Category Archives: Articles

Is Uptown Funk plagiarism and what else was ‘stolen’ (borrowed!) in disco

Uptown-Funk-Mark-Ronson-Bruno_Mars

This week the message came that Uptown Funk would be plagiarism. The Sequence, a rap group from the eighties (with no hits on their name) claimed the song would be quite like their song Funk You Up. I think the simularities are very very very little, but there are several cases where it is more obvious. Read the rest of this entry

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Wait a moment… that’s not from Elvis?

With a discography from over 800 songs, Elvis Presley has recorded lots of songs. Many of those songs became hits, but there are quite some hit versions which originally were not sung by Elvis… Read the rest of this entry

When classical music met pop music…

When the classical composers like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and others wrote their compositions, they probably did not think about pop music. In fact, their music seems to be quite different from the modern pop music. Two worlds that will never meet? Well, not exactly… Read the rest of this entry

R.I.P. 2015

Not only are we saying goodbye to the old year, but also to all those great musicians who have left us. In this (by far not complete) list of persons we lost this year, we stop to remember them and their contribution to music. It would not have been the same without them.
Read the rest of this entry

The musical Minions movie

minions-movie

Minions. This summer, you can’t avoid them. They are everywhere. The cause for this all is the new movie around them: the minion movie. Is it worth to take a look when you don’t like minions, but you do like music? Read the rest of this entry

Is the album dead and why vinyl is great…

album

In the digital age, almost everyone streams or downloads, or does both. In this same age, vinyl is completely back. Two things that seem totally different and almost can’t go together, are happening next to each other. Read the rest of this entry

Album review: Mark Knopfler- Tracker

Tracker

Last week, I ordered the new album by Mark Knopfler and Friday I found it when I came home. I couldn’t wait to listen to it and here’s the review:

The album starts off where Privateering stopped, or so it seems. Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes could easily have been featured on Privateering, which is not a bad thing at all, since Privateering was all but a bad album. The song sounds like a good song to sing along, especially the part which has the title in it. A great starter.

The album continues with the song Basil, which is more sober than the starter. It starts with a guitar and Mark Knopfler singing about a poet, Basil Bunting. As the song proceeds, it becomes a beautiful ballad, with additional vocals done by Ruth Moody, who really ads to the song and the story.

River Towns is a song that could have been made by the Dire Straits. Next to the great guitar playing and the complete band, a saxophone is played. First just in the background, almost quiet, but steadily growing and in the end even with a solo. Definitely a highlight on the album.

Skydiver is the first song on the album which is shorter than five minutes. It starts off with a great intro (coming close to a wall of sound), but then the song turns around and Mark starts to sing with a ‘simple’ musical arrangement. In this song, we can really hear Mark having fun, together with Ruth Moody. The song almost reminds of those songs sung around the campfire, including clapping at the end of the song. And again: great guitar playing!

After the happy song, Mighty Man brings in a more mysterious tone. It almost reminds of Private Investigations, but it soon turns out not to be that. The song is, I suspect, a story about the days Mark Knopfler started as an artist. A good song where I can’t yet lay my finger on.

The clapping is back in Broken Bones, which is a bit like an old folk song. It sounds different from what we heard before, but at the same time it also feels like you have known it for years.

A bit of a love song comes in on Long Tall Girl. Ruth Moody comes in to do some additional vocals, which works: it feels like a duet between the girl, who is at home, and Mark, who is travelling around the world. They belong together, but because of the touring they can’t. Beautiful resting point.

A suggestive photograph is placed underneath the songtext of Lights Of Taormina. We can see Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler in his Dire Straits time. The question is: is it a Dire Straits song? Maybe yes, maybe no. Difficult to say. The text starts as a song about old love, but then it seems to be about a succesfull artist (probably Mark Knopfler himself). The text brings in the antiquity, and is a great song to dream away with.

In the song Silver Eagle we travel with Mark on tour, thinking about the one he loves but who is sleeping half a mile away. Again, the text is difficult to decipher, but the music is great to listen to.

The shortest song on the normal album is Beryl. This is the Dire Straits sound back again. Mark plays the guitar like never before, and it sounds great. Really a shame that it doesn’t last longer…

The last song of the album is Wherever I Go. Ruth Moody is back for one last time, not to sing backing vocals, but to take some lines herself. The text is (for a change) not very difficult: even if Mark is on tour, the one he loves is there. The saxophone plays a melancholic solo, and the whole song is that beautiful, that it could make you cry.

BONUS (TRACKS):

If you have got some extra money, I would advise you: buy the Deluxe edition. It features four extra tracks, which you may not miss hearing. .38 Special has a sort of country/folk groove, is up tempo and done in less than three minutes. However, it is (after Beryl) my favourite track. My Heart Has Never Changed is a good song, probably not the best on the album, but it is quite nice. Terminal Of Tribute To has something mystical about it and bursts out in a song that is too good to miss (somewhere between Privateering and the Dire Straits). Heart Of Oak is the shortest song with less than two minutes to play. A nice song to hear, not really something special about it.

In conclusion: an album full of great tracks, with great variation in what you will hear. If you have some extra money, definitely buy the deluxe version! I’m looking forward to the tour, especially his concert in Amsterdam (yes, that’s the one I’m going to visit!)

