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22
Feb

Chic

ChicChic is an American band that was organized during 1976 by guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards. Its commercially successful disco songs include “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)” (1977), “Everybody Dance” (1977), “Le Freak” (1978), “I Want Your Love” (1978), “Good Times” (1979), and “My Forbidden Lover” (1979). The group regarded themselves as a rock band for the disco movement “that made good on hippie peace, love and freedom”. In October 2014, Chic was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the tenth time.

1970–1978: Origins and early singers

Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards met during 1970, as fellow session musicians working in the New York City area. They formed a rock band named ‘The Boys’ and later ‘The Big Apple Band,’ playing numerous gigs around New York City. Despite interest in their demos, they never got a record contract. They were in a band, NEW YORK CITY which had a hit record in 1973 with ‘”I’m Doing Fine Now” which charted in the UK. The original demo tapes were made by DJ/studio engineer Robert Drake, who first played lacquer records while DJing at a New York after hours club, Night Owl. The title of the first song recorded as Chic was “Everybody Dance,” which was on their first album.

During 1977, Edwards and Rodgers recruited drummer Tony Thompson, formerly with LaBelle and Ecstasy, Passion, & Pain, to join the band; they performed as a trio doing cover versions at various gigs. Thompson recommended keyboardist Raymond Jones, 19, to join the band, as he had worked with him in the hit group Ecstasy, Passion & Pain. Needing a singer to become a full band, they engaged Norma Jean Wright by an agreement permitting her to have a solo career in addition to her work for the band. Using a young recording engineer Bob Clearmountain, they created the tracks “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)”. As a result, Chic became a support act.

Under contract with Atlantic Records company, during 1977 they released the self-titled debut album Chic, which was an extension of the demonstration tape. But Edwards and Rogers were convinced that to produce the band’s recording studio sound when performing live with sound and visuals, they needed to add another female singer. Wright suggested her friend Luci Martin, who became a member during late winter/early spring of 1978.

Soon after the sessions ended for the debut album, the band members began to work on Wright’s self-titled debut solo album Norma Jean, released during 1978. This album included the successful nightclub song “Saturday.” To facilitate Wright’s solo career, the band had agreed to contract her with a separate record company.

The legal details of this contract eventually forced Wright to end her relationship with the band during mid-1978, but she participated in the sessions for Chic-produced Sister Sledge album, We Are Family. She was replaced as a singer by Alfa Anderson, who had done back-up vocals on the band’s debut album. For the Sister Sledge project, Edwards and Rodgers wrote and produced “He’s the Greatest Dancer” (originally intended to be a Chic song), in exchange for “I Want Your Love” (intended originally to be performed by Sister Sledge).

1978–1979: “Le Freak” and “Good Times”

The group endeavored to express “deep hidden meaning” in every song they wrote. During late 1978, the band released the album C’est Chic, containing one of its better-known tracks, “Le Freak.” It was created in a jam session in Edwards’ apartment, after they had failed on New Years Eve 1977 to meet with Grace Jones at New York’s nightclub Studio 54. The original refrain “Aaa, fuck off”, intended for the doormen of Studio 54, was replaced that night with “Aaa, freak out,” after trying a version with “Aaa, freak off.” The resulting single was a great success, scoring No. 1 on the US charts and selling morethan six million copies. It was the best-selling single album ever of Atlantic’s parent company.

The next year, the group released the Risqué album and the lead track “Good Times”, one of the most influential songs of the era. The track was the basis of Grandmaster Flash’s “Adventures on the Wheels of Steel” and the Sugarhill Gang’s breakthrough hip-hop music single, “Rapper’s Delight.” It has been sampled since by many dance and hip-hop acts, as well as being the inspiration for Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”, Blondie’s “Rapture”, Captain Sensible’s “Wot?” and the bass line for Daft Punk “Around the World”.

At the same time, Edwards and Rodgers composed, arranged, performed, and produced many influential disco and Rhythm & Blues records for various artists, including Sister Sledge’s albums We Are Family (1979) and Love Somebody Today (1980); Sheila and B. Devotion’s “Spacer”; Diana Ross’s 1980 album Diana, which included the successful singles “Upside Down”, “I’m Coming Out” and “My Old Piano”; Carly Simon’s “Why” (from 1982 soundtrack Soup For One); and Debbie Harry’s debut solo album KooKoo. An album recorded with Johnny Mathis was rejected by his label and remains unreleased.

