Essay Times They Changin

The roughness shows: The drums and piano are muffled, the alto sax cracks during the solo, and the backing vocals wander off-key.

"You just had the feeling that none of these people were going to be too involved with the war," he said.Recorded between four and seven in the morning, during the landmark Memphis session that helped return the King to his throne, "Suspicious Minds" — the final Number One single of his lifetime — is Presley's masterpiece: He sings so intensely through the fade-out that his band returns for another minute of the tear-stained chorus.Appears on: Writer: Fred Parris Producers: The Five Satins Released: Sept. 24 Five Satins frontman Parris wrote the song while on guard duty in the Army, and the group recorded it in the basement of a church in Parris' hometown of New Haven, Connecticut.Appears on: Writers: Otis Blackwell, Jack Hammer Producer: Sam Phillips Released: Nov. 2 With Lewis pounding the piano and leering, "Great Balls of Fire" was full of Southern Baptist hellfire turned into a near-blasphemous ode to pure lust.Lewis, a Bible-college dropout and cousin to Jimmy Swaggart, refused to sing it at first and got into a theological argument with Phillips that concluded with Lewis asking, "How can the devil save souls?" But as the session wore on and the liquor kept flowing, Lewis' mood changed considerably — on bootleg tapes he can be heard saying, "I would like to eat a little pussy if I had some." Goodness gracious, great balls of fire, indeed.Appears on: Writer: Perkins Producer: Sam Phillips Released: Feb '56, Sun 21 weeks; No.He has described the song as "like a slow fever, building on the beat, pushing up the temperature with each breath of the staccato horns and pushing through delirium as we came up on the fade." Appears on: . We always had food on the table." Berry originally wrote this guitar anthem as an affectionate dig at his sister Lucy, who spent so much time playing classical music on the family piano that young Chuck couldn't get a turn.But "Roll Over Beethoven" became the ultimate rock & roll call to arms, declaring a new era: "Roll over, Beethoven/And tell Tchaikovsky the news." Berry announced this changing of the musical guard with a blazing guitar riff and pounding piano from sidekick Johnnie Johnson."It sounded to me a little like ' Eye of the Tiger' played by a reggae band," the Edge recalled. "I remember humming a traditional melody in Bono's ear. It's all here on the opening track of the Ramones' debut: the buzz-saw chords, which Johnny played on his Mosrite guitar; the snotty words, courtesy of drummer Tommy (with bassist Dee Dee adding the brilliant line "Shoot 'em in the back now"); and the hairball-in-the-throat vocals, sung by Joey in a faux British accent. Appears on: Ramones (Rhino) 100 Greatest Artists of All Time: Ramones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Ramones The Ramones Gallery The Ramones Photos Writer: Mark James Producers: Chips Moman, Felton Jarvis, Presley Released: Sept. 1 When Moman presented this song to Presley in 1969, the singer was, as the lyrics put it, "caught in a trap" — a cash cow being milked dry by his label and hangers-on.Recorded on the cheap at New York's Radio City Music Hall, of all places, "Blitzkrieg Bop" never made the charts; instead, it almost single-handedly created a world beyond the charts. That might be why Presley was convinced he could turn the song into a deep-soul hit, even though it had flopped in 1968 for singer-songwriter Mark James.

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