MyKugiranLTAT poster

MyKugiranLTAT poster

Thursday, December 19, 2013

METALLICA - Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame 2009

James Hetfield (vocals, guitar; born August 3, 1963), Kirk Hammett (guitar; born November 18, 1962), Jason Newsted (bass; born March 4, 1963), Lars Ulrich (drums; born December 26, 1963), Cliff Burton (bass; born February 10, 1962, died September 27, 1986), Robert Trujillo (bass; born October 23, 1964)

Black Sabbath invented heavy metal in the Seventies, and Metallica redefined it in the Eighties. Since erupting on the scene with their debut album, Kill ‘Em All, in 1983, Metallica has been a cutting-edge band – the standard by which metal’s vitality and virtuosity are measured. No band has loomed larger, rocked heavier, raged more angrily or pushed the limits further than Metallica.

The group formed in 1981 around the core of James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, who both lived in Los Angeles They met when Hetfield answered an ad placed looking for someone to jam with. The pair bonded over their mutual love of metal – especially the “New Wave of British Heavy Metal.” Ulrich, a Danish immigrant, turned Hetfield on to this faster, punkier wave of British heavy metal. The sensibility of that movement – feisty, aggressive, anti-fashion and, most of all, independent in spirit – rubbed off as they assembled an American band that would break free of commercial glam-metal cliches. The name Metallica unambiguously expressed their metal salvage mission, and they became identified with the subgenre known as thrash-metal.

In addition to singer/guitarist Hetfield and drummer Ulrich, Metallica’s first lineup included guitarist Dave Mustaine (who’d found Megadeth after leaving) and bassist Ron McGovney. Their first release was a seven-song tape, No Life ’Til Leather, that spread their name through heavy-metal’s rabid tape-trading underground. After slogging it out on the L.A. scene for two years, Metallica relocated to San Francisco. With a revamped lineup that included bassist Cliff Burton and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, they flew to New York to cut their first full-length album. Kill ‘Em All, released in 1983 on the Megaforce label, revitalized the stale domestic metal scene. It was one of heavy-metal’s most significant debuts, helping to establish the thrash-metal sound in America. It also revealed the group’s obsession with themes of death, destruction and the darker realms of the human psyche.

Metallica followed Kill ‘Em All with Ride the Lightning (1984) and Master of Puppets (1986). Shortly after the release of Ride the Lightning, Metallica signed to Elektra Records, making them the first American thrash-metal band to land a major-label contract. Ride the Lightning peaked at #100 but spent a year on the charts and sold more than 5 million copies over the next 20 years. Recorded in Copenhagen, Denmark, Master of Puppets proved to be another pinnacle, exhibiting considerable ambition and intensity. Metallica opened for Ozzy Osbourne on a six-month tour that furthered the album’s success and returned their previous releases to the charts as well. A headlining tour of England and Europe followed, ending in tragedy when Metallica’s tour bus ran off an icy road in Sweden. Bassist Burton was killed instantly.

Much like AC/DC after the sudden death of vocalist Bon Scott, Metallica soldiered on, convinced that Burton would have wanted them to do so. Metallica recruited Jason Newsted, from a band called Flotsam & Jetsam, as Burton’s replacement and returned to the road to play the unfulfilled dates. Once off the road, Metallica pondered the future. They would eventually record several major metal masterworks, but first they dealt with all the changes and an injury – Hetfield suffered a compound arm fracture in a skateboarding mishap – by getting back to basics. While warming up for their next project in Ulrich’s garage, they covered some of their British metal and punk favorites. They inexpensively packaged the best of them as The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited.

Then came the hard work. It took a full year for Metallica to record ...And Justice for All, a pulverizing double-album showcase of lyrical rage, intricate arrangements and expert musicianship. Its songs were built from the ground up, starting with riffs and themes and painstakingly assembled from there until each complex piece was complete. Containing such favorites as “One” and “Blackened,” ...And Justice for All represented a giant step forward for Metallica.

In an article written before its release of, Jon Pareles incisively described their music: “Metallica pounds out irregular, stop-start rhythms, squeezing bits of melody between salvos of guitar chords. Its jumpy, skittish music is closer in structure to art-rock than that of most of the band’s heavy-metal cohorts. The songs move far too fast and unpredictably to sound like pop. And the lyrics have nothing to do with fun, escapism or lust.”

After all the demanding complexity of ...And Justice or All, Metallica made an album of shorter, less intricate songs. Simply titled Metallica, producer Bob Rock gave the collection a slightly more accessible edge. There was still plenty of sepulchral gloom, and the all-black cover – fans called it “The Black Album” – bore witness to the darkness within. It turned out to be the right album at the right time, vaulting Metallica into the hard-rock stratosphere. All of a sudden, on its own terms, headbanging thrash metal became went mainstream via Metallica’s untitled masterpiece. Metallica entered the album chart at #1 and stayed there for four weeks. The album has sold more than 14 million copies in the U.S. alone. It even introduced Metallica to the Top Forty with the singles “Enter Sandman” (#16), “Nothing Else Matters” (#34) and “The Unforgiven” (#35).

