Rocket Bomber - music documentaries

Professor Henry Rollins

* Blanket NSFW Language Warning For All Clips.

I’d love sit down and take Professor Henry Rollins’s music appreciation course — or anything else he feels like talking about, really. I doubt he’d slow down long enough to teach for 13 weeks, but we might be able to approximate what such a course might sound like.

It took surprisingly little time to find a whole bunch of Rollins clips on YouTube (even sifting for talking clips, not music) but it did take a bit of effort to pare that list down.

Obviously this follows on the last couple of music posts I’ve done (on Punk and Metal) – what impressed me is how often music documentary directors would seek Henry out, and how often what Henry had to say was right on point.

If you don’t have 10 hours to spend listening to Professor Rollins, I’d recommend just the conversations with Amanda Palmer and Pharrell Williams (2 parts) – but bookmark the rest of these for later.

If like me, you enjoy slinging YouTube to your living room TV to play in the background, you may find the “Professor Henry Rollins” YouTube playlist convenient – click, bookmark, or cut&paste:


Henry Rollins: 50 (1hr15min)

Henry Rollins – Live and Ripped in London (50min)

Henry Rollins Uncut from Israel, 2007 (1hr16min)

Henry Rollins & Amanda Palmer, In Conversation at UCLA (1hr34min)

Henry Rollins, author of “Occupants” (Chicago Review Press), discusses the book with Thurston Moore at McNally Jackson NYC on 14 Oct 2011. (50min)

Dinner For Five S04E04 – Henry Rollins, Michael Chiklis, Michael De Luca, Luis Guzman (28min)

Henry Rollins Interview + Spoken Word, Toronto, 1989 (24min)

Henry Rollins at UC Santa Cruz, 1990 (1hr29min)

Commencement: CSU Sonoma, May 23, 2009 (1hr54min; Prof. Rollins gets introduced at 21:30, Henry starts speaking at 22:50)

“Hard Art DC 1979”, Lucian Perkins, Alec MacKaye and Henry Rollins – Politics & Prose Bookstore, 19 May 2013. (29min)

Henry Rollins X Pharrell Williams – Back & Forth (24min x 2)

Dhol and Bagpipe

Other than being an awesome name for a potential pub, the Dhol and Bagpipe represent the stereotypical-chocolate-and-peanut-butter-like-combo that you didn’t know you wanted — that you didn’t know even existed.

Available for weddings! Book early to avoid conflicts.

Bonus track:

Punk Rock Friday Night

filed under , 6 June 2014, 21:14 by

“There were only 60 kids in the audience, but every one of them formed a band”

There is only one Ramone’s song and it’s been playing non-stop for 40 years.

Raw energy, 3 chords and a sneer, attitude (in-YOUR-face) and the small stage pressure cookers of British pubs and New York clubs –

The embeded videos in this post (at 8 hours) [here’s a Youtube playlist] are just a sampling. If you only have time for one, the first video posted below, at 40min, is a nice bite and intro; though Punk/New Wave 76-78 is an amazing collection of original video sources.


Some clubs in the 70s were playing Disco, to dance to. DJs were learning to beatmatch and cross-fade to stretch ‘long cut’ 12-inch vinyl records from 6 minutes to 15 or even 20 minute mixes — to keep the beat going, to keep the crowd dancing. Those skills, and the equipment used, eventually led to at least three whole new genres of music (I covered this The Electronic Sound and Post-instrument Music – and disco more recently; no, I’m not linking to disco again).

If we over-simplify things, Punk was everything Disco wasn’t — instead of being lush and orchestrated, Punk was (at most) 2 guitars, a bass, and a drummer. There are no horn lines or string sections. The songs don’t even last 3 minutes — a band could play their whole set in a half hour. It’s just as well there were so many punks and they all formed bands, because you’d need at least 6 acts to fill the play bill.

One did not dance to punk music. You bounced, you screamed, you hit things.

There was some overlap between the working class punk rockers and the art school rock (Velvet Underground, Blondie, Talking Heads) that would go on to inform later New Wave — the thread that ran through the whole decade was experimentation and rebellion. But anger — anger at the older generation, at the ‘establishment’, at the government, at the economy, at the ‘mainstream’ music — Anger is the defining attribute of Punk. Sometimes the anger is just a put-on and an act, but in punk, it’s always there.

Some bands were more interested in experimenting, with finding the possibilities in the media and the technology: the 70s also brought us Prog Rock, Pink Floyd, Synth Roch, rock-and-roll “operas” and Broadway shows, the first wave of Heavy Metal, and Zappa’s impossible-to-classify-WTF. Past the clichéd-disco-jokes it seems like every genre of music was re-inventing and re-defining itself.

In the midst of this 70s mess, the Punks broke down the stage door like a breath of fresh air with three convictions for B&E. Maybe they are the descendants of 50s Rockabilly, or just the latest version of the ‘garage band’ sensibility that seems to infuse every generation (and every decade) of music, but Punk brought vulgarity and grit, street-smart and back-alley wariness, and balls-out-both-hands-flipping-you-the-bird, turn-it-up-to-11-and-fuck-you. (eh, that doesn’t quite capture it all, but it’s a good start for a working definition of Punk.)

We’re overdue for a punk revival, maybe. Is 2014 that different from 1974?

Roots of Punk, BBC Documentary (40min)

“In 1976—first in London, then in the United States—‘New Wave’ was introduced as a complementary label for the formative scenes and groups also known as ‘punk’; the two terms were essentially interchangeable. NME journalist Roy Carr is credited with proposing the term’s use (adopted from the cinematic French New Wave of the 1960s) in this context. Over time, ‘new wave’ acquired a distinct meaning: Bands such as Blondie and Talking Heads from the CBGB scene; The Cars, who emerged from the Rat in Boston; The Go-Go’s in Los Angeles; and The Police in London that were broadening their instrumental palette, incorporating dance-oriented rhythms, and working with more polished production were specifically designated ‘new wave’ and no longer called ‘punk’. Dave Laing suggests that some punk-identified British acts pursued the new wave label in order to avoid radio censorship and make themselves more palatable to concert bookers.” — Wikipedia: Punk

Punk & The New Wave 1976-1978 (1hr8min) [bonus period commercials!]

Another State of Mind, Punk Documentary, 1982 (1hr18min)

but were the 90s really “Punk”?

One Nine Nine Four, documentary on the 90s punk revival, from 2008 (1hr21min)

There were others who came first: the MC5, The Stooges and The New York Dolls — But many of us mark the start of Punk in 1974

“Out in Forest Hills, Queens, several miles from lower Manhattan, the members of a newly formed band adopted a common surname. Drawing on sources ranging from the Stooges to The Beatles and The Beach Boys to Herman’s Hermits and 1960s girl groups, the Ramones condensed rock ‘n’ roll to its primal level … The band played its first gig at CBGB on August 16, 1974, on the same bill as another new act, Angel and the Snake, soon to be renamed Blondie. By the end of the year, the Ramones had performed seventy-four shows, each about seventeen minutes long. ‘When I first saw the Ramones’, critic Mary Harron later remembered, ‘I couldn’t believe people were doing this. The dumb brattiness.’

