Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pink Floyd, The Wall Part 1

By Steve Coyne

Pink Floyd's The Wall is one of the great musical accomplishments of our time. The Wall is like a psychological snap shot of Roger Water's entire life, complete with Roger's friends, family and school teachers. Roger claims that the album was inspired by an incident during which Roger became angry with the drugged out and masochistic audience in front of him and went so far as to spit at one audience member in particular. The true inspiration for The Wall runs much deeper. In order to reach an understanding of The Wall, one must consider it from several different angles.

The character, Pink is attached to objects that remind him of his father, and increasingly throughout the movie he becomes more and more dependent on objects rather than the people with whom he cannot nurture positive relationships. In order to deal with such an excess of negative stimuli, he constructs a "wall" which protects him from suffering further emotional harm. He only obsessively relates to his T.V. set and other objects and possessions.

In The Flesh?

The first song on the album. It starts innocently playing the song Outside the Wall, with a very scratchy record in the background. The words "we came in" can be heard just as the first song begins. This may seem odd at first listen, but if we go to the very end of the work, we can hear the words "isn't this where"? completing the circle and giving some insight in to the album.

The silence is interrupted by the first power chord and answer on the organ. The first minor 3rd motif can be heard over a military style drum. Fans are shown stampeding the stadium while cuts are made to soldiers in battle, part of Pinks obsession with his father as a soldier.

Roger is drawing a parallel between a fanatical rock audience obeying their idols and soldiers who blindly follow the orders of their military commanders. Police are shown brutalizing and harassing the audience which is drawn from an incident at a Pink Floyd concert. This shows Roger's true feelings that Rock audiences are sadistic and masochistic. The musical /lyrical irony are evident in Pink's sarcastic tone throughout the first verse of "In the Flesh?"

The contrasting happy music only adds to the sick tone of the lyrics with a 50's style doo wop backdrop reminiscent of Sha na na. Images like, "behind these cold eyes" and claw your way through this disguise challenge us sarcastically to try to get through to him, through the Wall.

So ya
Thought ya
Might like to go to the show
To feel the warm thrill of confusion
That Space Cadet Glow
Tell me is something eluding you sunshine
Is this not what you expected to see
If wanna find out what's behind these cold eyes
You'll just have to claw your way through this disguise

Steve Coyne is a Rock/Jazz/Fusion guitarist living in the New Haven, CT area. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music and a Master of Science degree from Western Connecticut State University. Currently, Steve is gigging regularly in cover bands throughout the Fairfield/ Westchester area. Steve is also writing and recording music with his original band FREERIDER. FREERIDER will be one of the first bands featured in their own video game on Rock Band 2/ Rock Band Network.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Liverpool's Beatles History

By Roo Sadegi

Liverpool and London serve as geographical bookends to the story of the Beatles; a story that encompasses rock n' roll's most important years and still enthralls fans the world over. Any visit to Liverpool would be incomplete without a visit to at least a few of the haunts that shaped the most popular rock band of all time.

The Cavern Club

This legendary club where manager Brian Epstein discovered the Beatles no longer exists, having been demolished to make way for the Merseyrail underground in 1973, but the new club was built with the original bricks. It sits firmly in the Beatles' shadow and is a must-see for any true fan. Take in some great live music, look over the Wall of Fame, and touch a piece of music history. The neighborhood surrounding the club is also a thriving shopping district where Beatle-themed merchandise and entertainment abound.

Magical Mystery Tour

Liverpool is full of sites that shaped and inspired the early lives of the "fab four." See the actual locations that inspired song titles and lyrics. See the places where life events inspired the music that's captured the world's imagination.

One of the best ways to go about this is to schedule a guided bus tour. Magical Mystery Tour is one such tour and takes visitors to sites like Strawberry Field, Penny Lane, and St. Peter's Church in Woolton where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met. This particular tour tells the Beatles story in a vivid and entertaining way with plenty of music sprinkled in along the way. The tour originates in close proximity to several good Hotels in Liverpool and is a good way to prevent the frustration that can come with running all over town with a map.

Some fans, however, may choose to take the sights in at their own pace, and this can be a great way for the truly devoted to take their time and get a good feel for these places and neighborhoods.

Of particular interest is John Lennon's childhood home on Menlove Avenue. Lennon's widow Yoko Ono recently purchased and renovated the house, restoring it to it's 1950s styling. Ono donated it to the National Trust and it's now open to the public.

Liverpool hotels and the hospitality in Liverpool generally is particularly accommodating to Beatles fans. Visitors will find that they're both encouraged and welcomed in this rock music Mecca.

Roo Sadegi is a travel writer based in London's East End, although he spends much of his time travelling around Europe's travel hotspots.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Holdsworth, Pasqua, Haslip, Wackerman - Blues For Tony

By E. F Nesta

Blues for Tony, a 2 disc live performance tribute to the legendary 70's fusion sound created by Tony Williams and the New Tony Williams Lifetime band, include original members Allan Holdsworth and Alan Pasqua with guest musicians Jimmy Haslip and Chad Wackerman weaving their way through blues, jazz, rock, funk and more during an electric evening of music.

Blues for Tony: Disc 1: Blues for Tony; The Fifth; It Must Be Jazz; Fred; Guitar Intro; Pud Wud; Disc 2: Looking Glass; To Jaki, George and Thad; San Michele; Protocosmos; Red Alert

Personnel: Jimmy Haslip: Bass Guitar; Allan Holdsworth: Guitar, Vocals; Alan Pasqua: Keyboards; Chad Wackerman: Drums

Holdsworth, Pasqua, Haslip, Wackerman - Blues for Tony was edited by Jimmy Haslip, produced by Allan Holdsworth, Alan Pasqua, Jimmy Haslip, and Chad Wackerman, and released on the Moon June Records label. This extraordinary live double release pays tribute to the 70's fusion band, New Tony Williams Lifetime, with original members Allan Holdsworth and Alan Pasqua along with Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets) and Chad Wackerman. Each member contributes to this rousing release adding their own unique flavor to the mix to create a tight, improvisational sound for which Tony Williams would have been proud.

The 2 disc release is chockful of interplay on each track creating extended play songs allowing for an irreplaceable sound that can only be generated during a live concert.

Disc 1 opens with the title track Blues for Tony (11:12), co-written by the 4 members that crosses the lines of genres mixing funk, blues, jazz, and rock which would have been a fitting mix for the New Tony Williams Lifetime band. The track is carried by the magical keyboard work of Alan Pasqua and the driving guitar of Allan Holdsworth. The length of the track provides more than ample space for solos and improvisation duets to take hold. The track The Fifth (8:58) was contributed by drummer Chad Wackerman and adds some jazz and swing to the set showing that the only bounds for fusion is creativity, and the track takes the tempo down providing more emotion and depth to the sound.

