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"What You Waiting For?" is a song by American singer Gwen Stefani from her debut solo studio album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (2004). Written by Stefani and Linda Perry, the song is the album's opening track and was released as Stefani's debut solo single. Lyrically, "What You Waiting For?" details Stefani's lack of inspiration and fear of producing the album, as well as her reaction to pressures exerted by her record label. It is primarily an electropop song and introduces Stefani's four backup dancers, the Harajuku Girls, who had a major input into the album's production.
"What You Waiting For?" was released as the album's lead single; according to Stefani, as an "explanation for doing the record". The song was well received by critics and was frequently cited as a highlight of the album. The single was commercially successful, topping the chart in Australia and reaching the top 10 in several countries. It was certified gold in the United States, and was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards. The song has been remixed a number of times, and was covered by the indie rock band Franz Ferdinand and singer Marina Diamandis. (Full article...)
"Shine" is a song written and recorded by American singer Gwen Stefani featuring fellow American musician Pharrell Williams, who solely produced the song. Originally intended for Stefani's band No Doubt, it is a reggae pop and ska song that is featured in the 2014 animated film Paddington. The lyrics revolve around the lead character Paddington Bear's journey to London and his identity crisis. Stefani initially disagreed with Williams' choice to use direct references to Paddington in the lyrics, but praised this decision after watching the film with her children. She reported that her involvement with the recording was inspired by her then-husband Gavin Rossdale and her children's connection to England.
A lyric video for the track was released on January 31, 2015, on The Weinstein Company's YouTube channel, and included on the DVD and Blu-ray releases of the film. The song was featured in the American trailer for the movie, and made available as a promotional CD as a result of its submission for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Although a low-quality version leaked on December 31, 2014, a full version of the recording was not released for public consumption. It was omitted from the film's soundtrack album, as well as Stefani's third studio album This Is What the Truth Feels Like (2016). Critical response to "Shine" was mixed; some praised Stefani and Williams' chemistry, while others compared it negatively to their previous collaborations. Commentators frequently likened it to Williams' 2013 single "Happy" and Stefani's 2014 song "Spark the Fire". (Full article...)
Lions is the sixth studio album by American rock band The Black Crowes. It was released in 2001 as their first album on V2 Records following their departure from Columbia, and is their only studio album to feature guitarist Audley Freed. Lions was recorded in New York City in January and February of that year, and was produced by Don Was. Bass guitar duties were shared by Rich Robinson and Was, as Greg Rzab had left the band and was not replaced until the tour that followed the release of the album.
The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at its peak position of 20, selling more than 53,000 copies in its first week. Lions received mixed reviews; although the overall sound of the album generally garnered praise, a frequent complaint was the lack of "memorable" songs. The critics who rated Lions lowest considered it a poor imitation of the band's influences, such as Led Zeppelin. (Full article...)
The composer (c.1915)
The Oceanides (in Finnish: Aallottaret; literal English translation: Nymphs of the Waves or Spirits of the Waves; original working title: Rondeauder Wellen; in English: Rondo of the Waves), Op.73, is a single-movementtone poem for orchestra written from 1913 to 1914 by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The piece, which refers to the nymphs in Greek mythology who inhabited the Mediterranean Sea, premiered on 4June 1914 at the Norfolk Music Festival in Connecticut with Sibelius conducting. Praised upon its premiere as "the finest evocation of the sea... ever... produced in music", the tone poem, in Dmajor, consists of two subjects, said to represent the playful activity of the nymphs and the majesty of the ocean, respectively. Sibelius gradually develops this material over three informal stages: first, a placid ocean; second, a gathering storm; and third, a thunderous wave-crash climax. As the tempest subsides, a final chord sounds, symbolizing the mighty power and limitless expanse of the sea.
Stylistically, many commentators have described The Oceanides as an example of Impressionism. Others have countered that Sibelius's active development of the two subjects, his sparing use of scales favored by Impressionists, and his prioritization of action and structure over ephemeral, atmospheric background distinguish the piece from quintessential examples, such as Debussy'sLa mer. (Full article...)
Rather than using a turn-based battle system like contemporaneous role-playing games, Secret of Mana features real-time battles with a power bar mechanic. The game has a unique Ring Command menu system, which pauses the action and allows the player to make decisions in the middle of battle. An innovative cooperativemultiplayer system allows a second or third player to drop in and out of the game at any time. Secret of Mana was directed and designed by Koichi Ishii, programmed primarily by Nasir Gebelli, and produced by veteran Square designer Hiromichi Tanaka. (Full article...)
Joseph Maurice Ravel (7 March 1875 – 28 December 1937) was a French composer, pianist and conductor. He is often associated with Impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer.