“The term punk initially referred to the scene in general, rather than a particular sound—the early New York punk bands represented a broad variety of influences. Among them, the Ramones, The Heartbreakers, Richard Hell and The Voidoids, and the Dead Boys were establishing a distinct musical style. Even where they diverged most clearly, in lyrical approach—the Ramones’ apparent guilelessness at one extreme, Hell’s conscious craft at the other—there was an abrasive attitude in common. Their shared attributes of minimalism and speed, however, had not yet come to define punk rock.

“In July 1976, the Ramones crossed the Atlantic for two London shows that helped spark the nascent UK punk scene and affected its musical style—‘instantly nearly every band speeded up’. On July 4, they played with the Flamin’ Groovies and The Stranglers before a crowd of 2,000 at the Roundhouse. That same night, The Clash debuted, opening for the Sex Pistols in Sheffield. On July 5, members of both bands attended a Ramones club gig. The following night, The Damned performed their first show, as the Sex Pistols opening act in London. In critic Kurt Loder’s description, the Sex Pistols purveyed a ‘calculated, arty nihilism, [while] the Clash were unabashed idealists, proponents of a radical left-wing social critique of a sort that reached back at least to … Woody Guthrie in the 1940s’. … This London scene’s first fanzine appeared a week later. Its title, Sniffin’ Glue, derived from a Ramones song. Its subtitle affirmed the connection with what was happening in New York: ‘+ Other Rock ‘n’ Roll Habits for Punks!’”

The Ramones – End Of The Century (1hr48min) [bonus Spanish subtitles!]

Punk´s Not Dead (1hr36min)

I think in some future post I might revisit New Wave (plus a look at how Punk ‘became’ Alternative Rock and Grunge) and of course the 70s is rich music history.

Born To Be Wild – The Golden Age of American Rock | 1970s (58min)

The Wrecking Crew

filed under , 25 May 2014, 09:05 by

In the 1960s, session musicians in Nashville, Detroit, and Memphis (and other cities with active recording studios) could always find regular work — and if a city became known for a particular sound, those musicians could get a lot of work — but usually, only from one or two studios. (I’ve been cataloging quite a few of these groups.)

New York is obviously different; at one time or another everyone recorded in New York.

Through the second half of the 20th Century, that was even more true in L.A.


The Wrecking Crew’s members were musically versatile but typically had formal backgrounds in jazz or classical music. The talents of this group of ‘first call’ players were used on almost every style of recording including television theme songs, film scores, advertising jingles and almost every genre of American popular music, from The Monkees to Bing Crosby. Notable artists employing the Wrecking Crew’s talents included Nancy Sinatra, Bobby Vee, The Partridge Family, The Mamas & the Papas, The Carpenters, The 5th Dimension, John Denver, The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, and Nat King Cole. They were among the inaugural ‘Sidemen’ inductees to the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2000 (specifically, drummer Hal Blaine).

The figures most often associated with the Wrecking Crew are: producer Phil Spector, who used the Crew to create his trademark “Wall of Sound”; and Beach Boys member and songwriter Brian Wilson, who used the Crew’s talents on many of his mid-1960s productions including the songs “Good Vibrations”, “California Girls”, Pet Sounds, and the original recordings for Smile. Members of the Wrecking Crew played on the first Byrds single recording, “Mr. Tambourine Man”, because Columbia Records did not trust the skills of Byrd musicians except for Roger McGuinn. Spector used the Wrecking Crew on Leonard Cohen’s fifth album, Death of a Ladies’ Man.

According to Blaine, the name ‘The Wrecking Crew’ was derived from the impression that he and the younger studio musicians made on the business’s older generation, who felt that they were going to wreck the music industry. Prior to that, in the late 1950s the small group headed by Ray Pohlman was often referred to as ‘The First Call Gang,’ since they were the musicians many record producers would call first. With home base being Hollywood’s ‘General Service Studios’, this early group consisted of talented musicians such as Earl Palmer, Mel Pollen, Bill Aken, Barney Kessel, and Al Casey. Many historians consider this small group to be the actual origin of ‘The Wrecking Crew’, or ‘The Clique’ as they were sometimes called.


The impact of ‘the wrecking crew’ is more pervasive than any of the other groups I’ve highlighted so far, but also much harder to pin down. While we all know The Funk Brothers from Motown and the Swampers from Muscle Shoals, there wasn’t a single studio or record label in L.A. — there was no “L.A. Sound”

…or at least, the “L.A. sound” is hard to pin down because it conformed so utterly to the mainstream Pop sound — it formed the Pop sound; it was the Pop sound

There was Elvis (starting as early as ’56, but only gaining steam after he left the army in ’60) — and then there was Surf Rock, which was native to Southern California and was “the thing” up until February 1964, and it could be argued that America’s Pop response to the British Invasion, post ’64, was still California: The Grateful Dead, the Mamas and the Papas, The Doors — but that would be a gross oversimplification, even if (from a critical standpoint) Brian Wilson’s late efforts with the Beach Boys happened to be the only serious response, and contender, to the Lennon/McCartney canon.

The plastic exuberance of the Elvis musicals was filtered through 60s counter-culture, then forged in Monterey in 1967, tempered in Altamont in 1969, and supported throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s by a relocated music industry. The ‘brand names’ in music — Capitol, A&M, Warner Brothers, Universal, Columbia — were all in Los Angeles. The eventual fall-out was 80s Hair Metal which was almost exclusively an L.A. export.

So… the L.A. scene is much harder to pin down and ‘stereotype’ into a single genre or style. So let’s talk about musicians:

Carol Kaye: “Carol Kaye (born March 24, 1935) is an American musician, best known as one of the most prolific and widely heard bass guitarists in history, playing on an estimated 10,000 recording sessions in a 55-year career.
“As a session musician, Kaye was the bassist on many Phil Spector and Brian Wilson productions in the 1960s and 1970s. She played guitar on Ritchie Valens’ ‘La Bamba’ and is credited with the bass tracks on several Simon & Garfunkel hits and many film scores by Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin. One of the most popular albums Carol contributed to was the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds.”

Glen Campbell: “During this period he played on recordings by Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Phil Spector.
“From December 1964 to early March 1965, Campbell was a touring member of the Beach Boys, filling in for Brian Wilson. He also played guitar on the group’s Pet Sounds album, among other recordings. On tour, he played bass guitar and sang falsetto harmonies.”

Tommy Tedesco: “Tedesco’s credits include the iconic brand-burning accompaniment theme from television’s Bonanza, The Twilight Zone, Vic Mizzy’s iconic theme from Green Acres, M*A*S*H, Batman, and Elvis Presley’s ’68 Comeback Special. He was shown on-camera for a number of game and comedy shows, and played ex-con guitarist Tommy Marinucci, a member of Happy Kyne’s Mirth-Makers, in the talk-show spoof Fernwood 2 Night.”

