Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Ten Most Popular ’60s Bands/Artists on Last.FM

I think it’s interesting to see which classic bands/artists continue to reach new listeners (the great majority of Last.FM users weren’t even alive in the 1960s) so in that vein I’m creating this list of the 10 most popular bands/artists of the 1960s on the Last.FM website.

Two notes: (1) I’m only considering bands/artists that released at least three studio albums in the 1960s. (2) I’m basing the rankings on the amount of total listeners (instead of total plays.)

#01 The Rolling Stones – 2.5 million listeners (75 million plays.)
#02 The Beatles – 2.48 million listeners (310 million plays.)
#03 The Doors – 2.12 million listeners (70 million plays.)
#04 Pink Floyd – 1.91 million listeners (155 million plays.)
#05 The Who – 1.89 million listeners (42 million plays.)
#06 Jimi Hendrix – 1.78 million listeners (41 million plays.)
#07 Johnny Cash – 1.75 million listeners (59 million plays.)
#08 Bob Dylan – 1.68 million listeners (87 million plays.)
#09 The Beach Boys – 1.53 million listeners (32 million plays.)
#10 Simon & Garfunkel – 1.52 million listeners (33 million plays.)

It’s interesting to see the differences between the rankings as far as listeners vs. plays; The Stones barely beat The Beatles as far as listener reach (which I’m actually pretty surprised by) but The Beatles have a huge advantage (4X) as far as the amount of plays.

If I were ranking by plays it’d be The Beatles way out in front with Pink Floyd easily in second place (although mostly for their 1970s stuff) and Bob Dylan in 3rd.

Another thing to consider is that long songs hurt bands as far as plays are concerned; Most of Pink Floyd’s songs are very long, most of The Beatles songs are much shorter.

(A similar post I made back in 2009.)

New Beastie Boys Album Streaming

The new Beastie Boys album (Hot Sauce Committee Part 2) is now available to be heard (for free) on the Beastie Boys soundcloud.com page.

“Make Some Noise” is the lead single (and the only song from the album I’ve heard so far) and to my ears it sounds very much in the style of late ’80s/early ’90s classic Beastie Boys. Check out the “Make Some Noise” and see how many famous actors you can spot.

Hot Sauce Committee Part 2, due out on CD May 3rd and on vinyl on June 21st, is their 8th studio album and their first since 2007′s instrumental album The Mix-Up.

Beastie Boys Studio Album Discography

1986 – Licensed to Ill
1989 – Paul’s Boutique
1992 – Check Your Head
1994 – Ill Communication
1998 – Hello Nasty
2004 – To The 5 Boroughs
2007 – The Mix-Up
2011 – Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

“Rain” – The Beatles

Continuing my new picking whatever I want to do next approach to the Beatles songs series; today’s song is “Rain.”

Yes, I’m really picking up steam. After waiting 9 months between “Hold Me Tight” to “And I Love Her” I’ve waited only 13 days to get to “Rain.” At this rate I may even finish this whole series… by the end of the decade.

I think jumping around like this will help me to get a lot more of these done as I can just do songs that I’m actively interested in at the moment instead of being stuck doing a bunch of songs that I don’t really care for that much.

Anyway, back on topic, “Rain” was the b-side to “Paperback Writer” on a single released on May 30th of 1966 in the US (June 10, 1966 in the UK.) This impressive “Paperback Writer”/”Rain” single came out between 1965′s Rubber Soul and 1966′s Revolver.

Neither of these songs were ever included on an album but they can be found on the second Past Masters CD. The Past Masters CDs include all of the band’s official non-album releases. Continue reading ““Rain” – The Beatles” »

“And I Love Her” – The Beatles

Instead of picking up where I left off (about 9 months ago) with my Beatles songs series, I’m going to skip ahead to “And I Love Her.” I figure it’s very unlikely that I’ll ever get to all of them, so instead of going in order (and doing a lot of early songs I don’t even like that much) I’m just going to do the songs I want to do.

“And I Love Her” has always been one of my favorite early songs and I think it’s significant in the band’s history as the first really great ballad that Paul McCartney wrote.

Musical Analysis

Technically the song is actually in four different keys (E, C#m, F, & Dm) from beginning to end because the song modulates back and forth between a major key and its relative minor and then there’s a half step up for the guitar solo (from E to F.) After the solo the song remains in F (and Dm.) For a final twist it ends on a D major chord (the major version of the relative minor) where you would expect a D minor chord.

Ending on the D major chord in this way is a “trick” known as a “Picardy third” and was used by classical composers including J.S. Bach.

For a more of this type of analysis check out the Beatles as Musicians books. Continue reading ““And I Love Her” – The Beatles” »