Eager to keep her happy, Atlantic Records renegotiated a bigger contract just over a year after she signed with the label in The track itself is peppery, full of piping horns and hot rhythm, and gathers much of its power from a Muscle Shoals-centered unit that included Bobby Womack on guitar. Franklin cries out the words until they feel like a blur while the Sweet Inspirations shout and support in the background. Who could refuse?
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But the second track on her Atlantic debut LP finds Aretha as wretchedly miserable as its predecessor is powerful and uplifting. Franklin is subtly masterful, injecting alarm into her voice when she sings about finding Carmen with the devil and inserting melismatic runs into the second chorus. It was also the last track to be recorded at FAME Studios: a racially charged argument cut those sessions short. A few weeks after, Franklin, with the help of her sisters Carolyn and Emma as well as Cissy Houston, laid down her vocal and piano.
She and Erma and Carolyn laid down the vocal harmonies, an arrangement from heaven. She ran it down once. Thank God I had pressed that record button, because the rundown was unworldly. Otherwise, [listeners] might not let me get to the first verse.
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Despite the sometimes-sexist ways in which the phrase has been used, Franklin has embraced it. I think that women have to be strong. The song, which was released as the lead single to her album Lady Soul , depicts a woman in thrall to a man. But Franklin hardly sounds submissive, instead sounding vibrant and strong. Six days later, she sat at the piano at the New York studios of Atlantic Records, pounding the piano and singing about freedom. Black America was telling white America to think [about] what they were doing.
The song spoke to everyone. Where do we go now? And I just happened to be the one to formulate this little pattern. Many of the songs she would bring in — basically the cake was in the oven; all you had to do was bake it. That is, except a bridge. The longer she was away, the more desperate her fans grew, counting the agonising years as if waiting for their husbands to return from war.
Her absence has only underlined her importance. In , when year-old Zara Larsson wanted to take her homegrown success stateside, American label executives kept telling her about this other Swedish teenager who broke through there when Larsson was in utero. When Lorde and her co-producer Jack Antonoff performed on Saturday Night Live last year, they placed a framed photograph of Robyn on the piano.
Two days after the party at Pikes, I met Robyn at the villa she was renting at the top of a slalom-like path through the densely wooded Ibiza hills. As we talked, overlooking the pool and a raked gravel garden, friends emerged from their rave cocoons to receive a plate of eggs from her confidante and collaborator Adam Bainbridge AKA British producer Kindness. The air smelled like hot cedar.
Despite the 31C heat, and having spent the past week clubbing and working, Robyn, wearing a white smock over a complicated white swimsuit, looked unfairly like an embodiment of the surrounding calm. But it may not necessarily be exactly what they wanted. There were periods, during its making, where Robyn no longer felt at home crafting tidy pop songs.
She felt no pressure to repeat her biggest hits or embody the hustler persona that informed them. She knows how desperately fans want her back. Although there was no grand plan, if anything, she hoped her absence might be instructive in an always-on era fed by a constant cultural drip. Not make it too easy.
My Love Must Wait
She shrugged off a question about the band on her ring finger. Instead, her songs function as talismans affirming the nobility of heartbreak and the importance of standing by your convictions without needing to know anything about hers. In a Robyn song, you have the right to desolate heartbreak and the perfectly valid urge to stalk your ex to make triple-sure it is over. This connection is how Robyn always wanted fans to relate to her music, as she did with Kate Bush in the s. But her new album necessitated personal revelations.
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In , Robyn started psychoanalysis to unpick how childhood fame had shaped her self-image and relationships. Or what if she was too much? That sounds like something said by celebrities who have been to therapy and returned as shiny new pennies, but, in person, Robyn lacks the canned self-awareness of the therapy evangelist, venturing hesitantly but candidly into personal topics. The indomitable cyborg persona that fans perhaps mistakenly projected onto her has been replaced by a steady softness: her hair no longer the shocked mullet of recent years, but softly shaped and centre-parted.
Robyn Is Here, her debut album, was a commercial and critical success. But her biggest influence may have been provoking the signing of Britney Spears. After the platinum-certified success of her debut in Sweden, the record label Jive had tried to sign Robyn in the US, but she turned them down. The alternative they found was a year-old American named Britney Spears. Baby One More Time. For years a rumour has circulated that Robyn was offered the song before Spears. Besides, it could never have been a Robyn song: it is too submissive compared with the lyrics that Robyn wrote herself, which preached TLC-inspired self-respect and sex-positivity.
It is true that after signing Spears, her label demonstrated — just as its executives had promised — how to transform teenage blonds into pop icons. Britney became a cautionary tale about extracting massive commercial gain from a young woman at massive personal cost.
Robyn had two US hits and disappeared. Working in the US as a teenager, she felt isolated. There were no collaborators her age, no recourse if she was burned out. Adults treated her as a troublesome child: in a Swedish documentary, a male RCA associate recalled pinning her to the floor when she was upset. Robyn returned to Sweden in to make her introspective second album, My Truth.
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Ned Doheny. Postcards From Hollywood.
The thoroughfare then loses itself in twists and turns before disappearing into the Hollywood Hills north of Sunset—a fitting metaphor for the dominant Doheny family and its Los Angeles notoriety, which waned just as the Strip exploded in the mid s. Doheny Jr. For some reason, my guitar and the radio were in tune. That just made my eyebrows disappear. I just tried to comp the changes and stay out of the way. That fall, Doheny took his shaky grades and poised electric guitar to the University of California Santa Barbara, to fumble his way through a murky liberal arts program.
In lieu of diploma, Ned received a letter from the draft board, which caused a rift in his storied family, as the scion had all but made up his mind to dodge the duffle-bag drop, angering his father in the process. With important albums for Paul Butterfield, Kaleidoscope, and the Holy Modal Rounders visible in his rearview mirror, Friedman steered toward changing the fortunes of German-born year-old Elektra staff writer Jackson Browne.
source url Barry was looking for somebody to play with someone named Jackson Browne, who I thought must be some middle-aged blues man. Imagine my surprise when we met in Laurel Canyon and here was this scrawny Anglo kid who looked like a refugee from Boyle Heights. Amidst celebrity encounters and glittering orgies, music was being made. And this gave Friedman an idea. Take talented kids out of the struggles of trying to make it in the city, give them fresh air, good food, and the freedom to create whatever music came to them.