death, he had snorted his father's ashes mixed with cocaine. After the story became front-page headlines, Richards recanted the story and said that he was joking. In his autobiography, Richards changed the story again -- admitting that he snorted a bit of his dad, but failed to mention any cocaine.
Former Stones bassist Bill Wyman maintains that Keith Richards is quite possibly rock's most unique musician: ["Well, Keith's like a gypsy, really. A pirate. He lives life like that and he plays like that and he's a great rhythm guitar player, anyway. I think, probably one of the best rhythm guitar players there's been for years. And when he gets going, I mean, it really lifts the band."] SOUNDCUE (:14 OC: . . . lifts the band)
Richards laid out the musical blueprint for much of the Stones best work -- including 1972's Exile On Main Street album. He explained that like most of the Stones' classics, the recording and tracklisting for the set came about organically: ["We never even intended for it to be a double album until finally we sort of run out of (laughs) songs and finally said, 'Well, there's too much for one album, but there's too much . . . y'know, we can't cut this baby up.' So we decided to go for the double. Sometimes it's the hardest part of making albums that -- 'Okay, what order do the songs come in? And you kind of get used to listening to them like jumbling them up kind of thing and saying, 'Well that works nice off of that.' And you kind of work it like that -- like a jigsaw puzzle."] SOUNDCUE (:33 OC: . . . a jigsaw puzzle)
Mick Jagger feels that Richards ultimately following his lead by starting his own solo career made him a better musician and record producer: ["I think the experience with making his own records has made him more disciplined than he would've like to be. (Laughs) He's forced to be!"] SOUNDCUE (:08 OC: . . . forced to be)
A while back, the late, great Charlie Watts explained the deep musical kinship between himself and Keith Richards: ["It's very easy playing with Keith. Very easy. Your only critic is yourself, really. He doesn't say, 'Oh that's 'orrible,' and you don't stop playing if whatever. It's like, 'That's how you wanna do it? See what 'appens. I didn't like it, but you liked it.' Y'know?' He's very easy like that, very easy to play with. And if it's good, he's very complimentary about it. Very comfortable to play with."] SOUNDCUE (:22 OC: . . . to play with)
Ron Wood's relationship with Richards is in many ways more intense than his relationship with Jagger. Wood chronicled the ups and downs of "life with Keith" in his own recent autobiography called Ronnie. Wood was asked to describe the status of their current relationship: ["It's just gone through its changes over the years. We're like chameleons, we can adapt to any situation and still remain very close and see the reality of things."] SOUNDCUE (:10 OC: . . . reality of things)
Keith Richards and his late-former lover Anita Pallenberg were a couple for a dozen years, between 1967 and 1979. Together they shared two living children -- Marlon, 51, and daughter Angela, 48. Pallenberg and Richards' third child -- a newborn son, Tara -- died of crib death in 1976. He and Patti Hansen have two children together -- Theadora, 35 and Alexandra, 34.
As anyone who’s followed the Stones over the years, despite being known -- and beloved -- for their infamous bad boy ways, as Keith Richards explained, they actually remain one of the most family centric units in all of rock: ["Families are — I mean, let's face it; we all come from one. You have a mum and a dad an then you grow up and then suddenly (laughs) you got kids (laughs). Of course family’s important. It's a very important thing. I tell you the interesting thing us to actually watch them grow up. It's one of those things you sit back and watch."] SOUNDCUE (:19 OC: . . . back and watch)
We asked Keith Richards, who's spent most of his life on the road, if he's got any solid advice for new bands who are aiming to one day celebrate decades of great work together: ["Yeah, get out of the business and just get into the fun of it. It's a matter of the joy of working with other people and being able to turn yourself into one thing. It's a functioning gang, if y'know what I mean -- with no ill intentions (laughs)."] SOUNDCUE (:17 OC: . . . no ill intentions (laughs))
In April 2018, Keith Richards revealed on his official YouTube channel that he and Mick Jagger had just completed about a dozen songs for the Rolling Stones' upcoming studio set. When answering the question posed to his ongoing "Ask Keith" series, Richards spoke about how the Jagger/Richards team ramps up and operates: ["The secret is that we neither of us know what we're gonna do until we put ourselves together, and then just see what happens. It's one of those things with the Stones collectively is a, sort of, chemical thing. I can walk in and say, 'I hope Mick's got a song, because I haven't got a (laughs) thing' -- and probably vice versa at times, y'know? But, the fact is when we get together, we come up with something else anyway. So, there's a great week last week. We just went in, I don't know, we did about 10, 12 different things that didn't exist until that moment. And that's a great feeling, y'know, 'cause it's a sort of (a) creative thing, y'know?"] SOUNDCUE (:35 OC: . . . creative thing y'know)
