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7 Musical Sibling Rivalries: CCR, Oasis, The Kinks & More
Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher and brother Noal Gallagher in 1995

Photo: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

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7 Musical Sibling Rivalries: CCR, Oasis, The Kinks & More

Sometimes arguments between siblings are brief and forgiving. Other times, the damage is irreparable. Read on for seven historic sibling rivalries, break-ups and reunions in rock and pop history.

GRAMMYs/Nov 27, 2023 - 04:04 pm

It stands to reason that, in music, the family that plays together stays together, although that’s not always the case.

For every Kings of Leon, Haim, Jonas BrothersJackson 5, Osmonds, Isley Brothers, Bee Gees or Hanson that stand the test of time, there are other family-based groups where the grueling and interdependent nature of rock stardom has led to dissension in the ranks.

 Sometimes those arguments between siblings are brief and forgiving. On other occasions, wedges are forged and sides are taken, resulting in either a permanent breakup of an act; a launch into new creative horizons; or hopefully a reconciliation.

 Here are seven well-known acts whose internal bickering between has led to either unexpected ends or surprising detours

The Everly Brothers: Don & Phil Everly

The Everlys' close-knit country pop and rock 'n' roll harmonies — which netted immortal chart-toppers "Bye Bye Love," "Wake Up, Little Susie" and "All I Have To Do Is Dream" — inspired everyone from the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel to Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. As such, it's difficult to fathom that the Don and Phil Everly were so at odds for the better part of a decade that they'd spend entire evenings together on stage without exchanging a word.

A 2014 Los Angeles Times article reported that "vastly different views on politics and life," drove a wedge between  Don and Phil.  The brothers broke up at least twice; their first estrangement followed a 1973 show at the California theme park Knott's Berry Farm, when Phil smashed his guitar and walked offstage.

That split resulted in separate careers up until a 1983 reunion at London's Royal Albert Hall and the recording of several albums, including EB'84 with producer Dave Edmunds.

Phil Everly died of pneumonia in 2014 at the age of 74, while Don succumbed to undisclosed causes at the age of 84 in 2021.

 It is unknown if the GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipients ever reconciled.

 The Louvin Brothers: Ira & Charlie Louvin

Grand Ole Opry legends and brothers Charlie and Ira Louvin are known for such songs as "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby" and "Hope That You're Hoping."

Born in Henagar, Alabama, the Louvin's country, bluegrass and gospel sound developed from their strict Baptist upbringing.  Yet the brothers preached one philosophy in song, Ira, who complemented Charlie's guitar on mandolin,  lived another: His inability to resist vices — drinking and womanizing — prompted Charlie to go solo in 1963.

Ira continued to lead a colorful life: his third wife shot him four times in the chest and twice in the hand after he allegedly tried to kill her with a telephone cord- but Louvin survived.

However, it was a 1965 car crash that eventually claimed Ira and his fourth wife, Anne: they were killed by a drunk driver. 

The tragedy cut short any chance of  a duo reunion, although Charlie enjoyed several Top 40 country hits through 1971. 

The Louvin Brothers were  enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. 

The Kinks: Ray & Dave Davies

English rock rebels the Kinks have sold more than 50 million albums since forming in the '60s, although most of their  hits — "Lola," " You Really Got Me," "Apeman," "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" and "Come Dancing" among others — stemmed from the pen of Ray Davies.

Contrary to popular belief, brother Dave says he is good with that equation — but admits that the relationship between them is naturally tumultuous.

Dave Davies explained the dynamics of his relationship with Ray to The Daily Mail in 2017, describing it as "a married couple who have just reached the end of the road."

"You know when one partner gives and gives and the other takes, and finally you realise (sic) you can’t do it any more?’

"You can’t divorce your brother, though. ‘No, you can’t. So we are stuck with each other, but I think I’ve accepted that this is just the way our relationship is.

In a separate interview with  The Daily Express in 2011, Ray agreed. "When we were together it was aggressive, violent, powerful but we triggered off each other."

Still, the dust-ups between them were legendary, leading to a two-decade rift.

As recently as 2018, there's been talk that Ray and Dave Davies had buried the hatchet and were intent on reuniting the Kinks... but here we are in 2023 and that possibility seems no closer to reality.

