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Music Aficionado

Music Aficionado

Music Aficionado is the online community for people who are passionate about great music. Quality articles about great music recordings of the past. Jazz, Rock, Prog, Folk, Film Scores, Psychedelia, Pop and more.

47 articles

List of articles in the library

By date | By artist | Most recently added

Rockpile: How Rockpile Tried (and Failed) to Save Rock and Roll

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2016

THERE WAS technically only one album released by the band Rockpile, a jaunty, good-natured collection called Seconds of Pleasure that came out in its original ...

The Blues Project, The Lovin' Spoonful: How the Lovin' Spoonful and the Blues Project Electrified New York City

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2016

THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL were NYC's Beatles. Lillian Roxon, in her indispensable Rock Encyclopedia, called them "our own little moptops, born, bred and raised right here ...

Jan & Dean & the Rise of L.A. Pop

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2016

AS MUCH AS anyone else, including the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean helped establish the mythology of Los Angeles. When the city was still in ...

Janis Joplin: Janis Breaks the Chain

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2016

NOT COUNTING outtakes and alternates, songs on which she didn't sing lead, and the instrumental she never got around to adding her vocal to for ...

The Rolling Stones, Bobby Troup: 'Route 66' is the Quintessential American Tune

Essay by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2016

FOR SIX DECADES, Bobby Troup's '(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66' has been a musical guidebook, transcending styles and fashion, recognizing no boundaries. ...

Bert Berns, The McCoys: 'Sloopy' Hangs On: How a Latin-R&B Song Became a Pop-Rock Anthem

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2016

'HANG ON SLOOPY' is one of the dozen or so songs (along with 'Wild Thing,' 'Gloria,' 'Louie Louie,' 'Twist and Shout,' 'Hey Joe') that make ...

The Beau Brummels: Were The Beau Brummels America's Unluckiest Band?

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2016

EVERYTHING BEGAN so well. Almost a year after the all-consuming British Invasion began, the Beau Brummels were one of the first new homegrown bands to ...

Paul Revere & The Raiders: Loud on the Ledge: The Bumpy Ride of Paul Revere & the Raiders

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, August 2016

EVERYTHING ABOUT Paul Revere and the Raiders was contrived and corny, except their music. There's no rational excuse for why they shouldn't be routinely counted ...

Donovan: Tripping Out: How Two Donovan Songs Defined the '60s

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, August 2016

'SUNSHINE SUPERMAN' and 'Season of the Witch' each kicked off a side of Donovan's 1966 Epic Records debut, an album that he's celebrating next month ...

The Animals, The Beatles, Georgie Fame, The Hollies, The Kinks, Manfred Mann, The Rolling Stones, Spencer Davis Group, Dusty Springfield, The Zombies: 10 Unjustly Overlooked British Invasion Albums (1964–1966)

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, September 2016

SO MANY artists in the tsunami of music from the U.K. that flooded America in the mid-'60s went on to make extraordinary albums over a ...

Rick Nelson: Restless Kid: Rick Nelson at the Cusp of Country-Rock

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, September 2016

IT'S TOO BAD Rick Nelson recorded a top 5 single called 'Teen Age Idol', not just because the song is dreary fan-pandering, but because it ...

Mose Allison: Who Is... Mose Allison?

Retrospective by Geoffrey Himes, Music Aficionado, October 2016

THE LEGENDARY British organ player Georgie Fame once described his hero Mose Allison as "the jazz version of Bob Dylan." When an interviewer asked Fame's ...

NRBQ: The Best American Band You Might Not Know About

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, November 2016

FOR DECADES, critics, musicians, and a slew of civilian devotees have testified to the idiosyncratic brilliance of NRBQ, and yet they've had to endure endless ...

James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Isaac Hayes, The Isley Brothers, Curtis Mayfield, O'Jays, Ike & Tina Turner, Bill Withers: Why the early '70s was the greatest period for live soul albums

Guide by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, December 2016

JAMES BROWN invented the modern live soul album with the release of Live at the Apollo in 1963, and Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Etta ...