Moreover, the music industry began an unlikely love affair with metal and Metallica, bestowing the first of seven Grammys (to date) on the group with Metallica’s victory in the Heavy Metal Album category at the 1992 awards ceremony. (Somewhat controversially, Metallica lost to Jethro Tull in the same category in 1989.)

“Everyone has one album when everything comes together,” said Ulrich of Metallica. “This was ours.”

The band toured for two years in the wake of Metallica’s release and then took time to assemble a big box of live Metallica for hardcore fans. Titled Live Shit: Binge and Purge, it included two entire concerts (spread across three videotapes), a CD of a third concert, a 72-page booklet, and tour souvenirs. All told, there were nine hours of music on Binge and Purge, which was packaged like an equipment crate and retailed for $90.

In 1995, Metallica set to work on a batch of material that would seed two studio albums: Load and Re-Load. “We wrote 27 songs, 1 to 27, and we recorded 27 songs, 1 to 27,” said Lars Ulrich. Load came out in 1996, a year that also saw them headline the Lollapalooza alternative music festival. After that, they embarked on an extended headlining tour, performing in the round on two revolving stages that formed a figure 8. The tour, as usual, upped the ante for staging, pyrotechnics (225 explosions!) and performance. The second set of material from the prolific 1995 writing sessions was completed and released as Re-Load in 1997. Both Load and Re-Load topped the charts, giving Metallica three consecutive #1 albums in the Nineties.

In 1998 Metallica returned to the Garage Days concept, quickly cutting a batch of hard-rock and heavy-metal covers. They combined a disc these with a second disc that included the out-of-print Garage Days Re-Revisited EP and various other covers that had turned up on B-sides and non-album projects. The artists covered included everything from Motorhead to Diamond Head, the Misfits to Mercyful Fate. The result was the hard-hitting, fan-pleasing 27-song double-disc Garage, Inc.

On April 21st and 22nd, 1999, Metallica appeared with the San Francisco Orchestra. The two-night stand, performed at Berkeley’s Community Theater, was edited into a distillation punningly entitled S&M (i.e., “Symphony and Metallica”). A period of group therapy and sobriety ensued for Metallica in the early years of the new millennium. As they worked on a new album, St. Anger, as well as themselves, longtime bassist Jason Newsted left the band and was replaced by Robert Trujillo. This difficult time of change and confrontation was forthrightly documented in the 2004 film Some Kind of Monster. St. Anger divided longtime fans, some of whom were already upset with Metallica for their litigious stance on illegal music downloads over peer-to-peer networks like the original Napster. Nonetheless, St. Anger became Metallica’s fourth #1 album, sold two million copies and won the group another Grammy for Best Metal Performance.

Working with Rick Rubin, Metallica returned to its harder, riff-rocking roots with Death Magnetic, released in 2008. An album of lengthy, multi-part songs, it returned the group to the thrashy sound and style of its late-Eighties epics, Master of Puppets and ...And Justice for All. It also gave Metallica their fifth chart-topping album, and the old-school thrash-metal approach attracted some formerly alienated fans back into the fold.

Over the course of three decades, Metallica has conquered the world, selling over 100 million albums and playing for millions in concert all over the world. They created a mass audience for the metal genre and made it possible for many other aggressive-sounding bands to get signed and heard. Metallica has always opted for honesty over artifice. They’ve also challenged themselves relentlessly, thinking big and acting ambitiously. They continue to make a mighty compelling noise. 


Friday, June 15, 2012

Ikon Pop Yeh-Yeh (Malay Music Scene)


Raden Jeffrydin Raden Imbromsoekaman atau lebih dikenali sebagai Jeffrydin merupakan seorang penyanyi yang mencipta namanya semenjak 1960-an. Ketika itu, pengaruh kumpulan The Beatles dari England telah mewujudkan irama pop yeh-yeh dari 1965 hingga 1971. Istilah "pop yeh-yeh" telah diambil dari judul lagu popular The Beatles, (She Loves You - Yeh, Yeh, Yeh). Penyanyi pada zaman 1960an, biasanya diiringi oleh kumpulan kugiran.

Jefrydin menjadi kegilaan peminat sebagaimana Allahyarham A. Ramlie. Jefrydin selalu diserbu peminatnya pada setiap pertunjukkan hingga bajunya pernah koyak-koyak dan tercabut butang. Malah albumnya, EP Kenanganku pernah dijual melebihi 150,000 unit ketika itu.