Other tracks on disc 1 include It Must Be Jazz (8:38), another joint band collaboration with a sound that patterns itself to the 70's, but with a drive that spikes randomly throughout the song and keeps you on your toes waiting for that next tight turn. Allan Holdsworth adds his classics Fred (9:56), from the New Lifetime's 1975 release Believe It, and his classic from his solo days Pud Wud (9:59), along with the short but intense track Guitar Intro (3:35) that features an entrancing guitar solo.

Disc 2 leads off with the Alan Holdsworth track Looking Glass (10:07) from his 1985 release Atavachron, which is an example of creating an arrangement that revolves around the exceptional musicianship of its' members and though in the hands of different members from its 1985 debut it has never sounded better. Disc 2 also provides a canvas for Alan Pasqua as he contributes 3 tracks, To Jaki, George and Thad (4:51), San Michele (11:31), in addition to his classic Protocosmos (5:46). Each of his tracks showcases Alan's phenomenal keyboard work that adds another dimension to this stunning release. The release closes with the track Red Alert (5:50) written by New Lifetime bassist Tony Newman for the 1975 release Believe It.

Websites where you can procureHoldsworth, Pasqua, Haslip, Wackerman - Blues for Tonyare Amazon, RecordStore, HMV, Play, Moon June Records, and CD Universe.

E.F Nesta is the owner, contributing writer, and Publisher of Luxury Experience ( Luxury Experience is a monthly on-line publication, which is read in over 80 countries with a reach of over 100,000. Luxury Experience features experiential articles on luxury products and services; we do not book reservations or sell products on-line. Luxury Experience's mission is to provide experiential editorial exposure on luxury products and services, and introduce brands and products to an audience across 80+ countries. Luxury Experience is a team of high-energy professionals who bring a broad and extensive international background to their writing.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Between a Rock and the Blues by Joe Louis Walker

By E. F Nesta

Joe Louis Walker, the tireless performer, lets loose with his guitar and vocals using a mix of blues, rock and roll, funk, R&B, and soul on his release Between a Rock and The Blues.

Between a Rock and The Blues: I'm Tide; Eyes Like a Cat; Black Widow Spider; If There's A heaven; Way Too Expensive; I've Been Down; Prisoner of Misery; Hallways; Tell Me Why; Blackjack; Big Fine Woman; Send You Back

Personnel: Joe Louis Walker: Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Vocals; Bruce Katz: Piano, Organ; Jesse Williams: Electric and Acoustic Guitar; Mark Teixeira: Drums, Percussion; Duke Robillard: Electric Guitar (Track 9); Doug James: Saxophone; Carl Queforth: Trombone; Sugar Ray Norcia: Harp; Kevin Eubanks: Electric Guitar (Tracks 4, 6); Henry Oden: Electric Bass (Tracks 4, 6); Ellis Eugene Blacknell, Jr.: Piano, Organ (Tracks 4, 6); Jeff Minnieweather: Drums (Tracks 4, 6)

Joe Louis Walker - Between a Rock and The Blues is the 20th release for this tireless musician whose motto is "Play everywhere, all the time, as often as I possibly can." Between a Rock and The Blues was produced by Duke Robillard and released on the Stony Plain Records label. A blend of blues, rock and roll, Rhythm and Blues, funk, and soul, Joe Louis Walker has not slowed down and has no intention to do so; his energy makes his driving sound distinct, and it creates a mix of exhilaration and satisfaction.

Not wasting any time, he opens with a blistering pace on I'm Tide letting everyone know that he is still around and ready to attack his guitar. The lyrics reflect the pace he has set for himself as he works to get his music to the masses, "I'm tide of paying taxes, I'm tide of paying dues, I'm getting sick and tide, sick and tide of you..." The track Eyes Like a Cat features a traditional blues tempo emphasized by Joe's torrid guitar work and the horn section ringing in to accent his vocals.

Black Widow Spider, like many of his songs, was influenced from personal relationships. He holds nothing back in his lyrics, though he seamlessly adds a nice dose of levity, while his guitar work speaks for itself. The track If There's a Heaven is down and dirty and Joe's guitar work is raw and emotional that complements his lyrics "If There's a Heaven, I won't have to go to hell, cause I did some crimes, and I did some time in the county jail..."

The track Way Too Expensive has a sassy overtone as he sings about filling his gas tank and " is way too expensive for me." His arrangement uses the horn section to punctuate his point of things being "Way Too Expensive." I've Been Down is a deep blues sound that Joe matches flawlessly with emotional vocals "I've Been Down so long, getting up never crossed my mind... I've got the blues all the time." Prisoner of Misery is another blues track that draws its inference from his personal life and you can feel his misery and torture ooze from his guitar work and his moving vocals.

The release also includes the tracks Hallways a slow R&B song that shows the depth of Joe's vocal prowess as he serves up lyrics that are emotional and heartrending, Tell Me Why is a frolicking blues and rock and roll track with a catchy melody and lyrics, Blackjack another deep blues track that sums up the life of a gambler "I cannot even borrow a nickel, I have almost lost my mind. Because every dollar that I get, Blackjack takes away from me," Big Fine Women a saucy rock and roll with a dash of funk track, and closes with Send You Back featuring Sugar Ray Norcia playing a haunting harp.

Websites where you can procure Joe Louis Walker - Between a Rock and The Blues are Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Stony Plain Records, iTunes, and Discovery Records.

E.F Nesta is the owner, contributing writer, and Publisher of Luxury Experience ( Luxury Experience is a monthly on-line publication, which is read in over 80 countries with a reach of over 100,000. Luxury Experience features experiential articles on luxury products and services; we do not book reservations or sell products on-line. Luxury Experience's mission is to provide experiential editorial exposure on luxury products and services, and introduce brands and products to an audience across 80+ countries. Luxury Experience is a team of high-energy professionals who bring a broad and extensive international background to their writing.

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OPINION: The Beatles Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the Most Overrated Album of All Time

By James Magary

The Beatles Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album has been universally acclaimed by critics and fans alike as one of the best albums ever made, if not THE best album ever made. Rolling Stone magazine gave the record top honors on their list of best albums of all time. Clearly the album was a breakthrough at the time it was released, due to the Beatles' use of major advancements in recording technology. But was it really the best album of all time?

The main knock on Sgt Pepper is that it is overproduced and underwritten, and contains several other flaws that do not exist on other Beatles records. Yes, I said it. There is something wrong with Sgt Pepper, and it is by far the most overrated album in the Beatles catalog, and possibly the most overrated album of all time. Here are the arguments:

1) Overproduced: The stereo effects are way too exaggerated, with vocals or other sounds panned all the way to the left or right, indicating a wild overuse of the Beatles newfound opportunity to mix a record in multitrack stereo. Albums since then, even Beatles albums subsequently produced, do not make use of such gimmicky stereo panning unless the effect is designed to be extreme. In the case of some of the tunes on Sgt Pepper, the extreme panning serves as a distraction instead of an enhancement.