René Hall: “In the mid-1950s, Hall moved to Los Angeles, California, and began doing session work with famed saxophone player, Plas Johnson, and drummer, Earl Palmer. The trio recorded for many of the emerging rock and roll and R&B artists on such labels as Aladdin, Rendezvous, and Specialty Records. In 1958, he recorded the electric bass track using a Danelectro 6-string bass guitar on the Ritchie Valens smash hit, La Bamba, with Buddy Clarke on the upright acoustic bass.
“Throughout his career, Hall was the featured guitarist on such tracks as Number 000 (Otis Blackwell), That’s It (Babette Bain), Cincinnati Fireball (Johnny Burnette), Chattanooga Choo Choo (Ernie Fields), In The Mood (Ernie Fields), Hippy Hippy Shake (Chan Romero), and Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Larry Williams). He also released numerous recordings as both René Hall and the René Hall Orchestra.
“Hall arranged some of Sam Cooke’s best-known recordings including the 1964 song, A Change Is Gonna Come, in which Hall devised a dramatic arrangement with a symphonic overture for strings, kettledrum, and French horn. He also prepared arrangements for many of Motown’s most successful artists including The Impressions and Marvin Gaye. Rene also was an advocate for up and coming new groups. He came into Bill Withers Tiki Studios in San Jose and worked out the arrangements for two of San Francisco’s own Cordial Band. He arranged Wave and A Special Love written by Raymond Coats and Danny Dinio. He also plays lead guitar on Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On”

Leon Russell: “As a first call studio musician in Los Angeles, Russell played on many of the most popular songs of the 1960s, including some by The Byrds, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett, and Herb Alpert. He can be seen in 1964’s T.A.M.I. Show, playing piano with ‘The Wrecking Crew’ (an informal name for the top L.A. session musicians of the 1960s), sporting short, dark, slicked-back hair, in contrast to his later look. Soon after, he was hired as Snuff Garrett’s assistant/creative developer, playing on numerous #1 singles, including ‘This Diamond Ring’ by Gary Lewis and the Playboys. He wrote or co-wrote two hit songs for Gary Lewis and Playboys: ‘Everybody Loves a Clown’ (which hit the Billboard Top 40 on October 9, 1965, remaining on the chart for eight weeks and rising to number 4) and ‘She’s Just My Style’ (which hit Billboard′s Top 40 on December 18, 1965, and rose to number 3). He played xylophone and bells on the 1966 single ‘The Joker Went Wild’, sung by Brian Hyland and penned by Bobby Russell (no relation to Leon). He also worked sessions with Dorsey Burnette and Glen Campbell on Campbell’s 1967 album Gentle on My Mind, where he was credited as ‘Russell Bridges’ on piano, and arranged and conducted the 1966 easy listening album Rhapsodies for Young Lovers by the Midnight String Quartet.
“Russell’s first commercial success as a songwriter came when Joe Cocker recorded the song ‘Delta Lady’ for his 1969 album, Joe Cocker. The album, produced and arranged by Russell, reached #11 on the Billboard 200. Russell went on to organize and perform in the 1970 Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour in support of the album. ‘Superstar’, co-written by Russell, Delaney Bramlett and Bonnie Bramlett, was sung by Rita Coolidge on that tour and later proved a success for The Carpenters, Luther Vandross, Sonic Youth and other performers.”

How deep into one of these music posts can I go without linking to any music?

“The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret” is a book and also a 2008 documentary [which then had to go to Kickstarter in 2013, because rights clearances are expensive.] see also:

If Only for their contributions to the Beach Boys records, the Wrecking Crew needs recognition.

Gamble & Huff, MFSB, and Philadelphia International Records

filed under , 20 May 2014, 12:44 by

The wikipedia entry for Sigma Sound Studios is pretty damn short; here it is in full:


Sigma Sound Studios is an American music recording studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania founded by recording engineer Joseph Tarsia in 1968.

Located at 212 N. 12th Street in Philadelphia, it was the second studio in the country to offer 24-track recording and the first in the country to use console automation. Tarsia was formerly chief engineer at Philadelphia’s Cameo-Parkway Studios.

On April 15, 1972, singer-songwriter and pianist Billy Joel played an hour long concert at Sigma Studios. The recording of “Captain Jack” from this event received extensive radio play in the Philadelphia area, long before Joel became nationally known.

In the 1970s, Sigma Sound was strongly associated with Philadelphia soul and the sound of Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International Records (a precursor to disco music), which combined a driving rhythm section with a full orchestral sound of strings and brass.

David Bowie recorded much of his album Young Americans in August 1974 at Sigma Sound.

Madonna used the studio to record her 1983 album debut (Madonna).

Tarsia opened a branch of Sigma Sound Studios in New York City which operated from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s. He sold Sigma Sound Studios in 2003.

The majority of the tapes recorded in Sigma Sound Studio’s history are part of The Drexel University Audio Archive.

The studio recently underwent a massive renovation and now has five state-of-the-art production studios, a live production sound stage, and media production center.


Not much to chew on for a blog post [though: Young Americans? Oh yeah, we can do this]. Digging a little deeper into Wikipedia reveals quite a bit more; let’s start with the house band, MFSB:

MFSB (according to the ‘clean’ interpretation, Mother Father Sister Brother) was a pool of more than thirty studio musicians based at Philadelphia’s famed Sigma Sound Studios. They worked closely with the production team of Gamble and Huff and producer/arranger Thom Bell, and backed up such groups as Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the O’Jays, the Stylistics, the Spinners, Wilson Pickett, and Billy Paul. In 1972, MFSB began recording as a named act for the Philadelphia International label. ‘TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)’ also known as the Soul Train theme was their first and most successful single. Released in March 1974, it peaked at number one on the US Billboard pop and R&B charts.” — wikipedia

MFSB featuring The Three Degrees – TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) [Original 12” Version] (1974)

Wikipedia breaks it down for us – Sigma was the studio, but the brains in the studio were Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Gamble and Huff’s output was released on Philadelphia International Records, and Philadelphia Soul gets an entry, too.

“Philadelphia (or Philly) soul, sometimes called the Philadelphia Sound or Sweet Philly, is a style of soul music characterized by funk influences and lush instrumental arrangements, often featuring sweeping strings and piercing horns. The subtle sound of a vibraphone can often be heard in the background of Philly soul songs. The genre laid the groundwork for disco and what are now considered quiet storm and smooth jazz by fusing the R&B rhythm sections of the 1960s with the pop vocal tradition, and featuring a slightly more pronounced jazz influence in its melodic structures and arrangements.” — wikipedia

MFSB – Universal Love (Full LP) 1975

When the bass and rhythm guitar players are playing syncopated counters and the drummer drops into four-on-the-floor with eighths on the high hat (what some onomatopoetically call the “boom-tiss, boom-tiss”) while the string section swells in the arrangements behind them, you can hear Disco being born.