Kerjaya seni beliau bermula sewaktu belajar dalam darjah lima di Sekolah Tangling Tinggi, Singapura. Jefrydin kemudiannya mula memasuki pertandingan menyanyi dan menjadi juara sekitar 1962. Selepas itu Jefrydin bertanding pula dalam pertandingan kugiran seluruh Singapura 1964 dan berjaya menyandang juara selama tiga tahun berturut-turut. Turut bertanding ketika itu A. Ramlie yang mendapat nombor dua manakala Allahyarham M. Osman pula di tempat ketiga.Selepas itu, Jefrydin menyanyi di majlis perkahwinan bersama Kumpulan Rhythm Boysnya hampir setiap minggu.

Bakat Jeffrydin dicungkil oleh pengurus syarikat rakaman keturunan Cina-Indonesia, Mr Lee yang mendengar beliau menyanyi di majlis kahwin di Singapura. Ketika ditemuduga beliau disuruh memainkan lagu Seruling Bambu dan Fatwa Pujangga dan menandatangani kontrak. Di atas cadangan Mr Lee, beliau menyanyi pula dengan kumpulan The Siglap Five.

Kenangan yang tidak dapat dilupakan Jefrydin ialah apabila Rhythm Boys (sebelum A. Ramlie menyertainya) muncul sebagai Juara Kugiran anjuran Persatuan Pemuda Pemudi Bandaraya Singapura pada 1966 setelah mengalahkan M. Osman bersama The Clans manakala A. Ramlie ketika itu bersama The Ramlie's. Sungguhpun begitu hubungan mereka tetap akrab.

Hingga kini, Jefrydin telah pernah menghasilkan 30 album. Dia bertemu jodoh dengan gadis Pulau Pinang, Rashidah Abdullah, 49, yang juga pengurusnya dan dikurniakan tiga cahaya mata, Raden Arjuna Mirko, 26, Raden Wira Sukma, 20, serta Raden Ratna Sari Dewi, 15.

Pada 2002, Jefrydin telah dianugerahkan Pingat AMP dari Sultan Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah. Jefrydin turut terbabit bagi menjayakan Konsert Pop Yeh Yeh Suatu Evolusi 2007, di Stadium Malawati dan julung kali diadakan oleh Global Ads Workstation Sdn. Bhd. [1]

Seruling Anak Gembala
Seruling Bambu
Jessi 10 Pujaanku (1979)
Mas Mona 1 (1993)
Pertemuan (1994)
Tiada Bayangan Cinta (1997)
Nostalgia Hari Raya Bersama Artis Lagenda (1999)
Mas Mona II (1999)
Gadis Manja
Kasihku Pergi
Nada Suci Untuk Mu
Peristiwa Di Awang Awangan

A. Ramlie merupakan seorang penyanyi Melayu era 60-an / 70-an yang sering mendendangkan lagu-lagu di radio Malaysia. A. Ramlie telah dilahirkan pada 25 Ogos 1948 di Jalan Tegas, Kampung Batak, daerah Kaki Bukit, Singapura. Beliau merupakan anak kepada almarhum Ahmad Masid dan Asmah Raden Ismail, dan merupakan anak kelima dari 19 beradek.

A Ramlie pernah bertanding dalam pertandingan kugiran seluruh Singapura 1954 dan mendapat nombor dua sementara kumpulan pertama dimenangi oleh kumpulan yang disertai oleh Jefrydin.

Pada mulanya beliau menyertai kumpulan The Siglap Five, sebelum bertukar menyertai kumpulan The Rythmn Boys, seterusnya menjuarai Pertandiran Kugiran Seluruh Singapura 1965. Beliau juga pernah merakamkan lagu bersama kumpulan The Click Four. Kugiran terakhir yang mengiringi arwah di tahun 60-an ialah kumpulan The Times Orchestra. A. Ramlie juga pernah merakam dengan kumpulan The Clans.

Pada tahun 1971, A. Ramlie telah berganding dengan penyanyi wanita Maria Bachok buat pertama kali dalam rancangan hiburan TV Singapura iaitu Istana Pesta. Dari situ mereka bersama dalam beberapa rakaman EP di bawah label Panda - kali ini diiringi oleh sebuah kugiran dari Johor Bahru iaitu kumpulan The Nite Walkers. Di antara rakaman duet mereka di waktu itu ialah Patah Tumbuh Hilang Berganti, Itulah Sayang, Tari Selendang, Ingin Berkawan Saja, Antara Sehati Sejiwa dan Setangkai Kembang Melati. Hubungan cinta yang terjalin telah membawa pasangan duet ini ke jinjang pelamin pada tahun 1972. Hasil perkahwinan ini, mereka dikurniakan seorang puteri tunggal yang diberi nama Marliana, setahun kemudian, dan menetap di Marine Terrace, Singapura.