Chic also introduced a young session vocalist, Luther Vandross, who sang on Chic’s early albums. He later became notable in his own right.

1980s–1990s: Disbanding, other projects, a brief reunion

After the anti-disco reaction of the 1970s, the band struggled to obtain both airplay and sales, and during the early 1980s they disbanded. Rodgers and Edwards produced records for a variety of artists together and separately. The Chic rhythm section of Rodgers, Edwards, and Thompson provided instrumental back-up for the successful album Diana for Diana Ross that ended up selling over ten million albums internationally during 1980, with Rodgers and Edwards producing. It yielded the four weeks at number-one single “Upside Down” and the top ten song “I’m Coming Out.” “My Old Piano” was also a top ten single for Ross in the United Kingdom. Rodgers co-produced David Bowie’s 1983 album Let’s Dance and was also responsible largely for the early success of Madonna during 1984 with her Like a Virgin album, which again reunited Rodgers, Thompson, and Edwards, with keyboardist Rob Sabino and collaborators Jeff Bova and Jimmy Bralower. During 1984, Rodgers was involved with a project of the band The Honeydrippers and helped produce that band’s only EP. Thompson and Edwards worked with the group Power Station on its successful 1985 album, as well as Power Station main singer Robert Palmer’s solo success Riptide that same year, both of which Edwards produced. 1985 saw Rodgers producing the Thompson Twins successful Here’s To Future Days album, and appearing live with them and Madonna at Live Aid in Philadelphia. During 1986, Rodgers produced the fourth album from Duran Duran, Notorious. Bernard Edwards later gave Duran Duran’s bassist John Taylor the bass guitar he’d played on many of Chic’s songs. Taylor had long been a Chic fan, his style influenced greatly by Edwards’ playing.

After a 1989 birthday party where Rodgers, Edwards, Paul Shaffer, and Anton Fig played old Chic songs, Rodgers and Edwards organized a reunion of the old band. They recorded new material – a single, “Chic Mystique” (remixed by Masters at Work) and subsequent album Chic-Ism, both of which charted and played live all over the world, to great audience and critical acclaim.

During 1996, Rodgers was honored as the Top Producer in the World in Billboard Magazine, and was named a JT Super Producer. That year, he performed with Bernard Edwards, Sister Sledge, Steve Winwood, Simon Le Bon, and Slash in a series of commemorative concerts in Japan. His longtime musical partner Edwards died of pneumonia at age 43 during the trip on April 18, 1996. His final performance was recorded and released as Live at the Budokan. Chic continued to tour with new musicians.

Thompson died of kidney cancer on November 12, 2003 at age 48

2000–2013: Compilations, nominations, and venues

Chic released four new albums during the 2000s (three compilations, and one live album): The Very Best of Chic, Good Times: The Very Best of the Hits & the Remixes, A Night in Amsterdam, and The Definitive Groove Collection. A box set, Nile Rodgers Presents The Chic Organization, Vol.1: Savoir Faire was released in 2010, covering Rodgers and Edwards’ productions both for Chic and for other artists up to the original break-up of the partnership in 1983.

Chic has been nominated for inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nine times: 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014. Rodgers and Chic continue to perform to major audiences worldwide as CHIC ft. Nile Rodgers.

In October 2010, Rodgers began his fight with prostate cancer. In October 2011, he released his autobiography entitled Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny. On July 29, 2013, Rodgers posted on Twitter that he was cancer free.

In 2013, CHIC ft. Nile Rodgers headlined the West Holts Stage on Friday night at the Glastonbury Festival in the UK, and played a variety of tracks both from Chic and from Nile Rodgers’ extensive list of songs he had worked on for other artists. “My favorite act at this year’s Glastonbury, when I went, was not the Rolling Stones, as great as they were; was not the Arctic Monkeys, as good as they were; was not Disclosure, as good as they were; but it was Chic. They were fucking mega. Absolutely out of this world.”[6] – Noel Gallagher

A compilation album, Up All Night, credited to The Chic Organization and featuring their productions for various artists between 1977 and 1982.

Rodgers announced in 2013 that he was working on a new Chic album, based on recently rediscovered tapes of unreleased material from the early 1980s. He also stated that Daft Punk is interested in working on at least one song of the unreleased material with him. Rodgers co-wrote and performed on three songs off Daft Punk’s 2013 Grammy Award winning Album of the Year Random Access Memories including the Grammy Record of the Year Get Lucky with and Pharrell Williams.

