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Dennis Wilson, "Farewell My Friend"

Posted on Tuesday 9 September 2008

Dennis Wilson (9-Dec-1944) was the womanizing, wild and problematic of the three brothers, the black sheep in a family clan where over time you would see that no sheep was just white. He felt a special passion for the sea, fishing and surfing, attractions attached to the music he combined delighted with the girls, cars and drugs. In a family where music was part of everyday life (his father, and frustrated composer tyrant according to all accounts, played the piano, his mother's body), it was not uncommon to see Wilson brothers performing songs in the school holidays or at family gatherings, especially on a Friday afternoon. His interest, hobbies and rebellion made Dennis did not show many powers or interest as his brothers. I had to intercede for his mother to accept him in the band who would go down in history as The Beach Boys. Besides participating in the voices, they decided to offer the post of battery, but it was not always that the instrument recorded on discs. Being the only surfing was logical to be the most influenced by all the fashion that emerged around this sport: girls, sun, holidays and music, instrumental Dick Dale and the Deltones spearhead. Told the group how much fun it would be to write a song about that youth fashion, giving birth to what would become the band's first hit, "Surfin." Over time, though I often got into fights and the odd car accident, ended up becoming a good performer, learned to play the piano and although it was certainly the most limited of the brothers to sing, Dennis supplied the deficiencies of his voice with high doses of privacy and an enviable ability to achieve thrilling. It debuted as a composer when the fame of the Beach Boys traded downward and upward British Invasion, it was the end of the decade of the 60s, the heyday of the hippies and psychedelia. Brian Wilson's shadow is blurred at times, drawing the other loopholes components to start showing the brightness of your lights. The first song composed by all the Beach Boys without Brian Wilson collaboration on the 1967 album "Wild Honey" (this is the theme of "How She Boogalooed It"). The following album, "Friends" (1968), Dennis Wilson signed his first compositions without the involvement of his brothers, simple but great emotional depth ("Little Bird" and "Be Still", the latter just overwhelmed with voice and keyboard), where excesses were beginning to show on his vocal cords. Friend risk at this time Dennis did not averse to any substance or party and whether women through better. They were just two friends of Charles Manson which led him to befriend this lunatic character friendship that almost cost him his life to him and his child ("I'm the luckiest guy in the world because I got out of this losing hardly any money "). Both his career like the Beach Boys were very touched by the discovery of his relationship with this murderer.
Dennis reached the compositional maturity at the turn of the decade and record label, demonstrating his talent in the first Beach Boys album for Warner, much more collective and less direct involvement of Brian (although this continued to offer him, of course, some of the best pearls of the disc), the one entitled "Sunflower" (1970), which deserves special mention Dennis composition "Forever" exciting ballad with all the ingredients to become a classic, standing at the height of the best songs of the group. In 1971 road movie directed by Monte Hellman "Two-Lane Blacktop" ("two-way paved road") in which Dennis played one of the lead roles as "The Mechanic" was published. That same year in an accident with a glass door was cut several tendons of the hand, which prevented him from playing drums for five years. Reappears in the credits as writer and producer on the album "Carl And The Passions - So Tough", released in 1972 ("Carl & The Passions" was one of the names of the group before calling Beach Boys) with two songs that elevate the disc of sewage for which browse most of the time: "Make It Good" and especially that closes the album "Cuddle Up", intimate, heartbreaking at times, a masterpiece that would look on the back solo album "Pacific Ocean Blue". We found another gem to place on the altar of the best ballads on the album "Holland" (1973), "Only With You" this time sung by his brother Carl. In 1974 he collaborated with Billy Preston on the composition of the song "You Are So Beautiful", which would become famous Joe Cocker and Dennis sing in many concerts as a tribute to their fans.