Berikutan kebangkitan semula irama Pop Yeh Yeh pada tahun 1985 berikutan satu konsert perdana di Stadium Merdeka, A. Ramlie dan Maria Bachok sanggup mengambil risiko berhijrah ke Johor Bahru sebagai penduduk tetap Malaysia. Mereka turut menyanyi di Juwita Longe milik penyanyi seangkatan mereka, Hasnah Harun. A. Ramlie juga pernah merakamkan sebuah album tribute untuk Allahyarham Hamzah Dolmat pada tahun 1987 dengan judul Untukmu Penggesek Biola. A. Ramlie dan Maria Bachok kemudiannya bercerai pada tahun 1988.

Pada 1996, beliau telah lama menderita penyakit Parkinson dan satu persembahan artis-artis 60-an di bawah konsert Masih Ada Yang Sayang diadakan di Stadium Merdeka yang diusahakan oleh M. Shariff telah diadakan bagi membantu menampung perbelanjaan perubatan.

20 Hits Nostalgia
Ole Ole Temasek
Hidup Bersama
Kenangan Mengusik Jiwa
Salam Muhibbah
Rindumu Tak Serinduku
Orang Tak Sudi
Mencari Bahagia
Lambaian Desa
Semusim Layu Berlalu
Tersenyumlah Sayang
Ingat Padaku
Rambut (Ft. Maria Bachok)
Kasih Impian
Mengapa Bunga Dipuja (Ft. Maria Bachok)
Oh Fatimah
Harapan Menanti
Kasih Tak Sudah
Dendang Anak Tani
Seribu Janji
Kasih Berbunga Sepanjang Musim (Ft. Maria Bachok)


M. Osman merupakan salah seorang penyanyi pujaan ramai era 60-an / 70-an yang sering mendendangkan lagu-lagu di radio Malaysia. Ketika itu pengaruh kumpulan The Beatles dari England telah mewujudkan irama pop yeh-yeh dari 1965 hingga 1971. Penyanyi pada zaman 1960-an biasanya diiringi oleh kumpulan kugiran.

M. Osman sering membuat persembahan dengan diiringi oleh Kumpulan Les Fentones & kumpulan The Singlap Boys. Beliau mencipta nama dengan lagu Suzana. M. Osman merupakan antara penyanyi tempatan yang pertama merakamkan lagu dalam bentuk Pop Yeh-yeh dengan lagunya Suzanna pada 1964. Beliau berkahwin dengan Afidah Es yang juga merupakan seorang penyanyi, dan merupakan bapa kepada Aziz M.Osman

Gelombang Rindu
Dimana Gerangan
Kisah Disimpang
Kasih Berduka
Desa Suchi
Selamat Tinggal Pujaan
Hanchor Harapan
Mawarku Pergi
Dendang Patah Hati
Madah Harapan
Keluhan Hiba
Kahwin Paksa
Bisekan Malam

source :

The Beatles Biography

George Harrison (guitar, sitar, vocals), John Lennon (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals), Ringo Starr (drums, percussion, vocals)

The impact of the Beatles has often been noted but cannot be overstated. The “Fab Four” from Liverpool, England, startled the ears and energized the lives of virtually all who heard them. Their arrival triggered the musical revolution of the Sixties, introducing a modern sound and viewpoint that parted ways with the world of the previous decade. The pleasurable jolt at hearing “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” - given the doldrums into which rock and roll had fallen in recent years - was comparable to the collective fever induced by Presley’s “That’s All Right” and “Heartbreak Hotel” nearly 10 years earlier.

The Beatles’ music - with its simultaneous
refinement (crisp harmonies, solid musicianship, canny pop instincts) and abandon (energetic singing and playing, much screaming and shaking of mop-topped locks) – ignited the latent energy of youth on both sides of the Atlantic. They helped confer self-identity upon a youthful, music-based culture that flexed its muscle in myriad ways - not just as music consumers but also as a force for political expression, social commentary and contemporary lifestyles.

Landing on American shores on February 7, 1964, they literally stood the world of pop culture on its head, setting the musical agenda for the remainder of the decade. The Beatles’ buoyant melodies, playful personalities and mop-topped charisma were just the tonic needed by a nation left reeling by the senseless assassination of its young president, John F. Kennedy, two months earlier. Even adults typically given to dismissing rock and roll conceded that there was substance in their music and cleverness in their quick-witted repartee. Between the lines, and without obvious disrespect, the Beatles announced the ascendancy of youth - and the inevitable coming of a generation gap as a result.