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards shed light on how they decide it's time to ramp up for another string of dates: [(Mick Jagger): "It sort of runs in a pretty good cycle." (Keith Richards): "I have to wait for a phone call from Mick, saying, 'I'm getting a but antsy (laughter) -- you wanna go, and should we. . ." (Jagger): "Don't forget, there is. . . You gotta be a bit hard-headed, there is a sort of supply and demand thing here. If no one called up and said, 'We think, y'know, you should go and tour. . .' There's good times and bad times to do tours. (Richards): "In a way, Mick and I get the same feeling just around the same time. It's then -- as Mick was just saying -- y'know, does all the rest of it fall into place, y'know, the business and the supply and demands and all of that. But, basically, we say, 'Well, we're ready -- if the demand's there, we'll supply.'"] SOUNDCUE (:36 OC: . . . there we'll supply)Continue Reading
It was 52 years ago today (December 6th, 1969) that the Rolling Stones held their ill-fated free concert at the Altamont Speedway in Livermore, California. The bill, which also included Santana, the Jefferson Airplane, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, is mainly remembered for the violence instigated by the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, whom the Stones had hired as security -- and the murder of concert-goer Meredith Hunter by Hells Angel Alan Passaro. Passaro was later acquitted of the stabbing after claiming he acted in self-defense.
The Stones' Madison Square Garden shows and the Altamont event were filmed by filmmakers Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin, and assisted by George Lucas, among others. The film was released in 1970 as Gimme Shelter.
At the New York City press conference on November 26th, 1969, Mick Jagger said he thought that the free Northern California concert would follow in the footsteps of the Woodstock festival, in terms of how people would get along: (Mick Jagger): We are doing a free concert in San Francisco. . . (Reporter): When? (Mick Jagger): December 6th -- and the location is not Golden Gate Park, unfortunately, but it someplace adjacent to it which is a bit larger. . . It's creating a sort of a microcosmic society, y'know, which, it sets an example to the rest of America as to how one can behave in large gatherings."
Keith Richards, who had opted to spend the previous night at the raceway concert grounds, hanging out and partying with fans, revealed the moment he knew things were going to go south with the event: "When I got a bad vibe about it was when I saw the condition of the Angels. Now, I can tell these guys are on acid and ripple wine. And they're already (wasted) in the early afternoon. They're startin' to get antsy. These guys were out there just lookin' for trouble."
Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen (pronounced: YOR-ma COW-co-nen) said that his only thought was to keep playing after he saw lead singer Marty Balin get punched in the face by one of the Hell's Angels: "I remember thinking that -- of course, if you look at the footage, Jack (Casady) and Spencer (Dryden) and I pretty much keep on playing -- I remember thinking at the time, 'I'm just gonna keep playing and see what happens.'"
Shortly before his death in 2018, Marty Balin looked back at Altamont and described to us the fight scene between him and the Hell's Angles that took place while the band performed "The Other Side Of This Life": "I was singin,' I open my eyes, and they're beating this guy in front of me in (front of) the stage with these pool cues. About 10 of 'em around this guy and the whole crowd, en masse, just kind of stepped back. And that pissed me off and I just leap off the stage and I start pushing these Hell's Angels back: 'You're ruining my set,' y'know, and they. . . (imitates drunken Hell's Angel) 'Hey Marty, whaddaya doing man, you should be up there singing, and y'know. . . ' -- I said, 'Nobody's listening to me, get away from me,' y'know? And so, they quit and I got back onstage and I started to sing again, the same opening, y'know? And behind me, they're fighting this guy again. And so, I said, well, nobody's paying any attention to what I'm doing at all, y'know, so I went back and their leader -- the guy with the wolf's head, y'know, he was there. So, him and I started punchin' it out, y'know. And then bam -- I blacked out. They knocked me out, y'know? And I woke up, I had all these boot tattoos all over my body, y'know? I left, went home. I told everybody, I says, 'Forget it. I'm outta here.'"