Creedence Clearwater Revival: John & Tom Fogerty

After American rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) formed in El Cerrito, California in 1959 (they began as the Blue Velvets and rechristened themselves several times before settling on CCR in 1968), it was clear that lead singer, guitarist and songwriter John Fogerty was calling the shots — including acting as the band's manager.

CCR included Fogerty's brother Tom, who played rhythm guitar;  bass player Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford.  Following  a particularly lucrative period between 1969 and 1970,  John  decided that Tom would no longer sing lead on or co-write any song while he was in the band, despite previously handling lead vocals and collaborating on some pre-CCR material.

"He cut Tom Fogerty out from singing," Clifford told AZ Central in 2015.  'Without Tom...there wouldn't have been a Creedence Clearwater Revival. When Tom graciously gave up the vocals to his younger brother, he had no idea that he would never be singing another song again. So Stu and I and Tom were always at odds with John about that."

Tom Fogerty left after 1970's Pendulum, and apart from a 1980 reunion during his wedding reception, CCR never performed again.  He died in 1990 after contracting AIDS from HIV-infected blood during a transfusion during back surgery, and was posthumously inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Heart: Ann & Nancy Wilson

One of the top female-led rock bands in modern music history thanks to hits like "Magic Man" and "What About Love," Heart has been the role model for thousands of musicians.

But the first public signs of friction between sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson occurred in August 2016, when Ann's husband Dean Wetter was arrested for assaulting Nancy's 16-year-old twin sons after he boys reportedly left open the door to his RV.

Rolling Stone reported that the siblings hadn't spoken  to each other since the 2016 tour ended, but relations have eventually warmed up. The sisters reunited for Heart's  53-date Love Alive tour in 2019 - and more recently, Nancy joined Ann Wilson and her band Tripsitter on stage October 10 in Santa Rosa California to perform "Barracuda."  They received the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023.

Ann Wilson has continued to release solo albums and front her band Tripsitter, while guitarist Nancy has formed Nancy Wilson's Heart.

In a 2022 Guitar World interview, Ann said she and Nancy are "okay," but have different ideas for the future of Heart. "We haven't figured out a compromise yet," she admitted.

The Black Crowes: Chris & Rich Robinson

Sometimes, money and control carry more weight than people insinuate.

Guitarist Rich Robinson left the Black Crowes in January 2015 due to an alleged ownership agreement with brother and vocalist Chris. Both men divided and  conquered with solo careers but remained largely incommunicado for almost five years.

But in an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, both Rich and Chris credited their children with healing the rift between them. 

"My daughter, Cheyenne (now 11), was like: ‘What’s the deal with you and Uncle Rich, and why don’t I know my cousins?’"Chris told the paper. "Those are the kind of questions that will make you think and reflect."

"Definitely. Kids are honest and curious, and they don’t have issues like Chris and I did," Rich said  in a joint interview with his brother. "So, as Chris said, that opened a door (to reconciliation)."

Together again since 2021, the Black Crowes will be shaking their moneymakers opening the final Aerosmith tour, once Steven Tyler's larynx heals. 

Oasis: Liam & Noel Gallagher

While backstage in 2009 in Paris, the tumultuous in-fighting between Oasis' Liam and Noel Gallagher reached new heights; a violent fistfight that drove a nail into the coffin of the band.

Noel's statement: "It's with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight. 'People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer."

This was the last in a number of physical altercations that had taken place over the years during tours. Since the split, Noel has been recording and touring with his band the High Flying Birds while Liam first took to the road and studio with Beady Eye, which split in 2014; he's now performing solo.

However, Liam has reportedly expressed interest in reuniting  with Noel and strike up Oasis, though whether there have been any private conversations towards this end remains to be seen.

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10 Love Songs That Have Nothing to Do With Love: From "Every Breath You Take" To "Baby It's Cold Outside"
Rihanna attends Marvel Studios' "Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever" Premiere on October 26, 2022 in Hollywood, California.

Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic / Getty Images

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10 Love Songs That Have Nothing to Do With Love: From "Every Breath You Take" To "Baby It's Cold Outside"

Don't let the song titles fool you. From misogynist attitudes to tales of coercion and even a secret pregnancy, many popular love songs aren't about love at all.

