I have sometimes wondered how the Violent Femmes career would have panned out if they hadn’t decided to busk where they did on the 23rd August 1981. The spot they had chosen just happened to be where Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders were going to be performing later that day. Pretenders guitarist, James Honeyman-Scott, heard the band and was impressed, as was Chrissie Hynde who invited the them to play an acoustic set after the opening act that night.
Today, i’m featuring three songs from the 1970s that cover the same theme – gender bending. I was a young gay man when these songs hit the charts, and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The gay community of the time lapped them up, which is understandable, but the popularity wasn’t restricted to the underground minority and went on to become international hits.
I posted a brief glimpse behind the band, The Guess Who, early last year and I think it time to look a little deeper into the band that was regarded as the Beatles of Canada. With names such as Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman as key members, you can be assured of an interesting dip into musical history today.
Whenever I hear the song Vienna I have an overwhelming urge to join in and belt out the wonderfully dramatic hook. Dependent on the scenario, this normally results in others joining me, or raised eyebrows and mumbled comments, I’m used to both! By the time the Vienna album was released a lot of water and history had passed under the Ultravox bridge, and today I’ll attempt to take you on a quick trip through the history and background of this remarkable band.
Three very different new albums crossed my path recently and today I am featuring a track from each. The first is from a band we looked at earlier on this year after the release of their album, the aptly named The Unravelling. I’m talking about Drive-By Truckers.The topics covered were a hard-hitting social commentary about American life at the time.
Amongst the musical confusion that began the 1970s there were a few shining lights that clearly showed where the future of popular music was headed. Roxy Music was one of the brightest. It is said that Bryan Ferry, the enigmatic vocalist, had the highly stylized look of the band, as well as the artwork for their initial album, planned and ready before they had even been offered a recording contract.
27th October 2020: I would like to tag this mini-feature as local music but although Dave Matthews was born in Johannesburg he frequently moved back and forth between the States, England and South Africa throughout his childhood. When his father, a physicist for IBM, passed away in 1977 his family moved back to Johannesburg. OnContinue reading “Mini-Features: Dave Matthews Band”