Bill and Brian have finally reached the end of Massive November, and we close it out with the classic Tapestry (1971, Ode) by legendary songwriter Carol King. Having written many hits for artists like the Shirelles, the Monkees, and Aretha Franklin throughout the '60s, King struck out as a performer herself in the early '70s. With her second album as a performer, she found inspiration after moving to Laurel Canyon and coming under the influence of singer songwriters like James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. Massive hits followed. Brian and Bill discuss a specific and special memory about listening to this album in Brian's life, a fire that consumed part of Bill's house in his teenage years, the ubiquity and effect legacy acts have on the radio, Danny Kortchmar, the utility of sadness within happiness, James Taylor being a badass, what "Tapestry" would sound like as performed by Iron Maiden, and as always a track by track review!
It's Bonus Song Thanksgiving! Bill and Brian revisit the pre-Buckingham/Nicks era of Fleetwood Mac in a little more detail by discussing the Bob Welch penned "Hypnotize" off the band's 1973 album Mystery to Me. We discuss Welch's jazz influenced style and how the beginnings of the band's sound on Rumours started here. Additionally, we discuss the Great Polly Controversy of 2015 as we amend our comments on Nirvana's "Polly" and its electric versions. Happy Thanksgiving!
Bill and Brian continue the Massive Month of Massive Albums That We Also Call Massivember by talking about Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (1977, Warner Bros.) The band's second album with its most well known lineup (and 11th overall!), found them flourishing under the leadership of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and the mystical voice of Stevie Nicks. The band reached new heights, selling 40 million copies of this album worldwide, drawing inspiration from their recent breakups, within and without the band, and internal struggles. Bill and Brian do their best to explain the long and winding road that is the story of Fleetwood Mac and how it ended in the sound and production of this album. Along the way we share some of our own break up stories and how they led to better lives, what it would sound like if Bono and the Edge joined the Rolling Stones, Lindsey Buckingham's chops, what the band lacks on their 2003 album Say You Will, "easy listening," the Goo Goo Dolls, and as always a track by track review!
It's Bonus Song Thursday! And Bill and Brian delve a little deeper into Nirvana's catalog by discussing the band's cover of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World" from their MTV Unplugged performance. The guys talk about the elegiac nature of the song, how well the Unplugged performance works as an album, Nirvana's ability to bring a nuanced touch to their softer songs, and Pat Smear. Additionally, we talk about why we won't by discussing Radiohead's OK Computer anytime soon but where listeners can scratch that itch if they feel the need.
Bill and Brian continue "Massivember" (?) this week by delving into the watershed alternative album Nevermind (1991, DGC) by Nirvana. With their second album and major label debut, the band was launched into superstardom by the iconic hit single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" off the album. Paving the way for scores of alt bands to follow, the style and sound of this music was oft imitated, sometimes verging on copycats. Brian and Bill discuss Nirvana's formation, the Seattle sound, and how the music was developed. As the talk continues, we discuss who could have broke alternative if not Nirvana, Butch Vig's production, Kurt Cobain's guitar tone, Krist Noveselic's musicianship, Dave Grohl as the king of rock and roll, the tragic demise of Cobain and the band, and as always a track by track review!
It's Bonus Song Thursday! And Bill and Brian return to discuss some more about Michael Jackson and his collaborations with Sir Paul McCartney. Released on McCartney's album, the poorly received Pipes of Peace (1983, Parlophone/Columbia). The guys talk about how this is a better song than most give it credit for, the production on the song and its corresponding album, the picaresque video, and the falling out between the singers over a royalty dispute. Also, we read a listener email, which leads to a discussion about Guided by Voices and how one should attempt delving into their catalog.
Bill and Brian start off the month of massive albums with the biggest and bestselling album of all time, Michael Jackson's Thriller (1982. Epic). Following up on the success of his collaboration with Quincy Jones on 1979's Off the Wall, Jackson re-teamed with the producer to create this career defining record. Hailed as the album that saved the music industry, no less than 7 of Thriller's 9 tracks were released as singles. Bill and Brian discuss how they view Michael Jackson, his career, and the legacy he created. They also talk about Brian's first experience with Jackson's music when he was in kindergarten, Jackson's development into a worldwide phenomenon, world music, legendary bass lines, the cult of personality, and as always a track by track review of the whole album!
It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian are once again joined by musician and songwriter Eric Nelson (thelightsbeneath.com) to discuss some music by the legendary blues rockers Led Zeppelin. We tackle the behemoth tune "Stairway to Heaven" off the band's legendary untitled album (1972, Atlantic). In the midst of talking about what makes "Stairway" so great (and maybe not so great), we stumble across an epic Zeppelin vs. The Who debate! We also discuss Celebration Day and Eric makes a selection from the Great Stack of Vinyl!
Brian and Bill are joined by musician and music aficionado Eric Nelson, guitarist of the Lights Beneath (thelightsbeneath.com), to discuss Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy (1973, Atlantic). Hot on the heals of their massive arena rock success with their previous untitled record and "Stairway to Heaven," the band released an album of tunes that cemented their reputation for studio prowess and furthered their dynamic range with cross-genre experimentation. Brian, Bill, and Eric discuss how Eric was drawn to the excellent blues rock that Jimmy Page cranked out, driving down dark roads listening to "No Quarter," how Zeppelin came together in a very convoluted manner, multilayered guitars, the ubiquity of "Stairway to Heaven," impressing girls with "Over the Hills and Faraway," and as always a track by track review!