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cash american iv

Rock Rewind: Johnny Cash “Hurt”

It might seem odd to feature a country singer in the Rock Rewind, but then again, Johnny Cash was “crossover” before crossover became a thing.  He’s always appealed to the counter-culture in some way, and when he released his cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” in 2003, it was an indelible moment in music history that can’t be overlooked. Already in failing health while recording his American series of albums, […]

the clash rock the casbah

Rock Rewind: The Clash “Rock the Casbah”

Here’s another example of the many ironies of the music business: The Clash’s biggest hit, 1982’s “Rock the Casbah,” the song that put the British punk band on a worldwide stage, also marked the beginning of their demise. Part of the pioneering first wave of British punk in the mid-1970s, The Clash had spent the past six years building a solid reputation as stalwarts of the emerging punk scene wth […]

ed sheeran x

Ed Sheeran “x” –Album Review

Asylum Records UK/Warner (2014)

Am I the only one who heard Ed Sheeran’s “Sing” on the radio for the first time and thought it was just pandering to get on the charts? Or is Pharrell really the goose who lays the golden eggs these days? Yeah, I was perhaps one of the few who was actually disappointed with the lead single from Ed Sheeran’s sophomore album x—not because “Sing” isn’t catchy or danceable (Pharrell […]

michael jackson dangerous

Pop Rewind: Michael Jackson “Black or White”

Yesterday, June 25, marked five years since the “King of Pop” passed away. It only seems fitting, then, to pull another Michael Jackson hit out of the vault for this week’s Rewind. “Black or White,” Jackson’s ode to racial harmony, was the lead single from 1991’s Dangerous, blending pop, dance, rap and a touch of metal into a highly catchy tune that dares you not to dance to it. The […]

the verve bittersweet symphony

Rock Rewind: The Verve “Bitter Sweet Symphony”

The signature repeating orchestral line of British alt-rock band The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony” is instantly recognizable today by millions of music lovers around the world. Ironically, this musical motif that forms the foundation for this band’s only Top-40 U.S. hit also provided their greatest source of controversy—for you see, it wasn’t really theirs. The orchestral line in question is something of a “cover of a cover,” sampled from the […]

lana del rey ultraviolence

Lana Del Rey “Ultraviolence” –Album Review

Lana Del Rey/Polydor (2014)

A couple of years ago, during a less-than-flattering moment in Lana Del Rey’s emerging career, I wrote an article explaining why we shouldn’t write her off just yet.  Ultraviolence is why. Since Born To Die was released (to mixed reviews but impressive sales—the music fans have the final word, after all), Del Rey has been essentially doing two things.  First, she’s been giving the world time to get used to […]

Blondie Call Me

Rock Rewind: Blondie “Call Me”

Depending on who you ask, there are basically two songs in Blondie’s catalog which could be considered their “signature hit.” The first is “Heart of Glass,” which we featured in a previous rewind. The other is “Call Me,” which hit the airwaves in 1980. Interestingly enough, both hits were something of an anomaly for the band. While “Heart of Glass” came under fire as too much of a disco hit […]

Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction

Rock Rewind: Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child o’ Mine”

Before all the controversy, before the Axl Rose-Slash feud, before the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fiasco about which band lineup was actually being inducted…before all that, Guns N’ Roses was a really good hard rock band, and in some ways the last of its kind.  Their 1987 debut album Appetite for Destruction arrived in an open market when hard rock was basically being forgotten in favor of dance-pop […]

Jack White Lazaretto

Stream Jack White’s “Lazaretto” a Week Before Release

As was the case with his previous solo record Blunderbuss, Jack White fans have the opportunity to preview his new record Lazaretto in full, as it is currently available to stream via iTunes Radio.  The stream will be available until the record officially drops next week. Even while digital technology makes this live streaming possible, White (who is known for his love of lo-fi and vintage technology) is giving die-hard […]

Allman Brothers Band

Allman Brothers Band Announce Final Shows

It signals the end of an era. Ever since the late Duane Allman essentially invented southern rock in the late 1960s by reinventing The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” with Wilson Pickett in a Muscle Shoals recording studio, the Allman Brothers Band have recorded dozens of records (including some of the best live shows you’ll ever hear), broke up and reunited several times, earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall […]

Linkin Park Meteora

Rock Rewind: Linkin Park “Numb”

Sometimes a band becomes legendary because of a song that stands out among the others (like Foreigner, in last week’s Rewind). Other times, the band becomes legendary because of its sound.  When Linkin Park emerged on the scene with Hybrid Theory in 2000, their combining of alternative, metal and rap elements into an angsty wall of sound captivated listeners, each single seeming to perform better than the last, and making […]

Foreigner I Want To Know What Love Is

Rock Rewind: Foreigner “I Want to Know What Love Is”

When a band already has a long list of chart-topping hits, having one that stands out as the most successful by far is quite a feat.  British-American pop/rock act Foreigner had been successful out of the gate in the mid-1970s, with hits like “Cold As Ice” and “Feels Like the First Time” propelling their very first album to Platinum status. But when “I Want to Know What Love Is” (from […]

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney Hospitalized in Japan for Viral Infection

“Complete recovery” expected

Sir Paul McCartney, 71, was hospitalized in a Tokyo hospital after a viral illness caused him to cancel tour dates in Japan and South Korea earlier this week. USA Today reports (via The Sankei Sports newspaper in Japan) that the former Beatle was admitted to the hospital after canceling the tour dates when his condition worsened.  However, Sir Paul has reportedly responded well to treatment; he is expected to recover […]

Coldplay Ghost Stories

Coldplay “Ghost Stories” –Album Review

Parlophone/Warner Bros. (2014)

Long awaited. Much anticipated. Well worth the wait. Few bands have built a stronger career on mastering the art of understatement than Coldplay. It’s an irony of the modern rock era that a band could sell out stadiums across the world with the less-is-more approach, when most of their peers draw crowds by doing exactly the opposite: louder, harder, faster.  But don’t mistake understatement for sleepiness: there is pure energy […]

Robert Palmer Addicted to Love

Rock Rewind: Robert Palmer “Addicted to Love”

By the time UK rock singer Robert Palmer became a household name in the U.S. in the mid-1980s, he’d already been plugging away as a solo artist for a decade, and had achieved modest success with seven studio albums.  Then in January 1986, his soon-to-be signature single “Addicted to Love” (from the album Riptide) took him over the top. Besides being popular for its simple, catchy, steady rock beat and […]