2014–present: New album

While chatting with Billboard’s Kerri Mason, Rodgers announced a new Chic album and shared a never-before-heard new solo track. The upcoming album is set to feature collaborations from the David Guetta and Avicii. Rodgers described how a lick he played to test a freshly-repaired guitar caught the ear of DJ Nicky Romero, ending as an important part of a “huge song” on the upcoming album. Rodgers assumed “It sounds like a pop record”.

A year later, it was announced that Nile Rodgers has signed a new record deal with Warner Bros. with a release of a new Chic album for the first time in in more than two decades this June. The album will be titled “It’s About Time”. The lead single from the record, titled “I’ll Be There”, will come out March 20th. Beside this, Warner Bros. signed a deal with the label that Rodgers and music exec Michael Ostin formed, Land of the Good Groove.

In other news, Rodgers gave an update on his new solo material with a new track called “Do What You Wanna Do” and announced that a Chic-inspired musical is in the early stages of production.

Influences and awards

Chic influenced the vocal and music style of the Italian-American disco band Change, which had a series of successes during the early 1980s. Interestingly the two acts also had a couple things in common; Chic alumnus Vandross was also Change’s vocalist upon the latter’s formation, and like Chic, were also signed to Atlantic through its distributed RFC label.

In addition to refining a relatively minimalist disco sound, Chic helped to inspire other artists to create their own sound. For example, The Sugarhill Gang used “Good Times” as the basis for its success “Rapper’s Delight”, which helped initiate the hip hop recorded music format as we know today. “Good Times” was used also by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five on its hit “..On the Wheels of Steel,” which was used in the end sequence of the first hip-hop movie, Wild Style, from 1982. Blondie’s 1980 US number-one song “Rapture” was not only influenced by “Good Times” but was a direct tribute to Chic, and main singer Deborah Harry’s 1981 debut solo album Koo Koo was produced by Edwards and Rodgers.

Chic was cited as an influence by the majority of successful bands from Great Britain during the 1980s. John Taylor, the bassist from Duran Duran claims the bass part of their top 10 single “Rio” was influenced by Edwards’ work with Chic. Even Johnny Marr of The Smiths has cited the group as a formative influence. Rodgers guitar work has been so emulated as to become commonplace, and Edwards’ lyrical bass is also much-cited in music circles, as is Thompson’s recorded drumwork. Queen got the inspiration for its single “Another One Bites the Dust” from Bernard Edwards’ familiar bass guitar riff on “Good Times” after John Deacon met the band in The Power Station recording studio. (Source: “Everybody Dance: Chic and the Politics of Disco”)

The French duo Modjo used the guitar sample from Chic’s “Soup for One”, as the basic theme for their single, “Lady (Hear Me Tonight)”.

On September 19, 2005, the group was honored at the Dance Music Hall of Fame ceremony in New York when they were inducted in three categories: 1) Artist Inductees, 2) Record Inductees for “Good Times,” and 3) Producers Inductees, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards.

Throughout 2011, the song “Funny Bone” could be heard quite often as the bumper music on the Rush Limbaugh show. Bumper music is snippets of songs to segue commercial slots.

Line-up

Original core band:
Bernard Edwards (October 31, 1952 – April 18, 1996) – bass, vocals
Nile Rodgers – guitar, vocals
Tony Thompson (November 15, 1954 – November 12, 2003) – drums
Alfa Anderson – lead vocals
Luci Martin – lead vocals

Current band:
Nile Rodgers – guitar, vocals
Jerry Barnes – bass, vocals
Ralph Rolle – drums, vocals
Kimberly Davis – lead vocals
Folami – vocals
Richard Hilton – keyboards
Russell Graham – keyboards
Bill Holloman – horns
Curt Ramm – horns

The Chic Strings:
Karen Milne
Marianne Carroll
Valerie Haywood
Cheryl Hong
Karen Karlsrud
Gene Orloff

Additional personnel:
Vocals – Fonzi Thornton, Michele Cobbs, Ullanda McCullough, Luther Vandross, Jocelyn Brown, Sylver Logan Sharp, Jessica Wagner, Folami, Kimberly Davis, David Lasley
Keyboards – Richard Hilton, Raymond Jones, Robert Sabino, Andy Schwartz, Nathaniel S. Hardy, Jr., Selan Lerner, Russell Graham
Percussion – Sammy Figueroa, Gerardo Velez
Bass – Jerry Barnes
Horns – William Holloman, Curt Ramm, Don Harris

