Ruby Tuesday

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY! Today I’m feeling a little “Ruby Tuesday” by The Rolling Stones.  Such a classic song. Enjoy!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE:  January 13, 1967

TRIVIA: According to Keith Richards in a 1971 Rolling Stone interview, he wrote the song in a Los Angeles hotel room in early 1966 about a groupie he knew; he has also stated that it was about Linda Keith, his girlfriend in the mid-1960s. The song’s lyrics concern an apparently free-spirited woman, with Jagger singing, “Who could hang a name on you?/When you change with every new day/Still I’m gonna miss you.”

“That’s a wonderful song,” Mick Jagger told Jann Wenner in 1995. “It’s just a nice melody, really. And a lovely lyric. Neither of which I wrote, but I always enjoy singing it.” Bill Wyman states in Rolling with the Stones that the lyrics were completely written by Keith Richards with help from Brian Jones on the musical composition. However, Marianne Faithfull recalls it differently; according to her, Brian Jones presented an early version of this melody to the rest of the Rolling Stones. According to Victor Bockris, Richards came up with the basic track and the words and finished the song with Jones in the studio.

BONUS VIDEO:  And here’s the actual audio from the Live Performance. (WARNING: Contains screaming from the audience)

See you next Tuesday!

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My Heart Will Go On

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY! Today’s TuneBack, My Heart Will Go On, is dedicated to the incredible Celine Dion. Sadly, she lost both her husband and brother to Cancer this past week. My thoughts are with her and her family during this difficult time.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: December 8, 1997

TRIVIA: James Horner had originally composed the music for the song as an instrumental motif which he used in several scenes during Titanic. He then wanted to prepare a full vocal version of it, for use in the end credits of the film. Director James Cameron did not want such a song, but Will Jennings went ahead anyway and wrote the lyrics. When Dion originally heard the song, she did not want to record it. Horner showed the piano sketch to Simon Franglen, who was working with him on electronic textures and synthesizers for the film score. Franglen, who had, himself, worked with Dion for several years on many of her major hits to date, programmed and arranged an extensive demo to take to Dion.

In Hitmaker: The Man and His Music by Tommy Mottola, he claims that Dion recorded the song in one take, and that demo is what was released. Mottola states that since so much money was on the line for Cameron’s film that Cameron felt obligated to include a theme song to promote the movie.

Dion’s manager and husband René Angélil convinced her to sing on this demo version, which she had not done for many years. Horner waited until Cameron was in an appropriate mood before presenting him with the song. After playing it several times, Cameron declared his approval, even though he worried that he might be criticized for “going commercial at the end of the movie”. Cameron also wanted to appease anxious studio executives and “saw that a hit song from his movie could only be a positive factor in guaranteeing its completion.”

See you next Tuesday!

David Bowie

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY! With David Bowie’s passing, the world lost one of our most treasured artists. He was a true chameleon, always evolving and never looking back. To pick just one song of his to look back on is simply impossible. Today I’m going to look back at several of my favourite Bowie tunes as I remember the legend that he is, starting with my first introduction to Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth.

MAGIC DANCE

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: June 23, 1986

TRIVIA: The baby noises in the song are actually David Bowie. He didn’t feel the recordings of the real baby sounded good enough. Baby Toby was played by a baby actually named Toby. He’s the son of the movie’s conceptual designer, Brian Froud. The scene consisted of over 48 puppets, 52 puppeteers, and 8 people in goblin costumes.

SPACE ODDITY

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: July 11, 1969

TRIVIA: The song is about the launch of Major Tom, a fictional astronaut, and was released during a period of great interest in space flight. The United States’ Apollo 11 mission would launch 5 days later, and would become the first manned moon landing another 5 days later. The lyrics have also been seen to lampoon the British space programme, which had only launched rockets at that time and has never attempted a moon landing.

LIFE ON MARS

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: June 22, 1973

TRIVIA: In 1968 Bowie wrote the lyrics “Even a Fool Learns to Love”, set to the music of a 1967 French song “Comme d’habitude”, composed by Claude François and Jacques Revaux. Bowie’s version was never released, but Paul Anka bought the rights to the original French version, and rewrote it into “My Way”, the song made famous by Frank Sinatra in a 1969 recording on his album of the same name. The success of the Anka version prompted Bowie to write “Life on Mars” as a parody of Sinatra’s recording.

MODERN LOVE

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: September 1983

TRIVIA: Bowie claimed the song was inspired by Little Richard, and it maintains the album’s theme of a struggle between God and man. Some commentators noted the similarities between the track and Elton John’s near-simultaneous hit “I’m Still Standing”, although both parties said the songs were recorded at roughly the same time with no knowledge of the other.

CHANGES

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: January 7, 1972

TRIVIA: Bowie has said that the track “started out as a parody of a nightclub song, a kind of throwaway”. The lyrics focus on the compulsive nature of artistic reinvention and distancing oneself from the rock mainstream.

‘HEROES’

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: September 23, 1977

TRIVIA: The quotation marks in the title of the song, a deliberate affectation, were designed to impart an ironic quality on the otherwise highly romantic, even triumphant, words and music.

Rest in Peace, David Bowie. The stars look very different today.

See you next Tuesday!

Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY! The holidays are over and many people are now back to work (myself included). So today I’m tuning it back to “Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)” by British R&B band, Soul II Soul.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: May 29, 1989

TRIVIA: In 2015 the song was voted by the British public as the nation’s 18th favourite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV.

See You Next Tuesday!