We must not forget that the punk and new wave were imposed between news magazines and music stations in 1977, when the first album was released solo a member of the Beach Boys, the "Pacific Ocean Blue" by Dennis Wilson, that while it had good reviews, it was ok but poor public response. No music was fashionable, even it could be seen in many ways as a review of previously developed and styles. But, as often happens with things in which one delivers it all, time took care to make glistening with increasing intensity the whole personality, talent and excitement that contained their grooves. He became a cult album and today it is no longer unusual to see him in the lists of the best albums of the rock. Dennis was involved throughout the full charge of the process composition, arrangement, production, vocals, keyboards and drums (with the notable collaboration Gregg Jakobson, family and abundant wind musicians, choirs, bass and guitar). In this work he gave his soul, in the chaos that had become his life managed to find the pulsating spirit of some flowers destroyed years ago. He speaks of desires in the great "River Song", from his love of rock and roll in "What's Wrong" and "Friday Night" (this with an introduction that clearly reminds the "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" by Pink Floyd group I personally think floating in songs and sounds of this album), love and loneliness in the heartbreaking "Thoughts Of You" and "Time" (Randy Newman, also born in Los Angeles, inevitably comes to my mind also in several Songs of this work), Ecology in "Pacific Ocean Blue" color and hope in "Rainbows" inevitable goodbyes in atmospheric and great "Farewell My Friend", dreams and reality in "Dreamer" or that closes the album "End Of The Show" with a touchingly broken voice. Embraced by a sumptuous production and exquisite arrangements the beating heart is that of a disk of shadows and solitude, away from the sun and joy, where the only lights that shine are the moon and hope.
The new edition of the album, released this year, is made with love and care. In addition to the excellent presentation, photos and information, provides abundant new material, with special emphasis on the songs of the album was preparing before his death, "Bambu" (before the investigations for this reissue was known as "Bamboo"). These issues generally less dark and I personally seem less emotional intensity, with the feeling that leave me that often accompanies such reissues: are interesting, exciting even sometimes to quench the enthusiasm and the completist urge, but at no time exceed what has been heard (for the moment I'll stick with "Love Remember Me", "Wild Situation", "Album Tag Song", and especially the bonus "Tug Of Love" and the version played this time by him of "Only With You").
The release of the solo album did not mean to stop belonging to the Beach Boys, he continued as a member of the band with its ups and downs for problems caused by drug abuse, expulsions and reconciliations, delivering two good compositions for the album of the Beach Boys " LA Light Album "of 1979, which had provided for" Bambu "," Love Surrounds Me "and" Baby Blue ".
In 2007 went on sale the documentary DVD "Dennis Wilson Forever," a review of his life through interviews with people who knew him closely, produced and directed by his brother Billy Hinsche, component group Dino, Desi & Billy, as well as multi-instrumentalist accompany the Beach Boys and other formations (I have not yet had the chance to see it).
Rebellious and charismatic, with their five marriages divorces (including Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac), five children, Dangerous Liaisons, several unsuccessful attempts to rehabilitate a fortune spent uncontrollably reaching lose one of his most cherished possessions : the sailboat "Harmony", expulsions several of the band coming to blows with his cousin Mike Love, who decided to hire bodyguards to you are not closer, especially when he was drinking "orange juice" (used to use it to mix the vodka) . Fulfilled to the letter the slogans "Live fast, die young and have a nice body" or "Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll" accompanying strong dose of self-destructive generosity. People who knew him knew he was not made to last, so the news of his death on December 28, 1983 only surprise was somewhat expected. In one of his dives in Marina del Rey not surfaced. While conflict still continue. The family argued about where to bury him, if with his father or at sea; won those who thought he wanted to, in the Pacific Ocean, although this need the intercession of Ronald Reagan for permission. They also failed to agree on the farewell song or who read a story from the Bible, while his son Michael's funeral would have nightmares for years.
Finally, a family with problems and conflicts that will be remembered for composing a special soundtrack for his film as much for ours.

