Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Who Did Not Invent Heavy Metal



It's refreshing to have Pete Townshend out there, giving interviews, and saying crazy things:
When the Toronto Sun mentioned to Townshend that the new album “doesn’t have that classic ferocious rock sound” of The Who’s heyday, the guitarist responded as follows: 
“It doesn’t sound like The Who from those early heavy metal years. We sort of invented heavy metal with Live at Leeds. We were copied by so many bands, principally by Led Zeppelin, you know heavy drums, heavy bass, heavy lead guitar and some of those bands, like Jimi Hendrix for example, did it far better than we did. Cream, with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, they came along in ‘67, same year as Jimi Hendrix, and they kind of stole our mantle in a sense. So people who want to hear that old heavy metal sound there are plenty of bands that can provide it. So it’s not really what we can actually do today. Even if we wanted to, it was never high on my list of wishes.” 
Okay, time to break it down: Yes, The Who were quite heavy for their time, and were one of the first big bands when it came to hard rock. But as far as heavy metal, Townshend may be embellishing a bit. 
Live at Leeds, the iconic concert album to which he refers, was recorded on February 14th, 1970, and came out in May 1970. One day before The Who even played that concert, Black Sabbath released their self-titled debut, long considered to be the first heavy metal album.
The Kinks invented heavy metal, of course. It was called You Really Got Me, and it came out in August of 1964, at least four months before The Who would release their first single.

Monday, December 16, 2019

U2 Plays India For the First Time


How is it that U2 have never played a show in India?
U2 were joined by Jai Ho composer AR Rahman for their first ever show in India last night (December 15) – watch the performance below.
Wrapping up the final night of ‘The Joshua Tree’ tour at at Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium, the band were joined by Rahman to perform new track ‘Ahimsa’ along with his daughters Khatija Rahman and Raheema Rahman and singer-songwriter Rianjali Bhowmick.
Speaking about the performance, Ahimsa said: “We are touched by U2’s stand against injustice, for women empowerment and for goodness in this world. The collaboration with U2 on ‘Ahimsa’, comes at a very appropriate time, while the whole world celebrates 150 years of the Mahatma, the message of Ahimsa needs to reach every nook and corner.
I would have thought that there would have been multiple stops during any of the last five U2 tours in that part of the world. That being said, India looks like a vast, untapped market for live music. Why wouldn't you want to play to a massive English-speaking audience? I don't get it.

There are only a handful of bands that you could consider a "global phenomenon" and U2 would definitely be in that category. The Police played India in 1980, Coldplay went there in 2016, and U2 are just now getting around to it? Amazing.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

There Are No Highlights


I'm not sure why this exists.

Pink Floyd, circa the years 1987 to 2019, was largely a celebration of what the band could accomplish with the name but without Roger Waters. The fact that the solo work of the band has been almost universally disappointing notwithstanding, why does this period have to be celebrated? It's a cheap cash grab, and nothing else.

Who, in Pink Floyd, is short of money at this point? What record company demands this release and what fan is clamoring for this material?

It's hard not to become cynical when this sort of thing keeps being released, year after year.