Born Lewis Allan Reed, the American rock legend was the guitarist, vocalist, and primary songwriter of the Velvet Underground. He also launched a solo career that spanned for years.
“I’ve always believed that there’s an amazing number of things you can do through a rock ‘n’ roll song,” he once told the journalist Kristine McKenna, “and that you can do serious writing in a rock song if you can somehow do it without losing the beat. The things I’ve written about wouldn’t be considered a big deal if they appeared in a book or movie.”
Before starting the Velvet Underground with Welsh musician John Cale, Lou was working as an in-house songwriter for Pickwick Records. This was 1964 and he has moved to New York. A group was formed to perform "the Ostrich" the song he wrote as a parody of popular dance songs of the time and it was called The Primitives. This was also the time his strange guitar tuning known as ostrich guitar tuning where all strings of his guitar was tuned to the same note.
Cale and Reed lived together on New York's Lower East Side. After they jammed with Reed's acquaintances from college -- Sterling Morrison (a guitarist) and drummer Maureen Tucker, Velvet Underground was formed. Andy Warhol took noticed of the band and featured them in his multimedia event series called The Exploding Plastic Inevitable. The band shared the show with European singer and former model Nico, the screenings of Warhol's films, performances and dancing by Mary Woronov and Gerard Malanga.
Reed always paid homage to Andy Warhol and credited him as a mentor during almost all interviews. However, when Warhol proposed the band make room for a female singer, the band showed their displeasure and objection by baptizing their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. While the album explicitly announces that Nico is neither welcome nor a member, it peaked at one hundred seventy one on the Charts and is one of the most influential rock albums ever recorded (13th on the Rolling Stones' Most Influential Albums of all Time tally). However, Nico was later given songs to sing, written personally by Reed. She and Reed were brief lovers.
In 1967, when the band was aflurry with recording White Light/White Heat, their relationship with Andy Warhol went downhill and was eventually let go as band manager. Nico had also quit the band. The Cale-Reed partnership also broke apart later after Reed was persistently convinced by replacement manager Steve Sesnick to drive Cale from the Velvet underground.
If you ask individuals on what they think are the best music albums in history, you’ll be faced with different answers. If you ask them to list their top 10 choices, you’ll end up with a different list, even if there are a couple of names that you’ll see on these lists. Simply put, music is subjective due to every individual’s taste. A metal fan may like Metallica over Sepultura, while another metal fan may favour Iron Maiden over Metallica and Sepultura.
Rolling Stone is probably the most reliable, and if not most critical, group when it came to setting aside which albums are good and which ones are bad. Musicians also relied on how Rolling Stone viewed their album. To musicians, it was already a concrete achievement to hear good words about their album from Rolling Stone, and it was a bigger achievement to get featured on their magazine.
On our end, we’ve also compiled a list of albums that we think are the best and top music albums in history. Take note that some of them can also be found on Rolling Stone’s list as well. These are not arranged in any particular order. We asked our staff on the different albums that they like and we’ve compiled those that appeared on the lists more than once or twice.
1.) Here’s Little Richard (Specialty, 1957) – One of the oldest albums in our list, Little Richard is old school rock with his falsetto scream and boogie-woogie piano. This inevitably influenced other bands to go beyond the unlimited possibilities of rock and roll. His debut album was raucous at best and collected hits like “Rip it Up” and “Long Tall Sally”. When Rolling Stone asked Little Richard why he played the way he did, he simply stated "I came from a family where my people didn't like rhythm & blues. Bing Crosby, 'Pennies From Heaven,' Ella Fitzgerald was all I heard. And I knew there was something that could be louder than that, but didn't know where to find it. And I found it was me."
2.) Allman Brothers (Mercury, 1971) – Nothing ever came close to the greatest live double LP that was produced by the Allman Brothers. It was a testament to their improvisational skills and the way they jammed with the audience felt like everything was communal. The guitar team of Duane Allman and Dickey Betts was unbeatable and made it look easy to fuse blues and jazz, as evident in their songs like “Whipping Post” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”. Sadly, their successes were cut short 3 months later after Duane died in a motorcycle accident. In their LP, Gregg Allman, singer-organist of the Allman Brothers, said in the March 1971 shows documented here that "The audience would kind of play along with us. They were right on top of every single vibration coming from the stage."
3.) Public Enemy (Def Jam, 1988) – Some singers wouldn’t make it big on their first album, but they would come back with fists blazing on their second album. This was how Public Enemy did it. Def Jam, Public Enemy’s second album, was anything more than loud, funky, obnoxious, and political at best. You can throw in every adjective you know and it would still fit with how the 2nd album is. From Chuck D’s boom and intricate rhymes to Flavor Flav’s rap comic relief, Def Jam was instantly a huge hit. The 2nd album was produced by the Bomb Squad, which is why tracks like the “Bring the Noise” is built with multi-layered jams. When others complained about how noisy the second album was, Chuck D replied with "If they're callin' my music 'noise, if they're saying that I'm really getting out of character being a black person in America, then fine – I'm bringin' more noise."