I come to bury Disco, not to praise it. And I’ll remind you — if you have a strong aversion, you don’t have to click ‘play’ on any of the YouTube embeds below. The important thing to remember is that at first Disco was a place where folks went to dance, not a genre of music — and the music of the disco was just the popular dance music of the day: soul, latin, and funk of the late 60s and early 70s (the rock music of that era rocks but you can’t always dance to it); later came the string arrangements, a 1977 Movie, the clichéd mainstream ‘disco sound’, and then… the inevitable backlash.

Before Saturday Night Fever, disco—like the soul music it was born from—was popular enough, but was popular outside the mainstream.

“The term is derived from discothèque (French for ‘library of phonograph records’, but subsequently used as proper name for nightclubs in Paris). Its initial audiences were club-goers from the African American, gay, Italian American, Latino, and psychedelic communities in New York City and Philadelphia during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Disco also was a reaction against both the domination of rock music and the stigmatization of dance music by the counterculture during this period.” — wikipedia

Saturday Night Fever was based on a New York magazine article; tellingly, the title of that article was “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night” [the internet is great, you can read the whole piece for yourself: from 7 June 1976]. In 1976, at least to “[the] man in a tweed suit, a journalist from Manhattan,” Disco culture was still something foreign.

Disco grew up in the outer boroughs of New York, and other old eastern cities, and the sound is almost direct Motown — I say ‘almost’. Motown was ‘Hitsville’ through the 1960s, and while they still had many great artists on their roster, in 1969 Motown (the company) had moved from Detroit to Los Angeles — and perenial runner-up Stax, out of Memphis, would take over as the heart and soul of Soul music. (Now, that’s just my opinion, but I’ll fight you on it.) The transformation of Stax in 1968 was born out of desperation and that’s worthy of a post of its own (it’s coming) — but the disco sound isn’t the Southern Soul of Memphis, and Isaac Hayes (while hugely influential) was a bit too funky for what would later become a mainstream pop music genre.

Disco was born in Philadelphia. We even know which song it was, written by Gamble and Huff, recorded at Sigma Sound by the O’Jays (backed by MFSB), and released by Philadelphia International.

The O’Jays – Love Train

Compare “Love Train” to Issac Hayes, from the same year (1972):

Here’s Hayes in 1973; we can hear the strings & horns in the arrangement, but that rhythm section has got a whole ‘nother groove going on:

And now compare that Hayes to Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra (once again, this 1973)

From the waka-guitar to the 40 piece string section, this is the lush and lavish overlay that apparently the rest of the music industry was waiting for. (If you’re interested, here’s The Love Orchestra again—with White on the podium, conducting—in a 1974 TV performance. Now, some of it may be the difference between stereo and 70s-era-TV-audio, but it sounds like White decided to ask the drummer for a bit more oomph in ’74 than he did in ’73)

The third [canonical?] disco single to hit the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 was “TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)”, which is the first embed near the top of this post. From March of 1973 (when the O’Jays were Billboard’s number one) to April of 1974 (when TSOP hit) and on to July of 1975…

[aside: the 70s really were the last time the flute was a rock/pop instrument.]
[also: A lot of these early tracks were instrumentals. I think the 70s were also the last time an instrumental topped the pop charts. That says a lot about the state of music today, if you ask me]

Quite a few soulful artists were releasing disco music, but by 1975 disco had already lost its soul.
That was a long diversion — let’s get back to Philly Soul.

Soul Survivors – Expressway to Your Heart (1968)

Interview: The Soul Survivors & Philly

Archie Bell and The Drells – I Can’t Stop Dancing (1968)

The Delfonics – La-La Means I Love You (1968)

The Stylistics – You Are Everything (1971)

David Bowie – Young Americans (1975)

David Bowie – Fascination (also ’75, from the Young Americans album)

Bowie himself described Young Americans as ‘plastic soul’ – the appropration was self-aware, but respectful (in my opinion).

“Fascination” is Bowie making the most of the session musicians at Sigma Sound; it’s Bowie like you haven’t heard before. Luther Vandross is credited as cowriter on the track because it borrows heavily from the song “Funky Music”

“The Salsoul Orchestra consisted of most of the original members of Philadelphia International’s MFSB, who had moved on to Salsoul as the result of a disagreement with producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff over finances. Other members began performing as The Ritchie Family orchestra, and as John Davis and the Monster Orchestra. On later MFSB recordings, Gamble & Huff uses a new rhythm section which caused them to have a slightly different sound.” — wikipedia

The Salsoul Orchestra – Chicago Bus Stop (1975)

Here’s a Phildelphia International release from after the MFSB/Salsoul split. (I don’t know if I can hear the ‘difference’ on this track, but I’m sure Wikipedia is an infallible source.)

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Don’t Leave Me This Way (1977)

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Induction of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff in 2008

The Nashville A-Team, and the "Nashville Sound"

filed under , 14 May 2014, 10:38 by

“The Nashville A-Team was a nickname given to a group of session musicians in Nashville, Tennessee, who earned wide acclaim in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. They backed dozens of popular singers, including Elvis Presley, Eddy Arnold, Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, Bob Dylan and others. The Nashville A-Team’s members typically had backgrounds in country music but were highly versatile. Examples of their jazz inclinations can be found in the Nashville All-Stars album with Chet Atkins titled After the Riot at Newport, the Hank Garland LP entitled Velvet Guitar, Tupper Saussy’s Said I to Shostakovitch, the groundbreaking LP Gary Burton And Friends Near, Friends Far, and Chester and Lester by Les Paul and Chet Atkins. In 2007, The Nashville A-Team were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN.” — wikipedia

“The Nashville sound was pioneered by staff at Decca Records, RCA Records and Columbia Records in Nashville, Tennessee, including manager Steve Sholes, record producers Chet Atkins, Owen Bradley, and Bob Ferguson, and recording engineer Bill Porter. They invented the form by replacing elements of the popular honky tonk style (fiddles, steel guitar, nasal lead vocals) with ‘smooth’ elements from 1950s pop music (string sections, background vocals, crooning lead vocals), and using “slick” production, and pop music structures. The producers relied on a small group of studio musicians known as the Nashville A-Team, whose quick adaptability and creative input made them vital to the hit-making process. The Anita Kerr Quartet was the main vocal backing group in the early 1960s. In 1960, Time magazine reported that Nashville had ‘nosed out Hollywood as the nation’s second biggest (after New York) record-producing center.’
“Country historian Rich Kienzle says that ‘Gone’, a Ferlin Husky hit recorded in November 1956, ‘may well have pointed the way to the Nashville sound.’ Writer Colin Escott proclaims Jim Reeves’ ‘Four Walls’, recorded February 1957, to be the ‘first Nashville sound record’, and Chet Atkins, the RCA-based producer and guitarist most often credited with being the sound’s primary artistic brainchild, pointed to his production of Don Gibson’s ‘Oh Lonesome Me’ late that same year” — wikipedia

Ferlin Husky – Gone

Jim Reeves – Four Walls

Don Gibson – Oh Lonesome Me

It’s interesting to compare the description of The Nashville Sound in that wikipedia entry (slick production, pop elements) with the “new country” music of the 1990s. Except for a touch of steel guitar, it sounds a whole lot like the pop music of the day.