In this link you have a full page on Dennis and the other members of the Beach Boys (in Castilian)
Here a good story about everything surrounding his death (in English)
Here an interview in 1976 (in English)
In this other youtube a short TV interview the group in 1980, with Dennis ... somewhat "lost" is not of good quality but worth it. Pay attention to the greeting: "good morning" ... it's still morning ...

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Posted by jose / Filed in: Reviews

Leonard Cohen, Lisbon (19/07/2008)

Posted on Thursday July 24, 2008

(Passeio Maritime Algés, July 19, 2008)

(Note: the first part is personal-in gray rolls, to read the chronicle of the concert to start directly in black letter)

On 19 July, the newly released holiday in Galicia, I woke up remembering that day Leonard Cohen acted in Lisbon. He had not made ​​any plans to go to the concert, but I woke up with the idea that I had to take the opportunity, had no family or work that prevented me going to see problems. There were many miles and many hours of travel, but could not miss that opportunity, "why not ?, now or never." The concert had ruled Benicássim wanted a concert dedicated to him. I decided to go without knowing whether tickets would be, but something told me that there would be problems, the biggest drawback would find the site and on time. More than five hours in the car given to think many things, among them judge my way of acting. He would have preferred to have everything planned out weeks in advance, have enjoyed preparing such an important appointment, bring and spend the weekend with my wife also would have been a good idea, yet there I was alone, the adventure, as if youth had not gone through my life many years ago, with a camera that had caught late and could not check if it was loaded. I arrived in Portugal thanks to have an hour behind Spain, 50 minutes before the concert. When I said "YES" entries a huge weight had dropped to crush. I had time to eat anything I wanted to be ahead, watch it closely, a coke to scramble a bit, and there would be time after the concert to return to the earthly life.
Lately this page seems the Olympus of the gods of rock (Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen ...), I want to add one more to this polytheistic temple, as what was experienced there was a true act of fellowship and worship. In Lisbon, we were lucky to find paradise for a day, we hear passionate words of our God, beside six apostles were made ​​to levitate with the sound of their instruments, reaching ecstasy rocked by the chorus of three angels singing the message divine: do da do dowm dowm dowm dowm dowm ("Do not PAREIS" L. Cohen asked them).

As I read in the press we went from 8 to 9 billion people, from different countries, languages ​​and ages. Although in principle it was outdoors might seem inconvenient, the setting magically became the perfect setting, achieving moments of intimacy and silence difficult to imagine in a concert like this. Leonard Cohen point came on stage after the band members, all wearing dark suit, light shirt with them and hat. The first impression, plus see thinner and paler than I imagined, was to confirm what I already knew: "gee, if he is seen very old" but many years internalizing his music and his books made my mind was seeing not something in the external environment but a reflection of a very important part of my life. Just start to sing her age disappeared, surprising the good condition of his voice, as always seductive cascade much less than I expected (was broken only in a few intense moments). Every gesture he made, every word he uttered was unanimously followed by laughter, shouts and applause, not missing repeatedly launching, red carnations as significant in a country like Portugal. We saw a man who radiated magic and mysticism, with a soft smile full of humility and unlimited power of attraction. Excitement, joy, choirs, silent tear ... had us completely in their hands, like waves in a bathtub he formed and waved his wise will. Even temperature and moon opposite the stage, which he said when any verse alluded to her, combined to make everything perfect. The essence of the concert was a rock show, but pushed to the limit of the personal, with influences from jazz, country, blues, pop and flamenco, but led at all times by the elegance and respect for the intelligence, the ear ( I sound so perfect!), the individual as physical and psychological whole. The repertoire was based primarily on its many successes, making a tour of most of their albums, with special prominence surely the "I'm your man." It began with the "Dance me to the end of love", kneeling before the virtuoso Javier Mas (acoustic guitar, lute, mandolin ...). On many occasions he used the "alone" of the band members to present and Hats off to them (that sounded good old -¿Hammond body - in the hands of Neil Larsen !, sensitivity and what the Dino Soldo on harp and flute and electric sax!), uncovering the head also to the public thanking each clap, implying that they were there (we were) important part of the trip. Among the best-known songs sounded (sorry do not remember the order) "Who by fire", "Everybody Knows", "Closing Time," "Bird on the Wire" ("like a little bird" change the lyrics), "Tower of Song "(with keyboard solo as simple as a characteristic to be applauded and, conscious of his little skill to keys acknowledged that we were too friendly ... more laughter)," First we take Manhattan ", a beautiful version of" Suzanne "with just voice and guitar (the Tagus River near the stage came the hair), the wonderful" Hey, that's no way to say goodbye "," The gipsy's wife "," I'm your man "chanted so loudly by the public to reach the chorus, "Democracy" (I think it was before I started this topic when he said, "is fortunate to have wonderful moments like these when there is so much chaos, darkness and sadness in the world"), "In my secret life ", the well-known" So Long Marianne ", a haunting" Hallelujah "(adding" I did not come to Lisbon to deceive ")," Take this waltz "before the stretch made all we tried to dance as best we could, and many more equally wonderful who joined us for almost 3 hours, with a break of 15 minutes and several encores of which came and went dancing, giving sympathetic increasingly energetic jumps, doing the work that King Jester, which happy child old man in suit, as if each song was a dose of elixir of youth.
It would be unfair not to mention, for their hard work and genius, the other musicians: Bob Metzger (guitar, steel guitar), Roscoe Beck (bass, bass) and Rafael Gayol (drums and percussion). The angels who were choirs also had stellar moments: Sharon Robinson on the song "Boogie Street" Webb Sisters and the interpretation of the exciting duet "If it be your will" (Hattie Webb harp and voice, guitar and vocals Charley Webb ). To end all sang in chorus the farewell as Leonard Cohen thanked us for such a memorable night.
When I learned that Spain had only acted in one hour doubly glad I have taken the decision to go to Portugal.