2) Underwritten: Since Sgt Pepper has some of the Beatles best work, in the form of "With a Little Help From My Friends", "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds", and the magical wonder of "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite", it is often overlooked that these remarkable tunes sit right next to some of the Beatles' most mediocre songwriting. Compare the songs on Sgt Pepper to other Beatles records that came before (Revolver, Rubber Soul) or after (the White Album, Abbey Road), and you'll notice that there are several tracks that don't appear as polished as the Beatles' best work.

Take "She's Leaving Home", for example, which paints a melancholy portrait of a girl's troubled life, using a string section in the background to emphasize the drama. It is reasonably effective, but compare it to "Eleanor Rigby", the standout track from Revolver, which accomplished a very similar theme with far superior results, both melodically and lyrically, and in the memorable quality of the string arrangements. If a recording of that caliber had been on Sgt Pepper in place of "She's Leaving Home", it would have improved the album immeasurably.

Next, take a look at "Lovely Rita", "Getting Better", and "Good Morning, Good Morning", the last of which John Lennon himself even dismissed as forgettable filler years later when distancing himself from the idea that Sgt Pepper was a "concept album". These tunes are rarely cited by fans as favorites, are not considered hits or classic Beatles songs, and frankly are a bit silly and lacking in prestige compared to the Beatles best work. There is nothing wrong with having them on a Beatles album, but their presence detracts from the idea that Sgt Pepper is a musical masterpiece.

3) Paul ruined "A Day in the Life": This dreamy album finale, whose primary structure was composed by John Lennon, has an unfortunate middle section written apparently too quickly by Paul McCartney. An honest listener will cringe just slightly when Paul stumbles through the awkward phrasing of the line "went upstairs and had a smoke, then somebody spoke and I went into a dream", which has too many syllables for the melody and lacks the usual careful semantics of Paul's typical songwriting. It's clear that the idea was to present a contrasting "day in the life" to the hazy meanderings of John's verses, but it just doesn't hold up, and sits as a wart on the record - a decent idea poorly executed.

4) They left out the two best songs: As many fans know, the recording sessions that spawned Sgt Pepper were actually started with the recording of two of the Beatles' undeniably finest tracks, "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever", which were released months before Sgt Pepper as a double A-sided single. Sir George Martin has said since that one of his biggest regrets was not holding onto those songs to include them on Sgt Pepper, where they almost certainly would have displaced weaker material like "Lovely Rita" or "She's Leaving Home".

If they had been included, both tunes would have also bolstered the "concept" album theme, which is supposed to include childhood memories, explored within a circus atmosphere, as performed by a fictitious band. As it stands, this theme is not served at all by the weaker tunes, and the album does not hold up in hindsight as any kind of a concept album, especially when compared to later rock masterpieces like The Who's Tommy, which maintains, expands, and nurtures its theme all the way through.

As a hardcore Beatles fanatic, I love Sgt Pepper, as I love every Beatles album, but I think it is an accurate statement to say that the album is overrated when it is hailed as the Beatles finest work. Another record like Revolver, Abbey Road, or even Rubber Soul holds up much better on a song-by-song basis, and deserves that honor.

The new remastered albums came out this year, and have received rave reviews, so Beatles fans can now appreciate the music in an improved format vs anything that has been previously released. In fact, the Beatles recently released the stereo box set in the form of a Beatles USB apple, and the reviews of that product include the fact that it has an audio format called 24-bit FLAC which is superior to CDs, so fans and real audiophiles can revisit all the albums in a higher quality audio format, and have the whole Beatles collection on one USB drive.

To see a lengthy Beatles USB Apple review, click here: Beatles USB Review or visit this site:

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OPINION: Best Guitar Solo of All Time

By David J P Smith

The quest for the 'perfect guitar solo' or the 'ultimate guitar solo' seems to be one that nearly everyone that picks up the famous instrument seems to take on. However, in many of the 'greatest guitar solo ever' polls that have been done throughout the years, you'll find that it's always a select few (barring a few exceptions) that predominantly make up the list.

It's mainly David Gilmour, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Slash, Jimi Hendrix, Brian May and Jimmy Page that you'll find on these lists, as they seem to be the most exceptionally talented guitarists of our generation (both technically and in the way they play).

For example, one of my favourite solos ever is Randy Rhode's Crazy Train (under the name of Ozzy Osborne). Rhodes combines elements classical music (after all, he was originally a classically trained player) as well as outright shredding in his solos, and this one is no exception. The solo kicks in at a point in the song where everything has really built up (right after the second chorus) and then takes the song to a whole new level.

That being said, the absolute best guitar solo ever (in my opinion) is Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. The song itself is nothing amazingly spectacular (it's almost as if the song was built for the solo), but once David Gilmour starts playing those magical last notes it seems to transfix people and put them in a state of utter vulnerability and awe. Honourable mentions go to The Eagle's Hotel California, which is a fantastic duel between two finely skilled masters of the instrument.

David has been writing articles for nearly 4 years. Come visit his latest website at which helps people find the best keyless door locks on the market. 

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Led Zeppelin and Their Success

By Pascal Imprimatur

Led Zeppelin, one of the biggest rock bands in history, is still influencing bands today. Radio stations regularly play their most famous song Stairway To Heaven, and other hits like Whole Lotta Love and Kashmir. With over 200 million albums sold worldwide they are one of the best selling bands.

The English rock band was formed in 1968 by four of the original band members: Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham. Some consider the band one of the first heavy metal bands due to the intensive electric guitar sound heard on their songs. Yet their repertoire includes many different styles of music from metal to blues to pop. Robert Plant's distinctive voice made their songs easily recognizable.

The 1970's was really the period in which Led Zeppelin became well known all over the world. The English band ruled the 70's, comparable, perhaps, to how the Beatles were kings of the 60's. Their concerts were all sold-out events. Their fourth album, Led Zeppelin IV, is one of the best selling albums of all time, with over 20 million unit sold. The album is officially untitled. It includes the well known track Stairway To Heaven. It was released in November 1971.

On 4 December 1980 band members decided that a future without their drummer John Bonham would not be viable. Bonham died due to asphyxiation from vomit in September 1980. After the disbanding of Led Zeppelin band members took on solo projects.

In later years a Led Zeppelin box set was released, which attracted a whole new generation of fans. The remastering work of the tracks was done under the supervision of band guitarist Jimmy Page. The first box set includes 4 unreleased tracks. Box set number 2 was released in 1993 - combined they represent a complete repertoire of Led Zeppelin songs. It also includes several rare live tracks and studio recordings.