GRAMMYs/Feb 14, 2024 - 03:46 pm

Many studies on love have proven that it seems to be a trait present throughout species. Although it's undeniable that the capacity for love is universal, evidence suggests love manifests differently across individuals. That is why, for many people, love is undefinable, with the word meaning something for one and something else for another. 

This point has never been proven more true than in love songs. Numerous musicians and bands have sung about love, but their definition or meaning of the word and yours might be wholly different. You would be surprised to learn how many love songs have absolutely nothing to do with emotional or physical love.

When you delve beneath the surface, "love" songs are sometimes twisted, uncomfortable, sadistic, and unsavory. So, let's look at 10 love songs with nothing to do with love and everything to do with what they shouldn’t. 

"Every Breath You Take" - the Police 

When the Police released "Every Breath You Take" in 1983, it immediately became a huge hit, reaching No.1 on U.S., UK, Canadian, Irish, and South African charts. On the surface, this song seems romantic, which is why it made its way into numerous movie scenes and weddings, but the lyrics are uncomfortable and prove the song is not actually about love. 

Frontman Sting sings, "I'll be watching you," and, "Oh, can't you see, you belong to me?" about the song's object of affection. Rather than lyrics about a lover, it's believed that the song is about a stalker. At the time Sting was suffering a mental breakdown, making the verses infinitely more evil.

In fact, Sting himself said: "I think it's a nasty little song, really rather evil. It's about jealousy and surveillance and ownership."

"Rollercoaster of Love" - Ohio Players 

On the surface, the lyrics "It's a rollercoaster ride/we're on top for the moment/ and then we'll take that dive" seem to describe a relationship's exhilarating ups and downs. However, there has been much debate over the years about the true meaning behind the Ohio Players' staple. 

The most popular theory is that the song is about life's ups and downs, not love, but we'll never know. According to late frontman Leroy Bronner who wrote the tune, "To this day, I don't know what I wrote." He continued, "The words didn't make sense to me. But it was a hit."

The song also has a much darker recording humor, which further alienates it from the genre of love songs. According to the rumor to which the band responded "No comment," the scream on the track was the sound of a woman being murdered in the recording studio. 

The woman's death is an urban legend, but the band decided to leave it in as a joke and as a way to create buzz for the song, with the actual scream belonging to keyboard player Billy Beck. 

"Can't Feel My Face" - the Weeknd  

The Weeknd is well known for penning lyrics that have multiple meanings, so it's not surprising that his hit track "Can't Feel My Face" isn't really about love. 

With the lyrics: "I can't feel my face when I'm with you/But I love it" and "And I know she'll be the death of me, at least we'll both be numb/And she'll always get the best of me; the worst is yet to come." It sounds like a dark love song about a man who is so in love that he loses all control, which is plausible, but it's more likely the song is about cocaine. 

According to Billboard, the song is about drug dependency, and the Weeknd is crooning about cocaine and likening it to a bad relationship. The Weeknd had hinted at the song being about drugs when he commented: "I just won a new award for a kids' show, Talking 'bout a face numbing off a bag of blow." Unfortunately, it's not very romantic. 

"Umbrella" - Rihanna

Most believe that one of Rihanna's most famous songs is about a woman comforting her partner and explaining that she will be there for him through the good and bad times. "Baby 'cause in the dark you can't see shiny cars/And that's when you need me there. With you, I'll always share," she sings.

However, a few people believe "Umbrella" is about the corruption of a person's soul – Rhianna's in this case. Some believe that the 2007 hit is about Rhianna welcoming the devil into her heart, body, and soul. While this is more of a conspiracy theory than anything else,  a pastor recently posted on TikTok that he came back from hell, and "Umbrella" was one of the songs being used to torture individuals. 

"All I Wanna Do is Make Love To You" -  Heart

If you listen carefully to the lyrics in "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You," it's clear that the 1990 song actually about deceit. 

Nancy and Ann Wilson are singing about being in love with another man who cannot provide her with children because he is impotent — so she finds a willing one-night stand. She sings, "I didn't ask him his name, this lonely boy in the rain." When morning comes, the protagonist says "All I left him was a note/ I told him I am the flower; you are the seed. We walked in the garden; we planted a tree."