Skeeter Davis – The End Of The World

Southern Rock (a past topic), Outlaw Country, and the ‘Back to Basics’ country-western music of the 1980’s were all responses to the too-smooth, too-slick Nashville Sound. I’d have to agree, actually: if you’re going to play country, you might as well get down and play country.

That said… there were several upshots of the Nashville Sound: First, it made money. ‘Nashville’ bridged a couple of decades when country was under assault from rock and roll — rock was also a homegrown southern product, with crossover — and then the British imports, and the new national TV networks based out of New York and L.A. gaining over local radio. Without the mainstream appeal of the Nashville sound, would there have been a country music establishment for the 1970s artists to rebel against? Or would country be just another footnote in the Smithsonian Folkways project?

Ray Charles – Take These Chains From My Heart

[Ray was recording in New York, but both of his “Country and Western Albums” are obviously influenced by The Nashville Sound]


Let’s get back to the A-Team:

“Building on the rustic style he experimented with on John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline displayed a complete immersion into country music. Along with the more basic lyrical themes, simple songwriting structures, and charming domestic feel, it introduced audiences to a radically new singing voice from Dylan—a soft, affected country croon.” — wikipedia

Nashville Skyline was recorded in Nashville, using session players — including Charlie Daniels on guitar. OK, so this is more of an excuse to post some Dylan, but I’ll take it.

“After the Riot at Newport is an album by The Nashville All-Stars, which was recorded live after the cancellation of their appearance at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival. This group of Nashville session players played a mixture of pop and jazz standards. The all-star lineup featured guitar legends Hank Garland and Chet Atkins, saxophonist Boots Randolph, pianist/violinist Brenton Banks, pianist Floyd Cramer, bassist Bob Moore, drummer Buddy Harman, and vibes prodigy Gary Burton, who was only 17 years old at the time.
“Even though the players were playing country music day-in and day-out in Nashville sessions, they had a deep love of jazz and played often at the Carousel Club on Printer’s Alley in Nashville. When their much-anticipated festival performance was canceled due to an unruly crowd, the group documented their performance anyway, recording on the back porch of a mansion RCA had rented during the festival.” —wikipedia

“Chester & Lester is a collaborative album by guitarists Chet Atkins and Les Paul released in 1976. It was recorded in the mid-1970s when Chet was in his fifties and Les in his sixties. Chet coaxed Les out of his decade-long retirement for this recording. The liner notes state there is very little overdubbing and the majority of the album was live in the studio.” — wikipedia

Chet Atkins & Les Paul recorded a follow-up to Chester & Lester in 1978, aptly titled Guitar Monsters

The Memphis Boys

filed under , 11 May 2014, 09:00 by

“American Sound Studio was a recording studio located at 827 Thomas Street in Memphis, Tennessee. More than one hundred hit songs were recorded there between its founding 1967 and its closing in 1972, The music for these hits was played by the house band ‘The Memphis Boys’, also known as the ’827 Thomas Street Band’. Artists who recorded at American Sound Studio included Elvis Presley, Merrilee Rush, Aretha Franklin, Neil Diamond, Dusty Springfield, B. J. Thomas, Joe Tex, Roy Hamilton and The Box Tops.” — wikipedia

Memphis Boys – The Story Of American Studios [playlist – 24 tracks]

This was the ‘soundtrack’ to a book by Roben Jones (9781617031991, U. of Mississippi Press, 2011)

Here’s a playlist, only 8 tracks, rounding up some of the songs mentioned in American Sound Studio’s wikipedia entry —

“Memphis Underground is a 1969 album by jazz flautist Herbie Mann, that fuses the genres of Jazz and Rhythm & Blues (R&B). While Mann and the other principal soloists (Roy Ayers, Larry Coryell and Sonny Sharrock) were leading jazz musicians, the album was recorded in Chips Moman’s American Studios in Memphis, a studio used by many well-known R&B and pop artists. The rhythm section was the house band at American Studios. The recording was engineered and produced by Tom Dowd.
“Three of the five songs on the album were covers of songs originally released by Soul music artists. ‘Hold On, I’m Comin’ (by Sam & Dave), who recorded at Stax records (with the Stax rhythm section), and ‘Chain of Fools’ (by Aretha Franklin) who recorded that song with the classic Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section at Atlantic Studios in New York.” — wikipedia

“From Elvis in Memphis is the ninth studio album by American rock and roll singer Elvis Presley, released on RCA Victor. The recording took place at American Sound Studio in Memphis, between January 13–16 and 20–23, and February 17–22, 1969, under the direction of producer Chips Moman and with the backing of the house band, informally known as ‘The Memphis Boys’. A direct consequence of the success of Presley’s 1968 Christmas television special and its soundtrack, the recording marked the definite return of Presley to non-soundtrack albums, after finishing his movie contract with Paramount Pictures.
“Deciding to leave his usual settings at the RCA studios, Presley was convinced by his entourage to record his next album at American Sound, a new and renowned Memphis studio that at the time enjoyed a successful hit-producing streak. On the production of the record, Moman and his arrangers decided to change Presley’s music from his usual pop sound aimed for older audiences, to a new sound to provide him of a new image. His early influences in country, rhythm and blues, and gospel were blend with soul, the latest music trend in Memphis. The arrangements were inspired by the Memphis soul, a use of the rhythm section with reduced use of strings, brass and woodwind sections.” — more wikipedia

see also: Elvis At Stax — but Stax is a past (and future) post

Listen to these instrumental tracks – unfinished Elvis masters:

Elvis – American Sound Studio, 1969 Tour Rehearsals (59 min)
* NSFW language warning – Elvis uncensored, and a little rough.

The Boys are still working, and touring – The Memphis Boys And Terry Mike Jeffrey, Live In Knokke : Part 1, 20 minPart 2, 20 minPart 3, 30 min – not the best audio quality, it’s an obvious bootleg—which is why it’s linked, rather than embedded—but a decent set to put in the background today.

The Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra


The Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra was a group of Hollywood session musicians organized by Frank Zappa in 1967 to record music for his first solo album Lumpy Gravy. Some of these musicians are thought to have worked together in various combinations under the leadership of Ken Shroyer as far back as 1959. However, it was Zappa who gave them the name several years later.

In 1975 Zappa organized another group using the same name which involved a few of the same musicians. This group recorded music for the album Orchestral Favorites. Zappa’s Orchestral Favorites album was not released until 1979.