The Rolling Stones had dealt with the Hells Angels before, when the London chapter showed up in force the previous July during the Stones' legendary free concert at Hyde Park. The late-Charlie Watts recalled the subtle difference between them and the bikers that turned up at Altamont: "Except that these were actual, proper Hells Angels (laughs). It was a bit like asking the Nazi party to sort out the front of the auditorium."
The show's low standing stage eventually became overcrowded with fans and Angels alike. The Stones' tour manager Sam Cutler pleaded with the people to give the musicians room to play: "There are a number of people on and around this stage who should not be here. Consequently. . . consequently the musicians on this stage are playing with something like 200 people breathing down their necks. Now can I please ask that everyone leaves the stage, and as I say we'll go back to playing music and nothing else."
Both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards sought to get the crowd in line so that the Stones could play their set: "(Mick Jagger): People, who's fighting and what for?! Why are we fighting?! Why are we fighting?! We don't want to fight! Come on! Who wants to fight? (crowd noise) Every other scene has been cool. . . (Keith Richards): Look, cat. . . That guy there, if he doesn't stop it man! Listen man, either those cats cool it, or we don't play! (crowd noise). (Hell's Angel): Hey, if y'don't cool it, y'ain't gonna hear no music! Now y'all wanna go home or what?! (Crowd noise) (Announcer): We need doctors down here now please. Can we have a doctor now to the front? (Crowd noise)
Although the Grateful Dead were scheduled to play, they refused to take the stage in the middle of what was obviously a very ugly situation unfolding. Drummer Bill Kreutzmann says that the scene at Altamont was as tragic in real life as it appears in the Gimme Shelter footage: "Yeah, it was horrible. It was a war. It felt really uncomfortable. It was a dark day. It was so dark that that night, we were playing that weekend for Bill Graham at the Carousel, and I refused to play that night, I was feeling so bad about what had happened that day. I didn't feel like going and celebrating it musically."
In 1972, during a chat with Dick Cavett while back in the States on tour with the Stones, Bill Wyman was asked about Altamont: "I'd sooner forget about it. It was just a very unfortunate thing. It was the last show of a tour. Y'know, we weren't going to do it. It was just a free concert that was set up a few days before and I mean . . . There was 300,000 people there. It was only 30 people fighting. Almost all the audience never even saw it. Didn't even know it was going on, y'know?"
In May 1970, while on tour with the Grateful Dead in Europe, Jerry Garcia took time out to compare and contrast the previous year's era-defining concerts: "With Woodstock and Altamont, the same situations were prevailing. It was free -- essentially -- and it was also completely without control of any sort. Y'know, there were no police. There's no way you can realistically control that size, really. You can't expect to. The way I saw it, both of those situations were being, like, two sides of the same coin. It's like two ways that that kind of expression can go; y'know, a huge number of people and no rules. And one of the ways, obviously it can go is a terrible bummer -- like Altamont, and one of the other ways is into an immensely joyful scene -- like Woodstock."
Although only a handful of songs from the concert were shown in Gimme Shelter -- giving the appearance that the show was cut short due to the unruly crowd and violence -- the band actually performed a full 15-song set -- including the world premiere of "Brown Sugar."
The Stones' full setlist at the Altamont concert was: "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Carol," "Sympathy For The Devil," "The Sun Is Shining," "Stray Cat Blues," "Love In Vain," "Under My Thumb," "Brown Sugar," "Midnight Rambler," "Live With Me," "Gimme Shelter," "Little Queenie," "Satisfaction," "Honky Tonk Women," and "Street Fighting Man."
Out now is Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! The Rolling Stones In Concert 40th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set. The set features three CD's and one DVD, with the first disc including the full 1970 Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out album, and the second disc including five additional cuts left off the original set. The third disc features performances from Ike & Tina Turner and B.B. King who served as the Stones' opening acts on November 27th and 28th, 1969 at New York's Madison Square Garden.
In August 2015, Keith Richards recalled the Altamont Speedway concert, during an appearance on Britain's Absolute Radio. Richards remembered the band being extremely on edge as the crowds started to surge, due to the continuous scuffles between the fans and the bikers: "I don't know if it was scary, it was just like, 'Wow you have got to do something about this before it turns into a full scale riot. We handled it the best way we could. Basically I just stopped playing and it happened to work. . . As events turned out security wasn't what it should be."
Although Meredeth Hunter was killed only yards away from the band, the show went on -- mainly, as the Stones have said over the years -- because more violence would've occurred had they quit. Richards explained: "We didn't know the cat was dead or anything, but we saw what was going on. . . It was a matter of 'quick do something, and distract people from the Hells Angels.'"
