meta-scriptPeter Frampton On Whether He'll Perform Live Again, Hanging With George Harrison & David Bowie And New Album 'Frampton Forgets the Words' |
Peter Frampton Band

Peter Frampton Band

Photo: Austin Lord


Peter Frampton On Whether He'll Perform Live Again, Hanging With George Harrison & David Bowie And New Album 'Frampton Forgets the Words'

At 70 years old, Peter Frampton is happy, creative and generally healthy. But whether he'll finish his thwarted farewell tour depends on when the world reopens—and if he can keep his degenerative muscle condition at bay

GRAMMYs/Mar 25, 2021 - 04:59 pm

A year and a half ago, Peter Frampton may have played his final concert. Standing alone at the Concord Pavilion, just north of San Francisco, on October 12, 2019, he didn't want to follow his band offstage at the end of his performance. He didn't want to stop. 

"I had to wait until the crowd would calm down," Frampton tells "In the end, I had to shut them up to say 'Thank you.' And I never said goodbye. I just said, 'I'm not going to say goodbye.'" Despite the fact the 70-year-old is creatively active and taking care of himself, the time will come when he has to say goodbye to touring. When? His inclusion body myositis, or IBM, will dictate that. 

The degenerative muscle condition, which has no cure, may one day claim his guitar mastery. And at that point, Frampton says, he will stop. But if it's cruel that the COVID-19 pandemic potentially robbed him of his final viable year as a live performer, Frampton doesn't carry any detectable resentment about it. The one-time GRAMMY winner and five-time nominee is too busy playing guitar—and every time he picks up the instrument, he says, it feels like the last time.

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That bittersweet parting between a man and his lifelong communication tool colors the Peter Frampton Band's latest instrumental album, Frampton Forgets the Words, which drops April 23 via UMe. (His last album 2007's Fingerprints, won a GRAMMY for Best Pop Instrumental Album; his cover of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" won Best Rock Instrumental Performance.)

Frampton Forgets the Words is a grab-bag of 10 covers of rock songs that just plain move Frampton, and he imbues every lick and line of tunes by Radiohead ("Reckoner"), Roxy Music ("Avalon") Lenny Kravitz ("Are You Gonna Go My Way") and other legacy artists with deep feeling and panache. gave Frampton a ring about the future of his touring career, why he chose these songs, and his relationships with David Bowie and George Harrison—both of whom he covered on this album. Check out Frampton Forgets the Words' version of Bowie's "Loving the Alien," which premieres exclusively above, and read on for the interview.

The pandemic interrupted your farewell tour, yeah?

Yes. We were lucky. I was so, so lucky that we decided to start it in May of '19 because we managed to get halfway through. We finished the U.S.-Canada portion in mid-October. And then, of course, by March, we were shut down. We were supposed to go to Europe in 2020, in May. Realistically, it was the right thing. We're all in the same boat, so it was definitely the right thing to do. But, yeah, it was disappointing.

Did you record Frampton Forgets the Words before or after COVID-19 hit?

Before. It was recorded before the finale tour. We did three, nay, four albums before coming off the road in 2018—again, in October-ish—with Steve Miller. Then, took nine or 10 days off, went straight into the studio and did the All Blues album and another blues album, which has yet to come out. Then, we took Christmas off and in early 2019, we did Forgets the Words.

And then, we started after that, all the way up to April sometime, we were working on my first new solo album since the last one. 

Peter Frampton in 1973. Photo: George Wilkes/Hulton Archive/Getty Images​

Were you playing some of the Frampton Forgets the Words tunes during the farewell tour?

No, we were playing stuff off All Blues, but we were not playing anything off the instrumental record. Because it wasn't out yet, and also, that meant we could do some of the Fingerprints instrumentals, like "Black Hole Sun" and occasionally some of the other ones in there from that album. 

This album feels very personal, in a sense. I remember reading a past interview where you said your playing has become more soulful over the past few years due to some of the physical issues you've been facing. It sounds like you're profoundly feeling every note of these songs.

I think it's a combination of things. I treasure being able to play so much, and of course, it's weighing on my mind that I do have my muscle disease clock—the IBM clock, I call it. Because I am slowly, slowly, slowly… but it's very slow. 

I think it's a combination of having played so many notes over the years—I've chosen what not to play anymore [laughs]—and I feel like every time I pick the guitar up, it's like I'm playing for the last time. So, I put my heart and soul into it, especially on stage. Especially on the finale tour, because the audiences were different every night, but the feeling I got from every audience was exactly the same. It was a phenomenal feeling of them all putting their arms around me and saying, "It's going to be OK." I got chills saying that. But I did, I felt that, and I realized I've touched a lot of people and their lives. 

It really brought it home to me, how much my music has meant to so many people. It was just a two-way "Thank you" the whole night, on every show. I have to say, every show. And at the end, I would be left on my own on the stage, the band would leave, and I had to wait until the crowd would calm down. In the end, I had to shut them up to say "Thank you."

They didn't want us to leave. And I never said goodbye. I just said, "I'm not going to say goodbye. I'm just waving." It was just phenomenal. The best experience of my whole career of touring.

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That's lovely, truly. I noticed while listening to Frampton Forgets the Words that even without lyrics, each song's intent came through loud and clear. Just your guitar "singing" them. Do you feel the emotions of "Isn't It a Pity" or "Reckoner" come through simply in the melodies and performances when you strip away the verbal element?

Well, I started as an instrumental player because of The Shadows, this incredible pre-Beatles instrumental band that was Cliff Richard's backup band as well. They had so many hits. You would call it "surf music," but we would call it The Shadows. So that's how I started—with very melodic stuff. 

Let's home in on "Isn't It a Pity," a song of compassion and tender concern. Your instrumental version telegraphs those emotions even without George's words.

My guitar is another voice. It's like I sing with my voice and I play with another voice. It's always been the most expressive part of what I do, is play. So, when I chose these songs to do instrumental versions of, I chose them because of my capability, of what I thought I could do.

"Isn't It a Pity," I tried to sound like George's voice but in my voice, if you know what I'm saying. It was an emulation of what he was singing. Obviously, with an instrumental, you don't have the second verse with different words to keep peoples' attention. So you have to make it more interesting as it goes along, with the notes you choose.