"Suzanne takes you to her place by the river,
You can hear the boats sail,
You can spend the night beside her.
You know she's half crazy
but that's why you want to be there "

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Posted by jose / Filed under: Concerts

The Dreadful Yawns - Rest

Posted on Sunday July 6, 2008

The Dreadful Yawns
(Exit Stencil Recordings 2007)

This is an album that was saved in the computer, which had once had scored some data that I found very interesting, but that time had almost completely forgotten. After further listens I have to say it still seems a wonderful album, floating point sound in its aromas Donovan, CSN & Y, Gram Parsons, Spiritualized, Mojave 3, Wilco, The Innocence Mission, Belle and Sebastian and Beachwood Sparks. So I think it's time to complete these notes. The quintet was formed in 1998 in Cleveland, Ohio, but his first album ("Early" Undertow Music) did not appear until 2003, turning the whole project around the singer / songwriter Ben Gmetro. After the critical success of the first job they were signed to the label Bomp! Records (the last band signed to Greg Shaw, founder of the legendary label that started in 1970 as a fully domesticated fanzine, died in 2004 with only 55 years), where they released an album of the same title in 2005, increasing the psychedelic influence his compositions, again garnering rave reviews and becoming more known to the public level. "Rest" is the CD released in 2007, produced by Ben Gmetro, after overcoming many problems of money, recording studios and music label. This is the first of two albums that were recorded for at Exit Stencil Recordings. If at first was conceived as an album of experimental rock, eventually it would transforming into an artistic statement full of arrangements, pedal steel, guitars finder-picked and wonderful vocal melodies, achieving a beautiful album of folk-rock-country- pop-psychedelia. It took about 2 years to complete and was recorded in 3 different studios, departing during this time 4 of the five original members of the band, leaving only Ben Gmetro (next to 4 completely new members): Ben Gmetro: vocals and guitar; Elizabeth Kelly: vocals, keyboards, bells, tambourine, Chris Russo: drums and vocals; Clayton Heuer: keyboards and violin; and Eric Schulte: guitar and vocals. In 2008 they have released the second album for the label Exit Stencil ("Take Shape"), with the same lineup as above and occasionally tightening sound. "Rest" is the album the group have heard more times and know better yet. Ten songs in just over half an hour. Among my favorite choose "candels" which even exceeds 7 minutes goes against my preferences (almost always for short subjects), in this case the ability of contagion that pushes you to hum it makes you forget the time (we know the good times fly by, and as you said Bo Diddley a book you can not judge by the cover), but I am also sure that if it became a hit and sounded continually has all the ingredients to get to hate. The songs revolve mainly in two directions, to the side a more country-folk (the wonderful "When I Lost My Voice", the trotona and denim, with banjo included, "Being used to you", or the successful version of Gram Parsons "November Nights"), more inclined to pop with varying doses of country, folk and psychedelia (among the most pop "You've Been Recorded", "Changing States" or the catchy and also with all the necessary ingredients for radiofórmulas sound in "Due South", among the most psychedelic or mental spaces reminiscent of the brilliant "Up We Go" seductive melodies wrapped by strings and atmospheric keyboards, and "End Of Summer" which closes the album with a characteristic saw musical accompaniment that brings an air of late summer, mosquitoes, heaviness, loneliness and lack of enthusiasm in the environment). A disc of exciting vocal harmonies rocked by acoustic guitars, steel guitar and inspired soundscapes made with the help of multiple instruments with fair notes at the right times.