In 2016, renown rock writer Joel Selvin published the definitive account of the 1969 concert, titled, Altamont: The Rolling Stones, The Hells Angels, And The Inside Story Of Rock's Darkest Day.
2018 saw the publication of author Saul Austerlitz's Just A Shot Away: Peace, Love, And Tragedy With The Rolling Stones At Altamont.Continue Reading
It was 56 years ago today (December 6th, 1965) that the Beatles released their groundbreaking sixth album, Rubber Soul in America. Also released in conjunction to the album was the band's first official "double A-sided" single, "We Can Work It Out" backed with "Day Tripper. Rubber Soul featured a staring of instant classics, including "Michelle" -- which scored the band the 1967 Grammy for Song Of The Year despite it never being released by the band as a single -- "In My Life," "Drive My Car," "Nowhere Man," "Girl," "I'm Looking Through You," and "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)"-- for which George Harrison is often credited for introducing world music into rock by contributing the song's signature sitar part.
In the U.S. "Drive My Car," "Nowhere Man," the John Lennon-Paul McCartney-Ringo Starr-written "What Goes On," and "If I Needed Someone" were left off Rubber Soul and replaced with the Help! holdovers "I've Just Seen A Face" and "It's Only Love." Rubber Soul marks the first time an outtake from a prior album was included on a new project, with "Wait" originally recorded during the previous spring's Help! sessions but left unissued.
Much the same way Paul McCartney credits the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds as being the inspiration for Sgt. Pepper, Brian Wilson credits Rubber Soul for inspiring Pet Sounds. Rubber Soul was the final album to feature Norman Smith as the Beatles' engineer. He was promoted at EMI Records to producer status and went on to work with Pink Floyd. Save for a few instances, Geoff Emerick went on to be the group's primary engineer until their split.
The album is unique for several reasons; Paul McCartney played slide guitar on "Drive My Car," Ringo Starr made his keyboard debut playing the organ on "I'm Looking Through You," and the album was the first to feature McCartney playing his solid-bodied Rickenbacker 4001 bass, rather than his signature Hofner "violin" bass.
On January 8th, 1966 Rubber Soul hit Number One on the Billboard 200 albums chart, holding down the top spot for six weeks. That same day, "We Can Work It Out" knocked Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound Of Silence" out from Number One for the first of three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. "Day Tripper" peaked at Number Five -- marking the group's 26th Top 40 hit in only two years.
Paul McCartney recalled how the band came to title the album Rubber Soul: "The title Rubber Soul was, kind of 'Hey man, it's got soul -- 'lotta soul, 'lotta soul, that music' -- it was a spoof on that, y'know, seemed nice and amusing, very us -- y'know, very whacky."
Most notably on Rubber Soul was George Harrison's use of the indian stringed instrument, the sitar, on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)." The use of the instrument, which went on to inspire an Eastern music renaissance in pop, coincided with Harrison's new-found spiritual quest.
Harrison's first wife, Pattie Boyd, told us that his infatuation with Hinduism, spiritual topics, and Indian music was his attempt to seek out the "bigger picture": "He had a bit of difficulty understanding why he -- this little boy from Liverpool -- had been selected to be so famous. And he didn't understand the fame and he thought that maybe Eastern philosophy could give him some sort of idea or clue as to why he had been chosen."
Shortly before his 2016 death, George Martin touched upon how as the Beatles gradually lost interest in live performance, their creative life in the studio grew by leaps and bounds: "Oh yeah, they were becoming quite original. The thing is, though, they were eternally curious. They wanted to find new ways of doing what they were doing -- new harmonies, new endings of songs, and that kind of thing. They would always want to look beyond the horizon."
During the filming of Let It Be on January 14th, 1969, John Lennon spoke about only becoming conscious of what his songs are about after the fact: "The songs, I mean, you're vaguely aware if you sing something it's gonna go 'round all over the world, but you can't get into that while you're writing a song. It's a job writing a song, and you're doing it, and you're involved in it, and then sometimes you don't realize what you've written 'til after you've recorded it, or even a year later, y'know? I hear old records of ours and see things on different levels."