Van Morrison, Patti Smith, Them: How 'Gloria' Became the Ultimate Rock Anthem

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2017

'GLORIA', WRITTEN more than fifty years ago by Van Morrison for his band Them, is the simplest song. Just three chords – my musician friends ...

Phil Ochs: How Phil Ochs Went from Folk Hero to Rock & Roll Revolutionary

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2017

PHIL OCHS had been on the stage of Carnegie Hall before. He first headlined there in January 1966, armed with incendiary topical material and witty ...

The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, The Everly Brothers, Marianne Faithfull, The Hollies, Graham Nash: In Praise of the Hollies

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2017

WITH THEIR EXUBERANT three-part harmony, chiming guitar riffs, and keen sense of what makes a memorable hook, the Hollies created a signature sound. At first, ...

Blood Sweat & Tears, The Blues Project, Dion, Bob Dylan, Al Kooper, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Gene Pitney, The Rolling Stones: Kooper Sessions

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2017

IF HE'D DONE nothing before or after he dropped by a Bob Dylan recording session in June 1965, sat down at the Hammond organ – ...

Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson: The Girls of Rhythm Nation

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2017

THEY COULD have been rivals in a pop soap opera. Whitney Houston prim and buttoned-up, Janet Jackson frisky and up for anything. Whitney was a ...

The Mamas and The Papas: The Strange Vibrations of the Mamas & the Papas

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2017

THERE WAS a melancholy guitar, and then the voices came in: "All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey." That was the beginning ...

Colin Blunstone, Jack Bruce, Al Kooper, Tracy Nelson, Michael Nesmith, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, Ringo Starr, Bob Weir, Zal Yanovsky: What happened when these '60s artists decided to go solo?

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2017

GOING SOLO IS an ancient musical tradition. Probably there was a Gregorian monk whose yearning for the spotlight made him think, "I can do this ...

Manfred Mann: Why Manfred Mann Is the Most Underappreciated Group of the British Invasion

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, January 2017

MANFRED MANN were one of only two British groups to have a #1 single in 1964 without a Lennon-McCartney song. They were endorsed by Bob ...

Kris Kristofferson: How Kris Kristofferson saved Nashville

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, February 2017

THERE ARE SO many reasons to be in awe of Kris Kristofferson. He survived Barbra Streisand's A Star Is Born, Heaven's Gate, and the movie ...

When Jazz Started Feelin' Groovy

Guide by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, July 2017

IT WAS SO SIMPLE: pop music was for kids, and kids bought 45s. Jazz fans were older, hipper, and collected LPs. Two different constituencies, and ...

The Bangles, The Blasters, Cruzados, Lone Justice, Los Lobos, Rainy Day: The Other Side of '80s L.A. Rock

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2018

THE IMAGE OF Los Angeles rock in the '80s is imprinted like a tacky tattoo: bands with poofed-up hair and eyeliner, girls with poofed-up hair ...

Eric Carmen, Raspberries: Why (the) Raspberries Mattered

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2018

THEY HAD TO be kidding, right? "Raspberries"? That's only a few degrees removed from "1910 Fruitgum Company." And then there were the poufy hair, the ...

The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons: How the Ghost of Gram Parsons haunts Alt-Country

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, January 2018

GRAM PARSONS didn't care much for the term "country-rock". And he wasn't thrilled by some of the more candy-coated bands who were able to capitalize ...

Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Foster and Lloyd, Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss, k.d. lang, Lyle Lovett, Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakam: Five Years That Revolutionized Country Music

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2019

THE COUNTRY MUSIC situation in 1985 was so dire that The New York Times published an article that, if not quite an obituary, was a ...

Grin, Nils Lofgren: How Nils Lofgren Almost Became the Next Big Thing

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2019

THE ADVERTISEMENT for Grin, the first album that positioned Nils Lofgren front-and-center in his own band, said "until recently, only insiders could be absolutely certain ...

