Category: Rock

10 essential lesser known Depeche Mode songs

Here is a selection of songs from the Depeche Mode catalogue that are not as well known as their classic hit singles but nevertheless great songs that deserve additional spotlight.

From the third album Construction Time Again: Pipeline

From the fourth album Some Great Reward: If You Want

From the fifth album Black Celebration: World Full of Nothing

From the sixth album Music For The Masses: Nothing

From the seventh album Violator: Clean

From the eighth album Songs of Faith and Devotion: Rush

From the ninth album Ultra: The Bottom Line

From the tenth album Exciter: Easy Tiger

From the eleventh album Playing the Angel: Damaged People

From the twelvth album Sounds of the Universe: Spacewalker


David Bowie and me

David Bowie with Geeling Ng in the China Girl video

Geeling Ng, starred in the China Girl video:

Acting opposite David was terrifying, because he had a long history as a performer and I was a model and waitress. And in the storyline we were meant to be intimate. The first album I’d ever bought was Ziggy Stardust and I owned all his others, so it was overawing, but he was really generous as a performer. There’s a scene where I sit up suddenly, as if woken from a dream, and David leaps on top of me, and I sat up and gave him a full Liverpool kiss in the face. “Oh my God, I’ve just killed David Bowie!” But he laughed and said, “I’ve got a hard head.”

He was unfailingly polite, charming and a gentleman. For us to act as boyfriend and girlfriend, we did the obvious thing in Sydney – purely as method acting. After the shoot, I got a call: “Do you want to come to Europe with me?” I became a bit of a groupie for two weeks. I knew it was a passing phase. I was 23, we lived in different worlds, but he gave me an experience that I’ll never forget. We were whisked out of back doors of hotels, flying in private jets, David hiding from fans under a rug in the limousine. It was like being in the movies.


My life with the Beastie Boys

My first concert with the Beastie Boys was in New York City. They were a punk band back then. They released a great punk single, “Polly Wog Stew”. I imported it to the record store in Copenhagen, where I worked. We probably sold around 20 copies.

Then they made a record called “Cooky Puss”. Back then, we still used landlines (and I used a telex machine to order the vinyl records from around the world!). And telephone calls often showed up in songs. This track was especially good. Both entertaining and funky, I personally pushed this record hard in Copenhagen in the eighties. We probably sold a couple of boxes of the 12″ single.

Then they got signed to Def Jam. And Def Jam had a deal with Columbia Records (CBS in Europe). The underground days were over. Their first single for Def Jam was “Rock Hard”. Heavy beats and snotty rap. I don’t think the record company had any idea what to do with it. Initially, it was not released in Europe. I imported the American 12″ single. Sold a couple of boxes of that. Then all hell broke loose.

The first album came out and it was a blockbuster. Now, the record company got interested. It went to number 1 on the Billboard charts. But of course the artist did not get payed. They never made an album for that record company again.

The next single was “She’s On It”. It was a mix of their old punk rock days and their new found hip hop stardom.

I remember seeing The Beastie Boys live again in London at a big event in Brixton. It was a double concert with Run DMC. It was the biggest thing in London that year. All the famous people were there. I remember drinking beer – a lot of beer! – with the actor Matt Dillon [check this movie scene!] in the VIP room. It was fun times. It was good times.

Then came all the hit singles, “Fight for your right…” and so on. The Beastie Boys were huge and a teenage phenomenon.

Then came the “difficult” second album. It turned out to be their masterpiece. “Paul’s Boutique” was a landmark album. Not only in hip hop, but in modern pop music. Again, the new record company Capitol Records (EMI) had no clue. But at least they stuck with the band and continued to release their music. And paying them, I guess. Also, financially supporting their upcoming own label, I think.

Later in life, the Beastie Boys made their own record label, Grand Royal Records. They released the first album by one of my favourite artists, Sean Ono Lennon. Here is the first single with a music video directed by Spike Jonze:

Here is a moving tweet from Sean.

Adam Yauch. You will be missed. R.I.P.

Levon Helm R.I.P.

Levon Helm’s second album for ABC was cut in the summer of 1977, at Cherokee Studios in Hollywood and Muscle Shoals Sound in Alabama. Produced by master bassman Donald “Duck” Dunn (from the Blues Brothers Band and Booker T. Jones’ MGs), the album ended up as a mixture of New Orleans funk, like Allen Toussaint’s “Play Something Sweet” and country-soul balladry as in the version of Tony Joe White’s “I Came Here To Party”. The overall impression of the album is that there are too many songs unsuitable for Helm’s distinctive vocal style, the exception beeing the wonderful version of the Cate Brothers song “Standing on a Mountain Top”, with Earl and Ernie Cate howling soulfully along with Levon. [Source]

The Last Days of Kurt Cobain

Morrison Hotel Gallery presents Jesse’s amazing Kurt Cobain photographic collection at our SoHo Gallery on April 5th. While earning a degree in economics at the University of Michigan, Jesse Frohman picked up a camera and never put it down. When he returned to New York, he had no formal training or experience, but he did have a portfolio of platinum prints, which caught the interest of legendary photographer Irving Penn, who hired Jesse to manage his studio. It was an incomparable apprenticeship. To the techniques and aesthetics he learned from Penn, Jesse added his own sensibilities of strength, dignity and quiet energy, all of which are evident in his pictures. Jesse has photographed countless celebrities and still lifes. In addition to his work for magazines, advertising, and recording companies, he has been commissioned to create two award-winning books. His work is also in many private collections. [Source]