Very early on during the Beatles' touring days, George Harrison was dubbed the "Quiet Beatle." Although Harrison was known to be just as hysterical, raucous, and vocal about issues as the rest of the group, he explained back in 1965, the demeanor took hold when dealing with the often vapid press covering the Beatles: "Well, I think I'm more quiet than the others because I got fed up before the others of all these questions, like, 'What color teeth have you got?' (Laughter) And all, just stupid questions you have no interest in any longer. And I think everybody -- well all fans, I think they all know what color eyes we've got and what we drink for breakfast and all that. And they don't want to know that anymore. So, I just shut up until someone asks me something worth answering."
During the Beatles' final tour in 1966 they only included three Rubber Soul-era songs in their setlist -- "Nowhere Man," "If I Needed Someone," and "Day Tripper."
Over the years, the songs of Rubber Soul have lived on through the solo Beatles concerts, with George Harrison performing "If I Needed Someone" during his 1991 tour of Japan; Ringo Starr frequently includes "What Goes On" in his All Starr Band shows; and Paul McCartney has tackled "Drive My Car," "You Won't See Me," "Michelle," "I've Just Seen A Face," "I'm Looking Through You," "The Word," "We Can Work It Out," and "Day Tripper" in his various world tours.
Sadly, legendary Beatles photographer Robert Freeman died on November 7th, 2019 at age 82. Freeman, who served as the band's unofficial photographer between 1963 and 1966, shot five of the band's album covers -- 1963's With The Beatles -- for which he was paid 75 British pounds, three times the usual fee, 1964's A Hard Day's Night and Beatles For Sale, and 1965's Help! and Rubber Soul.
In 1995's The Beatles Anthology Paul McCartney recalled how Robert Freeman came up with the groundbreaking cover for Rubber Soul: "He had a little carousel of slides and he had a little piece of cardboard stuck up on a little chair that was album cover size, and he was projecting the photographs onto it. 'Cause you could imagine exactly how it'd look then, as an album cover. We'd just chosen the photo, we said, 'That one looks good,' we all liked ourselves in one particular shot. And he was just winding up when the card it was on just fell backwards a little bit, and it elongated the photo and it stretched. And we went, 'Oh! Can we have that?! Can you do it like that?!' He said, 'Well yeah, I can print it like that. . .' We said, 'Yeah, that's it -- Rubber Soul -- heh-hey!"Continue Reading
Sunday (December 5th) marks the 48th anniversary of the release of Paul McCartney & Wings' Band On The Run album. 1973's Band On The Run, which reunited McCartney with legendary Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick, included three Top 10 hits -- "Helen Wheels," which peaked at Number 10 and was only included on the U.S. versions of the album, "Jet," which topped out at Number Seven, and the title track, "Band On The Run," which hit Number One on June 8th, 1974 and topped the charts for one week.
Band On The Run holds the distinction of being the only McCartney album to top the album charts twice. The album didn't hit Number One until over four months after its initial release, when it knocked John Denver's Greatest Hits out of the top spot for four non-consecutive weeks.
Band On The Run, which was McCartney's fifth solo album, was his biggest post-Beatles critical and commercial success, was mired in trouble before it began production. While Wings was rehearsing the new material in Scotland during the summer of 1973, guitarist Henry McCullough quit the band after an argument with McCartney over how a solo should be played. Then -- just prior to the band leaving for Lagos, Nigeria to record the album -- drummer Denny Seiwell phoned McCartney saying that he too was quitting.
Paul McCartney recalled the circumstances leading up to Wings' departure to Lagos to record the album: "I was looking around for somewhere exciting to record the next album. So what I did, I thought, a good idea would be to get a list off EMI -- our record company -- of all the studios they had 'round the world. It turned out they had one in Africa. We just said, 'Yeah. Let's go to Africa.' The night before we were due to go Denny and Henry rang up and said, 'Um, we're not coming. We're not coming to Africa. We don't wanna come. We're leaving the band.' Oh, great, thank you! At first it was like, 'Oh no, tragedy!' But then, I just thought, 'Right, we're gonna go and we're gonna show you -- we're gonna make the best album we've ever made!"
Denny Seiwell, who began playing with McCartney in late 1970 during the Ram sessions, was actually the first member McCartney lined up for Wings. Seiwell admitted that the bottom line was that money was so scarce, he couldn't afford to stay with band: "I was waiting for some stuff to come along so we'd have some more binding legal agreements before entering into. . . I knew this record was gonna be a big one, and when none of that stuff was being taken care of, I just thought it was time to move on."