R.I.P. 2014

2014 was a beautiful music year, but unfortunately we have lost some great singers on the way. Once more an ode to the ones who died.
phil-everly
One of the first singers to die this year was Phil Everly, who was part of the Everly Brothers. He died on the third of January because of a lung disease, which followed his life of smoking. He was 74 years old, but will live on through his songs with his brother, who is still alive.

Pete_Seeger

Some weeks later, the folk and protest singer Pete Seeger died. Though Pete did not have success with the original versions of his songs, covers have reached the hit charts. The song Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season), which was sung by the Byrds and written by Pete Seeger, even hit number 1. Pete Seeger was 94 years old.

frankie-knucklesIn March, the Godfather of House Music, Frankie Knuckles, passed away. He was famous for the song The Whistle Song, which laid the basis for house music. Only 59 years old, he died of diabetes.

Rik mayallIn June, several famous artists passed away. Rik Mayall, a member of the Young Ones, died on the 9th. He was mostly a comedian, but his work with the Young Ones brought him a hit, when they re-recorded Living Doll with Cliff Richard for charity.

gerry goffinOn the 19th of June, Gerry Goffin died at the age of 75. He was a songwriter, firstly for his wife, Carole King, but he wrote a lot of hits later: Will You Love Me Tomorrow, The Loco-Motion, and with some others Theme From Mahogany.

tommy-ramoneThe drummer of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, died at the age of 65 in July. A nice anekdote is that he had to, since no-one else wanted to do it. Apart for drumming some years, he also was one of the producers of the Ramones.

Lynsey_De_PaulOn the first of October, Lynsey de Paul died. There were some charting singles, but that’s not the main reason why I remember her. I remember her for playing songs between different parts of a Tommy Cooper show, and I thought she had a lovely voice.

Alvin_StardustAlvin Stardust also died this year. Mostly famous for his hit Pretend, but with quite some more hits, he passed away at the age of 72. He was still active in the music industry, though he did not release any new albums the last years (since 1989).

November brought us the death of Big Bank Hank. He was one of the rappers in the Sugarhill Gang. Much too young, he died at 58 this year.

joe cockerAnd only a few days ago, Joe Cocker died. He became really famous because of the hit Up Where We Belong, together with Jennifer Warnes, but his cover of the Beatles’ song With A Little Help From My Friends already established him in the sixties as a good singer. Hits like Unchain My Heart, You Can Leave Your Hat On and Summer In The City put his fame down in the eighties and the nineties.

An impressing list of good artists, who will live on in their music. May they rest in peace.

 

What? How much?

Yes, some artists make lots of money on their hits. But their hits with Christmas bring a lot of money to them. Performing Rights Society, a British organization for copyrights, made estimations for 2013. Here is their list (with some notes from me):

1. Slade – Merry Christmas Everybody – € 606.000,-
I never expected this song to make so much money, but however: very good song!

2. The Pogues – Fairytale of New York – € 460.000,-
What song is this? Never heard about it, but it makes a lot of money. Strange…

3. Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You – € 412.000,-
God, not this song again. If this song is played for the first time, you know there’s no escaping it from there on… No wonder that she gets so much money!

4. Wham! – Last Christmas – € 400.000,-
Nice sum of money for the two gentleman. And after ten times this song, we’ve had enough for the rest of the year…

5. Cliff Richard – Mistletoe & Wine – € 115.000,-

6. Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas? – € 92.000,-
My question by this song is: where does the money go to? Still to some sort of fund for charity? Hope so, since there’s still hunger in the world.

7. Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone – € 64.000,-

8. The Pretenders – 2000 Miles – € 54.000,-

9. East 17 – Stay Another Day – € 36.000,-
And then this song: What’s that?

10. Jona Lewie – Stop The Cavalry – € 16.000,-

On 23 December I start with some Christmas songs!

The answer of Duke

Remember that I had Duke’s So In Love With You as song of the day a while ago? He sent me an e-mail to tell that So In Love With You will be released again soon, as a remixed version.
Of course I like to hear something about new music as well, and especially mixes are always welcome! I tried to contact him, but my e-mails returned to sender, so I wrote a post. And yes, a reaction followed!

New material is coming soon, and you can hear something on the following links to Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/markadamsuk (the album Fixing Broken Pieces)

and

https://soundcloud.com/duke_music (the remixes from So In Love With You + Lover Man)

I have already listened to some of the material, and it sounds great! I will keep you up-to-date about new material.

Spotify and artists: an excellent article!

Returned from my short holiday, I saw a lot of new posts in my reader. One of the new posts was written on my favourite blog (Every Record Tells A Story).
It’s about the question if Spotify pays the artists a fair amount of royalties…

Just read it here, and look around on the blog!

To Duke (So In Love With You)

It has been more than a month ago, 16 June 2013, when So In Love With You was the song of the day. And something happened which never has happened to me: the artist himself reacted!
Duke sent an e-mail to me to thank me for the song of the day and he announced that So In Love With You would be rereleased again soon. If I sent him an e-mail, he would sent the soundcloud address. I have tried to sent him different e-mails from different mail-accounts, but all seem to have vanished, since I have never heard anything of him again.

I therefore hope he reads this post, since I very much would like to have the link, to listen to it and also to publish it on this site! Please, Duke, if you read this: send another e-mail with the link, your mail-address seems unreachable for my mails!

Greetings,

Chris