In December 2007 the still-living members of the band reunited for a tribute concert for Ahmet Ertegun. The concert was a huge success and watched by millions of people all over the world.

Want to read more about the Led Zeppelin box set? Fly over to our main site and get the juicy details!

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OPINION: History's Legendary Guitarists

By Hussey James

A guitar is nothing less than a magnificent piece of art for those who are its true lovers. People have played this instrument for many centuries. They play it casually for fun, entertainment purposes, to gain personal satisfaction and even to earn money. However, there are some guitar idols who have etched their names in bold handwriting in the history of legendary guitar players. These guitarists will never be forgotten by their fans and music lovers across the globe.

The list of these extra-ordinarily talented people includes some big names like Carlos Santana, Jimmy Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Page, Tom Morello and Bruce Springsteen. These names come from the new age and classical rock bands as well as solo talents who rocked the world while standing alone. These people have inspired hundreds of people around the world to follow their tunes and become skilled guitarists.

Carlos Santana, born as Carlos Augusto Alves Santana in the Mexico City has ruled the world of music with his hypnotising guitar tunes. The American Grammy Award winning talent has complete control over his Spanish guitar and he possesses perfection in playing the electric guitar. The hybridisation of these two brought by Mr. Santana totally mingles with one's ears. His super hit records include Shaman, Supernatural, Zebop, Abraxas and the self-titled album Santana which have all reached the top ten list of the Billboard 200 charts.

The legendary Kurt Cobain, also famous due to his controversial death, is also remembered as one of the very few guitarists who rocked the world to their feet. The guitarist and lead singer of Nirvana has been the primary reason for the band's huge success. His tracks like "Smells like Teen Spirit" and "Come as You Are" are still heard by millions around the world as their rock anthems.

When talking about hard rock bands who have revolutionized the metal genre, especially through the extraordinary talents of their guitarists, Metallica without any shadow of a doubt comes on top. Kirk Hammett, the lead guitarist and songwriter for Metallica, is honoured as the 11th best guitar player in the Rolling Stone's 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Before joining Metallica, he rocked with the underground band Exodus. Joining Metallica polished his guitar playing talents to an unmatchable level. The crazy, but cool sounding strums of Kirk inspired millions around the world to play like him.

Jimmy Patrick Page, the guitarist of Led Zeppelin is another big name in the line-up of history's legendary guitarists. Due to his guitar wonders, Led Zeppelin was the most successful band of the 70's. Ranked at number 9 in the Rolling Stone's list, he was considered as one of the most influential and versatile guitarists of all time.

When talking about new age rock idols, Tom Morello is one name worth mentioning. Tom is the guitarist of the famous band, Audioslave, who have enjoyed a huge amount of success in the recent years. Their versatility is especially noticeable in the guitar works of Morello.

You can take professional help and tips to buy PRS Guitars [] and avail huge discounts.

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The History of the Modern Guitar - From the Flintstones' Bedrock Cafe to Rock and Roll?

By Rob Winters

History of the Guitar

The human race has always had a love for music hardwired into our circuits. Ancient humans discovered long ago that magical sounds pleasing to the ears could be made from vibrating strings. The earliest record of stringed instruments takes us back to as early as the days of King David, (the Jewish king), in the BC era of ancient Israel.

Stringed instruments such as the lute or mandolin were used by traveling early musicians called "minstrels" as early the 14th century in Europe, and they would entertain the crowds by playing their unique compositions in the community market places. Later other musical instruments were invented that combined and made up our earliest orchestras.

Even in modern times we are still interested in these early forms of the stringed instruments. Rock star "Sting" has recently released a CD compilation of 16th century lute music. American band REM has often featured a mandolin in their music performances. The Rod Stewart hit, "Maggie May" also featured the unique classical sound of the mandolin. The mandolin is also still a common sound in today's country music genre.

Every culture on earth has a version of the forerunner of the modern guitar. African and Far Eastern and Middle Eastern cultures have several versions of stringed musical instruments, some with only three strings. Here in America, the banjo has become very popular in country and folk music. The guitar was used here in the US back in the early days of our history and in the Western Cowboy culture long before it became popular for jazz, blues, and then eventually becoming the featured instrument of every rock and roll band.

Western rock music has also blended the Sitar, a stringed instrument originating from the Middle East, first heard in a pop song performed by The Beatles with Norwegian Wood. And we cannot forget to acknowledge the huge contribution that the music of Spain and Latin America has made to classical guitar music.

Many of the most loved compositions in classical music have been written for a stringed orchestra or string ensemble. The violin, viola and cello continue to work very well together in string musical instrument pieces. The double fretless bass is very versatile and can be found in jazz bands, orchestras and in bluegrass rockabilly bands.

A popular string instrument often used in rock, country and folk music is the violin or "fiddle". The fiddle is known as the traditional iconic symbol of Irish, jigs and reels. Jazz artists such as Darryl Way and Jean Luc Ponty are very accomplished violinists and performers. The radical guitarist Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, has even used a violin bow with his electric guitar in a sort of "Violin meets Guitar" experimental sound.
Modern stringed instruments can be ordered from the factories with custom fitted electric pickups to amplify the sound, to fit in with any style of music. Violins or Fiddles, are now made as an electric guitar with the ability to synthesis sounds and use special effects to create very unique results in some popular rock and county music songs.

Keyboard instruments such as the piano, clavichord, and harpsichord are actually considered stringed musical instruments as well because they have strings, which are struck by hammers. Some even consider the piano, a percussion instrument. Today the Electronic Piano Keyboard has become synthesized and can produce sounds sampled and digitally reproduced in small compact keyboards with weighted keys and other features that closely duplicate the sound of traditional large Grand Pianos. Full stringed orchestra sounds can be selected to blend with other wind and percussion instrument sounds to produce a full concert hall orchestra sound with this one amazing little instrument. These are often referred to as "Workstations".

All of the modern versions of the Guitar and other old world stringed instruments, are still used today in a range of sounds that are quite awesome to listen to, and to perform with as a musician. Fiddle music for instance...can cause your foot to start tapping, and a good guitar player may cause involuntary hand clapping. Add percussion to this mix and you may feel the urge to get up and dance. On the other hand... a softly flowing cello solo may cause you to "tear up" as featured in the new movie..."The Soloist".

Whether your favorite Guitar Music is composed along with other stringed instruments, or is being synthesised through computer based software, or in analog form and unplugged, All of our personal music favorites, still can express many things much better than we as humans can say in mere words alone. The Soundtracks of many movies have proven to entertain audiences with very little spoken dialog such as the western: "The Good Bad and the Ugly", but with a very compelling music dialog... We get the message!

