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The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night – Review

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beatles hard days night“A Hard Day’s Night” explodes out of the gate and is an interesting type of song in that it doesn’t fit the normal formula of verse-chorus-verse. It is impossible not to love. The mix of Lennon and McCartney’s voices brings an entirely new Beatles to the forefront. And they don’t stop their insane pace of hard-charging rock songs like “Tell Me Why”

And, this album is the first to have no cover songs. It’s 100% The Beatles.

“I Should Have Known Better” is simple and wonderful. The quality of a song can be pretty easy in that the measure being — walk away from a song for five minutes and see how much of it you can remember singing in your head. This album is filled with unforgettable songs.

The Beatles perfect the ballad with “If I Fell” and “And I Love Her.”

“Can’t Buy Me Love” is another track that shows the sky was the limit for The Beatles.

“You Can’t Do That” and “I’ll Be Back” round out what is a really strong album.

The Beatles – With The Beatles – Review

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beatles meet the beatlesThe few cover are significantly better on ‘With The Beatles’ versus ‘Please Please Me.’ Classic covers include: “Please Mr. Postman,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and “You Really Got A Hold On Me.”

As simple, and silly, as “I Wanna Be Your Man” sounds, Ringo brings an absolute gem. It’s almost as if Ringo designed the foundation of the early Beatles sound with his first two songs. He may not get the credit he deserves.

The album is full of filler like “Not A Second Time” and “Devil In Her Heart.”

The Beatles – Please Please Me – Review

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Beatles Please Please Me“Misery” and “Anna (Go To Him)” is completely forgettable. You can see early days and signs where The Beatles are going but nothing here would indicate they’d be massive stars aside from “I Saw Her Standing There.” If anything, songs like “Chains” make John Lennon sound like a Buddy Holly knock-off.

Ringo’s version of “Boys” is one of the highlights.

As you get towards the end the hits come big with “Please Please Me” and “Love Me Do.” From a modern era view, it’s interesting how late in the album these songs come. I guess in the era of turning a record over it makes sense that you flip the album and don’t get a bunch of clunkers. but “Please Please Me” is the last song on side one with “Love Me Do” as the first song of side two.

Another Beatles original “Do You Want To Know A Secret” is a wonderful classic.

All the cover songs, “Baby It’s You,” “Chains” and “Anna” are all weak at best but the Beatles were not full-on songwriters so it makes sense. It is surprising that songs by world-class songwriters weren’t as good as the Beatles originals.

And in the end, John Lennon does rock the hell out of “Twist and Shout” which shows how their years at The Cavern Club honed his craft.

The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds – review

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Beach Boys Pet Sounds
The Beach Boys ‘Pet Sounds’

It’s nearly impossible to describe “it.” But there isn’t one song on ‘Pet Sounds’ that doesn’t have ‘it.’ I defy you to listen and not fall in love as every song comes on with a sound that is bigger than most artists ever attempt.

Take the beautiful opening of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” with its tinkling majesty and then the harmonies kick in. This song is only 2:25 minutes and yet packs the punch of an epic.

This continues over and over throughout the entirety of the album. ‘Pet Sounds’ is a lesson for any artist who wants to make an album from beginning to end. The thing is if you were an artist who listened and wanted to replicate there is nothing easy about this. Four guys with standard instruments could never replicate the awesomeness of what is one, if not the, greatest modern albums of all time.

And then there is dissonance in “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)” that is rare for this album but it is a good change in mood. Again, the challenge is for you to listen and not fall in love with the despair filled with vocals that make you close your eyes and get lost.

And Brian Wilson tells you that the moment of despair is all but gone once he launches into “I’m Waiting For The Day.” Remember when you fell in love and they were in love with someone else? Brian Wilson comes in and sells it soft but then hard charges into the convincer and it’s full of nothing but glory. It sends shivers and produces goosebumps. It seems impossible that Wilson gets a song this big, with so many parts into three minutes. It makes no sense and yet is as close to perfect as music gets.

If you want to know what is perfect, absolutely unquestionable perfect is “God Only Knows.” I won’t even try to describe what is indescribable. Just close your eyes and listen. Brian Wilson is one of America’s greatest artist ever.

By the way, if you don’t trust my word trust Paul McCartney once called “God Only Knows” “The greatest song ever written.” And called it his favorite song of all time:  “I was asked recently to give my top 10 favorite songs for a Japanese radio station … I didn’t think long and hard on it but I popped that [God Only Knows] on the top of my list. It’s very deep. Very emotional, always a bit of a choker for me, that one.” 

