The guitar is one of the most popular and emotive musical instruments of the last century – a powerful tool, many famous musicians have become legendary alongside their signature guitars. Here begins our look at 10 of the best classic guitar makes, starting with the Fender Telecaster.
Music & Entertainment Blog
As is the case with pretty much all stars, before the beautiful butterfly came the unremarkable caterpillar. Bowie was born in Brixton, South London on 8 January 1947, and named David Robert Jones. His father was a promotions officer for the children’s charity Barnardo’s and his mother a cinema usherette. He had one sibling – half-brother Terry – who had, like much of the extended family, sadly suffered from severe mental problems.
The sad news of the death of Leonard Cohen has prompted many to mourn the loss of the folk rock icon, whose most recent album – You Want it Darker – was produced by his son Adam and released just a few weeks ago. Covering such topics as politics, religion and love, his unusual and intelligent songs have always possessed a strangely addictive, dwelling aura, the words threaded with subtle power and wrapped in an unconventional singing voice. The acclaimed Canadian songwriter's influence can be felt in the works of many other music stars, including the likes of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Philip Glass, Tom Waits, Rufus Wainwright and U2, and his most famous works – including Hallelujah (1984), Bird on the Wire (1969), Suzanne (1967) and So Long, Marianne (1967) – will no doubt continue to capture the imagination of their listeners. As tributes continue to pour in for the great poet and musician, we take a look back over the early life of this captivating figure, whose beautifully enigmatic songs betray his early days as a cult author and poet.
Topics: rock icons
This Monday marked what would have been Elvis Presley’s 81st birthday. However, the passing of pop hero David Bowie slightly overshadowed the date this year. But now the dust has settled from that sad news, we thought it timely to give due attention to Presley, one of America’s all-time cultural icons. Starting Young Elvis received his first guitar aged 11. Already a member of several church choirs in his hometown Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley found some of his earliest musical influences via his gospel singeing sister, Rosetta Tharpe. In fact it was Tharpe who originally wrote and performed ‘Hound Dog’. The song performed in the Elvis Presley way (a very different sort of performance altogether), would of course later become one of his biggest hits of all time.
Topics: rock icons
After the sad passing of David Bowie yesterday (11.01.16), there was some inevitable Bowie music-playing going on at Flame Tree. However, whilst we stuck on a playlist of his tracks, the question arose, which one was his best? So, I quickly took a survey of our staff’s top picks and whittled it down to a top 5.
Topics: David Bowie
Joseph Maurice Ravel (1875–1937) was born in the town of Ciboure in France. His father was a very successful engineer and inventor and he and his mother greatly encouraged his musical interests. They sent him to study in Paris at the age of seven and by the age of fourteen he had performed his first public piano recital. From the very beginning his career was remarkable.
Son to two musical parents – his father, David was a light music pianist and his mother, Evstolia was the daughter of a chorus master – Vladimir Ashkenazy has enjoyed broad influence in the musical world, successfully working as both a pianist and conductor.
A famously eccentric figure during the Modern era, Erik Satie (1866–1925) was a French composer, pianist and writer. His pieces are at once nostalgic and playful, simplistic and strange, and his own disposition was well-matched to his radical musical style. Sometimes described as ‘anti-emotional’ and ironic, Satie’s work was a response to and escape from German (in particular, Wagnerian and Romantic) models. He is also famous for the unique titles of his works (such as Genuine Limp Preludes (For a Dog)), and his bizarre performance directions (for example, instructions that a section be played ‘as dry as a cuckoo’), as well as his humorous miniatures for piano, where bar lines, time signatures and even keys were removed. Having once referred to himself as someone who ‘measures sounds’, Satie is often identifiable by his strange, unresolved chords; his most well-known works include the 'Gymnopédies’.
This got us thinking. Taylor's been in a lot of great videos, is it really possible to whittle them down to a top five? Well, we've given it our best go. Read on for our say on the top five Taylor Swift music videos ever.