The long journey resulting in the mob scene that greeted the Beatles’ arrival at Kennedy Airport began in Liverpool. In 1958, John Lennon formed a skiffle group called the Quarrymen. Lennon was raised on Fifties rockabilly and was especially partial to Elvis Presley and Gene Vincent. He met a similarly rock-smitten schoolkid named Paul McCartney. Impressed by McCartney’s knowledge of song lyrics and ability to tune a guitar, Lennon recruited him into the Quarrymen. A schoolmate of McCartney’s, George Harrison, came next. The youthful Harrison’s mastery of guitar licks by Duane Eddy impressed the skeptical Lennon.
With a rhythm section consisting
of bassist Stu Sutcliffe (a sharp-looking art student with negligible musical ability) and drummer Pete Best, the group eventually settled on the Beatles as their name. They became a fixture on the rough-and-tumble club scene in Hamburg, Germany, where their five-set-a-night marathons helped mold them into a tight performing unit. Their repertoire comprised well-chosen rock and roll, and rhythm & blues covers by such trailblazers as Chuck Berry and Little Richard. In April 1961, Sutcliffe left and McCartney switched from guitar to bass. On the local scene in their hometown of Liverpool, the group landed a lunchtime residency at a club called The Cavern, where they were discovered by a local record merchant and entrepreneur, Brian Epstein, who became their manager in December 1961. In January 1962, a fan poll in Mersey Beat declared them the top grouttired them in dapper collarless gray suits, which made them appear more accessible than the menacing leathers they’d worn in Hamburg.

The Beatles signed with EMI-Parlophone in April 1962 after impressing producer George Martin. In August, fellow Liverpudlian Ringo Starr (born Richard Starkey), then a member of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, replaced Pete Best. The group’s first single, “Love Me Do”/”P.S. I Love You,” briefly dented the U.K. Top 20 in October 1962, but their next 45, “Please Please Me,” formally ignited Beatlemania in their homeland, reaching the Number Two spot. It was followed in 1963 by three consecutive chart-topping British singles: “From Me to You” “She Loves You,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

They conquered the U.K., even inducing a classical music critic from the Sunday Times to declare them “the greatest composers since Beethoven.” Moreover, they were the greatest rockers since the composer of “Roll Over, Beethoven” - i.e., Chuck Berry. The freshness and immediacy of the Beatles’ sound stemmed from the fact they assimilated and synthesized the most vital sources for rock and roll that preceded them.

Writing in the Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll, Greil Marcus observed that “the form of the Beatles contained the forms of rock and roll itself. The Beatles combined the harmonic range and implicit equality of the Fifties vocal groups with the flash of a rockabilly band (the Crickets or Gene Vincent’s Blue Caps) with the aggressive and unique personalities of the classic rock stars (Elvis, Little Richard) with the homey, this-could-be-you manner of later rock stars (Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran) with the endlessly inventive songwriting touch of the Brill Building, and they delivered it all with the grace of the Miracles, the physicality of ‘Louie, Louie,’ and the absurd enthusiasm of Gary ‘U.S.’ Bonds.”

The Beatles’ success can be attributed to a combination of factors, including Lennon and McCartney’s songwriting genius, Harrison’s guitar playing prowess, Starr’s artful simplicity as a drummer, and the solid group harmonies that were a hallmark of their recordings. Personally, they had youthful high spirits, good looks, quick wit and refreshingly down-to-earth dispositions to commend them. George Martin’s production and Brian Epstein’s management were important elements as well.

The Beatles’ conquest of America early in 1964 launched “the British Invasion,” a torrent of rock & roll bands from Britain that overtook the pop charts. The Fab Four’s first Number One single in the U.S. was “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” released on Capitol Records, EMI’s American counterpart. This exuberant track was followed by 45 more Top 40 hits over the next six years. During the week of April 4, 1964, the Beatles set a record that is likely never to be broken when they occupied all five of the top positions on Billboard’s Top 40, with “Can’t Buy Me Love” ensconced at Number One. Their popularity soared still further with the release of their anarchic Marx Brothers-as-rock-stars documentary film, A Hard Day’s Night (1964) and its equally playful followup, Help! (1965).

When all was said and done, the Beatles charted 20 Number One singles in the States – two more than runner-up Elvis Presley. It is estimated by EMI, their British record company, that the Beatles have sold more than 600 million units worldwide. For feats of sales and airplay alone, the Beatles are unquestionably the top group in rock and roll history. Yet their significance extends well beyond numbers to encompass their innovations in the recording studio. The Beatles’ legacy as a concert attraction, during their harried passage from nightclubs to baseball stadiums, is distinguished primarily by the deafening screams of female fans more overcome by their appearance than the music they played.

Consequently, the Beatles began to indulge their creative energies in the studio, layering sounds and crafting songs in a way that was experimental yet still accessible. This retreat from the ceaseless mayhem of pop celebrity yielded such musically expansive and lyrically sophisticated albums as Rubber Soul (1965) and Revolver (1966). The former, with its acoustic leanings and thoughtful lyrics, betrayed the influence of Bob Dylan upon the band, while the latter stands as a tour de force of tuneful, concise pop psychedelia.