  Discography

* Chic (1977) Atlantic
* C’est Chic (1978) Atlantic
* Risqué (1979) Atlantic
* Real People (1980) Atlantic
* Take It Off (1981) Atlantic
* Tongue In Chic (1982) Atlantic
* Believer (1983) Atlantic
* Chic-Ism (1992) Warner Bros.
* It’s About Time (2015)Released: June, 2015 Warner Bros.

  Live albums
* Live at the Budokan (1999) Sumptin´ Else
* A Night in Amsterdam (2006) Universe Italy

  Compilation albums
* Les Plus Grands Succès De Chic: Chic’s Greatest Hits (1979) Atlantic
* Freak Out: The Greatest Hits of Chic and Sister Sledge (1987) Atlantic/WEA
* Nile Rodgers presents The Chic Organization: Up All Night (2013) Rhino Records

7
Feb

Ginger Baker

ginger-660x852Peter Edward “Ginger” Baker (born 19 August 1939) is an English drummer, best known as the founder of the rock band Cream. A member also of Blind Faith, Hawkwind, and a number of other bands, including his own Ginger Baker’s Air Force, he is known for his numerous associations with world music, mainly the use of African influences.
Baker is widely recognized as one of the most influential drummers of all time, and has had a significant influence on the rock genre and has inspired many drummers.
Among Baker’s other collaborations are his recordings, concerts, and session work variously with Gary Moore, Masters of Reality and Public Image Ltd, Atomic Rooster, Bill Laswell, jazz bassist Charlie Haden, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, pioneering afro beat musician Fela Kuti, and another personally led effort, Ginger Baker’s Energy .

Baker performing with Cream on the Dutch television program “Fanclub” in 1968
Early life and career. Baker was born in Lewisham, South London. His mother worked in a tobacco shop; his father, Frederick Louvain Formidable Baker, was a bricklayer and Lance Corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals in WWII who died in the 1943 Dodecanese Campaign. An athletic child, Baker began playing drums at about 15 years old. In the early 1960s he took lessons from Phil Seamen, one of the leading British jazz drummers of the post-war era. He gained early fame as a member of the Graham Bond Organisation, a R&B/blues group with strong jazz leanings, where he first met bassist Jack Bruce.

Cream

Baker founded the rock band Cream in 1966 with Bruce and guitarist Eric Clapton. An innovative and fusion of blues, psychedelic rock and hard rock, the band released four albums in a little over two years before breaking up in 1968.

Blind Faith

Baker then joined the short-lived “supergroup” Blind Faith, composed of Clapton, bassist Ric Grech, and Stevie Winwood on vocals. They released one album.

Ginger Baker’s Air Force

In 1970 Baker formed, toured and recorded with fusion rock group Ginger Baker’s Air Force.

1970s

Baker lived in Nigeria from 1970 until 1976. He sat in for Fela Kuti during recording sessions in 1971 released by Regal Zonophone as Live! (Fela Kuti album) (1971) Fela also appeared with Ginger Baker on Stratavarious (1972) alongside Bobby Gass, a pseudonym for Bobby Tench from The Jeff Beck Group. Stratavarious was later re-issued as part of the compilation Do What You Like.[8] Baker formed Baker Gurvitz Army in 1974 and recorded three albums with them before the band broke up in 1976.

1980s and ’90s

In the early 1980s, Baker joined Hawkwind for an album and tour, and in the mid-1980s was part of John Lydon’s Public Image Ltd., the latter leading to occasional collaborations with bassist/producer Bill Laswell.

In 1992 Baker played with the hard-rock group Masters of Reality with bassist Googe and singer/guitarist Chris Goss on the album Sunrise on the Sufferbus. The album received critical acclaim but sold fewer than 10,000 copies)”.

In 1994 he formed The Ginger Baker Trio with bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Bill Frisell. He also joined BBM, a short-lived power trio with the line-up of Baker, Jack Bruce and Irish blues rock guitarist Gary Moore.

