Signature Songs of the Decades

I was just thinking the other day about songs that would be considered signature songs of a respective decade.  It’s hard to boil these type of things down to one song but here are mine (click on the highlighted song titles to view/listen to the songs/videos):

50’s“Rock Around the Clock” – Bill Haley and the Comets.  Yes, Elvis was The King, but this one got the whole ball rolling;
60’s“All You Need Is Love” – The Beatles.  I think this pretty much speaks for itself;

70’s“Get Down Tonight” – K.C. and the Sunshine Band.  Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll.  Sums up the 70’s pretty succinctly;

80’s“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” – Tears for Fears.  In the decade that saw the fall of the Berlin Wall, this was a song that encapsulated decades of Cold War paranoia;

90’s“Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana.  Raw angst coupled with boredom. Yep, that was the 90’s.

00’s- Nothing.  A decade, and unfortunately a new generation, bereft of anything culturally meaningful.  Sad to say, but true.

Proving once again that we do more than just show you the best deals in the Phoenix real estate market; we show you how to get the most out of living in Arizona, and try to help you get the most out of what you are listening to.

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The Brilliance of the Blues Brothers…

Cover of Briefcase Full of Blues

The other day I was driving and heard “Soul Man” by the Blues Brothers on the radio.  Now, I have heard this song, both the Blues Brothers version and Sam and Dave’s original, about a hundred times in my life, but for some reason this time it sparked a different feeling in me.  Idon’t know, maybe it’s middle age setting in.  Nah, can’t be that.  I still feel and act as though I’m 16.

Anyway, as I was listening to the song I hearkened back to the first time I saw and heard the Blues Brothers on Saturday Night Live in 1978.  I was all of 11 years old at the time.  You may be asking, what the hell was an 11 year old doing up at midnight?  Well, my parents were only 29 and 30 years old at the time.  So you know, they were pretty cool in that regard.  But I digress.  Back to my first viewing of the Blues Brothers.  I remember my first reaction was laughter.  Seeing John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd’s spastic dance routine as the band whipped into “Soul Man” had me giggling, but the music was what hit me.

Now, I should preface this by saying that my parents were very much into rock ‘n roll music.  I grew up listening to the Stones, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Sly, Jimi, etc.  And my dad loved the old R&B, Stax Records, Motown stuff.  But like I said, I was 11 at the time.  My favorite bands were Van Halen, Cheap Trick, Devo, The Cars, you know more contemporary stuff at the time.  And I liked the Stones, Beatles, and Zep.  But it was the Blues Brothers that REALLY turned me on to rhythm and blues.

And THAT’S what I mean when I say THE BRILLIANCE of the blues brothers.  Because behind the comedic element of Belushi and Ackroyd was a deep, deep knowledge and appreciation of the music.  And sure Dan Ackroyd’s gyrations on the stage appealed to my 11 year old comedic sensibilities, but again, it was the music that really got me.  From the intro of  Otis Redding’s “ICan’t Turn You Loose” to Delbert Mclinton’s “B Movie Box Car Blues” and the goofy, Ackroyd rendition of “Rubber Biscuit”  Breifcase Full of Blues was and still is a high energy traipse through the history of 1950’s and 60’s rhythm and blues.

Much like the British invasion of the early to mid ’60’s introduced a new generation of music listeners to American blues, the Blues Brothers introduced my generation (Generation X) to the likes of Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, and Junior Wells.  And the Blues Brother did authentically by employing the likes of Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Steve Cropper, Lou Marini, and Tom Scott, the VERY guys who appeared on these songs in their original incarnations.

So, in addition to my parents, I owe a debt of gratitude to Jake and Elwood Blues for opening my musical horizons.

If you’ve never heard the album in it’s entirety do yourself a favor.  Dedicate an hour or so of your life and just sit and listen to it.  And if you have heard it, listen to it again.  It’s a masterfully performed work of art.  And you’ll get some laughs as well.

Proving once again that we do more than just show you the best deals in the Phoenix real estate market; we show you how to get the most out of living in Arizona, and try to help you get the most out of what you are listening to.

Cinco De Mayo Special – My Top 5 Mexican American Rock Stars

mexican-sunset

They’ve been a part of the American Rock n’ Roll heritage for almost the entire history of Rock’n Roll.  They’ve added a bit of spice to our heritage and a bit of salsa to our music.  So in honor of the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday I thought would list my Top 5 Mexican American Rock Stars.  Why only 5, because it’s CINCO de Mayo stupido!

Numero Uno – Carlos Santana. You were expecting maybe someone else?  carlos-santanaCarlos has graced our stages and airwaves for over 40 years now.  Starting out as a teenage kid playing guitar in the Mission District of San Francisco, Carlos was influenced by a menagerie of musical tastes ranging from Salsa, Jazz and Rock.  Over the past 40 years his music has evolved with the times and he has remained as relevant as ever.  In my opinion though his signature moment was at Woodstock, where he was still a bit of an unknown on the national stage.  Woodstock would change all that.  I’ve added a link to a clip from Woodstock where Santana really rips it up :

Numero Dos – Ritchie Valens.  He of “La Bamba” fame.  Unfortunately Ritchies career was cut drastically short in a plane crash in 1959 en route to another gig with fellow rockers Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper.  But Ritchie left a lasting legacy with the aforementioned “La Bamba” and his influence on other hispanic recording artists.  I’ve included a link to his other big hit “Donna” for your listening pleasure:

Numerolinda-ronstadt Tres – Linda Ronstadt.  Yes, Linda Ronstadt.  Although througout most of her career she was a rocker Ronstadt expressed her hispanic background later in life with her album “Canciones de mi Padre”.  She was a double threat in that she was a pioneer for female rockers and Mexican American pop artists as well

I chose one of her more rocking tunes to exemplify her career:

Numero Quatro – Los Lobos.  They had their biggest hit with a cover of Ritchie Valens “La Bamba” but Los Lobos are much, much, more than that.  Over their thirty plus year careers they’ve done an excellent job of blending Tejano music with pure rock and blues.  One of my favorite tunes by Los Lobos is “Will the Wolf Survive”

cypress-hillNumero Cinco – Cypress Hill.  You probably think I’m Insane in the Membrane for putting this group on the list.  But if you’ve been following this blog for very long you know we have a sense of humor here at Arizona Premiere Music.  I mean, come on Esse, don’t you know I’m loco? Plus, Cypress Hill is the premiere hispanic hip hop group selling 18 million records worldwide.  Here’s an example, just a little sample of the Hill’s lyrical prowesss:

Now go out and celebrate the Mexicans victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. (Cinco de Mayo IS NOT Mexican Independence Day.)  And swallow the worm in our honor.

Proving once again that we do more than just show you the best deals in the Phoenix real estate market; we show you how to get the most out of living in Arizona, and try to help you get the most out of what you are listening to.