After some time has passed, she's unnerved to come across his path, presumably pregnant: "You can imagine his surprise when he saw his own eyes/I said please, please understand/I'm in love with another man/And what he couldn't give me was the one little thing that you can."

"Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga

"Bad Romance" was developed as an experimental pop record featuring elements of German techno and house. With more than 184 million YouTube streams, the 2008 track quickly became one of Lady Gaga's best songs. 

On the surface, "Bad Romance" centers on the pull of a love that's bad for you: "I want your ugly, I want your disease/I want your everything as long as it's free/I want your love." However, it's not so straightforward. 

Gaga said she drew inspiration from the paranoia she experienced while on tour. She also stated the song is about her attraction to unhealthy romantic romances that are not always about love. 

"Young Girl" - Gary Puckett and the Union Gap

Not all love is appropriate, as the song "Young Girl" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap proves. This 1968 single is wholly inappropriate and creepy (and illegal), but it still managed to become one of the band's best-known songs. In fact, despite the lyrics being more about unsavory infatuation than love, it still reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (just behind "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay"). 

Initially, this song doesn't appear inappropriate with lyrics  "Young girl, get out of my mind" possibly referencing the romance of a slight age gap. But the group doubles down: "My love for you is way out of line/ Better run, girl/You're much too young, girl."

If these words aren't enough to prove the song is about being infatuated with an underage girl, you might be convinced by lead singer Gary Puckett singing, "Beneath your perfume and make-up you're just a baby in disguise" and "Get out of here before I have the time to change my mind." 

"Under My Thumb" - by the Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have had their share of controversy over the years, and it's not hard to see why when you consider the meaning behind many of their big hits. "Under My Thumb" might have been marketed as a love song, but it's about a relationship rooted in hate and control. 

With lyrics such as "Under my thumb/It's a squirmin' dog who's just had her day/Under my thumb/

A girl who has just changed her ways," it's apparent that Mick Jagger is singing less about heartbreak and more about power. The misogyny is so clear in this song that it made it into the book Under My Thumb: Songs That Hate Women and the Women That Love Them.

"Baby It's Cold Outside" - Dean Martin 

One of the most popular holiday season love songs, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was written by Frank Loessser and performed by Dean Martin and Ella Fitzgerald. It's difficult to say if these musicians knew the song's sinister and controversial underbelly. 

"Baby It's Cold Outside" is about a man who pressures a woman to stay at his home by any means necessary. The woman in the song tries to give reasons why she cannot stay with lyrics like "My mother will start to worry" and "My father will be pacing the floor." Yet, her concerns are shot down at every turn, with the man using the bad weather outside to keep her captive. Fortunately, the song has been remade with consensual lyrics, thanks to Kelly Clarkson and John Legend

"You're Gorgeous" - Babybird

This song may have a happy rhythm, but if you pay attention to the lyrics, there is much more to this song than meets the eye. Although the song appears to be about a man who would do anything for his lady love, it is about exploitation. 

This song — the British group's biggest hit, from 1996 — is about a sleazy photographer who takes advantage of a young and naive model and photographs her for men's magazines. The lyrics "You got me to hitch my knees up/And pulled my legs apart" details the true nature of this song.

"People should never be told how to interpret a song," Babybird told the blog Essentially Pop. "So, if they thought it was romantic, then fine." He continued, "Sadly, very few people got the true meaning, which is about male predatory behavior, but in popular music, most critics are a little blind to correct interpretation."

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15 Reissues And Archival Releases For Your Holiday Shopping List
Kate Bush performing in 1985

Photo: ZIK Images/United Archives via Getty Images

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15 Reissues And Archival Releases For Your Holiday Shopping List

2023 was a banner year for reissues and boxed sets; everyone from the Beatles to Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones got inspired expansions and repackagings. Here are 15 more to scoop up before 2023 gives way to 2024.

GRAMMYs/Nov 28, 2023 - 03:19 pm

Across 2023, we've been treated to a shower of fantastic reissues, remixes and/or expansions. From the Beatles' Red and Blue albums, to Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, to the Who's Who's Next, the list is far too massive to fit into a single article.

