Greatest Rock Vocalists #4, Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

Posted in Greatest Rock Vocalists, Queen, Youtube Favs on October 4th, 2011 by Willie

Never mind the image of the Muppets and Gonzo up there, that’s just some funny picture I found, this post is dedicated to the golden pipes of the late great Freddie Mercury, the fourth greatest vocalist in rock and roll history.  Possessing the voice of a fallen angel, rocking vociferously as he descends to the center of the Earth, Freddie was one in a billion.  “Bohemian Rhapsody” was Freddie’s unqualified masterpiece of rock.  Influenced heavily by opera and “A Day in the Life,” the lyrics were crafted out of ambiguity, and their personal meaning remained a personally guarded secret by Freddie.  The guitarist Brian May speculated that the words alluded to Freddie’s numerous personal traumas.  The song was one of the most complex and expensive recordings in rock and roll history.  Another interesting note is that the opening harmonies, though shown to be sung by the whole group, was actually all Freddie.  Like many, I love the way the song vamps along between balladry, operatic chamber rock, and hard rock nirvana, before giving way to a sweet surrender, highlighted by Brian May’s double tracked guitar line, one of the most bittersweet guitar melodies of all time.  The song became a massive hit again in the early 90s thanks to “Wayne’s World,” and because of its humongous double exposure, it became a bit rote in recent years.  However, I was at a Korean Karaoke last Spring, queued this song up, and reveled in the unlimited fun this song provides, remembering fully why it’s so powerful and great.  The thing about the top 5 rock vocalists is anyone of them could be #1, and Freddie is no exception.  He was a talented genius if there ever was one, and this is his shining monument of glory.  Stay tuned tomorrow as I continue to amp up intensity with an even greater rocker….Who could it be?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

John Lennon, George Harrison, Oh My Love

Posted in George Harrison, John Lennon, Youtube Favs on September 18th, 2011 by Willie

When the Beatles split in 1970, it was mainly a split between John and Paul.  It’s odd because George, Paul, and Ringo would have kept the group going, but because John wanted to end it, George and Ringo became as enthusiastic as John about kiboshing the whole affair.  I suppose John had more good will with the “sidemen” then Paul did, and as a result, John collaborated much more frequently with his former mates than Paul did.  In this video, I have an intimate portrait of John and George rehearsing one of Lennon’s more tender ballads, “Oh, My Love,” from the Imagine album.  It’s a cool scene where you George fiddle around with a steel guitar, and John ruminate with Yoko on their philosophies about love and sex.  You also get to see George lay down those awesome electric licks that instill in the ballad its beautiful perfection.  This video also serves as a great preview for the upcoming Martin Scorsese HBO documentary on George Harrison’s life, “Living in the Material World,” which premieres in early October.  Enjoy.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ozzy Osbourne, How?

Posted in John Lennon, Ozzy Osbourne, Youtube Favs on May 22nd, 2011 by Willie

Part 69 of my youtube countdown is a funny one.  I have Ozzy Osbourne wandering around New York City with a bouquet of flowers singing John Lennon’s “How?” from Imagine. Eventually he discovers Strawberry Fields at Central Park and lays it down for John.  It’s both touching and funny as bewildered tourists and New Yorkers furiously snap pictures with their ubiquitous camera phones as Ozzy vamps about in the way that only he knows how.  Ozzy of course, is a notorious Beatles fan, and he made this video for the charity Amnesty International as a tribute for John on what would have been his 70th birthday.  The sentiment, the video, and his performance are all spot on and in a spirit that reflects John’s humor and love, and its really good, so check it out.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Rolling Stones, Angie

Posted in The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on May 3rd, 2011 by Willie

Part 52!  Oh, I don’t know, should I keep tracking the parts?  Does it matter anymore?  Who’s counting anyways?  Well, for this chapter, we have the Rolling Stones making another appearance with their 1973 #1 smash, “Angie,” from the Goats Head Soup album.  This song was written by Keith Richards after the birth of his daughter Dandelion Angela, (see, even in the 70s celebrities were giving their children crazy names.)  Mick of course, did write the lyrics, save the Angie part, and his vocal delivery is a crushing example of his voice’s perfection.  What else do we got here?  Oh, the fantastic Nicky Hopkins on piano, and the Stones looking cool as hell on this TV promo as Richards and Taylor have roses on their guitar heads, and flower petals flutter down on them.  No one really makes music like this much these days, but luckily, it WAS made, and so, great, here it is.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

John Lennon, Jealous Guy

Posted in John Lennon, Youtube Favs on April 29th, 2011 by Willie

For part 49 of my youtube countdown, I found an awesome clip of John talking about love and relationships before launching into “Jealous Guy,” his song from 1971’s Imagine.  “Jealous Guy,” was originally written when the Beatles were in India as “Child of Nature.”  The original lyrics were about self discovery, but the new words are about John’s real self discovery, that he was an asshole towards women most of his life.  Read any Beatle biography, and the picture one gets of John is that of a misogynist, a cheater, and a hitter.  Not a pretty portrait, especially for a guy who fronted so many revolutions for progressive social change, and not to mention, wrote some of the greatest love songs ever written.  But we all know that John was never a saint, and this clip is fantastic because you can just tell John is a more mature person, and vulnerable in a completely honest and modern way.  Enjoy.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,