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15 Great Artists You Should Hear, Part 2 (Artists 9-5)

This is the second article in a three-part series “15 Great Artists You Should Hear”. You can read Part 1 here.

Here is the second part to a list of great artist you need to hear! We all know how vast the musical spectrum can be; there is a lot of good, a lot of bad, but definitely a lot you should hear.

gainsbourg 15 Great Artists You Should Hear, Part 2 (Artists 9 5)9. Serge Gainsbourg: France’s version of Sinatra is the iconic emblem of European cool. Serge was like Bob Dylan, Sid Vicious, Neil Diamond, and of course Sinatra, all rolled into one. Starting his career in the 60’s, Serge did everything, folk, pop, ballad, rock and roll, phsycadelic. His albums have been sampled time and time again. The best album to pick up is the revered “Melody Nelson” – this crowning achievement has been marked as essential by such current artists as Beck. page go 15 Great Artists You Should Hear, Part 2 (Artists 9 5) Continue reading 15 Great Artists You Should Hear, Part 2 (Artists 9-5) »

100 greatest guitarists of all time Carlos Santana

When we think of all the great guitarists throughout time, many names come to mind – Carlos Santana is one of them. In August 2003, Santana was named fifteenth on Rolling Stone magazine’s “List of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. And rightly so. This Mexican-born American guitarist has toured and recorded successfully since the late ’60s. In the 90s he was rediscovered by a new generation with his album Supernatural, which involved well-known artists such as Rob Thomas and Eric Clapton.

Carlos Santana got his roots in Mexico, where he grew up. He spent a great amount of time around music as his father was a mariachi violinist. Santa took up the violin at five, but at eight switched to the guitar. Later when the family moved to Tijuana, he began playing in clubs and bars. By the early ’60s, the family moved to San Francisco and Santana followed. In 1966 Santana created the Santana Blues Band. Despite the name, the group was at first a collective; it was required to name a nominal leader due to a provision of the musicians union. The name was eventually shortened to Santana and the band debuted at the Fillmore West Theater in San Francisco on June 16, 1968. Soon after, Santana recorded the album Super Session that had featured himself with Mike Bloomfield and Steve Stills. The result was The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, which marked Santana’s recording debut.



Santana’s career only evolved from here. He toured the U.S. prior to the release of the album, including a notable appearance at the celebrated Woodstock festival in August 1969 that was filmed and recorded. Santana was released the same month, and it became a massive hit, as did its follow-ups Abraxas (1970) and Santana III (1971). After completing recording and touring activities in connection with Santana III, the original Santana band broke up.


Carlos retained rights to the group’s name Santana that consisted of himself and a constantly changing collection of hired musicians. His first recording after the breakup of the original group was a live show performed in Hawaii with singer and drummer Buddy Miles. The album reached the Top Ten and eventually went platinum. Following the release of the Santana band album Caravanserai (1972), Carlos formed a duo with John McLaughlin, guitarist for the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The two shared a spiritual leader in guru Sri Chinmoy, who bestowed upon Carlos the name Devadip, meaning “the eye, the lamp, and the light of God.” Devadip Carlos Santana and Mahavishnu John McLaughlin’s duo album Love Devotion Surrender was released in June 1973. It reached the Top 20 and eventually went gold. After releasing another Santana band project, Welcome, Carlos next teamed up with another religious disciple, Turiya Alice Coltrane, widow of John Coltrane, for a third duo album. Their collaboration, Illuminations, was released in September 1974; it spent two months in the charts, peaking in the bottom quarter of the Top 100.



During the 1970s, Carlos Santana released a series of gold or platinum albums: Borboletta (1974), Amigos (1975), Festival (1976), Moonflower (1977), and Inner Secrets (1978). In February 1979, he finally released his first real solo album, the half-live, half-studio Oneness/Silver Dreams — Golden Reality, actually credited to Devadip.

During the 80s, songs that got more radio time began making their appearances included “Winning” in 1981 and “Hold On” (a remake of Canadian artist Ian Thomas’ song) in 1982 both reached the top twenty. Santana again paid tribute to his early rock roots by doing the film score to La Bamba, which was based on the tragically short life of rock and roll legend Ritchie Valens and starred Lou Diamond Philips.


Carlos spent almost five years away from recording, not returning until June 1999 when he issued Supernatural on Arista Records. The Santana band album featured many tracks co-written by guest stars such as Rob Thomas of matchbox 20, Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, and others. Paced by the number one singles “Smooth” and “Maria Maria,” the album became the biggest hit of Santana’s career, selling upwards of ten million copies. It also won Santana eight Grammy Awards.