So, that one is what I enjoyed doing the most. That one and also Roxy Music's "Avalon." I'll play my own trumpet here, even though I play guitar: Brian Ferry's voice on "Avalon" is like, "Is there something coming out?" It's so laid back and I wanted to be able to emulate not the sound of his voice, but the effect his voice had on the listener. I'm very, very proud of the sound and the playing, especially on the verses of "Avalon."

You're terrific at building drama, too. You may not be able to add a second verse, but you can add embellishments that up the ante.

You have to do that. Otherwise, it would be boring.

We're touching a lot of spheres in rock history with this tracklist. What's the common thread between these 10 tunes, beyond the simple fact that you love them?

It's something that these songs all stir emotion within me. Especially Radiohead and even "Dreamland," which is the Jaco Pastorius tribute. I couldn't do most of these songs because as a guitar player, I can't play as fast as he could play on bass!

But it's all a choice of notes. That's the common thread. If you compare "Dreamland" with [Alison Krauss’] "Maybe," which is the end track, it's about the melody. It's about that choice of notes over that chord sequence. And I think it rings true with all of them.

"Isn't It a Pity" has got that diminished kind of chord that George does on the second line, and that just sets it apart from every other song on All Things Must Pass. And it was the first one I heard when I went into the studio. They had already done that track when I sat down and started cutting tracks with them, with George.

I've never forgotten… well, first of all, it's my first time walking into Abbey Road. I'm not going on a tour; I'm going to play on an album with George Harrison and all these incredible players, you know? RingoJim GordonKlaus VoormannBilly Preston. It was just unbelievable. So, I've never forgotten that moment when I heard "Isn't It a Pity." 

It's always been the one that just… again if I get goosebumps, you're in!

What was your relationship like with George?

I had a very, very good relationship with George. Apart from meeting him the same day as he asked me to play on the Doris Troy album, and then asked me back for All Things Must Pass, my wife and I—Mary, at the time—would go down to Friar Park, where they lived, and spend time on the weekends with George and Pattie. It became kind of a thing. He was a dear friend and I miss him terribly.

We've got David Bowie in there, with "Loving the Alien." Did you know him as well?

We went to school together. I met David when I was 12 or 13 [years old.] My father was his art teacher in high school for three years. He became—as well as my friend—almost closer to my dad because my dad was the head of the art department and it was every form of visual art known to man, from typography to fine art to you-name-it. History of architecture, the whole bit.

My dad obviously taught everybody, but when there was a student—in this case, a couple; there was George Underwood, who did the Ziggy Stardust cover as well as many others for David, who's a fantastic fine artist, a painter. I have some of his work here. He was Dave's best friend for life.

So, it was the two of them I met. At one point, my dad said, "Well, you boys all play these guitars and this rock 'n' roll music. Why don't you bring your guitars to school, and I'll stick 'em in my office, and you can play them at lunchtime? So we did, and David became sort of more of a family friend. 

When we did the introduction to the Glass Spider tour in London, my parents came up and afterward, there was a press conference and we played about four or five numbers. So afterward, my parents were backstage. And I'm talking to Mom and I'm saying, "Where's Dad?" She's saying, "Oh, I don't know. He went off with Dave somewhere!" They would just disappear off together. 

When I lost my dad, Dave was the first person to call. That gives you some idea.

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Such intimate connections! I also wanted to touch on Radiohead, since they're the most contemporary act of the bunch. What's your relationship with those guys and/or their music? I'm not sure if you know them personally.

No, I don't know them. But from afar, I'm amazed by that band. It's one of the most inventive bands ever, I think, and they keep reinventing themselves with every album, every piece. It's something so special; it's very unique. I mean, every band is unique in some way, but Radiohead are way ahead of their time, I think, which is wonderful. 

I can learn so much from them just listening to the way [Thom Yorke] sings, plays, the way they all write, the basic chord sequence and the track and the riff. You know, I delve in there. It's a lesson for a musician. It's a really big lesson listening to any one of their songs.

Let's say, best case scenario, venues start to open this summer. Are you going to try to finish up your farewell tour?

This is where I have to give you the realistic chat. Not you—I have to be realistic because we all have one clock. Well, we've got two clocks right now, worldwide, that we live with. One is our life-clock and one is the COVID clock. 

The COVID clock is stopping everybody from being around each other, for good reason, right now, obviously. And the more we stay away from each other, unfortunately, at this time, the better it is. But I have a third clock, which is my IBM—inclusion body myositis—clock. Slowly but surely, unfortunately, I'm losing strength in my hands, my arms and my legs.

It's specific muscles it hits. It picks and chooses the muscles and there's no rhyme or reason for it. They don't know; there's no cure. If it takes another year before we can reschedule any dates, I will have to be realistic to see if my hands work or my legs will keep me up. 

That's what I have to deal with, and I think there's a certain level of playing where I won't perform anymore. If I can't play certain things the way I want to—I don't want to be that person to go out there and people feel bad for me because I don't play as good but I am Peter Frampton. That's not going to happen.

If I go out having played my last show [near] San Francisco on October 12, 2019, if that's my last show, then so be it. But obviously, I am hoping more than anybody else that within a year—or if it is a year; I'm imagining it's going to be at least a year—if things aren't doing good, then that will be it for me, unfortunately.

In the meantime, it seems like you're feeling good and you're creatively percolating. What are you listening to lately? If you were to make another instrumental record, what might be on it, based on what you're checking out these days?

Oh, gosh. I can't answer that question. That's a whole thought process I'd need, like, a month for!

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Photo of Noah Kahan (L) and Olivia Rodrigo (R) perform during the GUTS World Tour in New York City
Noah Kahan (L) and Olivia Rodrigo (R) perform during the GUTS World Tour in New York City

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation


10 Record Store Day 2024 Releases We're Excited About: The Beatles, Notorious B.I.G. & More

In honor of Record Store Day 2024, which falls on April 20, learn about 10 limited, exclusive drops to watch out for when browsing your local participating record store.

GRAMMYs/Apr 18, 2024 - 02:20 pm

From vinyl records by the 1975 and U2, to album reissues and previously unreleased music, record stores around the world are stocking limited and exclusive releases for Record Store Day 2024

The first Record Store Day kicked off in 2008 and every year since, the event supporting independently owned record stores has grown exponentially. On Record Store Day 2024, which falls on April 20, there will be more than 300 special releases available from artists as diverse as  the Beatles and Buena Vista Social Club. 

