Archive for the ‘Seventies’ Category

US country singer Billie Jo Spears dies aged 74

December 16, 2011

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US country singer Billie Jo Spears – best known for her 1975 hit ‘Blanket on the Ground’ – has died at her home in Texas, it has been announced. She was 74 and had been suffering from cancer.

She had been due to make a number of UK appearances next May – including dates in Liverpool, Glasgow and Croydon – as part of the Ladies of Country touring show.

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Classic hit songs and golden oldies from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s ‘speak the language of emotion’, say researchers

November 29, 2011

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Music is sometimes called ‘the language of emotion’ because it has an amazing power to influence people’s emotions and behaviour. It can affect and stimulate many different parts of the brain and body, and can reduce stress, aid relaxation, and alleviate depression.

In fact, scientists have found that a piece of music can become so closely associated with an event from a person’s life that hearing the music again evokes powerful memories of the original experience.

A recent study revealed that the memories triggered by music – such as classic hits and golden oldies from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s – tend to involve relationships with past or present lovers, or experiences with family and friends.

Most significantly, though, the study found a substantial bias towards music evoking memories of happy events that can cheer us up during these worrying economic times.

In 2008, researchers at the University of Leeds conducted a Magical Memory Tour during which they asked people to record their memories of the Beatles in an online survey. The study set out to use people’s autobiographical memories of Beatles songs, albums, movies, concerts, and news events to show how music — particularly the music of the most influential band of the rock ‘n’ roll era — can be used to retrieve memories that have been all but forgotten.

Most people who took part in the survey fell within the 55 to 65 age range, having been teenagers in the 1960s when the Fab Four were still together. The song that cued the most memories among middle-aged people was ‘She Loves You’, while ‘Love Me Do’ cued the most memories among the over-60s.

The researchers found that the memories evoked by the Beatles songs were surprisingly detailed and provided diverse snapshot images of long-forgotten times and places.

For one 57-year-old man, for example, ‘She Loves You’ triggered a memory of the weather on the first night he heard the song at the age of 11; another man remembered lying in the grass at age seven and playing with his toy soldiers as ‘Penny Lane’ played on the radio.

Another interesting finding of the study, say the researchers, was that most retrieved memories occurred during people’s early teenage years. The songs we hear when we’re growing up, it seems, shape the story of our lives.

One definition of ‘memory’ is that it is a mental system that receives, stores, organises and recovers information from sensory input. According to the Leeds University researchers, the results of their Magical Memory Tour study implied that music has a powerful influence on the storage and retrieval of long-term memories in particular.

As Oliver Sacks, the noted British neuroscientist and author, puts it: “Music brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can.”

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Disco star Andrea True dies aged 68

November 28, 2011

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Andrea True, the porn star turned pop singer who recorded the disco classic ‘More More More (How Do You Like It?)’, died in New York earlier this month, it has been announced. She was 68.

Released under the name The Andrea True Connection, the song – which she co-wrote in 1975 with producer Gregg Diamond – reached No. 5 on the UK singles chart in 1976. She enjoyed one more UK hit, ‘What’s Your Name, What’s Your Number’.

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New Dusty Springfield box set covers entire career

November 21, 2011

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Dusty Springfield fans are in for a treat this Christmas following the release of a brand new Super Deluxe box set that spans her entire career.

Titled Goin’ Back: The Definitive Dusty Springfield, the comprehensive collection comes in a lavish pink box and features four CDs, three DVDs, two hardback books and four photo prints.

The four CDs are split thematically into Dusty’s hits, rarities, BBC recordings, and her work for stage and screen.

Also now available is The Magic Of Dusty Springfield – a new 4-disc set that is presented in hardback book-style packaging.

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Black Sabbath to reform for new studio album and 2012 world tour

November 12, 2011

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The original Black Sabbath line-up of Ozzy Osbourne, 62, Tony Iommi, 63, Geezer Butler, 62, and Bill Ward, 63, have announced that they will be reuniting next year to record their first studio album together since 1978.

The comeback album will be produced by Rick Rubin and is expected to be released in autumn 2012.

The band are also lining up a massive world tour to coincide with the release of the as-yet-untitled new album.

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Rolling Stones set to reunite for 50th anniversary tour in 2012?

November 11, 2011

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Keith Richards has fuelled speculation about the Rolling Stones reuniting for a 50th anniversary tour in 2012 after confirming that he, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts will meet for rehearsals in London later this month.

“Mick’s welcome, and I’m sure he’ll turn up,” Richards told The Observer newspaper.

“We’re just going to play a little together, because we haven’t played for three or four years. You don’t necessarily want to rehearse or write anything – you just want to touch bases. That’s a good start: me, Charlie and Ronnie.”

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Led Zeppelin IV turns 40

November 8, 2011

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Forty years ago today, Led Zeppelin released their legendary fourth album, featuring their classic track ‘Stairway To Heaven’.

No title was printed on the sleeve, so it became known as Led Zeppelin lV, following the naming standard used by the band’s first three studio albums. However, it is also often referred to as The Runes or Four Symbols because of the ancient runes and symbols depicted on the cover.

On its release, Led Zeppelin IV became an instant success. It entered the UK album chart at No. 1 and stayed on the chart for 62 weeks, becoming the greatest critical and commercial success of the band’s career.

The album is now recognised as one of the most successful albums of all time, having sold some 32 million copies worldwide. It has sold over 23 million copies in the United States alone, making it the third best-selling album ever in the US.

In 2003, the album was ranked 66th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

In 2010, the British postal service, Royal Mail, included Led Zeppelin IV in a new set of stamps featuring classic album covers from the last 40 years.

Guitarist Jimmy Page, who also helped to design the artwork for the album, says: “Forty years after the album came out, nobody knows the old man who featured on the cover, nor the artist who painted him. That sort of sums up what we wanted to achieve with the album cover, which has remained both anonymous and enigmatic at the same time.”

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Rod Stewart to publish ‘tell-all’ autobiography

October 7, 2011

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Rod Stewart has confirmed he is working on his autobiography and promises to hold nothing back.

“Forget skeletons in the closet; this one’s going to be socks and knickers under the bed,” says Stewart.

The book will tell 66-year-old Stewart’s life story, taking in his early days in The Jeff Beck Group and The Faces, to the present day. He will also talk about his three marriages, his playboy lifestyle, and his romantic conquests.

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Queen fans’ favourite lyric revealed

September 30, 2011

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A line from ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ has been voted as Queen’s best ever lyric.

A survey conducted by Island Records and music retailer HMV has found that “Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball” is Queen fans’ favourite line.

Written by Freddie Mercury, and featured as the twelfth track on the band’s 1978 album Jazz, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ was released as a single on 26 January 1979. It reached No. 9 on the UK singles chart.

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Elton John life story to be told as Hollywood film called ‘Rocketman’

September 23, 2011

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Sir Elton John, 64, is teaming up with Billy Elliot author Lee Hall to turn his illustrious life and musical career into a major Hollywood film called Rocketman.

The film is being described as a biographical musical fantasy and a “radically different kind of biopic”. It will be co-produced by Sir Elton’s partner David Furnish and film producer Steve Hamilton Shaw.

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