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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Michael Joseph Jackson (born August 29, 1958), often referred to as MJ and The King of Pop, is an American musician and entertainer. The seventh child of the Jackson family, Michael Jackson debuted on the professional music scene at the age of ten as a member of the Jackson 5, and went on to become a pop icon as a solo artist. His successful career and controversial, enigmatic personal life have been a part of pop culture for almost four decades. Jackson has dominated pop music since the late 1970s becoming the first black entertainer to amass a strong cross-over following on MTV with his revolutionary transformation of the music video as an art form and as a promotional tool. The popularity of videos aired on MTV such as “Beat It” and “Billie Jean” created a tremendous synergy that helped to put the relatively young channel “on the map” and Jackson continued to be a dominant figure on MTV with videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream”. Jackson also popularized physically-complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk, that have redefined mainstream dance and entertainment. His distinctive style, dance moves, and vocals have influenced a whole generation of hip hop, pop, and R&B artists. He has been cited as the “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time” by Guinness World Records, and holds the record for the best-selling album ever, Thriller.

 

received thirteen Grammy Awards (eight on a single night in 1984) and two of his solo albums have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Jackson has charted thirteen #1 singles in the United States, more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era. In November 2006, the World Music Awards announced that Jackson had sold over 750 million units worldwide and given $300 million to charity, making Jackson one of the best-selling music artists and one of the most philanthropic performers of the 20th and 21st century. However, Jackson’s controversial appearance and actions have damaged his reputation in the eyes of some of the public and album sales have been in decline since the mid 1990s.

From 1988 to 2005, Jackson lived on his Neverland Ranch property, where he built an amusement park and private zoo that was frequently attended by disadvantaged and terminally ill children. Rumors of sleepover parties received both negative media coverage and public attention after it was revealed that children had slept in his bed or bedroom. This first came to light when he was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993. Michael Jackson’s relationship with children was brought into the spotlight again in 2003 when the TV documentary Living with Michael Jackson was broadcast. This resulted in Jackson being tried, and later acquitted, of more child molestation allegations and several other charges in 2005. After this, Jackson went on hiatus, traveling to countries such as Bahrain, before starting work on new material in Ireland. He released an album on February 11, 2008 called Thriller 25 (a special edition of the “Thriller” album), which was a commercial success selling over 1,200,000 copies worldwide in five weeks.

 

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“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is a hit riff-driven rock song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for The Rolling Stones and produced by Andrew Loog Oldham. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song as number 2 on its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, while VH1 placed it at number 1 on its “100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll” list. In 2006 it was added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.

The song was first released as a single in the United States in June 1965 and was also featured on the American version of the Rolling Stones album Out of Our Heads, released in July of the same year. “Satisfaction” was a smash hit, giving the Stones their first number one in the United States. In Europe, the song initially played only on pirate radio stations because its lyrics were considered too sexually suggestive. In Britain the single was released in August 1965, and shot to number one in the United Kingdom; it was the Rolling Stones’ fourth UK number one. (The British version of Out of Our Heads, released in September 1965, did not feature “Satisfaction”; it was not standard practice in the United Kingdom at that time to include previously-released singles on albums).

The lyrics of the song include references to sexual intercourse, and the theme of anti-commercialism caused the song to be “perceived as an attack on the status quo”.

Otis Redding, Devo, Gloria Trevi, Alejandra Guzmán and Britney Spears are among the artists who have covered the song.

The song was featured in the 1979 Francis Ford Coppola movie Apocalypse Now.

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“For What It’s Worth” is a song written by Stephen Stills. It was performed by Buffalo Springfield and released as a single in January 1967; it was later added to the re-release of their first album, Buffalo Springfield. The single peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 2004, this song was #63 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

While the song has come to symbolize worldwide turbulence and confrontational feelings arising from events during the 1960s (particularly the Vietnam War), Stills reportedly wrote the song in reaction to escalating unrest between law enforcement and young club-goers relating to the closing of Pandora’s Box, a club on West Hollywood, California’s Sunset Strip. The song’s title appears nowhere in its lyrics, and many casual listeners likely know it better by the first line of chorus: “Stop, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.”