In honor of Record Store Day 2024 on April 20, here are 10 limited and exclusive drops to watch out for when browsing your local participating record store. 

David Bowie — Waiting in the Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth

British glam rocker David Bowie was a starman and an icon. Throughout his career, he won five GRAMMY Awards and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. 

On RSD 2024, Bowie's estate is dialing it back to his Ziggy Stardust days to make Waiting in the Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth) available for the first time. The record features recordings of Bowie's sessions at Trident Studios in 1971, and many songs from those sessions would be polished for his 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

The tracklisting for Waiting in the Sky differs from Ziggy Stardust and features four songs that didn’t make the final album.

Talking Heads — Live at WCOZ 77

New York City-based outfit Talking Heads defined the sound of new wave in the late '70s and into the next decade. For their massive influence, the group received two GRAMMY nominations and was later honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021.

While promoting their debut album Talking Heads: 77, the quartet recorded a live performance for the New Albany, Pennsylvania radio station WCOZ in 1977. The Live at WCOZ 77 LP will include 14 songs from that performance at Northern Studios, including seven that will be released for the first time. Among the previously unheard cuts are "Love Goes To A Building On Fire" and "Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town." During that session, Talking Heads also performed songs like "Psycho Killer" and "Pulled Up."

The Doors — Live at Konserthuset, Stockholm, September 20, 1968

The Doors were at the forefront of the psychedelic rock movement of the 1960s and early '70s. One of Jim Morrison's most epic performances with the band will be available on vinyl for the first time. 

Live at Konserthuset, Stockholm, September 20, 1968 includes recordings from a radio broadcast that was never commercially released. The 3-LP release includes performances of songs from the Doors’ first three albums, including 1967’s self-titled and Strange Days. In addition to performing their classics like "Light My Fire" and "You're Lost Little Girl," the Doors and Morrison also covered "Mack the Knife" and Barret Strong's "Money (That's What I Want)" live during this session. 

Dwight Yoakam — The Beginning And Then Some: The Albums of the '80s

Over the course of his 40-year career, country music icon Dwight Yoakam has received 18 GRAMMY nominations and won two golden gramophones for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1994 and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 2000.

On Record Store Day 2024, Yoakam will celebrate the first chapter of his legacy with a new box set: The Beginning And Then Some: The Albums of the '80s. His debut album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. and 1987’s Hillbilly Deluxe will be included in the collection alongside exclusive disc full of rarities and demos. The 4-LP set includes his classics like "Honky Tonk Man," "Little Ways," and "Streets of Bakersfield." The box set will also be available to purchase on CD.  

The Beatles — The Beatles Limited Edition RSD3 Turntable

Beatlemania swept across the U.S. following the Beatles’ first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in February 1964, setting the stage for the British Invasion. With The Beatles Limited Edition RSD3 Turntable, the band will celebrate their iconic run of appearances on Sullivan’s TV program throughout that year.

The box set will include a Beatles-styled turntable and four 3-inch records. Among those records are the hits "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "Till There Was You," "She Loves You," and "I Saw Her Standing There," which the Beatles performed on Sullivan's TV across several appearances. 

Among 23 GRAMMY nominations, the Beatles won seven golden gramophones. In 2014, the Recording Academy honored them with the Lifetime Achievement Award.   

Olivia Rodrigo and Noah Kahan — From The BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge LP

Olivia Rodrigo and Noah Kahan are two of the biggest pop stars in the world right now — Rodrigo hitting the stage with No Doubt at Coachella and near the end of her global GUTS Tour; Kahan fresh off a Best New Artist nomination at the 2024 GRAMMYs. Now, they're teaming up for the split single From The BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge LP, a release culled from each artist's "BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge" sessions. 

The special vinyl release will include Rodrigo's live cover of Kahan's breakout hit "Stick Season." The single also includes Kahan’s cover of Rodrigo’s song "Lacy" from her second album, GUTS. This month, they performed the song live together on Rodrigo’s Guts World Tour stop in Madison Square Garden.  

Buena Vista Social Club — Buena Vista Social Club

Influential Cuban group Buena Vista Social Club popularized genres and sounds from their country, including son cubano, bolero, guajira, and danzón. Buena Vista Social Club's landmark self-titled LP won the GRAMMY for Best Tropical Latin Album in 1998.

The following year, a documentary was released that captured two of the band's live performances in New York City and Amsterdam. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the documentary, the Buena Vista Social Club album will be released on a limited edition gold vinyl with remastered audio and bonus tracks.

Buena Vista Social Club is one of the 10 recordings to be newly inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame as part of the 2024 inductee class.

Danny Ocean — 54+1

Venezuelan reggaeton star Danny Ocean broke through on a global level in 2016 with his self-produced debut single "Me Rehúso," a heartbreaking track inspired by Ocean fleeing Venezuela due to the country's economic instability and the lover he had left behind. 

With "Me Rehúso," Ocean became the first solo Latin artist to surpass one billion streams on Spotify, on the platform with a single song. "Me Rehúso" was included on his 2019 debut album 54+1, which will be released on vinyl for the first time for Record Store Day.

Lee "Scratch" Perry & The Upsetters — Skanking With The Upsetter

Jamaican producer Lee "Scratch" Perry pioneered dub music in the 1960s and '70s. Perry received five GRAMMY nominations in his lifetime, including winning Best Reggae Album in 2003 for Jamaican E.T.

To celebrate the legacy of Perry's earliest dub recordings, a limited edition run of his 2004 album Skanking With The Upsetter will be released on Record Store Day. His joint LP with his house band the Upsetters will be pressed on transparent yellow vinyl. Among the rare dub tracks on the album are "Bucky Skank," "Seven & Three Quarters (Skank)," and "IPA Skank." 

Read more: Lee "Scratch" Perry Documentary Director Sets The Record Straight On The Reggae Icon's Legacy — Including A Big Misconception About Bob Marley

Notorious B.I.G. — Ready To Die: The Instrumentals

The Notorious B.I.G. helped define the sound of East Coast rap in the '90s. Though he was tragically murdered in 1997, his legacy continues to live on through his two albums. 

During his lifetime, the Notorious B.I.G. dropped his 1994 debut album Ready to Die, which is widely considered to be one of the greatest hip-hop releases of all-time. In honor of the 30th anniversary of the album (originally released in September '94), his estate will release Ready To Die: The Instrumentals. The limited edition vinyl will include select cuts from the LP like his hits "Big Poppa," "One More Chance/Stay With Me," and "Juicy." The album helped him garner his first GRAMMY nomination in 1996 for Best Rap Solo Performance. The Notorious B.I.G. received an additional three nominations after his death in 1998. 