2000s

On 3 May 2005, Baker reunited with Eric Clapton and Bruce for a series of Cream concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Madison Square Garden. The London concerts were recorded and released as Royal Albert Hall London May 2–3–5–6 2005 (2005), In a Rolling Stone article written in 2009, Bruce is quoted as saying: “It’s a knife-edge thing between me and Ginger. Nowadays, we’re happily co-existing in different continents [Bruce lives in Britain, Baker in South Africa] … although I was thinking of asking him to move. He’s still a bit too close”.

Baker’s autobiography Hellraiser was published in 2009.
Baker has Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung disease.

In 2013 and 2014 Baker toured with the Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion, a quartet comprising Baker, saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, bassist Alec Dankworth and percussionist Abass Dodoo.
In 2014 Baker signed with record label Motéma Music to release a new jazz album. The album will feature members of the aforementioned quartet.

   Discography

   The Storyville Jazz Men and The Hugh Rainey Allstars

* Storyville Re-Visited (1958) also featuring Bob Wallis and Ginger Baker

   Graham Bond Organisation

* Live at Klooks Kleek (1964)
* The Sound of 65 (1965)
* There’s a Bond Between Us (1965)

   Cream

* Fresh Cream Polydor (1966)
* Disraeli Gears Polydor (1967)
* Wheels of Fire Polydor (1968)
* Goodbye Polydor (1969)
* Live Cream Polydor (1970)
* Live Cream Volume II Polydor (1972)
* BBC Sessions (2003)
* Royal Albert Hall London, 2–3 and 5–6 May 2005 Reprise (2005)

  Blind Faith

* Blind Faith Polydor (1969)

  Ginger Baker’s Air Force

* Ginger Baker’s Air Force Atco (1970)
* Ginger Baker’s Air Force II Atco (1970)

  Baker Gurvitz Army

* Baker Gurvitz Army Janus (1974)
* Elysian Encounter Atco (1975)
* Hearts on Fire Atco (1976)
* Flying In and Out of Stardom Castle (2003)
* Greatest Hits GB Music (2003)
* Live in Derby Major league productions (2005)
* Live Revisited (2005)

  BBM (Bruce-Baker-Moore)

* Around The Next Dream (1994)

  Ginger Baker

* Ginger Baker at His Best (1972)
* Stratavarious Polydor (1972)
* Ginger Baker & Friends Mountain (1976)
* Eleven Sides of Baker Sire (1977)
* From Humble Oranges CDG (1983)
* Horses & Trees Celluloid (1986)
* No Material live album ITM (1987)
* Middle Passage Axiom (1990)
* Unseen Rain Day Eight (1992)
* Going Back Home Atlantic (1994)
* Ginger Baker’s Energy ITM (1992)
* Ginger Baker The Album ITM (1995)
* Falling off the roof Atlantic (1995)
* Do What You Like Polydor (1998)
* Coward of the County Atlantic (1999)
* African Force (2001)
* African Force: Palanquin’s Pole (2006)
* Why? (2014)

1
Feb

Don Henley

Don_Henley_-_Building_the_Perfect_BeastDonald Hugh “Don” Henley (born July 22, 1947) is an American singer, lyricist, producer, and drummer, best known as a founding member of the Eagles before launching a successful solo career. Henley was the drummer and co-lead vocalist for the Eagles from 1971–1980, when the band broke up, and from 1994–present, when they reunited. Henley sang the lead vocals on Eagles hits such as “Witchy Woman”, “Desperado”, “Best of My Love”, “One of These Nights”, “Hotel California”, “Life in the Fast Lane”, and “The Long Run”.After the Eagles broke up in 1980, Henley pursued a solo career and released his debut album I Can’t Stand Still, in 1982. He has released four studio albums, two compilation albums, and one live DVD. His solo hits include “Dirty Laundry”, “The Boys of Summer”, “All She Wants to Do Is Dance”, “The Heart of the Matter”, “The Last Worthless Evening”, “Sunset Grill”, “Not Enough Love in the World”, “New York Minute” and “The End of the Innocence”.As a solo artist, Henley has sold over 10 million albums worldwide, had eight Top 40 singles, won two Grammy awards and five MTV Video Music Awards. Combined with the Eagles and as a solo artist, Henley has released 25 Top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. He has also released seven studio albums with the Eagles and four as a solo artist. In 2008, he was ranked as the 87th greatest singer of all time by the Rolling Stone magazine.