In 1983 soundtrack music for The Chipmunks was recorded by yet another permutation using the same name but organized without the involvement of Zappa or Shroyer. The last appearance by this later ensemble was on the Who Framed Roger Rabbit soundtrack in 1988.


“In its original incarnation, Lumpy Gravy served as an album of orchestral music written by Zappa and performed by an orchestra assembled for the album. Zappa conducted the orchestra’s performance, and did not perform any instrument on the album. However, MGM Records claimed that the album’s production and release violated Zappa’s contract with Verve Records. Lumpy Gravy was subsequently reedited by Zappa as part of a project called No Commercial Potential, which produced three other albums: We’re Only in It for the Money, Cruising with Ruben & the Jets and Uncle Meat.”
Lumpy Gravy

Lumpy Gravy was Zappa’s 3rd album (following two releases by The Mothers of Invention, of which Zappa was the lead singer and principle madman) but is often cited as Zappa’s solo debut, which is interesting since he plays no instruments and doesn’t sing (content, I suppose, merely to have composed & orchestrated the work, and also conducting the Abnuceals Emuukha ESO in studio).

Full Album (1967 Capitol Records (the version without the spoken word segments)):

Frank Zappa and The Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Orchestra, September 18, 1975. Royce Hall, UCLA

“Early in 1977, Zappa delivered the master tapes for a quadruple-LP set, entitled Läther, which he intended as his “swan song” for Warner Bros. However, Warner changed its position following legal action from Cohen, and refused to release the album, claiming that Zappa was contractually bound to deliver four more albums to Warner for the DiscReet label.
“During 1977 Zappa created the individual albums Zappa In New York, Studio Tan, Sleep Dirt and Orchestral Favorites by re-editing recordings from same batch of tapes that made up the 4-LP configuration. After Warner Bros. released Zappa In New York, they told him that he still owed them four more albums. He then attempted to get a distribution deal with Phonogram to release Läther on the new Zappa Records label. This led Warner to threaten legal action, preventing the release of Läther and forcing Zappa to shelve the project. In 1978 and 1979 Warner finally decided to release the three remaining individual albums they still held, Studio Tan, Sleep Dirt and Orchestral Favorites. As Zappa had delivered the tapes only, these three individual albums were released with no musical credits.”
Orchestral Favorites

Full Album:

While Zappa was experimenting with the Abnuceals Emuukha ESO in studio, and fighting with his music labels in the courts, he was also (not quite simultaneously, of course) recording and touring with The Mothers of Invention:

“The musical content of Freak Out! ranges from rhythm and blues, doo-wop and standard blues-influenced rock to orchestral arrangements and avant-garde sound collages. “ —wikipedia

[edit: this is the better link to the whole album, but it is also a YouTube playlist rather than being a single file. just stick with it.]

Absolutely Free is, again, a display of complex musical composition with political and social satire. The band had been augmented since Freak Out … This album’s emphasis is on interconnected movements, as each side of the original vinyl LP comprises a mini-suite.” —wikipedia

Zappa is notoriously, infamously, and incurably prolific — so I think it’d be best to stop here. Most people are aware of Frank as a pop culture icon but outside of the fanbase I don’t know of many people who’ve actually heard the music. These three albums, Freak Out, Absolutely Free, and Lumpy Gravy — complex, virtuosic, accessible in parts but also challenging — are an excellent place to start. Amazingly, these were Zappa’s first three albums.

I can’t find any mention — other than wikipedia — of a post-Zappa Abnuceals Emuukha ESO. (I’m very much tempted to say the wikieditor who contributed that trivia-nugget, without attribution or citation, is full of it.) Music for Roger Rabbit was composed and conducted by Alan Silvestri, and credited (on the soundtrack released by EMI/Disney) to the London Symphony Orchestra.

However, I’ll take the excuse, flimsy as it may be, to post this track from the Roger Rabbit OST: “Valiant & Valiant”. (We’ll miss you, Eddie.)

A Point of Departure; a Song Holiday in Europe

filed under , 30 April 2014, 23:11 by

We don’t talk nearly enough about the European powerhouses Luxembourg and Sweden, let alone the dominance of Ireland.

The controversy of 1969 almost led to the collapse of the institution.

Many still question the success of the German delegation in 2010.

Add on a byzantine voting structure and methodology that takes hours to compile and seems anything but democratic. The qualifying process is opaque, and even the bylaws change from year to year. Voting blocs form that correspond to historic, ethnic, or linguistic ties threaten to corrupt what little remains of the idealistic process. It’s a hot mess, and few are truly satisfied with the outcomes.

The EU Parliament? [ok, yes, but also:] Not quite. The topic of today’s post is an institution both older, and arguably, more important in terms of European Unity. Of Course, I’m talking about the Eurovision Song Contest.


From my perspective (American, professed jazz aficionado, actual musician) and as someone who hates American Idol and the various permutations that both predate 2002 and have proliferated after* – I should—by all rights—have a severe allergic reaction to Eurovision and the whole exercise should not only be beneath notice but also entirely off my radar.

* I do however have a certain fondness for The Sing-Off so I guess I’m guilty of multiple hypocrisies.

My interest was piqued last year by an excellent Boing Boing piece, written by Leigh Alexander — but my reaction then was ‘oh those wacky europeans’ — I filed the information away (wherever it is that I keep all the trivia) and did not follow up.

That changed in January (of this year) when I first heard a particularly catchy song by InCulto:

They weren’t even the winners that year (2010) — in fact, InCulto as a band broke up in 2011 after 3 albums [2010’s Closer Than You Think seems to be the only one available via Amazon/iTunes] and who knows where they are now. (not holding my breath for the VH1 special)

[Go ahead and hit ‘replay’ on the youtube embed above. I know I did.]

The thing is: InCulto didn’t even make the Eurovision Song Contest finals in 2010. I thought, “Hell, if these guys are the runners-up, what am I missing here?

The TL;DR is ABBA 1974 and Lordi 2006. Watch these next two clips and that’s it, you’re done.

xtra credit for Finland’s 2006 offering:

That’s it. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled cat pics and flapping-mouth-tv-cap-gifs


For the four people still reading: let’s see just how deep this rabbit hole goes.


“In the 1950s, as a war-torn Europe rebuilt itself, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)—based in Switzerland—set up an ad hoc committee to search for ways of bringing together the countries of the EBU around a ‘light entertainment programme’. At a committee meeting held in Monaco in January 1955, director general of Swiss television and committee chairman Marcel Bezençon conceived the idea of an international song contest where countries would participate in one television programme, to be transmitted simultaneously to all countries of the union. The competition was based upon the existing Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy, and was seen as a technological experiment in live television, as in those days it was a very ambitious project to join many countries together in a wide-area international network. Satellite television did not exist, and the so-called Eurovision Network comprised a terrestrial microwave network. The concept, then known as ‘Eurovision Grand Prix’, was approved by the EBU General Assembly in a meeting held in Rome on 19 October 1955 and it was decided that the first contest would take place in spring 1956 in Lugano, Switzerland. The name ‘Eurovision’ was first used in relation to the EBU’s network by British journalist George Campey in the London Evening Standard in 1951.