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Soundgarden in 1994
Soundgarden in Tokyo in 1994.

Photo: Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images


8 Reasons Soundgarden's 'Superunknown' Is One Of The Most Influential Grunge Albums

Six years into their career, Soundgarden surged into the grunge stratosphere with their fourth LP, 'Superunknown.' Thirty years after its release, here's why the album is still rocking.

GRAMMYs/Mar 8, 2024 - 03:56 pm

Despite being the first grunge group to sign with a major label in the late '80s, Seattle four-piece Soundgarden were one of the last major players to break through to the mainstream. In fact, by the time they released their fourth LP, Superunknown, in March 1994, Pearl Jam had already sold 20 million records, Stone Temple Pilots had won a GRAMMY, and Nirvana were only a month away from tragically imploding.  

However, when frontman Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Ben Shepherd, and drummer Matt Cameron finally entered the big league, they did so in major fashion. Superunknown instantly topped the Billboard 200, and went on to spawn five top 20 hits on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart, win two GRAMMYs, and achieve five-time platinum status in the United States alone. 

Perhaps the most ironic part is that Soundgarden went stratospheric with an experimental 70-minute opus that resolutely drowns in despair — and that paradox was not lost on Cornell. "There's an eeriness in there, a kind of unresolvable sadness or indescribable longing that I've never really tried to isolate and define and fully understand," the singer told Rolling Stone in 2014, three years before he died by suicide. "But it's always there. It's like a haunted thing." 

Indeed, the cleaner-cut Cornell may have trimmed his signature locks in time for Superknown's array of MTV-friendly videos, but the album is hardly a streamlined affair tailor-made for the masses. Still, its intensity, uncompromising nature, and eclecticism — let's not forget it boasts a cameo from a street artist named Artis the Spoonman — has helped it remain one of premier grunge classics. 

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Superunknown, here's a look at why the record is a benchmark of Gen X rock.    

It Proved Grunge Could Survive the Death Of Its Hero

Many say that the grunge movement died the day Kurt Cobain took his own life on April 5, 1994. Yet while the tragedy nearly instantly made Nirvana obsolete, many of their peers still enjoyed major success for several years before the slightly more earnest sound dubbed post-grunge took up the angst-ridden mantle.  

Released just a month before Cobain's passing, Superunknown had already joined Nevermind and In Utero, Alice in Chains' Jar of Flies, and Pearl Jam's Vs. on grunge's list of Billboard 200 chart-toppers. But it had a remarkable shelf life, too, spending 80 weeks on the chart and becoming the 13th biggest seller of 1994.  

A 20th anniversary re-release and accompanying tour in 2014 further highlighted how seminal the record had become, with even Cornell — a man typically averse to all things nostalgic — appearing to accept its classic status. "It was showing what we were, not just a flavor of the month," he told Rolling Stone. "We had the responsibility to seize the moment, and I think we really did." 

It Broke The Grunge Mould

While the likes of Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., and Sonic Youth were key reference points for most grunge outfits, Superunknown took inspiration from a much broader musical palette. Producer Michael Beinhorn looked toward the ambient techno of Aphex Twin and the punishing Dutch dance music known as gabber to capture the required intensity; he also pointed Cornell in the direction of specific Frank Sinatra songs to help hone the frontman's performance style. 

There was also a strong Beatles influence, particularly on the Lennon-ish melodies of "Black Hole Sun" and the "Tomorrow Never Knows"-esque drum breaks of "My Wave." "We looked deep down inside the very core of our souls and there was a little Ringo sitting there," Thayil told Guitar World in 1994.. 

The Shepherd-sung "Half," meanwhile, further embraced the band's Middle Eastern tendencies, while the use of mellotrons ("Mailman"), clavinets ("Fresh Tendrils"), and, most intriguingly, various kitchen equipment ("Spoonman") further proved Soundgarden weren't afraid to push the genre outside of its comfort zone.   

It Won The Great Rock War Of 1994

You could say that March 8, 1994 was a momentous day for game-changing American rock, and indeed music retailers across the country. Not only did Soundgarden unleash their blockbuster fourth album, but Nine Inch Nails dropped their very own magnum opus, too.   

Combining transgressive themes such as S&M, self-hatred and substance abuse with pioneering electronics and strong melodic hooks, NIN's The Downward Spiral is credited with pushing industrial rock into the mainstream. And in most other weeks, its first-week sales of 118,000 would have been enough to land the No. 1 spot.  

Unfortunately for Trent Reznor and co., it went up against an even bigger commercial juggernaut. Superunknown sailed to the top of the Billboard 200 with a remarkable 310,000 sales, winning the unlikely chart battle by a landslide. 15 years later, Reznor admitted he'd been wounded by the defeat, but following a brief online beef with Cornell, the two outfits kissed and made up with a 2014 joint tour.   

It Inspired A Generation Of Rockers

Between The Buried and Me ("The Day I Tried to Live"), Halestorm ("Fell on Black Days"), and Ufomammut ("Let Me Drown") are just a few of the modern-day rock bands who've paid tribute to Superunknown with various covers over the years. Its most high-profile champion, though, was another iconic frontman also sadly no longer with us. 

Chester Bennington regularly sang the album's praises, describing it as "one of the best rock records of all time" while also selecting "Limo Wreck" on his ultimate playlist for Shortlist. The Linkin Park singer had struck up such a close friendship with Cornell he was invited to perform at the latter's funeral in 2017 just two months before his own tragic death.  

Proof of just how wide-reaching Superunknown's appeal was, however, came with the fact '80s hair metallers Def Leppard also cited it as a source of inspiration for 1996's Slang, while nine years on, legendary crooner Paul Anka covered "Black Hole Sun" in a big band style on Rock Swings.  

It Spawned The Scene's Defining Video

Soundgarden's controversial video for Badmotorfinger's "Jesus Christ Pose" received a ban from MTV in 1991. In stark contrast, the promo for Superunknown's lead single three years later became a regular fixture on the network.  