4.) The Beatles (Parlophone, 1963) – Parlophone was The Beatles’ debut album and recorded 10 of their 14 songs at the EMI’s Abbey Road Studio in under 12 hours on February 11, 1963. Parlophone was considered as one of the greatest rock albums of all time. By then, The Beatles were already known for inventing a bracing new sound – an assault of thrumming energy and impeccable vocal harmony – which they nailed on their covers, originals, and live performances.
5.) Muddy Waters (Chess/MCA, 2001) – McKinley Morganfield, or better known as Muddy Waters, started out his music career by playing the acoustic Delta blues in Mississippi. When he moved to Chicago in 1943, he needed an electric guitar in order to go beyond the noise of the South Side clubs. The sound he created with the guitar became the foundation of the Chicago Blues and rock and roll. The thick tones of his slide work inspired rock-guitar distortion for nearly 2 decades. Jimi Hendrix adapted Water’s “Rollin’ Stone” for “Voodoo Chile” and Bob Dylan found inspiration in it for “Like a Rollin’ Stone” and Mick Jagger and Keith Richards named their band after it. If you really want to get down and dirty with nothing but pure unaltered guitar solos and rifts, Muddy Waters can kick your ears in the gonads and keep you asking for more.
6.) Michael Jackson (Epic, 1982) – Nothing more needs to be said about Michael Jackson. He was, and will always be, the King of Pop. Michael Jackson dominated the music industry in 1980s much like how Elvis did back in the ‘50s. Michael Jackson was everything – a singer and a dancer and a top-notch songwriter with the ability to cross over different genre. Along with Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson produced an all-around template for everyone with 1979’s Off the Wall, which was a combination of pop hooks and dance beats.
You can’t define music without including one of these albums as a good example of what it really is. The artists and albums have made it big all throughout the year and the musicians of today have this innate challenge to make history for themselves too, just like how these people did it back then.
Tell us. What do you think are the best albums in history?
A lot of people have this dream of being in a band. After all, being in one allows you to have bragging rights. Plus, you get to experience being popular all because you are part of a band and you are able to share your love for music through the songs that you play. Being in a band gives you a “rockstar” status. You take in the lights that come on stage during your gigs. You marvel in the applause of the audience. And you enjoy this great feeling that everybody knows you.
However, there are times when your band goes through some rough stuff and some people have to go away. With that, you will need to find some new members to complete your band. The process you have to go through in finding new band members can be quite tiring and it can be pretty difficult. Here are some tips that you can follow tocomplete your band, have it up and running, and ready to take on the stage again.
Looking for someone with or without experience?
You have to ask yourself and ask the members of your band on the decision of finding a replacement for those who left. Each member must be part of the decision if possible and everyone must have a unanimous decision or choice. You have to decide if you like to find someone who already has the experience playing in a band or if you prefer to go with someone who is familiar of your songs and know it by heart. What qualities do you want your new members to have? What level of skills you require from them to bring your band to the next level. You may want to also consider their experiences and what they can contribute to the table when it comes to the development of your band.
Choosing a person who does not have any experience with other bands can also be quite an advantage for you. If you start with someone who is inexperience, then you can teach and guide them to the path you have chosen for your band to take. There will be less drama or arguments for they will be like sponges that are open and willing to learn everything from experts like you. Plus new people to this industry are filled with real great ideas. They have not yet seen the real deal of being in the industry and so they have ideas that you may have lost once you have gotten way deep into the whole business. But the new people still have those ideas that you can actually use to make your band become even better.
Which genre are we looking at?
Another thing that you have to consider is the kind of genre of music that you guys play. If you are into rock, then you may want to make sure that the person you will be choosing to join you also has a good understanding of rock. It will be difficult to get someone who has no idea of what rock is in a rock band. If that is the case, then you will definitely have a hard time dealing with that person and dealing with all those intricacies that come with making music.
Finding someone who knows rock but has not yet played rock,is something that you may want to take into consideration because this person have the understanding of the genre - he just needs the time and the exposure to it.
You can find them online.
If your time is mostly spent online doing a lot of things for your band, then you can take some time to actually post an ad about this position that you want to be filled. For example, if you are looking for a bass guitarist, then you can post online about you looking for one. There are plenty of places online where you can advertise. A good example would be in music forums. If you are usually hanging out at these forums, go ahead and advertise that you are looking for a replacement for a specific position in your band. Put your email address so they can easily contact you if someone is interested.
If you also know of people who own websites or who have blogs, then you can also ask them for their help. Ask them if it would be alright if they took the time to write something about your band looking for a new member. That way, they can help spread the word and so you can find that missing member easily.
You need to have auditions. Audition is necessary for you to assess the skill of the people interested in joining your band; it allows you to see if they can really play or their style is something that you like or something that you can incorporate into your band.
Of course, it is also important to hold auditions even if there is just one person wanting to join your band. If that person really shows that he or she can play, you can have him or her play a song or two with you so you can know his skill level when it comes to making music, better yet, have him or her play one of your songs. Doing so will give you a better perspective of how the person fits in your band.