Early life

Henley was born in Gilmer, Texas, and he grew up in the small northeast Texas town of Linden. He is the son of Hughlene (McWhorter) and C. J. Henley. He initially attended college at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. He then attended North Texas State University (renamed in 1988 as the “University of North Texas”) in Denton, Texas, from 1967 to 1969. Henley left school to spend time with his father, who was dying from heart and arterial disease.In 1970, he moved to Los Angeles to record an album with his early band, Shiloh, while living at the home of fellow Texan Kenny Rogers; the album was produced by Kenny Rogers. Shortly thereafter, Henley met Glenn Frey. They both became members of Linda Ronstadt’s backup band. Touring with her was the catalyst for forming a group. As a result, two months later they, along with Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner (both also part of Ronstadt’s stable of backing musicians), became their own act, Eagles.

Tenure with the Eagles

The Eagles were formed in September 1971, and released their first studio album in 1972, which contained the hit song “Take It Easy”, written by Frey and Jackson Browne. During the band’s run, Henley co-wrote (usually with Frey) most of the band’s best-known songs.Henley sang lead vocals on many of the band’s popular songs, including “Desperado”, “Witchy Woman”, “Best of My Love”, “One of These Nights”, “Hotel California”, “The Long Run”, “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Wasted Time”. The Eagles won numerous Grammy Awards during the 1970s and became one of the world’s most successful rock bands of all time.They are also among the top 5 overall best-selling bands of all time in America and the highest selling American band in U.S. history.The band broke up in 1980, following a difficult tour and personal tensions that arose during the recording of The Long Run. The Eagles subsequently reunited 14 years later in 1994. Henley continues to tour and record with the Eagles. Their latest album, Long Road Out of Eden, was released in 2007.

Solo career

Following the breakup of the Eagles, Henley embarked on a solo career. He and Stevie Nicks (his girlfriend at the time) had duetted on her Top 10 Pop and Adult Contemporary hit “Leather and Lace”, written by Nicks for Waylon Jennings and his wife Jessie Colter, in late 1981. Henley’s first solo album, I Can’t Stand Still, was a moderate seller. The single “Dirty Laundry” reached #3 on Billboard Hot 100 at the beginning of 1983 and earned a Gold-certified single for sales of over a million copies in the US. It was Henley’s all-time biggest solo hit single, and also was nominated for a Grammy. Henley also contributed “Love Rules” to the 1982 Fast Times at Ridgemont High movie soundtrack.This was followed in 1984 by the album, Building the Perfect Beast. A single release, “The Boys of Summer”, reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video for the song was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino and won several MTV Video Music Awards including Best Video of the Year. Henley also won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the song.[13] Several other songs on the album, “All She Wants to Do Is Dance” (No. 9 on Hot 100), “Not Enough Love in the World” (#34) and “Sunset Grill” (#22) also received considerable airplay. He then had a #3 album rock chart hit with “Who Owns This Place?” from 1986’s The Color of Money soundtrack. Henley’s next album, 1989’s The End of the Innocence, was even more successful. The song “The End of the Innocence”, a collaboration with Bruce Hornsby reached No. 8 as a single. “The Heart of the Matter”, “The Last Worthless Evening” and “New York Minute” were among other songs that gained radio airplay. Henley again won the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance Grammy in 1990 for the album. Also in 1990, Henley made a brief appearance on MTV’s Unplugged series.

In 1995 Henley released the single “The Garden of Allah” to promote his greatest hits solo album Actual Miles: Henley’s Greatest Hits.

In live shows, Henley would play drums and sing simultaneously only on certain Eagles songs. On his solo songs he would either play electric guitar and sing or just sing. Occasionally Eagles songs would get drastic rearrangements, such as “Hotel California” with four trombones.A long period without a new recording followed, as Henley waited out a dispute with his record company while also participating in a 1994 Eagles reunion tour and live album. During the hiatus, Henley recorded a cover of “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” for the film Leap of Faith, and provided the background vocals for country star, Trisha Yearwood’s hit single “Walkaway Joe”, and duetted with Patty Smyth on “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough”, and Roger Waters on “Watching TV” on Waters’ “Amused to Death” album, in 1992. Henley provided the voice of Henry Faust in Randy Newman’s Faust, a 1993 musical which was released on compact disc that year.

Inside Job and recent work

In 2000, after 11 years, Henley released another solo album named Inside Job which peaked at 7th in The Billboard 200 and contained the new singles “Taking You Home”, “Everything Is Different Now, “Workin’ It” and “For My Wedding”.