The Dreadful Yawns MySpace

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Posted by jose / Posted in: Albums
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Hey! Bo Diddley, "The Originator" (1928 - 2008)

Posted on Sunday June 8, 2008

"Bo Diddley" was born on a cotton farm near McComb, Mississippi, on December 30, 1928, being baptized Ellas Bates. With 6 years was adopted by a cousin of his mother, also taking his last name and changing its name They McDaniel. Coinciding with the "Great African American Migration" (in poor areas of the south to the northern industrial cities of USA) moved to Chicago where he studied violin until his sister Lucille gave him an acoustic guitar. In this city lived the changes made to the blues, with the inclusion of electric instruments, drums, harmonica and occasionally saxophones. He would remain enamored of the sound of the electric guitar, he formed various groups that played in the spare time that left him with the various trades that earned a salary. A first recording for Chess Records in 1955 (with Bo Diddley songs and I'm a man), the success and smiled a fundamental band for the very special sound, highlighting Jerome Green on maracas and vocals, and his stepsister "The Duchess" accompanying electric guitar, not forgetting African drum beats and wild. Partner and frequent changes of address. Groups and multiple collaborations with leading artists, influenced by his style and music throughout the decades (Buddy Holly Rolling Stones, the Who to Bruce Springsteen, from Sex Pistols to Jesus & Mary Chain), hundreds of versions of his subjects (who do you love the one of the issues is less consistent and more different versions in music history), and recognition as the most outstanding popular music awards, have marked his career until 2 June 2008 when heart problems forced him to move out of the neighborhood, this time for good.
With a personal style, percussive, repetitive, raspy, tribal and distorted rhythms, became father of rhythm & blues, instrumental in the evolution of rock & roll and "creator" of a unique sound, the sound Bo Diddley, something very few have been able to achieve. While it was based on African rhythms, nobody had managed the sound and vibrations that your syncopated guitar and compositions transmitted. Without fanfare or technical virtuosity left for posterity riffs and rhythms that have become as classic, recorded in the unconscious lot of people who know but I could not mention the name of its author. In interpreting his songs, full of humor and enthusiasm, gave off a contagious and primitive force, fusing sound and movement, with the right amount of restraint and energy. I have not been lucky enough to attend one of his live concert, but I think it would definitely be one of the most powerful experiences. Until you can travel in time we'll have to settle for seeing video singing and playing his characteristic guitar Gretsh square "square-bodied", but for this occasion I preferred to choose two videos of his early days, before to design this guitar.

"Bo Diddley - Road Runner"

"Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley, 1955 (in the controversial Ed Sullivan Show)

Sure the angels are celebrating with convulsive dances and maracas in his hands, the arrival of black French and its fast pace. bee bee bam bam bam bam bam bee ...

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Posted by jose / Filed in: Reviews
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The Everly Brothers - Roots

Posted on Thursday May 22, 2008

The Everly Brothers
(Warner Brothers 1968)