Yeah... I can hear that unmistakable tune in my head right now as well! All that being said...there is still nothing quite as sweet as the traditional sound of a live orchestra of violins, cellos, stringed bass, and a Grand piano in a concert hall filled with avid fans of great instrumental music.

So... with today's overwhelming popularity of the Guitar and all of the awesome music it has created... hopefully we will always remember it's ancient, and old world beginnings. If you are interested in learning more about todays guitars and the changes that have been made then checkout some of these videos and reviews at the Guitar World Store

Rob Winters is a 30 year log home builder and restoration pro, having built handcrafted log homes in Alaska, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Missouri, and Georgia. He is currently working to teach and educate potential log home owners on quality and cost effective methods of building their own log home or vacation cabin through seminars, and his recent book. His goal is to help those who want to avoid a large mortgage, and are willing to build most of their Cabin themselves.

He was also an expert guitar musician, and songwriter. He and his wife are also very active and passionate about marriage relationship mentoring for those who are have marriage problems. He and his wife Denise have been married for 33 years.

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Which Are the Greatest Album Covers?

By Therese D.

Album sales are said to have been in decline over the past five years yet there are some album covers that have an enduring appeal. Britain's Royal Mail searched through thousands of album covers and carried out extensive research before deciding on a final list of what they considered to be the ten best designed album covers of the past forty years. From this list they created a set of postage stamps with which they kicked off the philatelic year in 2010.

Commemorative stamps are miniature works of art which bring pleasure to many people especially stamp collectors, and each one of this set of ten first class stamps is uniquely designed to show an album cover and a vinyl disc extending from the side of the stamp. Though these GB stamps are intended to celebrate the album cover designs as an art form, they also serve to highlight aspects of British music culture over the last four decades.

These design classics represent the best of British album cover design and were selected to cover a range of music genre including traditional rock and roll, glam rock and punk.

Since these albums were widely sold, the images on these postage stamps will be instantly recognizable by many for whom some of these bands are their personal heroes. They range from "Let it Bleed" by the Rolling Stones which was released in 1969 all the way through to "A Rush Of Blood To The Head" by Coldplay, one of the biggest rock bands of the past decade, the album being released in the summer of 2002. The cake depicted on the Rolling Stones cover was baked by Delia Smith, then an unknown but now a well-known celebrity chef.

The extraordinary image from Pink Floyd's final studio album, The Division Bell, featuring nine feet tall metal heads designed by Storm Thorgerson, is also included amongst this set of stunning iconic images.

See the full list of record albums depicted on these GB commemorative stamps at Therese D's website about kiloware.

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Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs - Legends of Bluegrass Music

By Mac Martin

Apart from Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs are arguably the most famous and influential bluegrass musicians of all time. They were able to popularize the genre even more than Monroe himself, mainly due to their tremendous exposure from television and movies.

Like so many other bluegrass legends, Flatt and Scruggs got there start as members of Monroe's band, the Bluegrass Boys. The addition of Flatt's soulful vocals and Scruggs' superb talent on the 5-string banjo resonated well with the audiences and soon Monroe's new band was a hit everywhere they played. Flatt and Scruggs were members of Monroe's band from 1945 until 1948 when they left to form their own band called Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys.

Television and movies rocketed Flatt and Scruggs to stardom more than any other bluegrass band in the history of the genre. In the early 1960's they were featured on the top-rated television show, "The Beverly Hillbillies". They played and sang the show's theme song, "The Ballad of Jed Clampett", and were also seen in cameo appearances from time to time for many years. Reruns of those shows are still played around the world even today. Their recording of the theme song was the first bluegrass song to reach the #1 position on the country music charts and greatly helped to popularize bluegrass music across the nation.

In 1967 the big hit movie, "Bonnie and Clyde" featured the Scruggs instrumental "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" making the song one of the most well known bluegrass instrumentals ever recorded. Scrugg's newly popularized style of banjo playing would become the standard in bluegrass. He virtually reinvented the banjo with his three-fingered style of picking which has since become known as "Scruggs style" picking.
In 1969, Lester and Earl split up to pursue different musical directions. They were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Music of the 60's - Who Wrote the Songs?

By Phil McMillan

Four singer-songwriters and one record producer seemed to dominate the 60's music scene. Phil Spector, the record producer, became very successful (and wealthy) with his many ideas for getting hit records out on his record labels. Spector became widely known for his bizarre behavior and eventually killed a woman in his own home. He is now serving a 19 year prison sentence. He always came across as a spook to me but the guy was a music production genius.

Bob Dylan ended up writing more songs for others than he did for himself. He created music for the Byrds, Mannfred Mann, Peter Paul and Mary, Sonnie and Cher, the Hollies, and the Turtles. His music inspired many other groups as well.

Neil Sedaka also had a string of his own hits and, at the same time, wrote several big hits for several music groups and singers. Sedaka produced for Connie Francis, the Monkees, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and the Fifth Dimension. Sedaka is, by the way, a trained classical pianist.

The great Neil Diamond wrote many, many songs for others before he started his own singing career. Diamond, a high school classmate of Barbra Streisand, produced music for Jay and the Americans, the Monkees, Elvis Presley, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Deep Purple, Lulu, and Cliff Richards.

But the champion song writer of the 60's, in my mind, had to be Carole King. Carole not only wrote or collaborated on hundreds of songs from the 60's, she also found singing talent and got several groups started in the music business. Would you believe that Little Eva ("Locomotion") was Carole's baby sitter? Carole King made music for the Drifters, Bobby Vee, Ben E. King, Tony Orlando, Gene Pitney, Steve Lawrence, The Everly Brothers, Skeeter Davis, the Chiffons, the Animals, Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, and the Byrds (among others). How's that for production?

These people did so much and now forty some years later they still have an impact because they still write.

Phil McMillan is a writer who maintains a daily blog entitled "Baby Boomer Baloney" ( ). He provides daily humor videos for his readers as well as his own personal comments.

Phil McMillan

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Martin Luther King's Legacy

By Abbas Tajik

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
March on Washington Speech, August, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), American clergyman and Nobel Prize winner, one of the principal leaders of the American civil rights movement and a prominent advocate of nonviolent protest was born on January 15, 1929, the second of three children. His father was a Baptist minister and served as pastor of a large Atlanta church, Ebenezer Baptist, which had been founded by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, maternal grandfather. Martin was ordained as a Baptist minister at age 18.

He attended public elementary and high schools as well as the private Laboratory High School of Atlanta University. King entered Morehouse College at age 15 in September 1944 as a special student. He received a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1948. In the fall of that year, King enrolled at Crozier Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, and received his Bachelor of Divinity degree three years later.

