Zooropa! Zevon! Ziggy! Zeppelin Too! Music With A Hard Rocking Chord Of “Z”!
I’ve been looking at music from “A-Z” – and that means either the Artist or the song begin with a “Z”!
Let’s look at some classic “Z” music – and Eminem too! I’ll share his great take on a cult “Z” band in a moment, but first, time to drink a “Pina Colada at Trader Vics!”
Warren Zevon – Werewolves Of London”
He is one of our great singer/songwriters, known for songs like “Lawyers Guns And Money”, “Searching For A Heart” and “Muhammad’s Radio”, but these may be his most revered lyrics:
“I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s
His hair was perfect
Werewolves of London again
Werewolves Of London…
“Excitable Boy” was Warren Zevon’s biggest album, and here is the wonderful “Werewolves Of London” music video with Warren:
When Zevon was diagnosed with cancer, he went on David Letterman’s show and told us to “enjoy every sandwich”…click here to see that moment:
Another music legend also died too young, and created an alter ego that is still iconic today:
“Ziggy Stardust” by David Bowie
It was Bowie’s fifth album, released in 1972, and it heralded the debut of a new figure in rock and roll, his alter ego Ziggy Stardust:
Here’s how Bowie described it:
“What I did with my Ziggy Stardust was package a totally credible, plastic rock & roll singer – much better than the Monkees could ever fabricate,” David Bowie later said of his definitive alter ego. “I mean, my plastic rock & roller was much more plastic than anybody’s. And that was what was needed at the time.”
As Rolling Stone said just last year:
“In fact, what Bowie concocted on 1972’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars was more than just a fresh, clever concept. Ziggy was a tight and cohesive song cycle that laid out a visionary direction for pop music, setting a new standard for rock & roll theatricality while delivering his synthetic ideal with campy sex appeal and raw power.”
This video is from a terrific BBC documentary on the making of “Ziggy Stardust”:
Thanks to “Mister Sussex” on YouTube for putting this together from a variety of sources, and he synched it with the version of the song performed live in Santa Monica in 1972.
Bowie’s death stunned music fans.
Here is a look at some of the incredible music and movies he left us:
U2 also had a song with a “Z”:
Honestly, I had forgotten about this album, U2’s 8th, released in 1993….but I put it on the other day and it’s a gem from start to finsih, beginning with the title track!
Here is the video for “Zooropa”:
Up next is a cult song from the 60’s that was resurrected brilliantly by Eminem:
The Zombies – “Time Of The Season”
It was the psychedelic 60’s, and The Zombies captured it perfectly with this iconic hit with the instantly memorable lyrics!
“What’s your name?
Who’s your daddy?
Is he rich like me?
Has he taken, any time
To show you what you need to live
Tell it to me slowly (tell me what)
I really want to know
It’s the time of the season for loving”
Lead Singer Rod Argent wrote this smash hit, which was recorded at Abbey Road studios in 1967, and released in 1968, where it reached #3 on the Billboard charts…and it reached a whole new generation of fans thanks to this guy:
Eminem sampled the iconic hook from the song for his “Rhyme Or Reason”, but he did more than that, he integrated the lyrics too!
Eminem’s “Rhyme Or Reason” made great use of the song’s great hook!
Here is the music video:
I’m a huge Eminem fan, along with everyone else on this list, including the greatest rock’n’roll band of all time!
Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin – “Stairway To Heaven”
Yes, I might be breaking the rules, but we all know them as Zeppelin, and since it’s my list, let’s not forget they were the greatest rock and roll band of all time! I mean, who else looked like this onstage!
The song is a classic of course, with incredible lyrics, like those that end the song:
“And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll”
“To Be A Rock And Not To Roll…” Indeed!
Such a great song.
Here they are performing “Stairway To Heaven” live in 1975:
A few years ago, the terrific Heart – Ann and Nancy Wilson, performed the song live at The Kennedy Center Honors for the band – here’s a link to that story and incredible video:
While I love this song, and this band, I did post a story that stated it was only the 2nd greatest song in rock history – click here to see what’s my #1:
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