These are just a few of the things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to finding new members for your band. It is important for you to know that there will be an adjustment period between the new and the old members so it is important that you constantly meet and bond together to break whatever tension there is in the midst. It may be difficult in the beginning but once you spend more time together and get to know one another, the awkwardness will be eliminated. Just let your love of the music unite you together as one team and let the music flow.
Musicians need to have a space where they can rehearse for their gigs or performances. With that said, bands find music studios a good investment as it gives them a comfortable, well-equipped and soundproofed room where they can create, play, record and rehearse for their live performances. Being the artistic creatures that they are, they sure want to make their studio comfortable as it is pleasing to the eye. So if your band is stuck with the dull and small windows of your garage, or basement, think about doing something with the windows to make it look more appealing to work with.
Studio owners should keep the studio clean, not only to ensure the comfort of the people working in it, but also to preserve the quality of the musical instruments that it stores. It needs to be well-ventilated even with all the soundproofing installed in it. In addition, it should have the right kind of window treatment—one that provides enough shade against daylight and privacy during rehearsals. More importantly, it should that one that allows enough ventilation, allowing air to circulate inside the room whenever the airconditioning unit is off and the band is not working inside the studio.
If you are a novice music studio owner, finding the money to spend for the right window treatment may be a real challenge. The thing is, you can actually use the same window treatment that you use in your home into your music studio. The idea is to make your windows functional and pleasing enough to look at. Anything is better than leaving your windows bare. You may start decorating your windows with your old set of white fabric curtains. Or, you can dig deep into your storage to score some old venetian blinds, though investing on new and durable roller blinds is the more practical way to finish your window. That should give your studio the cozy shade and privacy that musicians often demand.
If you are meaning to do a total window makeover for your studio, try converting your old and dull windows into either bay windows or casement windows, which ideal for smaller spaces. Casement windows also have well-ventilation and this type of window also shuts all the way through, which is better for your studio because it has low air-leakage and good noise reduction.Getting your windows remodeled could be the more practical option as it helps improve the soundproofing as wellas the sound quality of the equipment inside the studio. Sometimes, all it takes is a correct window design and treatment to turn what used to be a bare space into a musical haven.
When Devon-born blues-folk singer songwriter Josh Bray released his album Whiskey and Wool, almost everyone thought it had quite a resemblance to Ray Lamontagne. It was his strummed acoustic guitar and smooth, calming vocals that led people to think so. But even before we jump to Bray’s music inside his Whiskey and Wool album, why do you think he name it such? Do the items whiskey and wool have any significance to his life?
Well, we haven’t quite got the exact answer yet but we have some few hunches on the reason why. To begin with, Josh Bray spent most of his early years on rented farms. We’re guessing his mother handed him a nice wool fabricin the form of a bonnet, sweater or blanket when he was young that he eventually became highly fond of because of its fleecy and comfortable feel.
While we claim no truth to that, we think wool signifies Bray’s comfort to music and life because as we all know, the wool fabric is an excellent insulator that keeps heat close to the body by trapping still or dead air within fibers. It gives off great comfort in extreme wet and cold conditions making the fabric a very lovable one. With regards to the whiskey, we’re presuming Bray simply just have great keenness to the alcoholic beverage. Bray did graduate law school and we’re only imagining the pressure he has been through. A glass of whiskey every now and then with his friends was probably the best way to unwind and have a good time.
Now that we’ve got the title covered, let’s take a good look at his album holistically. We know that Bray didn’t take a job in a law firm because his friend convinced him that his music talent is far more worth pursuing. Whisky and Wool is the result. Bray's presentation is just one of the displays of folk and country records that have emerged over the past six months. Taking into account the existing state of the music scene, the renaissance of folk music is barely astonishing. At that time, Brit Awards was mainly ruled by either R&B or famous folk-genre people singing songs about the 18th century. With the esteem of acts such as Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons, it's much simpler for people like Josh Bray to gain some large audience. Because Bray’s musical style owes a lot to Nick Drake, a tremendously talented British artist of the 1970s, he may find it complicated to claim an identity outside that of a generic source of imitative folk music.
If you try to listen to the first half of Bray's album, you will notice how it has the similar restrained production that characterized Drake's output. You can discern there is sophisticated acoustic guitar work, pensive vocals, tranquil drumming and accompaniment from cello and strings. The first song you’ll even hear from the album Whisky and Wool and is the song titled ‘The River Song’. Many believe that it’s homage to Drake’s lingering classic song called ‘River Man’. We can’t deny that Bray’s songs are quite good. In fact the songs ‘Rise’ and ‘This is Life’ mostly received comments that are positive. They’re nice, impressive compositions but the setback early in the album is that it’s limited by the shortage of originality of the final product. Bray upholds his niche in a musical tradition but eclipses his own work.
But other than that, Bray’s talent and ear for a great song has made him an album filled with timeless classics. Bray has handled to produce a folk album that is amusing in its wooly familiarity, and is reminiscent of its boozy sentimentality.