“The first contest was held in the town of Lugano, Switzerland, on 24 May 1956. Seven countries participated—each submitting two songs, for a total of 14. This was the only contest in which more than one song per country was performed: since 1957 all contests have allowed one entry per country. The 1956 contest was won by the host nation, Switzerland.”


The simile I’d propose is that Eurovision is like a combination of the Olympics and a junior high talent show, assuming your junior high PTA had enough scratch to hire a conductor and orchestra. (The in-house orchestra, sadly, has not been a part of Eurovision since 1998, replaced by pre-recorded backing tracks.) Oddly enough, winning the Eurovision Song Contest is neither a guarantee of future success (for the artist) nor a particular point of pride (for the country), as there were 5 times when the winning country declined to host the next Eurovision Song Contest. “Thanks for the prize and all, but it’d be a bit much to do all this again…”

[Since 1981, all winners have deigned to also host, perhaps providing a bright line between the ‘international and collegial cooperation’ phase of Eurovision, and the ‘milking it for profit’ era]

The Eurovision Song Contest won’t celebrate another big-round-numbers anniversary until next year, 2015, so I get to steal a march on every other blogger with the 59th annual broadcast, hosted this year in Copenhagen, Denmark for the week of 6-10 May, 2014.

However, in attempting to document the whole of the Eurovision Song Contest, an amateur youtube-historian faces two very large challenges: the fragmentary video record of the 1950s (back when no one thought about ‘saving’ the tapes, except for the ‘recycling’ definitions of the term ‘saving’) and then, more pernicious, the copyright takedowns following the DMCA that have tragically impacted just about every archivist’s efforts for the last 15 years;

The Eurovision Song Contests are available in full (2-3 hours apiece) from 1957 to 1999 on YouTube — an amazing archive. […at least, all were available at the time this post was written]

Let me repeat and re-emphasize that fact: 43 Years of an international cultural competition are archived on YouTube and available for both historians and enthusiasts to watch, in full, because other enthusiasts uploaded the (occasionally rare, or at the very least scarce) original sources to a new digital format and forum.

From 2000 on, even when the same international cultural competition is helpfully uploaded, many videos are taken down. From 2006 on, every last version gets taken down by a copyright claim. I don’t know if the Eurovision Song Contest counts as ‘fair use’ or not, or its status as public domain (unlikely) but the blanket take-downs seem… oppressive. Individual clips are often available — and hell, I was able to track down the winner of each and every year — but for whatever reason (one song? two?) the actual Eurovision broadcast always gets DMCA’d into oblivion and that’s it, no historical or cultural reason for viewing such could possibly be more important than some corporation’s right to the (theoretical, non-existant) profits — and we don’t even know which songs we’re missing, and might be buying, because the whole has been squelched.


Onerous bits of copyright law aside: A whole lot of Eurovision can be found on YouTube.

A Top 10?

Honorable Mention: Eurovision 1964 Winner, Italy, Gigliola Cinquetti – Non ho l’età :

Honorable Mention: Eurovision 1959 Winner, Netherlands, Teddy Scholten – Een beetje : — very sweet, in a hollywood-musical kinda way

Honorable Mention: Eurovision 1965 Winner, Luxembourg, France Gall – Poupée de cire, poupée de son :

Eurovision 2001 Winner, Estonia – Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL – Everybody :

Eurovision 1981 Winner, United Kingdom, Bucks Fizz – Making Your Mind Up :

Eurovision 1982 Winner, Germany, Nicole – Ein bißchen Frieden :

Eurovision 1978 Winner, Israel, Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta – A-Ba-Ni-Bi :

Eurovision 2003 Winner, Turkey, Sertab Erener – Everyway That I Can :

Eurovision 1995 Winner, Norway, Secret Garden – Nocturne :

Eurovision 1990 Winner, Italy, Toto Cutugno – Insieme: 1992 :

Eurovision 1963 Winner, Denmark, Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann – Dansevise :

Eurovision 1994 Winner, Ireland, Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan – Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids :

Eurovision 2009 Winner, Norway, Alexander Rybak, Fairytale :


I have compiled everything, or at least all that I’ve been able to find, into a single YouTube playlist, starting with the winners of each Eurovision Song Contest and then (if you have the fortitude) also as many of the full broadcasts as are available.

This is much more than you can (or should) consume in one session, and a youtube playlist is also a bit hard to parse; to make it easier to search for (and one presumes, watch) each year’s Eurovision Song Contest, what follows is a plaintext listing of my YouTube findings. [For my money, 1963 is the ‘threshold of awesome’ and one shouldn’t bother with anything before that, by YMMV]


[alas: what remains isn’t necessarily human-readable, and for that you have my apology. The point isn’t a clickable list – as there is already a youtube playlist – but rather a ctrl-f-enabled list: seek and ye shall find. The benefits of presenting all the links in plaintext outweighed other considerations, and I told you this post was ‘over’ 11 paragraphs and 13 video embeds ago]