King's public-speaking abilities - which would become renowned as his stature grew in the civil rights movement - developed slowly during his collegiate years. He won a second-place prize in a speech contest while an undergraduate at Morehouse, but received Cs in two public-speaking courses in his first year at Crozer. By the end of his third year at Crozer, however, professors were praising King for the powerful impression he made in public speeches and discussions.

King was awarded a doctorate by Boston University in 1955. Throughout his education, King was exposed to influences that related Christian theology to the struggles of oppressed peoples. At Morehouse, Crozer, and Boston University, he studied the teachings on nonviolent protest of Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi. King also read and heard the sermons of white Protestant ministers who preached against American racism. Benjamin E. Mays, president of Morehouse and a leader in the national community of racially liberal clergymen, was especially important in shaping King's theological development.

While in Boston, King met Coretta Scott, a music student and native of Alabama. They were married in June 18, 1953 and would have four children. In 1954 King accepted his first pastorate at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, a church with a well-educated congregation that had recently been led by a minister who had protested against segregation.

He had been a resident in Montgomery less than one year when Rosa Parks defied the ordinance regulating segregated seating on municipal transportation. King was soon chosen as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), the organization that directed the bus boycott. King's serious demeanor and consistent appeal to Christian brotherhood and American idealism made a positive impression on whites outside the South.

Incidents of violence against black protesters, including the bombing of King's home, focused media attention on Montgomery. In February 1956 an attorney for the MIA filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking an injunction against Montgomery's segregated seating practices. The federal court ruled in favor of the MIA, ordering the city's buses to be desegregated, but the city government appealed the ruling to the United States Supreme Court.

For 12 months, makeshift car pools substituted for public transportation. At first the bus company scoffed at the black protest, but as the economic effects of the boycott were felt, the company sought a settlement. Meanwhile, legal action ended the bus segregation policy. On June 5, 1956, a federal district court ruled that the bus segregation policy violated the Fourteenth Amendment, which forbids the states from denying equal rights to any citizen. The boycott ended, and it thrust into national prominence a person who clearly possessed charismatic leadership, Martin Luther King, Jr.

By the time the Supreme Court upheld the lower court decision in November 1956, King was a national figure. His memoir of the bus boycott, Stride Toward Freedom (1958), provided a thoughtful account of that experience and further extended King's national influence.

King, urged by prominent black Baptist ministers in the South to assume a larger role in the struggle for black civil rights following the successful boycott, accepted the presidency of the newly formed Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) - an organization of black churches and ministers that aimed to challenge racial segregation. As SCLC's president, King became the organization's dominant personality and its primary intellectual influence. He was responsible for much of the organization's fund-raising, which he frequently conducted in conjunction with preaching engagements in Northern churches.

In January 1960, he resigned his Montgomery pastorate and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where the SCLC had its headquarters. SCLC sought to complement the NAACP's legal efforts to dismantle segregation through the courts, with King and other SCLC leaders encouraging the use of nonviolent direct action to protest discrimination. These activities included marches, demonstrations, and boycotts.

The violent responses that direct action provoked from some whites eventually forced the federal government to confront the issues of injustice and racism in the South. King's challenges to segregation and racial discrimination in the 1950s and 1960s helped convince many white Americans to support the cause of civil rights in the United States.

In 1963, King wrote 'Letter from Birmingham Jail,' arguing that it was his moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws, in the very year he had delivered his 'I Have a Dream' speech to civil rights marchers at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. In 1964, King became the first black American to be honored as Time magazine's Man of the Year and also won the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.

Accepting the award on behalf of the civil rights movement, Dr. King said, "Sooner or later, all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood." King's efforts were not limited to securing civil rights; he also spoke out against poverty and the Vietnam War; throughout 1966 and 1967 King increasingly turned the focus of his civil rights activism throughout the country to economic issues.

He began to argue for redistribution of the nation's economic wealth to overcome entrenched black poverty. In 1967 he began planning a Poor People's Campaign to pressure national lawmakers to address the issue of economic justice. After his assassination in April 4, 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee by a sniper then realized named James Earl Ray and sentenced for 99 years imprisonment. The FBI had believed that King had been associating with Communists and other radicals, but King became a symbol of protest in the struggle for racial justice; and at last President Ronald Reagan signed legislation designating Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a national holiday in 1983 (the 3rd Monday of every new year).

King's nonviolent doctrine was strongly influenced by the teachings of Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi. Unlike the great majority of civil rights activists who have regarded nonviolence as a convenient tactic. King followed Gandhi's principles of pacifism. In King's view, civil rights demonstrators, who were beaten and jailed by hostile whites, educated and transformed their oppressors through the redemptive character of their unmerited suffering.

The SCLC helped the students organize the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), at a meeting held at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, to coordinate the protests. As a direct result of the sit-ins, lunch counters across the South began to serve blacks, and other public facilities were desegregated.

An important interplay of action and response developed between government and civil rights advocates. And it was this interplay that did so much to quicken the pace of social change.

The most critical direct action demonstration began in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 3, 1963, under the leadership of Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The demonstrators demanded fair employment opportunities, desegregation of public facilities and the creation of a committee to plan desegregation. King was arrested and, while imprisoned, wrote his celebrated "Letter from a Birmingham jail" to fellow clergymen critical of his tactics of civil. King was arrested more than seven times during his many civil rights campaigns throughout the South.

On August 28, 1963, more than 250,000 Americans from many religious and ethnic backgrounds converged on Washington, staging the largest demonstration in the history of the nation's capital. The orderly procession moved from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, where King electrified the demonstrators with an eloquent articulation of the American dream (I have a Dream) and his hope that it would be fully realized. In one of the most famous passages from the speech, King declared:

"When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all God's children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual 'Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last'".

I am an MA student in the American Studies program at INAES in Iran.

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2 Underrated Classic Rock Bands of the 1970s

By Brett Kingston

I've always been a big fan of the music from the 1970s. I've always felt that the statement "they don't make them like they used do" was pretty cliche, and I still think it is. However, I do think it's true when it comes to music from the 70s. This was a decade that many believe to be the golden era for rock and roll.

The form of music was just coming into its own, and some of the bands from this decades were truly pioneers. They found new sounds that blended elements of the past with concepts from the future, paving the way for many bands that came afterward.

To this day, there are still many bands who emulate the sounds of the two that I'm going to mention here. I believe that these are two of the best rock bands of all-time, though they don't get nearly as much recognition as they should. Let's take a look at these bands who make my list.

First, there's The Band, who might be my favorite of these two. This was an extremely talented group of musicians who started out as the backup group for Bob Dylan when he toured. That's why they had the simple name that they do.

Their roots are in Canada, but their sound is one of Americana mixed with classic rock. This gives their music somewhat of a country-ish feel, which you'll hear on songs like The Weight, which achieved widespread commercial success. There were also many other great songs that don't offer as much recognition.

