August 24, 1997 |
Billy Joel is trying to reconstruct the moment a few months ago when he discovered, after 15 albums in 25 years, that he'd lost the desire to write pop songs. He's sitting at a stately grand piano in a cozy room at Steinway Hall, the museum-like shrine where people like Billy Joel go to test-drive really good pianos. He paws at the keys like a piano-bar veteran easing into a quiet introduction. Pretty soon, he feels comfortable. "It was totally out of the blue," he recalls in the blunt, declarative voice that powered hits like "Uptown Girl" and "Allentown.
March 16, 1990 |
Like 13-year-olds cranking up the stereo to send a message to bickering parents, those involved in the escalating debate over record labeling are doing whatever it takes these days to make themselves heard. In the last year, as labeling legislation has gone from conservative pipe dream to serious consideration in at least 10 statehouses, including Pennsylvania's, everyone has become an expert on the subject of song lyrics. Especially those found in rap and heavy-metal music.
October 17, 1995 |
Doug King is working the phone in his cluttered Cherry Hill office. The soft Mozart concerto in the background seems incongruous to this guy in a wide-lapel suit and aviator glasses. He sips McDonald's coffee and pulls on a Marlboro Light while he schmoozes and pumps his product in a deep, raspy voice. "This is happening right now and this is going to be big, really big," he says with the conviction of a man who made his career in the music business. For nearly 30 years, he promoted and produced songs that are mostly forgotten.
December 29, 1991 |
This year, the discourse of popular music was not carried out in song. It was on the front pages, in the business section, in the gossip columns. It wasn't exactly scholarly, and it didn't always rhyme. With the exception of Ice Cube's intentionally incendiary calls to violence against Koreans and Jews, what the artists said on their albums got little attention. The million-dollar deals they made, the extravagant (and often less-than-successful) tours they mounted, the exhaustive boxed sets they issued - these were the newsworthy bits.
January 9, 2013 |
You're going to hear sooner or later, and feel rather old when you do: The Beatles' first single, "Love Me Do," is now in the public domain, at least in Europe. How could that be? Though not the most durable Beatles song, it hardly seems to be from another time, though given the passage of 50 years, it most certainly is. Remember '60s hysteria? The kids who wrote "Beatles" on their contact lenses because they couldn't think about anything else? The girls who saved the Kleenex tissues into which they'd wept at the Shea Stadium concert?
June 4, 2010
Inquirer critic Dan DeLuca writes about pop music at .