Directed by Howard Greenhalgh, the attention-grabbing clip centers around a suburban community which gradually becomes consumed by, well, a black hole sun. While the band make an appearance, valiantly performing while the apocalypse rages on, they are inevitably overshadowed by the nightmarish locals and their exaggerated wide eyes, maniacal grins, and slithering lizard tongues.  

Heavily inspired by the opening minutes of David Lynch's 1986 cult classic Blue Velvet, "Black Hole Sun" was one of the few videos Soundgarden were satisfied with, according to Thayil. And one could argue that alongside Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Pearl Jam's "Jeremy," it's the grunge movement's visual piece-de-resistance.  

It Made GRAMMYs History

Stone Temple Pilots might have won grunge's first GRAMMY in 1994 (Best Hard Rock Performance for "Plush"). However, Soundgarden were the scene's first — and only — act to pick up two awards in the decade it reigned supreme. 

Rather surprisingly, Nirvana were only ever recognized in 1996 when MTV Unplugged in New York won Best Alternative Music Performance. Likewise, Pearl Jam, who picked up Best Hard Rock Performance for "Spin the Black Circle" (they did win a second in 2015 for Best Recording Package). And although Scott Weiland's outfit received a further two nominations, they never got the chance to make another acceptance speech. 

Both of Soundgarden's victories came for Superunknown in 1995, with "Spoonman" winning Best Metal Performance and "Black Hole Sun" Best Hard Rock Performance. The latter also got a nod in Best Rock Song (which went to Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia"), while the LP itself lost to the Rolling Stones' Voodoo Lounge for Best Rock Album.  

It Put The Poetry Into Grunge

"I write my best songs when I'm depressed," Cornell once told Melody Maker. And the frontman certainly appeared to be going through a lot during the making of Superunknown

"Let Me Drown" was self-described as a song about "crawling back to the womb to die." "Mailman" is the tale of a man driven to murder — specifically, shooting his boss in the head — by the pressures of work. And as its title suggests, "Fell on Black Days" reflects on the moment you realize, "everything in your life is f—ed." 

Yet, having reportedly immersed himself in the works of Sylvia Plath before recording, Cornell's lines are a little more poetic than the usual "woe is me" platitudes. See "Safe outside my gilded cage/ With an ounce of pain, I wield a ton of rage" from "Like Suicide," the haunting closer about a bird who flew fatally straight into his house window. Or "Shower in the dark day, clean sparks diving down/ Cool in the waterway where the baptized drown," from "4th of July," the recounting of a dread-filled LSD trip experienced on an Indian reservation. 

Not every track on Superunknown is particularly deep and meaningful: In a 1996 interview, Cornell freely admitted the album's breakout hit is simply a bowl of word salad. But on the whole, it's a record as intriguing lyrically as it is sonically.  

It's Grunge's Most Immersive Album

"A perfect headphones album." That's how Thayil described Superunknown to Spotify while promoting its 20th anniversary reissue in 2014. And he's not wrong. Although the full-throttle title track and punky "Kickstand" proved Soundgarden could still rock out without any bells and whistles, most of their accompanying tracks are of the intricate variety, the group leaning into their free-wheeling, psychedelic side stronger than ever before.  

Each band member gets the chance to display their versatility throughout the multi-layered affair, with subtleties that unfurl with each listen. Alongside Cornell's expressive vocal range, there's Thayil's winding guitar solos, Shepherd's fluid basslines, and Cameron's dexterous rhythms. The result is a record that appears specifically designed to be experienced via a pair of Dr. Dre's finest (or whatever the equivalent of Beats was back in 1994) — and one that has remained just as jammable and beloved 30 years on.

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The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr
The Beatles in 1964

Photo: Mark and Colleen Hayward / Redferns / Getty Images 


'Meet The Beatles!' Turns 60: Inside The Album That Launched Beatlemania In America

A month before the Beatles played "The Ed Sullivan Show," they released their second American studio album — the one most people heard first. Here's a track-by-track breakdown of this magnitudinous slab of wax by the Fab Four.

GRAMMYs/Jan 19, 2024 - 06:48 pm

For many in America, Meet the Beatles! marked their first introduction to the legendary Fab Four — and their lives would be forever altered.

Released on Jan. 20, 1964 by Capitol Records, the Beatles' second American studio album topped the Billboard 200 within a month and stayed there for 11 weeks — only to be ousted by their next U.S. album release, The Beatles' Second Album.

It's almost impossible to put into words the impact of Meet
the Beatles! on an entire generation of the listening public. But Billy Corgan, of the Smashing Pumpkins, gave it a shot as an early fan of the Beatles in a series of LiveJournal remembrances — in this case, of himself at five years old, in 1972.

"I am totally overwhelmed by the collective sound of the greatest band ever blasting in mono thru a tin needle into a tiny speaker," he wrote. "I associate this sound forever with electricity, for it sends bolts thru my body and leaves me breathless. I can not stand still as I listen, so I must spin… I spin until I am ready to pass out, and then I spin some more."

So many other artists remember that eureka moment. "They were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid," Bob Dylan said of the opening track, "I Want to Hold Your Hand." "I knew they were pointing the direction of where music had to go." Everyone from Ozzy Osbourne to Sting and Questlove agreed.

From Meet the Beatles!, the Fabs would have the most astonishing five-or-six-year run in music. And so much of their songwriting and production innovation can be found within its grooves; truly, the world had no idea what it was in for. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of Meet the Beatles!, here's a quick track-by-track breakdown.

"I Want to Hold Your Hand"

The Fabs' first American No. 1 hit may have been about the chastest of romantic gestures. Still, there's nothing heavier than "I Want to Hold Your Hand," because it's clamor and fraternity. That seemingly saccharine package also contained everything they'd ever do in concentrate — hints of the foreboding of "Ticket to Ride," the galactic final chord of "A Day in the Life," and beyond.

"I Saw Her Standing There"

A few too many awards show tributes have threatened to do in "I Saw Her Standing There," but they've failed. As the opening shot of their first UK album, Please Please Me, it's perfect, but as the second track on Meet the Beatles!, it just adds to the magnitude. What a one-two punch.

"This Boy"

Songwriting-wise, "This Boy" drags a little; it becomes a little hazy who "this boy" or "that boy"  are. But it's not only a killer Smokey Robinson rip; John Lennon's double-tracked vocal solo still punches straight through your chest. (Where applicable, go for the 2020s Giles Martin remix, which carries maximum clarity, definition and punch — said solo is incredible in this context.)

