In recent years, music documentaries have been covering the unsung heroes of music, from the mysterious artists (Rodriguez in Searching for Sugar Man and Fantastic Man about Nigeria’s William Onyeabor), to the spaces and behind-the-scenes people that create classic sounds. There’s been a recent string of music studio documentaries about the magic of some famous studios, from Dave Grohl’s Sound City to the southern mysticism of Muscle Shoals. A couple years ago, 20 Feet from Stardomeven won a “Best Documentary” Oscar for its tremendous history and day in the life of some of the greatest backup singers. The Wrecking Crew! Looks at the biggest hitmakers of all time, L.A.’s recording band The Wrecking Crew. On a larger scale, the documentary looks at the lost art of the session band: musicians that could by hired and relied on in an instant to play anything you dreamed up. Continue reading “The Wrecking Crew Review”
Editor’s Note: This list originally published in 2012. With another summer of non-stop superhero movies (including Friday’s reboot of Fantastic Four) and the release of the first Suicide Squad trailer, this seemed like a great time to revisit our favorite music supervillains.
Last week, we gave you the Best Musical Superheroes. This week, we go to the Jokers, Magnetos, and Lex Luthers of music: the best music supervillains. While music no doubt has its fair share of noble heroes, rock ‘n’ roll has a long tradition of propagating evil personas to shock and scare our culture. So in honor of our summer filled with superheroes, here are the villains in music most capable of conquering the world. Continue reading “The 10 Best Musical Supervillains”
Documentary filmmakers love to tell the story of the unsung hero, and there is no bigger unsung hero in the history of rock ‘n’ roll than the backup singer. 20 Feet from Stardom, the now 2nd consecutive music documentary to win an Academy Award following last year’s Searching for Sugar Manwin, is a triumphant film documenting the history of backup singing (specifically gospel-rooted backup singing that has been prominent in rock music since its inception) and the triumphs and heartbreaks of some of the most prominent backup singers in rock history. Continue reading “20 Feet from Stardom Review”
There is no question that a lot of evil is involved in the music industry. And I am not talking about the bands that mothers don’t want their kids to listen too. I am talking about the money grubbing whores of the industry. The ones that head-up labels and produce shitty music while forcing talented artists to take a back seat for a dollar. Or the ones that trick young talent into signing horrendous contracts that leave them broke when their 15-minutes of fame are up. Then there are even more villainous types that, you know, kill people. This is where Phil Spector comes in. Ranked #1 on our “Villains of Music” list, this man perhaps looks the part of evil just about as well as he plays it. Nonetheless, the man knew what he was doing when it came to producing a song. HBO debuts their new movie about the trials and tribulations of the man’s last free days this weekend, which stars the stunningly similar looking Al Pacino. In honor of this sure-fire cinematictreat, we bring you this list of what we consider to be Phil Spector’s finest musical accomplishments. And as an added bonus, I decided to also flood this post with pictures of Spector to show off how terrifying this man is. If you make it through, enjoy the nightmares: Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: The Ten Best Songs Produced by Phil Spector”
Last week, we gave you the Best Musical Superheroes. This week, we go to the Jokers, Magnetos, and Lex Luthers of music: the best music supervillains. While music no doubt has its fair share of noble heroes, rock ‘n’ roll has a long tradition of propagating evil personas to shock and scare our culture. So in honor of our summer filled with superheroes, here are the villains in music most capable of conquering the world. Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Villainy”
It has been known as “The Holy Grail of Rock ‘n’ Roll” or the “Most famous album never released”. In 1966 and 1967, at the same time as The Beatles were concocting their career staple Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beach Boys were constructing their own magnum opus known as SMiLE, meant as an ambitious follow up to their first masterpiece, Pet Sounds. But the project was rumored to be scrapped near the final stages due to dissension among the band about the project as well as Beach Boys front man and producer Brian Wilson dissolving due to heavy drug use and mental disorders. Many tracks meant for SMiLE including staple Beach Boys songs “Good Vibrations”, “Heroes and Villains”, and “Surf’s Up” ended up landing on subsequent albums, but the album was never released as intended. Also, several of the missing tracks on SMiLE got released in the 1993 Good Vibrations box set but not released in album format or in complete.