What, exactly, is a headphone album? Well, the definition changes depending on who you are. For audiophiles, a headphone album is a work that is so exquisitely recorded that it demands that you have to listen to each beautifully recorded note under a sonic microscope. Something like Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue fits that bill.
Today, Guitar World checks in with Jethro Tull and tracks down what we feel are the legendary British band's 10 greatest guitar moments. As always, our list digs deep into the band's six-string artistry (a staggering amount of which was provided by the great Martin Barre and, of course, Ian Anderson), while taking historical importance and other factors into account.
Highlights included an arena-sized version of “Stranger in This Town” and a thundering “Seven Years Gone,” featuring exciting fretwork from both Sambora and Orianthi. While Ori gave Richie most of spotlight, she wasn’t shy when it was her turn to solo. Her incredible technique and more trebly, biting tone lit a fire under the frontman’s ass, who clearly enjoyed being challenged.
“I knew the only way to do this project properly was to leave no stone unturned and to listen to every Led Zeppelin tape and performance,” Jimmy Page says emphatically. “Additionally, I really researched what had been bootlegged and what stolen material had surfaced, and I was determined to offer things people had never heard."
Since Rhoads' death in 1982, after perishing in a freak plane accident while on tour with Ozzy Osbourne, the blonde guitar icon has been portrayed as something of a neutered, Christ-like figure. Tales of his legendary kindness, patience and extreme dedication have made him seem more like a holy man than a rock and roller.
After Chilton left the Box Tops, he formed Big Star, a legendary cult band who many consider to be Ground Zero for American “power pop,” the melody-driven sub-genre that has been a staple of indie rock for decades. The irony is that despite the group’s fantastic songs and jangly guitar arrangements, Big Star never became big stars.
It’s no insult to the band to say that Kiss have always been about window dressing. That’s why Paul Stanley’s new autobiography, Face The Music: A Life Exposed, comes as such a surprise. After years of carefully maintaining his Starchild superhero identity, Stanley lets down his guard and unleashes a torrent of pent-up feelings that erupt and flow over 400 pages like molten lava.
The Allman Brothers Band was largely Duane’s conception, and it was his unflagging energy and incredible guitar playing that drove them to mesmerizing heights as they blended rock, jazz, blues and country in new and exciting ways. Unfortunately, the guitarist was killed in a motorcycle accident in October of ’71 just as the band was achieving large-scale commercial recognition.
Charlie “Bird” Parker is another “shredder” from the past worth investigating. Parker flamed out way too soon in 1955, but his shadow still looms large on the contemporary jazz landscape. Jazz writer Stanley Crouch spent the last 20 years researching this amazing figure, and captures him in all of his high-flying glory in Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker.
I know thinking about the state of music in 2013 certainly hasn’t helped my state of mind. Bad pop is so pervasive in our culture that even if you want to avoid cornball showbiz garbage like Miley Cyrus, The Voice, Imagine Dragons and the preposterously pitch-corrected mewlings of Katy Perry, it’s damn near impossible.