"It Won't Be Long"

Half a dozen other songs here have overshadowed "It Won't Be Long," but it's still one of the early Beatles' most ruthless kamikaze missions, an assault of flying "yeahs" that knocks you sideways.

"All I've Got to Do"

Lennon shrugged off "All I've Got to Do" as "trying to do Smokey Robinson again," and that's more or less what it is. One interesting detail is the conceit of calling a girlfriend on the phone, which was firmly alien to British youth: "I have never called a girl on the 'phone in my life!"he said later in an interview. "Because 'phones weren't part of the English child's life."

"All My Loving"

"All My Loving" was the first song the Beatles played on the American airwaves: when Lennon was pronounced dead, eyewitnesses attest the song came over the speakers. It's a grim trajectory for this most inventive and charismatic of early Beatles singles, with Lennon's tumbling rhythm guitar spilling the composition forth. (About that unorthodox strumming pattern: it seems easy until you try it. And Lennon did it effortlessly.)

"Don't Bother Me"

As Dreaming the Beatles author Rob Sheffield put it, "'Don't Bother Me,' his first real song, began the 'George is in a bad mood' phase of his songwriting, which never ended." Harrison wouldn't pick up the sitar for another year or two, but the song still carries a vaguely dreamy, exotic air.

"Little Child"

"I'm so sad and lonely/ Baby, take a chance with me." For a tortured, creative kid like Corgan, from a rough background — and, likely, a million similar young folks — Lennon's childlike plea must have sounded like salvation.

"Till There Was You"

McCartney's infatuation with the postwar sounds of his youth never ended, and it arguably began on record with this Music Man tune. As usual, McCartney dances right on the edge of overly chipper and apple-cheeked. But here, George Martin's immersive, soft-focused arrangement makes it all work.

"Hold Me Tight"

Like "Little Child," "Hold Me Tight" is a tad Fabs-by-numbers, showing how they occasionally painted themselves into a corner as per their formula. Their rapid evolution from here would leave trifles like "Hold Me Tight" in the rearview.

"I Wanna Be Your Man"

Tellingly, Lennon and McCartney tossed this half-written composition to the Stones — and to Ringo Starr. Mick Jagger's typically lusty performance works, but Starr's is even better — the funny-nosed drummer throws his whole chest into this vocal workout.

"Not A Second Time"

Meet the Beatles! concludes with this likable Lennon tune about heartbreak — maybe C-tier by his standards, but it slouches toward his evolutionary step that would be A Hard Day's Night

Soon, these puppy-dog emotions ("And now you've changed your mind/ I see no reason to change mine/ I cry") would curdle and ferment in astonishing ways — in "Ticket to Ride," in "Girl," in "Strawberry Fields Forever." And it all began with Meet the Beatles! — a shot heard around the world.

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21 Albums Turning 50 In 2024: 'Diamond Dogs,' 'Jolene,' 'Natty Dread' & More

Dozens of albums were released in 1974 and, 50 years later, continue to stand the test of time. reflects on 21 records that demand another look and are guaranteed to hook first-time listeners.

GRAMMYs/Jan 5, 2024 - 04:08 pm

Despite claims by surveyed CNN readers, 1974 was not a year marked by bad music. The Ramones played their first gig. ABBA won Eurovision with the earworm "Waterloo," which became an international hit and launched the Swedes to stardom. Those 365 days were marked by chart-topping debuts, British bangers and prog-rock dystopian masterpieces. Disenchantment, southern pride, pencil thin mustaches and tongue-in-cheek warnings to "not eat yellow snow" filled the soundwaves.  

1974 was defined by uncertainty and chaos following a prolonged period of crisis. The ongoing OPEC oil embargo and the resulting energy shortage caused skyrocketing inflation, exacerbating the national turmoil that preceded President Nixon’s resignation following the Watergate scandal. Other major events also shaped the zeitgeist: Stephen King published his first novel, Carrie, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman slugged it out for the heavyweight title at "The Rumble in the Jungle," and People Magazine published its first issue. 

Musicians reflected a general malaise. Themes of imprisonment, disillusionment and depression — delivered with sardonic wit and sarcasm — found their way on many of the records released that year. The mood reflects a few of the many reasons these artistic works still resonate.  

From reggae to rock, cosmic country to folk fused with jazz, to the introduction of a new Afro-Trinidadian music style, take a trip back 18,262 days to recall 20 albums celebrating their 50th anniversaries in 2024. 

Joni Mitchell - Court & Spark

Joni Mitchell’s Court & Spark is often hailed as the pinnacle of her artistic career and highlights the singer/songwriter’s growing interest in jazz, backed by a who’s who of West Coast session musicians including members of the Crusaders and L.A. Express. 

As her most commercially successful record, the nine-time GRAMMY winner presents a mix of playful and somber songs. In an introspective tone, Mitchell searches for freedom from the shackles of big-city life and grapples with the complexities of love lost and found. The record went platinum — it hit No.1 on the Billboard charts in her native Canada and No. 2 in the U.S., received three GRAMMY nominations and featured a pair of hits: "Help Me" (her only career Top 10) and "Free Man in Paris," an autobiographical song about music mogul David Geffen.

Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown

In 2023 we lost legendary songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. He left behind a treasure trove of country-folk classics, several featured on his album Sundown. These songs resonated deeply with teenagers who came of age in the early to mid-1970s — many sang along in their bedrooms and learned to strum these storied songs on acoustic guitars. 

Recorded in Toronto, at Eastern Sound Studios, the album includes the only No.1 Billboard topper of the singer/songwriter’s career. The title cut, "Sundown," speaks of "a hard-loving woman, got me feeling mean" and hit No. 1 on both the pop and the adult contemporary charts. 

In Canada, the album hit No.1 on the RPM Top 100 in and stayed there for five consecutive weeks. A second single, "Carefree Highway," peaked at the tenth spot on the Billboard Hot 100, but hit No.1 on the Easy Listening charts.

Eric Clapton - 461 Ocean Boulevard

Eric Clapton’s 461 Ocean Boulevard sold more than two million copies worldwide. His second solo studio record followed a three-year absence while Clapton battled heroin addiction. The record’s title is the address where "Slowhand" stayed in the Sunshine State while recording this record at Miami’s Criteria Studios. 

