Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love

Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta LoveLed Zeppelin redefined the word heavy with this monumental track from their second album. What could be more powerful than this bonecrunching tune with Jimmy Page’s unstoppable one-chord riff, Bonzo’s aggressive drumming and Robert Plant’s art­ful shrieks? Often imitated but never equalled, Whole Lotta Love is an indispens­able part of the Zeppelin legacy and therefore one of the most significant songs in rock his­tory. A genuine ear-splitting anthem, this was the first heavy metal song to make the Top Ten (as a single in 1969) – establishing the style as viable once and for all, and opening the floodgates for a rash of emulators in the 70s and 80s. This was the original yardstick, the tune that shaped everything metallic to follow. (more…)

8 Feb 2013

Live – All Over You (No Track)

Live All Over YouGuitarist Chad Taylor started the band we now know as Live over twenty years ago in high school. Raised on the sounds of R.E.M. and other 80s college-circuit groups, they have emerged as one of the most striking and popular of today’s alter­native rock outfits. All Over You is a cur­rent favorite, and a definitive example of collaborative songwriting. The story goes that Chad and singer Ed were working on the tune together the old-fashioned way, guitars in hand, face-to-face. What Ed had written as the chorus, Chad perceived as “a weird verse.” In responding, he tried to make up a fitting chorus, and came up with the D and F# chords which axe now in the verse. At one point in the process, they realized what was going on, arranged the song differently and “the two parts came together instantly.” (more…)

7 Feb 2013

Foo Fighters – Big Me

Foo Fighters Big MeInstead of resting on his laurels or taking an extended hiatus from the scene following the death of Kurt Cobain, ex-Nirvana drum­mer Dave Grohl went into the studio and recorded more than a dozen of his original songs. Playing all of the instruments, he completed the project in record time. Mostly first takes, the basic rhythm tracks were done in two and a half days, and the album was finished in seven days. Now that’s a work ethic! Dave labeled the project Foo Fighters, and formed the band after Capitol released the recording. (more…)

6 Feb 2013

Metallica – For Whom The Bell Tolls

Metallica For Whom The Bell TollsMetallica is an extraordinary metal band. The original purveyors of thrash, they refined the medium so much that no one else could touch them and they left all their imitators in the dust. In the early 80s, they practically invented the style we have come to know as thrash or speed metal, reinventing it with each successive album. Metallica have been called the Beatles of heavy metal, and Ride the Lightning their Rubber Soul or Revolver. Their 1984 release is one of the most important seminal metal albums of the modern age. (more…)

5 Feb 2013

Stevie Ray Vaughan – Love Struck Baby

Stevie Ray Vaughan Love Struck BabyStevie Ray Vaughan was the premier bluesman of the modern age. Ever since he made his initial appearance in 1983, blues music has been alive, well and thriving, and he’s a primary reason why. In Love Struck Baby, the opening cut from his landmark debut album, Texas Flood, Stevie turned to the rock ‘n’ roll side of the genre – emphasiz­ing the close relationship of early rock (and rockabilly), r&b, and classic blues. It provides a fascinating study of Stevie’s famed lead/rhythm style. (more…)

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30 Jan 2013

Van Halen – Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love

Van Halen – Ain’t Talkin’ ‘bout Love Guitar TabsA standout track from the first Van Halen album, Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love began life as a satirical commentary on the late 70s punk scene. Initially, Ed was unsure about the song. He felt it was a trivial tune, maybe too simple, and was actually reluctant to bring it to the band. He shouldn’t have worried. It went on to become one of the most popular Van Halen songs, remaining on the concert set list to the present, almost twenty years later. In Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love, Ed’s sound was never browner. He processes his patented and imme­diately recognizable cranked Marshall tone with phasing (MXR Phase 90) and echo (Echoplex tape delay) for a particularly attrac­tive greasy result that colors the arrangement perfectly. (more…)

28 Jan 2013
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