Wings co-founder Denny Laine told us that he had no idea that the pair had quit until he didn't see them on the plane to Africa: "I didn't find out until they didn't turn up, because nobody told me what was going on. I just got the vibe. I knew that Denny was missing America, for example. I knew that he didn't like to travel. Y'know, he was basically a session man who got talked into going on the road."
Pared down to the trio of Paul and Linda McCartney and Denny Laine, the group recorded in the middle of the rainy monsoon season, while the Lagos EMI Studio was being built. One night Paul and Linda were robbed at knifepoint, and the thieves who made off with the McCartney's cameras and cash also stole the demos for the album, which have never been recovered.
McCartney took over drum duties on the album, and shared the majority of instrumentation with Laine. Laine recalled that the two-man band approach came naturally to him and McCartney: "We did that with Band On The Run a lot, where he would pick up an instrument, I would pick up another instrument and we'd put the backing track down. And then figure it out after that."
Laine recalled that the album's title song was a perfect example of how he and McCartney laid down the basic tracks for Band On The Run: "As far as I can remember, it was just me on guitar -- on acoustic -- and Paul on drums. Maybe we added those extra guitars afterwards, I mean, and just mixed the other stuff out."
For years, the story going around was that McCartney's 1973 hit "Jet," was actually inspired by his family's Labrador puppy -- but McCartney explained it was another of the family's pets that sparked off his legendary whimsical imagination: "Yeah, we had a little pony for the kids in Scotland, it was called, 'Jet.' And, y'know, the truth is that's just a starting point. That's what I often do and I think that does often puzzle people a bit."
In early 1975, Band On The Run earned Paul McCartney & Wings the Grammy award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus. Geoff Emerick was awarded the Grammy for Best Engineered Recording, Non Classical.Continue Reading
Noted Beatles author Ken Womack will write the biography of the Beatles' late-road manager Mal Evans set for publication in 2023. Rolling Stone posted that in addition to that, the following year, Evans family will publish his long sought after diaries, which have been viewed as the "holy grail" of the Beatles' story.
Mal's son, Gary Evans said in a statement, "My dad meant the world to me. He was my hero. Before Ken joined the project, I thought I knew the story of my dad. But what I knew was in monochrome; 15 months later it is like The Wizard Of Oz (dad's favorite film) because Ken has added so much color, so much light to his story. Ken has shown me that dad was the Beatles' greatest friend. He was lucky to meet them, but they had more good fortune with dad walking down the Cavern steps for the first time."
Apart from working with the Beatles who kept him on the company payroll until his death, Evans' main claim to fame was producing Badfinger's 1970 hit "No Matter What." Evans was shot to death in 1976 by the L.A.P.D.
George Harrison's first wife, Pattie Boyd, told us she still has much love in her heart for the Beatles' ultimate insider: "He would look after their equipment, this is how he started off. Mal Evans, bless him, he still enjoyed working for the Beatles and he loved -- he enjoyed that role very much. That was Mal. He was a great big, sort of, teddy bear of a man."Continue Reading
Ed Sheeran and Elton John are promoting their new single by recreating the famous Love Actually scene featuring Andrew Lincoln and Kiera Knightly.
A clip shared by both artists on social media shows Sheeran knocking on John's door with a set of note cards in hand that read, "Hello. Last Christmas I received a call from my mate Elton John and he told me we should do a 'Christmas Song. And I replied 'Yeah. Maybe in 2022.' But I actually wrote the chorus that day and here we are. Our Christmas song 'Merry Christmas' is out this Friday. Go pre-order or pre-save it now. It has sleigh bells. A lot of them…."
The song's proceeds from the Christmas period in the United Kingdom will benefit both Sheeran's Suffolk Music Foundation and John's AIDS foundation.Continue Reading
MTV announced Sunday (Nov. 28th) that Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett will be featured in the December 16th episode of MTV Unplugged.
The new episode was filmed earlier this year in New York. The duo performed songs from their Grammy nominated album Love for Sale.
This will be Gaga's first MTV Unplugged special and Bennett's second. His first aired in 1994.Continue Reading
Madonna is accusing Instagram of censorship for taking down a photo that showed her partially exposed nipple.
The singer reshared the image on Thursday (Nov. 25th), writing, "It is still astounding to me that we live in a culture that allows every inch of a woman's body to be shown except a nipple. As if that is the only part of a woman's anatomy that could be sexualized. The nipple that nourishes the baby! . Can't a mans nipple be experienced as erotic ??!!"
