Led Zeppelin

“Tea for One”

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Presence, Led Zeppelin, "Tea for One"

As miserable and agonizing a recording as has ever been released by a functioning record label, Led Zeppelin‘s “Tea for One” has been actively misunderstood since Presence‘s release in March 1976. The song has found fewer advocates than most due, largely, to the extent to which it succeeds in conveying emotion. Even life-long Led Zeppelin devotee and […]


Fleetwood Mac’s “Rattlesnake Shake”

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Peter Green in Concert, Fleetwood Mac

Released on Fleetwood Mac’s seminal Then Play On in autumn 1969, “Rattlesnake Shake“–a Peter Green ode–instantly took its place as a defining cut for the group. A groove-heavy excuse for wide-ranging, lengthy improvisation, the song featured as an increasingly vital part of the live sets and allowed for arguably the best exhibitions of the musicians’ […]

Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s “Knife Edge”

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Keith Emerson, Emerson Lake & Palmer Live, "Knife Edge"

Released on Emerson, Lake & and Palmer‘s eponymous debut album (1970), “Knife Edge” successfully reconciled the group’s classical interests and irrepressible virtuosity with a brutal hard rock composition. The opening chord blasts recall the album’s first track, “The Barbarian”, but the song ultimately develops into its own, complete work. Contrary to the almost parodic heaviness […]


Aerosmith’s “Movin’ Out”

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Aerosmith Live in 1973

The first song that Steven Tyler and Joe Perry wrote together (while sitting on a water bed at the band’s Boston apartment), “Movin’ Out” remains a standout cut on Aerosmith‘s debut album (1973). Steeped in blues themes and well-paced instrumental progressions, it also happens to represent a sorely underappreciated facet of the group’s sound. Introduced […]


The Yardbirds’ “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago”

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The Yardbirds 1966, Jimmy Page

The latter half of 1966 brought a consolidation of commercial and artistic success in Roger the Engineer and “Over Under Sideways Down” as well as the most momentous developments in The Yardbirds‘ history. Following the departure of bassist/arranger Paul Samwell-Smith (largely responsible for the band’s “rave-up” dynamic), the group accepted the services of Jimmy Page, then […]

James Brown

50 Years of James Brown’s “Cold Sweat”

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James Brown Cold Sweat Album Cover, 1967

Let loose on the public in the epochal July of 1967, James Brown‘s “Cold Sweat” has provided an exhilarating listening experience for fifty years. Dictated by Brown via grunt to saxophonist/bandleader Alfred Ellis, the song marked Brown’s greatest move toward what would eventually become accepted as funk. Eschewing the standard chord progressions of commonly-cited funk forerunners […]


Heart’s “Sing Child” In Review

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Roger Fisher, Heart

Perhaps the most underrated track from a long-overlooked band, one still relegated to novelty status based on the sex of its most recognizable members or (less unreasonably) avoided as penalty for its stylistic departures in the 1980s, Dreamboat Annie‘s “Sing Child” stands as one of Heart and lead guitarist Roger Fisher’s finest achievements. Dreamboat Annie would have been […]