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Bee Gees – Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb

The Bee Gees where one of the most popular music acts from the 60s through the 80s. Their music varied from being highly influenced by the Beatles to progressive pop and dance music. The group is also known as one of music’s most successful brother acts. They started their music careers early in their life by singing in between shows in Manchester, England in 1955. The family eventually moved to Australia and the three singing brothers became known as the “Brothers Gibb”. This name was later simplified to the Bee Gees. The Bee Gees released many hit singles but they didn’t achieve their most recognizable dance/disco sound until 1977 when they released a sound track to the movie “Saturday Night Fever”. The soundtrack feature three singles that topped charts week after week: “Night Fever,” “Stayin’ Alive,” and “How Deep is Your Love.” – Source: Bruce Eder, The All Music Guide. 

In the Bee Gee’s song “Night Fever,” how would you characterize the brother’s singing style?

A)Deep and soul-full

B)Raspy and guttural

C)Similar to the Doo Wop vocal style

D)In falsetto (high-pitched “false voice”) male vocal range.

The Killers – Brandon Flowers (vocals/keyboards), David Keuning (guitar), Mark Stoermer (bass), Ronnie Vannucci (drums)

Few bands in the early 2000s rose so quickly to the forefront of pop music as the Killers. With a mix of ’80s-styled synth pop and fashionista charm, the band’s street-smart debut, Hot Fuss, became one of 2004’s biggest releases, spawning four singles, “Somebody Told Me,” “Mr. Brightside,” “Smile Like You Mean It,” and “All These Things That I’ve Done,” and catapulting the group into the international spotlight. Hot Fuss earned the Killers five Grammy nominations and sold over five million copies. Their second album Sam’s Town, deemphasized the group’s new wave sensibilities in favor of something more akin to the heartland rock of Bruce Springsteen and Rattle and Hum-era U2. The highly anticipated release of Sam’s Town in early October 2006 brought sales of over 700,000 copies worldwide during its first week, and spawned three U.S. singles “When You were Young,” “Bones” and “For Reasons Unknown” gaining the Killers two more Grammy nominations. Sawdust, a collection of B-sides, rarities, and remixes, followed one year later, serving as a stopgap recording between the band’s proper studio albums. The Killers then returned in 2008 with Day & Age, which eschewed the Americana tangents of Sam’s Town in favor of pop pastiches and sleek, oddball dance-rock. The band’s return to the dance floor style and the Top 40 single “Human” helped the Killers continue their commercial streak. A lengthy tour carried the band into 2009, which also saw the release of the concert album Live from the Royal Albert Hall. Solo work comprised many of the next few years, including Brandon Flowers’ Flamingo, Ronnie Vannucci’s Big Talk, and Mark Stoermer’s Another Life. After reconvening in early 2011, the band got to work on its fourth studio album, enlisting a small army of notable producers, including Daniel Lanois, Steve Lillywhite, Damian Taylor, Stuart Price, and Brendan O’Brien. The resulting Battle Born was released in September, 2012. In early 2013, the band announced that they would be releasing their first greatest-hits collection later that year. Entitled Direct Hits, the November release featured two newly recorded songs, “Shot at Night” and “Just Another Girl,” which were produced by M83 and Stuart Price, respectively. – Source: Andrew Leahey, The All Music Guide.

The Killer’s song “When You Were Young” begins with an open guitar chord and four bars of driving rock ‘n’ roll before the famous two-part hook (theme) enters. The two-part hook is made up of a short catchy guitar, or keyboard lick that is answered immediately with an almost identical lick making up the “two-part hook.” How many times is this two-part hook played in “When You Were Young” (slight variations of the “hook” should be counted)?





The Police – Gordon Sumner, aka Sting, (vocals and bass guitar), Andy Summers (electric guitar) and Stewart Copeland (drums).

Formed in 1976, The Police were originally regarded as part of the burgeoning new wave scene. However they always displayed a greater level of musicianship than their punk counterparts, and developed a brand of melodic, reggae-influenced, energetic rock. As the band’s principal songwriter, Sting produced a number of well-crafted pop songs, which conveyed the group’s unique sound. Early hits such as Roxanne and Can’t Stand Losing You (both 1979) featured Sting’s West-Indian style voice, sparse clean rhythm guitar lines and reggae-derived bass and drum parts, while other tracks from the album Outlandos d’Amour (A&M, 1978), including Peanuts and Next to You, were more straightforward rock songs propelled by Copeland’s energetic drumming. By the time of their second album, Regatta De Blanc (A&M, 1979), the Police were arguably the most successful band in the UK, seen, with Sting’s melodic songs, as successors to the Beatles. Message in a Bottle and Walking on the Moon were both UK number one hits in 1979. In the early 1980s the Police achieved global success with Ghost in the Machine (A&M, 1981), which included the single Invisible Sun, a comment on the conflict in Northern Ireland. Their final album, Syncronicity (A&M, 1983), contained the most stylistically diverse set of songs, but still with the group’s unmistakable sound, notably the pop standard Every Breath You Take, and Tea in the Sahara which featured Summers’ impressionistic chordal washes. Vital to their success were the photogenic good looks of Sting and their mastery of the emergent medium of pop video. The band split up in 1986, as each member pursued solo projects. – Source: David Buckley, Grove Music Online.

Listen to the song Roxanne and the characteristic pop-reggae style of the Police and identify which of the following are true in this song (must answer all correct for credit)…

Select Answer(s):

A)Roxanne begins with very sparse instrumentation

B)Heavy distortion is used on the guitar throughout the song

C)Drums play a straight ahead rock groove in the choruses

D)Sting tells Roxanne she HAS to put on her red light

E)Roxanne is about Sting wanting a girl to leave prostitution

F)Backing singers harmonize the lyric “Roxanne”

G)Sting tells Roxanne she does NOT have to put on her red light

H)There is a long open guitar solo in the song

I)The song ends with a “fade out.”

J)Saxophones accompany the chorus of Roxanne

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