Don’t dismiss “Sloop John B” as filler. This would be a star on any other album for any other artist. It’s simple and beautiful and is The Beach Boys at their harmonious best. This goes for “I Know There’s An Answer”, “Here Today”, and so on. You could take so many of these songs and call them into a list along with all the greatest songs of all time.

“I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” seems to sum up Brian Wilson completely. Perhaps his era would be a better fit with Mozart or other classic musicians. His mind always appear to weave songs that are much more complex than what rock and pop offered him.

And to end an album with “Hang On To Your Ego” just goes to show how deep and brilliant “Pet Sounds” was–among many other words that just get lost as you listen. In modern music, once you get past the four-track you find filler to get the artist to the ten to twelve songs that a record company asked for, but Brian Wilson had so much in him that needed to come out that he starts and ends with genius. This is a hit song that any band would hang their hats on as one of the best songs they wrote and on ‘Pet Sounds’ it is the last song.

 

OneRepublic to join Maroon 5 on tour

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OneRepublic
OneRepublic
OneRepublic is getting ready to hit the road for a string of headlining dates this week as their new single “Secrets” debuts on the Top 40 radio chart at #37! The Colorado based band will head back out on tour this fall joining friends Maroon 5 for a thirteen city trek.

“Secrets,” the second single off OneRepublic’s new album Waking Up, reacted instantly at radio and is sure to top the charts just as first single “All The Right Moves.” The band will perform “Secrets” on Live with Regis & Kelly when they broadcast from Price Edward Island on July 15th! OneRepublic was also just nominated for a Teen Choice Award for “All The Right Moves” in the category ‘Choice Music: Rock Track.’ Fans can vote for OneRepublic now at www.teenchoiceawards.com. The Teen Choice Awards will air on Fox August 9th.

In 2007, after seven years together as a band, OneRepublic took the world by storm with their debut release Dreaming Out Loud. The album included the smash first single “Apologize” which shattered digital sales and airplay records worldwide, and along with second single “Stop And Stare” propelled the album to platinum plus sales. Their sophomore set Waking Up was released in November and first single “All The Right Moves” was a Top 40 and Hot AC radio hit and has sold over 1.5 million units to date!

July headlining tour dates:

July 2nd Del Mar, CA San Diego County Fair

July 3rd Las Vegas, NV The Beach at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

July 4th Park City, UT Deer Valley Resort

July 7th New York, NY Terminal 5

July 8th Boston, MA House of Blues

July 9th Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory

July 11th Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music Theater

July 15th Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre

July 16th Calgary, AB Calgary Stampede

Fall dates with Maroon 5:

October 6th Santa Barbara, CA SB County Bowl

October 8th Los Angeles, CA Greek Theater

October 10th Berkeley, CA Greek Theater

October 12th Tacoma, WA Tacoma Dome

October 14th Fresno, CA Save Mart Center

October 15th Sacramento, CA Arco Arena

October 16th San Diego, CA Viejas Arena

October 19th Tulsa, OK BOK Center

October 21st Dallas, TX Superpages.com Center

October 22nd Houston, TX CWM Pavilion

October 23rd Biloxi, MS Hard Rock

October 27th Chicago, IL UIC Pavilion

October 28th Minneapolis, MN Target

Ozzy Osbourne’s “Scream” tops Charts around the World

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Ozzy Osbourne "Scream"“Scream”-Ozzy Osbourne’s first album in three years and 10th studio album overall–has entered the charts in the Top Ten in seven countries. Beyond earning the #1 slot on the charts in Greece, SCREAM’s chart entries include: U.S., #4; Finland, #3; Japan #4 (international chart, #11 on combined chart); Norway, #5; Canada, #4; andGermany, #7. In his native England, SCREAM is at #12; it also is #11 in Australia. The acclaimed album (see quotes below) was released June 22 via Epic Records, with first single “Let Me Hear You Scream” now #1 on both Active Rock charts and still #1 at Mainstream Rock for the 5th week.

Just before SCREAM was released, the rock icon hosted a Sunday afternoon in-store CD signing at Amoeba Music in Los Angeles (June 20). The first 600 fans who purchased a copy were also given a free ticket to that night’s 10:00 PM House of Blues show. OZZY and his band–new guitar player Gus G., bassist Blasko, drummer Tommy Clufetos and keyboardist Adam Wakeman–raised the roof with a red-hot performance encompassing new material and his many classics.

The multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer recorded most of SCREAM at his Los Angeles home studio, The Bunker. It was produced by OZZY and Kevin Churko, both of whom did the same honors for OZZY’s 2007 worldwide million-seller Black Rain. OZZY co-wrote all the songs, primarily with Churko.