Elvis Presley: Elvis Faces His Final Curtain

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, June 2019

THE ANNOUNCEMENT of Elvis Presley's shows at Madison Square Garden was startling. It was as though the media were reporting that aliens were about to ...

Paul Simon and the Road to Redemption

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, June 2019

YOU COULD ARGUE whether Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years deserved its trophy for Album of the Year when the Grammys were handed out in ...

Guy Clark's Triumphant Last Act

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, July 2019

IF YOU WERE watching television after midnight on July 21, 1998, you may have witnessed a musical performance that belongs in the history books. David ...

Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves: Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris and the Politics of Joy

Comment by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, July 2019

NOT MANY people in the audience at Irving Plaza in New York knew who Kacey Musgraves was when she opened there for Little Big Town ...

The Dave Clark Five: Who Put the Thump?: The Deep Footprints of the Dave Clark 5

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, July 2019

THE SONGS OF the Dave Clark 5 were louder, denser, and more raucous than anything else on Top 40 radio, so echo-and-reverb-laden that even a ...

Smokey Robinson, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: Smokey Robinson and the Art of Pop

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, August 2019

"I DON'T LIKE you, but I love you." Those eight words, the ones that start off 'You've Really Got a Hold on Me', were the ...

Eric Church: How Eric Church Is Keeping Classic Rock Alive

Essay by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, September 2019

ERIC CHURCH was born too late, and no one knows that better than he does. His music is nostalgic for an era he wasn't alive ...

Neil Diamond Is Not (Just) Who You Think He Is

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, September 2019

THERE'S A SCENE in Ted Demme's 1996 film Beautiful Girls where Uma Thurman strolls into a bar, turns heads, and has all the local guys ...

Linda Ronstadt: Why Linda Ronstadt is the Quintessential "Girl Singer"

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, September 2019

I FIRST SAW her at the Bitter End on Bleecker Street in the early '70s; I was in the second row, sipping on an ice ...

The Mavericks: Why the Mavericks are the Bar Band of Your Dreams

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, September 2019

IT FELT LIKE some kind of a trick, the way the Mavericks seduced the world of country music when they came on the scene in ...

Chet Atkins, Dolly Parton: How Dolly Parton Became America's Sweetheart

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, October 2019

THE LAST SONG on Dolly Parton's My Tennessee Mountain Home, her autobiographical concept album from 1973, is a three-minute story about how she arrived in ...

The Rascals and the Rock-Soul Explosion

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, October 2019

THE SEPTEMBER 2014 event at NYU's Provincetown Playhouse was formally billed as a Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Session, but when it concluded with John ...

The Beatles, Bert Berns, The Isley Brothers: How 'Twist and Shout' Shook the World

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, November 2019

UNLIKE MOST stories, this one begins with a twist. "Come on, baby," Hank Ballard commanded, "let's do the Twist," immortalizing a dance that was catching ...

Johnny Rivers: When Everything Went a Go-Go

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, November 2019

IT WAS EARLY 1964, a couple of months after JFK was killed, and everyone just wanted the heavy clouds of mourning to lift. A new ...

Tim Hardin: The Haunted Saga of Tim Hardin

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, November 2019

TIM HARDIN DIED in December 1980, not quite a week after his 39th birthday, and to the extent that his passing was felt in the ...

Burt Bacharach and the Invention of Modern Cosmopolitan Pop

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, March 2020

GENERALLY, SONGWRITERS who aren't also performers don't become celebrities. They don't get to host television specials, or appear in commercials alongside their glamorous wives, or ...

How West Side Story Taught Broadway How to Rumble

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, March 2020

THE FIRST PEOPLE we meet after the curtain goes up on Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's West Side Story are the members of a street ...

Count Basie: How Count Basie Brought Big Band Jazz Into the Atomic Age

Retrospective by Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, April 2020

POST-WORLD WAR II America was a bleak period for the big-band business. It was the sound that accompanied the country during the Depression and through ...

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