A mix of blues, funk and soulful rock, only two of the 10 songs were penned by the Englishman. Clapton’s cover of Bob Marley’s "I Shot the Sheriff," was a massive hit for the 17-time GRAMMY winner and the only No.1 of his career, eclipsing the Top 10 in nine countries. In 2003, the guitar virtuoso’s version of the reggae song was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Second Helping

No sophomore slump here. This "second helping" from these good ole boys is a serious serving of classic southern rock ‘n’ roll with cupfuls of soul. Following the commercial success of their debut the previous year, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s second studio album featured the band’s biggest hit: "Sweet Home Alabama." 

The anthem is a celebration of Southern pride; it was written in response to two Neil Young songs ("Alabama" and "Southern Man") that critiqued the land below the Mason-Dixon line. The song was the band’s only Top 10, peaking at No. 8 on the Billboard Top 100. Recorded primarily at the Record Plant in Los Angeles, other songs worth a second listen here include: the swampy cover of J.J. Cale's "Call Me The Breeze," the boogie-woogie foot-stomper "Don’t Ask Me No Questions" and the country-rocker "The Ballad of Curtis Loew." 

Bad Company - Bad Company

A little bit of blues, a token ballad, and plenty of hard-edged rock, Bad Company released a dazzling self-titled debut album. The English band formed from the crumbs left behind by a few other British groups: ex-Free band members including singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke, former King Crimson member bassist Boz Burrel, and guitarist Mick Ralphs from Mott the Hoople. 

Certified five-times platinum, Bad Company hit No.1 on the Billboard 200 and No. 3 in the UK, where it spent 25 weeks. Recorded at Ronnie Lane’s Mobile Studio, the album was the first record released on Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label. Five of the eight tracks were in regular FM rotation throughout 1974; "Bad Company," "Can’t Get Enough" and "Ready for Love" remain staples of classic rock radio a half century later. 

Supertramp - Crime of the Century

"Dreamer, you know you are a dreamer …" sings Supertramp’s lead singer Roger Hodgson on the first single from their third studio album. The infectious B-side track "Bloody Well Right," became even more popular than fan favorite, "Dreamer." 

The British rockers' dreams of stardom beyond England materialized with Crime of the Century. The album fused prog-rock with pop and hit all the right notes leading to the band’s breakthrough in several countries — a Top 5 spot in the U.S. and a No.1 spot in Canada where it stayed for more than two years and sold more than two million copies. A live version of "Dreamer," released six years later, was a Top 20 hit in the U.S. 

Big Star - Radio City

As one of the year’s first releases, the reception for this sophomore effort from American band Big Star was praised by critics despite initial lukewarm sales (which were due largely to distribution problems). Today, the riveting record by these Memphis musicians is considered a touchstone of power pop; its melodic stylings influenced many indie rock bands in the 1980s and 1990s, including R.E.M. and the Replacements. One of Big Star’s biggest songs, "September Gurls," appears here and was later covered by The Bangles. 

In a review, American rock critic Robert Christgau, called the record "brilliant and addictive." He wrote: "The harmonies sound like the lead sheets are upside down and backwards, the guitar solos sound like screwball readymade pastiches, and the lyrics sound like love is strange, though maybe that's just the context." 

The Eagles - On the Border

The third studio record from California harmonizers, the Eagles, shows the band at a crossroads — evolving ever so slightly from acoustically-inclined country-folk to a more distinct rock ‘n’ roll sound. On the Border marks the studio debut for band member Don Felder. His contributions and influence are seen through his blistering guitar solos, especially in the chart-toppers "Already Gone" and "James Dean." 

On the Border sold two million copies, driven by the chart topping ballad "Best of My Love" — the Eagles first No.1 hit song. The irony: the song was one of only two singles Glyn Johns produced at Olympic Studios in London. Searching for that harder-edged sound, the band hired Bill Szymczyk to produce the rest of the record at the Record Plant in L.A. 

Jimmy Buffett - Livin’ and Dyin in ¾ Time & A1A

Back in 1974, 28-year-old Jimmy Buffett was just hitting his stride. Embracing the good life, Buffett released not just one, but two records that year. Don Grant produced both albums that were the final pair in what is dubbed Buffett’s "Key West phase" for the Florida island city where the artist hung his hat during these years.

The first album, Livin’ and Dyin’ in ¾ Time, was released in February and recorded at Woodland Sound Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. It featured the ballad "Come Monday," which hit No. 30 on the Hot 100 and "Pencil Thin Mustache," a concert staple and Parrothead favorite. A1A arrived in December and hit No. 25 on the Billboard 200 charts. The most beloved songs here are "A Pirate Looks at Forty" and "Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season." 

Buffett embarked on a tour and landed some plume gigs, including opening slots for two other artists on this list: Frank Zappa and Lynyrd Skynyrd. 

Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

Following a successful tour of Europe and North America for their 1973 album, Selling England by the Pound, Genesis booked a three-month stay at the historic Headley Grange in Hampshire, a former workhouse. In this bucolic setting, the band led by frontman Peter Gabriel, embarked on a spiritual journey of self discovery that evolved organically through improvisational jams and lyric-writing sessions. 

This period culminated in a rock opera and English prog-rockers’s magnum opus, a double concept album that follows the surreal story of a Puerto Rican con man named Rael. Songs are rich with American imagery, purposely placed to appeal to this growing and influential fan base across the pond. 

This album marked the final Genesis record with Gabriel at the helm. The divisiveness between the lyricist, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks came to a head during tense recording sessions and led to Gabriel’s departure from the band to pursue a solo career, following a 102-date tour to promote the record. The album reached tenth spot on the UK album charts and hit 41 in the U.S. 

David Bowie - Diamond Dogs

Is Ziggy Stardust truly gone? With David Bowie, the direction of his creative muse was always a mystery, as illustrated by his diverse musical legacy. What is clear is that Bowie’s biographers agree that this self-produced album is one of his finest works. 

At the point of producing Diamond Dogs, the musical chameleon and art-rock outsider had disbanded the band Spiders from Mars and was at a crossroads. His plans for a musical based on the Ziggy character and TV adaptation of George Orwell’s "1984" both fell through. In a place of uncertainty and disenchantment, Bowie creates a new persona: Halloween Jack. The record is lyrically bleak and evokes hopelessness. It marks the final chapter in his glam-rock period — "Rebel Rebel" is the swaggering single that hints at the coming punk-rock movement. 