OZZY will embark on an 18-month world tour in support of SCREAM. His U.S. dates will kick off with an August 12 performance at the 70th anniversary of the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota before he launches this year’s OZZFest on August 14. The six OZZFest dates will feature the main stage line-up with full sets from Ozzy, Mötley Crüe, Rob Halford, DevilDriver and Nonpoint. Second stage headliners and six-time OZZFest veterans Black Label Society will be joined by Drowning Pool,Kingdom of Sorrow, and Goatwhore, Skeletonwitch, Saviours and Kataklysm. Each OZZFest date will include 13 bands on two stages with music beginning at 1:00 PM. In addition, concert-goers can once again visit the OZZFest “Village of the Damned” featuring a mix of interactive activities, shopping and entertainment throughout the venue concourses.

Video: Maroon 5 “Misery”

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Maroon 5
Maroon 5
Maroon 5 have premiered the official video for their new single “Misery.” Watch front man Adam Levine take a serious beating from his lady in the action-packed clip directed by Joseph Kahn (Britney Spears, Blink 182, Muse).

“Misery” appears on the Mutt Lange produced “Hands All Over” due out September 21st.

Video: American Bang “Wild and Young”

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American Bang
American Bang
American Bang’s video for “Wild & Young,” the debut single off their upcoming self-titled album, has now been added to MTV’s AMTV morning playlist. MTV is holding a contest for all band’s on AMTV, where the band with the highest trending topic on Twitter worldwide, will get a special half hour on Monday (7/12) dedicated to their videos.

Video: Alexandra Amor behind the scenes “Superstar”

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Alexandra Amor
Alexandra Amor
Alexandra Amor rose to fame online by covering her favorite pop songs, but she really started to shine once she hit the studio to record her own original material, with producers including The Agency (Ciara, Jordin Sparks, Cody Simpson), Naz Tokio (McFly) and Da Internz (Jesse McCartney, Sean Kingston). A peppy, polished pop anthem full of high energy vitality and sassy sing-along lyrics, “Superstar” is the first single off Alexandra Amor’s debut album, due out soon.

Alexandra Amor biography

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Alexandra Amor
Alexandra Amor
Alexandra Amor has some advice for starry-eyed teens: Do your homework.

That’s how her path to superstardom started, when the seemingly typical Florida teen took a unique, bold approach to her assignment in Communications class in early 2010. Instructed to give a 2-minute self introduction that would captivate the audience, Alexandra put an unexpected twist on her speech… by singing it!

Alexandra was no stranger to the spotlight, after all. The ability to captivate an audience was in her DNA. Her mother was the lead singer of a local rock band, and it was clear from an early age she was destined to follow suit. Alexandra’s teen years were filled with singing competitions and acting roles in local theater productions, but she really honed her craft in front of a worldwide audience of millions on the internet, where she developed a large and devoted digital fan base that would follow her all the way to the top.

Sure enough, Alexandra’s lyrical take on her homework assignment captivated the whole class, which happened to include artist manager Josh Mendez from Rich Music Ltd. “I immediately got the chills. I don’t even remember the rest of her speech,” Josh recalls. “As soon as I heard her sing, I knew we had to sign her.” After class, he introduced himself to Alexandra and immediately brought her to the attention of the label. Within weeks, she was signed to Jimmy J Management / Rich Music Ltd, a team of seasoned music professionals committed to taking the extraordinarily talented and charming singer to the next level.

Alexandra immediately entered the recording studio to record her debut album. Together with top notch producers The Agency (Ciara, Jordin Sparks, Cody Simpson), Naz Tokio (McFly) and Da Internz (Jesse McCartney, Sean Kingston), Alexandra’s first ever recording sessions churned out a number of radio-ready tracks, including the stellar first single “Superstar” – a peppy, polished pop anthem full of high energy vitality and sassy sing-along lyrics.

“‘Superstar’ is, in a sense, every aspiring artist/actor/singing-in-a-hairbrush performer’s dream! Becoming a superstar, living it up, buying whatever, wherever, WHENEVER,” Alexandra says. The single was released online in April 2010, where Alexandra’s uber-viral fanbase immediately propelled it to digital hit status, singing into their own webcams and filling Youtube with countless fan-generated “Superstar” videos.

Despite the living large theme of “Superstar,” Alexandra is remarkably gracious and unaffected. A pop fan herself, she cites influences across the spectrum including Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Katie Perry. “I’m a down to earth girl with big dreams and a positive outlook on life. It’s all been surreal and an absolute blessing. I’m still in shock… all because I did my homework.”