She continued her Thanksgiving post by writing, "Giving thanks that I have managed to maintain my sanity through four decades of censorship…… sexism……ageism and misogyny."Continue Reading
Janet Jackson's former stylist Wayne Scot Lukas spoke on Justin Timberlake's role in Janet's wardrobe malfunction during their 2004 SuperBowl performance. In an interview with Access Hollywood, Lukas said, "I was hired to do a job. I did exactly what I was supposed to do."
He continued, "My job is to have snaps and pins and velcro so that even in her quick change if she forgets to snap something back on, it stays on. That's my job. I stand 100% by my story that I did exactly what I was supposed to do, what I was hired for, and if I ever hurt my friend, I wouldn't have worked with Janet for six years after the Super Bowl. I would've been fired that day."
Lukas claimed Justin threw him under the bus during a post performance interview where he called the nip slip a "wardrobe malfunction," saying, "Justin and I haven't spoken since he blamed me. He came off the stage and said ‘It's just a little wardrobe malfunction'… Wardrobe malfunction? I don't malfunction–I was a professional stylist. $10,000 a day back then, I can't fail!"
He said that ultimately, the technical producers were supposed to fade to black to avoid Janet's breast being shown on TV, saying, "You were never supposed to see a movement where a breast was out… They were supposed to cut to black… Somebody didn't push the button–somebody didn't protect my friend!"Continue Reading
It was 45 Thanksgivings ago (November 25th, 1976) that the Band played its most famous -- and final -- concert. Billed as The Last Waltz, the show at Winterland in San Francisco featured the group, along with an all-star guest list, in what became the farewell performance of the original quintet. Among the friends on the bill that night were Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Ron Wood, Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Muddy Waters, Neil Diamond, and Joni Mitchell. The legendary movie, directed by Martin Scorsese, opened on April 26th, 1978 and is largely believed to be the greatest big screen concert film of all time.
Band leader Robbie Robertson told us that the events leading up to the Band's swan song were truly disturbing to him: "In a certain period leading up to The Last Waltz, it felt really crazy out there. When we were in Malibu, or on the road, and everywhere, everything was distorted in life. Everything was bent. So, part of the reason, leading up to The Last Waltz, was, like, can we do this before something terrible happens?"
Robertson told us that he saw the Band parting ways -- if only temporarily -- was crucial to their personal survival: "So many people, y'know, that we knew were dying. It was a reckless, reckless period. So you say, 'Wait a minute. Let's get in a huddle here and figure out how we don't go over the cliff. What can we do? What can we do in celebration of our music, our brotherhood -- everything that we stand for. What can we do?' And then, let's shut it down."
Shortly before his death in 1999, singer-bassist Rick Danko spoke about the Band's decision to break up: "It seemed that it was time to bring it in. Y'know, it seemed like it was time to have a kinda going-out-of-business sale. I didn't really believe that we were putting it away like that -- thought we'd maybe at least release a record a year, but we didn't."
Robbie Robertson said that the intent of The Last Waltz was meant as a farewell to the road so the musicians could concentrate on recording projects: "What really happened was after The Last Waltz, people had some projects they'd been wanting to do for a while. Everybody was looking forward to the opportunity of just spreading their wings and experimenting in different areas. And everybody drifted off in these different directions, and what happened was -- 'cause that wasn't the idea -- what happened was everybody drifted off and never drifted back."
Released in 2016 released as a four-CD/Blu-ray set and -- for the first time -- on vinyl as a six-LP set, was the "40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" of the original soundtrack to The Last Waltz has 54 tracks, including the entire concert, as well as rehearsals and outtakes.
Among the rarities are performances not featured in the film, such as "Furry Sings The Blues" with Joni Mitchell and "All Our Past Times" with Eric Clapton, plus rehearsals for "Caravan" with Van Morrison, "Such A Night" with Dr. John, and "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)" a song that was not performed in concert.
The CD version also includes newly penned liner notes by revered music journalists David Fricke and Ben Fong-Torres along with a classic essay from 1977 written by iconic author Emmett Grogan.