The Beatles retired from touring for good after a San Francisco concert on August 29, 1966. Like Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, who abandoned touring to focus on his music, the Beatles thereafter became creatures of the studio. Ten months later, they released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, an album that has almost universally been cited as the creative apotheosis of rock and roll, a watershed event in which rock became “serious art” without losing its sense of humor - or, in Lennon’s case, sense of the absurd. Realizing the band members’ collective ambitions took four months and all the technical wiles of producer George Martin could muster. A completely self-contained album meant to be played and experienced from start to finish, Sgt. Pepper broke the mold in that no singles were released.

The album’s artistic reach further cemented the notion of a viable counterculture in the minds of youthful dropouts everywhere. Anyone who was alive in the summer of 1967 can remember the pleasant shock of hearing it and the reverberations it sent outward into the world of rock and roll and beyond. As writer Langdon Winner observed, “For a brief moment, the irreparably fractured consciousness of the West was unified, at least in the minds of the young.” Sgt. Pepper was preceded by perhaps the greatest two-sided single in rock history, “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane,” which exhibited the creative sensibilities of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, respectively, at their zenith.

In the wake of Sgt. Pepper, the Beatles began to splinter in ways that were initially subtle but gradually grew more pronounced. Subsequent events included the death of manager Epstein due to an overdose of sleeping pills; the release of the TV film Magical Mystery Tour, which earned the Beatles some of their first negative reviews; a trip to India to meditate with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, about whom Lennon wrote “Sexy Sadie;” and the launching in January 1968 of Apple Corps, Ltd., a well-intentioned but ultimately mismanaged entertainment empire that helped bring down the Beatles.

Through all the chaotic events of the late Sixties, however, the Beatles retained their ingenuity and focus as recording artists. Released in August 1968, the single “Hey Jude"/"Revolution" became their most popular single. The Beatles (1968), a double-LP popularly referred to as "the White Album," found the group refracting into four estimably talented individuals. This 30-song tour de force included such Beatles classics as “Back in the U.S.S.R,” “”While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Blackbird,” “Birthday” and “Helter Skelter.”

The album and film Let It Be, recorded in 1969 but shelved until 1970, documented the Beatles’ dissolution. Internal squabbles and the discomfiting presence of John Lennon’s new soulmate, Yoko Ono, revealed widening cracks within the group. Even in this tense atmosphere, the Beatles playfully harked back to their origins with impromptu performances of early rock and R&B classics in the studio.

The Beatles exited on a high note, coming together in the summer of 1969 to record a fitting swan song, Abbey Road. That album included numerous highlights: a playful pastiche of short songs, with Paul McCartney as chief instigator, on the second side; a pair of John Lennon’s most emotionally unguarded songs ("Come Together,” “I Want You [She's So Heavy]"); and impressive contributions from George Harrison ("Here Comes the Sun,” “Something").

On April 10, 1970, Paul McCartney announced his departure from the Beatles, and the group quietly came to an end. Throughout the Seventies, fans hoped for an eventual reunion, while the group members pursued solo careers with varying degrees of artistic and commercial success. Those hopes were dashed by the senseless murder of John Lennon in New York City on December 8, 1980.

The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Paul McCartney did not attend the ceremony, leaving surviving Beatles Harrison and Starr, and Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, to be inducted by fellow British Invasion legend Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. McCartney released a brief statement that read: ‘’After 20 years, the Beatles still have some business differences, which I had hoped would have been settled by now. Unfortunately, they haven’t been, so I would feel like a complete hypocrite waving and smiling with them at a fake reunion.’’

In 1995, the three ex-Beatles regrouped harmoniously for The Beatles Anthology, which produced a six-hour video documentary aired over the course of three nights on ABC-TV; three double-disc anthologies of Beatles music, including much rare and unreleased material; and a massive coffee table book with new and archival pictures and interviews. Yoko Ono provided home demos of several unreleased Lennon songs for the project, and McCartney, Harrison and Starr completed two of them under the guiding hand of singer/multi-instrumentalist/ composer/producer Jeff Lynne, most famous for his lead role in Eletric Light Orchestra and Harrison's bandmate in the Traveling Wilburys. This resulted in the first new Beatles singles in 25 years: “Free as a Bird” (Number Six) and “Real Love” (Number 11). It was the closest the group came to a reunion since their breakup in 1970.

One of the latest eruptions of Beatlemania occurred in 2005 with the release of 1, a single-disc collection of 27 songs that topped the American and/or British charts. In July 2006, LOVE – an elaborate Cirque de Soleil production that pays tribute to the Beatles - opened at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.

Although popular music has changed considerably in the decades since the Beatles’ demise, their music continues to reach and inspire new generations of listeners. Half a century after their humble origins in Liverpool, the Beatles remain the most enduring phenomenon in the history of popular music.


