Archive for the ‘1998’ Category

After the initial success of Cake’s 1996 hit “The Distance,” the release of their follow up album PROLONGING THE MAGIC (1998) generated some negative reviews. A writer for The Times in London predicted Cake would go down as ‘one-hit wonders’ and were little more than an above average bar-room act. Wrong. “Never There” went to the top of Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks. Cake has shared the secret to their unique sound: cheap guitars. Guitarist Xan McCurdy states “Front man/guitarist John McCrea’s guitar is a shitty old starter guitar from the ’60s. They probably made a million of them off an assembly line. We never get the exact same tone twice.” Maybe he’ll have it with him when Cake performs in downtown Cleveland this weekend at the InCuya Music Festival.

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Count me as a long-time Julian Lennon fan — He has made a lot of outstanding music walking in the steps of some really big shoes and expectations, plus he’s just a good dude. Julian scored immediate commercial success with his debut record VALOTTE (1984) earning a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, two Top 10 singles and certified Platinum with over a million albums sold. But it would take another 14 years for him to make what he feels was the ‘1st real Julian Lennon album.’ After leaving the music business for several years in the 90s, Lennon came back with time and space to work on his 5th solo effort PHOTOGRAPH SMILE (1998). He was able to make the record exactly as he wanted and seemed to wear the undeniable influence and sound of his father John in a way he is most comfortable. The results achieved very little commercial success but the songs are well-crafted with obvious melodic formulas and instrumentation so reminiscent of his Dad’s famous band – yet somehow Julian still makes it his own. This lead off track captures the most famous Beatle-kid, now 53 years old, at his best.