  Discography

* I Can’t Stand Still (1982)
* Building the Perfect Beast (1984)
* The End of the Innocence (1989)
* Actual Miles: Henley´s Greatest Hits (1995)
* Inside Job (2000)
* The Very Best Of Don Henley (2009)

21
Jan

The Johnny Average Band

FrontMick Hodgkinson / aka Johnny Average died of cancer on 19 September 2007 in Kingston New York, aged 61. He was born in Rainworth, Nottinghamshire, England but moved to Woodstock New York in the 70s, to play with Elizabeth Barraclough. He then formed (and led) Johnny Average And The Falcons who later became The Johnny Average Band. He was a gifted songwriter, vocalist, guitarist and pianist and over the years he worked with with Ian Kimmet, Mick Ronson, Meatloaf, Brian Briggs, Billy J. Kramer, Jerry Dorsey, Terry Dactyl And The Dinosaurs and Brett Marvin & The Thunderbolts.
Mick Ronson first recorded with the Falcons in 1980, on the “Some People” album by The Johnny Average Band. This was really the Falcons in disguise, and it was the first LP to feature all members who would later end up in the New York Yanquis. Ronson played on the song “Gotta Go Home” – this was also available on a single in USA and England, as the B-side to “Ch Ch Cherie”. For the record, Johnny Average’s real name was Mick Hodgkinson – he was the Falcons’ main keyboard player. This album also featured his talented wife (and the Falcons’ lead singer) Nicole Wills. Ronson later played on the eponymous debut album by her mid-80s band The Phantoms.
Nicole Wills was the lead vocalist with the Johnny Average Band, and she was also married to Johnny Average at the time. She had moved to Woodstock in the early 70s and soon teamed up with local bands – most notably The Falcons (who was the blueprint for Johnny Average Band). She eventually got signed to Bearsville Records – was managed by Albert Grossman and toured US and Europe in support of her solo album “Tell Me”, released in 1983. On 28 October 2007, a Tribute To The Music Of Johnny Average was held at Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Studio – featuring original members of The Falcons & The Johnny Average Band along with many special guests.

  Discography

* Some People (1980)  Bearsville

21
Jan

Fortune

R-2516902-1359061641-8313_jpegFortune is a AOR – soul rock fusion band, led by brothers Richard Fortune and Mick Fortune and, on their first album, soul producer – songwriter Mark Davis. The Fortune Band began in the late 70’s when brothers Richard Fortune on guitar and Mick Fortune on drums decided to join together and form a band. The first Fortune self-titled album was released on Warner Bros in 1978 with follow-up WB singles releases including “Squeeze Me, Tease Me” and “Saddle in the Wind.” In the early 80’s, keyboardist Ray Barrett and bassist David de Leon (formerly Stanley Clarke’s touring support bassist teamed up with the brothers, and the band began its move more toward the pop rock style of the time. This phase of the band capped with a show at Aloha Stadium Summer Blowout 1981, opening for Heart and Blue Oyster Cult. The band began to receive some national attention with the 1982 Columbia Records/CBS Inc. release of “Airwaves” on The Last American Virgin motion picture soundtrack. The movie is considered by many to be a cult classic of the time and the soundtrack proved to be a memorable compendium of 1980s radio hits with Fortune sharing the bill with bands such as U2, Journey, Blondie, REO Speedwagon and the Police.

As Fortune began to gain momentum, the core of the band, Richard, Mick and David, decided to take their music more mainstream and that some adjustment in personnel was now necessary to move in that direction. By Fall of 1982, the band had recruited keyboardist Roger Scott Craig. Craig had formerly played with Liverpool Express, a British-based group known in Europe and South America. By end of 1982, Fortune’s singer (Richard’s wife, Colleen Fortune) had left the band and was replaced by vocalist Larry Greene. The band began writing all new songs, to which Roger and Larry contributed significantly. Over the next two years, Fortune spent much of their time in the studio recording demos for CBS records and performing live gigs in clubs around Los Angeles, also opening a stadium show in Hawaii. Unfortunately, the band was unable to get traction during this time and eventually disbanded in 1984.

  Discography

* Fortune (1978) Warner Bros
* Last American Virgin Movie Soundtrack, “Airwaves” (1982)
* Fortune (1985)
* Fortune (Re-release) (2004)

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