Friday, September 9, 2011

The phenomenon that was Pop Yeh Yeh

TO be honest – by this, I mean, REAL honest – thrilled was not exactly the word to describe how I felt when I was assigned to interview Datuk A Rahman Hassan, he’s one of the pioneers of Pop Yeh Yeh, a local music genre which took the region by storm in the 60′s.
Our very own Elvis? Hmm, interesting. It wasn’t exactly an easy task to get hold of the man thanks to the seemingly never-ending photo shoots surrounding him following the announcement of Konsert Pop Yeh Yeh Suatu Evolusi.So finally, there we were, sitting in a corner at the lobby of Hotel Adamson. The man sitting in front of me was a picture of serenity. With a cigarette dangling between his fingers, he started to chronicle in a slow, calm tone, the rise and development of Pop Yeh Yeh. One thing is for sure, the man is different from the veterans who can’t help but keep on reminiscing about the good old days.

For the uninitiated, Pop Yeh Yeh was inspired by Western rock and roll bands, particularly The Beatles. The genre soon gained a huge following in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

“Strictly speaking, the era began in 1964 and the hype lasted till the late 60s. By 1969, the trend started fading,” recalled A Rahman.

The term Pop Yeh Yeh was derived from a line from The Beatles hit, She Loves You, `she loves you, yeah-yeah-yeah’. The singer traces the roots of the genre back to Suzanna. Sang by M Osman in 1964, it is widely considered as the first Pop Yeh Yeh song.

“He’s known as Raja Pop Yeh Yeh. Back in those days, albums came in the form of EPs, which normally contained four songs each. The artiste’s name was printed on the EP instead of the album title.

“The recording session was an one-run thing. One error and you would have to start all over again. Even the songs back then were short. “A song normally lasted for like, two or at most, three minutes. Tengah syiok then habis,” he recalled with a smile. Short as they were, these songs were the key factors that would make or break an artiste.

A Rahman Hassan & Orkes Nirwana during their heydays [thank you to for the pix
“Basically, if you got the right song, you would go up. Last time, there used to be a programme called Lagu Pujaan Minggu Ini. Hosted by the first Malay DJ MIA (Mohd Ismail Abdullah), it was aired on Radio Singapore and was a weekly chart sort of thing. “If your song hits number one on Lagu Pujaan Minggu Ini, then you know that you’re gonna be big.”

Returning to the present, I ask him what he thinks about the current music scene?

“One thing that strikes me is how everything is so sophisticated and advanced. You can get all the facilities that you need. It seems that there should be no reason why an artiste can’t be big.

“However, there’s no denying the fact that, even though everything is great, at the same time, competition has heightened, too. This is also why you see many artistes nowadays having to work really hard in order to make it big in the industry.”

Let’s shift our attention back to Orkes Nirwana, the band fronted by A Rahman.

On Mar 25, 1965, a common passion for music brought Johorians A Rahman (frontman), Datin Azizah bt Mohamad (vocalist), E Elias (bassist), B Badrun (guitarist), A Rozie Ashari (tambourine player) and M Radzi Jamil (drummer) together to form Orkes Nirwana.

The term kugiran is short for Kumpulan Gitar Rancak, which refers to a band consisting of a vocalist, a lead guitarist, a bassist, a rhythm-guitarist, a keyboardist and a drummer. It was coined by subtitling officer, Daud Abdul Rahman. Though heavily influenced by Western music, the collective insisted on a Malay band name.

“This is because we sang in Malay and our audiences were mainly Malay,” explained A Rahman.

Over the years, the collective had launched eight EPs and brought us hits like Tak Mengapa, Hanya Untukmu, Semoga Berjaya, Perpaduan Hidup and Kerana Fitnah. The band’s reference points back then were from the West: The Rolling Stones, Peacemakers, The Beatles, as well as The Shadows and Cliff Richard.

“These were the acts that were really big at the time. However, we tried to create our own style and infuse more local elements into it.” Though the genre died down in the late 60s, it experienced a resurgence in popularity later, which was very evident during the Malam Himpunan 60-an which was held in 1985 at Stadium Negara.

Orkes Nirwana remains active until today and A Rahman was last seen performing at a tsunami concert in Johor Baru, three years ago. It is a widely acknowledged truth that the local music scene lacks proper documentation of its origins and development. And this had always been something that many local music critics – (including one extremely passionate entertainment editor at The Malay Mail) – sighed over. It’s apparent that A Rahman has spent time thinking about this too. And who better to do this if not the man himself?

“I intend to write more about the beginnings of the local music scene in a book. Of course this requires a lot of research. You know, back then, there were thousands of kugiran. It would be great to be able to make a record of these. I still remember many of these bands, as well as the very first songs they sang. It would be interesting to document the origin and the hardships that these early artistes went through during their times.

“I have already started on this and, hopefully, I can finish it within the next two years,” he concluded.