In 2006, Stephen Stills was interviewed by Tom Kent on his radio show “Into the ’70s” and pointed out that though many people think “For What It’s Worth” is about the Kent State Shootings, it was actually recorded before that event.

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“Downtown” is a pop song composed by Tony Hatch following a first-time visit to New York City. It was his original intention to present it to The Drifters, but when British singer Petula Clark heard the incomplete tune, she proposed that if he could write lyrics to match the quality of the melody, she would be interested in recording it.

Thirty minutes before the song was scheduled to be recorded, Hatch was completing the lyrics in the studio toilet. “Downtown” was released in late 1964 and became a best seller in English, French, Italian, and German versions, topping music charts worldwide (with 3 million copies sold in the US alone) and introducing Clark, who had been a popular recording artist and actress in Europe for nearly 20 years, to the American record-buying public. She continued her success in the United States with a string of fifteen consecutive Top 40 hits.

“Downtown” was the first song by a British female artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart and went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Rock and Roll Song. It was enrolled in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004.

Clark re-recorded the song three times, in 1976 (with a disco beat), in 1984 (with a new piano and trumpet intro that leads into the song’s original opening), and in 1996. In addition, the original 1964 recording was remixed and re-released in 1988, 1999, and 2003. Clark, who in the early 1960s maintained a concurrent non-English musical career throughout Europe, also recorded French, German and Italian versions in 1964. While the German version retained the original title, the French version was retitled Dans le Temps and the Italian version was called Ciao Ciao.

Following 9/11, New York City adopted Clark’s version of “Downtown” as the theme song for a series of commercials encouraging tourism to Lower Manhattan. The song has been used by other metropolitan areas — including Chicago, Indianapolis, and Singapore — for promotional purposes as well.

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“If Everyone Cared” is the fourth single worldwide released from Nickelback’s All the Right Reasons, and the fifth and sixth single released in Australia and the U.S. respectively (“Animals” was only released in Australia and the U.S., and “Rockstar” only in the UK and U.S.).
The band worked on the video for it with director, Dori Oskowitz. The video for “If Everyone Cared” is not like most videos, or any other video the band has done. It begins with Nickelback in the studio playing the song. Scenes of this are intercut with images and videos of past social justice and human rights events, essentially when an individual “cared” and ended up changing the world. The people shown are Betty Williams, who led a march of 35,000 women to the gravesites of three Northern Irish children after witnessing their deaths, Bob Geldof starting up Live Aid, Peter Benenson igniting what would become known as Amnesty International, and Nelson Mandela leading South Africa to its first democratic election, (which would end the racist apartheid regime that had divided the country for 46 years). The video ends with a quote from Margaret Mead that reads “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

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“Wind of Change” is a 1990 power ballad written by Klaus Meine, vocalist of Scorpions. It appeared on their 1990 album Crazy World, but did not become a worldwide hit single until 1991, when it topped the charts in Germany and across Europe, and hit #4 in the United States and #2 in the United Kingdom. It later appeared on 1995 live album Live Bites, on their 2000 album Moment of Glory, with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and on their 2001 unplugged album Acoustica.

The band also recorded a Russian-language version of the song, under the title Ветер Перемен (Veter Peremen) and a spanish version called Vientos de Cambio, also played by Medina Azahara.

The lyrics celebrate the political changes in Eastern Europe at that time – such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the increasing freedom in the communist bloc (which would soon lead to the fall of the USSR), and the clearly imminent end of the Cold War.

Many listeners of the song who are not acquainted with Moscow are often confused by the meaning of the opening lines of the song, which are:

I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind
of change

The Moskva is the name of the river that runs through Moscow, and Gorky Park is the name of an amusement park in Moscow. Scorpions were inspired to write this song on a visit to Moscow in 1989, and therefore included references to the aforementioned landmarks.

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One thing leads to another and while writing the previous post, MC Hammer came to mind…

MC Hammer (born Stanley Kirk Burrell on March 30, 1962) is an American MC who was popular during the late 1980s and early 1990s, known for his dramatic rise to and fall from fame and fortune and his trademark Get in Hammer’s Pants. He became a preacher in the 1990s and now works as a television show host and CEO. He lives in Tracy, California, with his wife Stephanie and six children, three boys and three girls.

Can you touch this?

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