Born to a music-loving family, Ravel attended France's premier music college, the Paris Conservatoire; he was not well regarded by its conservative establishment, whose biased treatment of him caused a scandal. After leaving the conservatoire, Ravel found his own way as a composer, developing a style of great clarity and incorporating elements of modernism, baroque, neoclassicism and, in his later works, jazz. He liked to experiment with musical form, as in his best-known work, Boléro (1928), in which repetition takes the place of development. Renowned for his abilities in orchestration, Ravel made some orchestral arrangements of other composers' piano music, of which his 1922 version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition is the best known. (Full article...)
Tōru Takemitsu (武満 徹, pronounced[takeꜜmitsɯ̥toːɾɯ]; 8 October 1930 – 20 February 1996) was a Japanese composer and writer on aesthetics and music theory. Largely self-taught, Takemitsu was admired for the subtle manipulation of instrumental and orchestral timbre. He is known for combining elements of oriental and occidental philosophy and for fusing sound with silence and tradition with innovation.
He composed several hundred independent works of music, scored more than ninety films and published twenty books. He was also a founding member of the Jikken Kōbō (Experimental Workshop) in Japan, a group of avant-garde artists who distanced themselves from academia and whose collaborative work is often regarded among the most influential of the 20th century. (Full article...)
At the end of August 1966, the Beatles had permanently retired from touring and pursued individual interests for the next three months. During a return flight to London in November, Paul McCartney had an idea for a song involving an Edwardian military band that formed the impetus of the Sgt. Pepper concept. For this project, they continued the technological experimentation marked by their previous album, Revolver, this time without an absolute deadline for completion. Sessions began on 24November at EMI Studios with compositions inspired by the Beatles' youth, but after pressure from EMI, the songs "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were released as a double A-side single in February 1967 and left off the LP. The album was then loosely conceptualised as a performance by the fictional Sgt. Pepper band, an idea that was conceived after recording the title track. (Full article...)
Lorde performing in June 2022
Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor (born 7 November 1996), known professionally as Lorde (/lɔːrd/LORD), is a New Zealand singer and songwriter. She is known for her unconventional musical styles and introspective songwriting.
Francesca Gaetana Cosima Wagner (néeLiszt; 24 December 1837 – 1April 1930) was the daughter of the Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt and Franco-German romantic author Marie d'Agoult. She became the second wife of the German composer Richard Wagner, and with him founded the Bayreuth Festival as a showcase for his stage works; after his death she devoted the rest of her life to the promotion of his music and philosophy. Commentators have recognised Cosima as the principal inspiration for Wagner's later works, particularly Parsifal.
In 1857, after a childhood largely spent under the care of her grandmother and with governesses, Cosima married the conductor Hans von Bülow. Although the marriage produced two children, it was largely a loveless union, and in 1863 Cosima began a relationship with Wagner, who was 24 years her senior. They married in 1870; after Wagner's death in 1883 she directed the Bayreuth Festival for more than 20 years, increasing its repertoire to form the Bayreuth canon of ten operas and establishing the festival as a major event in the world of musical theatre. (Full article...)
"Can I Get It" is a song by English singer Adele from her fourth studio album 30 (2021), written with Swedish producers Max Martin and Shellback. The song became available as the album's sixth track on 19 November 2021, when it was released by Columbia Records. A pop song with pop rock and country pop influences, "Can I Get It" has acoustic guitar, drum, and horn instrumentation and a whistled hook. The song is about moving on from a breakup and explores Adele's search for true love and the thrilling and wondrous parts of a new relationship.
"Can I Get It" received mixed reviews from music critics, who were generally positive about its acoustic portion and lyrics, but highly criticised its whistled hook. They thought the song's brazen pop production catered to the tastes of mainstream radio, which made it an outlier on 30, and compared it to Flo Rida's single "Whistle" (2012). It reached the top 20 in Sweden, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Finland, and Norway and entered the top 40 in some other countries. (Full article...)
Love in 2014
Courtney Michelle Love (néeHarrison; born July 9, 1964) is an American singer, guitarist, songwriter, and actress. A figure in the alternative and grunge scenes of the 1990s, her career has spanned four decades. She rose to prominence as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the alternative rock band Hole, which she formed in 1989. Love has drawn public attention for her uninhibited live performances and confrontational lyrics, as well as her highly publicized personal life following her marriage to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. In 2020, NME named her one of the most influential singers in alternative culture of the last 30 years.
"Halo" is a song recorded by American singer Beyoncé for her third studio album, I Am... Sasha Fierce(2008). Included on the I Am... disc, it was intended to give a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Beyoncé's life, stripped of her make-up and celebrity trappings. Columbia Records released the song, the album's fourth single, to mainstream radio in the United States on January20, 2009, and to international markets from February20. Inspired by Ray LaMontagne's 2004 song "Shelter", "Halo" was written and composed by Ryan Tedder and Evan Bogart, with additional minor songwriting by Beyoncé. It was originally conceived by Tedder and Bogart specifically for Beyoncé, although there was media speculation that it had been intended for Leona Lewis.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (15August1875– 1September1912) was an English composer and conductor. His greatest success was his cantataHiawatha's Wedding Feast. This set the epic poem The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to music, and was widely performed by choral groups in England and the United States. Composers were not well paid; the work sold hundreds of thousands of copies, but he had sold the music outright for the sum of 15guineas, so did not benefit directly. He learned to retain his rights and earned royalties for other compositions after achieving wide renown, but always struggled financially. This photograph of Coleridge-Taylor was taken around 1905.
