2014-05-31T17:43:57Z(image) It's that time of year again, finally! Are you ready for the summer? Here's ten compilations that'll slake your thirst for surf, drag, shag, soul, pop, and almost any other summer smashes you might crave... compare prices, read the tracklistings, hear samples, and if you like, buy them for the lowest possible price. Start assembling your summer playlist right here!
(image) They were bubblegum ex-mods who seemed destined for pop stardom, but the Sweet had more on their mind, fighting the good fight to rock out properly on tracks like "Ballroom Blitz" and "Fox on the Run," in the process helping to invent glam rock (and, later, becoming a huge influence on "hair metal"). But this UK quartet also had some prog-rock tendencies, and they had to fight to explore those too. Read all about the music and career of The Sweet in my latest profile.
(image) Even though it didn't have a name yet, soul was absolutely a thing by the turn of rock and roll's first decade, a natural response to the taming of postwar rhythm and blues and the general silliness of pop radio. And in 1960 it was, unsurprisingly, coming from the "blackest" areas of the American urban landscape -- New Orleans, Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Detroit. Little did the first generation of rock and rollers realize that yet another wave of raw R&B was coming... and this one was so real it was nearly impossible to water down. Here are the best of 1960's R&B classics.
2014-05-24T15:46:11Z(image) A Memorial Day special: songs about and for the troops. Wherever you come down on America's wars - or war in general - everyone recognizes rock and roll's occasional tributes to the men (and now women) in uniform. This Top Ten picks the Top 40 hits of the Sixties and Seventies that look at life from a soldier's point of view. Here's my list of songs for, about, and even by, those who serve.
(image) Summer's almost here, and the time is almost right for... well, whatever you like, you can find it on this summer music playlist. Songs about sunny days, beach culture, school vacation, picnics, girls, and just about anything else you can think of regarding the warm months. Download the songs right from here and assemble an ultimate summer playlist as background for whatever you've got planned!
(image) A special series to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of US Beatlemania: the history of the Beatles in timeline form, showing how the most famous band of all time got their fame and then grew beyond it.
1965 was a victory lap for the Fab Four, the year when they consolidated their strengths and made rock respectable to (and profitable for) the whole world. But it was also the year they repeated themselves for the first time... and an ominous wind was starting to blow through their kingdom. Learn all about the Beatles' transitional year of 1965 right here.
(image) She was born into pure pop royalty, but Nancy Sinatra nonetheless crafted her own unique persona -- campy but tough, sexy but fun, quietly subversive -- in music, TV, and film, eventually inspiring a generation of female pop stars who wanted to take control of their own images. Read all about the life, music, and career of Nancy Sinatra right here in my latest profile.
2014-05-13T18:40:42Z(image) The story goes that rock and roll was dead by 1959, what with many of its pioneers already in jail, in the service, back in the church, or suddenly off this plane of existence entirely. Yet it was rhythm and blues, largely responsible for the cultural explosion in the first place, which found itself suffering most as the lines between roots music and pop began to blur and then to disappear entirely. 1959 nevertheless had its share of raw and authentically "black" music, but it was largely subsumed by the poppier stuff -- when it made it to national radio at all. Here are the best of 1959's R&B classics.
(image) The "Jazz Fest" -- as the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is known to participants -- does indeed celebrate the music the Crescent City birthed. However, it also provides plenty of evidence for its contributions to rock and roll, R&B, blues, funk, swamp pop, hip-hop, and more, and there are always lots of non-jazz headliners. Want to see the fest from an oldies fan's point of view, arranged so that you don't miss a note? Check out this handy day-by-day, minute-by-minute guide to the second week of the 2014 Jazz Fest, designed to give you the best possible oldies experience.
(image) She deserves some special music on her special day, so open up this playlist of classic songs about mothers, motherly advice, and motherly love... an original playlist of songs for Mother's Day or any time you'd like to show Mom what she means to you. The mp3s on this Mother's Day playlist are available right here!