Bob Marley - Natty Dread

Bob Marley’s album "Natty Dread," released first in Jamaica in October 1974 later globally in 1975, marked his first record without his Rastafari brethren in song Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. It also introduced the back-up vocal stylings of the I Threes (Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths.) 

The poet and the prophet Marley waxes on spiritual themes with songs like "So Jah Seh/Natty Dread'' and political commentary with tracks,"Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)" and "Rebel Music (3 O’clock Road Block)." The album also Includes one of the reggae legend’s best-loved songs, the ballad "No Woman No Cry," which paints a picture of "government yards in Trenchtown" where Marley’s feet are his "only carriage." 

Queen - Sheer Heart Attack

The third studio album released by the British rockers, Queen, is a killer. The first single, "Killer Queen," reached No. 2 on the British charts — and was the band’s first U.S. charting single. The record also peaked at No.12 in the U.S. Billboard albums charts. 

This record shows the four-time GRAMMY nominees evolving and shifting from progressive to glam rock. The album features one of the most legendary guitar solos and riffs in modern rock by Brian May on "Brighton Rock." Clocking in at three minutes, the noodling showcases the musician’s talent via his use of multi-tracking and delays to great effect. 

Randy Newman - Good Old Boys

Most recognize seven-time GRAMMY winner Randy Newman for his work on Hollywood blockbuster scores. But, in the decade before composing and scoring movie soundtracks, the songwriter wrote and recorded several albums. Good Old Boys was Newman’s fourth studio effort and his first commercial breakthrough, peaking at No. 36 on the Billboard charts. 

The concept record, rich in sarcasm and wit, requires a focused listen to grasp the nuances of Newman’s savvy political and social commentary. The album relies on a fictitious narrator, Johnny Cutler, to aid the songwriter in exploring themes like "Rednecks" and ingrained generational racism in the South. "Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man)" is as relevant today as when Newman penned it as a direct letter to Richard Nixon. Malcolm Gladwell described this record as "unsettling" and a "perplexing work of music." 

Frank Zappa - Apostrophe

Rolling Stone once hailed Frank Zappa’s Apostrophe as "truly a mother of an album." The album cover itself, featuring Zappa’s portrait, seems to challenge listeners to delve into his eccentric musical universe. Apostrophe was the sixth solo album and the 19th record of the musician’s prolific career. The album showcases Zappa’s tight and talented band, his trademark absurdist humor and what Hunter S. Thompson described as "bad craziness."  

Apostrophe was the biggest commercial success of Zappa’s career. The record peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Top 200. The A-side leads off with a four-part suite of songs that begins with "Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow" and ends with "Father Oblivion," a tale of an Eskimo named Nanook. The track "Uncle Remus," tackles systemic racism in the U.S. with dripping irony. In less than three minutes, Zappa captures what many politicians can’t even begin to explain. Musically, Apostrophe is rich in riffs from the two-time GRAMMY winner that showcases his exceptional guitar skills in the title track that features nearly six minutes of noodling.

Gram Parsons - Grievous Angel

Grievous Angel can be summed up in one word: haunting. Recorded in 1973 during substance-fueled summer sessions in Hollywood, the album was released posthumously after Gram Parsons died of a drug overdose at 26. Grievous Angel featured only two new songs that Parsons’ penned hastily in the studio "In My Hour of Darkness" and "Return of the Grievous Angel." 

This final work by the cosmic cowboy comprises nine songs that have since come to define Parson’s short-lived legacy to the Americana canon. The angelic voice of Emmylou Harris looms large — the 13-time GRAMMY winner sings harmony and backup vocals throughout. Other guests include: guitarists James Burton and Bernie Leadon, along with Linda Ronstadt’s vocals on "In My Hour of Darkness." 

Neil Young - On The Beach

On the Beach, along with Tonight’s the Night (recorded in 1973, but not released until 1975) rank as Neil Young’s darkest records. Gone are the sunny sounds of Harvest, replaced with the singer/songwriter’s bleak and mellow meditations on being alone and alienated. 

"Ambulance Blues" is the centerpiece. The nine-minute track takes listeners on a journey back to Young’s "old folkie days" when the "Riverboat was rockin’ in the rain '' referencing lament and pining for time and things lost. The heaviness and gloom are palpable throughout the album, with the beach serving as an extended metaphor for Young’s malaise. 

Dolly Parton - Jolene

Imagine writing not just one, but two iconic classics in the same day. That’s exactly what Dolly Parton did with two tracks featured on this album. The first is the titular song, "Jolene," recorded  at RCA Studio B in Nashville. The song has been covered by more than a dozen artists. 

Released as the first single the previous fall, "Jolene," rocketed to No.1 on the U.S. country charts and garnered the 10-time GRAMMY winner her first Top 10 in the U.K. The song was nominated for a GRAMMY in 1975 and again in 1976 for Best Country Vocal Performance. However, it didn’t take home the golden gramophone until 2017, when a cover by the Pentatonix featuring Parton won a GRAMMY for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. 

Also included on this album is "I Will Always Love You," a song that Whitney Houston famously covered in 1992 for the soundtrack of the romantic thriller, The Bodyguard, earning Parton significant royalties. 

Barry White - Can’t Get Enough

The distinctive bass-baritone of two-time GRAMMY winner Barry White, is unmistakable. The singer/songwriter's sensual, deep vocal delivery is as loved today as it was then. On this record, White is backed by the 40-member strong Love Unlimited Orchestra, one of the best-selling artists of all-time. 

White wrote "Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe," about his wife during a sleepless night. This song is still played everywhere — from bedrooms to bar rooms, even 50 years on. In the U.S., the record hit the top of the R&B pop charts and No.1 on the Billboard 200. Although the album features only seven songs, two of them, including "You’re the First, the Last, My Everything" reached the top spot on the R&B charts. 

Lord Shorty - Endless Vibrations

Lord Shorty, born Garfield Blackman, is considered the godfather and inventor of soca music. This Trindadian musician revolutionized his nation’s Calypso rhythms, creating a vibrant up-tempo style that became synonymous with their world-renowned Carnival. 

Fusing Indian percussion instrumentation with well-established African calypso rhythms, Lord Shorty created what he originally dubbed "sokah," meaning, "calypso soul." The term soca, as it’s known today, emerged because of a journalist’s altered writing of the word, which stuck. The success of this crossover hit made waves across North America and made the island vibrations more accessible outside the island nation. 

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