Greatest Rock Vocalists #1, Little Richard, Good Golly Miss Molly

Posted in Greatest Rock Vocalists, Little Richard, Youtube Favs on October 7th, 2011 by Willie

Little Richard is the greatest vocalist in rock and roll history.  He is the man that was James Brown’s #1 influence, the man Paul McCartney copied, the man who first employed Jimi Hendrix, and the man that arguably started rock and roll with the second he let out his primal rock and roll roar for the first time.  Little Richard had the voice of a super-being out of a comic book.  His vocal chords were just blessed with the most perfect construction necessary to start a world wide revolution, and they did.  Oh yea, he also played a mean piano as you can see in the glorious video below.  Yea, this was an odd early 90s promo video for the John Goodman movie King Ralph, but God bless that movie for giving Little Richard another spotlight to elevate his classic hit “Good Golly Miss Molly,” to an absurd level of perfection.  He just tears the roof off, proving that even at an advanced age, he hadn’t lost a lick of talent.  Richard’s voice really was one of the most remarkable miracles in the history of music, and there is no one that can take away from him.  Watch the hell out of this video below and just try to find someone with a better voice.  It’s impossible.

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Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, Ebony and Ivory

Posted in Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Youtube Favs on June 14th, 2011 by Willie

Welcome to part 89 of my legendary youtube countdown.  Countdown to what?  I have no idea, but lets hope the world finds peace along the way.  One way to help this planet on that quest are the musical stylings of Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder singing “Ebony and Ivory” from Paul’s 1982 LP Tug of War.  By the way, pick up Tug of War if you see it sitting dusty in a record store.  It’s one of Paul’s better 80s albums produced by the legendary Beatles George Martin no less.  That record also features Paul’s tribute song to John Lennon, “Here Today,” a track I might cover in the future.  Anyway, Paul wrote this mega hit “Ebony and Ivory” after hearing an old Spike Milligan phrase, “black notes, white notes, and you need to play the two, to make harmony folks!”  Well, the phrase is right, and the song is true.  Paul and Stevie performed the song live in studio, which is always a cool yet difficult feat.  Ironically, due to scheduling conflicts, they had to film their parts in the music video separately.  It’s an amazing feat, considering they are sitting next to each other, but its just camera trickery folks.  What IS true is that they both traveled to Bolivia to dance on the world’s largest piano. ; )

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John Lennon, Instant Karma

Posted in John Lennon, Youtube Favs on May 24th, 2011 by Willie

Part 71 of my youtube countdown begins in a flash with John Lennon’s 1970 release “Instant Karma.”  “Instant Karma” is one of the fastest released songs in rock history.  John wrote it in the morning, recorded it in the afternoon, and released it ten days later.  The urgency of its release convinced karmic minded George Harrison to throw on his electric guitar.  Other Plastic Ono’s include Yoko on backing vocals, Alan White of YES fame on drums, Klaus (Revolver cover designer) Voorman on bass, and Billy Preston on grand piano.  The message of the song is awesome.  John is pleading for people just to achieve a modicum of self awareness regarding their cosmic role in the universe, and how in light of that, they should drop their petty prejudices, quibbles, and fears, and thus embrace a more meaningful existence.  It’s a beautiful message, and it rings true and instantly every time you play it.

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The Beatles, Hey Bulldog vs. Lady Madonna Video Controversy

Posted in The Beatles, Youtube Favs on April 8th, 2011 by Willie

WELCOME to part 31 of my youtube countdown!  Today, I have a special Beatle-tastic history lesson, featuring clips of two insanely great Beatle rockers, Hey Bulldog, and Lady Madonna.  First, let present the sad story of Hey Bulldog, John Lennon’s lost masterpiece of rock.  Hey Bulldog is one of John’s most ferocious, manic rockers.  It’s a hard driving, piano riffed, distortion pedaled, philosophical nonsense song.  It has John barking one of his best late era vocal performances.  My knees buckle every time he launches into the “You can taaaallk to meee, YOU CAN TALK TO ME, if you’re lonely you can talllk to me,” refrain.  It is in my top 5 Beatle songs ever.  Now, why is the story of this amazing song so sad?  Because the Beatle myth makers, whoever they may be, did their best to sweep it under the rug of Beatle glory!  First of all, it was a song featured on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack, the least essential of the original Beatle albums.  If you’re not familiar, the Yellow Submarine album, was the album for the legendary cartoon, but featured previously released material, and the film score on side 2, making a bit of a throwaway…(though in actuality, it isn’t, and you should own it.)  Anyway, the second reason this song got the shaft was because a film team came into Abbey Road studios to film the Beatles record the song, and then, in their infinite wisdom, took the footage, and cut it up to go along with their then 1968 single Lady Madonna!  This was just so annoying.  Here you have a document of the Beatles recording and performing a late era Beatle song, an extremely rare thing I might add, AND as a full unit no less, and you fuck it up by pasting another song on top and turning them into lip-syncers.  It was a travesty until someone at Apple finally found the original footage and put it back together, thus restoring the glory of Hey Bulldog’s production.  So, for your enjoyment, I present both Hey Bulldog and Lady Madonna, for you to see just how often the people in charge of marketing the Beatles got it wrong.  I mean, you all should know how Capital just butchered all their singles and records until 1967, turning every one record into two, to sell more.  Anyway, that’s a whole other can of worms.  Here you go, enjoy the music!

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