Hayley Williams (born December 27, 1988) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and businesswoman. She serves as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and occasional keyboardist of the rock band Paramore. Born in Meridian, Mississippi, Williams moved to Franklin, Tennessee, at the age of fifteen after her parents divorced. In 2004, she formed Paramore alongside Josh Farro, Zac Farro, and Jeremy Davis. The band currently consists of Williams, Farro and Taylor York. They have released five studio albums: All We Know Is Falling (2005), Riot! (2007), Brand New Eyes (2009), Paramore (2013) and After Laughter (2017).
Louis Armstrong, nicknamed "Satchmo" or "Pops", was an American jazztrumpeter and singer. Armstrong was a foundational influence on jazz, shifting the music's focus from collective improvisation to solo performers. With his distinctive gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser and as a scat singer.
Illustration credit: Antoine Barbizet; restored by Adam Cuerden
Les Troyens (The Trojans) is a French grand opera in five acts by Hector Berlioz, with a libretto written by the composer himself based on Virgil's Aeneid. The score was composed between 1856 and 1858, but Berlioz did not live long enough to see the work performed in its entirety. The first two acts were performed separately under the title La Prise de Troie. This picture shows the cover of the first-edition vocal score for La Prise de Troie, published in 1863.
Ariadne auf Naxos ('Ariadne on Naxos'), Op.60, is an opera by Richard Strauss with a German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Combining slapstick comedy and consummately beautiful music, the opera's theme is the competition between high and low art for the public's attention. The opera was originally conceived as a 30-minute divertissement to be performed at the end of Hofmannsthal's adaptation of Molière's play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme. Besides the opera, Strauss provided incidental music to be performed during the play. In the end, the opera was ninety minutes long, and the performance of the play and opera together totalled over sixhours. It was first performed at the Staatsoper Stuttgart on 25October1912, directed by Max Reinhardt. The combination of the play and opera proved to be unsatisfactory to the audience: those who had come to hear the opera resented having to wait until the play finished. The work was revised in 1916, with the play being replaced by a prologue, and first performed at the Vienna State Opera on 4 October of that year.
This picture is the cover of a vocal score of the revised edition of Ariadne auf Naxos, published in 1916.
Jules Massenet (12May1842– 13August1912) was a French composer of the Romantic era, best known for his operas. Between 1867 and his death, he wrote more than forty stage works in a wide variety of styles, from opéra comique to grand depictions of classical myths, romantic comedies and lyric dramas, as well as oratorios, cantatas and ballets. Massenet had a good sense of the theatre and of what would succeed with the Parisian public. Despite some miscalculations, he produced a series of successes that made him the leading opera composer in France in the late 19th and early 20thcenturies. By the time of his death, he was regarded as old-fashioned; his works, however, began to be favourably reassessed during the mid-20thcentury, and many have since been staged and recorded. This photograph of Massenet was taken by French photographer Eugène Pirou in 1875.
Mike Dirnt (b. 1972) is an American musician, songwriter and composer. He is best known as the co-founder, bassist, backing and occasional lead vocalist of American punk rock band Green Day. He has played in several other bands, including The Frustrators.
Fervaal is an opera with a prologue and three acts by the French composer Vincent d'Indy. Fervaal is the son of a Celtic king and is destined to be the last advocate of the old gods. His mission is to save his homeland from invasion and pillage, but in doing so he must renounce love. This illustration, by the Swiss painter Carlos Schwabe, relates to the 10May1898 premiere of the opera at the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique in Paris. Here, Fervaal is depicted ascending a mountain while carrying the body of his beloved Guilhen at the end of the opera, as the pagan gods and their worshippers fade out of existence with the dawn of Christianity.
Carl Nielsen (1865–1931) was a Danish musician, conductor and violinist, widely recognized as his country's most prominent composer. Initially playing in a military band before attending the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, he premiered his Op. 1, Suite for Strings, in 1888, at the age of 23. His early music was inspired by composers such as Brahms and Grieg, but he soon developed his own style. By the time of his death, he had produced 419 known works; some of these, such as his opera Maskarade (1906), have become integral to Denmark's national heritage.
Thelonious Monk (October10, 1917– February17, 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer, and the second-most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington. He had a unique improvisational style and famously remarked, "The piano ain't got no wrong notes". He made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "'Round Midnight", and a wide range of other compositions. He was renowned for a distinctive dress style, which included suits, hats, and sunglasses. He had disappeared from the scene by the mid-1970s and made only a few appearances during the final decade of his life. This 1947 photograph of Monk was taken by the American photographer William P. Gottlieb in Minton's Playhouse, a jazz club in New York.