* Originally published in The Malay Mail on Aug 21, 2007

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Parts of the Guitar

Guitar Diagram

Guitars can be classified into 2 main categories, acoustic and electric. Well you play them in similar ways the style of their composition is quite different. Below is a guitar diagram that details some of the parts on both.

A basic guitar diagram

1. The Headstock

The focal point of the tuning system, headstocks come in two distinctive designs. The square headstock has three tuners on either side, whilst Fender style instruments have all six tuners on the left.

2. Tuner

There are six tuners—one for each string. They are used in guitar tuning to tune strings to their proper pitch. Each tuner consists of a nut and cog to tighten or slacken the string. Also known as machine heads.

3. Nut

The nut keeps the strings in position as they leave the head, by way of six small grooves. If you own an expensive guitar the nut will probably be made of ivory. If you’re a conservationist or just an economist it’ll be plastic.

4. Frets

Frets are wire inserts which mark the points on the neck where you pass each string to make different notes. They are normally made of nickel alloy, hammered home.

5. Fretboard

Generally made of rosewood, the fretboard is glued to the neck. It’s usually decorated with tortoise shell or plastic inlays which help you to see where you are on the fretboard.

6. Strings

The strings are the lifeblood of the instrument, and a poor or worn set can make even the most talented player sound bad. Generally constructed from alloy, strings very in thickness from the bottom (the thickest) to the top (thinnest). The three bass strings are wound to give them depth, whilst their skinny counterparts are simply tensioned alloy wire. Strings are measured by gauge—the lower the number, the thinner the string. It’s important to select a set suitable for your guitar, whether electric or acoustic. The two aren’t generally interchangeable.

7. Pick Guard

Located next to the sound hole (on acoustic guitars) or pick-ups (on electric guitars) the pickguard protects the main body of the instrument from pectrum scratches and finger marks.

8. Soundboard

The acoustic guitar soundboard is the top piece of wood on the main body. The sound hole is cut into it.

9. Pick-Ups

Pick-ups transmit the string sound from the guitar to the amplifier by way of an electric lead. In reality, pick-ups are no more than miniature Microphones. You can in fact talk into a guitar pick-up and your voice will be broadcast through the amp.

10. Bridge

Acoustic and electric guitar bridges come in all shapes and sizes, but their purpose is the same. They adjust the pitch, harmonics and string height. The classic set-up is the retaining tailpiece, and individual bridge, which is adjustable on electric models as you can see below in the guitar diagram. Modern acoustic and many electric guitars have a one-piece bridge set-up, which eliminates the separate tailpiece. The bridge on a acoustic guitar is slightly offset to achieve perfect harmonics, whilst the electric counterpart has a series of independent mechanisms, one for each string. These are adjusted with a small screwdriver, until the pitch is correct.

11. Volume And Tone Control

Once your guitar is plugged in, and you have turned your amp on, you will be able to adjust volume and tone by the collection of knobs generally positioned to the right side of the bridge.

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Guitar Types

Classical And Flamenco Guitars

Sometimes known as Spanish guitars, these instruments are very suitable for Classical Style solo playing Flamenco Music and for accompanying singers. The nylon strings are plucked or strummed with the right-hand thumb or fingers – a pick is never used. The Flamenco Guitar is similar to the classical Guitar but has plates to protect the face of the guitar during golpe tapping.

Round-Hole Steel Strung Guitars

The most common type of Acoustic guitar found in North America, these all-round instruments are used for most popular guitar music; pretty much everything except Classical or Flamenco. They may be finger-picked, or played with a Guitar Pick. They are suitable for accompanying singing and playing with others. Pick-ups may be added to those guitars for playing with an amplifier.
The Jumbo is a Round-hole Guitar with an extra large body which gives a deep bass sound.
The 12-string Guitar is similar to the Jumbo, but is a more specialized instrument. It is not recommend for absolute beginners.

Semi Acoustic Guitars

These very slim guitars give enough acoustic (un-amplified) sound for practicing, but are otherwise played with an amplifier. They are lighter than Solid Guitars and often have a better tone when amplified.
Cello Guitars are similar but have a thicker body. They are played with or without an amplifier and give a chunky rhythm sound.

Electric Guitars

Electric Guitars are only played with an amplifier, as they have no real acoustic sound. They are made in various shapes, styles and sizes and usually come with a solid body. You can also use effects pedals and different types of contraptions to alter the sound.
Semi-Acoustic and Solid Body Guitars have lower action then an Acoustic or Classical Guitar, and are ideal for fast ‘electric’ playing – Jazz, Rock, Pop, etc.
Electric guitars are generally played with a guitar pick.

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Kesemua poster Mykugiran tersebut telah di'edit' dengan menggunakan tunjuk ajar yang diberikan dengan bangganya oleh saudara Bain melalui kepakaran Photoshop yang beliau miliki.... "hhins...hhinss... powernyer aku" ... Bain mencelah dengan riaknyer...