Bring all the Lovin’!

Bring a Little Lovin'Los Bravos. Do you recognize the name? Well, if you don’t, they were another (almost) one-hit band (at least outside Spain).
I dare to say that most people from the Western World (here is an example) know the song Black is Black – if you clicked the previous link you should already be expecting this song 😛 But I also dare to say that most people know only Black is Black.

Well, I somehow am not one of those persons: some years ago I decided to listen to some Los Bravos songs, and it was actually a good decision – I like some of their songs. One of them is Bring a Little Lovin’ (a cover, by the way), one of the few Los Bravos songs besides Black is Black that charted in the US (#51).

Well, but all this to tell you that I was sitting on my couch watching tv when suddenly Bring a Little Lovin’ started playing in the introduction of a movie – A Beginner’s Guide to Endings. It surprised me a lot, as I thought I was the only person knowing the song 😛 and it was of course enough to make me watch the whole movie – which, by the way, I do not recommend.

But I do recommend the song, especially if you are in a good mood or if you want to be in a good one 😉

PS – I dedicate the post to Alfonso, for singing “Los Chicos con Las Chicas” with me several times 😉

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Jack of all trades

One Man Band

Hey guys and girls!

The theme for today’s post is multi-instrumentalists, ie, musicians that play more than one instrument. Furthermore, I bring to you other-worldly musicians that released albums where they played all the instruments present!

The first name that comes to mind is that of Mike Oldfield, who recorder the monumental album Tubular Bells in 1973, which apart from being his debut, was also the first album Virgin Records released.

This amazing album is composed of two ~25 minute parts that compose a unique song-album, and Mike plays all the instruments (with some help from a few session musicians and a choir), and the list is quite extensive:

Grand Piano, Glockenspiel, Farfisa organ, Bass guitar, Electric guitar, Speed guitar, Taped motor drive amplifier organ chord, Mandolin-like guitar, Fuzz guitars, Assorted percussion, Acoustic guitar, Flageolet, Honky tonk, Lowrey organ, Tubular Bells, Farfisa organ, Speed electric guitars, Concert timpani, Guitars sounding like bagpipes, Piltdown man, Hammond organ, Spanish guitar and Moribund chorus

The album sold more than 16 million copies, which is an astonishing accomplishment, if we note that the album is considered progressive, is instrumental and composed by two very long songs. Of course that the usage of the intro in the soundtrack of the movie The Exorcist helped, but even so… Mike’s popularity is such that even in this year’s Olympics opening ceremony he was called to accompany one of the segments of the show. But, enough words, here’s a live rendition of the first segment of the first part of Tubular Bells!

Pretty good, uh? If you want more, check the whole album here. I’ve pointed you to the part where a Master of Ceremonies enumerates a few instruments when they solo. Mike went on to have a very successful career, but Tubular Bells remained to be his magnum opus.

There are many other multi-instrumentalists who played all (or most of) the instruments in their compositions, such as

  • Billy Corgan, from The Smashing Pumpkins, who composed and played all the instruments on the song 1979 (well, he used a drum machine, but the song is still pretty good). The song went on to be their most recognized songs ever!
  • Dave Grohl, from Nirvana and Foo Fighters (mainly), composed and performed all the instruments on the album Foo Fighters, and only recruited musicians to play it live, what gave birth to his present band. Check Big Me, one of the songs in that album.

Of course I could mention thousands of other multi-instrumentalists, like Matthew Bellamy of Muse fame or Thom Yorke of Radiohead.

Hope I opened new ground for you to explore with this post, or, if you already knew these guys, that I reminded you of their awesomeness!

Have a nice weekend!

Is there anything more beautiful than a lousy melody sang out of tune by the band’s drummer (who even yawns while singing the song)? I think not. And I’m pretty sure you think the same!

So here’s a masterpiece from Green Day‘s Tré Cool to make you enjoy the weekend:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdQ1hatd2s]

Pretty Little Butterfly

Crazy Town The Gift of Game ButterflyIs your memory good? I’m bringing you today the one-hit band called Crazy Town, remember them? They released their first (of only two) album in 1999 and they toured supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers . One year after they released the single “Butterfly“, which samples part of Chili PeppersPretty Little Ditty (by then a 10-year old song, from the album Mother’s Milk, the first with Frusciante). Butterfly was a great hit in the U.S, in Canada, and in most European countries.

I bring you both songs today, as I like them both – Butterfly as a childhood memory (The Gift of Game was actually one of my first CD’s!) and Pretty Little Ditty as a great song from the great Frusciante and Flea 😉

Starting with the oldest (notice Flea at 0:14)

And finishing with the most recent