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Richie Unterberger


  • Grizzly Bear End Their 'Shields' Tour at Outside Lands

    Band wraps up in San Francisco after a year on the road

    • Music
  • Kronos Quartet Backs Paul McCartney on 'Yesterday' at Outside Lands

    Beatles favorite gets a faithful live string treatment at Golden Gate Park

    • Music
  • Beck Cruises Through Catalog at 'Surprise' San Francisco Show

    Makes no mention at Bimbo's of new song-reader project

    • Music
  • Voodoo Chile

    "Voodoo Chile" took the funky blues of greats like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker into the psychedelic age, the 15-minute track putting Jimi Hendrix's guitar improvisations into a loose jam-like setting. Backing him were Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady (subbing for usual Experience bassist Noel Redding) and Traffic's […]

    • Music
  • Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

    An incessantly snappy pop-soul tune powered by handclaps, tambourine, female backup harmonies and an infectious chorus, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" became one of the biggest hits of the mid-1980s. George Michael wrote the song based on a note posted over bandmate Andrew Ridgeley's bed. "I just wanted to make a really energetic pop […]

    • Music
  • I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives

    Original Pink Floyd leader Syd Barrett had hardly been seen in public for about a decade whenTelevision Personalities claimed to know his whereabouts in the indie pop-folk ditty "I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives," the pastoral atmosphere of the Barrett-esque tune enhanced by constant bird chirps. The band was removed as the supporting act on […]

    • Music
  • Road to Nowhere

    A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his […]

    • Music
  • Love Child

    One of Motown's first hits with a socially conscious theme, "Love Child," dressed in a catchy melody and carefully orchestrated arrangement, told the story of a young woman stigmatized after getting born out of wedlock. It was written over the course of a weekend by British lyricist Pam Sawyer, guitarist Deke Richards, singer R. Dean […]

    • Music
  • Don't Get Me Wrong

    A lively, throbbing, insistent beat paced Chrissie Hynde's declaration of the thrilling sensations she felt when in someone's proximity, glowing interwoven guitar and keyboard riffs mirroring her mood. While it seemed on the surface to be a love song, if a somewhat indirect one, Hynde said that she had tennis star John McEnroe in mind […]

    • Music
  • Hanky Panky

    Tommy James' first hit was raw garage rock urging his baby to do the "Hanky Panky," accentuated by wavering raunchy guitar notes at the end of the choruses. Hit songwriting team Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich wrote it in 20 minutes for a 1963 B side by their studio group the Raindrops; James first heard […]

    • Music