In 2002, Santana released Shaman, revisiting the Supernatural format of guest artists including P.O.D. and Seal. Although the album was not the runaway success its predecessor had been, it produced two radio-friendly hits. “The Game of Love” featuring Michelle Branch, rose to number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent many weeks at the top of the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

Other albums followed including Possibilities and All That I Am. In 2008, Santana started working with his long-time friend, Marcelo Vieira, on his solo album Marcelo Vieira’s Acoustic Sounds, which is due to be released at the end of the year. It features tracks such as “For Flavia” and “Across the Grave”, the later featuring heavy melodic riffs by Santana.

In addition to his music notoriety, Santana also oversees several business ventures including the Milagro Foundation, which has donated nearly $3 million to help disadvantaged youth; his women’s shoe line, Carlos by Carlos Santana, which has racked up $100 million in sales; his signature brand of sparkling white wine; his partnership in Maria Maria, a chain of high-end Mexican cantinas; and his upcoming documentary called Architects of a New Dawn, which advocates global change through the power of positive thinking.

What will this 100 greatest guitarists do next? One can only imagine.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

The Talent of Leonard Cohen

Anybody who has been listening to music for the last four decades has most likely heard a Leonard Cohen song as Cohen has been one of the most influential songwriters of his time. Taking on subjects such as sex, spirituality, religion, and power to just examining life issues has earned him the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Songs Cohen is most memorable for in his early years include “Suzanne,” “Sisters of Mercy,” “So Long, Marianne” and “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” all of which were in his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967). However, the two albums that followed, Songs From a Room (1969), which includes his classic song, “Bird on the Wire,” and Songs of Love and Hate (1971), continued to demonstrate and exemplify his talent. Some say his background in literature, including published works of poetry, added to his success. Published collections of poetry include Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956) and Flowers for Hitler (1964). If that isn’t enough, he also published novels that include The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966). His dual careers in music and literature fed each other over the decades, giving his songs a rare literary quality that made his works so popular around the world.

With the onset of the early 70s, Cohen developed a desire to move beyond a more folky sound to what he called European Blues. Cohen’s 1974 album, New Skin for the Old Ceremony, found him making bolder use of the orchestration, a contrast to the more stripped-down sound he had earlier preferred. This was followed by Death of a Ladies’ Man, his 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector, and constitutes his most extreme experiment. 

In the 80s, Leonard Cohen began to rise in popularity once again. Those that had grown up with him had reached an age oof which they wanted to re-examine the music of their past, along with a new generation of artists and fansm discovered him. They were attracted by the dignity, ambition and sheer quality of his songs. During this time, Cohen released two consecutive albums, I’m Your Man (1988) and The Future (1992). Exploring issues such as AIDS with songs like “Ain’t No Cure for Love,” “I’m Your Man” and, most explicitly, “Everybody Knows” (“Everybody knows that the Plague is coming/Everybody knows that it’s moving fast/Everybody knows that the naked man and woman – just a shining artifact of the past”) allowed Cohen to boldly talk about contemporary problems with a new perspective and insight.

Since that time, Cohen has released the albums Ten New Songs (2001) which includes the songs “Boogie Nights” and “In My Secret Life”, and Dear Heather (2004), as well as Blue Alert (2006), a collaboration on which Cohen produced and co-wrote songs with his former background singer Anjani Thomas, who provides the vocals. All three albums solidified his place in the pantheon of contemporary songwriters. 

Collectively, Cohen has published 12 books the most recent 2006′s Book of Longing, a collection of poetry, prose and drawings.  Book of Longing reached #1 on the Top 10 Hardcover Fiction Books in Canada, as compiled by Maclean’s Magazine, being the first book of poetry ever to reach the top of the bestsellers’ lists in Canada. If that isn’t enough, in 2008, “Hallelujah” became a record-setting UK chart phenomenon when a version performed by Alexandra Burke, winner of the massively popular television talent competition “X Factor,” rocketed to the #1 slot on the UK singles chart, becoming the fastest-selling single by a female artist in UK chart history.  So much interest in the song was generated that Jeff Buckley’s rendition bulleted to #2 while Cohen’s original version entered the singles chart at #34, bringing the artist his first-ever British Top 40 single.  With versions of the song holding down three Top 40 UK Singles Chart positions simultaneously, “Hallelujah” became the fastest-selling digital single in European history.  RIAA, CRIA, ARIA and IFPI statistics alone show that, prior to late 2008, more than five million copies of “Hallelujah” sold in CD format.

What’s next for Leonard Cohen? Who knows, but those who have followed him for the last four decades are surely anxious to find out.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

 
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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

    For more information please visit 977music.com.
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