And, happily, it's not over yet: from now until Christmas, there are plenty more reissues to savor — whether they be mere vinyl represses, or lavish plumbings of the source material replete with outtakes.

As you prepare your holiday shopping list, don't sleep on these 15 reissues for the fellow music fanatic in your life — or pick up a bundle for yourself!

X-Ray Spex - Conscious Consumer (Vinyl Reissue)

Whether you view them through the lens of Black woman power or simply their unforgettable, snarling anthems, English punks X-Ray Spex made an indelible mark with their debut 1978 album, Germfree Adolescents.

Seventeen years later, they made a less-discussed reunion album, 1995's Conscious Consumer — which has been unavailable over the next 27 years. After you (re)visit Germfree Adolescents, pick up this special vinyl reissue, remastered from the original tape.

That's out Dec. 15; pre-order it here.

Fall Out Boy - Take This to Your Grave (20th Anniversary Edition)

Released the year before their breakthrough 2005 album From Under the Cork Tree — the one with "Dance, Dance" and "Sugar, We're Goin Down" on it — Fall Out Boy's Take This to Your Grave remains notable and earwormy. The 2004 album aged rather well, and contains fan favorites like "Dead on Arrival."

Revisit the two-time GRAMMY nominees' Myspace-era gem with its 20th anniversary edition, which features a 36-page coffee table book and two unreleased demos: "Colorado Song" and "Jakus Song." It's available Dec. 15.

Coheed and Cambria - Live at the Starland Ballroom

Coheed and Cambria is more than a long-running rock band; they're a sci-fi multimedia universe, as well as a preternaturally tight live band.

Proof positive of the latter is Live at the Starland Ballroom, a document of a performance at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey, in 2004 — that hasn't been on vinyl until now. Grab it here; it dropped Nov. 24, for Record Store Day Black Friday.

Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark Demos

Post-aneurysm recovery, Joni Mitchell's on a well-deserved victory lap. But it's far more rewarding to analyze her as a musical genius than simply shower her with icon-status accolades.

Joni Mitchell Archives – Vol. 3: The Asylum Years (1972–1975), from last October, is a terrific way to do just that; its unvarnished alternate versions strip away the '70s gloss to spellbinding effect.

Which is no exception regarding the Court and Spark demos, which got a standalone release for RSD Black Friday.

P!NK - TRUSTFALL (Deluxe Edition)

The dependable Pink returned in 2023 with the well-regarded TRUSTFALL, and it's already getting an expanded presentation.

Its Deluxe Edition is filled with six previously unheard live recordings from her 2023 Summer Carnival Stadium Tour. Therein, you can find two new singles, including "Dreaming," a collaboration with Marshmello and Sting. Pre-order it today.

Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle (30th Anniversary Edition)

After his star-making turn on Dr. Dre's The Chronic, 16-time GRAMMY nominee Snoop Dogg stepped out with his revolutionary, Dre-assisted debut album, Doggystyle.

Permeated with hedonistic, debaucherous fun, the 1993 classic only furthered G-funk's momentum as a force within hip-hop.

Revisit — or discover — the album via this 30-year anniversary reissue, available now on streaming and vinyl.

As per the latter, the record is available special color variants, including a gold foil cover and clear/cloudy blue vinyl via Walmart, a clear and black smoke vinyl via Amazon and a green and black smoke vinyl via indie retailers.

Alicia Keys - The Diary of Alicia Keys 20

Alicia Keys has scored an incredible 15 GRAMMYs and 31 nominations — and if that run didn't exactly begin with 2003's The Diary of Alicia Keys, that album certainly cemented her royalty.

Her heralded second album, which features classics like "Karma," "If I Was Your Woman"/"Walk On By" and "Diary," is being reissued on Dec. 1 — expanded to 24 tracks, and featuring an unreleased song, "Golden Child."

The Sound of Music (Super Deluxe Edition Boxed Set)

Fifty-seven years has done nothing to dim the appeal of 1965's The Sound of Music — both the flick and its indelible soundtrack.

Re-immerse yourself in classics like "My Favorite Things" via The Sound of Music (Super Deluxe Edition Boxed Set), which arrives Dec. 1.