The "40th Anniversary Collector's Edition," was limited to 2,500 copies worldwide, and included a replication of Scorsese's original shooting script. Once the film was complete, director Martin Scorsese had two copies of the script bound in a red leather book; one copy for himself and the other a gift to Robbie Robertson, which now resides at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "The Collector's Edition" also includes a foreword by Scorsese and an essay from screenwriter Mardik Martin.Continue Reading
Ed Sheeran shared an image that features both his name and the Pokémon Go logo and wrote, "coming soon." No other details were given, but in the past Sheeran has admitted that he's a Pokémon enthusiast. A few hours later he posted another photo of him wearing a Santa dress, standing beside Elton John, obviously connected to their upcoming Christmas single.
ABBA will be releasing the group's first-ever Christmas song on December 3. "Little Things" can be found on their current album, Voyage. A video is also in the works.Continue Reading
With the re-release of Taylor Swift's album, Red, her song "All Too Well" is getting a lot of attention, even from celebrities.
Dionne Warwick chimed in about the lyrics… "And I, left my scarf there at your sister's house. And you've still got it in your drawer even now." The 80-year-old music icon posted that if "that young man" has her scarf, he should return it. "It does not belong to you. Box it up and I will pay the cost of postage, Jake."
Originally released 2012, fans believe the song refers to ex-boyfriend, Jake Gyllenhaal.
Although she has never clarified the story, the two dated in 2010 and were once photographed near the home of Jake's sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal.
- Dionne Warwick posted that if "that young man" has her scarf, he should return it. "It does not belong to you. Box it up and I will pay the cost of postage, Jake."
- Originally released 2012, fans suspect that Taylor is referring to ex-boyfriend, Jake Gyllenhaal.
Rod Stewart only just recently found out why he didn't play 1985's legendary Live Aid concert. Rod, who was busy promoting his 32nd album, The Tears Of Hercules, explained to the BBC, "We actually were supposed to do it but a few guys in the band told me that our ex-manager turned it down because I wasn't getting the right news coverage. He only wanted me to do it if I got on the CBS news at 10 o'clock. He said, 'If not, he's not doing it.' And that's not what it was all about. It was to raise money for kids. It wasn't about what news channel you were going to be on in America. I only just found this out. I thought it was weird that I didn't do it."
Rod credits the pandemic for giving him the proper amount of time to recharge his creative batteries and get himself the proper medical care he needed: "I think the lockdown gave me the opportunity to really zero in and get personal with the tracks. But I was very fortunate -- lockdown was a lot easier on me than it was for families who had three or four kids in two rooms in a high rise. Yes, we had our moments of tears but, by and large, we got through it pretty easily."
He added: "And I also had time to take care of some medical problems. I had a knee replacement in my right knee, which has been giving me gyp for the last six years. So I'm very sprightly now. It's the best thing I ever did."
When pressed about the rumor, supposedly started by the late, great-Small Faces and Humble Pie frontman Steve Marriott, that Rod's signature hairstyle was due to running mayonnaise through his locks, Rod said, "No, that's a load of bollocks. Absolutely not true. The only thing I used to use when I first started getting this 'bouffant,' as they call it in France, was warm water and sugar. So no, I've never used mayonnaise. That's ridiculous. Can you imagine the smell?"
A while back, Rod Stewart explained to us that he's never once considered giving up what he does: "You never outgrow hits, I mean, it's always a big thrill to ya. I'm a committed musician. I love it. I love makin' music, I really love gettin' up and singin' for people. I see the smiling faces and you go home and you think you've sent them all home happy."Continue Reading
Ronnie Wilson, the founder of the R&B and funk band, the Gap Band, has reportedly died at age 73.
According to TMZ, the older brother of Charlie Wilson died at 10:01 a.m. on Tuesday (November 2nd) at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The legendary singer passed away peacefully with his wife holding his hand as he transitioned.
His wife, Linda Boulware-Wilson, said Ronnie suffered a stroke last week, which put him into a coma and he never recovered.
He has reportedly suffered several strokes over the years.
She released a statement on Facebook, which said, "The love of my life was called home this morning, at 10:01am. Please continue to pray for The Wilson, Boulware, and Collins family, while we mourn his passing. Ronnie Wilson was a genius with creating, producing, and playing the flugelhorn, Trumpet, keyboards, and singing music, from childhood to his early seventies. He will be truly missed!!"
The band was formed by three brothers, Ronnie, Charlie and Robert Wilson in the 1970s.
They created hits such as "Oops Up Side Your Head," "Yearning for Your Love," "You Dropped a Bomb on Me," "Outstanding" and more.Continue Reading