? - brothers with arms
"Rock journalism is people who can't
write interviewing people who
can't talk for people who can't read." --Frank Zappa
|“Lennon’s crude bass playing on The Long
And Winding Road, though largely accidental, amounts to sabotage
when presented as finished work.”
Beatles largely abandoned the basic Let It Be recordings to be
pulled together by studio technicians. When they were still not
happy with the results, Lennon asked American record producer Phil
Spector to perform a rescue operation.
Spector completed the work in eight days when he overdubbed The
Long And Winding Road, Across The Universe and Let It Be with 18
violins, four violas, four cellos, a harp, three trumpets, three
trombones, two guitarists and 14 singers.
When McCartney heard it he was furious but unable to prevent
the album’s release. He regarded the work done to The Long And
Winding Road as desecration. Days later he told the other Beatles
he was leaving the band.
two weekends in August 1979 Led Zeppelin played to huge audiences
at the Knebworth Festival in England. Although critical acclaim
was muted, they had proved they could still pull in the crowds.
Their long-awaited album, recorded at Abba's studio in Sweden, was
also released in August. In
Through The Out Door went straight to the top of both the
US and UK album charts. This album, to which John Paul Jones had
been a major contributor, showed signs that the band were
mellowing, but it still contained some strong tracks (Fool In The
In the summer of 1980 Zeppelin toured extensively again in
Europe, and seemed back to their best form. The tour (and much
else, as it later emerged) ended in Berlin on July 7th. More
bookings were lined up, including another major US tour. These
plans all came to a sudden end when John Bonham was found dead
after a drinking binge at Jimmy Page's house on September 25th.
Page, Plant and Jones were clearly devastated, although Led
Zeppelin did not formally disband until December.
1986 The Clash split permanently, Strummer went on to collaborate
with Jones on BAD’s album ’10 Upping St’ and wrote and
produced his own solo material, Simonon went on to form Havana
3am. The Clash were never forgotten by fans and music pundits
alike, constant speculation as to a re-union was always rife. In
1991 Levi’s used ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’ in a TV
commercial which launched the single to the No. 1 position in the
UK when it was re-released by CBS, and introduced the band to a
whole new generation of fans.
December 1985, says Gilmour, Waters wrote a letter to his record
company saying he'd left Pink Floyd. The rest of the band kept
going, and Waters was furious. The subsequent flurry of activity
by lawyers from both sides has led to very hard feelings. "It's
pretty unpleasant," said Gilmour.
With a band like Pink Floyd, all this has to be seen against
the backdrop of the group's history. So how did this split compare
with the famous crisis in the psychedelic sixties, when Syd
Barrett left? The band were divided. "This was much more
painful," said Mason, "the split with Syd was simple,
because the management wanted Syd, and the rest of us were cast
out - but we were still the band." "No, this was less
traumatic," said David Gilmour, "because we knew what we
wanted to do, and the direction we wanted to carry on in. It took
two or three albums after Syd left before we had a clue where we
In the sixties and early seventies, before the Floyd became so
successful, they were considered to be the ultimate in underground
culture. Now, as they tour the stadiums of the world with a show
that's far less bleak than Waters inspired epics, Mason can announce
with a cheery grin: "We're moving towards family entertainment
- The Sound of Music Part 5."
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