Showing posts with label pop music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pop music. Show all posts

Sunday 11 May 2014

STRANGE pop business: Gary Barlow

Gary Barlow is now considered as pop music or rather pop song royalty in England (he received an OBE and organised the Queen’s Jubilee concert and even more).  He is following in the footsteps of top no 1 world selling pop singer songwriter Elton John

When Take That broke up Barlow had initial success with his 1997 album, Open Road, which made No 1 in the UK charts. However his 1999 album, Twelve Months, Eleven Days, only made No 34. It appeared that the pop business didn’t know what to do with Barlow as the piano playing and songwriting member of the band. Pop music has become, especially over in LA, more about the glitz and showmanship.

Oddly, back in the 70s, the pop business didn’t know what to make of Elton either – who after working in Publishing became a solo artist in America when he donned extrovert glasses and glittering shoes and jackets, to be seen and heard!

After Take That broke up inn 1996, Robbie Williams (Angels, Let Me Entertain You) became the Big Star, although he has never broken in America.

Meanwhile Barlow was out in the cold and consigned to several years in the wilderness (1999 to Take That reunion 2006 and later his solo release 2012). Even as he retreated into his songwriting he found that the music business wouldn’t touch him and in order to have people even look at his songs he had to put them out under another name.

This continued over years, while he put on weight and became reclusive. Then in there was talk of a Take That reunion in 2006 after a Tv documentary – and the rest is recent history.......
His 2012 album Sing made No 1 UK charts.  
There are a few others such as Kylie who also resurrected her career. In the shallow world of fame this shows the real secret of success is hard work. At 43 Gary is looking better than ever. No matter what people view as cool or not cool – nothing much beats a great pop song!

Gary Barlow OBE (born 20 January 1971) is an English singer-songwriter, pianist and record producer. He is frontman and lead vocalist of British pop-group Take That and served as head judge on series 8, 9, and 10 of The X Factor UK. Barlow is one of Britain's most successful songwriters, having written thirteen Number 1 singles and twenty three top 10 hits. He has had three Number 1 singles, six top 10 singles and two Number 1 albums as a solo artist, and has had sixteen top 5 hits, eleven Number 1 singles and seven Number 1 albums with Take That. He is also a six-time recipient of the Ivor Novello Award and has sold over 50 million records worldwide. He was appointed an OBE in 2012 for services to music and charity.

Wednesday 30 December 2009

Elton John: Music Magic Rocket Man SECC

Elton – Music Magic from the Rocket Man SECC Glasgow June 2009
Elton John was fabulous – dynamic vocals and piano and even after all these years performing he seems to thrive on it, while his voice gets better and better. Elton appeared up the steps and paused to bask in the audiences thrill to see him there!

Elton John...- I had forgotten how much I love ‘Your Song’ –  Great gig!.  Adrenalin rush to the head..I’m still standing!  

These photos of Elton were such an honour for me and I was hugely excited about my first time shooting at the SECC. It seemed quite restrictive and they were surprised I was there to shoot the support artist too. I always shoot support artists too, well you never know they might be big one day! Other press snappers turned up and we were all taken into the arena, where there was more waiting about in the dark at the front of the wide stage. Elton’s piano was the only shape lit up and then suddenly through the darkness he appeared up the side steps. We were only allowed the one song and the adrenalin rush was incredible and the knowing you only have such a short time to get that one shot. Nerve wracking!!  I thought after what an honour to shoot Elton.

Elton was wearing a pink shirt and pink glasses and a black jacket covered in colourful music notes and a keyboard and with the words ’music magic’ embroidered on the back. He ran through his back catalogue of hits and the packed SECC loved him. 
He built up the energy with strong renditions of 'I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues' and 'Daniel'.  Followed  by a full fifteen minute arrangement of his well known hit ‘Rocket Man’ which took the energy up after which he performed 'Sad Songs' and 'Sorry' which took the tempo down. 

The most moving moment was ‘Candle in the Wind‘ when you could hear a pin drop  in the dark with only Elton and his spot lit piano it felt like candles blowing in the air of the vast arena.  I heard echoes of Norma Jean and of Diana both beautiful ladies who shone for a brief time. He also sang 'I Need Love', 'Fly Away', 'Are You Ready For Love' and more from his wonderful back catalogue. He had his long time band members with him and Nigel Olsen on drums.  I was pleased that for his encore he played my favourite Elton song 'Your Song'. I had my Your Song piano sheet music with me with the vague hopes of getting it signed. I did get down near the front for the last songs and Elton was signing autographs, mostly gig tickets.

Elton writes piano melodies that touch people’s hearts and you could feel the love! Now this year I’ve taken photos of Richard Thompson and Elton both. If I could ever take shots of Paul McCartney (!!) I could die happy. I’d no idea what to expect and I guess the next time I take photos at the SECC I won’t be so nervous!