This album is a time when Don and Phil Everly were cast out of paradise and had success a few years with significant personal and professional problems.
They had started in music when he was only had 6 and 8 years in the 40s, singing country with his parents, Ike and Margaret Everly, by different radio stations. They lived the change stations suffered when it was much cheaper to hire a person who punctured discs to pay several musicians playing live. In 1955, after graduating from high school, moved, and as a duo, to Nashville, where the support of Chet Atkins was instrumental in getting record deal. Columbia Records signed them for the first six months. After a few singles that did not have the slightest effect decided not renovárselo. Would the Cadence Records label in 1957, who would take the cat to water to provide a composition of marriage record Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, specializing in songs for teenagers. The song was "Bye Bye Love", which was not taken up on 29 occasions by other artists (including Elvis Presley). The Everly Brothers had decided to add arrangements prepared for another subject and record with Chet Atkins on electric guitar. He quickly placed in the top spot on the pop charts of country and R & B. The Don's deepest, with witches vocal harmonies to the mix of country and rock so personal, softer voice and Phil and his image of "suitable for all audiences", gave them a charm that did succumb, above all, the vast majority of teenagers at the time. They had opened the door to the harmonies of voices in rock & roll and helped change the vision and acceptance of this style, do not forget that at that time the rock & roll was considered cursed, rebellion and madness with bad taste without the slightest hint of quality only suitable for degenerate. Then came "Wake Up, Little Susie," "All I Have To Do Is Dream", "Bird Dog" or "Cathy's Clown", the latter written by themselves. Sales and successes did not stop growing, and numbers more millions were handled during this period. In 1960 they left with the inevitable dispute copyright, Cadence Records, to sign for a million dollars and 10-year contract with Warner Brothers (another unprecedented move, more knowing that in those years the success of most artists was measured by weeks or months). In 1962 began the crisis in his career, agreeing on one side with joining the Navy, and the other with an accident while on tour in the UK: Don collapsed, according to reports means a nervous breakdown, according to other by poisoning food poisoning, but the reality was that it was an overdose of narcotics addiction. Anyway, Phil was forced to continue the solo tour, and from there ... you would never be the same. Would alternate with other periods of separation reconciliation, with moments of greater or lesser success. Nor should we forget the appearance of the Beatles and other groups of the "British Invasion" that wiped out most of the old glories on the charts.
This record corresponds to one of those early periods of crisis in which they felt they were doing good jobs but were not recognized popularly. Trying to be part of the scene without success. They tried, without much hope, return to the country that had been sucked from their parents. This thought important to be in the place where the country-rock was experiencing a major transformation, in Los Angeles. They spent hours playing with Linda Ronstadt, members of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers. In July 1968 Andy Wickham, Warner Bros. he suggested doing a concept album in which the country chosen topics were mixed with selected footage shows the Everly family had done in the 50s, ie back, as While the title suggests, his Estate. The Warner the project as a personal challenge was made, brought enthusiasm and effort to achieve a work of maturity and transcendence means not skimping. In this sense the disc gets everything that had been proposed, masterfully combining evolution and tradition, exquisite arrangements, and wonderful songs. Was well received critically, but not sales. The selection was made by choosing topics of classic country and folk compositions with new authors that were outperforming. Among the topics of pure country chose two of Merle Haggard ("Mama Tried" and "Sing Me Back Home"), one of Jimmie Rodgers ("T For Texas", which apply a more than attractive wahwah guitar effect) and the traditional "Shady Grove". "Less of Me" is a song by Glen Campbell played the style of the Byrds in his time with Gram Parsons. Among the new values ​​with the cooperation of Ron Elliott (of the Beau Brummels) in the arrangements, guitars and composition of two tracks ("Ventura Boulevard" and "Turn Around", both enriched with discrete accompaniment strings that enhance its charm) ; "Illinois" was a song by a little known yet Randy Newman, who that year would release their first album; "Living Too Close To The Ground" was the contribution of their English bassist Terry Slater. In the wake of his albums of the 60s, the original compositions were scarce; this time there is only one, "I Wonder If I Care As Much", not being completely original, having been part 1957 single "Bye Bye Love", although he was made weather changes and arrangements that conferred new life .
This would be the last studio album for Warner, with whom at first only managed to reach the level of popularity achieved during your stay at Cadence Records (although that does not mean that, as in this case, not to perform more interesting discs).
Durable separations, solo careers, guest appearances, awards and reunions have happened in subsequent years (as famous story is the cause of greater separation period in 1973, when Phil broke his guitar in full play and left the stage, ending Don solo the last part of the concert, and commenting, "The Everly Brothers died ten years ago"). was admitted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
A note also its enormous influence on later to its early artists like Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Mamas & The Papas and The Hollies, of course its influence coming to our country, the Dynamic Duo to be the clearest referent.
I think that Rick Rubin could still work miracles with them.

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Posted by jose / Posted in: Albums
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