Jimi Hendrix – Foxy Lady

Jimi Hendrix – Foxy LadyFoxy Lady is one of Jimi Hendrix’s most memorable tunes on an album of mem­orable tunes – the monumental 1967 debut record, Are You Experienced? As a piece of music, it is beyond important, it is ground­breaking. As a piece of rock history, it is immortal – the biggest, most furious noise from one of the era’s leading musical spokes­men. If a classic is defined as that which improves with age, then Foxy Lady defines classic rock. A brilliant amalgam of proto-metal, r&b, and Jimi’s own inimitable brand of innovative avant-rock, it remains essen­tial – forever imbedded in the core of con­temporary guitar lore – and is a must-know selection in every self-respecting guitar play­er’s repertoire. (more…)

4 May 2013

Dick Dale – Misirlou

Dick Dale - MisirlouMisirlou is the quintessential surf instrumental and Dick Dale’s sonic signa­ture – or is that redundant? In any case, rock history acknowledges this tune as the first surf genre piece to feature the “wet” sound of Fender’s reverb unit. Coupled with Dale’s furious upside-down Strat attack through the immediate­ly overdriven, 100-watt Dual Showman stacks, it is absolute dynamite. For most, the definitive surf sound. Misirlou has unusu­al origins for a seminal piece in American rock. Its roots are in Middle Eastern music, and it was a 1940’s pop hit in Turkey two decades before Dick revived and reinvented the piece in 1962 – when he gave it a high-energy twist by performing it on electric gui­tar with his Deltones band. (more…)

6 Apr 2013

The Rolling Stones – Start Me Up

The Rolling Stones Start Me UpYou can learn more about rhythm and the real Keith Richards from the first 10 seconds of Start Me Up than from volumes of chord books. Start Me Up is one of the ultimate groove tunes in rock history with one of the most memorable guitar hooks of all time. A definitive track from the modern Stones era, it reached No. 2 as a hit single in 1981, and con­tains one of the most essential Keith riffs in the band’s entire catalog – and there are many in that 30-year-old catalog. Interestingly, it began life with a reggae feel, was recorded and dis­carded, and remained in the vault for a couple of years until the Stones revisited the piece for the Tattoo You album. (more…)

17 Feb 2013

Collective Soul – Shine

Collective Soul ShineCollective Soul’s mega-hit Shine is an anomaly in the angst-driven, grunge-dominat­ed scene of contemporary rock. This upbeat, feel-good song stands in direct contrast to the darker offerings by contemporaries like Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots. And why not? The three-guitar band from Georgia describe themselves as “positive guys” who know they’ve “got it pretty good.” Ed Roland is the leader, primary songwriter and part-conscious background rhythm guitarist. His brother, Dean, is the bashing, heavy rhythm player with Marshalls up to 10. Ross Childress is the “guitar player” of the group, who leads the way musically and adds the sophisticated touches. The lineup is rounded out with Shane Evans (drums) and Will Turpin (bass). It’s obviously a “pretty good” arrangement. (more…)

14 Feb 2013

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

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
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