The box contains more than 40 previously unreleased tracks, collecting every musical element from the film for the first time, along with instrumentals for every song, demos and rare outtakes from the cast.

Furthermore, an audio Blu-ray features the full score in hi-res plus a new Dolby Atmos mix of the original soundtrack. And the whole shebang is housed in a 64-page hardbound book with liner notes from film preservationist Mike Matessino.

ABBA - The Visitors (Deluxe Edition)

With their eighth album, 1981's The Visitors, the Swedish masterminds — and five-time GRAMMY nominees — stepped away from lighter fare and examined themselves more deeply than ever.

The result was heralded as their most mature album to date — and has been repackaged before, with a Deluxe Edition in 2012.

This (quite belated) 40th anniversary edition continues its evolution in the marketplace. And better late than never: The Visitors was their final album until their 2021 farewell, Voyage, and on those terms alone, deserves reexamination.

Aretha Franklin - A Portrait of the Queen 1970-1974

Rolling Stone didn't recently declare Aretha Franklin the greatest singer of all time for no reason: in 2023, there's nary a pretender to the Queen of Soul's throne.

A Portrait of the Queen 1970-1974 compiles her first five albums of the 1970s: This Girl's In Love With You, Spirit in the Dark, Young Gifted and Black, Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky), and Let Me In Your Life.

Each has been remastered from the analog master tapes. The vinyl version has a bonus disc of session alternates, outtakes & demos. Both CD and vinyl versions are packaged with booklets featuring sleeve notes by Gail Mitchell and David Nathan. Grab it on Dec. 1.

Fela Kuti - Box Set #6

From the great beyond, Fela Kuti has done music journalists a solid in simply numbering his boxes. But this isn't just any Kuti box: it's curated by the one and only Idris Elba, who turned in a monumental performance as Stringer Bell on "The Wire."

The fifth go-round contains the Afrobeat giant's albums Open & Close, Music of Many Colors, Stalemate, I Go Shout Plenty!!!, Live In Amsterdam (2xLP), and Opposite People. It includes a 24 page booklet featuring lyrics, commentaries by Afrobeat historian Chris May, and never-before-seen photos.

The box is only available in a limited edition of 5,000 worldwide, so act fast: it's also available on Dec. 1.

Kate Bush - Hounds of Love (The Baskerville Edition) / Hounds of Love (The Boxes of Lost Sea)

Kate Bush rocketed back into the public consciousness in 2022, via "Stranger Things." The lovefest continues unabated with these two editions of Hounds of Love, which features that signature song: "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God.)

There is no new audio on either edition; they feature distinctive packaging, and the latter splits the album into two boxes. Read on here, and pre-order them via Bush's site; they arrive Dec. 1.

The Rolling Stones - December's Children (And Everybody's), Got Live If You Want It! And The Rolling Stones No. 2 (Vinyl Reissues)

These three '60s Stones albums have slipped between the cracks over the years — but if you love the world-renowned rock legends in its infancy, they're essential listens.

No. 2 is their second album from 1965; the same year's December's Children is the last of their early songs to lean heavily on covers; Got Live If You Want It! is an early live document capturing the early hysteria swarming around the band.

On Dec. 1, they're reissued on 180g vinyl; for more information and to order, visit here.

Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother (Special Edition)

No, it's not half as famous as The Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall — but 1970's lumpy Atom Heart Mother certainly has its partisans.

Rediscover a hidden corner of the Floyd catalog — the one between Ummagumma and Meddle — via this special edition, which features newly discovered live footage from more than half a century ago.

The Black Crowes - The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion

After endless fraternal infighting, the Black Crowes are back — can they keep it together?

In the meantime, their second album, 1992's The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, remains a stellar slice of roots rock — as a sprawling, three-disc Super Deluxe Edition bears out. If you're a bird of this feather, don't miss it when it arrives on Dec. 15. 

7 Musical Sibling Rivalries: CCR, Oasis, The Kinks & More

Here's What Happened At The Recording Academy's 2023 Special Merit Awards Ceremony Honoring Nile Rodgers, Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart, Nirvana, The Supremes & More
(L-R): Nirvana's Pat Smear, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl accept the Recording Academy's 2023 Special Merit Awards Ceremony.

Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

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Here's What Happened At The Recording Academy's 2023 Special Merit Awards Ceremony Honoring Nile Rodgers, Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart, Nirvana, The Supremes & More

In addition to seven music legends receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, the GRAMMY Week event honored recipients of the Music Educator Award, Trustees Awards and Technical GRAMMY Awards.

GRAMMYs/Feb 7, 2023 - 10:14 pm

Amid the madness of GRAMMY Week, there was an air of tranquility surrounding the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on the afternoon of Feb. 4. The sunlit streets were nearly empty, the red carpet was discreetly hidden from public view. Inside the theater, music royalty, entertainment journalists and GRAMMY nominees congregated for one of the week's most emotionally charged events: the Special Merit Awards Ceremony.

Music teacher Pamela Dawson beamed as Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. handed her the 2023 GRAMMY Music Educator Award. Mama Dawson, as she is known among her students at DeSoto High School in Texas, is loved by all for her relentless positivity and encouragement. "I thank you God for giving me the gift of music," she said. "My mother believed in me even when I didn't. My heritage is a big loving heart that I can give to others."

In the Technical GRAMMY Award department, the Academy recognized the efforts of the Audio Engineering Society and Dr. Andy Hildebrand — inventor of the Auto-Tune software program.    

The Trustees Awards honorees were Henry Diltz, who photographed iconic album covers of the '60s and '70s; the late Ellis Marsalis, jazz pianist and educator; and the late Jim Stewart, founder of the mythical Stax Records.

"Dad had an open-door policy that helped create a utopian reality," said Stewart's daughter Lori, addressing the label's unusual-for-the-time policy of working with talented artists regardless of their racial or ethnic background. "More than a business, Stax was a family."

Then, it was time to salute the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the gallery of selected artists painted a wondrous picture of popular music — from classic rock and grunge to soul, hip-hop, funk, jazz, and blues.

In his typical unconventional fashion, 10-time GRAMMY winner Bobby McFerrin accepted his award doing what he does best: singing. "I want to have some fun today," began the "Don't Worry Be Happy" hitmaker in his inimitable falsetto. Backed briefly on vocals by his three adult children, McFerrin smiled and improvised, surprised and delighted, crediting his late father — the first Black singer to be offered a contract at the Metropolitan Opera — as a major inspiration. "Have fun," he concluded. "Play. Don't think. Be good to yourself.'

Equally moving — but in a more grungy, Seattle kind of way — was seeing the surviving members of '90s pioneers Nirvana. "Kurt Cobain is never far away," said the band's bassist and founding member Krist Novoselic. "Just turn on the radio." He also thanked young people from all over the world for the many fan letters he continues to receive, as drummer Dave Grohl and guitarist Pat Smear stood by his side, nodding approvingly.

Legendary blues singer Ma Rainey (1886-1939) received a long-overdue induction to the Lifetime Achievement gallery. On hand to collect the award were her great nephew, Frank Nix, and great great niece Cassandra Behler. "Ma was an amazing performer and businesswoman," said Behler. "I can't imagine the sacrifices she made for her career and lifestyle."

Prolific beyond any reasonable expectation, guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers was visibly moved — almost lost for words. "I'm sorry to be so emotional," he told the crowd, which responded with an even bigger round of applause. "This journey was a series of steps." 

The founder of disco-funk collective CHIC, Rodgers is known for his unmistakable guitar sound — adding waves of funk to every single genre it touches — and sensitive production work. When he thanked the musicians that he worked with, the list was regal, including David Bowie, Diana Ross, Bryan Ferry, and Beyoncé — the latter of whom he would go on to win Best R&B Song with at the 2023 GRAMMYs (and accept on her behalf!).

"Do you like my coat?," asked English-American rapper and producer Slick Rick "The Ruler," showing off an elegant, light purple coat over his suit and matching tie. "Macy's women's section." Slick's speech was as witty as his rapping. He mentioned listening to Dionne Warwick's "Walk On By" as a kid, then outlined his love for the music of the Beatles, the Supremes, Jamaican dancehall and hip-hop — and his fateful move to the U.S. in 1976.