The second band that I'd like to mention here is ELO, which stands for Electric Light Orchestra. This was a band led by the greatly talented singer Jeff Lynne, who also penned most of their music too. Some of their greatest hits include Living Thing, which you may recognize from many soundtracks, including the one for Boogie Nights. Then there's Roll Over Beethoven, which has been featured in movies and on television commercials as well.

Perhaps the song that receives the most airplay these days is Mr. Blue Sky, also extremely popular in movies and on commercials. The fact that so much of the band's music is still played over 30 years later is a testament to how influential their music was. The sounds of classic rock fused with space age electronic sounds and symphonic classical music describe the sound of this band. They're as interesting as that sounds.

Visit Brett Kingston's newest blog about Egyptian cotton sheet sets and Egyptian cotton towels.

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3 Chord Rock Songs - Status Quo

By Jon Calderbank

Some of my favourite songs have only a few chords. One of the best 3 chord rock songs in my opinion is from the early seventies from denim rockers Status Quo. Founder members Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt were awarded an OBE from the Queen in the New Years Honours List for 2010 but it was almost 40 years earlier when Francis Rossi teamed up with Bob Young to write a country music influenced track which would become rocker Caroline.

It wasn't until Rick Parfitt, the self-confessed engine room of the band's guitar sound, heard the song and sprinkled the magic dust by the simple bar chord introduction. This song is still used to open the bands concerts today and yes, they are still touring after all this time.

The introduction in 'F' then invites the rest of the band to join in. Francis Rossi's lead guitar hooks you into the song and then the rest is history. It's remained one of many tunes that have stood the test of time for the band and through changeable spells in popularity outside of their die hard fans and you can't help but unintentionally nod your head to the beat, even if your in mid-conversation. On the other hand, when the volume is high, it oozes with seventies raw rock class.

F, A# and C are the only chords and all of them are bar chords. It doesn't sound like this would be enough ingredients for a song which would have such an impact on people but it surely is. Check out Caroline by Status Quo - one of the classic 3 chord rock songs.

Free video clips showing guitar song tuition are available at the site below:

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jacqueline Kennedy's Rare Autograph

By David Thoreau

Jacqueline Kennedy's rare autograph is one of the most coveted of American celebrities. Jacqueline was one of America's most glamorous and famous first ladies.

Unlike many of her predecessors, Jacqueline almost never replied to autograph requests sent through the mail and almost always refused to sign autographs in person. As a result, truly authentic material with her autograph is scarce. Just like her first husband, Jacqueline relied on secretaries to sign correspondence for her and manufactured facsimile signatures by the use of autopens made famous by John Kennedy. Much of the Jacqueline's autographed material has come from letters that she wrote family and friends. Many letters to family and friends were signed "Jackie" or simply "J". After her marriage to Aristotle Onassis, Jacqueline signed her letters as "J.O."

Many signed photographs of her and John Kennedy were sent to admirers while she was first lady with secretarial or autopen signatures. One of her many secretaries, Letitia Baldridge, were particularly skillful at duplicating Jacqueline's signature. Autograph collectors often confuse a Jacqueline Kennedy facsimile-signed photograph as having an authentic signature.

On occasion, letters from her work as associate editor for Doubleday book publishers comes available on the autograph marketplace. Signed receipts from her many shopping visits to stores on Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue have also come available to collectors. Another source of her authentic autograph is on a book she co-authored with her sister, Lee Radziwill, entitled One Special Summer. The publication of this book was limited to 500 copies that were signed with her maiden name "Jacqueline Bouvier".

Jacqueline Kennedy signed checks are extremely rare. Only one of her signed checks has been seen in the market in the past twenty-five years. That check was a Christmas bonus to her long-time hairdresser at a prestigious salon in Manhattan. The check is signed with her full name: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Curiously, Jackie chose to autograph this check to her hairdresser with a red pen.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was one of the youngest first ladies in the history of America. She has always remained a celebrity of public interest and the popular demand for her autograph attests to her lasting fame.
Copyright © FamousChecks

Visit to view stock autographs of famous celebrities, and for loads of valuable information about autographs, autograph collecting, autograph buying-selling, and much more. The book Money Secrets, has a financial biography about Jacqueline Kennedy and many other celebrities.

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Listening to the Beatles in High Definition

By James Magary

In September of 2009, the Beatles finally released their entire album collection in remastered CD versions. This included an individual release for each album, as well as both a stereo and mono box set. While this is good news for audio purists who have been waiting for updated versions of these classic albums, many audiophiles are no longer satisfied with CDs of any kind, believing the quality to be inferior to other currently available formats. For these purists, and other fans who like their music in digital formats, the Beatles also released the USB Apple device, which has the files in 24-bit FLAC audio, a higher resolution format.

But why is the CD not considered the best format anymore? Well, to answer that you must consider the history of digital recording vs analog recording. Analog recordings are "analogous" to the real thing, as they essentially represent an imprint of the sound onto an analog format, such as magnetic tape, or vinyl records. As an example of an analog, picture using a piece of silly putty, pressed onto a newspaper to pick up the image. This would give you an analog image. It's not perfect, but it is also not composed of pixels, or samples, in any way.

In digital recording, the sound is sampled, meaning at certain intervals a measurement is taken of the sound wave, and this information is recorded as data so that it can be re-created later. The more samples taken, the more accurate the sound once it is reproduced.

When the CD format was introduced, it was determined that a 44.1kHz sampling rate would be the standard, which means that the sound wave is sampled about 44 thousand times each second. Doing this allows the recreation of sound frequencies up to about 22 kHz, which is a very high-pitched sound, exceeding the usual human hearing limit of about 20kHz. It was thought that having this as the top end of the range meant that nothing would be missing from the reproduction, and for most people this is the case, as they are perfectly happy with CD sound quality.

But for audiophiles and analog enthusiasts, there is a feeling that CDs are "cold", and lack the full emotional spectrum of the music. This claim is not without some merit. While the frequencies that the human eardrum can pick up is limited to an upper level of 20kHz, the human nervous system apart from the ears can register frequencies even higher. The theory is that there is an element of music that is "felt", and not "heard", and it is this quality that exists in analog recordings and not in digital.

The industry has not pursued a better quality of analog format, but it is attempting to increase the resolution and reproduction qualities of digital audio, which does begin to address the concern about the lack of warmth in CDs. In the case of the Beatles collection, audiophiles can now get the Beatles USB Apple, which offers 24-bit FLAC files. This format is better than CDs which are only in 16-bit resolution, and will offer a range of digital sound that exceeds that of normal CDs. This format, combined with the fact that the Beatles albums have all been remastered, offers the best possible Beatles listening experience available to date.