— Thank you for reading this far. :) —

Eurovision 1956 Winner, Switzerland, Lys Assia – Refrain : :
1956 Full Show [audio only]
Eurovision 1957 Winner, Netherlands, Corry Brokken – Net als toen : :
1957 Full Show
Eurovision 1958 Winner, France, André Claveau – Dors, mon amour :
1958 Full Show
Eurovision 1959 Winner, Netherlands, Teddy Scholten – Een beetje :
1959 Full Show
Eurovision 1960 Winner, France, Jacqueline Boyer – Tom Pillibi :
1960 Full Show
Eurovision 1961 Winner, Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Pascal – Nous les amoureux :
1961 Full Show
Eurovision 1962 Winner, France, Isabelle Aubret – Un premier amour :
1962 Full Show
- Eurovision 1963 Winner, Denmark, Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann – Dansevise :
1963 Full Show
Eurovision 1964 Winner, Italy, Gigliola Cinquetti – Non ho l’età :
1964 Full Show (4 parts)
Eurovision 1965 Winner, Luxembourg, France Gall – Poupée de cire, poupée de son :
1965 F7ull Show
Eurovision 1966 Winner, Austria, Udo Jürgens – Merci, Chérie :
1966 Full Show
Eurovision 1967 Winner, United Kingdom, Sandie Shaw – Puppet on a String :
1967 Full Show
Eurovision 1968 Winner, Spain, Massiel – La, la, la :
1968 Full Show
- [1969 featured a 4-way tie for first because no one thought to include a tie-breaker rule before this, and it was a live broadcast – and so: clusterf**k]
Eurovision 1969 Winner, (4 way tie) Spain, Salomé – “Vivo cantando” :
Eurovision 1969 Winner, (4 way tie) United Kingdom, Lulu – “Boom Bang-a-Bang” :
Eurovision 1969 Winner, (4 way tie) Netherlands, Lenny Kuhr – “De troubadour” :
Eurovision 1969 Winner, (4 way tie) France, Frida Boccara – “Un jour, un enfant” :
1969 Full Show
- Eurovision 1970 Winner, Ireland, Dana – All Kinds of Everything :
1970 Full Show
Eurovision 1971 Winner, Monaco, Séverine – Un banc, un arbre, une rue :
1971 Full Show
Eurovision 1972 Winner, Luxembourg, Vicky Leandros – “Après toi” :
1972 Full Show
Eurovision 1973 Winner, Luxembourg, Anne-Marie David – Tu te reconnaîtras :
1973 Full Show
Eurovision 1974 Winner, Sweden, ABBA – Waterloo :
1974 Full Show
Eurovision 1975 Winner, Netherlands, Teach-In – Ding-a-dong :
1975 Full Show
Eurovision 1976 Winner, United Kingdom, Brotherhood of Man – Save Your Kisses for Me :
1976 Full Show
Eurovision 1977 Winner, France, Marie Myriam – L’oiseau et l’enfant :
1977 Full Show
Eurovision 1978 Winner, Israel, Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta – A-Ba-Ni-Bi :
1978 Full Show
Eurovision 1979 Winner, Israel, Gali Atari and Milk and Honey – Hallelujah :
1979 Full Show
Eurovision 1980 Winner, Ireland, Johnny Logan – What’s Another Year :
1980 Full Show
Eurovision 1981 Winner, United Kingdom, Bucks Fizz – Making Your Mind Up :
1981 Full Show
Eurovision 1982 Winner, Germany, Nicole – Ein bißchen Frieden :
1982 Full Show
Eurovision 1983 Winner, Luxembourg, Corinne Hermès – Si la vie est cadeau :
1983 Full Show
Eurovision 1984 Winner, Sweden, Herreys – Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley :
1984 Full Show
Eurovision 1985 Winner, Norway, Bobbysocks – La det swinge :
1985 Full Show
Eurovision 1986 Winner, Belgium, Sandra Kim – J’aime la vie :
1986 Full Show
Eurovision 1987 Winner, Ireland, Johnny Logan – Hold Me Now :
1987 Full Show
Eurovision 1988 Winner, Switzerland, Celine Dion – Ne partez pas sans moi :
1988 Full Show
Eurovision 1989 Winner, Yugoslavia, Riva – Rock Me :
1989 Full Show
Eurovision 1990 Winner, Italy, Toto Cutugno – Insieme: 1992 :
1990 Full Show
Eurovision 1991 Winner, Sweden, Carola – Fångad av en stormvind :
1991 Full Show
Eurovision 1992 Winner, Ireland, Linda Martin – Why Me :
1992 Full Show
Eurovision 1993 Winner, Ireland, Niamh Kavanagh – In Your Eyes :
1993 Full Show
Eurovision 1994 Winner, Ireland, Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan – Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids :
1994 Full Show
Eurovision 1995 Winner, Norway, Secret Garden – Nocturne :
1995 Full Show
Eurovision 1996 Winner, Ireland, Eimear Quinn – The Voice :
1996 Full Show
Eurovision 1997 Winner, United Kingdom, Katrina and the Waves – Love Shine a Light :
1997 Full Show
Eurovision 1998 Winner, Israel, Dana International – Diva :
1998 Full Show
Eurovision 1999 Winner, Sweden, Charlotte Nilsson – Take Me to Your Heaven :
1999 Full Show
Eurovision 2000 Winner, Denmark, Olsen Brothers – Fly on the Wings of Love :
** 2000 Full Show
Eurovision 2001 Winner, Estonia – Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL – Everybody :
2001 Full Show
Eurovision 2002 Winner, Latvia, Marie N – I Wanna :
** 2002 Full Show
Eurovision 2003 Winner, Turkey, Sertab Erener – Everyway That I Can :
2003 Full Show
Eurovision 2004 Winner, Ukraine, Ruslana – Wild Dances :
2004 Full Show
Eurovision 2005 Winner, Greece, Helena Paparizou – My Number One :
2005 Full Show
Eurovision 2006 Winner, Finland, Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah :
2006 Full Show
Eurovision 2007 Winner, Serbia, Marija Šerifović – Molitva :
2007 Full Show
Eurovision 2008 Winner, Russia, Dima Bilan – Believe :
2008 Full Show
Eurovision 2009 Winner, Norway, Alexander Rybak, Fairytale :
2009 Full Show
Eurovision 2010 Winner, Germany, Lena – Satellite :
2010 Full Show
Eurovision 2011 Winner, Azerbaijan, Ell/Nikki – Running Scared :
2011 Full Show
Eurovision 2012 Winner, Sweden, Loreen – Euphoria :×80
2012 Full Show
Eurovision 2013 Winner, Denmark, Emmelie de Forest – Only Teardrops :
2013 Full Show

** link to a playlist, rather than a single video; please note, some portions of these playlists will be blocked depending on your country and take-down requests.

No full broadcast after 2006 was found on YouTube.


BBC 50th anniversary doc :
Boom Bang-a-Bang: 50 years of Eurovision
50th anniversary special (in parts)

← previous posts          

Yes, all the links are broken.

On June 1, 2015 (after 6 years and 11 months) I needed to relaunch/restart this blog, or at least rekindle my interest in maintaining and updating it.

Rather than delete and discard the whole thing, I instead moved the blog -- database, cms, files, archives, and all -- to this subdomain. When you encounter broken links (and you will encounter broken links) just change the URL in the address bar from to

I know this is inconvenient, and for that I apologise. In addition to breaking tens of thousands of links, this also adversely affects the blog visibility on search engines -- but that, I'm willing to live with. Between the Wayback Machine at and my own half-hearted preservation efforts (which you are currently reading) I feel nothing has been lost, though you may have to dig a bit harder for it.

As always, thank you for reading. Writing version 1.0 of Rocket Bomber was a blast. For those that would like to follow me on the 2.0 - I'll see you back on the main site.



Bookselling Resources

about the site
about the charts

Manga Moveable Feasts!
Thanksgiving 2012
Emma, March 2010
MMF [incomplete] Archives


RSS Feed Twitter Feed


field reports
general fandom
learning Japanese
linking to other people's stuff
Links and Thoughts
Manga Moveable Feast
music documentaries
rankings analysis
site news
urban studies

-- not that anyone is paying me to place ads, but in lieu of paid advertising, here are some recommended links.--

support our friends

Top banner artwork by Lissa Pattillo.

note: this comic is not about beer

note: this comic is not about Elvis

In my head, I sound like Yahtzee (quite a feat, given my inherited U.S.-flat-midwestern-accent.)

where I start my browsing day...

...and one source I trust for reviews, reports, and opinion on manga specifically. [disclaimer: I'm a contributor there]


RocketBomber is a publication of Matt Blind, some rights reserved: unless otherwise noted in the post, all articles are non-commercial CC licensed (please link back, and also allow others to use the same data where applicable).