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 ...
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 ...
This week, it was announced that Hall of Fame Inductees Led Zeppelin would be reissuing their first three albums with a series of box sets featuring previously unheard mixes, live versions and one unreleased track. In advance of Led Zeppelin II's re-release, the group shared a radio edit of a rough mix of the classic cut "Whole Lotta Love" that sounds quite different than the famous radio-staple studio version, most notably Jimmy Page's guitar parts and Robert Plant's vocals. It's a mix as intriguing to listeners as the song's controversial – sometimes litigious – history.
Plant remembers the first time he noted similarities between a Zep-credited composition and an obscure but not that obscure blues. JPage's response was "shut up and keep walking." Led Zeppelin almost got away with "Whole Lotta Love." The crunching riff and relentless thud that opens Led Zeppelin II could be attributed to few other bands in 1969. But as the lyrics unfolded, certain listeners got a dose of deja vu. "Whole Lotta Love" distinctly recalled the Small Faces' number "You Need Loving." Had the ...
In March 2014, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum invited fans around the globe to vote for the greatest festival moments in the history of rock and roll. Thousands of votes were cast, and when the results were tallied, a Top 10 emerged. Here are those amazing festival moments, from Newport Folk to Woodstock, Monterey Pop to Lollapalooza; from Bob Dylan to Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters to Nine Inch Nails.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, opens a new feature exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience, on April 25, 2014.
With a hastily assembled band, Bob Dylan changed the course of popular music in three songs on Sunday, July 25, 1965. The folk bard and 1988 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee turned the Newport Folk Festival on its ear, plugging in and delivering amplified versions of "Maggie's Farm," "Like a Rolling Stone" and "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" – much to the chagrin of many in attendance.
Dylan's electrified Newport set in 1965 was a marked departure from his '63 show, where he played acoustic versions of "Blowin' in the Wind;" and '64 performances at the same festival, where he played acoustic versions of "With God on Our Side" and "Mr. Tambourine Man."
"Ladies and gentlemen, the person that's going to come up now has a limited amount of time ... His name is Bob Dylan," festival emcee Peter Yarrow announced. Taking the stage with a full band that included guitarist Mike Bloomfield and organist Al Kooper – both of whom had played on the recording of Dylan's recently released single "Like A Rolling Stone" – Dylan and company launched into a rollicking version of "Maggie's Farm," earning a barrage ...
On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Peter Gabriel is coming back to the US for a special concert event – this time at a cinema near you.
Captured live in October 2013 at London’s famed arena, The O2, Peter Gabriel: Back to Front showcases the recent Hall of Fame Inductee and one of the most innovative artists of modern times, and will screen in theaters nationwide. The performance reunites Gabriel with his original touring band from 1986 to cover his most well-known hits, including “Solsbury Hill,” “Digging in the Dirt,” “Sledgehammer,” “Mercy Street” and “Don’t Give Up.”
“It has been wonderful working with [director] Hamish Hamilton again and his very talented team,” said Gabriel of the film. “I feel they have really caught what was unique about the ‘Back to Front’ tour, both visually and emotionally. My own sound crew has also done a brilliant job.”
The film event comes just weeks after Gabriel was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Chris Martin of Coldplay during the April 10, 2014 ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. “I’d like to read from the Book of Genesis,” Martin ...
In honor of the 69th birthday of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Eric Clapton, the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives is pleased to feature Clapton’s beautiful new limited edition book Six-String Stories: The Crossroads Guitars in its main reading room.
“One by one these guitars were the chapters of my life,” says Clapton about the book. Personally signed by Clapton himself, the 376-page volume documents his entire career through the tools of his trade: his guitars. Six-String Stories is told through Clapton's own words, with background information for each instrument and archival photography spanning five decades.
“As an avid rock or blues fan I would look at all the pictures in this book,” says Clapton. Nearly 300 pieces from Clapton's collection, sold across three Crossroads auctions, are brought together here for the very first time. Six-String Stories presents a “family tree,” making connections between Clapton's instruments and amps, and placing them in the chronology of his career.
“These guitars have been really good tools,” says Clapton. “They're not just museum pieces. They all have a soul, and they all come alive.” Every piece has been photographed, showing the beauty of the design ...
Much change was afoot in mid 90s Great Britain. The political winds shifted from Thatcher to Blair and Brit Pop became the soundtrack to a reinvigorated sense of identity. On the heels of their debut album, Definitely Maybe, Oasis’ performance at Glastonbury affixed the band as the new musical center-point for a movement and helped kick-start new generation of U.K talent.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will open its latest featured exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience on Friday, April 25, 2014. The exhibition will be an engaging look at the music festival as more than just an outdoor concert, but as a community experience. Whether it‘s forging human bonds, building a sense of community, providing broad exposure for musical artists or as one of the most important economic engines of the music industry, the story of the music festival is inextricably linked with music’s powerful cultural impact around the globe. Visit Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience to immerse yourself in this story.