To learn more, or to buy the Beatles USB Apple see this site:

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The Most Inspirational Guitarists in Music History

By Hussey James

Guitar is a combination of sounds. It is not only the display of technical abilities, but it also expresses the feelings of the artist. Many times, guitarists with natural and basic musical skills have made unique and popular music. There are a lot of guitarists from every musical genre and era. There are hundreds of inspirational guitarists in musical history. So many significant guitarists have contributed, and devoted themselves for the betterment of music. However, a few guitarists stand above the rest when it comes to music. Today these legendary guitarists are an inspiration for so many youngsters, and upcoming guitarists. It is all a matter of taste. Here is a list of some great, virtuosic, and innovative guitarists.

Jimi Hendrix was a legend. His real name was James Allen Hendrix. Rolling Stone magazine has ranked him number one among the top 100 guitarists of the world. His musical achievements are Bold As Love, Experienced, Bleeding Heart and (slight return) Voodoo Chile. (All Along the Watchtower) by Dylan is the song, which was sung by Jimi, and got an outstanding response from listeners. People loved this song, because Jimi completely made this song like his own. There is a taste of Dylan in the song. Hendrix is a legend, and will always live in the hearts of his fans.

Frank Vincent Zappa was an American music composer, producer, director, and electric guitarist. Zappa gained popularity for writing rock, jazz, and orchestral music. He was born on December 21, 1940, and died on December 4, 1993. Zappa had a career of more than 30 years. Zappa composed more than 60 albums in his career, and introduced the band The Mothers of Invention as a solo artist. Zappa directed several music videos, feature length films, and designed album covers on his own.

Carlos Augusto Alves Santana is a Mexican musician, and guitarist. He was born on 20 July 1947 and also won a Grammy Award. Santana gained popularity in the 60s and 70s. Along with his band, he composed rock, jazz fusion, and salsa. The band featured blue-based guitar lines against the Latin beats like congas, and timbales. Santana kept on working over a number of decades and once again gained huge popularity in the 1990s. Rolling Stone ranked Santana number 15 amongst the World's Top Guitarists.

Joni Mitchell was born on November 7, 1943. She is a Canadian musician, songwriter, and painter. Mitchell started singing in nightclubs in Western Canada. She worked for almost four decades as a musician, and lyricist. She wrote folk, pop, rock, and jazz releasing 23 albums ion total. Joni Mitchell moved to California in 1967 where Elliot Roberts helped her to build her career. While performing in Florida she met David Crosby who convinced her to record a solo acoustic album. She named her band the Ladies of the Canyon in 1971. Joni Mitchell became a big name, and got immediate success.

Kurt Cobain was born on 20 February 1967, and died on 5 April 1994. He was a songwriter, lead singer, and guitarist of Nirvana. Kurt introduced the subgenre of alternative rock called grunge. The band's first album was Smells Like Teen Spirit. The second album was Nevermind, which also gained popularity, and as a result, alternative rock became very popular on radio and music television in the United States during the early and mid 1990s. Since their first album, this band has sold over twenty-five million albums in the US alone, and over fifty million internationally.

Hussey James is a musician. You can take his help and tips to Buy guitars online at his recommended website at

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Collecting Rare Rock Music Memorabilia

By Steph McCabe

For any collector, rare and hard to find items are the most coveted pieces on their wish lists. It can be difficult and frustrating trying to track known that must have addition to your collection, especially with the truly extraordinary items.

If music is your passion then owning a little piece of the history of your favourite group or artist can be a satisfying hobby. Practically anything with the smallest connection to a band or artist can be considered memorabilia if it's rare or collectible enough; anything from lunchboxes or key chains right up to records and sheet music. The most sort after items however are the uncommon ones, pieces that were not mass produced; which makes them special and unique.

A popular thing to collect is records. Rare recordings or limited editions can sometimes sell for thousands of pounds depending on the artist. A copy of the Rolling Stones' Street Fighting Man, for example, sold recently for just over £9,000, and a mint condition copy of The White Album by The Beatles, recently sold for almost £20,000! This goes to show that record collecting can be a very a very expensive business, but also hugely satisfying each time you add something to it!

A less expensive thing to focus on is autographs and signed photographs. These types of items are more available than records but certain peoples signatures can be harder to find than others. Obviously, autographs of deceased celebrities are going to be harder to find and, as a result, more expensive to buy. Also, bands like The Beatles or Led Zeppelin, who no longer record are very sought after. If you can find a photograph or other merchandise with the signatures of all the band members it be much more valuable and you should definitely take good care of it!

Even less expensive things to collect are general merchandise from tours or appearances made by the band. Props and costumes from music videos are also becoming popular, and if you look around online you might be able to find some nice pieces. Posters and other advertisements are big sellers and if you can get specific tour posters or limited edition album covers these will probably gain value through the years if you keep them in excellent condition.

You should try the internet first to buy your products; there are a lot of retailers worldwide who specialise in specific bands and merchandise. It's also worth doing some research on high street retailers; they might have just the thing you've been looking for. Auctions and collectors fairs and conventions are also great places to look. Not only do you get to shop here but you can talk to other people and maybe pick up a few tips on finding the best products and getting valuations.

Remember also that rock music never goes out of fashion so if you have the opportunity to pick up something from newer bands, take it. You never know what will be valuable in the future. The young musicians of today may not be legends just yet but they might just be the Beatles of the future!

If you are looking for something for your collection or as a gift, visit Genuine Memorabilia who have a huge collection of signed items!

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How the Beatles Became World-Class

By David J P Smith

It is no secret that the Beatles are one of the greatest and most influential bands of all time. The fact that they came at a time when they did (during the early 1960's) makes this even more astounding, as they literally created a kind of music that had never been heard before.

Part of their success was down to all four members of the band (Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney) being so incredibly talented. This meant that (as well as singing beautifully) they all wrote songs, meaning that their albums were more diverse and interesting than if one member had written all of the songs (this also gave them more of a lasting ability since they didn't get 'burnt out' through writing too many songs).

But how did they get to become such amazing musicians, songwriters and performers? Were they born this way, or was it something that they learnt and honed over time?

Upon reading Malcolm Gladwell's 'Outliers: The Story of Success' I have since come to realise that it takes around 10,000 hours to become what you might call world class (i.e. the best or as good as the best in the world) in any field or trade. This rule applies to music (as it does with everything), so it comes as no surprise to find out that the Beatles spent much of their early career playing music for 8 hours a day, 7 days a week in clubs in Hamburg. Over the course of a year they played around 10,000 hours, which was almost certainly the start of their amazing success.

David has been writing articles for nearly 4 years. Come visit his latest website at which helps people find the best twin bed frames. 

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