Fittingly, the Supremes were also honorees this year. During their induction, Florence Ballard's daughter Lisa Chapman explained that she couldn't share any personal anecdotes because her mother died when she was only 3 years old. "I thank [the late] Mary Wilson, because she never left my Mom's side," she said. "They're probably sipping on the finest champagne right now," added Wilson's daughter Turkessa Babich. "They are always with us."

The last artists to be honored were two immensely talented sisters, Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart. The sibling duo changed the nature of the game for women in hard rock, and guitarist Nancy Wilson spoke of her beginnings in music. "I left college in 1974 to join the band," she recalled. "Our dream was to be the Beatles. Not to be their girlfriends, or marry one of them, but to be them — and we did it." 

Wilson was effusive in praising her sister, powerhouse singer Ann. "We survived the sheer insanity of a rock 'n' roll circus. We were two military brats, two badasses, and we stood up. We rocked our butts off, and we did all of it together."

Wilson's last words — bringing the event to its conclusion — were dedicated to the fans: "You were always the reason for us to catch dreams in our butterfly nets."

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Ann Wilson & Nancy Wilson Of Heart Receive The Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award | 2023 GRAMMYs
Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson

Photo: Chris Cain; Jeremy Danger

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Ann Wilson & Nancy Wilson Of Heart Receive The Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award | 2023 GRAMMYs

This Lifetime Achievement Award honors performers who have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.

GRAMMYs/Feb 6, 2023 - 08:24 pm

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart are verging on the half-century mark of their groundbreaking group. Through five decades of changing musical eras, their impact has not waned. From the ’70s, when Ann set the blueprint for rock frontwomen and Nancy established her oft-imitated and never-quite-duplicated guitar playing style, through the ’80s when the band dominated MTV, to 2019 when the sisters spearheaded the all-female Love Alive tour, the Wilsons broke barriers as musicians, singers and songwriters.

The two started early in music. Nancy showed marked virtuosity on the acoustic guitar at 9 years old. Ann, four years her senior, was already singing in the style of blues greats — albeit filtered through rock and roll.

Their 1976 debut album, Dreamboat Annie, spawned the hits "Magic Man" and "Crazy on You,"which remain staples on classic rock radio. "Barracuda" from 1977’s Little Queen followed suit. Drawing from folk, hard rock and the daring to not be pigeonholed by their gender, the Wilsons were among the few women granted authority on a rock stage dominated by men.

By the time the sisters glammed up and became MTV staples and chart-toppers in the mid-‘80s, they were proven songwriters and already a multiplatinum-selling band. It was the GRAMMY-nominated Billboard No.1 album Heart that catapulted Ann and Nancy into the musical stratosphere. The album’s hits were ubiquitous, all cracking the Top 10. Its flagship song, "These Dreams"— sung by Nancy — hit No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. A year later, the band snagged that position again with "Alone" from their album Bad Animals, and with it, two more GRAMMY nominations. They continued their GRAMMY nomination streak with 1990’s Brigade.

Over the course of 16 studio albums, the pair have sold 35 million records and had seven Top 10 albums. Ann and Nancy also charted on the New York Times bestsellers list with their 2013 memoir, Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll.

Ann and Nancy individually extended their musical reach to the silver screen. Ann through her iconic voice on the unforgettable songs "Almost Paradise," "Best Man in the World" and "Surrender to Me" on stellar soundtracks from the timeless films Footloose, The Golden Child and Tequila Sunrise, respectively. Nancy through her essential, award-winning scores for the box office smashes Say Anything, Almost Famous and Vanilla Sky.

Their abilities have continuously attracted accomplished musicians of all genders who speak with reverence about their skills and consider performing alongside as a distinct privilege. Their songs have been sampled by the likes of Eminem, Lil Wayne, G-Eazy, and Nas.

No matter how much they accomplish, the need to create is ever present with the Wilson sisters. In the last couple of years, they have both released solo albums. Nancy with her first album of original material in 2021 with You and Me, and Ann in 2022 with her third solo album, Fierce Bliss.

Honors and accolades abound for Ann and Nancy: the ASCAP Pop Music Awards Founders Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But they remain active. As Nancy said in her Rock Hall acceptance speech: "We’re not finished rocking just yet."

2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Winners & Nominees List